PDA

View Full Version : One * riders and XC...how do we teach them horsemanship?



FlightCheck
Mar. 31, 2011, 09:20 AM
We are failing our new * riders when teaching them horsemanship.

Last year at the USEA meeting, one of the discussions in the Professional Horseman's Council was in reference to the * riders not knowing what to do/who to bring/how to get ready for the end of XC.

Last weekend I was able to watch all of the ** and * riders come through the finish flags on XC.

MOST of the ** riders had a groom or 2 waiting, with halter in hand, helping the rider to dismount for the initial vet inspection (P,T, R, general impressions). They listened and understood the importance of these findings, and then made their way to the 10 min box.

MOST of the * riders had NO ONE. They had to be gently instructed to dismount, and looked blank when the TPR info was being called out. Blank looks when told to proceed to the 10 min box.

(there are exceptions to the above generalizations, but not many).

I am NOT bashing these riders. They were not deliberately thoughtless. I think they truly didn't know what to do or what help was needed for them, or what "those random numbers mean" (quote from one rider).

How do we help them? Do we make the new to * riders attend an additional meeting? Do we ask them individually to name their suppport crew?

LLDM
Mar. 31, 2011, 09:25 AM
How do we help them? Do we make the new to * riders attend an additional meeting? Do we ask them individually to name their suppport crew?

How about asking them who they train with?

I appreciate that eventing needs to have them better educated, but technically, their trainer's job is to prepare them. If they're riding at a one star and really don't know this, then we have some pretty deep problems all the way around.

This just makes me sad.

SCFarm

Xctrygirl
Mar. 31, 2011, 09:31 AM
We test them..... on paper. Without a horse, and until they pass a test of actual viable knowledge questions, they only get to do Ht's and CIC's.

But moreover you might find that the source of the problem relates back to the ongoing issues that loss of land has led to a changing of the guard in instructors, which led to a lack of Long format people teaching, which led to less common knowledge in the riders advancing, which came from a decline in pony club members, which led to a solid base of riders paying for 60 mins of instructions ON the horses and figuring that they knew everything they needed once they crosses the finish line in their first prelim.

Rarely have I seen "Younger" riders seeking out knowledge the way I saw when I was also that age (Over 20 years ago)

Instant gratification era means that doing work and research is boring, and since Facebook and cross country is fun, that's where the focus goes. And I can point to probably 30+ examples in my list of FB friends alone.

~Emily

sabriel
Mar. 31, 2011, 09:45 AM
Rarely have I seen "Younger" riders seeking out knowledge the way I saw when I was also that age (Over 20 years ago)

Because there aren't a million posts asking for working student positions from younger generations. And "back then" everyone was a perfect horse(wo)man and never took their mount for granted.

Each generation says the next generation is going to hell in a hand basket. And so far that hasn't been true.

How are the students supposed to know what questions to ask when there are less competent instructors available?

How about asking CoTH to have a sticky about this information? Or added to an archive of important articles sorted by sport/level.

Thousands of people in the younger generation are using this very forum (and other similar ones) to try and get information they need, to better their position through critiques, etc... This information needs to be made more accessible through the new channels of communication.

BigRuss1996
Mar. 31, 2011, 09:58 AM
Glad to hear that someone is finally noticing this!
I think this is the biggest fall back from the loss of the long format. This and the conditioning process.
I think alot has to do with many instructors today also do not have the education and background of past long format riders so they do not pass this on. They do have the short format process and qualifications down but not the horsemanship skills of days gone by.
I was fortunate to literally grow up in a BNR's barn so in 31 years of being around there had no choice but to learn from the ground up. That education was/is priceless...
How do you teach this?...... That's a tough one....
I would think maybe having conditioning and preparedness educational seminars. Also maybe make attending one part of qualifying to do your first * . Not sure if this would work but it is something that could be done fairly easily in the different areas. Maybe get upper level members of PRO to teach them?
Otherwise....maybe make it part of the rider briefing so they at least know what they will need and what is expected. Though I think it's a little late at that point if they aren't prepared....

Xctrygirl
Mar. 31, 2011, 09:59 AM
Thousands of people in the younger generation are using this very forum (and other similar ones) to try and get information they need, to better their position through critiques, etc... This information needs to be made more accessible through the new channels of communication.

OK viable point, but the stuff you need to know at the end of phase c and entering into the 10 minute box goes beyond the conceptual info that you find in books or online. You need to experience learning to take your horse's pulse and respiration levels both from their back and on the ground. Using a heart monitor once or twice (borrowed would work) is an eye opening experience as to what a horse's body does and needs from the fitness work.

Knowing how to monitor your friends and who is doing what while you're in the box is vital. This is a touch and feel thing that should be practiced by helping others, often higher level long format riders, so you can see and feel and learn through the experience of being in the situation.


So really it's probably the lack of 2*, 3* and 4*'s in the long format that led to the lack of knowledge with the 1* riders. Nowhere to practice.

Ok so why not put out some clinic like situations where you let riders "practice" a schooling endurance day. Hack out a bit, jump like 3 laps of outside lines in a ring (instead of steeplechase), hack out longer, then do a practice 10 minute box and then go out and jump like 10 xc fences, and do a practice cool down. It wouldn't be more work than a normal jump school/trot/gallop combo day and it could be beneficial to all to practice in a non competition setting.

~Emily

lcw579
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:02 AM
Pony Club. Horse management and conditioning are all essential parts of moving up in the ratings. Sadly there are some trainers who steer their jr riders away from it rather than use it as a fun way to augment what they are already learning in a trainer's program.

nextyear
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:07 AM
We are failing our new * riders when teaching them horsemanship.

Last year at the USEA meeting, one of the discussions in the Professional Horseman's Council was in reference to the * riders not knowing what to do/who to bring/how to get ready for the end of XC.

Last weekend I was able to watch all of the ** and * riders come through the finish flags on XC.

MOST of the ** riders had a groom or 2 waiting, with halter in hand, helping the rider to dismount for the initial vet inspection (P,T, R, general impressions). They listened and understood the importance of these findings, and then made their way to the 10 min box.

MOST of the * riders had NO ONE. They had to be gently instructed to dismount, and looked blank when the TPR info was being called out. Blank looks when told to proceed to the 10 min box.

