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What's the big deal...?

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  • #21
    How many recognized events have you done?


    • #22
      This is an interesting topic to me because my ex-jumper mare believes that we should go very fast in stadium...very fast. I feel fine most of the time, because she does get to the base, however I am working on control in general. On cross country she pays alot more attention and is very good. Also, the bigger the jump , she slower she goes to it, but does get fast afterwareds. So, I feel you pain, because I think I have scared some people during my stadium rounds too.


      • #23
        You're making a bold assumption, and I'm not arguing my point at the upper levels. Dressage is not the premise for a safe/unsafe xc round at the upper levels.

        At the lower levels, however, if your horse is running around with his head in the air, resistant against your aids and looking unsafe, that may be a good indicator you should stick with BN (dressage AND jumping) until y'all can get a little more competant!

        The OP seems like her partnership with this horse is competant enough to move from BN to Novice. 3 inches, no big deal. Really!


        • #24
          How many events have you done? You said "3 years at BN" - that can mean 36 USEA events placing in the open division every time, or a combined test and 2 schooling trials.

          It does sound like your situation is pretty limiting - you don't own the horse and the trainer doesn't let anyone else in to teach. Although if it's a small private farm, there are myriad reasons for that.

          I would sit down and ask what you need to do to compete at Novice. If it's slowing down in sj jumping? Do it- show your trainer you can LISTEN.

          Going fast is really fun, but BN show jumping isn't the place (neither is BN XC). You should jump fences at a pace that is appropriate to the size. Jumping tiny fences too fast can be as dangerous as jumping big one without sufficient power.

          And maybe it's time to find a different situation.


          • #25
            Jsydney5: I Agree that really poor dressage might indicate a lack of readiness, but good dressage scores (which you and OP were citing as rationale for moving up) don't justify moving up either.

            3" might not be much or it might be a lot, particularly combined with terrain and the different questions that come at Novice. In some geographic regions, there is very little difference and the two courses may even share a lot of fences and have identical speeds. Other areas may have a wide difference. An easy BN compared to a max Novice at a higher speed can be a lot more than 3". Neither of us is in a position to know.


            • Original Poster

              I have done 5 recognized, with some schooling shows mixed in. By saying our dressage is going well, I didn't mean that to be the main factor for a move up. If I was getting 50s in beginner novice dressage and remaining uncompetitive because of that, then I think we'd need to step back and reevaluate. The pony is very honest, and we, generally, get good distances out of a nice, balanced canter.


              • #27
                @SevenDogs: Totally not trying to call you out, I am agreeing with you, but this is an example of why I stopped following online horse forums. The nit picking and taking things verbatum as complete arguments is kind of annoying. I know that's just how a lot of the horse world gets, everyone wants to prove something. Heck, we spend a lot of money educating ourselves, sometimes it's nice to talk about it! I feel ya!

                I would make the assumption that if she is considering a Novice move up, that she would select a move up course..not a maxed out novice course. And then I guess you could make more arguments from there, and yadda yadda yadda.

                But really, OP, I get where you're at. And I feel you're pain.


                • #28
                  Originally posted by GotSpots View Post

                  Or you can post a video of your ride for comment...
                  Honestly, GotSpots is the smartest poster here. OP, if you think your round was smooth and controlled and your trainer tells you that it was out of control, video is your best friend. Do one more BN and have the entire thing video taped (if there was a videographer at your last show, even better -- Well worth the money to purchase).

                  Sit down with your trainer and watch video. One of you will likely convince the other and, if not, you have a tool to get other opinions.

                  Good luck.


                  • #29
                    In reading just a couple of your most recent blog posts plus what you've shared here, it seems that you don't have a very supportive, productive relationship with your coach. You don't trust her judgment with regard to the level you're best equipped to tackle, and you feel she deals with your unreasonably in your work for her as barn help. Based on your blog description of how the combined test went from start to finish, you don't seem willing to take the time to produce the sort of trip your coach considers precise and in-control (maybe this is more about your opinion of her than it is your ability to demonstrate the skill). At least on this one day, you were content to do things the way the horse seems inclined to because--paraphrasing--you really only felt out of control to one combination and, even though you missed the distance and had to really sit the horse down coming in, "nothing bad happened." You seem to think your coach should see what your innate potential is (right now, going Novice, in your estimation) without showing her that you are a skilled enough rider to create a different sort of trip from the horse at your present level.

