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View Full Version : I'm not one to usually talk about overbitting, but...



mg
Jun. 24, 2011, 06:49 PM
I just received my July issue of Practical Horseman and Udonna is on the cover going XC...in a double-bridle, running martingale, and what appears to be a chain flash?! Seriously? It appears she only rides in a gag, running, and drop-noseband for stadium. I don't have any issue with jumping in a double bridle, but it seems strange to use one with a flash, nevermind a flash that appears to be part chain.

Does anyone have any insight on why she uses this setup? Maybe it's a lot gentler than what I'm seeing, it just looks like a LOT!

Xanthoria
Jun. 24, 2011, 06:53 PM
I'm actually seeing a snaffle, a Pelham with only a rein on the curb end, and a chain-bottomed flash contraption. Yikers! Wonder what’s going on inside the mouth… twisted wire? :eek:

lep
Jun. 24, 2011, 08:41 PM
I noticed that chain-flash deal, too.....yikes....

wildlifer
Jun. 24, 2011, 08:42 PM
But ZOMG we will take her to Advanced in one year!

Xctrygirl
Jun. 24, 2011, 09:00 PM
Ask someone at Pine Top what was in the fed ex box.

:eek:

~Emily

paintmare
Jun. 24, 2011, 09:08 PM
Can someone share the picture in question?

Dressage.For.Life.
Jun. 24, 2011, 09:37 PM
I see the Pelham w/ a rein on only the curb end, but I also see reins that are attached to what appears to look like another bit?

And, the half-chain flash contraption is quite scary. :no:

And yeah, of course this horse also apparently needs a running martingale on top of this setup...

Jaegermonster
Jun. 24, 2011, 09:46 PM
It does look like a double bridle. There is a rein on the curb rein on the pelham but if you look closely you can see what looks like another bit ring that the snaffle rein is attached to, and i noticed the chain flash which looks a little scary.

DressageOverFences
Jun. 24, 2011, 09:52 PM
My mom who isnt even a horse person noticed this on my practical horseman. I found it surprising and I know some horses do need something more than a snaffle, but that seemed like too much. If you cant control a horse without that much bit, maybe you need to bring it down a peg.

BEARCAT
Jun. 24, 2011, 09:55 PM
That chain is the first thing I noticed when I got my magazine - made me throw up a little...

Lone
Jun. 24, 2011, 10:00 PM
Can someone share the picture in question?

Here's (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7058239&id=66630714161&fbid=10150214346814162) a link (I hope!) if you have a facebook page you can go to Practical Horseman's site and they have the cover of the magazine as their profile picture.

phoebetrainer
Jun. 24, 2011, 10:14 PM
I've done some zooming in - its definitely a pelham - with only the curb ring with a rein attached. There's a second snaffle, (not a gag) chain as the bottom strap of the noseband and martingale attached to the snaffle rein.

In my far back distant days in England, we were always taught that the curb rein helped to lower the head. If you needed a martingale AND a curb bit (god forbid that you hadn't schooled your horse adequately) then the martingale should go on the curb rein, not the snaffle.

Maybe this is what showjumpers think they need to stop their horses when they get out in the wide open spaces? :eek: (meow)

Highflyer
Jun. 24, 2011, 10:19 PM
I was always taught that the martingale went on the snaffle.

saje
Jun. 24, 2011, 10:22 PM
I can't tell from the FB image, but is that ring really a running martingale, or is it an Irish martingale?

VicariousRider
Jun. 24, 2011, 10:34 PM
I have to admit that when I got my Practical Horseman in the mail I was pretty horrified. I think that the flash looks brutal and the real thing is that each of these pieces used individually is one thing but in combination it seems pretty severe. I used to ride a pony in a double twisted wire so I understand that some horse just require more bit, but how is this a good idea?

asterix
Jun. 24, 2011, 10:45 PM
Have they competed recently? They moved up quite quickly but I think have not been out in a while....

I have seen video of this pair at Prelim. The mare can jump the moon but they were scary to watch through combinations -- leaving out strides and just running past distances. I can see the temptation to add "brake power" but in my (less exalted) world, you don't move up until the horse understands the questions and is rideable.

:no:

MyssMyst
Jun. 24, 2011, 10:53 PM
I was taught that the running goes on the curb as well. But holy shiz, this just looks harsh. If you need THAT much stopping power, why the hades are you not working on basics? I may be old fashioned, but I was always taught that if you couldn't do it with a snaffle, you shouldn't be doing it. Granted, some horses favor something like a pelham, but you still ought to be able to do it in a snaffle. That noseband horrifies me. And I can't believe Practical Horseman would actually put that on the cover.

rennyben
Jun. 24, 2011, 11:13 PM
Ugh, I wanted to vomit a little too. Sad. Gross.

It's ironic though that the horse is covered in fleece everywhere else.

God knows I couldn't compete at that level - Or grand prix jumpers... but I hate seeing horses wearing that much hardware. I also know that I might be talking out my butt here... but if she's made it her goal to be a certain level in a certain amount of time... and it requires that much to get it done... I would think she's compromising something... her integrity, her horsemanship, her horses's comfort. Never a good thing.

But, what would I know?

mg
Jun. 24, 2011, 11:32 PM
I've done some zooming in - its definitely a pelham - with only the curb ring with a rein attached. There's a second snaffle, (not a gag) chain as the bottom strap of the noseband and martingale attached to the snaffle rein.

So it's not a real double, it's a make-shift one using a pelham instead of a weymouth! Jebus!


I can't tell from the FB image, but is that ring really a running martingale, or is it an Irish martingale?

It's a running martingale. I couldn't tell at first either, but there's another XC pic later in the magazine that's taken from the side and you can see the running attachments.

CarolinaGirl
Jun. 24, 2011, 11:37 PM
I have no comment to add, but here's a easier to view photo of the pair... the photo that is on the cover is also in this album: http://www.hoofclix.com/Pine-Top-Farm/2011-02-27-USEA-Horse-Trial/MarilynLittle/15968853_LDTwt#1201351309_nQU8D-A-LB

ACMEeventing
Jun. 25, 2011, 12:07 AM
Interestingly, the horse has the least amount of hardware in stadium, XC and dressage have some serious bling.

I also am uncomfortable with that much leverage, it just seems so extreme. However, if you look at the XC photos it makes you wonder why she has the snaffle reins at all. In each pic the snaffle reins are loopy and the curb reins are forgiving. The only shot that shows the horse feeling those gadgets is the one entering the water (and he was not thrilled).

Different? Yes. Uncomfortable? Yes.

But I think I've seen worse from uneducated hands holding a slow twist. Gonna have to sit this one out.

Fancy That
Jun. 25, 2011, 01:54 AM
Just reiterating that I also noticed the severity of the hardware - especially a CHAIN FLASH NOSEBAND!?

And the use of 2 bits at once.
1. A Pelham (using curb rein only)
2. AND a Snaffle Bit

This is not a classic Double Bridle like you'd see in the Dressage Arena or in Saddleseat divisions. It appears to literally be two "regular" bits in the horses' mouth, along with the chain noseband and the running martingale.

Horse must have a large mouth (interior) to hold that much hardware.

A double bridle has a small/thin bradoon, so as to be more comfortable.

Obviously, this is a very capable rider - I'm not insinuating anything - just stating facts.

Xanthoria
Jun. 25, 2011, 04:16 AM
Does the Pelham look jointed to anyone else? (and if so two jointed mouthpieces is pretty strong stuff, esp when mixing jointed + curb action = a no no in my book)

Also I didn't know substituting chain for noseband was legal - but it must be!

Well her position is great and she seems to be doing well, so aside from gadgetry comments, more power to her.

Old Fashioned
Jun. 25, 2011, 07:33 AM
It definitely seeems like major over kill and the gear makes me cringe. But in every photo I've seen the horse just looks so relaxed and happy... Huh... :confused:

saje
Jun. 25, 2011, 08:22 AM
Odd about using the pelham since she did her dressage in a true double. Though other than the extra ring it amounts to the same thing, doesn't it?

cleozowner
Jun. 25, 2011, 08:40 AM
Looks like she goes in a bib martingale, so essentially "yes" to both the running and the Irish.

Hilary
Jun. 25, 2011, 08:50 AM
I have only used a pelham or gag on XC but always put the martingale on the snaffle rein - if you are invoking the bottom rein you should also be using the top rein at the same time and don't want the martingale affecting the curb/gag action. At least that's what I was taught.

I don't understand using a pelham as the curb part of a double, especially if she actually has the dressage double. And the chain flash seems a bit harsh, but if that's what she needs for brakes, better that than running away.

At the WEG I saw a horse with a full bridle and the snaffle bit was a gag!

She hasn't competed since March or February of this year. The best laid plans... I hope the horse is OK and they just changed their plans.

asterix
Jun. 25, 2011, 08:55 AM
Still photos do not tell the whole story. This pair was NOT RELAXED and "happy" in between fences in the video I saw before. Obviously the horse loves to jump but she was barely rateable turning to combos and routinely left out strides at prelim on the video.

Dressage.For.Life.
Jun. 25, 2011, 09:14 AM
Here's a few videos I was able to dig up on YouTube--

Show Jumping-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m738kdqUh_Q

Especially in that particular video of them doing show jumping, I'm not seeing the same forgiving looking rider that the photos in Practical Horseman showed.

