Bad rider, bad trainer, or slipping judging standards?
   

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Bad rider, bad trainer, or slipping judging standards?

This is a discussion on Bad rider, bad trainer, or slipping judging standards? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
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    04-27-2009, 01:25 AM
  #1
Foal
Bad rider, bad trainer, or slipping judging standards?

Ok so I have been out and about lately watching people school their horses in dressage and watching them at shows and I have noticed a startling number of people who are forcing therir horses into false frames. I see maybe three or four riders whos horses are genuinely balanced and moving well and the rest are all careening around on the front end with their horse's noses tied to their chests with side reins or german martingales or what not and it really frightens me. I have also seen too many horses who are going alright and then are slapped into a double bridle just becasue "its how dressage horses are ridden."

My question is, do you think that this is an issue of bad trainers who are taking too many shortcuts to achieve "the look" or is this an issue of too many riders just not knowing enough or not caring enough as long as they get the ribbon at the end of the day or is this a case of too many judges making poor decision for one reason or another.

I am just curious to see other people's thoughts on the subject.
     
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    04-27-2009, 02:05 AM
  #2
Started
I cannot say specifically for the dressage ring, but I can say that in nearly every discipline, the desire to WINWINWIN seems to have taken priority over correct horsemanship. Riders are becoming less willing to work for their wins, and in turn, I think, trainers become impatient and allow these "shortcuts." On top of that, judges begin to see so many of these horse and rider combinations that their standards are slipping.

I guess I think it must be all three of these things together, one leading to another. I honestly think it starts with lazy riders and impatient/greedy trainers, though.

It is sad when horsemanship is just about trophies and ribbons, and no longer about a working partnership.
     
    04-27-2009, 08:26 PM
  #3
Trained
It's an issue of the FEI not cracking down on those in the upper levels that do these things. Anky is the main perpetrator, but basically they discover some weird new way to control their really hot horses, while still getting performance out of them and it becomes a fad. The FEI then turns a blind eye and allows it to continue, until in the grass roots of dressage we see this horrible "dumbed-down" version of what Anky or some other rider was doing which usually ends up manifesting as pulling hte horse into a frame.
It also can come from other disciplines when the student decides to do dressage and instead of getting a dressage trainer they have their western pleasure coach teach them whatever they think dressage is, which is usually a false frame.
Anyways, I have to go, I'll add more later once the topic gets going.
     
    04-27-2009, 08:42 PM
  #4
Trained
Great post Anebel.

I would also say it has allot to do with MIMICING what they see. Without understanding what actually is going on.

I remember when I was growing up in the horse world, I would do allot of flat shows. You know, the boring types where you walk, trot, canter one direction and then in the other while the judge and her/his scribe are standing in the middle of the arena watching.

Anyways - I would see riders and their horses with these pretty frames winning. So - of course, I wanted to win, so I coppied what I saw.

And that resulted in - pulling my horse into a false frame, thinking I was getting the exact reults as these riders I was triyng to copy were getting. I had no idea what the functionally was behind getting true collection.

I had no idea about the training scale and the proper way to achieve true collection - I just saw, and coppied.

Until, I started riding under educated coaches.
     
    04-27-2009, 09:08 PM
  #5
Weanling
I think its lack of proper training. And an idea of what a horse should look like. A good frame will come with good training. A frame does not make good training. Theres alot of this in the equitation rings too.
     
    04-27-2009, 09:21 PM
  #6
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvsmygirls    
ok so I have been out and about lately watching people school their horses in dressage and watching them at shows and I have noticed a startling number of people who are forcing therir horses into false frames. I see maybe three or four riders whos horses are genuinely balanced and moving well and the rest are all careening around on the front end with their horse's noses tied to their chests with side reins or german martingales or what not and it really frightens me. I have also seen too many horses who are going alright and then are slapped into a double bridle just becasue "its how dressage horses are ridden."

My question is, do you think that this is an issue of bad trainers who are taking too many shortcuts to achieve "the look" or is this an issue of too many riders just not knowing enough or not caring enough as long as they get the ribbon at the end of the day or is this a case of too many judges making poor decision for one reason or another.

I am just curious to see other people's thoughts on the subject.
Good lord this has been going on for ages. It really is NOT a new thing.

Yes it is the idea of winning. Yes it is the idea of bad trainers. Yes it is some bad judging and yes it is "how fast can I get there. It really is no one thing. Certainly Anky as a person riding at the level that one tends to look up to doesn't help but in reality it is no one area that we can point our finger and say .."there............that is the problem".

We can in fact even put some of the blame on the breeding, for the horses being bred for the International level of dressage riding is for the most part unridable to the average AA rider. This puts them struggling with something that is perfect for their riding ability but will probably never have that "upper level" potential. So how does the AA get their good but not great horse to "that level"? Get a trainer that will use whatever means to make it look that way, put the extra hardware in its mouth so the curb can do what the rider can't. Take the horse to a show that "likes your horse or horse breed" and voila better scores and now you have a 3rd or 4th level horse.

