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justCurious
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:17 AM
I am in no way trying to play armchair quarterback, but the thread about Galway Downs reminds me of something I saw a few weeks ago at CDCTA. I was standing with a woman that I know through my trainer, and her daughter was doing her first Training. The daughter, while a competent and capable rider, was on a green horse who had never competed at training level. What struck me was that the mother was _so nervous_ that she couldn't even watch her daughter go around her stadium course.

Normally I'd think, "Well, she just wants her to do well," but I watched the round and thought, "This girl was very LUCKY." The horse did not have the ever-important "I can't make this jump from this distance" in him and neither did the rider, which quite frankly scares me. :eek: They nearly crashed through a combination, but the horse was somewhat athletic enough to pull himself through. Not only am I thinking GM would have had a coronary watching the seat-of-the-pants riding, but the fact that the two were clearly NOT experienced to make it through safely makes me wonder why this woman let her daughter enter at training in the first place?

I asked my trainer about this and apparently the mother wanted her to go at Training and it was her idea - the girl couldn't care less if she had done Novice instead. But if her own mother didn't have enough confidence that she could watch her daughter do a training level stadium round, then something's not right. :confused: I'm not saying she should have been there coaching her through her warmup and every jump, my theory is that she _knew_ the stadium round would be shaky and further reinforce the fact that the girl was not ready for Training. :no:

I don't expect riders to put down a Maclay-caliber round every time, but if they consistently have issues getting around safely, then perhaps they should go back and rethink things. Dropping down a level and practicing your butt off at home is far better than screaming around a course and coming out and saying, "Doesn't matter how I looked, at least I was clear!"

Some riders out there do not have the wisdom that comes with years of experience and good training, and as a result we see more and more "scary" rides where people were damn lucky to make it through in one piece. Obviously this is a universal issue, but seems to be more prevalent in young riders. I don't know whether it's the pressure from trainers or parents, but something needs to be done. :sigh:

hey101
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:32 AM
justCurious- completely agree. *I* freely admit I was guilty of this in my younger years, competing at Training on a bold, forward horse when *I* wasn't ready to be at Training level yet (the horse was fine). I had several memorable trips around XC, some of which never actually were completed...

Fast forward 5 years and I"ve matured and learned to ride better and analyze better and make better decisions. I don't remember exactly at what point I realized I needed to take a step back before I got myself or my horse hurt, but I did reach that point and lived to tell the tale.

But now, one of my personal frustrations, is that I can't go to a competition and know what I"m going to see on XC because of this ever-more-prevalent trend of increasing increasing increasing the difficulty at the same level. Case in point, I had a very bold, brave, positive, greenie TB who was bombing around Beg Nov, safe and happy, and schooling Novice happily. I entered him at an unrec Nov advertised as "STARTER" horse trial in MAY (so early season, and theoretically easier courses), and saw half-coffins, palisades with a one-stride to water, bank-to-drop-to-bending-two-stride-over a bench, drop with a one-stride to a big coop- and my poor guy was totally overfaced at an unrecognized starter horse trial. He lost a lot of confidence at that competition and went back to Beginner Novice for awhile until he got it back (and it's still coming back, even now). I never would have expected that a starter HT in early May would have been so hard- and many other people complained about the exact same thing.

So between inexperienced riders, and whatever pressures they are getting from their parents/ coaches/ whatever, and the fact that course difficulties are all over the place within a given level, there's a real problem that people need to start acknowledging and addressing.

deltawave
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:36 AM
Unfortunately rounds like the one you describe are common enough. However, IME in this sport for going on 12 years, it hasn't gotten any more or less frequent. It's only when tragedy strikes that it all gets stirred up and talked about.

You're never going to be able to legislate everything, and as long as the sport is what it is there are going to be "Oh Jesus" rounds, where the spectators cover their eyes and (if luck is with them) the rider finishes with a big smile and a "wasn't that great!!??!!" to collective groans and cringes from the spectators. :rolleyes:

And yes, it's often young riders but not always. I'm sure everyone can immediately think of a rider in their local CTA or area who makes everyone cringe as they flop around and who nevertheless comes back time and time again with a big smile after their "clean" rounds.

When scoring depends on jumping and time faults, not subjective judging, this is what you get. I haven't floated around in the jumper world for a very long time, but there used to be the same type of rides in the Marshall/Sterling or AA classes: yahoos mounted on nutball horses "going clean" but putting everyone's hearts in their throats.

So the eternal question arises (again): do we beef up the subjectivity of the judging? Do we further empower Safety Officers to act as Riding Police and yank people off who appear to be, or are, unsafe? Or do we let the sport be what it is: a test of horsemanship that is never perfected but nonetheless open to everyone?

I'm not professing an opinion or an answer, merely reflecting that there will always be people competing in any sport who are on the "less prepared end" of the bell curve. Do they risk their lives in doing so? Heck yes! But as we have also seen, even the best don't always avoid tragedy.

knz66
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:01 PM
I know this is going to be a very unpopular question, but here goes...

Why dont they have requirements, lets say going from training to prelim like they do for *, **, & so on?

Why would it be so hard to ask for 3 clean CC rounds before moving up? Or hell, even 2?

There is a local PC club that is known to produce what I like to call kamakzi riders/horses. They go as fast as they can over that course. When you have ridden a horse that is the product of that enviroment, its pretty eye opening. When you have riders move to diferent barns, same thing. They just dont get it. "slow down? count strides???? are you kidding?" Especially from younger riders.

KatieE
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:04 PM
this just reminded me of my own personal experience in climbing up the levels...
decent horses and some natural athleticism and judgement got me up to about the intermediate level, but it became blatantly apparent at that level that I had no idea how to ride a show-jump course and my horse was finding it increasingly difficult to put up with the pulling and bad canters and was getting sick of popping large oxers while i was trying to "find" a distance at that level. This resulted in more than a year of bad show jump rounds, ugly stops and cowboy riding around the course. It was frustrating and heartbreaking (lost several events and a 3de this way) and I'm sure scary for the spectators. Weirdly enough, when i was on xc, my mind was forward thinking and i could ride a great canter to most anything. Thank goodness my trainer recognized what was going on and made me keep that horse at the Intermediate level and waited to have a better jumper to upgrade to advanced, even though I was desperate to upgrade and xc was going so well. That and I took it upon myself to get with a hunter trainer who took me right back to 2 foot verticals and the basics of rhythm, balance and correct contact and voila, problem pretty much solved. Show jumping is still what i consider my weakest phase, but I guess my point is that there is always some kinks to work out, and accidents can happen to the best and most prepared riders as well as the blatantly bad ones. My philosophy is just put the odds on your side, do the best to work out kinks before you move up, get a good trainer who will be honest with you even if it is not what you want to hear, and get a horse who gets his knees out of the way... its hard/stressfull enough riding around an advanced level course, let alone riding an advanced level course on a horse who know doesn't jump well. :eek:
eventing is an amazing sport, but like anything extreme it has its dangers as well, its just our own responsibility to accept the risk and prepare ourselves and our horses as best we can.

Avra
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:07 PM
They do, actually, for Prelim. & up--you must have completed 4 Trainings to do Prelim., etc.

KatieE
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:09 PM
I don't know if those requirements necessarily would help, there are just as many scary "clean rounds" as their are good ones... that is the frustrating part of regulating our sport i guess.
in canada they used to have a required clinic for the 3DE riders if it was their first time competing at a new level of 3DE, I don't think they could actually stop someone from competing but they sure could influence them if they thought they were in over their heads. not sure that could be implemented for horse shows or lower levels though...

Stewie
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:50 PM
Deltawave, wouldn't it be great if there were Riding Police?!!

But, think about it... how many 'trainers' would get their panties in a wad if you had the ability to tell them 'Sorry, Kid A can't go on a BN course because she has absolutly NO base of support'. Because it's these people who hang out a shingle and have no grasp of horsemanship, let alone basic safety.

We've all seen the 'trainers' who show up and lo and behond! Every horse has a breastplate AND running martingale AND a kimberwick, and all the students can't tell a diagonal or canter lead unless they look down for three or four strides. No horse is adjustable and they're all just getting by, but all of them talk a good game.

My first prelim was a wake up call for me... we'd walked around training courses, and I have lots of 4'6" jumper experience. But, you know what? I got small out there. The combinations that scarred the hell out of me I actually rode to, but I was mentally not ready for a whole course. Dropping down to training and getting a few more good experiences is what I needed, and I'm not ashamed of it. Cross country is a whole different animal for me, and I want to do everything I can to help avoid an accident.

Sadly, common sense and safety will never win out against the dollar.

FrittSkritt
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:56 PM
I was at the same event and saw a particularly scary round... horse was green and rider was getting horrible distances to each jump... I overheard the mother say, "Yeah, he's only 4 and tends to run - but she chases him to every jump, so that's why." :eek: So basically she was admitting her daughter was riding poorly on a green horse, and it obviously didn't get through her noggin that perhaps she should wait and get more experience before "chasing" her horse around a stadium course.

flutie1
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:57 PM
We are doing a Forum on Dangerous Riding at the Annual Meeting in St Louis. I hope as many of you as possible attend and speak up. It is a problem! Where does responsibility lie? Rider? Trainer? Official? Course Designer?

hey101
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:28 PM
I couldn't decide whether to put this further additional thought on this thread or the Galway thread... but I wanted to add that I DO NOT think the levels need to be dumbed down, but rather that the standards at each level need to be better defined, and even more importantly, maintained, so that we can be confident that a Training course today is a Training course tomorrow (and not a Prelim course billed as a Training course).

I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the riders out there have NO interest in overfacing themselves or their horses. How can we criticize riders for being inexperienced and unprepared, if the bar at each level keeps getting shifted, and worse yet, a rider doesn't know it until they get to a competition?

JER
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:50 PM
Like others have said, you can't legislate common sense. I do think, however, that adults bear some responsibility for the safety of minors.

My example here has no relation to this weekend's accident. I know absolutely nothing about the horse and rider or their level of experience. This is a hypothetical example that could occur in our sport.

The qualifications for CCIs are simply about adequate completions (which includes the requisite fault/score limits). Say you're aiming for a CCI at whatever level. You compete often, like 2x month. By the time the CCI rolls around, you've done 8 HTs at your level. At 6 of these events, you did not complete, either through falls, eliminations or unsoundness. But you did complete the required 2 HTs with the appropriate marks. You're qualified -- but is a CCI what you should do next?

Would phases A-C have filtered out many of the marginal rides? The extra phases would be an entry deterrent to a horse with known soundness issues. Before phase D, you'd have an opportunity to talk to your support team and get their opinions after they've seen you on steeplechase. A wise coach or concerned friend would hopefully tell you it's just not your day. Or you'd make a plan for what to do if things go badly, like you'd pull up if you had two stops.

Years ago, HTs were one-day events, not 3- or 4-day leisurely affairs like we have in CA now. You did SJ before XC and would therefore know how your horse is jumping before you attempted solid fences. Safer? Probably.

Janet
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:58 PM
Why dont they have requirements, lets say going from training to prelim like they do for *, **, & so on? They do. The rider has to have 4 qualifying competitions at Training, before doing Prelim.

Janet
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:59 PM
I know couple of older adults who regularly put in very scary stadium rounds.

Janet
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:01 PM
I entered him at an unrec Nov advertised as "STARTER" horse trial in MAY (so early season, and theoretically easier courses), and saw half-coffins, palisades with a one-stride to water, bank-to-drop-to-bending-two-stride-over a bench, drop with a one-stride to a big coop- and my poor guy was totally overfaced at an unrecognized starter horse trial. He lost a lot of confidence at that competition and went back to Beginner Novice for awhile until he got it back (and it's still coming back, even now). I never would have expected that a starter HT in early May would have been so hard- and many other people complained about the exact same thing. That is always the risk you take with an UNRECOGIZED event.

You also have the option (and responsibility), after you walk the course, of scratching ig you think it will hurt the horse's confidence.

FairWeather
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:03 PM
Sidenote here, did you know that the word "overfaced" is not used outside of horses? (i've found *one* reference to dog training). I used it during a meeting at work and was looked at like i was nuts!

Sorry, go about your business :)

FlightCheck
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:09 PM
for the OP

that's where the expression "regretfully clear" comes from ;) - and I see a LOT of it as I travel around (and must restrain myself from announcing that!)

I can usually define "dangerous riding" when I see it - but I don't know that I could give an "all purpose" definition.

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:10 PM
You also have the option (and responsibility), after you walk the course, of scratching ig you think it will hurt the horse's confidence.


Exactly....it sucks to lose your entry fee but that is what I did last weekend. You enter events with good reputations and hopefully have courses that you like but every time you enter...you must walk the course and decide "will this course benefit my horse's or my training"...if not, then don't run. It is hard to make the distinction between what is just scaring you and what is over your head sometimes...and if you have trouble with those distinctions, that's when walking with a trainer or someone who knows you and your horse well can be a real benefit.

Barnstable
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:31 PM
I recall watching one white-knuckled stadium round last spring. The horse was being ridden so out of control that the crowd was literally gasping at each fence. In addition, the horse very nearly did a skidder around two of the course turns. The round ended up clean by some miracle.

I wondered at the time but never asked - in such a flagrant case, do show officials have authority to stop the rider on course?

areaIIeventer
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:38 PM
I recall watching one white-knuckled stadium round last spring. The horse was being ridden so out of control that the crowd was literally gasping at each fence. In addition, the horse very nearly did a skidder around two of the course turns. The round ended up clean by some miracle.

I wondered at the time but never asked - in such a flagrant case, do show officials have authority to stop the rider on course?

Although not a recognized HT, a rider was pulled up mid-XC at novice level at a regional PC rally due to "unsafe riding." I believe the TD made the call after watching the stadium round and a good part of the XC. The rider obviously had no control over the horse and the horse was leaving strides out left and right at a full out gallop. It was an accident waiting to happen.

I have never heard it done at a regular non-PC HT, but I figure if they did it here (run under USEA rules) it is possible. But then it must come down to personal opinion (how do you specify what really is "scary" or "unsafe"?)

Question: does a CIC* have the same qualifications as a CCI*? Or are there less prelim runs required?

I watched the CIC* this spring at Poplar and saw some scary rounds.

Ja Da Dee
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:49 PM
I know couple of older adults who regularly put in very scary stadium rounds.

This could have been me with my first eventing coach. I started eventing when I came back into riding in my 30's. Because I had some "stick" (but very little technical ability) my trainer put me on her xc machine and had me competing novice after 4 months of lessons (never jumped before, and had 10 years off from riding). I came in second on the first recognized Novice Horse Trial I ever went to, 6th in my second - on my bad dressage score. She really wanted me to ride training level the next year, but fortunatly for me, that horse came up lame. I admit that I was often terrified riding that horse because I had so little control of him. She told me not to worry, just try to balance him and point him at the jump. He never refused.

After I stopped leasing him due to his ringbone and started riding horses with less experience, I figured out how inadequate I was as a rider. I've been working very hard at learning how to do this right. I've got a good eventing coach and a super dressage coach who are giving me the skills to succeed. Now I just need to find the money so I can school enough xc jumps next summer and head to a few horse trials.

I think there's a TON of pressure on kids and adults from coaches, parents and family to go out and compete. Tons of financial pressure- Hubby wasn't happy when I scratched a horse trial 2 years ago because of a very subtle lameness, but loosing the $ is not worth the risk of potential injury to both my horse or myself.


but I wanted to add that I DO NOT think the levels need to be dumbed down, but rather that the standards at each level need to be better defined, and even more importantly, maintained, so that we can be confident that a Training course today is a Training course tomorrow (and not a Prelim course billed as a Training course).

I do agree that we don't need to dumb down the levels, but I thought that the defination of the jumps was pretty well defined. I have seen many jumps that cover two levels, probably max height for one, and low for another, then the placement within the question makes it a training or prelim jump. I do think the organizers and course builders need to keep a close eye on what is expected at each level.

Lots of tough questions that appear to have been asked frequently over the years. We ride in a dangerous sport, how can we keep the fun, and yet keep it as safe as possible.

lizathenag
Nov. 7, 2006, 03:10 PM
years ago I was doing some sort of pony club test (as an examiner) and I wouldn't let a child (teen) do the cross country phase and excused her from the test.
the parent went ballistic. . .
the child was fine with my decision.

hb
Nov. 7, 2006, 03:30 PM
We are doing a Forum on Dangerous Riding at the Annual Meeting in St Louis. I hope as many of you as possible attend and speak up. It is a problem! Where does responsibility lie? Rider? Trainer? Official? Course Designer?

The responsibility lies with each.

Rider - needs to have enough self-awareness to be able to tell, and to be able to admin to themselves, when they are over faced.

Trainer - needs to teach the rider the correct basics, and needs to have the honesty, integrity and guts to risk losing a client by telling someone they just aren't ready

Officials - if the first two fail, and someone ends up at a competition having a dangerous ride, they need to be pulled from the course. No matter who they are, no matter who their trainer is, no matter how much they, their parents or their spouse objects.

Course designer - Be sure the fences are as safe as possible, and try to come up with questions that will cause a run-out rather than a fall. But this is only possible to a limit. We can't dumb down the courses, because if the courses are easier then the people who are scary at training will just be scary at preliminary instead.


We have this problem at the barn where I take lessons. A decent rider with a talented horse, limited experience, and a stubborn do-it-yourself attitude has been getting around with rides that get scarier as they progress up the levels. But they get enough clean rounds that they qualify for the next level. We're talking ** and ***. Friends and coaches have tried to tell the rider to step down a level (or two) and fix some holes. But people often only hear what they want to hear. Luckily the 2 *** courses they've attempted had combinations with skinnies early in the course, and they eliminated with refusals. Bless the course designers for testing accuracy early in the course, and bless the horse for being savvy enough to run out instead of hitting the fence.

pegasusmom
Nov. 7, 2006, 04:19 PM
I recall watching one white-knuckled stadium round last spring. The horse was being ridden so out of control that the crowd was literally gasping at each fence. In addition, the horse very nearly did a skidder around two of the course turns. The round ended up clean by some miracle.

I wondered at the time but never asked - in such a flagrant case, do show officials have authority to stop the rider on course?

We had a rider at Prelim going XC at my spring event a few years ago who was totally and I mean totally out of control, urging her horse faster at each fence, and the only reason the TD didn't get a chance to stop her was that she had a fall just prior to where the TD was able to catch up with her. Most certainly I have seen TDs pull riders aside after dangerous SJ and XC rounds and give them warnings. The rule book wording is a little vague,( or written rather broadly on purpose?) but it does give the individual members of the Ground Jury the power to eliminate or penalize accordingly, and under the abuse section, transfers that power to the TD in the absence of a GJ member. EV 110 and EV 111.

ideayoda
Nov. 7, 2006, 05:30 PM
EVERYday I watch riders who cannot put a horse on the bit, nor ride w/o stirrups, ride over fences (I use that loosely). They get over because God is watching over them and the horses are saints (albeit unschoolded). Why? Because they 'want to jump'. The team of teachers is at best 20something with a 'background' in 4-H and some with lower leverl eventing. They are told to kick the horse forward (no description of how to use the leg) or beat the horse with the whip (no telling of where or how to touch). Its an accident waiting to happen, and often does. WHERE are the teachers to 'measure out' the learning? All crest release and SHOW SHOW SHOW. Thats why so many people are not just falling but dying imho.

Janet
Nov. 7, 2006, 05:47 PM
I recall watching one white-knuckled stadium round last spring. The horse was being ridden so out of control that the crowd was literally gasping at each fence. In addition, the horse very nearly did a skidder around two of the course turns. The round ended up clean by some miracle.

I wondered at the time but never asked - in such a flagrant case, do show officials have authority to stop the rider on course? I have seen a rider stopped on the cross country for dangerous riding at a recognized HT (and I think it was Prelim or Intermediate).

I have also seen the GJ specifically ask the jump judges to watch number xy, and radio in if he/she seems out of control.

But I have never seen anyone actually stopped in the MIDDLE of a stadium round.

annikak
Nov. 7, 2006, 06:22 PM
At Hunters Run in Aug- the judge was out of her booth, heading to meet the young woman. She was cited for Dangerous riding, fined- what? I think 25.00 and "E"d. You could not have stopped this one in the middle of her course- it was over before you could take a breath!

I saw this same combo later at Richland, and it was scary to see them then- seems as if there should be a "holding" time for rider/horse combos that get that sort of call. Kind of like a DUI- one month off to think about it. I know there would be issues- but seems as if the issues might be worth the aggravation if one such case would result (and yes, you would never know what "might have been" but still) in a person not getting hurt.

FWIW, none of the above would have prevented this past weekend- and as a matter of fact, none of the things that I have known about and resulted in accidents/tragadies seem to have resulted from Dangerous riding.

EventingRed
Nov. 7, 2006, 06:31 PM
I have known two people to get "reckless riding" points, at Twin Rivers. Judge said course looked out of control/scary etc. they got i think 20 or 25 points added on their score. (I *think* it might not have been so harsh, it was a couple of years ago...)

I think we need requirments at all levels, starting from BN to N, N to T and so on.

My trainer kept me at Novice until I could do it with my eyes closed, consistantly placing well (in top three) as well as having cleen safe runs. Some trainers have a much bigger push to move up the levels.

RoyalTRider
Nov. 7, 2006, 06:54 PM
I think it's a very good thing that at many lower-level events, stadium is placed before x-country. I'm sure that has prevented a lot of tragedies.

As a side note, even when I was competing and was not being overfaced, my sister couldn't watch me ride (refering to the comment in the OP about the mother not being able to watch the round). I understand that this particular pair was probably being overfaced, but there are plenty of family and friends who just cannot watch their loved ones do a dangerous sport, no matter how prepared they are. My sister loves and supports me, and was very proud of my competitions, but she could not actually stand there and watch me jump.

NeverTime
Nov. 7, 2006, 06:58 PM
I'm a little worried that so many of you have apparently seen me ride in competition... :winkgrin:

Lori T
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:01 PM
I have been questioned about having Jen ride in so many training classes..I think Poplar in September was her 8th one in 2 years. They have always finished no worse than 6th place. But just because Impulsive has gone Advanced, and really knows her stuff and has gotten Jen out of some bad spots, I want Jen to thoroughly be prepared for anything that may happen. Our goal was to move up to prelim in January, but now that she is riding with someone new, we have decided to do at least one more training and then let her new instructor decide whether or not she is ready.
There is a girl in her pony club who did one beginner novice, did one novice and then moved to open training...and has been eliminated everytime. It is very scarey, and what is worse, she has a well known instructor who for some reason allows this to continue. When I was DC of the club, I was constantly fighting with her mom because I wouldn't sign off for her to ride at rallies, she was so dangerous. It is sad, because this kid is a tragedy waiting to happen.

