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View Full Version : One Fall Rule Coming up for Discussion!



Hilary
Jun. 14, 2011, 04:52 PM
The one-fall rule is going to be coming up for discussion at the Board of Governors Meeting in August - for those of you new to eventing, it used to be that if you fell off on XC at a fence you were penalized 65 points and whatever time you used up getting back on and away you went. Now you are eliminated.

If you want to weigh in on this subject (pro or con) with the powers that be NOW IS THE TIME!

Please conact Jo Whitehouse or Brian Sabo at USEA.


Hilary

sch1star
Jun. 14, 2011, 09:22 PM
Thanks for sharing - I know it is not an uncomplicated issue, but I don't think I am the only one who feels passionately about it!

yellowbritches
Jun. 14, 2011, 09:40 PM
Oh sweet baby Jesus!!! Maybe we can reverse that crazy, knee jerk reaction!!!

MeghanDACVA
Jun. 14, 2011, 10:01 PM
Is there a correct channel to go thru to voice our opinions?

GotSpots
Jun. 14, 2011, 10:32 PM
All USEA Governors and Officers are listed by Area at this link: http://useventing.com/aboutus.php?section=areas Click on your area, and you will see contact information for your Governors: phone, email, etc. Reach out to them with your thoughts. Your USEA officers and governors are all active in the sport, and you will often run across them at events and schooling days and workshops. Button-hole them at an event and tell them why you care about this issue (or any other issue concerning this sport - that's what we're here for). Talk with your Area Chair, members of your Area Council, or Adult Rider or Young Rider Coordinators (also helpfully listed at the same area contacts link). Send Jo or Brian an email. Call the USEA office. Talk with professional riders that you know who are active in groups like PRO or PHC.

Moreover, some of your USEA Officers/Governors read this board pretty regularly ;) so even commenting here will work, though probably less credible than a personal contact.

Rabtfarm
Jun. 15, 2011, 07:31 AM
If you consider allowing a fallen rider to continue, it gets more complicated with inflatable airvests...do you also wait for them to reload their vest? Should they be allowed the option to continue without? Presumably USEA will want to have some means of checking the rider before allowing them to continue, so this becomes more and more of a major hold on course while the rider is waiting for the EMT's to be checked medically, airvest reloaded, rider remounted, etc... Or we put the continuing to ride decision on the jump judge, a position that historically has been an entry level position for the eventing uninitiated at lower level events?

Eventcrazy
Jun. 15, 2011, 08:59 AM
Ok so need to look up who to email!!!

Saskatoonian
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:02 AM
What YB said! Finally!

This is a stupid rule, period done. We've had mechanisms in place for years for checking out riders who might need an EMT consult before continuing, for the very few falls that pose some question.

With all due respect to Rabtfarm, I don't see air vests complicating the question in the least. If the status of your equipment means you can't continue, that's a different question. The rider can make that decision. Same as if you can't get on your horse again after you get dumped. Not a rules problem - a rider problem.

Thanks for posting this, Hilary!

LisaB
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:08 AM
Thanks!
I think now, with the education in place for the jj's, that it can be determined to call the EMT or if someone landed on their feet and needs to continue on.
And now that the scores are more utilized with RF's and such, events can determine if you keep falling or not and if you need that time out.
It was a good knee jerk reaction at the time until we got things sorted out but now, I think it needs to be reversed with all the other rules in place.

sharri13
Jun. 15, 2011, 09:10 AM
If you consider allowing a fallen rider to continue, it gets more complicated with inflatable airvests...do you also wait for them to reload their vest? Should they be allowed the option to continue without? Presumably USEA will want to have some means of checking the rider before allowing them to continue, so this becomes more and more of a major hold on course while the rider is waiting for the EMT's to be checked medically, airvest reloaded, rider remounted, etc... Or we put the continuing to ride decision on the jump judge, a position that historically has been an entry level position for the eventing uninitiated at lower level events?

Rabtfarm - inflatable vests are not required to ride XC. You could either choose to ride with the vest still inflated and without another cartridge, or remove your air vest. Riders who ride XC with air vests and have fallen on XC (not associated with a fence) and have gotten back on have made this decision.

Hilary
Jun. 15, 2011, 10:00 AM
Jo Whitehouse Jo@useventing.com

Brian Sabo brian@sabogroup.com


And your area rep - from the link GotSpots has

JER
Jun. 15, 2011, 12:03 PM
British Eventing has data that led them to repeal the one-fall rule. A while back, Malcolm Hook posted on here that USEF/USEF also had that data. I hope that data is consulted in this process.

Also, BE has stats from the past couple of seasons of eventing without the one-fall rule. That evidence should be given thorough consideration as well -- is eventing really any more dangerous when you can get back on your horse?

As an EMT, I have explained ad nauseum on this BB why the 'EMT clearance' rule is absolute nonsense, utterly unenforceable, and, in many ways, an invitation to lawsuits and disciplinary action.

The one-fall rule as it exists now makes no sense as a safety rule. You can fall off one of your horses and then hop on another. You can fall in warm-up or in the stabling area or after the finish flags and continue without issue.

For the one-fall rule to be a safety rule, a fall = a fall = a fall: if you fall, you're off your mounts for the day. But no one's about to implement that rule, and there's really no reason why they should.

I'll be glad to see this bit of Safety Theatre gone from the sport.

:)

Ajierene
Jun. 15, 2011, 12:28 PM
Does this 'one fall rule' discussion include the rule for stadium as well as cross country?

Am I the only one that thinks it is silly to be eliminated for falling in stadium but not cross country, the more dangerous phase?

mg
Jun. 15, 2011, 12:37 PM
Am I the only one that thinks it is silly to be eliminated for falling in stadium but not cross country, the more dangerous phase?

Or that you can fall off in a way not related to an obstacle and not get eliminated. I know that is because of JJ constraints (can't put people at every visible spot on the course), but it still bugs me!

Question: if the one-fall rule does get repealed, could a competitor still be eliminated under the umbrella of "dangerous riding" if they had a really horrifying fall?

asterix
Jun. 15, 2011, 12:43 PM
mg, that's a really interesting question, especially since we have seen the dangerous riding rule applied much more than we ever did pre-fall rule.

As for xc vs. sj, as someone whose worst fall was in SJ, and after our last horse trial, where our "falls requiring medical attention" over 2 days equaled 1 on xc and 1 on SJ...I think it is nonsense to make any kind of distinction in the rules. Whatever the rule is should apply to both jumping phases.

Hilary
Jun. 15, 2011, 02:19 PM
Question: if the one-fall rule does get repealed, could a competitor still be eliminated under the umbrella of "dangerous riding" if they had a really horrifying fall?


What's your definition of 'really horrifying' -


My husband thinks any time I come off the horse, even when I land on my feet, is "really horrifying". To me, really horrifying involves the horse falling (which is already MR) or rider injury. If you are too injured to get back on, you don't need a rule to eliminate you.

Janet
Jun. 15, 2011, 02:34 PM
From a scoring perspective, I do not think that a fall (65 penalty points) should give you a better score than 2 stops at one fence and one stop at another fence (80 penalty points). If they are going to get rid of Fall=E, I think they should increase the penalty for a fall to at least 100 penalty points.

From a riding and schooling perspective, especially in areas where people drive many hours to a competition, and have few other opportunities to school, I would not be opposed to giving the organizers and officials the discretion to allow a competitor to continue on course. But I would want this to be on an individual basis, with consideration both to whether the rider is uninjured, and whether the rider is riding in a safe manner.

Janet
Jun. 15, 2011, 02:36 PM
Question: if the one-fall rule does get repealed, could a competitor still be eliminated under the umbrella of "dangerous riding" if they had a really horrifying fall?

Yes, but it has to do with whether the offiicals think it constituted "dangerous riding". Not on whetehr the fall itself was "horrifying".

retreadeventer
Jun. 15, 2011, 02:42 PM
Just a little side note....if you just email Jo Whitehouse, sometimes (as happened with me) your email may end up in her junk mail and never seen.

I would first of all go to the USEA site, check up on your Area BofG rep, speak to them in person or try a phone call, then perhaps email, to allow your feelings to be known.

If you, and your friends feel the same in your barn, I would say a signature page with as many USEA members as you can find ***might possibly*** be of some importance. Your rep standing up at a meeting with 100 signatures might carry some weight.


I don't know, just suggesting... that is how I have actually had some sway on legislative matters when I was a lobbyist in my state house....the USEA may not work that way politically. Don't know.

IFG
Jun. 15, 2011, 02:44 PM
IMHO, the one fall rule, for both stadium and XC, hits the one-horse amateur competitor hardest. We train year-round, travel (in some places) for many hours to compete. One stupid pop-off, and you go home. Hundreds of hours of practice, and hundreds of dollars down the tubes. Professionals, meanwhile, have a string. They fall off one horse, and then hop on another.

The rule either needs to have teeth, such that any fall from any horse, anywhere on the property sends you home for the day, or (since the fall has shown no association with higher levels of safety per the BE experience) ditch it!

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 15, 2011, 02:46 PM
Yes, but it has to do with whether the offiicals think it constituted "dangerous riding". Not on whetehr the fall itself was "horrifying".


I would think they could stop them if they thought it would be a danger to let them continue. I can remember before the rule a rider fell, got back on and continued to ride. She wasn't scary scary...but also not quite right. They pulled her up pretty quickly....it ended up that she had a concussion. I'm sure they pulled her up under the "DR" rule--as that rule has been around a very long time.

I can see a pop off being allowed....but if someone hits the ground hard, GJ being quicker to pull a rider up.

shawneeAcres
Jun. 15, 2011, 02:52 PM
Perosnally I think penalty zones should be reinstituted and falls outside of those not penalized, but then i am "old school". Loved watching some old badminton videos on TV the other day and the "antics" of riders trying to hang around the horses neck and BEG the horse to step over the penalty zone line! Those were the days of REAL eventing!

SevenDogs
Jun. 15, 2011, 03:12 PM
I will be making my opinion known that I believe the one fall rule was a huge mistake (in both XC and SJ) and should be repealed.

There is no reason that a rider who "pops off" or does not have serious injuries, should not be able to remount and continue -- in fact, it was a big part of the spirit of eventing to get back on and finish and we should NOT be preventing non-injured riders from doing so. We basically emasculated the sport without substantially improving safety IMO (what would be the female equivalent to "emasculate" given the number of women in eventing?).

I have fallen off twice when remounting was permitted (once on XC and once in SJ at totally different shows/years), remounted, and finished. Those two rides are some of my best memories and biggest educational moments I have from the last 20 years. I was not injured in any way and I learned a heck of a lot about my riding and myself in those two incidents. Heck, the stadium jumping round got me my only standing ovation ever, when I remounted and finished! It is part of our sport and part of our history that should not be lost.

I have no problem empowering officials to make on the spot decisions on falls to keep potentially injured riders from re-mounting, but "zero tolerance" is rarely a good answer to anything. I also have no problem reviewing the scoring to make sure that falls are adequately penalized. If we are reviewing penalties, can we please look at SJ penalties and make a stop more costly than a rail?

Lastly, I fully support the one fall of HORSE resulting in elimination. This rule DOES make sense and should continue.

I am pleased that our governing board and officials are willing to review the one fall of rider rule. I appreciate their continued diligence in trying to make the sport safer but be willing to repeal rules that aren't effective. This is one of those rules.

BarnField
Jun. 15, 2011, 04:00 PM
From a scoring perspective, I do not think that a fall (65 penalty points) should give you a better score than 2 stops at one fence and one stop at another fence (80 penalty points). If they are going to get rid of Fall=E, I think they should increase the penalty for a fall to at least 100 penalty points.


Hmm, Janet, I would disagree here and say a refusal in eventing is a far larger crime than a rider fall.
The horse must want to GO when properly directed by the rider to an obstacle. Therefore, I can see and understand a discrepancy in the old scoring as making total and absolute sense here.
Penalize the pair with refusals more heavily with more points than a rider who falls, dusts himself off, hops back, on and gets going again with determination and having learnt something. I think thats more the spirit of the rules and of eventing.

Horse falls, I think we all agree should still be an E.

frugalannie
Jun. 15, 2011, 04:13 PM
Lucinda Green, known for never having an opinion about things eventing related, mentioned the one fall rule in one of her group chats at Ledyard. She believes it is one of the worst rules ever, and we should all mobilize to overturn it. I wish I could tell you her reasons, but my horse chose that part of her talk to snort violently and repeatedly. Maybe someone else heard it?

KateDB
Jun. 15, 2011, 04:46 PM
I am curious:

I own neither "air" vests, so could someone explain the logistics of deflating, etc, AND remounting to continue on course, if the one-fall rule were reversed?

IF it were difficult/impossible/impractical to continue on after having set off the air vest, would that then ineffect discourage some folks from wearing them?

Saskatoonian
Jun. 15, 2011, 04:49 PM
I've heard it from her too, Annie, and am pretty sure there's an article somewhere on it, if only I can put my finger on it. My recollection is that it was a poor rule from a training standpoint, because the rider and horse are forced to end on a down note without any opportunity to fix it and end on a positive note. Had I not had the chance a couple of years ago to get back on Toucan after he bucked me off out hacking (after chasing him back to the barn!), and to go fix it with him, I can't imagine the baggage I'd have. I don't think that makes for good riding overall.

