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snoopy
Jun. 20, 2010, 06:20 AM
Luhmuhlen only confirmed a long belief. We are really just now seeing the effects of the short format on our next generation. We still have riders at the top of the sport who successfuly competed the long format and who continue to be successful in the short format.

These riders are great at dressage and showjumping...their problems happen on XC. We see it time and time again.

These riders maybe missing a vital piece of the foundation...that is riding, adjusting, and thinking.... at speed. AS (an experienced rider) took speed out of the equation and Arthur was able to jump clean XC at 4* level, something which he has had well documented issues with these past 12 months. Perhaps some of this is her doing, but I do not think she should take all the heat either.

With the onset of the short format we have seen speeds increase across the levels. Riding at speed is not taught anymore, it is not part of the climb up the levels. We used to have phase B that taught us to ride at speed. One could argue that Phase B was not about ajustability because to be honest it was not...at least not from a riders perspective. The horse had to figure that one out for itself. I have long gone on record that I HATED PHASE B. More damage was done to horses on this phase then any other. I was glad to see the back of it.

But because we eleminated this from the sport doesn't mean
we should have eliminated the "concept" from our training programme.

I am not placing the blame solely on the loss of this phase but this "short format generation" is losing out on vital skills.

A fairly well known rider who never achieved the highest placings said that she was not yet confortable riding at speed. She rode her horse looking to COMPLETE not place...clean and with some time. Both she and this horse got better and better over time...at the expense of possible team appearances.

We now have a generation that is so intent on team selection that once a horse hits the three star level it is about the winning, the placing, the qualifying scores above solid training principles even at the highest of levels.

I am not singularly assigning blame on the short format, the riders, the course designers, the horses, the system, the culture, blah blah blah. What I would like to visit is a collection of all of these issues together that is the sport of eventing today.

Thoughts.....





Edited to add: Thanks to the sender of the PM. It has been pointed out to me that AS has indeed run numerous long formats so I stand very much corrected when using her as an example.

Eventer55
Jun. 20, 2010, 06:54 AM
Never mind

retreadeventer
Jun. 20, 2010, 07:23 AM
Snoops...oh, Snoops....

I think there are a couple of issues. The unintended consequences of the short format has increased speed on XC, and increased technical jumping efforts; led to some bad, bad statistics in its first several competition seasons as horses, riders, and course designers adjusted.

Jim Wofford told me at a clinic in Unionville, PA., about five years ago, that "we will be taking the horses who can jump, and just teach them the cross-country skills" and that endurance (galloping and judicious use of speed) as an element had been removed from the sport. He predicted this at that moment, I believe.

Then time went on, a safety summit occurred, light bulbs started popping over some heads and course design was the new whipping boy. Clever and unique course designs are now being encouraged, testing scope and rideability yet keep riders and horses from death or death-defying crashes, to various degrees of success.

Meanwhile, the training of the upper level horses and riders still flopped around beached on the shifting sands of US upper level events -- we have so few, it is so critical to qualify at them in order to go forward, forcing Americans to hurry up conditioning to make European events on a different seasonal cycle.

We continue to have a real lack of quality horses at the upper levels, (and in comparison to tiny Canada) a disorganized way of winnowing top pairs and funneling them into a good comprehensive program. The Phillip Dutton barn is about as close to a national program as we have, and that's nothing against him or his business, it's just bemoaning the lack of four or five or six OTHER barns just like his that could be funnelling upper level horses and riders into our team lists.

Lastly the coaching situation has left something to be desired as well, possibly leading to the lack of direction of the US team-bound horses and riders. Soundness seems to be a survival of the toughest by the time we get down to our biggest events -- so many of our best horses are lost in the final weeks prepping for an event by what seems to be stupid mistakes like utilizing old fashioned mandatory "gallops" or horse trial crap that always knocks out one or two good ones that could anchor the team.

What kind of riders are we making at the top levels? What do they know? And how can they stop ruining their good horses and leave some left on the list to represent our country at the world's biggest showcase of our sport? Why do we have a great and healthy intermediate and advanced set of horses, yet so few internationally qualified horses? What are we doing wrong?

Snoops, we NEED the answers to these questions and soon. The clock is ticking.

LisaB
Jun. 20, 2010, 08:19 AM
So, okay, we kinda rather hastily switched to a different format for x-c.
The first issue was that riders thought that they then needed a different kind of horse. A nicer moving wb type. They found that wasn't the case because the CCI's are still long and that take-off and come-back wore heavily on the heavier type of horse.
Then they misread the conditioning. They treated a CCI like a bit longer HT. That had some serious consequences. We now see that they are conditioning a bit more like the lf. But with more sprints rather that length of time.
Now, like you say snoopy, the riders themselves have a hole in their training. They don't know that speed can actually help. Maybe they'll wake up a bit and train for that speed now. Maybe the trainers of these riders will require them to do a * lf to get that feel. Or, they will force themselves to be exercise riders for chasers or racers. I certainly hope so. I found my little 1/2* to be so enlightening in that regard.

alicen
Jun. 20, 2010, 09:31 AM
Snoopy wrote: This next generation of riders have not competed the long format at the highest of levels and IMO it shows. These "kids" are great at dressage and showjumping...their problems happen on XC. We see it time and time again.

And can this be said for the "kids" from other countries competing at the **** level?

flutie1
Jun. 20, 2010, 09:45 AM
"I am not placing the blame solely on the loss of this phase but this "short format generation" is losing out on vital skills."

Yep!

vineyridge
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:03 AM
Snoopy, you have expressed something important that time is making evident.

But it isn't just short format only RIDERS, it's Short Format only horses. The equine part of the combination learns just as much from running over fences at speed (B/steeplechase) as the rider does. It seemed to teach something important that the horse could carry over into XC about confidence, speed, balance and trust.

Even riders who have had many long format runs on older horses probably haven't chased their short format horses at all. Short format is now six years old, you know.

riderboy
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:04 AM
I ride novice and have never been higher that novice, let me get that out front. In that context, it seems that what I have witnessed in the switch from long to short format and all the pros and cons, whys and hows , course design versus horse design was the creation of one thing: Doubt. People seem unsure more now than when I was watching the long format. Which speed XC, which horse XC, etc,etc. I think just creating that sort of questioning can undermine a riders confidence and I don't think thats good. Gone are all the tried and true training techniques, horses and strategies. It was a huge change and I think it'll take awhile to settle out. Just my 2 cents.

SparklePlenty
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:12 AM
This also goes back to the argument that people are buying WB's to win on their dressage score because they dont have to run steeplechase... all of which i wont rehash...

snoopy
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:19 AM
Snoopy, you have expressed something important that time is making evident.

But it isn't just short format only RIDERS, it's Short Format only horses. The equine part of the combination learns just as much from running over fences at speed (B/steeplechase) as the rider does. It seemed to teach something important that the horse could carry over into XC about confidence, speed, balance and trust.

Even riders who have had many long format runs on older horses probably haven't chased their short format horses at all. Short format is now six years old, you know.




This is exactly why I signed back in...you said exactly what I was about to add to this thread and what I did not express properly in my OP. Thanks!

tuppysmom
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:20 AM
So much importance is now being placed on having a good dressage score that the horses who *always* get around xc are not acceptable anymore. It ony takes one stop to wipe out that good dressage score.

Seems like it would be more important for a team to have all the horses finish the 3 days rather than be at the top of the scoreboard on day one and drop down, down, down as the week goes on.

RAyers
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:24 AM
Let's get even more fundamental: MONEY.

Money drove the desire to create the short format (keep it on TV and in the Olympics)
Money drives the desire to run horses more often (mores runs means more sponsorship).
Money drives the desire to sell "ready made" horses to clients who do not have the desire and skill needed (trainers sell top horses to collect fees etc.).

The sport evolved to look at horses as tools and only as a means to an end.

I know this is a broad brush and no all folks are like this but as a person looks at the sport in general this is the trend. The fall-out is what Snoopy observes.

Reed

Xctrygirl
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:25 AM
You know it’s all well and good to criticize what’s going on at the top, but I think we're missing the biggest elements to this debacle, what’s going on at the bottom...

Spend a weekend at a recognized bn-p event and then go to a bn-t unrecognized event. Over and over you'll see elements of the same "challenges" confronting the eventing world at the top but in grievous miniature at these levels.

Control: Not as wide spread of a concept as it should be. And I don't mean, "Hey my horse pulled me at home, let's throw a gag on him and then I can event!" No I mean is the horse and rider going through all 3 phases in a manner that suggests that over all of the questions the horse will be obedient to the rider? I'll ignore the one or two moments where the xc machine horses get excited for a fly fence. That's fine. But in dressage are you seeing yanking for transitions? Are they doing their tests accurately by showing transitions at or very close to where they are expected? Or are they a full 5 strides beyond when they change?

In stadium can they balance a horse on course without realigning its molars? Is it a round the spectators watch normally or are you seeing people turn away, look down and hear "peanut gallery noises"???

On xc can the pairs maintain a pace appropriate for the challenges before them? Can they adjust said pace as needed, again without the molars being aligned or worse, removed? Do you watch them and think, “Wow this person's doing a nice round.” Or are you checking to see that yes the ambulance is in fact nearby.

And over and over can they grasp that ascension to the next level should only come when they have successfully acquired and demonstrated that they have acquired the skill set of the level they're at now??? And are their trainers standing their ground enough to keep riders at levels where they belong and need to be until they hit their lightbulb moment and can safely move up a level????

Now in my time spent spectating, fence judging and watching fellow competitors from the warm up I'd have to say we're batting at or near 50%. The other 50% should be demoted back a level. Now this isn't the same proportion at all levels. But I mainly have been watching Bn-P.

The sport however rewrote the rules such that some of the bad 50% are in fact completing the requirements and bouncing up the levels. Not improving as they do so, just carrying forward a foundation built on sand. And this is clearly evident with some of the 2* and 3* riders. (Who I am saying have improved as their ascended but not as much as they could have) I heard over and over from Fair Hill CCI*** and CCI** last year how some of the 2* and 3* riders were sheer white at the thought of competing in mud. (Now let me say it was a lot of mud, I wouldn't enjoy it. But footing and weather are challenges of the sport. We all know that) But rather than say "Oh man I don't think I should ride out here, I think its best to scratch." the riders with all their baggage and fear went out, did horrible warm ups befitting of a D rated pony clubber and then at the first complex had their horses quit or sensing their anxiety. Where was the wise move there? What happened to learning how to send a horse through the deeper footing, supporting them knowing they’ll likely chip in more and need a lot more support and confidence from the rider?

And this demonstrates very clearly my last point:

RESPONSIBILITY

Its not a fence's fault, it's not a judge's fault, it's not your trainer's fault, and it's not the fault of the little kid who purchased the illegal in Md, but not in Pa firework and shot it off at you and your horse as you approached the bugaboo water jump at plantation ....(Ok maybe I'd give you that one :D)

Stop wasting time making excuses, suck it up that an outing found a weak spot you have and go spend the energy fixing the damn weak spot. I swear the walk through the barns at Plantation last fall after the CIC was like a whiner's convention. STOP! Own up that you or your horse made a mistake. We all do it. But if instead of blindly blaming something or someone else you take responsibility and work on it, then my God you may actually learn something and improve how the $300 plus of your entry fees gives you a return on your investment!!!

