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  1. #21
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    Oct. 29, 2000
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Poombadesign:
    First off...humans love to put themselves in risky situations,... Yes, there is another living being involved in horse sports, but those are just the chances we take. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That seems to be an ingenuous remark..... The whole point of this discussion is precisely that we DO put innocent animals ar risk, not that "those are just the chances we take". The horse does not choose to tie a bungy cord around his feet and jump off a cliff, etc.

    -------

    I had to go back today to pick up some stuff I forgot yesterday, and I stayed to watch a friend's daughter go. While waiting for her (she rode like a pro and nailed her jumps with a beautiful eye and well timed rides) I watched some 12 - 15 others come through the water complex and jump about 6 other jumps in a large circuit in and out of the woods. Amazingly enough, I saw a number of scary spots and ill timed jumps, hung legs and hard rubs, but no stops (except in the water) and no accidents.

    I guess it was because these jumps were low enough that the horses could get over them by hook or by crook, they did not have to be super athletes to do it. Many of the horses were quite good jumpers (although one jump came after a right turn and many of the young riders never re-balanced their horses, which caused an inordinate number of them to severely hang their right leg, often hitting the jump hard above the knee) and they were all brave. So that combination of traits seemed to be enough to overcome any lack of finesse or expertise at this level of competition.

    Which is OK with me. That is as it should be. Horse and rider learning together. Taking controlled risks and gaining experience.

    So what happens between Prelim and Intermediate? Do horses move up who aren't talented enough or not ready? Perhaps the requirements for moving up need to be made more stringent: like qualifying for indoors. It must take "X" number of points earned by placings at cetain size preliminary events. For BOTH rider and horse. If there is such a system in place, perhaps the requirements need to be made harder.

    At this event there were 90 Intermediate horses. Are there really 90 sound, fit and ready to compete on this particular weekend Intermediate horses in this part of the country, this early in the season? Hard to believe.....
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2001
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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada, North America, Earth
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    I know one of the girls who had a MR by her name. Oh crap!!! This is awful [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] but as someone else said, they horses love what they do. They do it because they love it.

    ~~Bucksnort~~

    [This message was edited by bucksnort on Mar. 19, 2002 at 10:35 PM.]



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
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    incredibly raging town of Scottsville, VA
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    Fine. I guess I didn't explain myself well enough...

    Humans are WELL aware that these animals are ours to take care of and protect. If you're not, you shouldn't be in this business because that's just stupidity. Yes, horses are not aware of the risks, but the riders/trainer/owners are. If you're in these sports and expect that nothing will happen, again, is stupidity. I seriously doubt that someone would blindly go into a position that they are definitly not quilified for and/or know that they will not be able to get around. But that doesn't mean that people who are over-quialified are exempt from injury/accident/death. THAT IS THE RISK!!!

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  4. #24
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    Feb. 13, 2000
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    VA, but visitor to Garrison & Toronto
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    I still say that if 20% of the riders at not a beginner level cannot control their horse or have sufficient knowledge of how to, or talent to, negotiate a 2 stride in 2 strides in a stadium jumping arena, they have no business galloping around a x-country course over solid, unforgiving jumps.
    \"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.\" -- Ralph Waldo E



  5. #25
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    Mar. 15, 2002
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    Antigonish, NS / Ottawa, ON
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    I find that alot of people push there horses to move up. My horse is going to be 7 this year. He is going Training and may upgrade to prelim at the end of the season. His "niece" will also be 7, but she will be upgrading to intermediate at the beginning of the season. She has successfully complete a one star, and did go clear crosscountry, in the time at Southern Pines today.

    My horse will stay at Training for most of this season because the jumps are still small enough for him to make mistakes safely.



  6. #26
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    Mar. 15, 2002
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    Antigonish, NS / Ottawa, ON
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    If only 20% of the riders got the right number of strides, MAYBE it was something about the distance... My horse has a huge stride, and I can ride him, and I know he will get his feet out of the way, but if the distance was that short, maybe they should have rethought that before they put it on the course!



