May 26, 2022

Rule Refresher: What Will Be Expected of Me at the Beginner Novice or Novice Level?

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
USEA/ KTB Creative Group photo

Preparing for your first horse trial and not sure what is expected of you at each level? Over the course of the next few Rule Refreshers, we will be diving into each level and the performance expectations of each phase. Want to better prepare yourself or your students for their first competition or a move-up? The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is a free resource to all USEA members that outlines clear and consistent guidelines for riders and trainers to refer to when navigating their way through the competition levels. You can access this guide by logging into your online services account.

Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules for Eventing with emphasis added by the USEA.

For an additional description of the types of obstacles that may be presented at a given level, please refer to the USEA Cross-Country Obstacle Design Guidelines, which are not specifically incorporated by reference.

Beginner Novice—The Beginner Novice level is designed to introduce green horses and riders to Horse Trials, combining dressage, cross-country and Beginner jumping tests. It is for competitors and horses that have already had experience in schooling competitions in all three disciplines. The goal for the experience should be educational to build confidence and a desire to progress.

a. Dressage: Competitors should be prepared to do a walk, trot and canter dressage test with 20-meter figures and a halt.

b. Cross-Country: Obstacles, solid in appearance, with ground lines where appropriate to enhance the fence profile.

  1. There must be no jumps before or after a water crossing within 78 feet (25 meters) before and 54 feet (16 meters) after.
  2. A step up and down, but not in combination, may be included. Ditches must be riveted and include a visible ground line that has rounded edges and is at least 6 inches (15 cm) above grade.
  3. The track of the course must avoid turns of less than a 20-meter radius.
  4. The course may not include more than one combination composed of two elements, where the fences must be a minimum of 33 feet apart or 54 feet after a ditch or step up.

c. Show Jumping: The jumping course should be inviting and straightforward, preferably with lines of 82 feet or more and may include only one double set on two strides, a minimum of 34 feet, which may include only one oxer at the a) part of the combination.

Novice—The Novice Level is a continuing introduction to Horse Trials. It is designed for competitors and horses with some experience at lower levels or for experienced riders and horses new to the sport.

a. Dressage: The dressage will not differ greatly from Beginner Novice.

b. Cross-Country: Obstacles, solid in appearance, with ground lines where appropriate to enhance the fence profile

  1. Obstacles in combinations should be a minimum of 33 feet apart, and an obstacle after a ditch or step up at no less than 42 feet (apart).
  2. Steps in combination may include: a step up followed by a step down at a minimum of 30 feet, two steps up at a minimum of 33 feet, or an obstacle after a step up of a minimum 30 feet.
  3. Water obstacles may include a step or single fence out of water or a single fence 45 feet before the water and a single fence 30 feet after water.

c. Show Jumping: The jumping course should be inviting and straightforward, preferably with lines of 82 feet or more and shall include only one or two doubles, set on two strides of a minimum of 34 feet. Each combination may include only one oxer at the a) part of the combination.

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Jun 29, 2022 Eventing News

USEA President Max Corcoran Appointed USEF Eventing Elite Program and Team Facilitator

On May 1, 2022, Max Corcoran was appointed as the Eventing Elite Program and Team Facilitator. In her role, Corcoran will support the areas of communication, logistics, and management of the teams for the Eventing Programs to deliver sustained success at World and Olympic Games level. As the Facilitator, she will work closely with the interim Chef d’Equipe/Team Manager, Bobby Costello, and eventing staff to build solid lines of communication with athletes, grooms, owners, coaches, veterinarians, and all stakeholders linked to the athletes and develop the structures around the Elite Program and senior U.S. Eventing Team.

Jun 29, 2022 Education

A Case for Warming Up (and How to Do It Correctly) with Kyle Carter

Imagine: you are at the biggest sporting event of your life. The stakes are high, and you have spent countless hours preparing for it. However, you are expected to just show up and immediately perform. You cannot stretch or take a practice swing. You have no time to loosen up or sharpen your eye. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Just like us, our horses need adequate time to warm up each day. A warmup is any preparation for work, and it is often the leading edge of that work. It is the small aid response that becomes the more advanced aid response.

Jun 28, 2022 Hall of Fame

Newest Invitation to USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame Extended to Trish Gilbert

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Jun 28, 2022 Rules

Rule Refresher: What Will Be Expected of Me at the Training and Modified Level?

Preparing for your first horse trial and not sure what is expected of you at each level? Over the course of the next few Rule Refreshers, we will be diving into each level and the performance expectations of each phase. Want to better prepare yourself or your students for their first competition or a move-up? The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is a free resource to all USEA members that outlines clear and consistent guidelines for riders and trainers to refer to when navigating their way through the competition levels.

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