Personally I have found most judges are doing their best within the individual countries but the obvious biasness shown at the International level throws suspicion on all the judges and I feel that is not fair.

I blame the riders themselves for those that feel that showing is the be all and end all of everything (and I was one of those at one time). Certainly putting your horse forward to get a professional critique via a show should be encouraged. However the back stabbing that goes on in the dressage world with riders trying to out do another rider (either at a show or believe it ON THE INTERNET) seems to put the horse as a means to an end and it is in reality your partner that gets you those ribbons. I know some riders that will pull out of a show if the slightest thing happens to their horse with "there will be another show" as the foremost thought and I applaud those owners/riders...but then I see the opposite too frequently. The horse that comes out lame, goes behind the trailer and is suddenly perfect a half hour later. I witnessed this at one show but because of who owned that horse it was never drug tested.

Now anyone that thinks they can train just advertises and for some reason will get the unsuspecting client knocking their door down. 3 years later you ask that person how they are doing. So why do they say great when they are no farther ahead than what they were 3 years ago. Trainers that use short cuts to get their client's horse "up there" faster when the rider isn't even close. It takes longer to train a rider than a horse and I see so many times that the basics in rider education are just missing. Description of training methods have been so garbled that the student simply becomes a "I sit on the horse and do this, and this happens" type of rider. These riders will be totally lost if something happens unexpectedly in the show ring. They are not riding the horse, just the movement and the resulting test is flat and uninspiring.

OK I will get off MY soapbox now.
     
    04-28-2009, 02:34 AM
  #7
Foal
I totally agree with you spyder that this is not new its just that I have been out of the show arena for the last few years but have just recently begun showing again and was totally shocked at just how few people are really riding their horses. I saw so many people just reeming on their horses faces in the practice arenas and kicked them around I circles when the made the tinest wrong moves.

IMO I think that while this problem is a result of a combination of factors, the main portion of responsibility comes down to the riders. THEY are the ones who choose the trainers, THEY are the ones who decide when and where to show and THEY are the ones that have the final say on how their animals are trained. It is the RIDERS responsibility to make an informed chose about who trains their horses and it is their responsibility to become better EDUCATED AND CAPABLE partners for their equine counterparts. We demand so much of our animals in ANY arena and it is not fair to automatically assume that if their is an issue in the training or partnership then it is automatically the horse's fault. I also believe that it is the rider's JOB to make sure that their animals are not pushed past their limits; to cast aside our own ambitions and desires for one minute and honestly SEE our horses and realize that while we may have a perfectly good 1st level or 3 level horse or 3 foot jumper or 14 sec barrel horse or what ever it is we do, this MAY be the best that our horses can do for us. And if it is then it is our responsibility to accept those limits and either do the best with what we have or consider other options.

This is just my opinion and I am sorry for my little rant but people who push their horses to hard and too fast for a ribbon or because they are too lazy/dont care enough to hit their local library and do a little self education really get me riled. Thanks for you time. I would still love to see others opinions
     
    04-28-2009, 10:51 AM
  #8
Trained
How many people do we read about trying to get "collection" on the forum or many other forums. "How do I get my horse collected" etc,etc, etc.

Many riders are being taught to ride front to back. I even had a coach, who I rode under when I first moved here - teach me to hold my inside rein until my horse gave in, and then release. I had no impulsion, his back was dropped, we weren't tracking up - but my coach was so focused on this "headset".

It is because we aren't being taught correctly by our coaches. Not all coaches teach this - but there are many uneducated coaches at low levels, turning out uneducated riders.

People want the quick fix, and want the pretty picture without understanding how to really get it.
     
    05-01-2009, 09:34 PM
  #9
Weanling
I don't know, I actually think things are getting better.
I went to a scribe clinic, and the judge (in Canada) said that it was becoming quite clear that judges could not give higher than 6 for any movement in which the poll was too low-regardless of how well the movement was performed.

I've showed twice this year, and those that rode correctly saw it in their scores. Those that "looked pretty" without any push from behind of their noses in too deep tended to get docked. I know my scores reflected it. When he had some push from behind and was ridden more up into the bridle, we got 7s and 8s. When he got nervous and tried ducking behind my hand, we got 5s.

Dressage evolves. It changed from what it was 30+ years ago, to something now where flashiness is the goal instead of necessarily having a horse that is completely through. And it'll change again. In fact, it already is. When I went to the World Cup, while I don't remember 100% if the scores reflected, the commentators-Ann Gibbons and Robert Dover definitely mentioned that a horse was too low in the poll, so its not going unnoticed, even in the international scenes.
     
    05-01-2009, 10:00 PM
  #10
Started
Great thread - and I agree with what was already said that it's a combination of a lack of rider understanding and a lack of proper training, as well as a lack of education of trainers overall (not all trainers, just the fact that anyone can "be" a trainer). I don't have much to add, so I'll leave it at that, but thanks for the info and good read!
     

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