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Could Hero do low level eventing?
I have always been riding for fun for 15 years - I got lessons when I was six in Western moved up to English did a few hunter shows.
I stopped riding in highschool and throughout college - once I got my first house and a job I found a woman in the area I moved to who needed a person to help break her TB/Belgian.
I took the challenge even though I havent rode in years - Me and this horse clicked. The woman ended up selling her and got a push button lesson horse for her and her son to ride - I got extremely bored.
I figured while I have the money and time its now or never to get my own horse.
Thats where I went on a big search - I ended up finding Hero on craigslist - he was skin and bones. I took things a little fast with him and never really took the time to train him right (I was doing everything out of having fun)
Now we moved to a new barn I havent had a chance to ride so this spring I want to do it right and get him moving out correctly.
Just wondering by next year if we could compete in some small competitions in Eventing.
He is on the smaller side at 15h but has the TB heart to work.
My training plan with him (withouth a trainer :()
Get him moving into the bit and improve his hind for tracking up
Work on his roundness and consitancy
Grid work his jumping is slopping hence why we dont do it often
These are some photos but he is very out of shape (off for 3 months with weather) so he wasnt tracking up at all (I also need help with that!! advice would be great)
His horrible jumping that needs work (from March)
A crappy screen shot of him actually jumping
Thanks for the help!
Oh here is a photo to reference his ugly confirmation before
Look at him tuck those little legs! I think he will be a great jumper! That jump is a bit big if he is as out of shape as you say. So be careful with that. Don't want to bust those legs before you even get to a show!
I think you could get him to an event by yourself in a year. The beginner levels (at least at the single eventing show I went to) were very very low. Barely a foot. And it doesnt even matter how you get over the jump, just that you get over it. I mean, you could walk over if you needed to. So keep working on your dressage and getting that guy some muscle and you'll be fine.
When you are ready to do more, you might want to find a trainer. I was training my TB myself and then I hit a wall. There were just somethings I couldnt do myself. I needed someone on the ground to tell me what I was doing wrong and where I could improve. Plus it is always wise, in any discipline, to have a smart and knowledgable grounds person. A trainer is excellent for that!!
I want to start slow and back to the basics.
He could absolutely Event!! :-) He looks very willing! Like HeartMyOTTB said, the low levels of the schooling mini events are a great way to intro him to the Eventing world. Intro level (at least in my area) only has jumps of 6-12" so they really can be walked over...my mare and I just learned to jump last year together and we did last season at the Intro level and ended up third in the field for the series! So you and your gelding could definitely get there!
Just focus on your dressage a LOT because in Eventing it basically makes or breaks your score. As long as you jump clear on stadium and xc, it all comes down to your dressage score.
I think it's great that you rescued him and are getting him back in shape...just make sure to take it slow, do more slow trotting than anything to build up his muscles and maybe only jump once a week at first, and only over little 12" jumps at the highest...just to make sure he doesn't injure himself and you guys will be in the best of shape in no time!
Best of luck and welcome to the fun!!! :-D
Personally, I would never, ever step foot on a XC course without another knowledgeable pair of eyes, whether they be a trainer or a person that is already there. It's totally reasonable to ask someone in advance that is going to be there to watch you just so you don't get into trouble that you can't get out of. You just don't want to start something that you can't fix right then, you know?
This being said, I think Hero would make a good eventing candidate. He looks like he has a nice tuck and would totally be suitable for lower level eventing. Height doesn't play a factor in it until you get into the higher levels (hey, Theodore O'Connor was a pony!). My Novice level eventer is 14.3-15hh and she's just fine :D
thanks for the advice guys! I'll def think about having my friends instructor to come out a few times and help me with the jumping parts. Just wish this darn snow would go away and day light savings time would take affect to start riding daily again :)
He's definitly got the potential to be an eventer but I most definitly would not try XC without a trainer. You can really mess up a horse if you don't have someone who knows their stuff and can coach you along the way. It makes things a lot easier!!!
First of all, your gelding is absolutely adorable - I love his face! :D
I think he would make a very nice little eventing horse! Although it would certainly be ideal to get yourself a trainer, I don't think that you need a trainer to do lower-level eventing. From the pictures you posted (I'd love to see more BTW) you look like a very competent rider. Obviously, as with all disciplines, it is important to approach eventing with caution and common sense (and a safety vest, splint boots, and bell boots!). If, at any time, you plan to show above Beginner Novice, that's where you'll need a trainer. But I believe it is possible to easily show Starter and even Beginner Novice without one. Sure, that's not a good idea for some people, who are beginner riders, but you actually have quite a bit of experience with horses, if not eventing. So yes, I think you can do it without a trainer for now.
Training-wise, I do have some suggestions. You said that since he is out of shape, he is not jumping very high. I would hesitate to school him primarily over jumps the size of the one in your second picture - as you pointed out, his form is not the greatest over that. I find that those jumps under 1 foot(?) tend to encourage bad form as the horses don't really have to JUMP them. I would tend to go for higher fences (around 18", definitely not over 2' if he's out of shape), and jumping him less in each session - and don't jump him more than every other day at most. It's good to keep it varied.
Good luck, have fun, and be safe! :D
thanks for the advice! Yes we haven't jumped in a long time!! We have so much snow so who knows when I'll be able to ride again - hoping to ride 4/5 times a week.
Not sure how to get a horse back into shape - this is my first horse. I took lessons on many many horses in the past but they were all ready to go horses.
Not sure how long to work on dressage till I feel he can jump etc. I rode him the other week b4 all this snow he just is lazy on tracking up. My friend helped me with it and its like I have to go 400 miles an hour till he learns to track up. She told me to just go at this pace for a few weeks till it comes naturally for him. Others told me to trot slow to build up muscles - so which is right?
I see everyone on here with the horses and riding and looking great I'm loosing patience as my horse sits in the snow for months.
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