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View Full Version : Another snow storm...Area 1 Spring outings anyone?!



goodmorning
Jan. 21, 2011, 02:58 PM
More snow, seems like we get it every other day! I'm itching to get my horse out there...so, what are you doing this spring? Event suggestions for a first BN event? Something user friendly with my horse, a chaos-free environment would be nice :cool: Rated is fine, on the Area 1 site I don't see many schooling HTs offered. I'm going to a couple h/j shows, and will hopefully head down south for some training/schooling opportunities to work on XC. Are the early shows miserable with rain & terrible footing? Looking forward to Spring!

ETA: eventing require much more planning than is needed in the hunter ring, closing dates are uncharted territory!

mg
Jan. 21, 2011, 03:06 PM
Where in Area 1 are you?

goodmorning
Jan. 21, 2011, 03:12 PM
MA - most of New England is within 3hrs - so I'm open to suggestions :yes:

Babble
Jan. 21, 2011, 04:06 PM
I'm in MA too (horses are in Bedford). Where are you? I am hoping to get my new green bean out in the spring for some unrecognized and eventually recognized stuff.

The Area 1 unrecognized calender will fill up as the months wear on - I think some organizations are just planning their show schedules now.

I really like Apple Knoll's schooling shows - all of them, jumper shows on Wed. nights, dressage shows put on by CRDA, and they have some CT and schooling HTs as well, though I haven't been to the CT/HTs in a while. They have an early season schedule up on their website, and I hope to go to at least one of their horse trials. The website is www.appleknoll.com.

Groton House also puts on really nice schooling shows, in addition to of course their recognized event. They usually do a CT on Memorial Day weekend, and a baby HT the weekend before the rec. event. Would love to do that as well.

For recognized, there are so many good shows, though I haven't ridden the BN courses in a while. I like King Oak (May) and Valinor (June - hoping that will be our first recognized HT!), and GMHA if you are up for traveling overnight as early season courses.

Also - a quick word of wisdom (which I learned the hard way) - Recognized events in Area 1 fill up fast, especially popular ones like GMHA. While technically you don't need to get your entry in until the closing date, some events will fill before then. Try if you can to get your entry in on the opening day, and make sure it is post marked, don't just drop it in the mailbox. It is such a bummer when you have planned out your season to not get in to your event. This hasn't been quite as bad the last few years due to the economy, I think, but it's just not worth the risk to me to wait to enter. Another tip too - use event entries, and then the forms will be filled out for you, so even easier to get them in early!

Good luck, and hopefully I will see you out and about this spring!

Tucked_Away
Jan. 21, 2011, 04:33 PM
I like King Oak (May)

When I did BN at King Oak a few years back (once in September, then again as our season-opener the following May), I found the XC course very, very friendly and flowy and non-terrifying. There was no ditch/bank/water on the course at the May event the year I went BN; I don't know whether that's standard for the level there or recall what-if-anything we had to do in Sept. by way of "stuff". I didn't love stadium either time I had to ride it in the little fenceless sand ring, I do not love--the area is a bit busy, especially if there are horses going XC at the same time (usually the case during BN) and I was just never able to get a good rhythm going in there--but having an alternative surface when the grass footing is a mess is aces, and I was a very happy camper when I finally got to show-jump on the hill. The event is unfailingly well-run and -organized and I like it very much, and I would not hesitate to recommend it on the basis of sheer awesome...

BUT if the OP is looking for chaos-free, I would maybe suggest looking elsewhere first out. The BN dressage and stadium warm-ups are not, as I recall, for the faint of heart.

Hitching Post runs a schooling HT in May (and others throughout the season) that was my and my horse's first-ever event. Not super-frilly, but nicely-run and low-key (in a very pretty setting!). And in (very large, but still) fenced fields, which put my mind more at ease when fearing the consequences should I become separated from (at the time) Mr. Spook-Spin-Bolt. ;)

Catie79
Jan. 21, 2011, 06:54 PM
I'll second any of the schooling events at Groton House. The jumps for the babies were just as pretty as the jumps the big kids use, I have really enjoyed both of the schooling shows I've done there.

I'll also add Mystic if you don't mind a bit of a drive for the friendly BN sanctioned events. I went there for my very first event last year and it was lovely. The stadium was a bit challenging since there was a definite slope, so there were some rails on one line, but it was a very enjoyable day.