All of these issues exist at all levels in some way, shape or form.

And all of us need to look within ourselves and find where we aren’t making the grade and decide to work on ourselves. I am not suggesting walking up to another rider and telling them off about any of these issues. It’s a personal journey strapped into a team bus and that in and of itself makes for interesting dynamics. We all want the glory, we want the blue ribbon but we aren’t all prepared for the kind of inner dissection of your capacities (physical and mental) that it takes to get there. The (overall long term most consistent ) winners are the ones who don’t make excuses, who know “Crap! I knew I should have added a stride there and he felt weak and I didn’t give him enough gas. Ok I better work on it.” They’re frustrated and mad at a stop the same as everyone but instead of bitching they go home and fix it.

Ok I think I have rambled enough and made enough of the things I think are killing us a whole, public.

Feel free to debate. And of course for every rule there are exceptions. But I think the movie “He’s just not that into you” makes an EXTREMELY good point. People like to live thinking that the exceptions are the rules (Jane Doe trained herself and her ottb to the Olympics, so I can too!). And in fact they’re still the exceptions, if you could live by the rule thinking it’s the rule, (You’ll need a trainer at some point) then life would come and go a lot easier.


~Emily

JAM
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:32 AM
Is this same conversation being had in other countries? Or, put another way, are other countries having the same problems or issues with short vs. long format? My impression, and it is only an impression without empirical data, is that USA performance (as measured by results, if nothing else) in international competitions has steadily deteriorated since the advent of the short format. If I am right about that, there could be a variety of explanations, some related to the short format itself, and some not necessarily related to the short format. But, for whatever, reason, we don't *seem* to have adapted as well as many or most of the other countries.

It will be interesting to see how the USA does in the WEG, on its home turf. If the results continue to slide downhill, the leaders of the program will have a lot of soul-searching to do (in addition to the soul-searching they should already be doing).

tuppysmom
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:39 AM
We just had a xc clinic at our farm last week. It was geared toward the lower levels and beginnerish eventing.

Many, way to many, riders made statements like this. "This is first time I have heard about rhythm and balance. My instructor says just keep kicking!" WTFB?

We sent 18 of them home with questions for their regular instructors.

riderboy
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:50 AM
We just had a xc clinic at our farm last week. It was geared toward the lower levels and beginnerish eventing.

Many, way to many, riders made statements like this. "This is first time I have heard about rhythm and balance. My instructor says just keep kicking!" WTFB?

We sent 18 of them home with questions for their regular instructors.

Yeah, I know. I had one of those trainers for more years than I care to remember. We simply were newbies, didn't know any better and swallowed it. Fortunately, we got out of that situation and are now with really good trainers. The real kicker, our old trainer is ICP certified!!

deltawave
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:56 AM
It's a great analogy, Snoop. I can only use it to reflect on my own pitiful accomplishments in the sport, but it sure is valid. :)

retreadeventer
Jun. 20, 2010, 11:03 AM
So education is the answer. Typical Americans, we have to be hit over the head with it before we get it. Does anyone sense the British, the Australians, the Germans ROLFPITP at us? We are not competitive in Europe. That means we are not competitive internationally. That means we aren't working our intermediate horses upwards correctly. That means whatever is feeding our intermediate group, the funnelling of preliminary horses and riders into that critical level, is suspect...XC says it's the "foundation of sand", Snoops says it's steeplechase or lack of speed work. Blame the focus on dressage instead of XC, the lower levels' lack of basics, oh, and the favorite finger-point, money.

My point is, that's all background to the problem of not being internationally competitive. To BE internationally competitive we need HORSES and RIDERS with excellent dressage, excellent to pristine cross-country, and good (no more than 2 rails) stadium skills. That's it. Really. We'll medal with four solid pairs with those skills. WHY IS THAT SO HARD TO FIND. Little bitty Canada has NINE of those this year!!!!
So where are these AMERICAN event riders? Well, the riders fall off pushing young horses to make a sale, and break bones! The horses go lame from preventable mistakes! They get to a big event and forget the damn dressage test! Horses pull shoes! (Find a freakin' farrier PLEASE!) Coaches forget to tell riders it's not a 10 minute cross country! Oh and who can forget the illegal boot debacle! GAUUGHHHH. It's like we're the Homer Simpson country of the eventing world!

nomeolvides
Jun. 20, 2010, 11:17 AM
Is this same conversation being had in other countries? Or, put another way, are other countries having the same problems or issues with short vs. long format?
In the UK I think people have just moved on. The long format isn't coming back so people have adjusted to the way the sport is now. There are still unaffiliated 3 day events with R&T and the chase, so there is an interest at a low level I guess.

vineyridge
Jun. 20, 2010, 11:37 AM
Reed talked about money. That lead into the eventing professionals who need to keep their businesses going if they aren't stinking rich. Who compete all year round, don't foxhunt, don't do point to points and hunter paces. Those outside things, for which the eventing professionals have no time for themselves or their horses, taught both horse and riders lessons that carry over to eventing. Most of the Brit top level riders came up through foxhunting. Ours don't.

Remember how proud Denny was of his student who won the Maryland Hunt Cup this year?

lstevenson
Jun. 20, 2010, 11:56 AM
I think there are a couple of issues. The unintended consequences of the short format has increased speed on XC, and increased technical jumping efforts; led to some bad, bad statistics in its first several competition seasons as horses, riders, and course designers adjusted.

Jim Wofford told me at a clinic in Unionville, PA., about five years ago, that "we will be taking the horses who can jump, and just teach them the cross-country skills" and that endurance (galloping and judicious use of speed) as an element had been removed from the sport. He predicted this at that moment, I believe.

Then time went on, a safety summit occurred, light bulbs started popping over some heads and course design was the new whipping boy. Clever and unique course designs are now being encouraged, testing scope and rideability yet keep riders and horses from death or death-defying crashes, to various degrees of success.

Meanwhile, the training of the upper level horses and riders still flopped around beached on the shifting sands of US upper level events -- we have so few, it is so critical to qualify at them in order to go forward, forcing Americans to hurry up conditioning to make European events on a different seasonal cycle.

We continue to have a real lack of quality horses at the upper levels, (and in comparison to tiny Canada) a disorganized way of winnowing top pairs and funneling them into a good comprehensive program. The Phillip Dutton barn is about as close to a national program as we have, and that's nothing against him or his business, it's just bemoaning the lack of four or five or six OTHER barns just like his that could be funnelling upper level horses and riders into our team lists.

Lastly the coaching situation has left something to be desired as well, possibly leading to the lack of direction of the US team-bound horses and riders. Soundness seems to be a survival of the toughest by the time we get down to our biggest events -- so many of our best horses are lost in the final weeks prepping for an event by what seems to be stupid mistakes like utilizing old fashioned mandatory "gallops" or horse trial crap that always knocks out one or two good ones that could anchor the team.

What kind of riders are we making at the top levels? What do they know? And how can they stop ruining their good horses and leave some left on the list to represent our country at the world's biggest showcase of our sport? Why do we have a great and healthy intermediate and advanced set of horses, yet so few internationally qualified horses? What are we doing wrong?

Snoops, we NEED the answers to these questions and soon. The clock is ticking.


This sums it up pretty well.

Now what can we DO about it?

starfish
Jun. 20, 2010, 01:36 PM
So much importance is now being placed on having a good dressage score that the horses who *always* get around xc are not acceptable anymore. It ony takes one stop to wipe out that good dressage score.

Seems like it would be more important for a team to have all the horses finish the 3 days rather than be at the top of the scoreboard on day one and drop down, down, down as the week goes on.

Well, is just finishing a team supposed to be the goal? I mean, I feel for the riders who do not have horses that are fancy enough on the flat to go out and do consistently well at that level, but generally the goal is to finish riders/teams at the top of the scoreboard/in the medals. And sometimes that means taking chances. Unfortunately, if I had to make the call, I would still send Arthur over The Good Witch, for instance. Sure, he probably only has a 50/50 shot at making it around XC without jumping penalties but if he does, he will have solidly contributed to putting a team in medal contention. On the international stage, you can't rely on the Brits and the Australians etc to mess up on XC.

This weekend, The Good Witch had a dressage score of 55.2. Arthur had a 40. You are right that it isn't enough of a gap to make up for a stop - but it certainly gives some leeway for a few time penalties and a rail or two. And that is assuming that TGW would be foot perfect in XC and stadium. When you look at the numbers, it just makes sense, to me, to send the horse who might be brilliant at the right time/right place.

That doesn't mean it isn't unfortunate. In fact, it is really unfortunate. There are lots of horses that are consistent and lovely and it would be nice to see them get some opportunities/recognition...but if I was asked to put a team together with the goal of medalling at WEG or the Olympics? I'm still going to take some gambles.

JER
Jun. 20, 2010, 02:11 PM
Unfortunately, if I had to make the call, I would still send Arthur over The Good Witch, for instance. Sure, he probably only has a 50/50 shot at making it around XC without jumping penalties but if he does, he will have solidly contributed to putting a team in medal contention.

I don't know why any chef d'equipe would put a horse with 'only a 50/50 shot at making it around XC without jumping penalties' on a team. Especially in situations where the team needs a decent finish to earn Olympic qualification.


This weekend, The Good Witch had a dressage score of 55.2. Arthur had a 40. You are right that it isn't enough of a gap to make up for a stop - but it certainly gives some leeway for a few time penalties and a rail or two.

But would you choose Arthur and Allison over Tipperary Liadhnan and Kim?

Kim and TL have excellent dressage and XC (just behind A & A in dressage at Rolex, double clean for 2nd place after XC) but have rails in stadium. Kim has an impressive record of international, big-event success and experience.

And so?


if I was asked to put a team together with the goal of medalling at WEG or the Olympics? I'm still going to take some gambles.

Can I ask why you'd gamble on a horse who was not fit to finish the weekend? Do you think it's significant whether or not a horse is able to go on day 3? You can excuse a 'bad knock' or a 'bad step' or whatever but at the end of the day, team horses have to complete.

(I have no dog in this fight. Just pointing out the lapses in logic that often accompany emotional reasoning. :) We all have combos we like.)

SevenDogs
Jun. 20, 2010, 02:37 PM
I understand what Starfish is saying and have to agree (and I also have no dog is in this fight). It isn't a great place for the U.S. Team selectors to be, but it where we are at.

The Good Witch just has not been able to produce competitive dressage scores. If you pull the horse's record, you will see consistent mid-50's scores that have improved little over the past several years. She also has missed getting around Kentucky the past two years, so certainly no guarantee of getting around XC.