Here's another video of them doing a GP jumping class-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HMsne_IdlU&feature=related

And finally, they look a little more relaxed in this show jumping round-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwZm_lLhPOo

XC-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w41dGpEjqOw

enjoytheride
Jun. 25, 2011, 10:09 AM
I don't know about the bit combination on XC but I can see by its former life as a GP jumper that this horse is a firecracker. I think the horse does not look easy to ride at all around a course of jumps and admire the talent of the rider keeping the horse contained and pointed at the fences.

The Derbycross was expertly ridden and on the edge of out of control, the angled fence appeared to be a 2 stride and not a one as Udonna jumped it, I imagine the fences look like bumps on the ground to an X grandprix horse who is wired for go and wondering when the real jumping starts.

If I just saw the video of its first Training level XC ride I'd say it was a fun and brave horse who was enjoying its new job.

I understand a jumper rider booting the snot out of their horse, XC jumps don't fall down!

Fancy That
Jun. 25, 2011, 01:27 PM
Basically, it "could" amount to the same thing.

A true/classic Double Bridle has a thin/small bridoon (snaffle) and the pelham is NOT jointed.

Since she already owns what appears to be a true/classic Double Bridle (as seen in Dressage).......I'd guess the XC get-up is a different variation. (perhaps a jointed pelham? or more severe mouthpiece on the snaffle? no clue)

Kudos to anyone that can ride a pistol of a horse like that though, I guess! She is obviously talented (rider and horse)




Odd about using the pelham since she did her dressage in a true double. Though other than the extra ring it amounts to the same thing, doesn't it?

Xctrygirl
Jun. 25, 2011, 02:02 PM
Here's a few videos I was able to dig up on YouTube--



Here's another video of them doing a GP jumping class-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HMsne_IdlU&feature=related



That's her husband riding. Who competed the mare a lot.

The other 'show jumping round' you posted was Marilyn and Udonna last year at the Bluegrass Classic. I am surprised they're calling it a "GP" on their Youtube as the class was a 1.45 meter class. And a CSI2* by the FEI levels at a AA rated show.... so essentially... NOT a grand Prix.

~Emily

PS: I heard stories about the pelham in her mouth at PineTop and thus the one in this image. Word on the street from people who were there is that it arrived by Fed Ex and the mouth is HUGELY ported and abbrated.


But.... I wasn't there. But I believe those who passed the info on to me.

enjoytheride
Jun. 25, 2011, 03:00 PM
Could it be a Fulmer pelham/ rugby pelham? Ah, nvm I made the picture bigger and it is not.

Where can you buy a chain flash? I am aware of chain lined nosebands being very common, but the flash?

PonyGal08
Jun. 25, 2011, 04:02 PM
I thought this picture looked really familiar. It was posted on this thread (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=294298&highlight=Udonna) in post 108. The picture in the article cited in the OP also shows an interesting "bitting" choice... I'm not even sure what it is. I can't quite tell.

I don't have much to say about the picture other than I've never seen a flash like that one, ouch. Also, I would give PH the benefit of the doubt that they didn't notice...

Fancy That
Jun. 25, 2011, 05:24 PM
Link to those pics, directly:
http://www.hoofclix.com/Pine-Top-Farm/2011-02-27-USEA-Horse-Trial/MarilynLittle/15968853_LDTwt#1201351309_nQU8D




I thought this picture looked really familiar. It was posted on this thread (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=294298&highlight=Udonna) in post 108. The picture in the article cited in the OP also shows an interesting "bitting" choice... I'm not even sure what it is. I can't quite tell.

I don't have much to say about the picture other than I've never seen a flash like that one, ouch. Also, I would give PH the benefit of the doubt that they didn't notice...

mugsgame
Jun. 25, 2011, 06:47 PM
It looks like a Swales Pelham - http://www.horsebitbank.com/ns-slimma-swales-pelham-14mm-61.phtml

Xctrygirl
Jun. 25, 2011, 07:08 PM
Mugs look at the full pics link. Choose the X3 size and look closer.

It's a "double bridle" set up in that its a bridoon strap on a regular jump bridle with a high port pelham with only a curb rein. And on the strap is something that resembles a snaffle. (God knows what the mouth is though)

~Emily

jumpsnake
Jun. 25, 2011, 09:00 PM
I think the horse does look like a real tough ride. And obviously the horse is full of talent.

However, I can't get over that chain. The bits do seem odd and a bit much to me, but that chain.... why on earth would you even think of doing that? Is a leather strap not enough to tie the horse's mouth shut with (and I do ride with a flash or figure-8)? Does this horse have the mouth-opening power of superman? Will the bits fall out if they are not strapped in? I just don't get it.

Fancy That
Jun. 25, 2011, 10:34 PM
I have a feeling that PH will have folks writing in about the use of the chain flash noseband on the cover ;( I just can't see its readership letting that "sneak by"......

ACMEeventing
Jun. 25, 2011, 10:40 PM
Assuming that any rider featured in PH must give consent for their pictures to be shown, it makes me wonder if they are prepared for the fallout.

That's a lot of hardware to explain (but like I said earlier, I've seen horribly abusive riding using nothing more than a slow twist).

hydro101
Jun. 26, 2011, 01:29 AM
Here's a few videos I was able to dig up on YouTube--

Show Jumping-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m738kdqUh_Q



If you pause the video at 1:05 you can see a really interesting posture involving bracing the left hand against the mane to gain leverage to turn to the right... its just interesting. :eek:

ake987
Jun. 26, 2011, 02:14 AM
If you pause the video at 1:05 you can see a really interesting posture involving bracing the left hand against the mane to gain leverage to turn to the right... its just interesting. :eek:

Glad I'm not the only one that noticed that. Not that I am even close to as skilled a rider on as skilled a horse who DOES look like a tough ride, but if I ever put my hand down on my horse to gain leverage of that magnitude on the bit, I think my trainer would beat me to a bloody pulp.

Or maybe she would just put the bit in my mouth, push down on my shoulder, and yank the reins to the right. :sadsmile:

ZiggyStardust
Jun. 26, 2011, 02:45 AM
If you pause the video at 1:05 you can see a really interesting posture involving bracing the left hand against the mane to gain leverage to turn to the right... its just interesting. :eek:

Also interesting that she seems to approach tight turns by leaning sideways into the turn with her upper body. Not something I've usually seen by GP riders, that I can recall.

Suppose I'm not terribly surprised by the use of all the hardware by someone who likes to broadcast an agenda on a timeframe. And the people who've facilitated this behavior within the eventing world. Nothing like a little muscle to help move things along. Does the article say what the horse has been doing this year?

runnyjump
Jun. 26, 2011, 09:51 AM
To quote the amazing General Jack Burton:
"The more hardware in the horse's mouth, the less knowledge in the rider's head.":yes:

This alarms me... a LOT! Especially put on the front of a magazine as if it's a desired thing.:mad:

I agree with so many here on the boards. Work the basics. Some horses are just real pullers on the xc, but the fact that this horse has moved from training to CIC** in less than a year and the rider needs this "junk" on the horse to maintain control tell me that this is about the rider, not the horse.

Just because the horse CAN jump the fences at that level doesn't mean it's READY to do it!

hundredacres
Jun. 26, 2011, 10:13 AM
It definitely seeems like major over kill and the gear makes me cringe. But in every photo I've seen the horse just looks so relaxed and happy... Huh... :confused:

Really, you think he looks "happy" on the cover? Not to me. I'm far from a horse-mind reading expert, but to me he looks at least concerned. I would be too though ~~~

GotSpots
Jun. 26, 2011, 10:16 AM
Seriously guys? She's an experienced, competent rider, on a horse who has a ton of power and doesn't look like the easiest of rides. She's working with great coaches. Sure, she's got an agenda to move-up fast, but that doesn't mean she's necessarily pushing too hard or trying too much. We're not sitting on that horse, trying to put that ride together, and I'd like to at least give her the benefit of the doubt rather than snarking at her on a bulletin board. Now, my view might be colored a bit by the fact that I all but got run away with on a very experienced eventer this weekend despite having a three ring, and am contemplating adding a lever noseband to the equation. It's not the same bit she's using, but it is more "hardware" than I might otherwise choose to have in an "ideal" world -- but then again, in an ideal world, my 16 year old TB wouldn't still be a bit of a hot ride with a mouth like iron at Preliminary. Would I love him to be soft in my hand at all times around a course? Absolutely. But perfect is the enemy of good, and sometimes you have to find a combination that works for where you are at that moment.

yellowbritches
Jun. 26, 2011, 10:29 AM
Seriously guys? She's an experienced, competent rider, on a horse who has a ton of power and doesn't look like the easiest of rides. She's working with great coaches. Sure, she's got an agenda to move-up fast, but that doesn't mean she's necessarily pushing too hard or trying too much. We're not sitting on that horse, trying to put that ride together, and I'd like to at least give her the benefit of the doubt rather than snarking at her on a bulletin board. Now, my view might be colored a bit by the fact that I all but got run away with on a very experienced eventer this weekend despite having a three ring, and am contemplating adding a lever noseband to the equation. It's not the same bit she's using, but it is more "hardware" than I might otherwise choose to have in an "ideal" world -- but then again, in an ideal world, my 16 year old TB wouldn't still be a bit of a hot ride with a mouth like iron at Preliminary. Would I love him to be soft in my hand at all times around a course? Absolutely. But perfect is the enemy of good, and sometimes you have to find a combination that works for where you are at that moment.
I agree with this. Not your horse, not your barn, not your issue. The horse is extremely powerful and enthusiastic. Sometimes what is working in the ring at home (ie, the basics) doesn't not shine through in the heat of the moment and you got to do what works. This set up may not have been the rig I would have chosen, but until I see it hanging on the tack cleaning hook and can get a much better look at it, I'll refrain from making too much of a judgement call.

