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Perception question: Lowest height for a pro to compete in Jumpers?

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  • Perception question: Lowest height for a pro to compete in Jumpers?

    At what height do you think it is "OK" for a pro to compete in jumpers? Not asking about eligibility, but rather perception.

    Does it make a difference to you if it is pro that regularly competes, vs one just getting back into it, or switching from a different discipline?
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

  • #2
    I would think the pro would be entering what is appropriate for the horse, so if it's a greenie that needs mileage and is doing its first few shows, I wouldn't think twice of it being in a low level class. I've seen them in the .80 - .90.

    Now if the pro needs to do that height on a seasoned horse for the sake of boosting their own ego with a blue ribbon....I'd be giving that one the side eye!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by comingback View Post
      I would think the pro would be entering what is appropriate for the horse, so if it's a greenie that needs mileage and is doing its first few shows, I wouldn't think twice of it being in a low level class.
      I agree. It depends entirely on the horse and what level the horse needs to be showing at. For example, a greenie at its first couple of shows, or a horse coming back from an injury, or a horse in training that had a history of problems at previous shows could all be shown appropriately by a pro at very low heights, IMO.

      "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
      that's even remotely true."

      Homer Simpson

      Comment


      • #4
        Agree with the above. If part of a pro's business model is bringing along young horses I would absolutely expect to see them in the lower level classes from time to time, or even all the time if bringing up babies is his/her specialty.

        My friend is a pro (hunter rider) who competes in international derbies. Does not stop her from also tooling around in the pre-greens as well.
        "I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy. My reality is just different from yours."
        ~Lewis Carroll

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        • #5
          It also depends on if she’s getting the horse ready for a “nervous amateur “ etc to ride as well! Maybe she will take a seasoned horse around a 2ft6 open class because the owner would like a pro ride first.....then the nervous rider goes into the jrs/am 2ft6 class that follows with more confidence!
          I have cancer but cancer doesnt have me!

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          • #6
            Pro’s job is to develop the horse and/or prepare it for the rider to compete if owner wishes. Whatever that is, thats their job.

            My perception of the Pro is they are doing their job at any height.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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            • #7
              Sometimes a horse needs a pro ride as everyone else has mentioned.

              Comment


              • #8
                IMO nothing under 2'6" and that would be for green/rehab horse or schooling ride for the amateur or Jr. rider who would be riding at a similar height.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We have a nervous nelly rider in the barn aiming for the .90. Pro does the .75 all the time. No side eye to be found.
                  My adventures as a working rider

                  theworkingrider.blogspot.com

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                  • #10
                    I also think there's a difference between doing a class here or there where it's clearly for miles and doing the DIVISION and going around crowing about being champion in the puddle jumpers.

                    I don't care what height a pro jumps a horse but anyone who is making a big deal out of a pro's rides in the 3' and below, unless they are clearly schooling a greenie/out of shape/prepping the horse for a client-- it makes me think the pro must be somewhat limited. There's a difference, to me, between doing a class for miles and doing a division for points/ribbons/bragging rights.

                    But if a client wants to pay a pro to be the champeen of all who jump 18 inch crossrails, it's that person's money.
                    ~Veronica
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      My perception of the Pro is they are doing their job at any height.
                      agree wholeheartedly! I don’t care if the pro shows in the 0.65m puddle jumpers, if the height is appropriate for the horse and what it needs. There’s absolutely nothing that says it is “inappropriate” for a pro to show below, say, 3’. That’s just silly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Benefit division at our favorite local series normally has several pros riding in it - 2' and 2'6". My trainer does jumper schooling shows and enters everything from 2' to over 3'6", depending on the horses she's riding. Can't exactly throw a green bean baby into the 1.20 division.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There are a number of very legitimate reasons for a pro to ride in lower-height classes:

                          - Introducing a green horse to its job
                          - Restoring a horse's confidence after a poor outing at a higher level
                          - Prepping a horse to compete with a junior or ammy
                          - Schooling a particular type of element, such as a liverpool, the horse struggles with (reducing height makes coping with the challenging element easier)
                          - Bringing a horse back from injury or extended non-showing period
                          - Making a good sale video
                          - Trying a sales horse in the ring for a client prior to purchase

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with everyone else, the pro should be riding in whatever class is best for the particular horse and not being worried about "perception." As DarkBayUnicorn pointed out, there are a number of good reasons why a pro might be competing in puddle jumpers or other lower height classes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gottagrey View Post
                              IMO nothing under 2'6" and that would be for green/rehab horse or schooling ride for the amateur or Jr. rider who would be riding at a similar height.
                              I'm curious why you say 2'6". Pretty much everyone who has said "any height" has given reasons why they think that, but you did not offer any explanation.

                              (Not being snippy or trying to argue with you, I'm just curious about your reasoning.)
                              "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                              that's even remotely true."

