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Opinions Please: "A" Show Riders at Small County Shows

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  • Originally posted by RugBug View Post
    I'm just picking on this one statement: if it's true - either the bad trainers have a very high opinion of themselves and are fooling their clients into paying too much...or the good trainers dont have a high enough opinion of their services and are offering a steal of a deal.
    It's really relevant to this thread. Many, many compadres I meet at local shows have never seen better in the way of training or horse care.

    Being friends with my trainers, big and small, I know that the little guys work hard for much less money. They can't earn 4 or 5 figures on a commission. They can't get all the clients to sign up for all the shows, let alone complete day care.

    And many trainers working even at the local level came "down" from somewhere else-- they had been an assistant with an A-level trainer, if not a BNT. I want these pros to be able to stay because they offer so much to clients who could never afford to buy the package of experience and skill that comes from those lofty, higher levels.

    If the "bad" local trainers stay in business because clients in the local scene have never seen better, we all keep that going if we exclude rated-show trainers from visiting the local show from time to time.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

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    • Originally posted by DebutsShirrocco View Post
      Personally, from my experiences A riders are obviously going to be better than these riders. Most of my friends who also show A, ride at LEAST 4 times a week and pay big for board and lessons.. I think something like this is unfair given the difference in skill level. People go to non-rated shows to show against less advanced riders, and without that they may be discouraged or not want to show because they will have a slim chance of winning.
      Wow. Just...wow. Your assumption that riders at local shows 1) ride less and 2) are less skilled because they don't pay "big bucks" for boarding/lessons is just wrong. Yes, that may be the case in SOME situations, but in my experience (and I volunteer running the gate at a local show series) a lot of these riders are better for not having the best of the best. And when the ante is upped by the appearance of "better" A show riders, they can - and usually do - step up their game.

      Cue popcorn machine.
      "I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy. My reality is just different from yours."
      ~Lewis Carroll

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      • Did you know they have marshmallow flavoured popcorn? True story!
        Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

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        • Originally posted by DebutsShirrocco View Post
          Personally, from my experiences A riders are obviously going to be better than these riders. Most of my friends who also show A, ride at LEAST 4 times a week and pay big for board and lessons.. I think something like this is unfair given the difference in skill level. People go to non-rated shows to show against less advanced riders, and without that they may be discouraged or not want to show because they will have a slim chance of winning.
          Silly me, I never realized that the only reason to ride and/or show was to win.

          Comment


          • Agree that there should be we've just begun type divisions to give a little insulation for those just starting so they don't get too dismayed at not being competitive - for whatever variety of reasons (money might not have a thing to do with it).

            I think of this like I think of my daughters bball games. There's always a few teams in her division of rec ball there are travel teams and bball is their life. They usually trounce every team that's not another travel ball team. Our kids do learn a lot which is great b/c it makes them better players. BUT of every game meant getting killed by the travel teams most of the rec kids would quit. Which is what happened in the recent past. Now the organizers only accept a couple of the younger travel teams to keep things on the level.

            Life's not fair and we all need to be challenged. Don't know if this has been brought up yet but the difference between a local show in SW VA & NOVA is big. Local doesn't always mean less competition.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by laughATTACK View Post
              Silly me, I never realized that the only reason to ride and/or show was to win.
              Obviously, laughATTACk, you've been doing it wrong

              The only way to enjoy showing is to scope out the competition beforehand and make sure you are only competing against people who's a$$es can be whipped. This is how you become a better rider.

              It's the new millennium - points and self esteem are everything!!
              "I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy. My reality is just different from yours."
              ~Lewis Carroll

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              • Originally posted by DebutsShirrocco View Post
                Most of my friends who also show A, ride at LEAST 4 times a week and pay big for board and lessons.. I think something like this is unfair given the difference in skill level.
                Yes. It is unfair. And that's just the way life is. There will always be someone much better than you competing against you.

