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Thoughts from Convention discussions: Rider Licenses and Refusing Entries

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  • #41
    wow, am I living in a different universe? I am so sorry that I renewed my membership to the USEA this year. I have been a member since the mid-80's. I even remember my old number. Whatever happened to personal responsibility and some brains as far as being ready? A license? Give me a break. I guess I'm a dinasour and next year I need to save my membership fee as it seems to be we are in a world that thinks that regulating will compensate for good sense.

    And for all those speaking of the instructors "the Mike Plumbs's and such of the world", they are absolutely right. Good coaching from riders who have "been there and done that" are the specific dose of reality of when you are really ready. I have made it a point to take instruction from people that have been competing at the upper levels successfully, and 'wow' what a surprise, I have always been prepared.
    Last edited by Hannahsmom; Dec. 10, 2007, 12:58 PM.

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    • #42
      4Martini.... reminded me of something we have/had in Canada: a CCI prep clinic.

      When I did it, it was Peter Grey one year, Jimmy Wofford the next who came for 2 (I think, maybe it was 3) days. I think Leslie Law was the most recent? Got a semi-private dressage lesson, a group SJ and XC lesson. He sat down and spoke with you & your coach to discuss goals, and he gave you a report card on preparedness for a CCI. Peter Grey did a discussion on fitness and wanted to see fitness plans for the months leading up to your CCI. (Can't remember if Jimmy did.)

      I thought there were some problems with this system, but also some good ideas.

      Problems were:
      -it was aimed for riders doing their first CCI* or first CCI**. Once you have done your first, you were not a priority for this clinic.

      -it was more of an evaluation than a clinic - I would have preferred more feedback on the XC portion. (Had good feedback in dress/SJ lessons).

      -The report card could have been more helpful - I think Jimmy filled out the whole thing at once, and wasn't convinced he really remembered each ride - some of the sections were less than specific.

      -I wondered how much the clinicians wanted to/were willing to put their necks on the line in saying which pairs were ready and which weren't. I felt that my horse and I were not ready for a CCI*, but was told we were OK. (This was in July I think, and I was planning on a Nov. CCI, & due to other circumstances, we had to wait a year to go).

      Good ideas:
      -Is a positive way for first-timers, especially those without a coach, to clinic with somebody who def. knows what they're doing, and have a "report card"

      -Your coach is highly encouraged to attend (there were some spots avail. in the clinic), so that all three of you could sit down & discuss goals/skills/readiness. An additional benefit was that the coach could see how that clinician taught & what they highlighted, and could take that back for their coaching program.
      Blugal

      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

      Comment


      • #43
        You guys missed Reed's point. He DIDN'T voluntarily retire at Rebecca Farms. He had a bad day. Went home, came back, and then had a GREAT day!

        What I find interesting is that the majority of the bad accidents have occurred with people that were more than capable. A license would not have stopped the injury or death in the majority of the cases I've heard about.

        Shoot, I would have been in the same position as Reed this summer if licenses were mandatory and could be taken away.

        The sport is objective for a reason.
        My last 3 training level HTs.
        CO HP: Horse quit out on me
        Maui Jim: Horse ran off with me twice and blew by a XC fence
        AECs: I went prelim speed, not on purpose. This time horse ran off but at least ran towards the fences that needed to be jumped.

        So I moved up to Prelim as planned:
        Holly Hill: Horse was spectacular. Ridable, steerable, finally happy again. Horse WAS NO LONGER BORED ON COURSE.
        Pinehill: Horse was spectacular again.

        I feel for the above reasons eventing is objective and should stay that way.

        I honestly don't know what can be done about dangerous riding. There are laws/rules to follow. All that jazz. Don't know how much more can be done really. I think the key to saving us is adjusting the times. That's it. It's easier than 'they' think. Just adjust the FUC'''N times so that prelim riders don't have to blow around at 710mpm between fences. (as said by David OC)
        http://kaboomeventing.com/
        http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

        Comment


        • #44
          Just wanted to clarify - I'm not a huge fan of licences - I only suggested the apprentice thing b/c it seems like maybe a less burdensome way of adding another level of control if that's what they want to do.

          I'm only a BN rider - I've only done one event - it wasn't that pretty - I was probably choking my horse on course - heck we even walked a little for him to calm down. But - I got a lot of confidence from jumping around clean with hundreds of time penalties. I just don't think there is any schooling experience that would give me what a round - even if most of it was trotted would do. There's something about a piney, flowers, jump judges, time and new jumps (even if I did school the course before it closed to be more ready) give you. I did a schooling trial earlier in the year to prep. But, on the day of the event I was still nervous. I don't think I was unsafe - even if I walked off the bank and trotted the ditch and stopped to let the horse behind me go. I just had to go out and do an event and experience it myself.

