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Ben and Me
Jul. 16, 2000, 10:42 PM
I was watching the Adult Hunters at an AA show a few weeks ago and was horrified seeing the judge not watch a round! The VERY well known rider (something about peanut butter?) had a bad chip on his first fence and the judge just stared off across the areana for the rest of the round! It was the last round but there were only about 10 horses and I didn't really feel that the chip was bad enough to throw him completely out of the jog...And it at least deserved for the judge to pay attention! What do yall think about this? I mean, it was just a chip, not even a refusal or a stop!

Ben and Me
Jul. 16, 2000, 10:42 PM
I was watching the Adult Hunters at an AA show a few weeks ago and was horrified seeing the judge not watch a round! The VERY well known rider (something about peanut butter?) had a bad chip on his first fence and the judge just stared off across the areana for the rest of the round! It was the last round but there were only about 10 horses and I didn't really feel that the chip was bad enough to throw him completely out of the jog...And it at least deserved for the judge to pay attention! What do yall think about this? I mean, it was just a chip, not even a refusal or a stop!

Snowbird
Jul. 16, 2000, 10:53 PM
Well Ben,
That's personal judgement for you. I remember many years ago Sally Sexton was judging and she absolutely refused to watch my daughter. I worked myself up into a frenzy. I mean my protective mother genes were screaming. Then my daughter won the class. Sort of put the fire out of the engine. But, being me I decided to ask Ms. Sexton what exactly she was thinking.

Well, she looked me straight in the eye and said, I didn't need to watch her she was clearly the best, all I had to do was pin the others.

So, don't be so sure in your judgment, maybe there were other factors and with only 10 there were six that were just better. Judging is a really tough job, and I can't fault a judge who takes a few minutes off once the decision has been made and nothing can close the differences. Making decisions is their job, it's why they get paid.

[This message has been edited by Snowbird (edited 07-16-2000).]

kangaroo
Jul. 17, 2000, 12:40 AM
what a very good reason to do the jumpers!

Wicky
Jul. 17, 2000, 07:29 AM
I have trouble with the idea that nothing could possibly happen that would change the judge's mind, so it is safe to quit watching.

A few weeks ago, my stepdaughter was competing on a wonderful horse, in the children's hunters. She hasn't ridden that horse long, and still sonetimes has trouble in the corners getting one lead change. She won the class, after really botching the change - twice. And not just a little bobble that you could miss if you sneezed or blinked.

She didn't feel she should have won - there were several other really good riders. We didn't feel she should have won. But, she did.

This weekend the judge missed someone miss her change after the last jump. So, I didn't win.

There is always something that can happen. I know that judging is hard. But, to me, that doesn't mean that you should automatically quit watching during a round.

Call Me Count
Jul. 17, 2000, 07:42 AM
Well golly gee..I know how you feel.
I remember once in a flat class that my friend was in.. The judge was reading a newspaper the whole entire class. This was at a "A" show. So we wondered how he was supposed to place them. It turns out the six who placed where the exact same who placed o/f...Even though some of those six had a very uneven flat round.
Also in large classes with 100 or more rounds.. it can get tireing for a judge.. we often see them in the middle of the class reading because he/she has already chossen thier six. They occationaly look up to see if anyone else should be placed.
Now this is why we always go last.. we love to screw up the order of the placings!!!

Gayle
Jul. 17, 2000, 07:42 AM
With all the attention that is paid to showing respect for the sport and the judge by entering the show ring with a properly groomed horse, clean tack, and show attire etc.; I am still amazed that this kind of thing happens.

Regardless of what the judge thought of the person's round, he/she owes the respect to the rider by staying until they complete the course.

I have had the same thing happen to me. When I looked at the video in freeze frame to print some to computer images, I discovered that the judge wasn't even watching my horse go around. Now I knew that she wouldn't pin that day trotting the course and cantering out but what about respect for our effort? If we can show it so can they.

Flash44
Jul. 17, 2000, 08:26 AM
Horses love to make liars out of you, so no matter how wonderfully a horse goes, there is still the possibility that a mistake will occur. I actually got pinned 3rd in a class in which I did not even enter! I had done the first round of the division for warm up, and pinned in both rounds! Go figure.

I'd much rather have a judge do a super fast hack than let us go around and around without watching. I have a lot of respect for those judges who get down from their seats and come into the ring to judge a hack. I've even seen a judge step right in front of a horse to watch it jog at him.

Inverness
Jul. 17, 2000, 08:28 AM
I can appreciate that it must be terribly difficult for a judge to pay absolute attention to every trip. I noticed at Culpeper this weekend that a judge occasionally took her eyes off a rider in order to write a comment.

Would it help the judges if they had scribes to record comments?

Might it help to have more than one judge as in other "subjectively" judged sports?

Hardly there
Jul. 17, 2000, 09:10 AM
One of my students was showing her pony at a show being judged by a very well known trainer/judge and whenever someone would make a mistake he would go back to reading his book untill the next pony came in.
It must have been a REALLY good book lol.

pwynnnorman
Jul. 17, 2000, 09:23 AM
"I've even seen a judge step right in front of a horse to watch it jog at him."

Really, Flash. Wow, that's great. I've never seen a hunter "judged" from anything other than the side, unless by accident. I wonder what impact that kind of technique, used consistently, would have? So many "lovely" movers wing and paddle so badly!

elghund
Jul. 17, 2000, 09:29 AM
A couple of thoughts here.

In eventing, the judges always have scribes with them, at least at the bigger events. I assumed they did at the hunters. You know what happens when you assume ...

Some of the problem with the judges attention wandering off is really the fault of the show organizers themselves. Someone mentioned a 100 horse division. When you have that many horses in a division there is no way you can have the attention span to pay attention that long. Also at a top show how would differentiate them. The solution is to limit class sizes. It is done in dessage and eventing, it can be done in hunters.

Good to go
Jul. 17, 2000, 09:48 AM
EXACTLY!!!!!! The hunter's are so political it's sickening!!!!! But it's been going on like this for many, many years...and nobody can really do anything about it...in my opinion there isn't much challenge to it when the judging is like this...it really becomes no fun!!! Jumpers..you either do it or you don't...that's the bottom line!!! <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by kangaroo:
what a very good reason to do the jumpers!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nylar
Jul. 17, 2000, 10:15 AM
We were talking yesterday about this very thing. Last summer, my trainer took a bunch of people to a local show. During one of the hunter divisions, my trainer noticed the judge looking away from the ring, and politely informed her that there was someone in her ring doing a course, and shouldn't she be watching. The judge looked at her and replied "No, I've already seen them all ride before." Gotta love shows where one chip in the first class throws you out the whole day.

buryinghill2
Jul. 17, 2000, 10:19 AM
I am a beginner judge, judging local shows. I am surprised no one ever watches horses from the front because I do.
If I have two I really like, I often use that to separate them. The ability to move straight and true is important to me, actually as important as the side view, although that perspective does take priority.

As far as the judge looking away after a mistake at the first jump, before I started judging I would have been upset by this. Now that I judge, I completely understand it. I do feel badly for the exhibitor who is paying for my opinion, but if the mistake puts the horse immediately out of contention, I have to save my focus for the others. Judging is exhausting, and I do find I have to pace myself a little. Looking away from a horse that is not going to get a ribbon gives me a brief minute to collect my thoughts, look at my card and prepare for the next round. It's probably not fair, but that's how I feel. I judged a ten hour day yesterday and was wiped out by the end of it. I spent 30 years on the A circuit, and never a day went by that I didn't complain about the judging, just like everyone else. Now that I am a judge, I would never complain again. I am finding out first hand how hard it is!

Flash44
Jul. 17, 2000, 10:37 AM
Don't they excuse riders in some of the larger classes if they make a major mistake? Like the eq finals where there are over 200 entries? I've seen some classes where the rider is excused after one refusal.

Ben and Me
Jul. 17, 2000, 11:44 AM
Well, its good to know that I'm not the only one who's seen this before. I didn't think I would be...

I mean, sure it was the last round of the division and I'm sure the judge had already made his decision, but thats beside the point! Its the general idea! What if, say this rider had gone to the steward and asked to speak to the judge about his round? The only thing the judge would be able to say is that "You had a chip on the first fence" because thats all he saw! He wouldn't be able to point out the better points of the round-say perfect lead changes or a very round jump!

BendingLine
Jul. 17, 2000, 11:49 AM
Okay...I'm showing my age here....but I well remember when the junior hunter divisions were so huge that riders were automatically eliminated for major faults (or even not so major faults). I remember showing in the 70's at NC State Fair (yes Ben & Me, I AM that old!) and having a rail down in the second line - got bleeped (by a loud, obnoxious horn) and didn't even get to finish the course. Now this wasn't a BigEq finals - just a regular class in the division at a regular A show. Anyone else remember this?

Jumphigh83
Jul. 17, 2000, 11:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Good to go:
EXACTLY!!!!!! The hunter's are so political it's sickening!!!!! But it's been going on like this for many, many years...and nobody can really do anything about it...in my opinion there isn't much challenge to it when the judging is like this...it really becomes no fun!!! Jumpers..you either do it or you don't...that's the bottom line!!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

DITTO! (that's why they invented jumpers! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif )

Twister
Jul. 17, 2000, 12:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ben & Me:

I mean, sure it was the last round of the division and I'm sure the judge had already made his decision, but thats beside the point! Its the general idea! What if, say this rider had gone to the steward and asked to speak to the judge about his round? The only thing the judge would be able to say is that "You had a chip on the first fence" because thats all he saw! He wouldn't be able to point out the better points of the round-say perfect lead changes or a very round jump! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ben, it is not the judge's job to teach a clinic, it is the judge's job to place the rounds in his or her order of preference. I would tell the rider, 'After the first fence, you were no longer in contention for a ribbon.' End of story. I Do try to keep an eye on the rider who is already out of the ribbons out of courtesy, but judging is tiring work and if I have a chance to go over my cards, get prepared for the next class or take an aspirin ;-), I am going to do it. As for the 100 entries, if there are over 49, the class must be split.

Anne FS
Jul. 17, 2000, 12:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
I remember many years ago Sally Sexton was judging and she absolutely refused to watch my daughter. I worked myself up into a frenzy. I mean my protective mother genes were screaming. Then my daughter won the class.
[snip]
Well, she looked me straight in the eye and said, I didn't need to watch her she was clearly the best, all I had to do was pin the others.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


But, Snowbird, how did she know this if she didn't watch her? Did she mean she had seen her ride in an earlier class?

Aren't you supposed to be judged for each trip? It does sound as though judges are saying that a chip in the first round means I won't watch you in a later round, so I guess we really are wasting our money.

Question for Abby, who is now a judge: If someone makes a mistake in Round 1, will you watch them or not watch them in later rounds? This is very interesting, that judges are admitting that if they see you ride one time, that's it.

Skipper
Jul. 17, 2000, 12:06 PM
I could see a judge stop scoring a round if there are 20-30 horses entered in the division, but I had a judge at a schooling show stop scoring my round after a refusal in the schooling hunters with only 4 people in it. She didn't even pin me. It would've been nice to know what she thought of the other 7 fences....especially since it was like my first show with my greenie.

Colin
Jul. 17, 2000, 12:12 PM
It couldn't have been the peanut butter older AA rider having a bad chip at the first fence.....he's not allowed to miss!!! LOL!

I kind of like the hunter judges -- makes me always want to look my best, buy the fanciest horse I can afford, and "play the game"....which is just what it is -- a game. Maybe I'm weird, but I think it's kinda fun!!! LOL!

Finzean
Jul. 17, 2000, 12:22 PM
This past February I spectated at a show that was held by one of our IHSA teams (show was rated C). The judge was an old acquaintance and trainer I knew when I lived in Suffering Pines - well respected and nice. I was amazed to watch him snoozing during several of the eq. classes! How he managed to put the riders in the correct order I'll never know, but he did manage to get them in a pretty correct order! Must be a secret you learn at judge's school!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Gryphon
Jul. 17, 2000, 12:36 PM
I heard a horror story of a judge marking down because of something she saw a horse do in the adjacent warmup area!

Ben and Me
Jul. 17, 2000, 12:56 PM
Gryphon-I know what you're talkin about! My trainer won't even let me slouch a little waiting for my turn in the ring! Hehe!

[This message has been edited by Ben & Me (edited 07-17-2000).]

ccoronios
Jul. 17, 2000, 01:54 PM
A couple of observations:
One: Many years ago in Kentucky, judge was one of the "gods" of US riding (even GM considers him such). Sitting down, overlooking most of the outside course, but 3 fences in a line behind him. NEVER turned to look ..... we (most of the competitors) spent the weekend asking each other if anyone had figured out what he was looking for, since every class was different (and not ONLY because of the 3 blind fences!)..... by Sunday night, nobody had.
Second: Almost as many years ago in WA, at an Appaloosa show. Judge was attired in dove gray (head to heel) - in March, in Tacoma. (Only those familiar with the NW will appreciate that aside!) One youth rider really got after her horse in one class. He excused her, after telling her that in the ring was no place to train her horse. She came back 2 classes later, rode nicely, horse went nicely - and won the class. That judge was Tony Kauffman of AZ, who also stepped out in front of a game horse whose hackamore had snapped and who was racing around the arena with his owner..... grabbed reins, stopped horse, helped kid off, walked horse over to gate and called out "Somebody give me their hackamore so this kid can make his run" - helped switch tack, put kid back up and away they went! Now, THERE is a judge! Dove gray and all....

Snowbird
Jul. 17, 2000, 01:59 PM
OK! The points been made and verified. This discussion resulted in a Proposed Rule Change for Judging standards.

It would be a good idea to list these complaints about "judging" not judges and then refer then to the Committee for Licensing Judges so it can be considered at the Judge's Clinics.

With reference to the Sally Sexton issue, she had watched them all (it was a flat class) around the ring and made her pick. Unless, something terrible had happened, she was looking to select her top six. I have spoken with many judges who make their pick and then only watch those riders to make sure that nothing goes horribly awry.

