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Eventing is not my kind of sport

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  • Eventing is not my kind of sport

    Allthough I stayed up the whole night to watch the XC at HongKong, I needed several towels to keep my head dry. When it was all done and all the riders and horses survived I opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the riders and horses who did their magnificient job.

    I even called my sister (a noted dressage rider) to share my positive feelings but then she send me this

    http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/265296.html

    Theo

  • #2
    But people get killed trail riding too. We just had a gentleman killed on a "wagon train" here in South Dakota when his horse bucked him off. Another gentleman is in critical condition after his team bolted and his wagon tipped over. Doing things with horses is dangerous, no doubt, but it seems like Eventing is always under a microscope.
    Patty
    www.rivervalefarm.com
    Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

    Comment


    • #3
      I live in the Lexington area and I remember seeing my first Rolex cross country I got tears in my eyes and goose bumps...but when horses die year after year it begins to sour you to the sport. Hopefully things will get safer for the horses.
      Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by NoDQhere View Post
        But people get killed trail riding too. We just had a gentleman killed on a "wagon train" here in South Dakota when his horse bucked him off. Another gentleman is in critical condition after his team bolted and his wagon tipped over. Doing things with horses is dangerous, no doubt, but it seems like Eventing is always under a microscope.
        While I agree everyone knows the dangers of getting on a horse, if you read some things over in the eventers forum you might see there is definitly a higher risk these days in the sport. The eventing community is doing what it can to try and figure out how to change things back to when they were having much less fatalities. I myself am an eventer but I'm not going to deny how dangerous the sport is now.
        Boss Mare Eventing Blog
        https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
          While I agree everyone knows the dangers of getting on a horse, if you read some things over in the eventers forum you might see there is definitly a higher risk these days in the sport. The eventing community is doing what it can to try and figure out how to change things back to when they were having much less fatalities. I myself am an eventer but I'm not going to deny how dangerous the sport is now.
          How is the risk any different now than in days gone by? The basic elements are the same. My feeling is that we, as eventers have created the added risk be being unprepared and competing at levels we have no right to be competing at. The unfortunate results are dead horses and riders.

          Sure, I'd kill to ride like Mark Todd or Mary King. But I don't. Therefore I stay where I belong in the lower levels, thus lowering the risk of hurting my horse and myself. A little self awareness would go a long way in our sport.

          It may not be the sport for you freestyle but you must appreciate how these horses are the ultimate equine athletes. I'm glad that horseman from other disciplines are watching and hopefully gaining an understanding as to why some of us accept the risk to experience even a small part of what you watched.
          "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sisu27 View Post
            How is the risk any different now than in days gone by? The basic elements are the same. My feeling is that we, as eventers have created the added risk be being unprepared and competing at levels we have no right to be competing at. The unfortunate results are dead horses and riders.

            Sure, I'd kill to ride like Mark Todd or Mary King. But I don't. Therefore I stay where I belong in the lower levels, thus lowering the risk of hurting my horse and myself. A little self awareness would go a long way in our sport.

            It may not be the sport for you freestyle but you must appreciate how these horses are the ultimate equine athletes. I'm glad that horseman from other disciplines are watching and hopefully gaining an understanding as to why some of us accept the risk to experience even a small part of what you watched.
            I do completely agree with you. I just want to point out the differences. If you compete above your level in dressage, the greatest risk is a bad test.

            If you compete above your level in hunter/Equitation, the greatest risk is not getting a ribbon and knocking some rails.

            If you compete above your level in jumpers, you knock down jumps or have refusals.

            A bad competitive trail ride usually results in a tired horse, no more.

            In cross country jumping the 'knocking down jumps' part is not an option. This is why the change in the Equestrian culture overall - more people buying 'made' horses to win the easy ribbons or bringing horses up the levels to quickly and forgoing horsemanship, people coming into the sport because they suddenly have money and not understanding or being properly educated is high lighted in eventing because of the 'jumps don't give' element of cross country.

            Eventing is not a sport you can just jump into without proper education and training and expect to not only do well, but survive. On the eventing board I see a lot of lamenting the old days but no one wanting to address the changes in society.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sisu27 View Post
              How is the risk any different now than in days gone by? The basic elements are the same. My feeling is that we, as eventers have created the added risk be being unprepared and competing at levels we have no right to be competing at. The unfortunate results are dead horses and riders.

              Sure, I'd kill to ride like Mark Todd or Mary King. But I don't. Therefore I stay where I belong in the lower levels, thus lowering the risk of hurting my horse and myself. A little self awareness would go a long way in our sport.

              It may not be the sport for you freestyle but you must appreciate how these horses are the ultimate equine athletes. I'm glad that horseman from other disciplines are watching and hopefully gaining an understanding as to why some of us accept the risk to experience even a small part of what you watched.

