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Should Training Level Freestyles Be Allowed?

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  • Should Training Level Freestyles Be Allowed?

    Should the USDF permit Training Level freestyles? If so, why?
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

  • #2
    No!!!

    I can think of a number of reasons why not.
    Time, quality of riding, quality of music, etc. etc.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

    Comment


    • #3
      Check with USPC.
      Anne
      -------
      "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

      Comment


      • #4
        No!!! It's bad enough to have intro classes.
        If you think a first level freestyle is moderately boring, just think how much more boring a training level freestyle would be.

        Is that a 20 meter circle or an 20 meter square to music?
        What was that working trot or jog?

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes - at schooling shows

          I showed my older horse in a training level freestyle (USPC) and it was a blast. And they don't take long

          Becky
          Becky & Red
          In Loving Memory of Gabriel, 1998-2005 and Raalph, 1977-2013

          Comment


          • #6
            We have TL freestyles at our schooling shows (using the PC test) - they're a blast and while not the most creative, the riders and spectators seem to enjoy them.

            At Recognized - well, its a good warm-up for First Level and with the qualifying score being adequate (say at least 68% at TL4) - then hopefully you'll get circles and working trot instead of squares and jogging. Gotta love that attitude of encouragement from some!!! Who says this sport is elitist!!!!

            Seriously - what's the diff - if people are willing to pay to show in it - I say go for it (but I'm something of a bottom line person when it comes to running shows!).
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              No.
              Because I'd rather be in my kitchen watching the walls dry.
              And because at our oversubscribed shows, people riding the FEI levels sometimes don't get in because of the plethora of TL tests.
              "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

              Comment


              • #8
                No.
                Because I'd rather be in my kitchen watching the walls dry.
                And because at our oversubscribed shows, people riding the FEI levels sometimes don't get in because of the plethora of TL tests.
                NO. I agree with the above reason. I like Freestyles, but I do find the music annoying when I am warming up or riding a test.

                Comment


                • #9
                  NO. For all the reasons stated above.
                  "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jcotton View Post
                    No!!! It's bad enough to have intro classes.
                    If you think a first level freestyle is moderately boring, just think how much more boring a training level freestyle would be.

                    Is that a 20 meter circle or an 20 meter square to music?
                    What was that working trot or jog?
                    Wow, I didn't think that the purpose of dressage shows was to be exciting and thrilling for the audience. If that's the case, then I guess I'll just wait to show until my horse and I have reached 4th level, because God forbid, I don't want to bore anyone. Frankly, if I don't like someone's test, I don't watch it. There are plenty of other tests to watch at a recognized show and insofar as if it's a 20 meter circle vs. a 20 meter square, well, I'd think that people would be a little bit more compassionate since we've all had to start somewhere. But I guess a lot of people seem to forget that.
                    "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Why not?

                      At their October rated show my barn is hosting a division called the Northeast Regional Amateur Dressage Champioships that not only allows but encourages Training level FS's. Check it out at www.mysticvalleyhuntclub.com, under the showing tab labeled NRADC.
                      We're offereing a beautiful new ring dedicated to the division, nice prizes and big ribbons. Judging from the interest and buzz created I think there's quite a market for this. There's even a schooling show on the Friday before where you can "practice" your test and FS. The division is not recognized, but it gives the LL riders a chance to try out their FS in a show atmosphere. Hopefully, show/divisions similiar to this will encourage more people to think about doing a FS. That will broaden the base of the sport and can only help it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow, I didn't think that the purpose of dressage shows was to be exciting and thrilling for the audience. If that's the case, then I guess I'll just wait to show until my horse and I have reached 4th level, because God forbid, I don't want to bore anyone.
                        Well, actually, all those TL tests can be QUITE entertaining at times. But not usually for their "dressage" work.

                        And in all forms of "shows", as the song says:

                        "If there's no audience, there ain't no show"

                        We do need to strike a balance between those kindergarten dressage tests and the ones where one can actually learn something about dressage and where one can aim for. I went to watch a recognized dressage show at the town's largest venue yesterday. 60 tests:
                        1 PSG test.
                        2 third level tests.
                        11 second
                        15 first level
                        27 TL and 4 walk trot tests

                        Yawn. I stayed to watch the one PSG test and left. Thank god they don't offer TL and WT freestyles. Because the first level freestyles were a big yawn too.

                        I met 3 or 4 other 3rd/4th/PSG riders who said even though they had sent their entries in on time, they arrived after the TL's, so they could not show.

                        I'm all for supporting the lower levels. But we need to allow our more experienced riders to exhibit too and there is only so much time in day.
                        "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          All those lower level rides help support the show financially. Otherwise, there would be no show. Any sport is like that-- very few are at the top level.
                          Who rides the tiger cannot dismount

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by see u at x View Post
                            Wow, I didn't think that the purpose of dressage shows was to be exciting and thrilling for the audience. If that's the case, then I guess I'll just wait to show until my horse and I have reached 4th level, because God forbid, I don't want to bore anyone. Frankly, if I don't like someone's test, I don't watch it. There are plenty of other tests to watch at a recognized show and insofar as if it's a 20 meter circle vs. a 20 meter square, well, I'd think that people would be a little bit more compassionate since we've all had to start somewhere. But I guess a lot of people seem to forget that.
                            WOW ain't that the truth...

                            Personally I think that there are people out there who enjoy lower level riding and if they would like to do a freestyle at training level they should be able to. Dressage should be open for everyone not just the people who do higher level freestyles.
                            Confessions of a Backyard Dressage Queen

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Why is that such a bad thing?

                              Just reading the last post, made it even clearer why the LL's need support. There's more of us! And we are the volunteers, when we can't afford to ride or our one horse is laid up. Without us, there would be a problem staffing shows. Didn't someone mention in an previous thread what the statistics are regarding the number of riders in each level? If I recall correctly and every show I've been too, supports this, the LL's are filled and the upper level rides that we all love to watch are undersubscribed. What a strange world the horse show venue is? Any other business model seems to encourage and support the "customer" at the entry level. It's how they grow and survive. I fear for our future if we become so elitest that we show distain for the lower levels.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Dressage62 View Post
                                All those lower level rides help support the show financially. Otherwise, there would be no show. Any sport is like that-- very few are at the top level.
                                If we did NOT have waitlists of 20 riders, most of whom are riding above first level, I could agree with you. However, the current show committee are all into "first come first serve" as determined by postmark and many of us have actually given up paying our dues because our post boxes aren't as fast as others. I entered 5 shows the last year I was trying to show and got accepted to one. My entries were all mailed the day that entries opened, yet arrived a few days later than the people who did get in. And don't tell me to run my own shows. I did that, I've paid my dues, as an executive, multiple times show chair and regional director over 15 years. One cannot run a show and also show in it. A little payback for all my volunteer hours would be nice.

                                There needs to be a balance, at least in our region. Allow the higher level tests first serve, and fit in as many lower level tests as will follow. The FEI levels pay much higher entry fees, so they are actually a bigger money maker for the shows than all those baby tests.
                                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think that you have to draw a line between entertainment and dressage. We also have freestyles to music starting at B(eginners) level, but they are only for entertainment and mostly judge by the townmajor and his wife.

                                  When it comes down to the serious work we start at Z-level (level 3 in the USA). For these FTM competitions we even have special educated FTM-judges. To the experienced dressage eyes these Z-level FTM's are much nicer to watch as the "around the BBQ" rides, but not everyone is educated in dressage .


                                  Theo

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Absolutely they should be allowed! We need to support the lower level riders - dressage already has a rep as being for the rich and privileged, the more we can do to open it up to everyone, the better!

                                    Are lower level freestyles boring? Not to those who are competing in them - let's face it, if you aren't personally invested in a rider or horse, most dressage from Intro through 4th level isn't "exciting". And honestly, a mid-quality PSG test isn't all that exciting either Dressage isn't about exciting, you want action, move to jumpers or team penning

                                    Why not give the Training Level people something FUN to work on? By the way, I've judged at schooling shows where some of the USPC riders came to practice their lower level freestyles, and they were FUN! Not exciting, but cute, upbeat, entertaining. Music actually makes everything either much better or much worse - why not reward the riders who can make it much better?

                                    Of course, I also vote for dropping some of the dress rules for freestyles -allow some color and some fun to match the music
                                    www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                                    Director, WTF Registry

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Oh Oh Oh

                                      Have I got a solution then for those who find LLs boring....

                                      Let's run separate shows - one just for LLs and one for say 4th & above.

                                      Let's see which one is better staffed, more profitable and has more spectators.....
                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by CatOnLap View Post
                                        There needs to be a balance, at least in our region. Allow the higher level tests first serve, and fit in as many lower level tests as will follow. The FEI levels pay much higher entry fees, so they are actually a bigger money maker for the shows than all those baby tests.

                                        Where in the heck are you??
                                        Here in Maryland, the lower levels (as far as I can tell) are what support the shows to make a profit (or at least break even)....our few FEI riders are very careful what shows they do, and definately go out of their way to avoid judges who consistently give them low scores.
                                        Who rides the tiger cannot dismount

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