PDA

View Full Version : intro level horses vs higher level horses using intro level as a warm up



Galley
Aug. 15, 2009, 05:30 PM
has anyone experienced riding in an intro level test A or B as their first test in their life or their horses life and competed against more advanced level horses who are using the intro class as their warm up and then win 1, 2 or 3 in the class for points? is this fair to the lower level rider and or horse who is a first timer competing against horses who are doing training and above? thoughts are welcome.

slc2
Aug. 15, 2009, 05:35 PM
My thought is that when I enter a show, I am accepting that anyone can sign up to be in the same class as me. My instructor used to say to every complaint about the horse show, 'It's a horse show. In other words, when you sign up, you accept that the rules are what they are right at this moment. Stuff happens that's not always going to help you win. It might rain, it might be hot, you might fall off, your horse might act goofy, a flock of geese may land in your ring, George Williams might be in your class.

Do I think it's fair? Yes, I think it's fair, and the equivalent used to happen to me all the time, and I used to relish the idea that a rider from a higher level was in my class. I'd watch like a hawk to see how they warmed up, AND how they did the test, and what differences there were. I'd use it as a model to do better on my own test. And maybe if the person isn't too busy, they'd be able to give me a few pointers.

Futhermore, most awards people get are for SCORES, not for ribbons, and no matter who else is in your class or what ribbon you get, your score is far more important than your placing anyway. The goal of showing is (should be) to better your last score, not better your last placing.

I think it's about attitude, too. If a person views horse shows as a great time with friends, and a time to get feedback from a judge and other riders that will help them ride better, and a time to tuck into a couple wine coolers, some ice cream and a tour of the vendors at the show, it's all good.

Ellie&Werther
Aug. 15, 2009, 05:46 PM
I have seen some people show in Intro and Training on the same horse at a show. It is within the rules, However, in my opinion I think it is a little tacky, if you are able to do training level than you should do training level. However, at the end of the day, the score sheet you get back matters way more than a cheap ribbon and some points.

TropicalStorm
Aug. 15, 2009, 05:49 PM
has anyone experienced riding in an intro level test A or B as their first test in their life or their horses life and competed against more advanced level horses who are using the intro class as their warm up and then win 1, 2 or 3 in the class for points? is this fair to the lower level rider and or horse who is a first timer competing against horses who are doing training and above? thoughts are welcome.

I like to think of it that life isn't fair in general, why should a horseshow be an exception ;)
Just do the best you can, and don't worry about other people and their horses. You don't actually know the story-for all you know, that gorgeous horse that wins everything might have a green rider. Or might be neurotic at times. Or maybe the rider and horse worked darn hard to get where they are and just look like they could be competing at a higher level because of that hard work. Or, they could very well be using the class for a warmup or to make themselves look good. If that's the case, I'm sure its a pretty shallow victory, so don't worry about it

slc2
Aug. 15, 2009, 05:51 PM
In most cases, I can't really imagine it helping a nervous horse, quite the contrary, it gives them way too much time to look around and get into mischief. It doesn't have enough 'stuff' in the test to relax a horse, and there's not enough work in the test to settle a horse. One would probably be better off schooling in the rings before they close, and getting one's own confidence that way.

J-Lu
Aug. 15, 2009, 05:58 PM
I haven't really noticed it at shows. But I do think it would be tacky. A horse who can competently show Training Level Test 2 or above (which means that they should be schooling First level and above) should not be entered in an Intro class - which is expressly designed to be a beginner rider class. It's tacky and in my opinion, unsportsmanlike. But as someone else pointed out, it is a shallow victory for more accomplished horse/rider combos and you can't account for tackiness. ;)

Ambrey
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:07 PM
I think you could really go crazy with what is and isn't fair in terms of winning. We hear a lot about people buying "made" UL horses and riding lower levels... is that fair? How about the pro trained vs. home grown? 8 gaits vs. 5 gaits?

And it's not all about the horses, says someone who just managed to get a horrible TL score on a horse who by all accounts should be able to do a decent 2nd level test. If the rider isn't ready to go beyond intro, he/she has every right to be there. I went to training level for personal reasons (I was there to beat fear, not the other riders), but would not have felt guilty doing intro on my horse who schools much higher at home.

Galley
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:18 PM
my question more about the ability and learning level of the horse. Is is right to have Intro Level Walk/Trot allowed for horses competing at Training Level and above? In Eventing one can can select Horse or Rider as a category. Would this not be a more fair way to exhibit and test horses in dressage, too? Just a thought.

HenryisBlaisin'
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:28 PM
A lot of riders progress this way. They meet their goals at Intro A and the next step is to go Intro B and Training 1 and so on. Once they meet whatever goals they have in Intro B, they usually move on to Training 1 and 2 and so on. I look at it like they are taking two consecutive tests on the levels and that is fine-that's how you get better, one step at a time.

I think it's against the rules to enter across more than one division, i.e. Intro and 1st. But Intro B and Training 1 is perfectly normal.

Personally, I think if you're looking at ribbons and placings in dressage, you're kind of missing the point. I ride against the test and the goals I've set for myself and then use the results to get better. Riding dressage for ribbons to me is riding toward an end, not toward improvement. I just had my worst test score ever today. But I was proud of my horse because he was scared to death of EVERYTHING-the indoor, the dressage arena, the flowers, the judges' stand-and he did the entire test anyway because he trusted me. It doesn't matter who beat me or what level they were riding. They were all riding more experienced horses, but in the end I'm the one who rode MY horse and got the score I got. I enjoy watching the more experienced riders/horses-it shows me what the test should look like.