JER: I also think it is harsh to say that Arthur was "unfit" to finish the weekend. We all know how easily a horse can take a knock on XC and miss SJ, but still be fit enough for the next competition. That is just part of the sport and could happen to ANY horse, ANY time. Chronic lameness or potential issues are different than a knock injury.

So yes, I would also gamble on a horse that *can* be competitive at dressage and still have a good chance of completing the weekend over one that has a slightly better chance of a clean XC run, but no real chance of contributing to a medal.

The fact that we "need" to choose how to "gamble" between those two choices, illustrates Snoopy's OP quite well. :(

GiGi
Jun. 20, 2010, 02:56 PM
I am not at all advanced though a horseman of many years at other disciplines. I have been a fan of eventing for a long time and crafting my skill shall we say for many years. I raise babies so having had time to go very high up. That said I agree about xc for time. It has really hit the BN courses, at least the few I have been on or seen the courses, this year.
I remember last year flying over the fences in rhythm and balance at speed thinking this what its all about. This is what Jim Wofford was teaching us in his clinics. This is what Lellie Ward worked so hard with me on. Speed, balance, rhythm and SAFE jumping. I had to watch so carefully NOT to come in to fast at BN. Last month I was on a xc run that was so technical and truely hard to get a good gallop going between any of the fences that we came in OVER time. This has been a discussion among MANY in my area at the BN/Novice levels this year. Its also from riders who have gone up past training, pros/amatures alike. Some say its good as it prepares horse and rider for the changes at the top. Gets them used to it right off the bat. But I agree with Snoop. We still need the speed training but if you can't do the speed on course don't we need to re-evaluate how we determine speed of course for the more technical couses being designed and the lack of phase B type training in our programs?

advmom
Jun. 20, 2010, 03:23 PM
There simply are not that many horses with the potential to become good solid 4* horses!
At some point that becomes clear..think AS and KS
Leslie Law had the best 3 * horse in the Nation, he just isn't a 4* horse, ther eis a big difference between winning a 3* and doing well at a 4*!!
Yes Canada has 9 horses listed, two of those have never tested a 4* two has tested miserably several times, which leaves them with 5 4 * horses, undoubtedly we will see one 3 * horse on their team, The US has alot of solid 3* combinations they just wouldn't give them the time of day unless you are from the "right" program.
Canada has built this team of young, eager riders with GREAT jumping horses over the past 3 or 4 years under the guidance of David O'Connor. They weren't all fantastic dressage specimens a couple of years ago but they have been developed slowly and properly.....if you look at all those young Canadians they have very strong fundamentals, Canada has had a strong coaching certification program for many years and it shows

flutie1
Jun. 20, 2010, 03:41 PM
Reading all this, I keep thinking of the tortoise and the hare fable. I would personally choose four "steady Eddies" over a team made up of admittedly brilliant, but spotty entries. Yes, agreed, Arthur is brilliant - but he and Allison have yet to put it all together at the highest level on a given weekend ... and who knows, maybe they will be perpetually knocking on the door - or maybe "the magic" will happen next time. Is that a gamble worth taking at an extremely high profile world competition?

The selectors have an extremely difficult jobn ahead of them - and when you look at it applying what seems to be the criteria for acceptance, the bench is pretty shallow ......

....... but what do I know???

CookiePony
Jun. 20, 2010, 03:43 PM
I can't speak to retread's thoughtful points about needing more depth and more skill. Except that yes, we do.

But I do think that phase B has an effect on the training for the horse, for the better. Did anyone see the article in the USEA magazine (March/ April) about how pros are using classic format events to bring their young horses along?

JER
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:21 PM
if you look at all those young Canadians they have very strong fundamentals, Canada has had a strong coaching certification program for many years and it shows

I take it you don't live in Canada. :lol::lol::lol:

There are lots of geographical gaps between certified coaches. And 'certified coach' doesn't mean much up here. Many are simply terrible.

Canada did have a good showing at Rolex but a good showing at one admittedly soft CCI**** does not necessarily translate to success on the world stage. Also, keep in mind that most of these riders spend much of their time in the states.

starfish
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:30 PM
I typed out a fairly lengthy reply but COTH ate it. I will try hit the high points...


(I have no dog in this fight. Just pointing out the lapses in logic that often accompany emotional reasoning. :) We all have combos we like.

First, I am more than willing to engage in a discussion and I certainly don't feel that everyone has to agree with me. But, I do find myself rubbed the wrong way by your suggestion that I must be thinking and reasoning emotionally. I'm not quite sure why you think that my opinion must be based on 'emotional' reasoning and I don't think it is fair. You are entitled to your opinion and I'm entitled to mine. How about you give me the same respect that I will give you?

I have absolutely not ties to AS/Arthur, and, truth be told, I can think of a bunch of upper level combos I actually prefer.



I don't know why any chef d'equipe would put a horse with 'only a 50/50 shot at making it around XC without jumping penalties' on a team. Especially in situations where the team needs a decent finish to earn Olympic qualification.

First, we aren't talking about a horse with a 50/50 shot at getting around at all. Rather, a chance that an extremely competitive horse on Thurs/Fri will add 20-30 to his score on Saturday. An ideal outcome? No. But in my scenario, you are comparing a horse that will almost certainly start 15 or so points down v. a horse that *may* rack up 20-30 pp on Saturday. Its a gamble, but it may very pay off. Particularly when you look at 2004, 2008 and even the last WEG. There is a small spread between 1-3/4 but 5th on tends to lag quite behind. So, getting a team to medal may require taking some gambles. Qualification for the Olympics does need to be considered but there are the Pan Ams coming up next year in the event of disaster. Disaster which, btw, could also occur with a team full of 'consistent' XC horses.




But would you choose Arthur and Allison over Tipperary Liadhnan and Kim?

Kim and TL have excellent dressage and XC (just behind A & A in dressage at Rolex, double clean for 2nd place after XC) but have rails in stadium. Kim has an impressive record of international, big-event success and experience.

And so?

Kim is certainly a great competitor with an impressive record. Paddy, though, can be counted on for at least 12pp on Sunday and potentially more, esp in a WEG type atmosphere. That said Arthur usually has at least 1 rail and can have more and may have the same issues with the atmosphere. This is one where I'd give the nod to Kim.





Can I ask why you'd gamble on a horse who was not fit to finish the weekend? Do you think it's significant whether or not a horse is able to go on day 3? You can excuse a 'bad knock' or a 'bad step' or whatever but at the end of the day, team horses have to complete.

I feel like you are trying to ignore the rationale for my post up-thread. I didn't consider soundness because I'm not in a position to take that into account. There is nothing about Arthur's record that suggests to me that he has consistent soundness issues and difficulty trotting up on Sunday. Any horse can have a misstep or incident that makes SJ a no go. If there are other underlying issues, then that would obviously have to factor in. If I was the Chef, I'd get access to the horse and I'd have vets reporting to me with any issues. I obviously don't so I'm not sure what kind of response you are looking for.

SevenDogs seems to understand what I am saying. In an ideal world, the Chef d'equipe wouldn't need to make that sort of gamble. But, as snoopy has pointed out, there are some issues here that go to the very core of how horses/riders are being developed.

Finally, I obviously wouldn't advocate putting together a team full of 'gambles'. The odds start to stack against you at that point.

denny
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:32 PM
Snoopy,a very interesting exercise would be a careful analysis of the total infrastructure built around the US show jumping team, under George Morris` leadership, and compare that to the total infrastructure built around the US 3-Day team, under Phillips.

Perhaps it`s already been done. Certainly, if most of us were involved with the High Performance branch of the USEF, wouldn`t that be about the first thing that would come to mind?

JER
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:35 PM
JER: I also think it is harsh to say that Arthur was "unfit" to finish the weekend. We all know how easily a horse can take a knock on XC and miss SJ, but still be fit enough for the next competition. That is just part of the sport and could happen to ANY horse, ANY time. Chronic lameness or potential issues are different than a knock injury.

SevenDogs, I was trying to choose my words carefully but obviously, I failed. I said 'unfit' rather than 'unsound' but I really just should have said 'unable to continue'. The idea I was trying to get across is that a non-completion is one of the worst things that can happen with a team horse. A slow, careful clear round that results in a non-completion for any reason should not be under-scrutinized by selectors.

starfish
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:35 PM
I take it you don't live in Canada. :lol::lol::lol:

There are lots of geographical gaps between certified coaches. And 'certified coach' doesn't mean much up here. Many are simply terrible.

Canada did have a good showing at Rolex but a good showing at one admittedly soft CCI**** does not necessarily translate to success on the world stage. Also, keep in mind that most of these riders spend much of their time in the states.

Agreed. Canada doesn't have any sort of system, and the certification process is not great indicator of anything. There are some good certified coaches and there are some bad ones. And in any event, the Canadian riders that did so well at Rolex are not, by and large, training with Canadian based trainers.

I do not want to take away from the accomplishments of the Canadians at Rolex - it was fabulous and great to see their younger riders doing so well. But many top US pairs sat Rolex out and there were few European entries. And let us not forget how easily WFP came in on his second string horse and easily grabbed the win.

snoopy
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:40 PM
Snoopy,a very interesting exercise would be a careful analysis of the total infrastructure built around the US show jumping team, under George Morris` leadership, and compare that to the total infrastructure built around the US 3-Day team, under Phillips.

Perhaps it`s already been done. Certainly, if most of us were involved with the High Performance branch of the USEF, wouldn`t that be about the first thing that would come to mind?


Dear Sir...I get it. Seriously I get it, but sadly we have two more years of a stalemate...then we we have a number of years of rebuilding with his replacement.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:41 PM
I really like Allison and Arthur...but to me, they may be a team for London 2012. The horse will only be 13 then. So I think she is right to keep going to the major events with atmosphere (since he has had tension and focus issues)...and right to keep chipping away at it. But I think WEG this year is a long shot for them.


As to Snoppy's original post....I don't know the answer. Haven't a lot of these issues been around before? I can remember when I first started out in eventing...learning to ride at speed was an issue for many many riders.

Going Fox Hunting does help some...learning to trust your horse and being comfortable being slightly out of control. I do think we have a lot of good up and coming riders and horses....

But in the end...I don't think this has anything to do with short or long formats...speed or training holes. I do think this has to do with people making a living with the horses....and money. It is a expensive sport...I believe more so today than in the past. Perhaps the holes and cracks we are seeing are coming because to many riders do this for a living and as their sole source of support....and that leads them to make choices that might be different if they were not dependent on making a living with the horses.

denny
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:45 PM
If you get it, and I get it, and everbody else gets it, why doesn`t the USEF get it?

snoopy
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:52 PM
If you get it, and I get it, and everbody else gets it, why doesn`t the USEF get it?


Very simply, many of the committees are made up of "his" riders

Quid Pro Quo.


