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  1. #81
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    regarding schooling show inflation-- yes, it exists but I've seen hard-scoring judging as well. It all depends.

    The big thing is that the COMMENTS are on par with what seems right for the rides in the shows I have been to.

    I think all of us with some experience can tell what's inflated, schooling show or regular show. Its not enough of an issue for me to fork out 2-3x as much for a licensed show (and braid, etc etc). Just because its a USDF show does not mean its all cool in judging.



  2. #82
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    I think those are really excellent observations about Western shows having other attractions, footing requirements being different, and the spectator thing. It makes me think that part of the issue may be that dressage might not want to be that accessible? I don't mean that in a snide way -maybe enough dressage riders like the zen-like, rarified, climb-the-mountain challenges of dressage and maybe while we're having this conversation about making the sport more accessible they're thinking -why?

    Paula
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  3. #83
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    With our current structure of tests and classes and judging requirements, there are some inescapable costs:
    - judging time. Each test is 5-10 min long and is an individual endeavor.
    - judging education. Judges for recognized shows must be 'R' or 's' or 'S' or higher. Schooling shows are free to do what they want, but many posters here have indicated 'r' or 'R' as well. That costs $$ for the judges, who will (rightfully) want to recoup some income from their investment.
    - facility costs (as poltroon has indicated).
    - drug testing/vet on site costs

    Rodeos/gymkhanas save on all of those items. Although barrels/poles are individual events, 16 seconds/ride allows for a lot more entries per class. If we're being generous, we can maybe allow a minute per ride. For the time that one amateur is in the dressage arena for TL-2, 8 riders have run in a pattern class. So you can cut entry fees by 12.5% and still come out even.

    Judging education: timer.

    With more lax drug rules/no vet onsite for drug testing, you save that $16/show fee.

    Other countries run lower level classes more like a rail class (from what I hear), which allows a greater volume of entries per show due to the reduced demand on the judge's time. I would be willing to ride a class like that; get a score for w/t/c/rider, average it out, and highest one wins. Granted it's not easy to ride a young horse to its best efforts in that kind of environment.

    Cost-cutting in dressage. Quite the dilemma.



  4. #84
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    I like dressage and I'm heavily involved in my GMO. And I don't enjoy sitting around watching low level tests for hours on end. Dressage is not very audience-generating, anymore than low level figure skating compulsories are a draw: Who wants to sit around and watch that all day? Or a swim meet? Not everything worth doing has that 'it' factor that creates spectators, that creates what some of you are calling 'accessability'. And that's ok.

    We have full and well supported schooling shows. We do what we can to ensure good footing by choosing venues with care. We do what we can to encourage local horse peeps to volunteer, to come watch, to enjoy, to support local dressage. We advertise on FB and in local FB groups that are outside the normal DQ realm, we did the Alabama Horse Fair last year, a traditionally western/trail rider venue. Western dressage is not a huge class for us, 2-3 riders, but they're welcome and we'll continue to offer those classes. And my gaited horse has done very well and been well received showing in our gaited dressage classes. You can't win at a dressage show if you don't show at a dressage show. You can't get a score, comments, and a feel for your abilities if you don't pay a stranger, a judge, to sit down and score you. If you just want a play day and a fun zone day, great. That's GREAT. But if you want actual feedback related to dressage work, and you want to know how you and your horse handle showing in a dressage arena: You're going to have to go to a dressage show. Whether it's a recognized show or a schooling show; you have to go show. Comparing a dressage show to a team roping or cutting or NBHA added money event? It's nonsense. I'll take my dressage horse to an upcoming trail horse competition and try to win a check, but I'm not laboring under some illusion that how he does there can tell me a darn thing about how he is at C.


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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by SendenHorse View Post
    regarding schooling show inflation-- yes, it exists but I've seen hard-scoring judging as well. It all depends.

    The big thing is that the COMMENTS are on par with what seems right for the rides in the shows I have been to.

