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Ring Rules Etiquette Why

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  • Ring Rules Etiquette Why

    WHY is the common rule that faster gaits get the track? It makes no sense to me in either dressage or jumping disciplines, yet everyone spouts it off as one of the first rules when asked what the ring rules are.

    I don't know any good riders who truck around on the rail for their whole ride. I don't know any good horses who were trucked around on the rail for their whole training either. So why is it we have this rule that places the slowest moving horses right in the way of the faster riders doing anything useful?

    If someone is jumping they are constantly turning into the middle of the arena to get to the jumps - wouldn't it be sensible for the walkers to stay on the rail? Wouldn't walkers on the rail reduce the chances of a horse in the middle of a line at the wrong time?

    If someone is working dressage they're usually doing all sorts of figures and patterns of various sizes through the middle of the arena - wouldn't it be easier if the walker was on the rail so they don't wander into that 10m circle you had planned at E? Wouldn't the walker on the rail increase the time it takes for them to get all the way around the arena, increasing the time available for the faster rider to do some figure or exercise at the other end before the walker wanders into the area?

    Maybe I'm just weird, but I'd far rather have the walkers on the rail while I'm working on my dressage (or jumping) so I don't have to try and figure out how far in their going to cut and how that's going to affect where they are in the ring when I want to do a figure. But then when I'm working on dressage my horse tends to have only a kissing aquaintance with the rail for most of the ride.

  • #2
    faster moving pace= wider track

    ever ridden at a crowded show with a bunch of people in one ring? It is much easier if the people walking stay to the inside track.
    http://dressageesquire.blogspot.com
    "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."

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    • #3
      RedHorses, I am with you. I find it easier to ride if walkers stick to the rail. Unless I am on a green horse, I rarely work along the rail anyway. The exception for me would be people working on lateral work along the rail...they get priority for the rail.
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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      • #4
        I was always taught pass to the inside if going the same direction or left shoulder to left shoulder if going opposite directions. I have yet to hear faster gaits get the rail except on this board.
        Originally posted by Silverbridge
        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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        • #5
          I have to say in a smaller arena it does make sense. I would much rather pass a horse to the inside coming up behind them than try to get between them and the rail/wall.
          Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

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          • #6
            I haven't heard that faster gets the rail as much as the slower horse must yield to the faster one. That means if the faster horse wants the rail they get the rail, if they want inside they get inside. If I am just warming up and a horse wants to get to a jump and I see them coming I yield to them either stop or circle. So to me faster gets the track means faster gets to go where they want!
            http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

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            • #7
              It isn't slow vs. fast. I was taught that the warm up/work ring rules were:

              1. Very young riders
              2. Horse(s) being driven in a cart or buggy
              3. Rider/horse combo doing something more complicated/difficult
              4. Rider/horse combo doing something easier.

              So if you are walking on a loose rein, it is your job to look around and yield to just about everyone else. You don't get in the way of a person doing a circle, or extending the trot or canter across the diagonal or down the long side, or ride across the middle of a line, or right through where a horse would land in two or three more strides, when someone is jumping. Not just for the sake of politeness, but also safety.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bogey2 View Post
                I have to say in a smaller arena it does make sense. I would much rather pass a horse to the inside coming up behind them than try to get between them and the rail/wall.
                To me, in a smaller ring it makes MORE sense to have the faster ones on the rail (and by small I mean 80x120 with four horses in it). I ride with mainly WP peeps and, if I stay to the inside, the ride becomes a constant wheelie/small circles. But, if I am on the rail and the others off (they generally ride off the rail anyway because they like tiny circles ), I don't have to constantly check/circle/reballance/etc. Additionally, if the "slower" person moves off the rail for downward transitions (esp. to then dismount), then the rest of the traffic can keep going straight.

                But, maybe I ride with a lot of crazies (not meaning WP people are crazy--there are all disciplines at my barn.); my personal fav was the gal who would practice canter-halt transitions on the rail, swinging her upper body to the inside to see if her horse was stopped square. That was fun while riding a 16.2 hh green TB who was all legs!
                "And now . . .off to violin-land, where all is sweetness and delicacy and harmony and there are no red-headed clients to vex us with their conundrums."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ACP View Post
                  It isn't slow vs. fast. I was taught that the warm up/work ring rules were:

                  1. Very young riders
                  2. Horse(s) being driven in a cart or buggy
                  3. Rider/horse combo doing something more complicated/difficult
                  4. Rider/horse combo doing something easier.

                  So if you are walking on a loose rein, it is your job to look around and yield to just about everyone else. You don't get in the way of a person doing a circle, or extending the trot or canter across the diagonal or down the long side, or ride across the middle of a line, or right through where a horse would land in two or three more strides, when someone is jumping. Not just for the sake of politeness, but also safety.
                  Other than we don't have people driving in our arena (footing would be too soft I'm pretty sure, at least compared to what we always hear they need for driving competitions) this all makes total sense to me. Lessons generally get half the arena (large enough arena to do this) but it depends if we know the person riding. We always stay out of the way of the person in the lesson, at least. There is one woman on a greenbean who constantly gets in the way, but I think it's more from her lack of awareness than from the horse being hard to control. I say nothing to her because she's actually practice we all need - to learn to avoid others. Plus she usually rides during my mom's lesson, and is the best aid to my mom learning to stop looking at her horse. Our current arena isn't overly packed, though.

                  Actually, the reiner does take the rail most of the time - plenty of room to get up speed as she wants, and halt along it since the dressage riders are usually inside the rail (much wider than 20m arena!), jumps are in another arena, there is a big round pen for green riders to learn in, and basically she's the one who wants to actually use the rail.
                  Originally posted by Silverbridge
                  If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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