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Xctrygirl
Dec. 9, 2007, 11:20 AM
I just had this all typed out and for some reason my mouse hit something and took me away so I lost my original post. So bear in mind this is version 2 and I may have lost some of the points I had before!!!

Anyway the reason I am posting this thread is that I don’t know how many of us were able or unable to hear the G10 summit from the convention yesterday. And we should be talking about the ideas presented to the various committees and association that will affect our future. The topic I chose for this thread was the first thing I heard David talking about yesterday, Rider Licenses.

Rider licenses would, in their intended form, give us a standard of each rider knowing what they need to be at each level. And if enacted in a careful way, would allow for riders who have not proven their competency at the right levels, would not be allowed to compete above the level they are licensed for. Now of course the key to making this work is how to determine what level each individual rider is capable of. It won’t work if it becomes, “Oh John Doe works for Bruce and Bruce says he is competent at Prelim, even though he hasn’t done an event since last fall and that was novice.” In this instance it’s very possible that John Doe is competent at prelim after that much time working for Bruce, but it can’t be an automatic assignation of level. There has to be a testing or some form of observation standard that will be done with all riders equally. And that won’t be easy.

The key with this proposed rule will be how it’s enacted. You have to cross all the levels of knowledge so that we weight the level licensed with horsemanship before scores. It won’t matter if you can get a 28 in dressage if you don’t know what to do if your horse goes lame or ties up beneath you. Additionally you should have a clue what each speed feels like and (IMHO) you should have to sign something that says that you agree to put your horse’s welfare above your score.

I expect that this idea, like many new ideas, will be met initially with resistance. But we have come to a point in our sport that we have to figure out what to do to reduce the number of injuries and unsafe riders. And it’s not just us here in North America. As Eric Smiley said, this conversation is going on all over the world, in Germany, England, and Australia and so on. Eventing has hit a big participation boom, while at the same time fewer and fewer riders are familiar with what it’s like to be a horseman. Many have very rarely ridden out of the arena, and fewer still have done extensive riding on hills, in fields and such, and feeling what a horse and rider need to balance out across the country. But yet they feel like they are capable enough to run an event!!

So as a result we have riders who can barely control a horse in the wide open gallivanting around BN and N while in a state of semi control. They are either going too fast because they don’t know what a gallop is, or what their ‘official’ speed feels like. Or worse, they choke the horse back to be too slow because they’re afraid of speed. Both of these types of riders are running close to having an accident. And the rider’s responsibility that we heard so much about over the convention broadcast, is all but missing if there is a $2 ribbon waiting at the finish line for these riders.

This has to stop. We have to have a way to send these riders, and others like them, back to the drawing board.

On the racetracks all exercise riders must be licensed. And sure with everything there are some jurisdictions that take it more seriously than others, but by and large the riders on the track are overall of a higher competence because they had to be approved before they could get the job. And everyday the outriders who approved them stand guard and watch everyone everyday and can pull a license if a rider then becomes unsafe. I know to get my exercise rider’s license I had to answer questions about track rules, track courtesies and then I had to be observed galloping 2 different horses. Only then would they sign off on my form and allow me to gallop.

It seems to me that if we not only have license standards, but also make a way to suspend or revoke licenses, that people may pay more attention to their level of competence. And if they do get benched, maybe it will dawn on them that it’s not enough to just survive.

Another thing that was mentioned that I am surprised hasn’t been done more to this point, refusal of entry. That is to say that each of us would have a record. And as a part of this record we would have it noted if we were unsafe at any of our events. And obviously if a trend develops of a consistent lack of judgment event secretaries could refuse our entries.

I love this idea. It’s long overdue and yes it’s going to be a bear to get right and enforce, but unsafe riders should be prevented from continuing.

I don’t know how many of you know this, but in the racing world we have all sorts of “lists” that if your horse or you are on it, you’re benched until you rectify what got you there. For Example:

• Bleeders List
• Starters List
• Stewards List
• Nerving List

Now most of these are self explanatory but let me give a small description.

The bleeders list is for horses that have been shown to have bled during a race. Either found by endoscope exam or by visible bleeding. A horse on this list can not run for anywhere between 30-180 days and must have performed so many workouts where the State Vet was allowed to scope the horse following and verify that it didn’t bleed. In Maryland after the 3rd time this happens, a horse is banned from racing in MD for life.

The starters list is for any horse that behaves badly at the gate, going in, going out, waiting to load etc. If the horse was unsafe it must be schooled and approved by the gate crew that it has come through its issues and is once again deemed safe to start.

The stewards list is more for the humans involved. Most of the people on this list have earned their place for money issues, positive drug tests and rule infractions. To get off the list you must show and be signed off on that you have given whatever type of restitution is necessary.

The nerving list is only active in certain states but its required that horses that have been nerved in the heel or foot must be registered with the racing office so that if they run in a claiming race that any potential claimer would have advance knowledge that the horse had been nerved.

Overall for an industry that often times gets painted as being careless and only interested in the gambling profit racing actually has more provisions in place to protect its horses than eventing does. I truly find that shocking.


So those are my thoughts. What do you all think???


~Emily

pwynnnorman
Dec. 9, 2007, 12:01 PM
<<people may pay more attention to their level of competence>>

Certainly, that's the issue in a nutshell, but...

While Eric Smiley provided really useful perspectives on how this dilemma is being encountered throughout the eventing world, things ARE a bit different on this side of the pond for at least one major reason--and, unfortunately, IMO this reason torpedos all of the good intent behind your own reasoning, Xctrygirl: litigation.

David's proposal is based on a heck of a lot of subjectivity all the way down the line. Unlike the great examples you provided from the racing industry, there would be no vets, secretaries or impartial yet professional witnesses (like the outriders) to provide the evidence needed to curtail someone's freedom to pursue happiness as they see fit.

Now, I can see how the case can be made that membership status should confer agreement to abide by the rulings of duly qualified and licensed officials, but it's just like liability laws: a law can't stop a lawsuit from being filed. So any kind of subjectively-based restriction is going to open the organization up to a slew of complaints that could lead to litigation.

That's why I think an objective process (rather than a subjective set of criteria) will be the only way to get "people [to] pay more attention to their level of competence."

BarbB
Dec. 9, 2007, 12:14 PM
I hate to see more rules piled on top of existing rules.
If the current rules, in general, do not govern the sport adequately, then hold an international conference, rewrite the rules and throw the old ones away.
If they do govern the sport adequately, then tweak them every
once in a while and leave the sport alone.

If one honestly thinks that more and more rules and attempts to govern every single possible action that could possibly occur will benefit the sport, I think a good look at the tax code might change that perception. :winkgrin:

blaster
Dec. 9, 2007, 12:26 PM
Why can't we just enforce the rules we currently have on the books??

eventamy
Dec. 9, 2007, 12:42 PM
Yeah, like gun control? I suppose like with that issue it depends on who is "in charge" and makes sure that the rules are enforced.

Whisper
Dec. 9, 2007, 01:06 PM
I haven't had a chance to attempt to hear the proposal yet, and I have a hearing loss, so I'm afraid I'll miss some of the details. Can you clarify what the recommendation is? From what you've written, it sounds a bit like the Pony Club tests - a combination of horsemanship and riding. I like it a lot better than the proposed changes to the Dressage rules, at least! I don't know how they would go about implementing it, though, especially for horse/rider pairs who want to move up mid-year. If someone is riding badly or dangerously, I thought they can already be stopped on course?

kimbrawner
Dec. 9, 2007, 01:09 PM
I wonder who will end up paying for all these changes, as they seem like they will require alot of manpower. In an ever increasingly expensive sport, this may put it out of the financial reach of many. Though I have alot of concern for the riders and horses safety, I wonder if this will really help. And I wonder who will be the judges of safety, as many of the scariest riders I have seen were students of some of the top names in eventing. Not to be all negative, as I have no idea how to correct the current situation. I'm glad someone out there is brainstorning this!:)

west5
Dec. 9, 2007, 01:39 PM
So as a result we have riders who can barely control a horse in the wide open gallivanting around BN and N while in a state of semi control. They are either going too fast because they don’t know what a gallop is, or what their ‘official’ speed feels like. Or worse, they choke the horse back to be too slow because they’re afraid of speed. Both of these types of riders are running close to having an accident. And the rider’s responsibility that we heard so much about over the convention broadcast, is all but missing if there is a $2 ribbon waiting at the finish line for these riders.

This has to stop. We have to have a way to send these riders, and others like them, back to the drawing board.


Ok I'm having an issue with this. There is a tone of indignation in your post that is not appealing.

For example, I absolutely "know" what the correct pace is around N by feel. I don't wear a watch. I don't need to. This year I competed at Millbrook in the pouring rain. For those of you who have never been there it is all about the terrain. The footing was a disaster. After the 3rd jump a big section of the course is on a downhill grade, there were a bunch of combinations and several jumps at the bases of steep mini-hills including a skinny & a ditch.

I ride an older horse and I was not trying to make time - on purpose. I was unwilling to risk her soundness by going faster than I needed to and having her slip and tweak something. Had a slow canter during the generic sloping section of the course, trotted the steep downward parts and did not "push it" to make up time.
So under the new system would I be penalized?
How will you regulate this?
Will someone interview me after the course to see that I was not "choking" my horse but rather making an educated decision for her safety?

Also, BN/N basically is the drawing board. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for competition no matter how much you school. There has to be leeway for the lower level riders to get out there and compete with out complete fear that if they have a bad ride/show that they will be punished.

As far as I can tell, most of the serious injuries have not been happening at the lower levels.

A lot of lower level riders I know, treat their horses like they are precious jewels. I'm not saying that their knowledge and horsemanship couldn't be increased ten-fold but I don't think they are the only problem.

What about the upper level riders who compete their horses every weekend (or 3 out of 4) for months on end? Who have very young horses competing at the higher levels? Where is the horsemanship there? What will the regulations be?
(Yes, I know that some horses are ready, etc)

Xctrygirl
Dec. 9, 2007, 02:33 PM
West5,

There are of course going to be cross sections of any sport and generalizations thrown in with it that may or may not be accurate depending on the day, event, weekend, course etc.

As you describe yourself, I'd be thinking from watching you ride as you describe that you are competent at your level and thinking for you and your horse. Congrats. But the problems that exist now do exist. Even though plenty of riders are smart for their level. There is an equal or sometimes greater number of yahoo's without a clue.

If you don't believe it's as prevalent as I say, or as the others concerned say, do this... volunteer as a jump judge throughout the season. Watch what goes on weekly, monthly etc.

Its a real eye opener believe me. Especially at training level. I am not proclaiming to know all the answers, but I thought it best to discuss some of the ones that are out there being put on the table. We grouse and grouse about how we hate this new rule, that new requirement but are you actively involved with the organization BEFORE the rule hits??


Ok as to the whole can't compare racing to eventing, I never said it was apples to apples exactly. But it is a horse sport, with governing bodies, and they do have ways of slowing down repetition of negative events. As such it is worth noting and investigating those tangently related points. Many of the higher ups in this organization have looked to the worlds of car racing, motorcycle racing and other motor sports for ideas for eventing. So I don't think I was that far off to mention something in horse racing.


Not enforcing the rules on the books. Ok well David also said that the whole Yellow flag and Red flag would be a lot more prevalent this year. (For those unfamiliar with this the president of the ground jury will be out on xc with both a yellow and a red flag. The yellow flag is a caution flag that if waved at a competitor means that they're being "reviewed" as they're riding and that their actions to that point have put them under review. If the President then waves the red flag, you're out, Done, eliminated. But I don't know probably with its own term like "Disqualified by Jury" Don't know what they'll call it.)
This is the next step within the current dangerous riding rules. I am not making these things up, this is what's coming this season.


As for other rules.... Does anyone see any kind of qualification out there for first time eventers to have to start at BN or N???????????? Horses that have to start below Prelim???? Nope. Our rules don't include any rules about where and how a combination comes from and where they must start off at. As we saw a number of years back there was a hunter rider on their childrens hunter horse(3'6" division) that decided to try an event. First event for horse and rider and they went Prelim. And that girl died. No breaking of rules but every fence judge reported that she had no business being out there. And so that rule was changed. Now only a rider with training level or higher experience can take a green horse out to a prelim for its first event.

But I am telling you, the training level first timers with green horses can be frightening. I wish we would require at least some N or BN time.

And over and over we talk about common sense, but it just isn't a God given personality trait for everyone. There are bad decisions made in life every day by the millions that come down to not using common sense. And not just in the horse world, in every part of life.


And do I like "Big Brother" watching over all of us? Ummm yes if it stops riders and horses from being hurt unnecessarily. For that I will happily follow the rules put out there. The rules I haven't liked historically were when they lessened a disobedience to the same score as a rail. Thats the type of rule that I don't see the sense behind. If a horse stops it should be way more than a rail. But I accept I can't change it until I do something. And at this point I would rather accept it while disagreeing and event my horse.

~Emily

PS: The rider license idea wasn't mine. It's being discussed at the convention. I support it, but I have no affiliation with it. (Just wanted to state that clearly)

BarbB
Dec. 9, 2007, 02:42 PM
West5,
PS: The rider license idea wasn't mine. It's being discussed at the convention. I support it, but I have no affiliation with it. (Just wanted to state that clearly)

I hope you don't feel like anyone is jumping on you. We are just commenting on the info that you are passing along.
I appreciate that you are taking the time to pass along this info from the convention......I don't like the message, I am not trying to shoot the messenger. :D

JER
Dec. 9, 2007, 02:51 PM
Why does anyone want to make our sport more subjective?

If I wanted to ride to subjective criteria, I'd do straight dressage and show hunters and equitation. When I hear these proposals, foxhunting and endurance become much more appealing to me (I enjoy both very much).

If anyone recalls my numerous posts on the safety/death threads, I'm a big proponent of safety. I'm an EMT, I spend classroom and field hours on trauma/injury/safety, and the death/serious injury stats in our sport have me deeply worried. Real safety, however, is not the appearance of safety. Look at airport 'security' -- does anyone really think that taking a water bottle away from a 72 year-old woman makes air travel safer?

Riders in France (as well as in other European countries) are required to have a licence to compete in horse competitions. France has various Pro and Amateur levels, you usually have to work your way up the levels, and a doctor's health certificate is required along the way. Licences have to be renewed annually. In France in 2007, three event riders were killed in competition. I don't think that licences are inherently a bad idea, it's just that a licence isn't going to protect you when your horse flips over a table and crushes you.

For the last decade or so, the USEA has been beating the growth drum ad nauseum -- we need to promote our sport, we need big sponsors, we need to market eventing to the masses. The people outside the tent became more important than the people inside the tent. And now eventers are wondering what to do about the people who've showed up to participate. "They're out of control!" "They need good instruction!" "Their bits are too harsh!" "They don't have a clue!"

Regulation is not education. You can legislate all you like and the dangerous idiots are always going to be dangerous idiots. People who truly want to learn will find a way to learn. As for me, I'd rather just go to a HT, have a good time with my horse and be happy that our sport is only 1/3 subjective.

west5
Dec. 9, 2007, 03:15 PM
First, thanks for taking the time to report what is being discussed.

I didn't mean to jump down your throat. I just think that there are plenty of lower level riders who are basically safe, competent (not great) riders, who don't need to be regulated out of the sport.

I actually don't have a problem with qualifications and move-up requirements.

For example the requirements that are in place to do a training level 3-day seem fair to me. On the horse I currently compete, I can't perform a decent dressage test at a show to save my life. Never been safer over fences. I figured I'd just have to complete the required number of events clear xcountry because I know I'll never have a qualifying placing.

I have a bigger problem with more subjectivity entering the sport.

There are some jump judges that really know what they are doing. The other reality is there are some jump judges that are a lovely kind volunteers who know absolutely nothing about horses & riding.

I do jump judge. Sometimes I see some things that make me cringe but I'd say I see a lot of so-so riding at all the levels.

I'm not sure what you are supposed to do about the people like the girl who started at Prelim and died. How do you regulate stupidity? I am serious not being snarky or making light of a tragedy. I don't have a problem with requiring people to "start" at a certain level. I am not sure what that level would be.

Drvmb1ggl3
Dec. 9, 2007, 03:19 PM
Licenses in racing are more to do with the regulating the gambling industry and less to do with safety. If there were no betting on racing, there would likely be no licenses. Also, people that exercise horses off the track don't have to be licensed. The licensing is also imposed by a government appointed body, the State Racing Commission, not a self-regulating organization like the USEA.

west5
Dec. 9, 2007, 03:20 PM
I like JER's post too!

asterix
Dec. 9, 2007, 04:16 PM
How about a compromise between licensing and the "qualifications" debate we had --
For the lower levels, no licensing but qualifications to move up from BN to N to T. To move up past T, licensing.
Seems like most of the serious accidents happen beyond T but much of the "scary riding" we see is at the lower levels.
Also many fewer riders once you get past T, and therefore less onerous to administer a licensing system.
Dunno. Seems like lots of downsides to every idea that has been floated, even though we have general agreement that improvements could be made.

Albion
Dec. 9, 2007, 05:08 PM
As we saw a number of years back there was a hunter rider on their childrens hunter horse(3'6" division) that decided to try an event.

The children's division is 3'. Junior hunters are 3'6". It would seem to me that a novice to eventing entering an prelim to 'try an event' is a problem with parents and coaches, not the governing body.

ksbadger
Dec. 9, 2007, 05:12 PM
Just checked the Eventing Canada rules but, while they have age limits for riders on the equivalent to BN & N (must be 12 yo), they don't have any experience requirements. I vaguely recall such a requirement of must have gone clean at the next lower level when Mrs. KS was riding in Quebec about 10 years ago but that may have been a local rule at the club level.

The suggestion of only applying any rule to Training & above would seem to have merit from both the numbers & perceived difficulty/safety aspects but I would agree that a history of dangerous riding at any level should lead to a move back.

One way for riders to get experience might be to designate some schooling events as qualifying at the Area level and. say, succesful completion of two such would allow entry to a USEA-recognized show. The Dressage GMOs seem to enjoy their unrecognized shows & even championships - why not apply this to our sport.

Blugal
Dec. 9, 2007, 05:42 PM
Correction: your BN is roughly equivalent to Canada's Entry (which is open to all ages). The rule is:

Eventing Canada rules Annex 1, Rule 1.4: The Entry division is open to riders of all ages.

Your N is roughly equivalent to Canada's Pre-Training (open to all ages). Annex 1, Rule 2.4

Training is restricted to riders 12 and above (Annex 1, rule 3.3).

TuxWink
Dec. 9, 2007, 05:58 PM
I think we have a qualifications system in place for rising up the levels and I don't think we really need "licenses" to compete for beginner novice and novice. I have been shocked to read, like everyone else, of the deaths of so many upper level riders this year. It is appalling and I am all for investigating ways to avoid these horrible accidents. However, I find myself getting a little disgruntled when every conversation segues into trying to link these deaths with the poor riding skills of those at begnniner novice and novice. I just don't see how this is related to these specific accidents.