I think what you are all describing is a basic flaw in the system. Yes, we proposed the use of scribes. The question is one, more objectivity in the standards, points per fence, and less personal opinion.

The second question is whether the judge should simply look and pick the top six, or if there is responsibility to rank all the class.

Our rule changae proposes a system which would rank the whole class was based on the fact that all paid the entry fees. Each rider should be able to know what they did wrong and what needs to be improved. That way they wouldn't be dependent on the trainer's best guess.

My suggestion is all of you copy your ideas and complaints to the Lisenced Officials Committee as consideration in the adoption of the Proposed Rule Change.

[This message has been edited by Snowbird (edited 07-17-2000).]

Gayle
Jul. 17, 2000, 02:03 PM
I know we are talking about judges that clearly aren't doing their jobs but I feel like I have to mention a judge locally here in VA who went out of his way to do his job. He is a "R" rated judge but this was at a local show. One of the kids at our barn was riding an absolutely nasty small pony. When she was good she was great but when she was bad look out. There was no in between. Well the pony first: ran out of the gate, then when she came to the fence again, ducked out. After the pony had ducked out one more time the judge left the stand and came and stood by the fence and told her to come again. When the pony ducked AROUND him he got mad threw down his clip board and told her to come one last time. I swear he did everything but pick that pony up and throw him over the fence! But she jumped that time and finished the course. Before pinning the class he had the announcer give recognition to the young lady who hung in there and finished the course. Plus he always makes an announcement that if anyone wants to discuss their round he will be happy to talk to them and when to come over. Now that is good judging. Too bad they can't all be like that.

Call Me Count
Jul. 17, 2000, 03:07 PM
I guess some of you mis-understood me when I said classes with 100 or more trips... What I ment was like pre-green classes where there are like 45 horses with 4 trips each.... The judges see the first round and then contiualy place those 6.. without watching the other classes.
Oh I forgot to add.. it was the wierdest thing in a current show I was just in... I had placed high in the first class.. and had 4 more to do.. the next one was good.. but the other one I missed a change.. took a flyer and had a couple short distences.. there were like 30 people in each class and I got placed high in the ribbions in all the classes.. My trainer said as soon as the judge saw me enter the ring she just started reading a book or something....

Flash44
Jul. 17, 2000, 05:02 PM
I've been both surprised and disappointed at my placings in classes. Don't forget, sometimes the quality (or lack thereof) of other trips also has a bearing on your own trip. Once a judge gets 6 or 8 or whatever pretty good trips in a class, I really don't blame them from not paying attention to a horse that makes a big enough mistake to put him out of the ribbons. It's a long day. Besides, you're paying your trainer for feedback, not the judge.

Small Change
Jul. 17, 2000, 05:39 PM
My turn for a story! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Yesterday, I rode in an equitation class, and the horse was perfect. Changes, leads, high and round over all the fences, and I was told I looked really good too. I didn't place at all (ten horse class), but was told by several people that they would have put me first, second, or third at the lowest.

My next class was a handy hunter. Again 10 horses. I jumped the first fence and had to turn out of a line. Now my horse being green didn't like the sharp turns. I pulled him up, walked in a circle, and proceded to walk and trot the rest of the course. I figured that since I had pulled up for the walk circle, I was out of the running, and I might as well just school around the rest of the course. I pinned FOURTH! Talk about being amazed!

After we were done, I asked what happened in the Eq. class. She said that my horse was too forward. I was showing against ponies, and my horse's stride is a good four and a half feet longer than most horses his size. Of course I left strides out compared to ponies, but he was so much smoother than the zooming ponies. Ah well! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

pwynnnorman
Jul. 17, 2000, 05:39 PM
This is a good example of how complex some of these issues can be, and also of how/why it might be important for someone to consider the "big picture" which dictates the logic/rationales behind it all.

On the one hand, we have the long, tiring, difficult job that judging is. On the other hand, we have the exhibitor paying to be judged. And could consider still a third side, that of spectators and/or sponsors. The question is what standard of judging is best for the sport--which begs the question: what is meant by "best"?

If no one will judge--or judges charge excessively--due to a burdensome system of scribes and scores that is imposed upon them, then no, that's not good for the sport.

But, on the other hand, if exhibitors have a perennial "bad attitude" about the judging process, if spectators can't understand what is going on (or observe unprofessional behavior in a judge while s/he is judging), or if sponsors get a whiff of the bias and negativity...well, that isn't good for the sport, either.

In my opinion, hunters are behind the times. Most sports that seek to "grow" (a term which doesn't have to involve merely the number of exhibitors) eventually recognize that they have to "popularize" what they do. And that's a word you can take literally.

There are large numbers of people showing hunters, but can you say that it is a "popular" equestrian sport. Even comparing hunters (and eq) to other English seat divisions and disciplines, especially jumpers, you have to admit that the atmosphere is, is...Oh, I don't know how to put it! "Subdued"?

And I haven't even introduced the issue of elitism and its relationship to the judging system and the PR of the sport!

And how about a solution to the tired judge? Two judges (and scribes). Isn't it a valid assumption that the larger the classes, the more money someone is making? Well, maybe after adopting more contemporary judging standards and expectations, someone should take a little out of their profits and hire more judges--and thus provide better "service" for their exhibitor-clients. What, after all, ARE those clients paying for when they show?

Ben and Me
Jul. 17, 2000, 06:04 PM
Just thought of something a few minutes ago...

Judging is actually a paying JOB. The judge's JOB is to watch the rounds. If the judge sits there and reads a book, he is not doing his job. How would your boss feel if in the middle of a meeting, you picked up a book and started to read-just because you weren't interested in what somebody over in Communications had to say. Sure, it may not apply to you, but it sure doesn't look good for your company for you to be sitting there reading the Sports section. How would you feel if you were giving a presentation and half of your audience was engulfed in Want Ads? Probably not so good.

I realize that the judge may have already picked his top 8 (6 plus 2 to jog) but it is his JOB to continue watching the rounds. That is what he is getting paid to do by you, me, and the show management.

[This message has been edited by Ben & Me (edited 07-17-2000).]

Retrophish
Jul. 17, 2000, 06:08 PM
Is it the judge's job to watch every round or just to pin the classes? Im not sure that their job description would include that they see each and every round.

I agree though that, a judge of good conscience, should watch enough of each round to justify the placing.

[This message has been edited by Retrophish (edited 07-17-2000).]

Snowbird
Jul. 17, 2000, 06:38 PM
Well Retrophish,
That's a really good question. I'm not sure. As a show manager I hire then to judge the whole class.

I do know that many judges just pick the top horses, and pin the class they really aren't too concerned about the restof the class. The cards are however always marked in fence classes. In the flat classes as a show manager we only get a scattering of numbers that may have attracted attention and the pinned winners.

Not to be repetitive, but these are the issues we all addressed that led to the proposed rule change. You can locate all the rule changes which we proposed by going to my home pageand clicking on the news.
http://www.horse-shows.com

brilyntrip
Jul. 17, 2000, 07:11 PM
As a judgei can assure you that most judges do in fact watch carefully when i was starting out I sat with so many great judges who take it seriously ,They all said PAY ATTENTION watch the turns etc.I try very hard to do just that, sometimes i make a mistake but i suffer when ido...i know some judges dont and its a shame.

Twister
Jul. 17, 2000, 09:27 PM
The judges job is to -duh- judge. I have just watched 27 local hunters. I have eight who negotiatied the course in adequate style and for the most part, found the jumps and got the lead changes. Rider number 28 chocolate chips the first jump. He is Not getting a ribbon and there is Nothing he can do to change it. He has been judged. It is a horrible idea to have the judges place every rider in order. The day will last longer and the end result will be poorer judging becuase there is NO let up. A day in the box already lasts 10 hours.
I judged a couple collegiate shows, where the riders want to know everything about their trip AND their flat class afterward. Fortuntely, the show manager tipped me off to this situation beforehand or I would have been unable to come up with much in the flat classes. Result? The flat classes lasted a long time while I look at and noted a fault and/or good quality in each rider.

Palisades
Jul. 17, 2000, 09:51 PM
A rider at my barn has a favourite story she likes to tell; years ago in an eq flat class, she was going around in the canter on her pny, when someone cut her off very badly. In order to avoid hitting this other girl, she was forced to jump one of the jumps that had been left in the ring. The judge didn't see her do it, and she won the class! Sometimes judges miss things, no matter how hard they try, they can't see everything. However, judges that don't give you the common courtesy of watching your round are not doing their job. You have worked hard to get there, and have paid your money like everyone else; even if you are not in contention for a ribbon, you deserve the judge's attention for your time in the ring.

ccoronios
Jul. 18, 2000, 02:26 PM
I really do empathize with the judges. After 6 years of videoing, I will attest to the fact that it is very tiring to watch every single round during a 12 - 18 hour marathon day.
Is it conceivable that most shows are trying to be all things to all people? Yes, I know they need to make a profit and that facilities and judges and stewards and show managers are all expensive. But multi-day shows that go this long are NO FUN for anyone involved.
Some options:
limit entries - by show or by division
hire an additional judge and rotate classes
As a competitor, I always liked to know what the judge thought and why I was scored/placed as I was. I feel the judge should be able to justify his/her placings and be willing to do so (given proper protocol and time constraints - posting judge's cards is certainly one way to address this). A scribe would be very beneficial to this end, although a form would need to be designed for conformity/ consistency.
I know that many feel that their trainer can explain why - but this isn't always the case. When we video dressage, we shoot from as close to "C" (where the (main) judge sits) as possible, and we've had many comments that it was extremely helpful to see what the judge saw. When we do hunter shows, we shoot from the same height/angle, but from the opposite side of the arena. Again, the rider sees pretty much what the judge sees.
To address the issue of "BIG boo-boo - no chance of placing" - perhaps a single whistle could be sounded to advise the rider, giving them the option of continuing or pulling up and a short 3-blast for elimination? That would allow you to save your horse, if you chose, knowing that you are out of contention for ribbons/points.

Good to go
Jul. 20, 2000, 09:17 AM
Yup..Colin...your WEIRD!!!!! <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Colin:
It couldn't have been the peanut butter older AA rider having a bad chip at the first fence.....he's not allowed to miss!!! LOL!

I kind of like the hunter judges -- makes me always want to look my best, buy the fanciest horse I can afford, and "play the game"....which is just what it is -- a game. Maybe I'm weird, but I think it's kinda fun!!! LOL!

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good to go
Jul. 20, 2000, 09:18 AM
Yes, Colin you're WEIRD!!! <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Colin:
It couldn't have been the peanut butter older AA rider having a bad chip at the first fence.....he's not allowed to miss!!! LOL!

I kind of like the hunter judges -- makes me always want to look my best, buy the fanciest horse I can afford, and "play the game"....which is just what it is -- a game. Maybe I'm weird, but I think it's kinda fun!!! LOL!

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

3DogNight
Jul. 20, 2000, 11:09 AM
I have a question regarding this topic. At a show we were recently at, classes were running in Ring A and Ring B, situated next to each other. There was a gazebo in between the rings, which both judges shared. Judge #2, who was dealing with Ring B, finished before Judge #1 in Ring A. At this point, Judge #2 took over for Judge #1, who appeared to be taking a short break. This took place in the middle of a rather large (by this circuit's standards) class. About 10 minutes later, Judge #1 returned and continued to judge the rest of the class. Was this appropriate behavior on the part of the judges? How could Judge #2 "fill-in" when said judge hadn't seen any of the prior trips or had a point of reference for comparison? Is this something that should have been brought to the steward's attention?

AMom
Jul. 20, 2000, 12:49 PM
I don't have an answer for you Heather, but it does seem a little sketchy...

I did have a recent experience with a judge that made my whole show. I had three over fences classes in a row in a ring that my horse was very unhappy with due to lots of tents along two sides of it. In the first class he was very good but I purposely added a stride down one line(it was a warm up class) to make sure I had some brakes in the corner. The next class he was again very good but stopped and whirled coming out of a turn along those tents. So of course we didn't place in our first two classes and I assumed that no matter what we did in the next class we would have to suffer the consequences, not to mention the fact that we were in a big and very competitive division. Well, the next class he turned around and continued to be good even coming out of the scary turn and we won the class. I was so pleased that the judge had continued to judge us even though I would probably not have been at all surprised if we hadn't gotten a ribbon.

sadie1
Jul. 21, 2000, 09:41 AM
I think that everyone needs to remember that the judge's real job is to pin the top 6-8 rounds in a class. He/she is not there to give you a riding lesson or a clinic. I am an amateur rider who has only judged beginner classes at local shows. However, I did attend a judge's clinic given by nationally known judges who suggested that it was beneficial to exhibitors for the judge to take "rests" once he determines that a trip can't place. If you have ever watched a large class you should know how important a "fresh eye" is. My trainer suggested I attend and I wish more people would educate themselves about what is involved with judging. The judge's job is to determine the best rounds and pin them in that order - period.

sadie1
Jul. 21, 2000, 12:39 PM
The judge's JOB is to determine the best 6-8 rounds and pin them in that order. He/she is not there to give you a clinic or riding lesson. I am an amateur who has only judged beginners at local shows. However, I attended a judge's clinic given by nationally known judges. They suggested it was beneficial for all exhibitors if a judge "rested" once it was determined a round could not place. If you have ever watched a large class you should know that "fresh eyes" are important. The judge doesn't owe us anything other than a fair and accurate placing of the class - period.

splash
Jul. 22, 2000, 02:26 PM
My first post and I'm on my soapbox!

As I went through my learner judging experiences, I realized how different each judge can be. I sat with some that were completely attentive to every moment of a round regardless of how bad it was, and others that barely watched even the good ones. One specific experience stands out in my mind. A wonderful R judge advised me that when you were judging a very long day, that you not judge the complete round of a horse that had committed a major error that precluded him from being in the ribbons. Did he mean for me to pick up a book? NO! It meant that I didn't spend all of my energy scoring each remaining fence and corner. When I have a horse that is definately out of the ribbons, I mark the error that has placed him there, and then watch the horse complete the round without any further notes on my card. If the rider does approach me afterwards, I can refer to the major error. A judge shouldn't be required to give a fence by fence critique of each round. Besides it being courtious to watch the rider that has paid their entry free, I continue to watch the horse for one very important reason: the horse could have 3 refusals, or the rider could get into some trouble that required my attention.

