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One * riders and XC...how do we teach them horsemanship?

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  • One * riders and XC...how do we teach them horsemanship?

    We are failing our new * riders when teaching them horsemanship.

    Last year at the USEA meeting, one of the discussions in the Professional Horseman's Council was in reference to the * riders not knowing what to do/who to bring/how to get ready for the end of XC.

    Last weekend I was able to watch all of the ** and * riders come through the finish flags on XC.

    MOST of the ** riders had a groom or 2 waiting, with halter in hand, helping the rider to dismount for the initial vet inspection (P,T, R, general impressions). They listened and understood the importance of these findings, and then made their way to the 10 min box.

    MOST of the * riders had NO ONE. They had to be gently instructed to dismount, and looked blank when the TPR info was being called out. Blank looks when told to proceed to the 10 min box.

    (there are exceptions to the above generalizations, but not many).

    I am NOT bashing these riders. They were not deliberately thoughtless. I think they truly didn't know what to do or what help was needed for them, or what "those random numbers mean" (quote from one rider).

    How do we help them? Do we make the new to * riders attend an additional meeting? Do we ask them individually to name their suppport crew?

  • #2
    Originally posted by FlightCheck View Post
    How do we help them? Do we make the new to * riders attend an additional meeting? Do we ask them individually to name their suppport crew?
    How about asking them who they train with?

    I appreciate that eventing needs to have them better educated, but technically, their trainer's job is to prepare them. If they're riding at a one star and really don't know this, then we have some pretty deep problems all the way around.

    This just makes me sad.

    SCFarm
    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

    www.southern-cross-farm.com

    Comment


    • #3
      We test them..... on paper. Without a horse, and until they pass a test of actual viable knowledge questions, they only get to do Ht's and CIC's.

      But moreover you might find that the source of the problem relates back to the ongoing issues that loss of land has led to a changing of the guard in instructors, which led to a lack of Long format people teaching, which led to less common knowledge in the riders advancing, which came from a decline in pony club members, which led to a solid base of riders paying for 60 mins of instructions ON the horses and figuring that they knew everything they needed once they crosses the finish line in their first prelim.

      Rarely have I seen "Younger" riders seeking out knowledge the way I saw when I was also that age (Over 20 years ago)

      Instant gratification era means that doing work and research is boring, and since Facebook and cross country is fun, that's where the focus goes. And I can point to probably 30+ examples in my list of FB friends alone.

      ~Emily
      "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
        Rarely have I seen "Younger" riders seeking out knowledge the way I saw when I was also that age (Over 20 years ago)
        Because there aren't a million posts asking for working student positions from younger generations. And "back then" everyone was a perfect horse(wo)man and never took their mount for granted.

        Each generation says the next generation is going to hell in a hand basket. And so far that hasn't been true.

        How are the students supposed to know what questions to ask when there are less competent instructors available?

        How about asking CoTH to have a sticky about this information? Or added to an archive of important articles sorted by sport/level.

        Thousands of people in the younger generation are using this very forum (and other similar ones) to try and get information they need, to better their position through critiques, etc... This information needs to be made more accessible through the new channels of communication.

        Comment


        • #5
          Glad to hear that someone is finally noticing this!
          I think this is the biggest fall back from the loss of the long format. This and the conditioning process.
          I think alot has to do with many instructors today also do not have the education and background of past long format riders so they do not pass this on. They do have the short format process and qualifications down but not the horsemanship skills of days gone by.
          I was fortunate to literally grow up in a BNR's barn so in 31 years of being around there had no choice but to learn from the ground up. That education was/is priceless...
          How do you teach this?...... That's a tough one....
          I would think maybe having conditioning and preparedness educational seminars. Also maybe make attending one part of qualifying to do your first * . Not sure if this would work but it is something that could be done fairly easily in the different areas. Maybe get upper level members of PRO to teach them?
          Otherwise....maybe make it part of the rider briefing so they at least know what they will need and what is expected. Though I think it's a little late at that point if they aren't prepared....
          "A little less chit-chat a little more pitter-pat"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sabriel View Post
            Thousands of people in the younger generation are using this very forum (and other similar ones) to try and get information they need, to better their position through critiques, etc... This information needs to be made more accessible through the new channels of communication.
            OK viable point, but the stuff you need to know at the end of phase c and entering into the 10 minute box goes beyond the conceptual info that you find in books or online. You need to experience learning to take your horse's pulse and respiration levels both from their back and on the ground. Using a heart monitor once or twice (borrowed would work) is an eye opening experience as to what a horse's body does and needs from the fitness work.

