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Dressage score of 23?

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  • #41
    This year in Ontario they seem to have moved to having just Open and "not-Open" divisions at our events (some of them don't split not-open into junior and senior either). There is also something in the rules somewhere that if a horse/rider combination complete 8 events (and it could be 8 events with no x-c penalties, but don't quote me on that!), they must either move up or move into the Open division. The Open division is also for riders who have competed two levels above the entered level in the past 2 years.
    I'd like the "not-open" split junior/senior, but otherwise it suits me fine. There was also talk this year about having a novice adult division at the PT 90 and below levels (our 3' and below; I think that's like US novice and below) for riders who had never competed above PT 90, but I don't think anything came of that.
    My personal whine about eventing dressage tests is seeing the fancy schoolmasters trucking along at -2 mph with their noses on their chests and getting good marks for that. At the lower levels, I'd much rather see the forward thinking horse and rider rewarded.

    Just my $0.02.
    Founder of the "I met a COTHer in a foreign country" clique!


    • #42
      Deltawave-- what a good idea and personally I think very fair.

      What I don't get is how can you still be proud of yourself and horse if you just keep blowing away the competition with little challenge.

      Question for others-- do you think that this system would be fair or desired? Or do you think noone cares enough?


      • #43
        Ditto - I think Deltawave's idea is great! Very similar to the "limit" divisions other disciplines have. Personally, I feel that it is much more fair - the up & comings and newbies have a division where they can excel, and once they've gained the requisite experience, they move into an "open" division. Much better than "amateur" and "open".

        The question is - how do people feel about having very experienced riders in a "rider" division (which is perfectly legal within the rules)? As LovetheDuns said - maybe it really isn't a big deal to most people. I too am interested to see how other people feel about this.

        I think it's wonderful that this discussion has been allowed to surface. I love hearing everyone else's ideas and opinions!


        • #44
          Just to clarify, the AEC did not offer "Rider" divisions.
          Click here before you buy.


          • #45
            I'm personally not bothered by division "professionals." I think they raise the bar and I think this is fair to the sport.

            No one tells me when it's time to ask for a promotion at work or move-up with a job. It's somewhat of a personal thing.

            When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


            • Original Poster

              Heck, I've been eventing for 20+ years but I work 40-50 hrs a week as a mechanical engineer. I've competed as high as Prelim. My current horse has done many Training events and has been eventing for five years but really doesn't have the speed or desire to make the time. With work the way it's been the last couple of years I've just decided to drop back to Novice and not stress out about it and go out and have a good time with my friends. I did three events this fall, had a great time, and even had one score in the 20s. But my poor horse literally gets drug out of the pasture at times to go to events. I guess I could be termed a "professional" Novice rider as I have much experience and usually score well. But I am on the other hand a true amateur with a full time, non horse related, job and riding can be inconsistent due to work, travel, etc. While I was competing this fall, I also had at least one trip out of town each week for one or more days. People may see me entered in Novice, recognize mine and my horse's name and think that I should be going training but if they lived my life day to day and saw how little chance I really get to ride sometimes and how hard it is to plan ahead, I think they would understand. We should not judge for others when they should move up as most of us don't know the whole story outside of what we see on the show grounds.
              -Painted Wings

              Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted


              • #47
                I agree with Robby...

                Also, i don't know about any of y'all but I event because it's fun. I mean sure it's great to get a ribbon, but I can say that I've been eventing for over 15 years,and this past year is the first season I've had a horse that was competitive. Like I said, it was nice, it was great to be able to qualify for the National Championship, but that's not why I do this. The feeling i get from doing better this time out than last is better than any ribbon i've yet to win.

                I do it because it's fun and I get to meet fabulous people and spend time with people who I consider amazing horsemen and good friends.
                Life Goes On


                • #48
                  LisaMarie - that's exactly how I feel! I love this sport because of the partnership I've built with my horse and all the wonderful people I've met. And bottom-line, it's just plain ole fun!

                  The question is not really about "moving up" because there are many reasons for a team not to be competing at the level people "think" it should be competing at. Been there, done that - had a mare that did fabulous at Novice and had many, many people pushing us to move up to Training, but she never had the heart for it and I almost lost my confidence by giving in to peer pressure, entering an event at Training, and having her pull some stunts that put me off eventing for almost a year.