I do not want this to turn into a bash Mr Phillips thread. It goes beyond him. Our system is flawed from the top down. There are some nations where their riders are in the same position...their riders have to run businesses, but it is working. Canada faces the same challenges as the US. Their system is working. We spend huge amounts of money giving grants to a select few riders who are not producing results. I am not saying winning but one particular rider has received many chances and continues to fall short of expectation. Would that money be better used elsewhere?

starfish
Jun. 20, 2010, 04:54 PM
Well, I think there is a difference between 'getting it' and knowing what to do about it. USEF may very well understand the problem (and its also possible that they do not, but lets assume for the moment)...what are they supposed to do about it? Genuine question.

I, personally, think that BFEN has pretty much hit one of the key problems - the need for pros to make a living. Many of those money making pursuits take away from the time available to go out and gain the necessary skills. And horses are rushed up the levels to keep owners/sponsors happy and to make them more marketable if they aren't going to be top level prospects.

JER
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:03 PM
First, I am more than willing to engage in a discussion and I certainly don't feel that everyone has to agree with me. But, I do find myself rubbed the wrong way by your suggestion that I must be thinking and reasoning emotionally. I'm not quite sure why you think that my opinion must be based on 'emotional' reasoning and I don't think it is fair. You are entitled to your opinion and I'm entitled to mine. How about you give me the same respect that I will give you?

I apologize if you were offended. But you were talking about taking 'gambles' and giving reasons for choosing Arthur that appeared to be based in something other than logic. In human terms, that would be because you 'like' something and you 'don't like' something else. That's how humans work -- we make decisions and then we make up reasons to justify them. We all do it.

IMO, the selectors need to think it through a little differently. :D

Your first post said Arthur had only a 50/50 chance of making it around without jumping penalities. Now you've amended it to this:


Rather, a chance that an extremely competitive horse on Thurs/Fri will add 20-30 to his score on Saturday.

But jumping penalties are serious because they are (1) cumulative and (2) can easily result in elimination. You know there's a strong possibility that a given horse will have a stop on course because he's spooky. But at WEG -- which is supposed to be a bit tougher than Rolex -- what if there's something on course that this spooky horse really doesn't like? And what if there are two 'somethings'?


Finally, I obviously wouldn't advocate putting together a team full of 'gambles'. The odds start to stack against you at that point.

Agreed. :)

denny
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:05 PM
Valid answer, Snoopy. Depressing, but valid and realistic.
I can`t help thinking, though, what George would do if he got interested enough to do it (which I strongly doubt), and if he were given the power, (which won`t happen.)
George understands the critical nature of knowing all parts of a system, top to bottom. He lives in the US every day that he isn`t in Europe with an American team. He is obsessed with having the US be successful; he`s not some part time hired gun.
George creates alliances. He`s smart and analytical. Too bad he`s a jumper, not an eventer!

snoopy
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:09 PM
George creates alliances.


You have hit on something more then you you know....

JER
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:12 PM
Canada faces the same challenges as the US. Their system is working.

Maybe some real Canadians could weigh in here.

The various eventing bodies are in a constant state of disarray up here and there is very little communication, never mind support.

(I had a very interesting conversation with an FEI official up here a few months ago. This was pre-Rolex but there were not any positive words for the Canadian 'program'.)

Canada's successful showing at Rolex this year marks the first good Canadian showing in a long time. But most of the riders are based in the US and have US-based sponsors. The success isn't entirely homegrown.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:16 PM
but it wasn't all George for the jumpers. For one...Frank Chapot was heavily invovled for a long time as well as many others. It takes more than one to build a strong system..... It also has to come from more than just the top...

snoopy
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:27 PM
Maybe some real Canadians could weigh in here.

The various eventing bodies are in a constant state of disarray up here and there is very little communication, never mind support.

(I had a very interesting conversation with an FEI official up here a few months ago. This was pre-Rolex but there were not any positive words for the Canadian 'program'.)

Canada's successful showing at Rolex this year marks the first good Canadian showing in a long time. But most of the riders are based in the US and have US-based sponsors. The success isn't entirely homegrown.



But when the majority of canada's riders finish in the top 12, one cannot say this was a fluke. I could give a stuff where the money and sponsors come from, but their system...what ever that may be...appears to be working. As you say most of their riders are based in the US, faced with the same challenges of running businesses and competing in the same events. They showed great results at Rolex as a whole, not just one or two. The focus would appear to be on the collective not just a select few.

starfish
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:28 PM
I apologize if you were offended. But you were talking about taking 'gambles' and giving reasons for choosing Arthur that appeared to be based in something other than logic. In human terms, that would be because you 'like' something and you 'don't like' something else. That's how humans work -- we make decisions and then we make up reasons to justify them. We all do it.

IMO, the selectors need to think it through a little differently. :D

I guess I can't say much about your belief that my reasons aren't/weren't logical. I don't disagree that humans can justify just about anything, but I can genuinely say that my opinions as expressed in this thread aren't about like/don't like. If I had to name a team based on 'like', it would be rather interesting team and would include a horse that hasn't made it around a 4*. Though I would have a hard time justifying that particular pick to myself.

And while I'm sure the selectors have their own thought processes, I think it is certainly fair to say that they have to engage in a cost-benefit analysis. Now, I am not for a second suggesting that the selectors are mulling over the Arthur v. TGW conundrum I concocted - neither get to go to WEG. I only came up with that comparison to make a point, one I feel is valid. But there is a certain balancing act that goes on. I think Mandiba circa 2008 might very well be a good example.


Your first post said Arthur had only a 50/50 chance of making it around without jumping penalities. Now you've amended it to this:



But jumping penalties are serious because they are (1) cumulative and (2) can easily result in elimination. You know there's a strong possibility that a given horse will have a stop on course because he's spooky. But at WEG -- which is supposed to be a bit tougher than Rolex -- what if there's something on course that this spooky horse really doesn't like? And what if there are two 'somethings'?



Agreed. :)

I fully understand how jumping penalties work. I could have been more precise in my original post. I didn't think the point I was trying to make required specifics. However, a look at Arthur's record suggests a horse that has a stop in him but if he does stop, he generally walk away with just that one. Burghley was the exception. And yes, two somethings can happen and is something that is part of the equation. Just like so many other things that can happen at any big event - Becky's oops moment in 2008, Amy's fall, etc.

Bobthehorse
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:54 PM
Let's get even more fundamental: MONEY.

Money drove the desire to create the short format (keep it on TV and in the Olympics)
Money drives the desire to run horses more often (mores runs means more sponsorship).
Money drives the desire to sell "ready made" horses to clients who do not have the desire and skill needed (trainers sell top horses to collect fees etc.).

The sport evolved to look at horses as tools and only as a means to an end.

I know this is a broad brush and no all folks are like this but as a person looks at the sport in general this is the trend. The fall-out is what Snoopy observes.

Reed

I agree with this. I was just reading my Horse Sport mag and there was a great article on Bruce Davidson and some of his ideas on developing riders. Two big ones that stood out to me were a) that he believed a rider was not complete until they learned to make their own horses and that by always riding pre-trained UL horses they would never have the skill to be very good riders, and b) that people jump their horses wayyyy too much and ruin them.

Two things also happen to be becoming more and more common.

JER
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:55 PM
But when the majority of canada's riders finish in the top 12, one cannot say this was a fluke. I could give a stuff where the money and sponsors come from, but their system...what ever that may be...appears to be working. As you say most of their riders are based in the US, faced with the same challenges of running businesses and competing in the same events. They showed great results at Rolex as a whole, not just one or two. The focus would appear to be on the collective not just a select few.

Canada doesn't appear to discourage the one-horse wonders but this might be because Canada has no choice.

I think the pressure to have a string of top horses is quite destructive to US eventing and doesn't serve to develop better horses or riders.

snoopy
Jun. 20, 2010, 05:59 PM
Canada doesn't appear to discourage the one-horse wonders but this might be because Canada has no choice.

I think the pressure to have a string of top horses is quite destructive to US eventing and doesn't serve to develop better horses or riders.



very much agree with this post JER.

JER
Jun. 20, 2010, 06:24 PM
snoopy, the question is this. If an American first-timer at Rolex had a top-ten finish with their one, inexperienced-at-CCI**** horse, would they be selected for a team?

Or would it just put them on a list, perhaps the B list, with word from above that TPTB would like to see them with at least one more Advanced horse?

SevenDogs
Jun. 20, 2010, 06:26 PM
Canada doesn't appear to discourage the one-horse wonders but this might be because Canada has no choice.

I think the pressure to have a string of top horses is quite destructive to US eventing and doesn't serve to develop better horses or riders.

I agree 150% and that has been one of the biggest cornerstones of the Mark Phillips philosophy. Sure hasn't worked...

advmom
Jun. 20, 2010, 06:58 PM
The requirement to have a string of UL horses is one we all would like to have the luxury of...however as long as the owners and patrons of the sport keep buying those horses for the handful of aging ULR's the program will be self limiting.
Of the strong Canadian contenders at Rolex..which for a "soft "
course, certainly ate up it's share of seasoned horses and riders! Only three are US based full time and only one trains fulltime and exclusively with David O'Connor.
Of the nine riders short listed, three started out on the West Coast where there is a very strong base of very good coaching,
They haven't been coached by anyone from the West in yrs but they certainly built a very strong foundation of riding skills to the Prelim level which has helped them immensely on the road to 4*

JER
Jun. 20, 2010, 07:24 PM
...on the West Coast where there is a very strong base of very good coaching...

Who are you referring to? How many individuals make up this 'very strong base'?

AFAIK, this is not the consensus on the west coast of Canada. At all. If one inquires about good eventing instructors in the southern BC area, you get a long list of people to avoid, a few limited recommendations and one or two strong recommendations of people to whom you probably can't get access. And that's living in one of Canada's most populated areas. For riders who live in the interior or on the island, it's a serious haul to any kind of quality instructor.

CookiePony
Jun. 20, 2010, 07:36 PM
I wonder what effect it will have that GM is on the search committee for the new US coach.

advmom
Jun. 20, 2010, 08:09 PM
JER I speak of the Lynne Larsen, Jody Sloper Nick Holmes-Smith types who had a hand in the development of Rebecca H Hawley B and Stephanie R-B, they all demonstrate the strong fundamentals of good riding
Jane Stone on the Island comes to mind as well, I can't imagine anyone having strong reservations about recommending any of those coaches

Bobthehorse
Jun. 20, 2010, 08:14 PM
I take it you don't live in Canada. :lol::lol::lol:

There are lots of geographical gaps between certified coaches. And 'certified coach' doesn't mean much up here. Many are simply terrible.

I do live in Canada, and I totally agree. The certification system is all but a joke, and in the end its not required to be a coach anyway. I know way too many certified coaches that are pretty worthless to think highly of the system.

NeverTime
Jun. 20, 2010, 10:08 PM
snoopy, the question is this. If an American first-timer at Rolex had a top-ten finish with their one, inexperienced-at-CCI**** horse, would they be selected for a team?

Or would it just put them on a list, perhaps the B list, with word from above that TPTB would like to see them with at least one more Advanced horse?