                    I don't know you, your horse, or your trainer at all, but it seems like you are unhappy where you are. It may be that she feels she's doing what's in your best interest, in the best interest of the her client's horse, and in the best interest of her professional reputation (not wanting to see you seat-of-the-pantsing around the stadium ring waiting for your luck to run out). Whatever the case, it doesn't seem like this is a relationship in which both parties are on the same page, and you don't seem very happy with the leadership your coach is providing. I'd sit down with her, get some specifics on the what kinds of things would demonstrate control to her, then, if you are indeed skilled enough to affect this change, school it at home then do it at a BN schooling trial. If you're too apprehensive to even have this conversation with her, it's really time to move on.
                    "With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come" (Shakespeare).


                    • #30
                      I guess someone has to be the voice of dissent... Many years ago a young rider had progressed up the levels quite quickly, and had a catastrophic fall at Advanced which resulted in a dead horse and her severely injured. In addition, she had a hard time taking responsibility for her own errors which resulted in this, blaming it, seemingly, on the horse. I am not going to name the rider, plenty will know of whom I speak. And I am not saying that you are/will be that rider. But the main reason I didn't name her is that although perhaps most did not result in a death or severe injury to the rider, she is plenty of riders who moved too quickly to their and their horses detriment. Too many focus on the win, on how fast they can progress... In the long run the extra time you take is of significant value.

                      You have your whole life to progress up the levels, one more BN (focused on a quality precise trip, not speed) will not kill you. Yes, it is frustrating not to see eye to eye to with your trainer... And if this is a common issue between you two, you should probably find another trainer. However no one says "I regretted taking my time and not going faster" when they look back on their journey up the levels, plenty would say they went too fast.


                      • #31
                        I definitely understand your frustration! I've been there. I also understand your lack of funds... trust me.

                        But, as a coach of teens, I think I can feel where you are both coming from. BTW, I commend your maturity and willing to hear everyone out without being defensive. That is a very good trait to have!

                        You've said a couple things, that, if hearing this from my students, WOULD raise my hackles.

                        Originally posted by Nike View Post
                        I completely agree with what you are all saying. I see her point of view, especially for safety reasons. She asked me if I speed up because I am nervous, which I don't, I just like to go fast. I know, I know...speed is not your friend.
                        Originally posted by Nike View Post
                        Mugsgame, we set up courses every lesson. Our lessons go smooth, but I think it is just proving ourselves at a show.
                        Originally posted by Nike View Post
                        Beginner novice to novice courses are very similar. It isn't the stadium she is worried about, it is the cross country. I ride cross country much more conservatively, for many reasons.
                        We know fast is fun. We event... that is WHY we event. But, regardless if you are out of control or your coach thinks you're out of control or your coach is super conservative... she wants you to go slower. So you need to. Period. She may very well be beating her head against the wall going "Just. Stop. Running." while you're going "weeeeeee!!!" and she may have good reason... or she may not! We don't know because we can't see the video. But if she's going to insist you slow down in order to move up, well... you're just going to have to do it.

                        What *I* would do if I were you/your coach is say "listen, funds are limited, I CANNOT go BN one more time just to make you believe I will slow down around stadium. BUT, I will enter Novice, and I will prove to you that I have the ability to ride in a manner that you find acceptable. If at any time you are scared/embarrassed/frustrated by me, you can tell me to withdraw and I will."

                        And then you, my friend, have to live up to your end of the bargain.

                        Good luck!
                        Big Idea Eventing


                        • #32
                          I can see both sides. But I do understand where you are coming from, OP.

                          I don't know if your round was "fast" or not, but I can identify with some of the sentiment. When my older horse was at BN, we experienced a similar phenomenon, ahem, on XC. He just LOVED it so much and he loved to gallop, that there could be some serious wrestling matches so we would not get speed penalties. It was not a comfortable pace for him and we generally had to trot significant portions, which frustrated him even more.

                          I know myself, my experience and I know my horse and I always put him and safety first, so when I made the decision to move up, I did not have any doubt we could jump safely and I felt it would be a better fit for him.

                          And it was. I could let him move out a bit on course, the jump size was just right for him, and the level of challenge was a good mental fit. He finished XC happy and confident and we didn't have to arm wrestle in the woods. Everyone was happy. It certainly wasn't about points or ribbons - he despised dressage from his soul and he always made sure the dressage judge knew it, ROFL, so we were certainly not there to beat the world!

                          If you are a minor and you are having trainer relationship problems, obviously, there are other issues here, but solely from a level and competition standpoint, if the schooling experience is there, no one can FORCE a show entry. But the horse also does not belong to you, so there are compromises there as well. I won't continue rambling, but just wanted to share my experience.
                          Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                          • Original Poster

                            Epona, now that suggestion has potential! I'll have to try it.