As to judges not seeing things in corners or flat classes....a judge has two eyes. They can only be looking in one place at a time. In a flat class, you may see a horse bucking or swapping leads, but the judge may be watching the horse at the other end of the arena doing something else good or bad. You can't see EVERYTHING in a flat class. As far as O/F classes, judges will take a second as the horse goes through the corner to mark the previous fences. There are a few judges out there that can remember everything that happened through the entire trip to record at the end, but they are few. While I will try to watch the horse go through the corner and get his change, things can happen as I look down to write. (Perhaps a scribe would be good for this situation, but it shouldn't be a learner judge. If they are scribing constantly, they can't watch and see what the judge is seeing.)

As to placing every horse in a class, I think you would see very long flat classes as the judge sifts through those at the bottom of the class. I have heard a suggestion that there be a different system of judging the beginning divisions that would fit the bill. It is the Danish system, where you are awarded a ribbon based on your ride. A round that scored 80 or above, would receive a blue ribbon, 70-79 would receive a red ribbon, and 69 or below would receive a white ribbon. You would receive your ribbon as you left the arena and would have immediate feedback as to how you scored. Unfortunately some people will win a class just because they were the best round of a group of bad round. I've seen people in this situation that thought they were ready for the Grand Prix now, when they scored a 69 in beginner riders! Curious what others think of this...

Climbing off my soapbox now!

pwynnnorman
Jul. 22, 2000, 02:38 PM
Splash, I see your point. Judges do have to pace themselves; otherwise, they would get too tired and maybe make mistakes. The problem is, of course, if the error isn't in the rulebook as a cause for elimination, that rider--no matter how statistically unlikely--might still be in the ribbons if the class is bad enough (or small enough). And there's another tricky area: how large is large enough to stop judging after a significant, but not eliminating, error? Moreover, IF there were a way to establish that guideline so that it was applied to every class fairly, I don't see how using scribes and posting scores would prevent such a technique (note, though, the big IF that preceeded this statement).

splash
Jul. 22, 2000, 02:50 PM
I wasn't entirely clear with my comment. If the first few horses come in and have a few ugly fences, I keep watching. It's when you have a class of 20, have 8 good to fair (70+ scores) rounds already that I stop marking my card for the horse that is scoring below a 60. You have to have all of your placings covered before you can do this. After the ribbons are full, I will usually continue to score a round even with a big chip or a missed change, but if a horse has a refusal or a really dangerous fence, I stop writing and just observe. Hope that makes sense.

palm2
Jul. 24, 2000, 05:51 PM
I am an R judge. Once a rider makes a mistake that eliminates her from the ribbons, there is little point for the judge to continue to judge her. It is, however, only respectful to watch, not turn away or leave the booth. The judge is hired to place the contestants in the proper order. If you want an evaluation after many errors, you need to go to your trainer or sign up for a clinic. In a large hack, if someone comes in with a martingale, or is grossly inferior, I do not spend my time evaluating how she or the horse can improve. My important job is to place the winners correctly. Try judging sometimes, and you will understand.

creseida
Jul. 24, 2000, 07:49 PM
Well, today I heard a very interesting bit on a largish VA show over this past weekend. Apparently, the judge...umm..really wasn't paying ANY attention for some period of time. According to my very reliable source (who was there), the rider that the judge had placed first in this particular over fences class GOT DUMPED OFF THE HORSE while on course. It was hastily pointed out to the judge, and they had to "revise" their awards for that class.

I'm sorry, but a judge really has to be comatose to miss a rider being dumped on course, catching the horse, and remounting. This is not a case where the awards were subject to the judges' interpretation, but a cut and dried refusal/fall.

There is no excuse for this, no matter how many entries are in the class. And, no, he didn't just write the wrong number down. He flat out was not paying attention to the goings on in the ring!!!

On day two, the judge was assigned a second pair of eyes to avoid a similar faux pas for the rest of the show (aka a baby sitter).

[This message has been edited by creseida (edited 07-24-2000).]

pwynnnorman
Jul. 24, 2000, 08:52 PM
Sorry, I missed that Splash. I should have realized that that was what you meant.

On flat classes? I think most of this discussion is focusing on the o/f's, isn't it? In those huge flat classes, it'd be pretty rare (although it's always possible to look away for a moment and miss something) for the judge's eyes to be NOT on something going on inside the ring, right? I can't see how a judge would "score" a hack class with any depth--nor do I see why anyone would want them to. But o/f is a different matter, not just for the exhibitor's sake, but also for the spectator and the sport itself.

Palm2 (and welcome!), that's why I argue for scribes and scores in the subjective divisions. It may be a sad development, but I think the fact is that the world, as a whole, has moved beyond putting significant value (read: "entertainment," "trust," or "respect" for that word) in any one person's opinion. Is a "Who are you to judge me?" kind of thing.

Back when the sport was, well, more "sporting," if someone just didn't like your type of horse or ride, you shrugged and took it in good spirit. Now, however, they gripe and grumble and that is combined with all of those other financial and environmental pressures can come to bear upon the judge. The result is absolutely, positively NOT a sport that stands up to much public scrutiny. THAT is the problem, IMO.

Snowbird
Jul. 25, 2000, 12:08 PM
I think the basic issue here is pretty simple. We have the issue of the judges who because of time and concentration believe that their only responsibility is to the ribbon winners, versus those of us who make up the ranks of the losers.

I think we need to re-consider which is the purpose of showing. As a show manager my sympathy goes to those who paid their entry fees, went to all the same trouble and effort as the riders who got a ribbon and get back nothing for their effort.

We have seen that those who judge generally have been indoctrinated with the idea that they are paid to pick the winners.

The rest of us are asking for a ranking and critique of some kind so that we all know what we did wrong.(unless of course it was an obvious fault). What bothers me is that in a large class most of the other trips seem to be totally ignored once an error as evaluated by the judge has occurred.

Is there a better way to accomplish this?

[This message has been edited by Snowbird (edited 07-25-2000).]

splash
Jul. 25, 2000, 01:05 PM
I think the "feedback" from the judge belongs at the schooling level show, not the rated ones. If you are showing at the rated shows, you should have an idea that a bad distance or sloppy change is enough to keep you out of the ribbons. I have judged schooling shows where I have sat and talked with riders at the end of their day to discuss rounds and what the judge is looking for. I am happy to do this as long as the riders are respectful. I have had trainers yell in my face because they didn't like my reasons for why I did something. (In this case it was a beginning rider that raced around the course to make strides, and I placed a safer rider over her that added. My perogative at that level!) Unfortunately I have had people accuse me of being mean because I chose to enforce rules for bits and mark down for mistakes.

BTW, I feel for riders and horses that don't end up with a prize. I have practically ridden the horse from the booth to try to get someone in the ribbons. But in the end I have to judge the ride, not my emotion for who I want to win. I try to give that person some encouraging comment if I see them on my way out, or the horse a scratch on the forehead for all of their efforts. I would like to carry a bag of carrots for the horses that try their hearts out, but just aren't fancy or are getting a bad ride.

Not all judges are there to just pin the class and leave the show grounds. I judge because I love to watch the horses. When I don't like doing that anymore, it will be time for me to stop.

Sandy M
Jul. 25, 2000, 06:24 PM
Years ago, a friend who had done well in all her o/f classes went in the hack. Something spooked her horse badly, and off she went. This was during the first circuit of the ring at the trot. She led her horse out of the ring, stood by the side of the arena and watched the class. She then got called in for 3rd Place! Hmmmm, do you think the judge might not have been watching?

brilyntrip
Jul. 25, 2000, 09:08 PM
As a judge I have seen all of the things mentioned here previously as a competitor, it does make me mad really mad but.... I always remember that I judge also and have made mistakes ,usually due to being tired after judging for say 12 to 14 hours straight I promise you that you would amke mistakes too under the same circumstances,I personally ate making mistakes and when I realize an error has been made try to correct it and learn from my error, to prevent it from ever happening again.

pwynnnorman
Jul. 25, 2000, 09:35 PM
But what if, Bryn (SP?) there were TWO judges per ring or some other way to rotate so the judges could rest/stay fresh? More expensive and not enough judges, I know, but what if it were possible? Wouldn't that help?

Snowbird
Jul. 25, 2000, 10:07 PM
I don't agree Wynn, I think the problem as I said is the priority. Judges are taught, and the industry encourages them to consider the top six or eight. One judge or even three judges will not change that part of the system.

That has to be the first change, and then the methods can be considered.

pwynnnorman
Jul. 26, 2000, 07:29 AM
Oh, Snowbird, I meant two judges in conjunction with scribes and posted scores which would also change the way judges think.

Snowbird
Jul. 26, 2000, 11:59 AM
The problem has been even where two judges (OK! they haven't tried it with scribes) the emphasis is on who is the winner.

I think that we need a new approach in terms of the the judges education regarding judging. There should be much more concern for those that didn't win and some value for their effort.

I think the posts here show that anything with a fault in a big class is just a throw-a-way round and that's really too bad.
Being the perpetual advocate of the underdog, and having been on both sides of the fence I think that what is required is really and "attitude adjustment".

All officials should somehow have to learn that the losers in every class may have worked just as hard, spent just as much and risked as much to compete and are therefore entitled to respect.

splash
Jul. 26, 2000, 01:13 PM
Snowbird, I realize that every rider that comes into the ring has hopes and dreams of winning the blue ribbon. I too am a competitor, and have put in the countless hours just to make my own mistake or have my horse decide the fence at the end of the line was going to eat him. I've been told be one prominent judge after placing 4th in a class of 23 that I was the best of the worst. I learned from that experience that I would NEVER treat someone like that and make them feel like dirt. There are a few of us out there that do respect each rider and know how kind those horses are to go out there and do what we ask.

Did you read my earlier post about the Danish system of judging (which I cannot claim credit for the idea)? Perhaps that would be the solution to some the feedback you desire. No, it's not an individual critique of each fence, but at least it gives you an idea of how you are doing. Everyone would get a ribbon for their effort.

PepTalk
Jul. 26, 2000, 01:26 PM
I went to my first "A" show this past June.
I was showing my horse in the Hunter Under Saddle class and almost every time, the judge would be looking up, judging, and not doing any of the things that I have read about, like sleeping, etc. Because of that, I got a call back in that class. I didn't ribbon, but one of the people at my barn got a 4th in that class. What was even more amazing about that call back was that A) my horse is a Quarter Horse. B) He was competing agianst KNOWN horses in the region! C)It was my first time showing at an "A" show and only his 3rd time showing at an "A" show and D) He doesn't even LIKE flatwork!
I will always be in graditude for that judge because of what he did. He actully JUDGED the class! Thank you! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif My hat is off to you!

Snowbird
Jul. 26, 2000, 02:11 PM
Dear Peptalk,

What bothers me is the general acceptance of a philosophy which even your gratitude represents.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
What was even more amazing about that call back
was that A) my horse is a Quarter Horse.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Why would you start out that just because your horse was a Quarter Horse he was at a disadvantage to be looked at or fairly judged. There are many that move better brighter and more evenly gaited than some of the warmbloods or even Thoroughbreds.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
(B) He was competing agianst KNOWN horses in the
region!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your second idea that it would be difficult because the other horses were known with KNOWN show records I assume. The whole idea of using numbers is for being "unknown". If you had confidence in the judging system this should not have even been a factor for your consideration.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> C)It was my first time showing at an "A" show and only his 3rd time showing at an
"A" show and D) He doesn't even LIKE flatwork!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This would be your only real justification for concern if you had confidence in the judging system. The point is that you don't owe the judge gratitude for honesty and integrity, that is a given which should be the least we expect from every judge.

My point is that somewhere in the judging clinic procedure something has got very slack if as exhibitors we can justify awards that might be predicated on who we are, who we know and how much we have won before.

[This message has been edited by Snowbird (edited 07-26-2000).]

pwynnnorman
Jul. 26, 2000, 02:26 PM
I'm afraid your Danish system, Splash, simply would never garner support. It's vagueness doesn't satisfy the Great American Ego.

Snowbird, but don't you think that if judges had to be specific in their evalutions due to the use of scribes and standardized codes on scoring sheets, such actions would virtually FORCE them to change their attitudes? They certainly would be forced to be more accurate and accountable. For example, if someone made a huge mistake on course, but did well in the placings anyway, an objection could be lodged and the score card examined for accuracy. The threat of that process would force judges to judge WHAT they see, not WHO.

brilyntrip
Jul. 26, 2000, 06:50 PM
At the really big shows such as Capitol Challenge the management does in fact pay for extra highly qualified judges so that o judge has to judge for the long long times which are mental killers.Most shows however cannot afford topay for thisluxury,When I amjudging I write my symbols very quickly and know exactly what I want to put down on paper ascribe might screw this up.I usually only have real problems when the day drags out for ever and I have to stop and start due to scjhooling breaks and or long delays,or when i judge (I have done this )until11:30pm without a break.

buryinghill2
Aug. 3, 2000, 07:49 AM
One thing about this thread strikes me as funny. Lately I have been judging quite a few small local shows in my area. I talked to a number of friends that judge A shows before I began doing this. When I asked for advice about judging flat classes, they ALL told me the same thing. During the first direction trot, pick your 8-10 best that will get ribbons. DO NOT spend time after that watching the others, you need that time to sort out your ribbon order. There is no difference between that and not watching some one after a major mistake on course. Most competitors in a flat class are eliminated in the first direction, and do not get another look. I found this to be great advice. Judging is difficult and exhausting. You have to make a lot of decisions in a short period of time. You learn to use every trick you can find in order to get this done, hopefully fairly. Both flat and fences classes are alike, if a mistake is made early that eliminates you from any hope of getting a ribbon, I need to focus my concentration on the ones that will get ribbons. That's the reality....

