Eventing Eventing Aspirations

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14 May 2019
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I want to do eventing. It has been my ambition for a long time.
Always rode when I was younger, brought on 4 young horses, one of which was an ex-race horse and had ambitions to compete in eventing at higher levels. Due to the fact there is no money in horses, I moved away to University and trained to be a teacher first, but this completely put horses on hold, as I only had chance to ride when I went home. With always having young, green horses, I haven't really competed at anything bigger than 80cm in show jumping, have never done dressage and only the odd baby cross country course.

I have been teaching a couple of years now, I am 24 years old and looking to start. But it is start from scratch. I have no horse, no where to keep it, no way to transport it etc. I am starting riding again by sharing a horse that is local, and I'm going to focus on flat work as it is the area I have least experience in.

I do have knowledgable family to help and act as trainers for me. I want to try and make it to the higher levels e.g. 3* or more, but I don't know if that's even possible only starting now.

I guess this is the start of me documenting my progress from nothing to something. Hopefully I don't sound to crazy!
 

ihatework

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7 September 2004
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Many things are possible if you want it enough, have sufficient funds and a certain level of aptitude!

Your challenge is a tough one but I wish you luck and hope you succeed (and marry, or are, a millionaire 😂)
 

Wheels

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23 September 2009
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Hi

Of course it's possible to get to 3* - you are still young!

What sort of level has your family ridden to? If they are to help you reach your goal then they will not only need to be great riders but also great teachers.

Start off small, make gains where you can and gradually build up.

You will need plenty of money, plenty of time, a strong sense of humour, a lot of dedication!

Good luck
 
Joined
14 May 2019
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8
Hi

Of course it's possible to get to 3* - you are still young!

What sort of level has your family ridden to? If they are to help you reach your goal then they will not only need to be great riders but also great teachers.

Start off small, make gains where you can and gradually build up.

You will need plenty of money, plenty of time, a strong sense of humour, a lot of dedication!

Good luck
As long as age isn't an issue that's a positive. As that is one thing I will never be able to change.
My family have ridden up to 2* before (it's changed now hasn't it? with that new level added below, so everything has been pushed up). They are very practical and I believe will help me get some of the way, even if it isn't all the way.
 

SpringArising

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Do you plan to give up your career? I work 9-6 with a horse on assisted DIY. I ride 4-6 times a week, one of those days is a lesson, and box out to places pretty much every other week (but can be up to four times a month). I can tell you that I'm bloody tired 90% of the time and that is with me doing this as a hobby.

I can not imagine how exhausted I would be trying to reach 3* level if I also had to keep my job on top of that. I can't help but feel you are possibly forgetting just how much time and effort horses involve, if you've been out of them for a while! I wish you all the best but it will be incredibly tough.
 
Joined
14 May 2019
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Do you plan to give up your career? I work 9-6 with a horse on assisted DIY. I ride 4-6 times a week, one of those days is a lesson, and box out to places pretty much every other week (but can be up to four times a month). I can tell you that I'm bloody tired 90% of the time and that is with me doing this as a hobby.

I can not imagine how exhausted I would be trying to reach 3* level if I also had to keep my job on top of that. I can't help but feel you are possibly forgetting just how much time and effort horses involve, if you've been out of them for a while! I wish you all the best but it will be incredibly tough.
I wouldn't intend to make any decisions about my career until a later date, probably when I would have to do 3 day events instead of ODE as I wouldn't be able to do full time then.
I know it will be tough but I have tremendous support and will reconsider how to manage the time when I get further towards the goal.
 

Fanatical

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It's more than possible to work full time and event at the higher levels. Depends how much you are happy to sacrifice but it is definitely do-able. Hard work and resiliency are paramount.
 

Ambers Echo

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It;s great to have big dreams and I wish you the best of luck. The beauty with eventing is you can start at the bottom, work your way up and you get where you get! Who knows how far that will be and it does not really matter as long as you are enjoying the journey.

I would say that everyone I know who events above novice runs more than 1 horse and rides professionally or semi - professionally. Not sure if that is always true but I imagine trying to get there with just 1 is much harder as a) the horse may not be able to do it even if you can, b) all horses go through periods of illness and injury and c) it is hard to get skilled enough riding just one horse and there is a limit to saddle time a single horse can give you.
 
Joined
14 May 2019
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Thanks for the support in it being possible, even if it requires hard work! That is something I am not afraid of.

Thanks for that Ambers Echo, thats a good benchmark to aim for and then re-evaluate the situation.
 

daffy44

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Most things are possible with enough hard work and a healthy dose of good luck.

I teach a very lovely girl who works full time in a non horse related job, owns one horse and competes at 3* level (now called 4*) eg she has done Blenheim etc., so its possible.
 

