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  1. #1
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    Default WWYD? Hunter Eq Judging question.

    Posting using an alter because I do not want to compromise the rider's privacy.

    Background: Small schooling show. Beginner equitation class. Going one way, the rider looked super. Solid base of support, good hands, very nice position. Reversed and it was a different picture. Her leg on this side was totally different. Stirrup barely stayed on her foot, no weight in her heel. I was so surprised given how strong her leg was on the other side?

    How would you judge that?



  2. #2
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    I wonder if she possibly had a problem with the weaker leg. I knew someone that lost her lower leg as a child and continued to show very successfully with a prosthesis. She was an excellent rider, but that leg appeared as you have described. However, in a Eq class, I think, you have to weigh that position flaw in.



  3. #3
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    Sep. 27, 2010
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    Not a judge.....

    But I would think it would depend on how the other riders rode. I mean I would hope that most judges would pin the more consistant rider. Unless this rider was better both ways then the rest of the class (you never know with those beginner eq classes at schooling shows ). My thought process for this would be that she either got tired and couldnt keep riding that strong the whole class or she is more developed on one side - neither of which I would think should be rewarded by being placed over a rider who may have been "less super" then her the first way, but was better then her the second way (showing consistancy in position).



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckeys71 View Post
    I wonder if she possibly had a problem with the weaker leg. I knew someone that lost her lower leg as a child and continued to show very successfully with a prosthesis. She was an excellent rider, but that leg appeared as you have described. However, in a Eq class, I think, you have to weigh that position flaw in.
    Wow. You nailed it in one! It did turn out that she has a prosthesis.

    Knowing that she has a prothesis, do you make accommodations for that? I.e., not penalize the floppy stirrup on that side as much as you would for another rider?

    The parent asked if there was anything they could do. Would you recommend trying one of the stirrups that clicks in with magnets or something like that?



  5. #5
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    Jul. 23, 2011
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    This is a difficult call! Because it was Beginner Eq at a Schooling show, I think i would probably accommodate her. In addition, from your description, she was probably still the strongest rider in the class despite those flaws.

    One time I judged a confirmation class at a 4H horse show, and there was a LOVELY mare with almost perfect confirmation.... which then turned around and was missing an eye.



  6. #6
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    Oct. 21, 2010
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    I have judged a couple of times and am interested in doing more. I was taught that judges must have a system of placing and recording their line up. Accordingly, the judge may have written down her order of placings during the first direction in this flat class and then made any necessary adjustments during the second direction. Even though the second direction wasn't as strong for this particular rider, the judge must have had her reasons for leaving her in 1st when comparing her to the rest of the class.

    After judging a bit, I also think that judging of flat classes is far more subjective that O/F classes. There is a lot more to scrutinize and score on in O/F classes and it's much more black and white.

    I think that the challenge of judging physically handicapped riders against "able bodied" ones in the eq divisions is interesting. I don't know of any rules that address this type of issue, so it probably falls to individual judges to make decisions. I competed against a rider with physical disabilities that would have been obvious to the judge while I lived in New England. She was good, and got decent ribbons in unrated equitation classes. I had a lot of respect for her because I think it must have taken a lot of extra work and dedication on her part to successfully ride in those classes.
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  7. #7
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    Jul. 17, 2008
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    I usually pretty much have my placings before I have the class change direction. If I had her at the very top one way, and her hands/seat were the same in the second direction, and it was only the one leg that was off, she would probably still be top 3. Again, I don't know anything about the rest of the class so...

    kudos for her for entering an eq class with a prosthesis!
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  8. #8
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    Feb. 19, 2011
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    I wouldn't know what to do, but kudos to the girl for not letting her prosthetic leg stop her from riding and showing horses!

    Also, I did short stirrup with a pony who only had one eye (I don't remember how I did it was like 12 years ago) but what if a pony who was missing an eye showed in pony hunters (at A-AA shows) and had almost perfect courses. Would he be penalized because of the missing eye?



  9. #9
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    We do have a wonderful sport, where our horses can provide riders who are physically challenged with a great equalizer. I think anyone who was at WEG and noticed the many 'Para' riders at the venue, whether they were just casually moving about the place, or actually competing came away with a new appreciation for how special our sport is in that regard.

    As to the 'off side' problem mentioned by the OP, I would say as a judge and a trainer that what was described is not all that unusual a problem, and is not limited to those riders who face extraordinary challenges.

    Without unnecessarily stretching the parameters of good riding practices, it would depend for me on the rider's control of the horse and ability to be an effective rider, in comparison to the others in the class. I would hesitate to make any recommendations to a parent of such a rider--leave that to a trainer who is highly qualified to assess each of these situations based on the rider's capabilities and the horse's suitability. The beauty of this sport is that it allows riders of differing abilities to compete head to head, on equal footing. But generally, it's best to limit one's comments about judging to the particulars of that rider's performance in the class under discussion, and not extrapolate beyond this.



