View Full Version : The never ending question of what level...

Jan. 10, 2010, 10:56 PM
I am planning on heading to a local well known event that my pony club host in may, and since it will be right around the corner I need to figure out what level I should go out and play in. I have two horses that I am willing to head out with as they are the ones I ride the most, but I would like to have one chosen so I can't start working on dressage. Grrr the evil D word. Here's my two options:

Option 1: I can take out my well schooled paint gelding that has schooled up to prelim cross country, and can get around a 3'6 course no problem so jumping would not be an issue. But alas lies our problem in dressage, he is down hill stocky and moves like a (very pretty) hunter. So do I dominate beg. novice, settle at was is closer to our regular level and go novice, or risk it and take a shot in training?

Option 2: I take out my younger alot greener thoroughbred at beg. novice. I would be perfectly fine during show jumping as he's going around 2'9 and has alot of scope. But his cross country is not scary but he gets nervous with the big solid jumps, our best jumps would be banks and water. Dressage would be a train wreck even though he rides in a loose ring he's hott headed and has issues with holding a temper in, which a shame because he can go big dressage movement to long quiet hunter movement..


Jan. 10, 2010, 11:16 PM
Have you evented before? Have the horses gone XC before?

Jan. 10, 2010, 11:26 PM
Both horses have gone out cross country before, the first has schooled alot of training and some prelim, the second has schooled less cross country and only beg. novice.

None of us have evented before, but I've gone out to watch, volunteer, and as a groom. We've done local schooling one days, this would be our first three day.

Jan. 10, 2010, 11:31 PM
I would suggest going BN not matter which horse you ride. What horse do you like more? LOL What are your plans for each?

Jan. 10, 2010, 11:42 PM
I like both horses just the same, I do not plan on making eventing my main thing this is just something my club is hosting so it is cheap for me and my mom want's me to do it. My plans with the first horse is to continue showing him 3'3 jumpers, moving up to junior hunters this year. The second horse I'd like to get solid top five every show in 2'9-3' jumpers, with some baby greens thrown in to let him learn to relax while showing. The first horse I would be comfortable cross country and show jumping at any level, and the second I would be happy to take around beg. nov.

I think I should just take both..lol

Jan. 10, 2010, 11:50 PM
If taking both is an option, go for it! I would love it if I could compete both my horses at the same time!
Sorry I cant be more of a help, I am sure someone else can. It may just be a descion only you can make...

Mach Two
Jan. 11, 2010, 12:30 AM
Sorry, I first had to mop up the water that came out of my nose...you have never actually evented, but you are assuming because you have schooled 3'6 and schooled some prelim fences that you might be able to do training and that you are going to dominate the BN because you have schooled 3 6? Jumping HIGH does not have much to do with it, really.
The questions asked of horses and riders at BN and N are usually quite a challenge for ANY horse the first time, especially with a rider new to actual eventing. (as opposed to schooling)

With the exception of experienced upper level riders, who have years of practical experience accessing the abilities of a green horse, sometimes bring out a horse the first time at training or prelim, but the norm is to start at BN or N.

Start out at BN and have fun...and you will be glad you made the first time out for you and your horse a safe, and successful outing.

Jazzy Lady
Jan. 11, 2010, 10:27 AM
I'd say take the first one novice and the second one BN.

Although many horses are capable at starting out at training level, not too many riders are. Having not seen you ride none of us know one way or another. Assuming you ride jumpers at a decent level you probably have more than enough experience to get through a novice xc successfully on the more experienced horse.

Jan. 11, 2010, 11:55 AM
Start them both at BN. The goal should be to make it a fun experience for both you and your horses.

Schooling XC jumps is NOT the same as stringing together an entire course of 20 or so jumps in a competition. Just because your one horse can jump 3'6" doesn't mean he should go Training- as others have said, eventing is about much more then the height of the jumps :).

The Centaurian
Jan. 11, 2010, 12:02 PM
Take a look at the dressage tests for each level, since that sounds like the phase you are least sure about. Training requires extended trot, stretching, and smaller circles; Novice is just WTC and 20m circles. No matter how well you do over fences, you can't win without a decent dressage test.

