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View Full Version : HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION re: the stupid ammy rule



Alterrain
Jul. 3, 2009, 03:56 PM
How is it fair that an ammy, in the USEF definition of one, can show in the adults this week on the same horse that last year she won 3 grand prix on? She rides better than 75% of the pro's in the country!

Yet a person who has NO right ever doing that (adult jumper) division in terms of talent (bad eye, bad position, etc) is a "pro" because she teaches up-down to adult re-riders 3-5 pm 2 days a week for pocket money?

I just don't get it! The rule should be something like if more than half your income comes from riding/ teaching OR if you have won X amount then you are pro. (X could be a Grand Prix, a Big Eq final, more than $50k in prize money, etc.)

S A McKee
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:04 PM
How is it fair that an ammy, in the USEF definition of one, can show in the adults this week on the same horse that last year she won 3 grand prix on? She rides better than 75% of the pro's in the country!

Yet a person who has NO right ever doing that (adult jumper) division in terms of talent (bad eye, bad position, etc) is a "pro" because she teaches up-down to adult re-riders 3-5 pm 2 days a week for pocket money?

I just don't get it! The rule should be something like if more than half your income comes from riding/ teaching OR if you have won X amount then you are pro. (X could be a Grand Prix, a Big Eq final, more than $50k in prize money, etc.)

I am not bitter, and have nothing against this person/ or am mad because she wins and I don't. I actually beat her in all 3 classes today, and think she is a pretty sad person- suffers from depression, may have an eating disorder, and I think only continues to ride because her parents pay for everything, not for love of the sport. I am just using her as my example.

a) stop teaching so you can be an ammie or
b) submit a rule change proposal or
c) learn to ride better and you too can do a GP or
d) accept the rule the way it is written. NOT TALENT it's $$$ earned.

Jealous much?

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:05 PM
I agree. Why is someone who teaches beginner lessons to 5 year olds and just started showing, not allowed to compete as an amateur, yet someone who is independently wealthy with a barn full of grand prix horses and has been showing for 20 years is allowed to compete as an amateur.

Queen Latisha
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:07 PM
Ammy rules use to use % of yearly income in the past.
I guess the rule was too lenient and a lot of riders abused it, hence the strict guidelines regarding ammy status.

Queen Latisha
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:08 PM
I agree. Why is someone who teaches beginner lessons to 5 year olds and just started showing, not allowed to compete as an amateur, yet someone who is independently wealthy with a barn full of grand prix horses and has been showing for 20 years is allowed to compete as an amateur.

Because they don't make money from it.:cool:

MissIndependence
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:10 PM
The rules are not always easy to swallow. Many times I sigh in frustration as "ammies" who ride on Nations Cup teams compete in the A/O jumper divisions against people like me who have jobs outside the horse world and don't have 10 GP horses and a trust fund....BUT - that is the rule. Suck it up and ride better. I feel great on those super rare occassions when I get to beat them. If I were in their shoes I would not elect to show in the A/O divisions if I were doing big GP's. But they are legally ammies - they have the right to do what they want to.....and I would have 10 horses and ride 8 hours a day if I could :) - so why be bitter?

Alterrain
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:13 PM
a) stop teaching so you can be an ammie or
b) submit a rule change proposal or
c) learn to ride better and you too can do a GP or
d) accept the rule the way it is written. NOT TALENT it's $$$ earned.

Jealous much?

I think you misunderstood. I am an ammy, and have NO desire to even move up a division, much less do a GP! I am a major pansy. And not jealous of her at all! I was just using her as an example. I just think the rule is dumb. A situation like this doesn't make sense to me.

Coreene
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:21 PM
Not jealous, not bitter, but pissed enough to start a thread about it and include potshots about her mental state and weight? Get over yourself.

horselesswonder
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:24 PM
I understand where the OP is coming from. Frankly if nothing else it seems unsportsmanlike to show in the adult jumpers when you have competed in the grand prix. I'd feel like a big heel doing it myself, even though it is technically within the rules. As for the A/O jumpers (the highs anyway), to an outsider it appears to be a division for "professional amateurs" (i.e. those who do nothing but horse show) and professionals' wives. Or at least those are the people who seem to do consistently well in that division. No sour grapes here - I'll never have the guts to jump the A/Os (or realistically the horse), but I do feel for those riders who are weekend warriors and attempting to be competitive in that division. I also agree that the amateur rule is less than perfect - there are many in the 3' hunters who routinely violate the letter and/or spirit of the rule - but I'm not sure what the solution is.

ThatScaryChick
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:27 PM
How is it fair that an ammy, in the USEF definition of one, can show in the adults this week on the same horse that last year she won 3 grand prix on? She rides better than 75% of the pro's in the country!

Yet a person who has NO right ever doing that (adult jumper) division in terms of talent (bad eye, bad position, etc) is a "pro" because she teaches up-down to adult re-riders 3-5 pm 2 days a week for pocket money?

I just don't get it! The rule should be something like if more than half your income comes from riding/ teaching OR if you have won X amount then you are pro. (X could be a Grand Prix, a Big Eq final, more than $50k in prize money, etc.)

I am not bitter, and have nothing against this person/ or am mad because she wins and I don't. I actually beat her in all 3 classes today, and think she is a pretty sad person- suffers from depression, may have an eating disorder, and I think only continues to ride because her parents pay for everything, not for love of the sport. I am just using her as my example.

You say you are not bitter or jealous, but your post comes off that way. Ignore what everyone else is doing and just focus on you and your horse and try to better yourself. Or try to get the rules changed.

Ghazzu
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:34 PM
but I'm not sure what the solution is.

Drop the amateur division.
Institute some modification of novice and limit so that people are competing against others in the same universe wrt talent or whatever, and leave the open.

No matter how you tweak it, though, someone's always going to have more money, or talent, or better horseflesh than someone else.

t. nason
Jul. 3, 2009, 04:42 PM
I know that the jumper divisons will never be fair. You will always have folks that have more money to spend on their horse showing than some of us will ever have. That being said there are always folks that would love to be in shoes you or others are in. I just work really hard at it and that is all I can do. Might have more aches and pains from doing the hard work around our farm that others never have to do. If that is what I have to do to be able to have horses so be it.

Moesha
Jul. 3, 2009, 05:24 PM
Not jealous, not bitter, but pissed enough to start a thread about it and include potshots about her mental state and weight? Get over yourself.

Completely agree with Coreene on this. Not sure what the point of your post is? You won all three classes right? Did her horse have an injury? Maybe has gotten older? Not able to maintain his soundness at that height? Or as you cruelly pointed out the poor woman might have some serious health issues...that she might be dealing with. If she is following the rules and no one felt the need to explain their personal situation to you, it really is none of your business.

BNTHUNTER
Jul. 3, 2009, 05:33 PM
May I play devils advocate for a second here and suggest that perhaps the ammy in question needed to give a horse a schooling at 3'6" and there weren’t any other classes available? Or perhaps it was what her scheduled allowed for?
Its very unlikely that a rider at the GP levels wants to go in and compete against a bunch of AA jumper riders. It was probably the only option for classes that day; notice...she didnt beat you, so my assumption is that it was a class for the horse not the rider.

I do think the ami rules need to be done with, we need classes according to skill level. Not based on how we make a living.

"A"HunterGal
Jul. 3, 2009, 06:06 PM
Oh god. Can we PLEASE PLEASE nip this one in the bud? Do we REALLY need to have this conversation AGAIN? Does anyone else second the motion to chalk the OP up to a much needed release of steam and let's put this one to bed??

Melzy
Jul. 3, 2009, 07:11 PM
OP, you are going to have a tough time in life if you think the little ammy rules are unfair. Honey, LIFE is not fair! For example: If you ever attend a child's funeral, you'll snap back into what is really really important. Maybe you need to rethink your reasons for showing in the first place? Just focus on having fun with your horse. Good luck.

Coreene
Jul. 3, 2009, 07:15 PM
There's already a great message board for releasing steam about one's own issues. It's called Doctor Phil Dot Com. Here though? Not so much. It's not a "general rant" when someone starts a thread singling out one individual. It's a petulant, juvenile whine. No one said the great gallop of life would be across a level field. And what a bore if it was.

lonewolf
Jul. 3, 2009, 07:17 PM
Well, for what it's worth, I also think that the ammy rule should be ditched completely in favor of something that classifies riders by skill or accomplishment instead of by money.

I doubt it will happen, but I wish it would.

I see it as just another in a long list of ways this sport is slanted towards the wealthy.

Moesha
Jul. 3, 2009, 07:40 PM
Life is unfair....but does that mean that people are not happy? Successful? Overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams? Of course not, yes we all deal with various frustrations in the horse world, and yes many of us have had to deal with the ammy in the High A/O division who rides for the "Team" and in reality is a pro....but you know what....the gratitude adn the happiness and being competitive through hard work and dedication....most of us don't notice, because we are so happy with what we have....


Melzy brings up a very poingnant example....life can be truly cruel and unfair....be grateful for what you have and cherish your blessings.

Horseymama
Jul. 3, 2009, 07:52 PM
Well, for what it's worth, I also think that the ammy rule should be ditched completely in favor of something that classifies riders by skill or accomplishment instead of by money.

I doubt it will happen, but I wish it would.

I see it as just another in a long list of ways this sport is slanted towards the wealthy.

I completely and totally agree with this. Dividing riders by skill, experience and accomplishment makes so much more sense to me.

And you know what I really hate? I hate the negative connotation of the word "amateur." I know it's not only this sport, but just because someone doesn't do a sport professionally doesn't mean they aren't good at it.

That being said, you must keep in mind that no matter what the rules are, there will always be someone wealthier/more time to ride/more horses/skinnier/prettier/whatever/etc.

Lucassb
Jul. 3, 2009, 08:10 PM
The amateur rules were written to prevent the few bad apples who posed as ammies while actually being paid to ride (despite their "sham" jobs as bookkeepers etc) from spoiling the bunch.

The amateur rules were NOT written to divide up the exhibitor pool by talent, or resources.

The fact is, as others have noted, that there will always be someone with more money, more time and more talent than most of us who show. It's just showing, not life or death... get over it.

Trixie
Jul. 3, 2009, 08:52 PM
I am not bitter, and have nothing against this person/ or am mad because she wins and I don't. I actually beat her in all 3 classes today, and think she is a pretty sad person- suffers from depression, may have an eating disorder, and I think only continues to ride because her parents pay for everything, not for love of the sport. I am just using her as my example.

That actually sounds pretty bitter to me.

Who are you to comment on her eating disorder or mental state? Perhaps riding is one of the only things she enjoys. We all have our demons.

It's never going to be "fair" so to speak.

The good news is that talent riding cannot be bought. Jumpers, in that respect, are a great equalizer. You can have a cheap OTTB who is just as quick and can jump just as high as a hundred thousand dollar warmblood, and the only thing that counts is your speed and skill.

xxHorseLoverxx
Jul. 3, 2009, 10:15 PM
Can a person who shows in the amateur owner jumper division use saddlepads that the business name that they work for be embroidered on the saddlepad? This person has also set up a tent on the show property selling their human health product.
Thank you for any and all clarification.

horselesswonder
Jul. 3, 2009, 10:23 PM
I don't think anyone debates that we are all fortunate to be able to ride horses, period. And even more fortunate to be able to show, much less to show at a high level. And no, the amateur jumpers are not serious in a life-and-death sense. But this is a horse board and much of the conversation is about ... showing horses. And though I haven't personally encountered this situation in recent memory, it would certainly be extremely frustrating to spend several thousand dollars to show at a major show, in an amateur division, and have to show against individuals who do not - either by spirit or letter of the rule - belong there. It's expensive to show and horses in general, and showing in particular, are a major investment of funds, energy and emotion. So while I don't agree with posting information about a competitor's personal well being, I do think it's a bit much to berate those who point out inequities in the amateur ring. It's a tangible problem and one that merits discussion. If you don't want to read another discussion about it, there's a simple solution for that...

Seal Harbor
Jul. 3, 2009, 10:24 PM
does any one ever READ the rule book? It is online, available to EVERYONE. Selling stuff at a horse show does not affect ones amateur status. Selling horses does.

SUBCHAPTER 13-B AMATEURS AND PROFESSIONALS
GR1306 Amateur Status.
1. Regardless of one’s equestrian skills and/or accomplishments, a person is an amateur
for all competitions conducted under Federation rules who after his/her 18th birthday, as
defined in GR101, has not engaged in any of the following activities which would make
him/her a professional. Exception: In the Dressage Division, individuals are only eligible to
compete as amateurs from the beginning of the calendar year in which they reach age 22.
See DR119.3. In the Reining Division, amateur status will be determined per Reining
Division Non Pro Conditions; see amateur status RN105. (For professionals wishing to be
re-classified as amateurs, see GR1308.2a): EC 11/17/08 Effective immediately
a. Accepts remuneration for riding, driving, showing, training, schooling or
conducting clinics or seminars.
b. Accepts remuneration for giving riding or driving lessons, lessons in showmanship,
instructions in equitation or horse training. (Persons acting as counselors at summer
camps, who are not hired in the exclusive capacity of riding instructors are excluded
and persons giving instruction and training to the handicapped).
c. Accepts remuneration for employment in other capacity (e.g., secretary, bookkeeper,
veterinarian, groom, farrier) and gives instruction, rides, drives, shows, trains or schools
horses, other than horses actually owned or leased by him/her, when his/her employer
or a member of the family of said employer or a corporation which a member of his/her
family controls, owns, boards or trains said horses.
d. Accepts remuneration for the use of his or her name, photograph or other form of
personal association as a horseman in connection with any advertisement or article
(including but not limited to clothing, product, equipment, etc.) to be sold.
EC 2/17/09 Effective immediately
e. Accepts prize money in equitation or showmanship classes. Prize money may be
accepted by amateur riders in Dressage.
f. Rides, drives or shows, any horse for which he/she or a member of his/her family or
a corporation which a member of his/her family controls, receives remuneration for
boarding, training, riding, driving or showing. (A family member of a trainer may not
absolve themselves of this rule by entering into a lease or any other agreement for a
horse owned by a client of the trainer).
g. Gives instruction to any person or rides, drives or shows any horse, for which activity
another person in his/her family or corporation which a member of his/her family controls
will receive remuneration for the activity. (A family member of a trainer may not absolve
themselves of this rule by entering into a lease or any other agreement for a horse
owned by a client of the trainer).
h. Accepts remuneration, as defined in GR1306.2d, for selling horses/ponies, acts as a
paid agent in the sale of horses/ponies or takes horses/ponies on consignment for the
purpose of sale or training other than those owned wholly or in part by him/her or by a
member of his/her family or farm/ranch/syndicate/partnership/corporation which he/she
or a member of his/her family controls.
i. Advertising professional services such as training or giving lessons by way of
business cards, print ads, or internet.
j. For Amateurs in Jumper Sections, see JP117.
k. For Amateurs in Eventing sections, see EV Appendix 3 - Participation in Horse
Trials.
2. The following activities do not affect the amateur status of a person who is otherwise
qualified:
a. The writing of books or articles pertaining to horses.
b. Accepting remuneration for officiating as a judge, steward, technical delegate,
course designer, announcer or participating as a TV commentator, or accepting bona
fide remuneration for services as a veterinarian, groom, farrier, tack shop operator or
breeder, or for accepting bona fide remuneration for boarding services.
c. Accepting reimbursement for any expenses directly related to the horse (i.e.
farrier/vet bills, entries) however, does not include travel,hotel, room and board or
equipment. EC 2/17/09 Effective immediately
d. Accepting a token of appreciation, other than money, for riding, driving or showing in
halter/in hand. (Note: Horse board, prize money, partial support or objects of more than
$300 are considered remuneration, not small tokens of appreciation). (Also note:
accepting any amount of money, whether more or less than $300, is considered
remuneration.) Prize money won by an amateur-owner rider/driver/handler in any class
(other than equitation or showmanship) is not considered remuneration.
e. Having the occupation of veterinarian, groom, farrier or owning a tack shop or
breeding or boarding stable in itself, does not affect the amateur status of a person who
is otherwise qualified.
f. Any person who is serving an internship for college credit through his/her
respective, accredited college program, and who has never held professional status,
can accept reimbursement for expenses without profit.

grandprixjump
Jul. 3, 2009, 10:43 PM
Can a person who shows in the amateur owner jumper division use saddlepads that the business name that they work for be embroidered on the saddlepad? This person has also set up a tent on the show property selling their human health product.
Thank you for any and all clarification.

If they OWN the business then yes they can have saddle pads with the business name on them, if they are only employed by the business I don't think so.

Janet
Jul. 3, 2009, 10:57 PM
How is it fair that an ammy, in the USEF definition of one, can show in the adults this week on the same horse that last year she won 3 grand prix on? She rides better than 75% of the pro's in the country!

Yet a person who has NO right ever doing that (adult jumper) division in terms of talent (bad eye, bad position, etc) is a "pro" because she teaches up-down to adult re-riders 3-5 pm 2 days a week for pocket money?

I just don't get it! The rule should be something like if more than half your income comes from riding/ teaching OR if you have won X amount then you are pro. (X could be a Grand Prix, a Big Eq final, more than $50k in prize money, etc.)
1- The first line of the amateur rules says

Regardless of one’s equestrian skills and/or accomplishments, a person is an amateur
for all competitions conducted under Federation rules who after his/her 18th birthday, as
defined in GR101, has not engaged in any of the following activities which would make
him/her a professional.

2 - I hate to break it to you, but the amateur division was started FOR the independantly wealthy rider who did not need to earn a salary.

3- WRT an income limit - Even with the best intentions in the world, it can be very difficult for a person to determine exactly ow much they are being paid for non-amateur activities. And you KNOW there will be people finding loopholes.

For instance, if Rider A is paid by Big Barn to be the book keeper, and also rides and trains their green horses, how do you figure out how much of her income is for book keeping, and how much for riding?

Janet
Jul. 3, 2009, 11:00 PM
Can a person who shows in the amateur owner jumper division use saddlepads that the business name that they work for be embroidered on the saddlepad? This person has also set up a tent on the show property selling their human health product.
Thank you for any and all clarification.
Call the USEF for clarification, but I would think this falls under

d. Accepts remuneration for the use of his or her name, photograph or other form of
personal association as a horseman in connection with any advertisement or article
(including but not limited to clothing, product, equipment, etc.) to be sold.

mvp
Jul. 3, 2009, 11:02 PM
Its no more fair to attempt to shame the OP into silence by calling her bitter-- by implying that her motives don't justify her complaint-- than it is to drag someone else's psychological issues into a discussion of her ammy/pro status. I don't find the railing against the OP a good reason for not considering the rule.

I also have no sympathy with the "Life isn't fair, so let this little piece of it go that way, too." I think there are some decent reasons to reject that kind of argument:

First, I'm not sure that any of us has cornered the market on what Life is or is not.

Second, I think "Life isn't fair so shut up" is most often said by those to whom life has been more than fair. I can't imagine that statement being at all satisfying to a group of people who have been discriminated against in a systematic way.

Third, if you *can* improve things, then why not? Or be honest and admit that you somehow derive benefit from the rule as is and admit that everyone is an interested party.

But fourth, and most important, if a sport is perceived as unfair then people will (and ought to) leave. In short, there may be a very practical reason to revisit the ammy/pro status that will trump all philosophical reasons not to.

I won't waste my money or my horse's legs in a division whose deck is unfairly stacked against us by a shammy. There may be many others like me spending their money elsewhere, and it would be interesting to know if the USEF also knew that or cared.

But really, to the OP. if you could trade lives with the shammy you describe-- warts and all-- would you? I'll bet she's paying quite a price for her wins in the show ring.

xxHorseLoverxx
Jul. 3, 2009, 11:08 PM
Yes I actually do read the rule book but am not always clear if I have read all of the rules that pertain to a situation.
So the person works for the "pyramid" company. The "pyramid" company does not buy the saddlepads.
But whose to say that the person who works for the "pyramid" company and is advertising the "pyramid" company on their set-up and saddlepads isn't writing off horse show expenses at the end of the year to their business.
I'm wondering how people interrupt the ammy rules in these circumstances.
One of the stewards at the show says it isn't allowed but I cannot say that I see anything like this in the rulebook.
I will write to the USEF as that is the best way for clarification and will post their response whenever I receive it.

Moesha
Jul. 3, 2009, 11:37 PM
The problem with these threads is that 9/10 times there is some personal vendetta against someone or some hatred or jealousy towards someone that has nothing to do with facts and rules....but just a vent.

If the OP is successful then why even bring this up like this?? Why not say something a littel more generic if you truly have nothing really against the rider described...why then specifically call her out?....and why m ake cruel comments about someone's mental and physical health??

And once again we get into the tired trashing of people who may have nice things....enough.

The OP should be happy she beat a horse that won 3 GP's last year....we all know jumpers work on the levels and variousa horses succeed at certain heights...but so be it...she did well and you have again no true complaint against this amateur....so as she follows the rules...not matter how miserable or how spoiled...how does attacking her deliberately and judging her with so much disdain...make you any better??

Long Spot
Jul. 4, 2009, 12:08 AM
Starting a vent thread about a particular rule is one thing. A discussion about how the rule could be tweeked would be beneficial.

Including the info you did about a single person, and very personal issues is beyond low and takes away from any point you may have had.

Guess who looks like the ass now? (Psst...it's not the one with depression/eating disorder winning in the ammy division.).

grandprixjump
Jul. 4, 2009, 12:16 AM
Yes I actually do read the rule book but am not always clear if I have read all of the rules that pertain to a situation.
So the person works for the "pyramid" company. The "pyramid" company does not buy the saddlepads.
But whose to say that the person who works for the "pyramid" company and is advertising the "pyramid" company on their set-up and saddlepads isn't writing off horse show expenses at the end of the year to their business.
I'm wondering how people interrupt the ammy rules in these circumstances.
One of the stewards at the show says it isn't allowed but I cannot say that I see anything like this in the rulebook.
I will write to the USEF as that is the best way for clarification and will post their response whenever I receive it.

Lets use AVON as the example, if the saddle pads had ONLY the AVON logo on them I would say NO, it's illegal, but if they have the AVON logo, and say "Felicia's Fantasy's" Then she is advertising for HER OWN COMPANY that sells AVON items, and NOT AVON themselves. Any of the pyramid companies are like that, you don't really work for them you work for yourself selling their products.

Trixie
Jul. 4, 2009, 12:31 AM
So the person works for the "pyramid" company. The "pyramid" company does not buy the saddlepads.
But whose to say that the person who works for the "pyramid" company and is advertising the "pyramid" company on their set-up and saddlepads isn't writing off horse show expenses at the end of the year to their business.
I'm wondering how people interrupt the ammy rules in these circumstances.
One of the stewards at the show says it isn't allowed but I cannot say that I see anything like this in the rulebook.

It sounds like that would make them a professional, if the pyramid company is paying them and they're subsequently advertising the company.

Gry2Yng
Jul. 4, 2009, 01:53 AM
Yes I actually do read the rule book but am not always clear if I have read all of the rules that pertain to a situation.
So the person works for the "pyramid" company. The "pyramid" company does not buy the saddlepads.
But whose to say that the person who works for the "pyramid" company and is advertising the "pyramid" company on their set-up and saddlepads isn't writing off horse show expenses at the end of the year to their business.
I'm wondering how people interrupt the ammy rules in these circumstances.
One of the stewards at the show says it isn't allowed but I cannot say that I see anything like this in the rulebook.
I will write to the USEF as that is the best way for clarification and will post their response whenever I receive it.

