Do you like technical courses at BE(90) and BE(100) level?

Any first time/ potental owners would you consider or would have in the begining?


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millitiger

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I think the jump from PN to Novice is already big enough- if they made PN easier but left Novice as it is then i actually think it could get dangerous as people begin to upgrade.
 

kick_On

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I would prefer to see good old fashion galloping course with stuff you see out hunting. I would like more consitancey with heights, as I did Daustney PN last year OMG it just like a Novice course and where as just did Broadway intro last year and it was defo well under height!!!
 

Sneedy

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I've put that I liked the technical courses when I was eventing, particularly when I was reaching the end of my intro days and looking to upgrade, I'd relish a challenging intro - was good prep too!

Although when we first moved up to PN I chose my course carefully as wanted to build confidence in myself and the beast, although, again after a few runs I was wanting a challenge!

I think its been mentioned on here before but maybe some sort of classification for the level may be useful for people as course vary hugely between venues??

Hope that all makes sense, and I know its BE90 and 100 now....I'm just rebelling!!!!
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Chloe_GHE

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I relish a more technical BE90 xc on Soap because he is v capable and experienced at XC, but I would do some research and investigate v carefully which intro I took a 1st timer too as some are pretty big and tricky for a young/inexperienced horse, but then again I don't think you should really be taking totally green horses BE. I did alot of unaff xc with him before we even started BE, and it shows in his results, what also shows is how little unaff SJ I did!!!!!
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icestationzebra

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I put 'more straightforward' but want to caveat that with a "I actually like some of the more technical questions but would like to be made aware of them when choosing which course to run at..." if that makes sense? I think there is quite a lot of variation at Intro and PN level now - it would be nice for there to be clear labelling on what was a good straightforward 'old fashioned' course, and what was a good one to do before a step up. That way riders can choose the right course for theirs and their horses level of training.
 

SpottedCat

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QR: you need a mix of both IMO. The straightforwards ones to introduce horse and rider to the level and the more technical ones to aid the step up.

TBH I think this is a rider issue - take the time to walk courses in the area at the next level up and do your homework before entering and you shouldn't have a problem picking where to go for what level of education. I did this - spent a season going and looking at events before I started, and now always walk the course above (if there is one) the level I am doing. I know exactly where to go for what as long as it is in my range of courses I have been to before, and if not I would ask people I trust. The one time I did not do this I cam a cropper, so it is well worth doing.
 

Chloe_GHE

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some sort of star rating system should be inplace eg

1 star easy/good 1st time course/few tricky fences
2 star fait test for a more experienced horse
3 star tricky with many more technical fences/shared fences with PN etc

and also if they know the course before hand some kind of spooky fence list online before you enter eg list the no of notable fences eg open ditches, corners, trakhenas etc

but then again maybe that defeats the object of xc to train your horse to be bold and brave whatever the question..,,,Hmmmmm....another can of worms anyone?....
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SpottedCat

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This 'sharing fences' issue - given that there are max heights etc for each level, I have never understood why people think something which shares a lot with another level makes it a harder course - it's only ever single fences and surely this means it is the higher level which is easier, not the lower level which is harder?!

I think it's all in the mind - there is an assumption that if it is in the course above it must be bigger/harder etc - but logically it can't be as there are limits on height/width etc for each level.
 

Joss

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Not entirely sure I have ever met a 'technical' BE90, the odd combination but really nothing to get too excited about. Baring in mind there is only so much you can do with a height limit of 90cm you would have to limit the horses/riders that did this level otherwise it would simply be a Dressage/SJ comp as the XC would be SO easy if it was made more straightforward.

I agree with the step up to Novice being reletively big as it is so no changes to BE100 required.

I think i am saying in a rather long winded way, leave it as it is. Although i think you should be required to move out of BE90 with 3 wins.
 

Bossanova

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I agree that I've never seen a technical BE90 course. Some BE100s are certainly 'upgrade' courses and you'd feel confident going up to novice if you've done one sucessfully but we need courses like this to prepare for the higher levels.
I've done a fair few BE90s on a variety of very average horses and have never been worried about how technical a track has been.
I agree a course rating system would be good but very hard to implement seeing as courses often vary hugley from year to year and course builder to course builder
 

chester1234

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Another can of worms here ...
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But I think half the horses that do intro nowadays couldn't get round an "old fashioned course". I think they're too dependant on the rider, and used to fences that aren't gappy / trappy / well presented. For the first time since a PC event two summers ago, I saw an "open corner" at Burnham Mkt ie there wasn't a panel on top of the corner. It was a good "old fashioned" looking fence, and boy it caused problems. I think the horses would also find it harder to get into a rhythm as they're so used to be fidgeted / hooked at XC for the technical fences.