HA - found it: from http://useventing.com/archives.php?id=1645

"Where I especially abhor the fall-off-and-out rule is in the trust and confidence area. How many times do you hear someone say that it all went wrong at a fence but, "he finished the rest really well"? That combination, despite a blip, came home with their trust and confidence restored, ready to fight another day. Now that same pair will have to walk home, heart and confidence in their boots, and the next time out they will be going more gingerly, more worried, less positively and therefore more dangerously.

"The only reason we all grew up being told to "Get back on as quick as you can" was because those wiser than us, knew how tenuous is confidence, how vital it is and how quickly it is destroyed."

Highflyer
Jun. 15, 2011, 04:57 PM
I am curious:

I own neither "air" vests, so could someone explain the logistics of deflating, etc, AND remounting to continue on course, if the one-fall rule were reversed?

IF it were difficult/impossible/impractical to continue on after having set off the air vest, would that then ineffect discourage some folks from wearing them?

There was a post on here not too long ago about someone whose horse slipped and went down on course (not at a fence). She remounted and continued and was clear.

I don't have one either, but the one I've seen inflated would not have been impossible to ride with--it was over a Tip, and really not much thicker than the solid vests like the Outlyne or the CO vest. Presumably you could also just remove it.

I actually don't HATE this rule at the ULs but I think it's a bit silly for the lower levels.

SevenDogs
Jun. 15, 2011, 05:06 PM
The choice of some riders to wear "air vests" should have no bearing, whatsoever, on whether or not the one-fall rule is repealed.

They are not required equipment and have not been conclusively shown to improve safety. Aggressive marketing on behalf of the manufacturers should not be influencing the rules of our sport, and I am confident that our Board of Governors will not allow it to do so.

gholem
Jun. 15, 2011, 05:20 PM
It seems to me the rule makes more sense to protect the horse than it does the rider. Horses could easily injure themselves in a fall, but be so hopped up out on cross-country, they wouldn't show it until later. For example, Archarcharch ran almost the entire Kentucky Derby with a condylar fracture.

Watching some of the falls in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgPuXg75ISk

Specifically 8:45-9:15 and the one around 11:15, I wonder if continuing on the horse is a good idea, even if the riders are all 100%. For the horses sake, it would seem to be best to just call it day and make sure the horse didn't suffer any injuries.

So my question - does it make sense to make a rule about falls of the horse instead of the rider?

SevenDogs
Jun. 15, 2011, 05:22 PM
It seems to me the rule makes more sense to protect the horse than it does the rider.



There are two separate rules currently in effect:

Fall of Rider = Elimination
Fall of Horse = Mandatory Retirement (Elimination)

It appears ONLY the Fall of Rider rule is up for discussion. This is a situation where a rider falls, but the horse is fine. Examples of this include a horse stopping at a fence and unseating the rider, or a rider getting popped out of the tack for some reason (sometimes referred to as "getting jumped out of the tack").

You may be confused because a Fall of Horse almost always results in a fall of the rider. However, the rider fall is SECONDARY to the Fall of the Horse in this situation. Even if the rule for the rider is repealed, a pair would still be eliminated under the Mandatory Retirement (elimination) requirement for a Fall of Horse.

I have not heard anyone arguing in favor of changing the mandatory retirement (elimination) for the fall of a horse.

fooler
Jun. 15, 2011, 05:58 PM
Fall of horse is not up for discussion at this time and I for one am happy to leave that rule as is.

However I am delighted that fall of rider is being discussed.
As many have noted noted the current rule is unfair for the rider with one horse only. Riders with multiple rides are able to continue. JER put it best if we keep this rule is, then it should apply equally and a rider who falls is out of the competition on all horses.
I find it unfair that a rider who is 'popped off' and lands on their feet without injury is eliminated. should be able to continue. At one event some several BN competitors were elminated when their horse stopped at the ditch and they were popped off. By the way the ditch was 3-4 fences from home, so the competitors had made it 3/4's of the way around.
Now time to contact the BofG and USEA leadership.

fooler
Jun. 15, 2011, 06:09 PM
From a scoring perspective, I do not think that a fall (65 penalty points) should give you a better score than 2 stops at one fence and one stop at another fence (80 penalty points). If they are going to get rid of Fall=E, I think they should increase the penalty for a fall to at least 100 penalty points...

I am ok with the 65 penalty points for a fall. Most of us have seen, or have been that rider (usually lower-level) have a decent-good round only to be popped-off at the ditch or water, whichever is their 'monster-fence'. Don't forget it will be 65 for the fall plus time penalties. A horse/rider combo with 2 stops at one fence and 1 stop at another should have greater initial penalties.

Also I agree with the poster who said a refusal in SJ should count more than a rail. A stop, especially some of the truly, nasty stops I have seen, should be more costly.

GingerJumper
Jun. 15, 2011, 06:19 PM
I would be quite happy to see this rule repealed, although I don't event anymore. I think it's a shame for people to put in ALL that work, only to pop off and have to basically pack up and head home. Getting back on (provided you're ok, of course) and finishing the ride would be a huge learning experience and IMO, a confidence booster.

I also like the one-fall rule for the HORSE idea... Elimination if the horse falls. No questions asked.

And I definitely agree with the poster who said stops/refusals should count as more penalties in SJ than a rail. I think it should be that way in normal jumpers too, which is my discipline of choice. Stopping is more than just a messy or inaccurate jump (or any number of other factors) resulting in a pulled rail; it's a sort of "rebellion" against the rider and with all the dirty stoppers and riders perpetually jumping ahead out there, it's quite dangerous.

yellowbritches
Jun. 16, 2011, 07:22 AM
JUST TO BE CLEAR: the horse fall rule is not likely to change (horse fall = mandatory retirement). This is just about the ridiculous rider fall rule.

RiverBendPol
Jun. 16, 2011, 07:49 AM
The 1 fall rule is really just about the stupidest idea anybody's ever had and if you remember when it was instituted, it was a major WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING NOW knee-jerk. I have fallen off too many times to count, gotten back on and completed successfully. I have also fallen and said, "oh, I just had my bell rung, this horse clearly doesn't want to play today, I think we'll go home." Somewhere, sometime, we have to be allowed to think for ourselves.

I'd also like to see a stop in SJ count more than a rail. How silly. A stop is a DISOBEDIENCE. A rail is a MISTAKE.

No, I'm not opinionated...........:winkgrin::cool::lol:

pixietrix
Jun. 16, 2011, 08:14 AM
Just a little side note....if you just email Jo Whitehouse, sometimes (as happened with me) your email may end up in her junk mail and never seen.

I would first of all go to the USEA site, check up on your Area BofG rep, speak to them in person or try a phone call, then perhaps email, to allow your feelings to be known.

If you, and your friends feel the same in your barn, I would say a signature page with as many USEA members as you can find ***might possibly*** be of some importance. Your rep standing up at a meeting with 100 signatures might carry some weight.


I don't know, just suggesting... that is how I have actually had some sway on legislative matters when I was a lobbyist in my state house....the USEA may not work that way politically. Don't know.

Some of you may recall the petition that was presented to the USEA BoG at the Va. meeting 2 years ago protesting the decision to cease publication of the omnibus. I believe there were over 500 signatures and it really put the heat on, forced several BoG members who were firmly convinced that the online omnibus was the only way forward....fast forward to another discussion at the Area 1 meeting where you guys had USEA President Kevin B on the hot seat. The result was a compromise but a good one.

I think the same approach could have some effect in this case. Perhaps at some of the bigger events or bigger barns, people could circulate petitions asking that the one fall rule be repealed, at least for the lower divisions ( BN-T). In my opinion, it is unlikely to be repealed across the board ( above T). Falls tend to be a bit more serious at those levels, not so much landing on your feet....

I look forward to the discussion, the fallen rider surveys have actually HELPED the cause, so please, please take the time to respond to the online survey if you have the unfortunate opportunity to fall off & be e-mailed one by the USEA office!

As a few posters have stated before, there really is not any good data to support the belief that once a rider has come off & is unhurt, they are more likely to come off again & be injured in a 2nd fall. Additionally, the BE never repealed the one fall rule, they never put it in place in the first place because of the lack of data supporting the above statement.

Have at it, you guys!!

:D

frugalannie
Jun. 16, 2011, 08:50 AM
Shall we create a COTH on-line letter that can be forwarded electronically to TPTB? Do you think that would have the same impact as snail mail? I agree that the "big barn" or group letter is very effective, but many of us are at small barns. For us, is there more impact or less if we aggregate our sigs?

To be clear, I do not have the computer skills to create such a document, open it for sigs and then forward it. I suspect that it's possible, but it may not be. Would a computer whiz please chime in here?

(If fact, my computer skills are so lacking that I'm struggling with a switch to Mac from PC that we underwent yesterday, but I HAVE figured out how to get on COTH, EN and TOTD!)

hey101
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:14 AM
I have fallen off too many times to count, gotten back on and completed successfully. I have also fallen and said, "oh, I just had my bell rung, this horse clearly doesn't want to play today, I think we'll go home." Somewhere, sometime, we have to be allowed to think for ourselves.



I agree that the one-fall rule in it's present form is not the way to go. I just hope that the evaluation of a fallen rider, unless it's clearly a pop-off-and-land-on-feet, will continue in some fashion. RBP says above that she has had her bell rung and elected to retire on her own,which is great.

But sometimes a rider who has had a fall that doesn't look that bad, but in reality took a hard knock to the head, is not in the mental condition to make this correct decision.

The absolute worst head injury I ever had was from a horse I was transitioning from a trot to a canter on a SLIGHTLY sloped hill. THe horse slipped out from under himself and we both fell to the ground... or so they tell me (and yes I had a helmet on). I don't remember anything from asking the horse to canter, until I "came to" 20 minutes later, still very confused and disoriented. And from what they tell me, I kept trying to get back on the horse to "try again" and they basically had to semi-drag me away. My DH drove me straight to the ER for a CAT scan, and it took me the rest of the day to remember basic things like what we were doing there, what day it was, what else we had done that day. To this day I still don't remember anything about those 20 minutes from when I fell to when I "came to" and started remembering things again.

My point is that sometimes even the simplest, most nothing-type falls can actually be pretty serious. I'm REALLY glad someone else was making the decisions for me that day, as I clearly was not capable.

(ETA: Of course in that specific instance, we would have been eliminated for fall of horse, but it's quite possible to hit your head hard from a fall and the horse would not have fallen).

Ajierene
Jun. 16, 2011, 01:10 PM
I would be quite happy to see this rule repealed, although I don't event anymore. I think it's a shame for people to put in ALL that work, only to pop off and have to basically pack up and head home. Getting back on (provided you're ok, of course) and finishing the ride would be a huge learning experience and IMO, a confidence booster.

I never quite understood this logic, especially when coupled the the complaint that pros riding more than one horse still have a chance to compete. There are a lot of accepted rules that fit into these categories, such as using a whip that is to long or having boots on when not allowed, etc. Sucks, but such is life.


I agree that the one-fall rule in it's present form is not the way to go. I just hope that the evaluation of a fallen rider, unless it's clearly a pop-off-and-land-on-feet, will continue in some fashion. RBP says above that she has had her bell rung and elected to retire on her own,which is great.

But sometimes a rider who has had a fall that doesn't look that bad, but in reality took a hard knock to the head, is not in the mental condition to make this correct decision.

The absolute worst head injury I ever had was from a horse I was transitioning from a trot to a canter on a SLIGHTLY sloped hill. THe horse slipped out from under himself and we both fell to the ground... or so they tell me (and yes I had a helmet on). I don't remember anything from asking the horse to canter, until I "came to" 20 minutes later, still very confused and disoriented. And from what they tell me, I kept trying to get back on the horse to "try again" and they basically had to semi-drag me away. My DH drove me straight to the ER for a CAT scan, and it took me the rest of the day to remember basic things like what we were doing there, what day it was, what else we had done that day. To this day I still don't remember anything about those 20 minutes from when I fell to when I "came to" and started remembering things again.

My point is that sometimes even the simplest, most nothing-type falls can actually be pretty serious. I'm REALLY glad someone else was making the decisions for me that day, as I clearly was not capable.

(ETA: Of course in that specific instance, we would have been eliminated for fall of horse, but it's quite possible to hit your head hard from a fall and the horse would not have fallen).

My step-mom fell off in a lesson once, got back on, finished the lesson and drove home- she does not remember anything from remounting to after she got home- that is more than a little scary, she could have blacked out at any point and caused herself greater injury. One of the reasons I am not against the one fall rule. I have yet to hear any arguments to really sway me.

Nomini
Jun. 16, 2011, 03:42 PM
This topic comes at an interesting time for me. I just fell of 2/3 of the way around the Virginia CCI* XC course 3 weeks ago. It was a bending 2 stride line corner to a cabin, I got there in 2 1/2 (the joys of pony legs) and popped off the side. Hit my feet, rolled backwards onto my butt, never even let go of the reins. The pony was stopped right next to me. I could have been back on and reapproaching B in less than 10 seconds.

I don't make it a habit of falling off on XC (and I think this is the first time in 8 years of eventing this horse that it has happened), so the one-fall rule has never really bothered me. But I was PISSED at myself walking back to the vet box (and told David O'Connor in no uncertain terms when I walked by ;)). I spent all this time and money and effort to get to a one star and I didn't get to jog or show jump. There was not a thing wrong with us, and I would have given anything to get to finish the event.

