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Spin off on USDF Championship Show Fees and other stuff

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  • #21
    Oh, I forgot #4: The breakfast sandwiches. The breakfast sandwiches are better at all the recognized shows I've been to. Subpar or nonexistent at schooling shows. I show for breakfast sandwiches.
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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Originally posted by SarahandSam View Post
      Oh, I forgot #4: The breakfast sandwiches. The breakfast sandwiches are better at all the recognized shows I've been to. Subpar or nonexistent at schooling shows. I show for breakfast sandwiches.
      It's breakfast burritos out west!

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      • #23
        I've been fortunate to live in areas with many good schooling show options available to me, and I've never felt the need to show rated/recognized just because. I set personal goals for myself, and I'm not super particular about meeting them at one type of show over the other.

        I got my first horse when I was 16, paid board and such myself, and thus made the choice to own a horse instead of continuing with regular lessons - I simply could not afford both. I also couldn't afford to show, or buy expensive made horses. So, when I could scrape enough money together, I was usually on greenies, and due to money and greenies, schooling shows were where I went. In Ohio, and this is before I switched to dressage, there was several great local schooling H/J show series put on by local barns, or at the fair grounds.

        Now, 16 years later and living in Florida, I've got my own farm, and am in yet another location with excellent schooling show choices readily available. I switched to dressage two years ago and have been able to afford regular (biweekly) lessons for these two years, and I'm having a blast. Our local GMO is wonderful, and their schooling shows are run at a horse park which has recently been hugely renovated with multiple rings with new Martin Collins footing, new barns, etc. I don't have a trailer so have only been able to do about half the shows I've wanted to in these two years, and I've been sticking to schooling shows while working through a major judge's box issue with my mare (as in, we couldn't get within 50 feet of it). The last two shows have been AMAZING and she's come along leaps and bounds; we've got another one in October, and then next year I'm hoping to get a trailer so I can go to some recognized shows (or as they say here, Open shows). I would like to go for a Bronze, but, if my trailer dreams are again postponed, I'm perfectly happy to keep doing our GMO's schooling shows, they're simply fantastic. I may still pop in a couple of those anyway, in between recognized shows.
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        • #24
          Originally posted by atlatl View Post

          These are all great reasons for an upper level rider. BTW, schooling shows around my neck of the woods also have EMTs.
          Well I think footing judges EMT are important for ALL levels of horse. A TL horse can pull a suspensory in poor footing just like a 4 th level horse. Let’s face it some lower level horses are older campaigners teaching newer riders at those lower levels. And as far as judging goes, many schooling shows have at least L grads....
          here in Ocala we are lucky. Our schooling shows have great footing, an EMT, knowledgeable folks who would notice illegal equipment, and our judges are always at least an L grad and usually we have a registered judge r, R, and even S for the upper levels.

          I do a combo of schooling shows and recognized shows.

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by lorilu View Post

            Well I think footing judges EMT are important for ALL levels of horse. A TL horse can pull a suspensory in poor footing just like a 4 th level horse. Let’s face it some lower level horses are older campaigners teaching newer riders at those lower levels. And as far as judging goes, many schooling shows have at least L grads....
            here in Ocala we are lucky. Our schooling shows have great footing, an EMT, knowledgeable folks who would notice illegal equipment, and our judges are always at least an L grad and usually we have a registered judge r, R, and even S for the upper levels.
            Of course footing is important always. My post was more in response to getting feedback from 5 international judges. I can't think of any TL rider who "needs" that. I should have been clearer.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by atlatl View Post

              It's breakfast burritos out west!
              Lucky you!

              If there were decent breakfast burritos at the recognized shows within range of me, I would have a lot more enthusiasm for showing these days! Quality of experience (food, facilities, show management) matters quite a bit when showing takes a lot of days and dollars. It doesn't seem like it should, but after reading this thread I realize that some of my "showing isn't worth it anymore when I could do something more enjoyable" feelings hinge on disorganized show management, worrisome footing or other questionably safe facilities, and maybe a touch of hanger from not having time to pack my cooler thoughtfully.