FWIW, the article was a great read and I found it very interesting. And one little section REALLY struck a cord with me, especially as I struggle to make my show jumping better.

hydro101
Jun. 26, 2011, 11:16 AM
I guess I was originally commenting (which is slightly off topic to the very original intent of the post) that she does look indeed a bit out of control on that course in the HT. I do not mean to imply that the horse and rider are not talented, shouldnt have moved up, etc etc because they clearly deserve their incredible achievements.

I guess, really, they make bits because people need them/horses need them/will buy them. In the end, hotness and training and everything else aside... if the horse didn't need the bit, I'm fairly positive the horse wouldn't have it. And hearing the people that she's trained with, this is clearly what the horse needs and goes best with currently.

THAT aside, to the original point of the post, it is not every day I see a horse with that much hardware in their mouth. Nor do I even really understand the whole purpose of the double bridle on cross country, hence the :eek: Is it doing the same as a double bridle in dressage? Same idea?

MyssMyst
Jun. 26, 2011, 11:50 AM
There is no excusing a pelham being used in conjunction with a snaffle in my book. If you want a double, use a true double bridle. Is the horse insanely talented? Without a doubt! But the horse is clearly lacking in basics if it needs that much hardware. And I saw some pretty nasty see-sawing going on in the videos posted. I would never, ever let either of these riders touch a horse of mine. They are sacrificing solid basics in order to get the horse up the levels faster, and I am in no way ok with that. Some of those rides looked damn scary, and borderline out of control. The horse is not relaxed, and one wrong move with that bit setup and it's an accident waiting to happen.

It should not be the talent of the horse that determines when they move it up another level (or several), it must be the skill. You can have the most talented horse in the world, but if it lacks the basic skills (stopping being only one of them) it does not belong out of the lower levels. If you ignore this basic fact, you end up with a horse that is compensating for a lack of confidence. A lack of confidence in the horse will always come back to bite the rider/trainer in the butt.

Zipping up my flamesuit now.

VicariousRider
Jun. 26, 2011, 11:55 AM
Not your horse, not your barn, not your issue. The horse is extremely powerful and enthusiastic. Sometimes what is working in the ring at home (ie, the basics) doesn't not shine through in the heat of the moment and you got to do what works.

I agree with this. But I also think that everyone has their limits as to what they are willing to do to get a horse around cross country and those limits will be different for each of us.

While the horse looks strong (to put it mildly), for me it reinforces the notion that coming into a sport with an extremely ambitious goal in the front of your mind might encourage decisions that are focused on that goal rather than what the best long term training decision is for the horse. I hope that my perceptions are incorrect and that we haven't seen the mare recently because they've taken a step back to reevaluate.

Nevertheless, in my gut, this looks like reliance on a lot of harsh equipment and that concerns me. There are lots of things that we could all do to elicit better results but, in the interest of horse welfare and horsemanship we don't do them. Of course, this involves a personal judgment call. For me that noseband alone (and many of the internally studded one, for that matter) would be cause for reevaluation. But that's just me...

ake987
Jun. 26, 2011, 01:11 PM
...coming into a sport with an extremely ambitious goal in the front of your mind might encourage decisions that are focused on that goal rather than what the best long term training decision is for the horse. I hope that my perceptions are incorrect and that we haven't seen the mare recently because they've taken a step back to reevaluate.

Couldn't have said it better.

foursocks
Jun. 26, 2011, 01:42 PM
Wow- I thought we H/J people were supposed to be the judgey ones. I understand people's concerns, but that horse looks like she rides like a show jumper who wants to gallop, wont rate herself, and is fearless. M. Little-Meredith is one hell of a rider on a tricky horse with lots of heart but (it seems) not much whoa.

Of course flatwork is the best place to go with horses with less experience, but when you're talking about a very experienced, powerful show jumper, sometimes all the flatwork in the world goes out the window when they sight a fence. Believe me, we DO flatwork- you can't get past a certain level without it, unless you or your horse is a freak of nature! Watch the mare's eye, look at her ears- she is eager, she is not anxious, she is ready to go. Is her tail wringing? Is she pinning her ears, scrunching up her back, backing off the fences? No- she is saying: lemme go lemme go lemme go! Jump jump jump! I sometimes ride an Intermediate horse who rides like a high-level show jumper- I have to be careful where I point him because he will jump whatever is in his line of sight if I'm not paying attention. Udonna looks to me like one of those types.

I don't know- I've always thought eventing was more welcoming, so I'm surprised at the vitriol. I've seen my share of hideously scary riding in all disciplines, with very unhappy horses in all sorts of get-ups. Udonna looks totally happy XC, and (as a previous poster said) probably wondering where all the questions are in her stadium rounds. Despite some people claiming to be in the know (which seems doubtful to me), I don't quite see the reason for this backlash.

Badger
Jun. 26, 2011, 02:03 PM
Eventers used to be a very supportive, positive bunch. What is reflected on these boards lately: Not so much. Le sigh. Happily, this doesn't seem to spill over to real life eventing as much as it shows up in the internet tradition of rushing to judgement.

My curiosity would love a good, thoughtful, educated explanation of when the Pelham+snaffle is appropriate is place of a true double bridle. This is the first instance I've heard of this combination. So I'd love to hear the reasoning behind it.

FYI, doubles are used in Europe a lot more than on the states. They are considered the proper traditional turnout for a finished horse for hunting and showing in the UK, unless that has changed recently. The double lets educated hands separate and finesse the snaffle action from the action of the curb, which is something that isn't done with Pelhams, gags, Passoas, etc. I have seen them used in Germany much earlier in a horses education than we introduce them here. I saw a beretor testing a few years ago and the first-level equivalent test was being performed in the double bridle (horses were lower level/young).

mg
Jun. 26, 2011, 02:14 PM
Questioning why someone has a chained wrapped around a horse's nose doesn't necessarily make eventers "unwelcoming." I think it's an incredibly legitimate question. I, for one, do not understand this bridle set-up. Am I willing to learn why it was chosen and what it accomplishes? For sure! But without an explanation of it, I do have some hesitations. Like I said in my OP, I don't have an issue with jumping in a double (though this isn't a true double). My biggest questions are about using a flash with a bridle and using a flash made of chain.

And no, I don't exactly ride around XC in a rubber mullen ;) I understand the need for greater brakes sometimes, and my pony goes XC in a full-check corkscrew accordingly.

Sandman
Jun. 26, 2011, 02:15 PM
Wow- I thought we H/J people were supposed to be the judgey ones. I understand people's concerns, but that horse looks like she rides like a show jumper who wants to gallop, wont rate herself, and is fearless. M. Little-Meredith is one hell of a rider on a tricky horse with lots of heart but (it seems) not much whoa.

Of course flatwork is the best place to go with horses with less experience, but when you're talking about a very experienced, powerful show jumper, sometimes all the flatwork in the world goes out the window when they sight a fence. Believe me, we DO flatwork- you can't get past a certain level without it, unless you or your horse is a freak of nature! Watch the mare's eye, look at her ears- she is eager, she is not anxious, she is ready to go. Is her tail wringing? Is she pinning her ears, scrunching up her back, backing off the fences? No- she is saying: lemme go lemme go lemme go! Jump jump jump! I sometimes ride an Intermediate horse who rides like a high-level show jumper- I have to be careful where I point him because he will jump whatever is in his line of sight if I'm not paying attention. Udonna looks to me like one of those types.

I don't know- I've always thought eventing was more welcoming, so I'm surprised at the vitriol. I've seen my share of hideously scary riding in all disciplines, with very unhappy horses in all sorts of get-ups. Udonna looks totally happy XC, and (as a previous poster said) probably wondering where all the questions are in her stadium rounds. Despite some people claiming to be in the know (which seems doubtful to me), I don't quite see the reason for this backlash.

+1
Has anyone actually read the story, or are all the judgments being passed on a picture alone?

saje
Jun. 26, 2011, 02:39 PM
Questioning why someone has a chained wrapped around a horse's nose doesn't necessarily make eventers "unwelcoming." I think it's an incredibly legitimate question. I, for one, do not understand this bridle set-up. Am I willing to learn why it was chosen and what it accomplishes? For sure! But without an explanation of it, I do have some hesitations. Like I said in my OP, I don't have an issue with jumping in a double (though this isn't a true double). My biggest questions are about using a flash with a bridle and using a flash made of chain.

And no, I don't exactly ride around XC in a rubber mullen ;) I understand the need for greater brakes sometimes, and my pony goes XC in a full-check corkscrew accordingly.

People use chains on horses noses all the time. Curb chains & chainshanks aren't exactly uncommon tools. The chain flash looks ferocious, but unlike a curb chain it will only come into play if the horse opens his mouth against it. I've seen curb chains on way too many horses who's riders have NO idea what the curb action really is, and who have far less educated hands than the subject of this topic.

I'll take this horse's gear in the hands of a good rider any day over some of the things I've seen on BN horses with BN riders in the tack.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 26, 2011, 02:47 PM
Nor do I even really understand the whole purpose of the double bridle on cross country, hence the :eek: Is it doing the same as a double bridle in dressage? Same idea?


Yes...you would use a double bridle xc for the same reason you would use a double bridle in dressage. Usually a stronger horse needs one. It lets you control when you are using a snaffle contact and when you use the curb--providing for a more sophisticated ride---and actually helps in training the horse to eventually just go in a snaffle.


I honestly don't care what someone else of this level of rider uses---and the chain flash doesn't really bug me although I'd never seen one before. Not sure the flash does anything different than a full leather one would--except the horse maybe wouldn't be able the break it (which perhaps this mare does!).

