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Forced to "Point Out" of the lower levels

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  • Forced to "Point Out" of the lower levels

    Maybe this has been previously proposed, but all of the discussion regarding the proposal to qualify for 3rd level has several of us thinking. Wouldn't it make more sense to "force" a horse and rider combination to move up a level when they've achieved competitive sucess? Locally, I've heard more complaints about so-and-so showing (and winning at )Training Level for the last umpteen years and not giving newcomers a chance. Wouldn't it be more sensible to have to move to First Level after you've achieved x number of scores above 65%, or won X number of championships? What a sense of accomplishment to be "kicked out" of lower level! My local chapter is actually considering implementing this for our schooling series.

    Any thoughts?
    "Listen to your mind. It has a whole lot more brain cells than your heart does." - SillyHorse

  • #2
    As others have pointed out on others threads some people have medical problems that make it difficult/impossible for them to go from trining level, where they may post much of the time, to first where they have to do more sitting. Rather that kicking people out why doesn't your club for you schooling shows give out a maiden/green rider winner (highest score for someone who has never won before) and a a novice or limit rider (higest score for somoen who has wn under X times)? That way everyone can stay involved at the level they are comfortable with.

    Comment


    • #3
      hmm. i guess i don't really care who wins, or even other people's scores for that matter. to me dressage shows are about me and the horse i am riding.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think we have a job to do right now and we need to stay focused on the issue at hand, rather than expending energy on a tangent right now.

        The issue you mention may be worthwhile to discuss at some later date but now we need to prepare for the USEF convention in a few days, and how we can assist the Dressage Committee in arriving at a reasonable decision that the entire dressage community can support.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think it is not the business of a "committee" or anyone else for that matter if a competitor pays good money wether to embarass themselves by being a professional training level ribbon winner,or, conversely, going beyond their ability with an excrutiating-to-watch upper-level ride. The beauty of this sport used to be the individualism allowed.As long as the horse is not harmed, let the poor duffers have their fun as long as their money is good.

          Comment


          • #6
            However

            Originally posted by rebecca yount View Post
            I think we have a job to do right now and we need to stay focused on the issue at hand, rather than expending energy on a tangent right now.

            The issue you mention may be worthwhile to discuss at some later date but now we need to prepare for the USEF convention in a few days, and how we can assist the Dressage Committee in arriving at a reasonable decision that the entire dressage community can support.
            But the OP has a very valid point, because when this proposal has the intention to clean up the classes, and you take the German and Dutch system as an example, there is also an embedded rule which says that you have to move-up to the next class.

            For example : 15 points you are ALLOWED to go to the next class, 25 points you HAVE to move-up to the next class.

            Theo

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't think it matters who "wins" the class, all I care about is what score my horse and I earn! If a person gets satisfacation out of winning at Training Level time and time again, then good for them and I'm not going to be one to say they should move up a level.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't think the German or Dutch system is necessarily something we want to emulate. Let's let people choose from themselves what level they belong in. Forcing people to be in a level they don't feel comfortable in will turn even more people off to showing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It happens a lot. Some riders and horse are limited to what they can do. A horse that is lame some owner and trainers will keep them at TL forever. They just want the scores for year end points. I personaly don't agree. If your horse is lame quit. But if a horse can only go to say 2L and it had a talented mount, one would think they would move on to another horse. I think it is a problem. But for some they cannot move on.
                  As far as RY.....WHO MADE YOU THE QUEEN BEE?? We can talk about what ever we what!!
                  dresstar

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd say no as well.

                    Perhaps the rider has limited time and therefore not the time to train and get the horse fit for collection, etc.

                    Maybe it's a steady eddy type horse who is very comfortable at training/first level but w/ out the athletic ability (or desire) to step it up a notch for collection, etc and move up the levels.

                    And I personally would rather expend my mental energy prepping my horse and myself for our shows than worry about who else is entering at A.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I could not ever support this rule. There are both horses and riders with either physical or mental limitations that may prevent them from progressing past training or first level. I have seen too many sweet lower level horses get "broken" when their riders insisted on forcing them up the levels when they were not really conformationally suited to peforming collected work. My trainer also has a very dyslexic student who can manage a training or first level test very well, but has difficulty with more complex tests where the movements come up more quickly.

                      Shows can easily address the ribbon-seekers by offering novice classes.

                      Here's an aside.....
                      Last year, I was accosted by another amateur rider after getting a 70% + score at training level on my 4 y.o. horse at his second horse show. She berated me, accused me of sandbagging, stealing ribbons, and insisted that I needed to be showing my FOUR YEAR OLD at 3rd level in order to be fair, since I was "clearly to experienced to be riding as an amatuer at Training Level". Huh? In 35 years of showing horses, this was the first time I had ever been treated this way by another competitor. I'd really forgotten that for some people, it's all about the ribbon, and not very much about the horse at all. (The irony is that we didn't even WIN the darn class.....)

