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GoingUp...POP!
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:29 PM
So we've all seen it, coaches yelling at students while they are on course at a show, or in a flat class. Ranging from the whispered "hands down" as the rider passes the in gate to full fledged yelling, "PUT YOUR LEG ON HIM!!! I SAID LEG!!!!!"

Does this bother you?
I've talked to some judges that absolutely despise it.

It gets to me a bit because they receive coaching while in the arena, which gives them an advantage over someone like me. I don't get coaching while I'm showing, my coach is considerate. Since he is considerate, we are at a disadvantage. How does that work? I know it doesn't make a huge difference, but it still gets old. In the jumper ring especially, since it isn't being judged, some don't hold back, I've heard trainers calling out the course to their riders. Silly me, taking the time and effort to memorize and walk the course...


Anyone else dislike it? Anyone who has judged have some input? Do you take off for it? Would you if you were judging?

Rye
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:34 PM
I hate it, UNLESS it's a safety issue. Like a horse running away with a petrified newbie.

supershorty628
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:38 PM
Being told something doesn't necessarily make them ride better. You don't know the situation for most, if not all, people in the ring. Maybe someone gets extremely nervous and freezes up. Maybe someone is just starting to do that level.

If it's not loud and obnoxious and there are no rules against it, it's not my concern.

winfieldfarm
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:43 PM
I'm going to weigh in as a coach. I admit I coach from the rail. It's really hard not to for me! I'm a railcoach and I have a problem.....

The toughest part about coaching is that once the rider hits the ring, it's out of our hands and that is so brutal for a really serious and dedicated coach. We want so much for our students to do well. but yes, it's not the best thing to do because it does draw attention to your rider. The judge often can see you doing it or hear you and it's like pointing a big neon sign to your rider that they are not capable of riding the class on their own.

but the other tough side of it is that the client is paying me to coach them! And I would feel awful if the rider went right by me on the rail and I could have given them a quick tip that would have helped them and I didn't. I guess it really is situational for me particularly. It depends on what's happening and how intrusive my coaching would be.

I've even been known to "coach" another rider on the rail just out of habit and because of my sense for all riders to do well. For example, if it is a junior class and a rider is on the wrong canter lead and doesn't know it, I might let them know as they go by. More than once, a rider has thanked me after the class for helping them along even though they weren't my client.

fair judy
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:46 PM
NO clucking. LOL a friend used to hit me every time I would cluck from the rail, especially since he said half the time I was pushing the rider through a distance. :yes:

At local level shows it is tolerated. Not A circuit behavior.

Ibex
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:52 PM
Depends on the situation. Schooling shows? Absolutely fine. To me schooling shows are "learning how to ride at shows". It shouldn't go on forever tho, and isn't appropriate at a rated show.

Wizard of Oz's
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:57 PM
I hate it! Just IMO, but I think that if a rider needs real coaching in the show ring, then they shouldn't be in there. I'm not talking about every since instance (my coach will occasionally yell a word or two if a rider is really having trouble) but I'm talking about the trainers that coach a rider through the entire course, saying things like "release! use your stick!" :no:

Rye
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:57 PM
You can "coach" them in between rounds. To me, a show is a test for the horse/rider combo to see if all the hard work at home is paying off. Getting instruction while in the middle of the round is like having the teacher whisper the answer in your ear.

DNB
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:58 PM
I personally do not have a problem with it as long as it quietly past the in-gate. After that it is a little irritating and I personally would be embarrassed if my trainer were to yell at me from the in-gate while I am on course. I do get nervous though while showing, so I do need those little reminders (mostly to breathe) while going past the in-gate sometimes.

ohsareee
Nov. 15, 2011, 12:59 PM
I have mixed feelings about this. I am by no means a coach but, I have given a few tips when a fellow rider from my barn was in the ring and I was on the rail.

In my situation, my coach only says something right as I pass her which generally is something that is said quietly such as "eyes" and she is usually near the in-gate which is a good distance from the judge.

I do have a serious problem when coaches are all out yelling across the ring to lets say a rider who picked up the wrong lead or diagnol. I agree with the OP, it annoys me to no end when I hear a coach yelling out a course in the jumpers and I have even come across it in the hunters or eq when a student is about to go off course. If the student doesn't know these skills, why on earth are they paying money to "show off" to the judge their knowledge?

I find it only acceptable if a horse starts to run off, misbehave etc and the rider doesn't know what to do in that situation.

fordtraktor
Nov. 15, 2011, 01:07 PM
I don't think it is such an advantage to have that kind of coach. A smooth quiet round with nice clapping at the end looks more professional and prepared than someone who has a railbird yelling "Get the F-ING LEAD CHANGE ALREADY! YOU ARE ON THE WRONG DIAGONAL!!! SHOULDERS BACK!" at them. JMHO.

A discreet cluck when going past the in-gate? No big deal. That's not coaching, my mom does that to me when I'm failing to perform to motherly expectations.

gottagrey
Nov. 15, 2011, 01:17 PM
You can "coach" them in between rounds. To me, a show is a test for the horse/rider combo to see if all the hard work at home is paying off. Getting instruction while in the middle of the round is like having the teacher whisper the answer in your ear.

This exactly! Paying a coaching fee doesn't necessarily have to mean a play-by-play in the ring - to warm up/ review/walk course & critique afterwards is part of coaching. Once a rider enters the ring it should be a closed book test... and I feel that way whether is a AA or local schooling... unless the rider is dangerous..

salymandar
Nov. 15, 2011, 01:21 PM
A quiet, inconspicuous word or two or signal as a rider goes by the gate does not bother me. Outright yelling out the course, clucking or coaching through the entire course/class is something that detracts from a round and, I think, should be considered when scoring a trip. Sometimes that coaching is necessary to help prevent a bad situation from happening. I don't think it means a horse/rider shouldn't be at the show, it just means they aren't ready to be considered for top ribbons.

BAC
Nov. 15, 2011, 01:34 PM
A brief, quiet comment as their rider passes by doesn't bother me, but anything more is obnoxious and out of place IMO. Its okay at a schooling show which is more of a learning experience but by the time you are competing in rated shows I think a rider should be able to manage without their trainer for the 2-5 minutes it takes to jump a course or hack.