It has always been clear from all the videos that ridability xc is going to be this pair's biggest weakness....and what I'm sure they are working on--and while they are working on it, they just may need to use more hardware to survive.

I have had other horses who are similar. And trust me...it is a always a concern with these bold scopey horses. If you don't have the ridability xc---you have a much higher chance of a horse fall plus it just isn't a lot of fun to ride!

I hope they continue to improve (as they have)...I really want to see this pair succeed!

DMK
Jun. 26, 2011, 02:51 PM
But the horse is clearly lacking in basics if it needs that much hardware.

What if you were dead ass wrong? What if the horse had an exceptional foundation and maybe better basics than you or I could manage to put on a horse? What if the horse just didn't get the memo?

seeuatx
Jun. 26, 2011, 03:02 PM
Some horses need more hardware than others. She is an educated rider and I'm sure knows how to handle that much power. I admit I cringed a little when I saw the chain flash... I've never even heard of such a thing- but as I thought about it, what Saje said seemed to ring true. It only comes into action when the horse fights it.

I will only say that I hope we don't see this kind of equipment become the next fad. I might scream if I see a BN horse decked of with those bits and a chain noseband.

Otherwise, it's an experienced rider in general even if not on XC, and she has a great training staff behind her. On top of that the horse looks totally gung ho and happy.

Irish Ei's
Jun. 26, 2011, 04:03 PM
Pass the Popcorn...

When you own her, you make the decisions.

This Tack was clearly legal or she never would have been allowed out of the box.

Please remember which caliber of readership the Practical Horseman is geared to

It's not the bit, it's the hands that activate it.

Dakotawyatt
Jun. 26, 2011, 04:17 PM
Not that my opinion matters one little bit, but I am not bothered in the least by the set up. I myself have ridden a lovely horse that had beautiful flat basics, very rateable in a plain snaffle, etc. Point it at a jump, and "Buh Bye". The rider looks like a super strong, tactful rider, and the mare looks like a day at the gym.

I have an interesting book that's fairly old, published by the Practical Horseman publishers. In it, there's a really cool story about the challenges of some of the older, famous showjumpers; Balbucco and For the Moment are the 2 that come to my mind. In the story are explanations of how the trainers of these famous horses had to come up with "non traditional" equipment and techniques for these horses because they were so difficult to keep in hand once on the jump course. I'm sure these horses were quite well versed in their flat work.

My opinion is it's a pipe dream that every horse can jump around in a lovely, quiet hunter rhythm in a snaffle. Bit manufactures wouldn't make "hackabits", and "combo" bits, and all other manner of mouthpieces if all horses rode the same. I bet this pair is super exciting to watch.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jun. 26, 2011, 04:21 PM
hey , Irish, I was just thinking, "snaffle bits for snaffle hands" ;)

I wasn't spending my time patrolling Udonnas tack, but I got the impression last winter that there was definitely experimentation going on to find the optimal tack for their new sport. I would love to hear what they have tried, why, and what the pros and cons were, but big internet forums don't really really encourage that sort of conversation, I guess...

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jun. 26, 2011, 04:22 PM
dakota - do you remember which PH book that is? Sounds interesting!

Dakotawyatt
Jun. 26, 2011, 04:34 PM
dakota - do you remember which PH book that is? Sounds interesting!

It is WONDERFUL! Lots of really cool stories about the greats of our sport. It's called, "Practical Horseman's book of Riding, Training, and Showing Hunters and Jumpers". I got it for Christmas probably 15 years ago, so it's "old", but it's well written and inspirational.

ETA: Amazon link for the book;http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385196911/sr=8-1/qid=1309117031/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1309117031&sr=8-1&seller=

yellowbritches
Jun. 26, 2011, 04:47 PM
It is WONDERFUL! Lots of really cool stories about the greats of our sport. It's called, "Practical Horseman's book of Riding, Training, and Showing Hunters and Jumpers". I got it for Christmas probably 15 years ago, so it's "old", but it's well written and inspirational.
I remember that book! I loved it. I didn't own it, but routinely checked it out of the library...it was a great book.

Bits and bridles are ALWAYS going to be a touchy issue with horse people. There are certainly things I see A LOT that I find rather offensive (mostly lots of bit in bad hands on horses who are either so backed off the bridle that the rider is riding like crazy OR the rider is CLEARLY causing the horse to be strong). And I know that there are things that I/we do or try that others find offensive.

Our tack room looks pretty grizzly when you walk in and notice our collection of bits hanging on the wall (we've got some gnarly contraptions)...but the thing is, most of those gnarly bits are hanging on the wall, not on the bridles. But there have certainly been horses to come through our barn that have needed, at least for awhile, something on that wall!

A couple more thoughts...this is an easy bit to see and comment on. It is right there, plain as day, for us all to critique and questions. But we are not riding that horse, nor do any of us actually know what that mouthpiece looks like. The chain flash is odd, but not that much worse than an extremely tight curb or, better yet, a curb purposefully twisted to make it sharper. HOWEVER, this is an easy bit to jump up and down about and be pretty righteous about, especially since this rider is a little controversial. But, really, I have a feeling this was well thought out, and I'm not offended...what I find TRULY offensive is showing up to try horses at a respected local trainer's barn (mostly YOUNG horses, too), and find them ALL in double twisted wire snaffles. Hard to tell what's in THAT mouth until you're standing at the horses head...

jumpsnake
Jun. 26, 2011, 05:04 PM
I guess the chain thing bothers me because falls do happen on XC, and even UL riders can hang onto the reins too long or catch them on something, and the horse gets a pull on the mouth that 'educated' hands would normally not give. If it is a leather strap, it will break, a chain will just be more punishment in this instance. I guess the leather part of the flash would break in that scenario.... but still. I reserve judgement on the bits until I hear an explanation.

I'm not someone who feels every horse has to go in a snaffle all the time. Though, I do think this should be a goal. I would like to hear the explanation of why this setup was chosen. And I would have an open mind if I got to hear it! I'm not a pro so I have a lot to learn. But part of learning is asking questions.

Sandman
Jun. 26, 2011, 09:57 PM
I guess the chain thing bothers me because falls do happen on XC, and even UL riders can hang onto the reins too long or catch them on something, and the horse gets a pull on the mouth that 'educated' hands would normally not give. If it is a leather strap, it will break, a chain will just be more punishment in this instance. I guess the leather part of the flash would break in that scenario.... but still. I reserve judgement on the bits until I hear an explanation.

I'm not someone who feels every horse has to go in a snaffle all the time. Though, I do think this should be a goal. I would like to hear the explanation of why this setup was chosen. And I would have an open mind if I got to hear it! I'm not a pro so I have a lot to learn. But part of learning is asking questions.

What???? What about the horse who crashes and burns because it's leaving out strides left and right? Or the one who ignores a half-halt, doesn't rebalance and flips? I'm having trouble seeing how a bigger bit, in good hands, is more dangerous than not enough bit. I'm also at a total loss to think of a scenario where a leather flash or figure-8 breaks when the rider uses too much hand. Seems like a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation with your logic.

subk
Jun. 26, 2011, 10:10 PM
Wow- I thought we H/J people were supposed to be the judgey ones. I understand people's concerns, but that horse looks like she rides like a show jumper who wants to gallop, wont rate herself, and is fearless.
Just wondering why anyone thinks "won't rate herself and is fearless" is a good description of a horse to take on an upper level XC course?

lawchick
Jun. 26, 2011, 10:44 PM
I see very little vitriol in this thread. Everyone has noted that the pair is very talented.

I think the questions on bitting and whether or not you can "overbit" (and perhaps even whether this example is overbitting) are legitimate questions for discussion.

saje
Jun. 27, 2011, 06:30 AM
Just wondering why anyone thinks "won't rate herself and is fearless" is a good description of a horse to take on an upper level XC course?

I think that quote probably would apply to quite a few top level horses. I doubt there's a horse out there who will rate itself 100% accurately 100% of the time. Horses wear tack so we can have a say in where we go and how fast, but some horses are a good deal more hardheaded and stubborn about taking direction when they're doing something exciting like galloping and jumping. Combine that with a horse who knows just how strong it is, and damned straight I want some leverage up there!

DMK
Jun. 27, 2011, 09:31 AM
I see very little vitriol in this thread. Everyone has noted that the pair is very talented.

I agree, not so much vitriol as some pre-planning for the schadenfreude party.

LLDM
Jun. 27, 2011, 10:16 AM
Considering some of the pressure eventing is under and the public scrutiny of late, is it any wonder that there is concern over a picture on the cover of a national horse magazine? No matter how harsh this setup is or isn't, it certainly looks harsh to even the most casual observer. Let's face it, anyone who sees a chain wrapped around a horses mouth jumping a large solid jump is going to wonder where the fruitbat is.

And any top athlete who decides to "change sports" is going to get a whole lot of scrutiny. Remember when Michael Jordan decided to play baseball? Honestly, there appears to be at least a bit of arrogance when a top player of any sport announces publicly that they are going to amble from the top of one sport over to the top of another. So IMO if MLM didn't want the press, she wouldn't be giving interviews and making announcements as to her timetable. Certainly she can't complain about scrutiny she's brought upon herself.

She is obviously a talented rider on a talented horse. But that in no way translates into XC experience at the upper levels for her or her horse. I just hope it turns out well for them. It does, however, make me very worried - for her and Udonna and for eventing itself.

SCFarm

saje
Jun. 27, 2011, 10:22 AM
General question:

What is the difference between setting goals and laying out a timetable?

