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How narrow is too narrow?

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  • How narrow is too narrow?

    Stuart Tinney just got awarded and then unrewarded 50 penalties. You can read the article in EN. If we have 11 penalties for breaking a clip I think it's time to have penalties for knocking flags on narrows and get away from this crazy however you get through the flags is fine idea with narrows. The two corners that caught everybody out at the two-star at Ocala are just not looking like jumps anymore to me. Again Eventing is not my sandbox I just play in it because I enjoy it still I think this needs to be addressed. If we go to putting up a flag that is easily returned by the jump judges I think this will be fair to the horses than drive-bys the fences that have to be uncomfortable for the horse, and have no good training benefit

    Controversy in Adelaide: Was Stuart Tinney Clear?:
    http://eventingnation.com/controvers...-tinney-clear/
    http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/stuart-tinney-50-penalties-flag-rule-adelaide-horse-trials-637954
    Last edited by gardenie; Nov. 21, 2017, 11:41 AM. Reason: Add article

  • #2
    I don't understand why they dont test skinnies in showjumping, and not so much on XC.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm not in favor of penalizing a flag knockdown, as I think it would further encourage "backwards riding" on XC. A lot of riders already tend to override corners and skinnies, too much hand and a little underpowered to keep the horse straight. Knowing you have a 5ft gap and any little drift would knock a flag and incur a penalty would only increase the trend to showjump over XC fences.

      At the upper levels, some of those skinnies and corners are WIDE, big fences with a very narrow face. A rider who picks, takes away impulsion, and micromanages the horse to stay straight is in for a lot of trouble. Some of these technical questions require the horse and rider to go boldly forward, while maintaining straightness. If the horse is too bold, he'll run out-- which usually is safer than trying to "hail mary" from an underpowered canter, with locked elbows forcing the horse to stay straight because the rider is terrified to touch a flag.

      I agree that it's much nicer to watch a horse jump cleanly between the flags, and riders who scrape-on-by taking every flag out shouldn't be rewarded... but XC is NOT show jumping, and riders shouldn't be punished for riding safely forward on XC, and an occasional flag knockdown will happen to anybody at some point.
      “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
      ? Albert Einstein

      ~AJ~

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
        I don't understand why they dont test skinnies in showjumping, and not so much on XC.
        Shouldn't eventing show jumping mirror actual show jumping? It feels like that is one step closer to "arena eventing" if you start adding aspects of XC to SJ.

        Comment


        • #5
          According to http://useventing.com/sites/default/...n_Handbook.pdf, the minimum face for a "narrow" at Advanced" is 4'.

          It goes up by a foot at each level, to 8' at Training, and "Not Appropriate" below Training.
          Janet

          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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          • #6
            I think flags being knocked down should be penalized because in my experience, I have not seen a good, solid approach to a skinny result in a flag being knocked down..

            Most of the knockdowns I've seen, the above video included, show very near misses that could have had disastrous consequences.
            "i'm a slow learner, it's true."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by luckycricket123 View Post

              Shouldn't eventing show jumping mirror actual show jumping? It feels like that is one step closer to "arena eventing" if you start adding aspects of XC to SJ.
              no, if it did it would be timed and also include a jump off. Although, I would actually prefer it to be more like real showjumping.

              Interesting 8' is the limit for Training, pretty sure I have jumped skinnier, and lost of the BN fences here are about 8-10' wide.
              https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8

                "At the upper levels, some of those skinnies and corners are WIDE, big fences with a very narrow face. A rider who picks, takes away impulsion, and micromanages the horse to stay straight is in for a lot of trouble. Some of these technical questions require the horse and rider to go boldly forward, while maintaining straightness. If the horse is too bold, he'll run out-- which usually is safer than trying to "hail mary" from an underpowered canter, with locked elbows forcing the horse to stay straight because the rider is terrified to touch a flag." EventerAJ