  7. #27
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    Jan. 1, 2001
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    High in the mountains of Southwest Virginia
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Perhaps the eventing world should take a lesson or ten from the showjumper or hunter world. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why on earth would eventers want to take lessons from a group of people who use nose bands with tacks or chains under them to control their horses, hit their horse's legs with poles studded with nails to get them to jump better, or kill a horse by electrocuting it or breaking its leg for insurance money? Talk about hipocracy. I would suggest that, before riders of one discipline start adopting a holier-than-thou attitude towards riders of another discipline, they should make sure their own house is in order before throwing the first stone.

    Now, is it unfair of me to condemn the entire hunter/jumper world for the acts of a few fools who put their own ambitions before the welfare of their horses? Absolutely. And truth be told, this is not how I look at the majority of hunter/jumper riders. I just wanted to point out that the idiotic and twisted mentality here is the blanket judgement of an entire group of riders based on either one incident of bad judgement on the part of a single rider or a freak accident.

    It is true that eventing is a dangerous sport and I totally agree that there are riders participating in our sport that have no business being out on a cross country course. However, eventers are not blind to this fact. In the past several years, much has been done to make our sport safer. Studies have been done, rules have been written, better education of our horses and riders have been stressed. We are ever vigilent in trying to find ways to keep our horses and riders safe. But still they die or are injured and will continue to do so because accidents happen or there will always be a rider who, in a split second, makes an unwise choice.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this excuses that fact that horses die. On the contrary, my heart is ripped out of my chest when I hear that a horse has gone down on course. It drives home the fact that every time I swing my leg over my horse's back and head out to compete, I know there is always a chance that we may not come back together and that there is a risk that either one of us could be injured or killed.

    But, because this is true, does it mean that I should never event again or am some ogre for continuing to participate in a sport that may result in injury or death? I just don't think so. I have as much chance as taking a header while out on a hack through the woods or walking down the stairs in my house.

    As horsemen, risk is something we live with every day and I refuse to wrap myself in a bubble and live a dull existence just because there is a chance that something bad may happen. And truth be told, even if my horses were aware of the risk involved in eventing, I firmly believe that they would still want to do it as much as they do now. There is no denying that they love this sport as much as I.

    Please don't ask me to take this pleasure away from either my horses or myself or judge me because I continue to compete just because something unfortunate may happen. It's called life and I would rather live it to the fullest then never venture outside because of the possibility of an accident.

    I would hope that riders of other disciplines would understand the pain that all of us feel when something like this occurs and not label us a bunch of ruthless, uncaring yahoos who have little regard for the lives of our horses. Not only is this a small minded attitude, but it is also extremely hurtful to those of us who go to extreme lengths in making sure our horses have the best care possible and as much love as they could ever possible want.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 1999
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    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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    How hard was the s/j track? I tend to agree with Duffy that you should be able to put two in two. But there are other variables too. Was it a combination/related distance that jumped off the short turn from a big oxer? Remember, in eventing we don't have the outside/inside/outside/inside tracks that many in the hunters enjoy. At a horse trial(s), where you might be expected to ride s/j before xc, you could be on a keen horse and still have the omnipresent XC nerves freaking you out! This is why I don't like horse trials that employ the dressage/sj/xc format (though from an organizing perspective, I totally understand it). The s/j in eventing is designed to test the horse's rideability and soundness after the endurance phase.

    Robby
    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.