                      Until there is a system in place which emulates the level of instruction available in Germany or Holland, I don't think it is in our best interest to emulate either of these systems in regard to show qualifications- either for horses or for riders. Our rider base and geography are just far too different, and all that these proposals seem to do is discourage the amateur riders that are the backbone of our sport.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We have a system like this in the UK based entirely on the horse, who gains points according to the score as follows:-

                        60-61.99% = 1pt,
                        62-63.99% = 2pts,
                        64-65.99% = 3pts,
                        66-67.99% = 4pts,
                        68-69.99% = 5pts,
                        70-71.99% = 6pts
                        72%+ = 7pts.

                        The record stays with the horse for life so if it's sold or ridden by another rider the previous points are still on the horses record and denotes which is the lowest level he is eligable to compete in.

                        Each level of competition has a points limit and when the horse reaches that they must move up. You can move up before if you wish.

                        The points limits have just been raised for this year and are now as follows:-(Points are only allocated on scores at Novice level and above so you could compete at prelim level for ever without having to move up)

                        Prelim (Training) 49
                        Novice (1st) 124
                        Elementary (2nd) 199
                        Medium (3rd w/o changes) 299
                        Advanced Medium (3rd) 374

                        Once a horse has 375 points it can only compete at Advanced (4th) and FEI levels.

                        In practise it works quite well here. Like the US the majority of riders here are competing at Prelim, Novice or Elementary and we don't have compulsory sitting trot until Medium level so those with physical limitations can usually still move up the lower grades if scoring well enough without some of those concerns being an issue.

                        We also have at every show a 'training section' within the class which people can chose to enter. They are still eligible for rosettes and prizes but gain no points or qualificiation for regionals etc. This allows people to compete without gaining points too quickly if they are concrned about having to move up.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am in favor of the "point out" idea for horse/rider combinations. I know and see far too many riders who compete at Intro and Training for years and years on end, just for the sake of collecting ribbons.

                          If a horse or rider has physical limitations, let there be a provision that allows concessions with medical/vet statements.

                          The biggest downfall is riders new to our sport competing against "professional" intro/training level riders. While you and I may realize that the sport is not really about the ribbons, many new riders are discouraged by being at the bottom of the pack until they move up to First and start getting what many consider tangible rewards for their efforts.

                          I really get tired of the fact that riders are allowed to show at Training for 10 years with the same horse and never even try to move up to First. It is not that big a leap. If you just want to ride in little circles forever, do rail classes. There are pleasure shows all over the place (and the worst offenders in our area are indeed pleasure riders who ride Intro for 5 years at all of the local shows).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J Lav View Post
                            The record stays with the horse for life so if it's sold or ridden by another rider the previous points are still on the horses record and denotes which is the lowest level he is eligable to compete in.
                            Sorry for what might be a dumb question, but how would that work for horses shared by several riders? What if it's a busy lesson barn's horse, taking different students to different shows throughout the year? Or for leased horses that are shared by 2-3 riders in a year?
                            Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FuelsterFarm View Post
                              I am in favor of the "point out" idea for horse/rider combinations. I know and see far too many riders who compete at Intro and Training for years and years on end, just for the sake of collecting ribbons.
                              Yes but who are they hurting? Is there really so much jealousy over training level ribbons? They sell those things for a couple bucks, just buy one!
                              If a horse or rider has physical limitations, let there be a provision that allows concessions with medical/vet statements.

                              The biggest downfall is riders new to our sport competing against "professional" intro/training level riders. While you and I may realize that the sport is not really about the ribbons, many new riders are discouraged by being at the bottom of the pack until they move up to First and start getting what many consider tangible rewards for their efforts.
                              If the sport isn't really about ribbons, then why force people to move up so the beginners can get them? New riders discouraged by being at the bottom of the pack can use THAT as incentive for themselves to move up, instead of forcing others to move beyond their comfort level!

                              With your logic, we should force GP riders to quit instead of competing indefinitely. This would give the newbies a better chance at ribbons, right?
                              I really get tired of the fact that riders are allowed to show at Training for 10 years with the same horse and never even try to move up to First. It is not that big a leap. If you just want to ride in little circles forever, do rail classes. There are pleasure shows all over the place (and the worst offenders in our area are indeed pleasure riders who ride Intro for 5 years at all of the local shows).
                              I find this attitude very discouraging.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Lesson horses..

                                That's a good question, however we don't really have 'lesson horses' like that here. We do have riding schools but the people who ride the horses there don't usually compete. If they do it would only be at unaffiliated (schooling) shows which are not covered by this system.

                                Over here just about everyone who competes affiliated has their own horse (or sometimes 2 people might share one horse) so it's not a problem.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  **Zips up flame suit*

                                  Ok while we can all sit here and act like adults the long and the short of it is alot of us like winning ribbons!! No, its not what its all about, but there are ALOT of people that are proud of where they place in the pack not just what they score. I, personally, like both. A good score is great, a nice ribbon or prize to go along with it is icing on the cake (and icing is yummy).

