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I Searched, I promise! Fair Hill May Training Course

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  • I Searched, I promise! Fair Hill May Training Course

    Hey Guys!

    I'm looking for info about the fair hill training XC in May. I'm looking to make that our first outting, but don't want to get punched in the face with super technical questions.

    Specifically, Woody is OK with max efforts (I pretend to be), but needs time to process technical questions and I don't want his first training of the season to be the S.A.T.s of Training levels. Ditches, Traks, Banks he's OK. You put any of those together in a combination and he sometimes has some analysis paralysis.

    He had some water issues last season (it's always something), but I'm hoping to get out and get his feet wet a bazillion times till then. We would get through it but not without some issues/a penalty

    So to summarize:
    • Straighforward/big gallopy questions=
    • Banks, ditches, trakheners=
    • stuff like 1/2 coffins= but with some growling and encouragement, eventually
    • Water all by itself=
    • Fences before water/Combos/drops into water = / Hopefully with lots of schooling we'll remind him that these things used to just be and the VERY least
    Can y'alll give me an idea of what the course is like?
    Life Goes On

  • #2
    Sorry I can't help - it's been 15yrs since I've done Training there (or anywhere for that matter!). I just wanted to say I loved your post and giggled just a bit at your jump-type evaluations!


    • #3
      The ditch is typically pretty big and on a hill, but not overly technical. The water is often a biggish house and then a couple strides into the water (this fence often causes trouble). Overall, good galloping
      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


      • #4
        The last two years the water has been a biggish house to a BIG drop into the water, and I think it's probably the hardest Training water I've seen locally (but rides fine). The trakhener is not bad. There are sometimes pretty decent down steps. There is sometimes a half coffin, which isn't bad/ big as they go. There's the mound (up bank, steep hill, fence on the other side).

        None of it is super technical, for the most part it's pretty big but like scubed said it's gallopy. My horse really likes Fair Hill and found it very confidence- building. Also you can come and school a lot of it before the event-- might be worth a try.

        The stadium is pretty challenging because of the terrain and can be a little oddly laid out.

        For a first Training, I'd pick it over Waredaca, but not Plantation. Seneca might also be ok.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
          The last two years the water has been a biggish house to a BIG drop into the water, and I think it's probably the hardest Training water I've seen locally (but rides fine). .
          Highflyer, you have just described Woody's worst nightmare. For real, Big House... to a Big Drop INTO WATER? SOOO MUCH TO PROBLEM SOLVE AND SO LITTLE TIME TO DO SO!!!!!

          I might as well be asking him to jump into the water off of Seal Island and swim with the sharks. As a matter of fact, I imagine that's probably what he thinks I'm asking (at least at this point in his "remember all the cool stuff you did last year, you can STILL DO THAT STUFF" training schedule.)

          My other option is Loudon or MCTA. I've ridden the Loudon Novice course Humpty-Nine Bazillion times, but never really even walked the training course. And I've never ridden either at MCTA. The later in the season the more opportunites I can try and get out schooling.
          Life Goes On


          • #6
            I moved up a very green horse to Training at the May FHI (2010). He had done one novice...missed the second one we were supposed to do and then ran Fair hill.

            I walked the course and turned a little green (or white--can't remember the color) But it rode just fine.

            I don't remember the water being the house to the drop at the May event. But didn't walk it in 2011. I've done that in the fall. There is a full coffin but it rides well.

            I will say if it is the house/drop. It is usually not that hard. House is typically set at least 3 strides from the drop. You can pop over the house from a trot, and trot off the drop. It is a much harder question to me when it is the bank out of the water to that house. It is a pretty max bank for training level.

            I don't remember the May course being very technical but it is true to the level.

            I'd pick it over MCTA.....personally. MCTA is a nice course but I think of it as being more technical than FHI.
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


            • #7
              I've done training at MCTA twice. One time, the water was almost stupidly simple (canter in, jump up weeny bank. Hardest part was turning left and jumping a fairly real corner, but not really related at all to the water). Last year I think the water may have been a smallish log on the edge of the water (maybe enough room to put your feet down before getting wet) and either canter straight out, or canter out over a similar log...OR (because I really can't remember exactly) you just cantered in and out over the log.

              MCTA has lots of big, gallopy fences (I warn people that if you don't like big, it can be a daunting course), but is fairly straightforward on the "technical" questions. I've jumped a straightforward trahkner there, but have also jumped a very, very straightforward half coffin, with plenty of room to muddle through. I don't even remember a bank one year, and last year they took it off the course before I went because of some construction issue, I think. The first time I did that course, it was my horse's first ever training. Last year, it was my first training with Toby (I think his 3rd, ever). I love the venue. Footing is always great. Trying to figure out if I can go this year.

              Training at Morven Park (doesn't seem to matter whether it's "Morven" or "Loudon") is straightforward, not quite as as MCTA for the gallopy fences (a few are, but in my mind, I don't remember thinking "Wow." while walking it). Coffin made the horse I rode there analyze a bit, but he was a big worrier. Water is usually straightforward, but will be a question of some sort (usually something you can shimmy over, need be).

              I'm doing novice at Morven this weekend, but will probably at least peek at the training, since I'm doing training there at Loudon next month. I'll report back


              • #8
                I personally wouldn't choose that water for a horse with a lack of confidence at water because the drop is a pretty good size and there are tall reeds that grow in there which makes your horse take a bit of a look.

                However, you can school there and that will help


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by Jleegriffith View Post
                  I personally wouldn't choose that water for a horse with a lack of confidence at water because the drop is a pretty good size and there are tall reeds that grow in there which makes your horse take a bit of a look.

                  However, you can school there and that will help
                  Yeah Jess, that's what I'm thinking. We must be careful to protect Woody's Delicate* sensibilities.

                  Thanks guys for all the info. I need to work out some transportation issues, but I may aim for Novice at Loudon and then maybe Training at MCTA? Then maybe skip Fair Hill all together and Head to VHT, which doesn't change a WHOLE lot and he ran around the Unrec there last year without a problem (I mean besides spooking at the fence NEXT to the corner...).

                  *And by delicate I mean paranoid Schizophrenic...he's a lucky man that his mother is a freaking psychologist.
                  Life Goes On


                  • #10
                    Lisamarie8 you are a riot! FWIW, as someone who has ridden around T at MCTA & Fair Hill numerous (numerous) times, I think it's a very good plan not to use Fair Hill as a T move-up for a horse still developing confidence at water! It's a lovely course but the drop into the water is relatively big (as others have mentioned) & sometimes it's part of a bending line. Even when the bank is used to jump out; you want to be sure to have some impulsion. Sometimes there is an inviting full coffin & sometimes a double drop down w/ a small fence at the top or the bottom. Not too technical & always fairly presented but prob more tech questions than you will ever see at MCTA.

                    IMHO, MCTA is a really nice T move-up xc course!! The water has been straightforward . . . trot or canter in, small bank out. . . one time there was a left bend to a corner but it was flagged separately so you could always circle off to the right after the water if need be. I've never seen an open ditch or a 1/2 or full coffin at MCTA but I guess there could be. The T level trakener, when they use it, is really simple . . . don't even think the horses see the ditch as it's hidden under a fat log. Even the turning question is always straightforward & well-presented.

                    I only did the T once at Oatlands (I think that's Loudon; not sure) & it was in the summer. I really loved the course but that year there was a drop into what is the sunken road that caught a lot of my T division out. So I really don't know enough about that course to have any recommendation. Oh & it was a dry summer so there was barely any water in either water jump -- so maybe you should wait till then, j/k.

                    Anyway good luck & have fun!!!