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  1. #1
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    Default I feel that I just have to say it....

    The winner (the winner mind you) of the Jr. w/p class at our state 4H show was snatching and schooling her horse in the ring.

    The 3rd (or was she 4th?) place girl simply sat her horse and looked really nice all the way around.

    Why did the 'snatcher' win? 'Cause she snatched when the judge wasn't looking. It was horrendous, the snatching and yanking she did on the horse. ONe would have thought she was in the warm-up ring at times. Two hands, legs a-flyin'. I wrote her number down in the middle of the class and the word "no" beside it just to make sure I remembered who did all the schooling.

    And then she won.

    Oh my.

    And then to beat all... the girl was beaming w/pride and patting her horse for doing such a good job. What???? Come ON!!!???!!! What does this teach? Nothing but cheating and robbing. She cheated during the class and robbed the others of one spot higher in placing.

    The Sr. class wasn't much better w/the one girl actually BACKING HER HORSE when the judge wasn't looking. I didn't keep up w/where she placed.

    Just... ranting I suppose. I didn't say anything at the show 'cause I didn't have a "dog in that fight". I did want to ask, and will probably say something at our next planning meeting. Two judges in the ring should take care of situations like that. This show had only one... and he (obviously) didn't have eyes in the back of his head.

    Discussion? Opposing views? sylvia
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  2. #2
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    Default

    The judge can only judge what he sees. I agree I don't like to see things like that, but you can't complain about the judging if he really didn't see it.

    We were just at at show a couple of weeks ago and there was alot of thing happening behind the judge's back. Is it frustrating? Yes...but that's horse showing.

    And I completely agree with having more than one judge. It would certainly level the playing field more.



  3. #3
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    Default

    Wasn't complaining about the jduging... but about the fact that the child chose to do what she did. The 'coaching' prior to the show is in error. Horribly in error, imo.

    The fact that it's accepted as 'horse showing' is one huge reason we don't do the judged events unless they are patterned classes where the exhibitor shows one at a time. Not (as) much room for cheating there. sylvia

    PS... also remember the comment in a meeting or judging clinic where someone stated that most judges could tell when the horse had been 'schooled' in the class. I was hoping this was one of those 'majikal' judges, but alas, he wasn't.
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  4. #4
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    Jun. 26, 2001
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    Default

    I steward for a big time western judge. You wouldn't believe the stuff that goes on behind the judges back!!!! I cannot tell the judge what I see when her back is turned. I actuallly had some little snot flip her off when she wasn't looking. I was biting my tongue so bad it was practically bleeding!!!l

    Yes the snatching is a regular occurance. These folks have the best peripheral vision I have ever seen. They watch the judge like a hawk, the minute they turn their backs or ride behind the judge. . . .SNATCH. Then they just go on like . . . no problem.

    The little snot that flipped her off was tagged by me after the class. I went up to him after everyone was pinned and the class was leaving. I looked at him and said I saw what you did.
    He just looked at me and shrugged. I told him that I couldn't say anything to the judge during the class. However the class is now over and he better hope he isn't riding in front on her again anytime soon. He told me he was going to tell his mother, I said fine let's go do that right now ok.? He turned white and rode over to his parents with me in tow.

    I looked at him and said "don't you have something to say to your Mom?" He said "no". His mom just looked at me like?????? I told her that her son's sportsmanship was in question and that I would leave it at that.

    Well the little turd ended up riding in front of this judge the next day. She watched him like a hawk. He didn't so much as blink! She did pin him the second day because he deserved it. I thought he was gonna faint and fall off his horse when they called his number.

    Sorry if you think this is some thing new. It happens in the huge rings with the top horses in the country.
    Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!



  5. #5
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    Default

    Is it common place for trainers to "snatch" their horses in the ring? If so, why wouldn't kids try to emulate them? If that's what's winning...



