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intro level horses vs higher level horses using intro level as a warm up

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  • #21
    What Joid..whatever, I can't spell it is quite right. Horses who have shown a higher are not allowed to show 2 levels down.

    The OP's post was complaining about an u/l horse showing at intro. That's just not possible. Perhaps the OP considers Training or First is considered u/l? It IS when you're doing intro, I suppose...not to be glib. But in the OP's venue perhaps this is the issue?
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    • #22
      Agreed: an upper level rider riding an upper level horse INTRODUCTORY level as a warm up class without riding it HC is not a sportsman/sportswoman. I would not do this, I would not support friends who do this, and I would not patronize a professional who does this. Introductory level is for beginner riders to introduce them to the sport of dressage. It is no place for upper level riders on upper level horses to compete in.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by sid View Post
        What Joid..whatever, I can't spell it is quite right. Horses who have shown a higher are not allowed to show 2 levels down.

        The OP's post was complaining about an u/l horse showing at intro. That's just not possible. Perhaps the OP considers Training or First is considered u/l? It IS when you're doing intro, I suppose...not to be glib. But in the OP's venue perhaps this is the issue?

        Do you believe that a first level show rider should use an introductory class as a warm up? Have you used introductory level as a warm up for first level? Before making assumptions about the OP you may wish to consider asking her what she means by upper level riders.

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        • #24
          I'm not sure what is wrong with that if it is in the rules. .. U/L riders are only those that compete above that level in which we are competing.

          I did not to mean to be insensitive or rude. If one is riding at 4th, then I1 is consider u/l. If one is riding Training, one may deem 2nd to be "u/l".

          The OP made people like me think that FEI riders might be warming up in Intro (I consider u/l to be FEI)...had she described the actual test level that she was objecting to as "2 levels up", I would still have had the same response because calling "foul" when the rules are the rules -- and could not compete successfully.
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          • #25
            Originally posted by Arathita View Post
            Do you believe that a first level show rider should use an introductory class as a warm up? Have you used introductory level as a warm up for first level? Before making assumptions about the OP you may wish to consider asking her what she means by upper level riders.
            A rider showing in first level cannot also show in intro. A training level rider can legally warm-up in the intro division. Personally, I wouldn't do it unless the rider or horse needed the confidence boost- but if its legal, I could care less if others do.

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            • #26
              The nice thing about dressage is that you're riding for a score rather than a ribbon.

              I see people do an intro/training combo many times with a nervous rider or nervous horse. There can be value in taking the horse in the arena and not cantering and leaving if there's any concern about tension or brakes.

              However, showing intro "for points" is pretty silly to me. If it's your first time, sure, but accumulating points in a walk-trot class if you're capable of far more seems well, pointless, to me.

              And honestly, if you want to go accumulate ribbons/points, you can go in at 3rd and sometimes 2nd and ride unopposed.

              The rules say you can't show Intro/First. Perhaps it would be allowed at an unrecognized show, but it would definitely be tacky. And, for that matter, I think it would be useless as a warmup for upper level classes unless again, you're worried that you can't stop your horse at the canter. And if you can't stop at the canter, tests above training level are going to be extremely problematic.
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              • #27
                Most of the shows I have been to do not do the classes in order. So even if you were hoping to use an Intro class as a "warmup" for Training Level, you might end up with the Training Level class scheduled first!

                Also, the designations "amateur" and "professional" do not apply at Intro level - at licensed shows, all rides are classified as Open at Intro level.

                And you have to be careful riding HC at licensed shows - once a horse is shown HC, he/she cannot be shown again at that show for ribbons/points, even with another rider - the horse has to stay HC if shown again. (This prevents an HC ride from becoming a "warmup" ride for points later.)

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                  A rider showing in first level cannot also show in intro. A training level rider can legally warm-up in the intro division. Personally, I wouldn't do it unless the rider or horse needed the confidence boost- but if its legal, I could care less if others do.
                  Thank you for correcting me. Thank you yaya for correcting me regarding riding HC. I posted prior to consulting my rule book and apologize for that.

                  I do care what others do. The rules become needlessly complicated when people attempt to take advantage of loopholes as some have suggested here. A number of people have suggested it is "OK" for upper level riders to use introductory classes as a warm up class -despite the rules preventing one from doing so. Apparently, if it benefits the individual, it should be "OK" in their eyes. As a lifelong participant in sports and sponsor of sports I take sportsmanship and ethical behavior very seriously. It is sad when behavior has to be outlined to a "T" in order to prevent people from taking advantage for personal gain. I suspect I am in the minority opinion these days and I am willing to accept that.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
                    OK, sid and Equibrit,

                    Seriously? Intro? Walk-trot classes as a warm up? Have either of you ever entered these classes as a warm up with an upper level horse? I'm curious to know who on this thread has entered a class *several levels* lower than what you are showing as a *warmup*. To me, the sportsmanlike thing would be to enter the class HC - you know - because the ribbon shouldn't matter to a upper level competitor like it does to the truly lower level competitor... it's the score that counts, right?
                    Well said.
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                    • #30
                      You should really try to show only for yourself and your horse - nothing else really matters... otherwise, the higher you go up the levels, the more difficulty with fairness you might have. I regularly show with riders who bough an FEI horse and showing them in 3rd level in my class. and I'm happy that they are having fun and that they are out there supporting dressage.... as long as they are not snarky bitches who would laugh at riders on OTTBs and such...