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
            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.
            No, I understand that you're looking at Prelim & above riders. The discussion overall is that there needs to be more competency before you get to Prelim; i.e. the 14 year old kid on the OTTB 5year old who goes Prelim although they've never jumped clean around Training.

            And that's not a licensing issue. The licensing was a topic of discussion, an idea...it's overall competency at all levels before you move up that is the goal.
            How we get there is the ongoing discussion. I'm not necessarily a fan of licensing, but do feel that the governing bodies, organizers, etc. need a better, more efficient way to watch for potential problems.

            And I agree that many of those who have been severely or fatally injured would have never been placed on a "watch list". But it's something to think and talk about.

            Like I said, many many ideas were thrown out there. Some will work, some won't. I feel we need to investigate all of them to see which might actually work to make the sport safer.

            Hence this ongoing discussion!
            To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

            Comment


            • #46
              I think that probably a certain number of MR/E/DQs in a certain amount of time (3 in a year? I don't know) would justify a mandatory move-down (oh, and add in there dangerous riding penalties, too). Though this may make people retire voluntarily one refusal shy of an E, well, that's probably not altogether bad - and we should NEVER punish voluntary retirements, or people may be disinclined to do the smart thing.

              I don't think we should punish ONE bad ride (other than, of course, the punishment of having the E - or whatever it is - on your record), because everyone has a bad day once in awhile. Heck, I got E'd with my greenie at a 2-phase over crossrails because I forgot a fence! I'm relatively sure that doesn't make me unsafe - on the other hand, if I did that regularly, it might indicate that I wasn't quite ready for the show scene.

              On the other hand, how many people do you know who have a series of bad rides (or at least bad rides where they get penalties of some sort - the bad rides that are clean poor riders tend to just ignore...) who don't have an excuse for it? Just because I can make up a good excuse for that E at the water in May, and another for my horse bucking out of the dressage ring in June, and another for the ridiculous amount of speed faults in July doesn't mean I'm ready to be riding at that level. It's a horse show, not an excuse parade.

              We do need to take a better look at qualifications and un-qualifications (making up a new word because disqualification means something else ), and we need to be willing to say, "No, if you have X bad thing happen to you Y times, then you just aren't ready." And if someone is caught in that net who thinks they don't deserve it, then they should take the opportunity to take a long hard look at what they've been doing that landed them afoul of the rules and figure out how to make it better (many people won't, but they should ).

              I am, however, against adding a subjective element (besides dressage ) to eventing. If I wanted that, I'd do hunters. And licensing sounds like an expensive way to make sure that only people in the in-crowd can manage to actually compete. I could maybe, maybe see something in that vein for, say, Prelim and up - but leave the lower levels open and inviting. How many people would cross over to eventing - even at an appropriate level! - if they had to get a license to do it? I think it would be very, very bad for the sport.
              Proud member of the EDRF

              Comment


              • #47
                At at time when there is so much talk and emphasis about "growing the sport" I think this idea would be totally contradictory to that effort. And who says that secretaries/organizers don't already refuse entries? I have secretary and organizer friends and I know that sometimes entries "get lost in the mail."

                Comment


                • #48
                  GR914 Refusal of Entries.

                  1. In addition to entries of persons suspended or expelled from the Federation, a Licensed Competition may refuse any entry of an exhibitor or the participation of any agent, trainer, rider, driver or handler who has shown an objectionable attitude or behavior at a Licensed Competition or towards its management, which management is able to substantiate, or previous unsportsmanlike behavior at a Licensed Competition which management is able to substantiate.
                  So, while they can't make judgment calls on a person's riding, they already could refuse the entry of someone who was belligerent or otherwise didn't follow the rules already in place about unsafe behavior.

                  I do wonder how much leeway there is in "objectionable attitude or behavior" - seems like, say, riding like a bat out of He!! and barely missing crashing at every fence is pretty objectionable...but also subjective. How much substantiation do they have to provide, and how egregious does it have to be?
                  Proud member of the EDRF

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    This is definately looking like a slippery slope.

                    What about having a requirement of a coaches signature on the entry for any preliminary/ or above competition. This would give a little more responsibility to the coach to review the course and give some heads up on safety reminders. It would also help improve the information flow of how a course is riding. ICP instructors could be exempt from that requirement.
                    www.clearbluefarm.com - a work in progress

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I, for one, vote for starting off by enforcing the rules we already have.

                      Had a conversation with a ICP instructor (at the highest ICP level, I can't remember what it is called- sorry!) this year. They were pushing for their student to take their young horse (5 or 6) prelim for the first time after just 2 trainings. They had applied, and been granted, permission. This was a lovely young horse who is clearly an upper level prospect. But low and behold, they did the prelim and were eliminated. Luckily unhurt, I believe.

                      The take home points for me:
                      - Qualifications are there for a reason. Instead of making them more stringent, how about starting with enforcing them? Then take it from there?