Yes, I probably resent this a little because those are the levels I ride at, and I have certainly been guilty of going too slow, or too fast, hanging on my horses mouth, or jumping up her neck. The thing is, I'm still learning, I don't do this for a living, and I believe if your goal is to compete you have to go out and compete. I do schooling shows, I do clinics, I take lessons, but I like to compete at recognized shows too. Of course you see lots of mistakes at these levels - they are introductory levels for green horses and riders. I have seen cringe inducing rides. I may have had one of those rides at one time or another. :) I think we already have rules such as penalties or elimination for dangerous riding that protect those people who are out threatening their lives and/or their horses on course.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 9, 2007, 06:19 PM
I don't think licenses etc. will solve anything. It assumes that the deaths and injuries are solely a result of bad riding. That doesn't seem to fit the facts. While the injuries and deaths may in part be a result from one bad decision or a lapse in judgment by a horse and/or rider....the reality is that could happen to any one at any time no matter how well prepared.

We have qualifications....stiffen them a bit if needed but I don't think one more layer of red tape will do anything but increase the costs and headaches of competing.

As for scary riding at the lower levels...sure I've seen it. I have also not yet seen a DR penalty assessed. In addition, the lower levels are lower levels for a reason...that is where people should learn and mistakes and poor riding are to be expected. Another reason why I don't think the lower levels should be beefed up or made more technical. They exist for people to learn how to run and jump and should be kept simple so that the average horse can recover from mistakes.

useventers
Dec. 9, 2007, 06:26 PM
I agree with most of the posters, that licensing and subjective monitoring isn't the answer.
Most of the licensing in racing has to do with pari-mutual wagering and background checks. Furthermore, there are some really bad riders and trainers on the backside and they all have licenses. Most of the testing is common sense, it doesn't really weed out the idiots.
All the lists in racing are mostly factual and not subjective. If you're horse visibly bleeds after a race, you're on the bleeders list...nothing subjective about it.
If you're horse is lame in the paddock, he's scratched and on the vet's list...nothing subjective.
If you're horse is nerved (a fact) he has to be put on the list.
If you're horse gets distanced by 50 lengths he'll probably be put on the stewards list...another fact.
I don't think having a panel or steward decide who's riding dangerous would work because it would take a lot of manpower and money to manage something like this. Would the panel have to watch them school x-c to determine if they can compete again?? I don't think there is the money to run all that in eventing.

**HERE'S THE ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE**

I would like to see a rule pertaining to cross country Elimination or Retirement.

I really feel that any rider that has an R or E (not technical) should be forced to go back one level and run 2-3 clean (zero jump) cross country's before moving back up.
I don't understand all the inconsistency with these horse/rider combinations, a truly prepared horse and rider just don't have R's and E's on their record every 3rd time they go cross country.
I think this should apply to ALL riders, big name or not and also to new horse/rider combinations regardless of their past individual experience.
Most of the knowledgeable riders self monitor and drop down a level when neeeded. It seems that there is a group of riders out there that just keeps going up or staying at a level despite a multitude problems. If these riders won't/can't monitor themselves, then perhaps the USEA should!

KBG Eventer
Dec. 9, 2007, 06:41 PM
I would like to see a rule pertaining to cross country Elimination or Retirement.

I really feel that any rider that has an R or E (not technical) should be forced to go back one level and run 2-3 clean (zero jump) cross country's before moving back up.
I don't understand all the inconsistency with these horse/rider combinations, a truly prepared horse and rider just don't have R's and E's on their record every 3rd time they go cross country.
I think this should apply to ALL riders, big name or not and also to new horse/rider combinations regardless of their past individual experience.
Most of the knowledgeable riders self monitor and drop down a level when neeeded. It seems that there is a group of riders out there that just keeps going up or staying at a level despite a multitude problems. If these riders won't/can't monitor themselves, then perhaps the USEA should!

I can definitely see your point, but good pairs have their bad days. Granted this was BN so I guess there wouldn't really be a level to drop back to...

Anyways, I was never out of the top two at BN in 2006 except for the AECs when I got 10th with a 32.5 in dressage and double clear rounds. For some unknown reason this past March at an event, my horse who had never refused a cross country jump just would not go over this tiger trap at the third to last jump on course. I just don't think I was truly riding because I had a sinus infection I think, and he got lazy and decided that was it for the day. I just wasn't having the best weekend. The next event we won, and the next I got 2nd at my area championships out of 40 odd people.

Like I said, I can see your point. I see people who had a couple of clear rounds here and there but some Es and big numbers. The thing I'm most surprised about is when you look their horses record up they got eliminated a time (or two!) and still move up. But things just happen sometimes.

adamsmom
Dec. 9, 2007, 06:43 PM
I don't believe the licensing as discussed by David would necessarily be directed at the lower levels. I believe it would be more like a certificate of capability for higher level riders, as well as a way to track falls, concussions, etc.

I agree that objectivity in looking at riders' ability/competence is important, but if a subjective warning or reporting of someone would prevent that person's serious injury or death, wouldn't it be worth it?
Even if someone was told they looked dangerous out there, and that made them think a bit, wouldn't that be worth it?

Also, to whomever discussed riding their horse conservatively at Millbrook, I doubt you would have raised any flags whatsoever. It sounds as if you should be applauded for taking your time, safely and with consideration for the well-being of your horse and your self.

RAyers
Dec. 9, 2007, 06:57 PM
I EMPHATICALLY DISAGREE.

In my case, I had a Retirement at Rebecca Farms. My next competition resulted in finishing 12th at the AECs (one of only 2 amateurs in the ribbons). If your way were to happen, I would wasted a lot of time getting to where I am. This is not to mention I retired because I made a smart and correct decision about the welfare of my horse. At the same time it would add a lot of wear and tear on horses so when they made it back to the levels an increased possibility of breaking down would occur.

Reed



**HERE'S THE ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE**

I would like to see a rule pertaining to cross country Elimination or Retirement.

I really feel that any rider that has an R or E (not technical) should be forced to go back one level and run 2-3 clean (zero jump) cross country's before moving back up.
I don't understand all the inconsistency with these horse/rider combinations, a truly prepared horse and rider just don't have R's and E's on their record every 3rd time they go cross country.
I think this should apply to ALL riders, big name or not and also to new horse/rider combinations regardless of their past individual experience.
Most of the knowledgeable riders self monitor and drop down a level when neeeded. It seems that there is a group of riders out there that just keeps going up or staying at a level despite a multitude problems. If these riders won't/can't monitor themselves, then perhaps the USEA should!

Hilary
Dec. 9, 2007, 07:00 PM
I really don't see how regulating the Ladies of Perpetual Novice from going Training or Prelim is going to solve the problem of UPPER LEVEL RIDERS DYING. These fatal accidents are not occuring at the lower levels, so let's not regulate the sport to death for the people not causing the problems.

And FWIW, I was struck once watching a Lucinda Green clinic when essentially the same exercises were performed by all levels. What I saw that really made me think was that the BN, N & P groups all dealt with the questions really well. The Training group made hash of it.

Why? Because the BN & N horses/riders were really green, and hadn't had a lot of training. This clinic was a real learning experience for them and they were pushed, but did a good job. The prelim horses were well enough trained to do well.

It was the Training level group that had holes = and boy did these exercises point out where, and how big these holes were - stopping and steering.

It appeared, and perhaps this was only this one day and one set of riders, that these saintly horses had done well enough, without good training, to move up to Training level and were all getting by, but when the chips were down and they had to be accurate within inches, not yards, they weren't 'broke' enough to do the job.

Not sure how this is going to solve problems, but it demonstrated to me how far one can get (Training) and still have holes in your horses' training. Riders too.

ksbadger
Dec. 9, 2007, 07:17 PM
I EMPHATICALLY DISAGREE.

In my case, I had a Retirement at Rebecca Farms. My next competition resulted in finishing 12th at the AECs (one of only 2 amateurs in the ribbons). If your way were to happen, I would wasted a lot of time getting to where I am. This is not to mention I retired because I made a smart and correct decision about the welfare of my horse. At the same time it would add a lot of wear and tear on horses so when they made it back to the levels an increased possibility of breaking down would occur.

Reed

I think I have to agree with Reed about retirements - after all if you or your horse is just not having a good day and you do the sensible, safe thing you shouldn't be penalized (quite the reverse - just think of the pressure to continue an unsafe ride with such a rule). On the other hand, two out of three XCs where you've been eliminated for three or more refusals - I'd be prepared to bet we all know at least one rider who shouldn't be riding at any given level.

P.S. Blugal, Thanks for the correction - that's what I meant to say.

JER
Dec. 9, 2007, 07:26 PM
I

**HERE'S THE ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE**

I would like to see a rule pertaining to cross country Elimination or Retirement.

I really feel that any rider that has an R or E (not technical) should be forced to go back one level and run 2-3 clean (zero jump) cross country's before moving back up.

Re: R
Knowing when it is not your day -- either due to rider or horse issues -- is one of the most important skills in eventing. I think a lot of riders might be less likely to retire on course if it meant going back a level for 2-3 events. In some parts of the US, this would mean the whole season.

Why should we punish riders for showing good judgment?

Re: E

How are you going to get the experience you need if you're not allowed to try? You need competition experience to succeed in competition.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 9, 2007, 07:27 PM
And FWIW, I was struck once watching a Lucinda Green clinic when essentially the same exercises were performed by all levels. What I saw that really made me think was that the BN, N & P groups all dealt with the questions really well. The Training group made hash of it.




Funny...I organize a lot of clinics...without doubt the "Training" level group is always the group that makes me reach for the antacids.

I don't know what the answer is...but at the higher levels I still don't see licenses really helping. I would rather have the time and money go to course designing/building and additional rider training (i.e. developing rider clinics and keeping those riders on the list for more then a few years on more then one horse).

useventers
Dec. 9, 2007, 07:33 PM
I agree if you voluntarily retire because you're not having a good day or your horse doesn't feel right, you should NOT be penalized. If you retire do to excessive stops or falls, you should have to go back and prove yourself again. If you are having excessive problems cross country...there is something going wrong! It may work out for some to keep going, but it will catch up with a lot of riders at some point. It seems like with so many rules and laws, the competent riders would have to pay the price for the bad ones.

ULR take horses back down all the time at the beginning of and throughout the season, most horses aren't breaking down at lower speeds and lower jumps. Even if it does mean extra wear and tear, we're talking about a safety issue for horse and rider. I'd rather a horse do a couple runs at a lower level than be injured/killed at a fence in the future.

useventers
Dec. 9, 2007, 07:39 PM
Re: R
Knowing when it is not your day -- either due to rider or horse issues -- is one of the most important skills in eventing. I think a lot of riders might be less likely to retire on course if it meant going back a level for 2-3 events. In some parts of the US, this would mean the whole season.

Why should we punish riders for showing good judgment?

Re: E

How are you going to get the experience you need if you're not allowed to try? You need competition experience to succeed in competition.


I totally agree about the R. If it's voluntary, you should NOT be penalized or forced down a level. Actually it would probably make riders pull up sooner and voluntarily retire as opposed to continueing and risking a mandatory retirement.

If you're doing your 1st prelim. and you're eliminated...you don't belong there!

lstevenson
Dec. 9, 2007, 07:40 PM
Interesting idea, but it does not seem very feasible. How would riders get a license? Who would be the one making the decision on who gets their liscence for a particular level? I assume we are talking about more than just qualifications like we have now. Like actually judging their ability and knowledge? I think that's great in theory, but it's getting pretty subjective. I could easily see that becoming political. As in, if you know the right people you can get any license you want.

CookiePony
Dec. 9, 2007, 07:43 PM
Every time discussions of safety-related questions come up I am so disappointed that we do not have good statistics Including lower levels). The Australians did a great job with a study several years ago:

Summary: http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HOR/04-171sum.html
Full Report: http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HOR/04-171.pdf

Perhaps something like this is already in the works, but if it isn't, how we desperately need it.

adamsmom
Dec. 9, 2007, 07:48 PM
Funny...I organize a lot of clinics...without doubt the "Training" level group is always the group that makes me reach for the antacids.

I don't know what the answer is...but at the higher levels I still don't see licenses really helping. I would rather have the time and money go to course designing/building and additional rider training (i.e. developing rider clinics and keeping those riders on the list for more then a few years on more then one horse).

There is no question that rider training is a huge focus for the future. But there are a LOT of riders out there who are their own trainers and don't think they need education.
There has to be a way to reach those people who think they have it all figured out when they don't.

Reed, your situation, and similar ones, are not the ones that would be targeted for downgrading or whatever. It's those people/horses that are repeatedly getting eliminated, falling, etc. that bear watching.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 9, 2007, 08:00 PM
There is no question that rider training is a huge focus for the future. But there are a LOT of riders out there who are their own trainers and don't think they need education.
There has to be a way to reach those people who think they have it all figured out when they don't.




I was talking about the "Developing" riders lists...this is the program that provides training sessions for UL riders making the transition to International levels....I would like to see the list expanded and to keep providing the training to riders for more then a season and more then one horse.

I don't know of any rider who competes at prelim and above who would turn down cheap or free lessons with top trainers. These riders are often trainers of other riders. When given the opportunity to ride with a good trainer, they jump at it. But I personally don't think rider training at the ULs is the problem....I would just rather see money go in that direction then MORE red tape.

Again, looking at the accidents, those were generally not riders out there without access to good instruction and I would be surprised if most if not all of them would have easily passed any license for the level that they were competing at when hurt or killed.

adamsmom
Dec. 9, 2007, 08:07 PM
I was talking about the "Developing" riders lists...this is the program that provides training sessions for UL riders making the transition to International levels....I would like to see the list expanded and to keep providing the training to riders for more then a season and more then one horse.

I don't know of any rider who competes at prelim and above who would turn down cheap or free lessons with top trainers. These riders are often trainers of other riders. When given the opportunity to ride a good trainer, they jump at it. But I personally don't think rider training at the ULs is the problem....I would just rather see money go in that direction then MORE red tape.


Again, I believe that the emphasis is on training at ALL levels, although I'm not sure that a lower level developing rider list is the answer. There are a lot of people who would never be able to utilize a system like that, particularly the adult amateur with the full-time job, kids, etc. Not to mention you're looking at having to find the money to fund a massive expansion of that program.

Not that it can't or shouldn't be done. There was a lot of discussion and a lot of ideas this week. Now the groups need to get together and see what makes the most sense to implement, and how, exactly, to implement those ideas.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 9, 2007, 08:17 PM
adamsmom--I think that we are just talking about two different things. I was focusing on UL (Prelim and up). My understanding was that the licenses etc. were only truly discussed for riders moving up to Prelim and above. As for expanding the Developing rider lists...I wasn't thinking of expanding it to the lower levels but expanding it to cover more riders and include those riders developing horses as well as the ones already at adv.

Since the accidents and deaths have mostly been at prelim and above...that was my focus. I think what you need to do to address dangerous riding at the lower levels and the accidents at the UL are different.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 9, 2007, 08:21 PM
Maybe it's the trainers who need to be licensed? I'm aware of the ICP, but it's not mandatory for anything yet, is it? Maybe it (and some kind of test that would enable the obviously ready to test out of participating in the program itself) would shift some responsibility onto the shoulders of those who guide others?

I recently had a conversation with someone who expressed to me how some trainers actually push riders up levels because it makes them (the trainers) look good. Now, that said, I don't know how true it is, but it does get us back again to what I think is a central aspect of all of this: the push to move up (regardless of where it comes from).

In fact, as I wrote that the very act of doing so convinced me that whatever the solution, doesn't the problem need to be defined and acknowledged first? So, for example, what problem would licensing solve?

I think the sport has to agree on the problem before it can address a solution. Me, I vote for the problem being too much emphasis in too many quarters on getting into the upper levels (horses and riders alike).

useventers
Dec. 9, 2007, 08:24 PM
To clarify, I was also speaking of UL (prelim and above). I don't think that a novice horse that's eliminated should have to go back to BN. You can usually keep working on your problems at the lower levels without dropping back.

useventers
Dec. 9, 2007, 08:44 PM
Maybe it's the trainers who need to be licensed? I'm aware of the ICP, but it's not mandatory for anything yet, is it? Maybe it (and some kind of test that would enable the obviously ready to test out of participating in the program itself) would shift some responsibility onto the shoulders of those who guide others?

I recently had a conversation with someone who expressed to me how some trainers actually push riders up levels because it makes them (the trainers) look good. Now, that said, I don't know how true it is, but it does get us back again to what I think is a central aspect of all of this: the push to move up (regardless of where it comes from).

In fact, as I wrote that the very act of doing so convinced me that whatever the solution, doesn't the problem need to be defined and acknowledged first? So, for example, what problem would licensing solve?

I think the sport has to agree on the problem before it can address a solution. Me, I vote for the problem being too much emphasis in too many quarters on getting into the upper levels (horses and riders alike).

I totally agree with this!! There's an ego element of eventing and everyone wants to be doing the bigger courses. I think it's self-imposed, peer and trainer pressure. I remember as a YR all I wanted was to go Prelim, ready or not. I was too stupid to know that I needed to be scared.

I rode with Mike Plumb/Karen Stives for 5 years. I begged Mike to let me go Prelim...the answer always NO! I had a seasoned horse that had been Prelim. before buying him but he refused to let me move up. I didn't have the basics yet. I didn't have the skills to deal with something that might go wrong cross country, nor did I have the defensive position to really ride cross country. Mike actually made me ride "HC" for what seemed like ages, I thought I was going to pull my hair out.
I rode for almost 3 years with Mike before I finally moved up to Prelim. In the decade that followed, I went straight up the levels to Advanced. Never had a single fall cross country on 3 different UL horses and had 2 stops in all those years. Left the sport without a single broken bone or injured horse. THANK YOU MIKE!!

Now, I will say that many a rider came to Mike's barn and immediately left the same day. We used to take bets as to how long the trailer-in people would last before they left the lesson in a huff and refused to come back. Mike was not easy, but he NEVER moved someone up before they were ready, he didn't care if you left or not. It certainly wasn't about the money with him, he truly wanted us to be able to ride. He wanted riders that could take care of themselves and make decisions for themselves. These kind of foundation instructors are getting hard to find!

4Martini
Dec. 9, 2007, 09:17 PM
OK - slightly off the wall idea - but what if there was some type of apprentice level. So, as an example you move up to prelim for two events you are marked with an A next your name. This means you are ineligible to place or gain points. After two events where you meet criteria you get your A removed and you can then place. They could put the As at the end of the division so they could go slower without impacting others.

