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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
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    PA
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    12,642

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    I do think the levels should be straight forward but from what I've seen...more is asked at novice than when I first started eventing. Just as more is asked at training level. So I school more. I do not really plan on eventing much until my horses are further along. I get them out in other ways. I go to hunter shows, hunter paces, CTs, even fox hunting (well usually will let someone else take them hunting because of my work schedule). I do the things that used to let us start right out at training level but now I'll start at BN/Novice with a horse further along. I go to unrecog. events where I don't feel guilty about blowing the entry fee and skipping fences to make it more of a schooling. And I pick my events when I do go carefully. Sticking close to home and going to events that I know well.

    And if I walk a course and decide we are not ready for that course or I just don't like that course...I don't run.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    4,714

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    To muddy the waters even more. . . it also depends on the location of the event and the time of year.

    As in Area III and Area II have many Pro's wintering and using the early events as preps for Rolex or Fair Hill.
    So if you attend an event that is populated by these pro's expect the courses to be more testing while within the height requirements and guidelines.
    If you attend an event not populated by these pro's expect the courses to be more "amateur friendly".

    Not a bad thing as everyone needs a place to start. Speak to other competitors to learn the 'first time' or returning to the sport events, the move up events and the "so you think you are eventer' events.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Area 1, Connecticut
    Posts
    711

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    Things range a lot up here in Area 1 too. I did a Novice this past summer that had one single ditch in a treeline, a water crossing with a jump a few strides out of it, a bank up/few strides/bank down, and the rest were straightforward gallop fences. I also went to a Novice this fall with a fence before the water and a bank out, a more or less full coffin (3 or 4 strides between elements), a jump/couple strides/down bank/bending line to fence, and lots of other spooky fences. I agree its hard to gauge what each course is going to be like so I just aim to be prepared for the hardest things 'allowed' at my respective level.
    Blog: http://movingonupeventing.blogspot.com/

    Don't believe the hype.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2006
    Posts
    5,453

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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    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.

    I, personally, agree. At these levels, there should be nothing asked that encourages either horse and rider to compress or alter the stride. The jumps should be taken out of a consistent stride to make the time allowed. There should be no distraction from jumping out of that stride. At this level I like to see the rider having to do very little in the way of set up for the jumps. These levels should encourage both horse and rider FORWARD.


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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2007
    Location
    too far from the barn
    Posts
    5,593

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    Although, I will say that last year at Rocking Horse, I was volunteering and a rather large percentage of BN horses had trouble at the water (a simple pass through). Many of them looked like they had never schooled water (or maybe they just hadn't seen it since last fall given the time of year). So, don't always hold it against a course, depending on the time of year.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2004
    Posts
    2,626

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    Around me (Area 2) there is a fair amount of overlap.

    *Sometimes* BN softens the bank/ditch--a faux ditch that is not rivetted on both sides, a bank that is more of a mound and doesn't have a face, etc. And *sometimes* novice uses banks/ditches in combinations or asks a gentle turning question.

    OP, if there are specific events you are considering, or if you wanted to share your general location people might be able to give some feedback on those courses.



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2012
    Posts
    19

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    I am in Area 4. Our courses in the spring tend to be muddy and slippery. That is why I am opting out of doing Otter Creek this year in. I am sick of going and by the time I get to go, the course is a mess. May just isn't a good time of year. I am thinking of doing Penny Oaks the first weekend instead at BN. I am also interested in the IEA at BN or N, Silverwood N, and Fox River Valley N. Last year Fox river valley had lots of banks but nothing to do with the water. I don't remember there being a ditch in a combination either. I am looking for either challenging BN courses or good courses to introduce at the novice level. I could easily get to Barrington or Silverwood to school. My trainer thinks Fox River Valley would be a good novice. She isn't sure about Silverwood because of the new questions they added last fall.



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2005
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,005

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    The footing is generally good at Otter Creek because of the base they have there, even early in the year. IMHO Penny Oaks has a worse chance of bad footing early in the year since it can get slick there when it rains. It's flat there but there is mud/standing water sometimes instead of sandy soil when it's wet.

    FRVPC usually does not have a ditch at Novice or BN and the water is generally easy, plus you can school most of the fences ahead of time. Silverwood's new questions were pretty good compared to the old courses that had been the same for years, and it tends to stay on the small side at all levels.