HRF Second Chance
Nov. 15, 2011, 01:35 PM
I'm with Rye. Funny a judge friend of mine posted about his pet peeves when he judged and rail bird coaching is one of mine. It's a contest to show off what you've learned, not who has the loudest lungs.

You can give your client as much bang for their buck by coaching them before they hit the ring and after they come out. When I coached I would ask my kids "Ok, what are you going to think about this round? Great, now go show us what you've learned!"

But screaming 'CHANGE YOUR LEAD, CHECK YOU POSTING DIAGNOL, YELLOW JUMP TO WHITE JUMP!' Unacceptable to me at any level. I don't care if it's a schooling show in a back yard. Your job was to teach them how to handle themselves. Stop tainting their rounds by pointing out their obvious flaws.

see u at x
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:00 PM
There was a female coach at the Washington International on Wednesday this year who was coaching a kid on her big, chestnut TB-looking jumper. The girl made it to the jump-off, and when she went in to do her round, after the first 2-3 jumps, her coach was yelling at her from the rail, "Faster, faster, FASTER!!!!" She had been doing really well at that point, and then as soon as her coach started yelling, she sped up and started making a lot of mistakes. She pulled 3-4 rails total after that, IIRC. It was horrible and I felt bad for her, because she had been doing very well and just might have won the class. That coach was really, really obnoxious.

Normally I don't mind some coaching from the rail. On the rare occasion, I have done it for people at schooling shows who I don't even know well who appear to be anxious or nervous. Nothing major, but just little reminders here and there such as to sit back, relax, or just to tell them that they're doing a good job, etc. I've even helped random people by giving them a leg up at shows, helping them with nervous or spooky horses, holding their horse while they mount, etc., because it just seems like the decent thing to do, especially for riders who might be showing without a coach or who lack confidence or experience. But yeah, if you're a loud and obnoxious coach screaming/yelling at your student from across the arena, that's pretty annoying and unpleasant.

BAC
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:04 PM
. . . I've even helped random people by giving them a leg up at shows, helping them with nervous or spooky horses, holding their horse while they mount, etc., because it just seems like the decent thing to do, especially for riders who might be showing without a coach or who lack confidence or experience.

I think most of us have probably done this on more than one occasion, because it is the decent thing to do, but I certainly don't consider it coaching.

mvp
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:09 PM
You can "coach" them in between rounds. To me, a show is a test for the horse/rider combo to see if all the hard work at home is paying off. Getting instruction while in the middle of the round is like having the teacher whisper the answer in your ear.

Yes, ma'am.

Speaking as a client, I also find that I can't hear or respond to what the railbirds say.

Also, when I come out of the ring and my trainer wants to do post-game analysis, I have a hard time remembering what happened where and what I did to cause it until I have a couple of minutes to replay the course in my mind.

What I'm aiming toward, in the ring or for that helpful coaching afterwards is the ability to think, feel and change my ride on course. TMI while I'm on course really doesn't help me get to that "thinking ride" that the pros do. I figure that my little pea brain was full by the time I went into the ring.

If coaching from the side actually helped, that would be one thing. If it prevents me from learning to give a good ride in the show ring, it should be taken out of my trainer's style.

Thankfully, the trainers I have chosen are pretty professional and discrete. We agree that "learning to ride" means learning to make autonomous decisions.

myalter1
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:12 PM
My daughter had a catch ride the other day at a schooling show in the mini stirrup (silly, i know, but the wanted the division to fill.) I was so proud of her, as she went around on a strange pony and checked for her diagonals herself. The other 2 coaches were shouting across the ring for their kids to change. Now, she had no chance to win as the filler, but I couldn't have had a prouder moment. All I did as she came past the in-gate was give her a thumbs up and a smile.

Ok, i digress..I agree with the posters who say an inconspicuous word passing the in-gate is ok by me.

MySuperExAlter
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:19 PM
I appreciate my trainer saying things to me when I go by the in gate. But only by the in gate. If I'm having a really bad round, I'll look to him as we pass and he'll reassure me. One or two words is all it ever is, such as "keep your canter." Sometimes he will just say "good" and that is encouraging as well. It is only loud enough for me to hear.

ohandthesmokes
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:19 PM
I like some slight ring-side coaching, because I'm a very nervous show rider... I've been showing for years, it's just something I've always had issues with, and my instructor is wonderful and will just whisper little hints or "good job!" as I go past her in the ring. It's huge for me and makes me feel SO much better, so I have no problems with a little bit of coaching... as long as there's no yelling. I find that rude and disruptive. I've seen kids miss a command in a flat class because someone's trainer was yelling full out at one of their kids because they didn't have the right diagonal... Poor kids.

bascher
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:42 PM
I appreciate my trainer saying things to me when I go by the in gate. But only by the in gate. If I'm having a really bad round, I'll look to him as we pass and he'll reassure me. One or two words is all it ever is, such as "keep your canter." Sometimes he will just say "good" and that is encouraging as well. It is only loud enough for me to hear.

I agree with this completely. Not yelling across the ring, but when I pass the ingate, my trainer might say something like keep your leg on, or right leg, or something like that, but only I can hear it. Judges can't hear it, people standing watching at the ring can't hear it, etc. It's not in my opinion obnoxious to do something like that, but unless your horse is having a major hissy fit at the opposite end of the ring or something like that, I don't like when trainers yell across the ring for everyone in the entire area to hear.

However, I also do agree with learning to think autonomously while in the show ring. My trainer will often have us do courses at home and will tell us, "I'm not going to say anything until your turn is over because in the show ring, I won't be in your ear holding your hand." I really appreciate this, but I also don't think quietly saying, keep your leg on or something similar is her holding my hand in the ring. I'm not depending on her to fix my round while it's going on, but it's nice to know that she is there with a quiet word if needed. And at several shows that I've gone to, my trainer will actually purposely not stand at the ingate but will stand away from the ring on the side or up in the stands (like at Zone Finals at Harrisburg one year), so it's impossible for her to tell me anything during my trip. She does this so she has a better view of the entire trip so that when the trip is over, she can give me the best analysis that she can to help me learn for my next trip.

shiningwizard255
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:55 PM
Hate it. I feel like a show is a "moment of truth" on far I've come as a rider. I like having that moment where someone else, that doesn't know me or have any vested interest in my success (the judge), gets to let me know how I am doing.

