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"Armchair General" Game

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  • "Armchair General" Game

    Anyone can play, and everybody is an expert!! That`s because our opinions don`t get transformed into policy and/or action.

    But let`s say YOU had the power to make changes. Next year, 2010, we are hosting the WEG at the Ky Horse Park, and we`ve just watched a fairly small group of "furriners" clean our clock.

    Americans don`t want to be whipped, and especially not on our own premises, so what can we do, in one year, to turn our fortunes around.

    I`ll start: Gather a group of eventing`s very best thinkers (include Wofford), and attempt to make a list of our 10 very finest riders.
    Dutton, Buck Davidson, Tryon, Severson are all no brainers.
    Then, try to make CERTAIN they are extremely well mounted for 2010. You don`t leave your best sitting on the bench (Severson)

    Other ideas?
    http://www.tamarackhill.com/

  • #2
    That same group needs to have long term access to the best Dressage trainers we can provide them with.
    www.ncsporthorse.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Honestly? I don't care if my country wins medals at WEG. I'd like to see each team member have a record of clean XC rounds and a solid record of horsemanship. Then hopefully they'll all make good decisions at the event and everyone will come home alive and sound.

      Furthermore, the last thing I would do is put a new partnership together and expect it to be ready for a 4* in 12 months. Especially if they are going to spend 5 out of 7 days practicing dressage.
      Blugal

      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

      Comment


      • #4
        Long format possible!

        In the program for this year's Rolex, it says explicitly that the 2010 WEG can be held in classic format. Throw those foreigners a curveball. Find the best of the best with US riders and start prepping now.
        Andy Glenn
        Glenbaer Farm, LLC
        www.glenbaer.com

        Comment


        • #5
          In the overall scheme of life does it really matter if we beat the furriners? I am totally with Blugal on this one. I also show dressage only and I am so sick to death of hearing about the Germans and the French and the blah blah blah blah blah. We need to embrace that we are NOT European and be the best we can be as horseman/riders/trainers; period. Learn from them by all means but realize they are different in a way that the shear size of country makes impossible for us to copy. Let's focus on who we are and what our horse world is and make it the best damn one out there instead of trying to force it to be like the Europeans; square peg round hole situation.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ha, Denny, your post made me ! But I realize it's serious... but the idea of me as an eventing expert makes me or at the state of things. I'd have to ask the real experts and get back with you on that one...

            Denny?

            Really, Legatus? WEG could be classic format? Well, I declare... that would be fabulous! However, that's a curve ball for our horses and riders now, too, isn't it? The best have ridden the classic format, but they're not still gearing their horses up for it.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Of course it doesn`t matter in the overall scheme of things. Very little matters, put in a cosmic sense.
              But this game isn`t about that. This game is to go back to the old USET mandate, to select and train teams of the highest caliber.

              In the actual "armchair general" game, you, the reader, can make plans, changes, whatever. Can it be done this quickly, can we "rescue" our team? It`s just a game; if you don`t want to play, don`t play.
              http://www.tamarackhill.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Denny rode at a time when the USET would assign horses to riders if the great riders needed horses. He would know how long it takes for a rider to establish a world class partnership. If he thinks it can be done in a year or so, then it probably can.

                As always, the new emphasis on dressage is the joker in the deck.
                "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                Thread killer Extraordinaire

                Comment


                • #9
                  By trying "to make sure they are extremely well mounted for 2010," are you suggesting there should be a way to get the "best" horses to the "best" riders?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hmmm, I just keep thinking of that whole partnership thing. I think of Gina and Mac, even Karen and all her horses. And I have no idea about matching up horses to riders. I mean Philip and Boyd can ride a ton of horses but if there's one in the bunch that needs a one on one type of relationship, the horse goes elsewhere.
                    So, I guess I'm asking how the heck it exactly works. How do you basically catch ride a horse at the highest level? Does it really work? Or only for a subset?
                    I think it would work for Philip, Sally Cousins, Karen because they already ride a ton of horses in competitions (or have in Karen's case). But folks like Gina, Jan Byyny, Buck, they seem to really want to have that partnership and do well with the horses that thrive on that environment.
                    Even duct tape can't fix stupid

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TBCollector View Post
                      By trying "to make sure they are extremely well mounted for 2010," are you suggesting there should be a way to get the "best" horses to the "best" riders?
                      I'm not sure if there is a way to do this, but I think it's the best way to go if "America" wants to win! Get the best horses for the best riders!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ooooh. I'm supposed to be running, but I'll play. One more cup of coffee with the cothers.

                        So you're saying we can just fantasize, raaaht? And in public, too... ok.
                        ----------
                        Here's what we do: we need a little eventing commune. When we were at Carolina Horse Park this year, we were thinking that would be the ideal place. We had to go to the feed store and there was a rooster on the counter who apparently was a local celebrity. That sealed the deal.

                        Anyway, bring all the WEG prospects together in one local area - eventers, jumpers, dqs... and have them all train together in the year to come. While training, conduct thorough studies of vitals/fitness on an ongoing basis. i.e. Before going out for trot sets, take temp/hr. After, take temp/hr. It really makes sense to me, if we're serious about being the best horsemen, that we devote ourselves to it 100%, no bit of potential knowledge or study spared. This includes everyone in our country at the top of their sports (heck, what do we not know because we turn our noses up at western riders and... I forgot to include the endurance people you mentioned are ahead on fitness studies). Yea, we really need to bring all the minds together for an extended period of time. In one little equestrian commune.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                          Denny rode at a time when the USET would assign horses to riders if the great riders needed horses. He would know how long it takes for a rider to establish a world class partnership. If he thinks it can be done in a year or so, then it probably can.