J-Lu
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:34 PM
my question more about the ability and learning level of the horse. Is is right to have Intro Level Walk/Trot allowed for horses competing at Training Level and above? In Eventing one can can select Horse or Rider as a category. Would this not be a more fair way to exhibit and test horses in dressage, too? Just a thought.

That's why dressage has amateur and professional classes. Generally, Rider classes in eventing are comprise of amateur riders, and Horse classes professionals. Theoretically, a beginner rider on a schoolmaster horse could ride Intro level because it is about the rider's ability to actually ride the horse during the test. Few horses are going to go around on the bit and with an engaged hind end unless the rider is asking them to.

Intro classes are generally relegated to beginner riders and I don't know any professionals or advanced amateurs who ride in them, personally. They usually start showing when the horse can competently canter for a training level test. However, it is not uncommon for riders to ride in successive levels. For example, year end awards allow riders to ride in training and first, or first and second, or second and third, etc. So riders can ride in two successive levels at any show and some do. In championship shows, a horse is not allowed to go at an upper level and a lower level and can only be ridden by one rider. But at regular shows I think multiple riders and levels are allowed.

kahjul
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:41 PM
Well, to offer another point of view, I showed intro on my 3 yo at her first show, then at the next show did 1 intro test and 1 TL test. It had nothing to do with her nerves, but mine. It helped me tremendously to get in front of the judge at something I knew we were very comfortable and capable of and took away alot of the jitters for the next test. It is an important step in our training (for me). I still show 1 test I'm really comfortable with the first day of a show, last year I started with T2 and than did whichever 1st level test I was trying. This year I start with 1/1 or 1/2 and then do my 2nd level test. It's not to screw up other people, but to ease my nerves.

sid
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:52 PM
I don't think it's "tacky" at all. If doing a lower level test helps prepare the horse for one higher at the same show, so be it. Some horses and riders "warm up" better in a competitive venue (albeit a lower level class) and that's okay in my book.

If the rules allow it, then it's a case of "rider beware"...:lol::lol:. If your horse is defeated, it's not because there should be some sort of entitlement to keep better riders/horses out because it seems "unfair".

Yikes..I can't believe I posted that. Flame suit on!

albigears
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:55 PM
"That's why dressage has amateur and professional classes."

Ah, if only that evened things up. I teach basic horsemanship to troubled city kids- safety, how to halter, lead, groom, and basic riding skills with western tack. I am considered a professional since I get paid for this, which means I have to compete against professional dressage trainers in shows.

I'm not complaining, I love my job. Just pointing out that the amateur/professional status doesn't necessarily even things out for all of us.

Equibrit
Aug. 15, 2009, 06:58 PM
has anyone experienced riding in an intro level test A or B as their first test in their life or their horses life and competed against more advanced level horses who are using the intro class as their warm up and then win 1, 2 or 3 in the class for points? is this fair to the lower level rider and or horse who is a first timer competing against horses who are doing training and above? thoughts are welcome.

Everybody who qualifies is free to enter any class.Suck it up and get over your good self. It doesn't matter who else is in the class you happen to be showing. You are all competing against the same standard. If you get it wrong it won't help to take all the other entries out of the class - you would still have got it wrong. The only difference would be that you scored 45% and got a 50 cent ribbon

sid
Aug. 15, 2009, 07:15 PM
;):lol:...Well said.

J-Lu
Aug. 15, 2009, 07:31 PM
OK, sid and Equibrit,

Seriously? Intro? Walk-trot classes as a warm up? Have either of you ever entered these classes as a warm up with an upper level horse? I'm curious to know who on this thread has entered a class *several levels* lower than what you are showing as a *warmup*. To me, the sportsmanlike thing would be to enter the class HC - you know - because the ribbon shouldn't matter to a upper level competitor like it does to the truly lower level competitor... it's the score that counts, right?

goodpony
Aug. 15, 2009, 07:44 PM
I always understood Intro to be exactly that an Introduction to Dressage, not a warm up for those competing at higher levels. I must say though that I have an acquaintance that is currently competing this season at Intro and I know she is quite capable of competing at at least Training Level on the horse she is riding....Im really unsure as to what her purpose is other than mileage.

Im not sure Intro qualifies towards year end awards?

joiedevie99
Aug. 15, 2009, 07:46 PM
At any recognized show, it isn't possible to show multiple levels lower as a warm-up. A horse can only show in two consecutive levels at any given show. Therefore, if the horse is in intro A or B, the highest it can show at that show is training 4.

On a separate note, lots of upper level horses step down as they get older to teach new riders. I think thats great, and would never want to discourage that.

Bogey2
Aug. 15, 2009, 07:49 PM
Everybody who qualifies is free to enter any class.Suck it up and get over your good self. It doesn't matter who else is in the class you happen to be showing. You are all competing against the same standard. If you get it wrong it won't help to take all the other entries out of the class - you would still have got it wrong. The only difference would be that you scored 45% and got a 50 cent ribbon

:lol:

we don't have Intro. tests at the recognized shows in this area...maybe you should go that route and level the playing field;)

goodpony
Aug. 15, 2009, 07:57 PM
I always understood Intro to be exactly that an Introduction to Dressage, not a warm up for those competing at higher levels. I must say though that I have an acquaintance that is currently competing this season at Intro and I know she is quite capable of competing at at least Training Level on the horse she is riding....Im really unsure as to what her purpose is other than mileage.

sid
Aug. 15, 2009, 08:03 PM
What Joid..whatever, I can't spell it is quite right. Horses who have shown a higher are not allowed to show 2 levels down.

