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View Full Version : Bad Footing at U.S. and Canadian Dressage Shows?



Mike Matson
Jul. 10, 2011, 06:24 PM
Looks like this is the latest incident in a growing list of complaints about bad footing at American and Canadian shows. Your experiences?

http://www.dressage-news.com/?p=11847

AZ TD
Jul. 10, 2011, 09:44 PM
Looks like the PSG CDI horses managed OK,

http://www.foxvillage.com/FVDShowResults/(uu3ffb454pnza32rsld2tgql)/Class.aspx?sh=347&cl=1

Theresa

DutchDressageQueen
Jul. 11, 2011, 07:42 AM
I have showed in some not so nice footing, but it was never so bad that I had to withdraw from the show.

siegi b.
Jul. 11, 2011, 08:23 AM
I talked with a Pebble Beach competitor yesterday evening and he is usually the last person to complain. However, he did mention that the footing was just awful!

DressageDivaJAWs
Jul. 11, 2011, 10:10 AM
This was truly bad footing. Sand was added to an un-prepared base (parking lot from what I heard) for some of the arenas, including the CDI arena. The poor man brought in to maintain the footing worked really hard to fix it. By Sunday, the "CDI" arena wasn't too horrible, but the footing in a couple of the open show arenas and warmups hasn't been discussed much. It was really deep and received minimal work during the show. I heard that some horses had swollen legs after schooling/showing. 96 rides were scratched durig the four days, not counting CDI competitors who withdrew. There's no way of knowing how many were scratched due to tissue injuries, but ALL horses .... training through FEI .... deserve good footing. This was the worst I've seen.

Mardi
Jul. 11, 2011, 01:45 PM
I wasn't at Pebble Beach this year but have been in the past.
The footing in the outside rings was deep with large clumps throughout, is if a deep plow had just gone over it.
The arenas were set up specifically for the show, so these were not normally used dressage rings. It was a bit difficult to ride in and not good by any means, but at the time, not bad enough to scratch.

However it was a surprising to me that a show of that caliber and cost, was not up to par. I support the riders for withdrawing and not tolerating poor conditions.
It's long overdue at many shows.

Pebble Beach Equestrian Center is in a beautiful location, and at venue with a proud history of hosting shows...the hunter/jumpers have a few big shows there with much success.

PaulaM
Jul. 11, 2011, 02:14 PM
Facilities have got to start doing better when it comes to footing. Our equine partners deserve it.

If I have any doubts over the footing, I will scratch from the show. I learned my lesson last year. There were a few shows where I could NOT even canter my horse in the warmup as the footing was "soup" and he just was not comfortable with how slippery it was underneath. The first show, we pushed on through, but the other show at the same facility, I scrached classes, it wasn't worth it. Heck, these were how my boots looked after one ride at a show:

http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/61307_431162557342_657877342_5591383_4781546_n.jpg

Velvet
Jul. 11, 2011, 02:26 PM
Um, yeah, well, as long as it isn't truly dangerous. We seem to forget that people used to do Olympic tests in grass rings.

echodecker
Jul. 11, 2011, 09:44 PM
Yeah, but I think what is being addressed here is footing that is too deep...and that has the easy potential to cause long term damage (soft tissue) fast.

I am sure there are some who would complain about riding on grass, I would be far more happy to do that then to ride on the too-deep footing that seems to be happening all over the place.

I had serious problems with it at the NJ Horse Park during the Jersey Fresh 3-day Event...it was absolute SOUP after moderate rains the night before. This was in the schooling ring and one of the competition dressage rings. The other main dressage ring was marginally better except in a few places. The NJ Memorial Day CDI was held there a few weeks later and I competed in that also. The footing in the lower level rings was ok, but we also had not had rain. I heard there were complaints in the main CDI arena and rightfully so.

Venues hosting events should not have footing that is too deep...this isn't reining. I don't mean the difference between jumping rings and dressage rings...I mean 6 plus inches of slop, slippery nastiness. And even when that much depth is dry, it's still dangerous, bad footing for your horses' ligaments and tendons.

Hard grass footing could cause bruising, sore feet, or the occasional strain if a horse slipped. What it would cause is less expressive gaits, etc. Barring that strain, recovery of a few weeks for a bruised sole max. Too deep footing can easily cause tendons, ligaments, strains and tears...one or more structures can easily be involved. Now you're talking 2-18 months recovery and rehab depending on the issue. Deep footing is unacceptable!!

ETA: I rode in the deep wet footing with my young horse in the competition ring and the one warmup after rejecting the main warmup. I would have withdrawn my mare if the footing was like that on the Dressage show day (she's had 2 soft tissue injuries)...and I guarantee that you would have seen a ton of withdrawals if the footing had been wet at the CDI there too.

DutchDressageQueen
Jul. 11, 2011, 09:47 PM
Deep footing is unacceptable!!

yes, any any footing that is very slippery,(or deep like you said) and may cause harm to your horse is unacceptable. Never risk your horse's health for a competition. no matter how big or small.

PineTreeFarm
Jul. 11, 2011, 10:19 PM
.

I had serious problems with it at the NJ Horse Park during the Jersey Fresh 3-day Event...it was absolute SOUP after moderate rains the night before. This was in the schooling ring and one of the competition dressage rings. The other main dressage ring was marginally better except in a few places. The NJ Memorial Day CDI was held there a few weeks later and I competed in that also. The footing in the lower level rings was ok, but we also had not had rain. I heard there were complaints in the main CDI arena and rightfully so.