This is rhetorical, right? Because I'm pretty sure that you know this situation describes Jennifer Wooten and The Good Witch in 2008. She was 7th at Rolex as a first-timer and got passed over despite a solid performance at the mandatory outing because she needed more seasoning or some such reason. Instead, we sent tried-and-true team members, some on not-so-tried-and-true horses (Karen O'Connor went with a horse with zero four-star experience ... and we all know how that went) and we did not have an Olympics to remember.
On the flip side, after Rolex this year at least one horse went through the Monday eval who wasn't the cream of the crop in the results but WAS part of a promising riders' string. Hmmm...

SevenDogs
Jun. 20, 2010, 11:02 PM
This is rhetorical, right? Because I'm pretty sure that you know this situation describes Jennifer Wooten and The Good Witch in 2008. She was 7th at Rolex as a first-timer and got passed over despite a solid performance at the mandatory outing because she needed more seasoning or some such reason. Instead, we sent tried-and-true team members, some on not-so-tried-and-true horses (Karen O'Connor went with a horse with zero four-star experience ... and we all know how that went) and we did not have an Olympics to remember.
On the flip side, after Rolex this year at least one horse went through the Monday eval who wasn't the cream of the crop in the results but WAS part of a promising riders' string. Hmmm...

To be fair, I think The Good Witch was more likely passed over because of a lack of competitive dressage scores. Yes, her maiden trip around Rolex was great, but the scores weren't and if you look back to that year, there was exactly one European rider in the entire competition. Again, great for her on a super mare who seems to be able to jump the moon, but the selectors had every opportunity to reject them based upon dressage scores that were likely to trail the leader by 20 points or more.

That being said, the deck is certainly stacked against those not in the "inner circle". Riders with one superstar horse are not developed, encouraged, or given the time of day. Even Gina Miles had to fight tooth and nail to get on the team (by winning event after event after event) and look what happened there.....

VicariousRider
Jun. 21, 2010, 12:16 AM
Maybe I am missing something, but I don't see a definitive connection between AS's inability to complete in Germany and the weaknesses precipitated by the change to the short format Is the implication that she never would have been able to go to Germany after Rolex in the long format days? I agree that there are serious issues to be addressed in the sport but I am more inclined to agree with those who talk about lack of knowledge across the levels about how to ride at speed, etc. I think that part of this does have to do with the disproportionate emphasis on dressage and lack of access (for a variety of reasons) to frequent x-c schooling of all forms including foxhunting.

As an aside, I agree with BFNE that Arthur is a horse for the future and, for that reason, I hope that he does not get run off his legs in an effort to get to the WEG (which seemed an improbable aspiration to me after Rolex). I hope that this pair aims for the next PanAm and Olympic Games as it seems that things ARE coming together for them, albeit slowly. I REALLY like this pair and think that they have all the pieces, they just need to come together with a bit more time.

Additionally, couldn't a hematoma on the horse's foreleg have happened at any event? I *personally* think that AS is lucky that this was the total extent of the injury given the athletic stress that has been put on the horse of late. Nevertheless, it sounds like the kind of unfortunate injury that just happens by virtue of horses running and jumping over fixed objects. One hard knock would do the trick.

Blugal
Jun. 21, 2010, 01:54 AM
JER I speak of the Lynne Larsen, Jody Sloper Nick Holmes-Smith types who had a hand in the development of Rebecca H Hawley B and Stephanie R-B, they all demonstrate the strong fundamentals of good riding
Jane Stone on the Island comes to mind as well, I can't imagine anyone having strong reservations about recommending any of those coaches

I can and do have reservations with respect to this list, and know of others who do, but I will only make a few comments.

To the best of my knowledge, Hawley was not riding with any of the above before she moved to California.

Nick has pretty much been out of the business of teaching and training riders for the last 5+ years, although he definitely has done a lot for BC eventing and BC riders. While Rebecca rode a lot there, she also rode with other instructors, was a good rider in her own right and was smart in choosing her instruction when she went out east.

The way I see it there are a few big problems with Western Canadian eventing:

1. Loss of many courses, especially Intermediate-level courses (there are none in BC, and only one in Alberta this year).

2. Insurance issues causing some course owners to no longer allow schooling or severely limit schooling.

3. Lack of coaches with programs that actually produce listed riders on a consistent basis.

4. Politics in the use of and access to the Canadian coach.

On the subject of "the Canadian team/program" in general - some other riders on the short list, e.g. Ian Roberts, Selena O'Hanlon - had strong programs long before DO'C came on the scene. (Selena and her British mother run a training farm and have a great blog (http://www.horse-canada.com/?cat=13).)

snoopy
Jun. 21, 2010, 02:43 AM
snoopy, the question is this. If an American first-timer at Rolex had a top-ten finish with their one, inexperienced-at-CCI**** horse, would they be selected for a team?

Or would it just put them on a list, perhaps the B list, with word from above that TPTB would like to see them with at least one more Advanced horse?


Well we know the answer to that question. But what I do not get is this....the US loses so many superstar combinations because they do not have (and maybe do not even want) a string of horses. Look you can only ride ONE horse at a time. The thought process of just having a few riders with muliple horses is odd to me. If the rider WANTS a string of horses so that the rider has more opportunites at team selection then good for them....but to REQUIRE it is just plain wrong. It says to those who do not choose to make a business of this or those who do not want strings of horses "get lost...you are not worth our time".
There have a been a few world class combinations that could have filled the medal cabinets that have slipped through the cracks because they were not welcomed, included, trained, etc.
My reasoning is this....

It takes too much time. Period. Mark is not here full time so he has little time to work with large numbers of one horse wonders.
\

LisaB
Jun. 21, 2010, 07:38 AM
We are actually talking about Canada. That's a HUGE leap from where they were a few years ago sans D O'C. They actually are in the sights of international team competition.
Can you imagine if we had a decent coach, what we could accomplish with our resources?

fooler
Jun. 21, 2010, 07:48 AM
Food for thought. A friend who has been in the eventing world for decades as a rider, coach and organizer posted this link on their FB page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK5W5a8T_zc

Keep in mind the use of 'deformable' fences while watching this video.

Jleegriffith
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:01 AM
Fooler- that link was a bit scary. Watched the whole thing and I kept thinking to myself balance..balance your horses up. Those who jumped in and set the horses up made it out okay but those who landed and chased on a flat stride scared the crap out of me. Some very brave and honest horses in that bunch.

Eventingjunkie
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:20 AM
Great coverage by RNS video.
Not trying to divert attention from our country... But I attended Richfields HT in New Zealand last November and saw far worse than this video. I watched the CIC ** and CIC *** and the riding was down right scary, but their horses were amazing. I also attended Blair Horse Trials in Scotland the year before, saw more falls than I have fingers to count them on. Not sure what it means, but I do a lot less gasping at the horse trials I go to here in the states.

starfish
Jun. 21, 2010, 10:30 AM
Fooler- that link was a bit scary. Watched the whole thing and I kept thinking to myself balance..balance your horses up. Those who jumped in and set the horses up made it out okay but those who landed and chased on a flat stride scared the crap out of me. Some very brave and honest horses in that bunch.

Some terrifying rides. And not just one or two. I also see some terrified horses that are jumping out of self-preservation!

lizajane09
Jun. 21, 2010, 10:34 AM
Some terrifying rides. And not just one or two. I also see some terrified horses that are jumping out of self-preservation!

Not saying there wasn't some less than stellar riding going on at times there, but the Advanced division had nearly as much trouble with that same combination. I'm not sure exactly what it was about that combination, but it didn't really seem to ride well for anyone - I think I remember two rides that actually looked okay there?

Robby Johnson
Jun. 21, 2010, 10:40 AM
What are the documented injuries on steeplechase? Seriously. Is there a recorded data reference that says "40% of horses on Phase B sustained ___ injuries?" From my experience (limited) grooming for a 2* rider, and from being consumed by the sport during the long format era, my recollection is that most horse injuries were soft tissue and phase B also would tend to weed-out anything respiratory. Is this a fair assessment?

If so, I don't think it was phase B that was itself causing the injuries so much as it was unprepared horses/riders being put in compromising positions attempting to complete phase B. I mean, it was just 8 3'3" brush boxes jumped at speed, right?

The lack of the phase has seen several horrific developments, including the higher percentage of the aortic rupture as well as the rotational fall. I thought vineyridge had a bang-on point about a horse like Arthur - one who is so keen and careful his greatest strength can sometimes be a weakness - benefiting from a T3D phase B opportunity.

This video - which I just saw this morning - scared the shit out of me. I'm not even going to sugarcoat it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK5W5a8T_zc

If you're a.) beating your horse into the water at 2* level and riding so carelessly that you're getting out of it by the grace of God then b.) you shouldn't be riding at 2* level.

Robby Johnson
Jun. 21, 2010, 10:42 AM
hehehehe, I should've read the last page before I posted! Glad to see I'm not the only one!

RAyers
Jun. 21, 2010, 11:02 AM
Food for thought. A friend who has been in the eventing world for decades as a rider, coach and organizer posted this link on their FB page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK5W5a8T_zc

Keep in mind the use of 'deformable' fences while watching this video.



The only place I've seen less ineffective flapping is in a flock of penguins. Good gravey. The best rides were the ones who actually tried to add up to the base rather than this land in a heap and then do the hoochee choochee hula yehaw attempt at 4 strides. It rode nice as a 5 stride and the horses were able to come up around the fence.

I was taught and learned that you shorten the stride in the water to let the horse get their feet up and go for a more powered short step. I guess Jimmy Wofford and others who taught me this were wrong.

GotSpots
Jun. 21, 2010, 11:02 AM
I thought vineyridge had a bang-on point about a horse like Arthur - one who is so keen and careful his greatest strength can sometimes be a weakness - benefiting from a T3D phase B opportunity.
FYI - Arthur did a long format CCI* at Morven Park, earlier in his career.

KSevnter
Jun. 21, 2010, 11:24 AM
This video - which I just saw this morning - scared the shit out of me. I'm not even going to sugarcoat it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK5W5a8T_zc

If you're a.) beating your horse into the water at 2* level and riding so carelessly that you're getting out of it by the grace of God then b.) you shouldn't be riding at 2* level.

Compare that video with this one from a rider going Intermediate at Groton House two years ago. Contrast the rhythm, speed, and the horse's expression from those at Chatt Hills.

FWIW the water jump is at the end of the footage and asks a similar question but in a totally different way and receives a totally different result. At Groton the question is asked going forward.

Too bad Groton has fallen out of favor with TPTB...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rdFWmDjL9c&feature=related

retreadeventer
Jun. 21, 2010, 11:38 AM
My reasoning is this....

It takes too much time. Period. Mark is not here full time so he has little time to work with large numbers of one horse wonders.
\

And THAT, my dears, would be the definitive answer! In contrast to the philosophy of one Frenchman from the past, who sought out the promising single horse and rider combinations, to the devastation of our European and worldwide competition. They never knew WHO he would spring on them at the Olympics or World championships!