Twister
Aug. 7, 2000, 12:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
I think the basic issue here is pretty simple. We have the issue of the judges who because of time and concentration believe that their only responsibility is to the ribbon winners, versus those of us who make up the ranks of the losers.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That IS our only responsibility. If it is our responsibility to critique, we are teaching a clinic, not judging a horse show.

I think we need to re-consider which is the purpose of showing. As a show manager my sympathy goes to those who paid their entry fees, went to all the same trouble and effort as the riders who got a ribbon and get back nothing for their effort. <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

Did someone promise them a ribbon? If they want a critique from a stranger, they should go to a clinic. A horse show is a competition, complete with winner and losers.

We have seen that those who judge generally have been indoctrinated with the idea that they are paid to pick the winners.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

We ARE being paid to pick the winners. Would you pay to go to a show where the judge didn't?

The rest of us are asking for a ranking and critique of some kind so that we all know what we did wrong.(unless of course it was an obvious fault). What bothers me is that in a large class most of the other trips seem to be totally ignored once an error as evaluated by the judge has occurred.
[/QUOTE]

Were you perfect? Is your horse an incredible jumper with lovely long low movement? Was he in a plain snafffle, no martingale and did his pace never change as he met each and every jump from a perfect distance? No?? Then you know what went wrong...

Rosie
Aug. 7, 2000, 01:09 PM
Having a daughter that shows in addition to showing myself, I have had lots of experiences with judges both good and bad. My advice would be to look at the prize lists, see who the judge is and make a decision whether this is someone who has in the past done a good job or not. Since we show primarily at local shows in a regional circuit, part of our decision to participate in a particular show or not is based on who the judge is. Also, our circuit tries to "weed out" judges that are an obvious problem. Most importantly, however is keeping in mind that for every ribbon you should have gotten, there is (at least) one that you recieved that you shouldn't have. Not that most people complain about that!

HSM
Aug. 7, 2000, 01:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Abby:
Lately I have been judging quite a few small local shows in my area. I talked to a number of friends that judge A shows before I began doing this. When I asked for advice about judging flat classes, they ALL told me the same thing. During the first direction trot, pick your 8-10 best that will get ribbons. DO NOT spend time after that watching the others, you need that time to sort out your ribbon order. ....Most competitors in a flat class are eliminated in the first direction, and do not get another look. I found this to be great advice. Judging is difficult and exhausting. You have to make a lot of decisions in a short period of time. You learn to use every trick you can find in order to get this done, hopefully fairly. Both flat and fences classes are alike, if a mistake is made early that eliminates you from any hope of getting a ribbon, I need to focus my concentration on the ones that will get ribbons. That's the reality....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


My that is enlightening! I guess it means whoever manages to hurry up and and put their best foot forward, quickly, gets the prize. Also means you ought to save your mistakes for the 2nd half of the class, when it doesn't matter. I guess that only those who make mistakes early, rather than late, are penalized. And recovering from an early mistake gets less credit than starting off strong then deteriorating from there.

I don't mean these as sarcastic remarks, truly. It's just that I'm finding this (as a spectator, with a kid in the competetion) very interesting and perhaps a bit disheartening. Just a reminder that this is a highly subjective, often perplexing and frustrating sport.

Janet
Aug. 7, 2000, 02:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Twister:
Were you perfect? Is your horse an incredible jumper with lovely long low movement? Was he in a plain snafffle, no martingale and did his pace never change as he met each and every jump from a perfect distance? No?? Then you know what went wrong...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So are you saying that it is better to show WITHOUT a martingale if you don't need it? I had been led to believe that a show hunter was EXPECTED to wear a martingale, whether it needed it or not.

Ben and Me
Aug. 7, 2000, 05:01 PM
Janet-
I posted a topic on this a while ago-like last July! Hehe! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Anyways, there were really 2 responses. Half felt that you need one, half felt that you didnt. Many of the half who needed one said that they used it simply because it made their horse's necks look more elegant.

I personally use mine because I need it! Its loopy, but not so loopy that he can throw his head up and misbehave! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Just use your best judgement. You dont HAVE to have that $125 Edgewood if your horse doesn't need it!

Twister
Aug. 7, 2000, 05:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HSM:

My that is enlightening! I guess it means whoever manages to hurry up and and put their best foot forward, quickly, gets the prize. Also means you ought to save your mistakes for the 2nd half of the class, when it doesn't matter. I guess that only those who make mistakes early, rather than late, are penalized. And recovering from an early mistake gets less credit than starting off strong then deteriorating from there.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I use the same method, but you have a few misconceptions. When I judge a flat class, I draw a diagonal line across the card. On the left side, above the line, I start marking the 'potential winners'. For example, in an undersaddle, a poor mover is not going to become a good mover when they reverse. Under the line, I write the numbers of competitors who have made mistakes from which they cannot recover. If the class is small, I may make a note of the error, in case I need to pin one of the wrong leads. I continue to watch the entire class, but if you are hacking a bad mover, my eyes will pass right over you of their own accord. Also, by the time the under saddle arrives, I have seen the horses that are good movers, are light in the tack and look interested in their jobs. I have also seen the sewing machines and the ones who go around the corner with their ears pinned back so it doesn't take as long to separate them as you might think. As the class progresses, I rearrange the numbers or add and subtract as mistakes are made.
One suggestion. You are the exhibitor. Make it your job to be seen. I like to separate the hacks if there are 25 or so and time permits. If it is a big class, get yourself seen. One thing you should not do is, if the judge has to judge the flat class from the side, do not stay on the rail as you go by the judge. The rail is in the way and often you are too close to get seen.
One confession. If I have a winner, and I want to be sure he stays the winner, I make sure he is headed for the corner when I ask for the canter.

Twister
Aug. 7, 2000, 05:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
So are you saying that it is better to show WITHOUT a martingale if you don't need it? I had been led to believe that a show hunter was EXPECTED to wear a martingale, whether it needed it or not.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A martingale is a restraining device. Come into the ring without one and you are telling me your horse is so nice, he'll do his job without one...

Ben and Me
Aug. 7, 2000, 05:54 PM
What about this? In a rather large flat class (I'd say around 25 people) a pony picked up the wrong lead RIGHT in front of the judge and it looked as though the judge was looking right at her! The judge still pinned her first. Do you think the judge chose not to see the incorrect lead and pin her first anyways? Just wondering... The poor girl looked as though she was crying coming around the corner...Poor thing...

pwynnnorman
Aug. 7, 2000, 06:08 PM
Twister, this is EXACTLY what I mean!!!!

"A martingale is a restraining device. Come into the ring without one and you are telling me your horse is so nice, he'll do his job without one..."

That's YOUR opinion and it is NOT in any rulebook, so the only way a person will EVER no that you don't step in line with the gottahavethetiedown crowd is if they just happen to talk to you about it! And that might keep them out of first place? That's outrageous! (And I say that even though I thoroughly and completely agree with you on how no martingale SHOULD/COULD be interpreted.)

Why in heavens name should I pay for, much less work my butt off for, such inconsistency, such a personal standard? By establishing and promoting the UNIVERSAL criteria, using an efficient way to record them in a round (scribes) and posting them (or some version of them, for privacy's sake), then EVERYONE CAN AGREE up to at least some certain extent.

In fact, maybe, some day, under such a system, even the MEDIA would understand it and say, gee, interesting sport. I didn't know you could train a horse to do that. I'd like to find out more.

Instead, as things stand, it is an exclusive sport only covered from a monied angle, because that's the only thing the media and the general public CAN understand about it.

But who cares about that, huh? That's what the resistance is really saying (besides "but I don't WANT to be held that accountable--that's too threatening").

Not one person has yet indicated to me why it can be done in dressage, but not hunters, except for the "speed of performance" factor, which I acknowledge, but would refute (as someone else did).

HSM
Aug. 7, 2000, 09:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Twister:
I continue to watch the entire class, but if you are hacking a bad mover, my eyes will pass right over you of their own accord. Also, by the time the under saddle arrives, I have seen the horses that are good movers, are light in the tack and look interested in their jobs. I have also seen the sewing machines and the ones who go around the corner with their ears pinned back so it doesn't take as long to separate them as you might think.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, here you are clearly talking about hunter classes. Does the same thing hold true in an eq class? Because presumably, you are then judging not the "look" or movement of the horse, but the skill and performance of the rider. I hope you're not going to use the same exact method, because even the best rider can have a round that starts off poorly, and vice versa.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
One suggestion. You are the exhibitor. Make it your job to be seen. I like to separate the hacks if there are 25 or so and time permits. If it is a big class, get yourself seen. One thing you should not do is, if the judge has to judge the flat class from the side, do not stay on the rail as you go by the judge. The rail is in the way and often you are too close to get seen.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, good advice, makes sense, except...does that mean in the eq huge class, the exhibitor who is pushing ahead and cutting people off to "find their spot" is going to do better than the exhibitor who is, well, getting cut off?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
One confession. If I have a winner, and I want to be sure he stays the winner, I make sure he is headed for the corner when I ask for the canter.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for the honesty - though I'm not sure what the exhibitor is going to do about this one. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

HSM
Aug. 7, 2000, 09:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ben & Me:
What about this? In a rather large flat class (I'd say around 25 people) a pony picked up the wrong lead RIGHT in front of the judge and it looked as though the judge was looking right at her! The judge still pinned her first. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Guess this must have happened in the second half of the class /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Ben and Me
Aug. 7, 2000, 09:53 PM
HSM-
Haha! Or maybe the judge had already picked his winner from the trot and decided that he didn't need to watch the canter! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Bertie
Aug. 7, 2000, 10:26 PM
There have been several posts stating that the judge's ONLY job is to pick the ribbon winners. NOT to help anyone improve.
Geez, this is disappointing (JMHO). Seems a little defensive?

In most professions, experts share their advice and knowledge with others in their field, even when it goes beyond what they're being paid to do. Even judges in courts of law often accompany their findings with constructive comments and criticisms, don't they?

Okay, for the sake of argument, assuming that hunter judges don't owe exhibitors anything other than placing the class -- posting scorecards will help eliminate the biggest complaint about subjective judging - i.e., favoritism.

Kryswyn
Aug. 7, 2000, 11:23 PM
Yyeeesh. I don't know who to "quote" first. So, in no particular order:

Pwynn, judging is SUBJECTIVE in any discipline. One judges "6" is another judges "7"; one breeding judge may forgive a hind leg that's slightly crooked as long as it's not tied in below the knee, another wants 4 perfectly straight pins pointing north. So I don't think your comment about how the system works better in dressage is accurate.

Twister: confession may be good for the soul, but that one leaves you wide open for pot shots. Why should you want to help someone "remain" the winner? If your *winner* can't get a lead off the rail, do they *deserve* to win?

To all the learner judges: more power to you, that's why I never accepted invitations to start judging little schooling shows. Because we all know that 'from little shows big headaches grow'

Finally, there are good judges and there are bad judges. More horse people should take a page from the dog show fanciers. They get a premium (prize)list showing who's judging the show. They check it against a list of judges who *liked* (pinned) their dog before. If the judge has not pinned the dog previously, or pinned dogs that looked like it, the handlers find another show! Point being why spend $$$ going to the next A show if you know that an inattentive judge is in your ring? Go to a different one.

Pinkie
Aug. 7, 2000, 11:50 PM
Though I have not been following this topic all that carefully, I thought my happening last weekend would fit in.

After everyone had jumped in the USET we were all waiting to her the stand-by, of who would come back to flat. After hearing the stand-by, I knew I was 5th, since it had been announced in order of preferance. My trainer then came over and asked my if I had my heart set on flating or not, since I was already qualifed for USET Finals, and was only doing the USET to come closer to getting my silver medal. He explained to me that it was very hot, and I would have to move up 4 places on the flat, over some very good people, so we decided not to flat. After not flating it was pretty funny to me that I was FORTH in the class.....moving up one place on the flat (when I didn't even do it). Wonderful judging.....

havaklu
Aug. 8, 2000, 01:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bertie:

In most professions, experts share their advice and knowledge with others in their field, even when it goes beyond what they're being paid to do. ....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


No Bertie professionals don't usually give advice for free. Accountants, attorneys, consultants, etc... usually bill by the hour. Maybe the judges will be willing to give critiques to those who don't pin if they want to pay for the consultation - say $20 per trip?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Okay, for the sake of argument, assuming that hunter judges don't owe exhibitors anything other than placing the class -- posting scorecards will help eliminate the biggest complaint about subjective judging - i.e., favoritism.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The whole irony of this entire thread IMO is that it assumes that the judge's opinion is the be-all-end-all. Where are your trainers??? Don't they tell you how you performed? Or are you all the ones who don't wait for your trainers before going into the ring?

Don't you think your trainer who supposedly teaches you on a regular basis knows better than the judge how well you did? What about your own impression? Don't you know if you are doing better or worse than your last show?

Also don't you take into consideration the company you are competing against? If the competition is steep and the classes large it takes a near perfect trip on a horse with good form to pin. In a small class or so-so company it is easier to get a ribbon right?

Those of you demanding these judging changes seem to be overly concerned with WHY you didn't get a ribbon - do you ever consider asking the judge "WHY?" when you DO get a ribbon??? Be honest - when you don't pin arn't you really looking for some sort of justification?

As many have said - if you are looking for a clinic then don't spend your money showing GO TO A CLINIC OR TAKE MORE LESSONS!!!!

pwynnnorman
Aug. 8, 2000, 01:30 AM
"...a pony picked up the wrong lead RIGHT in front of the judge ...still pinned her first."

I'm not defending this, but I DO have a possible explanation. I used to do clinics when I was a Pony Clubber, travelling to completely strange barns and teaching as many as 12 at one time. I've also taught in a large lesson barn associated with a community recreation program where there were ALWAYS 12 to even 20 in a group.