            Knowing how to monitor your friends and who is doing what while you're in the box is vital. This is a touch and feel thing that should be practiced by helping others, often higher level long format riders, so you can see and feel and learn through the experience of being in the situation.


            So really it's probably the lack of 2*, 3* and 4*'s in the long format that led to the lack of knowledge with the 1* riders. Nowhere to practice.

            Ok so why not put out some clinic like situations where you let riders "practice" a schooling endurance day. Hack out a bit, jump like 3 laps of outside lines in a ring (instead of steeplechase), hack out longer, then do a practice 10 minute box and then go out and jump like 10 xc fences, and do a practice cool down. It wouldn't be more work than a normal jump school/trot/gallop combo day and it could be beneficial to all to practice in a non competition setting.

            ~Emily
            "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

            Comment


            • #7
              Pony Club. Horse management and conditioning are all essential parts of moving up in the ratings. Sadly there are some trainers who steer their jr riders away from it rather than use it as a fun way to augment what they are already learning in a trainer's program.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by FlightCheck View Post
                We are failing our new * riders when teaching them horsemanship.

                Last year at the USEA meeting, one of the discussions in the Professional Horseman's Council was in reference to the * riders not knowing what to do/who to bring/how to get ready for the end of XC.

                Last weekend I was able to watch all of the ** and * riders come through the finish flags on XC.

                MOST of the ** riders had a groom or 2 waiting, with halter in hand, helping the rider to dismount for the initial vet inspection (P,T, R, general impressions). They listened and understood the importance of these findings, and then made their way to the 10 min box.

                MOST of the * riders had NO ONE. They had to be gently instructed to dismount, and looked blank when the TPR info was being called out. Blank looks when told to proceed to the 10 min box.

                (there are exceptions to the above generalizations, but not many).

                I am NOT bashing these riders. They were not deliberately thoughtless. I think they truly didn't know what to do or what help was needed for them, or what "those random numbers mean" (quote from one rider).

                How do we help them? Do we make the new to * riders attend an additional meeting? Do we ask them individually to name their suppport crew?
                If they were at Poplar at the riders meeting on Fri. evening, there was plenty of opp for them to learn, Jenn and Max were available after the meeting to answer questions about "vet box" protocal so there should have been no excuses.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pony Club

                  Agreed- pony club should be used to supplement eventing training programs when possible. Even for the pony clubbers going amoeba at eventing rally there is a vet box at the end- TPRs are taken and the importance of conditioning, warming up, and cooling down is emphasized. Just having to fill out a stall card and feed chart is more horse management then many younger riders are getting.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nextyear View Post
                    If they were at Poplar at the riders meeting on Fri. evening, there was plenty of opp for them to learn, Jenn and Max were available after the meeting to answer questions about "vet box" protocal so there should have been no excuses.
                    THIS. First of all, everyone, the ** and * Flight Check is referring to is Poplar, which was a CIC, not a CCI, and has ALWAYS been 'short format' since it is a CIC.

                    Second of all, at the FEI riders meeting, it was emphasized SEVERAL times that the 10 minute box at the end was VERY important. It was also stated that if you did NOT know how to do a vet box, Jenn Holling and Max Corcoran were available immediately after the meeting to go over the box with you. If the * riders did not choose to stay and listen, that is their own fault, because Poplar made every effort to educate them.

                    I have to add that I know for a fact that the * rider from our barn was prepared because Jacob Fletcher, a 16 year old YR from our Area who was also competing this weekend, and his groom Elizabeth Crowder spent two hours in the vet box handling all the Area V horses as they came in, including the * horse. People who are willing to give up their time to help in the vet box are invaluable, and I am super proud of our Area V Young Rider program when they are willing to help out like this.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Divine,
                      Yes- your group was great!