    I think all of us with some experience can tell what's inflated, schooling show or regular show. Its not enough of an issue for me to fork out 2-3x as much for a licensed show (and braid, etc etc). Just because its a USDF show does not mean its all cool in judging.
    I've had tough judges at schooling shows, too. At my mare's first show, she pitched an unholy fit because she was OMG ALL ALONE IN THE ARENA. The antics took place before the bell rang. I had her in hand by the time we went up centerline and ended up riding a nice test.

    But ... I'm pretty sure her shenanigans gave the judge a bad first impression (she could NOT have missed them -- this was one vocal, pissed off mare ), which affected our score negatively.

    And when it comes to judging, there are no guarantees about quality for ANY kind of show. But if they're charging $80/night for stalls, anywhere from $25 to $60/class (higher $ for dressage; lower for rail classes at breed shows), plus drug fees (USEFsanctioned shows) and a hefty office fees, sponsors tend to be pretty picky about judges. If the judging is really poor, they know they won't get many people coming back next year.
    __________________________
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  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnm161 View Post
    Rodeos/gymkhanas save on all of those items. Although barrels/poles are individual events, 16 seconds/ride allows for a lot more entries per class. If we're being generous, we can maybe allow a minute per ride. For the time that one amateur is in the dressage arena for TL-2, 8 riders have run in a pattern class.
    It is more like a minute because after every rider, someone from the ring crew has to walk in the arena and retrieve the rider's lost hat.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


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  7. #87
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    ....That's not "running the numbers", that is taking the two absolute EXTREME scenarios and comparing them. A cheap 1 day schooling show 15 minutes from your house vs a 2 day recognized show 3.5 hours away!....

    I respectfully beg to differ. These are not the extreme scenarios - these are the choices I have in my area. It is great that you have more recognized shows in your area but we do not. As I mentioned in the original post, there are rated shows about an hour or an hour and a half from me (Cincy or Delaware), so the only thing that changes in the scenarios I posed is the gas $$. I still need to stay at a hotel, I still need to pay for my meals, I still pay the more expensive entry and stall fees.

    If I wanted to show dressage at Arab shows only, the situation is even more expensive as there is only one rated Arab show with dressage within an hour of me. All of the rest are quite far away as in IL, IN, or KY. So if I ever entertain any hope of going to Sport Horse Nationals in dressage, it will most likely be by qualifying at an open show.

    Without sounding too snooty pants about it, I can afford to show rated. But I tend to be very much about cost/benefit when it comes to my chosen hobby. Until I had the great good fortune to train with someone who really understands me and my horse, we really sucked. It made no sense to spend the $$$ to go to a rated show when I was getting in the 50s at schooling shows. I don't have much of a desire to go and make an azz out of myself around people who are much more experienced than I am. So schooling shows it has been and will continue to be until rated shows show some cost/benefit to me, limited as my goals are.

    As I have said several times in this thread, I am so so thankful that dressage has people who care about the sport at all levels and are willing to go to all the trouble to set up and run schooling shows (and rated shows too). It is a wonderful feature of the sport that there is a robust minor league. There is really no equivalent if I were showing my Arab in a main ring discipline, for example. Maybe someone has to be from the outside to express what a great thing it is.

    So to say that schooling shows "don't count" is dismissive of many of us with our own goals. Just respect us, that's all I'm asking.
    Last edited by oldernewbie; Dec. 12, 2012 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Misused quote feature!


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  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinecone View Post
    Could you further explain what you meant? When I read the part about Florida shows being the reason region 3 is the only region to see growth, but I assumed it meant participation from riders from all regions who come to Florida. I don't think the report meant the success of Florida was from Floridians alone. When I've shown in Florida it would count towards region 3's statistics, not my home region.

    I agree about Florida's year round shows. Florida is the bomb. If my life were only dressage I'd move in a heartbeat. I feel fortunate to get to compete in Florida as often as I do.
    Also, just to be very clear. I never said definitively (or every unambiguously) that Florida was the reason Region 3 continued to do well. I will likely dig a little deeper but the comment was meant more as a statement of the "conventional wisdom" that the Winter season in Florida is likely the reason Region 3 has continued to see growth. Further, the comment related to Wellington and West Palm was intended as a similar expression of "conventional wisdom", given that Wellington is at least considered the figurehead center of winter dressage in Florida. That winter season is more likely to attract riders/trainers/owners who are unaffected by economics. Make sense?


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  9. #89
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    i think that one of the reasons why Western dressage might become more popular than regular dressage is that lets face it - real dressage is hard work and you cant get very far if you dont have a good trainer and if you dont spend a lot of time working hard to get better.

    basically riding dressage well is hard work.


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  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dune View Post
    I've never understood why someone would go to all the trouble to prepare the horse, trailer the horse, get dressed up (even if it's just a clean pair of breeches and a polo shirt), braid, whatever to go to a schooling show. There is NO way I'm going through all that effort to have it not really "count". I'm sure that will bother some, but let's face it, that's the way it is.
    Let's face it -- recognized show scores don't "count" for a whole lot for many people, unless they're pros or marketing a horse.

    I scraped my way to pay for a few schooling shows and my horse, and I appreciated that $100 experience more than I could ever express to you. For me, I spent years having no opportunity to show or own, so getting to play dress up for pony and me and spend a day or weekend getting the experience and feedback was the awesomest thing ever.

    To each their own, but I think the simple joy of horses is lost on some. The whole thing -- riding, owning, showing at any level is an absolute privilege and luxury.


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  11. #91
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    No one really braids for schooling shows that I have seen.... at this point not "dressing up" and wearing the black jacket in the hot summer is a BIG plus for me.

    I do otherwise do a very good job with turnout-I clip, bathe, use a sheet, etc. I do just as much preparation as if it was a licensed show both in tack cleaning and training. I'm already schooling hard for next April.



  12. #92
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    I've never understood why someone would go to all the trouble to prepare the horse, trailer the horse, get dressed up (even if it's just a clean pair of breeches and a polo shirt), braid, whatever to go to a schooling show.

    LOL Oh Dune....I think you know how competitive I am and the amount I show (as well as the number of horses). As many have pointed out it's a sheer luxury, all of it. I get to fewer recognized shows each year now both due to the economy and because I have less help in the way of grunt work. It's really hard to take even two horses on your own let alone 4. All these years I have always supported the schooling shows as well as the recognized shows. I do go to all the trouble of getting my backside to a schooling show because while the scores don't count I do not have a full-size dressage arena at home. Simple fact. When you have a 13 hand pony, amongst others, that loooong diagonal does make a difference and it's worth practicin' even if it's just to build up wind <wink>. I do haul out to lessons but a schooling show gives me the opportunity to get the entire show string out to a full size arena, sometimes with a rated judge to SCHOOL. It's the same expense actually for me to do so as it would be if I hauled out to a local facility to use their dressage arena because of the facility use fees per horse. I also back/start all of mine and I find the schooling shows a bit less daunting to take an unpredictable entity to. For all of mine, if I'm working through an issue that seems to be brought on by the show atmosphere (stallion scared to death of other horses unless he's suppose to breed them), well a schooling show is a less expensive to work through those bugaboos. So while you choose not to, and I respect that, some of us try to juggle "it all" in every aspect of our lives. I will continue to school and practice at the schooling shows and cut way back on recognized shows this coming year. In fact I'm pretty sure I will only get to two more recognized shows this year for a total of 3 (compared to 5 in 2012, 6 in 2011, 8 in 2010 and to really make the point, 12 each in 2002 - 2006 ).
    Ranch of Last Resort
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  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldernewbie View Post
    ....That's not "running the numbers", that is taking the two absolute EXTREME scenarios and comparing them. A cheap 1 day schooling show 15 minutes from your house vs a 2 day recognized show 3.5 hours away!....

    I respectfully beg to differ. These are not the extreme scenarios - these are the choices I have in my area.
    My point was, that's not "running THE numbers" that's running YOUR numbers. All fine and good for expressing why YOU choose schooling shows, but not a fair comparison in general. IMO, running THE numbers would be comparing the choice between two shows that are equal in every way besides one being a schooling show, one not being a schooling show. That is the choice around here, and given that choice many (most people I know) choose the recognized shows.

    You used your specific extreme example to make a general point, that's what I disagreed with. Clearly given the choice between a schooling show 15 minutes away and a recognized show 3.5 hours away, people would make good use of the schooling shows!



  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    One of the things to keep in mind for costs is the higher and higher office fee.

    We all say that it's too high and the shows reasonably reply that they need it to cover their costs.

    One of the reasons this cost has gone up is because more and more shows are finding the need to hire a professional secretary - not a volunteer and not even just paying a local person to spend her day at the show, but someone who secretaries lots of shows and who travels to shows to secretary much as a judge or steward does. This appears to be because the expectations, skill levels, and to-do list for the clerical aspects of shows have increased dramatically.

    So the question then is: are all these new, more rigorous requirements making shows more fun, safer, better for horses and riders, etc? If they are, they're worth paying for. But every few years, we need to run down this list and make sure that they are, and make sure that if they serve the needs of someone other than the riders at that show that we're finding other ways to pay for it.
    One reason so few volunteers are willing to Secretary a show now - has to do with the increasingly complex requirements of USEF and USDF! I commented on the Adult Initiative FB page on this very issue - they said show costs were driven by those putting on the show. I humbly disagree. Our lower cost shows are usually our smaller one or two ring shows. 10 years ago, it was pretty easy to put one on - you reserved your date, hired your judge, filled out a little paperwork for USDF, sent in results within X days after the show. Now the paperwork requirements are much higher, we have varying show levels with varying requirements, if you miss something (wrong paperwork, error in show premium, blah, blah, blah), USEF and/or USDF FINES the show management. You have to hire ($$$$) an EMT and Technical Delegate for every show, even a small one-ring show. It has just become way too complicated and fine-oriented for the average volunteer to navigate the requirements. So we now pay for a Show Secretary (aka "office fees") and higher class fees to pay for the EMT and TD.

    At most shows, the EMT sleeps all day long. The TD may answer 3 questions during the day. Why can't a small show indicate if they are within a certain # miles of a fire station or other source of emergency help and get a waiver on TD? And why can't TD services be available by phone so multiple shows can share a single TD? Why does USEF and USDF make the paperwork so complex, and why are they so quick to fine for small mistakes? They have driven some of our less expensive shows out of business.


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  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
    One reason so few volunteers are willing to Secretary a show now - has to do with the increasingly complex requirements of USEF and USDF! I commented on the Adult Initiative FB page on this very issue - they said show costs were driven by those putting on the show. I humbly disagree. Our lower cost shows are usually our smaller one or two ring shows. 10 years ago, it was pretty easy to put one on - you reserved your date, hired your judge, filled out a little paperwork for USDF, sent in results within X days after the show. Now the paperwork requirements are much higher, we have varying show levels with varying requirements, if you miss something (wrong paperwork, error in show premium, blah, blah, blah), USEF and/or USDF FINES the show management. You have to hire ($$$$) an EMT and Technical Delegate for every show, even a small one-ring show. It has just become way too complicated and fine-oriented for the average volunteer to navigate the requirements. So we now pay for a Show Secretary (aka "office fees") and higher class fees to pay for the EMT and TD.

    At most shows, the EMT sleeps all day long. The TD may answer 3 questions during the day. Why can't a small show indicate if they are within a certain # miles of a fire station or other source of emergency help and get a waiver on TD? And why can't TD services be available by phone so multiple shows can share a single TD? Why does USEF and USDF make the paperwork so complex, and why are they so quick to fine for small mistakes? They have driven some of our less expensive shows out of business.
    One thing that the Arabian Association did right recently was to approve what they called one-day shows. They were designed specifically to address some of the issues you mention. I have been meaning to go over to the AA Facebook page and suggest they take a look at the guidelines. Sounds like the idea could be adapted by USDF handily.

    http://www.arabianhorses.org/competi...onedayshow.asp



  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    My point was, that's not "running THE numbers" that's running YOUR numbers. All fine and good for expressing why YOU choose schooling shows, but not a fair comparison in general. IMO, running THE numbers would be comparing the choice between two shows that are equal in every way besides one being a schooling show, one not being a schooling show. That is the choice around here, and given that choice many (most people I know) choose the recognized shows.

    You used your specific extreme example to make a general point, that's what I disagreed with. Clearly given the choice between a schooling show 15 minutes away and a recognized show 3.5 hours away, people would make good use of the schooling shows!
    Eh, you missed the point but no sense in driving it into the ground. Peace!

    ETA, oh what the h#ll, I'll try again to explain. Let's assume for a second that I lived in Cincy. Majestic does schooling shows and rated shows. Show ring conditions exactly the same, stabling the same, L judges for the schooling show vs. R judge for rated is about the only difference. Let's run the numbers:

    Schooling show: stall $40 (one day), entry $21, office $5
    Rated: stall $120 for weekend ($60 per day), entry $35, office $20

    Show 3 training level classes: schooling $108, rated $185 (per day)
    Gas: the same
    Rated requires USEF and USDF memberships and fees.

    But you know what? The price differential is not horrid, but right now I still wouldn't show rated. As I have tried to illustrate, we are not ready! And for some folks, that ~$80 a day does make a difference.

    The general point I am trying to make is that whether a show counts or doesn't count is irrelevant many times. People have different goals, different $ frameworks, and horses with different abilities. The argument was directed to the person who didn't understand why people would bother if the show didn't "count". My point is that yes, we do bother, for very good reasons of our own, and our reasons shouldn't be dismissed either by that poster or USDF (not that I think they do dismiss it).

    And just to flip the argument on its head, if (I hope!) I am ever able to campaign to qualify for SHN, I *will* drive the 3.5 hours to show and pay the freight to go rated. My goals will be different and the fact that the show "counts" will be important. In that case, the show 15 minutes away isn't much help.

    Whew!
    Last edited by oldernewbie; Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM.



  17. #97
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    heck, they could have TD available on chat on an iphone ap. that way the TD could be available for a wide swath of shows at the same time.

    i also agree that having a paramedic on site is a bit much.....



  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by exvet View Post
    I do go to all the trouble of getting my backside to a schooling show because while the scores don't count I do not have a full-size dressage arena at home. Simple fact. When you have a 13 hand pony, amongst others, that loooong diagonal does make a difference and it's worth practicin' even if it's just to build up wind <wink>.
    Until I started showing a pony, I really didn't appreciate just how large a large court could be. You know it's bad when you're riding a training level test and going across the diagonal, and thinking, sheesh, aren't we to something else yet?

    I too don't have an arena at home, so sometimes the schooling show is the time to go out and... ride the test in an arena for the first time.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


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  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
    At most shows, the EMT sleeps all day long. The TD may answer 3 questions during the day. Why can't a small show indicate if they are within a certain # miles of a fire station or other source of emergency help and get a waiver on TD? And why can't TD services be available by phone so multiple shows can share a single TD? Why does USEF and USDF make the paperwork so complex, and why are they so quick to fine for small mistakes? They have driven some of our less expensive shows out of business.
    Some great ideas there. It seems like a small one-day show running only one ring could do without an EMT on site. On the TD, maybe if there's a need for the person to be physically available, we can work out a way for say a TD-in-training to be eyes and ears for someone more experienced and available via phone.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    i think that one of the reasons why Western dressage might become more popular than regular dressage is that lets face it - real dressage is hard work and you cant get very far if you dont have a good trainer and if you dont spend a lot of time working hard to get better.

    basically riding dressage well is hard work.

    Um. Wow. I've ridden dressage seriously. Shown recognized as well. I've also ridden Hunters seriously. 40+ years for both. Yes, Dressage is hard. But so is Hunters. Nothing like a first level frame on a soft rein - the ultimate of self carriage. And to ride a very good western horse well? That's a lot of work as well - just different. I'm dabbling in 5-gaited saddlebreds right now. And I'm using the dressage techniques I know from bending to driving with my seat (the seat is far more similiar than you might think.) And to ride that well is hard as well - far harder than I ever would have guessed.

    Point is? To ride any discipline WELL is hard, takes work, good training and incredible decidcation. To lambast another discipline because you think it's easier and dressage is harder is exactly why dressage is losing numbers. And why I don't show dressage anymore.

    The most amazing thing, was when I talk to people in other disciplines, I'm told, and I quote, 'people who can't do anything else ride dressage.

    Perception is everything when building a sport.


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