The OP's post was complaining about an u/l horse showing at intro. That's just not possible. Perhaps the OP considers Training or First is considered u/l? It IS when you're doing intro, I suppose...not to be glib. But in the OP's venue perhaps this is the issue?

Arathita
Aug. 15, 2009, 08:06 PM
Agreed: an upper level rider riding an upper level horse INTRODUCTORY level as a warm up class without riding it HC is not a sportsman/sportswoman. I would not do this, I would not support friends who do this, and I would not patronize a professional who does this. Introductory level is for beginner riders to introduce them to the sport of dressage. It is no place for upper level riders on upper level horses to compete in. :mad:

Arathita
Aug. 15, 2009, 08:14 PM
What Joid..whatever, I can't spell it is quite right. Horses who have shown a higher are not allowed to show 2 levels down.

The OP's post was complaining about an u/l horse showing at intro. That's just not possible. Perhaps the OP considers Training or First is considered u/l? It IS when you're doing intro, I suppose...not to be glib. But in the OP's venue perhaps this is the issue?


Do you believe that a first level show rider should use an introductory class as a warm up? Have you used introductory level as a warm up for first level? Before making assumptions about the OP you may wish to consider asking her what she means by upper level riders.

sid
Aug. 15, 2009, 08:26 PM
I'm not sure what is wrong with that if it is in the rules. :confused:.. U/L riders are only those that compete above that level in which we are competing.

I did not to mean to be insensitive or rude. If one is riding at 4th, then I1 is consider u/l. If one is riding Training, one may deem 2nd to be "u/l".

The OP made people like me think that FEI riders might be warming up in Intro (I consider u/l to be FEI)...had she described the actual test level that she was objecting to as "2 levels up", I would still have had the same response because calling "foul" when the rules are the rules -- and could not compete successfully.

joiedevie99
Aug. 15, 2009, 08:31 PM
Do you believe that a first level show rider should use an introductory class as a warm up? Have you used introductory level as a warm up for first level? Before making assumptions about the OP you may wish to consider asking her what she means by upper level riders.

A rider showing in first level cannot also show in intro. A training level rider can legally warm-up in the intro division. Personally, I wouldn't do it unless the rider or horse needed the confidence boost- but if its legal, I could care less if others do.

poltroon
Aug. 15, 2009, 08:47 PM
The nice thing about dressage is that you're riding for a score rather than a ribbon.

I see people do an intro/training combo many times with a nervous rider or nervous horse. There can be value in taking the horse in the arena and not cantering and leaving if there's any concern about tension or brakes.

However, showing intro "for points" is pretty silly to me. If it's your first time, sure, but accumulating points in a walk-trot class if you're capable of far more seems well, pointless, to me.

And honestly, if you want to go accumulate ribbons/points, you can go in at 3rd and sometimes 2nd and ride unopposed.

The rules say you can't show Intro/First. Perhaps it would be allowed at an unrecognized show, but it would definitely be tacky. And, for that matter, I think it would be useless as a warmup for upper level classes unless again, you're worried that you can't stop your horse at the canter. And if you can't stop at the canter, tests above training level are going to be extremely problematic.

yaya
Aug. 15, 2009, 09:01 PM
Most of the shows I have been to do not do the classes in order. So even if you were hoping to use an Intro class as a "warmup" for Training Level, you might end up with the Training Level class scheduled first!

Also, the designations "amateur" and "professional" do not apply at Intro level - at licensed shows, all rides are classified as Open at Intro level.

And you have to be careful riding HC at licensed shows - once a horse is shown HC, he/she cannot be shown again at that show for ribbons/points, even with another rider - the horse has to stay HC if shown again. (This prevents an HC ride from becoming a "warmup" ride for points later.)

Arathita
Aug. 15, 2009, 09:22 PM
A rider showing in first level cannot also show in intro. A training level rider can legally warm-up in the intro division. Personally, I wouldn't do it unless the rider or horse needed the confidence boost- but if its legal, I could care less if others do.

Thank you for correcting me. Thank you yaya for correcting me regarding riding HC. I posted prior to consulting my rule book and apologize for that.

I do care what others do. The rules become needlessly complicated when people attempt to take advantage of loopholes as some have suggested here. A number of people have suggested it is "OK" for upper level riders to use introductory classes as a warm up class -despite the rules preventing one from doing so. Apparently, if it benefits the individual, it should be "OK" in their eyes. As a lifelong participant in sports and sponsor of sports I take sportsmanship and ethical behavior very seriously. It is sad when behavior has to be outlined to a "T" in order to prevent people from taking advantage for personal gain. I suspect I am in the minority opinion these days and I am willing to accept that.

albigears
Aug. 15, 2009, 09:54 PM
OK, sid and Equibrit,

Seriously? Intro? Walk-trot classes as a warm up? Have either of you ever entered these classes as a warm up with an upper level horse? I'm curious to know who on this thread has entered a class *several levels* lower than what you are showing as a *warmup*. To me, the sportsmanlike thing would be to enter the class HC - you know - because the ribbon shouldn't matter to a upper level competitor like it does to the truly lower level competitor... it's the score that counts, right?

Well said.