Old Fashioned
Jun. 27, 2011, 11:22 AM
Really, you think he looks "happy" on the cover? Not to me. I'm far from a horse-mind reading expert, but to me he looks at least concerned. I would be too though ~~~

Floppy ears at half mast, soft eyes, quiet tail... Yes the horse looks really stressed! :lol:

The photos don't show a tight upset horse. I don't know the horse or the rider and I wasn't there so I can only go by a split second captured by a talented photographer. For all I know a few seconds later the horse tightened up and it was different story.

I'm not advocating the use of the equipment. I'm a snaffle kinda girl! :winkgrin:

ake987
Jun. 27, 2011, 11:26 AM
I agree, not so much vitriol as some pre-planning for the schadenfreude party.

I love schadenfreude (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCQGQ5qBQTA)

NeverTime
Jun. 27, 2011, 01:10 PM
I wrote the story for Practical Horseman that ran along with this photo. I'm sorry to say I can't answer questions about her bitting philosophy as I didn't ask those questions. The photos come in late in the process, and I was focused on the topics covered in the story. Besides, I guess I've been around horse sports long enough to see some pretty scary-looking setups (and use a few myself), and I do subscribe to the theory that the bit is as soft as the hands using it, and that the person riding the horse is in a far better position than me to determine what suits it best. Had I known this would create such a kerfuffle, I would've asked her point blank.

What I can tell you is that I had never met Marilyn before writing this story. Like many others, my interest was piqued by the "First start to Fair Hill" video posted last year, and then piqued more as I saw her results improving with every outing. So I contacted her to write a story, having no idea what kind of person I'd meet.
Frankly, she was a stranger who impressed the heck out of me, and I walked away thinking "that's someone I'd love to take a lesson with some day." She is thoughtful about her training, uncommonly articulate and able to take a riding theory or concept and put it into concrete terms, funny and self-depreciating and, above all, very focused on the training of the horse as a process that allows the horse to understand what is being asked of it and have confidence in its abilities. During my years as a journalist, I've had the good fortune to interview most of the top names in eventing today, and I have to say that Marilyn, as an interview subject, was on par with Jim Wofford in terms of her eloquence, thoughtfulness in responses and self-depreciating sense of humor. And that's pretty impressive considering she's got decades to catch up with him in terms of age and experience.
I get the feeling most of the people posting on this topic have seen a picture but not read the article, so I'll share a few of the things that struck me during our interviews: The way she talked about the jump being "the horse's moment to express himself," and that the rider's job needs to be done before that moment, to let the horse have that chance for self-expression; the way she talked about videoing her lessons with Karen and watching the video over and over (rather than jumping the horse over and over) to get the concept down without putting extra miles on the horse's legs, and the way she genuinely seems to enjoy eventing and its people and is truly respectful of and excited about this sport and wanting to be a part of it -- as a success story, not a cautionary tale.
They moved up the levels rapidly, but they also started with a base of knowledge far greater than most of us. It's an unusual situation (which is what makes an interesting story), so I think it's hard to try to ascribe usual expectations about progressing through the levels.
She genuinely seems to be bitten by the eventing bug and enjoying the hell out of it with a horse who seems to enjoy it too (and, by the looks of it, is clearly best suited for the capable hands of a professional).

As for where the mare is today: She had a big winter/spring season and got a break after pulling a shoe at Poplar. (At one point they were entered in the Fair Hill CIC*, but Marilyn ended up going to Europe on a horse-shopping trip -- that's her livelihood, after all -- and taking a side trip to Badminton to watch and learn from the highest level of the sport live.) Marilyn is working in Europe for the summer, so the mare is scheduled to come back from her break and do a CIC** in Germany and, if that goes well, the CCI** in Pardubice (CZE).

As for the difference between a timetable and goals, I thought she summed that up rather nicely in the story:

She acknowledges she’s “gotten a lot of grief for that video (the "First Start to Fair Hill" YouTube video)” in online forums from posters worried her ambitious plan is a safety risk, but she handles the criticism with aplomb:
“It’s a fun goal; it’s fun to think about, but it can be changed,” she says. “If you are not dreaming, you are not an athlete. If you are not listening to your horse and modifying your goals, then you are not a horseman.”

Having spent a number of hours talking to her at this point, she comes across to me as a horseman.

saje
Jun. 27, 2011, 01:37 PM
Thank you for this, NeverTime. I don't know her, but some friends do and from all they've said she sounds like a total professional who's got her (challenging) horse's best interests in mind, knows where to turn for the best help possible, and is not just coming at this new endeavor in a fly-by-night fashion.

My question about goals vs timetables was because most of us set goals for our riding and competition. Some of those goals have a timeframe (ie: I want to go Novice at X Event this fall, or I hope to move my horse up to Prelim next year... etc) which could be construed as a timetable to meet rather than a goal to achieve. I thought that her 'timetable' was actually a goal to shoot for, with the unsaid caveat that all the pieces must be in place before it actually happens, and that things could and would be pushed back if necessary.

I liked your article, and I appreciate you posting here :)

chancellor2
Jun. 27, 2011, 01:42 PM
Thank you for this, NeverTime. I don't know her, but some friends do and from all they've said she sounds like a total professional who's got her (challenging) horse's best interests in mind, knows where to turn for the best help possible, and is not just coming at this new endeavor in a fly-by-night fashion.



I don't know......if her horse is THIS challenging that she needs THIS MUCH HARDWARE jumping cross country, is that REALLY in the best interest of the horse?

saje
Jun. 27, 2011, 01:59 PM
Considering who she's training with, and her own riding and training ability, I think I'll choose not to armchair coach.

I will say this though, just because it's on there does not mean it's in constant, harsh use every step of the way. A rider can do a helluva lot of damage with a plain old snaffle, never mind a kimberwick or gag. Nobody yells about those seen on course. What matters more than the hardware is the education of the rider.

LLDM
Jun. 27, 2011, 02:01 PM
I am very glad to hear that she seems to have her head on straight. But I am honestly surprised that it never occurred to her that this big and public move would not cause a stir. As I mentioned in my last post, this sort of thing always does.

As for the difference between a timetable and a goal - it is a perception issue. If the goal is get out of Afghanistan in a year, it goes over much better than a timetable - just ask Congress! ;) Timetables are seen as much more specific and inflexible than goals. I didn't make that up, I'm just going by how most people react to them.

I hope she is as grounded and thoughtful as Nevertime seems to think. And I hope that includes some sensitivity to the political and public perception issues that eventing is dealing with these days.

Eventing is trying very hard to figure out how to keep the best and most challenging aspects of the sport we love alive and well. At the same time we are trying to step up the safety and integrity aspects, keep the horsemanship issues at center-fore and be competitive on the world stage. All this in times that are hard for everyone and people are fairly sensitive about all sorts of issues.

I wish her and her pony well and can only hope she has learned just how much impact she can have on her new sport.

SCFarm

moonriverfarm
Jun. 27, 2011, 02:10 PM
I'm waaaaay far from expert on anything, but I thought the horse looked as relaxed as a hot jumper can be, and on cross country I saw almost-loopy reins and a pretty focused horse....I don't find riding a hotty much fun anymore and just gave away a horse like this to a rider better suited for him than I. I kept the slow, methodical OTTB with a hunter brain. I'm not good enough or brave enough to ride a train! This pair looked pretty well matched to me, but I can't see what is in the horse's mouth and overbitting of any kind makes me cringe.

JER
Jun. 27, 2011, 02:14 PM
Does Marilyn plan to pick up an eventer or two on her horse-shopping trip?

Given the obvious difficulties of Udonna -- one does not upgrade hardware to that extent otherwise -- IMO Meredith would stand to gain some fun, useful experience by having some easier rides, not just on XC but in dressage as well.

:)

westcoasteventer
Jun. 27, 2011, 04:38 PM
Marilyn is a world-class rider with a giantly talented, strong, opinionated mare. Showjumpers frequently go to bigger bits than you see in eventing- they expect/need their horses to have much more self-carriage and be a lot softer/lighter in the hand. Instead of the tugging/pulling they'd have to do in a snaffle, they close their fingers, get an immediate response, and soften. As has been stated, a bit is only as harsh as the hands using it, and Marilyn has some of the best hands out there.

Top-level showjumpers are generally extremely well-broke and responsive on the flat... if they weren't (and if Udonna wasn't) she certainly wouldn't be able to jump clean around a 1.60m international grand prix.

I think if everyone in the "snaffle is king" camp had to sit on a horse with as much step, power, scope and attitude, using nothing but a plain snaffle, they would quickly change their tune.

Quinn
Jun. 27, 2011, 04:43 PM
Marilyn is a world-class rider with a giantly talented, strong, opinionated mare. Showjumpers frequently go to bigger bits than you see in eventing- they expect/need their horses to have much more self-carriage and be a lot softer/lighter in the hand. Instead of the tugging/pulling they'd have to do in a snaffle, they close their fingers, get an immediate response, and soften. As has been stated, a bit is only as harsh as the hands using it, and Marilyn has some of the best hands out there.

Top-level showjumpers are generally extremely well-broke and responsive on the flat... if they weren't (and if Udonna wasn't) she certainly wouldn't be able to jump clean around a 1.60m international grand prix.

I think if everyone in the "snaffle is king" camp had to sit on a horse with as much step, power, scope and attitude, using nothing but a plain snaffle, they would quickly change their tune.

Excellent response!

http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff

asterix
Jun. 27, 2011, 05:12 PM
I hate to stir the pot, but I think we need to be careful about direct comparisons between how upper level show jumpers go and are ridden, and how eventers do their job.

