Taking the pony out eventing for the first time - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By lostastirrup
  • 2 Post By ClearDonkey
  • 1 Post By lostastirrup
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-17-2019, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: north
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Taking the pony out eventing for the first time

Hi all,
Since we ended up not doing rated dressage shows, we're doing unrated everything else. Which includes wandering off to a mini event at the end of September. Pony is a pretty alright jumper and I'm passable at getting him around a course. He's pretty confident out on the trail, and will happily jump logs and cross water and the like, but I intend to get him out and schooling at a cross country course a few towns over when he comes back from his two week spell. Dressage should go pretty alright- since the test is pretty much training level and he's schooling third.

So I have some questions- and a general invite to ANY and ALL miscellaneous advice.

1. What are your must-haves to pack, I've only ever shown dressage and have that kit pretty much down pat.

2. Is there any unwritten etiquette I should know about, or things I should do to make the volunteers lives easier other than not knocking down every rail in stadium?

3. Boots. We have galloping boots for the front and ankle boots for the hinds- is this adequate for XC or will I need to get something else/more?
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-17-2019, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Michigan
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Is show jumping and cross country combined for this event? When I did a mini-trial, we started out the day with dressage and then did a cross country course with show jumps scattered within.

Do you have any friends that are also going to the event that you could park next to? I went with my old trainer and her other lesson kids, so it was really just me watching and doing what they were doing.

Dressage is pretty straightforward with prep, making sure he is groomed nice and that your tack and outfit are on par. Don't over-do your warm-up, keep it simple, and do what you do at home. I've seen a lot of people ride their horses into the ground at a lot of shows, and either the horses are too tired to perform or they are riled up to the point where they won't concentrate.

I used my show-jumping boots for my combined course, though if I were to do a full course with water, they would absorb too much moisture to be effective or comfortable.

I'll come back to this once I get home, just about to leave work!
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-19-2019, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: north
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Pony and I are going alone. I should have a friend with me and maybe my boyfriend's mom. But I guess I will just depend on the expertise of the volunteers.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-21-2019, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Texas
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I am far from experienced, but here's my two cents. I took my pony out to our first paper chase (first time schooling solid jumps) with no boots at all. He's a large pony and finding boots his size isn't the easiest thing. We have since bought boots to use, but my instructor actually advised open fronts even for XC since he's still fairly new to jumping and rather on the lazy side, she said he needs to feel it if he hits something, and we aren't out doing 8' tables. We also had to modify those boots after getting them because they still didn't fit just right. If you're going to buy something for XC, make sure it doesn't absorb too much water and is well ventilated, but if you're only going to school a course or two a year, all small, it may not really be necessary.

If you're doing just a schooling show, people should be pretty willing to help out. Ask the organizer when you get there if you know you have questions, or just inform them this is your first time, what do I need to know? Ask other competitors if they don't look too rushed. At most of our local events, they have open schooling on Saturday and a schooling show on Sunday. If you school the course on Saturday you aren't eligible to place on Sunday, but it's all for fun anyways, so I say school it first to set your horse up for a good positive experience. I've been able to find a pony club instructor who gladly took me under her wing and I went out schooling with her group so Pony could watch another horse do something first, by the end, he was happily cantering out front taking jumps first.

We don't always have numbers, or readily visible numbers, so I introduce myself to the volunteers that are outside of the warm ups or calling up people when we get there. It's much easier for them to flag me down when they know, oh, rider on the white pony with the blue pad, rather than trying to see that little number on his bridle.

Other than the XC vest, I feel like most of the things you need to pack wouldn't change from a dressage show.
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