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

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  • Considering this thread was started in 2009, I doubt it has anything to do with things intensifying recently.

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    • Originally posted by findeight View Post
      Well child, I've been hearing the exact same complaint since I started over 40 years ago. Not a thing new there.

      So, I guess I just retire myself and the horse so I never ruin anybody's self esteem, just stop showing? Sorry, I'm not spending 250+ to show unjudged if I am legal for the class and, honestly, I don't need the experience or any more miles.
      You being Methusalah and all, you really want to defend your right to show and "get the judge's opinion" at a local hunter show?

      FWIW, I think anyone should be able to show at any show they'd like within their division (and also, so long as they aren't planning to borrow money to do it, declare bankruptcy and ask Joe Q. Public to pick up their Horsing Tab.)

      But having been around for 40 years, you know that you don't get lots of feedback from a hunter judge and I'm not sure what a judge who is looking at larger mistakes than the one your and your horse will make has to offer you.

      Show where you want, but get a better argument than this one, eh?
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

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      • I'm with Renn, every word of it.

        If there are that many "A" riders showing up, how about show management offering some 3'6" divisions?
        "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

        Comment


        • I think its a great idea to have A-level riders, horses and trainers attending the little shows. That's how we local folks can see better and watch the Big Fish do what they do to produce winning rounds.

          The only barrier that's unfortunate is money, primarily to buy the fancy horse. Otherwise, it's all time, interest in getting better and commitment. It seems to me that it costs just about as much to keep a horse in training with a good trainer as a bad one. So if the local nay-sayers are complaining because they somehow can't ride well enough to win or can't get the training they need to do that, I have no sympathy.

          Having been around the A shows and bringing all that back to my Egg-Beater Moving Horse, I have been the person who perhaps locals would like to leave. But I don't do anything they couldn't do. More often than not, they don't want to work that hard. Or perhaps they don't see the work that's behind Egg-Beater laying down his consistent trips and winning his share. Again, I'll share anything I know with anyone who wants it.

          There is often so much more bang for your buck at the local shows. I'd be psyched if more offered classes above 3'.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

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          • I only do local shows - for reasons both financial and the fact that I am a sucky re-rider - but I absolutely welcome A-show competition at my local shows! I love seeing how I do against them. What I don't like, though, is seeing the 3' - 3'3" A circuit rider doing the 18"-2' hunter classes- seen it, and it burns me a bit.

            At one show, a trainer was somehow riding in the adult beginner division -for which she most certainly didn't qualify - because apparently that's the only one her horse could do regarding jumping. She did not go unjudged, and I smiled when I beat her in the eq class
            Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors

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            • Renn is still with Renn, three years later. This isn't lead-line. We've grown out of all needing to get a lollipop; we can stand to all step it up. It makes us better riders. I do think that if your horse ribboned at Devon and you haven't shown the local circuit the whole year, it's unsportsmanlike to come to the year-end show the same year just to win some trophies, but I haven't seen anyone actually do that in years. (If you show it all year locally and it's good enough to ribbon at Devon too, then thanks for supporting our local circuit and giving us someone to chase!)

              I grew up riding on and am still involved with the county association where Jacob Pope grew up riding. (He and my sister rode against each other from short stirrup to the age-group equitation. She is proud to say that on some occasions she beat him.) He has a nice chestnut horse he sometimes brings out (his dad shows the horse sometimes too, which I keep using as an example to my own mother.) If he wants to bring the horse out this year too, having won the Maclay, I will happily compete against him and his nice chestnut horse. If my guy ends up being sound enough, I'll actually want him to bring his chestnut horse and show it in the equitation, because I will be really freaking proud of myself if I can beat him!
              "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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              • When I was growing up, we had A shows and B shows in our area. Many, many people showed at both (me included). The B circuit in our area has now been changed to a "local" circuit. It is nowhere near as well attended, and the shows are not nearly as competitive. My view was that the B circuit as a whole was always improved by the crossover from the A circuit. And, no, I wasn't out there winning everything, either. Sometimes I had a great A show and a terrible B show. Sometimes the other way around. Shrug.

                If you want to compete, you want to compete. If you only want to compete against those weaker than you, you don't really want to compete after all. This isn't very different from amateurs showing against pros in some divisions. When I was a junior, I beat my trainer in warm ups or low hunters sometimes. I thought that was cool, and never felt it was "wrong" for me to have to show against people better than me.

                Comment


                • In the dark ages Olympic riders attended non rated shows, with young horses and young riders. We didn't run off and not horse show against them.

                  Frank Chapot and George Morris would bring riders and horses to the appropriate shows for the horses and riders, be they unrated schooling shows in the dead of winter in Northern New Jersey or B rated and C rated or Local Member shows to get kids qualified for the Medal and Maclay. Getting to watch people at that level and competing against them helped raise everyone's level of riding.

                  No one complained. I don't care who you are or how much money you have there will always be someone who rides better, or has a nicer horse, on the day.

                  Comment


                  • To Seal's point- I announced a horse show at Sweet Briar College I guess about 3-4 years ago. Can't remember if it was rated or not but when I flipped my page to the level 4-5 (something like that) jumpers I saw Kim Severson listed on Tipperary Liadhnan. Nobody scratched. (And she signed my prize list!)
                    "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.

