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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 1999
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    Default Here's your quote of the day

    and I am paraphrasing someone else.....

    "Do you build courses to standard, and expect riders/horses to meet that standard, or do you build them substandard for the current group of riders?"

    Whether for SJ or XC, I thought this was a wonderful point to ponder.



  2. #2
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    Oct. 23, 2002
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    Default

    The question for me to ponder is this. Have the standards changed over the last several years. The riding is still just as good, if not better and just as bad....



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2004
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    Default

    This confuses me. Is it generally agreed upon that today's top level riders are less capable than the riders of yore? Or that riders of the past would have handled today's courses easily?

    It seems to me that the horses/riders of the past rose to the top of a different sport from today's short format eventing, that asked different questions of horse and rider, so it may be more of an apples/oranges comparison than better/worse.

    "Back in the day" reminiscing aside, it seems like the faster trend has been toward more technical courses, as opposed to worse riding. It isn't as though courses are getting easier.



  4. #4
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    Nov. 12, 2001
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    Dry Ridge, KY USA
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    Default

    If your standards are so high that you are causing multiple falls and injuries to our best horses and riders, then the standards do need to be lowered.

    Or, if whoever made this statement knows of a way to make our riders capable of meeting those high standards, then he needs to step forward with a plan and do so. JMHO.



  5. #5

    Default

    The big question which begs to be answered is are we asking too much of our horses today with the standards we've imposed? Horses can only jump so high, gallop so fast, think so quickly. Have we maxxed them out?
    Last edited by flutie1; Mar. 14, 2010 at 12:09 PM. Reason: Typo



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2006
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    Default

    The standards need to reward a good forward ride. At some events there were so many tight combinations, the effect was rather punishing on the horse no matter how well he met the fences.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2004
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    Pine Top side of Atlanta, GA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flutie1 View Post
    The big question which begs to be answered is are we asking too much of our horses today with the standards we've imposed? Horses can only jump so high, gallop so fast, think so quickly. Have we maxxed them out?
    Many thanks for putting this idea out here - it's the most important one.

    To add some thought to FC's original question, I'd ask WHO is setting the standard, and what were the critieria, the indicators that these are reasonable, responsible questions to ask of horses? Riders get a choice.
    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan



  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RunForIt View Post
    Many thanks for putting this idea out here - it's the most important one.

    To add some thought to FC's original question, I'd ask WHO is setting the standard, and what were the critieria, the indicators that these are reasonable, responsible questions to ask of horses? Riders get a choice.
    I believe we are ALL guilty in the setting of unreasonable standards - designers, organizers, officials, competitors. It is unfair to blame any one group within the discipline. Designers strive to be original and raise the bar, organizers compete against other organizers and against themselves, officials find acceptable level criteria a bit fuzzy as written, competitors demand more and more. How to stop this is and reverse the trend the question I wish I could answer!



  9. #9
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    Oct. 30, 2004
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flutie1 View Post
    I believe we are ALL guilty in the setting of unreasonable standards - designers, organizers, officials, competitors. It is unfair to blame any one group within the discipline. Designers strive to be original and raise the bar, organizers compete against other organizers and against themselves, officials find acceptable level criteria a bit fuzzy as written, competitors demand more and more. How to stop this is and reverse the trend the question I wish I could answer!
    true...and the horses keep on jumping and...?
    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2003
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    The rolling hills of Virginia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grayarabpony View Post
    The standards need to reward a good forward ride. At some events there were so many tight combinations, the effect was rather punishing on the horse no matter how well he met the fences.
    I hate the idea that courses can punish good behavior on the part of the horse or the rider. Is there any way to change the way we think about or implement course design?

    If every fence is indeed a question, would it make sense for the course designers to state ahead of time what each question is supposed to be and how a pair could successfully answer it?

    In the "old days" we tended to walk the courses as a group, esp. at the lower levels. The course designers would explain the what each fence needed in approach and negotiation. Our coaches would then tell us what we needed to do for our horse to help him through it.

    Now, we were juniors, mostly in Pony Club. But the higher levels were doing the same thing. They were walking the courses too and having the same discussions. Often we could tag along and listen as long as we did not interfere.

    Maybe it isn't possible to have those group walks like we used to. But it the CDs wrote them up and they were handed out, along with the course maps, it would really help a lot of people be better prepared.

    It would also be a great tool to use to compare courses and get a better understanding of the true total level of difficulty. Knowing not just the stats, like how high, how wide, how many efforts in how many meters, but the complexity of each question and how those questions were strung together would paint much more accurate pictures of each XC test.

    With that information, we, as riders might better prepare for our levels and know more about the holes in our training and preparation after we are done.

    CD's might also be better able to learn from each others' courses what worked well and rewarded good prep and what turned out to just be hard with no benefit.

    As officials, organizers, officers and staff, it would offer perspective, trend info., and easier comparisons. I would think the safety folks might benefit as well from such information.

    Just a random thought.
    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

    www.southern-cross-farm.com



  11. #11
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    Oct. 23, 2002
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    Default

    I think grayarabpony said it spot on.....



  12. #12
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    Apr. 30, 2002
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    Default

    I've been riding lower level courses mostly for over 25 years on both coasts, two countries, many of the biggest events in the country. Also watched a lot of upper level (international, too) events and walked the courses as well. The trends have always been changing upward; it is just that within the last ten years perhaps they have trended upward, outward, inward, and every other way! And the difficulty trickles down. I warned a friend this summer, "if you haven't competed in a year, don't start out back at Training level. Better get back into it at Novice," and I think especially now, there seems to be sort of a crossroads at course design. If you rode Novice and took a year or two off and are now expecting to just drop back in -- wow -- you will be surprised. Training -- especially surprised! It's wild right now. Flutie, we have only one place to go to fix this or adjudicate it -- that is the USEA, I guess. The course design committee? Organizers committee? And what is it we are fixing? Do we want to make courses easier or fairer? Do we want to make it so the best get around clean, and the rest don't, or is it a different goal? Especially at the lower levels. Don't we want to have fun, test the horses a little, test the riders a little and make sure all get home safe. Is this goal changed or different for upper levels, and if so, how?
    I think those questions have to be answered before we can get at the reasons for the designs we have today on courses. JMO. I don't think we can any longer just throw big jumps to test scope. It will become a dressage race, then.
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
    www.eventhorse.wordpress.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2009
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    344

    Default

    To standard or else the standards will keep getting lowered. If you aren't capable to do your level (getting E'd, RF, 40+penalty points, numerous rails) then there is a SIMPLE solution: move down a level



  14. #14
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    Nov. 12, 2001
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    Dry Ridge, KY USA
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    Default

    Shrunk "N" Da Wash,

    Would you please show me where the "standards" are and how they are applied at different events?

    Every event has a different course designer. Different course designers ask different questions. How can you standardize those variables?



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