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View Full Version : We Must Trust Our Judges (COTH Article)



Velvet
May. 17, 2011, 09:48 AM
Okay, so I read the editorial/article that is so grandly titled "We Must Trust Our Judges." (Link: http://chronofhorse.com/article/we-must-trust-our-judges ) Seriously?

First, Anne addresses mostly international judging. Really not a big problem for most people competing in dressage--since most are not at the international level. Her point on people just watching the score board couldn't be more wrong. Maybe there are some, and maybe she hangs out with them, but if I'm watching an international competition I don't care about the scores until the very end.

Should we be critical of judges? Heck yes! It smacks of saying we should trust our elected officials (which I've seen a lot of lately--welcome to the USA reich). At least here in the USA we need to make sure we keep on top of those who are in a position of authority. We need to question their ability and their honesty (i.e., keep them honest with certain checks and balances).

We put these people in a position of authority. They need to be monitored because history has proven that absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.

A point she makes that each competitor comes into the ring with a 10 in their pocket and is scored down from there is probably true--at the international level. Here in the US, they all hover around 5 and creep up only when necessary, and are also often not punitive enough in their scoring when it is deserved. Honestly, the older judges that I recall tended to end with a higher range of numbers/percentages in some classes, depending on the skill of the horses and riders. They weren't afraid of the low or the high scores. These days, if you don't stick to the middle you won't be hired back.

The judges need to be watched and they need to be BOLD in their scoring. We need a way to ensure that the really good ones are promoted (which is one thing I agree with in the article). But I do find it terribly interesting that she also points to the old judges and says that like the good old ones, we need to get our competitors on the path to judging. Um, really? I recall when people who were national and international judges were NOT great competitors. They had some experience, but they were not always the best. The best do NOT always make good judges. As great riders are not always good instructors.

We need to work with those who have a great eye, a bold personality (ones who won't fold at the first hint of unhappiness from a competitor or show management--if they know their absolutely right they need to stand by it and sink or swim), and not necessarily those who have the best scores or are willing to suck up to USEF officials to get that special pass to the inner sanctum. Using politics is wrong. Using simply a riders scores as a way to gauge judging ability is wrong. We need to take an approach where we view not only those who are uber successful as riders, but those who have some modest success and a great eye. Those who don't go out and party or kiss a** to get the currently requisite recommendations to become a judge. We need people who have a good eye, a desire to help the riders and who have a strong sense of fairness.

These are not impossible to find. We need to stop homogonizing the judging, too, by telling them we're looking for a median or people who follow the crowd when the crowd is DEAD WRONG. Horses BTV through an entire test are wrong. It's almost as bad as the peanut rollers at AQHA shows who are doing hunt seat and winning. They are fighting an uphill battle to get judges back to following the directives, but it's really hard. We need to back our judges who DO follow the directives of dressage and yet, we are not to blindly follow them all. We need to review the judges. Educate them. And look outside the show ring for them (as well as in the show ring). I've known people who have physical issues and cannot get the scores, but have a dam* good eye and would make great judges--as they are already great teachers. (These are people who have trained students to the upper levels of dressage and used to be able to ride but no longer can and haven't been able to for years--long before the scores were tracked in a database.)

Okay, that's JMO.

Velvet
May. 17, 2011, 10:31 AM
11 views and no comments. Hmm...maybe people don't have time to read the article. :lol:

swgarasu
May. 17, 2011, 10:33 AM
Should we be critical of judges? Heck yes! It smacks of saying we should trust our elected officials (which I've seen a lot of lately--welcome to the USA reich). At least here in the USA we need to make sure we keep on top of those who are in a position of authority. We need to question their ability and their honesty (i.e., keep them honest with certain checks and balances).

We put these people in a position of authority. They need to be monitored because history has proven that absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.

_________________________________

We need to work with those who have a great eye, a bold personality (ones who won't fold at the first hint of unhappiness from a competitor or show management--if they know their absolutely right they need to stand by it and sink or swim)

So wait, "we" should be critical of judges, question their ability and their honesty, and yet hire judges who won't fold when they "know they are right" when a competitor or show management expresses unhappiness?

To me these things seem in direct opposition to each other. Perhaps you could explain who is this "we" you speak of? Apparantly it is not someone who competes or manages a show - is it the spectators then? The sponsors? The owners?

The point that I found extremely depressing in the article was when she said they have to base order of go on rankings because they will lose money otherwise. Anytime you forfeit fair in favor of money, the "sport" is already lost.

Velvet
May. 17, 2011, 10:53 AM
Checks and balances. Having people who rep the USEF and go around to shows and watch the judging to see if it's following the directives.

Having a judge who will stand up, meaning one who will state their opinion strongly and if it's dead wrong, get the USEF to watch them and retrain them or fire them. If it's right, get the USEF to back them fully.

I don't want judges who cater only to show management and a few wealthy competitors. I want ones who are in it to support the sport and who (hopefully) know right from wrong riding and will score appropriately. Whether it's popular with the locals or not.

suzy
May. 17, 2011, 10:56 AM
I think the article is comprehensive and well written, and Anne covers so many of the contentious issues surrounding judging. One comment I found especially interesting was this:

“Lately, due to the lectures by Dr. Wolframm, the ire of the trainers and riders has somewhat changed its focus from pronouncing all judges corrupt imbeciles to saying that the system is useless, and that it’s impossible for any human to successfully process the information available and come up with the correct score. Instead, according to Dr. Wolframm, the judges invent “shortcuts” which exclude some of the details of the movement and focus on specific features.”

I think all dressage judges, judges-in-training, trainers, and competitors should be required to read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink.” In a nutshell, he talks about the massive amounts of information humans can process quickly AND accurately and make correct decisions based on the input.

Like anything else, the longer a person spends doing a particular activity, the better and faster they will become at it. So, Wolframm’s presumption that the use of shortcuts by judges means they “exclude some of the details of the movement” is erroneous. For those of you who teach, think about those moments when you are watching a rider, and you are able to predict what is going to happen in the next stride or two based on the rider’s aid (or lack of) in a critical moment. Like judges, you have a strong foundation of knowledge from which to form a quick and accurate opinion. This isn’t to say that sometimes the rider won’t quickly and adeptly make the correction needed or that the horse won’t just deliver a gift by doing what is required in spite of the rider but, in most cases, the experienced judge will pick up on that, too, and score accordingly.

There is no such thing as completely unbiased scoring when it comes to a performing art. Undoubtedly, there is some truth to the idea of the “halo effect,” prejudice created by the starting order of horses, and the nationality of judge and competitor. However, I think that having seven judges helps to mitigate any ill effects, and the riders usually are placed appropriately.

I also think Anne hits the nail on the head when she comments that competitors like judges that give them the scores they want. That’s just human nature, but it puts the judge in a tough spot and, as Velvet points out, makes them fearful they will not be invited back to judge. For regional and national shows, I think this may be the crux of the problem. If show organizers hire the judges who are forthright and fearless regarding using the entire range of scores, they risk losing competitors. If the judge uses the range of scores, s/he risks not being rehired. Vicious cycle for sure.

ToN Farm
May. 17, 2011, 11:07 AM
Ann's articles are always good. As Velvet stated, she is mostly focusing on International competition.

relying on previous experience of a rider/horse combination, the reputation of said combination, or even the order in which they appear in the starting order.
Those that think this isn't being done locally live in a dream world. Local/regional show competitors, judges, and trainers all known one another. Some even are close friends. When 'so-and-so' enters the ring, if they are a local favorite, their scores always reflect the halo factor. A newcomer to the ring, especially an unknown AA, certainly does not start off with any 10. Sour grapes from me here, because I think most competition is just one big clique-fest.

opel
May. 17, 2011, 11:27 AM
We choose to participate in a judged sport..........Yes, I'm glad that the judging is being tweeked on the international and national levels. Constant progress in the judging and oversight of judging is good for the sport and the riders. BUT! this is a judged sport and if someone doesn't like being judged, then that's a problem. I absolutely disagree that most judges get involved in favoritism, especially on a local level. Judges are human and can only process what the human brain is capable of. I believe the vast majority of them honestly try to be as unbiased as possible. Of course, perfection is impossible--for the judges and for us as riders.

ToN Farm
May. 17, 2011, 11:31 AM
I absolutely disagree that most judges get involved in favoritism, especially on a local level. You can look at the scores when a local is being judged by a local and then compare them to when that local is being judged by some "I" judge out of the country. I think you are naive here.

ideayoda
May. 17, 2011, 11:31 AM
Well said Velvet.

Also, the judge should be competitor/horse type blind, and score according to the directives.

The underlying reason for the 'grumbling' that AG refers to is BECAUSE there seems to be an ignoring those directives, and not using the range of scores. Also it seems that rather than following the fei guidelines of 'protecting traditional from methods of the day' (with accordingly low scores) that tyeir is more intereste in the latest call to the 'globalization' of dressage.

And the more the rules are modified to 'fit the day' (especially the latest changes which are en masse from the fei), the more the appearance become problematic.

ise@ssl
May. 17, 2011, 12:09 PM
It is true that at the local level some judges do practice the Halo Factor. Actually it sometimes seems that new judges are afraid to score what they see both for unknown AA's and especially for known non AA's.

And there is STILL a fear of giving very high scores to anyting but the Pro's even when it's GLARINGLY OBVIOUS the moves deserved those scores. It's as though the some Judges CAN NOT ACCEPT the fact that there can be perfection or close to perfection at any level by ANY RIDER on ANY BREED, SIZE, COLOR, BRANDED OR NOT HORSE!!

quietann
May. 17, 2011, 12:22 PM
I'd appreciate a judge who uses the scale more fully, even if it means a lower score for me. A sheet full of 6s and 7s, when I *know* some moves were better than others, feels kind of like I wasted my time.

ideayoda
May. 17, 2011, 12:40 PM
There is a new concept that all judges at all viewing points should end up with the same score. This is a BIG difference from Niggli (one time head of the fei) who said that there SHOULD be a difference, that the judge should take a stand and give a reasoning, and that likely the person with the harshest scores was the most correct! It seems to me that the rubberstamping of scores are almost bearing their heads in the sand. When Lette (under whose leadership the landslide started) said that the horses have to be a 6 or higher if they are international competition, that to me was problematic. It already sets a bottom. YET when Linda Zang helped to compile the booklet with scores 0-10, it is clear that things like impure gaits should get a 4 (no matter where). Imho FEI riders in particular should be held to a higher standard, and the numbers should be used 0-10 just as if they were doing national levels.

ise@ssl
May. 17, 2011, 04:40 PM
I know that opinions can vary but it's always abit frustrating to see show results and note that the mean and average scores for the same classes by different judges vary significantly. I know there are good rides and bad rides by the same horse and rider but we all know there are some judges that tend to score higher and some that are real "b" busters.

But again - I DO NOT understand why we have a 0 to 10 range and we end up with some judges who rarely if ever give scores 8 or above - even when the movement should receive it.

Plus - very often the remark doesn't seem to match the score AT ALL.

enjoytheride
May. 17, 2011, 05:06 PM
My frustrating part about dressage tests is always getting the 5 and 6 judge. I have videos that show the same test a year apart with my horse snorting around with its head in the air hardly staying in the ring to going quietly mostly on the bit.

I also like getting "nice centerline square halt 6" umm ok?

ideayoda
May. 17, 2011, 05:35 PM
Based on the words sq halt/nice center line it should be 8/9/10...not just a 6. You ALL must go the organizers and $#*(&$#. REQUIRE more. You might NOT agree with it, but you should have INFORMATION!

Nojacketrequired
May. 17, 2011, 06:03 PM
Velvet, did they let you out again, already? :lol:

NJR

Pony Fixer
May. 17, 2011, 06:25 PM
This topic is timely, considering the thread I started last week or so wondering about the judging I'd witnessed at a recent USDF show.

I agree with some of AG's points--judges have often been "come down on", yet at the national level I have not heard (at least loudly) of any training, continuing ed, etc. for judges to improve or re-educate themselves. I don't expect judges to be robotic or infallible, but I would like some consistency and basic adherence to the directives for the level.

I wish there was more transparency, a la scoring, at the national levels. Just this weekend I saw a stiff, older horse with its tongue out the entire ride score a 64% at 3rd level. Honestly, I again was scratching my head. Rather than scream FOUL! I wish there was a way I could find out what lead to that score (did the judge find the walk work, entrance, and final halt compelling, did they not notice the tongue, etc.) so that I could align *my* knowledge base with the number I see on the scoreboard. (And please don't tell me to scribe--I do that several times a year, but can't scribe every show :))

At this same show, I got another good score at Second/3, and again I thought it was high for our effort. The footing was deep, and so I did not push the mediums (in fact barely got any trot mediums) for 6s for the movement and the transitions in/out. Nope, they were not "satisfactory", they were barely "sufficient". Could you argue that my horse's gaits (he got a 7, when he's really put together correctly I get 8s), modified that up? Maybe, but what does that say--if your horse is fancy a crappy medium will earn you a 6? That seems like a dangerous precedent.

I'll also buy that the vast majority of what judge's see at thelower and mid-levels may well be lackluster, inspiring strings of 5,6,7 in a lot of tests. But then I *hope* those judges sit up and recognize an 8,9,10 and give it when deserved (as well as the 2,3,4). The funny thing is, when I compare tests of mine, the overall score from most of my "well ranged" tests with that of my "poorly ranged" tests, the scores are largely the same. Which then begs the question--what the he!! does that mean??!!??

merrygoround
May. 17, 2011, 07:24 PM
There is a new concept that all judges at all viewing points should end up with the same score. This is a BIG difference from Niggli (one time head of the fei) who said that there SHOULD be a difference, that the judge should take a stand and give a reasoning, and that likely the person with the harshest scores was the most correct! It seems to me that the rubberstamping of scores are almost bearing their heads in the sand. When Lette (under whose leadership the landslide started) said that the horses have to be a 6 or higher if they are international competition, that to me was problematic. It already sets a bottom. YET when Linda Zang helped to compile the booklet with scores 0-10, it is clear that things like impure gaits should get a 4 (no matter where). Imho FEI riders in particular should be held to a higher standard, and the numbers should be used 0-10 just as if they were doing national levels.

Yes!!!

It should be obvious that a judge viewing a horse/rider from one angle will have a different perspective and perhaps score than one viewing from another angle.
also horses are horses when a horse throws a tantrum at a request for piaffe, that gets a 6? Not!! It should get a zero or at best a 1.

A jiggy free walk? A non-happening halt?? Nail them!!

As far as processing the movements in all their component parts. The minds eye should have an ideal, especially for judges at that level. Is it forward, round, rhythmical, is the horse reaching though in the context of its level of collection, is the bend correct, are the hindquarters trailing, are the changes straight, all of this and more the eye should see and the mind process. Most of us do it all the time teaching (our students hate us :lol:). When the eye perceives a deviation from the ideal, then the score goes down.

leilatigress
May. 17, 2011, 08:59 PM
Please take my opinion with a grain of salt. I never competed in Dressage and the kid is 8 and we're doing Intro A &B . But she has been actively showing for the past couple of years. (3 shows non rated a year)
I dearly love the judges in my area. Went to a schooling show this past weekend and DD got 64 & 62 for Intro A. She's been getting that score for the past couple of shows from different judges on the same horse. What impressed me and pleased me more than anything was the comment (Lag on left fore tense through shoulder.) Square halt, but resisted need more sit. Bless the scribe that got those comments!
Read the article and I agree. I also know blind judging is just not going to happen unless we hook up the machines and then is it really art or a machine getting the job done?
As for those demanding more comments from the judge what do you want a book about each movement? I get the frustration with every box saying the same thing but I also understand the judge just doesn't have time to dictate a lesson. Judge for the past weekend left the tense through shoulder at the bottom and starred it then starred where it was an issue on the movements. It was walk work that showed it the most actually.

suzy
May. 17, 2011, 08:59 PM
Merrygoround, you have to remember that the halt is not a movement/score by itself. It includes the entrance, centerline, and transition out of the halt. If everything but the halt is excellent, the judge has to take that into account and give credit for what was good. Or, using Anne Gribbons' article in which she says you start with a 10 and then deduct points, this rider with the bad halt could still score a 5 or 6.

Although judges are only human and do make mistakes, competitors have to become more educated about scoring. I think the halt example I just mentioned is evidence of the lack of understanding so many people have and why they didn't understand how AVG could get such high scores when her horse was not immobile in the halt.

ideayoda
May. 17, 2011, 09:08 PM
That comment is ok at a lower level, but a GP should halt straight and square and maintain it. Pretty basic at that point. And in most things you start with the basic opinion: pure gait (then determine how excellent) or impure gait (how insufficient).

honeylips
May. 17, 2011, 09:18 PM
And what about judges who want to see "SELF CARRIAGE" at training level?
Showed for Peggy Klump recently and all over the training level tests were comments about "show more self carriage". Where's the fruitbat in that.....

ideayoda
May. 17, 2011, 09:37 PM
Perhaps the purpose of the test needs to be read huh?

Beentheredonethat
May. 17, 2011, 10:52 PM
I agree that the older judges are bolder and use the scale more. We need that more. There are just some "6" rides, but not all that often. They need to encourage seeing the 8's and 9's and 10's more, because most horses can manage a movement in that way, and not give a 4 for a slight late change and a bunch of missed tempi changes. We need to see 1's, 2's, and 3's for really bad stuff, too.

I agree there is a too much politics. Can we change that? Dunno. You will never see one judge give another judge a really bad score. It really doesn't happen. I do understand how hard it can be to do that to fellow judges, though. And there is not the willingness to give the bad score to a bad ride under a big name, or a big name coaching a student who just bought a really expensive horse. Not fair, but I get it.

In general, whether a high scoring, low scoring, or medium scoring judge, I generally get comments that I agree with. That's a good thing. I don't always see comments that go with the score, but that's the way it goes. I do get whacky things, but it happens.

I don't think we need more training of judges or a more complicated system. I think we need to get RIDER's judging more and make it easier for them. I used to ride with an international competetor who told me no way he'd go through the judging program. It was way too expensive and time consuming for someone who actually competes at a high level. Steffen isn't going to do it. It used to be more feasible before. I totally disagree with Velvet that rider's don't make good judges. I think they make the best in general. You can always tell a judge who got his card before they had the riding criteria. They write things that sound cool, but don't get it. You have to have actually done it a lot to know how things feel. They only write directives, but not things that show they really understand how it feels.

There is and always will be a problem with judging, but I think it's better than it used to be. I was in Atlanta an watched Steffen get screwed on a steady Eddy really nice ride on Udon, and Robert (who I give all credit to) stop and rear five or six times in a test and beat him.

There are always trends clearly coming out of judging forums. I've been seeing the self-carriage thing, too. I've also noticed a huge trend to really short, skinny necked horses with their heads pulled back into their necks at all levels rewarded. Ah well. Next year it will be something new we are all supposed to do with our horses.