I've gone to several of the Apple Knoll jumping nights and one of their dressage events, I always have a good time at those. I also recommend the Groton Pony Club's schooling events, they have two phases and three phases. The warm up can get a bit hectic, but I've never had a problem even with the green beans.

cranky
Jan. 21, 2011, 09:43 PM
One of the first, if not the first, recognized of the season in Area 1 is UNH -- I haven't looked at the calendar, but it's usually late April/early May. UNH (Summer) was my first BN and I found XC course very inviting, confidence-building and fun (probably still one of my favorite event memories). The stadium was in a nice-sized sand ring, judge's stand on a flat-bed truck long one side and maybe a bit spooky, but otherwise it was a reasonable and straight-forward course. Dressage area is quite nice with plenty of warm-up space. I loved the XC though, a great combo of fields and woods and interesting jumps, even at the BN level.

cranky
Jan. 21, 2011, 09:46 PM
Oh and I agree with Catie about the Groton House schooling show. The Summer Classic is lovely and wonderfully run. The two times I've done it the weather has been brutal though. First year a terrible nor'easter, second year, brutally and unbelievably hot & humid. But the event was stellar.

Hilary
Jan. 22, 2011, 09:23 AM
Yes, it's not the closing date you pay attention to but the opening date. While the tanked economy changed some events filling right away, usually you must send your entry on opening day - the Tuesday 6 weeks prior to the event. POSTMARK, not arrived. If it is postmarked prior to opening day it will be tossed to the back of the line.

I would start with a schooling event, not a sanctioned event - have you ever been to a horse trials before - to watch or groom for someone? Schooling events will be more tolerant of "wait, what do I do now" questions from a new person.

They are run under the same rules as sanctioned ones so you can get a good feel for what it's like.

Groton Pony club runs a schooling event, Green Acres runs a series, UNH has a combined test in April. Hitching Post, Apple Knoll - there are lots of them but the calendars just aren't yet up.

King Oak has a wonderful XC but dressage warm up is crazy - 3 rings warming up in the same place on grass. Plus the shedule is really tight.

Babble
Jan. 22, 2011, 09:39 AM
Last May when I did King Oak, the stadium was in the grass on the hill side - less chaotic, but more difficult with the terrain, especially if it is wet. I agree that the warm ups are not great, though I would say the same about UNH for dressage - that one can also get packed. Otherwise, UNH is a nice event as well.

frugalannie
Jan. 22, 2011, 11:45 AM
If you're in Eastern MA, check out the West Newbury Riding and Driving Club's Calendar at wnrdc.org (I think it's org!). They list all kinds of horse activities in northeastern MA which can makke for some fun planning.

I can manage riding in the snow. It's the cold I can't stand. 5 below is inhumane!

goodmorning
Jan. 22, 2011, 01:08 PM
The temps are terrible right now! I used to board @ an eventing barn, we hosted several shows & unsanctioned events or 'horse trials.' I did help on show days, as well, but its been a couple years.

Looking forward to schooling @ Apple Knoll, as well as several of the other local barns 'in my backyard.' Lucky in that respect. Egads, stadium on a hill :lol: Uncharted territory!

Joyrider
Jan. 22, 2011, 09:41 PM
We have a bunch of nice shows coming up...
Feb. 13 - Jumper Show
Feb. 27 - Hunter show
March 27 - Hunter Show
April 10 Hunter Show
April 17 - Open Dressage Show
May 1 - Open Ct - Perfect first outing for dressage and stadium practice!

Prize lists at www.mhcriding.com

quietann
Jan. 23, 2011, 11:40 AM
If you're in Eastern MA, check out the West Newbury Riding and Driving Club's Calendar at wnrdc.org (I think it's org!). They list all kinds of horse activities in northeastern MA which can makke for some fun planning.

I can manage riding in the snow. It's the cold I can't stand. 5 below is inhumane!

WNRDC also runs 2 "baby" 3 phases at Pipestave Hill, which while not early in the season, are a lot of fun for newbies.

Will go along with others and recommend Groton House's 2-phase and "Classics" schooling events. They have a lot of *space* to work in so they are not as crowded, and the Classics are set up to run just like "the real thing" except all in one day.

