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Commentary on lower level three days

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  • Commentary on lower level three days

    I would imagine that I am going to piss some of you off. I hope so. Just saw the most updated entry list for the Heart of the Carolinas Three Day which takes place in about two weeks. To say that I am disappointed with the response would be an understatement. Disclaimer here - I am in no way affiliated with this event, and yes, I have a family member entered and will be forgoing a driving trial in order to support him.

    I read a lot of chatter about bringing back the long format. In my sport, Combined Driving, most of my competitions are long format. The knowledge I have gained and the partnership I have forged while putting in the time to prep for these events is something you all can't duplicate.

    Just across the state line, in Area Three, is by all accounts, a lovely event, with top quality educators and a first class opportunity to learn. Why in heaven's name is this event not filled to capacity with a waiting list? Or is talk just cheap?
    www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

    www.pegasusridge.com

  • #2
    I am sorry that the lower level long format events didn't exist when I was actively eventing my mare. I hope some day again to be ready to do one, and I hope the format survives until a time when the economy gives people a bit more time and money to shoot for those kinds of goals.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

    Comment


    • #3
      Most people on this board are strong supporters of the long format. You're preaching to the choir.

      Comment


      • #4
        It was a big time goal for me to do a long format this year with my heart horse, either at N or T. Unfortunately, he fractured his elbow in a freak pasture accident right after AEC's last year. No showing for us.

        It's still a long term goal for me. Just not attainable this spring.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
          Most people on this board are strong supporters of the long format. You're preaching to the choir.
          My comprehension of the OP (which may be way off base, so, OP, correct me if I'm wrong), is that with all the hoopla and talk and whatnot that goes on about the long format and how it should be supported at all levels, that to see such low entries kinda seems like everyone is all talk and no walk.

          On a logistical side of things, I do wonder if early May is just too early for people to do a long format. Possibly, people just don't think they can fit for it? I know there are plenty of people in areas that this particular event could draw from that don't even get out to their first events until May. Maybe a change in time would draw greater numbers.
          Amanda

          Comment


          • #6
            Pegasusmom, I agree with your concerns. GMHA decided not to run a three-day this year because turn out was so light last year. When I did it a few years ago, it was fully subscribed, I believe.

            So why the drop off? It would be good to get some answers. Maybe the economy has had an impact. I don't necessarily think it's the sort of thing a lower level rider with lots of family and professional commitments can plan on doing every year. And then there's the horse who may have issues (as mine did last year or I would have gone again!).

            But if you haven't done one, please try to! It is a great experience for you AND your horse. And if you can't ride this year, volunteer and let the organizers know that riding is on your calendar.
            They don't call me frugal for nothing.
            Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh Pegasusmom, Feelin' frisky today are ya?

              Comment


              • #8
                I want to do one with Po. She's qualified, we're established at the level (Novice). However, there's a critical mass effect going on. The price of the N3D is several times as much as an N for me. The reason being, that with a regular N, I go with my team to wherever we are going. There are bunches of N events within 3 hours. I share trailering, hotel, coaching... we generally have 6-8 of us at every event.

                For me to go to an N3D from here would mean hauling one pony alone for 7 hours. I'd either have to hire my trainer for a full weekend for one student, which is not going to happen since she's far too busy, or hire competent grooms who know what they're doing for a 3-day, or wing it alone - which is intimidating.

                There's also not a Huge pull for me to do N3D over N. The XC jump rules are basically the same. Po and I are well established at this level, and we're basically a career BN/N pair. She may one day do one Training. Our 'excuse' is that she's 13hh and it will break her down too quickly to try to make the distances in Stadium and for every effort on an XC course to be almost at her max jumping height <<feel free to insert incessant comments here about how Teddy O'Connor was only 14.1 and ran Rolex etc etc yadda yadda, yes, I know, and I *think* I heared that before, and yes, I know, I do have a Horse as well and can use that horse to move up etc. I'm still not pushing Po to go Training, and Lucy is not even jumping X-rails yet, so again, irrelevant at the moment).

