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  1. #61
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    On another thread someone mentioned Prix Caprille. Perhaps lower level dressage test could be modified into a Prix Caprille Test appropriate for the level. This would accomplish three objectives: 1) Create a dressage test that is more directed towards training of the event horse, 2) Provide an evaluation of the rider's ability to control, maintain rythym, and balance to a jump, and 3) evaluate rider's position. I think it would be interesting to see what the results of this type of test would be based on some of the riders I have seen at recent events.



  2. #62
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    while I have no idea if this has been mentioned before, i thought i'd throw it out there.
    What if jump judges had to make note of horses jumping out of balance, riders getting to scary distances, etc? I hate to think of more policing, and lawd knows we all have some bad misses to fences, but you can't be running around the upper levels where jumps are bigger and invite rotational falls, without knowing how to ride your horse to the right take-off spot (whatever your method, looking for a distance, or relying on quality canter, whatever!)
    But if you are riding around and letting a horse barrel around on its forehand, and it is scrambling over jumps, a properly trained jump judge should be able to make note of that.
    If you are biffing half of your jumps but maybe not jumping badly enough to be pulled up on course, you should be watched more closely by the powers that be. Of course, we'd have to define "biff", but I think we all know the difference between a horse that is climbing over the jumps because of or in spite of its rider, and one that is confidently jumping comfortably out of stride.

    Thoughts?

    (now i'm going to go read backwards to see if it was mentioned, I just wanted to write it down before the thought disappeared)



  3. #63
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    Another thought:

    With so many lower level events running show jumping before cross country perhaps the show jump judge could "pass" or "fail" a rider to continue on to cross country. If someone has ten rails or is getting terrible distances to every fence, the show jump judge would have the power to warn the competitor or eliminate them for not being proficient to continue.



  4. #64
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    Re: Passing and Failing elements on course

    With all the emphasis on observation and intervention - and even without it because I've always wished we had this - why not have jump judges go so far as to score or *comment* on the ride to a fence? I know that right now jump judging doesn't take immaculate knowledge of an approach to a fence, but each judge could take note of anything they observed. I'd never want this to play into the scoring, but riders need feedback on their cross-country rides. One of the most frustrating things about being a spectator when you are very close to someone going around is that you can't see them go. This would be a way to help students, your children, etc., in assessing how their course went.
    Last edited by crittertwitter; May. 1, 2008 at 09:40 PM. Reason: to clarify that this is a response to the pass/fail suggestion



  5. #65
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    USEF sponsored design competition at Engineering schools for the design of cheap and safe XC jumps to prevent rotational falls. The schools are all set up for computer modelling and for being able to evaluate impacts, heights and speeds.

    Don't know what the prize could be, but maybe a trip to the WEG for the Winning design team.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  6. #66
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    Another list of ideas from DOC/KB thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by ToucheToujour View Post
    Read most of the thread, gotta get back to homework (finals are a mare in heat) but here's what i posted on another board that I thought I'd bring here:

    Why not add back in something like an optional roads and tracks with optional warm up fences? That way, if you take your horse out of the stall that day and he's high and fresh and excitable, you have somewhere to get a HORSE under you and between your hand and leg and on your aids. Allowing a horse to relax into his day and giving a rider some warm up space and small fences that were optional could reduce some of the excessive speed seen on course.

    I like some of their proposals...I think some of the others are over the top.

    Here's what I would propose:

    1. I agree that open oxers should be frangible.
    2. Must qualify in order to move up...and that should be starting at Novice. I've seen some HORRIBLE Training and Prelim falls caused by rider error. Actually, most of the bad accidents and poor unorganized riding I've seen have been Training through Intermediate, not Advanced.
    3. Mandatory education. To compete in recognized events, you must attend 1-2 clinics a year, one of which must be an eventing safety clinic put on by USEF/USEA/your local association on fitness, course design, injury etc.
    4. More options on course, even at "simple" fences. You don't always know what horse you have under you each day.
    5. Course walking at **** level is a group activity. Yay! Let's have fun together. No, but seriously. Course designer and/or a major level eventer who is well respected and not competing at that event does a few group walks of the course. Discussion encouraged. "Yeah, I can see where if you are just a bit off, you're going to need to add a stride through here." "Be really careful for those of you late in the day: the shadows cast by this jump make it difficult for the horse to get his eye on it!" etc. Individual walks always allowed but something like this.
    6. Calling more people on reckless and dangerous riding. You see it at every level, and yet almost no one gets penalized for it. Ridiculous.
    7. The eventing equivalent of getting a gate card revoked. If a horse has two accidents in six months, he is suspended from competition for three months. If a horse is spun twice in three months after cross country, he is suspended for three months. This means that if your horse has a fall, dumps you, etc then he is suspended. Or, if he's scrambling through EVERY time he's going cross country and showing up sore the next day, they're going to say, "Lack of competence at this level. Horse spun twice in three months." (And yes, I mean it when I say even a rider fall should be grounds for suspension. I know falls happen but if we're going to be serious, let's be SERIOUS. None of this halfway crap.)

