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Pet peeves and misconceptions -- I want to know!

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  • Pet peeves and misconceptions -- I want to know!

    Okay, so as a jumper rider, there are a few things that sometimes happen when persons normally showing in the hunter/eq ring decide to come over to jumpers (not always, and I understand that's usually the learning curve for jumpers -- did it that way myself). Sometimes they're just dabbling, sometimes they're making the transition into jumpers, and I'm all for that! We're all on a learning curve and make mistakes. But it really frustrates me when I see people enter the jumper ring thinking it's all about going as fast as you can, and if you don't have any rails down, you're golden! Watching rounds that make you hold your breath and hope the rider will be okay, the horse is flat, strung-out, and running, and the turnout looks like the rider has entered jumpers as an excuse to slack off... all of these things add to the misconceptions that many non-jumpers have! I did my time in the hunter and eq ring, but I was lucky to have a trainer that introduced me to jumpers within the framework of precision, power, and good choices. She told me to lay down the course that would increase my horse's confidence, as well as my own, and perhaps most importantly my horse's confidence in me -- height, inside turns, and speed were challenges that came once we could lay down a consistently solid ride we felt good about, ribbons or not.

    So my current trainer thinks it will be great for us to get some low-level cross-country/eventing experience under our belt (I agree and am so excited about the learning opportunities involved). What are the things that get YOU about non-eventers coming into the sport? I think my frustration with the riders described above is because they are not putting their horse and his confidence first, nor are they addressing the questions which are great about the jumper ring in a way which is useful and positive. It also makes you a liability for the spectators/ring crew, and for the reputation of jumpers in general (which is why it sucks when riders are able to win at the lower levels because by the grace of God their horse went clean and they were mighty speedy, not because they had a good round). So what do you wish you could tell non-eventers/new eventers? What aggravates you about them? What do they do which contributes to misconceptions about eventing?

    The more detail, the better! I don't mean this as a b****-fest, I bring it up because I think it's about getting or missing the point of a discipline and the challenges/choices it presents. Thanks! I can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts.
    Gentleman J - "Junior" - My been-there, done-that jumper

    Send Your Love - "Serena" - Aug 10th 2009, Rest in Peace

  • #2
    1) People that overface their horses. Just because you can jump three feet over stadium fences, does NOT mean you're ready for novice cross country. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE, in safety mostly, between fences that come down if you tap them too hard and big ol' logs that ain't gonna move no matter how hard they're hit.

    2) People that, like you mentioned in jumpers, think of cross country as the speed phase. Yes, you do HAND gallop between jumps, but you have to collect, raise, and get your horse's attention before each jump, or else you will be in trouble heading to a solid jump dangerously.

    3) People who underestimate dressage. Eventing is not just a need for speed. Dressage is vital and wonderful, and especially important for the other two phases of eventing. I love to see people who take it just as seriously as the jumping phases because it IS just as serious.

    I'm sure there are more that I'll think of later
    Hell hath no fury like a chestnut thoroughbred mare .



    • #3
      1) People who don't bother to learn the rules and then throw a hissy fit when they're eliminated/DQed on some technicality.

      2) People who don't take care of their horses/tack themselves. It's fine to have help, but the ones that sit there and have there parents or groom do everything...Argh!

      3) People who can't win graciously.

      4) People who can't lose graciously and throw tantrums and blame everything on their horse.


      • #4
        Generally, except for some silly conversations about colors, I find that most eventers are pretty non-judgemental.
        Read the rules. Enter an appropriate level. Present yourself and your horse neat and clean. Ride as well as you can. Don't be afraid to ask if you don't know something. Have fun.
        Beer is optional.
        Nina's Story
        Epona Comm on FB


        • #5
          Kids who don't appreciate the parents who do so much for them at these shows.

          Anyone who ever yanks their horses face off.
          Boss Mare Eventing Blog


          • #6
            Originally posted by Spark View Post
            1) People that overface their horses. Just because you can jump three feet over stadium fences, does NOT mean you're ready for novice cross country. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE, in safety mostly, between fences that come down if you tap them too hard and big ol' logs that ain't gonna move no matter how hard they're hit.