(there are exceptions to the above generalizations, but not many).

I am NOT bashing these riders. They were not deliberately thoughtless. I think they truly didn't know what to do or what help was needed for them, or what "those random numbers mean" (quote from one rider).

How do we help them? Do we make the new to * riders attend an additional meeting? Do we ask them individually to name their suppport crew?

If they were at Poplar at the riders meeting on Fri. evening, there was plenty of opp for them to learn, Jenn and Max were available after the meeting to answer questions about "vet box" protocal so there should have been no excuses.

EventingChase
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:09 AM
Agreed- pony club should be used to supplement eventing training programs when possible. Even for the pony clubbers going amoeba at eventing rally there is a vet box at the end- TPRs are taken and the importance of conditioning, warming up, and cooling down is emphasized. Just having to fill out a stall card and feed chart is more horse management then many younger riders are getting.

Divine Comedy
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:17 AM
If they were at Poplar at the riders meeting on Fri. evening, there was plenty of opp for them to learn, Jenn and Max were available after the meeting to answer questions about "vet box" protocal so there should have been no excuses.

THIS. First of all, everyone, the ** and * Flight Check is referring to is Poplar, which was a CIC, not a CCI, and has ALWAYS been 'short format' since it is a CIC.

Second of all, at the FEI riders meeting, it was emphasized SEVERAL times that the 10 minute box at the end was VERY important. It was also stated that if you did NOT know how to do a vet box, Jenn Holling and Max Corcoran were available immediately after the meeting to go over the box with you. If the * riders did not choose to stay and listen, that is their own fault, because Poplar made every effort to educate them.

I have to add that I know for a fact that the * rider from our barn was prepared because Jacob Fletcher, a 16 year old YR from our Area who was also competing this weekend, and his groom Elizabeth Crowder spent two hours in the vet box handling all the Area V horses as they came in, including the * horse. People who are willing to give up their time to help in the vet box are invaluable, and I am super proud of our Area V Young Rider program when they are willing to help out like this.

FlightCheck
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:25 AM
Divine,
Yes- your group was great!

And Hope's mom was waiting on her, of course.


I did hear that the "after the meeting" with Jen and Max was not well attended.

I really believe, as others wrote, that it DOES start with the coaches/trainers.

So we know that. How do we help?

Eventingjunkie
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:29 AM
Poplar Place actually had Jen Hollings and Max at the rider's meeting to discuss what was needed and answer questions. Which was great. I can't imagine what more could have been done to educate everybody.

Not a very good excuse, but the last CIC* my rider went to had the initial vet inspection right next to the ten minute box. At Poplar, I didn't realize where the inspection was until my rider was already there and untacking. She wasn't clueless, but I was. So, as her groom, I failed...not her. I knew what to do but was at the ten minute box in the wrong place.

More than half the CIC* riders were doing their first FEI competition. My guess is that although they technically knew what needed to be done, it is like book learning, and they needed the actual experience. (I know that most of these riders have helped their trainers out at previous CCIs and CICs...but there grooms might not have.) Now they and their grooms will know what to do in the future. Just as the CIC** riders and grooms knew as they have done this over and over again.

sarah88
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:29 AM
Agreed- pony club should be used to supplement eventing training programs when possible. Even for the pony clubbers going amoeba at eventing rally there is a vet box at the end- TPRs are taken and the importance of conditioning, warming up, and cooling down is emphasized. Just having to fill out a stall card and feed chart is more horse management then many younger riders are getting.

Yes and No. As someone who came up through PC I agree with its importance and the strong horse management base it can provide. On the other hand I have ridden with some really crappy instructors in PC...in fact most of them (both through my local club and at festival) many of the good ones are taken for granted and treated poorly... many of the kids are rude and even in pony club don't always want to learn the horse management aspects. It ultimately does come back to the instructors (is this fair..i dont know) because students often don't know their own limitations... so I know some Pony Clubs are great.. and I really did learn a ton that I still use to this day, I guess i just have issues with generalizing the issue is ... 'this generation', instructors, if every rider was in PC it would be better... I think one of the biggest reasons we have issues is because people cant say NO..trainers not telling kids if they aren't proficient at x, y, z then they wont move up, parents who wont support the coaches decision, and the pressure from riding buddies to move up (ready or not)... this has gotten a but off topic so I am going to stop rambling now :)

Xctrygirl
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:40 AM
Allow me please to describe better what I am including in my comments about this generation


I include the instructors who don't know enough about the long format due to the advent of the short format

The riders who don't read books as much as they read Social networking sites

The parents who don't stand at events anymore and talk to other parents about whats what, and what comes next.

The ongoing system of eventing that hasn't seen the lack of knowledge and yet found a way to plug the hole in the dyke.


I am not generalizing about ages alone. But hello..... this is the first "generation" of eventers who haven't come up with the long format as a prevalent part of the system.

So in and of itself this "generation" is a big deal in our world. Because they started and have progressed from a different place than many of us started from.


~Emily

wildlifer
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:54 AM
Please take it easy on the generalizations -- yes, there are people who don't make the effort to educate themselves. There always will be. BUT THERE ARE MANY OF US WHO DO. We eat alive every article, every lecture, everything we can find that might help us learn more about our horses and our sport. We lay in bed awake at night trying to think up better plans. We really are out there and there are a lot of us at every level and age group.

I realize twenty years ago all of you were perfect pony clubbers and knew everything you had to do (ok, I'm being snarky, I'll admit it), but you need to realize that not everyone can train with a specialized eventing trainer, not everyone can do Pony Club, not everyone has easy access to all the resources that you have or you perceive to be out there.

People are people -- no matter what decade it is. Some will suck and not care, some will try hard and do their best and still mess up, and a few will wildly succeed. There is no such thing as "the good old days," just different days. You can provide education and opportunities all you want but you can't force people to attend and absorb them. Many people also learn by doing -- yeah, we will probably screw it up the first time, sorry if it is heinous to watch, but it's a process.

Lori T
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:01 AM
Another vote for pony club. It is amazing what these kids can do. My daughter (and me as well) is disgusted when she sees how riders (usually in other disciplines) cannot function without a trainer and/or groom present at all times to hold their hands..that is one reason we joined pony club and even though she is in college and showing is temporarily on hold for her, I remain active in pc and have been appointed as the HMO (Horse Management Organizer) for next year for our region.

eventr4life
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:04 AM
If we had more upper level riders in pony club, i think this would change...that "silly number thing" is one of the first things taught to us PCers.