Set people up so when they move up there's no point in racing the clock. Also could encourage people to stay at a level for a year if they want year end points. They would know moving up meant no points for the first two events. Although this might encourage moving up at the beginning of season when it might be more optimal to run a lower level once or twice.

Just send in results from two previous events (or bring to check in) and you are in the running. Otherwise be safe and go clean so you can be in the running later...

Thoughts?

Hannahsmom
Dec. 9, 2007, 09:28 PM
wow, am I living in a different universe? I am so sorry that I renewed my membership to the USEA this year. I have been a member since the mid-80's. I even remember my old number. Whatever happened to personal responsibility and some brains as far as being ready? A license? Give me a break. I guess I'm a dinasour and next year I need to save my membership fee as it seems to be we are in a world that thinks that regulating will compensate for good sense.

And for all those speaking of the instructors "the Mike Plumbs's and such of the world", they are absolutely right. Good coaching from riders who have "been there and done that" are the specific dose of reality of when you are really ready. I have made it a point to take instruction from people that have been competing at the upper levels successfully, and 'wow' what a surprise, I have always been prepared.

Blugal
Dec. 9, 2007, 09:36 PM
4Martini.... reminded me of something we have/had in Canada: a CCI prep clinic.

When I did it, it was Peter Grey one year, Jimmy Wofford the next who came for 2 (I think, maybe it was 3) days. I think Leslie Law was the most recent? Got a semi-private dressage lesson, a group SJ and XC lesson. He sat down and spoke with you & your coach to discuss goals, and he gave you a report card on preparedness for a CCI. Peter Grey did a discussion on fitness and wanted to see fitness plans for the months leading up to your CCI. (Can't remember if Jimmy did.)

I thought there were some problems with this system, but also some good ideas.

Problems were:
-it was aimed for riders doing their first CCI* or first CCI**. Once you have done your first, you were not a priority for this clinic.

-it was more of an evaluation than a clinic - I would have preferred more feedback on the XC portion. (Had good feedback in dress/SJ lessons).

-The report card could have been more helpful - I think Jimmy filled out the whole thing at once, and wasn't convinced he really remembered each ride - some of the sections were less than specific.

-I wondered how much the clinicians wanted to/were willing to put their necks on the line in saying which pairs were ready and which weren't. I felt that my horse and I were not ready for a CCI*, but was told we were OK. (This was in July I think, and I was planning on a Nov. CCI, & due to other circumstances, we had to wait a year to go).

Good ideas:
-Is a positive way for first-timers, especially those without a coach, to clinic with somebody who def. knows what they're doing, and have a "report card"

-Your coach is highly encouraged to attend (there were some spots avail. in the clinic), so that all three of you could sit down & discuss goals/skills/readiness. An additional benefit was that the coach could see how that clinician taught & what they highlighted, and could take that back for their coaching program.

purplnurpl
Dec. 9, 2007, 09:37 PM
You guys missed Reed's point. He DIDN'T voluntarily retire at Rebecca Farms. He had a bad day. Went home, came back, and then had a GREAT day!

What I find interesting is that the majority of the bad accidents have occurred with people that were more than capable. A license would not have stopped the injury or death in the majority of the cases I've heard about.

Shoot, I would have been in the same position as Reed this summer if licenses were mandatory and could be taken away.

The sport is objective for a reason.
My last 3 training level HTs.
CO HP: Horse quit out on me
Maui Jim: Horse ran off with me twice and blew by a XC fence
AECs: I went prelim speed, not on purpose. This time horse ran off but at least ran towards the fences that needed to be jumped.

So I moved up to Prelim as planned:
Holly Hill: Horse was spectacular. Ridable, steerable, finally happy again. Horse WAS NO LONGER BORED ON COURSE.
Pinehill: Horse was spectacular again.

I feel for the above reasons eventing is objective and should stay that way.

I honestly don't know what can be done about dangerous riding. There are laws/rules to follow. All that jazz. Don't know how much more can be done really. I think the key to saving us is adjusting the times. That's it. It's easier than 'they' think. Just adjust the FUC'''N times so that prelim riders don't have to blow around at 710mpm between fences. (as said by David OC)

4Martini
Dec. 9, 2007, 10:02 PM
Just wanted to clarify - I'm not a huge fan of licences - I only suggested the apprentice thing b/c it seems like maybe a less burdensome way of adding another level of control if that's what they want to do.

I'm only a BN rider - I've only done one event - it wasn't that pretty - I was probably choking my horse on course - heck we even walked a little for him to calm down. But - I got a lot of confidence from jumping around clean with hundreds of time penalties. I just don't think there is any schooling experience that would give me what a round - even if most of it was trotted would do. There's something about a piney, flowers, jump judges, time and new jumps (even if I did school the course before it closed to be more ready) give you. I did a schooling trial earlier in the year to prep. But, on the day of the event I was still nervous. I don't think I was unsafe - even if I walked off the bank and trotted the ditch and stopped to let the horse behind me go. I just had to go out and do an event and experience it myself.

adamsmom
Dec. 9, 2007, 10:26 PM
adamsmom--I think that we are just talking about two different things. I was focusing on UL (Prelim and up). My understanding was that the licenses etc. were only truly discussed for riders moving up to Prelim and above. As for expanding the Developing rider lists...I wasn't thinking of expanding it to the lower levels but expanding it to cover more riders and include those riders developing horses as well as the ones already at adv.

Since the accidents and deaths have mostly been at prelim and above...that was my focus. I think what you need to do to address dangerous riding at the lower levels and the accidents at the UL are different.

No, I understand that you're looking at Prelim & above riders. The discussion overall is that there needs to be more competency before you get to Prelim; i.e. the 14 year old kid on the OTTB 5year old who goes Prelim although they've never jumped clean around Training.

And that's not a licensing issue. The licensing was a topic of discussion, an idea...it's overall competency at all levels before you move up that is the goal.
How we get there is the ongoing discussion. I'm not necessarily a fan of licensing, but do feel that the governing bodies, organizers, etc. need a better, more efficient way to watch for potential problems.

And I agree that many of those who have been severely or fatally injured would have never been placed on a "watch list". But it's something to think and talk about.

Like I said, many many ideas were thrown out there. Some will work, some won't. I feel we need to investigate all of them to see which might actually work to make the sport safer.

Hence this ongoing discussion!
:winkgrin:

Kementari
Dec. 9, 2007, 10:27 PM
I think that probably a certain number of MR/E/DQs in a certain amount of time (3 in a year? I don't know) would justify a mandatory move-down (oh, and add in there dangerous riding penalties, too). Though this may make people retire voluntarily one refusal shy of an E, well, that's probably not altogether bad - and we should NEVER punish voluntary retirements, or people may be disinclined to do the smart thing.

I don't think we should punish ONE bad ride (other than, of course, the punishment of having the E - or whatever it is - on your record), because everyone has a bad day once in awhile. Heck, I got E'd with my greenie at a 2-phase over crossrails because I forgot a fence! :lol: I'm relatively sure that doesn't make me unsafe - on the other hand, if I did that regularly, it might indicate that I wasn't quite ready for the show scene. ;)

On the other hand, how many people do you know who have a series of bad rides (or at least bad rides where they get penalties of some sort - the bad rides that are clean poor riders tend to just ignore...) who don't have an excuse for it? Just because I can make up a good excuse for that E at the water in May, and another for my horse bucking out of the dressage ring in June, and another for the ridiculous amount of speed faults in July doesn't mean I'm ready to be riding at that level. :D It's a horse show, not an excuse parade. ;)

We do need to take a better look at qualifications and un-qualifications (making up a new word because disqualification means something else ;)), and we need to be willing to say, "No, if you have X bad thing happen to you Y times, then you just aren't ready." And if someone is caught in that net who thinks they don't deserve it, then they should take the opportunity to take a long hard look at what they've been doing that landed them afoul of the rules and figure out how to make it better (many people won't, but they should ;)).

I am, however, against adding a subjective element (besides dressage :winkgrin:) to eventing. If I wanted that, I'd do hunters. And licensing sounds like an expensive way to make sure that only people in the in-crowd can manage to actually compete. I could maybe, maybe see something in that vein for, say, Prelim and up - but leave the lower levels open and inviting. How many people would cross over to eventing - even at an appropriate level! - if they had to get a license to do it? I think it would be very, very bad for the sport. :no:

Duramax
Dec. 9, 2007, 11:00 PM
At at time when there is so much talk and emphasis about "growing the sport" I think this idea would be totally contradictory to that effort. And who says that secretaries/organizers don't already refuse entries? :uhoh: I have secretary and organizer friends and I know that sometimes entries "get lost in the mail."

Kementari
Dec. 9, 2007, 11:10 PM
GR914 Refusal of Entries.

1. In addition to entries of persons suspended or expelled from the Federation, a Licensed Competition may refuse any entry of an exhibitor or the participation of any agent, trainer, rider, driver or handler who has shown an objectionable attitude or behavior at a Licensed Competition or towards its management, which management is able to substantiate, or previous unsportsmanlike behavior at a Licensed Competition which management is able to substantiate.

So, while they can't make judgment calls on a person's riding, they already could refuse the entry of someone who was belligerent or otherwise didn't follow the rules already in place about unsafe behavior.

I do wonder how much leeway there is in "objectionable attitude or behavior" - seems like, say, riding like a bat out of He!! and barely missing crashing at every fence is pretty objectionable...but also subjective. :eek: How much substantiation do they have to provide, and how egregious does it have to be?

Clear Blue
Dec. 9, 2007, 11:52 PM
This is definately looking like a slippery slope.

What about having a requirement of a coaches signature on the entry for any preliminary/ or above competition. This would give a little more responsibility to the coach to review the course and give some heads up on safety reminders. It would also help improve the information flow of how a course is riding. ICP instructors could be exempt from that requirement.

blackwly
Dec. 9, 2007, 11:58 PM
I, for one, vote for starting off by enforcing the rules we already have.

Had a conversation with a ICP instructor (at the highest ICP level, I can't remember what it is called- sorry!) this year. They were pushing for their student to take their young horse (5 or 6) prelim for the first time after just 2 trainings. They had applied, and been granted, permission. This was a lovely young horse who is clearly an upper level prospect. But low and behold, they did the prelim and were eliminated. Luckily unhurt, I believe.

The take home points for me:
- Qualifications are there for a reason. Instead of making them more stringent, how about starting with enforcing them? Then take it from there?

- Just because someone has sought out instruction doesn't mean they are getting the best advice. But how is the average non-professional to know this?

- The pressure to move up, and move up fast, is at an all-time high. What can we do to make the sport as a whole emphasize excellent preformance at each level?

Kementari
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:32 AM
This is definately looking like a slippery slope.

What about having a requirement of a coaches signature on the entry for any preliminary/ or above competition. This would give a little more responsibility to the coach to review the course and give some heads up on safety reminders. It would also help improve the information flow of how a course is riding. ICP instructors could be exempt from that requirement.

You are assuming that the coach is competent - not, IME, a safe assumption. ;)

Plus, many riders (myself included, though I'm not in danger of going prelim any time soon :lol:) don't walk the course with their coach, or even have a coach at every competition with them. One of the joys of eventing for many of us is that we don't expect to have our hands held the whole way. :yes:

Blugal
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:35 AM
Don't know if forcing coach signatures would work. My coach won't sign mine:
-she lives 6 hours away
-she only sees me sporadically (although intensively when we do get together)
-my horse isn't under her control
-she may not even be attending the event

She doesn't want the liability or responsibility - I am an adult & she has given me the best advice she can, but it's my responsibility to take that advice & ride sensibly.

Kementari
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:44 AM
I've never even asked my coach to sign mine. I don't get coaching at competitions (nor am I in intensive training with her), so I figure it shouldn't be on her head if I do something dumb. :lol:

AllyCat
Dec. 10, 2007, 03:44 AM
What JER said on page 1. This regulation of riders is not going to improve safety. Someone posted a list of the fatal accidents in eventing this year and all but one was a rotational fall. I don't see how having licenses would have prevented these deaths.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 10, 2007, 07:05 AM
The sport is objective for a reason.
My last 3 training level HTs.
CO HP: Horse quit out on me
Maui Jim: Horse ran off with me twice and blew by a XC fence
AECs: I went prelim speed, not on purpose. This time horse ran off but at least ran towards the fences that needed to be jumped.

So I moved up to Prelim as planned:
Holly Hill: Horse was spectacular. Ridable, steerable, finally happy again. Horse WAS NO LONGER BORED ON COURSE.
Pinehill: Horse was spectacular again.

purplnurpl, I'm going to get a ton of crap rained on me for saying this, but, geesh, I agree with you on the sport staying objective, but what you described here as your path to Prelim on that horse is EXACTLY the problem, in my opinion.

Instead of resolving the problems you had with your horse, you let the COURSE teach him his lessons??????

You surmised he was bored. What if you were wrong? Sure, you weren't, but come now: the horse you described is THE horse we see a lot of folks riding and label as "dangerous", right? Steering problems, speed problems, event after event not finishing the course or racking up penalties due to unresolved issues. Moreover, the way you phrased it, it was "the horse did this, the horse did that..." What did YOU do?

I ask others now, because what an example you've provided: Here's a horse routinely running off with its rider. In this sport, what purplnurple did is condoned. IMO, that's a huge, huge part of the problem. That attitude is just flat out plain wrong, IMO. Can you imagine someone from outside the sport hearing about that? That bigger fences can back a horse off isn't what would throw a horse person off. That the ONLY SOLUTION TAKEN to solve the horse's problems was to move up a level--that is what a thinking horse person from another sport would be scratching his or her head about. That is where the "eventers are crazy" criticism comes from. And, y'know, that's also why finding owners for horses to be risked like that is going to get harder and harder if that image of the sport isn't dealt with, IMO.

Why can't such issues be corrected at home? And the most troublesome thing about it is that each rider that does that sort of thing successfully encourages other riders to do it. Think about that!

Badger
Dec. 10, 2007, 08:29 AM
Good post, pwynn. I'm scratching my head at adding bigger fences, more technicality, and more speed to the equation when control is consistently an issue.

LisaB
Dec. 10, 2007, 08:50 AM
I don't have any suggestions as we are all SO different and our horses are SO different that it's hard to make rules and regulations for everyone. But here are a couple of people that I know who aren't the norm.
1. Kid just turned 12. Did the local h/j and began eventing. Mom is prudent and found my instructor and leased at kick butt pony. Kid qualified for BN AEC's first time out and did really well. She's a real sponge for knowledge and is truly talented girl. I don't want to hinder her progress by age limits.
2. Adult ammy with older packer type of horse. Qualified for the T3DE and during a clinic asked 'What's r&d?' Then explained that it's 'roads and tracks'. 'What's that?' WHAT??????????? And the person went on to the t3de and got an E I think for going over the time on phase c because they didn't realize there was time limit. WHAT???????????
3. Adult ammy (a couple of them actually) on really nice packers (one I know was advanced and seems to really like his new job) at the AEC's. The riders are flopping all over the place and the horses are completely ignoring that wart on their back and going clear. Accident waiting to happen? Maybe. Do I want to see them at prelim? Heck no.
So, I don't have an answer to this dilemma. It's a dilemma here because we have crap trainers. It's a dilemma in the UK and Ireland because they have a culture where they get some instruction here and there. It's a dilemma in Germany because they believe in just kicking on and going great guns regardless.
I wouldn't mind a written test before I go to the next level. Have sections of: rules at that level, knowledge of horse husbandry, and situational (meaning, horse has these symptoms, what would you do? )

inquisitive
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:23 AM
Are all these proposed rules really going to make change where it's needed? Like forcing someone to compete at a certain level for more than a year or forcing someone to go back a level if they retire on course? What if the footing was bad? What if they waited to move up to T until they were way more prepared and then were totally ready for P after a few events?

There are way too many 'ifs' to create so many rules. Seriously, the major issue is people and trainers not being smart. People will find ways around them, and in the end the rules are only going to hurt others. I don't have the time or money (which, another thing that totally sucks is people stereotyping adult ammies. not all of us just sit there doing nothing! some of us are adult ammies simply because 1) we're of 'that age' and 2) have a job other than horses!) to deal with so much red tape and would hate to have to stop riding because of all the BS! I also love my horse and the sport and like to think that I have enough sense to move up/compete/retire/wait whatever when the time is right.

IMO, we need to stop thinking about more rules and just get down to following what we believe is right. In the end, if people who move up too fast are 'shunned', then people will stop doing it! Right now, there just happens to be more emphasis on moving up rather than moving up when the time is right. Yes, it's difficult to change people, but just focus on yourself and taking responsibility for your own actions.

I know this came out all fruity, believe in the world! and silly but I really don't think rules are going to help solve the real problem and will only hurt people who really are doing the right thing already.

Xctrygirl
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:23 AM
Wynn, if the rain comes down on you, I'll get a typhoon on me..

Purpl~ I am glad your prelims went well, but I wholeheartedly agree with Wynn. Your example highlights the problem here. Why was going home and not eventing for a few months an option that was left in the barn?

Why or what motivated you to ignore the obvious issues between you and your horse and just go ahead and move up a level? What did your trainer say to this game plan?
What did your family say? (I am 36 and my folks are still following my event career and chime in if it sounds like something I thought out might not be a great idea. And I listen to them)


I really think it was a bad move. Not just because it was unsafe in theory, but also because as Wynn pointed out, because you got away with it, others will try as well. And that moment of leading by example was bad.

Now before you think I am only bashing you, I have made more than my share of bad decisions. I have done all sorts of stupid stuff. And I am still standing. Ok so let's just accept that we make mistakes and that some of the benefits of this sport are that we are surrounded by caring riders who understand the desire to go on but would pull you aside and say, "Ok I get that you're frustrated, but that wasn't the right decision. It's ok to go back and fix things, prelim will still be here. Just don't risk yourself or your pony.We care about you and don't want to see you hurt."


I hope my underlying point gets through. And I appreciate every situation is different but dangerous choices by one do affect us all.


~Emily


PS: To whomever said Children's Hunter is 3', when that accident happened it was 3'6". 80's

asterix
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:26 AM
If you're doing your 1st prelim. and you're eliminated...you don't belong there!

Gee, thanks. I did my first prelim, got eliminated at the trakhener, because I find them intimidating, and my horse is smart enough not to go if I am not in the game.
One month later, having schooled trakheners more, I did my second prelim. We were in first place going out on XC and came in 4th with time faults because I wanted to focus on riding the course and not making time.

Should I have gone back to training after the first prelim? I promise you it wouldn't have made me any more equipped to jump a prelim trakhener.

Look, the problem we always struggle with here is this:

1. Numbers do not always tell the story. "She went clean and was a disaster to watch." "I had a stop because it turned out my horse had lost a shoe and slipped." etc.