  9. #29
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    Feb. 13, 2000
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    VA, but visitor to Garrison & Toronto
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    Dummy here, Robby! I didn't know they changed the order for horse trials versus 3-phase or 3-day eventing. I have done some 3-phase competitions and stadium was after x-country. (I did these MANY moons ago, so I don't even know if 3-phase events still exist! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] ) [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    \"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.\" -- Ralph Waldo E



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Nokesville, VA
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>the Stadium Jumping phase, (which I thought was after the x-country, not before - but anyway), <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Duffy,
    HT can be run either Dr- XC- St, or Dr- St- XC.
    When you have many divisions running the same weekend, (and more rides than can do XC all in one day) it is quite common to have some of them to XC first, and others do St first.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2001
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    PNW
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    I agree with LordHelpus and Master Talley on some points here. I too have mentioned the fact that I attended an event last summer, with my non horse person spouse.

    God, even HE noticed that the Prelim riders were downright scary! Hung legs, missed distances-I was appalled. Like masterTalley said, I just wonder that these horses aren't dying there because the jumps are small enough to be able to get over with a crappy approach. They have wiggle room because of the height. Unfortunately when you start moving up and hitting Prelim and above, there is little wiggle room for the rider who really is not a confident rider who really knows how to sit back and get the horse under him to put in 2 short strides say, and get out safely.

    JMHO, and I know that event horses love their jobs, as do riders enjoy the thrill and risk...I just really wonder about the ability of some of these riders to be at the level they think they are at.

    The gene pool could use a little chlorine.
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  12. #32
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    Jan. 1, 2001
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    High in the mountains of Southwest Virginia
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> How hard was the s/j track? I tend to agree with Duffy that you should be able to put two in two. But there are other variables too. Was it a combination/related distance that jumped off the short turn from a big oxer? Remember, in eventing we don't have the outside/inside/outside/inside tracks that many in the hunters enjoy. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Robby, I totally agree. And another thing to remember is that event riders do not get to school the show jumping course before having to ride it. If you want to make a fair comparison between the hunters and eventers, you need to compare an eventer rider's show jumping round to a hunter rider's warm-up before the show even starts.

    Remember, eventers are going into the show jumping phase cold turkey. They haven't had the advantage of schooling the course before they have to compete. And, they are on very fit horses who know that cross country is coming. These horses may be acting in a manner that you can rarely duplicate at home in a schooling setting. Again, I am not excusing bad riding, but I am saying that it is harder to put in a flawless show jumping round when you haven't ridden your horse around the course beforehand.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> At a horse trial(s), where you might be expected to ride s/j before xc, you could be on a keen horse and still have the omnipresent XC nerves freaking you out! This is why I don't like horse trials that employ the dressage/sj/xc format (though from an organizing perspective, I totally understand it). The s/j in eventing is designed to test the horse's rideability and soundness after the endurance phase. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There is another reason other than ease of scheduling as to why organizers are running show jumping prior to cross country. It is a safety issue. Many organizers are now taking the position that riders who do not complete show jumping will not be allowed to run cross country. They are using show jumping to help weed out the riders who either do not possess the skills required to safely negotiate the cross country course or are just having a bad weekend. While the traditionalist in me still thinks that cross country should come before show jumping, I am slowly accepting the fact that, at least at the lower levels, it is a wise decision to run show jumping before cross country.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  13. #33
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Nokesville, VA
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    Lord Helpus

    You DO have to have a certain "qualifying" rounds at Prelim before going Intermediate.

    And, new this year, you have to have completed 4 Training level events before you can go Prelim.

    I agree that there are some riders competing above their level of competence.

    But the fact remains that most of the fatalities and serious injuries have been with well qualified and experienced horses and riders.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
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    Hot and dry area
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    My question is....who is the person that lets these non-qualified persons ride these courses. If they are children shouldn't the parents/trainer stop them and if they are adults shouldn't the trainer stop them, or at the very least,guide them to the division they belong in. I have the same question about the horses abilities.



  15. #35
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Nokesville, VA
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    There are many fewer "trainers" in the h/j model in eventing. Most act more in the role of instructors or coaches.

    If asked, they might tell you what level they think the rider/horse should compete at. But if you don't ask, they are unlikely to insist.