            2) People that, like you mentioned in jumpers, think of cross country as the speed phase. Yes, you do HAND gallop between jumps, but you have to collect, raise, and get your horse's attention before each jump, or else you will be in trouble heading to a solid jump dangerously.

            3) People who underestimate dressage. Eventing is not just a need for speed. Dressage is vital and wonderful, and especially important for the other two phases of eventing. I love to see people who take it just as seriously as the jumping phases because it IS just as serious.

            I'm sure there are more that I'll think of later
            I second all of the above and add railbirds from other disciplines who denounce eventers as folks whose horses and riding aren't good enough to excell in just one discipline so they think eventers are wannabees from other disciplines. Those railbirds can kiss my eventing horse's big beautiful brown butt when he goes double clean and nails his dressage test..well still working on that dressage stuff but you know what I mean anyway


            • #7
              Not reading the rule book. Well, actually that's FINE, but not reading the rule book and then throwing a high-and-mighty whine fest when some stupid mistake you make that's CLEARLY in the rulebook gets you eliminated...that ticks me off, or amuses me highly, depending on whether or not I'm a volunteer having to grit my teeth or just watching you make a fool of yourself.

              (I mean the general "you", of course, not referring to anyone here!)

              Hearing people say they're more than ready for Training or even Prelim because they do the 3'6" equitation or the level 4 jumpers. Yeah, well, it's DIFFERENT out here among the fields and trees. You might not think the jumps are big, but I promise you that unless your horse has some eventing or REAL hunting mileage, he's going to be taken aback. Please be safe and humble and SCHOOL XC A FEW TIMES before you declare yourself ready.

              If your horse isn't broke to gallop and jump, please train it before you come to an event. More bit and hardware hanging off his face is NOT the answer.

              While there are no points for the nicest braid job or the cleanest tack, please don't bring a scroungy, dirty, skinny, hairy, unfit horse to the show! He may be perfectly fit and ready to do his job, but it looks pitiful. And clean your tack, for pity's sake. (this is getting to be a more common gripe every year as I see people bringing skinny, dirty horses to shows, especially local ones)

              Mostly my "peeves" are based on the feeling that eventing should be SAFE and FUN for both partners. Much as I joke about not liking bling or neon, I'd MUCH rather see that than any of the above. Keep your ears open, volunteer if you can (and be nice to the volunteers, please!) and make sure you remember that (invited gripe-fest here notwithstanding) eventers are a welcoming, helpful bunch all in all.
              Click here before you buy.


              • #8
                I would like to say that I can usually spot the hunter/jumper person from their position while schooling XC. Their legs are stuck in one immovable place on the horses side while they perch a bit too far up on the pommel in a half seat to be safe. When they are not in a driving position, or in a position to support their horses when they jump down or up in terrain, or across ditches or into water, etc. Then the horse gets a yank, or a spank, or a spurring, for not committing. The horses must be taught and have to be ridden. The primarily h/j rider doesn't ride effectively enough, the position never changes, the horse is expected to clock about as he does in a ring. I'm not being specific, and don't mean to generalize TOTALLY, as many h/j riders myself included learn better more flexible positions on horses that jump XC. That's just the thing I see that sets them apart from the event kids out there schooling. Most of them know how to keep their seats in the saddle to stay on!
                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                • #9
                  On the other hand, I think many eventers could learn a thing or two about having a solid leg from the HJ crowd. Swinging legs XC make me batty.

                  Pet peeves? Petal boots. Matching EVERYTHING. Not petting your horse after he tries for you. People who gripe about the "unfairness" of X, Y, and Z. Snipey comments by the side of the ring or watching someone else go XC (unless, of course, the comment is particularly funny - coughPolo3Daycough - in which case, just come on down and set by me for awhile).


                  • #10
                    Good point, Gotspots. In fact I think there are things that the eventers could certainly emulate in the h/j world. Leg is one. I think another would be to work on a smooth, quality round with nice turns, and the art of keeping the horse round to the fences, and in between the fences, while staying in position to help the horse. Primarily thinking of stadium phase. Also the horses seem to understand the fly change better coming out of that discipline and that again is something eventers could better work on too. Even at the low levels our horses could ALWAYS be rounder and jump better!
                    Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                    Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                    • #11
                      Not giving the horse enough credit/ not praising the horse for doing a good job/ blaming the horse for your bad ride.