Dressage Art
Aug. 16, 2009, 02:22 AM
You should really try to show only for yourself and your horse - nothing else really matters... otherwise, the higher you go up the levels, the more difficulty with fairness you might have. I regularly show with riders who bough an FEI horse and showing them in 3rd level in my class. and I'm happy that they are having fun and that they are out there supporting dressage.... as long as they are not snarky bitches who would laugh at riders on OTTBs and such...

Stay in the zone and think about what makes you happy: your horse and your riding experience... that's what is important to you, right?

Dressage Art
Aug. 16, 2009, 02:26 AM
I want to add that I prefer to stay on the same level for 2 years in a row, but progress a level per year. This is how it works: showing 2nd level strong and wetting our feet in the 3rd level in the same year. Next year showing 3rd level strong and wetting our feet in 4th level. I do show at 2 different levels most of the time, like showing 3-3 and 4-1 at the same show. The only minus to that is that I never get enough scores to be considered for the Year End Awards (you need 8 scores = 16 shows = way too much shows)

slc2
Aug. 16, 2009, 06:19 AM
I wouldn't recommend the above. The horse should be doing the next higher level in his sleep at home before one shows at the given level. No feet wetting. Confirmed. In his sleep. I've never worked with anyone in 40 years who has recommended anything else - or stood by and ALLOWED anything else. The usual reaction to anything else is 'then get another trainer, I'm done with ya'.

SillyHorse
Aug. 16, 2009, 07:43 AM
I know lots of people who do just what DA described. With their trainers' blessings.

slc2
Aug. 16, 2009, 09:00 AM
I guess it depends on the way one is using the words and what one means, but no, actually, I haven't ever worked with anyone who would encourage anyone to show at a given level unless they are doing rather well at the next level at that poiint. I guess some people have different priorities though - it's considered quite prestigious in some circles to move up a level, regardless of how it's done.

meupatdoes
Aug. 16, 2009, 09:18 AM
I wouldn't recommend the above. The horse should be doing the next higher level in his sleep at home before one shows at the given level. No feet wetting. Confirmed. In his sleep. I've never worked with anyone in 40 years who has recommended anything else - or stood by and ALLOWED anything else. The usual reaction to anything else is 'then get another trainer, I'm done with ya'.

What are you talking about, what she describes sounds totally reasonable.


The one thing I don't get is how 8 scores=16 shows.

Equibrit
Aug. 16, 2009, 09:41 AM
I think the main problem here is that the OP doesn't quite "get" dressage yet and expected to conquer all on the first attempt. Expectations are a bitch !

slc2
Aug. 16, 2009, 11:24 AM
Actually most of the time the 'that's not fair!' accusations are a direct result of overdriven expectations coupled with coming home with the ribbon of the wrong color. You don't see anyone griping if they BEAT the 'upper level' rider in the intro class, LOL. Only when they don't.

Ambrey
Aug. 16, 2009, 11:38 AM
You could really go a long way in the unfairness campaign. What about the people who buy an UL horse and then decide they want to go back and get their bronze first? Or someone who wants their bronze and doesn't have a horse, so borrows someone else's GP schoolmaster.

All of these things are perfectly legal and acceptible, and one should go into every class assuming that these things will happen and prepared to deal with it. At every level, there will be some people competing on horses who are schooled/capable of showing much higher levels. There is no "unwritten rule" of fairness that precludes it.

Nor do I think there should be, to clarify that. Every person out there showing is on their own journey for their own reasons. Maybe if you asked them, you'd find out they had a really good reason for being in the class they are in rather than the one you think they should be in?

Foxtrot's
Aug. 16, 2009, 12:28 PM
I am one of the few that actually hear the OP. I don't like to see some riders repeatedly "taking candy from a baby". They have to look themselves in the mirror and if they like what they see, for whatever their reasons are, fine. But some people find the ribbon more important than the journey. I come from the school of thought that you push for the next level, although I was not a pure dressage rider.

Tiligsmom
Aug. 16, 2009, 12:41 PM
OP - People show for different reasons. Some for ribbons. Some for exposure. Some to demonstrate they've perfected certain things. Some to show their trainer they are "worthy". Some to show off their new horse. Some for learning....etc.

There are no rules as to "intent" for showing, so fairness doesn't play a factor unless your intentions are for ribbons and placement in a class.

I have a barn mate who continued to show at Intro even though her horse was getting mid 70s and could perform ALL of the training level requirements beautifully. From time to time one canter transition was a bit rough, but everything was there! Her issue is that she struggles with self esteem and is always concerned about "what others think", so doesn't want to show any "flaws" when she shows! Miserable way to live, but that's why she stayed at the Intro level. It makes moving/showing up the levels very challenging!

I've shown at different levels for different reasons. I show because I LOVE the preparation, focus and attention to meticulous detail required to show. I look at it as learning and building my skill and relationship with the horse. Do I like to win? YOU BET! Do I love putting in a great ride? YOU BET! Most importantly, I love the challenge and the focus.

I've shown "below" my level after bringing my 3rd level horse back from an injury that took 2.5 years to rehab. Why? Because he wasn't strong enough to do 3rd level - and may never be. AND because it's fun!

So...you don't always know why a person shows at the level they are showing. It doesn't matter. Just go out there and focus on your ride!

Ajierene
Aug. 16, 2009, 05:36 PM
Does it make a difference the amount of time someone has been at that level?