A few days ago I got an email from the USEA that they apparently send out to riders who get RF or MR on rec XC courses. It was a very well worded, through questionnaire about my fall, what I would have changed, if I had felt confident/ had been having a good ride up until then, etc. I'm glad I took the time to thoughtfully fill it out. Maybe they will use those responses when they revisit the rule...

MotherofanEventer
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:07 PM
My daughter just had her first fall after being unseated at a stop at the water on our OTTB. She landed on her feet and the only injury was to her pride. I would have given anything to see her be allowed to get back on and finish, that's all she wanted to do. I will talk to our trainer about us putting a letter together from our eventing group and sending it onto Jo


A few days ago I got an email from the USEA that they apparently send out to riders who get RF or MR on rec XC courses. It was a very well worded, through questionnaire about my fall, what I would have changed, if I had felt confident/ had been having a good ride up until then, etc. I'm glad I took the time to thoughtfully fill it out. Maybe they will use those responses when they revisit the rule...

My daughter got the same email just yesterday and she will be filling it out, I am glad they are at least willing to hear feedback from fallen riders in hopes that the rule will get changed

enjoytheride
Jun. 16, 2011, 04:50 PM
I got jumped out of the saddle in stadium last week at a schooling trial and I think I said "Can I still go XC?" before I even finished rolling. Had a blast XC and finished clean.

pixietrix
Jun. 16, 2011, 09:24 PM
This topic comes at an interesting time for me. I just fell of 2/3 of the way around the Virginia CCI* XC course 3 weeks ago. It was a bending 2 stride line corner to a cabin, I got there in 2 1/2 (the joys of pony legs) and popped off the side. Hit my feet, rolled backwards onto my butt, never even let go of the reins. The pony was stopped right next to me. I could have been back on and reapproaching B in less than 10 seconds.

I don't make it a habit of falling off on XC (and I think this is the first time in 8 years of eventing this horse that it has happened), so the one-fall rule has never really bothered me. But I was PISSED at myself walking back to the vet box (and told David O'Connor in no uncertain terms when I walked by ;)). I spent all this time and money and effort to get to a one star and I didn't get to jog or show jump. There was not a thing wrong with us, and I would have given anything to get to finish the event.

A few days ago I got an email from the USEA that they apparently send out to riders who get RF or MR on rec XC courses. It was a very well worded, through questionnaire about my fall, what I would have changed, if I had felt confident/ had been having a good ride up until then, etc. I'm glad I took the time to thoughtfully fill it out. Maybe they will use those responses when they revisit the rule...

Interesting but true, many riders disagree with the one fall rule but don't have a dog in the fight 'til THEY are the ones walking back to the barn in a surly mood because they landed on their feet & weren't allowed to finish.

I had to laugh when I got the fallen rider survey last year after I put my feet down, having declared I was retiring to the jump judge before I even was off my horse's ears. A fall is certainly open to interpretation.....

I encourage those of you who feel this needs to be acted on to beat the drums before the meeting in August. It is easy to complain but putting some shoulder behind it by writing or calling or e-mailing or signing petitions will help the cause.

LLDM
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:17 PM
While I have a huge amount of empathy for the rider who pops off and lands on their feet, I have no answer for the problem of the concussed rider whose judgment is or may be compromised.

Just "Leaving it up to the rider" just doesn't make any sense to me. Not when the rider may have taken a blow to the head and is already pumped up on adrenaline. There has to be some sort of reasonable double check instead of putting the burden on the rider alone. No one should feel pressure to continue, even if that pressure is self imposed.

No solution is perfect. But the fact of the matter is that it isn't about the rider. it should be about getting the horse home safely. I believe the statistic that says keeping the horse on his feet keeps the rider safe too.

Anyone who's been around long enough has seen a rider remount after a nasty fall and continue who makes them cringe inside. What to do with those riders?

I do realize that many riders are fine to continue. But the one's who aren't are the problem - that and trying to sort between the two in a very short time window. Unfortunately, until we can we take a big risk with our sport for even more serious accidents.

I do not believe there is nearly enough data available to support on position over another. We have always had good years and bad years for accidents. It would take a professional statistician to determine if there are enough numbers to clearly show an accurate trend.

I would love to hear people's solution to the compromised/injured rider problem as it relates to the one fall rule.

SCFarm

SevenDogs
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:38 PM
But the fact of the matter is that it isn't about the rider. it should be about getting the horse home safely. I believe the statistic that says keeping the horse on his feet keeps the rider safe too.


SCFarm

Do you understand that the rule being discussed is the rider rule and not the fall of horse rule? By definition, the horse is "on his feet" during the rider rule situation.

Until someone can show me that the horse has been endangered by a rider re-mounting and continuing (after a rider fall -- NOT a horse fall), I will continue to advocate for rider's choice. No one has ever been able to show me a situation where a re-mounted rider was involved in a second incident that truly endangered the horse in any way. I'm not talking hypothetical discussions, but real true competition incidents. If that data exists, I might change my mind and support the rule... but I sure haven't seen it.

And for those of you that keep putting forth the we need to "save the rider from himself" argument, please provide data for situations where re-mounted riders (incapacitated and not capable of making their own decision) went on to injure themselves in a second incident... not just coulda, woulda, shoulda situations, but real data from actual shows (not my friend fell off at home stories). Again, the rider needed to be incapable of assessing the risk in their decision to remount.

I'm not in favor of someone else making risk management decisions for me, as long as I am not endangering anyone else (horse included).

Velvet
Jun. 17, 2011, 09:17 AM
I just read the article and I still have to wonder why the association's rules have to play "big brother" to grown up riders. I mean, if the person is an adult and they have an injury, they have the right to keep riding and take responsibility. If the person is obviously confused and disoriented, people would already call for help. If it's a child, it seems the one fall rule would be a good thing to put in place for them. Especially since the window for parents being able to sue after a minor is injured is SO long.

Maybe I'm still missing something...

LLDM
Jun. 17, 2011, 09:20 AM
Do you understand that the rule being discussed is the rider rule and not the fall of horse rule?

Why yes, I do realize that.


Until someone can show me that the horse has been endangered by a rider re-mounting and continuing (after a rider fall -- NOT a horse fall), I will continue to advocate for rider's choice. No one has ever been able to show me a situation where a re-mounted rider was involved in a second incident that truly endangered the horse in any way. I'm not talking hypothetical discussions, but real true competition incidents. If that data exists, I might change my mind and support the rule... but I sure haven't seen it.

And for those of you that keep putting forth the we need to "save the rider from himself" argument, please provide data for situations where re-mounted riders (incapacitated and not capable of making their own decision) went on to injure themselves in a second incident... not just coulda, woulda, shoulda situations, but real data from actual shows (not my friend fell off at home stories). Again, the rider needed to be incapable of assessing the risk in their decision to remount.

Oh please. There is only a minuscule amount of "real data" available on eventing in the history of the sport. Some data exists, but mostly not in any real usable format. So the whole "You show me your data and I'll show you mine" is hardly even worth bringing up, let alone making REAL decisions on. And what pathetic data there is has likely not been collected properly. Seriously, it's just going to need to be worked out to everyone's best ability. No one has enough "real data" to reasonably prove anything one way or the other.

And on that note, it seems you have never found yourself in a position of being mentally compromised. Anyone who has can attest to how frightening it is and how frustrating that people did not recognize it and let you carry on.

I really feel for those people that have had a concussion and "lost time". It is awful. It never happened to me related to a horse (I am VERY lucky), but after an outpatient operation. I reacted to the anesthesia very badly and was a completely different person for two days - and a very incompetent one at that.

At the time I knew on some level something was very wrong and was trying to tell my husband, but could not articulate it. In turn, he was completely exasperated with me because I being so,well - completely stupid. So until it happens to you, maybe you can't understand how compromised you can be.

I have also "popped off" my horse and landed on my feet in stadium at a baby practice HT. I had destroyed my knee, but did not yet feel it. I continued on, finished my course and went on directly to go XC like a good tough eventer. It wasn't until I hopped down that the damage was evident - as in 3 years later I am still recovering. I was VERY, VERY lucky my horse didn't really need me on that baby XC course. And very lucky there were people there who could properly care for my horse and get her home while I went to the ER. Pain DOES compromise judgment! Especially recent, sudden pain (as opposed to chronic pain people have learned to live with and compensate for).


I'm not in favor of someone else making risk management decisions for me, as long as I am not endangering anyone else (horse included).

Then maybe you should not be competing at all. Because most of the rules ARE about mitigating YOUR risk management options. And those rules were made because enough people didn't manage their own risk well enough.

Look, I think the rule as it stands is not right. BUT - instead of just doing away with it, I think there should be some real discussion about finding a reasonable middle ground.

And yes, I KNOW it's not easy to do! That doesn't mean it should not be done or that we should not try. Maybe something like a mandatory time out before remounting and continuing with the time penalties not to count. And yes, I know there are problems with that too.

But as anyone who "jumped back on" can attest, there is really no time to take serious stock of the situation and make a considered judgment (even if the rider is capable of that) - not for the rider and not for any JJ or official.

We now have an opportunity to fix this rule. But I would rather see it fixed that just done away with. The bottom line is that not all riders who want to continue can continue safely. So even if many can, we need some sort of mechanism to stop those who can't. And that requires more than 10 seconds for anyone to figure out.

SCFarm

JP60
Jun. 17, 2011, 09:39 AM
And for those of you that keep putting forth the we need to "save the rider from himself" argument, please provide data for situations where re-mounted riders (incapacitated and not capable of making their own decision) went on to injure themselves in a second incident...

I'm new to eventing so maybe I don't have a leg to stand on here, but I feel this statement is a little disingenuous. It is a kin to trying to prove the negative. "No riders or horses were injured after a remount, so no damage is done". Sure, and the rock I hold in my hand is keeping all the tigers away. Do you see any tigers?

In this thread there have been a few anecdotal comments about people getting back on yet not remembering due to concussion. Others mentioned adrenaline overshadowing a potentially harmful injury that could effect the ride as they progress. It may not be empirical data, but there is some validity to these stories that should not be ignored.

In one of my first BN shows I fell. the fall was hard enough that I cracked a rib. I was also out for a few seconds. In those first few moments I felt nothing amiss and yes, I wanted to go on. As the adrenaline faded the pain increased, the confused grew and I was taken to the hospital. My choice would have been to ride, but was I in the right frame of mind to make that choice? Can a rider overrule a JJ or EMT, get back on and exacerbate an injury?

It seems easy to talk about the "I landed on my feet" type moments and justify the elimination of the rule, it is harder when the body hits the ground. Personally, I am for keeping the rule in place (and I did think about this and read through comments). People argue about the money lost...so what? If our horse goes lame at the show we lose money. if the weather is bad that we can't compete we lose money. It is the chance we take when we sign up. I don't like it, but I accept it as part of my passion. If I fell, I would take it back to my trainer, exam what happened, school if needed, and try again. An expensive lesson. I'm not paid, most of us are not paid to do this so everything we do is cost.

My final thought is this, as I was taught, riding, eventing xc requires the best condition of rider and horse, no matter the level. We need to be mentally prepared and physically fit. A fall is a large interruption in the flow of a run, effecting not just the body, but the mind as well. Were the rule repealed and I fell, even on my feet I would likely take the 'E', go back to my trainer and work on what went wrong. That's me, 5 years into riding, an older adult who's body will not bounce like a "youngster" and who's confidence is learned, not grown.

Ajierene
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:02 AM
But as anyone who "jumped back on" can attest, there is really no time to take serious stock of the situation and make a considered judgment (even if the rider is capable of that) - not for the rider and not for any JJ or official.


Wasn't it Zara Phillip's mom who was doing a 4* or something many moons ago and told her crew if she fell off, she was not to get back on; then she fell off, had a concussion, told her crew she was fine, got back on, did not remember the rest of the ride and was upset with her crew for allowing her to go on?

groom
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:16 AM
I just read the article and I still have to wonder why the association's rules have to play "big brother" to grown up riders. I mean, if the person is an adult and they have an injury, they have the right to keep riding and take responsibility. If the person is obviously confused and disoriented, people would already call for help. If it's a child, it seems the one fall rule would be a good thing to put in place for them. Especially since the window for parents being able to sue after a minor is injured is SO long.

Maybe I'm still missing something...


You're missing the point that these are rules for competitions, which have nothing in common with rights. Falling off your horse is presently considered cause for elimination. Why is this any less reasonable than elimination for 3 stops, or DR, or any of the other rules for elimination?

There is rarely anything "obvious" about many injuries incurred by fallen riders, and if the rider is mentally impaired by the accident it is exceedingly difficult to ascertain their physical status.


The only change to this rule I would like to see is that it be expanded to include ALL falls at the competition venue (not just obstacle related, and also in warm-up, stabling, etc.) The rider could obtain a waiver from medical personnel if they wish to obtain permission to continue. This obviously could not be accomplished in an xc round due to the time limit. Tough luck. Don't fall off your horse. Isn't that a pretty basic precept of horsemanship?

Velvet
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:18 AM
Maybe times have changed and people have gotten a lot less concerned with managing their own well being. All I know is that when I was in my teens I had a really nasty crash and the medical people came running over to check me out. I had enough time to realize I was too shaken to go on and later found out it was a good decision. Maybe you need to just put in a short hold on people after a fall so they can assess the damage and you can quickly assess their state of mind. The course is usually stopped during a fall anyway, especially if you have to chase down the loose horse.

