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What do you hate about competitions?

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  • What do you hate about competitions?

    From the idea that judges are the problem...expand to what exactly do you not like about dressage shows?

    For me it is just an excuse for sun stroke without pleasure.

    My horses are trained and ridden by the trainer. I am going to see them compete...it is not even hard work for me. To see the 2 or 3 low level tests it is a whole day. I have no problem with the judges scoring...usually I find it completely representative...however we are usually shopping judges to get those who score more optimistically because the traininer is trying to qualify horses for year end competition or trying to get good scores for sale horses. The trainer knows the judges who dislike(even hate) a horse she shows...this is a very rigid mare who progresses through the levels tries very very hard but will never have a soft swinging back. Some judges accept that and score it in one area and some are ruthless about the fault in every exercise. She doesn't show that horse for that judge. She doesn't complain about the judge just doesn't show that horse.

    I wonder how lower levels are managed in Europe...group classes? just more rings?

    I would much rather spend my money with clinicians.

    I think that for me it is past time to think about the purpose of having a well broke horse...enjoying trail rides to the park...field rides. It is time maybe to start(or go back to) taking over the western saddle club shows idea...you can have a lot of group classes in half a day. Horsemanship, pleasure, equitation, conformation...busy half day. The second half is spent with games. When I was a kid our saddle club...The American Stirrup Club...did musical squares...egg and spoon, a steeple chase(nothing like seeing a dead head school horse win and stand for pictures with the look of eagles in his eyes) It was fun. Time that training dressage horses was as much about what fun you can have with a trained horse. PatO

  • #2
    I hate it that I can ride great while training but when I get to a competition I leave my brain somewhere east of Kansas. And make mistakes you just cannot believe.


    • #3
      LOL I must have been to shows where the weather was decent but I seem to only remember the miserable ones.

      Somewhere there is a video of me, red faced and dripping with sweat saying which tests I rode and the scores. At the end of the video Mr P asked if I had fun. I honestly had to say "NO".

      I never showed again
      I wasn't always a Smurf
      Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
      "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
      The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


      • #4
        I have shown in many disciplines (all english though).

        I can honestly say that I dislike dressage shows because I feel that they are not very friendly places to be. I love horse trials and jumper shows, everyone standing around and cheering for others as they go.

        Dressage shows for me consist of a few friends who help eachother out but everyone else seems very distant.

        Maybe that is just the introvert in me or maybe I'm too shy or something but that's what I like the least.


        • #5
          In Germany the lower level classes and young horse classes are run in groups. Much faster, fewer rings.
          RoseLane Sportponies
          Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
          Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
          Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion


          • #6
            Originally posted by mjhco View Post
            I hate it that I can ride great while training but when I get to a competition I leave my brain somewhere east of Kansas. And make mistakes you just cannot believe.
            Heh. BTDT!

            I do find horse trials/eventers to be SO much more friendly than dressage people. I don't even event (though I sometimes groom or volunteer) and the eventers are always nice to me. Dressage people seem to take things so seriously!

            If I was "highly competitive" and trying to get scores for year-end awards or a medal, I'd care more about which judge was in the booth, but I tend to give the judges the benefit of the doubt, especially at my low level. However, judges at schooling shows give a lot more feedback and will usually take the time to have a brief chat at the end of the test.
            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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


            • #7
              Organizers that can't keep their s%^&(schedules) together!
              A well run show is wonderful!

              Send the ride times out. Other than that check the day sheet every day--nothing much changes--- I'm good to go!

              If ride times change within 10-15minutes (that I am aware of), per day, because scratches happen. if I am ready to go to early if my horse is readyI will go early.
              The judge gets paid for her/his 8 hrs whether there is a horse in front of their eyes on or not. That is education time for the scribe, if there is not a horse in the arena!


              • #8
                Probably because we are in BFE and we are a small and close-knit group of people, most of the ammie riders here are pretty friendly at shows--some of the pros are an entirely different kettle of unintentionally exhibitionist and badly behaved fish but that merely serves to provide endless amusement for the the rest of us smurfs

                I would love it if we weren't always showing in the heat of the summer. It would be so nice if there were shows in September and October and I could get maybe one or two show pix a year when I was actually done up in my jacket and not puce, and about to throw up... But of course with the pressures of regional finals, that isn't going to happen.

