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View Full Version : Grooms at shows- please help me understand



dressager
Jul. 2, 2003, 01:18 AM
I am going to preface this by saying that my show experience has been at dressage shows of all levels. I have stabled and ridden with big dressage barns and gone to shows by myself.

Maybe it's just the posts I'm reading, and perhaps these aren't a true sample of the hunter/jumper world, but...

I can't understand why you need grooms! Honestly, if you had several horses, were a trainer, or ??? I might be able to see it... but with two horses..
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

I mucked, bathed, groomed, tacked up, rinsed off, etc my horse. The only thing I didn't do was braid, but I have started doing that here. My trainer and I would feed the horses. I am NOT saying grooms do not exist in the dressage world- in fact, I would assume that some have them... they just seem to be very common in the h/j world whereas I don't see that in dressage.

I really don't want to come off as "dressage shows are so much better and you're doing it all wrong" but I can't understand the groom thing and this trainer thing.

It seems like (and to a lesser degree than the grooms) a lot of people have trainers ride the horses in classes (and YES, dressage people do that too) before the owners show. The only reason I ever heard was that the owners needed to do better in their classes.

PLEASE don't flame me- I DO NOT mean this to insult your type of riding or showing, I merely have some questions... especially since I have read a few posts on how expensive showing is recently. I DO realize that both of the things I mentioned take place in the dressage world, but from what I have seen, it is to a lesser degree.

Dressager (http://www.geocities.com/lubenkafarm)
You can't dance and stay uptight

dressager
Jul. 2, 2003, 01:18 AM
I am going to preface this by saying that my show experience has been at dressage shows of all levels. I have stabled and ridden with big dressage barns and gone to shows by myself.

Maybe it's just the posts I'm reading, and perhaps these aren't a true sample of the hunter/jumper world, but...

I can't understand why you need grooms! Honestly, if you had several horses, were a trainer, or ??? I might be able to see it... but with two horses..
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

I mucked, bathed, groomed, tacked up, rinsed off, etc my horse. The only thing I didn't do was braid, but I have started doing that here. My trainer and I would feed the horses. I am NOT saying grooms do not exist in the dressage world- in fact, I would assume that some have them... they just seem to be very common in the h/j world whereas I don't see that in dressage.

I really don't want to come off as "dressage shows are so much better and you're doing it all wrong" but I can't understand the groom thing and this trainer thing.

It seems like (and to a lesser degree than the grooms) a lot of people have trainers ride the horses in classes (and YES, dressage people do that too) before the owners show. The only reason I ever heard was that the owners needed to do better in their classes.

PLEASE don't flame me- I DO NOT mean this to insult your type of riding or showing, I merely have some questions... especially since I have read a few posts on how expensive showing is recently. I DO realize that both of the things I mentioned take place in the dressage world, but from what I have seen, it is to a lesser degree.

Dressager (http://www.geocities.com/lubenkafarm)
You can't dance and stay uptight

cheeky_appy
Jul. 2, 2003, 02:15 AM
Oh the day I could afford a groom!!!
I would fire them! I love doing it all myself! But I am not really the epitome of "hunter type" I dont even think that that exists here! Im more of a bitser, do everything including dressage. I just like hanging out on the H/J forum. (makes me feel special! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif) Just kidding honestly! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif But this is my fave part of COTH.

Be interesting to see what people say about this, OK I will shoosh now and go back to my quiet realm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Aim 2003/2004: National High points for appaloosa show jumping!

the eleven
Jul. 2, 2003, 02:44 AM
I don't think people need a groom for two horses any more in the h/j world than in any other. However, there are many people who enjoy the luxury. There are many, many full service barns on the A circuit; it is very popular. Similarly, a lot of people who employ housekeepers don't really need the help. However, they enjoy the service, so they gladly pay for it, provided they have a large enough budget to allow for it. I doubt that a large number of h/j exhibitors feel overwhelmed caring for their horses, many just don't mind paying someone else to do it.

The way I see it, if that's how someone wants to spend their money, its their business, plus grooming is a great way to employ eager juniors, etc. On the other hand, if you prefer to do everything yourself, great, and if you can't afford or don't choose to pay for a groom, then that's great too, since as we established, caring for a horse at a show is not that hard to do. See, everybody wins.

-------------
formerly porfidio

"There has got to be more to life than just being really, really, really, ridiculously good-looking." -Zoolander

Peekaboo*
Jul. 2, 2003, 02:59 AM
I don't hire a groom because I have a person to help me.
I need that second set of hands for numerous reasons.
-Loading and unloading the horse on the trailer
-holding the horse for various reasons
-grooming
-running back to the trailer for things forgotten
-entertaining the horse in between classes (don't laugh, I'm serious)
-tacking up
-putting caulks in shoes
-getting water and refreshments
-lunging
and many other things!

JustJump
Jul. 2, 2003, 03:43 AM
For many situations, a groom is not 100% necessary...

But, having the extra hands available provides you with a level of security about being able to get everything done safely, in a timely manner (ie less tension=a good thing). When a particular show presents extraordinary logistical challenges, having a groom becomes a critical factor. For many busy adults juggling kids, work, and riding, having a groom at the show is just a no-brainer. For many juniors (the fortunate ones with multiple rides) having a groom is also a necessity if things are to run smoothly (this is GOOD).

That being said, I prefer to begin young riders on their show careers with NO grooms, expecting them to accomplish ALL the work themselves (of course this is a great way to train horse show moms and dads, not to mention that it really separates the wheat from the chaff, in the attitude department...). I figure that my riders should earn the privilige of having a groom, and not simply take it for granted; not only will they appreciate their luck in having one, but they are even better able to work with the staff once they know what the job entails.

BTW--don't you suppose that dressage shows are easier to handle without grooms due to the fact that each ride is scheduled in advance? There are no course walks...ring changes...(there are fewer rings?) Just wondering....

Catalina
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:08 AM
Having a groom definately makes for a much more relaxed show experience. I have only had a groom a few times and I really enjoyed it.

In college, I worked for a FEI dressage rider and I would groom her two horses for her at dressage shows.

*formerly cfc*

SMKR
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:14 AM
Sometimes you have no choice. If the trainer you have been with and want to stay with decides its time to hire a groom and doesn't allow the option of doing your own care ....???Though jjdaughter was one of the kids who started out doing all her own work and continues to to most everything even now that we pay for a groom (though not having to muck a stall before an 8 am eq class is nice)because she enjoys it!

spina
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:29 AM
Like Jr. Jumper, a lot of people use grooms their trainer brings to help with multiple horses for multiple people. For instance, your trainer may go to show with 10 horses (belonging to say, 6 different riders) and one groom. Of course the riders will do a lot of their own "grooming", but they'd never be able to pull it off as smoothly without the extra hands. Expenses for the groom are split evenly between the 10 horses.
Some trainers have a groom for every two or three horses (same as at the barn) and I suppose there are those lucky few with their own personal groom. Personally, I'd rather have my own personal massage therapist. Or chef - mmm, this fantasy could go on and on...

magellan
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:31 AM
Also, even if you only have two horses, they can be showing in the same divsion. If you are by yourself, it can get really hard to ride one round, put horse back in stall, get other horse, ride other round, etc. And when you have to show in multiple rings...it can get really complicated.
I never have had a groom, but my mom or a friend always come because I usually have two green horses showing, so an extra pair of hands is much appreciated.

It's a sad day in American capitalism when a man can't fly a midget on a kite over Central Park.

mademoiselle
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:48 AM
I think it's more a question of personnality and habits.
I showed 3 horses at a A show by myself and I did fine ( I groomed, rode, braided ...). Yes, I had long days, yes sometimes it was a little bit crazy, but I survived and I did as well as the people who had grooms.
I love to take care of my horses myself. I can't imagine riding at a show and not do anything else. I love grooming my horses as much as riding them ...
Well, maybe I will never be a good hunter princess ?!
I also rode an event (it was a one day) with 2 horses and no groom.
In 3 weeks, I'm going to ride 3 horses a one day event (they are competed at 3 different level !) and I will not have any groom ... I'm Sure I will sleep well after !

"www.lechevalfrancais.com"

J. Turner
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:54 AM
What magellean said -- I have no family members to help me and unless I was the only one going to a horse show with my trainer that day and she could help me, I suppose I could tie second horse by 300 bridle to the medal bleachers http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif or the cheezie PVC fence around the ring! I'm not trying to be mean at all, just trying to point out legistics. I don't have money at all, but if I had a little extra money I'd pay for a groom. I'm a nervous Nelly and having some one to help with the details - let me walk off nervousness, walk the course w/o being in panic for someone to hold my horse, sit down for a second afterwords being about to faint from the horrible heat down here or sit in the heated car from the horrible cold up north would be worth it. At a show I'm there to have fun and compete, and if a groom help me do both, then darn it, I'm going to do it.

PS - I'm also one of those people who Cannot bathe a horse and remain dry. In fact I am usually wetter than the horse. In show clothes, no way.

PPS - I've never had two horses to show!

Nigel: http://community.webshots.com/album/68326373whlDAm
Lorenzo: http://community.webshots.com/album/74700172fvoxFq
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"When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes."
-- Shakespeare, Henry V

Member Sighthound Clique

OneonOne
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:01 AM
When I was younger and showing, my trainer would not allow us to use a groom. She would hire someone who would do the feeding and clean stalls, but bathing, wrapping, tacking, braiding, etc. was all up to us kids. I wouldn't feel comfortable with someone else doing those things for my horse - I much prefer to do it myself. However, I certainly would ask my boyfriend or mom to wipe my boots or get me a drink of water on occasion while I wait at the ring.

I'm sure that grooms are handy for some people, but I prefer not to use one!

__________________________________
You put on the leather pants and the pants start telling you what to do. -Bono

TSWJB
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:12 AM
i always do everything myself. i load and unload my horse myself, i bathe him, wrap him, braid him, groom him, tack up etc all by myself. i even drive him to the shows myself. the only help i get is at the ring. my trainer wipes off my boots and cleans my horses mouth. on occassion, when i am late, she will help tack up my horse. i don't want the added cost of a groom. even if i wanted to spend the money, i wouldn't, because its my time to spend with my horse. he loves seeing me because i am the one who gives him treats and takes care of him other than the basic care of stall cleaning feeding and turnout. i enjoy taking care of him! i think handing my horse off to a groom takes away from my experience with my horse. but then again, i do not have multiple horses. if i did, i probably would need an extra set of hands. i have shown 2 horses at the same show, but i always had to do different divisions because i would not be able to tack up and hold 2 horses and ride as well.
i am lucky that my horse is very easy to take care of at the shows. i often have people asking me if i need help loading or unloading and i say thanks but not necessary. and he will hang out by the trailer with grass untied. at the last show several people said what a great horse i have, how well behaved!

sigh
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:16 AM
At our barn, most of the people who my trainers take to shows are amateurs in the true sense of the word - they are very good riders and they love their horses, but they have jobs and families, often including small children - "other" lives that they have to work out with their horsey lives. It just isn't feasible for them to pack up and leave it all for several weeks out of the year, and when we have anywhere from 5 to 17 hoses at a show, its not like the trainers can take the time to do all the mucking or bathing. We take grooms to horseshows, where they muck, bathe, feed, lunge, groom, wrap, unbraid, take horses up to the ring, etc. This doesn't mean that the owners are incapable of taking care of their own horses...it's just the amount of time that they can take out of the "other" life to go to horseshows and be with their horses. I'm sure that all of our boarders would love to be able to do more, and they do help out when they can. Its not uncommon for them to take out braids, or bathe, or wrap, or even muck a stall if they have the time. The bottom line is that at multi-day shows, many people just don't have the time to do their own care. That's where the grooms come in.

Bonzai!!

ladydoctor
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:23 AM
I don't use a groom at horse shows because I don't want to pay for one. AND, I like the work involved. That being said, I'd really like to have a "mom" at the shows: someone to hold my horse so I can run to the bathroom, someone to video me, someone to keep an eye on my stuff, someone to wipe my horses mouth and my boots off etc etc.

HOWEVER, I have a cleaning service come to my house every 2 weeks because I DO NOT ENJOY cleaning my house. It's worth every penny http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

~I have one share in corporate Earth, and I am nervous about the management.
-E.B. White

Madison
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:30 AM
The groom-and-trainer thing is not an essential but rather a luxury/convenience. In addition to the obvious benefits of the trainer watching, it also helps to have someone set the jumps for you in the warmup ring.