HRF Second Chance
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:59 PM
However, I also do agree with learning to think autonomously while in the show ring. My trainer will often have us do courses at home and will tell us, "I'm not going to say anything until your turn is over because in the show ring, I won't be in your ear holding your hand."

^This. I think that every now and again, especially when preparing for show season, you need to have a "show lesson". Pretend its a show, let the other riders be the "judges" and "coaches". Let them critique each other and let the rider just have a round where it's just them and their horse. There's something to be said for creating a THINKING rider and not some auto-pilot monkey hanging onto the reins waiting for their trainer to tell them what to do next.

And FWIW, I think that coaching someone else that isn't your student from the rail whether you can contain yourself or not, is just plain rude. Not your rider, not your business. Unless they are beating their horse bloody you need to keep your commentary to yourself.

doublesstable
Nov. 15, 2011, 02:59 PM
I think it really depends on where you are in your riding. I don't support the yelling out because I think that could be distracting to other horses/riders.

I have helped friends at schooling shows off the rail quietly as they pass - nerves can get in the way and a soft reminder to sit back and lower hands is acceptable.

I have had my trainer in flat classes remind me too and I didn't have a problem with it.

I think it's an individual thing. If you don't want the reminders then that is something you take up with your trainer. I think too many people worry about what other people are doing....

....and I would doubt a few quick pointers from the rail would give anyone an advantage that someone else in the class didn't already have if they had done their homework before the show.

Rel6
Nov. 15, 2011, 03:04 PM
I'm with the people that think that a whispered word or two by the in gate or rail is fine, anymore in inappropriate. In IHSA flat classes my coach will remind me "elbows in" or "arch your back" or "face" (I make weird faces when I'm flatting.)

BUT I must admit to being one of those people who had their trainers yelling out courses to them in the jumpers when I saw starting out in the jumper ring. I resent the implication from the OP that it means I didn't memorize and walk the course.

I probably went over that course more times than anyone else. But I have a terrible memory and was super nervous the first month I did the jumpers. So yes, my trainer would shout the next jump into the ring (especially jump-offs, since even just one course would try my frazzled memory.) I got the hang of jumper courses quickly enough, but having my trainer call out jumps my first few times gave me the confidence to do it on my own.

wcporter
Nov. 15, 2011, 03:10 PM
So, I have a question/scenario for judges (or, whoever):

Two rounds in an over-fences class. Say, teenagers.

First rider does OK - but not great -has no one coaching her rail side.

Second rider has a much better round, BUT has trainer CLEARLY coaching her every step of the way (not yelling obnoxiously, but absolutely audible from the judges booth).

Who should place higher?




Woo! 500 posts! I'm offically a COTH Addict :winkgrin:

shawneeAcres
Nov. 15, 2011, 03:15 PM
I will sometimes say something as they go by the gate, especially to the LITTLE kids that are jsut starting out to help to encourage them. The older kids, I might just say quietly "Looking good" or "just give a little more rein" or something like that, but quietly and inconspicuosly. I HATE trainers that are YELLING to their students for all the world to see!! Went to a show and was walking by the ring, a pretty well known local trainer was YELLING at her student while she was on course. i said (plenty loud enough for her to hear) "Well I guess they don't have a problem with coaching while in the ring at this show"! Sorry but that is just not what is supposed to be happening!

hntrjmprpro45
Nov. 15, 2011, 04:21 PM
Generally for me, it depends on the level of the rider. Short stirrup kids need some extra guidance, jr hunters? Not so much.

Either way, when you shout you draw the judge's attention to the rider's flaws. I would expect that most trainers only coach from the rail when they deem it necessary. And as a judge, it doesn't bother me. It's not like the trainers are usually shouting something that I didn't already see.

reay6790
Nov. 15, 2011, 04:22 PM
I don't think I've ever heard anyone audible at an A or AA show. Maybe if i'm standing right by the in-gate. If I heard someone yell, that would be embarrassing. My trainer does stand by the gate with all of the other trainers and if she feels I need to shorten my reins or speed up, she has no problem telling me quietly. Doesn't bother me :/ and never met anyone who it did bother.

meupatdoes
Nov. 15, 2011, 04:26 PM
NO clucking. LOL a friend used to hit me every time I would cluck from the rail, especially since he said half the time I was pushing the rider through a distance. :yes:

At local level shows it is tolerated. Not A circuit behavior.

Speaking of clucking, it drives me freakin' beserk when random spectators cluck at riders in the ring or in a clinic.

If their coach or someone who knows them is doing it that is one thing (and that I don't really mind), but the random peanut gallery?

W.
T.
H.

hntrjmprpro45
Nov. 15, 2011, 04:33 PM
Speaking of clucking, it drives me freakin' beserk when random spectators cluck at riders in the ring or in a clinic.

If their coach is doing it that is one thing (and that I don't really mind), but the random peanut gallery?

W.
T.
H.

Its annoying, but I'll admit to catching myself doing that from time to time. As a trainer it becomes a habit. You see a horse getting behind the riders leg, and CLUCK. It just comes out. Kind of like sitting in the stands and squeezing with your legs as you watch the grand prix.

Sigh... creatures of habit!

bumknees
Nov. 15, 2011, 04:54 PM
The only time I was ever ''coached'' from the rail was one time when I was less than wonderful condition due to being sick and on what ever someones parent had that was otc. I began my circle and coach just yelled " STOP turn around!!!" and that was it... apparently I was going the wrong direction..

Other than that I do not recall any other coaching not even a quiet sit up, hands, eyes et al... Now once out of ring then yeah lay it on me and it was...

meupatdoes
Nov. 15, 2011, 04:57 PM
Its annoying, but I'll admit to catching myself doing that from time to time. As a trainer it becomes a habit. You see a horse getting behind the riders leg, and CLUCK. It just comes out. Kind of like sitting in the stands and squeezing with your legs as you watch the grand prix.

Sigh... creatures of habit!

My very best friend in the world has been known to do this while sitting next to me watching, so I will certainly not hate you forever for it.

I will, however, shrink into a little slump, lean away and pointedly look somewhere else and pretend I don't know who you are or why you are following me.