    Those are recommendations that I would suggest. I can't make it out to Kentucky, but I am considering writing a letter.

    Who knows. Maybe they're all bogus recommendations but either way, the more ideas out there, the better the final product.



  7. #67
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    Default On Rider Responsibility

    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    I mentioned this on another thread but it's worth bringing up again.

    I think eventers don't pay enough attention to a 'bad' but clear jumping effort. You get over by the skin of your teeth or you get around clear with a few sticky moments. Then you remember the clean go but not the bad fence or two.

    In steeplechasing, everyone remembers the bad fence, even if the horse wins. The press asks the horse's connections about it, they ask the rider if he feels safe riding the horse, they speculate what's going to happen the next time the horse runs, they may even urge the trainer to drop the horse back to hurdles or not run at certain venues.

    Bad fences and sticky moments are taken seriously in steeplechasing. So is rhythm. If a horse has a bad fence early in the race and doesn't get his rhythm back or if a horse fails to find his rhythm at all, the jockey pulls up. No one wants to get hurt out there. (NH jockeys fall once in every 12 or so rides. If you don't want your career to end, you have to be careful.)

    I think eventers could take a cue from steeplechasing here but right now it's not really part of our culture.
    From the rider responsibility thread, where subk also suggested a "peer review" of major falls, including reviewing in detail the rider's performance at the fences before the crash.



  8. #68
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    A more detailed outline of how a review might work:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper_Dad View Post
    USEF/USEA 'NTSB' ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION TEAM EQUIVALENT NEEDED
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Another specific safety-related idea would be for the USEF/USEA to develop an accident investigation teams and protocols when these incidents occur where a horse and/or rider is severely injured or killed – based upon the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) model, these eventing ‘experts’ – to include an upper level rider, course designer, certified trainer/instructor, event coordinator, medical doctor/examiner, and vet (could be volunteers but they need to be independent of any conflicts of interest in the incident and more importantly, appropriately trained in investigation procedures) – would do a complete investigation and USEA and USEF would need to develop the protocols and procedures to ensure all relevant factors are taken into account and documented as well as develop a cadre of trained volunteers that could be mobilized within a few hours of an incident – the USEA Area Coordinators could assist in this process.

    Until the investigation is completed and results fully vetted by the executive boards of each organization, the course designer and rider are suspended from participating in any further competitions or designing any further courses for competition and the fence or obstacle in question where the accident occurred would be struck from all ongoing competitions at that location and others designed by the course designer until the investigation is completed – notational timeframe for this process would be 30-days from the incident occurrence.

    It’s important to note, as with NTSB investigations, accidents aren’t always classified as ‘pilot error’ (our equivalent to ‘rider responsibility’) as other environmental factors are taken into account (type of jump, construction of jump and placement on course, terrain, footing, weather conditions, and other relevant factors) and could be causal contributing factors to incidents and should be weighted accordingly.

    Additionally, once cleared by the executive boards of each organization, the results would be published (on the USEF/USEA website) to provide total visibility in and outside the community when these incidents occur. We need to get professional about these things and the NTSB model works well…

    If the eventing community at all levels is too keep the lawyers, insurance underwriters, and risk-management/assessment folks at bay and keep eventing going in the U.S. and internationally, this is one critical step in establishing our ‘credibility’ with these entities when unfortunate accidents, incidents, and fatalities occur.

    is this something 'subk' would endorse in light of the comments on this 'thread' -- if you think this would make ULRs think twice about continuing where maybe it's time to call it quits...send it to the USEA/USEF for consideration...our governing and regulatory organizations need to be have measures that are pro-active and will help prevent incidents when riders are not 'thinking' clearly on course but when these fail, they also need a robust and quantifiable means of investigating and getting 'lessons learned' out to the community -- I used to fly airplanes in the military (almost as 'dangerous' an environment as eventing) and we relied heavily on both proactive preventative measures and lessons learned to prevent incidents and save lives. Don't our loyal and kind-hearted equine partners deserve the best we can afford them in these types of matters...superb 'thread' and everyone should send the link to it to David O'Connor and Kevin Baumgardner TODAY and voice these issues in Lexington in June !!!



  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper_Dad View Post
    is this something 'subk' would endorse in light of the comments on this 'thread'
    I have to laugh a little here. I don't think my "endorsement" would mean diddly squat anywhere it matters... But yes this is something I was thinking of when I suggested a peer review. (Hubby is a private pilot and we discussed exactly this element last night.) My concern though is two fold. I always tremble to think of a government agency as a role model for the private world. It would be important that this group could respond in a more timely fashion than the NSTB.

    Secondly, I think we also need something of a culture adjustment where "peer review" could mean something a bit more informal. I wish as a community we wouldn't be so afraid to discuss exactly what the mistakes were that lead to a fall--but no one wants to step on toes. To this day all I know about Darren's fall is that the horse "missed"--which tells us exactly nothing. Lesson learned: none.