Xctrygirl
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:10 AM
I realize twenty years ago all of you were perfect pony clubbers and knew everything you had to do (ok, I'm being snarky, I'll admit it), but you need to realize that not everyone can train with a specialized eventing trainer, not everyone can do Pony Club, not everyone has easy access to all the resources that you have or you perceive to be out there.

Then you're generalizing me too.

Never did pony club. Family couldn't afford it, money or time wise.

Took me 3 (yes 3) attempts to FINISH my first prelim HT. I'm imperfect as all hell and will readily admit it. Because I believe accepting a lack of perfection allows me to strive to be better easier.

I trained with a variety of trainers from a variety of disciplines, and I stayed at the barns I took lessons or rode at and watched and helped out all day.

The resources that I perceive to be out there are these:

Lessons/clinics exist where people can watch and help jump crew or just listen for free.

Horse shows, not events, where you can attend on an off weekend and watch how the rounds are ridden and how those riders are making their choices for lines, distances etc.

Youtube, where you can look up the names of BNR's and Smaller show names and watch many people contest the same courses and see what they did and how it worked or didn't.

VOLUNTEERING, so you can give back to the sport and watch and learn from others as you do so.

It takes a lot of $$$$$ and time to have eventers, we all know that. But what resources are out there that are cheaper than expected are invaluable to the learning process. It takes work. It takes time and all of it will benefit you in the end.

I guess the simplest way to state it is this:

You can either find or make time to educate yourself more, or you choose not to.


I was always told if you wanted something bad enough you could find a way to make it happen.

~Emily

kdow
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:11 AM
I have no idea if I'll ever make it anywhere near a 1* event as a rider, but if anyone in the Pgh area is interested in training up a groom to help out, I would LOVE to learn all this stuff and get hands-on experience.

(To be clear about required training - I have ridden and tacked up a horse plenty of times, but not frequently recently, so I'm probably a bit rusty. I've also never done the whole breastplate - boots business, so we'd definitely have to spend some time pre-event so we were all on the same page. So it's not like I've never been near a horse before. :) That said, I am a VERY good film producer in terms of on-set practical issues, so once I understand what's going on and what's needed, I should be right there on top of things - and will probably be one of those people who has fifty billion random things like a roll of black electrical tape for boot zipper emergencies and safety pins somewhere on or near my person.)

Jazzy Lady
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:11 AM
I'm going to go out on a limb and say they don't know because they've never experienced it. To a lot of people, a CIC is the same as a horse trial. The only difference is that it costs more money, you ride a different test and you can wear a top hat and tails if you so wish.

Watch the finish line at regular horse trials. it's often no different. You dismount, loosen the girth and nosebands, and walk around until the vet tells you to leave. I have rarely seen water at the finish line of a regular xc day, and I've never seen anyone taking stats.

With the drop out of the long format CCIs, there is no 10 minute box. Often that was the start of the education. You'd learn your horse's vitals at home, after workouts, after gallops, but you'd never know how they are going to respond to that kind of exercise until after B when the vet tells you how they are. Then you get on and go again and the vet will tell you at D box how they are. That stuff doesn't exist anymore. You can get all the way without learning how to do it, so people don't. Getting a number a couple times from a vet and being able to compare recovery is a lot different than being given vitals at the end when you are heading to the barn and have nothing to compare to. They are just numbers to most people.

That's why the learning 3DE's are so important. I'd wager a guess that there are several trainers out there that don't know it, or never practice it even if they do.

Wee Dee Trrr
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:19 AM
Pony Club will definitely teach you about TPR and other horse management skills... but it will NOT give you the knowledge and experience necessary to know what's going on in the 10 min box.

A novice or training 3 day will, however. Even as a VOLUNTEER in the 10 min box. It's an amazing experience with loads of hand holding. :)

scubed
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:20 AM
So Jazzy Lady is from Canada where they often have vets at the finish line of horse trials (maybe always, not sure).

My funny story is that I ran my first complete prelim at Grandview and got off at the finish loosened girth, horse's temp great, heart rate and respiration a little high. So, we walk around for 5 minutes, heart rate lower respiration same and 5 more, same again. I finally said to the vet, "he's so excited out here watching the xc that his respiration is never going to settle, let me take him back to his stall. I'll check it in another 5 and come back out if any problem" Of, course halfway back, big sigh and his respiration totally levels out.

OK, unrelated to teaching riders, but I think in the process of galloping racehorses and galloping to get ready for my first CCI* (which was long format), I learned to pay some attention to horses' patterns and so knew that my guy stayed excited until he was sure all opportunities to jump were over.

How many riders know their horses' baseline temp? I traditionally take a temp once every couple of weeks, sometimes before ride and sometimes after when I first get a horse to get a sense of this so that I know if it is "off" when I take it because he is looking punky or has a cut or something. I think a lot of it is common sense and can be learned in many venues including PC, but the actual 10 minute box you learn by doing - volunteering is good. I'd done a dozen as a volunteer before my first one as a rider. The N3DE and T3DE are also a great venue. If you don't want to ride, volunteer. The seminars and stuff are great.

Big Spender
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:24 AM
I don't know the answer to this either. I grew up in Pony Club and eventing in Area II at the time of the long format 3-day...Chesterland, Radnor, Essex. I even had to experience carrying additional "lead" to meet the weight requirements at the time. Can you imagine that at 14? I don't know that Pony Club is the complete answer, as I am now the DC of my daughter's club. Sure, they have so much available to them, but these kids only want to ride these days. Not all of them want to do the ground work involved with the horse management. It didn't used to be that way, but as everyone can see, the horse sports have changed and evolved to what they are today. I was also lucky to have friends competing at the upper levels and would groom for them. Rolex was the experience of a lifetime. I knew I would never ride there, as I didn't have a horse at that level, but to be behind the scenes, involved with all aspects of the competition is priceless. I haven't evented in over 10 years, so I don't know anything other than training for the long format. I will consider myself lucky that I had the resources at the time to compete through Intermediate 3-day successfully and it didn't involve a full-time trainer.

