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Thoughts from Convention discussions: Rider Licenses and Refusing Entries

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  • #21
    I agree with most of the posters, that licensing and subjective monitoring isn't the answer.
    Most of the licensing in racing has to do with pari-mutual wagering and background checks. Furthermore, there are some really bad riders and trainers on the backside and they all have licenses. Most of the testing is common sense, it doesn't really weed out the idiots.
    All the lists in racing are mostly factual and not subjective. If you're horse visibly bleeds after a race, you're on the bleeders list...nothing subjective about it.
    If you're horse is lame in the paddock, he's scratched and on the vet's list...nothing subjective.
    If you're horse is nerved (a fact) he has to be put on the list.
    If you're horse gets distanced by 50 lengths he'll probably be put on the stewards list...another fact.
    I don't think having a panel or steward decide who's riding dangerous would work because it would take a lot of manpower and money to manage something like this. Would the panel have to watch them school x-c to determine if they can compete again?? I don't think there is the money to run all that in eventing.

    **HERE'S THE ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE**

    I would like to see a rule pertaining to cross country Elimination or Retirement.

    I really feel that any rider that has an R or E (not technical) should be forced to go back one level and run 2-3 clean (zero jump) cross country's before moving back up.
    I don't understand all the inconsistency with these horse/rider combinations, a truly prepared horse and rider just don't have R's and E's on their record every 3rd time they go cross country.
    I think this should apply to ALL riders, big name or not and also to new horse/rider combinations regardless of their past individual experience.
    Most of the knowledgeable riders self monitor and drop down a level when neeeded. It seems that there is a group of riders out there that just keeps going up or staying at a level despite a multitude problems. If these riders won't/can't monitor themselves, then perhaps the USEA should!

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by useventers View Post
      I would like to see a rule pertaining to cross country Elimination or Retirement.

      I really feel that any rider that has an R or E (not technical) should be forced to go back one level and run 2-3 clean (zero jump) cross country's before moving back up.
      I don't understand all the inconsistency with these horse/rider combinations, a truly prepared horse and rider just don't have R's and E's on their record every 3rd time they go cross country.
      I think this should apply to ALL riders, big name or not and also to new horse/rider combinations regardless of their past individual experience.
      Most of the knowledgeable riders self monitor and drop down a level when neeeded. It seems that there is a group of riders out there that just keeps going up or staying at a level despite a multitude problems. If these riders won't/can't monitor themselves, then perhaps the USEA should!
      I can definitely see your point, but good pairs have their bad days. Granted this was BN so I guess there wouldn't really be a level to drop back to...

      Anyways, I was never out of the top two at BN in 2006 except for the AECs when I got 10th with a 32.5 in dressage and double clear rounds. For some unknown reason this past March at an event, my horse who had never refused a cross country jump just would not go over this tiger trap at the third to last jump on course. I just don't think I was truly riding because I had a sinus infection I think, and he got lazy and decided that was it for the day. I just wasn't having the best weekend. The next event we won, and the next I got 2nd at my area championships out of 40 odd people.

      Like I said, I can see your point. I see people who had a couple of clear rounds here and there but some Es and big numbers. The thing I'm most surprised about is when you look their horses record up they got eliminated a time (or two!) and still move up. But things just happen sometimes.
      T3DE Pact

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      • #23
        I don't believe the licensing as discussed by David would necessarily be directed at the lower levels. I believe it would be more like a certificate of capability for higher level riders, as well as a way to track falls, concussions, etc.

        I agree that objectivity in looking at riders' ability/competence is important, but if a subjective warning or reporting of someone would prevent that person's serious injury or death, wouldn't it be worth it?
        Even if someone was told they looked dangerous out there, and that made them think a bit, wouldn't that be worth it?

        Also, to whomever discussed riding their horse conservatively at Millbrook, I doubt you would have raised any flags whatsoever. It sounds as if you should be applauded for taking your time, safely and with consideration for the well-being of your horse and your self.
        To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

        Comment


        • #24
          I EMPHATICALLY DISAGREE.

          In my case, I had a Retirement at Rebecca Farms. My next competition resulted in finishing 12th at the AECs (one of only 2 amateurs in the ribbons). If your way were to happen, I would wasted a lot of time getting to where I am. This is not to mention I retired because I made a smart and correct decision about the welfare of my horse. At the same time it would add a lot of wear and tear on horses so when they made it back to the levels an increased possibility of breaking down would occur.

          Reed

          Originally posted by useventers View Post
          **HERE'S THE ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE**

          I would like to see a rule pertaining to cross country Elimination or Retirement.

