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kkj
Sep. 27, 2009, 09:58 PM
Even though I am not an event rider, I often read Jim Wofford's article in Practical Horseman. I usually find it interesting or entertaining. However Oct. issue has a few holes in it. In this article he asserts that a top show hunter's fabulous form is due to being "well-trained" and being in "relaxed self carriage". Well no not necessarily Mr. Wofford. A top show hunter has a lot of natural talent to jump with those even knees and fantastic bascule. It is not just the training. A ton of horses do not make it as hunters because they do not have the right form, instinct or disposition for the job. You can put the best hunter training in the world into those horses and they will still not jump well. Honestly, a lot of those end up being eventers.

There are a lot of horses out there, who no matter the quality or duration of training, are not going to have that great balance and ability to canter beautifully around a 3 foot hunter course, let alone have enough talent or balance over a cross country course. Unfortunately many of these horses are still out doing the cross country courses. Hunters are ridden over good even footing over a very straightforward course. For a naturally talented horse with the right disposition doing this in beautiful effortless fashion is not so difficult. Eventers are ridden over varying terrain, difficult questions, etc. It is much harder to keep that perfect hunter form under those circumstances.

A horse that is very talented to become a hunter, is pretty easy to train. It will be naturally fairly balanced from the get go, even tempered, fairly ambidexterous, have a great canter rhythm, and that natural hunter form. I have trained a horse like that and it went from unstarted to A show pre green winner in less than a year. I am not a real pro so it wasn't the training.

I spent a lot of years in the HJ world and we used to joke that if a horse was not quiet and fancy enough for the hunters or talented enough for the jumpers, sell him to an eventer. He may not fetch as high as a price but if he is sound enough and brave enough, an eventer will give him a go.

I have been to a lot of events over the years and watched a lot of upper level event horses. Quite frankly a lot of them don't jump that great- they don't use there backs, terrible bascule, untidy in front, legs off to the side, twisting this way, that way, whatever. Sure they can clear the fence and they are brave with a lot of stamina but I don't care how much great training you put into them, they will not jump like a big time hunter.

Another thing I would like to point out is a lot of event horses are off the track. More than 1/2 the horses off the track have some kind of chronic thing going on with their backs. I think a lot of the eventers which started out as a race horse probably have back issues which make that fancy hunter bascule not so likely to ever happen. Like if you actually took the horse and had a nuke scan, xrays, ultrasound etc, you would see it is not as sound or ready for the job as you think. I see a lot of lower level event riders competing on something that is not really sound. If I were going to run at solid objects, I would at least make sure my horse was not in pain or compromised anywhere (especially the back).

A hunter is not ridden like a dressage horse. It is basically put on course and rhythm and let go to do its thing. Most hunters do not have a lot of buttons. They are not ridden on contact or through. This is the simplicity Wofford seems to like but it will not get you anywhere in the dressage ring (which they say is becoming more and more important to one's success in eventing) A dressage horse is ridden on contact and needs to be through and submissive. It needs to wait for its rider and not anticipate or take over. If an event rider is working so hard to get this in the dressage, a lot of horses would be mighty confused if during the jumping phase the horse was then ridden like a hunter.

Wofford also talks about cutting horses and how they are taught to make their own decisions. This is true if the horse has natural talent and cow sense. Not every horse even those bred for it can make it as a cutting horse. Many become reiners because they don't have the natural cow sense.

In the same vein not every horse has great natural jumping sense. A lot of the horses out there doing the job are not perfectly cut out for it. They are not all going to know how to bail you out of a tight spot. Especially not a horse without the best natural jumping form or sanest mind. Even the horse with great sense to bail you out can make a mistake and if the horse is not naturally super talented in jumping obstacles, it is going to be harder for it to recover from a bad decision.

Of course some event horses are super jumpers and super talented. Many are not. I would think if you are going to do such a difficult discipline which requires so much stamina, versatility and negotiating of potentially dangerous situations, you would want the most naturally talented and fancy horse you could find. Instead I usually see event people bargain hunting. They do not throw down the prices on a young horse that a hunter or dressage person will. They will often ride something that does not move well enough for straight dressage or jump well enough to be competitive as a hunter or to get around the bigger jumper courses cleanly. The top event horses usually have more the courage, stamina and ability to stay sound doing very grueling work, than the beautiful gaits or amazing jumping form that fetch top prices in the HJ or Dressage world.

I just think that if you are going to evaluate the qualities needed to do cross country as safely as possible you should not just focus generally on the training involved or more specifically of the goal of "self carriage" and forget about the very important ingredient of the natural talent of the horse and the true suitability of that horse for the job at hand. Just because a horse is game and is brave and can usually find a way over the fence does not mean that it is well suited for the job and definitely does not mean if you train it well it will jump with a pretty bascule and or achieve self carriage.

retreadeventer
Sep. 27, 2009, 10:10 PM
Hmmm....food for thought....lots of thoughts....whole lotta thoughts.....I guess I agree that the PH column was a little wacky.

I've ridden a couple of cutting horses (my parents raise champion Angus cattle, and I've been around cattle and horses my whole life) and Woff definitely needs to sit on a cattle horse. Some are like carrrappp to ride. They work cattle, period, and ride like you are sliding off a bad park bench, (not to mention the western saddle which I hate). I can't see the corollary between good event horses and cutting horses at all. There's no comparison with any aspect of either's competitions or athletic achievements. JMO, having ridden and trained both.

Not being a heretic, love Woff, mostly love his stuff, but you're right...this one is slightly wacky. He must have been uninspired this month by any of the usual eventing/competition stupidities...I got a million of'em.....such as ....trying to get 3 and 1/3 strides in a four stride line, etc....(that one just today at Flora Lea)
:)

TampaBayEquine
Sep. 27, 2009, 10:11 PM
:confused: :no:

enjoytheride
Sep. 27, 2009, 10:11 PM
I think when you look at the eventers you are talking about, the ones with imperfect gaits, jumping, and dressage you have to compare results.


What I see is that lots of these horses stay stuck at Novice or BN. They are stuck because their dressage isn't good enough to win and they continue to take down rails in stadium because of their jumping style or a lack of self carriage that makes leaving the rails up easier. They could benefit from more dressage training in self carriage and more hunter like skills making a course smooth and flowing.

Blugal
Sep. 27, 2009, 10:37 PM
Don't have time to address everything in the OP, but I have to disagree with one thing: contrary to what the OP seems to be saying, there is no direct correlation between price and talent/suitability for the job at hand.

Luckily I didn't drink that Kool-Aid, which a lot of breeders & sales agents/trainers would have you believe.

EventerAJ
Sep. 27, 2009, 11:08 PM
I have been to a lot of events over the years and watched a lot of upper level event horses. Quite frankly a lot of them don't jump that great- they don't use there backs, terrible bascule, untidy in front, legs off to the side, twisting this way, that way, whatever. Sure they can clear the fence and they are brave with a lot of stamina but I don't care how much great training you put into them, they will not jump like a big time hunter.



I'm sorry, I haven't read Wofford's article, so I may be taking your points out of context. But I feel compelled to comment on this statement.

In most cases, an upper level event horse jumps in the most efficient manner possible. Its jumping style varies according to the obstacle at hand, and the preparation before it. I would never encourage a horse to jump with a lofty bascule over a steeplechase fence; why waste so much time/effort in the air? Similarly, over most gallop fences, the horses jump flat and may knock the top of a table with their hooves. Approaching such a fence, at speed, with a "flat" type gallop, encourages this flatter jump. This is usually desirable in such situations.

Coming into a bounce, or coffin, the canter is completely different. It is round, active, and "bouncy." The horse needs great energy and flexibility in its neck, back, and hocks. Here, you are more likely to see a more "hunter" type snapshot, with lowered neck and square knees (hopefully!).

I guess what I'm saying is you cannot paint all event horses with the broad brush of "flat, hollow jumping style." The horse's style is impacted by the task at hand, not just his natural tendency. I would bet that some (not all) of the upper level horses would jump much more like hunters if ridden over a rampy, flower-box-filled hunter course in a flat ring from a steady canter... compared to flying over ditch-and-walls trying to make time. ;)

My own personal examples:
Advanced mare's normal jumping style (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/aljohnd/Horse%20Pics/SyrSch07.jpg) square knees, nice bascule.

Adjusted for a wide galloping table (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/aljohnd/Horse%20Pics/FL07XC1b.jpg) square knees, but high head, flat back. Again, (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/aljohnd/Horse%20Pics/20080601-162617437.jpg) to a wide corner off a difficult long distance.

I don't have any pictures on hand of her twisting or hanging a knee, but I can assure you it happens occasionally. ;) Doesn't mean she is an unsafe jumper, just that we got in an awkward situation and she was able to get out of it (even if it was momentarily ugly!).

There are definitely UL event horses out there known for unorthodox style-- hanging knees, etc-- but they compensate for it. And there are others who literally jump the moon with knees to the eyeballs-- like Phillip's Rolex winner, Connaught, and Buck's My Boy Bobby. Would those horses make good show hunters? Probably not...but not because they don't jump well. :)

Janet
Sep. 27, 2009, 11:15 PM
It will be naturally fairly balanced from the get go
I think that was his point.

SkipChange
Sep. 27, 2009, 11:45 PM
The thing that bothers me most about the OP's post is that it implies that Hunter is ultimately the most highly desired discipline. That event horses are untalented hunter rejects or off-the track rejects. I'm not so sure that hunters is the priority, or top discipline. Particularly seeing as it is not an olympic sport while Dressage, Eventing, and Jumpers are. (if this is not your intent I apologize)

As a past eventer and current jumper rider (with hunters in-between), I do agree with snippets from OP's post (have not read Wofford article in question). However, there are a lot of amazing eventers out there with scope, style, and elegance to boot.

Meredith Clark
Sep. 28, 2009, 12:11 AM
Another thing I would like to point out is a lot of event horses are off the track. More than 1/2 the horses off the track have some kind of chronic thing going on with their backs. I think a lot of the eventers which started out as a race horse probably have back issues which make that fancy hunter bascule not so likely to ever happen. Like if you actually took the horse and had a nuke scan, xrays, ultrasound etc, you would see it is not as sound or ready for the job as you think. I see a lot of lower level event riders competing on something that is not really sound. If I were going to run at solid objects, I would at least make sure my horse was not in pain or compromised anywhere (especially the back).



Do you have any type of research to back up your statistics or did you just make them up?

Obviously a lot of horses come off the track with issues, issue that prevented them from racing or made them not as competitive as one would like but that doesn't mean they are unfit, unsafe, or unsound to event.

As far as back soundness goes there was an interesting study that came out that over 50% of horses at a recent Hanoverian Auction had kissing spines, these horses selling for 6 figures.

just my 2 cents

JenEM
Sep. 28, 2009, 12:37 AM
Having just read this article tonight, and being somewhere between a hunter and eventer, I feel compelled to comment.



A hunter is not ridden like a dressage horse. It is basically put on course and rhythm and let go to do its thing. Most hunters do not have a lot of buttons. They are not ridden on contact or through.


Going around on course on a steady, consistent rhythm, "doing its own thing" is carrying itself, which is precisely what Wofford was talking about. A good hunter should be working through, from back to front. No, it's not going to go around in the same frame as a dressage horse will, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be working correctly as well. The "long and low" dressage carriage is pretty similar to what you want to see in a hunter--you just don't collect the hunter back up and piaffe away ;)



I just think that if you are going to evaluate the qualities needed to do cross country as safely as possible you should not just focus generally on the training involved or more specifically of the goal of "self carriage" and forget about the very important ingredient of the natural talent of the horse and the true suitability of that horse for the job at hand. Just because a horse is game and is brave and can usually find a way over the fence does not mean that it is well suited for the job and definitely does not mean if you train it well it will jump with a pretty bascule and or achieve self carriage.

I didn't take away from the article that a pretty bascule and self-carriage will a Rolex winner make, but rather that a good correct jump and a horse that knows how to make decisions about how to carry itself over terrain, or a fence, or after a cow, are ingredients of natural talent. Not every horse can do that well. Recognizing that those are important skills helps develop them, and create a better horse and a better ride.

canterlope
Sep. 28, 2009, 03:38 AM
A horse that is very talented to become a hunter, is pretty easy to train. It will be naturally fairly balanced from the get go, even tempered, fairly ambidexterous, have a great canter rhythm, and that natural hunter form.Also known as "relaxed self carriage" which, as Janet already said, was his point.
I spent a lot of years in the HJ world and we used to joke that if a horse was not quiet and fancy enough for the hunters or talented enough for the jumpers, sell him to an eventer. He may not fetch as high as a price but if he is sound enough and brave enough, an eventer will give him a go. I spent a lot of time in the HJ world as well and used to hear that same joke. However, it wasn't until I saw the light and defected to Eventing that I realized it was a load of crap and the easy way out for riders who either weren't skilled enough or willing to put in the time to develop a horse who had the talent to do the hunters/jumper, but was not dead quiet or had fixable flaws in its jumping style.

I have been to a lot of events over the years and watched a lot of upper level event horses. Quite frankly a lot of them don't jump that great- they don't use there backs, terrible bascule, untidy in front, legs off to the side, twisting this way, that way, whatever. Sure they can clear the fence and they are brave with a lot of stamina but I don't care how much great training you put into them, they will not jump like a big time hunter. Have nothing of great importance to add except to say how very condescending and isn't it great that the Eventing world is populated by true horsemen who aren't blinded by "hunter flaws", are able to recognize a talented horse not matter what its jumping style, and are willing to put in the time it takes to develop some of the most well-rounded equine athletes in the world despite their {gasp} terrible bascules.

BK to some
Sep. 28, 2009, 07:18 AM
haha i was thinking, well i've had horses that are not brave or athletic enough to be eventers, lets turn them into hunters.....

it feels a little like we are talking about religion.

i think there are true horsemen and women in each of the disciplines mentioned above. i think each of them takes equally talented horses to reach the higher leves. hey, but at the lower levels, most horses can do them all. but just because you are a TB doesn't mean you'll make it as an advanced eventer. just like just because you are a DWB doesn't mean you can do the working hunters. I've seen plenty of "hunters" that are really not that talented....course i go to a lot of local shows.

I see a lot of similarities between a nice hunter derby round and a nice stadium round.

again, this is sounding a lot like a debate about religion...there are many different paths to reach horse nirvana. of course, my path is better than yours heheheee

kkj
Sep. 28, 2009, 08:18 AM
Um I don't think the hunter world is the best world or that hunter riders are the best riders. I think a good hunter trainer is probably better at getting a pretty round than a good event rider and that is about it. A good event rider has a lot of skills that a good hj or dressage rider does not.

I do think there is also very often a correlation between the price of a horse and its ability. Sure you can sometimes get a deal, but it is pretty hard to find that horse with the natural balance, the natural great jump and good enough movement to do really well in dressage that is sound at the prices paid in the event world. That is a pretty tall order and when the HJ world or dressage world commands higher prices, that is working against you.

I agree that event horses often don't look perfect over a fence because of the speed, the water, the slope, the question asked etc etc. It is not a hunter course. However, I see a lot of event horses that pretty much jump like crap from a jumper standpoint over the stadium courses too and people still push them up the levels.

I was told by a vet at UC Davis about the autopsy results from ex race TBs that more than half had chronic back issues going on. When you start a horse at 11/2 what do you expect?

I am not saying that you can't get a horse off the track for a good price and have it be totally sound, jump great, have the stamina, move well enough and go all the way, just that many event horses I see are definitely not in this catagory. Those horses are very few and far between.

Eventers need more than any other discipline- a balanced horse that is very versatile, sound, can jump well, has a lot of stamina, brave, moves well enough, will listen and be submissive for dressage, and then bail you out cross country. In my opinion this horse should cost more than a fancy hunter. Why doesn't it? Then you need a rider that can master more than one discipline and effortlessly make the change between them. You don't see that very often either.

retreadeventer
Sep. 28, 2009, 08:33 AM
Um
...I am not saying that you can't get a horse off the track for a good price and have it be totally sound, jump great, have the stamina, move well enough and go all the way, just that many event horses I see are definitely not in this catagory. Those horses are very few and far between....

Sorry to paraphrase but I would vehemently disagree with this statement. I believe the exact opposite is more the truthful statement. MOST of the event horses I have seen are OTTB, and any that were sound and purchased for a "good" price are quite good - watched Becky Holder's grey horse in dressage lately? I would not agree that they are few and far between. I believe the average decent OTTB can easily make it to prelim if properly managed, trained and ridden. Actually I have been doing this very thing for about 35 years and I'm not the only one on the board that has, either.

Very few horses of ANY breed make it to the top in any sport. Most of the hunters seen in any hunter show will not make it to the top either.

LisaB
Sep. 28, 2009, 08:44 AM
This thread reminds me how much I love you guys.
Educate this person please! Totally archaic mindset!

RAyers
Sep. 28, 2009, 09:12 AM
Um I don't think the hunter world is the best world or that hunter riders are the best riders. I think a good hunter trainer is probably better at getting a pretty round than a good event rider and that is about it. A good event rider has a lot of skills that a good hj or dressage rider does not.

I do think there is also very often a correlation between the price of a horse and its ability. Sure you can sometimes get a deal, but it is pretty hard to find that horse with the natural balance, the natural great jump and good enough movement to do really well in dressage that is sound at the prices paid in the event world. That is a pretty tall order and when the HJ world or dressage world commands higher prices, that is working against you.

I agree that event horses often don't look perfect over a fence because of the speed, the water, the slope, the question asked etc etc. It is not a hunter course. However, I see a lot of event horses that pretty much jump like crap from a jumper standpoint over the stadium courses too and people still push them up the levels.

I was told by a vet at UC Davis about the autopsy results from ex race TBs that more than half had chronic back issues going on. When you start a horse at 11/2 what do you expect?

I am not saying that you can't get a horse off the track for a good price and have it be totally sound, jump great, have the stamina, move well enough and go all the way, just that many event horses I see are definitely not in this catagory. Those horses are very few and far between.

Eventers need more than any other discipline- a balanced horse that is very versatile, sound, can jump well, has a lot of stamina, brave, moves well enough, will listen and be submissive for dressage, and then bail you out cross country. In my opinion this horse should cost more than a fancy hunter. Why doesn't it? Then you need a rider that can master more than one discipline and effortlessly make the change between them. You don't see that very often either.


I am sorry, but you make some arrogant assumptions and then continue to try to justify your perception by showing your own, admitted, lack of understanding of the sport. It has been my experience that the higher level the rider/trainer, the more understanding they are about other disciplines. Hap Hansen used to come out to Trojan Horse Horse Trails (that is a event for you) in Scottsdale, AZ in between reining rounds. I never heard him even suggest what you imply.

If you had ever ridden with Jimmy Wofford or actually read the article for comprehension, he always holds up the hunters as an example of what a good XC round should be in terms of SELF-CARRIAGE. A big bascule and knee snapping looks has nothing to do with that. If you really understood horses you would see/realize that. Spend some time in the jumper ring watching the GPs. Plenty of great horses jump "ugly" but have the carriage and athletic ability to clear the big fences.

The fact you equate price to ability also shows either great ignorance, arrogance or lack of age. I know of too many world cup and olympic horses that were purchased or found for tiny prices and made. YOUR statements are EXACTLY the example of how BAD the business model of the h/j industry is that Denny Emerson has spoken of here and other places.

Reed

Jazzy Lady
Sep. 28, 2009, 09:23 AM
A friend of mine and I were schooling yesterday, in a hunter ring at a local facility. Her horse is quite green, still learning how to figure out all the pieces and put them together. He is being trained to be an eventer because of his talent and ability. Clear off the track not long ago, the horse has a beautiful natural self carriage, a hunter jump, rhythm and auto changes because his self carriage is so great. Off the track. Cheap as dirt. He'd clean up in the greens. He's also going to make a FANTASTIC eventer.

Those things that wofford talks about are the things that we STRIVE for on xc. We strive for a beautiful rhythm on an animal who carries himself balanced and confortably around varied terrain. Often that is achieved to great success. Sometimes not. But we also teach our horses to think for themselves and to get themselves out of sticky situations, which may result in a less than beautiful jump. I've seen some top hunters get put in positions where their jump is less than perfect.

We aren't cantering around courses with diagonal lines and perfect footing. Where every fences is shaped with ground lines and flowers to encourage the perfect jump. You won't gallop up to a 4' perfectly square oxer off a turn to a skinny in the hunter world.

It's like comparing apples and oranges. Nobody WANTS a bad jumping horse. Obviously bad jumping horses are detrimental to a great round. However, just because the horse isn't jumping with great bascule and spending a gazillion years in the air over every fence does not mean that we are going to chuck them out to a different discipline. Sometimes a good jump can be trained.

Hell, I've tried to get my guy to bascule LESS over galloping fences. His first steeplechase was a riot. Here we are at like 640 mpm or something to that effect, get 2 strides off the base of the fence and my horse backs off and sets himself up and clears it by a mile... no. Negatory. Not what we want in this case. It took him once around the track to figure out that that isn't necessarily what we want all the time.

And I've seen a lot of eventers who could put a "top hunter trainer" to shame by beautiful rounds.

Brandy76
Sep. 28, 2009, 09:32 AM
"I am not saying that you can't get a horse off the track for a good price and have it be totally sound, jump great, have the stamina, move well enough and go all the way, just that many event horses I see are definitely not in this catagory. Those horses are very few and far between."


Realy have an issue with this. Have heard just as many, if not more stories of super pricey warmbloods, bred for the "hunters", end up being big slow lugs, and after the prepurchase never a sound day in their lives. Please don't condemn the very breed that made the hunters so popular.

Brandy76
Sep. 28, 2009, 09:33 AM
I am not saying that you can't get a horse off the track for a good price and have it be totally sound, jump great, have the stamina, move well enough and go all the way, just that many event horses I see are definitely not in this catagory. Those horses are very few and far between.


Really have an issue with this. Have heard just as many, if not more stories of super pricey warmbloods, bred for the "hunters", end up being big slow lugs, and after the prepurchase never a sound day in their lives. Please don't condemn the very breed that made the hunters so popular.

KSevnter
Sep. 28, 2009, 09:37 AM
Hunters are ridden over good even footing over a very straightforward course.

I have been to a lot of events over the years and watched a lot of upper level event horses. Quite frankly a lot of them don't jump that great- they don't use there backs, terrible bascule, untidy in front, legs off to the side, twisting this way, that way, whatever. Sure they can clear the fence and they are brave with a lot of stamina but I don't care how much great training you put into them, they will not jump like a big time hunter.



I haven't read the article so I can't really comment on it, but the first sentence quoted above is precisely why there is a difference in what you are seeing between the jump of an event horse and a hunter. If you aren't getting a horse in at the precisely right distance in perfect footing every time any one of them will give you a funky jump, its the scopey catty ones that will jump you out of it safely time and time again.

My horse would never in a million years make a hunter, but I think he pulled about 5-6 rails in over 55? - 60 prelim and above horse trials/CCI's, all of which were my rails. Believe me if you saw my horse go in his kooky high headed fashion you would probably keel over.

As Mark Phillips once said to me, "Don't worry, you will probably never find the limits to this guy's scope" I was never overly concerned with his abilities to jump safely and there is no other horse I would have rather been on riding downhill to an oxer to oxer bounce.

My point is that a perfect little box with the front legs with the head lowered doesn't necessarily equate to scopey, powerful, or safe jumping technique.

And even Rox Dene, if galloped at 570 mpm in mucky footing down to an oxer at the base of hill, might not give the pattened Rox Dene jump.

Janet
Sep. 28, 2009, 10:11 AM
I do think there is also very often a correlation between the price of a horse and its ability. Sure you can sometimes get a deal, but it is pretty hard to find that horse with the natural balance, the natural great jump and good enough movement to do really well in dressage that is sound at the prices paid in the event world. That is a pretty tall order and when the HJ world or dressage world commands higher prices, that is working against you.

In all disciplines, there is a strong corellation between recognized ability/potential, and price.

With regard to young stock, there IS a significant difference between H/J/Dr and Eventing, in that you can get a good hint at "how well the horse moves" before the horse is backed, and a good hint at "how round the horse jumps" from early jumping training (I have heard that Rodney Jenkins picked Rox Dene as a "big deal" hunter based on seeing her school over a couple of cross rails). Thereby commanding big prices. With Eventers, it isn't until they are actually schooling cross country that you can tell if they "have what it takes" between the ears. So people are less willing to pay big prices for unstarted eventers.

Years ago, Bruce Davidson used to buy 3 or 4 TB yearlings at a time, before they went to the track. At the end of their 3 yo year he would sell all but 1.

But there are plenty of expensive young horses that, for a variety of reasons, never live up to their expectations in Dressage and H/J


However, once the horses are "going" the price of a proven eventer goes up dramatically. And they have increased a LOT in the last 10 years.

With "going" horses, the prices for proven hunters and dressage horses are still greater, in most cases, than the prices for equivalent level eventers. This is largely to do with the "demand" side of the "supply/demand curve".

The reason for the lower prices is that there are fewer people looking for proven eventers, than people looking for proven H/J/Dr. NOT greater supply. There is NOT a greater supply of upper level eventers than upper level H/J/Dr.

I do have to agree with you that a lot of the jumping at the lower levels is "scary", "bad form", etc, and that some riders mistakenly think that a clear round means "we are doing it right". However, the same can be said of low level jumpers.

Janet
Sep. 28, 2009, 10:16 AM
Sure they can clear the fence and they are brave with a lot of stamina but I don't care how much great training you put into them, they will not jump like a big time hunter.
You could also say that of the jumpers.

And, conversely, there are plenty of big time hunters that "I don't care how much great training you put into them, they will not jump well at the water complex at Rolex".

They are DIFFERENT disciplines, requiring DIFFERENT abilities. It doesn't make one better than the other.

Jealoushe
Sep. 28, 2009, 12:02 PM
I spent a lot of years in the HJ world and we used to joke that if a horse was not quiet and fancy enough for the hunters or talented enough for the jumpers, sell him to an eventer. He may not fetch as high as a price but if he is sound enough and brave enough, an eventer will give him a go.


All I can say is - this is exactly what the Euros say about their dressage horses!

Not good enough? Ship em to the US where the hunter people will pay ridiculous money for this reject!

Seriously...you picked the wrong forum to write that!



Sure they can clear the fence and they are brave with a lot of stamina but I don't care how much great training you put into them, they will not jump like a big time hunter.

Oh, this horse doesn't jump well? http://twitter.com/account/profile_image/Jealoushe?hreflang=en

pinkroyal
Sep. 28, 2009, 12:44 PM
My 2 cents:

First of all, none of us really have the expertise to judge Wofford's comments too closely. Except Denny! Are you in here?? ;) Share your opinion!

Secondly, a top horse in any discipline has exhibited talent and is a product of thorough and correct training.


