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  1. #1
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    Default Spin off of a spin off: Pony Jumpers

    I'm just throwing this out there, just as thoughts, but does anyone else think the market and division might open up a little bit and draw more people, if they opened different heights to the division? Say 3' for medium ponys and 2'6" for smalls and made the larges 3'3" rather than 3'6"? Seems like ponys are really running to get over the 3'6" and there are some scary rounds, but 3'3" would invite in more ponies with not so selective scope and incourage well planned rounds instead of running, since it's be less intimidating of "will I have enough to get over the jumps" and there's room to make smart decisions on course. I know quite a few eventer and pony club kids that take their ponies in the puddle and hopeful jumpers (.85-1.05m)at shows, but simpy can't make the height for the pjs without it being dangerous.
    .אני יכול לעשות הכל על ידי אלוהים



  2. #2
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    It might get more entries but I think it's a terrible idea (no offense to you, OP). Smaller jumps are going to encourage running, not discourage it.

    Edited to add: I'm not sure it would get more entries. If you split the division up more, then that's likely to make more classes that won't fill as opposed to one that already doesn't fill most of the time.

    The ponies over in Europe jump 1.30m or something...


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  3. #3
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    I used to do 3'3 jumpers on my large pony. A girl at my barn did 3'6 and 3'9 on her 15.1 hony with no issue. 14.2 pony did Prelim (3'6) with ease. Ponies can jump, kids are going to run them at things all day long because they think it is the right thing or are learning, and entries will be minimal honestly so I agree that the idea is not cost effective.
    I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.




  4. #4
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    There is no reason to lower the height. I never did pony jumpers (I was out of the juniors before they started) but my ponies all competed against the horses in the 3'6 Children's effectively. They can turn so much more tightly than a 17 hand horse it was almost unfair to the horses.

    The height should back them off running rather than encouraging it -- no decent pony rider in their right mind fails to (at least try to) set the pony up for 3'6, whereas ponies can jump 2'6 from anywhere so no need to be careful.


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  5. #5
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    Last year, after Devon (at least I think it was Devon...) there was talk of RAISING pony jumper height to discourage running at fences. Most of these ponies are quite catty and can work their way out of a miss quite well, but the running around you see sometimes is just scary...
    I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.


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  6. #6
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    So... why is it safe and fine for there to be jumpers for horses at 2'9" but not ponies? Why is it safe and fine for the ponies to jump the 2'9" in the open division?

    The advantage of say having a jumper option for smalls and mediums separated out is that you could have combinations set appropriately for them.
    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



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    So... why is it safe and fine for there to be jumpers for horses at 2'9" but not ponies? Why is it safe and fine for the ponies to jump the 2'9" in the open division?

    The advantage of say having a jumper option for smalls and mediums separated out is that you could have combinations set appropriately for them.
    Personally, I find most of the trips I see at those heights to look unsafe. Lots of running around like hooligans. However, you can't very well cut out the entire lower jumper divisions without cutting out something that brings in a lot of money for shows. Raising the pony jumper height or setting it up more the way it is in Europe (which I believe has different heights for each pony category) would hopefully make the courses impressive enough that you could not run around and get away with it.
    I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.



  8. #8
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    I don't think the height should be lowered. I think that would almost make the division lose it's appeal. I DO think they could implement a "Children's Pony Jumper" division at maybe .85-.95m. It could be a good stepping stone into the bigger division.

    I also think they could provide separate sections of the division for the DISTANCES but not the height. There are medium ponies out there now doing the Pony Jumpers successfully and I would hate to have them not allowed to do the higher height even with an athletic enough pony. You rarely see small ponies. I think this more has to do with the fact that the children that ride small ponies are too young and are still gaining confidence and a good foundation before being thrown into the jumpers (of course there are exceptions with some of those pony jocks).
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
    inside of a man.

    -Sir Winston Churchill



  9. #9
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    Are the pony jumper devisions just for children?

    I think you'd get a small overrun from the eventing crowd if adults were allowed to ride their ponies - I know I would! I'm only 5' tall, and my little 14h guy and I are perfectly sized for one another - we're simply limited to schooling shows or eventing because he's a pony and I'm an adult. I also know of several connemara breeders up here who would love to show their own in a jumper devision without having to find a competent kid.



  10. #10
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    What will these same pony jumper riders do when they outgrow these motocross mounts and the kid climbs on a horse and tries to do these same type of rides...
    Other than establishing an optimal time, any time you add time as a factor to achieving a prize, you are going to have kids (and adults...) racing instead of riding to the fences.



  11. #11
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    Interesting that the topic concerns lowering the height rather than teaching the little darlings to ride correctly.

