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Spin off: Question about ride times

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  • Spin off: Question about ride times

    I will start with a disclaimer that I have only done two one day HTs so far but hope to make my official eventing debut this summer, hence my question.

    The thread about the ring steward who pushed back ride times so a rider could warm up with her trainer got me thinking about an opposite situation that happened to me.

    Two times in my last HT, while I was warming up, I was asked to ride earlier than my assigned time. My horse needs a lot of warm up so I was counting on the time I thought I had. Granted, this was a schooling show, but since I have not yet done a recognized event, I want to make sure I understand the warm up protocol.

    If the ring steward asks me to ride before my assigned time do I have to go, or can I wait for my official ride time?

    TIA!
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg

  • #2
    you can wait. If they ask you to move up, just politely let them know that your ride time was x and you are not fully warmed up yet but will get there as soon as you can.

    It is advisable to check if the ring is running on time or not before beginning your warm up. Don't always assume things will go right on time.....or you may warm up too much (or would have warmed up faster and enough if you had known they were early).

    First thing I do when I walk into any warm up ring...dressage or jumping...is ask if my ring is on time so I can judge my timing for warm up. Some times in jumping, if there are a lot of multiple rides, the stewards my scratch the jump times and take people as they are ready. So I find that out as well. I know that I typically need about 5-10 rounds (horses in front of me) to warm up (flatting and jumping included--fewer rounds needed if I just did dressage). Most of my horses I jump one or two fences early on to see how they feel...and to give me an idea of how many jumps I will need in the warm up. I'm usually done jumping 2-3 rounds before I go and I some times take a last fence 1-2 rounds before I go in. It does vary slightly depending on the horse.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

    Comment


    • #3
      Nope. You don't have to go. Be polite, but let them know that your time is X and you plan on riding at X.

      However, you can go if you're ready! Actually, this weekend, the boss showed up on his first horse in dressage and was told that the ring was running early and he could go pretty much whenever he wanted. The particular horse he was sitting on needs VERY little warm up, so, as an experiment, instead of spending even a minute or two in warm up, he went right in. Cantered once around the ring each way as he waited for the whistle, then went in a rode one hell of a test. People actually stopped to watch. Apparently, that particular horse's warm up is NO warm up!
      Amanda

      Comment


      • #4
        you know a lot of people actually do that, a lot of advanced I know horses go into dressage with no warm up, called cold starting. Sometimes it really, really helps them

        I'm going to try it at MCTA advanced with the red headed #@*&^%#..... could be super, could be a disaster.
        www.yellowroseeventing.com

        Comment


        • #5
          If you do chose to make the judge wait till your appointed ride time, you better be prepared to ride one he!! of a good test. Especially if the judge is hungry, tired or needs to pee. Also, don't let those thoughts rattle your focus!! Unless I am in real trouble, I'll always go early if they ask me to, just so I don't freak myself out about making the judge wait!!
          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RiverBendPol View Post
            If you do chose to make the judge wait till your appointed ride time, you better be prepared to ride one he!! of a good test. Especially if the judge is hungry, tired or needs to pee. Also, don't let those thoughts rattle your focus!! Unless I am in real trouble, I'll always go early if they ask me to, just so I don't freak myself out about making the judge wait!!

            LOL....I always go early just to get it over with!
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by yellow rose eventing View Post
              you know a lot of people actually do that, a lot of advanced I know horses go into dressage with no warm up, called cold starting. Sometimes it really, really helps them

              I'm going to try it at MCTA advanced with the red headed #@*&^%#..... could be super, could be a disaster.
              Yeah, he used to do it with his red headed #@*&^%#, too, when that one was competing at the upper levels. One of the many warm ups tried on THAT one (along with lungeing, riding 3 times for an hour each before their time, etc, etc, etc)...this the same horse who is packing a 15 yr. old around BN and totes her 12 yr. old, pony riding sister around like an old school horse. Those red heads are so much nicer when they are fat and out of shape (and being plied with cookies by doting teenagers!).
              Amanda

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by yellow rose eventing View Post
                you know a lot of people actually do that, a lot of advanced I know horses go into dressage with no warm up, called cold starting. Sometimes it really, really helps them

                I'm going to try it at MCTA advanced with the red headed #@*&^%#..... could be super, could be a disaster.
                You must PROMISE that you will let us all know how that works for ya
                "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have an older horse who suffers from tenseness. I use all the warmup I can get. However I have also sat in that hot, dusty booth (or cold, chilly wet booth) so I always try to accomodate an earlier time than posted if I feel I am ready. 4 or 5 minutes early is not usually a problem, but 20 minutes is too much to ask (that did happen to me once and it was a horrible test, I learned my lesson, to be polite and stick up for myself, but I knew that particular judge would NOT forgive too much if I made her wait 20 minutes for me. I was the last one in the division before lunch, too. So there would have been steam coming out of her ears by the time I trotted down center line on my regular assigned time.) It wasn't the Olympics, so I made do with a 6-7 minute warmup. I hadn't even cantered yet!

