How on earth to get a horse used to an enclosed dressage arena..

bollybop

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Any suggestions welcome. My horse will do a reasonable dressage test. There is a venue fairly local to me that runs occasional dressage competitions. However "massive" issue... they use white markers held up on sticks all the way around the area. My horse ain't going to like that one!

(this is what i mean by the white markers held up... http://www.countrysideshowjumps.co.uk/product/640)

My horse is going to spook. Badly. So... any ideas how on earth I can try and work on this at home. As much as I'd love to go to B&Q and buy a load of white gutters, I can't afford enough to mark out a 20 x 40 arena. We dont have enough SJ poles to mark out a continous area at home either. The venue do occasionally hire out the area complete with white boards and sticks... however there's not much point in going to this if we havent worked on it first!

Any suggestions?
 

Santa_Claus

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you have already answered your own question. ;) the only solution is exposure. Either hire the venue or another suitable venue and school normally within arena or buy a load of white guttering to get up at home.
 

Goldenstar

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You don't need a whole arena the get them used to them .
I would getting enough white drainpipes for one short side and a corner and improvise raising them with something .
You may be able to hire the arenas at the venue the day after shows this would worth doing .
 

bollybop

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Raising them up is not a problem got some jump blocks that will do the job of raising them up...

I'm pretty sure my horse will be ok with one side and a corner, just wont be keen on a whole arena! The venue only occasionally is hired out with the boards up; or the day after a competition is a Monday. As I currently dont have many days off work to go out on a jolly, I want to do as much homework as I possibly can!
 

TGM

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Why don't you use the jump poles you already have and then get some guttering to make up the distance?
 

bollybop

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I did plan on putting my jump poles out in a "box" so she gets used to working inside the box. She's generally fine with poles on the floor... but not white shiney ones!
 

montanna

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I would be looking to hire the arena complete with boards for an hour, if you can take half a days holiday on the Monday? Think it would be your best bet :)
 

bollybop

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Alas... I have to travel miles (loads of miles) to get to work, so half days arent do-able for me. The only thing I tend to use a half day for is if I fancy getting home early one evening.
 

soulfull

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You maybe surprised. They don't react as badly as you think so long as they are used the normal white boards. Just working on them with one short side and a corner would probably work if you used something the opposite side to simulate a smaller enclosed space
 

showpony

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You may be suprised, my chap hates white blocks etc so you can imagine how I was feeling when went into ring with the same dressage set up as you have described... Did he spook at them? NO - He chose to spook at the scary shetland ponies being led past the arena! :)
 

mrsh2010

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Sounds to me like the rider is the one worried about them ;)

My lad never took any notice of them our first time in one like that. Enter - go have fun!! If you don't try you'll never know
 

bollybop

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My horse can be very spooky at times, and therefore I believe its a sensible approach to try and get her used to the white boards on sticks before we go... else I will probably end up on the hire the arena day with a snorting monster whom it will take the whole half hour slot to go near one of the boards, or enter a competition and have a stiff, wooden horse whom I cant ride and get rubbish marks for my test!
 
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