    Oops - did I say that out loud?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccoronios View Post
    Interesting that the topic concerns lowering the height rather than teaching the little darlings to ride correctly.

    Oops - did I say that out loud?
    ..ride correctly to heights comparable to European competition if we ever again hope to be competitive internationally.
    Thank you!



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    So... why is it safe and fine for there to be jumpers for horses at 2'9" but not ponies? Why is it safe and fine for the ponies to jump the 2'9" in the open division?
    IMO, I don't think horses doing jumpers at that height promotes good riding either and I think the only way for those classes to be useful is to put them as optimum time.

    Not the most popular opinion, though.


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  14. #14
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    I'm the mom of an aspiring pony jumper rider and pony. Pony can do the height, kid can ride a bit but the thought of it scares the crap out of me because I have seen some serious crashes.

    However, this past year, DD has matured as a rider and realizes that even when the fences are much lower, it behooves her to set her pony up correctly and to keep her balanced and not let her run around on her head. Now that she has shown me this I am willing to consider the PJ's.

    I am with Supershorty. I don't think anything less than 2'9" should be anything but optimum time. Watching some of the people show at the height is very scary because you can just run around it.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by supershorty628 View Post
    IMO, I don't think horses doing jumpers at that height promotes good riding either and I think the only way for those classes to be useful is to put them as optimum time.

    Not the most popular opinion, though.
    I completely agree...personally, I think all classes set at 1m and below should be optimum time. Would be a huge benefit to young/green horses, as well as young/green riders.



  16. #16
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    WEF does blue ribbon classes (somewhat similar to optimum time... Clear round within a pretty generous time earns you a blue ribbon) from 0.80m all the way up to 1.25m. The kids and pros alike have a class to jump around in without worrying about speed.
    New this year, WEF eliminated pony jumpers, probably due to lack of entries. I think there were like 3 or 4 at the most last year. However, they replaced it with a 0.80m low child/adult training division. I watched a bit of the class a few weeks ago and saw one, maybe two ponies. The division is there, the ponies are not.



  17. #17
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    I don't think it would make a difference. It's not just pony riders. I've watched the low jumper divisions on horses and it's scary most of the time. Pony, horse it doesn't matter and the height doesn't. What matters is the training these people/kids get that teach them how to properly ride and make the time allowed not just gun it and go and everybody cross their fingers.

    I've also seen it a c/t schooling shows where there is no time in the lower divisions and it's just stadium no cross country. I started my guy off in these. Height was 2ft to 2'3. I rode the course. My guy isn't fast but a nice canter Could get you through it fine. Yet, even with no time just an optimum time there would be people gunning around and would just scare you. I never understood.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by supershorty628 View Post
    IMO, I don't think horses doing jumpers at that height promotes good riding either and I think the only way for those classes to be useful is to put them as optimum time.

    Not the most popular opinion, though.
    I'm involved with a show assoc in NY that is made up of 75 USEF rated shows.
    We have been asked to include a new 2'6" jumper division.
    Our response was only if all the classes are optimum time.

    Of course, our response was not popular. It seems we are discriminating against low level competitors.

    This sort of thing should not be rated by show assoc. Instead they should be part of an 'opportunity' division or held at unrated schooling shows.

    Unless it's optimum time it's just a race and I blame that partly on poor course design.
    Fan of Sea Accounts



  19. #19
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    I think optimum time classes are excellent, and what I love about them is that they give a chance for kids to compete with the objectivity of jumpers, on perhaps a horse costing less than six figures, and they can really be all about good training and learning.

    In the pony jumpers, there's not really a problem for the large ponies so much (who can do horse heights and horse distances), but it would be lovely to have optimum time classes with combinations set appropriately for small and medium ponies. The courses can be more complicated (more turns, more engaging and challenging for the younglings to remember) and I think it should be very possible to create an engaging and educational division.

    You could even set up year end awards to be a bit different; instead of going on placing, you could set a series award to be the fewest seconds off optimum time over all the classes, or given an award for 100% clear rounds, or something else, depending upon your series and your goals for it.

    Our grassroots are withering as the cost for competing has increased. It seems to me that a rethink of the jumpers can be a way to create some more affordable and educational opportunities for young riders, perhaps especially boys.
    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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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PINE TREE FARM SC View Post
    I'm involved with a show assoc in NY that is made up of 75 USEF rated shows.
    We have been asked to include a new 2'6" jumper division.
    Our response was only if all the classes are optimum time.

    Of course, our response was not popular. It seems we are discriminating against low level competitors.
    This doesn't make sense to me. It seems to me that optimum time rewards good riding and good teaching, which is the whole point of horse shows. Bonus: spending more money (other than on saddle time) doesn't make it easier to hit the 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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