View Full Version : Pine Top Thanksgiving HT ?

Oct. 13, 2009, 11:54 AM
I'm thinking about going to Pine Top this year. Anyone know anything about the venue? The good, the not so good, etc? What's the cx course like? Footing? Terraine (steep, rolling, flat) ? Are all phases on grass? How's the stabling and trailer parking? What have the average temps been like end of Nov. in georgia? Was the flooding earlier this month bad enough to affect Pine Top's courses?

So far, I've only gone to events where my horse and I have schooled cx (we're in the novice division). If I go to Pine Top in november, will be my first time going to an event without first schooling there. How common is it to event at a place where u've not schooled? (A friend of mine, who i consider pretty experienced at training level, always schools the venue at least once before showing.)

Thanks for any input :yes:

Oct. 13, 2009, 12:01 PM
Go! Footing: you will not find better. Slightly rolling terrain, substantial courses, permanent stabling, dressage on sand, SJ on grass. *Wonderful* organizers. Go!

Oct. 13, 2009, 12:02 PM
I absolutely love pine top. It has the sandy base footing so it usually stays good if it rains alot. I did the Tgiving HT there last year and it poured, and poured, and poured! the stadium footing got torn up quite a bit but they were good about moving the fences out of the mucky spots. Cross country footing was fine (no studs) at the novice level and we didn't have any slick spots. It was my guy's first novice and he had never schooled there before. The course is up to size...some of the tables were a bit intimidating to me at first but he did those fine and they rode great. There's ususally an up bank, two strides or so, down bank. A mini Trakhener (pretty much a ditch with a small log on top, with wings so it is very inviting) and a run through water with a fence a stride or so out the other side. That's pretty much what was on the course last year. The water is nice if you have a green horse because you have the opportunity to run through it earlier in the course when it isn't flagged before you actually have to do it. Hope this helps!

Oct. 13, 2009, 02:14 PM
Does anyone know about the beginner novice course? I know it is quite large (for bn ha ha), but is it inviting?

Oct. 13, 2009, 02:37 PM
Pine Top X/C is usually great footing a few hills. I personally do not like where they have show jump but the course design is always good.
Temps can vary in Nov. I have been there when it has been really warm on Friday and sat. morning is FReezing and can not feel toes and fingers!
Have not been the last 2 Nov. but planning on this year.

Oct. 13, 2009, 05:48 PM
Pine Top is wonderful.

Course is big but inviting with natural jumps. Very much a gallop and jump course. Footing is sandy turf and is excellent in almost all weather. If a little slick, use some studs. Rolling hills but predominantly flat. For the novice xc course it is nice b/c you get a pass through water that is not "on course" but gets the horses feet wet.

Stabling is solid and permanent, stalls can be a bit small but still larger than temporary stabling.Access to indoor wash racks and large aisle overhands which is nice if it rains.

Dressage is on screenings with the warm up on turf. Warmup can get a little packed but there is room to spread out if you look and dont' get caught in the mob mentality (we all must school on this one area!) :-).

SJ is held is one of two places. 1 place is more level but smaller ring (turf). 2nd area uses some rolling terrain on turf but is larger. Courses are normally the same as XC, big but flowing and forward. SJ warmup on the 2nd spot can get a little boggy but not bad.

Concessions is great! Hot food all the time and homemade desserts. They were not affected by the flooding I was just there last weekend.

Weather is hit or miss. Can be in the 70's or the 40's.

Wouldn't worry about not having schooled the course. You can ride at this course and the open space give the horses time to see what is going on around them.

Oct. 13, 2009, 08:22 PM
I looooove Pine Top!

Courses are inviting-solid and max for level though. Glenn likes to run the faster speed for the level. I ran novice last year at 400 mpm and last weekend I ran training at 470 mpm.

The dressage and show jumping are great. I love permanent stabling, which they have, and you can park your trailer around the barns, close to your stall which is always nice.

Last weekend while I was walking the training course, I did notice that BN had a bank up for jump#3, but it was VERY inviting, just early in the course. Novice has a 2 stride Irish bank that always rides really well.