2. Introducing a non-numbers-based (ie subjective) criteria makes some people very uncomfortable, and has proven very difficult to develop into a workable plan.

How do we resolve this conflict??

And, although I am a huge fan of the elementary/BBN/BN levels, when I was trying to explain to my husband -- a new rider who, if he works at it, might be able to take my very well-behaved (now prelim ;)) horse elementary next year -- that HE could go TRAINING on our GREEN BEAN according to the current rules...
he thought that was crazy. "What other sport would allow that?" he asked.

inquisitive
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:32 AM
And, although I am a huge fan of the elementary/BBN/BN levels, when I was trying to explain to my husband -- a new rider who, if he works at it, might be able to take my very well-behaved (now prelim ;)) horse elementary next year -- that HE could go TRAINING on our GREEN BEAN according to the current rules...
he thought that was crazy. "What other sport would allow that?" he asked.

If anyone wanted to, they could go compete in the working hunters. However, go watch a hunter show, and I guarantee you won't see anyone in that division who doesn't belong there. Why? Because you would be totally embarrassed if you didn't put in a great trip! Yes, you see some missed spots in the 3'6" juniors, or some totally packer rides in the 3', and some scary trips in the 2'6" greens. But at 4'-4'6"? No one shows unless they belong there, not because of any rules.

asterix
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:36 AM
Well, sadly, embarrassment certainly does NOT seem to work that well in eventing. The sheer number of bystanders going :eek: rolls right off the backs of the oblivious.

And, although I KNOW you can get badly hurt jumping anything, the odds of really crashing do go up significantly when you take an unprepared rider and put them out in an open field pointed at solid obstacles.

I don't want to bar the door to ANYONE who wants to try eventing (and I do have visions of mr. asterix going elementary, and he isn't going to look like anything but what he is, a new rider trying this out, when he does), but I don't think that the first time we have any entry qualifications at all should be Preliminary.

inquisitive
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:39 AM
Well, sadly, embarrassment certainly does NOT seem to work that well in eventing. The sheer number of bystanders going :eek: rolls right off the backs of the oblivious.

And, although I KNOW you can get badly hurt jumping anything, the odds of really crashing do go up significantly when you take an unprepared rider and put them out in an open field pointed at solid obstacles.

I don't want to bar the door to ANYONE who wants to try eventing (and I do have visions of mr. asterix going elementary, and he isn't going to look like anything but what he is, a new rider trying this out, when he does), but I don't think that the first time we have any entry qualifications at all should be Preliminary.

Riders don't go in the working hunters because they know the jumps are going to come down if there's a problem :lol: Yes, there's a 'different' ride required for XC, but if anything that risk should deter more riders.

I guess I don't think rules or qualification requirements are really going to solve the problem. I see bad rides at Prelim, even though there are requirements. I don't think putting qualifications down at T is going to make any difference. It's all in the attitude people have.

As a culture, eventers should just start emphasizing preparedness, quality of rides, safety, etc.

flyingchange
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:50 AM
I guess I just don't undertand why this emphasis on legislating safety at the lower levels when right now it's our seasoned UL riders and horses who are getting badly hurt and worse. I'm not saying we don't need to pay attention to the LLs, but I guess I just haven't been hearing about really bad accidents at the LLs as much as at the ULs. And it's with experienced UL riders that these accidents are occuring.

I'm just wondering if this issue - of the UL tragedies - is being addressed at the conference.

I am personally of the feeling that the LLs are doing fine - however I haven't seen any numbers to persuade me either way.

Whose brainfart, I mean, brainchild, is this whole licensing thing? David O'C's?

purplnurpl
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:54 AM
You surmised he was bored. What if you were wrong? Sure, you weren't, but come now: the horse you described is THE horse we see a lot of folks riding and label as "dangerous", right? Steering problems, speed problems, event after event not finishing the course or racking up penalties due to unresolved issues. Moreover, the way you phrased it, it was "the horse did this, the horse did that..." What did YOU do?



No crap is given for opinions. I was hoping for someone to ask about this so that I could further prove my point.
He easily skipped through two years of trainings level HTs. And I needed to move up the season before...procrastination kicks you in the butt sometimes.

And as for my coach, I got the "I told you so and get his butt up and working". He told me to move up a season ago. (rolling eyes)

My point being no one knows what was going on but me.
CO HP: He quit out but it had nothing to do with the fences. It was the altitude and the sight of 15 miles of mountains when he got to the top of the hill. Seeing the whole world in front of him scared the shit out of him and he stopped in-between fences. And that was that. He jumped the 1st 1/4 of the course beautifully.

Maui Jim: He was dicking around with me. Plain and simple. I controlled him. Hence the reason why I was able to finish the course and then follow up with the most beautiful SJ of his life. But he was still totally ADD the 1st 1/2 of the course. Pretty much he was at the point where he had better things to do. Horses get cocky. He was insulted.

At the AECs:
I kept his attention by allowing him to go. He was not unsafe. Just fast. No one would have tagged me for unsafe riding, or yellow flagged me.

So what do I do? Keep him at a level where he dicks around or give him something to think about?

And IMHO, there are many issues that can ONLY be fixed in the show environment at a HT.
Dicking around on course is one of them. A good old slap on the butt out of the start box, and a 'get to work buddy' cannot be fixed at home.

You surmised he was bored. What if you were wrong? Sure, you weren't, but come now: the horse you described is THE horse we see a lot of folks riding and label as "dangerous", right?
ooo, and this is a big fat no. : ) Never once did we look or feel dangerous just a wee tad speedy. Otherwise I would have stopped. I know that is hard to understand for anyone but me and those involved. I knew my horse.
And my two BNTs knew my horse. Hence the reason I had their approval to move up.

When Salute the Truth was going up and up and up the levels my friend called Stuart Pitman to talk about a potential breeding to the stallion.
She asked him about his rapid level movement (the horse was quite young at this time)
He answered, the stallion has been eating it all up so we go ahead and pour it on.

My mistake was that I waited too long. Not that my horse and myself were incapable of moving up.
The successes have not been good luck.

Which is the reason I fight for objectivity.

purplnurpl
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:57 AM
I guess I just don't undertand why this emphasis on legislating safety at the lower levels when right now it's our seasoned UL riders and horses who are getting badly hurt and worse.


This is where lies the key.

BarbB
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:12 AM
I'm not going to go back thru the posts for quotes, but I hear two main themes here. One is that more rules isn't the answer....I chimed in on that early. The other is that the culture, the norm, the peer pressure if you like, has gotten skewed. That's my perception also. The push to recruit new participants seems to go along with acceptance of bad riding.

I think there is a huge difference between watching a newbie at the level work their way carefully through a first time course and watching a yahoo who hasn't a clue.

first thought....How about more support for pulling riders off course for dangerous riding?
I honestly do not think that an experienced TD is going to mistake a slow careful round for a frightened tentative one; or a too fast, having a momentary problem round for a flat out runaway and a passenger for a rider.
So why aren't more riders stopped? I believe because the culture does not support it.

second thought....how about less support for moving up, especially in the lower levels where people should be treating it as a learning experience.
We could start right here. Riders post stories of bad bad bad rounds and pictures of a total lack of the basics along with plans to move up :eek:
The very few of us who try to nicely point out some glaring holes in that plan are shouted down in the general rah rah of do it! as long as you are comfortable! etc etc.
THAT, IMO, is how people get to training and suddenly the holes are a real and serious problem.

Will either of these solve the problem of rider deaths? No, and neither will more rules, because the stats show that the majority of rider deaths are at the upper levels and are generally skillful riders who make a human error or their partner, also a living being, makes a mistake.
But is could make the sport safer and ultimately more enjoyable at the lower levels.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the context, purplnurple. It does illustrate what you say about the need for objectivity.

I do think what inquisitive said is what would make the most sense, as this discussion seems to be coming around to pretty consistently:



Originally posted by inquisitive: IMO, we need to stop thinking about more rules and just get down to following what we believe is right. In the end, if people who move up too fast are 'shunned', then people will stop doing it! Right now, there just happens to be more emphasis on moving up rather than moving up when the time is right. Yes, it's difficult to change people, but just focus on yourself and taking responsibility for your own actions.



Maybe 2008 should be named "The Year of Competing Responsibly," and area newsletters and activities and clinics and events, plus individual trainers and exhibitors should repeat the dont-move-up-unless-you-and-your-horse-are-really-truly-ready message over and over until it replaces the must-keeping-moving-up one?

asterix
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:31 AM
Barb, although I generally fall on the "maybe some more rules might be good" end of the spectrum, I find myself very much agreeing with your post. I am skeptical about how much impact your second suggestion will have -- the people I know personally who have moved up too soon have been completely immune to gentle suggestions, good examples, or even point-blank assessments from respected (and ICP qualified) instructors -- they just go find a different instructor. (not that we shouldn't try!)

But a serious commitment to enforce dangerous riding, use those red and yellow flags (is this a suggestion even at low level HTs?), and thereby change the culture that "survival" is all that matters and it's cool to careen around barely making it...

That might make a real difference.

CookiePony
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:45 AM
I honestly do not think that an experienced TD is going to mistake a slow careful round for a frightened tentative one; or a too fast, having a momentary problem round for a flat out runaway and a passenger for a rider.
So why aren't more riders stopped? I believe because the culture does not support it.


Because many fence judges do not recognize dangerous riding when they see it and are too slow on the uptake to get a rider stopped. The TD cannot be everywhere at once, and literally delegates the job of observing most of XC to the jump judges. Many jump judges are well-meaning but inexperienced. Jump judge training and coordination has got to improve.

Case in point: the last time I jump judged, we got a couple of people who were out on course carrying three refusals (not at the same time). XC Control instructed us through the radio to eliminate these riders if they had another stop. If memory serves, one of them did have a fourth stop midway through the course, but then was allowed to attempt that fence again and had a fall. If the jump judge had been on the ball, that rider would have been informed that she was out of chances and a fall would have been avoided.

So... if the average jump judge (generalizing here, but IME it is the truth) doesn't even figure out how to stop an eliminated rider before she attempts another jump, how can the same jump judge figure out what constitutes dangerous riding and stop the rider??

LisaB
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:54 AM
I'm guessing why we will see the 'flaggers' on course at the upper levels now is because the td can't be everywhere at once. These flaggers are experienced people and can see dangerous or abusive riding.
Anyway, agreed about jump judges not being experienced enough. Not bashing them, we need them! But case in point, I got 2 refusals on my jump, then another jump got 2, and then another got 1. Nobody was stopping the rider. That's 5, you're out. I called in the radio to inform next jump judge to stop rider. The td was hauling back over to the course because they were detained elsewhere for the seconds this was occurring.
We have some good educational articles on the eventing magazine. But it seems they are preaching to choir? How do we get through to people about rules, safety, horsemanship? Articles are great, they remind me of stuff I've forgotten or perspectives that didn't dawn on me. But are they really getting through to the bottom feeders?

asterix
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:58 AM
CP, I agree that jump judges don't know enough (as a group) to do this --- and anyone who has ever organized a horse trial will tell you it's hard to muster up all those jump judges, so to insist that they all be educated enough to recognize dangerous riding will never work (although they should be able to count to 4 and hopefully understand they can and should stop a rider at that point!)...

but jump judges can certainly radio in to request the TD watch a rider -- if more than one judge does, or a judge does who the officials know is experienced, then the TD should try and take a look if she can. Probably control should be armed with a list of which jumps have experienced jump judges on them -- at our HT, the volunteer coordinators could certainly provide that list.

I think it should at least be tried, even if it's an imperfect solution. That rule is on the books and it does no one any good to let it lie unenforced -- sends the wrong message for sure!

CookiePony
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:04 PM
It's not easy to have an educated, sharp team of jump judges out on course. But there is so much more that could be done!!

For example, I heard through the audio of the G10 Summit that we might be getting a video for jump judges to watch. Great. Then someone said, well what about an information sheet to hand out to jump judges? The reply was, we've got a great one that is easy to read with diagrams. It's on the website. Another audience member (I think) said, no it isn't. Then a USEA official promised to put it up on the website this week.

OK, two problems here.
1. The information sheet is from 2003. When the season starts up next month, that sheet will be FIVE YEARS OLD. We have had many rule changes since 2003, including the new four-refusal rule and Dangerous Riding penalties.

2. Nobody at the USEA had realized that the sheet wasn't on the website (at least nobody in the room). I knew that it wasn't on the website because this fall a COTHer was desperately trying to find a copy to distribute to jump judges at a schooling event. I wound up digging out one I had kept and scanning it into a pdf that I emailed to her.

CookiePony
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:10 PM
CP, I agree that jump judges don't know enough (as a group) to do this --- and anyone who has ever organized a horse trial will tell you it's hard to muster up all those jump judges, so to insist that they all be educated enough to recognize dangerous riding will never work (although they should be able to count to 4 and hopefully understand they can and should stop a rider at that point!)...

but jump judges can certainly radio in to request the TD watch a rider -- if more than one judge does, or a judge does who the officials know is experienced, then the TD should try and take a look if she can. Probably control should be armed with a list of which jumps have experienced jump judges on them -- at our HT, the volunteer coordinators could certainly provide that list.

I think it should at least be tried, even if it's an imperfect solution. That rule is on the books and it does no one any good to let it lie unenforced -- sends the wrong message for sure!

(Was posting the rant above as you posted this...)

Yes, yes, yes. I think it is a fabulous idea for Control to know which jumps have experienced people. It would also be a good idea to have experienced people on the more complicated/ trouble-prone jumps. I have volunteered where this was done, and I have volunteered when the assignment of jump judges was quite random.

And perhaps TDs need to start emphasizing in the briefings that they want to know when there is some iffy riding out on course.

And yes, it is very, very hard to get enough jump judges. Please, everyone, volunteer! Your expertise is much needed.

bambam
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:14 PM
I just don't see licensing as being a workable solution.
I do not see it being workable or affordable at the lower levels and that is where a licensing system might actually make a difference since I think the problem of bad LL riding is mostly from the people who are scary to watch and/or don't have the basics and neither they or their instructor realize this (see it all the time).
As for licensing the UL, it might help the small number of people I have seen at prelim and to a much lesser extent above who should probably not be there, but the licensing system would not have prevented the fatal and near fatal accidents this year and add on top of that the fact that I think this would have to be enormously expensive in order to not be half-a**ed and a bigger problem than the problem it is seeking to fix. Seems to me, we need a better solution for the UL problem (not that I know what that is really ;))
At the LLs, I think the bad riding riding comes down to a lack of basics and lack of awareness that they are missing the basics- a lack of awareness that usually is attributable both to the rider and their instructor. I think before we go adding new rules and bureaucratic processes, we need to be more proactive about what is already in place. Have TDs be more proactive about yellow and red flagging people or penalizing them for dangerous riding- and both the USEA and riders need to be ready to stand behind the TDs for doing this and the serious flak they are going to get for doing it. Perhaps having a third party say, "you have a problem" may be the way they learn that they are mssing the basics. Since the TD is not just responsible for x-c, perhaps an additional official whose sole role is to monitor x-c for this very purpose would be the way to do it. Unless the TD or other person doing this role is already on course, there is little chance that a dangerous rider will be pulled up in time based on calls from JJs or even that the TD will be able to see enough of the course to give them dangerous riding penalties.
This would be subjective and imperfect but I think it could make a difference without posing the drawbacks and logistical problems that licensing does.

asterix
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:16 PM
This is an interesting idea (I'm waiting for someone to demolish it ;) )-- most HTs I work at do have SOME pretty experienced jump judges on hand, and sometimes they are well-placed (at a complex, and/or with a view on other fences even if they are not technically responsible for them). I do remember one time I showed up, wrote on my sheet that I had jump judged through the *** level, and wound up judging the last fence. The "good" fences had been promised to various people as enticements for showing up.

We probably need to be proactive about this, as organizers, as volunteer coordinators, and as TDs -- put your best people where you need them, make sure control knows what fences have the best eyes at them, beef up the briefings and get those materials (videos, drawings, etc.,) out there.

A less experienced jump judge can be encouraged to voice concerns so that at least the NEXT available experienced set of eyes (be that the TD, the next jump judge in the course, etc.) can be aware that there might be an issue.

At best it can help, at worst it'll help educate the jump judge for the next time.

And, yes, if we could have a dedicated XC official for this purpose, I think practically speaking it would go a LONG way to helping as bambam said. I know that's another expense, but...

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:37 PM
There is already a solution to inexperienced jump judges and the TD not being able to be everywhere....they are called Stewards. When I organized a N/TR HT over 5 years ago we had several of them. Each had a radio to control and the TD. You had one in the warm up for x-c (and warm ups for stadium and dressage) and several spread out on the course---especially in locations that could not easily be seen from control. For our x-c course 3 steward put in strategic places could see the whole course. At our little HT, each of our stewards out on the x-c course were UL riders (as in *** level riders). They had the experience to spot dangerous riding and at the time, what was important to me as an organizer, to know what to do if a horse and rider fell and could be on the scene quickly as many of our jump judges were not experienced. In our event....they were luckily bored which is what I was hoping for. They would have been more then experienced enough to flag riders down. So again...I think that we already have alot of the proceedures and people in place...the rules just need to be used.

RunNJump
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:37 PM
I have to agree that liscensing would not prevent injury to horse or rider, esp. since most of the serious injuries have been at the upper levels, and I am assuming those riders would have easily gotten their liscense.

I also agree we need to identify the problem before coming up with a solution.
The problem seems to be dangerous riding.
How about if the TD has assistants so there are eyes on all parts of the course at all times? That way it's not up to a volunteer jump judge to make a call. The assistants could be upper level riders who should be able to recognize dangerous riding, or someone who has gone through a training course which identifies it. They could be in touch w/ the TD, GR, or whomever and could potentially 'pull' a horse/rider if needed.
Just a thought.

OneDaySoon
Dec. 10, 2007, 12:54 PM
Can someone please post the USEA annual accident statistics? I searched for it and couldn't find it.

Whatever new rules are adopted, they need to be appropriately targeted to have the greatest effect. This is not about what happened to a particular individual, or the example or lack of example they set, it is about addressing across the board, safety issues that are having the largest impact on the sport (and that could be interpreted as ie. UL fatalities or an increase in the number of dangerous rides at BN). Getting to "how" will be easy if we have a comprehensive understanding of the accidents, where they happen, how they happen, who they happen to, conditions on the day, and other factors which may have contributed.

Were the stats discussed in the conference? Did they set a goal such as "USEA's mission is to reduce annual XC accidents by 10% in 2008?". What was their plan to implement the goal?

Janet
Dec. 10, 2007, 01:58 PM
Several points.

In describing the idea of the license, D O'C talked about the anaolgy to car racing- that you can't go out on the race track without a license.

While I have never had a car racing license, I have had a motorcyle racing license, and I have ridden around Daytona international Speedway at speeds near 140 mph.

