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Discussion Starter #1
I have only trained in showjumping so far (1.10 highest) but I want to start working towards competing in eventing. I have never really tried cross country or dressage (and I’m barnless for a while so it probably won’t be anytime soon). One concern I have is the dangers of eventing. I am going to be doing equine studies in a couple of years at college and I don’t want to just decide last minute that I’m just too much of a chicken to actually do eventing. I heard the introduction of frangible pins but does it really make that much of a difference? Is eventing just too dangerous?
 

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In Maryland, where I was starting eventing, they had lots of events for beginners with jumps of 2 1/2 feet. I think you can start with that easy baby stuff and see how you feel about it. I would guess the beginner event classes would be safe. If you feel capable and strong, then you can push for the higher faster classes. It gives you a chance to try it out without too much of a challenge.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
In Maryland, where I was starting eventing, they had lots of events for beginners with jumps of 2 1/2 feet. I think you can start with that easy baby stuff and see how you feel about it. I would guess the beginner event classes would be safe. If you feel capable and strong, then you can push for the higher faster classes. It gives you a chance to try it out without too much of a challenge.
But what about the safety in further levels? I also kind of have to decide what discipline I want to do relatively soon as I will be studying equine management and training in eventing (?) at college and don’t want to start and just feeling like I’m chickening out if I decide to quit.
 

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I also kind of have to decide what discipline I want to do relatively soon as I don’t want to start doing eventing and just feeling like I’m chickening out if I decide to stop.
Why not? If it is not fun for you, then try something that is fun. Chickening out is perfectly OK. The idea of riding horses is because it is fun. Being scared and feeling unsafe is not fun.
 

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Why not approach a local riding school with a course and ask for a lesson. My first attempts were at my school. We'd practice an obstacle at a time, or parts of the course, until we could do the whole thing; then it was a matter of gaining experience over different courses and countryside. Practice and exposure helps to reduce the dangers.

It'll help you to decide if it's something you'd want to pursue.

In a normal year there's a number of affiliated and unaffiliated events over small fences. Hunter Trials might be fun, as you wouldn't have to do the dressage and showjumping phase and you could go round the course on your own or with a partner.

You won't know until you try and there's nothing wrong if you decide that it's not for you. It's not chickening out!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why not approach a local riding school with a course and ask for a lesson. My first attempts were at my school. We'd practice an obstacle at a time, or parts of the course, until we could do the whole thing; then it was a matter of gaining experience over different courses and countryside. Practice and exposure helps to reduce the dangers.

It'll help you to decide if it's something you'd want to pursue.

In a normal year there's a number of affiliated and unaffiliated events over small fences. Hunter Trials might be fun, as you wouldn't have to do the dressage and showjumping phase and you could go round the course on your own or with a partner.

You won't know until you try and there's nothing wrong if you decide that it's not for you. It's not chickening out!
Thanks for your reply.
As crazy as it sounds, the closest riding school (Where I used to take lessons at) to me is 2 hours away and I haven’t actually found any schools that train cross country, only jumping (not to mention that the trainers were utterly incompetent)! Turkey is pretty trashy equestrian wise which is why I am going to England in 2 years for further education. I am just worried that by choosing eventing as a career path, I am getting myself into something way to dangerous for myself and the horse.
 

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I would say that eventing is one of the most dangerous horse sports you can try. I don't suppose there is much barrel racing or roping in England. There is little money in endurance riding or fox hunting. Teaching at a riding school might be pretty safe and very fun as well.

.
 

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I didn't realise that you're in Turkey. It is more dangerous and there's only so much you can do to reduce the risks. You're the only one that can make that decision.
Consider other paths as well. What's your options on the course? My school was higher education teaching yard and there were students planning to be grooms in showjumping, polo, and racing yards, others wanted to be riding school teachers or open their own school and livery business.
 

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How much riding have you done? Horse experience? Have you jumped any?

Eventing is dangerous. You can manage that to some extent with training, a horse that is capable and a good feel for jumping.

I don't know about there but here you are better off mentoring under someone one and gaining experience rather than attending a school.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I didn't realise that you're in Turkey. It is more dangerous and there's only so much you can do to reduce the risks. You're the only one that can make that decision.
Consider other paths as well. What's your options on the course? My school was higher education teaching yard and there were students planning to be grooms in showjumping, polo, and racing yards, others wanted to be riding school teachers or open their own school and livery business.
Honestly, I considered so many other paths but none of them feel right for me. I started researching about Hunter trials as I am particularly interested in XC but I couldn’t really understand the difference between regular cross country and Hunter trials ( apart from the fact that cross country is part of eventing while Hunter trials are just a competition on its own) . Are Hunter trials safer and less strenuous on the horse? (I sound stupid, I know)
 

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Yes, eventing is considered a dangerous sport, especially with how nowadays events have shortened in length, but the difficulty has increased over the fences and through combinations.

But, do you think riding on the flat is dangerous? My worst fall recently happened and we weren't jumping, we were on even terrain, in a controlled environment.

I think eventing is more dangerous than the day to day, sure, especially considering how cross country courses have evolved, but I believe if you bring up a horse slowly and correctly, and don't take more than you can chew, the odds will be in your favor.

