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wookie
Jul. 1, 2012, 04:25 AM
first....NOT COMPLAINING....

today i ran intro in area 2. as i walked the course i was a bit stunned to see two combinations on xc...

the first was a quasi half coffin. downhill to a ditch which in and of itself was a "big" question at intro. then 4 strides...to a roll top going uphill. immediately after was 6a b at the water. that's right.....a was a red coop at the peak of the downslope into the water. b was the water itself and it was flagged right at the water's edge as you enter. you then crossed the water and about 5 strides out was a red table.

i have ridden to training....and have done intro at other venues on my green ottb's.

seriously....i havent' had that sort of question asked at novice. a bright red coop with a one/possibly two stride landing going down a steep entry into mucky/reedy water.

i did voice my opinion to one of the hard always present volunteers prior to running.

as i result....i show that i had planned on being a confidence builder for my mare resulted in her grinding her teeth all the way around xc and two stops at the red coop with the expected prop at the water on landing.

am i wrong but don't you normally not even see these sorts of questions at beginner novice? don't you normally just pass through the water? good god

JenEM
Jul. 1, 2012, 04:46 AM
Yikes! :eek: I've done a few Area II events at Intro/Elem, and at exactly one of them water has been an option, not even required. I didn't see any ditches at that level. From the reading of the jump design rules I did recently, I don't think there's supposed to be anything going in to water until Training, unless I was reading wrong. IMVHO, that sounds like a LOT to ask of an Intro course! But Intro is unrecognized, so I guess you're at the mercy of the organizers :no:

Would you mind PMing me the name of the venue? It sounds like somewhere I want to avoid as we're moving up and getting milage at BN! (And from looking at event dates, it doesn't seem to be the place I would have guessed.)

Kementari
Jul. 1, 2012, 05:09 AM
That's WAY more than I would expect at Intro, but of course with any unrec level/event you pays your money and you takes your chances. I wouldn't expect a ditch or water on an intro course, quite frankly (though I try to go into it prepared for such things just in case), and most definitely NOT as part of a combination.

Under USEF rules, BN can have combinations on xc that have at least two strides and must be "straightforward." So, yeah, I'd be particularly irritated at a one-stride to the water at intro, since that's not even allowed at BN (though there's nothing that says the water can't be part of a combo - it's just implied that there shouldn't be a jump directly into or out of the water).

I'm all for being able to prepare for the next level, but making intro into a mini-Training is just silly. It should be open, inviting, and set horse and rider up for success. But organizers are of course completely within their rights to make it whatever they want to - and competitors are completely within our rights to choose not to visit such venues. ;)

Highflyer
Jul. 1, 2012, 06:54 AM
Fair Hill, right? I thought it was extremely inappropriate, too. I did Prelim last year there and the fence two strides to the water was a 2'3 version of the Prelim question. I am not sure who designed this course (and I haven't done an unrecognized FH in a few years so I'm not sure how long this trend has been going on) but I am definitely going to write to FHI.

The Intro I did last week was all single fences with the water being an option of pass through or jump a small fence nearby. There was no ditch and no combinations. This has previously been my experience with this level, and I think it's what is appropriate for beginners/ baby horses. Fair Hill of all places should know better.

If you are looking for a softer, more appropriate course, maybe try Olde Hope in August? I'm going to take my guy to Full Moon, but he's proved he's ready for BN!

IronwoodFarm
Jul. 1, 2012, 07:09 AM
Wow, this description does not sound like an intro course to me. When CDCTA runs intro, everything is a single element and water is pretty simple, as it going through it without a jump. We call intro XC the "speed bump" division, but that's the point.

If the purpose of intro is to give the inexperienced horse and/or rider a very low level exposure to eventing, then it sounds like Fair Hill didn't get the message. I hope the OP completes the Area II feedback form as these comments are invaluable.

Jleegriffith
Jul. 1, 2012, 07:40 AM
The starter trials there can be an intro mini olympics. I don't take my greenies there as I just don't find the questions are appropriate for the level.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 1, 2012, 07:42 AM
I've seen several questions like that now at UR events. Fourth fence on novice, a drop into water, a one stride at BN--flagged with different numbers but no way to jump it other than as combination. Chevron jumps, narrows...light to dark questions and terrain questions....seen them all. And yes...itty bitty combinations at intro.

