I know what you mean, I have a "lovely" mother in law who is doing prelim with one horse who scares me when he jumps Novice and I have no clue why she keeps moving up - she feels if she gets through a course then they should move up even if they get time faults, or eliminated a few times at that level. She has never placed in the top 5 at any event at any level with this horse.
Wow, your MIL is not representing this sport well at all. You should have her sit down and read many of Jim Woffords articles, which one of them states that you should spend a whole year at 1 level, and only move up if you place top 3 in 3 or more HT's. He stresses how important it is to take this sport seriously because of how dangerous it is, and sadly, your MIL is not.
She fails to teach basics.
How sad :(
Then she went and got another 17 hand OTTB that she competes and I rode him once over 2'3" jumps and he scared the crap out of me I thought we were going to crash, my own ottb in retraining for a month jumped better then him and she had him a year and a half. Anyways she decided to enter this 17h into a BN event - she got elimated in stadium due to leaving the areana after crashing a fence - she was given permission to ride xc but one refusal she wa done. I was a jump judge and I nearly had a heart attack when she jumped the first fence I was at but then on the 5th her horse who isn't very neat with his front legs hit his knee on the jump and somersaulted over the jump and landed on her thankfully she was fine the horse took 5 min to get up and they had to take the saddle off to get him up (knocked the wind out of him) I called her later to make sure they were ok and she acted like it was no big deal he just has paint marks on his knees he's fine and in 2 weeks took him into another one which of course she was eliminated again for. No matter what I say her thoughts are as long as they keep jumping keep pushing. I DON'T AGREE WITH THIS AT ALL!!!!
All I have to say is, how disgusting and how saddened I am for the horses that have to put up with her. She is jumping these horses scared, and by the sounds of it, breaking them down mentally.
Speaking of which, I've been meaning to ask you MIEventer if that is you in your avatar?
LOL, you know how many people have asked me the same question? HA HA! I have recieved so many PM's, it's silly.
If you look closely, you'll see the horse jumping the obsticle, and if you look under the horse that is in mid air, you'll see the rider about to take a swim.