Personally, I don't care, but this made me wonder what someone thought of someone that just spends their life at training level. I know an older lady that never plans on doing more than training level. She qualifies for and goes to Devon every year. Her horse has the test memorized and can probably do it sans rider....would people who wonder about upper level horses at lower tests think this is unfair also?

quietann
Aug. 16, 2009, 05:57 PM
It's an interesting issue. I'm sure you get people stuck at Training level because they cannot sit a trot to save their lives. I've tried a few moves from First and found most of them beyond where I am right now (maresy thinks otherwise, and schools second with someone who really knows what they are doing.) At this point, as a pair we are barely competent at Training, but that's where we are showing, mostly because she has a lovely canter, her very best gait, that I want to show off. (If there were walk-canter intro tests, I'd do them!)

I do see a lot of people do the Intro B -- Training 1 combination at shows, and think it's fine. Intro B -- Training 4 might give me pause, though.

Dressage Art
Aug. 16, 2009, 10:19 PM
I wouldn't recommend the above. The horse should be doing the next higher level in his sleep at home before one shows at the given level. No feet wetting. Confirmed. In his sleep. I've never worked with anyone in 40 years who has recommended anything else - or stood by and ALLOWED anything else. The usual reaction to anything else is 'then get another trainer, I'm done with ya'. Why? I did "wet my feet" this year on 4th level and got 4 scores of 60%+ . That is double of what I need for my USDF Silver Medal from 4th level. Next year, if the God is willing I'll still stay at the same 4th level. What is exactly wrong with that from your point of view?

Sounds like you are saying that my 4th level "wetting my feet" scores are not good enough for you and you tell students like me: "I'm done with ya'"... :confused: Tho, I do know some trainers who only like to train $$$$$ fancy horses and sneeze on anything lower than 70%... You are saying you are one of those kind?

Thanks God that I don't have a trainer like that :lol: Actually, I don't even have a trainer, I train-up my own horse myself.

Mardi
Aug. 16, 2009, 10:28 PM
Seriously? Intro? Walk-trot classes as a warm up? Have either of you ever entered these classes as a warm up with an upper level horse? I'm curious to know who on this thread has entered a class *several levels* lower than what you are showing as a *warmup*. To me, the sportsmanlike thing would be to enter the class HC - you know - because the ribbon shouldn't matter to a upper level competitor like it does to the truly lower level competitor... it's the score that counts, right?

Ummm...a very similar topic is on the h/j forum. USEF "A" rated show riders/horses are coming down to the small county shows and showing against less experienced exhibitors.
Riding hors de concours was discussed too, and it turns out that not very many do that.
They say they paid their entries like everyone else, so they should be judged liked everyone else.

I confess I started that thread simply to get opinions, but it really opened up a Pandora's box, and the inside wasn't pretty.

Dressage Art
Aug. 16, 2009, 10:37 PM
I also want to point out that there is a RULE that a rider on the same horse can SHOW only on consecutive levels such as:

Intro + Training
Training + 1st
1st + 2nd and so on.

It's against the rules to show "SEVERAL" levels lower ;)

slc2
Aug. 16, 2009, 10:39 PM
Nope. Not for non championship classes.

J-Lu
Aug. 16, 2009, 11:19 PM
Ummm...a very similar topic is on the h/j forum. USEF "A" rated show riders/horses are coming down to the small county shows and showing against less experienced exhibitors.
Riding hors de concours was discussed too, and it turns out that not very many do that.
They say they paid their entries like everyone else, so they should be judged liked everyone else.

I confess I started that thread simply to get opinions, but it really opened up a Pandora's box, and the inside wasn't pretty.

Admittedly, I don't read the hunter/jumper forum. I would have the same opinion in the hunter arena as well.

Sure, people pay their entries like everyone else. That a pro or upper level ammie *can* enter an intro class doesn't mean that they should, in my opinion. People *can* do alot of things that aren't particularly sportsmanlinke. I argue - in agreement with Arathita - that it comes down to sportsmanship. I am very happy and very proud that the dressage riders and trainers I know share my sense of ethics in regards to the sport. Perhaps that is why they are my friends and we get along so well. I'm proud of our sportsmanship and it is why I support them at every chance I get.

J-Lu
Aug. 16, 2009, 11:25 PM
I also want to point out that there is a RULE that a rider on the same horse can SHOW only on consecutive levels such as:

Intro + Training
Training + 1st
1st + 2nd and so on.

It's against the rules to show "SEVERAL" levels lower ;)

Is this for championship classes or all classes? I could have sworn that these restrictions don't apply to regular recognized shows, especially if more than one rider is riding a horse. Are you sure? I could have sworn that some intro level ponies and kids I know had their ponies shown at higher levels by moms/trainers at the same show but I'm not 100% positive right now. Or maybe it was two separate shows that happened at one weekend...and that is a pretty common occurance these days, too.

meupatdoes
Aug. 16, 2009, 11:53 PM
Does it make a difference the amount of time someone has been at that level?

Personally, I don't care, but this made me wonder what someone thought of someone that just spends their life at training level. I know an older lady that never plans on doing more than training level. She qualifies for and goes to Devon every year. Her horse has the test memorized and can probably do it sans rider....would people who wonder about upper level horses at lower tests think this is unfair also?

They have training level at Devon???
I thought Devon started at Fourth.

SillyHorse
Aug. 17, 2009, 08:36 AM
Is this for championship classes or all classes? I could have sworn that these restrictions don't apply to regular recognized shows, especially if more than one rider is riding a horse. Are you sure? I could have sworn that some intro level ponies and kids I know had their ponies shown at higher levels by moms/trainers at the same show but I'm not 100% positive right now. Or maybe it was two separate shows that happened at one weekend...and that is a pretty common occurance these days, too.
The rule book clearly states that horses may be entered in no more than two consecutive levels at any one show. And I'm 100% sure, because I just looked it up and read it.