Our barn does local-rated (B/C equivalents) and A shows. We always take a groom to care for the horses (feed, water, muck, help with setup, etc . . .). We still do much of the actual "grooming" and tacking up ourselves, unless someone runs short on time (like when your ring goes from 16 trips before the hack to 3 trips in a 5-minute span) in which case it REALLY helps to have that extra pair of hands.

All of us could do it on our own. But after working hard all the time during the week, I'm REALLY glad not to have to get out of bed on the show weekends to go do the morning feeding and stalls. Also, the groom serves as traffic cop while our trainer is at the ring - it is much easier for the trainer to radio back to the groom to have someone tack up and come down to the schooling ring than it is for the trainer to go back to the barn or send someone to relay that message.

[This message was edited by Madison on Jul. 02, 2003 at 10:16 AM.]

ProzacPuppy
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:31 AM
My daughter started out on the local circuit doing all the care herself, but once you move to a show barn the groom is just part of the package. Since he stays at the showgrounds at night, he can do late bedchecks, early AM feedings for those with early class times etc.

Some people (my teenage daughter for example) take this "groom" business to extremes and if the groom offers to do something she is all too willing to relinguish the reins. Our groom is "over eager" to help and ends up boot polishing, tack cleaning, linamenting etc. besides the usual grooming. I've asked the trainer to make daughter stop being a jumper princess and do some darn work. We shall see.

And as Peekaboo said, someone needs to be there to amuse the horse between classes. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

dcm
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:38 AM
This year at the shows, we have had an average 10 to 15 horses, 1 trainer, and 2 grooms. Add 4 to 5 horses also being ridden in the green divisions, and you find one trainer going nuts. The grooms are mostly there for her benefit. One remains at the stalls, prepping horses and riders (making sure they are aware of the show progress since there are no set start times), and one attends the trainer and riders at the ring. "Direct connect" is heavily used between the stabling and ring side. Last year, there were fewer showing and we only had one groom, but it worked out very well.

As the mom of a junior, I can tell you my dtr does the grooming, bathing, saddling, etc for her own horse. We do rely on the assistance of the groom at stabling to help monitor what classes are going. Those long waits between classes can be distracting for a group of kids who love hanging out together at the shows. Since the grooms are there already (monitoring feed and water intake), they do all the feeding and mucking, sometimes enlisting the junior riders' assistance. At equestrian team meets, the kid does it all, no groom.

I cannot say the same for the adults, though. For the most part, they take full advantage of the grooms being there, and some pay extra for full care. Us showmoms snicker at the helplessness of a few. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Hope this helped explain some of the reasons grooms are used. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

********
I'm just the mom.

Proud Member: Thoroughbred Clique, Danish Warmblood Clique, & Support Your Servicemen Clique

RolexH
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:46 AM
I have been a groom and had grooms. I don't know how dressage shows work, but when I was showing I was in so many divisions in a day that a groom REALLY helped. In hot florida I would get overheated and get light headed with the jacket, helmet, gloves, pants boots, (what are we thinking!!) Not to mention what my poor horse was feeling. I usually would collapse after a class and someone could help hose my horse while I get cooled too.

AS A GROOM, I was able to manage the barn. Keep stalls picked every 30 minutes, scrub buckets, feed, get the kid's hair ready, pay attention to class orders, etc... Oh and help deal with the usual melt down.

I can be honest with you, I personally feel like a show doesn't run as smoothly WITH OUT groom. (if there is 3 or more horses) Especially as LadyDoctor was saying, just to help hold a horse while you go pee.

Don't get me wrong I am NO princess, I usually do all my own stuff, but there is time when it is needed. Thats just my opinion. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

~~Lisa~~
Aiden's page.. DOING GREAT!! (http://www.hometown.aol.com/rolexh/Aidenshope.html)

Recycle yourself; Be an organ donor http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Giddy-up
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:54 AM
Full service = need for grooms

A lot of barns have full service or some of them require you to be on it. Thus since you are not able to handle/care for your horse, they must bring grooms to do so for you. It's an ability to charge more money, allows the trainer's control over the horses care (let's face it--some people couldn't care for their horse http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif), and provides a service people are all too willing to pay for. How nice it must be when it's 95 degrees to get off at the ring & hand your horse off so you can go sit in the shade? Or at the end of a long day to give the groom a sweaty tired horse to bathe, unbraid & wrap so you can go home? Or to not have to come early to clean stalls or stay late to feed dinner? It's a service & some people want or need it.

Lauren12
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:56 AM
Top show barns with grooms are equivalent to fancy hotels with valet services and bellhops. It's all about convenience.

DreamBigEq37
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:00 AM
Most of the time, people have a groom because they have the money to afford a little luxury. MOST of the time, it's not needed. And, except at the bigger shows, MOST barns don't have them at shows!

I have always done everything for my horse at horse shows, feeding braiding mucking, grooming, tacking up, hauling, wrapping, tucking in, because I LIKE to, which is probably a good thing since I will never be able to afford having a groom hanging around!

*~*~Lauryn*~*~*~
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jumperpony_Blaze
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:06 AM
when its just the two of us, my mother and i groom for each other at shows.

when a whole group of people go to a show, we groom for each other. it all works out, we don;t mind helping out, and we don't have to pay for someone else to help.

~JPB~
*Tucker*

Flashy Gray
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:20 AM
More than a luxury at top shows - a necessity

I show locally now, so I only have to deal with my one horse and can handle grooming duties. No big deal.

But if I have multiple horses showing at AAA shows and I am spending my hard-earned $$$ to compete at the highest levels of our sport, even as an amateur, you bet I'm going to have a groom so that I can focus on my riding.

I am not going to go through the in-gate at one of the top horse shows in the country against serious competition sweating out whether or not there's foam on the bit, shavings in the tail, or dust on my boots.

I worked as a groom for 2 international level jumper riders. Not amateurs - I would have killed to taken care of an ammy's horses, those are GREAT jobs! I had 4 horses in my care and it was TOUGH. Insanely tough!

Typical day at a show started at 3:00 a.m. and ended at 8:00 pm or so (not including night checks or shipping in where you could be up straight through the night).

Doing all that was required to turn those 4 horses out IMMACULATELY plus having the energy and focus to ride them in the show ring? There is NO WAY that I could do that.

You wouldn't expect a NASCAR driver to drive into the pit and change all his tires and top off his gas tank, would you? No, that's what the pit crew is for! Think of the groom as akin to a member of the pit crew - along with the vet, farrier, braider, chiro/masseuse, et.al.

As far as the difference between dressage shows and h/j shows: hello! You dressage folk have a little thing called "scheduled rides" i.e. you know to the exact minute when you're supposed to ride.

Try juggling 2 or 3 hunters in separate divisions, separate rings, with a mile walk from the barns to the rings. Making sure each horse gets to the ring spotlessly and sound with enough time to be properly warmed up. With 150 other entries in the class so you have no idea when you're going to ride.

Hopefully this will help you understand why having a groom isn't a matter of being a "hunter princess" it's a matter of ensuring the horse receives the very best care and the rider is free to focus on their job - winning.

Liverpool
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:26 AM
You have heard most of the reasons already.

I will just add a couple more that relate to the specific differences between H/J shows and dressage shows.

As a dressage competitor, you know your ride times in advance. Thus, knowing the program your horse needs, you can figure out exactly when everything needs to happen, from feeding to grooming to tacking to warming up... to when you will be done for the day and off to dinner.

At hunter shows, while there is a published list of the classes will run, there is no way to know how many entries will show in any of them, or how many classes or divisions might either be cancelled due to insufficient entries, or run all day.

Also, I believe that dressage tests are also published in advance, so you can prepare ahead of time, either memorizing the ride or having someone (at least at the lower levels) who can assist you during the competition by reading it to you.

At hunter shows, while the courses are not often terribly complex, they have elements that vary - including distances between fences, where they are located in the ring etc. Thus, there is a necessity for memorizing the courses to be ridden just prior to actually riding them, and figuring out HOW to ride each one based on one's horse and the idiosyncracies of that particular ring, which will also vary in size and shape.

Thus it is very helpful to have a groom available to help prepare the horse or hang on to it so that the exhibitor can have some time to concentrate on learning each course to be ridden, watching a few rounds to identify potential trouble spots etc.

My barn does not typically offer grooms at the shows - but if they did, I would take advantage of it. I am happy to do my own day care (feeding, mucking, etc) but would happily pay for some help in actually getting my horse to the ring. (The current "help" is darling... but has to be compensated differently... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif )

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

dressager
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:28 AM
I've read it all- thanks for taking the time. I have seen some reasons why it is a good idea, and some that were a bit of a question mark.

HOWEVER, that does make me want to address what FlashyGrey said at the end of her post. Why not have ride times? Why would this not work? You have four rings, and X number of time slots... and X amount of time to change jumps, heights, etc.

PLEASE don't think I'm trying to "stir up" trouble. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Dressager (http://www.geocities.com/lubenkafarm)
You can't dance and stay uptight

RolexH
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:36 AM
Ring conflicts, several divisions, etc... That is why we don't do times. Plus it is part of the ?fun? to wait all day and then RUSH!!!!!

~~Lisa~~
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Recycle yourself; Be an organ donor http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Midge
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:37 AM
<sigh> I would love a groom, if only for a few minutes in my day. I would love a groom to give the final brush off and tack up while I change my clothes. Right now, I groom, go change clothes, come back and saddle, put on my jacket and hat, put on the bridle and go to the ring. Although this has more to do with my inability to stay clean for those five minutes it takes to tack up than actual need for a groom. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I would also like a groom at the ring to paint Midge's feet, dust off my boots and wipe slobber of the bit. Sometimes this happens. Other times, we go in with dusty boots, slobber on the bit and unpainted feet. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Just those few minutes would make my life complete.

****
Just because you're not paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Liverpool
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:39 AM
Dressager,

The entries for most hunter shows are not done in advance - so there are not "x" time slots.
Many times a hunter will do a warm up class or division in the morning before deciding what "real" division to do.

Factors affecting this decision will include what the courses look like (Inviting fences or big scary ones with lots of decoration? Straightfoward distances or ones that will pose challenges?) how many competitors seem to be showing in each (there is no point staying all day long to show a four foot horse if it doesn't look like that division will fill... better to show in the 3'6"... etc.

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

Madison
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dressager:
HOWEVER, that does make me want to address what FlashyGrey said at the end of her post. Why not have ride times? Why would this not work? You have four rings, and X number of time slots... and X amount of time to change jumps, heights, etc.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It would be nice in some respects but hard in others. Trainers can't control how fast each ring runs, so even the most organized trainers are going to have conflicts. It's nice for someone else to be able to step in and fill that open gate. Also, suppose you are doing back to back divisions. How your horse performs and how your energy is holding out will determine whether you want to go right back in for your second division, or whether you need a break before you do your next courses, or whether you have to go back to the schooling ring to "remind" your little darling of something http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif. It is nice to maintain the flexibility to put your name in when you are ready to go and your trainer can be there (since I am paying for her watchful eye to help me learn/improve, I want her there). It results in delays, but somehow seems to work itself out where people are being reasonable.

CrazyCorgi
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dressager:
I've read it all- thanks for taking the time. I have seen some reasons why it is a good idea, and some that were a bit of a question mark.

HOWEVER, that does make me want to address what FlashyGrey said at the end of her post. Why not have ride times? Why would this not work? You have four rings, and X number of time slots... and X amount of time to change jumps, heights, etc.

PLEASE don't think I'm trying to "stir up" trouble. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

http://www.geocities.com/lubenkafarm
_You can't dance and stay uptight_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



Dressager-

I assure you if that was a slight possibility, someone would be very rich! Everyone in the H/J world would love a schedule, especially those that had the first class at 8:00 am and the next at 10:00 pm. H/J shows are the largest shows in the horse industry.

Like someone mentioned, there are elements and idiosyncrasies, etc. We do not have an exact test with down to the second details that everyone adheres too. There are different courses, different speeds, accidents.