Ditto for UNH, although occasionally the 2-phase or the first recognized events have their show-jumping in the indoor, which can be a little spooky for some horses.

(Also will throw in a recommendation for the 2-phases run out of the barn where I board. http://www.cutterfarm.com/horseshow.htm The first one is April 24, same day as UNH I believe, but depending on where in MA you are, Cutter may be easier to get to. Also the barn's winter schooling jumper series has 2 more events to go, on Feb. 20 and March 20. Be warned... if the weather is good and the outside is thawed, these shows get VERY big... I helped time at the November one, and there were ***172*** rounds!)

silver pine
Jan. 23, 2011, 06:26 PM
Another place you could try is green acres in NH, they are not far from UNH and have several schooling shows every year. They are very laid back, very low fuss but still a nice event. I second Babble's Apple Knoll recommendation, their schooling shows have more atmosphere than Green acres but both are fun for a greenie

goodmorning
Jan. 23, 2011, 07:23 PM
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I guess my horse isn't as 'green' as a true greenie, as he's had a bit of ring time at various h/j shows throughout NE. However, it was mainly for exposure and at 2'9 and under -he just wasn't consistent enough to succeed in the hunter ring, leading to our adventure to the 'dark side.'

I would love to go to some MHC shows, they never seem to coincide with my work schedule. I was planning on going to the m Page clinic @ Cutter farm - looking forward to that :yes:

Lisa Cook
Jan. 24, 2011, 08:37 AM
I was planning on going to the m Page clinic @ Cutter farm - looking forward to that :yes:

Start riding without stirrups NOW to get ready for that one! :lol:

This is further away from you, but Pirouette Farm will be hosting a 3-phase at the end of April. End of April in Vermont can be touch & go, but that is where I took my young horse last fall for his first attempt at BN, and it was just lovely.

goodmorning
Jan. 24, 2011, 10:41 AM
Start riding without stirrups NOW to get ready for that one! :lol:
Oh, just what I wanted to do. My horses trot is :eek: no-stirrup work is not-so-fun. Did you ride in his clinic? Was it otherwise enjoyable? I've heard great things about riding with him. Will be adding Piroutte to my 'list' - sounds like a nice early event, VT is fine if it doesn't interfere with my work schedule.

Curious what temp everyone woke up to this morning?! Below zero - a wind chill warning - just lovely.

Lisa Cook
Jan. 24, 2011, 12:46 PM
Oh, just what I wanted to do. My horses trot is :eek: no-stirrup work is not-so-fun. Did you ride in his clinic? Was it otherwise enjoyable? I've heard great things about riding with him. Will be adding Piroutte to my 'list' - sounds like a nice early event, VT is fine if it doesn't interfere with my work schedule.

Curious what temp everyone woke up to this morning?! Below zero - a wind chill warning - just lovely.

I've ridden with Michael at the Cutter Farm location & others. Very different from JMP, in that M. Page's default personality, so to speak, is usually very encouraging & positive. However, if anything, he may work you even harder. :) He is huge on having you drop stirrups & then ride, and ride, and ride some more, including lots of posting trot. (that's when I keep an eye on him & when his back is turned - whew! sitting trot for a few blessed steps!)

He does have a bulls*t meter, though, as nice as he is. I always, always undersell myself when doing the clinician introduction thing. Always. The last time I rode with him though, one girl in my group was all like "I've won this, and this, and this!" when asked for her riding experience at the start. He set up an exercise and had her be the first one through, and her horse stopped dead at the first element & off she came. I strongly suspect that was not a coincidence....

Lisa Cook
Jan. 24, 2011, 12:53 PM
Will be adding Piroutte to my 'list' - sounds like a nice early event, VT is fine if it doesn't interfere with my work schedule.

