First Event Of The Year - HELP
So I am entering Cobblestones farms Event which is in June (if I remember correct), and possibly their Show Jumping - Dressage show which is like a month before. This is based out of Ann Arbor, MI, and I was wondering first, has anyone done this course?
Last year I did a schooling show which had dressage and a show jumping-xc course combined, and I would've gotten 3rd at pre-beginner if my trainer hadn't of had me do the whole course at a trot. Here is the problem, my trainer has moved states away and I am trainerless, so I am back to training on my own (which I have done for years). My horse cannot pick up his left lead easily, currently, but I am going to start pushing for it alot more.
As of right now, I am trying to figure out what level I will be showing at and how I will ride my courses. Since my goal for this show is to see what real competition is like and finding what level I should be at compared to other people. I have jumped my horse consistently at 3'3 and have gotten over 4' jumps before, so height will not be a problem. Also, my horse is an arab-cross, so distance of the courses will not be a problem either.
Here is a link to the schooling show I went to last year:
By my horses current dressage movement (this arena was 6+ inches of MUD) and how he acts, which level would be good to enter at?
Also, any tips for my first full 3 day event?
Any advice/tips will be appreciated!
All you need with this horse in one good dressage lesson to learn how to better apply half halts. He's just rushing through things a bit and not accepting your half halts which creates that rushing trot before the canter. He also does not like to bend to the right, but that puzzle might also be solved with a lesson or two. Not sure what the tail swishing is about. I'm thinking it's just an arab thing since he appears to be moving freely. Otherwise, I think it's a nice test. If jumping is not a problem, why not start with BN and move up from there if your scores are consistent after a few shows?
I can't see the video, but I agree, beginner novice is a good place to start, it's pretty straightforward and shouldn't have any major questions. Check if you need qualifying scores to move up, I know we do in Canada, not sure about the states though. It's good to get established and super confident at a level before moving up, and it keeps people from entering levels all willy-nilly too, thinking because they're jumping 3'6" at home they can just go enter one event a year at training level, and of course THAT was always a train wreck:-x That happened a lot back before they added the qualifying scores at the lower levels.
Since this is your first actual even I would try find an eventing trainer to help you out, even just at the event if you can, many will take on students just for the day or weekend if you ask around. A real event is a lot different than schooling shows. I had shown a good amount before I started eventing, but I was SO GLAD to have a coach with me who knew what was going on my first few events, because just the way things are run, different rules, scheduling, etiquette, it's VERY different from a regular horse show. And I started out at the baby levels too, it never hurts to have that knowledgeable person around! Also very helpful to have an extra set of eyes for walking your cross country course!
Have you schooled much cross country before? In beginner novice you may have to cross through water and may have a small bank or ditch, make sure you have properly prepared your horse for anything they may see. Are you familiar with the cross country speed for the level? You definitely don't want to just go and wing it, that rarely ends well. There's lots of homework that needs to be done before you head out to an actual event.
There's a lot to be said for just taking things slow with eventing. There is definitely no rush to move up, and if after a couple events at BN, you're rocking it out and ending on your dressage score, and schooling novice heights and fences, then by all means move up! And if you and your horse are still working some kinks out, no worries! Sometimes things can take a while, but if you work hard, and are dedicated to preparing properly, I have no doubt that you'll do well! And listen to your body and your horse, it's best to go a little slower at first, than to push everything and end up on the ground or scaring your horse, that takes a lot longer to undo in the long run!
My best advice would be to find someone knowledgeable to school cross country with at least a few times and help you out at shows/events and make sure you are well prepared for all 3 phases (beginner novice dressage definitely requires both canter leads). If you do that, your first event should be super fun and easy! :-)
Do the next level up from here, see how that feels. Canter the entire cross country and stadium phases. If that all still feels boringly easy, move up to the next level. But keep in mind, the height of the jumps is just a small part of eventing. The biggest part is what's in between the jumps. Preparing for the next jump, making sure you bring your horse to it safely, and have an obedient and responsive horse.
The best thing for you and your horse right now would probably be flat/dressage lessons. The dressage portion of your video shows a horse who is inconsistent in the bridle, not off your leg (lots of cutting corners, no bending), and is running through your hand. There are good moments, for sure, but there are a lot of things to address and work on before you move up much. Even though this can be the "boring" part, it really is amazing how transferable training on the flat is, and how much more control and accuracy it gives you while jumping.
My horse has never schooled cross country, but we have trail ridden (not the same I know) but we usually gallop through the trails. I went to a neighbours cross country course and he was bored. (As they were 2ft jumps) Plus in the summer we canter into is lake and he loves it, so I see no problem there.
That's great! Sounds like he's pretty accustomed to some of those things, that's a great start. You've got lots of time to prepare, so I think as long as you can get out and school some real cross country a few times beforehand, you'll be good to go :)
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