I've been trying to get my two youngsters out to various venues/experiences before actually doing a real HT this fall with them (also for monetary reasons - since schooling shows are FAR cheaper!).
Hickory Top in Eastover, SC, is having a schooling show on May 1, and I can either go there or to a local hunter show...I'm sure you can guess which one I'd rather attend!! Just wasn't sure of the venue since I've never been...My goal first and foremost with them is a safe, fun, happy experience that leaves all of us feeling as positive as possible.
I used to board at HTF before I sold my horse, and I love it. The farm is beeeyouteful, and Mable always runs things well. She's been doing this forever. The XC course is really forgiving, and it's a really nurturing atmosphere. The entries only go up to beginner novice if I remember correctly, and many of the folks there are on ponies or school horses. For whatever its worth, Mable's goals in putting on the event are the same as yours are in going.
There's also a local diner right down the road that brings really good food for breakfast and lunch!
Oh yay. Definitely sounds like a fun time to me!! Thanks for the input. Definitely beats another trip to hunter land. Hopefully I'll see ya there! (I'll be the one on the bright chestnut Arab with a blaze who thinks he's a warmblood ...we haven't told him otherwise. )