I also saw a rider at the old Ships Quarters take a bad fall after a fence on course (yes, many moons ago) and after her horse was caught, she walked around for a moment and made up her mind if she was going on or not. She decided to leave the course. Another person who fell in the water, was not injured at all, just hopped back on and had no problems.

Why not allow grown ups to make their own decisions but give them a window in which to decide? And if it's a young rider, just pull them to avoid any potential litigation down the road?

I still think people have a right to make their own decisions. Being in a right frame of mind for one person is probably insanity for another (take a look at all the people who think horse people are nuts). Just let those people be responsible for themselves, but give them a chance to breath and assess for themselves. Trust me, if someone is really out of it, there are signs. One I recall was a rider who went slightly off course between fences and was clipped off his horse by a tree branch. It was funny later, but when everyone came over to him he was saying he was getting back on his eyes were literally spinning and everyone stopped him. Not that everyone shows those signs. :lol:

IFG
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:21 AM
My now retired eventer (Novice) had a serious stop dead, look, drop shoulder reaction at ditches. Despite sitting in the back seat, lots of schooling, yadda, yadda, yadda, I came off at the ditch at multiple events. I always landed on my feet, mortified, and was back on and going within a minute. If we had been done for the day after those stops, I never would have gotten him to the point of being fairly reliable at ditches. And by the end, he was pretty good about them.

Would it have been ideal to haul to multiple venues and school lots of ditches? Yes, it would have been, but at that point, I did not have a trailer, and my trainer did not seem to think that it was worth doing. So, if the one fall rule had been in effect, I would not have evented. It would not have been worth it.

FWIW, I never hit my head, just damaged my pride.

old eventer
Jun. 17, 2011, 11:09 AM
I am totally with you IFG, you drive for miles especially in the west, if you are doing a young horse and pop off, or have one too many stops, you don't get to do what you need to train the horse, guess why the unaffiliated events, and the event derbys, out here, get bigger entries than the lower level usea events. Whether you are a kid, adult amateur or baby horse, you have to have the opportunity to learn somewhere besides home, that is a horse show atmosphere, where you can make mistakes and not get eliminated for it. Usea no longer provides that.

SevenDogs
Jun. 17, 2011, 11:34 AM
. There is only a minuscule amount of "real data" available on eventing in the history of the sport. Some data exists, but mostly not in any real usable format. So the whole "You show me your data and I'll show you mine" is hardly even worth bringing up, let alone making REAL decisions on. And what pathetic data there is has likely not been collected properly.

Actually, you are wrong. There isn't much data in the U.S., but British Eventing is quite good at collecting and interpreting data over the years. It was such data that BE used in rejecting the one-fall of rider for their own federation.

Napoles
Jun. 17, 2011, 12:07 PM
It was such data that BE used in rejecting the one-fall of rider for their own federation.

Just to address the mention of people being allowed to continue following a fall in warm up etc or to ride a second horse after a fall on the first ...Here in Ireland anyway - if you have a fall at any point of the day at an event, you are obliged to present yourself to the doctor on duty so that they can assess your suitability to continue. In fact, if you have a fall at all you are obliged to present to doc before going home or else face a fine.

Velvet
Jun. 17, 2011, 12:28 PM
Just to address the mention of people being allowed to continue following a fall in warm up etc or to ride a second horse after a fall on the first ...Here in Ireland anyway - if you have a fall at any point of the day at an event, you are obliged to present yourself to the doctor on duty so that they can assess your suitability to continue. In fact, if you have a fall at all you are obliged to present to doc before going home or else face a fine.

Don't you have government run health care? That makes a difference. Here, the health care provider onsite could be sued if something goes wrong after the fact. No protection, lots of litigation, etc. It's hard to make that mandatory here. Also, it would cost the show too much money to have an actuall doctor on the grounds.

hldyrhrses
Jun. 17, 2011, 01:27 PM
I say make it the call of the jump judge. Now wait, before you attack. I know not all jump judges are "qualified". However, if you make clear rules... pop off land on feet, can go on. Fall hit head.. eliminated, horse runs away.. eliminated, etc. I also know from events that I've judged at, that *usually* the jump judges know the scary rides, b/c other judges say things like "keep an eye on this one.." " This ones having trouble..." etc. If those riders fall, elimination. Jump judges have the power to eliminate you with stops and refusals, so why not this. Position your experienced judges where there are likely to be falls (water, ditches, etc) and let it be their call. Will it make everyone happy? nope, but neither does the one stop rule. I also think the jumping warm up steward should have a say for people who fall off in warm up. I've seen some people have horrific falls in warm up .. stops, crash through the fences etc. and then go try XC. Some people do need to be saved from themselves. I do believe that is the responsibility of the show organizers.

Velvet
Jun. 17, 2011, 01:52 PM
Some people do need to be saved from themselves. I do believe that is the responsibility of the show organizers.

So, what you're actually saying is that you don't believe in natural selection. ;) :lol:

SevenDogs
Jun. 17, 2011, 02:06 PM
Some people do need to be saved from themselves. I do believe that is the responsibility of the show organizers.

A show organizer should not be held responsible for bad decisions that a rider might make. That's why we all sign liability releases on our entry forms. We are taking responsibility for ourselves and our own decisions.

Frankly, it would not be show organizers that would assume that role, regardless. Although Organizers hire officials, they do not have the power to eliminate riders, per se -- that lies with the officials (primarily the Ground Jury).

Officials already have the right to "save someone from themselves" through their power to eliminate for dangerous riding and other provisions of the rule book. Repealing the automatic one-fall rule, does not change that.

FitToBeTied
Jun. 17, 2011, 02:54 PM
As someone who jump judges quite frequently, if you leave it up to me, its easy - unfit to continue. I have no idea about your medical history, especially for concussions or other medical issues.

Even the most innocuous looking fall can lead to a concussion. When you consider the penalty points and the time faults, you're out of the competition anyway. As to the people who say you lose a training opportunity, well, training is something that is supposed to be done before the event. If you consider that four refusals and you're out, means you ended on a refusal. You don't get to jump the fence before you leave the course. So I guess maybe that rule should be changed too.

I've talked to a number of people who have said "I didn't think I hit my head at all but I still had a concussion." Things happen fast and jump judge may have no idea if you hit your head on the ground, jump or horse.

JER
Jun. 17, 2011, 03:44 PM
It seems that what many people are afraid of is that people will re-injure or more severely injure themselves after one fall.

If that's what we really care about, than the one-fall rule has to apply to (1) any fall at the competition venue, (2) and all of the riders' rides that day.

Otherwise, the rule only serves to 'protect' riders who ride only one horse.

In the real world of emergency medicine, some very important studies have shown a lower risk of re-injury or aggravated injury than was thought previously. For example, EMTs and paramedics are taught to put every suspected neck/spinal/back injury in a c-collar and on a backboard. If you've ever been C-spined, you know it's not fun and, in fact, hugely uncomfortable. A large-scale Canadian study showed, overwhelmingly, that C-spining wasn't (1) necessary or (2) in the best interests of patient care in the vast majority of cases. The risk of worsening an injury by moving around was actually very low. The more enlightened jurisdictions are now abandoning the standard c-spine protocol in favor of something a little more educated.

With head injuries, it's never going to be a perfect system. You can get a TBI by landing hard on your feet. You can get a concussion at home when you bang your head on the kitchen cabinet door before you leave for the horse show. This happens in real life and -- most of the time -- everything works out fine.

Yes, we can all sit here and quote highly-unlikely, high-profile scenarios, like Natasha Richardson's skiing accident or the time Princess Anne got back on her horse with a concussion but those incidents each only bear the weight of one single event in any data-based study. The non-celebrity who wasn't injured and hopped back up is equally important.

asterix
Jun. 17, 2011, 04:56 PM
Just like everyone else, I've had the "pop off, land on feet, get back on, no harm done" fall on course, and I've jump judged so much I've seen almost every variation of good and bad riding and the consequences thereof.

I keep thinking about how to do this in a practical way and all I can think of is...

Either
a) at some point we decide there is sufficient data to show that the one fall rule does not protect competitors or prevent injuries, and we go back to the two fall rule (and here I guess I'd simply argue that falling off twice does sort of count as a "bad day" and a common sense indicator that it is time to go home)

or

b) we at least fix this rule and it is one fall, you are done for the day. All horses. Fall means fall. Warmup, hacking to xc, slipping on the mud in the woods, etc.

I cannot imagine the pros would stand for b).

hey101
Jun. 17, 2011, 05:54 PM
What about a variation on what defines a horse fall where both the haunch and shoulder must touch the ground- ie, if the shoulder/ head of the rider hit the ground first, they are out on that specific horse. To continue on any other horse they have scheduled that day, they must pass a cognitive assessment by the medical team on-site. If they can't answer basic questions (such as "what did you do this morning? ... I was not able to answer that question! :eek::eek:), then they are out for the rest of the day on any horse, no questions asked.

If it truly is a "land on your feet holding the reins" fall, they can continue on that horse and the rest of their rides are not affected.

If a head-and-shoulders fall occurs anywhere at all- warm-up, whatever, they must go and get assessed by the medical team before setting foot on XC. If they elect to ride without this assessment, they are DQ'd anyway.

It's a bit of hand-holding yes, but truly- having been in that position myself, I had NO IDEA what I was doing, hell I don't even remember it, and they had to drag me away to prevent me from riding again. I absolutely would not have passed that cognitive assessment. At that moment, I definitely needed to be protected from myself! And was very greatful for those who protected me, once my rattled brain was working again properly. :no:

hldyrhrses
Jun. 17, 2011, 06:06 PM
Frankly, it would not be show organizers that would assume that role, regardless. Although Organizers hire officials, they do not have the power to eliminate riders, per se -- that lies with the officials (primarily the Ground Jury).

.

yes, sorry, i didn't mean Show organizers... I meant show officials... ground jury etc.
my b.

JP60
Jun. 17, 2011, 06:31 PM
and we go back to the two fall rule (and here I guess I'd simply argue that falling off twice does sort of count as a "bad day"

Holy cow!! If I fell, got back on and fell again..that's not a bad day, that's "experimenting in ways of creating pain" day. No thanks.

To me a fall, even on your feet is such an interruption to flow that continuing seems counter to success. However there are many long term/experienced riders here, or younger pain has no meaning riders, or professionals for whom completion of a course is what? required? that it would seem this rule would be repealed or modified.

A balance that is easier to manage could be that professionals be exempt from the one fall rule. This way they can (for what ever reason) complete a course and ride another horse as well. Amateurs are not. We are not paid to do this, we pay for the pleasure. This means that sometimes the pop out of the tack, land on your feet moments means your done. Oh well. It also means that less experienced riders are not given the opportunity to try and do more damage, but go back and figure out what went wrong.

From reading these posts, almost every person who has years...decades of experience say "let me get back on, head/body injury or not" without considering that those starting out benefit from the lets review before continuing moment this rule currently gives. On course, that inexperience will not result always in a great decision. I have fallen in stadium and cross country, once hard enough to go to the hospital, but mostly on my feet. Was I bummed out...Yes! But I got to ride again at the next show and that's what matters.

retreadeventer
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:03 PM
But what are the politics around this "revisiting" of the rule?

There seems to be just a rehashing of the old arguments and whines that took place after the one-fall rule was implemented. Will that help?

I am much more interested in how the politics are lining up for the revisit of the rule. That will have a lot more to do with what will happen to it than anecdotal evidence, methinks.

asterix
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:05 PM
Er, I cannot IMAGINE anyone I know going for a "pros get to fall off and keep going, but ammies do not" rule.

I'm sorry, that's ridiculous. Either falling off results in elimination, or it doesn't. Your professional status has nothing to do with the physical effects of the fall.

I think you misunderstood me -- it USED to be that you could fall off once, and get back on, but if you fell a second time, then you were eliminated. I was suggesting that one option would be to return to this rule, since although there are arguments against the "one fall" rule, it gets a lot harder to argue the second time you come off.

Have you ever fallen off, got back on, and finished a course?
If you haven't, I don't think you can say that it is "counter to success."

For what it's worth, I actually don't mind the one fall rule, but the last time I came off on xc, before the rule was in effect, it was such a ridiculous, slow mo, horse stopped, I was unbalanced, horse stepped out from under me, I did a sort of incremental dismount.......and got back on, represented, did a better job, and cantered on home (fell off at water, last "challenge" on the course, v. straightforward after that) with no problems. Next year, you can bet your a** I rode that water better :lol:!

I don't know what the right answer is, but giving some people permission to fall off and others not is NOT IT.

Either falling off is elimination, or it isn't.

Nomini
Jun. 17, 2011, 10:19 PM
I'm curious, now that we have a few years of the one-fall rule to collect data on, if it really has made a difference. Have there been less injuries? Deaths? Were the people that were falling off and getting back on getting injured again later on the same course to the point where stopping after the first fall has matters? I'm wondering now.

Frankly, in an equestrian sport where toughness and grit and perseverance are key components, I think forcing someone to pull up after a minor fall kind of defeats the purpose. I'm not saying I want to be the person to decide when someone can continue vs. retire, and I'm sure entire committees could get formed on the subject. But it goes against the ideals of the sport to eliminate the kid who pops over her pony's ears the first time they see a ditch on course. What are the chances the pony will jump it next time vs if she had been allowed to reapproach and jump it the second time? You aren't ever going to make eventing 100% safe, but isn't that part of the allure? There are certainly safer activities (golf anyone?)