Velvet
May. 17, 2011, 11:12 PM
Beenthere,

You need to reread what I wrote. I said that at the national levels we don't need TOP riders because many would not make good judges. We need good people who ride and know how to ride the levels, but we do need the super riders that it seemed Anne was pointing out as if they would all be great judges. I don't always see the two as coming together. We've had good riders, and not great ones, who have been great international judges, too.

No need to fast track all riders to judging. Some just are not good at it.

honeylips
May. 18, 2011, 12:13 AM
Perhaps the purpose of the test needs to be read huh?

Ya think? And she is a brand new "S"... And my scores were good - 66 to 71% from her - but all the self carriage comments were interesting to say the least. At training level test 1 and 2.......

EqTrainer
May. 18, 2011, 12:48 AM
No surprise. I have seen intro tests that say....


Needs more bend

And

Needs more collection.

Sigh.

suzy
May. 18, 2011, 07:47 AM
EqTrainer and HoneyLips, I guess I view the comments a bit differently than you. If the judge is saying needs more bend or more self carriage, I take that as something I should be working to improve. The ride may be perfectly good--it may even be a winning ride--but the comments give me a sense of what I need to work on to move to the next level. "More bend" and "more self carriage" indicate degrees not absolutes. Obviously a horse doing an intro level test is going to have much less bend and self carriage than a fourth level horse. But that does not mean that the judge should not comment on the intro level horse's degree of bend/self carriage.

Velvet
May. 18, 2011, 08:57 AM
Then again, suzy, haven't you noticed that most of the scores at WT (intro) are in the 60s and maybe 70s? I've seen a few really solid rides that you KNOW were dead on for WT. Seems the judge was looking for a 2nd level frame to make a score higher than the 70s. Honestly, WT is NOT rocket science. True, there are a LOT of bad rides at WT where people think it's a place to just go when they are barely able to ride or steer. But there are some who have wonderful rides and for some reason the judge wants more? I think they need to retrain them and teach them that 80 and even 90 percents are possible if the horses are really good.

It's WT for crying out loud.

ise@ssl
May. 18, 2011, 09:39 AM
I agree with Beentheredonethat about Judges not giving really low scores to other judges. It's a definite part of the problem. This over-scoring fellow judges is what's helping judges move up the levels for judging when they really shouldn't be judging at all.

littlemanor
May. 18, 2011, 09:49 AM
Back to the intro tests--I agree that the word "collection" has no place on an intro test sheet, but I don't think it's at all unreasonable to ask for bend. There are circles in intro, a stick-straight horse is not going to do a good test. There's no reason an intro horse can't bend along the lines of a 20m circle (minimal bend) and I wouldn't expect a great score if it couldn't.

Coreene
May. 18, 2011, 10:17 AM
Velvet, I think this is actually the third or fourth time that it has happened, but I absolutely agree with you.

I also thought the article needed some cheese.

Velvet
May. 18, 2011, 10:26 AM
Velvet, I think this is actually the third or fourth time that it has happened, but I absolutely agree with you.

I also thought the article needed some cheese.

:lol:

ToN Farm
May. 18, 2011, 10:39 AM
I agree with Beentheredonethat about Judges not giving really low scores to other judges. It's a definite part of the problem. This over-scoring fellow judges is what's helping judges move up the levels for judging when they really shouldn't be judging at all.
And also the passing around of one or two GP horses so that the judges can get their S.

EqTrainer
May. 18, 2011, 10:40 AM
Back to the intro tests--I agree that the word "collection" has no place on an intro test sheet, but I don't think it's at all unreasonable to ask for bend. There are circles in intro, a stick-straight horse is not going to do a good test. There's no reason an intro horse can't bend along the lines of a 20m circle (minimal bend) and I wouldn't expect a great score if it couldn't.

IMO the problem is, what the directive claims this test is for is not being adhered to. If a horse is ready for collection and further bending, does it belong in intro? I think not, the comment should be, good job, time to move on! Not "lets bend and collect and get an intro test score in the 70s...."

As Velvet says, its WT. Oh, V, i just read your comment on that, yeah, give them a 90 in Intro....

littlemanor
May. 18, 2011, 12:21 PM
IMO the problem is, what the directive claims this test is for is not being adhered to.

The directive for Intro A, taken off the official USDF test sheet for Intro B:


PURPOSE:To introduce the rider and/or horse to the sport of dressage. To show understanding of riding the horse forward with a steady tempo into an elastic contact with independent,
steady hands and a correctly balanced seat. To show proper geometry of figures in the arena with correct bend (corners and circles).

Yes, it's wrong to ask for collection at this level. But according to the directives it's entirely appropriate to ask for bend consistent with the figures. That's not the level of bend asked for later on, but it's still bend. There's little enough to judge at Intro, to say no bend is needed imo is dumbing it down a little too much.

EqTrainer
May. 18, 2011, 08:36 PM
Correct bend.... Yes. More bend? No. More bend would have been overbent.

ise@ssl
May. 18, 2011, 09:10 PM
Oh Yes ToN Farm - we all know about those made FEI horses that get passed around so people who shouldn't even be judges at all qualify for their "S". wink wink.

ShannonLee
May. 18, 2011, 10:48 PM
Instead of saying "more collection" the judge could have said "more balance" and been very correct for intro level. What differentiates a good walk/trot test and a very good one? Probably good lateral and longitudinal suppleness good lateral and longitudinal balance throughout.... "Needs more bend and better balance" would be a very good comment in lots of Intro tests I have seen.

Collection is the wrong word to use at this level, but I am betting that balance is the word the judge needed to use.

Judges are not perfect, experience and training improve their use of scoring and comments, just like experience and training improve our ability to ride good dressage.

Judges don't expect us to be perfect, but they get to tell us how we are not perfect. I think that is the reason why all the friction between judges and competitors....

Elegante E
May. 18, 2011, 11:10 PM
At intro, if the horse does a correct 20m circle then it is bent properly. There is barely any bend on a 20m circle, so if the horse isn't bent, then the circle was off and that should have been noted in words and score.


I'd love to see judges using the scale more, even if it's to my own detriment. I think it gives a truer sense of deserving the higher scores if/when one attains them. Also makes me believe the judge is actually awake and paying attention.

I think Velvet is on track. Blind support is silly.

J-Lu
May. 18, 2011, 11:32 PM
Well, many beginning judges are the judges who judge intro level. You have to look at the creds of the judge that makes these comments about collection.

EE, I just returned from a show with a judge who happily scored a test with 3s-4s and 8s in the same test. These judges are out there and much appreciated.

Velvet, I hear you. But I also hear Anne. I was equally unthrilled with the conclusions that the GDI and similar meetings come to heavily based on the opinions of the very few consulted statistician-types. Yet there is a group of professional scientists/statisticians/riders/professionals who offered the same type of analysis to the US dressage scene and have been largely ignored by the USDF/USEF. At the very least I give kudos to the European FEI for attempting to consult scientists, even though I find flaws with the conclusions.

In the end, I have to wonder why people like Anne don't take advantage of the resources available to them here in the US. Perhaps if she worked with this U.S. based group of scientists she could understand how judging *is*, not what it is believed to be, and how this fundamental understanding can *improve* the sport of dressage and inform judge training programs. No, judges aren't 'gods' but don't they want to judge to the same standard and constantly improve? What professional doesn't want to improve?

J.

EqTrainer
May. 19, 2011, 08:08 AM
At intro, if the horse does a correct 20m circle then it is bent properly. There is barely any bend on a 20m circle, so if the horse isn't bent, then the circle was off and that should have been noted in words and score.


I'd love to see judges using the scale more, even if it's to my own detriment. I think it gives a truer sense of deserving the higher scores if/when one attains them. Also makes me believe the judge is actually awake and paying attention.

I think Velvet is on track. Blind support is silly.

Yes. I was trying to not get too in to the details but the verbal comment was, pull his head around on the circle and show more bend.

The correct bend on a 20m circle is very minor. If people are being told their horses need more bend and collection at intro, its not hard to see why certain incorrect stereotypes about dressage are being validated. And this is at the level that is supposed to introduce the rider and horse to dressage :(

And that was really the only point I wanted to make about it.

littlemanor
May. 19, 2011, 08:46 AM
Well, impossible to say without the context. I've seen plenty of board-stiff and counterbent horses at intro level, I don't see why "Needs more bend" in and of itself should be an inappropriate comment, while "Needs more collection" is obviously wildly inappropriate. "Bend" is listed as one of the guiding directives in every intro level movement that is not on a straight line. "Pull horse around circle with inside rein" is obviously wrong, but if a student got the comment "Needs more bend" I would at least consider the possibility that the horse was not appropriately bent on the circle. A horse can go around a 20m circle board-stiff with its hind end swinging out and still make a fairly accurate figure. Some degree of lateral suppleness and balance on curves (ie bend) should be looked for from the very beginning, imo.

Obviously the specific example given above (rider told to use inside rein to create bend) is wrong, but I've heard other people complain about judges asking for bend in intro tests, and I just don't understand why it's an unreasonable thing to ask. We think about modest bend/lateral balance from the very beginning when we start a young horse, it makes the horse's work much easier.

It's interesting, though, the L program doesn't go into a lot of detail about intro level; judges basically have to look at the written directives for guidance.

grayarabpony
May. 19, 2011, 09:09 AM
As far as trusting judges, I don't have to do anything. One thing I do have to think though is that there is a lot more to judging at the international level than just watching that horse and rider on that particular day and judging in an impartial manner.

Politics anyone?

Elegante E
May. 19, 2011, 12:44 PM
Beating a dead horse here about the 20m and bend. The size and conformation of the horse can affect amount of bend a horse has or can maintain and still do a good 20m. Btw, "fairly" accurate is not accurate. If the horse isn't bent, you are doing a square. If the horse is bent too much you get a smaller circle. For a 20m, the rider should barely see the inside of the horse's inside eye. Horses with longer necks can look more bent. Shorter necks can look less bent. But the size and shape of the circle will tell. That's the point of doing the figure in the first place.

The comment should be along the line of, better lateral suppleness (bend) will result in more accurate figure. If the horse's butt was flying out, then that should be commented on as the horse wasn't on the aides.

If the judge suggested more inside rein, all I can say is wow. I would send a copy of that test into USDF or someone, maybe the show host. We are paying money to have a hearts ripped out, people. The least we deserve is to have it done with precision.

quietann
May. 19, 2011, 04:40 PM
I'd also rather see more comments about what was wrong with the bend than "more bend" ... at Intro 20m circles bend is pretty minimal. But I'd want to see "counterbent" or "falling on inside shoulder" or "outside shoulder popped out" or "bent only in neck, does not extend through body" to name a few things that can go wrong with a 20m circle!

Bogey2
May. 19, 2011, 05:04 PM
Intro is not ridden at recognized shows right? Just schooling shows. (this is the case in my area). I really don't pay any attention to what the judges say at W/T, it's just W/T!

Velvet
May. 19, 2011, 05:10 PM
Intro is not ridden at recognized shows right? Just schooling shows. (this is the case in my area). I really don't pay any attention to what the judges say at W/T, it's just W/T!

Not true. It's also at recognized shows.

Bogey2
May. 19, 2011, 07:08 PM
it is? Not in New England. So does the USDF keep track of the results?

quietann
May. 19, 2011, 08:03 PM
it is? Not in New England. So does the USDF keep track of the results?

Some recognized shows in New England offer the Intro tests (I've been in one, though I rode Training there), but USDF/USEF do not track the results.

littlemanor
May. 19, 2011, 08:38 PM
I'd also rather see more comments about what was wrong with the bend than "more bend" ... at Intro 20m circles bend is pretty minimal. But I'd want to see "counterbent" or "falling on inside shoulder" or "outside shoulder popped out" or "bent only in neck, does not extend through body" to name a few things that can go wrong with a 20m circle!

This I can't argue with.

dressurpferd01
May. 19, 2011, 09:32 PM
Not true. It's also at recognized shows.

And it shouldn't be. Can't canter, stick to schooling shows. Recognized shows used to start at 1st level, now we have walk/trot.

Donella
May. 19, 2011, 10:53 PM
I think if we keep bitching and complaining and demonizing judges we won't have anyone left to judge dressage competitions. They are only human and they are judging a SUBJECTIVE sport/art. Of course there are bad judges and there are always going to be people unhappy with the judges opinions...but at the end of the day, most of them are doing the best they are capable of. They are highly educated and for the most part are much more qualified than 99 percent of us here to make the judgements they do.

I am one that appreciates their hard work and efforts even if I am not always in agreement. Without them, where would our sport be?

honeylips
May. 19, 2011, 11:08 PM
The new Intro C now has canter in it.

grayarabpony
May. 19, 2011, 11:10 PM
I think if we keep bitching and complaining and demonizing judges we won't have anyone left to judge dressage competitions. They are only human and they are judging a SUBJECTIVE sport/art. Of course there are bad judges and there are always going to be people unhappy with the judges opinions...but at the end of the day, most of them are doing the best they are capable of. They are highly educated and for the most part are much more qualified than 99 percent of us here to make the judgements they do.

I am one that appreciates their hard work and efforts even if I am not always in agreement. Without them, where would our sport be?

Dressage is not THAT subjective. There are standards, and people should be able to recognize correct when they see it... and no, it doesn't actually take a high level of education to see when a horse is going correctly.

With better judging, the sport could be taken more seriously than it is. It wouldn't be seen as so boring by non-dressage people, horsemen or not.

Elegante E
May. 19, 2011, 11:38 PM
Sorry, but even with perfect judging, dressage shows are like watching paint dry. I have a hard time watching more than four rides in a sitting. And I love this sport.

Btw, there are a lot of great judges out there and we should give cudos to them. Sitting inside a poorly made box for hours on end takes dedication!

leilatigress
May. 19, 2011, 11:42 PM
Dressage is not THAT subjective. There are standards, and people should be able to recognize correct when they see it... and no, it doesn't actually take a high level of education to see when a horse is going correctly.

With better judging, the sport could be taken more seriously than it is. It wouldn't be seen as so boring by non-dressage people, horsemen or not.

Having tons of non dressage people come to the DD shows they are more than happy to watch DD go but they're just not that enthusiastic to see a horse and rider go in circles and lines. At least in freestyle they can listen to music.
Having shown Intro A&B really recently and having a score sheet that has the comment geometry on it 6 times I can for sure tell you while that 20 meter circle is easy for plenty it's not for many others. Over bent, not bent, over corrected, my favorite was the lovely, fancy warmblood that did a shoulder in circle for the 20 meter never mind the horse that I thought was chewing on his owner's boot the entire way around. Fast circle too! Straight line down centerline that looks more like a drunkard trying to pass the sobriety test and the infamous non square halt. I did see a judge mark a 2 for the square halt except horses left hoof was facing out. Then again the horse was one of the worst cow hocked things I have ever seen but had a really fantastic extended trot.
If we can get them straight, square and a circle it's a victory for plenty. Asking for collection in Intro A & B really? I'd rather have forward.

Velvet
May. 20, 2011, 09:16 AM
And it shouldn't be. Can't canter, stick to schooling shows. Recognized shows used to start at 1st level, now we have walk/trot.

I agree, I was just correcting the other poster. I've always felt that WT/Intro and Training (look at the name) should be schooling show efforts only. You move up to recognized at 1st level (hence the name "first" level--it's not named that because you hope for that ribbon when you've finished the class).

Rhiannonjk
May. 20, 2011, 10:00 AM
I disagree. There is always a starting point for young horses or timid riders, and in some areas of the country you don't have "big" schooling shows for the horse to adjust to the recognized show environment. Those lower levels allow young horses or green riders to test their nerves earlier in the process. If you have a young horse developing slowly, should they never step foot in a recognized show arena until they are 6 or 7 years old?
I think Opportunity classes provide a nice in-between, but really that's just lower fees for the competitor at a recognized show at this point.

Velvet
May. 20, 2011, 10:34 AM
I think the opportunity classes address basic needs well enough--and that they should start at First Level at a recognized show. We keep dumbing down our sport. Where does it stop? A walk only class?

InWhyCee Redux
May. 20, 2011, 11:04 AM
And it shouldn't be. Can't canter, stick to schooling shows. Recognized shows used to start at 1st level, now we have walk/trot.

What schooling shows? Where? :lol: If there are only enough "real" exhibitors to do a half-day show, do you cancel the show? Or do you allow Intro and Training riders in and keep the show going all day?

grayarabpony
May. 20, 2011, 11:06 AM
Having tons of non dressage people come to the DD shows they are more than happy to watch DD go but they're just not that enthusiastic to see a horse and rider go in circles and lines. At least in freestyle they can listen to music.
Having shown Intro A&B really recently and having a score sheet that has the comment geometry on it 6 times I can for sure tell you while that 20 meter circle is easy for plenty it's not for many others. Over bent, not bent, over corrected, my favorite was the lovely, fancy warmblood that did a shoulder in circle for the 20 meter never mind the horse that I thought was chewing on his owner's boot the entire way around. Fast circle too! Straight line down centerline that looks more like a drunkard trying to pass the sobriety test and the infamous non square halt. I did see a judge mark a 2 for the square halt except horses left hoof was facing out. Then again the horse was one of the worst cow hocked things I have ever seen but had a really fantastic extended trot.
If we can get them straight, square and a circle it's a victory for plenty. Asking for collection in Intro A & B really? I'd rather have forward.

I don't think it's the circles and lines so much as the fact that many horses are not moving forward freely enough and in correct self-carriage. Now THAT is beautiful to watch and not boring even for non-horsey folk -- at least for half an hour.

The music for most freestyles puts me to sleep! Or reminds me of shopping in a mall. :dead:

Velvet
May. 20, 2011, 11:14 AM
grayarabpony,

Oh, and then there's First and Second level freestyles. *HUGE snore* Seriously? This is supposed to be entertaining to watch and help dressage attract more people?

CFFarm
May. 20, 2011, 11:59 AM
I think the opportunity classes address basic needs well enough--and that they should start at First Level at a recognized show. We keep dumbing down our sport. Where does it stop? A walk only class?

Yeah, now your talking! I can see a whole new spin-off. Kinda, Sorta Dressage Shows. You could have Western Dressage classes, Gaited Dressage classes , Walk Classes, Ponies Only classes, etc.. Levels are Intro and Training only. Everyone gets a ribbon!!!!

Velvet
May. 20, 2011, 12:02 PM
Yeah, now your talking! I can see a whole new spin-off. Kinda, Sorta Dressage Shows. You could have Western Dressage classes, Gaited Dressage classes , Walk Classes, Ponies Only classes, etc.. Levels are Intro and Training only. Everyone gets a ribbon!!!!

:lol: ROTFLMAO :lol:

InWhyCee Redux
May. 20, 2011, 12:23 PM
Yeah, now your talking! I can see a whole new spin-off. Kinda, Sorta Dressage Shows. You could have Western Dressage classes, Gaited Dressage classes , Walk Classes, Ponies Only classes, etc.. Levels are Intro and Training only. Everyone gets a ribbon!!!!

