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Painted Wings
Oct. 29, 2004, 08:15 PM
So I read in the COTH that my former home raised eventing mount has once again won his division of Novice, this time at Waredaca Horse Trials with his current owner DC McBroom. With a dressage score of 23!

http://www.waredaca.com/HorseTrials/2004-03/resultsSat.htm

I find it amazing that any horse can score a 23 much less a former horse of mine. This lady must be some kind of super DQ. If not, she ought to be.

Anyway, congrats to DC and Woodbine, they are truly a perfect team and I'm sure she has worked hard to get there. I hope she has a video of that dressage test as it must have been spectacular. I sure wish I had seen it. I'd have been a proud mama. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Painted Wings
Oct. 29, 2004, 08:15 PM
So I read in the COTH that my former home raised eventing mount has once again won his division of Novice, this time at Waredaca Horse Trials with his current owner DC McBroom. With a dressage score of 23!

http://www.waredaca.com/HorseTrials/2004-03/resultsSat.htm

I find it amazing that any horse can score a 23 much less a former horse of mine. This lady must be some kind of super DQ. If not, she ought to be.

Anyway, congrats to DC and Woodbine, they are truly a perfect team and I'm sure she has worked hard to get there. I hope she has a video of that dressage test as it must have been spectacular. I sure wish I had seen it. I'd have been a proud mama. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

sagebrush
Oct. 29, 2004, 08:37 PM
If the horse is up to the jumping part than she needs to move up.
I scored a 24 at novice on a horse one time and my instructor insisted he move up as she felt it wasn't fair to keep competing at novice by scoring so well in dressage.
Congrats!!!!

SR Rider
Oct. 29, 2004, 08:47 PM
I feel like novice is one of the most difficult divisions to ribbon in since you have "professional" novice riders who probably are really DQ's in the off season

Boss Hoss
Oct. 29, 2004, 09:42 PM
uhh..I scored a 21.5 at training in the spring and I didn't see anyone telling me to move up to prelim because of that? I tied for 1st out of 93 riders in dressage at the AEC and got eliminated on xc..so I wouldn't put much that much merit on how a dressage score translates into jumping abilities...specifically not related to moving up the levels.

Of course fix the jumping problems and a score in the 20s is almost unbeatable..save a rail or two.

And no, DC is no DQ...although she does look smashing http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

IfWishesWereHorses
Oct. 30, 2004, 02:57 AM
Friend of mine scored a 14 at her first pre training (your novice level) on a young horse. I saw the score and had to admit I thought the scorer had rubbed out part of the first digit..thought it was supposed to be 44 as everyone else had scores ranging from 28 to 45!!!

No, it was 14 and she did a near perfect test with comments and scores to match!

Elghund2
Oct. 30, 2004, 03:40 AM
I used to think it was amazing to see anyone score below a 30. Now I am seeing a lot of scores in the 20's. Does anyone else think that there is score deflation going on here?

deltawave
Oct. 30, 2004, 04:54 AM
Dressage scores have PRECIOUS LITTLE to do with one's ability to move up. I've seen horses do stellar in dressage that are XC weenies or horrible jumpers...this is VERY common at the lowest levels because people are bringing their fancy dressage horses out to give eventing a try. And this is a good, good thing: no doubt lots of these horses improve, but a low score doesn't connote readiness to move up in any way, shape or form.

In DC's horse's case, he has (IIRC) an old pasture injury that keeps him from going higher than Novice. Having seen them go, I'm convinced that is the ONLY thing holding them back--they're a fabulous team. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

Way to go, DC and Woody!

ThirdCharm
Oct. 30, 2004, 05:32 AM
Score deflation? I don't really think so. 20s in dressage would be 70something in dressage, which is a fairly common winning score (well, maybe not COMMON, but you know what I mean). Eventers are just getting better at dressage, since being last after dressage and going clear jumping doesn't get you in the ribbons like it used to!

JenniferS

JSwan
Oct. 30, 2004, 05:39 AM
Painted Wings - that is a great story - it's so nice to hear about a former horse doing well and happy with its new owner.

As far as the scores - I see a lot of really good dressage in the lower levels - the riders can get away with some less than stellar xc and stadium rounds. But as you move up - dressage becomes just another score - the focus is still (and I hope it remains so) on xc.

That's what separates the men from the boys. Many folks stay at the lower levels because let's face it - how many of us grow up galloping across hayfields anymore? Fewer and fewer of us feel comfortable taking obstacles at speed.

Gry2Yng
Oct. 30, 2004, 06:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sagebrush:
If the horse is up to the jumping part than she needs to move up.
I scored a 24 at novice on a horse one time and my instructor insisted he move up as she felt it wasn't fair to keep competing at novice by scoring so well in dressage.
Congrats!!!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think we should ever put pressure on anyone to move up. Even if they win every weekend on a 14. We do what we are comfortable with or in this case, what the horse is capable of. I am sure DC gets enough heat about her winning performances.

retreadeventer
Oct. 30, 2004, 06:45 AM
Got a 19 this summer at Plantation. But it didn't help on cross country! Hah hah. I was smiling at this thread...

Muck r us
Oct. 30, 2004, 07:15 AM
You go Woody, you the man!

Not bad for a horse who almost severed a tendon in his hind leg.

Boss Hoss
Oct. 30, 2004, 08:34 AM
No I don't think its score deflation..I think its called BETTER dressage being done in the sport. Its also the influence of bringing in better bred "sporthorses" into eventing, not to knock a TB just referring to more dressage/jumper bloodlines.

I better score low 20s considering Manny scores in the 70% range in recognized first level shows. I consider this a barometer for whether the judging id deflation or not. Yes I have bad days, Manny does too in the dressage arena, but to score high 30s even is a bad dream anymore http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

And the judges i see in eventing are also whom I see in recognized dressage, so don't say eventing dressage isn't rewarded correctly.

Sometimes I feel uncomfortable being too far ahead on the leader board, cause I know the others in my division are hoping that fancy dressage horse of mine won't go double clean..its the "curse of dressage" I say.

deltawave
Oct. 30, 2004, 11:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Sometimes I feel uncomfortable being too far ahead on the leader board, cause I know the others in my division are hoping that fancy dressage horse of mine won't go double clean..its the "curse of dressage" I say. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Puh-leez. Give your fellow competitors SOME credit--there are very, very few bad sports in eventing, IME, who go around wishing someone else will have a bad ride. Sounds more like the "curse of a colossal ego" to me. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

djudge
Oct. 30, 2004, 02:11 PM
I have given a 20% in a preliminary test and was sure I would have scored the ride about an 80% in First Level at a Dressage show as well. (The short arena has some impact on this)

I think there will be lower scores in the future as more and more warmbloods are being brought into eventing for the modified courses. It is true though that some warmbloods don't think the cross country is as much fun as other breeds http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Robby Johnson
Oct. 30, 2004, 02:19 PM
Sorry Boss Hoss, you walked right into that one and, never one to disappoint, DW didn't disappoint!

When you're consistently finishing on that low 20, maybe you'll have voodoo dolls crafted in your likeness!

Also, the lower levels of eventing have never been dominated by the full TB.

Robby

Boss Hoss
Oct. 30, 2004, 02:31 PM
No, you're right..nobody ever wishes that rail will fall or that you will have time penalties or just something, maybe missing a fence. No, that never happens. :roll: of course nobody wishes ill will on anyone else, but sometime the cup holds the rail nomatter what you do and sometimes its loaded with butter and nothing stays up for you.

I think we've all seen instances where someone doing really well in dressage, has problems in XC, for instance. I see it a lot it seems. I've moved up as a result, and been the one falling back too.

Seems there's always one in the top 3 of those really good dressage scores falling back.

We may need dressage/jumper influence from the warmblood programs, but we still need the heart and soul of the TB in the mix. I think we'll see dressage improve more rapidly than xc as the warmblood influence comes in, so don't be surprised to see more lower dressage scores, and more xc troubles to go with it.

deltawave
Oct. 30, 2004, 03:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Seems there's always one in the top 3 of those really good dressage scores <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Alas, I wouldn't know... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif I just keep praying for "30-something" and to find the button that makes my horse CHILL in the dressage ring. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Jleegriffith
Oct. 30, 2004, 03:18 PM
This made me laugh. I am the one with a dressage score of the low 20's but then usually have stops x-country b/c of my chicken horse and yes he is a tb!
This weekend our dressage wasn't so good but he went clean x-country..go figure. He didn't like the mud in the dressage. I learned that he can be very careful about putting his feet down..too careful. He was so slow I felt like I couldn't even get him going.

KellyS
Oct. 30, 2004, 03:52 PM
Don't flame me http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif, but let me say this...

If a rider is competing at Novice year after year and consistently winning...they should at least ride in the Open division and leave the Rider divisions for the newbies and up and coming teams.

I decided to move up to Training this year after my horse and I placed very well at two Novice level events with dressage scores in the 20's. If I hadn't moved up to Training, I would have definitely moved into Open Novice.

Just seems more sportsmanlike. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

hb
Oct. 30, 2004, 07:54 PM
heck, I used to ride in open novice because it was usually a smaller division and I had a better chance at a ribbon! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Boss Hoss
Oct. 30, 2004, 08:48 PM
I have to agree that open novice is not as tough as the restricted divisions, from my experience.

Robby..scoring below 30 is a challenge, finishing on that score is another challenge for sure, one i know all too well.

There are a lot of horses that do go double clean that don't break the mid 30s. These horses are capable of moving up more than the one phase wonders...maybe they won't be in the riboons, but I'd love to have a whole season of double cleans even if I never got a ribbon.

S4zeus
Oct. 30, 2004, 09:54 PM
I have ridden Beg. Novice this last year. It was my first full year competing. I placed at every trial but not high but generally on my dressage score (high 30's) Next spring I will start with a Beg. Novice and most likely move up to Novice. The dressage test will be the same at most places and I think we still need work but we do have the ability to move up to the next division. Our jumping is there just not our dressage.

piaffeprincess98
Oct. 31, 2004, 04:05 AM
My trainer and I were discussing this the yesterday when I got a 28 in dressage at CDCTA with my mare at novice. I didn't think the test was that great and I've recieved a 25 from the same judge before after an equally mediocre test. She thinks, being a dressage judge herself, that this judge had been sitting through novice tests all day where most horses were not being ridden on the bit, through and round so she would give them 4's and 5's. But a horse like mine comes along who can trot around on the bit (it might not be the perfect test), and she is obligated to give me 7's and 8's on movements because she is judging to a standard. I think it makes sense. I would get sick of watching a million novice horses all day too if only a few were actually correct.

IFG
Oct. 31, 2004, 04:08 AM
It is not just score deflation. My friend got an 18 in beginner novice last year. I was in the same division, had a test from hell , and scored a 55(yikes, dare I admit it).

Oh, and she went clear and won. She's at Training now, still going clear.

Painted Wings
Oct. 31, 2004, 05:03 AM
I just recently scribed at a USDF recognized dressage show for a bunch of Training level tests. I would say that on average the quality of the dressage tests I see at a Horse Trials in the Novice division is better than what I saw at the dressage show. There are some really quality rides out there and the last few Horse trials I have been to there has been less than a rail separating the first 6 riders or so in Novice. That is really competitive. On the other end of the scale, when there's a bad ride at a horse trials it is really bad. Usually a total melt down, someone that just wants to "get through dressage" to go have some fun.

I think a dressage score is no indicator of whether it is time to move up in eventing.

california rider
Oct. 31, 2004, 06:04 AM
couple of things

One is that many folks dream of the 20's and for the most part I see people that either really have worked hard to get to that level of communication with their partners or those horses who just "fall" into that auto frame that some judges reward. I think those are the ones people can get testy about as it does not seem fair to those who are just outside the 20's and have to work so hard for some of the 8's while some horses just push peanuts and rack up great scores.

TWO: While nobody wants anyone to fall or get hurt many may mislead themselves in believing that if you have one of those awesomely coveted scores in dressage that there are not those hoping for a run out and or a few rails from the evil trolls coming your way. And I am assuming some will take this wrong and no not everyone thinks this way but it is part of the game. You think the close up's at the olympics of tense faced and clinched fists competitors watching counter parts in stadium or the grand prix ring faces falling with a clear round or hands raised high when a rail comes down and they win the gold or place is by accident? Now are those people evil? NO

THREE: we all know their are career novice riders out there and I respect them a lot. Have some in my barn. In some ways the pressure is on them too, after all they should be perfect as that is all they do right? Those career novice people and folks under training support this sport in ways we should praise. I think sometimes the open novice can be harder or easier to place in especially in the first part of the year when many trainers have babies out there and it is pot luck. We all know the feeling of reading the list of competitors towards the end of the year and sighing when you see a certain name knowing that their dressage will be good ;-)

sagebrush
Oct. 31, 2004, 07:09 AM
I think what people are misssing in my previous post is the emphasis placed on "If you horse is up to it" and I should have added the rider as well. Not placing any pressure on people to move up. It is just that in Dressage when you consistently score above the 70's than it is viewed as a time to set a new goal.

It was my mistake as I guess sometimes my youth and goals get in my way and I forget that not everybody wants an advanced level horse.

These great scores at novice deserve as many congrats as those seen by some of our best riders at the upper levels.

Jleegriffith
Oct. 31, 2004, 07:41 AM
I think that more people are starting to focus on dressage and learn how to do it correctly. When I was in Pony Club and beginning to event it was all about pulling your horse into a frame. Nothing about activating the hind end. When I started to train with actual dressage riders I had a wake up call. I learned to ride from back to front and how to bend and use my seat.
At the few events I have been to I still see a lot of people who don't have a clue how to ride dressage or how to supple their horses. These people may move up if thier horses are good jumpers but they won't be competive on a consistent basis. Just like my horse who does great dressage but stops x-country. I need to practice over x-country jumps until I do become consistent.
I guess I am one of those who will stay at novice simply because I am comfortable there. I have competed my event horse up to second level in recognized dressage with solid scores of 60% and above but he is not a solid x-country horse. He has done the 4ft jumpers but he really requires a strong ride out x-country and if I mess up he makes me pay.
That being said he is not the type I would want to take much higher than training. As the questions get harder he backs off even more. Thus I try to stay at a level where self preservation is an option. Now if I had a different horse I would not have a problem competing at a higher level but truthfully it is hard to do when you work full time and don't practice over these bigger fences on a daily basis.
When I am teaching my students we spend most of our time working on the dressage if they have a horse that is already a good jumper. I encourage my students to show at the dressage shows and take clinics with the top level dressage riders because that is what gets you to the top in dressage. I take lessons on my trainers upper level schoolmaster just to learn how to do the movements so that I can make my horse better. I have competed up through fourth level and I love the dressage. It is hard and fustrating but rewarding at the same time. It makes you ride better and it certaintly makes your horse jump better.

gahawkeye
Oct. 31, 2004, 01:21 PM
I have always seemed to be able to put in a decent test then go clear on the other two phases and have to capitalize on the "misfortunes of others" to get to the ribbons. However, at MidSouth last weekend in ON I received a 21.5 in ON http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif, Of course we dropped a rail in SJ and moved to 2nd but had clean cc. The roles had reversed and I was the one experiencing the "misfortune".

It did enforce one thing...If you win the dressage, you CAN win the event! But you still have to have the double clears.

ideayoda
Oct. 31, 2004, 06:19 PM
A score of 77 is fairly good, and should be within the reach of the rider. The highest I have given was a -4 (the old system) which was 90% (which is the highest score I ever gave). It was a lovely lovely consistent balanced test! I wish everyone could do the same. (Then you have have your clear x country, and even pull a pole or two in stadium). Its not the hard, work the basics of pure rhythm, steady tempo, and equitation!

EventerArapahoe
Nov. 1, 2004, 06:11 AM
KellyS-

I agree! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Robby Johnson
Nov. 1, 2004, 06:18 AM
I do think it's interesting, Boss Hoss, that I too am on a horse who is capable of a mid-30's test but has yet to finish on a mid-30's dressage score.

With my mare, I could almost always bank on a dressage score of 45-50 but *always* the double clears in the jumping rounds!

Robby

KellyS
Nov. 1, 2004, 06:35 AM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I was thinking about this over the weekend after the responses saying that Open Novice is many times easier. I don't think the point is about riding in the easier division, because depending on who is there, it can be a toss up which division will have the lowest score (hence harder, but even this is not a true idea of the level of competition because there may be different judges for the divisions). The point is about riding in the division which accurately reflects your experience. Rider divisions are traditionally geared toward newbies to the sport and less experienced riders. It is nice to give these riders a chance to have a blue ribbon instead of having the division dominated by riders who have years of experience at that level.

That is why I am so against "Amateur" divisions at the lower levels - it allows "professional novice riders" to dominate the divisions with no regard to experience. I just think that the "rider," "open," and "horse" divisions split the lower levels more appropriately. However, I do find that once most Novice riders are performing consistently well at that level (not placing-wise, but performance-wise) that they do move up, instead of hanging around to win a top ribbon. Gotta love eventers! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Shall we reopen the amateur debate?! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

flbay
Nov. 1, 2004, 08:56 AM
On the flip side, should a horse who has consistently poor dressage "NOT" move up? I would argue that many Tbs - mine included - do not excel at dressage for purely mental reasons. No matter how hard we work at home, whatever distracting factors on show day as well as how opinionated pony decides he wants to be will all figure into that score. (Our best score EVER was a 34 at our very first novice HT. Trying to duplicate that ever since. But, he will jump me out of any hole I put him in...if I give him the chance.)

Suffice it to say, I believe dressage as a whole is getting better but is only one part of three with, hopefully, cross country maintaining its position as the most influential component. I believe we should all strive for better dressage since it is the basis for our communication over fences. But sometimes a hotheaded Tb could care less about a dressage "test."

deltawave
Nov. 1, 2004, 09:54 AM
If it's just a "ring nerves" issue, then I think moving up on so-so dressage scores is OK (I am living proof...I don't have ring nerves, but Gwen seems to) but if the bad dressage scores are because a horse and rider are just not educated or communicating, then that can be a scary recipe.

Shorten stride? Lengthen? Bend smoothly around corners? Half halt using seat and shoulders? Huh, I can do those things out on XC, but in the 20x40m box of doom? Fuhgeddaboutit! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

slp2
Nov. 1, 2004, 10:00 AM
flbay: I don't think that dressage SCORES should decide whether a horse should "move up" or not. However, I do think that there are some critical "skill sets" that are used in the dressage tests which the horse should have before moving up. My example would be in the training level dressage test. The horses ability to lengthen and then collect his canter is just one "required movement" on the test. But on the x-c course--I think it is very important for a horse to be able to do this before they can start tackling more technical jumps on a course (i.e. a coffin). Probably not REALLY needed until Prelim--but I think it's safer if that "button" is there at training level.

However, lack of relaxation is one of the things that can cause a horse to have a low dressage score--even though all of the "gears" are there for the horse to safely jump. So I don't know that a poor dressage score (due to tension) is really reflective of the horses level of training.

lovetheduns
Nov. 1, 2004, 01:19 PM
I have to say I completely agree with Kelly and what point she was trying to bring to light. I do not think that one poster was trying to say that if you get consistent stellar dressage scores over and over that you HAVE to move up to the next level. I think the poster was trying to point out the same principles Kelly explained.

I have nothing to lose or anything really to gain by saying any of this. I don’t compete so it is not as if I have sour grapes. I do not really know the pair in question—though I have seen them run as I have hundreds of other pairs. But, I do read the results and I do tend to think I keep a semi decent finger on the pulse so to speak.

To me, if a pair is consistently placing in the top 3 of the group at almost every outing—what does that pair do? Do they move up? Well, what if they can’t? What if the horse can’t? What if the rider can’t? Nothing wrong with that.

But is it entirely ethical to continue to ride in Novice Rider?

Sure it is legal. You could be a pro and as long as you have not competed above that level you are free to continue to ride as a Novice Rider. But are you? Or should you? Should you be able to ride in that division when the division is set up in the spirit of a rider just starting out in that division?

But just because something is legal does not necessarily make it ethical. To say it is, is to try to say there is no difference between what is enforceable and unenforceable. Just because something is ethical does not mean it is legal.

So.. my point? Ride in a venue that is more appropriate for your obvious skill and talent. I could care less if a rider does not want to ever move up. Hey, I don’t blame you. But ride in a level which properly showcases that skill and talent. It is a choice and would probably be more of a challenge then against riders who are testing out their legs and skills.

This does not only go to the pair named in this thread. And this is not personal. It is not even the green evil monster of envy. But I tell you perhaps all the ribbons and trophies will even be more sweet when ridden against other riders of the same or higher caliber.


I used to think, my primary background was hunters, that only the pro amateurs were located within dressage and hunters. I used to think that quite honestly eventing stood taller and more proud than that—I have since realized the pro amateur is neither an anomaly nor a rarity.

deltawave
Nov. 1, 2004, 02:07 PM
I've often thought (AND proposed, but only in a sort of "what if" mode) that a points system ought to exist rather than "Rider" and "Horse" and "Open" divisions...once you pin high enough at a given level to accrue a certain number of POINTS, you either have to move up or ride in the "Open" divisions. No more 10-year veterans in the "Rider" divisions, but nobody has to move up a LEVEL if they don't want to.