We need a MASTER in that mold for our new coach....where is such a person, and is he/she willing? (She...now there's a breakthrough!)

TLA
Jun. 21, 2010, 11:43 AM
This is my 34th year competing in the sport. I have never run a short format 3-Day, and have lost track of how many Classic (as a CD for one, I better get that right!). Far too many times, A and C, and sometimes even B seemed an afterthought, with really bad footing. Big Events. We had a horse injury a hind suspensory at Essex jumping out of a foot of mud on the steeplechase. Never ran another 3-Day.
I think soft tissue injuries were much more common than people realized, but I also think that a high percentege of those were already cooking, and the speed on steeplechase just made them finally happen.
Tom Angle

RacetrackReject
Jun. 21, 2010, 11:52 AM
This is my 34th year competing in the sport. I have never run a short format 3-Day, and have lost track of how many Classic (as a CD for one, I better get that right!). Far too many times, A and C, and sometimes even B seemed an afterthought, with really bad footing. Big Events. We had a horse injury a hind suspensory at Essex jumping out of a foot of mud on the steeplechase. Never ran another 3-Day.
I think soft tissue injuries were much more common than people realized, but I also think that a high percentege of those were already cooking, and the speed on steeplechase just made them finally happen.
Tom Angle


It seems that if there were a foot of mud to be jumping out of, I might have left my horse at the barn, no?

Robby Johnson
Jun. 21, 2010, 12:12 PM
FYI - Arthur did a long format CCI* at Morven Park, earlier in his career.

Thanks for clarifying.

JER
Jun. 21, 2010, 12:18 PM
That Chatt Hills video looks very much like what I witnessed at the Fork.

Is the arm-flapping and loose-but-driving-seat part of the ICP curriculum? Who on earth is teaching this method? Or is it monkey-see-monkey-do?

My friend who came to the Fork with me was an ex-PA farmgirl/foxhunter/Pony Clubber who hadn't attended a HT since the LF Radnor. Her view: "This is not how you effin' ride a horse! What's wrong with this sport?"

I couldn't begin to explain.

One thing to note, though, is the quality of these horses. Genuine, scopey, athletic, flashy. We are sitting on much finer beasts, on average, than we used to. And the real shame is the humans have slipped in quality, perhaps because they can get away with it.

TLA
Jun. 21, 2010, 12:23 PM
On hindsight, you are right. I cannot speak to what the rider thought as she started out on B, but I suspect the problem was apparent only when she got to the jump and he stuck in it. Experience is what you get right after you discover you needed it.
In spite of my statements about A,B, and C, I think it has been bad for the sport to lose the Classic 3-Day Event at all levels, and would agree that for some time we have paid and will pay a dear price for it.
I believe that the US is the only country that has worked to re-establish it.
Tom

quietann
Jun. 21, 2010, 12:24 PM
Compare that video with this one from a rider going Intermediate at Groton House two years ago. Contrast the rhythm, speed, and the horse's expression from those at Chatt Hills.

FWIW the water jump is at the end of the footage and asks a similar question but in a totally different way and receives a totally different result. At Groton the question is asked going forward.

Too bad Groton has fallen out of favor with TPTB...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rdFWmDjL9c&feature=related

I had the great pleasure of meeting Emily and Bacardi at Groton House. They're both fairly young, and the horse is a Morgan. He can get a bit looky and silly in dressage, and has trouble making time in X/C and S/J, but is a "machine" to the fences when he's in the right mood. These problems will show up in their USEA record -- but when he is on, he is ON. They're from Canada, BTW :) And they'd run Prelim at Groton House the weekend before...

(Insert standard plug for trying Morgan/TB crosses for eventing here :) )

And Groton House? Wonderful! It's the first event I ever saw, and it gave me a perhaps biased view of what eventing *should* be like, with the big gallopy natural X/C course.

ETA: I found the Chatt Hills video almost too painful to watch.

luckofthedraw
Jun. 21, 2010, 12:50 PM
I used to gallop for a good friend and well known steeplechase jockey and trainer. He told me something that I think about everytime I put my foot in an iron..."feel what the horse is telling you." IMO lack of feel is a grand canyon-sized gap in the training of event riders. It is very difficult to feel whats going on underneath you, recognize it, and fix it. Its not something you can teach, it's something you have to earn...through experiencing horses in many different ways. Not just with your weekly dressage/jumping lesson with (insert BNT here).

Jr's/YR's are under intense pressure to move up at warp-speed, get a better dress score, go __ seconds faster x-c, get a fancier horse, etc... But are they really learning riding? No. Are they really learning horses? No. Are they learning feel? NO... The BNR's know what they're doing. If they didn't they wouldn't have gotten there. But the pressure to always be the best, win this CCI, get X number of young horses sold this year, get on a team, etc. has changed priorities. It is a job for them, no longer a passion IMO.

We have to bring riders back to the foundations of riding. Without this, eventing as a sport we all know will be gone.

fooler
Jun. 21, 2010, 12:51 PM
This is my 34th year competing in the sport. I have never run a short format 3-Day, and have lost track of how many Classic (as a CD for one, I better get that right!). Far too many times, A and C, and sometimes even B seemed an afterthought, with really bad footing. Big Events. We had a horse injury a hind suspensory at Essex jumping out of a foot of mud on the steeplechase. Never ran another 3-Day.
I think soft tissue injuries were much more common than people realized, but I also think that a high percentege of those were already cooking, and the speed on steeplechase just made them finally happen.
Tom Angle

I highlighted what to me is the most important reason for the full format. The warm-up (A), stress (B) and cool down (C) brought problems to light before phase D. Often these problems will never be found without the 'testing' such as phases a,b,c.
IMO - the requirement to "know" your horse in the speed and endurance phases required a different focus toward both riding and conditioning.

Understand that the LF is 'dead' and can not be revived without a heart transplant. But when I see and hear about riding such as on the link - I wonder about the longevity of the current UL competition.

annikak
Jun. 21, 2010, 12:52 PM
That was just the worst thing to watch in my 5 min break between classes....ugh.

Jazzy Lady
Jun. 21, 2010, 01:07 PM
Canada has a strong support system now. We have an excellent coach, vet and farrier working for the team.

BUT, a coach is only as good as the horses and riders he is coaching. We have some excellent talent that are HUNGRY. I think some of them are hungrier than the BNT US riders because they only have one or two horses at the UL and they want it SO BAD because they haven't had it before. Do you think PD is as hungry as some of our young canadians?

There were quite a few Canadian horses/riders that did amazing at Rolex and it was their first CCI****. Look at Michelle and Amistad. Their goal (I believe from fundraisers and what not) was to qualify for London 2012 and here she sits on the short list for the WEGS with a beautiful ride at Rolex.

If you look at results from the past 3 years, our Canadians have been on a continual uprise in standings. This isn't the first year that we've had our riders on the top at some impressive events, but we have enough now that we're starting to get noticed.

The reason that Canadians at the UL's compete and train in the US is because we lack the resources up here. We have ONE advanced event in Ontario. We have ONE CCI***. We have 4 intermediate events in Ontario and these levels are just starting to get on par with the courses in the US. If our riders didn't go to the US, they wouldn't get to compete at the UL's.

Bobthehorse
Jun. 21, 2010, 01:23 PM
Its true. If you want to be competitive above Prelim, you have to either move to the US (or UK) or do a lot of traveling to events and winter in the US anyway.

quietann
Jun. 21, 2010, 02:18 PM
That was just the worst thing to watch in my 5 min break between classes....ugh.

Watch the Groton House video; it should make you smile :)

RunForIt
Jun. 21, 2010, 02:32 PM
sadly, even before Robby posted the video from Chatt Hills, I had watched each ride of the 2* in person and from my never-ridden-above-Training perspective coached into me by a long format advanced rider had remarked to her that I was so scared, had shaken my head at the shaky way the 2* course had been ridden - 2**, you're supposed to know what you're doing by now!!!!. Yes, have copied the link to the video, sent it to her, and will watch it with her this weekend asking many questions and listening hard. Her experience, training, and level of riding are disappearing from the horizon all too fast. :(

RunForIt
Jun. 21, 2010, 02:37 PM
This is my 34th year competing in the sport. I have never run a short format 3-Day, and have lost track of how many Classic (as a CD for one, I better get that right!). Far too many times, A and C, and sometimes even B seemed an afterthought, with really bad footing. Big Events. We had a horse injury a hind suspensory at Essex jumping out of a foot of mud on the steeplechase. Never ran another 3-Day.
I think soft tissue injuries were much more common than people realized, but I also think that a high percentege of those were already cooking, and the speed on steeplechase just made them finally happen.
Tom Angle

Thank you, Tom. :cool: All perspectives need to be considered about all perspectives!

wanderlust
Jun. 21, 2010, 02:38 PM
The only place I've seen less ineffective flapping is in a flock of penguins. Good gravey. The best rides were the ones who actually tried to add up to the base rather than this land in a heap and then do the hoochee choochee hula yehaw attempt at 4 strides. It rode nice as a 5 stride and the horses were able to come up around the fence.

I was taught and learned that you shorten the stride in the water to let the horse get their feet up and go for a more powered short step. I guess Jimmy Wofford and others who taught me this were wrong. After watching the entire thing- if you add up to the base of the combination into the water, you get a scrambly 1.5 strides. When well-ridden, it is a forward-ish one stride. However, that leaves the rider screwed to the in-water element. The only one who had a decent ride through that whole thing was Beth Perkins, and only because she didn't take a direct line from the drop to the water element.

In my opinion, when every. single. rider. eats it like this, including ones with years and years of top-level experience, it is a design flaw, not poor riding.

Robby Johnson
Jun. 21, 2010, 02:42 PM
After watching the entire thing- if you add up to the base of the combination into the water, you get a scrambly 1.5 strides. When well-ridden, it is a forward-ish one stride. However, that leaves the rider screwed to the in-water element. The only one who had a decent ride through that whole thing was Beth Perkins, and only because she didn't take a direct line from the drop to the water element.

In my opinion, when every. single. rider. eats it like this, including ones with years and years of top-level experience, it is a design flaw, not poor riding.

I loved the first horse's solid citizen way of going. His rider had every opportunity to do the 5 there. She did 4. It was gasp-y for me. Not to single her out, but since she was the only one shown twice (and last, I think), she did the same exact thing on a very different type of horse with a VERY different (even scarier) result.

This, to me, is very reflective of riding way above the skillset.

RunForIt
Jun. 21, 2010, 02:46 PM
After watching the entire thing- if you add up to the base of the combination into the water, you get a scrambly 1.5 ...
In my opinion, when every. single. rider. eats it like this, including ones with years and years of top-level experience, it is a design flaw, not poor riding.

should/would riders be able to walk the lines to/through this question and see that the design flaw was there - not saying it was, just asking. If there was a flaw in the design of the questions and possible lines, why didn't someone discern the flaw and talk with the TD? Why couldn't the TD (this particular one is stellar) see the problem? Asking because my original thoughts in May were that the line itself had been set wrong...no protests were raised so I thought I was incorrect, especially as I did not walk the lines myself, just watched the lines ridden and cringed ride after ride.