Xctrygirl
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:30 AM
I don't know the answer to this either. I grew up in Pony Club and eventing in Area II at the time of the long format 3-day...Chesterland, Radnor, Essex. I even had to experience carrying additional "lead" to meet the weight requirements at the time. Can you imagine that at 14? I don't know that Pony Club is the complete answer, as I am now the DC of my daughter's club. Sure, they have so much available to them, but these kids only want to ride these days. Not all of them want to do the ground work involved with the horse management. It didn't used to be that way, but as everyone can see, the horse sports have changed and evolved to what they are today. I was also lucky to have friends competing at the upper levels and would groom for them. Rolex was the experience of a lifetime. I knew I would never ride there, as I didn't have a horse at that level, but to be behind the scenes, involved with all aspects of the competition is priceless. I haven't evented in over 10 years, so I don't know anything other than training for the long format. I will consider myself lucky that I had the resources at the time to compete through Intermediate 3-day successfully and it didn't involve a full-time trainer.

THIS!!! Thanks Big Spender!!! Kudos to you.

~Emily

Jazzy Lady
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:39 AM
So Jazzy Lady is from Canada where they often have vets at the finish line of horse trials (maybe always, not sure).


This is true. There doesn't have to be a vet, but most venues have one. They don't always tell you what the stats are, but they will if you ask. It's good to know.

That happened to my horse at Bromont. He finished the xc, it was over 100 degrees mid day. He was brutal hot and his temperature was really high. There was absolutely no shade. The vet was concerned. I said "let me take him back to his stall, in the shade. It will return fast. I'll bring him back for you to check. Sure enough, as soon as he was out of the hot sun, his temp dropped. This is why we need to know the horses. Some horses can cool down in the sun, but mine cannot. He needs to get out of it.

merrygoround
Mar. 31, 2011, 11:56 AM
Scubed=You are ever so right. I was dragged all over the parking area for 30 min by a horse that was done for the day but who we didn't want to load. Once the leg wraps went on, they stood like a statue.

Long format Three Day Groom.

It takes mileage to know your horse.

fooler
Mar. 31, 2011, 12:25 PM
If they were at Poplar at the riders meeting on Fri. evening, there was plenty of opp for them to learn, Jenn and Max were available after the meeting to answer questions about "vet box" protocal so there should have been no excuses.


Great idea and process - but really too little too late for anyone who "really and truely" didn't know.

Most everyone I know learned by 'grooming' for a friend at the vet box. Since we didn't have many Prelim and up riders - there were plently of "grooms". :lol:
It was not totally foreign to me as I had done a few short 'endurance" and Competitive Trail Rides.

So cross-training is another way for any competitor, young in age or heart, to learn.

flutie1
Mar. 31, 2011, 12:29 PM
Divine,

I really believe, as others wrote, that it DOES start with the coaches/trainers.

So we know that. How do we help?

This will sound snarky, but here goes - maybe ban phones from the rider meetings, (it's amazing how distracting all that texting can be!), and make the meetings mandatory, (you get your packets there.)

Carried Away
Mar. 31, 2011, 12:34 PM
As the popularity and availability of the N3DE and T3DE grow, I think it would be fantastic to make completing one of these a requirement before one is allowed to compete at the next level of HT's.

I know some people will get testy about this suggestion because it won't allow the rapid move-ups we have been seeing lately...but I think it's a great opportunity to take a step back and make sure horse and rider are truly prepared for what comes next...would also hopefully help the educational process that's lacking if it's a requirement to move on to the next level.

fooler
Mar. 31, 2011, 12:44 PM
Then you're generalizing me too.

Never did pony club. Family couldn't afford it, money or time wise.

Took me 3 (yes 3) attempts to FINISH my first prelim HT. I'm imperfect as all hell and will readily admit it. Because I believe accepting a lack of perfection allows me to strive to be better easier.

I trained with a variety of trainers from a variety of disciplines, and I stayed at the barns I took lessons or rode at and watched and helped out all day.

The resources that I perceive to be out there are these:

Lessons/clinics exist where people can watch and help jump crew or just listen for free.

Horse shows, not events, where you can attend on an off weekend and watch how the rounds are ridden and how those riders are making their choices for lines, distances etc.

Youtube, where you can look up the names of BNR's and Smaller show names and watch many people contest the same courses and see what they did and how it worked or didn't.

VOLUNTEERING, so you can give back to the sport and watch and learn from others as you do so.

It takes a lot of $$$$$ and time to have eventers, we all know that. But what resources are out there that are cheaper than expected are invaluable to the learning process. It takes work. It takes time and all of it will benefit you in the end.

I guess the simplest way to state it is this:

You can either find or make time to educate yourself more, or you choose not to.


I was always told if you wanted something bad enough you could find a way to make it happen.

~Emily

Emily - You Rock! And in case anyone is wondering - Emily's background is very similar to mine and probably a lot of others over the age of 30.

This is a very different world in that:
*More parents are advocates for their kids at shows. It happened before, but for a few, not the majority
*Before kids rode and hoped to compete, now they are expected to compete. Which is no different than the kids in gymnastics, soft/base-ball, football, etc. More parents put their kids in 'structured' activities than when we were kids.
*More trainers are focused on getting their students to competitions more quickly than in the past. Before we had to earn the right to go with the trainer or if we pushed, were allowed to "fail" so we would learn to listen;)

Different world so we must be creative in our ideas.

whicker
Mar. 31, 2011, 12:46 PM
The Event Groom's Handbook
by Jeanne Kaine

http://www.amazon.com/event-grooms-handbook-Jeanne-Kane/product-reviews/0961249005/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

This the book that Le Goff asked the lead team groom, Jeanne Kaine, to write so the knowledge would be passed on. There are very few of these books available, so we need to ask Jeanne if she would be willing to do hopefully a new revised edition that takes into account the current state of technology.

I'm proud to say I'm in there, in some of the photos, helping Torrance Watkins, among others. I was riding the same level as Torrance at the time. Any rider who wasn't actively riding at an event would help the others in the vet box or where ever asked. That was in addition to the regular grooms.

The caring for each other and resulting sense of responsibility helped with building a team that worked together.

