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Trainers doing intro, seriously?

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  • Trainers doing intro, seriously?

    I know, I know…. I should have a little cheese with my whine…

    But, does anyone else think it is inappropriate for a professional to enter Intro A and B at a local schooling show? I know this is a free country and that anyone can enter whatever class they would like.

    Nevertheless, at the past few local schooling shows I saw this happening and I couldn’t help but think it was inappropriate. It is not just one instance…the person in question is “campaigning” a clients horse on the local circuit at Intro. The remainder of the class is consistently AA’s with green mounts and kids on ponies. The most recent show, they took first with a 78%, a 10+% lead over the person in second (not me, we were second to last in the low 60s).

    I am an AA with that is working very hard to bring my new horse along on a budget. I take lessons and have great help, but I am his primary rider and it is taking us a long time to get things together. I feel like competing against professionals in a dinky W/T class takes away any hope of placing well and/or obtaining a decent average for year-end awards.

    It is just a schooling show but is my personal Grand Prix.

    Discuss.

    FB

  • #2
    I have no problem with a Pro showing a greenie at Intro, but there's a local trainer I saw when I was at a show a few years ago who was showing intro on a sales horse that was advertised as "ready to show 1st", and I thought that one way or another, that was a little weird and shady.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland

    Comment


    • #3
      I hope I don't get flamed, given my prior posts on this board.... But, wow, if said trainer can't get the client/owner up to the point that client/owner can ride an Intro test by themselves.... Hell, my trainer says I can't show until I've memorized the Training Level tests, and I'm a hopeless ammy on a school horse.

      Curious — did the trainer collect his or her ribbon?
      "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."

      Comment


      • #4
        My advice? Take the opportunity to watch and learn. Learn why they are getting the high scores and emulate them. There aren't too many that do go in at that level (I have strong opinions posted out here about showing, levels and moving up, but there are always exceptions and I don't know the full situation). Go to the show with the intent of watching and learning.

        (Just an FYI, if the owner is paying then they'll usually go for the ribbon and will compete at whatever level the owner wants. This can be just to see the horse collect ribbons or to prepare it for the owner to later ride at that level. If the trainer is doing it for some specific training need for the horse, they will generally not go for a ribbon in the class but will ride hors de concours.)

        Oh, and don't sell yourself short. If this is your GP, then you need to really work at figuring out what you can do to clean up at that level. I'd set my sites a bit higher if I were you, too. Even if it's just Training Level at a recognized show.
        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

        Comment


        • #5
          I think any trainer ought to at least show training level- unless it is a rank bronc that they just want to get out in one piece and alive at their first show. But if they can get 78% at intro with a pro riding, they need to move up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Well it's the difference between the AKC and the UKC. In the American Kennel Club your dog can be shown by a professional handler. In the UKC the dog must be shown by the owner.

            Paula
            He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

            Comment


            • #7
              That specific situation does sound icky--trainer "campaigning" at that level and earning 78s? Ummm... 'kay. For a super green horse or one with issues, or one needing its start in the ring, I don't have a problem with it. Keep in mind that said "issues" may not be apparent to the casual observer.

              My trainer showed a client's horse at Intro a few times last year (in her top hat no less), and I was scribing. She looked great and the horse behaved very well, so I could sort of tell the judge was like, "Why is she at this level...?" But the behind-the-scenes story is that the horse is uber hot, so she was starting out at Intro to be safe and give the horse a good experience. No one not "in the know" could have known her reasoning.

              Comment


              • #8
                My local organization separates Pros and Ammy's, so I don't run into that, but I do run into people showing Training Level for 3 years with the same horse and getting in the 70's consistently. Maybe time to move up? No worries, I plan to "lap" them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by fur ball View Post
                  I feel like competing against professionals in a dinky W/T class takes away any hope of placing well and/or obtaining a decent average for year-end awards.
                  Last time I checked, it was about the score and not the ribbon/placing/award. Unless the show wants to designate open and amateur classes, you will be placed in classes with professionals at any level. The best ride always receives the best score, and generally people pay professionals because they put in a better ride.

                  I guess I don't understand how the professional being in the class affects your ride OR score? Maybe you don't get a primary color ribbon, but the example you gave was that you were second to last anyway.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JCS View Post
                    That specific situation does sound icky--trainer "campaigning" at that level and earning 78s? Ummm... 'kay. For a super green horse or one with issues, or one needing its start in the ring, I don't have a problem with it. Keep in mind that said "issues" may not be apparent to the casual observer.

                    My trainer showed a client's horse at Intro a few times last year (in her top hat no less), and I was scribing. She looked great and the horse behaved very well, so I could sort of tell the judge was like, "Why is she at this level...?" But the behind-the-scenes story is that the horse is uber hot, so she was starting out at Intro to be safe and give the horse a good experience. No one not "in the know" could have known her reasoning.
                    Exactly this!
                    Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm a pro (although really just a hunter/jumper pro) and I did intro with a 4 year old VERY skittish type wb- the type that can come unglued in an instant. I only did intro with him at his first show though. Honestly, some babies need "easy" mileage to gain confidence.

                      However I do think it is silly to continue to show in intro once the horse is consistently doing well. Maybe you could request that they create an open intro division (separating the AA and JR) if it is that common of an occurrence.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
                        Last time I checked, it was about the score and not the ribbon/placing/award. Unless the show wants to designate open and amateur classes, you will be placed in classes with professionals at any level. The best ride always receives the best score, and generally people pay professionals because they put in a better ride.

                        I guess I don't understand how the professional being in the class affects your ride OR score? Maybe you don't get a primary color ribbon, but the example you gave was that you were second to last anyway.
                        This

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ok, so on the one hand the idea of a pro (as in real pro who also shows 2nd or above as opposed to the pro by default who breaks babies or teaches up-downers) actively campaigning at into is a little hinky. I'm not a big fan of intro in general anymore (for me), so I took greenie training 1 at first show because we can w/t/c without dying. So I'd probably think if trainer is campaigning she should do so at least at training.

                          On the other hand, OP doesn't know if or what issues horse might have at home that makes Intro the most viable option. Maybe horse becomes unglued in the transition to canter (been there done that), maybe horse is coming off injury and is Ok'd for trot work but not canter, maybe horse has an evil streak a mile wide and trainer doesn't have a death wish, maybe horse is just green and trainer made a game plan with owner of Xshows at intro to get horsey acclimated and then we move up.

                          When I was a teen we (trainer and several other students) took our horses to a local dressage show. Friend was set to ride Intro (which was only an Open class), but she got bucked off twice in warm up and was obviously freaked out. Trainer got on, friend went to secretary to switch the riders, and trainer rode said wanna-be rodeo horse to an 82% amidst much grumbling from other competitors. Just saying there is often a back story that you are not and do not need to be privy to.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            "Last time I checked, it was about the score and not the ribbon/placing/award. "

                            H57, Honestly, wouldn't it be nice to not have to tell ourselves that ?

                            I am more then happy to compete against people at my own level of training. I take issue with this individual because they have continuously entered the lowest level of competition available and continue to blow everyone else out of the water. To me, it isn't sportsmanlike.

                            Some of the responses here raise good points. There may be a training issue - I honestly don't know their reasoning behind entering intro with the pro on board. The horse seemed to be going beautifully from where I was sitting, they put in a lovely test. They have been collecting ribbons and the proud owner has been at every show.

                            Maybe I am being petty and selfish to think that it would have been nice to come in one place higher. So what if I am?

                            I did get a ribbon in the class, a pretty pink one. The judging was fair and I think my 62% was a fair assessment of how my horse and I rode the test.

                            The first place rider (pro) scored 16 point something % higher than I did in both tests...good for her.

                            I think will go see about that cheese now...
                            Last edited by fur ball; Jun. 13, 2011, 05:14 PM. Reason: i can type.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think it's super tacky for a pro to show Intro. Especially more than once.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by fur ball View Post
                                "
                                Maybe I am being petty and selfish to think that it would have been nice to come in one place higher. So what if I am?
                                OK. You have emboldened me to post my own whine.

                                I showed at an open, all-breed (not dressage) show a few weeks ago. It was a nice show, lots of folks, all different breeds of horses, and rail classes. Some friends of mine and I had decided to show in the Mae West/Jack Benny class because we ride different disciplines and never get to compete against each other. And, well, what the hell, it's a fun class.

                                A pro who'd just turned 40 took his best client horse (not a greenie -- horse was high point on this show circuit last year and had won a bunch at breed shows, too) and won the class. I don't usually get grumpy about this stuff, but come on. Don't you, Mr. Trainer, have anything better to do than ride a seasoned horse against a bunch of old biddies in a walk/trot class?

                                /whine

                                PS -- a pro riding Intro once or twice to put some miles on a horse is one thing. But a pro "campaigning" a horse at Intro is tacky.
                                __________________________
                                "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                the best day in ten years,
                                you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by fur ball View Post
                                  "Last time I checked, it was about the score and not the ribbon/placing/award. "

                                  H57, Honestly, wouldn't it be nice to not have to tell ourselves that ?
                                  No, because that's the whole POINT of the scoring system. Ribbons are pretty, sure. My point is - I'm more likely to brag about the 72% that earned me 3rd place than I am the 60% that got me a 1st. Score matters, ribbon is relative but looks nice on the wall.

                                  Now, get out there and ride to BEAT that 78%!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My current trainer just took her WB mare to a schooling show this spring and did all three Intro tests... she walked away with three blues. I'm sure many people weren't thrilled with that, but knowing this mare's backstory, that was what she needed at that point in her training. They bumped up to Training at the very next show, partially because that positive experience at Intro allowed this mare to progress and to be more prepared for the higher level next time out.

                                    If you aren't happy about being put in the same class with pros, then you should contact the show secretary, or just choose shows that separate pros and ammys for placing. When I was just starting out I frequented a schooling show series that separated the Intro classes in an interesting way: once you had won a blue ribbon at Intro at one of their shows, you were automatically in the Open class. I know that's not practical in all situations, but it worked out very well for them and it was quite nice to be able to take lesson kids on steady-eddie school horses and let them at least have a chance to earn a ribbon at their first show.
                                    "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

                                    Trolls be trollin'! -DH

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      It is about the score... at least, it should be. Also, remember that even though they are a "trainer", the horses they may be riding might not be ready for canter work. It may be a first show for the horse, or it might be a psycho-in-retraining. Who knows? Who cares? Worry about the score YOU receive, not the color of the ribbon.
                                      Creek Ridge Farm
                                      Trakehner Horses

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Our club has three Intro divisions: Novice Horse (Intro A and B only), Novice Rider (Intro A and B only) and Intro Open (which includes Intro C, division was added this year). Each division is eligible for year end awards separately. (Last year, Intro Open, before there was Into C, was NOT eligible for any YEA. When I brought out my spooky guy, my triner rode him in Novice Horse, and we did the open division, because I was SO over competing against other Intro riders. Gotta admit, tho, I still wish there had been a nice award for me!)

                                        Works out very well.

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