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IEA N3D, take 2...or not? Help me decide.

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  • IEA N3D, take 2...or not? Help me decide.

    So last year I totally wanted to do the Novice 3 day in Indiana. My horse got hurt and we missed most of the season. Right around the time he got hurt, I noticed I was feeling tired a lot. Unfortunately, I still have a lot of tired days and so far no doctor can find out why.

    I'm bummed that I might have to pass again this year. My horse is 22 this year, never know if next year will be a possibility. For folks who have done a lower level 3 day, give me some input please. Did you find walking the whole course A-D to be exhausting? What about riding the whole thing? Is doing a N3D as your first event of the year insane? (I'm thinking not so much, since lots of them are early in the year.) For the IEA N3D, how high is the steeplechase for real--I know it CAN be 3'7", but is it? I saw a photo in the USEA magazine from another N3D, looked like theirs was maybe 2'6"-2'9".

    Thanks in advance. I think I'm starting to accept that I may have to stick with the HT and skip the 3-day.
    That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...

  • #2
    You can hack the roads and tracks the day before-- no need to walk that. Depending on how your steeplechase is laid out it may not be much walking either-- ours was 2.5 loops around the same two fences (so you only had to walk it once.)

    I did not find the riding at all tiring but having to get up super early 4 days in a row, drive half an hour each way back and forth to the hotel in the dark, etc. was tiring!


    • #3
      If you're asking those sorts of questions, you are probably not ready. The jumps on SC should be the very least of your worries--but if you've never tackled anything even remotely close to that size or speed, wouldn't you want to have that well in hand before you enter the event?

      22 is not too old--there was a horse at the CCI* I did in 2005 (my horse was 18 at the time!) who was TWENTY THREE. A N3D is not that demanding on a horse with reasonable fitness and soundness. But it would be a lot for a pair that had not prepared for it at all.

      However, if you're prepared to put in the homework between now and then, and to answer the rest of your questions, it's entirely possible to bicycle the roads and tracks or to rent a golf cart or bring a scooter and do them. You can also hack the whole thing, which is a good idea anyhow as part of it runs past a small-scale hobby railroad that some horses find very freaky.

      If you have even a couple of helpers to assist at the 10 minute box and C hold (if there is one) it is not that tiring. But if you're not 100% healthy and think that's unlikely to change, maybe you should try to step up the fitness work if it's possible beforehand.

      Certainly you'd want to not have it be the very first exposure to XC for the year, but there's plenty of time for schooling before early June!
      Click here before you buy.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
        If you're asking those sorts of questions, you are probably not ready. The jumps on SC should be the very least of your worries--but if you've never tackled anything even remotely close to that size or speed, wouldn't you want to have that well in hand before you enter the event?

        22 is not too old--there was a horse at the CCI* I did in 2005 (my horse was 18 at the time!) who was TWENTY THREE. A N3D is not that demanding on a horse with reasonable fitness and soundness. But it would be a lot for a pair that had not prepared for it at all.
        I still need an answer to my question, how big ARE the jumps? I never have jumped 3'7", and if they are really 2' high there is no reason for me to! Should you be going Training level to do a N3D? I also wonder this because I saw the T3D dressage has half-passes in it, and T dressage does not...so you should be doing P level dressage before a T3D?

        I wouldn't have worried last year about my horse's fitness, but since I barely had the energy to ride 3-4 times a week (20-30 min most rides) for the last 2 months...though he IS a TB. He and his girlfriend did some fine galloping work Saturday after no real T/O for 6 days, maybe he doesn't need riding to be fit. Also, it's not so much his age I worry about, but there's that melanoma at his head-neck junction that makes me wonder if doing dressage will become cruel in the future.

        Re: plenty of time before June to school x-ctry: IF the ground ever gets a chance to dry before then!
        That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...


        • #5
          As a person with an auto-immune disease (Sarcoidosis), who also has dehydration issues, I would be more worried about you, than your 22 year old horse. If you are already tired, while only riding 3-4 days/week, then you might be setting yourself up for a really bad weekend.

          Since this would be the first event of the year for you and you are having health issues, I would pass and just run Novice. Are there any other Novice 3-Days later in the year that you could do?
          When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


          • #6
            The steeplechase jumps are not that big at IEA n3d.
            LAZ and her crew lower them from the T3D, and they are quite do able and friendly.
            I don't know if you can see this pic or not, but this is my horse and I over a n3d SC jump, They were under 3'3 and maybe even around the 3 ft mark:

            Maybe LAZ will see this and she can answer some of your questions.

            I didn't do any conditioning work, but I had hacked up and down hills for the entire winter so my horse was very fit. (we did not make it out of the vet box, but that is another story and not related to his fitness)

            If you are undecieded, start getting ready like you are going. Start hacking, walk up and down hills as much as you can.

