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Why do experienced riders snag the Novice classes!

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by lmlacross

    I think the perpetual Adult Amateur rider is different from the seasoned competitors cleaning up in Novice Walk-Trot. I don't see that the 3' hunters being the terminus of someone's riding career is so perplexing, nor would it bother me as a competitor in that division. If they won everything, I'd just need to get better.

    Thanks, you said that better than I did (I might have added the novice 18" classes too though).


    • [QUOTE=HorseCrazy_xo]
      Originally posted by 3dayeventing
      Sorry if I am offending those of you that ride in these shows, but it is really toooooooo darn political! QUOTE]

      i hear that a lot...and im not 100% sure really what it means...can someone explain to me how its political? i am not disagreeing with you cause im sure its true and my trainer says it all the time bit idk what it means
      People say that it is political because it is subjective. Anything that is subjective can be influenced by outside factors.

      An extreme example of this would be a horse who was late with a lead change (ridden by a famous rider or a rider with a famous trainer) beating a horse who didn't miss the change (but was ridden by a "nobody"). No one can PROVE that the judge didn't just believe that even with the miss, the first horse had a better round, so it falls under politics.

      Even without any "politics" two different judges could pin the exact same class differently. Sure, the top 4 will probably still be the top 4, but the order could be different. Some horses like a bold jump and will accept a little head tossing whereas some judges like a lopier horse and hate a head shake.

      Because it is so subjective, it can be political, meaning influenced by people/events/things that occur outside of the show ring.
      Originally posted by tidy rabbit
      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.


      • ooo i get it...thank you..i have seen this happen before


        • Politics are more likely to play a role in judging the more subjective sports (hunters, ice skating, gymnastics) as opposed to the objective sports (jumpers, softball, swimming, track). But we all know that politics enters into the objective sports as well. As long as a human being is judging an event, there will be subjectiveness and therefore the chance of politics.

          It is unrealistic to say that "my sport is without politics."
          Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to.--Joe Gores


          • "Politics" is also a useful scapegoat to explain a less-than-winning round.
            "And now . . .off to violin-land, where all is sweetness and delicacy and harmony and there are no red-headed clients to vex us with their conundrums."


            • Originally posted by Flufie2
              "Politics" is also a useful scapegoat to explain a less-than-winning round.


              • Absolutely! This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you have a lovely round and don't place well, it can be very disappointing. It's the nature of our sport. But if you have a less-than-perfect round and then complain of politics, that's just poor sportsmanship.
                Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to.--Joe Gores


                • Re:

                  Last year I remember being somewhat disappointed when I had to ride against riders in the Pre Adult Eq-, who rode in the Ariat the following day. Then I put my bitterness aside and realized the experienced riders were using the Pre Adult division as mileage for their green horses, which changed my attitude. As long as the class description allows for experienced riders to compete in the 2'6" division and they qualify for it then I see nothing wrong with it.


                  • This is the same type of thing but on another level. Seasoned junior and amateur riders with BNT's; that join small 'local' associations, that are NOT even 'local' to them (that were formed to promote 'novices' into the show world, not to promote the A-circuit riders) just to 'win' MORE year end awards. Maybe the local associations needs to put some new rules as to what geographical area the competitors need to reside in to be eligible to join?


                    • Originally posted by LGW
                      Last year I remember being somewhat disappointed when I had to ride against riders in the Pre Adult Eq-, who rode in the Ariat the following day. Then I put my bitterness aside and realized the experienced riders were using the Pre Adult division as mileage for their green horses, which changed my attitude. As long as the class description allows for experienced riders to compete in the 2'6" division and they qualify for it then I see nothing wrong with it.

                      Well thank you Shirley Temple. Would you call making a voodoo doll in that poor girl's likeness and sticking two inch pins in it every weekend putting your "bitterness aside"?


                      • Re: Offset

                        Oh ... but great wise one ... you said it was therapy.

                        May we all be so lucky to follow your advice and be privy to kiss the golden ring on your shaky hand.