I just treat these shows as controlled schooling. So If there is a question that I think is too much for my horse, I go around it or introduce it like I would at schooling. I let them know ahead that is my intention...and do not go to a venue that would not let you continue.

Sorry you didn't have a good experience.

JP60
Jul. 1, 2012, 09:07 AM
I just treat these shows as controlled schooling. So If there is a question that I think is too much for my horse, I go around it or introduce it like I would at schooling. I let them know ahead that is my intention...and do not go to a venue that would not let you continue.

Out of curiosty, would that be marked as elimination (technically), but they would allow you to finish the course?

A couple of weeks ago I did the start course at Full Gallop (Area III). They had a ditch and water, but both with optional log/roll top jumps. 9 jumps total with the last (ramp) being close to BN height, but not overwhelming. I loved this course for it gave Sterling and I the feeling of running a true course, there was terrain to manage after two jumps, but with enough time to adjust if you rode well. The confidence it provided for both me and my guy was enormous and I feel it set the foundation for us to work on BN by this year :yes:

I wonder how my trainer would have advised me on a course you describe. Either we would have done what BFNE suggested, or a lot of trotting into questions which has its own issues. It is too bad you had a bad experience for I know it takes time to build up the confidence bank account (for horse and rider) and withdrawals can be deep.

retreadeventer
Jul. 1, 2012, 09:20 AM
It's always been my feeling that unrecognized - you gets what you gets.

When there is only one ditch, or one water jump complex in a field, how do you run the little jumpers with the huge jumpers?

In order to give people the same chance across the divisions to get over the ditch or into the water, they have to figure out how to run the course thru those bottlenecks. I really like the idea of a little water and a big water, because you make something look more natural to a horse that way. How well I know such a thought costs MONEY....

I think a busy water complex bewilders horses! Especially a young horse, you ride up to a puddle surrounded by huge red houses and half rounds. WTF? they must be thinking. I think sometimes just passing through such a complex is a feat of great equitation on a green horse whose eyes are bugging out at this semi-town of obstacles.

Highflyer
Jul. 1, 2012, 09:36 AM
Retread, they could easily have removed the Intro fence and there would have been plenty of room to walk into the water. They could easily have not put a fence after the ditch (or left the ditch out altogether) too. Both of these "questions" were ONLY on the Intro course (BN had larger versions). IMO there was no excuse and I am not going to do that level there again and would not recommend Fair Hill for beginners or green horses.

enjoytheride
Jul. 1, 2012, 09:52 AM
I am pretty much a permanent intro/starter level rider and I have never encountered a ditch at my level (I have seen it as an option with a coop next to the ditch or a pass through), a drop fence (have done a bank or two up), or any sort of combination and water is always an option with a flat entry and exit and MAYBE a fence 6 or 7 strides out.

I have never seen combinations in stadium at my level either, although there are occasionally related distances.

I WOULD like there to be OPTIONS of those things so I could practice them in competition (I have schooled them before) or have some fun but I would NEVER expect them.

sunnycher
Jul. 1, 2012, 10:06 AM
I thought you were talking about IBN when I read your title, then thought maybe there was a new name for Intermediate? Nothing like that here, although we just have little derbies....

Cameraine
Jul. 1, 2012, 10:23 AM
Wow, not going to take my greenbean to Fair Hill any time soon, she'd have a stroke if I presented her with those questions. I have a hard time convincing her the regular XC fences aren't horse eating demons.

There is a really nice Intro and BN course at Fox Tale Farm in Bumpass, VA. They are having a UR this fall. No water, a baby ditch for the BN course, one baby bank and lots of really nice open ground incase you have to convince your OTTB that no this is not the Kentucky Derby and NO you are not allowed to grab the bit and run off. *G*

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 1, 2012, 11:21 AM
Out of curiosty, would that be marked as elimination (technically), but they would allow you to finish the course?



Yes...you are eliminated. Several venues are fine with it. I usually chat with the organizer first and voice it to the JJ (if there is one) as I approach.