  10. #70
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    Increase the height difference between XC and stadium, so that there is at least a 3" difference in the height at all levels. Encourage TDs to make sure that stadium rules follow that guideline - ie, I've competed at Training where the stadium course stayed at 3'. A more challenging stadium will keep riders engaged longer at the lower levels, and intimidate them a bit more before moving up.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  11. #71
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    My daughter had a fall at a table on a prelim course, the horse landed on the table, and she was splatted onto the ground -- if that had been an open oxer with frangible pins, she would have been seriously injured, with the log and horse on top of her.
    As far as what is creating rotational falls, I don't think it has as much to do with jump design, as it would with a horse approaching with the rider pulling to the base of the jump. I see so many people that let their horses pull them to the fences. I know that if I do that with my horse, it makes him hang his knees and/or twist. Anytime I have worked with a really good x-country coach, it was about using your upper body to control the horse, and not the reins, and actually, contact on the approach to a jump tends to make a horse stiff in the jaw, and neck, and jump off their forehand.
    I would think that dressage incorrectly done would contribute to that scenario, but is not necessarily related.
    I think that jumping gymnastics with the reins knotted is the first step to gaining an independant seat over jumps. The only intructor that ever had me jump no hands was an event coach, and that was many years ago. You don't see it much.



  12. #72
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    Default On Moving Up

    An idea and some responses from the "required time not scores" thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by VicarageVee View Post
    So I've been thinking. After reading the letter by Kevin to the USEA membership, I began to wonder if all of their suggestions were really right. Some feel, to me at least, punitive. One fall and you're eliminated? I think that's not such a swell idea. 3-6 months suspension from ALL competition for a rotational fall? I don't know (although, your horse may need even more time off than that to regain confidence).

    Then I began to wonder...

    What if instead of having required clean rounds to move up, we required horses stay at a level for a minimum amount of time? So, for example, while one could move up from BN/N to T fairly quickly, we were required (regardless of scores) to stay at T for 6 months. What if, when moving up to P we were required to stay at P for a full year? Same for I, etc. What if, even if you bought a horse that had run A, you were still required to ride it at P for a minimum of 6 months (even if you were a professional)?

    Sure, we might get bored. Sure, horses might become harder to "flip" (I mean sell, obviously) if it takes time to move them up. But horses who have had 2 years at P/I will be much better prepared to make up for mistakes at A than those who have run only a handful of events before bombing around a *** course with an experienced rider.

    So, now, really. What do y'all think?
    Quote Originally Posted by BigRuss1996 View Post
    I really think none of this is going to help...They need to lower the speed and make the times more achievable. So alot of people are able to make the time...so what?!...there will still be a first second, third etc. The horse would have a chance to see the fences, and we have already established you need to slow down for the combinations anyway.

    As for the new rules...how does that work for someone with multiple rides? Say the fall and are eliminated and suspended ...so.... do they finish on their other horses or are they out for 3 to 6 months on all horses? Also If say they have 5 horses going Intermediate and they have done 2 xco and the third falls and they are suspended/eliminated...do they do stadium with the other two? Seems it wouldn't work for people with multiple rides and owners who come out to see their horse run.... Lastly it says... "at the discretion of the ground jury" this seems to be a grey area... so if it is an Olympic year and say a team member falls and itis of the type that they could get eliminated/supended a month before the Olympics then the ground jury really could decide to not suspend that person which would then be special treatment would it not? What would be the defining criteria for that?
    Quote Originally Posted by JAGold View Post
    Six months can provide vastly different amounts of competition and schooling experience in different parts of the country. In Area II or Area VI, for example, you could, if you wanted, run around 15 or more prelim horse trials in six months. In Area IV, without trailering a LONG way, you'd get substantially less under your belt.

    I also don't think a minimum time at the level would have prevented any of the recent accidents (with, perhaps, the exception of Daren's fall -- I don't know how much that horse had competed). And there are certainly situations where it doesn't make sense -- when Mara Dean bought High Patriot, who had run around Jersey Fresh last fall, did she really need to back down to prelim with him for either of their sakes? What would be accomplished in that situation?

    I think I'd be in favor of some sort of licensing system, in which riders had to have some sort of credentials to ride at a given level and a different sort of credentials to take a new horse at that level. Perhaps something between PC ratings and a more stringent qualification system -- in addition to the clear rounds, you have to get the TD or President of the Ground Jury to sign off for you X number of times before you can move up, and before you can compete a new horse at I without running him at P, you have to have ridden some number of horses around I? I don't know. I like the idea of looking at qualifications, but I'm not sure that time at the level is the one-size-fits all solution.

    What if a rider gets in trouble and wants her coach to ride the horse -- does the coach have to take it all the way back down the levels in order to give it some schooling?



  13. #73
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    Mandate that all course design informational materials and all course design seminars include presentations from scientists on the latest research into horse vision. Just because a former rider can "see" a XC course doesn't mean that s/he understands how the horse does.

    There are several scientists in the US doing this research; it's not just limited to Australia.
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  14. #74
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    I'm not sure if this has been said, but in regards to the time -- The optimal time is set at predetermined m/min for a given level, but the 30 sec window is set for going faster than your given m/min. Why not make the 30 sec window 15 sec on either side of your OT?

    I know it's not a huge change, but in this sport it likely would matter.



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