So there would be NOVICE divisions and OPEN NOVICE divisions. You may show in Novice until you (the rider) accumulate "x" number of points (based on placings) and then you must ride in Open Novice. No requirements for horses: you can ride your ex-Advanced packer in Novice forever and ever, if all you do is show twice a year and/or you don't pin high enough to "score out" of the Novice division. But if you win everything in sight, you move up or you go "Open" with all the other packers, pros, and veteran Novice riders. This keeps the "plain" Novice division the domain of those who are learning, who show infrequently, and/or those with moderately talented horses, etc. Those folks can still get a nice ribbon now and then, but wouldn't have to go "Open" unless they earned so many of them that they're probably now at least reasonably competitive anyhow.

Too Old for Pony Club
Nov. 1, 2004, 02:21 PM
This year in Ontario they seem to have moved to having just Open and "not-Open" divisions at our events (some of them don't split not-open into junior and senior either). There is also something in the rules somewhere that if a horse/rider combination complete 8 events (and it could be 8 events with no x-c penalties, but don't quote me on that!), they must either move up or move into the Open division. The Open division is also for riders who have competed two levels above the entered level in the past 2 years.
I'd like the "not-open" split junior/senior, but otherwise it suits me fine. There was also talk this year about having a novice adult division at the PT 90 and below levels (our 3' and below; I think that's like US novice and below) for riders who had never competed above PT 90, but I don't think anything came of that.
My personal whine about eventing dressage tests is seeing the fancy schoolmasters trucking along at -2 mph with their noses on their chests and getting good marks for that. At the lower levels, I'd much rather see the forward thinking horse and rider rewarded.

Just my $0.02.

lovetheduns
Nov. 1, 2004, 05:02 PM
Deltawave-- what a good idea and personally I think very fair.

What I don't get is how can you still be proud of yourself and horse if you just keep blowing away the competition with little challenge.

Question for others-- do you think that this system would be fair or desired? Or do you think noone cares enough?

KellyS
Nov. 1, 2004, 05:31 PM
Ditto - I think Deltawave's idea is great! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif Very similar to the "limit" divisions other disciplines have. Personally, I feel that it is much more fair - the up & comings and newbies have a division where they can excel, and once they've gained the requisite experience, they move into an "open" division. Much better than "amateur" and "open".

The question is - how do people feel about having very experienced riders in a "rider" division (which is perfectly legal within the rules)? As LovetheDuns said - maybe it really isn't a big deal to most people. I too am interested to see how other people feel about this. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

I think it's wonderful that this discussion has been allowed to surface. I love hearing everyone else's ideas and opinions!

deltawave
Nov. 1, 2004, 05:37 PM
Just to clarify, the AEC did not offer "Rider" divisions.

Robby Johnson
Nov. 1, 2004, 06:09 PM
I'm personally not bothered by division "professionals." I think they raise the bar and I think this is fair to the sport.

No one tells me when it's time to ask for a promotion at work or move-up with a job. It's somewhat of a personal thing.

Robby

Painted Wings
Nov. 1, 2004, 07:03 PM
Heck, I've been eventing for 20+ years but I work 40-50 hrs a week as a mechanical engineer. I've competed as high as Prelim. My current horse has done many Training events and has been eventing for five years but really doesn't have the speed or desire to make the time. With work the way it's been the last couple of years I've just decided to drop back to Novice and not stress out about it and go out and have a good time with my friends. I did three events this fall, had a great time, and even had one score in the 20s. But my poor horse literally gets drug out of the pasture at times to go to events. I guess I could be termed a "professional" Novice rider as I have much experience and usually score well. But I am on the other hand a true amateur with a full time, non horse related, job and riding can be inconsistent due to work, travel, etc. While I was competing this fall, I also had at least one trip out of town each week for one or more days. People may see me entered in Novice, recognize mine and my horse's name and think that I should be going training but if they lived my life day to day and saw how little chance I really get to ride sometimes and how hard it is to plan ahead, I think they would understand. We should not judge for others when they should move up as most of us don't know the whole story outside of what we see on the show grounds.

Lisamarie8
Nov. 1, 2004, 07:07 PM
I agree with Robby...

Also, i don't know about any of y'all but I event because it's fun. I mean sure it's great to get a ribbon, but I can say that I've been eventing for over 15 years,and this past year is the first season I've had a horse that was competitive. Like I said, it was nice, it was great to be able to qualify for the National Championship, but that's not why I do this. The feeling i get from doing better this time out than last is better than any ribbon i've yet to win.

I do it because it's fun and I get to meet fabulous people and spend time with people who I consider amazing horsemen and good friends.

KellyS
Nov. 1, 2004, 07:40 PM
LisaMarie - that's exactly how I feel! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I love this sport because of the partnership I've built with my horse and all the wonderful people I've met. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif And bottom-line, it's just plain ole fun!

The question is not really about "moving up" because there are many reasons for a team not to be competing at the level people "think" it should be competing at. Been there, done that - had a mare that did fabulous at Novice and had many, many people pushing us to move up to Training, but she never had the heart for it and I almost lost my confidence by giving in to peer pressure, entering an event at Training, and having her pull some stunts that put me off eventing for almost a year.

I'm more interested in how the "rider" division is defined in people's minds. And in typical eventer fashion, ya'll are telling me as long as you've got lovely cross country courses staring at you, a good horse underneath you, and great friends to hang with, it's all good! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

P.S. I'm editing my earlier post to make it more general, I'm worried it will seem too personal!

lovetheduns
Nov. 1, 2004, 08:03 PM
PaintedWings-- I think what Kelly, some others, and myself have tried to say is that just because you are doing well does not mean you should move up to Training or any other level.. BUT... why stay in a novice rider division just because you can?

I am not judging what is going on in someone else's life-- I am judging what is results.

If you consistently (and we are not even talking about a year or two) are winning and pinning high in novice rider (or hell even training rider divisions) what is the point? Why not joing a more challenging division where you are in effect riding against pros and generally equally as skilled riders as yourself in say an open division?

Robby-- I see your point in that it raises the bar in terms of competition but does it?

Though I personally think your metaphor of a job is not the best analogy.

How about this one? Two people each own a horse. One competes at recognized events at novice level with their horse Dobbin twice a month during the season and has been doing so for the past two years.

The other rider has never competed in a recognized event. That rider with her horse Mr. Ed has been to about 3 schooling jumper shows in the past season neither of the two has ever really ran a xc phase.

Both riders show up at a local schooling show with a division for Green Riders. Dobbin and his owner decide to make the show because it will be a nice little cheap outing to keep Dobbin in shape and occupied. Mr. Ed and his rider is taking their first chance jumping a real mini xc course in a show.

The association putting on the show states in the rulebook that beginning riders are anyone that has not shown at that level within that circuit for more than 18 months or hell two years. Both riders legitimately enter the division. The mini xc course for Mr. Ed and his rider are ridden pretty much for the first time. The xc course for the much more seasoned rider is dull and rather ordinary.

So... does this mean that that the level has been brought to a new level? I would hardly think so.. because quite frankly no matter how good a rider Mr, Ed's owner is chances are they will not have the same poise nor the experience that well schooled and competed Dobbin and his rider are.

How many of us have been to a schooling show where we see someone who is obviously so above the rest of the field in terms of experience and skill than everyone else-- not often times i would guess are people thinking.. wow he/she really showed them... most of the time people take a look at that person and think.. why in the world are you showing in that division?

Hell if it is okay why not have the O'connors or anyone else in the same division.. I mean if we are going to raise the bar.. let's raise the bar. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Why even have a novice rider division if it is so important to raise the bar?

I don't care if someone is going to show in Novice their whole life.. heck I don't car eif someone wants to show in BN all their life either. I do think it is opportunitistic to not show at the appropriate level in that division. I think when divisions were thought of I can imagine they were not thought of with the thinking that a person is going to stay at that division for the rest of their lives so they probably did not anticipate that someone would still be riding novice rider (or even training rider) after 3 or more years.

ideayoda
Nov. 1, 2004, 09:22 PM
I grew up in a time where everyone was in one pot (all the people showing the same levels) and one competed to do their (personal) best. As a junior I frequently kicked adults fannies because I worked and rode 10-13 hours a day on anything I could be allowed to ride. Is it about winning, or about riding well? The ever popular question I guess.

Boss Hoss
Nov. 1, 2004, 09:59 PM
After some recent bad outings, I pulled out of my normal competition schedule to train, gasp..that thing we're supposed to do for YEARS before we ever compete. But now adays at the lowe levels, training has lost its emphasis and competitions are used for those schooling experiences. How many are actually schooling one level higher they are competing..and going CLEAN in practice too boot?

Man I'm riding anything right now, whether its over a fence or not..today's schedule was a mix of any and everything 17.3H perch,17H perch/tb,16.2H ID, 15.3H IDSH..Manny has the week off to help his strain. Some are green jumping, some are just green, but like you said..I'm riding anything I can. My riding has improved in the last 15 months due to this variety even. However I know my trainer has mentioned the 100s she rode while in apprenticeship...100s of different horses. Is it any wonder why we wannabes sit at the level we're at for years? not really.

So why are we competing before we have similar experiences? Oh..cause its fun! But I know the competitive spirit can carry one away from the core of training if you let it.

I think we all miss the opportunities to ride at a top event barn where we would see the whole training scale and the different horses and what different applications of foundamentals are applied. The people we admire have been riding 5-8 event horses a day forever (not just any horse they can find)..we can't expect our progress to be as good on one horse a day as sunlight and weather allows after work etc.

I do like the way the USEA restricts the leaderboard, for instance, and would like to see more award programs done like that. So once you move up two levels, you should be out of the running at the lower levels (prelim experience says no novice awards).

But for the person who has been at novice "forever", I don't see that they need to be put into the open division, they are still a novice rider..with much experience yes, but that's the nature of the lower levels.

As for dressage as an indicator of moving up...I don't believe the dressage is actually set correctly for this to be so. The amount of collection required to bring a galloping horse back to approach a prelim one stride skinny corner is similar to that needed to do a canter-walk-canter transition..that's 2nd level in regular dressage, 3rd level when done really well. The training level test we do is not a measurement of the ability to rate into a prelim fence of that nature...I know because I recently tried some of that on schooling and really became aware of the difference then.

But on the same token, it seems odd that the same horse that can jump that element with ease is the one not doing a good dressage test, which needs less collection and rating. But alas that is the science of riding a crotch rocket I'm sure.

flbay
Nov. 2, 2004, 01:15 AM
slp2, Thank you for eloquently stating what I was trying to describe.

Robby Johnson
Nov. 2, 2004, 03:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lovetheduns:

Robby-- I see your point in that it raises the bar in terms of competition but does it?

Though I personally think your metaphor of a job is not the best analogy.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Of course it's not; how can a methaphor be an analogy? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

As a working professional, I have taken jobs when I wasn't as qualified as I should've been to be immediately successful in the role. I was confident in my abilities, but the learning curve was steep.

When peers say to me, "there's a job at so-and-so that you should think about," I have to evaluate the criteria for performance and determine if it's a match and if I'm appropriate and willing to take on the task. While my peers can recommend all day, based on their perception of me as a professional, it's ultimately my decision as to whether or not I can successfully embrace the role.

Bottom line - it's my decision, not yours.

I don't care if you win the Novice Rider division with dressage scores of 14. As long as you're having fun, I say more power to you. As a competitor, I will still make every effort to beat you. But if I don't, I can go back to the barn knowing I gave it my best shot and that the quality of competition was truly top-tier.

lovetheduns
Nov. 2, 2004, 04:36 AM
Ugh.. Robby... *lol* obviously I was way up past my bedtime! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I still think the job world is completely different-- though I think if we HAD to look at it I still think it applies to what I have been expressing.

When I was a recruiter-- noone I ever placed into a new perm job said... "I would like to be doing the same thing I have been doing for XYZ amount of time. I know my abilities at that type of job and I know I kick ass at it. I want to stay just like that exactly."

More often than not.... people wanted jobs where they still were comfortable but they were challenged a little more.

So... still if I think of it in those terms I still fail to see how can someone REALLY want to stay in a division where the majority of the time people in that division are not as experienced?

Kind of like I have an MBA, but damnit I know how to be a great secretary. I think I would like to be a secretary too! I can coast through my job--- work on my very personal best and voila!

Sad to say I know someone just like that-- but hey whatever floats your boat.

I do know someone that just showed in an event as Novice Rider. She trains very hard-- and this was her horse's first event.... Even then I did not have a problem with her doing novice rider.. because she was. She had not evented in almost a year.. and before then she had only evented sparingly at novice with a greenie so heck yeah she was rusty as hell and not as polished as others.

So.. the job thing to me is still a sign of moving up the levels.

Emphatically I must say I am not saying move up the levels in terms of novice to training to prelim.. but move up the level of rider ability.

Yeah in a fluffy bunny world people will compete against these types of people and say..

"Yeah I failed to pin again... but that is okay I gave it my best shot! I feel great. Wow I even almost did just as good as she did."

Erm.. yeah how long does that exactly last??? *laughs* Seriously. Does that last at the seventh event you go to and you keep seeing the same placings with the full knowledge that this person has been doing THE SAME novice rider division for more than 3 YEARS??

No.. please.. you are right in the beginning people will pat themselves on the back and say.. I did a great run.. but people start to get upset and then will not think the same when it is obvious that something else is occuring.

I actually do not mind the one pot.. if it is going to be one pot. And here is why... then EVERYONE is thrown into that one pot.

No lighter division for those that have never been above that particularly level, no division where you have the novice pros either. But I don't think that will fly as a rule.. I think people want the ability to show a reward for their training and particular skill within that level.

Of course IDEAYODA when you get to ride 10-13 hours a day with any horse that comes along the way.. then heck yeah I bet you can ride the pants off of anything and be sure to beat a working adult who is working 10 hours a day at their desk. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I have to admit.. very interesting discourse.



Bottom line - it's my decision, not yours.

I don't care if you win the Novice Rider division with dressage scores of 14. As long as you're having fun, I say more power to you. As a competitor, I will still make every effort to beat you. But if I don't, I can go back to the barn knowing I gave it my best shot and that the quality of competition was truly top-tier.[/QUOTE]

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 04:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
Bottom line - it's my decision, not yours. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

To a point...the Novice Rider division already has restrictions placed upon it - if you've competed at Training Level more than two times within the past 2 years, you're ineligible. This provision allows Novice riders to move up to Training, but if it's not working out for horse/rider, they can move back down.

And I don't think it is about taking the decision out of the rider's hands and forcing them to do something they don't want to do. Structuring the rider division as more of a "limit" division is no different than splitting Novice into Amateur and Open - it is just another way to level the field of play.

Bottom-line, riding in a "Rider" or "Open" division is not about the ribbons because it's a toss-up which division will be more competitive. And it's not about "moving up," "taking on new tasks, or embracing a new role" since the competition is the same for both divisions. It is simply about being a good sportsman.

Edited to add - lovetheduns is doing a super job of saying what I'm trying to say! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Janet
Nov. 2, 2004, 06:39 AM
To address <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The association putting on the show states in the rulebook that beginning riders are anyone that has not shown at that level within that circuit for more than 18 months or hell two years. Both riders legitimately enter the division. The mini xc course for Mr. Ed and his rider are ridden pretty much for the first time. The xc course for the much more seasoned rider is dull and rather ordinary. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> some unrecognized events around here have a "first timers" division, split into "first time horse" (with the likes of me and my sister (*** rider) on brand new greenies) and "first time horse". If you are a first time rider on a first time horse, you can choose.

Janet
Nov. 2, 2004, 06:48 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Hell if it is okay why not have the O'connors or anyone else in the same division.. I mean if we are going to raise the bar.. let's raise the bar. Why even have a novice rider division if it is so important to raise the bar? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Personally, I think it is "cool" to compete against the top riders. Especially since, when they are competing at "our" levels, they are on inexperienced horses. The lkast time i competed against Buck Davidson, for instance, we BOTH got eliminated on Cross country.

But to be serious, it is a matter of judgement. You could have everyone in one division, or you could have 10 different divisions, divided any way you want (at BN, N and T). But it has to relate to the number of people entered, and their experience. You can't have a "first timers" divison if there is only one first timer entered. But if you have a critical mass o first timers (say 8-10), then go for it.

Robby Johnson
Nov. 2, 2004, 09:02 AM
I thought we were talking about forcing people to move up, as was recommended on page 1 of this thread. That is what I refer to when I say "bottom line" and make the job comparison.

What is wrong with the rider division? If I choose to show in that division, and am eligible, and someone else is eligible but better than me, that person can still be a competitive influencer and raise my game.

You don't have to be a professional to be a good rider, or to inspire someone to ride and compete better.

Robby

Robby Johnson
Nov. 2, 2004, 09:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KellyS:
It is simply about being a good sportsman <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think so.

As long as I'm riding within my eligibility, and minding my own business while doing so, it's not up to others to determine when I should move up or when I should enter an Open Division. Let's leave the subjectivity of this sport to the dressage judges, please!

While I am eligibile for the rider divisions, however, I choose to enter the horse divisions as my horse is eligibile as well.

Robby

goobs
Nov. 2, 2004, 09:15 AM
Well said Robby and I agree. I love to go to shows but not to compete - to have fun and to do my personal best with my horse.

Placing is gravy for me but what counts more is that we finished all three phases and we get home safe and sound.

Robby is right about not having to be a professional to be a good rider. Hard work and dedication is what it takes. To me my riding is the second job that I truly enjoy and have fun with. The only thing I focus on is my horse and myself at all times.

lovetheduns
Nov. 2, 2004, 09:46 AM
Actually I took it that the original gripe was someone said that if you keep winning or doing that well consistently you should move up.. I did not take that to necessarily mean move up the next division.. but rather as Kelly mentioned to move up to an appropriate level.

No, I do not think that there should be a gamillion divisions.. I do think there should be a limit if that is what it could be called and an open.

If you achieve a certain amount of points you have a choice-- move into the open division or the next level.

Much like some association rules.. a novice rider may be someone who has not won more than three or four blue ribbons in that division.

Sorry-- I still think that fundamentally the creation of novice rider probably did not mean so a "novice pro" can sit in that division until 10 years from now over and over again.

I guess I fail to see the glory of that kind of sportsmanship... I think it is about as classy as a fancy Amatuer Owner horse "slumming it" at a backyard schooling show.

So here is my suggesstion either have just plain ole novice, training, prelim, etc. Let's not split it up. After all the "fun" of it is just to compete, have a few beers, and finish all three phases. So why even have novice rider or novice horse???

I mean we are all doing it just for fun right?



<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
I thought we were talking about forcing people to move up, as was recommended on page 1 of this thread. That is what I refer to when I say "bottom line" and make the job comparison.

What is wrong with the rider division? If I choose to show in that division, and am eligible, and someone else is eligible but better than me, that person can still be a competitive influencer and raise my game.

You don't have to be a professional to be a good rider, or to inspire someone to ride and compete better.

Robby <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 09:49 AM
Hi Robby - I certainly don't want to get in an argument about this. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif My opinions above are just that - opinions! And I greatly respect you're opinions as a fellow horse person and eventer.

As you stated above, you were originally working on the assumption that we were discussing "moving up" instead of the "moving within divisions." I think you'll find that it has been an interesting discussion with some great ideas like Deltawave's. Nobody is talking about "forcing" people to do anything and I really don't believe that requiring people to move out of "Novice Rider" after achieving so many points/wins makes the sport more "subjective."

I've been thinking about this for awhile and thought about posting it on COTH, but was afraid to just for these reasons. This thread has allowed the discussion to come about and I think it is always healthy for a sport to examine how to make things work better for competitors.

AQHA (whether you like the Quarter Horse thing or not) is one of the largest equine organizations in the world. Their show divisions allow a new person to the AQHA show scene to compete in "Novice" Amateur or Youth divisions - once they earn a certain number of points, they move into the regular Amateur or Youth divisions (boy, talk about competitive!). I came into AQHA this way, and it was a fabulous introduction to the association. Had a chance to show against riders with the same level of experience and once I'd achieved success within the "Novice Youth" division, I moved into the regular "Youth" division and showed against the big guns. I'm not saying that this is the best and only way to do things - I just thought it was an excellent system and shows why AQHA is such a popular association with its members.

Personally, and I'm speaking for myself here, if I was consistently winning over many years in the same level (i.e., Novice, Training), it would feel wrong to ride in a division geared towards less experienced riders. But hey, that's just me! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I promise I won't be at the USEA convention trying to get anything passed, I'm just enjoying the interesting conversation.

tle
Nov. 2, 2004, 09:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>What I don't get is how can you still be proud of yourself and horse if you just keep blowing away the competition with little challenge. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
And just how do YOU know that while the score may reflect a "blowout", that there wasn't any challenge in ACHIEVING that score for that particular horse/rider?? That's a pretty smug assumption if you ask me.