But that's just MHO and probably completey wrong
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I don't agree that the jump from PN to Novice is big - I've walked some courses where I'd actually prefer the Novice track to the PN. I did Burnham Mkt as my first novice [not intended, the "introduce me to novice" event I was going to do got cancelled, so I ended up there first!
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] and yes it scared the pants off of me looking at the table, but the only technical fence was an angled bounce, and the table to corner. Other than that it was a nice course that required bold and accurate riding. I think the biggest jump PN - N is the SJ, and now the stressage. The XC I think isn't too bad.

I like to have "questions" but I think there should be more black flag routes available - I was shocked at Draycott that there wasn't a single black flag route on the N course, despite probably 50% of fences being skinnies. Gt. Witchingham Intro walked HUGE, but it rode really well as you could ride forwards - there was one technical fence, so you could get into a rhythm and "attack" the larger fences. You weren't constantly having to keep off the throttle to think about "that" corner or "that" dog leg.
 

Bossanova

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I dont agree that most intro horses rely too much on their riders- having sat and watched a lot of intro riding recently, most horses have to sort themselves out as their riders put them in god awful spots if left to their own devices!!
 

SpottedCat

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[ QUOTE ]
I dont agree that most intro horses rely too much on their riders- having sat and watched a lot of intro riding recently, most horses have to sort themselves out as their riders put them in god awful spots if left to their own devices!!

[/ QUOTE ]

Yep, with you on that! And there was an open corner in the last ever Charlton Park (in the novice) which rode absolutely fine and had the advantage of each rail being long enough that there was a long route whereby you jumped each rail separately so it had an option for those not wanting to do an open corner.

TBH a corner at intro is all in the riders mind too as basically they are a skinny palisade as none are so wide that you couldn't jump the widest point.
 

chester1234

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[ QUOTE ]
I dont agree that most intro horses rely too much on their riders- having sat and watched a lot of intro riding recently, most horses have to sort themselves out as their riders put them in god awful spots if left to their own devices!!

[/ QUOTE ]

I would agree that there are some riders at intro that really don't do their ponies any favours, but you also get the ones that "panic" a little bit at corners / angles / skinnies and over set up /everytime/. I've seen people setting up 15 strides away at a skinny log!
 

chester1234

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[ QUOTE ]
And there was an open corner in the last ever Charlton Park (in the novice) which rode absolutely fine and had the advantage of each rail being long enough that there was a long route whereby you jumped each rail separately so it had an option for those not wanting to do an open corner.

TBH a corner at intro is all in the riders mind too as basically they are a skinny palisade as none are so wide that you couldn't jump the widest point.

[/ QUOTE ]

This was still a seriously skinny corner, at Int, and the black flag route wasn't part of the same fence if that makes sense?
 

Chloe_GHE

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It's basically 'horses for courses' isn't it?...

If you have like me a bold xc horse with a big back catalogue then you will relish any slighlty more difficult fence on the course, and cringe at the sight of an up to height SJ track

but if you are out on a baby looking for a nice 1sr event you need to do your homework.

I think things would be easier if the description in the BE mag was more accurate. I entered Soap for his first ever intro at Mattingley and it had a PN corner 2 open ditches, 1 with a horrid approach betweent he PN fences and one 2 strides to a house, and a ski jump (which is now in the PN course) when I walked it I thought crikey this is 'good first time intro' as described in the BE mag?... went to bovington this year and it was positively tiny compared to Tdown/Larkhill/Mattingley. A more accurate description of the course is what's needed so that riders can gradually move their horses up the grades without having a huge gap in education resulting in an accident.

Same old thing really more openness in the sport will reduce accidents
 

wizoz

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I put no, i'd rather they were straight forward and the reason being is I think these courses should give horses confidence and not give them the opportunity to run out, stop, get scared. I remember doing several pre novice courses when I just started out and there wasn't even a skinny or a corner, now you get doubles of skinnies AND corners at Intro (BE90)!! Yes the work should be done at home to prepare horses for this but you were more likely to come out and compete on a green baby at pre novice height 10 years ago than you are now.

Once you feel ready to move up to Novice level, the emphasis should be on the training at home to get your horses prepared for combinations, skinnies, corners etc.

The lower levels USED to be aimed at the young horses starting out, now we have a wider spectrum of competitors I think they are more aimed at the Amateur, wanting to do something more technical yet only staying at the lower levels as they are not as ambitious.

