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First BE ODE next month, any advice welcome!

460 replies

Rollingdinosaur · 18/04/2016 13:37

I am finally taking the plunge, and having a go at a proper affiliated ODE next month, if I don't get balloted out. I am excited, and somewhat terrified. I have done several unaffiliated ones, and not made a complete tit of myself, so this seems like the logical next step.

I would be interested to hear any tips, or ideas of what to expect, from those in the know. Will the standard be a lot higher? Will I look a prat, as a lot of my gear is on the cheap side, and I will be turning up in 4WD and trailer, rather than a swanky lorry. I am also not sure on the hat standard required, it mentions PAS 015, and kitemark. Does that mean it needs both? My hat has the kite mark, but not the other bit. I suspect that means I need a new hat, but I don't want to fork out for one if I don't need to. Any tips will be gratefully accepted, thanks.

OP posts:
HildurOdegard · 18/04/2016 13:50

Standards often lower (!) at affiliated as pros like to keep under the radar and go unaffiliated to gain experience.

Don't feel bad about your gear - anyone with an ounce of experience knows the difference between bling and substance, I bet Mark Todd grew up with "make do and mend" before he was sponsored for everything!

Can't help out on the hat I'm afraid, but fear you're right - you'll probably need to upgrade (mine too although there's bugger all wrong with their functionality).

Have a blast and don't forget to tell us how you got on.

Gabilan · 18/04/2016 19:30

No help with the eventing but do check the hat regs - I think they changed on Jan 1 and BE are enforcing the change.

tootsietoo · 19/04/2016 10:56

You've got to have the equipment right - you will need a red BE hat tag, which the secretary will do for you when you arrive - they will check. The hat does need to say it's PAS015 in it - so you will need to buy a new one if it hasn't. Also check that your body protector is up to standard. When I did my first one I got a very useful booklet about getting started in eventing which had a kit list in it. Once you've bought your training pass/day ticket they will send it to you - go through that and check EVERYTHING at least a week before to give you time to go out and get anything you need! I would be gutting to get there and not be able to run. You will also need to buy a number bib. Medical armbands are no longer compulsory.

You should try to get there much earlier than you think you need to to allow for running backwards and forwards to secretary, walking course, having wees every 5 minutes!! I've found twice now that I have missed the slots for walking the SJ course so I had to jump it without walking it - they only have a few course walking slots so get there early and find out when they are. Or walk it the day before.

I keep everything as simple as possible - no studs, no boots, same bridle and saddle for every phase, and for XC I just take my jacket off and put BP over my stock shirt. Then it's less to flap about and less to forget! If you have a stronger bit/noseband for XC don't forget you will need a snaffle/plain noseband for dressage!

Which one are you doing?

IsItTimeForGinYet · 19/04/2016 20:37

Which one are you doing??!! How exciting. I was thinking of entering one as well - I've hd nearly 18 years off of competing and now have a nice horse again I am getting tempted!

Are you on Facebook? If so ask to join the #twittereventing page. They are fab.

Don't worry about the trailer. Do get your hat checked. It does need the Pas015 standard. Once you have it you need to get the secretary to tag it.

Ask any questions or queries as they arise and do let us know how you get on!

Rollingdinosaur · 20/04/2016 09:42

Thanks all, yep definitely looks like I need to go hat shopping. To be fair it is a few years old so probably about time it was replaced. Thankfully I've checked my body protector and its fine. The handy booklet arrived last week Tootsie, have flicked through it, will need to go back and read in more detail when I get chance. Number bib I have already from doing unaffiliated ones last year.

I like the idea of keeping everything the same as far as possible. I can SJ in the snaffle I use for dressage. Not sure if I'd hold him in it for XC though, and need to add a martingale, but shouldn't need to change a lot. Will think about that more when I know my times.

I'm doing Millfield, was told by someone who's done a few, that it is a nice one, with an inviting XC course. Hope so, as I've entered now. Will have a look at the FB page, thanks.

OP posts:
tootsietoo · 20/04/2016 11:00

I'm excited for you! I'm doing my 5th 80 this weekend, followed by first 90 the weekend after. It's all I can think about at the moment! Starting to get nervous now though, he can do an excellent dressage test but we've had stops xc in 3 of the 4 previous events as he's never done xc before and he's v spooky, so I've been doing lots of schooling and I really want to get a double clear this time - it's too expensive a day out to keep having stops! It's almost more nerve wracking than the first time out, when my goal was just to turn up at the right times and come home alive!!

