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minstrel 04-03-2013 03:29 PM

Decisions decisions!
 
This year has been pretty dreadful so far - a horrible, wet, snowy, icy winter (the worst in 50 years here) leading into, well, no sign of spring so far. This has led to all my plans for this month being cancelled due to weather (not a XC in sight!) and another dump of snow has cancelled plans to getting out to an indoor arena for some dressage. On top of that, the EHV outbreak here has everyone on lockdown... So I'm showing pretty bad competition-withdrawal.

My situation is that I don't have transport, so when everything is being cancelled or postponed, I can't make new plans to do other things. I can only get lifts to so many events, and I have to take holidays to get weekends off, so it really is a pain!

Now my dilemma. I like my yard a lot, but there are some flaws. There are only 5 horses, so it's very quiet - I ride alone 5 nights a week because the other boarder and the YO are housewives, and ride during the day. It's also in the middle of nowhere, so when the weather is bad I can't get up - and whilst the school is floodlit, it's a plain sand school which is often flooded/frozen solid. Also, the other two riders aren't competitive, so when I do get lifts its from my old YO who has a lorry, and will drive past and pick me up - and since she teaches all day on a Saturday, it limits when I can get out!

So far, this hasn't been a problem - bringing Geoff back into work over the winter has meant I haven't been in a rush to compete him. But he's at the point I want to start him in Prelim dressage, and some small SJ/eventing classes. It's not the end of the world not to compete this summer, but it has made me think hard.

I want to compete. Therefore my options are this: stay at my nice (cheap!) yard, don't do much for the next year or two, and try to save for my own transport; or move to a bigger yard, more expensive but with at least hacking distance from the main competition and training venues in my area. I have no intention of moving right now, but come next winter, when he's fit and I want to work him and we're stuck unable to get up there let alone ride for two weeks, I'll go mad.

So... what do you think? I'm just using this thread to sort out my thoughts, so anything I haven't explained please ask, and hopefully I don't sound like an ungrateful sod...

Joe4d 04-03-2013 05:14 PM

dont know about your sport specifically but in general any competitive sport, You have to play and practice with people much better than you if you want to improve. You need to move.

Skyseternalangel 04-03-2013 07:26 PM

Move. Your needs aren't being met and it's probably nicer to have a space for your horse that is dry so he gets a break from standing in sludge too (mud, snow, etc.)

minstrel 04-04-2013 04:40 AM

Yeah, I think you're both right.... I will feel terribly guilty but I just want to do more!!!

thesilverspear 04-05-2013 04:57 PM

Three words. All weather footing. My horse has been in steady work throughout the winter as our footing has happily withstood the weather. Another horse I've been riding for someone else at a different yard had most of the winter off, as their arena has sand footing and no drainage. Worth the move if you can find somewhere that will make it possible for you to keep your horse fit.

minstrel 04-05-2013 05:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thesilverspear (Post 2138130)
Three words. All weather footing. My horse has been in steady work throughout the winter as our footing has happily withstood the weather. Another horse I've been riding for someone else at a different yard had most of the winter off, as their arena has sand footing and no drainage. Worth the move if you can find somewhere that will make it possible for you to keep your horse fit.

That is one of the big problems. My last yard had a rubber chip surface, which was winter-proof, and it meant I could ride for 90% of the winter, whereas the sand school is really limiting - it is a nice sand school in that it's not boggy and doesn;t get deep, but one corner tends to have water sit on top of the sand whenever its wet (ie ALL THE TIME here atm lol), and it freezes solid really easily. I don't need an indoor, but a floodlit all-weather would at least mean he was in work all year... rather than getting two weeks off here, one week off there, three weeks off there... its so frustrating.

Muppetgirl 04-05-2013 06:05 PM

Hmmm I pretty much ride alone now, I used to be at a very busy barn but found that the constant distraction slowed down my progress. I go and ride with trainers on their horses when I can just to give myself something to work on. However in saying that, as another poster stated (Joe4D) if you want to get better its sometimes necessary to be around people more accomplished....it kind of pricks your ears and get a person motivated;)

minstrel 04-05-2013 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Muppetgirl (Post 2138738)
Hmmm I pretty much ride alone now, I used to be at a very busy barn but found that the constant distraction slowed down my progress. I go and ride with trainers on their horses when I can just to give myself something to work on. However in saying that, as another poster stated (Joe4D) if you want to get better its sometimes necessary to be around people more accomplished....it kind of pricks your ears and get a person motivated;)

I do enjoy having the school to myself sometimes, as it means you can do a really good schooling session, but being alone all the time, in the dark and rain, is really demotivating. I still do it, obviously, but it is so much more fun to ride with a few friends. My last yard sometimes had as many as 8 people trying to ride in the school, so I'm very practiced at tuning other people out whilst also riding around them, and I feel it prepares a horse very well for busy collecting rings etc. Whilst no one wants to ride like that all the time, I miss the enjoyment of spurring each other on, putting up jumps and courses for each other, the chat while grooming/tacking up etc which 5 rides out of 6 at least I don;t get now :( And exactly, watching your peers achieve things spurs you on the achieve them yourself!! Plus there's nothing like going out competing with friends, you can calm each other's nerves and feel like someone is backing you up! I miss all that...


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