Form Over Fences - Page 10
   

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Form Over Fences

This is a discussion on Form Over Fences within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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        08-15-2010, 08:00 PM
      #91
    Banned
    Upnover,

    Thank you much for posting that; that was exactly the point I was trying to make earlier, only less well.

    Periodically, I would hold judging clinics for students and parents at my barn; after reviewing the rule book and some videos, I would have everbody watch a class and mark cards and score rounds. It was always eyeopening and educational and seriously cut down the grumpiness at shows. I'm amazed how many people out there competing (or criticizing hunters) don't know that there's a system for marking cards and scoring rounds. Yes, it's less subjective than jumping for jumpers, but there IS a system that most judges subscribe to and use and it's not entirely on prettiness.

    I also have a whole rant about the reasons for duck butt or porno butt and why it's more common in hunters, but I'll save that for another day.
         
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        08-16-2010, 12:29 AM
      #92
    Foal
    I have to agree that the posing comes from, at least at times, students who were taught to jump before they should have. I know the first time I rode english, because it was a group lesson and the others were ahead of me... I jumped 2 feet. I was basically told to get in jump position and hang on. This was 9 or so years ago now. Today, I have switched barns and am still jumping 2 feet-2'3" in lessons, on average. The difference is that my trainer now has me focusing on the horse and jumping with him. Then I show Novice (2'6"-2'9")... go figure... but basically once your position is solid on the lower stuff it is the same mechanics on the higher stuff...
    So yeah... some trainers, like #1, are only in it for the money but you will find there are just as many who care about their pupils and put that ahead of making extra.

    Great example of the bias of some judges. I was riding in Novice hunters, riding a half-crazy-hyperactive-woah-means-go-gallop-over-hunter-fences OTTB. Once you figure out how to ride this horse, he is wonderful. So we ended up getting beaten by adorable little roan show ponies whose riders were like 12 and pointed them at the line and stayed in 2pt the entire time. My trainer thought I had won at least two of the rounds... and just fyi she is the first person to tell me I sucked... no the freaking show ponies won EVERYTHING!!!!
    I thought hunters was about making something not necessarily easy look like any kid could hop on and do it and being together with your horse... not letting your pony carry you through everything because he was flawlessly trained.

    OK yeah... that kinda turned into a rant but I think I made a point... I hope...
         
        08-16-2010, 01:07 AM
      #93
    Weanling
    Wow I just read this entire post, and my mind is blown.

    I've been riding "hunters" my whole life, but I've only been doing stuff that is specifically hunters for the last two years, before that it was general "this is how you ride a horse" stuff.

    My trainer ALWAYS yells at me for "perching" and she uses that exact word. I am totally brainwashed by the perch-y riders like Rider 1, I looked at pictures from a show where I pinned very well, and wanted to throw up when I looked at my pictures. Yet, when I posted them on here, nobody said a word about the distance between my chest and the horse's neck, which was the cause of my distress.

    I thought I looked horrible and not like a hunter at all, and I looked at my perchy friends who hadn't pinned at all and was very confused.

    This post helped me see that its GOOD that I am getting out of the habit of perching. I honestly never even knew that was wrong and I am glad my trainer has tried to get that habit out of me. My old trainer used to make fun of me because she said she could see in my brain I thought I was in the Olympics or something the way I was overexaggerating my position over a 18in crossrail, and my new trainer has mostly gotten that habit out of me.

    I feel a lot better now, kind of confused but kind of relieved and I have a lot to think about at my next lesson.

    PS my trainer is a very successful hunter rider, so not all hunter coaches perch or allow it in their riders, and she has been successful against all the perchy riders out there. I'm very thankful to have her.
         
        08-16-2010, 06:58 AM
      #94
    Banned
    Quote:
    I thought hunters was about making something not necessarily easy look like any kid could hop on and do it and being together with your horse... not letting your pony carry you through everything because he was flawlessly trained.
    No, it's about making the horse look easy *and* flawlessy trained. There's no extra points for riding a difficult horse; really, riding a difficult horse just means you're not competing on a level playing field with the kids on made ponies. Not sure what your local show association's definition of a Novice Hunter is; but my assumption would a horse suitable to be shown by a Novice. Hunters are judged on performance, soundness, suitability and manners. Sounds like the horse you were on wasn't considered a suitable Novice Hunter.