                  I'm more interested in how the "rider" division is defined in people's minds. And in typical eventer fashion, ya'll are telling me as long as you've got lovely cross country courses staring at you, a good horse underneath you, and great friends to hang with, it's all good!

                  P.S. I'm editing my earlier post to make it more general, I'm worried it will seem too personal!


                  • #49
                    PaintedWings-- I think what Kelly, some others, and myself have tried to say is that just because you are doing well does not mean you should move up to Training or any other level.. BUT... why stay in a novice rider division just because you can?

                    I am not judging what is going on in someone else's life-- I am judging what is results.

                    If you consistently (and we are not even talking about a year or two) are winning and pinning high in novice rider (or hell even training rider divisions) what is the point? Why not joing a more challenging division where you are in effect riding against pros and generally equally as skilled riders as yourself in say an open division?

                    Robby-- I see your point in that it raises the bar in terms of competition but does it?

                    Though I personally think your metaphor of a job is not the best analogy.

                    How about this one? Two people each own a horse. One competes at recognized events at novice level with their horse Dobbin twice a month during the season and has been doing so for the past two years.

                    The other rider has never competed in a recognized event. That rider with her horse Mr. Ed has been to about 3 schooling jumper shows in the past season neither of the two has ever really ran a xc phase.

                    Both riders show up at a local schooling show with a division for Green Riders. Dobbin and his owner decide to make the show because it will be a nice little cheap outing to keep Dobbin in shape and occupied. Mr. Ed and his rider is taking their first chance jumping a real mini xc course in a show.

                    The association putting on the show states in the rulebook that beginning riders are anyone that has not shown at that level within that circuit for more than 18 months or hell two years. Both riders legitimately enter the division. The mini xc course for Mr. Ed and his rider are ridden pretty much for the first time. The xc course for the much more seasoned rider is dull and rather ordinary.

                    So... does this mean that that the level has been brought to a new level? I would hardly think so.. because quite frankly no matter how good a rider Mr, Ed's owner is chances are they will not have the same poise nor the experience that well schooled and competed Dobbin and his rider are.

                    How many of us have been to a schooling show where we see someone who is obviously so above the rest of the field in terms of experience and skill than everyone else-- not often times i would guess are people thinking.. wow he/she really showed them... most of the time people take a look at that person and think.. why in the world are you showing in that division?

                    Hell if it is okay why not have the O'connors or anyone else in the same division.. I mean if we are going to raise the bar.. let's raise the bar. Why even have a novice rider division if it is so important to raise the bar?

                    I don't care if someone is going to show in Novice their whole life.. heck I don't car eif someone wants to show in BN all their life either. I do think it is opportunitistic to not show at the appropriate level in that division. I think when divisions were thought of I can imagine they were not thought of with the thinking that a person is going to stay at that division for the rest of their lives so they probably did not anticipate that someone would still be riding novice rider (or even training rider) after 3 or more years.


                    • #50
                      I grew up in a time where everyone was in one pot (all the people showing the same levels) and one competed to do their (personal) best. As a junior I frequently kicked adults fannies because I worked and rode 10-13 hours a day on anything I could be allowed to ride. Is it about winning, or about riding well? The ever popular question I guess.
                      I.D.E.A. yoda


                      • #51
                        After some recent bad outings, I pulled out of my normal competition schedule to train, gasp..that thing we're supposed to do for YEARS before we ever compete. But now adays at the lowe levels, training has lost its emphasis and competitions are used for those schooling experiences. How many are actually schooling one level higher they are competing..and going CLEAN in practice too boot?

                        Man I'm riding anything right now, whether its over a fence or not..today's schedule was a mix of any and everything 17.3H perch,17H perch/tb,16.2H ID, 15.3H IDSH..Manny has the week off to help his strain. Some are green jumping, some are just green, but like you said..I'm riding anything I can. My riding has improved in the last 15 months due to this variety even. However I know my trainer has mentioned the 100s she rode while in apprenticeship...100s of different horses. Is it any wonder why we wannabes sit at the level we're at for years? not really.

                        So why are we competing before we have similar experiences? Oh..cause its fun! But I know the competitive spirit can carry one away from the core of training if you let it.