                Originally posted by DebutsShirrocco View Post
                People go to non-rated shows to show against less advanced riders
                People go to unrated shows for many different reasons. Some go because they are cheaper. Some go because they are bringing up younger or greener horses. Some go because their riding skill dictates lower fences and easier courses. And some go to be a big fish in a little pond. It's usually the last group that tends to get butthurt on the occasions when the bigger fish comes to swim in their pond.

                Originally posted by DebutsShirrocco View Post
                and without that they may be discouraged or not want to show because they will have a slim chance of winning.
                Or they might want to push harder to get there. Or they may have other goals that place winning at a slightly lower priority. Or they may have the maturity of accepting that life is not fair and you don't always win. Or they might go away.

                Who knows?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by DebutsShirrocco View Post
                  Personally, from my experiences A riders are obviously going to be better than these riders. Most of my friends who also show A, ride at LEAST 4 times a week and pay big for board and lessons.. I think something like this is unfair given the difference in skill level. People go to non-rated shows to show against less advanced riders, and without that they may be discouraged or not want to show because they will have a slim chance of winning.
                  People go to local shows for a number of different reasons and it is presumptuous to assume that it has anything to do with the competitiveness of the other exhibitors.
                  "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu, The Art of War
                  Rainy
                  Stash

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                  • I happen to be one of the A kids who goes to tons of local shows o the side. Honestly the judging at those shows kind of predetermined half the time around me so its harder for me to show up and win at one of "those" shows than at an A show. When I do go, my trainer never lets me go in classes that aren't at the "open" level (so no children's or novice classes) unless they are for M&S (because points) I've gone to two of these shows where I've won literally every class, all of which were against pros on and I was on multiple horses. People weren't too happy when their trainers were beat by a sixteen year old but I play fair and keep the playing ground level. I can't afford to show at and A show every weekend and my trainer doesn't want to in the first place. I used to be a local kid and I knew that sometimes I would have to show against the A kids, I got over it and then I LOVED it. I think any show is fair game for anyone.
                    My Horse Show Photography/ Blog

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                    • Originally posted by DebutsShirrocco View Post
                      Personally, from my experiences A riders are obviously going to be better than these riders. Most of my friends who also show A, ride at LEAST 4 times a week and pay big for board and lessons.. I think something like this is unfair given the difference in skill level. People go to non-rated shows to show against less advanced riders, and without that they may be discouraged or not want to show because they will have a slim chance of winning.
                      Wow. I see others have let you know how silly or inane your post is, but I can't stop myself from doing so as well. People show at locals for MANY different reasons, the least of which is to show against less advanced riders. Money tends to play the biggest factor, IME.

                      Originally posted by mvp View Post
                      It's really relevant to this thread. Many, many compadres I meet at local shows have never seen better in the way of training or horse care.

                      Being friends with my trainers, big and small, I know that the little guys work hard for much less money. They can't earn 4 or 5 figures on a commission. They can't get all the clients to sign up for all the shows, let alone complete day care.

                      And many trainers working even at the local level came "down" from somewhere else-- they had been an assistant with an A-level trainer, if not a BNT. I want these pros to be able to stay because they offer so much to clients who could never afford to buy the package of experience and skill that comes from those lofty, higher levels.

                      If the "bad" local trainers stay in business because clients in the local scene have never seen better, we all keep that going if we exclude rated-show trainers from visiting the local show from time to time.
                      I'm really unsure how this post has anything to do with the cost of good and bad trainers being similar, as you previously stated. Maybe I misunderstood you?
                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                      Comment


                      • Count me as one who doesn't see what all the fuss is about either.