Blugal
Jun. 21, 2010, 02:54 PM
Or maybe Beth Perkins walked her line, decided that there was a question to be answered regarding distance, line, and adjustability for that jump combination, and then rode accordingly.

I do wonder if the brush on the within-water element caused some of the funny jumping by the horses - but when riders at Intermediate are not riding with connection in the water, it's not JUST a course-design problem.

RAyers
Jun. 21, 2010, 02:55 PM
After watching the entire thing- if you add up to the base of the combination into the water, you get a scrambly 1.5 strides. When well-ridden, it is a forward-ish one stride. However, that leaves the rider screwed to the in-water element. The only one who had a decent ride through that whole thing was Beth Perkins, and only because she didn't take a direct line from the drop to the water element.

In my opinion, when every. single. rider. eats it like this, including ones with years and years of top-level experience, it is a design flaw, not poor riding.



Then some of these riders are not doing their homework or walking the courses. Becky Holder tried to hold but it looks like a green horse mistake (he went when she was saying "whoa there kiddo!"). Clark Montgomery did well.

This is why we walk the course. We look and analyze and speak with the rider reps/TD. Bad design can be part of the problem but many of the riders sure as hell failed to even adjust for the test.

The 1 stride in is forward and should be ridden as such but the drop is sufficient to cause the horses to land in a heap. It is here the 5 stride building to a forward step at the base of the in water element occurs. This was not a new type of question. There are courses all over with similar set ups.

There is no rule against getting your feet wet before your ride.

NeverTime
Jun. 21, 2010, 03:11 PM
I highlighted what to me is the most important reason for the full format. The warm-up (A), stress (B) and cool down (C) brought problems to light before phase D. Often these problems will never be found without the 'testing' such as phases a,b,c.
IMO - the requirement to "know" your horse in the speed and endurance phases required a different focus toward both riding and conditioning.


:confused: :confused: Sidebar, but I'm curious:

The sentence BEFORE the one you highlighted in Tom's post is equally crucial: Often (usually?), in the LF, the footing, particularly on A & C, was atrocious. It didn't "test" for problems -- it caused them. Lots of that footing was nothing any self-respecting horseman would choose to trot across for miles. "Knowing" your horse means, in part, being his advocate, looking for appropriate footing for the task at hand (ie, not doing a gallop set when the ground is rock hard just because your schedule says so -- or not choosing the rocky, rooty trails of Bromont and Fair Hill to trot for miles) and doing your best to ensure his continued comfort and soundness.

And if a horse had a problem brewing (let's say a tendon, for example), why is it a positive thing for that tendon to go on Phase B instead of D (or, go on Phase B instead of not go at all)?

There are many good arguments in favor of the LF, but IMO this isn't one of them, for the reasons Tom mentioned.

NeverTime
Jun. 21, 2010, 03:19 PM
One more thought about the weird striding in the line: The water adds another unknown to the equation when walking a line like this -- sometimes it (its depth combined with the firmness of the footing of the water jump) slows horses much more or less than you anticipate when walking, and it's something no one realizes until the horses start actually jumping it.
Then the message gets back to the barn that it's riding really long in the 4, and you have to decide whether you are going to stick with your plan (ie, ride it in the 4 strides you thought it walked but be aggressive because you now know it's riding long) or hold for a 5-stride line that you never walked because you didn't anticipate it would be an issue? I'm not sure it's easy to categorically say which of those options demonstrates better horsemanship.
(Though, had it been me and my short-strided horse, if I'd heard it was riding long in the 4 I would've held for the 5 even if I hadn't walked that way because I know that "long" for other horses usually = extra stride for mine.)

Anyways, just another thought for the discussion.

wanderlust
Jun. 21, 2010, 03:26 PM
should/would riders be able to walk the lines to/through this question and see that the design flaw was there - not saying it was, just asking. If there was a flaw in the design of the questions and possible lines, why didn't someone discern the flaw and talk with the TD? Why couldn't the TD (this particular one is stellar) see the problem? Asking because my original thoughts in May were that the line itself had been set wrong...no protests were raised so I thought I was incorrect, especially as I did not walk the lines myself, just watched the lines ridden and cringed ride after ride. I don't think the lines were necessarily set wrong. I think either the course designer or the riders, or both, misread how the line would ride in real life.

IMO, both designing and walking a course are academic exercises. The course designer considers a variety of factors and asks questions. The rider interprets the questions and 'theorizes' the best answer. Then they test that theory in real life during the actual ride. In this case, I wonder "was the original question not asked correctly, or was it incorrectly interpreted or answered?"

Strictly theoretically, having never walked the course or seen the measurements or depth of water, it appears the thought process of the majority of riders was something along: "it is a moving one stride into the water, so I'm going to land a bit out into the water with some momentum and have slipped my reins. Makes the most sense to kick on for the 4, rather than try to gather and collect up for a sloppy, under-powered 5." Of course, we saw how that worked out for them... so did they have the wrong answer, or was there an issue with the question in the first place?

starfish
Jun. 21, 2010, 03:28 PM
That Chatt Hills video looks very much like what I witnessed at the Fork.

Is the arm-flapping and loose-but-driving-seat part of the ICP curriculum? Who on earth is teaching this method? Or is it monkey-see-monkey-do?



One rider in particular flapped throughout including on re-approach after she had a stop in the water. Unnecessary arm flapping is not ideal but does happen in the 'heat' of the moment, but on re-approach? I don't think there is much excuse for that, imo.

I think the riding at the Fork was a bit better, but you are right that there was lots of interesting riding choices being made. Alot of the riders in the Chatt video are very lucky to be sitting on such willing and scopey horses.

TB or not TB?
Jun. 21, 2010, 03:41 PM
One thing to note, though, is the quality of these horses. Genuine, scopey, athletic, flashy. We are sitting on much finer beasts, on average, than we used to. And the real shame is the humans have slipped in quality, perhaps because they can get away with it.

I think this may be a bigger problem than can be covered in this thread. We have some VERY quality horses around right now. The dominance of the backyard horse or OTTB is not gone per se, but virtually unseen above Prelim. The nicer the horse, generally speaking, the greater margin of error for the rider. I am embarrassed to say that I finally got around to watching Rolex this weekend, and was astonished at both the quality of horse and some extremely sloppy mistakes. Several times I actually commented, "With another rider, this horse would be competitive on the international scene;" and these were not the New Kids breaking in to their first Rolex... I saw the reverse as well - a couple horses who were lovely 3* animals but were clearly scraping by on the 4* level only due to the caliber of rider on their back.

Perhaps dropping the concept of the "Team" horse has hit us harder than we thought.

It goes against my views a bit to say "Yes, funnel the best horses to the best riders," as I love the underdog and those who make their own horses, but if the US actually wants to make a stand on the International scene, perhaps we need to be a bit more cut-throat in our team building. A brilliant horse with an average rider will only ever be average. An average horse with a brilliant rider will only ever be average. Neither is good enough for WEG.

Atigirl
Jun. 21, 2010, 04:46 PM
I am by no means an upper level rider, but even at the Novice level I have been taught that the strides are different on a bending line. I have had many lessons at home where the exercise is to take the "inside line" in 2 strides or if I am jumping oxer to verticle I might want the 3 strides and take the outside line. Know how to walk a course even at the novice level is important. Green horses at the lower levels may not be able to hold a line very well, but if I were going to ride at the intermediate level then I would sure want to be on a horse that could. JMO

snoopy
Jun. 21, 2010, 04:58 PM
Far too many times, A and C, and sometimes even B seemed an afterthought, with really bad footing. Big Events.
I think soft tissue injuries were much more common than people realized, but I also think that a high percentege of those were already cooking, and the speed on steeplechase just made them finally happen.
Tom Angle


YUP!

rivenoak
Jun. 21, 2010, 06:11 PM
I am by no means an upper level rider, but even at the Novice level I have been taught that the strides are different on a bending line. I have had many lessons at home where the exercise is to take the "inside line" in 2 strides or if I am jumping oxer to verticle I might want the 3 strides and take the outside line. Know how to walk a course even at the novice level is important. Green horses at the lower levels may not be able to hold a line very well, but if I were going to ride at the intermediate level then I would sure want to be on a horse that could. JMO

I think just as important is knowing when & how to deviate from the measured distance. A spur of the moment change to Plan B because of current circumstances.

Land in the water and feel short? Rather than kick for the 4 just because that's how it measured/walked, consider how to ensure a better (safer?)distance: compress the stride and plan for the 5 or swing a little wide to get the 5. Or a 6 or whatever it takes to get there with impulsion to a decent distance.

Don't bury a horse under the fence, but don't let them go underpowered from a gappy distance, either. Both are rather unfair to the equine partner.

The rider's got the brain in charge of the endeavor, use it. And yes, I know that decisions have to be made quickly. Plan for Plans A, B, C, D or E; especially if you are not an intuitive rider.

But to be fair, maybe some of these riders have their extra plans & forget to execute them.

Hony
Jun. 21, 2010, 07:15 PM
I take it you don't live in Canada. :lol::lol::lol:

There are lots of geographical gaps between certified coaches. And 'certified coach' doesn't mean much up here. Many are simply terrible.



Thank you JER. Just what I was thinking. I think most people who want a credible coach look at their results not their certification.

JER
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:01 PM
On foundations and building a future:

A few weeks ago, the New York Times mag did a very interesting article (with a great slide show) on the youth academy for the Dutch football (soccer, if you must) club Ajax.

How a Soccer Star is Made (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/magazine/06Soccer-t.html?scp=1&sq=ajax%20soccer&st=cse)

The youth academy -- where boys train from the age of 7 and up with the single-minded goal of developing professional players -- is simply called The Future (De Toekomst). Because Dutch football can no longer compete with the cash-flush top leagues in the UK, Spain and Italy, Ajax now focuses on developing top prospects and then selling them -- yes, selling them and for millions of Euros -- to the Premiership, La Liga or Serie A. This is hard-headed Dutch pragmatism and it works.

Our sports are quite different but there's a lot of very provocative stuff in the piece -- how to develop youngsters, how to confront them with reality, what's the best way to make a true pro (hint: they don't play a lot of games). This is a system that recruits the best and supports them; in effect, it is the opposite of the 'American dream' pay-to-play style.

What's perhaps most riveting is the thoughtfulness and maturity of the kids they interview. They see the system for what it is and have a clear vision of reality, even though that means they may not be the next Johan Cruyff.

Fancy That
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:03 PM
sorry to go off topic, but I loved watching Emily and her lovely morgan, Bacardi....on that video link. Thanks for sharing it!

When I first watched it - I had no idea that was a Morgan, but I thought to myself "wow - that looks like a Morgan"...simply because of the way he carried himself.

I've never heard of a purebred Morgan going Intermediate! That is fantastic!