And since Pirouette is around the corner, by Vermont standards, from Denny's...you can consider the possibility of an overnight trip (to make the drive worthwhile and all ;)) of a lesson with Denny then Pirouette the next day. At least, that is what is already penciled into my little brain. Assuming Denny can bring himself to return from Southern Pines by that point!

goodmorning
Jan. 24, 2011, 02:49 PM
Oh Lisa, you & I think alike! Must make the most out of very 'trip.' :D As an aside, does Denny teach those at the BN level? Wasn't sure if he was open to the LL rider or green-horse? It's not for everyone, that's for sure :lol:

Lisa Cook
Jan. 24, 2011, 03:01 PM
Oh Lisa, you & I think alike! Must make the most out of very 'trip.' :D As an aside, does Denny teach those at the BN level? Wasn't sure if he was open to the LL rider or green-horse? It's not for everyone, that's for sure :lol:

OMG, you survived and even enjoyed your clinic with Mike Plumb and you are worried about Denny?! You will be just fine, trust me! :)

sch1star
Jan. 24, 2011, 03:15 PM
WELCOME!

- Both Area 1 spring rec events you mention are electric. UNH less so than King Oak. Basically by the time spring rolls around here, horses and riders alike are excited to get things started!

- UNH xc seems to run a bit friendlier when it goes "backwards," i.e. starting at ag, vs. starting into the woods, but in general has a really nice BN course IMO.

- You are 100% guaranteed to have rain at one or the other. I'd say of all the jump phases at both events, KO sj can get a bit slippery. Both xc courses hold up very well in the wet, I think.

- All the unsanctioneds that have been mentioned are less electric. Their xc courses will vary in terms of terrain, obstacle type/style, etc. This is worth your time researching. E.g., GHF "baby" event has beautifully built fences over fantastic terrain that tend to be a little on the narrow faced side. Pipestave will always have some downhill approaches on xc due to their available land.

- MP runs a very fun clinic, and yes, you will do work without stirrups. We did 30-40 minutes posting trot no stirrups on day 1 of the last clinic I went to. I'm with Lisa, underpromise, overdeliver.

- One BN I very much enjoyed last year was ENYDCTA. A little off the beaten path for us eastern MA-ers but I thought it was fabulous for the level.


I have quite a bit of rec/unrec review/pix/video of Area 1 BN stuff on my blog (link below). Don't forget to check out the virutal coursewalks at the Area 1 site, too. Enjoy!!

JFCeventer
Jan. 25, 2011, 11:35 AM
My first outing of the season will be at a schooling combined test at the Mystic Valley Hunt Club in Connecticut on April
16th. I did a CT there last year at BN for my horse's first outing ever and it was a nice, quiet setting and very nicely run.

Then we're headed off to King Oak on May 8th for the first event of the season. I've never ridden the Beginner Novice course there but I know people who have, and they say its very inviting and straightforward. I know the warm-ups can get crazy though and King Oak is just prone to a lot of rain :lol:

I've never been to UNH but I've heard good things about it.

Mystic Valley Hunt Club HT is one of the nicest, most straightforward Beginner Novices I know of and its great for a first event or a "season-opener." The BN course has no ditch, no numbered water (its a mandatory crossing but you can take as long as you like getting through it without jump penalties[you'll just get time penalties if you take too long]), and two very small up banks. It's really a nice course, the footings great for both xc and the dressage rings and warmups. The grass stadium field has a bit of terrain but most horses seem to go well.

If you are looking for some good schooling events a bit later in the season, my personal favorite is Lord Creek Horse Trials in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Usually held in early August. It is a fabulously run event. In fact, it runs better than some USEA events I know :winkgrin: Beginner Novice there has a tiny ditch that is appropriately named the "Step-Over Ditch." Theres no banks on BN either. It is a long course, however, and the wooded parts are either very uphill or very downhill depending on which way they are running the course.

Frazier Farm in Connecticut also holds three schooling horse trials a year. Early June, early August, and late September.
They are also well run. There are two dressage rings: a sand and a grass. The lower levels typically have to ride on the grass which is situated on a hill on the xc course... Novice and the Senior BN levels are typically the only ones that ride in the sand ring which is very nice. I haven't ridden in the grass but a friend of mine did and said it was difficult because the corners fell away on downhill slopes. Everything else about the event is nice though. The stadium field is large and relatively flat. Cross country is hilly but lends itself to good galloping and forward rhythm, which is really nice for young/green horses. Nothing is too technical and the jumps are mostly logs and other straightforward fences.

I also second ENYDCTA in New York as being as being a fabulous BN. That event is so well run and it is such a pleasure to compete there. The courses are beautiful and well-built and every level offers appropriate challenges and questions.