What I love about this sport is that it really is a competition AGAINST the course... it's not against another competitor really. That's why I can go to 2 events have the exact same score and place 2nd at one event and 8th at the next. I didn't change when I should have been getting BETTER. If I do something, even the smallest thing better, I'm more thrilled than getting any ribbon. and I really am talking small things -- making time on XC, doing not just a fault-free round in SJ but a SMOOTH round, doing a certain movement better than before in dressage. THOSE are the things that I focus on. The score is a number you track YOURSELF on... you certainly can't stack it up against the competition because you have no control over how the score you get today will stack up against the competition tomorrow. I mean, who would have thought that a 122.something would earn a 5th place ribbon (and folks... that was in an OPEN division).

Nope, have to back up Robby on this one, lovetheduns and KellyS. It isn't about the score or the placing and you have no right to determine when someone has "won enough". That's just how the competition that day stacked up. You can't possibly know if that win was gratifying or not and to assume so is pretty arrogant.

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 10:26 AM
Acckkk! Call me arrogant if you will, but my friends will tell you I'm far from that. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I had a lightbulb moment driving back to work, so let me see if this example works or not:

Robby mentioned that he competes Rhodey in the Novice Horse division. If Rhodey won many events at Novice and won year ends awards and/or placed/won at National Championship level events at Novice over the course of 2 or 3 years, would you still compete him in the Novice horse division? Probably not. I don't have my rulebook in front of me, but while you would still be qualified to compete him as a "Novice Horse" common sense tells you he's gained the experience to move out of that division. That's how I view the "Novice Rider" division - and maybe I'm completely wrong, but at least try to see it from that viewpoint.

TLE, I completely understand what you're saying and I do think that most eventers think the way you do. However, point systems based on number of competitors and placings are already in existence (grading, year end awards, etc.). It really shouldn't affront people that the question was raised about using the same type of system on a division. The point system is not based on who "wins enough" - it's based on who consistently performs well in good company.

While I ended up on the opposite side of Pwynn on the whole "tragedy" thread, I can understand how she might have felt - you try to bring in a new idea and instead of a fruitful discussion, you get met with defensive resistance. Even with absolutely no emotions involved (as with the other thread), I still feel like the same attitude is prevailing here.

deltawave
Nov. 2, 2004, 10:49 AM
Actually, the Novice Horse requirements pretty much parallel (or used to...no such animal any more) the Novice Rider ones...Rhodey could compete in NH forever in spite of blue after blue, provided he wasn't competing higher than Training in between all those Novice victories. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Hell, the way the rules stand now I could put GWEN in a Training horse division because she's never competed "higher than Prelim". Would I? NO...I would be ashamed to.

OTOH, I personally don't get any sort of thrill out of competing in "Open" divisions against some BNT because I *know* the playing field isn't level: I'm busting my butt to get every bit out of myself, while they're doing it with one hand tied behind their back, LOL! More power to them, but it isn't any sort of "thrill" for me to say "oooh, I pinned higher than so and so". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif I have no delusions that I was "better" than them on that day.

If I ride Training now I have to ride in "Open" because of the rules. This is fine with me; I figure it's a fair progression and I don't really care one way or another who I'm competing against...the jumps are just as big! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I do wish some sort of system were in place, though, to kind of urge people into "Open" divisions when they've been competing in "Rider" forever and ever. That gives people just coming into the sport their chance at some nicer ribbons and to my mind that is a good "carrot" for encouraging new growth at the lower levels.

Robby Johnson
Nov. 2, 2004, 11:42 AM
Since there isn't the USEF Amateur/Open mandate in place (yet) for USEA Novice and Training levels, the Rider divisions exist to provide "shelter" for the "amateurs."

Also, don't forget that in most cases all divisions of Novice are jumping the exact same tracks, so why does it really matter other than how you might score in the dressage?

Do you not think the rider wouldn't have scored that same mark from the same judge on the same day had she been in the Open division?

I do want to make one thing clear - I "hear" what you're proposing re: a "limit" division but unless you're willing to tackle an established infrastructure you're going to bounce off a brick wall.

Robby

deltawave
Nov. 2, 2004, 11:48 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
but unless you're willing to tackle an established infrastructure you're going to bounce off a brick wall. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, that's kind of a shame. I don't have the time nor the inclination to start some sort of crusade. It's not that I don't care about the sport, but I don't care enough one way or another about ribbons or points to make this a burning issue on my "to do" list. I just thought the scheme was a good one. &lt;shrug&gt;

lovetheduns
Nov. 2, 2004, 11:51 AM
And see… even though it is perfectly legal and perfectly allowed by the rules… I would hope most people would be ashamed to take their novice packer horse (or even training level etc) and compete them over and over.. year after year in those horse levels.

As I said earlier.. this is not about what is legal in the rulebook. Instead I think it is something more demonstrative of ethical behavior. No one is going to force you with the system in place to move up to open novice—it is unenforceable. But—one would think that after winning consistently over and over again, year end awards, etc that you would perhaps say to yourself hmm maybe I should try moving up to Open Novice now.

TLE--- just because I say someone is consistently winning and it is time to move up into an open novice level does not mean that I do not appreciate the work and the dedication that it takes at that level to ride. What do I know--- it could take monumental and superior riding skills with a little bit of rain dancing—to me that is besides the point and yet another indicator if you can still put in that type of performance over and over again (whilst winning at the top of your class and competition consistently enough to win year end awards) then hey… maybe it is even more of a sign that you should move up into the next class of competitors. So.. personally I do not see how that makes me smug.

Really it makes me think if this was an entirely new thread one that did not stem from a post congratulating someone if people would view it more objectionably?

tle
Nov. 2, 2004, 11:56 AM
lovetheduns... you keep mentioning winning "year end awards". Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but year end awards DO NOT take the division into consideration -- only the level. So it wouldn't matter if you won at NR or ON, it still counts the same towards Novice Year End Awards (as chairman of the Area 8 YEA, I can say that at least ours don't and I'm pretty sure nationals don't either).

I said "smug" because YOU DON'T KNOW anyone else's qualifications, hard work, etc. than your own. Yet you insinuate with the previously quoted comment that winning over and over in a NR division wouldn't really "satisfy". Maybe it does?? the point is that you don't know because you aren't anyone other than yourself.

Believe I see what you're say, but I'm not sure it's that big of an issue -- especially in terms of year end awards.

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 11:59 AM
Ahhh...I think I see where the problem is. While some of us view the "Rider" division as a "starter" divison of sorts, others view it as a sort of "amateur" division which shelters amateur riders from having to compete against the pros.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
Also, don't forget that in most cases all divisions of Novice are jumping the exact same tracks, so why does it really matter other than how you might score in the dressage?

Do you not think the rider wouldn't have scored that same mark from the same judge on the same day had she been in the Open division? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And this same argument could be used to ask why doesn't the rider ride in the "open" division since the track is the same and in most situations there is a good chance they will have a better dressage score than trainers on greenies? However, at least at a bunch of events I've been to, a different judge has judged the "open" and "rider" divisions, so it is hard to compare the scores. I've shown under two judges and received a 21.5 and 34 on the same performance! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

It is easy to go back and forth and I can see that if you view the "rider" division as an "amateur" division, the experience of the rider is less of an issue.

And as an eventer, I'd rather jump over brick walls! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif However, as I stated earlier, this topic wasn't brought up so I could submit it as a rule proposal - it is merely an interesting discussion. I stand neither to gain or lose if something like this was brought into being - heck, I competed in the Open division for my first Training. Doesn't really matter to me, but like Deltawave said, I do like seeing the sport grow to accomodate the vastly different experience levels of riders competing.

Janet
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:02 PM
The national awards do distinguish Novice Horse, Novice Rider, etc. I have copied the 2003 awards below. But they are based on the competitor's age, etc., NOT on the diision you earned your points in.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Advanced Horse Windfall/Dr. Timothy Holekamp
Advanced Adult Amateur Amy Smith
Advanced Master Amateur Linda Dahlgren
Advanced Adult Rider Phillip Dutton
Advanced Young Rider William Coleman, III
Intermediate Horse LeSamurai/Robyn Fisher
Intermediate Adult Amateur Charlotte Merle-Smith
Intermediate Master Adult Oliver King
Intermediate Adult Rider Phillip Dutton
Intermediate Young Rider Sara Davis
Preliminary Horse My Boy Bobby/Carl Segal
Preliminary Adult Amateur Danielle Williams
Preliminary Master Amateur Dawn White
Preliminary Junior Rider Andrina Calder
Preliminary Senior Rider Sara Cousins
Training Horse Alongaboutdaybreak/Victoria Frey
Training Junior Rider Kelly Pugh
Training Senior Rider Melissa Glantz
Training Master Rider Sheri Thornley
Novice Horse Promise IV/Katie Slater
Novice Junior Rider Katie Slater
Novice Senior Rider Dawn Dascomb
Novice Master Rider Sonny Little
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

lovetheduns
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:09 PM
Oh.. undoubtedly I imagine the rider would score the same mark in dressage even if they were in open novice.. but i bet you would find those scores would have been (in general) not as competitive in open novice as they are in novice rider (she says who has spent a few minutes looking at various events on eventingnews.com-- and not for the rider in question either.. just in general). http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:
I said "smug" because YOU DON'T KNOW anyone else's qualifications, hard work, etc. than your own. Yet you insinuate with the previously quoted comment that winning over and over in a NR division wouldn't really "satisfy". Maybe it does?? the point is that you don't know because you aren't anyone other than yourself. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I think lovetheduns meant SHE wouldn't be satisfied if she were winning over and over again in a NR division. And she is perfectly entitled to that opinion. I might not be anyone other than myself, but I can honestly say that of all the eventers I know, they would also say they feel that way.

However, for some people (and this is totally general here!!!) WINNING is their satisfaction. Doesn't matter whether its against less experienced riders or horses. Gosh, you see this all the time at open shows - riders that clearly outclass everyone else show where the guaranteed blues are insead of competing at the "rated" shows. I came from this world and I've seen it time and time again.

Bottom-line, there are no amount of rules that will keep this from happening, but it doesn't mean that you have to condone it or like it, or be told that you're "bouncing off brick walls" if you have ideas for solving the problem.

Janet
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> It is easy to go back and forth and I can see that if you view the "rider" division as an "amateur" division, the experience of the rider is less of an issue. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I think that it is pretty clear that the "rider" division is intended as an analog to "amateur", to protect lower level competitors from having to compete against upper level riders on green horses (if they so desire).

I don't think anyone at USEA has ever presented it as a "starter" division.

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:27 PM
Thanks Janet! If USEA does intend for the "Rider" division to shelter amateurs, than maybe it is time for it to be truly called an "Amateur" division.

tle
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lovetheduns:
Oh.. undoubtedly I imagine the rider would score the same mark in dressage even if they were in open novice.. but i bet you would find those scores would have been (in general) not as competitive in open novice as they are in novice rider (she says who has spent a few minutes looking at various events on eventingnews.com-- and not for the rider in question either.. just in general). http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just because I have the tools to do so...
Winning scores:
Champagne Run -- OTA = 29, OTB = 31
THA - 29.5, THB = 30.5, THC = 31
JTRA - 34.5, JTRB = 23.2, STRA = 39, STRB = 43.7

Gemwood -- ON = 33.5, NR - 31.5, OT = 40.0, Training = 33.0

Hunters Run -- OT = 33.0, STR = 33.5, JTR = 33.5
ON = 27.5, SNR = 33, JNR = 31.5

Penny Oaks -- T (Area Championships) = 41, TSR = 28.5, TJR = 36.5
ONJ = 29.5, SNRA = 38, SNRB = 39

Jumpstart -- N (Area Championships) = 27, ON = 37, NRS = 34, NRJ = 33.5
OT1 = 30.5, OT2 = 26.5, TR1 = 48.4, TR2 = 38

Just taking those 3 events, it does seem that there really isn't a whole heck of a lot of difference in the scores most of the time and/or it seems like people are right where they should be. So I'm not sure how you can say that certain people need to go in certain divisions.

I dunno... maybe it's more of a phenominon (that people feel differently about it, not that the career novice rider happens) in different areas of the country.

tle
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KellyS:
Thanks Janet! If USEA does intend for the "Rider" division to shelter amateurs, than maybe it is time for it to be truly be called an "Amateur" division. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

of course that would require USEF membership (another fee to pay) and tracking of such since USEA does not track amateur members at the moment (back to that old ammy discussion!)

displacedyank
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:31 PM
KellyS....sorry, that wouldn't work (amateur division instead of rider division). There's a reason that in hunter's they're called "shamateurs". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Janet
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KellyS:
Thanks Janet! If USEA does intend for the "Rider" division to shelter amateurs, than maybe it is time for it to be truly called an "Amateur" division. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I guess you missed the LOONG discussion about this last year. Try a search on "amateur".

The problem is that, if you have an amateur division, then you have to have a USEF Amateur card. Which means you either have to join USEF (which BN, N and T riders do not otherwise have to do), OR pay USEF a fee ($30 IIRC) for a non-member amateur card.

LOTS of different approaches were discussed last year, but, as Packy said: "Every approach we tried, there was some reason why it wouldn't work."

lovetheduns
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:33 PM
Kelly-- I think what you are describing is the Shamateur.. I have really tried to not say it. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I hated it when I was a hunter... but unfortunately it is really in most every sport.

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:39 PM
I should have put a http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif after my previous post. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I was IN THE MIDDLE of that long amateur dicussion! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif And I wholeheartedly opposed switching to amateur divisions for many different reasons.

See, that's what I'm getting at - what IS the Rider division? If it is there to shelter amateurs riders from the pros - then it should be called an amateur division. Most riders I know view the Rider division like I do - as a division for inexperienced riders. That's why you get the reactions you do to the riders that compete in the Rider division year after year. I always been under the impression that the divisions were "experienced-based." What you're telling me is that experience is not really what they're about, it's more about protecting amateurs from the open/pro ranks. No wonder it is so confusing. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

Janet
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:45 PM
No, it is about protecting riders riding AT their maximum level from riders who are "riding down" at that level.

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 12:57 PM
This has been a really enlightening discussion and I'm going to have to sign off so I can go vote. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Janet, I do see what you are saying. Lots of associations do provide divisions where people can get experience and get a ribbon or two without being pummeled by riders with years of experience at that level. It doesn't look like this is a goal with USEA, which is fine - I'd always thought this was the purpose of the rider division, but it looks like I was wrong! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I do believe that recognized events are going to become the equivilant of "A" shows - it will be very tough to get into the ribbons until you've become very experienced or have a super horse. I think that the unrecognized events will continue to grow as riders with less experience go there to get their feet wet and come home with a ribbon.

lovetheduns
Nov. 2, 2004, 01:24 PM
Okay TLE—I do think it makes a difference. So I am going to take just take two events I took a look at earlier… too time consuming to do more here at work.

VA Horse Trials 5/04

Novice rider had two groups each with 10 and 11 riders (there was one scratch in the 10 group). Open Novice had 16.

Avg dressage score of NR for one group was 37.955 and 43.056 or a total average of 40.25

Open novice was 38.2

But.. take the top 3 final scores and merge them with novice and those types of results would not be quite so competitive. Still awesome for amateurs yes in comparison to the open novice professionals one of the division winners would be actually ranked 4th, the other divisional winner would pin 6th for their performances for that day. The second place winner of one NR division would in actuality tie for 8th.

Okay.. another one Difficult Run 8/04

Novice Rider – 1 divisions

Open Novice 2 divisions

Average dressage score – for novice riders was 37.00. Average for Open Novice was 33.75 and 36.53 for a grand total of 35.141.

Top 3 final scores from Novice Rider were 28, 31.5, and 33.

Top 3 from Open Novice A – 26.3, 26.5, and 31.4 and Open Novice B 26.5, 28.5, and 32. So if I just combined those to take the top three from all of Open Novice it would have been…. 26.3, 26.5, and 28.5 (but 26.5 riders would have had a tie.. ). So in reality depending on the group top rider from Novice Rider would have made it at minimum 2nd place in one group, but if it was combined she would have made 4th due to the tie.

So… two events. I am sure there are some that would point otherwise… I am sure a lot would support just this. But for the ones I looked at.. Novice Rider scores were not as competitive as Open Novice…

lovetheduns
Nov. 2, 2004, 01:27 PM
Janet.. I think the point that Kelly and I were trying to make is that at Novice Rider (and not obviously novice rider but training rider etc) it would appear that there ARE riders who ARE riding below their level if you subscribe to the same feeling that Kelly and I were making about Rider divisions being for the inexperienced.

Janet
Nov. 2, 2004, 01:33 PM
If the highest I have ridden is Training, then Training IS my "maximum level", even if I have been doing it for 20 years.

lovetheduns
Nov. 2, 2004, 01:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
If the highest I have ridden is Training, then Training IS my "maximum level", even if I have been doing it for 20 years. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not the point I have been trying to make. Yeah training is your maximum level, but you are not a novice training rider... which is what I think should be addressed and changed.

Robby Johnson
Nov. 2, 2004, 02:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lovetheduns:
But for the ones I looked at.. Novice Rider scores were not as competitive as Open Novice… <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So why should those individuals be forced into a division where they cannot be as competitive? If an individual is competitive and hoping to win a ribbon, it doesn't provide much incentive to be cast into a sea of bigger fish! The attrition rate of non-returning members/competitors would be higher, I'm sure.

While many of us enjoy this sport for the pure horsemanship of it, it *is* structured to be a competition. It shouldn't be surprising that many people approach the sport with winning or placing well in mind.

I always enter an event with the goal of finishing on my dressage score. No matter where that is. I have finished on a 50.5 before and not even been in the top 10, and yet I felt like I'd fulfilled a goal. That is somewhat competitive (against myself; not others), though it's not "winning."

I have always seen the Rider divisions as a safe haven from the pros, not "inexperienced." But I do find it interesting to view it from that perspective, as I'd never really thought of it that way.

However, by moving to a "Limit" model, you then burden the organizers with having to obtain scores/criteria when assigning divisions. Of course, I suppose that has to be policed even now, so I'm not sure how much of a barrier that really is.

Still, if I wanted to draw the line somewhere, I'd draw it at the point where you cannot be eligible even if you've ridden one level higher in, say, the past five years, and ineligible for the rider division if you've ever ridden two levels higher than the division. (So if you've ridden Training in the past five years, you could not qualify for Novice Rider division, and if you've ever ridden preliminary, you could never be eligible for the Novice Rider division.)

Robby

Boss Hoss
Nov. 2, 2004, 03:15 PM
I don't see how anyone can argue that someone who only ridden novice in their life, but has ridden it for 20 years is NOT a "novice rider"? Just because you've ridden this level 20 years does NOT make you of the same caliber as those in the "open" division.

As for the open divisions being more competitive, I'd have to disagree with those that say the open is more competitive. I have beaten more pros on green horses than those career pony clubbers at the restricted division on rated horses.

I also think its fun to have our idols in our divisions so when they fall off or have troubles, you don't feel like such a screw up...I got to say one year the #4 Rolex rider fell off on the same course that I had a stop on, so it couldn't have been that easy http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I think if we were to have separate pro and "non-pro" competitions we'd lose the value of a mixed stream.

So the system that puts experienced vs experienced and green vs green is the best system. The goal of this is to make the competition "fair" to those involved. I don't think its fair to move a career novice rider into an open division with Olympians even if they are on green horses.

And I don't think its fair to put people into these open divisions, just because they lost "amateur" status because they teach cowboy dressage lessons...they are still not a pro in eventing. How one draws an income is a very non-copmmon sense way to separate the two streams of competitors.

Boss Hoss
Nov. 2, 2004, 03:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
(So if you've ridden Training in the past five years, you could not qualify for Novice Rider division, and if you've ever ridden preliminary, you could never be eligible for the Novice Rider division.)

Robby <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh my, gasp!..I agree!! Now clarify "ridden" at the level... http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

This is similar to how the USEA leaderboard is working..so I don't have to compete again BNT on 8 client horses at my lower level. Makes it fun for the rest of us theory..why would an Olympian care to be novice rider of the year anyway? You might ask, what about the horse owner..the horse is allowed to be on the leaderboard in the horse ranking of course.

Janet
Nov. 2, 2004, 03:23 PM
My only concern about the "not ever" criteria would be for people like Caroline Treveranus (sp?)/Weir. She was an international level competitor who suffered a severe head injury. At first they said she wouldc never walk again. But she did indeed walk, ride and compete. And when she first came back at Novice she was very much a "Novice Rider".

deltawave
Nov. 2, 2004, 04:09 PM
The heck with all this complicated stuff...why don't we all pay $1 extra in our yearly membership so the USEA can split all the divisions up so there are only 8 riders in each one, so EVERYONE goes home with a ribbon? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif (note tongue firmly planted in cheek)

You have to allow that there are LOTS of reasons people "do" eventing. There are those that go out and aren't happy unless they bring home a ribbon. Those folks might not "understand" the ones who go out and are thrilled just to improve their dressage by 2 points and to have done the up-bank better than last year. Who, then, is a better competitor, a better rider, a better representative of the sport? Neither. Everyone's reasons for competing are legitimate.

