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View Full Version : USPC Introduces new Hunter/Eq track for D & C levels



GingerJumper
Nov. 11, 2011, 11:05 AM
Has anyone else heard about this yet?

From the USPC site:
Hello to all current RSs.

Please find attached, a DRAFT copy of both the D and the C Hunter Seat Equitation standard.

Please keep in mind that these are only DRAFTS of the standards and that they must still be voted on, and approved by the BOG.

John Wurzler, current VP of Instruction, Kevin Bowie and I thought that your upcoming RS seminar would be a good opportunity for you all to discuss and ask questions about the standards. Again, let me say, these are only in DRAFT form and have not been approved.

Kevin Bowie and I, both graduate A's and current NE's have spent over two years working on these standards.

We believe they will enable us to reach a group of young people who have the potential of being future pony clubbers.

How many of you as RS's have lost valid members in your regions because they were horse show riders and their style limited them from progressing much past theD level?

Kevin and I have had extensive conversations with horse show trainersacross the country and they are very excited about having the Pony Club curriculum in their barns without compromising the training that goes into a good equitation rider.

This standard could also increase the number of Pony ClubCenters across the country. Hunter equitation barns are full of young riders who would benifit from the Pony Club horse management curriculum. With time, these riders would be the feeder program for the Show Jumping specialty track. They would also be the riders who would increase the numbers at our show jumping rallies.

When reading the standards, you'll notice that there are very few changes. The main differences include the type of position used and the verbage used whendescribing the requirements.

Similar to the language used,in the traditional D and C level standards, as related to the "basic balance position"the language used to describe the Hunter Seat Equitationpositionis very clear and comes directly from the USEF rulebook, Chapter EQ, Equitation Division, SubchapterEQ-2, Position.

I hope you will take the time to read the standards prior to your meeting. But again, they are only in DRAFT form and are subject to change, if and when they are accepted by the BOG.

I know John Wurzler will be at your meeting and will be happy to field any questions you might have.

Thanks for reading,

Deb Willson

Link to the proposed standards: http://www.ponyclub.org/news/60900/Draft-of-Hunter-Seat-Equitation-Standards.htm

Anyone else excited about this change? I've been an active PC'er for several years but was stuck as far as rating up riding-wise due to the much different position that is preferred by eventers, and by having XC in the tests. Don't get my wrong, a well rounded rider CAN ride in the open, but that's not a huge component of the sport and not really something I care to do (I'm not ashamed to say I'm a chicken on XC!).

copper1
Nov. 12, 2011, 06:54 AM
My daughter left Pony Club for this very reason! Wish it had been there all those years ago!

M. O'Connor
Nov. 12, 2011, 07:08 AM
This is good news!

chillydc
Nov. 12, 2011, 08:46 AM
Such good news! I had an awful rating expirience because of my hunter seat at my C-3 (never mind that I was the ONLY rider to get AROUND the XC course that day).... got rerated a few months later by Kevin Bowie and got exceeds standards. Got to say I am a fan of hers for understanding the different styles :) Kudos!

MHM
Nov. 12, 2011, 09:02 AM
Can somebody help me understand this?

I was in Pony Club back when we rode around on dinosaurs, but I don't remember a preference for a "different" position for one phase over the other, except maybe dropping your stirrups a hole for a dressage lesson, or going up an extra hole for cross country. An effective position is effective for anything, right? Eyes up, heels down, in the middle of your horse works in just about any situation.

What's been going on in Pony Club lately that makes this a big deal?

SkipChange
Nov. 12, 2011, 09:32 AM
Pony club has always been more geared towards eventing (and jumpers) from my experience. But I'm not that old-21. Our club had hunter kids in it up to about D-3 and then they would all leave. The hunter trainers didn't put up a fuss when their beginner kids were doing PC, but as they moved up the levels they didn't like seeing their kids in so much of an eventing seat or wasting the days away playing games.

