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Centerline scores and major disappointment

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  • Centerline scores and major disappointment

    After an invitation to a clinic, I looked up the clinician's show "credentials" on centerline score system - so not impressed, no scores from horses shown in past 8 yrs! Show record accumulated on 2 horses.
    Looked up her daughter (also trains with clinician and is a trainer herself) - no show results for 2yrs.

    Got curious - looked up a judge - known to be tough, teaches, has bred horses. You would guess super active person? Nope.
    One show on record, one horse 20! years ago. Not even breeding classes. Surely there should have been something in between?

    I looked up a number of other professionals and amateurs, what an eye opening experience that was!

    Rant over

    I realize there are riders of international fame and still showing, so it is relatively easy to see whether they are likely for you or not. I would not hold it against Edward Gal for having no scores on centerline.

    For the rest mere mortals...
    Do you/would you/how would you use show scores to help decide on a clinician?
    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

  • #2

    Is there more to this than you posted? As in, did the instructor allude to being some sort of super star in the show ring? Personally, I could care less if my trainer is showing. I care that she's helping me succeed with my riding. My guess would be that many super talented instructors and judges don't have the time to show. Doesn't mean they don't know what they're talking about.


    • #3
      Are you complaining about Centerline or judges/trainers ?
      ... _. ._ .._. .._


      • #4
        My favorite clinician is Roel Theunisson and he doesn't show.

        I think where centerline scores is brilliant is in looking up show records of sales horses.

        Centerline scores can be helpful for evaluating trainers, judges, but it does not tell the whole picture.


        • #5
          There are some great teachers out there that don't show

          or that aren't great in the showring, but they may have a very good eye and/or be great riders/trainers


          • #6
            I used to clinic with a trainer who also almost never showed. He wasn't wealthy and had a so-so GP horse who was super lazy, so his scores weren't great when he did show. I went to watch him ride a client's at a show once and he forgot the test and was eliminated. But I still really liked his lessons. Clinics should focus on one or two issues you need help with, so some are better clinicians than every-day trainers. A better measure would be to ask other people who have ridden with this person.

            Of course, now that you have outed him/her about the Centerline scores, you can't post a thread asking for feedback.

            Hi to Clusoe!!!
            Last edited by TheHorseProblem; Feb. 23, 2012, 10:21 PM.
            2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

            A helmet saved my life.


            • #7
              I got you, OP

              Yes, I know scores and shows arent everything, but I, too, am mildly obsessed with Centerline Scores. In general, when I look up people who have been less than friendly to me in my dressage travels, I walk away feeling a little smug. I have all green scores.

              I have also gone and looked @ horses I almost bought etc. Lies!! Glad I made the choices I did and glad I have it moving forward.

              Again - I do think a rider/trainer or horse can be good with no scores - even bad scores. Sh*t happens, but when folks say "horse successfuly competed 3rd level" and there's 1 score @ 45 . .. or similar for trainer . .. c'mon.


              • #8
                I wouldn't discount a clinician just because they no longer show, no matter how long it's been since they've ridden actively. I would be more interested in feedback from those who've ridden with them - and the students' scores. The fact that someone scored in the 80s at GP three days ago does not necessarily translate to them being a fabulous clinician - it comes so much easier to some that they find it hard to explain how they do it. The fact that a clinician hasn't scored in the 80s at GP three days ago doesn't mean they're not worth riding with.


                • #9
                  while i get that people need scores to help them evaluate things, what is this obsession with showing? since when does dressage = showing?

                  some of the absolute best trainers in the world don't compete (who do you think trains the horses for the riders?) .

                  instead i base my opinion on how people RIDE or TEACH.

                  altho, if i was looking to learn ringcraft i would look to an accomplished competitor.
                  Last edited by mbm; Feb. 23, 2012, 11:32 PM.


                  • #10
                    A lot of people used to show heavily and had scores, but that was before they started tracking all the scores in all the shows, in all the regions. They just aren't recorded. Kind of frustrating to think that people think that database is the font of all information. Especially when so many really good people showed before it was recorded and they will never have them up on the USDF site.

                    And I also agree that many really great trainers have not been the best riders in the ring. Yes, RD was able to do things in the ring, but it was ALWAYS a battle. He's always had horrible nerves and usually blows his tests. And there are other people who have issues and just give up on showing. Many have trained for years and can ride and teach--they just suck rotten eggs at showing.

                    Then there are some I know that just have horrific horse luck. Great riders, but no money and students with backyard horses. They get their hands on something and can really make it do more that people would have thought, but it's still not a HUGE mover or impressive horse and gets average scores. Maybe it's their own horse, maybe it's a horse in training. Many have horses that get going and then are injured or die. Really sucks. It sometimes comes down to luck, rather than talent, when it comes to showing.

                    With that said, there are a lot of braggarts that have never done a single thing. But you can usually sort that wheat from the chaff without a show database.
                    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                    • #11
                      I would trust Centerline Scores for a first pass, but want to confirm what I found there... In the case of a clinician or judge, especially an older one, you just may not find anything there as the record-keeping and transfer of records from paper to online gets worse as one goes back in time.

                      If I am riding in a clinic for feedback from some Big Name or another, I am more interested in his or her abilities as a teacher/trainer than his or her scores. OTOH if someone is advertising themselves as actively showing and training, I'd take it more seriously. Ask for names of their current students and look them up. I'd take it even more seriously if I was thinking of buying a horse; as someone said, "showed successfully at Third Level" means different things to different people.
                      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                      • #12
                        My trainer doesn't show, she is hands down the best trainer I've ever worked with.


                        • #13
                          There's no scores for Karl Mikolka (who has lived in the US since the late 60's) as well as other BNTs. Doesn't mean much to me.
                          Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


                          • #14
                            I understand your frustration. I think that quite a few (was going to say "a lot") of pro's have exaggerated their show experience and/or results. And now they're being found out!

                            For example, there is a lady I know who supposed had shown FEI on a couple of horses she brought along and GP on one. Ummm, nope. PSG with scores in low 50's on one horse. Kinda disappointing, especially when you have a horse you're trying to get to those levels. Not saying that it can't be done, but usually easier if you've actually been there. Plus, it's the whole honesty thing. Yes, there are some who are awesome teachers who haven't shown for whatever reason, but be honest about it.

                            Another local example, there's a lady I know who calls herself a trainer. Brags on FB all the time about her 3rd level horse who getting ready to show 4th, yada, yada. Well reality is that the horse has NEVER shown and she has a total of 4 scores from 8 years ago...2 at T4 and 2 First1. One score over 60. And she's slamming the GP rider who we are bringing in for clinics now. This rider had a 68 something average at GP last year. Really?

                            So, I love Centerline. It's a bit disappointing, and certainly an eye opener, but I'm so thankful for it!
                            Home of Sea Accounts xx
                            AHS/HV, ATA, GOV, RPSI, JC, AQHA, APHA, APtHA
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                            • #15
                              another thing that i have been thinking about lately is how expensive it is to show nowadays.... so i think more folks will be showing at schooling shows.... those scores (now) don't show up..... do they not count? what if it is a "recognized" schooling show?

                              i personally think we will see a big split in dressage - those that will show recognized shows and those that show schooling shows.... maybe schooling shows will need to track scores for centerline too ?


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                what if it is a "recognized" schooling show?
                                I'm not sure what a recognized schooling show is? Do you mean a CDS recognized show? Or a schooling show with an "r" or higher judge?

                                Centerline Scores makes no claims to cover schooling shows or any other non-USDF recognized shows. I don't think they SHOULD count schooling shows!

                                OP - did the clinician claim to be a current FEI rider? Some of the older trainers are no longer riding, but still have much to offer. Some don't have much of a show record, but are really good at working on certain aspects of training. And of course, as we are all learning, some do over-represent their accomplishments I know of someone in Nor-Cal who use to claim to be a Gold Medal rider - hasn't shown above Training Level. There are a few of those out there.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by cyriz's mom View Post
                                  I understand your frustration. I think that quite a few (was going to say "a lot") of pro's have exaggerated their show experience and/or results. And now they're being found out!
                                  What about those big name people who continue to say they are a member of a USEF Committee, and their name is not on the committee roster ? For at least the past year and half ?

                                  This was brought to the attention of national equestrian media after they did an article about said person, and had included the misinformation in their piece. Their response was that I should contact the person, as they simply published what was on said person's website, and didn't verify any of it.
                                  Last edited by Mardi; Feb. 24, 2012, 10:25 PM.


                                  • #18
                                    I don't really put much faith in the Centerline site - not that the scores aren't accurate, but that I find a lot of people putting far too much faith in the show record than true experience. My trainer doesn't have a lot of scores. Most of the scores she does have are young horses, tough horses, inexperienced horses that she took in the ring for clients while she was a working student.

                                    Now that she is on her own, and recently purchased a farm, there are no available funds to show her own horses. Other clients around here aren't necessarily ready to spend $500+ on one weekend with one horse.

                                    I wish they'd never put the site up. I think people are using it as a crutch and putting too much weight on show scores, passing over great teachers, due to stupid scores - one judge's opinion on one day, with a thousand variables.


                                    • #19
                                      For me, Centerlinescores has been enlightening to say the least. However, I agree that a clinician can still be extremely beneficial for learning, and not have shown in many years. Look at Linda Zang, Axel Steiner or Janet Foy for example. I think the really interesting aspect is all those clinicians claiming to be FEI riders and having never placed a hoof above 3rd level (and weren't all that successful to boot). I love centerlinescores for that reason. Since I am a competition rider and show a lot, it is important to me to choose a clinician that has actual experience IN the show arena or training horses up the levels.


                                      • #20
                                        Just a question: what do you all consider to be FEI?

                                        what if a trainer trained numerous horses to GP but never shows? what if trainer trained with well known master and never shows?

                                        what if trainer trained the horses others win on?

                                        if this person doesn't show at the FEI level they are not FEI trainers?

                                        i really think folks are putting way too much weight on these scores. while it is nice to be able to check on scores for those that say they got x score, those scores only are meaningful in the context of that show day.

                                        Heck, i have seen 70% rides that i think should of scored no higher than say high 50s - but they got a 70% so they must be great!

                                        all i can say is educate yourself, know what a well moving, happy horse looks like. know what it looks like for a horse to be learning , what proper training looks like etc.

                                        showing is only showing. it isnt training