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Eventing is what we make it.

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  • Eventing is what we make it.

    There are two ways to look at this sport, the way it is, and the way we wish it would be. If right now it`s a sport in trouble, and it`s hard not to think that, with so many deaths and crippling injuries, then we can either wail about the fact, or we can try to fix it.
    How can we fix it?
    Get involved. Join the USEA, join the USEF, and speak up and don`t let other people make all the decisions that affect you. or your children, or your horses.
    I rode in my first event in 1962, and the sport of 2007 is nothing like the sport of 45 years ago. All sports evolve, and they do so because of people.
    You can let other people run things, and then you have to take what you get, or you can decide to be a player.
    Being a player takes a degree of courage, because you have to sometimes take stances on issues. You can`t "hide".
    But if you are smart, and analytical, and logical, and if you are compassionate about horses, which you are, then other people will have to take you seriously.
    I have a friend who said to me last year, "Eventing has lost its compass."
    I agree with him, sort of, except for one thing. There is no such thing as "eventing" Eventing is only what people make it, no more, no less.
    So my question is this: Are you going to sit by and let "them" decide what eventing shall be, or are you going to get involved in the fray?
    It`s really that simple. And that hard.
    http://www.tamarackhill.com/

  • #2
    Couldn't have said it better...I saw a post online earlier about a vet-check in the middle of our tests...I understand that at lower levels, and even some of the larger levels thats a little rediculous sounding, but how rediculous is it when you save a horse's life...Say TrainingLvl and up, smack-dab in the middle is a little stop. you stop, get vet-checked, then your on your way again.Whatever time you spend tehre, is taken off your total time at the end. it's realyl not that big of a deal....Also, why not go back to 3-days, or even 2-days...alot of shows are run all in one day,Dressage, 1 hr, XC, 1.5 hours, stadium.....it's crazy.You barely have time for your horse to breathe, while yu change tack, before your warmingup for the enxt phase!
    Whats everyone else think are some good ideas/ways to change our sport? We should all rally up a big list, im sure nobody knows eventers better then us eventers do, right? Or our horses for that fact!

    Comment


    • #3
      I just watched Rolex on the TV with my mom. She was pretty horrified (except for Teddy which was definitely the bright spot of that broadcast). She's not a horseperson but she supports me in my love for them. Halfway through the XC broadcast she turned to me and said "Honey, I'm so glad you're not doing this sport right now."

      It's very awkward trying to justify and explain something that you're not even sure is true - that eventing isn't really LIKE this, that something has gone wrong. Best thing I could do was pop in a tape of Burghley 2001. It was like watching a different sport - my mom was actually cheering, and even though there were a few spills, she wasn't worried sick the whole time, and was on the edge of her seat in the SJ. That's how it's supposed to be.

      So I'm a nobody. Got benched here for a few years because I was sick, so no horse and no $$, certainly no name. But I still have dreams, and I'm young enough to maybe see some of them through. I think it's time to get heard.

      Comment


      • #4
        Very true Denny. I've been thinking similar thoughts myself over the past few days and trying to think of ways I could be useful to the sport, not just myself. Jump judging and volunteering is all well and good but I can do more.
        "We don't ride the clock. We ride the horse." Reiner Klimke.
        http://community.webshots.com/user/arnikaelf

        Comment


        • #5
          Great post, but....it would be very helpful if knowledgeable people like the OP would provide some sort of roadmap outlining suggested ways of improving the sport.

          For example, I thought that changes were made to the advanced-level format in an effort to make it safer (I am not an eventer but I recall something about the roads and tracks and steeplechase phases being eliminated from the XC phase or some such). Do you think the changes have made it less safe in reality? Because they seem to have to gallop faster over smaller jumps than they used to, but as I said I am not an eventer.

          And I probably am going to risk being royally flamed here, but watching Rolex today I was a little surprised that a number of riders did not seem very fit. I don't mean just that they weren't thin, because I understand that people can be fit without being a rail. But they seemed truly not fit, and given that that is a 4-star event I would have thought the riders would have had a better fitness level. By contrast, there were some exemplary pairs like Karen O'Connor and Teddy.
          Roseknoll Sporthorses
          www.roseknoll.net

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
            For example, I thought that changes were made to the advanced-level format in an effort to make it safer (I am not an eventer but I recall something about the roads and tracks and steeplechase phases being eliminated from the XC phase or some such). Do you think the changes have made it less safe in reality? Because they seem to have to gallop faster over smaller jumps than they used to, but as I said I am not an eventer.
            Not as I understand it. It was to decrease the amount of land needed to run an event, with the bigger goal of keeping it in the Olympics. Not a safety issue.

