What I find so frustrating is that I am well prepared for the level, and this was a question I KNEW that my horse and I were not ready for. Our entire course ran the same track as the CIC**! Hello, what about those of us that have just moved up to the level, or heaven forbid, our going out on our first Intermediate trip??? My pony and I had done 10 Prelims, a CIC*, and one Intermediate, finishing all of them. We were one pair of nine, to finish out of our 20 horse field. We had a run out at the corner brush in the arena.
Why aren't course designers providing us with an option? The rider can make the judgement call on whether or not their mount is ready for that type of question, or whether they'll take the time penalties, go the longer route, and build their horse's confidence? My poor pony tried his heart out for me, and although I don't think there will be any longterm issues from this incident (he's a cocky little bugger), I would preferred to have not faced him with that question yet.