My own book,
Intermediate Riding Skills
by Robin Hirst-Fisher is also still available
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=intermediate+riding+skills+by+robin+hirst-fisher

It was written to pass along many of the skills I learned during the Le Goff era. Like Jeanne's book, it has been out of print, so it is cheap and in short supply.

I would love feedback whether there is a desire or need for an update version.

Is there a need or interest in having us long format riders teach? With the adjustments for new skill sets and technology? I'm thinking of how to listen to the horse's motor by feel, for example..

whbar158
Mar. 31, 2011, 01:03 PM
Overall I think there is a lack of really wanting to learn everything for a majority of kids. I have no idea if that is different than previous generations, I am only 24 and I am talking about young teens/teens here so not a huge gap. For the most part ones I have been around enjoy riding and enjoy helping and learning to an extent, but they do not go out and try to absorb everything. I know when I was a teenager and I was at a show I would often even watch schooling (hunter shows mostly) and listen to what the different trainers said to their students. I learned a bunch from just watching and listening. When I have gone to shows with kids they watch, but they don't ask questions, they say "oh pretty horse" or "that rider is doing something weird", no questions about mistakes no questions as to why a rider would do X. They are not critically thinking. This is not just in the horse world either. I tutor children as well, many (not all) do not make connections between concepts, they take it at face value and do not think "oh this is related to X and thats why it works" or anything like that. Everything is separate. I see the same with riding, horse is doing X and they can't make the connection to Y, they just don't think it is related.

My experience has been trainers are willing to impart the knowledge to those that ask for it.

bornfreenowexpensive
Mar. 31, 2011, 01:46 PM
Is this really new???? The * level is still an introductory level. It isn't that hard on the horses and doesn't take emense skill.

The prepared ask these questions ahead of time...and learn these numbers from their conditioning work. The really good trainers teach it before the event (ACTUALLY... a good groom often will teach it better). But at the event ....first timers are still going to be new to process and need some help.

The new comers....learn at their first *. It isn't life or death....and they learn it at their first one and know it for their next one so by the time they get to the ** level....the should know the drill.

I'm pretty sure 15+ years ago...there were just as many clueless ones finishing their first *.



I also agree that MOST people learned these things by GROOMING not riding or training. You are part of pit crew at a *, **, ***, or **** and you learn it all long before you ride. Perhaps that is lacking in some of the youth today with more professional grooms but I do think pleanty of opportunities are available.

Kairoshorses
Mar. 31, 2011, 04:49 PM
THIS. First of all, everyone, the ** and * Flight Check is referring to is Poplar, which was a CIC, not a CCI, and has ALWAYS been 'short format' since it is a CIC.

Second of all, at the FEI riders meeting, it was emphasized SEVERAL times that the 10 minute box at the end was VERY important. It was also stated that if you did NOT know how to do a vet box, Jenn Holling and Max Corcoran were available immediately after the meeting to go over the box with you. If the * riders did not choose to stay and listen, that is their own fault, because Poplar made every effort to educate them.

I have to add that I know for a fact that the * rider from our barn was prepared because Jacob Fletcher, a 16 year old YR from our Area who was also competing this weekend, and his groom Elizabeth Crowder spent two hours in the vet box handling all the Area V horses as they came in, including the * horse. People who are willing to give up their time to help in the vet box are invaluable, and I am super proud of our Area V Young Rider program when they are willing to help out like this.

Where's the "like" button? And I'm so proud of the area V folks! ROCK ON! :D:D:D

RoeVee
Mar. 31, 2011, 07:02 PM
In Colorado - Colorado Horse Park (Deeda Randle) is sponsoring a 'Conditioning the Horse' seminar on April 9th - to help educate Area IX riders. I think many people are realizing this is an issue and are doing their best to pass the knowledge on.

Really looking forward to it!

archieflies
Mar. 31, 2011, 07:37 PM
VOLUNTEERING, so you can give back to the sport and watch and learn from others as you do so.

Definitely this. I'll never come close to a *, but if I hadn't worked the vet box as a T3D last year, I wouldn't have the slightest clue what all was involved even at that level. You learn quickly how to take the vitals and what they all mean, what process ot go through, etc. I'd still want to work it again before attempting it myself (and since it will take me years to qualify, I have plenty opportunity!)

FWIW, with my one experience working the T3D at Meadowcreek last May, all of the riders I saw seemed very well prepared with a good support crew, even if it was just parents and friends and no trainers. :)

gold2012
Mar. 31, 2011, 07:51 PM
We went to a TR3D, and in the ten minute box, so many people had NO idea what to do to cool down thier horse, lower the resp rate, and I was running between my daughter, who had 3 other's helping her, and 3 others...one of whom was a vet, helping them to cool off, etc. etc.

Perhaps the USEA could come up with a pamphlet of what to expect in the ten minute box, what the abbreviations mean, how to deal with differant scenerio's, etc.

It would seem that information and education aren't being passed along in a manner people are absorbing...I am not sure why.

SpyglassEventing
Mar. 31, 2011, 07:55 PM
I did my first CCI* as a late teen at Morven a few years ago (jeez, by now its been about 5 years:eek:) when it was still LF.
I totally agree with those who have said that preparedness has A LOT to do with the trainer.

I moved to a new trainer about 6 months before the Morven CCI*. I had competed up to Prelim beforehand, but really had NO CLUE about 3 days. In fact, my previous trainer had tried to get me to sign up for the Virginia CCI the previous spring, but thank goodness I pulled out; Even I knew I was in over my head when I asked her whether I should wear a Shadbelly or normal jacket in dressage. She. didn't. know. She also said she would drive down to VA to walk XC with me, but would have to return home before XC day. So I was potentially going to be one of those kids finishing XC without a clue, without a groom. Thankfully, I didn't go, and shortly thereafter changed barns.
The new trainer taught me everything I needed to know in the months leading up to Morven (from schedule planning and goal setting, to the nitty gritty of how to properly jog a horse for the inspection and how to make minute markers for phases A-D). His groom taught me how to pull a tail, how to make a coat bloom, how to polish my brass clincher browband.
Above all, this trainer taught me how to be precise in my preparation, how to be appreciative and NICE to my mom at shows :winkgrin:, how to be punctual: how to be professional in my approach to eventing, specifically, at the * level and above.