                      And Hope's mom was waiting on her, of course.


                      I did hear that the "after the meeting" with Jen and Max was not well attended.

                      I really believe, as others wrote, that it DOES start with the coaches/trainers.

                      So we know that. How do we help?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Poplar Place actually had Jen Hollings and Max at the rider's meeting to discuss what was needed and answer questions. Which was great. I can't imagine what more could have been done to educate everybody.

                        Not a very good excuse, but the last CIC* my rider went to had the initial vet inspection right next to the ten minute box. At Poplar, I didn't realize where the inspection was until my rider was already there and untacking. She wasn't clueless, but I was. So, as her groom, I failed...not her. I knew what to do but was at the ten minute box in the wrong place.

                        More than half the CIC* riders were doing their first FEI competition. My guess is that although they technically knew what needed to be done, it is like book learning, and they needed the actual experience. (I know that most of these riders have helped their trainers out at previous CCIs and CICs...but there grooms might not have.) Now they and their grooms will know what to do in the future. Just as the CIC** riders and grooms knew as they have done this over and over again.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EventingChase View Post
                          Agreed- pony club should be used to supplement eventing training programs when possible. Even for the pony clubbers going amoeba at eventing rally there is a vet box at the end- TPRs are taken and the importance of conditioning, warming up, and cooling down is emphasized. Just having to fill out a stall card and feed chart is more horse management then many younger riders are getting.
                          Yes and No. As someone who came up through PC I agree with its importance and the strong horse management base it can provide. On the other hand I have ridden with some really crappy instructors in PC...in fact most of them (both through my local club and at festival) many of the good ones are taken for granted and treated poorly... many of the kids are rude and even in pony club don't always want to learn the horse management aspects. It ultimately does come back to the instructors (is this fair..i dont know) because students often don't know their own limitations... so I know some Pony Clubs are great.. and I really did learn a ton that I still use to this day, I guess i just have issues with generalizing the issue is ... 'this generation', instructors, if every rider was in PC it would be better... I think one of the biggest reasons we have issues is because people cant say NO..trainers not telling kids if they aren't proficient at x, y, z then they wont move up, parents who wont support the coaches decision, and the pressure from riding buddies to move up (ready or not)... this has gotten a but off topic so I am going to stop rambling now

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Allow me please to describe better what I am including in my comments about this generation


                            I include the instructors who don't know enough about the long format due to the advent of the short format

                            The riders who don't read books as much as they read Social networking sites

                            The parents who don't stand at events anymore and talk to other parents about whats what, and what comes next.

                            The ongoing system of eventing that hasn't seen the lack of knowledge and yet found a way to plug the hole in the dyke.


                            I am not generalizing about ages alone. But hello..... this is the first "generation" of eventers who haven't come up with the long format as a prevalent part of the system.

                            So in and of itself this "generation" is a big deal in our world. Because they started and have progressed from a different place than many of us started from.


                            ~Emily
                            "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Please take it easy on the generalizations -- yes, there are people who don't make the effort to educate themselves. There always will be. BUT THERE ARE MANY OF US WHO DO. We eat alive every article, every lecture, everything we can find that might help us learn more about our horses and our sport. We lay in bed awake at night trying to think up better plans. We really are out there and there are a lot of us at every level and age group.

                              I realize twenty years ago all of you were perfect pony clubbers and knew everything you had to do (ok, I'm being snarky, I'll admit it), but you need to realize that not everyone can train with a specialized eventing trainer, not everyone can do Pony Club, not everyone has easy access to all the resources that you have or you perceive to be out there.

