I am still confused.... What can you learn from having a trainer watch you at a show that you cannot learn from having him/her watching you at home?
I show jumpers & as much as we can try, we can't re-create every jumper course designer's stuff at home. Seeing as I generally only get one chance a day to try it, I would like my trainer to be there to see it after we have walked & planned out what the ride is going to be. This way if I don't ride it as planned or fall apart, my trainer can say "do ______ next time" or whatever & I at least learn from it. Without feedback from a grounds person (trainer, whoever) on how to correct the issue odds are I will just keep making the same mistake over & over when put in the same situation.
I don't think you'll ever get ride times at h/j shows like dressage. Maybe the block times people have mentioned.
But if shows didn't allow same day adds & said horses had to be entered by oh say 5 PM the night before for the next day classes, they could at least print off class counts & people could get ideas of when they may ride. Someimes I am in the 5th or 6th class on the schedule...but it might go at 10:30 AM or it could be 1 PM depending how many are in the classes before me. That type of information I would find very useful.
I dont' think it has anything to do with showing the hunters specifically. There are riders that want feedback and the knowledge neccessary to improve in every discipline and there are riders who just go and wing it with no training OR trainer present in every discipline. Neither is unique to the hunters so no need to be condescending.
Not intended to be condescending - I took the discussion to be directed at hunters specifically (and it seems to me that a lot of times the hunter rings can be the worst, not sure why!), and I also took some of the OP's comments/confusion to originate perhaps from trying to compare experiences that perhaps aren't necessarily comparable. So, if it was a genuine question, I wanted to understand the perspective the OP is coming from because off the top of my head I could think of a multitude of things you learn from having your trainer watch your rounds.
I like the shows that have the white board next to the ring, and trainers (or the competitor for those without a trainer) can write in when they will go in that class. Not only does it seem to help things run smoother, but you can go up to the board and figure out how far you are out without having to pester the poor starter all the time. I'm sure starters have nightmares about, "How many trips until Betty Boob's students go?"
And what about announcing, "Trainer A, you are holding up Ring B...again!" on the loudspeakers for all to hear? Maybe embarrassment would be the motivator.
Yea we have a few gate folks that have the whiteboard out that state when the division starts (all though yes that time can change), but it is a big help. Most of the time when we get there in the morning we, the riders, go ahead and put ourselves in the order. Then work that as necessary depending on trainer conflicts. I can handle not having start times probably because it's been like that as long as I've ridden. All though it is frustrating when there is no one in the ring and we are waiting for that division to finish before showing in our own division.
While I would LOVE if there were scheduled ride times, the difference between the hunter shows and dressage shows is that very few dressage riders INSIST on having their trainer at the gate when they walk into the ring. Also, it is rare to see a barn at a dressage show with 10+ horses, let alone 30+ horses. That's a lot of coordination. It would be near impossible to plan 5 rings down to the minute, especially since you never know how long the hack will take or if you have to re-jog or if a horse crashes a jump and the ring is held up for a while... there are just so many factors that don't apply at the dressage shows that come into play at the hunter shows. I wish more people would learn that they CAN show without their trainer; really, how much help is it to have them tell you single, 5, 2 stride, oxer, outside 6? It would also be nice if trainers would kind of ban together and help each other out... "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."
O.K. I'm showing my age here, but forever ago when I used to show we had:
you're up, you're on deck or you're in the hole. When it was your turn in the ring you had a few minutes AT MOST to enter. If you didn't enter, you were eliminated. I was young at the time, went to shows with my barn and trainer, and didn't mind at all going in without my trainer standing there. It all worked out in the end, thinking big picture. The trainer is only one person and can only be in one place at one time. Granted, these shows were local and did not have multiple rings. They did have LOTS of entries in each class, with far less classes than today, so I guess it was similiar. In fact, I was in a flat class with 38 - YES that's 38 horses - at the same time.
Showing has certainly changed over the years, but few things should never change - be on time, be flexible, be helpful, be respectful and be willing to laugh at yourself! Showing should be fun and enjoyable. It's too bad so many folks have seem to forgotten that.