              As for feedback from international judges, perhaps TL riders don't need that. But I do think one of the big reasons to go to recognized shows vs. schooling in many places is the usefulness of judge feedback, for riders at all levels. Like ArabDiva, I find that more experienced judges do a better job of seeing what is correct and what needs improvement (regardless of fanciness or plainness of horse) and tend to give more useful marks and comments as compared to L-grads. I also find that the recognized shows in my area bring in a greater variety of judges, both because more of them are big enough to have multiple judges, but also because a relatively small pool of L grads does the bulk of the schooling show judging around here. Were I at TL in my current region, I'd still choose recognized over schooling, simply for the quality -- and perhaps more importantly, variety -- of judging/feedback that's available only at recognized shows around here.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by x-halt-salute View Post
                As for feedback from international judges, perhaps TL riders don't need that. But I do think one of the big reasons to go to recognized shows vs. schooling in many places is the usefulness of judge feedback, for riders at all levels. Like ArabDiva, I find that more experienced judges do a better job of seeing what is correct and what needs improvement (regardless of fanciness or plainness of horse) and tend to give more useful marks and comments as compared to L-grads. I also find that the recognized shows in my area bring in a greater variety of judges, both because more of them are big enough to have multiple judges, but also because a relatively small pool of L grads does the bulk of the schooling show judging around here. Were I at TL in my current region, I'd still choose recognized over schooling, simply for the quality -- and perhaps more importantly, variety -- of judging/feedback that's available only at recognized shows around here.
                This is a great breakdown of my feelings about why I do recognized shows, as compared to the training. (My first ever "real" dressage test was ridden for Linda Zang..who I did not really understand who she was until after the fact, as she asked if it was the last time I was riding for her this weekend - it was - and she called me up to C to speak with me very briefly, to give me some very useful insights and suggestions. Was she an international judge, yes, but did she fairly critique a newbie dressage rider on a thoroughbred who had 0% of a clue? Yes. So while I won't say you need international judges to get that experience, my experiences with the international judges have been so fair, so supportive, and heartening that I seek out that caliber of judging.)

                Especially at the lower levels, I think there can be a judging gap - judges who can see and accurately assess (the quarter horses, thoroughbreds, paints, draftx's, etc) and give fair scores that don't leave people feeling dejected or at a disadvantage because of what they are riding. While I am certain there are excellent judges that may be employed for schooling shows, I have found that I am more likely to find a judge with less experience/diversity of experiences that I don't get scored in a way that I think completely reflects my ride.

                Ultimately, when I show, my goals are to have a positive experience. Facilities should be safe and accessible (no horrible footing, no crazy warmup, no free-for-all, no unsanitary bathroom situation). Judging should be honest and helpful (no judges who don't have any commentary on the back - there is one around here who used to do that, no idea if she does it still, I stopped riding for her for this reason). I want to come out of it having an accurate read of my ride for that day, and then with an idea for improvement to go forward - all with a positive and encouraging experience for my horse.

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                • #28
                  I'm going to admit, I'm insanely competitive. So there is that...

                  Reality is, as judging has gone more and more to rewarding big gaits, I'm less excited about showing. I use to LOVE to show - I am truly a competitive person, AND showing is also a social event. Decades of having my horses at home meant a horse show was where I got to meet up with horsey people and talk about - of course - horses and dressage! So it was a combination of social and competitive drive.

                  I also liked to see where we stack up against other riders - so that national data base is of value. And I did want my bronze (got it many years ago), and now maybe my silver medal on horses I've brought along myself. AND I have a thing for underdogs, so I ride non-Warmbloods in the process.

                  But I'm going to admit, the drive is declining, the sport is moving away from reality for the middle-income riders. After having a 7 month stint off my horses (due to injury), I've had a LOT of time to think about it, and to step away from it a bit, and perhaps my goals are moving a different direction. Are rated shows worth the $$$? I am not so sure.

                  Now, granted, we have an excellent schooling show base around here - as Atlatl points out (she's in So-Cal, I'm in Nor-Cal), we tend to have shows at the same facilities as our smaller rated shows - so they have good footing. Our shows all use L or r or R or S judges, and I've found many of our Ls around here are very well educated - they have good eyes, good comments, and scores are overall in line with the "real" judges scores... Of course, some exceptions, but then, there are exceptions in the "real judge" world too.

                  Our schooling shows are booming - some of them have had to expand to 2 rings because they are so over-subscribed. And there are a lot of them - one facility has 6 each year, along with 2 rated shows, and the schooling shows fill up, while the rated shows do not. Another facility often does a schooling show on Day 1 and a rated show on Day 2 - which seems like a really clever idea.