I think I'm obviously still bitter, so therefore biased, but I'm glad they are giving this consideration.

SevenDogs
Jun. 17, 2011, 11:07 PM
A balance that is easier to manage could be that professionals be exempt from the one fall rule. This way they can (for what ever reason) complete a course and ride another horse as well. Amateurs are not. We are not paid to do this, we pay for the pleasure. This means that sometimes the pop out of the tack, land on your feet moments means your done. Oh well. It also means that less experienced riders are not given the opportunity to try and do more damage, but go back and figure out what went wrong.



I'm not trying to be rude, but that is quite possibly the worst suggestion, to date. :no: :no: :no:

One Sport.... one set of rules should apply to EVERYONE. I don't care how you make your living.

Also, your assumptions are incorrect. Many amateurs are just as proficient as the pros (if not more proficient -- remember the last Olympic Champion was an amateur). ) One might even argue that the amateur is less prone to risky behavior since their competitive results don't affect their livelihood.

JP60
Jun. 18, 2011, 07:52 AM
I'm not trying to be rude, but that is quite possibly the worst suggestion, to date. :no: :no: :no:

One Sport.... one set of rules should apply to EVERYONE. I don't care how you make your living.

I think the worst suggestion to date is "Hey, the lights went out in the cabin, can you check the breaker outside?" :)

Sometimes you need bad ideas to find the gems so I accept that it may not fit and move on.

I was going to say more, but deleted it all. What will be will be, and I'd rather go riding.

saje
Jun. 18, 2011, 07:58 AM
I'm not trying to be rude, but that is quite possibly the worst suggestion, to date. :no: :no: :no:

One Sport.... one set of rules should apply to EVERYONE. I don't care how you make your living.

Also, your assumptions are incorrect. Many amateurs are just as proficient as the pros (if not more proficient -- remember the last Olympic Champion was an amateur). ) One might even argue that the amateur is less prone to risky behavior since their competitive results don't affect their livelihood.

And I'm a "pro" who's essentially an ammy. I teach & train very occasionally, and it's low level riders in another discipline entirely. But I fall under the Pro qualifications though I am in fact an amateur when it comes to Eventing.

frugalannie
Jun. 18, 2011, 08:55 AM
And he, being a wonderfully intelligent recovering lawyer, came up with what Hey101 said, without the discrimination between falls on course.


What about a variation on what defines a horse fall where both the haunch and shoulder must touch the ground- ie, if the shoulder/ head of the rider hit the ground first, they are out on that specific horse. To continue on any other horse they have scheduled that day, they must pass a cognitive assessment by the medical team on-site. If they can't answer basic questions (such as "what did you do this morning?), then they are out for the rest of the day on any horse, no questions asked.

If it truly is a "land on your feet holding the reins" fall, they can continue on that horse and the rest of their rides are not affected.

If a head-and-shoulders fall occurs anywhere at all- warm-up, whatever, they must go and get assessed by the medical team before setting foot on XC. If they elect to ride without this assessment, they are DQ'd anyway.

My point is to an interested outsider (my DH), if a fall results in elimination, it should be for the whole day OR the person must have a medical evaluation and be cleared. He thought it would be impossible to do a med eval while a rider was on course, and even doing one in warm-up could wreak havoc on the schedule unless organizers built in later slots for these situations. But he said that the current position was indefensible from a logical and risk-management perspective.

And this is one of the reasons I love him so much.

AppleTreeFarm
Jun. 18, 2011, 09:23 AM
Falls are not black and white. People don't show injuries especially head injuries right away. I am completely opposed to changing the rule and here is why: Several years ago, back when you could continue after falling off, I had a student who fell off at a jump 1/2 way through the course. Students was a 50 yo, athletic, fit, decent rider. Horse galloped back toward the start. I caught her. Student was picked up in a car and driven back to his horse. Everyone thought he was just fine. He gets out and I asked him if he was ok. He talked normally, said he was fine, looked fine, said he really wanted to get back on and keep going. We put him back on. He then asked me where he was. I thought he meant on the course (since he had been driven back and we weren't near a jump). I said "oh we are near jump #3 just gallop that way and go past all the jumps you have jumped and start at the jump you fell at (I know, a little unauthorized assistance). He galloped off, galloped past all of the jumps he had jumped, skipped the one he fell off at then jumped then next one. They pulled him up for missing the jump and told him to leave the course. He didn't come back. He was lost out wandering in the woods, confused, crying, and hysterical. He had a concussion, had no idea where he was (meaning, state, town, event etc). Of course he went off to the hospital at that point. I have had riders with concussions over the year, that fall off, not bad falls, they could tell me everything that happened, knew their name, where they were, etc. Then 5-10 minutes later didn't know what happened, couldn't remember. Off to the hospital they went. Now, I was an RN prior to being a full time horse person, ICP certified, CPR certified, First aid certified, have taught for 20+ years and I didn't know my rider had a concussion. How can we expect our fence judges to be able to know this. It is a bummer when you have to go home after a simple fall, but there is always another day, another event, and if the rules keep a few riders safe, it is well worth it. Riders want to go, the majority aren't going to walk home given a chance to keep going. Think about what could have happened if my rider above hadn't missed the jump and kept going.

Desert Topaz
Jun. 18, 2011, 09:46 AM
Crazy idea (and I'm sure there's issues with it) how about keeping the one fall rule, but if you check out medically when XC is over you get free schooling? It seems like the issues with the one fall rule amount to lost opportunity to work on the issue that presented you with that fall. This would give riders a chance to do that when enough time has passed to be sure they're okay.

nextyear
Jun. 18, 2011, 10:06 AM
[QUOTE=AppleTreeFarm;5670708]Falls are not black and white. People don't show injuries especially head injuries right away. QUOTE]

I am in agreement with JER these examples are one time examples, not all by any means like the student with ATF.
Sure there are falls that you don't,can't,shouldn't get back on but there are more examples that you can and should (for the horses confidence or riders) get back on.
Rules, Rules Rules Rules....the only way to make this safe for horse and rider is not to get on in the first place and even horses turned out get hurt, actually i think stat's show that is where most of the injuries occur.
I also have been in this business for 32 years,in eventing for 20 of them, have had falls that you come off on your feet and days that don't go so well so far I have known when to call it a day, I think not knowing is the exception not the rule for most people and yes there will be a small percentage like the example of ATF student but a rule that punishes a large percentage does not make sense to me.
Also the idea posted to make the rule if you fall all your horses are done is nuts! If you are hurt it is a given you will not be riding. If you pop off and are fine why should all the other owners be punished, the entry fees stabling trucking fees who will reimburse the owner for all that because the rider had a simple pop off and never rreally touched the ground except with his feet.... that is just crazy.
Lucienda Green said it best...its a stupid rule.

frugalannie
Jun. 18, 2011, 10:07 AM
AppleTreeFarm, would a mandatory 10 minute hold for any fall help? Yes, the rider would be way outside of optimum time, but they might be able to finish the course.

I absolutely understand what adrenalin can do. I fell off at a XC clinic. Had my horse been right there instead of taking a tour of the property, I would have jumped back on and continued. But the 10 or so minutes it took for the beast to be retrieved made clear to me that my back would not forgive me if I continued.

Just another thought to add to the stew.

baxtersmom
Jun. 18, 2011, 10:42 AM
Crazy idea (and I'm sure there's issues with it) how about keeping the one fall rule, but if you check out medically when XC is over you get free schooling? It seems like the issues with the one fall rule amount to lost opportunity to work on the issue that presented you with that fall. This would give riders a chance to do that when enough time has passed to be sure they're okay.

I've been thinking along the lines of this, too. To me, this seems fair. As does the "definition of an eliminating fall," where more body parts hit the ground. (That said, I broke my ankle landing on my feet from a fall :cool: )

I work in research. The question of whether this rule makes the sport "safer" would require far more data points to have the kind of statistical power needed to make informed inferences to "prove" a negative. There are also a lot of things that are difficult to evaluate, especially when the data is only collected from those riders who fall - one might argue, for example, that the one fall rule may encourage safer riding/ less risk taking behavior amongst all riders because the risk of elimination is increased - but that requires a different kind of instrument.

TBH, this kind of rule is not about what happens with "most" people, anyway. Yes, the most common kind of fall is something minor and does not involve injury. The consequence of being eliminated is frustration and perhaps even some setback in the horse's education/ training.

However, the consequences of letting someone continue when they are injured (and the complexity of who makes that decision when the injury we're most concerned about - concussion or other TBI - often presents as an inability to evaluate one's own status) have the potential to be catastrophic.

LLDM
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:18 AM
I've been thinking along the lines of this, too. To me, this seems fair. As does the "definition of an eliminating fall," where more body parts hit the ground. (That said, I broke my ankle landing on my feet from a fall :cool: )

I work in research. The question of whether this rule makes the sport "safer" would require far more data points to have the kind of statistical power needed to make informed inferences to "prove" a negative. There are also a lot of things that are difficult to evaluate, especially when the data is only collected from those riders who fall - one might argue, for example, that the one fall rule may encourage safer riding/ less risk taking behavior amongst all riders because the risk of elimination is increased - but that requires a different kind of instrument.

TBH, this kind of rule is not about what happens with "most" people, anyway. Yes, the most common kind of fall is something minor and does not involve injury. The consequence of being eliminated is frustration and perhaps even some setback in the horse's education/ training.

However, the consequences of letting someone continue when they are injured (and the complexity of who makes that decision when the injury we're most concerned about - concussion or other TBI - often presents as an inability to evaluate one's own status) have the potential to be catastrophic.

Great post. Thank you for saying what I don't have the credibility to say about the data! I do not work in statistics, but have had just enough education in it to know that the data we are talking about is way too small and has way too many confounding variables to make the sort of predictions people are trying to make from it.

I am very sympathetic to the "pop off" issue. Been there, done that and always want to get back on too. But this is about more than entry fees and schooling opportunities. It is also about the health of the sport. Just ONE dead horse or rider has a HUGE impact on eventing. We are already under the gun, so to speak.

I am starting to really want to explore the 10 minute delay idea - and yes, it is really difficult at the upper levels when the horse is pretty far along on the course. But we do it for accident related holds all the time and those can vary hugely in the amount of time on hold. I do not know if this would be enough, but it is a good place to start!

I am very glad to see some good discussion here. This is the most helpful thing we can do - is to consider this from many angles and discuss it intelligently.

As for the whole idea of "one time examples" - of they were truly "one time" there would be only one of them. Just on this thread there are more than that. In small numbers of XC rides in general, these can't simply be dismissed as statistically insignificant.

I do not think that we can compare accidents that in the field to accidents that happen on course. A horse spends at least 50% to 70% of his life turned out and maybe 1-2 hours per year on a XC course performing at his maximum capability. That's like comparing planets to basketballs.

Whatever happens, I do think that the "multiple horses" loophole needs to be closed.

SCFarm

JER
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:31 AM
Falls are not black and white. People don't show injuries especially head injuries right away. I am completely opposed to changing the rule...

But then there is no possible way you could support the current one-fall rule as it is written!

Currently, a rider can fall off one of his/her rides, be eliminated on that horse, but then continue to get on his/her other horses.

Given that, are you still 'completely opposed' to changing the rule?

Or would you support a different one-fall rule that says a rider who falls is off all of his horses for the rest of the competition?

riderboy
Jun. 18, 2011, 12:00 PM
It seems to me that the one fall rule really needs to be revised one way or another. It was born out of a "We need to do something mentality, much like George Washington's doctors who, when asked why they bled him to death, said, "Well, we had to do something!"
It's a zero tolerance rule, all of which are non-thinking, anti-common sense , but it's really NOT a zero tolerance rule as so many have pointed out in that you can go out and ride other horses or the same horse depending on where and when you fell! It treats a feet first, reins in the hand fall in dressage like a head first pile driver in XC. It's loopholes and inconsistencies make no sense to me.
If there are good studies from British Eventing showing it to be unnecessary then get rid of it and replace it with something that makes sense. The concept of an "eliminating" fall based on the judgement of a reasonable person(s) might be the way to go. I'm no expert on that, but the current rule needs to be revisited.

JER
Jun. 18, 2011, 12:27 PM
As for the whole idea of "one time examples" - of they were truly "one time" there would be only one of them. Just on this thread there are more than that. In small numbers of XC rides in general, these can't simply be dismissed as statistically insignificant.

You don't know if they're significant or not unless you run the numbers.

That wasn't done before this rule was enacted and, again, if what you are saying turns out to be true, the one-fall rule still needs to be changed.

There's always going to be a risk with horses, whether you're riding them or on the ground.

Beam Me Up
Jun. 18, 2011, 12:38 PM
Personally, I would prefer the option to get back on (and have, several times, pre-rule), but at the same time I don't think the rule as it stands is outrageous. Yes, it sucks to have taken the weekend off, paid all that money, and gotten eliminated, but given the multitude of ways that can happen (hop out of dressage ring, stops, accidental horse boot/neckwear offenses), I don't think falling is a totally unreasonable cause of elimination.



Crazy idea (and I'm sure there's issues with it) how about keeping the one fall rule, but if you check out medically when XC is over you get free schooling? It seems like the issues with the one fall rule amount to lost opportunity to work on the issue that presented you with that fall. This would give riders a chance to do that when enough time has passed to be sure they're okay.