                Course designers would have to get away from being overly wide and huge and skinny and put flags on appropriate sized skinnies that give enough room for legs and save the huge and wide for normal width fences. I agree that you would have to start reducing the difficulty of the narrows. This would make me happy, for I just don't understand why we have to test over and over again whether horse will go over something so not like nature. I can jump a corner I can jump a corner in a combination and I think those are all reasonable and I agree with you that when they are really big you must come forward to them so maybe we need to figure out what's important. A horse flailing through some flags and not really jumping is not appropriate and I don't think that someone should be shoving a horse at an obstacle just to get through the flags. Does that video of Stuart Tinney look safe? Does the picture of Philip Dutton clearing the corner with the front end only at the Olympics or was it the WEG I can't remember look like a happy horse accomplishing a mission? we have plenty of places to test accuracy and boldness but by giving a little bit more face to the fences and more chances to pick a line is more horse friendly in my opinion just does not seem horse friendly these current skinnies in the rules that go along with them
                Last edited by gardenie; Nov. 20, 2017, 05:23 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gardenie View Post
                  "At the upper levels, some of those skinnies and corners are WIDE, big fences with a very narrow face. A rider who picks, takes away impulsion, and micromanages the horse to stay straight is in for a lot of trouble. Some of these technical questions require the horse and rider to go boldly forward, while maintaining straightness. If the horse is too bold, he'll run out-- which usually is safer than trying to "hail mary" from an underpowered canter, with locked elbows forcing the horse to stay straight because the rider is terrified to touch a flag."

                  Course designers would have to get away from being overly wide and huge and skinny and put flags on appropriate sized skinnies that give enough room for legs and save the huge and wide for normal width fences. I agree that you would have to start reducing the difficulty of the narrows. This would make me happy, for I just don't understand why we have to chest over and over again whether horse will over something so not like nature. I can jump a corner I can jump a corner in a combination and I think those are all reasonable and I agree with you that when they are really big you must come forward to them so maybe we need to figure out what's important. A horse flailing through some flags and not really jumping is not appropriate and I don't think that someone should be shoving a horse at an obstacle just to get through the flags. Does that video of Stuart Tinney look safe? Does the picture of Philip Dutton clearing the corner with the front end only at the Olympics or was it the WEG I can't remember look like a happy horse accomplishing a mission? we have plenty of places to test accuracy and boldness but by giving a little bit more face to the fences and more chances to pick a line is more horse friendly in my opinion just does not seem horse friendly these current skinnies in the rules that go along with them
                  My big man - April 27, 1986 - September 04, 2008-
                  You're with me every moment, my big red horse.

                  Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gardenie View Post
                    Does that video of Stuart Tinney look safe?
                    Yes, actually, it looks quite safe. The horse barely loses its rhythm and Tinney ends up in the back seat for a stride. Last I check "the back seat" was a place we go when we want to be safer. Riders rarely come off as a result being too far back or left behind. So yes, it was ugly, but I didn't see that it was "unsafe."

                    I agree whole heartedly with AJ: penalizing a downed flag will result in more bad riding and more bad outcomes than what we have now. I believe the problem in this specific instance is that the rules make the assumption that the horse would have made a legitimate effort to jump, but since it doesn't explicitly say the horse must jump I think the GJ made the right decision (regretfully).

                    I would also add that the main reason we have seen such an increase in the use of skinnies is because--all things being relative--it is a very safe way to test accuracy as well as boldness. Runouts are not bad results in terms of safety and are generally thought to be a desirable way for a designer to cause problems.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      We'll have to agree to disagree. I can bring up lots of thoughts...when you are schooling, would a head, neck and half a shoulder glance off that be a fence you'd think was good enough? Also, someone who jumps that fence correctly, possibly adding a stride or is just TRULY straight, loses a place to the person who stuffs their horse through the flags. One of these days some horse is going to really hurt themselves with a half ass jump, but as with alot of things we won't see it until we do. Much behind the scenes care of injuries is after the event, when folks run fast after doing dressage and stadium in order to win. Not sure I agree that folks are going to be "terrified" of a flag, but my hats off to you and I'll continue to disagree. Because I also know whether or not there is a penalty for a flag, the best rides are forward, and the better chance to jump clean of the flag is a correct, forward, honest jump. I just want to see horse and rider combinations rewarded for correct, clean JUMPING of obstacles. Otherwise, we could go under the trakehners again. ;-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would like to know how many rotational falls have occurred a narrow fences. I have a feeling they make things worse though I do understand that a test of accuracy is a good thing. At a fence with a wider face, you have the option of angling it a bit to give yourself just a tiny bit more room if you are a bit close. You don't have that with a narrow fence.