Better than canceling the show altogether because of a lack of 1st Level and above entries, right? I know for a fact that is what would happen in my neck of the woods.

And what about advanced riders who would like to bring their green prospect along to show at Training Level — to hell with them, too?

And what about those newbies on school horses (like, oh, ME) who think a successful Training Level ride under a USDF judge is something to aspire to?
QUELLE DOMAGE!

Come on, y'all, I've been here three months and already you're telling me I should be riding out behind the barn with a burka on so as not to bring shame to the sport. :no:

CFFarm
May. 20, 2011, 12:41 PM
Better than canceling the show altogether because of a lack of 1st Level and above entries, right? I know for a fact that is what would happen in my neck of the woods.

And what about advanced riders who would like to bring their green prospect along to show at Training Level — to hell with them, too?

And what about those newbies on school horses (like, oh, ME) who think a successful Training Level ride under a USDF judge is something to aspire to?
QUELLE DOMAGE!

Come on, y'all, I've been here three months and already you're telling me I should be riding out behind the barn with a burka on so as not to bring shame to the sport. :no:

Exactly what schooling shows are for.

Pony Fixer
May. 20, 2011, 01:12 PM
grayarabpony,

Oh, and then there's First and Second level freestyles. *HUGE snore* Seriously? This is supposed to be entertaining to watch and help dressage attract more people?

Hold on there, Velvet, you had me until this one. :lol: I did a First level MFS, working on a Second now. Why? Because in addition to my bronze medal I aspire to a bronze bar before finishing my silver scores...

But I know they aren't as speshul as a GP kur, so carry on...

Velvet
May. 20, 2011, 01:30 PM
Hold on there, Velvet, you had me until this one. :lol: I did a First level MFS, working on a Second now. Why? Because in addition to my bronze medal I aspire to a bronze bar before finishing my silver scores...

But I know they aren't as speshul as a GP kur, so carry on...

Hey, I'll admit they're entertaining...to the person performing the ride. But are they attention grabbers for people walking on the show grounds? Not really. The music might stop some of them, but it looks pretty much the same as a regular test. Actually, because everyone tends to group all the walk and canter together to go with the music, most leave during the long walk or the canter. ;)

You do have to admit that they really are only attention getters for the masses (well, horsey masses) when they are doing passage and tempi changes. :yes:

Pony Fixer
May. 20, 2011, 02:55 PM
Of course I admit the lowly MFS is nothing compared to th upper level ones. In fact, they're hard to choreograph because you don't really *do* anything! :)

I tried to make mine entertaining, and I heard from several (including Charlie Musco) "educated spectators" who liked it. It was all Michael Jackson music and there was a part in one song where he goes "Yee Haw" at the canter and I would do a one-handed bronc wave.

But your point, however personally harsh, is well taken. Watching the average lower level rides (MFS or otherwise) can be brutal.

InWhyCee Redux
May. 20, 2011, 03:01 PM
Exactly what schooling shows are for.

BUT, and the point I was trying to make is: What if there are not enough riders in your area to hold both a full-day schooling show AND a full-day "real" show?

Do you pay the judge in full to do a half-day's work?

Or do you hold the shows consecutively on the same day and pretend they are two completely separate shows?

Or do you cancel and nobody gets to show?

Rhiannonjk
May. 20, 2011, 03:17 PM
Why stop with the snark at Intro? Breed shows are Nationally recognized, and you don't even get on the horse!

Velvet
May. 20, 2011, 03:27 PM
I'm don't think it's snark. I think a lot of people are looking at the sport in the long view and are asking what can you really get by riding WT/Intro at a recognized show. For those who (in the old days) had only Training Level and did just fine, we wonder why it was introduced. Now I even wonder why Training is out there and why we're not just competing at recognized shows starting at First.

Once again, what are we learning to do in the show ring at a recognized event that cannot be done at a schooling show?

The WT and Training tests are very basice (think about the long term in dressage, with the FEI levels at the top). First Level could be intro to a recognized show. For those who say that WT and Training give their horse a chance to see what it's all about, actually getting the horse off the farm and out of the ring in different types of schooling opportunities (not just dressage schooling shows) are what will help the most. Schooling dressage shows where they have time to look at the judge and the rider has time to learn to control their nerves without the cost and added stress is really best served at there.

By the time you're doing First you should be having a horse that is much more connected and will move off your leg laterally. This is the horse that is prepared to have the rider pony up the $ for to show at the recognized level.

Just a thought. Seems to make sense. I would also support local schooling shows and maybe make it so they could sometimes bring in real judges (the whole L title debate is already listed elsewhere out here) for schooling sessions/ride a tests that would help riders learn what they need to know to be successful in the recognized show ring.

Like I said, just some thoughts...

I'm not entirely against what we're doing, I just think things could be improved if we did something like this.

Rhiannonjk
May. 20, 2011, 03:58 PM
First off, I've lived and shown in two different areas of the country which taught me enough to know that a "schooling show" can involve very different levels of travel, intensity, and attendence. I agree that in some areas, you really could accomplish everything at a schooling show that you would at a recognized show, without going in the arena. And everywhere that I have lived (southern Louisiana and Central NC) has consistently had above the "L Graduate level" judges at most schooling shows.

But I think that in some areas, or in some instances, even the ritual of a recognized competition - the travel, the overnight stay, the butterflies in the rider's belly as they groom and tack up - can make it a different situation for a young horse (or green rider). Maybe not all young horses, and definitely not all riders, but as an AA bringing up a young horse, I'm glad that I can at least do Training Level at the recognized competitions. And since they are there, while I make my canter presentable, I will probably do some Intro classes at recognized shows this year. I wouldn't really care if they weren't available, but I think that all of the "Dumbing down of the sport" gives some people the chance to test the waters to see if they want to put forth the effort and expense to go forward with it all. They can go to a recognized competition and decide if they want to work toward upper level recognized dressage competitions. Sometimes all the watching in the world isn't the same as actually getting to do something.

We are all motivated by different things, we all have different things that trigger our nerves. Sure, there are tons of people showing at all levels for the wrong reasons, but I happen to like the fact that we are moving towards the lower levels being "opportunity" classes and the upper levels being more serious. In my case, I plan to do opportunity classes until the day that I think I could actually win any of the national level awards available.

Oh, but in thinking about making my canter "presentable" (which I do, ALL THE TIME) I got to thinking that if you should be schooling at least a level above where you show, and if did things as you should (hah! we can dream right?) a show that starts at first level would only have people that are riding at at least second level. Shoot for the moon, but those would probably be rather empty shows (as somebody above mentioned). But I think a show where you have the two levels of competition - the opportunity classes and the recognized classes - has a lot of potential to be the environment of which you speak. I think USEF is trying to move in that direction, and in the end it might end up pleasing everybody.

(Just that phrase "It might end up pleasing everybody" makes me laugh hysterically. Like that could ever happen!)

InWhyCee Redux
May. 20, 2011, 04:31 PM
Once again, what are we learning to do in the show ring at a recognized event that cannot be done at a schooling show?

By the time you're doing First you should be having a horse that is much more connected and will move off your leg laterally. This is the horse that is prepared to have the rider pony up the $ for to show at the recognized level.



1) Once again, What schooling shows? ;)

2) So, only people who are willing to pony up the $$$ should be allowed to show? Maybe this explains why more people don't even want to attempt dressage, seeing as it is only for bourgeoisie DQs on imported WBs. :no:

Velvet
May. 20, 2011, 04:31 PM
You just got me thinking...

I think having unrecognized classes on one day and then a recognized show on day two (and maybe three) would be kind of an interesting idea. Make all the real low levels Opportunity only and then the other ones will cost more and be recognized. Get the local GMOs involved in the schooling show piece--meaning they track and offer year end awards.

Nah, no one will like that either. ;)

InWhyCee Redux
May. 20, 2011, 04:42 PM
You just got me thinking...

I think having unrecognized classes on one day and then a recognized show on day two (and maybe three) would be kind of an interesting idea. Make all the real low levels Opportunity only and then the other ones will cost more and be recognized. Get the local GMOs involved in the schooling show piece--meaning they track and offer year end awards.

Nah, no one will like that either. ;)

I like that idea. But, what if there are ONLY enough riders in your area for a ONE-DAY show? And the local organization is already promoting the hell out of it? Do you really think any sane barn-owner is going to close the barn for two days to hold two half-day shows? :eek:

I don't get it, Velvet — would having to watch someone like me post the trot and canter 20-meter circles in an "opportunity class" REALLY ruin your day? I promise to go home as soon as I'm done riding, promise! :lol:

Rhiannonjk
May. 20, 2011, 04:57 PM
Yeah, I'm not catching the difference as to if they are in the same day, at the same facility. Upper level trainers can be at the showgrounds with their lower level clients, everybody can show for two days - why would they have to be separate?

In fact, don't you want those lower level riders to have the influence of the upper level riders? Yeah, the warmup rings are annoying with all levels present, but if the difference is just the amount that people are paying, we already have that solution.

leilatigress
May. 20, 2011, 05:36 PM
I love my area's mini shows for schooling. It's a two day show but it's two separate shows judged by two different judges. But it's a SCHOOLING show though I don't know why you wouldn't be able to do the same thing for a recognized show.

Velvet
May. 20, 2011, 06:27 PM
I was thinking it would then make cheaper for the newbies and they could relax and watch the other levels the next day. Nothing more than that.

EqTrainer
May. 20, 2011, 11:53 PM
I dont have a problem with intro, or the idea of it, or having shows with it offered as a class. Like any level, it needs to be judged by the directives, period.

Bethe Mounce
May. 21, 2011, 08:51 AM
As a scribe, I wish I had a laptop to type out the judge's comments. More could be said to explain why the rider got the numerical score they got. Riders new to the sport don't always understand the vocabulary that goes with the sport either. Dressage is subjective, every judge has, despite the training they have received, their own opinions as to what is correct and what isn't. I have scribed for what seems like a gazillion years and competed. Every judge wants to give that illusive 10 and every judge rides that test with the rider. The boxes on those tests leaves little room to ensure rider fully understands why they got a 6 instead of a 7 even if one abbreviates. Judging, whether it is at the international levels or not, is judging plain and simple. One judges what is presented at that moment in time. Judges who have competed alot or who are still competing, from my experiences, tend to judge a bit differently than those who have not put a foot in the dressage court in a long time. Judges are human and correctness is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. I find most of the judges do know what they are looking at and assign scores accordingly. Lots of riders out there don't quite understand the concept of accepting the bit vs being on the bit....that is where the trainers come in...to teach those two concepts. Just sayin'....

exvet
May. 21, 2011, 09:57 AM
You know a recent eye opening and valuable experience I had was going to a schooling show and riding under an "S" rated judge. I did so knowing I would be riding in a clinic with her the next day. The comments I received on my test at the show (I had shown under her a few times over the years but never ridden with her and she is not local so doesn't know me in any other form or fashion) were very similar to those I've received under other judges with the same horse. I had all sorts of things floating around in my head as to what she actually meant by this or that. It was very telling and very helpful to ride with her the next day so we could discuss what she saw, what she meant and how to improve upon those aspects which needed improvement. I can tell you that my perspective changed significantly regarding the comments written and what I had thought was meant was not indeed true. It's unfortunate and really no reflection on the scribe or judge just a reflection on our system and wishing there was a way to translate it all better.

ideayoda
May. 21, 2011, 12:07 PM
The newest #*$&# on our new national tests is that the have TINY (I MEAN TINY) boxes in order to print them on one side of a page (so they don't have to be flipped over...seriously....omg). So there is little to NO room for those who DO want to write comments.

In addition they 'forgot' to include descriptions (in the general impressions) of the newly added rider concepts (ie alignment/effectivity/harmony) so there is nothing to circle. And they will NOT correct them for three years!!!!

And there is no listing of the gait(s) within the description boxes after the first movement.

Not exactly leading to easy/proper evaluations of the tests for the competitor

Velvet
May. 21, 2011, 12:22 PM
The newest #*$&# on our new national tests is that the have TINY (I MEAN TINY) boxes in order to print them on one side of a page (so they don't have to be flipped over...seriously....omg). So there is little to NO room for those who DO want to write comments.

In addition they 'forgot' to include descriptions (in the general impressions) of the newly added rider concepts (ie alignment/effectivity/harmony) so there is nothing to circle. And they will NOT correct them for three years!!!!

And there is no listing of the gait(s) within the description boxes after the first movement.

Not exactly leading to easy/proper evaluations of the tests for the competitor

For those asking for more notes from the judges have pity on the scribes, please! I've scribed for the world's most verbose judges. After 1 hour, my hand was dead. I just don't write by hand hardly ever any more, and I don't think 90% of the people in the world do anymore! Most kids are not even learning cursive anymore. That same judge repeated things and then suddenly would add on to the comment. Seriously, I ended up shorthanding EVERYTHING so I could last the entire time. And I mean SERIOUS shorthand.

We need to go electronic and have it so people can type--or text. :lol:

ACP
May. 21, 2011, 12:30 PM
I don't see why someone would object to having Intro Tests at a rated show unless those entries displaced someone riding at a higher level. Or Training Level. I can think of all sorts of situations where someone would not want the expense in time and money and effort of attending two shows; a young horse, an older horse coming back from an injury, an older horse learning a new discipline; a friend doing her first show and not having her own trailer, or a young child just starting to show, or something like that. If your coach does one sets of shows, and you do another, you've got to pay more to get her/him there to coach you.

From the show management point of view, most two day, two ring shows are 50% training level shows. Those lowly riders really help pay the bills, and enable the higher ups to have two judges under which to show.

In fact, I can't think of a reason not to have Intro or Training classes if there is room in the schedule, other than being a bit of a snob.

KatherineC
May. 21, 2011, 01:57 PM
I recently was a scribe for the first time at a recognized show. We did the training and third level tests. There were times when the judge was "clucking" to herself to encourage those riding an under tempo test to pick up the pace (there were MANY of these). She made a few "awe shucks" when a ride was going nicely, but then the rider made an error of some sort. I was surprised a the number of riders who did not ride an accurate test....letter to letter. Or those with bad geometry. Both things will cause you to lose points all over the place.

My impression was that my judge was spot on in her scoring and had not a care in the world regarding where the horses placed.

Earlier in this thread somebody commented that they did not understand why they only got a 6 for their halt when it was square. There are many elements to the halt/salute and the halt is only one of them. The judge is also looking at straightness on the centerline, did you find the centerline (?) and stay on it, quality of the trot and the transition. To get an 7 or more you need to be riding forward, with a good quality trot or canter, be on that centerline and straight with a obedient, fluid transition to halt AND have a square halt. First level and above you can have no walk steps. It is trot to halt or canter to halt at 4th and above. Doing this correctly is very, very hard but it is deceiving because when you see someone do it well it looks quite easy.

There is a website called the digital horse where you can print off the tests as well as the judging sheet. The sheet lists the directives so you know what is being judged for each movement. I found this very helpful so you know what the judge is looking for in addition to the movement (straightness etc).

My 2 cents on this whole judging thing.....

InWhyCee Redux
May. 22, 2011, 11:54 AM
From the show management point of view, most two day, two ring shows are 50% training level shows. Those lowly riders really help pay the bills, and enable the higher ups to have two judges under which to show.

In fact, I can't think of a reason not to have Intro or Training classes if there is room in the schedule, other than being a bit of a snob.

MY POINT EXACTLY. In some areas, the Training riders are the ones who pay the majority of the bills and without them there would be NO SHOW at all. Hopefully by the time Velvet et al ride PSG in the afternoon, the Training riders have gone home; everybody wins, everybody happy. ;)

MysticOakRanch
May. 22, 2011, 04:44 PM
I don't see why someone would object to having Intro Tests at a rated show unless those entries displaced someone riding at a higher level. Or Training Level. I can think of all sorts of situations where someone would not want the expense in time and money and effort of attending two shows; a young horse, an older horse coming back from an injury, an older horse learning a new discipline; a friend doing her first show and not having her own trailer, or a young child just starting to show, or something like that. If your coach does one sets of shows, and you do another, you've got to pay more to get her/him there to coach you.

From the show management point of view, most two day, two ring shows are 50% training level shows. Those lowly riders really help pay the bills, and enable the higher ups to have two judges under which to show.

In fact, I can't think of a reason not to have Intro or Training classes if there is room in the schedule, other than being a bit of a snob.

SO TRUE! Without our entry level rides (Intro, Training, and First level), there would be almost NO shows! These riders are the vast majority of our sport, and not only do they enter the classes, keeping the shows full enough to be economically feasible, they are also the majority of the volunteers at the shows. They are also the vast majority of the USEF and USDF membership, making THOSE organizations able to operate, and they are the vast majority of the purchasing power that allows our sponsors to continue to sponsor the bigger shows. Why would anyone want to alienate the grass roots of our sport? Other then being a snob - totally agree with that comment! Oh, and they also employ the trainers that are out there doing the upper level stuff.

Even our CDIs run concurrent national shows with big Training/First Level turnout - so they can fund the CDI part of the show.

And - if we want our sport to grow, we need entry level classes so people can come try it out, build their confidence and their ability, and get valid feedback from a judge.

cnm161
May. 22, 2011, 05:16 PM
Some shows are pricing out Intro/T/1st level riders (especially those newer to dressage). Does it make sense to drop $350 on a weekend for these riders? That's a choice they'll have to make. The rising cost of showing is reducing the number of shows I'm willing to go to-- if I do go to show, I'm going to be ultra prepared. And maybe that's the goal behind some of these price hikes.

I realize that one of the possible replies to this is "That's what schooling shows are for"-- and to some extent that's very valid. However, it smacks of snobbishness if one can only show if one's wearing the shadbelly. Can't let the riffraff that form the base of the sport into the sport? That's... problematic.

Ultimately this is something that many of it's participants do as a HOBBY. Yeah, America's dressage scene is not on the whole internationally competitive. The average rider in the US is not ready to show in a CDI***. Is that a problem? Should people wait to show until they're internationally competitive? I don't think so, personally. I don't see it as instant gratification to allow lower level showing.

tm
May. 22, 2011, 05:31 PM
Some shows are pricing out Intro/T/1st level riders (especially those newer to dressage). Does it make sense to drop $350 on a weekend for these riders? That's a choice they'll have to make. The rising cost of showing is reducing the number of shows I'm willing to go to-- if I do go to show, I'm going to be ultra prepared. And maybe that's the goal behind some of these price hikes.


I think the goal of the price hikes is to cover the rising cost of ... everything. From higher airfare/gas and hotel prices for judges' travel, to higher insurance/USEF/grounds rental fees, putting on a show just plain costs more these days.