They are two different sports for a reason.

A horse that is truly hard to rate and overly bold can be very, very dangerous in eventing.

Of course we have plenty of examples, some very famous, of brilliant xc horses who were almost impossible to ride. Some of them ping ponged around various VERY capable riders before finding the one rider who could handle them. But it is a difficult thing to assess, and one best tackled by a master of cross country.

I think the concern that has been expressed here (not only on this thread but others in the past) is simply that neither of these two is experienced at this sport yet. The rider has made a public expression of a very aggressive goal; legitimate questions can be asked about whether one should move up before achieving real rideability on the xc, and the bitting choice does suggest this remains an issue.

westcoasteventer
Jun. 27, 2011, 05:40 PM
I think the concern that has been expressed here (not only on this thread but others in the past) is simply that neither of these two is experienced at this sport yet. The rider has made a public expression of a very aggressive goal; legitimate questions can be asked about whether one should move up before achieving real rideability on the xc, and the bitting choice does suggest this remains an issue. Your point is understood. However, to a really top showjumper, I don't think moving up on her schedule is that aggressive or as much as a stretch as it would be for someone who had never jumped big sticks. I know that is sacrilege to the eventing crowd, but for her it is a hockey-stick shaped learning curve, not a long slow climb.

Mostly, I'm simply pointing out that her method of and background of bitting choice is different from that of many event riders. She may be perfectly capable of getting around in a softer bit, but doesn't want to do the tugging/pulling that would be required (and lets be honest, you see a lot of tugging/pulling from eventers in front of XC fences). It's a lot less taxing for both horse and rider to close your fingers than to use your whole body to try to rate a horse.

ACMEeventing
Jun. 27, 2011, 05:51 PM
Your point is understood. However, to a really top showjumper, I don't think moving up on her schedule is that aggressive or as much as a stretch as it would be for someone who had never jumped big sticks. I know that is sacrilege to the eventing crowd, but for her it is a hockey-stick shaped learning curve, not a long slow climb.

.

Sorry, but I think you might have missed Asterix's point. It is not the size of the jump or even the speed that doesn't cross over from showjumpers, it is the fact that these jumps DON'T BUDGE. The margin of error is miniscule when compared to jumps that will fall from a cup if hit (not that open jumping doesn't carry its fair share of danger, especially at GP).

mg
Jun. 27, 2011, 05:54 PM
...and the fact that XC questions are almost entirely different from show jumping questions. It's NOT about the size of the jumps at all, but about the task being performed on the course. Are there applicable skills to XC from show jumping? You bet! But it's not just about clearing obstacles.

Appsolute
Jun. 27, 2011, 05:55 PM
Not going to comment... just share some stills:

Close Up of Bit (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater)

Bit 2 (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=10150353709937837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater&pid=10116085&id=616592836)

"Half Halt" (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=10150353710062837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater&pid=10116087&id=616592836)

Half Halt 2 (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=10150353710167837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater&pid=10116090&id=616592836)

Turn at 105 (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=10150353710132837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater&pid=10116089&id=616592836)

Turn - 2 (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=10150353710227837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater&pid=10116091&id=616592836)

NCRider
Jun. 27, 2011, 06:11 PM
A couple of thoughts:
1-If MLM had purchased an ULH and stated the same goal or if PD had purchased a GP showjumper and stated the same goal, there wouldn't be nearly the scrutiny because 1 part of the pair would know what they're doing.

2-Just because she's a good horseman, doesn't mean that MLM understands eventing and the demands on the horse sufficient to immediately be a good horseman in the sport of eventing at the highest levels.

3-The average eventer no longer believes that the ULR's (including the O'Connors) are infallible. Just because KOC thinks this is a good idea doesn't mean that it is.

4-No matter how much they deny it, many of the H/J types that defend this goal as stated and as put in practice give the impression that they defend it because they think that four star eventing is a serious step down in skill and talent than GP showjumping and believe that the transition should be easy for any successful GP pair. That is bound to get people's hackles up. Wiping out a fence in a GP round and wiping out at a huge table carry significantly different consquences.

4a-From what I've observed, even in this bit combo, MLM is having to do an awful lot of ugly seesawing to control the horse and get her back in front of fences-it's not as if wearing this get up allows her to use almost no hands on x-c; she's still having to really haul off with a ton of leverage to control the horse.
5-As much as we love Murphy Himself, Poggio, et al, for better or worse, there's significantly less tolerance these days for horses that take control like that at the 4 star level and the courses are designed in such a way that that kind of exuberance and dominance can be dangerous. I do agree that perhaps Udonna needs higher fences to back her off a little but the problem is that the higher fences come with higher technicality and bigger terrain questions as well and that seems dangerous.

6-I read the article-why is everyone going to the Czech Republic to go eventing this summer? It looks like we're not going to see Udonna in the US at all until the fall so we won't be able to judge their progress.

JER
Jun. 27, 2011, 06:27 PM
Top-level showjumpers are generally extremely well-broke and responsive on the flat
... if they weren't (and if Udonna wasn't) she certainly wouldn't be able to jump clean around a 1.60m international grand prix.

I just want to point out that she hasn't done that.

According to Udonna's show record (which I cited on the other thread), she is a 1.40m horse. She had a few outings at 1.45m but 1.40m was clearly her thing. She wasn't a 1.60m horse -- but probably because that height exceeds her abilities, not because she's not broke enough.

(Udonna would not be the first 1.40m horse to make the transition to eventing. It's actually a compatible match for what's required for the top levels of eventing.)

pattnic
Jun. 27, 2011, 06:32 PM
I would guess the reason for using the Pelham as the weymouth is because the desired mouthpiece wasn't available in a weymouth... I would also guess that over time, we will not see this particular bit combination, because they will move to something custom that, from outward appearances, is more traditional.

I think doubles are not often seen on XC because they are generally implicated as a tool of finesse, rather than brakes.

While it is nice to think of that ideal of all horses going around beautifully in a snaffle, and I do think that it is something to work towards, it is not the reality.

ZiggyStardust
Jun. 27, 2011, 06:38 PM
The horse world has no shortage of people who believe they are doing the best by their horses, and other people who say, "Well, jeez, they've done x, y, and z, surely they must know best." That doesn't mean it always IS the right thing.

And your horse, your rules doesn't hold much water, sorry. Plenty of crappy things have been done under that reasoning.

The jump is the horse's chance to express himself, that gave me a good chuckle. A lot of them seem to have fun jumping and galloping, of course, but until he starts talking and says, "Oh yes, my dear, I find this to be such a creative outlet for me, I really can't stand the idea of sitting at home, taking care of the foals," give me a break.

You are either someone who thinks strapping your horse's mouth shut with a chain is ok in order to help you get what you want, or you are not. Period.

TBFAN
Jun. 27, 2011, 06:44 PM
I remember reading somewhere, it may even have been an article in PH, where Phillip Dutton equated the bit to a fence. He said something like, 'if the horse does not respect the bit, it will not respect the fence'. He went to emphasize the need to do more flatwork in order to rely less on hardware - that's what I took away from it anyway.
Maybe Udonna needs that much hardware to make her rideable on XC, but as already been pointed out, these fences don't fall down.

MyssMyst
Jun. 27, 2011, 07:24 PM
I remember reading somewhere, it may even have been an article in PH, where Phillip Dutton equated the bit to a fence. He said something like, 'if the horse does not respect the bit, it will not respect the fence'. He went to emphasize the need to do more flatwork in order to rely less on hardware - that's what I took away from it anyway.
Maybe Udonna needs that much hardware to make her rideable on XC, but as already been pointed out, these fences don't fall down.

I adore that quote!

alicen
Jun. 27, 2011, 08:26 PM
What is that flash? I can be very tenacious about looking for stuff online, but I give up. Custom made?

Trixie
Jun. 27, 2011, 08:31 PM
2-Just because she's a good horseman, doesn't mean that MLM understands eventing and the demands on the horse sufficient to immediately be a good horseman in the sport of eventing at the highest levels.

And how do you, or the others on this board, know that she doesn't "understand eventing"?


3-The average eventer no longer believes that the ULR's (including the O'Connors) are infallible. Just because KOC thinks this is a good idea doesn't mean that it is.

I'd still be more inclined to believe KOC than the average armchair quarterback.


4-No matter how much they deny it, many of the H/J types that defend this goal as stated and as put in practice give the impression that they defend it because they think that four star eventing is a serious step down in skill and talent than GP showjumping and believe that the transition should be easy for any successful GP pair.

Interestingly, I don't get the impression that most H/J riders think that at all.

What has been said is basically that we're not talking about the average ammy rider here, we're talking about someone who has been riding since she was in diapers and is a highly skilled international competitor. She also said was willing to modify that goal if it didn't work.

JER
Jun. 27, 2011, 09:09 PM
What is that flash? I can be very tenacious about looking for stuff online, but I give up. Custom made?

Yeah, I hunted around for it, too. Not because I wanted one (:)) but because I wanted a closer look.

From what I can see in the photos, I'm not sure a horse can back off this piece of equipment. Another poster said something about how all the horse had to do was to not open its mouth, but I can't say I agree. That chain is omni-present on some very sensitive skin and on a part of the horse that needs to move sometimes. Horses sneeze and snort, just like humans.

It's not like a properly placed curb chain in where and how it sits against the horse.

Is it really permitted by the rules? Anyone know?

subk
Jun. 27, 2011, 09:11 PM
She also said was willing to modify that goal if it didn't work.
What exactly is "working" if you have to use the contents of a hardware store to rate your horse in front of the jumps?

