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  1. #1
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    Question Biggest Differences Between BN And N XC

    The only reason I am asking this question is I am kind of confused about what the the real differences are besides for the 4'' height difference. I'm also confused why some events seem to be really difficult and others easy. An example of this is at novice, one recognized event by me has a coop and then 3 strides to a small bank down into the water. The other event that is also recognized doesn't have a jump or a bank just water to cross.

    So maybe this is a dumb question but what makes an event novice vs. Beginner novice besides for the height difference?I feel like at certain venues my horse could easily go novice but at others he needs more time to school banks and ditches.



  2. #2
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    The difference is not a big one. Yes, the fences are a little bigger. But the biggest difference is really that your "options" are generally taken away. Oftentimes BN courses will have a water option, but not in novice. You do the water, you do the banks, you do the ditches.

    Additionally, the speed is slightly faster. Usually BN runs about 325-350 mpm, where Novice may be 350-375 mpm.

    But to your point, all events are different. Some courses may be rather easy for the level while some may be a difficult representation of the level.



  3. #3
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    One place to start is the guidelines
    http://useventing.com/sites/default/...n_5_7_2012.pdf

    But they are guidelines, not rules.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  4. #4
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    I also think that the variability between different places can be a lot more at BN and N than it is at T or P. One venue's BN course can be VERY simple, while another's can be much tougher. And there are some Novice courses that can have some fairly substantial (for the level) jumps, relatively speaking. I've done Novice courses where the speed is set at 400mpm, too, which (again, relatively speaking) is quite a bit faster than the norm.

    The actual height of the jumps is the LAST thing I think about when deciding whether to do BN or N. It is all about how confident the horse is with the questions, what I'm trying to accomplish that weekend, and the course in question. I don't much bother with "reconnaissance" with a solid Novice or Training horse to see what kind of jumps are out there, but if I have a green or inexperienced horse I kind of like to know what to expect. And if I'm not sure, I usually will default to the lower of the 2 levels. I'd rather have a weekend where everything felt easy than to feel my green or inexperienced horse was overfaced and to have to be careful not to give him a bad experience.
    Click here before you buy.



  5. #5
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    The Novice course can be longer (1600-2200m vs 1400-2000 for BN), faster (350-400 for Novice, 300-350 for BN) and have more jumping efforts (16-20 for Novice, 14-18 for BN).

    Here is what the (very) general guidance in the rulebook says:

    1. Beginner Novice: The Beginner Novice level is designed to introduce green horses and riders to Horse Trials, combining dressage, cross-country and Beginner jumping tests. It is designed for competitors and horses that have already had experience schooling competitions in all three disciplines. The entire experience should be safe, inviting and educational to build confidence and a
    desire to progress. Competitors should be prepared to do a walk, trot and canter dressage test with 20-meter figures and a halt. The cross-country should include a variety of introductory obstacles, including a bank-up, a shallow natural ditch, an inviting water crossing and a brush. Obstacles must have a minimum of two strides between two numbered obstacles. Such combinations of straight
    forward efforts are the only obstacles composed of several elements that are permitted. The jumping course should be inviting and straightforward and may include one double of two strides.
    2. Novice: The Novice Level is a continuing introduction to Horse Trials. It is designed for competitors
    and horses with some experience at lower levels or for experienced riders and horses new to the sport. The dressage will not differ greatly from Beginner Novice. The cross-country will invite bold, forward movement involving galloping in balance and jumping out of stride. The obstacles will be more substantial and may include a drop, a double, and a simple obstacle out of water. At such water
    obstacles, the exit shall not be revetted. The jumping course shall include a double and a variety of straight and spread fences, which may include a triple bar.
    There is also the guidelines http://useventing.com/sites/default/...n_5_7_2012.pdf where they talk more specifically about what types of obstacles are considered appropriate for the levels. So for example at BN, no combination with a ditch is ok, where at Novice, it is considered ok to have a half coffin with at least 3 strides between the ditch and the obstacle.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    I also think that the variability between different places can be a lot more at BN and N than it is at T or P. One venue's BN course can be VERY simple, while another's can be much tougher. And there are some Novice courses that can have some fairly substantial (for the level) jumps, relatively speaking. I've done Novice courses where the speed is set at 400mpm, too, which (again, relatively speaking) is quite a bit faster than the norm.

    The actual height of the jumps is the LAST thing I think about when deciding whether to do BN or N. It is all about how confident the horse is with the questions, what I'm trying to accomplish that weekend, and the course in question. I don't much bother with "reconnaissance" with a solid Novice or Training horse to see what kind of jumps are out there, but if I have a green or inexperienced horse I kind of like to know what to expect. And if I'm not sure, I usually will default to the lower of the 2 levels. I'd rather have a weekend where everything felt easy than to feel my green or inexperienced horse was overfaced and to have to be careful not to give him a bad experience.
    Thank you for all of the advice. Its not that I don't think my horse can do it, it just seems like some of these events have this huge gap between the BN and the Novice. For example the one event has a very easy BN course. All you have to do is go through water and the jumps are very straight forward. Then at their novice level, there is a jump, then a bank into water, then a bank out of the water, then a jump. There is also a ditch then 2 strides to a maxed out coop. Why is there such a big jump from BN to N? The Novice course at this venue almost rides like training while the training level course rides like an easier training event. I guess I am very confused on what are guidelines and what are rules?



  7. #7
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    Back only about 8 or 10 years ago, the "big jump" was acknowledged to be between T and P. Maybe it's just perception because the demographic of the sport has changed.