    For instance, many Eventing instructors only teach at home, and are unlikely to see you in an actual competition (unless they happen to be competing at the same event, and then they are likely to be busy with their own horse). And a combination that appears competent at home may change significantly under actual competition.

    For instance, many years ago, Jimmy Wofford (no lightweight) said that my horse was ready to go Prelim, based on several CC schooling sessions. However, she behaves sufficiently differently on an real CC course, that she was actually only just up to a Training for a full course.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  16. #36
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    Mar. 15, 2002
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    Antigonish, NS / Ottawa, ON
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    It is early in the season so people might be a little rusty.... I dont think anyone who isnt a good rider CAN ride prelim... They would not be going prelim and getting around if they werent decent riders...



  17. #37
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Nokesville, VA
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    I just spoke to my sister, who finished 3rd in one of the divisions of Prelim. She finished on her dressage score, with a clear CC and Stadium, and was one of only 2 in her division to make time.

    She said that the CC course was very twisty, and she was going "close to advanced sped" on the straight bits to make time.

    She was also one of the ones who put "one and a half" in the two stride in stadium. She didn't go into details, but apparently it was set up so that you had to jump in "big" and then take back. She said that if she could have come in on a short stride, she would have had no problem, but you couldn't do it that way. Needless to say, she is going to try to reproduce it at home.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2001
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    Sterling, VA
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    I was at an event this past fall as a groom. While my rider was in warmup, a horse died on course, at the bounce. I thought they should have removed it as an obstacle for everyone who followed, but it remained. I was such a basket case when my rider went out, waiting for Secret to get through that fence!

    I think that if a horse or rider dies at a particular obstacle, that obstacle should be removed from the course for the remainder of the event. After the event, plenty of time should be taken to study placement, light, striding, and other factors that experts take into consideration when evaluating safety. Most likely it will have been a fluke, a tragic accident. But fatalities warrant serious study.

    JMHO.

    The best way to predict the future is to create it!
    "It's not a perfect world....But it's still good to be alive! If you don't know by now, you'll probably never understand the way it feels to wanna live....One Perfect Moment!!"



  19. #39
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
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    Southern Pines, N.C.
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    She was also one of the ones who put "one and a half" in the two stride in stadium. She didn't go into details, but apparently it was set up so that you had to jump in "big" and then take back. She said that if she could have come in on a short stride, she would have had no problem, but you couldn't do it that way. Needless to say, she is going to try to reproduce it at home.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Since I would estimate that approximately 4 out of 5 did put 2 in the two stride, obviously the vast majority were able to get their horses back onto the appropriate short stride to negotiate it the way it was meant to be ridden. Yes, most of the horses who did a "one and a half" made it through without having a rail down, and so accrued no official penalties. But, with apologies to your sister (and congratulations to her for such a high placing) they merely reinforce my feeling that the motto of a three day rider is "To survive is to succeed".

    But, lest I seem to tar all three day riders with the same brush, let me say that I saw a number of riders negotiate the course absolutely beautifully. You knew that they knew where they were at all times. The horses were balanced, on the bit and in sync with the riders. It was a real pleasure to watch those rounds.

    PS: Prelim did the s/j on Sat because the Intermediate and Adanced started x/c at 8 AM and finished at 5:30 PM. Riders were sent off every 2 minutes throughout the day. Prelim started x/c at 8 AM on Sun and finished about 2:30 pm, going off every 2 minutes.... Even with some rain showers on Sunday morning, the footing held up beautifully.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."



  20. #40
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
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    Tallahassee, FL
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    Ditto to what DC said with an addendum: we need to keep in mind that as equestrians we all face some threat to our chosen sport, whether it is racing, steeplechasing, dressage, jumping, hunters, or rodeo. There are folks out there who could make a case that everything we do with horses is morally wrong -- the challenge to keep our sports in the face both of animal welfare/rights claims and in the very real possibilities of losing access to open spaces in which to ride are significant ones. The last thing we need to do is for the different phases of equestrian sport to attack each other. What I've learned through my friend that is grooming for a show jumper about the way many of the horses are treated in that sport makes my hair stand on end, however, I would not suggest that show jumping be discontinued.