The requirements for getting a racing license are pretty simple. You need to take a one or two day course, which inlcudes riding around the track either following or being followed by an instructor. Then they have a "mock race" in which you have to go around in a group without falling off, or causing someone else to fall off. You have to respond correctly to the flags (no passing under the waving yellow, everyone stop for a red flag, YOU stop for a black flag with your number displayed). There is also a pretty straight forward written test.

Once you have your license, you are watched for your first race to make sure you don't do anything stupid. Then you are a licnesed racer.

There are usually two tiers, called Junior/Senior or Amateur/Expert - having nothing to do with being paid. Once you get a certain number of points you progress to the higher license. For each bike size, the actual races are split into, say "Amateur 600 Supersport" and "Expert 600 Supersport".

You can definitely get a race license without being particularly competent as a racer.

If that is the kind of licensing he has in mind, I have no concerns.

Janet
Dec. 10, 2007, 02:20 PM
The comments about requiring ICP instructors was definitely ONLY for the NAJYRC.

It became clear at the Sunday BoG meeting that this was a USEF proposal, without first getting buy-in from USEA. There was a certain amount of pushback from USEA board members- that there were not enough ICP instuctors at the apropriate level to coach all the teams- expecially when you consider that a lot of them will be aiming for WEG in 2010 and won't be available to coach.

"You realize this means we will not be allowed to use Jimmy Wofford as a YR team coach!!"

Janet
Dec. 10, 2007, 02:22 PM
I forget the exact number of dangerous riding penalties, but there have been NO repeat offendors.

So it seems to be working.

cyberbay
Dec. 10, 2007, 02:31 PM
Any proposal with David O'C's name attached equals trouble. Watch out.

There are very few analogies to other sports that can actually be useful. Eventing is not like car racing, b/c getting across the finish line first is not the point in eventing, nor avoiding other traffic a concern, and in eventing you can travel at a slow speed in XC if you choose.

Didn't read all the posts, but other posters are correct: enforce the rules we have. And maybe add one more rule: have the organizer and TD record any/all unsafe riding at the event. Send these reports to USEA, who will enter the data. When a rider shows a consistent record of 'unsafe,' that rider name is flagged, and contact is made with that rider to note the USEA's concerns. Now, the trick is: what's the next step with this information? I think we're mostly on the same page about identifying unsafe riding (and have the rider-safety report differentiate between a green stop and a poor approach and poor jump effort), but how to RESOLVE unsafe riding at events is part 2 of this drama!!

pwynnnorman
Dec. 10, 2007, 02:41 PM
But who says the problem IS "unsafe riding"? And since when is "ugly" riding necessarily "unsafe," especially if the result would be no more than an embarassing fall (but NOT a rotational one--which there are no examples of occurring recently at the lower--T, N--levels)?

As someone else stated, one expects to see some not-so-great riding at the lower levels. One expects them to fall off and/or go too fast. Penalize 'em and be done with it, right? I don't see how that's a major problem at all. They aren't the ones getting seriously injured or killed.

What is really, really needed is the data. Not just on fatalities, but on all falls that result in injury to horse and/or rider.

LisaB
Dec. 10, 2007, 03:33 PM
But Wynn, unsafe riding at the lower levels does cause injuries and generally, because the fences are low and speed lower, there are no immediate deaths ( ummm, dare I say, Christopher Reeve?). But we do have to nip it in the bud across all levels.
I think if we do get flagged, it's incredibly humbling. I know a couple of people with yellow cards and now they are extremely cognizant of their reckless behavior. I think just having someone acknowledging your negligence is enough for you to go to the drawing board.
And I love the idea of the td's having to write down dangerous riding. I would venture a guess that it wouldn't be too much more paperwork, right? They have a lot to do but this would definitely help.
How about this, and it may be impossible in some areas, but if we were to move up a level, we go to a 'test'. A little less than the mounted tests at PC and a lot less political. But basically make it voluntary. I know we have some unrecognized combined tests here with licensed judges. We could track our scores and the judge give us a thumbs up or down on whether we are ready. I'm not including x-c because you can tell between st and dr if the person/horse are prepared. Sure, not perfect, but gives the rider and idea if they are ready. See how this flies and see if we can start mandating it. ???

NMK
Dec. 10, 2007, 03:50 PM
I don't get it. What statistics are they using to formulate and/or mandate change? Where is the study like the one Cookiepony posted? A study group needs to take a very scientific analysis of the problems before coming up with solutions. Most eventers I know are rugged individualists (or they'd be happy in just the penguins suit or eight fences to jump) and arbitary licensing or changes without good, sound, scientific reasoning are not going to sit well with us.

Nancy

RAyers
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:04 PM
I need to shout now:

DOES ANYBODY REALIZE THAT MANY OF THESE PROPOSED RULES WILL BASICALLY MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR AN AMATEUR TO DO THE UPPER LEVELS?

Good g-d, we already have to jump through so many hoops, spending time away from our work to just compete (even the 25 Hour Day (pat. pending) doesn't help). If licensing, bump downs, and the like come ito play we will never be able to compete at the upper levels. Talk about making a sport unattractive to newcomers unless they are pros. And before anybody bitches that pros are more qualified, it appears that the pros and juniors are the ones becoming statistics so why should any of these new ideas apply to us amateurs?

All I see/heard this weekend was that the upper levels will become the sole domain of the pros and that is BS.

Reed

inquisitive
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:08 PM
There's several issues at hand here and I think some are getting jumbled. The OP's original question was as to possible requirements such as licensing. The OP then related this to reducing safety. Was that the intended goal of the proposal?

If so, then we really have to think about whether rules and regulations will make this sport any safer. I tend to think not.

If not, then I think the rule might have been proposed for what I was discussing: issues with riders being unprepared. While YES, this does somewhat impact safety, it's mostly going to impact LLR's whose safety is not really brought into question very often.

To me, the real question is whether licensing will created better prepared riders. And again, I say it's all about culture, not more rules.

inquisitive
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:10 PM
I need to shout now:

DOES ANYBODY REALIZE THAT MANY OF THESE PROPOSED RULES WILL BASICALLY MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR AN AMATEUR TO DO THE UPPER LEVELS?


Or any level for that matter! I was venting earlier :lol:

rhymeswithfizz
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:14 PM
Rider licenses would, in their intended form, give us a standard of each rider knowing what they need to be at each level. And if enacted in a careful way, would allow for riders who have not proven their competency at the right levels, would not be allowed to compete above the level they are licensed for. Now of course the key to making this work is how to determine what level each individual rider is capable of. It won’t work if it becomes, “Oh John Doe works for Bruce and Bruce says he is competent at Prelim, even though he hasn’t done an event since last fall and that was novice.” In this instance it’s very possible that John Doe is competent at prelim after that much time working for Bruce, but it can’t be an automatic assignation of level. There has to be a testing or some form of observation standard that will be done with all riders equally. And that won’t be easy.


Just an observation... this sounds an awful lot like PONY CLUB. There are tests to acheive certain ratings that have very specific standards for the riders to advance. But the ratings tests (at least back in my day) were infrequent (more so as you move up the levels) and expensive.

Janet
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:14 PM
DOES ANYBODY REALIZE THAT MANY OF THESE PROPOSED RULES WILL BASICALLY MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR AN AMATEUR TO DO THE UPPER LEVELS? I do not think any of these new things have reached the state of "proposed rule changes" yet. Just "talking points".

oldbutnotdead
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:17 PM
I agree with Reed. Don't make it impossible for me to ride up the levels. Keep the concept of personal responsibility in eventing, and recognize that eventing is different away from the east coast. I have to drive many hours to different states to event, except at the one venue in state.

luveventing
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:20 PM
I hate to say it- but I know MORE pros- WAY more pros, rushing up the levels with green horses to sell, get points, get on the "list"or get to advanced WAY more than the amateur riders. I think these "amateur" riders are much more honest with their limits and depend more on coaches help to make decisions than the pros. And most of the rules we are making are allowing MORE room for pros to do this and restricting more and more the amateur riders.

I cannot tell you how many horses I have seen carried around prelim by an excellent pro rider. the fact that they CAN ride them at that level- does that mean they SHOULD be? They have a lot of pressure to get results and make money so I think they stick their necks out on hroses that may not be qualifed or capable WAY more often than an ammie.

Also- what the heck happened to the lucinda way of riding? Who cares if its pretty- your job as a rider is to put the horse at the best place possible, sit back and DONT fall off and break your neck. Most of the best riders/ teachers couldn't care less if it's a pretty round. Stay out of the way and give the horse what it needs to jump. that doesnt always equal pretty. So you have a TD or jump judge watching that says that was an ugly jump and pulls you off course?
I think some of the safest and effective xc riders are NOT the prettiest. ANd the prettiest riders often find themselves in precarious positions when things don't go perfectly.

this just feels like yet ANOTHER example where the pros are making decisions in the guise of reeling in these crazy ammies, when its really themselves they need to look at. I agree- these changes sure make it feel like my days in this sport are about over. and I can tell you I won't be spending my saved money to fund another pro who doesn't give a damn about MY personal riding goals and capability. All we will have left is YRs and Pros and a lot of bitter, talented Ammies taking up tennis.

melodiousaphony
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:27 PM
I agree with Reed. Don't make it impossible for me to ride up the levels. Keep the concept of personal responsibility in eventing, and recognize that eventing is different away from the east coast.

I agree; don't let eventing follow the current trend of blame everyone else for your stupidity that seems to be proliferating every aspect of life.

It's like that lady who sued because she spilt hot coffee in her lap after she stuck it between her legs while driving. That old case still sends me into a tail spin, as I think she won. Don't be stupid, don't blame people for being stupid. When I worked at Dunkin' Donuts I burnt myself with coffee, but it was my own fault (moved cup before releasing coffee spout handle) and I paid for it.

If people get hurt eventing because they're making REALLY stupid decisions about what level at which to compete, it's their own fault. If a trainer signs the "trainer" spot, it should be their responsibility to decide the level at which a rider competes OR if the person signs it themselves, that person should be responsible enough to decide. I don't want another hurdle on what will be my long, but hopefully successful, journey to UL eventing.

Yesterday, I was discussing making it to prelim. with a friend of mine. My horse could do it with time, work, and me growing a pair/getting stronger/developing my mind... but am I cut out for it? She doesn't think she is, though I disagree, as she thinks people that go on in the upper levels need to be slightly nuts. While I agree with that to some extent, I think another important point in moving up is understanding when your horse isn't ready, even if it means retiring on course, or if you can't just ride your horse well enough (even if it's just _that day_) to make it through a course. It's the rider's responsibility.

This is eventing, this is a BIG animal ridden by a comparatively small person over jumps, terrain, etc. With that kind of power comes great responsibility ::ba'dum'ching:: and people need to assume that responsibility themselves. I don't like that people die eventing, but perhaps they should be more realistic about their ability. Not to mention that some accidents are completely unpredictable. Sh*t happens, if you don't like it, don't event. You certainly don't have to!

useventers
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:28 PM
It's great to see everyone giving this thread a lot of thought!

My question based on my original idea is... how many Eliminations or Mandatory Retirements in a season do you think should necessitate a mandatory move down of a level? Maybe 2, 3...? Or do you think there should NEVER be a mandatory move down given to a horse/rider?
Do you think excessive stops and falls should be included somehow?

RAyers
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:30 PM
I do think it is time that the Upper Level Amateurs need to come together and get some of our own representation. I agree that the Lower Level Amateur is PARAMOUNT to the success of the sport but they are the former Junior Riders and the "will-be" upper level riders. I admit, I am tired of all of the rancor about safety given with a rather dismissive attitude by pros to the ammys who are running right along side those pros. We have to make sure that what comes out of the USEF/USEA does NOT kill the potential for a true amateur to run with the big dogs, and right now, many of these ideas are leading in that direction.

Reed

Janet
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:31 PM
But who says the problem IS "unsafe riding"? And since when is "ugly" riding necessarily "unsafe," especially if the result would be no more than an embarassing fall (but NOT a rotational one--which there are no examples of occurring recently at the lower--T, N--levels)?

As someone else stated, one expects to see some not-so-great riding at the lower levels. One expects them to fall off and/or go too fast. Penalize 'em and be done with it, right? I don't see how that's a major problem at all. They aren't the ones getting seriously injured or killed.

What is really, really needed is the data. Not just on fatalities, but on all falls that result in injury to horse and/or rider.
There have been several people paralyzed in non rotational falls.

USEA has inofrmation on all injuries (horse and rider) known to the event vet, EMT or TD. Going back to 2001. But not in a format available on the web. I am sure that if you contact the safety committee they can get you the information you need.

LisaB
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:32 PM
Back when my membership number was 624, we didn't have real chat room and boards. Sure, I had compuserve (found my first date there, okay TMI). Anyway, now we, the llr's are talking and coming up with ideas. Not just the guys sitting in Leesburg. Poor guys!
So, I could care less about regulations and what-not. All I knew is that I take my lessons and when my instructor said to enter this event, I did. Or, I asked if I should do such and such. It was a conversation I had between me, my conscience, and my instructor.
Now, that I'm seeing the world, there are a lot of yahoos out there! I don't have an answer though. I'm more of a Darwinist myself.
Anyway, was it discussed about the qualification criteria for the UL's? I'm curious and Reed made me think about it. It's not just you Reed, the ULR's here in VA and actually up and down the east coast scramble too. It's a fight to get the qualifications to do whatever in a given amount of time. The horse is right, the training is right, the rider is right, then it takes an enormous effort to move up the levels for the horse.
I hated seeing my instructor go to Chicago to do the AEC's and then turn around and having to go up to Bromont to do the **. What she should be doing is a few advanced in the fall, then kicking it in for a *** in the spring. Instead, plans went awry, horses spent 30 + hours on a broken rig, get home, unpack, re-pack, get horse up to trailer and spend another 12 hours to get a qualification. I found it ridiculous and frivolous. And I've seen other riders having to do the same mad scramble. Glad I'm not them!

useventers
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:36 PM
Please clarify how all these ideas would make it impossible for an AA rider at the upper levels? There are many AA riders that don't have excessive stops, falls, eliminations and retirements that move right up the levels with no problems.

I don't think most posters agree with the licensing idea, that could get a little subjective.
All of the other ideas have basically been enforcing the current qualifications and adding to them. We've always had some type of qualifications, age limitations etc... should we have none of those??

inquisitive
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:40 PM
Please clarify how all these ideas would make it impossible for an AA rider at the upper levels? There are many AA riders that don't have excessive stops, falls, eliminations and retirements that move right up the levels with no problems.

I don't think most posters agree with the licensing idea, that could get a little subjective.
All of the other ideas have basically been enforcing the current qualifications and adding to them. We've always had some type of qualifications, age limitations etc... should we have none of those??

Easy. More requirements = more things that have to be done before you can do anything. Whether this be getting signed off by someone, completing a test ride, or dropping down a level and completing 2 more events because you retired.

Yes, there are plenty of adult ammies getting around fine without stops. That's exactly why we shouldn't make rules that hurt them.

As a working adult, I scrape up the money to take lessons 1/week or sometimes every other week, compete MAYBE once a month, etc. I do everything that I can afford to prepare myself. I make D*** WELL SURE that I'm ready for my competition! If I'm not ready, I take more lessons or go XC Schooling instead of competing, but again, my trainer and I know when I'm ready. If I have to travel all over to do all these other things or waste my time at a certain level when I'm ready to move up, then guess what, I won't have the time or money to compete any more

useventers
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:43 PM
But if a rider, amateur or pro, is having excessive stops, falls, eliminations and retirements they can't possibly belong at that level.

I'm not in favor of all the licensing and testing etc... it's all to subjective.
I'm only for targeting people that are dangerous XC and the only way that seems possible is to track excessive penalties.

Do you think we should have no qualifications... just do everything by self responsiblity??

inquisitive
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:45 PM
But if a rider, amateur or pro, is having excessive stops, falls, eliminations and retirements they can't possibly belong at that level.

I'm not in favor of all the licensing and testing etc... it's all to subjective.
I'm only for targeting people that are dangerous XC and the only way that seems possible is to track excessive penalties.

Do you think we should have no qualifications... just do everything by self responsiblity??

And I think other posters have already said, don't make more rules, just enforce rules like DR that we have already. If this rule is enforced you could catch the people barely getting around who obviously aren't prepared.

RAyers
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:49 PM
I assume you are a pro as your question indicates that perspective.

As inquisitive stated, amateurs already have the 70 hour work week (I can only speak for me, deltawave, blackwly, and Nevertime at the moment) on top of trying to train and fulfill the qualifications needed to run upper level. As we are amateurs we only get a certain amount of vacation time so that cuts into competition/training opportunities, have only a certain amount of money available, as well as we can't just pick up and move to places where eventing is more "common."

Ideas such as licensing with days of testing takes time and MONEY away from the sport from the base the actually FUNDS the pros and the upper levels. Hence why most here are against it, and not just because of the subjectivity.

MORE rules will just create a onerus system that nobody will like along with a bureauacracy to match.

Reed



Please clarify how all these ideas would make it impossible for an AA rider at the upper levels? There are many AA riders that don't have excessive stops, falls, eliminations and retirements that move right up the levels with no problems.

I don't think most posters agree with the licensing idea, that could get a little subjective.
All of the other ideas have basically been enforcing the current qualifications and adding to them. We've always had some type of qualifications, age limitations etc... should we have none of those??

SimpleSimon
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:49 PM
All this discussion leaves me with one question (a lot of thoughts but just one question so far) - if this licensing practice had been in place, say for the last two years, how would the number of fatalities/serious injuries have been changed?

It seems to me that most of the people injured/killed - and I certainly can't recall all of them off the top of my head - would have been issued a license.

bambam
Dec. 10, 2007, 04:50 PM
Also- what the heck happened to the lucinda way of riding? Who cares if its pretty- your job as a rider is to put the horse at the best place possible, sit back and DONT fall off and break your neck. Most of the best riders/ teachers couldn't care less if it's a pretty round. Stay out of the way and give the horse what it needs to jump. that doesnt always equal pretty. So you have a TD or jump judge watching that says that was an ugly jump and pulls you off course?
I think some of the safest and effective xc riders are NOT the prettiest. ANd the prettiest riders often find themselves in precarious positions when things don't go perfectly.
.
who said anything about pulling riders that are effective and safe but not pretty? TDs would (and frankly should now) pull or penalize riders who are unsafe whether they look pretty doing it or not

useventers
Dec. 10, 2007, 05:09 PM
I assume you are a pro as your question indicates that perspective.

Ideas such as licensing with days of testing takes time and MONEY away from the sport from the base the actually FUNDS the pros and the upper levels. Hence why most here are against it, and not just because of the subjectivity.

MORE rules will just create a onerus system that nobody will like along with a bureauacracy to match.