  10. #10
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    Jan. 9, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. O'Connor View Post
    As to the 'off side' problem mentioned by the OP, I would say as a judge and a trainer that what was described is not all that unusual a problem, and is not limited to those riders who face extraordinary challenges.

    Without unnecessarily stretching the parameters of good riding practices, it would depend for me on the rider's control of the horse and ability to be an effective rider, in comparison to the others in the class. I would hesitate to make any recommendations to a parent of such a rider--leave that to a trainer who is highly qualified to assess each of these situations based on the rider's capabilities and the horse's suitability. The beauty of this sport is that it allows riders of differing abilities to compete head to head, on equal footing. But generally, it's best to limit one's comments about judging to the particulars of that rider's performance in the class under discussion, and not extrapolate beyond this.
    It certainly is not an unusual problem at all. Had the parent not approached me, I wouldn't have thought twice about it because many riders often have a stronger and weaker side.

    I did recommend that the parent ask the coach but was curious myself.

    Thank you for putting this so succintly:

    Without unnecessarily stretching the parameters of good riding practices, it would depend for me on the rider's control of the horse and ability to be an effective rider, in comparison to the others in the class.

    While my initial reaction was to think that there should be some accommodation made for this young lady, upon further reflection and feedback, the bottom line is that her control of the horse and her ability to be an effective rider are what is being judged. If she is choosing to compete against 'able-bodied' riders, then the playing field must be level. If she has a position flaw, then that is something that needs to be addressed with her coach. Just like anyone else.

    Thank you all for the thoughtful and constructive discussion.



  11. #11
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    Equitation is actually effective riding and a judge's job is to pin the most effective riders based solely on what they see in front of them.

    It is not the judge's place to assume anything about background or physical limitations or use these in determining who places where.

    Many, many Beginner riders have a noticeably weaker side or a heel that is not as flexible/leg that is looser and so forth without any kind of physical limitation so it is a huge mistake to assume there may be one. Even if there is-a judge has to place the class according to the effectiveness and position of the riders, not any misperceived notions and sympathy. Seen this happen and it was not fair to anybody.

    In this case, if the kid was say, 70%effective? She'd place accordingly when compared to the other kids in the class at a Beginner level.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

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  12. #12
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    Just a question , is it legal for a junior to ride side saddle in an Eq class?



  13. #13
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    Good question in theory but it is asking if apples can be compared to oranges in reality.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  14. #14
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    I remember once when I was little (in th e 60's) asking my coach about that after seeing a girl ride side saddle in a Eq class, He said if you can do it well, do it, but you won't be given any exceptions so you better really be great at it. I sooo wanted to try, but after my first and last lesson side saddle I gave up the idea after being told " Dear, Ladies do not cluck like chickens, use your stick"! I was certain maintaining a lady like demenor just wasn't my forte. PS: The Mikes is my business name I am a female for those going UH?????



  15. #15
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    I don't know the rider's ability, but what if she just removed the stirrup and leather from that side. Assuming she doesn't really use it that is.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKES MCS View Post
    PS: The Mikes is my business name I am a female for those going UH?????
    Totally off-topic but NO WAY! I always assumed you were Mike. Was my mental image ever wrong.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OveroHunter View Post
    I don't know the rider's ability, but what if she just removed the stirrup and leather from that side. Assuming she doesn't really use it that is.

    Then she cannot be fairly compared to the rest of the class that is using (or trying to) both irons.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Shine View Post
    Totally off-topic but NO WAY! I always assumed you were Mike. Was my mental image ever wrong.
    LOL , sorry to disappoint , I know how few Men are in this game. I have in the past identified myself as a female .. Maybe I need to find a new Screen name so it's not so strange when I answer topics regarding the "Best Riding Bra"



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by arghhalter View Post
    Thank you for putting this so succintly:

    Without unnecessarily stretching the parameters of good riding practices, it would depend for me on the rider's control of the horse and ability to be an effective rider, in comparison to the others in the class.

    While my initial reaction was to think that there should be some accommodation made for this young lady, upon further reflection and feedback, the bottom line is that her control of the horse and her ability to be an effective rider are what is being judged. If she is choosing to compete against 'able-bodied' riders, then the playing field must be level. If she has a position flaw, then that is something that needs to be addressed with her coach. Just like anyone else.

    Thank you all for the thoughtful and constructive discussion.
    Well, on the other hand... for a fully able-bodied rider, if one leg is flopping like that there's a huge chance they are sitting crooked, causing crookedness in their horse, and far less effective. Was this rider still sitting straight and not causing crookedness? To me that would be a big effect in placings. One looser leg *without* the very typical body unevennesses wuold place higher than a less effective rider or a rider with one solid and one loose leg who has a horse more crooked. Regardless of reason for the leg movement.
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