                  I actually gained two points later on when I double checked my score and found they had made an error, so it wasn't that bad.
                  Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                  Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Speaking as a ring steward, I try to let riders know where the ring is at with regard to the schedule as they come to check in. I will definitely let you know if we are early and that that does not mean that you have to ride early, but you can if you would like. My rings miraculously so far have always been on time or a few minutes early. The most was 15 minutes early. I have no problem with riders wanting to use their whole warmup time and I won't bug or push them into riding early. But it is nice if you stay polite and just tell me that you will not be ready before your posted time. I have had some riders get quite defensive and think that they will be pushed into the ring early when they are told that we are ahead of schedule.
                    With both of my boys I would rather ride a bit early than wait longer and let my nerves get worked up more. As long as my basic warm up is done, I don't usually see what 5 extra minutes are really going to do for me. That and I want to get it over and done with, especially for dressage.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Festivity -- once again, a ring steward worth your weight in gold!

                      For the most part, I tend to go early, if available, but not necessarily the earliest time. For example, if the ring steward lets me know that they are 15 minutes ahead, I might go right then, I might go 5-10 minutes ahead of my assigned ride time, or not go early at all.

                      I am always polite and do my best to help out when I can, but I have never felt pushed or penalized by the judge if I didn't go early. That being said, I never play diva either -- if I can be ready to go early, I do so and I communicate clearly and politely with the ring steward so that they know what I am doing.

                      FWIW, one of my best test ever was very early on in my riding career and I only had enough time to walk and trot for a few minutes (not canter at all!) -- I earned the best score of the entire show, probably because I didn't have time to get my horse all worked up!

                      Showing (particularly in the warm-up arena) is a place where you really need to develop a good mix of courtesy and assertiveness. Be aware and have respect for the officials, volunteers and other competitors. Help out when you can do so, but treat yourself with respect as well -- you deserve a good warm-up just like everyone else. Most people who achieve that mix end up having good results.
                      Last edited by SevenDogs; Apr. 20, 2010, 10:29 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I always leave 20-25 minutes for warmup, and find that I only need 10. If I can go early, I usually will. Regarding the going early bit- You can always go early, but if you miss your ridetime, especially for dressage, you won't always have lenience and a chance to actually go. But no, you do not HAVE to go early.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SevenDogs View Post
                          Festivity -- once again, a ring steward worth your weight in gold!
                          Thanks SevenDogs! I always have quite a bit of fun being a ring steward. I think my favorite is being in charge of the cross country warm up and sending riders over to the start. That way I get to wish everyone a good ride and see them right before they start. One of the advantages of the longer events held over 3 days here in California is that it actually gives me a chance to volunteer and ride at the same event. Which for me is probably the most productive use of nervous show energy. For some odd reason it helps a whole lot with the butterflies. Eventers are the best to volunteer for! Most of them are super polite, willing to work with you, and out having fun. I have volunteered for other disciplines and have never had nearly as good of a time as I do at events.

                          I definitely know that too much time in the warmup is a bad thing for me, I get wound up way too tight. Same with my horse and I am not even riding a red head.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thank you all for your responses. I feel much better now!


                            Originally posted by Festivity View Post
                            I always have quite a bit of fun being a ring steward. I think my favorite is being in charge of the cross country warm up and sending riders over to the start. That way I get to wish everyone a good ride and see them right before they start.
                            Festivity, I sure hope you are our ring steward for one of the events at Woodside this year!
                            Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
                            http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
                            http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And another thing about dressage ride times- don't be late, even by a couple of minutes (I found this out the hard way at my very first event ever and got the big E- what a way to be introduced to eventing ).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Festivity View Post
                                Speaking as a ring steward, I try to let riders know where the ring is at with regard to the schedule as they come to check in. I will definitely let you know if we are early and that that does not mean that you have to ride early, but you can if you would like. .... I have no problem with riders wanting to use their whole warmup time and I won't bug or push them into riding early. ....
                                Yes all this, when I am ring steward. I tell people they have the option to ride early, but they don't have to. I realize the rider may be a bundle of nerves. I try to give the info clearly once and then leave them alone. For many riders the best info they can get is "you can go anytime you wish until your ride time," if there is a scratch in front of them. The worst is no updates for next to go, 2nd to go, 3rd to go. When riders are deeply focused on warm-up some of them loose track of time. I think this is something a steward can do for them without trouble.

                                I believe the option to ride early should be communicated as such, without any assumption that the rider will. The days and weeks of preparation, the hundreds of dollars in cost in to be there are not worth undermining so someone can get their lunch a few minutes early.

                                I've found riders appreciate as much advance notice as they can get of the opportunity to ride early. Having waiting for my own dressage starting time, I know there is that magic moment when your realize if you could start right now your horse is the most ready he could ever be. But you still have 5 minutes till ride time, and you feel him start to loose a little focus.

                                But if you need more time, don't ride early. Given everything riders do and pay to be there, don't ruin the weekend score when you don't have to. I'm sure the judge would rather watch a lovely test than a test that obviously needed more warm-up.

                                And as I mentioned elsewhere ... my perspective as an eventing ring steward is that there is only one final score for the weekend. Whatever happens in the dressage ring is what the rider lives with for the entire competition. I do believe that riders need every chance to manage their own ride to do their best. Some of the best help a ring steward can offer is timely information, on rider options and on delays.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  While a rider does not have to ride before their scheduled time, it is wise the check in with the ring stewart about
                                  time. I expect most competitions begin as we do here by noting one particular clock is show time and asking all the people working the show to set their timepieces to the same time. A rider would be well advised to make sure that their own timepiece also is synchornized to that clock or they may find the five minutes they thought they had is not actually there.
                                  Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                                  Elmwood, Wisconsin

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Catalina View Post
                                    And another thing about dressage ride times- don't be late, even by a couple of minutes (I found this out the hard way at my very first event ever and got the big E- what a way to be introduced to eventing ).
                                    I remember my first recognized show. Venue about two hours away that I had never been to before...stuck in traffic, almost lost...got there late. Signed in, threw tack on pony, go running (trotting) to dressage JUST in time. I mean, if my ride time was at 1115, I was trotting to the dressage ring at 1114. I was ready to go straight into the ring. There was one girl in the warm up, she was ready to go. The ring steward insisted that I warm up and the other girl go.

                                    I do a quick warm up and head to dressage. As I am trotting around first, the judge (in a terse tone) asked me why I was out of order. I don't quite remember my answer but it was akin to 'I was late and was going to come straight in, but the ring steward told me to warm up first!' I was lucky to not be eliminated and the ring steward was very nice, but for my first recognized, it was all a bit scary!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Not an event, but at a recognized dressage show at GMHA...I was getting dressed & my stock pin broke. Fortunately, I was in the barn closest to the tack shop next to GMHA, and I ran over in panic, after wasting a few minutes in vain trying to fix it and finding no neighbors around to borrow one from.

                                      I remember standing at the tack shop counter and the nice lady was slowly pulling out the variety of stock pins: "and then we have this version....". I so distinctly remember looking at my watch and noting my ride time was in 18 minutes. I told the woman that I had to be riding my test in 18 minutes and just picked one and almost died when she slowly, with no sense of urgency whatsover, processed my payment.

                                      I had no groom, no trainer, not even a friend along who could tack up the horse while I was off buying my stock pin. Ran back to the barn, THREW the stuff on my horse, trotted over to the ring where they had been paging me for minutes, and without even a 20 meter circle, trotted right down centerline.

                                      Whew! It doesn't get any closer than that!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        As ring steward, I let riders know when they come in if we are early or late, how many horses before them and which horse they will follow. I also ask those with multiple rides, etc if they need more time than scheduled. In the case described by Retread, I would probably have asked the judge if it would work for her to take a break for 15 minutes and then judge one more horse before lunch. I do often communicate with the judges (for example, last week advanced tests were scheduled a little close together so we were running about 10 minutes late and judge agreed she would rather forego her 12 minute break and just push through until lunch, so Intemediate riders all went on time).

                                        I will also make an announcement to the warm-up that we are early, so if you would like to go early versus on your time let me know. And finally if we are say 10 or 15 minutes ahead and a rider says they want to go on their time and a couple more say they want to go early, I will ask the rider who wants to go on their time if it is ok if I put the 2 in front, which might then make them 2 minutes late. It is all a balancing act between flexibility and mass chaos, but I have to say that no one has ever been less than polite to me, though a few have been pretty brazen in their requests.
                                        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

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