You can be an amateur and write off your show expenses at the end of the year if you are selling your own horses only. I have a smartpack saddle pad. I put it on the horse sometimes to school at shows. I won it. (Not saying the person about is in the clear, just saying there are ways to do those things and not violate the rules.)

poltroon
Jul. 4, 2009, 02:55 AM
I like the way it's done in eventing, where there are open divisions and Rider and Horse divisions that limit based on how high you've competed.

Over time you just have to make your peace with it. I've shown long enough that I can be happy about the ride instead of the ribbon, and instead get vicarious thrills from riding in the same class as a former Olympian. :D

S A McKee
Jul. 4, 2009, 08:08 AM
I won't waste my money or my horse's legs in a division whose deck is unfairly stacked against us by a shammy. There may be many others like me spending their money elsewhere, and it would be interesting to know if the USEF also knew that or cared.



Then file a protest if there is a shammy in your division.
As far as the USEF caring, just read the monthly suspensions. Lots of shammys getting caught BECAUSE SOMEONE BOTHERED TO COMPLAIN TO USEF instead of on a BB.

mrsbradbury
Jul. 4, 2009, 08:51 AM
Maybe somthing went wrong with her horse. It got injured? It lost it's nerve and they are stepping down to regain their confidence.

Have you ever talked to her? Maybe she's a nice person, and might make a friend rather than slitting a sly eye at her.

If she's an ammy, she's an ammy and she can ride in whatever division she likes. Let USEF sort out the details if you are questioning her validity.

mvp
Jul. 4, 2009, 11:00 AM
I'm all for putting my money where my mouth is and filing the protest. But consider the way it's set up. I pay to do that. I bear the burden of proof. The standards of proof are neither clear nor especially easy to meet. As other posters have pointed out here, my whistle-blowing will be twisted a bit: The cheater will somehow be less blame-worthy because I could be supposed to have a vendetta animating my effort to make the sport fair.

I was interested in Janet's bit of history: The USEF (then AHSA) instituted the ammy/pro distinction to protect independently wealthy ammies. Its remarkable what one can get done when effort is applied.

I'm not arguing anything like "Damn. The rich always win!" I am pointing out that the demographics of the ammy who would like a level playing field seems to have changed. No problem: things aren't as they were in the 1960s.

I would ask how long it will take the USEF to catch up with the needs of its modern membership. Those of us who are unhappy can "stay" and get involved. But my earlier point was that the H/J world has always suffered from a reputation for being elitist. When the managing organization inadvertently supports that by structuring a sport that doesn't make competition fair for the average competitor, that contributes to the PR problem. I find it hard to defend H/J competition to my buddies who find better divisions and sorting of competitors in other kinds of showing. There's a reason for the rise in interest in the western world.

Go Fish
Jul. 4, 2009, 04:04 PM
I'm not arguing anything like "Damn. The rich always win!" I am pointing out that the demographics of the ammy who would like a level playing field seems to have changed. No problem: things aren't as they were in the 1960s.

I would ask how long it will take the USEF to catch up with the needs of its modern membership. Those of us who are unhappy can "stay" and get involved. But my earlier point was that the H/J world has always suffered from a reputation for being elitist. When the managing organization inadvertently supports that by structuring a sport that doesn't make competition fair for the average competitor, that contributes to the PR problem. I find it hard to defend H/J competition to my buddies who find better divisions and sorting of competitors in other kinds of showing. There's a reason for the rise in interest in the western world.

Please define "level playing field."

I showed QHs (western) for years. It's not cheap, believe me. This is a misconception frequently brought up on this board.

Alterrain
Jul. 4, 2009, 04:10 PM
I initially mentioned the person in particular because seeing her made me wonder about this problem with the rule (I think it's a problem at least.) And I had talked about her personal life to illustrate that I was not jealous of her, in fact I felt a little sad for her. I didn't want everyone to think I was on the bitter bus. In fact, it was just seeing her that made me aware of this situation, and how skewed I think it is.

I have eliminated any specifics and made it a hypothetical situation.

And all those people who are saying suck it up, there are always going to be people with more money, better horses, fancier equipment, you are missing my point. It (my point) has nothing to do with how much money people have.

I was just saying, I think people who ride very very well (well enough to have won more than one GP) should be pro's simply by the nature of their talent.

And whoever quoted the rule book and asked if I had read it (maybe that was two separate people) I UNDERSTAND THE RULE AS IT CURRENTLY STANDS. I UNDERSTAND THAT BEING A PRO/ AMMY IS ONLY DEPENDANT ON MONEY EARNED, NOT TALENT. I GET IT. It's just that I don't agree with it.

Well I agree with the spirit of it, as someone who shows exclusively in classes restricted to adult ammies and always will. I hate shammies! I was just saying huh, this seems unfair. Something has been left out that should be there.

Your thoughts? Discuss.

Go Fish
Jul. 4, 2009, 04:19 PM
1- - I hate to break it to you, but the amateur division was started FOR the independantly wealthy rider who did not need to earn a salary.

Maybe, but I also think the amateur division was created so those less skilled with limited time on the back of a horse didn't have to compete with the pros. Really no different from it's purpose today.

I'm old enough to remember way back when it was okay to work in the industry and still be an amateur so long as less than 30% of your income was derived from the horse business. It was very easy to cheat, of course, and lots of people did.

Go Fish
Jul. 4, 2009, 04:26 PM
And whoever quoted the rule book and asked if I had read it (maybe that was two separate people) I UNDERSTAND THE RULE AS IT CURRENTLY STANDS. I UNDERSTAND THAT BEING A PRO/ AMMY IS ONLY DEPENDANT ON MONEY EARNED, NOT TALENT. I GET IT. It's just that I don't agree with it.

Go back and read the rule again...you still have it wrong.

Carol Ames
Jul. 4, 2009, 04:38 PM
I think your suggestion is excellent! Why not send ito the USEF specifically, David O'C?

like if more than half your income comes from riding/ teaching OR if you have won X amount then you are pro. (X could be a Grand Prix, a Big Eq final, more than $50k in prize money, etc.)

Candle
Jul. 4, 2009, 04:42 PM
In every single sport there is this concept that if you have a lot of talent, you might win most of the time. You can pay for coaching to develop your talent, or you can be just naturally born with it. Either way, there are always people with loads of natural talent and with loads of coaching. It's a competition, the point is to get as good as you can and then go compete against other people who are presumably trying to get as good as they can. There are a lot of factors that play into who wins a competition, and no, they are not fair nor can they be 'equalized'. This topic has been done to death already. It's a competition, not a bunch of horses standing around singing Kumbaya and praying for world peace.

mvp
Jul. 4, 2009, 09:22 PM
The problem, then, seems to be about "what counts as a level playing field" or (assuming some of us want one), "How would we go about sorting riders?"

The "how to sort" is different from "should we sort."

Yes, deciding a feasible, sensitive fair way to pit "like against like" in the riding world is tough but not impossible. But don't tell me that the sport would not longer be worthwhile if we, say, sorted the economic heavy weights from the economic bantams. That works just fine in boxing. Because, who, after all, would consider a huge guy beating the snot out of the little guy "sport" in the first place? You can find great competitions between guys of matched sizes. Many of us would be happy with a governing organization (and community) that tried to make thing fair enough to make horse showing inviting.

S A McKee
Jul. 4, 2009, 11:19 PM
Yes, deciding a feasible, sensitive fair way to pit "like against like" in the riding world is tough but not impossible. But don't tell me that the sport would not longer be worthwhile if we, say, sorted the economic heavy weights from the economic bantams. That works just fine in boxing.

And how would you define an economic bantam?

And I don't get your analogy. Economics has nothing to do with sorting boxers.

But for the sake of argument lets say that a pro gets more than 50% of their income from riding activities as defined by USEF.
This will do nothing to 'sort out' the wealthy amateur from the not wealthy amateur. The wealthy amateur right now gets 0 from Pro activities. They may have an independant income ( trust fund whatever). Under that type of qualification the current wealthy amateur could now engage in pro activities with no rule violations.

janedoe726
Jul. 5, 2009, 12:34 AM
sorted the economic heavy weights from the economic bantams...

Wouldn't this equate to local/schooling shows vs. AA shows??

fourmares
Jul. 5, 2009, 01:44 AM
I don't think that the OPs point was that it isn't fair that some people are rich and have nice horses or ride really really well... the point was that this particular horse and rider combination had won in the Grands Prix ring the previous year and this year they are in the AA jumpers. I'm sure if the same rider was on a new greenie the OP wouldn't have thought a thing about it regardless of how fancy the new horse was.

They used to prevent this sort of thing in eventing in that a horse could not compete more than two levels lower than it's highest level unless it had permission from the USEA. I don't know if that rule still exists, and it had it's problems, but it was fairly easy to get permission when a horse was sold to a new rider, or was rehabbing or whatever.

HunterJumperLuv
Jul. 5, 2009, 06:39 AM
I was just saying, I think people who ride very very well (well enough to have won more than one GP) should be pro's simply by the nature of their talent.



Think about what you said..

Just because someone is talented, doesnt mean that they are a professional. Does this mean that the young adult ammy who is out doing the adult jumpers on her own horse who is talented enough to catch a ride on someone elses grand prix horse and win should qualify as a professional? No. They are not accepting renumeration.

Just because someone is a talented rider does not mean we should punish them

Suck it up, quit whining, and deal with how life is. You just dont ride as well as they do or you'd be out winning grand prix's too.

mvp
Jul. 5, 2009, 08:24 AM
In this preliminary discussion of what separates the shammies from the ammies from the pros, it should not be about raw talent. It should not be about the hard work that had to go with that God-given trait.

The should be about some glass ceiling imposed to learning to ride better. The only reason I explicitly bring up available funds and others less directly acknowledge that too is that many peeps know they are shut out by their inability to buy the better horse or (sometimes) the fuller training program.

I think some of the gen-u-ine skill that goes into making a good rider is just the opportunity to ride and jump. The person who can jump 6 a day has more opportunity to develop an accurate eye than the person like me-- one horse, jumped 2x per week at a maximum.

I also can't afford to buy a 3'6' horse. Period. Now mind you, my plan is to make up my own from a virgin greenie. I don't at all mind that that process will take me much longer and will be a little tougher on both horse and rider than it might be for someone who could buy one who knew the ropes and/or could pay a pro to do the training for a couple of years before I took over the ride.

But many can't or don't want to go this way. Those guys need a place to show that keeps them interested in the long-term process of learning to ride better, and siphoning their money into horses as opposed to, say, BMX racing or whatever.

I do like the idea of ranking riders as we do in divisions like Maiden and Limit. I suppose you could do that at every height, though the prize lists for shows would get even longer and more complicated. Though it has been tried, I also think the idea of sorting pros from ammies by either percentage of income earned from horsing, or picking a figure above $300 that lets you stay and ammy would help to. It may be very good for the industry at large to let all those good ammies who can take the time to teach beginners to do that without losing their status.

All the rules should be created to both invite people into showing and to invite them to stay and become better horsemen and riders. But it seems premature to say "sorting riders is so hard that we ought to rationalize not trying at all." We may be past the stage where we (the USEF and horse showing community at large) can afford to do that.

I'm psyched to hear others ideas.

M. O'Connor
Jul. 5, 2009, 08:29 AM
On the west coast, is there still a PCHA futures class?

For any rider who hasn't won a GPx...

That's maybe the direction to start thinking in...

Trying to modify the Ammy rules is just beating your head against a very large stone.

It will NEVER change. Part of it is expressly so that those who can afford to do nothing but ride will be able to compete amongst themselves, even to the disadvantage or exclusion of those who must work for a living at real life jobs. Or those making pocket money (truth be told, it's sometimes a lot more than that, though) teaching up-downers of any age.

Some of those riders can afford to become really, really good.

So, look for a way to allow "less proficient-professionals" to do the same, amongst themselves, or at least in the company of less well developed riders...

Or, continue to hit yourself in the head with that rock...

S A McKee
Jul. 5, 2009, 08:53 AM
I also can't afford to buy a 3'6' horse.

I do like the idea of ranking riders as we do in divisions like Maiden and Limit. I suppose you could do that at every height, though the prize lists for shows would get even longer and more complicated. Though it has been tried, I also think the idea of sorting pros from ammies by either percentage of income earned from horsing, or picking a figure above $300 that lets you stay and ammy would help to.

All the rules should be created to both invite people into showing and to invite them to stay and become better horsemen and riders. But it seems premature to say "sorting riders is so hard that we ought to rationalize not trying at all." We may be past the stage where we (the USEF and horse showing community at large) can afford to do that.



But that's really your problem isn't it. You can't afford a 3'6" horse.
Sorting riders by income or ability isn't going to solve that.

Many smaller shows can't fill classes right now. So what are you proposing, GP classes for maiden riders? That will really fill.

And asking USEF to determine % of income earned from Pro activities is just nuts. Think about what you are asking for? The IRS releasing info to USEF?
Insane.

And I guess you still don't realize that sorting by income earned from horses still allows the wealthy ammies to compete as ammies PLUS make some money from Pro actitvities.

Glenmore
Jul. 5, 2009, 10:21 AM
Let's not overlook what it takes to get the Ammy card. Especially if you have been classified as a Professional. Proof that for at least 12 months one has not participated in any activity that would classify them as a Professional.
I am in the process of that right now. I am OLD, and not rich, but my passion has kept me going for years. I haven't been on a horses back in the show ring for over 40 years, and I was never fortunate enough to have an already made horse to work with. But I woke up one morning this past spring knew what I wanted to do.
Although I was good in my younger years, I never rode professionally (other things got in my way). I breed ponies and teach kids, and I've had my share of success with both.
I have always stressed to the kids that it is not the ribbon, but how they felt about the performance they put in and what they could do to make the next round better.
Earn your rewards. Take pride in small accomplishments.
If I can take a nothing horse and make it into something that will give the professionally trained ones a run for their money, that gives me all the reward I need.
I think we all need to think about why we are doing this. Is it just for the ribbon?

Horseymama
Jul. 5, 2009, 10:50 AM
How is it done in other countries? How do they divide Amateurs and Professionals in France, Germany, England, etc? There are plenty of people on this board from overseas, someone explain to me how it's done over there.

Do people freak out about the Amateur thing as much there as they do here? If not, why not? Maybe we can find a few examples of how it is done in other countries in order to better our own system here.

I am in full agreement that our system here is skewed and it needs to be re-worked. But what we need are some good, sound ideas, not just complaining.

Whisper
Jul. 5, 2009, 01:46 PM
In eventing, there are subdivisions (where there are enough entries to allow for it) for juniors, horses who are new to the level, riders who are new to the level, and open for everyone else. They technically also have the option of "adult amateur," but I've rarely seen it offered. I think that's a pretty reasonably way of dividing things up, however, there's nothing wrong with the current H/J divisions, either. A lot of people do feel it's "pot hunting"/poor sportsmanship to show in a division that both horse and rider are overqualified for, but sometimes it's a good idea to do one class as a warmup, or move down while re-habbing after a physical injury or loss in confidence, etc.

Some people have argued that "amateur" should have to do with how many horses you can ride per day. I get to ride a lot of horses for free, pretty much as many as I have time for. I frequently hop on 3-4 horses each time I go out and ride. However, I don't get a penny for it (and do some work to help out while I'm there), so I'm still an amateur.

Greg
Jul. 5, 2009, 02:57 PM
In this preliminary discussion of what separates the shammies from the ammies from the pros, it should not be about raw talent. It should not be about the hard work that had to go with that God-given trait.

The should be about some glass ceiling imposed to learning to ride better. The only reason I explicitly bring up available funds and others less directly acknowledge that too is that many peeps know they are shut out by their inability to buy the better horse or (sometimes) the fuller training program.

I think some of the gen-u-ine skill that goes into making a good rider is just the opportunity to ride and jump. The person who can jump 6 a day has more opportunity to develop an accurate eye than the person like me-- one horse, jumped 2x per week at a maximum.

I also can't afford to buy a 3'6' horse. Period. Now mind you, my plan is to make up my own from a virgin greenie. I don't at all mind that that process will take me much longer and will be a little tougher on both horse and rider than it might be for someone who could buy one who knew the ropes and/or could pay a pro to do the training for a couple of years before I took over the ride.

But many can't or don't want to go this way. Those guys need a place to show that keeps them interested in the long-term process of learning to ride better, and siphoning their money into horses as opposed to, say, BMX racing or whatever.

I do like the idea of ranking riders as we do in divisions like Maiden and Limit. I suppose you could do that at every height, though the prize lists for shows would get even longer and more complicated. Though it has been tried, I also think the idea of sorting pros from ammies by either percentage of income earned from horsing, or picking a figure above $300 that lets you stay and ammy would help to. It may be very good for the industry at large to let all those good ammies who can take the time to teach beginners to do that without losing their status.

All the rules should be created to both invite people into showing and to invite them to stay and become better horsemen and riders. But it seems premature to say "sorting riders is so hard that we ought to rationalize not trying at all." We may be past the stage where we (the USEF and horse showing community at large) can afford to do that.

I'm psyched to hear others ideas.

I agree wholeheartedly in regards to the sorting, especially in the 3 ft division. A really good riding adult with a strong eye, is going to beat (most of the time) a less experienced rider. Even if riding a green horse, with the less experienced rider on a packer. Not always, but usually!

I also believe that not allowing ammie's to teach up-downs hurts the sport as a whole. People are less inclined to try riding if they have to shell out 50-60$ per lesson, and purchase a ton of equipment. However, if they can go down the road to Sally's house, and ride in jeans, cowboy boots and a hardhat for 20$, they may be inclined to give it a go. If they like it, and want to bring it further, they can bump up to a true professional, and hey! We have a new face in our sport. Without a Sally, though, that person probably would never have tried it!!!!

I think the Ammy status should be a little like the pre-green status... A pre-green horse can't have jumped 3 ft at a rated show. I think an ammy should be able to teach a person up to a certain level. No teaching at rated shows at all, and no students at local shows who ride better than student hunter/maiden equitation divisions. Not many people stay at that level for long.

Plus, no being paid to ride under any circumstances. If Sally needs someone better to get on her horse, they have to hire someone else. Also, no earning more than $1000 a year. Period.

Anyway, just a thought...

S A McKee
Jul. 5, 2009, 03:24 PM
I
I think the Ammy status should be a little like the pre-green status... A pre-green horse can't have jumped 3 ft at a rated show. I think an ammy should be able to teach a person up to a certain level. No teaching at rated shows at all, and no students at local shows who ride better than student hunter/maiden equitation divisions. Not many people stay at that level for long.
...

So are you saying that anybody who has shown at 3' isn't an Ammie?
The USEF Adult Ammie division IS at 3'. Under your suggestion nobody who has ever shown in those sections can be an Ammie.
Many shows offer a 2'6" unrated section with restrictions on rider status. So there are divisions available.

About the teaching thing: Are you separating teaching at home from coaching or being a trainer at shows? Almost impossible to monitor what happens at home. And limiting the amount earned to $1000 won't work as that will just about cover insurance and some business cards.

Dividing sections on height and doing away with Ammie status doesn't work. The non Pros simply don't want to show against the pros or even the good Junior riders.

It almost sounds like an instant gratification thing. 'Make a division just for me !!!'. If you can't win with the available rated sections then show in the unrated at a lower height, go to smaller shows, learn to ride better or just enjoy showing and be pleased with how you and the horse did. It's fun, not a critical situation.

Candle
Jul. 5, 2009, 03:44 PM
I don't see how this is unique to riding and needs to be fixed immediately though. Take running for example. Oh, everyone can just go outside whenever they want to and run. However, some people can afford really great shoes and replace them every two weeks. Some people can afford nutritionists and sports massage after every training run. Some people can run outside or on trails all year round, and some people spend all winter working late and fitting in something on a treadmill in the basement. Some people can afford running coaching and a personal trainer at the gym to help them stay competitive. Heck, some people can afford a cook who cooks for them and REALLY helps them stay competitive. Those people still compete against people who can't afford those things. I'm tired of hearing that riding is such an elitist sport that it's one of the only sports in which there's a huge gap between the have's and the have-not's. People will always be separated by money if that's what we choose to focus on the most.

Greg
Jul. 5, 2009, 03:59 PM
I must have explained what I meant incorrectly... I meant that pre-green status was depicted by "at rated shows". Meaning, a horse could show locally for years, at any height, and still be considered a "pre-green" horse at rated shows. Noone complains about this, because the division is so competetive that a horse capable of winning in that division would probably have not spent an extended amount of time doing the Local thing. Similiarly, I don't think many Adults that win on the circuit spend a ton of time showing at local shows, either. So if an adult is helping little kids at the occasional local show... I don't think it should affect their "pregreen" status, so to speak.

Does that help?

I was also implying that the person teaching Sally for $20, should also be allowed to teach Sally at Sally's first couple of shows. The instant Sally is ready to move up to a "real" division, ie: 2'6 children/adult, then Sally needs to be handed off to a "real" pro. This can in fact be documented and protested should someone feel our Adult is not complying.

As I said... it was just a thought. It sure seems that for every person who supports the Ammy rule as is, there is another that feels it is penalizing as much as it protects.

Horseymama
Jul. 5, 2009, 08:59 PM
I like Greg's idea. It's a good start. What about expanding on that idea and say a person can't spend more than 3 years in the AA 3' division (or whatever Amateur division) on the same horse without moving up or moving to the opens. It could be either 3 years or more than 20 (just throwing out a number) blue ribbons in one year.

As for the riding school instructor, I suggest that if a person is teaching up-downs that never go to a rated show, they should be able to compete themselves as an amateur no matter what their salary. There could be a rule that their students don't show rated or over 2'3". Having good riding school instructors is so key for our sport. I have seen so many horrible one's. I wouldn't want to discourage any decent rider/horseman from doing this career because they were going to loose their amateur status for rated shows.

Anyway, some ideas...

RockinHorse
Jul. 5, 2009, 09:08 PM
I like Greg's idea. It's a good start. What about expanding on that idea and say a person can't spend more than 3 years in the AA 3' division (or whatever Amateur division) on the same horse without moving up or moving to the opens. It could be either 3 years or more than 20 (just throwing out a number) blue ribbons in one year.



The problem I see with this type of thing is that 1) there are no recognized open 3'ft divisions for the person to move into 2) for the amateur to move up they would have to buy a 3'6" horse which would limit accessability to showing even more 3) in 3 years some ammy might only do 3 shows where another ammy might do 100+ shows.


As for the riding school instructor, I suggest that if a person is teaching up-downs that never go to a rated show, they should be able to compete themselves as an amateur no matter what their salary. There could be a rule that their students don't show rated or over 2'3". Having good riding school instructors is so key for our sport. I have seen so many horrible one's. I wouldn't want to discourage any decent rider/horseman from doing this career because they were going to loose their amateur status for rated shows.

Whose to say even more of the horrible teachers are not going to come out in force :confused:

Gry2Yng
Jul. 5, 2009, 10:51 PM
I agree wholeheartedly in regards to the sorting, especially in the 3 ft division. A really good riding adult with a strong eye, is going to beat (most of the time) a less experienced rider. Even if riding a green horse, with the less experienced rider on a packer. Not always, but usually!