    Finally, did you or your trainer ask to see the judge's card? Some judges won't allow the cards to be viewed, but many will, and many will both allow the card to be viewed and speak to the competitor as long as the conversation is civil. Looking at the card can be a very, very valuable teaching tool.
         
        08-16-2010, 08:39 AM
      #95
    Green Broke
    And thank YOU Maura for posting that!

    I too am amazed how many people don't know hunters are judged on a numerical scale and how many people don't realize it doesn't matter in the LEAST what your position looks like as long as the horse puts in a good trip. If people would pick up a copy of Judging Hunter Seat Equitation by Anna Jane White Mullen there would be less people who think the judge just points at the prettiest horse.

    KittyCat- unfortunately it doesn't matter if the pony kid just sat there in a 2 point the entire time (or if she flopped around so bad it was amazing she stayed on at all) or if the pony did 100% of the work... if she hit every distance, had the right length of stride, never varied, had a cute jump, was a cute mover, got every lead change, had a nice pleasant safe and novice friendly way of going... that's very tough to beat. It doesn't matter how difficult your horse was to ride or how much progress you've made, the horse/pony who puts in the more ideal trip wins. And sometimes both trips are great and the judge has to make a tough decision that comes down to something like the pony was a better mover or had a better jump. <- a 2" jump (or whatever height) is nothing to a big TB, maybe he jumped flat and draped his knees while 2" to a pony is much bigger, causing him to really bascule over snapping his knees up to his eyeballs. Maura has an excellent point at looking at the judge's cards. It's always nice to see what the judge saw that day.
         
        08-16-2010, 09:34 AM
      #96
    Trained
    Alright, so we have learnt that Judges judge on how the horse moves and impecable rounds with great strides and rhythm and yadda yadda yadda, makes sense, yes, but lets not deter from George Morri's words with his critique in picture #1.

    Even GM has stated loud and clearly how it is a form being taught. And I agree with him. Regardless of the bascule of the horse or how flat the horse is - we are still seeing perching, posing, porno butt, because it is being taught.

    We must agree that correct position allows correct communication between the horse and the rider. When the rider learns to be solid, the rider learns to stay out of their horses way. You have to be a team with the horse, and by incorporating a form that isn't doing this, you shouldn't be pinning regardless of how well the horse goes. It is supposed to be about how well the horse and rider team do their jobs, together.

    And if riders who perch and pose, end up in a show ring where GM and his colleagues who feel the same way as him, wont pin.

    Quote:
    This Rider is skilled and attractive, but her photo is a snapshot of how even our best riders today depart from traditional equitation. I'm sure that this rider is a very succcesful junoir, but her mannered position is a travesty of what it should be.

    I ask all of our readers to compare her form with someone photographed riding around 1955. They will see how form today DOES NOT concern itself with funtion, but only with posing.

    I do not want to pick on this rider because she is only riding as she was taught, but our riding teachers need to reeducate themselves in the why and how of true equitation.

    Again, this is what she sees all around her in the show ring, but it is not correct. And while some Judges do not penalize it, I would sharply mark it down in an equitation class.
    Lets look at Beezie Madden, and Buck Davidson and many others who ride with very classical form over fences - how do they obtain this? I am sure that they ride many a different horse with many a different bascule, but yet, they are still solid and functional.

    I do agree with the comment about Perching has spread like wildfire because for some reason a rider in the Hunter Ring pinned, perhaps because her horse did a great job and covered her ass, and those around her only saw the Perching Form and assumed that was the reason. That's an interesting theory and could very well be the "why's" as to the reason why this form is all over the place now.

    But it's no excuse.
         
        08-16-2010, 10:03 AM
      #97
    Banned
    MIE,

    Agreed. Riders would be better served as *horsemen* if they learned and practiced classical, functional form. I don't think any reasonable person can disagree with that.

    However, the reason this thread has persisted for 10 pages is not because people disagreed with that eminently reasonable initial thesis, but because there were several different interesting tangents being followed; one of which was "Why do perchers and posers continue to win?"