                          As always, the new emphasis on dressage is the joker in the deck.


                          Look how many riders Blue Stone was assigned to (in a two year period) until the right fit was found!!!!

                          Denny...GREAT thread!!! I am interested to read the responses. Personally I will be taking a back seat in this discussion as this very topic is enough to send me crazy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would do the Pat Bowlen game (owner of the Denver Broncos). Get rid of the head coach, put new blood in the position and not solely focus on short term wins while building a strong program for the next 10-15 years.

                            1) Dump CMP. He has proven his team development skills in this environment are insufficient. He is a whiner and complainer.

                            2) Create a 1 year training group similar to the winter training group or the "short list" NOW and get going on development of the horse/rider pairs in the context of the overall team. That means specifically planned competition schedule starting today that peaks in 2010.

                            3) Create a dedicated young rider development program/database (not NAYRC) where young riders are scouted and tracked starting at training level, but not necessarily selected for further development. Do this for horses as well. Know who is in the pipeline for the future!

                            4) Actively work for total eventing society support. Get the local and "common" folk involved. Make them feel they are part of the process/team.

                            Reed

                            By the way, for you folks focused on dressage, the rumor (from an upper level/FEI dressage judge) is that in pure dressage, the multiplier for Gaits in the collective score will be ELIMINATED (becomes a 1X instead of 2X score). There is recognition that judging has become too focused on gaits rather than training. Hopefully this will go to the eventers as well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't know...this suggestion that certain riders are "no brainers" is disturbing.
                              All that brain power did not help a struggling Amy Tryon give her horse a better ride in Beijing (anybody else wonder how The Good Witch might have handled that course? And no, I'm not in the mood to turn this into a thread about whether TGW was sound at the selection trials or not). Neither did it help Phillip Dutton, who was perhaps so overwhelmed by his own brain power that he did not read the rules about weighted boots.
                              Nobody is "entitled" to be on a team based on previous accomplishments, reputation, perceived talent, or ability to press lips against butt cheeks and smooch.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TBCollector View Post
                                I don't know...this suggestion that certain riders are "no brainers" is disturbing.
                                All that brain power did not help a struggling Amy Tryon give her horse a better ride in Beijing (anybody else wonder how The Good Witch might have handled that course? And no, I'm not in the mood to turn this into a thread about whether TGW was sound at the selection trials or not). Neither did it help Phillip Dutton, who was perhaps so overwhelmed by his own brain power that he did not read the rules about weighted boots.
                                Nobody is "entitled" to be on a team based on previous accomplishments, reputation, perceived talent, or ability to press lips against butt cheeks and smooch.
                                I love you

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Denny,

                                  Thank you for bringing up some of the questions that I posted on your other thread. (In case you haven't noticed, I should be part of the "thread killer extroidinaire" clique.)

                                  Maybe you could have a "WEG Summit"? You could invite the old guard (Wofford, Davidson, Plumb, Graham) and the new guard (Davidson, Dutton, Miles, Holder, Crowell and Bradley). I guess that the O'Conner's would need to come, too. Well, maybe Sally, since she seems to be on the side of wisdom.

                                  I am certain that there are others whom I have left out. However, as another poster said we may be too late to do anything to change the outcome.

                                  If you were able to get together with the best US riders from yesteryear and today, what would you propose to change? Would you volunteer your farm as a national training center? Would Wofford? Graham?

                                  If a miracle happened, what would you suggest that the US do to go back to what worked?
                                  When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm with CritterTwitter on the National Training Center idea. (Denny, you didn't say this had to be practical.) I competed at an international level in rowing, at the time the US was a powerhouse, despite the Eastern Bloc countries. A contributor was that Boston was effectively the National Team training center, and so you were surrounded by the best people, all knocking themselves out. The coaching was pretty good, too, but it was the focus and competition that made it work on a daily basis. From those of you who were around in the heydey of US Eventing, it sounds like that was the ticket to excellence as well. Yes, it's hard to implement, but it does produce results. Does having a concentration of people in Ocala or Southern Pines help the way that it does for dressage people in Wellington over the winter?

                                    I am not intimate with the leadership issues in eventing, but I can say that everyone complains violently about the national team coach in the sports I've been involved in. In every case it seems pretty justified... that's a tough job. Doesn't mean it can't be done better, though.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      1) Dump CMP. He has proven his team development skills in this environment are insufficient. He is a whiner and complainer.

                                      I think a housecleaning might help. I would like to see someone 'in charge' who makes the sport feel more inclusive. I know it is NOT at the elite levels, but it's a real turn off to be slapped in the face with it. That is how CMP come across to me.
                                      Training, training, training. Have clinics for the elite, by the elite, maybe a rotation schedule. Not competitions, so they can train with each other, compete against. (and sell tickets)
                                      just my pipe dream.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Yeah, dump CMP. Then I would bet money that a ton of riders would actually vie for a position on the team and actually want to train with with team. I keep seeing a trend here, correct me if I'm wrong. But I see riders who get on 'the list' and start training with CMP and the others he brings in and I actually see a difference in the rider, for the worse. I'm not naming names but the folks who go home, do their thing and don't get involved seem to do really well (i.e. Buck, Karen, Gina).
                                        Yeah, and didn't want to get into the persons but I wouldn't lump some of the riders in as a 'given' Denny.
                                        Even duct tape can't fix stupid

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