Lastly, is anyone else tired of condescending comments like these from hunter or jumper folks regarding eventers????

lstevenson
Sep. 28, 2009, 12:49 PM
In this article he asserts that a top show hunter's fabulous form is due to being "well-trained" and being in "relaxed self carriage". Well no not necessarily Mr. Wofford. A top show hunter has a lot of natural talent to jump with those even knees and fantastic bascule. It is not just the training. A ton of horses do not make it as hunters because they do not have the right form, instinct or disposition for the job. You can put the best hunter training in the world into those horses and they will still not jump well. Honestly, a lot of those end up being eventers.




Another thing I would like to point out is a lot of event horses are off the track. More than 1/2 the horses off the track have some kind of chronic thing going on with their backs.




First of all, I think you missed the point of the article. I think Jimmy was just suggesting that event riders think a bit more about self carriage when jumping. I think he was addresssing the fact that so many top eventers nowadays micromanage and constantly manufacture every stride and jump. Whereas if we just got the horse in balance, and then left him alone, he would be a much better and safer jumper. Using the example of how good the top hunters jump because they are left alone.

The reason hunters jump so round and use their bodies so well is that they are travelling at a fairly slow speed, are relaxed in their backs, and are in self carriage. These things allow the horse to jump to the best of their ability, whatever that may be.

No doubt about it, speed effects the bascule. But the horses can still be in self carriage. You don't see many timber horses taking on the shape of show hunters over their jumps. But to be safe they are in self carriage.


And your statement on more than half the OTTBs having chronic bad backs?? Very not true. I've personally worked with tons of OTTBs, and not a one had chronic back issues. Sure they might be sore when coming right off the track, but chronic issues? No.

hunter-eventer-hunter
Sep. 28, 2009, 01:02 PM
All I can say is - this is exactly what the Euros say about their dressage horses!

Not good enough? Ship em to the US where the hunter people will pay ridiculous money for this reject!

Seriously...you picked the wrong forum to write that!



Ha!

I have a friend who breeds incredible horses in Denmark, and when he was in Vegas for the World Cup and saw the hunter rounds; he totally saw dollar signs for his lower level dressage horese (3rd Level-no more horsees)

They aren't crap by ANY means and he can sell them for big bucks. Oh, and becuae not many of today's faux hunters (as in not FOX HUNTERS) can not imagine this, the dressage horses are all taught to jump and the jump horses are all taught to do dressage. So a career change is easy.

That is the whole point of being a horseman and training the horse; sure the horse is better at one thing or another, but it can do most anything if it is taught self-carriage.

GM says in the 3rd Edition: A well trained H/J rider (which, I am sorry to be snarky but todays faux hunter princesses aren't) can ride a Hunter course, a dressage test, and stepplechase with just a change in stirrup length....

Wait, I just defined EVENTING...

When B. Goutal said after winning all the Eq Finals that she had never riding in a Dressage Saddle, I almost died. That is just sad...

*Putting on Flack Jacket: Before you pelt me, I grew up in H/J Land*

NowThatsATrot
Sep. 28, 2009, 01:47 PM
I didn't get a chance to read the article until just this morning... It seems to me that Mr. Wofford is just echoing the sentiments from previous articles -- his and others -- that a lot of the current dangers from eventing arise from removing/impairing the horse's ability to think for himself.

One of his articles, which also got its share of discussion here, was how "too much dressage" was bad for eventers. Not that the training and development should be overlooked, but that the repetitive drilling and increased importance of "submission" was effectively killing eventers.

Lucinda Green gave a speech last year, and one of the quotes that stuck out most to me was, in my mind, just another way of saying what JW just did -- the horse must jump for himself, because it's his feet he's picking up.

(Link to the speech here: http://useventing.com/blog/?p=1708
Link to the thread on this very forum discussing it: http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=181528 )


Even our earliest riding lessons teach us that we can't jump for our horses. It's true over measured and groomed courses of temporary fences, and it's vital on cross-country.

RAyers
Sep. 28, 2009, 02:00 PM
Jimmy's article is simply an echo of what many of us heard back in the 60s and 70s, growing up riding in the then still present cavalry system of training. Even in the h/j world we were taught the same things that JW states. The goal has always been to develop an independent horse. I still use exercises that Rodney Jenkins used on his horses and that were taught to me.

These are things not just for XC but stadium as well (who here has NOT missed in a triple combo?).

Reed

gully's pilot
Sep. 28, 2009, 02:13 PM
I got through my last triple combo by screaming GO! and GO!! at the second and third elements. Due to a problem that I now know how to fix (and have fixed, thank you--I think!), Gully was always confused $hitle$$ by triple combos. I swear I did nothing but scream and not throw my upper body forward (because he'd have dumped me right there); the photos look fabulous, he's jumping gorgeously. Is that self-carriage? (I actually think so). And I think I got Woff's, point, too, though I would love to hear what Denny has to say.

nextyear
Sep. 28, 2009, 03:15 PM
Totally agree with lstevenson about the point of JW article, I thought it was a good point article.
We hope as horsemen that we can find the right job for every horse and not try to fit the square peg into the round hole.
There are a lot of good points made here from a lot of posters but the one fact we should not forget is that the courses are quite different the majority of the time from the hunter course to the show jump at a event, it is for the most part (not all the time) easier to keep your horse balanced to the fences in straight lines with perfect distances between the fences, few and far between do you see hunter courses get really trickey with the distances or the placement of the jumps.
As far as the Off the track TB goes the example that comes to mind right off is a horse we picked up from Finger Lakes, ran 48 times started eventing as a 6 yr. old retired from eventing at Prelim and now does the A hunters.

subk
Sep. 28, 2009, 03:29 PM
The reason for the lower prices is that there are fewer people looking for proven eventers, than people looking for proven H/J/Dr.
Yes. And that is probably because more adult amateur event riders have the abilities, resources and willingness to start and or bring along green horses.

I really don't know where to begin "educating" the OP other than to say not only do I not need a big bascule, square kneed, round jumping horse at Preliminary, I would see having one a disadvantage! It is a grave error (not to mention ignorance) to define athleticism and ability on what is hunter ring standard and style. One of the most internationally successful event horses of the last decade, Amy Tryon's Poggio, was a disaster in every manner of hunterland criteria. Yet, she had great success with him precisely because she was able to establish self carriage then ALLOW him to jump in the manner suited to him.

Hunter ring jumping "style" does not necessarily equate to either safety or talent.

helent623
Sep. 28, 2009, 03:55 PM
While everyone makes excellent points regarding the subject, the number one reason that eventers are cheaper than dr and hj horses is that the majority of eventers are TBs. TBs are also racehorses. The racing industry breeds like rabbits and the result is that the market is flooded with TBs. Basic economics- an increase in quantity drives down the price of a commodity. Additionally, fewer people event than do hunters, so there is an even smaller market for event horses than there is for hunters, driving the price down further. For the most part, people buying TBs for dr and hj are paying the same as people buying TBs for eventing. And likewise, a nice eventng-bred WB will command just as high a price as a well-bred dressage or hunter/jumper WB. Its not a huge difference in quality you're seeing, its basic economics. You should be wishing that hunter-type WBs were as common as OTTBs, then they would be just as cheap.

asterix
Sep. 28, 2009, 04:04 PM
And likewise, a nice eventng-bred WB will command just as high a price as a well-bred dressage or hunter/jumper WB.


I'm not sure I agree. I own a lovely WB (dressage-bred, but re-purposed). He was sold to me for a perfectly reasonable price for what he was in eventing-land -- a nice horse going well at novice with a few trainings under his belt (not all successful), clearly had the ability to go Prelim eventually. He would have been the same price as a TB (based on the shopping I did at the time) in eventing-land.

This horse can happily cart an ammie around a 3'6" course like a perfect gentleman -- I am absolutely certain he could do 4' as well.

Seems to me big WBs like that go for MANY times his 'price' in H/J land.

Janet
Sep. 28, 2009, 04:12 PM
the majority of eventers are TBs.
I don't think that is true nowadays.

But even if it is, TBs are only cheaper when they are unproven. Once they know the job, the price for a "Novice Packer TB" is the same as for a "Novice Packer non-TB. And the price for an "Upper level TB" is the same as the price for an "upper level non-TB".

Meredith Clark
Sep. 28, 2009, 04:14 PM
Amy Tryon's Poggio, was a disaster in every manner of hunterland criteria. Yet, she had great success with him precisely because she was able to establish self carriage then ALLOW him to jump in the manner suited to him.

Hunter ring jumping "style" does not necessarily equate to either safety or talent.

And Poggio was an OTTB too! Guess his "chronic back problems" didn't bother him too much :lol:

I love that horse

baythoroughbred
Sep. 28, 2009, 05:25 PM
I didn't get a chance to read the article until just this morning... It seems to me that Mr. Wofford is just echoing the sentiments from previous articles -- his and others -- that a lot of the current dangers from eventing arise from removing/impairing the horse's ability to think for himself.



This is what I thought too.

yellowbritches
Sep. 28, 2009, 06:40 PM
Not much to add to many of the very excellent points here. Other than, hunter bascule, knees to eyeballs, dwell in the air forever does NOT necessarily make a safer or better event horse. Also, the lack there of of that style surely does not equal an untalented, unathletic horse. All I want is a horse who gets his landing gear tucked up safely, and jumps economically so as not to waste time and energy on a long, hard xc course. They can jump a little flat backed or high headed or a little uneven (as long as there's no hanging knees constantly) as long as they are comfortable, confident, happy and safe. I've known an aweful lot of eventers with less than "conventional" jumping style who jump out of their skin, are crazy athletic, and way more than capable of getting the job down. I also have known plenty of eventers who, if ridden like a hunter, could turn in some classy hunter rounds (and have turned a few eventers into some classy hunters).

I would also agree that other than when they are green, their is very little to know price difference in TBs vs WBs, even when the TB has raced. They will fetch the same price as their WB counterpart, all things being equal.

technopony
Sep. 28, 2009, 06:52 PM
All I can say is - this is exactly what the Euros say about their dressage horses!

Not good enough? Ship em to the US where the hunter people will pay ridiculous money for this reject!

Seriously...you picked the wrong forum to write that!




Oh, this horse doesn't jump well? http://twitter.com/account/profile_image/Jealoushe?hreflang=en

Yeah... we send our nice dressage and event horses with soundness issues to a hunter barn, where some have gone on to do quite well. It works the other way too. I got a reject from that barn that made a pretty good lower level dressage horse. Its all about finding the right fit for the horse.

SEPowell
Sep. 28, 2009, 08:01 PM
I am not saying that you can't get a horse off the track for a good price and have it be totally sound, jump great, have the stamina, move well enough and go all the way, just that many event horses I see are definitely not in this catagory. Those horses are very few and far between.

It appears to me eventers are going for warmbloods now so I'm a little confused about your focus on ottbs :confused:

Also, equine athletes across the board experience unsoundnesses, as do human athletes; you deal with it and remain as active as possible.

And one more thought, I can't say I've seen many tbs twist and hang legs over jumps; more often I've seen them save themselves in incredibly difficult situations.

Anyway, at least as far as tbs go I've seen many more sound and athletic ottbs than lame and/or clumsy ottbs eventing.

Steuart Pittman is putting on a clinic showcasing ottbs as excellent eventing prospects.

Your comments are interesting, but as far as thoroughbreds go I haven't seen what you're describing.

2ndyrgal
Sep. 28, 2009, 08:56 PM
You didn't really just spend several paragraphs telling Jimmy Wofford he didn't know what he was talking about did you?? Jimmy. Wofford. THE Jimmy Wofford.

You also did not read his article for comprehension.
Show hunters, while the $$$$$ folks do tend towards beautiful individuals with a natural talent for THAT PARTICULAR JOB, do require a) lots of training, and b) a rider with sense enough not to screw it up. I guarantee you could ask Buck Davidson to take My Boy Bobby in the first year greens and he cleans up, he jumped Rolex Sunday like a show hunter in a snaffle, if I remember correctly (of course you'd put maybe Scott Stewart up), but the horse is gorgeous and was ridden perfectly.

A hunter has to have self carriage, which is really just the "ability to balance himself while carrying a rider".

All horses, especially ones that jump anything, must learn to balance themselves in order to jump to the best of their ability. Find a small child and give him a piggy back ride. Now try to jump over a crossrail while he moves around up there, much easier if he sits still and doesn't put on your head, isn't it??

You can come over here and criticize GM, Anky, or the Pope.

But unless you've ridden upper level event horses and have a couple of medals in your closet, don't presume to tell JW or Denny they don't know what they're talking about.

Read either JW's or Denny list of things a horseman should have done, and Denny's column on how it takes 10,000 hours of doing any one thing to be proficient at it.

hunter-eventer-hunter
Sep. 29, 2009, 08:09 AM
You didn't really just spend several paragraphs telling Jimmy Wofford he didn't know what he was talking about did you?? Jimmy. Wofford. THE Jimmy Wofford.


You can come over here and criticize GM, Anky, or the Pope.




HA! What a good way to start the day, coffee all over the monitor....

retreadeventer
Sep. 29, 2009, 09:38 AM
Pope Woff STILL doesn't know anything about cutting horses! :) :) :)
Jim, have you really not ridden one yet? Or is that just poetic license...

Cutting horses don't have "cow". They are taught to have cow.

Jumping horses don't have jumping down pat out of the womb. They are taught to jump.

I don't think you take away a horse's ability to think for itself if you teach it systematically to jump, to rock back, to assess a question and do what it has been taught to do to successfully negotiate double offset corners or a triple combination. I know they are all moaning about eventing changing and no longer letting a horse think for himself - but if they really did think for themselves, they wouldn't jump at all, folks. A nice 16 foot face, defined ground line, natural log obstacle is WAY different than double offset corners with a five foot wide jumping space.

As far as the hunter stuff, don't think that applies. Hate to burst bubbles here but....most top showring hunters aren't jumped at all at home to keep them smart and sharp over fences at shows. That beautiful bascule isn't taught. It's NOT taught, it's managed for effect.

subk
Sep. 29, 2009, 09:44 AM
That beautiful bascule isn't taught. It's NOT taught, it's managed for effect.
You don't teach the boldness in an UL XC horses either, and it's managed for effect as well. {Cough} "Managed for effect" is actually a great euphemism for "training."

RAyers
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:05 AM
...

Cutting horses don't have "cow". They are taught to have cow.

I am not sure where you are, but the working cattle horses around here seem to come out of the womb with "cow" in their brains. Some babies just seem to get the idea that they are the boss of the cows before they are ever ridden.


...That beautiful bascule isn't taught. It's NOT taught, it's managed for effect.

Maybe it is not taught but the OP seems to think that it is the definition of "good" jumping ability. If it is not taught, then why so many placement rails, gymnastics etc.? That implies a lot of training of the bascule to me.

Reed

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:11 AM
Cutting horses don't have "cow". They are taught to have cow.



actually girl....I hate to say it but I disagree with you. The good ones have the instinct naturally (and the good ones are bred on hoping to pass that instinct along)...and the instinct is encouraged and directed with good training. I've done some of the working cow work. If I ever gave up eventing...that is the sport I would be doing in a heart beat (it is a mix of cutting, roping, reining and trail/working skills). A friend and I were bringing along two young QH prospect. One clearly had "cow" instincts...the other...not at all...as in let's gallop on PAST the cow we are supposed to chase (he liked to gallop). We could teach him the moves but he was never going to be as good as his barn mate that had the instincts naturally....we changed him to english and sold him on as a low level hunter;)

Same with jumping....some are born with the right instincts....others, you can improve and train...but hands down...I'd rather be sitting on one that has the better instincts naturally. The problems happen when riders either stiffle that natural instinct...or over ride it.

I just jumped a young OTTB for the second time on Sunday. We trotted a little fence with a placing pole. To end, I rolled in the placing pole and cantered the fence a couple of times (just wanted to see if this horse is as nice as I think he is). I hit a perfect half stride both times....mainly because his canter isn't adjustable yet. I saw we were on a half stride about 3 or 4 strides out....I sat quiet and let him sort it out. He is one with a lot of natural self carriage and balance. He added and jumped neatly from the deep spot both times (with his knees up high)....I thought SWEET! That is a horse with good natural instincts.....now my job will be NOT to screw him up by micro managing him or interfering with him... (and to not be tempted to sell him as a hunter in the near future ;) )

grayarabpony
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:59 AM
Don't have time to address everything in the OP, but I have to disagree with one thing: contrary to what the OP seems to be saying, there is no direct correlation between price and talent/suitability for the job at hand.

Luckily I didn't drink that Kool-Aid, which a lot of breeders & sales agents/trainers would have you believe.

Too right. Often pricing of horses is totally arbitrary, unless you want something very specific that a lot of people are looking for, and that's not necessarily talent.

I really like EventerAJ's post too.

I've watched a lot of upper level eventers too, and for the most part all I see are amazingly talented jumpers. Most talented horses aren't going to jump 3' all that well, and sometimes the form gets a little sloppy when the horse is tired or rushed on crosscountry, but most upper level horses are very talented except for the odd one who is smart enough to figure out how to get over the jumps without the extra jump.

I agree with the OP that the top hunters have a built-in metronome at the canter and always snap their knees, no matter what. Photos (in COTH, for example), often show hunters jumping flat though.

I wouldn't think of taking a horse from the hunter ring to eventing unless the horse showed a lot of talent for bigger and wider jumps, the necessary boldness, and scope. Unless you just want to event at the lower levels, which is fine too. And it's true, I see horses at the lower levels who I don't think should be jumping at all. I've even seen some that appear to have vision problems.

Re: the OTTBs: how many people turn out for a year after buying the horse off the track? With the feet on some of these horses, it looks to me like they might need more than a year in some cases before they'd be ready for real work.

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:05 AM
Re: the OTTBs: how many people turn out for a year after buying the horse off the track? With the feet on some of these horses, it looks to me like they might need more than a year in some cases before they'd be ready for real work.


The one that I just started was turned out for 6 months. His feet actually looked pretty good and have proven to be fairly solid. He's pulled a front shoe and a hind shoe so far.....and wasn't foot sore at all and his feet didn't break up. My farrier loves him...but I told him if he keeps pulling shoes, my farrier isn't going to like him any more!

lesson junkie
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:10 AM
You have to remember, it's consistancy that's rewarded in the hunter ring-the whole course is set up to encourage that-and there have to be 8 jumps of the same excellent quality-one mistake will get your heart cut out. The XC horse is never shown the same approach twice, which is why they have to be so clever. The resulting jumping efforts reflect the different questions posed to the horse. I think this point has been made in above posts. To teach a horse to self carry at speed over changing terrain is a daunting challenge to this Hunter Princess!

Another factor not to forget is how fatigue will affect the jump. Especially with upper level horses, this is huge. We hunter riders don't have to deal with helping a tired horse stay in one piece. Even out hunting, you check while the hounds are gathered, and you and the horse get a breather. My horse would expect me to carry oxygen for him XC.

Yeah-the Dutchman and I will stick to the hunters-suits my nerve and his Warmblood disposition much better-but we both are Eventing Fans (his best trail riding buddy does horse trials).

lesson junkie
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:14 AM
ETA: Don't think just because hunters look effortless they don't have power and scope-it takes all that and more to make the work look easy-trust me, that back snap and power off the ground will launch you like the Space Shuttle!

grayarabpony
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:27 AM
ETA: Don't think just because hunters look effortless they don't have power and scope-it takes all that and more to make the work look easy-trust me, that back snap and power off the ground will launch you like the Space Shuttle!

I remember going to Atlanta in '96, and watching the horses, one after the other clear the 6' brush on steeplecase (it was stiff and didn't invite jumping through). There is a difference between jumping jumps that require a lot of scope to get over them and hunter jumps. I'm not saying hunters aren't talented -- the ones jumping 3'6" and up certainly are, especially -- but the requirements for hunters and top level eventers are rather different, obviously.

grayarabpony
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:28 AM
The one that I just started was turned out for 6 months. His feet actually looked pretty good and have proven to be fairly solid. He's pulled a front shoe and a hind shoe so far.....and wasn't foot sore at all and his feet didn't break up. My farrier loves him...but I told him if he keeps pulling shoes, my farrier isn't going to like him any more!

I was thinking of the ones with severely underrun heels.... what a mess..

Jleegriffith
Sep. 29, 2009, 12:04 PM
grayarabpony- in my personal opinion turning them out and leaving them when they do have such awful feet doesn't do them any favors. You take off their shoes and they limp around barefoot getting bruised, abscess and they become so sore in their bodies they just hurt. I have a constant stream of ottb's that come in with all sorts of foot issues and nutrition, a good farrier and good corrective shoeing on a 4-5 week schedule can do wonders. We often use a variety of methods such as pads, packing and whatever else is needed to slowly adjust angles, bring back the toe and bring up the heel. I prefer to keep shoes on them and keep them comfortable.

I try to ride my eventers very much like a show hunter because good balance is the same thing regardless of discipline and yes self carriage is always the ultimate goal.

BFEN- you and I are bringing along a horse at the same time and using the same exercises. In my blog, you will see the mare doing her first canter fences. First the trot fence with the pole and then just canter around and try not to touch her. This is the basis of all good training letting them figure out what to do without our help and put them on the right track to developing self carriage.

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 29, 2009, 12:20 PM
BFEN- you and I are bringing along a horse at the same time and using the same exercises. In my blog, you will see the mare doing her first canter fences. First the trot fence with the pole and then just canter around and try not to touch her. This is the basis of all good training letting them figure out what to do without our help and put them on the right track to developing self carriage.


LOL...I saw your video on face book and thought cute mare...and hmm, I think I need to go visit Janice!

RugBug
Sep. 29, 2009, 12:33 PM
Wow...I'm not sure I read the same article. I thought the points were:

1. Self carriage is important.

2. Self-carriage isn't solely defined by the dressage world, which many people seem to think. A horse in self-carriage is balanced and ready for rider input, but isn't dependent on rider input to maintain that balance. Hunters CAN be in self-carriage despite what a lot of people think

3. A horse needs to be able to think for itself. This comes from natural instinct and from training. As a rider, you CANNOT make every decision for your horse, so stop trying. In training you've got to let the horse make mistakes or they are never going to learn from them and figure out how to get out of tight situations on their own.

As for many of the posts on this thread, they seem really defensive. I guess one of the big names of your discipline praising the hunters was a little too much? That wasn't his point at all. He wasn't saying hunters are the best and your horses should have hunter-like bascule at every fence...but rather you should strive for the balance and self-carriage that the hunter has to have and try to develop the instincts a cutting horse has in order to have the best/safest rounds you can. If I as a hunter rider can learn stuff from eventing (best cure for leaning/jumping ahead EVER is XC), why can't eventers learn from the hunters?

A whole lot of eventer horses COULD have a better bascule if it was a priority (whomever said Connaught jumped like a hunter...not so much. My Boy Bobby on the other hand :cool:). Sure, bascule is a lot of 'nature', but there is a lot of nuture going on as well. Nuturing the best bascule possible in any given horse is a GOOD thing. It's certainly going to help in stadium. Some jumps will be flatter than others because of the type of jump, the speed and the terrain, but that shouldn't be used as an excuse for bad jumping.

Good bascule doesn't necessarily mean inefficient, either. The best horse is going to jump with the most correct arch without a lot of extra air/hang time involved. We don't like a horse to spend a lot of time in the air either, no matter how round they jump. It's a fault.

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 29, 2009, 12:50 PM
Wow...I'm not sure I read the same article. I thought the points were:

As for many of the posts on this thread, they seem really defensive. I guess one of the big names of your discipline praising the hunters was a little too much?


I think the defensive tone in many of the posts is not against hunters....it is against the OP bashing the article....she didn't seem to get it....your post indicates that you did.

Jimmy has always held up the best of the best to look at and learn from. There is a TON eventers can learn from a good hunter....as well as jumpers, dressage, racing, even western. Look at the balance, rhythm and jump of the working hunters. They are jumping 4' fences with only subtle influences of the rider....that is a goal we should all have....and the ideal best xc round will have the flow and feel of a top hunter round.

grayarabpony
Sep. 29, 2009, 12:57 PM
grayarabpony- in my personal opinion turning them out and leaving them when they do have such awful feet doesn't do them any favors. You take off their shoes and they limp around barefoot getting bruised, abscess and they become so sore in their bodies they just hurt. I have a constant stream of ottb's that come in with all sorts of foot issues and nutrition, a good farrier and good corrective shoeing on a 4-5 week schedule can do wonders. We often use a variety of methods such as pads, packing and whatever else is needed to slowly adjust angles, bring back the toe and bring up the heel. I prefer to keep shoes on them and keep them comfortable.

I try to ride my eventers very much like a show hunter because good balance is the same thing regardless of discipline and yes self carriage is always the ultimate goal.

BFEN- you and I are bringing along a horse at the same time and using the same exercises. In my blog, you will see the mare doing her first canter fences. First the trot fence with the pole and then just canter around and try not to touch her. This is the basis of all good training letting them figure out what to do without our help and put them on the right track to developing self carriage.

Well, they would need to be trimmed frequently, I'm not talking about just throwing them out in a field -- and how many horses gimp on soft turf?

I've seen people waste time trying to ride a horse straight off the track and it was a waste of time -- generally the horses need some down time.

RugBug
Sep. 29, 2009, 01:32 PM
I think the defensive tone in many of the posts is not against hunters....it is against the OP bashing the article....she didn't seem to get it....your post indicates that you did.
.

Glad to hear that. It just felt like I read a whole lot of "but our horses can't do that for {insert reason of your choice here}, nor would we want them to."

I love dabbling in eventing and have learned quite a bit from my time there. I also toy with the idea of taking some reining or cutting lessons. I figure if I can learn to stay with a spinning horse in a western saddle, I might have a better chance of staying with my spook and spinner in a english saddle.

FWIW: to the poster who mentioned Brianne Goutal and her never having ridden in a dressage saddle: I'm pretty sure she can still put in a competent 1st or 2nd level test. If my sad self who has only ridden in a dressage saddle twice under duress (HATED it), can put in a decent training level/BN test, Brianne is capable of much more.

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 29, 2009, 02:28 PM
Glad to hear that. It just felt like I read a whole lot of "but our horses can't do that for {insert reason of your choice here}, nor would we want them to."

.


I think those sort of the responses were to the OP holding up "hunters" as the best of the best in jumping style. The realty is that they are good hunters (there are other horses who are top knotch jumping who do not jump in a hunter "style"). While there are things that I can learn from hunters....eventing is a different sport. Just as jumpers, dressage, racing, western are different. There are very good things to learn from all of them but you also have to know their differences and how those differences would affect a horse's success in your choosen sport. (and you do learn the the differences are not HUGE but there are differences)

Coppers mom
Sep. 29, 2009, 02:30 PM
I wish so many eventers wouldn't act like they couldn't learn anything from hunters. Everyone seems to focus on the big, lofty jump, and how it's a waste of time. It's true, but the form of a lot of eventers could definitely use some improvement.