    No recognized Novice should have a ditch-to-jump with 2 strides, I don't think. That would bear mention to the TD if it was actually on a course.

    But combinations and related questions are ways to make courses more challenging while keeping within the fence size, width, and speed/distance guidelines. I don't have a problem with that, personally. Horses tend to handle those just fine.
    Click here before you buy.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Back only about 8 or 10 years ago, the "big jump" was acknowledged to be between T and P. Maybe it's just perception because the demographic of the sport has changed.

    No recognized Novice should have a ditch-to-jump with 2 strides, I don't think. That would bear mention to the TD if it was actually on a course.

    But combinations and related questions are ways to make courses more challenging while keeping within the fence size, width, and speed/distance guidelines. I don't have a problem with that, personally. Horses tend to handle those just fine.
    Oh its on course. But the book says guidelines not rulebook. So, do the events actually have to follow the guidelines?



  9. #9
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    Some courses are a prep for the next level so may have more technical questions but not the height of the the next level up. I personally LOVE those courses.

    Some might be in your head a bit...it looks more technical and hard but doesn't ride that way. Banks into water can be easier sometimes than ramps in....personally I find a jump into the water the easiest.

    In the OP's description, I wouldn't be surprised at all with some of those combinations on a novice course...especially if they are numbered seperately. It gives you options depending on if your horse is green or getting ready to move up. Love those well designed courses.


    Of course some courses are just NOT well laid out. There are few places near me that I will NOT go too as the course design generally is not good. Especially a few of the unrecognized events. They are trappy and not good courses. I've did a BN event where they had a one stride on xc. It was number seperately but no real way to use that as an option. It was an unrecognized event. Others that have their ditch or water in an ugly position etc.

    This is why it helps to talk to people who know the courses and ask about them so you can decide what is a good course for you and your horse.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  10. #10
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    That is the problem with lowering the levels....it is open to interpretation and leads to many variances in what is asked. BN (and Novice for that matter) should not be asking "questions".....just jumps taken in the stride/speed required at the level. These divisions should be a certain distance and a certain speed with 10-15 jumps incorporated into the stride....nothing more.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    I have seen on several novice courses ditch 2 stride to jump. I have also seen 2 stride combinations and jump to down bank. I have only been to one place that had a down bank on BN course. And that caught me a bit off guard. I have been to several places that share 70% BN and N jumps and some places that have separate courses. Some p,aces are super easy and make for. Great first novice outting.
    No Worries!



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auto Be A Storm View Post
    I have seen on several novice courses ditch 2 stride to jump. I have also seen 2 stride combinations and jump to down bank. I have only been to one place that had a down bank on BN course. And that caught me a bit off guard. I have been to several places that share 70% BN and N jumps and some places that have separate courses. Some p,aces are super easy and make for. Great first novice outting.

    This is a problem with so much variance.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    This is a problem with so much variance.
    Exactly! How on earth are you supposed to know what could be on the course if they aren't following the guidelines? Obviously 2 strides with a ditch isn't in the guidelines so somebody isn't following them. I'm not sure I want to take my greenish horse to an event I havent been to because I don't want to be unprepared for something that isn't in the guidelines.

    FRUSTRATING! I'm just trying to figure out where I want to take him to move him up to Novice.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by horseluvr222 View Post
    FRUSTRATING! I'm just trying to figure out where I want to take him to move him up to Novice.
    Even moreso when EVERY course description says "average, for horses with some experience at this level".
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    That is the problem with lowering the levels....it is open to interpretation and leads to many variances in what is asked. BN (and Novice for that matter) should not be asking "questions".....just jumps taken in the stride/speed required at the level. These divisions should be a certain distance and a certain speed with 10-15 jumps incorporated into the stride....nothing more.
    This one thousand times over.

    And the part about jumps taken in stride is so important. This is a major factor in how a horse learns to go forward and think forward.

    IMO, one reason people stay at these levels forever is because the jumps with all their 'questions' and stupid adornments don't allow the inexperienced horse (and rider) to go forward.



  16. #16
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    Look at who the course designer is.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  17. #17
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    Go. Go out on course. Jump some stuff. If you don't like it, pull up. Attack every course like this. If it's not for you, for terrain, for fitness, for ease or size of jumps - pull up. Don't throw your last $300 at this event. Or any event. if it's your last $300 and you can't afford to waste it, go do something else until you can. It;s not worth risking your confidence, your enjoyment, or your horse's enjoyment. I think this works all the way up the levels. At least, I've seen it work through 2** so far.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
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    3-5 inches
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by horseluvr222 View Post
    Exactly! How on earth are you supposed to know what could be on the course if they aren't following the guidelines?

    ...FRUSTRATING! I'm just trying to figure out where I want to take him to move him up to Novice.
    I have two green BN horses for this year. I'm with the crowd that thinks BN and N shouldn't really be asking any questions other than galloping fence out of stride. One of the things I've done is looked at past results of the the dozen or so events I'm considering for this year. I've figured out what percentage of the horses have had XC jump faults based on the total number of horses that are running at the level.

    One of the events has 2 years in the last 3 that about 40% of the horse running at the BN level had problems, and the year in between they were still on the high side compared to other events on my list. For some horses a more difficult course might be what they need, but not mine. I'll probably be staying home that weekend.

    I do think this type of thing needs to be consider with a proverbial grain of salt. Just because things were one way last year doesn't mean it won't change for this year, but I do think looking at the last few years might give some insight.



  20. #20
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    As is mentioned on the oher thread- you can check last year's results, and see how many/what percentage of people had problems on cross country.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



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