AmmyByNature
Nov. 15, 2011, 05:07 PM
I agree with pretty much everyone. A quiet word while you canter by the in gate is one thing. I'm fine with that. Honestly, I feel like it's mostly said so the trainer can show the rider that she's paying attention.

Bellowing across the arena is quite another.

Although I will say that I don't see a lot of the bellowing. And if I do, it's never during an otherwise unspectacular round or when someone is just doing their course like normal. It's usually when something catastrophic has already happened or is about to happen -- such as you've already had a refusal or a near death experience. That's really the only time I see trainers at rated shows yelling across the ring. In the hunters at least.

You definitely see (hear?) it more in the jumpers, but I don't think it's because the riders aren't prepped. I think it's just the excitement of the moment and because everything is happening so much faster. I did the jumpers briefly and I never went off course -- never even looked like I was going to go off course -- but I still got some yells of "LEFT REIN" over a fence, or "TURN TURN TURN" after I landed, or "TO THE YELLOW" when I was already clearly heading toward the yellow. Honestly, it may not have even been my trainer. People go kind of crazy at the in gate of the jumper ring... It doesn't really bother me, though.

outside__line
Nov. 15, 2011, 05:12 PM
my trainer does not coach from the rail... at our first show together I felt a little lost, but I quickly adapted and am now better for it. I appreciate that she has the backbone to let me sink or swim on my own in the show ring, because that's the point of the whole thing anyway. And while I certainly appreciate her input between rounds... I am 31 years old and if I can't get myself into and out of the ring without someone yelling at me the whole time, clearly there are other issues going on! :lol:

When I coached kids a long time ago, I tried to refrain from coaching from the ringside. At most I would either nod and smile encouragement, or quietly say, "good job", "keep going", etc to cheer them on. (But we had entire lessons of 'let's pretend this is a horse show" so they knew what to expect and how to handle that situation.)

doublesstable
Nov. 15, 2011, 05:15 PM
Speaking of clucking, it drives me freakin' beserk when random spectators cluck at riders in the ring or in a clinic.

If their coach or someone who knows them is doing it that is one thing (and that I don't really mind), but the random peanut gallery?

W.
T.
H.

LOL ^ gotta love the peanut gallery!

When riding western as a kid had a QH that loved to hear the word "Whoa"... spectators on the rail said Whoa, and she would stop...

I since then, I have out smarted my mounts by stuffing cotton in their ears.. Hee hee.....

kookicat
Nov. 15, 2011, 05:53 PM
I hate it. It's not done in eventing, and I'm glad. If you're not ready to show, all the help in the word from the rail isn't going to make you ready.

carasmom
Nov. 15, 2011, 06:05 PM
My trainer will quietly make a comment when I pass the ingate and I have no issue whatsoever.
I do have a terrible habit of looking at her when I pass the ingate especially if I make a mistake and at a show last summer, she told me in a stern voice "Don't look at me!". Now several other trainers (and friends) will quietly say "Don't look at me!" whenever they see me at a show. :lol:

naturalequus
Nov. 15, 2011, 06:29 PM
I agree with this completely. Not yelling across the ring, but when I pass the ingate, my trainer might say something like keep your leg on, or right leg, or something like that, but only I can hear it. Judges can't hear it, people standing watching at the ring can't hear it, etc. It's not in my opinion obnoxious to do something like that, but unless your horse is having a major hissy fit at the opposite end of the ring or something like that, I don't like when trainers yell across the ring for everyone in the entire area to hear.

However, I also do agree with learning to think autonomously while in the show ring. My trainer will often have us do courses at home and will tell us, "I'm not going to say anything until your turn is over because in the show ring, I won't be in your ear holding your hand." I really appreciate this, but I also don't think quietly saying, keep your leg on or something similar is her holding my hand in the ring. I'm not depending on her to fix my round while it's going on, but it's nice to know that she is there with a quiet word if needed. And at several shows that I've gone to, my trainer will actually purposely not stand at the ingate but will stand away from the ring on the side or up in the stands (like at Zone Finals at Harrisburg one year), so it's impossible for her to tell me anything during my trip. She does this so she has a better view of the entire trip so that when the trip is over, she can give me the best analysis that she can to help me learn for my next trip.

:yes:

I don't think a few whispered reminders as you pass the in-gate can be equated to a teacher whispering you the answers to a test. You still have to be the one to do it and it's not like you did not do your homework at home or don't know what you're doing - but those little reminders can help and can contribute to a good experience that builds confidence and enables the rider to get better. Discussing the course afterward is fantastic, but sometimes that extra reminder while you are on course can really help some riders. I also don't feel it really gives one student an overt advantage over another. It all evens out in the end.

In the past I've had coaches whisper tips or encouragement to me from the in-gate and I greatly appreciate it. Recently, I attended a schooling show with my one boy and actually accepted a coach's offer to school me on course (of course we were not going for the ribbons, just for the experience :lol:). I'm bringing up a green horse into the jumpers and find myself lacking the confidence on him over fences :(. My tendency to lean forward at times (which already throws off my youngster over fences) is then exacerbated by my nervousness in general and my lack of confidence in this horse. It's frustrating because I used to jump way higher with much more confidence; we are both very capable and I just need to RELAX and push my horse. I know what I am doing wrong... but when I go on course sometimes all goes out the window. It's not that we can't do it and that we don't know what we are doing or are ill-prepared - but that coach reminding me to keep my shoulders back and to lift my hands and just let my horse do his job made an amazing difference because I just relax and do what I know I need to do. So, I see how a coach whispering the odd reminder to their student from the rail can be helpful for some riders. If the reminders are in any way intrusive or disruptive to other riders, well that's another issue and it shouldn't be tolerated. But if it is not affecting you, the other riders - then what's your issue with it? I get that autonomy is important - it is. But sometimes that extra help is really beneficial to a rider, especially if they are new to the show ring, are returning to the show ring, or are nervous or anxious for some other reason.

VR00M
Nov. 15, 2011, 06:40 PM
Well for me its not Black or White, its a major gray area. For instance I think in a Medal it is absolutley unacceptable. Also in the 3ft or above the rider should be well enough prepared that they don't need "coaching" an encourgaing "good, keep it up" or "a little more leg now" is ok when going by the gate. I hate when the trainers are counting the kids strides for them, this summer at a "B" show in the Childrens I heard a trainer scream (after the landing of the first jump) " ONE...THREE...MORE...SIX...LEG" and I was a little annoyed. Thinking, you have to aid your kid by counting and she is jumping 3ft courses? Also in flat classes, as a horse comes by the corner I feel it is ok to say a few directions like "arch your back" or "long and low".

