Some adults and jumiors are NOT capable of training their own horse and I applaud them for having the common sense to get help. There is NO sin in having someone better than you 'set up' your horse. It makes more sense than screwing up youself OR your horse. Good for those of you that are able to but don't stigmatize all A/A s or A/O s and Jrs because they arent Rodney Jenkins. I think knowing what you DON'T KNOW is more important than knowing what you DO know.
The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.
Well, I certainly agree with PonyMom, Bascule, AnneFS, CFS and the others about the rider not warming up their own horse for their class. I can see how a pro with lots of horses to ride needs his/her assistant to hack a horse out to begin the warm up process, then just take a couple of jumps before the class, but I can't see any reason why an amateur can't warm-up their own horse.
I don't see how it works anyway - doesn't the amateur need to sit on the horse for ahwile to see how the horse feels today? what mood is he/she in? how is he/she jumping? I guess if you can just get on the horse and go in the ring, the horse really must be push-button. Not a creature with which I'm familiar, I'm happy to say.
And as for the kid PonyMom mentioned who doesn't know how to tack up her own horse/pony, well, I feel very sorry for her. Some of my best moments with my horses are spent during grooming and tacking up, and taking care of them after the ride. How sad not to enjoy those quiet times with your animals.
Anne, I very much like your idea. There would be some problems with enforcement and the riders and trainers would have to go on the honor system in part, but it is an excellent idea.
"I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry
One of those city that are big towns, real big!,San Antonio TX
Just my opinion but I like the idea of spliting the classes in the highet levals. Pros in one class and the other hard working amatures in another. Might mean more classes but I feal more people would not be so intimidated if they did not half to go in with a pro. Even in the greens If I was to be in those classes and knew I was against a pro I would be intimidated and want to shy away fromdoing the class. I personaly feal that the classes should be split alowing a more even field. Heck many of us are not as good as some of the pros and to go in a class like that would be a discuragement to many.
\"I\'m going to go see a horse about a man\" - Unknown
Jumphigh, I didn't mean to "stigmatize" A/As,A/Os and Jrs and am not implying that you have be Rodney Jenkins in order to show at recognized shows but I think that you should be able to warm up your own horse, seek help from the trainer on the ground if you are having a problem and then deal with whatever happens when you go in the ring. I don't think that the trainer should set up the horse for you. If you are warming up and things aren't going well and you might be screwing up yourself or the horse THAT badly and the trainer can't help you fix it from the ground, you probably aren't going to be able to fix it at the show anyway.
I rode with a trainer who rarely showed our horses (unless they were for sale or super green). I usually schooled the course, and did the warm-up class. A lot of times, we would beat trainers in the warm-ups (how fun!).
I hated schooling the course(IMO, that is just suicidal), so when it was more crowded, she'd have one of her better students school the horse for me. I think you should do what your comfortable with at shows- if you don't want to be up at 5am to school, don't!
I think the thing with the kid and the pony is pathetic. What is the point of that? It sounds like mom's sole purpose of having the kid ride is to win ribbins!! not to become a horseman.
I think a good class for juniors & amateurs would be one similar to the IHSA format~ draw a horse, hop on, and jump the course. That would really show who could rise and who couldn't!
Ok, I've been reading everyone's comments and nodding my head with all the complaints about pros riding for kids and amateurs, but understand, as someone who puts in more than a full week, why an occassional pro ride or school is necessary. I think that the real complaint isn't having someone else ride, but the fact that there are often winning riders who haven't a clue about true horsemanship. PonyMom's story child is a perfect example of what seems to be driving the fun out of showing and making the whole experience more politically and monetarily motivated than ever.
I like Anne's idea of a separate division, but what about adding to the division's themselves? Since the division championships are the key motivators, why not add a true horsemanship class / test to each division? It would be nice if there were some outside courses with option lines, but maybe a tacking-up, a mounted test or even a written test could help. After all, the Adult, Pony or Amateur o/f champion should know how to tack up, ride a test, school (heaven forbid judged / monitored schooling?) and spew horse facts if asked. And if that person wants the championship, they'd sure learn (can't really buy knowledge). Oh, and of course the rider should ride her own horse for the pre-class school. Really, this IS riding after all.
I wouldn't have any problem with an A/O winner who had a pro ride during the week because of work, but these riders shoudl be able to prove that they deserve to win... Not exactly like Pony Club or Eq, but just plain horsemanship. Who knows, it might make showing horses fun again (rather than who has the biggest checkbook). I can just see all the A/O riders wrapping the perfect polo wraps or adjusting bridles right now... Of course, for those who are above testing, they can just buy their own championship cooler.
[This message has been edited by Tiramit (edited 08-23-2000).]