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:06 PM
I'm a little worried that so many of you have apparently seen me ride in competition... :winkgrin:


I was thinking the same thing ;)

GotSpots
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:15 PM
Sure, reckless riding penalties are assessed for "dangerous" or just out of control riding - a Training rider was given 45 at AECs for an incident in which an upper level fence was jumped backwards. That was a lovely amateur rider, very well coached, successfully and slowly coming up the ranks, with an extremely experienced horse who all of a sudden thought he was at Rolex. Point being - sometimes crap happens out on course. I don't think there was anyway to predict beforehand that on that course, that day, the horse was going to make a bid for it. What I'm trying to say is that sometimes, no matter how well you are prepared, things happen you don't predict in the midst of being on course: your horse may get a moment of unprecedented yee-haw, you can just plain whiff at a distance, or you can have a moment where your instincts go wrong and you cluck instead of whoa or take one tug too many going into a combination. It happens to all of us. And it can happen despite having consistently good training and being properly prepared for the test. Competition is inherently different than practice - it's part of the point of going. And part of learning as a rider is learning to respond to the stresses that happen during competition. We don't start out as riders absolutely able to contend with nervousness and pressure - we have to learn how to react to that. I just don't think you learn that necessarily at home. You might be able to practice, but part of going to smaller shows and lower levels is teaching both you and the horse how to answer the question despite the pressure.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:19 PM
Are these dangerous, overfaced (or whatever) riders the ones without trainers? If not, the quantity of criticism here seems contradictory to some of your responses on my thread about the need for trainers to also develop their riders' judgment.

RiverBendPol
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:26 PM
......Would phases A-C have filtered out many of the marginal rides? The extra phases would be an entry deterrent to a horse with known soundness issues. Before phase D, you'd have an opportunity to talk to your support team and get their opinions after they've seen you on steeplechase. A wise coach or concerned friend would hopefully tell you it's just not your day. Or you'd make a plan for what to do if things go badly, like you'd pull up if you had two stops.

Years ago, HTs were one-day events, not 3- or 4-day leisurely affairs like we have in CA now. You did SJ before XC and would therefore know how your horse is jumping before you attempted solid fences. Safer? Probably.

JER, Between Phases C and D, time is spent in the 10-minute box. This is where discussions take place. The veterinarians would probably spin your example if in fact the 'marginal ride' was due to some as yet unknown unsoundness. This is a perfect time for a rider to say, "I think I'll save him for another day." Wisest words ever spoken.

Also, I *believe* traditionally, Show Jumping has always followed XC. It has only been in the last 15 years the switch has been made to have XC the last phase.

Janet
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:32 PM
Years ago, HTs were one-day events, not 3- or 4-day leisurely affairs like we have in CA now. You did SJ before XC and would therefore know how your horse is jumping before you attempted solid fences. Safer? Probably. That is how MOST of the HT in Area II run nowadays.

annikak
Nov. 7, 2006, 09:27 PM
I was thinking the same thing ;)

uh...me too!:eek: I thought Oh Dear God they're speaking of me! I may be timid, but...well...:o

ksbadger
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:44 PM
That is always the risk you take with an UNRECOGIZED event.

You also have the option (and responsibility), after you walk the course, of scratching ig you think it will hurt the horse's confidence.


Unless you're going GAG, you also have the option of dropping down a level. I was helping at an unrecognized show this weekend and that is exactly what several riders did - a couple in both Novice & Training. Events are unrecognized for a lot of reasons - not least of all cost here in the "flyover country" where there just aren't the numbers of competitors to support all the overheads.

One other reason I've seen is the BNT who so overschools/micromanages his students that they can not judge for themselves the degree of difficulty of a particular course or jump. The only saving grace is that the students often don't seem to have the usual eventer get up & go such that they just won't enter if the BNT is not present.

west5
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:48 PM
I left one trainer in part because I was encouraged to move up before I had been prepared. Made me realize that I am the only one who truly has my own best interests in mind. In the end it is the rider who must say I will not go. (This is of a particular concern for juniors because they might not have the maturity to stand up to their adult trainer.)

I just recently watched a well known local trainer encouraging two students to "galllop" from the warmup area straight into the stadium ring!!:eek: There were a large number of horses surrounding the in-gate and it was incredibly dangerous. All of those involved were ADULTS (at least over 35 as far as I could tell). This was at an otherwise well run recognized event. Everyone was talking about it but no one (not officials/trainers/riders) actually said anything.

Even if you don't have a trainer it is important to find one friend who will tell you the truth, but you must be willing to hear it.

Also, I think there is a big difference between scary/dangerous and some beginner riders who may put in an awkard or less than "pretty" ride but are on a "kind packer" who will help them learn.

nc_eventer
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:40 PM
I was petrified that I would show up for my Training debut and everyone would gasp at all my fences, or whisper wondering what the hel# i was doing at this level. I pretty much am on my own with occasional insight from an experienced friend. I tried to make sure I was as prepared as could be. I felt that I would be bored at Novice again. So we moved up and I have the whole show on film- we were 3rd after dressage :) 2 rails in stadium- sigh my fault- and double clear XC! Woohoo! Dante felt awesome XC he loved it! The jumps were finally worthy of an effort from him- he tucked his knees so nicely! But our SJ was pretty much on the wrong lead the entire time.
I am overall feeling like it was the way a moveup should be, safe, fun and room for improvement.
There were some prelim riders that I saw showjumping and I was shocked! The horses were cross firing and on the wrong lead and looked so out of balance around the course- they would chip in, take a flyer in just very inconsistent and looking very kamikaze. They were practically galloping and the rider's positions were nonexistent. I only saw 4-5 OP, but still I figured it would be more finessed or something. I don't know...maybe people are too focused on the height being the deciding factor of what level they compete instead of the technical questions asked....
OTOH, There are always the little kids running a level above you with lovely position that makes you green!

denny
Nov. 8, 2006, 07:47 AM
For 45 years I`ve seen the exact same thing at events at all levels. A few really good riders, the great majority pretty good, and a few really terrible riders who you watch with your "heart in your throat", they are so at risk.
For 45 years the USEA has struggled with the question of how to prevent such bad riding and bad judgement, to not much avail.
Same thing with driving your car, some idiot goes flying by at 85, weaving all over the road. Same thing, no doubt in sports like skiing, fast, dangerous sports.
Maybe we simply can`t legislate common sense. God knows the USEA (and the sport as a whole) tries, with its ICP programs, and clinics all around the USA given by riders at the top of the sport. When have you ever gone to a clinic given by a good instructor and heard the command, "Race at the jump as fast as you can make your horse gallop, make sure your stirrups are too long, lean forward, look down, let your lower leg slip back, and hurl your body even more forward just at the moment of takeoff."
Never, obviously. Yet that`s what we see every single time we attend an event, a few of those riders. Where did they learn that?
Yes, we as a sport need to figure better ways to educate, but how we get through to those who don`t want to be told they aren`t doing it right is an enormous challenge, and one that has been addressed and addressed, time and again.

JSwan
Nov. 8, 2006, 07:55 AM
denny - I used to just do little BN/N horse trials - so I really have no business commenting. But I can't help myself.

I think that there are way too many "trainers" out there who have no business teaching. I think it's time to treat trainers like the professionals they are - and that means they need to be certified and educated - and this hurts to say this - regulated.

I don't know how, and I'm not a fan of government getting in our business. It's just that in eventing, and other sports, I have seen a LOT of instructors who are just plain scary. And they produce scary riders.

Ja Da Dee
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:44 AM
Personally, I don't think we can regulate trainers. We can put into place the system and encourage the use of it, but a rider can't be forced to bring a trainer to an event, so any regulations would be pointless. People would train with whomever they choose and attend the shows by themselves. Also, many eventers ride with multiple trainers, and around here, you need to school cross country with whatever trainer is allowed to teach at the facilities that have cross country courses. I took last year off of eventing because I didn't want to school with a different XC coach than I jump with at home. I'm superexcited for next year because she's been approved to teach at a local facility that has a really nice xc course.

FrittSkritt
Nov. 8, 2006, 09:13 AM
Point being - sometimes crap happens out on course. I don't think there was anyway to predict beforehand that on that course, that day, the horse was going to make a bid for it. What I'm trying to say is that sometimes, no matter how well you are prepared, things happen you don't predict in the midst of being on course: your horse may get a moment of unprecedented yee-haw, you can just plain whiff at a distance, or you can have a moment where your instincts go wrong and you cluck instead of whoa or take one tug too many going into a combination. It happens to all of us. And it can happen despite having consistently good training and being properly prepared for the test.

I agree with that and can understand a few blips on course - it happens to the best of us. But at the same time, if a rider is consistently leaving out strides and making the jump judges run for the hills time after time, then *that's* clearly an issue that needs to be addressed. As a frequent volunteer and scorer, there have been several occasions where fellow jump judges will radio in if a rider is either punishing his/her horse excessively or exhibiting dangerous riding, and the TDs have spoken to said riders afterwards. In one case, a rider was DQed (not eliminated, disqualified) for reckless riding. :eek:

pwynnnorman
Nov. 8, 2006, 10:30 AM
What I'm for is simply raising awareness (among riders and trainers alike). A lot assumptions are made about what goes on in the minds of those two groups. In the real world beyond horses, issue resolution is neither achieved, nor even merely enhanced, by relying on assumptions. And raising awareness is a strategy with solid tactics behind it that work for any endeavor, whether the issue is flu shots, donating blood, or domestic violence.

Practically speaking, good, bad and indifferent trainers all get extremely busy. In today's world, it is possible to get very, very tunnel-visioned, too. We only see the road to the immediate goal; things happened alongside that (from overfaced horses or riders to riders who have never managed to learn what a tired horse feels like) can be easily overlooked. A campaign to raise awareness about specific aspects of horsemanship that can improve the safety of the sport may be just the ticket right now. Indeed, I'm reminded of the efforts made last year which were apparently designed to raise awareness (and educate) the membership about head injuries.

magnolia73
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:14 AM
"Race at the jump as fast as you can make your horse gallop, make sure your stirrups are too long, lean forward, look down, let your lower leg slip back, and hurl your body even more forward just at the moment of takeoff."

They did not learn that. They learn from lazy instructors who have no clue what they are looking for. I used to ride with a woman who was like that. "Great, now jump that. Great now jump that. Great now jump that. Ooops...try again. Great now jump that." I just rode with her out of convenience and for extra saddle time- I knew the money was wasted, but if you can imagine, she was teaching young, inexperienced riders with unknowledgable parents.

I know there was a topic here recently with a poster concerned about an unsafe young rider who was falling while jumping due to poor technique. I'd say 90% of us said MYOB. Frankly, I think when experienced people see incompetent coaching, they need to speak up if they want any change. I think most can see a difference between someone who screws up but has a good coach, and someone who screws up and has a bad coach.

asterix
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:27 AM
I agree with most of what's been said -- I, too, have seen awful rides, and I, too, don't see how we can realistically AND effectively "regulate" either trainers or the ability of clueless or willful students to learn...

but we could perhaps implement some small additional measures at competitions to prevent some subset of premature "moveups" (or perhaps even give organizers the opportunity to refuse entry to a pair that has been deemed unsafe at the current level)...
Three things already happen at both unrec and rec trials I have worked at, which we could tap into for this:
1. Stadium judges see, and note, riders that are truly scary. In some cases they radio over to XC to give them a very strong head's up (or let the TD/GJ know)

2. Stadium judges have some discretion about allowing riders to go on if they have been eliminated -- so if you miss a fence due to brain fart but have a nice round, they can let you know you can go out on XC even if you are eliminated...but if you get E'd in SJ because you couldn't keep the horse from running past elements in a combination, the judge will tell you you are NOT allowed to run XC....so they are making judgement calls there already.

3. Riders are routinely "flagged" over the walkie talkies as they are on XC for looking dicey -- jump judges, or warmup, or control, will radio in to watch #39 carefully.

Why not institute a system where if one of these three things happens to a rider at a horse trial, it is officially noted and the competitor is notified after the competition? Then if you have more than one competition with this sort of caution on your record, it will not count towards a qualifying moveup ...or organizers have the right to refuse your entry at that level (but perhaps not the level below?) if you have more than one caution on your record?

Flame away! Just a proposal, probably a dumb one, but it is SO hard to watch these rides, and it does our sport no good every time someone careens around in public...

knz66
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:44 AM
Lets see, we went to, what 8 events this year. Didnt compete in all of them, but some... We didnt hear anything about any jump judge or TD DQ'ing a rider or judges giving warnings about dangerous rides.

I was a jump judge at 2 shows, Prelim & training levels - neither time did the organizers of the show mention we could do that.

Maybe thats where the problem lies. I know almost all shows have a hard time getting volunteers for the jump judges, but they need to be educated too.

Granted at prelim, I was only on jump 3, but when you see jump 1, and the horse stradles that jump, it tends to make you go Oh oh!!!!

Never once on the radio did I hear anyone comment on a rider. I heard, #214 barely clear over jump 15, but thats about it.

Maybe this is where it could start - let the jump judges know they can do more than just write down refusals & run outs.

ne900
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:53 AM
I've fence judged at several events and I do remember dangerous riding being discussed in our briefing. I've also heard specific riders being flagged during their rounds and at least one being pulled up for being too reckless.

Me, I have the opposite problem- I tend to get going too slow when I am nervous (more of an issue for me in stadium than in croos-country).

Kementari
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:54 AM
I think something like what asterix suggests is the only workable type of regulation (if anything is workable). People really do have plain ol' bad days, and that shouldn't be held against them - it's when they have MANY bad days in a ROW that one starts to think it's more than just bad luck! :lol:

Honestly, at our first event this spring, my stadium SUCKED. It in BIG way. I managed to put us at the wrong distance to pretty much every fence, had a refusal AND two rails, and spent altogether too much time crawling up my horse's neck. Luckily, my horse is a saint and saved my butt! :winkgrin: If someone had been able to say that based on iffy (not blatantly, we-can-all-agree-this-is-very-dangerous, just yikes-she-should-go-home-and-school-more) riding we weren't allowed to continue to XC, there's a good chance they would have.

But, well, it was just a bad day (my dressage that morning sucked, as well, though not as badly as the stadium!). We all have 'em, we just hope not to have 'em on competition day ;). Our XC the next day was lovely, clean, and not in the least gasp-worthy. The horse almost NEVER refuses (unless I do something really, terminally stupid), and in fact we had won our division (on our dressage score with a nice, correct, flowing stadium round) in a 2-phase the weekend before.

Maybe some sort of 3-strikes policy would be good: if at three events within, say, 12 months the TD/GJ finds your riding scary, you have to move down a level until you can do 3 events at that (lower) level that are NOT scary. Maybe for BN you just have to take, say, 3 months off (since you can't move down - recognized - from there).

Of course, to do that, we'd have to have a lot of rules about what constituted "scary" and then spend lots of time and money training our officials in those rules and their interpretation and implementation...

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:56 AM
Maybe this is where it could start - let the jump judges know they can do more than just write down refusals & run outs.


Coming from an organizer's perspective...that would be a nightmare. Most events....at least the one I organized and ones I've been involved in, have x-c stewards and a TD. That is their job. The x-c stewards are usually spread out on the course so that they can see several fences, the TD is usually around. Often they are connected with a different channel on the radio. In my experience...they are the ones keeping an eye on the riders (gawd I hope that I haven't been one of them) and watching them go around. It is why the stewards are typically experienced eventers or horsepeople--where often, many of your jump judges (but not all) are not.

deltawave
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:06 PM
Since a jump judge can be anyone from someone's grandma to a veteran rider to Susie's next door neighbor, aged 12, I hesitate to put that kind of responsibility in their hands.

However, IF a jump judge is known to be experienced, perhaps they could be assigned more of an "oversight" role, watching a series of fences, perhaps and responding to a "heads up" that scary riders are on course.

Also the role of Safety Officer could perhaps be expanded in this regard. You'd have to change the job description slightly, though.

fargonefarm
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:08 PM
Many times the jump judges on XC are people with little experience who have simply volunteered (bless their hearts:) ) to help out with the event. I don't think leaving it to them to judge "unsafe" riding would be very wise. This should be up to the discretion of the TD and jump stewards. I just wish more TD's were more proactive about their duties. It's been kind of gnawing at me lately, but sometimes I don't feel that TD's are agressive enough regarding unsafe/dangerous riding. And I really, really hope it's not because they're afraid of pissing someone off, i.e. a BNT, parent, etc.

knz66
Nov. 8, 2006, 01:14 PM
Yes, I can see the nightmare that could happen.

Well then I guess we need to start complaining to the TD's & stewards to get up off the golfcarts and do SOMETHING then, huh?

All the ones I see are so busy smoozing, gossiping, talking, that I bet they dont see 1/2 the stuff they are suppose to.

Heinz 57
Nov. 8, 2006, 07:58 PM
There is a junior in my area that started with my old trainer - I had been a working student for about 5 years at that point, so I helped out with the lessons. I very clearly remember her first lesson, she and her friend started the same day. This was maybe.... four years ago at most?

Fast forward to this year and last year. She is no longer with my old trainer (no hard feelings on any count). She is attempting to compete recognized training, and I use the word attempting because at every event she's completed, she's had refusals on XC and rails in stadium - and she has been eliminated at least two or three times this season and last season. I walked her xc course with her at her mother's request earlier this year, and she lacks quite a bit of the basic, foundation-building knowledge. Couldn't walk strides with me, wasn't sure of approaches, took no notice of footing and ground changes, just basically knew that you go from fence #1 to fence #2, and you get the horse over the jumps. Can't see distances, and to add to the mix has a hot Selle Francais/Arab/mix that rockets around and hangs her knees dangerously at times. I haven't watched her ride a course, stadium or XC, in the last three years that hasn't made me cringe, hold my breath, and gasp. No telling if it is the rider or the mom that thinks it is a good idea to be competing at training... but those of us that know the pair have our suspicions.


My point is this: with the way the sport is judged, it is impossible to catch all these horse/rider combos that are consistently proving that they aren't ready for the level. And if we change the way we are judged, we change the sport. So until we can figure out a way to weed out the consistently hairy horse/rider combinations, we're stuck holding our breath...

and FWIW, I offer as much assistance as I can to the above-mentioned junior. The coursewalk with her was just a small fragment of the time I spent watching and offering advice that weekend - even though I was riding my greenie and should probably have spent the time hacking him around since it was his first HT.

Caroline Weber
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:19 PM
Well then I guess we need to start complaining to the TD's & stewards to get up off the golfcarts and do SOMETHING then, huh?

All the ones I see are so busy smoozing, gossiping, talking, that I bet they dont see 1/2 the stuff they are suppose to.

I guess you've never met any good TDs then.

bigdreamer
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:59 PM
at an event this summer the stadium judge gave 25 penalty points to someone with a heart-in-your-throat ride for the purpose of showing the USEA doesn't advocate that kind of riding.

i never knew they could do that... and sitll haven't actually checked if they can, but they did.

ksbadger
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:09 AM
We can put into place the system and encourage the use of it, but a rider can't be forced to bring a trainer to an event, so any regulations would be pointless. People would train with whomever they choose and attend the shows by themselves.

Guess that's the difference in trainers. At the usual Sunday morning post mortem after last weekend's show, the organizer (who's a fellow Brit) told how he'd been asked by one of his students how he thought a certain jump should ride. "I told him he's been doing it long enough now he should know how to ride it. I wouldn't be much of an instructor if I hadn't taught him by now". As I've said in my previous post, I've seen the opposite (Trainer does everything to the extent that pupil doesn't know when they're wrong).

Maybe we should hold stadium first as a filter for XC - although this is counter to the majority of events that put it as the classic final phase.

asterix
Nov. 9, 2006, 01:13 AM
Brock, here in area II the majority of our events are held with SJ first.
And to put my idea of SJ judges warning XC about dangerous rides in perspective, I was just scribing at our unrecog. event last weekend. We had a good slate of T and BN riders in our ring, and I would say out of all of them, the SJ judge radioed over the XC about 1, or maybe 2. Of those I know one was eliminated and I think the other retired on XC.

Y'all are right that many jump judges aren't qualified to pick out dangerous riding -- on reflection that should clearly be the job of someone more "guaranteed" experienced.

But certainly, at the events I work at, it DOES get noticed, and sometimes the rider IS spoken to. But that is as far as it goes, and I would imagine at least some of those riders blow this sort of warning off. So I was just thinking it would be nice to have a way to capture this info over time -- 4 scary Training rides that had the TD hovering over her walkie talkie wondering whether to stop the rider on course can look JUST the same on paper as 4 solid runs that qualify a rider to move up to P.

Ought to be a way to tap into that somehow.

poopoo
Nov. 9, 2006, 01:39 AM
You all are missing something - these scary riders are not the fatalities in the sport. They always seem to make it around, somehow, even though we cringe. The fatal accidents are happening to good riders on good horses - case in point: Amanda Warrington, Keith Taylor, etc., etc.. Christopher Reeves was at a little 2 1/2 foot little nothing vertical in Virginia - I saw the fence..... This is just the nature of the beast regardless of precautions. You're dealing with 1200 lbs. flying through the air with you or landing on top of you. Have you actually heard of frangible pins saving lives, horses or humans?

pwynnnorman
Nov. 9, 2006, 06:54 AM
I've lost track of the thrust of this thread, but I had the feeling it wasn't about fatalities, but just bad riding.

denny
Nov. 9, 2006, 06:59 AM
What we`re doing here is kicking around various ideas to make dangerous riding less acceptable. What they say about these kinds of discussions is to get all kinds of thoughts "on the table", and then see if anything really seems plausible.
One comment from the Mia thread was to make 3 stops mandatory elimination. That has merit, doesn`t it? 3 stops means it`s not your day, you won`t place, and your horse is clearly saying that he isn`t in the game, at least this day.
Maybe we (meaning USEA) could take it a step further. If you get eliminated because of 3 stops some number of times in a season (2? 3?), then you will not be permitted to compete that horse at that level again until you`ve had x number of clear rounds at the next lower level. Or something like this to get those really scarey riders to realize that what they do isn`t eventing, but something unacceptable.
This is just one idea. Keep them coming, and let`s make sure they get to the USEA if we can come up with something positive.

annikak
Nov. 9, 2006, 07:34 AM
. If you get eliminated because of 3 stops some number of times in a season (2? 3?), then you will not be permitted to compete that horse at that level again until you`ve had x number of clear rounds at the next lower level. .