I mean, I agree with you and think an effective position is effective for anything. But, the hunters are looking for effective with a particular style. They half seat and are usually at a little more forward angle. The tilt of the pelvis is different. The hunter trainers got tired of seeing their kiddos sitting bolt upright in a full seat all the time after they were past the beginner level. Wrong or right, that's just my experience from one small club.

I was an eventer when I was in pony club before switching to jumpers only and now I do hunters. It's taken me years to work on the little stylistic details and people still comment that I ride and sit a little different. I learned a lot in PC and have a good secure, defensive seat when it comes to schooling naughty horses and stoppers. I'd recommend PC to anyone that wants to learn about horsemanship, but it is a means to an end and not an end itself in my personal opinion.

GingerJumper
Nov. 12, 2011, 06:11 PM
I was going to respond to your question, MHM, but I think SkipChange summed it up nicely. :)

MHM
Nov. 12, 2011, 06:33 PM
Thanks for the information.

I guess Pony Club has become much more specialized since I had anything to do with it. That was, ahem, quite a long while ago! :lol:

BeeHoney
Nov. 12, 2011, 07:56 PM
Pony club has always been more geared towards eventing (and jumpers) from my experience. But I'm not that old-21. Our club had hunter kids in it up to about D-3 and then they would all leave. The hunter trainers didn't put up a fuss when their beginner kids were doing PC, but as they moved up the levels they didn't like seeing their kids in so much of an eventing seat or wasting the days away playing games.

I mean, I agree with you and think an effective position is effective for anything. But, the hunters are looking for effective with a particular style. They half seat and are usually at a little more forward angle. The tilt of the pelvis is different. The hunter trainers got tired of seeing their kiddos sitting bolt upright in a full seat all the time after they were past the beginner level. Wrong or right, that's just my experience from one small club.

I was an eventer when I was in pony club before switching to jumpers only and now I do hunters. It's taken me years to work on the little stylistic details and people still comment that I ride and sit a little different. I learned a lot in PC and have a good secure, defensive seat when it comes to schooling naughty horses and stoppers. I'd recommend PC to anyone that wants to learn about horsemanship, but it is a means to an end and not an end itself in my personal opinion.

My own personal experience (not that recent) was different. The kids who primarily did h/j and did pony club on the side tended to have difficulty moving up through the ratings due to insufficient ability with dressage/flatwork. Also in my own personal observation, some of the h/j kids only had experience riding very well trained animals and had difficulty at their ratings when they switched horses and had to ride a greener/tougher horse. Lastly, many h/j oriented kids dropped out of PC for the obvious issue which is that at a certain level it gets too hard to do it all. Not too many people have time or desire to do dressage, event, and show on the A circuit all on one horse.

I never saw a h/j rider being criticized in pony club for riding more in a "hunter seat" versus an "eventing seat." In fact, the h/j riders typically outclassed the PC riders where style and position were concerned.

laurelo
Nov. 13, 2011, 09:01 AM
To add to what others have said, I am a current Pony Club member who has seen many of my peers drop out of the system or come close to it because of the cross country phase of ratings. One of the central issues in Pony Club related activities (and eventing in general) is that we are running out of land for cross country courses- the opportunities to school are few and far between, and it is much more convenient to remain at a barn where one rides solely in an arena (and perhaps hacks around the fields or does some trails... but nothing that requires a lot of land for riding). Thus, they stick with the hunters and jumpers. One of my good friends was winning frequently in her regional jumper circuit at around 3'6"-3'9", but she was only a C1 in Pony Club because she was absolutely terrified of jumping cross country (possibly stemming from the fact that her mare was a complete fruit loop jumping outside). This was a very talented rider who overcame her fears with a new horse and recently attempted her B rating. However, there were multiple years when she came close to dropping out because despite being comfortable riding in the open in general, she was just not interested in jumping cross country at that same height.