              I completely agree, but I do also think the course changes, removal of the long format and the use of non-tb horses has influenced the sport in a negative way. That is all just a theory though.
              Boss Mare Eventing Blog
              https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
                I do completely agree with you. I just want to point out the differences. If you compete above your level in dressage, the greatest risk is a bad test.

                If you compete above your level in hunter/Equitation, the greatest risk is not getting a ribbon and knocking some rails.

                If you compete above your level in jumpers, you knock down jumps or have refusals.

                A bad competitive trail ride usually results in a tired horse, no more.

                In cross country jumping the 'knocking down jumps' part is not an option. This is why the change in the Equestrian culture overall - more people buying 'made' horses to win the easy ribbons or bringing horses up the levels to quickly and forgoing horsemanship, people coming into the sport because they suddenly have money and not understanding or being properly educated is high lighted in eventing because of the 'jumps don't give' element of cross country.

                Eventing is not a sport you can just jump into without proper education and training and expect to not only do well, but survive. On the eventing board I see a lot of lamenting the old days but no one wanting to address the changes in society.
                To be fair, I think we've all seen examples (in dressage, hunters, jumpers, whatever) of people who overhorse themselves and get hurt. Taking solid jumps at speed may be a greater risk, but it's not fair to single out eventing as the only equine activity with significant risk. We all need to know our limitations and ride accordingly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ridgeback View Post
                  I live in the Lexington area and I remember seeing my first Rolex cross country I got tears in my eyes and goose bumps...but when horses die year after year it begins to sour you to the sport. Hopefully things will get safer for the horses.
                  ridgeback - this is EXACTLY what happened to me. My first Rolex was 1982 and my last was 2002. When I now venture to watch, a few rides can give me the tears of joy and goose bumps, but not many anymore.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dogchushu View Post
                    To be fair, I think we've all seen examples (in dressage, hunters, jumpers, whatever) of people who overhorse themselves and get hurt. Taking solid jumps at speed may be a greater risk, but it's not fair to single out eventing as the only equine activity with significant risk. We all need to know our limitations and ride accordingly.
                    Valid point - though the percentage of deaths (horse and/or rider) is much higher in eventing. That was just my point. Other than making a fool of yourself riding above your limit, death is a definite risk.

                    Everyone should know their limitations, but should know and do know are different things.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sisu27 View Post
                      How is the risk any different now than in days gone by? The basic elements are the same. My feeling is that we, as eventers have created the added risk be being unprepared and competing at levels we have no right to be competing at. The unfortunate results are dead horses and riders.

                      Sure, I'd kill to ride like Mark Todd or Mary King. But I don't. Therefore I stay where I belong in the lower levels, thus lowering the risk of hurting my horse and myself. A little self awareness would go a long way in our sport.

                      It may not be the sport for you freestyle but you must appreciate how these horses are the ultimate equine athletes. I'm glad that horseman from other disciplines are watching and hopefully gaining an understanding as to why some of us accept the risk to experience even a small part of what you watched.
                      Well said. I am a retired eventer myself, competed through Intermediate and I too think 'UNPREPARED" is a huge issue. Hopefully the sport will address these issues because it really is the ultimate sport, IMO. Watching Ingrid Klimke go around x-country was a PERFECT example of a well prepared horse and an excellent rider. Gave me goosebumps!
                      Patty
                      www.rivervalefarm.com
                      Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
                        In cross country jumping the 'knocking down jumps' part is not an option. This is why the change in the Equestrian culture overall - more people buying 'made' horses to win the easy ribbons or bringing horses up the levels to quickly and forgoing horsemanship, people coming into the sport because they suddenly have money and not understanding or being properly educated is high lighted in eventing because of the 'jumps don't give' element of cross country.

                        Eventing is not a sport you can just jump into without proper education and training and expect to not only do well, but survive. On the eventing board I see a lot of lamenting the old days but no one wanting to address the changes in society.
                        I don't usually throw in my opinion on these threads, but I think there is a very important point made here. Sorry, I erased the bit about people buying made horses, etc. which is very important to the point.

                        Another thread on COTH was along the lines of what irks you about riding. One of my biggest peeves is people who buy an experienced horse (nothing wrong with that), but that also expect that to be enough for them to succeed. And in eventing, success isn't the whole story, because jumps don't fall down, the terrain isn't flat, etc and there is a lot more than a fancy or smart horse to get a rider through the finish flags.

                        Here is where I will lament the "olden days", and I do think that the USEA should do everything in its power to keep eventing safe. But I also think that eventing should NOT change itself for people who are not willing to accept the responsibility, for whatever reason. I think that to a great extent, we need to do something about the "changes in society" that have led to the current mindset that seems to be permeating the sport.