And I must admit that there were times during these occasions when my eyes and my brain would get so tired trying so hard to teach everyone and make sure everyone was safe and having fun, that I could be staring straight at God himself and not see him. It IS possible to look at something and just not see it, especially if you are tired!

pwynnnorman
Aug. 8, 2000, 01:45 AM
"So I don't think your comment about how the system works better in dressage is accurate." I'm sorry, "K", but this is statement is a bit of a non sequitur. The evidence you described before it doesn't support the point you ended up making. All judging is subjective, but putting criteria in writing gives judges guidelines to follow--and, yes, FORCES them to follow them instead of their personal preferences. They can still insert their opinions, but they have much less latitude to do so AND have something universally accepted to fall back on to defend themselves when challenged as well. To simply say, "The judges opinion is final," as one person indicated, isn't even all that accepted in court. It is rare indeed these days when one person's mere opinion stands all by its lonesome.

"If the judge has not pinned the dog previously, or pinned dogs that looked like it, the handlers find another show!"

Correct me if I'm wrong, "K", but is dog showing a "sport?" Moreover and regardless, is this something to be PROUD of? To just accept? To LIKE, even? You can't win under some judge, so since there's no way to find out WHY, you just avoid 'em and LIKE it?

Havaklu, since some trainers are like prison guards when it comes to allowing their students to get second opinions, I think for many the judge may be the only way to do so. [I have felt it odd that h-j'ers don't use the clinic system more often, but then again, it's probably part of the same God-syndrome that makes some accept without question, win or lose, their trainer or judge.]

Oh, BTW, Havaklu, what if your trainer just says it was the judges fault that you lost (as many of them do)? As "K" advocated, what if the trainer just avoids that judge rather than teaches you what the judge's placings imply you need to learn? How would you even know? The system perpetuates the ignorance of its clientele. Now I wonder why...

Twister
Aug. 8, 2000, 08:56 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:

That's YOUR opinion and it is NOT in any rulebook, so the only way a person will EVER no that you don't step in line with the gottahavethetiedown crowd is if they just happen to talk to you about it! And that might keep them out of first place? That's outrageous! (And I say that even though I thoroughly and completely agree with you on how no martingale SHOULD/COULD be interpreted.)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Pwynn, I know what you mean, and on things like martingales, etc., I think there should be a standard. (FYI, a martingale won't keep you out of first place. It is one of those tiebreaker things. I'm trying to decide between two trips and the no martingale will be one of the things to help tilt my opinion.)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Why in heavens name should I pay for, much less work my butt off for, such inconsistency, such a personal standard? By establishing and promoting the UNIVERSAL criteria, using an efficient way to record them in a round (scribes) and posting them (or some version of them, for privacy's sake), then EVERYONE CAN AGREE up to at least some certain extent.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know this is going to sound weird, but the subjectivity is one of the things I like about the hunters. I understand when I step into the ring, I am asking for the judge's opinion. Do they think my horse is suitible for the job? Do they think he is a good jumper? One thing I have never done since becoming a judge is complain about the judging. By paying my entry fee, I am agreeing to abide by the judges opinion. I think it is churlish to change the rules if I am unhappy with my placing. When I was a trainer, I had a pony I wouldn't show under Linda Andrisani. She disliked many things about her. (To tell you the truth, I did too!) So, that pony didn't go if Linda judged. But, she liked plenty of other stuff I showed her, so we didn't boycott her or anything. After showing for a lot of years, I have an extremely short list of judges I won't show under because they are driven by things other than what they see in the ring. Interestingly, most of these judges fell out of favor after a time.

havaklu
Aug. 8, 2000, 01:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Based on conversations I had with a friend who breeds and shows dogs -

It is very similar to horse showing IMO but not as exspensive.

The dog owner CAN NOT just go to shows with judges they prefer because a dog must win classes under a specified number of judges to be declared a champion. Some dog owners will avoid a judge they don't like if they can.

[B] <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Havaklu, since some trainers are like prison guards when it comes to allowing their students to get second opinions, I think for many the judge may be the only way to do so. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So we show for a second opinion? I don't. I show because I like to see if I can execute a fluid course at a given time. Ribbons are just a confirmation of what I already know when I exit the ring.

If someone feels that showing is the ONLY way to get another opinion then you need to find a new trainer. The door opens both ways at the farm I am at.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>[I have felt it odd that h-j'ers don't use the clinic system more often, but then again, it's probably part of the same God-syndrome that makes some accept without question, win or lose, their trainer or judge.]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Maybe because there aren't as mainy h/j trainers who GIVE clinics. I think that those who go to too many clincs risk getting confused unless they understand that each trainer communicates differently and there are different "systems" at work to produce an effective horse/rider team.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Oh, BTW, Havaklu, what if your trainer just says it was the judges fault that you lost (as many of them do)? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

They don't. I don't consider it "losing" when I don't get a ribbon. I made X mistake at jump Y and therefore I don't EXPECT a prize. Those times I lay down as good a trip as I am capable of and don't get a prize I simply chalk up to the fact that the other riders must have ridden as good or better than me.

Are there judges out there who I don't think appreciate my horse? Yes I believe some judges might like my horse better than others but as my trainers say-

"it's just one person's opinion on a given day..."

Does that put it in perspective? We don't pick our shows based on the judges panel. My trainer usually has a schedule of shows they expect to do planned out well before the prize lists ever are printed. The final decision to go/not go is based on the number of clients who express interest.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>As "K" advocated, what if the trainer just avoids that judge rather than teaches you what the judge's placings imply you need to learn? How would you even know? The system perpetuates the ignorance of its clientele. Now I wonder why...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I addressed part of this above. As far as the "ignorance" that you think is perpetuated. NO ONE can force ignorance on another. If you feel that your trainer is "holding out" vital imformation there are many other ways to educate yourself.

Go watch other horse shows
Attend a judges clinic
Read horse books/publications
Talk to other horsepeople
Talk to your vet, farrier, etc.

I have done all of the above and have never had ANY trainer tell me I can't. Granted, a few have chided me on my intensity and told me to relax -g-

pwynnnorman
Aug. 8, 2000, 01:14 PM
:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oh, BTW, Havaklu, what if your trainer just says it was the judges fault that you lost (as many of them do)?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Havaklu: "They don't."

Nonesense, "H". Not only do you just have no way of knowing that "they don't"; I have stood at the in-gate during a call back and HEARD it! "Don't worry. He just doesn't like your horse." [Although the rider had eight greats, the horses in front of her all had clean, coordinated changes; hers were always late behind. I STRONGLY suspected that the trainer just had no idea how to correct that problem and knew that you can often get away with a slightly late change if the competition isn't any better or the judge doesn't has a different way of prioritizing.]

Oh, I should probably also clarify to you that when I say "lose" I don't always mean being completely out of the ribbons. Sometimes I mean the difference between 1st and 6th in a fair-sized class, especially at a top show where most of the entries are very good indeed.

And lastly, about the ignorance of clientele? Don't you recall Jane's very good explanation of the way (and why) many of her clients appreciate the way her management and training makes the horse part of their lives simple, easy and fun. I TRIED to argue that they should take responsibility for their participation to HER, but I can't deny that her argument stood up very well, which is why yours doesn't, IMO.

[Er, don't misread the tone of that last statement. Think of it as the verbal equivalent of me motioning with both hands raised to imply "Hey, don't lay it on me--I agree with you in principle, but someone already torpedoed that concept pretty effectively."]

[This message has been edited by pwynnnorman (edited 08-08-2000).]

havaklu
Aug. 8, 2000, 01:30 PM
____________________________________________
Nonesense, "H". Not only do you just have no way of knowing that "they don't";
____________________________________________

I think I know better than you PW what my trainers have said to me.

___________________________________________
I have stood at the in-gate during a call back and HEARD it! "Don't worry. He just doesn't like your horse."
____________________________________________

I didn't say there aren't trainers who say it. Mine just don't use the judge as an "excuse". They WILL tell someone they DON'T know why so and so didn't pin/not pin BUT usually will qualify that with "I didn't see the WHOLE class" My trainer don't often have enough free time at a show to watch an entire class. They NEVER see an entire class from the same spot as the judge.

To quote a large R judge:

"you haven't got the right to complain about the judges placings UNLESS you sat in their seat the entire class"
_____________________________________________
[The horses who beat her all had clean, coordinated changes; hers was always late behind. I STRONGLY suspected that the trainer just had no idea how to correct that problem and knew that you can get away with a slightly late change--and hers was just a half-step slow behind--sometimes.]
_____________________________________________

JUST a half step? There are plenty of judges with a keen enough eye to see that and knock a horse out. Either the trainer didn't see it or perhaps the rider/owner wasn't ready to accept the truth.

_____________________________________________
Oh, I should probably also clarify to you that when I say "lose" I don't always mean being completely out of the ribbons. Sometimes I mean the difference between 1st and 6th in a fair-sized class, especially at a top show where most of the entries are very good indeed.
____________________________________________

In company of that caliber I am thrilled to get any prize. The difference between 1st and 6th where all the rounds were "very good" is usually nothing more than the judges OPINION!

I think that some of you are placing too much importance on the color of your ribbon and not the fact that you got one -

As many trainers, judges, show managers say -
"The judge can only make 6 people happy, the rest go home unhappy..."

Goodness you have it down to the judge can only make ONE person happy...and if it isn't you then he/she had better be ready to give a written dissertation WHY. Get a grip!

Twister
Aug. 8, 2000, 05:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bertie:
There have been several posts stating that the judge's ONLY job is to pick the ribbon winners. NOT to help anyone improve.
Geez, this is disappointing (JMHO). Seems a little defensive?[/QUOTE}

Bertie, I am the judge, not the trainer. When should I hold my little clinic?? While other exhibitors are going? After sitting in the box for 12 hours? And what if I tell the student, 'Your horse just isn't of the same caliber as the horses I pinned above you?' Well, her trainer said he sold her a world beater! It is my opinion. I am not G-d. Tomorrow, you may find someone who thinks that horse is a world beater. And what if her horse just had an off day? He's tired. His back hurts. The blacksmith cut him a tad short. I don't know any of these things. All I know is, he ain't covering the ground the way he should, he's stabbing the landing, and I put him sixth.

Okay, for the sake of argument, assuming that hunter judges don't owe exhibitors anything other than placing the class -- posting scorecards will help eliminate the biggest complaint about subjective judging - i.e., favoritism.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You can't read most scorecards without the judge to interpret them. Almost everyone uses their own personal markings. I have no objection to exhibitors seeing my card, if I am there to explain.

HSM
Aug. 8, 2000, 05:43 PM
Hmmm, this thread has kind of gone off topic with the questions re: judges giving "clinics". The original question had to do with the judging process, right?

Which brings me back to my questions, Twister:

quote:

Originally posted by Twister:
"I continue to watch the entire class, but if you are hacking a bad mover, my eyes will pass right over you of their own accord. Also, by the time the under saddle arrives, I have seen the horses that are good movers, are light in the tack and look interested in their jobs. I have also seen the sewing machines and the ones who go around the corner with their ears pinned back so it doesn't take as long to separate them as you might think."

So, here you are clearly talking about hunter classes. Does the same thing hold true in an eq class? Because presumably, you are then judging not the "look" or movement of the horse, but the skill and performance of the rider. I hope you're not going to use the same exact method, because even the best rider can have a round that starts off poorly, and vice versa.

quote:

"One suggestion. You are the exhibitor. Make it your job to be seen. I like to separate the hacks if there are 25 or so and time permits. If it is a big class, get yourself seen. One thing you should not do is, if the judge has to judge the flat class from the side, do not stay on the rail as you go by the judge. The rail is in the way and often you are too close to get seen."

OK, good advice, makes sense, except...does that mean in the eq huge class, the exhibitor who is pushing ahead and cutting people off to "find their spot" is going to do better than the exhibitor who is, well, getting cut off?

[This message has been edited by HSM (edited 08-08-2000).]

pwynnnorman
Aug. 8, 2000, 08:20 PM
Havaklu, sorry, but I truly thought you were generalizing. I had no idea you were just talking about yourself! You're certainly right: far be it for me to know about the relationship between you and your trainer! But I never talk about such individual variations in experience--mainly because they just don't prove anything, one way or the other, about the larger population or issue. So, I guess since I don't get that individual, I tend to assume that others, when they comment, aren't doing so either. Again, my apologies.

Twister, again you are making our points for us: our proposals involve incorporating STANDARDIZED codes, so that anyone CAN understand your notes and comments (or get/buy a code key and look up the ones they don't recognize). Such codes would also enable a scribe to quickly jot down what she hears as the judge makes comments.

Look at it this way, some dressage tests have lots of separate movements which are scored and commented on separately. Scribes routinely hear and understand and accurately note in short hand what the judge describes--and there are a gazillion possibilities for the judge to comment on.

Contrast that with a round over fences (again, do, please, note that I am not advocating scribes or scores or posting for flat classes--oh, *maybe* in eq, but not hunters). On the score sheet, each jump could have an area for a set of codes indicating the judges evaluation--or for freehand comments just like dressage. Maybe you could further split each area in two: one for the approach and one for the jump itself (although not technically accurate, to save space, you could consider the "approach" to always begin one stride after the landing of the previous jump and to always end on the last stride before take-off). If nothing penalizable happened in either area, you'd say nothing, the scribe would write nothing. But if something did--or if something was particularly praiseworthy--down in writing it would go.

At the end of the round (and here's one major technical problem with this proposal: a potential delay--BUT if trainers would just get their riders into the ring in a timely fashion, it'd probably be barely noticeable overall), the judge CAN make some general comment--or maybe should be forced to. Like the collective marks (overall impressions in specific areas) on a dressage test...or not. Maybe only whatever the judge feels is worth adding, if anything. Like "martingale too tight" or "exceptional mover" or just "well done!"

Bertie
Aug. 8, 2000, 09:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by havaklu:
The whole irony of this entire thread IMO is that it assumes that the judge's opinion is the be-all-end-all<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think anyone is assuming that. I've been in horses for alotta years, and the great thing about this sport is that NO ONE knows it all. It's forever a learning experience. No matter how good a trainer or rider is, there's always more to know.

