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  1. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    The designation of "Adult Amateur" is a joke in my area, and I am sure in others. There has to be a recognition of the distinction between amateurs who have professionally trained horses that are kept in professional training as well as those amateurs who own and ride several horses and who take a lesson every day, as opposed to the average rider with an average horse and an average income.
    That feels like kind of a can of worms to me. Where do you draw the line? People whose horses are currently in full training, but not partial training? People whose horses are in any kind of training, but who use most or all of their training rides as lessons so do the bulk of the riding themselves? People whose horses are not currently in full training, but who were trained professionally for the first 5 or 6 years of their under-saddle life? People who are in less-expensive areas of the country and can afford three horses and have an invested trainer there in an advisory capacity every day, even if they aren't technically in "lessons?" Plus, people can shift on all this stuff very quickly -- 3 months in full time training, then 9 months of one lesson a week? I'm trying to mentally divide up the people I've known at the barns I've ridden at, and with the exception of one or two obvious ones, I'm not sure where the majority would fall. And the funny part is the ones NOT in training would ride circles around the lots-of-training ones any day of the week!!

    It just feels so vague to me. There are always going to be people who have more resources that they can throw at their goals, whether it's money or time. I understand the frustration, believe me. I have barely enough money, and nowhere near as much time, as most of the people I ride with.

    A recognition program for do-it-yourselfer types would be neat, but I don't really see how it would work for shows where standardization and clear-cut, practical-to-enforce policies are necessary. JMO.

    Personally, my No. 1 desire for dressage would be for consistency in instruction. I would just love to see a bigger push for instructor certification, so people could be assured that they were getting quality instruction whether they were in Florida with a $250-a-minute BNT or the middle of a flyover-state with a local $40-an-hour instructor. (obviously some ppl are better teachers than others, which does not always correlate with price, but I think a bit more consistency would be good)



  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    No, it's the same issue. And that issue is $$$. More lessons and lessons with better instructors cost lots of money.

    I guess you missed my later post where I talked about the desire of many, if not most, dressage riders to have the time and money to take a lesson every day and to have their horses in professional training. For most, the choice is not "I have an average horse so I will take more lessons in order to be competitive." Lessons and training are very expensive, too!!
    No. I did not miss your later post: that assessment is either faulty or misled. Take lesson every day and have their horses in professional training? Are you kidding me? Who Does That? Hunter/jumpers? OK, some may do that, but I can tell you emphatically that, it is not necessary to "belong" in the "in" crowd. I have known bronze/silver/gold medalists who don't subscribe to that prescriptions. If you aspire to ride in Olympic, yeah, you might need daily lesson, but if you are aspiring to ride in Olympic, you ain't AA we are talking about here.

    I have my own horses at home, I trailer to Sarah Martin whenever I can, that translates to approximate one clinic every month. That is All. I don't have some professionals training my horses. I simply work my ass off: read everything I can get my hands on, video taping every lesson, watch them over and over wen I get home, take note while I review the tapes, sit in freezing arena next to the clinician when she is teaching others, and go home and RIDE. I don't complain; I don't succumb to excuses - I'm too busy paving the road to my goal to do either.



  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
    No. I did not miss your later post: that assessment is either faulty or misled. Take lesson every day and have their horses in professional training? Are you kidding me? Who Does That? Hunter/jumpers? OK, some may do that, but I can tell you emphatically that, it is not necessary to "belong" in the "in" crowd. I have known bronze/silver/gold medalists who don't subscribe to that prescriptions. If you aspire to ride in Olympic, yeah, you might need daily lesson, but if you are aspiring to ride in Olympic, you ain't AA we are talking about here.

    I have my own horses at home, I trailer to Sarah Martin whenever I can, that translates to approximate one clinic every month. That is All. I don't have some professionals training my horses. I simply work my ass off: read everything I can get my hands on, video taping every lesson, watch them over and over wen I get home, take note while I review the tapes, sit in freezing arena next to the clinician when she is teaching others, and go home and RIDE. I don't complain; I don't succumb to excuses - I'm too busy paving the road to my goal to do either.
    Yes, I think that experiences in different regions differ greatly as the statistics that were compiled some time ago show. I have known several people in my little area (within the region) that do all that I describe. They have multiple imported horses at various levels of training. While they are not in the majority, people who have bought professionally trained horses, have their horses in training and take at least one lesson per week ARE in the majority in my area. And at our recognized shows there are very few non-WBs these days even at Training Level.