                        Growing up, i had one horse. She was cute, but not a "good" horse by any stretch of the imagination- very very kind but built downhill, no front end to speak of, neck tied in low, tending towards being ewe necked. She took me from getting our pants beat off in 10& under walk trot and 13 and under to actually being competitive in my first years showing adult. I worked my butt off to get there.
                        One of the sweetest moments showing her was at the winter tournaments where I was riding my old mare, and actually beat a kid who had just won an equitation world championship and done well in some of the finals the previous season. Got 2nd to her later in the day. That felt pretty darn good too. Some of the parents had their undies in a bunch because they didn't think that a kid who was showing those types of shows should be showing in winter tournaments (basically schooling shows put on for the barns in the area with lesson programs). For me, it gave me a MAJOR boost because I got to compete against and measure myself against a rider that I never would have had a chance to be in the arena with otherwise because my family just didn't have the money needed to get to the shows SHE went to. And I was able to give her a run for her money. I was more proud of that show than my whole previous season where I'd shown on a little more level playing field.

                        Another super sweet moment occurred at my last show with her. I decided I needed a new challenge so took up riding side saddle. I showed her (a pretty so-so country pleasure horse) in Open English Pleasure. Ring full of Country and Show Pleasure Saddlebred and various calibers of Morgan saddle seat horses, being shown by both amateurs AND pro trainers. There were MANY nicer quality horses in the ring with us, and almost all of them had more expensive wardrobes than mine. But Me and my little mare managed to win that class in a legitimate manner. It can be done! Sometimes you just have to dig in, shut up about who has more or better, and ride!

                        Comment


                        • The best junior rider I know, or have ever known, and probably WILL ever know, shows almost exclusively on our local circuit simply because she cannot afford it. The only rated she goes to are the ones that they can afford after she sells a project horse. When I need someone to jump on my horse, I have her do it. I do NOT have my trainer do it. I have HER do it because she's THAT good.

                          DebutsShirrocco, you are very presumptuous. Your posts are very snooty. In your thread about your horse, you asked a question, looking for opinions and answers, but you jumped down peoples throats when they gave you their opinions and answers. This is a bulletin board full of very smart people from lots of different backgrounds; I know you're young, but please think before posting.
                          Last edited by lrp1106; Jan. 7, 2013, 09:55 PM. Reason: grammar... again

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by mvp View Post
                            If the "bad" local trainers stay in business because clients in the local scene have never seen better, we all keep that going if we exclude rated-show trainers from visiting the local show from time to time.
                            This is SO true.

                            I have not read all the replies, so I'm sure this has probably already been said, but as long as horse and rider fit the specs of the class they should be allowed to enter. There are a million reasons why even a seasoned "A" competitor would might want to go to a local show, including affordable preparation for a bigger show, a low key experience for a green horse, etc.

                            Comment


                            • For the most part, I agree with most-having a higher level of competition benefits everyone, as long as everyone plays by the rules.

                              I will say, though, that sometimes local shows only offer low divisions, like up to 2'6". And while they might be "open" classes, I do think it's poor sportsmanship for a horse/rider combination who normally competes successfully elsewhere at say, 3' or 3'6" to enter those classes if it's not for a valid reason (horse has developed an issue and needs to school away from the barn at a lower level, horse or rider are rehabbing from an injury, etc.), just because they technically qualify. If there are comparable divisions to what they're showing elsewhere, then no harm, no foul. But if you're winning at 3'6" (anywhere, could be on another local circuit, not just rated) and go to a 2'6" show just because you can and just for the sake of going to a show and winning ribbons? Kind of poor form.

                              I do think many locals should add some divisions for novice horses and riders, but that's in general anyway. If they create and enforce sensible restrictions (novice for riders with less than one year of experience or x number of ribbons, whichever comes first, something similar for green horses, no cross entering from w-t to w-t-c classes, w-t riders may not canter on the grounds etc.) there should still be something for everyone.

                              Comment


                              • I think something like this is unfair given the difference in skill level. People go to non-rated shows to show against less advanced riders, and without that they may be discouraged or not want to show because they will have a slim chance of winning.
                                I really fail to see how it could possibly be "unfair." The class specs are generally fairly clear. Open to all means open to all. Unless someone is breaking the rules, it's perfectly fair.

                                I probably touched on this a while back but I've shown against Katie Prudent, Nina Fout, and Joe Fargis at our local little backyard unrateds. Katie was riding the horse she won the Grand Prix of West Palm on.