                      - Just because someone has sought out instruction doesn't mean they are getting the best advice. But how is the average non-professional to know this?

                      - The pressure to move up, and move up fast, is at an all-time high. What can we do to make the sport as a whole emphasize excellent preformance at each level?

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Clear Blue View Post
                        This is definately looking like a slippery slope.

                        What about having a requirement of a coaches signature on the entry for any preliminary/ or above competition. This would give a little more responsibility to the coach to review the course and give some heads up on safety reminders. It would also help improve the information flow of how a course is riding. ICP instructors could be exempt from that requirement.
                        You are assuming that the coach is competent - not, IME, a safe assumption.

                        Plus, many riders (myself included, though I'm not in danger of going prelim any time soon ) don't walk the course with their coach, or even have a coach at every competition with them. One of the joys of eventing for many of us is that we don't expect to have our hands held the whole way.
                        Proud member of the EDRF

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Don't know if forcing coach signatures would work. My coach won't sign mine:
                          -she lives 6 hours away
                          -she only sees me sporadically (although intensively when we do get together)
                          -my horse isn't under her control
                          -she may not even be attending the event

                          She doesn't want the liability or responsibility - I am an adult & she has given me the best advice she can, but it's my responsibility to take that advice & ride sensibly.
                          Blugal

                          You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

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                          • #53
                            I've never even asked my coach to sign mine. I don't get coaching at competitions (nor am I in intensive training with her), so I figure it shouldn't be on her head if I do something dumb.
                            Proud member of the EDRF

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              What JER said on page 1. This regulation of riders is not going to improve safety. Someone posted a list of the fatal accidents in eventing this year and all but one was a rotational fall. I don't see how having licenses would have prevented these deaths.
                              We need health care reform, not insurance reform. Health care for ALL!

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by purplnurpl View Post
                                The sport is objective for a reason.
                                My last 3 training level HTs.
                                CO HP: Horse quit out on me
                                Maui Jim: Horse ran off with me twice and blew by a XC fence
                                AECs: I went prelim speed, not on purpose. This time horse ran off but at least ran towards the fences that needed to be jumped.

                                So I moved up to Prelim as planned:
                                Holly Hill: Horse was spectacular. Ridable, steerable, finally happy again. Horse WAS NO LONGER BORED ON COURSE.
                                Pinehill: Horse was spectacular again.
                                purplnurpl, I'm going to get a ton of crap rained on me for saying this, but, geesh, I agree with you on the sport staying objective, but what you described here as your path to Prelim on that horse is EXACTLY the problem, in my opinion.

                                Instead of resolving the problems you had with your horse, you let the COURSE teach him his lessons??????

                                You surmised he was bored. What if you were wrong? Sure, you weren't, but come now: the horse you described is THE horse we see a lot of folks riding and label as "dangerous", right? Steering problems, speed problems, event after event not finishing the course or racking up penalties due to unresolved issues. Moreover, the way you phrased it, it was "the horse did this, the horse did that..." What did YOU do?

                                I ask others now, because what an example you've provided: Here's a horse routinely running off with its rider. In this sport, what purplnurple did is condoned. IMO, that's a huge, huge part of the problem. That attitude is just flat out plain wrong, IMO. Can you imagine someone from outside the sport hearing about that? That bigger fences can back a horse off isn't what would throw a horse person off. That the ONLY SOLUTION TAKEN to solve the horse's problems was to move up a level--that is what a thinking horse person from another sport would be scratching his or her head about. That is where the "eventers are crazy" criticism comes from. And, y'know, that's also why finding owners for horses to be risked like that is going to get harder and harder if that image of the sport isn't dealt with, IMO.

                                Why can't such issues be corrected at home? And the most troublesome thing about it is that each rider that does that sort of thing successfully encourages other riders to do it. Think about that!
                                Last edited by pwynnnorman; Dec. 10, 2007, 06:26 AM.
                                Sportponies Unlimited
                                Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Good post, pwynn. I'm scratching my head at adding bigger fences, more technicality, and more speed to the equation when control is consistently an issue.
                                  Hindsight bad, foresight good.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    I don't have any suggestions as we are all SO different and our horses are SO different that it's hard to make rules and regulations for everyone. But here are a couple of people that I know who aren't the norm.
                                    1. Kid just turned 12. Did the local h/j and began eventing. Mom is prudent and found my instructor and leased at kick butt pony. Kid qualified for BN AEC's first time out and did really well. She's a real sponge for knowledge and is truly talented girl. I don't want to hinder her progress by age limits.
                                    2. Adult ammy with older packer type of horse. Qualified for the T3DE and during a clinic asked 'What's r&d?' Then explained that it's 'roads and tracks'. 'What's that?' WHAT??????????? And the person went on to the t3de and got an E I think for going over the time on phase c because they didn't realize there was time limit. WHAT???????????
                                    3. Adult ammy (a couple of them actually) on really nice packers (one I know was advanced and seems to really like his new job) at the AEC's. The riders are flopping all over the place and the horses are completely ignoring that wart on their back and going clear. Accident waiting to happen? Maybe. Do I want to see them at prelim? Heck no.
                                    So, I don't have an answer to this dilemma. It's a dilemma here because we have crap trainers. It's a dilemma in the UK and Ireland because they have a culture where they get some instruction here and there. It's a dilemma in Germany because they believe in just kicking on and going great guns regardless.
                                    I wouldn't mind a written test before I go to the next level. Have sections of: rules at that level, knowledge of horse husbandry, and situational (meaning, horse has these symptoms, what would you do? )
                                    Even duct tape can't fix stupid

