Question # 165: I was hoping you could give me an outline of a training program to use for the lower levels of eventing, and also a bit of a guide as to how, and at what levels of competition, the training program should change, as we move up the levels.

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I realise it's a highly individual thing but a 'starting point' is what I'm after. Also, I'm in Australia, so if you could point me somewhere which explains the heights etc for your levels so that I can convert them back to 'Aussie' levels, that would be great. (Amelia)

Hi Amelia!

The US levels are as follows:

Beginner Novice: 2 ft 7 in (0.79 m)
Novice: 2 ft 11 in (0.89 m)
Training:  3 ft 3 in (1 m)
Preliminary:  3 ft 7 in (1.09 m)
Intermediate:  3 ft 9 in (1.14 m)
Advanced: 3 ft 11 in (1.19 m)

Read this entry for a sample schedule for the US Novice level Event horse (which is just under your Preliminary level). This should give you a general idea for a basic training schedule for the lower level horse. Here is an entry that will outline the basic skills that you should have before doing Novice level. And here is an entry on when it is appropriate to move up to the next level. When you get to the Training level in the US (which is similar to the Pre-Novice level in Australia) most horses need some more serious conditioning work or "gallop sets" added to their program. (Click on Question Title above (in blue) to read full answer)

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