Venues hosting events should not have footing that is too deep...this isn't reining. I don't mean the difference between jumping rings and dressage rings...I mean 6 plus inches of slop, slippery nastiness. And even when that much depth is dry, it's still dangerous, bad footing for your horses' ligaments and tendons.



I was just at the NJ Horse Park for a H/J show.
It rained heavily two nights and the footing held up very well.
I doubt anyone scratched from the H/J show.
Much for potential for problems jumping than doing a dressage test yet nobody complained.

netg
Jul. 12, 2011, 01:57 AM
It doesn't surprise me that the one person who didn't withdraw is a former eventer.

I don't know anything about her training methods beyond what I've seen in the warmups at shows, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Strauss gets some conditioning in deeper footing. Regularly working at slower speeds in deep footing helps the soft tissues build up - as someone who rides in washes (in AZ we have deep sand washes for runoff from water in monsoons) to help condition my horse's legs, I wouldn't necessarily avoid riding in something due to deep footing. If it felt slippery in the way my horse was handling himself? Yes, certainly I would scratch.

I am surprised to hear that kind of footing would be used given how excellent the footing is in many less important shows I have attended. I don't think it's really acceptable to have such lousy footing in the ring or warmups when horses are compared based upon scores around the world; lousy footing certainly affects movement even if a horse is able to handle it without injury. That's definitely the lowest score I know of Cyndi and Strauss getting this year (without tracking their entire scoring history) and it's not surprising that it would be.

Mardi
Jul. 12, 2011, 10:56 PM
So what happens now to the management of the Pebble Beach show ?
Do USEF and USDF have any response ? (I think I already know the answer, but I thought I'd ask anyway, just in case).

Kaluna
Jul. 13, 2011, 07:44 PM
I've really only noticed a few venues with bad footing. Never had to withdraw. Is this really a growing problem? Or just the omnipresent problem?

hokuspokus
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:08 AM
I wasn't at Pebble Beach this year but have been in the past.
The footing in the outside rings was deep with large clumps throughout, is if a deep plow had just gone over it.
The arenas were set up specifically for the show, so these were not normally used dressage rings. It was a bit difficult to ride in and not good by any means, but at the time, not bad enough to scratch.

However it was a surprising to me that a show of that caliber and cost, was not up to par. I support the riders for withdrawing and not tolerating poor conditions.
It's long overdue at many shows.

Pebble Beach Equestrian Center is in a beautiful location, and at venue with a proud history of hosting shows...the hunter/jumpers have a few big shows there with much success.

I agree, Pebble Beach is such a great venue! Seems like Pebble Beach Management has hired the wrong contractor to re-do the arenas. If the footing is not perfect for the dressage riders it will definitely too deep and shifting too much for the jumpers.
Most show facilities in California are in urgent need of professional help to provide safe arena footings to the exhibitors. As a matter of fact, bad footing is the main reason
for me to withdraw from horse competition. The entry fees are high and the least you can expect as an exhibitor is perfect arena footing. There is one Cal company who installed our arena footing 4 years ago and it is still excellent.
You might want to check www.footingsolutionsusa.com
Hopefully Show places and Management will learn from the incident.

Knothead
Jul. 24, 2011, 05:29 PM
Most of the footing issues I've faced are at one-ring small shows (but recognized). Usually the issue is deepness and "dead" footing. I have never filled out an Evaluation Form however, because frankly I need some of these smaller shows in my area to get enough shows in for year end. I don't want them just throwing up their hands and saying FORGET IT if they start getting pressure. However, I wish there were, and maybe there is, guidelines to show management about how often to drag these rings depending on how many rides there are. I hate being the last to go in to a ring that hasn't been drug since before the first test of the day.

BTW, recently did the NJHP summer show and I have to say I kind of remember the footing being better. It had not rained, so I didn't have a soup issue but I just always remembered it being.... better. I guess like everything else footing breaks down and who knows what the extremes in temperatures do to footing (as I'm no expert) over the seasons. I've had great shows there in the fall. Summer -- not so good.

Valentina_32926
Jul. 26, 2011, 11:21 AM
Many times the warm up footing sucks - deep sand. :mad: Instead I warm up on the road, grass, etc... not always producing the best results BUT keeps horse sound.

A few years ago a recognized show had an accident the night before, and their indoor arena flooded. When I asked if they could use the tractor to at least even out the footing before I went they told me no. And although I won the class:D, and the lady I asked to work on the footing stated "she got a 7 on her trot extensions, I don't know why she complained" :mad:, I had to CONSERVATIVELY ride (i.e. hold back my horse) the extensions since I was scared to death she would injure herself (you could hear the sucking sounds as she moved in the arena). :mad:

She probably would have fainted if I could have ridden the extensions the way I wanted to (last time I was there I scored a 9 on that extension).

ShannonLee
Jul. 28, 2011, 06:43 PM
Good footing is of paramount importance to long term soundness, both of body and mind. It helps with rider and horse confidence. Good quote: "great footing makes veterinarians poor".

There is no way FEI horses should be asked to do zig zags, pirouettes, piaffe and extensions (etc) in poor footing. Perhaps walk trot and canter are possible to do safely, but even those basics are difficult to show with correct impulsion, bend balance and throughness if the horse and rider are struggling with footing. Can you imagine a dancer doing Swan Lake on a bumpy field????

Rooty
Jul. 29, 2011, 02:38 PM
Footing is always excellent at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON.
I have ridden there in soup and it isn't slippery.
Last show was hot and dry - every break all the rings are watered and dragged. Competition and schooling rings. I can't say enough nice things about how great the footing is there and how well organized the shows are. When choosing shows for the year this is why I go there and not to other shows with a similar traveling distance.