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View Full Version : Was this fair??



Buglet
Aug. 3, 2009, 09:33 AM
I was at an a-rated show this past weekend, and in my hunter flat class I had another horse constantly on my mares butt. At one point I heard the persons trainer yell at them for running up on other horses. The second time they ran up on us, they were sooo close that I probably could have turned around and touched them. I couldn't circle out cause they were slightly to my inside and I would have hit them. Instead of going to the inside of me and pass, they continued to ride my horse's butt. The trainer (who was standing pretty close to the judges stand) yelled at her again for doing it, but she didn't back off. My red headed mare had decided that she had had enough and kicked out. This was directly in front of the judge. There was only 8 of us so there was plenty of room. My mare normally pins in the top 2 in the flat class. The judge pinned us almost last. He pinned a horse that was visably lame over us. Is this fair? I realize that manners count, but the other rider clearly was riding my horse's butt sooo bad and he pinned her over me.

JumpWithPanache
Aug. 3, 2009, 09:39 AM
Despite the rudeness and lack of horsemanship, it probably would have been wise to circle away from the rider on your butt rather than letting the situation escalate. Also, after the first instance I would definitely keep a hawk eye on her and prevent the situation from happening a second time.

Lucassb
Aug. 3, 2009, 09:41 AM
The judge may have felt that you did not take any action to get away from the other horse and therefore put your horse in a position that was unsafe - ie, kicking out at the other horse. As you say, manners do count.

Part of showing, particularly on the flat, is about awareness of where you are in the ring and being able to maneuver away from trouble. It's unfortunate that another exhibitor made it difficult for you, but that's showing sometimes.

zahena
Aug. 3, 2009, 09:53 AM
This is a tough one for me. I have a mare who kicks and I wanted to put a red ribbon in her tail for her flat classes but I was told that it would cloud the judge's opinion of her. My girl wound up in a similar situation only there were like 20 horses in that class. The girl ran up on our mare twice, and the mare finally not only kicked her but backed up to do it.

While it does suck it made lose the class, I'm betting that the girl will never do that again. Next time, I'd circle in front of her and cut her off. Just my personal opinion.......

Rye
Aug. 3, 2009, 09:54 AM
1. Life is not fair.
2. Also, with only 8 in the ring, you should have been able to get away from this person.

huntjump29
Aug. 3, 2009, 09:58 AM
Is this fair?

Yes

Your mare kicked out, which is not a desirable trait in a hunter. Does it suck that the girl kept running up your horse's butt, yes. The judge would consider it your fault if you had room to get away from her.

MrWinston
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:20 AM
A horse kicking in a hunter under saddle class is like taking a rail down in a hunter over fences class. It should eliminate that horse from the ribbons. I have lots of sympathy for you because I rode a mare for years who could easily win the hacks but was not tolerant of other horses close to her. I grew eyes in the back of my head and always knew where we were relative to the other horses. You have to spot the horses that you know will be gallumphing along on the forehand and passing close to you also. You need to have them on the other side of the ring from you, right from the time you walk in.

Trixie
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:22 AM
Is this fair? I realize that manners count, but the other rider clearly was riding my horse's butt sooo bad and he pinned her over me.

Yes, it's fair.

When they're out hunting there isn't always going to be space. A horse that kicks another can be quite a liability. While it sucks and she's ill-mannered, your horse still acted poorly.

horsegirl123
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:30 AM
This happens all the time in flat classes. While it is not fair it is up to you to be aware of your surroundings especially if you know your horse will kick. You must place your horse so as to not get blocked in and you have a way to manuever around traffic. I have preached this time and time again to my girls and is a pet peeve of mine. I'm not trying to be harsh but I feel it is like getting behind the wheel. In the judge's defense she may not have seen what happened other than your horse kicking out. Yes it was a small class but she may have been looking the other direction. Unless you know for sure it would be hard to pass judgement. Good luck next time.

hoopoe
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:38 AM
this is where the leg yield comes in handy. A gradual leg yield would have got you away from the rider without any dire consequence.

Sounds like you need to focus on developing some ring craft

Bearhunter
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:42 AM
I am guessing with only 8 in the ring, you probably could have gotten away from her (ie. cut the end of the ring if circling was not an option.) In such a small hack class, it would be easy to see what was going on and a decent judge would most likely reward you for moving away from a potentially dangerous situation.

GallopGirl
Aug. 3, 2009, 10:46 AM
Was it fair? No.

Was the judge right to place the class the way s/he did? Yes.