Conflicts are the biggest deal. Trainers will have students going in 3 different rings almost at the same exact time. Rings are held up constantly because of that. I know I have been an amateur waiting around for my trainer who is at a different ring trying to get someone in and they are waiting because of another trainer holding it up to get in, domino effect and impossible.

Ultimately we would love a schedule, but it will never happen! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif

Darlene
http://www.kidssportsnet.com/equestrian/crazycorgi/

*Polo*
*Wicked Wanda*

*It's what you learn after you know it all that counts* JW

mademoiselle
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:46 AM
Flashy Gray, I don't really agree with you on that one.
I groomed very famous riders at very high competition (read World Championships and European Championships) and therefore I have very high standards to take care of my horses.
I totally understand the point of view of the people who have a job and/or a familly and don't want to spend all day at the show and prefer hire a groom because it's more convinient. But don't tell me that it is impossible to take care of one or two horses at a A show and to not concentrate on your ride ? I don't understand why the fact to tack-up your horse will not allow you to concentrate on your course ????
As I said earlier, I groomed myself with 3 horses at A shows and events, I placed well and my horses were clean and happy.
As far as the analogy with Nascar, it is not a very good one. Because, a race car is not like a horse. These kind of cars require engineers and ton of datas that are not of the business of the driver. Drop a scoop of sweet feed on a manger or put a saddle on the back of a horse,is not rocket science whereas fixing a race engine or find the right aero package is not something everybody can do. And the drivers are not spending 2 minutes on the track (which is the average time a rider spends on a course), they are spending at least 2 or 3 hours in a car where the temperature can go up to 150 F wearing a suit that is way hotter that your shirt and your jacket.
Trust me it's much easier to ride and groom 2 horses than race a car !!!!

"www.lechevalfrancais.com"

werty
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:46 AM
I do it all myself (keep the horses at home so no show barn that I travel with, no grooms, etc.) but the one thing that puts me in a panic is trying to find someone to hold my horse while I walk the course (I show in A/O jumpers)! If I go late in the class I can usually walk the course and then run back to the barn to get my horse, but with posted orders that isn't always possible. I have often relied on the kindness of strangers to hold my horse during the course walk and would like to publicly thank anyone kind enough to do so! Sometimes I have a friend there or my trainer knows someone who can hold my horse but it is often a point of stress for me and a good reason to have a groom if you can afford one!

CWO
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:51 AM
Liverpool, you hit the nail on the head! Great answers.

One other thing I didn't see mentioned is that in some hunter classes you do your jumping classes "back to back." That is where they group the riders in the division into about 3 to a group. That group rides class1, then when those 3 are finished with class one, they ride class 2's course. Then the second group of riders does the same thing. To ride 2 horses in this type of situation would boggle the mind without a groom or someone to help hold horses.

And for setting time slots, that would certainly not work and be time efficient, in the jumpers. One doesn't know who will make the jumpoff. If time slots were set, then a lot of time would be wasted if horses didn't make the jump-off and time was slotted for the jump-off.

That's my two cents.
I have competed jumpers (hunters as a kid), dressage and I event.

dressager
Jul. 2, 2003, 07:53 AM
I realize that I don't know a lot about hunters, so please hang in there.

You listed factors that might make one sign up for a class late, etc. We have divisions, different classes, and trainers with lots of students... but that's why you have several rings and times (you probably wouldn't have to deal with "Suzie's trainer" who hopped over to school Suzie while the rest of the class was waiting).

For example, you send out the entry forms. At that time you decide what classes you will enter. When you get there, the fences are scary. Tough. When you get there you realize that the class has 50+ people, and you probably won't place. Tough. Your trainer, OTOH, knows that you are going at X time, rider Y is going after you, and can hop between rings with ease. If s/he has students with conflicting times, s/he has to find ways around it (decide which student needs more help)... but I've digressed.

Wouldn't it be nice to know that you show at X time, need to get here a Y time, need to start getting ready at... you get my drift. (hopefully)

I REALIZE that things have been done this way for awhile, and that everyone is very used to this idea of standing and waiting.
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

As I post this, two of you (both of whom I respect) have come up with some reasons for not having ride times, but none of them are convincing. Ex. Children's Hunter (excuse my lack of hunterese) class goes after the ***** class. It starts at 12:30. Your ride time is at 1 pm. You need to start getting ready at 11:15. You need to be on by 12:25. Your trainer, who is coaching a rider for the AA 3'6 Hunter class will be done at 12:40. She hops over to your ring, coaches you, and you're both on to other things afterwards.

*****

These back to back classes you speak of- I assume that you sign up for one division and three different classes come with that? Maybe the entire structure needs a do-over. You sign up for one class (in advance) and you get a time for that. You can then sign up for the other two classes (in that division) and have times for those classes.

I have heard people complain and seen posts about the long days, the standing around, the large open gaps in the rings (which, even if you didn't want ride times, could be solved with a nice 5-10 minute rule. You can't go in the ring within 5 minutes after the second-to-last ride? You lose your entry fee and your ride)- all of which can't be good for the horses. Maybe you include a time slot for riders to walk the courses, which could also be noted down by the trainer if you needed her help... or maybe cut down on the vast numbers of divisions.


Dressager (http://www.geocities.com/lubenkafarm)
You can't dance and stay uptight

[This message was edited by dressager on Jul. 02, 2003 at 11:05 AM.]

RRB
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:00 AM
With the caveat that I have limited experience with dressage shows (have been to a few, plus the ones that my barn hosts), I'd like to add that the average age at the hunter shows is much, much younger. Short stirrup kids should be learning to get it all together so that they can do it themselves, but if their parents don't have show experience they need someone to help them plan everything, and time everything, so that they get to the ring on time. I've helped a lot of aspiring horse show moms figure out how to get it all together, and if you aren't familiar with the scene it's not easy. And it is made more complex by the fact that there aren't fixed times that you ride -- you have to check the gate often, and figure out how many people are before you, and know how long the course is taking, and then do the math to figure out when you need to get on and how much warm-up you need, etc. And then check the gate again half an hour later to re-do it all.

Also, some teenagers would like to spend time at the shows hanging out with their friends from other barns and socializing. There are absolutely some that are there to spend time with their horses, and some that hang out with their friends while they take care of their own horses, but there is also a sizeable group that would rather not.

Personally, I love to take care of my horse at the shows. Over the past few years my skills have improved significantly and I can get it together myself without too much chaos -- although my first couple of show seasons I leaned heavily on my barn-mates!

--R

SilentReflection
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:00 AM
I honestly dislike these people with grooms. At local shows it isn't so bad but at A rated shows all I see are grooms with horses. My friend said she saw one girl showing in an arena, then she went to get a drink a couple rounds after and saw that same girl walking around in DIFFERENT clothes than she had shown in. Obviously her horse did not cool itself.

It is ridiculous how lazy these people are--getting off their horse, handing it to a groom, and then boasting about how well they did or how all the errors were the damn horses' fault. Hunter88, BarnGoddess, and I all do our own grooming, bathing, tacking, the whole shebang.

I could just sum this all up and say riders with grooms are lazy lazy lazy!!

"If you have a good gelding you have a good horse. If you have a good stallion you have a good horse. But, if you have a good mare, you have a great horse."

Flashy Gray
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:02 AM
Mademoiselle, it sounds like you were the best kind of personality to be a successful groom: a laid-back person who took everything in stride.

I was definitely not that type of person hence my grooming career didn't last that long.

2 points: first of all, my NASCAR analogy is not literal; it's meant to convey that a groom is an essential member of a TEAM, much like the tire changer or the gas-topper guy.

Of course Leslie Howard or Anne Kursinski or any top rider can tack a horse, feed a horse, etc. You are correct: it's not rocket science. My point was that the rider's job is to ride the horse and win and the rest of the team's job is to ensure that the horse is ready to win.

Given my druthers I would like to concentrate all of my energy on what it takes to get through the triple combination, not whether or not the proper studs are in or the sweat from the warm-up is wiped off the reins before entering the ring.

I also sense from your post that you worked for a European rider - American pros more often than not (and more often than their European counterparts) have a barnful of students who are in training that need their attention as well, thus making the groom's job all the more essential.

My whole point is that it boils down to being able to juggle a whole lot, and to do that at the top levels a groom is essential.

dressager
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:07 AM
I see why trainers would need grooms- but not why students (minus folks who have a family), especially teens or young adults, would need one. Your horse, your responsibility.

(and I see why times wouldn't work for the jump off... but maybe setting aside one ring for all jumper classes would be essential in these cases)

Dressager (http://www.geocities.com/lubenkafarm)
You can't dance and stay uptight

Liverpool
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:16 AM
Dressager, your points are not new, and they are well taken. However, what you are proposing is a little like a H/J person suggesting that instead of published tests and levels, you all just show up and learn your rides an hour before you show, and lose the option of having a reader. Additionally, there will be variables in your tests that are not known in advance, and the tests will be ridden in arenas that may be round, square, oval or rectangular, and the sizes will vary by venue.

Can't remember the test? TOUGH Not sure how to prepare for a "new" test? TOUGH...

You see where I am going with this...

You had a valid question, and I am not trying to suggest that one way is better than the other. They are just different.

There are simply too many variables to run a hunter show the way a dressage show is run, and most of the hunter shows run more smoothly than you might expect.

There are rules that help in this respect - like the two minute call that is designed to prevent a ring from sitting empty for long periods - which can be used to speed things along, and at most shows, exhibitors really do work cooperatively to get into and out of the ring in a timely fashion.

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

Madison
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dressager:
I realize that I don't know a lot about hunters, so please hang in there.

For example, you send out the entry forms. At that time you decide what classes you will enter. When you get there, the fences are scary. Tough. When you get there you realize that the class has 50+ people, and you probably won't place. Tough. Your trainer, OTOH, knows that you are going at X time, rider Y is going after you, and can hop between rings with ease. If s/he has students with conflicting times, s/he has to find ways around it (decide which student needs more help)... but I've digressed.

Wouldn't it be nice to know that you show at X time, need to get here a Y time, need to start getting ready at... you get my drift. (hopefully)

I REALIZE that things have been done this way for awhile, and that everyone is very used to this idea of standing and waiting.
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dressager, I think we all agree it would be REALLY nice, and in theory SHOULD be able to work. You hit the nail on the head on people being "creatures of habit". An eventer/Pony Clubber recently started going to shows with us and was horrified at the hurry-up-and-wait aspect of the hunter shows http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif So, I can completely see that it would be hard for someone outside of hunters to understand, but I guess we hunter riders have just resigned ourselves to our fate.

As for the reasons, I think you see the shifting around more as a result of the horse either being ready for more, or needing to do less on a given day than as a result of oh no that division is too big and I won't place. In fact, some of us do the opposite - I moved into an earlier (and bigger) open/pro division to finish earlier and to my surprise ended up reserve champion!! So, while some people think that way, not everyone does.

interesting discussion though - always good to hear everyone's points of view.

CWO
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:24 AM
I do my own work at the shows, so I don't have any "defensiveness" here. Just trying to help sort out the issues.

I'd love time slots!! that's one of the things I like about competing in dressage and eventing!! I just don't think it would work in the hunter jumper rings.

I do agree with dressager that if you get to the show and the fences are scary, or too many people to compete against, too bad!! All of those simple administrative excuses are just that, excuses. Even the one about "my trainer has a conflict" excuse, is pretty lame. If a rider cannot get around a course without their trainer, they should not be competing at that level.

I know that sounds harsh, but its reality. The event riders rarely have their trainer babysit them during warm-up. Hunter/jumpers should watch an eventer warmup sometime. There are 3 jumps usually, an X, a vertical and an oxer at that level's particular height. Forget the cooler over the rail, etc. Just get out there and jump the jumps. The warm-up should be just that, warm-up, not a time to learn how to jump scary jumps. Ok, off that soapbox. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

There is plenty of time to talk with trainers about how to ride the course, no need to warm you up. To jump a few warm-up jumps, just tag along behind someone and "use their" warm up jumps. (just don't knock them down! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif)

Most shows do have the jumpers in one ring, but there are riders doing jumpers and hunters, so the time slot just wouldn't work, as much as we'd all love it if it would work!! The nature of the h/j is what it is. There is a whole lot of crossover between the two.

The timeslot idea would be tough to implement, but that's not the only reason for grooms. Most trainers need them, because they are riding multiple horses (3 or 4 classes per division per horse) and training multiple students (setting jumps).