                  I don't know, for me, the glow of the sport is wearing off, after years of being a huge supporter - a volunteer, competitor, and long time member...

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                    I'm going to admit, I'm insanely competitive. So there is that...



                    I also liked to see where we stack up against other riders - so that national data base is of value. And I did want my bronze (got it many years ago), and now maybe my silver medal on horses I've brought along myself. AND I have a thing for underdogs, so I ride non-Warmbloods in the process.

                    As you know, we've lived a parallel 'equine' life in regards to this and shows were always my competitive outlet so that I didn't have that tendency creep into my professional life.

                    Now, granted, we have an excellent schooling show base around here - as Atlatl points out (she's in So-Cal, I'm in Nor-Cal), we tend to have shows at the same facilities as our smaller rated shows - so they have good footing. Our shows all use L or r or R or S judges, and I've found many of our Ls around here are very well educated - they have good eyes, good comments, and scores are overall in line with the "real" judges scores... Of course, some exceptions, but then, there are exceptions in the "real judge" world too.

                    We too have pretty decent schooling shows at reasonable venues in terms of footing and judging caliber.

                    Our schooling shows are booming - some of them have had to expand to 2 rings because they are so over-subscribed. And there are a lot of them - one facility has 6 each year, along with 2 rated shows, and the schooling shows fill up, while the rated shows do not. Another facility often does a schooling show on Day 1 and a rated show on Day 2 - which seems like a really clever idea.

                    Ditto here too.

                    I don't know, for me, the glow of the sport is wearing off, after years of being a huge supporter - a volunteer, competitor, and long time member...

                    I too took a hiatus from showing and since I've been back I will also admit that it doesn't hold the appeal for me that it once did; however, I am still very goal oriented and have that one nagging goal to accomplish. Considering Junior is 4th generation of my 'retired' breeding program that goal is huge for me. I can't get there without showing. I will also admit that I like seeing the 'new' crowd that is showing. Several I don't know, and even better, they have no idea who I am and treat me like a 'newbie' which isn't all that bad. Of course much of the show management recognizes me when I step through the door; but, that has never been an issue either. I find showing more relaxing than it has ever been for me; so, I think my proposed show schedule will help keep me from getting burned out again. I really don't know of any other way to get the same assessment of how I'm doing as a trainer or rider across a broader range of expertise.
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                    • #30
                      exvet , yes, we are kind of in a parallel universe, aren't we Even more so now that I have my Welsh Cob X (btw, I finally got a Pony Card on him - after a lot of writing to various people at USEF, they finally admitted that TDs aren't all perfect - my Pony was over-measured by THREE INCHES)… And I suspect we have a lot of personality similarities, including overly-competitive-show-disorder

                      I will dip my toe back in the show ring at some point, as long as my leg heals well enough for me to ride effectively.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by atlatl View Post

                        Of course footing is important always. My post was more in response to getting feedback from 5 international judges. I can't think of any TL rider who "needs" that. I should have been clearer.
                        And I still disagree. What TL rider doesn't need feedback from Lilo or Janet Foy? I know that when I was a TL rider feedback from Lilo at a small recognized show was really important.... it made a difference.

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by lorilu View Post

                          And I still disagree. What TL rider doesn't need feedback from Lilo or Janet Foy? I know that when I was a TL rider feedback from Lilo at a small recognized show was really important.... it made a difference.
                          Maybe I read this wrong, but I thought Atlatl was talking about the CDI judge's panel format? Multiple judges at the same time? Which can be super intimidating to a TL rider, OR any level rider!

                          Otherwise, I agree, I think everyone can benefit from Lilo's feedback - she's awesome!

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                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Originally posted by lorilu View Post

                            And I still disagree. What TL rider doesn't need feedback from Lilo or Janet Foy? I know that when I was a TL rider feedback from Lilo at a small recognized show was really important.... it made a difference.
                            OK, I tried to be very clear and not assume you were just looking for an argument.

                            Are you saying that when you were a TL rider you needed feedback from FIVE, 5, not one but 5, international judges at a single show?

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post

                              Maybe I read this wrong, but I thought Atlatl was talking about the CDI judge's panel format? Multiple judges at the same time? Which can be super intimidating to a TL rider, OR any level rider!
                              Your reading comprehension skills remain top notch!