I had the great pleasure of meeting Emily and Bacardi at Groton House. They're both fairly young, and the horse is a Morgan. He can get a bit looky and silly in dressage, and has trouble making time in X/C and S/J, but is a "machine" to the fences when he's in the right mood. These problems will show up in their USEA record -- but when he is on, he is ON. They're from Canada, BTW :) And they'd run Prelim at Groton House the weekend before...

(Insert standard plug for trying Morgan/TB crosses for eventing here :) )

And Groton House? Wonderful! It's the first event I ever saw, and it gave me a perhaps biased view of what eventing *should* be like, with the big gallopy natural X/C course.

ETA: I found the Chatt Hills video almost too painful to watch.

fooler
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:05 PM
:confused: :confused: Sidebar, but I'm curious:

The sentence BEFORE the one you highlighted in Tom's post is equally crucial: Often (usually?), in the LF, the footing, particularly on A & C, was atrocious. It didn't "test" for problems -- it caused them. Lots of that footing was nothing any self-respecting horseman would choose to trot across for miles. "Knowing" your horse means, in part, being his advocate, looking for appropriate footing for the task at hand (ie, not doing a gallop set when the ground is rock hard just because your schedule says so -- or not choosing the rocky, rooty trails of Bromont and Fair Hill to trot for miles) and doing your best to ensure his continued comfort and soundness.

And if a horse had a problem brewing (let's say a tendon, for example), why is it a positive thing for that tendon to go on Phase B instead of D (or, go on Phase B instead of not go at all)?

There are many good arguments in favor of the LF, but IMO this isn't one of them, for the reasons Tom mentioned.

Just to clarify - I do not wish any injury, to horse or human, on or off course at all. Of course few listen to my wishes so we know injuries do happen.:no:

This is opinion only as I have only groomed at LF's. Having an injury
jumping a single fence on steeplechase with the room to pull to the side is to me preferrable to having the same injury in the middle of a "complex" of three or more elements, especially requiring a drop or jump up.

FYI - There is a huge difference between overall footing at XC courses in the 70's - 90's to today. In fact one of our favorite events in Area III encouraged competitors to use pads because of the footing.

Liebe-ist-Krieg
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:18 PM
I was one of the CIC** riders in the Chatt Hills video, and I must say that it rode quite fast, once you were in the water there was not very much time to change your plan. The a element was a very similar fence to the c element, and rode rather large. Also, the hill preceding the water was quite steep and added a lot of momentum. I was not pleased with my ride, I held for a stride and for whatever reason, my horse did not add it. He is quite scopey and has been known to do this, but usually not in a technical combination. From this I learned that I need to balance back even more than I had previously thought for combinations such as this, and rather than trust his experience (he has done 3 more 2* than I have) and training to make the right decision, and more aggressively ride a close stride. I did not realize how many other riders had difficulty through the water until I watched this video, and although it was certainly unpleasant, something has to be said for the fact that there were no falls. Also, I believe that intermediate rode the same A and B, and I heard that there was some rough riding seen in that division as well. I think we also have to remember that this is cross country riding, and it is not always going to be textbook. The officials present did not feel the need to pull any riders or make any changes to the course, and as I rider I did not feel any needed to be made either. Advanced rode the same A,B,C (plus a D element), and my trainer, who was watching, reported that Phillip Dutton had a similar ride to mine the combination. (Not that this in any way excuses my ride, I'm providing this rather to show that perhaps the question was difficult for the horses to read. That does not mean it was not possible to ride it correctly. Will Coleman had a beautiful ride through.)

TLA
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:21 PM
Let me say that I do not support the short format - never have. I guess one of these days I will run one, but not until I do another Prelim 3 Day. The problems I spoke of may have contributed to the demise of the LF, but they could have been fixed. Snoopy is correct about what has happened. What we have lost is going to be difficult to overcome over the long haul.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:35 PM
Will Coleman had a beautiful ride through.)


Not to my eye at all. His position was nice as a rider and he was good through the one stride...but he stood WAY off the C element...there was another stride that should have been added. If he held the horse together instead of sending him (powerful canter instead of long and flat), it would have been a nice 5. The horse left so long to C that he banked off the fence with his hind legs...it was a bit scary. I'm not sure I saw a single ride on that video that I thought looked beautiful.....

Wee Dee Trrr
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:46 PM
In 2005, I was 18 and I was a WS for a BNT in FL. I was grooming at a 2*/3* (that no longer exists), while filling buckets I over heard a conversation between a (different) BNT and a horse-show mom.

Punch line of the conversation: It takes a string of 3-6 horses going ABOVE prelim to be considered for a team.

Horse-show mom nodded in agreement at the exact moment my dreams were dying.

I've produced 3 preliminary level horses, started many more that didn't want to go that far. But I've never had two horses going prelim at one time. And I could NEVER have afforded to.

Now don't feel sorry for me :lol: That WS stint prompted going to college instead of riding for the sake of a team. I ride solely for fun now. Although, I take great pride in being an amateur that produces lovely horses on a grad school budget.


On a side note: A few of the riders in that Chatt Hills video need to take a clinic from Lucinda and work on their "emergency rein contact"! :winkgrin:

Liebe-ist-Krieg
Jun. 21, 2010, 08:54 PM
BFNE-
I was referring to Will's Advanced ride through the water, actually I don't think he competed in the CIC**. I agree, I do not think any rides on that video could be considered beautiful.

starfish
Jun. 21, 2010, 10:31 PM
BFNE-
I was referring to Will's Advanced ride through the water, actually I don't think he competed in the CIC**. I agree, I do not think any rides on that video could be considered beautiful.

For clarity, I think BFNE is actually referring to Clark Montgomery's ride.

Gry2Yng
Jun. 21, 2010, 10:52 PM
Snoopy,a very interesting exercise would be a careful analysis of the total infrastructure built around the US show jumping team, under George Morris` leadership, and compare that to the total infrastructure built around the US 3-Day team, under Phillips.

Perhaps it`s already been done. Certainly, if most of us were involved with the High Performance branch of the USEF, wouldn`t that be about the first thing that would come to mind?

In fact, I just had this very discussion with some girlfriends from jumper land. Sponsors/owners/competitors at the WEG level, many with experience dating back to the days before what's her name bought the first $million horse. Sadly, we reached no conclusion, except that GM seems to have sorted it out and CMP has not. They have depth, we don't. They do offer suggestions, but don't "get it" about some things as far as eventing goes.

ETA: I gave a lot of time, energy and emotion to the YR program when it was a long format. When the FEI REQUIRED that YR's do the short format for their Championship, that was the end of it for me. The long format taught horsemanship and compassion. I watched so many young men and women learn important lessons that they took into adulthood at Virginia, Tempel Farms and Bromont that I don't think a simple short format can ever teach. For me, that week was a mini course in life's lessons for those kids. We lost a lot as a society when we changed the format. I am blessed to continue to watch so many of those girls become successful young women.

Gry2Yng
Jun. 21, 2010, 11:10 PM
Not saying there wasn't some less than stellar riding going on at times there, but the Advanced division had nearly as much trouble with that same combination. I'm not sure exactly what it was about that combination, but it didn't really seem to ride well for anyone - I think I remember two rides that actually looked okay there?

I watched the whole thing, wanted to turn it off a few times, but it seemed to me that regardless of that happened on the way in, the roll top with the brush in the water was not being read correctly by the horses. They just didn't seem to understand where they needed to leave the ground/water and those that didn't bank it (with the exception of about 2) landed flat footed or even four footed.

gooddirt
Jun. 22, 2010, 08:38 AM
We don't put brush jumps in the water.

snoopy
Jun. 22, 2010, 08:39 AM
We never put brush jumps in the water.




and for good reason.

mugsgame
Jun. 22, 2010, 09:32 AM
Personally as an outsider the US has absolutely no strength in depth. Not sure where the fault lies but you seem to have no up and coming young riders? Why are Pan Ams not used as testing grounds for young combinations? Why are your top YRs (Under 25s) not sent to Europe for a 2*/3* in Ireland or UK to get experience in a different setting?
For me I think its sad to see the likes of Kim Severson potentially making the team on a horse who is not a championship horse.
What has happened to the years when The O'Connors would have several top class horses along with Bruce Davidson and several other riders would come over and spend time competing in Europe?

eventingfan
Jun. 22, 2010, 09:54 AM
Personally as an outsider the US has absolutely no strength in depth. Not sure where the fault lies but you seem to have no up and coming young riders? Why are Pan Ams not used as testing grounds for young combinations? Why are your top YRs (Under 25s) not sent to Europe for a 2*/3* in Ireland or UK to get experience in a different setting?
For me I think its sad to see the likes of Kim Severson potentially making the team on a horse who is not a championship horse.
What has happened to the years when The O'Connors would have several top class horses along with Bruce Davidson and several other riders would come over and spend time competing in Europe?

$$$$$ that's why. I know several YRs who would jump at the chance and would end up doing this country proud after the experience but the funds are not there.

nomeolvides
Jun. 22, 2010, 10:02 AM
$$$$$ that's why. I know several YRs who would jump at the chance and would end up doing this country proud after the experience but the funds are not there.
Maybe some YRs should be sent to the Pan Ams instead of the usual team stalwarts.

RAyers
Jun. 22, 2010, 10:10 AM
But remember, it is not just money but the appropriate and judicious use of it. You can have all the money in the world available and still field a crap team.

At this point, the "cracks" in the system are evidence of years of neglect and will take years to fix.

Reed

JER
Jun. 22, 2010, 10:39 AM
$$$$$ that's why.

I suspect that if someone did the numbers, we'd find that there is a significant amount of money spent on the sport in the US, whether it comes from sponsors or owners or organizational support or families/riders.

It's just that the return on investment isn't good.

Gry2Yng
Jun. 22, 2010, 10:57 AM
We don't put brush jumps in the water.

When I watched the video it appeared that the roll top in the water had brush on top of it. Was that an optical illusion?

EventingChase
Jun. 22, 2010, 11:04 AM
Gooddirt is referring to their courses at Pinetop.

The video of Chatt Hills does show a rolltop with brush.

fooler
Jun. 22, 2010, 11:04 AM
We don't put brush jumps in the water.

And did anyone notice how many horses 'banked' or pushed off this fence?

This is one of my concerns with deformable fences and those horses who have learned to 'trust' the solid fences to bounce on or over.

Badger
Jun. 22, 2010, 11:05 AM
It looks to me like the horses totally misjudged where the reflection ended and the jump began. Several of the horses were not even trying to find a stride to the base, which is weird and does make me think the fence was an optical illusion. And, yes, it looks like there is brush on top.

mugsgame
Jun. 22, 2010, 11:06 AM
Ok dumb question, but where does the profit from Rolex or the other three days go? Is there no profit? I know Burghley and Blenheim pumps around £500,000 back into British Eventing's coffers.

lizajane09
Jun. 22, 2010, 11:09 AM
When I watched the video it appeared that the roll top in the water had brush on top of it. Was that an optical illusion?

You're correct - there was brush on top of that jump.