For example, I can go to a hunter show, watch all day, and not see a single rail fall down in the 3'6" and up divisions. But, if I go to an event, there will be tons of rails at the same heights. Of course, there are a ton of reasons for rails and poor form, but most I see are caused by the horses just not quite getting out of their own way.

I love eventing, but there's no reason for the number of rails seen at the training/pre-lim levels. It's really a little embarrassing when a jumper friend of mine comes to watch, because they just don't have rails flying left and right. Maybe a couple lessons with a hunter/jumper instructor could help the horses jump a little better and drill it into the rider's heads that it's stadium, not cross country, and they need to get out of their poor pony's way if they want a clean round. I'm not saying that our horses should jump like Rox Dene, they shouldn't. But a little more style would certainly help.

subk
Sep. 29, 2009, 02:39 PM
Glad to hear that. It just felt like I read a whole lot of "but our horses can't do that for {insert reason of your choice here}, nor would we want them to."
Yes there are. Not because what JW said but because the OP missed the whole rhythm/self carriage thing and leaped straight to the twisted concept that the hunter bascule was the ideal definition of jumping ability.

I'm happy to see people question thinking horsemen like Jimmy. I think it's healthy. I always come out with a little more insight and a better understanding of the subject matter. It is amazing how well his theories hold up...


I wish so many eventers wouldn't act like they couldn't learn anything from hunters.
Most serious eventer I know don't think that. Maybe you're just hanging out with the wrong crowd?

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 29, 2009, 02:44 PM
I wish so many eventers wouldn't act like they couldn't learn anything from hunters. Everyone seems to focus on the big, lofty jump, and how it's a waste of time. It's true, but the form of a lot of eventers could definitely use some improvement.

For example, I can go to a hunter show, watch all day, and not see a single rail fall down in the 3'6" and up divisions. But, if I go to an event, there will be tons of rails at the same heights. Of course, there are a ton of reasons for rails and poor form, but most I see are caused by the horses just not quite getting out of their own way.

I love eventing, but there's no reason for the number of rails seen at the training/pre-lim levels. It's really a little embarrassing when a jumper friend of mine comes to watch, because they just don't have rails flying left and right. Maybe a couple lessons with a hunter/jumper instructor could help the horses jump a little better and drill it into the rider's heads that it's stadium, not cross country, and they need to get out of their poor pony's way if they want a clean round. I'm not saying that our horses should jump like Rox Dene, they shouldn't. But a little more style would certainly help.


I don't think people disagree with you...and most eventers I know DO take lessons with H/J trainers. The aspect of eventing that is really HARD that most H/J riders do not get...is that we have to do it all. Stadium, xc, dressage...and conditioning. It is very VERY hard to be great at it all...as you just do not have the time.

Having done the jumpers myself....sitting on a Prelim+ fit horse having just run xc...or now thinking about running xc....is very different than sitting on a jumper. They are tuned differently (because if you get them too careful...they will stop on xc)...and because they are thinking of xc with a 15' stride...they can be kinda tough to ride. But if they are a super fantastic xc horse....you accept a few rails (and work on it as much as you can).

IMO...finding a top event horse that will do it all...be competitive in dressage, jump clean stadium and be brave and fast xc (and be sound!) is very very hard...and why those horses are very VERY expensive.

But I do also see some bad riding.....but I also see that bad riding at h/j shows and dressage shows.

GotSpots
Sep. 29, 2009, 02:46 PM
I'm a devoted eventer, and I love watching the big hunters: the 3'6" juniors and A/O's and the Regular Working hunters are gorgeous. Would love to look that effortless on a horse.

I don't actually think you'll get much thoughtful disagreement that many eventers could learn a lot from the hunters - in particular, beautiful and efficient lead changes, how to help a horse find the right distance, how to get a beautiful jump and rhythm out of a horse - all of that are places where the hunters really excel. I would love to see every single stadium round look like a hunter round in terms of finding the distances, rhythm, and poise. But don't forget that the questions asked can be different. For example, the last Preliminary stadium course I rode wasn't a 3'6" hunter course - not unless you're seeing oxer-oxer-vertical triples to a short five to a skinny vertical in the hunter rings. And thus, there's a bit different of a ride there. And I am lucky enough to sit on one who jumps knees to his eyeballs over every fence (though otherwise doesn't have a hunter look in anyway). Does that excuse the major chip I put in on the long gallop there? Nope. Would have loved to have been a hunter-rider there and have been able to fix that a bit more smoothly, or, er, at all.

Doesn't mean that there isn't something many hunter riders could learn from good eventers. Ability to ride forward out of hand, ability to adjust one's position over terrain, to jump accuracy questions and from light into dark? All great skills that make us more complete riders. But I suspect we could all also learn something from the other disciplines. Heck, George Morris told me at a clinic a few years back to ride everything I could find - including a cutting horse if I could. Said every horse improves your seat. So if anyone wants to lend me something that understands cow...?

retreadeventer
Sep. 29, 2009, 04:32 PM
You don't teach the boldness in an UL XC horses either, and it's managed for effect as well. {Cough} "Managed for effect" is actually a great euphemism for "training."

Not really same, Subk. What they do is not jump so the horse is spooky and looky and careful and sharp. We don't exactly manage an upper level XC horse that way. The idea is to teach them the ropes at Prelim and Interm. so they can play with some smarts at Advanced. We need them experienced. The big hunters don't need experience so much as sharpness within a confined ring at a controlled pace....it's managed thru the temperament, and the lunging, and the non-training, not thru the learning of the horse. Think of the difference in the jumping application of a coffin, and an in and out in the hunter ring.
Apples and oranges.

RugBug
Sep. 29, 2009, 04:38 PM
Doesn't mean that there isn't something many hunter riders could learn from good eventers. Ability to ride forward out of hand, ability to adjust one's position over terrain, to jump accuracy questions and from light into dark? All great skills that make us more complete riders. But I suspect we could all also learn something from the other disciplines.

Absolutely. While I didn't learn about riding forward on XC, it was driven home there that controlled forward is the best way to ride. Controlled forward is more 'powerful balanced canter' in the hunters...but it's still a necessary lesson.

As I said before...when I start ducking too much or even jumping ahead (not my normal problem), I want to get out on the XC course because I stop doing it almost immediately.

Jumping light to dark can be challenge on the spooky hunter, but it's not like most of us don't face that question. I know I do every evening when the trees around our arena shade/cast shadows on the jumps. It's extra special fun when it's windy (99% of the time at my barn) causing the shadows to dance. :eek: :winkgrin:

RugBug
Sep. 29, 2009, 04:45 PM
Not really same, Subk. What they do is not jump so the horse is spooky and looky and careful and sharp. We don't exactly manage an upper level XC horse that way. The idea is to teach them the ropes at Prelim and Interm. so they can play with some smarts at Advanced. We need them experienced. The big hunters don't need experience so much as sharpness within a confined ring at a controlled pace....it's managed thru the temperament, and the lunging, and the non-training, not thru the learning of the horse. Think of the difference in the jumping application of a coffin, and an in and out in the hunter ring.
Apples and oranges.


Wha? Seriously: You think hunters aren't taught the ropes? Sure, we jump them as little as possible to get the job done, but who doesn't? That doesn't meant the horses aren't trained or don't need experience. What do you think is going to happen to that spooky/looky horse when it gets to indoors? It's going to spook in it's opening circle and immediately lose any chance of placing. Experience/training is very important for a hunter. The miles may be expedited through temperament, but any horse person knows that picking the right job for the horse is going to make the training job easier INCLUDING event horses.

Okay...so all you guys that said I misunderstood the tenor of the posts...it's stuff like this that I was reading.

enjoytheride
Sep. 29, 2009, 04:52 PM
I think the major reason hunters are "easier" to ride has to do with breeding and initial training. These are horses that are selected through tailored breeding programs from generations of horses that are easy to ride and train. Their sire and dam needed to be goodnatured and talented. Since many eventers ride OTTBs you have to look at the ottb breeding. They have been selected from generations of GO FAST NOW. It is more possible in this program that a general bad attidue can be bred in. Track horses are handled very differently and this means they can afford to have different personalities. I think the OTTB has the best FORWARD button ever installed but they do lack in many other areas.

The second biggest reason hunters are "easier" to ride is initial training. These are horses that are handled like sport horses from the time they are born. They never learn how to invert, buck, put their heads up, flatten their backs because the training is solid. Their already naturally good gaits are improved by a good foundation that starts out so much closer to self carriage. The OTTB transitions into eventing life with a whole box of baggage. They don't understand contact, the leg, putting their head down, working on the bit, self carriage, etc. Not only must they be taught but they must be untaught.

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 29, 2009, 05:02 PM
I think the major reason hunters are "easier" to ride has to do with breeding and initial training. These are horses that are selected through tailored breeding programs from generations of horses that are easy to ride and train. Their sire and dam needed to be goodnatured and talented. Since many eventers ride OTTBs you have to look at the ottb breeding. They have been selected from generations of GO FAST NOW. It is more possible in this program that a general bad attidue can be bred in. Track horses are handled very differently and this means they can afford to have different personalities. I think the OTTB has the best FORWARD button ever installed but they do lack in many other areas.

The second biggest reason hunters are "easier" to ride is initial training. These are horses that are handled like sport horses from the time they are born. They never learn how to invert, buck, put their heads up, flatten their backs because the training is solid. Their already naturally good gaits are improved by a good foundation that starts out so much closer to self carriage. The OTTB transitions into eventing life with a whole box of baggage. They don't understand contact, the leg, putting their head down, working on the bit, self carriage, etc. Not only must they be taught but they must be untaught.


Actually....the majority eventers that I see at events now a days are not on OTTBs. Sure there are a lot more of them than in the hunters....but there are also a LOT of sport breed and trained event horses.


A lot of our event horses are started the same way as a hunter. A lot of them do their first shows at hunter shows. There are also very quiet OTTBs who are easy to retrain......actually most of the OTTBs that I've worked with are not at all like you described. They have generally been very easy to bring along. I've got one now that those who show hunters would kill for. Could set a metronome to his trot and canter...both on the flat and when jumping...with just 30 days re-training (and cranks his knees to his eyes and soft through his back when jumping).

Those are just broad generalizations just like the ones setting Rugbug off!

Top hunters are NOT easy to train or find...just the same as top eventers or top anything. To be the best takes work and bit of luck.

I could say...hunters are easier because they are overweight and not very fit...but I also know that is a generalization!;) To ride hunters WELL...just as to event WELL...takes work both in training of the rider and training of the horse and some horses...just as some riders... are more suited to one job than another.

Janet
Sep. 29, 2009, 05:08 PM
I think the major reason hunters are "easier" to ride has to do with breeding and initial training. These are horses that are selected through tailored breeding programs from generations of horses that are easy to ride and train. Their sire and dam needed to be goodnatured and talented. Since many eventers ride OTTBs you have to look at the ottb breeding. They have been selected from generations of GO FAST NOW. It is more possible in this program that a general bad attidue can be bred in. Track horses are handled very differently and this means they can afford to have different personalities. I think the OTTB has the best FORWARD button ever installed but they do lack in many other areas.

The second biggest reason hunters are "easier" to ride is initial training. These are horses that are handled like sport horses from the time they are born. They never learn how to invert, buck, put their heads up, flatten their backs because the training is solid. Their already naturally good gaits are improved by a good foundation that starts out so much closer to self carriage. The OTTB transitions into eventing life with a whole box of baggage. They don't understand contact, the leg, putting their head down, working on the bit, self carriage, etc. Not only must they be taught but they must be untaught.

But the majority of eventers are NOT OTTBs.

Over the years I have had 10 eventers.

NONE of them have been OTTBs, and only 3 of them have been TBs.

Every one of them started their training as an eventer. They did NOT start "with a whole box of baggage".

I am not atypical.

Must of them come from similar bloodlines as the hunters.

And they ARE "handled like sport horses from the time they are born."

Blugal
Sep. 29, 2009, 05:09 PM
Interesting perspective, enjoytheride.

Perhaps it's just me, but the hunters I've ridden (not a large selection, but there have been a few) were more difficult to ride for me because they didn't have that "go" button installed. Instead they had the "spook". Sure, they jumped cleaner - but I didn't feel safe enough to jump anything over 3' with them, as they often didn't feel in front of my leg.

Different strokes, as they say.

Janet
Sep. 29, 2009, 05:13 PM
Not really same, Subk. What they do is not jump so the horse is spooky and looky and careful and sharp. I don't think that is true.

When the show allows it, I see the hunters schooling in the show ring (over the show jumps) in the early morning.

I also see VERY FULL "warmup" classes scheduled EXPLICITLY so the rider or trainer can ride around the course, and get the horse used to the course "before it counts".

RugBug
Sep. 29, 2009, 05:14 PM
I think the major reason hunters are "easier" to ride has to do with breeding and initial training. These are horses that are selected through tailored breeding programs from generations of horses that are easy to ride and train. Their sire and dam needed to be goodnatured and talented. Since many eventers ride OTTBs you have to look at the ottb breeding. They have been selected from generations of GO FAST NOW. It is more possible in this program that a general bad attidue can be bred in. Track horses are handled very differently and this means they can afford to have different personalities. I think the OTTB has the best FORWARD button ever installed but they do lack in many other areas.

Hrmmm...the majority of tailored breeding programs I'm familiar with are breeding for dressage or jumpers. Hunters are often seen as a by-product, the failures of those programs. How long have breeders lamented that hunter folk don't care about breeding? We are the premier example of 'if it can do the job, I don't care what the papers say, or if it even has papers.' Sure there are some breeders that are tailoring their programs for hunters, but you have to pick through a lot of other to find them.

TB's aren't popular in the hunter ring anymore, but they are the breed that developed the standards we use today...'cause that's what everyone was riding 25 years ago and the many, many years before that. There are many reasons TBs aren't popular anymore, some legitimate, others a bunch of hogwash. The more you go down the ranks, the more you will find the TBs...not because the breed isn't capable of doing more, but because they are usually more affordable.

(BTW: I just bought a TB hunter to replace my WB hunter. How's that for back-asswards. :D TB was on the track years ago, but was too slow. Once I figure out his particular brand of sensitivity, which is very different from the WBs brand, I hope we can make a decent showing in the A/As, albeit at a low level)

enjoytheride
Sep. 29, 2009, 05:17 PM
Interesting Janet, perhaps it is a location thing but I'd say over 80% of the eventers locally are OTTBs. At BN and below it can be anything that you can slap a saddle on and jump around (I event an arabian) but the higher up the more plain bay ottbs I see!

The thing with the warmbloods is that their "go" is a lot different from say a TB. My gelding was 1/2 TB and he has a lot of go, when he was going you knew it. He was sensitive to the leg and quick. Whenever I'd take a lesson on a warmblood I was always reprimanded for heckling the horse. When I got it good and forward my trainer told me I was rushing the horse past its natural step. It was really really really hard to sit on a horse that didn't feel like it was going fast, just sit there and not do ANYTHING but maybe keep my leg on exactly the same and let that horse jump a fence. They were in front of the leg but not in the same way.

I felt like I was riding a robo horse. Frankly, I was probably outclassed on a horse that could have packed a monkey around 3 feet. They wanted me to get out of their faces, off their back, point them at the fence, loop my reains, and that was it. They didn't need adjusting, they found their own changes, etc.

I've looked at the horses on this website a lot, I like the description of the mare topmodel
"Topmodel is also suitable for extremely weak riders due to her uncomplicated manner.
Despite being young, she always makes the best out of every situation and puts in good performances every day. She is perfectly suited as a hunter." She's got an ugly canter but she packs.

Even the europeans have figured out there is money in hunters and they now divide their horses into different sports. They even set up fences designed like our hunter courses and slowly jump their low flat kneed movers over them.

http://www.germanhorsecenter.com/

flea
Sep. 29, 2009, 05:35 PM
Retreadeventer??? Cutting horses don't have "cow", they are trained to have cow? Sure that desire and instinct has to be refined and trained but the instinct and desire is there. A horse without that might learn to be passable at cow work but never really good. Have worked cattle on horses without that instinct and desire, Can't get much done and its not fun. I find that an odd statement.

Janet
Sep. 29, 2009, 05:41 PM
It was really really really hard to sit on a horse that didn't feel like it was going fast, just sit there and not do ANYTHING but maybe keep my leg on exactly the same and let that horse jump a fence.
Ever taken a lesson with Jimmy?

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 29, 2009, 05:46 PM
Interesting Janet, perhaps it is a location thing but I'd say over 80% of the eventers locally are OTTBs. At BN and below it can be anything that you can slap a saddle on and jump around (I event an arabian) but the higher up the more plain bay ottbs I see!




Just because they are plain bays...doesn't always mean they are OTTB. I have 4 eventers right now. Three full TBs, one TB cross. Only one is an OTTB....and he is dark brown with a ton of chrome (not plain at all).

But it could be where you are.... But a lot of the top eventers of the past and now are Irish or other TB crosses. There will always be OTTBs but there have and will always be a lot that are not.

My WB cross...has a bigger go button than my OTTB....much much bigger....and isn't really any different to ride than his sister who is a full TB. In the barn I used to keep my horses had a lot of top level Dressage horses....they were all HOTTER, quicker and more sensitive than most of the TBs I'd ever owned.

CBoylen
Sep. 29, 2009, 06:01 PM
This is interesting, but I'm a bit lost here, mainly I think because I understand eventing and the training and economics thereof about as well as some of the posters understand hunters ;) (insert sense of humor here, please).
Two things though:
First, psst Janet, it's Rodney Bross, not Rodney Jenkins :).
And this:
most top showring hunters aren't jumped at all at home to keep them smart and sharp over fences at shows. That beautiful bascule isn't taught. It's NOT taught, it's managed for effect.
is a bit off base. You have to teach the horse before you can manage it. Yes, some horses come with bascule and some don't and there is nothing you can do to turn one into the other. However, in the course of making the best of what you have, or making the better go its best, you have to first train the horse. In order for a horse to use itself well it has to learn to develop its own timing. Otherwise, the adjustment the rider has to give to make all the distances look consistent will be too visible. The horse has to be trained to be consistent in its style in order to make consistent distances and form happen. Then, when the horse is made, it is a question of management, and yes, the less jumps the better. But I am going to go out on a limb and say your top level horses aren't being schooled at home too much either.

frugalannie
Sep. 29, 2009, 06:33 PM
If you're open-minded and want to try riding an athletic horse that is completely different from eventers and H/J, get thee on a polo pony. Most of the even decent ones may not have "cow sense" but they sure have "ball sense", and understand how to block (ride off) other horses. They are carefully trained, very fit and have retained their ability to think for themselves.

But they have little skinny necks, don't go round, don't go on the bit, etc. etc. They are, however, a blast.:D

BaliBandido
Sep. 29, 2009, 07:21 PM
And I've seen a lot of eventers who could put a "top hunter trainer" to shame by beautiful rounds.

Really? A lot of eventers? That can lay down a round with the finesse, accuracy and get the horse jumping up to them over every fence?? I give the eventers their due, but I have not seen a few let alone a lot that remind me of John French, Peter Pletcher,Louise Serio, Peter Lombardo etc.

BaliBandido
Sep. 29, 2009, 07:35 PM
When B. Goutal said after winning all the Eq Finals that she had never riding in a Dressage Saddle, I almost died. That is just sad...

Yes, because clearly it has impeded her career and ability greatly. I am certain, having watched her school her horses and understanding the program from where she came from- I am sure it is fair to say that she is pretty educated in proper flatwork, which does indeed make up from elements from dressage. However, to take that statement out of context to imply that because she said she never rode a dressage saddle means she never rode dressage is silly. Good riding is good riding, regardless of the equipment used.

Or would you look at someone as more educated that was in a dressage saddle bouncing all over the horses back in some rendition of a sitting trot? What is sad is that you made that statement about someone who does incorporate dressage into her rides, everytime.

Janet
Sep. 29, 2009, 07:55 PM
First, psst Janet, it's Rodney Bross, not Rodney Jenkins :).

Ooops!
Showing my age, I guess.

ss3777
Sep. 29, 2009, 08:12 PM
This is a great discussion! Funny thing is my first event horse was a working hunter in his previous career and my now eventer seems more suited for hunters (not just my opinion but a few professionals including an R hunter judge). I did the local hunters growing up and enjoyed myself. I prefer eventing for all sorts of reasons not relevant to this discussion and have an appreciation for the hunters. I think that a well trained horse should be able to do entry level dressage, hunters and/or jumpers. My humble opinion is that the same well trained horse may not have the innate bravery that is required for an entry level event horse to canter on down a bank, over the ditch and thru the water. But hey, I am just ammie having fun with my ponies so who knows! Carry on :)

Coppers mom
Sep. 29, 2009, 09:18 PM
Really? A lot of eventers? That can lay down a round with the finesse, accuracy and get the horse jumping up to them over every fence?? I give the eventers their due, but I have not seen a few let alone a lot that remind me of John French, Peter Pletcher,Louise Serio, Peter Lombardo etc.

Completely agree. I've been up and down the East Coast, and can count on one hand the number of event riders that can put in as smooth a round as a hunter. I'm not talking about form, but everything that goes into making watching stadium enjoyable. Sometimes, I just feel like yelling instructions from the sidelines it's so frustrating. I went to a Holly Hepp clinic this weekend, and I only saw one horse who consistently did clean, quiet changes. This is ridiculous. 4 year olds do changes in hunters, they are a necessary skill for jumping, why can I go to a show and watch horses going pre-lim that can't do them?

I understand we have to multi-task as eventers, and it's hard to do everything well, but it's a little disappointing that stadium gets thrown out by a lot of riders simply because it's not judged and only rails count.

EventerAJ
Sep. 29, 2009, 09:35 PM
4 year olds do changes in hunters, they are a necessary skill for jumping, why can I go to a show and watch horses going pre-lim that can't do them?


Not going to comment on the rest, because I DO feel that a good hunter round is difficult, and not achievable by just anybody.

BUT, changes can be another story altogether. But how many 4 year-old dressage horses do changes? Not many. Why not? Because the changes are incredibly important later in life, they are SCORED, must be clean, back-to-front, with strength and balance. It's not simply getting from one lead to the other without breaking gait. It's an actual meaningful movement, developed and refined. Changes have become very important in the advanced tests... rushing a horse through them at the lower levels can be a major PITA later on.

I agree it's deplorable to see a horse cross-canter unbalanced through the turn. But I do not expect to see 100% confirmed changes on a green prelim horse. Counter-canter is being developed at that stage, and sometimes drilling the changes can confuse the horse. At N/T, the speeds are still slow enough to allow a simple change through trot, if needed. At prelim, I expect the changes to be a work in progress.

Hunter changes are different than dressage changes. Since eventers (ULs anyway) are expected to do dressage changes, you can't teach them to swap flat, front-to-back in SJ, and then later on change your mind on the flat.

I've broken TB yearlings w/t/c and clean changes in 30 days (or less). But those changes are not something I'd do with a dressage prospect!

Janet
Sep. 29, 2009, 09:52 PM
I only saw one horse who consistently did clean, quiet changes. This is ridiculous. 4 year olds do changes in hunters, they are a necessary skill for jumping, why can I go to a show and watch horses going pre-lim that can't do them?

BUT those 4 yo hunters that "do" changes are not expected to demonstrate a dressage-test-worthy counter canter. Nor a (dressage definition) simple change (canter-walk-canter with no trot steps)

Stressing the changes early often makes it harder to teach the simple change and the counter canter, becuase the horse anticipates, and changes when they are not supposed to.

BTW, there are jumpers, including Olympic winners, that don't "do" changes.

I agree the horse needs to be balanced. But a balanced counter canter is perfectly acceptable in my book.

wanderlust
Sep. 29, 2009, 09:59 PM
Completely agree. I've been up and down the East Coast, and can count on one hand the number of event riders that can put in as smooth a round as a hunter. I'm not talking about form, but everything that goes into making watching stadium enjoyable. Sometimes, I just feel like yelling instructions from the sidelines it's so frustrating. I went to a Holly Hepp clinic this weekend, and I only saw one horse who consistently did clean, quiet changes. This is ridiculous. 4 year olds do changes in hunters, they are a necessary skill for jumping, why can I go to a show and watch horses going pre-lim that can't do them?
I love riding the hunters, but eventing showjumping is designed to be ridden much more like an equitation or jumper course. Still doesn't mean it shouldn't be smooth and lovely, but I can't imagine loping on the buckle down to some of the combinations you see above training level. They aren't set on a consistent 12'-13' step, and the horse does need your help since he didn't walk the course and doesn't know where strides are set.

Also, changes are by NO means necessary to jump around a course. Thats just a ridiculous thing to say. They are a nice-to-have that makes things easier, but if you go watch the AA or even higher jumpers, there are lots that don't consistently have changes (duh, thats why they are in the jumper ring) but have plenty of scope to jump a big fence off a counter-canter or out of a cross-canter.

Coppers mom
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:04 PM
BUT, changes can be another story altogether. But how many 4 year-old dressage horses do changes? Not many. Why not? Because the changes are incredibly important later in life, they are SCORED, must be clean, back-to-front, with strength and balance. It's not simply getting from one lead to the other without breaking gait. It's an actual meaningful movement, developed and refined. Changes have become very important in the advanced tests... rushing a horse through them at the lower levels can be a major PITA later on.
So changes aren't a meaningful movement in any other discipline? That's just silly. And I never said the horse should be rushed, but there's no reason for a horse to go around at pre-lim, supposedly mostly there with it's training, and not have a decent change.

I agree it's deplorable to see a horse cross-canter unbalanced through the turn. But I do not expect to see 100% confirmed changes on a green prelim horse. Counter-canter is being developed at that stage, and sometimes drilling the changes can confuse the horse. At N/T, the speeds are still slow enough to allow a simple change through trot, if needed. At prelim, I expect the changes to be a work in progress.
I completely disagree. At pre-lim, the horse should have had several years, and should have had the counter canter confirmed before moving up to that level.

Hunter changes are different than dressage changes. Since eventers (ULs anyway) are expected to do dressage changes, you can't teach them to swap flat, front-to-back in SJ, and then later on change your mind on the flat.
Wow, so many misconceptions it's almost not even worth it. A good hunter change does NOT go front to back, it's a big penalty. And dressage changes are only "different" because it's more collected. My horse did eventing, then hunters, and is now doing 3rd level dressage. He can do both changes, the only difference is the amount of collection I ask of him. It's really not as big of a deal as people try to make it out to be. Your dressage changes won't be ruined because you taught the change in a less collected manner.