  6. #6
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    Oct. 10, 2007
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    Default

    Yep, been there and seen that
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  7. #7
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    Nov. 18, 2004
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    Default

    Can you translate the original post for those of us who have no idea what you are talking about? What is snatching? What does 'schooling in the ring' mean in this context?
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  8. #8
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    Default

    As stated a judge only sees what they see - they do not have the "bird's eye view" or eyes in the back of their heads.

    I usually stand pretty close to one end corner and face the entire ring - it only gives them a few feet to "school" and reposition.

    For an exhibitors stand point you bet I will correct my horse in a class if he is not performing as asked. I expect my horses to 100% all the time - knowing that they can not possibly be. Yes I try not to have the judge see me do it when ever possible. Horses figure out pretty fast that they can do as they please in the show pen.

    In WP there is no direct rein contact and no continuous leg contact like there is in Hunt classes(yes I know some people ride stock hunters w/floppy reins) or in dressage. In those classes you can make your corrections very subtle. But really in a class sometimes you need to kick a horses a$$ so they learn to keep it together the entire class. Old campaigners and kids horses are the worst! WP corrections often look aggressive but really by the time you reel in 3' of rein so you can apply leg and put it back together - it ain't going to be pretty.

    Should she have refused her award - no. Do you have a gripe - a little. But it is how it is. If she were my student I would prefer she correct the horse rather than have him learn to take advantage in the show pen. JMHO

    Sometimes in horse shows the best horse does not always win.
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  9. #9
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    Default

    I was wondering about the steward, and why she didn't apprise the judge of the situation.

    I've seen kids and adults pick up the outside rein sometimes when the judge wasn't looking. I didn't like that, but this was 'in your face' schooling/snatching. I was aghasted <lol> at the extent of this correction though.

    I am sorry to hear that this goes on in every ring. Not surprised, but still very sorry to hear it. Whatever it takes to win, yes? *sad face*
    Last edited by arena run; Jul. 14, 2009 at 12:15 PM.
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  10. #10
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    Default

    I tend to agree with Woodland on this one.

    And no, being nasty has no place in the show ring but there does come a time where t raining is necessary in the show pen.

    A quick correction and move on. I do not see it as an 'anything to win' attitude. I see it as training the horse that they have to continue to do as told even on the eight time around the big ring at a slow and boring jog.



  11. #11
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    Default

    Woodland. That's an interesting viewpoint.

    I see your point and can agree, but then disagree at the same time. I agree the horse needs to be schooled in the pen. Totally agree w/that. If the horse is acting up and knows it cant' be corrected it will only get worse. So, the correction HAS to come at the time of the acting up.

    I wonder how many horses learn to watch the judge like their rider does? <lolol>

    It is my opinion - and is what I would tell my students if I taught western judged events - that if the horse needs schooling you find a local show, tell the officials you will be schooling at times, and wear your number upside down. That way you won't be placed.

    If one is going to use the excuse/reason of schooling the horse so they won't take advantage in the ring, then one should be prepared to school 'whenever the problem arises'... and we all know that is not just when the judge isn't looking, right? The problem would arise sometimes when the judge IS looking... and the schooling should commence at that point. Not to mention the fact that if you have to stop your 'correcting for the pen' as soon as the judge turns... you could inadvertently teach the horse even worse habits. If a rider is honestly trying to fix his horse's bad habits then the rider has GOT to adjust those habits as they occur, and continue the correction until the horse responds correctly. It is fallacy to think these corrections can be accomplished only when the judge isn't looking. These corrections must come when they are needed.

    It is my opinion that the only logical conclusion one can come to when one sees a competitor waiting til the judge isn't looking is this competitor is not 'schooling for the pen', this competitor is cheating.

    It's also my opinion that my gripe is more than just 'a little' one. <g> It's a big gripe, but as with everything related to subjective judging, one that won't go away because these folks win... and winning is everything to some competitors. *shaking head*


    Lori B, the schooling and snatching I'm referring to is this. In western pleasure the horse goes around basically on no contact. Subtle cues from the curb bit and the spurs/seat/legs are all the rider has. The rider should go around the ring w/no visible cues to the horse, the hrose should go around the ring w/it's head down, collected, and with cadence -- and slow. The rider is supposed to hold the reins w/one hand (on a horse 5yrs or older) and isn't supposed to touch the horse or the tack w/the free hand.

