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  1. #1
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    Default Equitation Finals - A Canadian Question for American Riders.

    So I have shown in the CET Medal finals in Canada, been to the Royal, essentially had the entire extent of the Canadian equitation experience. I have also kept up with the results of the American eq finals, and in my opinion there has always been one glaring difference in the two:

    Why are professionals/trainers/etc. allowed to ride equitation horses not only at the same show as the equitation finals, but ON THE MORNING OF?!

    Up here, there are VERY strict rules, even at regionals, that NO ONE other than the rider competing in the CET is allowed on the horse for the entire duration of the show. It just seems odd to me that equitation is supposed to be a showcase of a rider's ability and horsemanship, but yet when Beezie Madden warms up your horse, this seems to be cheating that definition.

    My trainer rides my horse once a week and I always notice that she is a little softer, moves a little better, and jumps a little rounder the next day, thus being because my trainer is the professional, and I am the amateur. Thus, if she rode my horse the morning of the finals, I would feel as if I then had an advantage.

    This advantage would then become blatantly unfair for someone like me if I were to compete in the Maclay finals, and although my trainer is a good rider, she is not related to Olympians such as Beezie Madden.

    I guess my point is, by eliminating this ability, it would seek to close the gap that some people believe exists between the "somebodies" and the "nobodies" at medal finals, and their related levels of success.



  2. #2
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    Different set of rules. Sounds like the CET rules are more in line with dressage championships and eventing here in the US.

    I've never been to the big indoor finals, but have seen trainers on horses almost literally until the horse walked into the ring for state and county medal finals. Then they plop the kid or ammy on and, I guess, hope the horse doesn't notice until it's too late. We joke that my trainer won the Children's hunter championship one year in a similar fashion.

    For the USET finals no one else (or maybe no one other than a jr/yr) is allowed to show the horse once everyone has done the warm-up session, but I don't know if others are allowed to school the horse.

    The CET rule would probably produce only a partial leveling, IMHO. If you're rich enough you'll just buy a horse that needs the prof ride less than a green or harder one would.
    The Evil Chem Prof



  3. #3
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    I like the way that the CET handles it--which, if I am correct, is the same as Pony Finals in the USA, isn't it? If the pony kids preparing for the USEF Pony Medal are not allowed to have someone else prep their pony, why aren't the junior riders held to the same standard?
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  4. #4
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    yes--- I understand that there will always be someone richer with a horse that is nicer and requires less prep time/pro rides etc.

    But really- having a pro on your horse until the minute you enter the ring (in my mind) completely destroys the idea of equitation being the art of true effective riding.

    It just frustrates me and seems to be enabling more and more people with a lot of money and a lot less talent.

    Renaissance- valid point. why the privilege for the older kids, but not for the seven year olds?



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by toooldforeq View Post

    It just frustrates me and seems to be enabling more and more people with a lot of money and a lot less talent.
    Just out of curiosity, how many wealthy but lacking in talent juniors have won or even placed at the Medal or Maclay finals? I think perhaps none, honestly.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
    Just out of curiosity, how many wealthy but lacking in talent juniors have won or even placed at the Medal or Maclay finals? I think perhaps none, honestly.
    None. Can't name a single one that hasnt had success in the other areas of Hunter/Jumper world. They've all had success in the jumper ring, which if one of the next steps once one is finished in the Equitation. And, of course, those who have access to the hunters have all had great amounts of success in that area as well. And honestly, I don't see many professionals getting on the horses of the Medal/Maclay winners right before they get in the ring.



  7. #7
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    Well if it doesn't equal winning, why do it at all? (in reference to pros riding)
    These people should be made to qualify PROPERLY, and taught the art of horsemanship, not plunked in the saddle at the latest possible moment. What does that prove to anyone? To me, it further refutes the claim that you're not really good enough to be here, even if an Olympian warms up your horse.

    In my eyes, that would be the ultimate embarrassment.

    I'm not trying to say that all American Eq riders have no talent and have their horses made right before they go in the ring. I'm saying, why even make this an option for them? It's stupid and publicly displays ones a)laziness and b) lack of riding ability.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by toooldforeq View Post
    In my eyes, that would be the ultimate embarrassment.
    Well then YOU shouldn't do it.

    There will always be people doing things you wouldn't do. Why let it bother you?



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by toooldforeq View Post


    These people should be made to qualify PROPERLY, and taught the art of horsemanship, not plunked in the saddle at the latest possible moment. What does that prove to anyone?
    It sounds like you are not very familiar with this division. I showed in it for a number of years (first qualified for finals at 13) and have several friends who are top Eq trainers. In general, the juniors I know are very, very good riders, and in fact can ride about 10x better than almost anyone I see at the dressage shows I now do (as can the H/J amateurs who came out of the eq division). In fact, it is interesting to me to see the difference between amateur riders who have a medal/maclay type background and those who do not because there frequently is a really gap in the foundation among those who did not have a rigorous training program as juniors.