            You don't need to be doing Prelim dressage for a T3D. the N3D test has more questions in it than a normal novice test, but its very doable.
            "Hell yes I can ride. I was riding when I fell off!"


            • #7
              I would also worry a lot about the horse's conditioning. He's going to need well conditioned tendons to do all that galloping. My old man (22 yo TB) badly sprained a tendon just galloping with me in a field when he was out of condition thanks to winter. (Buzzard came up off the ground right in front of us and he took off.)
              "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
              Thread killer Extraordinaire


              • #8
                If there is a HALF PASS in the T3D dressage test, I'll eat my hat. There might be a half CIRCLE.

                I'm not trying to be negative, but if jumping a brush fence that may or may not be 3'7" is a huge potential issue, then what about the maximum table that has a spread of 3'3" on top and close to 5 feet at the bottom? (Novice)

                Yes, I think one should be at or pretty close to doing Training level or at least really, really solidly competent at Novice before doing a N3D. It is a great test, in fact, to see if one is ready to move up as the speed on XC (400) is closer to Training, and the speed on SC is solidly Training speed.

                What I'm trying to say is that there is so much more to XC than the yardstick height of the obstacles.
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  Admittedly, I know little about the N3DE, but have been involved, in some way or another, with long format one stars a few T3DEs....and, if the novice 3D is like any of those, I think you should be expecting a "championship" level event (which is why the T3DE has LEG YIELD- not half pass- in it, and the courses are usually about as big and bold as you'll see for that level). I could be wrong.

                  But, really, I am with those who are more worried about YOU than your horse or your prep or even really your skill level. If you can barely tolerate riding 3 or 4 days a week (at 20-30 minutes), how are you going to manage 3 or 4 days in a row of competition?


                  • #10
                    The xc course was seperate from the regular novice and had much harder questions than a regular novice at IEA

                    You do need to be ready to move up to training or have a very ride-able horse who will do their job.

                    You can get fit enough to do this..... but you need to start now and really really work at it. 6 days a week with a lot of engaged walking in the beginning.
                    "Hell yes I can ride. I was riding when I fell off!"


                    • #11
                      Hi guys,

                      Late to the party, I've been crazy busy & not on the forums as much lately.

                      I feel like a proper 3 day should be a step up from a regular horse trials. Both of our 3 day courses are longer & more of a "championship" caliber than the regular courses; they share many fences but the 3 days have challenging combinations and are longer. They're within the specs for the level, so there is certainly not anything out there that would be out of line but you want to be pretty confident at your level.

                      Steeplechase drops down to Novice brush specs, and we have a very nice steeplechase school available on Friday to all competitors--you'll get supervised schooling over a brush fence that is identical to the ones on phase B. Our steeplechase for the N3DE has one fence on each long side, done twice.

                      Any other questions please let me know!

                      Lee Ann


                      • #12
                        And entries are open, officially, I believe, for the N3D but the "official" Horse Trial opening date is TOMORROW! I will be getting my entry in bright and early!
                        Click here before you buy.


                        • #13
                          I think you need to be realistic, and if you are right now able to ride 20-30 minutes at most, neither you nor your horse will be fit enough for endurance day. I haven't done a N3d, but at the T3d, you are in the saddle for more like 45-60 minutes -- all of that is either continuous posting trot, steeplechase gallop, or a beefy cross country course. You do have a 10 minute break in the vet box but I would say you have to be fitter as a rider than doing a regular Novice (just like your horse should be fitter than regular Novice), or you risk going out on D really tired.
                          The big man -- my lost prince

                          The little brother, now my main man


                          • Original Poster

                            Couple clarifications:
                            I also ride my other horse 3-4 times/week for 20 mins, so not just one horse. One reason I hate to give up now is that I usually do OK energywise at horse trials, maybe just being away from work helps. Also I'm going to take some time off and rest instead of going to Mill Creek, so thought I may be feeling better by IEA time.

                            The info about the N3D being a move-up is helpful. We did try Training once and that didn't go so well, but I still feel we could do more than Novice (wish someone in the area would do a TN division!) Maybe not this year though... We have been doing Novice for 10 years now.
                            If there is a HALF PASS in the T3D dressage test, I'll eat my hat.
                            Oops, when I said half-pass I meant leg yield. Still, it's not in T tests but is in the T3D. Now I see YB said this also.
                            Are there any other Novice 3-Days later in the year that you could do? .
                            No. I'm in IL. Unless one of the KS events decides to do a N3D--but I know one of them tried and cancelled due to lack of entries.

                            Well, I think I'm going to cancel part of my requested days off from work--which is why I'm stressing about this now rather than in a few weeks. I'll plan to check out the SC fences and hopefully I won't be saying "Dang, we could have done it."
                            That's fine, many of us have slid down this slippery slope and became very happy (and broke) doing it. We may not have a retirement, but we have memories ...