            As for unfit riders... yes, Becky is overweight. But most of the riders at Rolex are quite slim. And the way I see it, if you're galloping and jumping for 11-12 minutes straight, you need some fitness, right? Or else you're going to get toward the end of the course and not be able to help your horse out.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm all for being involved, but damned if I know what would make the sport better or safer. It's not like anyone is out there conspiring to make it less safe, is it? Undoubtedly there are unintended consequences to changes which have been made in the past 30 years, but there have been consequences to the suburbanization of the US, and the increased popularity of eventing, and, and and.

              I'm not sure the solution lies in how many people are involved. It lies in how well do the involved parties think, consider options, listen to input, and be willing to think outside the box and considering the wisdom of the ages and aged.
              http://wildwoodfarmnc.com

              http://cantersgutenberg.wordpress.co...g-quiet-goose/

              Comment


              • #8
                Back 30 years ago the rumor was that eventing was where you went if you had balls and were not good enough to do hunters, jumpers or dressage.

                Then things cleaned up and eventers were better riders than most.

                Now eventing again is the place where folks who cannot do hunter, jumpers or dressage worth a crap come and ride.

                Instant gratifacation is the modern mantra --good riding and horsemanship is non existant

                Comment


                • #9
                  In my opinion, that's not neccessairly true...Three phases:
                  1) Dressage...Okay, so the movements aren't as difficult as level4 of actual dressage, but if you can't get your basic lateral movements flowing, or your horse to take a true contact, your not going anywhere in eventing anyways...
                  2) XC, well you only do that really if you are an eventer.And man, I have to add it, my boyfriend once told me that riding isn't a sport, and takes HOW MUCH WWORK TO SIT THERE AND DO NOTHING...I took him with me to an event, and he was a little shocked.Then we went to the Rolex.Now eevry time I mention my dreams, he responds with," Babe, it's gonna take alot of work, and ALOT of balls.But don't give up"....It's amazing at the change.He even admits he'd like to try it-INFRONT OF HIS FRIENDS!!..
                  ANYWAYS..
                  3)Stadium....Okay, so if you can't realyl do dressage, getting contact,etc. your flatwork is going to suck...without good flatwork, your jumping is going to suck.If you can't excel in jumpers, IE. taking rails,going off course,etc..Your still not going to make a good eventer...

                  As for hunters, it depends on the situation...If your horse is too strung out/athletic/etc, for the hunter ring, or jumpers isnt exciting enuogh, eventing just MAY BE the place for you:P Cheers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nexta View Post
                    Back 30 years ago the rumor was that eventing was where you went if you had balls and were not good enough to do hunters, jumpers or dressage.

                    Then things cleaned up and eventers were better riders than most.

                    Now eventing again is the place where folks who cannot do hunter, jumpers or dressage worth a crap come and ride.

                    Instant gratifacation is the modern mantra --good riding and horsemanship is non existant
                    You've got to be kidding me. Especially about the horsemanship part.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Denny,

                      I've been sharing the exact same thoughts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nexta View Post

                        Now eventing again is the place where folks who cannot do hunter, jumpers or dressage worth a crap come and ride.

                        Instant gratifacation is the modern mantra --good riding and horsemanship is non existant
                        Excuse me I mean excuse you!

                        Please speak for yourself and not for me. (As I compete in all the disciplines you mention)

                        Nasty generalizations do nothing helpful.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have the feeling that we have to reevent the sport.
                          The past had is bad times, but htere were a lot of very good things.
                          It is realy worth the efford to have a look at what was good..

                          What I see right now, we are getting the bill of the short format handed and the changes it brought to the X-C.
                          Last Year after Aachen I was able to watch pictures from friends, professional Photographers. I was shocked, how many of the top riders had hail maries,where they were just hanging on for dear live and sheer luck kept them going. If more worrisome were the interviews, how many explained that they had to take it easy in the last third, because their horses were tired.

                          If one looks at some of those lines at the Rolex, it was like stadium jumping with solid jumps.
                          I think we can not mix X-C with stadium, those lines do not give room for error, not the refusal or run out error, but if things go wrong, wrong take of, sticky take of, a tiny little bit to much speed, to slow, just a wink out of balance etc.
                          Nobody asks such lines in stadium jumping, even at the Grand Prix Level.

                          Interestingly the Super Pony ( karen should get him the Superman Cape ) was the one that handleded all those lines the best. Is that horse the future for what X-C has become?
                          That I have no use for them, does not mean, that I don't know them and don't know how to use them.
                          Caveman extraordinair

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Denny,

                            I am greatly encouraged that you post here and encourage intelligent discussion.

                            I think the "average eventer" feels a little lost in how to be heard. Also, as expressed in many posts in the recent threads there seems to be a big gap between those of us who compete Training and below vs. Preliminary and above. It is almost as if they are two different sports and I for one do not always feel comfortable commenting on divisions that I don't compete in.

                            Can you give us more of a "road map" of how to be heard and what you feel the role of the "average eventer" might be.

                            I already belong to USEA & USEF

                            Thanks.

                            I disagree with the mini-vet check during cross-country mentioned by RiptonScotch -- not meant in any personal way -- just don't think it is feasible or helpful particularly at Training level.
                            Last edited by west5; May. 6, 2007, 09:28 PM. Reason: spelling

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I`ll give an example of what I mean when I say if we let other people run things, then we have to take what we get.
                              After three horses died in two weekend`s worth of four star eventing, there are going to be all kinds of rationalizations about "accidents can happen slipping on your porch steps, etc, etc, etc,etc."
                              But four star eventing, as it is presently constituted, has not simply the potential to kill horses, it is currently killing them. That is a fact.
                              So we can say, "Well, that`s the way it`s always been, it`s very sad, and life goes on" That`s the easy way out.
                              Or we can say, "As a person who loves horses, I am finding this unacceptable. I want the FEI, the USEF, the USEA, to have a national or international symposium aimed at creating measures which provide a greater safety net for these animals who trust us to keep them from harm.
                              I do not accept the status quo, and I am going to fight to make my voice heard."
                              That`s much harder, because it forces personal involvement.
                              The choice is each of ours to make.
                              http://www.tamarackhill.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                With the elimination of Roads and Tracks and Steeplechase, there is something huge missing from the sport we all love. THIS IS NOT TO BASH ANYONE. I feel that the horses probably are not thoroughly warmed up for the upperlevels. not only did it go as a endurance thing, but a warm up as well. i think that we should spend more time thoroughly warming up our horses so that injuries dont happen as often. do gymnasts just go out and do those stellar jumps and movements? or do they warm up first? if your horse could do roads and tracks, steeplechase, roads and tracks, and THEN XC one one day, then you can spend a little more time warming up so your horses tendons, ligaments, and muscles wont strain. I at 15, dont have many opportunites to help, but i am currently a member of the USEA and competing at Training level. I volunteer whenever i am not competing. I am responsible for the Web Design and upkeep of the Flora Lea Farm Website(which hold two USEA horse trials a year) and Email(yes i desgined the website) Im sure i could do more, but i dont know what.
                                The Little Man

                                Blog

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
                                  As for unfit riders... yes, Becky is overweight. But most of the riders at Rolex are quite slim. And the way I see it, if you're galloping and jumping for 11-12 minutes straight, you need some fitness, right? Or else you're going to get toward the end of the course and not be able to help your horse out.
                                  That was my point, though I wasn't referring to any particular rider as I do not know all of them by name.
                                  Roseknoll Sporthorses
                                  www.roseknoll.net

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by denny View Post
                                    I`ll give an example of what I mean when I say if we let other people run things, then we have to take what we get.
                                    After three horses died in two weekend`s worth of four star eventing, there are going to be all kinds of rationalizations about "accidents can happen slipping on your porch steps, etc, etc, etc,etc."
                                    But four star eventing, as it is presently constituted, has not simply the potential to kill horses, it is currently killing them. That is a fact.
                                    So we can say, "Well, that`s the way it`s always been, it`s very sad, and life goes on" That`s the easy way out.
                                    Or we can say, "As a person who loves horses, I am finding this unacceptable. I want the FEI, the USEF, the USEA, to have a national or international symposium aimed at creating measures which provide a greater safety net for these animals who trust us to keep them from harm.
                                    I do not accept the status quo, and I am going to fight to make my voice heard."
                                    That`s much harder, because it forces personal involvement.
                                    The choice is each of ours to make.


                                    denny that is great..but how could one do this? and we must get a lot of people for them even to consider it...COME ON COTH...LETS MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
                                    The Little Man

                                    Blog

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by PnkPanthr View Post
                                      or do they warm up first? if your horse could do roads and tracks, steeplechase, roads and tracks, and THEN XC one one day, then you can spend a little more time warming up so your horses tendons, ligaments, and muscles wont strain.
                                      This is the kind of thing I was wondering about.
                                      Roseknoll Sporthorses
                                      www.roseknoll.net

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Denny,

                                        What I wonder is this...and where are the stats for... other horses before Utube, before the internet, before we are able to share the inside information with each other? (I am as guilty as the next person...I admit that, I look to this BB in particular for information, and usually get it!)

                                        I think that if we were able to get the information we might just find out that some of this is actually just the way it is. I know of numerous ULR that had horses die while competing. Was this just a dirty little secret?

                                        I am in NO way supportive of pushing our horses past their limits, nor running them past their abilities. But...this sport evolved from the military, which tested bravery of both horse and rider, and I just wonder a bit...is the current state and stakes greater because we can communicate so much better with each other?

                                        Please- no flames in my direction, I hate what has happened the past several days- but do wonder just a bit. And...perhaps short format has something to do with it...but I sadly think that is a done deal.

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