A rider or trainer being interested in a judge's opinion shouldn't be confused with a lack of training.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by havaklu:
Those of you demanding these judging changes seem to be overly concerned with WHY you didn't get a ribbon - do you ever consider asking the judge "WHY?" when you DO get a ribbon??? Be honest - when you don't pin arn't you really looking for some sort of justification? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Honestly, I think it would be just as interesting (maybe more so /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif) to see the judge's card when you're the winner. Positive comments can be helpful too.

But all this aside, the main purpose of the judges' proposal is to help ensure fairness.

havaklu
Aug. 8, 2000, 09:27 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
Havaklu, sorry, but I truly thought you were generalizing. I had no idea you were just talking about yourself! You're certainly right: far be it for me to know about the relationship between you and your trainer! But I never talk about such individual variations in experience--mainly because they just don't prove anything, one way or the other, about the larger population or issue. So, I guess since I don't get that individual, I tend to assume that others, when they comment, aren't doing so either. Again, my apologies.[/QOUTE]

You escape me with the above comment. You use specific one time examples to make your arguments (see trainer who didn't see lead change prob. above) Then you have the audacity to say you DON'T use personal experience as your evidence.

Isn't the collective truth a collection of individual events? Arn't generalities conclusions we make based upon OUR OWN experience and those experiences that others relate to us?

In a court of law "gewnerally" one can only atest to facts they know first hand, everything else is heresay...so I guess a lot of what you say is just so much ______.

Jessica Kuhn
Aug. 8, 2000, 10:53 PM
I read her to mean HER trainer or her personal experience, not her observations. She's commenting based on observation. Isn't that what we all do? Her observation shows that some trainers do use that excuse. Your response made it sound like it wasn't possible for any trainers to do so. If that wasn't what you meant, then why bring up your own trainer? How does that prove or disprove anything. I was even confused when you said "they" when you were talking about just your trainer.

I can't even see why someone like pwynn would even bother to comment on someone's personal trainer or something. Why would she even care? I don't. Your trainer is your trainer. That person has nothing to do with trainers as a group. That person is an individual.

When you take stuff personally, it doesn't even follow the conversation. This sort of thing seems to happen a lot where everyone thinks its about them. If it doesn't apply to you, it doesn't apply to you, so don't waste your emotions taking it as though it does. Do you know what it means to think about an issue in an objective way? It means you take yourself and your personal experiences out of the issue. What have you observed, not what have you experienced. Can you understand that? Jane Ervin got upset in the same way. It's frustrating when an interesting issue gets turned into something personal instead of discussed or debated in an objective way. It never gets anywhere when it is taken personally except it gets off track.

Snowbird
Aug. 8, 2000, 11:03 PM
To me the past posts indicate what I have always concluded that we do not belong to the "collective" mentality.

Our opinons are introspective and personal without comprehension as to whether or not this indicates a basic pattern which should be modified.

I think there is enough personal experience and opinion to confirm there is a serious problem. I propose to you all the simple question that if we concede that you are each correct, what is a possible solution?

No solution will be totally acceptable to every circumstance but do you have an idea what might cure this perception problem?

PWynn and I took all of your posts and doubts and came up with an idea that seemed appropriate. Do you agree that the Proposed Rule Change might help?

Do you think that Judges should be professional judges without personal businesses in the horse industry?

What exactly would be a way to prepare some sort of "quality control" for judging? Or do we enjoy just sitting around and moaning about the ribbon we didn't get?

havaklu
Aug. 9, 2000, 12:03 AM
Sometime I wonder why I bother...

I do not think PW's comments are personally directed at me JK. Since when are generalities considered objective thinking.

My point is that if MY trainer/s (two of them which is why I sometimes call them they) do not fit the "generality" then perhaps there are other trainers like them. I admit I think they are exceptional but I hardly think they are the ONLY ones who do things "generally" as they do. In fact I KNOW other trainers who run their "programs" in a similar fashion.

Off the top of my head I personally know 3 trainers who don't give the excuse that bad judging is why their clients didn't get ribbons.

Anyway - that aside it was not my only argument against requiring judges to change to some new standard of judging.

Oh BTW Snowbird - Are you serious about having judges ONLY be judges??? You manage horse shows. How much do you pay your judges and what is the rating of your show?
If I multiply that amount times 50 Is it Really a vialable income??? Talk about a proposal that favors the larger shows and/or will raise the cost of showing even more.

I can't believe you would even consider such as proposal.

Twister
Aug. 9, 2000, 08:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HSM:

So, here you are clearly talking about hunter classes. Does the same thing hold true in an eq class? Because presumably, you are then judging not the "look" or movement of the horse, but the skill and performance of the rider. I hope you're not going to use the same exact method, because even the best rider can have a round that starts off poorly, and vice versa.[QUOTE]

Obviously, the same errors do not hold true, since I am not judging the same things. However, a wrong diagonal or lead is a mistake from which you cannot recover, unless there are so few in the class that I must use a major fault. There seems to be the misconception that, if you don't grab my attention in the first direction, you aren't going to pin. Not true, but if you grab my attention in the first direction and continue to hold it the second, you are in much better shape than the person who took half the class to get themselves in shape.
The same thing does hold true in equitation over fences. If you miss the first jump and I have eight who didn't, you still are no longer in contention for a ribbon. Conversely, the best rider can have seven great jumps, chocolate chip the last and she is no longer in contention for a ribbon. It just took her eight fences to get the the big mistake.
quote:

"One suggestion. You are the exhibitor. Make it your job to be seen. I like to separate the hacks if there are 25 or so and time permits. If it is a big class, get yourself seen. One thing you should not do is, if the judge has to judge the flat class from the side, do not stay on the rail as you go by the judge. The rail is in the way and often you are too close to get seen."

OK, good advice, makes sense, except...does that mean in the eq huge class, the exhibitor who is pushing ahead and cutting people off to "find their spot" is going to do better than the exhibitor who is, well, getting cut off?
[This message has been edited by HSM (edited 08-08-2000).][/B]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Why do people think the judges don't see these these things?? If you cut someone off, especially in the eq., you are exhibiting poor horsemanship. Staying by yourself does not have to involve pushing and cutting. Learn how to pay attention to the ring. Staying by yourself also helps keep you from being cut off.

Twister
Aug. 9, 2000, 08:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:

Twister, again you are making our points for us: our proposals involve incorporating STANDARDIZED codes, so that anyone CAN understand your notes and comments (or get/buy a code key and look up the ones they don't recognize). Such codes would also enable a scribe to quickly jot down what she hears as the judge makes comments.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think my biggest worry about standardizing marks and having scribes is the potential for error. When I mark my own card, I know by my mark just how badly a horse split its legs, dwelled over the jump, or made such a fantastic effort, it took my breath away. My feelings seem to be reflected in the mark. I look at the mark, and I know exactly what happened. If I look at someone else's mark for the same event, I may know what happened, but not to the degree.
I can think of many things as a judge that would make me unhappy if they were standardized. For example, a horse jumps in good style but with his knees a little far apart. To me, it is something barely noted, but I judged with someone who hated that particular style. Now, if there are standardized errors, one of us is going to be an extremely unhappy judge. Interestingly, I think both of us are right. Same thing with movement. I don't care how brilliant your horse is over the jumps. If he moves like a sewing machine, there is only so far he can go with me. Someone else might forgive him his poor movement [i]because[i] he is so brilliant in the air. Now, in this situation, I think only I am right /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif, but I also understand what the other judge is thinking. I don't want that variety edited out of the equation.
As far as comments, etc. I potentially have a slew of marks already on my card before he jumps the first jump. In the hunter circle, I have noted his turnout, his tack, his movement and his expression. I LIKE marking my own card, and while there are drawbacks to the current system, I think we would have the same number of 'mistakes' with a standardized and scribed system.

Flash44
Aug. 9, 2000, 09:30 AM
Twister, how much weight do you give turnout? I'm one of the few that braid on my local circuit, and I'm wondering if I should continue with the effort since braiding/unbraiding takes several hours of my time...If you were assigning numerical scores, how much would you knock off for a poorly turned out horse? Would you add anything to the score of a horse that is well turned out and braided vs. well turned out and not braided?

Jumphigh83
Aug. 9, 2000, 09:51 AM
Technically, there is no rule requiring braiding (except in side saddle) so that brings up the issue of 'can you be penalized for doing or not doing what is in fact NOT in the rules?' Braiding is one of those vague areas. One Harrisburg (many years ago, before the wheel) Jimmy Williams had all his help quit just before the show started...so he roached all his horses manes and they pinned high roached manes and all. Braiding is part of the beauty pagent mentality someone mentioned earlier!

Janet
Aug. 9, 2000, 10:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Twister:

I can think of many things as a judge that would make me unhappy if they were standardized. For example, a horse jumps in good style but with his knees a little far apart. To me, it is something barely noted, but I judged with someone who hated that particular style. Now, if there are standardized errors, one of us is going to be an extremely unhappy judge. Interestingly, I think both of us are right.
... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am speaking only for myself hear, but I don't think "standardized judging" (or public posting of scores, or handing out copies of the test) would, or SHOULD change that.

It WOULD make those differences in in judging priorities known.

For instance, among the dressage judges I know, judge one that will nail you on your trot lengthening if it is the SLIGHTEST bit uneven, whereas judge two will ignore a little bit of unevenness (or at least not comment on it) as long as you show "a real difference" (between the working trot and the lengthening). Conversely, judge two will nail you if the horse's head drops behind the vertical, even a little bit, and even if the horse is still "in front of your leg". Judge one, on the other hand will forgive a little bit of "behind the vertical" as long as the horse is in front of the leg.

I have a great deal of respect for both of these judges, and value their opinions. They are both right (as with the "Spliting the leg" and "good mover" priorities).

Because I know their priorities, I know what to focus on when competing in front of each of them. I think this is a GOOD thing.

Giving FEEDBACK: "behind the vertical", "not even behind", "splits legs", "sewing machine canter", "tight martingale" is not the same as giving a CLINIC.

You can even have standardized numerical scoring without giving ANY comments. I have seen dressage test with just numbers, NO comments at all. (But I would note that as a manager I would prefer to hire, and as a competitor I would prefer to show under, a judge who gives lots of comments.)

I agree that it would take a little more time, and a change in mindset by judges, trainers, competitors and managers, but I do not think that is a reason to dismiss it out of hand.

Good to go
Aug. 9, 2000, 10:54 AM
Ok back to the whole politics thing in hunter's....how many of you can honestly say you have not seen certain horses get top ribbons in hack classes that seem off, or better yet even head bobbing lame...I know I have on many occasions at some of the big A shows and I just wonder in dismay how this could be.....and then I just keep saying to myself...it's all politics my dear, all politics.........

splash
Aug. 9, 2000, 01:33 PM
Snowbird....in response to your question regarding judges being employed outside the horse world: I am an amateur rider and I always felt as if I was somewhat discredited because of that. I train my own horses, as well as manage my barn. I just CHOOSE not to deal with clients. But when I sit in the judge's seat, I don't owe anyone because I am not buying or selling horses to them, or trying to get them business. I call them as I see them.

Flash44
Aug. 9, 2000, 03:12 PM
I for one would not want my entire round boiled down to one 2 - 3 word comment such as "split legs."

Snowbird
Aug. 9, 2000, 03:50 PM
Splash that's my point though, if you don't owe anybody you can call them as you see them. My daughter is a judge and enters the job the same way. We have our own little nitch in the world and therefore owe no one anything. She is also able to be free.

I remember in the last milennium when I was young I worked in a election campaign for a man running for the US Senate. He was scrupulously careful to make sure that everyone billed their costs for every phone call and stamp. I asked him why he did that since no one else in politics ever did such a thing.

His answer has stayed with me ever since. He said" because if you donate a little money in phone calls you will feel that I owed you a favor, and I don't feel that way. I want to do something for you if you need it because it is right and not because I owe you".

[This message has been edited by Snowbird (edited 08-09-2000).]

havaklu
Aug. 9, 2000, 06:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Flash44:
I for one would not want my entire round boiled down to one 2 - 3 word comment such as "split legs."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have to inform you Flash that sometimes that IS all it boils down to. The judge sees your horse jump one jump badly and you can be out of consideration. I have had judges (talking to them when they are not judging) tell me this. One of my trainers has a large R and has verified it can be the case.

pwynnnorman
Aug. 9, 2000, 07:57 PM
I am sorry, Twister, please don't take this continual barrage personally, but you DO keep writing EXACTLY those things which help me make my points.

"For example, a horse jumps in good style but with his knees a little far apart. To me, it is something barely noted, but I judged with someone who hated that particular style."

WHY???? Why does that person hate that style? What is their REASON and why don't you agree with it? HOW in heavens name can anyone develop a horse under such an idiosyncratic system? And what in heavens name is the neophyte or the press supposed to DO with it? Two $250,000 show hunters are for sale. Which one does Bill Gates buy because it's the winner?

***************************************

"Well, that depends on what judge the horse shows in front of," says the agent.

"Oh, OK. So how much does the judge get?" asks Gates as the Time magazine reporter nearby ROTFLs.

*****************************************

"Now, if there are standardized errors, one of us is going to be an extremely unhappy judge."

Competitors aren't paying you to be happy. They are paying you to do a job. When we are ring, it's OUR sport, not yours. And your words prove how "you" (as in judges in general, not "you" Twister in particular) need a major attitude adjustment.

You (judges in general) are too often arrogant and blatantly biased and, worst still, you see absolutely nothing wrong with being that way!

"I don't care how brilliant your horse is over the jumps. If he moves like a sewing machine, there is only so far he can go with me."

And yet, on another thread, the vast majority of posters felt that one should always take the good jumper over the good mover. This one really put me off, in fact, because now, if I only knew your name, I'd have to make sure that one of my guys never showed under you because he IS a spectacular jumper and a nothing mover. Indeed, he could easily be one of those lost souls who might once have filled the ranks of the four-foot divisions. So between you and I, my "sport" degenerates into how well can I avoid the likes of you, rather than how well can I show my horse.

(Again, Twister, DON'T take this personally! I'm saying "you" because your WORDS--which are inadequate to your real meaning a lot of the time, I'm sure--provide me with an example. I can't hear your tone of voice or see your facial expressions, though, so there's no way I can really interpret what is below the surface of your words. So I'm not commenting on what may lie there in you personally, OK?)