                    Comment


                    • We have ran into this problem before. A friend and I had 2500 and under dollar horses each. The horses we showed againist at the small show paid much more for their horses. We only showed C rated back then on these greenies but we worked our tails off to do well there. The local saddle club was great and we would go their to. Lovely people had great fun showed there for a couple years. New barn came in and because we would usually win the jumping and eq divisions they started to complain and said they would quit coming if we kept winning because it was unfair. I was on a horse that was 15 years old never did anything his life but unguided trail rides, couldn't get on a trailer for a couple months because in those 15 years he had never bee on one. My friend had a trail horse that was also just learning to jump and went 10 years of his life never cantering before she bought him. We worked very hard and the were local saddle club and barely C circuit horses but we were hard competition at the saddle club not so much at C circuits. So where does it end. Are we not allowed to show our horses at a saddle club because we at the time worked very hard on two greenies and had them winning there? We both do dressage now and I find it funny that at schooling shows for dressage you never hear or at least I don't anyone complain because a horse that shows rated is at the local show. I have shown rated and local on the same horse that I did the saddle club with. Let's just say he made a better dressage horse than hunter lol but lots of dressage riders do this and no one complains.
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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                      • I have no problem with "A" show riders riding on the local circuit. I show local to A's depending on budget, rider level and horse level. If trainers are worried about their students riding against the A riders then they need to step up the training for the students and the horses. I train my students to their highest ability so even if they only ever competed at local shows the could walk into the A show ring and know they were going to be fine.

                        Comment


                        • Local shows are really good for young horses because they're usually no where near as big, so it's less intense for the horse. That's why a lot of rated riders I know still show at local Halloween shows and what-not. Changing it up does a lot of good for the local shows and ups the ante and competition, especially in areas where education is suffering. A lot of times my motivation to get better as a rider has come directly from my competitive nature and seeing something magnificent in a local show ring, studying it and trying to figure out how I can achieve it.

                          Good riding is like love, you know it when you see it. If you never see it, you can't "know" it no matter how many books you study.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by hannabarbera
                            I signed up just to comment on this. Our county 4-H is starting to have issues with this. We have a number of very fancy ponies and horses that successfully compete on the A circuit showing up at the county/regional finals to win and move on to our state finals. It is extremely discouraging to the rest of the children, who work very hard and compete well, but simply can't compete at that level.
                            It is teaching the disappointed children about life. Life is not fair all the time.

                            If you do not like people showing up at the one show and taking the state spots why not change how state spots are earned? Our 4-h you had to qualify for the regional show that was the show that picked who went to states. That means no one could just show there and make it.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by hannabarbera
                              I signed up just to comment on this. Our county 4-H is starting to have issues with this. We have a number of very fancy ponies and horses that successfully compete on the A circuit showing up at the county/regional finals to win and move on to our state finals. It is extremely discouraging to the rest of the children, who work very hard and compete well, but simply can't compete at that level.
                              One of the local associations handled this problem with a rule that riders must compete in X number of association shows in order to qualify for finals regardless of point standings. They lost some potential members this way, but it prevented what you're describing by making these competitors into more regular participants.
                              "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.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Mardi View Post
                                More questions: As we always say, it's important to encourage the young riders and the beginners to continue to learn, improve, and move up the ranks, so we have new riders coming into our sport. If they're discouraged because of an unlevel playing field again and again, they give up and don't come back, and find another sport where they can compete against those of similar skill levels, until they can move up.
                                I think it's really appropriate for those circuits to have a set of maiden, novice, and limit equitation classes for those new riders. It gives them a chance to ride against riders of similar experience levels and ride maybe easier or lower courses. And it's a thrill to win your way out of each division. Your local circuit can acknowledge them too, by listing all the people who win their way out that year.

                                You can also have a division like "beginners over fences" (which is in fact what it was called when I was a kid) and only let people in their first year of showing ride in it.

                                If you've got a group of people who show lesson horses, you can have a division for that.

                                But the age-break hunter and equitation divisions? They should be open to all and I think it's wonderful and fair and appropriate for anyone who wants to come show in them to do so. Showing isn't just about winning, it's about going out and going to new places and socializing with your friends and having a fun day with your horse. And it's even more fun when it's local and not such a hassle to go.

                                If the jumps are too low or the pickings are too easy, it won't be fun for the A show riders and they won't come back.

                                As for someone campaigning in both: IME, the horses and wallets can only take so many shows in a year, and it's not likely that someone can get to enough shows to lead the standings in both. But, aside from that concern, they still have to ride and they still have to put in the perfect trips. If they do, and win all the marbles, so be it.
                                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                  It seems to me that it costs just about as much to keep a horse in training with a good trainer as a bad one.
                                  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.

                                  I think I posted before on this thread - suck it up and deal with it. If someone qualifies for the class according to the shows rules, you ride against them and be gracious, win or lose.
                                  Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                  Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                  Comment


                                  • I realize this thread is 3 years old, but reading through it brought back a memory of a very important life lesson taught to me by - who else, my mom:

                                    "Showing locally does not mean you get to leave your A game at home."

                                    It's stuck with me all these years. Love ya, mom!
                                    "I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy. My reality is just different from yours."
                                    ~Lewis Carroll

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                                    • As long as the prize lists are created with both level riders in mind I don'tthink it's a problem at all and back in the day when I first started showing many A riders used the local shows as prep for the rated - as back then rated shows were not full of unrated classes. We were lucky in that most of the local circuits designed the prize lists to prevent or dissuade people from cross entering classes. This seemed to work, the shows were packed - not like they are now.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by AllisonWunderlund View Post
                                        I realize this thread is 3 years old, but reading through it brought back a memory of a very important life lesson taught to me by - who else, my mom:

                                        "Showing locally does not mean you get to leave your A game at home."

                                        It's stuck with me all these years. Love ya, mom!
                                        Your mom was a wise woman!
                                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                        Comment


                                        • 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.
                                          Watermark aka "Cleo" - 5 year old Warmblood cross
                                          Foxtrot aka "Raven" - 5 year old Hanoverian
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