I like that idea, but do stops always = dangerous riding?

I like the idea I stated before a lot- Dangerous riding gets a "ticket" and effective right then, no shows for a time- Month or 6 weeks maybe? If you have entries paid, tough. Money goes into the education fund. The fine- maybe 250.00? Goes into the fund, too. Then at the education forums that I personally hope take off, it will be a discussion.

asterix
Nov. 9, 2006, 08:05 AM
poopoo, we aren't really talking about preventing fatalities here (although I could swear I'd read a report about the frangible pins preventing a fall of horse in England??), but dealing with the scary rides you see at the lower levels in particular.
People usually make it around on those scary rides, but I know personally a couple of people who've had crashes (one involving horse and rider sent to hospital) due to being seriously underprepared or overconfident at that level, and I think we all agree it's bad for the sport for this to be a regular part of competitions (oh, here comes another scary ride!)....


Flutie, denny, what's the best way for nobodies to float ideas for the dangerous riding forum (or other apprppriate venue?). There is the genesis of an idea here with my "warning" and annikak's "ticket" and so on...

ksbadger
Nov. 9, 2006, 08:08 AM
Anni,
Around here stopping people for a month could equate to banning them for the season - not all Areas have the depth in the Calendar of the East Coast.

Being proactive, I remember from when we lived in Quebec that there were a lot of low-cost clinics prior to the season that tried to ensure that people and horses were of a sufficient skill level. The CEF passport which records all rides above a certain level also helps ensure that experience is both sufficient & current.

Agreed that fatalities can occur out of the blue (although my business of aircraft testing makes you realise that there is not one single cause for any accident) but reduction in injuries for eventers as a whole should be our goal. It's in all our interests to make our sport as safe as possible and ensuring that combinations are prepared & ready for a given level (even GAG) must be one - but not the only one - of the thrusts do that.

annikak
Nov. 9, 2006, 08:31 AM
Anni,
Around here stopping people for a month could equate to banning them for the season - not all Areas have the depth in the Calendar of the East Coast.

Being proactive, I remember from when we lived in Quebec that there were a lot of low-cost clinics prior to the season that tried to ensure that people and horses were of a sufficient skill level. The CEF passport which records all rides above a certain level also helps ensure that experience is both sufficient & current.

Agreed that fatalities can occur out of the blue (although my business of aircraft testing makes you realise that there is not one single cause for any accident) but reduction in injuries for eventers as a whole should be our goal. It's in all our interests to make our sport as safe as possible and ensuring that combinations are prepared & ready for a given level (even GAG) must be one - but not the only one - of the thrusts do that.

True- And I would think in the areas where there are fewer events, dangerous riding might be even more an issue, as there might not be the depth of talent teaching, nor the exposure in a competitive situation. I have no idea if that is true or not, just musing....

I do like the passport system (Yes I know the issues...)

Its your last paragraph that hits the nail on the head- I believe. That is the inherent problem, along with the goal- Awareness.

Seems as if some have their "eyes wide shut"

From a very VERY personal standpoint, I have "issues" that made my balance all but go down the tubes 3 years ago. And, I stopped riding, at least jumping. (OKay, I was forced to stop for about...god, don't remember, don't want to remember) You can tell in the pictures before I realized it, as I was more off to one side. I also could not see a spot, as i did not know that my vision had drastic changes because it happened so slowly. Now, I never got called for Dangerous riding, but *I* knew something was amiss. I don't think that can actually be taught. But, in lookling at the whole picture- it was obvious. I did not have stops, falls, nothing to indicate to the outside world that things were not "great" but- well, all this mush to say- it does come down to the rider. And having been on this earth for over 40 years gave me some wisdom to stop and think (and get to a MD! ;) ) Lots of PT, I am okay'er now, and feel that I am okay at my level. I guess, though, if someone saw me being "unsafe" I would want them to say something.

So...really, we know the problem, we need an answer, so as Denny said...keep 'em comin'!

Avra
Nov. 9, 2006, 09:09 AM
Maybe, if you are cited for dangerous riding in a given year, you are automatically disqualified for any year end awards/ ATCs/ AECs/ etc. for USEA?

Maybe for YRs/ Amateurs, have more sportsmanship/ horsemanship awards? Just to put out a "yeah, we did notice" vibe. Or even have a special competition kind of like the YEH one, where the rider is scored and having a fancy moving horse is not rewarded?

At certain events, give bonus points (which are then subtracted from your score) for good eq in stadium--I know USPC does this for Showjumping, the best riders get up to one? fault subtracted.

For upper levels (Prelim+) a steward/ ground jury might have to "approve" your ride the first time you compete, and approve any rides at events you use as three day qualifiers? But I imagine the logistics of this would be a real headache.

Kementari
Nov. 9, 2006, 10:04 AM
Two thoughts:

1) I don't like any sort of one-strike-and-out policy, for reasons I cited earlier. Everyone, horse and human, has a bad ride once in awhile. People I know who are EXCELLENT riders and horse(wo)men occasionally put in a round that makes me go :eek:. Setting someone down for the occasional bloop is a much wider net than I would want to cast, which is why I suggested X number of citations (however that ends up being defined) in Y amount of time is what gets you in trouble. (Though it could be that I'm defining "dangerous riding" more broadly than others are - certainly there is a threshold where it is really, REALLY dangerous and more than just a bad day, but I see that only on VERY rare occasions, and usually it IS penalized.)

2) I don't think banning someone from competing altogether for X amount of time is necessarily productive. Not only can that knock out a whole season for someone in a less-populated area, but it doesn't necessarily mean they'll have LEARNED anything when they get to come back. I think knocking them down a level until they prove they can cut it at that lower level is more, I guess, educational (for lack of a better word). Once they get down to BN, perhaps taking a time-out would be in order if they can't even make it there. Maybe even having to prove they have competed safely in a couple of unrec events before they can move back to rec? The paperwork there would be a nightmare, though...

Whisper
Nov. 9, 2006, 10:34 AM
Maybe we (meaning USEA) could take it a step further. If you get eliminated because of 3 stops some number of times in a season (2? 3?), then you will not be permitted to compete that horse at that level again until you`ve had x number of clear rounds at the next lower level.

I *am* pretty inexperienced at eventing, and at showing in general. So, we've stuck to unrecognized HT's and schooling H/J and dressage shows this season while I get some miles. I try hard to be careful, and so far I haven't felt overfaced.

The horse I lease is really sticky about one particular water jump at one particular venue (he's been fine with water elsewhere). Since it is a schooling show, and they wanted to encourage people to give the water option a try, they decided not to count any refusals there. Our first time (http://groups.msn.com/BAENAddicts/whisper.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=12827) attempting it, it took 4 tries to get through, and the 3rd HT there (http://www.agilchrist.photosite.com/CullCanyonOct06/?page=9), it took 3 attempts. I don't feel I was riding dangerously, and he just kind of stalled out and then tried to duck out or back up, no dirty slam-on-the-brakes tactics. :) You can click on the links to see my position and how he was handling it (within the limits of still photography).

So, that would be twice in one season at *unrecognized* BN. At our second HT there, he only had one stop at the water, and usually he's just fine. I don't think dropping down to Elementary would be necessary, just because he dislikes that particular water.

Many areas don't have any or very many unrecognized HTs. If someone else was having similar issues with water or some such at BN, but wasn't unsafe, I think that setting them down an extended period of time might be overkill. Likewise, there are plenty of horses who can get around clean in spite of dangerous riding. Some of them can even do so at Training instead of just BN.

kcooper
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:00 AM
I am suspicious of a system of fines for a couple of reasons: 1) People react differently to fines -- some with anger, some with shame, some with simple economic fear 2) A fine does not educate anyone, it simply punishes them.

Most of this stuff is occurring at the lower levels and I tend to believe has more to do with lack of education than with lack of caring.

I think that if someone is riding dangerously, the best thing to happen would be for them to be required to meet with the ground jury (or some sort of panel of at least three people) and discuss what they were doing. This would provide a couple of things that a system of fines, penalty points or "banishment" does not 1) It would allow the ground jury to discern whether this a problem with attitude or a lack of education 2) It would allow a person to defend themselves, which is a necessary component to ANY system that maintains the ongoing respect of the people it governs 3) It would allow the ground jury to explain to the person, HOW the competitor appeared to others and how their riding might harm them or their horse and 4) It would show to all other competitors that these things are being taken seriously and may help other people check their own dangerous riding.

I suggest a panel of three people because this is in many ways a small community and no one likes to be the "bad guy." Also, it is always good to have more than one person evaluate the demeanor and attitude of an individual. And, the concensus of a group is usually given more credibility than the opinion of one individual.

tuppysmom
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:17 AM
Disclaimer: I am not a rider, but I am a watcher. My other family members are riders, though.

I had some spare time while in England this summer, so I read their rule book. One thing that popped out at me is the rule regarding watches. Riders at Novice, (our prelim), are not allowed to wear watches on XC. So, I would think that they would have to learn what speed they are going and maybe, just maybe, learn the appropriate speed to approach the different questions that each jump presents.

Many US riders have it in their minds that they must make the time, no matter what.

I did not see the wrecks at the jump at Galway, but I have seen a number of horses "turn over". Too much speed on the approach to a jump that asks the question of "can you shorten your stride" is a common theme.

HT Mom
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:26 AM
I have worked as a jump judge and SJ ring steward a lot the past couple of years at the CHP. One thing I have noticed this year is the TDs and ground jury members are watching how the rounds go and are talking with the riders (especially at the lower levels) when they feel they are riding dangerously. In several cases the riders did not realize they were going too fast.

Anyway, encouraging the TDs and ground jury members to watch the rides and to talk with the riders is something I think we should as the USEA to do.

Also, talk with the jump judges and have them comment on riders that they feel are riding dangerously at their jump. If 2-3 or more jump judges make this comment, then have the TD talk with the rider.

A rider is put on notice with the USEA for abuse to their mount, can't we put them on notice for dangerous riding as well?

I like the idea of asking them to move down if they have so many stops on course. The TD should have to talk with the rider and put in a report if there are more than 3 stops on course.

I know I am suggesting a lot of work for the TD or ground jury, but having them do this instead of the organize would avoid anyone saying that the local HT does not like them.

RiverBendPol
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:40 AM
I think alot of these ideas hold merit but I am concerned that they are adding a whole 'nother level of responsibility to volunteers who are already over burdened. Adding a new ticket-giving-watchdog-committee to each event means finding even more volunteers, these having to be fairly savvy in the game of eventing. Ultimately, the onus is on us, the riders. Nobody's job but our own to make sure we are doing our best, the best for our horses. The more talk, writing, discussing of safety issues, the better off we'll all be. A lot of new rules probably won't make a lot of difference and will surely change the face of the sport we love so well.

I think banning a horse and rider combo for bad riding is not a good idea bc often times, as written somewhere recently on these boards, the Event IS the schooling. We can take lessons 8 days a week and still never 'get' what we 'get' on an actual competion course. I do think 3 stops on course is a great idea. By the time you've had 3 stops, if you haven't figured it out on your own by then, it IS time to go home! To me, if your horse has 3 stops, one or both of you are going backwards and should not be out on course.

Another quick thought-I know we, as jump judges, wear matching t-shirts, but how about if jump judges/stewards/TDs wore really bright red or orange pinneys and had big flags (bigger than a hankie)? That way when there's a hold on course or a rider needs to be stopped, the person doing the stopping is really obvious to a rider who's blowing along at 550 mpm. I know I've almost missed a hold bc of not noticing the flag person (because she didn't have a flag!) When you're blasting along, in the hoofbeats, in the breathing, eye and mind on the next corner combination, noticing a little girl saying,"Stop, please stop, there's a hold on course" is not always easy!

I clearly don't have the answers but I do like the 3 stops idea and I do like the discussion and I WISH I could be there in St. Louis...........

pwynnnorman
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:53 AM
I like Denny's ideas, but I would tweak them a bit. In Germany, I hear, you have to qualify every step of the way. What if we took that and added the possibility is DISqualifying?

What is a good measure of "control" that's out there? I think time is. What if you had to qualify for the next level by having x-number of clear x-c and stadium rounds that were within z-range of the optimum time for courses (with automatic disqualification if you are seen circling)? Wouldn't that then imply that you know pace and have control?

And then what if having x-number of x-c or stadium jump or time faults in a z-month time period could knock you out of that level and back into a lower one? This is sure an example of trying to legislate correctness (since the qualifications and disqualifications are only what a good rider/trainer would probably do anyway), but I'm just throwing it out for thought.

One thing I wanted to add was that, given the huge number of entries being experienced, perhaps there is now a wide enough base of support for the sport that holding people back won't hurt it's economics?

Speedy
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:53 AM
I do think 3 stops on course is a great idea. By the time you've had 3 stops, if you haven't figured it out on your own by then, it IS time to go home! To me, if your horse has 3 stops, one or both of you are going backwards and should not be out on course.


That is not necessarily true in the case of green horses. Green horses stop to have a look at new fences and new questions...even when introduced to them at the lowest possible level and by the best kind of rider...it just goes with the territory. There is BIG distinction between a rider that is having stops due to unsafe riding and the rider that is riding safely and having stops while schooling a green horse around a new course.

That is why I would support move-up requirements even at the lowest levels, rather than bans or other similar penalties at the level...and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that riders can be pulled from xc under current rules if they are riding unsafely, regardless of the number of stops that they've had.

Kementari
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:03 PM
So, that would be twice in one season at *unrecognized* BN. At our second HT there, he only had one stop at the water, and usually he's just fine. I don't think dropping down to Elementary would be necessary, just because he dislikes that particular water.

Many areas don't have any or very many unrecognized HTs. If someone else was having similar issues with water or some such at BN, but wasn't unsafe, I think that setting them down an extended period of time might be overkill. Likewise, there are plenty of horses who can get around clean in spite of dangerous riding. Some of them can even do so at Training instead of just BN.

What if the penalty was only if you had stops at multiple jumps? Even the safest of pairs will, on occasion, meet a jump that for some reason they just aren't getting, whether because of rider error or horse fear (or a combo thereof). But if you manage to have stops at three (or five, at this point) DIFFERENT fences, then really you just aren't ready. So rather than penalizing the three-stops-at-one-fence eliminations, penalize the five-stops-on-the-course ones.

On the other hand, perhaps we DO want to say that if a pair is sooo sticky about a fence that they cannot get over it even in three tries then they need to step back, do some schooling, and try something a bit easier. I mean, I certainly wouldn't take a horse to a recognized event with a water jump who was scared of the water, and though I do know plenty of people who DO do so, I'm not sure that's what we want to be encouraging. Schooling should happen at home and at UNrecognized events, right?

Interesting questions...

Too Old for Pony Club
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:16 PM
What IS the USEA (or USEF) rule on stops?

Here in Canada, on cross country your third refusal at a particular obstacle, or your fourth refusal total results in elimination. In stadium, below Training level, your third refusal is elimination and at Training and higher, your second refusal is elimination.

If you are eliminated in any phase you must have permission from the GJ or Organizer to proceed to the other phases (an example--a friend of mine had a brain fart on cross country and skipped a jump. She was held; the jump judge radioed in, and she was given permission to finish the course and then show jump, as she wasn't dangerous, just forgetful!).

For falls; you get two rider falls PER DAY. And that includes warm-ups. So if you fall off in stadium warm-up and stadium, you don't go cross country.

Our Canadian Pony Club rules are similar, with only one rider fall per phase permitted (so if you come off in cross country warm-up, you're not jumping cross-country).

Now, we don't really have the recognized vs. unrecognized circuit up here. We have sanctioned vs. unsanctioned shows, but under our rules, carded officials aren't permitted at unsanctioned shows (so no licenced judges, no TD, no licenced course designers). So, in Ontario, I know of only ONE unsanctioned horse trial--and I know we don't go because I'm not willing to take kids to a show without licenced officials.

Maybe a similar rule for stops on cross country should be adopted in the States? Three stops at one jump or four total makes it pretty clear that your day is pretty much done. We also have rules penalizing jumping from a standstill as a refusal for obstacles with height (so you can dither at a water entry or a drop), which are intended to encourage safe riding--you can't stop and jump from a standstill without penalty, so you might as well represent safely.

denny
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:18 PM
Two thoughts:
1. Under a "3 stops anywhere on course equals immediate mandatory retirement" rule, might not the recent tragedy have been averted?
2. Legal or not, I know that at some of the unsanctioned events here in northern New England, there is a secret "blacklist" against really dangerous riders. The organizers often know who these few riders are, or are warned by other organizers, and simply don`t accept those entries.

Badger
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:22 PM
Two thoughts:
1. Under a "3 stops anywhere on course equals immediate mandatory retirement" rule, might not the recent tragedy have been averted?


Not necessarily. In this situation, the rider was already eliminated under the current rules and should not have been attempting another jump. The rules had already kicked in to stop her, but the tragedy still occurred.

pegasusmom
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:41 PM
Denny - I think that list exists "on a higher level" as well. I know there is a watch list perhaps unofficial. . .

I think it needs to be emphasized again that stops don't necessarily equate to dangerous riding. As an organizer, I'd rather see 4 stops XC than the rider who barely skims in above the speed fault time, has a heart stopping SJ round and wins. . . (and yep, I saw that this past summer).

I'd like to see a yellow card red card system (like soccer), and I'd like to see EV111 empower not just the ground jury, but the TD to act, and I'd like to see officials encouraged to use EV111 more.

Janet
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:47 PM
What IS the USEA (or USEF) rule on stops?

Here in Canada, on cross country your third refusal at a particular obstacle, or your fourth refusal total results in elimination. In stadium, below Training level, your third refusal is elimination and at Training and higher, your second refusal is elimination.
In the US, you are eliminated for the FIFTH total refusal on cross country.

In SJ, you are eliminated for the THIRD total refusla at all levels. But there is a rule change proposal to change it to 3.

4Martini
Nov. 9, 2006, 02:51 PM
So, I have to admit, I've only ever done one schooling horse trial.

I really want to do some this summer though and I'm thinking BN.

But, one of the things that holds me up is how far in advance you have to enter and decide what level you're doing. Maybe if they opened a window (at least at lower levels) 48-72 hours in advance or something where you could change your division it would allow people to not lose their entry fees etc, and still go, but at a lower level if they just were not feeling the right vibe. There seem to be a lot of posts on this forum of "well I'd like to move up to training and in 8 weeks do you think I'll be there..." If you could just enter the event in advance so they knew how many people were coming and could limit entries, but re-evaluate what level you wanted to do - say even the week before I think you would have less people going for it just because they entered at that level... (I'm not fully certain that you can't do this -but it does not look like from the entry forms I've seen.)

Invested1
Nov. 9, 2006, 03:16 PM
In SJ, you are eliminated for the THIRD total refusla at all levels. But there is a rule change proposal to change it to 3.

??

deltawave
Nov. 9, 2006, 03:18 PM
You can often, if not almost always move into a lower division if you ask the TD, even up to the day before the show. For one reason or another I have seen this done at many HTs...if someone was entered at Prelim but missed a couple of schools, for instance, bumping down to Training allows you to still have a run and not scratch. One can always ask! :)

Whisper
Nov. 9, 2006, 03:35 PM
On the other hand, perhaps we DO want to say that if a pair is sooo sticky about a fence that they cannot get over it even in three tries then they need to step back, do some schooling, and try something a bit easier... Schooling should happen at home and at UNrecognized events, right?

Like I said, he's usually fine with water. That particular jump is rather scary, and a lot of other horses had more trouble with it than we did. A couple even needed a lead from another horse. It *was* at an unrecognized event. :D I just recognize that not all areas have unrecognized events available, and think that having a little trouble with one particular fence shouldn't mean that the person needs to sit out the rest of the season.

Since it was an option, we could have skipped it, but I felt that going for it was a good idea. It's good practice, in a suitable environment, for learning how to handle "scary" things. He had to dither around a bit those two times (the second outing he was fine) before popping in, but he never felt ugly or dangerous about it. Normally he's so brave that we can't find "questions" that test him in that way.

At a different event, we did wind up almost getting pulled from XC, by my coach, because she felt I looked a little disoriented. I wasn't riding dangerously, but the heat and show nerves were getting to me. I agreed to start out trotting, and retire if I felt disoriented or started feeling worse while we were out there. I settled down on our way to the first fence, felt great by the third, and we finished XC slow but clean. I had several people compliment me on my riding that time, so I don't think we were giving anyone a heart attack on course. We can't simulate over 100 degree weather at home, or show nerves. If my coach had felt I wasn't up to it, I would of course have skipped it.

Janet
Nov. 9, 2006, 04:29 PM
In the US, you are eliminated for the FIFTH total refusal on cross country.

In SJ, you are eliminated for the THIRD total refusla at all levels. But there is a rule change proposal to change it to 3.
Sorry, I fat fingered that. The rule change proposal would change it to TWO refusals in SJ.

It is interesting that Jumpers has a rule change proposal to change it BACK from TWO to THREE for the lower levels (leaving it at TWO for the upper levels), on the grounds that young green horses benefit from the additional attempt.

Janet
Nov. 9, 2006, 04:32 PM
But, one of the things that holds me up is how far in advance you have to enter and decide what level you're doing. Maybe if they opened a window (at least at lower levels) 48-72 hours in advance or something where you could change your division it would allow people to not lose their entry fees etc, and still go, but at a lower level if they just were not feeling the right vibe.
Since most events do their scheduling before Wednesday (so they can post/email them on Wednesday), the previous weekend is the latest that it is reasonable to request a change.

After that, you can generally only switch if there is an "open slot"

Too Old for Pony Club
Nov. 9, 2006, 05:03 PM
Sorry, I fat fingered that. The rule change proposal would change it to TWO refusals in SJ.

It is interesting that Jumpers has a rule change proposal to change it BACK from TWO to THREE for the lower levels (leaving it at TWO for the upper levels), on the grounds that young green horses benefit from the additional attempt.

That's what we have (as mentioned earlier). Below Training, third stop=E, Training and up, second stop=E.

Back to the five stops. Can you have 4 at the SAME FENCE without getting eliminated? For us, the third at the same jump, or the fourth total is what results in elimination.

Anyone want to touch on the other rule I mentioned, where a cessation of forward motion followed by a jump is penalized as a stop for obstacles with height?

