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Novice-to-Training Move Up course in Area II & III?

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  • Novice-to-Training Move Up course in Area II & III?

    What are some good Novice-to-Training move up courses in these areas? I, nor the horse, have ever competed training. We're aiming to move up this summer to training and just wanted your opinions on the best 'move up' course.

    Actually, XC doesn't phase us... nor SJ. Dressage is the monster but I suppose that's the same everywhere

    Basically - a good confident run for your first training. He's seven this september & is completely confident at novice, schooling training (everything).. I feel like he could move up NOW if I knew how to ride him in the dressage phase, hah.

    His fitness is prime, we've been doing trot, canter & gallop sets and we've done the past two novices at training speed, he takes almost zero time to recover.. we ran SP H.T I last weekend and he wasn't breathing a bit at the end of the course.

    Honestly, I feel like the CHP (at least from the training course we just saw) would be fine for him, maybe a bit more challenging than some - maybe it's just me, but it doesn't seem that challenging overall, though.

    and that turned into a nice, big rambling ... something.

  • #2
    If it is just dressage holding you back...I'd move up now.

    But honestly....most training courses in Area II are similar so pick events you like and fit in your schedule.

    I've moved horses up at Fair Hill and at Plantation. But if you wait for summer...MD HT II is often a softer course.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


    • #3
      What Novice venue do you feel most at home? That would be the one I would pick to move up at. (Whew. Need a grammar lesson I think...too many prepositions in that sentence!)
      Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
      Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


      • #4
        I tried it at Virginia in the spring and failed in SJ. It was kind of a freak set of circumstances, but that's my n=1 experience. In retrospect, I would have chosen a venue which had less terrain on XC and a softer stadium course. My horse was a great jumper, but not built for fantastic stamina and 3'3" was hard but doable for him. A gentler venue like maybe Pine Top might have been more successful for him. But what will be best for you will vary by horse.
        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


        • Original Poster

          Thanks guys. :]

          Our plan is to do one or two more Novices before moving up, depending on how he goes at Longleaf in April. Maybe Surefire H.T in June? Seems like a good place & time to move up- although.. i've never been there.

          We live on the coast - away from any, any eventing and so we've been trailering to SP a few times a month for some training - which has been amazing, but driving 3 hours for just one or two lessons is just hard. I've been in contact with our vet (very involved in the eventing world, and competed up to prelim or intermediate herself) and she said a new dressage trainer has moved up here from down south and so hopefully we will be in contact with her to see how it goes!

          I basically have zero dressage background, and the horse doesn't have much of one either. He has three nice gaits (lovely Walk & even better canter, good trot - a little short normally, but we've been working on some lengthens and he has shown a very nice lengthen, too...) I just basically don't know how touch up our dressage :P

          Surprisingly, (maybe?) because our dressage is our weak point - both of us are very, very good in the jumping phases.


          • #6
            Surefire is a great first Training. Last year they added a couple of "bigger" fences, but nothing crazy. Honestly, the SJ is the most challenging thing about Surefire at just about every level!


            • Original Poster

              Haha - what's the SJ like?


              • #8
                It's on grass, in a less than ideal location (next to a shed row, where monsters live), and it's always twisty-turny and challenging. I have never had fewer than two rails there. :/ I think part of the problem (aside from my own personal SJ ineptitude) is time of year; the footing can be hard, and the grass slippery. That said, they do all they can to aerate and make the footing as good as can be.

                Surefire is a GREAT event, super fun and inviting in every way. One of my faves.


                • Original Poster


                  My SJ ring is actually turf - and this guy definitely performs better on turf than sand, in SJ at least. Although he's not bad in sand either, I suppose he's just more used to turf.

                  As long as there aren't any birds around, this guy will do anything. Goodness, I tried to take him to the Ark one time...... never again. He went crazy over the birds.


                  • #10
                    Surefire is a very nice event. The xc has some terrain too it but not as much as say VA. I agree that the SJ can be challenging but doable. The water xc can also get some horses. Just take it seriously and you should be fine.