Melzy
Nov. 15, 2011, 07:25 PM
As a judge, I hate it. It is against the rules because it is outside assistance.

Renn/aissance
Nov. 15, 2011, 07:45 PM
A word or two at in-gate? Sure. Help to a rider who is obviously struggling, especially at lower levels? No problem. Aid to avoid a dangerous situation in the making? Absolutely. If you shout without need or swear ever, please leave, you don't belong at a horse show.

VelvetsAB
Nov. 15, 2011, 09:37 PM
I am a rider who sometimes freezes in the middle of the course. I can still steer my way around, make my release and get my leads 90% of the time (on an older horse who 'sticks' through them sometimes). But there are sometimes that I need a few clucks to remember to put my leg on through the corner so we don't lose impulsion, or a soft woah to remind me that hunters are not a timed event, and I really needed a solid six in that line instead of a galloping 5....true story.

I know it will take more showing experience to get past that, but for now, it will most likely still happen.

The last few schooling shows I was in, I actually didn't get any coaching in the flat classes, and managed to get a first and second or third by myself.


Yes, there is a difference between schooling shows and rated shows. But there is also a difference between a coach who gives quiet reminders over the coach who gives loud ones.

mvp
Nov. 15, 2011, 09:47 PM
As a judge, I hate it. It is against the rules because it is outside assistance.

IMO, this should have ended the discussion, people.

It's illegal.

Brigit
Nov. 16, 2011, 12:45 AM
It depends....

I really don't like coaches that are literally yelling at their students across the ring and agree that once you hit a certain level, it should be considered a closed book test. You're there to show em what you know and can do.

However, I think there may be a time and a place. Definitely not at bigger shows or A Circuit stuff. But at a younger child's first show and if they're really struggling, then heck yes I'll try to provide some support to get them through it. We're not talking diagonals or leads or positional corrections (unless really necessary), I'm talking more about the kid who has had 2 refusals in the x-rail class and you can see their confidence draining out of them. I'd much rather provide some help to get them through it than see them DQ'd and have to leave the ring for something they know they can do at home. I don't "coach" from the side of the ring with the intent of boosting my kids placing to a class win, just to get them through it. Some kids are really and truly freaked out in that big ring, all by themselves, with all those people watching. A familiar voice is sometimes all it takes. Some kids do fantastic at home and maybe depending on nerves or the fact that their horse is the family's old ranch horse that hasn't seen the show ring, they don't do so well at the show itself. I'm totally ok with being "that person" if it's going to help my little people through and ensure they have a positive & enjoyable experience. Otherwise they won't want to keep showing. Does that make sense?

JenEM
Nov. 16, 2011, 01:55 AM
As a judge, I hate it. It is against the rules because it is outside assistance.

Is it in hunters? I don't see anything in the rule book searching under "unauthorized assistance," which is expressly forbidden using that terminology in both eventing and dressage.

As someone who also dabbles in eventing and dressage, I'm familiar with the "no unauthorized assistance" rule. I generally am so focused when I'm going around that I don't know that I'd hear what anyone was telling me anyway. A whisper to a kid in a pony class, or a nervous newbie, as they pass the gate, especially at a schooling show, is fine. But beyond that, I think it's inappropriate.

S A McKee
Nov. 16, 2011, 07:05 AM
Is it in hunters? I don't see anything in the rule book searching under "unauthorized assistance," which is expressly forbidden using that terminology in both eventing and dressage.

.

I don't think there is anything in the Hunter rules but for equitation enforcement is up to the judge and what consitutes assistance is not defined.

"3. Outside Assistance. Outside assistance will be penalized at the judge’s discretion."

Jumpers do have a prohibition and there are guidelines.

"10. Outside Assistance. Riders receiving physical assistance from outside the ring (i.e., lunge whips, etc.) while on course will be eliminated"

paulosey
Nov. 16, 2011, 07:21 AM
I hate it! I think it is a very unprofessional and shows no respect for the other riders or spectators.

If the riders need constant ringside coaching, in my opinion, they aren't ready to show. Let the riders make their own mistakes and they will learn from how they were placed. Coaching can be done after the round, outside of the ring.

Hilltopfarmva
Nov. 16, 2011, 07:22 AM
I am a coach and I have a problem!! I do coach some of my students from the rail especially those that are nervous or moving up in height the first time. I think the most I say is more canter and sit up. This is at local and schooling shows. At the rated shows. NEVER!!! I feel that by the time my students are ready for the rated stuff they can carry their own around the course and we took care of the jitters in the schooling ring hopefully.

GingerJumper
Nov. 16, 2011, 09:01 AM
IMO, this should have ended the discussion, people.

It's illegal.

:yes:

The ONLY time I have ever heard ringside coaching that I was moderately OK with has been in an un-judged schooling round or something like that. Otherwise, lips=zipped.

AmmyByNature
Nov. 16, 2011, 09:23 AM
Actually, I don't think it's illegal. Especially when you consider that they go to the trouble of explicitly saying it's illegal in other disciplines and specifically do NOT say it's illegal in the hunters.

I agree with S A McKee and JenEM.

It can be penalized at the judge's discretion in the eq, and you aren't allowed to chase horses with whips in the jumpers, but although it can certainly affect your feeling about a hunter round, I don't think you can claim that it's illegal.

Moesha
Nov. 16, 2011, 10:13 AM
It depends on what your definition of "ringside coaching" is. A trainer standing at the inagate or near a particular combination or fence or somewhere along the rail saying things like "Whoa" or "pick it up" or slow it down" "Leg back" as their rider passes once or so in and o.f class or a few times on the flat or U/S... seems natural and part of learning...but someone actually interfering with the class or yelling their heads off is really noit acceptable. Some very good trainers sadly have a bad reputation for this and it is sad, just sit back say something as they go by if things are not going well or you are worried but conducting a screaming one man or woman flash mob at the ingate is too much!