I really don't think it's a nefarious plot to keep anybody out.

cnm161
May. 22, 2011, 06:01 PM
I do not think it's a highly orchestrated plot from on high to reduce the numbers of TL riders-- sorry I was unclear. But a result of higher prices is that some are less willing to submit entry fees-- and shows can only really reduce prices by having enough entries to split costs. This kinda goes along with another thread (the dearth of dressage instruction). I don't think the answer for the US is to drop the lower levels.

Bogey2
May. 22, 2011, 06:37 PM
If I was riding intro I would not spend the $$$ for a recognized show. There are some great schooling shows that have affordable classes and good judges.
I was even cheap about how many training level shows I brought my young horse to...again, we had some good schooling shows with qualified judges.
I am not being snotty, just practical.

CFFarm
May. 23, 2011, 09:47 AM
If I was riding intro I would not spend the $$$ for a recognized show. There are some great schooling shows that have affordable classes and good judges.
I was even cheap about how many training level shows I brought my young horse to...again, we had some good schooling shows with qualified judges.
I am not being snotty, just practical.

This. Why spend double or triple to ride intro and training at a recognized show if it's really not about the ribbons. Then again, I don't have an upper level horse to ride, any for sale and not looking for more students.

And next I'm waiting for endurance dressage.

I also think top judges should do "pro bono" schooling shows a few times each year. Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

MysticOakRanch
May. 23, 2011, 10:28 AM
.

I also think top judges should do "pro bono" schooling shows a few times each year. Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

Under this theory, trainers should also do pro bono clinics. If we leave the horse industry, dentists should do pro bono dental work, teachers should teach Summer school for free, auto mechanics should fix a few cars for free each year, etc. I'm not sure why judges would owe freebies. I do think it is a great idea when schooling shows hire them - we see at least one or two each year where they judge a schooling show on day 1, then on day 2, they clinic, so you can go back and get some training feedback based on your prior day's test. That is a really nice set up for those looking for feedback and show exposure (at all levels, grin).

Velvet
May. 23, 2011, 10:34 AM
I also think top judges should do "pro bono" schooling shows a few times each year. Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

Oh man, this is such a funny statement! I mean, seriously? In the dressage world if ANYONE (no matter how good) offers anything for free the DQs all look it as having no value whatsoever. If you don't charge money, then it must not be worthwhile/have value. They place value solely on how much something costs.

How else would charlatains in the dressage world be able to charge hundreds of dollars for lesson?

I'm serious. People believe you can't get something for nothing. Even when a top person is trying to give something back to the dressage community for free. I've seen it done. I've seen events not happen for this reason. People are so clueless and jaded sometimes...really sad commentary on our society.

suzy
May. 23, 2011, 12:47 PM
Velvet, it just completely wrecks my day when I have to agree with you, but I have to in this case. :)

amm2cd
May. 23, 2011, 04:14 PM
I think there are several reasons for the 5-6-7 type tests. The biggest reason is that the majority of AAs are on safe, solid, dependable types (which is a GOOD THING) and after an hour or two, it becomes underwhelming. The 2-8 type tests are usually on hotter, more exciting horses. Those are the horses (and riders) that can blow a movement (halt, transition, whahaveyou) then move on and do the next few things brilliantly. How many of those horses have you truly seen out there? I can think of only a handful....

As for the kicking out training level/etc... I see it as there are several roads to the FEI. Some people go to the young horse shows, doing FEI 4, 5, 6 year old tests to get their young dressage horse out there. Others (like me) will be going up through the levels in stead. Why? My little mare wouldn't be competitive at the young horse shows at the moment. And I will show her at recognized shows at training, first, etc because the atmosphere is different. I don't want her first 'real' show to be spoiled by nerves. Practice makes perfect....

ise@ssl
May. 23, 2011, 04:25 PM
Our entire competitive horse industry would benefit if all of those top heavy committees and organizations would get it through their heads that we are in the age of computers and instant information. The fact that we still don't have a one horse, one number, all disciplines for life tracking system like Europe is a complete disgrace. Having electronic scoring - at recognized shows could be easily accomplished. Instead we end up with forms that you need glasses AND a magnifying glass to read (if the comments are legible). Try searching for scores from shows - it's idiotic. I can go on line and see scores for shows in Europe that day or right after and here it takes a major search and sometimes so much time I give up. Secretaries of shows are fined if they don't turn in results IMMEDIATELY and then they go into some abyss.

On the scoring what often makes no sense is when the comment doesn't match the score. And some judges give the same scores and remarks for every movement.

RiverOaksFarm
May. 23, 2011, 07:45 PM
I think having unrecognized classes on one day and then a recognized show on day two (and maybe three) would be kind of an interesting idea.

There was a show here in Florida which did exactly this at a show this month. Schooling show Friday, recognized show Saturday and Sunday, and the two shows were totally separate entities. Some of the schooling show riders were getting in a practice before the 'real' show, some were just there for the sake of doing a schooling show with no ambitions yet of doing a recognized show.

The schooling show seemed to have a good turnout -- Intro level to PSG -- and then it wrapped up a little after 2PM so they could groom the arena and open it to schooling for the recognized show competitors. And the recognized show had a good turnout as well, running two rings both days, with one of them continuing on into the early evening in the covered on Saturday. If anything, maybe the schooling show helped the recognized show -- I certainly can't see any way either show could/would/did negatively impact the other.

J-Lu
May. 23, 2011, 08:35 PM
Some shows are pricing out Intro/T/1st level riders (especially those newer to dressage). Does it make sense to drop $350 on a weekend for these riders? That's a choice they'll have to make. The rising cost of showing is reducing the number of shows I'm willing to go to-- if I do go to show, I'm going to be ultra prepared. And maybe that's the goal behind some of these price hikes.

I realize that one of the possible replies to this is "That's what schooling shows are for"-- and to some extent that's very valid. However, it smacks of snobbishness if one can only show if one's wearing the shadbelly. Can't let the riffraff that form the base of the sport into the sport? That's... problematic.

Ultimately this is something that many of it's participants do as a HOBBY. Yeah, America's dressage scene is not on the whole internationally competitive. The average rider in the US is not ready to show in a CDI***. Is that a problem? Should people wait to show until they're internationally competitive? I don't think so, personally. I don't see it as instant gratification to allow lower level showing.

Hmmmm, I need to comment here.

SHow costs go up mostly because everything is more expensive. I'm pretty sure most GMOs who run shows have to have transparent books because they're not-for-profits. I implore you to actually look into how much it costs to run a show and how much money is "made" at the end of the day. I think you'll have a better understanding of show costs. Few make real money on shows, and many show managers bank extra money to cover the inevidible revenue shortfalls. You have to hire the facility, fly in and house and pay the judges, hire an EMT, a farrier, a TD, a vet to pull blood for blood tests plus lab fees, etc. It's just not cheap, and none of these fees are refundable if only 30 people decide to enter the show! $350 is alot to spend on a weekend and you're right, people have to decide how they'll spend their money. For many AAs, horse shows double as vacation time and they feel it's worth the money to have a blast with the gals for 3 days.

Unfortunately, the best way to prepare for shows is...to show. That's because a) your horse has to learn to work away from home b) your horse has to learn to work in a hectic environment c) riders need to learn how to ride a test without "do-overs" and to recover when there are mistakes and d) riders need to get unbiased feedback on their skill level fro a trained judge. THAT's what you're paying for. THe judge has no financial stake in how you ride and they give honest feedback (much to the shock of many).

And what you say IS what schooling shows are for, no? Why do you think the advice to go to schooling shows smacks of snobbiness? Schooling shows FUNCTION to get your horse in a separate environment, help the rider learn to ride tests, get good, honest trained feedback while NOT having to spend all sorts of money on memberships, stabling, etc. Why is this snobby?

Shadbellies are for FEI and above. Even Olympic riders do not wear shadbellies at the national level. ANd if you're at many schooling shows you'd be expected to wear a shadbelly at FEI levels (read the dress rules for the show). I'm not sure why you are equating shadbellies to snobbiness. They aren't related.

The "riffraff" makes up the majority of the classes at shows. So they're already showing quite a bit and certainly are not excluded from the show world.

We actually are an internationally competitive country. Are we top 3? No. Internationally competitive? Yes. Why would you think we are not? That said, the average PRO in the US will never ride a CDI ***, much less the average amateur. I think that's a bit of a lofty bar to hold up. You'll note that the USDF has nothing to do with international dressage. It's about the national levels.

Yes, showing is very expensive. No one likes it - I certainly don't. So I'd love to hear from you how recognized show fees can go down without possibly running a show in the red or a GMO in the red over time. What is your solution to the high price of showing dressage? How can you get the facilities, vets, farriers, EMTs, airlines, hotels to all come down in their prices so that showing is cheaper for the average dressage rider?

cnm161
May. 23, 2011, 10:08 PM
America's dressage scene on the whole-- encompassing all intro AAs, JR/YR, O, etc-- is not internationally competitive. The top riders in the US are competitive with the top riders in the world, but your average American (or Canadian/British/German/Dutch/Italian/any nationality) rider is not. Does that mean they shouldn't show? I don't think so. My point in that (muddled though it was) is that there have been some rumblings up-thread about getting rid of intro/training/1st lvls because they're not what "real dressage" is. The advice that all intro/T/1st riders belong at schooling shows IS a little snobby, don't you think? It implies that riders shouldn't start showing til they're ready to do the "real dressage" -- FEI? Or just GP? I suspect it depends strongly on who you consult for an opinion--hence the shadbelly reference.

Now, clearly my point previously was getting lost. My apologies.

One way to not reduce the price of showing for everyone is to block the lower level riders from showing. Reduce the number of entries, and you'll have to increase the fees to cover fixed costs (farrier, EMT, facilities) even if you do reduce the number of judges and thus accommodations/travel/food costs.

J-Lu
May. 23, 2011, 10:35 PM
OK. Thanks for clarifying! I see what you mean now and I think I misunderstood the thrust of your post. I'm sorry!

I honestly don't think that anyone - *anyone* - serious about dressage or the sport would suggest eliminating intro-first level at a recognized show. There wouldn't be a show, as this is where the vast majority of the entries come from. Plus, why deny people beginning their own career or their particular horse's career (horse is converting from another sport? Is young?) by eliminating I-1st level? That's absurd. Even pros show newbies at these levels. Because they get quality feedback from an unbiased source and it gives the horse exposure. The idea would never fly and isn't even worth considering, IMNSHO! It only flies at top CDIs that are rated for international competition, where the show just can't support *everyone* (in large part due to strict CDI compliance rules).

you are right - restricting any type of entry, but especially the lower level entries, will likely make the show unsustainable and will turn the base off to the sport (unless you're hosting a show like Devon CDI or Dressage Masters and then it's pretty understood).

An alternative I haven't seen anyone mention is opportunity classes. These are classes that can be tacked onto the end of a recognize show and don't require USDF/USEF fees because the results never get registered. However, the rider can get a scored test from a qualified judge usually just for paying the class fee and maybe an office fee.

Thanks again for clarifying your meaning! I agree with you!

J.


America's dressage scene on the whole-- encompassing all intro AAs, JR/YR, O, etc-- is not internationally competitive. The top riders in the US are competitive with the top riders in the world, but your average American (or Canadian/British/German/Dutch/Italian/any nationality) rider is not. Does that mean they shouldn't show? I don't think so. My point in that (muddled though it was) is that there have been some rumblings up-thread about getting rid of intro/training/1st lvls because they're not what "real dressage" is. The advice that all intro/T/1st riders belong at schooling shows IS a little snobby, don't you think? It implies that riders shouldn't start showing til they're ready to do the "real dressage" -- FEI? Or just GP? I suspect it depends strongly on who you consult for an opinion--hence the shadbelly reference.

Now, clearly my point previously was getting lost. My apologies.

One way to not reduce the price of showing for everyone is to block the lower level riders from showing. Reduce the number of entries, and you'll have to increase the fees to cover fixed costs (farrier, EMT, facilities) even if you do reduce the number of judges and thus accommodations/travel/food costs.

AllWeatherGal
May. 24, 2011, 06:44 AM
Just in case folks aren't aware that Dressage Opportunity Classes are exempt from all USEF, USDF and (I believe) GMO membership requirements, horse recording requirements, and fees, which considerably reduces the cost of showing (especially if you're only going to show once or twice a year!)

Riders get the same unbiased judging (I've not yet seen a judge cut anyone a break because it's an "opportunity class"), experience at a hectic environment away from home, AND can ride any level test that the show management allows.

Your score doesn't count for year-end awards and you're not eligible for ribbons or prizes at the show, and if you're doing it for the experience alone, it's an unbeatable offer.

Velvet
May. 24, 2011, 09:15 AM
I don't know that people were talking about eliminating First, only moving Intro and Training to schooling shows. It might make people work harder on all their skills to get themselves up to First level. Maybe some of the people need that little push to extend themselves and commit some more time? Just a thought...

Sandy M
May. 24, 2011, 11:03 AM
Maybe in areas where there are fewer recognized shows, there are lots of schooling showd, but in my area - and Dressage Art has backed me up on this - there are many more recognized shows than there are schooling shows, and in a relatively small area, i.e., 1-2 hours driving or less (several only 40 mins from where I board). When I was showing my horse Intro, there would have been three shows in a 6-7 month period that were schooling shows, and one of those was a combined test where, for the price of the entire combined test, you could ride only the dressage. Not an economic choice. The cost of riding Intro at that schooling show would have been the price of two classes at a recognized show. Now, a few of the recognized shows in this area don't offer Intro, but most do. As many have said, no Intro-Training, no show. If you only want to participate in CDIs, then by all means, eliminate the lower levels at recognized shows. Otherwise....

Velvet
May. 24, 2011, 11:48 AM
Okay, so some areas have little to no schooling shows. I get that. How about the areas that have a lot of recognized shows, but they're pretty much all Intro and Training? Not that it's a horrible thing, but is it necessary to have a RECOGNIZED show for those levels? Just wondering out loud again. I hear some good reasons, but have to wonder if it's the best thing for the sport AND the expectations of the newbies entering our sport. Maybe it just really is no big deal one way or the other. I can live with that too. I think we're out here just looking for ways to improve things; make judging better and help setting up people for recognized show ring success with much higher (deservedly higher) scores.

InWhyCee Redux
May. 24, 2011, 02:05 PM
Okay, so some areas have little to no schooling shows. I get that. How about the areas that have a lot of recognized shows, but they're pretty much all Intro and Training? Not that it's a horrible thing, but is it necessary to have a RECOGNIZED show for those levels?

YES, it is NECESSARY in some areas, because if there are only four PSG entries at your all-day recognized show, the 36 Intro and Training entries are PAYING THE BILLS so the four PSG entries have a recognized show to go to.

Don't like it? Move to Germany; maybe Isabell will allow you to share the warm-up ring with her. ;)

Elegante E
May. 24, 2011, 02:14 PM
Velvet: banning the lowest levels from recognized shows is basically telling people they aren't really riding. Why? What's the point of that? Just to keep them away from more advanced riders, people they could watch and learn from? If people are willing to pay the recognized show prices, that's their choice.

If you're worried that the less advanced riders get in the way of the more advanced ones, which they do do (but the reverse is a problem as well). Show organizers can set up the times for that and ask that schooling only be done is designated areas. They do that at some shows already.

I think professionals would find losing the lowest levels a problem as well. Some like getting their youngsters out and about at a young age, and sopping up those scores and ribbons for resales.

Don't we already have enough snobbery and big brothers looming over us in everyday life? Do we really need to do it in our sport as well?

Velvet
May. 24, 2011, 02:40 PM
Still seems people are missing my point. I have said that it maybe having people work there way up with give them higher goals. Honestly, ANYONE who can ride can learn to do Second Level. They only THINK they have to settle for the lower levels because they go in unprepared and get their backside kicked. They even blame their horse since it's an "off" breed. :rolleyes: Unless the horse has soundness issues are is completely built so wrong it can barely move, you can work your way up to Second Level. I'm just saying, I don't know why we don't do more of a carrot and stick.

It's not to be a snob. The point is to make people work harder at being better and to realize they CAN meet the goal. Nowadays we hand kids awards for just showing up and being a part of a team. I think people and horses have a lot in common. They like doing something well and they like learning new things and working hard.

Then again, maybe that attitude is only for the elite. Go ahead, prove me wrong. ;) Show me you want to work your backside off and reach for those stars. I'm happy to be proven wrong.

InWhyCee Redux
May. 24, 2011, 02:57 PM
Still seems people are missing my point. I have said that it maybe having people work there way up with give them higher goals. Honestly, ANYONE who can ride can learn to do Second Level. They only THINK they have to settle for the lower levels because they go in unprepared and get their backside kicked.

BULL. Simply BULL. Velvet, please come work 55 hours a week at my job so I can ride six days a week and I promise you I'll be riding Second Level by the end of the summer, if not sooner. (Yes, I know what a shoulder-in is.) Don't forget to arrange to full-lease my schoolmaster for me — I don't need those Training Level peons ruining him on my day off.

If you're not willing to that, riding the best I can at Training Level will remain MY goal for the summer. :no:

PS: To paraphrase the Ramones, someone please kill this thread!

Velvet
May. 24, 2011, 03:20 PM
BULL. Simply BULL. Velvet, please come work 55 hours a week at my job so I can ride six days a week and I promise you I'll be riding Second Level by the end of the summer, if not sooner. (Yes, I know what a shoulder-in is.) Don't forget to arrange to full-lease my schoolmaster for me — I don't need those Training Level peons ruining him on my day off.

If you're not willing to that, riding the best I can at Training Level will remain MY goal for the summer. :no:

PS: To paraphrase the Ramones, someone please kill this thread!

Who do you ride if this is what you believe? You can work your way to Second Level (never said in one season) over the years riding just 3-4 times a week.

See, this is the problem. You can't do the lower levels well so you believe it's all about more hours in the saddle rather than riding BETTER during those hours.

suzy
May. 24, 2011, 03:39 PM
Redux, don't hate me, but I have to speak to your comment.

Until two months ago, I worked a 40 hour week at my regular job, had four horses in my care, taught several lessons a week, rode at least one but usually two horses per day, and was going to school. I also do all my own housework (pretty good sized house) and 90% of yard work (very large yard). I am schooling my horse at 4th level, competing at 3rd. And, I have never had the luxury of a schoolmaster. Oh yea, and I did all of this bare foot in the snow. ;)

It's all about motivation and willingness to make sacrifices for what you really REALLY want to do. I'm not casting stones at you or anyone else, but it does boil down to whether you are willing to make significant sacrifices. The only changes to my above schedule are that I have finished school and now only have 3 horses to care for. And before Velvet jumps back in to say it, you also have to be a bit of a masochist and have a saint for a husband. ;)

InWhyCee Redux
May. 24, 2011, 03:49 PM
Who do you ride with that this is what you believe? You can work your way to Second Level (never said in one season) over the years riding just 3-4 times a week.