I encourage you to follow Denny Emerson and Tamarack Hill Farm on Facebook, and try to find his/their posts about how eventing has become increasingly dangerous. Here is one of the posts below:

"A major difference in advanced cross country course design between "back then" and now, is that while the fences may have been formidable, even dangerous in terms of flimsy materials, steep terrain, both the horse and rider could usually---not always, but usually--- tell from at least a few strides away what was being asked of them.
As I walk the skinnies and oblique angles and narrow faced wide corners and highly technical related distances of some advanced courses today, all I can think is, "I sure hope the rider doesn't screw up the distance, because sure as hell the poor horse doesn't have a clue what he's being asked to jump until the last possible nanosecond.

I think that modern course design is often misguided and dangerous, in that it confuses the horse, and it makes me question the horsemanship skills of the humans that are creating those courses.

Give the horses a chance. Let them understand from at least a few strides away what we want them to do."
 

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@ClearDonkey I watched that video -- any idea what made her fall? Were you guys OK?
 
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Honestly, I considered so many other paths but none of them feel right for me. I started researching about Hunter trials as I am particularly interested in XC but I couldn’t really understand the difference between regular cross country and Hunter trials ( apart from the fact that cross country is part of eventing while Hunter trials are just a competition on its own) . Are Hunter trials safer and less strenuous on the horse? (I sound stupid, I know)

Hunter Trials are the cross country phase only and you can go round in pairs, some use them to gain experience before going on to eventing. They're no less dangerous. You both should be fit and have reasonable experiencem and a good seat to cope with a course even though you don't have the extra pressure of dressage and showjumping. They're held by clubs, hunts and other riding establishments.

Eventing is the three disciplines. The best info is via British Eventing website, it'll tell you about competition levels for those starting out. I;d suggest discussing your concerns about saftey etc, with the college who's running your course as well, as they'll be able to give you advice and tell you about what they offer.

 

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@ClearDonkey I watched that video -- any idea what made her fall? Were you guys OK?
Honestly, I'd say it was a bit of chance combined with the fact that she is very green at the canter still. We were both OK, but she couldn't truly canter until she was chiropracted, due to how out her pelvis was after her fall.
 

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Any activity dealing with horses can be dangerous. The thing with eventing is that the "Oopsies" can be very bad because the jumps aren't made to come apart the way that stadium jumps are. So to answer your question - there is a level of danger. But as I said before, there is a level of danger in any horse related activity.
 

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I've asked myself the same question about eventing being too dangerous for myself, and decided yes.

I will take horses over smaller solid obstacles if they are prepared and the footing is good. It's just that once you get above the lowest level it's not about a freak accident or inexperience. It becomes more like everything must go right rather than one thing that goes wrong makes it dangerous.

I'm someone who accepts there is a lot of risk with horses. I've had horses fall with me, been kicked, bitten, run over. But there needs to be something you can say was a mistake, or a way to prevent things from occurring again.

Rotational falls that kill horse and/or rider in eventing occur too often for it to be acceptable to me. Often this happens even to experienced pairs.
 

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The most dangerous equestrian sports are probably racing (flat and steeplechase), eventing (the cross-country phase), and polo. Okay, bronc riding. But as we know, you can fall off a stationary horse and break your neck. Most horse-related injuries, statistically speaking, happen on the ground.

My belief that cross-country jumping is a daredevil sport for people who find risking death exhilarating. If that's you ... go for it.
 

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I think it's too dangerous for both horses and riders. There was a thread on here which showed the original 1950s eventing compared to today. Huge difference in design and approach. Why not stick to dressage or show jumping?

Once you have a wreck it can take years to recover. I broke my foot and injured the ligaments - 10 months later I'm just about recovered. 10 months is a long time to be cooped up and not walking much. If you are looking at a career in horses, you should choose the safest aspect to prolong your career. Injuries mean loss of income and time off.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, eventing is considered a dangerous sport, especially with how nowadays events have shortened in length, but the difficulty has increased over the fences and through combinations.

But, do you think riding on the flat is dangerous? My worst fall recently happened and we weren't jumping, we were on even terrain, in a controlled environment.

I think eventing is more dangerous than the day to day, sure, especially considering how cross country courses have evolved, but I believe if you bring up a horse slowly and correctly, and don't take more than you can chew, the odds will be in your favor.

I encourage you to follow Denny Emerson and Tamarack Hill Farm on Facebook, and try to find his/their posts about how eventing has become increasingly dangerous. Here is one of the posts below:

"A major difference in advanced cross country course design between "back then" and now, is that while the fences may have been formidable, even dangerous in terms of flimsy materials, steep terrain, both the horse and rider could usually---not always, but usually--- tell from at least a few strides away what was being asked of them.
As I walk the skinnies and oblique angles and narrow faced wide corners and highly technical related distances of some advanced courses today, all I can think is, "I sure hope the rider doesn't screw up the distance, because sure as hell the poor horse doesn't have a clue what he's being asked to jump until the last possible nanosecond.

I think that modern course design is often misguided and dangerous, in that it confuses the horse, and it makes me question the horsemanship skills of the humans that are creating those courses.

Give the horses a chance. Let them understand from at least a few strides away what we want them to do."
Have the introduction of frangible pins not made XC any safer at all? I am aware that the risks still remain as they can only be used on certain types of jumps and rotational falls are still a possibility but I did read that XC has become safer since they introduced frangible pins.
 
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