To be honest, I don't believe others NEED grooms, except for holding horses at the ring. Getting horses ready should not be a problem, but I've had the class all of the sudden be completed, when last announcement (10 seconds ago) said 10 horses to go!

Silent Reflection - not all riders who use are lazy!! Yes, there are MANY h/j BRATS, but the majority are not lazy and in any case you should not HATE anyone for such a reason. Take a deep breath. It's not that important!

mademoiselle
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:25 AM
Well, I'm not discussing the fact that top riders and top trainers need some grooms.
At a certain level, when you have a lot of horses to ride and riders to train, there is no way you can do everything by yourself !
Like Dressager, I just don't get the necessity for a teenage girl to have a groom for her horse ! When you have a group of kid they can help each other. It is not that hard to ride 2 or 3 classes per day and take care of your horse.
And, as I said in an other thread, it is possible to have schedules (we're not talking about precises ride times) for jumper classes. Germans, Dutch, English, French, Swedish, Danish, Italians, .... You name the country are able to run shows with several arenas and no wait at the gate, why are the Americans so different ? Why is it that here evrytime you talk about ride times, evrybody reacts saying that's not possible ? Everybody else does it ...
Trust me, I love showing here and there are many things that are better here than in Europe, but sometimes I think it would be good to look abroad to see how thing are done.
Just a tought ...

"www.lechevalfrancais.com"

Giddy-up
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dressager:
I see why trainers would need grooms- but not why students (minus folks who have a family), especially teens or young adults, would need one. Your horse, your responsibility.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A big factor is $$$$. Why should a trainer charge (for example--don't flame me on prices) only a $75 day fee when they could offer full service & charge like a $200 day fee? If the people have the money & don't want to care for their horses, they can pay & take advantage of the service offered. And not to offend, but many of the people I see showing would think being caught picking up horse poo --- http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif!! They are there to show & have fun & socialize and that doesn't mean mucking stalls, cleaning tack, unbraiding, bathing, or any kind of chore work. But since the work needs to be done, this is where the almighty groom steps in & saves the day! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

And I agree, whoever could figure out a time slot for showing at h/j shows would be a gazillion-aire. It is different than the dressage shows where you enter ahead of time & your only option is to scratch. The "too bad, get in the ring regardless" attitude that was mentioned would not fly well with some people & the trainers would be losing clients who would move to trainers that would cater to their needs. Horses are a customer service people pleasing business. If the customer isn't happy, they will find a new place until they are.

Midge
Jul. 2, 2003, 08:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Silent~Reflection:
I honestly dislike these people with grooms. &lt;snip&gt;
I could just sum this all up and say riders with grooms are lazy lazy lazy!!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gracious! You dislike a whole lot of fine horsemen!

The list of things I would do if I had the money is pretty much endless and a lot of it revolves around paying someone to do things I don't want to do. I would pay a mowing service, for example, instead of mowing my own acre and a half with a push mower. Am I lazy? Do you dislike me?
I would hire someone to clean my house at least twice a week. I hate housecleaning! Dislike me? Am I lazy?

People pay for things they prefer not to do themselves. Some people with grooms are incapable of even recognizing their own horses. Others are taking advantage of the fact they can afford to shorten the length and/or intensity of their day by hiring a groom.

It doesn't make them the anti-Christ. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

****
Just because you're not paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

VC
Jul. 2, 2003, 09:06 AM
i feel kind of bad now to be a groom...i groom for my barn which is a family everyone pitches in type of operation...the thing is, when there are 11 horses and riders going to a show, many showing in the same divisions and many under the age of 18, you need grooms. These kids are more than compentant horsemen, they understand hard work, and know how to do everything.I go as my trainers extension...i get the kids ready and on and watch the ring and hack the over excited horse if nessecarry...basically i am the extension in the barn...sure i tack up a persons horse occasionally, but usually its because they were up at the ring helping out the lower level kids and their class was called...i think grooms are a great part of showing, espically if mom and dad are not into horses...i dont think everyone with a groom is lazy or whateve, many times they do take care of their animals the grooms just help with the details...also on the part of seeing girls get off and whatever...yeah i have seen that too, but i have also been the groom to insist that an overheated child go change and get a drink while i cool out their horse for them...its the least i can do....

~Patty~

Madison
Jul. 2, 2003, 09:07 AM
Liverpool and Midge, all good points.

Silent Reflection, talk about over-generalizing and drawing unfair conclusions. Yikes!

AAJumper
Jul. 2, 2003, 09:11 AM
As for the discussion on time slots, several of the big A shows here (the ones at The Oaks and Showpark, put on by Robert Ridland) actually let you sign up in the morning for a specific time slot, instead of just signing up on the order of go sheet. It is GREAT! All classes are scheduled to start at a certain time, water and drags are scheduled, etc. The rings almost always run on time. Trainers can plan their days better because they can sign up students for specific times and know that there won't be a conflict. Also, by allowing the exhibitor/trainer to sign up for a time instead of the show office assigning a time, it reduces the chance of ring conflicts.

As to the person who said that anyone who hires a groom is lazy, I totally agree with Midge. You shouldn't judge people who you have no clue about. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

ProzacPuppy
Jul. 2, 2003, 09:48 AM
Regarding the comment about riders in different rings and the trainer deciding which one needed the most "help"- I can't imagine a trainer doing this. They charge you $50+ to stand ringside and sometimes make those annoying clucking noises. It is money to them. I wouldn't pay the "coaching" fee if the trainer was off with some other rider who was less proficient than mine. And over the course of a weeklong show, those coaching fees can add up nicely.

But basically, the use of the "full care groom" comes down to convenience and money. I've done the role of groom to my child at shows. I've gotten to the point tho that if I'm paying thousands of dollars for this weekend, I'll be damned if I'm going to walk a hot horse in 99 degree weather or be up at 5 to feed him breakfast.

As my father used to say "Life is too short to do anything that you can pay someone else to do for you". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

dcm
Jul. 2, 2003, 09:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dressager:

As I post this, two of you (both of whom I respect) have come up with some reasons for not having ride times, but none of them are convincing. Ex. Children's Hunter (excuse my lack of hunterese) class goes after the ***** class. It starts at 12:30. Your ride time is at 1 pm. You need to start getting ready at 11:15. You need to be on by 12:25. Your trainer, who is coaching a rider for the AA 3'6 Hunter class will be done at 12:40. She hops over to your ring, coaches you, and you're both on to other things afterwards.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah, but dressager, your AA 3'6 rider landed head first into the third jump and required an ambulance, and having no family there to lend her a hand to squeeze, the trainer stayed at her side for over 30 mins. No way to make the 1pm class in another ring. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

This past weekend, my dtr attended a show which gave approximate start times for each class. They were close on the majority of the est start times, so it was very nice to have them. They enforced a 2 minute warning to close the classes in the empty hunter ring, too. However, there were still conflicts, and the hunter ring held preference over the jumper/eq ring as it was busier. Ex: My dtr's horse was entered in the 2nd yr greens which the u/s class was to start at x time. Trainer had 2 horses in this class, plus 2 in the prior div u/s class - the u/s classes ran back-to-back and the grooms were busy running horses from stabling to ring side. My dtr had on her schedule approx 45 mins after the hunter u/s an eq/flat class in another ring. The eq/flat actually entered the ring first, but was held up by the fact my dtr's horse was due to enter the u/s class that was on the verge of starting. My dtr rode her horse in the u/s, then trotted to the next ring where she rode eq/flat which had been held up approx 20 mins for my dtr. The trainer once again, used the groom to take the other horse back to the stabling area as its owner was well over the age of 80 years. At least he was there - some owners do not make an appearance for the green classes. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Then, two days later, my dtr enters a different eq/flat class without her trainer who had riders in the children's hunter in another ring riding at the same time. Afterwards, my dtr reports to trainer she got x place, and trainer asks, "in what?" She did not even know the eq/flat class had run.

You cannot do any more than approx class start times. The conflicts from ring to ring will put riders out of order. You can post in which order you would like to go, but then you must make sure you are there or you will be bumped to the end of the list. Too many variables at hunter shows to schedule an exact ride time.

Order of go, yes, ride time, no.

********
I'm just the mom.

Proud Member: Thoroughbred Clique, Danish Warmblood Clique, & Support Your Servicemen Clique

rhymeswithfizz
Jul. 2, 2003, 09:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AAJumper:
As for the discussion on time slots, several of the big A shows here (the ones at The Oaks and Showpark, put on by Robert Ridland) actually let you sign up in the morning for a specific time slot, instead of just signing up on the order of go sheet. It is GREAT! All classes are scheduled to start at a certain time, water and drags are scheduled, etc. The rings almost always run on time. Trainers can plan their days better because they can sign up students for specific times and know that there won't be a conflict. Also, by allowing the exhibitor/trainer to sign up for a time instead of the show office assigning a time, it reduces the chance of ring conflicts.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I thought I'd quote this because it deserves repeating... As an event and dressage rider, I really can't understand WHY the above system can't be implemented everywhere.

There are accidents and holds on course for eventing too, and it's not unusual for an event to be running late (usually caused by delays on XC), but I would venture to say that there are many less factors at a HJ show. And it still works -- you just know as a competitor that XC is running 30 minutes behind, and plan accordingly.

Trainers at events have multiple students too, and at one-days there are often three phases running at once. They are able to make it work, and XC is often long ways away from dressage and stadium, so why can't HJ trainers make it work?

I'm not picking, I really want to know. I know we've gone a bit off-topic here, but it's interesting! Anyone?

where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

VivaDusty
Jul. 2, 2003, 09:56 AM
Well, I am 14 yrs old and show two-sometimes three or four- horses in the same class, childrens jumpers, which doesnot always have a bunch of competetors. I have never hired a groom, but i always have friends come with me and be a "groom", sometimes we'll pay them a bit if its like a big show like culpeper.

I find it extreemly helpful. The compainionship and mental support and of course assistance makes the horse show experience better overall. I do most of the work but betwen my father and myself and my 4yrold brother who insists on coming( http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif) horse shows, mainly around the ring, are extreemly difficult with out "grooms"!

I greatly appericate thier help!

~Hakunah Matatah!!!

mademoiselle
Jul. 2, 2003, 10:14 AM
I'm with you on that one rhymeswithfizz ...
I have the same question ?
When I rode in Hunter/Jumpers during the winter, most of the pros were riding on Thursdays and Fridays then they had their all w-e to take care of their students.
Wouldn't be easier to have times, so your trainer knows exactly who is doing what and when ?
DCM, you just said in your post that even with the current system your trainer missed your daughter on her Eq/flat class. At least, with time schedules, your trainer could have known better.
I don't think it's a question of too many variables that stops organizers to put up some real schedules, it's just a question of habits.
As I already stated, in Europe everybody rides on time in the hunters and jumpers, so it can be done. Just a question of 'different' organization.

"www.lechevalfrancais.com"

Liverpool
Jul. 2, 2003, 10:39 AM
Comparing the US and European systems is comparing apples and oranges.

I find it interesting that people from other disciplines are so anxious to change the system at H/J shows... but I don't hear that clamor from the H/J folks.

Yes, it would be nice to have ride times. No, it isn't worth it (to me) to give up the flexibility I currently have to enter on the day of the show, or to make adjustments in the divisions I select once I am actually there. Nor would it be worth it to me to give up the insight I get from my trainer after she has watched my rounds, or the help I get from her in preparing for the questions posed by a given class.

FWIW, I have been riding for several decades now, and am perfectly capable of riding around on my own. I am also interested in getting the most out of every showing experience, especially given the resources that I dedicate to them.

I don't tell dressage riders to suck it up and memorize their finite set of tests instead of learning them in advance, and I don't find it acceptable for someone else to tell me how I should handle my hunter shows. I confess that I don't understand why people cannot just accept that disciplines have differences, and that that is OK?

"It's a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ---W. Somerset Maugham

dcm
Jul. 2, 2003, 10:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mademoiselle:
DCM, you just said in your post that even with the current system your trainer missed your daughter on her Eq/flat class. At least, with time schedules, your trainer could have known better.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Possibly, but as in the first day, ring 1 was running ahead of schedule and trainer had 6 riders going in childrens which followed her 4 adults in limits in ring 2. At least my kid made it to the ring in time for her class by herself. I wasn't there myself and had to rely on another mom (whose kid was in childrens) and the groom at the stabling area to make sure the kid did not get distracted watching her friends in ring 2.