Reed


I totally agree with you about the licensing for all your reasons and more!

My only issue is riders having excessive problems cross country. I don't care if it's an amateur or pro. or what the reasons are time, money etc... If a person is having numerous problems than they should have to back down or some other solution should be in place. If the current rules are adequate and already in place, then it's taken care of.

By the way...I can think of a few pros with new rides that could use a back down the levels for a few events. This does not just apply to amateurs.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 10, 2007, 05:11 PM
It's great to see everyone giving this thread a lot of thought!

My question based on my original idea is... how many Eliminations or Mandatory Retirements in a season do you think should necessitate a mandatory move down of a level? Maybe 2, 3...? Or do you think there should NEVER be a mandatory move down given to a horse/rider?
Do you think excessive stops and falls should be included somehow?


I don't think there should be a rule for a mandatory move down. Why...because it is too subjective. Responsibility falls on the rider to know their limits and know what is right by their horse. We have good qualification requirements for the ULs already. I personally seek good help, ride with very good trainers....but in the end, I am responsible for the horses that I ride and own. Sometimes moving down is the right thing to do...sometimes you need to stay at a level to work through the issues. It is call horsemanship to know the difference. Is there less horsemanship these days....I don't think so. I think I'm seeing the good and bad that has always been there.....but the one thing that HAS changed at the UL is the short format and the technicality of courses. In the case of a majority of those hurt....I do not think changes in qualifications or licenses would have changed a darn thing.

We need to look at why these falls happened.....what can be done to stop them...but increasing qualifications and licenses is not going to prevent mistakes...what we need is to understand what about a course can be done, if anything, to prevent a mistake costing the life of a horse or rider.


I also see more of the rushing with pros or pros to be...why...because they have a hell of a lot more at stake then some one like me who doesn't care what others think and If I decide I don't want to compete on a weekend (for whatever reason)....I don't compete...the only pressure is what I put on myself.

I don't think that there is any way to reduce that pressure for pros but perhaps we, as an organization, can help teach pros and pros to be how to handle those pressures....courses in stress management, client relations and how to manage expectations of their owners/sponsors.....some of these skills come naturally to some people but others it does not. Learning to say no to a client is a skill (whether it be no to a rider who wants to move up or an owner of horse that wants the horse to move up).

luveventing
Dec. 10, 2007, 05:23 PM
My point about -pretty versus effective -is subjectivity. The word that has popped up on this thread over and over. We all know the pros back each other up. If say some BNR went to David O. and said, hey I got this great horse, I just need someone to sign here so I can take him advanced even though he has never gone clean at intermediate- we all know what would likely happen.

Do you really think a BNR that was riding dangerously (for whatever reason) is really going to get pulled off course? (and I have seen a few of these rides) In a perfect world- yes, but in the real world, we all know there is a different set of unwritten rules for the pros than the rest of us. This is what liscensing seems to be adding up to. Just paperwork for them and hell for the rest of us. As I said, I think its time for the pros to take a long hard look at themselves.

there is just too much subjectivity which more and more promotes who you know will get you where you want to go.

Duramax
Dec. 10, 2007, 05:24 PM
Do you think we should have no qualifications... just do everything by self responsiblity??


Not at all and I don't think anyone has suggested that. There just comes a point when, to quote Denny... you can't legislate common sense.

bambam
Dec. 10, 2007, 05:39 PM
luveventing- you post made me realize that what I was primarily thinking about in terms of pulling riders for dangerous riding was at the LLs where I see riders that are not pretty or effective or safe and are often not aware of it (come off x-country beaming with their "coaches" telling them great job). I think the reality check of a yellow or red card or dangerous riding penalties (all of which TDs can do now) might make some of these riders and coaches think both about what they are doing and when and whether they should be moving up.
You are right, I doubt most TDs would pull a BNR off the course for dangerous riding (xecpt in extreme cases) but that does not mean that emphasizing this tool that TDs have cannot be an effective way of addressing the LL problem and maybe some of the issues we see at prelim and up. Would it have prevented any of the deaths this year- doubt it. But I see there being 2 different problems (1) scary LLs who either do not know or do not care that they are unsafe and need to work on the basics and (2) the unacceptable number of deaths this year at the ULs of riders that for the most part were competent. I don't think more active TD'ing would have helped No. 2 but IMHO neither would licensing.

useventers
Dec. 10, 2007, 05:40 PM
Not at all and I don't think anyone has suggested that. There just comes a point when, to quote Denny... you can't legislate common sense.

That is so true! I was just hoping we could protect a few people from themselves. The sport is growing so fast and there's so much more money, it just seems like some things might have to change.
I worry that if eventing doesn't figure it out from within, someone else from the outside will mandate how it's done or if it's done at all. If the fatalities (horse & rider) continue at this rate, it could draw real national attention, which we don't need.
If baseball and pro. wrestling had handled their own steroid abuse from within, Congress wouldn't be involved in it now making decisions for them. Pro. wrestling has been getting a ton of press lately because of the riduculous amount of deaths in that sport. I suspect there will be changes made in that sport whether they want them or not.
Let's just hope 2007 was a fluke like other years and this too will pass!

oldbutnotdead
Dec. 10, 2007, 05:43 PM
Add me to Reed's 70 hour work week club. I also have limited vacation - and most of it is spent traveling to horse trials. I live in Utah, and often competing requires one full day of driving - each way, if not more. I am not an upper level amateur - but I am sure working hard with my horse, trainer and second job to get there! Don't make it impossible for me to progress with too many rules and regulations.

luveventing
Dec. 10, 2007, 05:53 PM
bambam- I agree completely.

retreadeventer
Dec. 10, 2007, 06:05 PM
I don’t know how many of you know this, but in the racing world we have all sorts of “lists” that if your horse or you are on it, you’re benched until you rectify what got you there. For Example:

• Bleeders List
• Starters List
• Stewards List
• Nerving List

Now most of these are self explanatory but let me give a small description.

The bleeders list is for horses that have been shown to have bled during a race. Either found by endoscope exam or by visible bleeding. A horse on this list can not run for anywhere between 30-180 days and must have performed so many workouts where the State Vet was allowed to scope the horse following and verify that it didn’t bleed. In Maryland after the 3rd time this happens, a horse is banned from racing in MD for life.

The starters list is for any horse that behaves badly at the gate, going in, going out, waiting to load etc. If the horse was unsafe it must be schooled and approved by the gate crew that it has come through its issues and is once again deemed safe to start.

The stewards list is more for the humans involved. Most of the people on this list have earned their place for money issues, positive drug tests and rule infractions. To get off the list you must show and be signed off on that you have given whatever type of restitution is necessary.

The nerving list is only active in certain states but its required that horses that have been nerved in the heel or foot must be registered with the racing office so that if they run in a claiming race that any potential claimer would have advance knowledge that the horse had been nerved.

Overall for an industry that often times gets painted as being careless and only interested in the gambling profit racing actually has more provisions in place to protect its horses than eventing does. I truly find that shocking.
So those are my thoughts. What do you all think???

~Emily
LOVE this idea. If you scratch your horse lame, guess what, it would go on the LAME (red) SCRATCH list which is put out to all event secretaries. If you are entered in a subsequent event, in order to compete, BEFORE you get your number you have to provide a signed veterianarian's note saying he's examined your horse and found it fit to compete -- AND/OR jog it for the TD or official vet.
If your horse is pulled up on cross country -- you have to tell them WHY at the finish line. If it's horse related your horse goes on the RED list. You can't compete until you send in a vet slip and have to jog the horse for the vet or td at the NEXT event to get on the GREEN list. If you don't tell them and just go back to the trailers guess what you and your horse are RED listed until you communicate with someone what happened. You're right - protect the horse. I don't really care if causes a couple more pieces of paperwork for an organizer. It's the kind of paperwork we SHOULD be doing to protect the horses. You are right, right, right.! JMHO.

melodiousaphony
Dec. 10, 2007, 06:26 PM
LOVE this idea. If you scratch your horse lame, guess what, it would go on the LAME (red) SCRATCH list which is put out to all event secretaries. If you are entered in a subsequent event, in order to compete, BEFORE you get your number you have to provide a signed veterianarian's note saying he's examined your horse and found it fit to compete -- AND/OR jog it for the TD or official vet.
If your horse is pulled up on cross country -- you have to tell them WHY at the finish line. If it's horse related your horse goes on the RED list. You can't compete until you send in a vet slip and have to jog the horse for the vet or td at the NEXT event to get on the GREEN list. If you don't tell them and just go back to the trailers guess what you and your horse are RED listed until you communicate with someone what happened. You're right - protect the horse. I don't really care if causes a couple more pieces of paperwork for an organizer. It's the kind of paperwork we SHOULD be doing to protect the horses. You are right, right, right.! JMHO.

I think the problem may be partially those who don't pull their horses up for the smaller problems that a horse may be having that could cascade into a bigger problem.
If someone is responsible enough to pull up their horse (on their own accord) during XC, etc., or scratch due to lameness they're probably the sort that wouldn't need to be put on a list to deter them from going to the next event without a vet's clearance.
I pulled my horse up at my last event (unfortunately, it was in Oct. so there was no follow to give as an example) because it just did not feel right. The temperature had dropped 30-40 degrees over night and had gone from sunny to misty. After a stop at the fourth fence, something odd for him but it was a drop, and then sticky approaches to the fifth and sixth (very simple obstacles) he still don't quite have that punch in his step and the course was only going to get bigger/more complicated, so I pulled up. He was not lame, he wasn't obviously sick, nothing, he just wasn't *right.* So would that put me on some red list, even though I can't tell you exactly what was wrong, just that it wasn't "our day?" How do you get clearance for that? It is horse related, but it isn't something one can pinpoint (grey areas show up more and more the more something is micromanaged).

It's the type of people that don't pull their horses up when things aren't just quite right, that kick them around the course, and then blame it on the horse that something happens that are those that may be a detriment to their own mount [putting aside the occasions a horse is being a brat, plain and simple, and needs a good boot; rarely do I think this, but I can't rule it out]. They aren't the people that will scratch themselves, that will get put on a list, etc. So why punish those who are responsible by making them jump through hoops when it just wasn't quite right that one day and they were responsible enough for themselves and their horse to act on the feeling?

RAyers
Dec. 10, 2007, 07:01 PM
. I don't really care if causes a couple more pieces of paperwork for an organizer. It's the kind of paperwork we SHOULD be doing to protect the horses. You are right, right, right.! JMHO.

It goes WAY beyond paperwork. Uh, who pays the vets? If I have my vet do a lameness exam it is $200. To what level do you need the exam? Can I just get a buddy to sign a note? Who will verify it is a real vet certificate? Do I need to submit x-rays to verify I actually went to the vet?

In theory it seems like a good idea but in practice it becomes another level that people already strapped for money will have to overcome. Remember, there are not many amateurs racing their horses at Pimlico.

Reed

asterix
Dec. 10, 2007, 07:21 PM
Yes, I think we need to be very careful that anything we do does not end up having an unintended side effect...
whether that is to make it even harder for hardworking ammies or newbie pros to progress...
or to create a new pressure because of sanctions or regulations.

I agree with bambam that we should all support more aggressive application of the rules we have -- red/yellow flags and dangerous riding penalties (did you all see what Janet said? no repeat offenders!) -- especially for the lower levels. For the question of the accidents at upper levels, as many others have said, we need to understand what happened and why (and what nearly happened -- all those close calls) in order to understand how to fix it.

But NEW rules can rebound very quickly. If you pull up on course and then have a hoop to jump through, there will be people who do NOT pull up and should have.

The new-ish rule about falling off in stadium is a case in point -- a few weeks back we were all marvelling at the sequence of photos at the last fence at a prelim HT -- the rider exerted super human efforts not to fall off before the finish line, very nearly pulling his horse over on top of him in the process. Luckily he did in fact fall off and eliminate himself -- but surely that was about trying to stick it and not get eliminated....not what was intended, but still...

Xctrygirl
Dec. 10, 2007, 07:30 PM
Ok just as an aside... on the whole ammy vs. pro stuff

I am a pro... and by Pro I declared because at the time I was galloping racehorses and making a whopping $2400 a month. But still I am paid to ride, thus I am a pro.

I am about to start a new job where I will again be paid to ride and I am gonna make in the neighborhood of the same salary. So I am still a pro. Please do not lump me into the category of the folks who are able to casually pay a hypothetical vet to re-check my horse and to verfiy he is sound after a hypothetical lameness at an event. By your numbers Reed that soundness exam would be give or take, 10% of my monthly salary. It doesn't make it any less dramatic for this pro than for you as an ammy. And I most assuredly do not have the luxury of a Rocket Scientist salary.

Beyond that I think instead of dividing our sport into the Sneeches with Stars and Plain bellied sneeches (Dr. Seuss story about seperatism) we will serve to further complicate the issues facing ALL OF US.

Whether you're an amateur, an Olympian or just someone paid to ride for a living we all have to face the issues of our sport equally. Reed, I would love to see the "powers that be" try to squash the amateurs. WHY??? Because I have yet to see an amateur yet who wouldn't dig in harder and perservere better than many pros!! By gods, I think you're more likely to get past some of these imaginary standards needed to carry on at the level than some of the pros. Ditto some other big name amateurs.

Would it suck if the people ruling our sport set out standards that we should all comply with to be safe? Maybe, but it would affect everyone. Not just ammy's.

Now admittedly I wasn't fortunate enough to go to convention. I couldn't afford it, even on my pro salary ;)

But from my friends who were there and the conversations I have heard I didn't get the impression that people were out to get the amateurs. But I wasn't there. If they did though, boy would that be fruitless. (IMHO)

Throughout this thread many people are saying a lot of the same things. And that's good. What's better is that people across the sport at all levels are agreeing with one another. That's awesome.

Do not let these "talking points" divide the group of eventers into sub categories. We are all eventers, whether from Middleburg, VA or Middleburg, Ca. I don't care if your instructor is ICP level 5 or Joe Schmoe who knows how to get through to you. We're all equal.

If we let ideas divide us, things will get worse.

So with that having been said, it costs me just as much to get to events as it costs you. Whether its from my salary, free time, vacation time or whatever. So let's not throw out those "God I can't believe they want an amateur to pay for that."

Lets just talk as a unit. If something is expensive, it's likely expensive for many, not just one faction of the masses.


~Emily

useventers
Dec. 10, 2007, 07:35 PM
But NEW rules can rebound very quickly. If you pull up on course and then have a hoop to jump through, there will be people who do NOT pull up and should have.



If you can voluntarily retire without penality, I would think penalties for mandatory retirement, elimination or dangerous riding would make riders pull up their horses sooner.

If your horse has a few stops or just isn't feeling right, a rider would be better off to pull up then risk a possible E or R that might come later in the course and carry some type of penalty.

JER
Dec. 10, 2007, 07:40 PM
So, I have a question. Why is everybody so concerned about 'scary lower level riders'?

What is their real impact on our sport? They don't seem to show up in the serious injury/death stats. They mostly show up on this BB as amusing stories a la 'weirdest thing you've ever seen.' We all get a good laugh.

But does scary riding impact me? It reminds me of what I always say to opponents of gay marriage: "Stop worrying about it, it's not going to affect you. You will never be invited to a gay wedding."

I suppose if I got run over by a scary LLR, I'd feel differently. But when I see them coming, I get myself to safety or stand next to a large solid object.

If someone gets E on every run, I don't care. It's their choice to keep buying a vowel.

The dangerous riding rule irritates me. While I respect the spirit of the rule, as other have pointed out, it's highly unlikely that a BNR will get the hook, even though some of the most consistently frightening riders I've seen on the west coast are BNRs. I don't know if that's the case in the rest of the country but California has some real doozies.

The dangerous riding rule is dangerous because it's subjective. I saw an incident at a horse trial this summer in which a very capable horse competing at N bolted with a pro and high-tailed it for the stabling area. This is not a particularly creative horse trick; we've all seen it and most of us have suffered through it. Rider eventually pulled up horse and wanted to resume riding. There was some discussion of whether she could proceed. What I could overhear seemed to be about safety but the rider was very clear that this was an issue with this horse and she needed to continue to finish the lesson. I think back ten years and I saw horses running way, way off with riders (usually pros) and the pro would chase them down and drag their hides back to the course and carry on without incident. Which is what happened with this horse. Lesson learned, hopefully, but the GJ really didn't want to let her go on (time wasn't an issue).

I don't like to see our sport going to where we're not training effectively anymore. If your horse has an issue with something in competition, you have to work through it in competition as well as at home. Same goes for the rider. Asterix made this point very well in describing her Prelim Trakehner psych-out.

Moreover, how the heck are you supposed to get experience? We don't have many options besides HTs. Very few facilities hold XC schooling competitions -- hunter trials -- outside of the HT format. I'd like to go ride XC courses without having to do dressage or stadium but there's really no opportunity.

The USEA can do better than a panoply of rule proposals. How about some good training articles in the USEA Eventing magazine rather than just a series of poorly-written puff pieces in which sponsors are praised to the point of silliness?

Sponsors are really only important to the ULRs. The LLRs are not very important to the ULRs. Put another way, if a ULR has enough sponsorship, then the ULR can stop teaching LLRs if he/she desires. I'm not saying all pro ULRs feel that way but it's certainly true that the bulk of the USEA membership -- the LLRs and the amateurs -- doesn't benefit from corporate sponsors. Another example of the pro/amateur or ULR/LLR that others have referred to here.


(melodiousaphony, please read the facts (http://www.atla.org/PressRoom/FACTS/frivolous/McdonaldsCoffeecase.aspx#WSJ) of the McDonald's coffee case.)

melodiousaphony
Dec. 10, 2007, 08:49 PM
(melodiousaphony, please read the facts (http://www.atla.org/PressRoom/FACTS/frivolous/McdonaldsCoffeecase.aspx#WSJ) of the McDonald's coffee case.)
Innnnteresting... you don't want to know what temp the coffee was brewed at when I was working at DD. It probably isn't as high anymore, I'd hope, 'cause it freaking HURT when I burned myself on it.
I do like getting information straight. Perhaps I should refer to people suing McDonalds for getting fat, but I bet there is more to than then the hearsay I'd spew. Basically, I stick to my point but I'm willing to admit I don't know the details. It's the mentality that bothers me (like robbers suing because they get hurt robbing someone, etc.).

I do STRONGLY agree with "Eventing" needing more training articles. I feel like the AEC's are constantly being covered, or some other sort of championship. That's all well and good, I want to be in there someday, but what about giving us more learning tools/suggestions/etc. Perhaps interview with pros on the little things they think a rider can do at all levels to improve and so on.