See, this is the problem. You can't do the lower levels well so you believe it's all about more hours in the saddle rather than riding BETTER during those hours.

Oh, so learning to sit the trot is all about technique, not hours spent developing muscles involved? Aren't we special! (Snark alert!)

Excuse me, I believe that I CAN do the lower levels "well," and I hope to prove that to myself by getting a respectable score someday. And, yes, as my riding time is LIMITED, I do endeavor to ride BETTER during that time. My trainer thinks it would be good to get FEEDBACK from a USDF judge to BETTER understand what I need to be working on; I agree.

And, yes, when I had NO job and NO responsibilities and my OWN horse, I schooled at Second Level (although as an H/J rider I didn't call it that).

InWhyCee Redux
May. 24, 2011, 03:59 PM
Redux, don't hate me, but I have to speak to your comment.

Until two months ago, I worked a 40 hour week at my regular job, had four horses in my care, taught several lessons a week, rode at least one but usually two horses per day, and was going to school. I also do all my own housework (pretty good sized house) and 90% of yard work (very large yard). I am schooling my horse at 4th level, competing at 3rd. And, I have never had the luxury of a schoolmaster. Oh yea, and I did all of this bare foot in the snow. ;)

It's all about motivation and willingness to make sacrifices for what you really REALLY want to do. I'm not casting stones at you or anyone else, but it does boil down to whether you are willing to make significant sacrifices. The only changes to my above schedule are that I have finished school and now only have 3 horses to care for. And before Velvet jumps back in to say it, you also have to be a bit of a masochist and have a saint for a husband. ;)

I don't hate you. You make some good points.

And, to be honest, I am having a pretty damn good time right now learning to do Training Level on my days off, hopefully the right way. I am not willing to make the significant sacrifices right now in order to ride at a higher level, and I know it. (I would have to cash in my 401K, dump the SO, and move, and that's just not happening.)

That said, just because I'm working on Training Level doesn't mean I can't ride and that I shouldn't support my barn, which holds USDF shows with classes from Intro to PSG.

AlterBy
May. 24, 2011, 04:34 PM
Oh, so learning to sit the trot is all about technique, not hours spent developing muscles involved? Aren't we special! (Snark alert!)

Learning how to sit the trot from Intro to Second level doesn't take 10 yrs either..because yes, it is mainly all about the good technique. Don't need to become a body builder...

And you are now allowed to do rising trot in First level! ;)

Some people prefer staying in their comfort zone, finding excuses for their lack of improvment/going up the level. The truth is, and it is not something to be ashamed of, they usually don't want to go up the level. And this is ok as no one 'need' to go up the level.

But when there is a will, there is a way.

Velvet
May. 24, 2011, 04:43 PM
Oh, so learning to sit the trot is all about technique, not hours spent developing muscles involved? Aren't we special! (Snark alert!)

Wow, you really don't get it. :no: You need to develop muscles, but you CAN develop those riding 3-4 times a week. We're talking SECOND LEVEL, if you recall.


Excuse me, I believe that I CAN do the lower levels "well," and I hope to prove that to myself by getting a respectable score someday.

But you aren't doing them right now, by your own admission that is. That is the point. Getting a good instructor who knows what a USEF judge will be looking for is even better than riding a test in front of a USEF judge. You might want to join the discussion on the dearth of really good dressage instructors in this county. You can flame out on me over there, too. :lol:


And, yes, as my riding time is LIMITED, I do endeavor to ride BETTER during that time. My trainer thinks it would be good to get FEEDBACK from a USDF judge to BETTER understand what I need to be working on; I agree.

Your trainer should be your best feedback. Especially better than a USDF "L" graduate. But if that's what you want, that's what schooling shows are for. That's where the USDF judges are.


And, yes, when I had NO job and NO responsibilities and my OWN horse, I schooled at Second Level (although as an H/J rider I didn't call it that).

Hunters don't do Second Level collection. You might have done some version of the movements, but not what it would require to do a real, solid Second Level test with good scores.

All I keep seeing is excuses. Suzy has worked hard to reach her goals. I work a LOT and still have time. I make the time. It's important to me.

What you are saying is that it's not a priority. My initial point was that if you really want to compete, you need motivation to work harder and do better. Maybe for you it wouldn't be motivation--at this point it sounds like nothing would be. But to say you sound happy about the decision you've made to not make it a priority so you can reach a goal of competing at a higher level is wrong. Your arguing with me fits the old adage of, "No one proclaims his innocence so loudly as the guilty."

The more you flame out on me, the more it shows your frustration. The rest is angry justification. You don't need to justify. You don't need to be angry. You CAN reach those goals. You just have to make some critical choices, and maybe a part of that is to get a new instructor.

Think about it...remove the chip on your shoulder and take a hard look at it. People with as little time as you have, or less, have done more because they wanted to. Others with more time on their hands have done less and are HAPPY with their situation and not defense. They are comfortable with where they are.

InWhyCee Redux
May. 24, 2011, 05:04 PM
The more you flame out on me, the more it shows your frustration. The rest is angry justification. You don't need to justify. You don't need to be angry. You CAN reach those goals. You just have to make some critical choices, and maybe a part of that is to get a new instructor.

Think about it...remove the chip on your shoulder and take a hard look at it. People with as little time as you have, or less, have done more because they wanted to. Others with more time on their hands have done less and are HAPPY with their situation and not defense. They are comfortable with where they are.

No, I am not frustrated in the way you think.

What I AM frustrated about, which should be clear from my posts, is that you would, it appears, rather see a show canceled than to open up that show to the many riders and/horses who are at Training Level. I don't see how that helps you, or me, or anyone.

If you read my posts carefully, you will notice that I don't even show dressage — yet. And I know I am actually pretty damn lucky to have a legit instructor (back to front and no gimmicks) and a schoolmaster on which to practice. And as I have said before, at this point in my life, I see Training Level as a WORTHWHILE goal. THE END

InWhyCee Redux
May. 24, 2011, 05:56 PM
Your trainer should be your best feedback. Especially better than a USDF "L" graduate. But if that's what you want, that's what schooling shows are for. That's where the USDF judges are.



1) Of course he is, but even he takes the occasional lesson — an outside critique never hurt anyone.

2) I would happily spend the extra $10 per class to show under an experienced, licensed "R" or "S" judge, even if I would not be collecting points. A schooling show — of which there are NONE in my neck of the woods — can hire anyone they want; an "L" graduate isn't even a requisite.

Really, I am off this thread; I have a lesson to go to!

bort84
May. 24, 2011, 06:38 PM
Hmm...

Sounds like we've smoothed the argument for Intro and Training to be allowed only at schooling shows because it's "cheaper" and "less stressful for the horse/rider," but shouldn't the rider be able to make that decision for themselves? That argument seems like one crafted up to sound nice, when the real reason behind the argument is that you don't like having these "inferior" levels at recognized shows for some reason.

If you could always get the same type of atmosphere, same level of judging, and same frequency for schooling shows vs. recognized shows, perhaps that would work. But since you often can't, why force the issue?

The TL and Intro riders often make up the majority of the participants at many recognized shows - they pay the bills. If someone has the money to inject into the horsey world but is only up to Intro or TL due to other life commitments, why should they be forced out? We need to ENCOURAGE new riders into the sport, not make them feel ostracized by the "top" riders. Many of these LL riders are spending good money on shows, show clothes, tack, training, etc and why shouldn't they have the big fun of showing at the big shows? That IS a snobby line of thought - be honest...

There are still championships to qualify for if you want that level of competition and restriction.

Sure, in the "good old days" they started with First, and that was good enough then, so why not now??? As our world evolves, so must our sport if we want to continue to grow rather than shrink. Many dedicated ammies have jobs and children and choose NOT to make dressage their #1 priority but still enjoy it. Maybe they like the fancy braids, clothes, judging, competition, and venues that recognized shows offer but are only at TL. Who cares? They love horses and help keep the sport alive and accessable to the unwashed masses (which sometimes hold new riders brimming with potential). Or maybe one of these "dumbed down" riders has oodles of money and will someday help SPONSOR our international riders.

I just don't understand why it's even an argument that they shouldn't be allowed there? I don't watch most of the rides from 1st-4th either, and it's not like you're forced to do so with Intro or TL...

The one argument that makes sense to me and is "fair" - if those added classes are causing the shows to run extremely late and begin to cost more than they are worth, it's something to consider. But I don't think that's usually the case with most dressage shows.

Not everyone wants to be a top rider (and they don't need to justify it to anyone), but those who do are certainly NOT going to be held back because there are Intro and TL classes offered at big shows. Potential top riders become great because of their drive to improve (along with natural ability) and be the very best no matter the cost, so the "dumbing down" as you call it is unlikely to affect the top riders in the sport or "US Dressage" as a whole. I highly doubt our acceptance of Intro and TL riders is the reason we aren't consistently getting gold at top dressage events...

quietann
May. 24, 2011, 10:00 PM
And you are now allowed to do rising trot in First level! ;)

Some people prefer staying in their comfort zone, finding excuses for their lack of improvment/going up the level. The truth is, and it is not something to be ashamed of, they usually don't want to go up the level. And this is ok as no one 'need' to go up the level.

But when there is a will, there is a way.

Sometimes it's the horse one has, one's ONLY horse (many of us can afford/have time for only one), and it's worth the "sacrifice" of not moving up the levels to keep and have fun with that one beloved LL horse.

Pony Fixer
May. 24, 2011, 10:18 PM
Am I the only one here wondering why Velvet is being hung out to dry over something she didn't really say?

I thought she said something about brainstorming USDF shows so that TL and Intro folks had a "real" alternative that was less expensive, but not necessarily the full-on recognized show. When I was bringing up baby, I totally would have done the "alternate" show at the same venue sans USDF swag to keep costs down. I tend to do about 4-6 recognized shows a year PLUS that many schooling shows and it's darn pricey. Opportunity classes were not around 2 years ago when baby was at TL, so that was not an option.

Oh, and I work, single parent a small child, and ride 4-5 days a week. I took my super green 5 yo from TL to winning a Dover AA medal a few weeks back with a 67% in less than 2 years (21 months to be exact). I'm no prodigy, either :).

So, I for one, understand Velvet's point and would not be opposed to some sort of "lesser" recognized show for baby experience, even though in my area I DO have access to lots of schooling shows (most of which have L grads, r, and R judges, but even the occasional S).

MyssMyst
May. 24, 2011, 11:15 PM
And it shouldn't be. Can't canter, stick to schooling shows. Recognized shows used to start at 1st level, now we have walk/trot.


As someone getting back into this, who will be at those lower levels for a bit, may I offer my thought process on this?

I like being the peon at these shows. Why? Because I have an opportunity to finish my test, and then sit down and learn. Sure, I'm paying more for a recognized show, but it's worth it in education to me.

One of my favorite shows ever was taking a green three-year old Morgan gelding and showing him at 4-H State Championships in the green horse walk/trot. I was having a bit of difficulty on a trail obstacle in the night-before warm-up round, and a really awesome quarter horse trainer took 30 minutes out of her day to teach me a different way of approaching the obstacle. She patiently worked me through trying something just a bit differently, and when we got that, she went over some of the other obstacles, and little tricks to approaching them. That 30 minutes was gold to me. I've been very fortunate at some of the shows where I "didn't belong" to have another trainer give me a little tip for improving, or just put something my trainer tried to teach in a different way so that I could finally understand it. I've also gotten some terrific feedback from judges.

I can happily sit by the warm-up ring for hours and watch the trainers work with their clients because I learn a lot doing it. With the price of gas these days, I am going to have to combine showing/learning. I can't go to a schooling show and show one weekend and then head out to a recognized show the next. It gives me a chance to see how the elite are doing it, while getting great feedback at the same time. The ribbon is irrelevant. I am going to learn. My best friend at these shows is a notebook. I learn more than I can possibly remember. It also gives me a goal to work toward. If I see a rider nailing something I'm struggling with, I have no problem telling them that I really admired it, and ask how they did it. Sometimes, I learn a great new trick to add to my arsenal. In turn, I was always happy to answer those questions when aimed my way.

As far as the financial perspective of running a show, the lower levels make showing possible for everyone else. I have a child getting into cheerleading, and let me tell you, the number of truly "elite" athletes at ANY gym don't compare to the many lower-level cheerleaders who will never have the ability to perform elite stunts and double-twisting tumbling. The lower level athletes, with their tumbling classes/private lessons/etc allow gyms to stay open. Same thing with horse shows. The lower levels give you enough competitors to make it work.

Maybe this is the naive junior rider I used to be talking.

PS: For the record, my trainer was my mom, and she was very encouraging of me getting me feedback from other trainers. I didn't just go asking without her knowledge, lol. She could walk me through refining those tricks, or telling me why they were a bad idea. The thing I learned from her that I value most was the view that shows are there to measure and learn, and get an objective view. The real failure at a show wasn't not placing, it was failing to learn every single thing you possibly could in that weekend. So, coming back in as a peon, can I say that I'd like to be there, not to bore you elite, but to learn from you?

InWhyCee Redux
May. 24, 2011, 11:20 PM
[QUOTE=Velvet;

Hunters don't do Second Level collection. You might have done some version of the movements, but not what it would require to do a real, solid Second Level test with good scores. are.[/QUOTE]

1) I said H/J, which means Hunters/Jumpers. Not Hunters. Jumpers can benefit greatly from dressage training.

2) Having never seen me ride, how can you say I was not, at the time, riding with Second Level collection in PRACTICE? Did I mention my trainer at the time was an ex-eventer with a great deal of dressage experience?

3) I am leaving this Forum for a few days, probably for good. I obviously don't qualify.

BTW, my lesson went great tonight; horse was swinging along, halts were much improved, legs felt right... isn't that what matters? ;)

InWhyCee Redux
May. 24, 2011, 11:26 PM
Last word: MyssMyst, you put it so well. You may be a "peon" to some but you're a horsewoman in my opinion. Thanks.

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 12:05 AM
Hunters don't do Second Level collection. You might have done some version of the movements, but not what it would require to do a real, solid Second Level test with good scores.

This is such an unbearable load of shite.

While it is true that NOT ALL hunters do Second Level collection, this in no way means that hunters "DON'T" do Second Level collection. Not all Dressage horses do Second Level collection either, by the way, in fact most don't, but I suspect they aren't being aimed at 3'6"+ in their off time and their training stops at the 20m stretchy circle. I would love to see some of those lower-than-second-level dressage riders who don't even need to sit the trot anymore organize a canter enough to lope gently up to 3'9".

By way of example my ex-hunter, who has been doing dressage exclusively for the past two and a half years, and who is currently starting canter pirouettes and half pass zig zags, was recently drafted on TWO DAYS notice to go back into the hunter ring with a kid who had never ridden him before.
It was AA rated, the second biggest show in TX after Pin Oak, and he got ribbons out of 32 after not having jumped in two years.

In Jan 2010 he was already getting 65%'s at Second Level in schooling shows.


Meanwhile my young horse that actually IS being aimed at the 3'6" hunters has dressage scores in his pocket as high as 75% and is bona fide schooling Second with some Third Level dabblings (more than just his confirmed, dressage-clean changes) as a coming 6yo.

I should guess this all counts as "some version of the movements," y/y?

And this is with my completely average sorry @$$ doing all of the training on one lesson a month if I'm lucky.

So please let's climb off the "All Hunter riders are retarded and don't know how to **really** flat a horse" bandwagon.

It is tiresome and makes you look completely uneducated.

Pony Fixer
May. 25, 2011, 12:20 AM
So please let's climb off the "All Hunter riders are retarded and don't know how to **really** flat a horse" bandwagon.



Didn't you say in a previous thread that you were a working student for Lendon Gray? I would say that disqualifies you from being considered the "average" hunter rider.

I did the medal/maclay a million years ago FFS and no way, rollbacks included, was my horse truly "collected".

BaroquePony
May. 25, 2011, 12:21 AM
What I call *Virginia Hunt Seat* is the best dressage seat in the nation except for a few truly proficient dressage riders that actually can ride properly. Mostly they show up using the Balance Seat in a jumping saddle, but they absolutely know how to use all of thier aids properly and they can put a horse "on the aids" or "on the bit" or whatever you want to call it.

I grew up calling it that.

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 12:24 AM
Didn't you say in a previous thread that you were a working student for Lendon Gray? I would say that disqualifies you from being considered the "average" hunter rider.

I did the medal/maclay a million years ago FFS and no way, rollbacks included, was my horse truly "collected".

When I was 15, for three months, and I was coming straight out of the Children's Hunters. I spent the summer struggling to put a horse on the bit and getting yelled at to put my toes in (because I was not a 3'6" equitation rider, remember this was the Children's hunters).

Why did I seek out that opportunity?
Because I needed it to not be stuck in the 3' Children's forever.


I am sorry, but if you take your average 3'6" rider and put them on a Second Level+ horse and teach them a dressage lesson, they will probably be able to ride it. I took a lesson here or there with Gary Zook and he considered canter half pass part of the "warm up."

If, conversely, you take your average (AVERAGE) Not-Second-Level dressage rider (so First and below, not a GP pro bringing along a youngster) who is still having issues sitting the trot, and try to send them around a 3'6" course ...good luck.

So somewhere in there you need more than First Level body control and influence over the horse to make it around a medium sized course. Otherwise all the First Level dressage ladies could do it no sweat. Since we hunter peeps don't even do Second Level.



If we need videos, let's compare:

Random Second Level TEST FOUR (so almost at Third) Scoring a hair shy of 60% (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8FNYo4kxtA)
If you stand by the amateur Second Level ring all day at a dressage show this will be quite typical.

Random Amateur Owner hunter rider (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am7-QZ-lGac)
If you stand by the amateur 3'6" ring all day at a hunter show this will be quite typical.
And btw, it's amateur OWNER. So no pros AND no slick catch-riders.

Which horse's canter do you like better?
Which horse looks softer to ride over the back?
Which rider looks more secure in the tack?
And, hilariously, who is riding more forward?

We really think that lady could just buy his 3'6" horse and get carted around?
We really think he wouldn't even be able to do "some semblance" of the moves if he hopped on hers?

Those 3'6" hunter classes ain't no joke.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 08:00 AM
Sorry, but the video comparison doesn't work for me. You are comparing a really excellent hunter rider on a quality horse to an inexperienced dressage rider on an average horse.

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 08:09 AM
Sorry, but the video comparison doesn't work for me. You are comparing a really excellent hunter rider on a quality horse to an inexperienced dressage rider on an average horse.

No, I am comparing a typical AMATEUR to a typical AMATEUR.

Go stand by the amateur 3'6" amateur hunter ring all day: they will ALL look like that. Try to find a video of a 3'6" AO hunter round any where on youtube that looks notably worse than that. Please, search away.
Why can't you find it?
Because you HAVE TO ride like that to make it around the 3'6" hunters.

This is just the point.
At the 3'6" hunter level, that guy isn't excellent.
He is AVERAGE.

