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  1. #1
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    Default Mens pentathlon riding

    Last edited by enjoytheride; Aug. 12, 2012 at 10:22 AM.



  2. #2
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    We're watching pentathlon (women's) on TV now. The M.O. seems to be high-speed lumberjacking with little consideration of distance or placement. That Korean's ride was pretty terrible, but given the debacle before it even began, I was expecting a swim through an over or a gruesome fall. I can't imagine being the individual who provided that wonderful horse to the games for use in the pentathlon competition. After he went over backwards and the Korean ran over to remount, I would have been out of my head.

    I should be so lucky as to have one of these lovely horses...



  3. #3
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    I just finished watching the NBC coverage of the Women's jumping (watched Men's online already). It just made me so sad. Of course it is unrealistic to expect top riding, but I would settle for "non-abusive" riding.

    It's got to be tough to be an athlete who spends very little time on a horse to get on an unfamiliar mount and jump a 4 foot course. But it is the Olympics for gosh sakes, I don't think it's unrealistic to expect a little bit more. That one rider see-sawed that poor horse's mouth around every turn then leaned back to every fence, it's a wonder he jumped at all.

    The real medalists are those saintly horses!
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  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=lmlacross;6493894]After he went over backwards and the Korean ran over to remount, I would have been out of my head.
    [/QUOT

    That horse looked off on the LH as they were rounding him up.



  5. #5
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    If you look at the interview with the US male pentathlete (on NBC's app), he says he rides maybe once a week or once every two weeks. Not surprising the level of riding was so inconsistent if that's common among these folks.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotSpots View Post
    If you look at the interview with the US male pentathlete (on NBC's app), he says he rides maybe once a week or once every two weeks. Not surprising the level of riding was so inconsistent if that's common among these folks.
    That is correct and that is what they are told that is all they need. My son went to the Modern Pentathlon Training Camp at the Olympic Training Center in July. While in one of the meeting the kids were asked if they rode and all the kids raised their hands. Then they were asked how many ride 4-5 days a week and only two kids raised their hands (one of them being my son) and they were told that is too much and should only ride one day a week. He thought that was crazy! He is a Pony Clubber going for his C3 this weekend and understands the importance of needing to ride several days a week with proper instruction to be safe over a course that big.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mosmom View Post
    That is correct and that is what they are told that is all they need. My son went to the Modern Pentathlon Training Camp at the Olympic Training Center in July. While in one of the meeting the kids were asked if they rode and all the kids raised their hands. Then they were asked how many ride 4-5 days a week and only two kids raised their hands (one of them being my son) and they were told that is too much and should only ride one day a week. He thought that was crazy! He is a Pony Clubber going for his C3 this weekend and understands the importance of needing to ride several days a week with proper instruction to be safe over a course that big.
    I really don't get why ANYONE would say that was TOO MUCH!
    I mean, really, how is it too much? Is it because it is taking away from their running or swimming time? Frankly, it would seem safer to be "out of practice" running or swimming than riding a 1000lb animal over jumps THAT BIG!

    As someone said, the real medal winners are the horses.



  8. #8
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    Does anyone know what the max jump heights are for the lower levels of the modern pentathlon? I'm assuming they don't all start out jumping near 4' stadium courses. You'd think that if they're really not going to put as much focus on the riding training aspect of the sport, the level should at least reflect that. No, it's not grand prix jumping but still, it's still kinda big...at least to me! As chancellor2 pointed out, there's still the safety aspect to all this!



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chancellor2 View Post
    I really don't get why ANYONE would say that was TOO MUCH!
    I mean, really, how is it too much? Is it because it is taking away from their running or swimming time? Frankly, it would seem safer to be "out of practice" running or swimming than riding a 1000lb animal over jumps THAT BIG!

    As someone said, the real medal winners are the horses.
    It's not about safety, it's about being competitive. IIRC to win you really have to get a good running/swimming time. Everything else you can make up if you're fast on those two legs. So every hour spent working on something else (shooting, riding, etc.) is an hour lost from spending the time developing the skills that help you win.

    I don't know what the answer is. I know I'd feel less bad about it if the horses were owned by the rider and not the host country. I feel like even non-regular riders would ride better/do better on familiar mounts. And there'd be more incentive to treat them properly.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    It's not about safety, it's about being competitive. IIRC to win you really have to get a good running/swimming time. Everything else you can make up if you're fast on those two legs. So every hour spent working on something else (shooting, riding, etc.) is an hour lost from spending the time developing the skills that help you win.
    The great swimming/running time will do them no good for their next phase and/or competition if they get injured or killed in the riding phase (thinking of the potential disaster from the Korean's ride) . I think they need to lower the jumps and maybe do some sort of obstacle-type course....I think that would be more realistic/true to the sport's orgins imho. They're not doing their sport any favours at this point.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    It's not about safety, it's about being competitive. IIRC to win you really have to get a good running/swimming time. Everything else you can make up if you're fast on those two legs.
    The hardest things to compensate for are a poor fence and a sub-1000 point ride.

    In fencing, you win and lose points directly to your competitors.

    In riding, a fall or a couple of stops and the resulting time faults will take you well down the leaderboard.

    If the US pentathlon people are discouraging athletes from riding 'too much', it should be noted that the US is very weak in pentathlon internationally.

    Yesterday, an American came fourth in the womens pentathlon but the other Olympic results were not good. Despite having an easier qualification path via continental qualifiers, the US men managed to qualify only one athlete for the Olympics. The other American woman was, IIRC, only made the Olympics because of the 2-athlete max for each country. Strong countries -- like GB, Germany, Hungary -- had more qualified athletes than Olympic places so they had to choose 2 of the qualified athletes (I think GB had 7 or 8 women and 3 men). This means some very high-ranked athletes -- as in world top 10 -- were left at home while some very low-ranked athletes could compete at the Olympics.

    Perhaps USA pentathlon will learn from this weekend's experience.



  12. #12
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    Maybe things have changed, but about 2 years ago I knew someone looking into taking this up (in the US) and it was ALL runners and swimmers... because the theory was that those were the key phases and if you weren't at the top after that- it was impossible to move up. Fences down and fencing help break down the leaders... but if you were slow to run or swim, you were out from the start. Everyone training at that time were people who ran/swim (or tiathlete types) and sort of "washed out" of their main running/swimming event and moved over to pentathalon.
    ~Veronica
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  13. #13
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    It sounds a lot like modern eventing. Swimming/Running=Dressage-if you're not good at this, you'll never win. Riders train heavily for this phase because it is the phase(s) that can allow the most separation from the rest of the field.
    Riding=Cross Country-the phase where you can injure yourself or your mount if you're bad, but if you're good at the above phases, and not so good at this one, sometimes you get lucky and make it through without too many penalty points and voila-you're the winner. Being the absolute best at this phase cannot help you win the competition, ever, because someone else will always luck into a clear round as well.

    Is it any wonder that pentathaletes, like eventers, spend almost all their training time on the first phases.

    If you want to change behavior, you have to change the incentives.

    I do think it would be kinder to lower the fences and/or penalize rails harder. Unless you already know how to ride, riding once a week is not nearly enough practice for jumping that high on an unknown horse.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCRider View Post
    Is it any wonder that pentathaletes, like eventers, spend almost all their training time on the first phases.
    Eventers spend too much time on dressage!? That's an accusation I hadn't heard at least not about the lower levels and tippee to levels of US eventing.

    Or do you mean they spend too much time on cross country?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by vxf111 View Post
    Maybe things have changed, but about 2 years ago I knew someone looking into taking this up (in the US) and it was ALL runners and swimmers...
    Suzanne Stettinius, who competed yesterday at the Olympics, is a horse person first. She started in PC tetrathlon as a kid.

    Margaux Isaksen, who was 4th yesterday, grew up with horses and started the pentathlon sports in her mid-teens.

    Sam Sacksen, who competes for the US (IIRC he has a sister, too) but did not qualify for the Olympics, is from a PC/riding background.

    On the Canadian national team, 2 of 3 women and 1 of 2 men come from horse backgrounds.

    If you look at international scores, you'll find that US athletes are more likely to be near the bottom in fencing, which means they're unlikely to make it past the qualification rounds (which have no riding) and into the finals (which have riding).



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larbear View Post
    Does anyone know what the max jump heights are for the lower levels of the modern pentathlon? I'm assuming they don't all start out jumping near 4' stadium courses.
    The fences are as high as the weakest horse is competent over.

    In pentathlon, organizers have to scrounge around to borrow horses and then make do with what they have. The horses are tested over the course and the course is adjusted as necessary.

    If you look at the UIPM videos of world cup riding phases, you'll see anything from near-max (in the UK) to 2'6"-2'9".

    The jumps at the Charlotte WC this year were 1m max, with most lower than that. This was all in the email the organizers sent out when they were looking for horses.



  17. #17
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    A lot of eventers, particularly on non-greenies, school xc once at the beginning of the season and then not again unless they have a major issue with a particular type of fence at a competition. They'll spend one day a week working on stadium and the other 4-5, depending on the number of days off the horse has, working on dressage.

    According to Lucinda Green, Michael Jung schools xc almost every day. He has mini xc jumps set up and it's a part of his daily training regime with his horses to school some of them.
    In addition, he competes in regular dressage on dressage horses so his personal dressage progress is not dependent on drilling on Sam, et al.



  18. #18
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    Is there any other equestrian discipline that allows a horse to continue after it has fallen? Or a rider after they have fallen (or fallen on top of)?

    Seems to me that if you went into the fencing portion and were dangerous with the epee you would be politely escorted out of the building. Why is it tolerated with 1200 lb free thinking animals?

    JER you have a good deal of experience with the pentathalon program, do you think it is unfair to the horses? (specifically being allowed to continue after a fall that would be a MR in eventing)
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  19. #19
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    In the US Pony Club is an obvious feeder for pentathlon, given it has tetrathlon as one of its disciplines (everything except for fencing). The problem for pony clubbers is that even for tet the jump heights are normally very high for their rating level, since the jump heights are established per age group and not rating (ability) level. IIRC, riders 15 and older must jump 3'7" courses (1.05m), 12-14 jump 3'3". So you are expecting kids 15 and over to jump prelim, and 12-14 to jump training level. My daughter was a tetrathlete but our horse could not jump that height, so she had to go down a level. I think USPC establishes the higher jump heights to be in line with pentathlon expectations, but it limits the number of kids who attempt the discipline, or are able to make progress once they get a little older. Having watched pony clubbers in the UK, they can easily handle those heights, maybe because they have better horses and better skills from an earlier age.
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  20. #20
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    I would gander to say the majority of competitive RIDERS in the US show at either 2'6" or 3'. And that is their focus.

    I'm amazed they can find that many 3'3"+ packers.

    I have a mare who would have gone just like that Korean's horse. She would have reared if they tried to make her halt with bad hands and them packed his ass around Just Like That. They really need to be instructed how to ride the individual horse by the individual horse's owner (which is how IHSA in our area is run).

    Lots of people comparing this to IHSA are forgetting some of the things IHSA does compared to (what I'm assuming) Pentathlon does.

    They need to jump a 2'6" course OR do an equitation class/round OR a dressage test OR a horsemanship pattern.



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