I also believe that not allowing ammie's to teach up-downs hurts the sport as a whole. People are less inclined to try riding if they have to shell out 50-60$ per lesson, and purchase a ton of equipment. However, if they can go down the road to Sally's house, and ride in jeans, cowboy boots and a hardhat for 20$, they may be inclined to give it a go. If they like it, and want to bring it further, they can bump up to a true professional, and hey! We have a new face in our sport. Without a Sally, though, that person probably would never have tried it!!!!

I think the Ammy status should be a little like the pre-green status... A pre-green horse can't have jumped 3 ft at a rated show. I think an ammy should be able to teach a person up to a certain level. No teaching at rated shows at all, and no students at local shows who ride better than student hunter/maiden equitation divisions. Not many people stay at that level for long.

Plus, no being paid to ride under any circumstances. If Sally needs someone better to get on her horse, they have to hire someone else. Also, no earning more than $1000 a year. Period.

Anyway, just a thought...


FWIW, it doesn't take many $20 lessons to get to $1000/year. Actually, that would be teaching one lesson a week. If you took that one lesson kid to one local show and they gave you a nice tip, you would be over your proposed limit.

I would think someone in this situation might make $100-$200/week teaching up downs and local show 2'6"ers depending on how much time they spend doing it.

I like your idea, tho, just think the limit is unrealistic. I wouldn't break my ammy status or spend the time marketing for $20 a week.

S A McKee
Jul. 6, 2009, 12:29 AM
I like Greg's idea. It's a good start. What about expanding on that idea and say a person can't spend more than 3 years in the AA 3' division (or whatever Amateur division) on the same horse without moving up or moving to the opens. It could be either 3 years or more than 20 (just throwing out a number) blue ribbons in one year.

..

It costs big dollars to buy a 3'6" horse. So you'd be right back in the situation that others complained about. 'Showing is for the rich.'
The point of the 3' Ammie Adult division is that you don't need to own the horse you are riding and you don't need to compete against the 3'6" A/O's.
And the idea is that a 3' horse doesn't require you to mortage your home ( maybe it does, some of those 3' horses are getting pricey).

Where would you have the AA go after they did 3 years in the division?
I'm in favor of a ladder system but there has to be a reasonable 'next step' available or you just force folks out of the sport.

myvanya
Jul. 6, 2009, 12:34 AM
I don't see how this is unique to riding and needs to be fixed immediately though. Take running for example. Oh, everyone can just go outside whenever they want to and run. However, some people can afford really great shoes and replace them every two weeks. Some people can afford nutritionists and sports massage after every training run. Some people can run outside or on trails all year round, and some people spend all winter working late and fitting in something on a treadmill in the basement. Some people can afford running coaching and a personal trainer at the gym to help them stay competitive. Heck, some people can afford a cook who cooks for them and REALLY helps them stay competitive. Those people still compete against people who can't afford those things. I'm tired of hearing that riding is such an elitist sport that it's one of the only sports in which there's a huge gap between the have's and the have-not's. People will always be separated by money if that's what we choose to focus on the most.

I have to disagree with this a bit. Pretty much anyone who can scrape together $100 for shoes every 6 months or so and the time to run can get good at running. Really good. If they have the drive and motivation to do it. Other things may be nice (really nice, and helpful) but don't really make you any more competitive or a better runner; just ask a really good runner (like Olympic Level). In riding however, you cannot say that. To even get on a horse and go to a single show will cost you more than that. It is not economically accessible to just anyone. That does not mean it should be, but I think the comparison falls flat.

FWIW, I would prefer we got rid of the amateur division (and I am one). I think that limit classes and other means of separating riders make more sense. I disagree with the notion that this will discourage amateurs from showing because they might have to show against pros- after all in some of the divisions I show in now I show against pros and Juniors (at local shows admittedly) in my division and it does not bother me one bit. I would rather show against a pro on a green horse than a pro on a made one and if we made classes based on horse or rider experience that could be a choice I would have. I fail to see what the Amateur divisions really provide in benefit for the sport and can see where they harm it.

As far as less experienced people teaching up-down lessons- until/unless there is a reasonable and affordable way of proving knowledge and teaching ability there is nothing to prevent anyone from saying they are a horse genius and teaching lessons. Ultimately parents, even if they don't know anything, have to decide if their child's instructor is providing good instruction. And I have to say that from what I have seen, unfortunately, the current "instructor certification" programs that I have experienced locally are a joke (be seeing the kids taught by certified trainers and watching their lessons).

horsebeckz99
Jul. 6, 2009, 12:44 AM
FWIW in NZ the amateur rule is that you cannot be competing higher than 1.25m or advanced (perhaps intermediate my memory fails me) eventing. Seems pretty fair to me :)

Edit for spelling

S A McKee
Jul. 6, 2009, 12:45 AM
[QUOTE=myvanya;4213862].

FWIW, I would prefer we got rid of the amateur division (and I am one). I think that limit classes and other means of separating riders make more sense. I disagree with the notion that this will discourage amateurs from showing because they might have to show against pros- after all in some of the divisions I show in now I show against pros and Juniors (at local shows admittedly) in my division and it does not bother me one bit. I would rather show against a pro on a green horse than a pro on a made one and if we made classes based on horse or rider experience that could be a choice I would have. I fail to see what the Amateur divisions really provide in benefit for the sport and can see where they harm it.

/QUOTE]

Perhaps at local unrated shows going against a pro doesn't make a difference. But I think if you ask AA or A/O riders at USEF rated shows the same question you'll get a different answer.
That's really why the 3' AA division exists, to make a fair playing field.
Look at the divisions that are supported by local show associations. Lots of splits between Amateur, Junior and Open classes. Just because of the desire to avoid showing against a pro.

Why do you think Amateur divisions hurt the sport?
( Besides putting a bunch of trainers, agents and dealers out of business LOL )

fourmares
Jul. 6, 2009, 01:18 AM
I could see making a sliding pro scale... If you have students that compete at that rating level, you can not be a pro at that level... In other words, if you have students that compete at the local shows you are a pro for the local stuff but can show as an ammy in the rated shows (C and above), If your students show at C or above you are a pro for all shows. (I suppose you could classify it by show ratings as well, but that might be more difficult and confusing.)

Giddy-up
Jul. 6, 2009, 09:18 AM
I like Greg's idea. It's a good start. What about expanding on that idea and say a person can't spend more than 3 years in the AA 3' division (or whatever Amateur division) on the same horse without moving up or moving to the opens. It could be either 3 years or more than 20 (just throwing out a number) blue ribbons in one year.

So an adult that works 40 hours a week & rides 3-4x a week who goes out & buys themselves a nice 3' hunter to show in the aa's is screwed after 3 years? They have to either move up or the nice horse has to be sold cause oops it's been 3 years & you've won too much & others are mad cause they can't win. What if all that rider wants to do is ride in the 3' aa's?? They have no desires of "moving up" or jumping bigger jumps. And moving to an open 3' division that runs during the work week & against pros who ride 10 horses a day isn't feasible either.

Horseymama
Jul. 6, 2009, 10:03 AM
Geez people, I'm just throwing some ideas out there! I'm not stuck on one thing, I'm just brain-storming. But still let me elaborate and see what you think again:

3 years sounded like a reasonable time because:

If you have a green horse that you are riding yourself, 3 years at the 3' seems like a good amount of time to get solid before you move into the 3'6" division. But for those who may not show at more than 2 or 3 rated shows/year, maybe we could say 60 shows. That sounds like a heck of a lot to me. Then, there can and should be an open division on the weekends. (And I have seen many shows where there already is). But there is also now AO 3'3", which would count as a different division. So after those 60 shows, you would have to move to a different division with a different height, or do the open division for that height.

That would apply to a horse and rider pair. That way if you have a successful AO horse/rider pair that has already gone through the AA's and done her 60 shows at that level, she can't move back down to that division. Instead she would have to ride in an open division. However, if she sold her horse to someone else, they would then qualify as a new horse/rider pair.

That seems like it might make it more level. But like I said, I'm just throwing some ideas out there to get people thinking so try not freak out on me if you don't agree! :D It never hurts to get the conversation started...(famous last words)

RockinHorse
Jul. 6, 2009, 10:19 AM
That would apply to a horse and rider pair. That way if you have a successful AO horse/rider pair that has already gone through the AA's and done her 60 shows at that level, she can't move back down to that division. Instead she would have to ride in an open division. However, if she sold her horse to someone else, they would then qualify as a new horse/rider pair.



What happens when the horse gets some age and needs to start moving back down the levels? I guess the ammy willl need to sell it. the 3 year rule or the 60 show rule sounds like a great way to start churning a lot of commissions for the pros.

Coreene
Jul. 6, 2009, 10:24 AM
Or, say, leave it exactly like it is, where ammies are ammies. You know, instead of carving into even more divisions so that whiners can make sure they get a ribbon somewhere. Because, ultimately, that's what it sounds like this is. Divide it even further and you'll still get some alter posting here about how someone else is "unfair" because they have nicer horses / more $$ / don't have to work.

RockinHorse
Jul. 6, 2009, 10:38 AM
Or, say, leave it exactly like it is, where ammies are ammies. You know, instead of carving into even more divisions so that whiners can make sure they get a ribbon somewhere. Because, ultimately, that's what it sounds like this is. Divide it even further and you'll still get some alter posting here about how someone else is "unfair" because they have nicer horses / more $$ / don't have to work.

Well said, I agree :yes:

Moesha
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:01 AM
Or, say, leave it exactly like it is, where ammies are ammies. You know, instead of carving into even more divisions so that whiners can make sure they get a ribbon somewhere. Because, ultimately, that's what it sounds like this is. Divide it even further and you'll still get some alter posting here about how someone else is "unfair" because they have nicer horses / more $$ / don't have to work.

:) Coreene 2012

Coreene
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:15 AM
Life is my sig line, baby! :lol:

Greg
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:16 AM
Geez people, I'm just throwing some ideas out there! I'm not stuck on one thing, I'm just brain-storming. But still let me elaborate and see what you think again:

3 years sounded like a reasonable time because:

If you have a green horse that you are riding yourself, 3 years at the 3' seems like a good amount of time to get solid before you move into the 3'6" division. But for those who may not show at more than 2 or 3 rated shows/year, maybe we could say 60 shows. That sounds like a heck of a lot to me. Then, there can and should be an open division on the weekends. (And I have seen many shows where there already is). But there is also now AO 3'3", which would count as a different division. So after those 60 shows, you would have to move to a different division with a different height, or do the open division for that height.

That would apply to a horse and rider pair. That way if you have a successful AO horse/rider pair that has already gone through the AA's and done her 60 shows at that level, she can't move back down to that division. Instead she would have to ride in an open division. However, if she sold her horse to someone else, they would then qualify as a new horse/rider pair.

That seems like it might make it more level. But like I said, I'm just throwing some ideas out there to get people thinking so try not freak out on me if you don't agree! :D It never hurts to get the conversation started...(famous last words)

I appreciate brainstorming, too.

Instead of having to move to the 3'6 (some horses are incapable - I had one.) Having the AAs divided by ability instead of age would solve that. As I said, an experienced AA will beat a the less experienced 7 times out of 10, no matter the caliber of horse. Having the divisions arranged as Less, Medium and More experienced (based on years showing/ribbons won,) instead of young, middle and older would even the playing field considerably. All at 3 ft, all still riding for points, etc... and eventually you have to "point" out and move up.

Horseymama
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:21 AM
What happens when the horse gets some age and needs to start moving back down the levels? I guess the ammy willl need to sell it. the 3 year rule or the 60 show rule sounds like a great way to start churning a lot of commissions for the pros.

Why would someone have to sell their horse just because they couldn't show it in an Amateur division? That sounds like some sort of brainwashing. If you have done 60 shows at a level, and then gone and done a higher level, all with the same horse, you should be good enough to hold your own in the opens moving back down a level.

I just thought it sounded more fair for the riders working on their level not to have a bunch of horse/rider pairs that had been there forever or been doing Grand Prixs together and then moving back down for a couple shows, taking all the ribbons from the people really working hard at mastering that level.

60 shows is a number I threw out there, as is the idea. Just coming up with the argument that there is always someone wealthier with more/better horses, time, etc, is true no matter what you do or where you go in life. But I think it serves our sport to have as much of a level playing field as possible, so it is not seen as ONLY being a sport for the wealthy. It serves us in the long run being able to draw from a larger pool of participants, not just wealthy ones. When our sport is seen more positively by the GP, (as in inclusive instead of exclusive) we get more sponsorship. More sponsorship means better quality shows with better footing, judges, etc.

I'm not saying my idea is going to work, I'm just throwing stuff out there. But the fact is that the amateur divisions are geared towards the more wealthy. If there is anyway we can improve upon that, I think it will help us all.

I'm a pro, so for myself I don't care. But it seems like the right thing to do for the sport.

Giddy-up
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:27 AM
Or, say, leave it exactly like it is, where ammies are ammies. You know, instead of carving into even more divisions so that whiners can make sure they get a ribbon somewhere. Because, ultimately, that's what it sounds like this is. Divide it even further and you'll still get some alter posting here about how someone else is "unfair" because they have nicer horses / more $$ / don't have to work.

:yes:

Or maybe people need to find a more appropriate for themselves sandbox to play in. You don't see me going to WEF for a winter & then complaining to USEF they need to change all the rules cause it's not fair I can't afford it & I don't have a uber fancy horse & I can't take time off from work to travel, etc...

And you know what--I'd be super pissed if Part-Time Trainer goes to the local unrated shows where they ride/show 10 horses & teach their clients (their regular full time job), but then turn around & show in the aa's with me at the rated A shows cause they aren't "really a trainer" at that level. WTF? Either you are or you aren't.

RockinHorse
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:32 AM
Why would someone have to sell their horse just because they couldn't show it in an Amateur division? That sounds like some sort of brainwashing. If you have done 60 shows at a level, and then gone and done a higher level, all with the same horse, you should be good enough to hold your own in the opens moving back down a level.

I just thought it sounded more fair for the riders working on their level not to have a bunch of horse/rider pairs that had been there forever or been doing Grand Prixs together and then moving back down for a couple shows, taking all the ribbons from the people really working hard at mastering that level.

60 shows is a number I threw out there, as is the idea. Just coming up with the argument that there is always someone wealthier with more/better horses, time, etc, is true no matter what you do or where you go in life. But I think it serves our sport to have as much of a level playing field as possible, so it is not seen as ONLY being a sport for the wealthy. It serves us in the long run being able to draw from a larger pool of participants, not just wealthy ones. When our sport is seen more positively by the GP, (as in inclusive instead of exclusive) we get more sponsorship. More sponsorship means better quality shows with better footing, judges, etc.

I'm not saying my idea is going to work, I'm just throwing stuff out there. But the fact is that the amateur divisions are geared towards the more wealthy. If there is anyway we can improve upon that, I think it will help us all.

I'm a pro, so for myself I don't care. But it seems like the right thing to do for the sport.

I just don't see where you are going to get away from the issue of $$$. In the above, after 3 years, me and my 4 figure TB will get bumped up to the opens even though we might not have been placing that well all along, while miss megabucks ammy will just buy a fancy new high dollar packer every 3 years so she continues to win tri colors at every show.

I just don't see where you are ever going to be able to remove the advantage of having more resources (i.e money) in horse showing as well as in other areas of life.

Giddy-up
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:35 AM
Why would someone have to sell their horse just because they couldn't show it in an Amateur division?

Because most amateurs have jobs that generally require them at work Mon-Fri. They can't go show in the open divisions cause those usually run on the weekdays. What else does this leave them show in, but the amateurs which are usually on the weekends?

Also, why would somebody want to take their successful aa 3' horse that they can do fun stuff with (qualify for NAL, WIHS Finals, etc...) & be stuck showing in unrated 3' divisions like Low or Non-TB?? Around here at least those are more like "schooling" divisions for pros to show their clients horses in.

Moesha
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:37 AM
:yes:

Or maybe people need to find a more appropriate for themselves sandbox to play in. You don't see me going to WEF for a winter & then complaining to USEF they need to change all the rules cause it's not fair I can't afford it & I don't have a uber fancy horse & I can't take time off from work to travel, etc...

And you know what--I'd be super pissed if Part-Time Trainer goes to the local unrated shows where they ride/show 10 horses & teach their clients (their regular full time job), but then turn around & show in the aa's with me at the rated A shows cause they aren't "really a trainer" at that level. WTF? Either you are or you aren't.

Exactly, there are some people who genuinely may feel things should be re-examined, and then there are those who try to hide behind a false altruism and in reality are just out to gripe and complain and vent their bitterness. Harsh maybe, but definitely truthful in some instances.

It would be nice to know what people who have such negative views on the amateur rule or the H/J scene in general do...what I mean is in how are they inpacted? I ask because on these BB's we have people spouting off all sorts of things at times and telling outhers what they should be doing when they themselves don't....so for those implicating these changes, I am assuming are involved in showing at the A level? If you are going to try to force things on people who are actively competing than you better have to face the same music....not just sit back and spout things off from a far removed computer screen.

Greg
Jul. 6, 2009, 12:50 PM
Exactly, there are some people who genuinely may feel things should be re-examined, and then there are those who try to hide behind a false altruism and in reality are just out to gripe and complain and vent their bitterness. Harsh maybe, but definitely truthful in some instances.

It would be nice to know what people who have such negative views on the amateur rule or the H/J scene in general do...what I mean is in how are they inpacted? I ask because on these BB's we have people spouting off all sorts of things at times and telling outhers what they should be doing when they themselves don't....so for those implicating these changes, I am assuming are involved in showing at the A level? If you are going to try to force things on people who are actively competing than you better have to face the same music....not just sit back and spout things off from a far removed computer screen.

My suggestions are actually ones that I feel will make it more fair/less frustrating to green AA's in our division. Personally, I have been showing for years and years. Sometimes I have a good horse, sometimes I don't. Regardless, I rarely get the show nerves, and ribboning or not tends not to matter so much to me, as opposed to how I feel about my ride. Right now I am showing a pretty difficult horse in the middles. There are a handful of riders that go in and spank us all, but the rest are inexperienced, or less skilled. It makes me feel bad to compete against them; but the AA's are my division. I don't want to show against the pro's, I want to hang with my comrades! Plus, with a catch ride, the Adults are what the owner wants the horse ridden in.

I am not being condescending. What I am proposing is in fact the OPPOSITE of what people are accusing. It would certainly make it much more difficult for me to GET a ribbon. But when I ribbon in company of equel experience and skill, it will mean that much more. It's just that there are so many re-riders that are so nervous, and try so hard, and don't get prizes. Many of them will probably never "get" it. But they sure as heck want to. They want to do the 3 ft.

Many people complain that certain AA's never move up, or are shams, or win ALL the time! They want to do the 3ft Adults, so let them. Lets make them compete against each other!

Many people hardly ever win, consistently manage only 6 out of 8 jumps. They get butterfly's and go off course, and are riding again after years of being a soccer Mom. Lets them compete against eachother. They want to do the 3ft Adults, so let 'em!

The Adults are already split three ways, I am not proposing changing THAT, I am proposing a different criteria for the split.

This post is really scattered, sorry. The kids are screaming at me for goldfish, and Land Before Time is blaring in the other room. I am trying to come up with ways to make the 3 ft division fair and fun for everyone. Dollar signs have nothing to do with it.

RockinHorse
Jul. 6, 2009, 01:16 PM
But Greg, IMO, if they are only finding 6 out of 8 jumps they don't deserve to be getting good prizes except maybe at local shows. The problem with levels, is how do you define them? All shows are not created equal even within ratings. If you are talking by ribbons won, winning a ribbon at a show like WEF and or in a class of 35 is a lot different than winning a class at an AA show in the dog days of summer with only 8 in the division so I still don't think it evens out.

dags
Jul. 6, 2009, 01:18 PM
Again, I thought this is why we offered different levels of competition- Local, C, B, A, AA

But that's all but been dismissed and now everyone wants a ribbon at the AA level, and are going to Champion more splitting, rules and regulations until they get it. When in reality not everyone can win. Not winning sends you home to strive for improvement.

If you find you absolutely cannot win at the shows you are attending you are attending a level of shows beyond your ability. Or at least that's why we used to have a variety of circuits. I don't remember any of this being a problem until people started beginning their show careers at HITS and WEF. What I remember of the ammies was a whole slew of good riders battling for ribbons and large, tough judging classes. Now apparently they are easily dominated by 1 or 2 of the well-endowed?

But that's a different boat related to some other thread on here . . . circuitous, maybe?

S A McKee
Jul. 6, 2009, 01:25 PM
:yes:

Or maybe people need to find a more appropriate for themselves sandbox to play in. You don't see me going to WEF for a winter & then complaining to USEF they need to change all the rules cause it's not fair I can't afford it & I don't have a uber fancy horse & I can't take time off from work to travel, etc...

.

Gee that sounds just like the OP. Except the OP does Thermal.
Also has a broodmare, complains about poaching but does it, likes tail blocking, sometimes it's a hunter,sometimes it's a jumper, maybe it's just a troll etc.
Some gems from the OP:

"6/30/2009

What are you required to have at your barn? I mean, like the brand, not the object.

My trainer just "required" aka asked politely but we all understood she was not asking - that all jumpers/EQ horses buy and show in the CWD leather open fronts and ankle boots.

Are you guys that show on the A's required to have the same boots, etc?

6/11/2009
I don't want to show my horse in a pelham. I'm sorry, I just don't. I hate the way they look.

So I went to a tack store (on showgrounds) with awesome bit selection. And asked which was stronger- a bicycle chain D, or a single wire full cheek. Simple enough question, right? The saleswoman asked me what kind of strong my horse was- running away with me, or heavy. (I said heavy, esp. for changes. Also, I am very small and weak.) Then she basically said every horse called "heavy" is simply mis-trained and rather than buy either bit I should learn to ride my horse better.

AND I have to show in the adults tomorrow and still have no bit! She made me so mad I had to leave. I am going to make my trainer go in tomorrow and buy the one I decide to get

Which one do you guys think is stronger for a horse than leans down into the corners? I am leaning towards the bicycle chain b/c my trainer thinks it has a similar action as a waterford, which he loves. Any other (bit) suggestions welcome!

6/8/2009
That my right off the track TB with six months of stall rest for a bowed tendon behind him needed to be ridden in a double twisted wire and draw reins (because he is a TB, and "those" are crazy) and giant spurs, (because he is huge and I am tiny). I was like hello! he is going to be my AA hunter and he was like this is how everyone re-starts their OTTBs.

4/20/2009
My mare finally gave birth! (369 days! poor girl)
She is plain chestnut, TB. small star, no white legs.
Stallion is plain bay, Dutch WB. no white markings. He is by Baloubet, out of a black mare, with no markings.
Baby (a filly!) is chestnut. no face markings. hind legs are totally chestnut, left front totally chestnut. right front white TO ELBOW! the white ends perfectly where the body begins.
what is this? just a freaky marking?
it's cool when she runs in the dark, it looks like there is just a single leg running

3/26/2009
my friend's barn is having a little schooling show, and the division I am going in (open hunter, at 2'9" - I do the A/A at rated shows, and didn't want ppl to think I was ribbon - stealing in the adults at 2'3". I just want to support my friends show) has a confo. class.

