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jenm
Apr. 20, 2010, 03:19 PM
I will start with a disclaimer that I have only done two one day HTs so far but hope to make my official eventing debut this summer, hence my question.

The thread about the ring steward who pushed back ride times so a rider could warm up with her trainer got me thinking about an opposite situation that happened to me.

Two times in my last HT, while I was warming up, I was asked to ride earlier than my assigned time. My horse needs a lot of warm up so I was counting on the time I thought I had. Granted, this was a schooling show, but since I have not yet done a recognized event, I want to make sure I understand the warm up protocol.

If the ring steward asks me to ride before my assigned time do I have to go, or can I wait for my official ride time?

TIA!

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 20, 2010, 03:34 PM
you can wait. If they ask you to move up, just politely let them know that your ride time was x and you are not fully warmed up yet but will get there as soon as you can.

It is advisable to check if the ring is running on time or not before beginning your warm up. Don't always assume things will go right on time.....or you may warm up too much (or would have warmed up faster and enough if you had known they were early).

First thing I do when I walk into any warm up ring...dressage or jumping...is ask if my ring is on time so I can judge my timing for warm up. Some times in jumping, if there are a lot of multiple rides, the stewards my scratch the jump times and take people as they are ready. So I find that out as well. I know that I typically need about 5-10 rounds (horses in front of me) to warm up (flatting and jumping included--fewer rounds needed if I just did dressage). Most of my horses I jump one or two fences early on to see how they feel...and to give me an idea of how many jumps I will need in the warm up. I'm usually done jumping 2-3 rounds before I go and I some times take a last fence 1-2 rounds before I go in. It does vary slightly depending on the horse.

yellowbritches
Apr. 20, 2010, 03:41 PM
Nope. You don't have to go. Be polite, but let them know that your time is X and you plan on riding at X.

However, you can go if you're ready! Actually, this weekend, the boss showed up on his first horse in dressage and was told that the ring was running early and he could go pretty much whenever he wanted. The particular horse he was sitting on needs VERY little warm up, so, as an experiment, instead of spending even a minute or two in warm up, he went right in. Cantered once around the ring each way as he waited for the whistle, then went in a rode one hell of a test. :D People actually stopped to watch. Apparently, that particular horse's warm up is NO warm up! :lol:

yellow rose eventing
Apr. 20, 2010, 06:21 PM
you know a lot of people actually do that, a lot of advanced I know horses go into dressage with no warm up, called cold starting. Sometimes it really, really helps them

I'm going to try it at MCTA advanced with the red headed #@*&^%#..... could be super, could be a disaster.

RiverBendPol
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:02 PM
If you do chose to make the judge wait till your appointed ride time, you better be prepared to ride one he!! of a good test. Especially if the judge is hungry, tired or needs to pee. Also, don't let those thoughts rattle your focus!! Unless I am in real trouble, I'll always go early if they ask me to, just so I don't freak myself out about making the judge wait!!:eek:

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:04 PM
If you do chose to make the judge wait till your appointed ride time, you better be prepared to ride one he!! of a good test. Especially if the judge is hungry, tired or needs to pee. Also, don't let those thoughts rattle your focus!! Unless I am in real trouble, I'll always go early if they ask me to, just so I don't freak myself out about making the judge wait!!:eek:


LOL....I always go early just to get it over with!

yellowbritches
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:12 PM
you know a lot of people actually do that, a lot of advanced I know horses go into dressage with no warm up, called cold starting. Sometimes it really, really helps them

I'm going to try it at MCTA advanced with the red headed #@*&^%#..... could be super, could be a disaster.
Yeah, he used to do it with his red headed #@*&^%#, too, when that one was competing at the upper levels. One of the many warm ups tried on THAT one (along with lungeing, riding 3 times for an hour each before their time, etc, etc, etc)...this the same horse who is packing a 15 yr. old around BN and totes her 12 yr. old, pony riding sister around like an old school horse. :lol: Those red heads are so much nicer when they are fat and out of shape (and being plied with cookies by doting teenagers!).

Dr. Doolittle
Apr. 20, 2010, 09:09 PM
you know a lot of people actually do that, a lot of advanced I know horses go into dressage with no warm up, called cold starting. Sometimes it really, really helps them

I'm going to try it at MCTA advanced with the red headed #@*&^%#..... could be super, could be a disaster.