                I'm not the only one. There are many of us who are career lower-level eventers for life, or who are happy at a lower level for now. And with that comes boring boring boring boring XC. If I want to jump a coffin, it has to be at 3ft 3. We are simply not allowed to anything more mind-challenging than the very very simple combinations available at N. So, what's the point ? An N3D offers more expense, some tracks and trails, but absolutely No more fun stuff than any other N.

                Why not, since we're already saying people need to be established at the level even to enter ... why not let us do more technical fun stuff, at the lower heights ? It would be super-fabulous. You would all have an absolute blast watching us little guys flying over 2ft 11 skinny corners and cute little mini offset trakheners. It would be an absolute screaming hoot ! Can you imagine ? The huge benefit to people like me would be that you know, we've already gone through the fear and scaredyness, the mistakes, the second-guessing, the unnerved weekends that are a big part of moving up. We've done that. We're now happy and confident over our 2ft 11 XC jumps .... and we've honestly nothing more to look forward to apart from improving our dressage. And that's it. For life. Po is now done, finished, at age 11. Wouldn't it be great to give us old ladies on off-brand horses something else to spend our money on ? We're really never going to Rolex, you know. And we have money. And we're more than happy to spend it on eventing, and lessons, and clinics .... just give us something to spend it on, and we'll be there.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Are there others planned for this summer in the vicinity of Area 2? I'll be post-op for Heart of the Carolinas, but I'd love to volunteer once I'm a bit further along.
                  Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                  You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by frugalannie View Post
                    Pegasusmom, I agree with your concerns. GMHA decided not to run a three-day this year because turn out was so light last year. When I did it a few years ago, it was fully subscribed, I believe.

                    So why the drop off? It would be good to get some answers. Maybe the economy has had an impact. I don't necessarily think it's the sort of thing a lower level rider with lots of family and professional commitments can plan on doing every year. And then there's the horse who may have issues (as mine did last year or I would have gone again!).

                    But if you haven't done one, please try to! It is a great experience for you AND your horse. And if you can't ride this year, volunteer and let the organizers know that riding is on your calendar.
                    I was quite disappointed that GMHA cancelled this year as I was really hoping to do the Training 3-Day there. I will say that entry fees may be a part of the issue as you can attend about 2 1/2 events for the price of one long format. I think people forget about the educational opportunities that most of the long format events offer. I think a lot of people still don't fully understand what the long format is, especially the younger and/or newer riders to this sport and they don't fully comprehend the advantages of competing in a long format three day. I, for one, can't wait to go to a long format and I truly hope GMHA decides to run next year.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I looked at doing the one at IEA in early June...cost wasn't too much more than the regular HT ($450 vs. about $300), plus it's more of a clinic setting too. Being earlier in the year is more the issue since I haven't even hacked out yet due to all the rain and will have only done a few schooling things and 1 HT beforehand. I am a total supporter but would like to see more in the Fall once competitors have had time to get going.

                      I do remember seeing harder N options on the course at IEA last year, a friendly trakehner and more difficult bank complex than regular N. It absolutely should be tougher than a HT.
                      No Trouble
                      2/2/05 - 7/29/13
                      Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I can't find entry status anywhere, so don't know how many actually ran, but I'll comment on some possible reasons....

                        It is hard for the average working stiff to take 2-3 days off work in the current employment climate.

                        It is hard for the average working stiff to cough up $450 for a lower level event given the state of the economy. Not to mention running qualifiers and hiring a groom etc etc.

                        It is hard for a coach to justify taking their couple of riders who have managed to overcome the above, and spend 4-5 days at a lower level event, when they could instead wait a week, take 5 or 6 riders and spend 2 days at another lower level event making 3x as much money for half the time. Or take 5-6 riders to a one-day schooling event over a recognized course.

                        I'd love to support the event but it would be much easier with a regular HT run concurrently.

                        Jennifer
                        Third Charm Event Team

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
                          Most people on this board are strong supporters of the long format. You're preaching to the choir.
                          Apparently not if this event can take 40 entries and on closing day there are 23.