I was in a hack yesterday in 15 horses and had two people do that to me. After we were out of ear shot from the judge, I turned to them and not very nicely said, "DO NOT ride up on my horse like that". Both were shocked and circled. I went up to both afterwards that it was both poor form and bad sportsmanship to do that to anyone during a flat class. Both apologized and said they shouldn't have done it. I could have been nicer during the class, but it got the job done. It's your job to look out for your horse. You either slow down and circle, stay away from that horse in the first place, go up the quarter line, or in my case where I was pinned on the rail... you tell the rider to back off.

Buglet
Aug. 3, 2009, 11:00 AM
It was pretty much impossible for me to have circled out at that particular point. The other horse was on my inside and his head was past my mare's flank. I was clearly aware of my surroundings, she had cut the corner. Because of the jumps and other rider, I was left with no where to go but straight. I guess I just assumed that she would have circled instead of practically running into someone else. I've been showing for close to 15 years, so I'm pretty sure that I know proper ring etiquette and how to properly/safely flat my horse. My mare has never acted out before and is usually very tolerant of other horses getting a little close, I guess she had just had enough. A friend said she thought the other horse nipped her on the bum.

snaffle635
Aug. 3, 2009, 11:05 AM
Where did the judge pin the person who ran up on your horse's butt?

mvp
Aug. 3, 2009, 11:11 AM
What do you wish the judging outcome had been?

While I agree the poor ride from others wasn't fair, what could the judge do about that? I can't imagine ignoring a horse kicking out at another, regardless of the circumstances. After all, the U/S is supposed to demonstrate the beautiful manners (as well of movement) of the horse you'd ride with a bunch of drunk people on a Sunday.

I also agree with other posters. While you may not have been able to circle before the kick, you probably knew your mare was getting riled. If that took a few laps, you need to do something to find some space earlier. If your mare's temper goes from zero to 60 in a flash, then the class was, in fact, pinned as it should have been.

Montanas_Girl
Aug. 3, 2009, 11:17 AM
Regardless of the reason, a horse that kicks goes to the bottom of the class. That's just the way it is. Beyond the "manners" requirement in the class specs, a horse that kicks is a MAJOR safety issue in the show ring.

How long was this girl on your horse's hip? I have a hard time believing that you couldn't get a spot by yourself in an eight horse class. When there is no room to circle, you still have options like lengthening or shortening your horse's stride briefly to make more space, waiting an extra couple of seconds to ask for a transition until you are out of the pack, etc. There are always options for getting out of a jam. While a slow transition might drop you down in the placings in a very competitive class, it is a better option than putting another horse/rider in danger. JMHO.

ExJumper
Aug. 3, 2009, 11:19 AM
It was pretty much impossible for me to have circled out at that particular point. The other horse was on my inside and his head was past my mare's flank. I was clearly aware of my surroundings, she had cut the corner, but because of the jumps and other rider, I was left with no where to go but straight. I guess I just assumed that she would have circled instead of practically running into someone else. I've been showing for close to 15 years, so I'm pretty sure that I know proper ring etiquette and how to properly/safely flat my horse. My mare has never acted out before and is usually very tolerant of other horses getting a little close, I guess she had just had enough. A friend said she thought the other horse nipped her on the bum.

The judge did the correct thing. It is up to YOU to stay clear of other horses. You can never trust someone else to do it for you. If you get cut off, it's your fault. If you get run up on, it's your fault. It certainly wasn't NICE of the other person, but the judge didn't really have a choice.

You indicate that it was the "second time" that the horse ran up on you that your horse kicked. With only 8 in the ring, you should have made sure that there was no "second time." ESPECIALLY if you could tell that this rider was a butt-runner-upper sort of rider.

And in the situation you just described (in your second post, the one I quoted here), if I had let things get that far so that I was stuck in that manner I would have tried to fall back behind the other horse by rating my speed a bit. Once they had gotten far enough ahead of me I would have circled or ridden up the quarter line and reestablished my pace. Sure, slowing down isn't great, but it would have been better than letting your horse kick out at the other horse.

It sucks, but you can't really blame anyone -- ESPECIALLY not the judge. You'll never place in the top of a hack class if your horse kicks out -- no matter WHAT the reason.


Edited to add: apparently Montana's Girl and I would have done the same thing :)

jetsmom
Aug. 3, 2009, 11:30 AM
When you enter the ring, you should be spacing yourself out away from other horses. Then stay alert for where horses are in the ring. You can always cut a corner early or cut across the ring to keep away from others. You should be able to tell if someone is gaining on you, and change your path to avoid the situation you describe. That's all part of being successful in flat classes.