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 9, 2006, 05:23 PM
Back to the five stops. Can you have 4 at the SAME FENCE without getting eliminated? For us, the third at the same jump, or the fourth total is what results in elimination.




no you can not have 4 at same fence....5 total and 3 at one fence x-c is Elimination. I don't think a generic rule for stops on course is a good test for weeding out dangerous riders from eventing. A good rider on a green horse can have stops. Even with schooling, some youngsters might have issues and yet not be dangerous and need to be continuing on at that level (it could be a reason not to let them move up and is for new riders at Prelim). Often (but not always)...the really scary dangerous rides are not the rides having any stops.

Personally, I don't think you can or should legislate these things. I think it might be a good idea requiring attending a clinic or some certification process before begining eventing and I like the yellow card concept....but I get concerned when people start trying to pass rules to protect people from their own stupidity. You can't fix stupid. What you can do is educate and perhaps help those people learn who want to learn. That is the reason why as an organizer of a series of local clinics with a BNT, we don't charge auditors. My view is that is giving back to the eventing community. If someone can not afford a lesson or clinic--at least we are giving them a chance to watch and listen. But the really scary folks are typically not the folks that listen and not the folks that will learn anyway--for them, we just have to hope that TDs do their job and pull someone who looks dangerous.

annikak
Nov. 9, 2006, 05:37 PM
I think your "foreward motion" rule is how it is here- with height. If its a drop, as I understand it, that's okay.

What is the soccer red ticket? Perhaps tickets are an idea that might work. I *do* think that a fine might be a good idea, perhaps a small fine, but the pocketbook does talk. Maybe a step-ladder of fines. And I can totally understand why "one strike you're out" would not work...or at least be excessive in many areas.

We have something in place for excessive punishment with a fine. I just saw 1000.00 as the fine in Equestian Magazine!:eek: I bet that packs a punch!

I agree with HB's post- 1st the rider, and if a JR rider, the parents, or trainer that signs the back of the entry.

RBP's point is well taken- we cannot tax volunteers even more. We have a hard enought time getting people to even volunteer. To put them in the "hot seat" to enforce the rule would not work imho.

AND I agree with BFNE, you cannot protect people totally from themselves.

Another question- how many people actually get Dangerous riding points, anyway? Have you even heard of a rider getting them twice? I have not, so maybe all this for naught.

I think the education facet it an important one- how to bring that along, I clearly have no idea!

Janet
Nov. 9, 2006, 05:59 PM
That's what we have (as mentioned earlier). Below Training, third stop=E, Training and up, second stop=E.

Back to the five stops. Can you have 4 at the SAME FENCE without getting eliminated? For us, the third at the same jump, or the fourth total is what results in elimination.

Anyone want to touch on the other rule I mentioned, where a cessation of forward motion followed by a jump is penalized as a stop for obstacles with height?

Third stop at the same fence is elimination. Fifth over the whole XC course.

Loss of forward motion in front of a fence with height is a refusal. But with no height (e.g. drop or ditch) jumping from a halt is OK.

denny
Nov. 9, 2006, 06:24 PM
One big problem with education is getting at those who need it most. Back in the early 70s I was Area 1 chairman, and I thought that it would be great idea to combine a cross country design and building seminar with one of the Ledyard events, `73 or `75, one of those years.
Neal Ayer designed the course, Rick Newton built it, both the absolute tops in America at the time, and they agreed to teach the seminar.
We sent out dozens of invitations (Oh, by the way, it was free), and the organizers of the good events came, and the organizers of the not so good, or ,to be blunt, bad events didn`t show.
I was very disappointed, and I remember Neal saying not to worry, we tried, but you can`t force people to learn something they don`t want to learn.
There need not be bad event riders out there in this day and age. We have tons of excellent instructors, and clinics all across America. But if anyone has figured out how to get the people who need the help the most to actually avail themselves of it, I`d be darned interested to hear how!

annikak
Nov. 9, 2006, 06:47 PM
One big problem with education is getting at those who need it most. Back There need not be bad event riders out there in this day and age. We have tons of excellent instructors, and clinics all across America. But if anyone has figured out how to get the people who need the help the most to actually avail themselves of it, I`d be darned interested to hear how!
Indeed...

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 9, 2006, 07:02 PM
Education is tough. I can think a several different ways to that the USEA could (perhaps together with local CTAs) provide affordable clinics, instructional videos (for example there is a great vidoe Every Time Every Ride for helmet safety) and written materials....but even if you require a person to attend a clinic or watch a video (I'm thinking like Driver's Education--or punishment for DUIs)---you can't force a person to learn or force a person to recognize the dangers of their actions. And unfortunately, some people only learn their lessons the hard way.

pegasusmom
Nov. 9, 2006, 08:27 PM
[quote=annikak;1986840]What is the soccer red ticket? Perhaps tickets are an idea that might work. I *do* think that a fine might be a good idea, perhaps a small fine, but the pocketbook does talk. Maybe a step-ladder of fines. And I can totally understand why "one strike you're out" would not work...or at least be excessive in many areas.


You get a yellow card as a warning, red card means ejection from the game.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 10, 2006, 06:30 AM
I hope this isn't a duplicate post--I thought I posted this yesterday.


But if anyone has figured out how to get the people who need the help the most to actually avail themselves of it, I`d be darned interested to hear how!

I responded to this with "disqualification." It is actually a fairly proven way to get people to get the help they need if something they care about is involved (driving, graduating, employment, etc.). It also takes into account that "bad day" everyone can have. Isn't the problem when someone has one bad day after another? That "list" someone mentioned about folks organizers steer clear of would be a list of people at risk for getting disqualified at their current level.

What the criteria for disqualification would be, I'm not sure. It could work with the "ticket" idea, an "excessive faults" idea or even an "excessive speed" idea: have these things happen to you x-times in x-months and you can no longer compete at that level (on that horse). That way, if you can't solve the problem, or if whoever you are working with can't solve the problem, you need to find someone who can IF you want to continue. If you end up sliding all the way back to BN and get disqualified there, too -- well, it either just isn't the sport for you (or your horse) or you are one of those who refuse to get help and are an accident or lawsuit waiting to happen.

ksbadger
Nov. 10, 2006, 10:44 PM
In the spirit of putting out ideas - what about having a mandatory riders meeting before XC? - such a meeting is mandatory in motorsport so why not eventing. The organizers could go over the changes in the track or current footing problems if any and the TD cover any points they want.

EventerAJ
Nov. 10, 2006, 11:19 PM
In the spirit of putting out ideas - what about having a mandatory riders meeting before XC? - such a meeting is mandatory in motorsport so why not eventing. The organizers could go over the changes in the track or current footing problems if any and the TD cover any points they want.


There is a mandatory riders meeting Friday night before XC at 3-day events. Organizers, course designers, TD, officials, etc all attend and discuss the course with riders-- any possible changes, riders' concerns, technical rulings, etc. This is meant for the riders' safety, so they can have direct communication with the officials if there is something they feel is a potential problem. It is usually a productive, helpful meeting with everyone trying to create the best event possible. However, sometimes opposing viewpoints exist...riders considering themselves and their horses (and owners); organizers considering spectators and sponsors ($$$); officials concerned with the rulebook and FEI aspects. But it is a very important meeting where riders can really get their point across; one rider individually questioning an obstacle might get casual attention, but 40 riders complaining about jump #20's lighting and footing conditions...it carries more weight.

I don't see that this mandatory meeting is practical at horse trials--there's just too much going on. If you trailer in, you would probably not even be on grounds for a night-before meeting. Multiple rides and multiple phases within the same day make it difficult to free up that extra time to make it to the meeting. Do you have all levels at once? (LONG meeting for some events!) Different levels at different times? (what if you're in two far-apart divisions, BN and P?) It's hard enough to get everyone to show up to the competitors' party... how will you get them to a meeting? It's generally considered the rider's responsibility to stay up to date on course changes by listening to the announcer, or checking the scoreboard/secretary's office. I just don't see how a mandatory meeting will be realistic at most events-- too much happening in a short time frame. At three-days, it's a week long affair, usually only 1 or 2 levels, and most riders have grooms and help (to take care of the horse while rider attends various meetings, coursewalks, etc). At HTs, more people are running solo, and time is precious.

ksbadger
Nov. 11, 2006, 01:26 AM
I don't see that this mandatory meeting is practical at horse trials--there's just too much going on. If you trailer in, you would probably not even be on grounds for a night-before meeting. Multiple rides and multiple phases within the same day make it difficult to free up that extra time to make it to the meeting. Do you have all levels at once? (LONG meeting for some events!) Different levels at different times? (what if you're in two far-apart divisions, BN and P?) It's hard enough to get everyone to show up to the competitors' party... how will you get them to a meeting? It's generally considered the rider's responsibility to stay up to date on course changes by listening to the announcer, or checking the scoreboard/secretary's office. I just don't see how a mandatory meeting will be realistic at most events-- too much happening in a short time frame. At three-days, it's a week long affair, usually only 1 or 2 levels, and most riders have grooms and help (to take care of the horse while rider attends various meetings, coursewalks, etc). At HTs, more people are running solo, and time is precious.

More precious than your life? I'm not talking about a long drawn out session but a briefing in the order of 5 minutes max for each division and targeted on that division. As Denny has said education is key and if you can get the point across just before they go out on XC you've got the immediacy that might make all the difference. If, as I said, it's mandatory then you would just have to make time for it like the stadium course walk.

JER
Nov. 11, 2006, 02:16 AM
Endurance has all-important ride briefings on the night before the ride. I'm not sure if the meetings are mandatory (rides often require check-in the day before due to vetting) but I sure wouldn't want to miss one. The organizer talks about the course and the weather forecast and then the vet tells the riders what the values (respiration, pulse, etc.) are for the ride.

Endurance riders -- at least IME -- are even more anti-authoritarian than eventers. I'd say they border on anarchic but in a good way. Eventing, they told me, looked like fun but unfortunately, it also involved judges and who wants judges ruining your day? Yet they can show up for a ride meeting.

However, when a simple horse trial stretches over 3 days (or sometimes 4 in CA), having to get there a day early could be really expensive and time-prohibitive. A non-mandatory meeting for each level is probably a good idea, especially if the N/BN meetings are geared towards first-timers and youngsters.

RiverBendPol
Nov. 11, 2006, 07:31 AM
I don't see how a meeting can work for horse trials either but ... remember in the olden days when secretaries used to send out post cards with our times? Maybe they could go back to that practise and send letters of safety instruction. The letters obviously wouldn't have course updates per se, but would be a firm reminder of what is at stake out there once we leave the start box, what we need to keep in our heads as we go around the course. It could be a standard letter from the USEA with additions regarding the specific event written by that event's secretary. Send out to arrive on the Monday or Tuesday before the competition...

ksbadger
Nov. 11, 2006, 07:23 PM
Pol,
When was the last time you got a paper entry mailed to you? Around here it's all electronic & print off your own - want to bet how many would print the extra sheet? Conditions change anyway so prior notice wouldn't cover a lot of the important details like bad spots in footing, removed fences etc.

I think everyone's thinking the proposed mandatory meeting would be like a full 3 day - NO WAY! - a briefing immediately prior to the division's XC - 5 minutes MAX! No extra days or Secretary's time just a quick talk by the Safety Officer and/or TD - short & sweet!

RiverBendPol
Nov. 12, 2006, 09:54 AM
Brock,
Like I said, "...Letters obviously wouldn't have course updates per se..." which means they would not tell us about 'bad spots in footing'-THAT kind of thing is up to the competitor on the day. No, the letters I have in mind would say stuff like: OUR course is MAX, be ready to ride it. Your horse's well being comes first. Rules at OUR event are that if you have a total of 4 stops on course you are eliminated and are REQUIRED TO PULL UP IMMEDIATELY. We've had a lot of rain in the last 2 weeks, plan your ride accordingly. Eventing is serious business, you CAN get hurt, be smart, etc., etc.. We actually do get letters from events in Area 1. Groton House and GMHA come immediately to mind. I don't think it would be all that much of a hardship on the secretaries. Surely easier than a yellow/red card system or a 3 month ban or a new committee to patrol the course looking for bad riding. Hey, maybe the letter is in the packets. That's probably an even better idea.

I think for one day horse trials, the meeting idea is a no-go. I'm thinking specifically of one horse trial here in Area 1. The first Prelim dressage ride of the day goes down center line at 7 am. That horse generally enters the Show Jumping field by 7:45 and leaves the start box by 9. The last dressage ride starts somewhere around 2 PM. When is your XC briefing? Horses are shipping in and out all day. Some come in the night before, some arrive in time to get tacked up and go into the warm up. I don't see any meetings taking place.

Kementari
Nov. 13, 2006, 02:19 PM
I think everyone's thinking the proposed mandatory meeting would be like a full 3 day - NO WAY! - a briefing immediately prior to the division's XC - 5 minutes MAX! No extra days or Secretary's time just a quick talk by the Safety Officer and/or TD - short & sweet!

But what about people with horses in different divisions? That would add a whole new level of nightmare to the people doing times, if they had to schedule around that, too. And even if they DID manage it, what happens when a division is running late, and so times that previously didn't conflict suddenly do?

I also don't think a letter is the answer. The people out there being the scariest probably think they are plenty safe. Plus, think about how many people never even bother to read the RULEBOOK - would they really care about a PSA?

I think that if we are going to do anything, it has to involve penalties in some way, shape, or form. It can also involve education (which is a good thing!), but I really think the worst offenders won't care until you do something that actually affects their ability to compete. :no:

Janet
Nov. 13, 2006, 03:41 PM
Rules at OUR event are that if you have a total of 4 stops on course you are eliminated and are REQUIRED TO PULL UP IMMEDIATELY.I don't think an individual (recognized) event is allowed to "over-rule" the USEF rules that way.

Janet
Nov. 13, 2006, 03:45 PM
I'm not talking about a long drawn out session but a briefing in the order of 5 minutes max for each division and targeted on that division. But if the "5 minutes before each division" means before that division start Dressage, some of them are busy warming up, and some of them are not on the grounds yet.

If you mean 5 minutes before cross country starts, most of them are busy warming up for stadium.

ksbadger
Nov. 13, 2006, 09:44 PM
But if the "5 minutes before each division" means before that division start Dressage, some of them are busy warming up, and some of them are not on the grounds yet.

If you mean 5 minutes before cross country starts, most of them are busy warming up for stadium.

Janet,
As Denny said, education is the key. One of the principles of instruction is that what I tell you last is what you retain - so any briefing has to be just immediately before the phase we're most worried about - XC. Not sure quite what the meaning of your second paragraph is - if you mean a lot of riders are warming up over the stadium jumps, well quite a few would do a lot better to cut down on the number of efforts they subject their horse to - if it and they don't know how to jump by then ....

Fighter pilots consider the time used in a pre-mission briefing well spent why don't we?

Janet
Nov. 13, 2006, 10:42 PM
Janet,
Not sure quite what the meaning of your second paragraph is - if you mean a lot of riders are warming up over the stadium jumps, well quite a few would do a lot better to cut down on the number of efforts they subject their horse to - if it and they don't know how to jump by then ....

What I was referring to was the schedule used at most of the HT around here, with a scant half hour between SJ and XC. So, if Dressage starts at 8, SJ at 9:30, and XC at 10, there are very few riders who will be available for a meeting at 9:50. Must of them will be
Still riding dressage
getting ready for SJ
rushing from SJ to XC.

You might get one or two who have finished Dressage and have not yet headed over to SJ, but not many.

If you could get them to change the overall schedule, more power to you. But I am not holding my breath.

ksbadger
Nov. 14, 2006, 12:44 AM
What I was referring to was the schedule used at most of the HT around here, with a scant half hour between SJ and XC.

Janet,
My apologies - I didn't realize how tight your timing is - around here the majority of events are still on the leisurely 2 day schedule with few competitors with more than one ride in the day. I agree with the length of time it may take before any suggestion is taken up at national level but there should be nothing to stop an organizer or TD doing something at the local level if they beleive they have a problem.

I think we've taken up enough of the Forum's time with my suggestion. In the true tradition of "Brainstorming", there's no such thing as a daft idea so who's next? Anything we can do, however small, is worth it if it just stops one horse or rider getting hurt.

denny
Nov. 14, 2006, 06:43 AM
In Vermont, and I`d imagine, in many states, you get "points" on your driver`s license for violations like speeding. 10 points, and you lose your license for a certain time.
What if every jumping elimination got a horse so many "points", and after so many (to be determined), that horse had to drop down a division until it had proved (by x number of clean goes?) that it was ready to try again at the next higher level?
Maybe this would be too much of a nightmare to track, but it might keep riders from overfacing their horses. I don`t think that a horse that keeps getting eliminated at a certain level is "telling" you that he/she is comfortable at that level, at least with that particular rider.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 14, 2006, 06:43 AM
I'm curious as to why no one responded to my suggestion about disqualification, quite frankly. I mean, good, bad or indifferent, it IS a technique used in the real world.

Sannois
Nov. 14, 2006, 07:34 AM
This is a good topic. I think there are many riders out there that are not being realistic with their or their horses ability. Just seem so excited to move up the ladder. I have ridden almost 40 years and seen all kinds of riders. I know in my part of the country there are alot of folk that call themselves trainers, ~Sigh~ And the ones that suffer are their students. Some dont even belong on a beginner novice course, I have also seen this in the hunter world, but not as much is at stake in a ring with jumps that fall down. And I dont see it as much with young kids as I do with adults.
Personally, I have lost alot of nerve with my age, I like to feel competant. If I dont feel I can get the job done safely I have no desire to do it. I often wonder as I have seen seat of the pants rides, why the individual even enters the event. For me, I figure everyone knows what they look like and how bad it feels if its not coming together, I personally have never understood it. I have seen far better rides from young people. Maybe its just the I am young and brave attitude, or maybe its just good work with a competant trainer. Either way I think having certified instructors is a positive step. just any old soul cannot hang a shingle out. I have seen instructors, watch horrendous rounds with their students and each show they never improve. Also some of these instructors never ever show, Not saying one has to be a BNT but at least be competant and proficient in the level that you are teaching. I dont know what the answer is. I do agree if a ride is going really bad on Cross country, either runaway or repeated stops, they should be pulled up. I dont know. :no:

pegasusmom
Nov. 14, 2006, 07:50 AM
I'm curious as to why no one responded to my suggestion about disqualification, quite frankly. I mean, good, bad or indifferent, it IS a technique used in the real world.


There are rules currently in place to do so - maybe they need to be beefed up and enforced. Personally I think this is about the only way to go. You can't regulate stupidity and you can't lead a horse to water and make it drink. (pun intended)

Mandatory meetings - what happens if I don't attend the meeting? And for those HTs that are using the "compressed format" - thankfully it seems to be a mid Atlantic phenomenon and I hope it stays there! - it is not practical.

asterix
Nov. 14, 2006, 08:23 AM
Janet is right -- the meeting just wouldn't work in Area II. Sometimes you have 15 minutes between phases now (several HTs I did this summer you crossed the finish line of SJ, walked out of the ring, maybe splashed some water on your horse out of a trough provided by the organizers, and headed over to XC start).

Maybe we need to use the tools we have better -- can you be dq'ed (now) for dangerous riding? The only person I've ever seen GET the penalty for dangerous riding was the T rider who jumped OUT the Advanced IN at the AEC water (:eek: :eek: :eek: ) -- why do we think this penalty isn't applied more often? Points hurt!

pegasusmom
Nov. 14, 2006, 08:57 AM
Yes you can be DQ'ed for dangerous riding. EV110 Abuse of Horses and EV111 Dangerous Riding. Why it isn't applied more I don't know.

And as an aside, not to hijack this thread, I HATE that compressed scheduling. I know why it is done, but we won't be going to any more events that schedule that way in the summer.

magnolia73
Nov. 14, 2006, 09:55 AM
Just a thought- I think dangerous riding is ignorant riders and bad trainers, and I agree that a letter about the footing or briefing or whatever isn't going to change their ride.

At A rated hunter shows, trainers are/used to be required to sign entries (obviously some people without trainers signed up as being their own trainers.) Basically, the trainer then shares responsibility if the horse tests positive for drugs or what not. Now apply this to eventing and if the trainer has a rider who gets a warning for dangerous riding, they also get a mark against them. Perhaps these are published in the USEA newseltter like drug violations come up in the AHSA newsletter. This would help discourage trainers from sending ill prepared riders on course and give prospective clients another opportunity to evaluate the trainers performance.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 10:03 AM
What if every jumping elimination got a horse so many "points", and after so many (to be determined), that horse had to drop down a division until it had proved (by x number of clean goes?) that it was ready to try again at the next higher level?

Because there are MANY reasons for elimination which may have nothing to do with the horse and rider's competence at that level. I have been in 6 HT this year, but only completed three of them. None the less, not only is she SOLID at Training, she is ready for Prelim.

Speedy
Nov. 14, 2006, 10:13 AM
I haven't followed the entire thread, but it looks as though people are forgetting that the existing rules, if enforced, serve the purpose pretty well.

You can get eliminated under existing rules for dangerous riding, organizers are simply afraid to enforce that particular rule. Why not educate them about the importance of enforcement?

How many times have you seen riders who have been technically eliminated for multiple stops under current rules permitted to continue, or continue on of their own accord, seemingly unaware of the fence judges calling to them to pull up? Why not encourage organizers to be more proactive in forcing these riders to exit the course? Why not give the fence judges bull horns?

And why not require trainers to receive ICP training and certification at all levels? There was a thread on the program not long ago, and many posters were very negative about the value of that program. In fact, several asked not about the education being offered there, but instead whether or not they could expect to financially benefit if they were to participate. It may be necessary to retool the program to some extent to make it more accessible to trainers at the lower levels, but that seems a good place to start.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 10:15 AM
And as an aside, not to hijack this thread, I HATE that compressed scheduling. I know why it is done, but we won't be going to any more events that schedule that way in the summer.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send in your event evaluation and SAY SOMETHING about the scheduling. There is even a question that says "Did the ride times work for you"?" or something like that.

I asked the Area II chair if we could have a discussion about the "compressed schedule" at the Area II meeting (next Saturday) and she said she hadn't seen any negative comments about it in the event evaluations.

If you don't like the compressed schedule, PLEASE send an email to the event organizer, your area chair, and the relevant people on your area council, and SAY SO.

If you are in Area II, please send an email THIS WEEK, so they don't look at me as if I am hallucinating when I say "I know a bunch of other people who don't like it either".

And send emails to the relevant people at the national level before the national meeting in early December.

Or even just send ME an email, so I can print them out and hold them up when I say "I am not the only one who doesn't like it!"

jgunn@ix.netcom.com- so you don't even need to look it up in my profile.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 10:19 AM
I'm curious as to why no one responded to my suggestion about disqualification, quite frankly. I mean, good, bad or indifferent, it IS a technique used in the real world.