I have also noticed the stylistic differences creeping into upper level tests and causing some problems, but I think that in general for the lower levels this hasn't been a huge factor in not meeting standards. A good hunter/eq rider should be able to pass any lower level test, even with the slightly different style. It's the weak riders who have received poor instruction and have only the style but lack the effectiveness who are running into problems- and these new ratings will thankfully not let those kids get away with being poor and insecure riders.

I am personally a huge fan of the new ratings. Like I said, I have seen many of my peers who are great riders drop out from the inability to become completely comfortable jumping cross country, and this would help retain them. And hopefully bump up the competition at show jumping rallies!

GingerJumper
Nov. 13, 2011, 09:43 AM
I never saw a h/j rider being criticized in pony club for riding more in a "hunter seat" versus an "eventing seat." In fact, the h/j riders typically outclassed the PC riders where style and position were concerned.

See, my experience has been entirely the opposite. I have never NOT (ew, double negative) been criticized on my "hunter seat" at PC functions. I do agree that many H/J riders outclass many PC riders where style is concerned, though, because I feel style is something much more emphasized in our little "world."

vineyridge
Nov. 13, 2011, 09:46 AM
All I can say is that I feel really, really sorry for horses who never get outside a ring. What a terrible thing for an animal who is created with stamina and endurance for free living on vast territories!

GingerJumper
Nov. 13, 2011, 11:30 AM
All I can say is that I feel really, really sorry for horses who never get outside a ring. What a terrible thing for an animal who is created with stamina and endurance for free living on vast territories!

There's still an "in the open" portion of the test, but it no longer involves XC questions or solid obstacles. In the upper level jumper track, riders are expected to jump a derby style course in the open (IIRC). I do agree with you though, I think hacking out can be very beneficial to training, just to get away from the ring and relax a bit.

SkipChange
Nov. 13, 2011, 03:13 PM
It's not the hunter riders were necessarily criticized for their hunter seat--it is that the hunter riders picked up an eventing seat (or at least tendencies) from PC and their hunter trainers did not like that.

DarkStarrx
Nov. 13, 2011, 06:57 PM
I love this! I really believe that the hunter/equitation foundation is what makes great jumper riders, rather than throwing the young ones into the jumper ring against the clock. It's been my main peeve with PC.

shea'smom
Nov. 13, 2011, 07:17 PM
huh? Since when does PC throw kids in the jumper ring?

Troispony
Nov. 13, 2011, 09:05 PM
Pony club has always been more geared towards eventing (and jumpers) from my experience. But I'm not that old-21. Our club had hunter kids in it up to about D-3 and then they would all leave. The hunter trainers didn't put up a fuss when their beginner kids were doing PC, but as they moved up the levels they didn't like seeing their kids in so much of an eventing seat or wasting the days away playing games.

I was strictly a pony hunters kid when I did PC at 10 and even though I was a super solid little rider, I was put at D3 because I hadn't ever done xcountry. I quit less than a year later even though it was fun, I did not progress much besides learning how to clean those hard to reach spots in the saddle, how to treat heatstroke, and exactly how big to make my 20m circle.

vxf111
Nov. 13, 2011, 10:18 PM
I think it's a great idea. The pony club at my barn has a couple of kids who for various reasons are not eventing (one has a horse just WON'T DO IT and they would rather keep the horse and switch to hunters than sell) and this will give them an option to rate. As it is, they probably feel very left out of rallies/events-- this will give them at least ratings to work towards.

DarkStarrx
Nov. 13, 2011, 11:50 PM
I meant while there is a general step up program in PC, it has become all too easy for the kids to just get thrown in the jumper track without a real knowledge for striding/pace/rhythm. There were some scary rides in the Jumper ring at PC Nationals this year.

mbv
Nov. 14, 2011, 05:23 AM
I vividly remember being chastised by my examiners at my C3 rating for wearing Tailored Sportsman breeches instead of white full seats like everyone else at the rating (my attire was correct according to the written rules). My mare and I had no problem getting around a training level XC course, but I preferred to show her in the jumpers. I loved all of the horse management stuff I learned in Pony Club, and I actually think it has helped me in vet school, but I pretty much stopped doing Pony Club, except for teaching the younger kids, after that rating because it left such a sour taste in my mouth.