Offset
Nov. 16, 2011, 10:20 AM
It depends on what your definition of "ringside coaching" is. A trainer standing at the inagate or near a particular combination or fence or somewhere along the rail saying things like "Whoa" or "pick it up" or slow it down" "Leg back" as their rider passes once or so in and o.f class or a few times on the flat or U/S... seems natural and part of learning...but someone actually interfering with the class or yelling their heads off is really noit acceptable. Some very good trainers sadly have a bad reputation for this and it is sad, just sit back say something as they go by if things are not going well or you are worried but conducting a screaming one man or woman flash mob at the ingate is too much!



Very true Moesha. I remember that trainer you rode with for years taking off every stitch of clothing at the Culpeper ingate during one of your trips, trying to distract spectators from what was happening in the ring. Brought a whole new meaning to the term "flash mob". I'm hoping the Maryland twosome don't have to resort to such techniques.

EAY
Nov. 16, 2011, 12:20 PM
My daughter had a catch ride the other day at a schooling show in the mini stirrup (silly, i know, but the wanted the division to fill.) I was so proud of her, as she went around on a strange pony and checked for her diagonals herself. The other 2 coaches were shouting across the ring for their kids to change. Now, she had no chance to win as the filler, but I couldn't have had a prouder moment.

WTH?? Are you telling us that as the filler she couldn't win the class? Was this a qualifying class for the mini stirrup medal final? :eek: Was the class rigged so that the judge knew your daughter was just in there as the filler, or did she purposely pick up the wrong diagonal so as not to win? :no:

mustangsal85
Nov. 16, 2011, 12:24 PM
My coach does it, but then again so does just about every other coach that we see at the local shows that we go to. I have not been ringside at an A show for awhile so I can't speak for those (although I do distinctly remember a young GP rider doing the GP and her mother SCREAMING at her from the ingate). My coach usually keeps it to a soft reminder when I pass the ingate, honestly half the time I don't even hear her. She does use it more for the little ones who are newbies or who do need a little extra help w diagonals or bending. I personally don't have a problem with it, at schooling shows at least. If it is tactful and not clearly giving a rider an advantage I don't see an issue. I have also never really seen someone who was not coached vs someone who was coached placing differently, assuming the rides were similar.

eclipse
Nov. 16, 2011, 02:50 PM
I've sat next to a FEI level judge at some of our local shows and she HATES it! She will allow it for rank beginner kids (think the trot pole class 8yrs and under) but will absolutely warn and then penalize for others recieving coaching that she can hear! She loves judging the local shows to see new riders and ammies, but will enforce rules to the absolute letter! :D

HGem
Nov. 16, 2011, 04:36 PM
I personally would never want my coach or trainer yelling at me when I'm in the ring. Thankfully my "coach" (aka my aunt) is NOT a rail bird. In fact you can hardly ever find her near the gate or rail. I still remember plain as day when I was at a rated show and watched a bunch of rail bird trainers stand by the ingate as their students went round. Finally it was almost my turn so I walked up to the ingate and gave my number to the gate keeper. She looked at me and said "where's your trainer?" I was like "Umm...over there". She looked at me dumbfounded and was just like "Oh."

That said - I don't care one bit if other people do it. In my opinion they are just making themselves look like a fool and I have never seen it really benefit a rider in the class. So who cares. Do what you want ;)

VelvetsAB
Nov. 16, 2011, 09:58 PM
How are you to get to a rated show without having practise at schooling and local shows?

Schooling shows are for learning, so yes, ringside coaching should be perfectly acceptable.

Just because someone needs help in the ring, does not mean that they shouldn't be there.

Again, there is a difference between a schooling/local show, and a rated show.

Donkerbruin
Nov. 16, 2011, 10:54 PM
I would be really embarrassed to have someone screaming at me from the ingate! A soft reminder as I pass them on the rail should be fine though. Nobody hears it (including me sometimes) and it can be very helpful.

Hunter Mom
Nov. 16, 2011, 11:22 PM
Thankfully, my trainer is much more classy than to scream across the arena. Yes, I have heard a "good" or a "more pace" or a "slow down" spoken as I've gone by her at the gate, but I think they were usually more of a comment to the air than a command to her rider.

There is an area trainer who is known for her, um, lively railside manner. It's really not becoming. At all.

quietann
Nov. 17, 2011, 01:24 AM
And here I am (over from the dressage and eventing world) wondering why trainers do this, and remembering the time "Oh, Trumpie, no!" slipped out of my mouth as I watched his dressage test and he turned a trot lengthening into a series of bucks! I was SO worried the judge would disqualify him based on my remark, even though I was and am in no way shape or form a coach or trainer. (This was a horse I was very fond of and rode a lot when I was getting back into it, but he was being ridden by his owner's teenage daughter that day.)

Seriously, I have seen eventers disqualified on cross-country for that level of comment from a spectator. And when I've served as a jump judge, part of the morning reminders is "no matter how much s/he needs help, do NOT say anything to the rider at your fence." Can be really hard when someone's about to have their third refusal at the fence, which means automatic elimination!

yellowbritches
Nov. 17, 2011, 08:00 AM
Quietann, I've been there! In fact, I got a scolding from a TD once when I was a little too animated as I watched a client meltdown in show jumping at an event. The poor kid got eliminated for stops, so, obviously I wasn't assisting, but my "oh no! Kick!" I thought was under my breath was louder than I realized! She reminded me that had the poor kid made it around, I could have gotten her eliminated. Oh, good grief. I know better and was so thoroughly embarrassed!:eek:

When I attend h/j shows, it always takes me a few minutes to stop giving railbirds a shocked look when they coach. Of course, the last time I rode in a jumper show, I was tossed up last minute on my coach's horse, since his green horse caused him to break a finger. I was riding a little blind around the course, but was getting it down, but cantered right past the last fence. As I came out he scolded me for missing a fence. I said we WERE at a jumper show...he could've maybe said something. His reply was "old habits die hard." :lol:

alliekat
Nov. 17, 2011, 08:20 AM
I don't like rail side coaching. Whether a schooling show or rated. I look at show like a test of skills you have been taught. Would it be fair for someone at school taking a test to have the teacher shouting the correct formula to use to figure out an answer? The time of eyes on the ground is at home and outside in the warm up ring. The only exception is when there is a dangerous moment that is trying to be avoided.

harkington
Nov. 17, 2011, 11:51 AM
There are few things that bother me more at shows than coaches 'coaching' from outside of the ring- i.e., projecting their voice to the opposite end of the arena the whole way around the course. Sure, at schooling shows with little ones on ponies etc this is generally acceptable and the norm- and that's fine, those are schooling shows and named as such for a reason. But in my opinion, if you are confident and skilled enough to show at a rated show in a core division, then you probably shouldn't need someone directing your every stride. A horse show is a show, not a lesson.

