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Horsesdontlie 04-25-2011 12:50 PM

Getting Started
I have always dreamed of doing eventing. I've been thinking that it might be time that I get started. But I am having a bit of trouble trying to figure out where to start. :lol: I want to do novice (which is 2'6" right?), but I don't know if I should start at beginner novice (which I believe is 2'?). Elementary would be ridiculous in that Jake drops his feet over smaller jumps and either knocks them down or trips over it, and rushes. Something a little bigger keeps his focus.

BTW I am looking at small clinics and possibly USEA.

1) The Horse - First of all I have the horse. Jake is a fearless jumper and though he is older, he is very sound and jumps easily over 3". When I was younger I used to jump anything that was on our property, ditches, logs, bushes, trash cans....If I could get my hands on it we jumped it. Jake never hesitated for those, and he never hesitates for regular jumps, of any type. Now the thing I worry about though is the stamina needed for xc. He is a stocky something or other. The best guess is quarter horse, so he would not be able to hand gallop a course, but overall I'm not to worried about competing. It just looks fun. I'm willing to try and build his stamina more, but its just not up there. At the lower levels that I want to do, will they have shorter courses? Some I have seen while doing my research can be up to 10 minutes long 0.0 No way Jake would be able to jump that many jumps and canter/gallop the whole way (he would try for me....but for health reasons I wouldn't want to let him). Plus it doesn't help how hot he can be and the first few events we may go to he will spend all of his energy fighting me. Is it something I should be concerned about?

2) The Tack - What do I need? I have a bit of money coming in when a horse I consigned gets sold (I get half and the horse is being offered at 12000). But I also want to put most of that into the bank. So I want to say that I will have around 1500 to spend on new tack/show clothing.
-I need a saddle (any suggestions? Looking for something I can do jumpers and event in for under $800, if possible) as mine is on its last legs with tears and it doesn't fit Jake overall. (Do I need a dressage saddle or can I event in something universal?)
-I have a plain snaffle leather bridle, with a D-ring snaffle.
-I would need a breast plate cause everything slides back on Jake, whats okay, not okay?
-What about pads?
-Bell boots I almost always use while riding (he clips himself at a trot and canter). Would this be okay in the dressage portion? Bell boots and splint boots are a must for jumping. Is there a specific type I'm supposed to have?
3) The Clothing
-I have nothing, so suggest away. I have the helmet lol, thats it though. Need the vest, clothing and boots.
4) Me
What else should I know? I don't have tons of money to spend on constant lessons but I am trying to find clinics to start me out. My horse is hot with only show experience in barrel racing and Gymkhana and I am concerned over the showing, especially dressage. I hope no one would mind my horse possibly having a mental break down at the first show, rearing, cantering in place and throwing his body around (his personality is great that this would probably happen once and get much better after the first one).

rosie1 04-25-2011 08:06 PM

Alright I'm going to take a crack at this sorry if I miss stuff! Courses of the level your looking at are generally about 5-6 minutes long with about 16 jumps (at least in my area) and the pace is not fast so you shouldn't have to really gallop your entire course a nice steady canter should suffice. For tack- a dressage saddle is not required you may use the same saddle for all 3 stages if you'd like, bell boots are NOT allowed in the dressage ring and neither are breastplates I believe, tan pants would be fine for all stages, you'll need a show shirt and jacket (don't worry no stock ties or anything like that are required), gloves, for boots you can use tall boots or paddock boots and half chaps but the chaps must be smooth grained leather that match the colour of your boots, a vest is needed for x country, and a medical armband for x counrty and stadium. If your horse doesn't have any experience with these kinds of shows then I would take him to some dressage schooling shows first, and some 2 phases to get him used to it. Also take him out x country schooling on a proper course and if possible to the course you're going to be doing at the show. And most important have fun because that's what eventing is all about!
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equineeventer3390 04-25-2011 08:46 PM

Beginner Novice is fences up to 2'7"
Novice is fences up to 2'11"
Starter is usually 2', 2'3" or sometimes just cross rails and some very small logs. It completely depends on the place. I've seen starter almost as big as BN, with a full XC course, and I've seen some as tiny tiny x-rails with 3 little baby logs XC.
I would do starter as your first show. But you definitely need to get a good eventing trainer and go XC schooling ALOT.

equineeventer3390 04-25-2011 08:52 PM

Beginner Novice is usually about 14 jumps and I have NEVER seen a BN XC course that lasted more than 6 minutes. The longest XC course I've ever done was 5:60. At BN and starter, there is nothing wrong with trotting some of the course and just doing a nice, well paced canter. You don't need to gallop at that level.

