View Full Version : Eventing for beginners

08-03-08, 11:44 AM
Any recommendations on where I might find useful info if I was considering doing some eventing? I mean the real basic stuff. I have very little idea about it other than as a spectator lol. I'm a bit of a died in the wool dressage rider but am considering doing some baby eventing with my new horse.

08-03-08, 03:22 PM
I have no idea sorry, but there is lots of people on here that event... they must be all hiding atm though...:)

09-03-08, 12:21 AM
Why not join Pony Club, it is a fun place to start for all ages.

09-03-08, 01:49 AM
I've got Virginia Leng's Training the Event Horse and I've found it absolutely invaluable. It's mostly about traing (as the name suggests) but it's full of really good information and i've read it over and over in the past ten years.


09-03-08, 02:28 AM
Might help if you ask us some questions about what you would like to know. I think most things are learned by talking to people (eventing in Aus is very different to eventing in UK). Are you after all the info about rules, or just generally about whats the go when you're at an event?


09-03-08, 03:24 AM
I've read the rules and the jump heights etc, but that doesn't help a great deal. What I'm after I guess is info on where to start. Do I find a jumping instructor? What gear do I need? What should my horse be able to do before I take it to a jump lesson? Do I join pony club? (I thought that was for kids - I only started riding as an adult so have never done the whole PC thing). What do they do there anyway?

Thanks for the book recommendation, I will get that.

09-03-08, 03:46 AM
OK, lets see here....
Since you've mainly done dressage, a jump instructor is a must!! Tell us where you are located and Im sure someone can recommend someone. As long as your horse can walk trot and canter nicely, your instructor will be able to start you jumping. I always have a lesson the first time my horses ever jump, having your instructor on the ground at this beginning time is great!!

Gear: very basic gear is needed for newcomers/intro. Dressage gear is the same as with any dressage comp. You will need a bridle number holder to put your number in (not sure this is needed for straight dressage is it? been way too long since ive competed at dressage!)
sj: you'll need a jump or all purpose saddle. Personally I have open front jump boots on the front and fetlock boots on the back. You need to wear your jacket and look presentable (if the same day as your dressage leave your plaits in). I also like to carry a whip, but that is personal preference. The course will be open for walking about half an hour before riding begins, you will need to be fully dressed and carrying everything you plan to ride with while you walk the course (whip, helmet etc, these are the rules, though lots of people dont do it). You will be given a sj time on your draw, however most places realise that lots of people have multiple rides, so its usually just come when you can and wait in line.
XC: This runs to time and in numerical order, so dont be late.
You can dress both yourself and your horse in whatever colours you like for this and you'll see a wide variety of colours. For boots I like enclosed xc boots on the front and to be honest in newcomers I dont usually put anything on the back. You will need a back number holder for xc (when you first get to the comp, you need to go to the secretarys tent and pick up your back number, this will also come with a map of your xc course) the back numbers are just on A4 sheets of paper which slip right in to the holder. Make sure if you have long hair its tied up neatly so the jump judges can read your number clearly. You are welcome to walk the XC course as many times as you like. Its usually annouced on dressage day when the xc course is open for walking, you can also walk the morning of xc, just be aware that riders might already be on course and you have to get out of their way.

As for pony club, I dont know, Im an adult and have no inclination to head back to PC!

Hope all that helps somewhat.


09-03-08, 04:15 AM
There are instructers just for eventing, the ones I know of, have their own course set up as well, so you can take your horse and have lessons over the course.

My first event day, I nominated for the prelim. We had to be able to jump a 1.2m course. So you need to make sure you and your horse can jump and you need to know how to make your horse go over it.

09-03-08, 05:13 AM
Find a good eventing coach to mentor you. And if you are in NSW, join Eventing NSW.

You will want to have jumping and xc lessons, plus someone to guide you through your first few comps, and suggest which are the better ones, and which level to start at. For example, you might be OK to start at Introductory, rather than Newcomers.

Eventing clinics are also very useful - you can learn heaps from working your way through simple xc exercises and watching others as well. We have great access to our elite eventing riders - most of them conduct regular clinics for all levels in various parts of the country.

Also, download the Eventing Rules from the EFA website and read them. They are very thorough and answer many questiona you might have.

Finally, go and volunteer at some events as a xc jump judge.

09-03-08, 07:44 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. :)

I have had a look at the EFA website and Eventing NSW website. I'm on the Central Coast. I know Megan Joergs (sp) has jumping clinics locally. I'm happy to take recommendations for instructors.

09-03-08, 12:06 PM

There is a guide to eventing here which might help.

There are no dressage whips allowed in eventing dressage so just remember to drop your whip before you enter the arena :)

Some events are starting to run pre-introductory classes here which is really good because the jumps are usually around 60cm so you can take it easy and just cruise around and enjoy yourself.

When you go to the office to pick up your numbers it might be a good idea to let them know that you are new and that way they wont get too cranky if you don't know something! It is very useful to have a mentor if you can get one though.

Good luck and have fun, eventing rules :)

09-03-08, 01:46 PM
Probably any of the well-credentialled instructors (such as Megan) would be great. I guess it's up to you to find someone to train with who is local enough to make it easy to have regular lesson, and who you can develop a trusting relationship with. (this is particularly important when they are telling you that yes, you CAN actually jump off that drop which to you looks like going over Niagara Falls...)

You are probably also close enough to the Hunter Valley to take advantage of the huge number of eventing riders/trainers based there as well. In your area, I can think of a couple - Tim Boland has a nice xc course and is a good trainer, I think Tarsha Hammond might be Central Coast, and she is fabulous too. The Horse Magazine has an instructors' directpry in it thins month, which could give you some more ideas.

And definitely join Eventing NSW - its secretary, Vicki Burgess is a saint, and spends an inordinate amount of time answering ludicrous questions and dealing with mere mortals trying to go eventing.