I do agree that improvement needs to happen, but American style hunter shows are so different from anything you will find around the world. It would take a great deal more than someone second guessing a process they are not familiar with to fix it. You won't be able to do away with grooms, and you will not be able to hold hunter shows by the clock. Approx class start times do work, but they are only approximates and conflicts will still happen, rings will run early or run late. Multiple rings for riders with multiple divisions, and quite often multiple horses will always cause conflicts.

I was very happy with the way the show ran this past weekend. It was a large show with some divisions counting 30+ horses in them. Throw a hunter classic at the end of the day, classes shifting rings and days in order to complete everything before dark, and what does that do to your scheduled ride time?

********
I'm just the mom.

Proud Member: Thoroughbred Clique, Danish Warmblood Clique, & Support Your Servicemen Clique

AAJumper
Jul. 2, 2003, 11:04 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Liverpool:
I find it interesting that people from other disciplines are so anxious to change the system at H/J shows... but I don't hear that clamor from the H/J folks.

Yes, it would be nice to have ride times. No, it isn't worth it (to me) to give up the flexibility I currently have to enter on the day of the show, or to make adjustments in the divisions I select once I am actually there. Nor would it be worth it to me to give up the insight I get from my trainer after she has watched my rounds, or the help I get from her in preparing for the questions posed by a given class.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

FWIW, the shows I was talking about where you sign up for a time rather than just a number in the order are big H/J shows...really big AA shows. The rules about signing up for classes on the day of the show are the same as most other shows I've been to (at the A shows most require jumpers to be entered the day before, but I believe hunters can be entered the day of...not totally sure on that as I don't do hunters!). Most people enter the night before, so it's not like there are a ton of extra entries the day of in any particular class. In fact, the adds probably equal the scratches.

Anyway, this management puts on about 17 A level shows per year, and these shows are extremely popular. So I don't think everyone in the H/J world is opposed to the way they run the gates. Of course, the key element is that you get to sign yourself up for a time slot, and no, it is not as set in stone as it is in dressage. They will move the order around a smidge to accomodate unforseen conflicts.

mademoiselle
Jul. 2, 2003, 11:12 AM
Well,
I think I'm too European and too impatient to enjoy the experience fully.
I have maybe ridden in 15 'A' shows since I moved, which is probably not enough to make an opinion.
I just hate to wait (Traffic Jams and gocery store lines, drive me nuts too http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ).
I guess it's different lifestyle and I will get used to it one day ...

"www.lechevalfrancais.com"

Elghund2
Jul. 2, 2003, 11:25 AM
I was at the CDCTA event on sunday watching friends ride the cross country and stadium parts of the event. I must say it was nice to see people taking care of their own horse as they shifted between phases. They were all working hard and to me it exuded a higher level of horsemanship then to see people who were being attended to by a groom or waiting for a trainer to show up to so they could ride their course.

"I thought I was dead once but it turns out, I was only in Nebraska."

dcm
Jul. 2, 2003, 11:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Elghund2:
They were all working hard and to me it exuded a higher level of horsemanship then to see people who were being attended to by a groom or waiting for a trainer to show up to so they could ride their course.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Come on, the percentage of those who toss their horse off to a groom is so minute. I think you just insulted a huge number of people saying this. If you don't like the way hunter/jumper shows are run or the people who attend, then stay away. Do something else. My kid enjoys what she does and to say she has a lower level of horsemanship or to allude she does not work hard because she rides hunters is bull.

This thread started out as an honest question about why the use of grooms, and it is degenerating into a hunter-bash thread.

I, too, find it interesting that so many outside of the hunter/jumper discipline are so eager to change the system. How many in those other disciplines ride in as many classes or as many horses as so many do in hunter shows? Show management either runs a good organized show, or they do not. I've been to both.

********
I'm just the mom.

Proud Member: Thoroughbred Clique, Danish Warmblood Clique, & Support Your Servicemen Clique

Kblue
Jul. 2, 2003, 12:13 PM
Okay from a junior and ponyclubber's perspective: At all Pony Club rallies you are on a team. Because mostly you are varied levels, and the teams are 3-4 people, there is almost always someone there to help you. For Eventing rally it is required you have a horse manager, for other rallies you don't have to, but they're recommended. The horse manager does not feed your horse/muck out the stall/groom, that is your responsibility. Occasionally, they will walk your horse while you clean the stall or vice versa. They are there to help you when you get off, that extra hand that is useful to have. Right before you go to your formal, they will wipe off your boots and horse. They aren't a groom and aren't there to do the dirty work, but serve the purpose of an extra hand. (The point of that was that Pony Club, probably the most pro do it yourself, no adults helping, horse management organization strongly recommends that you have that "extra set of hands" (directed at all of those who said grooms were for the lazy))The reason they are required at Eventing Rallies is for after cross country when you are overheated and ready to get off and take off your helmet and vest. They will walk the horse and untack them quickly, so you and the horse can get started cooling, then you take your horse back again and continue sponging and walking.
When I go to shows (local, unrated) I warm myself up and tack up my own horse. I groom him, and do all of his care. My mom or a friend from the barn is almost always there, but they aren't there to do the work for me. Occasionally my mom will hold my coat or horse, for a minute while I walk the course or warm up. I wouldn't like having a groom, I do things the way I want them done for my horse, and I worry when other people do it!

swansong
Jul. 2, 2003, 12:17 PM
I too find it amazing that people in other disciplines are always finding fault with how h/j shows are run...why do they care. if they ever showed at a H/J show they would know why we sometimes have to wait and why a groom is helpful. Also it sounds like sour grapes to me when i hear people critisizing others who use grooms. If someone can afford full day care and wants to do it that way why do the others care? I'm sure if I went to a dressage show and had my one ride a day on the flat I could manage without a groom and would expect a start time. I groomed for myself with 3 horses for years and believe me when I could finally afford it I took a groom....and it certainly does make the showing easier and allow me to spend more time concentrating on my riding. I still spend a great deal of time caring for my horses because I enjoy it.

RolexH
Jul. 2, 2003, 01:46 PM
Dressager, I think these are valid points. I just don't know how it could work. Most trainers need to be at the barn and rings and many other places at once. Plus you can't predict those moments where Pony X throws little Johnny into the mud and suddenly the trainer is dealing with that too. It would probably work at a small show with only one or two rings. But Not a big A. It would be too many peope to coordinate. Hmmmmm...

Also wanted to add: Just because you have a groom at a show does NOT mean you are a princess. I was the barn SLAVE and then when I went to a show someone else helped me out. I am sorry but I NEEDED help. It wasn't a pretty sight when I was tacking up my boy and he slimed me with white breeches on before the classic. My trainer had a fit! Someone putting a bit in my horses mouth, does not equal "lazy".

(insert little violins playing sad music..) I worked really hard to pay someone to help me. I worked all through high school at a vet clinic, I cleaned tack/groomed for discounts off my bill, I bought my first horse MYSELF! (granted he was OTTB and he was NOT the right horse for me...) But my point is, there is a difference between some people coming to the show with a cell phone saying, "have Brownie tacked up for me!" and then leaving after the class. Verses: having the average Joe have a groom help so they can take a little stress off. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Just wanted to say my opinion.

~~Lisa~~
Aiden's page.. DOING GREAT!! (http://www.hometown.aol.com/rolexh/Aidenshope.html)

Recycle yourself; Be an organ donor http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Giddy-up
Jul. 2, 2003, 02:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BalieysIrishCream:
i feel kind of bad now to be a groom...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Why? I was/am a groom. Nothing wrong with that. Don't forget everybody's version of a "groom" is different too. I have seen groom's that do everything & then there are grooms that just feed, water, muck. Your basic barn chores that are taken care of as if you were at home still. Nothing wrong with being a groom. Sometimes it's the best way to learn and see everything! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

itsallgood
Jul. 2, 2003, 02:15 PM
I haven't read the whole thread so forgive me if I'm reiterating what someone else has said. Although I love doing my own horse, there are sometimes where an additional set of hands is a must.

Say you've got two horses and you need to hack one and the other is in the order of go for a jumper class. Hack ring has preference and so you have your groom wait with your other horse at the in gate all ready to go. You hack your horse, trade horses with the groom and then warm up and go in your jumper class. You simply didn't have time to untack a horse and tack up another horse. Especially with multiple rides, grooms at the bigger shows are a necessity or they would move even slower than they already do.

I don't think those things happen so much with dressage because you have posted times but it always seems that you wait around all day and then everything is crammed into a short amount of time. Never fails.

rhymeswithfizz
Jul. 2, 2003, 03:36 PM
I definitely agree that an extra set of hands sometimes is a must -- at least for me, I'm just not that organized or neat enough to stay clean!! But I usually show with a group of friends, and we make sure to help each other out, get boots wiped before entering the dressage arena, meet the rider coming off of XC with bucket of water, sponge, and gatorade, hover about the warm-up arena with a bottle of water, you name it. I would never have considered paying someone for this... but it certainly makes sense, and makes for an easier day.

But honestly, I would not have thought of it. Maybe like another poster says, this stems from my pony club roots where we kids HAD to be self-sufficient and help each other out?

I would certainly never bash or look down on anyone who had a groom. It's a great idea. Showing is hard, sweaty, dirty work, and I have enough trouble just staying clean and not getting dehydrated. If I could afford a groom, you can BET I'd do it too! But usually I just con a capable buddy to come with me, knowing I'll owe her at her next show.

where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

Rosie
Jul. 2, 2003, 04:58 PM
Why have a groom? Well, for starters during the week (and more weekends than I like to think about) I get up and get to my office by seven. I usually leave about seven also. That's 12 hours away from my husband, son and daughter. I ride 4x a week if at all possible - some evenings not leaving the barn until 9 or 10.

I have "traded" the cost of housekeeping help in order to keep my horse at a nice stable and the ability to take more lessons - so at some point in the week I need to do laundry and some cleaning.

For about 10 years any showing that I did was with a barn that didn't have grooms. That meant that during the week I would clip, bathe, clean tack, apply shipping wraps and otherwise get ready to go. On weekends I had to get up at maybe 5 or so to get to the show to get things ready - feed, etc and sometimes didn't leave until 7 or 8 or even later.

Sunday after showing was cooling, wrapping, loading, hauling stuff home and collapsing - but not before setting the alarm for Monday.

So, if anyone wants to call me lazy, a "princess", less of a horseperson, etc. for having a groom to help out at a show - go right ahead.

If you think that my horse isn't important to me or that I don't like spending time with him or that I don't know how to take care of him just because you see me hand him to a groom at a show well you are entitled to your opinion(s).

IMO, those type of judgements go hand in hand with the attitude that H/J riders are somewhat less skilled/serious than eventers or dressage riders. Bah humbug! Maybe we are smart enough to know when to ask for help - some of the worst "training/riding " I have seen is from those who proudly "do it all" themselves!

mademoiselle
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:33 PM
I hope you didn't take me wrong. I have nothing against grooms ( I groomed for several years and I really enjoyed it !) and I don't think people who have grooms are horrible persons that don't like their horses.
I know that's really nice and helpful to have an extra set of hands. Help around horses is always valuable.
It's just that sometimes, it's a little bit strange for me to see a group of young girls hanging around and have somebody else to untack and groom their horses.
I think everybody has the choice to do what they want with their horses and I will never criticize anybody who wants the best care for their horses.

"www.lechevalfrancais.com"

trademark
Jul. 2, 2003, 05:43 PM
I was a groom this past weekend, and the owner did lots. But, she had two horses going (who couldn't see each other so they were stable in two completely different barns far away from each other) Sometimes she would have to hop off one, take the martingale off, and run to the other.

My employee couldn't have done it without me.

*Cookie*
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:15 PM
I'm a junior, at 16 years of age. When I only show one horse, I don't have a groom, but my mum does come and help out. However, to answer the original question about why grooms are necessary for two horses:

The main reason (different than most I believe) is that we ship in, and do not have stalls at the show.

In 2 weeks, I'm catchriding one horse, as well as showing my own in the same division. As well as having my mum at the show, I will also have a groom there.