It is in the rules , and I HAVE seen it used. I have seen one comptitor fined by USEF ($1000 IIRC) as a result.

Hoeever, as a face saving move, if the competitor is not argumentative about it, it is often shown in the scores as a simple "Retired".

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 10:25 AM
Maybe we need to use the tools we have better -- can you be dq'ed (now) for dangerous riding? The only person I've ever seen GET the penalty for dangerous riding was the T rider who jumped OUT the Advanced IN at the AEC water (:eek: :eek: :eek: ) -- why do we think this penalty isn't applied more often? Points hurt!
The rules are there. Just need to apply them.

EV111 Dangerous Riding
1. Any competitor who rides in such a way as to constitute a hazard to the safety or wellbeing of the competitor, horse, other competitors, their horses, spectators, or others will penalized accordingly.
2. Any act or series of actions that in the opinion of the Ground Jury can be defined as dangerous riding shall be penalized by 25 penalties or elimination, at the discretion of the Ground Jury.
3. If such actions are reported, the Ground Jury shall decide if there is a case to be answered. If an individual member of the Ground Jury observes such actions, he may eliminate or penalize the competitor forthwith on his own authority. There is no appeal against a Ground Jury decision.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 10:28 AM
At A rated hunter shows, trainers are/used to be required to sign entries (obviously some people without trainers signed up as being their own trainers.) Basically, the trainer then shares responsibility if the horse tests positive for drugs or what not. Now apply this to eventing and if the trainer has a rider who gets a warning for dangerous riding, they also get a mark against them. Perhaps these are published in the USEA newseltter like drug violations come up in the AHSA newsletter. This would help discourage trainers from sending ill prepared riders on course and give prospective clients another opportunity to evaluate the trainers performance.
This ALREADY applies to eventing. EVERY eventing entry MUST be signed by the trainer.

But remember- if USEF and thus USEA terms, the "trainer" is the person responsible for making management decisions about the horse's care and feeding. It has nothing to do with "sending ill (or well) prepared riders on course."

Kementari
Nov. 14, 2006, 11:05 AM
Because there are MANY reasons for elimination which may have nothing to do with the horse and rider's competence at that level. I have been in 6 HT this year, but only completed three of them. None the less, not only is she SOLID at Training, she is ready for Prelim.

So could you apply it just to those who get E'ed for refusals or falls? I would agree that not every elimination means anything about the safety of the horse/rider (speaking as someone who managed to get eliminated in a 2-phase over 18" crossrails because I went off-course... :o), but I would always question multiple Es due only to refusals/falls.

And, as I read Denny's suggestion, it wouldn't be just one or two Es, but rather those with a consistent pattern. You don't get your license revoked for a couple of tickets, but if they start adding up, you're in trouble. The points also expire after a certain amount of time, so you wouldn't be forever haunted by a couple of bad choices as a kid. ;)

On the other hand, that may just make people more likely to retire after (for example) refusal #4. And while that wouldn't be a BAD thing, it would be an easy way to circumvent the rule.

Also, I think a lot of the people we are all cringing at are not GETTING eliminated. What's that saying about God watching over fools? Which brings us back to some sort of flagging system for those who are riding dangerously but NOT getting the refusals or doing the really intensely stupid things that get you penalized as it is. Then again, that's essentially adding "judges," and isn't part of the thrill of the sport the fact that it (the jumping) ISN'T judged?

I wonder how many of us (and I very much include myself in that "us") are reacting to the fact that these people who are riding so shoddily are not only competing, are actually winning (or at least placing above us) not infrequently? How many times have we watched someone move up out of our mutual division and thought, "If she's ready for Training, then I must be ready for Intermediate!"? I know it irritates me to no end when a certain person in my area places above me (or anyone else...), because not only is her riding downright terrifying, but she's ruined more than one horse (mentally, not physically). :no: I guess what I'm saying is how much of this is coming from the standpoint of making the sport safer, and how much of it is a sort of sour grapes? Or a sort of righteous outrage that people can get away with "that" and not only survive, not only complete the event, but continue to place decently and move up through the levels?

All that said, though, at a bare minimum I DO think we need to start to really enforce those penalties - including disqualification - when the offense warrants. And perhaps our TDs and GJs need to broaden their view of which offenses warrant such a thing.

Then again, maybe certain events should offer free videos of stadium divisions, so that people can see how downright terrifying the really look! :winkgrin:

pegasusmom
Nov. 14, 2006, 11:07 AM
[quote=Speedy;1995555]
You can get eliminated under existing rules for dangerous riding, organizers are simply afraid to enforce that particular rule. Why not educate them about the importance of enforcement?


WHOA. Organizers don't enforce rules. Ground Juries do. The only thing an organizer can do is encourage the ground jury to enforce the rules.

pegasusmom
Nov. 14, 2006, 11:10 AM
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send in your event evaluation and SAY SOMETHING about the scheduling. There is even a question that says "Did the ride times work for you"?" or something like that.

jgunn@ix.netcom.com- so you don't even need to look it up in my profile.


Guilty for grousing and not doing anything about it. I am sending Cyndi an e-mail right now.

Speedy
Nov. 14, 2006, 11:15 AM
WHOA. Organizers don't enforce rules. Ground Juries do. The only thing an organizer can do is encourage the ground jury to enforce the rules.

Yes, of course, you are right, I was typing quickly. However, the point is the same. If the folks who are responsible for enforcing the rules actually did that, you wouldn't see nearly as many scary rides as you do now...or they would be cut short, anyway.

McVillesMom
Nov. 14, 2006, 11:28 AM
Also, I think a lot of the people we are all cringing at are not GETTING eliminated. What's that saying about God watching over fools? Which brings us back to some sort of flagging system for those who are riding dangerously but NOT getting the refusals or doing the really intensely stupid things that get you penalized as it is.

I agree...I think this is the real problem. I've had plenty of E's, but I'm pretty sure that most of the time people aren't covering their eyes when I go by (except maybe at Mayfest this year, when I got run off with). So I have to agree that the solution to the "dangerous riding" problem is better enforcement of the rules that are already in place. Just my $0.02.

pegasusmom
Nov. 14, 2006, 11:30 AM
Yes, of course, you are right, I was typing quickly. However, the point is the same. If the folks who are responsible for enforcing the rules actually did that, you wouldn't see nearly as many scary rides as you do now...or they would be cut short, anyway.

I agree. Hope someone attending the annual meeting will bring this up. Katie??

BarbB
Nov. 14, 2006, 11:40 AM
I hate to say this, because I am not a person who prefers a stick to a carrot, but education can only go so far and the scariest rides are frequently the people who don't seek out education and are not going to seek out education.
I don't think I have ever attended a clinic where there wasn't at least one rider who apparently came to show the clinician how it is done. They argue and ignore instructions and argue some more. They are almost always the worst rider there. You see it at horse shows too. The rider having the argument at the ingate with the trainer is about to put in a trip that makes everyone wish they would go back to cross poles.
Some people are just not trainable.....but they can be punished.
Unfortunately.

magnolia73
Nov. 14, 2006, 11:51 AM
"sending ill (or well) prepared riders on course."


BUT, part of the drug/trainer policy is safety related. It is not OK for a trainer to send a kid in the ring or on course with a drugged horse. To help prevent that, the governing body makes the trainer at least partially liable. It is just as dangerous for a trainer to send an unprepared rider on course. Now, I suppose unprepared is open to a good deal of interpretation, but so is the safety of drugs- some people think bute is OK, some not. I think the drug rules work well and probably prevent a lot of people from showing an unsafely drugged horse as it is not in the trainers best interest to send the horse out even if they think it is OK, since there are ramifications from being caught drugging.

I guess my point is, the trainer is partly responsibile for the safety and welfare of the horse via drug policy. The stick policy works with drugs- why not with safety. You could have it set so that if say, your riders get three "unsafe riding" warnings the trainer is suspended. Hence the trainer suffers from having underprepared riders and it encourages them to take safety seriously and make darn sure that riders are ready for whatever level they have signed up for.

EventerAJ
Nov. 14, 2006, 12:07 PM
I guess my point is, the trainer is partly responsibile for the safety and welfare of the horse via drug policy. The stick policy works with drugs- why not with safety. You could have it set so that if say, your riders get three "unsafe riding" warnings the trainer is suspended. Hence the trainer suffers from having underprepared riders and it encourages them to take safety seriously and make darn sure that riders are ready for whatever level they have signed up for.

I, like MANY riders I know, sign my own "Trainer" blank on the entry form. *I* am responsible for my horse's well-being, not my trainer. Many event trainers encourage this, because they *don't* have 100% control over their students' horses... ie, Suzy may be feeding a "supplement" to Blackie, but Trainer will be the one fined and/or suspended. So Trainer tells Susie to sign herself as "trainer." The "trainer" blank has less to do with "Instructor", but is ultimately who is responsible for the horse if something tests wrong.

There is now a "Coach" blank on the back of entry forms...but this is optional and I don't use it. That doesn't mean I don't ever have a coach...just that when I need to send my entry in RIGHT NOW (procrastination, anyone?) I can't usually bother to get my coach to sign it. I know, I know, there are ways to be better prepared. But sometimes, too, I don't know if I *will* have a coach present or not.

It would be nice to hold some trainers accountable for their students' dangerous riding, but ultimately it is the RIDERS' responsibility. The trainer isn't riding for them. And there are always cases where the student does not heed the instruction of the trainer. A big gray area.

EventerAJ
Nov. 14, 2006, 12:15 PM
Because there are MANY reasons for elimination which may have nothing to do with the horse and rider's competence at that level. I have been in 6 HT this year, but only completed three of them. None the less, not only is she SOLID at Training, she is ready for Prelim.


My trainer and several others have discussed this. Perhaps the USEA should adopt a slight modification in notation for "technical" eliminations? A big E is a big E, but on a horse's record it could mean anything. We always assume that the horse had too many stops...but we all know cases where a rider went off course, left boots on in dressage, missed a jump, started before the whistle, or whatever. Could such a technical elimination be marked as "T", or "Et"? If marked as such, these technical eliminations might not count as "points," or may count as "half-points." Just an idea.

Gnep
Nov. 14, 2006, 12:31 PM
For starters I would like to see more stringend qualifikation rules ( as in Germany for example )
Not just 4 completed, I would like to see 6 completed, 4 with out refusals in X-C, 50% of Dressage score and not more than 20 total in Stadium ( time and rails ) from training uppwards, Horse and Rider.
To be able to go Prelim with 4 training under your belt, or Intermediat with 4 Prelim and so on is kinde dangerous, especialy since nothing more than completion is requiered.
I like Dennies point system, we give points to horses, prelim and higher, it should be possible to give negative points for X-C performance, with an automatic disqualifikation limit for Horse and Rider.
3 Refusals in X-C should be max, oncourse. If a rider gets dismounted during a refusal Elimination.
Circling oncourse should be a refusal, especialy if it is done on purpose.
The biggest problem I alway see with the refusal rules, riders try like crazzy to make up time after the refusal. If a refusal would stop the time for that rider/horse combination and they would get an automatic 20 time penalties per refusal, no matter how fast or slow they continue, it would stop the so often idiotic catch up race.

I would like to see a bit rule. I think it is wrong that BN, N, T horses have so much metal in the mouth that they hardly can lift their heads. If they have a snaffel during dressage and than show up for stadium with huge bits, than someting is wrong already, same for X-C.

does stadium tell how X-C might go not always or very seldom. My young Mare is a good example for that, stadium just katastrophies ( till Mike Huber told me what to do ), X-C outstanding, flawless.

Education is very good and USEventing does a lot in that direction but it is just one leg to stand on, rules and enforcement should be the second leg.

Badger
Nov. 14, 2006, 01:06 PM
For starters I would like to see more stringend qualifikation rules ( as in Germany for example )
Not just 4 completed, I would like to see 6 completed, 4 with out refusals in X-C, 50% of Dressage score and not more than 20 total in Stadium ( time and rails ) from training uppwards, Horse and Rider.
To be able to go Prelim with 4 training under your belt, or Intermediat with 4 Prelim and so on is kinde dangerous, especialy since nothing more than completion is requiered.

A lot more than completion is required for an event to count towards move-up qualifications. I believe it's four events, three of which have no x-c jumping penalties, and the fourth can have no more than 20 x-c jumping penalties.

I have to say that "6" completed, for people outside the coasts (or perhaps Germany), is pretty harsh. I'm lucky to get to four events in a year, while juggling a job and long hauls to competitions. My greenie skipped BN and did three Novice events last year. This year he did a N and three Training events. Let me and my trainers decide if he needs one more training outing or 10 more before prelim—adding more and more expensive and time-consuming requirements for people who are not the problem is not the answer.

Don't penalize everyone out there trying to do this sport safely and reasonably with stricter requirements just because of a few yahoos that need to be pulled aside and shown a video of themselves performing as the crowd gasps in horror. I'd much rather see a ticket system that dings the people doing the scary stuff, than more requirements and more expense and more hassle and more struggle for the majority that are doing this sport responsibly.

There are some checks and balances already in place. A lot of the freak accidents are not going to be prevented by more regulation (look up the records of some of the recent tragedies, they don't look like accidents waiting to happen, they look like typical competitors at their level).

We aren't going to prevent all risk associated with jumping a cross-country jump unless we remove the cross-country jump and fill in the holes in the ground.

Gnep, I totally disagree with you on the bit thing. I do all three phases plus foxhunt in a loose ring snaffle with my TB, and I did all the same with another TB in a rubber snaffle. My warmblood, on the otherhand, is a big powerful beast with moments of gleeful editorializing and sproinging and I do not have the leg and upperbody strength to get through to him during the adrenaine rush of cross-country in a snaffle. If I were 15 years younger, 30 pounds heavier, and/or male, maybe it would be different. However, we stay safe by worshipping the kimberwick god. There is no way I am going to gallop down to a prelim combination needing to balance and compress without KNOWING he is going to listen to me, and it takes more than a snaffle for me to do that. And he didn't just develop the need something more than a snaffle when he moved up to prelim. He had even more youthful enthusiasm doing novice, and I may have been fine in a snaffle around the stadium course, but it wasn't always the answer during the crazy of a green horse in a crowded warm-up area.

Sandy M
Nov. 14, 2006, 02:08 PM
EVERYday I watch riders who cannot put a horse on the bit, nor ride w/o stirrups, ride over fences (I use that loosely). They get over because God is watching over them and the horses are saints (albeit unschoolded). Why? Because they 'want to jump'. The team of teachers is at best 20something with a 'background' in 4-H and some with lower leverl eventing. They are told to kick the horse forward (no description of how to use the leg) or beat the horse with the whip (no telling of where or how to touch). Its an accident waiting to happen, and often does. WHERE are the teachers to 'measure out' the learning? All crest release and SHOW SHOW SHOW. Thats why so many people are not just falling but dying imho.

Obviously, nothing new. Sigh. When I was in high school, and just out, taking lessons on saintly (and some not-so-saintly) school horses, our lessons always started with extensive flat work. When any students complained, the instructor, male, 50-ish, old school, rode in the hunt field as well as the show ring, always used to exclaim with exasperation, "Everybody wants to jump, but noone wants to learn how to RIDE!!" Fortunately, HE never gave in to the complaints! I may not have learned "dressage" per se from him, but NO ONE in his lessons got to jump unless their control of the horse was good, their body under control, etc., and heaven help you if you ever caught a horse in the mouth over a fence! No jumping for a month, not to mention "go off in a corner and practice sitting trot without stirrups" - in a flat saddle (ouch!). [Boy, do I sound like an oldster praising the "good old days" or what?!? LOL]

west5
Nov. 14, 2006, 02:13 PM
I still think the very best suggestion here has been ignored.

A while back someone said that the TD (or a group) should talk with people whose rides were making people uncomfortable.

First question to rider:
What did you think of that SJ or XC ride?

This gives the rider the opportunity to say that they are having issues with water, breaking, steering, rating, new horse or whatever ...

If rider responds with "It was great" it gives the people in charge an opportunity to discuss what they would like to see change about the ride and why. Some people just don't realize what they are doing.

You may not get through to everybody but at least they are standing right in front of you. They don't need to come to a meeting or whatever.

Also how about approaching it from a generous standpoint. Offering riders that are need help but are do it your-selfers a "free" clinic w/someone. Same thing goes for "trainers" who need a little re-training. Make the clinic with someone respected and good. YES I KNOW it isn't FAIR that the "worst" riders would get the access to the best training but it might help.

Ja Da Dee
Nov. 14, 2006, 02:15 PM
Circling oncourse should be a refusal, especialy if it is done on purpose.

I know that I've circled to get my horse rebalanced before, if we didn't, there could have been a very ugly jump at the bottom of a hill. I think if you are going 90 mph, and need to circle to waste time, the circle isn't the problem, it's the ride to it. The Officials need to penalize the rider for going at unsafe speeds. Make it known that that's what's going to happen, and people will start taking care to pace their horse. Isn't part of eventing learning to set pace?



The biggest problem I alway see with the refusal rules, riders try like crazzy to make up time after the refusal. If a refusal would stop the time for that rider/horse combination and they would get an automatic 20 time penalties per refusal, no matter how fast or slow they continue, it would stop the so often idiotic catch up race

See above, the refusal wasnt necessarily the dangerous part of the ride although, the rider may have raced unbalanced to the fence, but the danger is in the "idiotic catch up race" that follows. We need to get riders to understand that this is unacceptable. Horses refuse jumps, horsemanship comes into play when we determine how we handle that refusal and the rest of the course.

An interesting aside, I was at a horse trial once where it rained for several days before the show. People were questioning if the Officials would change the Opt Time due to the wet footing. I heard through the grapevine that the Person In Charge of that said that they wouldn't be changing the opt time because the riders should know to slow down because of the rain and they were expecting to see a lot of time penalties.

I can tell you that I was almost passed on the Novice course by an Out of Control TB who's rider aparently didn't understand the potential problems with the footing... well until her horse ran out and she fell off.

So, what do you all think, should the officials changed the OPT time, or given dangerous riding tickets to those who weren't keeping in mind the footing? (of course that's not to say that some horses didn't go extremenly well and fast in the footing)

Speedy
Nov. 14, 2006, 02:30 PM
Something that just struck me about this thread...most of the focus is on refusals, when it seems as though most of the really horrible accidents that you hear about or see on course involve riders riding to the fence at unsafe speeds, without any balance, on a willing horse that actually does jump the fence...and flips on catching the fence.

I don't have statistical data, but I tend to think that is where the most serious injuries are...it's not the riders that have stops, per se, although that kind of riding will obviously lead to stops down the road...which brings me back to my point, that the emphasis on stops is somewhat misplaced, and that the focus should be on the enforcement of existing rules re unsafe riding...

IFG
Nov. 14, 2006, 03:52 PM
Speedy,

Interesting point. I think that the lack of disagreement here is also indicative that a blanket rule of 3 stops, and you are out will neither be well accepted nor effective in eliminating the issue that stimulated this discussion--unsafe riding.

In fact, reducing the number of refusals prior to elimination may encourage more riders to push their mounts over fences in an unsafe manner specifically because they do not wish to face elimination.

Isn't it pushing horses at fences unsafely that is causing falls? Years ago, the rule counting a hesitation before the fence as a stop was adopted to discourage just this behavior. IMHO, I think that we need to adopt a rule (or enforce the ones that we already have) that will target the current unsafe behavior.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 04:50 PM
I agree. Hope someone attending the annual meeting will bring this up. Katie??
I'll be at the annual meeting, and I will bring it up if given the opportunity. But it would REALLY help to be able to SHOW that "Janet" isn't the only woth a problem.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 04:56 PM
BUT, part of the drug/trainer policy is safety related. It is not OK for a trainer to send a kid in the ring or on course with a drugged horse. To help prevent that, the governing body makes the trainer at least partially liable. It is just as dangerous for a trainer to send an unprepared rider on course. Now, I suppose unprepared is open to a good deal of interpretation, but so is the safety of drugs- some people think bute is OK, some not. I think the drug rules work well and probably prevent a lot of people from showing an unsafely drugged horse as it is not in the trainers best interest to send the horse out even if they think it is OK, since there are ramifications from being caught drugging.

I guess my point is, the trainer is partly responsibile for the safety and welfare of the horse via drug policy. The stick policy works with drugs- why not with safety. You could have it set so that if say, your riders get three "unsafe riding" warnings the trainer is suspended. Hence the trainer suffers from having underprepared riders and it encourages them to take safety seriously and make darn sure that riders are ready for whatever level they have signed up for. What part of "the definition of 'TRAINER' " is it that you didn't understand the first time?


GR145 Trainer.
1. Any adult, or adults who has the responsibility for the care, training, custody or performance of a horse.
2. Said person must sign the entry blank of any Licensed Competition whether said person be an owner, rider, agent and/or coach as well as trainer.
3. Where a minor exhibitor has no trainer, a parent or guardian must sign and assume responsibility of trainer.
4. The name of the trainer must be designated as such on the entry blank. See also GR404.

Notice that all the references are to the HORSE. Not the RIDER.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 04:58 PM
To be able to go Prelim with 4 training under your belt, or Intermediat with 4 Prelim and so on is kinde dangerous, especialy since nothing more than completion is requiered. Not true. Please READ your rule book.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 05:00 PM
My greenie skipped BN and did three Novice events last year. This year he did a N and three Training events. Let me and my trainers decide if he needs one more training outing or 10 more before prelim—adding more and more expensive and time-consuming requirements for people who are not the problem is not the answer. DOn't forget that it is the RIDER, not the HORSE that needs to qualify before going Prelim.

denny
Nov. 14, 2006, 05:52 PM
Isn`t what we`re struggling with, basically, ways to make terrible accidents less likely?
There are at least 2, maybe more,areas of discussion.
One is dangerous riding, too fast, too crazy, too whatever. Those riders are a tiny minority, aren`t they? That is the lesser problem, I think.
The bigger problem is the horse/rider combo that is overfaced on a particular day. I am a pretty competitive person, and I know that if I am having a bad ride, my gut instinct is to press on and see if I can`t get the horse to get into gear. This is, admittedly, stupid, but for lots of competitors, it`s what happens.
Maybe we`ve had a couple of stops, maybe more, but we press on, because of adreniline/poor judgement in the heat of battle, whatever.
We are likely to be at some fair degree of risk for a half stop/go, that results in one of those horribly lethal slow motion falls, where the horse hooks the fence below his knees, and comes crashing over, upside down.
So, how do we get those people (who may be us!) off the course BEFORE that happens?
If I KNEW "3 strikes and you are out (or some number), and if you DO NOT IMMEDIATELY LEAVE THE COURSE, YOU WILL GET IN TROUBLE!!!" , I would almost certainly call it a day at that point.
In other words, in a sport FULL of competitive riders, can we create a system which protects us from ourselves?

pwynnnorman
Nov. 14, 2006, 06:27 PM
Janet, I think you misread me when I wrote of "disqualification." Originally, I equated it to how people are forced to learn/improve when it comes to driving, education and/or employment. If you hang over their heads the spectre of being disqualified at their current level, and possibly disqualified out of the sport entirely, those who want to continue will find ways to improve (a new trainer, a more suitable horse, more hours in the tack, etc.)...IMO.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2006, 06:34 PM
I THINK at least one person was suspended by USEF (as well as having to pay a fine) for an incident at CDCTA several years ago.

Is that what you had in mind?

The machinery is already there- just needs officials who want to make use of it.

RAyers
Nov. 14, 2006, 06:41 PM
Isn`t what we`re struggling with, basically, ways to make terrible accidents less likely?

So, how do we get those people (who may be us!) off the course BEFORE that happens?
If I KNEW "3 strikes and you are out (or some number), and if you DO NOT IMMEDIATELY LEAVE THE COURSE, YOU WILL GET IN TROUBLE!!!" , I would almost certainly call it a day at that point.
In other words, in a sport FULL of competitive riders, can we create a system which protects us from ourselves?


Natural Selection? ;)


Reed

RAyers
Nov. 14, 2006, 07:47 PM
I apologize for the offense.

What my comment was meant to imply is the fact this sport has reached a point where additional methods to regulate riders and riding will have a significant detrimental impact. Many previous posts have pointed out it is the rider's responsibility to know when to pull up and denny has highlighted how the rider can get lost in the fog of adrenaline. Other than psychologically training all riders, there is little that can be legislated to prevent accidents. There are speed limits on every street and folks still get killed by people speeding.

As the debate continues how to try to prevent accidents, I hope folks realize that if things become "safer" the heart of the sport is crushed. Almost every one here admits it is the adrenaline of XC that makes this so intense. If we end up putting a bunch of stadium jumps in a field to prevent accidents, the danger that we love goes away. Face it, we, as riders in this discipline we have got to admit the bottom line is that there are those who love the danger and those who say they don't, regardless of level.

When I studied feedback and control systems one of the things we learned was that the more a system is controlled there are two outcomes:
1) the system goes out of control
2) the system collapses

Well, from my perspective on this thread, we are getting to that point.

Reed

pwynnnorman
Nov. 15, 2006, 05:31 AM
I THINK at least one person was suspended by USEF (as well as having to pay a fine) for an incident at CDCTA several years ago.

Is that what you had in mind?

The machinery is already there- just needs officials who want to make use of it.

Sort of, Janet. Except make it more transparent (to send a clear message--an educational one, too--to everyone) and systematic (so the process which can get you disqualified at one level and/or "demoted" to a lower one can be applied consistently). Now, I haven't a clue what that process could/should/would be, though. Maybe, for example, if you got that "ticket" someone else mentioned--and you got, say, three of them in a row from three different officials--then you'd have to drop down a level and re-qualify for the next???? Having such a process I think might encourage officials to do the right thing when they see dangerous riding and at the same time would probably force the institution of an appeals process as well, so ticketed individuals would be able to remove a ticket if special circumstances existed.

Y'know, another thing about addressing this issue, however it is addressed, is that it would be good PR for the sport, especially if the results of the discussion ended up in the rulebook. Heck, if I were PR'ing the whole shebang, I'd not only get this ball rolling, but distribute a press release on it afterward! (But then, I'm always seeing opportunities to write press releases and articles that promote the positive aspects of the sport to outsiders.)

RiverBendPol
Nov. 15, 2006, 07:39 AM
I apologize for the offense.

What my comment was meant to imply is the fact this sport has reached a point where additional methods to regulate riders and riding will have a significant detrimental impact. Many previous posts have pointed out it is the rider's responsibility to know when to pull up and denny has highlighted how the rider can get lost in the fog of adrenaline. Other than psychologically training all riders, there is little that can be legislated to prevent accidents. There are speed limits on every street and folks still get killed by people speeding.

As the debate continues how to try to prevent accidents, I hope folks realize that if things become "safer" the heart of the sport is crushed. Almost every one here admits it is the adrenaline of XC that makes this so intense. If we end up putting a bunch of stadium jumps in a field to prevent accidents, the danger that we love goes away. Face it, we, as riders in this discipline we have got to admit the bottom line is that there are those who love the danger and those who say they don't, regardless of level.

When I studied feedback and control systems one of the things we learned was that the more a system is controlled there are two outcomes:
1) the system goes out of control
2) the system collapses

Well, from my perspective on this thread, we are getting to that point.

Reed
BINGO, Reed. Well said. Thank you.
Not only just the danger, though. One of the things I love about the sport is the feeling of that horse, whom I have trained (for better or worse!) from the bottom up, charging over the ground, looking for his next fence. The big eye, the fluttering nostrils, the pounding hoof beats, the pricked ears and the sheer joy of the partnership moving together over the country. Ya, I agree, that does sound pretty sappy, but don't we all love that? Isn't that why we event instead of go round and round in the h/j arena? I think if we go rule crazy we jeopardize the whole concept of the game, which is to show that our horses are the most athletic, most versatile guys out there.

magnolia73
Nov. 15, 2006, 08:40 AM
Janet-
I get what a trainer is- the person responsible for the care and training of the horse. What part of my post did you not get?

Take dangerous riding/ a not well trained horse/ a not sound horse / a horse not ready / a horse not being ridden by a person with adequate skills. Is iut that far of a leap to call any of those a lapse in the care and welfare of the horse that the trainer should be held accountable for as they are for drugging a horse?

I know what a trainer is and think I understand why thgey sign entries. Clearly, there is an issue out there with underprepared riders putting both themselves and their horses at risk. IN MY OPINION in some cases, some times, some fault lies with the trainer who should, as a person responsible for care and training of said horse should be held accountable for seeing that it is prepared to jump the course. IN MY OPINION when the trainer signs an entry, they should be help at least partially responsible if something goes wrong with the horse. I know in my area of several incidents where nice horses were injured due to bad judgement of riders who were following the advice of a trainer. INB MY OPINION the trainer who stands by the ring telling the rider to go faster as the kid leaves out steps is AS GUILTY of causing harm to a horse as the trainer who shoots up some horse with drugs.

I don't think this is the only issue- it is only one of many approaches that need to be made to manage this issue. Also, there is NO REASON the definition of trainer can not be changed to help with this problem.

RAyers
Nov. 15, 2006, 09:42 AM
At the same time, magnolia, there are hundreds (thousands?) of riders who event who have no trainer at all. They take lessons, they do clinics but they do not travel nor compete with trainer. I agree with what you are saying. I have seen enough trainers who send riders out unprepared or dismiss a rider's concern about the soundness of their horse and "guilt" them into running. But again, how do you control those folks without stepping on the toes of people like myself or Jess who ride without a formal trainer in a competition and allow us the autonomy to do so?

Reed

saje
Nov. 15, 2006, 09:46 AM
Interesting discussion.

Some thoughts of mine~

- If a 'points' type sysytem can be instituted, who's responsibilty will it be to see that event sec's know who's on time-out? Will the sec'y have to look up every entry's name on a list? What about a single rider on multiple horses? (ie: an old safe schoolie and a young scary greenie) That said, I do like the idea that blowing off the refusal rule will get you in serious trouble.

- Could there be a way of actually judging SJ rounds, and perhaps part of XC rounds? I'm thinking along the lines of the Dangerous Riding rule, I guess. The judge would add penalty points for serious infractions of speed, maybe, or if lines and distances are consistently botched. I actually wish there were a way to add/subtract points for exceptionally good or exceptionally bad riding/equitation. I in NO WAY want eventing to turn into a stylized beauty pageant, but I wish there were some consequences (placings wise) for the "too long stirrup, gallop and flingand hope for the best" style of jumping. As far as XC, I'm envisioning one or two members of the GJ or similar viewing a section of the course, unpublicized, and grading the pace, approach to fences, etc. Grades below a certain # would have added penalty points. Pehaps such a system could be used for SJ too.

- Unfortunately, Man being the essentially pigheaded animal that it is, I don't really think there's a way to weed out the truly scary riders out there without legislating the joy out of our sport. People like risk, people are clueless or in utter denial about the actual results of such risks, and that goes for all facets of life, not just riding. Someone mentioned @sshat drivers earlier - think of all the regulations and education surrounding driving and how many more morons there are on the road than responsible types.

I don't know what the answer is - how can we reward safe, sane, educated riding that does (must, really) take calculated risks? How do we penalize those who over-emphasize the risk and the luck factor without killing the sport? Keep talking about it, I guess, everywhere, and at the top of our lungs if need be.

Gnep
Nov. 15, 2006, 09:53 AM
Reed,
I think there is a need to weed out riders that just do not belong at certain levels, or prevent them to get to a certain level ( which will be impossible ).
The problem I see, is the huge influx of money, people buy themself top horses and than ride or attempt to ride at levels they do not belong.
We talked about that.
The idea that a TD or ground jury should make that judgement is rather stupid. Most courses allow just a glimps of the action and there are quiet a few TDs that just have no idea what they are talking about.

annikak
Nov. 15, 2006, 10:19 AM
Reed, I agree with you in your last post- and while all of these are great suggestions, seems as if most of us agree that-

Dangerous Riding does not necessarily mean refusals
therefore, using stops as the only indicator does not work

Dangerous riding is probably subjective, that is probably not fair either. ( I can think of one BNT that gets the job done, but I close my eyes when they ride- but they are successful, so who am I to judge?)

Often Dangerous riding does not end in a fall- however, if it does, its usually at Prelim and below, AND can be a bad fall.

Most falls are (for lack of better terms) easy falls. Just cost time and money to the event itself- in my eyes, one of the biggest issues. Scary to watch, but most seem to not be carted to the hospital- but this is an assumption on my part. I don't really know-

SO-since there is nothing truly tangible other the excessive speed, and possibly falls, what then? How can that be governed without making the already taxed volunteer banks break down?

And what IS dangerous riding? In real terms- the only one that I can think of is excessive speed.

I think Points might work- but how hard is that to deal with? It would be fair, however, to the events far away from the east coast, as they would not have the "one strike" problem.

I think the responsibility to safe riding is the riders, and if a minor, the parents, and if the parents don't know, the trainer, as I assume they are paying the trainer. Anyone know how ICP deals with this issue?

back to my semi-drugged state - hope the above made sense....

magnolia73
Nov. 15, 2006, 10:32 AM
But again, how do you control those folks without stepping on the toes of people like myself or Jess who ride without a formal trainer in a competition and allow us the autonomy to do so?

You don't capture that group with this particular rule. I think it would capture more entry level riders, especially children, who likely are engaged in a more hunter type scenario of trainer relationship. If you only train yourself, get cited for dangerous riding 3 times, you get suspended as trainer/rider- I suppose it steps on your toes! But in that case, your toes need stepping on.

I don't think it is one rule or change to control the problem, more a group of changes. My change addresses incompetent trainers who target very inexperienced riders.

The problem is that the issue has many sides- you have inexperienced riders overfacing themselves, horses having a bad day, riders having a bad day, poor course design, unsafe footing, plus the inherent risk of the sport- even good people have accidents on the safest courses. They all have different causes and a multi pronged approach is required to address all issues.

Kementari
Nov. 15, 2006, 11:12 AM
I know the people who do entries for one event (so I don't know if this is how it is always done), and they look up every single rider with USEA/USEF anyway, to make sure they are qualified/eligible for the division they have entered. The "points" could just be recorded in that same database. :yes:

Above all, I would NOT want a scoring system for stadium and xc. If I wanted that, I would do hunters! :eek: I could handle a pass/fail type of thing, where if you are borderline dangerous you get a demerit point (not added to your score, but recorded as we have been discussing) and otherwise you get nothing, but I - and, I think, most eventers - would run screaming from an actual score, as in "both these people were OK, but this one was better than that one." That's NOT what the sport is about. :no:

Jazzy Lady
Nov. 15, 2006, 11:27 AM
I don't think that all the rules in the world could make up for lack of common sense. There will ALWAYS be know-it-all-so-why-would-I-listen-to-someone-else's in the event world. Those who think that they can jump around a 3' hunter round, so why would eventing be any different. Those who think because they can jump, they can jump cross country. Those who think because their horses are fast, they will win on that alone.

I don't wear my watch for training and lower. Often times I forget to even start it when I wear it. What I see is kids at entry (bn) and pre-training (novice) wearing watches to make the time. It is an ACTIVE canter at bn speed. One shouldn't need watches to know what an active canter is. This seems to be a newer trend. I don't remember so many watches when I started in this sport, and I certainly never ever wore one before I upgraded to training level... and even then I usually forgot it. Too many people are focused on the time and not on the ride.

I watched a girl RIP around novice course on this horse in more metal than leather with a girl who didn't ONCE take back and ask her horse to half halt. The horse barrelled over EVERY fence from a tight spot, legs behind the elbow because it was the only way it COULD leave the ground. That girl upgraded to Training with the same ride and her mother is a TRAINER!!!!! YIKES.

I was jump judging and a girl I know got eliminated at my fence. Lots of people, well known people, people with VERY consistent horses at training got eliminated at this fence. I asked her to leave at a walk and she took off at a gallop and finished the course. The people collecting numbers at the end of the day told her she should have listened to me... slap on the wrist. It wasn't even her who returned her number, so she didn't even get told. She laughed about it. While her and her horse are a very good pair with an unfortunate E, she should still know the rules and walk off like everyone else.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I see JUST as much dangerous riding with the 4 refusal rule as I did before it. The lower levels have SOOO many riders and horses in it now that I would say more than 50% don't have the appropriate training to be there.

But what does it take for a person to REALIZE they don't have the appropriate training? A bad fall, a broken bone, an injured horse? I don't think that I really appreciated the training that I recieved from the get go until I moved to training level and there were more intricate details involved in the ride.

If people refuse to get proper coaching, then they will NEVER learn that they are doing something wrong in the first place...

saje
Nov. 15, 2006, 11:32 AM
most eventers - would run screaming from an actual score, as in "both these people were OK, but this one was better than that one." That's NOT what the sport is about.

Nonono I DO NOT want to go down the Hunter-world route as far as the nit-picky angle of heel and turn of wrist thing. I just think there ought to be SOME consequences for the more blatant seat-of-the-pants riding.

Trust me, I don't want anyone judging me by what my elbows do over a fence, and I have no beef with unorthodox riding so long as it results in an essentially safe and planned out round. The gallop-tug a rein-jump rounds are what I think need a wake up point or two.

All this was just off the top of my head, if it were to be done there would have to be some pretty clear directives to avoid heading down the Hunter route. (Sorry Hunter fans. I know that what you do is harder than it looks, it's also the antithesis to most of what Eventers enjoy...)

flutie1
Nov. 15, 2006, 12:08 PM
There have been some really interesting ideas posted here, and it seems that you are all really struggling with the issue of dangerous riding.

Two things :
There is a proposal to add another column to the USEA score sheets and various scoring programs in which Dangerous Riding penalty points (25) would be recorded. Currently, these penalties appear as time faults because there's no other place to put them. Additionally, those receiving these penalty points would be able to be tracked.

Your thoughts?

Secondly, on Saturday morning at the Annual Meeting in St. Louis, there will be a forum on Dangerous Riding. Hopefully, many of you will be there to start some discussions out of which maybe some sort of solution to the problem might possibly emerge.

Flutie

deltawave
Nov. 15, 2006, 12:22 PM
I like the dangerous riding = time faults idea! However, they might also want to translate them into SPEED faults if necessary...after all, many of the scariest rides are far closer to the speed penalty end of the clock than the time penalty part. One problem may be that there are no speed penalties at Prelim and above, but IME the scariest and most dangerous rides seem to happen at Novice and Training anyway.

Of course this will require more "eyes on the course" from experienced, knowledgeable and EMPOWERED officials who will be granted the authority to add penalties as they see fit. To which I say "HALLELUJAH!" because more eyes on the course can never be a detriment to safety. I will gladly sign up for a course in "course safety" or whatever else is required to become a qualified watcher. That may be what it takes--an extra official, specifically trained and qualified, but IMO it's so worth it.

Of course this won't affect local HT's for a long time, which is where I personally see the strangest things, but it's a step in the right direction. :yes:

asterix
Nov. 15, 2006, 12:22 PM
[Edited to say while I was writing this a bunch of people posted, with good ideas, so much of this is redundant. My first comment goes to magnolia's question about not capturing the more experienced riders who go without trainers -- I don't think it's only at P and above that people go without trainers] Well, we NEED to capture that group of people -- most of my friends, adult amateurs in Area II, compete at novice/training, a few at prelim, and although we all have access to great instruction from the wealth of trainers in this Area, hardly ANY of us go to events WITH those trainers. So this probably describes a whole range of riders.

I do think that the entry level riders tend to have coaches present at events, and unfortunately we've all seen riders way over their heads careening around warmup while the coach yells "great!"

I don't think penalizing the trainer is a good way to go in eventing -- too many eventers sign their own name to that line in the form, and there are too many definitions of the trainer/student relationship.

I think we need to keep this simple:
1. Do the current rules on dangerous riding allow for sufficient "disincentive"?
2. If so, why aren't they used more often? We have not heard from anyone who is a TD/official (as far as I know) on this thread.

If the answers to these questions are "no" and "for the following good or insurmountable reason," then we do need a new approach.

If not, perhaps all we need is a PR/education push for next year -- "the USEA cares about dangerous riding, the rules are on the books, and officials have been newly briefed and encouraged to apply these rules more consistently. So you, the rider, should also familiarize yourself with these rules, and understand that this will be a part of your competitive universe."

If it is really applied judiciously, but more frequently than "once in a blue moon," word will get around, and perhaps it will help people think twice...

flutie1
Nov. 15, 2006, 12:35 PM
DW - I don't know if you were responding to my posting which referenced time faults, but the problem with the current system for recording Dangerous Riding penalties is that they appear in the time fault section, and there's no way to know what the penalties were assessed for. I personally feel that "outing" dangerous riding would be a good thing.

At this point, event officials are the only ones who can hand out DR penalties. I can't see it working any other way lest we create a whole band of rabid Safety Nazis - which could end up as scarey and out of control as dangerous riders!

Flutie

RAyers
Nov. 15, 2006, 12:59 PM
My fear about the idea of having the GJ determine dangerous riding is that it further removes XC from objective judging. Who is to say the GJ may overlook a top rider riding dangerously, for whatever reason, simply so they can keep that person on the team? Who is to say that a rider may have a horrendous dressage, attracting the attention and concern of the GJ, who then are OVERLY critical of the rider on XC even if they are one of the only double clears? (That last statement is from personal experience).

At upper levels the realtionship between rider, trainer and officials is incestuous due the requirement the riders must be politically savy in order to be considered for the team. This opens the door to favortism and abuse.

At lower levels, how does one assure the riders that the decision was objective? What about a BNT on a dangerous greenie, versus a green rider on an school master? What happens if they have equivlent rounds but both appear very dangerous?

Reed

flutie1
Nov. 15, 2006, 01:18 PM
"... My fear about the idea of having the GJ determine dangerous riding is that it further removes XC from objective judging."

Reed - I hear your concerns, but what is the reasonable alternative to police this sport? As I posted earlier, safety Nazis are scarey - and as an organizer, where is one to find the right kind of person to monitor riders? In an ideal world, licensed officials are trained to recognize and deal with dangerous riders and horses. Of course we realize that our world is far from ideal, but we have to start somewhere.
It's a hell of a problem - at best!

Flutie

(An aside to your posting - I've seen some damn scarey double clears!)

Kementari
Nov. 15, 2006, 01:21 PM
OK, I don't have the rulebook with me and the net here is being so sloooow that I'm not going to go look it up, but...isn't there a penalty (fine?) for refusing to stop and walk off the course after your third/fifth refusal? WHY isn't that being enforced?

I think there should be a separate column for dangerous riding points. Public shaming can be very effective... :winkgrin:

As for wearing a watch at the lower levels, I do because time and pace are a part of the sport. Maybe if more people bothered to learn about pace at BN, fewer would be still getting speed faults at T. :no: I have actually moved up several places before because I was one of a few who bothered to pay attention to the (incorrectly measured, as it latered transpired) time (of course, I made up time BETWEEN fences, and brought my horse back to an appropriate canter several strides out from the jumps). Saying that lower level riders shouldn't pay attention to time when it's an intrinsic part of your score is ridiculous. If you don't want people to try to make time at BN and N, then those levels shouldn't be timed.

I must say, I am really leaning towards the idea that we should just make a real, concerted effort to enforce the rules that we HAVE, because we have rules that cover these situations. Now, if only there was a way to penalize every rider who showed up who hadn't bothered to even skim the rulebook... :winkgrin:

Janet
Nov. 15, 2006, 01:31 PM
Janet-
I get what a trainer is- the person responsible for the care and training of the horse. What part of my post did you not get?
The part of your post I was referring to was
This would help discourage trainers from sending ill prepared riders on course

You might, by stretching the definition, hold the "trainer" (as defined by USEF) responsible for sending an improperly trained HORSE on course. But there is no way you can hold the (USEF defined) trainer responsible for sending an ill prepared RIDER on course.

Janet
Nov. 15, 2006, 01:40 PM
OK, I don't have the rulebook with me and the net here is being so sloooow that I'm not going to go look it up, but...isn't there a penalty (fine?) for refusing to stop and walk off the course after your third/fifth refusal? WHY isn't that being enforced?

Here it is

10. AFTER ELIMINATION. A competitor eliminated or retired for any reason must leave the course at once and has no right to continue. If he does not stop at once and it can be established beyond a reasonable doubt that he should be eliminated or retired, he should be stopped as soon as possible and reported to the ground jury. A competitor must walk his horse off the course either mounted or dismounted. Violators shall be warned or fined up to $100. (payable to the Organizing Committee), at the discretion of the Ground Jury. I HAVE (as a jump judge) had to remind a competitor of this rule. But the reminder usually makes them see their sences.

Usually, the problem is lack of communications. As jump judge I may, based on what I have heard on the radio, THINK this is the fifth refusal. But unless I am absolutely sure, I am not going to stop them.

Also, you have riders who don't know the rules. I had to stop a rider who had her 7th and 8th stop at my fence. She was just a kid, and "didn't know". As it worked out, I told her she had to wait for an overtaking rider, and during that interval I called in to confirm I should stop her. Apparently several other jump judges ha tried to stop her, but were not loud/physical eanough to get her attention.

But I have to concur that the ones who have stops are not usually the scariest.

And there are porblems with making rules based on going too fast overall- someone who is getting ready to move up to the next level has a legitimate reason for riding at the next level speed.

Janet
Nov. 15, 2006, 01:51 PM
There have been some really interesting ideas posted here, and it seems that you are all really struggling with the issue of dangerous riding.

Two things :
There is a proposal to add another column to the USEA score sheets and various scoring programs in which Dangerous Riding penalty points (25) would be recorded. Currently, these penalties appear as time faults because there's no other place to put them. Additionally, those receiving these penalty points would be able to be tracked.

Your thoughts?

Secondly, on Saturday morning at the Annual Meeting in St. Louis, there will be a forum on Dangerous Riding. Hopefully, many of you will be there to start some discussions out of which maybe some sort of solution to the problem might possibly emerge.

Flutie
First I would support it.

Second, I would change the actual number of points so it ended in neither a 0 nor a 5. In summarized results (without all the separate columns), currently, if the XC score ends in 0 you know it is all refusals. If it ends in a 5, you know there is a fall. So make the "dangerous riding" 24 or 26, or something like that. Then, when you look at the summarized XC score (without time), you would KNOW that they had been cited for dangerous riding. And the rider would know that everyone would know it too.

Janet
Nov. 15, 2006, 01:59 PM
I do think that the entry level riders tend to have coaches present at events, and unfortunately we've all seen riders way over their heads careening around warmup while the coach yells "great!" I dunno. My experience is different. I often take my greenies out at the 2' to 2'6" level at unrecognized events, so I see the riders at the same level.

I would say that less than half of them have a trainer on the grounds. Maybe 25% are there with an (at least slightly) more experienced competitor, and 25% are completely on their own.

And I don't see the trainers giving dangerous instrictions. I know I quite frequently think "well, that isn't the advice _I_ would give", but I can't remember one instance where someone gave advice or encouragement I would consider dangerous. (Local jumper shows- yes- lots of dangerous advice. But not at events.)

RAyers
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:00 PM
"... My fear about the idea of having the GJ determine dangerous riding is that it further removes XC from objective judging."

Reed - I hear your concerns, but what is the reasonable alternative to police this sport? As I posted earlier, safety Nazis are scarey - and as an organizer, where is one to find the right kind of person to monitor riders? In an ideal world, licensed officials are trained to recognize and deal with dangerous riders and horses. Of course we realize that our world is far from ideal, but we have to start somewhere.
It's a hell of a problem - at best!

Flutie

(An aside to your posting - I've seen some damn scarey double clears!)

Sure, get personal and bring up my ride at your event this year. ;) Hold it, I had 8 time penalties.

Seriously, yes I agree there are plenty of scary clear rounds but now we are suggesting that weshould "judge" those rounds?! Look at what has happened in the hunter world and all of the back biting that goes on about judging.

I honestly have no simple or clear idea how to adress this problem. I guess I look at it as at some point it has to come down to personal responsibility ans one can not legislate intelligence, nor can one control the inherent nature of accidents such as Cyndi Burgie or Mia. This is a crossroads about what is the heart of the sport and has that heart gone away in this day and age of safety?

Face it, as denny alluded to, at some levels and some fences, the only way to get around is by letting the adrenaline take over and not even thinking about the dangers.

Should we all simply sign a paper and take a pledge at the begining of every competition:

The Eventers Pledge

I (insert name) do hereby attest that I am a lunatic, willing to send my body and my horse hurling at solid fences [ULRs have to say "big solid fences"] risking life, limb and higher insurance premiums. I promise to try to be a thinking rider through the fog of fear, adrenaline, and tears as the wind burns the skin off my face. I promise that if me and my horse survives we will learn from the experience and work to do better next time. Should we not survive we must pay a significant portion of the bar bill for the post XC party.

Reed

Fence2Fence
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:05 PM
I would like to see a dangerous riding penalties assessed for riding under a certain bench mark time. We have an optimum time--certainly a "time" can be determined in which the course would be ridden too fast and would qualify for penalities or eliminiation. Circling or willful delay at the end of course would result in dangerous riding penalties too. Does this make sense at what I'm trying to suggest?

I don't want subjectivity to factor into assessment of dangerous riding. It needs to be clearly defined so the rules apply to everyone--and so there is no getting away with anything if the TD or GJ is looking the other direction for whatever reason. I don't want an enviroment where we have safety natzis or more burdens on volunteers, organizers, or TDs, etc.

Kementari
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:08 PM
The Eventers Pledge

I (insert name) do hereby attest that I am a lunatic, willing to send my body and my horse hurling at solid fences [ULRs have to say "big solid fences"] risking life, limb and higher insurance premiums. I promise to try to be a thinking rider through the fog of fear, adrenaline, and tears as the wind burns the skin off my face. I promise that if me and my horse survives we will learn from the experience and work to do better next time. Should we not survive we must pay a significant portion of the bar bill for the post XC party.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sounds like a plan to me!

(Thanks for posting that rule, Janet. And I like the idea of making the dangerous riding points all the more obvious. Maybe if we used 24.1 you'd be able to tell that they weren't time faults, either. :winkgrin:)

annikak
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:18 PM
there ARE speed faults given out, fence2fence, and I have seen it happen at Nov a couple of times. The TR riders are usually a bit more savvy and slow down somewhere....

Add the column. Great idea. What about the Dangerous riding be = to a fall? At least 65 pts?

Flutie- How many times in your events have DR points been given?

I spoke to a few organizers this past weekend, and they think that one (horse) fall = E. They know there are issues with it, but think it should be a plan. Seems the argument there is an easy enough one- the horse could be hurt, and its better to check them out for the good of the animal.

Janet
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:21 PM
My fear about the idea of having the GJ determine dangerous riding is that it further removes XC from objective judging. I agree with this, and want to add that (except for the most egrigious cases, which are already beeing penalized by the officials) you REALLY need to know the horse and rider to know what is dangerous.

Several cases I am personally aware of:

Some of you may remember my sister's horse Magic (Standing Ovation). I knew him several years before she did. If you saw him jumping 2'6" you would think it was dangerous to be jumping him at all. Rushing, knees down, "elavator" jump (straight up, straight down). But, if the rider could stay with him, he cleared the fence.

He moved up to Novice, and you would think the same thing.

Then Gillian started riding him, and discovered that, if you LET him run between the fences, he would slow down (a bit) at the fence. But if you tried to make him go "normal speed" between the fences, he would pull your arms out, and STILL rush the actual fence. Even so it was still an ugly "dangerous-looking" jump.

If you didn't know the history, you would see them going "way too fast" between the fences, and "still too fast- dangerous looking jump" at the fence. By most of the criteria people are suggesting here, they would probably be penalized. But they were NOT dangerous, just unconventional.

Magic went on to qualify for, and complete, the de Brooke (Prelim champ) and win the local jumper classes at heights up to 3'9".

There are also many cases with green horses, who have schooled the course in the past, but become completely different when it is an actual competition, in some cases doing dangerous things. But you can't tell how a horse is going to behave "in competition" until it IS "in competition". And if you have a problem that only appears "in competition" it is very difficult to fix it withoiuut continuing to compete. But it can be scary looking.

Kementari
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:24 PM
I spoke to a few organizers this past weekend, and they think that one (horse) fall = E. They know there are issues with it, but think it should be a plan. Seems the argument there is an easy enough one- the horse could be hurt, and its better to check them out for the good of the animal.

Fall of horse IS elimination. Fall of rider incures penalties the first time and elimination the second time (within the same phase).

Janet
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:33 PM
I would like to see a dangerous riding penalties assessed for riding under a certain bench mark time. We have an optimum time--certainly a "time" can be determined in which the course would be ridden too fast and would qualify for penalities or eliminiation. Circling or willful delay at the end of course would result in dangerous riding penalties too. Does this make sense at what I'm trying to suggest?

See my post about Magic. In his case it would have been dangerous to try to slow him down to optimum time.

Also, when you are getting ready to move up to the next level, it is entirely appropriate to compete at the "next level" speed.

knowonder
Nov. 15, 2006, 03:17 PM
I have served as Safety Officer for events at a fairly well known facility in the eventing world. The problem with having the Safety Officer making the call on dangerous riding is twofold:

1. As Safety Officer, I am responsible for ANY accident on the premises. I can and have been called away from watching XC because someone got hurt getting on at the barns--I had a lady get kicked in the head and had to be airlifted out and she was just trying to mount. Countless runs and stadium rounds occured while I was coordinating this.

2. As with any position that has this power, you would have to be extremely careful in your criteria for elimination--just as Janet mentioned--I might see her sister's runs as dangerous and out of control when if fact they were just the opposite.

I do not event--however all I have heard since being invovled with the sport is how OBJECTIVE it is and that is one of the main reasons eventers love it so. You will lose a degree of that in allowing subjective opinions to eliminate a rider. Perhaps if it had to be concurred upon with Safety/GJ/TD? Maybe a majority decision of the three--of course in XC and Stadium, by the time it was discussed the run/trip would likely be over. You might be better off with more rules on what it takes to move up a division or even to remain in a division.

Sorry I don't have a great suggestion but I have gasped many a time as an officer and a spectator and hope there is some way to help the situation in the future.

flutie1
Nov. 15, 2006, 03:36 PM
"... Fall of horse IS elimination"
mandatory retirement, not elimination.
(Semantics)

flutie1
Nov. 15, 2006, 03:37 PM
"... I guess I look at it as at some point it has to come down to personal responsibility"

Bingo!

flutie1
Nov. 15, 2006, 03:39 PM
"... Flutie- How many times in your events have DR points been given?"

None. How many COULD have been given? Several (IMHO).

Gnep
Nov. 15, 2006, 03:43 PM
Reede I sign it anytime, but could we add, that we understand that jumping solid fences is an act of absolut stupidity.

NeverTime
Nov. 15, 2006, 04:43 PM
I think it's interesting that, even within this discussion where everyone is thinking SAFETY FIRST, so many people have brought up reasons for why what looks to everyone else like dangerous riding really isn't.
Does that indicate that riding, as some have said, really is far too subjective for anyone -- even the (hopefully trained!) professionals on the ground jury -- to determine safe vs. unsafe or does it indicate that we all tend toward "kennel blindness" when it comes to assessing our own/our students/our trainers/our friends' riding or horses to be trusted with being able to reliably make that determination?

A lot of the statements I'm reading here (and those I come up with when thinking about my own riding) would argue for the latter explanation.

I see the concern about subjectivity, but for me, that's overridden by my faith that the people selected to serve as TDs and ground jury members are experienced horsepeople that have as much, or more, training as most of us out there riding.

I can only speak for myself, but I've brought a horse up through the levels (with some smooth times and more not-smooth times) and I've often had moments where I wonder about XC, "Is this normal? Should I be worried?" Do most upper-level rounds have their seat-of-the-pants moments? Should I be able to get into every fence perfectly before I consider the jump from training to prelim? Do lots of advanced riders feel like their horses are pulling their arms out of the sockets?

If a member of the ground jury stopped me on course or came up to me afterward about my dangerous riding, I would absolutely listen to what they have to say and see it as a sobering moment. A lot of us ride alone, with no one around -- or no one more experienced -- to give us reality checks when needed. I see that as a valuable role the ground jury can play.

((Then again, I'd guess if most ground jury members had their druthers, Amy Tryon and Poggio never would've made it to Rolex in the first place, much less gone on to be medal-winning stars of our Olympic and WC squads. -- But if all of us think we are exceptions like them, we're fooling ourselves.))

Janet
Nov. 15, 2006, 04:59 PM
I trust the GJ.

What I DON'T trust is an attempt to create rules, or even "guidelines" for the average jump judge to apply.

denny
Nov. 15, 2006, 05:33 PM
Reed is right, it`s hard to judge. Bruce Davidson or Mike Plumb, who have ridden in the Maryland Hunt Cup, could come flying down to a fence at 700 m/m, and be as safe as someone sitting at home drinking coffee. Someone else is like that saying, "unsafe at any speed."
It wouldn`t be our collective intent, I don`t think, to dumb down eventing any more than has already happened.
But if you`re a parent, and you`ve ever had a child badly hurt, or worse, you have another perspective.
So can we reconcile that, yes, eventing is now and will always be, a risk sport, with the attempt to get rid of risk that is avoidable, like having a fall after having already had several refusals.
I think a horse that is quitting and quitting should walk off the course. Go home and do your homework, or ride at a lower level until he and you are ready not to have multiple stops.
That is not subjective, and should be fairly easy to regulate. If a rider does have whatever the permitted number of quits happens to be, and blindly plunges on, the rider should get in fairly serious trouble. That will make them think, even in the heat of battle.

Kementari
Nov. 15, 2006, 06:01 PM
"... Fall of horse IS elimination"
mandatory retirement, not elimination.
(Semantics)

Indeed. :o

(Note to self: think FIRST, then type. :winkgrin:)

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 15, 2006, 06:01 PM
I guess I hear you Denny but I still see an issue even with that. At novice, there may be times that you get more then three stops...schooling a young horse. And yet the rider/horse may not be overfaced or dangerous...just dealing with an issue with a young horse. And many of those issues rear their ugly heads only at events and are best dealt with by going to more events...schooling only solves so much. I can also think of times when considering that SOOO many of the questions now are narrow accuracy questions where a rider at Adv may have glance offs or little issues that cause them to have more then three refusals but perhaps they are a new combination or the rider needs experience and they are not dangerous or wrong to continue on.

I have also seen riders killed on course with no stops...at early fences...

I think the rules are fine, and I trust the TD and GJ. Riders need to make the call when they are having a bad day and need to pull up and when is it approprieate to continue on. That is a SKILL and one of the skills that we have to develop in riders...and some have better judgement and more skill at making those calls then others. It is called horsemanship....and it is one of the things that I was always proud about eventers...we generally have good horsemanship and part of that comes because our sport is dangerous and you have to know your level, your horses level, and when to say it is not your day.

In general, I do see most riders pull up when it is an off day. I really don't see the solution being different or more rules IMO. But then again....I guess I don't see a huge issue. It is not like I go to recognized events and have a ton of the rides make me cringe....there is bad riding out there sure, but there always has been and always will.

IMO I'd rather see resources spent to make jump designs better and not trappy or dangerous, research on the effects of the long format v. short format 3DE or what is the best way to condition and warm up horses for these tests...and more work to save open space for x-c and farms.

His Greyness
Nov. 15, 2006, 06:04 PM
I can't help thinking, reading this thread, that a lot of you (the general you) are like those folk who want more government services and lower taxes. You can't get there from here!

From my experience as a volunteer at numerous events there is not as strong a correlation between "dangerous riding" and accidents as you are assuming. Somehow most horses take care of their inept riders. Accidents are random and, it appears to me, that most but not all of the fatal or serious injury accidents happen to riders on the rung below the top international competitors. These happen for different reasons from the causes of "dangerous riding" at the lower levels.

If the issue is riders not being in control of their horse, then a test of control should be introduced early in the cross country course. Other disciplines have mandatory paces as part of their tests and I don't see why eventing can't do the same.

A structure similar to the long format could be resurrected for all levels. After a few warm-up fences early in the course a mandatory walk section should be introduced. If you horse doesn't walk, it doesn't go any further. The serious jumping efforts would come in the later part of the course.

Of course this idea is highly disruptive. That's why I ask how badly you want to solve this "problem"?

asterix
Nov. 15, 2006, 06:07 PM
It IS hard to judge, but I think it would be worth serious consideration -- witness this thread, which has seen a lot of thoughtful debate, witness the current rule ON THE BOOKS (seems to me as it is worded it does mean that subjectivity comes into play), and witness the forum at the upcoming convention.

The fact is that we do end up having some subjectivity creeping into even our beloved cross country already -- how many times have you dithered at the edge of a ditch or drop and wondered "hmm, wonder if they'll count that as a stop?"

Just in my own modest career volunteering at local HTs, I have seen officials speak with riders about abuse of horse, abuse of volunteer (nearly as serious an offense!), spouting profanity all around the course (egregious mainly because it was right during the time when all the kids were out walking the BN course), and other things that are, strictly speaking, subjective (I know there is some guidance on abuse of horse, but...).

Look, when I go to an event, I have to put some trust in the officials already -- that they have approved a safe and appropriate course. Obviously as you get more experienced you are more able to decide for yourself if this is true, but we DO have a system and all the officials I know personally take their responsibilities VERY seriously. I would be willing to bet on their good sense and judgement not to penalize an unorthodox ride but to really try and focus on the truly dangerous.

Some of you folks who ARE upper level riders, like Reed, Gnep, and of course denny, have real passion about the "dumbing down" of the sport. Me, I am just hoping someone will dumb down a preliminary course enough for me to make that leap next year. We lower level smurfs have more tolerance for some handholding, probably because we need it!

Perhaps we should pilot a dangerous riding penalty project ONLY for the lower levels, and leave aside the question for now of upper level events.

RAyers
Nov. 15, 2006, 06:08 PM
I think a horse that is quitting and quitting should walk off the course. Go home and do your homework, or ride at a lower level until he and you are ready not to have multiple stops.
That is not subjective, and should be fairly easy to regulate. If a rider does have whatever the permitted number of quits happens to be, and blindly plunges on, the rider should get in fairly serious trouble. That will make them think, even in the heat of battle.


I totally agree! We already have rules that govern this but it seems that people circumvent the rules or the GJ either never sees the infractions or chooses not to.

First, the rules for stopping and walking off the course must be strictly enforced. If I rider runs, ignoring the jump judge under advisement from Control, they get fined, period the end.

Second, the $100 fine must be enforced across the board (I say as I check my wallet). At this point I think a fine of "paying for the competitior's party" should be the standard.

I see no reason to add another layer of rules and regulations when the rules we have need to be strongly applied. I bet a summer with 100 or so fines handed out will wake up everyone across the US toot sweet. No, this will not stop accidents nor will it initially stop an incident such as that at Galway but in the end it will push riders at all levels to THINK.

In the jumpers 20 years ago we had the Carona Crash Club. You had to chip a case of Corona in for an exhibitor party for every fall you had during the week. One year I was VP of the club with 4 crashes during the week (including the top scoring crash with a 9.8 cumulative from the judges. The paddock master gave me a 7, the bastard). Talk about brutal! Both me and my wallet were bruised badly. I got smart and dropped down a division the next week to get things going and the the week after that bumped back up and consistently finished in the ribbons.

As for Gnep, sure you just want me to pay for your beer next summer, and why do I suspect flutie1 will make me sign my own pledge at Maui Jim next year? ;)

astrix, this has nothing to do with upper vs lower levels. You say you want things to "dumb down" but I bet good money the reality is you want to bump your horsemanship up, which you will do in time. :) I admit I have significant problems with authority so adding a "judging" aspect just gets me in an dander.


Reed

Gnep
Nov. 15, 2006, 06:55 PM
Naturally I want you to pay my beer.
I agree with you to have so to speak another big brother watching you and me and than judge if I have been dangerous ( that would be something ) is an idea that I can not go along either, that would be like PC-Rallies. No thanks.

But never the less I agree with Denny on the basic idea of protecting us against ourself, not that somebody makes a judgement call, but bu tightening some of the basic rules for example the refusals.

Asterix this has nothing to do with upper levels or so, I think it is human nature to make stupid decision and not a question of the level you ride or have ridden at.

Up your game and prelim might turn out to be easy.

jumpjesterjump
Nov. 15, 2006, 07:42 PM
i was riding with a BNT and i don't remeber if i had even done 4 trainings and on our way to Groton House 2 in '03, BNT calls secretary and moves me up from training to Prelim then calls and tells me. We hadn't XC schooled anything over T in quite a while. I had 1 day to learn the new Dressage test, and when i walked my course for the first time i was like HOLY S*** this is BIG!!! I walked that course 4 times before i started to feel comfortable with it. I had complete faith in my horse, i love him so much he's saved my a** many times. Dressage was OK, XC started out OK, there were quite a few jumps i didn't know how to ride so i grabbed mane and kept my leg on. We made it 3/4 of the way around, after the water we jumped long over a big down hill landing dog house jump and i lost my stirrup, at the next jump my horse being the angel that he is could tell something wasn't right and was going to stop so that i could fix my problems. I being inexperienced kicked and held on not wanting to get chewed out for having a stop. On landing from that jump i fell off and got hurt, that is the first and only time i have broken anything from falling off, and i lost quite a bit of confidence in myself after that. (thinking that it was all my fault when in actuality it was partially my trainers for not making sure i was comfortable moving up, before taking it into his own hands to move me up) It took a while for me to feel comfortable going training again and by that time my horse was having some soundness issues so we never did get to try Prelim again. He is now taking my mom around Novice and loving it. :) :) I miss him, i'll see him at x-mas. :)

flutie1
Nov. 15, 2006, 07:44 PM
"... why do I suspect flutie1 will make me sign my own pledge at Maui Jim next year?"

In blood, Baby, in blood!
:-)

Flutie

(P.S. Any idea where we can find a life sized Sumo wrestler sex toy for one of our new 3* fences?)

annikak
Nov. 15, 2006, 08:00 PM
As far as fall of horses- what happened, as they told me and I might not have heard everything correctly- but think I did- horse fell coming out of the box, rider was still sorta attached, horse got up, they got back on and off they went. They were upset, tried to get her to stop and make sure they was okay but they would have none of it.

Rider then had issues later on in the course and paid the price (literally) then.

So, I guess they did not MR her because it was not related to a fence. In any event, I am sorry for what appears to be misinformation...:o

pegasusmom
Nov. 16, 2006, 07:03 AM
"... I guess I look at it as at some point it has to come down to personal responsibility"

Bingo!

Worth having this posted again.

Signed, the mother of a 16 year old boy who just got his driver's license. Now. . . that is scary. :eek: :eek:

pwynnnorman
Nov. 16, 2006, 07:17 AM
The observation someone made about how there is probably little to no correlation between dangerous riding and falls is an intriguing one--and may be at the heart of why it's so difficult to deal with.

But I keep coming back to that "list" someone mentioned exists among some organizers. Seems to me that if such a list can exist, then there IS something being consistently observed and noted. Then, too, it reminds me of who it is who is ultimately responsible (legally, perhaps?) for the potential ramifications of dangerous riding (including bad PR): the organizers. Perhaps rather than the GJ, it should be the organizers (collectively, over time) who should have some way of "carding" or "ticketing" competitors? I mean, if THEY (the hardworking, earnest organizers) don't want you riding at their event, well, shouldn't their opinions, however those opinions came about, be supported by some rule or system?