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                              • #35
                                I'm another one who could not afford to show during my youth or early adulthood. I am finally at a financial place where I can afford to show. As it stands, making it to 3-4 recognized shows per year is about my sweet spot of what I want to spend time- and money-wise.

                                Like others have said, I am very goal oriented and competitive. I don't get a lot of instruction, so shows also help me see if I'm on track. My last horse was not built for dressage, so if I had a 60+ ride on him at the upper levels, we earned every point. With him, I very much wanted to earn my bronze and silver and made lots of plans (and back up plans) to get there. It was quite a journey, but I definitely found that I figure things out under pressure. Before a show or during a show, I would have breakthroughs that would help me nail down key concepts.

                                However, with my young horse now, the main reason I show is because it is FUN! I plan to attend shows typically where a group of my girlfriends will also be showing (we live hours from one another), and we meet at the show to drink, eat and laugh too much. It's exhausting and expensive, but it recharges me in other ways. We also cheer each other on no matter what happens. I used to try to follow a coach around to shows, but realized that it just was losing the appeal, so now I follow my friends!

                                I don't have any schooling shows within 2 hours, so that makes it an easy choice as well.

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                                • #36
                                  Sorry, what is a TL rider?
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                                  • #37
                                    Training Level.

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                                    • #38
                                      The schooling shows in my area are pretty darn good.

                                      My last schooling show was judged by an "S" Judge. I paid $20 a class, but no other fees to ride.
                                      2 tests = $40 for the whole show. Got scores and comments from a national GP level judge. We also have little r's, mostly Ls, but you know who's judging before you enter so you can pick and choose which show you want.

                                      The footing at most of the schooling shows is compareable to the rated shows near me. Warm up arenas are usually easier to navigate.

                                      The schooling shows are run well. Have TDs, Ring Stewards, all USDF rules abided by and enforced, shows run on time (usually), and without issues.

                                      Did i mention no extraneous fees? I can haul my horse there and tie to my trailer for free. I'm in and out of a show in 3 hours, ride 2 tests, for less than most people pay for a pair of jeans. It's nothing more than a jaunt to ride with friends for a short afternoon of fun. All my friends go too. It's a blast.

                                      It cost me $200 in fees in 2014 to step foot in a rated show grounds. All of the rated shows are at least 2 hours from me. It is an all weekend affair that requires lodging and stalling my horse. My last rated show, total cost (lodging, food, gas, memberships, stabling, entry, and fees) was a little over $1,000. We camped and packed in food. I won a coffee mug. 😆

                                      I get nice ribbons and swag at the schooling show. Whips, leads, brushes, got a hat once, tote bags, etc.
                                      I also qualify for year end awards, and Region 2 year end championships. We have a championship schooling show also, where you qualify to go and the best of the region schooling show go. A lot of really fab horse/rider pairs go. Top judges. They really pulled out all the stops for it. Held at a professional dressage trainers facility and all the best is put into it. Rivals what USDF could give us, but for a fraction of the cost.

                                      For rated shows, I get recognition and status. I get my scores searchable, so when I say I'm X level then people can verify it. The shows lend credence to my claims that my horse is competitve against warmbloods (I own mutts). I earn points towards my Bronze and Rider Awards (which I find desirable). My horse earns points. And I really like the idea of Regional and National Championships for rated shows (not something I'll ever afford, but I like the concept).

                                      i don't show much. Maybe 3 shows a year. I like to use them as check points on my training. Can I pull out the best in my horse, on command, in a show environment? It really highlights the weaknesses in my training. It gives me a way to compare myself against others at the same level, and compare against myself throughout the year. Since I'm already showing under r and S judges, I don't see the point of paying more for rated shows for the judges scores/comments.

                                      I still want my Bronze though. If I ever have the disposable income to afford rated again, that'llbe my next goal. That and Nationals. I'd love to have a national title.

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                                      • #39
                                        I used to only do schooling shows due to finances. When I started working with my current trainer, I switched to only recognized shows because that is where she is (we live 2 hours apart and she doesn't do a ton of schooling shows) and that is how I was going to earn my bronze medal. My horse also was very broke and didn't need schooling miles.

                                        My current situation is different. My horse needs LOTS of miles so while I did one recognized show to school and one recognized show to show this year, I am doing schooling shows the rest of the year. Hoping to meet up with my trainer if possible- I much prefer to show with her

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