I guess it's not the USEA's job to cater to everyone's goals, but for those who really, really care about ribbons, it wouldn't kill the shows to split the divisions so there aren't 35 people, would it? I realize it would make year-end awards stickier and more complicated, but that doesn't much matter to the non-point-oriented, either. And of course I'm exaggerating a little--hyperbole is a handy way to emphasize a point! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Don't get me wrong, ribbons are great and I love to get one, but I'd say the proudest moments I've had in eventing didn't necessarily match the scoreboard in any way! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif So call me a "flip-flopper" on this topic! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

fooler
Nov. 2, 2004, 04:24 PM
OK - Call me stupid.
I understood the Novice and Training Horse division to be based on the horse's competitive (or lack thereof) record. Therefore, I might be riding my green horse next to a BNT on their green horse. All fair.
I understood the Novice and Training Rider division to be based on the rider's competitive (or lack thereof) record. Meaning, these are riders new to the level.
Open Novice and Training is for those who have been there, done that - are knowledgeable and hopefully competitive at this level.
Never understood the 'Rider' division to be a haven for amatuers.
I have always tried to improve on my last outing and yes to win. But never have wanted to be a big fish in a little pond - so to speak.
FYI - These opinions are based on the idea of able-bodied riders.
PS - the comment on Caroline T. Weir. IMO - below the belt. I was there in 1978 when she was injured. Am so happy that she is alive and able to move about this earth. Her x-c trip in the 1974 World's, jumping close to 1/2 the course one handed with a broken collar-bone. Amazing!

CWO
Nov. 2, 2004, 05:42 PM
I agree with KellyS, luvtheduns, fooler and the other posters with the same understanding of the "rider" classification. I never thought of it as being a "shelter" for amateurs. I understand it to be riders with little experience at that level, period. I believe that after a year of competing at any level, a competitor should not be competing in the "rider" division.

My opinion of anyone who competes in the same "rider" division year after year and always pins high or at least consistently, is that they just want to be a big fish in a small pond. Shame on them.

I also believe that the levels should not be divided so that there are only 10 competitors in each division. I want to earn my ribbon, not get one because there were only 10 competitors in the division. I think there should be at least 20 in each division or the # of competitors at that level if less than 20.

I'm not here to argue, just stating my opinions. I can't compete with those of you who are defensive and are flip flopping your thoughts, kind of like John Kerry. I couldn't resist that, but I guess that's another topic. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 06:00 PM
I'm baaack! Only a two hour wait at the polls, down from four this afternoon! Glad I fed the horses and did stalls before I went. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Boss Hoss:
So the system that puts experienced vs experienced and green vs green is the best system. The goal of this is to make the competition "fair" to those involved. I don't think its fair to move a career novice rider into an open division with Olympians even if they are on green horses. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

See, this is very interesting. I view "experienced" at the Novice level as two types of riders:

1) Pro on green horse
2) "Career" Novice rider on been there/done that horse

It really comes down to what people define as experienced. While Boss Hoss only points to number 1, I find that both 1 & 2 are in my mind "experienced." Once a rider has competed at Novice for multiple years successfully, they probably have more experience at the Novice level than the Olympic riders simply because clocked around the Novice courses at so many events. So experience-wise (if that's how your determining the divisions) I think they are on a par more so with the pros, than with the new Novice rider who has very little eventing experience period.

Food for thought...

Thankfully, Fooler has made me feel better by stating the divisions the same way I'd understood them. I was starting to worry that I'd missed my course in Eventing 101 somewhere along the line! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Painted Wings
Nov. 2, 2004, 06:02 PM
I think there are many Novice "Professionals" that have more than one horse competing at Novice. Therefore they enter two different divisions so they can make sure that they don't have to compete against themselves in open Novice. Also I would think it would make it easier for the Organizers to schedule and provide more "friendly" ride times as far as switching horses back and forth.

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 06:09 PM
However, what about the "real" professionals - they often juggle multiple rides within one division and must compete against themselves. Organizer-wise, I think it may be more user-friendly to have a rider with two horses in the same division; otherwise, you run into conflicts with two divisions that might be running in different dressage rings and vastly different times.

Cover your ears, I'm going to say the "H" word! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif In the hunter world, junior and amateur riders must often juggle rides within their division, and must also choose which horse to ride in the hack.

Painted Wings, I see your point about "not competing against themselves," but both in eventing and other disciplines, it is a common practice.

Boss Hoss
Nov. 2, 2004, 06:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>So experience-wise (if that's how your determining the divisions) I think they are on a par more so with the pros, than with the new Novice rider who has very little eventing experience period. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So then we're back to making a "restricted" division for "rookies"? So your first time at prelim, you are in the "rookie" division, no matter your age or pro status? Then after X events you are magicly swooped into the "open" division and we now have 46 in a division.

KellyS
Nov. 2, 2004, 06:32 PM
Weeelllll...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Boss Hoss:
So then we're back to making a "restricted" division for "rookies"? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, "Rookie" is a great name for it! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Definitely better than "Rider"!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>So your first time at prelim, you are in the "rookie" division, no matter your age or pro status? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, from what I understand, age is not currently a factor in "adult" divisions (except for year end awards). And an eventing pro (who has already competed successfully at Prelim) would not be qualified. However, pros that do not have experience at the Prelim level would (which is how the current rider division works anyway).

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Then after X events you are magicly swooped into the "open" division and we now have 46 in a division. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think there is a "magic" number - I think it should be based on points (based on the same criteria as the leaderboards). Back to my AQHA analogy, you know that a horse/rider combo with 50 AQHA points (Superior status) is one tough combo. Just like with eventing, the points are not based on wins, but rather on placings/number of competitors in a division.

And I bet ya that the divisions would be pretty similarly split. My gut feeling is that for all this discussion, the number of riders who compete then move up or out of the Rider division greatly outnumber those who ride in a Rider division year after year. But, I could be wrong - it certainly is something to ponder. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

tle
Nov. 2, 2004, 06:55 PM
One thought that just popped into my head... someone argued that having these supposed "super combos" in with all the "rookies" isn't doing anyone any favors, right? I don't agree. For the same reason that I like Amateur RECOGNITION but not necessarily separate divisions... "You can't strengthen the weak by weakening the strong." which is exactly what I see the proposed separation by points as doing (weakening the strong). It's GOOD to have competition!! Why do you think the USET has spent so much $$ getting riders over to Europe to compete? To get them around the strong international riders ALL the time!

Janet
Nov. 2, 2004, 07:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> PS - the comment on Caroline T. Weir. IMO - below the belt. I was there in 1978 when she was injured. Am so happy that she is alive and able to move about this earth. Her x-c trip in the 1974 World's, jumping close to 1/2 the course one handed with a broken collar-bone. Amazing! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I am not sure why you consider it "below the belt". I wasn't there when she was hurt, but I watched her come back through Novice, Training, and Prelim. I have the greatest admiration for that- probably even more than for her original sucesses. My point was that, as she was recovering, she SHOULD be eligible to compete in Novice Rider, and Training Rider IF she wanted to.

fooler
Nov. 3, 2004, 07:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I am not sure why you consider it "below the belt". I wasn't there when she was hurt, but I watched her come back through Novice, Training, and Prelim. I have the greatest admiration for that- probably even more than for her original sucesses. My point was that, as she was recovering, she SHOULD be eligible to compete in Novice Rider, and Training Rider IF she wanted to.[/QUOTE]

Janet, I am considering 'normal' (if we can be considered normalhttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif)competitors with the usual issues of school, family, work and time restraints. You brought up an individual who suffered a near-fatal accident that profoundly altered her life. IMO, Not relevant to this particular discussion.
However I would completely agree that any competitor that has suffered an accident that affected them physically or their confidence should take the opportunity to compete in 'rider' division until their physical health and/or confidence has returned. Then would anticipate that rider moving to the open division of that level.

Janet
Nov. 3, 2004, 08:03 AM
fooler,

I was responding to Robby's statement<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> (So if you've ridden Training in the past five years, you could not qualify for Novice Rider division, and if you've ever ridden preliminary, you could never be eligible for the Novice Rider division.) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Under his approach, Caroline (and others like her making a difficult comeback) would "never" be eligible for Novice Rider. I think "never" is too strong in this case.

slp2
Nov. 3, 2004, 08:12 AM
OK--I'm not sure where I stand on all of this--but wanted to point out one other possible permutation that wasn't mentioned (or maybe it was? I've lost track . . ). The following combinations have been discussed:

Green rider + experienced horse = Rider division
Pro + green horse = Horse Division
"Seasoned" Novice Rider + Seasoned Novice horse = should go "Open Novice"

OK--but here's my scenario. Adult ammie--started riding as an adult and works full-time. I started eventing on a completely green horse (i.e. green horse/green rider combo). We compete a couple seasons at novice and move up to training level. Horse is very successful at Novice, and completely inconsistent at Training (either in the ribbons or E!) So, eventually, I get new very green horse (OTTB--never been to a show before). So, you *could* consider me the "Seasoned Novice Competitor" that has also "gone Training", BUT my new horse is completely green. So, would you say that I should be entering the "Open" division? Again, I don't fit into the above categories because although I have done a couple seasons of novice in my life, my new horse is very new to the sport. But I still don't consider myself to be the same calibur rider as a BNT on a green horse (i.e. competitive in the Horse division).

So, everyone's individual circumstances are different (I know this is not a new point). But that's why it may be hard for the USEA to have "hard and fast" rules about the division someone should enter. Some of our local dressage shows offer something called "maiden" horse divisions. These divisions are for rider/horse combo's that have not won "X" amount of blue ribbons. I don't know how well that works, or if the members are happy with it--but it IS a way for new riders to get show experience and have a good chance at a ribbon. Not a bad thing IMO. I think this would be similar to the old "restricted" novice division events used to offer (which I don't think exists anymore)?

Just a little more food for thought on the subject!

JAGold
Nov. 3, 2004, 08:13 AM
I think it's a little hipocritical to condemn any rider for staying in a division for which she is eligible, on the grounds that doing so is ribbon-hogging of some sort. After all, wouldn't the effect, if not the explicit purpose, of proposals to make the rider divisions into limit divisions, be to make it easier for these limit riders to win ribbons? Why is it ok for the inexperienced riders to want ribbons, but not for those who have sucessful competition records at that level?

Personally, I don't really care if the divisions are limit rider or not. I tend to enter the open divisions because they often go before the rider divisions, and I like to be able to leave as early as possible. As others have mentioned, the real competition is between each horse and rider and the dressage test, XC course, and SJ course. --Jess

canterlope
Nov. 3, 2004, 08:37 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> My opinion of anyone who competes in the same "rider" division year after year and always pins high or at least consistently, is that they just want to be a big fish in a small pond. Shame on them. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>As a poster child for the Novice "Professionals" and the very rider that PW originally posted about, I think that a statement like this is incredibly unfair. The judgement being made is that riders like me enter rider divisions with the sole purpose of winning a ribbon and/or stroking our egos. Since neither CWO nor any other person for that matter has ever asked me why I enter rider divisions, it is incredibly disappointing to discover that people would rather draw uninformed conclusions or tear others down instead of either asking or cheering the success of each and every member of our association, regardless of their personal situations and abilities.

If one were to take the time and ask me why I enter rider divisions, my answer would have nothing to do with winning a seventy-nine cent ribbon. It would have everything to do with the number of horses I am riding at any given level, my assessment as to which division best suits each horse, which division can I enter both my horse and myself given the rules and restrictions placed on that division, who will be judging each division, and who I will most likely be riding against.

In Woody's case, he is eligible for Open Novice, Novice Horse, and, because of personal injuries and lack of time on my part which has not allowed me to ride at Training or above, Novice Rider. Now, even though he is eligible for the Novice Horse division, in my mind he is far too experienced at Novice and it would do nothing to further his or my education as to where he truly stands in comparison to other horses at the Novice level to enter this division. So that leaves either the Open or Rider division.

However, he does not fit the profile of an Open horse. He is not an upper level candidate being ridden by a professional nor is he an upper level horse coming back from an injury or moving back down the levels as a schoolmaster. He is cute, but in comparison to the horses you usually see in the Open division, he would be at the end of the line if judged on looks and conformation. And he does have an injury that almost ended his life and precludes him from moving up in level. In short, he is a chubby, 15.3 hand, spotted quarter horse type, good egg who can lay down a dressage test that rivals the best when he wants to, but would rather spend the day dozing in the sun.

So, in my mind, that only leaves one division for him that will allow him to be somewhat competitive and give me a good idea of where he stands against his peers; the Novice Rider division.

But, if none of this is a good enough reason for those who feel that I should only ride him in the Open Novice division, my question to you is would you feel differently or pass uninformed judgements on my motives if I was a crappy rider and/or he was a crappy horse and we spent years in the Novice Rider division without ever placing or scoring below 40.0 in Dressage? If so, just let me know and I will make sure we never place in the ribbons again.

Until then, shame on you for passing unfair judgements on my motives and discriminating against both me and my pony when we clearly fall within the guidelines as to who can ride in that division, but have the "unfortunate" distinction of being competitive.

Firefox
Nov. 3, 2004, 08:41 AM
Great explanation!

Miss Maddie
Nov. 3, 2004, 09:16 AM
Well I have to say I've just skimmed thru this thread and personally don't care that much about the divisions and who is in them. I think someone who has been placing well at novice for years has as much right to compete in the novice rider divisions as someone who has been competing at that level for years and not placing well, and any arguments to the contrary sound a bit like sour grapes to me. Personally I compete to improve myself and my horse, and if I do well in a division along with someone like DC or a professional, even if they beat me, it's icing on the cake b/c both are great riders and competitors and I consider myself and my horse to be in good company.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by canterlope:
It would have everything to do with the number of horses I am riding at any given level, my assessment as to which division best suits each horse, which division can I enter both my horse and myself given the rules and restrictions placed on that division, who will be judging each division, and who I will most likely be riding against.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

However I am curious as to how you know who will be judging each division or who is likely to be riding in it when you enter a competition? Just wondering if this info is readily available to us. I've never known who was judging my division until I got to the event.

I tend to pick the rider levels in general, as an adult 30-something ammy who started riding in my late 20s, unless for scheduling reasons another division seems more convenient. I went to a couple shows last year that only had open divisions, that's fine too, whatever.

KellyS
Nov. 3, 2004, 11:01 AM
Canterlope - I'm so glad you've joined the discussion to give your input. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I think it's been made very clear that this thread has been a general discussion, not a personal attack on you or your horse. It has been a topic on my mind for quite some time.

I think this discussion has made it very clear that the "Rider" division really is a bit ambiguous! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif Some people view it as a division for the less experienced riders, while others see it as an "amateur" division of sorts.

However, as I stated earlier in the discussion, it does seem that whenever "change" is discussed within the eventing forum, it is met with defensiveness instead of open-mindedness. Is the "Rider" division going to become a type of "limit" division - most likely not. But, it is a concept that has worked well among other organizations. Unfortunately, while I pride myself on my "eventer individuality," it is apparent that ideas from outside the eventing world are often met with resistance. I think Robby summed it up best when he said that we'd be "bouncing against brick walls" if we wanted to see changes made. I'm sure it is the same feeling that the "Amateur" committee felt when they were trying to make that a workable division - I was a vehement opponent and looking back, quite close-minded to any type of change in that direction. I can certainly say that I will look at new proposals much more openly in the future. Yes, it may not work, but there is no reason to not at least be part of a healthy discussion.

Looking back, I've been called arrogant and the idea has been termed "sour grapes" - it just amazes me just because an idea is a bit "outside of the box" that it instantly reflects negatively on those who come up with it.

And actually, while I've jumped on the bandwagon, it was Deltawave who originally came up with the idea. She always has wonderful input for this board and her ideas are always spot on. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif It just seems like those of us who have gone on to discuss the idea further have been the ones to deal with the name-calling and insinuations that we're hoping to gain more ribbons by making this change. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Personally, I have no vested interest in this - I'm probably one of those people that others would like to see moved out of the "Rider" division because my horse and I consistently do very well. And once we've gained more experience, we will certainly move into open (or who knows, maybe try a Prelim http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif).

I just want to thank all of you that have contributed to the discussion - I've really enjoyed seeing all the different viewpoints. I really respect the COTHers on this forum, but man, I think I'll go back to lurker "mode" for awhile. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

And canterlope, I am curious as to why you singled out CWO in your post - she has only made one reply to this thread while the rest of us have been debating this for pages.

Robby Johnson
Nov. 3, 2004, 01:18 PM
I believe if you feel really strongly about this, KellyS, (and lovetheduns, for that matter), you should use this thread as "research" and develop an appropriate plan for how you'd recommend changing it.

Once you've developed that plan, I would suggest you present it to the association for review.

Make sure you cover all of the bases where details are concerned - contingency, budget, organizational snafus, communicating change to membership, etc. Your plan should be as comprehensive and "turn-key" as possible.

If accepted, will you emerge as a committee leader to execute the tactics?

This is what I mean by "bouncing off a brick wall." Our association is grass-roots, with membership less than 14,000. Lots of members have great "outside the box" ideas but seldom do they take it from the abstract to the concrete in the form of a well-researched plan.

Janet, it does not surprise me that you found a needle in the haystack. Your ability to focus on small details is very British! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Still, the scenario you describe doesn't justify exceptions. Would the rider you cite have to provide written medical notes to allow her into the rider division? If it's the same track - as we all agree it is - why couldn't *she* ride in the Open division? Why might it be OK for her to stay sheltered in the Rider division but not someone else? Do you not think there would be ample, "well she rode in the 78 Olympic selection trials, it's not fair she's in our division" going on in the barns?

Robby

Zonked
Nov. 3, 2004, 02:54 PM
It all depends...if you get super low scores all the time I think your should decide to move up a level..but if you dont feel comfy doin so then dont. If you get low scores once in a while..i see no reason what so ever to move up.

fooler
Nov. 3, 2004, 03:45 PM
First - thanks to all for voicing your opinion. That is one of the things I most enjoy about our sport and its inhabitants.

Will let you know how I came to my interpretation of the Rider, Horse & Open distinctions (posted earlier)- which would be similiar to those who developed these distinctions.

Let's go back long, long ago in Horse Trial land. Let's say you were lucky enough to get a ride on a graded horse, due to lease, purchase or kind owners. For this discussion, let's say it is a grade 3 horse (prelim) and you ridden as high as training level. Common sense would state that you would do maybe some pre-training (novice now) HTs and maybe some training HTs to get to know the horse before tackling prelim.

Well 1st you had to write to the USCTA (now USEA) to explain your situation and to ask for permission to ride this grade 3 horse at PT or T. USCTA reviewed your request and replied stating you can compete T, but if you wish to go PT, you must ride HorConcore (SP)- meaning you will be scored, but you will not be placed. Usually you were given a 6 month grace period to do this and then must move up to Prel or re-apply for an extension. Oh & usually only 1 extension was granted. As you can see this was very time & labor intensive for riders and organization and organizers alike. So they,USCTA now USEA, have tried to make this situation more common sense for all involved.

So technically the 'Open' division was redefined. At one time we understood those in the open division were those with plans to 'move up'. But now the open division can have a confirmed novice rider/horse combo, a green rider/upper level horse combo and an upper level rider/steady novice horse combo. With that mix, anyone can have a great or a bad day. So it is as fair as possible without have multiple division under each level.

Also, I don't like the Novice Pro title. Each of us has our own burdens to bear in our life away from horses. So if novice is your comfort and more importantly your safety level - enjoy.

KellyS
Nov. 3, 2004, 04:28 PM
Robby - Thanks so much for your input on how to approach developing a new idea. I already started to draw up some guidelines that take into consideration just about every scenario mentioned in this thread (even the "needle in the hay stack" one http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif). If nothing else, it is an excellent exercise in developing an idea into an actual plan.

I currently am a member of the Board of Directors of a large handicapped riding program, and I just finished up a two year term as a member of a fundraising/support group for a local college's equestrian program. Working with committees (marketing and seminar planning respectively) within these two associations has really allowed me to see how group dynamics work and how important creative thinking can be to an organization.

So, I've got my thinking cap on... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Boss Hoss
Nov. 3, 2004, 04:58 PM
Now I'm getting all confused as how to enter anymore...maybe I should ask popular opinion before entering next year. I hope to be doing Novice next fall on a 4yo irish draught stallion, I've only ridden 2 seasons at Training Rider division..what division will be acceptable so I don't find out later on an internet forum my reasons were some how devious or in bad faith?

Lisamarie8
Nov. 3, 2004, 05:05 PM
Hi DC!