You must PROMISE that you will let us all know how that works for ya :D

retreadeventer
Apr. 20, 2010, 10:10 PM
I have an older horse who suffers from tenseness. I use all the warmup I can get. However I have also sat in that hot, dusty booth (or cold, chilly wet booth) so I always try to accomodate an earlier time than posted if I feel I am ready. 4 or 5 minutes early is not usually a problem, but 20 minutes is too much to ask (that did happen to me once and it was a horrible test, I learned my lesson, to be polite and stick up for myself, but I knew that particular judge would NOT forgive too much if I made her wait 20 minutes for me. I was the last one in the division before lunch, too. So there would have been steam coming out of her ears by the time I trotted down center line on my regular assigned time.) It wasn't the Olympics, so I made do with a 6-7 minute warmup. I hadn't even cantered yet!

I actually gained two points later on when I double checked my score and found they had made an error, so it wasn't that bad.

Festivity
Apr. 20, 2010, 10:19 PM
Speaking as a ring steward, I try to let riders know where the ring is at with regard to the schedule as they come to check in. I will definitely let you know if we are early and that that does not mean that you have to ride early, but you can if you would like. My rings miraculously so far have always been on time or a few minutes early. The most was 15 minutes early. I have no problem with riders wanting to use their whole warmup time and I won't bug or push them into riding early. But it is nice if you stay polite and just tell me that you will not be ready before your posted time. I have had some riders get quite defensive and think that they will be pushed into the ring early when they are told that we are ahead of schedule.
With both of my boys I would rather ride a bit early than wait longer and let my nerves get worked up more. As long as my basic warm up is done, I don't usually see what 5 extra minutes are really going to do for me. That and I want to get it over and done with, especially for dressage.

SevenDogs
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:13 PM
Festivity -- once again, a ring steward worth your weight in gold!

For the most part, I tend to go early, if available, but not necessarily the earliest time. For example, if the ring steward lets me know that they are 15 minutes ahead, I might go right then, I might go 5-10 minutes ahead of my assigned ride time, or not go early at all.

I am always polite and do my best to help out when I can, but I have never felt pushed or penalized by the judge if I didn't go early. That being said, I never play diva either -- if I can be ready to go early, I do so and I communicate clearly and politely with the ring steward so that they know what I am doing.

FWIW, one of my best test ever was very early on in my riding career and I only had enough time to walk and trot for a few minutes (not canter at all!) -- I earned the best score of the entire show, probably because I didn't have time to get my horse all worked up! :lol:

Showing (particularly in the warm-up arena) is a place where you really need to develop a good mix of courtesy and assertiveness. Be aware and have respect for the officials, volunteers and other competitors. Help out when you can do so, but treat yourself with respect as well -- you deserve a good warm-up just like everyone else. Most people who achieve that mix end up having good results.

Wonderment
Apr. 21, 2010, 12:03 AM
I always leave 20-25 minutes for warmup, and find that I only need 10. If I can go early, I usually will. Regarding the going early bit- You can always go early, but if you miss your ridetime, especially for dressage, you won't always have lenience and a chance to actually go. But no, you do not HAVE to go early.

Festivity
Apr. 21, 2010, 12:42 PM
Festivity -- once again, a ring steward worth your weight in gold!



Thanks SevenDogs! I always have quite a bit of fun being a ring steward. I think my favorite is being in charge of the cross country warm up and sending riders over to the start. That way I get to wish everyone a good ride and see them right before they start. One of the advantages of the longer events held over 3 days here in California is that it actually gives me a chance to volunteer and ride at the same event. Which for me is probably the most productive use of nervous show energy. For some odd reason it helps a whole lot with the butterflies. Eventers are the best to volunteer for! Most of them are super polite, willing to work with you, and out having fun. I have volunteered for other disciplines and have never had nearly as good of a time as I do at events.

I definitely know that too much time in the warmup is a bad thing for me, I get wound up way too tight. Same with my horse and I am not even riding a red head. :)

jenm
Apr. 21, 2010, 01:35 PM
Thank you all for your responses. I feel much better now! :)



I always have quite a bit of fun being a ring steward. I think my favorite is being in charge of the cross country warm up and sending riders over to the start. That way I get to wish everyone a good ride and see them right before they start. :)

Festivity, I sure hope you are our ring steward for one of the events at Woodside this year! :winkgrin:

Catalina
Apr. 21, 2010, 01:46 PM
And another thing about dressage ride times- don't be late, even by a couple of minutes (I found this out the hard way at my very first event ever and got the big E- what a way to be introduced to eventing :lol:).