Fair Hill is open for schooling.....a lot. The course was set there last week or the week before. I remember taking my green bean and schooling most of those questions. They probably made the course hard like that assuming many would have already schooled them....but doesn't matter if it isn't right for your horse. There are no guidelines/rules for UR events.....it is the risk you have in going to them.

I would say to be clear....at Fair Hill starter...the lowest level is Elem. The next level is Intro. Elem...is the same as Intro at most venues. Intro at Fair Hill would be closer to BN but lower in height (2'3"). The "ditch" is extremely small (and looks more like poles on the ground) and the fence after pretty far off--typically numbered different but again, even if not....you do what you need to do for your horse.

Not saying right or wrong....just want people not local to understand. I don't take my green bean to some starter events because I think the courses are more trappy or not the type of school that I want. You just have to walk the courses and make a plan for your horse. It is also why I don't usually do much "eventing" until my horse is further along. But UR events are a great way to get started in an affordable manner.....but you have to use your judgement and critical eye at all aspects....thinking for your horse and remembering that just because it is a competition, you can say--oh well, this isn't worth pushing my horse to do at this stage in their training and eat your entry costs. For other horses...that course would be great to introduce more technical questions at a smaller height. For others...too much.

Desert Topaz
Jul. 1, 2012, 11:44 AM
I would have had a heart attack if I'd seen that on my first Intro course. Our first one was log after log after log. It was great, since Pony and I hadn't even schooled XC our first time out.

I wonder if the course designer didn't exactly understand what "Intro" means. I sort of wish there were national parameters for the lower levels, so there was consistency. Events that host those levels could state whether they're adhering to those parameters or not.

It is entirely possible to make a water entrance fair with every level running through the same puddle. I think all the Area X events do it.

quietann
Jul. 1, 2012, 11:52 AM
Yeowch!

That said, I do have video of my little mare, who came from Area 2, doing an itty bitty X/C course that included a jump over a teeny tiny log (like 1 foot) into water at some course down there.* She sort of skidded into it, popped over the log and trotted through the water, lifting her tail to leave her opinion of going through water :lol:

At that level, I *might* expect to see a pass-through water, maybe as an option. Ditches? eep!

*Does anyone recognize this course: lots of fairly low jumps in a not-huge, sloping field with some houses in the background which had nice views of the little water complex.

bizbachfan
Jul. 1, 2012, 12:55 PM
Wow as a total newbie who had a great experience at my first 3 phase I would probably not have even attempted this course. I was thrilled to find out out the tadpole at Rocking Horse had water optional. (I don't know if Tadpole would be elem or intro though)

retreadeventer
Jul. 1, 2012, 02:01 PM
Yeowch!

That said, I do have video of my little mare, who came from Area 2, doing an itty bitty X/C course that included a jump over a teeny tiny log (like 1 foot) into water at some course down there.* She sort of skidded into it, popped over the log and trotted through the water, lifting her tail to leave her opinion of going through water :lol:

At that level, I *might* expect to see a pass-through water, maybe as an option. Ditches? eep!

*Does anyone recognize this course: lots of fairly low jumps in a not-huge, sloping field with some houses in the background which had nice views of the little water complex.

Do you have it online? A link perhaps? This is Carousel Farms, near Wilmington, DE. It has an event put on by DVCTA of PA.
http://s233.photobucket.com/albums/ee158/eventhorses/Carousel%20Farms%20cross-country%20jumps/
However they've utilized a recognized course designer since then and the jumps now are different.

quietann
Jul. 1, 2012, 02:40 PM
Do you have it online? A link perhaps? This is Carousel Farms, near Wilmington, DE. It has an event put on by DVCTA of PA.
http://s233.photobucket.com/albums/ee158/eventhorses/Carousel%20Farms%20cross-country%20jumps/
However they've utilized a recognized course designer since then and the jumps now are different.

I don't think that's it. The course in my video has much more slope (though most jumping efforts were oriented uphill, which is a bit easier for the tadpole level horses and riders.) And it would be in Virginia or Maryland.