Also, the XC pace is faster as the levels go up, so you will need to adjust your "eye" for distances accordingly. Jumping 2'11 at 350 mpm is not that fast, but 420+ mpm over 3'3" takes practice; you don't want to learn this the hard way!

Remember, it's not about what level you can survive, it's about what level you can perform well and have fun!

Jan. 11, 2010, 01:00 PM
Training requires extended trot, stretching, and smaller circles;

Training requires lengthening the stride in the trot, not extended trot.

Without looking it up, I don't think extended trot shows up until Advanced. Extended walk starts at Intermediate I believe.

Regardless, count me in the camp that thinks you should take #1 BN. If you opt to take both, I'd do BN with both.

The Centaurian
Jan. 11, 2010, 01:04 PM
oh, sry! my trainer calls it "extended" even though I am way too much of a smurf for true extensions :) I apologize for the incorrect terminology, but you get my drift.

Jan. 11, 2010, 06:00 PM
I would suggest that you enter BN, which is intended to serve as an introduction to the sport for both horse and rider. Putting all three phases together is likely to be more difficult than you expect, even if you are a confident rider on a good horse with some xc schooling under your belt.

If it is, in the end, too easy for you, you will have given yourself and your horse a positive experience, which can never be underestimated, and you will have a better idea of what your capabilities are at your next event.

There is NOTHING worse than getting out on course only to realize, too late, that you are overfaced, except, possibly, to NOT realize it, keep going, and suffer the consequences.

Jan. 11, 2010, 06:10 PM
I'd say take the first one novice and the second one BN.

Although many horses are capable at starting out at training level, not too many riders are. Having not seen you ride none of us know one way or another. Assuming you ride jumpers at a decent level you probably have more than enough experience to get through a novice xc successfully on the more experienced horse.
Ditto. Novice should be more than fine for the first horse. BN for the other one since he can be backed off.

Jan. 11, 2010, 06:17 PM
Choose the easier one and take him BN. Two horses at your first event is never a good idea. Two horses at two levels is just asking for mistake. Choose one, study your test, be prepared and if it is easy you will have more fun.


Wee Dee Trrr
Jan. 11, 2010, 09:40 PM
Ask your coach or an UL PCer that knows you and your horses well or something.
Riding in an event is about more than just doing your courses. You need MAJOR time management skills to pull off an event without screaming at someone... especially if it's new to you.

I hope you go! And I hope you pick a level that will let you have fun with your friends who have decided to go.

Jan. 11, 2010, 11:03 PM
As this would be your first event, I would recommend taking your more experienced horse either BN or Novice. It sounds like you are a pretty experienced pair together. You know what he is comfortable and capable of. It sounds like you are pretty competitive, but for the first time out, I would aim for a nice confidence-building ride. Sure, dressage might not be as beautifully flow-y as some horses, but riding the test accurately can help make up for lack of brilliant movement. Go have fun in the jumping without worrying as much about young-horse green moments.

Take your time with the youngster, maybe you can find some low-key schooling dressage shows where he can go hang out and do some lower level tests. Get his feet wet without feeling the pressure of being at an event. It sounds like he plenty of talent, he just needs to figure out he can be talented and relaxed, and you can't beat slow and steady to build that sort of self-confidence in a horse.

Jan. 12, 2010, 10:04 AM
I will just ditto the advice to only take ONE horse to the event. If it's all on one day, that is a lot of different mental tasks to cram in. I have evented for a while now, and have the whole thing "down" with one horse -- the first time I did two at the same level on the same day I found myself shortchanging one thing or another and much more mentally distracted.

Learn the sport, then make it more complicated!

Jan. 12, 2010, 02:30 PM
It can be really hard with two, depending on the scheduling. I had one recognized HT where I jumped one horse stadium, got off, hopped on my other guy in the warm up area where my friend was holding him, jumped around stadium again, ran XC, hopped on my other guy and ran XC again, and then collapsed on the ground unable to move :lol: (and somehow managed to place 3rd and 4th :)). And I have been eventing for a few years now- I couldn't imagine doing that when I was first starting out.