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Are all these proposed rules really going to make change where it's needed? Like forcing someone to compete at a certain level for more than a year or forcing someone to go back a level if they retire on course? What if the footing was bad? What if they waited to move up to T until they were way more prepared and then were totally ready for P after a few events?

                                      There are way too many 'ifs' to create so many rules. Seriously, the major issue is people and trainers not being smart. People will find ways around them, and in the end the rules are only going to hurt others. I don't have the time or money (which, another thing that totally sucks is people stereotyping adult ammies. not all of us just sit there doing nothing! some of us are adult ammies simply because 1) we're of 'that age' and 2) have a job other than horses!) to deal with so much red tape and would hate to have to stop riding because of all the BS! I also love my horse and the sport and like to think that I have enough sense to move up/compete/retire/wait whatever when the time is right.

                                      IMO, we need to stop thinking about more rules and just get down to following what we believe is right. In the end, if people who move up too fast are 'shunned', then people will stop doing it! Right now, there just happens to be more emphasis on moving up rather than moving up when the time is right. Yes, it's difficult to change people, but just focus on yourself and taking responsibility for your own actions.

                                      I know this came out all fruity, believe in the world! and silly but I really don't think rules are going to help solve the real problem and will only hurt people who really are doing the right thing already.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #59
                                        Wynn, if the rain comes down on you, I'll get a typhoon on me..

                                        Purpl~ I am glad your prelims went well, but I wholeheartedly agree with Wynn. Your example highlights the problem here. Why was going home and not eventing for a few months an option that was left in the barn?

                                        Why or what motivated you to ignore the obvious issues between you and your horse and just go ahead and move up a level? What did your trainer say to this game plan?
                                        What did your family say? (I am 36 and my folks are still following my event career and chime in if it sounds like something I thought out might not be a great idea. And I listen to them)


                                        I really think it was a bad move. Not just because it was unsafe in theory, but also because as Wynn pointed out, because you got away with it, others will try as well. And that moment of leading by example was bad.

                                        Now before you think I am only bashing you, I have made more than my share of bad decisions. I have done all sorts of stupid stuff. And I am still standing. Ok so let's just accept that we make mistakes and that some of the benefits of this sport are that we are surrounded by caring riders who understand the desire to go on but would pull you aside and say, "Ok I get that you're frustrated, but that wasn't the right decision. It's ok to go back and fix things, prelim will still be here. Just don't risk yourself or your pony.We care about you and don't want to see you hurt."


                                        I hope my underlying point gets through. And I appreciate every situation is different but dangerous choices by one do affect us all.


                                        ~Emily


                                        PS: To whomever said Children's Hunter is 3', when that accident happened it was 3'6". 80's
                                        "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

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by useventers View Post
                                          If you're doing your 1st prelim. and you're eliminated...you don't belong there!
                                          Gee, thanks. I did my first prelim, got eliminated at the trakhener, because I find them intimidating, and my horse is smart enough not to go if I am not in the game.
                                          One month later, having schooled trakheners more, I did my second prelim. We were in first place going out on XC and came in 4th with time faults because I wanted to focus on riding the course and not making time.

                                          Should I have gone back to training after the first prelim? I promise you it wouldn't have made me any more equipped to jump a prelim trakhener.

                                          Look, the problem we always struggle with here is this:

                                          1. Numbers do not always tell the story. "She went clean and was a disaster to watch." "I had a stop because it turned out my horse had lost a shoe and slipped." etc.

                                          2. Introducing a non-numbers-based (ie subjective) criteria makes some people very uncomfortable, and has proven very difficult to develop into a workable plan.

                                          How do we resolve this conflict??

                                          And, although I am a huge fan of the elementary/BBN/BN levels, when I was trying to explain to my husband -- a new rider who, if he works at it, might be able to take my very well-behaved (now prelim ) horse elementary next year -- that HE could go TRAINING on our GREEN BEAN according to the current rules...
                                          he thought that was crazy. "What other sport would allow that?" he asked.
                                          The big man -- my lost prince

                                          The little brother, now my main man

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