As a friend and fellow owner of QH type that is the most honest and of eggs but would rather doze in the sun, I wanted to tell you that I love ya!

You are the best kind of people, and you make me smile.

XOXO
Lisa

AngelEventer
Nov. 3, 2004, 05:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by slp2:
OK--I'm not sure where I stand on all of this--but wanted to point out one other possible permutation that wasn't mentioned (or maybe it was? I've lost track . . ). The following combinations have been discussed:

Green rider + experienced horse = Rider division
Pro + green horse = Horse Division
"Seasoned" Novice Rider + Seasoned Novice horse = should go "Open Novice"

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Now, I have not read this whole post but this caught my eye. My question, since I have never fallen in one of these 3 divisions, what if you are a green rider (no experience above training) riding a green horse (again, no experience above training). You are both learning together. Which division are you best off in?

deltawave
Nov. 3, 2004, 06:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>what if you are a green rider (no experience above training) riding a green horse (again, no experience above training). You are both learning together. Which division are you best off in? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Define "best off".

You are going to be fine in whichever division you choose, since the tests are the same. Unless you're burning to be "competitive" with the other riders, I'd say (as someone else mentioned) go with the division that gives you the best ride times! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

KellyS
Nov. 3, 2004, 06:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Boss Hoss:
Now I'm getting all confused as how to enter anymore...maybe I should ask popular opinion before entering next year. I hope to be doing Novice next fall on a 4yo irish draught stallion, I've only ridden 2 seasons at Training Rider division..what division will be acceptable so I don't find out later on an internet forum my reasons were some how devious or in bad faith? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

USEA 2004 Rulebook
Appendix 3 - Participation in Horse Trials
JUNIOR NOVICE. Open to competitors through the end of the calendar year of their 18th birthday.
NOVICE RIDER. The competitor may not have completed more than two horse trials at the Training Level or higher within the previous 24 months.
OPEN NOVICE. The competitor may have completed more than two Horse Trials at the Training Level or higher within the previous 24 months.

I think you've got your answer... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Deviousness, bad faith...hmmmm, haven't really seen these issues raised here, so it could make for an interesting topic! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Especially on a slow week. Did you have anything particular in mind? Maybe I could start working on a rule ahead of time, so its ready to go when the thread comes about. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

Boss Hoss
Nov. 3, 2004, 07:03 PM
That's such a shame they got rid of the "horse" division..this guy won't be competitive in the open division to start.

KellyS
Nov. 3, 2004, 07:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lisamarie8:
As a friend and fellow owner of QH type that is the most honest and of eggs but would rather doze in the sun, I wanted to tell you that I love ya! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Me too!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I mean about the Quarter Horse part! Here's my easy going super pony...

Rocky (http://community.webshots.com/photo/205412211/205412211YhuhCF)

Aren't they the best! Maybe we should start a "Super Duper QH Clique"! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

deltawave
Nov. 3, 2004, 07:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>this guy won't be competitive in the open
division to start. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mark, wasn't it you who mentioned how the Open divisions were LESS competitive than the others? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Boss Hoss
Nov. 3, 2004, 08:19 PM
true, I said that..but I would hope to see the young horse divisions serve us better. He needs to be going in divisions with other 4 yos...regardless of rider creds. He has gotten mid60s at training level this summer as a 3yo, but the jumping is still oh so green. Hoping he grows out this coming year, hes still slow maturing.

Can we have a division for Sophomores on green beans?

lovetheduns
Nov. 4, 2004, 07:17 AM
*chuckles* Well.. Angel.. I think it is safe to say you enter the, "Oh hell." Division. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AngelEventer:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by slp2:
OK--I'm not sure where I stand on all of this--but wanted to point out one other possible permutation that wasn't mentioned (or maybe it was? I've lost track . . ). The following combinations have been discussed:

Green rider + experienced horse = Rider division
Pro + green horse = Horse Division
"Seasoned" Novice Rider + Seasoned Novice horse = should go "Open Novice"

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Now, I have not read this whole post but this caught my eye. My question, since I have never fallen in one of these 3 divisions, what if you are a green rider (no experience above training) riding a green horse (again, no experience above training). You are both learning together. Which division are you best off in? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

lovetheduns
Nov. 4, 2004, 08:06 AM
Wow… so many people to respond to—SLP, JaGold, and Canterlope. Last night I was finishing up a massive project.

Okay..

SLPI really thought your particular situation is the situation that I am most familiar with in this whole discussion. Adult amateur—works full time—may have limited funds has to always start over with the absolute greenies.

True this rider could very well enter into the Horse division—and even unlike the Open division—this division would play host to a wide range of riders riding obviously green horses. If this said adult amateur rider did make it to training and maybe had an awful season with a horse that decided no way no how.. this rider generally has to start ALL the way over. So this rider is regulated to either the Open Division or the Novice Horse division. I don’t think there is an easy answer to your predicament.

I think you labeled what I have been advocating all along—a maiden division which says after a certain amount of blue ribbons—you are out. Obviously you have hit a milestone. Like the rider division, I think it should also be limited to how many experiences that rider has had at the next level.

JAGold——I don’t think people like Kelly or me are trying to say.. hey get rid of these obviously accomplished riders so that I can win a ribbon more easily. Sheesh. I am for advocating a more balanced division where horses and riders are competing against similar levels.

Let me put in plain words. Sally is a new to eventing. In fact, Sally has not ridden in the past 6 years since she left college. Sally has limited funds—Sally purchased an uber green horse. Nice horse, but green that has never been to a recognized event. Sally is pretty damned novice too. Sally and her greenie go into Novice Rider, which is based on rider’s experiences. Sally competes with several riders who have been riding at Novice ranging from one season to several years to many years. Sally and her greenie are also riding not only against novice riders, but novice horses that have been to these events multiple seasons. Sally really in reality does not care about the ribbon (sure admittedly it would be nice), but Sally also feels completely out of place.

So many riders in the rider division do not think it particularly fair or encouraging to ride against potential pros—BUT guess what Sally in this particular situation probably does not feel encouraged either.

So JAGold—sorry but it is not just about the ribbons as many people who support long term veterans in the rider divisions have proposed to counter-argue posters who think there may be some ribbon chasing involved. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Canterlope—--- I have quite a bit of respect for both your riding as well as poise in getting involved in this discussion. I am sure that this will make me quite more unpopular. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I do not pretend to know why riders such as you enter the rider divisions. Sure, I have never asked any of these riders (and there are others so I hope to not point fingers), “Why are you entering in this division time and time again?” First, on a personal level (meaning actually going up to that particular rider) it is not my business. However, on a more organizational level it is. Sorry for my lack of eloquence, but what I intend to say is that I can no more go up to you and debate with you about it since you are in effect perfectly well within your right to enter these divisions according to the rules and bylaws of the recognized events. So in reality if I want these things to change, I need to say them to a proper body or even as a general statement such as in this discussion.

I do not think that by discussing this I am tearing you down or pooh-poohing on your parade. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

And honestly I am not even trying to not cheer for your obvious successes—I am trying to voice concerns that I do see and know that others have felt in situations where the current division of divisions and levels do not lay out the proverbial welcome mat for MANY amateurs testing eventing waters.

My concerns still remain even after your explanation of your personal decisions about entering the novice rider divisions with Woody. Obviously you have been extremely successful with your horse. I define success in not the occasional lucky win or placing, but you have consistently pinned well. This is definitely something to cheer about.  I hope to be as successful as I am sure others do as well.

Even if he does not fit the profile of an Open horse, I would agree that he does fit the profile of a novice rider horse. A very experienced novice horse that would seem to teach and improve the skills of a learning rider. But do I take it that you still need to gain the experience and skills he teaches you at that level? Admittedly you say that in an open division he may not be quite as competitive at the division he is currently running—so do I take that to mean that quite honestly you do not enter him in that division because he would not be as competitive? Because that is exactly how I read, “He is cute, but in comparison to the horses you usually see in the Open division, he would be at the end of the line if judged on looks and conformation.”

As I said before, granted I believe that from what you say of your horse (and I would not really know him if he came up to me and snuck an apple out of my pocket), he is in the correct division for HIS peers, but it does not seem like it is the correct division for YOUR peers--- which has been my concern in this discussion all along.

If you take my fake rider Sally—all day long neither her horse nor her riding will probably be even reliably competitive against your skills and your experienced horse. From those that I have known and seen in Novice Rider—not many of them are quite as fortunate to be riding novice packer horses (and before anyone jumps on my back, I mean packer in the sense of seasoned horses at that level—not trying to insinuate that the rider just has to perch.. I realize that some packers still need correct riding and determined riders).

So… I truly do respect your discussion, but it honestly has not changed my mind. I still think that the division where you are most competitive for your horse against his peers still is at a disadvantage when riding against someone of your obvious skill and caliber. The same reasons, (what I am gathering from your post) that you do not enter this particular horse in Open are the same reasons that I believe there should be some sort of provision for maiden riders with experienced or not so experienced horses. You want to be competitive—and you know what so do they.

Now granted.. you are right. We probably would not be passing “uninformed” (though I guess now you could say I am informed http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ) decisions on riders in Novice Rider that are crappy riders on crappy horses who have little hopes of pinning or being remotely competitive at Novice Rider- but guess what Canterlope--- those riders ARE competing at a level I would venture to say was appropriate for their skill and mount. I think we would all be “judging” them say if they were in Open Novice and scaring everyone away with refusals and awful dressage tests though. *laughs*

You are right you and your pony both clearly fall within the guidelines of the division—which is why I would never walk up to you at an event and ask crassly why you are in that division.

However, as I began my foray into this thread earlier--- to my personal opinions (and at least in your situation I have been informed) I think it is a question of sportsmanship and ethics. Your horse belongs in that level—your riding does not—instead of placing yourself into a division where you would be competing against your peers you say you do not because it places the pony in a division which is not as equal ground as he is now. I am not trying to be mean, I am not trying to be snotty, I am not trying to be unpopular, and I am not trying to judge you either. In fact, I think I am being extremely complimentary—your riding and performances actually rival even some professionals I have seen in eventing and other disciplines.

I do think the guidelines should be changed. And I do realize what I am asking you is to enforce something that is unenforceable.

xjump
Nov. 4, 2004, 09:01 AM
lovetheduns,

i think you made your point articulately and graciously, even though it is an unpopular point.

while this discussion has been very interesting, i'm not sure something needs to be done in an offcial capacity. after all, it IS a competition.

on the other hand, i don't think that you can stop human nature from causing people to have a little bit of resentment towards what might feel to some like uneven competition.

slp2
Nov. 4, 2004, 09:07 AM
LTD: I understand what you are proposing, the only thing I'm not sure of is the numbers. Again, I think the USEA used to offer something called "restricted novice" division which had similar qualifications to a "maiden" division. But are there enough entries at a given event to justify this division? Some events, yes, definitely. But others? Maybe not. And that's why some events may be hesitant to offer that division and why I not longer see it offered (I don't know this--they probably changed some rule at some point so that it isn't used anymore). I already know of several events that ONLY offer Open divisions (I was in a few this summer). The organizer decides how the divisions are split. Maybe it's based on your astrological sign or something, http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif he, he--don't know. I'm sure the organizer tries to accomodate those riders that have multiple rides though. However, there may be some reason on the part of the organizer that they don't offer the Rider/Horse/Open as a choice. Maybe because they don't want deal with the possibility of having very small and/or huge divisions in the same level at a given event (i.e. 5 riders in Open Novice, 22 in Novice Rider, and 10 in Novice Horse). So, instead they only offer "open" and try to split the divisions evenly (in terms of number of riders per division).

Sandy M
Nov. 4, 2004, 09:23 AM
A friend with a very impressive big TB (looked like a WB) received a lot of 9s and 10s on her scoresheet and a score something like 18 or 19... and comments such as "This does not appear to be a NOVICE horse!" Yeah, right. She laughed her head off and just said "Wait 'til he sees him go cross-country." Sure enough, she had a couple of run outs and refusals - the horse was VERY green, but just had a mind for dressage and good movement to go with it. Ready to move up? I think not. ROFLOL

KellyS
Nov. 4, 2004, 09:55 AM
LTD - Very well said. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

It does make me chuckle a bit that people think the motive behind this is to make it easier for us to win ribbons. Believe me, that is the last thought on my mind.

SLP2 - I think the way to go is NOT to ADD a division, but merely restructure the guidelines of the Novice Rider division. For example:

Novice Rider: Competitor not to have competed in more than 2 events at Training Level in the past 24 months OR accumulated more than 60 (just throwing a number in) points at the Novice Level.

There would need to be a provision that stipulates that once the 60 point mark is reached, the rider can continue to compete in the Novice Rider division until the end of the year, just for ease of entering events during a busy competition season (i.e., trying to plan events not knowing what your point status might be)

USEA already tracks points for the leaderboard, so I would think this would be pretty straightforward. At the end of each season, USEA would send out notices - Congratulations on your success! You've earned a total of xx points in the Novice division this year. Starting January 1, 200X, the appropriate divisions for your experience at the Novice level are Open, Horse, and Amateur &lt;adding this division since it is offered at some events, i.e. Fair Hill&gt;. You are also eligible for all divisions (including the Rider division) at Training level and above.

SandyM - I think we're looking at riders who score low in dressage AND have double clear rounds. You're correct, you're friend is definitely where she needs to be.

Boss Hoss
Nov. 4, 2004, 01:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sandy M:
A friend with a very impressive big TB (looked like a WB) received a lot of 9s and 10s on her scoresheet and a score something like 18 or 19... and comments such as "This does not appear to be a NOVICE horse!" Yeah, right. She laughed her head off and just said "Wait 'til he sees him go cross-country." Sure enough, she had a couple of run outs and refusals - the horse was VERY green, but just had a mind for dressage and good movement to go with it. Ready to move up? I think not. ROFLOL <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well these are dressage judges after all, not event riders...all they see is a horse that could do a higher dressage test, not necessarily a sign they can jump at this level.

3dazey
Nov. 4, 2004, 01:58 PM
(Entering forum and shaking her cane at all the whipper-snappers) Waaaay back in the 70s, riders did accrue points at the lower levels. These points told people when they COULD move up and also when they SHOULD do the open divisions at their current level. This method, of course, fell by the wayside long ago, I would assume it's just too darn expensive to keep track of all of this, unless everyone shells out the extra $100 for life horse membership (now at $125, correct?). So see? USCTA (whoooops, USEA) has changed with the times, and it will again, have no fear.

This is why I am highly hopeful for a resurrection of the CCN* and **!!!

(Hobbles off, muttering and drooling.)

goobs
Nov. 4, 2004, 01:59 PM
So why don't we have a "Novice" division and a "not so Novice" divison then? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Just trying to lighten up the discussion!

JAGold
Nov. 4, 2004, 04:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lovetheduns:
_JAGold_——I don’t think people like Kelly or me are trying to say.. hey get rid of these obviously accomplished riders so that I can win a ribbon more easily. Sheesh. I am for advocating a more balanced division where horses and riders are competing against similar levels. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

See, this is where we start to disagree. I think that the fundamental competition is between the horse/rider and the test and courses, not with other horses and riders.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Sally really in reality does not care about the ribbon (sure admittedly it would be nice), but Sally also feels completely out of place.

So many riders in the rider division do not think it particularly fair or encouraging to ride against potential pros—BUT guess what Sally in this particular situation probably does not feel encouraged either. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Everyone rides the same XC course, and the same stadium course. Why would Sally feel less "out of place" just because all of the riders in her division have less experience? Nothing has changed -- the same mix of people are at the event, getting the same scores over the same course. The total picture, the full array of scores, is identical. The only thing that has happened if the definition of the novice rider division is changed is that the ribbons are redistributed. But there is no head to head competition, so I don't see how changing the grouping of riders on the scoreboard should make Sally feel less out of place.

Similarly, I don't see why getting a ribbon changes the way Sally feels about her performance. If she rode well and her horse went well, then she should be pleased, regardless of how other people in her division did. Getting a ribbon shouldn't be what encourages Sally, since she can't control anyone else's performance.

And one more thought -- there's really no reason for Sally to feel out of place no matter who is in her division. Everyone was once inexperienced.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> So JAGold—sorry but it is not just about the ribbons as many people who support long term veterans in the rider divisions have proposed to counter-argue posters who think there may be some ribbon chasing involved. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I still don't buy it. I don't see why it is more encouraging to get a ribbon for exactly the same dressage test, XC run, and stadium course than not get a ribbon for it, unless you care about the ribbon itself. This sport simply isn't about how well you do compared to anyone else. It's about how well you do compared to the questions that were asked, and your own abilities and expectations and history.

We aren't talking about playing soccer, for example, where playing against a clearly more experienced or talented team makes the game no fun and prevents the less experienced team from showing what it is capable of.

Personally, I think the only valid reason to have divisions within levels at a given show at all is because it's difficult to have one judge watch all of the dressage tests at a given level. I don't see any reason to split things up any more than is necessary to have all riders in a division being judged by the same person for dressage -- I'd be fine with 50 or even 100 person divisions.

Finally, I hesitate to say this because it's really not my place -- and I'm not addressing it to anyone in particular. But I am quite uncomfortable with using an individual as an example, as has been done on this thread. It's fine if someone puts his or her own case forward to illustrate a situation, but I think discussing an amateur's individual situation and personal decisions is tasteless otherwise. --Jess

KellyS
Nov. 4, 2004, 05:44 PM
Jess,

I think you're opinion represents the "true eventer attitude" that alot of people on this board have - it's all about you, the horse, and the course! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif But like it or not, competition between riders DOES exist, it's just the nature of any sport. And there should never be a reason NOT to question how a division or level is set up. To keep things the same without ever considering change causes a sport to stagnate.

You know what I see? I see alot of newcomers to the Novice level - they are just getting started, they're learning the ropes, often times on green-to-eventing horses. It's no more fair to lump them into a division with 50-100 horses then to allow very experienced riders on experienced horses to dominate a division that most people view as a division for greener riders and horses. It's really not a difficult concept - and it's one that many, many other associations have embraced and I'll tell you what, their members are happier for it.

I'm not going to touch the "tasteless" comment - tasteless would be a former COTH discussion concerning a certain's author wife who was termed a "Novice Queen" among other names, it was quite a bashfest...

lovetheduns
Nov. 4, 2004, 06:29 PM
Jess-- you do bring some interesting points. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Intrinsically, pretty much any sport that is not a team sport (and even the team sports to a certain extent) are about the athlete and their personal best, triumph, whatever you want to call it.

I find it almost curious that when Sally and riders like Sally are brought into the picture more verbiage comes out about how it is not winning the ribbons, it is not competing against those with greater experience, it is about Sally and her horse.

Now.. so why the fuss about the Novice Rider division? Shouldn't everyone feel equally as good about their performances even if they are riding next to David O'Connor? I mean after all... it is about riding one's own personal best.. so why not just trash ALL of the divisions and just have one huge Novice division, one huge training, etc.

I think I did say earlier that I had no problems with that-- what I have a problem with is that if you are going to cater to a subset of riders might as well further break that down to cater to the even more inexperienced.

I think it is obvious that you do not have a problem with this Jess, and I think like many other eventers-- it is more about performing and making it through the various phases... but... I think it is obvious for many it isn't.

I can understand your discomfort with using someone as an option in this thread.. personally I happened upon this thread when a good friend of mine sent alerted me to it because I had just been talking to her about what I have noticed in the novice rider divisions. I have tried my best not to point fingers at ANYONE. The issue is not unique to one person..... I feel I have made that abundantly clear.

deltawave
Nov. 4, 2004, 07:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JAGold:
This is where we start to disagree. I think that the fundamental competition is between the horse/rider and the test and courses, not with other horses and riders....

....similarly, I don't see why getting a ribbon changes the way Sally feels about her performance. If she rode well and her horse went well, then she should be pleased, regardless of how other people in her division did. Getting a ribbon shouldn't be what encourages Sally, since she can't control anyone else's performance....

....I still don't buy it. I don't see why it is more encouraging to get a ribbon for exactly the same dressage test, XC run, and stadium course than not get a ribbon for it, unless you care about the ribbon itself. This sport simply isn't about how well you do compared to anyone else. It's about how well you do compared to the questions that were asked, and your own abilities and expectations and history. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But Jess, your "why we compete" ideals are certainly prevalent among eventers, but they are by NO MEANS universal. There are plenty of people to whom eventing is indeed an outlet for competitiveness, and to whom winning is important. Those people have just as much of a right to compete as someone with "loftier" goals and more internal measures of success. And their motivation is no less important to them.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>We aren't talking about playing soccer, for example, where playing against a clearly more experienced or talented team makes the game no fun and prevents the less experienced team from showing what it is capable of. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But if we apply this example to your reasoning, shouldn't the less talented team just be glad they managed to keep up at all and be satisfied with being trounced, provided they played better than last time? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'd be fine with 50 or even 100 person divisions. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not I. I don't really count myself among the "ribbon hunters" (good thing, LOL!) but I do get a little discouraged at having a super weekend (by my own standards) only to find myself way down in the placings. More power to those who are "pure of heart" and don't even look at the scoreboard...I think they're a much more rare species than is professed. Nobody should be made to feel like they are some sort of bad sport for taking pride in a prize at a competition; sometimes the "I don't care about my score one little bit--I ride for the glory of the sport" schtick gets a little tiresome, even to those of us who are kind of ambivalent about the whole ribbon thing and cringe at the sight of the "scoreboard lurkers".