I don't think it matters who she is or what her horse has done. If Practical Horseman had a cover picture of ANY event rider on ANY event horse in the tack she's in there would be blow back...and not just here. This train hasn't even left the station yet.

seeuatx
Jun. 27, 2011, 09:28 PM
Not going to comment... just share some stills:

Close Up of Bit (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater)

Bit 2 (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=10150353709937837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater&pid=10116085&id=616592836)



Based on those 2 pics, I'm actually thinking this is not a commercial flash. Looks like a Curb Chain with bit snaps of some sort attached to a shortened flash adjusted back on itself. Could be a super expensive "custom" version of that too, but up close it looks like a rigged up SuperFlash to me.

I also did a bunch of googling to find that flash... I wanted to know more, and I am trying hard to withhold judgement. I mean, the first time I saw a ring bit I was a bit :eek: but I learned more about it. Or even those rubber guards that run down the nose to the bit look crazy til you know what is going on. But this... I can't seem to find anywhere.

corgigirl14
Jun. 27, 2011, 09:42 PM
If MLM was allowed to leave the start box at multiple recognized events it seems to me that 100% of her tack is legal. If not there should be several TD's getting fired.

I think there should be more backlash against the USEA officials MAKING the qualification rules and not the woman FOLLOWING those same rules. MLM has not asked for any special favors or treatment from anyone. Only she and her coaches know what is best for herself and Udonna.

Rehashing the same old stuff and hiding behind a "safety" banner seems pretty darn redundant to me.

If you hated the article by all means write to PH and tell them. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; either good or bad.

So please carry on. Meanwhile I am going to change into my flamesuit.

JER
Jun. 27, 2011, 09:52 PM
I think there should be more backlash against the USEA officials MAKING the qualification rules and not the woman FOLLOWING those same rules.

I think you mean USEF. USEF makes the rules and licenses officials.

:)

But you've piqued my interest. As you think there should be 'backlash' against the NGB rules/officials, what changes do you suggest be made to those rules in light of Marilyn LIttle-Meredith's foray into eventing?

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 27, 2011, 09:52 PM
There is legal and there is what you should use. Just because there isn't a rule on the books doesn't mean you should do something. I personally do not want to be in a world where everything needs a rule.

I liked the article and I do really wish this rider success but will admit that I certainly have concerns about any horse/rider combination that needs a ton of hardware. This is on the extreme side of things and IMO, serious concerns would exist about whether this mare will become ridable enough. I do also suspect that they are working hard on it. It seems too early to write them off. I don't think all horses should go in a snaffle and not all of mine do but it is the goal.

whbar158
Jun. 27, 2011, 11:05 PM
To me the flash looks like it has some leather on it, which means it would give some. It actually looks less tight then some leather flashes I have seen.

As far as bitting up, there is a time and place for it. I will say in the hunter and jumper world yes sometimes they bit up more for shows than I have seen eventers. I know when I was doing hunters I often used a much harsher bit than I ever did at home because I needed my horse to respond right away and not have to work at it. That didn't mean at home we weren't working on it at home constantly in a lesser bit. I would guess that they do not school in that git up constantly.

Really I don't see a problem with it, I have ridden in some pretty tough stuff before. Horses with talent you sometimes do some weird things to get them to reach their potential. It can be hard to judge a pair if you only see them at shows.

Yance
Jun. 27, 2011, 11:06 PM
Well, speaking of... Where IS Udonna? What is she doing now that she's gone half-way to her goal?

Highflyer
Jun. 27, 2011, 11:29 PM
I admit that I am one of those who doubts that this plan is a good idea. I don't think the qualifications need revamping, though. Realistically, the number of horse/ rider combinations able to get to the *** level in the space of a year by doing only the minimum number of events, while remaining sound, healthy, and able to pay the bills, is always going to be so tiny that it's not worth legislating. Most people (me, specifically) are going to be out of the running so quickly that they won't have time to have a real disaster. I do think that the decision to attempt this is questionable, and that it shows questionable judgement on her coach's part to encourage it. But I don't think it should be against the rules.

As far as her equipment, it is more than I would feel comfortable using, and if I had a horse that was so hard to stop I really needed it I would be uncomfortable riding a horse that difficult on xc. But since the rules regarding saddlery on xc are very, very broad, there is no question her equipment is legal. And I am not sure it's any worse than watching a horse run a BN xc in a gag, extremely tight running martingale and figure eight.

Ultimately the USEA/ USEF is not the Pony Club. There are only so many rules you can impose and there is nothing in the PH photos that suggests the horse is uncomfortable or unhappy.


If MLM was allowed to leave the start box at multiple recognized events it seems to me that 100% of her tack is legal. If not there should be several TD's getting fired.

I think there should be more backlash against the USEA officials MAKING the qualification rules and not the woman FOLLOWING those same rules. MLM has not asked for any special favors or treatment from anyone. Only she and her coaches know what is best for herself and Udonna.

Rehashing the same old stuff and hiding behind a "safety" banner seems pretty darn redundant to me.

If you hated the article by all means write to PH and tell them. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; either good or bad.

So please carry on. Meanwhile I am going to change into my flamesuit.

Lone
Jun. 27, 2011, 11:40 PM
What is that flash? I can be very tenacious about looking for stuff online, but I give up. Custom made?

I spent quite a while googleing and couldn't find it either. I have to say I'm relieved. Hopefully it's a custom made deal which might prevent this from becoming the new fad for the strong x-c horse!

VicariousRider
Jun. 28, 2011, 12:57 AM
I wrote the story for Practical Horseman that ran along with this photo.

While I appreciate the fact that you have shared your personal impressions about the rider in question, I am rather surprised that you would assume that a close reading of your article would negate the existence of the photo. As your own signature states: Talk is cheap.

I, for one, did read the article as soon as it arrived in my mailbox and nevertheless take issue with the chain flash. The fact that someone is a skilled orator does not, ipso facto, imply that they are a horseman of the highest order. And the fact that a chain is cinched around the mare's muzzle will never sit squarely with me. That is not a point on which we need to agree but, for some, actions really do speak louder than words.

Napoles
Jun. 28, 2011, 07:32 AM
5-As much as we love Murphy Himself, Poggio, et al, for better or worse, there's significantly less tolerance these days for horses that take control like that at the 4 star level and the courses are designed in such a way that that kind of exuberance and dominance can be dangerous.

There is a definite move back towards more forward, galloping courses though (at least here in Europe). Ian Stark has begun a really welcome trend of building big, imposing galloping courses, built on forward strides. They have plenty rider frighteners, but are generally rewarding to the horses. Tattersalls was a case in point. :yes:



6-I read the article-why is everyone going to the Czech Republic to go eventing this summer? It looks like we're not going to see Udonna in the US at all until the fall so we won't be able to judge their progress.

I would suspect that Pardubice might have been chosen in this instance as it could be considered a slightly softer first CCI** than many other European venues.

magnolia73
Jun. 28, 2011, 10:20 AM
Out of curiosity, when the nasty bit was fedexed to Pine Top, and seen by all.... why didn't anyone speak up? Why hasn't anyone stopped the rider in the XC warm up and said "hey, wow, a lot of bridle, you sure that is safe?". Why not talk to her coaches or file a complaint? Or get a rule change? Only snaffles on XC make y'all happy?

I think 99% of us have no business jumping a horse XC in tack like that. However, there are exceptional riders with the experience and finesse to use hardware like that in all disciplines. She is one of them.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 28, 2011, 11:04 AM
Out of curiosity, when the nasty bit was fedexed to Pine Top, and seen by all.... why didn't anyone speak up? Why hasn't anyone stopped the rider in the XC warm up and said "hey, wow, a lot of bridle, you sure that is safe?". Why not talk to her coaches or file a complaint? Or get a rule change? Only snaffles on XC make y'all happy?

I think 99% of us have no business jumping a horse XC in tack like that. However, there are exceptional riders with the experience and finesse to use hardware like that in all disciplines. She is one of them.


I suspect people are telling her this. The REASON you don't see a lot of event horses going xc in bits/flashes like this is that most (educated) event riders would not ride a horse who is so strong xc as to need this sort of hardware (a random few crazies may)--the risks are too high and they will not often be competitive (strong horses often rack up the most time penalties). What happens at a CCI when this mare gets tired? Most event horses get a lot less responsive no matter what the hardware they are wearing.


I have no doubts whatsoever that she is getting good advice (and is a good talented rider). That she is being told that this mare is too strong on xc and her ridability is a question. They are using the hardware to keep her as safe as possible while trying to get the mare educated about xc and MORE ridable without the hardware. The hardware is a temp. fix but if the ridability doesn't improve as the mare gets more educated (and more fit) than she is perhaps not an event horse or at least not an event horse that most event riders would run (and she clearly will never be a snaffle horse but perhaps will need less extreme hardware--which is fine).

MLM is an educated rider...I'm sure she understands this and is working to address the issue. But the biggest worry about moving this mare up will be how she responds when she is tired at the end of a big course xc (and if you are maxing out on the hardware now, you may be in trouble later)...and nothing in show jumpers really prepares a rider/horse for that aspect of eventing.

Seal Harbor
Jun. 28, 2011, 11:15 AM
Marilyn is a world-class rider with a giantly talented, strong, opinionated mare. Showjumpers frequently go to bigger bits than you see in eventing- they expect/need their horses to have much more self-carriage and be a lot softer/lighter in the hand. Instead of the tugging/pulling they'd have to do in a snaffle, they close their fingers, get an immediate response, and soften. As has been stated, a bit is only as harsh as the hands using it, and Marilyn has some of the best hands out there.

