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Moving up the levels

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  • Moving up the levels

    It seems so odd to me that a horse and rider would move up the levels i.e Novice once, Training etc after only less than one year for both.
    Last edited by dustyeventer; Jun. 17, 2013, 08:30 AM.

  • #2
    I understand moving from BN to N and maybe to T pretty quickly. Most people I know hang out at T or Prelim for a bit, and then start moving up again (if they move up more than Prelim. They are brave souls!).
    Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

    Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010

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    • #3
      Im pretty sure if a horse is rideable and an easy ride at BN or N there is not much point in spending a whole season at that level if the rider is looking to event at a higher level. A lot of accomplished riders start their young ones out at N then move right up to Training or Prelim.
      Boss Mare Eventing Blog
      https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dustyeventer View Post
        It seems so odd to me that a horse and rider would move up the levels i.e Novice once, Training etc after only less than one year for both. Horse and rider no formal lessons prior. Watching this scares me and even though one may be able to get around a prelim course does not mean they are really ready for the questions asked. Just my opinion. What do you think?

        I think it is hard to say. I started eventing at Training level.....on an OTTB. It was his first time eventing (or really showing) ever as well as mine. I wouldn't say I had a lot of formal training in eventing...but I did have a lot of training as a jump rider AND had some help from good event riders before that event (several xc schools). I think dressage was pretty painful to watch...but jumping we were just fine. I rarely ever did more than one novice with any horse for years. A good natural rider on a reasonably athletic horse can easily do training level--even with little to no formal training. It may not be polished or competitive but can be safe.

        Someone else can take lessons forever and may never safely be able to ride around novice (which is just fine). So it really depends on the individual how quickly or safely one can progress.
        Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; May. 24, 2013, 10:29 PM.
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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        • #5
          I think it depends a lot on the rider's past experience, and the individual horse. If the horse has done several novices and BNs and so has the rider then I do not see a big deal in moving up to training if novice is too easy for them both. If they want to win though they will need some formal training and also to move up to Prelim they will need professional training. I see no reason why a competent pair who is fit and safe and are BOTH ready to move up to training shouldn't. After all, some people don't even start eventing until training level. Remember when they didn't even HAVE training or novice??

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          • #6
            I did one unrecognized Tadpole on my horse, then six months later one recognized Beginner Novice and again about six months later moved up to Novice recognized where I hung out for awhile. Between the shows, I did XC school and also did two clinics with Ralph Hill. He was the one who told me to go ahead and run Novice. Neither one of us had ever evented prior to this, but we were very solid XC. I really think it depends on the horse and rider combo.

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            • #7
              So neither horse nor rider had any formal experience prior (you do not say how much informal experience), but are going Training after a year of lessons? And thinking about or actually going Prelim? That does not really seem that unreasonable if you have a brave, willing, athletic horse and a rider to match, and a really good coach.

              Jennifer
              Third Charm Event Team

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              • #8
                Sounds like there's an axe in need of grinding somewhere. Everyone's goals and paths to those goals are different in this sport. It's OK. No, nobody likes to see THAT rider who makes everyone cringe, but I'm fairly sure I've BEEN that rider a time or two, so I try hard not to get TOO judgmental.
                Click here before you buy.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                  Sounds like there's an axe in need of grinding somewhere. Everyone's goals and paths to those goals are different in this sport. It's OK. No, nobody likes to see THAT rider who makes everyone cringe, but I'm fairly sure I've BEEN that rider a time or two, so I try hard not to get TOO judgmental.

                  Yeah...I'm still that rider in dressage.....
                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dustyeventer View Post
                    It seems so odd to me that a horse and rider would move up the levels i.e Novice once, Training etc after only less than one year for both.
                    My horse Bailey and I did this. We hadn't evented before last year. I'd spent six months in VA (horse heaven, IMO) and I'd ridden with some good trainers, done XC, hunting, a couple combined tests, but Bailey had never done formal dressage before. We did A LOT of schooling shows...one at BN to start with, then a couple months later and after some lessons we moved up to Novice. There was no point in staying at BN...the jumping wasn't an issue, and there wasn't a big enough difference in the dressage tests to hold us at BN. I found an awesome trainer later in the summer, and we did our first recognized at Novice in November.

                    Over the winter we worked HARD...dressage got polished, show jumping became our nemesis, but we schooled and schooled some more. We schooled Training level XC obstacles in the fall, so this spring we really didn't bother with Novice when we went out. We did one combined test at Novice, then a schooling one day event at Training on arguably the toughest course in SoCal, and went to our first recognized event of the year at Training. Once again the Show Jumping Demon reared its nasty head, but we got around safely and had zero issues on XC.

                    Now, would *I* personally be be-bopping around a Training level course without lessons first? Hell no. I can't even imagine doing it at Prelim. But moving up the levels in a short amount of time, if the horse and rider are prepared, is very do-able.
                    runnjump86 Instagram

                    Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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                    • #11
                      Not that long ago there was no novice/BN/intro etc.
                      I love that we have more options now, but it shouldn't be a requirement to spend a lot of time at each.