On another note, I am cautiously pointing my current Prelim horse to the P3D at VAHT in May. I am actually apprehensive about this challenge, as I haven't done a long format in a few years! But you better believe that in addition to doing some COTH forum reading to knock the cobwebs out of that part of my brain:lol:, I will be consulting my current coach to make sure I stay on track in my preparation.

If anyone wants some hands-on learning experience in the vet box, I would LOVE any and all help!!! :D One of my fondest memories of the LF's I've done is the sense of community and friendship forged through working together to pull off something really special. I haven't experienced that same feeling in any Horse Trials since then.

-Sara

retreadeventer
Mar. 31, 2011, 08:46 PM
Glad to hear that someone is finally noticing this!
I think this is the biggest fall back from the loss of the long format. This and the conditioning process.
I think alot has to do with many instructors today also do not have the education and background of past long format riders so they do not pass this on. ...How do you teach this?...... That's a tough one....
I would think maybe having conditioning and preparedness educational seminars.....

Some of us also call this the "Training Three-Day". :)

Eventer13
Mar. 31, 2011, 10:43 PM
Getting a number a couple times from a vet and being able to compare recovery is a lot different than being given vitals at the end when you are heading to the barn and have nothing to compare to. They are just numbers to most people.


Wait... how have these people never taken TPR? Don't me I'm the only one who does it when doing conditioning work, to help figure out how my horse is coping?? (maybe not all 3, but pulse every.single.time, and usually 1 of the other 2) As far as I'm concerned, that's part of the whole conditioning process: monitoring vitals, comparing them between different days/sets, seeing how the horse is physically affected by different weather conditions. Its remarkably useful for me to go out, do a few sets, and have actual numbers to show me that it was easy or difficult and whether I need to back off or bump it up a notch.

We really have 1* riders who have never taken their horse's vitals after work?

Divine Comedy
Apr. 2, 2011, 06:20 PM
Bumping this up to say that this thread inspired me to write a blog entry (found in my sig line) about the vet box, what equipment I have and what the process is.

I realize that some will try and educate themselves and some won't, but I thought I might at least put my two cents out there. If you have any additions to the vet box, feel free to add it in the comments at the end!

in limine
Apr. 2, 2011, 07:25 PM
1) Open invitation to anyone who wants to learn the sport by coming to an event with me.
2) Between my first Preliminary HT in 1984 and my first CCN* (long-format), I did the following: hovered as much as possible around as many professionals as I could get access to (both as volunteer, working student and employee) and was a SPONGE for knowledge; attended the Olympic Trials at Rolex as a working student for an ULR (an opportunity made possible by an Area V YR fundraiser); groomed for several upper-level riders at their competitions (for FREE just to see how they do it); and attended a 'How to Compete in your first three-day event unmounted Clinic' wonderfully taught by Stephen Bradley and sponsored by the local CT group. Educational opportunities that are FREE or very low cost are out there - and if they aren't in your area, then organize one.
3) I also have a PC background - which was helpful to a point, but was not the source of any 'real-world' experience for me; it just provided me with a good work ethic and a strong knowledge of the basics - upon which I built much more practical knowledge gained from working with/for other professionals.
4) I'm sad to hear that there seems to be a gap in knowledge of some individuals competing at the * level - seems like an accident waiting to happen for both horse and rider; and I have to agree with some other posters - I'm not convinced it is because the learning opportunities aren't available - there just doesn't seem to be a willingness in some individuals to make the commitment and to put forth the hard work necessary to gain the skill needed.

Really good post and important topic - the whole 'apprentice' concept needs to be made stronger, IMO

Kementari
Apr. 2, 2011, 07:32 PM
I am so flippin' bloody sick of hearing that "kids these days [fill in the blank]."

You know what? Kids learn from adults. They don't spring onto xc fully formed and with the automatic knowledge and appreciation of All That Is Right In Eventing. They aren't born with an innate appreciation of learning; that is TAUGHT. So if the "younger generation" isn't prepared, doesn't "want" to learn, doesn't know what a TPR is (or means) - guess what? It's the older generation's fault.

If kids are sitting around watching stadium rounds and offering meaningless commentary, well a) plenty of the rest of us do that, too, and b) the fact that no one has ever sat with them and pointed out what it IS about that rider that "looks funny" is completely the fault of those who SHOULD be mentoring them.

I work off and on in aquatics, and just yesterday was standing by the pool with a young (11ish?) competitive swimmer, who was watching someone swim laps. She started out by noting that he "was swimming weird" (which was true), so I took the chance to actually discuss his stroke with her and talk about all the variables that were going into the fact that he "swims weird." When the next swimmer came in, she was able to see some of the same issues (and some others) without my prompting. And I am not her coach or instructor or anything to her other than a respected adult who would like to see each swimmer (heck, each kid) achieve his/her best. (I also promised to take her horseback riding. :lol:)

I could have ignored her, or I could have laughed along with her. I could have been condescending, or thought, "her coach must be an idiot." I could have lamented the lack of knowledge of stroke mechanics in "kids these days." None of those would have been helpful (or accurate). Instead I planted the seed that learning can be fun and interactive (heck, she may well not even think of what we were doing as "learning"), and gave her the beginnings of some tools so that when she's on, say, her college team, she may be able to offer real insight and knowledge.

Many of us were lucky to grow up with trainers, families, and communities where we were supported and encouraged (and I don't just mean told "good job"; I mean encouraged to keep learning in all sorts of subtle ways that we probably don't even recognize today). Many weren't, and many aren't. That's a shame, and there's not much we can do about the trainers and the families.

But that "community" thing? That's ALL of us. That's every single one of us standing around and rolling our eyes because someone doesn't know what to do at the end of XC rather than going over and offering (politely and non-judgmentally) to help out. That's each and every person who has ever seen the kid standing at the edge of the ring wondering and ignored her - or been so involved in our own lives that we didn't even see her at all. That's anyone who has ever rolled their eyes and condescended - whether in words, tone, or actions - rather than trying first to be friendly and genuinely helpful.

I work with kids and teens, and I have never met a single one (other than a couple with genuine mental problems) who could not be shown that things like learning, volunteering, and working hard can be fun. But that isn't achieved by telling them over and over again - whether in person or on the internet - that their generation is lazy, dumb, and exists only to check Facebook. The very instant you say those things, you make it all but impossible for the generation you are speaking of to put any stock in the rest of your message.