I do all the braiding (on those 2, as well as up to 3 others that weekend), as well as bathing and clipping. Each horse has a bridle, but my saddle goes on both (the owner's saddle does not fit me as we have different builds, but my saddle fits her horse). Finally, I'm showing both in the same division (3 o/f and 1 u/s). The 3 o/f are split with a back to back and then after the jog for the first 2 classes, the final o/f class will go. At this particular show, there is no all-day schooling class or anything, so I will have to warm up both horses in the morning, and again before their classes. After the first 2 classes, both horses will have to be stripped and ready to jog. Afterwards, both will have to be tacked up and each individually warmed up and once again stripped for the jog. Only one is getting hacked, but I am then riding the other one in 2 eq classes, so the non-hacking horse cannot be wrapped and finished. Finally, neither horse can deal with standing on the trailer alone.

Basically:
1 rider w/ 2 horses + Shipping in (no stalls) + Same division + 1 saddle + Neither horse can stand on a trailer.

Upon writing this, I'm grateful I'm going to have a groom (plus my mum) to help! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Throw your heart over the fence and your horse will follow...
Throw your body and you'll be jumping alone. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

~SC~
Jul. 2, 2003, 06:52 PM
I didn't read all the replies that thoroughly, so bear with me. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I'll just come right out and say it: I USE A GROOM. At horseshows, I don't do anything for my horse except handwalk them if I feel like it and feed them treats. And ya know what? I don't feel bad about it at all. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif In the past, I've been at barns that didn't use grooms, and I did all my own care. I know that I *could* do it if I wanted to, but I don't.

The main reason why I have a groom is b/c it's just the way things are at my barn. They make everything run much smoother. Horses are at the ring at time, properly turned out. The trainer speaks directly with the groom, like radioing back to the barn and saying, "There are 20 trips left until ___ shows, please start getting ___ ready." My trainer doesn't have to worry about us showing up on time or trying to coordinate being on time with his schedule. This way we also don't have to wait once we get to the ring b/c my trainer is ready for us. It's not like we get ourselves ready, thinking we are on time, and either end up late or wait for 30 min for the trainer to show up. Better for the horses, IMO.

My whole show experience is more enjoyable since I started using a groom. I have enough things to worry about besides getting ready on time and staying clean while I'm doing it. Horseshows are also a social thing for me, and I like being able to spend time with my friends and watching other rings go.

I know many many people who do their own care and do an excellent job, but I think at times the horses can suffer. For instance, a rider gets to the ring way too early, and since they have no one to help them, they just sit on their horse waiting. Or they have to learn their course so they sit/hold their horse in the sun by the ring. Or they don't have time to hose off/cool out/clean-up the horse before hack/jog/etc.. b/c they can't risk getting their clothes dirty. These are all perfectly reasonable situations that happen all the time, but still...

I think my horse would rather be given a bath right away, be wrapped, have the braids out, etc.. rather than wait for me to recover from heat exhaustion (common summer occurence) before I can start taking care of them.

This got really long, and there were definitely more points I wanted to make (I know, you're thinking SHUT UP!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif ), but my main point is this: I use a groom, I'm not lazy, my horses probably get better care from the grooms than from me. I don't think that people with grooms are better than people without, and I think it's very admirable when people are able to do their own work. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~Sarah~


~Disgruntled College Students Clique~Georgia Clique~Junior Clique (Can I please still be a member?? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif )~ Buckle Bunnies http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Peggy
Jul. 2, 2003, 11:31 PM
To start, I ride with a dressage barn that has grooms at shows.

There are certain situations where a groom is pretty much needed (rider with multiple horses and rides; young kid), others where it's nice (hey, people who can afford grooms help to keep others employed), and a number of situations where you need an extra pair of hands (last minute spit and polish and boot removal before you go in the ring).

I've worked as a HJ groom (while showing groomless, but with help at the ring), evented on my own, and shown dressage. IMHO, more HJ riders (at all levels) have grooms than the other two disciplines. Why?? tradition, more chaotic showing situations (more horses, more rings, horses having to go to the ring and then wait while a rider walks a course) and, possibly, clients willing to spend more $$$$

When I started to show my previous young horse, I hired a teenager to be an extra set of hands (or feet)--going to pick up numbers, helping at the ring. This was money well spent.

When I started to show a 3 y.o. last year I went for full service, except for braiding (again, this is a dressage barn for those who want to stereotype). Again, money well spent. Now that we are more mature, I decided to do my own work at the last show. I actually like it better--gives me something to do, helps to limber up not-so-limber joints before that 7:51 a.m. ride, I like being around my horse, etc. I did get help at the ring before I went in, but rode all tests from memory.

One problem with dressage show scheduling is that it often isn't terribly flexible. If you have a ride time that conflicts with your trainer's ride or another student's ride, too bad. My trainer completely missed one of my rides and viewed another from afar at the above show. Often you don't know when you will ride until a few days before, whereas you can pick your classes at a HJ show so that you have some chance of riding within a certain time frame. Your ride times are at 7 and 7:15 and your trailer mate has ride times of 5 and 5:15? Again, too bad.

IMHO, having a groom should be earned, not a right. Aside from small children, you should be capable of getting your horse ready if you have to.

Tachiana
Jul. 3, 2003, 05:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Silent~Reflection:
I honestly dislike these people with grooms. At local shows it isn't so bad but at A rated shows all I see are grooms with horses. My friend said she saw one girl showing in an arena, then she went to get a drink a couple rounds after and saw that same girl walking around in DIFFERENT clothes than she had shown in. Obviously her horse did not cool itself.

It is ridiculous how lazy these people are--getting off their horse, handing it to a groom, and then boasting about how well they did or how all the errors were the damn horses' fault. Hunter88, BarnGoddess, and I all do our own grooming, bathing, tacking, the whole shebang.

I could just sum this all up and say riders with grooms are lazy lazy lazy!!

"If you have a good gelding you have a good horse. If you have a good stallion you have a good horse. But, if you have a good mare, you have a great horse."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I have witnessed this many times.......... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif
The bottom line is people who can afford it and want it, will pay for it!
I'm sure most rider's could show without a groom if they had to.......... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

"Don't pi$$ on me and tell me it's raining"

lauriep
Jul. 3, 2003, 06:08 AM
A great discussion, but you have missed one major point for using grooms: consistency of care and presentation.

Most of the top barns insist that you stable with them and use all of their facilities, including their grooms, because they want to know that the care your horse is receiving is appropriate, and they want the horse turned out in a consistent manner to represent their business.

Of course, most of you are capable of taking good care of your horses. But I can't tell you the number of times that a customer of ours who didn't show with us all the time, would show up with an untrimmed, unbathed, under/over weight horse, insist on doing her/his own care, and then be late to the ring after trying to complete their own not-great braiding. It happens, and many owner/grooms don't put the same importance on appearance that we do.

Grooms are the professionals at what they do. They are not just horse holders/stall muckers. They spend huge amounts of time with these animals, know their quirks and know how to get that last bit of shine on a coat, and that dust off your boots.

For a top barn to have all its horses healthy, in good flesh, and looking the part they want to present, grooms are a necessity, not a luxury.

Laurie

ChromeOnAllFour
Jul. 3, 2003, 06:41 AM
With all this talk of grooms,I thought it would be a good time to ask what the going rate is these days. I'm an adult who groomed for years for my trainer through high school and college. I have not groomed in quite awhile, but I will be grooming for may trainer at an away show this summer she's bringing about 6 horses. I have recruited a very competent 17 year old to work with me. My trainer expects the kids to help out were possible, but we will be caring for stalls, feeding, wrapping, bathing, tack cleaning, unbraiding, many other misc. and getting them to the rings well dressed and on time. Years ago it was $25.00 a horse per day they were showing and $15.00 per horse per day they did not show. I'm hoping things have changed a little. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Madison
Jul. 3, 2003, 07:03 AM
Prices vary widely. Our groom serves as more of the "barn manager" (though we have one groom who just can't resist and cleans tack too http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif) - feeds, waters, mucks, helps set up, wraps, etc . . . and sends kids to tack up and head to the ring when the trainer calls for them. Will help tack up if someone is short on time, but mainly we all like to do that ourselves. Cost - $100/day for 5 horses, plus $10 per extra horse over 5. my cost of $10-$20 per day is VERY reasonable in my opinion - the extra help is worth every penny because it makes showing more enjoyable for me. And I still interact with my horse plenty - grazing, grooming, and hanging out with her in addition to our riding time.

Flashy Gray
Jul. 3, 2003, 07:23 AM
Lauriep's point about consistency and uniformity of care is excellent, and correct.

In my experience (particularly before we left for FL) we had some self-care students who took the time to learn our program/how we did things from the 'big' stuff (our choice of feed/supplements) to the critical 'little' stuff (such as details of grooming, tack care and cleaning, and show-ring presentation).

But not every self-care client did that and laurie's observations about the appearance of horses who were "not with the program" is not too far off the mark.

Hopeful Hunter
Jul. 3, 2003, 09:26 AM
Grooms....interesting that this simple care option has generated so much heat!

First, let me say I don't show at big rated shows -- just local, but competitive stuff. I show one hunter, in two to three divisions, as an adult. And I've done a couple of schooling dressage shows and helped our barn's DQs at their "real" dressage shows.

There are major, major differences between a hunter show and a dressage show. Ride times, obviously, but it goes way further than that, and I think it impacts why at some "smaller" shows there are grooms.

We'll ignore those with money to burn who simply can't imagine life without a groom. I strongly suspect those are not many, and if we take out the major multi day/week shows, virtually nil. So why a groom at a hunter show?

Well, first off, there is more "rider movement" required at a hunter show. By that I mean, the rider must walk or look at the ring, learn/walk a different course FOR EACH CLASS, check in and get their number, check in with the gate crew FOR EACH DIVISION, alert the steward to any conflicts, warm up the horse, ride, possibly repeat if there's a long break between divisions, maybe jog if it's a bigger show/class, then finish up. Most riders will ride at least 6 classes, or more.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to do this without at least someone there to hold the horse for you. I know -- I once went to a show that ran very late due to a bad fall. I had hauled myself up, and had done one division. My trainer and the barn kids needed to leave, so I stayed to do my second division since I was there anyway. I was lucky enough to find a kind soul who was a total stranger to hold my horse when I simply HAD to use the bathroom! And I had to depend on the kindness of strangers yet again at loading time to help with the butt chain and ramp. Had I had a groom with me this would have been much less of a problem.

And, if you need to check out the courses and how they're riding at multiple rings, it can be very hard to do that and have your horse polished and turned out well without making the poor beast stand around forever by getting him ready waaay too early. For that reason, it helps and is IMO a necessity to at least have a "show mom" with you if not a groom.

Contrast this with the dressage shows I went to. I was given a start time. I was only riding two tests/classes and I knew MONTHS in advance WHAT I was riding. There was no need to learn the test then and there, no need to see how the pattern was riding or where the rough spots were -- they were already known. I could even plan potty breaks around this. Of course, despite one horse balking there were also no falls or accidents to slow things up. And although some people cancelled, they didn't move up the times, they just waited that 4 minutes. I didn't have to worry that I might fall off and need a major dusting off before going in again, or anything like that. It was simply easier.

Because the class requirements are unchanging, they COULD set times that precisely; because falls or problems tended not to need major or indeed any medical assistance, there was no real delay. And few people rode more than maybe 4 tests, so they just didn't do as much in terms of preparation or warmup.

I do believe there are probably ways to improve H/J shows and to implement some better sort of time allocation/ring management. But I don't think that anyone can really truly go alone to a hunter show -- there's just too much to do at the show and you need at least a body to hold the horse at some times. And, let's face it, it gets nerve-wracking and confusing to have 4 or 6 different courses to memorize RIGHT THEN, and to plan the ride for each.

In a dressage test, the most you're accounting for is the externals of the ring -- footing, inside or out, perimeter decorations. In a hunter round, you've got all of that PLUS fences and you cannot know what you'll be riding in advance. If you're going to do one division, it might be possible to do it all alone if the gate crew can hold your horse as you walk the course. But with all the day-of variables and stresses, I think that having a bit of help isn't an unreasonable thing, and it doesn't make any h/j rider a princess. Just, perhaps sadly and more than we'd like to admit in our frailty, human.