MHM
Nov. 14, 2011, 07:43 AM
I vividly remember being chastised by my examiners at my C3 rating for wearing Tailored Sportsman breeches instead of white full seats like everyone else at the rating (my attire was correct according to the written rules).... I pretty much stopped doing Pony Club, except for teaching the younger kids, after that rating because it left such a sour taste in my mouth.

That's very unfortunate.

I can remember a similar issue decades ago in Pony Club over a piece of grooming equipment that was correct according to the written rules, but not the "right" thing, according to somebody or other.

GingerJumper
Nov. 14, 2011, 08:58 AM
That's very unfortunate.

I can remember a similar issue decades ago in Pony Club over a piece of grooming equipment that was correct according to the written rules, but not the "right" thing, according to somebody or other.

They still do that... Last year, I think, at a rally, my DC had switched a first aid item (which had been outdated) for one that the rulebook said was a perfectly acceptably equivalent. She even checked with the HMO. We told the HM judges about it, and they said it was fine... our score sheet came back with a a few points on it about the exact item we'd explained to them. It wasn't the right brand or something, apparently. Wouldn't let us inquire it, either. Oh pony club, how you try our patience.

Dewey
Nov. 14, 2011, 09:05 AM
Pony club has always been more geared towards eventing (and jumpers) from my experience. But I'm not that old-21. Our club had hunter kids in it up to about D-3 and then they would all leave. The hunter trainers didn't put up a fuss when their beginner kids were doing PC, but as they moved up the levels they didn't like seeing their kids in so much of an eventing seat or wasting the days away playing games.

I mean, I agree with you and think an effective position is effective for anything. But, the hunters are looking for effective with a particular style. They half seat and are usually at a little more forward angle. The tilt of the pelvis is different. The hunter trainers got tired of seeing their kiddos sitting bolt upright in a full seat all the time after they were past the beginner level. Wrong or right, that's just my experience from one small club.

I was an eventer when I was in pony club before switching to jumpers only and now I do hunters. It's taken me years to work on the little stylistic details and people still comment that I ride and sit a little different. I learned a lot in PC and have a good secure, defensive seat when it comes to schooling naughty horses and stoppers. I'd recommend PC to anyone that wants to learn about horsemanship, but it is a means to an end and not an end itself in my personal opinion.

I am a lot older than you (50s), but your post is right on the money, IMO. I had read somewhere several years ago that this change (adding dressage and hunter-jumper tracks) was in the works for PC, and I am glad. I grew up in PC, went up through the ranks to H-A, and am riding again at a local H/J barn after a long hiatus. My PC training has stood me in good stead in just the situations you mention--I am very secure on naughty horses, know how to slip reins when horses give me a huge or awkward jump, and am good with the greenies. But my position is different from that of the other riders at the barn, and though I have been able to adjust to a degree, I am never going to win an equitation class.

I absolutely love the horsemanship training I received in PC as well, and I have seen nothing to compare with that in 4-H or any other group. I am so glad that PC is trying to keep the young H/J riders involved. This can only benefit them as well as PC.

MHM
Nov. 14, 2011, 09:05 AM
^^ Gingerjumper, that's a shame. I'm sorry to hear that still happens. Stuff like that gives Pony Club a bad reputation for nonsense, so you remember that instead of all the good things about the program.

GingerJumper
Nov. 14, 2011, 07:23 PM
^^ Gingerjumper, that's a shame. I'm sorry to hear that still happens. Stuff like that gives Pony Club a bad reputation for nonsense, so you remember that instead of all the good things about the program.

Agreed. There are so many wonderful things about PC but they often are overshadowed by the ridiculousness that is frequently present.