Introducing your horse to eventing

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Getting your start in eventing is not as simple as buying an event horse and hopping on. If you buy a horse who is new to eventing, ensure that he has a proper introduction to eventing so that it might become a lifelong career for him. You will always have the choice to buy one of the many event horses for sale, but if you choose to bring along a horse on your own, realize that it will take some time and patience. Take a Look at Eventing Horses Before you decide to introduce your horse to eventing, assess him to make sure that he has what it takes in the sport. Look at other eventing horses – what do you notice about them? Top event stallions are physically fit, sound, and have a good training foundation. They are top athletes and have incredible bonds with their riders. Be sure that your horse has the necessary basics before you introduce him to eventing. He will need to be physically fit and sound, and will also need to be responsive to cues under saddle. Regular lessons with a trainer can help improve your connection with your horse, preparing you both for the switch to eventing.
Work with an Eventing Trainer The world of eventing is very different from your typical riding, as it is filled with rules and challenges. Versatility is key, and a good eventing trainer can help you to properly introduce your horse to the new demands that will be asked of him in eventing. Most importantly of all, a good eventing trainer can help keep both you and your horse safe during the introduction to eventing. Invest in the Proper Eventing Equipment Eventing competitions require specific equipment to keep horses and riders safe. Before you begin any training, invest in an ASTM-certified helmet, a good pair of gloves, and a protective body vest. Outfit your horse with proper leg protection and shoes that will give him adequate grip over the various surfaces you will encounter.
Bring Your Eventer Along Slowly Eventing demands unique skills of both horse and rider: the ability to ride at solid obstacles at speed, the courage to jump obstacles without being able to see the other sides, the self-restraint to be able to perform quietly under saddle, and the precision required to navigate obstacles cleanly and safely. As such, introducing a horse to eventing is asking a lot of him. Remember to go slowly and never overface your horse. Begin with small solid fences over a variety of ground surfaces, and only increase their heights and the speed of your approach as your horse gains confidence. Always introduce new things gradually and give your horse the time to settle in and become comfortable with each; doing so will reward you with a confident eventing partner. Eventing is a thrilling fast-paced sport. If you opt to not buy a ready-made event horse for sale and instead bring along your own horse, you may create a great bond with that horse that will see you through years of competition.
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