At my one and only horse trials (Green Acres in Madbury, NH), the elementary level did not include the water, and they had a ditch flagged so you could either jump the little ditch, or the small log next to it. Given Trump's fear of water, I was very happy to not have to deal with it. I think we jumped the ditch.

teddygirl
Jul. 1, 2012, 05:13 PM
I'm not a big fan of Intro and Elementary being mini Burghley courses. And I find that even if the unrecognized divisions have ok xc courses then the stadium will get you. People should bear in mind that a stadium course does not necessarily get better as you add more and more rollbacks. It seems harder and harder to find courses that are appropriate for green horses and riders

Gnep
Jul. 1, 2012, 10:09 PM
About time they make it for real and less a joke, 2 feet speed bumps.

quietann
Jul. 1, 2012, 10:20 PM
About time they make it for real and less a joke, 2 feet speed bumps.

I wish you would stop being so hostile to the low levels. May be tiny fences, but everyone and every horse has to start somewhere, and it's not like the low levels are hurting the higher levels.

wookie
Jul. 1, 2012, 10:22 PM
just to clarfy..... i have ridden to training. i would not describe myself as a beginner. i have a good seat...not a dressage diva but i own four ottb's that i have restarted myself with the excellent tutelage of people like sally cousins, mogie bearden muller, eric horgan.

i love this venue...it can ask you some serious things at times but generally it's true to it's levels. i was not backed off by the size of the fences... just the questions being asked...that i described earlier.

i did tell the jump judges and the starter that i may be skipping by obstacles or jumping what i felt like was appropriate. i did "school" the water behind the flags and then circled back to the red coop. she stopped twice and went on the third.

i do school there occassionally except for green ottb's it is a bit circus like with all the loose horses/ponies and people just not being considerate(blazing by your horses tail, cutting in front of you, galloping at you) . so i often choose not to go there due to this. i go with sally to quieter venues. i don't think i should have to go there in order to school the course i am about to compete on.

and frankly...when a competitor....who is not a first timer and is known, voices a concern....perhaps someone could pay attention. the response i got was that it's a big move up from elem to intro....i will pass it on. perhaps i should have been more of a bell ringer. honestly....it doesn't seem to do any good unless you are a "name".

i had already at that point decided to use xc as a schooling. but frankly... if i have paid an entry...should't my horse and i get the true horse trials experience? that is why i enter the greenies at select starters. i know the ones to avoid.

wookie
Jul. 1, 2012, 10:24 PM
really gnep? i am sure you posted that with humor.

wookie
Jul. 1, 2012, 10:39 PM
i will go to this venue again....i do like the organizers, the locations, and usually their courses.
i have competed at olde hope, full moon, waredaca, seneca, jersey horse park, olney ht, bucks county ht, st augustine ht, difficult run, morven park, virginia ht, mcta, upper marlboro ht, jumping branch, paradise, full gallop, rubicon, poplar place, ocala horse park, rocking horse, surefire, flore lea, dvcta, plantation, and fairhill.

i have enjoyed them all and would return to any. some venues are more appropriate then others for certain horses, certain levels, move ups etc.
i get that. but i entered this event being very familiar with their different levels. this just caught me way off guard. that's all.

bornfreenow expensive...i may just have to give my horse valium and go school there. i wasn't aware they have the courses set the week before and you get to school it. not my experience there in the past. and that ditch....was not just two logs on the ground. i have that at home on the flat. it had depth and it was coming downhill. it is where the coffins are usually placed.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 1, 2012, 10:39 PM
you just asked opinions.

I tend to agree with you that I'd rather see straight forward single fences at this level with options over a ditch and through the water. IME that is not what I've seen.

It shocked me too...when at another venue, there was a drop into water, solid one stride, ditch and other fairly technical questions at their 2'3"-2'6" division.

What it confirmed for me was not to bother with trying to get to a HT until my green horse was ready for novice at a recognized event. Just my experience both riding and walking courses with friends at a few of the venues. And we are lucky enough to have several venues to school so that it is required for use to go to an event to get xc education.

wookie
Jul. 1, 2012, 10:51 PM
i agree. but she is only four and i usually spend some time with them at the low levels. she can jump novice height but she doesn't need to yet. we have been schooling beginner novice. have a xc course at my barn with some solid beg novice fences.

perhaps i should just aim for beg novice with her. i am going on tuesday to fairhill. big swallow....early to avoid the rush.