That being said, I am very nervous when it comes to showing (although I do love it and the nerves are getting better!). A quiet "steady, steady" or "good job" or "shoulders back" as a I pass by my coach always helps with this. Theoretically, I know everything she is telling me and am often in the process of fixing it, but knowing that I am not 'alone' definitely helps me relax and focus. However, the times I do pass her and she says nothing are almost just as nice-this to me says everything is going well. But at this stage, those moments are rare occurrences so for now, I'll take my softly-spoken "whoa, easy" and won't begrudge other riders and coaches with a similar routine.

I should also mention that I show at B-circuit shows in a division filled with people at my experience level. For the most part, a quiet word or two is generally allotted to each rider from their respective coaches- and, once again, in my opinion and experience, that is fine.

MardiGrasTimeStable
Nov. 17, 2011, 12:12 PM
I dont mind a quiet word near the rail as I pass - or as my riders passed me. Usually it was more of a "lead" "smile" "breath" "good job" or a thumbs up / thumbs down (if they needed to check something they were doing).

One time it annoyed the HECK out of me was a parent yelling from the stands at their daughter during leadline for their child to "copy the girl next to you" *sigh* So glad the little girl didn't listen to them ;-) I mean - seriously?

allicolls Aefvue Farms Deep South
Nov. 17, 2011, 01:29 PM
When riding western as a kid had a QH that loved to hear the word "Whoa"... spectators on the rail said Whoa, and she would stop...


My QH all-arounder was the same way, and a couple times, a particular competitor's mom said "Whoa" very clearly and firmly as I went by, causing him to slam on brakes, and it was not an accident on her part. Had to basically train him to ignore other people, announcers, etc. - everyone but me.

As for coaching generally, I'm in the camp that thinks yelling across the ring is NEVER ok unless it's a safety issue. However, I do think a quiet word or subtle signal as the rider comes by is ok. As a rider, I always know where my trainer is along the rail, and look to her as I go by. Even if I'm not having a problem at the moment, she'll often remind me to breathe, relax, smile - all of which improve the overall ride.

If I were a judge, I would certainly frown on yelling or audible, obvious coaching - the kind that attracts attention. But, while I would "know" that quiet ringside coaching does go on, I think I would not mind that which does not distract me.

SkipChange
Nov. 17, 2011, 01:35 PM
I can't stand coaching from the rail. The instinctive cluck or a few whispers under your breath won't hurt anyone, but yelling commands every stride of the course is not good manners.

However, at our little barn schooling shows (less than 40 horses usually) I can put up with it if a rider is struggling. I run the gate at those shows and I will send the trainer in the ring to help the little ones after 3 refusals. Those shows are meant to be a learning experience and at that point the kid is eliminated anyway--might as well make certain that they will make it around for their next course. I really don't feel like we have much railside coaching other than that and it really doesn't slow us down. The kids have more confidence for the next course and almost always finish the day without more refusals. These aren't repeat offenders either--by the next show the kids have improved. I think I'd bang my head against a wall if they started doing this at rated shows or even bigger local shows--but it works for us.

Foundgreenergrass
Nov. 17, 2011, 06:02 PM
I used to ride with a trainer that would scream and hollar at every rider while they were schooling or showing or coming out of the school ring. No matter what it was always a "were you even following our plan or did you just go in there and make up your own" (while her arms were flying in the air going crazy). It got to the point where other moms used to come up to the moms we showed with and say "i feel really bad for you". In schooling shows a little whisper or a one word comment is okay to me and sometimes very helpful for some. Rated shows, this is where it gets tough. I think if you are showing in rated shows you should be a little bit more advanced to where you can be coached before and after by your trainer but if you are going into the ring and making mistakes this might be good for you to do and learn and get over.

Some trainers just take it to a extreme and never again do I want to be seen with someone in public at a horse show again like that. I dont know how I did it so long actuallyy...(trainers take note ;) )

my_doran
Nov. 18, 2011, 03:39 AM
i hate it. it is very distracting

dani0303
Nov. 18, 2011, 03:56 AM
As a trainer, I feel that it completely depends on the student and the situation. I have no problem quietly saying something like "relax" or "half halt" as a student passes by the in-gate. I also had a student about to go off-course in a jump off and while I didn't say anything, about 7 or 8 people on the rail screamed "LEFT!"

At a schooling show with a little one, I think that is a completely different situation. I had a x-rail rider who simply could.not.get bratty pony over the fence. She was obviously frustrated (and eliminated) and the judge allowed me into the ring to coach them over the fence. It was a great confidence builder for the kid and she was able to go into her next round and get over her "bogey" fence.

As a rider, I honestly don't ever notice when people talk to me on course. I'm so in the zone that even if they're right next to me, I don't hear them. I think a lot of riders are the same way.

So I guess to sum up my long novel of a post, I don't like screaming trainers on the rail, but I have no problem with someone quietly commenting as a rider comes by.

MintHillFarm
Nov. 18, 2011, 02:05 PM
I personally do not have a problem with it as long as it quietly past the in-gate. After that it is a little irritating and I personally would be embarrassed if my trainer were to yell at me from the in-gate while I am on course. I do get nervous though while showing, so I do need those little reminders (mostly to breathe) while going past the in-gate sometimes.

I agree...and if a rider comes past their trainer by the rail or in gate and it's a suggestion to make a circle to avoid a group of horses (for the younger rider / and to make it safer) I have no problem with it.

Or if there was a stop while on course and approaching the fence for the 2nd attempt, the trainer says words of encouargement in the hopes that the rider makes a serious effort to complete the course.

Miraya
Nov. 18, 2011, 07:08 PM
I don't think it is such an advantage to have that kind of coach. A smooth quiet round with nice clapping at the end looks more professional and prepared than someone who has a railbird yelling "Get the F-ING LEAD CHANGE ALREADY! YOU ARE ON THE WRONG DIAGONAL!!! SHOULDERS BACK!" at them. JMHO.