    The schooling comes in where the rider picks up the reins w/both hands and 'finds the horse's face' w/the contact. Yanking and pulling on the reins to bring the head down and slow the horse.

    The girl who won was yanking and pulling on her horse the entire class... but only when the jduge wasn't looking. The other girl in the senior class was not only yanking and pulling on the reins, but was actually backing the horse when the others were at trot. As soon as she dropped the reins the horse picked the trot up immediately. I'm sure it wasnt' the first time she'd done such as that.
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  12. #12
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    Default

    If someone is being abusive, contact the steward. It's their job to deal with it. If it was a non-abusive correction of misbehavior, that's certainly understandable, even if it's not "correct" for the standards of the class. If the judge misses it, we have to remember that they, too, are human.

    With most show series, there are measures in place to prevent this sort of thing. If the judge is consistently pinning people that are obviously breaking the rules, file a complaint. If the steward fails to recognize abuse, file a complaint.

    Otherwise, frankly, it kind of sounds sour to have uninvolved parents complaining about other people's kids "cheating and robbing" on public forum. Remember, it's a horse show and for most, we're there TO HAVE FUN.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourh mom View Post
    I was wondering about the steward, and why she didn't apprise the judge of the situation.

    The steward DOES NOT judge the class! It is NOT the stewards job to tell the judge anything! I have had busy body stewards and they piss me off! When I get judging advice from the steward, I demand a new one! There is absolutely NO leeway in this matter!
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  14. #14
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    Default

    I steward for a big time western judge. You wouldn't believe the stuff that goes on behind the judges back!!!! I cannot tell the judge what I see when her back is turned. I actuallly had some little snot flip her off when she wasn't looking. I was biting my tongue so bad it was practically bleeding!!!l
    Oh my Lord...the chutzpah!
    Okay, not laughing because it's funny so much as a shocked laugh that someone would do that.
    My tongue would have bled too...very good self control you have there Brookes.
    This and instances like FourHmom has seen (and yes, all rings do this but usually they're at least *trying* to be subtle about it) are times when we wish we were videoing the class. Not that it would change the standings afterwards...but sure would be hilarious if the judges could have an instant replay.
    Thankfully I've never had to worry about hiding a correction or hiding anything in a show ring. Jumpers...certainly evens the playing field.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  15. #15
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    Default

    Now about correcting, a horse can be perfect for 25 shows and then you get to the Congress or the 4H fair or a pumpkin roller somewhere and he decides what he will do and when. Whenever that occurs the matter must be addressed immediately! You can not just allow it to happen and plan to fix it next "schooling show" - what does that horse learn then? He learns that in the show pen he can do as he pleases! It could be career ending for him. It leads to sourness and sullen behavior. No, you must correct as the infraction occurs for the benefit of the horse.

    If I were to catch someone backing their horse during a trot phase of a class they would be disqualified. However that judge either did not catch them or choose not to catch them.

    Horse shows = paying for someones OPINION. For whatever that is worth. Sometimes they get it right sometimes they get it wrong.

    And as i said by the time you reel in 3' of reins so you can apply the reins and leg to make the correction and then put yourself back "on stage" to be judge - it ain't pretty!

    The horse should be BROKE before it goes to the show. This horse may have been allowed to "get away with it" while waiting for a schooling show and has become an animal that requires "micro managing" to get the job done. If that is the case, he will be retired by next year and you won't have to worry about him any longer.
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  16. #16
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    Dec. 31, 2008
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    Default

    Woodland - no continuous leg contact? lol, thats what I thought until I started showing nice ones that were broke with a spur-stop. I have never used so much leg in my whole life! Talk about trying to retrain my brain to 'spur' to slow down...yeah that took a while. 'hold spur in' and the horse will stop and back up with no rein at all...thats how we can ride em bridleless. Very different! It has been a good learning experience though often trying for me.