2/9/2009
showing at thermal this weekend, just modified adult stuff. but love to watch the pro divisions as well as the juniors. now I am no dummy, I know most hunters spend time on the lunge line, but I guess I thought generally they started off as kind of quiet horses. (hence hunterland for them)

10/24/2008
Blocking a tail?
My trainer suggested we look into having my guys tail blocked before thermal this year. Does anyone know how long it lasts? I want to know if I should do it now and plan on having it done mid-circuit or if I do it later will it last the whole time. Thanks in advance!

7/31/2008
Ok, so I am using an alter because this is a VERY sore subject for me. So there is this big beautiful new barn that was just built across the street from my little farm, it was built for a VERY BNT. the other day I decide to go over and introduce myself, I have decided that I want to have a lesson once a month or so with a good trainer, and this one is definately over-qualified. Now I do level 2 and 3 jumpers at some big A shows with my gelding, and some eq, and have been riding all my life, so by no means am a beginner in terms of horse knowledge. I am thinking, scope out the situation, maybe I won't have to trailer far for my lessons! "


Everyone is suggesting rules that fit their own agenda instead of solutions that will benefit the sport and the exhibitors.

Telling an AA Hunter rider that they have to get out of a division after 3 years is likely being proposed because there is someone in the poster's area that has been winning for years.
Saying that $1000 is an OK amount to earn for a Pro/Ammie is the same thing. An individual wants to earn that.

The rules sure aren't perfect but they do provide some protection and USEF has been enforcing them recently. If there is a violation at a show speak to the steward. File a protest, the $200 cost is nothing compared to showing expenses. Or submit a rule change proposal to USEF or to your zone through USHJA. No guarantee rule change poposals will go anywhere but if enough folks suggest changes at least the NGB will get the idea that changes need to be made.
If you find that the you can't compete against legitimate exhibitors don't whine. Instead, find shows that are appropriate for your level or get better instruction. Nobody has a 'right' to win at a show.

Horseymama
Jul. 6, 2009, 02:41 PM
Everyone is suggesting rules that fit their own agenda instead of solutions that will benefit the sport and the exhibitors.

Telling an AA Hunter rider that they have to get out of a division after 3 years is likely being proposed because there is someone in the poster's area that has been winning for years.
Saying that $1000 is an OK amount to earn for a Pro/Ammie is the same thing. An individual wants to earn that.

The rules sure aren't perfect but they do provide some protection and USEF has been enforcing them recently. If there is a violation at a show speak to the steward. File a protest, the $200 cost is nothing compared to showing expenses. Or submit a rule change proposal to USEF or to your zone through USHJA. No guarantee rule change poposals will go anywhere but if enough folks suggest changes at least the NGB will get the idea that changes need to be made.
If you find that the you can't compete against legitimate exhibitors don't whine. Instead, find shows that are appropriate for your level or get better instruction. Nobody has a 'right' to win at a show.

I am a pro and don't have many students, so the ideas I have are not going to directly benefit me. And what I proposed about 3 years/60 shows was just an idea. It doesn't hurt for people involved in our sport to discuss how we could possibly improve it. Like you said, the rules aren't perfect. So let's have a discussion! Just because someone proposes something that you don't agree with doesn't mean you have to get offended. You just say "hey I don't like that idea, but what about this idea." If someone wants to have an intelligent discussion about how to improve our sport it doesn't have to mean they are a whiner!

S A McKee
Jul. 6, 2009, 02:53 PM
I am a pro and don't have many students, so the ideas I have are not going to directly benefit me. And what I proposed about 3 years/60 shows was just an idea. It doesn't hurt for people involved in our sport to discuss how we could possibly improve it. Like you said, the rules aren't perfect. So let's have a discussion! Just because someone proposes something that you don't agree with doesn't mean you have to get offended. You just say "hey I don't like that idea, but what about this idea." If someone wants to have an intelligent discussion about how to improve our sport it doesn't have to mean they are a whiner!

What level do you teach at? Do your students show AA Hunters at rated A or AA shows? What rated sections do they show in?

Gry2Yng
Jul. 6, 2009, 03:25 PM
Because most amateurs have jobs that generally require them at work Mon-Fri. They can't go show in the open divisions cause those usually run on the weekdays. What else does this leave them show in, but the amateurs which are usually on the weekends?

Also, why would somebody want to take their successful aa 3' horse that they can do fun stuff with (qualify for NAL, WIHS Finals, etc...) & be stuck showing in unrated 3' divisions like Low or Non-TB?? Around here at least those are more like "schooling" divisions for pros to show their clients horses in.

Understand your point, but for purpose of brainstorming it can be helpful to assume the current system does not apply. Thus, maybe there would BE 3' open rated divisions on the weekends if the systems was revised. Just imagine *your* ideal, outside of the confines of the current system.

There is no reason to believe that just because you split the 3' division on Saturday and Sunday into Open 3' Rated and Something Else 3' rated that you wouldn't get approximately the same people riding the course, just in two different divisions.

I also think part of the problem with "less experienced/talented" riders showing at the AA shows comes from where their trainers go. If you want a good trainer - and really who doesn't - they may not take clients to local shows. So if you want to learn from the best you go to the shows they go to, rather than be left at home. Not saying this is right or wrong, just that it happens.

Giddy-up
Jul. 6, 2009, 03:54 PM
Understand your point, but for purpose of brainstorming it can be helpful to assume the current system does not apply.

Guess I am not good at brain storming cause I don't really have issue with the current ammy rules. ;)

Do I love them? No. But any changes I might suggest would be more for my personal benefit if I were to be honest & not for the benefit of the organization (USEF/USHJA) & all it's members as a whole.

S A McKee
Jul. 6, 2009, 04:45 PM
[QUOTE=Gry2Yng;4215882]Understand your point, but for purpose of brainstorming it can be helpful to assume the current system does not apply. Thus, maybe there would BE 3' open rated divisions on the weekends if the systems was revised. Just imagine *your* ideal, outside of the confines of the current system.

There is no reason to believe that just because you split the 3' division on Saturday and Sunday into Open 3' Rated and Something Else 3' rated that you wouldn't get approximately the same people riding the course, just in two different divisions.

/QUOTE]

But there aren't any USEF rated 3' divisions except for AA Hunters and Childrens Hunters. And those are just Zone rated.
If you create an open 3' rated division that's just more dummying down of the system. Why not go for a rated cross rail section open to Amateur Adults who make less than xxK a year and only take one lesson a month?
Any open section created will be just that, open to Pros, Junior and Ammies.And the Ammies will no longer have a section that provides at least an attempt at a level playing field.
Some local associations have tried to implement divisions based solely on height of the fences. The answer from the Adult Ammies and Junior riders was a BIG NO.

Moesha
Jul. 6, 2009, 05:00 PM
Sure Brainstorming is great....but there is that age old saying "be careful what you ask for" or the other" If it ain't broke...."

The system may not be perfect and the rules may not be either, but they are there because they make the best sense in the world they are applied in.

I find some of this regulation like talk a bit confusing, on the one hand we are saying stop adding 8 million sections/divisions but here we are talking about more sections at this height and that height for this type of rider or that one....it is so contradictory that it is confusing.

The reason people are asking about what people show in or what shows they do, is because it matters..it is like zoning or road planning hearings where regular citizens from towns unafffected or even unthreatened seem to want to weigh in on another town's fate and those within that town's fate....if the posters with ideas about this regulation or that are showing in the compeitions in question..I assume we are talking about recognized shows...and are intimate with all that goes into showing in the Amateur divisions....then there voice has a more valid place because they are going to share in the end result they are proposing...not that EVERYONE is not entitled to have an opnion or make their ideas known.....but to try to regulate something out of spite or some prejudice is not right.

Gry2Yng
Jul. 6, 2009, 05:31 PM
So sorry. Thought this thread was about generating ideas that would make people happier. Was just trying to facilitate. I don't have a dog in this fight. Should know better than to stick my nose into one of these threads.

RockinHorse
Jul. 6, 2009, 05:45 PM
Brainstorming is fine but I personally do not like any ideas that are based on moving the more talented amateurs out of a division so the less talented can get ribbons at every show. :rolleyes:

ClaraLuisa
Jul. 6, 2009, 06:55 PM
Why not? I'm missing that answer. It seems they would be pretty much self-sorting, on as rational a basis as possible. So why isn't this feasible?
(Full disclosure: probably a lifelong maiden here:-))

ynl063w
Jul. 6, 2009, 08:22 PM
How many years/shows should the A/Os be allowed to show at 3'6" before they have to move up to the four foot division?

Horseymama
Jul. 6, 2009, 09:18 PM
What level do you teach at? Do your students show AA Hunters at rated A or AA shows? What rated sections do they show in?

We are just about to leave for a AA show and I have two students riding in the Pre-Adult (2'6") Hunters and two students doing the level 2 and 3 jumpers. The maximum number of AA shows I have ever had a client do in one year is 3. We do a maybe 4 or 5 locals. When I was really into showing myself I used to do 12-15 AA shows a year. But that was a few years ago. I am just a small-time-trainer. If you are wondering how my idea would benefit me, let me explain:

One of my clients doing the Pre-Adults has a 21 year old Quarter Horse. He is an ex-police horse and she is a policewoman. She works very hard and long hours but comes to the barn whenever she can. She is on a very tight budget, but she adores her horse and riding. She has in her budget the ability to do ONE rated show this year. She has worked very hard. It is an incredibly big deal for her. Her horse jumps around like a champ, he will even do a flying change if she gets him straight before the corner. But he's not really cute, doesn't move cute, has a big blocky head, and is dun with a stripe down his back. Not the most typey hunter. She is basically a beginner rider and has no experience in the h/j world. This is her and his first big show. So it will be hard to explain to her that so-and-so beat her in her class because so-and-so had the money to buy a fancy 3'6" horse that's had 70 rated shows under his belt to ride in the 2'6".

Yeah, yeah I know life ain't fair and I myself could care less when someone beats me on a fancier horse because I've been around this business long enough to know that there is always someone with more money and a fancier horse. And I have explained this to her as well, and I know she is good sportsman and doesn't care about the ribbons. But it just seems like with a little thinking we can figure out how we could make our system better so that a hard working person like her could be rewarded for all of her time and dedication when she throws down $1000 (or more) for one week to go to a show.

And let me stress this again, making our shows accessible and attractive to the average working adult who makes an average salary and has an average amount of time to dedicate to riding will help our sport in the long run. Like I said before, this makes it more attractive to sponsors (bigger market) which will attract more people, which will give everybody involved in this sport more business. Trainers, show managers, vets, farriers, tack-store owners, braiders, barn owners, etc. It really doesn't benefit anyone to make our sport more exclusive. The way the amateur rules are written now it really just benefits very wealthy people. And it is getting more and more detailed every year. Maybe my ideas won't work but there has just got to be something, some idea that we all can think of that will!



Brainstorming is fine but I personally do not like any ideas that are based on moving the more talented amateurs out of a division so the less talented can get ribbons at every show.


I think the point is to make it a more level playing field, not move talented people out. Riders could be grouped according to skill and experience. Talented riders could compete against talented riders. Maybe we throw out the amateur thing entirely. Classes are for rider skill and horse experience only, and forget the ammy/pro thing. I don't understand why people are so attached to this idea anyway. If you could ride against people of your same skill with horses of the same experience, why would it matter if the distinction between pro and ammy even exists?

S A McKee
Jul. 6, 2009, 09:36 PM
We are just about to leave for a AA show and I have two students riding in the Pre-Adult (2'6") Hunters and two students doing the level 2 and 3 jumpers. The maximum number of AA shows I have ever had a client do in one year is 3. We do a maybe 4 or 5 locals. I am just a small-time-trainer. If you are wondering how my idea would benefit me, let me explain:

One of my clients doing the Pre-Adults has a 21 year old Quarter Horse. He is an ex-police horse and she is a policewoman. She works very hard and long hours but comes to the barn whenever she can. She is on a very tight budget, but she adores her horse and riding. She has in her budget the ability to do ONE rated show this year. She has worked very hard. It is an incredibly big deal for her. Her horse jumps around like a champ, he will even do a flying change if she gets him straight before the corner. But he's not really cute, doesn't move cute, has a big blocky head, and is dun with a stripe down his back. Not the most typey hunter. She is basically a beginner rider and has no experience in the h/j world. This is her and his first big show. So it will be hard to explain to her that so-and-so beat her in her class because so-and-so had the money to buy a fancy 3'6" horse that's had 70 rated shows under his belt to ride in the 2'6".

Yeah, yeah I know life ain't fair and I myself could care less when someone beats me on a fancier horse because I've been around this business long enough to know that there is always someone with more money and a fancier horse. And I have explained this to her as well, and I know she is good sportsman and doesn't care about the ribbons. But it just seems like with a little thinking we can figure out how we could make our system better so that a hard working person like her could be rewarded for all of her time and dedication when she throws down $1000 (or more) for one week to go to a show.

I think the point is to make it a more level playing field, not move talented people out. Riders could be grouped according to skill and experience. Talented riders could compete against talented riders. Maybe we throw out the amateur thing entirely. Classes are for rider skill and horse experience only, and forget the ammy/pro thing. I don't understand why people are so attached to this idea anyway. If you could ride against people of your same skill with horses of the same experience, why would it matter if the distinction between pro and ammy even exists?

I'm sorry to be blunt but doing well at an A or AA show assumes a certain level of skill. Even in an unrated section. Perhaps your job as a trainer isn't to explain life's inequities to the client but instead to point her in a direction that she will succed in. Namely an unrated local show where she can compete against others with the same skill level. You do say she is a Beginner rider.

Again, many on this thread are looking at the situation with one client in mind, not a more global view.

The specs are what they are. If they don't work out for the client then no need to expect them to pay $1000 a week to show. Just as a side note for that amount of money your client could do at least three rated one day C shows and probably be in more suitable company.
Maybe the trainer needs to tell the client before they attempt a rated show that things may not go so well?

Way too much of the 'make a division just for me' mentality. Not everybody will win or even get a ribbon. That's the way it is.

Horseymama
Jul. 6, 2009, 10:01 PM
Ok, Sam, you are totally missing the point. This client I sited is just one example, but I have seen many like her over the years and will probably see many more. So has every trainer. She has the skill. Sure, she will get more bang for her buck at a local, but an AA show is big and pretty and exciting. And it gives her a goal to work towards. She should not be condemned to show local just because her horse isn't as fancy. Ultimately she doesn't care about the ribbons, she just wants the experience and fun of being at a big, fancy show. But it would still be nice if our sport could be made a little more fair.

I AM thinking globally, because there are many average people out there with average horses that would like to take part in this sport at the AA level and have some success.

I am not suggesting that we make a division for every person. I am trying to spark conversation on how to restructure the system to make our sport better for everyone.

And I completely realize, believe me, that it will never be totally fair, no sport is. But it could be much, much better.

S A McKee
Jul. 6, 2009, 10:15 PM
Ok, Sam, you are totally missing the point. This client I sited is just one example, but I have seen many like her over the years and will probably see many more. So has every trainer. She has the skill. Sure, she will get more bang for her buck at a local, but an AA show is big and pretty and exciting. And it gives her a goal to work towards. She should not be condemned to show local just because her horse isn't as fancy. Ultimately she doesn't care about the ribbons, she just wants the experience and fun of being at a big, fancy show. But it would still be nice if our sport could be made a little more fair.

I AM thinking globally, because there are many average people out there with average horses that would like to take part in this sport at the AA level and have some success.

I am not suggesting that we make a division for every person. I am trying to spark conversation on how to restructure the system to make our sport better for everyone.

And I completely realize, believe me, that it will never be totally fair, no sport is. But it could be much, much better.

Nope, not missing the point.
Life, like shows just isn't fair. There is no point in creating an unrealistic expectation on the part of your client. No one has 'right' to show at AA shows let alone be a ribbon winner. If you don't have the skills then don't show or don't expect a prize.
If she just wants the fun of an AA show then that's fine but no reason to whine that she can't compete. Because in reality she really can't do well given the circumstances you described. Why don't you try and manage her expectations better. It shouldn't come as a shock when she gets to the show that it won't go well.
USHJA has 'opportunity' classes that were created just for people like your client. Find a show where her skills meet the specs, don't create specs
for instant gratification.

Horseymama
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:57 PM
I give it one more try with you Sam, because you truly don't get it. I have never disputed the fact that "life ain't fair." In fact, I totally and completely agree. There are fancy, expensive horses at A shows. I know this, my clients know this. This particular client has NO expectations. She just wants to ride well.

The "life ain't fair" statement that you keep saying over and over and over is just a cop-out to not have to expend the energy to improve our system. Our system could be better. Yes, someone with tons of money will ALWAYS have an advantage. In every aspect of life on Earth. Can we get past that? How many times do people need to say it? Let's try to improve things so that it's not quite so much as it is now. It can be done. Probably not by people like you.

RockinHorse
Jul. 7, 2009, 08:01 AM
Her horse jumps around like a champ, he will even do a flying change if she gets him straight before the corner. But he's not really cute, doesn't move cute, has a big blocky head, and is dun with a stripe down his back. Not the most typey hunter.


I AM thinking globally, because there are many average people out there with average horses that would like to take part in this sport at the AA level and have some success.



I'm sorry but it is supposed to be a HORSE SHOW. I do not think that divisions should be created at the highest level horse shows so that horses that are not suitable can get a ribbons:confused:.

I also don't understand how anything suggested here will benefit this client since, even if you create a ton of divisions, people will enter them with hunter type horses and win over her. There are a lot of suitable hunter type horses out there. Not all of them cost $$$.

Midge
Jul. 7, 2009, 08:36 AM
Brainstorming is fine but I personally do not like any ideas that are based on moving the more talented amateurs out of a division so the less talented can get ribbons at every show. :rolleyes:


Here, here!

Although, interestingly, I probably fall in the middle area where the people who ride well would think I obviously belong in the 'lesser' division, while the people in the lesser division would be saying, 'Why is SHE here?'

Midge
Jul. 7, 2009, 08:49 AM
I AM thinking globally, because there are many average people out there with average horses that would like to take part in this sport at the AA level and have some success.

There are THOUSANDS of these people but guess what? EVERYONE can't win at the AA level. Just because you want to, doesn't mean you can. Why can't the average person with the average horse go to the average horse show? I've been to one horse show this year and my bill was 52 dollars, including stall. I collected no points, my name will not be published in the Chronicle (damn!) and I will not be selling my horse for six figures. I've shown at horse shows where one class was 52 bucks. That was not the show for me this summer. I went to the appropriate venue.

There are a whole bunch of things I want: I'd like to be a rock star but NO One would buy that record. I'd like a bigger house (actually I'd settle for a garage) My neighbor has a garage. I should have one too, but damn, I can't afford it.

Janet
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:16 AM
Here, here!

Although, interestingly, I probably fall in the middle area where the people who ride well would think I obviously belong in the 'lesser' division, while the people in the lesser division would be saying, 'Why is SHE here?'
A couple of years ago there was LOT of discussion about an amateur division for Eventing, and several questionaires were circulated. One person directly involved summarized it as:

"Most people think the cut off for amateur should be "just above my situation"."

The Amateur division is what it is- based on whether or not you get paid, not how good you are - and I don't think there is much chance of changing it.

But the fact remains that there are a lot of people who are "not good enough to compete against the "real Pros", but do things, or would like to do things, that make them non-amateur.

I think the solution is to have attractive divisions, not restricted by the HORSE's experience, but possibly restricted by the RIDER's experience, at the equivalent heights. For instance, a class at 3', restricted to riders who have not competed at 3'6" or above in the last two years.

The true Amateurs, including those that regularly compete at the highest levels, would still show in the A/A division. But the people who are technically non-amateur (as well as any amateurs who only compete at 3'), but not showing at 3'6", would have a place to show without having to compete against the "real Pros".

The proof of the pudding would be where the people who were eligible for both divisions chose to compete. If enough of them decided that they would rather compete against the non-amateur who only shows at 3' than the true amateur who competes at the top levels,then the new division would thrive. But if those riders would rather compete against the more accomplished true amateurs, then the new division would die. In order to give the new division a fair chance, there would need to be similar year end awards.

Coreene
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:25 AM
There is no rule anywhere that says Mary Smith can't ride Flicka da Buckskin at The Very Biggest Shiniest AAAAA Shows Of All. The problem starts when Mary, Mary's Trainer and Mary's Online Friends start to cry because Flicka da Buckskin went home empty-handed - oh how cruel, life is unfair, let's start a Flicka da Buckskin Division so Mary, too, can ribbon!

Trixie
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:40 AM
But it just seems like with a little thinking we can figure out how we could make our system better so that a hard working person like her could be rewarded for all of her time and dedication when she throws down $1000 (or more) for one week to go to a show.


She is basically a beginner rider and has no experience in the h/j world. This is her and his first big show. So it will be hard to explain to her that so-and-so beat her in her class because so-and-so had the money to buy a fancy 3'6" horse that's had 70 rated shows under his belt to ride in the 2'6".


She should not be condemned to show local just because her horse isn't as fancy. Ultimately she doesn't care about the ribbons, she just wants the experience and fun of being at a big, fancy show. But it would still be nice if our sport could be made a little more fair.

No one is “condemning” her.

She is, as you said, a BEGINNER rider, with NO experience, attending a big show – an “A” show is where the crème de la crème of the industry compete. Yes, it’s a 2’6” class, but it’s also, as you said, a big, fancy show.

I would imagine that in the pre-adults, as an inexperienced beginner in the hunters at an “A” show, it’s going to be every bit her own mistakes as well as her horse not being fancy enough. If a trainer EVER gave me the excuse that I lost because “so and so had the money to buy a 3’6” horse that’s had 70 rated shows under his belt to ride in the 2’6” I would be out of that barn. Because it’s your job to improve me and train me, NOT to make excuses.

If eventually she needs to move up to a fancier horse, fine. But that’s not the discussion to be having for the FIRST big show when the goal should be to get around safely and nicely and have a good time.

So, I suppose that’s why I don’t understand this whining about “fair.” I just don’t think everyone needs to get a ribbon their first time out, or every time out. They lose meaning if everybody wins all the time.

Believe me – I don’t have money nor do I own a horse. And the only problem I have with the way the amateur structure is stratified is that there’s no place for non-owners to easily move up. You’re sort of stuck from 3’ to 4’ if you don’t own a non-green horse. If someone rides better than me, I guess I’d better step it up. If someone has a fancier horse, well, I’m sure it’ll be lovely to watch. :)

RockinHorse
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:48 AM
If someone rides better than me, I guess I’d better step it up. If someone has a fancier horse, well, I’m sure it’ll be lovely to watch. :)

I agree 100% :yes:

mvp
Jul. 7, 2009, 10:13 AM
Here's how its more likely to go:

Mary wants to ride and possibly show. Her first trainer (cash signs in eyes) says "Great!" and finds the packer that will get her customer to the show ring in a matter of months, not years. That must be the AA show ring because the one-person-business can't afford to revolve around the local scene with its smaller show bills and commissions for cheaper horses.

The trainer finds Mary the perfect first horse. Flicka's buckskinness isn't the problem, or it's really only one that is only skin-deep. The great mind and superbroke resume are plusses; the 10.5' stride and beginnings of arthritic changes slight minusses. But no problem, Flicka was only ever intended to serve for a short time. This is the dime bag of a horse, designed to simply lure Mary and her wallet into the H/J world.