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2005
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    1,005

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    Quote Originally Posted by horseluvr222 View Post
    Oh its on course. But the book says guidelines not rulebook. So, do the events actually have to follow the guidelines?
    Which course are you referring to?



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec. 23, 2006
    Posts
    2,395

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    Back when the Earth was cooling and Xctrygirl and I were rocking really stylish girls school uniforms, this was novice:

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...88636591_n.jpg

    Bear in mind that horse was north of 17hh, so the fence isn't quite as tiny as it looked. Still--- it was a log.

    There was no BN at the time. No water at novice. Novice had lots of coops, boxes, logs, nothing too interesting.

    Stadium was actually last back then.

    I remember most of the fences being pretty true to the size range.

    There was nothing lower than that, but it did not feel like a big deal to try because of all of the riding we did outside--- especially fox hunting.

    Why did the levels simultaneously go down--smaller fences-- and up-- tougher questions? I find that exceedingly puzzling.

    It's also tough for overthinkers like me. The psychology is that 2'11" is a bigger deal than it should be. Suddenly the old lowest fence on the course is one of the mid-sized ones.
    Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
    Ms. Brazil


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  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2002
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    11,107

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    Penny Oaks in area VIII?



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,329

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fulrider View Post
    Back when the Earth was cooling and Xctrygirl and I were rocking really stylish girls school uniforms, this was novice:

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...88636591_n.jpg

    Bear in mind that horse was north of 17hh, so the fence isn't quite as tiny as it looked. Still--- it was a log.

    There was no BN at the time. No water at novice. Novice had lots of coops, boxes, logs, nothing too interesting.

    Stadium was actually last back then.

    I remember most of the fences being pretty true to the size range.

    There was nothing lower than that, but it did not feel like a big deal to try because of all of the riding we did outside--- especially fox hunting.

    Why did the levels simultaneously go down--smaller fences-- and up-- tougher questions? I find that exceedingly puzzling.

    It's also tough for overthinkers like me. The psychology is that 2'11" is a bigger deal than it should be. Suddenly the old lowest fence on the course is one of the mid-sized ones.
    LOL this is so true! I have pictures of me competeing at N circa 1990-91 and we are jumping over cordwood piles etc. Then again, I distinctly remember jumping a "snake" at N way back then. 20 odd years later I still remember stressing about it! I do remember water at N though.

    OP ask your friends in your area what the courses are like. I find that there is great varity between events. Last year my chesntut horse's first N had 3 A/B combos, the first was a ditch bending line uphil to a brush jump. A different event had N sized mounds with a hanging log on top. I agree with BFNE in that I try to have horses a bit more prepared now a days than I used to



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec. 11, 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    286

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    Silverwood's novice is usually a nice course. They tend to be pretty straight forward in the spring and then increase the difficulty in the fall. There is a bank up or down depending on which way they have you take it, a water crossing, and a 2 stride half coffin. Everything else is pretty straight forward. It was my move up to novice and I found it very appropriate.
    Harmonys Maestro: 1992-2008 RIP
    Morally Grey - Training level here we come


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  14. #34
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2006
    Location
    On the Trails
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    3,769

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    Like Gr8tful rider, I also remember when novice was the lowest you could go although the jumps at Caumsett could be a little challenging. I remember going through a little stable yard, over a gate and up the hill to a stonewall, then back down, over a small jump then over a "pedestrian crossing" and up the hill to the main field. No water, but a ditch option, a hogsback, no drop, and a few coops and logs.

    Yes, stadium jumping is supposed to be last. That's the natural order of things.
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Area 1, Connecticut
    Posts
    711

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn trails View Post

    Yes, stadium jumping is supposed to be last. That's the natural order of things.
    There's an unrecognized event around here that still runs stadium last and I absolutely love it. My normally rushy and exuberant guy jumps stadium like a hunter round after he's already run xc. Wish more places ran it like this still, but I understand the time constraints.
    Blog: http://movingonupeventing.blogspot.com/

    Don't believe the hype.



  16. #36
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,329

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFCeventer View Post
    There's an unrecognized event around here that still runs stadium last and I absolutely love it. My normally rushy and exuberant guy jumps stadium like a hunter round after he's already run xc. Wish more places ran it like this still, but I understand the time constraints.
    I see you are an Area 1er, FYI Huntington runs SJ after XC as does GHF, albeit the next day. Years ago I had several horses that needed to run XC before SJ in order to be rideable enough. I'm not sure how much of that was temperament vs my over conditioning program LOL.



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