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Area 2 - Whats a good Novice move up?

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  • Area 2 - Whats a good Novice move up?

    Hey everyone, I'm sure I'm not the only one out there that can't wait for winter to be over and for Spring to get out there and event (or just get out of the indoor, lol)

    Last year was my first season doing Recognized and I did BN all year. We had a great season and improved with every event.

    So the goal for 2010...start out at BN (recognized or unrecognized, whatever works with schedule) and then move up to N in the summer...

    So my question to all of you....what do you think is a good move up course from BN to N and why do you think that.

    Anyone one with info specific to Plantation/Surfire/Loch Moy would be great.

    Also - do you think that the move up should be at an unrecognized or it doesn't make a different (except for the checkbook).

    Thanks in advance!!

  • #2
    I haven't been to Plantation and haven't done Surefire in a while, but I moved my green horse up to Novice at Loch Moy recently...
    it was a nice, inviting course, very simple half coffin (sometimes just a ditch), gentle waters etc.
    Downsides for Loch Moy: course is compact, snaking back and forth in a smallish space -- doesn't really matter to the horse but if you have trouble remembering where you are going it can be a challenge!
    There is a novice trakhener -- not scary, and they often put fill in it, but it's at the bottom of a hill and you have to ride forward to it.
    And they do have the "porthole" jump -- a table with round circles of darker wood across the face. Some horses don't like this jump...

    And if you are not 100% about moving up, or want to do it gently, then doing an unrec. first is a nice way to go -- just make sure it is a GOOD unrecognized. Waredaca might be a nice option there.
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man


    • #3
      I have done novice at all three recently....all are straight forward and easy.

      Plantation is probably my pick for xc....love their course. My guy is entered Novice there in April as his move up....so are a bunch of other horses. It is usually a nice inviting course, good flow and good galloping!

      Anyway....I don't think you would be wrong at any of them. Sounds like you have done your homework....bet you will be fine! Pick the one close to your home (so you don't have the added stress of a long trip)...and the one that fits in your schedule....then go and have fun!
      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


      • #4
        I am just adding that you may want to consider NJHP horse trials in July, also, since there are two published schoolings there in June to get you ready, too.
        Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
        Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


        • #5
          I also like Fair Hill. It is a one day and you go straight from stadium to xc so the stadium acts as a warm up. You can also hack up to the jumping the "back way" and go through the stream so wet feet before having to do it on course. I always really like the xc at Fair Hill.

          I think the xc at Plantation is good if your horse is fit enough and you as a pair balanced enough to be comfortable on the hills, but I think the stadium is on the tough side as it is on grass and not level
          OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


          • #6
            I moved my guy up to Novice at Loch Moy. It is a lovely course and there is nothing too difficult. The water is a pass through and the ditch is practically nonexistent. Dressage and stadium are on footing, which is very nice. Stadium is probably the toughest part there. It tends to be maxed out with lots of twists and turns.


            • #7
              Not to steal this thread, but how is the Fork for a novice move up?


              • #8
                Last year Loch Moy had two HTs close together, and specified one that was an easier move up course, and one was a true test. Look at the omnibus to see if they're doing this again.

                Waredaca's unrec. HTs are great to move up, I did novice there in the early summer and it was novice dressage, novice sj, but a pretty bn cross country course, so that's an option.


                • Original Poster

                  Thank you everyone for the feedback so far.
                  Any additional thoughts are appreciated.


                  • #10
                    I've done novice at Plantation and Fair Hill and I think either would be great, with Plantation maybe edging out FH by just a smidge. Both are wide open courses, inviting jumps, canter-through-water, etc. As a previous poster said stadium at Plantation is on a bit of an angle but it's not too bad, and it's good prep for the xc which is on the side of a hill! My opinion is that your horse needs to be in better shape for Plantation - running up and down takes its toll.

                    I do remember my first recognized novice was at Fair Hill which I thought rode easier than the unrecognized events I did there. I'm not alone in thinking that either!

                    I think doing unrecognized first would be a good idea, if for no other reason that if things don't go as planned you aren't out as much money.

                    Good luck and have fun!