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Novice Horse, Novice Rider Clarification

So I am looking to enter my new gelding in some schooling shows in the early spring. There is one that I am looking at in March, that has a set date but the prize list has not been posted. So in light of that, I have been relying on the past two year show bills to get an idea of what tests we should enter.

We currently school many of the maneuvers and concepts of the Training Level Test 3, but I plan on entering him in Training Level Test 1 since this will be his first show. However, I noticed that this test is divided among three different categories: Novice Horse, Novice Rider, and Open in the previous prize lists.

I understand Open, but I cannot find anything that really explains what constitutes as a novice horse or rider. I can definitely email the show committee when they post this year’s prize list, but I would rather not if it’s a stupid, obvious question :o.

Thanks in advance.

Normally novice means that you (or the horse for novice horse) haven’t won three firsts in that discipline. I haven’t heard of it used for dressage though…so I don’t think it would be a stupid question.

If it is your horse’s first dressage show though…he likely qualifies for novice horse!

Thanks CHT, that’s what I was kind of assuming. I’ll definitely still email them when they post the new prize list. I just always hate to be such a bother.

I would look at the rulebook for the specific GMO, club, or show. At my GMO’s schooling series, novice is a horse or rider’s first show season at that level in their life.

Because this is a schooling show, the entity sponsoring it can and will determine their own rules. You need to find out from them how they define “novice.” To tell you how our GMO defines it would not be useful to you.

Another point to consider, in general, is that a novice rider (however the show designates that) can be on an experienced horse, and that a novice horse can be ridden by a pro. So it can be a toss up whether it is “better” to be against similar riders on possibly fancy, well trained horses or with the green horses with the exceptional rider. But, as a first outing Who Cares!!! Have fun!!! ??

In my area, novice horse typically means pro rider on a young or green horse.

Call and ask. The terms aren’t used in rated dressage shows, and there hosting show can make the divisions whatever they want. Those terms are used in rated eventing, so it’s possible they are borrowing from there (especially if its offering the eventing tests too).

Thank you everyone. I really appreciate it.

I am going to email the show manager. They are also an eventing barn, and are offering dressage tests along with Combined. So they are probably borrowing terms.

Look at the club’s omnibus or other show documents for a definition. Or, drop a note to the show manager/show secretary asking what definition they use. Don’t give any specifics about your horse - just ask what they consider a novice.

(Our club offers Novice horse and novice rider at Intro A and B only…)