As for whoever said it would be just a couple more pieces of paper for an organizer to deal with: I volunteered for the first time at a USEA event my barn hosted and I was AMAZED by how much went into it. A few more pieces of paper would become an exponential amount. Yes, it's important horses are cared for, but people need to take care of their own horses and make MORE rules to police people's behavior will cause even more tension between organizers/competitors (there is more than I thought initially) and more work for all involved.
With respect to dangerous riding, when I jump judged, I asked the TD what to do if I saw it. Many people looked surprised that I asked, as it added another degree of complexity to a force manned by volunteers, so who do not event. It would be hard to make someone pull up who is actually being dangerous as some may have the sort of attitude that goes along with the riding (or so it seemed when I had to convince someone she was, in fact, eliminated).

Will say though, the experience has made me want to volunteer more. I never knew how much went into events and now that I do, I want to help more.

Duramax
Dec. 10, 2007, 08:55 PM
If someone gets E on every run, I don't care. It's their choice to keep buying a vowel.



JER, you just made my day... :lol: I'll have to start using that euphanism!

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 10, 2007, 09:06 PM
Wow, these last two posters have made some excellent points (thanks Duramax and melodiousapony :)

But how (exactly) DOES the governing body legislate this stuff?? (The whole point of this thread...;))

It's almost impossible, even though (most) agree about what the problems/issues are, where they originate, and how much they are affecting the sport--the hard part (or so it seems) is finidng a middle ground where things can be changed for the better without offending the masses, "over-regulating" the sport, or creating an "organizational nightmare" for the organizers and volunteers...:sigh:

LOTS of great input, here...and at least things are being intelligently discussed...(*Always* better than the "head in the sand" approach ;))

yellowbritches
Dec. 10, 2007, 09:39 PM
Ok....I'll confess to not reading all (or even most) of this thread. It got away from me during the day, and now I just do not have the paitence to read through 7 pages of thoughts. So, forgive if I'm repeating things that have been said.

Firstly, I don't think licensing is a good idea. Making more regulations is NOT going to make the sport safer (and, umm, folks, it ISN'T a safe sport. We're jumping creatures with minds of their own over FIXED solid objects AT SPEED. As long as we keep doing this, it will always be dangerous). It will make it more unappealing and frighten new riders away. I would hate to have to tell one of our new eventers in our barn "Oh yeah, by the way, you need to do X, Y, and Z before we can even think to let you go to an event, even though we've put the time and effort in with you and your horse and we think you are ready. Oh, and it'll cost you $XX to do it. Yeah, I know you just spent 6 months in lessons, plus all the gear and the horse, plus all the membership fees, but well, you won't be considered safe without a license!" (Purely speculating both on how the licensing would work and if it would cost anything).

I mean, really, what do licenses REALLY mean? We give 16 year olds drivers licenses, yet they still go and get themselves and their friends killed for by driving unsafely. We give out gun licenses, but people still go and shoot people. Licenses don't equal safe.

What I do think we need to work on is making FAR MORE of an emphasis on people getting and recieving QUALITY instruction from EVENT trainers. If we're going to play this sport, we need people teaching us HOW TO DO it. Safety starts at home. Trainers teaching students how to ride properly, how to ride each type of obstacle properly, how to rate their horses, how to judge how a horse is feeling, and, probably most importantly, that it is OK and VERY good, to call it a day when things aren't right.

I would LOVE to see the USEA really make a push for people new to the sport to seek out and GET good help long before they go to an event. Yes, push ICP more (though there are plenty of great trainers that aren't ICP certified, and there are plenty that are certified that are still really scary). But just push that people go seek it out from any good trainer (how bout a nice check list of what a good trainer should look and sound like?).

I also think there should be a more liberal use of yellow cards, and other dangerous riding/poor horsemanship penalties. And I did like the idea of some sort of award for GOOD riding (I keep thinking a "Style" award, ala hunter/jumpers).

BigRuss1996
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:06 PM
Amen....I agree with Yellowbritches 110%.......

Also maybe they need to revisit the speeds for prelim...

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:09 PM
Some really excellent, well-reasoned points, yellowbritches (and I agree with everything you said :))

That's what's nice about this board; SO much wisdom out there! ;)

I hope someone can share the great insights presented here with the "Powers That Be", and with luck, they will take them under consideration...

pwynnnorman
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:44 PM
There have been several people paralyzed in non rotational falls.

USEA has inofrmation on all injuries (horse and rider) known to the event vet, EMT or TD. Going back to 2001. But not in a format available on the web. I am sure that if you contact the safety committee they can get you the information you need.

Sorry to come back to this after two pages, but, Janet, do you know what that data shows? Where is the safety problem occurring the most--not the ugly or dangerous riding, but evidence of seriously unsafe results? I don't know, really.

Seems to me that LLRs are fully aware of the dangers of the sport and know their limitations. But that's nothing more than supposition on my part. Also, wasn't dangerous riding addressed already/recently? Shouldn't the response (the flags) be given a chance to have an effect (through more than one season/year)?

Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought all this worry and concern came about due to the fatalities. And that the fatalities have NOT been occuring at the lower levels. And didn't I hear somewhere that the rate of injury for the lower levels hasn't increased, except as would be expected with increases in entries? I can understand the hue and cry from ammies about legislating them out of their upper level goals and possibly even out of the sport. I don't understand why that group is being targeted.

yellowbritches
Dec. 10, 2007, 10:56 PM
Thanks Dr. D and Russ, though I have to admit that most of what I said came from a very long discussion with the boss today on this topic. We think alike, but he gave me some of the excellent analogies (the drivers license and gun license). HE is an excellent example of the kind of instruction people need to seek out! I wouldn't be able to sound so smart if it hadn't been for the education he has pounded into my head over the last several years :lol::lol::yes::yes:

InVA
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:18 PM
Why can't we just enforce the rules we currently have on the books??

I agree. COMPETING is a learning experience, too.

GotSpots
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:28 PM
I also think there should be a more liberal use of yellow cards, and other dangerous riding/poor horsemanship penalties. And I did like the idea of some sort of award for GOOD riding (I keep thinking a "Style" award, ala hunter/jumpers). That idea was floated several times at the Convention: a style score or other subjective evaluation that might or might now be factored into a final score, an ability to move up, or just some added information for your own use. Additionally, there were suggestions about changing the speed at Prelim to at least permit a range of speeds, rather than a fixed 520 with its attendant big step up from the 420-470 spread at Training level.

lstevenson
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:31 PM
I mean, really, what do licenses REALLY mean? We give 16 year olds drivers licenses, yet they still go and get themselves and their friends killed for by driving unsafely. We give out gun licenses, but people still go and shoot people. Licenses don't equal safe.



This is a really good point.

While licenses are really good in theory, I don't think it would help very much. While it's true that every little bit helps, I'm afraid it might only lessen Eventing's popularity by making it more difficult and more expensive to do.

scavenger
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:45 PM
Increased legislation equals increased paperwork equals increases money equals more stress for organizers (or committees) ultimately equals fewer events.
Accidents happen and sometimes multiples in a time period not only in eventing (Starting in a 1 year period in maryland / virginia area there were 4 catastrophic ACCIDENTS. My father started the spin lived 9 months worse than Christopher Reed.) Hand n't been any for a long time. This year after a relativlely bland period there was another series. These were all doing non eventing horse sports. Also in my case my father had and accident the way his fall happened he should have walked away .Last year I galloped into a hidden ditch The horse and I had a rotational fall. Observers horrified that some one was going to have to tell my mother she had lost both horse and daughter. I had a broken collar bone and rib horse was fine. ACCIDENTS happen and over regulating a risk excercise is NOT going to prevent them. Sorry! my soap box and couldn't think where else to put this.
I'm inclined to think use the rules/tools we have don't make it more difficult/expensive than it is. Better go get my rain coat!!
Another thought speeds espec. prelim and up. Older folk than I need toweigh in here.. I recall thatEventing waaaaaaaaay back when used to give not only penalty points for going to slow but bonus points up to a certain amount for being faster than optimum time. You could try to make up for that bad dressage test (if your horse was capable) by going FAST. When it was decided to simplfy scoring the bonus points were gotten rid of but the speeds/optimum time at prelim and up (maybe even training) were adjusted to reflect the speed needed to get maximum bonus points. It was to be a rider's decision still to ride the horse of the day and go for speed and was figured that unless you had an unusual horse for the level (or he was ready to move up) most people would have some time faults. With the increased technicality maybe we need to back the time to the old optimum times. I am not advocating a return to bonus points!

ksbadger
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:48 PM
Seems to me that LLRs are fully aware of the dangers of the sport and know their limitations. But that's nothing more than supposition on my part. Also, wasn't dangerous riding addressed already/recently? Shouldn't the response (the flags) be given a chance to have an effect (through more than one season/year)?

Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought all this worry and concern came about due to the fatalities. And that the fatalities have NOT been occuring at the lower levels. And didn't I hear somewhere that the rate of injury for the lower levels hasn't increased, except as would be expected with increases in entries? I can understand the hue and cry from ammies about legislating them out of their upper level goals and possibly even out of the sport. I don't understand why that group is being targeted.

Pwynn,
I think there's been enough evidence from other current threads (like Russ' on grants) that shows there's a lot of would-be or current ULRs that were LLRs only a couple of years back - look at all the "I'm doing Training but I expect to do the YRs or a ** next year" and "I've just done YR but now I'm too old" in a lot of the posts. If you can convince them that there's more to going around the lower level courses than just galloping, you might save future fatalities. This isn't just prevalent on this side of the pond - Lucinda Green commented that no one at the European Championships seemed to know what "a good old-fashioned coffin canter" was anymore.

scavenger
Dec. 10, 2007, 11:50 PM
I worked as a vet tech at some of the big tracks for some of the biggest trainers and saw first hand some of those rules were also worked around. That was 20 (hardly seems that long) years ago

Gnep
Dec. 11, 2007, 01:11 AM
We can legislate and organize this sport to death. It will not change one thing, Humans are prone to make mistakes and combine that with Uncle Murphy's favored child, named Horse, and speed and solid jumps it will be a dangerous sport.
It is the show of a society, that allowed, that nobody is anymore responsible for once own action, alway somebody or someting else to blame, that we try so desperatly to castrate this sport with all kinds of regulation.

YOU GO INTO THE STARTBOX, YOU HAVE MADE THE DECISON TO TAKE YOU LIVE INTO YOUR OWN HANDS, PERIOD.

It is up to Us to behave resposible and it is up to Us, to be an example to behave responsible, and it should be up to Us to open our mouth and act if we see something that is plain f...ing irresponsible.
If We as Riders are finaly take responsebility, not the volunteering stuff as a jump judge, but by standing up and controll ourself ( it used to be that way ) than we would not have this constant talk about new regulations.

As I recall by al those statistiks from the FEI and or USEF, the lowerlevels are not the problem, its the midlevels, and thats were people who are considering themself ULs have to finally step forward and open their mouth instead of just looking the other way.
That goe from course design, jump design to dangerous riding etc.

Thats were the problem is, everybody is avoiding responsebility and expects that the Governingbodies add new regs, so they do not have to open their mouth and take rsponsebility.

Big Russ, Prelim Speeds are ok, I feel there is no change needed, if it were up to me add 20 m/p and increase time penalties to one point per second, refusal double the points, 3 refusal and you are out, Rider crash no penalties, horse crash Elimination. Make it tough again.
We have made the penalties for stadium more stiffer and are now thinking to make them softer for X-C.
Crank up the Qualifikations to prelim and above, make it tough to get there, realy tough.
Its a joke that the AEC has such soft Qualifikations for Prelim and above, they set the example, They are the AEC. They are supposed to be about the top of the class not just finishers.

You lead from the top and you set examples from the top, not by regulations but by EXAMPLE

NMK
Dec. 11, 2007, 10:45 AM
Getting back a few pages, there was some discussion about having a jump judges on the XC course empowered to sanction dangerous riding. While I do not think that his a good idea, I would support having a different type of judge on course, other than (or with) the TD, who would be empowered to flag dangerous riding. They could be on a separate radio frequence, and there should be as many as needed to see the majority of the xc course. They would be people with expereince, maybe TD's in training ??? But they should be on course for every level.

And there should be consequences for those riders that get flagged on more than a few occassions.

I know that I witnessed dangerous riding once while JJ, and told control via radio, wrote down everything I saw, heard, etc. As a jump judge, I would have like to report her immediately to someone like a dangerous riding judge, and let them deal with it. Many times as a JJ you have very little time between riders, and especially if there is a problem and they start stacking up, or you have to hold. I don't think the volunteer jump judge should do both. But I would like to see a new type of "judge" out there to police dangerous riding at all levels.

Nancy

pwynnnorman
Dec. 11, 2007, 10:50 AM
...a lot of would-be or current ULRs that were LLRs only a couple of years back - look at all the "I'm doing Training but I expect to do the YRs or a ** next year" and "I've just done YR but now I'm too old" in a lot of the posts. If you can convince them that there's more to going around the lower level courses than just galloping, you might save future fatalities.


Ohhh, so that's the reasoning!

OK, so that means the crux of the matter is at the Training-to-Prelim stage? Is that where the proposals are focusing? I state this because it seems to me that spreading a message too thin can weaken it considerably. If it's the Training-to-Prelim juncture, then maybe energy expended on making Novices into something other than Novices isn't an efficient effort. Maybe some policy or proposal needs to focus on making sure the foundation is very, very firm before they leave Training level.

Whisper
Dec. 11, 2007, 11:05 AM
If more HT's could run an educational clinic like they do at the T3D's (even if they aren't doing the 3-day), could that be helpful and an appropriate venue?

At the level I've been doing (unrec. Elementary and BN) I figure I'm in more danger driving to and from the barn than from what I do while I'm there. I still try to be careful and use appropriate equipment, of course!

pharmgirl
Dec. 11, 2007, 11:13 AM
Some people have suggested more training- whether it's better instruction, more schooling, etc, and it got me thinking. I agree that there are some things that need to be schooled/practiced/addressed in a competition. So, how do we enable more of this while still trying to be "safe"? (I put it in quotes b/c as yellowbritches and probably others have pointed out- this sport ISN'T really safe).

How about asking some of these venues to put on more pipe openers and such? I think those are great to go out and school xc, but more along the lines of riding like you were in a competition. Unfortunately, these don't seem to exist for more of the upper levels. Maybe some places would be willing to do that, and have some kind of requirement if you register for the Training and above courses (like show record indicating "x" amount of runs at that level or below)?

FWIW, I am also not in favor of this licensing thing. I just thing that adds more expense, red tape, etc without really helping anything. I think the thoughts such as this rider license thing is just trying to put a band aid on what the real underlying issue is- what that is exactly I cannot say, but IMHO I think it might have to do with the change in the course design/format especially at the upper levels, and loss of land to ride out xc more often.

I am really in agreement with Gnep's latest post.
While I enjoy these discussions, and think things should be addressed when there are serious injuries and/or deaths, I do feel like sometimes it's just overkill on our society in general trying to find someone or something to blame all the time. I miss the days when individuals were responsible for themselves, and didn't try to blame someone else all the time for their own mistakes/shortcomings. I think this is where I really want more data- are these accidents happening at a higher rate/percentage on a per rider competing basis compared to the past, or are we just more aware of them due to increased communication?

InVA
Dec. 11, 2007, 11:23 AM
Which is scarier.. or more dangerous... : A ULR on a horse they are PUSHING to go beyond its athletic and physical ability? or a LLR on a PACKER who is gettting dragged around novice?

Janet
Dec. 11, 2007, 11:27 AM
Getting back a few pages, there was some discussion about having a jump judges on the XC course empowered to sanction dangerous riding. While I do not think that his a good idea, I would support having a different type of judge on course, other than (or with) the TD, who would be empowered to flag dangerous riding. They could be on a separate radio frequence, and there should be as many as needed to see the majority of the xc course. They would be people with expereince, maybe TD's in training ??? But they should be on course for every level.
That actually IS the context in which is was dicussed- particular people selected to be adjuncts of the GJ, and in direct communication with the Pres of GJ and the TD. Typically people who are also licensed officials themselves. Not the jump judges.

BBowen
Dec. 11, 2007, 01:46 PM
As a jump judge at numerous events, I would not want to have the authority to impose a dangerous riding penalty. However, I have no problem reporting when I see anything that looks dangerous to the officials. We will normally report over the radio to "keep an eye on so and so number". The officials are usually on top of it. I think someone else mentioned this as well. As a jump judge, we may not know he final outcome, but the offending rider more than likely will be talked to whether they are issued the penalty or not. If I recall correctly in one of the safety meetings, the statement was made that there are have no repeat offenses of any riders that have been given a penalty.

From my perspective at the convention, the "style" score would be implemented to reward good riding. Again this is another idea to encourage education and responsibility on cross country, versus just getting around clean and fast at all costs.

Eventer13
Dec. 11, 2007, 01:57 PM
Which is scarier.. or more dangerous... : A ULR on a horse they are PUSHING to go beyond its athletic and physical ability? or a LLR on a PACKER who is gettting dragged around novice?

I'd say the former, simply because there is less room for error at the upper levels. And its 10x more dangerous when you're asking a horse to do something that is right at or beyond his ability. That's just asking for trouble. At least the novice fences are 3', well within the scope of most horses, and they can still make it over safely there is a major pilot error.

pwynnnorman
Dec. 11, 2007, 03:25 PM
I agree. Most folks here seem to support something involving LLRs, but I think its the ULRs who set the pace.

Actually, I'm a bit confused by this discussion, interesting as it is. It does seem to bounce back and forth between LLR vs. ULR.

And I do think adding anything subjective to the sport is going to have negative ramifications in terms of attracting and keeping people in the sport.

Also, about the "style" award or whatever? Might be worth noting that such a thing failed miserably in pony jumpers. Didn't do diddly to move the kids away from being little more than speed demons. The trainers did nothing and most of the kids just didn't care (about earning the award).

BigRuss1996
Dec. 11, 2007, 03:36 PM
the ULR



Which is scarier.. or more dangerous... : A ULR on a horse they are PUSHING to go beyond its athletic and physical ability? or a LLR on a PACKER who is gettting dragged around novice?

useventers
Dec. 11, 2007, 06:59 PM
Which is scarier.. or more dangerous... : A ULR on a horse they are PUSHING to go beyond its athletic and physical ability? or a LLR on a PACKER who is gettting dragged around novice?

I think it's the scariest and most dangerous to see a LLR on a PACKER trying to go Prelim./Intermediate.
To answer your question directly....ULR. Novice doesn't have the danger of rotational falls at that height level. Most packers could go around a Novice course on their own.

Kementari
Dec. 11, 2007, 09:41 PM
YOU GO INTO THE STARTBOX, YOU HAVE MADE THE DECISON TO TAKE YOU LIVE INTO YOUR OWN HANDS, PERIOD.


Amen!