Mary dutifully ponies up-- for the horse, the board and training, the lessons. She understandably wants to know when she can go to the show with the Big Dogs since 40 weekends a year, her barn is an empty, echoing chamber. She drops 4K on the saddle, another 2.5K on the uniform, one more K on the trunk and maybe one custom cooler (in the barn's colors/artwork). No one can say she hasn't committed, hook, line and sinker.

She gets to the AA show! Learns to show, tries to win in appropriate divisions. This ammy remarkably talented, athletic and hardworking so she gets to the AA hunters with remarkable speed. But just 2 years in, she hit a glass celling. Now things getting harder for two reasons that stretch Mary and her wallet in opposite directions:

First Mary finds, and then is told, that her horse is simply outclassed. "So where do I take my beloved Flicka instead?" she asks. Crickets. Or try as she might, she just can't be as dead accurate as she needs to be on the 10.5'-strider as can be the shammy who jumps 4 times for every one O/F school Mary can scare up. More crickets.

The trainer says "Look, you need to buy a better one. I don't have an answer for you about what to do with that Flicka POS, but this horse was never meant to be a forever pet. What did you not understand about the concept of a First Horse?" (Read: You are just not With It, but stick with me and I'll try to educate you.)

Not having dumped Flicka fast enough (and having endured the snide remarks about her sentimental attachment to an old, "colored," crippled, living waste of time), Mary remains loyal. She begins to sink money into complicated shoeing and vetting. During her last summer in the H/J world, she spends more on joint injections than on the other bills put together and goes to no shows at all. She's trying to keep her horse taped together so she might take a lesson when the trainer is home for a minute.

In the meantime, Mary mortgaged her house a second time because she was This Close to being able to show as she wished, and as the H/J industry encouraged. Finally, having narrowly escaped bankruptcy and having been fired by her trainer, she bails.

Five years later, when she has recovered a bit, she wins a trailer as a year end award earned aboard her first reiner, ImaZippoBadAss in the thoughtfully-designed, if poorly named, "Training Wheels+W-2" division. Yes, she spent some coin to get there. Yes, good ol' BadAss is the equivalent of Flicka. While this seasoned boy is as kind, and broke as Flicka, he also has some milage on his body that numbers his days.

So Mary has signed up for the same scenario. But she doesn't mind or notice because this time was a bit smarter in choosing her addiction: Here was a showing world with the inviting kind of division that allowed her to compete against others like her, keeping her coming back for more.

From her new stump, she tells all who will listen what elitist, dishonest and unsportsmanlike pigs the H/J folks are. Oh yes, and within a year of the infamous Summer of Injections, Flicka is Done. Absolutely done. The economy crashes and again, crickets.

The moral of the story is that money will be spent somewhere by horse addicts.

Another moral of the story is not that people who want better ammies ought to become better sportsmen and stop bitching. Horses get used up in pursuit of ribbons perhaps by people like Mary, but certainly at the top leveis, too. There is no shortage of end-justifies-the-means thinking here.

The point IS to make the USEF H/J world more attractive than the other disciplines competing for the ammy dollar and good will.

I also think many non-fancy horses, the vast majority of the kindly beasts out there, stand to benefit.

Moesha
Jul. 7, 2009, 10:18 AM
What comes across as so contradictory are the contless threads trashing people who "don't belong" showing or the long rants about H/J world being instant gratitifcation about showing and ribbons rather than horseman and how there are countless divisions and the rings being held up...and now we are talking about all sorts of subjective criteria in furtehr dividing and re-vamping schedules...after all one concern if working non-pro's have to give up the Amateur divisions when wil these new "open divisions" go?? on the weekends?? How will smaller or shows with less rings handle that?? Amateurs have enough trouble with classes being during the week that this would mean they are bounced out of shows they count on having amateur classes on weekends...to what?

Moesha
Jul. 7, 2009, 10:26 AM
another story I see more often is that Mary learns and becomes a better rider because of Flicka and realizes her steady eddie taught her how to jump around a course of fences and gave her a safe chance to compete and show at big shows and if she wants to be more competitive she needs to find a "fancier" horse....some riders opt to, some can afford another or as many as they wish and some are happy having the safe solid rounds with jogs here and there...and the majority of trainers, all I have had, Thankfully, may be running a business but know good business is to do right by your clients...sadly I know many here have not had that...and that is something I have no idea how we can regulate.

Coreene
Jul. 7, 2009, 11:05 AM
That the Mary in mvp's scenario is too stupid to see she's being sold a load of goods down the river and her trainer is an opportunist douchebag is not USEF's fault. There are now countless divisions for people like Mary. If she wants to move up, she can do the same as everyone else does. I mean, really, how many more ways do you need to carve it up to make sure everyone ribbons? It's not AYSO - you don't get a trophy just because you rode!

mvp
Jul. 7, 2009, 11:19 AM
Moesha and Coreene's posts remind me of two things.

First, rules are created to curb the worst, not limit the best. So we don't need to worry about the trainer who does right by the client and horse, rather than the short-term balance sheet. But those little guys are often starving to death, and quite distant from the USEF rule-making power structure.

Which leads me to point two: It seems to me that the USEF works primarily for the "big business interests" of the horse showing world-- show managers, trainers and, indirectly, the clients they'd like to keep happy. And the line between an "opportunistic douche bag" selling a self-confessed novice a bill of goods and a horse is quite fine. The world goes 'round when people pay more than things are really worth. So many trainers might be douche bags to a degree and many ammies are also sitting ducks to a degree. If we non-pros knew enough to step around our trainers' "expertise" then where would they be?

My point is that the USEF might answer most directly to douche bags.

I think these thread show up so often to signify that there are a whole lot of people out there whose agendas, desires and limits have not been taken into account.

The H/J section of the USEF can continue to do whatever it wants, but might want to pull its head out of its a$$ when it notices an exodus to other parts of the showing world.

To put that into some questions: Is there, in fact, a trend toward ammies leaving the rated H/J show world? If, so is that problem on the radar but merely unsolved as yet? Or do committee discussions go a bit like this one: "If you don't like things as they are then there's something wrong with you. You're greedy, whiney, unsportsman-like and (to seal the deal) too broke for the trainers and show managers to bother with in the first place?" The last reason is a really compelling one to leave things as they are.

S A McKee
Jul. 7, 2009, 11:25 AM
MVP
"Flicka's buckskinness isn't the problem, or it's really only one that is only skin-deep. The great mind and superbroke resume are plusses; the 10.5' stride and beginnings of arthritic changes slight minusses. "

Wrong. The fact that the horse doesn't have the stride is a BIG BIG problem, not a slight minus. I will agree that the color of the horse makes no difference but regardless it still needs to be able to perform within the specifications of the division it is showing in. If it wants to be competitive that is. If the rider just wants to show and have fun that's something else.
But it that's the case no whining that they didn't get a prize.

Maybe it is time for rider qualifications to show in rated sections. You know, demonstate ability in a 2'6" section before you move up or show successfully in B or C shows before you can enter an A or AA show. Use a one way ladder system for unrated sections.

The trainer in MVP's example is a real problem. The student needs to have an honest evaluation of his/her and the horse's talents and how that relates to what division they are showing in. And the trainer needs to point the rider towards shows or divisions that are appropriate for their skill level. Also as Coreene mentioned 'Mary' isn't too bright.

In the example mvp gave the rider eventually got an appropriate horse and/or switched to an appropriate division and was a success. That could have happened in h/j world if the trainer was honest with the client.

Coreene
Jul. 7, 2009, 11:38 AM
This thread originaly started because the OP didn't think it was fair that someone couldn't give u/downs and remain ammy while a rich, talented ammy rode as one. Then suddenly we had to carve out new divisions so that the less talented / less rich / working 40-plus hours pw / otherwise challenged ammy could still go to AAAs and ribbon. To that I say enough already. Ammys don't get paid. Period. If you can't show Dobbin and ribbon, then rethink the venue / horse / trainer / own riding ability. But to carve out all this new stuff just opens the door for an entirely new level of whiner - what's next, 3' Ammy For People Working 50 Hours Per Week Making Less Than $65k And Mounted On An Appendix? The mind reels.

imapepper
Jul. 7, 2009, 11:45 AM
I know that the jumper divisons will never be fair. You will always have folks that have more money to spend on their horse showing than some of us will ever have. That being said there are always folks that would love to be in shoes you or others are in. I just work really hard at it and that is all I can do. Might have more aches and pains from doing the hard work around our farm that others never have to do. If that is what I have to do to be able to have horses so be it.

On the contrary.....the jumper division is totally fair. There are no extra points for style or how expensive your horse is. It is all about how the course is ridden. Get around clean and get the jumpoff done in the most time efficient way and you win :cool: I have seen quite a few people go in and put in good rides on not the most expensive horses and still win their share ;) If you were saying that about the hunter division, I might agree a little. But even that division at the end of the day is still about putting down the best trip.

RockinHorse
Jul. 7, 2009, 11:48 AM
To put that into some questions: Is there, in fact, a trend toward ammies leaving the rated H/J show world?

I have not seen this trend. Around here, the ammy divisions are alive and well.

naters
Jul. 7, 2009, 12:05 PM
3' Ammy For People Working 50 Hours Per Week Making Less Than $65k And Mounted On An Appendix?


Sign me up!!!!! :winkgrin:

mvp
Jul. 7, 2009, 12:05 PM
Yes, yes, you can point out where the problem lies in the Mary-Flicka-BadAss story.

It lies in the 10.5" stride. But that's perhaps fine for a first horse when coupled with the broke/good mind package. And Mary's (fictional!) trainer was not the first person to choose this combo for her client. Take the same horse, arthritis, dorsal stripe and all and put that into a 14 foot stride and the price goes up.

It also lies in the trainer later renamed an "opportunistic douche-bag." Note that the reining guy who chose Flicka's reining counterpart was just as bad. BadAss was no spring chicken. But from his client's perspective, the nice butt in the wranglers wasn't so bad. Mary did, at least, have a place to compete.

One more moral of the story bear repeating for those of you guys suggesting that the people who didn't buy the right horse in the first place should just go to shows to systematically lose. I disagree. I think it's unethical to set either people or horses up this way.

So the panties are wadded up over here about two things:

1) What happens to the horses that would have been competitive and cherished, say 25 years ago, but are now comparative garbage in a sport where this basic piece of equipment has gotten so expensive that otherwise good people are invited to make bad decisions?

2) Is the USEF "using" a whole section of its membership? That is, we pay our fees but don't have a responsive governing body?

I think many modern ammies are economically invisible to the USEF powerbrokers. They aren't with the BNTs who are on rule-making committees. And the clients who perhaps comprise the demographic that the BNTs do want to keep happy are the ones with several horses in the show string.

Money talks. I get it. I also don't worry about that phenomenon except to ask if we could do better by structuring rules that did not pretend that the average ammy was the rich wife of the 1950s. I think the USEF is making a mistake to not change with the times. Look at how happy show managers are (or must be) after they opened up their 2'6" divisions to the hoards. I'm sure the original people who argued for these got all kinds of crap in the beginning.

Trixie
Jul. 7, 2009, 12:15 PM
To put that into some questions: Is there, in fact, a trend toward ammies leaving the rated H/J show world? If, so is that problem on the radar but merely unsolved as yet? Or do committee discussions go a bit like this one: "If you don't like things as they are then there's something wrong with you. You're greedy, whiney, unsportsman-like and (to seal the deal) too broke for the trainers and show managers to bother with in the first place?" The last reason is a really compelling one to leave things as they are.

Well, if you then have trainers that walk on here and start complaining about trying to “explain” to their student why they didn’t win anything on their first time out, as a BEGINNER rider, at an “A” show, well, then the shoe fits, doesn’t it? There are ways to turn just about anything to a positive experience, but many folks would rather complain.

There ARE lower level divisions, frequently open to all. They do not have as much prestige as winning in an A/O class, therefore, most folks who have a viable $70K+ 3’6” horse are only riding in the 2’6” class if there’s a real reason to (fear, coming off an injury), not because it’s an easy win (FWIW, a lot of 3’6” horses don’t even JUMP nicely over 2’6”).

However, no matter what, the rider DOES need to conform to the standards of the division. If you don’t think striding should count (and I myself am not a huge advocate of stringent striding requirements) then advocate to change the standards of the sport, not make more divisions that will still be upheld to the same standard. The advent of the hunter derby allows a good jumping horse to shine over unrelated distances. Some schooling shows will also reward a horse like Flicka.

But an "A" show is there because it's the TOP level, not to reward mediocrity.

In your example, “Mary” destroyed “Flicka” with or without trainer’s assistance. While I’m all for advocating trainers act responsibly – and Mary’s did not – at some point, the client needs to take some basic responsibility, ask some questions, and look around, and make some decisions.

It’s going to be an expensive endeavor no matter what you do. I think we’d be better served trying to find sponsorships for incentivizing the divisions the way the QHs/Western shows do – I’d LOVE to be able to win prizes like theirs and would certainly make a point to make that a long term goal – as opposed to trying to make 27 divisions so that “everyone” can win, stretching the show day longer and longer and putting more wear and tear on everybody.

danceronice
Jul. 7, 2009, 12:25 PM
Yes, yes, you can point out where the problem lies in the Mary-Flicka-BadAss story.

It lies in the 10.5" stride. But that's perhaps fine for a first horse when coupled with the broke/good mind package. And Mary's (fictional!) trainer was not the first person to choose this combo for her client. Take the same horse, arthritis, dorsal stripe and all and put that into a 14 foot stride and the price goes up.

It also lies in the trainer later renamed an "opportunistic douche-bag." Note that the reining guy who chose Flicka's reining counterpart was just as bad. BadAss was no spring chicken. But from his client's perspective, the nice butt in the wranglers wasn't so bad. Mary did, at least, have a place to compete.

One more moral of the story bear repeating for those of you guys suggesting that the people who didn't buy the right horse in the first place should just go to shows to systematically lose. I disagree. I think it's unethical to set either people or horses up this way.

So the panties are wadded up over here about two things:

1) What happens to the horses that would have been competitive and cherished, say 25 years ago, but are now comparative garbage in a sport where this basic piece of equipment has gotten so expensive that otherwise good people are invited to make bad decisions?

2) Is the USEF "using" a whole section of its membership? That is, we pay our fees but don't have a responsive governing body?

I think many modern ammies are economically invisible to the USEF powerbrokers. They aren't with the BNTs who are on rule-making committees. And the clients who perhaps comprise the demographic that the BNTs do want to keep happy are the ones with several horses in the show string.

Money talks. I get it. I also don't worry about that phenomenon except to ask if we could do better by structuring rules that did not pretend that the average ammy was the rich wife of the 1950s. I think the USEF is making a mistake to not change with the times. Look at how happy show managers are (or must be) after they opened up their 2'6" divisions to the hoards. I'm sure the original people who argued for these got all kinds of crap in the beginning.

:yes:

Honestly, I could probably afford to get a horse and do rated shows (I do pro/am dancesport, I must have the money) but as I couldn't cough up for a horse with all the bells and whistles, why would I bother? Maybe if I had one suitable for jumpers, but I don't see that happening. What is the point of showing and not just not winning all the time (I can't imagine that's any more interesting than losing all the time) but not even cracking the bottom ribbons?

Sure, people respond to that with the sneering about everyone getting a ribbon and keep splitting until everybody wins LOLZ, but that's missing the point. The point is not to WIN every time. The point is to have some hope that if you bust your butt working at something, eventually you'll see some improvement in the awards. Based on the hellishly miserable experience I've had with hunter shows, I would be happy to get any sort of ribbon at one class just to feel like I haven't completely sucked. Why is there the expectation that everyone who can't afford a BNT, 15-20 shows minimum, an whatever horse is in-style this year for 5 figures or mroe should just smile and keep shelling out and show up over and over and should just be happy they're premitted to be there? Should just watch the Real Housewives who end up winning and appreciate the pretty, expensive horsies they have? But then if they decide not to show or to do unrated shows, they're wasting their time riding and should just go get a trail horse with Western tack.

The point is not to win blue ribbons every time. The point is when do people realize they will NEVER win even a green ribbon, no matter how many shows they do or how much money they spend, because their horse isn't fancy enough, they don't spend enough, and switch to another discipline or get our of horses entirely?

It's not the 1950s. There are some people still who are wealthy enough to live the same rich-wife lifestyle, or who are in a position to devote all their time, money and energy outside working to perfecting their 'discount' horse and making it look like the Real Housewife's 250k horse because they don't have other things in their life. But they are increasingly few and far between, yet the sport is still designed to cater to them and the BNTs they hire.

mvp
Jul. 7, 2009, 12:26 PM
But Mary had to go to the A show because that's where her trainer could afford to go. And with that trend continuing as it is now, there aren't many schooling shows to choose from.

But Flicka was a modest 3' horse and was bought as such. Mary could just about get the strides, though with a rougher-looking gallop and amazing accuracy that came easier for the ammy on the more suitable and expensive 14'-strider who "walked" down the same lines.

She also did what her trainer and vets asked. No ammy decides to inject lots of joints without professional help, I assure you.

The point of the story was that she repeated her same beginner's experience in another discipline where the arrangement of divisions could keep her happier longer with her first, quite imperfect, horse. Dressage has (or used to have) the same appeal: There's something to do for people who hit a money ceiling.

In the end, it's more profitable to give people a way to participate than to chastise them for wanting that opportunity. Why is this so hard to fathom?

Trixie
Jul. 7, 2009, 12:44 PM
But Mary had to go to the A show because that's where her trainer could afford to go. And with that trend continuing as it is now, there aren't many schooling shows to choose from.


Mary keeps conforming to whatever point you're trying to make, since she's fictitious, there's obviously an answer for everything.

I would assume that someone with the financial ability to hire a trainer that only goes to "A" shows also probably has a car, and can drive herself down the road to an honest trainer who attends schooling shows, just the same. Consumers have CHOICES. Mary sounds like she has stockholm syndrome.

I'd actually say that here in Virginia, I've seen an abundence of packed schooling shows this year. Those of us who don't have the budget to consistently show at the "A"s will happily spend a fraction of that for a quality schooling show.


In the end, it's more profitable to give people a way to participate than to chastise them for wanting that opportunity. Why is this so hard to fathom?

Again. They HAVE the opportunity. If they have the money to be participating in an "A" show, as it stands, there's pretty much something they're eligible for.

If you're truly busting your butt with absolutely "no hope" of "ever" getting a low ribbon, you need to re-evaluate your plan and figure out why it's not working for you. If losing "make you feel like you suck" maybe you do need to reconsider why you're actually there in the first place and what showing means to you.

Moesha
Jul. 7, 2009, 12:56 PM
But Mary had to go to the A show because that's where her trainer could afford to go. And with that trend continuing as it is now, there aren't many schooling shows to choose from.


In the end, it's more profitable to give people a way to participate than to chastise them for wanting that opportunity. Why is this so hard to fathom?

See hear you loose me...She does not have to do anything...yes she may have dreams to do certain things, but she has to also learn/realize/accept her limitations even if those limitations eventually can be overcome....she does not have to be at an A show barn, there are plenty of options out there...if she chooses to be at that barn and go to those shows than she has to maturely realize her place on the learning curve, as well as the competitive curve..although doing the 2'6" pre-adults I am not sure her horses build, style, etc unless completely off kilter would interefer with her placings if she is doing what she is required to...the correct strides/leadchanges/in the ball park distances....and even then if there are good company classes that is how the hunters work..frustrating sure...but enough to overhaul the system?

Also her showing at A shows with so much inexperience seems to stand against so much of the "horesmanship" talk and the showing is an honor and an earned right talk that comes up on these boards from time to time with the obligatory nostalgia for the old days...

and again the idea that being able to participate is not enough..even though that is the idea that keeps being thrown around it isn;t what people mean.... anyone can participate what IS being suggested is a way to creat a division where people can be more competitive and place/win ribbons...while I agree that people should not enter classes in good faith to find out that others have not, again we go back to the arguments that shows should not have less than 3' and the good old days where people showed for the love of it and not to get a ribbon...now it seems we have some of the same people wanting more divisions for everyone??

RockinHorse
Jul. 7, 2009, 12:57 PM
But Mary had to go to the A show because that's where her trainer could afford to go.

Actually, I don't think Mary HAD to go to any shows, did she?

RockinHorse
Jul. 7, 2009, 12:59 PM
:yes:

Honestly, I could probably afford to get a horse and do rated shows (I do pro/am dancesport, I must have the money) but as I couldn't cough up for a horse with all the bells and whistles, why would I bother? Maybe if I had one suitable for jumpers, but I don't see that happening. What is the point of showing and not just not winning all the time (I can't imagine that's any more interesting than losing all the time) but not even cracking the bottom ribbons?



So I should be able to go to some dancesport with a wildly inapproriate, klutz partner with 2 left feet who doesn't know the steps and I should still expect to be able to play in the top leagues and win?:confused: Because????

dags
Jul. 7, 2009, 01:03 PM
and this is the problem with 2'6" at the AA level. You have wiped out the smaller circuits that used to be the beginner haven, where prices were reasonable and ribbons typically won by those doing the best with what they had . . . as opposed to the AA level, where it is supposed to be the best of the best. There is nothing wrong with wanting to preserve what is left of this prestige.

Possible solutions:

1. Create more classes/splits/awards/specifications so that everyone has a chance at the A show. Great, now A show is 2000 horses, 8 arenas, 8 sets of jumps, 8 judges, jump crew all around, office staff, etc and it can only be accomodated by Venue A, which has crappy footing, and costs an arm and a leg to produce. You have now made it impossible to run the show more cheaply and pass those savings on to exhibitors.

2. Stop breeding/creating/training awesome horses . . . or maybe we should put a price cap on them? Maybe really crappy ones can cost negative dollars, in fact you pay people to take them, so that the sliding scale leaves Popeye K costing a mere - what would be acceptable to you? $40K? Or is that still too much? Nevermind what the owners put into raising and training him.


3. Reinvigorate/re-strengthen the grass roots show, the local and B circuits, where riders learn how to ride straight, learn courses and deal with nerves. 21 y.o. Buckskin Retired Police QH are the norm, as well as some youngsters there for schooling and learning (much like their human counterparts) They also get nice Year End awards for competing fairly well at 5 shows throughout the year, and actually have a pretty competitive 3' Medal Final that serves as a fantastic prep for the next level (the A Circuit). Young Jr. trainers cut their teeth on this circuit, while Sr. BNT goes to the big shows, where he focuses on 10-15 (instead of 30?) top level horses and riders, whose goals are actually quite serious. Like, National Finals serious, or HOTY. Parents of the schooling show kids are eased into the cost of equines and horse showing, the environment is less hectic and they actually learn something about the system by being involved in that grass roots level- so they don't end up the dolts you all seem to think most parents/adults are. When they finally do make it to A level they actually recognize the differences and appreciate what those costs are.


It is ALWAYS going to be expensive, grotesquely expensive, and making the A shows more accessible will not change that. We once had another option, we once had great foundation circuits, schooling series, and state wide organizations that could more easily cater to the individuals of that region.

Isn't this why USEF has the Silver Stirrup program?? Is that still around?

Giddy-up
Jul. 7, 2009, 01:06 PM
The point of the story was that she repeated her same beginner's experience in another discipline where the arrangement of divisions could keep her happier longer with her first, quite imperfect, horse. Dressage has (or used to have) the same appeal: There's something to do for people who hit a money ceiling.