Peggy
Jul. 3, 2003, 09:37 AM
lauriep makes excellent points about consistency of preparation. It's not always possible (for a variety of reasons) for a client to prepare a horse to the expected standards and be organized enough to get it in the ring. My trainer lets me groom my own at shows b/c he knows I will present my horse well and get into the ring on time. I am also careful to stay out of the way of the regular grooms--if, for example, they need the grooming stall, they get it. I can see that you could create a problem if some clients were allowed to groom and others weren't. Fortunately, not an issue in my barn.

Based on what I've seen at HJ shows and dressage shows, I would say that the grooming standards are, on average, higher at HJ shows. I've seen horses show with unclipped fetlocks and jaws at dressage shows. Not my horse, BTW.

AAJumper
Jul. 3, 2003, 09:56 AM
I also agree with what Lauriep said, and Peggy made a good point about it creating a problem if some clients in the barn groomed for themselves at a show, while others didn't. I've been at a show with my barn when other clients showed up for the day and didn't use the grooms and didn't pay for a stall. Well, it just didn't feel fair to the people who DID pay for the grooms. Because inevitably (well, not in the case of conscientous people like Peggy, but for many others), the grooms end up helping those people out in one way or another, even if it is just to hold their horse for 30 seconds while they grab their boots out of their truck. Or the person gets the groom to hold their horse while they are walking the course because he happens to be there holding another horse. So I guess my point is that even though some of us could certainly manage to groom ourselves, we don't because the barn as a group uses grooms. And, like Lauriep mentioned, I know that I will not do as good of a job as a professional groom....that is why they are professionals.

Ridin' Fool
Jul. 3, 2003, 10:21 AM
I think it depends on how you are "wired". I usually take two horses to each show - load/haul them by myself, unload and set up everything by myself. I do all care for both and these horses are usually in the same division and I get them ready, bring them to the ring, etc., on my own. Another amateur in our barn also has two - she hires a barn worker to haul the horses and set-up. She always thinks she can handle daycare and grooming (at every show) and she ALWAYS ends up in complete panic by the first class running around to get things done. This is where I step in - so I end up grooming for her, every time! I'm "wired" to be incredibly organized, taking care 4 horses entirely (including braiding 2) and showing my two (with energy). But this other lady simply cannot - once I take the reins so to speak, she immediately relaxes and does very well. I don't mind, and I don't think she's a princess at all - she drives me INSANE when she's running around disorganized, so why not just pay me to do it? It's exhausting to say the least, but heck, I make money to pay entries and hotel. Finally convinced this amateur to get a working student for the next show so that I can spend one show just concentrating on myself and my horses.

The H/J world might encourage grooms also - all depends on how you were socialized into the show world. My trainer growing up did not allow us to have grooms, but I moved to Chicago after college and EVERYONE seemed to have full service/ grooms. It was odd to me but can't say I didn't enjoy it for a little bit! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~SC~
Jul. 3, 2003, 10:30 AM
lauriep said exactly what I was trying to say! LOL

~Sarah~


~Disgruntled College Students Clique~Georgia Clique~Junior Clique (Can I please still be a member?? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif )~ Buckle Bunnies http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

DMK
Jul. 3, 2003, 10:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cwo:
I know that sounds harsh, but its reality. The event riders rarely have their trainer babysit them during warm-up. Hunter/jumpers should watch an eventer warmup sometime. There are 3 jumps usually, an X, a vertical and an oxer at that level's particular height. Forget the cooler over the rail, etc. Just get out there and jump the jumps. The warm-up should be just that, warm-up, not a time to learn how to jump scary jumps. Ok, off that soapbox. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have a ton of respect for eventers, but this shows a poor understanding about the mechanics behind a warm up for a hunter or jumper class. Sure there are some non-pro warm ups that involve confidence building for the rider. Usually a great deal of that is related to performance anxiety as opposed to fear of the jump itself, but either way that is secondary to the real purpose behind a warm up.

Go watch the top pros getting a horse ready to show in either a hunter or jumper class. Now you don't really think the reason that cooler was tossed over that fence was because last year's WCHR is scared of the fence do you? And this year's AGA rider? After they jumped that max spread square oxer, you don't think they jumped the super skinny oxer because they got intimidated by the width do you? In truth, warm up routines can be far longer (and way more complicated!) for pro rides than non-pros. This is because the warm up is designed to bring the horse to the point he performs his absolute best for the next two minutes. Decisions like using a cooler are usually executed with the horse in mind, NOT the rider.

Now I can understand not having an extended warm up for an event horse. You are out there for a long time and at much higher speeds (especially as compared to a h/j situation) and the course seems (to me, anyway) to invite a little warm up before the tough questions are asked. You wouldn't want to leave your horse's best jump in the warm up ring.

But in an h/j situation things are a little different. The tough questions are asked right off the bat, and while it is still possible to leave your best jump in the warm up ring, you don't get a second chance once you are in the ring. Your horse isn't sharp enough and rubs that first rail? Oh well, it's all over, and you can jump the rest of the course for practice or the dubious honor of being the "fastest 4 faulter"! An event horse is a little careless over the first jump? That's probably a good wake up call for the rest of the course (assuming he isn't so careless you both go ass over teakettle http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ).

Call your village. Their idiot is missing...

findeight
Jul. 3, 2003, 11:15 AM
The old comparing apples and oranges thing is coming up again with the fact that many see a different scenario completely when you say Hunter Show.

Some see a one or two day show with single ring or at most two rings, one Hunter and one Jumper and maybe a small walk trot/crossrails ring. Stalls, if offered, are adjacent to the rings but most exhibitors are haul ins for the day. Maybe 100/200 horses-ponies competing.

Others see a 7 ring affair-three Hunter, Two Jumper, one novice level and one for regular Ponies, each ring with a separate schooling area.
Stalls can be up to a mile away.
Show runs Wednesday thru Sunday from 8am to 7pm.
Horses ship in Monday and remain all week and there are 2700 Horses-Ponies competing.

Obviously the first example is one that most who post here are perfectly capable of handling on their own.
If this is what some think of when they think Hunter Show they might wonder why one needs a groom.

On the other hand if you show at the second example you'll be wondering how you could manage without one, or at least some really competent help. Especially if they can't be there every day the horse is.

I think posters bring their own experience into understanding the experiences of others. Sometimes it leads to a fresh idea and sometimes it leads to conflict as it has with some of these responses about using grooms.


A good reason to avoid generalities.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

AAJumper
Jul. 3, 2003, 11:37 AM
Findeight, you make an excellent point. I used to do my own grooming when I went to shows like you described in your first example. When I started going to the shows like you described in your second example, it was a whole different atmosphere, one that seems to almost necessitate the use of a groom.

findeight
Jul. 3, 2003, 11:54 AM
We've done a couple of the first type of show with no formal grooms and I do still enjoy getting my own ready.
Still do a good job too, white horse or not http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

DMK
Jul. 3, 2003, 12:20 PM
As a hunter ride, I have to say that the big shows don't present any greater challenge to self care status than small shows. The only exception is when the horse is there days I am not, then I pay for groom/day care. But I do haul my own horses, so I am not dependent on the trainer/shipper's schedule, and I have a scooter, which really makes that whole ring/barn thing a breeze. I honestly like my pre-show prep thing and I actually think it is a little more laid back at a bigger show (if for no other reason than I have less classes on any given day).

Still, I know self care for jumpers can be a nightmare. You know if you are doing self care and there is an assigned order of go, it goes without saying that a) you will be in the top 3 order of go; b) your barn will be two miles away and you will not have time to do the course walk, get your horse and warm up; c) your friend who promised to hold your horse during the course walk if this happened (again) is stuck in HER hunter ring that is running behind because the jumper ring took priority all day, leaving you to d) thrust the reins of your horse into a total stranger's hands as you dash in to do a course sprint, praying that you didn't just throw the reins at a person who has never held a horse before... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Nah. That's never happened... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Call your village. Their idiot is missing...

Ridin' Fool
Jul. 3, 2003, 12:40 PM
I went back a few pages to read more and couldn't agree more with LaurieP! Don't know how many times I've had to fix bad helmet hair, incorrect tack, get shavings out of tails, etc. I grew up in a very, very organized show barn where all of the kids were held (and still are) to a very high standard for presentation and care! If your horse/ tack was even dirty in a lesson, you heard about it, big time!

I'm a control freak about my own horse's presentation and care and don't know that I could give that control over to a groom. Guess I think no one can do it as well as I can! (Although I don't mind paying a groom to clean my stalls! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif)

Gravie
Jul. 4, 2003, 08:16 AM
I went with my barn to a week-long HJ show a few weeks ago, as a groom. No riding whatsoever, just a groom/trainer's personal assistant.

And I guess I could see why you ask this, but grooms are *really* helpful. As a shower yourself, I'm sure you realize how unbelievably TIRING it gets, physically and emotionally, it's HARD work, showing. Especially if you're riding three, four horses a day in how many hunter &/or jumper classes. That means courses to memorize, position to work on, schooling to be done, EVERYTHING.

It just gets very, very draining, as a rider.

And so, that's what grooms are there for: to help pick up the slack. They do whatever they can to help, make things easier/faster for the shower.

I groomed, tacked up, untacked, caulked/de-caulk (studs), cleaned tack, held the horses at the back gate, took them back when done, was in charge of the hunter groom box (last minute grooms), fed, cleaned water buckets, cleaned, organized the little "barn station" area, ran errands for my trainer, helped the riders get ready, wrapped, helped braid/hold, tons of stuff. Thankfully, we didn't have too many people going, so I was able to watch some classes.

But they can be very helpful, for the trainer AND rider. Especially at the larger, longer multi-day shows.

I'm surprised people don't use them in dressage, really.

__________
"What do you mean, I'm not brave in bed?" said Harry, completely nonplussed.

{harry potter & the order of the phoenix jk rowling}

CanadianPonyMom
Jul. 4, 2003, 11:57 AM
Our show team isn't very big and right now are on an upward movement with some young kids and youth... None of us have the big fancy ponies or are on the A's but the kids are doing very well in every event from pony club to dressage to hunter... they do it all.

The best thing we have going is our team spirit. Our grooms are a part of that. The children who are wanting to try beginner showing or move up a level in any showing dicipline, is required to groom for at least one show at that level.

At times, ten year old daughter has had two grooms with her at a show. Very nice kids learning the ropes... maybe scared to show themselves... enjoying the show environment... getting up the nerve... learning what to do... cheking out the footing... stategizing... trying to place the entrants the way they think the judge would... learning to wrap and rush... do hair... all with a laugh and smile.

This has required the children to become very close to one another... not competitive. They know that girl A is going for the clear round-that's it.. forget the striding... and that little girl B is in her very first show.... and that girl C is trying for her pesonal best in the 3'3 jumpers... regardless that A is 15yrs, B is 17 and C is 11. We all watch and cheer for each other... we arrive and leave together... sometimes very long days... We are the barn that you are watching at the end of the show, laughing and taking our time... even long after the last class has been pinned... no particular rush to leave... parents, coach, kids and grooms... just to load before dark if possible....

Sure, there are definate rules that we treat our grooms well, pay them for extras (mostly extras a favours that we would all do for one another at some point) and if you are a groom... work... don't wait to be asked... be attentive...

I have never seen any lazy kids or spoiled brats in our barn... we work them all hard.

2487lyf
Jul. 4, 2003, 02:28 PM
bnt need grooms b/c many pros will ride multiple horses in one divisison and it is not possible to have them all ready to go at once. my mom is the closest to a groom i have ever had and will have until i am good enough to need a groom to help get all my horses ready! ahhh wishful thinking...

~*~Nattie~*~
http://community.webshots.com/user/nattie2006
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Founder of the Maryland Clique!

Jess
Jul. 4, 2003, 04:09 PM
I have (and haven't) had grooms and it really makes a difference if you have them. However thats not my point because you can do without if you have one horse and all the time in the world..

But never doing one day shows and then riding for osmeone doing those is SO stressful. Even with a groom good lord they are so quick paced go go go go.. I really don't enjoy that, and couldn't imagine that without someone to help you.