A close contact saddle will be fine for all 3 phases. If you really get into it, you can always get a dressage saddle later.

NO BOOTS on the horse. No bell boots. No wraps. No nothing. You will get eliminated the second you enter the ring if there is anyting on the horses legs. Snaffle bit only. White saddle pad. For you. Tall boots, breeches (tan is fine) a show shirt, a black jacket, and a stock tie. If its a schooling show, they may excuse jackets in which case you can just wear a white polo.

Stadium: Usually you wear the same thing as you did in dressage. Boots are allowed.

XC: pretty much anything goes. Any colors, any bits, etc. Definitely need a XC vest and you MUSt have a medical armband for both stadium and XC. Any boots on your horse are fine really. No open front boots for XC though. Also I wouldn't recommend something like the SMB's as they kinda retain water. Splint boots are fine. If you need to get some, I recommend Woof Boots. Great boots. Most popular among lower level eventing and great price.

equineeventer3390 04-25-2011 08:53 PM

For under $800, you could find a nice used jump saddle or you could go with a Marcel Toulouse. I have one and love it. If you tell me your seat and tree size, I can look around at some used jump saddles for you.

Horsesdontlie 04-26-2011 12:30 AM

Wow thank you everyone. =)

I would love to just cruise and trot if needed as he feels.

I would do starters if it was 2'-2'3" but If its cross rails and small logs, would it really be that bad to move up to the beginning novice at a first show? Though if I can get into the clinics I want to get into I am going to do starters. And move up from there.

I thought that half-chaps were NOT aloud. Are they?

I'll check out the Woof Boots. And for the saddle I fit well in my friends 17' ovation close contact. But as for what tree size I am not yet sure and will be playing around with different peoples saddles to see what fits well. He has a wide shoulder/barrel with high withers. So a narrow I'm afraid will pinch his shoulders/lower back and a wide sits on his withers. Ugh. I already use a half pad and he has not shown any problems with back issues or acted any different with my wide. But you know I would feel better if I could find something that fit better.

How do you guys find clinics and events? I am in the southern california area so, Galway Downs and Cooper Meadows are the closest. There is also a low-key place called Fallbrook Field near where my horse will be boarded. I know they have one-day events and clinics, but I have no idea how to find them. All their event pages are at least 2 years old. And never current. o.0 The only thing I have been able to find is a one day (dressage and xc) in october.

equineeventer3390 04-26-2011 12:39 AM

You are in area 6 then. Here's the website for Area 6.
Area VI Online
If you look around the site, you will find trainers, xc courses to school, clinics, schooling shows, etc. I believe they have recently changed the rule that you can wear half chaps. But they have to be all leather. I would just get tall boots though. Mountain horse aren't too expensive and great boots.
Also you can go to
USEA - United States Eventing Association (Eventing, Combined Training, Three Day Event, Horse Triathlon, Equestrian Sport)
and find the rulebook, calender for events in all areas, etc.

For your first event, I would do starter, even if its cross rails. Unless your horse is trained eventing, cross country can be a big deal. Some don't care. But some may take advantage of or balk at the sight of the open course if they aren't used to it. Also beginner novice MOST of the time has water, banks, and ditches. Starter usually does not have ditches or banks and the water will usually be optional.

I suggest reading the entire rule book!!! There are ALOT of rules and small things you can get eliminated for. It will also give you a better understanding of how everything works, what to expect, and you will be better prepared.

equineeventer3390 04-26-2011 12:42 AM

A CT is combined training. This is dressage and show jumping only. No cross country. It is a GREAT place to start. It's almost exactly like an event, just no cross country.

And to correct a previous comment, breastplates ARE allowed in dressage. Unless they changed it in the past 2 years. I always used one on my previous horse dressage but haven't on my new horse in 2 years.

Horsesdontlie 04-26-2011 12:51 AM

Sounds like a good idea. I'll surf around on those sites. Thank you.

wild horses 04-26-2011 03:34 AM

Hey YAHHH another potential eventer!!

My first bit of advice is just get out there and stat giving it a go, you'l learn a lot as you go.

If you have to have 1 saddle, make a qood quality second hand jumping 1.
Dont worry about his breeding, the courses you will be doing wont have that tight a time. But i evented my appy/qh/tb cross to 2**, he was fine, i had to have him about 3 times as fit as my OTTB so he could gallop fast the whole way. But at low level he never had problems.

safety approved helmet, and body protector are musts.

If your just starting out, dont go all out with clothes and xcounty outfits, jus keep it simple like a nice long sleedved shirt or something, and save your money for more important things

oh and no boots allowed in the dressage ring, but fine for jumping.

hope this helps

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