View Full Version : BNR vs BNH

Jun. 18, 2011, 12:49 PM
I have been doing baby starters and have decided to work on moving up. I was perusing events and saw in addition to jr., am, and open they also offer BNR and BNH. Both myself and my horse qualify for both as this is our first season. Why do they have these division splits? I am assuming the courses and tests are the same. Am I better served doing the horse versus the rider? I also have a tag-a-long question. Since we will be moving up I need to start schooling xc alot more. I don't have a xc trainer and my h/j trainer is unavailable to travel to school. How is it done with eventers? Do event coaches meet you out on course to school? I'd hate to commit any feux pas contacting a trainer and finding out its not done.

Jun. 18, 2011, 01:13 PM
Hey Kelanbec,

The BNR (beginner novice rider) and BNH (beginner novice horse) divisions are a way of separating the pros on young horses from amateur riders on amateur or not so amateur horses. It doesn't REALLY matter which division you enter. I personally usually enter the "rider" divisions when I qualify and "horse" when i don't (depending on level). The courses and tests will be the same.

About schooling - Because there's a new skill-set to master in eventing, I actually think it works to your advantage that your H/J coach is not going to try to school you XC. Lots of eventing trainers would be very happy if you just called them up out of the blue and explained that you'd like some xc lessons. If their schedule doesn't accommodate this they will usually recommend another trainer who could help you out.

This very day my trainer (Di Burnett) is over at a local event course schooling three different riders from different parts of the province who have trailered in for some xc lessons. None of them is one of her "regulars", but she is just as happy to meet them for a lesson as she would be to meet one of her regulars :)

The event world is a small but friendly and welcoming group of people - don't worry about being a tag-along...you'll get to know people really quickly and next time you school you'll just be meeting up with some new friends to have an awesome day of riding cross country!

Good Luck! :)

Jun. 18, 2011, 02:46 PM
one clarifcation....it isn't about pro or amateur....it is about experienced and less experienced.

There will be a lot of "amateurs" who have a lot of experience who will be in the BNH divisions with their youngsters.

IMO--the horse divisions will often be more competitive. It is typically green horses with more experienced riders. Most are on their way moving up the levels. Many of us skip BN all together or just do one or two before running novice. BNR will be more diverse. It will some solid pairs who don't want to move up...and more inexperienced riders who are more likely to make a rider error or pick up a silly stop.

I tend to always enter the horse divisions because I hope they will go first;) Sometimes I'm right and other times I'm not!

Jun. 18, 2011, 03:51 PM
Thanks for the explanations! I've emailed some trainers from So. Pines so when I make a decision we will be on our way!! I might just do the BNH if it is more competitive. That way if I place I know I'm doing well. I'm not in it for the ribbons but more for the experience so I might as well challenge myself, tighten up, and do it right (or as close to right as I can manage!!:)). I'm pretty nervous about moving up but also excited!!

Jun. 18, 2011, 07:14 PM
Doing BNH in your first season could, to be a honest, end up rather depressing. There's a good chance depending on where you go that you will totally get your butt kicked. Not that you're a bad rider, just that you'll be in a group with people that can run BN on 5 and 6 year olds with their eyes closed. I know it's intriguing to see how you'd do against them, but to me it's like comparing apples to oranges. It's also doesn't seem like fun when you stand no chance at winning whatsoever.

Jun. 18, 2011, 10:28 PM
Hmm... that's true. Good point. I'm reasonably comfortable with my mediocrity but you are right, it could be crippling to my confidence. My first thought was that I am always behind kids on awesome school ponies so whats the difference? But at least then I am usually in the top 3. Since we finish on dressage perhaps I should do BNR since BNH would most likely kill me in dressage (I've now officially had my 4th dressage lesson). I'll have to think about this more... but you have pretty much changed my mind.

Jun. 18, 2011, 11:19 PM
Well, not to add to your confusion, but it seems like a lot of the BNR's are on dressage-types who can hop over some XC fences. Noticed this at N too - where the BNH can have a moment & a higher dressage score. As in - the BNRs score in the 20s, the BNH you can be in the 30s & still have a chance. BNH also means 'pro division' to many - and sometimes the divisions are much smaller...might go check your Areas results to check out your local trends :)

Jun. 19, 2011, 01:16 AM
I still think they should have a BNR/BNH division!!!!

Beam Me Up
Jun. 19, 2011, 05:16 AM
I still think they should have a BNR/BNH division!!!!

They used to have "restricted" divisions which were basically that, those seem not to be part of the new entry form with horse, rider, ammy, open though.

Jun. 19, 2011, 07:48 AM
I've been entering the Horse division because the rider divisions are full of packers who have excellent dressage and are robots jumping. The Horse division seems to be full of green horses who might have more bobbles dressage and some stops cross country.

To add to the confusion.

Jun. 19, 2011, 07:54 AM
I've been entering the Horse division because the rider divisions are full of packers who have excellent dressage and are robots jumping. The Horse division seems to be full of green horses who might have more bobbles dressage and some stops cross country.

To add to the confusion.

It really is just luck of who is in the division. Honestly....it really doesn't matter. I enter the horse divisions because I'm ususally not qualified for the rider divisions--and unless you are talking Prelim Ride--really shouldn't be in them given my experience.

If you are clearly qualified for both....really, it doesn't matter which you enter. Just go and do the best you can do.....that is what competition is about:) Ribbon and placings mean nothing. I've won classes were I wasn't happy with my ride (my horse saved my butt) but luck had it that everyone else did worse .....and others where I had great rides and am very pleased but the score board had me middle of the pack. Didn't matter...still happy with that event.

Jun. 19, 2011, 08:22 AM
The BNR division can be quite diverse... My first time in it, I made some comment about riding with the pony club. There are some tough competitors in that "pony club" though.

When I show my horse in BNR, I'm usually in the top few riders on my dressage (mid 20s) but when my trainer was taking her in BNH, granted, she got better scores than I do, but I recall seeing SEVERAL pros posting sub-20 dressage rides.

At BN, it really comes down to dressage.... Can't count on many stops or rails. There may be some, but I think there was a BN division at the AECs last year that didn't have a single XC penalty!