There are two-day shows that work it out so that they are technically two separate shows, so you may see a horse or pony in (for instance) Intro and Training one day, and 2nd/3rd the other day. That's legal. But the horse may not compete at Intro and then anything higher than Training level at the same show.

meupatdoes
Aug. 17, 2009, 10:44 AM
The rule book clearly states that horses may be entered in no more than two consecutive levels at any one show. And I'm 100% sure, because I just looked it up and read it.

There are two-day shows that work it out so that they are technically two separate shows, so you may see a horse or pony in (for instance) Intro and Training one day, and 2nd/3rd the other day. That's legal. But the horse may not compete at Intro and then anything higher than Training level at the same show.

It seems a lot of people here "have seen" stuff that does not actually exist in reality...

Here is the rulebook, in case anyone is interested in actually reading it:

DR119 Participation in Dressage Competitions
...
2. Horses may compete in no more than one Licensed Competition on the same day and are limited to a maximum of three Dressage rides per day at Fourth Level and below or two Dressage rides per day above Fourth Level. Horses competing in FEI Para-Equestrian tests are limited to a maximum of three Dressage rides per day including equivalent USEF or USDF tests. Horses may enter no more than two consecutive levels, Freestyle levels included, at any one competition (refer to the following chart).

http://www.usef.org/documents/ruleBook/2009/08-DR.pdf


But whatever, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the Training Level division at DAD when I go as a spectator this year. If I had only known that existed it would have been a nice thing to try to qualify for this year with my hunter that just switched disciplines. Perhaps hunter Devon will also kindly start offering the 3' Adult Amateur division and then he can go twice a year.

Everyone has their panties in a twist on this thread for stuff that does not even EXIST.

Equibrit
Aug. 17, 2009, 10:54 AM
It seems a lot of people here "have seen" stuff that does not actually exist in reality...

Everyone has their panties in a twist on this thread for stuff that does not even EXIST.


It exists at non-USEF shows.

meupatdoes
Aug. 17, 2009, 11:08 AM
It exists at non-USEF shows.

Well the good news then is that if you don't like the rules in the non-USEF sandbox that allegedly allows this multi-level show riding, you can always switch over to the USEF sandbox where the rules are more to your liking.

It appears there is a whole sandbox out there with rules conveniently pre-tailored to your concerns.

Your score really ought to be the same regardless.

No one is forcing anyone to horseshow in a sandbox they don't like.

AppendixQHLover
Aug. 17, 2009, 11:24 AM
I jsut did a dressage schooling show yesterday and there were several riders that did that. One of them won with a score of 70% and the other was just .5% over me. I improved my person scores by 5% and got a 8 for the first time in the medium walk. (That is tough for my lazy boy).

The score meant more to me than my ribbon because we improved our score so much. Also my gelding is in love with the mare that went with us. I had to really work to keep his focus and I did it.

Gloria
Aug. 17, 2009, 01:09 PM
my question more about the ability and learning level of the horse. Is is right to have Intro Level Walk/Trot allowed for horses competing at Training Level and above? In Eventing one can can select Horse or Rider as a category. Would this not be a more fair way to exhibit and test horses in dressage, too? Just a thought.

As far as I am concerned, the difference between intro and training level is more about the rider than the horse. If the rider is not comfortable cantering, he/she should enter intro regardless whether the horse has been competed higher level. I don't see any problem with that.

If the horse rider combination is showing successfully at training level but decide to enter intro just to win the ribbon, yeah, it's tacky. If the pair is just showing training (meaning not successfully), there is no problem with them showing intro to get more ring experience or just for the fun of it.

SillyHorse
Aug. 17, 2009, 01:31 PM
I jsut did a dressage schooling show yesterday and there were several riders that did that. One of them won with a score of 70% and the other was just .5% over me.
Are you sure these were not cases of quality horses being ridden very well? I have heard the railbirds sniping about horses showing in Intro that obviously shouldn't be in Intro, because they got such great scores, when the reality is that they were young horses with fabulous movement and good minds, that were well prepared and well ridden. These horses and riders really do put the rest of us at a disadvantage! Seriously! :yes::lol:

Home Again Farm
Aug. 17, 2009, 01:48 PM
Are you sure these were not cases of quality horses being ridden very well? I have heard the railbirds sniping about horses showing in Intro that obviously shouldn't be in Intro, because they got such great scores, when the reality is that they were young horses with fabulous movement and good minds, that were well prepared and well ridden. These horses and riders really do put the rest of us at a disadvantage! Seriously! :yes::lol:

:lol::lol::lol:

That reminds me of the time a lady came up to me and asked when my mare was going to get out of second level. When I told her that the mare was 5 years old, in her second year showing and had just shown SL for the 3rd time she changed her tune.

I am old enough to remember when there was no Intro level. I think that we stepped backwards when Intro was created. But then that is just MHO. :winkgrin:

Coreene
Aug. 17, 2009, 02:04 PM
I look forward to the day when the worst thing I can get my panties in a wad about is someone else, who has eff all to do with me, shows walk trot. ;)

AppendixQHLover
Aug. 17, 2009, 02:52 PM
Are you sure these were not cases of quality horses being ridden very well? I have heard the railbirds sniping about horses showing in Intro that obviously shouldn't be in Intro, because they got such great scores, when the reality is that they were young horses with fabulous movement and good minds, that were well prepared and well ridden. These horses and riders really do put the rest of us at a disadvantage! Seriously! :yes::lol:

Nope..I know the horses and riders very well.