I've broken TB yearlings w/t/c and clean changes in 30 days (or less). But those changes are not something I'd do with a dressage prospect!
Again, it's silly to think that dressage changes will be ruined if the horse gets a simple, huntery change put on it earlier on. Most dressage trainers aiming at the international level won't discourage a horse from doing changes early on if they're offered. Do you think these changes look anything like those seen once in competition? No. But they allow the horse to understand the concept in a relaxed, natural, easy way so he'll later happily offer them when asked. Early changes often look more like the hunter changes (flatter and less collected) than the expressive ones in competition, and no one has a fit over it.

I'm going to be honest, I think it's a poor reflection of the rider if the horse is going Training or above without proper changes. BN and even Novice I can understand, but anything past that is just laziness. They aren't hard, they aren't a huge deal, and the more collected change won't be ruined later on. Once you get past novice, the horse is supposed to be moderately well trained, there's less room for a simple change, and the fences are getting too big to come to unbalanced.

lstevenson
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:06 PM
Really? A lot of eventers? That can lay down a round with the finesse, accuracy and get the horse jumping up to them over every fence?? I give the eventers their due, but I have not seen a few let alone a lot that remind me of John French, Peter Pletcher,Louise Serio, Peter Lombardo etc.


To be fair, you should only compare apples to apples.

Hunters jump only solid, inviting fences with plenty of flowers/boxes ect in front to give the horse plenty of time to get it up in the air cleanly. Their jumps are all in straight lines with perfect distances.

Eventers show jumping rounds have airy vertical fences with no groundlines at all, square oxers coming out of tight turns, difficult turns, bending lines, combinations and lines with not so perfect distances. AND their horses are fit and brave (and not drugged or lunged to death;)). AND they are galloped for fitness and ridden at speed over solid jumps, which tends to effect their ridabilty somewhat.

The REAL test would be to take a hunter from one of the above mentioned riders, and an eventer from a top event rider, and have them switch horses and try their hand at each others sport.

I know who I'd put my money on to have a smoother round. :winkgrin:

Mach Two
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:15 PM
lstevenson is absolutely right, and has become one of my heroes. :D

DMK
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:23 PM
Not really same, Subk. What they do is not jump so the horse is spooky and looky and careful and sharp.

I admit I may not be the most experienced hunter princess out there, but you must have hung around a few different farms than I ever did, because this is ummmm ... not correct.

What good hunter trainers generally avoid is a) drilling entire courses, b) jumping big sticks and c) not overjumping a made horse on a regular show schedule (uh, unless his rider needs it).

Then again, do you drill your complete dressage test every ride, or do you just put pieces of it together here and there?

What good hunter trainers do is to hone that good jump by gymnastics and practicing certain elements that need refinement.

But I'm betting you might practice a few specific elements of a test more often than the entire test.

And that horse who has that natural spook with a ton of natural backup? He isn't made that way by no jumping. If anything, that horse gets jumped a bit more because he's a horse who is a little bit scared by the jump. He needs to develop a lot more trust in his rider than the average horse. He's in his element in the hunter ring where things are fairly predictable. Unless he had an insane amount of trust in his pilot, he'd probably be fried inside of a month in jumpers and xc. You could jump him a 100 times a day and he'd still put his nose between his toes as long as he could physically get across a jump.

wanderlust
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:24 PM
To be fair, you should only compare apples to apples.
<snip>
The REAL test would be to take a hunter from one of the above mentioned riders, and an eventer from a top event rider, and have them switch horses and try their hand at each others sport.

I know who I'd put my money on to have a smoother round. :winkgrin: Considering that John French and Peter Pletcher both rode and won at the international grand prix level for years in addition to being better-known as the best hunter riders in the country (and I think French-fry rode in the World Cup in 2003, I know he qualified), I'm not sure they'd have quite as hard a time as you might think.

lstevenson
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:24 PM
BUT those 4 yo hunters that "do" changes are not expected to demonstrate a dressage-test-worthy counter canter. Nor a (dressage definition) simple change (canter-walk-canter with no trot steps)

Stressing the changes early often makes it harder to teach the simple change and the counter canter, becuase the horse anticipates, and changes when they are not supposed to.

BTW, there are jumpers, including Olympic winners, that don't "do" changes.

I agree the horse needs to be balanced. But a balanced counter canter is perfectly acceptable in my book.



Totally agree on all counts.

I can't see why some are so bent out of shape over horses that don't do changes. It's not that big of a deal, and if their flatwork is good, they should be able to still do nice smooth rounds. They don't come easily to many horses, and it's not worth upsetting them to work on them. I've had many an ex-hunter come to me for training whose horse was practically ruined from their trainers trying to "install the changes".

I tend to let the horse tell me whether I work on them or not. If they seem to come fairly easy for them, I will work on them. If they are hard for them (ie the ones who don't do them easily when loose in the field), then I don't work on them until they are ready for changes in dressage, with sufficient engagement for 2nd or 3rd level dressage, and solid counter canter and simple changes through the walk.

lstevenson
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:32 PM
Considering that John French and Peter Pletcher both rode and won at the international grand prix level for years in addition to being better-known as the best hunter riders in the country (and I think French-fry rode in the World Cup in 2003, I know he qualified), I'm not sure they'd have quite as hard a time as you might think.


Maybe..... but have they done it on a super fit horse who will gallop at top speed and practically drag their riders over a 6 foot wide and deep ditch and wall?

A jumper is a delicate mixture of chicken and bravery. Too chicken and they don't want to jump, too brave and they don't mind knocking everything down. Hunters and jumpers lean just a little more toward the careful side, while eventers tend to lean a little more towards the bravery side. It does make them a little bit of a different ride.

RAyers
Sep. 29, 2009, 10:49 PM
I'm going to be honest, I think it's a poor reflection of the rider if the horse is going Training or above without proper changes. BN and even Novice I can understand, but anything past that is just laziness. They aren't hard, they aren't a huge deal, and the more collected change won't be ruined later on. Once you get past novice, the horse is supposed to be moderately well trained, there's less room for a simple change, and the fences are getting too big to come to unbalanced.


Just what do you consider a "proper change?" Why is it that flying lead changes are NOT part of dressage until the 3rd level? Up to that point all canter work is done in the counter canter with simple changes.

As for changes on course, if you are worried about your lead coming into a big ass combination on XC or that you need to do a change in the water complex, you should not be out there as your mind is in the wrong place. The more important thing, as other noted, is that the horse is balanced even if it on the counter lead (JUST LIKE IN THE DRESSAGE TESTS) and can keep the impulsion to the fence.

And please tell me what is the proper lead in a 1/4 mile gallop to an ABCD combination? Is it the left or right? What if it is a water complex? Do I need to be concerned if it is after Labor Day?

The VERY idea that anybody is arguing about LEADS and BASCULE as applied to XC and the self carriage of a horse is an example of how myopic and lost the REAL intention is behind training a good, confident, able eventer or jumper.

I also know plenty of top GP jumper riders (West Coast) who would NEVER consider running an Advanced or Intermediate XC. I know because I have offered to take them out and let them use my horses.

Reed

Coppers mom
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:05 PM
Just what do you consider a "proper change?" Why is it that flying lead changes are NOT part of dressage until the 3rd level? Up to that point all canter work is done in the counter canter with simple changes.
A proper change is one that comes from the back to the front. There are finer points to them in each discipline, but the basics are just the same. You don't want a flat change in dressage, but you don't want a dressage change in jumping either. It's not a part of dressage work until third level because it coincides with the amount of collection and strength needed at that level. To get more jump in the change wanted in dressage, you need a stronger horse able to collect himself enough to produce that kind of change.

As for changes on course, if you are worried about your lead coming into a big ass combination on XC or that you need to do a change in the water complex, you should not be out there as your mind is in the wrong place. The more important thing, as other noted, is that the horse is balanced even if it on the counter lead (JUST LIKE IN THE DRESSAGE TESTS) and can keep the impulsion to the fence.
I completely agree that the horse should be balanced in the counter canter. But it's much easier to do a sharp bending line if the horse lands on the correct lead than if he's counter cantering.

And please tell me what is the proper lead in a 1/4 mile gallop to an ABCD combination? Is it the left or right?
In this case, it obviously wouldn't matter.

The VERY idea that anybody is arguing about LEADS and BASCULE as applied to XC and the self carriage of a horse is an example of how myopic and lost the REAL intention is behind training a good, confident, able eventer or jumper.
I was talking about STADIUM!! Please read.

I also know plenty of top GP jumper riders (West Coast) who would NEVER consider running an Advanced or Intermediate XC. I know because I have offered to take them out and let them use my horses.

Reed

Well that's fantastic. It shows that they have a bit of self preservation :lol:

Either way, it has nothing to do with the discussion. So what if they wouldn't take your horses out? They don't have the training, recognize it, just as most don't have the training to go around a GP course.

wanderlust
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:08 PM
The VERY idea that anybody is arguing about LEADS and BASCULE as applied to XC and the self carriage of a horse is an example of how myopic and lost the REAL intention is behind training a good, confident, able eventer or jumper. thank you.


I also know plenty of top GP jumper riders (West Coast) who would NEVER consider running an Advanced or Intermediate XC. I know because I have offered to take them out and let them use my horses. Just because they don't want to doesn't mean they couldn't do a good job of it. With a little bit of practice, I believe any really good top rider in either jumpers or eventing could swap disciplines and be successful. I don't think it is that hard for either to shift gears and adjust their ride- thats what good riders do.

Nigel
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:28 PM
Ok so here is my horse that I did prelim on:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237212&id=1124490167

Hunter jump? Not in that picture...

However:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237198&id=1124490167
and

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30240147&id=1124490167

and
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167


Here is level 6 jumpers:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237211&id=1124490167
Please don't look at my position. New saddle.

Oh and here he is qualifying a girl for the Maclay Finals:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237210&id=1124490167

And that was after they spent a week making his jump FLATTER so he didn't jump the kid out of the tack.

Guess the chronic back pain that TBs have didn't get in his way too much...Maybe the OP hasn't seen that many eventers...

Blugal
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:34 PM
I completely agree that the horse should be balanced in the counter canter. But it's much easier to do a sharp bending line if the horse lands on the correct lead than if he's counter cantering.

So... ask the horse to land on the correct lead. If he's used to that, or to being balanced at the counter canter, or to changing leads - any way, he will do fine through the combination.

The problem lies, as lstevenson so aptly described, in a horse that is worried about a change because he's not able to simply do them - or a RAyers described, a rider who is more concerned with the change than the balance.

EventerAJ
Sep. 29, 2009, 11:47 PM
Wow, so many misconceptions it's almost not even worth it. A good hunter change does NOT go front to back, it's a big penalty.

How many back-to-front changes are in this Popeye K video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOoimIwxL7w)? Front-to-back changes are very common in hunters, and not always penalized. It is how the horse naturally changes when galloping. It is smooth, efficient, and requires very little collection.



Again, it's silly to think that dressage changes will be ruined if the horse gets a simple, huntery change put on it earlier on. Most dressage trainers aiming at the international level won't discourage a horse from doing changes early on if they're offered. Do you think these changes look anything like those seen once in competition? No. But they allow the horse to understand the concept in a relaxed, natural, easy way so he'll later happily offer them when asked. Early changes often look more like the hunter changes (flatter and less collected) than the expressive ones in competition, and no one has a fit over it.

I'm going to be honest, I think it's a poor reflection of the rider if the horse is going Training or above without proper changes. BN and even Novice I can understand, but anything past that is just laziness. They aren't hard, they aren't a huge deal, and the more collected change won't be ruined later on. Once you get past novice, the horse is supposed to be moderately well trained, there's less room for a simple change, and the fences are getting too big to come to unbalanced.

You are certainly allowed to have your opinion, and think what you will of others' "laziness." Your mileage obviously varies from mine. I've known many horses, from various backgrounds (hunters, OTT, western, etc), that were difficult to teach a true flying change. If a horse offers me a correct, clean change at an early point in his training, GREAT! But I'm not going to slap changes on a horse while sacrificing the rest of his canter work. I think a horse should learn to land on the proper lead WAY before he needs to learn changes anyway-- and if you always land on the new lead, changes are irrelevant. ;)

I'm not bashing hunters by calling a front-to-back change a "hunter" change-- I use the term to distinguish it from a back-to-front dressage change. I know that change is preferred in hunters, too, as in reining. BUT, a front-to-back change will earn a 4 (MAYBE a 5 if the judge is nice) in dressage, while it is quite often overlooked in the hunter ring.

grayarabpony
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:20 AM
Ok so here is my horse that I did prelim on:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237212&id=1124490167

Hunter jump? Not in that picture...

However:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237198&id=1124490167
and

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30240147&id=1124490167

and
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167


Here is level 6 jumpers:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237211&id=1124490167
Please don't look at my position. New saddle.

Oh and here he is qualifying a girl for the Maclay Finals:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237210&id=1124490167

And that was after they spent a week making his jump FLATTER so he didn't jump the kid out of the tack.

Guess the chronic back pain that TBs have didn't get in his way too much...Maybe the OP hasn't seen that many eventers...

What a super-looking (and jumping) horse!

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:52 AM
The REAL test would be to take a hunter from one of the above mentioned riders, and an eventer from a top event rider, and have them switch horses and try their hand at each others sport.

I know who I'd put my money on to have a smoother round. :winkgrin:

I think both would be fish out of water...for the most part.

I'm guessing you are not watching the Capital Challenge live feed? The working hunters were on today. Many of the rounds you see are so smooth with only a tiny obvious-to-the-untrained-eye mistake and they earn mid 70s...by both judges. I'm thinking your eventers wouldn't fair so well in that setting.

But who really cares? It's about learning what you can from each discipline and incorporating it in a logical manner to improve your ride in your discipline.

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 01:20 AM
[/COLOR]

You are certainly allowed to have your opinion, and think what you will of others' "laziness." Your mileage obviously varies from mine. I've known many horses, from various backgrounds (hunters, OTT, western, etc), that were difficult to teach a true flying change. If a horse offers me a correct, clean change at an early point in his training, GREAT! But I'm not going to slap changes on a horse while sacrificing the rest of his canter work. I think a horse should learn to land on the proper lead WAY before he needs to learn changes anyway-- and if you always land on the new lead, changes are irrelevant. ;)

WHO is saying horses should be rushed or pushed or worried when it comes to changes? WHO is saying that they should be haphazardly slapped on with all other work falling by the wayside? Do you think the smooth and quiet changes in the Baby Green's come from a horse nervous about changes? No.

I think the reason so many horses have "trouble" with changes are because of the riders. I started out eventing, and thought changes were a huge deal and that I'd never be able to do them with this horse, that horse, most horses in general. Two years in hunter land riding nappy ponies taught me that we (and dressage riders), in general, make too big of a deal about the changes. Ever wonder why practically every single hunter has it's changes, but few event and dressage horses (in relation to the number competing) do? And if they change, it's a huge deal? It's the mentality, not the horses.

magnolia73
Sep. 30, 2009, 08:42 AM
I'm going to be honest, I think it's a poor reflection of the rider if the horse is going Training or above without proper changes. BN and even Novice I can understand, but anything past that is just laziness. They aren't hard, they aren't a huge deal, and the more collected change won't be ruined later on. Once you get past novice, the horse is supposed to be moderately well trained, there's less room for a simple change, and the fences are getting too big to come to unbalanced.

I love hunters. But keep in mind, horses that don't get their changes often don't become hunters. They get weeded out. Lead changes to a hunter are as basic as getting over a jump. And no lead changes= no reason to show.

Some horses just don't get changes. They don't become hunters.

I guess what I'm saying- its not that hunters have some great method of getting changes. It's that hunters tend to select horses with changes, for the most part, particularly with more novice riders. "Does he get changes" probably one of the first questions asked about a sales horse. Kind of like "does he jump ditches and water"?

Hunters and eventers are different sports. I doubt a top hunter rider would survive Rolex on Courageous Comet. I doubt Becky Holder would be smooth enough to put in a winning ride on Rumba, though she would get around.

Neither sport is a panacea that holds a right to correct riding. Rather they are two distinct sports meant for different types of horses. My horse was in training with a very good event rider and hated it. She went like crap and was tense and rushy. She went around with her middle finger up. Problem- not the rider, but a horse not really appropriate for eventing, who did not want to go the way we expect a quality event horse to go. Same horse goes like a lamb for a hunter rider. Horse appropriate to hunter ring.

That said- you bet the flat work the eventers taught me have contributed to the canter balance that allows her to go successfully with a light ride, staying in balance.

plowpony
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:05 AM
I guess I need to re-read the article. What stuck with me is the concept that a horse can be "on the forehand", and still do amazingly athletic things. contrary to dressage teachings.

I am mostly involved in dressage at the moment, but have a varied training background. It seems that many dressage riders are so intent on "getting the horse off the forehand" that they may adversely affect the horse's natural way of going. That a reining horse of even a hunter, on a long rein, not particularly travelling uphill (often the opposite), can perform clean flying changes, is baffling to many dressage riders. All horses have a natural way of carrying themselves. Self-carriage has different forms. Many dressage riders will never feel self-carriage because they are too busy trying to mold it instead of allowing the horse to do its thing.

wanderlust
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:17 AM
WHO is saying horses should be rushed or pushed or worried when it comes to changes? WHO is saying that they should be haphazardly slapped on with all other work falling by the wayside? Do you think the smooth and quiet changes in the Baby Green's come from a horse nervous about changes? No.

I think the reason so many horses have "trouble" with changes are because of the riders. I started out eventing, and thought changes were a huge deal and that I'd never be able to do them with this horse, that horse, most horses in general. Two years in hunter land riding nappy ponies taught me that we (and dressage riders), in general, make too big of a deal about the changes. Ever wonder why practically every single hunter has it's changes, but few event and dressage horses (in relation to the number competing) do? And if they change, it's a huge deal? It's the mentality, not the horses.

"Practically every single hunter has its changes" because if they don't, they don't get sold as hunters and they don't go into the hunter ring. Not many (read: almost no) hunter trainers will take the risk on a horse that doesn't come with easy changes. Doesn't matter how fancy the horse is, if it doesn't have changes or they don't come naturally on a greenie, they aren't going to be sold into hunterland. When we get them and they struggle with changes, we sell them as dressage horses or eventers.

Janet
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:24 AM
Once you get past novice, the horse is supposed to be moderately well trained, there's less room for a simple change, and the fences are getting too big to come to unbalanced.

" on the wrong lead" doesn't necessarily mean "unbalanced". Not that hard to jump a 3'6" fence out of a balanced counter canter.

Eventer55
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:37 AM
"Practically every single hunter has its changes" because if they don't, they don't get sold as hunters and they don't go into the hunter ring. Not many (read: almost no) hunter trainers will take the risk on a horse that doesn't come with easy changes. Doesn't matter how fancy the horse is, if it doesn't have changes or they don't come naturally on a greenie, they aren't going to be sold into hunterland. When we get them and they struggle with changes, we sell them as dressage horses or eventers.

I don't understand this. . . all dressage horses and eventers have to do changes. Watch any upper level dressage test or pull up the dressage from Rolex.

I probably missed something as usual, but this doesn't make sense. Even my green bean is doing changes although she won't need them in dressage for a long time, she sure needs them in the stadium round. At the low levels you can trot the fences and there are no changes in dressage, but I would want changes at Novice for me.

I also agree with Janet in that you can jump from a balanced counter canter and if you don't plan on selling the horse or moving up a great deal it's fine. But, again I want changes in my horse.

grayarabpony
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:41 AM
I guess I need to re-read the article. What stuck with me is the concept that a horse can be "on the forehand", and still do amazingly athletic things. contrary to dressage teachings.

I am mostly involved in dressage at the moment, but have a varied training background. It seems that many dressage riders are so intent on "getting the horse off the forehand" that they may adversely affect the horse's natural way of going. That a reining horse of even a hunter, on a long rein, not particularly travelling uphill (often the opposite), can perform clean flying changes, is baffling to many dressage riders. All horses have a natural way of carrying themselves. Self-carriage has different forms. Many dressage riders will never feel self-carriage because they are too busy trying to mold it instead of allowing the horse to do its thing.

I can't imagine the article meant that horses can do wonderful things while on their forehands, but I really like the rest of your post. The way that dressage is often practiced can and does affect the horse's way of going detrimentally, even though it's supposed to enhance it.

I can see why event riders don't mess with schooling changes, maybe, but the horse ought to be carrying itself well enough to change automatically, not go around a corner in a counter-canter. The latter isn't going to be more balanced, not with the typical riding at training and prelim levels.

LisaB
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:42 AM
We also need to think about that there's a separation between hunters and equitation. Huge thing in the hunter world. The hunter is based on the horse. The rider can look like a monkey f-ing a football but if the horse is doing all its lead changes and hitting its spots, it does well. The equitation is based on the rider. The horse can be not the smoothest or fanciest but should be easy enough for the rider to do their thang.
And the whole changes thing I think stems from the conformation. Form follows function. Generally, most hunter/eq riders won't look at a horse that doesn't do auto changes because it's a true indicator of the horse's conformation. If it doesn't come easily, there's something there. Just an indicator of other issues to come.
And it absolutely doesn't mean a training issue! My horse has a conformation flaw where he has a weaker loin coupling. And lead changes come few and far between. It actually messes me up when he does them! If he's cross or counter cantering, I can't care, I just keep riding the rhythm and balance and still make it around just fine. Would I like those changes? Hell yes but it's a conformation issue, not a training issue and to harass him about it would be unfair to him.

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:46 AM
"Practically every single hunter has its changes" because if they don't, they don't get sold as hunters and they don't go into the hunter ring. Not many (read: almost no) hunter trainers will take the risk on a horse that doesn't come with easy changes. Doesn't matter how fancy the horse is, if it doesn't have changes or they don't come naturally on a greenie, they aren't going to be sold into hunterland. When we get them and they struggle with changes, we sell them as dressage horses or eventers.

So you think Rox Dene would have been passed up just because she didn't have her changes? :lol:

My little AA Children's Hunter didn't have his changes, I just made sure I asked for it in the air. He did moderately well for being such a chicken, so it's not like no horse that doesn't get his changes easily isn't going to be a good hunter.

And, you still eventually have to do changes in dressage and eventing. Just at the upper levels, but still. Do you think that 95% of the horses running around doing eventing have trouble with changes? Or is it because the rider has never tried, doesn't know how, etc etc? I think it's more likely to be the latter, than that we have a bunch of do-do's on our hands.

magnolia73
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:57 AM
So you think Rox Dene would have been passed up just because she didn't have her changes?

If she couldn't get them? Yes. Would someone have seen her jump and way of going and tried to get them? Probably. But asking her over a jump may well have changed her form, making it less desirable.
There are a lot of hunter prospects that are fancy and cheap because they don't change. Trainers/owners moaning over a lack of changes.

Kairoshorses
Sep. 30, 2009, 10:12 AM
What a super-looking (and jumping) horse!

I agree! You are very lucky (and quite accomplished!). Bravo!

Catalina
Sep. 30, 2009, 10:19 AM
Some horses just don't get changes. They don't become hunters.

Wasn't it Touch Of Class that would counter canter to a 5' jump and clear it all the time?

Catalina
Sep. 30, 2009, 10:25 AM
I can't imagine the article meant that horses can do wonderful things while on their forehands...

I read the article last night and in it he says that reiners at time have an estimated 80% of their weight on their forehand, yet they are in lovely self carriage and perform their jobs wonderfully.

Janet
Sep. 30, 2009, 10:30 AM
So you think Rox Dene would have been passed up just because she didn't have her changes? :lol:

We will have to see what CBoylen says, but I bet that if Rox Dene didn't "have" her changes pretty early on, she wouldn't have been competing at the level she did, with the people who had her.

Just as, if an eventer has a horse that "doesn't do" water, he will probably be retargetted at a different job.

Obviously, you don't give up right away. But if a hunter trainer has worked on changes, and still has problems, or if the eventing trainer has worked on water, and still has problems, then it is time to look for a different job.

Eventing purchasers ask "does he do ditches, water and banks?" Hunter purchasers ask "does he have changes?" If the answer is "no", MOST purchasers are not going to pursue it.

As an eventer, I have been offered hunters with the comment "He is a good jumper, but he isn't going to cut it as a hunter because his changes are not completely consistent, so we are selling him."

Janet
Sep. 30, 2009, 10:30 AM
Wasn't it Touch Of Class that would cross canter to a 5' jump and clear it all the time?
I think it was counter canter, not cross canter.

BaliBandido
Sep. 30, 2009, 10:34 AM
To be fair, you should only compare apples to apples.

Hunters jump only solid, inviting fences with plenty of flowers/boxes ect in front to give the horse plenty of time to get it up in the air cleanly. Their jumps are all in straight lines with perfect distances.

Eventers show jumping rounds have airy vertical fences with no groundlines at all, square oxers coming out of tight turns, difficult turns, bending lines, combinations and lines with not so perfect distances. AND their horses are fit and brave (and not drugged or lunged to death;)). AND they are galloped for fitness and ridden at speed over solid jumps, which tends to effect their ridabilty somewhat.

The REAL test would be to take a hunter from one of the above mentioned riders, and an eventer from a top event rider, and have them switch horses and try their hand at each others sport.

I know who I'd put my money on to have a smoother round. :winkgrin:

Well I think that if you are a top eventer or a top H/J rider you should be able to switch horses and each do a fine job within some limits- meaning I would not think it fair to have the eventer go jump around the 2nd years, nor would I expect the hunter rider to go around above prelim.

It still is a shame that you felt you had to say that hunters have it so easy while riding those drugged or LTD horses around manicured arenas, to perfectly set jumps that require no input from the rider. Or to imply that hunters are not fit or brave. That is really not how it is.

Also, it is not like the eventers are out forging new ground everywhere, there are courses that have options that require tact and knowledge as well as stadium which does not have all of the difficulty you imply. I have done it and the stadium portion was not any tougher than any level 4 or under class that I have done.

To do anything well is a huge undertaking, and I think anyone who excells in any area of the horse world as someone who realizes this as well.

lstevenson
Sep. 30, 2009, 10:40 AM
I think both would be fish out of water...for the most part.


Are you kidding me? You think a top eventer coudn't pilot one of those hunters just as smoothly??

I'll take that bet.

Janet
Sep. 30, 2009, 10:48 AM
I've TRIED hunters. It is a LOT harder than it looks. And I learned a lot trying.

lstevenson
Sep. 30, 2009, 10:49 AM
Well I think that if you are a top eventer or a top H/J rider you should be able to switch horses and each do a fine job within some limits- meaning I would not think it fair to have the eventer go jump around the 2nd years, nor would I expect the hunter rider to go around above prelim.


You can let the hunter ride a prelim horse and the eventer ride a regular working hunter, and I'll still take that bet. ;)



It still is a shame that you felt you had to say that hunters have it so easy while riding those drugged or LTD horses around manicured arenas, to perfectly set jumps that require no input from the rider. Or to imply that hunters are not fit or brave. That is really not how it is.