    Snatching...I hate to see someone 'jerk' the slack out of reins. It will shock the horses mouth and usually cause them to lift their heads even more. Now, to gently pull up the slack and bump bump is very similar in application as a half halt.

    I know I have used a half-halt many times while showing hunters. Im sure everyone here knows the difference between someone using a half halt and someone jerking their face off in either discipline.



  17. #17
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    Oct. 30, 2006
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    Woodland is the voice of reason in this thread.

    The judge can only judge what they see. The stewards place is NOT to assist the judge. As a judge, it is annoying. I have been judging before and someone picked up the wrong lead behind my back. The steward says, "oh she is on the wrong lead". I can't judge it if I didn't see it, only what is in front of me.

    Re: the snatchers. Don't watch western pleasure if it bothers you so much. And I don't say that in a snarky way. Just about everyone does it whether it is right or not. I gave up on WP long ago because I got sick of seeing it and fighting a losing battle to try and prove not everyone trains that way. If you have an abuse complaint don't post about it on the forum. Tell someone at the show that can actually do something about it.

    If she was able to school the horse in such a manner that the judge didn't notice, then good for her. I will not let my horse get away with something just because we are at a show. If he needs to be reminded, I will do so. Should I be able to adjust him while the judge isn't looking, then I got lucky. If not, then we blow the class.

    Horse shows = paying for someones OPINION. For whatever that is worth. Sometimes they get it right sometimes they get it wrong.
    AMEN!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by barka.lounger View Post
    u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

    we see u in gp ring in no time.



  18. #18
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    "Chose not to catch them"

    I believe this is most likely the answer. One judge, at a judging clinic, said he picked his winner as they came into the arena, and then didn't look at that horse again for fear he would see it doing something worthy of not winning. Granted, this was at the 'best of the worst' type shows. It seemed this judge did about the same thing. I noticed particularly the he didn't look at this child a lot, it was evident due to the amount and extent of schooling she was able to fit into the class! sylvia
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  19. #19
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    [quote=kellyb;4234917]...Tell someone at the show that can actually do something about it.

    If she was able to school the horse in such a manner that the judge didn't notice, then good for her...[quote]

    I didn't tell anyone at the show mainly because it would have accomplished nothing and would have only served to slow up an already PAINFULLY slow day of showing. I can only hope that all that snatching and yanking in the ring will come around to bite her in the butt one day.

    The thing is, she didn't do the schooling in such a way that the judge wouldn't notice, she did it when he wasn't looking, making SURE that he wasn't looking, and then she squeezed it in quick and harsh.

    I have to believe that she KNEW it was wrong or she wouldn't have been so furtive about it. It also couldn't have been schooling the horse since you agree w/me in that if it needs to be done when the judge is looking then you go ahead and do it even if you blow the class. That shows a measure of integrity. This schooling was very much 'on the low down'. sylvia
    Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.



  20. #20
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    Default

    It seems to be a flat class thing, and being good at corrections behind the judges back joins cutting others off, riding so far off the rail you're in danger of running the judge down, using the downward transition as an opportunity to show your horse down the long side after everybody else has slowed, and using the gait change as an opportunity to rest your horse and consult with your trainer even while the announcer is begging everybody to keep some forward motion. I darn near had to muzzle my DH at a horse show we watched as he thought it was patently unfair and was freely critiquing pro riders' bad eq in a performance class.

    I recall reading somewhere that jumpers had to institute rules regarding forward motion and tracking long years ago, so the problem certainly is not unique - just showmanship in a group setting where spacing issues are not part of the criteria and catching the judge's eye is.
    When I was young the closed rein with romal was the standard - it was so common to see a quick flick with the end of the romal to get the horse's head down. For me, I found it lead to bad habits in riding, in the form of popping with the rein/flipping the bight. It was a half halt all right, but what it told the world was that she wasn't trained and I had no more subtle tools at my disposal. And I still have pretty good peripheral vision because of it.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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