                            • Original Poster

                              By the way, I didn't mean to come off as that brat that blatantly ignores her coach. I genuinely respect her and her advice normally, but I feel strongly about being ready to move up.


                              • #35
                                My advice? Ride another BN event and make a point of going slooowwww. Well not painfully slow to put you out of the points, but ride it like an equitation round rather than a jumper round.

                                If at that point your trainer still says you aren't ready to move up then I'd say there's something else going on.

                                Who knows, maybe the trainer is saying this because the owner doesn't want anybody but the trainer taking the horse beyond BN or something. .


                                • #36
                                  Consider working with your coach to get more mileage at unrecognized events to gain relatively cheap experience. I have brought horses and riders successfully out at N or T in recognized events after having done the lower level work/mileage/learning at unrecognized events. Please consider that not so long ago, BN wasn't even a recognized level. You couldn't even enter a recognized event until you were doing 2'11" solid, 3'7" brush, which is what novice is. http://usef.org/documents/ruleBook/2013/13-EV.pdf Novice can have drops, while BN can only have a bank up. There are many other minor differences which, cumulatively, are not encapsulated by the comment of 'only 3" difference'.

                                  In my barn, everyone videotapes for everyone else and we put them up on youtube then watch them on my tv at home where, on Monday after the event, we have some popcorn and go over them and see what was good and what could use improvement. It provides consistent feedback instead of 'he said/she said/I felt' comments that are not especially useful.

                                  Accurate rider perception is a difficult thing to develop. My suspicion is that the OP's perception of her speed and balance is in need of readjusting.


                                  • #37
                                    I come from Hunter World, which I chose after having initially been taught a git-r-done approach to riding and hating the rough-n-ready results. So take what you like and leave the rest.

                                    IMO, a quick stadium round punctuated by kick-and-pull or where the rider really doesn't care what she looks like over fences is a problem. That's because the trained horse who earns himself the tactful ride ends up being happier, listening better, using his body better and staying sound longer.

                                    I also agree that raising the fences 3" isn't going to make a big difference one way or another. And it sounds like your trainer is holding you back in order to get you to value tact, training and the "nice" ride for your horse... but isn't getting the point across.

                                    If it's any use to you, the Jimmy Wofford I attended long ago was full of praise those pretty, "show ring basics" kinds of riders both in stadium and XC. He also set up a gymnastic with the goal of making the horses jump better.

                                    So whether or not you like how your trainer does things, I think it will serve you well to adopt the goal of producing controlled, tactful accurate stadium rounds as something you want as your progress, not something fussy someone else imposed.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Nike View Post
                                      I completely agree with what you are all saying. I see her point of view, especially for safety reasons. She asked me if I speed up because I am nervous, which I don't, I just like to go fast. I know, I know...speed is not your friend.
                                      The horse is not your horse, so even if you are paying to lease it, your job is to ride it at the level its connections think is appropriate and also in the manner that its connections think is appropriate.

                                      Personally I would be PAH-HISSED if someone blew my horse around a jumps course when they were instructed to go slow, simply because *shrug* they just like to go fast. If I tell someone I want a horse ridden slow I either want to see a.) the horse going slow or b.) the horse maybe not going slow but the rider doing BACKFLIPS in their effort to make it happen. If I ask them "Why so fast...?" I want a list of all the things they tried to slow it down, which hopefully will match what I observed from the rail. Not "*shrug* I just like going fast."

                                      I think your trainer is waiting for your mental maturity and ability to follow and execute instructions in view of the big picture and best interests of the horse to develop more before sending you around Novice. Don't give her a reason to hold you back by demonstrating the opposite.
                                      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                                      • #39
                                        The levels are separated by 4". Couldn't help myself. OCD nutball, out.
                                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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


                                        • #40
                                          Since funds are limited can you go do a local schooling show and do a 2'6' hunter round and keep it quiet and controlled? You don't need to be aiming to win or ribbon just demonstrate you can do stadium in the manner your coach expects you to do.

                                          Go for one or two classes and not the whole division. Maybe treat it like a stadium round meaning only school in the schooling ring and no schooling over the actual course like you can at most hunter shows.

                                          Would the assistant be able to go with you to the hunter show and video tape you if your trainer does not go to hunter shows? She may be willing to let you go without her to a hunter show since there is no XC to worry about.
                                          Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)