There are no "inexperienced riders on average horses" in the 3'6" ring because they would never make it.

That is how you need to ride to even step in the AMATEUR 3'6" ring, if you want to
a.) survive
b.) not get embarassingly creamed by everybody else.


But the 3'6" hunter peeps just buy seeing eye dogs and get carted around, am I right?
None of them could step off their 3'6" hunter and even do "some semblance" of a decently scoring Second Level on a dressage horse, right?

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 08:29 AM
I am not going to waste time trying to find videos on the internet. Any one of us can find what we want to support our opinion. I have watched enough hunter classes (I competed in hunters for many years when I was younger) to be able to say that the ride you posted is above average. The dressage video is below average. There is also a significant difference in the quality of the two horses.

I'll also add that I spectated at a big Wellington show two winters ago and saw a number of 3'6" rides that didn't come close to being as good as the one you just posted. Some were better than that, but most were not.

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 08:39 AM
I am not going to waste time trying to find videos on the internet. Any one of us can find what we want to support our opinion. I have watched enough hunter classes (I competed in hunters for many years when I was younger) to be able to say that the ride you posted is above average. The dressage video is below average. There is also a significant difference in the quality of the two horses.

I'll also add that I spectated at a big Wellington show two winters ago and saw a number of 3'6" rides that didn't come close to being as good as the one you just posted. Some were better than that, but most were not.

At a 59%, keep in mind that that Second Level Test Four ride that you are dismissing as "below average" was a mere one point shy of a medal earning score.

quietann
May. 25, 2011, 09:02 AM
Last word: MyssMyst, you put it so well. You may be a "peon" to some but you're a horsewoman in my opinion. Thanks.

Was going to say the same! MyssMyst, we need more of you around :)

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 09:09 AM
At a 59%, keep in mind that that Second Level Test Four ride that you are dismissing as "below average" was a mere one point shy of a medal earning score.

I know and that makes me sad. Honestly, a 60% is not that great. Just so that I can claim the title of "Least popular DQ on the COTH board today," let me say that I think the bar is set way too low for medals.

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 09:15 AM
Am I the only one here wondering why Velvet is being hung out to dry over something she didn't really say?



Thank you, Pony! You are one of the few who seems to have actually read and comprehended what I wrote! :lol:

All others who just can't seem to read a reply without reading something into it, or who are looking for an axe to grind and think I'm the whetting stone are now living on my ignore list. It just makes life SO much easier.

You know what they say, if you listen to dogs barking you'll go deaf without learning anything. ;)

Still, thank you for listening, er, reading! :D

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 09:17 AM
I know and that makes me sad. Honestly, a 60% is not that great. Just so that I can claim the title of "Least popular DQ on the COTH board today," let me say that I think the bar is set way too low for medals.

Is it that the scores need to be higher or the judging needs to change? That would be another fitting side bar to this topic. :yes:

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 09:25 AM
As far as the financial perspective of running a show, the lower levels make showing possible for everyone else. I have a child getting into cheerleading, and let me tell you, the number of truly "elite" athletes at ANY gym don't compare to the many lower-level cheerleaders who will never have the ability to perform elite stunts and double-twisting tumbling. The lower level athletes, with their tumbling classes/private lessons/etc allow gyms to stay open. Same thing with horse shows. The lower levels give you enough competitors to make it work.


But, don't you see, we're not saying that the lower levels should be removed. First and Second are lower. Third and Fourth should be mid-level (especially now that they've moved Fourth down in required movements). I mean, if we changed the sport to look this way does it make it elitist? Or are we just making it so people work harder to go a tad further? Is that bad? We're not talking anthing more than basic gymnastics for First - Second. Not really. They are things about 90% of all horses can master.

Just a question that I keep asking. I never said to eliminate schooling stuff, just wondered if moving it to schooling shows would motivate people to work on certain basic things and getting them solid and then going to the recognized shows.

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 09:29 AM
I know and that makes me sad. Honestly, a 60% is not that great. Just so that I can claim the title of "Least popular DQ on the COTH board today," let me say that I think the bar is set way too low for medals.

OK, but lets judge a "good Second Level score," to quote what Velvet says a hunter rider can't get, by the standards the USDF deems suitable to had out achievement medals, not by whatever you think should be sufficient.

To futher compare the riders, that dressage rider has been featured in a book with that horse. I recognized the horse's name flipping through a book in a tack shop.

The amateur hunter rider was the first person who came up in the search results for "amateur owner hunter" who WASN'T at WEF, HITS or the like. In fact I recognize the venue as the Great South West in Katy, TX (not the East or West coast, but Katy, TX), and the timing of the video strongly suggests it was not Pin Oak or Spring Gathering he was showing at with those four other people watching in the in gate, either.

So apparently I unfairly compared videos by pitting an East Coast, almost-medal scoring, highest-test at Second level, featured-in-a-book dressage rider against an amateur hunter rider I don't recognize showing with no one else at the in-gate in Katy, TX.

alicen
May. 25, 2011, 10:36 AM
But, don't you see, we're not saying that the lower levels should not be removed.

And then, as well as barking dogs, there are sentences like this adding to the difficulty of comprehension.

InWhyCee Redux
May. 25, 2011, 10:53 AM
Just a question that I keep asking. I never said to eliminate schooling stuff, just wondered if moving it to schooling shows would motivate people to work on certain basic things and getting them solid and then going to the recognized shows.

And my answer, which was shared by some others, is that eliminating the lower levels from recognized shows would, in many parts of the country, KILL the recognized shows. There is nothing wrong, IMHO, allowing the "peons" show in Opportunity and Academy classes in the morning.

And what could be more motivating then watching the upper-level riders in the afternoon?

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 10:59 AM
And then, as well as barking dogs, there are sentences like this adding to the difficulty of comprehension.

:lol: Gotta love the typos. :lol:

Thanks for catching that one. ;)

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 12:21 PM
OK, but lets judge a "good Second Level score," to quote what Velvet says a hunter rider can't get, by the standards the USDF deems suitable to had out achievement medals, not by whatever you think should be sufficient.

To futher compare the riders, that dressage rider has been featured in a book with that horse. I recognized the horse's name flipping through a book in a tack shop.

.

LOL. Sorry but being pictured in a book doesn't add up to anything significant. Heck, she may be the author of the book or a good friend of the author's.

BaroquePony
May. 25, 2011, 12:29 PM
Better yet, she could have been the *how not to do it* picture :lol:.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 12:36 PM
:lol: Good point.

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 12:55 PM
Kind of like this?

http://www.despair.com/mis24x30prin.html

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 12:58 PM
:lol: Good point.

OK, so do you agree with Velvet that the guy from the random, sparsely attended show in Katy, TX would not be able to do "a real, solid Second Level test with good scores"?
Again, I did not find you Ellen Toon at WEF, or someone else doing their round at Devon, I found you a random amateur competing in Katy, TX in November.

Or, based on what's almost getting a medal score at Second 4, do you think he might just be able to get on that lady's same horse and get a second level qualifying score for his bronze?

After all, Velvet's premise was that a hunter rider couldn't do it.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 01:09 PM
OK, so do you agree with Velvet that the guy from the random, sparsely attended show in Katy, TX would not be able to do "a real, solid Second Level test with good scores"?
Again, I did not find you Ellen Toon at WEF, or someone else doing their round at Devon, I found you a random guy competing in Katy, TX in November.

Or, based on what's almost getting a medal score at Second 4, do you think he might just be able to get on that lady's same horse and get a second level qualifying score for his bronze?

After all, Velvet's premise was that a hunter rider couldn't do it.

I don't think it's logical to believe that either rider could simply change attire, get on the other rider's horse, and do a respectable job in a discipline for which they have not trained. The whole question seems absurd.

If you want to know which rider I think may have more ability, I am leaning toward the hunter rider. However, I don't know if he trained that horse himself. I have seen numerous very "pretty" hunter riders who look great on made horses but are completely ineffectual when put on a green horse.

If the question is whether a hunter rider could learn to do a respectable second level test, that's a no brainer. Of course he/she could if he/she has the motivation and some small level of talent to accompany it. And the same goes for the dressage rider who would like to ride a 3'6" course.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 01:13 PM
After all, Velvet's premise was that a hunter rider couldn't do it.

I can't find the post in which Velvet says this. I believe she means the same thing that I mean, and that is that it's highly unlikely a hunter rider with no dressage training could immediately ride a winning 2nd level test 4. Anymore than the 2nd level dressage rider could win a 3'6" class. Wow, I really did not get enough sleep last night to be engaging in such an utterly ridiculous conversation. :lol:

InWhyCee Redux
May. 25, 2011, 01:29 PM
I can't find the post in which Velvet says this. I believe she means the same thing that I mean, and that is that it's highly unlikely a hunter rider with no dressage training could immediately ride a winning 2nd level test 4. Anymore than the 2nd level dressage rider could win a 3'6" class. Wow, I really did not get enough sleep last night to be engaging in such an utterly ridiculous conversation. :lol:

No, she said a H/J rider couldn't even PRACTICE at Second Level. Without even seeing the horse and rider in question, or knowing the trainer's background or what that trainer was asking for in terms of collection, she just knew H/J rider was not collected enough.

The quote was: "Hunters don't do Second Level collection. You might have done some version of the movements, but not what it would require to do a real, solid Second Level test with good scores."

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 01:30 PM
I can't find the post in which Velvet says this. I believe she means the same thing that I mean, and that is that it's highly unlikely a hunter rider with no dressage training could immediately ride a winning 2nd level test 4. Anymore than the 2nd level dressage rider could win a 3'6" class. Wow, I really did not get enough sleep last night to be engaging in such an utterly ridiculous conversation. :lol:


Hunters don't do Second Level collection. You might have done some version of the movements, but not what it would require to do a real, solid Second Level test with good scores.

And she didn't say "winning" OR specify Test 4, she said "good" scores at Second Level.

Which personally, looking at that rider on the video, I believe he could walk out of his hunter ring and do pretty much on demand.

If all he has to do is basically match her ride to get a medal qualifying score? Yeah, he can do it, especially if you let him catch ride her horse so that the dressage training or lack thereof of the horse is not part of the equation.

Same horse, rider v. rider?
He can match her still wearing his field boots.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 01:33 PM
You are asking us to make too much of a leap of faith. As I said earlier, he could be a very "pretty" rider on a completely made horse. In which case, I don't think he'd have a prayer for putting in a better test on the dressage rider's horse. And, why on earth are we trying to compare apples to oranges! What's more, who cares! :lol:

I'm done.

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 01:54 PM
OK, so do you agree with Velvet that the guy from the random, sparsely attended show in Katy, TX would not be able to do "a real, solid Second Level test with good scores"?

I've been to shows in Katy, TX. I've seen the shows. I've seen clinics held there. :lol:

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 01:57 PM
No, she said a H/J rider couldn't even PRACTICE at Second Level.

Huh? Never said you couldn't practice the movements, just said unless you have some really solid dressage training you won't have the collection to get good scores.

:rolleyes: Sheesh, that chip on your shoulder is getting so large you can't look around it and read everything in context anymore. :rolleyes:

I'm back to using the ignore button now. :lol:

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 01:58 PM
I've been to shows in Katy, TX. I've seen the shows. I've seen clinics held there. :lol:

I don't know man.

suzy was saying earlier that she stands by the ring at WEF and that guy rides better than lots of the people there... (while I was holding him up as "average").

So, either we're arguing that he sucks because Katy is bumbleville, or we're saying the comparison to a near-medal score at Second 4 is unfair becuase he would be smokin' at WEF.

Which is it, guys?

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 02:00 PM
I'm done.

Should we go get some drinks, dahling? Got your Prada's on? Ready to go into town and have a martini and flirt with younger men? It's oh so much more entertaining than these people trying to make a train wreck out of what was once a thoughtful topic with really good posts from all those people who want to discuss options and look for possible solutions.

Redux can have her wish fulfilled and close down the thread because *stomp and sniff* she doesn't like it! *more stomping and sniffing* :lol:

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 02:19 PM
Alas, I'm wearing my Louboutins today. Does this mean you won't be seen with me...even in a bar!? Would it help if I said I'm wearing my Armani suit?

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 02:23 PM
Nope. You'll need to go home and change first. I'll wait.

Velvetimpatientlytappinghertoe

Pony Fixer
May. 25, 2011, 02:58 PM
If we need videos, let's compare:

Random Second Level TEST FOUR (so almost at Third) Scoring a hair shy of 60% (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8FNYo4kxtA)
If you stand by the amateur Second Level ring all day at a dressage show this will be quite typical.

Random Amateur Owner hunter rider (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am7-QZ-lGac)
If you stand by the amateur 3'6" ring all day at a hunter show this will be quite typical.
And btw, it's amateur OWNER. So no pros AND no slick catch-riders.

I don't mean to pick, but as someone who did the A hunters as a kid, and then vetted big $ hunters for years in No.VA, I have to point out that this comparison is unfair (and you probably know this if you did the A hunters.

The dressage horse is a bit below the average for what I see at the shows, but for sake of argument I'll go with it.

The hunter horse is an AO hunter. Those are "amateur" riders, sure, but they are big dollar horses usually working with a trainer and are usually damn good. If you want to compare apples to apples among the unwashed masses, find a random "Adult" hunter rider--because the AO's ain't it.

Here's one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIJ6Px_RFzo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

(My apologies to the person in the video, whom I don't know--it's a lovely ride).

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 03:14 PM
Thank you Pony Fixer. We're finally on the apples to apples track.

amm2cd
May. 25, 2011, 03:19 PM
OK, so do you agree with Velvet that the guy from the random, sparsely attended show in Katy, TX would not be able to do "a real, solid Second Level test with good scores"?
Again, I did not find you Ellen Toon at WEF, or someone else doing their round at Devon, I found you a random amateur competing in Katy, TX in November.

Or, based on what's almost getting a medal score at Second 4, do you think he might just be able to get on that lady's same horse and get a second level qualifying score for his bronze?

After all, Velvet's premise was that a hunter rider couldn't do it.

Ummm... The Pin Oak Charity horse show is not exactly some "random, sparsely attended show in Texas". That is a two week hunter/jumper heavy show involving competitors from all over the country not some backwoods little show. Add in the amount of oil money floating around in the Greater Houston area and you can find some very nice horse/rider combinations in the area (and some very expensive training operations).

And a 59%, while possibly medal earning is not a good score. For the national Dover medal, I believe the national winner was at something like 73% in the last year or two. A 59% winning because it was the only 2-3 ride of the show isn't that impressive. Is that even qualifying?

To get even close to the topic on hand.... I like that the training level riders are included. They can watch and learn and aspire to be one of those 'elite' riders doing the fancy half-passes, etc.
Oh, and try harder and ride better and your scores will probably go up, agreed? If it was easy, we'd call it western pleasure (joking, for the love of god.... don't panic if you love wp):D

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 03:25 PM
I don't mean to pick, but as someone who did the A hunters as a kid, and then vetted big $ hunters for years in No.VA, I have to point out that this comparison is unfair (and you probably know this if you did the A hunters.

The dressage horse is a bit below the average for what I see at the shows, but for sake of argument I'll go with it.

The hunter horse is an AO hunter. Those are "amateur" riders, sure, but they are big dollar horses usually working with a trainer and are usually damn good. If you want to compare apples to apples among the unwashed masses, find a random "Adult" hunter rider--because the AO's ain't it.

Here's one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIJ6Px_RFzo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

(My apologies to the person in the video, whom I don't know--it's a lovely ride).

I was referencing another recent thread where people were saying that it would easier for someone to buy a 3'6" hunter and just get carted around for a ribbon than for someone to buy a Second Level horse and go in the ring on it.
The general contention was that it takes less fitness/skill to ride the hunters on a made horse than Second Level dressage on a made horse.

So I picked a 3'6" amateur hunter to compare to, at a "bumbleville" horse show, since people seemed to think on a previous thread that Second Level is generally harder.

As I am sure you know, the Amateur Owners are the ONLY 3'6" option available to people who want to do the 3'6" hunters in an amateur-restricted division. It is them or nothing.

For the record, I agree with you that amateurs doing the 3'6" hunters are, generally, damn good. Other people don't seem to share this opinion.

And even if the dressage horse is "below average", it is STILL getting very close to a medal qualifying score in the highest test of the level. Point being that I think your average amateur 3'6" hunter rider (since the "average" in that division is, I agree with you, "damn good") could probably get at least a qualifying score at Second if handed a dressage horse to do it on (so that the discipline-specific training or lack thereof of the horse is not a factor).

But yes, I was sort of responding to two threads at once there.
Personally, I think an amateur riding Second Level is more equivalent to the 3' Adult Amateurs than the 3'6" AOs, but either way I think that the actual skill of hunter riders tends to be under-estimated by the dressage world. Do they really think those riders are just getting carted around by made horses? (if so, put a dressage rider on and lets see the carting!) Do they really think no one else can ride a semi-decent canter walk transition and shoulder in???

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 03:32 PM
Ummm... The Pin Oak Charity horse show is not exactly some "random, sparsely attended show in Texas".

The Pin Oak Charity horse show is in MARCH.

That video was uploaded in NOVEMBER.

Several rated h/j shows are held at the venue throughout the year; they are not all the same level as Pin Oak.

He was probably doing The Final Chase, an A (single A, not AA or AAA) rated show that is held there in November. Pin Oak is, if I recall correctly, AA rated.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 03:35 PM
So I picked a 3'6" amateur hunter to compare to, at a "bumbleville" horse show, since people seemed to think on a previous thread that Second Level is generally harder.



Your entire post has me baffled but especially this since, a few threads earlier, amm2cd identified the show, and it is anything but Bumbleville. What gives? And the upload date is not always indicative of when the video was made...just saying.

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 03:43 PM
Your entire post has me baffled but especially this since, a few threads earlier, amm2cd identified the show, and it is anything but Bumbleville. What gives? And the upload date is not always indicative of when the video was made...just saying.

See above post.

See also another higher up post where Velvet offhand dismisses the shows held in Katy. Now Katy ISN'T bumbleville? But Velvet "has seen the shows." It is "anything but" Bumbleville??? But Velvet "has seen the clinics!"

amm2cd did not correctly identify the show (unless she knows something that is not immediately apparent or I somehow missed it on the video). If he showed anywhere near around the time the video was uploaded, it was the Final Chase. Pin Oak was 8 months prior.

And WEF, which you were comparing the rider to earlier, is AAA rated if I am correct (maybe some weeks are AA???), Pin Oak is AA, and what he was most likely doing is A.

To demonstrate the difference between Pin Oak and the Final Chase:
Who here has heard of Pin Oak before this thread, raise your hand?
OK, now who here has heard of the Final Chase?

Btw, I looked up the results of the 2010 Final Chase, and the horse (which is listed elsewhere on youtube as Charmer/Gatsby???) was 1st out of 5 in the Stake, 3rd out of 5 in the normal jump class, 1st in the other regular jump class, 2nd out of 5 in the handy round, and 2nd in the under saddle.

