How much prep for an intro test?

Jinx94

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I backed Tristan at the end of 2017, and for a variety of reasons never had him in work for more than a couple of months at a time in 2018.

He was going beautifully (imo - I'm biased! šŸ˜‚) before throwing another splint in December and I had been planning to do an intro test at the end of Feb. I don't think we'll make that one (I might be being a bit soft?) but am hoping that 16th March will be doable.

My aim for this outing is to get him there, survive the warm up, get into the arena and get home safely šŸ˜‚ it'll be our first outing so my expectations aren't very high!!

Thoughts??
 

Red-1

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As long as he has 3 basic paces I would then hire a variety of arenas including hiring with one or two others so he gets used to working around unknown horses.
 

Cortez

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The best preparation for a horse's first competition is not to think of it as one. Just ride the horse, not the test, and the test will be easy (if the prep at home means he's ready). I've never done an into test (is that the walk/trot one?), but assume it's pretty basic?
 

Jinx94

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Thanks all for replying so quickly!

Cortez, it's just a walk/trot test. I want to keep it simple so that we have a nice, confidence-giving outing :)

Have just sent my membership application to Stoneleigh RC. They have flatwork lessons every other week at Moreton Morrell which is just down the road from us. Will definitely be making good use of that!
 

JFTD-WS

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I've never really done any prep for an intro - though I generally don't tend to do them much these days as I don't like dressage until you're at a level where you get civilised afternoon classes ;) This form of laziness is why the mare hasn't seen the inside of a dressage arena once... If they have sufficient basic controls, and have been out to an arena hire / lesson, I think that's fine. I don't tend to warm up for them if the warm up is mobbed - I might take them in and walk them round, but if it's busy, I'd leave trot for the relative safety of the dressage arena. Obviously not the approach if you're out to win, but if you just want a chilled outing, it's always worked well enough for me!
 

FestiveFuzz

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As others have said, don't treat it as a competition. For an initial outing I always think of it as hacking my way around the test with my end goal just being to get on, stay on and remember the test...anything else is a bonus!
 
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Join a RC and do group clinics first.
A good cheap way to get a horse exposed to being ridden away from home.

Iā€™d never do a competition as a horses first outing.
this.

my 4yo is hopefully off to do a couple of prelims in Feb but he's done 4/5 group arena hires and also been ridden with other horses at home and done lots of in hand showing so that new places and lots of horses are a none issue.
 
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if it is unaffiliated, just crack on, use it as a schooling experience and anything positive is a plus!! RC is also a good idea, but I prefer to start how I aim to go on, depends largely on your horse!
 

oldie48

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TBH I think the warm up is the hardest part of competing (but then again I've had bad experience) so if your horse hasn't worked around other strange horses before I'd def do something like a RC clinic first. Having a horse that is confident around other horses is half the battle of competing and if I were doing an intro, which is normally first on anyway, I'd ask to go early in the class so the warm up isn't too crowded, I'd also pick my venue so that the warm up is a decent size for the number of classes running. I'm competing on Saturday at a venue I certainly would not go to as a first event for a horse as the warm up is hideous!
 
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