                      Stay in the zone and think about what makes you happy: your horse and your riding experience... that's what is important to you, right?

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                      • #31
                        I want to add that I prefer to stay on the same level for 2 years in a row, but progress a level per year. This is how it works: showing 2nd level strong and wetting our feet in the 3rd level in the same year. Next year showing 3rd level strong and wetting our feet in 4th level. I do show at 2 different levels most of the time, like showing 3-3 and 4-1 at the same show. The only minus to that is that I never get enough scores to be considered for the Year End Awards (you need 8 scores = 16 shows = way too much shows)

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                        • #32
                          I wouldn't recommend the above. The horse should be doing the next higher level in his sleep at home before one shows at the given level. No feet wetting. Confirmed. In his sleep. I've never worked with anyone in 40 years who has recommended anything else - or stood by and ALLOWED anything else. The usual reaction to anything else is 'then get another trainer, I'm done with ya'.

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                          • #33
                            I know lots of people who do just what DA described. With their trainers' blessings.
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                            • #34
                              I guess it depends on the way one is using the words and what one means, but no, actually, I haven't ever worked with anyone who would encourage anyone to show at a given level unless they are doing rather well at the next level at that poiint. I guess some people have different priorities though - it's considered quite prestigious in some circles to move up a level, regardless of how it's done.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                                I wouldn't recommend the above. The horse should be doing the next higher level in his sleep at home before one shows at the given level. No feet wetting. Confirmed. In his sleep. I've never worked with anyone in 40 years who has recommended anything else - or stood by and ALLOWED anything else. The usual reaction to anything else is 'then get another trainer, I'm done with ya'.
                                What are you talking about, what she describes sounds totally reasonable.


                                The one thing I don't get is how 8 scores=16 shows.
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                                • #36
                                  I think the main problem here is that the OP doesn't quite "get" dressage yet and expected to conquer all on the first attempt. Expectations are a bitch !
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                                  • #37
                                    Actually most of the time the 'that's not fair!' accusations are a direct result of overdriven expectations coupled with coming home with the ribbon of the wrong color. You don't see anyone griping if they BEAT the 'upper level' rider in the intro class, LOL. Only when they don't.

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                                    • #38
                                      You could really go a long way in the unfairness campaign. What about the people who buy an UL horse and then decide they want to go back and get their bronze first? Or someone who wants their bronze and doesn't have a horse, so borrows someone else's GP schoolmaster.

                                      All of these things are perfectly legal and acceptible, and one should go into every class assuming that these things will happen and prepared to deal with it. At every level, there will be some people competing on horses who are schooled/capable of showing much higher levels. There is no "unwritten rule" of fairness that precludes it.

                                      Nor do I think there should be, to clarify that. Every person out there showing is on their own journey for their own reasons. Maybe if you asked them, you'd find out they had a really good reason for being in the class they are in rather than the one you think they should be in?

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                                      • #39
                                        I am one of the few that actually hear the OP. I don't like to see some riders repeatedly "taking candy from a baby". They have to look themselves in the mirror and if they like what they see, for whatever their reasons are, fine. But some people find the ribbon more important than the journey. I come from the school of thought that you push for the next level, although I was not a pure dressage rider.
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                                        • #40
                                          OP - People show for different reasons. Some for ribbons. Some for exposure. Some to demonstrate they've perfected certain things. Some to show their trainer they are "worthy". Some to show off their new horse. Some for learning....etc.

                                          There are no rules as to "intent" for showing, so fairness doesn't play a factor unless your intentions are for ribbons and placement in a class.

                                          I have a barn mate who continued to show at Intro even though her horse was getting mid 70s and could perform ALL of the training level requirements beautifully. From time to time one canter transition was a bit rough, but everything was there! Her issue is that she struggles with self esteem and is always concerned about "what others think", so doesn't want to show any "flaws" when she shows! Miserable way to live, but that's why she stayed at the Intro level. It makes moving/showing up the levels very challenging!

                                          I've shown at different levels for different reasons. I show because I LOVE the preparation, focus and attention to meticulous detail required to show. I look at it as learning and building my skill and relationship with the horse. Do I like to win? YOU BET! Do I love putting in a great ride? YOU BET! Most importantly, I love the challenge and the focus.

                                          I've shown "below" my level after bringing my 3rd level horse back from an injury that took 2.5 years to rehab. Why? Because he wasn't strong enough to do 3rd level - and may never be. AND because it's fun!

                                          So...you don't always know why a person shows at the level they are showing. It doesn't matter. Just go out there and focus on your ride!

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