My trainer took her green as grass holsteiner in and the mare did fantasic! She got higer percentages than me but she is 10x better than I will ever be. :D

Ambrey
Aug. 17, 2009, 03:04 PM
There was a horse showing 1st level at the show I was just in who was about 18hh and looked like he was born doing GP movements. I'm sure he was young and green, but damn- he looked good doing 1st level.

Now that I think about it, I can't figure how that is at all on topic for this thread- but it made me think about how many ways we can be at a disadvantage. Can you imagine showing intro against Totilas at his first show? Sometimes we just have to be grateful for what we have and not worry about what others are doing.

mp
Aug. 17, 2009, 03:06 PM
I look forward to the day when the worst thing I can get my panties in a wad about is someone else, who has eff all to do with me, shows walk trot. ;)

Ain't that the truth ... :yes:

johnnysauntie
Aug. 17, 2009, 03:10 PM
I'm an intro level rider on an intro level horse. We're both green, middle age and are working hard to master the basics - rhythm and suppleness are still a challenge.

At the lower levels, it's impossible, I think, to compare competitors because of the vast range of skill sets and horses. By the time you get to the upper levels, a certain amount of 'natural selection' has taken place. Once can more reasonably compare competitors to each other. Point is - drawing comparisons between intro-level competitors just doesn't seem to be relevant.

Others on this thread have suggested - and I wholeheartedly agree - that at the lower levels, you're competing with yourself, against your prior scores. So even if someone one on a much fancier horse decides to 'warm up' in the intro ring, heck, I don't care. It's not about the ribbon IMHO.

Hazelnut
Aug. 17, 2009, 03:19 PM
In dressage one is competing with their horse against an ideal standard. It's the test sheet and comments that count. And they are subjective too.

So..fair? Take the good feedback and use it. Let the rest go.

Arizona DQ
Aug. 17, 2009, 05:20 PM
At any recognized show, it isn't possible to show multiple levels lower as a warm-up. A horse can only show in two consecutive levels at any given show. Therefore, if the horse is in intro A or B, the highest it can show at that show is training 4.
.

They have Intro A and B at recognized shows???

ambar
Aug. 17, 2009, 05:28 PM
They have Intro A and B at recognized shows???

Our local Arab sport horse shows do, although they're usually age limited to 10 and under.

Mardi
Aug. 17, 2009, 05:30 PM
Admittedly, I don't read the hunter/jumper forum. I would have the same opinion in the hunter arena as well.

Sure, people pay their entries like everyone else. That a pro or upper level ammie *can* enter an intro class doesn't mean that they should, in my opinion. People *can* do alot of things that aren't particularly sportsmanlinke. I argue - in agreement with Arathita - that it comes down to sportsmanship. I am very happy and very proud that the dressage riders and trainers I know share my sense of ethics in regards to the sport. Perhaps that is why they are my friends and we get along so well. I'm proud of our sportsmanship and it is why I support them at every chance I get.

Your response is so interesting, because when similar posts were made on the h/j thread, those folks were soundly thrashed. The few times that "sportsmanship" was mentioned, the replies were mostly "Just work harder and learn to ride better, and you won't mind when the big fish come into the little pond."

I agree 100% that it IS a sportsmanship issue, and suggested on the other thread that it's the trainers' responsibility to teach that lesson, and decide which shows/classes are appropriate for the skill level of the client. Meaning keep your experienced riders/horses in their own sandbox.

The reply to that was that the trainers need the money, and they'll take their clients wherever the clients want to go.

If you can find that thread (perhaps on page 2) I guarantee you'll see a very different side to competing. It was a real eye-opener and made for very interesting reading !

"Sports don't make character; they reveal it."

Vesper Sparrow
Aug. 17, 2009, 05:32 PM
This scenario is not plausible to me. I just can't imagine why you would want to do Intro as a warm-up for an upper-level horse since you need to do a lot more than W/T to warm up this kind of horse. The only way I can imagine an upper-level horse in Intro is if the rider were very, very green.

I have been riding my young greenie at Intro at a couple of shows this year and personally, I can't wait to get out of Intro hell.

Even my 25 year old TR level mare hates it. When my greenie was temporarily out of commission due to shoeing problems, I practised the tests with her to help me in memorizing them and she was NOT happy.

mp
Aug. 17, 2009, 06:47 PM
They have Intro A and B at recognized shows???

My GMO has A&B at recog. shows. No limit on the age of riders.

Dressage Art
Aug. 17, 2009, 07:00 PM
USEF doesn't have an Intro Level Tests. No Intro Level Tests can be recognized by USEF. USEF is a national equestrian organization that houses all disciplines: dressage, jumping reining, gaited and etc…)

USDF on the other hand, does have Into Level Tests, but those are local GMO club shows, not a nationally recognized shows. USDF only responsible for dressage.

TDs (technical delegates) must be present only at USEF recognized shows. USEF Rule Book must be observed only at the USEF recognized shows. That said, lots of GMO and even privet schooling shows do observe The Rule Book, but there is still no representative from USEF to make sure that everybody is paying by the book.

+ is that at GMO shows you don't have to pay USEF fees or be USEF members = saves you $.

joiedevie99
Aug. 17, 2009, 07:11 PM
They have Intro A and B at recognized shows???