"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford
I like the horsemanship test ideas! I was in an Ariat workoff recently when, after doing a ridden workoff, we had to approach the judges and answer a question. Granted, the questions weren't exactly rocket science, but I thought it was a very encouraging departure from "trot fence 4, canter 7, 3, and 1, halt, leave the ring at a sitting trot." I think it has been discussed in other threads, but I love to see the adult medals getting more support. Equitation and horsemanship shouldn't stop counting at 18!!
There's a class at an upcoming Pebble Beach show that I was dying to enter (Grandmother's 100th birthday is same day so I can't) where you have to perform a dressage test and an over fences test and they have it for every age group from a pony division through the adults. Too cool! http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/eek.gif That's what makes showing fun--not all these cookie cutter HITS shows where the prize lists and schedules are IDENTICAL for weeks on end. You could probably take the Indio prize list and use it to enter at Tahoe or in the East without missing a beat. Not that I have an agenda against the shows themselves, they just aren't interesting.
I do love to show, but it isn't my main objective--riding better is. Getting back to the original topic here, as someone who does have a pro ride if I have to work and can't get to the show until the weekend, I also have to say that I have watched this pro ride my horse and have learned a tremendous amount from what she does. I ride him better now. I've gone on way to long and I am not working which is what I am supposed to be doing so I can pay for this dang show!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jumphigh83: Some adults and jumiors are NOT capable of training their own horse and I applaud them for having the common sense to get help. There is NO sin in having someone better than you 'set up' your horse. It makes more sense than screwing up youself OR your horse. Good for those of you that are able to but don't stigmatize all A/A s or A/O s and Jrs because they arent Rodney Jenkins. I think knowing what you DON'T KNOW is more important than knowing what you DO know.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I am not stigmatizing A/As or A/Os. The riders being placed at a disadvantage are the ones who DO train, warm-up and ride their own and do a fine job, but don't have the edge of having their horses seen in classes with Mr. Super Trainer on board, or don't have Super Trainer warm up the horse for them. Let's reward these people; let's reward the horsemen/women out there who do have this ability. It's not taking anything away from you; it's adding something for other people.
Who knows? This could really be a start for putting horsemanship back into horse shows! It could encourage people to learn more about training and riding, because now there would be a division rewarding the ones who do take the time to learn all those details.
I'm not asking for the world here. Horses and riding being as difficult as it is, of course I would recommend professional help in training. All I'm saying is during days of the show, the only rider is the one showing. If I can't do this, fine, then I show in a different division and let the folks who are willing to put in all the effort of riding their own shine out.
Asking a question is a great idea. At an IHSA show, there was a rideoff for champion. The judge asked the 2 riders to jump 4 jumps from the previous class, to best show off the horse's strengths. Then, when the 2 completed the test, he asked them why they chose what they did. To do this well, you have to be knowledgable about the horse, and well spoken (know terms). You would not do this well if the only time you rode was in your class. This adds a new dimension to testing.
I have ALWAYS had a pro sit on my horses at shows. Why? Because they go better for ME after the pro has "tuned" them. End result -- I have an easier horse to ride and usually do better. I don't think there is anything at all wrong with that. In fact, I don't think I've ever met ANYONE who shows on a regular basis who doesn't have a pro "tune" their horses for them. In my opinion, it's the SMART thing to do!
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cfs: Jumphigh, I didn't mean to "stigmatize" A/As,A/Os and Jrs and am not implying that you have be Rodney Jenkins in order to show at recognized shows but I think that you should be able to warm up your own horse, seek help from the trainer on the ground if you are having a problem and then deal with whatever happens when you go in the ring. I don't think that the trainer should set up the horse for you. If you are warming up and things aren't going well and you might be screwing up yourself or the horse THAT badly and the trainer can't help you fix it from the ground, you probably aren't going to be able to fix it at the show anyway. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Sorry, but I have to TOTALLY disagree with you here. I will "deal with whatever happens" at home, but will do everything possible to prevent having to deal with anything negative when I'm at a show.
And, you can fix a LOT at the show. My Colin has a spook in him, and requires a very strong ride the first time in the ring. After that first ride (if it's accurate and "professional") he is fine. Sure, I could probably do it myself, but I'm not very comfortable with the kind of ride he requires the first time out. So....I have a pro sit on him, prep him for me, and then I'm fine.
A "well done, professional tune" can last a very long time, too!