OverandOnward
Apr. 21, 2010, 02:09 PM
Speaking as a ring steward, I try to let riders know where the ring is at with regard to the schedule as they come to check in. I will definitely let you know if we are early and that that does not mean that you have to ride early, but you can if you would like. .... I have no problem with riders wanting to use their whole warmup time and I won't bug or push them into riding early. ....Yes all this, when I am ring steward. I tell people they have the option to ride early, but they don't have to. I realize the rider may be a bundle of nerves. I try to give the info clearly once and then leave them alone. For many riders the best info they can get is "you can go anytime you wish until your ride time," if there is a scratch in front of them. The worst is no updates for next to go, 2nd to go, 3rd to go. When riders are deeply focused on warm-up some of them loose track of time. I think this is something a steward can do for them without trouble.

I believe the option to ride early should be communicated as such, without any assumption that the rider will. The days and weeks of preparation, the hundreds of dollars in cost in to be there are not worth undermining so someone can get their lunch a few minutes early. :)

I've found riders appreciate as much advance notice as they can get of the opportunity to ride early. Having waiting for my own dressage starting time, I know there is that magic moment when your realize if you could start right now your horse is the most ready he could ever be. :) But you still have 5 minutes till ride time, and you feel him start to loose a little focus.

But if you need more time, don't ride early. Given everything riders do and pay to be there, don't ruin the weekend score when you don't have to. I'm sure the judge would rather watch a lovely test than a test that obviously needed more warm-up.

And as I mentioned elsewhere ... my perspective as an eventing ring steward is that there is only one final score for the weekend. Whatever happens in the dressage ring is what the rider lives with for the entire competition. I do believe that riders need every chance to manage their own ride to do their best. Some of the best help a ring steward can offer is timely information, on rider options and on delays.

Robin@DHH
Apr. 21, 2010, 09:02 PM
While a rider does not have to ride before their scheduled time, it is wise the check in with the ring stewart about
time. I expect most competitions begin as we do here by noting one particular clock is show time and asking all the people working the show to set their timepieces to the same time. A rider would be well advised to make sure that their own timepiece also is synchornized to that clock or they may find the five minutes they thought they had is not actually there.

Ajierene
Apr. 21, 2010, 09:14 PM
And another thing about dressage ride times- don't be late, even by a couple of minutes (I found this out the hard way at my very first event ever and got the big E- what a way to be introduced to eventing :lol:).

I remember my first recognized show. Venue about two hours away that I had never been to before...stuck in traffic, almost lost...got there late. Signed in, threw tack on pony, go running (trotting) to dressage JUST in time. I mean, if my ride time was at 1115, I was trotting to the dressage ring at 1114. I was ready to go straight into the ring. There was one girl in the warm up, she was ready to go. The ring steward insisted that I warm up and the other girl go.

I do a quick warm up and head to dressage. As I am trotting around first, the judge (in a terse tone) asked me why I was out of order. I don't quite remember my answer but it was akin to 'I was late and was going to come straight in, but the ring steward told me to warm up first!' I was lucky to not be eliminated and the ring steward was very nice, but for my first recognized, it was all a bit scary!

Lisa Cook
Apr. 21, 2010, 09:37 PM
Not an event, but at a recognized dressage show at GMHA...I was getting dressed & my stock pin broke. Fortunately, I was in the barn closest to the tack shop next to GMHA, and I ran over in panic, after wasting a few minutes in vain trying to fix it and finding no neighbors around to borrow one from.

I remember standing at the tack shop counter and the nice lady was slowly pulling out the variety of stock pins: "and then we have this version....". I so distinctly remember looking at my watch and noting my ride time was in 18 minutes. I told the woman that I had to be riding my test in 18 minutes and just picked one and almost died when she slowly, with no sense of urgency whatsover, processed my payment.

I had no groom, no trainer, not even a friend along who could tack up the horse while I was off buying my stock pin. Ran back to the barn, THREW the stuff on my horse, trotted over to the ring where they had been paging me for minutes, and without even a 20 meter circle, trotted right down centerline.

Whew! It doesn't get any closer than that!

scubed
Apr. 22, 2010, 09:43 AM
As ring steward, I let riders know when they come in if we are early or late, how many horses before them and which horse they will follow. I also ask those with multiple rides, etc if they need more time than scheduled. In the case described by Retread, I would probably have asked the judge if it would work for her to take a break for 15 minutes and then judge one more horse before lunch. I do often communicate with the judges (for example, last week advanced tests were scheduled a little close together so we were running about 10 minutes late and judge agreed she would rather forego her 12 minute break and just push through until lunch, so Intemediate riders all went on time).