                        I think that "society" needs to raise its standards of responsibility and accountability before we make eventing idiot-proof, oops, I mean make it safer.
                        Leap, and the net will appear

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I thought Jan Byyny wrote very eloquently about safety in eventing on her website:
                          www.SureFireEventing.com "Recent News"
                          She had one of her top horses break a leg at an event.
                          Who rides the tiger cannot dismount

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wow, some great posts guys.

                            I didn't intend to turn this into another one of those threads but...

                            I am tired of us measuring our success on the day based on a body count. We all are. What are we to do though? I have nothing but praise for the changes already underway but I think it is a band-aid solution. Decrease risk as quickly as we can at the highest levels which get the most press and carry the highest risks. Good start. My opinion is that it is the lower levels that most desperately need the attention. I'm not saying we are breeding a whole generation of LAs (she's an anomoly I hope) here but from what I can tell there are a lot of people that DO NOT belong eventing at any level, yet. I used to board at a barn where there was a little girl (8 or 9yo) that has started her riding career eventing. Non-horsey parents, no Pony Club...I found it very difficult to be around them, they scare me. Not fair to saint of a horse or kid. When the stars align kid might get a ribbon but mostly finishes at the bottom if she isn't eliminated. Coach is a lovely rider but very young. Kid does not even know how to pick out horses feet properly. Horse might get ridden a couple times a week then they show up on a Friday night, kid gallops around with no supervision nevermind coaching while mother cleans kids tack and away they go the next morning. I've never seen the horse come home and get cold hosed or grazed or wrapped. Horse is treated like a machine. I have nothing but praise for the coach AS A RIDER but can't help but question her coaching abilities. Given that I do not ride at the same level as coach my opinion which I was very careful/tactful to ever offer up, means nothing. This particular example is a ticking time bomb in my opinion and from what I observe it isn't the only example. I get that the young coach needs to make a living and has limited time and is pushing her own career forward but if she can't educate them who will? They are all really nice people and have good intentions but just don't seem to get it. Eventers need to be the ultimate horseman and they seem to be few and far between lately.

                            So what can we do to fix it? I wish I could help but I honestly have no idea how. I think coaches need certification. I think riders need certification. I think we should all have human passports that prove we have the education and experience to event. Our sport IS DIFFERENT from H/J, dressage...so maybe we need to treat it as such.

                            Dunno, it is terribly frustrating though.
                            "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              sisu27 - I agree whole heartedly.

                              This seems to be the obstacle to overcome. It is not the girl's fault she is not educated - how does she know what she needs to be educated on? The parents - they aren't horsey, how do they know what their child needs to be educated on?

                              The coach should have ensured the child received the education she needed, whether or not the child's parents elected to put her in Pony Club or something.

                              I say elected because Pony Club is expensive. The coach should have discussed it with the parents in terms of the educational benefit, but if the parents decided it was to much, the coach needs to make sure there are no holes in the child's education.

                              The barn where I rode in high school - there was no Pony Club or 4H. Older students volunteered to help kids get ready, which included showing how to pick out feet and properly tack up horses. If the older students did not own horses, they could usually work on getting riding time. If they did own horses, they usually did this anyway because they were there and it is what their friends were doing.

                              I only mention this to show that it does not require some club to have proper horsemanship - but you have to be aware of your students' limitations. That may be land, money, trailering, etc. Just be aware of it and find ways to get the child the proper education anyway. This seems to be the biggest obstacle in eventing - a lot of people are having trouble coming to grips with the fact that this needs to be done.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
                                sisu27 - I agree whole heartedly.

                                This seems to be the obstacle to overcome. It is not the girl's fault she is not educated - how does she know what she needs to be educated on? The parents - they aren't horsey, how do they know what their child needs to be educated on?

                                The coach should have ensured the child received the education she needed, whether or not the child's parents elected to put her in Pony Club or something.

                                I say elected because Pony Club is expensive. The coach should have discussed it with the parents in terms of the educational benefit, but if the parents decided it was to much, the coach needs to make sure there are no holes in the child's education.

                                The barn where I rode in high school - there was no Pony Club or 4H. Older students volunteered to help kids get ready, which included showing how to pick out feet and properly tack up horses. If the older students did not own horses, they could usually work on getting riding time. If they did own horses, they usually did this anyway because they were there and it is what their friends were doing.