I have to say I really don't understand some of the comments made on this thread. Which is more "unfair" - the novice rider who shows in the a/a's on a $300,000 packer that never gets a professional ride, or the baby green horse ridden by an experienced a/a rider who might need to be tuned by a professional for a division first? There are already novice adult divisions at most A shows I attend that are used by the people who should really be in them. I have no problem w/pros riding others' horses first, juniors or adults. If the rider can't ride, all the tuning in the world by a pro won't help them find the jumps.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Colin: I have ALWAYS had a pro sit on my horses at shows. Why? Because they go better for ME after the pro has "tuned" them. End result -- I have an easier horse to ride and usually do better. I don't think there is anything at all wrong with that. In fact, I don't think I've ever met ANYONE who shows on a regular basis who doesn't have a pro "tune" their horses for them. In my opinion, it's the SMART thing to do!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Hey Colin, you'll hate me for this one, but why not try and learn from the pros and become a rider who CAN tune your own horse? It isn't written anywhere that amateur=bad. For me, I want to become the best no matter if I'm making money off of the sport or not. My goal is to be a great and knowledgeable rider, regardless. There have been plenty of amateurs out there who can ride the pants off of some pros! Because you made the blanket statement, I'll let you know that I've met people who DO show successfully on a regular basis who do not have pros ride their horses for them, so it's not required for winning rounds.
"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford
Maybe having a pro ride is not required for winning on some horses, Tiramit, however, certain animals DO require a professional ride to be brilliant, and I think it's important to be able to realize that. Although I consider myself to be an extremely talented rider, I am not fit enough to school my horse myself and show in 3 classes all in the same day. (I work 50+ hrs/week and don't ride very often) I suppose I am fortunate that I can afford to have a professional school my horses for me....and also fortunate to be enough of a horseperson to realize when my animals require it.
All right Colin, I agree with you that some horses need it, and that pros are helpful. My comment to you was mainly based on your use of the word, "always" - surely you want to continuely grow as a rider and have a goal to one day be able to show and ride your horse all on your own? Work schedules certainly interfere (at one point I was getting up at 4:00 to ride mine before the day started), and having a team to help you out is great, but wouldn't it be great to just win all on your own?
Maybe I'm just strange in that I really get a kick out of working with and learning from my horses and I enjoy showing simply for the sake of showing. Believe me when I say that I've won quite a bit in the past (yes, they were big wins) and was several trainers' catch rider for a long time, but I found that the actual training and partnership with my horses has been my true love. Not that I'm not the most competitive person you'll ever meet (trust me on that one!), but I'd rather compete against myself and my idea of an ultimate ride than against a ring full of people who had someone else do the hard work. Lucky for me since that seems to be the option! Also why I switched to jumpers...
"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford
benaja: I have to disagree with you here. I have seen horses that I know tuned by trainers that I know, then the Adults(who I also know and absolutely cannot ride and do everything short of ride backwards) get on and simply steer to each fence and WIN. It happens, don't kid yourself.
I am still in love with the idea of a higher/separate adult division for the ones who know how, want to, and have the time to do it themselves.
Hey Tiramit -- I totally agree with you on the satisfaction gained from working with the horses yourself. You see...I have NO TRAINER at home. Never have. Only meet up with them at the shows, which is the only time my horses get the "professional tune"! LOL! Yes, I essentially do it all on my own at home.....so at the shows, when I get the pro to ride them for me - it's a special treat for everyone! LOL!
There are a lot of good points made on this thread. The amateurs that do the bulk of the work on their homemade horse deserve a lot of credit, but are really up against it when they have to compete against the expensive packer or the professionally prepared horse.
The A/A division is large enough that instead of splitting it by age, why not do an open A/A where any horse can compete and a restricted A/A, where the horse cannot be shown by anyone other than the A/A rider (and maybe a jr in the Childrens?). Maybe add a horsemanship class where the rider is judged on eq for 25%, horse 50% and questions/demonstrations/testing 25%?
It may be a bit harsh to state that the horse cannot be ridden by anyone other than the rider even in schooling, since many people have to send their horses up with the trainer long before they themselves can get there.
Gosh - awhile back I was defending the A/A division at the AHSA rated shows since quite a few people seemed to think that is is "dumbing down" the shows. Can you imagine the uproar with two 3' divisions for the A/A's and childrens's(along with the age splits)!!!!!!
I think I can answer your question to Colin. To become a rider that can tune your own horse to the same level as a professionalÂ… you have to be a professional! I really believe that the major difference between a lot of the amateurs and the pros is time spent in the saddle. If I could ride 6-10 horses everyday and show 4 days a week, I would certainly be better qualified to tune my own horse. But the reality is I ride 3 times a week at best (usually 1 or 2) and show up after the schooling classes are done (they are usually during the week) and really don't have the desire to waste my $$$ tuning my horse in an A/O class. If my trainer can tool him around on Friday in a schooling class, then why not? Is that considered to be unfair or un-sportsmen like behavior? Hardly! There is a big difference between a person who gets on at the gate and one who has a pro tune their horse during the week. Trust me, I wish I was wealthy enough to be at every show all week long to do my own horse, but I am not. I refuse to be ashamed of the fact that I have my trainer ride my horse.
The government is best which governs least.
-Henry David Thoreau