I keep thinking along this theme too. Why not eliminate (such that all the eventer "must-complete-event" adrenaline subsides), then if ok let continue in some capacity (either right then, on course, or schooling later).

I do see a bunch of issues here though:
- I think part of the rule is to get potential "accidents waiting to happen" off the course, and so organizers don't necessarily want people who have already fallen tempting fate again.
- Drafting rules for already-eliminated riders is a whole new world (since they are no longer competing, we'd need a whole new set of rules of how stops/falls etc will end their schooling run/session)
- Where time and footing is precious, having eliminated people mucking up the course, or taking time at the end of the day in a schooling session, could take away from show staff and other competitors which isn't fair.

That said, I like the idea of being able to school the question that got you, especially for lower levels, but I don't know if it is a reasonable thing to add on to eventing rules.

LLDM
Jun. 18, 2011, 12:55 PM
JER - I think I've been pretty clear that the rule needs to be changed. The loophole for multiple rides is ridiculous as I have already posted.

There is no captured data on whether or not a rider a rider remembers remounting and completing their XC ride. There is simply no mechanism by which to collect it. I seriously doubt the follow up questionnaire can suffice, as it is voluntary and in all likelihood ambiguous as well. All we have is anecdotal information - so all we know is that the phenomena exists, but no real way to gauge its impact.

It is also more than just a matter of head injuries. A rider in pain (as in recent injury, not chronic), as I have mentioned before, is also very compromised. Think tipsy vs dead drunk when it comes to driving. Both judgment and ability can be effected.

I don't know if a 10 minute timeout would be enough for the immediate shock to wear off and symptoms to show themselves. But it might be worth exploring.

I seem to remember that this sort of thing (losing time after a XC fall) happened to GNEP a couple of years ago, so I really wish he would check in here. No one can say he isn't a tough bird and he has some first hand experience at the upper levels with this. He also doesn't have the Pro factor to defend. I think his opinion would be very enlightening.

SCFarm

wanderlust
Jun. 18, 2011, 01:11 PM
I keep thinking along this theme too. Why not eliminate (such that all the eventer "must-complete-event" adrenaline subsides), then if ok let continue in some capacity (either right then, on course, or schooling later).
I think this might be the best kind of solution. Fall of rider = no longer in contention for a placing or score. Rider may continue on unless they have hit their head/shoulder on ground, or unless Ground Jury disallows for dangerous riding or medical concerns. Next disobedience or fall of any kind, rider must immediately leave course. If showjumping follows XC, rider may be allowed to showjump provided they had no further issues on course.

If you give the mindset that once a fall has happened, there is no score, no possibility to ribbon/place, and you are now "schooling" and not competing, it might eliminate that kneejerk "must get back on" adrenaline response.

nextyear
Jun. 18, 2011, 01:14 PM
When you consider the penalty points and the time faults, you're out of the competition anyway. As to the people who say you lose a training opportunity, well, training is something that is supposed to be done before the event. If you consider that four refusals and you're out, means you ended on a refusal. You don't get to jump the fence before you leave the course. So I guess maybe that rule should be changed too.

.

What about the fall that occurs after the jump? Seen it happen many times and have been their myself, horse jumps without a hesitation then for whatever reason (hits soft spot, props a bit on landing, whatever) knocks rider a bit enough off balance that they pop off, no big deal except now it is RF, before it was after a fence and as long as you were out of the zone (back when there was penalty zones) you incured nothing but maybe time.

Hilary
Jun. 18, 2011, 02:02 PM
OK, let's remember that this rule was passed after a bunch of upper level riders crashed and were either seriously hurt, or died. We had do something.

But since none of them had fallen off on course the day they crashed, the rule really made no sense in terms of fixing the problem.

Also, it was not enacted just for upper level riders (the ones who prompted the need for "something" to be done) it was put into effect for ALL of us, and it turns out to have the most negative impact on the lower level riders with one horse.

That, actually, is my biggest beef with it- I felt like I was back in elementary school and the whole class had to stay in for recess because 2 kids were having a fight.

retreadeventer
Jun. 18, 2011, 04:25 PM
I think this might be the best kind of solution. Fall of rider = no longer in contention for a placing or score. Rider may continue on unless they have hit their head/shoulder on ground, or unless Ground Jury disallows for dangerous riding or medical concerns. Next disobedience or fall of any kind, rider must immediately leave course. If showjumping follows XC, rider may be allowed to showjump provided they had no further issues on course.

If you give the mindset that once a fall has happened, there is no score, no possibility to ribbon/place, and you are now "schooling" and not competing, it might eliminate that kneejerk "must get back on" adrenaline response.

This seems quite sensible; just has to be written in a way that is clear and can cover most if not all situations. After all, that is why we wear helmets and vests, so that if we fall, and hit, those items protect as they should.

Once an airvest deploys, can you ride again without a cannister? I think it takes a few minutes once they are deployed to deflate. That would really mess up XC times, I should think, while a rider waited either for a fresh cannister, or for the vest to deflate; in the meantime other horses and riders are scheduled and on course. Where does the fallen/remounted rider get to go then, if they have to hang about waiting on an airvest? Not sure that would work. I think you you'd have to be able to remount and continue on pretty quickly to avoid a real scheduling hassle. Just sayin'.

KateDB
Jun. 18, 2011, 05:36 PM
retread, that's exactly why I was asking about the air vests and the practicality of remounting......

As well, I think a 10 minute hold and remount is impractical as far as the horse is concerned..he is no longer warmed up, has lost rhythm, etc.

I am not saying the current rule makes sense, but whatever rule does make sense will have to somewhere in between....

SevenDogs
Jun. 18, 2011, 06:21 PM
The airvest is NOT required equipment. If you choose to wear one and have a fall, you could: 1) remove it, remount and continue on; 2) remount and ride with it deployed, if practical; or 3) retire.

The fact that some people want to wear air vests, should NOT factor into rule making.

LLDM
Jun. 18, 2011, 06:26 PM
I understand where you guys are going with the idea of remounting and finishing, but being essentially out from a score POV. But how does that help a rider who is injured, but doesn't yet realize it?

As far as holds go, well they happen anyway. Isn't there almost always a hold for a fall anyway? That's already unfair for the horses and riders on course behind them, but it is something that has always been one-of-those-things we all put up with as part of the sport.

It might well end up easier on the riders behind them to *know* the hold will be at least 10 minutes, so they can plan accordingly. By then, there should be some word on whether the hold will be a long one or resolved shortly. Now, the one's on hold don't know whether it will be a minute or 30 minutes.

Just some more thoughts....

SCFarm

SevenDogs
Jun. 18, 2011, 06:37 PM
Actually, in a large percentage of the "pop" off falls that someone would want to remount from, there is no hold needed. Falls with holds tend to be more serious (often involving a horse fall or injury to rider) that would preclude remounting anyway.

OTTB FTW
Jun. 19, 2011, 09:23 AM
Having evented for over 30 years, I have had both the a) fell off horse, hit head got concussion, tore out shoulder, broke neck, adrenaline=felt nothing, got back on and rode rest of course/later wished I was stopped, and b) green horse stopped, landed lightly on my feet at horses side/WTF now can't get on and get green horse over jump, experiences.

I am very torn about the rule as most of us are. My thoughts though are that we have to be careful in our thinking about safety. When we create rules in response to accidents, rather than research, we are trying to find reasons that explain tragedy and ways to prevent it again, so we all can "feel safe". We are trying to make a dangerous sport safe, justify it to the rest of the world, and make ourselves feel better. We aren't going to make eventing "safe" unless we ride fake horses, in bubble wrap, on a virtual course, inside a memory foam box.

Do I think we should go back to helmets with the elastic band chin strap because WTH it isn't safe either way? No. But lets make rules from research, and not be fooled into thinking things like "vests make us safe", getting checked by a Dr. or EMT makes us safe to go out again etc. There are too many variables. We should be focused on "safER" based on proper research, and even then, realize that we are CHOOSING to partake in a risky sport, and that the choice is made long before the fall occurs.

wanderlust
Jun. 19, 2011, 11:55 AM
I understand where you guys are going with the idea of remounting and finishing, but being essentially out from a score POV. But how does that help a rider who is injured, but doesn't yet realize it? That's why you don't allow anyone to continue whose shoulder/head made contact with the ground or fence, and could have a head or neck injury. Beyond that, people really have to take some responsibility for themselves and decide whether it is worth the risk to get back on.

LLDM
Jun. 19, 2011, 01:05 PM
That's why you don't allow anyone to continue whose shoulder/head made contact with the ground or fence, and could have a head or neck injury. Beyond that, people really have to take some responsibility for themselves and decide whether it is worth the risk to get back on.

Oh okay. It wasn't clear to me that everyone was assuming that at this point. So iis it just head and shoulders, or anyone who doesn't stay on their feet?

I've seen some pretty bad falls where the head and shoulders don't necessarily touch. Landing on your butt (which I've done and cracked a vertebra) can be very serious and can cause a concussion. A concussion can happen when there is a sudden stop and your brain is bouncing off the inside of your skull.

At least in a true pop off, where you land on your feet, in all likelihood you've absorbed most of the impact with your legs. Landing in enough balance to stay on your feet usually is a good indicator that you are okay.

So where do you think the line should be drawn so it is relatively clear and obvious in the field?

SCFarm

saje
Jun. 19, 2011, 02:26 PM
And depending on the type of jump, the terrain, etc, the jump judge may not actually be able to see the rider hit the ground. That just opens the whole thing up to more he said/she said type wrangles - a further extension of was it a stop or wasn't it, if you will.

I kind of like the idea that the rider may continue but must be assessed first with some questions (who, what, where, when, sorts of things) though I realize that leaves the assessor open to liability.

A mandatory 5 or 10 min hold for the rider is also not a bad idea, but may be an additional bit of hell for timers/scorers etc. and may be actually detrimental to the horse as the rider won't have been able to be mounted and keeping him walking and focused.

The free schooling thing would be useless for me - the closest venue to me is 3 hr drive, so it's a full day + to plan a schooling session. And I doubt if events will want to allow schooling immediately after XC is done as it makes their day even longer, plus they have to pay EMTs to be on the grounds longer. It also would add wear and tear to the grounds.

I think that upping the penalties for a fall to the point that it will definitely put even a leader well out of the running entirely may be the way to go. I think that *most* riders will then either choose to retire, or if they do get back on and continue they will then treat it as a schooling round, be less adrenaline driven to make up lost time, and have the option of getting in a few more good fences and then calling it a day. I realize that there will be those who don't think that way, and will get on and gun it, but under the current rules what's to stop those same people from getting back on at the barn and schooling the horse, never mind get on a second horse if they have one?

Desert Topaz
Jun. 19, 2011, 05:13 PM
The free schooling thing would be useless for me - the closest venue to me is 3 hr drive, so it's a full day + to plan a schooling session. And I doubt if events will want to allow schooling immediately after XC is done as it makes their day even longer, plus they have to pay EMTs to be on the grounds longer. It also would add wear and tear to the grounds.

I'm pretty new to this, but the events I've been to have scheduled schooling after XC is over. Didn't think about other places not doing that. It's 6 hours to our closest event, so being able to school at some future date wasn't even in my mind when I suggested it, because like you, it would be useless.

OverandOnward
Jun. 19, 2011, 05:48 PM
IMHO, the one fall rule, for both stadium and XC, hits the one-horse amateur competitor hardest. We train year-round, travel (in some places) for many hours to compete. One stupid pop-off, and you go home. Hundreds of hours of practice, and hundreds of dollars down the tubes. Professionals, meanwhile, have a string. They fall off one horse, and then hop on another.

The rule either needs to have teeth, such that any fall from any horse, anywhere on the property sends you home for the day, or (since the fall has shown no association with higher levels of safety per the BE experience) ditch it!
^^^^^ yeah that !!!

Most falls are benign, especially at the lower levels. There is no real injury - except to pride, and perhaps a bruise or two. In those cases the very best thing the rider could do, both for themselves and for the horse, is to get back on and finish. And not lose the competitive ride, which can only be as frequent as the budget allows. Anyone who doesn't feel ready to re-mount of course doesn't have to.

I am glad to hear the USEA is gathering statistics. I am certain it will show that the overwhelming number of falls did not involve a concussed rider.

If a rider appears to be partially incapacitated for any reason, isn't it now the protocol to notify the TD to watch closely and possibly pull the rider off the course? Certainly the same would apply to an obviously disoriented rider after a fall.


Maybe you need to just put in a short hold on people after a fall so they can assess the damage and you can quickly assess their state of mind.Theoretically I could live with this. Practically I doubt there are many people who will want to make the call on behalf of the rider. The EMT's would prob. need to make the call, as they do with bad-bump falls in the warm-up after a TD is alerted that a rider may be impaired.



I recall the one-fall-and-out rule coming as a seeming reaction to a period that saw a series of horse fatalities in falls on UL courses - some of which were later determined to have been cardio-pulmonary. Possibly the USEA was protecting itself from future lawsuits from future incidents. That is, they were showing they were reacting to what might be a problem in the sport. BUT - at that time, had the rule been in effect for that particular string of accidents, it would not have made a difference in any of them. The rider had not fallen off on that course before the accident.