This is just my opinion.
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LEC

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I have not yet come across a technical intro. I could not believe Bickenhall caused so many problems as the xc was very nice. I think it was probably laid out quite cleverly so that if riders did not ride properly they were caught out with lack of impulsion/straightness. Then again having watched the Sjing I am not surprised.

I love old fashioned courses that gallop and flow. Longleat has not been changed in years but it always gives you a buzz going round. Charlton Park was the same. You felt the horse grow in confidence all the way round. Nutwell used to be the same till they massacred it and made it far too easy. That is the kind of course I love.
 

punk

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Another point is that there are less hunter trials and pony club courses (at least oop north!) so less chance to get your horse out and about before going BE.

When I was young (many moons ago now!) Novice was the first class, and then straight on to Intermediate. You didn't do BE until you had done a lot of unafilliated first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

kerilli

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Talavera, was there really an angled bounce on the Nov course at BM? as in, you HAD to take it angled to do both elements, it wasn't by choice to angle it?
if so, i am truly shocked. i thought course designers had learnt their lesson with this particular fence...
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Bossanova

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[ QUOTE ]
Talavera, was there really an angled bounce on the Nov course at BM? as in, you HAD to take it angled to do both elements, it wasn't by choice to angle it?
if so, i am truly shocked. i thought course designers had learnt their lesson with this particular fence...
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[/ QUOTE ]

If it was last years Burnham then no, you didnt have to jump them on an angle- they were just slightly offset to allow you to jump them seperately but you could bounce down straight. They were really nice little rounded roll tops
 

rising_promise

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[ QUOTE ]
QR: you need a mix of both IMO. The straightforwards ones to introduce horse and rider to the level and the more technical ones to aid the step up.


[/ QUOTE ]

I agree with this. I haven't voted as yet because I think it depends on your situation. The previous horse I rode was very capable. We started at unaff then went to PN, and then to Novice for the last 2 seasons. She was an older horse by the time I got her, so bold and such a great XC horse because she'd had a great start to her XC career with her owner when she was young( I had her on loan) so even though we were doing much bigger stuff than she had done before (when I started riding her aged 11), the basics were there and she knew how to jump straight and in a very good XC rhythm. This meant we were able to jump the combinations and skinnies required.

I now, however, have a very green 6 yr old who I am teaching the basics. She has never evented and only really started jumping when I got her in October. She is coming along really well but I am struggling to find simple courses to take her round that don't involve complicated fences as she doesn't really understand them yet. Unaff seems to be worse to be honest so I am entering in her first Intro in July.

So, after rambling on and on, my point is that I would have loved really complicated courses with my previous horse and really relished the challenge- the more tricky the better we always said as she would never have a XC fault but now I really want something simple to educate my youngster, just straight forward fences, no skinnies on angles and turning combinations at the moment. I just want a bit of simplicity!

I agree the grading system would be very helpful, a great idea IMO
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rss07

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I have a youngster who is finding XC quite a lot to take in. I just want straightforward fences, at full width, which you can ride forwards to at low levels. He just needs to learn to go in a rhythm and jump whatever he comes to, but I find it hard to ride a wiggling baby forwards into anything narrower than abour 4 metres, so I would rather see the lower levels/lowest level just straightforward. You used to be able to do this at PC, but now novice area has also become Mini-Badminton, so you can't be sure of what you will find at PC these days.
 

wench

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I wouldnt have entered Shelford if I had known what the XC fences would have been like. My horse would have stuggled with the "technicality" of it on a very good day. He is capable of jumping the height (when he feels like it), but there are no unaff events that have anything like the drops, or huge wide fences in it that did.
 

jumptoit

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Personally I quite like the odd technical jump perhaps 3 or 4 out of 18 but then I am not riding a young horse - I am someone who would like to stay at Intro/PN for the foreseeable future because I don't think I am ready for the bigger fences but like a bit of a challenge at the level I enjoy. Although I can understand why people prefer more galloping tracks for young horses. Tbh I think a tiered system or a rating for each event is the way froward.
 

stencilface

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TBH, I find intro courses can be a bit boring!! If there are no questions at all, then the course really is more of a canter round the grass. As I will never get to the heady heights of Novice or anything above as I am far too much of a chicken over anything bigger than PN xc I find a technical course makes the ride more interesting.

And yes, I realise that PN is not as technical as a Novice, but that is my mental height/size limit of fences when it comes to xc so I would always prefer a more tricky PN than one with more fences you just take a flyer at
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CleverHorses

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I think having more technical fences at BE 100 is a good idea far more interesting to ride a tech course then a straight forward course. Maybe if you have a really tech course at BE 100 then don't build the xc to full height where the tech fences are have them a bit smaller. I think there should be BE 100 courses that are tricky to help set people up for novice.
 
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