                              People are people -- no matter what decade it is. Some will suck and not care, some will try hard and do their best and still mess up, and a few will wildly succeed. There is no such thing as "the good old days," just different days. You can provide education and opportunities all you want but you can't force people to attend and absorb them. Many people also learn by doing -- yeah, we will probably screw it up the first time, sorry if it is heinous to watch, but it's a process.
                              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                              We Are Flying Solo

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Another vote for pony club. It is amazing what these kids can do. My daughter (and me as well) is disgusted when she sees how riders (usually in other disciplines) cannot function without a trainer and/or groom present at all times to hold their hands..that is one reason we joined pony club and even though she is in college and showing is temporarily on hold for her, I remain active in pc and have been appointed as the HMO (Horse Management Organizer) for next year for our region.
                                Lori T
                                www.calypsofarmeventers.blogspot.com
                                www.facebook.com/LoriTankelPhotography
                                www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If we had more upper level riders in pony club, i think this would change...that "silly number thing" is one of the first things taught to us PCers.
                                  Why walk when you can ride?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                                    I realize twenty years ago all of you were perfect pony clubbers and knew everything you had to do (ok, I'm being snarky, I'll admit it), but you need to realize that not everyone can train with a specialized eventing trainer, not everyone can do Pony Club, not everyone has easy access to all the resources that you have or you perceive to be out there.
                                    Then you're generalizing me too.

                                    Never did pony club. Family couldn't afford it, money or time wise.

                                    Took me 3 (yes 3) attempts to FINISH my first prelim HT. I'm imperfect as all hell and will readily admit it. Because I believe accepting a lack of perfection allows me to strive to be better easier.

                                    I trained with a variety of trainers from a variety of disciplines, and I stayed at the barns I took lessons or rode at and watched and helped out all day.

                                    The resources that I perceive to be out there are these:

                                    Lessons/clinics exist where people can watch and help jump crew or just listen for free.

                                    Horse shows, not events, where you can attend on an off weekend and watch how the rounds are ridden and how those riders are making their choices for lines, distances etc.

                                    Youtube, where you can look up the names of BNR's and Smaller show names and watch many people contest the same courses and see what they did and how it worked or didn't.

                                    VOLUNTEERING, so you can give back to the sport and watch and learn from others as you do so.

                                    It takes a lot of $$$$$ and time to have eventers, we all know that. But what resources are out there that are cheaper than expected are invaluable to the learning process. It takes work. It takes time and all of it will benefit you in the end.

                                    I guess the simplest way to state it is this:

                                    You can either find or make time to educate yourself more, or you choose not to.


                                    I was always told if you wanted something bad enough you could find a way to make it happen.

                                    ~Emily
                                    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have no idea if I'll ever make it anywhere near a 1* event as a rider, but if anyone in the Pgh area is interested in training up a groom to help out, I would LOVE to learn all this stuff and get hands-on experience.

                                      (To be clear about required training - I have ridden and tacked up a horse plenty of times, but not frequently recently, so I'm probably a bit rusty. I've also never done the whole breastplate - boots business, so we'd definitely have to spend some time pre-event so we were all on the same page. So it's not like I've never been near a horse before. That said, I am a VERY good film producer in terms of on-set practical issues, so once I understand what's going on and what's needed, I should be right there on top of things - and will probably be one of those people who has fifty billion random things like a roll of black electrical tape for boot zipper emergencies and safety pins somewhere on or near my person.)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I'm going to go out on a limb and say they don't know because they've never experienced it. To a lot of people, a CIC is the same as a horse trial. The only difference is that it costs more money, you ride a different test and you can wear a top hat and tails if you so wish.

                                        Watch the finish line at regular horse trials. it's often no different. You dismount, loosen the girth and nosebands, and walk around until the vet tells you to leave. I have rarely seen water at the finish line of a regular xc day, and I've never seen anyone taking stats.

                                        With the drop out of the long format CCIs, there is no 10 minute box. Often that was the start of the education. You'd learn your horse's vitals at home, after workouts, after gallops, but you'd never know how they are going to respond to that kind of exercise until after B when the vet tells you how they are. Then you get on and go again and the vet will tell you at D box how they are. That stuff doesn't exist anymore. You can get all the way without learning how to do it, so people don't. Getting a number a couple times from a vet and being able to compare recovery is a lot different than being given vitals at the end when you are heading to the barn and have nothing to compare to. They are just numbers to most people.

                                        That's why the learning 3DE's are so important. I'd wager a guess that there are several trainers out there that don't know it, or never practice it even if they do.

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