          I really feel that any rider that has an R or E (not technical) should be forced to go back one level and run 2-3 clean (zero jump) cross country's before moving back up.
          I don't understand all the inconsistency with these horse/rider combinations, a truly prepared horse and rider just don't have R's and E's on their record every 3rd time they go cross country.
          I think this should apply to ALL riders, big name or not and also to new horse/rider combinations regardless of their past individual experience.
          Most of the knowledgeable riders self monitor and drop down a level when neeeded. It seems that there is a group of riders out there that just keeps going up or staying at a level despite a multitude problems. If these riders won't/can't monitor themselves, then perhaps the USEA should!

          Comment


          • #25
            I really don't see how regulating the Ladies of Perpetual Novice from going Training or Prelim is going to solve the problem of UPPER LEVEL RIDERS DYING. These fatal accidents are not occuring at the lower levels, so let's not regulate the sport to death for the people not causing the problems.

            And FWIW, I was struck once watching a Lucinda Green clinic when essentially the same exercises were performed by all levels. What I saw that really made me think was that the BN, N & P groups all dealt with the questions really well. The Training group made hash of it.

            Why? Because the BN & N horses/riders were really green, and hadn't had a lot of training. This clinic was a real learning experience for them and they were pushed, but did a good job. The prelim horses were well enough trained to do well.

            It was the Training level group that had holes = and boy did these exercises point out where, and how big these holes were - stopping and steering.

            It appeared, and perhaps this was only this one day and one set of riders, that these saintly horses had done well enough, without good training, to move up to Training level and were all getting by, but when the chips were down and they had to be accurate within inches, not yards, they weren't 'broke' enough to do the job.

            Not sure how this is going to solve problems, but it demonstrated to me how far one can get (Training) and still have holes in your horses' training. Riders too.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by RAyers View Post
              I EMPHATICALLY DISAGREE.

              In my case, I had a Retirement at Rebecca Farms. My next competition resulted in finishing 12th at the AECs (one of only 2 amateurs in the ribbons). If your way were to happen, I would wasted a lot of time getting to where I am. This is not to mention I retired because I made a smart and correct decision about the welfare of my horse. At the same time it would add a lot of wear and tear on horses so when they made it back to the levels an increased possibility of breaking down would occur.

              Reed
              I think I have to agree with Reed about retirements - after all if you or your horse is just not having a good day and you do the sensible, safe thing you shouldn't be penalized (quite the reverse - just think of the pressure to continue an unsafe ride with such a rule). On the other hand, two out of three XCs where you've been eliminated for three or more refusals - I'd be prepared to bet we all know at least one rider who shouldn't be riding at any given level.

              P.S. Blugal, Thanks for the correction - that's what I meant to say.
              Brock
              Brock n. (Anglo-Saxon) badger as in Brockenhurst, Brocklebank etc www.area35.us

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              • #27
                Originally posted by useventers View Post
                I

                **HERE'S THE ONE THING I WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE**

                I would like to see a rule pertaining to cross country Elimination or Retirement.

                I really feel that any rider that has an R or E (not technical) should be forced to go back one level and run 2-3 clean (zero jump) cross country's before moving back up.
                Re: R
                Knowing when it is not your day -- either due to rider or horse issues -- is one of the most important skills in eventing. I think a lot of riders might be less likely to retire on course if it meant going back a level for 2-3 events. In some parts of the US, this would mean the whole season.

                Why should we punish riders for showing good judgment?

                Re: E

                How are you going to get the experience you need if you're not allowed to try? You need competition experience to succeed in competition.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Hilary View Post

                  And FWIW, I was struck once watching a Lucinda Green clinic when essentially the same exercises were performed by all levels. What I saw that really made me think was that the BN, N & P groups all dealt with the questions really well. The Training group made hash of it.

                  Funny...I organize a lot of clinics...without doubt the "Training" level group is always the group that makes me reach for the antacids.

                  I don't know what the answer is...but at the higher levels I still don't see licenses really helping. I would rather have the time and money go to course designing/building and additional rider training (i.e. developing rider clinics and keeping those riders on the list for more then a few years on more then one 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


                  • #29
                    I agree if you voluntarily retire because you're not having a good day or your horse doesn't feel right, you should NOT be penalized. If you retire do to excessive stops or falls, you should have to go back and prove yourself again. If you are having excessive problems cross country...there is something going wrong! It may work out for some to keep going, but it will catch up with a lot of riders at some point. It seems like with so many rules and laws, the competent riders would have to pay the price for the bad ones.