    As to the suggestion about safer fences, there are in fact, studies ongoing about this and committees which are developing/testing ways to make fences safer. It isn't as easy to do as one might think -- I for one do not want to jump xc fences that fall down -- a much greater chance of being injured as the fence crashes around you and the horse. One of the reasons I enjoy cross-country is the greater distances between most obstacles and the strength and sturdiness of the obstacles.

    And to address other comments: I agree that we do have some riders competeing at levels where neither they nor the horses belong. That is ultimately a self-policing problem, however. We do have new qualification rules for the higher levels, but the decision of whether suzy-q rider is safe to go Novice is one for the rider, the trainer and/or the parent. I have been dwelling in the Novice ranks for much longer than most people would, but I've had some problems learning to ride stadium correctly, and so, until my seat is better, I've taken some time off to work on details. One of the hardest decisions I've ever made was to drop out of Rocking Horse last spring because I wasn't ready and didn't want to scare my horse by giving him a bad ride. I cried all the way back to the barn because I felt like a chicken or a quitter. Jim Graham appeared, stopped me and though he was in a rush to go coach a rider, took the time to tell me I made the right decision, and that knowing when you or your horse was overfaced was as much a part of this sport as galloping xc was. He then sought me out later to talk more about it and to do a great deal to make me feel, not just better, but like a real horseman, who had made a true horseman's decision, not like a coward. I'll never forget that someone of Jim's stature took the time to teach a rookie that good judgment and safety are very important. And I've never even had the pleasure of riding with Jim, but he is a friend, and I hope he will clinic near enough to me so that I can ride with him. Regardless, I will always hold him in the highest esteem.

    The point of this long tale is that I believe that many of the upper level riders you would find to be the same way. I saw a number of riders decide at Red Hills that after a problem or two xc, they would retire and withdraw rather than pushing their horses. The dangerous riders that many see are not getting good instruction, or are being pushed by not-very-good instructors. I'm not sure how to solve this problem, or whether it can be institutionally solved. It may be a problem best dealt with by personal responsibility. As long as people blame the course designers, event organizers, trainers or the sport itself for accidents, the problem will probably never get solved.

    And sometimes, just s*(&*( happens. Accidents will/do happen sometimes no matter what precautions are taken. I love our sport, even though I've never done more than Novice, and I truly love my horse. Going along on a xc course with him happy doing what he loves is one of the biggest thrills I've ever experienced. He's done barrel racing, straight dressage, hunter stuff, and trail riding. He's more alive going xc than at any other time. (I do know the difference -- my little cow horse learned to jump 2 foot xc stuff, but never liked it, so he trail rides instead) I have loved being involved on the safety side of things. I have helped provide materials for the safety/liability portion of the instructor certification program that USEA is developing and as mentioned in my first post, I provided my truck and trailer, which was adapted for this use, as the horse ambulance/removal vehicle for Red Hills. Safety is of paramount concern for me and so is liability, for as an attorney the possibilities of being sued is never far from my mind.

    But, the best you can do is to stack the deck in terms of safety, so that one is never left saying "Well, if only we'd done x, y, or z" and then let the sport continue, knowing that you've done what you can. Eventing is the most fun I've ever had with my horse, and 99% of eventers take better care of their horses than any other discipline I've seen. I cried last night when I read about the horses that were put down at Southern Pines, though I didn't know them nor did I know the riders, but I'm still proud to be a competitor in this sport -- I just redoubled my commitment to doing what I can to make it better and safer, starting with my own riding.

    Libby (or at least I would start with my own horse and my riding, *if* I could ride. He is still sick -- Day 7 of antibiotics. <sigh> )
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