Actually, you are wrong. There isn't much data in the U.S., but British Eventing is quite good at collecting and interpreting data over the years. It was such data that BE used in rejecting the one-fall of rider for their own federation.Don't know the BE rules. What was rejected? That is, in BE, can the rider continue after one fall, or not?

I'm guessing they can't continue, having seen the change watching broadcasts of Badminton & Burghley. What specifically does the BE data show - can you save your typing time and provide a link?



And for those of you that keep putting forth the we need to "save the rider from himself" argument, please provide data for situations where re-mounted riders (incapacitated and not capable of making their own decision) went on to injure themselves in a second incident... not just coulda, woulda, shoulda situations, but real data from actual shows (not my friend fell off at home stories). ^^^^ yeah that, too




A balance that is easier to manage could be that professionals be exempt from the one fall rule.
Absolutely no way. A professional is a rider and a human like everyone else at the event. Probably not even the best rider. And probably with more accumulated concussions in their lifetime record. This logic can lead to other rules changes favoring pros that can lead to a mess for everyone, organizationally -- not to mention, what a nightmare for course control to keep track of who can go on and who can't after the same incident.

I can promise that the top pros at Rolex have way more concussions from falls than I have !!! If there is going to be a differentiation between pros & amateurs, they are the ones who should be pulled first, while I ride on, sane as ever! :yes: :D ;)




I say make it the call of the jump judge. Now wait, before you attack. I know not all jump judges are "qualified". However, if you make clear rules...I understand your thought, but I say this isn't reasonable. If you've jump judged, you know that incidents can happen so quickly, you are not sure exactly what you saw. If a rider tumbles and comes to rest with head off the ground, did the helmet contact the ground or not? Might be hard to say. Also, many jump judges show up as community volunteers with zero or very little experience of horses or riding at all, not to mention jumping. They don't quite know where to look, or what happened. Also, some jj's are too young for driver's licenses - that is a lot of responsibility for a youngster! Often knowledgeable jj's can see it coming and report accurately what happened, but the vast majority of eventers are at the LL's and it can be a motley crew of jj's. There are many excellent jj's out there, but there are also many jj's who are best with just one decision to communicate - the horse went over, or it didn't.

OverandOnward
Jun. 19, 2011, 05:52 PM
Chipping in one more comment, about 'getting a chance to address the issue.' That's good, but it isn't just that. I need to ride the course, the whole course. I (and my horse) need the experience of the course that came after the obstacle where the fall happened, in a competition atmosphere and setting, now, while we are ready and into the game.

wanderlust
Jun. 19, 2011, 06:11 PM
Oh okay. It wasn't clear to me that everyone was assuming that at this point. So iis it just head and shoulders, or anyone who doesn't stay on their feet?

I've seen some pretty bad falls where the head and shoulders don't necessarily touch. Landing on your butt (which I've done and cracked a vertebra) can be very serious and can cause a concussion. A concussion can happen when there is a sudden stop and your brain is bouncing off the inside of your skull.
<snip>
So where do you think the line should be drawn so it is relatively clear and obvious in the field? I think the "head/shoulders" rule is perfectly clear and obvious, and TPTB would need to figure some catch-all rule in case the jump judge's view was obscured.

As for your comment about landing on the butt causing a concussion... by that reasoning, so could landing on your feet. You have to draw the line somewhere. Either you eliminate everyone who falls off, or you make a clear and reasonable rule about who can continue. Again, it comes down to personal responsibility. It is not the competition/organization's job to babysit you and make medical decisions on your behalf. And the whole "adrenaline" argument is garbage, IMO. If you are too amped up going XC to be able to make good decisions about your own health and well-being, you are also not going to be able to make them for your horse, and you should not be going XC period.

Gry2Yng
Jun. 19, 2011, 06:11 PM
Don't know the BE rules. What was rejected? That is, in BE, can the rider continue after one fall, or not?

I'm guessing they can't continue, having seen the change watching broadcasts of Badminton & Burghley. What specifically does the BE data show - can you save your typing time and provide a link?




BE does not have a "one fall and out" rule. Burghley and Badminton are run under FEI rules, not BE rules.

FWIW, I hate the one fall and out rule and would love to see it reversed. I think it was a knee jerk reaction (tho I do understand why organizers like it).

JER
Jun. 19, 2011, 06:36 PM
A little OT but illustrative of how statistics and data collection can impact a sport (in this case, soccer), from this weekend's Financial Times:

A football revolution (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/9471db52-97bb-11e0-9c37-00144feab49a.html#axzz1PlPidJjW)

In recent years, football clubs who couldn't afford to spend big found it invaluable to hire a statistician or two. Apparently, statisticians are much cheaper than top players (who knew? :lol:).

IFG
Jun. 19, 2011, 07:02 PM
Apparently, statisticians are much cheaper than top players (who knew? :lol:).

I did :lol: (borne of personal experience).

LLDM
Jun. 19, 2011, 08:50 PM
I think the "head/shoulders" rule is perfectly clear and obvious, and TPTB would need to figure some catch-all rule in case the jump judge's view was obscured.

As for your comment about landing on the butt causing a concussion... by that reasoning, so could landing on your feet. You have to draw the line somewhere. Either you eliminate everyone who falls off, or you make a clear and reasonable rule about who can continue. Again, it comes down to personal responsibility. It is not the competition/organization's job to babysit you and make medical decisions on your behalf. And the whole "adrenaline" argument is garbage, IMO. If you are too amped up going XC to be able to make good decisions about your own health and well-being, you are also not going to be able to make them for your horse, and you should not be going XC period.

Well, most of the people I know consider that a "pop off" is landing on your feet.

I'll have to agree that asking the JJs to make more of a determination than that is not practical. It's pretty easy to determine if someone is still standing after coming off their horse. Even if they are not at a good angle to see the fall.

SCFarm

JER
Jun. 19, 2011, 10:03 PM
IFG, I was thinking of you when I wrote that. :)

It would be interesting to see what a good stat person would find if they studied eventing like a real sport.

OverandOnward
Jun. 19, 2011, 11:05 PM
I think the same rule has to apply to every fallen rider. I don't think there can be differentiation based on what happened in the fall - what part of the rider hit ground, etc. Due to the fallibility of the observers - there is no way to make it fair or accurate without electronic instant replay - which is not realistic.

Many, many, many jj's - especially at the LL where the majority of eventers ride - are not horse people. They are ONLY able to say "horse jumped it" or "he didn't." They can't be relied on to assess what happened in a fall. It can't be made fair to the riders, or consistent in the application of rules. Or fair to the jj's who don't feel competent to make the assessment.



If there is a 10 minute hold on a fallen rider, the rest of the riders continue their rides while that rider is on hold. Course control finds a gap between riders going past the point of the hold when the hold-rider can re-start. Perhaps even with a 30 second or 1 minute delay at the start box, if necessary, to make a safe gap in the riders.

I could live with a 10 minute mandatory hold after a fall. Since there are 65 penalty points anyway, I don't think it's necessary to add the time faults as well. Or, just increase the penalty points for a fall to 100 to truly make sure there is not a competitive reason to continue. Without course control having to do the time-keeping.

Course-management-wise this will work out to be more than 10 minutes before the rider re-starts. After 10 minutes, first the EMT's do their 'are you in there, really?' tests. If they clear the rider, then course control finds an appropriate time slot to re-start their ride. Allowing at least a couple of minutes to trot/canter and get the horse going again (we are maybe now at 12-15 minutes or so after the fall.) And if the rider is at a difficult combination or something challenging, course control could permit jumping something easy first, on or off course, not to count in the time or the score. If the rider has a stop over the warm-up, or the EMT's or TD see concerns over the warm-up, they can end the ride before it is re-started.

This could be an event management challenge if it happens in the last 2-3 rides in the division, and delays the end of this division and perhaps the start of the next one. But event management handles that sort of thing already.

I could also live with adding an additional caveat that a rider having had a fall, and having elected to continue, is eliminated on the next refusal/run-out. And, the rider is under dedicated ongoing observation by a knowledgeable official, who will be looking to pull them off if things don't look well for any reason. That would help make sure the rider isn't pushing either themselves or the horse once confidence is eroding.



... If you give the mindset that once a fall has happened, there is no score, no possibility to ribbon/place, and you are now "schooling" and not competing, it might eliminate that kneejerk "must get back on" adrenaline response.65 penalty points already made that the case, most of the time. The penalty points could be increased to 100 be sure of this result, though. I agree that if a rider falls, they need to consider themselves not riding for a ribbon if they choose to continue.

I think there is eventing logic behind a crushing level of penalty points, but allowing the rider to continue. And have it recorded that they completed. In the Olympic & FEI team divisions, riders that withdraw or are E are assessed 1,000 penalty points. But the team may continue. If, as happened with the French team at the 2008 Olympics in HK, enough riders are lost that the minimum 3 can't complete, the remaining riders can finish the event and the team will receive a completion and a score. They will just be carrying those thousand(s) of penalty points.

OverandOnward
Jun. 19, 2011, 11:21 PM
retread mentioned the politics of the one-fall rule. This is worth considering.

Is it possible that, in the smoke-filled back rooms (symbolically speaking,) this decision has nothing to do with riding ...

... but with protecting the USEA in the event a lawsuit against them goes to court?

The sport has a high risk level - that's agreed, and it can't be made zero. The nature of the sport means it is a higher risk level than many other popular forms of riding. Riders must take responsibility for that knowledge if they decide to pursue the sport.

That said ... in court, as a result of a rider tragedy - not in COTH discussion or around a USEA conference table, but in court - how does the USEA protect itself? And the USEA officials who will also personally be sued?

One way is to demonstrate that some steps were taken to reduce the risk - they changed the one-fall rule and forced E's in case of a fall. Probably has nothing to do with the case, but it's something to point to.

Conversely, if riders who fall are allowed to continue at their own discretion, hypothetically the plaintiff's attorney can make much of this. For all the reasons discussed in this thread - rider not competent to judge, etc. But attorney makes it look as if the USEA is indifferent to rider safety because they allow riders to decide for themselves if they want to continue after ... gasp ... a fall. Remembering that to many of the un-horsed public (read: the jury) a fall is the most horrifying thing imaginable about horses.

There may be other politics retread is referring to. But this is one thing that occurs to me. Eventing is a elemental sport, outdoors, confronting basic fears through guts, brains and physicality. But these days professional and financial survival requires a more sophisticated and cynical sensibility about legal risks. I do wonder if that's what the final USEA decision will come down to. And if we were in their shoes, we'd decide it on that basis as well.

mg
Jun. 19, 2011, 11:25 PM
I'm not sure I'm convinced by the arguments being made in favor of the one-fall rule. Sure, someone could be hurt and still decide to continue. But, then again, even if the rule was kept, someone could get dumped in a spot unrelated to a fence and make the same stupid decision. Couldn't an event be held more liable if it was the responsibility of the event to clear a rider before they're able to continue on or not? (forgive me if that's an obvious/stupid question--I'm not legal-minded!)

wanderlust
Jun. 19, 2011, 11:42 PM
65 penalty points already made that the case, most of the time. The penalty points could be increased to 100 be sure of this result, though. I agree that if a rider falls, they need to consider themselves not riding for a ribbon if they choose to continue. You would think that would be the case, but sadly I don't think it always is. If someone had a killer dressage, they think if they can mount up quickly and carry on, they could minimize their time penalties and still possibly end up in the top 20 or whatever. Especially if the course has already been a bit of a figurative bloodbath. Penalty points, even high penalties, are not elimination.

FlightCheck
Jun. 20, 2011, 08:58 AM
My letter to Jon Holling this morning:

Jon:

I think this rule certainly needs to revisited – whether we “tighten up” the definition of a fall (to include warmup and on course) or discontinue it all together.

As a competitor, I have always gotten back on and finished the course when physically possible. I have always thought that was the spirit of eventing – to continue towards the finish line no matter what the obstacles in your way. So my heart is with the “discontinue the rule” – but in real life, I am not sure this is practical.

As a coach of young children learning to event, I have the luxury of “previous knowledge” when a rider falls in a lesson. I know the history of horse and rider, their temperaments, their physical and mental strengths, and can do an assessment of all before choosing them to continue or have them be “done for the day”.

As Control, however, I of course love the “one fall and out rule”, as it is simple and direct.

I’d love to go back to the “45 second rule” for show jumping. I think that if you are able to scramble back up into the saddle and jump the fence in the 45 seconds, you are probably good to go for the rest of show jumping.

Cross country is more problematic.

It has been suggested on the COTH forums of a “10 minute hold” for the fallen rider before he/she is allowed to continue, allowing for proper assessment.

I think this sounds good in theory, but logistically would be a nightmare – who monitors the fallen rider? If I am running Control, I would not like to have the paramedics tied up with that one person for the 10 minutes - what if someone else falls, then who monitors them? And, I do not believe fence judges should have to monitor a rider while watching their fence for the oncoming riders. And “someone” has to have a watch on the fallen rider for that ten minutes AND figure out how to fit them back in to the lineup with 350 other horses coming on course.

It has also been suggested that the fallen rider be able to school at the end of the competition. Good in theory, but would this be covered by USEA insurance? Some competitions NEVER offer schooling – what would be their responsibility? Would there be a fee? If this is a USEA rule, then the paramedics would also have to stay over, correct? Whose insurance would cover this schooling – the USEA/USEF’s, the organizers’, or the grounds where the competition was held?