Ha! I share a barn with a hunter trainer that is apparantly successful at the top levels against the best hunters around the country. I see the behind the scenes every day. I know exactly how it is.

What part of that are you denying anyway? You really think they are not drugged? Or lunged to death? That the jumps are not perfect and shaped to create that perfect jump? Or the arenas not perfectly manicured?

And if you think hunters are fit, you obviously don't know what fitness is.

Madeline
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:03 AM
I think people should take a break from this thread and go watch the live feed from the Capital Challenge. These are supposed to be some of the best hunters in the land.

Catalina
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:04 AM
I think it was counter canter, not cross canter.

Dooh, that's what I meant! ;)

CBoylen
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:06 AM
We will have to see what CBoylen says, but I bet that if Rox Dene didn't "have" her changes pretty early on, she wouldn't have been competing at the level she did, with the people who had her.


Cboylen is sort of amused, actually. Rox Dene had no change when we bought her as a four year old, and showed in the pregreens that whole year missing them all over the place. However, when a horse is built like her and canters as good as she does you know they're going to get them eventually. And obviously she figured it out. The only thing that could have gone wrong is if someone tried to *teach* her to do them.

GotSpots
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:07 AM
You know, I've got a youngster who might want to be a hunter - lovely changes, dead easy, beautiful jump, gorgeous horse. And I'm a fairly decent adult amateur with substantial preliminary miles who has taken him around training level successfully (as in winning) with very little XC schooling on him. And I still think it's very hard to get 8 beautiful jumps and all the leads and make it look effortless when I take him in the ring at 3', let alone 3'6". And it's not the horse - it's that it's a different ride in the hunters and not one that is necessarily intuitive for me. Can our pro (Advanced level rider) do it? Sure - she can lay down quite a pretty hunter trip, or at least a lot better than I can. But a hunter pro who does it for a living can get on him and make it gorgeous, first time out. I wouldn't undersell the talent of the hunter riders who make it look easy every time they do it, and get a beautiful flowing round to boot.

Moreover, I'd bet that any one of those top hunter riders would - if they wanted to - ride a beautiful training or even preliminary XC and stadium round, not to mention a decent dressage test. The ones who are good can get a pretty sympathetic ride out of a variety of horses. And as for staying in the tack - they've got to have pretty great balance to stay in the middle and out of the way of some of the horses who crack their back. It's a lot easier to stay with a flat jump at speed, I think.

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:10 AM
Are you kidding me? You think a top eventer coudn't pilot one of those hunters just as smoothly??

I'll take that bet.

Absolutely. 'Cause unless you know what smooth is for a hunter, a round that looks perfect to you will score in the 70s.

Don't be condescending enough to think that hunters is just about getting over the jumps smoothly. There is a whole lot more to it than that. As Janet says, it's a WHOLE lot harder than it looks. It's deceptive that way.

As to changes: I never knew they were such a big deal until I started riding at a multi-use barn (dressage, some eventers, some jumpers and me who focused on hunters/eq). We just did them. Sure, they weren't dressage changes, but they were the changes that didn't get penalized in the hunter ring. Just like I never knew a walk-canter transition was suppose to be hard...or even a halt-canter. We just worked on them as part of our training and they were second nature.

And that's part of this article...a lot of time we get so focused on "training" to a specific standard that we may just be making things more difficult that it needs to be. Working on balance is more than half the battle with training. If a horse is balanced, it's not going to matter if you teach changes before counter canter or vice versa.

lstevenson
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:14 AM
Don't be condescending enough to think that hunters is just about getting over the jumps smoothly. There is a whole lot more to it than that. As Janet says, it's a WHOLE lot harder than it looks. It's deceptive that way.


Oh, I've done it. I know that it's not easy. But it is still not in the same leage as jumpers or eventing stadium as far as difficulty or skills required. And the point is, the people who expect the jumpers or eventing stadium to look like that perfectly smooth hunter round don't seem to realize that the test is very different.

magnolia73
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:22 AM
Wasn't it Touch Of Class that would cross canter to a 5' jump and clear it all the time?

He was a jumper. Cross cantering a jump in a hunter class would put you out of the ribbons, unless you paid off the judge.


To do anything well is a huge undertaking, and I think anyone who excells in any area of the horse world as someone who realizes this as well.

Bravo. It does take a lot of work to be good at any discipline. I do think that often time local hunter trainers are umm. legends in their own minds. And not good at much beyond shopping for a horse. If a hunter trainer claims to be competitive on the A Circuit, in my area I tend to not believe the hype.

There are really bad hunter trainers, lets file them with the kick and pull dressage trainers and the "speed will take care of all" eventers. OK? I don't think that group offers anything of quality. To anyone. Good god, the local hunter longe and stick trainer would DIE at Prelim...and there are some pretty bad eventer trainers that may end up smashed at prelim too.

But the good trainers of all disciplines offer a lot to everyone. I regularly use Dennyisms in riding my hunter. And more than one eventer has complimented my eye for a distance.

magnolia73
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:28 AM
And the point is, the people who expect the jumpers or eventing stadium to look like that perfectly smooth hunter round don't seem to realize that the test is very different.

Exactly- its a different skill set. It is much easier to "get around" a hunter course. But nailing the details is tough. It is harder to get around jumpers/eventing, but if you get a little long or short, need to add a step, leave out a step, you still get a ribbon. :) You can say- mmm...jumped in weak- good thing I can use a big half halt and add. A hunter jumps in weak and needs to figure out how to get out and make it look smooth. You could say they need to get it done with fewer tools. Doesn't mean they can't use the other tools when needed.

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:45 AM
Oh, I've done it. I know that it's not easy. But it is still not in the same leage as jumpers or eventing stadium as far as difficulty or skills required. And the point is, the people who expect the jumpers or eventing stadium to look like that perfectly smooth hunter round don't seem to realize that the test is very different.

And there's the problem: hunters is not in the same league? Really? Why does "different" equal 'less than' to you?

Jumpers and stadium are less exacting in their standards for doing well. There's no standard of perfection to attain. Have a late lead change, get an off distance, have a horse that plays a bit in the corner, etc and you're still A-okay in jumpers or eventing stadium. Not so much in the hunters. The perfection required for hunters is what makes it difficult.

I don't expect to stadium to look exactly like a hunter round. Jimmy didn't even say that in the article. Unless my reading comprehension is off, the only people who got all uptight about having their XC or stadium rounds look like a hunter round were eventers on this thread saying that it 'just can't be done.' The point wasn't to make the round look like hunter rounds, but rather strive for flow, and a balanced, thinking horse and you are going to better off.

BTW, McLain Ward can make some of the most difficult jumping rounds out there look like flowing equitation rounds. It's not necessary to give up smoothness to be successful in jumpers....OR eventing, I'd imagine.

Jealoushe
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:51 AM
As to changes: I never knew they were such a big deal until I started riding at a multi-use barn (dressage, some eventers, some jumpers and me who focused on hunters/eq). We just did them. Sure, they weren't dressage changes, but they were the changes that didn't get penalized in the hunter ring. Just like I never knew a walk-canter transition was suppose to be hard...or even a halt-canter. We just worked on them as part of our training and they were second nature.



All these things are easier when your horse isn't working round over it's back, through their hindend, which is why it is much harder to get "dressage" changes, and transitions. It's also different when you are the only one in the ring and the judges see every little move you make, every step of a transition, etc.

Tamara in TN
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:53 AM
[QUOTE=kkj;4404386]
Wofford also talks about cutting horses and how they are taught to make their own decisions. This is true if the horse has natural talent and cow sense. Not every horse even those bred for it can make it as a cutting horse. Many become reiners because they don't have the natural cow sense.

I think it is more correct to say that they have various levels of "cow"...and "some" top class cutters are made to dance in front of and not exactly to cut the cows...

horses can leave cutting and go on to be reiners,(this implies that they have the rate and handle but not a bunch of "cow")

but they also go to be working ranch and team penners...both of which require in bred "cow" but less "class" and "flash" and "pop"

returning now to the H/J stuff.....


best

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:54 AM
All these things are easier when your horse isn't working round over it's back, through their hindend, which is why it is much harder to get "dressage" changes, and transitions. It's also different when you are the only one in the ring and the judges see every little move you make, every step of a transition, etc.

Changes and transitions are easier when a horse isn't "through" (I hate that word) using their hindend, etc? Wow...I think that's the first time I've EVER heard that. Ever.

Catalina
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:55 AM
He was a jumper. Cross cantering a jump in a hunter class would put you out of the ribbons, unless you paid off the judge.


Ah yes, I am aware of that [hence the jumping the 5' jump (not many hunters do that)]. My point is that I was agreeing with you when you said: "Some horses just don't get changes". Touch Of Class is a perfect example of a horse that didn't get changes, yet was extremely successful.

Changes are not the be all/end all inthe jumpers or in Eventing. Hunters: yes. But the standards of Hunters are vastly different from the standards in Jumpers and Eventing and not many horses are good at all three. Those horses that are are the super athletes of the horse world and very few and far between. Starman comes to mind: didn't he win in the Workings and then win a Grand Prix shortly after?

I only do the lower levels of Eventing, but I do know that the last thing I am thinking about out there on XC is what lead my horse is on. I am making sure he is balanced, not strung out or diving on the forehand, prepared properly for the next jump, etc. There is way too much going on out there to worry about good lead changes.

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:56 AM
BTW, McLain Ward can make some of the most difficult jumping rounds out there look like flowing equitation rounds. It's not necessary to give up smoothness to be successful in jumpers....OR eventing, I'd imagine.


Actually smoothness is what you want in both eventing and jumpers....the smooth rounds are often the most efficient and fastest ones. We just don't take "hunter" turns!:D

I walked a xc course with a young rider as a favor for her trainer (who couldn't be there). She was having a little trouble making time on XC at training level. Nice rider, had been a hunter rider and transitioned over. I let her walk the approaches first and then I walked what I would take.....biggest difference was the turns. She got the idea quickly and easily made time.

Jumpers and eventers need to make shorter tighter turns...but you still strive to do it in a smooth manner without losing your rhythm and hopefully still jumping the jumps out of stride.


The really good equitation, hunter, jumper and eventer riders all have one thing in common....they generally look quiet and with their horses. The adjustments that they make with their horse are typically subtle. The eventers and jumpers can make larger more visable adjustments when needed without it hurting their "placing" since they are not judged....but for the really good riders, that is more the exception made out of necessity than their typical ride.

Jealoushe
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:03 PM
Changes and transitions are easier when a horse isn't "through" (I hate that word) using their hindend, etc? Wow...I think that's the first time I've EVER heard that. Ever.

Well now you've heard it. You can easily get a horse to pop into a canter from a walk with their head in the air and their legs all over the place. I'm talking through through, dressage through. Not hunter plod around with your nose poked out through.

KSevnter
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:10 PM
And, you still eventually have to do changes in dressage and eventing. Just at the upper levels, but still. Do you think that 95% of the horses running around doing eventing have trouble with changes? Or is it because the rider has never tried, doesn't know how, etc etc? I think it's more likely to be the latter, than that we have a bunch of do-do's on our hands.

Copper, I think you are getting lead swaping and flying changes confused. When we broke our baby who was always intended to be sold as a hunter and not an eventer, he swaped leads the very first time he was asked to as a 2.5 year old and we encouraged this. I know you can't sell a hunter without auto changes and being a very balanced boy it came easy to him. But believe me he wasn't sitting down rocking back and changing, he was simply swaping his leads in a clean manner.

My upper level eventer came to me with the ability to swap leads, as a 5 y/o. We had to unteach this on the flat in order to teach proper counter canter and eventually flying changes for 3rd level/advanced level event tests. There is a marked difference between the two types of changes.

None of this really matters because changes or not, I can't think of a time it actually affected my SJ round. If a horse is balanced at the counter canter and meets the fence in rhythm it will produce just as nice of a fence than if they were on the "correct" lead.

For the record, I think Hunters is very difficult on the top notch horses. I watched that Popeye K video and I am still unclear as to how he was able to stay on the horse over the fences. I have sat on a horse that won the International Hunter Futurity Final and it isn't easy to stay with that type of jump and look so effortless (not that I looked effortless at all).

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:12 PM
Well now you've heard it. You can easily get a horse to pop into a canter from a walk with their head in the air and their legs all over the place. I'm talking through through, dressage through. Not hunter plod around with your nose poked out through.

:eek: You think that passes as a transition for hunters? Sorry...it doesn't. Do they have to be in fourth level contact/shape? No. but head in the air and legs all over the place isn't going to cut it.

Most horses won't do a clean change unless they are moving from behind. If they aren't you usually get half the change and the other end follows in a few strides.

Yes, I understand that you were talking about "dressage through." I just hate the term. It's so...pretentious, I guess.

wanderlust
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:14 PM
Are you kidding me? You think a top eventer coudn't pilot one of those hunters just as smoothly??

I'll take that bet.

Have you ever seen video from the world cup hunter challenge a few years back? Top jumper riders in the world who couldn't get the best hunters in the country around a simple course. I think Rodrigo may have even fallen off. The only top US eventer I'd put my money on having a decent 4' round would be Phillip Dutton.

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:22 PM
I know you can't sell a hunter without auto changes

Just wanted to point out that few hunters have "auto changes," nor are they necessarily all that desired. The horse that changes on his own is great for a beginner who is still so focused on other things that thinking about being balanced enough to get lead change in the few strides before the corner would be mind blowing. But for the seasoned rider, an auto change can be problematic. We do want a horse that will do a balanced, clean change when asked, but that is not the same thing as an auto-changer.

wanderlust
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:22 PM
I don't understand this. . . all dressage horses and eventers have to do changes. Watch any upper level dressage test or pull up the dressage from Rolex.

I probably missed something as usual, but this doesn't make sense. Even my green bean is doing changes although she won't need them in dressage for a long time, she sure needs them in the stadium round. At the low levels you can trot the fences and there are no changes in dressage, but I would want changes at Novice for me.

I also agree with Janet in that you can jump from a balanced counter canter and if you don't plan on selling the horse or moving up a great deal it's fine. But, again I want changes in my horse.

Again, you don't NEED changes to get around a showjumping course. Even a big course in the jumpers. Certainly not at 2'11. Its a nice-to-have.

As for dressage horses... how many of them actually get to 3rd level and above where changes are required? Not a heck of a lot, especially if you sell them to nice amateurs who are happy to tool around at the lower levels. And as noted, dressage changes and swaps are two different creatures, so because you don't get consistent swaps doesn't mean that a connected, collected horse won't learn back-to-front changes further along in his training.

CBoylen
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:23 PM
All these things are easier when your horse isn't working round over it's back, through their hindend, which is why it is much harder to get "dressage" changes, and transitions. It's also different when you are the only one in the ring and the judges see every little move you make, every step of a transition, etc.
Any time a hunter does a change it's the only one in the ring. Or at least it better be. If it's changing leads in the hack something has gone wrong ;).

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:28 PM
Absolutely. 'Cause unless you know what smooth is for a hunter, a round that looks perfect to you will score in the 70s.

Don't be condescending enough to think that hunters is just about getting over the jumps smoothly. There is a whole lot more to it than that. As Janet says, it's a WHOLE lot harder than it looks. It's deceptive that way.

As to changes: I never knew they were such a big deal until I started riding at a multi-use barn (dressage, some eventers, some jumpers and me who focused on hunters/eq). We just did them. Sure, they weren't dressage changes, but they were the changes that didn't get penalized in the hunter ring. Just like I never knew a walk-canter transition was suppose to be hard...or even a halt-canter. We just worked on them as part of our training and they were second nature.

And that's part of this article...a lot of time we get so focused on "training" to a specific standard that we may just be making things more difficult that it needs to be. Working on balance is more than half the battle with training. If a horse is balanced, it's not going to matter if you teach changes before counter canter or vice versa.
Thank you!!

And I really can't believe that anyone's arguing that stadium couldn't be smoother for a lot of eventers, and that there's anything actually wrong with putting in an accurate, consistent round. A smooth round leaves the rails up more than the seat-of-your-pants ride that is sometimes required in cross country. That's a no brainer, and it's really quite unbelievable to me that people are arguing against being able to transition into a more jumpery mode when doing stadium.

Since the idea of anything huntery is so upsetting, what about the jumpers? How many good Level 3/4 jumpers can't get their changes, aren't consistent, aren't adjustable, and miss their spots? Not many. The difference is accuracy, which is the biggest thing I see missing in a lot of eventing stadium rounds. Like the free walk, it seems to just kind of be thrown away because the horses are generally catty enough to make up for it.

Janet
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:32 PM
unbelievable to me that people are arguing against being able to transition into a more jumpery mode when doing stadium.

I didn't see ANYONE arguing against "a more jumpery mode when doing stadium".

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:34 PM
Just wanted to point out that few hunters have "auto changes," nor are they necessarily all that desired. The horse that changes on his own is great for a beginner who is still so focused on other things that thinking about being balanced enough to get lead change in the few strides before the corner would be mind blowing. But for the seasoned rider, an auto change can be problematic. We do want a horse that will do a balanced, clean change when asked, but that is not the same thing as an auto-changer.

Not to mention the Eq. horses, who are a lot more like eventers (not such a huge jump, tighter courses, a little more obedience required on the flat, more training needed, etc) when it comes to their flatwork. If a horse has an auto change, it won't make it as an eq horse.

Here's a crazy thought, Eq horses are required to know how to counter canter, do flying changes, and even changes every four strides. Their changes are often a bit more "up" than the hunter changes, but not so much as dressage changes. It's just more proof that the only difference is the amount of collection.

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:35 PM
I didn't see ANYONE arguing against "a more jumpery mode when doing stadium".

Then why is everyone so flabbergasted that I suggested a smoother round than generally seen would be more appropriate when doing stadium? Why is it that everyone protests when the word "Hunter" is used, but as soon as I say "Jumpery", all of a sudden no one's disagreeing with what I'm saying?

KSevnter
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:37 PM
Just wanted to point out that few hunters have "auto changes," nor are they necessarily all that desired. The horse that changes on his own is great for a beginner who is still so focused on other things that thinking about being balanced enough to get lead change in the few strides before the corner would be mind blowing. But for the seasoned rider, an auto change can be problematic. We do want a horse that will do a balanced, clean change when asked, but that is not the same thing as an auto-changer.

Sorry should clarify "auto changes" to me are when you simply swipe your leg against the horses side and he swaps leads. I didn't mean "change on his own"

Janet
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:38 PM
How many good Level 3/4 jumpers can't get their changes, aren't consistent, aren't adjustable, and miss their spots?

Let's break this up into two parts-
How many good Level 3/4 jumpers can't get their changes?
Remember the horse I mentioned that was offrered to me as an eventer because his changes were not cnsistent? Now happily doing Ch/A/A jumpers. Still doesn't have consistent changes.


How many good Level 3/4 jumpers ... aren't consistent, aren't adjustable, and miss their spots?

All the GOOD eventers are consistent, adjustable and don't miss their spots.

Sure, there are not-good eventers out there. Lots of not-good jumpers too.

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:40 PM
Sorry should clarify "auto changes" to me are when you simply swipe your leg against the horses side and he swaps leads. I didn't mean "change on his own"

What in the world is automatic about having to ask? :confused:

Janet
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:41 PM
All these things are easier when your horse isn't working round over it's back, through their hindend, which is why it is much harder to get "dressage" changes, and transitions. It's also different when you are the only one in the ring and the judges see every little move you make, every step of a transition, etc.
In my experience, the horse being "round over it's back, through their hindend" makes it EASIER to do the changes and the transitions. But it is NOT EASY to GET the horse to be "round over it's back, through their hindend"

Janet
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:49 PM
Then why is everyone so flabbergasted that I suggested a smoother round than generally seen would be more appropriate when doing stadium?
Please show me the post where someone is "flabbergasted " at the suggestion that a smoother round in show jumping would be better?

Not saying it isn't there, but _I_ didn't notice such posts.

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:53 PM
In my experience, the horse being "round over it's back, through their hindend" makes it EASIER to do the changes and the transitiosn. But it is NOT EASY to GET the horse to be "round over it's back, through their hindend"

That's my understanding, too. :)

Every ride on my hunter starts with getting him to move from behind into contact. Once he's there, I let him stretch down and out, putting a little slack in the reins and still maintain the push from behind.

This horse does pretty nice upward transitions (I'm admit I don't focus as much on the downward, so they are weaker) and nice, back to front flying changes. I've done two training level dressage tests on him and got 63% and 64%. In fact, the dressage tests were easier for me than hunters because if he was a twit for one move, we didn't blow the entire class. :lol:

grayarabpony
Sep. 30, 2009, 12:59 PM
I read the article last night and in it he says that reiners at time have an estimated 80% of their weight on their forehand, yet they are in lovely self carriage and perform their jobs wonderfully.

I don't know where that comes from, and don't think it's correct. Maybe 80% during a moment in the canter stride, but otherwise that doesn't make sense. I was at a reining barn for several months, and the current trend in sliding stops is to tuck *and* round the back. The best horses are not on their forehands at all. I'm not a fan of reining, because it uses up horses so fast, but there was the neatest little horse at the barn I was at with Smart Little Lena close up (well, I know a lot of them have SLL close up, but this horse had his best traits I think) who could collect so beautifully -- with his practically beginner rider. And he was still sound at the age of 12. Genetics, not shown or schooled heavily, I don't know, but he was a refreshing change from most of the horses at that barn in terms of soundness.

It certainly could be that what I think is best and what wins isn't the same (lol), but I thought reiners wanted uphill horses that could collect easily, like the horse I described. He made everyone who rode him look good. And he had a spectacular sliding stop.

PS You know what, I think TOC might have cross-cantered to some jumps. I thought I remembered reading that. But she was an exceptional horse in every way.

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 01:14 PM
I don't know where that comes from, and don't think it's correct. Maybe 80% during a moment in the canter stride, but otherwise that doesn't make sense. I was at a reining barn for several months, and the current trend in sliding stops is to tuck *and* round the back.

The article was referrencing cutting horses...not reiners.

grayarabpony
Sep. 30, 2009, 01:17 PM
The article was referrencing cutting horses...not reiners.

Oh OK, that makes a lot more sense!

KSevnter
Sep. 30, 2009, 01:31 PM
What in the world is automatic about having to ask? :confused:

The part where you don't set them up, collect and ask for it, you just move your leg and bingo they swap leads. Hey, I am not a hunter anymore haven't been since I was 9. I thought this was what an auto change was, didn't know there were horses out there that saw a diagonal line and just swapped. The only hunters I have ever sat on, swapped leads by simply swiping your leg against their sides.

Either case, like I said earlier a good counter canter is just as easy to jump out of in the SJ ring as when the inside leg of the horse is leading. I have ridden long term with a good number of USET eventers (one of which one the USET talent derby) and cliniced with several olympic showjumpers and no one has ever commented on the necessity for the horse to be on the "correct" lead going to a fence.

Catalina
Sep. 30, 2009, 01:34 PM
The article was referrencing cutting horses...not reiners.

Darn it, I am having massive blonde moments today :lol:. Yes, cutting horses is correct.

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 01:45 PM
The part where you don't set them up, collect and ask for it, you just move your leg and bingo they swap leads. Hey, I am not a hunter anymore haven't been since I was 9. I thought this was what an auto change was, didn't know there were horses out there that saw a diagonal line and just swapped. The only hunters I have ever sat on, swapped leads by simply swiping your leg against their sides.

As a BNT told me, "what would be so wrong about teaching a horse to balance HIMSELF after a jump?" I was being told this while riding the strong horse with no lead changes. If the horse is taught to re-balance upon landing by itself, all you need is a little outside leg and inside supporting rein for the lead change. That's not automatic....it's training.



Either case, like I said earlier a good counter canter is just as easy to jump out of in the SJ ring as when the inside leg of the horse is leading. I have ridden long term with a good number of USET eventers (one of which one the USET talent derby) and cliniced with several olympic showjumpers and no one has ever commented on the necessity for the horse to be on the "correct" lead going to a fence.

It's not a problem...but a good counter canter requires all the re-balancing, too. So why not teach the change (if the horse has the capability...some horses, like the aforementioned, will rarely or ever do a change*)?




(*I have to say rarely, because this particular horse suprised the heck out of both my trainer and I the other day. I was doing a significant bending line and horse landing on the wrong lead. I prepared to balance the counter canter for the jump and wouldn't you know it, horse changed in front...which he occasionally does...and then a stride later did so behind. Gobstopped both my trainer and me. To my knowledge, that is the FIRST time this 20 year old horse has EVER done a lead change with a rider on his back...and I've known him for almost 9 years).

RAyers
Sep. 30, 2009, 01:47 PM
Not to mention the Eq. horses, who are a lot more like eventers (not such a huge jump, tighter courses, a little more obedience required on the flat, more training needed, etc) when it comes to their flatwork. If a horse has an auto change, it won't make it as an eq horse.

Here's a crazy thought, Eq horses are required to know how to counter canter, do flying changes, and even changes every four strides. Their changes are often a bit more "up" than the hunter changes, but not so much as dressage changes. It's just more proof that the only difference is the amount of collection.

Again, where are horses and riders being hurt and killed? JW specifically points out self-carriage on XC. While yes, things learned in stadium can help out on XC, the point of the article was not about stadium.

I doesn't matter if you have a smooth stadium round or if your horse does changes if your horse left its right front leg and your head in the Weldon's Wall.

Focusing on stadium neglects the reality of where the risk is and that no matter how good a horse is in stadium it is a COMPLETELY different ride out on XC, the heart of this discipline. It is to the point of micromanagement and as JW also pointed out, removing the horse's incentive to want to take care of itself when in a tight spot.

Yes, we all agree that we can learn from the hunters. My trainer's horse placed 5th in the recent $100,000 hunter stakes class at KHP with Peter Pletcher up. So, I do get plenty of work in that area. But she also realizes that what she teaches me gets lower priority when I work with my event trainer on XC.

Yes, it is recognizing that the horse and rider must be well rounded but it is also realizing where the risk and reward is for both.

Reed

Reed

Blugal
Sep. 30, 2009, 02:11 PM
Reed, you hit the nail on the head.

I have limited time to train my horse - between dressage, jumping, XC skills, and fitness work. As I think Lucinda says, the important things are Balance, Line, Engine. Not Changes. The horse must learn to be balanced and when the time comes that he can do a counter-canter and can do a simple change and is schooled enough to do those well, then I will start teaching the changes. In other words, at Training Level eventing. At Training Level eventing, I am MUCH more concerned about the amount of time I put into training my horse with respect to his mental and physical ability to pick up its feet through a XC combination than I am about whether he has his changes in stadium.