                I do dislike a snarky secretary. Yes, of course, I missed that off my entry deliberately to make your life difficult. That's what I'm here for today, after all. (I remember the first show I entered, I'd made a hash of my entry. The secretary was so kind, and it made all the difference.)

                Apart from that, as long as the footing is good, and the judge is who I thought I was going to be riding in front of, and there's some shade, I'm fairly easy to please.


                • #9
                  Wow! I was at a good show this weekend and had a really great time. Licensed dressage show, friendly staff and volunteers, friendly competitors, friendly pros riding. Judging was using the range based on the scores post - and no complaints on the judging. Weather was really good - a little on the cool side which resulted in some fresh horses! A couple of hiccups here and there but nothing to go postal over.

                  I guess my only complaint for the whole weekend would be the whiny competitor who was eliminated for illegal equipment but then complained she didn't know it was illegal.... ummmm - you're showing above First Level - and although I believe everyone should know the rules from going down c-line at Intro on up, above First - yeah, you should know the rules.

                  I honestly think a lot of it is what you take to it - I've also made a conscious decision not to show in the super hot months because it's hard for me to breathe which makes me miserable. I also don't like to ask my horses to perform in the heat of the day. But that just makes my other experiences better, imo, because I've learned when and where to show (venues/mgmt I prefer) - which is part of enjoying the experience for me.
                  Originally posted by SmartAlex

                  Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by honeylips View Post
                    In Germany the lower level classes and young horse classes are run in groups. Much faster, fewer rings.
                    Just a quick question...what do you mean in groups? Like materiale classes here? how does that work?

                    i am just trying to picture 3 riders riding a dressage test (even lower level) at the same time in one ring?? Am I just being dense?? Wouldn't be the first time
                    Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:


                    • #11
                      yes - like materiale.
                      For the young horse classes - it is run like a rail class.
                      For the low level dressage tests the riders play "follow the leader" and ride the test pattern that way.
                      Many of their tests (thru about 2nd level) are also done sometimes in the short court.
                      RoseLane Sportponies
                      Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
                      Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
                      Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion


                      • #12
                        I hate people complaining about competitions and judging. Not understanding the rules. Not realizing that show secretaries actually don't work for free. Not realizing the level of financial commitment and services a recognized show requires and that those aren't free or cheap either. Not realizing that USDF doesn't actually run shows or make the rules for shows.
                        RoseLane Sportponies
                        Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
                        Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
                        Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion


                        • #13
                          I hate getting up at 4 am, no matter what the reason. Sure not doing it ever again for a .99 cent ribbon. Yawn.
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                          • #14
                            Oh, I'm so with you on that, EqTrainer!


                            • #15
                              I honestly hate the expense of showing.

                              I don't like many of the people. A woman tried to run off with my hose, which is taped up and marked, and when I said it was mine she got in my face and told me that "I needed to not complain about things given to me."? I stood up straight with all 5'11 of me, because I slouch and look quite shorter, and told her if she did not put the hose down and back off then there will be issues. Freaking nutty people out there.

                              Others are snarky. I was riding a 15.3 QH for one class and he was built well and looked like a mini WB when he was round and moving well. This was not that day at 55 degrees in the morning after 85 degrees the day before. He was a bit pissy and a women commented off her giant wb to her trainer that "at least she could beat that." I won that class with a 61%.

                              I hate the stress of showing. Sharing hotels, waking up early, not eating enough, and bad days make people not so nice.

                              If the show staff is nasty then I just smile but fill out my comment card accordingly. I also do not go back, which is fine with me as FL had more dressage shows then I can count, but I would like to always have a good experience.

                              At the end of the day it is not fun for me. I love dressage, but I miss having a nice gallop over some solid jumps to end my day and move me to my happy place.
                              I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.


                              • #16
                                The coats
                                The heat
                                Overhorsed riders posing danger to the rest of us.

                                Judges don't bother me. There are a few rude nutbags out there, but if they are truly inappropriate, report them! I'm paying for their opinion of my moment in time, if I don't value their opinion I don't ride for them. I want judges that give me scores I EARN. Like Janine Malone; if I scored a 65% with her I know I rode really well. Her 65 means more to me than another's 72.
                                chaque pas est fait ensemble


                                • #17
                                  Inconsistent judging, rude warm-ups, catty remarks.

                                  I work very hard as a trainer/rider to compliment where it is deserved, from warm-up ring to post ride. I teach all my students (not that they all remember during the stress of the moment) to tell the rider before them (as that rider is leaving the ring), "Nice ride," or "Well done." And to tell the rider after them to have a nice ride or good luck (which I don't like because it can be taken the wrong way.. lol).

                                  I have been known to search out a rider who had an unfortunate ride, but did well under the circumstances, and let them know that I thought they did great. Watched one lovely young rider last year on a beautiful horse do all she could during a complete equine mental shut down during her test. She was excused and came out of the ring in tears. I made my way from the stands over to where her coach was standing and told her that the young lady had nothing to be embarrassed about and that she is quite the rider. Her coach asked me to tell her, which I did. I think it brightened her day and her next test was spot on!

                                  That said, I have heard more snarky, back biting remark while standing around a dressage ring! Sometimes people are so "high school." I am the first to admit that I will critique a ride while watching with my students as a way of them developing an eye, but I try to do it quietly and without attitude.

                                  I think what I hate the most are those who come with little knowledge of what is required or expected, or who think they are "all that." I also dislike people either riding below their level (unless there is a reason they felt the need to back down) for the ribbons, scores, and points... and the people who ride beyond their own or their horse's ability.

                                  OK... one more dislike.... the cost of recognized shows. Most of my students stay on the schooling circuit to cut expenses. We can do 4 schooling shows with 3 classes each for the price of one recognized show with 2 classes at the local show facility. I think that's one reason attendance is going down. To spend $400 (including stabling and fees) at the local facility around the corner, literally, for two classes just doesn't seem right. And you are not allowed to work from your trailer or have a day stall!


                                  • #18
                                    A few more:

                                    -- white breeches (I just decided I don't care, I will NOT wear white breeches)
                                    -- heat in summer shows, and feeling pressure to wear my coat even when coats are waived. ditto stock ties on a hot day!
                                    -- any rude comments about a horse, a horse's tack, a rider, etc.
                                    -- rude crowded warm-ups. I actually have more trouble with UL riders who think they own the warm-up than with LL riders who are, like me, just trying to get themselves and their horses loosened up.

                                    (Also, per the last, when show management doesn't listen to one's complaints. At the most recent show a nearby farm brought their UL Lusitanos, including a couple of stallions. They weren't there to show, just to get their horses out and about. This was a schooling 2-phase show with lots of little kids on ponies. Yes, the riders had the Lusitanos well under control, but I *swear* they were trying to intimidate people, and "targeting" anyone with a nervous horse, especially a mare. Having a stallion doing a canter half-pass right at you, or passage-ing up your mare's butt, is NOT OK. I pretty much got blown off by show management when I complained.)
                                    Last edited by quietann; May. 2, 2012, 12:27 PM.
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Action42 View Post
                                      I have shown in many disciplines (all english though).

                                      I can honestly say that I dislike dressage shows because I feel that they are not very friendly places to be. I love horse trials and jumper shows, everyone standing around and cheering for others as they go.

                                      Dressage shows for me consist of a few friends who help eachother out but everyone else seems very distant.

                                      Maybe that is just the introvert in me or maybe I'm too shy or something but that's what I like the least.
                                      I have also ridden in many disciplines and I feel the exact opposite about the people. Dressage people are nice, welcoming and supportive - even those I do not know - where the hunter jumper group is not welcoming at all.

                                      The thing I hate the most is the "outfit" for shows. We are athletes, why not allow us to dress conservatively in short sleeves so that heat stroke is not a worry?!


                                      • #20
                                        What do I hate about going to shows?
                                        The hurry up and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and ...

                                        Going to shows is such a waste of time for how hurried you are getting all ready to show.