The judge was correct. A horse that kicks is normally not pinned.

findeight
Aug. 3, 2009, 11:45 AM
I had another horse constantly on my mares butt. The second time they ran up on us...Instead of going to the inside of me and pass, they continued to ride my horse's butt... My red headed mare had decided that she had had enough and kicked out. This was directly in front of the judge. There was only 8 of us so there was plenty of room. My mare normally pins in the top 2 in the flat class. The judge pinned us almost last.


PULLLLLEEEZE. You later stated there was no room for you to move but here you state there was plenty of room for her to pass? And she ran up your butt more then once?? In a class of EIGHT???

Yeah, you can get caught like this sometimes, ONCE. The judge would have clearly heard me tell her to back off, speaking up is not against any rule, you need to call it just like a fence sometimes...like "I am inside you" or " Outside, don't cut me off" or here "don't run up on me". Or you could have SPED UP a little given the circumstances???

Staying OFF the rail, like down the quarter line if the jumps allow it as well as constantly monitering the position of others works a whole lot better then pasting yourself to the rail and expecting others to go around you-especially if the horse is faster then yours...and you CAN circle between jumps if needed.

And, that red headed mare remark? Are we to assume avoidance of all red headed mares is a given because they are all bad mannered idiots with tempers? ALL horses will kick if we put them in a situation where they have to defend themselves.

In any show, you have to assume you will share that ring with others who are nervous, may be having horse problems or are simply very novice riders who are clueless. You have to ride defensively and not put you or your horse pasted to that rail and just expect others to stay away from you.

So, yeah, it was fair. Kicking is bad manners and you were in a position to avoid it if it happened at least TWICE in this tiny class.

Why you are concerned over who was 6th, 7th and 8th in a small class of eight-"beating" you- escapes me.

touchstone-
Aug. 3, 2009, 11:53 AM
This sounds like a situation in which a little polite verbal cue would have been wise. I've been known to call out an "excuse me," "heads up," or "my horse kicks" when someone traps me like that. Obviously, if a judge hears you, they may count it against you. But I'd rather that than be pinned against the rail when the kicking match begins.

findeight
Aug. 3, 2009, 12:19 PM
Obviously, if a judge hears you, they may count it against you.

I have asked judges about this and not a one said they would deduct for it. Plus I have done the calling and still won or pinned very high. On the contrary, if another rider is going to put you in a dangerous position or flat run into you, they expect you to call it. Pure self defence, proper response on the hunt field and the proper thing to do anywhere.

On rereading a little, OP said that other horse was running into her mare's butt but then said other horse's head was at her flank??? I would have slowed down and let her shoot on past if I was oblivious enough to get caught like that a second time.

Having been in huge flat classes over many years both USEF Open and breed shows, I know that crowding occurs and there may not always be a way to avoid it and all of my horses have been schooled to accept that they might get crowded and are still expected to behave. I make no excuses for bad horse behavior from a show horse that needs to accept close contact with other horses.

dghunter
Aug. 3, 2009, 12:32 PM
I had this happen to me twice in one class. The class was huge-over 30 horses and the ring was small. My horse is normally fine with others crowding him but is terrified of ponies :rolleyes: The first time I was sandwiched between two horses so not a whole lot of options and the pony ran up behind us. No real way to get him used to ponies as we don't have any in our barn and when we show in our normal division there aren't any ponies.

In other words, I know how you feel but the judge did the right thing.

Buglet
Aug. 3, 2009, 12:36 PM
Thanks guys. Really wasn't looking to get told that I apparently suck.
I was just curious if the very visably lame horse and the not under control horse deserved to pin higher to mine.
I always try to find my "own" space in the flat class and not invade anyone else's, stupid me for assuming everyone else should do the same. I'll know better next time.

Trixie
Aug. 3, 2009, 12:42 PM
Thanks guys. Really wasn't looking to get told that I apparently suck.

I don't think anyone said that you "suck" - only that you made a mistake in a bad situation.


I was just curious if the very visably lame horse and the not under control horse deserved to pin higher to mine.

If your horse was kicking, he was not under control either.


I always try to find my "own" space in the flat class and not invade anyone else's, stupid me for assuming everyone else should do the same. I'll know better next time.

They should... but they won't. Just like the guy going 25 mph over the speed limit may well not stop at the four way stop. Plan ahead for that so you don't get hurt or into another bad situation.

RugBug
Aug. 3, 2009, 12:42 PM
If you couldn't circle, you had two other options to make some space so you COULD circle: speeding up or slowing down (lengthen or collect). It sounds like you chose to do nothing and you placed accordingly.