                                I only mention this to show that it does not require some club to have proper horsemanship - but you have to be aware of your students' limitations. That may be land, money, trailering, etc. Just be aware of it and find ways to get the child the proper education anyway. This seems to be the biggest obstacle in eventing - a lot of people are having trouble coming to grips with the fact that this needs to be done.
                                Yes, I agree with all you have said. The problem is they have no concept whatsoever as to how many essential pieces of the puzzle they are short. If you aren't aware that you are missing something why would you seek it out? The coach sees the kid for one hour lesson a week and then meets them at the show in the morning. She doesn't seem to notice how much they don't know. This is why I believe there needs to be some sort of system that quantifys (sp?) your requirements. For those of us that have put in the time and had the thirst to learn anything and everything about our sport it will be a no-brainer to prove why we belong in the sport. BUT...for those that haven't they will need to gain some education if they want to participate. It equates to treating us all like children but I think we have not proven that we possess the good judgement to make these decisions on our own. If it saves one horses life I think it is worthwhile.

                                You know what is also sad about the whole thing? This kid has no idea about the satisfaction one gets from TRAINING to go eventing. The process in itself is so rewarding. Just the other day I took my greenie to a Hunter Pace/Hunter Trials at the Hunt Club for some mileage and for the first time I felt him locking on and taking me to fences with ears pricked forward and not an ounce of hesitation. We didn't win a thing all day but I can't remember the last time I was happier. These little victories escape this generation of eventers that don't train, don't condition, don't become obsessive about feeding and supplements... I guess if they stay at the lower levels it won't matter but I see some with good financial backing that will just buy all that anyways when the time comes. But you can't really buy that can you? It just makes me sad and I wish I was in a position to really do something about it.
                                "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  It is a difficult thing to overcome. I taught lessons for a short time and one student was a bit fearful of horses, but wanted to learn. Her mom seemed to only want her to get into riding to be a perfect little princess so to speak - a proper aristocrat, which included riding, in her book.

                                  So the girl was pushed and not really allowed to deal with her fears and really be friends with the pony. It was a tough spot for me as well because when her mom was watching lessons, I could feel eyes on me to make miracles happen and make this girl a perfect rider in a few lessons. The lessons did not last long, luckily.

                                  Then some people are just not animal people and do see them as objects more. You will always have that, though.

                                  I do agree that there need to be requirements for levels that prove horsemanship. I think having a long format three day under your belt to compete prelim and above is a great start. Maybe some sort of horse care test as well?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    See I initially thought that maybe have your C in PC or something but as you pointed out not everyone can afford to do the whole PC thing so that wouldn't work. Although I still firmly believe in the value of PC so perhaps if more people like you and I got involved the costs could be reduced?? I barely have enough time to look after my own horse but I would gladly give up a night a week or a day a weekend to help out if it would make a difference.

                                    Or perhaps your local association doesn't issue memberships without completion of some sort of competency test or something. Eventing runs on volunteers so I bet many would participate in off season seminars and such. Hmmm...I sort of like that idea, perhaps that one should be revisited.

                                    I guess the issue is that I would feel better if I could do something, anything that would be contributing to making eventing better rather than just pointing out how flawed it has become.
                                    "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      that really true?

                                      There are today there are fewer people with "horse sense",that includes vets and farriers;;even fewer now find it important to obtain horse sense the new format encourages riders, often still novices which buy expensive horses who can meet the dressage standard ,now definitely higher, and jump the jumps, and ability to condition a horse, listen to that horse on roads and tracks,especially after the steeplechase is no longer required again, lessening the influence of horsemanship,and finally, I am not convinced that, we have more deaths now than in the past, look a tthe history of world class events in the back of Reiner Klimkes'""DAS MILITAER"The internet is now definitely a part of the problem;We knew of that riders' death at Hartpury wiin24 hours , earlier it would have taken weeks.inally Posted by sisu27 How is the risk any different now than in d
                                      breeder of Mercury!

                                      remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
                                        I do completely agree with you. I just want to point out the differences. If you compete above your level in dressage, the greatest risk is a bad test.

                                        If you compete above your level in hunter/Equitation, the greatest risk is not getting a ribbon and knocking some rails.

                                        If you compete above your level in jumpers, you knock down jumps or have refusals.

                                        A bad competitive trail ride usually results in a tired horse, no more.

                                        In cross country jumping the 'knocking down jumps' part is not an option. This is why the change in the Equestrian culture overall - more people buying 'made' horses to win the easy ribbons or bringing horses up the levels to quickly and forgoing horsemanship, people coming into the sport because they suddenly have money and not understanding or being properly educated is high lighted in eventing because of the 'jumps don't give' element of cross country.

                                        Eventing is not a sport you can just jump into without proper education and training and expect to not only do well, but survive. On the eventing board I see a lot of lamenting the old days but no one wanting to address the changes in society.
                                        Very well put! And I certainly don't think that this opinion diminishes the eventers on this board or the sport one bit. I believe a number of those on the eventing board would agree, as well.
                                        Love my "Slo-TTB"

                                        Comment

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