                                I go to unrated shows because they're close and affordable. If you're "discouraged" by showing against people better than you, you might want to realign your thinking - otherwise, the real world is going to kick your butt.

                                FWIW, one of my coolest horse show memories was riding against - and somehow beating - some of the above.
                                ---
                                They're small hearts.

                                Comment


                                • I don't see any issue with an A circuit rider going and competing against there own level on the local circuit. Now if a trainer sends a A circuit pony equitation kid that has been winning at various A shows, into a 2 foot equitation division on the local circuit, on the same pony used at the A shows, then yes, I see a problem with that.
                                  Talking to some people is like folding a fitted sheet.

                                  Comment


                                  • I usually show locally, but I occasionally save up money to go to a big A show, as a vacation, although I won't win a thing and I'm in the lowest level classes. But I get to watch awesome horses & riders, have a good time, & am willing to pay the fees for that.

                                    I think complaining about competition at local shows (or trying to limit competition) is just as silly as someone complaining that I shouldn't be allowed to pay to go to big shows, even though I'm not really competitive.

                                    Comment


                                    • I just took my extremely nice 4.5 year old to a jumper schooling show. We did a 2' and a 2'3" class. Some day I hope to do the high A/Os with this guy, but right now we are getting low-key, cheap miles at schooling shows with good footing and good courses. We usually get beaten soundly by little ponies . It is possible that people might wonder what we are doing there, but I would hope they recognize our greenness and also how much fun we are having, whether we win or not.

                                      You never really know why someone is there, or what the circumstance is, unless you know that person and his or her situation personally. If I was doing the 1.4m classes and came back and trounced the ponies at 2'3" at the schooling show- well, that would be really classless of me. Although, the ponies would probably still win- those little suckers are fast! So I'll keep doing these little shows until my baby boy is more solid and then we'll move up to bigger challenges- and hopefully continue to enjoy ourselves as much at new venues as we've been enjoying the local ones.
                                      You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by DebutsShirrocco View Post
                                        Personally, from my experiences A riders are obviously going to be better than these riders. Most of my friends who also show A, ride at LEAST 4 times a week and pay big for board and lessons.. I think something like this is unfair given the difference in skill level. People go to non-rated shows to show against less advanced riders, and without that they may be discouraged or not want to show because they will have a slim chance of winning.
                                        We do?

                                        I go to local shows because they're less expensive and I love the people. If the people I am competing against are less advanced than I am, I need to move into a different division. They also offer me classes that are relevant to my interests and my horse's capabilities. I'm not a junior anymore and my horse doesn't want to jump around the Maclay course anyway. But I can show in the 2'6" adult equitation locally and qualify for a nice year end medal final where I am competing against my peers.

                                        And incidentally, when I was doing the rated shows, I took a lesson a week if that and spent most of my time out in the back field. Any failure in performance was due to yours truly not riding well enough- not lack of money spent on the preparation.
                                        "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.

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                                        • I don't think it's a problem as long as it's an open show and they are in the right age group. Many times people will use the local opens to school young/green horses because the cost is surely less than that of a A.

                                          I don't think their goal is to go beat a bunch of green riders LOL

                                          I showed as a kid, maybe a total of one A show - I didn't have the money etc... but rode a lot and was a decent rider. As an older rider now I will never forget how someone made me feel one day... I had not shown in YEARS and was on a retired Dressage horse that just started jumping so I did the rusty stirrup... after my classes I had a person that had done the As told me it wasn't right I was in those classes that I should have been in the A arena.. I guess at the time I should have been flattered but it made me feel like I was trying to pull something over on others. Very often I have been given the evil eye when competing at local shows like I didn't belong and to tell you the truth that feels really bad.

                                          Everyone should feel welcome and if they are amazing with an amazing horse, good for them..

                                          They may have fear, maybe don't have the money, maybe their horse is coming off a lay up... you never really know someones situation...
                                          Live in the sunshine.
                                          Swim in the sea.
                                          Drink the wild air.

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