                        • I know exactly what your talking about, last summer my daughter was having alot of trouble with her horse, basically he decided he wasn't gonna show or jump anymore! She tried to do her jumper class - 3 ft and landed in the dirt, then her eq classes, he stopped at the jumps! Then because we didn't want to end on such a bad note, we waited an did a Modified class, adults, kids no age or restrictions, she didn't belong in a 2' class, but didn't want the kid to end on a sour note and wanted to make sure the horse was gonna jump also, well her first round was the flat - blue ribbon, second round jump - the horse planted it and she did a superman fly over the jump! I had had it, but she wasn't gonna give up, then the last jump class,- blue ribbon, what she learned was as long as she sat back, waited, and didn't get up his neck, he was fine! So though she ended up Champion of the class, she really didn't belong in it, but she learned finally she just cant get up his neck at all! We have basically given him some time off - 6 months, and he is much better, jumping great even if she misses and does get up his neck, but is 18, and really don't want to chance it in the show ring anymore, so she jumps him for fun and trail rides, and we have 1/2 leased her a show horse! But long story short, that silly class is what finally taught her not to get up his neck!


                          • H/JMom--this is a perfect example of why we have open classes. Everyone has particular needs and if a class fits the bill for you, then enter it. You shouldn't fell guilty about entering a class you're eligible for-- "Gee, I really need this experience for my horse/rider but I should give others a chance so I won't enter this class."

                            I realize this is a different situation from the point chasers and the people who park it in the lower divisions. But that's a result of open classes. If it's open, it's open.
                            Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to.--Joe Gores


                            • Originally posted by Yours Truly

                              I realize this is a different situation from the point chasers and the people who park it in the lower divisions. But that's a result of open classes. If it's open, it's open.

                              Couldn't have said that better. Completely agree.



                              • thanks - I have always felt silly about that day! And what a day it was, glad my then 12 year old can still laugh at it, especially when she watches the video is slow motion!! perfect form over the jump if she was applying for a job as a female Superman!!!


                                • Wendy123, I've been in some of the beginner W/T and W/T/C classes at the schooling H/J shows (2 last year, 1 this year). Some of them split by age, but others are divided randomly or everyone shows together. I did two shows back in High School, and another about 10 years ago, but wasn't ever very successful. I'm definitely not trying to steal ribbons from the little kids, but since I'm a beginner, I recognize that the show management has to decide on the best way to organize their classes.

                                  HHG-N, even though I was fine cantering in groups in lessons, the warmups and show rings tend to have considerably more horses, and tend to clump together more. I can't blame your little rider for being a little intimidated, especially since it is her first year. Maybe she can focus more on the Hunter Hack and tiny O/F classes? I agree that getting the time in the ring is important. Lessons at home are great, but showing isn't just equitation and getting the most out of the horse, it also involves dealing with nerves and a bit of chaos. That's a lot harder to teach outside of an actual show environment, I think.

                                  3DayEventing, while you are entitled to your opinion, everyone else is entitled to disagree with you. It's not as though anyone is going to arrest you for saying that H/J shows involve politics! I'm planning to show in my first Horse Trial this weekend, at the W/T dressage and 18" fence level. I'd probably be fine with the next step up, and the horse is certainly up to it. I was more confident with that dressage test, though, so I decided to stick to that level.

                                  I'm planning to show this season at H/J local schooling shows (we have several that are close by, and the A shows are more than I want to spend the money on), as well as unrecognized and recognized Horse Trials and Dressage shows. I will probably move up in each area over the course of the season, but if for some reason I did feel the need to stay at 18" fences and W/T flat and dressage classes, I don't think anyone would have any basis to be mad at me about it. People and horses progress (or regress, in the case of those who are getting older or coming back from an injury) at different rates.

                                  I'm not really active in showing, but I've attended A rated H/J shows, recognized Horse Trials, and *** rated Dressage shows, and haven't had any runins with snobbish or unfriendly people.