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 02:50 PM
Reed, you hit the nail on the head.

I have limited time to train my horse - between dressage, jumping, XC skills, and fitness work. As I think Lucinda says, the important things are Balance, Line, Engine. Not Changes. The horse must learn to be balanced and when the time comes that he can do a counter-canter and can do a simple change and is schooled enough to do those well, then I will start teaching the changes. In other words, at Training Level eventing. At Training Level eventing, I am MUCH more concerned about the amount of time I put into training my horse with respect to his mental and physical ability to pick up its feet through a XC combination than I am about whether he has his changes in stadium.

I agree with you that changes on XC aren't super important...nor are they in stadium...until upper levels when you need them anyway. And this discussion has taken an odd turn with the focus on changes, but to continue in that vein:

My understanding does fail, probably due to lack of experience, with the philosophy that you can't teach changes until after counter canter is established, and if you do, you'll mess up the counter canter. Why is that? What does counter canter teach that is so vital to clean changes?

It's confusing for me because every horse I've ridden does counter canter, except for the auto-changer who WOULD.NOT counter canter through a turn. Some have been better than others but those are the ones that have had more work on it. The majority also have nice changes. At some point, the two skills have to exist with each other and the horse has to be strong enough and obedient enough to do both. The rider also has to be accurate enough to ride correctly so that you don't get a change during CC (no matter the order it was taught). I personally didn't want my hunter knowing that he could canter on the "wrong" lead before changes were established. It hasn't affected either. It really seems like a chicken/egg thing, although everyone is saying that it's clearly not...so enlighten me.

What would've happened if Xenophon decided that flying lead changes must come first in the training scale? Would everyone be crying that you can't possibly teach CC first because it would ruin the changes?


For clarity, I grew up riding hunters and equitation and not really understanding the difference between the two. We were expected to ride effectively, efficiently, prettily and put in a nice round, no matter the class designation. There wasn't "hunter" training and "equitation" training for me. There was just Hunt Seat Eq training and the horses were expected to pull double duty and do it well.

Jealoushe
Sep. 30, 2009, 02:56 PM
In my experience, the horse being "round over it's back, through their hindend" makes it EASIER to do the changes and the transitions. But it is NOT EASY to GET the horse to be "round over it's back, through their hindend"

yes, that's what I meant.:cool:

Shrunk "N" Da Wash
Sep. 30, 2009, 03:39 PM
I think everyone is over analyzing the word "automatic" I get what she means auto changes are you ask the horse swaps leads no big set up. We are talking about horses nothing is automatic they are not computers they need some instruction and training.

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 03:50 PM
Again, where are horses and riders being hurt and killed? JW specifically points out self-carriage on XC. While yes, things learned in stadium can help out on XC, the point of the article was not about stadium.

I doesn't matter if you have a smooth stadium round or if your horse does changes if your horse left its right front leg and your head in the Weldon's Wall.

Focusing on stadium neglects the reality of where the risk is and that no matter how good a horse is in stadium it is a COMPLETELY different ride out on XC, the heart of this discipline. It is to the point of micromanagement and as JW also pointed out, removing the horse's incentive to want to take care of itself when in a tight spot.

Reed

Reed, it was JUST a comment on how I see a lot of riders throwing away their stadium round. It wasn't meant to de-rail the topic, and it wasn't meant to say that we should focus only on stadium and neglect our cross country schooling. You're blowing things way out of proportion.

And I disagree that stadium is oh so different than cross country. If you can't competently go around a manicured ring, you have no chance out on cross country because you don't have the proper basics down. Both phases need balance, impulsion, and an accurate ride. (Perhaps if we had a little more of that in both portions, we wouldn't have so many threads lamenting the terrible riding that's become so prevalent.) It DOES matter if you have a smooth round, because stadium is the pre-curser to cross country, and is meant to demonstrate that you have the skills to go out in the open (just as dressage is meant to show that you have the training to successfully negotiate a course at that level). There is a reason there are (now) three specific phases. Though cross country is the fun part, and what is considered the heart of the sport, the other aspects of eventing are integral in creating a good cross country run, especially with the new short format.

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 04:00 PM
I think everyone is over analyzing the word "automatic" I get what she means auto changes are you ask the horse swaps leads no big set up. We are talking about horses nothing is automatic they are not computers they need some instruction and training.

Granted, the poster admitted to not having done hunters since she was nine, so there's really no point discussing this, but...

To most hunter riders, a horse that changes leads with just a tickle of the outside leg is a well trained horse. These horses will either hold the counter lead or change without much interference from the rider, which is why they're so desirable.

Auto changes are more the kind where the horse changes direction, and even if you have a drunken monkey on board, they'll change. They're either trained that way, but a lot of them simply prefer to switch because they like being balanced. There are plenty of horses out there with auto-changes, just go watch the ponies. When I was riding them coming back from pony finals, the whole plan was to 1) Knock any silliness out of them after being allowed to get away with stuff all show long, and 2) re-establish the auto-changes if they were getting a little lazy. My junior jumper had auto-changes, and there was nothing you could do about it. Heck, my old instructor rode a retired dressage schoolmaster who would change every time he got to the corner because he had done one of the PSG tests so many times, even though the tests changed several years before my trainer started showing him.

RAyers
Sep. 30, 2009, 04:06 PM
WTF?! Stadium is a "pre-curser to cross country, and is meant to demonstrate that you have the skills to go out in the open."

What country do you ride in? Stadium is usually held AFTER XC. Only after the new safety efforts have we begun to run stadium BEFORE XC. Stadium was meant to show that you had conditioned and prepared your horse well enough that after an intense effort on XC, there was enough left in the tank that the horse could come back into a controlled setting and be able to jump. It was never intended as a test of XC ability. And if it was, then any GP jumper should be able to trot around Rolex, right?

Don't justify your position to me using a-postiori reasoning based on recent rules changes. You only serve as an example of how bad the h/j mentality has crept into the running of eventing and why there is possibly more injuries on XC. Or you show how far lost the sport is in that the new generation has no idea of the original roots of the sport.

Eventing was NEVER intended to be a test of horses in a manicure arena. It is a test across the country side. The only way to develop that is to gallop across the country side, not to drill in the ring. Arena work does somewhat go to developing a horse's self carriage out on XC but it doesn't do enough. As others, including JW point out, the only way to get a horse to know how to run around in a field of gopher holes is to turn them out or run them in a field of gopher holes. They don't that ability by working little tasks in an arena.

As for me "blowing" things out of proportion, it is only relative to the myopic and narrow focus you have taken as to what "self-carriage" and training are. You have taken up the same ideas as the OP and neglected the CONTEXT within the sport.

I have yet to find that a smooth stadium EVER affected my XC on any of my horses. Why? Because I don't ride XC like stadium and I don't ride stadium like XC. They are two VERY different styles and mindsets. If you try to run XC like stadium you WILL BE A STATISTIC.

Reed

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 04:29 PM
WTF?! Stadium is a "pre-curser to cross country, and is meant to demonstrate that you have the skills to go out in the open."

What country do you ride in? Stadium is usually held AFTER XC. Only after the new safety efforts have we begun to run stadium BEFORE XC. Don't justify your position to me using a-postiori reasoning based on recent rules changes. You only serve as an example of how bad the h/j mentality has crept into the running of eventing and why there is possibly more injuries on XC.
America. And I obviously didn't use the word pre-cursor as meaning that it comes first in the order of competition. You can't get around cross country without first mastering the basics in the ring, which you can't do without first mastering the basics on the flat.

And I completely disagree that I have the type of mentality that's causing more injuries (I mean, seriously, blaming issues on a whole 'nother discipline? How absurd). How dare you. Unless of course "Get the basics down first and don't run around like an idiot" is what's causing falls.

Eventing was NEVER intended to be a test of horses in a manicure arena. It is a test across the country side. The only way to develop that is to gallop across the country side, not to drill in the ring. Arena work does somewhat go to developing a horse's self carriage out on XC but it doesn't do enough. As others, including JW point out, the only way to get a horse to know how to run around in a field of gopher holes is to turn them out or run them in a field of gopher holes. They don't that ability by working little tasks in an arena.
I NEVER even insinuated that eventing was meant to test a horse in a manicured ring, that's just the stupidest thing I've ever read. And the bit where you talk about arena work preparing a horse? That is exactly what I'm saying. Perhaps you're the one who needs to get your head out of your arse, not I.

As for me "blowing" things out of proportion, it is only relative to the myopic and narrow focus you have taken as to what "self-carriage" and training are. You have taken up the same ideas as the OP and neglected the CONTEXT within the sport.
What in God's name are you reading? Because they certainly aren't my posts.

I have yet to find that a smooth stadium EVER affected my XC on any of my horses. Why? Because I don't ride XC like stadium and I don't ride stadium like XC.
So the things you learned while working on dressage and stadium, such as balancing the horse when he needs it, leaving him alone when he doesn't, accuracy, rating, moving his body, etc have never helped you out on cross country? Interesting.

I am not saying that stadium should look like XC or vice versa, this is painfully obvious if you would just read. I am simply saying that if you can't ride a smooth course (NOT a hunter type course, seeing as that seems to offend you so badly) on flat ground, over measured distances, you're not going to fare very well when you're out in the open where you really have to have a balanced, working horse and a sense of your own body.

They are two VERY different styles and mindsets. If you try to run XC like stadium you WILL BE A STATISTIC.
What are you reading? Please point out where I have ever said stadium and cross country should be ridden completely the same. Again, for the love of God, read Reed.

Reed

This is really incredible. Why do they have stadium then? Why do they have dressage? Heck, why have roads and tracks? If not to prove that you have the skills to ride at that level, then why bother with them? Why not just go do cross country? It all builds on itself, and they're part of the competition to prove that you have amassed the skills needed to compete at that level.

Peggy
Sep. 30, 2009, 04:35 PM
Copper, I think you are getting lead swaping and flying changes confused. When we broke our baby who was always intended to be sold as a hunter and not an eventer, he swaped leads the very first time he was asked to as a 2.5 year old and we encouraged this. I know you can't sell a hunter without auto changes and being a very balanced boy it came easy to him. But believe me he wasn't sitting down rocking back and changing, he was simply swaping his leads in a clean manner.

So, is lead swapping a subset of lead changes? Or are they completely different things? If the answer is the latter, I am kind of curious as to the defined difference.



My upper level eventer came to me with the ability to swap leads, as a 5 y/o. We had to unteach this on the flat in order to teach proper counter canter and eventually flying changes for 3rd level/advanced level event tests. There is a marked difference between the two types of changes.

How do you uninstall/unteach a lead change? When presented with a horse that kind-of changes leads on its own when you want to counter canter, I've generally worked on it by, well, counter cantering. But it that case you're expanding the horses repertoire by adding the counter canter, rather than exorcising the flying change.

I feel like a broken record here, but IMHO there is no fundamental difference b/w a correctly executed hunter change and a correctly executed dressage change, except for the degree of collection (which becomes more pronounced as you move up the levels in dressage). I've had two now that learned changes early (via a dressage trainer) b/c I felt it was desirable for the jumping and didn't have issues later with dressage changes thru 4th level and beyond. I also learned that one fast way to annoy the heck out of the DQ's in the one barn was to get on my horse in my jumping saddle with a smooth snaffle/no martingale and proceed to do counter canter, diagonal, flying change at X, new counter canter, repeat:D.


For the record, I think Hunters is very difficult on the top notch horses. I watched that Popeye K video and I am still unclear as to how he was able to stay on the horse over the fences. I have sat on a horse that won the International Hunter Futurity Final and it isn't easy to stay with that type of jump and look so effortless (not that I looked effortless at all).Agreed!

I think part of the point of using the examples he did in the article was to ruffle a few feathers and incite discussion.

Janet
Sep. 30, 2009, 04:41 PM
This is really incredible. Why do they have stadium then? Why do they have dressage? Heck, why have roads and tracks? If not to prove that you have the skills to ride at that level, then why bother with them? Why not just go do cross country? It all builds on itself, and they're part of the competition to prove that you have amassed the skills needed to compete at that level.
Dressage is to demonstrate that an officer's horse can perform "on parade".

Cross country is to demonstrate that an officer's horse can be used to deliver dispatches behind enemy lines.

Show jumping is to demonstrate that an officer's horse can bring honor to its rider on the "off time" competitions.

Even if you modernize the context, Eventing is about demonstrating the HORSE'S skill (just like Hunters). Yes, you need to be a good rider to show the horse to advantage, but Eventing is NOT about demonstrating the RIDER'S skills.

Nor is Show Hunters.

RAyers
Sep. 30, 2009, 04:44 PM
Coppers mom,

I am using your own words from your own posts. What else should I be reading?

As for me, I grew up on a XC course at a h/j barn starting in the 1960s-1990s. We very rarely worked in the arena except to practice our stadium and dressage. Of course this was back in the day when dressage was something you did on the way to the XC course. So, I learned how to ride XC by RIDING XC. I did sit down and specifically figure out how to take my arena work and apply it to XC. Just like Bill Steinkraus said, "I took my lessons and then went out in a pasture and figured out what worked best for me and threw away the rest."

For you to ask "why do they have stadium" is incredulous! Do you have any sense of history for the sport? I told you specifically in my previous post the intent behind stadium.

Blugal
Sep. 30, 2009, 04:53 PM
You can't get around cross country without first mastering the basics in the ring, which you can't do without first mastering the basics on the flat.


Disagree. Completely. There is absolutely no requirement of a ring for a person (or horse) to learn the basics. What a ridiculous statement.

I grew up riding out in the country. I teach my greenies how to jump by taking them out in the country and starting them over logs, creeks, dips and banks. THEN I go in the ring and start them over artificial coloured poles.

Pick up a Horse and Hound magazine sometime. You'll see pictures of people leading their 4 year old children on ponies going hunting. And then pictures of their Under-25s having a competitive 3-star division. I guess they mastered the basics OK.

2ndyrgal
Sep. 30, 2009, 04:54 PM
Yes you can go ripping around cross country without knowing ANYTHING in the ring, it's called foxhunting and some folks do it three times a week on horses that litterally only know left, right, go and whoa. Sometimes, whoa takes a while. I have a lovely horse that as a 4 year old, was backed less than 10 times, by me. Took him foxhunting and galloped and jumped everything we needed to gallop and jump and not only lived to tell about it, but jumped out of stride and had a blast. This horse, at that point, not only could not, but would not trot a decent 20 meter circle. Changes??? Hell, he's 9 yrs old, can easily trot a 5 ft fence, has an extended trot to die for and has never done a true "change" and we did the hunters. I set him up going across the diagonal to land on the correct lead, so we didn't need to change as we had landed on the correct lead. Your statement about "why are roads and tracks necessary" only proves that you truly do not "get" in any way shape or form, what eventing truly does prove about your horse. Any horse, that can gallop around and jump safely cross country can certainly go around a show jumping course of the same level. It might not be pretty, but, they can, and do. The same cannot be said however, of any jumper, hunter or dressage horse, at least not in this country. In Europe, they don't have show hunters, they have jumpers, eventers, dressage horses and foxhunters. Amazingly, over there, they do cross train, most of the dressage horses are hacked out, almost all of the jumpers are hacked out and also do dressage. Over here, the hunters put them on a lunge line, the dressage people wouldn't dare ride out or god forbid turn out, the jumpers don't spend enough time on flat work to help their horses strengthen enough to achieve "self carriage", and the event riders might hate dressage, but they aren't stupid, and if they don't do enough dressage, they at least flat out on uneven ground SO THEIR HORSES CAN LEARN TO CARRY THEMSELVES WHICH IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF THIS "ARGUMENT"!!! An Olympic triathlete, might also be a sprinter, but he will never be as fast as a specialty sprinter. He might run long distance, but not as far or as fast as a true marathon runner. He might swim, but he isn't Mark Spitz. He does three things very very well, the other two of which the "specialty athlete" won't be able to do nearly as well. I hope that Jimmy Wofford does another article written for the learning impaired that have posted here, breaking it down into terms you can understand. A horse needs balance and self carriage to be able to jump safely around a cross country course, without someone dicking around with his head and telling him where to put his feet. We should teach them to be self reliant so that they jump well in spite of what we do, not because of what we do, because at some point, we are gonna guess wrong and when we do, Dobbin isn't going to have enough time to say "well shit, that was a bad idea", I want my horse to look about six strides out and say "Got it Mom" and ignore me till we land safely on the other side. There are things that are important when looking at a horse that may save your life someday by the decisions he makes. I want him to have a brain, anything else is gravy. He can be ugly, common, even have soundness issues, but those things aren't gonna kill me. I want him to jump in to something having already figured out how he's gonna jump out. I don't want him to wait for me to figure it out for him. I want him to know where his feet are and my job is to stay in the middle and not fall off and steer to the next fence.

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 05:12 PM
Coppers mom,

I am using your own words from your own posts. What else should I be reading?

Then why don't you quote it then? I keep asking you to, because nothing you're saying comes from my posts, only from your imagination.

So, we've established that you don't need basics, fantastic. No one needs to know how to put in a nice stadium round or smooth dressage test, it's all about cross country and nothing has anything to do with anything. Great.

********

It's not about learning specifically in the dressage ring, or specifically in a manicured arena, it's about the basics needed to successfully do those portions of the competition because they are easier. You've got to learn to walk before you run.

Or maybe that's the problem with eventing today. Screw everything else, just get around cross country. Maybe that worked when we had roads and tracks to get into the swing of galloping and jump, and the XC courses weren't just long bouts of combinations, but not now. Dressage, Stadium, and previously roads and tracks all work together to make a really good cross country round. Denying the preparation is just asking for trouble.

Blugal
Sep. 30, 2009, 05:23 PM
I guess my problem is that Copper's mom has made the leap from "if you don't teach changes you're lazy" to "changes are basic" to "dressage and show jumping are easier and are the basis of being able to go XC".

In fact, I find dressage and show jumping to be harder, and am usually more competent at XC than the first two. Probably because XC is the phase that 1) is the most fun and 2) is the most dangerous. So I spend more time on that, starting from the basics of ponying my horses on the trails, then taking my green-bean 3 and 4 year olds out there on uneven footing and hills and banks etc. even before they have real steering and brakes. I find that going out and doing that *helps* us in their flatwork and jumping because they learn to take care of themselves, balance and pay attention to their footing and surroundings.

There is more than one road to Rome. Mine starts on the trails and then goes through the dressage and show jump rings. No big deal if yours is different, but don't tell me that I can't navigate because I took a different road.

enjoytheride
Sep. 30, 2009, 05:34 PM
What about equitation horses? One of the horses I rode was a bigeq horse in his day (madison square gardens and all that). He had auto changes, one tempis, and a counter canter. He learned to change as a young horse and later he learned to counter canter.

If you bent him to the inside around a corner he'd auto swap, or he'd swap on the straight away if you changed his bend/your leg. Or he'd hold a counter canter if you held the bend around the corner or on the straightaway. Despite doing changes as a young horse he knew that counter canter was "something else." I think correct training has a lot to do with it.

Coppers mom
Sep. 30, 2009, 05:44 PM
I guess my problem is that Copper's mom has made the leap from "if you don't teach changes you're lazy" to "changes are basic" to "dressage and show jumping are easier and are the basis of being able to go XC".
Actually, others made that jump for me. I was just going with the flow.

In fact, I find dressage and show jumping to be harder, and am usually more competent at XC than the first two. Probably because XC is the phase that 1) is the most fun and 2) is the most dangerous. So I spend more time on that, starting from the basics of ponying my horses on the trails, then taking my green-bean 3 and 4 year olds out there on uneven footing and hills and banks etc. even before they have real steering and brakes. I find that going out and doing that *helps* us in their flatwork and jumping because they learn to take care of themselves, balance and pay attention to their footing and surroundings.
:yes::yes: We always work on things that are more fun, which is why I have to pretend there's a skinny at X to get a decent score coming down the centerline, or that cross country is just a "Long, low stadium course" to get over my nerves.

There is more than one road to Rome. Mine starts on the trails and then goes through the dressage and show jump rings. No big deal if yours is different, but don't tell me that I can't navigate because I took a different road.
But the trails teach the same exact basics as in the dressage/showjumping rings, just in a different venue (venue, after all, was never the point). I take babies out on the trail first because I find it an excellent place to teach them to turn, stop, go, wait for me when crossing a stream, etc. They'd learn all these same basics of basics in the ring, in a field, on the trails, whatever. It's the basics, not the location, that are the point. I was just trying to make the connection of those basics in terms of competition.

Blugal
Sep. 30, 2009, 05:54 PM
So Coppers mom, I guess the only thing we actually disagree on is when changes should be taught. I can handle that :)

bornfreenowexpensive
Sep. 30, 2009, 06:01 PM
If you bent him to the inside around a corner he'd auto swap, or he'd swap on the straight away if you changed his bend/your leg. Or he'd hold a counter canter if you held the bend around the corner or on the straightaway. Despite doing changes as a young horse he knew that counter canter was "something else." I think correct training has a lot to do with it.


For true counter canter...your bend should be correct....not bent to the outside to hold the counter canter. That is when you will score the most in a dressage test. This is damn hard...and something that takes a long time to develop the strength and flexibility in the horse to do. This is where the horses that have learned to change early on struggle the most.....at least at first.....


Again...the change issue is really a red herring (sp?). Honestly....it just isn't a priority in eventing for a lot of the reasons already stated...but many MANY many event horses DO have their changes pretty early.

It is just we do not obssess over them....and on a horse with a good canter (which we DO obsess over if you know anything)...you don't "teach" it...they usually just offer it when you are up off their back and jumping (and NOT micro managing them)...the same way those same horse change on their own at liberty. It is a useful thing to have your horse know....but not critical and not a sign that training is lazy or lax....just that we have different priorities because we are in a different sport.


But this is way off the topic.;)

flyingchange
Sep. 30, 2009, 08:00 PM
Originally Posted by Coppers mom
You can't get around cross country without first mastering the basics in the ring, which you can't do without first mastering the basics on the flat.

LMFAO.

lstevenson
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:19 PM
And I really can't believe that anyone's arguing that stadium couldn't be smoother for a lot of eventers



Who said that? Yes, there is plenty of rough riding out there. And all eventers should strive for smooth rounds.

What is being said is that lead changes, while very nice, are not absolutely neccessary for a smooth round. And that the level of difficulty of courses the hunters jump vs the level of difficulty of courses that eventers or jumpers jump are vastly different. So comparing the smoothness between the two is like comparing apples to oranges.

lstevenson
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:30 PM
I hope that Jimmy Wofford does another article written for the learning impaired that have posted here, breaking it down into terms you can understand.

:lol: I think Jimmy is always highly amused by the ruckus his articles create on this forum.



A horse needs balance and self carriage to be able to jump safely around a cross country course, without someone dicking around with his head and telling him where to put his feet. We should teach them to be self reliant so that they jump well in spite of what we do



Bingo! THIS is the point of Jimmy's article.

lstevenson
Sep. 30, 2009, 09:50 PM
And there's the problem: hunters is not in the same league? Really? Why does "different" equal 'less than' to you?


What I'm saying is that hunter COURSES are much easier than eventing or jumper courses.

Therefore it's only natural that it would be easier to have more "perfect" rounds. I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand.

RugBug
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:10 PM
What I'm saying is that hunter COURSES are much easier than eventing or jumper courses.

Therefore it's only natural that it would be easier to have more "perfect" rounds. I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand.

Sure that's a conclusion that can be drawn...but it would be erroneous. You could only draw that conclusion if all the courses were judged using the same criteria. They are not and therefore your conclusion is false. I'm not sure why that logic is so hard to understand.

An eventing course or jumper course is never going to look exactly the same as a hunter course. But you can still strive for flow and a relaxed horse. It might not always happen...but you should be training for it.

BTW, I think back in my first post on this thread I pretty much had a similar summary of the article that you quoted. I get it. Don't worry. A lot of my following posts were addressing misconception about hunters.

maudie
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:38 PM
I'm cross-posting my response from another wofford thread:



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, I'm tired of hearing Eventers bash Hunters.

Hunters are NOT all mindless drones who plod around the arena with no will. And Eventers are NOT all crazy speed demons who gallop like crazy all over the course and come 'home' sweaty and bloody.

Being a Hunter for a long time, the goal was was to get that long low action, I had a really hot pony who threw her head straight up and could gallop from a halt of you nudged her sides. Well, we won quite a few flat classes against the 18hh warmbloods. So I'd say it takes some degree of horsemanship to accomplish this.

Being a faux-eventer I can also say if you let your horse gallop around like a fiend on Cross-country you are going to get hurt unless you have a hella honest horse. I ended up riding my dressage like a hunter round and I got a 38. Mainly because I had a nice horse. It was difficult, exausting, and FUN

Basically, they are apples and oranges. Neither side can say squat. I doubt you could ever get a top eventer into a top hunter and vice versa. Neither can successfully complete their jobs without having some degree of talent. And a rider can only do so much to help her horse, and vice versa. And there is no such thing as a 'reject'. Horses aren't playthings to be disposed of when they can't do your bidding.

maudie
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:06 AM
What I'm saying is that hunter COURSES are much easier than eventing or jumper courses.

Therefore it's only natural that it would be easier to have more "perfect" rounds. I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand.

plain and simple: you have no idea what you are talking about.

lstevenson
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:13 AM
Sure that's a conclusion that can be drawn...but it would be erroneous. You could only draw that conclusion if all the courses were judged using the same criteria. They are not and therefore your conclusion is false. I'm not sure why that logic is so hard to understand.


I could care less how they are jugded. That's irrelavent to the statement that I made.

It is COMMON SENSE that since the courses are easier, they are easier for riders to do well. Are you going to argue with common sense?

lstevenson
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:23 AM
plain and simple: you have no idea what you are talking about.


:lol: Are you by any chance a teenager? Maybe you should read the thread and check your facts. :winkgrin:

RugBug
Oct. 1, 2009, 02:14 AM
I could care less how they are jugded. That's irrelavent to the statement that I made.

It is COMMON SENSE that since the courses are easier, they are easier for riders to do well. Are you going to argue with common sense?

I'm not going to argue with "common sense", or at least your brand of it.

If the courses were judged by the same criteria, you might have a leg to stand on. They are not, so you don't.

Stadium is judged by being within the time and leaving all the poles up. If that's all hunters were judged on, then yes...you'd have something with your 'the courses are easier, therefore they are easier for riders to do well.'

Let me see if I can put it into an analogy that will help you understand:

Stadium is like being in a ballet school recital. You learn all the dance moves and you do them in front of an audience. Doesn't matter how well you do them as long as you get close to the standard. The moves you learn may be difficult in and of themselves or in combination with each other, but you don't have to do them gracefully or artistically or beautifully...you just have to do them. You strive to make it gracefully/beautiful/artistic...but it doesn't have to be.