Top-level showjumpers are generally extremely well-broke and responsive on the flat... if they weren't (and if Udonna wasn't) she certainly wouldn't be able to jump clean around a 1.60m international grand prix.

I think if everyone in the "snaffle is king" camp had to sit on a horse with as much step, power, scope and attitude, using nothing but a plain snaffle, they would quickly change their tune.
And, most likely, their underwear. :eek:

Appsolute
Jun. 28, 2011, 12:36 PM
I am 99% sure the flash is not some "custom made" piece of tack, but rather one of those chains you use to clip to the bit for inhand showing, snapped to a double backed flash or spur strap.


I know I know, I am NOT as skilled of a rider, and that horse, wow, she is an amazing power house.

But to all of those that are saying "its not the bit, its the hands". I did not see a light ride when I watched that derby round.

Bracing one hand against the neck, while leaning back and JERKING the hell out of the other rein (hand moving from down by the neck, to up to the rider's chest). The horse reacts by hollowing and leaping into the air with, what would be a gaping mouth, if a dropped nose band wasn't holding it mostly shut.

Half halt shots again....

"Half Halt" (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=10150353710062837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater&pid=10116087&id=616592836)

Half Halt 2 (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150353709737837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=10150353710167837&set=a.10150353709662837.429206.616592836&type=1&theater&pid=10116090&id=616592836)

But fine ... what ever. Not me, not my horse I guess, she can ride around yanking the bejesus out of this horse's face. I just know my trainer would have us doing flat work until respect for the bit was established (I had one that liked to lean and barrel like a fright train, jerking on the mouth was not an ok solution though).

JER
Jun. 28, 2011, 01:25 PM
I am 99% sure the flash is not some "custom made" piece of tack, but rather one of those chains you use to clip to the bit for inhand showing, snapped to a double backed flash or spur strap.

I wonder who thought this up.

pattnic
Jun. 28, 2011, 01:54 PM
http://world.cwdsellier.com/?currentPage=Collection&family=BR

MU13

LLDM
Jun. 28, 2011, 02:34 PM
http://world.cwdsellier.com/?currentPage=Collection&family=BR

MU13

Um, that is NOT the same piece of equipment. The one you linked to above is mostly leather with some chain under the jaw only. The one in the pictures is chain over 3/4s of the way around the nose. Plus the above is a figure-8, the one in her photos is a flash - which has a significantly different action on the jaw.

Nice try though. ;)

SCFarm

JER
Jun. 28, 2011, 02:37 PM
I looked on Etsy to see if anyone was selling homemade, artsy-craftsy chain flash attachments but my search came up empty.

:)

pattnic
Jun. 28, 2011, 02:46 PM
Um, that is NOT the same piece of equipment. The one you linked to above is mostly leather with some chain under the jaw only. The one in the pictures is chain over 3/4s of the way around the nose. Plus the above is a figure-8, the one in her photos is a flash - which has a significantly different action on the jaw.

Nice try though. ;)

SCFarm

I didn't say it WAS the same piece of equipment. It was simply to illustrate that similar items can be found for purchase without necessarily going custom, and that the general idea was already out there. I've also seem similar items for sale in saddleseat catalogs.

Ghazzu
Jun. 28, 2011, 02:46 PM
Um, that is NOT the same piece of equipment. The one you linked to above is mostly leather with some chain under the jaw only. The one in the pictures is chain over 3/4s of the way around the nose. Plus the above is a figure-8, the one in her photos is a flash - which has a significantly different action on the jaw.

Nice try though. ;)

SCFarm

It does look like a home made version of MU 05, though...

DMK
Jun. 28, 2011, 03:06 PM
It does look like a home made version of MU 05, though...


Guess it works pretty much exactly the same as well.

Not so much a nice try, but a damned good job, pattnic.

Appsolute
Jun. 28, 2011, 03:18 PM
Well nose bands with tacks on the underside are sold as well, doesn't mean it is a good idea to use them though.

(I remember a hunter trainer who had one in their tack room, but this was the same trainer that tied horses heads around to their girths to "supple" them).

I just think there are ways to TRAIN a horse to go in less tack then a couple of bits, with a chain strapping the mouth closed over them, and a martingale to keep the head down when the horse protests to the heavy hand.

In that derby round she was just punching at bit, sawing and popping when the horse was running through her hand. Yes, she got around, and was able to manage that big leaping mare, but, I really do think there are ways to train the horse to not run though the hand, rather then reaching for bigger guns to stop her.

chancellor2
Jun. 28, 2011, 03:37 PM
In the same vein, they make chains for putting on horse's feet on saddlebreds to make them pick their feet up. Not something I would use.

Frizzle
Jun. 29, 2011, 02:16 AM
I don't know what kind of bit/gear they used for the derby in Wellington, but their round would be best described as scary. :eek:

enjoytheride
Jun. 29, 2011, 07:17 AM
I dunno, I thought it was scary too but I take it with a grain of salt. It was in an indoor, with tons of spectators making noise, an announcer making noise, music, and jumps that probably looked like speed bumps to a bold and fast mare used to jumping 3 times the size.

I would hold my opinion until I saw a stadium round in a more normal environment.

omare
Jun. 29, 2011, 12:58 PM
As it is a sales barn and the mare is going to europe it is not totally unlikely she will get sold over there. Putting everything aside I love that mare's bounce--I wonder where her blooded type comes from in her pedigree?

Sonoma City
Jun. 29, 2011, 02:32 PM
On the other side of the coin, there are plenty of riders out there who should bit up their horses, and don't, and get dragged around XC by a horse who doesn't have much more scope than the level requires. So pick your poison.

Madeline
Jun. 29, 2011, 06:23 PM
A horse that is truly hard to rate and overly bold can be very, very dangerous in eventing.




And a "truly hard to rate and overly bold" horse is not dangerous in upper level show jumping? On the other hand, that horse will probably never make it to the real upper levels of SJ...

asterix
Jun. 29, 2011, 06:47 PM
Madeline, I would think so, but since I am no upper level show jumper, I would not know for sure.

I was responding to poster who said "that horse looks like she rides like a show jumper who wants to gallop, wont rate herself, and is fearless."

This is not OK on XC. It doesn't _seem_ like it would be OK at GP, but I am not prepared to get into an argument about that.

JER
Jun. 29, 2011, 07:29 PM
I was responding to poster who said "that horse looks like she rides like a show jumper who wants to gallop, wont rate herself, and is fearless."

This is not OK on XC. It doesn't _seem_ like it would be OK at GP...

It would be ok in SJ GP if you could get around with all the rails still in their cups.

On XC, a horse that won't rate isn't everyone's cup of tea. The stallion Leprince des Bois went through a number of riders in his native France before finding success with a German. He tends to be alarmingly gung-ho on XC -- he is very strong and forward, in the tradition of his father Summersong -- and has had the odd stop from jumping in too big to combinations. But when I looked to see what he was ridden in for XC, this (http://lazy-photography.co.uk/largephotos/eventing/2011-04-24-badminton-horse-trials/6422-kai-ruder-le-prince-de-bois-lake) is what turned up.

ACMEeventing
Jun. 29, 2011, 10:01 PM
It would be ok in SJ GP if you could get around with all the rails still in their cups.

On XC, a horse that won't rate isn't everyone's cup of tea. The stallion Leprince des Bois went through a number of riders in his native France before finding success with a German. He tends to be alarmingly gung-ho on XC -- he is very strong and forward, in the tradition of his father Summersong -- and has had the odd stop from jumping in too big to combinations. But when I looked to see what he was ridden in for XC, this (http://lazy-photography.co.uk/largephotos/eventing/2011-04-24-badminton-horse-trials/6422-kai-ruder-le-prince-de-bois-lake) is what turned up.

My goodness, you truly are Nancy Drew! (I always loved those and the Hardy Boys books).

JER
Jun. 30, 2011, 03:51 AM
My goodness, you truly are Nancy Drew! (I always loved those and the Hardy Boys books).

Funny you should mention those books.

My SO's grandfather wrote dozens of them. He was the original 'Franklin W. Dixon' and also did some time as 'Carolyn Keene'.

Oh, and he wrote them on a manual typewriter. It took him one whole week to write one whole book. Amazing.

:)

ACMEeventing
Jun. 30, 2011, 08:59 AM
Funny you should mention those books.

My SO's grandfather wrote dozens of them. He was the original 'Franklin W. Dixon' and also did some time as 'Carolyn Keene'.

Oh, and he wrote them on a manual typewriter. It took him one whole week to write one whole book. Amazing.

:)

That's awesome.

Remember having to slide the "correction paper" over the mistake and type the letter you wanted erased? Good times . . .

DMK
Jun. 30, 2011, 09:36 AM
And a "truly hard to rate and overly bold" horse is not dangerous in upper level show jumping? On the other hand, that horse will probably never make it to the real upper levels of SJ...

Sure he can. "hard to rate" and "overly bold" =/= "can't rate" and "too bold", but it sure = needs good rider.

But that type of horse will probably be inconsistent in the results, meaning he may win or be out of the money, but not likely to dominate the standings like a horse who almost always leaves them up due to rideability and talent and even if he doesn't win, is in the money almost every week (Kevin Staut has a WC horse who is ... exuberant, but wins WEWC qualifiers - that's the best of the best in the most difficult conditions).

And that type of horse has been known to get in a groove, settle down and become a great horse with time and the right rider. But it can take time and some serious adjustments of tack/rider/training programs to get there.