                                  Succeeding at the higher levels in any equestrian field usually takes a lot of money - buying, showing, and caring for horses adds up. So do training and lessons. That's why the truism about making a small fortune in horses is so widespread! It's not that people buy their wins in H/J shows - and claiming that is a really horrid thing to say about the ethics of the judges in the entire discipline. Fashion does tend to be a factor, but probably more so among junior riders teasing each other than it does to the judge.
                                  Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.


                                  • To get back closer to the OP's original concerns re beginning riders in W/T type classes: if this is a local association type schooling show, and you think there is a need that is not being met for a certain type of rider, I'd suggest talking to some of your fellow trainers to see if they have seen a similar issue. If they have, you all ARE the local association: change the shows next season. Our area group has 'tweaked' the types of classes nearly every year. The "true beginner rider" group had gotten so big that we have split the schooling shows. There is a one-day show, held on Fridays in the summer and Saturdays in the school year, where most of the classes are W/T and the highest event is 2' verticals. Only one division is "open" to all riders, the fences are still only 2', and ribbons are awarded but no points. So it really is used to school extremely green horses in their very first trip or two away from their home barn, before they're even ready for baby greens. A beginner rider like the OP's would have several different height divisions to chose from where she might compete against all ages but could be assured they were at the same skill level. Then the association has separate shows, anything from 1 to 3 days, that start with normal 2' divisions and go all the way up to Open/Regular, with points and prizes at the end-of-year banquet.

                                    So talk to the others in your area - if there is a need, fill it! If it keeps riders and their parents moving forward into our sport, rather than having them get discouraged and pulling out, then it's a good thing.
                                    Incredible Invisible


                                    • If one is eligible to enter the division, then enter it. If one is not eleigible then someone should protest them.

                                      The last thing I want is a division where everyone better than me is legislated out, leaving me the winner. I want to put my horse and my abilities (questionable though they are) up against everyone else who qualifies for my division. In my area, my division is called the million dollar division because of the plethora of expensive horses. You cannot imagine my pride when we jog in front of all those dollar signs.
                                      You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.


                                      • Originally posted by Midge
                                        If one is eligible to enter the division, then enter it. If one is not eleigible then someone should protest them.

                                        It's presently driving people crazy that my schedule for the next show season will involve my usual entries in the biggest classes, but this year plus entries in the smallest classes on some green horses. Some people are not happy with their beginners being pitted against a rider who's ridden for the country's team more than once and holds a national record, but the class is open and I'm not prepared to kill myself by jumping these babies in a bigger class - and for the most part, although I'm sure it's annoying for many, they accept it.

                                        It can be frustrating and difficult to deal with when the rank beginners are forced to hold up against some considerably more experienced riders, but for so long as the latter riders are still eligible for the class, sometimes there's nothing one can do about it except just accept the fact because really, they have every right to be there if they so choose and some of those riders do have genuine reasons for entering those classes. But heck, if the riders you mentioned have no right being in those classes, complain away and change it, haha!

                                        Good luck and I wish your students the very best!
                                        Without a Doubt


                                        • I am still eligible novice. Why? Because up 'til now I've ridden greenies and problem horses and while I have pulled some good solid ribbons, I am still one blue short of ribboning out of the novices. What's the saying? "Always the bridesmaid, never the bride"?

                                          Do I still show in the novice classes? No. What would be the point? I show in the open classes because that is where I feel I belong. If I wanted to go win against my little sister, now that I'm lucky enough to be on a very nice horse, I would enter the novice division and sweep the damn thing. But to me there would be no satisfaction in it.

                                          If the ringers that the OP mentioned have circumstances requiring them to enter the novice classes- horse coming off of an injury, rider coming off of an injury, confidence issues- and they are eligible, no problem. If they have no reason to enter the classes, but they are still eligible, I think that's silly and unsportsmanlike but they're certainly entitled.

                                          Besides which, if it's a novice class, the ringers will ribbon out eventually anyway.
                                          "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                                          Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                                          Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.