A discreet cluck when going past the in-gate? No big deal. That's not coaching, my mom does that to me when I'm failing to perform to motherly expectations.

My mother does that too!! :lol:

Anyways, I have only coached at little schooling shows so far but my "ringside" coaching really depends on the student and situation. If its a nervous student, some quiet encouragement as they go by you is acceptable. If they're on their "crazy" horse (like one of my students!) a quick tip as they go by and thats about it. Unless they're really in trouble!

I for one do not miss the days of my old coach "WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU DOING! GOOOOO!!!" as I trot into the ring. Ugh.

sweetpea
Nov. 19, 2011, 08:49 AM
The rider was coming down a line with not the best distance , had some pace too in a jump off, the trainer SCREAMS at the last stride and the rider overreacted to his scream at her , flipped the horse like I have never seen, it still makes me sick.

The ring is your chance to see if you have done your homework. SIMPLE

alliekat
Nov. 19, 2011, 10:30 AM
The ring is your chance to see if you have done your homework. SIMPLE


Agree^^^^

enjoytheride
Nov. 19, 2011, 11:01 AM
In eventing coaching from the rail is clearly against the rules but in hunter/jumpers it is not so I enjoy coaching from the rail.

I am a nervous show person and some coaching occasionally quietly as I pass really helps.

I have also taken advantage of a coach giving their rider advice. If the coach whispers to the coach on the bay horse "heels down" I will check to make sure my heels are down too. Mwah.

indygirl2560
Nov. 19, 2011, 05:42 PM
I can't stand loud, ringside coaching! If my trainer quietly says a couple words to me as I pass her on the rail, then fine. Most of the time, my trainer says absolutely nothing to me when I pass her, which I like! If you're showing eq or hunters, my trainer usually won't say anything; however, if you're doing jumpers, that's another story! I think it's embarrassing to have a trainer yelling at you in the ring, but mine does it in the jumpers. A girl at my barn was showing jumpers on my trainer's horse at the last show and got lost, so my trainer was yelling across the ring. I really don't like that, but at least she just saves it for jumpers.

Chef Jade
Nov. 19, 2011, 10:32 PM
I despise it. So much so that I would never ride with a trainer that does it. We mostly do jumpers at my barn, and my trainer will yell out of he sees a scary distance coming and needs a rider to fix it pronto, but he never coaches through the round. But on a hunter or eq round ? Never.

Fun Size
Nov. 20, 2011, 12:45 AM
Sounds like the consensus is that a quiet word or two by the in-gate or a corner is acceptable, but yelling isn't.

Makes sense! I have a tunnel vision problem and I get fixated on things in the show ring, so one word is usually enough to bring me back down. I used to have a serious problem getting my horse to go forward and down the lines (my fault, not his), and now that I don't so much have that problem, I tend to run because I am scared of not getting it!

So when I go by my trainer, "that's enough" means "you have plenty of canter, so let's not go galloping around like Seabiscut, ok?"

Star's Ascent
Nov. 20, 2011, 01:04 AM
My trainer would say stuff quietly as I passed if I needed something. Generally eyes up, shoulders back. There was one time that my mom decided to be my "trainer" (she does not ride, has never ridden, only sat on the sidelines while we did) and started coaching me as I came by. I may have mumbled "Oh shut up!" when I went by one time. Luckily she did not hear me or I would not be here today. There was another time where we were at a small local schooling show, one where the same people always show up and everyone knows everyone. My then 4-H leader and long time friend yelled across the arena while I was in my class (I think I was the only one in it if I remember correctly) That if I fell off she would come scoop my insides up and put them in a bucket so that I could go on my date that night. A little background on that one-I had had major abdominal surgery about 12 days before, cut open from top of belly button all the way down. I had been to our state fair horse show 2 days before this show. The dr spent more time sewing me up than the surgery took since she knew I was going to ride no matter what. So the joke for those couple days was if I came off they would scoop up my insides. Luckily at the state fair she refrained from yelling that out. Oh, and in the class she did yell it, it was an eq class and the judge made me ride without stirrups. Everyone on the rail cringed when she did that considering that I couldn't stand up for more than 10 min at a time since I had NO stomach muscles what so ever! I also love when you watch someone on the rail yelling stuff to coach a kid and your like "why are you telling them to do that? They need to do this....How are you a trainer?"

ACP
Nov. 20, 2011, 01:42 AM
I've judged a lot of local shows, the schooling show circuit types, and I personally hate to hear coaching from the rail. So often the advice is wrong. The rider is already tense and worried, and the screaming hell-cat voiced coach on the rail just makes it worse. If It happened very much I had the announcer say, "The judge requests no coaching from the rail, please." It calls attention to the rider's problem(s), too. Discrete is okay, loud is not.

Coaches need to do a better job of preparing their students. If you have to do more than offer a kind word or some moral support, someone hasn't done their homework.

War Admiral
Nov. 20, 2011, 07:33 AM
I'm from Planet Saddlebred where it's done all the time so it doesn't bother me a bit. Recently I observed it *literally* prevent a chain-reaction wreck in a Fine Harness class, so in that context, NO problem with it at all. There's a way to do it quietly and tactfully.

CarolinaGirl
Nov. 20, 2011, 10:45 AM
I event and therefore any help while on course will get you eliminated at sanctioned shows. That said I was at a schooling horse trial yesterday and there was a trainer there with three young students on ponies and she was screaming, top of lungs type, instructions during every one of their rides during stadium. I was mortified!! I would have been so embarrassed to have been associated with that trainer.
So my opinion... hate it, should not be allowed. And to be honest, I'm so in the zone when I get on course I don't think I'd hear anyone giving a "quite word" anyway.

Sunny's Mom
Nov. 20, 2011, 07:07 PM
I never really noticed it to be honest. I think my trainer coached me all the time!

mroades
Nov. 20, 2011, 07:12 PM
As a judge, I find it very distracting. As a coach, I have always felt like the show is the test...a little reminder as the rider comes by the gate, ok, but screaming something across the ring every 5 seconds...not for me.

mroades
Nov. 20, 2011, 07:13 PM
I also sat with an "R" judge one time that got on the radio and told the gate person to tell the trainer to zip it or there would be no score!