I don't know Millfield, not local to me. Is your family coming to watch?

IsItTimeForGinYet · 20/04/2016 11:29

I keep thinking of entering that one too!! I haven't competed for years and now getting twitchy. It's a nice event and there aren't too many pros there either as the real big names will be at Chatsworth.

I would use whatever tack you feel safe with. There is no way I could show jump in my dressage bit, let alone go xc in it.

tootsietoo · 20/04/2016 11:34

TimeForGin, get on to the BE website now and make a plan! All you need is to buy a day membership, a day pass, and do an entry! Pick an event in about a month's time then book yourself in for 2 xc schooling sessions and a couple of lessons beforehand. Go on!

IsItTimeForGinYet · 20/04/2016 12:52

I know! I must!! I keep telling myself that there is no rush but I remember how addictive it is! It has been 16 years since my last BE event. Or rather BHTA as it was then... Saddle shopping first! That's not going to be cheap is it?!

IsItTimeForGinYet · 20/04/2016 12:53

Took horse showjumping for first time last weekend. He was amazing. Easily popping over 1.10. But need to get him xc schooling as while he is fab hunting he hasn't seen manicured ditches and steps etc. And that BE record is always there...!

Rollingdinosaur · 20/04/2016 13:31

tootsie, wow, exciting stuff! Let us know how you get on at the weekend, fingers crossed you get the double clear! I have the opposite problem, Horse loves his jumping, but is not a fan of dressage, so that drags our scores down a bit.

TimeForGin, definitely go for it. You are brave jumping 1.10! The highest I've ever gone is 1m, and that terrified me!

OP posts:
tootsietoo · 20/04/2016 14:02

And let us know how you get on at Millfield. TimeForGin, that's exactly where we are - horse has only ever hunted, and his eyes are out on stalks at all the flowers, flags, fence judges etc. So you would probably need to do lots of xc schooling. I've got another mum friend at exactly the same stage as me i.e. getting going again after years and years, and we have been training together which helps so much - both of us would have chickened out of doing things at some point if we were doing it on our own! And yes, the BE record is there for all to see! But as I am not planning to sell the horse, or my riding services, any time soon, it doesn't really matter! I agree, saddle shopping is a nightmare now. There are so few saddle fitters who will sell second hand ones.

It is a total addiction. Someone posted one of those quotes on FB the other day: "How much does a horse cost? All of it. Everything." So true - in terms of time and emotional energy as well as money!

IsItTimeForGinYet · 20/04/2016 15:47

They are so worth the ££ though aren't they? Like you I am not planning to sell mine. Found him last autumn and had some amazing days hunting on him jumping hedges I wouldn't usually dream of going near but he just takes control and flies them! Show jumping he surprised me. He didn't mind any of the fillers and even though it was his first time seeing mirrors he was too focused on the jump. However xc I think he will have his eyes out on stalks! Hoping to do some xc very soon but not sure whether we will do enough in time to warrant an entry to Millfield. It's also trying to work out height to enter. Think the first one needs to be a 90 to take into account spookiness but he jumps better when they are bigger and is easier to ride. He's quite massive!

Saddle - why do so few saddlers have second hand? Ideally I don't want new because as soon as you sit on it the value whooshes down. We shall see. Am planning on sitting on a few at badminton and see which I like to then see which he likes!

Gabilan · 20/04/2016 19:07

If you're after 2nd hand you could try Saddles Direct. Unlike ebay you can try out the saddles and get a fitter out.

Oddly the last couple of times I've sold saddles on ebay, they've been bought by saddlers. So they are trading in them to some extent!

tootsietoo · 20/04/2016 19:45

I don't know, not enough money in it perhaps? We have a couple of local people who sell second hand, but they are not really fitters. So what I have done in the past is borrow a boot load of saddles and then get the fitter out to find a good one.

Mine is only 14.2 (Welsh cob) so 80 has been fine for us to get us going. But the show jumps are often not even up to 80 so with a big horse you might be better doing a 90. Only thing is there sometimes seem to be one or two slightly more technical fences that they wouldn't put on an 80 eg at the last event I did there was quite a skinny corner on the 90 that I was relieved not to have to do.

Hedge hopping - what a buzz Grin

Gabilan · 20/04/2016 20:08

I didn't realise there was a BE 80. That's almost small enough for me to try and DHorse would love it.

tootsietoo · 20/04/2016 20:14

Yes Gabilan! And you don't have to be a full BE member, I think it's £25 for a training membership (or something like that) then you can enter as many 80s as you like. And the courses are properly built and the events are well run. You even get a coach in the warm up areas to help you if you want. They're great!