Don't worry about never having schooled the venue before. It's a mental game. Just tell yourself that you HAVE jumped it, and ride that way. Tell your horse that it IS schooling--you are just going randomly around for fun, picking up certain fences here and there, and you will do great! When you school, you aren't expecting a stop, so don't expect one at a show either. :)

Good luck!

Oct. 13, 2009, 09:28 PM
I love it too. When I went it was SOOOOO cold, so be ready for that! I always feel the course is maxed out. When I ran training there a couple years ago i called it the novice level olympics. It's a great confidence builder though. If you can run at any level there, you can run that level ANYWHERE. Great to see if you might be ready to move up. My only minor complaint is dressage warm up. I've never really liked it. Kind of sloping, can be a cluster if the kids are running around on their ponies. Of course that happens everywhere. You should definitely go!!

Oct. 13, 2009, 09:33 PM
so......tell me about the training level and it's being maxed out, etc? is there a huge trakhener on it and what is the water like...i've completed two trainings at poplar this year but don't want to get my pony freaked out at this stage of the game!
what was the course like this weekend??

Oct. 13, 2009, 10:27 PM
I can give you a play by play of the training level. I just ran it, the last before my training 3 day.

jump 1: nice gallop log/table-ish thing
2: coop in fence line, not large
3ab: irish bank up 1 stride, log on top of the down bank. really easy and super fun!!! it is generally always on their training courses
4: corner. rides well-not big or wide
5: skinny (the length of the jump was longer than the area where you jump the corner, if that makes sense, ie not that skinny)
6: gallop table
7: tractor
8: logs in fence line
9: OPTION. here there was an option to jump the trakhner or logs in water. I chose logs to get my horse in the water before the down bank into water later on the course.
10: logs and flowers in fence line
11: gallop brush
12: another gallop table/log thing
13: another skinny log
14ab: bank up turning 4 strides to b element. b was rather large, but not impossible.
15: gallop log before water
16:OPTION. You had a choice of a down bank into water with a log, or further down without a log.
17ab: turning houses line
18: log/coop before 3rd water
19ab: log into water couples strides, out bank up
20: logs

I ran the training at Poplar in January. If you ran training there, I think you should be fine. Pine Top has a tendency to be big and fast, but not scary. However, looking back over the list, I couldn't find a jump that I would call BIG except for maybe 14 b. Hope that helps.

Oct. 13, 2009, 11:19 PM
Pine Top is a GREAT event. Good footing, big but inviting courses on rolling sandy established grass footing, good stabling, great food. (I highly recommend the red velvet cookie sandwiches BTW.)

Anyone who has to school it before showing over it is _not_ an experienced eventer. They are a side-diagonal-side-diagonal princess who has gone to a lot of events. BIG difference.


Oct. 13, 2009, 11:26 PM
thank you so much ruperman!!!!!!
i"ve got the visual.....you are awesome, thank you!

Oct. 13, 2009, 11:32 PM
I love pinetop. last year it poured buckets for this one but and we decided not to run xc, but only because we just didn't need the run. Go for it.. Pine Top is great!

Oct. 14, 2009, 12:42 AM
I also agree that you should go!!! I LOVE IT there!! But... it is BIG and very maxed out usually, but... it's a great inviting, galloping course for the horse. More nerve wracking for the rider than the horses! Glenn does change it up, so the course is not usually the same every time.

I always felt like XC was maxed out and huge, but stadium was a wee bit on the weeny side! Shhhh...don't tell Glenn!!! ;) But it might just be cause XC seemed so big. But again... it's a very good course for the horses! Just maybe not a move up course if the nerves get to you!

I WISH I could do it, but working emergency med.....can't do the holidays. :( The place is great though...footing is awesome, food is awesome, parking is fantastic, and the volunteers are always wonderful!!

