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Spinoff on the "Tier" concept.

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  • Spinoff on the "Tier" concept.

    As the jumps get bigger, the difficulty shoots up FASTER AND FASTER. It`s exponential, I think.

    Example; Most horses can trot over a 2 foot fence about as easily as they can trot 1 ft 9 inches.

    There`s not that much difference between beg. novice and novice, not really. Most horses can do it.

    Many horses can jump training heights and widths, 3`3 high.

    Fewer horses can easily handle 3`7, prelim heights.

    Even fewer are comfortable at 3`9, especially with bigger spreads.

    Once you get above 4 feet, it`s a swiftly losing proposition.

    4`3, 4`6, 4`9, 5 feet, these are hard for most horses. Intermediate and advanced are hard levels in eventing because height plus spread plus speed plus technical difficulty all add together.

    That`s why, at least partly, it`s a world unto itself, reserved for both human and equine elite.
    In other words, the jump between 3`7(preliminary) and 3`11 (advanced) is a much huger jump than the jump between beginner novice and training.

  • #2
    Hey Denny, Em and I were just discussing this very subject. Having never been Advanced, I can't really speak to that. However, I have trotted a few Prelim and Intermediate fences on course (not really on purpose).

    It seems to me the jump from Novice to Training is 'bigger' bc at Training, riders are given options for the first time and horses are given combinations. Novice has a ditch, Training has a ditch to a roll top. Prelim has a roll top to a ditch to a roll top. The combos get more and more complex as one moves up the levels but Training level is when those combos start being introduced. No?

    Obviously the sizes increase adding to the difficulty but I see the complexity as making the 'jump' from N-T harder.
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


    • #3
      Is 3'6" to 4' really that difficult for most relatively put together horses? I can see this being an issue for riders, but not the horses. Don't riders typically like taller horses so that they look down at a larger fence (less intimidating)? Once you're jumping Prelim., I and A don't appear significantly bigger (at least to me). What really changes are the speed, and rate ability. Going up the levels this needs to happen faster and smoother. This is really where training and riding matter. Also, it's important to be able to read the terrain and make adjustments as necessary. I believe hunting and riding out a lot help to make this more instinctive to the riders.

      Unfortunately, those who can ride at the upper levels need to constantly bring along young or green horses for sales to support their business. They need to get these horse out in competitions sooner rather than later because time is money. It's a business and perhaps they look at it as a business risk. Due to the need to bring them along quickly, they probably have not developed the speed/ rate ability to the degree necessary. Also, some of the rides are almost catch rides and doing this well is where the professional riders shine. But, this is also potentially very risky.

      The big question should be to USEA and all the membership, are we willing to risk the longevity of eventing for those that continuously are willing to take business risks. Is this a professional organization that supports business risks? Or, is this a professional organization that encourages and rewards sound, safe competive development of horse and riders? How can you discourage people from making poor business risk decisions?


      • #4
        Originally posted by LISailing View Post
        How can you discourage people from making poor business risk decisions?
        You could limit the number of entries a rider can make at a level and at an event.

        You could limit the number of completed horse trials that "count" toward qualifications for anything.

        But these are not good decisions for the other side of the business equation: the organizer.
        ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~


        • #5
          You're right Organizers needing a certain number of horses running to make an event worth the time, effort and commitment. However, until the economic slump this past year, most events (esp. Area 1) had long wait lists. Having the entries was not a concern. Now in other areas this may not have been the case and it certainly is a factor in this economy.


          • #6
            Originally posted by RiverBendPol View Post
            It seems to me the jump from Novice to Training is 'bigger' bc at Training, riders are given options for the first time and horses are given combinations. Novice has a ditch, Training has a ditch to a roll top. Prelim has a roll top to a ditch to a roll top. The combos get more and more complex as one moves up the levels but Training level is when those combos start being introduced. No?

            Obviously the sizes increase adding to the difficulty but I see the complexity as making the 'jump' from N-T harder.
            Agreed in a way, but this gets back to the consistency problem.
            Down here in area II? This paragraph needs upgrading!
            My green horse's first NOVICE = ditch to roll top.
            First TRAINING = downhill log to ditch uphill to log.

            I knew this, expected it, knowing the courses. But if we are introducing a ditch at novice in some places and a half coffin (plus trakhener, plus turning questions) in others, we already have a problem.
            The big man -- my lost prince

            The little brother, now my main man


            • #7
              In the UK this is the very reason the Sjing was made bigger. The Sjing proves whether a combination is safe to be going xc. I do wonder if you had the Sjing first whether it would change things and people would not be allowed to go xc?

              At Prelim, Intermediate and Advanced the sjing heights were raised by 5cm. If combinations are not getting round 1.15m safely Sjing there is no way they should be doing prelim xc at 1.10.

              I have been compulsory eliminated (24 faults) at sjing before and then was not allowed to go xc and that could have saved my life as I was not ready to do the xc. The sjing was nearly there but we had a few difficulties with speed and I would override the big oxers causing the horse to flatten. I am grateful about it now.
              The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.


              • #8
                And I always read the specific heights with a large grain of salt....a 3' 6" or 7" short-face vertical, for instance, on cross country with wet or damp footing becomes 3'9" when 62 horses go before you and jump from the exact same spot - like the downhill half round at Bucks last year in the cuppy footing that was only 8 ft wide going towards a water crossing, which could not be seen until the horse jumped it. That was a pretty good sized rolltop made outside-edge max due to footing and circumstances. Or the footing for stadium at all of the Plantation horse trials. If you are down in the order, be prepared to ride HARD to get enough horse to get over those jumps, because you will be jumping 3 inches higher than the first horse did.
                So to just think only about the numbers, and not take into account the footing and situation of the fences, is not examining the whole picture and could be dangerous. Just because you think your horse is safe over 3'7" does NOT a prelim capable horse make!
                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                • #9
                  [QUOTE=mugsgame;4723205]In the UK this is the very reason the Sjing was made bigger. The Sjing proves whether a combination is safe to be going xc.

                  What is "the Sjing?" Never heard of that...
                  Hillside Haven Farm
                  From starting gate to start box!


                  • #10
                    Why don't more course designers use black flag options? It would give you the flexibility to ask your horse a harder question if you feel they are up to the task without the organizer having to go out and build different courses for "tiers".

                    Also, regarding stadium jumping, I know it's a burden on the organizer but changing the tracks for the different levels could also be a great educational experience. The track you ask P to jump around should not be the same as BN.

                    Many in our sport need to be educated as they compete which is not necessarily a bad thing.
                    1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.


                    • #11
                      What is "the Sjing?" Never heard of that...
                      Show Jumping


                      • #12
                        mugsgame, in some parts of the US (like my area) we DO run SJ before XC on a regular basis.
                        I work the SJ at our HTs, and, yes, you get some eliminations that take out some weak combos (and, of course, you get some eliminations that are bad luck and probably the pair would have been fine xc, but them's the breaks). You get a lot MORE combos that make everyone gasp...and then SJ radios over to XC and says "watch out for #12"...
                        occasionally this results in #12 getting pulled in XC warmup or flagged off the course before getting in trouble.

                        But only very occasionally.

                        It does help, but riding XC is just too different from SJ for this to make much of a dent.

                        horsecents, this would indeed be great, changing tracks, and would also help when footing deteriorates.

                        Practically speaking for most of our one day trials in this area, though, we simply don't have the time to change tracks for each level. It takes forever to reset and check a course, and then allow course walks for all the first division (who can't walk the previous track since now it is all changed).

                        We could do it, but in the end organizers would actually have to reduce the entries they accept, which I doubt will make anyone happy.

                        We do it, for example, for our unrecognized -- having realized that giving the Elementary folks the entire (large) jump arena to work with results in SJ rounds that take 5 or 6 minutes a pop (lots of trotting, some walking, using the WHOLE arena, no matter how you design the track)...and we have to schedule a big gap in the program to do it (but in that case we make up the time by reducing those 5 + minute SJ rounds to 2 mins )
                        The big man -- my lost prince

                        The little brother, now my main man


                        • #13
                          Last year I watched safe solid cross country rides totally fall apart in the showjumping. I think I have never seen so many really bad rides as I saw in the Island 22 event last september. The entire day from tiny up to prelim was loaded with stops and falls, riders going to jumps giving horses no leg support -- the number of good rides you could count on your fingers.

                          I think there has always been a trend for eventers to have horses that gallop to fences running through the hand, and for the most part it works, till we get to skinnies, corners and tricky combinations. I think making the showjumping a little harder was a good idea, it's been on here in Canada for a few years now, makes a rough bump going to training from pre-training, but I think it sorts out a few combinations that need to be a little more organized. Definately would be good to have showjumping before cross country, but at trials run over 3 days, that's not happening. I really like 2 day trials.

                          I think there is a big schism in the demands of the dressage test compared to what is needed in showjumping. At the pre-entry and entry levels, the dressage test has you achieve canter somewhere in the corner between, say, K and A. Yet in the jumping you need to be able to do a tight turn with the horses jumping off their hocks to a 2'6 or 2'9 fence, that requires a lot more balance and engagement than dressage is asking.

                          I think that the lower levels of eventing aren't setting riders and horses up for a good progression up the levels.