Nobody said Mary had to take Flicka to the AA hunter show where let's be honest the horse is just not suitable & not going to win. That is Mary's choice. Perhaps Flicka belongs on the unrated circuit with horses of the same quality & therefore will stand a better chance of ribboning. And if Mary's trainer ONLY does AA away shows, then Mary needs to decide if she stays with that trainer or finds a new trainer who shows local. I see people making that decision so Mary isn't the only one in that situation.

I am not familiar with dressage & reining, but I am sure they have levels to their shows as well. If Mary took her dressage or reining version of hunter Flicka to a big uber fancy dressage/reining show (the equivalent of an AA h/j show), she's going to get the same results--Flicka is still not going to be the cream of the crop & win everything. Will you then demand that USDF & the reining association add classes at their highest show levels for the Flicka quality horses to get a ribbon?

I am not picking on the "Flickas" here either. Thoses horses are great & serve their purpose. But show them at the appropriate level of shows in the appropriate classes if you want a chance at success. If you don't care about ribboning or how your horses does, then by all means keep attending whatever shows make you happy.

It's sort of like my horse. I can show him at the local unrated shows in the hunters & get ribbons. Heck, he can even be the winner. But you don't see me then going to the AA shows & complaining cause I am showing against the likes of Early Applause or Francesca (who happen to be in my area) and OMG can you believe how unfair it is that I didn't win!?!?!? :rolleyes:

Candle
Jul. 7, 2009, 01:08 PM
So I should be able to go to some dancesport with a wildly inapproriate, klutz partner with 2 left feet who doesn't know the steps and I should still expect to be able to play in the top leagues and win?:confused: Because????

Why yes you should, since in fact you work long long hours in your other noble job and you simply must attend the top level of competition even though you really don't belong there and because being underprivileged compared to the other competitors means you MUST ribbon, right? :rolleyes:

Janet
Jul. 7, 2009, 01:14 PM
It is, almost by definition, impossible to create a division FOR the "less epensive" horse.

Once the division gets going, there will be a few horses that win more often. People who want to win in that division will be willing to pay MORE to get THAT horse. And it escalates from there.

When they started the A/A division at 3', it was aimed at the school horse, and the "backyard" horse.
- No one thought anyone would pay "good money" for a 3' horse.
- No one thought that anyone would take a 3'6" horse and run it in the 3' division.

Both of those assumptions turned out to be wrong.

And all becuase they forgot to take into account that fact that there would be people (with money) who wanted to WIN at the 3' level.

S A McKee
Jul. 7, 2009, 01:16 PM
[QUOTE=dags;4218954

3. Reinvigorate/re-strengthen the grass roots show, the local and B circuits, where riders learn how to ride straight, learn courses and deal with nerves. 21 y.o. Buckskin Retired Police QH are the norm, as well as some youngsters there for schooling and learning (much like their human counterparts) They also get nice Year End awards for competing fairly well at 5 shows throughout the year, and actually have a pretty competitive 3' Medal Final that serves as a fantastic prep for the next level (the A Circuit). Young Jr. trainers cut their teeth on this circuit, while Sr. BNT goes to the big shows, where he focuses on 10-15 (instead of 30?) top level horses and riders, whose goals are actually quite serious. Like, National Finals serious, or HOTY. Parents of the schooling show kids are eased into the cost of equines and horse showing, the environment is less hectic and they actually learn something about the system by being involved in that grass roots level- so they don't end up the dolts you all seem to think most parents/adults are. When they finally do make it to A level they actually recognize the differences and appreciate what those costs are.

Isn't this why USEF has the Silver Stirrup program?? Is that still around?[/QUOTE]

Silver Stirrup program is still around but it's for horses that are recorded with USEF's PHR horse registry.
But USHJA has created an outreach program that includes equitation medals at unrated shows, opportunity classes ( no membership fees ) at rated shows and a set of zone annual awards that do not count points won at A or AA shows.
Those programs offer a less expensive way to participate at an appropriate level and still have a showing experience.

In some areas ( the Northeast in particular ) there are one day C or B rated shows available evey weekend.
In other areas there are well organized unrated shows that are members of a local show association that oversees the class requirements and offer year end awards, usually geared to lower level exhibitors ( short stirrup, Pre Childrens, Pre Adult, Long Stirrup, Modified Adult etc. etc.) Nobody 'has' to go to an A or AA show.

Janet
Jul. 7, 2009, 01:28 PM
But Mary had to go to the A show because that's where her trainer could afford to go. And with that trend continuing as it is now, there aren't many schooling shows to choose from. I don't know where you are, but I am not seeing any shortage of schooling shows.



The point of the story was that she repeated her same beginner's experience in another discipline where the arrangement of divisions could keep her happier longer with her first, quite imperfect, horse. Dressage has (or used to have) the same appeal: There's something to do for people who hit a money ceiling.
I think it must have been a LONG time since you went to a big recognized dressage show. At the lower levels in particular, it is hard to do well with a "limited" horse.

Of course, there are dressage schooling shows where you cna do well with a "limited" horse, but for some reason you are excluding schooling shows where, quite frankly, this type of horse belongs.

I have, and have had, both "limited" and "talented" horses, and have had fun with both (in various disciplines). But I keep the "limited" horses at schooling shows and only take the talented horses to the recognized shows.

To do otherwise is trying to force a square peg in a round hole, and doesn't do the horse any favors.

imapepper
Jul. 7, 2009, 02:14 PM
and this is the problem with 2'6" at the AA level. You have wiped out the smaller circuits that used to be the beginner haven, where prices were reasonable and ribbons typically won by those doing the best with what they had . . . as opposed to the AA level, where it is supposed to be the best of the best. There is nothing wrong with wanting to preserve what is left of this prestige.

Possible solutions:

1. Create more classes/splits/awards/specifications so that everyone has a chance at the A show. Great, now A show is 2000 horses, 8 arenas, 8 sets of jumps, 8 judges, jump crew all around, office staff, etc and it can only be accomodated by Venue A, which has crappy footing, and costs an arm and a leg to produce. You have now made it impossible to run the show more cheaply and pass those savings on to exhibitors.

2. Stop breeding/creating/training awesome horses . . . or maybe we should put a price cap on them? Maybe really crappy ones can cost negative dollars, in fact you pay people to take them, so that the sliding scale leaves Popeye K costing a mere - what would be acceptable to you? $40K? Or is that still too much? Nevermind what the owners put into raising and training him.


3. Reinvigorate/re-strengthen the grass roots show, the local and B circuits, where riders learn how to ride straight, learn courses and deal with nerves. 21 y.o. Buckskin Retired Police QH are the norm, as well as some youngsters there for schooling and learning (much like their human counterparts) They also get nice Year End awards for competing fairly well at 5 shows throughout the year, and actually have a pretty competitive 3' Medal Final that serves as a fantastic prep for the next level (the A Circuit). Young Jr. trainers cut their teeth on this circuit, while Sr. BNT goes to the big shows, where he focuses on 10-15 (instead of 30?) top level horses and riders, whose goals are actually quite serious. Like, National Finals serious, or HOTY. Parents of the schooling show kids are eased into the cost of equines and horse showing, the environment is less hectic and they actually learn something about the system by being involved in that grass roots level- so they don't end up the dolts you all seem to think most parents/adults are. When they finally do make it to A level they actually recognize the differences and appreciate what those costs are.


It is ALWAYS going to be expensive, grotesquely expensive, and making the A shows more accessible will not change that. We once had another option, we once had great foundation circuits, schooling series, and state wide organizations that could more easily cater to the individuals of that region.

Isn't this why USEF has the Silver Stirrup program?? Is that still around?

I like option #3 myself :cool:

mvp
Jul. 7, 2009, 02:17 PM
So glad the fictional Mary and Flicka have gotten such airplay here! You guys are really good sports. Don't forget about ImaZippoBadAss, he's cool, too.

I hope that the story was not too far from reality. A little cynical, a little tongue in cheek, and a little truth-telling accurate, I meant the story to reflect parts of the real world faced by would-be ammies.

The part about "no one has to show" is true, but unprofitable. It also smacks of elitism, especially when access is denied for reasons other than desire or hard work. People can keep making that argument as long as they can afford to. I'm suggesting that that moment is over, and probably has been for two decades or more.

The part about the training barn that says "A-Show or Bust" is also a new feature of the horse world I'm just beginning to meet. If I want to get better with my own horse-- one more suitable than Flicka but nothing to write home about-- I have a hard time finding the pro with both the skill and facility to care for us both who does not want me to sign up for a rated-show program. I am welcome to go to the local shows, but that will be by myself.

I also tried to write with some sympathy about the trainer who often can't make a living by staying at the local level. I have a fabulous trainer who meets me at the dinkies (or the rated ones) and she's getting nowhere fast, IMO, because she's stuck in that place where no one will send her a nice horse because they don't see her riding a nice horse, or schooling someone on one.

Big Barn comes with lots of Mikmars, drawreins, cussing at little kids and a constant supply of over-use injuries-- the NQR suspensory problem that never quite gets resolved. The Little Barn boasts school horses that are sound in their 20s, kids taught to groom and saddle their own. It's hard to watch, knowing that LNT works so hard with so little pay-off. If the local scene offered more, at least in the way of making a decent living, perhaps many people would be happy. I'd stay there, keep my budget in line and show against me peers forever.

The point about the money ceiling existing in the dressage or reining worlds is well-taken, too. But don't the medal programs keep dressagists happy and coming back? And as I understand it, the 3' horse of the reining world is cheaper. Is that wrong? Really, neither I nor the other ammies posting here are asserting the rights to blue ribbons in top company. We are asking if there is a way to make the sport more inclusive than it is. If you don't agree about this more modest request, read the posts and see for yourself.

Finally, I agree that forcing the untalented horse, that "square peg" into the round hole of AA shows is not fair and unwise. But the round hole was much bigger and more welcoming to variously-shaped horses a generation ago. That's a big part of my point. It's very hard and precarious to be your average show horse today. The acceptable margin of error for these animals seems just too slim for many to remain cherished, well cared-for show horses.

Moesha
Jul. 7, 2009, 02:36 PM
So glad the fictional Mary and Flicka have gotten such airplay here! You guys are really good sports. Don't forget about ImaZippoBadAss, he's cool, too.

I hope that the story was not too far from reality. A little cynical, a little tongue in cheek, and a little truth-telling accurate, I meant the story to reflect parts of the real world faced by would-be ammies.

The part about "no one has to show" is true, but unprofitable. It also smacks of elitism, especially when access is denied for reasons other than desire or hard work. People can keep making that argument as long as they can afford to. I'm suggesting that that moment is over, and probably has been for about two decades.

The part about the training barn that says "A-Show or Bust" is also a new feature of the horse world I'm just beginning to meet. If I want to get better with my own horse-- one more suitable than Flicka but nothing to write home about-- I have a hard time finding the pro with both the skill and facility to care for us both who does not want me to sign up for a rated-show program. I am welcome to go to the local shows, but that will be by myself.

I also tried to write with some sympathy about the trainer who often can't make a living by staying at the local level. I have a fabulous trainer who meets me at the dinkies (or the rated ones) and she's getting nowhere fast, IMO, because she's stuck in that place where no one will send her a nice horse because they don't see her riding a nice horse, or schooling someone on one.

The point about the money ceiling existing in the dressage or reining worlds is well-taken, too. But don't the medal programs keep dressagists happy and coming back? And as I understand it, the 3' horse of the reining world is cheaper. Is that wrong? Really, neither I nor the other ammies posting here are asserting the rights to blue ribbons in top company. We are asking if there is a way to make the sport more inclusive than it is. If you don't agree about this more modest request, read the posts and see for yourself.

Finally, I agree that forcing the untalented horse, that "square peg" into the round hole of AA shows is not fair and unwise. But the round hole was much bigger and more welcoming to variously-shaped horses a generation ago. That's a big part of my point. It's very hard and precarious to be your average show horse today. The acceptable margin of error for these animals seems just too slim for many to remain cherished, well cared-for show horses.

But riding will always have a certain amount of elitism to it...the costs and the financial dedication are not something just anyone will want to do...and throw in the most valuable element of all time and you have those who love horses doing what they can...I honestly think far less people are "concerned" over any of this and simply love having horses and doing whatever shows they wish.

the age old the olden days...well things were not so great of course we saw more variety...because we had less standards...some of the riding was downright dangerous, and the drug rules where nonexistent to useless...and talk about ELITISM!!! Only a few could afford to show or even be allowed into horse society...the social barriers that existed did not include the great multitide of diversity we see today and most importantly the economic and "class" diversity.

Like all sports riding has evolved...horses are treated like the athletes they are...not commodities or pieces of equipment...we have advances and higher bars in ALL apsects of society in all realms...why would horse showing not evolve as well? Now horses are expected to not only jump the fences but within a set number of strides( barring options) and do so with a certain style/grace and athelticism....if it was open fields and horses just jumping here and there...with the numbers competing how would judges pick??? What standards would they use and also be responsible and accountable for?? And in the old days we always hear how people were just happy to be out showing and just jumping around since horsemanship and sportsmanship meant there was only a few awards and the rest shold be good gracious riders and exhault in their performances??

RockinHorse
Jul. 7, 2009, 02:46 PM
Finally, I agree that forcing the untalented horse, that "square peg" into the round hole of AA shows is not fair and unwise. But the round hole was much bigger and more welcoming to variously-shaped horses a generation ago. That's a big part of my point. It's very hard and precarious to be your average show horse today. The acceptable margin of error for these animals seems just too slim for many to remain cherished, well cared-for show horses.


The round hole was different, but it was not necessarily bigger. I don't know where you showed, but on the east coast in the early to mid 70's show if you did not have a fancy, typey TB, you would have a hard time getting a prize, unless it was a schooling show. And yes, a lot of the TB's brought big bucks (or what would have been big bucks for the time). People weren't just pulling their grade horses out of the back yard and going to the bigger shows.

dags
Jul. 7, 2009, 02:53 PM
The part about "no one has to show" is true, but unprofitable. It also smacks of elitism, especially when access is denied for reasons other than desire or hard work. People can keep making that argument as long as they can afford to. I'm suggesting that that moment is over, and probably has been for about two decades.

Elitism to me will exist when ALL you have to do is pay the entry fee to show at the A level. No matter your talent, no matter your level, no matter the miles to get there. That is what I feel the 2'6" and below classes allow for. Since you won't allow talent to be the distinguishing factor of an A show, it is now all about money.



The part about the training barn that says "A-Show or Bust" is also a new feature of the horse world I'm just beginning to meet. If I want to get better with my own horse-- one more suitable than Flicka but nothing to write home about-- I have a hard time finding the pro with both the skill and facility to care for us both who does not want me to sign up for a rated-show program. I am welcome to go to the local shows, but that will be by myself.

I thought you were the one that wanted to be on their own? If you truly can't find anything acceptable, you may need to reexamine the way you're approaching the situation. You can't expect them to bend to you when you won't bend to them. Your posts are lengthy, prosy, illusory and seem like they want a lot of attention, you may come across as quite a handful at first meeting. Maybe if you got into a program a bit you would see they actually are willing to work with you? Where are you located that is so devoid of talent and rampant with scandelous trainers?


I also tried to write with some sympathy about the trainer who often can't make a living by staying at the local level. I have a fabulous trainer who meets me at the dinkies (or the rated ones) and she's getting nowhere fast, IMO, because she's stuck in that place where no one will send her a nice horse because they don't see her riding a nice horse, or schooling someone on one.

I'm not sure I buy this one completely - most of us came through the lower, local ranks. How did I get noticed? My kid turned a rank TB/QH/WB/Draft?whoknows into a successful Ch/AA jumper, and my other kids were noticeably correct and poised, even if they weren't winning every time out. Turning nothing into something is the hallmark of a good trainer, and they do not go unnoticed.



The point about the money ceiling existing in the dressage or reining worlds is well-taken, too. But don't the medal programs keep dressagists happy and coming back?

I can name 50 state wide Medals that keep riders coming back :) All we are saying is what you want is ALREADY THERE. But its not called the A Circuit. And that's okay. Really. You don't have to show on the A circuit. Trust me, it will not go broke.



Finally, I agree that forcing the untalented horse, that "square peg" into the round hole of AA shows is not fair and unwise. But the round hole was much bigger and more welcoming to variously-shaped horses a generation ago. That's a big part of my point. It's very hard and precarious to be your average show horse today. The acceptable margin of error for these animals seems just too slim for many to remain cherished, well cared-for show horses.

But doesn't this just demonstrate how far we have taken the sport in a generation?? The horses out there are AWESOME, and very, very real breeding and importing efforts have been made with this exact goal in mind: to create the most competitive sport horses in the world. People are working to improve the horseflesh in this country, and are spending a ton of money to do so. Do not expect to be able to compete with them, do not hate on them for investing in this endeavor, or for looking for some sort of return on their investment.

Finally, thank you for allowing me to practice quoting skills :) I'm gonna press submit now, and hope it comes out as intended!

Janet
Jul. 7, 2009, 03:04 PM
I have a hard time finding the pro with both the skill and facility to care for us both who does not want me to sign up for a rated-show program. I am welcome to go to the local shows, but that will be by myself. Don't know where you are located, but around here I know of several hunter trainers who go to both the VHSA Associate shows and the USEF A shows.

amt813
Jul. 7, 2009, 03:20 PM
I did not read the whole thread - and have no idea what is going on with "Mary" and "Flicka" - but will respond to the Original Post that got the ball rolling.

The reason - in my opinion - why the amateur rules are so strict these days is because too many people try to bend / break them. If people would just follow the rules maybe they wouldn't have to be so intense. It is my guess is that the rules have become more strict throughout the years in an attempt to have less violations of the same.

The amateur rule, although with some complexities - is if you get paid to ride you are a pro. Nonetheless I have seen so many hypotheticals and questions on here ... if I do this am I an pro - over and over again. Could you imagine what would happen if the USEF made it more complex or lenient? The schemes people would come up with to attempt to avoid declaring themselves a professional would be even more than they are right now.

Further, I am the first one to admit that even with how strict the amateur rule is there are many many people who violate it. However, clearly enforcement of the rule is a real issue. Until we figure out a better way of enforcing the rule it may be necessary to make the rule sticter to make it more and more difficult for people who want to be pretend amateurs.

As to those who are wealthy with several grand prix horses and who show at high levels of competitions and then compete in amateur classes - many of them are probably the ones following the rules - Who own their own horses and don't get paid to ride. There is always going to be someone out there who can afford a nicer horse, ride better, or has greater experience but that is what competition is about! If you can't stand the heat then get out of the fire.

LetsChat
Jul. 7, 2009, 03:37 PM
Actually, I don't think Mary HAD to go to any shows, did she?

Ummm.... You might be wrong with that statement. There's a well know adage... You MUST pay taxes, horse show AND die.... Isn't that how it goes???

Coreene
Jul. 7, 2009, 04:20 PM
In the end, it's more profitable to give people a way to participate than to chastise them for wanting that opportunity. Why is this so hard to fathom?Why can't they participate?

But when you already have Maiden, Novice, Limit, Rusty Stirrup, Green Riders, Long Stirrup, Crossrail, 2'3", 2'6", AA, Modified and Low A/O, what else do you need for the amateur rider who can't and/or whose horse can't do the 3'6"?

Horseymama
Jul. 7, 2009, 05:26 PM
I think many modern ammies are economically invisible to the USEF powerbrokers. They aren't with the BNTs who are on rule-making committees. And the clients who perhaps comprise the demographic that the BNTs do want to keep happy are the ones with several horses in the show string.

Money talks. I get it. I also don't worry about that phenomenon except to ask if we could do better by structuring rules that did not pretend that the average ammy was the rich wife of the 1950s. I think the USEF is making a mistake to not change with the times. Look at how happy show managers are (or must be) after they opened up their 2'6" divisions to the hoards. I'm sure the original people who argued for these got all kinds of crap in the beginning.

I agree. USEF needs to change with the times. I ask again, why do we even need the distinction of Amateur and Professional? If we can divide classes and divisions up by horse and rider experience, why do we even need it? For example:

3' Hunters for Limit riders on Limit Horses
3' Hunters for Limit Riders on Experienced Horses
3' Hunters for Experienced Riders on Limit Horses
3' Hunters for Experienced Riders on Experienced Horses

I know lots of you are going to jump up my a$$ for making a suggestion like this, because every one is SO attached to having pros and amateurs. Why, I don't know.

It still doesn't mean a fancy horse isn't going to beat a 21 yr. old ugly Quarter Horse. But at least he would be competing with other horses and riders of similar experience.

Greg
Jul. 7, 2009, 05:32 PM
MVP - I think you are right on target. Thanks as well for managing to write your responses with humor, sensitivity, and an interesting plot line!

I am a good riding Adult. I often ride less than stellar horses. I still beat less experienced riders on really great horses most of the time. Then again, I have been doing it for 25 plus years. (I cannot afford a 3'6, so please don't tell me to get the heck out of the division - I wish I could move up!) I can't even really afford to show my own horse, so I catch ride whatever I can.

I see the disenheartened Mary's quit ALOT!!!!! Mary's trainer goes to the A shows. Mary competes in the Adults. She tries her friggin heart out week in and week out, but there are usually 6 of us that can pull 7 or 8 jumps out of our butts and beat her. I FEEL BAD FOR MARY!!!! In the youngers there are usually at least 8 "Mary's" and 8 "Me's". In the Middles, there are at least 8 "Mary's", and at least 8 "Me's", in the olders, there are at least 8 "Mary's" and at least 8 "Me's".

Lets put all the "Mary's" in one Adult section, and the "Me's" (or if entries warrant, all the "others" that still spank me every weekend because I am a GOOD adult rider, but not GREAT) in another section.

This will make it much harder for me to get a prize on my less talented horse, but I don't like taking away prizes from Mary, when she has only been doing this for 2 years, and I have been doing it for 25.

I see Mary's give up all the time. Their husbands get fed up with the bills, or they get fed up with riding out of their minds (for them) and being beat by more experienced riders. Most of the time these Mary's have much nicer horses. They lose because they are out classed experience wise. They didn't buy a 3 ft horse to do the 2'6 pre-adults!

I do not see it as custom-building a sandbox. I suppose if you want to hate the idea, you can look at it that way. I see it as leveling out the Adult playing field. I don't mind being beat by a better rider on a better horse; it's a horse show for crying out loud. But I don't like beating people that are new to the game, and never get a shot at really winning, because ultimately, after 25 years, I can fake 8 jumps if I have to, and counting steps is like breathing, and lead changes are not a 5 step plan; but for Mary, every stride is a thought and a reaction and a chance to make a mistake. There are enough of all levels of Adult Ammies, lets even it out a bit!!!!!

Midge
Jul. 7, 2009, 05:34 PM
3' Ammy For People Working 50 Hours Per Week Making Less Than $65k And Mounted On An Appendix? The mind reels.


Whoo, whoo! This was me right down the line and I did just fine at the AAs thankyouverymuch. Jut THINK of all I could have "won" in THAT division!!!!

danceronice
Jul. 7, 2009, 05:36 PM
So I should be able to go to some dancesport with a wildly inapproriate, klutz partner with 2 left feet who doesn't know the steps and I should still expect to be able to play in the top leagues and win?:confused: Because????