You'll have a blast!

okay.. .just read about the training course... and I have a different take... TO me!! And again, it's just me.... Poplar seems way easier than Pine Top! For some reason, Pine Top psyches me out a bit.. I don't know why, but... Pine Top XC is way harder than Poplar XC yet Poplar stadium always seems harder than Pine Top Stadium ;) Hee hee... I guess it just depends on what you like/dislike. Nothing at Pine Top is what I would call spooky or looky.. just big! Poplar seems much lookier but not as maxed out. I guess right now I'm more freaked out by big than looky. But maybe it's just the trakenher at Pine Top that I don't like and the ditch and wall. And I haven't actually run training there yet...just schooled, so... you know...
basically just ignore me :) sorry...too much goodies headache powder to the brain ;)


Oct. 14, 2009, 12:50 AM
If I didn't recently have shoulder surgery I would definitely be heading to Pine Top Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite shows of the year (when the weather is decent). However, it rained quite a bit the last time I was there, but the xc footing was still really really good, and they were very accommodating about moving the stadium fences out of the really mucked up spots. Last year I was stabled in the small stabling block right near the food area. The stalls were small, but there was a really nice over hang, and it saved us from the torrential down pour! Also, were were very frequent visitors of the concession stand they have got going there, and the food was really pretty good (veggie burgers, soup, chips, snacks, burgers, cheese burgers).

As far as the xc goes, I ran BN there last year. The course was fun and inviting. It was definitely nice to go to a beginner novice event where it isn't just some logs and a few coops. I was riding a really forward horse and it was a blast! The only issues we had on the course were at a jump that comes up quickly after a little path through the woods, and the water. I rode him really aggressively into the water, lost my stirrups, almost went over the prelim crocodile jump, and then had to stop and collect myself on the other side haha. Luckily I was still about 10 seconds over time! Overall I LOVE this event! I highly recommend it, esp. for the LL rider who wants a really fun but not over facing xc course.

Oct. 14, 2009, 07:49 AM
Anyone who has to school it before showing over it is _not_ an experienced eventer. They are a side-diagonal-side-diagonal princess who has gone to a lot of events. BIG difference.


Now that I swallowed my coffee after choking on it from reading this...

Could not have put that any better this morning. Just go and have fun eventing. You are either ready for that level or your not. I was always told schooling where you can is for training purposes! Heck the fences look much different after being dressed up for the competitions anyways.

Oct. 14, 2009, 08:21 AM
Pine Top is a GREAT event.(I highly recommend the red velvet cookie sandwiches BTW.) Jennifer

Yes, if not or anything else, go for the red velvet cookies sold by the Thomson High band...

Check out some pics HERE (http://hoofclix.smugmug.com/Pine-Top-Farm/2009-10-11-USEA-Horsey-Trial)

Training will be anyone numbered in the 30s and 40s...

Just go!!!

Classical DQ
Oct. 14, 2009, 09:09 AM
Pine Top is wonderful!!! This comment is coming from an ex-eventer that began competing when you were never allowed to school a course before an event!!! The last couple years that I competed organizers were just beginning to open their courses for schooling. That said....Pine Top is still the same great venue it was...even better! Go and enjoy!!

Oct. 14, 2009, 12:40 PM
:D Thanks for all the replies! and all positive :)

I'm a bit worried about the "maxed out" comments. I've only done a few novice events, but all the cx has been pretty uneventful (and I'd like to keep it that way!). But maybe it's time I tested our readiness to move up to training.

I think I might feel a bit more comfortable if there was someone I could go with that is "more experienced" than I am. My "experienced" friend (experienced relative to myself) isn't going to this one. I don't need anyone to warm me up, but would prefer to do cx and stadium course walks with someone knowledgeable. Also, not completely confident in my ability to chose which studs to use..so would love knowledgeable input on that as well at the event.

Can anyone suggest trainers that would be willing to do just the cx and stadium course walks? I should be able to figure it out on my own at novice, but I'm always thinking of the "just in case". Also, I'd rather not test my independence at a "maxed out" event at my level.

Oct. 14, 2009, 04:46 PM
Hoping to be there with some students....


Oct. 14, 2009, 07:24 PM
Pine Top is always a great event. The courses, while big are always a blast and quite rideable. Everything is so inviting. The only complaint I have is when grooming and running multiple horses back and forth to cross country. It's quite the trek by the fourth or fifth horse!