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Moving up from Novice to Training - biggest challenge?

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  • Moving up from Novice to Training - biggest challenge?

    Obviously there are the differences laid out in the rules, but what was your biggest challenge when you moved up from Novice to Training?

    Or was is pretty simple?
    PSSM / EPSM and Shivers Forum

  • #2
    I think this particular move up can be a challenge in different areas for different pairs. I've seen and struggled with show jumping, but I have also seen a lot of pairs struggle with the size and/or spread of the xc fences (this is particularly true if you are riding a less scopey horse that may be reaching its max at training). Others find the increased speed tough and may take a few attempts to really understand the difference between 350 and 420/450 (especially if a pair has spent a couple of years at BN and N). And, again, the speed thing can be tougher on a horse that doesn't have a natural gallop (I find that a lot of TBs find 420 a much more comfortable "cruising" speed than 350, but a lot of WBs and draft crosses really need to learn how to gallop on and you actually can feel like you have to hustle them at first at that speed). There are more combos on xc at training, and some will take a while to get a little better at thinking quicker or riding into the combos well, without wasting time. It can really, really depend, but those are definitely some of the top ones I see or have felt myself when moving up a new horse.


    • #3
      I think the following are big differences:

      1. speed on XC
      2. combinations on XC, like an upbank, 1 stride to a fence.
      3. lengthenings in dressage. not a fan of lengthen canter!
      4. BIG tables. Of course, they amazingly get bigger in prelim and up.


      • #4
        probably the speed.

        Make sure you don't pick a training that runs at 470mpm on your first out. : )

        They can be 420, 450 and 470.
        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


        • #5
          Speed shouldn't be a problem, because you shouldn't try to "make time" your first Training.

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


          • #6
            Bravery of the horse, in my case.

            Never even DID a Novice with Gwen--we started right out at Training. (she was a solid Prelim horse but had had two years off with no rider)

            With Keebler (established Training horse, but new to me) I did one Novice then off we went.

            Bonnie is STILL not confirmed at Training and probably never will be. She likes XC but doesn't *LOVE* XC and although my trainer can get her around Training, I can only do so with great difficulty. So since I have an aversion to difficult trips XC, Bonnie is my Novice horse.

            I don't think the gap between N and T is all that big . . . unless I'm riding Bonnie. It is the ditchy, looky stuff that gets her, and when she's not feeling confident her reaction is to get very VERY sticky and to lose focus, so sending her through a combination is just not smart when her brain is in that mode. If she's having a sticky day at Novice I can at least get her around because there just aren't any trappy, difficult questions.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              I remember when I moved up I felt like everything came at me so quickly in xc -- not because WE were going faster, but because there are combinations, and then more combinations...

              so, last novice course I ran had ONE combination. T course at same venue had 4.

              I'll agree that if you try to make time on some horses you feel as though you are rushing -- until suddenly you aren't.

              SJ it is also the combinations, I think -- since the fences are bigger, if you get into a related distance cattywhompus it can go wrong on a larger scale than at novice.

              I found the dressage a relief, though I've had my share of dismal lengthenings. I can't stand the novice tests on my big horses - just a lot of circling the drain and nothing to do to get them interested....
              The big man -- my lost prince

              The little brother, now my main man


              • #8
                What everyone else has said and also the accuracy questions (angles, turns) in combinations.
                Taco Blog
                *T3DE 2010 Pact*


                • #9
                  Agree, it's the combinations and increasing speed at which things happen - young horses in particular have difficulty thinking that fast. We had one horse that just couldn't handle the added height - he was a consistent winner at Novice and a basket case at Training. Adding big ditches, logs/drops INTO water and not just out, 1/2 coffins all add complexity. More combinations in stadium are tough, too!

                  Recommend you ride your last Novice at Training speed, then your first Training at Novice speed. When your horse is comfortable with increased complexity, move the speed up to Training. That way you're adding only a part of the question at each step.


                  • #10
                    For me it is usually the increased size/technicality of the combos and accuracy required. I think you can get around novice making a lot more mistakes than training allows, because you have more time to recover from one fence and set up for the next.

                    And agree with DW that there are some specific questions (bank into water, or various ditch questions) that are new to the level and can be a big hang up to some horses.

                    FWIW I've had a lot of horses that were easier to ride and less of a fight at training speed--I guess it just depends on the horse.


                    • #11
                      Depends on the horse.

                      For Music it was stuff coming up suddenly amd surprising her. Not sure if it is that her brain isn't quick enough, or her vision. Later on she was diagnozed with "lots of little cataracts", so I wonder if that had something to do with it.

                      For Belle it was Dressage, she just got more up-tight in the dressage arena.

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


                      • #12
                        Definitely depends on the horse you are riding... but if you are moving a green horse up, its definitely the combinations. I feel like most horses can still handle the height/spread easily, but there is less time between jumps. As has been said, you will see one strides, turning questions, skinnies, corners, banks, jumps into water... and sometimes many of those in the same combination If a horse isn't prepared, it could be too much for the brain to handle.

                        For riders moving up, same deal. You need to be a thinking rider much more than at novice.

                        Some horses/riders do much better with more to think about, though!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Beam Me Up View Post
                          FWIW I've had a lot of horses that were easier to ride and less of a fight at training speed--I guess it just depends on the horse.
                          I hate to jinx my new(ish) youngster's future career, but I've had the same experience. With many TBs, Novice and BN is quite slow for them, and it's hard to get a decent rhythm going. Plus, for some, it's not until Training level that they actually find it makes sense to pay attention to the jumps themselves.