                        I think we all miss the opportunities to ride at a top event barn where we would see the whole training scale and the different horses and what different applications of foundamentals are applied. The people we admire have been riding 5-8 event horses a day forever (not just any horse they can find)..we can't expect our progress to be as good on one horse a day as sunlight and weather allows after work etc.

                        I do like the way the USEA restricts the leaderboard, for instance, and would like to see more award programs done like that. So once you move up two levels, you should be out of the running at the lower levels (prelim experience says no novice awards).

                        But for the person who has been at novice "forever", I don't see that they need to be put into the open division, they are still a novice rider..with much experience yes, but that's the nature of the lower levels.

                        As for dressage as an indicator of moving up...I don't believe the dressage is actually set correctly for this to be so. The amount of collection required to bring a galloping horse back to approach a prelim one stride skinny corner is similar to that needed to do a canter-walk-canter transition..that's 2nd level in regular dressage, 3rd level when done really well. The training level test we do is not a measurement of the ability to rate into a prelim fence of that nature...I know because I recently tried some of that on schooling and really became aware of the difference then.

                        But on the same token, it seems odd that the same horse that can jump that element with ease is the one not doing a good dressage test, which needs less collection and rating. But alas that is the science of riding a crotch rocket I'm sure.


                        • #52
                          slp2, Thank you for eloquently stating what I was trying to describe.


                          • #53
                            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lovetheduns:

                            Robby-- I see your point in that it raises the bar in terms of competition but does it?

                            Though I personally think your metaphor of a job is not the best analogy.


                            Of course it's not; how can a methaphor be an analogy?

                            As a working professional, I have taken jobs when I wasn't as qualified as I should've been to be immediately successful in the role. I was confident in my abilities, but the learning curve was steep.

                            When peers say to me, "there's a job at so-and-so that you should think about," I have to evaluate the criteria for performance and determine if it's a match and if I'm appropriate and willing to take on the task. While my peers can recommend all day, based on their perception of me as a professional, it's ultimately my decision as to whether or not I can successfully embrace the role.

                            Bottom line - it's my decision, not yours.

                            I don't care if you win the Novice Rider division with dressage scores of 14. As long as you're having fun, I say more power to you. As a competitor, I will still make every effort to beat you. But if I don't, I can go back to the barn knowing I gave it my best shot and that the quality of competition was truly top-tier.
                            When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


                            • #54
                              Ugh.. Robby... *lol* obviously I was way up past my bedtime!

                              I still think the job world is completely different-- though I think if we HAD to look at it I still think it applies to what I have been expressing.

                              When I was a recruiter-- noone I ever placed into a new perm job said... "I would like to be doing the same thing I have been doing for XYZ amount of time. I know my abilities at that type of job and I know I kick ass at it. I want to stay just like that exactly."

                              More often than not.... people wanted jobs where they still were comfortable but they were challenged a little more.

                              So... still if I think of it in those terms I still fail to see how can someone REALLY want to stay in a division where the majority of the time people in that division are not as experienced?

                              Kind of like I have an MBA, but damnit I know how to be a great secretary. I think I would like to be a secretary too! I can coast through my job--- work on my very personal best and voila!

                              Sad to say I know someone just like that-- but hey whatever floats your boat.

                              I do know someone that just showed in an event as Novice Rider. She trains very hard-- and this was her horse's first event.... Even then I did not have a problem with her doing novice rider.. because she was. She had not evented in almost a year.. and before then she had only evented sparingly at novice with a greenie so heck yeah she was rusty as hell and not as polished as others.

                              So.. the job thing to me is still a sign of moving up the levels.

                              Emphatically I must say I am not saying move up the levels in terms of novice to training to prelim.. but move up the level of rider ability.

                              Yeah in a fluffy bunny world people will compete against these types of people and say..

                              "Yeah I failed to pin again... but that is okay I gave it my best shot! I feel great. Wow I even almost did just as good as she did."

                              Erm.. yeah how long does that exactly last??? *laughs* Seriously. Does that last at the seventh event you go to and you keep seeing the same placings with the full knowledge that this person has been doing THE SAME novice rider division for more than 3 YEARS??

                              No.. please.. you are right in the beginning people will pat themselves on the back and say.. I did a great run.. but people start to get upset and then will not think the same when it is obvious that something else is occuring.

