Weekend Wrap Up: XC Schooling PWP

This weekend a fellow boarder and I went cross country schooling at a local park. My main objective was to school over some novice height obstacles. I try to set a plan for schooling but with a green horse main objective is always to keep things positive. Primarily I wanted to school some hanging/airy jumps (before tackling the one I built) and to get Annie into another water complex. The rest of it was just for me to help mentally prepare for our move up in October. Annie did not disappoint which should come as no surprise though!

She was very confident and while we have been showing both over fence phases in a simple full cheek I might have to add a little more brakes because sassy pants thought it would be fun to gallop everything or land with a firecracker up her butt.

I didn’t get pictures of most of the stuff we schooled so here are some pics that I snatched off CourseWalk. We schooled almost all of the novice fences and even some training. How did I get so freaking lucky guys?

novice boat house PWPWhile schooling the water complex I asked Annie to drop into and jump out of the water. I thought it would be fun to go over a fence in the water and while this jump wasn’t water on take off and landing it gave me confidence that that question wont be an issue for Annie.
novice cabin PWPPWP has house jumps for days and Annie will jump them all!novice pole? PWP We were also able to jump a combination type question (not very close honestly)Β with the weird log jump above before getting to the chevron ramp below.Β novice chevron ramp PWPThe photo below shows the BN and N hanging logs. It is HUGE for me that when we were warming up over a set of 3 logs I worked my way up to the training log below and didn’t think twice about it.novice hanging log PWPI kind of assumed it was Novice and that the other smaller versions were starter and Beginner Novice. training suspended log PWP Apparently Annie isn’t the only one that has gotten braver. The logs were super inviting and it was no big deal at all to progress to the T level version of the fence. Though as mentioned above I did assume it was Novice before getting home and scoping out CourseWalk – there were no numbers up.
novice lattice PWP novice lobster roll PWP novice log cradle PWPnovice stone wall PWPMy favorite jump of the day was definitely the big training table below. When Annie cantered up to that beast like it was NBD I knew that she was loving life. She cemented that thought when we landed and she playfully started to buck.
training table PWPHow do you guys decide when its time to move up? I have never competed above Beginner Novice in eventing but I am always curious how fellow eventers (and trainers) determine when is the right time to move up.

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  1. Deep down I’m a chicken, so I do best with waiting to move up until I am bored to tears at a level. Since confidence and bravery doesn’t come naturally to me, usually this is accomplished by schooling quite a bit at that next level and then mixing in bigger stuff to make the move up level look small. My biggest issue was/is stadium (silly coming from the H/J world) and an irrational fear of square oxers and combos. So every lesson I have has plenty of square oxers and several one, two and three strides. Confidence is like a muscle-the more you practice, the stronger it gets.

    My last event before I moved up this year I was running XC and thinking “this is really easy”. So we moved up the next time out and I felt super confident.

  2. When I was eventing, I moved up when my horse told me he was ready (aka bored to tears), and then we stay at that level a little longer. THEN once his body was physically ready to compete at that level, we moved up. Then I stayed at training level for ages since I am a giant wuss, but schooled Prelim regularly without issues…one fence at a time haha. Never moved up though, some of those full courses were just too big for me to string together all at once. EEEEK. I think its best to first assess your own abilities, then the horse, and then think about the physical demands of it all and move up when all the pieces click!

  3. I move up when I’m bored or when I’m not peeing my pants over fences (ha!). Mare is bored with all the fences, so we move up when I’m ready/when she’s fit enough to jump bigger fences.

  4. You both look great! No advice on moving up, as I have only ever done one event at BN. I think having a horse that makes you feel confident is a huge part of it. When the current level starts to feel easy and you have a desire to jump bigger jumps, I think that’s a pretty good indication of a good time to move up.

  5. I have fallen off onto that big stone table with the #3 on it, haha!

    Dressage has always been my limiting factor in moving up. The big jumps don’t make me feel nervous on Moe, but I know our dressage is definitely not good enough to be competitive at Training level. (It’s barely competent enough for Novice, haha!)

  6. When we got bored! When 90% of the course was a snooze and we were competitive in all 3 phases, that was move up time. I think being competitive in the dressage is important because it tells you honestly that the flat wor fundamentals are there to handle the jumps which will get more technical as you go up the levels. I always the course should seem 70% totally doable and 30% soil yourself a little πŸ˜‰

  7. You guys look awesome! Honestly, I let my trainer tell me when to move up. He knows my horse’s ability and my ability SO well, that I truly trust his judgement. We have moved up the ladder in the jumper ring pretty quickly.In three years, I’ve gone from never doing an A show and starting in the .65m jumpers to showing successfully in the 1.30/1.35m at venues like WEF and Upperville. I credit this 100% to my trainer knowing my ability and pushing me just the right amount. I tend to think less of my own abilities and play it safe if I’m not pushed. However, thanks to his pushing, I feel confident that the move up to the 1.40m/1.45m will be happening sooner than I thought πŸ™‚