Bobthehorse
Apr. 2, 2011, 07:39 PM
So Jazzy Lady is from Canada where they often have vets at the finish line of horse trials (maybe always, not sure).

How many riders know their horses' baseline temp?

To the first, its becoming less common, but still some events have a vet at the finish. I really like it, though my coach serves the same purpose, she has always made sure we get off, loosen tack and start walking immediately, and if there are no issues, goes right into her analysis of our ride from her far off vantage point (but she always knows just where I was bad somehow). She is a PC product.

To the second, she also made sure I knew this. And its a good thing, because my horses are both below normal, so even with a fever they will stay within the normal range and no one would think it was strange for them.

JER
Apr. 2, 2011, 07:54 PM
Kementari, great post. :)

As someone who loves to take up new (and somewhat unusual) sports, there is nothing I appreciate more than the presence of generous, calm and experienced souls at the competition.

I'm conscientious about my preparation and I always do my research but when the big day rolls around, there are always unknowns and unforeseeables. Oh and nerves, too.

So if someone is there to point me in the right direction, calmly tell me to fix something or what not to forget, or give advice on an easier/better way to do something -- for that, I'm always grateful.

Some people are always going to be better prepared than others, for a variety of reasons. But most people really do want to learn and really will get it right next time once they know what to do. Sometimes all it takes is some calm advice and a helping hand in the moment.

Ajierene
Apr. 2, 2011, 08:08 PM
Thank you Kementari. It is important to note that sitting on the sidelines and judging is not going to help teach anyone anything. We need to show people and answer questions without judgement.

I also agree with bornfreenowexpensive also. The starry-eyed look at the end of your first * has probably been very common through the decades of eventing.

cbv
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:58 AM
and am constantly impressed by what they are able to accomplish -- I always roll my eyes when I hear the 'kids these days' -- many of the students I work with are alot more driven and accomplished than I was at their age (and yet I have managed to be a decent citizen and not, that I know of, been the downfall of anything). But college students like the rest of us are on a normal curve -- most are average, some are amazing, and some not so much.

Besides which someone's impression of a 'look' on someone's face is not exactly hard data on what someone's knows or doesn't know...

Whenever I hear 'kids these days' comments I think of my mother telling the story of her grandmother who had lived throught the civil war in the south. She considered my mom and her siblings real wimps because they had air raid sirens and blackouts during world war two -- didn't have any of those namby pamby things during the civil war! Of course they also didn't have planes...

asterix
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:04 AM
I think we have to accept that as we get further from the long format as an integral part of the upper levels, we will get more and more riders coming up under trainers who themselves do not have long format experience.

As this thread illustrates, this expertise still exists in our sport, but it is becoming incidental.

We can change that.

We can mandate an educational t3d as a requirement to do FEI levels.

We can mandate an educational seminar as a requirement to do any long format.

The year I did the T3d in Area II, Gillian Clissold offered a wonderful one day clinic -- I went with a friend who would be in the box with me (and was aiming for the t3d the following year).

Gillian explained endurance day from start to finish and we practiced everything, from setting up our areas in the box and C assistance area, all the way to icing at the end.

It was incredibly useful.

It was very sparsely attended.

I think it should be required.

My friend took great notes, and I wrote them up after the T3d. They are now posted every year as part of the Waredaca t3d prep material.

It would be a lot better if they were lived and not read.

We can choose to require more explicit prep and horsemanship, if we, as a sport, decide it's important enough.

RunForIt
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:07 AM
I think we have to accept that as we get further from the long format as an integral part of the upper levels, we will get more and more riders coming up under trainers who themselves do not have long format experience.

As this thread illustrates, this expertise still exists in our sport, but it is becoming incidental.

We can change that.

We can mandate an educational t3d as a requirement to do FEI levels.

We can mandate an educational seminar as a requirement to do any long format.

The year I did the T3d in Area II, Gillian Clissold offered a wonderful one day clinic -- I went with a friend who would be in the box with me (and was aiming for the t3d the following year).

Gillian explained endurance day from start to finish and we practiced everything, from setting up our areas in the box and C assistance area, all the way to icing at the end.

It was incredibly useful.

It was very sparsely attended.

I think it should be required.

My friend took great notes, and I wrote them up after the T3d. They are now posted every year as part of the Waredaca t3d prep material.

It would be a lot better if they were lived and not read.

We can choose to require more explicit prep and horsemanship, if we, as a sport, decide it's important enough.

LIKE!!!! LIKE!!!!! LIKE!!!!!! :D :D :D

seeuatx
Apr. 3, 2011, 12:07 PM
From description, I think I had a fairly similar upbringing to XCtrygirl and possibly Fooler (I am under 30 though). My parents never had a ton of money for this crazy horse thing, but they saw a huge difference in me (before horses I was very shy, unmotivated at school, etc) so they were willing to fund the horses as long as I kept up my end of the bargain (grades). But, It was always on a tight budget.

I did get to do Pony Club, more because my Dad (who earned his Eagle Scout as a teen) saw something very important in the ideals of such a group. Now that I can look at PC away from the drama of my teen years, I can see those benefits too.

I think part of the integral difference between myself an many others my age (at that time or even now) was that I was willing to do anything to be around horses and learn something new. I was the go to "Barn Rat" (Hey Denny, I'll still use the term ;) ) for just about everything. I followed the vet around like a lost puppy when she was there (She was an A grad and humored me) trying to pick up any spare knowledge she might have.

I was able to groom for one of my old trainers at one long format before it went away. I don't remember if it was 1 or 2 star, but I remember the 10 minute box. I groomed at several HTs and CICs with trainer on a horse that would tie-up so the end of XC was treated like the 10min box.

I exercised some of the horses at home, and well remember the joy (and pain the next day) of doing intervals in the back field.

Now, I've never ridden to the 1* level, and I might never, but I am glad to have the knowledge. I know how to get TPR and get it down, I know how to cool out an over heated horse, Ice/Poultice/Wrap, and I know how to get a horse fit. Even without riding to the starred levels, I have used all of that information in my everyday life.