Some definitely offer it, even if it doesn't count towards anything. Saugerties this weekend did not (as far as I know) but I definitely saw it at the Windy Hollow Hunt at Sussex show. It is listed on their prizelist and that was very much a recognized show: http://www.windyhollowhunt.org/Dressage%202009/2009%20Web%20Prizelist%20-%20WHH%20July.pdf

SillyHorse
Aug. 17, 2009, 09:12 PM
Are you sure these were not cases of quality horses being ridden very well? I have heard the railbirds sniping about horses showing in Intro that obviously shouldn't be in Intro, because they got such great scores, when the reality is that they were young horses with fabulous movement and good minds, that were well prepared and well ridden. These horses and riders really do put the rest of us at a disadvantage! Seriously! :yes::lol:


Nope..I know the horses and riders very well.

My trainer took her green as grass holsteiner in and the mare did fantasic! She got higer percentages than me but she is 10x better than I will ever be. :D
I'm confused. What you described is exactly what I'm talking about. A green horse that is legitimately competing in a Intro class.

yaya
Aug. 17, 2009, 09:36 PM
USEF doesn't have an Intro Level Tests. No Intro Level Tests can be recognized by USEF. USEF is a national equestrian organization that houses all disciplines: dressage, jumping reining, gaited and etc…)

USDF on the other hand, does have Into Level Tests, but those are local GMO club shows, not a nationally recognized shows. USDF only responsible for dressage.


Intro classes may not be recognized by USEF, but they very much are allowed to be included in a USEF-licensed show. You just don't have to have the horse/rider memberships that are required for the other levels. That is also why Intro classes are always designated as Open classes.

Liz
Aug. 17, 2009, 11:45 PM
You can show one level up (or down...however you want to see it) at a rated show. Someone can warm up in a 2nd level class and then show 3rd level or warm up 3rd level and then show 4th level. It is not just in intro. that this happens.

You can not use intro to warm up for first level, just training level.

I think it is a fair rule.

Personally, I think if you are not ready for a training level test your money would be better spent getting mileage at a schooling show, rather than a rated show.

Classicgal
Oct. 1, 2009, 02:47 PM
In our area I haven't seen intro at many recognized shows. We hold schooling shows and there are no "entry" requirements. A pair - horse and rider - can jump back and forth from intro to training since it is one level but we do limit year end awards. Once they have moved to a canter class any points in intro don't go towards awards for that year. The fact that alot of horses are more experienced is just a fact of life. Trainers bring students on school horses that have done much more. That's a good way to learn. And most trainers won't show intro on a green horse - will wait until training but a few do and there is no rule against it. It's just a way to get the horse exposed. I haven't seen much of them using intro as a "warm up" for training level but I suppose it happens, it's not against the rules. But intro is just that - Introductory for either rider or horse. I think if you and your horse are both brand new to showing you should just be happy with doing your personal best and not worrying about the competetion. You are just getting your feet wet! It is not feasible for our size shows to try to split classes into more specific divisions. The recognized shows do for adult amatures, young riders, professionals. But you won't find that at intro in your average local schooling shows.

Janet
Oct. 1, 2009, 03:21 PM
has anyone experienced riding in an intro level test A or B as their first test in their life or their horses life and competed against more advanced level horses who are using the intro class as their warm up and then win 1, 2 or 3 in the class for points? is this fair to the lower level rider and or horse who is a first timer competing against horses who are doing training and above? thoughts are welcome.

First, WHATEVER test you ride as "the first test in your life" you are going to be "competed against more advanced level horses "

Last time I rode in an Intro test at a dressage show (with a very green horse) the people that won were scoring in the high 70s, I think we were in the high 50s. Big deal. Who knows WHY they weren't going Training, but that is there issue, not mine.

If a horse goes in Intro, the horse can also do Training, but NOT anything above Training.

Within our GMO (CDCTA) however, you can only get year end POINTS for Intro if the rider has never competed above Intro.

Whisper
Oct. 1, 2009, 11:13 PM
You can only compete in consecutive levels at one show, even if you have two different riders. However, if you're at a venue which holds back-to-back one day shows over a weekend (ie. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are three separate competitions with separate entries), that doesn't apply between different days. So, you could legally show Intro B and Training 4 the first day (say with
the owner's young child), Second 4 and Third 1 on Saturday with the AA owner, and I2 and PSG on Sunday with the trainer. I doubt that happens very often, though.

Personally, I've only shown Intro twice, both at unrecognised HTs, with a much more experienced horse (Preliminary eventing and 2nd Level Dressage with a different rider). The dressage test was linked to the fence height, and I wanted to keep things small and easy, since we were new to each other.

DreamsOfGP
Oct. 1, 2009, 11:16 PM
If you are showing at a level you are well prepared for, it shouldn't matter who else shows up. I always show a full level below what I am training. I've never been grossly out classed. I do ride lots of nice warmbloods, but also have shown plenty of non-warmbloods and still taken home blues. I will show these warmbloods in training or intro even if I see fit based on their training/experience level. With a green talented horse, they might be capable of easily getting a 70%+ at those levels, but are also easily capable of having a complete and very ugly melt down.

Plus, it's fun as heck to beat out anyone who shows at a low level just to win. Back when I first started showing, I entered the open division (basically anything over first in this show series.) There was one local trainer who ALWAYS won this division. She was showing second level on her "upper level" horse. I showed 3rd and won anyway:-) Boy was she mad!

I'm just saying, go in prepared and you'll always do well. At low levels, you don't need a fancy horse to get 7's and 8's. I've gotten those scores plenty of times on ponies dragged out of someone's back yard.