I've actually been given the evil eye before by a trainer. It cracked me up because it was a smallish ring, with a number of horses, but there was at least a horse's length between me and her horse. If that upset her horse, too damn bad. Her evil eye meant nothing to me. If she would've said something, I would've told her to suck it up. :lol: I wasn't close enough for my horse to be in danger of being kicked, so what's the issue? She wants more room, she better make it instead of expecting me to kow-tow to her.

BTW, she ended up winning so it wasn't an issue at all.

EqQueen
Aug. 3, 2009, 01:14 PM
It's one flat class, I'm sure you will compete in more. I'm sure we've all had our fair share of flat classes we should have won and didn't an I'm sure we've all been cut off, run up on, etc. Not everyone plays by the same rules once you step into the ring, like driving, you can't expect everyone to be driving correctly and just worry about yourself, that's why accidents occur. I've learned to ride the hack defensively, if there's alot in the class, ride the inside track all the way around. In big eq flats I want to be noticed and I won't if I'm squished on the rail with everyone else and my horse gets goofy if he feels overcrowded, he might try to run off or buck, simply things that would hinder my performance not endanger others. Be defensive and you're paying for the judges opinion of your riding and he/she is saying you didn't ride the situation correctly.

findeight
Aug. 3, 2009, 01:30 PM
Be defensive and you're paying for the judges opinion of your riding and he/she is saying you didn't ride the situation correctly.

Er, no, this was a Hack class. The judge has to consider manners as a big part of the score, especially in a Non Pro class. The horse kicked which is unacceptable regardless of cause. Niether of these two won the class anyway, the other rider took her horse out of contention by failure to regulate speed and position so it looked too quick at best and disobediant at worst...but it didn't kick so placed above the kicker in this small class.

Rider mistake in allowing the horse to be positioned where this was a likely result. Just a mistake that she will not make again. Live and learn, move on.

SillyHorse
Aug. 3, 2009, 01:35 PM
PULLLLLEEEZE. You later stated there was no room for you to move but here you state there was plenty of room for her to pass?
What part don't you understand? The other person had Buglet pinned on the rail. The other person was on Buglet's inside, with her horse's head past Buglet's horse's flank. Where do you suggest Buglet should have moved to?

MintHillFarm
Aug. 3, 2009, 01:42 PM
I can see you being down in the order, but not below the one that was lame.
However, how did you know there was a horse that appeared to be off? Not sure how you could have watched that one while riding your own, so I am curious.

There were only 8 riders in the arena. It appears you could have more experience than the one that rode up on you... so you should have made the move to either slow down or when the class as a whole was called to walk, move somewhere else. Navigation in a group is part of the class...

It is really hard to say on the pinning without watching the whole class from where the judge sat.

And a comment on what findeight said, I too have no problem with a rider calling for a position on or off the rail, especially to avoid a problem, that to me is smart.

touchstone-
Aug. 3, 2009, 01:45 PM
I was just curious if the very visably lame horse and the not under control horse deserved to pin higher to mine.

I don't think the judge should have used the lame horse at all. But it seems reasonable to put the kicker below the unruly one.

Rye
Aug. 3, 2009, 01:51 PM
Put a red ribbon in her tail. The judge won't care, it's a lot more respectful to let your fellow riders know to stay back with a subtle piece of ribbon.

In general, I'd let it go....sometimes you will win a class that you didn't deserve to win (ie judge was looking down and didn't catch that chip, lost lead etc) and sometimes you'll deserve to win and you'll get robbed. It's hunters....its subjective.

ExJumper
Aug. 3, 2009, 01:54 PM
What part don't you understand? The other person had Buglet pinned on the rail. The other person was on Buglet's inside, with her horse's head past Buglet's horse's flank. Where do you suggest Buglet should have moved to?

She could have slowed down, allowing the rude rider to pass. Then she could have proceeded along on her merry way and reestablished her pace. My definition of being "pinned" means that you can't go forward, backwards, OR sideways. From my understanding of the situation, she only couldn't go sideways due to this horse. Forward and backwards were viable options.

findeight
Aug. 3, 2009, 02:05 PM
What part don't you understand? The other person had Buglet pinned on the rail. The other person was on Buglet's inside, with her horse's head past Buglet's horse's flank. Where do you suggest Buglet should have moved to?

Because it was a repeat of what had happened repeatedly throughout the class of only 8 according to the OP and she stated there was plenty of room for the other rider to circle but she chose not to in the first post. So, in most of that ring, for most of the class, there was room for evasive action well before that tight spot and plenty of time to keep track of the problem horse.

Or, failing that and finding herself in a tight space, she could have sped up for 10 feet until she was past the jump standard then just let the other horse pass, split off the rail and either weaved around the jumps or circled or cut across wherever she could find a path.