    I think upnover and I have both answered that question, but predicatably, nobody much likes the answer. If you had a competition purely on functional, classical form, not many of the current hunter riders would win, but to be fair, not too many event riders would be in contention either. (Jumpers would fare slightly better.) There are a lot of form faults of there, and perching/posing is just one. A competition based purely on functional, classical position *doesn't exist.*

    Hunter showing doesn't judge the rider at all, just the horse's form and the trip. Hunter seat equitation judges the trip first, and the rider's position second. (It's about 80% trip, 10% rider's form and position and 10% overall impression.) Really, that is a case of function over form - it assumes that if the horse laid down a beautiful trip; the rider was doing something more important right than achieving a certain design in the air. If we're pinning function; that *should* pin above a classically more correct rider with a missed distance or blown change. It's also why they make eq courses increasingly more technical, with difficult distances, striding options and false and missing groundlines; and have a flatwork test at the higher levels - it's an attempt to separate the adequate riders on exquisitely trained horses from the effective riders. Not a perfect system, agreed, but I did want to put the rationale out there.

    Now I'd like to challenge all the readers of this thread to come up with a productive, educational direction for this thread to go in, rather than discipline bashing or judging bashing.
         
        08-16-2010, 02:59 PM
      #98
    Green Broke
    I kinda wish that there was more judging clinics offered to give the riders insight onto what was looked for in the ring. I think it would be easier as a rider to understand. Yeah your coach can tell you, but sometimes I think you need to hear it coming from someone else.

    I found the rulebook online for my area so that I could better understand.... :)
         
        08-16-2010, 03:09 PM
      #99
    Green Broke
    And just as a side note....this post was the reason I joined HF as I was looking around the internet to try and educate myself on the crest/press release, and what was correct :)
         
        08-16-2010, 08:13 PM
      #100
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    MIE,

    Agreed. Riders would be better served as *horsemen* if they learned and practiced classical, functional form. I don't think any reasonable person can disagree with that.

    However, the reason this thread has persisted for 10 pages is not because people disagreed with that eminently reasonable initial thesis, but because there were several different interesting tangents being followed; one of which was "Why do perchers and posers continue to win?"

    I think upnover and I have both answered that question, but predicatably, nobody much likes the answer. If you had a competition purely on functional, classical form, not many of the current hunter riders would win, but to be fair, not too many event riders would be in contention either. (Jumpers would fare slightly better.) There are a lot of form faults of there, and perching/posing is just one. A competition based purely on functional, classical position *doesn't exist.*

    Hunter showing doesn't judge the rider at all, just the horse's form and the trip. Hunter seat equitation judges the trip first, and the rider's position second. (It's about 80% trip, 10% rider's form and position and 10% overall impression.) Really, that is a case of function over form - it assumes that if the horse laid down a beautiful trip; the rider was doing something more important right than achieving a certain design in the air. If we're pinning function; that *should* pin above a classically more correct rider with a missed distance or blown change. It's also why they make eq courses increasingly more technical, with difficult distances, striding options and false and missing groundlines; and have a flatwork test at the higher levels - it's an attempt to separate the adequate riders on exquisitely trained horses from the effective riders. Not a perfect system, agreed, but I did want to put the rationale out there.

    Now I'd like to challenge all the readers of this thread to come up with a productive, educational direction for this thread to go in, rather than discipline bashing or judging bashing.
    Thank you for writing all of that Maura. I don't think I could have put my thoughts into words as well as you did. Well said.

    VelvetsAB- there is a book called Judging Hunter Seat Equitation by Anna Jane White-Mullin that's fabulous. Gives a lot of insight into how the judges judge and what exactly they're looking for, how they weigh certain errors, etc. I'd also recommend reading the USEF Rule Book along with the rulebook from your area. It's not quite as dry as you'd think! And if you can't find a judge's clinic, try to find a nice reputable show in your area on a day you have a long stretch of time free. Find yourself a nice seat and spend the day watching classes. Take notes on everyone's round and try to judge it yourself. Compare your results with the judge. The more you see the more you'll catch on. I went to a show a few weeks ago and watched a flat class of over 30 of the fanciest horses I've ever seen. I picked the top 8, including the winner.


    But, back to the OT! Or as Maura said, back to an educational direction for this thread!
         

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