British talent runs deep! And young! *PONY KUR* - Page 4

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British talent runs deep! And young! *PONY KUR*

This is a discussion on British talent runs deep! And young! *PONY KUR* within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Beezie patton john madden
  • Standiing martingale in working hunter pony uk ckasses

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    08-06-2013, 11:58 AM
Though I agree with much of what is said here- I must correct the misconception that the major American hunt seat equitation Championships, which are the Maclay Championship, the USET Talent Derby and the Medal Championship. Fences are 3'6" - 3'9" (higher and wider fences and more jumper -like distances in the USET TD but still being judged on overall round and not solely faults) with appropriate spreads. While they definitely involve hundreds of thousands of dollars of horseflesh, training, and showing, Some of the United States very best jumper riders have come from this system of working on there a quotation and computing and winning these big classes. Our own George Morris, Katy Prudent, Beezie Patton Reed Kessler and practically ever US Team jumper rider has benefited from this education and background. Very few other countries as a whole have as consistent a contingent of correct riders.

So yes, while I agree with your point that there is a lot of pomp and circumstance and beauty pageant in the Jr equitation world, the system has been working for over 30 years in producing top riders who go on to win the biggest classes and medals.

Originally Posted by faye    
Also I once watched a documentery on H&C tv about some American Major Equitation Championship show (apparently very hard to qualify for and people from all over the US spent loads on horses and getting there). I was horrified at the riding, the horses whilst very sweet were pootling along all pokey nosed, the jumps involved probably maxed out at 2ft 6, no one sat down in the canter (bums waving in the air as someone said earlier) standing martigales on everything . I wanted to shake them and tell them to actualy RIDE the horses not just sit there and attempt to look pretty.
Show pony classes over here everything Should be working as though it were about to go in the dressage arena, most open show horses could do a decent Elementary test and even the novice ponies can go out and be competative at Prelim and novice classes (Reeco could go out and do a prelim tommorow if needs be, I'd be a bit dubious about a novice class at the moment but I don't think we would disgrace ourselves entirely. Working hunter classes (so showing with the added element of looking stylish over jumps) 14hh ponies jump 2ft 9 - 3ft 3 depending on type. 15hh WHP is 3ft6!
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    08-06-2013, 01:18 PM
Super Moderator
^^^ I think the main difference between the US Hunter classes and the British show classes (ponies and horses) is that the US ones are more inclined towards the rider who's going to go into showjumping and our GB classes lean towards dressage. Even our hunter on the flat and the non jumping section of the Working Hunter (what we call our hunter over fences) are ridden in a basic low level dressage style
Are there any US show classes for children that don't involve a jumping seat way of riding?
    08-06-2013, 01:19 PM
Green Broke
14hh Working hunter ponies in the UK are required to jump 1m20 (3ft11) at the finals and 1m10 at qualifiers.
Intermediates (15hh) are required to jump 1m35 at champs (4ft5 if my conversions are correct)
Working hunter is about jumping natural looking jumps (so brushes and owl holes and water jumps plenty normal) whilst looking very stylish, flowing and at a good hunting canter. Style of jumping is very important, but you also then do an individual show where you are judged on the horses manners, schooling, conformation and way of going which as said before should be as though it is doing an Elementary dressage test

I have no idea what the championships were that the documentry was about but all the horses were 16hh+ and whilst the riders could look pretty whilst sitting on a horse they were about as useful as a chocolate teapot and the horses were pootling. They also never put thier arse in the saddle at the canter.
My sister can sit on a horse and look pretty but she is not an effective rider and unless the horse does it all for her she hasnt got a hope, she got the easy super schooled push button ponies as a child. I on the other hand got the unholy terror ponies, the quirky little beasts who you actualy had to ride every second of or you were going eat dirt painfully. I'm far from a pretty rider normaly but I'm a **** effective one and very hard to unseat.
    08-06-2013, 01:59 PM
Super Moderator
Putting in a few links to show example of typical UK working hunter pony
Nursery Stake is for young riders on small ponies
A 12 hand hunter pony on the flat class, from this young age children are getting the grasp of collection and riding on the bit
We tend to sit on our bums more in the UK!!!
US World Youth Champion - very nice round but lacks 'punch' and drive, in the UK she would be told she was 'showjumping the course - all a bit too careful

