|Pony hiding in a pepper tree!|
First of all, my entries are in and hotel is booked for the Fresno County Horse Park event at the end of the month! We're headed up there tomorrow to do an XC schooling and I'm pumped!
Plus I'll be picking up my Micklem bridle tonight and am looking forward to trying it. It's a good week in horse-land.
So, on to a fun topic: moving up a level.
There's a lot of great articles about how to know when you're ready to move up. In fact, Denny Emerson wrote an article on it, as did Jimmy Wofford. And there's a few Evention TV videos on it too. I'm sure there are similar articles out there by pros for other disciplines as well.
I love this topic because there are so many different reasons that people have for moving up (or not). I hope you'll share your thoughts in the comments!!
Some of the schools of thought I've heard of or read are:
- If you have to ask, that means you're not ready.
- Move up when you're bored at your level.
- You should be in the ribbons regularly at your level before moving up.
- You should already be schooling one level above, and it should be going peachy.
- Move up every season, unless there's some sort of major issue.
- Move up as soon as you know how to do the movements for that level.
- Don't let fear or other people hamper your competition goals - move up as soon as you can.
- Move up when your trainer tells you to.
I've been asked a few times lately if I have plans to move up, which is what prompted this post. The answer is: not anytime soon. We are currently competing Beginner Novice, and I think we need a few more successful shows before I'd want to move us up to Novice. I'm in no rush. Hemie and I are having fun and still have plenty to learn at our level.
Since I can only afford to do about 3 horse trials a year, right now I foresee us competing at BN for the rest of this year, possibly into next year, before moving up to Novice. Our XC is solid and I think we could do a Novice course just fine (though I'd have to ride consciously to make the time). Stadium would be iffy - we would get through it but I'd rather have a few more double-clean rounds at BN first. And Dressage is still a major work in progress, so if I care about being competitive (which sometimes I do but typically I don't) then it would be prudent to wait until we have a better handle on that.
The factors that are most important to me in deciding when to move up:
- Trainer's opinion
Would love to know how other people decide! Please share your approach!