    I'm not trying to say that all American Eq riders have no talent and have their horses made right before they go in the ring. I'm saying, why even make this an option for them? It's stupid and publicly displays ones a)laziness and b) lack of riding ability.
    These people pay their trainers a lot of money for their expertise. If the trainer can get the horse tuned so that it is performing its best and that is within the rules, of course people are going to do that. Don't forget that a number of the eq horses are older campaigners who are really saved for finals; for those guys, it is best to do as little as possible. If a trainer can hop on and have it going its best with some flatwork and after popping a few jumps, wouldn't that be better for the horse than perhaps having to have the kid drill and drill it to get the same or similar results?

    There also is an educational component. I usually did prep my own horses but I had one in particular that was quite tricky. Sometimes my trainer would hop on to make the necessary adjustments, which would allow me to feel what she was trying to explain to me from the ground. Frequently that meant that the next time I could do it myself - or at least understood what it was that I was striving for.

    BTW, where exactly do you think these trainers came from, anyway? Many, if not most, came up through this very same eq division you are blasting.



  10. #10
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    I'm far removed from the eq scene, but I think the Maclay would have been a far better test of horsemanship/riding ability if the qualifiers had had to walk the round 2 "take your own line" course without their trainers.


    Just a thought. It is supposed to be a test of riding, not a test of the trainers.
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by toooldforeq View Post
    ... Beezie Madden warms up your horse, this seems to be cheating that definition.

    ...by eliminating this ability, it would seek to close the gap that some people believe exists between the "somebodies" and the "nobodies" at medal finals, and their related levels of success.
    Mistake to worry and whine about fairness. pay attention to what you do and your goals and not to others because of what you perceive as an advantage at our National Medal Finals.

    On a practical note...how many kids are in the CEF Finals? Down here there are close to 200. Are you sure Beezie actually does ride all her student horses between midnite and 3am when the ring is available then coach from 7am until it's done at 8pm? Or is this an assumption? On top of that...are you aware many of our top Eq coaches NO LONGER RIDE themselves?

    In reality they have warm up Eq classes at most Finals and that is the main "practice"-with the kid, not the Pro. Those top horses don't need it and no horse learns anything in 20 minutes at 3am-they better be done before they even ship.

    And, even if somebody else does take a spin at 2am, there is little you can accomplish under those circumstance in a crowded ring....and can you blame a rider for not wanting to be up at 2am after the warm up class the afternoon/evening before when she rides at 2pm?

    Tiresome to read another "that's no fair".
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renn/aissance View Post
    I like the way that the CET handles it--which, if I am correct, is the same as Pony Finals in the USA, isn't it? If the pony kids preparing for the USEF Pony Medal are not allowed to have someone else prep their pony, why aren't the junior riders held to the same standard?
    Because PF is a stand alone show. Most of those Ponies are there at the KHP for 2 weeks of regular AA shows right before the PF or regular circuit Ponies that show all year and they don't need a Pro ride before every class. If they do, that is a subject for another thread-as in stay home until it's better. They learn nothing in a high stress session before a class.

    But OP is talking about the 3 National Medal Finals...and I am not sure Beezie Madden is prepping anybody's EQ horse at 2am when they showed in the Warm Up Eq the day before-and coaching that day, schooling the wee hours and coaching all the next day. Even if it was permitted-which it is not at the Finals.

    The basic assumption is a little flawed-those that have been to these shows know warm up is limited. Period. For anybody. No way it would do anything any good, even if the "famous Eq trainer" did get on...but many of them NO LONGER RIDE.

    This has nothing to do with what you may see at local, unrated or even Medal qualifiers year round. Finals are different.

    IMO, if a rider shows all year to qualify, they ought to be able to get it done themselves on show day the rest of the year. If not? They ain't gonna win it anyway.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    I'm far removed from the eq scene, but I think the Maclay would have been a far better test of horsemanship/riding ability if the qualifiers had had to walk the round 2 "take your own line" course without their trainers.


    Just a thought. It is supposed to be a test of riding, not a test of the trainers.
    I think that happened at this years finals.....
    There's coffee in that nebula.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    I'm far removed from the eq scene, but I think the Maclay would have been a far better test of horsemanship/riding ability if the qualifiers had had to walk the round 2 "take your own line" course without their trainers.


    Just a thought. It is supposed to be a test of riding, not a test of the trainers.