So we are dealing with a division of 5 riders at the Final Chase.
Not Pin Oak.
Would this be one of the Katy horseshows Velvet was sniffing at earlier, then?

Pony Fixer
May. 25, 2011, 04:26 PM
Still, the AOs are a whole other division--a much harder, higher quality division--than the Adults, and so of course the average rider in that division will also be of higher quality.

(Many dressage folks may not know the differences by height alone--ie, that at 3'6" you are de facto discussing a higher calibre division, so maybe the whole other thread is moot.)

For my money, I think a really good hunter round IS difficult, as is a really good dressage test, and they are too different to say which is "harder". I also think that I rarely see REALLY good rides in any discipline, and the vast majority are us "average" amateurs mucking up the middle.

Back to the topic, however. In Velvet's "dearth" thread, xcpony discussed the German "system", which makes it harder for instructors OR riders. From what she described it would seem that very few people at our USDF shows would even be ALLOWED to show, but as a result, even their "novice" riders outshine ours.

I would TOTALLY support a 2-tier system, whereby the USDF had 2 levels of shows--sort of like how the AO hunters and Adult hunters are both amateur divisions, but of VERY different quality. The "lower" division would have all the lower levels, and you would need some sort of qualification to move to the "upper" division. They could run concurrently so that trainers could ride and still teach all their various level students, and the costs would not be equal (ie, fewer awards or such for the lower division, lesser fees, etc to make that more economical vs. the upper division).

I'm just thinking out loud here, and it's not meant as a snobby, "you're not good enough"--rather a "get exposure, move up, qualify for the goodies via achievement while still being able to pay your mortgage".

Meh, maybe not. Then I wouldn't be such a big fish in my small pond anymore.... :)

bort84
May. 25, 2011, 04:28 PM
The evolution of this thread is very interesting. I won't even get into the H/J level versus dressage level riders... There is just too much difference to compare appropriately. Many dressage riders also jump extremely well and many H/J riders use a LOT of advanced dressage in their training. Many others don't (on both sides) and just sit there and look pretty on a made horse. It happens in every sport. I think eventing is probably the most immune to it.

My post a couple of pages back wasn't intended to slam the suggestion that some sort of "intermediate" shows be held for Intro and TL riders. Those could be interesting, but would probably be similar to the bigger schooling shows out there that already exist. Still, I think it's nice for Intro and TL to be offered at recognized shows as well if they are not bogging down the smooth runnings of the show.

I was just a little put off by the tone of some of the posts... There has been some suggestion that TL and Intro aren't really "real" dressage and that if you are "stuck" at those levels, you just aren't working hard enough and so should be required to stick to your own shows where you belong...

I think it's a little silly to think that removing those levels from recognized shows would somehow energize many of the Intro and TL riders to work harder so they could ride at the "real" dressage levels - that implies that these riders are lazy and we owe it to them to give them more incentive to become "real" riders. A LOT of these riders work as hard as they can to ride at intro and TL. To be blunt, I DON'T think every rider can ride at 2nd level, no matter how easy some insist it is. It's just not there for some people. For others, they just can't make the time or financial commitment needed. Should we exclude these people who enjoy the sport as much as the "harder working" (or perhaps just more gifted with talent, finances, and time?) riders?

In saddle seat land, they have what are called "academy" classes. They do have entire shows devoted to this division, but these classes are also usually offered at really big shows as well. The division is so popular, there are even national championships for it. It is a relatively new addition to the sport, but it has become incredibly popular.

Why is it so popular?

It offers the same sort of entry point for the "unwashed masses" that Intro and TL offer in dressage. It's a little different because it has it's own set of rules, but it's the same idea and is a "newer" addition to the sport.

The rules for this "academy" division: the horse must be a "lesson horse" and usually has to be "farm owned" as I recall. The attire is also modified: you wear a vest, jods, and a helmet. This is another nice feature, as spendy saddlesuits run into the thousands.

Anyway, this division has gained wide acceptance in the sport and produces a lot of the future top riders. It basically brought "schooling shows" to the big rings. It gives people with less money a place to start (and stay if they choose - lots of divisions) and gives people a place to get their feet wet before going out and spending thousands on a horse and all the fixins. Even the biggest trainers have riders in academy because they realize many of these riders are the future, whether they are future top riders or just future top clients.

Pony Fixer
May. 25, 2011, 04:36 PM
There was an Academy division in dressage a couple of years back, with the same lesson horse requirement. Those were replaced with the Opportunity classes we have now. I have not paid much attention to them to know how popular they are thus far, but they've only been offered for 2 years now, IIRC.

bort84
May. 25, 2011, 05:16 PM
Still, the AOs are a whole other division--a much harder, higher quality division--than the Adults, and so of course the average rider in that division will also be of higher quality.

(Many dressage folks may not know the differences by height alone--ie, that at 3'6" you are de facto discussing a higher calibre division, so maybe the whole other thread is moot.)

For my money, I think a really good hunter round IS difficult, as is a really good dressage test, and they are too different to say which is "harder". I also think that I rarely see REALLY good rides in any discipline, and the vast majority are us "average" amateurs mucking up the middle.

Back to the topic, however. In Velvet's "dearth" thread, xcpony discussed the German "system", which makes it harder for instructors OR riders. From what she described it would seem that very few people at our USDF shows would even be ALLOWED to show, but as a result, even their "novice" riders outshine ours.

I would TOTALLY support a 2-tier system, whereby the USDF had 2 levels of shows--sort of like how the AO hunters and Adult hunters are both amateur divisions, but of VERY different quality. The "lower" division would have all the lower levels, and you would need some sort of qualification to move to the "upper" division. They could run concurrently so that trainers could ride and still teach all their various level students, and the costs would not be equal (ie, fewer awards or such for the lower division, lesser fees, etc to make that more economical vs. the upper division).

I'm just thinking out loud here, and it's not meant as a snobby, "you're not good enough"--rather a "get exposure, move up, qualify for the goodies via achievement while still being able to pay your mortgage".

Meh, maybe not. Then I wouldn't be such a big fish in my small pond anymore.... :)

Good post, with no snobby undertones, haha.

I'm not sure how the 2-tier system would work really. I guess if it was just, lower fees and fewer awards for the lower levels, maybe. But what show coordinator wants to charge less for the same amount of work at the same venue? Haha.

I know there have been epic discussions on here before about "qualification" systems, but I wouldn't be against something like that - very simplified: X number of scores at X level above XX% or whatever for that particular horse, like qualifying for championships.

You mentioned the 2-tiers in Germany (which I'm not really familiar with) make even their "novice" riders shine, but then are those riders really "novice" if they have passed the qualifications to show in the harder levels?

I guess I just don't think the current system affects the likelihood of our very top US riders to shine internationally. Those riders don't need incentives to move through the levels - being the best is the incentive. And some of the more casual riders might not CARE about incentives to move through the levels because they are just enjoying their horse at the level they can do comfortably with the time and $$ they have.

I'm all for more schooling shows (I love schooling shows, as I'm po'), but as long as the LL divisions aren't bogging down the show, I don't see a problem having them at recognized shows too. I have definitely experienced that issue at breed shows where it seems like they have a class for every size, color, age, etc.

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 05:18 PM
See above post.

See also another higher up post where Velvet offhand dismisses the shows held in Katy. Now Katy ISN'T bumbleville? But Velvet "has seen the shows." It is "anything but" Bumbleville??? But Velvet "has seen the clinics!"


So we are dealing with a division of 5 riders at the Final Chase.
Not Pin Oak.
Would this be one of the Katy horseshows Velvet was sniffing at earlier, then?

Sniffing at? Dismissing? I was laughing because I HAVE been there and not at the level of competition. You make a LOT of assumptions out here, mopey. You might want to be careful about doing that. You know what happens when you do...

Seriously, stop reading between the lines and adding every negative perspective and spin to everything posted out here. Your life will be a LOT better if you can ever learn to do that. :rolleyes: (Yes, the rolling of the eyes does mean frustration. You just keep thinking that longer posts, verbal dancing and adding a negative spin to everything will make you happy. How's that working out for you?)

BaroquePony
May. 25, 2011, 06:21 PM
In an effort to minimize confusion ...

Below is post #124 from the "A dearth of good dressage instruction" thread.


Posted by xcpony:

I only read the first page of this 6 pages thread because I only have another 20 min from my break but I wanted to comment a little on this too, because I am an American currently living in Germany participating in the Pferdewirt appreticship program right now and I keep seeing refrences comparing European and American training. Well, since I have both expierence in training in the US and now Germany. (lets not confuse Germany for all of Europe... all the European countries train very differently) As far as superiority in training goes, nearly all of the western European countries have a better training system than the US... and the biggest reason why is because they have a system. No system is technically better than any other system but everything is of better quality when there is some kind of system. There is nothing like it in America.

In case you arn't aware of how difficult it is here I will break it down as easily and quick as possible. In Germany there are not many bad novice riders because the system makes it pretty much impossible for a trainer to become a trainer without a crap load of work, riding, and theory learning first being done. Students start off being geared to ride for a purpose, most German students are pushed from their trainers to achieve their Reitabzeichnen which are series of 4 tests which you recieve a medal for when you accomplish them... nothing like the medals from the USDF. The medals here start from 4, 3, 2, 1. You are not even allowed to show at the lowest level of showing till you have the Class 3 medal (something between 1st and 2nd level dressage and 3' jumping plus a very annoyingly difficult but important theory test in dressage, jumping, and general info about horse care and managment)... which will take a minimum of 6 months to accomplish but most likely 1-2 years. I'm working on my Class 4 right now... since I too cannot show untill I get it. Most really decent riders stop somewhere at 3, some accomplish 2, very few accomplish 1) There is even a test before 4 called the Basis which is only theory about the horse's nature, care, horsemanship, etc which you first pass... you are not even allowed to handle or groom a horse at a show without this certificate.

To be accepted into the apprenticship program to become a trainer (which is normally the only way you can become a trainer) you typically need at least the Class 3 accomplished. Then you spend 3 years working, training, and learning... yes... more theory 1-2 times a week at a college. At the 18 month mark you have to test in Warendorf. Its very difficult to get an apprenticship because only Masters can accept you and there are not a lot of Masters in the first place... because that requires even more work and time to become one (+10 years expierence and testing after apprenticship). All the apprentices come to a single location (Warendorf) where they are drilled like crazy for over a week and then the report is given to their Master on what they need to improve on then they are tested again at the end of the 3 years. And if you don't impress the FEI trainers in Warendorf or pass the theory you can't become a trainer. You also are trained on how to give lessons and come up with lesson plans for students during this time... so with all of this in mind the quality of trainers (in Germany, at least) is really heavily regulated.

I can't imagine a system like this will ever show up in America... because it goes against American culture to be so regulated, critical, and to have such high demands. Many Americans have big dreams but do little to accomplish them and as many others commented, they don't like to be pushed outside their comfort zone. Most US riders only have the goal to go to about 2nd level and stop, but German riders dont have that goal. They dont have an particular main goal about their riding, just to be better than they were yesterday. most of them don't even have plans to become an FEI GP rider, they just believe in constantly improving themselves and becoming the best they can be... they dont just hit 2nd level and say okay... im the best i can be now... im done. but they are sponges for wanting to learn and improve and incredibly disciplined and self-motivated people... comes from their culture (the unacceptibility of things that arnt perfect or of exceptional qualitiy lol) the US has good trainers and riders but the majority of the novice riders in the US will never match the quality in quanity of the German novice riders because the culture dosnt allow it.

First the novice riders in America dont have the mentality of the German novice riders. Second, their is nothing governing the qualitiy of riding instructors. Third, the USEA will never except making such changes because the US dosnt like change or strict regulations.

Just another comment I want too add to parents... would you accept a teacher at your child's school you had not done a background check or had gone to college? Would you let them take swiming lessons with out CPR certified instructor? Karate instructors, yoga instructors, swiming instructors are all required to go through a certification system... even a nail stylist and a dog groomer must proove they know something of what they are doing... but hey throwing a 5 year old on 1200 lb animal and calling yourself a professional and taking full responsilbity of the wellbeing of that child while its on that animal... is not required... I just think it dosnt totally make sense. By the way, the ARIA is a joke... sending in videos of you instructing as proof of your knowledge? opps... breaks up... gotta wrap up the ranting :D wow, this post is way too long and has way too many typeos, sorry :)

bort84
May. 25, 2011, 07:12 PM
After reading that post on the German system: I would definitely like a 2-tiered showing world if those were the demands = ) They could be completely separate shows too, haha.

I would LOVE it if there were a similar program in place here for instructors and trainers, though I don't think it's necessary for ammies out there. If there had been that kind of structure in the US when I was growing up, there's no WAY I wouldn't have used the program to try to become a trainer. It gives you a path to follow and a system to learn. I love it. It can feel overwhelming trying to be a pro in the US if you're the type who wants to do more than give a few lessons a week and have some LL clients. There's no structure, and it can be hard to link up with quality pros to learn. Our equestrian schools here are generally crap as far as learning how to actually train a horse goes.

Still, as an ammy currently, I would like it if it were an option to follow that kind of track, but I would also appreciate a "second tier" show option in the interim while having to hold down a "real" job = (

I wonder how that program works if you missed the boat as a younger person but would still like to pursue horses professionally... Do they say, nope, you're too old after you're XX years old?

meupatdoes
May. 26, 2011, 12:48 AM
I would TOTALLY support a 2-tier system, whereby the USDF had 2 levels of shows--sort of like how the AO hunters and Adult hunters are both amateur divisions, but of VERY different quality. The "lower" division would have all the lower levels, and you would need some sort of qualification to move to the "upper" division. They could run concurrently so that trainers could ride and still teach all their various level students, and the costs would not be equal (ie, fewer awards or such for the lower division, lesser fees, etc to make that more economical vs. the upper division).

I'm just thinking out loud here, and it's not meant as a snobby, "you're not good enough"--rather a "get exposure, move up, qualify for the goodies via achievement while still being able to pay your mortgage".

For the record, I would completely support this as well, for all the reasons you mentioned.

The h/j world is increasingly suffering the lack of this with the loss of so many B and C rated shows and the growing trend toward weeks long mega AAA shows (my understanding is that there is no A/B/C in dresage, just rated or not rated, in case anyone is wondering what on earth I am on about). The loss of B and C shows has made competition for the average competitor (as opposed to the tippy top echelon competitor) exponentially more expensive. Now we can barely show on the weekend anymore in the amateur divisions because there are no one-day C shows anymore and the shows are all 4 days long with a million classes crammed into a limited number of rings.
There are already unrated (modified adults) C rated (3' adult amateur hunters) and A/AA/AAA rated (your 3'6" AOs, your First Years, etc) classes at the same shows in h/j land, so it is not like this would be an unheard of idea with USEF.

Comparing 15 years ago with today, I liked h/j land better when there were two tiers, and a strong B and C circuit. (And I WAS the B and C circuit.) I think it could make dressage land a better place too.



I was just a little put off by the tone of some of the posts... There has been some suggestion that TL and Intro aren't really "real" dressage and that if you are "stuck" at those levels, you just aren't working hard enough and so should be required to stick to your own shows where you belong...

I think it's a little silly to think that removing those levels from recognized shows would somehow energize many of the Intro and TL riders to work harder so they could ride at the "real" dressage levels - that implies that these riders are lazy and we owe it to them to give them more incentive to become "real" riders. A LOT of these riders work as hard as they can to ride at intro and TL. To be blunt, I DON'T think every rider can ride at 2nd level, no matter how easy some insist it is. It's just not there for some people. For others, they just can't make the time or financial commitment needed. Should we exclude these people who enjoy the sport as much as the "harder working" (or perhaps just more gifted with talent, finances, and time?) riders?

However, I can also see what bort is saying.
But the lower tier is often desirable to the less advanced competitor because it is still rated but it is neither as expensive nor as competitive. You pay less and have a greater chance of success. You still get rated points toward the end of the year.

Does somebody who is just starting out at Training Level want to shell out $800 for a Training Level class that offers $16,000 in prize money? Welcome to a AA prize list I saw for the First Years.
(No, the First Years are not the equivalent of training level, nobody skewer me, it is just an example of a hunter class that was offering some prize money lately.)

Or would you rather shell out $250 for your division but get no prize money to speak of. (Another AA prize list I saw for the First Years.)

Obviously the second scenario will be WAY more alluring to a newer rider or someone moving up a level or moving their horse up a level. Making EVERYTHING hugely prestigious makes it impossible to get a toe in the door.

It ends up being MORE exclusive than separating the showing experience into two tiers from the start.


That said, I also am really tired of the snooty attitude toward TL and 1L riders. What in God's name.
a.) everybody was there once two
b.) it is completely craptastic sportsmanship
c.) I am personally of the opinion that it is AS DIFFICULT to get from zero to First Level as it is to get from First Level the rest of the way to GP. And to ride First Level with some depth and not just barely you need to know at least 3rd. And I agree that some people just can. not. do it. no matter what.
So I don't get what everyone is on about acting like it is oh so easy to ride First Level.

But even so I think that a two tier system is actually less exclusive, when you think about it practically, than a one tier.

If people want to be exclusive so bad, instead of beating on the lower level riders why not raise the medal qualifying scores through Third Level to 68%? Now that would make a medal mean something.

Velvet
May. 26, 2011, 09:26 AM
Bort,

There was a QUESTION about whether or not Intro and Training (by their very names) is necessary when originally it was not. By introducing them at shows are we making showing better? That was the second question, btw.

As for using motivation for people to move up and do better, that's how most sports work. So another question was if we did something to set a standard, would it be better or not? Just a question. Many opinions. Some repliees were more logical and less outraged than others.

I honestly think that the sport is now simply about getting a ribbon and finding classes where you can get one. Is that wrong? I think it depends on your perspective and what you want out of competition. I was raised to think there were few ribbons handed out and you had to work really hard if you had any hope of getting one because classes were large and before you go to any competition, you had to have proven your basics at home. It just seems that nowadays all our tests are geared towards coaching in the ring. When we offer these low level classes you're just telling someone they are on the right track. Is that really where you should get that information? (Once again, just a question.) When we introduced stretchy circles it seemed we were saying judges couldn't figure out how well trained a horse was even when it was in front of their eyes, is that just adding to the judges being considered a coach for a few minutes?

What do we really expect from the show ring? What do we really expect from the judges? Are we on the right track in this country, or are we giving into the largest group of people just to make money because that's what we all think is always best for our country, let alone our sport?

Just more questions.