    Things undoubtedly differ in Central OK.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Yes, I think that experiences in different regions differ greatly as the statistics that were compiled some time ago show. I have known several people in my little area (within the region) that do all that I describe. They have multiple imported horses at various levels of training. While they are not in the majority, people who have bought professionally trained horses, have their horses in training and take at least one lesson per week ARE in the majority in my area. And at our recognized shows there are very few non-WBs these days even at Training Level.

    Things undoubtedly differ in Central OK.
    Perhaps that is what the USDF should be focusing on. This is exactly what the "COTH nerd herd" volunteered to USDF to study further.....with no takers.

    There were statistical differences between regions. The Herd suggested that a way of improving dressage in the US was to further understand these sorts of trends.


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  5. #145
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    Oh I know people who do that whole nine yard things - I even know people who are not allowed on their in-training horses until show days, to ensure "maximum performance". What I am saying is, people can do whatever they want to do; However, whatever they do is NOT necessary to succeed.

    I can almost guarantee you that those who take daily lesson with a professional trained horses will most likely NOT sit in a freezing arena next to the clinician. They don't have to. Since I don't have that luxury, I choose to do that to maximize my chance. Really, it is just how you want to approach your own individual limitation and situation.



  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
    Oh I know people who do that whole nine yard things - I even know people who are not allowed on their in-training horses until show days, to ensure "maximum performance". What I am saying is, people can do whatever they want to do; However, whatever they do is NOT necessary to succeed.

    I can almost guarantee you that those who take daily lesson with a professional trained horses will most likely NOT sit in a freezing arena next to the clinician. They don't have to. Since I don't have that luxury, I choose to do that to maximize my chance. Really, it is just how you want to approach your own individual limitation and situation.
    On your final point we can agree. And that is why a good many individuals are choosing schooling shows instead of recognized shows. It is just more appropriate for their individual limitations and situations. Unless USDF changes something, it will continue to be their choice.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Yes, I think that experiences in different regions differ greatly as the statistics that were compiled some time ago show. I have known several people in my little area (within the region) that do all that I describe. They have multiple imported horses at various levels of training. While they are not in the majority, people who have bought professionally trained horses, have their horses in training and take at least one lesson per week ARE in the majority in my area. And at our recognized shows there are very few non-WBs these days even at Training Level.

    Things undoubtedly differ in Central OK.
    We have many that fit this description in CA too. AAs who have 2 or 3 or 4 horses in full training, fancy imports, including at least one Schoolmaster. And others who have their one horse and take a handful of lessons when they can afford it. I don't think you can separate out the AAs, just as you can't separate out the pros. I know a few pros who mostly teach "up down" lessons, struggle to achieve 2nd level well, and they are out there competing against top riders. I don't think we can continue to create more "divisions", but perhaps we can have classes where big gaits are not the overwhelming score creator. Maybe that is what the new Rider Tests will do?

    I don't know the answer, I just know money has become a huge "driver" of this discipline, and I think that has caused many to back away...


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  8. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticOakRanch View Post

    I don't know the answer, I just know money has become a huge "driver" of this discipline, and I think that has caused many to back away...
    or go into "hiding" as it were and not compete - just stay home and train.... I know several *really* good riders who are doing this. They don't want to feed the machine.....

    as for folks in full training - we have many folks around here like that - and while I get a tinge of the green man once in a while - the number of horses they have in full training and the number of equines they import has 0 to do with how well they actually RIDE. So there is hope.

    Personally I have my pony and I in "full training" in as much as I ride in front of my trainer every day and take at least 2 lessons a week... He rides my guy when I can’t get out due to work which is nice - so I am very fortunate..... And I am progressing far faster than when I was taking 2 lessons/week....

    I guess there is no way to separate folks so the playing field is even... you just have to do the best you can and be realistic about your goals/expectations.

    With my pony I don’t have any illusions of grandeur.... but my goal is to show him at 3rd/4th when we get there... till then it will be schooling shows for us!



  9. #149
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    Why couldn't USDF come out with more divisions? The Arabian breed shows have had great success with this. They offer Limit and Select Divisions in the main ring. I am not sure which is which, but one is 3 blue ribbons at an "A" show or less, and 6 blue ribbons at an "A" show or less. Then they can move up into the regular AA division. Now, they don't HAVE to show in Select or Limit, but it certainly gives everyone the chance and opportunity to win, and compete against other riders of the same caliber.

    USDF could do something like this as well, maybe from Training through 2nd level as that is where the average ammie tops out anyway. It would only be adding 6 classes to each show, and I am sure it would make everyone happy. And if you don't want to go by blue ribbon, go by a certain percentage, like Limit is 60-62% and above 3 times at a rated show, Select is 60-62% and above 6 times at a rated show, whatever percentage is deemed fair. It could be done by horse/rider combo as well. So you may do fantastic with one horse you ride and be in the regular AA division, but you may have a crazy youngster or a horse with below average gaits, or it is the horses first time at a rated show, so you can start with Limit, move up to Select, and by the time you have gotten 6 scores of whatever average you need to be "booted" out of Select, you are comfortable and confident to compete against the fancy gaited, and in full time training horses, as you know you have gotten pretty good scores and some nice ribbons under your belt!

    What do you guys think of that? It would place people if they so choose in a division that they are comfortable in, and at least gives people options! I know I certainly would love it!
    Last edited by SamWerner; Dec. 18, 2012 at 08:44 PM. Reason: spelling
    Samantha Werner

    There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers


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  10. #150
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    In Arabians, Select is based off your Regional/National showing results. Limit is less than 6 blues, Novice is less than 3.



  11. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamWerner View Post
    Why couldn't USDF come out with more divisions? The Arabian breed shows have had great success with this. They offer Limit and Select Divisions in the main ring. I am not sure which is which, but one is 3 blue ribbons at an "A" show or less, and 6 blue ribbons at an "A" show or less. Then they can move up into the regular AA division. Now, they don't HAVE to show in Select or Limit, but it certainly gives everyone the chance and opportunity to win, and compete against other riders of the same caliber.

    USDF could do something like this as well, maybe from Training through 2nd level as that is where the average ammie tops out anyway. It would only be adding 6 classes to each show, and I am sure it would make everyone happy. And if you don't want to go by blue ribbon, go by a certain percentage, like Limit is 60-62% and above 3 times at a rated show, Select is 60-62% and above 6 times at a rated show, whatever percentage is deemed fair. It could be done by horse/rider combo as well. So you may do fantastic with one horse you ride and be in the regular AA division, but you may have a crazy youngster or a horse with below average gaits, or it is the horses first time at a rated show, so you can start with Limit, move up to Select, and by the time you have gotten 6 scores of whatever average you need to be "booted" out of Select, you are comfortable and confident to compete against the fancy gaited, and in full time training horses, as you know you have gotten pretty good scores and some nice ribbons under your belt!

    What do you guys think of that? It would place people if they so choose in a division that they are comfortable in, and at least gives people options! I know I certainly would love it!
    That's a really good idea, Sam. But I still don't think that it solves the money issue which is really thebiggest problem for most people. Maybe in the "limited" or "select division" they could offer reduced fees as well.



  12. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    As other posters have said, USDF either needs some sort of a "hobby" rider show designation with scaled down fees for people who are trying to do the best they can with very limited time and money or they will continue to lose these people to schooling shows. The designation of "Adult Amateur" is a joke in my area, and I am sure in others. There has to be a recognition of the distinction between amateurs who have professionally trained horses that are kept in professional training as well as those amateurs who own and ride several horses and who take a lesson every day, as opposed to the average rider with an average horse and an average income.
    I am one of those amateurs who ride own and ride several (I have 3 I need to keep worked), but I work a full time job and to afford the niceties of a farm, I have boarders, which is, in reality, a second job. I don't ride my boarder's horses, nor do I give lessons, because those activities would make me a professional.

    I average just under 10 rides a week...so no where near what a true professional rides. I get up early and ride before work most of the time. If there is something at work that requires I go in early, I have to ride at night.

    It is hard to stay dedicated to going out to ride when it is too hot, or too cold, or too windy.

    I manage to get in a lesson every 2 weeks, sometimes I get one in weekly. Things like vet & farrier take away from potential ride time, so does cleaning the fields and dragging the ring. There is no staff, but my husband does help, as do my boarders when they come out.

    I don't think I need a different Adult Amateur designation than the person who has a nicer horse in full or part training. I did give up on showing my QH/Appy, because it was depressing to get low scores, but I might give her a try again this coming year.

    As for the average rider/horse/income, what is your proposed basis for that class? Lack of dedication of rider? Is Average income going to require tax form submission? Because I know amazing riders who progress on a shoe-string budget, and riders who take lotsa lessons, have horses in part training and have a much slower progression.



  13. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaddleFitterVA View Post
    As for the average rider/horse/income, what is your proposed basis for that class? Lack of dedication of rider? Is Average income going to require tax form submission? Because I know amazing riders who progress on a shoe-string budget, and riders who take lotsa lessons, have horses in part training and have a much slower progression.
    Oh, I am not proposing anything. I was merely explaining why schooling shows are so popular in my area. I think that we are all brainstorming here to see what USDF could potentially do to bring riders back to the recognized shows. The main problem seems to be $$$. Not only are recognized shows very expensive to do, but to be competitive at recognized shows (again, in my area) you need to spend a lot of money on horses, training and lessons. I am pointing out the problem. I think the solution for most is schooling shows. I don't know what USDF can do to reverse that trend.

    Even after all this time on this board I am always surprised that people have trouble discussing the issue, without turning it into something personal.
    Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Dec. 19, 2012 at 02:49 PM. Reason: sp
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  14. #154
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    Ive always thought they should stagger the classes to seperate international competitors and then national level to regional level and even local level if needed.

    If you are showing mostly schooling shows you should be able to compete as an intro level (novice) competitor at any level.

    If you are showing rated regularly but dont plan on doing any national competitions and have average scores you should be able to compete with others also competing as such at the regional or evel down to the local level.

    If I show up to a local show and compete with nationally or even internationally competative horses of course Im going to feel out of my element.

    Yes this has happened to me before so I am not just saying it as Ive seen it.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/


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  15. #155
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    I am not turning it into something personal, but I was not agreeing with this:

    There has to be a recognition of the distinction between amateurs who have professionally trained horses that are kept in professional training as well as those amateurs who own and ride several horses and who take a lesson every day, as opposed to the average rider with an average horse and an average income.

    By saying "there has to be" it seemed that you were proposing that something should be done. They (USEF) already have levels of recognized shows, but what they do not do is they do not seem to have much price difference in entries.

    I think that the Opportunity classes offer plenty of, well, opportunity to enter the bigger shows without the overhead costs of memberships/horse recordings.

    Schooling shows do have a solid place in the dressage community.



  16. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaddleFitterVA View Post
    I am not turning it into something personal, but I was not agreeing with this:

    There has to be a recognition of the distinction between amateurs who have professionally trained horses that are kept in professional training as well as those amateurs who own and ride several horses and who take a lesson every day, as opposed to the average rider with an average horse and an average income.

    By saying "there has to be" it seemed that you were proposing that something should be done. They (USEF) already have levels of recognized shows, but what they do not do is they do not seem to have much price difference in entries.

    I think that the Opportunity classes offer plenty of, well, opportunity to enter the bigger shows without the overhead costs of memberships/horse recordings.

    Schooling shows do have a solid place in the dressage community.
    Sigh. No, I was responding to someone else who was saying that the difference between the fees at schooling shows and the fees at reconized shows would not be enough to keep people from recognized shows which "counted for something." I was trying to explain that it was not just the expense of the fees in some cases (although in many cases it is) but that it was also that in the recognized shows in my area, the common rider feels out of place. Someone mentioned that the scores are too strongly skewed to fancy gaits at the USDF shows to which I responded that it is not just fancy gaits, but loads of expensive training and instruction that most people can't afford either.

    I don't like to get into demeaning people for lack of time or money which is sometimes construed as lack of dedication. And I certainly don't mean to bash people who do have the time and money to do what it takes to be competitive. Lord knows, I wish I had it. Sometimes the results may take a while, but if they keep at it, they WILL get there.

    I simply don't know what USDF can do to keep or get the common rider as a member/competitor. But if they are going to have any chance at all, it is going to have to be a lot more affordable. That is all.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  17. #157
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    Personally, I don't think the AA's need to be split. My trainer has never ridden my horse and I'm in the top 10 in the Region.

    This is a good article overall and Centerline could easily poll to find out the disparities between types of shows and trends. Every region is managed so differently with respect to local dressage clubs/societies.


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