Well, if it were pro-am and he were the pro, you were the am, as long as you were sylabus it wouldn't technically matter so long as YOU were good. In amateur, until you got to Open Championship, you would probably never have any competition unless you're under 21 anyway. In any case, dancing or skating, you can buy the fanciest dress, hire the best pro, and STILL lose because you aren't the best technically, even if your partner's flawless. Or because the judge looked at the wrong moment. There are no push-button rounds. Whereas I've ridden push-button horses. Believe me, they exist as far as hunters go.

And silly me...I thought competition was about performing the best, not about who had the most money to buy the best stuff. If the competition is really always going to come down to who bought the six-figure horse and can stay on it over eight fences, then there really is no reason for anyone who can't manage that to show, at least at rated shows. Personally, I wouldn't bother as I'm never going to have that kind of money. Dance analogy again--I hate international standard, I'm bad at it, and I've never finished better than dead last in any event in it I've entered. After the last one, I told my pro flat-out that I quit and won't compete it any more. I'm not wasting money and time competing at something where the results never improve. Even if I liked it (I didn't, but that's beside the point.) If, no matter how much my horse might improve relative to his own performance, he never gets pinned at a rated show because there's always someone ribbon-chasing with a flashier ride, why would I ever waste resources taking him to shows? As I understand it, you can't drop down with hunters (a la dropping racehorses through allowance and claiming levels until they become competitive--is that unfair?) until you find where you're *competitive*.

There's the word: competition. Competitive. If people go into a show knowing they have no chance, that Mrs. Bigbucks will always be riding in the 2'6" because her BNT wants his atm riders to bring home ribbons so they keep spending, why would they keep doing it? Wanting fair competition is not "OMG I have to win all the time!", it's "I want to go in knowing I have a reasonable shot at winning." Only an idiot keeps playing a fixed game.

Gry2Yng
Jul. 7, 2009, 05:39 PM
MVP - I think you are right on target. Thanks as well for managing to write your responses with humor, sensitivity, and an interesting plot line!

I am a good riding Adult. I often ride less than stellar horses. I still beat less experienced riders on really great horses most of the time. Then again, I have been doing it for 25 plus years. (I cannot afford a 3'6, so please don't tell me to get the heck out of the division - I wish I could move up!) I can't even really afford to show my own horse, so I catch ride whatever I can.

I see the disenheartened Mary's quit ALOT!!!!! Mary's trainer goes to the A shows. Mary competes in the Adults. She tries her friggin heart out week in and week out, but there are usually 6 of us that can pull 7 or 8 jumps out of our butts and beat her. I FEEL BAD FOR MARY!!!! In the youngers there are usually at least 8 "Mary's" and 8 "Me's". In the Middles, there are at least 8 "Mary's", and at least 8 "Me's", in the olders, there are at least 8 "Mary's" and at least 8 "Me's".

Lets put all the "Mary's" in one Adult section, and the "Me's" (or if entries warrant, all the "others" that still spank me every weekend because I am a GOOD adult rider, but not GREAT) in another section.

This will make it much harder for me to get a prize on my less talented horse, but I don't like taking away prizes from Mary, when she has only been doing this for 2 years, and I have been doing it for 25.

I see Mary's give up all the time. Their husbands get fed up with the bills, or they get fed up with riding out of their minds (for them) and being beat by more experienced riders. Most of the time these Mary's have much nicer horses. They lose because they are out classed experience wise. They didn't buy a 3 ft horse to do the 2'6 pre-adults!

I do not see it as custom-building a sandbox. I suppose if you want to hate the idea, you can look at it that way. I see it as leveling out the Adult playing field. I don't mind being beat by a better rider on a better horse; it's a horse show for crying out loud. But I don't like beating people that are new to the game, and never get a shot at really winning, because ultimately, after 25 years, I can fake 8 jumps if I have to, and counting steps is like breathing, and lead changes are not a 5 step plan; but for Mary, every stride is a thought and a reaction and a chance to make a mistake. There are enough of all levels of Adult Ammies, lets even it out a bit!!!!!

Standing ovation from my corner of the world. (again, no dog in this fight)

dags
Jul. 7, 2009, 05:41 PM
But why can't Mary put in her dues, learn what it takes, and win next year? Why does Mary have to win RIGHT NOW? I don't recall my first year being all that special, then I had a great 3' year, then back to the bottom of the pack for my first 3'6" year. Horse showing is about a progression, and learning. If nothing else can't Mary watch and learn from you, the veteran? Does she go home and work on it, and is she improving from show to show? Or is she dead set on instant gratification, and two years of horse show miles is just not something she's ready to commit to as a learning experience?

That's a different arguement entirely, that's not willing to put in the time to win the blues. If the lead change is still a 5 step process then go back to twice around the outside crossbars and learn your changes :)

Midge
Jul. 7, 2009, 05:54 PM
What is the point of showing and not just not winning all the time (I can't imagine that's any more interesting than losing all the time) but not even cracking the bottom ribbons? <snip>

The point is not to WIN every time. The point is to have some hope that if you bust your butt working at something, eventually you'll see some improvement in the awards. Based on the hellishly miserable experience I've had with hunter shows, I would be happy to get any sort of ribbon at one class just to feel like I haven't completely sucked. <snip> Why is there the expectation that everyone who can't afford a BNT, 15-20 shows minimum, an whatever horse is in-style this year for 5 figures or mroe should just smile and keep shelling out and show up over and over and should just be happy they're premitted to be there? <snip>

The point is not to win blue ribbons every time. The point is when do people realize they will NEVER win even a green ribbon, no matter how many shows they do or how much money they spend, because their horse isn't fancy enough, they don't spend enough, and switch to another discipline or get our of horses entirely?


This scenario should not go to the A shows, especially if they feel the part I bolded is factual. You go where the competition suits your horse.

I have a five year old. He's small and didn't look like he was going to be the best jumper in the world, but I traded away the one I couldn't ride, so he looked like a prince!. If he turned out NOT to be the best jumper, I wouldn't be knocking on the A show manager's door, looking for a place to show my bad jumping pre green horse, I was going to hit the local circuit and see how that panned out. Now, he looks like he might be cute enough to go to the A shows. If that works out, great. If it doesn't, I'll be loading up for the C shows.

Why in the world would I spend $500 to go to an A show and be outclassed when I can spend $75 and show right where my horse belongs???

Greg
Jul. 7, 2009, 06:00 PM
Dags - I sure wish it were as easy as paying dues. Some people pay more than others depending on the talent pool within. I have seen ladies paying dues for YEARS, and I give them props for still trying. Others have direct deposit and go in the ring and figure it all out within 1 or 2 years. Props to them as well.

Showing today is alot different than even 10 years ago, when many of us initialy paid our dues. If it was this expensive and competetive when I started, common sense would have sent me to tennis!

Midge
Jul. 7, 2009, 06:06 PM
All Mary needs to do is buy the horse that can do the required tasks. Why hasn't she done that?

S A McKee
Jul. 7, 2009, 06:10 PM
I agree. USEF needs to change with the times. I ask again, why do we even need the distinction of Amateur and Professional? If we can divide classes and divisions up by horse and rider experience, why do we even need it? For example:

3' Hunters for Limit riders on Limit Horses
3' Hunters for Limit Riders on Experienced Horses
3' Hunters for Experienced Riders on Limit Horses
3' Hunters for Experienced Riders on Experienced Horses

I know lots of you are going to jump up my a$$ for making a suggestion like this, because every one is SO attached to having pros and amateurs. Why, I don't know.

It still doesn't mean a fancy horse isn't going to beat a 21 yr. old ugly Quarter Horse. But at least he would be competing with other horses and riders of similar experience.

Ok, how will you define a Limit Rider or Horse. How about an 'Experienced' horse or rider?
With Ammie and Pro it's not all that hard to figure out what group you're in.
And there are a lot of abuses anyway. More definitions, more loopholes, more rule bending.
And the 21 yr old ugly QH can show against others of similar experience but just not at an A or AA rated show. So I'll ask you a question. Why do you need to be at a A or AA show with a horse that isn't competitive unless you are there just to have fun with no expectation of a prize? Why not a C show, Why not an unrated show? If you want to go to the Olympics it ain't happening just because you want to. Why is this so much different?

Oh yeah, I suspect you'll want some sort of a 4 way split at 2'6" also. So if we split enough then there will be less than 6 and 'Mary' will get a prize every time. How exciting for Mary! That's what you want, isn't it ? A guarantee of a prize no matter how bad Mary and/or the horse really are.

Note to Mary. Ditch your trainer.

Gry2Yng
Jul. 7, 2009, 06:17 PM
For all the three foot queens who work hard and deny a place in the AA world for the Mary's...when I was a kid there was no place for the 3' queens, so times changed. Somewhere along the line, someone thought the ladies who could only afford a 3' horse/could only jump 3' without becoming a lawn dart should be able to attend nice shows held at nice facilities. Now you wish to deny the same opportunity to others. BAD BAD ladies who want to experience something a little classier than the dusty local show with no amenities and vendors. So they don't ride as well as you! In 1970 you had no place at the Motor City show or Chagrin Falls or Upperville, but you wanted a place. Yes, the rock started rolling down hill and now we have cross rail divisions.

The fact is that if you love horses and you have money and want a nice facility, you are easily taken advantage of. Newbies don't even know what questions to ask. Have none of you ever been ripped off by a car repairman? Do we blame the poor lady who gets ripped off on a brake job because she doesn't know new brakes from worn out brakes? No, we blame the mechanic for taking advantage of her. Mary can't even walk a distance, let alone know her horse is short strided until some one teaches her! Really, raise your hand if you were born with that knowledge.

Midge
Jul. 7, 2009, 06:29 PM
For all the three foot queens who work hard and deny a place in the AA world for the Mary's...when I was a kid there was no place for the 3' queens, so times changed. Somewhere along the line, someone thought the ladies who could only afford a 3' horse/could only jump 3' without becoming a lawn dart should be able to attend nice shows held at nice facilities. Now you wish to deny the same opportunity to others. BAD BAD ladies who want to experience something a little classier than the dusty local show with no amenities and vendors. So they don't ride as well as you! In 1970 you had no place at the Motor City show or Chagrin Falls or Upperville, but you wanted a place. Yes, the rock started rolling down hill and now we have cross rail divisions.

Oh no, it's not that Mary can't go, it's that Mary can't win There are plenty of people putzing around in the 2'6" and 3" divisions who struggle to get a ribbon. They go because they are having fun. Go! have fun! Please have fun no matter where or what you show! But, eveyone does not get to win.

Madeline
Jul. 7, 2009, 06:46 PM
Earlier in this thread, somene suggested that pro-am may not be the best distinction. Look at eventing. They split divisions by horse ability/ rider experience, and it seems to work. There is quite a bit of social pressure to only compete in the division you belong in, which may be more difficult to enforce in HJ land.

The amateur owner division is relatively new (late '60's?) and Adult Amateur much younger. Before that, heaven forfend, amateurs showed their own horses successfully in the green and regular working and conformation divisions THEMSELVES. Usually without trainers!!! The world did not end. Then again, this was the bad old days with outside courses, solid fences, up and down hill and, imagine this, a BANK into the ring at Devon for the 4' divisions!

There's probably a better way than the current amateur rule, but it may be difficult to find one that is enforceable in our current if not morally bankrupt, morally challenged, society."I deserve to win, just because I'm special" seems to be the watchword.

dags
Jul. 7, 2009, 06:50 PM
If, no matter how much my horse might improve relative to his own performance, he never gets pinned at a rated show because there's always someone ribbon-chasing with a flashier ride, why would I ever waste resources taking him to shows? As I understand it, you can't drop down with hunters (a la dropping racehorses through allowance and claiming levels until they become competitive--is that unfair?) until you find where you're *competitive*.

This is my point exactly. Except it's not all ribbon-chasing hoopla, it's fine horseflesh, its the Hunters, its very much business and sport at this level. Cut your teeth at the dusty shows learning the real ropes, wrapping, walking, bathing, mucking, and literally getting dirty. Never shun the dirt! LEARN what good horsemanship is so these money-grubbing trainers DON'T take your money. Spectate the big venues and be inspired to work harder! Let the venues be a showcase of talent, so people can attend and know what talent looks like. These ladies are getting thrown in with the sharks wholey unequiped, and this all the more reason to encourage them to show at a more appropriate level.

mvp
Jul. 7, 2009, 07:21 PM
I'm a little behind, but I'll try to catch up.

First dags: Ouch! The long story that made you think I was a "handful" or might look like one on first meeting wasn't, in fact, my first entry to this thread. C-mon. I wrote you a story and everything!

The suggestion that I join a big barn's program is well-taken, but it's not a great option where I live now. It may become one when I move to a Bigger Pond in a month. I'll let you know if those show barns live up to their reputation. But looking at 'em so far and talking to the trainers and staff at a couple of well-regarded places, I think there will be times when my horse's best interests will not be served well. I'm worse than obedient Mary! I'm not willing to pay and cripple one before I bail.

Also, Greg, your post struck a chord and warrants a confession. I'm also the person who would beat Mary over and over because I have, thank God, have had the opportunity to learn to ride better than has the person with just 3 years or so under her belt. But that same long experience makes me unwilling to use up 8 of my horse's jumps when I know we won't have a chance. To be clear: I'm not demanding a blue. I am demanding a fair place to compete precisely so that I can balance my love of the sport with my ethical commitment to my horse. If I can't do that, then I have no business signing up to show at all. Others have left the hunters for similar reasons.

You also remind me that an unearned victory is a hollow one. And to the people who explain that Mary or I should just buy the horse and move up, some of us agree! If we could, we would. In the meantime, we nurture the OTTB-to-HOTY fantasy that keeps so many of us alive... if we could afford the showing required. But many others want to stay at their current level, but nevertheless would probably like to compete with peers.

I'd sleep well at night competing at local shows forever... and driving my fugly, paid-for truck while making an IRA contribution, and perhaps even giving to charity. But there's a limit to the size fences and quality of instruction you can get when you commit to life at the locals. When I was a young sprout in the 80s' you could find schooling shows that sometimes jacked 'em up to 3'6" or even a 4' mini-prix. But those shows aren't around in most parts of the country, at least as far as I can tell.

I also think that most trainers want to (or need to) get into the rated scene to make a decent living. I don't begrudge them that. I'm not a Little Guy pro, so perhaps I'm not qualified to speak for them. But I would like to see those guys get some kind of consideration from clients and the USEF who helps structure their industry.

So I like the idea of sorting Maiden, Limit riders and pairing them with similar or different horses. Yes, it makes the prizelist longer, but I'm not sure same number of competitors divided up differently at a show would make the day longer. By the way, you good Old Skoolers on Whatever need to help out by getting to the in-gate on time since the Maidens on Maidens perhaps can't.

Or if this worked really well, shows would get bigger. Or, as is starting to happen a bit in my hamlet, the locals are inching up to Big 2'9" divisions because the LNTs up here have done so well as to produce some students and horses who want that. Good for them! I hope I can find this kind of growth elsewhere, too.

Midge
Jul. 7, 2009, 07:41 PM
I am demanding a fair place to compete precisely so that I can balance my love of the sport with my ethical commitment to my horse.

You've posted something similar a couple times and I am trying to understand it. Eight jumps of wear and tear on your horse is eight jumps of wear and tear. How does changing the competition change that?



And to the people who explain that Mary or I should just buy the horse and move up, some of us agree! If we could, we would.

I don't know about you, but Mary can. She is dropping the big bucks at A shows with a BNT. She can afford to buy, not a horse to 'move up', but a horse suitable for her needs.

Peggy
Jul. 7, 2009, 07:47 PM
A couple of people mentioned dressage. If Mary takes Flicka (or BadAssZippo, or whatever his name is) to the dressage equivalent of an AA hunter show, she's likely to be showing in her Training Level classes against Suzy BigBucks riding a former FEI horse and Jenny MoreTalented who has a nice young horse that she can ride an accurate test on, albeit with a few interesting moments. Both Suzy and Jenny's horses are likely to outscore Mary's on pretty much every single movement b/c that 10.5-ft stride thing, and the rest of the gaits package that come with it, are going to hurt you in dressage too. So, Mary says no big deal, I'll just ride for xx% to qualify for whatnot. Which gets frustrating when, in class after class, Mary manages to score xx-0.1 %. Is there a place in the dressage world for Mary and Flicka? Yes, but it's not going to be at a fancy show that also runs World-Cup-qualifying classes. And her trainer, who also has SuzyI and SuzyII as clients (along with a couple of FEI-level horses) isn't going to be going to the "lesser" venues.

Likewise, there is a place for Mary on local circuits (where they exist) in the HJ world.

RockinHorse
Jul. 7, 2009, 07:53 PM
You also remind me that an unearned victory is a hollow one.

I agree with you on this point mvp, however, this is what it appears people want to give to Mary by slicing and dicing the divisions up to the point where she will have to end up with a ribbon. Where is the fun in that? Personally, I would rather be somewhere in the midst of a good group, even if it was too far down to ribbon, than be the best of the worst.

Horseymama
Jul. 7, 2009, 07:53 PM
Ok, how will you define a Limit Rider or Horse. How about an 'Experienced' horse or rider?
With Ammie and Pro it's not all that hard to figure out what group you're in.
And there are a lot of abuses anyway. More definitions, more loopholes, more rule bending.
And the 21 yr old ugly QH can show against others of similar experience but just not at an A or AA rated show. So I'll ask you a question. Why do you need to be at a A or AA show with a horse that isn't competitive unless you are there just to have fun with no expectation of a prize? Why not a C show, Why not an unrated show? If you want to go to the Olympics it ain't happening just because you want to. Why is this so much different?
Oh yeah, I suspect you'll want some sort of a 4 way split at 2'6" also. So if we split enough then there will be less than 6 and 'Mary' will get a prize every time. How exciting for Mary! That's what you want, isn't it ? A guarantee of a prize no matter how bad Mary and/or the horse really are.

Note to Mary. Ditch your trainer.

It's already split 4 ways! And you can sit there and type that I-have-to-have-a-blue-ribbon-for-my-client-on-a-school-horse as many times as you like because you must feel the need to be rude and make some sort of an example of me. Even though I have said that neither she nor I care about the ribbons like ten times now. Yeah the horse would be more competitive at a schooling show. The AA show is here in our own home town. We live in a small town in the NW where the other closest AA horse show is 300 miles away. So I'm not going to to say no if she wants to go and have fun. And like I said, neither she nor I care about ribbons, I never have, I never will!

The problem with the ammy and pro thing is the rules are getting more and more complicated and detailed every year. The amateur rule is like a book now. Why do we need that complication? Is it really that necessary for our sport? From the prospective of an entry-level person coming into the sport, does it make sense? Ultimately don't we want to attract more people to our sport?

Your question about what makes a limit and experienced horse/rider are good ones. I don't know. Maybe my idea would too complicated as well. But maybe not. If people can stop criticizing me and think about truly improving our sport maybe we could get somewhere.

Schooling shows are great, if you have good one's near you. We do not at this time. We don't even have B or C shows near us. Please do not keep berating me because I want to take this woman to an AA show.

S A McKee
Jul. 7, 2009, 07:59 PM
[QUOTE=mvp;4219891]

I'm also the person who would beat Mary over and over because I have, thank God, have had the opportunity to learn to ride better than has the person with just 3 years or so under her belt. But that same long experience makes me unwilling to use up 8 of my horse's jumps when I know we won't have a chance. To be clear: I'm not demanding a blue. I am demanding a fair place to compete precisely so that I can balance my love of the sport with my ethical commitment to my horse.

But many others want to stay at their current level, but nevertheless would probably like to compete with peers.

But there's a limit to the size fences and quality of instruction you can get when you commit to life at the locals. When I was a young sprout in the 80s' you could find schooling shows that sometimes jacked 'em up to 3'6" or even a 4' mini-prix.

So I like the idea of sorting Maiden, Limit riders and pairing them with similar or different horses. Yes, it makes the prizelist longer, but I'm not sure same number of competitors divided up differently at a show would make the day longer. By the way, you good Old Skoolers on Whatever need to help out by getting to the in-gate on time since the Maidens on Maidens perhaps can't.

/QUOTE]

I'm not clear about what you mean about using up your horses' jumps.
If you mean you don't want to show if you'll get beat then you haven't been paying attention. Find an appropriate venue and accept that you can not win every time.

Yes, many do want to stay at their current level but that may be at 2'6" unrated sections.

Now you're complaining that the unrated's don't all have 4' classes. Seriously, are you showing 4' at the unrateds?

Still waiting for definitions on how you'd split classes. LOL

Oh and psst, it isn't the riders that are causing the in gate waits. It's mostly the trainers. Do you really show or are you (as I suspect) just making this up? Great imagination by the way!!

dogchushu
Jul. 7, 2009, 08:07 PM
You know, for every Mary out there disheartened and frustrated because she can't win at the AA shows, there's a "Jane" happily doing the local shows. Maybe winning some year end awards and feeling privileged to do so... not "condemned" at all.

There's also a "Susan" who was in the same situation as Jane a while back and has now built up her skills to take on a talented but less expensive young greenie and is putting in the time before that greenie is ready to do the bigger shows.

Then there's a "Diane" who is doing the shows with Jane and occasionally goes to the big shows for the experience and the fun of playing with the big boys (and getting great pictures). She's pleased as punch to have a nice round and not look out of place whether she gets a jog or not.

And there's "Beth" who got a cheap OTTB who may or may not pin depending on the ride and his mood that day, but she enjoys him and occassionally ventures outside the h/j ring to do a hunter trial, a dressage schooling show, maybe foxhunts a bit and just enjoys the privilege of being able to ride a horse she loves.

Finally, there's a "Cathy" who can't afford any more than weekly lessons and would love to be in Mary's shoes ribbons or not.

Sorry that "Mary" is disheartened, but she needs to grow a pair and find another trainer if hers isn't going to the shows more appropriate for her and her horse. She may have to shop around a bit to find a not so big, but still knowledgeable trainer. But she doesn't need Frank Madden to get her around a 2'6" course at a schooling show.

Coreene
Jul. 7, 2009, 08:13 PM
Amen!

ynl063w
Jul. 7, 2009, 08:14 PM
Even though I have said that neither she nor I care about the ribbons like ten times now.

If the above quote is true, then what exactly are you complaining about? I'm not being a smartass, I really don't understand what the problem is. There is a division for every height at these big shows, so go and have fun. Also, what part of the amateur rules do you find to be complicated?

Coreene
Jul. 7, 2009, 08:22 PM
There is no rule anywhere that says Mary Smith can't ride Flicka da Buckskin at The Very Biggest Shiniest AAAAA Shows Of All. The problem starts when Mary, Mary's Trainer and Mary's Online Friends start to cry because Flicka da Buckskin went home empty-handed - oh how cruel, life is unfair, let's start a Flicka da Buckskin Division so Mary, too, can ribbon!Quoting myself since I was the one who created Mary. Let's remember that Mary has nothing stopping her from riding at The Very Biggest Shiniest AAAAA Shows Of All. Nothing stopping her from having fun at TVBSASOA either.

Mary's horse may nor may not be Height Challenged, but if sow she can show in Maiden, Novice, Limit, Green Rider, Short Stirrup, 2'3", 2'6", Crossrail, Adult, Modified or Low A/Os. She's certainly got quite the selection.