A few weeks ago, I heard someone talking about Christopher Reeve's accident, and how it happened because of xyz - clearly a (human) attempt to justify why such a thing couldn't happen to them.

I told my mother later: if you go into the start box on cross country, and DON'T know that just exactly such a thing could happen to you, then you have no business going into the start box at all, no matter what level. You know it's unlikely; you don't let it distract you from the job; you ride as smart as you can so that you make it even more unlikely; but at the end of the day, if you don't accept that $hit happens you have no business galloping at solid fences, because eventually your ego is going to get in the way and you ARE going to do something colossally stupid.

The problem, of course, lies in how to make sure people know that before they start competing.

CookiePony
Dec. 11, 2007, 10:08 PM
Amen!

A few weeks ago, I heard someone talking about Christopher Reeve's accident, and how it happened because of xyz - clearly a (human) attempt to justify why such a thing couldn't happen to them.

I told my mother later: if you go into the start box on cross country, and DON'T know that just exactly such a thing could happen to you, then you have no business going into the start box at all, no matter what level. You know it's unlikely; you don't let it distract you from the job; you ride as smart as you can so that you make it even more unlikely; but at the end of the day, if you don't accept that $hit happens you have no business galloping at solid fences, because eventually your ego is going to get in the way and you ARE going to do something colossally stupid.

The problem, of course, lies in how to make sure people know that before they start competing.

And a big question in my mind is, do children and teenagers really understand the risks?

On another thread and at the G10 meeting there was some talk of raising age minimums for the upper levels. I have to say I like the idea, for riders and horses.

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 11, 2007, 10:27 PM
And a big question in my mind is, do children and teenagers really understand the risks?

On another thread and at the G10 meeting there was some talk of raising age minimums for the upper levels. I have to say I like the idea, for riders and horses.

Hmmmmm...

I think all of us (a least those of us who are "of a certain age" ;)) remember what it was like (when we were younger) to "feel immortal"--and how it affected our actions and decisions...

Food for thought!

Kementari
Dec. 11, 2007, 10:29 PM
And a big question in my mind is, do children and teenagers really understand the risks?

On another thread and at the G10 meeting there was some talk of raising age minimums for the upper levels. I have to say I like the idea, for riders and horses.

No - at least, most of them don't. So in their case, insert "parents/coaches" for "you" in my post. ;)

But, of course, we still have the problem that those kids/teens are still the ones who have to make the decisions once they are on course - parents and coaches can only do so much! And for that reason, I wholeheartedly support raising the age minimums. :yes: (And for similar reasons, as well as soundness issues, I support raising them for horses, too.)

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 11, 2007, 10:46 PM
Touche', Kementari ;) I too believe that not only are younger people sometimes "lacking in judgement" due both to a lack of cumulative experience, and also to a feeling that "nothing bad can possibly *possibly* happen to me" (been there, felt that :p) I also agree that horses are being "rushed along" to move up the levels at too young an age (but then again, I am conservative by nature...)

(Now if we could just extend that to the legal driving age as well...:sigh:)

Shudder... I'm a mother of a 13 year old...:rolleyes:

KBG Eventer
Dec. 11, 2007, 11:23 PM
No - at least, most of them don't. So in their case, insert "parents/coaches" for "you" in my post. ;)

But, of course, we still have the problem that those kids/teens are still the ones who have to make the decisions once they are on course - parents and coaches can only do so much! And for that reason, I wholeheartedly support raising the age minimums. :yes: (And for similar reasons, as well as soundness issues, I support raising them for horses, too.)

I agree with you, but I consider myself one of the rare teenagers (I'm 15) who do think about those things. I'm the type of person who overanalyzes things too much (probably why my one long term goal is only Prelim and not higher) :lol:. I sometimes wish I had some of my friends bravery to just go out and do it because I have a few friends my age doing Prelim already. Now maybe I don't think about it quite to the extent as adults, but I am pretty far from thinking I am immortal or something like that.

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 11, 2007, 11:59 PM
Kudos to you, KBG Eventer :yes:

You are in the minority, I'm afraid--but IMO, *should* be a role model to your friends! (In a perfect world...;))

scavenger
Dec. 12, 2007, 12:38 AM
Amen/Alleluia well put GNEP,KGB,Kementari and Dr. Doolittle!!

mcd
Dec. 12, 2007, 01:11 AM
a couple of thoughts - (and no, I am not an eventer, but I am a supporter / volunteer / event organizer)

we seem to get mad / frustrated with LLR's who we see wailing around out on course dangerously "grrr, they are going to get THEMSELVES hurt... they are out of control..."

when the accidents happen to higher level riders it's more like "they got hurt / they had an accident" seems to say it's more about the courses (upright fences, not inviting, not taking the horse into consideration perhaps?) than about the quality of riding (don't often hear "she was going way too fast, totally missed / chipped / left a stride out and then blah blah...)

Again I'm not an eventer, but I do know that at the lower levels in Canada, you get penalized quite heavily for going too fast - and you get penalized for going too fast then trying to "waste" time at the end to make it look like you didn't go too fast.. the whole point of the rule being if you go too fast, you are going to get hurt. Rotational fall, perhaps not, but horse could trip, less secure rider could fall off, all sorts of things. Doesn't the US have the same penalty structure for going too fast?

You are never going to get better without experience. But why are people so determined to make that experience a dangerous, too fast, out of control one?

michelle.

ksbadger
Dec. 12, 2007, 01:31 AM
Whisper & Pharmgirl,

Locally we're trying to organize some (extremely) low cost cross-country clinics - the idea being to show newbies how to ride an XC course safely before they even start. We've got several course owners who've enthusiastically welcomed the idea - they see it as both a way to increase their clientele and to help stop accidents.

One local organizer has just done a survey on what event riders want and one thing is low-cost clinics at Prelim or above - not sure if that's not an oxymoron but there a lot of instructors in our area at least who might not be BNRs but can definitely teach how it should be done.

KayBee
Dec. 12, 2007, 11:46 AM
It's like that lady who sued because she spilt hot coffee in her lap after she stuck it between her legs while driving. That old case still sends me into a tail spin, as I think she won.

It sends me into a tailspin to see this particular case used as an example of frivolous litigation:


Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was in the passenger seat of her grandson's car when she was severely burned by McDonalds' coffee in
February 1992. Liebeck, 79 at the time, ordered coffee that was served
in a styrofoam cup at the drivethrough window of a local McDonalds.

After receiving the order, the grandson pulled his car forward and
stopped momentarily so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her
coffee. (Critics of civil justice, who have pounced on this case, often
charge that Liebeck was driving the car or that the vehicle was in
motion when she spilled the coffee; neither is true.) Liebeck placed
the cup between her knees and attempted to remove the plastic lid from
the cup. As she removed the lid, the entire contents of the cup spilled
into her lap.

The sweatpants Liebeck was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it next to her skin. A vascular surgeon determined that Liebeck suffered full thickness burns (or third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body, including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she underwent skin grafting. Liebeck, who also underwent debridement treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonalds refused.

During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing more than 700
claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims
involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebecks.

At that time, McDonald's coffee was kept at a constant temp of 190°, to preserve the taste -- anything over 140° will cause burns.

See http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm for the full story.

It was the jury that decided on the eventual (huge) settlement, which was reduced.

I suffered 3rd degree burns on one finger. I can't even imagine having them on 6% of my body, let alone over my groin.

melodiousaphony
Dec. 12, 2007, 03:33 PM
It sends me into a tailspin to see this particular case used as an example of frivolous litigation:



At that time, McDonald's coffee was kept at a constant temp of 190°, to preserve the taste -- anything over 140° will cause burns.

See http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm for the full story.

It was the jury that decided on the eventual (huge) settlement, which was reduced.

I suffered 3rd degree burns on one finger. I can't even imagine having them on 6% of my body, let alone over my groin.

Don't worry, I was corrected early by another reader (JER). Conceptually, it was to me frivolous, but upon reading more information, I can understand why the temperature is certainly a factor. Personally, I don't tend to open up coffee in a car which I think moved as it IS hot, but still... that is too hot. When I was working at everyone's favorite coffee place, the temp reading was well over 170 degrees and I split some on myself. It hurt like hell, though I didn't sue my employer as it was my fault. Could spin my use of the story the other way: if McDonalds had taken responsibility for their own stupidity in brewing that hot, they could have avoided the lawsuit and had a settlement. As I posted before, I have no problem being wrong! It happens and I'd rather learn than remain ignorant. Still stick to my own "personal responsibility" shtick with respect to eventing, however I used a poor example.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 12, 2007, 05:10 PM
Again I'm not an eventer, but I do know that at the lower levels in Canada, you get penalized quite heavily for going too fast - and you get penalized for going too fast then trying to "waste" time at the end to make it look like you didn't go too fast.. the whole point of the rule being if you go too fast, you are going to get hurt. Rotational fall, perhaps not, but horse could trip, less secure rider could fall off, all sorts of things. Doesn't the US have the same penalty structure for going too fast?


Yes we do for levels below Prelim. The speed penaty is set by taking the distance of the course and calculating what the time would be if you ran the distance at the next level up speed. So if you run our novice level course at training level speed...you will incur speed faults. You also get dinged if you are thought to be wasting time....this is different then if you pull up an out of control horse or circle on course trying to get them back together.

It still amazes me how may lower level riders do not understand that too much speed and a too brave horse can be just as dangerous (if not more so) as one that stops. I've known more then one teenager (and their parents) who just didn't get it....and while the kid may have come off the course and said..."boy, that was a bit too fast or he wasn't listening...I needed more bit"....I've NEVER seen one of them do what it takes to school...i.e. PULL UP and stop, or circle...get under control and then continue...and if that doesn't work...stop and retire. That is a reaction that a rider who understands about training a horse has (and about the danger of too much speed even at a novice level fence)....and not a skill/reaction that most riders starting out have....so even with the penalties....I don't think it always sinks in for them.

Janet
Dec. 12, 2007, 05:20 PM
Yes we do for levels below Prelim. The speed penaty is set by taking the distance of the course and calculating what the time would be if you ran the distance at the next level up speed. So if you run our novice level course at training level speed...you will incur speed faults.
Not generally true - only for Training speed faults, which DO match Prelim optimum time.

For your example, optimum time for N is based on 350 - 400 mpm, and speed fault time is based on 450 mpm.

But Training optimum time is based on 420 - 470 mpm.

So if you run a Novice course at the low end of Training speed (420 mpm), you won't get speed faults.

Similarly, if you run a BN course (optimum time based on 300 to 350 mpm, speed faults based on 420 mpm) at Novice speed (350 to 400 mpm), you won't get time faults.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 12, 2007, 05:25 PM
sorry Janet...still a few rule changes behind. Not something I'm generally concerned with since I know my speeds.

melodiousaphony
Dec. 12, 2007, 06:06 PM
It still amazes me how may lower level riders do not understand that too much speed and a too brave horse can be just as dangerous (if not more so) as one that stops. I've known more then one teenager (and their parents) who just didn't get it....and while the kid may have come off the course and said..."boy, that was a bit too fast or he wasn't listening...I needed more bit"....I've NEVER seen one of them do what it takes to school...i.e. PULL UP and stop, or circle...get under control and then continue...and if that doesn't work...stop and retire. That is a reaction that a rider who understands about training a horse has (and about the danger of too much speed even at a novice level fence)....and not a skill/reaction that most riders starting out have....so even with the penalties....I don't think it always sinks in for them.

On this note, I have a question/comment. I am still trying to figure out what is the comfortable cruising speed for my TB. It's different in feel than my QH (she tends to pull, but I do pull her up/slow her down/circle on course, or rather I did when I was eventing her). I'm also getting used to figuring out pace, etc. It was just always obvious to me with my QH when I was too fast because she pulled and it FELT to fast. On my TB, I found out that "too fast" for BN feels about what he ought to be going at, which would be BN speed fault time AKA Training level Opt. time.

My question/comment: What if you saw a rider going around a BN course, obviously in control, clocking around at a pace that would land them would speed faults, would you think that's dangerous riding? I'm a rider that has never NOT had breaks, even at that speed, and honestly my horse feels more comfortable at that speed. If I can bring him back, set up for jumps, and my goal is to get to Novice (hopefully will start next season going Novice so it won't really be the issue it is at BN), am I being dangerous going a little faster? I know one would incurr penalties, and I TOTALLY agree with that, but is it dangerous if someone is in total control?

(I just forgot to check my watch, I'm still "green" myself at the whole worrying about time thing and have been trying to develop more a feel than depending on my watch).

Janet
Dec. 12, 2007, 06:33 PM
sorry Janet...still a few rule changes behind. Not something I'm generally concerned with since I know my speeds.
They KEEP changing them!!!:confused:

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 12, 2007, 06:43 PM
My question/comment: What if you saw a rider going around a BN course, obviously in control, clocking around at a pace that would land them would speed faults, would you think that's dangerous riding? I'm a rider that has never NOT had breaks, even at that speed, and honestly my horse feels more comfortable at that speed. If I can bring him back, set up for jumps, and my goal is to get to Novice (hopefully will start next season going Novice so it won't really be the issue it is at BN), am I being dangerous going a little faster? I know one would incurr penalties, and I TOTALLY agree with that, but is it dangerous if someone is in total control?




Generally speaking....yes, I would consider that dangerous. The jumps at that level are too small to be taken at that speed even if in control. Part of knowing your speed is also knowing what speed is appropriate for what question and at what time....it is more then just if you can stop or control the speed. THIS is actually one of the hardest things in eventing and one of the things that you will be learning and adjusting no matter what your level. (at least IMO) When you walk a course...whether it is novice or Adv. You are looking at the question being asked, deciding how you need to approach that question (what balance and at what speed) and then...actually do what you plan! Sometimes our mistakes are in our plans...and sometimes they are in execution. If you have control...then fixing your mistake of being too fast will not be too hard once you get a feel for your speeds with a particular horse. And what you are experiencing is very normal. The feel of each of my horses x-c is very different...so I have to learn what each speed feels like for each horse. That gets quicker and easier the more different horses that you ride.

melodiousaphony
Dec. 12, 2007, 08:03 PM
Generally speaking....yes, I would consider that dangerous. The jumps at that level are too small to be taken at that speed even if in control. Part of knowing your speed is also knowing what speed is appropriate for what question and at what time....it is more then just if you can stop or control the speed. THIS is actually one of the hardest things in eventing and one of the things that you will be learning and adjusting no matter what your level. (at least IMO) When you walk a course...whether it is novice or Adv. You are looking at the question being asked, deciding how you need to approach that question (what balance and at what speed) and then...actually do what you plan! Sometimes our mistakes are in our plans...and sometimes they are in execution. If you have control...then fixing your mistake of being too fast will not be too hard once you get a feel for your speeds with a particular horse. And what you are experiencing is very normal. The feel of each of my horses x-c is very different...so I have to learn what each speed feels like for each horse. That gets quicker and easier the more different horses that you ride.

Thank you!
I'm just so surprised how different, even after owning Spot for a year. Shouldn't be though, as I'm not that experienced. Don't worry, I am at least on the ball enough to slow down for the jumps (taking a BN jump at 420 when a horse may need something a little bit more substantial to "catch his attention" if you will to pick up his feet would be dumb, and that's just one reason it wouldn't be safe), Spot is painfully adjustable, more so in the downward direction than upward UNLESS I convince him he's allowed to GO and then up/down are equally aquired.
But thank you for clearing that up. No flat jumping for me, don't want him catching a leg, etc. or flipping because he was rolling along too much to jump safely.
In the event he ever DOES take off with me, trust me, pictures will be posted of me falling off laughing (it would shock me just that much).

Gnep
Dec. 12, 2007, 08:33 PM
Is it Born ?

Than I am defenetly very guilty. Novice speed for my old greeny is close to a fast trott.
So last show of the season I let her gallop at a comfi lope, which makes her jump nicely, but it meant a heavty load of time penalties, 1 minute and change. Not realy a Novice quality horse and dangerous riding, yaiks.

It points out the huge problem with which everybody that wants a rule change concerning dangerous riding has to deal with and has not answered, what is dangerous riding.
Were does it start, me having a nice little morning gallop with my older Woman and hauling in a ton of speeding tickets, or the LLR on a packer, who has such a loose seat, is scared like hell, yells after each jump Gooooooooood Boooyyyyyyyyyy and if Good Boy twitches one ear wrong LLR goes darting.
LLR should have stayed in bed and I am having just a good ol' time with my Woman on a nice Sunday mornin'

Which answers the question about the ULR pushing a horse and or just having a little fun and a LLR on a packer. The ULR knows that he/she is pushing, the LLR thinks that he/she is save, when they are dancing a long the line of darting and when things go just that little bit wrong they hug moma earth, where the ULR makes the necessary corrections, ugly jump but no moma hugging.

Or what would you think of a rider who just had the max jumping penatlties possible in stadium and than hauls that soory a.. of a horse into that start box, prelim. Dangerous, guarantied, should not be allowed to go X-C, but than cleans everybodies clocks in X-C.

So what defienes dangerous riding

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 12, 2007, 09:03 PM
Novice speed is pretty darn slow for just about every one of my green horses. If left to a pace that they pick, it is comfortable training speed....for prelim speed, I just have to ask a little more...may be remind them after a fence or two to kick it back up but once kicked up...they stay there or accelerate. But it also isn't too hard to keep them at 400 meters a minute which is a perfectly fine speed for most novice courses...especially if you have to break the green bean down to the trot to trot through the water. (I've not gone BN)

That was why I said generally.....you still run the risk of tripping over the smaller fences taking them with too much speed....and it is important to know what is too fast.

A rider letting a horse move along in between fences isn't going to scare me if they are taking their fences at an safe speed for the fence....but it is dangerous to take a fence (at any level) at WAY too fast a speed for the type of fence (and generally speaking, BN novice fences at training speed is probably too fast ..just as novice fences at Prelim speed is probably too fast)....and dangerous riding is either doing so intentionally (too make time) or doing so either because you do not know any better or can't control the horse.


As for rails in stadium....that is a harder one. That is just an indication that this may not be a good jumper but there have been plenty of horses who like to break rails but respect x-c jumps. That is why I'm a person not for more rules or regulations...riders have to know their own horse and take responsibility for what they do. If my horse who doesn't normally take a rail all of a sudden takes 5....I probably would not run x-c and it might be dangerous (or at least irresponsible) if I did since something is probably wrong with my horse (or more likely my riding) but there probably would not be a rule ever pased that would state that I can't then go x-c. But if I'm sitting on a x-c machine that usually takes 6 rails cause he likes to break them but always jumps well x-c (like some x-fox hunters I know)....not an issue. But that is the rider having horsemanship and knowing their horses. Hence why I am NOT for more rules then what we already have.

Gnep
Dec. 12, 2007, 09:30 PM
Born,
excelent answer, you got it.

thanks