Hunters is like dancing for a company. You've got to know the moves, AND you damn well better do them with grace, style, poise, beauty and art or your gonna get kicked out of the troupe. Even the simplest of moves/combinations must meet all those criteria or it's nothing. You might as well go home.

Good eventers and good jumpers can make their moves look like a company ballet performance...but there are plenty who don't care about the performance as long as they can adequately do the moves. In hunters, you HAVE to care about the performance. That's all there is. That's why a hunter course is as difficult as a stadium round or a jumper course: Not in the technical aspects, but in the performance of it.

The judging criteria makes a "simple" hunter course exponentially more difficult than the course itself would be if judged by the same criteria as stadium or jumpers.

It's not a perfect analogy...it's 11 at night and I really ought to be asleep rather than posting on this thread again...but it will hopefully help you understand the difference, unless you want to be stubborn about it.

Long Spot
Oct. 1, 2009, 04:36 AM
What in the world is automatic about having to ask? :confused:

This quote is interesting to me given that you a page later you say the following.




Auto changes are more the kind where the horse changes direction, and even if you have a drunken monkey on board, they'll change. They're either trained that way, but a lot of them simply prefer to switch because they like being balanced. There are plenty of horses out there with auto-changes, just go watch the ponies. When I was riding them coming back from pony finals, the whole plan was to 1) Knock any silliness out of them after being allowed to get away with stuff all show long, and 2) re-establish the auto-changes if they were getting a little lazy.

You make a cutting remark about someone saying they have to ask for an auto change and thus it's not automatic. And then in another post on the next page you say sometimes it's trained, and sometimes you've had to tune that up. Don't shoot the messanger here, just pointing it out.


Wow, I'm sure Rebekah would really appreciate someone representing her barn posting like this.

I've personally seen you say a few things regarding people who come try horses for sale at the farm you work at Copper that have made my jaw drop with the lack of professionalism. You have links to where you work, so it wouldn't be a stretch for any of those people to identify themselves. Those remarks to do not represent your employers farm or you as an employee any better, I fear.

I know you are young and chomping at the bit and full of get up and go. And sometimes that's a good thing. On this thread, it's getting away from you a little bit.

The whole reason I brought up the auto vs asking for change quotes is because you are seem so hell bent on arguing that you eventually end up arguing with yourself.

Sometimes just when you think you are right and have life by the balls, you notice you might be able to learn something if you stop talking and start listening and really considering the other side instead of staying in fisticuff mode.

This might be one of those times.

And I mean that on both the hunter/jumper and eventer sides of this discussion. I know you have experience on both sides of this discussion. And I just need to point out that many of the people you are arguing with are pretty well versed on both sides as well. Might be time to think about a quote from Plato.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

enjoytheride
Oct. 1, 2009, 06:25 AM
The design of a hunter course might be easier (harder to get lost) but the goal is much more difficult to reach. In eventing all you have to do is make it over the fences alive, with the rails up, and in the time allowed. In hunters you must maintain the same canter the entire way around, have nice bend in your corners, get your lead changes on time and even, take off from the perfect distance, land smoothly, and stay out of the horses way so he can look good while doing it. How is that easy?

I think eventers who say they have nothing to learn from hunters are being pretty stubborn about it. A little bit of polish would probably help leave rails up in the long run.

Janet
Oct. 1, 2009, 08:07 AM
I think eventers who say they have nothing to learn from hunters are being pretty stubborn about it. A little bit of polish would probably help leave rails up in the long run.
Who said that?

Jealoushe
Oct. 1, 2009, 08:54 AM
WTF?! Stadium is a "pre-curser to cross country, and is meant to demonstrate that you have the skills to go out in the open."

What country do you ride in? Stadium is usually held AFTER XC. Only after the new safety efforts have we begun to run stadium BEFORE XC. Stadium was meant to show that you had conditioned and prepared your horse well enough that after an intense effort on XC, there was enough left in the tank that the horse could come back into a controlled setting and be able to jump. It was never intended as a test of XC ability. And if it was, then any GP jumper should be able to trot around Rolex, right?

Don't justify your position to me using a-postiori reasoning based on recent rules changes. You only serve as an example of how bad the h/j mentality has crept into the running of eventing and why there is possibly more injuries on XC. Or you show how far lost the sport is in that the new generation has no idea of the original roots of the sport.

Eventing was NEVER intended to be a test of horses in a manicure arena. It is a test across the country side. The only way to develop that is to gallop across the country side, not to drill in the ring. Arena work does somewhat go to developing a horse's self carriage out on XC but it doesn't do enough. As others, including JW point out, the only way to get a horse to know how to run around in a field of gopher holes is to turn them out or run them in a field of gopher holes. They don't that ability by working little tasks in an arena.

As for me "blowing" things out of proportion, it is only relative to the myopic and narrow focus you have taken as to what "self-carriage" and training are. You have taken up the same ideas as the OP and neglected the CONTEXT within the sport.

I have yet to find that a smooth stadium EVER affected my XC on any of my horses. Why? Because I don't ride XC like stadium and I don't ride stadium like XC. They are two VERY different styles and mindsets. If you try to run XC like stadium you WILL BE A STATISTIC.

Reed

Amazing!!

All this talk about "mastering" in the ring. There are more falls at hunter shows than there are at events - FACT!

Jealoushe
Oct. 1, 2009, 09:00 AM
probably the most hilarious thing about this whole thread is that hunters came from hunter trials, did they not? Which came from hunting...

If that's true then technically, originally, most eventers would have also been great hunters.

lstevenson
Oct. 1, 2009, 09:49 AM
Stadium is like being in a ballet school recital. You learn all the dance moves and you do them in front of an audience. Doesn't matter how well you do them as long as you get close to the standard. The moves you learn may be difficult in and of themselves or in combination with each other, but you don't have to do them gracefully or artistically or beautifully...you just have to do them. You strive to make it gracefully/beautiful/artistic...but it doesn't have to be.

Hunters is like dancing for a company. You've got to know the moves, AND you damn well better do them with grace, style, poise, beauty and art or your gonna get kicked out of the troupe. Even the simplest of moves/combinations must meet all those criteria or it's nothing. You might as well go home.


With your analogy, hunter riders only have to learn and perfect a few moves, whereas jumpers and eventers have to do a whole lot more.

Once again, not just riding over jumps with forgiving profiles in straight lines with perfect distances on flat manicured footing. But up and down hills, airy verticals with no ground lines, airy square oxers out of tight turns, bending lines, ninety degree turns, tricky combinations, off distances, skinny fences with lightweight cups, ect.

Of course they are jugded differently, and in hunters if you make one mistake, have one bad fence, you are out. Whereas in jumpers and eventers as long as you leave the fence up, you can still win with a bad fence. But there is no denying that it is easier to ride a smooth hunter course vs a smooth stadium course...because it's easier.

If you like analogies, how about.....it's a lot easier to juggle 2 balls than 4, therefore most people would be much smoother and more successfull juggling 2 balls than 4.

lstevenson
Oct. 1, 2009, 09:50 AM
There are more falls at hunter shows than there are at events - FACT!


Is that really true?

Nojacketrequired
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:02 AM
For true counter canter...your bend should be correct....not bent to the outside to hold the counter canter. That is when you will score the most in a dressage test.

But if you are in counter canter going down the rail, then the TRUE bend WOULD be to the outside of the rail, correct? (Which would be the inside of the counter canter.)

Regardless, many people over-bend the countercanter to keep it, which I agree is incorrect and keeping the proper flexion is difficult.

On the subject of hunter vs. dressage changes...What I have personally seen in hunters is that the change is often initiated in FRONT, with the back end following while in dressage the change MUST be initiated from the new outside hind, or it is incorrect. My own experience.

NJR

magnolia73
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:02 AM
All this talk about "mastering" in the ring. There are more falls at hunter shows than there are at events - FACT!


Really- on a per entry basis? Can you show me your numbers? My barn had 3 hunter shows this year, one fall... and umm. Well, this is awkward, but it was an eventer who was brushing up her skills in a 2'6 hunter class. It was a pretty ugly fall. The horse tripped upon landing and fell. And no, her rounds were still pretty rough up to that point, despite simpler courses. I give her credit for trying and she was obviously out there to get practice and improve.


What I'm saying is that hunter COURSES are much easier than eventing or jumper courses.

Therefore it's only natural that it would be easier to have more "perfect" rounds. I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand.

I think the word you need is SIMPLER. A hunter course is simpler. Sometimes simple is hard to pull off well. A roast chicken is simple. But many times it tastes like crap. And any mistake is glaring. If you watch the hunter classics with numerical scoring... you see how little room for error there is. Someone gets a bit tight, a bit long with a late change. 55.

I think there are some hunters who could do fine as eventers. But not excel. My horse could event (ummm, witha better rider!)- she'd have time faults and whatever the dressage score is for quiet, relaxed and not engaged or forward.

I do think eventing is the most challenging to train for given the right horse. The fact that you have 3 disciplines with different goals- you need three aspects of the horse developed. If you to go beyond...jack of all trades... and really master each phase, you need some serious skills.

Dr. Doolittle
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:11 AM
In response to Lstevenson's question, I would imagine probably so, considering that there are WAY more hunter shows than there are horse trials.

Statistically?? (As in relative to the number of shows...) That would be a separate question.

Dr. Doolittle
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:15 AM
Really- on a per entry basis? Can you show me your numbers? My barn had 3 hunter shows this year, one fall... and umm. Well, this is awkward, but it was an eventer who was brushing up her skills in a 2'6 hunter class. It was a pretty ugly fall. The horse tripped upon landing and fell. And no, her rounds were still pretty rough up to that point, despite simpler courses. I give her credit for trying and she was obviously out there to get practice and improve.



I think the word you need is SIMPLER. A hunter course is simpler. Sometimes simple is hard to pull off well. A roast chicken is simple. But many times it tastes like crap. And any mistake is glaring. If you watch the hunter classics with numerical scoring... you see how little room for error there is. Someone gets a bit tight, a bit long with a late change. 55.

I think there are some hunters who could do fine as eventers. But not excel. My horse could event (ummm, witha better rider!)- she'd have time faults and whatever the dressage score is for quiet, relaxed and not engaged or forward.

I do think eventing is the most challenging to train for given the right horse. The fact that you have 3 disciplines with different goals- you need three aspects of the horse developed. If you to go beyond...jack of all trades... and really master each phase, you need some serious skills.

Very good points, magnolia...:yes:

Janet
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:18 AM
But if you are in counter canter going down the rail, then the TRUE bend WOULD be to the outside of the rail, correct? (Which would be the inside of the counter canter.)
Nope. Not correct.

When you first start teaching counter canter, you bend in the direction of the lead (the outside of the arena).

But for a counter canter worthy of a good dressage score, you bend in the direction of travel (the inside of the arena). For instance, right lead but left bend.

You often do the same thing (right lead, left bend) when counter cantering on a show jumping course.

RugBug
Oct. 1, 2009, 11:37 AM
Amazing!!

All this talk about "mastering" in the ring. There are more falls at hunter shows than there are at events - FACT!
Is that really true?

I wouldn't doubt it's true. It's kind of common sense, no? More shows, more riders, more classes = more opportunities to fall.

THAT shouldn't be surprising.


But up and down hills,

Eventing stadium is up and down hills? Wow. I never realized that. All I've seen is in some type of "arena" (fenced off fairly flat area). If you're referring to a ring that slopes one direction or another...don't be foolish enough to think some of our rings don't do the same. The good rings don't, but I'm sure the same could be said for your 'good' rings.



airy verticals with no ground lines, airy square oxers out of tight turns, bending lines, ninety degree turns, tricky combinations, off distances, skinny fences with lightweight cups, ect.

I guess none of this bothers me. As I said before, I grew up riding Hunt Seat Eq and was expected to do whatever asked of me make it pretty. I love to do the eq, so I regularly do rollbacks, tricky distances, square oxers, skinnies (with or without wings to them) etc. My trainer constantly rolls her eyes at me when I come out for a lesson and say 'now I want to jump the XXX to the XXX and maybe to the XXX" and she reviews it and goes :eek:. And she's evented and currently does jumpers. ;)


But there is no denying that it is easier to ride a smooth hunter course vs a smooth stadium course...because it's easier.

It is easier to achieve the minimum acceptable (get around) in hunters because the course is less technical. It is as difficult or more so to achieve a winning round.

Oh..I will concede that eventing/stadium is harder because you have to remember the darn course. I'm getting older and the courses are becoming more and more difficult for me to remember.



If you like analogies, how about.....it's a lot easier to juggle 2 balls than 4, therefore most people would be much smoother and more successfull juggling 2 balls than 4.

Again...not the same. But your analogy does show your lack of understanding of the difference. Apples and oranges and all that.

bornfreenowexpensive
Oct. 1, 2009, 11:40 AM
But if you are in counter canter going down the rail, then the TRUE bend WOULD be to the outside of the rail, correct? (Which would be the inside of the counter canter.)




I meant bend of the direction you are going in (not based on which lead you have)... also, if you are going down the rail...there should be no bend but you should be straight (which IMO is the hardest thing of all ;) ).

I think Janet may have stated it better.

lizajane09
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:00 PM
Eventing stadium is up and down hills? Wow. I never realized that. All I've seen is in some type of "arena" (fenced off fairly flat area). If you're referring to a ring that slopes one direction or another...don't be foolish enough to think some of our rings don't do the same. The good rings don't, but I'm sure the same could be said for your 'good' rings.




Actually, eventing stadium is frequently out in a field - on grass and not necessarily flat. Yes, I've been to horse trials where stadium was ridden in an arena, but I've been to at least as many where it was ridden on a grass field. Depending on the weather and the terrain, it can very much add a level of difficulty to riding the course! Unless you're in a very different part of the country (I'm on the East Coast and haven't competed on the West Coast), I'm very surprised you've never seen stadium done on "terrain".

Jazzy Lady
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:09 PM
There are very few events up here that run stadium in a flat sand ring. Most are on grass rings and very few are even close to being relatively flat.

RugBug
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:20 PM
Actually, eventing stadium is frequently out in a field - on grass and not necessarily flat. Yes, I've been to horse trials where stadium was ridden in an arena, but I've been to at least as many where it was ridden on a grass field. Depending on the weather and the terrain, it can very much add a level of difficulty to riding the course! Unless you're in a very different part of the country (I'm on the East Coast and haven't competed on the West Coast), I'm very surprised you've never seen stadium done on "terrain".

Please note...I said "arena" or a fenced off (roped off) area. This could include a grass field which is what I was alluding to. I'm versed enough to know that a lot of stadium is NOT in a fenced off, sand arena.

IMO, a sort of flat roped of field is a far cry from "the up and down hills" that surprised me.

lizajane09
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:27 PM
Please note...I said "arena" or a fenced off (roped off) area. This could include a grass field which is what I was alluding to. I'm versed enough to know that a lot of stadium is NOT in a fenced off, sand arena.

IMO, a sort of flat roped of field is a far cry from "the up and down hills" that surprised me.

And you will also note that I said "not necessarily flat" - as Jazzy Lady also pointed out. I've ridden some stadium that had some pretty significant hills, and it definitely influences the way that the course rides.

Blugal
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:33 PM
I've ridden FEI 3-days with stadium in a hilly (not just "less than flat") field - VERY tough stadium.

One horse trial's stadium was hilly, had a "devil's dyke" type hill down to jump over ditch to hill up, a rail over a drop bank to a skinny, and an uphill to a hedge with rails. More like a derby course than a stadium course.

Another stadium was on a significant side-hill, with jumps both up and down hill and sideways on the hill - the terrain was a significant factor in the difficulty.

Catalina
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:34 PM
I've ridden some stadium that had some pretty significant hills, ....

Me too; they are quite the norm here in Area 2. I can only think of a few places that have footing, the rest are on grass, and, yes, there are quite a few that are literally up and down hills (Marlborough, Middleburg, Redlands, Rubicon, to name a few). And the jumps are often set to maximize the terrain; ie, a jump at the base of a hill or on the crest or across the short side at the top of a slope. I imagine it would be pretty close to impossible to get a smooth, winning hunter round on some of those courses.

PhoenixFarm
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:41 PM
Mr. PF and I were showing some of our Area II videos to some students and friends a while back. They were absolutely stunned and horrified about doing dressage and show jumping in someone's field, LOL. Especially at the upper levels. Out here EVERYTHING but the xc is in a ring. We have one event that at their spring event offers show jumping on a grass field, but it's dead level and like a golf course--and it still causes hysteria. The line for the farrier to get horses drilled and tapped the day before is monumental--great show to work if you are a farrier.

While I do think the ability to ride show jumping on terrain makes you a better rider, I must admit I don't miss studding for every phase, LOL. Or my lessons. Or for xc, because that's all prepared footing too. My stud kit has seen the light of day twice in three years, and I don't miss it at all!:winkgrin:

RugBug
Oct. 1, 2009, 12:53 PM
I imagine it would be pretty close to impossible to get a smooth, winning hunter round on some of those courses.

Sounds like the old school outside courses. I wish they were still around. The Hunter Derby is doing it's best to bring back some of the brilliance required from that era...but they still can't really do it on an outside course as there just aren't too many available.

Yep PF: all I've even seen live have been in an arena on manicured footing. Such is the way of the west coast. The XC is on groomed tracks as well. 'Course after having driven a quad back and forth many, many times at Twin Rivers and seen the size of the gopher holes, I wouldn't run on anything but at least there.

My trainer commented once that Shepherd Ranch can look a little like back east courses, especially in the spring. They do groom the tracks for events...but when you school outside of those times, you're on ungroomed footing. It worries my HP self and I often want to check the approach and landing on each fence, but I haven't had a problem so far.

Janet
Oct. 1, 2009, 01:10 PM
Please note...I said "arena" or a fenced off (roped off) area. This could include a grass field which is what I was alluding to. I'm versed enough to know that a lot of stadium is NOT in a fenced off, sand arena.

IMO, a sort of flat roped of field is a far cry from "the up and down hills" that surprised me.

It must be regional.

Around here there are plenty of show jumping courses that are not even "sort of" flat. MUCH more slope than any of the outside courses I rode on as a kid.

Steep enough that it shortens (not lengthens) the stride going downhill. Steep enough that the take off spot may be 12" higher than the landing spot, and vice versa.

Definitely "up and down hill". You have to take the slope into account in planning how you are going to ride it.

Peggy
Oct. 1, 2009, 01:39 PM
We did get to do stadium on the grand prix field :D at Showpark when they had events there, but that's the only time I recall riding on anything but "dirt" at an event out here. It was a pretty manicured and mostly flat/level situation, but we did get to use the bank that was at one end. After a few times I didn't bother to drill and tap my more experienced horse b/c he was confident, didn't try to do stupid things in front of fences, and didn't panic if one leg slipped slightly. Plus, he was pretty old and jumping with caulks seemed to exacerbate his slight lameness issues. I figured I could always go around something rather than turn more tightly and risk a slip--a possible time fault was better than an ouchy horse for a few days after the event.

I do remember the dressage folks complaining about the rings at the Del Mar show that were set up on the track (this was also more than a few years ago) as there was a slight slope to the rings. My horse, who spent a lot of times on the trails and lived in a paddock with a hill, didn't have a problem but apparently some did.

Coppers mom
Oct. 1, 2009, 02:39 PM
This quote is interesting to me given that you a page later you say the following.



You make a cutting remark about someone saying they have to ask for an auto change and thus it's not automatic. And then in another post on the next page you say sometimes it's trained, and sometimes you've had to tune that up. Don't shoot the messanger here, just pointing it out.

I'm sorry, but I really don't see how the two statements are contradictory, you must be trying awfully hard. How do you think that a horse gets auto changes? He must first be taught the changes (unless he gets them naturally), that's a no brainer. And any pony ridden by a 7 year old with very, very little riding experience (sometimes, mommy and daddy will lease the pony out for a show, while their little darling hasn't ridden since the last time they showed a year ago) is going to need tuning up, another no brainer. Those little kids flop around, do too much, sit like lumps, fall, all kinds of fun stuff. The ponies come back a little frazzled or indignant sometimes, and need to be reminded that "Hey, you have to change", "Yes, you really have to jump", etc. You can have the best schoolmaster in the world, but you're eventually going to have to tune him up if he's ridden with lower expectations than he's used to.


I've personally seen you say a few things regarding people who come try horses for sale at the farm you work at Copper that have made my jaw drop with the lack of professionalism. You have links to where you work, so it wouldn't be a stretch for any of those people to identify themselves. Those remarks to do not represent your employers farm or you as an employee any better, I fear.
Oh, do quote please. I've never used such language, and I've never simply thrown out some "You guys are such stupid spootheads I can't even believe it" statement. Anything negative is always backed up by facts and personal experience. As far as comments regarding customers? Again, quote anything specific enough to identify someone. When discussing such things, they're just general stories about e-mails.

Either way, I can't believe you'd condone or defend such a response from another poster.

I know you are young and chomping at the bit and full of get up and go. And sometimes that's a good thing. On this thread, it's getting away from you a little bit.
Ah, the "You young whipper snapper" comment. Love it :lol:

The whole reason I brought up the auto vs asking for change quotes is because you are seem so hell bent on arguing that you eventually end up arguing with yourself.
Only if you're grasping at straws.

Sometimes just when you think you are right and have life by the balls, you notice you might be able to learn something if you stop talking and start listening and really considering the other side instead of staying in fisticuff mode.
What am I refusing to learn or listen to? We're having a discussion, and, for the most part, I'm simply refuting grand misunderstandings. I'd hardly say I've got my panties in a twist.

And I mean that on both the hunter/jumper and eventer sides of this discussion. I know you have experience on both sides of this discussion. And I just need to point out that many of the people you are arguing with are pretty well versed on both sides as well. Might be time to think about a quote from Plato.
Again, it's a discussion. I don't see anyone doing anything more than that (for the most part). There is a difference between an argument that comes down to "You guys are so goddamn ignorant" and a discussion where each side provides a thought out response.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”
From over here, it appears that you felt you had to say something.

Coppers mom
Oct. 1, 2009, 02:48 PM
Me too; they are quite the norm here in Area 2. I can only think of a few places that have footing, the rest are on grass, and, yes, there are quite a few that are literally up and down hills (Marlborough, Middleburg, Redlands, Rubicon, to name a few). And the jumps are often set to maximize the terrain; ie, a jump at the base of a hill or on the crest or across the short side at the top of a slope. I imagine it would be pretty close to impossible to get a smooth, winning hunter round on some of those courses.

Does anyone remember the CT's at Nancy Lindroth's old farm (Windfall?)? I remember the cross country schooling area and the dressage ring were on lovely, flat ground. But, the stadium was always on top of this big huge hill :lol:

As an aside, hunters used to show over similar terrain as you'd find on any XC course. The old style courses used to be long, more complicated, and in huge "arenas" (arena really only meaning general area where the sticks are set up, lol). They're trying to get back to this a little with the hunter derbies, where you can have banks, natural jumps, and other fun stuff.

wanderlust
Oct. 1, 2009, 02:49 PM
Sounds like the old school outside courses. I wish they were still around. The Hunter Derby is doing it's best to bring back some of the brilliance required from that era...but they still can't really do it on an outside course as there just aren't too many available.

Yep PF: all I've even seen live have been in an arena on manicured footing. Such is the way of the west coast. The XC is on groomed tracks as well. 'Course after having driven a quad back and forth many, many times at Twin Rivers and seen the size of the gopher holes, I wouldn't run on anything but at least there.

My trainer commented once that Shepherd Ranch can look a little like back east courses, especially in the spring. They do groom the tracks for events...but when you school outside of those times, you're on ungroomed footing. It worries my HP self and I often want to check the approach and landing on each fence, but I haven't had a problem so far.

RB, back east, especially in area 1 where I grew up, runs stadium on terrain that is way more hilly than any of the outside courses I rode as a kid, and those certainly weren't flat! Grotonhouse runs their UL showjumping on the side of a pretty slopey hill. In fact, I can't remember once showjumping in an arena or even a mostly flat spot over the course of 7 years.

The tilled tracks in CA (not the whole west coast) are for a couple of reasons- first, those damn ground squirrels that build giant holes, and 2, the winter rains followed by dry, hot weather that turn the ground into concrete. Shepherd's is the closest thing in CA to the back-east courses, but you don't get nearly as many hills. If you head up to WA, all the XC is run on grass and has some terrain- its really nice and reminds me a little of home!

Catalina
Oct. 1, 2009, 02:54 PM
I must admit I don't miss studding for every phase, LOL.

That's possible? :lol:

Yep, around here there are several places that have dressage warm up on the side of a hill- not a gentle slope, an actual hill that make studs almost mandatory in warm up. The rings themselves are relatively flat (mind you, I said relatively :winkgrin:), but the warm up areas can be a nightmare, especially if it has rained heavily. Which is one of the reasons that Loch Moy is my favoritest place to show (dressage and warm up and stadium all in footing :eek: :D). Very, very, very rare.

wanderlust
Oct. 1, 2009, 03:30 PM
From over here, it appears that you felt you had to say something. Actually, coppersmom, I don't think LongSpot is too far off in their assessment. You are "refuting grand misunderstandings" (read: being combative, rude and argumentative) with people who have far more experience at the upper levels of both disciplines than you have (just based off some of your other postings). Reed, for example, rides at both the upper levels of eventing and does the AO jumpers, and has been doing so for many, many years (sorry Reed!). His opinion and experience are really fantastic, and I've learned a ton from his posts over the years, about everything from joint maintenance to the importance of the full 3-day to the joys of numping and finging.

There's nothing wrong with being passionate about all of this (in fact, I think it is great), and you have some interesting insights. It is great to have experience in multiple disciplines, and there is a ton that h/j and eventers can learn from eachother (I ride h/j after eventing through prelim, and I'm frequently the only one who will open up a true hand-gallop to the single oxer in the eq or handy). But the combative "you have no idea what you are talking about" approach is really off-putting- it raises people's hackles and turns what could be a really interesting conversation into an argument, even when you may have valid points.

You are welcome to be dismissive of this post as well, but it is really intended to be constructive, and I hope you take it that way.

Sincerely,
Wanderlust, who could also be combative in her formative years and has mellowed with age.

RAyers
Oct. 1, 2009, 03:38 PM
... (sorry Reed!). His opinion and experience are really fantastic, and I've learned a ton from his posts over the years, about everything from joint maintenance to the importance of the full 3-day to the joys of numping and finging....

What are you apologizing to me for? Numping and finging are very important parts of eventing... heck, any horse discipline - as well as dancing on the tables.

Face it, I am one of the last of Jimmy Wofford's generation of riders (I was doing the JR/AO jumpers when he was at Rolex and Coppersmom was not even alive). So, I see his writings from that point of view. It was back when you were thrown on a horse and told to "figure it out" with not much else. We all learned to ride by the seat of our pants and it was survival of the fittest. The money and business models were different. Copper's mom is much younger and has her own, different, more mechanistic perspective.