"I don't want that variety edited out of the equation."

Again, I don't care what "you" want. I want to win on my merits, not on your preferences! How CAN I respect and be guided by your opinions if I don't understand them or what they are based upon, and if they CHANGE depending on who "you" are?

Twister
Aug. 10, 2000, 08:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Flash44:
Twister, how much weight do you give turnout? I'm one of the few that braid on my local circuit, and I'm wondering if I should continue with the effort since braiding/unbraiding takes several hours of my time...If you were assigning numerical scores, how much would you knock off for a poorly turned out horse? Would you add anything to the score of a horse that is well turned out and braided vs. well turned out and not braided?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Flash, turnout is one of the intangibles. A horse walks into the ring with a shiny coat, neatly braided, clean tack, clean boots, and I am already looking forward to his performance. My mood is positive. Conversely, a dirty horse and untidy rider have already left a bad taste in my nouth. I don't add or subtract actual points, (I actually don't assign a numerical score unless I have to) but it affects the 'feeling' I have about the round which could result in a lower placing.

Twister
Aug. 10, 2000, 08:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by havaklu:
I have to inform you Flash that sometimes that IS all it boils down to. The judge sees your horse jump one jump badly and you can be out of consideration. I have had judges (talking to them when they are not judging) tell me this. One of my trainers has a large R and has verified it can be the case.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But why shouldn't you be out of consideration for having a bad jump? Eight other people [i]didn't[i] have a bad jump

Twister
Aug. 10, 2000, 08:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:

"For example, a horse jumps in good style but with his knees a little far apart. To me, it is something barely noted, but I judged with someone who hated that particular style."

WHY???? Why does that person hate that style? What is their REASON and why don't you agree with it? HOW in heavens name can anyone develop a horse under such an idiosyncratic system? And what in heavens name is the neophyte or the press supposed to DO with it?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Any deviation from the norm is cause for 'demerits'. Perhaps the other judge thought it was a more offensive error because it is rather rare. If a horse doesn't raise his legs on the same plane as they come out of his shoulder, the knees are usually closer together. Farther apart is kinda weird. For me, it would be a tiebreaker because the horses' knees are still up and the rest of the jump is right.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
"Now, if there are standardized errors, one of us is going to be an extremely unhappy judge."

Competitors aren't paying you to be happy. They are paying you to do a job. When we are ring, it's OUR sport, not yours. And your words prove how "you" (as in judges in general, not "you" Twister in particular) need a major attitude adjustment. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am being paid to give my opinion and if my opinion is regulated in a way with which I do not agree, I could not do a good job.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
"I don't care how brilliant your horse is over the jumps. If he moves like a sewing machine, there is only so far he can go with me."

And yet, on another thread, the vast majority of posters felt that one should always take the good jumper over the good mover. This one really put me off, in fact, because now, if I only knew your name, I'd have to make sure that one of my guys never showed under you because he IS a spectacular jumper and a nothing mover. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I believe in the other thread, the choice was 'good mover, bad jumper' 'bad mover, good jumper' and that would be correct.
Is your horse a nothing mover or a bad mover? There is a reason he is described as 'bad'. It IS bad! There are SO many factors that enter into a round. For example, say the bad mover is so bad that, were I to give him a numerical score, it could not be more than an 80, even if he jumped out of his skin. So, he DOES jump out of his skin and gets an 80. If the othe competitors are all in the 70's, the bad mover still wins.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>"I don't want that variety edited out of the equation."

Again, I don't care what "you" want. I want to win on my merits, not on your preferences! How CAN I respect and be guided by your opinions if I don't understand them or what they are based upon, and if they CHANGE depending on who "you" are?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't want someone to tell me what I like better than what I don't. I already know what I like. Hunters should meet each jump from the same distance, jump with their knees above the horizontal, cover the ground in a long, low stride, carry themselves in a relaxed and balanced frame and look like they are enjoying their job. Do that in front of me and you WILL win on your merits.

pwynnnorman
Aug. 10, 2000, 10:11 AM
"...if my opinion is regulated in a way with which I do not agree, I could not do a good job..."

Twister, I still don't think I'm getting the most important point of all across: if standards were established, it WOULD be your opinion, unless you are out in left field compared to your peers. The standards would be established by you and your peers getting together and putting them down on paper, finally agreeing as to whether AND HOW MUCH, something like wide knees or martingales should effect the scoring of the performance. Scores can be "weighted" so that, for example, the "bad" mover can't place high unless everyone else are "bad" jumpers; meanwhile, the "nothing" mover (my guy is correct and straight, has too much "oomph" from behind and being very short-backed, does not go long-and-low without becoming too round for a hunter) would still have a chance to MAKE UP points by being a spectacular jumper, against the just good movers and good jumpers.

But that doesn't HAVE to be the way you guys set it up. You COULD set it up so that nothing but a good mover places well, no matter how much better they jump than others. It'd be up to you to decide as you set up the criteria for scoring. But after that, you'd all have to abide by what you agreed upon and take your personal preferences (and the resulting personal power) out of the picture. Moreover, if you DID disagree and refused to follow what your peers agreed upon, there'd be a way to censor you for non-compliance because there would be EVIDENCE, not just suspicions, of your biases.

pwynnnorman
Aug. 10, 2000, 10:20 AM
Uh, that word should have been "censure," I think. The image that came up when I read the one I used with the "o" was of some trenchcoated judge standing in the middle of the ring, knobbly knees and hairy legs leaving the rest up to the imagination.

Twister
Aug. 11, 2000, 05:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
if standards were established, it WOULD be your opinion, unless you are out in left field compared to your peers. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yikes!! Sounds like Russia!! "This IS what you believe and don't you forget it!" /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Seriously now, it sounds like you think most of us agree with each other already, otherwise we would all be out in left field. I have something to suggest for anyone who feels the judging is out in left field. Sit down with a card and psoition yourself as near as possible to the judges position, perhaps directiy across the ring at the same height. I have found that any time I have been watching casually, or even fairly closely, and thought 'Hhhmm, wonder where they found that one?', once I have a card in my hand and am concentrating on the rounds, I found pretty much the same horses and the ones on which I didn't agree I could at least understand their viewpoint.

I can understand your desire for rules and standards, but I really don't think anything will change. After all, you have rules and standards in dressage, but would every horse get the same score from every judge? The ribbons would always be exactly the same?

The good ole US of A has a codebook of millions of pages, yet the most learned legal minds in the country cannot always agree. The cases heard by the Supreme Court are very rarely unanimous, yet we have pages and pages of standards covering just about every situation known to man.

Most judges would agree that a cross canter is worse than a miss, but what happens if the cross canter is three steps and the miss is a three-legged departure that leaves the audience gasping? Most errors require the context to fully assess the score. For example, in the real world every time one person kills another it is not first degree murder. In the horse world, is a spook always a spook or are you going to give him a little leeway because a scooter backfired three feet away? The minutiae of it all boggles the mind! I can see judges now, desperately paging through a 1000 page rulebook, looking for 'Spook with scooter'.
For most of us, these things go through the brain and are processed automatically in their proper place.
For those of you who attend Harrisburg, go up to the exhibitors section sometime and you will find a number of people 'judging' from the other side of the ring. Most of them will be happy to talk to an interested observer.

Jessica Kuhn
Aug. 11, 2000, 06:36 PM
I think you are just refusing to see the point. Not just pwynn said that you judges need to agree on some things and if you change your scoring system so the course is divided into parts, like dressage, then you can take off extra points if they made a big mistake, very few if it was a minor one in that section of the course. Other sections aren't effected. Have you ever even seen a dressage score sheet? It doesn't sound like you have. Because if you did you would know how the complaints you have about the system are dealt with. And as pwynnn says too, you still haven't dealt with why it works for dressage and eventing. In a way, it also works for jumpers. It works for cowhorses and reiners too. And combined driving. I do have a horse I am eventing now and have a borrowed horse who I do a little jumpers with and sometimes I enter either horse to school over the hunter courses during a show. But I don't see why I should waste my time competing in hunters because compared to jumpers and eventers, I often have little idea of where I stand for ages after I've left the ring. And if I am out of the ribbons, I never know not even if I was only out by one or two places in a big class.

wtywmn4
Aug. 11, 2000, 08:32 PM
Actually, the many posts of this thread, especially on page 3, have only proven a point. You are ALL JUDGING. And don't start throwing things at me. What you say you want is standardization. It's opinions, which each and everyone of us has, they cannot nor ever will be standardized. Thats just not humanly possible. Otherwise, we'd never have another war. Personally, I would like this.

There is a base from which judges start, this is in black & white in the AHSA rule book. From there each person's history and education comes into play. The learner judging experience is a long and lengthy affair, not here, have a card. You want standardization? Talk to the LOC they are the people who set the rules by which all our judges, become one.

In the mean time Pwynn, how bout you apply for your learner judges card???? I would love for you to sit down and enjoy the h/j judging experience. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

brilyntrip
Aug. 11, 2000, 10:01 PM
MOre power to you Havaklu and Twister!!!I applaud you both .There are so many variables in judging hunters and equitation I myself want a great jumper over all else but in all reality there are very few classes in which there are all great trips performed by great jumpers judging is putting the top 6 to 8 in order and deciding "ok this one had great jumps but you know its cranky with its ears so is that better or worse than the one that was a bit low with its legs at jump 4 or a bit flat there at jump 6?"All judges have an opinion on this kind of thing.The se kinds of variables are precisely what can never be regulated by anyone as I have said if you had to keep score by subtracting each and every thing I see when I judge you couldn't watch them go around!!

Saddlebag
Aug. 11, 2000, 11:12 PM
I've been reading this thread for awhile...and I guess I just have to put in my opinion...which is in accord with Twister..I have been judging for a long time now, and I have no problem with a variance of opinions among judges...or exhibitors either. We all agree on a generally accepted standard of the Hunter or Equitation Rider "Look". But it is fine with me if another judge sees an exhibitor's performance in a slightly different light than I do. We aren't trying to create "cookie cutter Hunters" here...just sort them out in light of our own experiences and preferences. And I would also like to point out that the brilliantly jumping, extravagently moving horse that can win in the Four Foot Division, would probably make a "lawn Dart" out of it's beginning amateur rider if it galloped and jumped that way in the novice rider divisions...so in those classes, I certainly put safety and rideability at a premium over brilliant jumping. I know that there are those who might disagree with that opinion, and that's fine too...But I wouldn't be real thrilled if a rigidly mandated standard was imposed upon all judges...and I think that most of us that sit in that little booth all day would agree with THAT.

Bertie
Aug. 12, 2000, 12:23 AM
I don't want to see everything regulated either. There are too many intangibles that go into judging a hunter. But, given that equally good judges will have differences of opinions, posting scorecards would let the exhibitors in on the individual judges' preferences. It would also make not-so-good judges more accountable.

I think some basic, tangible things could be standardized, such as whether the use or non-use of a martingale will affect a horse's score.

[This message has been edited by Bertie (edited 08-12-2000).]

havaklu
Aug. 12, 2000, 02:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by brilyntrip:
MOre power to you Havaklu and Twister!!!I applaud you both .There are so many variables in judging hunters and equitation I myself want a great jumper over all else but in all reality there are very few classes in which there are all great trips performed by great jumpers judging is putting the top 6 to 8 in order and deciding "ok this one had great jumps but you know its cranky with its ears so is that better or worse than the one that was a bit low with its legs at jump 4 or a bit flat there at jump 6?"All judges have an opinion on this kind of thing.The se kinds of variables are precisely what can never be regulated by anyone as I have said if you had to keep score by subtracting each and every thing I see when I judge you couldn't watch them go around!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks Brilliant Trip!!! right back at ya for keeping it all in perspective here and on another thread... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Another thought about standardized scores being assigned by dividing a course up into sections. Would in and outs be scored as a single element or seperat

havaklu
Aug. 12, 2000, 02:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by brilyntrip:
MOre power to you Havaklu and Twister!!!I applaud you both .There are so many variables in judging hunters and equitation I myself want a great jumper over all else but in all reality there are very few classes in which there are all great trips performed by great jumpers judging is putting the top 6 to 8 in order and deciding "ok this one had great jumps but you know its cranky with its ears so is that better or worse than the one that was a bit low with its legs at jump 4 or a bit flat there at jump 6?"All judges have an opinion on this kind of thing.The se kinds of variables are precisely what can never be regulated by anyone as I have said if you had to keep score by subtracting each and every thing I see when I judge you couldn't watch them go around!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks Brilliant Trip!!! right back at ya for keeping it all in perspective here and on another thread... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Another thought about standardized scores being assigned by dividing a course up into sections. Would in and outs be scored as a single element or seperatly? Think about it for awhile. Remember the whole CAN be greater than the sum of the parts.

Also I am getting annoyed by the "it's done that way in dressage/jumpers/cross country" arguments. If I wanted to be judged like those disciplines I would COMPETE in those disciplines. The variance in opinion is what makes a great hunter truely great. It takes blue ribbons from lots of different judges in lots of different rings to produce one of the great hunters. If it is so "standardized" then what do I do once I win a blue ribbon? Retire? Heck why don't we get rid of shows and just hire a judge to come watch you in a private show. If he gives you an 90 or higher you know you can win blue - why bother showing at all.

pwynnnorman
Aug. 12, 2000, 07:30 AM
Are dressage horses "cookie cutter" produced? Hardly.

How many judges and training gripes do you read on any of the innumerable dressage boards out there, which, oddly enough, seem to outnumber h-j boards by about 3 to 1?

Point by point:
"It's opinions, which each and everyone of us has, they cannot nor ever will be standardized."

This is ignoring reality. Opinions held by a group are the very basis of standardization. Look it up.

"In the mean time Pwynn, how bout you apply for your learner judges card????"

I would in an instant and without any fear of failure whatsoever. Riding isn't rocket science, no matter what the discipline, and I'm neither stupid nor blind. Tell me what the standard is and I would apply it. Where there's no standard, I have enough common sense and, yes, OPINION to fill in the blanks.