                        Just wondering.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LookmaNohands View Post
                          I would like to know how many rotational falls have occurred a narrow fences. I have a feeling they make things worse though I do understand that a test of accuracy is a good thing. At a fence with a wider face, you have the option of angling it a bit to give yourself just a tiny bit more room if you are a bit close. You don't have that with a narrow fence.

                          Just wondering.
                          I think it depends on the type of narrow fence. Open, airy jumps with vertical faces are potentially more problematic than round, ascending types. Think of a narrow rolltop vs a narrow hanging log. My mare hung a leg at an airy skinny vertical (landing downhill road crossing) at Fair Hill in 2009, she didn't rotate (just the one forearm hit) but I didn't stand a chance at staying on. Airy verticals and open corners, or very vertical-faced tables/corners seem to cause the most leg-leaving moments that I've witnessed, particularly when combined with a drop on the landing.

                          Then again, I've also watched a horse rotate over a big, simple (not narrow) log on a mound...normally considered a "safe" type of fence.

                          Going back to the topic at hand, if you want to penalize a flag knockdown I think the course design has to change significantly. Asking a horse to jump narrow fences off a drop, sharp turn, or other scenarios in which he only has about 3 strides (or less?) to truly identify and understand the obstacle before it disappears from his vision....flag knockdowns are going to happen if a horse gets a little bit off line. If all narrow fences were on a straight, flat approach with plenty of time to present the question and line up to it, I might not be opposed to a knockdown penalty; but that isn't true of most upper level courses.
                          “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                          ? Albert Einstein

                          ~AJ~

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LookmaNohands View Post
                            I would like to know how many rotational falls have occurred a narrow fences. I have a feeling they make things worse though I do understand that a test of accuracy is a good thing. At a fence with a wider face, you have the option of angling it a bit to give yourself just a tiny bit more room if you are a bit close. You don't have that with a narrow fence.

                            Just wondering.
                            wouldn't it be nice to have those answers? Sadly, we dont have public records of those sorts.
                            https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                              I don't understand why they dont test skinnies in showjumping, and not so much on XC.
                              There was a skinny with an oxer option that took about 4 seconds more in the 3* show jumping at Ocala. Nearly everyone took the skinny option. Course designer was Chris Barnard.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by gardenie View Post
                                Also, someone who jumps that fence correctly, possibly adding a stride or is just TRULY straight, loses a place to the person who stuffs their horse through the flags...
                                ...I just want to see horse and rider combinations rewarded for correct, clean JUMPING of obstacles.
                                With all due respect, XC has NEVER been about rewarding riders for "correct." From the beginning a foot perfect round has scored exactly the same as one where the rider misses every distances and scrapes by on a wing and a prayer. "Correct" is subjective and that XC refrains from being subjective (as much as possible) is an integral part of the sport. I agree it would be nice in this particular instance to see the horse actually jump, but as I said, I think this is a specific and rare instance that isn't well covered in the rules. This is very, very different than just taking the flag out over a skinny, which typically happens with good jumping efforts and most often by the rider's body.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CatchMeIfUCan View Post

                                  There was a skinny with an oxer option that took about 4 seconds more in the 3* show jumping at Ocala. Nearly everyone took the skinny option. Course designer was Chris Barnard.
                                  Excellent!
                                  https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    What about the fact that the rule states that 'the horse must clear the extremities of the jump as flagged'? Stuart's horse clearly did not do that, it knocked the flag sideways and in doing so got the point of it's shoulder past the visibly outward moving flag. Not over the extremity of the jump 'as flagged' before it knocked it. If that makes sense?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I don’t think knocking down the flags should be penalized, for the reasons others have already mentioned. But I do think maybe rewording the rule to make it very clear that the horse attempt to “jump” and not just somehow fling its shoulders between the flags as it’s clearly running out. If you were to remove the flags from the equation and a horse did exactly what Stuart’s horse, I think just about everyone would consider that a runout and not simply the horse jumping crooked or angled or whatnot. A perfect, straight jump should not be required, but a clear jumping effort where both ends of the horse come off the ground should.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        There is nearly no way to right a rule that covers every detail. The difficulty in this case is compounded by the fact that because this was a brush fence, Tinney's horse was able to go through it to a large extent.

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