I do think it is not just young people that are lacking these horsemanship skills, and it is not just those related to the upper levels of the sport. I see it everyday, and from all age groups. When my horse is done, and I mean after a nice walk on a long rein, once I dismount, I loosen the girth and nose band before heading off to the barn. Horse gets untacked first and made comfortable, and then I'll worry about myself. That's how I was taught and I stick by it.

My pet peeve that I often see is a horse used as a lawn chair after they have worked. Or when a horse is left in the cross ties, fully tacked except for the bridle, still sweaty, and the rider has gone off to the lounge is search of a water or pop because they are hot.

Somewhere, simple horsemanship is not being passed down, and that is something that needs to be change. But at the same time, despite the awesome learning opportunities that are being provided (as mentioned by others) you can't make someone learn... they have to want the knowledge. So the question is, how do we change the culture [back] to one where horsemanship is the key knowledge that you WANT to have and not just something that they roll their eyes at and say "the old timers/ Long Format supporters/ know it alls" are at it again?

mackandblues
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:32 PM
How about asking CoTH to have a sticky about this information? Or added to an archive of important articles sorted by sport/level.

Thousands of people in the younger generation are using this very forum (and other similar ones) to try and get information they need, to better their position through critiques, etc... This information needs to be made more accessible through the new channels of communication.

please have a sticky of important articles sorted by sport/level

gold2012
Apr. 3, 2011, 10:44 PM
I am so flippin' bloody sick of hearing that "kids these days [fill in the blank]."

You know what? Kids learn from adults. They don't spring onto xc fully formed and with the automatic knowledge and appreciation of All That Is Right In Eventing. They aren't born with an innate appreciation of learning; that is TAUGHT. So if the "younger generation" isn't prepared, doesn't "want" to learn, doesn't know what a TPR is (or means) - guess what? It's the older generation's fault.

If kids are sitting around watching stadium rounds and offering meaningless commentary, well a) plenty of the rest of us do that, too, and b) the fact that no one has ever sat with them and pointed out what it IS about that rider that "looks funny" is completely the fault of those who SHOULD be mentoring them.

I work off and on in aquatics, and just yesterday was standing by the pool with a young (11ish?) competitive swimmer, who was watching someone swim laps. She started out by noting that he "was swimming weird" (which was true), so I took the chance to actually discuss his stroke with her and talk about all the variables that were going into the fact that he "swims weird." When the next swimmer came in, she was able to see some of the same issues (and some others) without my prompting. And I am not her coach or instructor or anything to her other than a respected adult who would like to see each swimmer (heck, each kid) achieve his/her best. (I also promised to take her horseback riding. :lol:)

I could have ignored her, or I could have laughed along with her. I could have been condescending, or thought, "her coach must be an idiot." I could have lamented the lack of knowledge of stroke mechanics in "kids these days." None of those would have been helpful (or accurate). Instead I planted the seed that learning can be fun and interactive (heck, she may well not even think of what we were doing as "learning"), and gave her the beginnings of some tools so that when she's on, say, her college team, she may be able to offer real insight and knowledge.

Many of us were lucky to grow up with trainers, families, and communities where we were supported and encouraged (and I don't just mean told "good job"; I mean encouraged to keep learning in all sorts of subtle ways that we probably don't even recognize today). Many weren't, and many aren't. That's a shame, and there's not much we can do about the trainers and the families.

But that "community" thing? That's ALL of us. That's every single one of us standing around and rolling our eyes because someone doesn't know what to do at the end of XC rather than going over and offering (politely and non-judgmentally) to help out. That's each and every person who has ever seen the kid standing at the edge of the ring wondering and ignored her - or been so involved in our own lives that we didn't even see her at all. That's anyone who has ever rolled their eyes and condescended - whether in words, tone, or actions - rather than trying first to be friendly and genuinely helpful.

I work with kids and teens, and I have never met a single one (other than a couple with genuine mental problems) who could not be shown that things like learning, volunteering, and working hard can be fun. But that isn't achieved by telling them over and over again - whether in person or on the internet - that their generation is lazy, dumb, and exists only to check Facebook. The very instant you say those things, you make it all but impossible for the generation you are speaking of to put any stock in the rest of your message.

Very well done. thanks.

BadEventer
Apr. 3, 2011, 11:28 PM
Do we ask them individually to name their suppport crew?

I competed (quite sucessfully) in 50 & 100 mile endurance rides without a pit crew. We had MANY "vet boxes".

So here's my clearly uninformed question. What is different about a one star (as opposed to riding 100 miles) that requires a pit crew?

And do I hang up a goal of ever competing at anything at the "star" levels because I don't have a pit crew?

Divine Comedy
Apr. 3, 2011, 11:38 PM
And do I hang up a goal of ever competing at anything at the "star" levels because I don't have a pit crew?

It's pretty easy to get a pit crew if you need one. I came on COTH to get volunteers for CO, and a couple people were kind enough to help me out.

It's really quite difficult to try and do it by yourself. But random people standing around will generally jump in to help if you need it.

BaroquePony
Apr. 4, 2011, 12:19 AM
Posted by BadEventer:

And do I hang up a goal of ever competing at anything at the "star" levels because I don't have a pit crew?

Beat them at their own game :yes:. Buy a Welsh Cob; they will hand you the buckets, sponges, sweat scrapers, and anything else you own. They love to help with barn chores as a side note.

retreadeventer
Apr. 4, 2011, 09:17 AM
I think we have to accept that as we get further from the long format as an integral part of the upper levels, we will get more and more riders coming up under trainers who themselves do not have long format experience.

As this thread illustrates, this expertise still exists in our sport, but it is becoming incidental.

We can change that.

We can mandate an educational t3d as a requirement to do FEI levels.

We can mandate an educational seminar as a requirement to do any long format.

The year I did the T3d in Area II, Gillian Clissold offered a wonderful one day clinic -- I went with a friend who would be in the box with me (and was aiming for the t3d the following year).

Gillian explained endurance day from start to finish and we practiced everything, from setting up our areas in the box and C assistance area, all the way to icing at the end.

It was incredibly useful.

It was very sparsely attended.

I think it should be required.

My friend took great notes, and I wrote them up after the T3d. They are now posted every year as part of the Waredaca t3d prep material.

It would be a lot better if they were lived and not read.

We can choose to require more explicit prep and horsemanship, if we, as a sport, decide it's important enough.

This. !!!!!