I will also make an announcement to the warm-up that we are early, so if you would like to go early versus on your time let me know. And finally if we are say 10 or 15 minutes ahead and a rider says they want to go on their time and a couple more say they want to go early, I will ask the rider who wants to go on their time if it is ok if I put the 2 in front, which might then make them 2 minutes late. It is all a balancing act between flexibility and mass chaos, but I have to say that no one has ever been less than polite to me, though a few have been pretty brazen in their requests.

KateWooten
Apr. 22, 2010, 10:33 AM
As I am trotting around first, the judge (in a terse tone) asked me why I was out of order.

Is that normal ? The judge asked a friend of mine why she was late (she wasn't, the show was running 20 minutes early) and I can understand that ... but to ask why you are going out of order, sounds a bit off to me. Surely, that's the ultimate responsibility of the ring steward, no ? I think if the judge asks me that, I will have to shrug, look daft, and say 'just doing what I'm told, Ma'am'

lizajane09
Apr. 22, 2010, 12:42 PM
Is that normal ? The judge asked a friend of mine why she was late (she wasn't, the show was running 20 minutes early) and I can understand that ... but to ask why you are going out of order, sounds a bit off to me. Surely, that's the ultimate responsibility of the ring steward, no ? I think if the judge asks me that, I will have to shrug, look daft, and say 'just doing what I'm told, Ma'am'

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that all judges think that it is the ring steward who has the ultimate responsibility there - I was at a horse trials once and was the first rider of the day, presented myself to the steward a while before my ride time, went off to warm up, came back a minute or two before my ride time, and asked if I should go in. The steward said no, that the judge wasn't ready for me, and that she would tell me when I could go in. I stood right next to her for the next 5 minutes until she told me it was okay to go in (at this point, a few minutes past my actual ride time). I went past the judge and said good morning, and she looked at me and said, "You're late. I shouldn't even let you ride." I explained what had happened, and she told me that it was my responsibility, not the steward's, to decide when to come in, and that I should have "ridden over top of [the steward]" when she told me not to enter yet. She did ultimately let me ride, but I can't imagine it helped her overall impression of me. I think it's pretty dependent on the individual judge and how flexible they are...

Catalina
Apr. 22, 2010, 01:36 PM
I had an opposite, but similar thing happen. The steward told me to go on in, that they were running a little early. So in I go, just in time to see the judge get out of her car. Okay, so it's a potty break or something. Cool. The steward says nothing, so I continue to circle around the arena with Mr Horsey getting more and more :mad: by the moment. The judge came back soon after and asked me what I was doing :uhoh:. Ummm, I was told to come on it. I then got lectured on the unfair advantage I might get from being able to circle around more then the other riders (Yeah, okay, like my horse was getting pissed- some advantage :lol:) and told to leave. Tail tucked, I did. I had to wait another 15 minutes before I was told to go back in, upon which my horse put in a great dressage test- one of our best yet- that just happened to get our worst score ever (a 41). Guess the judge was scoring against our 'unfair advantage' or something :lol:.

Festivity
Apr. 22, 2010, 08:10 PM
Jen - I will definitely be ringsteward and jump judge at the Woodside events this year, how much depends on if I am riding in any of them. Are you going to compete in any of them?

I haven't really ever had riders get rude, just defensive. Doesn't bug me a whole lot, I grew up in the house full of brothers. :) It is kind of funny to watch the defensive rider's expressions change as they realize I am not there to make their lives more difficult or to fight with them. Most of the riders are wonderful and no problem, the coaches sometimes can be a pain. Though if they are, I sic the volunteer coordinator on them and she fixes it fast. :) I have enough fun helping out where ever I am needed that I will continue to do so as long as my schedule allows and I highly recommend other people give it a chance. It is a great way to spend time at an event, even if you can't ride.

OverandOnward
Apr. 22, 2010, 08:33 PM
"Ride over" a ring steward? The path to chaos. Not a very well-considered statement, regardless of who made it.

So far judges I have stewarded for don't want a radio or communication, they don't want the distraction. If some questions aren't sorted out ahead of time it is very easy for misunderstandings on who has the say for time to enter the ring. I would image that the ring steward that made the rider late was waiting for a signal that never came, that the judge did not know was expected.

From my ring steward experience, which is not as extensive as some ...
It is my belief that the ring steward and the judge should have a short conversation before the ring steward begins his/her duties (including a mid-show change of ring steward.)