This whole dichotomy, in fact, makes me pretty sad. I feel very uncomfortable in the presence of people who are so competitive that they know just how many seconds they want to be under optimum in order to break a tie, or who can extrapolate potential placings at the first show of the year into possible year end trophies, or who pick shows that other riders aren't going to to rack up points, or who check the math on their dressage tests. On the other hand, why shouldn't doing well and winning be celebrated? Why is it somehow slightly "tacky" in some people's view to be psyched about a winning performance? I never quite know how to act if we have a really good day (not enough practice!) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif other than mildly stunned and yes, I'll admit, HAPPY. Most people you run into are the same. Frankly, the ones who take all the fun out of it are the "extremists" on either side: the ones who feel they must point out how they had a better score than you in THEIR division, or conversely, the ones who act like ribbons are some sort of tasteless afterthought.

Don't know where I'm going with this again. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif I don't like to obsess over scores and points and how I did vs. someone else, but I'm not going to sit here and say I don't care about ribbons, either. Why can't "competition" mean different things to different people?

Bottom line: I'd rather compete a little over my head than at a level where I consistently excelled. Line under bottom line: that's only me... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Janet
Nov. 4, 2004, 07:19 PM
But this is where I disagree <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> a division that most people view as a division for greener riders and horses. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't think "most people" view " Novice Rider" (or "Training Rider") as "a division for greener riders and horses. "

I think "most people" READ THE DESCRIPTION IN THE RULE BOOK, and view "Novcie Rider" (or "Training Rider") as "a division for riders who haven't (recently) competed at higher levels".

deltawave
Nov. 4, 2004, 07:24 PM
Well, that's splitting hairs a little, don't you think? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Of all the divisions that are currently available, the one intended for riders with the least experience...the only one, in fact, that MENTIONS any limitation in the experience of the rider at all, is the "Rider" divisions. Ergo, if one had to choose, "greener" is a relative term that would BEST apply to the "Rider" division among the current choices.

I would be REALLY surprised to see a former BNT who'd been off for a long time (without extenuating circumstances like a devastating injury that changed their abilities drastically) in a "Rider" division. Legal? Yes. Cheesy? Kinda... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Janet
Nov. 4, 2004, 07:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> This whole dichotomy, in fact, makes me pretty sad. I feel very uncomfortable in the presence of people who are so competitive that they know just how many seconds they want to be under optimum in order to break a tie, or who can extrapolate potential placings at the first show of the year into possible year end trophies, or who pick shows that other riders aren't going to to rack up points, or who check the math on their dressage tests. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Interesting.

I always check the math on my dressage test. And I always consider how many seconds uner optimum to be. (Though I don't worry about which show the other riders are going to, nor do I worry about year end points). But I really don't care that much about who is, or oins't, in "my" division.

deltawave
Nov. 4, 2004, 07:29 PM
OK! See, there you have ANOTHER example of the way people feel differently about scores, placings, and all. I'm not saying one is better than the other.

And to clarify for the record, I calculate/predict my optimum time as best I can, too, but NOT for the sake of breaking any potential ties, which is what I was referring to in my original example. Most of the time I don't even know my dressage score before XC.

Boss Hoss
Nov. 4, 2004, 07:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't think "most people" view " Novice Rider" (or "Training Rider") as "a division for greener riders and horses. "
I think "most people" READ THE DESCRIPTION IN THE RULE BOOK, and view "Novcie Rider" (or "Training Rider") as "a division for riders who haven't (recently) competed at higher levels".
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You know..why don't we make this real simple.

For N&T.."Rider" division is for anyone who hasn't completed 2 prelim horse trials or above. Since its been commented that only 20% of the membership ride prelim+, that makes most of us "novices" at the sport in general. This helps keeps real novices together and real experienced people together in their competitions. So the pinning of ribbons is based on how they fair against OTHER riders of LIKE experience over the same course as the more experienced.

Who cares if someone has ridden training level and then brings out another horse at novice .. they stil are NOT "experienced" enough to be in the open divisions against those who do this for a living, albeit on green horses.

lovetheduns
Nov. 4, 2004, 08:07 PM
Exactly deltawave.

I think most people do view it as cheesy. It would be perfectly legal and perfectly acceptable according to all of the regulations and rules.

I actually know several people who would never go back into rider divisions in their respective levels because they feel as if it would be unfair to the up and coming riders in those divisions. These few friends of mine show in the open divisions. Now when a friend just moved up the levels, she is planning to ride in the rider division for a a couple events since in effect she is green at that level. I do not see a problem with that nor an issue of semantics. She would be riding at her approriate riding level.

But... I don't think that the forethought or lack thereof that went into developing these divisions probably had the thought that Peter, Janet, and Tonya would be hanging out in Novice Rider for the next 3-6 years while always pinning at 85% of their showings. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif



<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by deltawave:
Well, that's splitting hairs a little, don't you think? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Of all the divisions that are currently available, the one intended for riders with the least experience...the only one, in fact, that MENTIONS any limitation in the experience of the rider at all, is the "Rider" divisions. Ergo, if one had to choose, "greener" is a relative term that would BEST apply to the "Rider" division among the current choices.

I would be REALLY surprised to see a former BNT who'd been off for a long time (without extenuating circumstances like a devastating injury that changed their abilities drastically) in a "Rider" division. Legal? Yes. Cheesy? Kinda... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

lovetheduns
Nov. 4, 2004, 08:11 PM
Boss Hoss--- I fail to see that there are riders who may not make their actual forty hour a work week on by riding can not be potentially competitive against a professional-- especially with some of the lower level professionals I have seen ride!

There are such situations as one of my close friends (even though she is a hunter) who does not work and rides. She rides just as many up and coming green horses and made horses (that she has created) as practically any trainer has. The only difference is that she does not teach lessons nor train other's horses. She is not a typical amateur and I dare say that this situation does not also replicate itself in the eventing world.

Just like a rider who has been through a few seasons of training will probably more than likely more comfortable competing at novice than say a novice rider who just stepped up from BN.



<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Boss Hoss:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't think "most people" view " Novice Rider" (or "Training Rider") as "a division for greener riders and horses. "
I think "most people" READ THE DESCRIPTION IN THE RULE BOOK, and view "Novcie Rider" (or "Training Rider") as "a division for riders who haven't (recently) competed at higher levels".
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You know..why don't we make this real simple.

For N&T.."Rider" division is for anyone who hasn't completed 2 prelim horse trials or above. Since its been commented that only 20% of the membership ride prelim+, that makes most of us "novices" at the sport in general. This helps keeps real novices together and real experienced people together in their competitions. So the pinning of ribbons is based on how they fair against OTHER riders of LIKE experience over the same course as the more experienced.

Who cares if someone has ridden training level and then brings out another horse at novice .. they stil are NOT "experienced" enough to be in the open divisions against those who do this for a living, albeit on green horses. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

JAGold
Nov. 4, 2004, 08:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KellyS:
And there should never be a reason NOT to question how a division or level is set up. To keep things the same without ever considering change causes a sport to stagnate. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't have any problem discussing it -- I just don't think we need a change, and I'm explaining why I feel that way.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> You know what I see? I see alot of newcomers to the Novice level - they are just getting started, they're learning the ropes, often times on green-to-eventing horses. It's no more fair to lump them into a division with 50-100 horses then to allow very experienced riders on experienced horses to dominate a division that most people view as a division for greener riders and horses. It's really not a difficult concept - and it's one that many, many other associations have embraced and I'll tell you what, their members are happier for it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I agree, it is not more fair to put these riders in a huge, undivided division than to leave things as they are. But I don't think it's less fair, either, because I don't think "fair" is really part of this discussion. Inviting, maybe. Encouraging, you could argue, though I'd disagree. But I certainly don't think there is anything inherently unfair about it. Everyone is playing by the same rules, completing the same tests and courses. Fair has to do with how the competition is run more than how the prizes are handed out.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I'm not going to touch the "tasteless" comment - tasteless would be a former COTH discussion concerning a certain's author wife who was termed a "Novice Queen" among other names, it was quite a bashfest... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I can't say I remember that particular thread, but regardless, I don't think we need to strive for the lowest common denominator. --Jess

JAGold
Nov. 4, 2004, 09:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by deltawave:
There are plenty of people to whom eventing is indeed an outlet for competitiveness, and to whom winning is important. Those people have just as much of a right to compete as someone with "loftier" goals and more internal measures of success. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Absolutely. And in the long run, having lots of divisions creates an encouraging, welcoming enviornment that is good for the sport. I certainly recognize this, and when I'm not being cranky http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I even acknowledge that it's a future we shouldn't fight.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> But if we apply this example to your reasoning, shouldn't the less talented team just be glad they managed to keep up at all and be satisfied with being trounced, provided they played better than last time? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I didn't explain myself well. Playing against a really superior team might mean that the offense never touches the ball, so it never gets to even show what it is capable of. Riding in a division with more experienced riders doesn't preclude the novice putting forth his or her best effort.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Nobody should be made to feel like they are some sort of bad sport for taking pride in a prize at a competition; sometimes the "I don't care about my score one little bit--I ride for the glory of the sport" schtick gets a little tiresome, even to those of us who are kind of ambivalent about the whole ribbon thing and cringe at the sight of the "scoreboard lurkers".
[snip]
On the other hand, why shouldn't doing well and winning be celebrated? Why is it somehow slightly "tacky" in some people's view to be psyched about a winning performance? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Again, I do agree with you, and I'm sorry if my comments have seemed to scorn anyone's motivation or achievements. And winning IS fun -- I like victory gallops, too http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I absolutely think that people should take pride in their accomplishments, including placings.

I'm really not trying to deny anyone a ribbon or the pride they justifiably draw from that ribbon. I think that having inexperience riders competing against the pros is one of the best things about our sport, though. I think it prevents the sport from dismissing or marginalizing these inexperienced riders. I think it sends the message that they are a part of the core of the sport, not some peripheral farm league. And I think that it keeps the standards of riding high, even at the lower levels. --Jess

Janet
Nov. 4, 2004, 09:25 PM
Wait-a-minute.

Where did you get the idea that I "ribbon at 85%" of my competitions????

deltawave
Nov. 5, 2004, 04:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Boss Hoss:
Who cares if someone has ridden training level and then brings out another horse at novice .. they stil are NOT "experienced" enough to be in the open divisions against those who do this for a living, albeit on green horses. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're kidding, right? Define "experience". I plan on riding MY greenie in Open Novice next year (at least in some competitions) against people who "do it for a living" and I have a lot more experience than you do. Give us a break, will you?

Edited to add my apologies: I thought you said "those OF US who do this for a living...on green horses". Sorry! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif The other bit stands, though--I'm a total amateur and pretty hopeless at that, but I'm certainly not going to cower with fear at the thought of going in an Open division with my green horse. The jumps are just as high in the other Novice divisions! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I consider myself PLENTY experienced at Novice and Training, even though I don't have a big ribbon collection.

KellyS
Nov. 5, 2004, 04:50 AM
Hey Jess - I think we'll just have to agree to disagree! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

It sounds like you've been very lucky in that the majority of competitors you've been exposed to compete with pretty honest intentions - they are out there doing their thing and placings are a second thought. I've competed in a lot of different disciplines and you always find them - the competitors who only care about winning and will make sure they place themselves in a situation where they can, other competitors be damned (and this is a GENERAL statement!).

This thread has centered around a perfectly legitimate example and has been very general, and DC even came on a gave us her thoughts about the issue. I'd have to say that she has only received compliments and kudos, no personal attacks. I pointed out the other thread because this same topic came up before, and the perpetual Novice rider in question was quite thoroughly trashed. It seems like there is a double standard on this board - I've seen so many threads where riders (and a lot of times pros) are trashed, and when you have a discussion that has stayed very general, then all of a sudden it is treated as a personal attack and tasteless. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

KellyS
Nov. 5, 2004, 04:52 AM
By the way...did anyone take a look at my post that outlined a potential way the Novice Rider division could be set up (page 7)?

Any thoughts, comments? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

xjump
Nov. 5, 2004, 07:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JAGold:


Similarly, I don't see why getting a ribbon changes the way Sally feels about her performance. If she rode well and her horse went well, then she should be pleased, regardless of how other people in her division did. Getting a ribbon shouldn't be what encourages Sally, since she can't control anyone else's performance.


...I don't see why it is more encouraging to get a ribbon for exactly the same dressage test, XC run, and stadium course than not get a ribbon for it, unless you care about the ribbon itself. This sport simply isn't about how well you do compared to anyone else. It's about how well you do compared to the questions that were asked, and your own abilities and expectations and history. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, this idea is a little crazy. if that's the case, why not ride HC? why even have ribbons? for that matter, if you're riding against yourself, just trying to better your previous performances, why even post the scores at all? Just pick up your test/score at the end of the competition for your private review?

i can tell you that in the RARE case i get a ribbon in a show, that little sucker means a whole ton to me! it's a whole new/different level of validation to someone like me.

of coursei agree with you about personal best, etc. but you can't deny that it IS a competition, and you can't deny that people will feel resentful if they don't think the playing field is somewhat even...

just my $.02 http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

SillyHorse
Nov. 5, 2004, 07:56 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by xjump:
[Well, this idea is a little crazy. if that's the case, why not ride HC? why even have ribbons? for that matter, if you're riding against yourself, just trying to better your previous performances, why even post the scores at all? Just pick up your test/score at the end of the competition for your private review?

i can tell you that in the RARE case i get a ribbon in a show, that little sucker means a whole ton to me! it's a whole new/different level of validation to someone like me.

_of course_i agree with you about personal best, etc. but you can't deny that it IS a competition, and you can't deny that people will feel resentful if they don't think the playing field is somewhat even...

just my $.02 http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have won blue ribbons with mediocre scores - I was just the best of a bunch of lousy rides that day. And I have not placed at dressage shows with scores in the high 60s. Those were great rides in very tough competition. Does the fact that I didn't get a ribbon make my ride any less great? Absolutely not. Does the lack of a ribbon make the judge's comments less affirming and helpful? Nope. A ribbon is nice, but really, it's not very important in a sport where other competitors' performances have no bearing or influence on yours.

deltawave
Nov. 5, 2004, 08:05 AM
Well, if that's the case, then the only equestrian sport where prizes are "important" is in Horse Racing, where there is a clear "winner" and many "losers" and horses go head to head.

In every other equestrian discipline that I can think of, a given performance is pretty much unaffected by anyone else's. However, most other disciplines manage to enjoy and understand the point behind prize giving without too much difficulty. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Yes, on any given day the competition might be more or less "tough", but let's not fool ourselves and think it's not a form of "competition" to show horses. Indeed, if one does not care in the slightest about ribbons, placings, or prizes and ONLY wants to be judged on their performance, why not just show HC? Let one of us pitiful, tacky people who gets a little grin when we get our ribbon have yours? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Janet
Nov. 5, 2004, 08:08 AM
Iwonder how much of this is regional?

I just looked at the order of go for last weeks Novice divisions at CDCTA HT.

In ON (45 entries, 2 divisions)
6 have been on International teams
5 more have, to my knowledge, ridden at the *** level
19 more, to my knowledage, compete regularly at Prelim or above

That leaves only 15 (one third of the ON entries) as people that MIGHT fall in the category of "riding Open Novice, but have never competed at Prelim".

The Novice Rider division only has 20 entries. One of whom (a senior citizen) defintely fits the definition of "has been riding/competing for decades, but is eligible for NR".

I can't tell how many in the NR are "new to eventing".

Are you seriously suggesting that this senior citizen should be REQUIRED to comepte in the divsion with Kim Severson, Phillip Dutton, Phyllis Dawson, Sharon White, Jan Thompson and Mimi Coombs?

I admit that we don't always have THAT many big names in ON. But around here, if you go in the Open division, you can be pretty sure that you will be competing against someone who has done at least a CCI* .

A far as your suggestion on the previous page<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Novice Rider: Competitor not to have competed in more than 2 events at Training Level in the past 24 months OR accumulated more than 60 (just throwing a number in) points at the Novice Level. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>ALl you have to do is convince the ORGANIZER to offer such a division. At levels that do not involve grading points (i.e., at BN, N and T, grading point start at Prelim) the organizer can divide up the divisions any way (s)he wants. No need for any rules changes.

purplepants
Nov. 5, 2004, 08:16 AM
Okay eventing is a competitive sport! Its a competition first and foremost. It is fun to be competitive in all sorts of ways, against yourself and against other people. Obviously if you win against David O'Connor you are gonna be pretty stinkin' proud of yourself then if you win against people YOU KNOW you are way better than experience wise. Thats what I think it comes down to - you yourself know what division who are competitive against and what division pushes you to whatever your individual goals on. If someone wants to fool themselves and stay in a division that they obviously don't belong in then thats fine by me - i'll just work harder to beat them in the long run or be proud of myself when i am above them in levels. That being said I think this is all a bit hypocritical as well. Everyone spouts off on how people are "sooo scary" winging around at training or something when they shouldn't be there but maybe those people are the people you are talking about who don't belong in novice? Maybe its their first training and they were kicking butt and novice so felt pressure to move up. I expected myself to be extremely competant before moving up and just because I was riding a horse who had done prelim didn't mean I rushed out to do prelim. our first season even though we did well at training level. Getting around wasn't good enough for me, for others it probably is but I don't think there can be TOO rigid qualifications or restrictions at each level/division. There comes a point when you just gotta sit back and relax, have your own goals firmly in mind and let other people be responsible for themselves.

EventerArapahoe
Nov. 5, 2004, 08:21 AM
I have been checking this thread out off and on, and have been hesitatant to post as it seems that things have a tendency to get heated - but here it goes.....

Branching off of what DW and x-jump said.....

I know that when I go to shows, I go because I enjoy the competition. Call me crazy.... but I really enjoy placing! It's not the ribbon itself, but more of a reflection of how my riding is. When I can look around at some awesome horses and riders, and be competitive with them, and even (on rare occasions) place higher than them, I get excited http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Who wouldn't??!!

I'm not saying that I don't strive for my "personal best" because I do, everyday. And a show is supposed to be (or so I thought) a way to measure how you and all of your hard work at home stacks up against others.

I'm not one of those people descirbed earlier who sits on the sidelines and wishes misfortune on others, becuase I am happy to see others doing well. But I am not going to lie, and say that when I check the scoreboard at the end of the day, I don't get a thrill to see that I have moved up a few places.

I guess my point is, that placings (not so much the silly ribbon itself) often is a good way to measure where you are at and symbolize how hard you have worked.

If one is only interested in there "personal best" and could care less about placing.... then why bother going to a show? save some money and take some more lessons, or go schooling.

THAT is my $0.02 http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

xjump
Nov. 5, 2004, 08:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SillyHorse:
Does the fact that I didn't get a ribbon make my ride any less great? Absolutely not. Does the lack of a ribbon make the judge's comments less affirming and helpful? Nope. A ribbon is nice, but really, it's not very important in a sport where other competitors' performances have no bearing or influence on yours. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with you, but as I said, a ribbon at a show is a different (and usually good) type of validation. and often it is THAT type of validation that i'm striving for by ENTERING the competition. i want to how i stack up against my PEERS? i already KNOW what kind of performance my horse and I are capable of on a bad or a good day.

as for Janet's example. yes, that type of competition in ON in the east is pretty stiff. BUT if you're good enough to consistently finish in the low 20s, then i don't care if you're up against alexander the great, you are in the proper division. (and that is a compliment!)

xjump
Nov. 5, 2004, 08:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
Are you seriously suggesting that this senior citizen should be REQUIRED to comepte in the divsion with Kim Severson, Phillip Dutton, Phyllis Dawson, Sharon White, Jan Thompson and Mimi Coombs? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yup. If the senior citizen consistently finishes in the mid-low 20s, I sure am. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

slp2
Nov. 5, 2004, 09:01 AM
We have a local "mature" rider (probably older than the example you gave Janet) who is the quinessential "professional" amateur training level rider/horse combo pack! These two have tackled EVERY training level course in the surrounding states and then some (season after season). He DOES ride in the Open division and places consistently. He could go "toe to toe" with some of those experienced pros you mentioned AT TRAINING LEVEL. Most likely those upper level pros would be riding a green-ish horse if they were entered at training level. So, yes--I think it would be appropriate for our "mature" rider to be in the Open division. In my particular example, this horse has done some of the local courses SO many times--I don't think he'd actually need a rider--you could just send him out of the start box with a whack on his butt--and meet in at the finish line!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif And he'd go clean BTW!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

EventerArapahoe
Nov. 5, 2004, 09:12 AM
SLP2:
I totally know who you are talking about http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

you described them perfectly http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Janet
Nov. 5, 2004, 09:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by xjump:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
Are you seriously suggesting that this senior citizen should be REQUIRED to comepte in the divsion with Kim Severson, Phillip Dutton, Phyllis Dawson, Sharon White, Jan Thompson and Mimi Coombs? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yup. If the senior citizen consistently finishes in the mid-low 20s, I sure am. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Um, no, I doubt he has ever broken into even the high 30s. He only competes once every couple of years.

tle
Nov. 5, 2004, 09:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> You know what I see? I see alot of newcomers to the Novice level - they are just getting started, they're learning the ropes, often times on green-to-eventing horses. It's no more fair to lump them into a division with 50-100 horses then to allow very experienced riders on experienced horses to dominate a division that most people view as a division for greener riders and horses. It's really not a difficult concept - and it's one that many, many other associations have embraced and I'll tell you what, their members are happier for it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The ONLY divisions I ever see with that many people in them are either championships or upper level (ie: CCI) divisions. Even KY Classic who originally had 2 novice divisions listed at 50+ ended up splitting them before the actual event. So let's not get dramatic, ok?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>SandyM - I think we're looking at riders who score low in dressage AND have double clear rounds. You're correct, you're friend is definitely where she needs to be. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So what constitutes a "low dressage score" and how does that fit with your point system? Remember... any given day I can score a 40 and finish 2nd or not in the ribbons at all. You simply can't base a "you must move up" system on placings because it isn't just about the horse & rider in question but what competition they went up against. I finished 5th on a friend's 4yo this past weekend so in your mind I would have points that would "count against" us riding in certain divisions... yet we finished 5th because so few people int he division finished -- we had a 55 in dressage and over 120 points total!! I'd hardly call that a "move up now you're ready to play with the big boys" success, would you??

Remember, if you're asking the office to do more, where is that workload going to fall? Onto which already overloaded (and underfunded) shoulders??

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I still don't buy it. I don't see why it is more encouraging to get a ribbon for exactly the same dressage test, XC run, and stadium course than not get a ribbon for it, unless you care about the ribbon itself. This sport simply isn't about how well you do compared to anyone else. It's about how well you do compared to the questions that were asked, and your own abilities and expectations and history. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Exactly. Which is why any of the criteria to move up to Prelim or to qualify for a 3-day is based on PERSONAL PERFORMANCE (ie: clean rides, qualifying scores, etc.) and NOT on how one places. We do that and we WILL have ribbon chasers just because those placings will mean that much more.

xjump
Nov. 5, 2004, 09:34 AM
Then that is not the type of rider I am talking about. i am talking about the combo that is consistently blowing people away and not moving into ON.

whoops, didn't post fast enough. my comment was addressing janet's about the senior citizen.

tle's and other's comments about scores being relative to that particular competition reinforce my earlier stance that I don't think something necessarily needs to be done in an official capacity. i would just hope that those would stay/move in to the appropriate division on their own, in the interest of good sportsmanship.

Janet
Nov. 5, 2004, 09:41 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by xjump:
Then that is not the type of rider I am talking about. i am talking about the combo that is consistently blowing people away and _not_ moving into ON. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Ok, but HOW to you discriminate between them. Since he has been doing it so long, even if not very often, he almost certainly has your "60 points" accumulated 1 or 2 at a time over many years.

xjump
Nov. 5, 2004, 09:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by xjump:
Then that is not the type of rider I am talking about. i am talking about the combo that is consistently blowing people away and _not_ moving into ON.

whoops, didn't post fast enough. my comment was addressing janet's about the senior citizen.

tle's and other's comments about scores being relative to that particular competition reinforce my earlier stance that I don't think something necessarily needs to be done in an official capacity. i would just hope that those would stay/move in to the appropriate division on their own, in the interest of good sportsmanship. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

ahhh. my computer's too slow to keep up with this discussion!

i added to my last post, in which i talk about offical change vs. individual sportsmanship. i agree that trying to track points for the purpose of steering people into certain divisions is flawed.

deltawave
Nov. 5, 2004, 10:00 AM
tle, I don't think ANYONE is saying one should "move up" in terms of a higher level such as T to P or N to T. People are objecting to those who stay at "Rider" levels when "Open" might perhaps be more appropriate and sportsmanlike.

tle
Nov. 5, 2004, 10:16 AM
Oh, I get it. But to regulate something as subjective as when a person feels they're ready for the Open divisions? I don't think there's a reasonable way to do that. And I still think my example this weekend with Thumper is valid against trying to do so based on EITHER scores or placings.

BTW... just a plug... I posted to the River Glen thread with a link to the photographer's pics of Thumper. Look how cute he is (just ignore the first pic where i almost bit the dirt!).

KellyS
Nov. 5, 2004, 11:16 AM
I knew people would get hung up on the "60" point figure - I should have just put "XX"! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I need to do more research on that end, but maybe the magic number could be based on:

24 events (about 2-3 years of competing) x 1st place x max. no. of competitors in that division (since points awarded at each placing are determined by how many are in the division)

That may be a bit dramatic, but let's face it, the senior rider who events a couple of times of year is not going to earn enough points to class out of this division anytime soon and placing 4th or 5th in a small division with a score over a 100 is not going chip away at that number very quickly.

It's not like people are being forced to move "up" to a higher level or compete over a more difficult course - its the same course, it's just the riders in the division that are different.

In most cases, finishing on a score under 25 in the Open Novice division is going to guarantee you a ribbon - why not go win that ribbon away from the O'Connors, etc, instead of Susie Q riding Dobbin in their first horse trial! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

tle
Nov. 5, 2004, 11:19 AM
Sorry... I see what you're saying, but I still think it's not something that can be defined or enforced and is too rigid, requiring too much paperwork and doesn't necessarily do the sport any good. Things like determining sportsmanship, while it's nice to have a community agreement on such a thing, is part of personal perspective and personal responsibility. IMHO of course.

KellyS
Nov. 5, 2004, 11:28 AM
Which you're entitled too. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Heck, this thread is full of a whole lot of different opinions. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I, in my humble opinion, think it would benefit the sport, and as 3dazey said, a point system did use to exist - so there must have been some merit in it. Plus, it's something that other assocations do, so it's not a totally foreign concept.

Paperwork-wise, I see it as pretty straightforward - the national leaderboard already tracks points on competitors, so the database is already in place. It would only need to be "assessed" once a year (to notify people no longer eligible) and this list could be kept handy for organizers to check against for the upcoming year. USEA could also keep a list up on the website, so competitors and organizers would have it always available. I work with some stuff like this at work, and once a good database is set up, the work is minimal.

lovetheduns
Nov. 5, 2004, 11:29 AM
Well... how do you regulate when someone is ready to move up (I am talking about open novice versus rider)?

I think it should still be based on points and acquired points.

So.. if you have been competing at Novice Rider for 20 years and if you pin once in a blue moon.. then you are probably not going to be hitting those point numbers.

I think this senior citizen is probably more of the rarity then the average joe.

However like xjump said.. if that senior citizen is riding a novice horse and turning out first and second places practically every outing.. heck yeah.. I am sure that person can give it a try in open novice and will probably be able to ride in accordance with the pros.

What I don't get.. is one minute we are all just doing this for fun and personal goals. Next minute we discuss it would not be fair to make someone ride against the pros in those divisions or even upper level riders on their green horses.. but yet there is an outcry when it is pointed out that for some of the Rider divisions these amateurs who are hanging out in Novice Rider year after year, pin after pin, ARE "professional" caliber to these much less experienced riders.

Janet-- the 85% pinning number was a generalization. I have no idea what division you even run in much less how often you pin. *lol*



<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:
Oh, I get it. But to regulate something as subjective as when a person feels they're ready for the Open divisions? I don't think there's a reasonable way to do that. And I still think my example this weekend with Thumper is valid against trying to do so based on EITHER scores or placings.

BTW... just a plug... I posted to the River Glen thread with a link to the photographer's pics of Thumper. Look how cute he is (just ignore the first pic where i almost bit the dirt!). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

lovetheduns
Nov. 5, 2004, 11:44 AM
TLE-- you did hit the point on the mark.. which is why I wanted to say something in this thread in the first place.

Sportsmanship is an aspect of ethical behavior. So.. no you can't really regulate and legislate ethical behavior so you obviously can not regulate sportsmanship. It is much like a much smarter individual summed up so many years ago... ethics is pretty much the "stuff" between law and manners. It is the unenforceable.

Interesting though in the philosophical sense.. with that ends up in corruption. Just like in the 50s.. people would not really throw litter out of their cars onto the road. It would just be almost unheard of.. against your upbringing and manners. Now.. we have a law to regulate this behavior because somewhere along the way people stopped having it an as an engrained behavior.. so.. they started throwing crap out of the window. Now we have laws against that. *lol*

Same thing here in my opinion. Perhaps years ago or at other points.. and for some other people...they would not think about pinning event after event for several years over and over and over and over again as kosher even if the rules said it was ok because I think, at least from the majority of people I have queried would automatically think it would be time to move up into Open Novice.

I did just that.. because I was curious if maybe my motivations were something different—maybe I was not seeing something that so many people were seeing here. So.. I printed out the rules and gave example case studies.. only very factual and without trying to lead anyone in any particular direction. I passed out this info to a group of employees here at work as well as emailed it out to my non horsey or non-eventer email address book. A majority of the respondents actually felt that riders who are consistently placing and pinning for greater than 2 years should move up to open novice or training. *lol* I had to explain to people afterwards that training is quite the jump. *lol*

Now.. it is a different hill of beans if someone rides season after season in novice rider pins rarely (pin meaning 1st, 2nd, 3rd).

deltawave
Nov. 5, 2004, 12:13 PM
Why not borrow from the hunters and just make the SUGGESTION that the "Rider" division be for riders with less experience? You might not even have to enforce it if you spelled it out a little more clearly:

NR: Open to riders who have never completed more than 2 HT's at the Training level in recognized competition, or who have completed fewer than X HT's at the Novice level or who have fewer than 3 blue ribbons at any level in recognized competition within the last 2 years.

Yes, oh my GOD, it's a LONGER description than the current one. It is, however, something a 3rd grade level reader can understand.

No enforcement required. It DOES define a "Rider" division as something slightly DIFFERENT (again, oh my GOD) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif than what it is now, but it isn't rocket science and it is sort of in line with what other equestrian sports do with "limit" divisions, etc. Those are sporadically "policed", if at all---it is up to the individual competitor to exercise the ethical judgement and enter the appropriate level. See, no legislation required. Independence of competitors left intact. It becomes an "honor" system.

Thoughts?

Janet
Nov. 5, 2004, 12:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> a point system did use to exist - so there must have been some merit in it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I think you missed the point (pun intended). The grading point system still exists. It only counts Prelim and above. And there are rules about how you can split divisions at Prelim and above, to ensure the grading points are fairly given. But the old rule- that said that if you had more than X grading points, you couldn't compete at Novice or Training- has been pretty much UNIVERSALLY recognized as being WITHOUT MERIT. That is why it was ditched.

tle
Nov. 5, 2004, 12:26 PM
Why put something in writing, especially if we're talking about newbies here who are already fairly easily confused by all our rules, if it can't be enforced? Remember all the questions that were CONSTANTLY raised when the USEF "suggested" that white was not appropriate for women to wear in dressage?? Good god, let's NOT go there again!!

If it can't be enforced, it shouldn't be in the rulebook. I even have some issues with some of the "at the discretion of the ground jury" rules we already have.

Janet
Nov. 5, 2004, 12:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> NR: Open to riders who have never completed more than 2 HT's at the Training level in recognized competition, or who have completed fewer than X HT's at the Novice level or who have fewer than 3 blue ribbons at any level in recognized competition within the last 2 years.

Yes, oh my GOD, it's a LONGER description than the current one. It is, however, something a 3rd grade level reader can understand. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> That's what YOU think (that as 3rd grader can understand).

But, in fact, by using OR instead of AND, you have made it LOOSER, not tighter. The way you have written it, a rider who has completed 10 Training HT, but has NEVER won a blue ribbon, is elegible for your new and improved NR.

Rules writing is a lOT harder than most peopel realize.

slp2
Nov. 5, 2004, 12:36 PM
It makes sense DW. I guess what I'm still getting "stuck" on is the fact that even though *I* had completed 2 Training level events on a prior horse (although sporadically and inconsistently), when I start out with a new, green horse--am I really going to be competitive in the Open division? Heck no--I'm still stuggling to learn to ride x-c effectively, and my new horse knows even less than I do. No way does that make me feel ready to be in the same division as the local pros who train/ride numerous horses up to prelim. "Getting around" two Training Level courses--does not suddenly give me the skill sets of a professional trainer/rider. Now, in the instance that I bought an experienced horse--I wouldn't have a problem signing up for the "Open" division. I guess I'd like to see the qualifications addressing "horse and rider" combinations. For example ". . . the rider AND horse have completed X amount of recognized Novice HT's and/or have won three 1st place ribbons."

I don't know--it doesn't really matter to me. I just know that my particular situation doesn't fit neatly into one of the listed categories (rider, horse, or open division?). And I think my situation may be reflective of a lot of adult ammies. We may compete sporatically, take years off for various reasons, and then be back into it. The qualifications seem simple enough to read and understand--but maybe I'd like to see them be a little more generous. Just my .02!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

KellyS
Nov. 5, 2004, 12:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> a point system did use to exist - so there must have been some merit in it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I think you missed the point (pun intended). The grading point system still exists. It only counts Prelim and above. And there are rules about how you can split divisions at Prelim and above, to ensure the grading points are fairly given. But the old rule- that said that if you had more than X grading points, you couldn't compete at Novice or Training- has been pretty much UNIVERSALLY recognized as being WITHOUT MERIT. That is why it was ditched. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Janet - good one! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Yes, I do realize the grading systems still exists and my point (right back atcha!) was that back in the day USEA did use points to regulate who could show in Novice and Training, even though it's was different than what we're discussing today.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TLE:
Why put something in writing, especially if we're talking about newbies here who are already fairly easily confused by all our rules, if it can't be enforced? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Let's give our Newbies some credit - it doesn't take a rocket scientist (where's Reed? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif) to figure out that description. And it is no less enforceable than the current stipulations on the Rider division (how many times you've competed at Training level).

tle
Nov. 5, 2004, 12:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Let's give our Newbies some credit - it doesn't take a rocket scientist (where's Reed? ) to figure out that description. And it is no less enforceable than the current stipulations on the Rider division (how many times you've competed at Training level). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I'd like to know where Reed is too (oh... but that's for a different reason... nevermind http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ).

Ah... but if it is no better than what is currently there, WHY BOTHER??? Change for change sake is not what we need to aspire to do. Yes, I'm giving newbies all the credit in the world, but I've taught some Eventing 101 clinics... and I've been around for all the "but what do they mean by this" questions regarding new rules... or even old ones! Changing a rule so that it is NOT better and unenforceable is not going to be a good thing no matter what issue it addresses.

Janet
Nov. 5, 2004, 12:52 PM
Seriously, if you want to dosomething like that, what you need to do is convince an organizer to structure a division like that.

The rules allow the organizer to split BN, N and T however they want.

Then, after a couple of seasons, when you get the wrinkles worked out, and you have a "formula" which appears to work, THEN think about trying to expand it to more events.

deltawave
Nov. 5, 2004, 02:59 PM
No, Janet, my proposal would NOT apply to someone who had done Training 10 times. It said "open to those who had never completed more than two HT's at Training.

Yes, I fully acknowledged it was a little less simple. Eventing is now bigger and more diverse than it used to be; perhaps the rules also need to reflect this? Sometimes change is good, you know? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif (I realize I'm in a minority here)

SLP2, I hear you...perhaps the "within 2 years" modifier would help?

New and improved "NR" definition

A rider in the Novice Rider division SHALL NOT HAVE:

1. Completed more than 2 recognized HT's at the Training level or higher in the last 2 years
2. Won 3 or more blue ribbons at the Novice level at recognized HT's in the last 2 years
3. Completed more than "X" recognized HT's at the Novice level in the last 2 years

I fail to see how this is so terribly complex. It does, indeed, resonate with the "white breeches" thing...anyone who ACTUALLY READ the rulebook (not dissing YOU, tle, since I know you DO, but you gave the example) didn't have any questions at all about white breeches. That doesn't mean it didn't get debated endlessly, but it wasn't any sort of problem with the rules. White was legal according to the rulebook, period. If people want to discuss it, why not? Riding in a "Rider" division for 15 years because you can legally isn't against the rules, either, yet here we are discussing it. I don't see how this is so very complicated and off-putting for newbies. If anything, this is a very clear definition of a "Rider" division, although I grant that it is only one of many potential definitions. Sometimes brevity is LESS clear...perhaps why my posts are always so long? http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Why is discussion bad? Aren't we "discussing" the traditional 3-day format, too, because people are dissatisfied with it?

fooler
Nov. 5, 2004, 03:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by slp2:
It makes sense DW. I guess what I'm still getting "stuck" on is the fact that even though *I* had completed 2 Training level events on a prior horse (although sporadically and inconsistently), when I start out with a new, green horse--am I really going to be competitive in the Open division? Heck no--I'm still stuggling to learn to ride x-c effectively, and my new horse knows even less than I do. No way does that make me feel ready to be in the same division as the local pros who train/ride numerous horses up to prelim. "Getting around" two Training Level courses--does not suddenly give me the skill sets of a professional trainer/rider. Now, in the instance that I bought an experienced horse--I wouldn't have a problem signing up for the "Open" division. I guess I'd like to see the qualifications addressing "horse and rider" combinations. For example ". . . the rider AND horse have completed X amount of recognized Novice HT's and/or have won three 1st place ribbons."

I don't know--it doesn't really matter to me. I just know that my particular situation doesn't fit neatly into one of the listed categories (rider, horse, or open division?). And I think my situation may be reflective of a lot of adult ammies. We may compete sporatically, take years off for various reasons, and then be back into it. The qualifications seem simple enough to read and understand--but maybe I'd like to see them be a little more generous. Just my .02!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not the open division - novice horse. The novice horse division is not limited to BNT or BNR on green horses. The idea is to keep the 'new to novice' horses in the same division. As we all know, our horses are great equalizers http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Janet
Nov. 5, 2004, 03:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> No, Janet, my proposal would NOT apply to someone who had done Training 10 times. It said "open to those who had never completed more than two HT's at Training. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> You said "OR" (not "AND"). Therefore only ONE of the conditions needs to be true.

I told you rule writing was tricky.

Janet
Nov. 5, 2004, 03:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Not the open division - novice horse. The novice horse division is not limited to BNT or BNR on green horses. The idea is to keep the 'new to novice' horses in the same division. As we all know, our horses are great equalizers <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>"Novice Horse" is no longer listed in the rulebook. While organizers CAN offer it (butthey have to define it tehmselves, they can't rely on the rulebook. It is rarely offered around here.

deltawave
Nov. 5, 2004, 03:42 PM
Yeeessss, I said "OR". I fully intended for it only to mean one of the conditions had to be true. You can't ride in "NR" if you've done "A" OR if you've done "B" OR if you've done "C". Not you can't ride in "NR" if you've done "A" AND "B" AND "C". If it would make it clearer, however, I can just substitute "AND". This is why I did a revision.

I think you're looking for ways to pick this apart rather than trying to read it for what it says. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

As a matter of fact, it DOES include a large number of people. Janet, I'm not trying to make it complicated, and it really is pretty clear if you read the revision. I'll concede to your insistence that writing rules is tricky. I've never written an official "rule", whereas obviously you have. Can you try to read it the way I intended it to be read and comment on that instead of trying to tear my grammar apart? I'm looking and looking and it really, really seems awfully simple to me--I'm not seeing how you find it so tricky. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

fooler
Nov. 5, 2004, 03:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
"Novice Horse" is no longer listed in the rulebook. While organizers CAN offer it (butthey have to define it tehmselves, they can't rely on the rulebook. It is rarely offered around here. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are correct.
However I take this statement to heart. You will be correct in stating this only applies to the ground jury. However I believe it applies to all who chose to participate in this sport: Article 1701 3.2
Every eventuality cannot be provided for in these rules. In any unforeseen or exceptional circumstances it is the duty of the Ground Jury to make a decision in a sporting spirit, and to approach as nearly as possible the intention of these rules.
We should approach the sport from the competitor side in the same sporting manner encouraged here.

canterlope
Nov. 6, 2004, 03:09 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KellyS:
And canterlope, I am curious as to why you singled out CWO in your post - she has only made one reply to this thread while the rest of us have been debating this for pages. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Time. I was on the road when this thread started. I got back home with less than twenty four hours until I had to leave again. I quickly read through the thread while I was waiting for some laundry to dry. There were many comments that I wanted to respond to, but just didn't have the time. CWO's post very neatly summarized a feeling that other posters either said outright or implied in their writing and one that has been expressed to me directly or spoken about me behind my back in the past. Given this, it was the one comment I felt needed to be addressed at the time.