Slight possibility, since the other was almost halfway past, she could have slowed and let him by but really don't know on that. Wicked part of me would have held my track and let tailgater bounce off the standards if it was that tight. But that would be mean;).

Hey, this happens to everybody but can be avoided 99.99999% of the time once you know you have a problem horse and rider in there with you. But that rider cannot do it so you have to by riding defensively and not getting boxed in or run over. On those rare occurances where it cannot be avoided, or in huge classes where there is no room? Horse should be schooled on accepting close quarters.

Have to say, I so enjoyed hacking my First Year Green and assorted other mainly Pro ridden classes because I could relax more and just show the horse. But, when you share the ring with other non pros of varying competence, you gotta be aware of that and be ready to compensate for their lack of ability. That's horse showing and you need to be prepared.

MrWinston
Aug. 3, 2009, 02:12 PM
Thanks guys. Really wasn't looking to get told that I apparently suck.
I was just curious if the very visably lame horse and the not under control horse deserved to pin higher to mine.
I always try to find my "own" space in the flat class and not invade anyone else's, stupid me for assuming everyone else should do the same. I'll know better next time.

Is that the horse that kicks goes to the bottom automatically.

Nobody said that you "sucked." Just that you weren't riding aware enough. Riding a flat class is something that you get better at with experience. With some riders, it's a very well honed skill. How you ride it can make a huge difference in how your horse places. You learn to "showcase" your horse by placing it just right for a pass by the judge and pressing for the best movement possible in each pass. Forget where your horse placed after kicking out and take the more important lesson.

RockinHorse
Aug. 3, 2009, 02:25 PM
This is a tough one for me. I have a mare who kicks and I wanted to put a red ribbon in her tail for her flat classes but I was told that it would cloud the judge's opinion of her. My girl wound up in a similar situation only there were like 20 horses in that class. The girl ran up on our mare twice, and the mare finally not only kicked her but backed up to do it.

While it does suck it made lose the class, I'm betting that the girl will never do that again. Next time, I'd circle in front of her and cut her off. Just my personal opinion.......

(Bolding mine)

This is a horse that should definitely have a red ribbon in its tail. It sounds like your "trainer" is being pretty irresponsible.

Einstein
Aug. 3, 2009, 04:51 PM
To the OP,
Use the experience you had in the flat class, as a lesson.
You almost need to have eyes in the back of your head, to avoid some situations in a hack class.
I have a greenie and he can get a bit nervous, when horses are running up his butt.
I'm trying to get him use to being in a crowded ring, but in the meantime I plan every move I make in the hack.
I don't think you suck, I just think you need more experience getting yourself out of a jam. Keep working at it and by the time you're Findeight's age, you'll have it down pat.:D

2 tbs
Aug. 3, 2009, 07:20 PM
I tend to follow the rule of thumb: "You are only responsible for the horse in front of you". Now, this of course is adjusted as necessary. At home I'm the only horse in the ring 99.99% of the time. No one in front of me ever - it's great! In the schooling ring-I've got eyes in all directions because, even though left to left is a rule as is watch where you are going - no one follows either! It's craziness and sometimes worse depending on who you are in there with!! I do my best to stay out of everyone's way if possible--even the horses coming up behind me because I never know where they will actually go!

In a flat class? Yeah, I tend to stick to that "in front of me" thought. I look ahead for where I want to be. I plan my passing in advance and make a nice quarter line or short/deep corner as necessary to maintain space. However, I also have to pretend the horse in front of me might be behind me so I don't cut someone off who may also be planning ahead to pass etc. If a horse were to run up on me I would do what others have said-speed up or slow down. It may not show my horse at his best for those few strides but once I got enough distance between me and the that other horse I'd be circling away to ensure I no longer have to deal with that horse (or at least for a little while). The judge would certainly understand your path if they had seen the collision. If not, you can make it look intentional-showing your horse off the rail can be an advantage sometimes!

As far as how the judge pinned? It was an under saddle class, not an eq, so yes, the judge did the right thing. Your horse kicked. Manners were lacking in that action so... The other horse, though not being controlled well, didn't kick. Nothing about an under saddle class says the rider has to look good or ride effectively. It sure helps to get the best out of the horse but it's not a requirement. The lame horse? Yeah, that one wouldn't have been used if I were judging but obviously the judge didn't see what you saw or they didn't care - happens all the time unfortunately.

Lesson learned. Next time you move one way or another. It's like the big brother who constantly flicks his little brother. Little brother retaliates just once and gets busted...that's always the way it happens! Don't be the little brother-just get away from the troublemaker :winkgrin: