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Choosing what level to ride at.. update post #28......new thoughts.

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    It is your score and the judge's comments that count...the chips will land where they fall.
    Hang on, there should be chips?? darn it I'm missing out
    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

    "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

    Comment


    • #22
      I only do the occasional dressage show now, and only if it is held at my barn and it's a schooling show, because I don't even own a pair of tall boots anymore and I hate braiding .

      So for me, I show for the judge's feedback mainly, and I choose a test that is not too boring to me.

      Which means, I very rarely ride the same test. (As I said...I don't show often, lol!) Between straight dressage and USEA dressage, there are enough tests I can pick from. USDF Training level, USEA BN and N level...
      Our scores have been in the higher 60ies and lower 70ies.
      But I have seen a couple 1st level and above rides that made me go Hmmmm....Shrimp and I can do that...and on a good day, do better than this.

      So next time I think we will try 1st.
      Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by skydy View Post
        I am still very surprised that there are people who feel unable to canter but are actually "showing" a horse. Before they can canter.

        I may be misunderstanding.

        Are people riding the walk trot because they are showing a young horse or because they as a rider are unable to canter the horse?
        There is lady in our area in her mid-50s. She had a bad riding accident a few years ago and injured her back. Though she is perfectly capable of cantering she finds it uncomfortable physically and is terrified to do it outside her own ring at home. She has shown walk-trot for at least the past 3 years. She trains hard, works her ass off and gets better every year with the horse really now demonstrating strength behind and lightness of the forehand. She consistently scores in the mid-70s. Some people criticize her or talk about her behind her back, or get jealous when she wins all the awards but the way I see it she is trying to improve, just like the rest of us, and has just as much right to be there.

        At the other end of the spectrum we see lots of very novice riders in walk trot at the schooling show level who likely can't canter well enough in a show environment to be safe. Why shouldn't they show walk trot?

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by skydy View Post
          I am just (obviously) not up on today's show scene. I am older and out of the loop. I hope someone can understand why I can't help but be surprised by the difference in today's "show" world. Before "showing" a horse, the basics (WTC were considered VERY basic as far as rider ability) used to be covered at home during lessons.
          You can look at shows across the board and see that the minimum required capabilities have dropped. It's not just Dressage. H/J rings have cross rail classes (maybe even poles on the ground now?). Eventing has its own itty-bitty division.

          The reality is that the people who fill these lower levels, for whatever reason they have, are a big money maker for the shows. It's not "showing" as it used to be, but I'm not sure that many shows would still be around if people in the itty bitty divisions were not subsidizing the other levels.

          And keep in mind that just because someone is showing walk/trot doesn't mean they have never cantered or would not be able to handle the horse cantering at the show. Not wanting to is not the same thing as not being able to, and even "not being able to on a regular basis" for physical reasons is not the same thing as "not able to control a short and unexpected canter."

          I get where you are coming from--I always swore I would never, ever show W/T probably for many of the same reasons it seems like a strange thing to you, and then I ended up showing W/T on my gelding anyway, the first year he was under saddle. There were reasons, and it helped a great deal. I'm glad the option was there and that I got over my opinion on W/T enough to take advantage of it. It might not have been anywhere near the levels I showed at previously but you know... we had fun and accomplished some things anyway.
          She Gets Lost

          Comment


          • #25
            Thank you for the explanations.

            I understand taking a green horse out to walk/trot. I really do...

            I understand from reading this forum that people can become so terrified of falling from a horse that they are afraid to canter. I can only imagine how that feels, but I understand that it happens.

            What I don't understand is why anyone who is so frightened of riding and the risk that it entails that they are actually afraid to canter, would be "showing" a horse.

            Everyone has areas that need work. I always thought that HOME, or at whatever barn you keep your horse (and hopefully your trainers whom you pay to teach you to WTC) was the place to work through the basics. THEN once you have mastered them (the basics, the very minimum) you have something to "show" in the "show" ring.

            I guess I don't understand why anyone would feel a need to ride in public when they are too frightened to canter. Of course it certainly is hard work to overcome fear.

            Do it, and then by all means go and show the world what you've done but wouldn't you want to achieve that milestone at home? To do it there first? We're talking WTC...

            A Horse Show is just that, showing the Horse. Not one's self. I just don't understand. Obviously.

            This is really not a big problem. If people want to walk trot in public to show the world that they can walk and trot well, then more power to them.

            I just don't get it.

            Comment


            • #26
              For the same reason people join neighborhood basketball leagues even if they can't jog up and down the court without huffing and puffing a bit: because it's a fun day/weekend out with the friends, and because the little bit of friendly competition gives the event a bit of a fun edge that you don't get from just trailering out to a new location.

              Not everyone wants to make it to the NBA. They don't even all want to make it to the city leagues. They just want to jog up and down the court a bit and have fun doing it, even if they can't shoot a basket to save their life and know their team is never going to be taken seriously by people on the city league/NBA path.
              She Gets Lost

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by skydy View Post
                ...

                A Horse Show is just that, showing the Horse. Not one's self. I just don't understand. Obviously.

                This is really not a big problem. If people want to walk trot in public to show the world that they can walk and trot well, then more power to them.

                I just don't get it.
                I think that for these types of riders, the horse show is not about "showing" off the horse, so much as the show has other meanings to the rider. It's a fun day away from the farm, it's relationship building with your horse, it's a bit like a gymkhana (fun and games) activity. And probably, they do see the horse show as more about showing off their (rider's) progress, rather than the horse's progress.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  This is an interesting read for me now...

                  At the end of last season I was a solid First Level, dabbling in second with my mare..

                  This season? Well in the off season I got a new knee and a knee horse, and was confidently looking forward to competing my nice 2nd Level horse at 2nd Level. OH HOW WRONG YOU CAN BE...

                  Life gets in the way, seems I lost a lot of fitness after the surgery, and then ending up with some, as yet undiagnosed, breathing issues, means that I’m really struggling to get back to where I was, and yes it is both a mental and physical challenge.

                  First show, walk trot, and Basic (training level) rocked it, thought I was going to rule the world.

                  OH HOW WRONG CAN YOU BE?

                  After that first show we started working at moving up, and somehow lost it all, especially the canter, because he is so big and long striding, and I got tense, so he got tense, and we got into to a couple of pulling matches, and lost confidence in each other.

                  I’m now back to doing walk trots with him, and looking to re introduce the canter once I get everything nailed. Yesterday I had jokingly said “maybe it’s time to take up knitting” because this is HARD. I spent a lesson last week just walking, and a couple of trots round a 20m circle, looking at making perfect circles, both with my geometry, and keeping him correctly bent. Now I see that I have been encouraged to move up, when maybe I needed to actually get those foundations more solid.

                  This year is about trying to get great scores in Intro (walk trot) and really a solid foundation with this boy, and it is really fun, it’s all about the journey.
                  "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                  "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by skydy View Post
                    Thank you for the explanations.

                    I understand taking a green horse out to walk/trot. I really do...

                    I understand from reading this forum that people can become so terrified of falling from a horse that they are afraid to canter. I can only imagine how that feels, but I understand that it happens.

                    What I don't understand is why anyone who is so frightened of riding and the risk that it entails that they are actually afraid to canter, would be "showing" a horse.

                    Everyone has areas that need work. I always thought that HOME, or at whatever barn you keep your horse (and hopefully your trainers whom you pay to teach you to WTC) was the place to work through the basics. THEN once you have mastered them (the basics, the very minimum) you have something to "show" in the "show" ring.

                    I guess I don't understand why anyone would feel a need to ride in public when they are too frightened to canter. Of course it certainly is hard work to overcome fear.

                    Do it, and then by all means go and show the world what you've done but wouldn't you want to achieve that milestone at home? To do it there first? We're talking WTC...

                    A Horse Show is just that, showing the Horse. Not one's self. I just don't understand. Obviously.

                    This is really not a big problem. If people want to walk trot in public to show the world that they can walk and trot well, then more power to them.

                    I just don't get it.
                    You don’t have to get it, and you don’t have to do it. But you should perhaps just accept that there others who want to.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Yep life can get In the way. Three years ago I was hoping to ride First Level... tried a schooling show, I was shocked that after not showing for 30 years and previously brave... gone. I am now a timid old woman.then my horse had a pasture accident. Eight months later we tried an Intro test, W-T. I was embarrassed, never had EVER done something like that. Heck, last time I showed there was only W-T if you were 12 and under. Another rider in the class had just bought a new horse after her old horse had bucked her off and injured himself. She had bought a Second Level horse and there she was in Intro, just like me.

                      After that show we completed the horses rehab and ended the year in Training Level, next year did First. Then we had a rough winter, with some NQR issues with the horse. So we missed a couple months of work. Are we ready to show Second Level? No, not really, but I know that I have enough show tension that if I wait for the horse to be ready I will miss getting ME used to even thinking about showing Second. So we go to schooling shows at Second Level. The horse is “close”... we can “do” everything in lessons. With constant supervision we are improving. The best thing is that I have found a series of combined test schooling shows where iif you ride ‘dressage only’ you don’t get a ribbon, which is fine by me. I just want the comments so I can see what I need to work on. The best comment was that I had the movements but no FLOW. That is nerves. When I ride First there are no nerves... so we keep going (with the blessing of my sports psychologist and coach).
                      Last edited by Rerider54; Jul. 27, 2019, 04:11 PM. Reason: Spell check

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Daisyesq View Post

                        I think that for these types of riders, the horse show is not about "showing" off the horse, so much as the show has other meanings to the rider. It's a fun day away from the farm, it's relationship building with your horse, it's a bit like a gymkhana (fun and games) activity. And probably, they do see the horse show as more about showing off their (rider's) progress, rather than the horse's progress.
                        I guess that makes sense, to look at it as just a fun day out with your horse.

                        Times change and I suppose it should be good news enough, that people are still interested in riding and competing at any level.

                        Good luck OP. It sounds as if you've had a very challenging year. Your patience and persistence do you credit.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          When I got back into showing after a 5 year hiatus in 2017, I totally started back at Intro A... with my instructor there to “coach” me walk-trotting.

                          But in all seriousness, my confidence with my horse was shattered and I needed to rebuild it piece by piece. I had a hard time swallowing that pill, but the older I get, the more I’m realizing it’s okay. Not everyone has the same path.

                          I have a good friend who is quite a bit older than myself. She took an even longer hiatus from riding, and had some really unrealistic expectations about her current abilities when she returned to the sport. We had a chat the other night and she told me she decided to quit riding once and for all and that it didn’t give her joy anymore. The more I talked to her, the more I realized her decision to quit was linked to the struggle with starting over. In her mind, she’s still a 4th level rider. Over 10 years out of the saddle and nearing retirement age, she seems frustrated and insulted that her instructor had her riding a beginner schoolie week after week in her return instead of putting her on an upper level show horse immediately. It’s fine if she doesn’t want to ride, but I hate to think it’s because of the contrived expectations we place on ourselves.
                          Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Around here the W/T tests are for horse or rider in their first or second calendar year of showing. Anyone else could ride a W/T test in the choose your own test class - which prevents anyone new grumping about the person who's been doing W/T forever winning all the year end awards. It's a good arrangement.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I’d be very concern that a horse would go from 2d to suddenly having trouble cantering. Make sure that that « pissing contest - tug of war » you had wasn’t caused by an underlying problem. A horse that goes from round to strong/long/hollow/unable to sit can mean pain (really light soft tissus injury, SI or stiffle joint problems...)

                              Originally posted by KBC View Post
                              I’m now back to doing walk trots with him, and looking to re introduce the canter once I get everything nailed. Yesterday I had jokingly said “maybe it’s time to take up knitting” because this is HARD. I spent a lesson last week just walking, and a couple of trots round a 20m circle, looking at making perfect circles, both with my geometry, and keeping him correctly bent. Now I see that I have been encouraged to move up, when maybe I needed to actually get those foundations more solid.
                              And if this is how you are being taught, I would seek help elsewhere.

                              You shouldn’t wait to have everything nailed before cantering.
                              Cantering help with whatever else you need to practice.

                              I don’t see the point in spending a lesson on walking and making perfect circles... To me, it’s pointless.

                              Good geometry and correct bend come from, if you follow the training pyramid, establishing a good rhythm, suppleness and having a clear connection.
                              With more impulsion, circles will be easy to do.

                              That’s what you should be working on, because that’s the basics. You need to work on your horse’s rhythm, connection and suppleness.

                              You need to improve your aids, your half halt and your ability to get your horse through.
                              ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                              Originally posted by LauraKY
                              I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                              HORSING mobile training app

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                alibi_18 Thanks for your concern about his well being, he does not have any health issues, he DOES have me, I am his current handicap. How do I know? Because I have had my trainer ride him, and he was fine, after a few battles.

                                I really enjoyed the ‘circle’ lesson, it made me realize how many things I have missed before, I’m a slow study it seems.

                                There were two reasons for that lesson I figure, one to really hammer home the geometry, and how to use way points to improve it, thought I had it, seems I didn’t. Second, by giving me mire to
                                think about it saved me concentrating so
                                much on one thing, lol, that probably means nothing to you, but makes sense to me.

                                See without seeing me ride, understanding what my issues are, I find it incredible that you can tell what works for me!
                                "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                                "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I literally cannot stress rider fitness enough. I remember when I went from riding my appy in the hunters and then jumpers to my TB when I began eventing. I realized I had a young fit TB, we both wanted to event, so I hit the gym even harder. So really hold yourself to the same expectations of your horse. The stronger and more fit you are in the saddle, the more your confidence should rise. Of course you don't have to go out tomorrow and run a marathon, but just keep at it.

                                  My horse and I have the ability to do well at competion and move up the levels, but he hurts himself non stop doing Lord knows what, so here we are starting back at the walk to regain fitness for him and see how everything is healing. He hears the word "lesson" "clinic" "show" and runs out to pull a shoe, bang his leg, have an allergy flare up, or whatever. But then I thought to myself, I don't have to compete. I don't even have to ride. It took some of the pressure off, but I still feel like he is wasting his youth.

                                  But my point is, you don't have to compete. Or be at a certain level. It is fine to take your time and focus in on what needs work. Your not a pro that is making money off of this, so it is ok to step back. Even if a horse is the school master type, it can still take awhile to form a proper partnership.

                                  I used to hyper focus in the jumper ring, so I began quietly reciting times tables while on course. I rode awesome rounds because I wasn't so hyper focused! So I can understand that a bit.

                                  How much time are you spending in the saddle? Typically TB's like to work. Also, for some riders they can maintain off of a few days per week, others need a solid 5 to keep up confidence, ability, connection with the horse etc.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by skydy View Post
                                    What I don't understand is why anyone who is so frightened of riding and the risk that it entails that they are actually afraid to canter, would be "showing" a horse.

                                    I guess I don't understand why anyone would feel a need to ride in public when they are too frightened to canter. Of course it certainly is hard work to overcome fear.
                                    Not me but a good friend. She shows because by stretching herself it makes what she finds difficult easier. If she can show at what she finds easy (walk/trot), then it gives her confidence to do what she finds difficult (canter) at home. Showing has its own set of challenges and by overcoming them, it gives confidence in other areas. At least that's how I understand it.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by xQHDQ View Post

                                      Not me but a good friend. She shows because by stretching herself it makes what she finds difficult easier. If she can show at what she finds easy (walk/trot), then it gives her confidence to do what she finds difficult (canter) at home. Showing has its own set of challenges and by overcoming them, it gives confidence in other areas. At least that's how I understand it.
                                      This seems like an unsafe way to approach things. It’s one thing to find say, half pass difficult but someone who finds a basic gait difficult is probably not an accomplished enough rider to be showing, where lots of things can happen and other people’s safety is also at risk.
                                      Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                      you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        I was given some tough advice that was really hard to hear. If you can't lose weight and get your fitness back enough to ride 30-40 minutes of posting trot, sell your darn horse. It's not fair to that lovely youngster, you flopping all over him...

                                        I was absolutely crushed to hear the obvious, I went home and cried.

                                        It's now been a year since my "awakening" I've lost 40 pounds and gained good fitness. I really needed that rude-ish push to succeed with my horse & he is definitely worth it!

                                        Everyone needs to follow their own path, but some of us need that hard push down it.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by KBC View Post
                                          alibi_18 Thanks for your concern about his well being, he does not have any health issues, he DOES have me, I am his current handicap. How do I know? Because I have had my trainer ride him, and he was fine, after a few battles.
                                          And to me, there shouldn’t need any « battles ».
                                          Fighting with the horse is not proper riding.

                                          You know why we don’t see good upper level riders/trainers fighting or read about this in any training books? Because it doesn’t work.

                                          Choice of words is really important.

                                          But I’m glad you checked that your horse is pain free.
                                          A lot of fighting originate from pain and misunderstanding.

                                          I really enjoyed the ‘circle’ lesson, it made me realize how many things I have missed before, I’m a slow study it seems.

                                          There were two reasons for that lesson I figure, one to really hammer home the geometry, and how to use way points to improve it, thought I had it, seems I didn’t. Second, by giving me more to
                                          think about it saved me concentrating so
                                          much on one thing, lol, that probably means nothing to you, but makes sense to me.
                                          I’m sure you enjoyed your lesson.

                                          Do you believe you are the only rider who’s been through that? I clearly understand whatever you are saying.
                                          We’ve all been there.

                                          You should have had you trainer tell you the reason for each lesson you take. Figuring out on yourself is good, but having your trainer explain her/his training philosophy and reasoning is better.
                                          That’s what you are paying for.

                                          I don’t believe you are a slow student... I believe your trainers never took the time to explain to you how things should progress and why you were doing X and Y at each level.

                                          See without seeing me ride, understanding what my issues are, I find it incredible that you can tell what works for me!
                                          Your issues are the same as everyone else.

                                          I’ve seen countless of lessons like the one you just have and while the riders get all excited about whatever they seem to grasp out of it, it’s just not that helpful in the long run.

                                          Doing circles for an hour is not a good training technique for any horse.

                                          And you shouldn’t be focusing on movements but more on the quality of your riding and the gaits you get.
                                          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                          Originally posted by LauraKY
                                          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                          HORSING mobile training app

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