But, not to worry. Now that I am back home for the next couple of days, I plan on reading through the entire thread again and posting replies to some of the other comments that have been made.

deltawave
Nov. 6, 2004, 05:12 AM
DC, for my part I really hope you won't take the entire gist of this thread personally. It's now kind of grown into something with a life of its own, and--as things often go--probably could have sparked off a number of spinoffs by now.

So far it's been a really good discussion, and fairly "tame" by some standards! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Yes, the issue is kind of "polarizing" (my own interpretation is that it is the "don't change anything, it's fine the way it is" group vs. the "hey, why don't we try THIS?" group)

I look forward to your input as a competitor, and as a very involved USEA person. But I really hope you won't take this whole thread as some kind of attack on you...I really don't think that was the intent, and although I can only speak for myself with certainty, it seems the comments and "for instances" are pretty generic for the most part.

flutie
Nov. 6, 2004, 05:32 AM
DC, I second Delta'a advice to you.

Playing Devil's Advocate - if, as many have implied, it's NOT about winning ribbons, what the hell is all the pissing and moaning about? Specs for Open, NR, NH don't change, the horse doesn't know the difference, and a rider is still basically competing against him or herself. Why not just admit you want the competition eligibility cut off just slightly above your head? Someone I was recently talking to said on the subject - and only partly in jest - "How about crappy rider and good rider divisions?"

We've heard all this endlessly before while trying to define "amateur." It goes round and round and round...

Flutie

Sannois
Nov. 6, 2004, 05:33 AM
WOW I havent read this since the first page, it seems to have taken on a whole new meaning! I had better get reading! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

deltawave
Nov. 6, 2004, 10:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flutie:
"How about crappy rider and good rider divisions?" <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Brilliant! I would finally be ensured of being in a true group of my peers in the "CR" divisions! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I totally agree--the only difference between the divisions is the company we keep. The horses don't know, the fences are the same height, and *presumably* the judge is judging the pair in front of him/her out of context and as an individual entry. Why, then, have any sub-divisions at all? (rhetorical question) It's about the ribbons. AND THIS IS PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDABLE, IMO. I love ribbons! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

If one is competing just to see where they stand as an individual pair, it shouldn't matter what division they're in. A dressage score of 20 (or, by the same token, 60, LOL) and 2 double cleans pretty much tells you where you stand as an eventing horse/rider pair regardless of who rides before or after you do. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

canterlope
Nov. 6, 2004, 11:54 AM
DW, Flutie, etc,

I am so not taking this thread as a personal attack against me. In fact, I have really enjoyed what part of the discussion I've had the time to read and am very much looking forward to reading the entire thread when I get the chance.

I do have to add, though, that some of the issues raised in this thread do hit a bit close to the heart. I fully realize and accept that I am extremely "privileged" in comparision to the average Adult Amateur rider. Because of Steve, I have financial resources at my disposal that others do not. And, because I work at home, I rarely have to fight the battle that many adult amateurs face in finding the time to climb up in the saddle.

However, I have never been a "naturally gifted rider" and have worked as hard as the next guy to obtain the riding skills I currently possess. While I do acknowledge that these skills are greater than most Adult Amateurs, there is no doubt in my mind that they are not, and most likely never will be, equal to those possessed by riders like David, Karen, Phillip, etc.

This leaves me as a bit of a square peg being placed into a round hole. I really don't fit in the Open division nor do I fit in the Rider division. So I have to do what's right for my horses which often means entering the Rider division. Unfortunately, some people see this as me needing to stroke my ego to the detriment of other adult amateur riders and have voiced their feelings publically. Since I really do care about the opinions of others and don't wish to be seen as someone who must win a ribbon at any cost, it is a challenge to read a thread like this, keep a generic perspective, and not see myself in the words of others.

However, I believe that I am up to this challenge and, as I said before, I am not taking this thread personally and am looking forward to reading it in its entirety when I have the chance. Not only has it been a great discussion, but I also hope to use some of what has been said to further the work of the USEA Rider Classification Committee which has been charged with the task of finding some sort of resolution to the issues that were raised by the Amateur Status Committee.

deltawave
Nov. 6, 2004, 01:46 PM
I'm wondering why you feel like you don't belong in Open, though? I'm not a naturally gifted rider, either, and would say my skills are considerably LESS great than those of a lot of Adult Amateurs. Yet I am perfectly at home in "Open". The tests are the same. The rules say I have to ride in Open now at Training or Novice, and frankly it's usually pretty much the same crowd of people, plus or minus a few. Granted, I don't live in an area that's inundated with pros! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Maybe in your area the Open divisions are a lot different? Still, at the end of the day the test is THE SAME.

Do you think the horses really know the difference? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Robby Johnson
Nov. 6, 2004, 04:35 PM
In an effort to keep this from being a personal attack on DC, let's refrain from asking her pointed questions about why she chooses to ride in the division she rides in. She doesn't have to justify it; she's eligible. Period.

Robby

Sannois
Nov. 6, 2004, 05:47 PM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif I still dont get it. What difference does it make?? I was under the impression that I entering say Novice at a Recognized horsetrial stood the chance of riding against the Pro's like Karen, Bruce Etc. If they have a young horse and the horse is novice! : So be it! its all about the pair isnt it??

canterlope
Nov. 7, 2004, 02:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by deltawave:
Granted, I don't live in an area that's inundated with pros! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Maybe in your area the Open divisions are a lot different? Still, at the end of the day the test is THE SAME. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>DW, you're brilliant! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif I think you hit the nail square on the head. As much as we would like to think that Eventing is Eventing no matter where we are in the US, each Area is different. Not that one Area is better or worse than another, but riders face a different set of challenges depending where they live and compete.

In Area II, we are blessed with a plethora of events within a fairly short distance, but the number of highly skilled professionals that we routinely compete against is quite high. It is also much easier for our amateur and young riders to train with top professionals and perfect their competitive skills which does raise the bar a bit when you ride against them. In other Areas, there aren't as many professionals, but the drives those riders routinely face are ghastly and the events themselves are few and far between. Plus, there aren't as many opportunities to train with a top professional which makes it harder for these riders to hone their competitive skills. So Eventing is a bit of a different bird in each Area and if a rider wants his horses to be competitive within his Area, a different approach is required depending on where he lives.

I didn't completely understand just how different each Area is until last year when we went to the Wayne Horse Trials in Area IV to compete in the Novice ATC. Both of my horses did very well, finishing first and fourth individually with their teams finishing first and second. Throughout the entire weekend, several of the other competitors joked around with us saying that we had come all the way from Area II to "steal" their prizes. However, a few riders were quite blunt about the fact that they thought we shouldn't be there with one competitor telling me point blank to go back to my own Area and never come back.

Still, as you said, at the end of the day it is the same test. However, what is different is what motivates each of us to compete. For some, eventing is a pleasant past time that gives them the opportunity to be with their horses. For others, it's a serious endeavor to be approached in a business like fashion.

For me, again, I'm stuck in the middle. Eventing is a pleasant diversion away from my desk, but one I take very seriously. Not because I'm after a handful of seventy-nine cent pieces of satin stapled together, but because my horses are incredibly gracious and give me whatever they have in them when we go to a competition. To return the favor, I feel it is only right to position them in such a way that they earn the accolades they deserve because, after all, it is all about them, not me. In Area II, this means placing them in a division where they compete against their peers and one where my skills won't hold them back.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Do you think the horses really know the difference? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>As weird as this sounds, yes! Not because they intrinsically know, but because I know and they intuitively pick up on this. Gus, in particular, is a master at picking up on my feelings and acting out accordingly.

Case in point. I don't like competing Woody and Gus in the same division because, as hard as I try not to, subconsciously I root for one of them to do better than the other and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In order to avoid this, when I enter an event that I know will only have one rider division and one open division, I put Woody in the Rider division and Gus in the Open division.

When Gus is in an Open division, he never quite performs up to his abilities. Now, I know that he isn't going to perform to his full potential every single time he steps into an arena, but the difference in how he performs when he is in an Open division versus when he is in a Rider division is consistently different enough for me to notice a trend.

What causes this? I think it could be safely argued that it isn't due to external forces because it is the same test, the same course, the same event. So it has to be an internal difference. Since I will be the first to admit that I am intimidated and feel like a fish out of water when I'm warming up for dressage surrounded by a sea of red coats, knowing that I will be riding against them, the difference has to be my personal feelings concerning our competitiveness in a division full of professionals. Gus picks up on this and his performance is reflective of my feelings.

BTW, Robby. Have I told you lately that I absolutely adore you? (Insert starry eyed Graemlin surrounded by little red hearts here.)

Elghund2
Nov. 7, 2004, 03:02 AM
Wow, ask a question about a dressage score and you get ten pages. At least its been an interesting discussion.

Personnally I wouldn't care if someone stayed beginner novice their entire lives. Its their choice. I think one of the neat things about eventing is that you can choose to what level you want to comptete.

If I were to compete it would be at training. Why? Because those are the courses I have had most fun riding. They are also the courses that most resemble things I find in the hunt field. Also, I would compete in the open divisions. You never know what given day, you might beat an Olympian (talk about lifetime bragging rights). As someone said earlier, the course is the same and the horse doesn't know the difference.

When people start talking about adding divisions, I cringe. I think eventing is starting down the slippery slope to becoming like the hunters (division wise). If anything I would scale back the number of divisions. If there is an event running and there is only one novice course, then there is only one novice division. Something like that. Some events have gotten to the point that I am not even sure what the division is.

Is it really necessary to have a novice division sliced into JR, NR, NH, SrR, etc, when everyone is riding the same course and doing the same test. As someone posted earlier, if you are not in it for the ribbons, does it matter that you are competing with the best riders?

deltawave
Nov. 7, 2004, 03:54 AM
Elghund, some of us aren't afraid to say we ARE in it for the ribbons, at least partially. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif "Beating" David O'Connor is never something I would brag about, because if I did it wouldn't mean I was "better" than him, only that I was busting my butt and got lucky, while he was riding a horse that came off the track yesterday! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

If you don't compete, why do you object when those of us who do try to make the playing field a little more even so we can appeal to more people's personal motivations for competing?

Every time I hear the term "slippery slope" I just want to heave. That's a code word for "I don't like change". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif As the saying goes, "change is inevitable, growth is optional". Our sport is growing, and it WILL change. It's up to those who care to guide it in the right direction. Not saying I'M right, but the discussion itself is harmless.

Robby Johnson
Nov. 7, 2004, 04:51 AM
Last night I prepared dinner for myself as I've been home alone for nearly a week now (insert wailing violin sound here!), and thought after I finished my last post that I should've mentioned the difference between Open Novice in Area II/III and Open Novice in, say, Area V (where I live).

In Area V, you *might* occassionally go up against Mike Huber. Thankfully he's kind to us and normally starts his horses at Training level! But you certainly aren't facing off against Mike and 4-5 other top level pros.

As I mentioned earlier, I always enter Rhodes in the Horse division. If entries don't warrant that division, we're normally bounced back to the Open division.

If, however, I knew that the Open division might contain a mix of Bobby and Kim and Phillip and a few others, I'd most certainly be entering the rider division.

While I love to go compete against myself and am not concerned one bit if I *don't* win a ribbon, I do certainly go to the competition with winning one in mind.

Robby

lovetheduns
Nov. 7, 2004, 06:34 AM
Robby it depends truly where you are. There are areas of AreaII and events in AreaII that are not filled with the gills with pros-- in fact I have noticed that in some events it seems the organizers divide the open novice groups further lumping most of the BNT pros in the same group and the lesser known folks in another.

Of course some events do this-- some do not. So there are a few AreaII events where ON looks like a lineup for FairHill or Radnor.. others look pretty darn normal.. and others yet look like a mixture.



<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
Last night I prepared dinner for myself as I've been home alone for nearly a week now (insert wailing violin sound here!), and thought after I finished my last post that I should've mentioned the difference between Open Novice in Area II/III and Open Novice in, say, Area V (where I live).

In Area V, you *might* occassionally go up against Mike Huber. Thankfully he's kind to us and normally starts his horses at Training level! But you certainly aren't facing off against Mike and 4-5 other top level pros.

As I mentioned earlier, I always enter Rhodes in the Horse division. If entries don't warrant that division, we're normally bounced back to the Open division.

If, however, I knew that the Open division might contain a mix of Bobby and Kim and Phillip and a few others, I'd most certainly be entering the rider division.

While I love to go compete against myself and am not concerned one bit if I *don't* win a ribbon, I do certainly go to the competition with winning one in mind.

Robby <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

lovetheduns
Nov. 7, 2004, 06:36 AM
Elghund-- I am all for a level playing field. I think if you cater to one type of amatuer then hey.. cater to different groups of ammies.

If not-- and if everyone is doing it for their personal best, their own hard work, and only measuring themselves against themselves.. then heck... i think it would also be awesome to just level the playing field and call it novice. Period. Training period.

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Painted Wings
Nov. 7, 2004, 06:53 AM
Well, in Area IV it is very hard to tell what division is best to enter to get a ribbon if that is your goal. Sometimes Open Novice will only have 8-10 rider when the NH, NR divisions each have 20 or more. This is especially true at Training Level. I generally do enter Open Novice but have not thought about why. Many times it is the only division offered. Sometimes I put a note on my entry that I am eligible for any of them and to put me where they want. This helps organizers with the schedules and keeping the divisions more even. Having done both well and poorly at events I would say that most riders are competing against themselves but it is still nice to come home with the blue. I ride Woodbine's half brother, he is practically as wide as he is tall, not your classic eventer. Still, like his brother, he is a careful jumper and can do a good enough dressage test to be in the ribbons. I am grateful now that we can carry a whip in dressage. I must say, I think it has dropped my penalty score by 5 points.

These "novice professionals" are well within the rules to enter whatever they want. No matter how you draw the line or where there will still be people whining about the people who win all the ribbons.

Maybe we should have to submit a timecard that shows we have worked a 40 hr week at something totally not horse related. (Just kidding).

This started as a thread where I was bragging about a great dressage score on a horse that I bred myself out of a mare I dearly love. Little did I know as I was watching the miracle of birth that horse would go on to be successful on the East coast against the fanciest of horses. DC has worked hard to score so well but the horse, although not your classic eventer, is no slouch either.

I applaud her hard work and wish I had her energy.

slp2
Nov. 7, 2004, 07:49 AM
Sannois: Let me try and explain WHY it *may* matter to some people. One of the things no one has really mentioned (although we've talked about the ribbons) is that PLACINGS translate into year-end points in most of our areas (not penalty scores). Let me give you a personal example that might help you understand. Please note--I am not "sour grapes" about this--but I think it will help to illustrate.

There is a local USEA HT that only offers "Open" divisions. The organizer determines the way the divisions are split. For some reason, the organizer put me in the division with quite a few local professionals this year. These are not "big names" but several of them have competed at advanced and have trained MANY horses novice to prelim. They (although their horses may be green) will be MUCH more effective at getting a green horse around than I can (and my horse IS green--I'm not riding a made horse). I had a nice dressage test and a clean stadium (except 1 time point) and clean x-c round. I ended on a score of 28.5. I was delighted with my horse and I felt I rode well. That ending score put me in 2nd place in that very competitive division. My friend was in another division at that level, consisting of a group of all amateurs. She did an average dressage test and pulled some rails on stadium. Her ending score was in the 50's. She TOO, ended up 2nd place. So, we both went home happy with our 2nd place ribbons. However, if I had been put in one of the other divisions, although my dressage score may have been slightly different (different judge) I still probably would've won the other division. Doesn't really matter, except that in our local eventing association, you get 5 points for a 1st place, and only 3 for a 2nd placing. For the Area VIII year-end award program I would've netted even MORE points for a win at that particular show. Being put in a different division at that one show *could* mean the difference between a year-end award for me and my horse. Not necessarily--but it IS tough to WIN a division at a large recognized horse trial.

So, although I was completely happy with my horse and myself at that show--maybe you could see why it would be a bit frustrating to see someone else WIN a division on a significantly higher score just because they were in a different division. And another reason why, if given the choice, we may choose to enter the rider division (if we are qualified) so that we can be competing with our peers. I'll admit--that it's rather shallow to think in terms of points and ribbons--but as someone else brought up earlier--then why don't we all just ride HC? Because we are there to compete, to see how our work at home translates to success at a show, and YES, hope to take home a ribbon, or earn some year points. All of those things are motivators for why *some* people show and always will be.

JER
Nov. 7, 2004, 11:28 AM
After wading though most of this discussion, I remembered why it is that I always enter the open divisions.

The open divisions always go before the rider division. This means you showjump at the beginning of the level and therefore, can pack up the trailer and hit the road sooner. Sunday afternoon traffic in CA is brutal and we often face very long drives. I'll take tougher competition in the HT if it means facing less competition on the freeways.

deltawave
Nov. 7, 2004, 01:13 PM
Not always, JER...I entered the "Championship" division instead of "Amateur" at the AEC for PRECISELY the reason you mentioned, hoping to get "on the road" earlier. Nope, they saved the big, freakin' 90+ division for LAST. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/dead.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif Didn't get on the road until 3pm; the Training SJ had started at NINE AM! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

lovetheduns
Nov. 7, 2004, 05:54 PM
JER http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

I hear ya... I would rather face many things before facing traffic!

KellyS
Nov. 7, 2004, 06:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by canterlope:
Since I will be the first to admit that I am intimidated and feel like a fish out of water when I'm warming up for dressage surrounded by a sea of red coats, knowing that I will be riding against them, the difference has to be my personal feelings concerning our competitiveness in a division full of professionals. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

See, I believe this is where we (amateurs) sell ourselves short...we tend to stay in our comfort zone. As the consumate perfectionist, I completely understand the feeling of staying in a place where I know I can be successful instead of pushing myself and possibily facing "failure."

However, I find that when I ride with riders who I perceive as "better" I also ride better...to me there is nothing as inspiring as warming up with top notch riders. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif While on one hand, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by their skills and expertise, on the other hand it makes me want to "ride up" to their level. Someone mentioned a few pages ago http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif that moving the very experienced Novice Riders into Open would "water down" the competition, I honestly believe that it would allow these riders to become even better riders and I'm pretty sure they'd give the "pros" a run for their money.

To get back to the topic at hand http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif, I think this conversation is quite exciting and it looks like ideas are being discussed instead of fought over. I've had the opportunity to talk with some folks about these ideas, and I truly believe that they have a lot of merit. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

JAGold
Nov. 7, 2004, 09:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KellyS:
Someone mentioned a few pages ago http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif that moving the very experienced Novice Riders into Open would "water down" the competition, I honestly believe that it would allow these riders to become even better riders and I'm pretty sure they'd give the "pros" a run for their money.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not sure if you are refering to my comments. If so, that's not what I meant. I think that the quality of the open novice divisions would remain high -- it's the quality and legitimacy of divisions for "inexperienced amateurs" that I would worry about.

I still think that having a division for which you become ineligible after meeting certain standards of proficiency (like accumulating a certain number of points) defeats the purpose. Winning such a division essentially means that you are the best of anyone who isn't better than you. And there is a self enforcing mechanism that guarantees that as soon as some people start to become really proficient, instead of raising the level of the whole division, they will just leave the division.

Someone described a scenario in which a rider who is second in a competitive, open division receives the same number of points towards a year end award as the person who is second in a less competitive, rider division (and, presumably, fewer points than the person who won the less competitive division). I think that is justification for changing the way year end points are calculated -- perhaps by awarding them separately by division (open, rider, horse) -- but not justification for creating "limit" divisions. Then, the disparity might be even greater between the winning (or second place) pairs in the open versus the limit division, but they'd again receive the same points. I don't see how the limit division solves the problem related to year end awards. --Jess

KellyS
Nov. 8, 2004, 07:49 AM
Nope, I was referring to someone else's post, but I don't have time to go find it! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JAGold:
I still think that having a division for which you become ineligible after meeting certain standards of proficiency (like accumulating a certain number of points) defeats the purpose. Winning such a division essentially means that you are the best of anyone who isn't better than you. And there is a self enforcing mechanism that guarantees that as soon as some people start to become really proficient, instead of raising the level of the whole division, they will just leave the division. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ahhh...but I am thinking in terms of each individual rider's proficiency, not the proficiency of the division on a whole. That is very hard to control...it is very dependent on a lot of different factors including the Area, who is that division that weekend, etc.

However, I think of it this way...a new Novice rider is for the most part going to keep improving their performance as they gain experience - they may start as low man on the totem pole, but as they get the hang of eventing, their performance keeps improving. At some point, a rider may improve their performance to the point where they are consistently scoring well and often winning in the Rider division. A lot of riders choose to "move up" to Training at this point, but others choose to stay at Novice. However, by moving into the "Open" division they can continue improving their performance (and face new challenges) while leaving the "Rider" division for the up and coming riders.

This argument could go around and around for ages...there are very good points on both sides.