But if she goes thinking Flicka da Buckskin is going to ribbon against Rox Strapless Popeye, who is to blame? Mary for being deluded? The trainer for not being straight with her? Or USEF and the show managers, who should now carve out a new division for Lesser Horses or Lesser Riders, so that Mary can have her fat ass packed around TVBSASOA and get a ribbon? Where do you draw the line?

Giddy-up
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:09 PM
But if she goes thinking Flicka da Buckskin is going to ribbon against Rox Strapless Popeye, who is to blame? Mary for being deluded? The trainer for not being straight with her? Or USEF and the show managers, who should now carve out a new division for Lesser Horses or Lesser Riders, so that Mary can have her fat ass packed around TVBSASOA and get a ribbon? Where do you draw the line?

Mary needs to get out her 2nd horse (the reiner BadAss whatever) then & hope to god the judges like him better than Flicka. :lol:

I have to agree--where does it become USEF's job to create so many divisions that when people go to show there are only 6 entries in every class so each rider gets a ribbon. Maybe horse shows should limit entries then? Sorry, 6 riders in that class--no more allowed this show.

And to be quite honest in answering the questions somebody posed earlier--I don't think USEF cares so much about the "little people". They are looking to build Olympic teams & the 2'6" adult hunter ring is not where they are out scouting. That's where USHJA is trying to step in with their "grass roots" program & encourage people attending the B & C rated shows with year end prizes & such. Which perhaps is where the Marys & Flickas need to be showing if they want to be competitive, not at the AAs where starting right of the box (short strided, not fancy, doesn't jump good) Flicka & Mary are already outclassed.

Lucassb
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:27 PM
(snip) Sure, she will get more bang for her buck at a local, but an AA show is big and pretty and exciting. And it gives her a goal to work towards. She should not be condemned to show local just because her horse isn't as fancy. Ultimately she doesn't care about the ribbons, she just wants the experience and fun of being at a big, fancy show. But it would still be nice if our sport could be made a little more fair.

Forgive me, but this is the crux of the problem. There are lots of "hardworking people" out there with "not very fancy horses" that want to play in the AA sandbox... because it's "big and pretty and exciting."

But the bottom line is - these people want to compete against those who are better skilled and better mounted - and "fairness" is defined as "they will get a prize" in that company. It's just not realistic.


I AM thinking globally, because there are many average people out there with average horses that would like to take part in this sport at the AA level and have some success.

There are objective reasons why that AA show is bigger and prettier and more exciting than the local shows where the horses aren't as fancy and the riders aren't as polished. To suggest that it is somehow an issue of fairness that the hard working folks with the average/non typey horses don't prevail there over the nicer/fancier entries is to miss the point that quality matters at the AA levels.

If the average person on the average horse could win at the AA level... there would be nothing so special about the AA's to aspire to; there would be nothing "bigger" or fancier about them.

That is not to say that really nice horses can't be made up from scratch or that riders of average means cannot work hard to become beautiful, polished riders capable of competing at the AA level. But the beginner rider in your example, with the non-typey plain dun who can't find 8 jumps doesn't deserve to beat someone on that beautiful WB who nails the distances and looks polished doing it. Sorry, but that's life.

Whisper
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:36 PM
Zippo Badass is in a non-rated (or equivalently low) division, too, so I don't see how she'd be in any different situation than with Flicka. I do think that if either trainer convinces her that she can win at the higher levels with either horse, when they know that isn't they case, they're essentially committing fraud.

Instead, before she bought either Badass or Flicka, the trainer should discuss what realistic goals and expectations are for her and the horse. If she won't listen to reason, that's her fault.

Mary's got champagne tastes on a beer budget. She'd better either get a different horse with potential but no H/J rated show experience and hope and pray it turns into what she wants, while paying out the money for training, or find a trainer who is focused on the lower-rated or schooling shows, or go back to school to qualify for a job that will let her earn more, or whatever.

This particular month I can't ride much for various reasons, but before that, I was riding 2-4 horses per day, 4-5 days a week, for free. None of them are fancy AA-H/J types, but a couple of them could be shown at schooling shows or C rated shows in various low divisions, and I could have fun and probably place decently, depending on the competition. If I wanted to show at AA shows, it wouldn't make any sense to spend the money to take one of them, for the unrated divisions, and they would not do well in the 3' Adult Ammies (assuming I was riding well enough to show at that level - I've schooled that high occasionally).

Horseymama, if she wants to be part of the pageantry of a AA show, she can show in one of the unrated divisions, but she's really wasting her money by doing so, when she could easily get the milage at a schooling show or lesser rated show with much lower expenses. Once she's no longer a beginner, and she can afford to buy a nicer horse, or lease or part-lease one, or is good enough to get a catchride on one, then she can start spending the big bucks on AA rated shows. There are some pretty nice horses with experience at A and AA rated H/J shows who can be part-leased quite inexpensively, if you are in the same barn/program with the trainer. You may need to ride long enough with them for them to feel you're good enough and can be trusted with such a nice horse, but it doesn't take hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the meantime, she should catch ride anything she's safe to do so on, learn as much as she can about horsemanship, and develop a reputation as someone who is reliable and safety minded. Heck, if *I* can get all these free horses to ride, as an advanced beginner/beginning intermediate, someone with the talent to actually do well in the 3'6" hunters with a fancy horse ought to have more offers of horses to ride than they have time for!

For that matter, the last horse I leased can jump 3', but not in Hunter style. I did show him at 2'6" in a Hunter Pace, and with more work on my part, we could have gotten around a course of 3' fences, but probably wouldn't win in fancy company in the Hunters. My trainer (his owner) wouldn't have claimed otherwise. So, if I were that determined to show at a AA show at that height, and riding well enough to do so reasonably, it would make more sense to aim for the equitation or jumper divisions. We might still not win, but at least, we wouldn't be obviously unqualified. It's smart to be aware of our and our horses' strengths and weaknesses. It's *totally* unrealistic to expect to win the first time out in *any* discipline the first time out after a move up (in either difficulty or quality of the competition), as Trixie noted. Her trainer was really doing her a disservice by fostering those unrealistic expectations. Even if she had a super fancy horse, the best one in the class, nerves, figuring out the new environment can throw them off their stride. The atmosphere at such a big show is different from a little schooling show.

Moesha
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:48 PM
For all the three foot queens who work hard and deny a place in the AA world for the Mary's...when I was a kid there was no place for the 3' queens, so times changed. Somewhere along the line, someone thought the ladies who could only afford a 3' horse/could only jump 3' without becoming a lawn dart should be able to attend nice shows held at nice facilities. Now you wish to deny the same opportunity to others. BAD BAD ladies who want to experience something a little classier than the dusty local show with no amenities and vendors. So they don't ride as well as you! In 1970 you had no place at the Motor City show or Chagrin Falls or Upperville, but you wanted a place. Yes, the rock started rolling down hill and now we have cross rail divisions.

The fact is that if you love horses and you have money and want a nice facility, you are easily taken advantage of. Newbies don't even know what questions to ask. Have none of you ever been ripped off by a car repairman? Do we blame the poor lady who gets ripped off on a brake job because she doesn't know new brakes from worn out brakes? No, we blame the mechanic for taking advantage of her. Mary can't even walk a distance, let alone know her horse is short strided until some one teaches her! Really, raise your hand if you were born with that knowledge.

What??

Moesha
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:56 PM
You know, for every Mary out there disheartened and frustrated because she can't win at the AA shows, there's a "Jane" happily doing the local shows. Maybe winning some year end awards and feeling privileged to do so... not "condemned" at all.

There's also a "Susan" who was in the same situation as Jane a while back and has now built up her skills to take on a talented but less expensive young greenie and is putting in the time before that greenie is ready to do the bigger shows.

Then there's a "Diane" who is doing the shows with Jane and occasionally goes to the big shows for the experience and the fun of playing with the big boys (and getting great pictures). She's pleased as punch to have a nice round and not look out of place whether she gets a jog or not.

And there's "Beth" who got a cheap OTTB who may or may not pin depending on the ride and his mood that day, but she enjoys him and occassionally ventures outside the h/j ring to do a hunter trial, a dressage schooling show, maybe foxhunts a bit and just enjoys the privilege of being able to ride a horse she loves.

Finally, there's a "Cathy" who can't afford any more than weekly lessons and would love to be in Mary's shoes ribbons or not.

Sorry that "Mary" is disheartened, but she needs to grow a pair and find another trainer if hers isn't going to the shows more appropriate for her and her horse. She may have to shop around a bit to find a not so big, but still knowledgeable trainer. But she doesn't need Frank Madden to get her around a 2'6" course at a schooling show.


Great post....The suggestions and the ideas are just not based in reality...seriously...it just makes me wonder in some of the posts..not all...or even ones that I have questioned or disagreed with...if people actually are showing...seriously....don't people know that there are generally 8 jogs...maybe 10 with and only 8 ribbons and only points for 1-6..usually the A/A hunters as an example.....ok..there are many times 3 splits in age and on average 30 per section that means most people are not going to place.....ok....and many times champion will have one one class and gotten another ribbon...especially with tough competition...but that doesn't mean that there is more than one Mary in there....so for who are these ideas for? Seriously?? it just seems like creating a problem out of nothing...are we supposed standards? make everything a merit award system? Seriously....how can people talk about making better horseman and how awful it is to have less than 3' at A shows for horses.......and yet seem to be coming up with something that makes no sense and truly dumbs down things??

Go Fish
Jul. 7, 2009, 09:56 PM
A previous thread advocated that we add divisions at AA shows so Mary could be competitive. Now this thread asking that we tell the winners to move out of the division so Mary can be competitive. What's next? Let Mary have her own private division so she won't have to compete against anyone at all?

Horseymama
Jul. 7, 2009, 10:21 PM
If the above quote is true, then what exactly are you complaining about? I'm not being a smartass, I really don't understand what the problem is. There is a division for every height at these big shows, so go and have fun. Also, what part of the amateur rules do you find to be complicated?

My complaint is the amateur/professional distinction. I don't like it, I never have. I think it breeds exclusivity. I also hate how the word "amateur" is used as if it were something negative, as in: "She rides like such an amateur." In no other sport that I know of are the rules to be an amateur so wordy. I don't understand why. I think it could discourage new people from this sport. I don't think that is good for our sport.

I appreciate your question and the fact that your not being a smartass! I think it is good for us to discuss our sport and the rules and where we are going in the future. The fact is, people read this discussion board. Discussion is healthy. But it gets tiring when I get attacked. I brought up the case of my client with the old QH because I think there are a lot of people our there like her that would want to join our sport. I was simply explaining her case to see if there could be a place for her at a bigger show. Most people think there is not, which is fine, she's going anyway, and I'm sure she will have a blast!

Thanks for the suggestion, Whisper, about leasing a horse. I think that is a great option if she decides to go further in this sport. But I think she will probably just take lessons and go to 1 or 2 locals and our big hometown AA show each year. She can't afford to do more. This is a very expensive sport. But WE have made it so. I would love to see more people get involved because I love horses and the camaraderie and partnership it takes to ride and train a horse to jump around eight jumps at a nice show in the hunter or jumper ring. It doesn't have to be quite as expensive as it is. But in order to fix that, it requires that people start thinking much differently about how our sport is structured.

So I ask the people on this board, what would happen if we threw out amateurs and professionals? If we threw out all the divisions we currently have and instead made divisions and classes based on horse and rider experience? What would that look like? Would it make our sport more accessible? Would it promote better horsemanship? Why or why not?

Trixie
Jul. 7, 2009, 10:42 PM
And like I said, neither she nor I care about ribbons, I never have, I never will!

Then what, pray tell, was the problem?


You also remind me that an unearned victory is a hollow one.

Making seventeen extra divisions so that Inexperienced Mary on her unsuitable horse can win a ribbon at the pretty show is PRECISELY a hollow victory.



I am demanding a fair place to compete precisely so that I can balance my love of the sport with my ethical commitment to my horse.

Umm… you have one. If someone decides to act unethically, that’s because they’re unethical, not because the horse shows “made” them do anything. If you don’t have a chance, there’s probably an appropriate venue where you DO have a chance. But dumbing down a venue that is out of your capability is not the answer.



When I was a young sprout in the 80s' you could find schooling shows that sometimes jacked 'em up to 3'6" or even a 4' mini-prix. But those shows aren't around in most parts of the country, at least as far as I can tell.

You know, it’s interesting. I’m an amateur rider, and I do not own a horse. After a few years doing 3’ on him I wanted to jump higher, but I cannot afford the exorbitant costs of showing at “A” shows and I also do not own him, so I don’t qualify for the A/Os anyway. I expressed some minor frustration with this problem and I found that several local show managers were EXTREMELY accommodating - one changed the “working” division at an associate show so there was a 3’6” option, another offered to let me do my courses at 3’6” for experience if I would just patronize her horse shows and pay my bill. I think the horse show world needs more managers like this - they’re WILLING to restructure if it brings in clientele.

Danceronice, frankly, your posts are disheartening. If you think it’s that unfair, you’re absolutely right: WHY BOTHER? You won’t get anything out of it anyway. And this is supposed to be fun.

Personally, I’m with dags here. I don’t see WHY everyone has to win the first time out, the first year, or constantly in order to enjoy showing. For me, it’s a PROCESS every bit as much as it is a result, and I’m excited to be there. Most people are not nearly as lucky as we are.

3Dogs
Jul. 7, 2009, 10:44 PM
My complaint is the amateur/professional distinction. I don't like it, I never have. I think it breeds exclusivity. I also hate how the word "amateur" is used as if it were something negative, as in: "She rides like such an amateur." In no other sport that I know of are the rules to be an amateur so wordy. I don't understand why. I think it could discourage new people from this sport. I don't think that is good for our sport.

I appreciate your question and the fact that your not being a smartass! I think it is good for us to discuss our sport and the rules and where we are going in the future. The fact is, people read this discussion board. Discussion is healthy. But it gets tiring when I get attacked. I brought up the case of my client with the old QH because I think there are a lot of people our there like her that would want to join our sport. I was simply explaining her case to see if there could be a place for her at a bigger show. Most people think there is not, which is fine, she's going anyway, and I'm sure she will have a blast!

Thanks for the suggestion, Whisper, about leasing a horse. I think that is a great option if she decides to go further in this sport. But I think she will probably just take lessons and go to 1 or 2 locals and our big hometown AA show each year. She can't afford to do more. This is a very expensive sport. But WE have made it so. I would love to see more people get involved because I love horses and the camaraderie and partnership it takes to ride and train a horse to jump around eight jumps at a nice show in the hunter or jumper ring. It doesn't have to be quite as expensive as it is. But in order to fix that, it requires that people start thinking much differently about how our sport is structured.

So I ask the people on this board, what would happen if we threw out amateurs and professionals? If we threw out all the divisions we currently have and instead made divisions and classes based on horse and rider experience? What would that look like? Would it make our sport more accessible? Would it promote better horsemanship? Why or why not?

Well HEY - I have long advocated that we have handicaps! Me - working stiff, can only ride a few days a week, older (much!:) ), arthritic, bad eyesight, dang, I not only should get a 30 point handicap, but a DROP fence! :yes:

ps: dogchushu - great post!

Coreene
Jul. 7, 2009, 11:13 PM
With all the choices offered for Mary and those of her ilk, I am still mystified when I see people saying there's nothing for Mary to ride in at an A show. There are plenty of things. The problem again seems to be that there is nothing for Mary to win at an A show. Here's a hint: if you have 50 classes with 10 in each class, that means 450 rides that aren't winning.

Horseymama
Jul. 7, 2009, 11:20 PM
Well HEY - I have long advocated that we have handicaps! Me - working stiff, can only ride a few days a week, older (much!:) ), arthritic, bad eyesight, dang, I not only should get a 30 point handicap, but a DROP fence! :yes:

ps: dogchushu - great post!

Now that's an idea! :)

Coreene
Jul. 7, 2009, 11:22 PM
What's the unplanned dismount then, a mulligan? :lol:

Ghazzu
Jul. 8, 2009, 12:39 AM
I like option #3 myself :cool:

Another vote for option #3.

S A McKee
Jul. 8, 2009, 07:41 AM
So I ask the people on this board, what would happen if we threw out amateurs and professionals? If we threw out all the divisions we currently have and instead made divisions and classes based on horse and rider experience? What would that look like? Would it make our sport more accessible? Would it promote better horsemanship? Why or why not?

We already HAVE divisions based on the horse's experiece, PreGreen, 1st year, 2nd year at the rated level. At the unrated level ( and held at rated shows) there must be 15 versions of Baby Green, Infant Hunter etc.

There isn't a single division that is open to Pro's only.

Aren't you aware of any of these divisions?

There are lots of unrated sections with serious experience limits. All the unrated modified adults, long stirrup,pre adult etc.

Better horsemanship? No. You need a clear distinction about who is the trainer and who is the student. There are lots of threads complaining about Junior riders acting as a coach or trainer when they are only 14-15 years old.

And a trainer without professional insurance is asking for a problem. You just encourage that with no distinction between the two groups.

So the next thing would be threads complaining about xrail riders teaching at a show. USHJA is doing a trainer certification program. It's for Pro's and there is a reason for that.

You do a lot of 'get rid of it all' but don't have much to suggest to replace any of the current structure.

slp
Jul. 8, 2009, 08:01 AM
Finally, I agree that forcing the untalented horse, that "square peg" into the round hole of AA shows is not fair and unwise. But the round hole was much bigger and more welcoming to variously-shaped horses a generation ago. That's a big part of my point. It's very hard and precarious to be your average show horse today. The acceptable margin of error for these animals seems just too slim for many to remain cherished, well cared-for show horses.

A generation ago the fence height at the A and AA shows started at 3'6", if you competed at a lower level there were no classes available to the rider. Maybe the simplest solution would be to take the 3' and under classes back to the local levels and not offer them at the big shows? But we know that would never happen because the 3' and under classes are the bread and butter for the show's bottom line.
Currently at Horse Shows by the Bay (a AA show here in Michigan) there are EIGHT divisions (not taking into account the age split classes) available to adults that are 3' and lower, plus a couple of medal classes. Each of these divisions has close to 20 entries though, so there will be at least 14 people (12 if they give ribbons through 8th place) that will leave each class empty handed. Why in the world should there be more divisions, or more restrictions on classes so Mary can get a ribbon?

Giddy-up
Jul. 8, 2009, 08:50 AM
So I ask the people on this board, what would happen if we threw out amateurs and professionals? If we threw out all the divisions we currently have and instead made divisions and classes based on horse and rider experience? What would that look like? Would it make our sport more accessible? Would it promote better horsemanship? Why or why not?

I think you'd have less of the true amateur riders showing. Why am I going to show against people who can ride & teach all day long while I work at my desk 40 hours? My previous experience is what screws me. I can't take it away, I can't un-do it, I can't pretend I don't know what I know. I can't help as a junior I got 3'6" mileage that now benefits me 15 years later as an adult in the 3' ring. I can't ride like I used to, but I do ride smarter now & that just comes from years of experience & time in the tack.

Ajierene
Jul. 8, 2009, 09:50 AM
So I ask the people on this board, what would happen if we threw out amateurs and professionals? If we threw out all the divisions we currently have and instead made divisions and classes based on horse and rider experience? What would that look like? Would it make our sport more accessible? Would it promote better horsemanship? Why or why not?

AT the local county fair there is a huge 4H show that has a multitude of divisions, some only open to 4H kids. Everything from pre-green hunter, short stirrup to open hunter, open equitation. Everything is horse or rider experience based.

In comes this little girl on her fancy welsh pony with her personal trainer. Starts cleaning up at the lower levels in the beginning of the day. Later in the day, she stops pinning. Mom throws a hissy fit, girl starts cleaning up again. There is this little girl on her fancy pony taking all the blue ribbons in everything from pre-green (first year of showing) and short stirrup (11 or 13 and under-can't remember which) to open hunter (very seasoned) and open equitation (very seasoned). She was taking them from little 4H kids who get this one show per year most of the time.

Make whatever you want, someone is bound to come in and do something someone else thinks is unfair. I have no idea if it was that pony's first year in showing and VERY likely was NOT, but due to the nature of the show, it is up to the integrity of the person to be honest with their horse's experience and a horse in his first year of showing can show open hunter if he wants, but open hunter horses are not allowed in pre-green....but this girl did it.

So, change the rules and there will be a thread about a green horse with an amateur riding thinking it unfair that they have to show against a pro on a similarly green horse.

Janet
Jul. 8, 2009, 09:59 AM
So I ask the people on this board, what would happen if we threw out amateurs and professionals? If we threw out all the divisions we currently have and instead made divisions and classes based on horse and rider experience? What would that look like? Would it make our sport more accessible? Would it promote better horsemanship? Why or why not?
You would have a situation similar to the one in eventing. which has its own pros and cons. Less obsessing about amateur status, and most people are OK about competing against Olympians on green horses in the "Horse" division (horse may not have completed an event above the level) as long as there is a "Rider" division (rider has not completed more than two Horse Trials at the next highest level or higher in the previous 24 months).

But it has its own inequities. For instance, for various reasons, I have only completed one recognized HT in the past 24 months. So even though I have been competing at the Training level for literally decades, I am currently eligible for Beginner Novice Rider (which is mostly riders in their first couple of years of eventing). I won't intentionally enter BNR, but, since I am eligible, the secretary might put me there.

Whisper
Jul. 8, 2009, 06:33 PM
Thanks for the suggestion, Whisper, about leasing a horse. I think that is a great option if she decides to go further in this sport. But I think she will probably just take lessons and go to 1 or 2 locals and our big hometown AA show each year.
Nothing wrong with that. :) I'm just saying there are lots of options with horses, even H/J, for people who are on a budget. In that case, though, it doesn't make much sense to go for the big/pricey shows. Like Coreen said, even at the AA rated shows, there are plenty of divisions she is allowed to ride in, but she may or may not be competitive.



So I ask the people on this board, what would happen if we threw out amateurs and professionals? If we threw out all the divisions we currently have and instead made divisions and classes based on horse and rider experience? What would that look like? Would it make our sport more accessible? Would it promote better horsemanship? Why or why not?
Like Janet said, and I mentioned earlier in the thread, eventing has similar divisions, and it seems to work ok. However, at the secretary's discretion, people can be put in divisions that they aren't really suited to, or can be combined in an open division, depending on the number of entries. Even so, and even with a fancy horse, the upper levels take a *LOT* of money to campaign, train, and maintain a horse at. I also do vaulting, which has periodic tests at each level. Once you pass the test, you pretty much must move up to the next level - you can opt to show higher, but not lower. So, it sounds fair in theory, but then you have 40-someting moms who get back into it with their kids, who can't show except in the "participation/comments only" classes. They're not as flexible as they were 20 or 30 years ago, but they aren't allowed to move back down and compete against people at their current level. Barrel racing has divisions based on how fast the horse can do the pattern, so everyone competes on a fairly level playing field. Most breed shows only have junior, AOTR, and open classes (or maybe Academy classes for lesson kids), or split by horse age, rather than by experience. I don't think there's one perfect way to create divisions in any discipline, and don't see anything wrong with the current H/J setup. It really is very inclusive, at all levels of riders and horses - pretty much every show has something for everyone, even if they won't win, they can at least get around. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If you really want a "maiden/limit open 3' class" or at a show, you could approach the organizers and offer to sponsor it! It would be an unrated class, and I have no idea whether or not it would fill. If you want a class for honies, again, you can offer to sponsor one.