                    ULR take horses back down all the time at the beginning of and throughout the season, most horses aren't breaking down at lower speeds and lower jumps. Even if it does mean extra wear and tear, we're talking about a safety issue for horse and rider. I'd rather a horse do a couple runs at a lower level than be injured/killed at a fence in the future.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by JER View Post
                      Re: R
                      Knowing when it is not your day -- either due to rider or horse issues -- is one of the most important skills in eventing. I think a lot of riders might be less likely to retire on course if it meant going back a level for 2-3 events. In some parts of the US, this would mean the whole season.

                      Why should we punish riders for showing good judgment?

                      Re: E

                      How are you going to get the experience you need if you're not allowed to try? You need competition experience to succeed in competition.

                      I totally agree about the R. If it's voluntary, you should NOT be penalized or forced down a level. Actually it would probably make riders pull up sooner and voluntarily retire as opposed to continueing and risking a mandatory retirement.

                      If you're doing your 1st prelim. and you're eliminated...you don't belong there!

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Interesting idea, but it does not seem very feasible. How would riders get a license? Who would be the one making the decision on who gets their liscence for a particular level? I assume we are talking about more than just qualifications like we have now. Like actually judging their ability and knowledge? I think that's great in theory, but it's getting pretty subjective. I could easily see that becoming political. As in, if you know the right people you can get any license you want.
                        http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Every time discussions of safety-related questions come up I am so disappointed that we do not have good statistics Including lower levels). The Australians did a great job with a study several years ago:

                          Summary: http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HOR/04-171sum.html
                          Full Report: http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HOR/04-171.pdf

                          Perhaps something like this is already in the works, but if it isn't, how we desperately need it.
                          SportHorseRiders.com
                          Taco Blog
                          *T3DE 2010 Pact*

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                            Funny...I organize a lot of clinics...without doubt the "Training" level group is always the group that makes me reach for the antacids.

                            I don't know what the answer is...but at the higher levels I still don't see licenses really helping. I would rather have the time and money go to course designing/building and additional rider training (i.e. developing rider clinics and keeping those riders on the list for more then a few years on more then one horse).
                            There is no question that rider training is a huge focus for the future. But there are a LOT of riders out there who are their own trainers and don't think they need education.
                            There has to be a way to reach those people who think they have it all figured out when they don't.

                            Reed, your situation, and similar ones, are not the ones that would be targeted for downgrading or whatever. It's those people/horses that are repeatedly getting eliminated, falling, etc. that bear watching.
                            To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by adamsmom View Post
                              There is no question that rider training is a huge focus for the future. But there are a LOT of riders out there who are their own trainers and don't think they need education.
                              There has to be a way to reach those people who think they have it all figured out when they don't.

                              I was talking about the "Developing" riders lists...this is the program that provides training sessions for UL riders making the transition to International levels....I would like to see the list expanded and to keep providing the training to riders for more then a season and more then one horse.

                              I don't know of any rider who competes at prelim and above who would turn down cheap or free lessons with top trainers. These riders are often trainers of other riders. When given the opportunity to ride with a good trainer, they jump at it. But I personally don't think rider training at the ULs is the problem....I would just rather see money go in that direction then MORE red tape.

                              Again, looking at the accidents, those were generally not riders out there without access to good instruction and I would be surprised if most if not all of them would have easily passed any license for the level that they were competing at when hurt or killed.
                              ** 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


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                I was talking about the "Developing" riders lists...this is the program that provides training sessions for UL riders making the transition to International levels....I would like to see the list expanded and to keep providing the training to riders for more then a season and more then one horse.

                                I don't know of any rider who competes at prelim and above who would turn down cheap or free lessons with top trainers. These riders are often trainers of other riders. When given the opportunity to ride a good trainer, they jump at it. But I personally don't think rider training at the ULs is the problem....I would just rather see money go in that direction then MORE red tape.
                                Again, I believe that the emphasis is on training at ALL levels, although I'm not sure that a lower level developing rider list is the answer. There are a lot of people who would never be able to utilize a system like that, particularly the adult amateur with the full-time job, kids, etc. Not to mention you're looking at having to find the money to fund a massive expansion of that program.

                                Not that it can't or shouldn't be done. There was a lot of discussion and a lot of ideas this week. Now the groups need to get together and see what makes the most sense to implement, and how, exactly, to implement those ideas.
                                To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  adamsmom--I think that we are just talking about two different things. I was focusing on UL (Prelim and up). My understanding was that the licenses etc. were only truly discussed for riders moving up to Prelim and above. As for expanding the Developing rider lists...I wasn't thinking of expanding it to the lower levels but expanding it to cover more riders and include those riders developing horses as well as the ones already at adv.