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                      • #12
                        I did a small handful of BNs over a couple of years (like 3 or 4), since there were only two events in my area. Once I became a WS, I did one novice and then went training. Granted, I was on a made horse, but he was only "easy" on xc.

                        To each their own. I am not a big fan of spending endless amounts of time at one level because you're "supposed to." People and horses should move up when they feel ready and are comfortable. For some people, that means a long time at each level. For others, it does not.

                        (Am I the only one who suspects a troll?)
                        Amanda

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                        • #13
                          Not the only one.... I suspect some ill feelings

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                          • #14
                            When I started eventing as a kid (on a horse who had about as much experience as I did) we did 1 unrecognized event at BN (?), then did 3 novice events, then training all in a matter of 18 months. Spent 2 seasons at training and moved up again. I KNOW people thought my mom and I were crazy. They told us so. But, my mare was SO honest and I was brave (WAS! Lol). It worked for us and I got tons of experience in a short amount of time.
                            Yes, I ride a pony. No, he would not be ideal for your child. No, he is not a re-sale project...

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              No ill feelings. Just a concerned family friend, looking for the opinion of other experienced eventers on the COTH. I don't want to see this person end up in a bad situation . I have been there done that in younger years as well. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

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                              • #16
                                Good that he/she has people looking out for them!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by dustyeventer View Post
                                  No ill feelings. Just a concerned family friend, looking for the opinion of other experienced eventers on the COTH. I don't want to see this person end up in a bad situation . I have been there done that in younger years as well. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
                                  If they are getting help now, they may be just fine. I had an OTTB that with good instruction we moved from his first event at Novice up to Prelim in one season. That was my first Prelim. I had only been eventing for maybe 1.5 years before then. Prelim is a good level to put miles on with an athletic horse and rider. But it really does depend on the individual.
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by dustyeventer View Post
                                    No ill feelings. Just a concerned family friend, looking for the opinion of other experienced eventers on the COTH. I don't want to see this person end up in a bad situation . I have been there done that in younger years as well. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
                                    I went from BN to Prelim in a year and a half when I was 15 on a horse that had never evented but had shown jumpers all his life. I had a jumper coach and we made it around clean and safely at every event. It can definitely happen, it is pretty common, especially if you have a good horse!
                                    Boss Mare Eventing Blog
                                    https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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                                    • #19
                                      And now for a completely different perspective...

                                      I train with a very "old school" trainer who maintains that the main problem with eventing horses and riders "these days" is that the horses and riders are moving up the levels too quickly. While a horse may be capable of jumping 3'7" doesn't mean you should ignore the basics and move on up without putting your time in building confidence at the lower levels. My trainer insists that each horse/rider combo start at BN with two or three competitions, then compete at Novice for at least 4 successful competitions ("successful" = double clear with a dressage score lower than 50), then compete at Training for at least 4 successful competitions ("successful" = a maximum of 1 rail in stadium, clear cross-country, less than 10 seconds in time penalties, and a dressage score of less than 50), and so on. While this may be overkill in some people's minds, I don't think building confidence is ever overkill. Sure, it may take longer to reach a certain level, but your basics will be all the better for it.

                                      And this reminds me of an excellent musical analogy... I was once told that the great cellist, Pablo Casals, practiced Bach's unaccompanied cello suites for 12 years before he considered himself good enough to perform them in public. Mastering something can take years of practice, but the journey is just as fun as the destination...so why rush it?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by PrinceSheik325 View Post
                                        And now for a completely different perspective...

                                        I train with a very "old school" trainer who maintains that the main problem with eventing horses and riders "these days" is that the horses and riders are moving up the levels too quickly. While a horse may be capable of jumping 3'7" doesn't mean you should ignore the basics and move on up without putting your time in building confidence at the lower levels. My trainer insists that each horse/rider combo start at BN with two or three competitions, then compete at Novice for at least 4 successful competitions ("successful" = double clear with a dressage score lower than 50), then compete at Training for at least 4 successful competitions ("successful" = a maximum of 1 rail in stadium, clear cross-country, less than 10 seconds in time penalties, and a dressage score of less than 50), and so on. While this may be overkill in some people's minds, I don't think building confidence is ever overkill. Sure, it may take longer to reach a certain level, but your basics will be all the better for it.

                                        And this reminds me of an excellent musical analogy... I was once told that the great cellist, Pablo Casals, practiced Bach's unaccompanied cello suites for 12 years before he considered himself good enough to perform them in public. Mastering something can take years of practice, but the journey is just as fun as the destination...so why rush it?
                                        Yeah but even following that formula...you can still be from BN-Prelim in one year.

                                        Me...I believe it depends on the horse and it depends on the rider. I've had horses that only did one novice before going training....and other horses who I kept at novice for almost a year. I've had a few horses who only needed 3-4 training level runs before being ready for Prelim...and others who needed to be at Training for a few seasons. I've had a few of my own horses who I had no desire to EVER run above training....and others that I'm comfortable to take up the levels You can not put all horses or all riders on the same schedule. You have to adjust depending on a number of factors.
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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