                              I actually do not mind the one pot.. if it is going to be one pot. And here is why... then EVERYONE is thrown into that one pot.

                              No lighter division for those that have never been above that particularly level, no division where you have the novice pros either. But I don't think that will fly as a rule.. I think people want the ability to show a reward for their training and particular skill within that level.

                              Of course IDEAYODA when you get to ride 10-13 hours a day with any horse that comes along the way.. then heck yeah I bet you can ride the pants off of anything and be sure to beat a working adult who is working 10 hours a day at their desk.

                              I have to admit.. very interesting discourse.

                              Bottom line - it's my decision, not yours.

                              I don't care if you win the Novice Rider division with dressage scores of 14. As long as you're having fun, I say more power to you. As a competitor, I will still make every effort to beat you. But if I don't, I can go back to the barn knowing I gave it my best shot and that the quality of competition was truly top-tier.[/QUOTE]


                              • #55
                                <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
                                Bottom line - it's my decision, not yours. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                To a point...the Novice Rider division already has restrictions placed upon it - if you've competed at Training Level more than two times within the past 2 years, you're ineligible. This provision allows Novice riders to move up to Training, but if it's not working out for horse/rider, they can move back down.

                                And I don't think it is about taking the decision out of the rider's hands and forcing them to do something they don't want to do. Structuring the rider division as more of a "limit" division is no different than splitting Novice into Amateur and Open - it is just another way to level the field of play.

                                Bottom-line, riding in a "Rider" or "Open" division is not about the ribbons because it's a toss-up which division will be more competitive. And it's not about "moving up," "taking on new tasks, or embracing a new role" since the competition is the same for both divisions. It is simply about being a good sportsman.

                                Edited to add - lovetheduns is doing a super job of saying what I'm trying to say!


                                • #56
                                  To address <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The association putting on the show states in the rulebook that beginning riders are anyone that has not shown at that level within that circuit for more than 18 months or hell two years. Both riders legitimately enter the division. The mini xc course for Mr. Ed and his rider are ridden pretty much for the first time. The xc course for the much more seasoned rider is dull and rather ordinary. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> some unrecognized events around here have a "first timers" division, split into "first time horse" (with the likes of me and my sister (*** rider) on brand new greenies) and "first time horse". If you are a first time rider on a first time horse, you can choose.

                                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                  • #57
                                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Hell if it is okay why not have the O'connors or anyone else in the same division.. I mean if we are going to raise the bar.. let's raise the bar. Why even have a novice rider division if it is so important to raise the bar? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Personally, I think it is "cool" to compete against the top riders. Especially since, when they are competing at "our" levels, they are on inexperienced horses. The lkast time i competed against Buck Davidson, for instance, we BOTH got eliminated on Cross country.

                                    But to be serious, it is a matter of judgement. You could have everyone in one division, or you could have 10 different divisions, divided any way you want (at BN, N and T). But it has to relate to the number of people entered, and their experience. You can't have a "first timers" divison if there is only one first timer entered. But if you have a critical mass o first timers (say 8-10), then go for it.

                                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                    • #58
                                      I thought we were talking about forcing people to move up, as was recommended on page 1 of this thread. That is what I refer to when I say "bottom line" and make the job comparison.

                                      What is wrong with the rider division? If I choose to show in that division, and am eligible, and someone else is eligible but better than me, that person can still be a competitive influencer and raise my game.

                                      You don't have to be a professional to be a good rider, or to inspire someone to ride and compete better.

                                      When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


                                      • #59
                                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KellyS:
                                        It is simply about being a good sportsman <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                        I don't think so.

                                        As long as I'm riding within my eligibility, and minding my own business while doing so, it's not up to others to determine when I should move up or when I should enter an Open Division. Let's leave the subjectivity of this sport to the dressage judges, please!

                                        While I am eligibile for the rider divisions, however, I choose to enter the horse divisions as my horse is eligibile as well.

                                        When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.


                                        • #60
                                          Well said Robby and I agree. I love to go to shows but not to compete - to have fun and to do my personal best with my horse.

                                          Placing is gravy for me but what counts more is that we finished all three phases and we get home safe and sound.

                                          Robby is right about not having to be a professional to be a good rider. Hard work and dedication is what it takes. To me my riding is the second job that I truly enjoy and have fun with. The only thing I focus on is my horse and myself at all times.