HollysHobbies
May. 26, 2011, 10:45 AM
I've really enjoyed thinking about and reading this thread and the one about good instruction this week....they're really interesting topics. Here are my thoughts:

the AA/Pro Segregated Classes:
Having AAs in seperate classes is a good idea. It doesn't mean AAs should or do get a "curve" on scores from judges. I think the idea is that AAs/students don't have to compete against their own trainer/pros unless they choose to by entering an Open division. I would think that could make for bad blood and frustration.

elimination of Intro/TL Divisions:
From what I understand, these are the classes that financially support the higher levels--I don't think they COULD be financially eliminated. Dressage shows are STRUGGLING to break even and there aren't many or any schooling shows, at least where I live.
I prefer to show recognized, even at Intro/Training--first, that's where my trainer shows, so if I need help or if she needs help, we are there for each other. Second, I can get rides looked at by several different judges who generally have more training and experience judging.

Judging is occasionally all over the place, but seems generally consistant...a few weeks ago, I showed Intro with my morgan I started in November. I've done all her training...she'd been ridden 5X when I got her. I'm an ammy--ride 2 horses a day, lesson weekly, work hard. 2 very consistent tests at the same level (Intro A and B--mare's first time out)--I got a 60% and a 70%. That's a big discrepency. However, over the past 3 years showing 5-6 times a year at recognized Intro-3rd shows including regionals, I'd say there have only been 2 instances where I got REALLY (like 10 point) divergent scores on the same horse, same level, same day, different judges. Here's my mare: I'm really proud of her progress
http://www.picsofyou.com/store/index.php?do=photocart&viewGallery=11779

I think the yh pros would take issue with the elimination of Training. My trainer is a big young horse trainer/starter for a very successful breeding program--most of her horses are sold at Training Level (to go on to big-time pros, competing ammys, pleasure ammys, even hunters) before they get to 1st. She shows them for a season at recognized shows as part of her business...to give them exposure to shows (for ammys), to establish their big scores in front of experienced judges for pros, etc.

Finally, most of your volunteers at these shows come from the Intro/TL ranks. For example, at the last show I did in April/May, I volunteered Sat and showed Sun. Most of the other volunteers/ring crew etc (not managers or td) were low level riders--Intro, Training. They are an important part of the dressage fan base, and I'd like to see more opportunities for them. The upper level pros were busy riding multiple horses unless they were managing the show.

For many American riders, doing a 1st level test is a big achievement. I lived/rode in France for a year and things are very different. For MOST Americans, riding is a hobby and to put in a nice, correct, well-behaved and balanced 1st level test is a big achievement for MANY Americans and WAAAY more than most of the American horse owning public will ever aspire to. That's not better or worse than France--it's just different. We have many, many pleasure riders here in the States who never join any organizations let alone show. I'd love for more of those riders to work towards and achieve a good Training or First Level test score (put in a good test) and for organizations like USDF to encourage that education. To exclude those riders from recognized shows is a mistake and sends the wrong message, in my opinion. In France, the 2barns where I trained were VERY intense and much more competitive/upper levels. There weren't any pleasure riders. I've seen TL tests that were MUCH nicer/better to aspire to than some 4th level tests--so I don't necessarily think the elimination of those tests would "raise us up" so to speak. I also don't think they're dragging us down.

I guess the rest of my thoughts go more to the other thread about the "dearth of good instruction"--in a nutshell, geographically, this country is huge. To compete at FEI level, you need constant eyes on the ground. So you need to move to US dressage meccas--White Fences in Florida in winter, perhaps areas of California seem to have a lot of top barns close together...there are pockets elsewhere I'm sure. The rest of the great u/l riders wind up having to tow 3-4 hours to clinics a few times a year or host clinics themselves, and that's not conducive to getting to Grand-Prix...which involves daily eyes on the ground. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's a lot easier with more than 1 upper level rider/trainer in the barn or close by.

That's a tough situation to fix. But all good questions to discuss and debate and hopefully better!

Expectations for judging/showing:
1. constructive feedback on my/horse's progress at each level as I progress and accurate scores against the USDF standards
2. mini-goals and markers for me to work towards--riding a test is much harder than schooling the stuff at home--every show I go to, I emerge at a different level (metaphoric)...dressage seems to be a series of stepping stones...you're flat and griding away and then BAM something clicks and you're at a different place...for me, that happens at shows
3. enjoying the show--this are my vacation (or at least, my vacation money)--watching rides, socializing and expanding my horsie-network
4. qualifying scores towards my USDF medals when I earn them--I earned my bronze last year...my goal is the Silver and HOPEFULLY the Gold
I don't expect ribbons or prizes, don't care where I place generally. I do expect to have fun. I don't want the ribbons...I'd rather win useful prizes like show sheen or socks or towels, but I don't need anything but the test sheets and my scores reported.
5. photos? it's nice to have access to the pro photographers and pick one out for Christmas with horsie and I clean and dressed up--I guess that's silly, but a great photo is fun to share with family and friends. And photos don't lie--I look much better on video than in photos--gives me things to fix!

Judging...need to use the full range of rider scores, even when a score might be politically incorrect to give (below 5)...easier said than done because there'll be heat for giving out the low scores some of the BAD seats riders at 3rd and up truly deserve.

should address lack of relaxation of the horse (and who aren't over the back/through the neck) at every level--I'm often suprised by very high scores of horses who aren't relaxed at all. This is the 2nd base level of the training pyramid. If it's missing, score it that way. Admittedly, this is a personal opinion.

Those who are abusive to horses during warm-up should be sanctioned.

suzy
May. 26, 2011, 12:57 PM
That said, I also am really tired of the snooty attitude toward TL and 1L riders. What in God's name.
a.) everybody was there once two

I think this is where you are reading things into people's posts that don't exist. The question being asked was whether or not there is a better competition venue for intro and training level riders than competing at recognized shows. There are sound arguments in both directions. I don't see a feasible way to change the status quo because of the size of this country and the distribution of dressage riders. So, it's not an us against them debate but rather an interesting discussion. Interest in dressage continues to grow, so perhaps things can/will/should be changed at some future date. Until then, I don't think training and first level riders have to worry about being excluded from most recognized shows.

bort84
May. 26, 2011, 01:25 PM
Bort,

There was a QUESTION about whether or not Intro and Training (by their very names) is necessary when originally it was not. By introducing them at shows are we making showing better? That was the second question, btw.

Intro and TL may not be "necessary" but they sure are nice. The good old days may have been good, but that doesn't mean change is always bad. I like the idea of horse sports growing rather than staying super exclusive. I LIKE introducing new classes to grow interest in the sport and make it more accessable to all. I don't see it as making the shows better or worse. We're just allowing more people to participate, which is nice, and yeah, it's the American Way, what's so terrible about that? I don't have a problem as long as it's not making the shows obscenely long (which would be a lovely problem to have at some point - too many participants!)

It's not like we're encouraging Intro riders to put on their top hats and tails and then giving them blue ribbons after they walk through a GP test. The challenge is still there for those who want it.

As for using motivation for people to move up and do better, that's how most sports work. So another question was if we did something to set a standard, would it be better or not? Just a question. Many opinions. Some repliees were more logical and less outraged than others.

I'm not sure what your "setting a standard" would entail, but I said before that I love the idea of additional structure that encourages a more thorough understanding of the sport. I would absolutely use that. I like the idea of shows/classes that go along with that structure. However, because there are so many "casual" US dressage riders that don't have the time or drive to do that, I don't think throwing out shows as they are currently is the right move. Figuring out how to combine the two tiers/tracks could be an interesting thread though = ) And, I would not be against some sort of "standard" that you have to meet before moving beyond certain points (again, I think back to some of those lengthy "qualification" threads, yikes). Those types of standards do help define goals.

I honestly think that the sport is now simply about getting a ribbon and finding classes where you can get one. Is that wrong? I think it depends on your perspective and what you want out of competition. I was raised to think there were few ribbons handed out and you had to work really hard if you had any hope of getting one because classes were large and before you go to any competition, you had to have proven your basics at home. It just seems that nowadays all our tests are geared towards coaching in the ring. When we offer these low level classes you're just telling someone they are on the right track. Is that really where you should get that information? (Once again, just a question.) When we introduced stretchy circles it seemed we were saying judges couldn't figure out how well trained a horse was even when it was in front of their eyes, is that just adding to the judges being considered a coach for a few minutes?

I was raised the same way. The world is not ending - I can't remember the last time I talked to a dressage rider that even mentioned their placing/ribbon unless it was to say they got the overall highest score of their division (which is nice if the show had a big turnout and your score was good). I grew up on the breed show side of things, and it IS a problem there. In dressage, really not so much...

And yes, I approve of offering LL classes to "coach" people and put them on the right track. The tests have always been structured to put people on the right track - now Intro and TL add a little more beginning structure, and basics are incredibly important in dressage. I love that about dressage - moving up in the sport is NOT just about jumping the highest or having the flashiest horse. There are meticulously laid out steps to get you to the next big goal. Unlike in breed show land where most horses stay in the same "class" for their whole lives, dressage horses start at the bottom and move up the levels as far as their talent and training can take them. I love that.

What do we really expect from the show ring? What do we really expect from the judges? Are we on the right track in this country, or are we giving into the largest group of people just to make money because that's what we all think is always best for our country, let alone our sport?

At the end of the day, our current show set up allows many to have fun and enjoy dressage casually. At the same time, it still allows serious competitors to achieve their goals. I'm all for incentivizing those serious competitors to excel, but I don't see LL riders that want to stay LL riders as being stuck in a rut and needing help getting out.

Likely the most helpful place for new standards would be for the pros - they are the ones that get our top riders to the top. Having great instruction is one of the best incentivizers in this sport. So I would support changes from that angle.

For ammies, I think it would be great to offer that sort of structure for those who want it, as it's great for learning and setting goals, but not at the expense of our current set up - perhaps as an addition to. "Extreme Dressage" could be the next big thing, haha.

Allowing wider participation in our sport is not really "giving in" to anyone. I don't think it hurts the sport a bit.

Oh, and yes, money makes the world go round, unfortunately. It's not always evil though.

Just more questions.

Yes, many questions and thoughts on this thread = )

bort84
May. 26, 2011, 01:39 PM
As for the recommendation for different rated shows, that would be great. Growing up in breed show land, I was used to local (what we would probably call "schooling") shows, then you'd have B-rated shows, then class A which could qualify you for Regionals, which could qualify you for Nationals. There were a lot of great B-rated shows for those who didn't want to mess with the costs of class A (usually more membership fees and just more expensive in general). And local shows let everyone have a shot.

Still, pretty much all classes were offered at all levels of ratings, which I like. Plus, for dressage, it's nice for pros who have TL young horses and GP horses for them to all be offered at the same show.

If dressage went more that route, the UL classes could still be offered as sort of a fill or kill type thing at the lower rated shows. That's how a lot of schooling shows work anyway. I do also like the qualification to move onto each higher rated show (rather than the higher rated shows just being for, say, FEI levels or something). There would likely have to be some tweaking for dressage to work with the way the levels are set up, but maybe not a ton. People have to qualify for championship shows as it is now, so it might not be all that strange of an adjustment.

I don't know, just brainstorming, but a set rating system wouldn't be a bad thing, even if there is kind of an unwritten but understood system as it stands now.

Velvet
May. 27, 2011, 10:08 AM
Maybe dressage requires a different/modified/updated show rating system for recognized shows? That coupled with qualifying to go in the bigger ones. Hmm...I wonder if that would work. Especially if the really big ones have the international judges. Might be just the same number of those shows as we have right now?

Interesting things to ponder. :yes: Indeed.

CFFarm
May. 27, 2011, 10:46 AM
Bort,

There was a QUESTION about whether or not Intro and Training (by their very names) is necessary when originally it was not. By introducing them at shows are we making showing better? That was the second question, btw.

As for using motivation for people to move up and do better, that's how most sports work. So another question was if we did something to set a standard, would it be better or not? Just a question. Many opinions. Some repliees were more logical and less outraged than others.

I honestly think that the sport is now simply about getting a ribbon and finding classes where you can get one. Is that wrong? I think it depends on your perspective and what you want out of competition. I was raised to think there were few ribbons handed out and you had to work really hard if you had any hope of getting one because classes were large and before you go to any competition, you had to have proven your basics at home. It just seems that nowadays all our tests are geared towards coaching in the ring. When we offer these low level classes you're just telling someone they are on the right track. Is that really where you should get that information? (Once again, just a question.) When we introduced stretchy circles it seemed we were saying judges couldn't figure out how well trained a horse was even when it was in front of their eyes, is that just adding to the judges being considered a coach for a few minutes?

What do we really expect from the show ring? What do we really expect from the judges? Are we on the right track in this country, or are we giving into the largest group of people just to make money because that's what we all think is always best for our country, let alone our sport?

Just more questions.

Agreed!

quietann
May. 27, 2011, 12:44 PM
Hollyshobbies, thanks for such a positive view of where the LLs fit, *especially* reminding folks that many volunteers come from the LLs. I'm one of those "hobby riders" who hopes to get to First with my horse and keep her "for life" even if that's as far as we ever get. While rehabbing her, I could not show, so I did a lot of volunteering, admittedly all at schooling shows. It got me out there to remind me what I could be doing in some months/years etc. I find the beginners very inspirational -- to know that you're "getting there" but not great, and get your horse out in front of others even if things might not go well takes a certain amount of courage, which perhaps those who did the LLs decades ago tend to forget ;)

(And of course your horse is lovely; I tried a couple of horses at her breeders when I was looking. What is it that gets dressage people calling little Morgan mares "adorable" anyway? One of my instructors met my mare for the first time yesterday, and the first thing she said was "Oh, she's adorable!")

bort84
May. 27, 2011, 01:11 PM
What is it that gets dressage people calling little Morgan mares "adorable" anyway? One of my instructors met my mare for the first time yesterday, and the first thing she said was "Oh, she's adorable!")

It's because they ARE adorable! It's those pretty pretty faces combined with the compact morgan build (and they always look kind of snuggly to me too, haha). Plus if your horse is under 15.2, people tend to call them things like "adorable" and "cute." I have a 15-hander (appy), and he truly is "adorable," haha. He's also handsome, but even when I, his doting mama, think of words to describe him, it's always adorable, compact, cute, and the like = ) I have a bad habit of cooing "who's my little maaaan," at him. It's not at all professional...

Velvet
May. 27, 2011, 01:28 PM
BTW, quietann, I just saw your sig line. LOVE it! :yes:

HollysHobbies
May. 27, 2011, 02:12 PM
LOL--I got a lot of "What kind of a horse is THAT?!" I rarely call her adorable because she has such a STRONG personality, but thank you for the compliment QA ;)...I call her my PISTOL, ALPHA, sometimes I call her MOXY MARE. The barn staff calls her "devil pony." Sometimes, when no one's looking, I call her my sweet girl, but that's really not the image she seems to be going for.

If US dressage or specific regions ever get to the point that shows are overflowing/full in advance of closing dates, then a 2-tiered (or more tiered) system makes a lot of sense, so that people like Q.A. can show off their accomplishments and great rides without competing for ride-times/slots with upper level riders and pros....or perhaps, shows could just become longer (these hunter and morgan breed shows are multi-day MEGA shows and most of the dressage shows I go to are 2 days...I think they have ammy days and pro days, although their ammy days are always weekdays and pros go on weekends, which is counterintuitive to me since ammys have other jobs, but I think it's done to draw crowds) The MEGA shows are better for vendors too, and even media coverage/crowds. That way, your trainer and you are showing in the same place. I'm guessing that more dressage-y areas already have a more booming schooling show scene than I see here in my Region, so they're already more naturally tiered.

quietann
May. 27, 2011, 02:53 PM
BTW, quietann, I just saw your sig line. LOVE it! :yes:

Thanks... it came out of one of those long contentious threads back when Thomas1 was around, and he was horrified by something I proposed WRT showing my horse... who can be a bit of a handful at shows, and I realized that the *only* way to get over my nerves about taking her out in public was to take her out in public and learn how to cope when her brains fell out of her head. She has matured tremendously since then; no one asks me anymore if my low-double-digits age, professionally trained horse is a green 4 YO. :lol:

Hollyshobbies -- I get it, oh do I get it, about the Bossy Morgan Mare. And like yours, mine is a "colorful" which tends to confuse people, given that most Morgans (especially in very very traditional New England) are bay, black, or dark chestnut with little to no white. Our saving grace is that my mare's breeders put really good ground manners on the horses they breed. It seems like a lot of Morgans have personalities way bigger than they are.

Here in New England, there are a few weekend shows where Saturday and Sunday have different judges and each day is considered a separate show. That seems to work well for a lot of people.

bort84: agree on the general adorableness of Morgans, and small horses in general... though an instructor I work with has a 15.1 hand Oldenburg mare who is not, by any stretch of the imagination, adorable; she's just too cranky.

Sandy M
May. 27, 2011, 04:55 PM
(And of course your horse is lovely; I tried a couple of horses at her breeders when I was looking. What is it that gets dressage people calling little Morgan mares "adorable" anyway? One of my instructors met my mare for the first time yesterday, and the first thing she said was "Oh, she's adorable!")

Sorta OT, but y'know, It is FUNNY "peculiar" (not Funny ha-ha): My horse is 16.2h.h., a bit on the gawky side, blaze face chestnut Araloosa, size 3 feet if he were shod (he's barefoot), just "a big galoot" - but EVERYONE who sees him says, "Oh, he's so CUTE." Oddly enough, they said the same thing about my 16.3, long-as-bus, grouchy near-leopard Appy. Cute??!?!? ROFLOL!

MysticOakRanch
May. 28, 2011, 10:50 AM
http://www.usef.org/documents/competitions/DressageLevelsChart.pdf

Dressage shows do have "levels", Level One shows are one day shows that have lesser requirements, and shows run all the way up to Level Five, which are CDI shows. Then you can even drop out of the USEF levels and have schooling shows are GMO recognized shows (here in CA, we have CDS recognized shows that are not USEF recognized).

One of our show managers that runs a series of big shows did a really cool set up last year - she ran a CDS only show on the first day (no USEF recognition), with Opportunity classes and NO office fee or haul in fees - so it was a very low cost show. Then the next two days were a separate Level 3 show, with all the related costs. Some of the big name people used it as a warm up, but the majority of the riders were just there getting their feet wet at a big facility with "real" judges without spending big facility money :)

merrygoround
May. 28, 2011, 04:08 PM
Reported!

merrygoround
May. 29, 2011, 05:03 AM
Reported!

Nope! I haven't lost it. I reported a post which has now vanished.;) :lol: :lol:

meupatdoes
May. 29, 2011, 09:18 AM
Nope! I haven't lost it. I reported a post which has now vanished.;) :lol: :lol:

Haha!
That is like when you are forced to park a little tight because of how the cars were when you got there, and then the other car that was way over the line leaves and you instantly look like the @hole. :lol::lol:

MyssMyst
May. 29, 2011, 11:57 AM
Haha!
That is like when you are forced to park a little tight because of how the cars were when you got there, and then the other car that was way over the line leaves and you instantly look like the @hole. :lol::lol:

I hate that! I want a sign for my car for when that happens.