    I believe they did walk on their own at one of the Finals this year. Guess what? Same top group of kids that normaly rank on top at ribbon time...ranked on top at ribbon time. Trainers did not get off after schooling and hand them the reins right before the class either.

    Seems to be some misconception about what actually happens at the National Medal Finals.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  15. #15
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    i think this post is a fair question.
    and i think the OP 's idea that only the rider should school the horse at the finals is a good idea. it is supposed to be equitation. and that should include warming your horse up. lets face it, a pro can make a horse go sooooo much better. i know when i have had pro rides and hop on at the very end, the horse feels like a totally different horse. if the pony finals kids have to ride their own horses, then so should the eq kids.
    however to the OP, the kids that win the finals really really know how to ride. its a gruelling test to come out on top. many of these kids ride horse after horse without stirrups and ride ride ride. that is why they are good. even a top horse cannot make you ride well if you do not have the talent. you have to find the jumps! most of the eq kids that i know are really fantastic riders.
    i had a lesson the other night and two of the lesson horses were acting up so the trainer switched riders. she put the two now in college eq kid on the horses that were acting up. and what an amazing difference. the other kids couldnt control the running and bucking. but put the two graduated eq kids on and the horses went around like a charm.
    Last edited by TSWJB; Nov. 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM. Reason: spelling



  16. #16
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    All the major Finals are held in conjuction with a horse show and the horses are there all week...so, yeah, you MAY see somebody else on an EQ horse as opposed to letting them rot in the stall until the rider can fly or drive in after being in school until 2 days prior to the class.

    I think this is kind of a huge discussion about a perception of something that really does not happen. Now, it may at some qualifier somewhere for a variety of reasons, some good, some not so good...like with the overmounted coached by a trainer with questionable judgement.

    And there IS a rule against anybody else on that horse in a certain time frame at least at one of these.

    It is almost funny because there is no suitable warm up area anyway and what little there is is 11pm to 3am with no real jump course. Or a postage stamp sized, low roofed, cement walled warm up "ring" with a single jump right before going in.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    All the major Finals are held in conjuction with a horse show and the horses are there all week...so, yeah, you MAY see somebody else on an EQ horse as opposed to letting them rot in the stall until the rider can fly or drive in after being in school until 2 days prior to the class.
    This. And in addition, though this doesn't happen much these days, the horse could also be qualified for the 1st years/2nd years/regular working, in which case the pro would be riding it in the ring anyway. Would an exception have to be made for those horses? It's not practical as it is at pony finals, because there is a whole show around the class vs. a stand alone eq competition...and that's why this can be done at USET (USEF Talent Search) finals as well.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    All the major Finals are held in conjuction with a horse show and the horses are there all week...so, yeah, you MAY see somebody else on an EQ horse as opposed to letting them rot in the stall until the rider can fly or drive in after being in school until 2 days prior to the class.
    That is how the Royal and CET finals works as well, and the kids are in warm up classes first thing in the morning and are biding for warm up space in the small arenas, but it the kids manage still to have the horses ready for their classes.

    The numbers at finals up here are a lot smaller, because the regional only accepts 4 from each province I think? And the Canadian population in general is MUCH smaller then the American one, and not too many kids actually compete in the big eq up here/ are willing to travel from all over the country to the royal, only a handful of the kids actually have a designated equitation horse, most of them either double as a Hunter or Jumper. And I don't think there are 200 kids in the entire country competing regularly in the big eq classes Ontario's classes get around 20 ish people in the big equitation classes (thats on a pretty busy day I think).



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    On a practical note...how many kids are in the CEF Finals? Down here there are close to 200. Are you sure Beezie actually does ride all her student horses between midnite and 3am when the ring is available then coach from 7am until it's done at 8pm? Or is this an assumption? On top of that...are you aware many of our top Eq coaches NO LONGER RIDE themselves?
    It was specifically mentioned on "The Road To The Maclay" that Beezie had been tuning the horses up in that early morning schooling session.



  20. #20
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    Pretty sure that she wasn't this year as she is on a riding break. That show was about 5 years ago when she helped her brother in law w/ some of the Beacon Hill horses. But I think this is done infrequently. Occasionally a kid will be showing a horse they don't know very well due to various scenarios and may need a little help before that kind of competition. The trainers may need to ride it a little so they can better coach the rider about what choices to make with that specific horse. The whole couple of weeks of all the finals in the US are extremely strenuous on the juniors of which many are in their freshman year of school and not living even near their horses. To ride in the ring you have to be up at 4am, sometimes after you just finished a jumper class at 10 pm the night before, etc. There are many very tired kids before finals. Having a trainer help you get the horse ready is a nice service, but one that most likely 90% at that level do not need.
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