                                  Plus for those of us that enter awards stuff, placing matters.

                                  Its frustrating to be beaten at T4 for a PSG horse with a capable AA rider. Does it stop me showing, no. But it would be nice to be competing against similar level horses.

                                  PLUS lets get real, if you go in after the PSG horse and after he scored all 8 and 9's, its a hard act to follow and whether consciously or not, I do think that affects the scores.
                                  I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I competed in IDA, so the idea of pointing out to me is a normal one... but in the real world leaves a bit to be desired.

                                    For one, do the points follow the horse, the rider, or the combo?

                                    How does this effect riders that often buy and bring along green beans. Many are perpetual 1st and below showers... yet as riders are capable of moving up while their horses are not. What effect would this have on the young/green horse market?

                                    How would this effect horses who are either maxed out at a certain level (say 2nd, because perhaps they hate changes or their collected work leaves something to be desired)? How would this effect well schooled (and shown) horses that are no longer capable of showing at certain levels (physically, mentally, etc.) yet are still perfect for showing someone the ropes at the lower levels

                                    Also how would this effect riders that lack time/money/nerves to move up? (the only reason I ask this is that I know a very nice lady who shows intro for the last few years, she is terrified of cantering for more than a few strides at a time so a move to training is out, but she loves to dress up for shows)

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JackSprats Mom View Post
                                      **Zips up flame suit*

                                      Ok while we can all sit here and act like adults the long and the short of it is alot of us like winning ribbons!! No, its not what its all about, but there are ALOT of people that are proud of where they place in the pack not just what they score. I, personally, like both. A good score is great, a nice ribbon or prize to go along with it is icing on the cake (and icing is yummy).

                                      Plus for those of us that enter awards stuff, placing matters.

                                      Its frustrating to be beaten at T4 for a PSG horse with a capable AA rider. Does it stop me showing, no. But it would be nice to be competing against similar level horses.

                                      PLUS lets get real, if you go in after the PSG horse and after he scored all 8 and 9's, its a hard act to follow and whether consciously or not, I do think that affects the scores.
                                      I have gone to quite a few rated shows over the past couple of years, and scribed at many more. I have to confess, I am just not seeing all sorts of FEI-capable amateur riders on FEI schoolmasters showing at training level in this region, although I can't speak to what happens in other regions. I do see some amateurs getting high scores at training level and first level- but the ones that I see in the scoring consistently in the 70's are usually from capable amateurs bringing up their own young horses, not showing trained ones. (Actually, I take great joy in the fact that many of these amateur riders seem to have more success bringing young horses along themselves from the lower levels through FEI than many trainers, but that's probably another topic for another thread. Are we supposed to ban these folks from showing at lower levels because they can actually ride?)

                                      I have also seen some beginning amateurs start at the lower levels with schoolmasters. I have nothing but respect for most of these folks- they are learning a difficult sport as an adult, and they (and their trainers) are smart enough to realize that if they can't get a 65 or 70 at training or first on their trained horse, they probably don't belong in Prix St. Georges yet. I'd rather see someone be successful at first level that get a 45 at Prix St. George. And yes, I've seen several of these folks move up the levels over the years. I don't think that most amateurs who are capable of showing an FEI horse at FEI are too content to collect ribbons at training level. It's much more fun to collect ribbons at 3rd, 4th, or FEI, especially if you've come up the levels on the horse yourself.

                                      Are there one or two sandbaggers out there? Probably, but it just doesn't seem worth making a rule over it. If someone really wants to sandbag for a ribbon, they'll always find a work-around, like buying a fancy young horse and having the trainer warm it up if they're not really capable of riding it.

                                      I'll confess, I haven't spent a lot of time at local schooling shows. If the show management encounters this problem, it seems like it would be an easy to solve by making a show policy to address the issue. They aren't obligated to run under USEF rules regarding this, so if it's a problem, it seems like it would be easy to solve.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think people should be able to ride and compete in any level they want without having to qualify first. If you shouldn't be riding at that level then let the judge spank you in the scores and the rail-birds laugh at you. Personally, horses that can win at the lower levels are much different than the upper level horses when the training of the horse can compensate for not-so-perfect or elastic gaits. My own horses are not "traditional" dressage horses and could not compete against the fabulous moving horses in First/Second and below. Now, at Third level and above - the oh-so-fabulous movers now actually have to show some skill and proper training along with the rest of the "average" moving horses and, thus, the playing field gets smaller. This is where I like to compete. So, personally I would be worried that a qualifying system would prevent many capable horses and riders from competing in the upper levels because they would never earn enough points at the lower levels - for the wrong reasons.

                                        The attributes that make a great First level horse are not a priority or even essential for a Third level horse. The level/quality of training required at the upper levels is more important than just beauty and gaits. Now, if you have both then that is an unbeatable combination, but how many of those do you see? To assume that competitive dressage is a perfect ladder of ascension is just naive and wrong.
                                        Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.

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