                          • #14
                            [quote=deltawave;5615356]Bravery of the horse, in my case.

                            Bonnie is STILL not confirmed at Training and probably never will be. She likes XC but doesn't *LOVE* XC and although my trainer can get her around Training, I can only do so with great difficulty. So since I have an aversion to difficult trips XC, Bonnie is my Novice horse.


                            My horse is completely capable, and on most days perfectly willing to play around over prelim-sized stuff... but when it comes to whole courses, she just needed a litte more riding at Training than at Novice... if I don't ride a fence on a training course, she finds it preferable to go around. at novice, going over was less effort than stoping. Like Bonnie, she likes it, doesn't love it.

                            Now, I CAN ride her around the course, and when I DO she is perfectly happy to oblige... I just made the mistake of making my move up to recognized Training when I was not-quite-over a very long sickness... and I didn't realize quite how weak I was until getting out on those first few courses! I didn't have the strength to ride every fence, and I had lost enough weight that she *knew* I couldn't *make* her do it... and so we racked up the penalties. Unfortunately, I couldn't gain the weight back until pregnancy forced me to, so I won't be able to go back and win any battles for a while.

                            Other than that... I still haven't considered Trianing to be any "harder" than Novice... just big enough that my horse now cares.


                            • #15
                              Having just attempted this this weekend with SERIOUSLY mixed results --

                              Length of XC/fitness.

                              Both of us got tired towards the end of a very hilly XC course. As a result, I did not have enough leg and we picked up some stops. We DID finish the course. Horse was definitely backed off by jump size (he'll never go higher than Training). Was never dangerous and he jumped all the combos great (2 on a course of 19 jumps). But the size and length wore us both out more than I could have imagined.

                              We were also too slow in both jumping phases.

                              I liked the dressage tests -- more going on to keep horse busy and supple, he doesn't have time to focus on locking his jaw! I HATE the Novice tests with just big circles and straight lines.

                              We'll be dropping back to Novice to convince horsey he CAN jump like a star, then working on height some more. I felt ready for the height, he'd been schooling it well, but apparently his little brain needs some more convincing. We both need to be more fit as well.

                              I have learned that this really is a BIG difference in levels. Of course, it varies by horse, but for us, it's BIG.
                              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                              • #16
                                wildlifer, if it helps any, I have really BIG horses (hard to get fit)...for them to be fit to run Training, at speed, they do 3x5 trots and 3x4 canters/gallops. They can run happily at novice with 3x3 canters, so the extra minute and additional speed gets them where they need to be.
                                The big man -- my lost prince

                                The little brother, now my main man


                                • #17
                                  Ok, so semi related question...

                                  I ride a large pony(14.1h) and I really want to make the move up to Training with him. I've been competing him Novice for 5 years and honestly, we've gotten pretty bored. None of the courses we've ridden have presented a challenge and I keep looking at the Training stuff and thinking "That looks fun..." When I school him I generally do 3ft, but I seem to panic when it gets to 3ft 3in. Logically I know it's not THAT big a size change, and it's well within the pony's scope(schooled 3ft 9in). But I keep having a mental block. And I don't want to make the move up unless I am 100% comfortable jumping a maxed course.

                                  Has anybody else had a freak out about the height jump? Any mental tricks to get you past it?


                                  • #18
                                    Obviously you can't expect to go around Training unless you're confidently and competently jumping well over 3'3" (and don't forget the widths of jumps at Training take a considerable jump, too) but it's highly doubtful your pony would know the difference. Horses don't know what color the numbers are painted.
                                    Click here before you buy.


                                    • #19
                                      Not sure if it will be helpful to the OP but I just happen to be uploading my old videos tonight. I have my mare's novice (her 3rd event) and her second training (her 6th event)--although her first training was really just a beefy novice course. They happen to be at the same venue on the same track so I think it shows a nice comparison between novice and training xc. These are older videos (from 2006) but courses haven't changed that much.

                                      The biggest challenge really depends on the horse/rider. Some it will be height, some speed.

                                      I personally don't find the differences that significant but if I had to pick the biggest challenge...for me...it is consistently the dressage. Of course I suck at dressage and my horses tend to not be very broke

                                      Ignore the out of shape crappy rider on the videos....and as you will see (if you are bored enough to watch)...neither were perfect courses!

                                      Novice (we made time--5th fence was a horse eating Trakenher--she didn't care but I was worried about it!)


                                      Training (was her first time EVER dropping into water. I was concerned--she wasn't. We had a little bit of time penalties (1.2))


                                      Horse is a 16.3h TB mare (never raced)--she has a bigger stride then it looks like on the video.
                                      Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; May. 23, 2011, 12:46 PM. Reason: double checked her record
                                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                                      • #20
                                        I think there are few things that get people.

                                        Triples in stadium.
                                        Complexity of combinations on xc.
                                        Narrow fences and corners.

                                        If you didnt have all your ducks in a row at Novice but were managing to get around, these might show off those weaknesses in rider skill.

                                        Jumping into water.

                                        These can really start to show horse and rider fears. Cantering through water or out over a fence is pretty inviting at Novice, but jumping in can be very different. And little Novice ditches or trakehners are hardly dips, and then you have a triple with a big ditch in the middle, or a deep dark trakehner. My horse who has never had a stop at a ditch at Pre Training (our Novice, sort of) just got the big E at a Training half coffin.

                                        And here, you just cant count on finding a Training course without a corner, coffin or a few complex combinations often involving banks. Jumping into water is less common than when I did my first Training in '01, its usually a jump in relation to water and then another one out, but you cant exactly count on it.