Double skilled horses
Does anyone have a horse that competes in two different sports (even if it's better at one)? How does it work out for both of you? Does your horse ever get confused?
When I buy my next horse, I don't know if I want a jumper or a barrel racer haha. If you think about it, the both require the same thing (speed, and powerful hindquarters). The team probably wouldn't make it to the top levels in BOTH sports, but I think being able to compete in both would be fun.
My horse does gaming and cattle sorting as well as some showing. Both western disciplines but really varied. He does well in both, and never gets confused. Barrel horses know when it's game time and when it's okay to be fired up. I can either run my boy into the arena or casually walk on a loose rein. I think it's good for horses to do multiple sports/discipline.
The confo you want for a jumper is going to greatly vary from the confo you'll want for a barrel horse though....
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My horse and I used to do low level dressage and speed shows for fun! He never quite understood what the goal was in speed events (he was a 16.2 hh appendix quarter horse) but he sure did love going fast! and did he ever look pretty doing a hand gallop down the home stretch :P
Eventing is a sport made of multiple sports!
My mare and I have been barrel racing since last fall. She's great at it, good speed rates like a dream and always comes out of the turns straight. That being said I am also training her in dressage. I believe a horse should be able to do anything, and not get stuck on the whole she's a quarter horse so she can only chase cows, or he's a warmblood and can only do english, blah, blah. Sure some horses are better suited for upper level stuff but there is nothing keeping my mare from running barrels one weekend and doing dressage tests the next. She can half pass in all gaits, travere, passage and do a working peroite(sp) She can out do my neighbours breed to do it horses most days, she is a mare after all ;-)
That being said she doesn't get confused she knows when I pick up on her and collect her up its work time no matter what outfit we might be wearing LOL
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I do Western rail classes and English classes, with a bit of low hunter. No problem in the switch, horse seems to prefer it actually.
My mare does a few things. We event, dressage, show jump, team pen and campdraft.
The friesian has competed in dressage and team penning, and we're training to go eventing this year as well.
My Squiggy mare (my avatar) has done team roping, ranch sorting, roping at brandings, barrel racing and goes English now.
Lots of Pony Club kids will do heaps of stuff on a gymkhana day. I remember when I was a kid you would start your day with hack classes, then have dressage, then showjumping, bareback and pairs in there somewhere. Then after lunch you would do barrel-racing, bending etc. There might even be some camp-drafting in there. Then people with the highest scores across the board would win.
I mean none of that is high level, but horse confusion was never a problem. Realistically, most people/horses don't compete at high levels either. A high level barrel racer or showjumper likely wouldn't be brilliant at the other sport, but I'm think that you could be jumping over 1m rounds a barrel racer, and competing in local little barrel racing things with a jumper.
To be honest I'd probably go for a good barrel racer and then jump it sometimes, rather than the other way around. Unless you realistically plan to get to high levels in jumping.
My pally mare would run games then would show western pleasure all on the same day. I had prepared her for this by always changing bits. She ran in a hack and pleasured in a curb. She knew the difference. At home schooling, no speed, was always in a snaffle. She could hold her own in english pleasure as well, in the snaffle.
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