Arena eventing seems to be the latest ‘in’ thing to do, but why has it become so popular with both professionals and amateurs alike?

It’s a good introduction to eventing

We all have to start somewhere. If you and your horse are just getting to grips with cross-country, starting out in an arena is a good way to learn the basics. Riding on a surface is a lot softer (and drier) if you take a tumble, and more importantly an arena is enclosed, so you need not worry about your four-legged friend embarking on his own adventure.

There are a variety of jumps all in one place

When schooling at an arena cross-country event you can introduce your horse to various styles of cross-country jumps in succession. These are set out similarly to a showjumping course, which may be more in your comfort zone. This can also help your horse to focus if he often finds galloping across country a little exciting.

It can be inside

Need we say more? Arena eventing allows you to jump rustic fences on a suitable surface. There’s no mud, rain or wind… perfect. This also reduces the risk of competing on unsuitable ground and is an advantage if your horse is prone to injury or pulling a tendon in the mud.

It’s suitable for everyone

The great thing about arena eventing is that the jumps can be adjusted to suit all levels. Arena eventing is great for stepping up a level, as its quick pace and twisty course tests your horse’s focus and obedience. If you’re a keen eventer it’s also a great way to train for the upcoming season.

It’s great fun

Arena eventing can become quite addictive (we accept no liability). If you’re in it to win it, it’s definitely one for the thrill seekers. To make your way up the leader board you have to be fast and clear, so anyone with a competitive streak will be hooked.

It saves time (and money)

Not all of us have the time or funds to event, so arena eventing is a great way to test your skills on a budget. Often you begin with a showjumping course that immediately progresses to the cross-country phase, so this allows you to get a good rhythm and have a lot of fun. This also saves a lot of time and allows you to get home sooner – thank us later horsey parents.

You can knock down most fences

Although some fixed obstacles are used, many fences can be knocked down, despite having been styled on traditional cross-country fences. This could be an advantage if you lack confidence, are bringing your horse back into work or training a youngster. Generally if you knock down a fence it just adds time-faults to your score.

- Class 2, BE100, Baileys Jumping skinny fence troubling fence awkward fence And Style National Championships, Bury Farm Equestrian Centre, Saturday 22nd February 2014.

If you’re interested in participating in arena eventing we’ve put together a list of upcoming events:

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