TGM

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You can certainly work full-time and compete at the more advanced levels as shown by my vet who is currently competing 5*. However, getting the skills to reach that level in the first place is more of a problem - I know my vet worked for a year with a top eventer before getting her current job, which must have helped immensely. The proximity of your job to work is also a factor - if you are not wasting an hour or two commuting to work it gives you far more time to ride and train.

I think your plans are a tall order, but not impossible, and I am sure you will learn an awful lot trying even if you don't quite reach your goals!
 
Joined
14 May 2019
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8
Most things are possible with enough hard work and a healthy dose of good luck.

I teach a very lovely girl who works full time in a non horse related job, owns one horse and competes at 3* level (now called 4*) eg she has done Blenheim etc., so its possible.
That is really reassuring to hear! It would be lovely to hear more about her journey, how she got there.
 

TheMule

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14 October 2009
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Teaching is a good job to combine with eventing- it gives you nice long holidays at really useful times!
I think your best bet would be to buy something a little older who can help you gain some mileage at 90/100 and go from there.
 

daffy44

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She bought the nicest unbacked 3yr old she could afford, backed him herself and worked very, very hard and produced him through the levels, no magic ingredients, just consistent hard work, sacrifice and correct training.
 

VRIN

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7 February 2008
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Enjoy the journey and everything is possible and worthwhile. As a previous poster says who knows what you will achieve. Start your journey and see what happens ... but most of all enjoy it then whatever hardships, logistics, problems etc you face will be easier to cope with.
 

EventingMum

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I echo what others have said, it takes time, determination and money but it is possible. Obviously, you have a long way to go to get to where you aspire to be but every journey starts with a first step. As mentioned the long school holidays will be to your advantage and it's perfectly possible to choose 3DEs within that window if you get to that level. It is also possible to do it as a one-horse amateur but a degree of luck is required when selecting the right horse and keeping it sound. In your situation, your first horse may not be the one that gets you to the level you desire so be prepared to sell on to partially fund the next one.

My son competed to what is now CCI3*-L and for a lot of the time he was building up to this he was either at school or uni - and uni was nearly 400 miles from home! It did take a huge amount of time and effort from Mr EM and me, I kept horses fit while he was at uni, was the eyes on the ground, chief groom etc and Mr EM was in charge of studs and catering, between us we funded trainers, lorry, entries and general running of the horses. However, we had tremendous fun as a family doing this.

OP, I would invest in a good trainer, the idea of an established grassroots horse would be a good starting point if funds allow or if not a nice RC type. Start with RC competitions, they can be significantly cheaper than affiliated competitions and many RCs have great training opportunities. Another idea might be to see if you could get a week or two work experience/ working pupil type position with an eventer in the summer holidays which would let you see how professional yards work and be a great learning opportunity but expect to be a general dogsbody and not to be riding top eventers!
 

AnShanDan

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2 May 2007
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I agree it could be done, you are young and could be out eventing for decades to come, so time is on your side.
I know a girl who got her first own horse in her mid 20s having only ridden loans or riding school horses before. She has made her way up to new 3* with a few blips along the way but is now fairly solid at intermediate. I have to say she landed super lucky with her horse, it is a saint!! She has also had a lot of help on the flat in particular as that wasn't really a strong point.
Also, as said above, kids manage to get up to that level quite frequently, obv. they have a lot of back up and are funded by their parents but still have to ride the horses. One of my boys started BE at 13 at 100 on a pony and was up to intermediate on another horse at 16/17 and she wasn't a schoolmistress.
So with the right horse, good training, loads of input from yourself, and a big dose of luck, then def. achievable.
 

Orangehorse

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25 November 2005
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Join your local riding club, now, even if you don't have a horse at present you will be mixing with those that do and could come across a useful horse, to exercise, share, etc. You will find out who are successful local people and who to train with, and not. Take all opportunities to learn and read including autobiographies of famous riders and find out how they did it. Many started out with virtually nothing and they all had a long road before reaching the top.

Follow John Thelwell - for some reason I am on a Facebook mailing and he sends out very useful training tips every day, I only wish I was in a position to take advantage of them (my very modest eventing days are long over). And I mean, they are very, very, very good training tips, take note.

Follow Shoestring Eventing - Sara-Jane blogs her eventing diary, works full time and events, she writes about her experiences warts and all, and she puts a great deal into her training and has brought on several young horses. Currently just completed Novice with one she has produced from the beginning.

And remember the Swedish girl who had never ridden until about the age of 28 when she was staying in Britain and asked if she would like to go hunting. The following morning a horse was led round for her to ride! She enjoyed it so much she went home and bought a horse, learned to ride and ended up riding for her country in the Olympics.
 
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