                      Being b!#%y to volunteers.
                      Taco Blog
                      *T3DE 2010 Pact*


                      • #12
                        1)Haveing a freak attack on a jump judge when your horse is elminated. Especially at ditches, where each step back is a refusal. Three steps and TECHNICALLY, your out. Its not the jump judges fault, really, they are only putting their butts on a course by a jump all day to watch other people ride FOR FREE. Give them some freaking credit. If it werent for volunteers, we would be SOL. It just REALLY gets to me when people yell at the volunteers.

                        2) Getting mad at your horse for one reason or another. Your lucky that a 1200 pound animal is even trying for you. Especially the younger girls that smack their horses around. Yanking, spurring, smacking, yelling, spinning. ACK. Last weekend when i was with my mom jump judging, a girl was mad at her horse and took a crop to its face. 0.0. lets just say onlooks let it go on her.

                        3)When your horse may be having a tiny fit in the warm-up, and you can hear people from the side saying "arent you glad you dont have a horse like THAT" oKAY, WOOAA there buddy. My horse is a head tosser, pretty much is horrible in dressage (gettin MUCH better though!!), but will jump anything you put infront or her, and jump it well. Even though she may have a little fit, i'd like to see some of these girls with their made show horses, take my fiesty mare into a dressage arena, and then get her clear XC and stadium. Its leg leg leg leg leg leg, but she'll do it, she'll do anything, but i'd still love to see some of those girls try to ride a horse like mine, who has her own opinion.

                        4)Really loud trainers. Sure. its REALLY hard to hear sometimes in the warm up, but MAN some of these trainers get out there and YELL directions. Its like.. if i can hear you from 3 arena's over, your a little too loud.

                        5) not loving on your horse after it puts its heart and soul out for you. give your horse some lovvvveee!! they do a LOT for us.

                        (((not using "you" as anyone here just a general "you" as in.. people)))
                        Somewhere behind the rider i am now,the coaches who've pushed me,the tears,and the horses i've given my heart to,is a little girl who fell in love with a sport and never looked back. i ride for her


                        • #13
                          I thought of another one

                          When a beginner or rider that only rides in their lessons once or twice a week buys a horse from a BNR that's going P, I, or A, and then complains when they can't win Novice on their high dollar horse. Ladies, the horse can't do it alone. Perhaps you should *gasp* ride more.


                          • #14
                            Hahha... here's one... THANK the volunteers!!

                            The barn I ride at is hosting an event this weekend, today was entry and pre-training (bn and novice) and tomorrow is training thru intermediate and a CIC**. A volunteer lunch was announced today and a man and a woman were walking beside me and this was their conversation:

                            Man: "What? They are already done?"

                            Woman: "No, they judges need a break every once in a while."

                            Man: "Break? I'm sure they get paid pretty hefty for their jobs, they don't need a break."


                            I almost turned around and set the man straight, but luckily the woman did it for me!

                            So yes, be kind to the volunteers. If something doesn't go your way or they don't know an answer, please don't freak out on them. A lot of them really don't know eventing and are helping out of the goodness of their hearts.


                            • #15
                              * Not being respectful in the warm-up area!!!
                              - I usually don't have a trainer out there with me and I can't stand it when people don't call jumps, or go against the direction of the other people (not on the inside) or if a horse is having a problem in the warm up area they don't give him space. ALL HORSES HAVE BAD DAYS... if he's having a bucking fit just move out of the way, bring your horse to a walk, and let the other horse get over it! Also I hate when bossy trainers get into the middle and scream, or change the heights of the warm up jumps (which ISN"T ALLOWED!).

                              * Being respectful when x-country schooling
                              - There's a group of people that always come to a local schooling that SCREAM at their horse's to get them over the fenses.. i'm talking 5 strides out "GET UP GET UP GET OVER THAT JUMP" its so annoying, and spooks all the horses around them.
                              - Don't crowd popular jumps like the water jump, if people are already schooling there don't stand around putting pressure on them to hurry, they get their fair share to practice.
                              - At the same time if other people are waiting don't take all day if there's no way in hell your horse is getting over a ditch today!

                              *This is really random but I HATE when people say their horse is an eventer, or for sale as an eventer just b/c "he was too hot for the hunter ring" just because a horse is hot or fiesty doesn't mean he has the talent to be an eventer*
                              http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                              • #16
                                Just a couple off the top of my rusty head,

                                1.) (and most have said this) Is it too hard to say "Thank you" to the dressage judge, bit check person, xc starter and stadium judge? I try to always say something positive so these folks know that we as a whole appreciate their work.

                                2.) Tell those around you that they're doing great. Maybe tell a quick joke. I mean the kid thats stressed on the headstrong horse, the woman who is clearly a competent rider but is talking her nerves down. And the guy who's trying to ignore the fact that he's surrounded by women and his breeches are a bit tight. Smile, share a laugh or a compliment. Everyone's had a bad day and everyone has had that million dollar ride that comes with the beaming smile. Remember the human element to this game.

                                3.) If your day is going really badly and Karma doesn't seem to be there, its ok to say when. Now I don't mean quit after one stop, but if you're terrified and your horse knows it and you are not able to get around the fences that were "easy" when you walked the course. Don't put undue pressure on yourself. When you're at the Olympics, yes THEN you are carrying the weight of the world. Until then, do whats best for you and your horse. No one and nothing should ever supercede this. No matter how much time, effort, money has been spent to get there, its never worth your neck or your horses.

                                4.) Agree big time with "PAT the pony!!" If anyone is fool enough to think that they made their horse go clean, stand back, Lightning is a coming!! Its a team effort and as they told us in dog obedience,

                                "Would you work for your boss if you were never paid? Hmm No praise is like never being paid for your work. You gotta put in what you want to get out of it."

                                5.) (This one has boundaries to it but..) If you see someone who needs help, offer it. Now don't approach like you're the omnipotent God of eventing, but if they seem lost or stressed or pressed for time, would it hurt to ask if you could help?

                                6.) Come home and let the problems of today go. They're done. Maybe write down in a journal exactly what went wrong and right and learn from it. Move away from the repetitive thoughts of "Oh well he stopped at water at Flora Lea, so he'll probably try to at Fair Hill as well." Ok well there's 2 ways to approach this, a.) School more water in between and have yourself ready to support him through his worries. or b.) Freak out worrying yourself and transmit it to him so he is almost guaranteed to stop again.

                                Ok thats what I have for now.

                                "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


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by GreyTrakehner92 View Post
                                  1)Haveing a freak attack on a jump judge when your horse is elminated. Especially at ditches, where each step back is a refusal. Three steps and TECHNICALLY, your out. Its not the jump judges fault, really, they are only putting their butts on a course by a jump all day to watch other people ride FOR FREE. Give them some freaking credit. If it werent for volunteers, we would be SOL. It just REALLY gets to me when people yell at the volunteers.

                                  Not quite! Read the rulebook (EV142). A set back is only a refusal after the initial stop (section 2 here). Now, if the rider continues to drive the horse forward and the horse backs that is another stop (section 3 here). If a rider backs thier horse in order to reorganize and represent and is successful, steps backward are not individual refusals.

                                  There is no rule about a single step backward being a refusal.

                                  2. DISOBEDIENCES (REFUSALS and RUN-OUTS)
                                  a. Refusals.
                                  (1) At obstacles or elements with height (exceeding 30 cm), a horse is considered
                                  to have refused if it stops in front of the obstacle to be jumped.
                                  (2) At all other obstacles (i.e., 30 cm or less in height) a stop followed immediately
                                  by a standing jump is not penalized, but if the halt is sustained or in any way prolonged,
                                  this constitutes a refusal. The horse may step sideways but if it steps back,
                                  even with one foot, this is a refusal.
                                  (3) After a refusal, if a competitor redoubles or changes his efforts without success,
                                  or if the horse is represented at the obstacle after stepping back and stops or
                                  backs again, this is a second refusal, and so on.
                                  b. Runouts. A horse is considered to be disobedient if it runs-out, avoids the obstacle or
                                  element to be jumped in such a way that it has to be represented. A rider is permitted
                                  to change his mind as to where he jumps an obstacle or element at any time without
                                  penalty for a run-out, including as a result of a mistake at a previous obstacle or element.
                                  c. At an obstacle composed of several elements (A B obstacle), a horse may be disobedient
                                  and refuse or run-out only twice in all without incurring elimination.


                                  • #18
                                    1. Don't blame the horse
                                    2. Don't blame the volunteers
                                    3. Don't blame the officials

                                    While a matter of preference and taste, I still can't stand the glitter and bling if you're over 12 (or under 60)

                                    Don't ever think that a big name rider is unapproachable for lessons. Or that they are too expensive

                                    Don't ever be too shy to ask someone at an event questions or if you need help.
                                    Even duct tape can't fix stupid


                                    • #19
                                      Here are some more--and not just limited to new folks.

                                      Put the horse's number on this bridle, not the breastplate. So hard for the volunteers to see!

                                      Know what your number is when you check in with the bit check and ring steward. If they send you to the wrong ring because you gave them your number from last month, it's not their fault.

                                      For your dressage test, trot around the ring and past the judge. Smile and say "Hello, I'm number such and such." It helps both the scribe from trying to peer out and figure out what the competitors number is.

                                      Go volunteer! It's so much fun!


                                      • #20
                                        1. love the volunteers
                                        love the judges
                                        love the ORGANIZER
                                        love your horse

                                        2. If you have an issue/concern don't bite off the TDs head.

                                        3. Be thankful that there even is a HT for you to enter!!!

                                        4. Take an extra second at the start box and after you hear "5, 4, 3, 2, 1, have a nice ride" say, 'thank you so much [with a smile]'.

                                        5. Warm up arenas are probably the most nerve racking places to be. Don't get mad. Just go about your business and say 'sorry' sometimes.
                                        shot, even when it is clearly not my fault I always say, 'oops, sorry, my fault' just so people won't bite my head off.

                                        6. If you have a snarky horse [mare!] that does not like neighbors please bring sheets to cover the stall walls or ask for specific accommodations. Be curtious, this is a biggy. If not for yourself then for your fellow stable mates.

                                        My quirky pet peeves:

                                        0. COACHES THAT SCREAM ACROSS THE WARM UP AT THEIR STUDENTS.

                                        1. Those who feel the need to scream 'UP' in front of every fence so their horse knows it needs to jump....up? If I were a horse I would stop. I think anything more than a whisper 'whoa' or a cluck for forward is distracting. the horse is right under your breath. he can hear you!

                                        2. Don't get pissed off in the warm up arena. It's a TOUGH place to be and rider/horses do get in the way. just deal with it. and if someone changes the height of a fence. JUST DEAL WITH IT!
                                        (I can speak for this one cause in my warm up at Holly Hill Mike Huber came in with his students and set the little 3'3'' oxar to prelim + height with mega width (yes, most likely illegal). Needless to say after that my horse jumped 2' over every SJ fence. Thanks Mike!) no complaints here! lol.

                                        3. WE HEARD YOU CALL FOR THE OXAR THE FRIST TIME!!! Do you think your horse appreciates you screaming at the top of your lungs!?!

                                        3a. People who scream all the way around XC just to make a scene cause they are 'Eventers'.

                                        4. People who gripe about their dressage scores. "I don't know WHAT that dressage judge was looking for??? in disgust.

                                        um...maybe an obedient horse and proper geometry. duh!
                                        (can speak for this one too. I got "rider needs to look up definition of circle" one time. I laughed and went home and worked on circles)

                                        5. and for sales: those who put "would be a good three day horse" what the hell is a three-day horse??

                                        6. the people that go to HTs and tell everyone they are 'three-day'-eventers. what the hell is a 'three-day' eventer? I guess we will see you at Rolex and Badminton sometime soon?

                                        snicker. sorry, you opened my little can. lol.
                                        as you all can tell I am a very quiet rider. I appreciate a peaceful atmostphere, as does my horse.
                                        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!