                    I just normally don't go as it can be so friggen HOT but given the weather lately...you never know! I might go this year.
                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                    • #11
                      I'll be moving my baby up to Novice at Longleaf, that is my favourite event of the year -- I guess just because my older guy, Solo, and I always had great rides there. And I just love eventing at CHP. Now that I have FINALLY figured out (after three freaking years) to throw my bike in the back of the truck, I can zip around and save so much time! I loved the SP I courses, they were quite soft and a nice first event for my boy. Longleaf is usually bigger, I always remember the Novice jumps being kind of big, but always fair and always rode well, although the CD was different. The biggest challenge for me in the dressage is there are so many arenas going and so many horses, is just getting my horse focusing on ME. If I can accomplish that, we can at least survive it!

                      If you see a plain chestnut with a star named Away Again, say hi!
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                      • Original Poster

                        The CHP is awesome - the footing is excellent 99% of the time and the course is just beautiful. I really enjoyed the Novice course this past weekend, I'm itching to move up to training once we get our dressage down (*rollesyes*). I walked the Training course there with a friend, and it looks so much fun! Hhahaha.

                        I've actually never been to Longleaf (SP I, II, Five Points - the old Lumber River, etc.. never longleaf!) So it should be fun. Im debating on going to Lumber River (It's a shame it's not rec. anymore) For my Other geldings first event, ever! I just love the course, and Longleaf's too soon (not fit enough, in my book) and i'm not gonna be able to go to anything in May, so... Hehe.

                        We shall see. Heck - I could take Orzo and just run his first training there, and aim for a rec. event at the end of june.


                        • #13
                          I thought MCTA's training course last spring was a nice one. Very flowing, lots of galloping to get you really thinking forward and a good water jump. The show jumping was on slight terrain. I also liked VA HT's, but as others have said, there is some terrain involved.

                          The second MD HT in July is supposed to be a "move up" type course at all levels, so that would be a good one too. They have unreconized events too that tend to be softer.

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


                          • #14
                            I 3rd (4th?) Surefire. I remember walking the training level course the year my young horse did his first novice there and thinking "hell, he could do this!" The show jumping would have been tough, though.

                            A lot of people whine about the show jumping there, but I have ridden it at every level except intermediate there, and have never minded it. The year Vernon did novice there, it did seem we kept making the same concentric circles, but for a barely broke 4 year old, he even managed it quite well. My biggest complaint is the heat!!! That is usually the last weekend I am willing to event in area 2 until September...and last year I wimped out. The year before had been sooooooo bloody hot and I was there all day, both day. I was dead.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by piaffeprincess98 View Post
                              I thought MCTA's training course last spring was a nice one. Very flowing, lots of galloping to get you really thinking forward and a good water jump. The show jumping was on slight terrain. I also liked VA HT's, but as others have said, there is some terrain involved.

                              The second MD HT in July is supposed to be a "move up" type course at all levels, so that would be a good one too. They have unreconized events too that tend to be softer.
                              MCTA is great (moved a horse up there, first training I did with Toby). If you are about size, it might be a bad choice, as it tends to have a lot of true to size fences, but it is not terribly technical and rides nice and forward. I love it!

                              I don't agree with the MDHT unrecognized, though. Had a rider move up to training at one last year, and after she jumped around it clear, the coach told her that she was now ready for prelim. It was big and tough and a little unreasonable for an unrecognized event. The recs are far, far more reasonable.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks so much, guys!

                                I think we'll do Novice @ Longleaf, Training @ Lumber River, just as a nice boost - and do Surefire H.T 2 weeks later @ Training. Then we'll probably take a couple months off of competing, seeing getting away in the summer is going to be tough, plus it's so dang hot. I cannot wait until we can do some working student positions up north in the summer - that will be absolutely awesome.

                                Oh! The professional pictures are up from SP H.T I:



                                • #17
                                  I guess consensus has been reached but I will add that I did Surefire T a few years back and agree with the masses it was quite soft.

                                  How do folks feel about Loudoun spring T? I haven't done in a few years (went N last year but I don't think the courses overlapped at all--N was just schooling field), was considering that for a move-up, though I guess if not maybe will do MCTA based on feedback here.


                                  • #18
                                    I've always thought the training course at Morven was pretty straightforward and fair, whether it's "Morven HT" or "Loudoun PC HT."


                                    • #19
                                      OK, thanks so much!


                                      • #20
                                        Double check that Training will be offered at Lumber River. I remember looking at one of them last year and it only went up to Novice. I could be talking crazy talk, but it wouldn't be the first time.
                                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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