But while I'm sure I could get the 15 references, having never had the money to show and win a lot, I'd never have much of getting a card under this system now would I? Just like those grooms who never become stewards.

As a matter of fact, have you judges ever given a big, group clinic...oh, and done it WELL? I have (I've also judged, so I certainly have at least a little feel for the basic process--not the big time one, though, since it's been only 4-h and PC; in fact, I forgot about my experiences as a Pony Club regional examiner at the C level, and all those other ratings I've done. More judging (again, different format, but similar demands and responsibilities). Of course, all of those experiences forced me to put my opinions clearly on paper...

But anyway, about clinics: it's like judging and then some. Ask some people who have been serious about giving clinics (not just babysitting a group on horseback, setting up stuff for them to do without killing themselves and then praising them for surviving. Not that kind of clinic, but the kind that really gives them specific help with their specific horse). Go ahead, ask. If you haven't done it, you may learn about the visual parallels as they are added to the immediate communication challenges.

What do I mean by visual parallels? Using your EYE to see, your experience to evaluate, and then your mouth (or your pen) to publicly express your opinion, which had better tally with the standards or you're toast--immediately!

Oh, indeed, I'd have no problem going for a card whatsoever. Been there and beyond. H-J judges have it EASY in comparision!!!

In fact, come to think of it, it would be a GREAT idea for judges to be REQUIRED to give clinics! Then they'd have to remember how to look at EVERYONE, not just the best (who are a lot easier to critique), accept some humility in having a teaching/leadership role to play instead of just a judgemental one, learn how to communicate efficiently and clearly to strangers, and more.

What a great idea! Got me way off point, too. Oh well. Ha, ha. This is great. Anyone know how many judges give clinics? 10%? Yup, make it mandatory: at least two clinics per year to keep your license. Hey, then those who just can't understand your "opinions" could attend your clinic and finally figure you out! OK, I'd vote for mandatory clinics over standardized scoring, at least in Phase One. That would probably get the point across for the need and justify Phase Two anyway!

buryinghill2
Aug. 12, 2000, 07:47 AM
The entire point of showing hunters is that you show one horse in front of many judges with differing opinions. The great hunter is the rare one that pleases them all, can be successful in all rings, under all conditions. Indoors, outdoors, good weather and bad. I fail to see how the standardizing of hunter judging would be an improvement. Differences of opinion are what make it interesting. You have a choice who you show in front of, and under what conditions. What would be the fun or challenge if everyone felt the same way? In addition, there are FAR to many variables involved in the hunter ring to ever make standardized judging possible.

pwynnnorman
Aug. 12, 2000, 07:56 AM
"ok this one had great jumps but you know its cranky with its ears so is that better or worse than the one that was a bit low with its legs at jump 4 or a bit flat there at jump 6?"

Depends on how much weight you guys collectively decide to place on MANNERS, an area of judging that I REALLY wish would indeed be more consistent given the sour expressions on some of the horses out there. (More bad PR for the sport.) Same for suitability, too. Again, I think these kinds of responses simply are showing your lack of familiarity with what it means to establish a standard and how evaluations of complex phenomena can be scored to achieve a degree of objective meaning. Need I remind you of the air traffic contollers thing again? Or police officers? Or each and every one of the equestrian sports which are competed on an international level, including even endurance riding?

Don't you hunter and eq judges even WONDER why so many others have gone to a more objective process? THEY don't say: "but its not perfect: its still opinions, there's still bias--so if it ain't perfect, it can't possibly be BETTER either." (You haven't said that, but that IS the skewed logic behind what you are saying).

"if you had to keep score by subtracting each and every thing I see when I judge you couldn't watch them go around!!"

Who said you have to do that? Now you're exaggerating. Do you really think that is what dressage (and other) judges do?

"and I have no problem with a variance of opinions among judges...or exhibitors either"

That's because you're a judge--you don't have a problem because you DON'T WANT TO CHANGE! I suspect that if you polled the exhibitors, the vast majority would disagree.

"But I wouldn't be real thrilled if a rigidly mandated standard was imposed upon all judges"

Again, who said ANYTHING about rigid? LOOK AT OTHER SPORTS!!! Can you imagine how boring it is watching 50 Training Level rides? Do you think you're the only ones who have it tough? At least the individual rounds you have to watch all day go by more quickly. Anyway, though, how CAN dressage be rigidly judged? You know full well it isn't, so why are you making this argument? And what about endurance riding and reining? If you are mind-blocked on dressage, then try thinking about the vets who judge endurance riding: putting their opinions in writing and agreeing as a group as well about the condition (not just the measurable things) of animals owned by wealthy sheiks and other influential and potentially "aggressively disappointed" people?

Indeed, its those disappointed people whom you would be protected against if you standardized the system because it wouldn't be YOU against them. It would be the standard against theirs.

Oh, but lo, I forgot. There are few "agressively disappointed" exhibitors and owners in h-j. Everyone is too afraid to protest!

"Would in and outs be scored as a single element or seperatly? Think about it for awhile. Remember the whole CAN be greater than the sum of the parts."

Start by asking what the challenge is and how it is met. The challenge of any combination is the related distances. The first jump sets up the second whether you are talking about pace, striding, form, rider's position or aids, whatever. So its a "well, duh" situation: Of course in-and-outs would be judged as one. How would you separate them? And if you guys got together and discussed that, you'd come to that conclusion yourselves in five seconds flat.

But even if you were the weirdest group alive and decided the elements of an in-and-out should be judged separately, there's a parallel you can learn from in dressage: the piaffe-passage tour. The quality of the piaffe and passage are each evaluated as separate movements, while the transitions in and out of them (from passage to piaffe and then back to passage) are ALSO judged separately (given their own little box with numeric score and comments).

"The variance in opinion is what makes a great hunter truely great."

Says you. But I think the 98% would heartily disagree with you. They want to KNOW what's going on so they can enjoy their sport, improve when and where they can, and even APPRECIATE what makes those who are successful successful. In competion, no one LIKES a mystery, especially if they don't even ribbon.

"If it is so "standardized" then what do I do once I win a blue ribbon?"

If you get lots of them in one division, maybe you'll finally decide to get your butt out of that one and challenge yourself in another?

[This message has been edited by pwynnnorman (edited 08-12-2000).]

Twister
Aug. 12, 2000, 09:08 AM
Pwynn, you and I disagree.

To me, that means you have a different opionion about which it is interesting to debate. To you, it means I am narrow-minded, self-serving, arrogant and short sighted. I respectfully leave the discussion.

havaklu
Aug. 12, 2000, 10:43 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
[B]Are dressage horses "cookie cutter" produced? Hardly.

How many judges and training gripes do you read on any of the innumerable dressage boards out there, which, oddly enough, seem to outnumber h-j boards by about 3 to 1?
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That's because they do nothing but talk about it all the time while we bother to "just do it". Oh before you start throwing rocks, that was just a GENERALIZATION based on my OBSERVATIONS!!!!

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Point by point:
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Counterpoint by Counterpoint:
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"It's opinions, which each and everyone of us has, they cannot nor ever will be standardized."

This is ignoring reality. Opinions held by a group are the very basis of standardization. Look it up.
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Careful about how you throw that term around. Standardization (nowadays the lingo is Best Practices hmmm maybe you need to modernize your vernacular PW) in the business world is not necessarily good for the horses - right?

There are those who feel hunters are more an art to be appreciated by the beholder. Let's face it. WHY does the uneducated horseman think watching a class of 60 hunters is BORING??? Because what we see as a wide range of variation and style all looks THE SAME to the uneducated eye.

Excuse me while I make a personal observation. Before horses I persued a different "sport" springboard diving. What makes those two sports similar????
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I would in an instant and without any fear of failure whatsoever. Riding isn't rocket science,
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That point is well known so is the fact that being a rocket scientist doesn't mean you can ride.
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no matter what the discipline, and I'm neither stupid nor blind.
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I'll reserve comment...
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Tell me what the standard is and I would apply it. Where there's no standard, I have enough common sense and, yes, OPINION to fill in the blanks.
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The current rules (sometimes refered to as standards) are in the AHSA rulebook. I didn't realize that anyone that could read and is deemed to posess common sense could be granted a judge's card?

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But while I'm sure I could get the 15 references, having never had the money to show and win a lot, I'd never have much of getting a card under this system now would I?
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Oh yes the "I'm poor" excuse. I get tired of that one because a lot of people use it
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Just like those grooms who never become stewards.
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A top notch groom makes more money grooming
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As a matter of fact, have you judges ever given a big, group clinic...

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Huge TANGENT not worth addressing. Remember personal experience isn't relevant according to you.
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But anyway, about clinics: it's like judging and then some.
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No it's not. ANYONE can give a clinic if they choose. The AHSA has a
STANDARD process for aquiring a judges card.
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Ask some people who have been serious about giving clinics (not just babysitting a group on horseback, setting up stuff for them to do without killing themselves and then praising them for surviving.
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counterproductive attack on other clinicians. Very unprofessional and evidence you have a HUGE chip on your shoulder IMO.
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What do I mean by visual parallels?
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No please tell us in a more efficient manner next time.

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What a great idea! Got me way off point, too.
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Really? I hadn't noticed...


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Hey, then those who just can't understand your "opinions" could attend your clinic and finally figure you out! OK, I'd vote for mandatory clinics over standardized scoring, at least in Phase One.

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Where have you been the last 5 or 6 years????? The judges clinic for prospective and continuing judges IS MANDATORY. And they use a PANEL of judges. It's real interesting to watch GM, Leo and Frank all disagree /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif, http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/tongue.gif

pwynnnorman
Aug. 12, 2000, 12:39 PM
Well, Twister, you and I can agree on one thing: there comes a point where defensiveness takes over a discussion (on both sides) at which point it becomes counterproductive. So I will follow your lead and throw in my hat on this one, too.

Bertie
Aug. 12, 2000, 01:10 PM
UGH!!! Reminds me too much of the NHS fiasco.

Why can't we all just play nice? There are a lot of interesting people here with intelligent, conflicting ideas that could be discussed and debated without pushing buttons.

brilyntrip
Aug. 12, 2000, 06:41 PM
Ok so Flash44,Unfortunately for you if your horse does split upover the jumps because it is a major I MEAN MAJOR jumping fault which would put you in or near the bottom of the pack at most reasonably competitive shows .BEFORE all of you start maoning and groaning about how hard it is to follow hunter judging you need to LEARN WHAT GOOD AND BAD is ok??As I have said before there are so many variables that the list is ridiculous.Havaklu I wish I knew who you were?? you crack me up!!!

havaklu
Aug. 12, 2000, 06:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by brilyntrip:
Ok so Flash44,Unfortunately for you if your horse does split upover the jumps because it is a major I MEAN MAJOR jumping fault which would put you in or near the bottom of the pack at most reasonably competitive shows .BEFORE all of you start maoning and groaning about how hard it is to follow hunter judging you need to LEARN WHAT GOOD AND BAD is ok??As I have said before there are so many variables that the list is ridiculous.Havaklu I wish I knew who you were?? you crack me up!!!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

BT - you must be NEW here /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Usually when I finally let loose with one too many snide remarks I get the "nicey, nicey" lecture. Well guess what? The world isn't always nice or fair. I agree with your post 100%. The reason is that the more I learn about what a good hunter trip is the less I am inclined to disagree or be baffled by the judges. I managed to reach this state of understanding without direct feedback from the judge.

havaklu
Aug. 12, 2000, 06:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
Are dressage horses "cookie cutter" produced? Hardly.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I just re-read this comment by PW. OF course all dressage horses are not identical but PW isn't it you who keeps insisting that the dressage riders are all working to achieve the SAME STANDARD of "perfect".

So in conclusion all dressage horses are not "ccokie cutter" but they are trying to acheive it.

Jessica Kuhn
Aug. 12, 2000, 07:06 PM
Ugh II. Some of these replies are getting just plain dumb. I think this thread has had it although I'd also like to say that I've enjoyed hearing from both sides of an interesting issue. It's been a real eye-opener and I think I understand a lot better how judges feel now even if I don't agree eitehr.

brilyntrip
Aug. 16, 2000, 06:13 PM
OK soits my turn to B-tch!!!Today at a very competitive one day show the following happened all in one day!!!R U ready!!!
short stirrup ring .Judge spent somuch time ANSWERING her cellphone all day that my client told me about it !!"Karin the judge was talking on her cellphone while the kids were going on course ?" So here's the deal,we officials are sent lots of letters telling us DO NOT TALK ON CELLPHONES while judging !!!!
REally!!!
In hunter ring where childrens hunters go ,a horse went off course was pinned 4th , same judge got up turned her back to ring whilemy horse was going around and got in her car, my student was reallypoed when she turned after jumping oxer and judge wasn't there anymore.
In equitation ring ( ididn't witness this but there were reports that the judget old trainer that adding strides in equitation didnt count !!
SO guys happens to all of us,I can assure you that at one show I have never seen so much bad judging behavior etc etc .I have to toss it upto lackof intelligence or something!!

ccoronios
Aug. 18, 2000, 04:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Abby:
The entire point of showing hunters is that you show one horse in front of many judges with differing opinions. The great hunter is the rare one that pleases them all, can be successful in all rings, under all conditions.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or is the great hunter the one which has the right trainer/owner/rep, which are the factors that really "please them all"?

And before I need a flame shield, we ALL know that those factors figure in a win far more frequently than they ought to in the subjective games - just because there isn't the accountability in judging hunters, pleasure horses, etc. that there is in judging dressage, reining, jumpers, etc.

One of the best comments I heard in over 30 years of showing was, "Who is this judge anyway? Where'd they get her? She doesn't even know who's supposed to win!" No, she'd just pinned the horses and riders who did the best job, not the ones who'd won at the National show earlier in the month/the ones who rode with the big-name trainer(s).

wtywmn4
Aug. 18, 2000, 05:26 PM
Ccorinos, hope you got that judge's name. Diffinitely one to show in front of /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif