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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    If it brings them into the sport for the long term, and starts a long, fruitful, lifelong relationship with horses, then bravo.

    If what it does is fleece the parents out of money before their child can even canter a course of fences, and sour them on the hassle and expense of a weeklong away show, causing them to leave the sport before the child ever is able to actually ride, then it's a bad thing.
    Interesting perspective.

    I was in the vicinity of the walk-trot classes at WEF a few weeks ago. Off the top of my head, and without checking the results, I seem to recall that many of the participants were the tiny offspring or tiny siblings of other people who were already at WEF anyway for other horses in other divisions. So probably many of those walk-trot riders will have a long association with horses, either as an active participant or as an observer on the sidelines, depending on their own level of interest as they get older.

    In the meantime, those little kids get to feel like they're involved in the activity, not just dragged along with the rest of the family.


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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by SILK
    Why do you guys care? If it makes money to support the shows and it allows people to enjoy it, why not?
    Personally, I'd like to see the giant show conglomerates die a quick and firey death so we can rescind the mileage rule and I can go to a decent B show without having to drive 15 hours or sign over my annual salary.

    But maybe that's just me...
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by supershorty628 View Post
    Barefoot, remember, and everyone back then cleaned their tack with a toothbrush!

    I still use a toothbrush when cleaning tack
    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.


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  4. #64
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    Let's assume that, typically, people aren't paying 1K to ship & daycare the "Walk" horse at the big show. They're using something already on the grounds.

    Said something is probably a very sweet Ch/AA Hunter or the like, a notoriously proven and saintly individual. But he is still a show horse.

    By definition, show horses are athletes. And with this comes a certain level of power/spirit/individuality/sensitivity/take your pick. Take a look at the ponies & horses most kids learn to walk on, they are light years from the show ring for a reason.

    I once had the Saint Of All Saints for a 2'3" jumping kid. 17 y.o. crickety thing that was going to need to step down to crossbars soon. Would have put my grandmother on him. One day, in a lesson at our home ring, the loudspeaker blew and it was a frightening 2-3 laps of flat out gallop before my perfectly competent kid got the freight train stopped. Scared the living heck out of her.

    We take daily precautions in this sport against events that are highly unlikely to happen but ultimately so disastrous that they must be taken seriously. This is one of those events. This is a recipe for disaster should just one thing go wrong, and horse shows are rife with such possibilities. What happens when a loose horse comes tearing by the "walk" ring?

    Sure you mount your kid smartly. Do you trust everyone else out there to put their rider on something suitable? It will only take one horse to set this whole thing off.

    You put a lot of pressure on the horse in this situation and you give these kids unrealistic expectations of what a horse is. It is 1000lbs of flight instinct nobly accepting our incessant demands (to borrow from Joe Fargis' brilliant speech). It is not a vehicle that will just carry you to pretty ribbons until it's time to go to college. If you really want the blasé horsemanship to stop, as is so frequently bemoaned around here, this is not the answer.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    Personally, I'd like to see the giant show conglomerates die a quick and firey death so we can rescind the mileage rule and I can go to a decent B show without having to drive 15 hours or sign over my annual salary.

    But maybe that's just me...
    And this. HITS will not wither away and die without the support of the walk & walk-trotters, but we are in grave danger of losing what was once a pretty solid national network of B & C rated shows. If the only option left to get your feet wet in the show ring is Thermal & WEF, because they all but made it impossible for the small fries to turn a profit, we are going to drastically shrink this sport's participants over the next 10 years.
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  6. #66
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    Here's another way to think on this:

    What if this is a way to TEACH these youngsters how to actually control their mounts and nerves? I know I can't be the only one who has witnessed that child who is a golden star at home (brave, willing, competent, can handle anything pony or horse throws at them) get to a show and look like they shouldn't even be off the lead because they can't handle the nerves that come from an audience that's going to reward them with something tangible (or not).

    In other words, what if these kids are competent riders who can w/t/c with no issues at home, but kind of panic elsewhere? Kind of like test anxiety in school students.

    So what if these are "hairy little school ponies?" These classes CAN still serve a purpose. Not everyone has access to schooling or unrated shows anymore, let alone good school horses and "home" trainers. Those days are long gone. It's a shame.

    I readily admit these classes made me shudder, but I've decided to look at the bigger picture instead of down my nose.
    "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenike View Post
    ....I've decided to look at the bigger picture instead of down my nose.
    Ooo! Words to live by!



  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horseymama View Post
    Actually I have been to WEF. I was talking about Calvincrowe's post. She was talking about running a show within a show. The classes at WEF and the one's at Thermal are in the prizelist, correct? I didn't think that's what she was talking about. If it's the same judges, the same stabling cost, and the same ring maintenance, then how is it a show within a show? How much cheaper can the classes be? Are they subject to the same drug rules? Who is the governing body?

    And just for the record, I do think these classes dumb down the sport. The most special shows to me are the one's like Spruce Meadows Summer Series where the classes start at 1.0-1.10 meter. The beginner walk classes and the schooling show within a show IMO are a bad idea. As a poster above said, if a rider can't control their horse above a walk, they shouldn't be showing yet.
    Nevermind, reread what you wrote. Off in search of caffeine now, pfft.
    Last edited by TBRedHead; Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Duh de der moment.



  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    They started a non-rated "show within a show" here in Portland (well, at Huntercreek). Since the A shows have lost a fair number of competitors with the economic down turn, and the ring is available, this is making wonderful sense for the trainers, clients and show management. For example, our barn sent several horses to show all week in the A show rings (rated) and then, on the weekend, more of our clients came in to show in the local/non-rated ring. What a great experience for those kids/adults who aren't ready (either financially or ability-wise) to show at an A show--the atmosphere, big rings, fully decorated jumps, fancy tents and barns. Kind of like dipping your toe in before the big commitment. Didn't interfere with the A show, let the local folks see how it runs, brought in an audience for the big Derby, a win-win situation! Granted, the classes began with cross-rails and went up to 2'6" only...so no Beginner Walk classes--I'll bet that was damn adorable!
    How much do I love this idea? I for one will never have a fancy enough horse to show at a big A show, so this would be so awesome. Yeah, I could go spectate for the atmosphere, but feeling like a participant would be so cool, even knowing that I wasn't a "real" participant. I love it.

    As to the Walk Division, why not? Assuming, of course, that these riders can control their horses. It sounds cute to me.


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  10. #70
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    Does this mean there's a market for the horse that can't do more than walk in the show ring?

    Lemme know and maybe if there's enough money in it, I'll change my mind about the absurdity of this new division.
    The armchair saddler
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  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by dags View Post
    Let's assume that, typically, people aren't paying 1K to ship & daycare the "Walk" horse at the big show. They're using something already on the grounds.

    Said something is probably a very sweet Ch/AA Hunter or the like, a notoriously proven and saintly individual. But he is still a show horse.
    From my very limited experience; Saturday when I watched the walk class at Thermal there were 8 little riders on 8 little ponies. Several of those ponies looked very old and not showing in anything but the walk class. A few of those ponies were clearly friends and followed each other around the ring.

    I understood those ponies were brought in for the walk class and didn't stay a duration of the 7 week long show. They came in with a few horses for other classes and left with others horses leaving. So not a lot in stabling, grooms, trainer fees etc. But even if Mom and Dad wanted to pay for all that, more power to them. They are employing someone

    It was very adorable and interestingly to my only observation there were more blow ups on the flat with the older riders and more advanced classes.... riders falling off even. But not in the walk class.

    I agree with the poster that said to look at the big picture.... The ponies have their own warm up rings and didn't seem to be in anyone's way. Their families and those that were just watching thought it was extremely cute and those little riders were very determined.
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!


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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horseymama View Post
    And just for the record, I do think these classes dumb down the sport. The most special shows to me are the one's like Spruce Meadows Summer Series where the classes start at 1.0-1.10 meter. The beginner walk classes and the schooling show within a show IMO are a bad idea. As a poster above said, if a rider can't control their horse above a walk, they shouldn't be showing yet.
    Spruce Meadows now starts way lower! Indoor shows start at xrails and I believe all their big tournements (except the Masters) start at .90m since last year (Masters still starts at 1.20m).
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!



  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjoytheride View Post
    How elitist. You want a special show all to yourself so you can have bragging rights to it, no "hairy" ponies are allowed to attend because the addition of hair somehow decreases the right of someone to be there, although they sure can come watch you be special.

    I agree that people shouldn't be at a show if they can't control their horses, but we're talking kids on ponies in a ring all by themselves not anywhere close to where the "real" people are showing.

    It's an opportunity for the show to make some more money while taking advantage of the people that are probably already there and want to have some fun. How do you think shows stay in business?

    I don't see how a pony WALKING a couple rounds suffers more then a horse campaigning at 3 feet or 3' 6"

    The fact is that the world has moved on from the age people looked back on with rose colored glasses.
    Again I was talking about Calvincrowe's post, at a show facility of which I am familiar, and the rings are quite close to one another. And she was talking about the idea of running a "show within a show." At this particular facility, everything would be mushed together. And again, I didn't understand how that would work, as schooling shows are typically not governed by USEF which is what makes them cheaper and good places to practice.

    I have nothing against schooling shows. I have nothing against hairy school ponies and horses that teach people to ride. I personally own 5 of those. I love them all to death and they have lifetime homes with me.

    What I do have a problem with is either running a schooling show within an A show, and/or holding "beginner walk classes" at an A show because it doesn't seem safe to me. Nor does it seem fair to the people that have worked hard and dedicated some real time to the sport. Now don't get me wrong, I am not digging my heels in to all new ideas in showing, I am an open-minded person, I understand that industries need to change and grow in different ways. This just does not seem like the right way to me.

    And the reason I think ultimately the horses will suffer is because when you make it so easy to show, so instantaneous (in our more than ever instant gratification society), then people end up buying horses and having them for 6 months and then they are on to the next thing, and what happens to those horses? They get thrown away, like used ballet shoes or hockey skates. I have some of those, too.
    ******
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by MHM View Post
    Interesting perspective.

    I was in the vicinity of the walk-trot classes at WEF a few weeks ago. Off the top of my head, and without checking the results, I seem to recall that many of the participants were the tiny offspring or tiny siblings of other people who were already at WEF anyway for other horses in other divisions. So probably many of those walk-trot riders will have a long association with horses, either as an active participant or as an observer on the sidelines, depending on their own level of interest as they get older.

    In the meantime, those little kids get to feel like they're involved in the activity, not just dragged along with the rest of the family.
    And that does make sense to me - sharing what you do with the kids you have with you.

    On the other hand, I'm thinking of that thread with the horse show dad who was apparently expected to pay a substantial percentage of a horse's expenses so his daughter could do leadline and walk-trot.
    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



  15. #75
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    I think it sounds boring. For everyone involved.

    When I started showing, back in the day , I did the W/T classes while I was "schooling" over x-rails lines at home and learning to canter two-point on the lunge - sorry LONGE. The following summer I showed in short stirrup while I was schooling and learning how to canter 2-ft courses at home.

    This probably isn't relevant to the topic, but I want to become one of those people who talk about how great it was 25 years ago and how much of a better ride I was back then as opposed to those lame children in the walking classes these days...


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  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Does this mean there's a market for the horse that can't do more than walk in the show ring?

    Lemme know and maybe if there's enough money in it, I'll change my mind about the absurdity of this new division.
    Me, too. I have one that's crippled at trot and canter, but still walks without falling down, thankyouverymuch. Wouldn't that be swell to send a cripple off for a few days of showing and all it entails? I can rent him out for the walk classes, just like pony rides.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
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  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenike View Post
    I readily admit these classes made me shudder, but I've decided to look at the bigger picture instead of down my nose.
    Love this sentiment!
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine


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  18. #78
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    From what I've seen of these, the classes are populated by the children, grandchildren, and siblings of those people who are already at the show as trainers and exhibitors. Clearly the participants in the class and the parents paying for them wouldn't be doing so if they did not want the class to exist.

    The children and ponies are beautifully turned out and the class is judged as an equitation class.

    I'm not sure what there is to be offended about it?
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  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenike View Post
    Here's another way to think on this:

    What if this is a way to TEACH these youngsters how to actually control their mounts and nerves? I know I can't be the only one who has witnessed that child who is a golden star at home (brave, willing, competent, can handle anything pony or horse throws at them) get to a show and look like they shouldn't even be off the lead because they can't handle the nerves that come from an audience that's going to reward them with something tangible (or not).

    In other words, what if these kids are competent riders who can w/t/c with no issues at home, but kind of panic elsewhere? Kind of like test anxiety in school students.

    So what if these are "hairy little school ponies?" These classes CAN still serve a purpose. Not everyone has access to schooling or unrated shows anymore, let alone good school horses and "home" trainers. Those days are long gone. It's a shame.

    I readily admit these classes made me shudder, but I've decided to look at the bigger picture instead of down my nose.


    I agree. There are benefits here. The kids learn about showing. They learn to track left when they enter the ring, how to line up, to listen to the announcer, to ride a bit independently (without their trainer in the middle of the ring), and maybe even to manage traffic in the ring. But as Kenike said, the most important lesson may be managing their nerves.


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  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by MHM View Post
    ...I seem to recall that many of the participants were the tiny offspring or tiny siblings of other people who were already at WEF anyway for other horses in other divisions. So probably many of those walk-trot riders will have a long association with horses, either as an active participant or as an observer on the sidelines, depending on their own level of interest as they get older.

    In the meantime, those little kids get to feel like they're involved in the activity, not just dragged along with the rest of the family.
    This is the perspective that so many of the posts here are missing. It seems like so many people are focusing on the idea that people would take a horse to shows, independently, with the goal of this class. But my guess is that will be the (rare) exception, and that this class will (and has been) filled by kids who are already at the shows with parents who are showing other horses in many other divisions.

    I've been vocal about my feelings on "dumbing down the sport" over the years here. I dislike stupid naming policies (such as making the AO Jumpers hi/low and then making them hi/medium/low, etc., rather than just making new divisions), and I hate that money is offered in lower and lower divisions leaving riders no reason to want to move up to higher divisions. But I don't think this is related to those issues. I think there's a whole other perspective here that MHM nailed in her post.

    There are a whole bunch of kids who go to the shows either way because mom and/or dad are showing. Why not provide classes for those kids (win) that can also make the shows money (win)? Do I think it would be silly for someone to haul a horse in *just* to do a "walk only" class? Of course! But if that pony is being brought in to do the leadline, or is piloting another kid around the pony classes, and the kid has tagged along with mom and dad who are showing all week, then why not?

    As for the control issues. I'll use my own kid (who just turned 5) as an example of a kid who has the ability to control her pony, but isn't necessarily ready for walk/trot. She walks and trots in my (closed) arena all by herself on her pony. She goes on trail rides with me and walks and trots on the trail. She canters on the lunge line because she's not strong enough to make (lazy, willful) pony canter without a little assistance. But she's pretty solid in the control department (here she is trotting poles on her own). I don't think I would put her in a walk/trot class because she doesn't have posting worked out...mostly because she spends the majority of her riding time on a bareback pad and stirrupless with the exception of her weekly lessons (and mainly because I want her to get a good feel of the pony/horse without being forced into the somewhat awkward position that saddles tend to put small children into). SHE would LOVE to go in a walk class at a show, and I wouldn't hesitate to put her in one at a show that I was already going to.

    Is it a sign of the coming horse-pocalypse? Maybe. But am I glad that my kid gets to do more than leadline? Absolutely!
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