Thank you

IFG
Jun. 20, 2011, 09:26 AM
IFG, I was thinking of you when I wrote that. :)

It would be interesting to see what a good stat person would find if they studied eventing like a real sport.

Yeah, I'm really an epidemiologist. We make even less than statisticians.:no:

IFG
Jun. 20, 2011, 09:30 AM
Forgot to add. When I offered to analyze the data a few years ago, I had a lot more time than I do now. At this point, I would barely have time to mentor a student to do it.

Although they have published some stats, they certainly have not assessed the impact of the one fall rule. I would hope that they do it quantitatively rather than relying on the descriptive statistics from the questionnaires that competitors who fall are completing.

Janet
Jun. 20, 2011, 10:55 AM
Under the "penalty points for a fall" there is an incentive for a rider (especially one with high adreneline, even if not injured) to get back on "as quickly as possible" (without taking time to properly assess themselves and the horse) and to then "try to make up time".

Yes, with hindsight,it makes no sense. But in the heat of the moment...

I think this needs to be discouraged, even if it does not result in future injury. One way of doing this is to give a penalty which result in "no numerical final score", but not necessarily E. (We are already recording it as RF.)

But the rules could be changed so a rider with an RF COULD be allowed to continue and complete the course, but without a score. This is a bit analogous to the current rules which allow a rider eliminated in an earlier phase, and with permission of the GJ, to ride in a subsequent phase.

I can think of several way to do this

- Anyone who falls and is not "apparently injured" (already covered by other rules), may remount (with assistance if needed) and complete the course, but with a final score of RF.

-Anyone who falls and is not "apparently injured" (already covered by other rules), may remount (with assistance if needed) and continue the course, but must stop and leave the course if they have another fault (e.g., refusal). Again with a final score of RF.

- Anyone who falls and wants to continue must request permission from the GJ (or TD if so delegated by the GJ). The GJ can chose whether to allow the rider continue without further restrictions, allow the rider to continue with the "retire if another fault" provision, or not allow the rider to continue. (But I think this is probably impractical in many situations)

Possibly a high enough penalty score would have the same effect, but you still might have someone with a fall trying to "make up time" in order to beat other riders with falls.

retreadeventer
Jun. 20, 2011, 02:28 PM
I think all of the above is somewhat unwieldy. (JMO, no personal things meant).

I think given the current business and insurance climate (and those in that sphere can correct me if I am wrong in assuming this) and including what would be considered "best practice" standards:

1. Rescinding a rule that currently halts a fallen rider from further competition, to a rule that ***allows*** a rider who falls off during a competition to get back on and continue (in any fashion) probably NOT a good idea from a national standpoint.

2. Revisiting the rule to further clarify what a "fall" is, and where it occurs (warmup) and to close the loophole of the professional "bye" on falls (i.e., gets a fall on Horse A, gets to ride rest of the day on Horse B, C, D, etc.) probably IS a good idea, if one considers the best practices standards of insurance AND in view of the logistical concerns of organizers.

3. The pop-off fall where one lands on ones feet, vs. any other type of fall, probably can't be defined or considered different in view of insurance, health concerns, logistics of cross-country day, organization of the event, the available officials, focus and training of jump judges and volunteers, etc. Yes, it may have worked before....but we have to focus on what we are doing NOW and going forward, not what WAS back then.

I think personally that if you were to somehow re-work the current rule to allow a fallen rider to remount and continue, this is going to require a lot more officials on course, perhaps even more medical personel to somehow be available at every fence or near every fence to "approve" the fall and let the rider continue on....a logistical nightmare to an organizer as well as being fairly risky in terms of insurance or health "best practices". It's an unreasonable burden just to allow someone with a green horse a chance to go school. And to add stats to that -- if you have 400 entries, and for example 4 falls, that's one out of 100. Is that worth the added officials, EMT's, just to allow those four riders to go school? And maybe only one or two will WANT to remount and continue, so then that's two riders to continue on and school. 2 out of 400.

4. In terms of change, I think the smartest thing to do at this stage of the game is to close the pro loophole in the multiple horse thing, as well as the warmup fall loophole. Falls are falls, no matter where on the grounds they occur. A fall in warmup can be equally as dastardly as one on course or on the trail on the way to XC, or in the barn area or trailer parking area. Same risk. I think however the warmup fall has a bit of leeway, as there isn't a logistical problem inherent in that (the person isn't on course), but it would require a warmup steward or someone tasked with reporting these to the proper authority and whatever else is involved....

I've spoken with judges, technical delegates, and organizers about this rule in the past and it changed my mind when I heard what they had to say about riders that fell in competition. I used to think that the popoff was no big deal to me, but in fact, it's a big deal to THEM, and I respect and value the opinions and experience of these people who are the Keeper of the Flame when it comes to our beloved sport of eventing.

And in terms of experience, I've fallen before the rule and got back on, and fallen recently in competition under the new rule, and had to quit. (Popoff, landed on feet and one knee actually) No big deal. Back to the drawing board.

When you come out of the tack, you're no longer in control of the horse, so I haven't got a problem with it. When you consider the amount of actual competition saddle time -- less than 15 minutes, actually -- 15 minutes is not that long to require someone to be in the tack fulltime, speaking generally about average phases. (4 min. dressage, 3 min. stadium, 5 min. XC. or thereabouts). When you look at it that way it makes any fall or separation of horse and rider in competition quite significant.

1516
Jun. 20, 2011, 03:17 PM
If you can't stay on your horse, you should be eliminated. Whenever, wherever, it happens during the competition.

JP60
Jun. 20, 2011, 04:54 PM
If you can't stay on your horse, you should be eliminated. Whenever, wherever, it happens during the competition.

This I connect with, but the
<tongueincheek>
"you kids get off my xc course", "When we evented Woolly Mammoths, we fell off and liked it", and "I need to school my horse right now!" folks may differ.
</tongueincheek>*

Sometimes simple rules work because they piss everyone off, but do the job required; in this case safety, fairness, and perhaps legal coverage for those wonderful people that provide us the opportunity to perform in this sport. Complicated clauses just mean more ways to get around the rule its self.

I'd support the idea that if you fell on course, but had multiple horses you'd have to submit to an exam and get cleared by the TD or show official before continuing to ride other horses with a flag that any other fall, DR, or nultiple refusals results in elimination for the day. If you were a one horse show then you are done. If the fall occurred off course you'd have to submit to an exam and get okay'd to continue by the TD with a flag that any fall, multiple refusal or DR results in elimination. Were that too complicate then back to 1516's view and batten down the hatches.


*Disclaimer - I really am a warmhearted, fun loving, humorous guy who loves his horses, love to ride, and loves eventing (in that order). My passion is yours, but from a different view and I truly respect those who've come before me. At 50 (and still wet from tadpole birth, my hero's are those who leap the big logs and who are older then me. They are allowed the occasional "get off my course" moment for I dream of the day I can ascend to those hallowed ranks ;)

RAyers
Jun. 20, 2011, 05:12 PM
I have a question for those who tout the "training" aspect when a rider is not allowed to remount. The argument is that because they can not continue some aspect of training is lost.

My counter is from my personal experience. Because I come from h/j I am used to the you fall you are done. Except for one time,whenever I have fallen on XC I walked off, even if I was allowed to get back on. At no time did I ever think that my horse was going to learn some dastardly trait or I would lose confidence. It seems to not have stopped us as we came back better the next time (even if I had to wait a year to go at that particular XC course again).

I think that using this argument as a reason to allow for a fall and remount is specious at best and has no real validity. Am I wrong? Why?

asterix
Jun. 20, 2011, 05:42 PM
For what it's worth, I agree with Reed.

And I just think it is not practical to have some elaborate structure in place for checking someone out on course for a possible continuation. We don't have the officials, and we don't have the time. And it's a nightmare for control.

I do NOT like the current rule, where anyone with one horse, or who falls off on course, is out, but someone with two horses, or who has a hideous warmup and falls off 3 times, can continue.

That doesn't seem fair and for that reason alone I think it should be amended.
Perhaps a compromise, and one that is not too hard to work logistically, would be getting permission to go if you fall in warmup or fall off horse A and want to ride horse B.

IFG
Jun. 20, 2011, 08:52 PM
I have a question for those who tout the "training" aspect when a rider is not allowed to remount. The argument is that because they can not continue some aspect of training is lost.

My counter is from my personal experience. Because I come from h/j I am used to the you fall you are done. Except for one time,whenever I have fallen on XC I walked off, even if I was allowed to get back on. At no time did I ever think that my horse was going to learn some dastardly trait or I would lose confidence. It seems to not have stopped us as we came back better the next time (even if I had to wait a year to go at that particular XC course again).

I think that using this argument as a reason to allow for a fall and remount is specious at best and has no real validity. Am I wrong? Why?

Reed,

This may be the first time that we disagree. I speak as a lower level rider who at the time, did not have much access to different types of XC jumps. I evented to have fun and to ride XC jumps, not to win. If I fell off, I had no problem with getting back on and riding the rest of the course. I am not talking about upper levels. I am talking about BN and N. If the point is to have fun, and if I would get on and school some more if I fell off in a lesson, why not on course.

Of course, I realize that eventing has changed. Now it is more about competing, but I am from the days of riding my wooly mammoth.

The change in the sport is probably why I am not sad that I am not competing anymore.

Highflyer
Jun. 20, 2011, 09:30 PM
One of the things I like best about h/j shows is that if you have a lousy go, you can usually find another class to go in. At an event, you're done, and especially with xc it may be a while before you have a chance to tackle anything similar. I agree with you that horses rarely really suffer from this, but I think riders absolutely do. There is nothing worse than having a bad day at the last event of the season and spending all winter thinking about trakheners. It's like trying not to think about polar bears or something.

JER
Jun. 20, 2011, 09:31 PM
I have a question for those who tout the "training" aspect when a rider is not allowed to remount. The argument is that because they can not continue some aspect of training is lost.

My counter is from my personal experience. Because I come from h/j I am used to the you fall you are done.

In h/j, if you fall, you are done -- with that one class. You can enter another one or as many other ones as you like and are qualified for.

In h/j, you can fall in one class and still salvage your weekend and your confidence and your horse's confidence with a good go in another class.

Eventers, in many cases, work very hard, spend lots of money, travel great distances, and juggle their work/school/family lives to go to competitions. Many riders live in areas without much access to XC schooling or unrecognized horse trials, so each competition represents a huge milestone for them.

In those cases, a completion, even with a harmless fall, means a lot.

sch1star
Jun. 23, 2011, 09:30 PM
If you can't stay on your horse, you should be eliminated. Whenever, wherever, it happens during the competition.

Well, when I evented Woolly Mammoths, we fell off and liked it!

Sorry, that was too funny.

One thing I don't think we've raised yet, but that I've heard anecdotally, is that the one fall rule encourages people to employ heroic measures to avoid falling when in fact the safer alternative is to actually fall off. That is, hanging upside-down under the horse's neck, a foot in the stirrup, reins wrapped around what have you, pleading with said mammoth to WHOA while she drags herself, molecule by molecule, back into the tack...I mean, we cheer at this stuff in competitions! But hanging on at all costs isn't always the advisable thing to do.

Don't know if there's any actual data on that (BE?). Stands to reason, though, that the rule could be encouraging behavior that's counter to its goal.

And as others have pointed out, the lack of intersection between rider and ground does not necessarily mean that no injury has taken place.

JP60
Jun. 24, 2011, 07:11 AM
One thing I don't think we've raised yet, but that I've heard anecdotally, is that the one fall rule encourages people to employ heroic measures to avoid falling when in fact the safer alternative is to actually fall off. That is, hanging upside-down under the horse's neck, a foot in the stirrup, reins wrapped around what have you, pleading with said mammoth to WHOA while she drags herself, molecule by molecule, back into the tack...I mean, we cheer at this stuff in competitions! But hanging on at all costs isn't always the advisable thing to do.

And I thought it was self-preservation :winkgrin:

Mind of an ULR while falling:
"Bother it all, I'm out of the tack, must not have balanced her correctly, well I best prepare my landing...there goes the air vest, oh bother, now I have to change the cartridge..I wonder if the groom has the next horse ready"

Mind of a LLR (me) when falling:
OMG AHHHHHHHH..WTF...Oh this is going to hurt.

I know I'm not thinking of the one fall rule when holding on for dear life :)

mg
Jun. 24, 2011, 10:48 AM
Mind of a LLR (me) when falling:
OMG AHHHHHHHH..WTF...Oh this is going to hurt.

I know I'm not thinking of the one fall rule when holding on for dear life :)

Well, I haven't experienced an almost/fall at an event yet, but whenever I'm about to fall off while schooling, the first thought through my head is, "Oh HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NO!" I imagine at an event it would be, "I paid HOW MUCH to be here? Oh HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NO!" I'm going to venture a guess that I'm not alone in that ;)

IFG
Jun. 24, 2011, 11:38 AM
In h/j, if you fall, you are done -- with that one class. You can enter another one or as many other ones as you like and are qualified for.

In h/j, you can fall in one class and still salvage your weekend and your confidence and your horse's confidence with a good go in another class.

Eventers, in many cases, work very hard, spend lots of money, travel great distances, and juggle their work/school/family lives to go to competitions. Many riders live in areas without much access to XC schooling or unrecognized horse trials, so each competition represents a huge milestone for them.

In those cases, a completion, even with a harmless fall, means a lot.

JER said it much better than I did.