These things should be decided, it's the judge's call:
- If there is a scratch, does the ring steward have the option to allow the next rider to ride earlier if they wish? Or do we stick to the published ride times? (Have heard both preferences from different judges.)
- If the answer above is yes, who decides when the next rider is ok to enter the ring area? The steward, or wait for a signal from the judge? If the judge, what is the signal?
- Does the judge want notification of the scratch, or will the judge and/or scribe take on responsibility for checking each rider number without notification? (If I have a list of scratches ahead of time I'll communicate those #'s during this conversation.)

And: "Judge, if the next rider does not go to the ring on time, or hasn't shown up, would you most kindly bell them in at the proper time regardless? This is the only way to help me enforce timely responses on the part of the riders to the call to enter the ring, if they know the judge won't wait on them. And it helps us to officially DQ the no-shows and move on to the next rider. Thank you!"

So far judges have been happy to work with all of this. They aren't keen to sit looking at the arena footing and the flowers, waiting on a rider who isn't coming.

It's nice if stewards are experienced, and well-briefed, but they can be first-time volunteers with little experience of ride times and eventing and very little briefing. I've seen wonderful stewards of various levels of experience using common sense and empathy for the judge(s) and the competitors. I've been to big recognized events where stewards seemed to have very little idea what was going on. All they knew was to say "Number 34, it's your turn," and stay out of the way of the horses. I've seen people who had petted a horse for the first time that day doing bit checks - sort of. But it sounds like the FEI rule change may change the use of inexperienced stewards to some degree.

OverandOnward
Apr. 22, 2010, 08:41 PM
... the coaches sometimes can be a pain. ...The funniest are those who hang over the steward's shoulder, looking at the steward's list, anxiously trying to do the steward's job for them. Since the steward is going to screw up and cost their rider the winning score. :lol: "What's that symbol mean? No it doesn't, you used it to mean X over here!" :eek: They can usually be calmed down, though, and re-purposed back to coaching their rider. :D

jenm
Apr. 23, 2010, 03:14 AM
Jen - I will definitely be ringsteward and jump judge at the Woodside events this year, how much depends on if I am riding in any of them. Are you going to compete in any of them?

I haven't really ever had riders get rude, just defensive. Doesn't bug me a whole lot, I grew up in the house full of brothers. :) It is kind of funny to watch the defensive rider's expressions change as they realize I am not there to make their lives more difficult or to fight with them. Most of the riders are wonderful and no problem, the coaches sometimes can be a pain. Though if they are, I sic the volunteer coordinator on them and she fixes it fast. :) I have enough fun helping out where ever I am needed that I will continue to do so as long as my schedule allows and I highly recommend other people give it a chance. It is a great way to spend time at an event, even if you can't ride.

At this point in our training, I am shooting for Woodside in August, with October being our back up date. I think it may be a good idea for me to volunteer there first and then I can really learn things from the inside out.

I've learned quite a bit from everyone thus far, and appreciate it.

However, I think I will be happy being a jump judge on the x-country course so I don't have to worry about ride times/coaches/judges...haha! :lol:

Festivity, let me know if/when you will be showing at Woodside and I will come cheer you and Whirly on!

piaffeprincess98
Apr. 23, 2010, 08:51 AM
I can't believe some of you guys only need 10 minutes of warmup! I wish I could do that. I'm still figuring out my OTTB. I am constantly battling with tension. The last schooling show I did, 45 mins. was too much. He started out well, but progressively got more tense and bothered by other horses in the ring.

This weekend, I'm going to try 25-30 mins. to see if I can get him going well and go do the test before he gets tense.

inquisitive
Apr. 23, 2010, 08:57 AM
I had an opposite, but similar thing happen. The steward told me to go on in, that they were running a little early. So in I go, just in time to see the judge get out of her car. Okay, so it's a potty break or something. Cool. The steward says nothing, so I continue to circle around the arena with Mr Horsey getting more and more :mad: by the moment. The judge came back soon after and asked me what I was doing :uhoh:. Ummm, I was told to come on it. I then got lectured on the unfair advantage I might get from being able to circle around more then the other riders (Yeah, okay, like my horse was getting pissed- some advantage :lol:) and told to leave. Tail tucked, I did. I had to wait another 15 minutes before I was told to go back in, upon which my horse put in a great dressage test- one of our best yet- that just happened to get our worst score ever (a 41). Guess the judge was scoring against our 'unfair advantage' or something :lol:.

:confused::rolleyes: