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  1. #1
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    Default Conspiracy Theories? Re: Qualifying Rule

    The way in which this proposed rule was introduced, promoted, and NOT publicly discussed prior to the eve of it's vote makes one wonder....is there something behind the rule that is not evident on the surface?

    Give that there are EXISTING simple alternatives have been proposed for qualification:
    1-Use the rider score
    2-Use the existing medal system
    3-Use the existing scoring system to separate good from chaf

    Then why would a committee try to "reinvent the wheel?" by implementing an onerous rule....without public discussion?

    Are they perhaps not the sharpest knives in the drawer?

    Or is there something behind this rule that the proponents of the rule want to keep hidden?



  2. #2
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    Default

    I have previously stated that I think that revenue enhancement (fund raising) is probably a motivator. It might backfire if it drives people away though.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  3. #3
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    Default

    A saying I once heard and remembered:

    Never assume malice of forethought when simple stupidity or incompetence provides an equally plausible explanation.

    My sense of this entire kerfuffle is that:
    -some people were frustrated about poor rides they saw
    -some people talked and decided that 'rules' were needed
    -these same people did not think the issue through any more than this

    Implementing rules like this one creates an entire cascade of unintended consequences. This becomes even more true when the rule change is directed at behaviors that do not have a clear linkage to the target issue: getting certain scores or points is not a clear indicator of riding competence. It IS an indicator of having access to shows, or horses, or judges that will provide the scores.

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926



  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ShotenStar View Post
    getting certain scores or points is not a clear indicator of riding competence. It IS an indicator of having access to shows, or horses, or judges that will provide the scores.

    *star*
    So true! There is one ride that really sticks out in my mind that could have spurred this qualification system. The rider had no seat, yanked on the curb the whole test, used whip and spurs excessively. The horse was a complete saint and put up with the mess. Imagine my shock, the ride scored a

    72% !!



  5. #5
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    Oct. 31, 2006
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    Default Simple envy

    I'm in a business (not horses) that is dominated by German products. I worked for a German company. I saw unabashed criticism of Americans, their workmanship, system of manufacturing, especially their system of training their tech people, etc.

    I see the same with the American riders vs the European. I think the muckidymucks here are sick of being put down because we don't have a viable system in place to train horses and riders that is as efficient as the Europeans. This is a large country and we have to admit that we don't have as many fine instructors/trainers as they do in Europe. That doesn't mean that we don't have the quality at the highest levels because my personal feeling is that we do but we don't have the quality in quantity at the bottom of the pyramid.

    Right now our pyramid of support is on the shoulders of the thousands of amateur riders (many of whom got a late start) who are admittedly not all of the quality of the competition in Europe. But they are trying their butts off to learn and compete at higher levels.

    Those riders are the ones that have been told repeatedly that you don't need a fabulous horse to do dressage. Dressage is about training your horse to the best level that it can be. Or at least that is what we have been taught to believe. The problem with the pressure that this new system will bring on the base of our pyramid is that we don't have the numbers to fill the void if the lower level riders are discouraged beyond their ability to participate.

    So the muckidymucks here think that by making the standards tougher that the quality will go up. I think by eliminating numbers and shrinking the pool of participants the quality may likely to go down. We'll see.

    It is more likely that if things are left as they are that the quality will go up as it has for years. Make no mistake there are many more competent dressage riders here than there were 20 years ago. It is just not fast enough for the judges that are sick of seeing the "quarter horse that should be chasing cows"
    attempting a feat that in their minds should be left to the fancy movers who just got off the plane.

    Well I'd like to point out that this sport would be no where if it weren't for those women who are competing with a marginal horse. I'd also like to mention that it is a hellava lot harder to compete with a marginal horse and these competitors should be rewarded handsomely for their persistence and drive instead of lumped into a mass that the USDF would like to dissolve with a virtual solvent.

    That's just what I think.



  6. #6
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Angry

    I think it might have the negative impact of forcing riders in already difficult financial times to forego "moving up" for staying at home and enjoying life. And what of those trainers who appear at First, occasionally at Second, and then vanish until PSG. It's legal for them, for they have qualified, even if it's only on one horse that they can ride.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Well you know, we all want to be like europe. Just like when you were a child and wore your mom's shoes and jewelery, you sure felt like an adult, I believe that those who are proposing the rule feel that of we LOOK like europe, we will BE like europe. They don't take into account the reasons for the rules, just that the rule exists.



  8. #8
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    Default

    Everyone keeps saying no one knew this was coming. However, the information was available. I remembered reading about a proposal to qualify for third level in one of Anne Gribbons' columns in the Chronicle. I went back and found that it was published on June 30, 2006. The column is still available on the Chronicle website.



  9. #9
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    Oct. 26, 2001
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AM View Post
    Everyone keeps saying no one knew this was coming. However, the information was available. I remembered reading about a proposal to qualify for third level in one of Anne Gribbons' columns in the Chronicle. I went back and found that it was published on June 30, 2006. The column is still available on the Chronicle website.
    As much as I like the COTH, it is not an official communication means of either the USDF or the USDF. I never saw any mention of this in the USDF Connections Magazine



  10. #10
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    Oct. 6, 2006
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    Cool Again, rosinante?

    Ah, rosinante, looking for conspiracy Theories again??

    (as in the long, ugly thread last year about DVCTA and DAD parting ways...)?????



  11. #11
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    Default

    What Shotenstar said.

    This is hardly a conspiracy.

    Rather a less-than-well-researched or thought out attempt by some to make improvements.

    I think they just did not present it very well.

    http://dressagedaily.com/2008/dd_200...0109-usef.html



  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Old War Horse View Post
    Ah, rosinante, looking for conspiracy Theories again??

    (as in the long, ugly thread last year about DVCTA and DAD parting ways...)?????
    I was there in the DVCTA/DAD fight...right at the begining actually...in the board room so to speak, so perhaps I knew where to look in that analysis.

    And if one has ever had any dealings with the corporate world, or in local politics at the township or local school board level, one knows that things get heated, postponed, and votes get delayed until a key player is on vacation....and excuses are made...and eventually...poof!!! a rule is made or a law is passed....

    I do not believe that this rule, a rule that impacts so many people, came to be brought up to a vote so quickly and so quietly without a reason....I can believe in conspiracies...Machiavellian though it may be....or the other alternative is to think that the Dressage Committee are REALLY clueless....as in "stupidity and/or incompetent"....I'll take Machiavellian, as it is the higher intellectual alternative of the two.

    As far as the DAD/DVCTA split, after a year in retrospect, I've come to believe that it was due to the fox guarding the hen house that stole the crown jewel.
    Last edited by rosinante; Jan. 9, 2008 at 11:25 PM.



  13. #13
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    Default

    I have a similar view to RedHorse, I also work in business for a German company in the High Tech industry of Information Technology and Telecommunications. Horses are a business and hobby for me (I breed Dressage Horses - German Warmbloods) and I have competed in dressage, eventing and show jumping for over 45 years.

    Over the years, I have learned that the German culture is very different from the US Culture. It is highly regulated and controlled. In the area of High Tech hardware, Germany excels, they have great engineers, in the area of software they lag behind the US market. The reason is that the German High Tech Market will not put anything out until they test, retest, recertify, retest, recertify, and re-engineer.

    As a result, they always have a great product but are two-four years behind the US software developers that put it out in the market (ie Microsoft) before it has been bullet proofed. As a result companies like Microsoft and Cisco have dominated globally because they were not as highly regulated and put product on the market that were leading edge and let the customer do the beta testing. There is a similar analogy to dressage in the US if you think about it for a moment. The German culture is highly regulated. The US culture is not highly regulated. As a result, there is a cultural bias in the US against telling us what we can and cannot do. We want to be able to go out and make our mistakes in public and learn from them, just like Microsoft and Cisco have done.

    The same highly regulated environment applies to the horse business in Germany. Everything is highly regulated. Stallions are not bred unless they pass a 100 day test and have the right pedigree. Mares have to pass an inspection, performance test and their pedigree has to be correct or they are not allowed into the mare book. Foals are culled and sent to the knacker, mares are culled, and stallions are culled when they get old. (Go ahead and argue with me but I have seen it first hand from many famous breeders in Germany).

    You get your Bereiters license before you teach or train. You qualify to compete. You qualify to train horses, You qualify to train people, There is good and bad in this system. If you spend any time with Germans as I have one of the things they admire about our country is that we have freedom. We have the ability to make choices. We are not regulated by our goverment as to where we build our house, what color it is, the fact that it must be brick and have a red tile roof(unless your HOA has a say so) and how we ride our horse. It appears the USDF and USEF think there is value in the socialistic characteristics of a German regulation system. I see good and bad with the system.

    I have spent an inordinate amount of time in Germany taking breeding and riding courses (over 22 trips)to become very familiar with the culture surrounding breeding and dressage training. I also have spent alot of time with German Business people since 1997 as this is the corporation I work with. The largest German conglomerate on the Globe.

    We cannot duplicate the German culture in the USA. Until such time, I do not think the USEF/USDF Performance Standard rule proposed can or should be jammed down American Dressage riders throats. It is like fitting a square peg in a round hole.

    Until such time as our Olympic Sports are sponsored by our Government like in other countries a rule like this SHOULD NOT be considered. We do not need to TEST, RE-CERTIFY, RE-TEST, RE-CERTIFY our dressage riders!

    This sport is a hobby for the majority of participants in the USA. In Europe it is a business and an integral part of their culture. There is a distinct difference between the two. Until such time as dressage is as popular as the New York Jets playing the Redskins on television I suggest the powers that run the USDF/USEF DC leave this poorly thought out rule alone.


    By the way, one last thought... I have watched the USDF dressage tests _ training through 4rth level get harder and harder every 4yrs when the tests are changed. What was 2nd level is now 1st level, what was 4rth level is now 3rd level. But each year, we see better horses, better riders, and better scores, bigger classes, and we are told that dressage is the largest growing equestrian sport in the USA for the last few years. Please tell me how is this bad? The requirements at each level have gotten harder, but as I look at USDF HOY final championship scores they are higher, and I personally witness better and bigger classes at the shows. This is all great news for our sport. So what is the problem USDF and USEF??????????????????????????



  14. #14
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    Default

    I personally wrote letters to the "powers" that be and Janet responded with all the reasons that this HAS to happen. Although I give her credit for being responsive, I felt that her answers were quite smug. I commented that I have been struggling at 2nd level and took time out of competing this year to learn what "I don't know" I also mentioned comments and scores I had been given by judges to which she responded "well, obviously you must have your two 58% scores at second level by now". I wrote back and said that after riding 5 second level tests, I DID NOT YET have my 58%. As an AA rider, I was apalled at how "easy" she thinks it is for all of us to achieve our scores so quickly. I pointed out that we typically have very tough judges at our local shows and that once I moved out of training/first levels my scores went down significantly (this may be MY issue but a friend of mine had already sent her evidence that our scoring is very low).

    As an alternative to just complaining, I offered a suggestion and said that I thought it might be best if each Region offered clinics/symposiums to TEACH us all how to properly use the double, she said they tried this and it was ineffective (funny, I don't ever remember seeing this in Region 1 at any time). I also suggested that they remove the double at third level, she said this would not be done again. For whatever reason, they are bent on passing this. As I said to Janet, I am old enough (Vintage Cup) that if I never spend another dime at a USDF/USEF show, it is not a big deal. I would love to get my bronze medal but if I don't, it is really not going to rock my world. If enough of us feel this way though, how will these organizations make any money??!

    I continue to profess that no matter what, those that are abusive will NOT learn from this (as the poster with the 72% example pointed out).



  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by patch work farm View Post

    As an alternative to just complaining, I offered a suggestion and said that I thought it might be best if each Region offered clinics/symposiums to TEACH us all how to properly use the double, she said they tried this and it was ineffective (funny, I don't ever remember seeing this in Region 1 at any time).
    Part of this was, hate to say it, Houston's fault. Our GMO sponsored her and Lois Yukins to give a day-long symposium for free a few years ago, and only about 40 people showed up. I drove them to the airport and they were pretty shocked that more people didn't show up to a FREE symposium given by judges of their caliber. (I was pretty surprised myself) This is where I first heard about the rule change, btw. We lined up Hillary Clayton last year and had to cancel for lack of participation, if anyone here can fathom that. So, ummm, yea, there's some truth to this statement.

    J.



  16. #16
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    Default

    I agree with ltw regarding the German culture and the "over-regulation". Things may be changing to be more competitive, but retailers cannot have "sales" except for certain times of the years is another example of the level of regulation. If you have a tree on your property that is over a certain size (like ~3" diameter) you need a permit to cut down. I knew a German au-pair who made comments about being the the States and how it felt like she was "free."

    Let the "market" sort who are the good riders and who are not. Let the judges judge. Fix the judging system to embrace use of the full scale for both the movements and the rider score and this rule is not needed.

    As far as conspiracy theories, I go back to asking the questions:
    -->>Why was this NOT publicized in the USDF Magazine?
    -->>Why were USDF regional directors surprised about the rule?
    -->>Why are objections being rejected/discounted/not heard?
    -->>Why was the rule introduced with such little publicity?

    Methinks there is a fish rotten in Denmark....and that "someone" has an agenda.....



  17. #17
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    Default

    Great posts about the differences in German vs US culture. So true.

    Being an economist, I vote to let the market sort things out.

    Btw, for the Texas comment: I'm wondering how well the symposium was advertised and if the timing was off. I've seen many great events fall flat due to a failure of those two things.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elegante E View Post
    Btw, for the Texas comment: I'm wondering how well the symposium was advertised and if the timing was off. I've seen many great events fall flat due to a failure of those two things.
    I was brand new to Houston at the time, and this was EXACTLY the problem for the Foy/Yukins lecture. The Clayton lecture was advertised much better...still not sure why only 12, yes, 12 people pre-registered. I was aghasted (fave COTH word).

    J.



  19. #19
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    Default

    Personally, I believe purely from business Profit/Loss perspective this particular rule could put USDF out of business. The typical Amateur lower level rider is the pillar of the USDF organization. Only about 20% of all riders are at 4rth level or above based on 2 year old statistics that I got from USDF. If all Amateur riders decide this sport is too exclusive, elitest or expensive we will lose the mainstay of the organization. It will cease to exist. 2nd level and below riders will frequent schooling shows only or will find another equestrian discipline.



  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ltw View Post
    Personally, I believe purely from business Profit/Loss perspective this particular rule could put USDF out of business. The typical Amateur lower level rider is the pillar of the USDF organization. Only about 20% of all riders are at 4rth level or above based on 2 year old statistics that I got from USDF. If all Amateur riders decide this sport is too exclusive, elitest or expensive we will lose the mainstay of the organization. It will cease to exist. 2nd level and below riders will frequent schooling shows only or will find another equestrian discipline.
    I can't believe that there is no awareness of the basic rule of marketing:

    -For every customer who buys, you need 10 people who look
    -For every customer who looks you need 10 who are interested (eg., 100 contacts)
    -For every customer who is interested you need to reach 10 (eg., 1000 contacts)

    So, for every purchase, you need 1000 contacts....same concepts for dressage.

    For US dressage to improve at the upper levels, we should be ENCOURAGING people to look at the discipline at the lower levels to fill the pipeline.



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