Reed

BaliBandido
Oct. 1, 2009, 03:56 PM
There are more falls at hunter shows than there are at events - FACT!


And you get that fact from where? To the best of my knowledge there has not been such a study conducted. You know maybe there was not seen to be a big need for it because their was not such a rash of very public breakdowns of horses and umm you know dying or severly injured riders in the hunter world.

wanderlust
Oct. 1, 2009, 04:12 PM
What are you apologizing to me for? Numping and finging are very important parts of eventing... heck, any horse discipline - as well as dancing on the tables.
Reed I was apologizing for passively outing you (and, well, me) as old, without actually saying "Hey, we're old!" No apologies about the numping, finging or table dancing!

RugBug
Oct. 1, 2009, 04:14 PM
I think Reed and Copper's mom were having a failure to communicate on a rather large scale. :) (quite like myself and lstevenson :lol:).


I was apologizing for passively outing you (and, well, me) as old, without actually saying "Hey, we're old!" No apologies about the numping, finging or table dancing!

Ugh...if Reed is old...that means I'm old. Bring on the numping/finging/table dancing so I can prove that I'm not!


And you get that fact from where? To the best of my knowledge there has not been such a study conducted. You know maybe there was not seen to be a big need for it because their was not such a rash of very public breakdowns of horses and umm you know dying or severly injured riders in the hunter world.

Ah...Bali...you really didn't need to go there. :no:

Coppers mom
Oct. 1, 2009, 04:32 PM
(read: being combative, rude and argumentative)
Quote please


But the combative "you have no idea what you are talking about" approach is really off-putting- it raises people's hackles and turns what could be a really interesting conversation into an argument, even when you may have valid points.
Again, please quote where I have told anyone they have no idea what they're talking about. Please quote where I've not elaborated a point, but started an argument.

I thought this was an interesting conversation, for the most part. Just in the last three pages, we've discussed counter canter, stadium in different areas, etc. I have no idea why some feel like they need to chastise others for having a different opinion.

You are welcome to be dismissive of this post as well, but it is really intended to be constructive, and I hope you take it that way.
I apologize, but I found nothing but more of the "you darn whipper snappers" type of commentary. You have been more dismissive than I, simply because you're older. Which, honestly, doesn't really matter to me.

Sincerely,
Wanderlust, who could also be combative in her formative years and has mellowed with age.

I realize that this is going to completely change the topic, but why is it that whenever anyone disagrees, it's "Oh, you're young, you have no idea what you're talking about". But, when anyone mentions age in relation to competition, skill, etc, everyone says it's "Experience, not age"?

BaliBandido
Oct. 1, 2009, 04:43 PM
You can let the hunter ride a prelim horse and the eventer ride a regular working hunter, and I'll still take that bet. ;)

Ok-well I think you and I may have different outcomes in mind. For instance, I do not feel that the majority of eventers will have the ability to float that trot into the ring, have a nice soft downward transition to the walk, transition to the canter (not dressage frame, or giraffe frame) and open the step up toward the first fence. See that distance about 10 strides away and make very subtle adjustments if needed, then who will sink in their irons bend their knees and wait for the horse to pat the ground, get hocks underneath it, rock back and produce a slow round jump followed by letting the horse land and softly canter away.

Then we have lead changes, then we head to line. A nice 4 to a 4, let that horse move up a little to the vertical, allow/help it to rock back and jump up, rider staying out of the way, land balanced with just steady contact and know that you are traveling on the perfect step to get that horse to the oxer just a little at the gap, land and do that to the out off the 4 and then head down to the single oxer- come out of the corner, 15 strides to the very well filled out fence and manage to get there with the relaxation and the power that lets that horse snap knees to eyeballs, round his back like a dolphin, follow through with a great hind end go on to ride the rest of the course like this.

Ya, I'm sorry I just don't see it. I do not say that the eventer will not be able to get around on the regular hunter- but getting around isn't really the objective. Not in hunters. You talk about the fences, the footing blah blah, well yes- the hunter division is geared to get and showcase certain qualities. It is not about Bravery, uber fitness, how clever one is at saving its life etc. It is about making it look flawless, making the most out of every footfall while on course.



Ha! I share a barn with a hunter trainer that is apparantly successful at the top levels against the best hunters around the country. I see the behind the scenes every day. I know exactly how it is..

That is 'apparently' successful? Is she/he or not? What is successful? You know exactly how it is from sharing a barn with this person? Well, okay then.


What part of that are you denying anyway? You really think they are not drugged? Or lunged to death? That the jumps are not perfect and shaped to create that perfect jump? Or the arenas not perfectly manicured?

I really didn't think we were talking about anything other than the ability of a hunter rider vs an eventer switching mounts and seeing the outcome. That was something you had thrown out and I was giving my opinion on that.

As for do I think they are drugged, I am sure some of them certainly are- does that mean that no event horses are ever drugged? Lunged to death- well I know that is a saying that people are fond of- but I have not heard of any actually expiring on the lunge line. I have heard of several expiring while under tack at events.

The jumps most certainly are perfect and shaped for exactly that reason- to produce a lovely jump- which IS WHAT THEY ARE JUDGED ON. Are xc obstacles designed to test for things? Of course- bravery, scope, fitness etc- which IS WHAT THEY ARE JUDGED ON.

So we really have two different sports here- why must there be a constant refrain as to which one has the best 'riders'. Kind of a my dad could beat your dad up or my weenie is bigger than your weenie thing, when really it is not necessary.

It amazes me how you can ask the top riders in hunters or eventers who they think is a better rider and each one will tell you that they have a huge respect for each discipline and what it's objectives are, why can't others have that attitude?


And if you think hunters are fit, you obviously don't know what fitness is.

Oy, here we go again. Yes I know what fit is. I know that every discipline has its own level of fitness requirements. Just because a hunter is not conditioned like an event horse (because it is counter productive for the results we look for in a hunter) does not mean that it is just flab on four feet. Hunters are not conditioned like reiners either- different requirements. Endurance horses are not conditioned like event horses- does that mean they don't know what fitness is?

You are hell bent on making comparisons even when you say it is apples to oranges. Very few of the same things are required in an eventer and a hunter- total different manner of going etc- yet the good hunters at any height will exhibit self carriage, balance, a willingness to do the job etc- just not to the level required in other disciplines. good Event horses exhibit self carriage, balance etc- but at a different level than a dressage horse.

RugBug
Oct. 1, 2009, 04:49 PM
Coppersmom: you have been a bit argumentative, IMO. Instead of trying to see if a person misunderstood what you were trying to say, you've gotten huffy about it. (I do this too, sometimes :yes: :winkgrin:). Your 'whippersnapper' comments are dismissive just for starters. You are young, you will mellow out with age and you just might laugh at the amount of passion you once had and think 'why'd I get so riled up over that?

FWIW: I still don't comprehend half of this thread. I thought the OP was giving Jimmy the what-for, which then seemed to be supported by a bunch of the first posters but also somehow disagreeing with the OP. It's all been fairly confusing. :lol:

BaliBandido
Oct. 1, 2009, 04:55 PM
I think Reed and Copper's mom were having a failure to communicate on a rather large scale. :) (quite like myself and lstevenson :lol:).



Ugh...if Reed is old...that means I'm old. Bring on the numping/finging/table dancing so I can prove that I'm not!



Ah...Bali...you really didn't need to go there. :no:

You know I really didn't want to go there- but the stereotypes and the jabs about all the drugged hunters, the LTD hunters, the sorry professionals etc really, really get hard to take from a subset of horsepeople that have their own large issues to get in hand before they start using some fake 'hunter riders fall off more' stand in order to bolster their claim that hunter riders are so much less than eventers in so many ways. I am sorry that that was offensive, I knew it would be- but my reasoning was just to maybe get someone to look at their own yard first.

Coppers mom
Oct. 1, 2009, 05:02 PM
Your 'whippersnapper' comments are dismissive just for starters.

Actually, I just like the word "Whippersnapper".... :lol:

Mach Two
Oct. 1, 2009, 05:05 PM
OKAY! Everybody! Enough!
I'm old enough to remember grass stadium being the norm, and I'm old enough to remember that many hunter courses were also outdoors and required galloping and adjusting, and that Bold Minstel (owned by the father of one of my fishing buddies) evented at one Olympics and show jumped at another.
The sports, eventing, hunters, and jumpers all all different, all require different skills. Not every rider can do every one of them well, because most concentrate on what they know and like best, and are comfortable doing. OKAY!

Enough sniping, enough "my weenie is bigger" and enough "you don't know what you're talking about"

Every person here has an opinion, they do not all have to be the same.
It's fun to discuss, but if you kids keep being nasty, Denny and Woff are going to send you to your corners to think about it a while :lol:

Vitriolic
Oct. 1, 2009, 05:11 PM
Ok so here is my horse that I did prelim on:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237212&id=1124490167

Hunter jump? Not in that picture...

However:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237198&id=1124490167
and

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30240147&id=1124490167

and
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167


Here is level 6 jumpers:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237211&id=1124490167
Please don't look at my position. New saddle.

Oh and here he is qualifying a girl for the Maclay Finals:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30237194&id=1124490167#/photo.php?pid=30237210&id=1124490167

And that was after they spent a week making his jump FLATTER so he didn't jump the kid out of the tack.

Guess the chronic back pain that TBs have didn't get in his way too much...Maybe the OP hasn't seen that many eventers...

Nigel is my hero. He is lovely though he looks slightly embarrassed in the Eq class. ;)

Coppers mom
Oct. 1, 2009, 05:12 PM
You know I really didn't want to go there- but the stereotypes and the jabs about all the drugged hunters, the LTD hunters, the sorry professionals etc really, really get hard to take from a subset of horsepeople that have their own large issues to get in hand before they start using some fake 'hunter riders fall off more' stand in order to bolster their claim that hunter riders are so much less than eventers in so many ways. I am sorry that that was offensive, I knew it would be- but my reasoning was just to maybe get someone to look at their own yard first.

I think both sides (and all disciplines really) have stuff they should be ashamed of. I've worked at hunter barns where horses were drugged on a regular basis just for normal riding, in dressage barns where they took spank-n-crank to a whole new level, event barns where horses constantly "did something out in the pasture", and Western Pleasure barns that would work two year olds for hours at a time before tying their heads up and depriving them of water for something they did while being led in from the pasture.

I also think a lot of disciplines have stuff that's easier than others, and stuff that's a LOT lot harder than other disciplines. For example, the hardest thing for me was learning to stay in two point in the hunters for a couple strides after the fence, or not to brace up and put my leg on when a cow horse scooted around underneath me (My instructor was constantly yelling "SHE'S NOT SPOOKING!!! LEAVE HER ALONE!!"). Don't even get me started on dressage, it's pretty pathetic, and the only reason I ever did well was because Copper is the most wonderful little horse in the world. It's ALL hard, really hard, unless you're lucky enough to be gifted.

BaliBandido
Oct. 1, 2009, 05:17 PM
OKAY! Everybody! Enough!
I'm old enough to remember grass stadium being the norm, and I'm old enough to remember that many hunter courses were also outdoors and required galloping and adjusting, and that Bold Minstel (owned by the father of one of my fishing buddies) evented at one Olympics and show jumped at another.
The sports, eventing, hunters, and jumpers all all different, all require different skills. Not every rider can do every one of them well, because most concentrate on what they know and like best, and are comfortable doing. OKAY!

Enough sniping, enough "my weenie is bigger" and enough "you don't know what you're talking about"

Every person here has an opinion, they do not all have to be the same.
It's fun to discuss, but if you kids keep being nasty, Denny and Woff are going to send you to your corners to think about it a while :lol:

Well said, point taken and I am off to my corner!

lizajane09
Oct. 1, 2009, 05:49 PM
OKAY! Everybody! Enough!
I'm old enough to remember grass stadium being the norm, and I'm old enough to remember that many hunter courses were also outdoors and required galloping and adjusting, and that Bold Minstel (owned by the father of one of my fishing buddies) evented at one Olympics and show jumped at another.
The sports, eventing, hunters, and jumpers all all different, all require different skills. Not every rider can do every one of them well, because most concentrate on what they know and like best, and are comfortable doing. OKAY!

Enough sniping, enough "my weenie is bigger" and enough "you don't know what you're talking about"

Every person here has an opinion, they do not all have to be the same.
It's fun to discuss, but if you kids keep being nasty, Denny and Woff are going to send you to your corners to think about it a while :lol:

Thank goodness someone finally said this :lol:

Silk
Oct. 1, 2009, 07:38 PM
All these things are easier when your horse isn't working round over it's back, through their hindend, which is why it is much harder to get "dressage" changes, and transitions. It's also different when you are the only one in the ring and the judges see every little move you make, every step of a transition, etc.

Not exactly sure what you are saying here, so I *think* I disagree...I have one that, when ridden like a hunter, changes like a hunter (wins with children at the A's) and when ridden as a dressage horse, changes like a dressage horse (scores high 60's at 2nd and schools 3rd with me, and I am a hunter rider who dabbles in dressage.

I guess what I am saying is that you need to ride the horse correctly to achieve the desired result. A smooth hunter change is no easier than an animated dressage change.

lstevenson
Oct. 1, 2009, 07:47 PM
Ok-well I think you and I may have different outcomes in mind. For instance, I do not feel that the majority of eventers will have the ability to float that trot into the ring, have a nice soft downward transition to the walk, transition to the canter (not dressage frame, or giraffe frame) and open the step up toward the first fence. See that distance about 10 strides away and make very subtle adjustments if needed, then who will sink in their irons bend their knees and wait for the horse to pat the ground, get hocks underneath it, rock back and produce a slow round jump followed by letting the horse land and softly canter away.


You really think a top eventer couldn't get on a hunter and do that? How much do you want to bet?




The jumps most certainly are perfect and shaped for exactly that reason- to produce a lovely jump- which IS WHAT THEY ARE JUDGED ON. Are xc obstacles designed to test for things? Of course- bravery, scope, fitness etc- which IS WHAT THEY ARE JUDGED ON.


This brings up a great point. Why are hunter jumps shaped to produce that lovely jump, if the riders skill is supposed to be what makes the horse jump well? If it was truely a TEST, why not make them all airy with no ground lines? Then the riders skill would be tested. That's just an honest question.

Janet
Oct. 1, 2009, 08:23 PM
This brings up a great point. Why are hunter jumps shaped to produce that lovely jump, if the riders skill is supposed to be what makes the horse jump well? If it was truely a TEST, why not make them all airy with no ground lines? Then the riders skill would be tested. That's just an honest question.

Because it is the HORSE that is being judged, not the rider skill.

It TAKES rider skill to show the horse to best advantage, but that is NOT what is being judged.

magnolia73
Oct. 1, 2009, 08:23 PM
This brings up a great point. Why are hunter jumps shaped to produce that lovely jump, if the riders skill is supposed to be what makes the horse jump well? If it was truely a TEST, why not make them all airy with no ground lines? Then the riders skill would be tested. That's just an honest question.

I think it is part of the show. A pretty filled jump. It would be nice to see simpler jumps- a post and rail. And the derbies seem to be offering more of that. Also, hunters are about the horse in terms of judging. Period. The ideal is a lovely horse that you enjoy the ride on. Not truly about a really careful ride.

Eq classes do test rider accuracy and involve more varied questions.

There are really good hunter barns without bins of empty syringes, happy horses and solid training methods. I've been in 'em. And I have been in event barns with quality horsemen interesting in safety and consistent improvement.

The hunter/eventer pissing contest is old. Neither is better... they are different. We all know the bad apples in each. Lets focus on learning from the good ones.

Dr. Doolittle
Oct. 1, 2009, 09:26 PM
Mach Two, I was preparing myself to post the EXACT SAME THING, so thank you for doing it first (and a lot of posters agrees), and for doing it so very well....;) Thank God for your honesty and your ability to cut through the bullshit. Really, enough already! *sigh*

magnolia, agree (again) with your points, too...

Can we NOT let this thread turn into a "pissing match"? I think it's possible to have apples and oranges inhabit the same (horse) world, with respect to both and acknowledgement of their differences: different challenges, different standards by which they are "judged", different skills sets required (which can and do overlap), etc., etc.

I have done hunters many times over the years (back in the 70's, up to A level, when NOTHING was below 3'6", and we had outside courses, terrain, etc...ON HUNTER COURSES!), and have evented up to Prelim, just recently. I did huge challenging stuff during my PC years, as a teenager--Prelim, and up to Intermediate level, also back in the 70's--there were some scary fences and very imposing questions of all kinds back then. And we were expected to do this, AND jump huge stadium courses--I did this in preparation for my "A" rating. So I have experienced (and managed to do okay in, if not "master" ;)) both disciplines, and in doing so, have needed to master the different skill sets required by each. They are indeed simply *different*, and bottom line: you need to be a pretty good rider in order to do either thing--but back in the day--a "competent rider was a competent rider"--IOW, anyone competing above a certain level should have been able to do both. If not perfectly, at least relatively easily, and with a certain level of "skill and mastery". TImes have changed, of course, so more and more riders are "specialists". Plus there are more and more "weekend warriors" competing now, who are not neccessarily really and truly good at *either* discipline. But I don't think this is what we are discussing, here...;)

Apples and oranges, now...(But I mostly still agree with lstevenson. With whom I have cliniced, BTW...;) So I happen to know that she is one of Jimmy's disciples, and the OP's statement?? Thems fighting words, baby!)

wanderlust
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:58 PM
You really think a top eventer couldn't get on a hunter and do that? How much do you want to bet? Lesley, are you volunteering?

Mach Two
Oct. 2, 2009, 01:39 AM
Dr. Dolittle, somebody bashing Jimmy is fightin' words for me, too.
But because he is smart and very sharp, not everybody gets it. ;)
So it would not be nice of us to pick of folks who just don't get it...poor things can't help it. ;)

Mach Two
Oct. 2, 2009, 01:41 AM
Lesley, are you volunteering?

I'd put my money on Lesley. But I bet a really good jumper rider could ride an event horse with a little coaching, too.

riderboy
Oct. 2, 2009, 08:00 AM
Well, diffrn't strokes for diffrn't folks. From what I've seen of Hunterland at Ocala last winter and the ill-fated TV show of top Hunters, I'd rather stick my finger in an electric pencil sharpener than do that. But that's just me. Fortunately we all like different things and that makes the world go around.

Jealoushe
Oct. 2, 2009, 08:29 AM
And you get that fact from where? To the best of my knowledge there has not been such a study conducted. You know maybe there was not seen to be a big need for it because their was not such a rash of very public breakdowns of horses and umm you know dying or severly injured riders in the hunter world.

I get my facts from 18 years of showing. I don't need a study to prove what I see with my eyes. I never said eventing wasn't dangerous or that there weren't severe falls....but there are definitly fewer.

FYI there are plenty of break downs of hunter horses...Im sure I could go on and on about the drug use and sedatives too if I wanted but what's the point. Hunters are always on the major defensive - no one else knows anything but them attitude.

Jealoushe
Oct. 2, 2009, 08:33 AM
I guess what I am saying is that you need to ride the horse correctly to achieve the desired result. A smooth hunter change is no easier than an animated dressage change.

I disagree. The training involved for that animated dressage change is much more involved. It is easier because you are riding at 2md/3rd level and Im going to go out on a limb here and say most hunter riders do not.

magnolia73
Oct. 2, 2009, 08:48 AM
I get my facts from 18 years of showing. I don't need a study to prove what I see with my eyes. I never said eventing wasn't dangerous or that there weren't severe falls....but there are definitly fewer.

Yeah, see you can't really do that. That isn't valid. I observed more falls watching eventing. Seen the most falls in jumpers. To be certain, eventers ride more securely.

I also think you need to exclude all the 2'6 and under classes, with seven year olds learning how to ride. Those aren't hunters in the truest sense, more like an introduction to showing a horse over jumps.

Using blanket terms to describe hunters is a cop out. My old hunter trainer brought in a dressage trainer for us. My current trainer hunts and enjoys jumping XC. Our friend DMK once came to an eventing clinic. I enjoyed riding with a variety of eventers. I actually see more openness to eventing/XC from hunters than vice versa.

I feel like I am hitting my head against the wall. There are bad hunter barns. Sorry for many of you that they are all you have seen of the discipline. And I hate that many hunters have only seen eventing in a bad light and never watched good eventing trainers carefully set gymnastics to encourage a better jump and help with take off distances and careful flat work of long and low.

It makes me sad that hunters= use drugs and can't ride, as sad as eventing= crazy yahoo can't ride and breaks horses.

A good hunter is a joy to ride. They have a lovely cadence and rhythm and you can just sit and enjoy and the jumps come to you and it feels great when they softly canter to a jump, explode over it and quietly land and lope off. There are people who make a joke of the sport. Can't ride, need to longe to death and care more about breeches. But there are a good number of people who put a good deal of effort into the performance.

A good eventer- keen to the jumps, sure footed, forward yet relaxed must be a joy to ride. There are people who make a joke of eventing - rushing along, scaring the crap out of everyone. Then there are those who work hard, school XC regularly, chhart fitness, take dressage lessons.

eventer80
Oct. 2, 2009, 09:00 AM
Well said Magnolia73.

bambam
Oct. 2, 2009, 09:09 AM
I actually see more openness to eventing/XC from hunters than vice versa.

I have agreed with much of what you said Magnolia, but not sure I buy into this one, especially since a good hunk of the eventers I know either started as hunter riders (I did) or currently show in the hunters sometimes either as part of their own or their horse's training. I suspect the riders in neither discipline are significantly more or less open to the value of the skills required in the other and there are those in both who are covinced everyone who does the other are terrible riders/horsemen/whatever. Could you possibly see more openness to eventing in hunters because you interact with more hunters simply by virtue of that being your primary discipline?
I certainly would not judge openness based on threads on COTH (if you are) since once these threads start going south, I suspect I am not the only one who simply avoids posting on a hunter v. eventer snipe-fest (not saying you got snipey magnolia). While I have no intention of ever going back to hunters, it does not mean I do not think eventers cannot learn something valuable from the good hunters or I think all the hunters are perching princesses who do riding by valet and couldn't saddle their own horse if their life depended in it just because I refrain from posting on these threads and pointing out how defensive some folks on both sides sound and how ridiculous some of the over-generalizations are.
what was the original topic again ?? ;-)

grayarabpony
Oct. 2, 2009, 09:49 AM
I haven't evented in a few years, but one thing that really confused me were the design of some stadium courses. I put together a beginner novice course at a farm that was holding a schooling xcountry and stadium day and a rider actually complained that it wasn't twisty and turny enough. :confused: What??? It's *beginner novice*. A calm rhythmic round should be rewarded by the course. And this came from a woman who probably shouldn't have been jumping at all and had cracked her helmet twice in the last year!

I don't think most stadium courses are like that, but there are some, and their existance doesn't make any sense. These are not mini jumper courses. I think it's so important to get a horse rhythmic and balanced, especially for the crosscountry phase.

I used to take lessons from people who had me jumping a barrel on end, or 2 barrels on end two strides apart, when I really wanted to be working on a steady tempo around a course. So I ended up just letting the courses be my lessons.

Jealoushe
Oct. 2, 2009, 11:27 AM
Yeah, see you can't really do that. That isn't valid. I observed more falls watching eventing. Seen the most falls in jumpers. To be certain, eventers ride more securely.

I also think you need to exclude all the 2'6 and under classes, with seven year olds learning how to ride. Those aren't hunters in the truest sense, more like an introduction to showing a horse over jumps.



Why can't I say what I observe? I'm not publishing it in a magazine and saying it as the true word. It's a fact to me from observation. I'm not just talking about the kiddie divisions. However, you can't just say don't include the 2'6 division because in reality they are part of the hunter world and we have the equivelant in the eventing world. That's like saying oh only take into account our best horses and riders and obviously everything looks perfect and in line.

I'm talking about schooling, local, Trillium and A shows. ALL of them, not just the best or worst riders at the A level.

obviously my horsemanship skills and knowledge is not at par since I have never needed to ride in draw reins.

magnolia73
Oct. 2, 2009, 11:42 AM
There are more falls at hunter shows than there are at events - FACT!


You are welcome to state what you have observed, but it may not actually be a FACT! You stated an observation. A fact is 5 riders fell off at the hunter show on Friday and 2 riders fell of at the event on Saturday. It still isn't much of a comparison. A comparison- I watched 50 hunter rounds over 3' jumps and saw 5 falls, and watched 50 XC rounds over 3' jumps and saw 2 falls.

I don't think eventers want to go down the road of safety "facts" based on observation.

I don't think anyone is questioning your horsemanship. Just clarifying your statements and perhaps a reminder to use words like Fact more carefully.

Speedy
Oct. 2, 2009, 11:50 AM
All I can say is that, as an eventer, I hope to do the Hunter Derbies one day. It is absolutely amazing that horses/riders can make a 4 ft. round look so easy, on such a consistent basis.

Much (not all, but much) of the worst of what is observed in each discipline comes at the lower levels, where many riders are learning a new sport or how to ride, and where many horses are green with youth or nappy with age. If you look at the mid to upper levels, you have to respect what the hunters, jumpers and eventers each do, because each discipline has its own merits and challenges.

Anyway, I screwed up the courage to do a 3 day clinic with George Morris last year, and I loved and hated it at the same time. But what many eventers would be surprised by, I think, is how completely focused he was on the effectiveness of the ride, the balance of the horse, etc. The superficial things that eventers seem to think hunters are so focused on were never really mentioned...other than tack, and his observations there were about safety, not fashion, if you listened to what he was really trying to say. As for changes, he put good changes on a horse in that clinic within about 5 minutes of sitting on it. I wouldn't have gone about it in the same way, but it certainly wasn't a big deal to install them and they were 100% correct when he was finished...

Coppers mom
Oct. 2, 2009, 01:22 PM
Why can't I say what I observe?

The problem with it is that if you see 500 people go and 10 fall off, it's very different than seeing 50 people go and 10 fall off. Observing is nice, but you also have to take into account the total number of people competing for the use of "a lot" really means anything. Statistically, your idea of tons of people falling could really not be very much at all.

lstevenson
Oct. 2, 2009, 02:09 PM
Because it is the HORSE that is being judged, not the rider skill.

It TAKES rider skill to show the horse to best advantage, but that is NOT what is being judged.


I KNOW that it's the horse being jugded. The point is...if it's supposed to be a TEST, then why make it so easy? The best hunters would surely show that same great form over true verticals and square oxers. Instead of designing the jumps so that the horse has the best chance of jumping well, you would think they would actually test them a bit.

lstevenson
Oct. 2, 2009, 02:20 PM
Lesley, are you volunteering?


For the right amount of $$, absolutely. :D