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riding question

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  • riding question

    i am a lower level eventer who's been competeing at the "Elementary level" at schooling shows for the last couple of years..I am hoping to move up to Beginner Novice in the spring..now my question is: what is the difference between beginner novice and elementary? also, i tend to ride on the outside of my ankles, will that affect me at all at this level? and i've also been dealing with confidence issues as a result of some bad falls, how can i get over them?

  • #2
    You can move up a day too early, but you can never move up a day too late. So, if you are having confidence issues, my suggestion would be to stay at Elementary until you are truly bored at that level and regularly and confidently schooling BN and some N questions.

    It would be difficult to suggest ways to help you to gain confidence without knowing how and why you lost it in the first place, but many people gain the confidence they need through positive experiences on a good horse. Jumping more fences safely, successfully and in good form is typically the cure...


    • #3
      Have you had a chance to do any XC schooling of BN level yet? Do you have a good trainer? I would try to get in as much schooling in as possible to ensure that you are ready, especially in the confidence area.
      -Debbie / NH

      My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/


      • #4
        I would also suggest walking a couple beginner novice courses at any local shows (either if you still are competing elementary or if you aren't competing at shows). If the course and fences make you feel uncomfortable then you aren't ready.
        If you don't have a coach, I would highly recommend finding someone in your area to help you school.


        • #5
          the prior advice is correct, and to add if you are having issues with your riding position (ankles) you should get a trainer..... a person on the ground can point out things so much better than you are a rider can.
          going from E level to BN level should be easy if you and your horse are ready!! have fun!!!

          and to be sure seek the help of a local pro even if for only one or two sessions.
          owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.


          • Original Poster

            I do have a trainer,and as for schooling Beginner Novice level jumps, i did do some over the summer, but not right now as there is snow on the ground here in NH...My trainer has kept me at the elementary level for the past 5 years..and as for why i lost confidence, i was riding with my equine science class during school when my horse spooked and bucked,sending me crashing down on my back,my head snapped back when i landed and that sent me too the hospital with a neck injury(this was in October)..ever since then,i've noticed that whenever i've ridden that horse,my confidence has been shaken


            • #7
              All of the above suggestions are very good ones, especially the one about not making the move up, until you are bored with elementary.

              As for getting back your confidence, I would suggest that you read:
              "That Winning Feeling" by Jane Savoie and "Heads Up" by Dr. Janet Edgette

              Both books have helped me with confidence issues.
              When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


              • #8
                I would also say that if a trainer keeps you at Elementary for FIVE years, that's a LONG time. I would suggest trying clinics or outside lessons with other trainers. They may restore your confidence and give you some perspective on whether this is a good trainer for your needs; I lost years to a trainer that didn't put much into me, held me back so that she could combine my lessons with those of another student so scheduling worked better, etc. On the other hand the trainer may be holding you back because you need to be held back. The questions you're asking are those you should be asking an instructor, and if you can't ask those questions, I'd say it's time for a new instructor. Watch some other lessons, too. See if your trainer is proactive (gives corrections while you're doing something--"sit up more . . . good, now don't cut the corner") or retroactive ("you should have sat up more coming into the vertical and made a wider turn to the rollback"). See if the trainer is focusing on improving your position (ankles, etc), teaching you how to get the most out of the horse, etc. or if he/she is just running you through some exercises with some advice thrown in.

                Best of luck!


                • #9
                  What part of NH? Southern NH? There are some REALLY GREAT eventing coaches in S. NH.

                  "Elementary" is not an official level- and thus has many different values depending on the schooling show you are at. Elementary is usually between 18" and 2', where BN is 2'7". It's a pretty big jump. Also, depending on the show, it could be a WT test or a WTC test. That also makes a difference.

                  If you've been doing WTC tests with the 2' jumps, then I would recommend trying to find an event that has a 2'3" course, just to do one before moving up. If you've been doing WT tests with 18" jumps, trying to find an event with a WTC test and only 2' jumps.

                  Groton Pony Club in Groton, MA runs a very nice 3-phase in May that has a 2'3" level with a WTC test. It's a nice "in between" Elementary and BN. Also, Pipestave Hill in West Newbury has a challenging 2' course with a WTC test. A friend of mine did it who usually does 2' and she found it very challenging on both her and the horse.

                  Good luck!

                  ETA: you know, you don't need to move up doing a "clean break" from elementary. You can always do a BN 2-phase and then do an elementary 3-phase, or do a BN 3-phase and if you didn't finish, go back to elementary to have a nice confidence building ride.
                  Last edited by Ruth0552; Dec. 30, 2009, 09:05 AM. Reason: Adding


                  • #10
                    If you have a trainer, I would hope they could explain to you the differences at the next level.


                    • Original Poster

                      i'm kinda southern NH..i'm in the Dover area..and as for my trainer,i've also noticed that she's let younger kids who are afraid of horses,etc move up levels...and when i've asked her about the differences all she says is "its a big difference" whereas i've talked to other trainers and stuff who say there's really not much of a difference at all


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Auburn View Post
                        All of the above suggestions are very good ones, especially the one about not making the move up, until you are bored with elementary.

                        As for getting back your confidence, I would suggest that you read:
                        "That Winning Feeling" by Jane Savoie and "Heads Up" by Dr. Janet Edgette

                        Both books have helped me with confidence issues.
                        "That Winning Feeling" is AWESOME. Helped me overcome some confidence issues, as well as my Type "A" perfection complex(=:


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EightBelles134 View Post
                          when i've asked her about the differences all she says is "its a big difference" whereas i've talked to other trainers and stuff who say there's really not much of a difference at all
                          Your trainer should be more open with you, especially since it sounds like you're really trying to learn and improve as a rider.

                          A lot of schooling shows offer an "Intro" or "baby beginner novice" level that would be inbetween Elem and Beg. Novice

                          There is a pretty big difference between Elem (unrecognized) and Recognized Beginner Novice (fees, rules, etc).
                          http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                          • #14
                            I started competing this year and I did the move from Elementary to BN over the Summer. I would say that there was a somewhat big difference for me, not that the jumps were really all that bigger or more technical, but I think it was more of a mental thing. I kind of had to make that leap where I was a bit chicken and so was doing a lot of trotting in my jump courses, to where I was ready to canter and gallop everything. I was really fine, once I got over that mental hurdle. Perhaps your trainer doesn't feel that you're ready to make that mental switch yet, due to your confidence issues. Still, she should be able to explain her reservations about moving you up to you -- have you asked her to?

                            I would say that, assuming your trainer feels that you're ready, start the Area I season off by doing elementary at a couple of schooling events. See how much you can school BN during those months and target an event over the Summer to try a BN if all goes well and your trainer agrees. You don't have to right now declare that you're at E or that you're at BN. Start in your comfort zone, do the schooling, set an event as a goal for BN and work towards it as the season progresses. And communicate with your trainer. Maybe she doesn't realize that you want to move up -- perhaps she thinks you're happy where you are.
                            -Debbie / NH

                            My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/