I can see it both ways at the bigger shows.
However I dont have ample time, and the grooms keep me almost stress free. (I dont mind grooming at all I will do it for friends that don't have grooms if I am not busy)

~Jess~
www.catchride.com (http://www.catchride.com)

jr
Jul. 4, 2003, 04:19 PM
I show two jumpers. I don't have a groom. However, I could not do it all myself, and rely on friends to help. I can bathe, groom, clean tack etc. etc. when I have to, but it does make for some long days. When I have two going in the same division, I do need help tacking, holding etc. etc.

It is not a crime to use grooms (or friends). I can do most of it myself. It really is much more fun and relaxing with help. I work full time and if extra help makes the experience more fun, then bring on the grooms!!!

horseygurl182
Jul. 4, 2003, 04:59 PM
I used to have a groom that my trainer brought along to big "A" shows and the really cold winter shows so we could stay in the heated viewing room while our horse got tacked up. I don't like a groom only because I've been doing the whole show scene by myself for so long. Most of the time there are other barn kids that come along to help and/or show and they always pitch in and lend a hand or two. Our old groom used to get mad at me because I groomed and tacked my own horse http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif He would tell me it was his job and then the rest of the day he would watch me like a hawk and make sure he got to do everything. I braid for myself (and others) tack up for myself, groom, lunge, and do my own entries. Sometimes my trainer will lunge for me if I'm busy and she doesn't have anything to do. Also once or twice in the winter she would go and get my horse and get him ready so i could hang in the heated viewing area and then watch for her. (I was sooooo greatful when she did that, considering what a horrible winter we had) But all in all I don't really like grooms, they're a luxury that I could stand once in awhile, but not every show!

*Worthwhile*
*Believe In Me*
*Bolero*
*Look No Further*

HunterRider
Jul. 5, 2003, 11:14 AM
it makes me mad to see owners throw the reins at a groom and walk off never giving the horse a pat or a second thought!GGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRR! i think that part of riding is taking care of ur horse and bonding with him/her.i even get mad when ppl try to help me insisting that i need a brake and that my horse will be just fine with them. then i come back to see my horse hot and sweaty in his stall drinking cold water. at my barn its not really grooms more moms that do most of the work.dont get me wrong it is nice to have an extra set of hands around to help out but not to do all of the work for u.my trainer will feed but even then i get there even before she does to be ready to go and on time. then after i am finished riding i help out the little kids by tlking to them and doing small favors but never doing the work for them. the way i see it the work is all part of showing and even though some ppl avoid it it shows up on how well they know there horse

CAJumper
Jul. 5, 2003, 01:13 PM
I hire grooms at big shows for several reasons:

1. I am a nervous wreck and my horse doesn't need to feed off of my anxiety. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif He deserves to have someone calm and relaxed who can take care of his every need.

2. I work full time, and when I'm at shows I work from my "mobile office". So, putting in 8+ hours a day at my laptop makes taking care of a horse nearly impossible.

3. I need to focus on my riding - I need to spend time learning courses, watching the competition, studying the judges, etc. Hard to do that if I am back at the barn a mile away grooming, bathing, longing, feeding, sweeping...etc.

Even though you might see a competitor hand her horse over to a groom as soon as the class is over, it doesn't mean that horse and rider don't spend time together behind the scenes. My horse always goes with his groom to cool out, while I go grab a gatorade or something and watch the rest of my classes. But I always spend lots of time fussing over him later on that day. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I pretty much feel that if you like having a groom around to help and you can afford it - go for it. If not, then don't. Of course, I am also an idealist and strongly believe that everyone should know how to groom for themselves - at the very least so you can evaluate the quality of care your horse is getting

SilentReflection
Jul. 5, 2003, 07:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cwo:
Silent Reflection - not all riders who use are lazy!! Yes, there are MANY h/j BRATS, but the majority are not lazy and in any case you should not HATE anyone for such a reason. Take a deep breath. It's not that important!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ha true. Sorry to anyone who was offended by what I said. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I am (obviously) pretty sensitive? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif [if u may] about this subject. I know that trainers have grooms and it is not because they are lazy but simply because they have so many horses to ride and do not have time to tack/untack and cool each and every horse. I was meerly (sp) referring to people I know who depend on their grooms and parents for every living thing. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif So my apologies again I should have gone into more detail @ the time to explain WHO exactly I was referring to http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

P.S. I absolutely loff these smiley faces!

"If you have a good gelding you have a good horse. If you have a good stallion you have a good horse. But, if you have a good mare, you have a great horse."

Little Indian
Jul. 5, 2003, 08:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dressager:
I see why trainers would need grooms- but not why students (minus folks who have a family), especially teens or young adults, would need one. Your horse, your responsibility.

(and I see why times wouldn't work for the jump off... but maybe setting aside one ring for all jumper classes would be essential in these cases)

http://www.geocities.com/lubenkafarm
_You can't dance and stay uptight_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



when classes start at sometimes 8 in the morning, you are not sure when classes go. (sometimes they will go sooner than the announcer has told you or later). it is NICE to get off and have your horse taken care of so you don't fall over from the heat, especially when you're here in california. I know i get so hot i don't even want to eat, and this is with a groom. i have done the no groom thing and let me tell you the difference is incredible, with me and my horses. my pony has calmed down a ton from not being fussed over and it shows in his results.

lauriep
Jul. 6, 2003, 06:10 AM
Ya know, people here are being very judgemental about how others experience horses. Just because you consider your horse another pet on the same level as your dog or cat, doesn't mean that is right for someone else. Nor does it mean that that someone else appreciates their "horse" time any less than you do. If showing and competing means to one person coming out to ride a few times a week and then meeting trainer and support team (groom) at the show, who says that that isn't OK? I have to say that in all my years of being a professional groom, I saw VERY few people "throw the reins at the groom" and just leave, and it NEVER happened to me. But the rider DID dismount and go speak with the trainer immediately, leaving me to care for the horse, MY JOB, while they finished THEIR job by getting their round critiqued.

Don't be so quick to judge someone's love for their horse, involvement and commitment by what you see at the ring. I think you need to look a little deeper and understand that not everyone considers horses pets, and that isn't necessarily wrong.

Laurie

Gucci Cowgirl
Jul. 6, 2003, 06:15 PM
I think grooms are important to people who show. Mental support is great, as is another pair of eyes on the ground. I'm a groom for a couple dressage trainers, and honestly, it's a great job.

Almost every FEI dressage rider/trainer I know has a gromm or 2 for their horses. Not just at shows, at home every day as well.

Just because dressage shows are run by ride times doesnt mean there is no need for a groom. Who would call tests? Tack up? (tacking and grooming in your whites is not the greatest idea)Pull boots right before entering the arena? Give the rider their tophat and tails? cool off the horse and bathe it after the ride while the rider watches the rest of the class or hops on another horse? Braid? un-braid? it goes on and on. It is possible of course to show without a trainer, but why do it? If you have a good groom and they are used to their regular charges, they are a godsend!!!

http://www.geocities.com/pnw_dq/

"I'll allow the baby-eating silliness, but y'all can't just ramble on about everything under the sun out here." - Erin

Janet
Jul. 7, 2003, 06:52 AM
DMK, I am a little confused by your response.

I can assure you that when David O'Connor warms up it is NOT "confidence building" for the rider. He is fine tuning an athelete for the best performance. And he warms up by the same rules- no coolers on the fence, no placing poles, eveyone jumping the same direction, no more that 3" (or is it 4"- have to check) higher thatn the class specs.

And I don't see even the advanced riders changing the warmup fences anything like as much as I see the jumpers. The X stays an X, the vertical stays a vertical, and the oxer stays an oxer. They may be raised or lowered a hole or two, but no more than that.

I don't understand why you think a "rail at the first fence" is a bigger deal for a jumper than an eventer. A rail in stadium can often mean the difference between "first" and "out of the ribbons".

With an eventer, you have to wait until next weekend, at the earleist, for another chance, but with a jumper you probably have another class today or tomorrow.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DMK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cwo:
I know that sounds harsh, but its reality. The event riders rarely have their trainer babysit them during warm-up. Hunter/jumpers should watch an eventer warmup sometime. There are 3 jumps usually, an X, a vertical and an oxer at that level's particular height. Forget the cooler over the rail, etc. Just get out there and jump the jumps. The warm-up should be just that, warm-up, not a time to learn how to jump scary jumps. Ok, off that soapbox. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have a ton of respect for eventers, but this shows a poor understanding about the mechanics behind a warm up for a hunter or jumper class. Sure there are some non-pro warm ups that involve confidence building for the rider. Usually a great deal of that is related to performance anxiety as opposed to fear of the jump itself, but either way that is secondary to the real purpose behind a warm up.

Go watch the top pros getting a horse ready to show in either a hunter or jumper class. Now you don't really think the reason that cooler was tossed over that fence was because last year's WCHR is _scared_ of the fence do you? And this year's AGA rider? After they jumped that max spread square oxer, you don't think they jumped the super skinny oxer because they got intimidated by the width do you? In truth, warm up routines can be far longer (and way more complicated!) for pro rides than non-pros. This is because the warm up is designed to bring the horse to the point he performs his absolute best for the next two minutes. Decisions like using a cooler are usually executed with the horse in mind, NOT the rider.

Now I can understand not having an extended warm up for an event horse. You are out there for a long time and at much higher speeds (especially as compared to a h/j situation) and the course seems (to me, anyway) to invite a little warm up before the tough questions are asked. You wouldn't want to leave your horse's best jump in the warm up ring.

But in an h/j situation things are a little different. The tough questions are asked right off the bat, and while it is still possible to leave your best jump in the warm up ring, you don't get a second chance once you are in the ring. Your horse isn't sharp enough and rubs that first rail? Oh well, it's all over, and you can jump the rest of the course for practice or the dubious honor of being the "fastest 4 faulter"! An event horse is a little careless over the first jump? That's probably a good wake up call for the rest of the course (assuming he isn't so careless you both go ass over teakettle http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ).

_Call your village. Their idiot is missing..._ <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

DMK
Jul. 7, 2003, 07:11 AM
Janet, I have utmost faith in the fact that David O'Connor is not out there trying to put his courage to the sticking place when he warms up his horse. I was unsettled at the implication that h/j riders require their trainers for a warm up so they have the courage to get in there, or that coolers are confidence builders.

And yes, I pretty much have a grasp on the penalty concept in the stadium jumping phase of eventing. I assume the average good event rider warms up for that phase similarly to a good jumper rider. If not, I would be interested in knowing why not. But I can see where the warm up for the cross country portion is not the same, and I can see how having a ground person is not nearly as critical. It's a long course and it doesn't kick you in the teeth first fence out, or even the 2nd one (or if it does, chances are you are sadly out of your league). How you prepare your horse for several miles of grueling cross country with solid obstacles should be different from how you prepare a horse for 8 fences in search of perfection which should be different from the way you prepare for 12 fences of adjustability, scope and carefullness.

If a person doesn't understand the difference, that's fine. But it isn't because one rider is scared and the other is not, and it isn't because event people don't know how to warm up their horses, and it isn't because h/j riders are utterly incapable of negotiating 8 or 12 fences without a ground person. It's about doing the job right.

Call your village. Their idiot is missing...

Janet
Jul. 7, 2003, 07:33 AM
OK, Then I was misreading you.

You SEEMED to be saying that "eventers don't need a groundsperson in warmup because it doesn't matter if they knock down the first fence".

It wasn't clear that you were referring only to cross country. In my experience, the cross country warmup is more a question of making sure the adjustability is there- jump out of a long stride, jump out of a short stride, etc.

But the stadium warmup is, or should be, the same as a jumper warmup.

However, I have never seen a rule change proposal to eliminate the "no coolers on the jump" and "no placing rails" rules. Which either means "eventers know how to get the job done without those tools" or "eventers are so naive they don't realize they NEED those tools". Somehow, I expect the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

DMK
Jul. 7, 2003, 07:48 AM
Well let's face it, that cooler in the jumper ring is generally on the ground and useful for a horse that might be a bit looky at a liverpool. I'm working with the idea that the average event horse works past his issues with water loooong before the stadium phase. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Call your village. Their idiot is missing...

ThoroughbredEventer
Jul. 7, 2003, 02:09 PM
We have grooms at our barn even when we are not showing. It just makes things easier for everyone, at shows especially. Yes, I usually tack up my horse myself before lessons and such, but I like knowing that if I am running late or not feeling well enough, then my horse will be ready for me.