Gabilan · 20/04/2016 20:30

Hmm. Mind you, I've only ever done one ODE ever. That was a RC one with my old horse. But if I'm ever going to do it, it would be with dhorse. It's like jumping a really safe, clever rocking horse.

HildurOdegard · 20/04/2016 20:59

Argh - don't talk to me about secondhand saddles. I have three in the house I can't shift and don't trust eBay. So if anyone's after a Stubben VSS width 28 (19"), Stubben width 27 dressage (17") or saddle company N-M (18") give me a shout.

I can't bear to put them on ebay and sell for 50 quid only for someone to claim it never arrived - but can't see myself ever getting another narrow high-withered type, although who knows?

Gabilan · 20/04/2016 21:17

You could try locally on FB and Preloved, Hildur. I bought my last one from a non-ebay selling site. Seller was happy to come to my yard with the saddle. I got my fitter there at the same time and since I and dhorse liked the saddle, I did a bank transfer while the seller was there.

IsItTimeForGinYet · 21/04/2016 06:43

I have been looking (& lusting!) at some of the saddles on Saddles Direct but it is then finding a fitter I trust too. The last one came out said that the saddle was fine on him once it was reflocked. Well it has been done and has made absolutely no difference whatsoever so that was a waste of £95! I am hoping I can find someone to come out with a good range of saddles and say this one fits you both. Wishful thinking!!

The BE80T is such a good introduction to eventing. If you have only ever done one then I would imagine this would be a perfect introduction.

Back in the old days I would have entered lovely horse into a 100 straight away or Pre Novice as it was. However courses appear to have become far more technical and so think I need to get building some skinnies and corners on lines in the school! I'm sure we didn't have them in those days!

This is such a lovely thread!!

tootsietoo · 21/04/2016 08:46

I was talking about this with my friend. "Back in the day" (I guess for most of us we are talking early-mid nineties) we just went out and did pre novice and novice because that was the only option i.e. great big 3'6" fences (well I didn't as I had a pony and you couldn't BE with a pony back then but we did PC opens which were round the same courses) but yes, I don't think they were technical at all. I remember being eliminated at a corner fence once - it was a big shock finding I had to jump a corner fence! These days you would expect to have to jump some more complicated things. Plus of course now our nerves are shot to bits being middle aged and having had babies.....! So 80 and 90 is fine for us!! Who knows, maybe we may even manage a 100 one day!

Gabilan · 21/04/2016 13:26

Well I think BE 80 might be next year's goal! But I shall follow this thread and see how you all do.

I get very nervous jumping but now I'm in my 40s and have a horse I really trust I know that some things are "now or never". I didn't come up through the Pony Club and didn't really compete as a child. Fortunately DHorse has been there, done that and got the T-shirt so he can show me the ropes.

And one of the reasons I'm not going to go eventing just yet is that we've only just sorted out a damn bastarding saddle. I found a very highly-qualified saddle fitter and got my dream dressage saddle, which turned into a nightmare for poor dhorse. After 6 months in it he was sore and his muscle was wasting but because it had been so carefully fitted by a flipping expert, I really didn't expect the saddle to be the cause. Anyway, he's now much more comfortable in a very different saddle but I'm monitoring it carefully. Massaging his back works well because whilst he's stoic about discomfort when working, he's very quick to tell me which bits are sore if he's massaged.

As for fitters, I think I've decided it's best to work out which type of saddle your horse should be in and then find a fitter who specialises in them. Of course the problem is working out which saddle type might best suit your horse. Gah and grrr.

tootsietoo · 21/04/2016 13:55

Saddles are indeed a nightmare. Perhaps we can all hijack rollingdinosaur's thread as a general encouragement, get-off-your-arse-and-have-a-go eventing thread?

IsItTimeForGinYet · 21/04/2016 14:42

I think we have already hijacked her thread!! Sorry!! Hope you don't mind!!

Yes. Back in the day courses were very different. I came up through the pony club and then did juniors at 15. I'm sure the courses were far more straightforward. I remember lots of ditches but no skinnies and not very many technical questions. Now a 90 seems harder!

Saddles are a nightmare. You place so much trust in a so called professional, they tell you it fits and then horse still gets sore. Am going to have a look at what I like at badminton and then get the relevant person out to see if it fits the horse. And make sure they have good customer service! Anyone else badminton bound?

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