                                  Since the accidents and deaths have mostly been at prelim and above...that was my focus. I think what you need to do to address dangerous riding at the lower levels and the accidents at the UL are different.
                                  ** 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


                                  • #37
                                    Maybe it's the trainers who need to be licensed? I'm aware of the ICP, but it's not mandatory for anything yet, is it? Maybe it (and some kind of test that would enable the obviously ready to test out of participating in the program itself) would shift some responsibility onto the shoulders of those who guide others?

                                    I recently had a conversation with someone who expressed to me how some trainers actually push riders up levels because it makes them (the trainers) look good. Now, that said, I don't know how true it is, but it does get us back again to what I think is a central aspect of all of this: the push to move up (regardless of where it comes from).

                                    In fact, as I wrote that the very act of doing so convinced me that whatever the solution, doesn't the problem need to be defined and acknowledged first? So, for example, what problem would licensing solve?

                                    I think the sport has to agree on the problem before it can address a solution. Me, I vote for the problem being too much emphasis in too many quarters on getting into the upper levels (horses and riders alike).
                                    Sportponies Unlimited
                                    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

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                                    • #38
                                      To clarify, I was also speaking of UL (prelim and above). I don't think that a novice horse that's eliminated should have to go back to BN. You can usually keep working on your problems at the lower levels without dropping back.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by pwynnnorman View Post
                                        Maybe it's the trainers who need to be licensed? I'm aware of the ICP, but it's not mandatory for anything yet, is it? Maybe it (and some kind of test that would enable the obviously ready to test out of participating in the program itself) would shift some responsibility onto the shoulders of those who guide others?

                                        I recently had a conversation with someone who expressed to me how some trainers actually push riders up levels because it makes them (the trainers) look good. Now, that said, I don't know how true it is, but it does get us back again to what I think is a central aspect of all of this: the push to move up (regardless of where it comes from).

                                        In fact, as I wrote that the very act of doing so convinced me that whatever the solution, doesn't the problem need to be defined and acknowledged first? So, for example, what problem would licensing solve?

                                        I think the sport has to agree on the problem before it can address a solution. Me, I vote for the problem being too much emphasis in too many quarters on getting into the upper levels (horses and riders alike).
                                        I totally agree with this!! There's an ego element of eventing and everyone wants to be doing the bigger courses. I think it's self-imposed, peer and trainer pressure. I remember as a YR all I wanted was to go Prelim, ready or not. I was too stupid to know that I needed to be scared.

                                        I rode with Mike Plumb/Karen Stives for 5 years. I begged Mike to let me go Prelim...the answer always NO! I had a seasoned horse that had been Prelim. before buying him but he refused to let me move up. I didn't have the basics yet. I didn't have the skills to deal with something that might go wrong cross country, nor did I have the defensive position to really ride cross country. Mike actually made me ride "HC" for what seemed like ages, I thought I was going to pull my hair out.
                                        I rode for almost 3 years with Mike before I finally moved up to Prelim. In the decade that followed, I went straight up the levels to Advanced. Never had a single fall cross country on 3 different UL horses and had 2 stops in all those years. Left the sport without a single broken bone or injured horse. THANK YOU MIKE!!

                                        Now, I will say that many a rider came to Mike's barn and immediately left the same day. We used to take bets as to how long the trailer-in people would last before they left the lesson in a huff and refused to come back. Mike was not easy, but he NEVER moved someone up before they were ready, he didn't care if you left or not. It certainly wasn't about the money with him, he truly wanted us to be able to ride. He wanted riders that could take care of themselves and make decisions for themselves. These kind of foundation instructors are getting hard to find!

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          OK - slightly off the wall idea - but what if there was some type of apprentice level. So, as an example you move up to prelim for two events you are marked with an A next your name. This means you are ineligible to place or gain points. After two events where you meet criteria you get your A removed and you can then place. They could put the As at the end of the division so they could go slower without impacting others.

                                          Set people up so when they move up there's no point in racing the clock. Also could encourage people to stay at a level for a year if they want year end points. They would know moving up meant no points for the first two events. Although this might encourage moving up at the beginning of season when it might be more optimal to run a lower level once or twice.

                                          Just send in results from two previous events (or bring to check in) and you are in the running. Otherwise be safe and go clean so you can be in the running later...

                                          Thoughts?

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