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Southern Pines I training course

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  • Southern Pines I training course

    I'm thinking about heading to Southern Pines I for my first event of the year, and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the training cross country course. The last time I competed there was the 2006 AECs, but that was on my prelim horse at training, so things seemed pretty easy. Now I've got an OTTB who did training all last year and is very bold on cross country, but could still be considered green, so I want to choose an appropriate first competition of the year. Of course it all depends on how many cross-country schools we get in before.

    Thoughts? How about the novice course? My trainer would ideally like us to do a novice as a "pipe opener", but if the novice rides extremely easy, then I feel like it wouldn't be worth the trip.

    Check out my blog at http://lindsayberreth.com

  • #2
    Great question

    I also would be interested in feedback about both the training and novice courses at SPHT I.


    • #3
      Last year the Training courses were pretty easy. I rode my (bold, but green) mare in her 2nd rec Training there and she was not even slightly challenged. Student rode Novice on her green gelding and other than a silly runout (nothing to do with the fences, just being a twit) had a pretty easy time. I'd lean toward going for it if your horse is brave and you're a competent rider.

      Third Charm Event Team


      • #4
        I have ridden the Novice course there and it was lovely -- really designed to be open but with some fun questions, like a quasi sunken road and a healthy trakhener. There was also a tall-ish brush fence that asked a mental rider bravery question as it was at the bottom of a hill. My horse and I were fairly comfortable at Novice types of things, but it was our first recognized competition (we'd run several unrecs before). I came off the course just thrilled with it and I remember thinking that it rode like a really "horse friendly" course and had great rider challenges without feeling the need to terrify you.

        I honestly can't say what you might consider "extremely easy." For a brave horse with XC miles, esp at Training, I would not expect anything on the Novice course to be considered a challenge.

        I will say that we are moving up to Training this year and we will not be using CHP as a move-up course because their Training courses can be quite tough for the level based on what I've seen in the past, in terms of some lines with some bending and skinny stuff that I don't want to present to my horse on his first go at Training. Maybe after we have a couple under our belt!

        If you want to see pictures, I know from the event we did (Longleaf Pines in 2010) both Pics of You and Brant Gamma shot heaps of pics if you'd like to see the jumps on course.
        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
        We Are Flying Solo


        • #5
          I agree with Wildlifer - the Training and Novice courses this early in the year are traditionally on the stout side. Not unfair, just a bit more in the questions asked department. As far as a move-up, for your horse's first time, I would choose something else, but since your horse has already gone Training in the past, it might be do-able. The fences are all maxed out, for the most part, but nothing terribly scary. There is a good-sized Trakehner at the bottom of the hill and a psuedo-corner, if I remember correctly, on the training course. That brush at the bottom of the hill is pretty stiff (no pun intended!) but it generally rides very well - but it looks HUGE! The Novice brush looks about the same size as the Training one, and it rides pretty big if your horse is clueless about brushing through, as most horses at Novice are.

          It's a fair course, though, and a lot of fun- it rolls and it rides faster than you would think it does, based on the times. Enjoy!
          "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

          So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."


          • #6
            Oh, yes that was the other thing I was going to mention -- eventer_mi is absolutely right about riding fast! We got three jumps from the end and still had a minute left, eeek, and I had not felt that we were going at any extreme rate of speed. Later, standing at the leaderboard, my mum who was spectating, loudly announces "Oh, look, you went faster than anyone!" I wince with shame and mutter, "Shhh, mum, that's NOT a good thing!"
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

            Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
            We Are Flying Solo


            • #7
              I think the courses are much more consistent now that Tremaine has started doing them. When I walked them last spring (rode the Prelim, walked the Training with a friend), I thought they were big but pretty straightforward and inviting. The jumps are pretty solid and max size, but seek a forward, galloping ride for the most part - the courses seemed to flow quite well. They are much less twisty-turny-combinationy than previously, but they still ask good questions. I would not consider this event a move-up event by any means, but the footing is fantastic and I think the horses tend to come off course feeling good about themselves.


              • #8
                I believe Tremaine only designs the Prelim and up. Jeff Kibbie does the Training and below courses, or at least this was the case in 2010. Both do a great job though!
                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                We Are Flying Solo


                • Original Poster

                  I guess by "extremely easy" novice, I mean like, jumps shared with BN, etc...I've had that happen where it doesn't even feel like a novice. I've ridden to prelim, so I'd call myself a competent rider I think! I've done a million trainings, so it's not really me that's the issue, it's the green OTTB.

                  I want to give him a confidence-boosting first run of the year. He can be the type that if you overface him or scare him, it would be really hard to gain his trust back. Of course, I'm probably being overly cautious. He would jump off a cliff or jump around an advanced course if I asked him to tomorrow.

                  I just can't remember what the training course looked like in 2006. But it sounds from the responses as though the training not-so-soft for the beginning of the year.

                  Check out my blog at http://lindsayberreth.com


                  • #10
                    Can anyone speak to me of the BN course? We've got it on the schedule as my young daughter's first run of the year--and her first time ever at CHP. I've been there many times but always at N and T.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                      I believe Tremaine only designs the Prelim and up. Jeff Kibbie does the Training and below courses, or at least this was the case in 2010. Both do a great job though!
                      Yep! Still the case- and I agree (not that I'm biased or anything... ). I can't speak for Tremaine, but I know Jeff has an idea for what he wants to do this year, though neither have been down to CHP yet to set the courses.

                      PiaffePrincess- Since there are new CDs, experiences with the courses predating last year probably won't help too much . I will say that Jeff doesn't tend to make things trappy or try to trick people. "Confidence building" is always his goal, especially early in the season, so I would feel comfortable recommending SPI as a season opener. I think SPI will be a straightforward course, and I'm sure it will be true training heights. Ditto for novice and beginner novice. They had plans to put in more ditches, so there may be a new BN ditch on course (I should probably double check that though- it was in the works last year).
                      Balanced Care Equine


                      • #12
                        I would not hesitate to bring your training horse there, courses are very straight forward and it is a positive place to ride the other 2 phases as well.


                        • #13
                          Have always enjoyed the Training level courses at CHP and the footing is ALWAYS excellent.
                          Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                          The Grove at Five Points