I guess I don't really see why--maybe as a group, after a post mortem session among themselves at the end of the season in their areas--organizers can't be empowered by USEA somehow to send warning notices (threatening the rejection of entries or "waiting-list only" status, as in "Only if we HAVE to will we accept your entry!") to competitors who have consistently exhibited dangerous riding.

flutie1
Nov. 16, 2006, 11:01 AM
" ... I guess I don't really see why--maybe as a group, after a post mortem session among themselves at the end of the season in their areas--organizers can't be empowered by USEA somehow to send warning notices (threatening the rejection of entries or "waiting-list only" status, as in "Only if we HAVE to will we accept your entry!") to competitors who have consistently exhibited dangerous riding."

I think there's a germ of a really good idea here, Wynn. I've had pipe dreams about doing the same thing to the handful of consistently rude and abusive competitors as well as check bouncers. We all (organizers) have lists in the back of our heads of entries that make us cringe for whatever reason. Officials have similar lists - (the things war stories are made of!) - and I know cross country crash people do to. I don't think this kind of an idea could be made "official," but encouraging organizer networking could be very rewarding.

Flutie


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Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Nov. 16, 2006, 01:56 PM
[quote=flutie1;2000542 We all (organizers) have lists in the back of our heads of entries that make us cringe for whatever reason. Officials have similar lists - (the things war stories are made of!) - and I know cross country crash people do to. Flutie
__________________[/quote]

Actually, I wonder if it could be made official - and I am strongly in the personal responsibility camp! I'm not sure how the logistics would work, but if my jumping in the first jump phase had put me on the "watch list" I wouldn't mind knowing that before I headed back out on course.

I know one time Flight Check noted that I had fit two strides in a fairly short in and out. It was a short strided mare on her first run at a higher level, so I felt better about that then risking a flyer, but if I had then headed out XC and jumped like a gazelle over the first five fences, I might not have been shocked to get penalties at the end despite a clean run.

Though if we got brave and forward after the first 5, would I deserve penalties? I distinctly remember an XC run not so very long ago which started that way, but I thought "No way am I heading to the cordwood if we haven't kicked into gear by then!" and we had two stupid stops, I got mad and stopped sitting like a stupid bystander, rode forward, and the last half of the course was reputable. I bet big money there was radio chatter at first though...

pwynnnorman
Nov. 16, 2006, 04:33 PM
I had the feeling, Jeannette, that that list someone mentioned involved folks who, time after time after time, made everyone cringe -- and in both x-c and stadium. I can't imagine any organizers being quick to turn away the sport's supporters. I would hope that they'd have a bunch of really good reasons for putting someone on their lists.

NMK
Nov. 16, 2006, 04:47 PM
One person that we all listen to before going out XC is the start box timer. That person could state the elimination rules while you're waiting to go. We all know that once the adrenaline kicks in some riders don't remember what the rules actually are, especially when things run amok. A quick reminder of the rules at the moment you start out would be very helpful.

I would also consider an escalated down number of refusals as the level of difficulty increases, IE four stop totals at BN/N, only three at T/P and two at the upper levels.

I also see that each one of us has a responsiblity to report unsafe practices to the TD or a member of the GJ at the event itself.

Nancy

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Nov. 16, 2006, 04:51 PM
Well I guess there is the meta list which organizers discuss in private or have nightmares about - but I know there is already at some events at least a list made at that event of "riders worth watching in the next phase. Don't plan on grabbing your sandwhich break at 2:10, TD. Be at the top of the hill..."
I'm pretty sure I'm not on the meta list, :eek: though I know I am prone to last minute entries, but I may or may not have made the second list at times. :o I didn't ever think about such a list existing until FlightCheck made a comment alluding to it here a couple years ago.

In the spirit of brainstorming (not of making more rules!) I'm wondering if she or flutie or canterlope other official types would like ot weigh in on whether they would have any interest in alerting riders that they were on the watch list before the next phase...

Sandy M
Nov. 16, 2006, 05:22 PM
it is a knotty problem. I just don't know how the speed/dangerous riding thing can be judged without creating problems. Especially the stopping thing, because as many have said, a greenie may be jumping safely but have issues with certain fences that need to be resolved "on course" rather than schooling at home. Would a ground jury/fence judge have the option to say "this stop is okay, continue" or "this stop indicates you are over-faced, stop"?

And the speed thing.....Generally, yeah, someone at a lower level going hell-bent-for election is easily judged "unsafe." However, I can think of instances when it would NOT be unsafe. I went prelim (and won, qualified for DeBroke) on a older horse who was barely 16 hands, more of the height being body than legs. He had to go flat out to make preliminary time, and usually had a few time faults. He jumped safely and obviously, if he was barely making the time he wasn't going too fast. Fast forward to new horse: First time out at training, not bothering with a watch at that level and not being one for excessive speed in any event, we rolled right on, had a LOVELY x-country, clean.... and 1.30 (minutes, not seconds) under time. Uh, well, he was 16.3 with an enormous stride, and I let him roll on at what I was used to: Preliminary speed. There was a bit of silence when they announced my x-country time. My trainer took me aside and told me, nicely, that it had been TOO fast, but that it had LOOKED perfectly safe. After that I held him back a bit, to the degree I could (he was a....uh... strong-minded Appy) and no one every said we were going too fast. But obviously, that first time my speed WAS excessive (but not unsafe). So how does one determine and penalize speed that is dangerous, speed that is not... SOMEONE is going to dispute the decision either way, IMO.

But something needs to be done. I stopped eventing some years ago, partly because the new horse was less than suitable. (He'd jump cross-country fences, when asked, but you DID have to ask, EVERY time, firmly. He preferred his "eight perfect fences" in an arena, and eventually became my dressage only horse.), and partly because I worred about MY ability to deal with the courses that were becoming more and more technical at Prelim. Now it seems they are becoming every bit as technical at training leve. At this point, I don't know if I will event my new horse. A decision I won't have to make for quite a while: He's only 2.5 yrs old. I go now as a spectator, and I certainly do see some very scary rounds, but less often from speed than from just plain not knowing how to jump and simply stay in the tack. Fortunately, at least the ones I have seend DO end up stopping out before they get hurt (so far).

HiJumpGrrl
Nov. 16, 2006, 06:24 PM
I think a "watch list" before the next phase is a good idea. However, in the grand scheme of things, i think it won't likely prevent a whole lot of dangerous riding. In the traditional progression of dressage, XC, stadium, dressage would be the only predictor for a dangerous XC ride. How many dangerous dressage rides do we actually see? A list that goes from one event to another might be prejudicial, given that any team can have a bad day, and being the left-wing liberal I am, I believe in forgiveness and clean slates and all that.

Also, I think that a definition for "dangerous riding" is elusive, and somewhat subjective. If you try to put objective measures on it, then I'd fear for special circumstances that would nullify the objectivity. For instance, you could say that putting 2 strides in an in-and-out is "dangerous"... but if you're Jeannette, and you're riding a medium pony at Training, even if she IS the Rox Dene of event ponies, it's much safer than the aforementioned flier!

I agree with all that have said we just have to trust the Ground Jury and the TD. They've yet to lead me astray :)

Badger
Nov. 16, 2006, 07:07 PM
One thing that I keep going thinking as I read this thread, is that every one of us sometimes has a bad jump. Even the big guys. Everyone who has been to Rolex know the Group Gasp that happens as we watch a bad moment. A British clinician I have ridden with talks about "raising the percentage of good jumps." You are never going to be perfect out there, sometimes you just have to grap mane and kick on, or hope your horse finds a fifth leg and gets you out of trouble, but with training and experience you raise your percentage of good jumps, but the bad jumps never go away completely. Now, if your typical jump is a scary one, there is a problem, but part of eventing, part of riding cross-country in the hunt field, part of horses in general, is dealing with that bad moment that sometimes happens. There is no way to legistlate it out of the sport.

And speaking of someone who has had a "dangerous" dressage test, it does happen, but it does not necessarily have anything at all to do with how the horse is going to jump around the course.

asterix
Nov. 16, 2006, 11:01 PM
Hmmm...what percentage of HTs run XC before SJ still? In Area II (ok, VA/MD area II, not NC/PA) we are very weighted towards the D-SJ-XC order...
and that does give an opportunity to have a head's up about someone who may look truly off the bell curve.

I may be an optimist, but I do not think that a lot of the "but what about the time I..." examples cited here would end up getting you in trouble if the dangerous riding rule were more often applied. A small horse putting 2 neat strides in an in-and-out doesn't look dangerous -- anyone who has taken a Lucinda Green clinic has probably her take on the subject of striding on XC -- get the horse to the jump in the right balance/energy, and let HIM figure out where to put his feet, and how many strides he wants to get --

ditto the well-prepared pair smoking around a T course as a prep for moving up to P.

The speed issue -- most of the scary rides I have seen involved scary rides down to the jumps, not going around the course too fast. It's those last 6 strides that make the difference -- and that can be underpowered, unbalanced, just as much as overpowered, unbalanced.

I am still of the mind that a pilot program to apply the existing rules with more gusto (including the fine, and the odd-numbered and separately tabulated penalty, as others mentioned) would be worth trying. No new committees, officials, meetings, etc. -- just getting all those officials I've HEARD debating with themselves about whether this is "bad enough" to say "yeah, this is pretty bad. I'm stepping in."

Gnep and Reed, thanks for your earlier comments about moving up -- you are QUITE right, and it's furthermore what we should all focus on -- when you "up" your horsemanship, you can be ready for the next level (horse willing and able, that is), and ready safely. In my case, I KNOW I am not there yet. But you'd be surprised how many people have said to me "oh, come on, you're ready -- that last Training went so well! What are you waiting for? He can do it!"
My own coach, conservative and experienced, my own head (not so experienced in eventing, but I think pretty honest about my abilities), and a very reputable clinician have all said "next year. Keep working. You WILL be ready, but not quite yet."

But on paper, we could have moved up a year ago. That's a problem, I think, with the moveup from T to P as it's currently constituted. But a different problem, for a different thread.

cyberbay
Nov. 17, 2006, 09:49 AM
The dangerous riders at the events are the ones who need to be in training. Becoming an educated rider is the only solution.

So, as a solution, maybe those who are warned are given some options, like: 1) be banned from recog. events for x amount of month(s), and during that time, they are to go to a trainer of their choice for a minimum of 3 private lessons to meet publicly-stated riding criteria before they are allowed to participate again. If they have the $ to enter a recognized event, they have the $ to get those 3 lessons (or at, maybe, a discount). The criteria would be such things as sitting the trot, counting strides, learning mpm, able to describe the technique to adjust a long distance or a snug distance, all good riding skills, and ones that any adequate rider should know enough about (but doesn't have to be deeply skilled/practiced at, since so many of us don't have the resources to be Anky in dressage and Denny :-> to the jumps!). Can't really think of any other options, but as others have mentioned there is no point in dunning these people if it doesn't result in them 'seeing the light,' so to speak. They'll just return to eventing no better in their riding, possibly with a chip on their shoulder, or go 'underground' to the unrecognized, where no rule can touch them.

When they return to competition, they are required to compete at a lower level providing a safe and adequete demonstration of riding (through decent scores in the 3 phases, and no unfavorable eye-witness reports, etc.) for x number of events.

This solution not only gets the dangerous riders educated but forces self-awareness of their situation.

Just an idea...

JER
Nov. 17, 2006, 11:39 AM
The dangerous riders at the events are the ones who need to be in training. Becoming an educated rider is the only solution.

To that first sentence: if only. One of the most consistently dangerous riders I've seen is considered a BNR. This rider has students; I can't imagine they learn solid principles of horsemanship.

I don't like seeing eventing become more trainer-driven. If you're going to ride a horse over solid obstacles, you have to be able to think for yourself. This isn't equitation, we don't ride cookie-cutter horses over cookie-cutter courses.

I think the current rules suffice. Bringing in a judging element to XC might work well at a schooling show where everyone gets some feedback from the judge but at a recognized HT, what judge is going to see every fence of every ride? Impossible. Moreover, 'dangerous riding' would have to be considered over the entire course. Like others have mentioned, we all have moments where we ride by the seat of our pants. 'Dangerous riding' is more about poor judgment than any jumping effort and I've heard the 'watch this rider' warnings over the radio plenty of times. Sometimes the best we can do is to look out for each other.

flutie1
Nov. 17, 2006, 11:56 AM
"... I don't like seeing eventing become more trainer-driven. If you're going to ride a horse over solid obstacles, you have to be able to think for yourself. This isn't equitation, we don't ride cookie-cutter horses over cookie-cutter courses."

Agree 100% - but the reality is, the sport IS becoming more trainer driven proportionally to the decrease in opportuities that the entry level eventer has to learn to ride off the seat of the pants (such as fox hunting).

We have to start monitoring ourselves lest someone else do it for us. Part of this is using the rules that exist.

arnika
Nov. 17, 2006, 12:52 PM
I've been off the boards for a while and just saw this and the thread that brought it up. I've tried to read some of every page and think I mostly have the gist of it.

All I can really say is, Leave eventing alone! We have more than enough rules now. Everyone needs to make their own decision on whether they and their horse are ready for a level and take on the responsibility for their actions.

If an organizer puts up unsafe/unfair questions on their course, then do not go there again! Vote with your feet and your money. Complain to the TD if a fence is inappropriate for the level. Complain to the USEA (may not help but they would pass it along to the organizer if they got several complaints, I imagine).

I'm sorry for any horse/rider that gets hurt at an event but don't do it if you can't deal with the results. It's part of riding and can't be legislated away. All picking at it will do is result in the death of eventing as a sport. Period.

GotSpots
Nov. 17, 2006, 02:40 PM
When a rider or horse gets hurt, it's awful. I know, I've been there, it's hideous. Sometimes it happens through rider error, sometimes it happens through fence design or building error, and sometimes it just happens becaue it's the wrong time at the wrong place and things go badly. We can try to train out number 1, we can try to improve number 2, but the third one - that's a doozy.

We can't legislate risk out of the sport. We can apply the rules that are already in place, and officials and organizers can listen to the concerns of riders and competitors in a cooperative manner. Far more than a TD making a subjective judgment that because I've just taken a flyer to a big oxer I'm all of a sudden unsafe, I want that TD to listen to me when I say that the light is causing a dangerous glare off the water jump, or that there's a hole in the water and horses are going to get hurt, or that the course is metered 200 meters long, and not wait until horses fall because they can't see the jump, or break their legs because of the hole, or not one rider makes time because of the metering error before they recognize the error. I want to see members of the Ground Jury who don't view me as a wimp or a sissy because I want the test to be a fair test, and who have the courage to fix something. I want those same members of the Ground Jury to use the tools at their discretion already in the rule book to enforce the abuse and dangerous riding rules (for example, I don't want the TD to tell jump judges, as I watched one do last week, that five hits with a crop is not abuse in his book - the rule is what it is, and he doesn't get to change it).

Before we go imposing all sorts of subjective aspects to what is at its best, primarily an objective test, why don't we enforce the rules we have? Why do we possibly need more rules?

kcooper
Nov. 17, 2006, 03:07 PM
I want to renew my suggestion from page 4 (post #70), which addresses most of the concerns here. If a person is riding dangerously, the TD and two other people (GJ members or safety officer, etc) meet with them IMMEDIATELY at the competition. Depending on the reaction or explanation they get, they can enforce the current penalties -- or not. This provides education, makes the person think right away about what they were doing - before they forget and the feeling goes away. It does not take a lot of time from the officials. It aids in "saving us from ourselves" because we are learning at a period of time before we forget the adrenaline and how we felt on course. Also, when people are provided with a measure of respect in confronting problematic behavior they tend to respond -- which addresses Jazzy Lady's uncaring teenager. It addresses Flutie's issue by having three people to provide fairness and share the burden of the "confrontation."
I don't like to admit this very often, but I am a prosecutor and before that was a defense attorney for many years. I have a lot of experience in seeing how different punishment/incentive reactions affect changes in poor behavior. Talking to the person face to face and explaining what is wrong is still the best method. There will always be jerks around who ignore the feedback, but I'll bet 95% of the nice eventing people at the competitions I attend would be embarrassed, appropriate in their response and want to improve. And the teenagers will be provided another brick to add to their building wall of maturity. Anyways, no one commented on my suggestion except for 5West, but I still think it would work and does not require any majory changes to rules or personel except to ask the TDs to do it.

flutie1
Nov. 17, 2006, 03:08 PM
"... We can apply the rules that are already in place, and officials and organizers can listen to the concerns of riders and competitors in a cooperative manner."

Totally agree, Spot - and may I phrase basically the same idea from the "other" side, i.e., as an official and an organizer?
I am more than willing to listen to your concerns and act on them where appropriate - but please ask me politely. I'll show you the same amount of respect that you show me (and please understand, this in no way is directed at you personally. I use "you" hypothetically). We both know "representatives" from every facet of the sport who are so bloody rude, whiney and demanding that it takes maximum effort to heed and act upon what they are saying, and when anyone acts that way toward a volunteer, I feel justified in taking the gloves off. Fair enough?

Flutie

Janet
Nov. 17, 2006, 03:13 PM
GotSpots,

Thank you.

I agree.

pegasusmom
Nov. 17, 2006, 05:11 PM
"... We can apply the rules that are already in place, and officials and organizers can listen to the concerns of riders and competitors in a cooperative manner."

Totally agree, Spot - and may I phrase basically the same idea from the "other" side, i.e., as an official and an organizer?
I am more than willing to listen to your concerns and act on them where appropriate - but please ask me politely. I'll show you the same amount of respect that you show me (and please understand, this in no way is directed at you personally. I use "you" hypothetically). We both know "representatives" from every facet of the sport who are so bloody rude, whiney and demanding that it takes maximum effort to heed and act upon what they are saying, and when anyone acts that way toward a volunteer, I feel justified in taking the gloves off. Fair enough?

Flutie

Ditto, from a non-official and an organizer.

cyberbay
Nov. 17, 2006, 07:31 PM
JER - the intention is to get the rider prepared for the sport, and the only way to do that is by taking lessons, basically. The 'dangerous' rider sure didn't figure it out on their own, so they need to get in front of a trainer and get some help. True, a flaw in this is getting them in front of a good trainer, but it also seems to me that the dangerous riders are often (but not always) going solo at these events.

ksbadger
Nov. 17, 2006, 11:41 PM
I want that TD to listen to me when I say that the light is causing a dangerous glare off the water jump, or that there's a hole in the water and horses are going to get hurt, or that the course is metered 200 meters long, and not wait until horses fall because they can't see the jump, or break their legs because of the hole, or not one rider makes time because of the metering error before they recognize the error.

Spot,
Totally agree as well. Don't know if anyone's read this weeks's Chronicle yet but Denny says the same in his "Unwritten Rules" piece. (The only thing I'd add to his article is Rule 2a - Be nice to and thank all volunteers - without them our sport would be both much more dangerous and not economically viable).

Whisper
Nov. 18, 2006, 01:06 PM
I think that a brief discussion of footing and other safety issues would be great either immediately before or after the jump judge meeting. A bunch of people are getting together then anyway, before XC.

Several people mentioned that jump judges aren't allowed to eliminate for dangerous riding, but if they are encouraged to mark down people who are scary, I think that is a good idea. If at two different JJ's marking the same rider as "scary" or "dangerous", whether or not there are time/jumping faults, the TD or President of the Ground Jury or someone in a similar position should talk to them (assuming they didn't see the ride themselves, so couldn't actually eliminate the person for that reason).

RiverBendPol
Nov. 21, 2006, 12:21 PM
Does anybody else think THIS is a major problem? He/she even admits being "rude" and "throwing caution to the wind". For CRYING OUT LOUD. WTF?????????? This was posted on another Eventing thread...

>>"Best Moment: Really very rude of me, but with very slippery XC in torrential downpour and after our first stop ever in stadium with wind-blown sunbrella scaring nearly every horse and challenging all results....I threw caution to the wind and took the prelim double log jump into the water (was between flags)...while in a novice competition!!! Then...Bruce Davidson stopped by on my walk back to the barn a few feet from the infamous water jump, and said "excellent going" or something like that. I was just so darn elated about flying through the air on my young horse and landing gallantly in the water - he could have said "you are crazy" and I still would have been beeming." <<

The more I read it the more NUTS it makes me. What the hell is the MATTER with people?? A young horse going novice in a downpour (gee, think the footing was good? Oh, sorry, no, "very slippery") having already had a stop in SJ? A Prelim double log? Is that a 1 stride with drop into water? Crap, it makes me NUTS. These are the fools who need the tickets, banning, lessons, etiquette training! Instead of thinking, "Gosh, that was a really dumb mistake. I could have hurt or scared my horse.", she went home "BEEMING" bc she did such a wildandcrazyfun thing. OMG, nuts, I tell you.

McVillesMom
Nov. 21, 2006, 12:53 PM
I agree with you, Pol. Around here that would get you E'd, or at the very least you would get a STERN talking to by the TD.

Bogie
Nov. 21, 2006, 06:48 PM
This was posted on another Eventing thread...

>>"Best Moment: Really very rude of me, but with very slippery XC in torrential downpour and after our first stop ever in stadium with wind-blown sunbrella scaring nearly every horse and challenging all results....I threw caution to the wind and took the prelim double log jump into the water (was between flags)...while in a novice competition!!! Then...Bruce Davidson stopped by on my walk back to the barn a few feet from the infamous water jump, and said "excellent going" or something like that. I was just so darn elated about flying through the air on my young horse and landing gallantly in the water - he could have said "you are crazy" and I still would have been beeming." <<

The more I read it the more NUTS it makes me. What the hell is the MATTER with people?? A young horse going novice in a downpour (gee, think the footing was good? Oh, sorry, no, "very slippery") having already had a stop in SJ? A Prelim double log? Is that a 1 stride with drop into water? Crap, it makes me NUTS. These are the fools who need the tickets, banning, lessons, etiquette training! Instead of thinking, "Gosh, that was a really dumb mistake. I could have hurt or scared my horse.", she went home "BEEMING" bc she did such a wildandcrazyfun thing. OMG, nuts, I tell you.

I thought the same thing. What was she thinking!!! Not only can I not imagine intentionally jumping a fence that was not on the course. Moving up two levels to a technical fence as a spur of the moment impulse, while riding in a downpour? She's darn lucky she or her horse didn't get hurt. My trainer would have ripped me a new one had I tried something like that.