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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 1999
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    836

    Default How long...

    to take an adult horse that is pasture fit and sound (12 hour/day turnout on large pasture) with only sporadic light riding over the summer to be able to do a little elementary trial?

    What would you program be?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
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    Middleburg, VA
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    Default

    Two to three months of 4+ days of riding a week. 4-6 weeks of w/t hacking, starting with about 20 minutes and building up to an hour-ish, with maybe adding in cantering in the last 10 days to two weeks. Then 4 to 6 weeks of more real ring work and jumping.

    This is really a guesstimate, but I think a schooled horse who's just been on vacation should be able to do that, no problem. I took a horse who had 9 months off for a sabbatical from pasture puff to a training level horse trial in 6 weeks. He had been prelim fit prior to his time off, and was a teeny TB who got fit if you looked at him funny. He dragged me around that event and asked for more.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
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    Happily in Canada
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    Default

    Considering you say it's had sporadic light riding, it depends on a few things:

    1. What type of horse (does it get fit easily, or is it a heavy horse/thelwell)

    2. How is its muscle tone? (It is more likely to get tired/sore from the rider's weight on its back and asking it to work, than its actual aerobic fitness needed for an elementary trial)

    3. How experienced is it? Does it already know all the skills for this show, or will you have to teach it/remind it?

    4. How is the show set up? Do you do all three phases in one day within 2 hours, or are they spread out over two or three days?
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2008
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    Nowhere, Maryland
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    Default

    To take an experienced horse that is just unfit, with an experienced rider? A month of progressively hacking and then 2-3 weeks more of flatwork and hacking and a couple of jump schools.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2006
    Posts
    484

    Default

    Oh c'mon people, it doesn't take much fitness for a horse to do an elementary level horse trial...schooling cross country or a half hour dressage lesson would require a higher level of fitness.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Florida
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    3,201

    Default

    I'm with Junkie...no way would I take a whole month just to hack. To be fair, depends on the horse I guess.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2012
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    71

    Default

    ^ I'm with those two.

    Your horse is an adult, is turned out regularly and ridden on occasion (assuming with no troubles, i.e. he doesn't fatigue). An elementary course does not ask much from a horse.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2000
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    passepartout
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    10,145

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eventingjunkie View Post
    Oh c'mon people, it doesn't take much fitness for a horse to do an elementary level horse trial...


    Elementary level jumps do not require jumping. Elementary XC is a very short distance to cover, probably about the same as the horse trotting and cantering up his field to the barn when dinner is served.

    Recently, I un-retired my 28 year-old eventer because the neighbour kid needed a solid beginner's jumper. This is a horse who was in tip-top shape from ages 4 (started foxhunting) to 20 (last Prelim) but had done nothing for about 4 years.

    I could have pulled him straight from the field to do an elementary schooling HT. He knows the routine and doesn't need 'fitness' to canter over tiny fences.

    However, if your horse isn't used to any version of eventing, you may want to set up some poles/logs in his field and trot/canter around a few times before going to the show. That way you'll know what to expect and whether or not he's ready for the big day.

    As for occasional/light riding, I stopped being a daily workout fanatic with my horses years ago. You don't have to ride every day. 2-3 times per week can be enough for a horse.



  9. #9
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    Mar. 1, 2003
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    Happily in Canada
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    Default

    Yes, my initial thought was that it wouldn't actually take very much on a normal, previously fit, currently somewhat fit, sound horse that is already trained.

    Heck, people have pulled them out of the field and done a schooling horse trial. (*Not recommending that*)

    Based on my questions above, if the horse is a sound and sane TB who has previously evented and was fit this spring, and the show is dressage/SJ on day 1 and XC on day 2, I'd be willing to ride it for a week and go.

    If the horse is a draft cross or pony that sits around in its field, was not previously fit and needs schooling, or the show is a one-day, it would take more like 3-6 weeks (plus) to get ready.

    How confident are you as a rider? What is your skill set?
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
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    Middleburg, VA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eventingjunkie View Post
    Oh c'mon people, it doesn't take much fitness for a horse to do an elementary level horse trial...schooling cross country or a half hour dressage lesson would require a higher level of fitness.
    I don't think taking a horse out of the field and to a show is exactly fair. Sure, you can do it (if the horse is fairly broke), but I think if you want to do it properly, they should have a general base of fitness. Hence, a month of hacking. Not galloping. Just hacking and building their topline and strength. This is just good horsemanship. I would not ask any horse to go to a show of any level without a solid month of hacking, at least, under its belt.

    The schooling bit is far more negotiable. The horse I mentioned in my first post did one flat school and one jump school before the event. But he was broke and game.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2008
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Amen- I just didnt have the guts to say it. I mean, it is COTH and I dont have the "golden star" beside my name!

    Elem. Is a W/T dressage test. More often then not, X/C is held in a fenced off "safe area" with 18'' jumps and probably not more than 8 of them.

    If I really had the time, I would spend a week walking hills, and a week doing some trot work, but if I only had a week and felt comfortable I would not hesitate to go. Of course, Im not the type that schools for an hour does my test, jumps the pants off, goes to stadium etc.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2011
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    Upatoi, GA
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    622

    Default

    I would say about 1 month to 6 wks is plenty of time. I wouldn't worry about a conditioning schedule per say, but would start with shorter rides 4x/week with plenty of walking warmup/coolout, and gradually build up as fitness increases.
    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
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  13. #13
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    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    Default

    Elementary as I know it is a W/T dressage test, 12 - 18 inch stadium jumps that a horse can step over, and a few very simple XC jumps with no time limit. It is supposed to be very simple, very easy, and not ask much from the horse or rider.

    I guess I am one of those folks who wouldn't flinch at taking a horse out of the field to do elementary. If the horse is in light use and the rider has a reasonable level of fitness, elementary should be a fun diversion. I think a trail ride could be more challenging.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2010
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    330

    Default

    I would look at the Elementary HT as merely a rung on my "Fitness Ladder." Elementary doesn't require a whole lot of fitness, so I would look at it as yet another workout to move my horse towards fitness rather than the end goal itself. So, to answer your question, if your horse is experienced (i.e. has gone cross-country at least a few times), I don't see any reason why you couldn't head to an Elem HT a couple weeks after starting a consistent riding schedule.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Nokesville, VA
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    Default

    What was the horse doing before? Does it have the skills needed for an elemetary HT?

    I'd probably say 2-4 weeks, but that would be to refresh the skills, not for fitness.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2007
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    AreaII
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    Default

    I pull my guy out of the field either a few weeks or a month before the event. I walk him on the equiciser 2 days a week for 10m and hack around farm 10-15m walk/trot once/week. For the past 5 years, I've only ridden a few times/year. 5 days at home and 4 days at the 4 elem events. That's it. We both did T/P separately eons ago - so it's just hop on, go, and have fun. Neither of us break a sweat at the elem event. There is a w/t dressage test, 6 stadium fences, and 10 xc fences. I think I enter the events just to get my rig out of the driveway and test the brakes/lights once in awhile!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 1999
    Posts
    836

    Default some answers to ?'s

    Horse has not done a horse trial. She is tb/hano cross. Not a big horse, I guess medium on a time to fitness curve???

    Mare was in full training with event trainer last fall and winter and schooled dressage and introduced to jumping. Did 1 schooling dressage show at Novice? and was reserve champ with very nice comments from judge (don't remember the test but there was cantering ...the elementary test for this trial is mostly medium walk and two 20 meter circles at trot).

    Has jumped higher than 18 inches over a variety of stadium jumps but not put together a course at the canter....though at this level can trot stadium???

    I ride out a lot (mostly -- no ring) but never done cross country.

    Trial is in a month. Very low key, only elementary, beginner and introductory novice, at local riding school (Calais for anyone familiar). Lots of kids and new to eventing types.

    Was thinking of calling local event trainer to see if she is going and asking her if she thought we could get mare there in a month with one or the other of us riding her ...with lessons between now and then to evaluate.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2011
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    Eventless. in North Dakota...
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    424

    Default

    Unless she is tick fat, I'm guessing all she needs is a few refresher courses to get her back in the eventing frame of mind and she's ready to go.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cbv View Post
    Horse has not done a horse trial. She is tb/hano cross. Not a big horse, I guess medium on a time to fitness curve???

    Mare was in full training with event trainer last fall and winter and schooled dressage and introduced to jumping. Did 1 schooling dressage show at Novice? and was reserve champ with very nice comments from judge (don't remember the test but there was cantering ...the elementary test for this trial is mostly medium walk and two 20 meter circles at trot).

    Has jumped higher than 18 inches over a variety of stadium jumps but not put together a course at the canter....though at this level can trot stadium???

    I ride out a lot (mostly -- no ring) but never done cross country.

    Trial is in a month. Very low key, only elementary, beginner and introductory novice, at local riding school (Calais for anyone familiar). Lots of kids and new to eventing types.

    Was thinking of calling local event trainer to see if she is going and asking her if she thought we could get mare there in a month with one or the other of us riding her ...with lessons between now and then to evaluate.
    Ahh...Calais! My first event EVER!

    A month would be the shortest time I would allow for a show, if she's been sitting around since the end of winter (I still can't get a good judge on how long she's been sitting and what sporadic riding means). The course is small, but it isn't trotting telephone poles on the ground around a flat field, but a fair baby cross country course with some little hills (when I did it, there was a double step DOWN at the baby level...thank God for a good horse. I think they stopped using that at that level, though). And, yes, you can certainly trot stadium (or xc).

    I have to admit to being surprised at the number of people who would just pull a horse out of the field and do this. I realize that there isn't much exertion at this level, but I think if you want your horse to be properly strong enough to do good flat work and start jumping you have to do at least A LITTLE base work. I would not start jumping a horse who has been sitting for several months without a month of hacking and some flatwork. For once, I seem to be on the conservative side of things here.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 1999
    Posts
    836

    Default sporadic since march and sporadic

    is really random...sometimes 3 - 4 days a week...sometimes none. Since June, a lot more none.

    When I first thought of trying to get there I thought we had six weeks, but when I checked the dates realized the trial was two weeks earlier than I thought. Highly doubt will happen at this point but figured I'd ask what fitness level would be required anyway. Really just looking for incentive to ride her more regularly.

    Days are getting shorter and need incentive to get up early enough to ride two each day before work.

    Will put off til next year (again)...



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