                              Homer Simpson

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Most "pros" statistically speaking are making their living teaching beginners, hauling kiddies to the under 3 foot shows, and schooling horses for resale to that market.

                                "Pro" is a definition of where your income comes from, not a definition of your skill.

                                There are 21 year old "pros" drafted into the same lesson factory program that they trained in, who have never shown above 2 foot 9, and are teaching cross rails to a new generation of 10 year olds. There are also pros with more extensive experience who are making horses for their own cross rails students, and also have little time to show on their own accord because they are babysitting kidlets at schooling shows every weekend.

                                So I too see no reason why it would be inappropriate for a "pro" to take a horse in any class that is appropriate to the horse. If there are Open/Ammie/Junior divisions at that height, they aren't taking anything away from the ammies and kiddies.

                                Now if a 21 year old "pro" tells you proudly that her biggest accomplishment was getting the Cross Rails Championship at Muddy Meadows Schooling Show when she was 17, you are permitted to smile inwardly and make a mental note not to take lessons with her. But that's a different question.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

                                  I'm curious why you say 2'6". Pretty much everyone who has said "any height" has given reasons why they think that, but you did not offer any explanation.

                                  (Not being snippy or trying to argue with you, I'm just curious about your reasoning.)
                                  I did offer up explanation- that the pro would ride 2'6" and higher based on horse (green or rehab) or if schooling for the Jr/Am divisions. IME most of the lower divisions at rated shows are limited to Jrs. and amateurs. Certainly if the pro takes the horse around a 2'6 class then it should be schooled for the Jr/Am for their 2' maiden or whatever divisions - even 3' A/A. ,Most of the local shows have schooling breaks so the pro and competitor can school the horse around without having to compete at a lower level. It's this plethora of 2' schooling classes that have pretty much killed 3' divisions around me, and are doing the same thing to 2'6" divisions.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    This is an interesting question- I'd feel a little head-scratchy about a pro showing in a 2' class because: why? A kid or a newbie ammy might need a puddle jumper class to gain confidence, but if a horse was doing that with a pro because it couldn't handle anything higher I would question the training or the trainer.

                                    I'm not a pro but I've never shown in a jumper class below 2'6", and that height was when I was first showing my 4 year old. He'd been to a couple of dressage shows with the trainer who helped me break him, and I dragged him along to hack around the grounds when I showed my other horse. But, we didn't bother showing him over fences until he was happy plopping around a 2'6" course. Every other green horse I've introduced to the jumpers has done 2'6"-2'9" at first, and then gone up. If I had one that couldn't deal with jumping at least that height I'd re-evaluate what we were doing in its training. I don't see the utility in showing over tiny courses for a normal, fit young horse. Not to be an old person but when I was a kid the hunters started at 3', and the jumpers at 3'6", and everyone survived.

                                    My friend who trains eventers and event horses sends her clients in as low as they need, but the horses she takes in on training or her own young ones start with her at BN (2'7"), generally. It's a nice, easy height for them, she's an excellent rider, and she's done the prep work so they have good outings. And that is a full event, with all three phases! Any horse that cannot handle 2'6" or higher in the jumper ring even with a pro would make me wonder about it and/or the trainer.
                                    You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by gottagrey View Post
                                      It's this plethora of 2' schooling classes that have pretty much killed 3' divisions around me, and are doing the same thing to 2'6" divisions.
                                      OK, going off track here.

                                      I see it being the complete opposite. It's the lower level classes that are keeping many horse shows alive today. The decline in interest in 3' and up classes is a separate thing and would be happening whether or not 2' (or 18" or crossrail classes) were offered. The very reason shows started offering lower level classes was to try and boost their falling attendance numbers.

                                      If I had to jump 3' to go to a horse show, I simply wouldn't go. I think there are lots of people like me - old ladies, young kids, ponies/horses that aren't capable of/suitable for jumping 3'...

                                      "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                                      that's even remotely true."

                                      Homer Simpson

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

                                        OK, going off track here.

                                        I see it being the complete opposite. It's the lower level classes that are keeping many horse shows alive today. The decline in interest in 3' and up classes is a separate thing and would be happening whether or not 2' (or 18" or crossrail classes) were offered. The very reason shows started offering lower level classes was to try and boost their falling attendance numbers.

                                        If I had to jump 3' to go to a horse show, I simply wouldn't go. I think there are lots of people like me - old ladies, young kids, ponies/horses that aren't capable of/suitable for jumping 3'...
                                        It's a Catch 22. And yes, its because there are so many lower level classes that the higher classes don't fill because they are tired of waiting around All day so go in whatever division. now the 2'6" looks YUUUGE so they stick to the lower levels. Those that want to jump higher take up eventing where there's assigned times or they take up dressage LOL

                                        I agree there are plenty of people that don't want to jump high anymore, me included. But that doesn't mean they need to have 3 rings with 10-12 2' divisions in each

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