                          As a once and possibly future organizer. . . (ACME is looking for the Calgon right about now) I can say that these events won't survive if they are not supported. I understand it is a commitment money wise and time wise. But these events appear on the calendar every year at the same time. Plan ahead, save your money, bank your vacation days. . . sorry guys, it's just not that hard. Or don't be surprised when they are no longer offered.

                          SLR, feeling. . . ."frisky". Probably has to do with a stooo-pid mistake I made on Saturday that allowed me to fritter away a fabulous dressage score with the big E. Not every day you get to watch the driving equivalent of a 25 go down the drain. . . sigh. I'm just going to sulk around and stir up trouble this week.
                          www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                          www.pegasusridge.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            To the poster who asked about Area II long formats, Waredaca's is at the end of October. We ran a N3d and a T3d last year and had a good number of entries in both.
                            We DO run them concurrent (or more precisely, overlapping) with our regular HT. It is pretty darn exhausting to do this from the staff/volunteer point of view, but it may contribute to the healthy entry list we always have.
                            The big man -- my lost prince

                            The little brother, now my main man

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                              On a logistical side of things, I do wonder if early May is just too early for people to do a long format. Possibly, people just don't think they can fit for it? I know there are plenty of people in areas that this particular event could draw from that don't even get out to their first events until May. Maybe a change in time would draw greater numbers.
                              I would agree with YBs view that in part, the date is not a good one. Last year I think they ran it the same weekend as Rolex, but got a good (re full) turnout. It is still a bit out, so there may be last minute entries as people make last minute choices of Rolex bound (to watch) or not, horse okay or not, ready or not.

                              May is too early for almost anyone who is not able to ride multiple times a week over the winter and do conditioning work as well. Then there is the factor of the course and is one ready? My plan/goal is to go next year, even though I'm currently jumping BN, mainly because the course is championship level and we're not ready to run something like that. I want to go, but I want to finish as well.

                              If they were able to run this in the fall it would much better. Then its a great test to see if one is ready to move up (the jumps don't give you the willies), the horse is fit after a season of shows, and its more time to save for a show.

                              I'm one of those forever low levelers (52 and just starting out), but I will disagree with KateWooden on the idea that give the LL riders more technical courses and drop the LF approach. I'm an Eventer, not a extended Show Jumper. I'd rather they make stadium more technical and push the endurance aspect of cross country (which supports a LF support). Others have said what I've experienced, you do learn a lot preparing for and participating in a LF show. Certainly they cannot run as many as SF shows, but the point is to use the LF as a measure of how fit, you, your horse are and a one day schooling or two day HT wont be good enough.

                              Next year I feel I'll be ready and then every year after that I will go, but I do wish it were held not in the spring, but in the fall.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Just because. . . www.so8ths.com and check out the videos from the last two years. Jennifer, entry status is posted under rider info, along with the list of clinicians for this year.

                                ETA - My husband is a committed lower level eventer. He's just spent his first full season eventing, at age 56. If he makes it to training he will consider him self a huge success. To qualify at Novice level requires the rider to complete four novice level events. Complete. No MERs. Complete. It took about a six week commitment to a horse that gets ridden normally about 3-4 times a week to get ready for this event. This is not about getting to Rolex. It's not about giving lower level eventers more technical course (yikes), it's about providing a level of education that is being lost in eventing today.

                                Ok rant over.
                                www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                                www.pegasusridge.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  There are tons of events in this area leading up to the weekend that Southern 8s is holding the event. March/April are far better for conditioning in this area for a May LF than July/Aug are for a Sept LF. Last year it was the week after Rolex, just like this year. I'm one of only seven entered in the Training Three-Day, which is, as Pegasusmom said, a disappoint. I'm glad to be entered this year as I worry that there won't be many choices next year if competitors aren't supporting these events. As far as the entry fee, I'm getting both a clinic and a competition and stabling for the money spent, it IS more than just another HT. I get about a dozen minutes of saddle time at a one-day horse trial where I haul in (no stabling fee) for half the price of five days of demonstrations, clinics, lectures, practices, two horse inspections, a dressage test I've never ridden before and in a large ring, ROADS, TRACKS, STEEPLECHASE, x-c, and stadium. So, bang for buck, it's approaching a bargain.