You rarely see the standing martingale in a UK Working hunter class as it gives the signal that the horse might have a problem with head flipping or rearing and a judge would be put off by that
The correctly fitted running martingale is considered part of the traditional hunting uniform so not frowned on in the same way
    08-06-2013, 02:46 PM
Jaydee, at the risk of alienating any QH world folks, I have to tell you that the YT vid you presented, the US World Youth Hunter Champion is just that - a QH shown solely against other QHs in a hunter class, and not what we here call the Big Eq, I.e., the ASPCA Maclay Championships, The USEF Medal Championships, and the USET Talent Search Finals. I suspect the show Faye watched was showcasing the Maclay Ch's, which are traditionally the most coveted and "sexy" of the 3. These top tier classes have traditionally brought the best of the rising talent to the US Team and thus international Grand Prix jumping, where we traditionally aren't too shabby

Faye, does the UK not have a separate equitation division for juniors? We have Junior Hunter, Children's hunters, and the same in Jumpers, but the Big Eq is about style and perfect placement over 3'6"- 3'9" fences, and all Championships are now held indoors due to the wintry time of year and sheer number of participants.

I'd say these top 4 2012 Maclay finalists riding the final round on each other's horses aren't pootling around as useful as a chocolate teapot (what ever that means) - not too shabby, eh? Remember, these are not hunters, they are equitation horses, and its all supposed to look EASY

    08-06-2013, 03:13 PM
As for the riders you saw who never put their arse in the saddle, Europeans and Americans have always had a style difference. US hunt seat equitation is a tried and true riding method whose many students include:

Rodrigo Pessoa
Meredith Michaels Beerbaum
Chris Kappler (Gold & Silver Athens Olympics, multiple US Team member)
Hugh Mutch (Olympian and multi-USET member)
Katie Monahan Prudent
Leslie Burr Lenahan
Mark Leone
Buddy Brown
Conrad Holmfeld
Mary Chapot
Bill Steinkraus
George Morris HIMSELF
Micheal Page (Olympic 3Day medalist)
J. Michael Plumb (6-time Olympian and medalist in 3Day )

I will also say that Himself (GM) has continually criticized the lack of pure RIDING outside the sandbox, galloping and jumping, that he insists our young riders lack and sorely need, and there is no doubt that its true, more now than ever before, I think.
    08-06-2013, 03:53 PM
Originally Posted by faye    
Also I once watched a documentery on H&C tv about some American Major Equitation Championship show (apparently very hard to qualify for and people from all over the US spent loads on horses and getting there). I was horrified at the riding, the horses whilst very sweet were pootling along all pokey nosed, the jumps involved probably maxed out at 2ft 6, no one sat down in the canter (bums waving in the air as someone said earlier) standing martigales on everything . I wanted to shake them and tell them to actualy RIDE the horses not just sit there and attempt to look pretty.
I was scribing for one of our larger dressage shows in the area, the PVDA Ride for Life..a benefit show for John Hopkins Breast Cancer research. I was working the Training Level through Third Level tests and the judge, at times, was just seething. She made the comment more than once that she was wasting her time as a judge due to the fact that many riders were, yes, admittedly on a horse but weren't "riding." The Training Level riders were making a much better showing of themselves than the Second and Third Level riders. Not all of the 2nd and 3rd level riders were just passengers but there were enough passengers that made the tests difficult to watch..the horses had the ability but the riders were lazy.

To me that is just unthinkable. If I am going into a ring showing my horse I am doing everything in my power to make sure that both the horse and I are putting the best effort forward.
    08-06-2013, 04:20 PM
Super Moderator
I am not a fan of what seems to be the current trend of riders leaning back and staying well behind the movement of the horse. Yes, I know it makes it easier to "sit" the movement without bouncing around, but it cuts into the seat's effectiveness quite a bit, too. Why are people taking this shortcut and not learning to strengthen their cores enough to absorb the movements in a neutral seat? It is getting so common to see this. It is even predominant in the photos posted by Duffy of the German young riders. Yes, ponies can be choppy. But not the ponies being bred in these photos. The New Forest ponies I have ridden have movement more like horses than any pony. Sad.
jaydee likes this.
    08-06-2013, 04:28 PM
Yes Wee, but there is not one single dressage rider on that list... Which is the point of what Faye is arguing.
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    08-06-2013, 04:32 PM
Super Moderator
You do see the forward seat in the UK showjumping ring - some more than others - but its not a style you see in the show ring
We were watching a clinic at the Equine Affaire last year and the trainer had the riders first jump in the bum waggling all the way round style and then had them sit down more and drive at the fence on approach and all the horses performed better - they were really impressive actually
The UK isn't without its 'passenger riders' - people with money to buy their way in - though those ponies and horses quite often lose their spark or develop a 'stop'
John Whittaker
Nelson Pessoa
And Beezie Madden who also seems to 'sit down' between fences so
The styles aren't that much different
This series gives some really good examples of different riders

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