                                  If people want to do something like this, they need to look at the options out there, pick one, put it on their calendar in ink, and plan the finances/time/etc. to make it happen. You make it a priority if it's important to you.
                                  Hindsight bad, foresight good.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Lots of Theories

                                    I worked hard with the Long Format Club for awhile and I am a strong supporter of the T3DE. I don't have all the answers but like all horse folk, I have some opinions...

                                    1) If they are not doing it at the upper levels, they are not teaching it at the lower levels. Who is getting the LLR stirred up about it?

                                    2) I am not a fan of the BN3DE or the N3DE for a whole bunch of reasons. Most folks I've talked to think they are fun (BN3DE and N3DE) and not as a tool to move up to the next level. Once a person has done a 3DE at any level, they've achieved it and see no reason to move up to the next level of 3DE.

                                    3) They are expensive to run and expensive to compete at. Without the push from a trainer who sees it as valuable, what is the reason to spend the extra money.

                                    4) It is the culture that helps sustain it and we no longer have that culture.

                                    5) The numbers of those that have competed at a long format at the Upper Levels are diminishing. My trainer has, supports it but feels that its dying and can't be saved.

                                    I could go on... I do no bashing because I truly hope that I will be able to do a T3DE before its extinct. I won't do either a BN or a N3DE... my Rolex is T3DE.
                                    Live, Laugh, Love
                                    http://confessionsofanaaer.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by KateWooten View Post
                                      There are many of us who are career lower-level eventers for life, or who are happy at a lower level for now. And with that comes boring boring boring boring XC. If I want to jump a coffin, it has to be at 3ft 3. We are simply not allowed to anything more mind-challenging than the very very simple combinations available at N. So, what's the point ? An N3D offers more expense, some tracks and trails, but absolutely No more fun stuff than any other N.

                                      Why not, since we're already saying people need to be established at the level even to enter ... why not let us do more technical fun stuff, at the lower heights ? It would be super-fabulous. You would all have an absolute blast watching us little guys flying over 2ft 11 skinny corners and cute little mini offset trakheners. It would be an absolute screaming hoot ! Can you imagine ? The huge benefit to people like me would be that you know, we've already gone through the fear and scaredyness, the mistakes, the second-guessing, the unnerved weekends that are a big part of moving up. We've done that. We're now happy and confident over our 2ft 11 XC jumps .... and we've honestly nothing more to look forward to apart from improving our dressage. And that's it. For life.
                                      The skill set to safely navigate the more technical questions is pretty consistent with the skill set for being confident and safe at slightly higher fences. "Flying" over more technical fences is not at all the direction IMHO that the sport should be going. If you want more challenge and are bored, then work on improving your skill set until the next level isn't daunting and intimidating. It's an inviting carrot!
                                      Hindsight bad, foresight good.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                        On a logistical side of things, I do wonder if early May is just too early for people to do a long format. Possibly, people just don't think they can fit for it? I know there are plenty of people in areas that this particular event could draw from that don't even get out to their first events until May. Maybe a change in time would draw greater numbers.
                                        This. I mentioned this issue in the Spring T3D thread last year in hopes that a T3D could be started at VHT. Early May is too soon for us Area IIers (and maybe III, I'm not sure) who don't go to Aiken and prepare early, or, in my case, don't have an indoor and can't get their horses three-day fit in time for competition.

                                        I would LOVE to go to Southern Eighths, but there's no way in hell I'd have my horse ready in time. I'm also short on vacation time and really can't blow $1,000 on gas/hotel/entry fees/etc. (I didn't have a trainer or groom at Midsouth last year, so that saved *some* money.)

                                        I'm hoping to go to the P3D at Midsouth this year, because last year's entries were so abysmal that I'm afraid this is the last year they'll hold it.
                                        Road to the T3D
                                        Translation
                                        fri [fri:] fritt fria (adj): Free
                                        skritt [skrit:] skritten (noun): Walk

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