I've been holding this one in--Rant--Walk/trot classes at shows
Okay I'm not the one who will flip a car over in rage because she didn't do well at a show. Frankly, the fact that I came out of each class with all my limbs attached to my body is quiet an achievement. Let alone, going in a class and having very solid rides is something else in which I'm very proud of for my little girl.
My horse and I have recently started under saddle classes, noted that she is green (she's 3 1/2) and all I really want to do is get her familiar with classes, with the surroundings, etc. all with me on her back. We did in-hand stuff with her as a 2 year old, just walking her around the grounds put her in some halter and showmanship classes, etc. Now that she is 3 1/2 I decided to step up her game and ride her around the grounds and possibly enter her in some classes, specifically walk/trot classes. Amazingly she did amazing and placed a lot. Lots of 2nds and 3rds. I could've gotten some first places, but only if she was more broken at the pole, under herself, etc. which we haven't been doing much of lately (shame on me).
ANYWAYS, this particular show kinda got on me. The walk/trot classes are only divided by age 15 & Over and then there is the 14 & under. No problem. However there are some people who take advantage of the walk/trot classes because they are easy or because of the amount of people in them. Personally I think walk/trot classes should be only reserved to the green horses/riders. Possibly even recovering horses and riders, but at the same time I wonder if they can't/shouldn't canter at their physical condition if they should be showing at all at the moment. But hey to each of their own. Anyways I'm always put up against highly educated people and their unbelievably broke horses. I know that the person and horse isn't green because they compete everywhere at shows, in the walk/trot/canter classes. However, how do I know that the rider/horse is in a state of condition where they shouldn't canter? I usually try to give the rider the benefit of the doubt. However, its kinda bothering to me that people do this so they can get a ribbon or an extra point.
But that also puts me at a awkward spot because to me when I say, "All broke horses and riders need to compete in the walk/trot/canter classes," I feel like I'm just going to take up all the classes for myself. If that makes any sense. But I do strongly feel that walk/trot classes should be green horses or riders, although it isn't stated in the show bill (whether or not the class is for green horses/riders) then I guess its a free for all.
I'm considering going to the people who run the show about this and ask if they can possibly do anything to make walk/trot classes more for green horses and riders. Like I've stated up above, if I do that then I feel like I'm just being selfish, taking them all up, etc. However on the other side of it the other people do give me a bar to reach and I can train my way to it. However it'll take years to reach that and I'm in no way pushing it. Now I also sound like I need a ribbon to prove that I did well, etc. I don't want to sound like that but I would like something to work for...However I could just buy a ribbon...Hehe. To be honest I feel ridiculous talking about winning a ribbon to prove I did well. :| Ugh I don't know what to do.
So do you think I should go to the council about this? See if they can make it more of a green horse/rider class rather than a class for people to get a extra ribbon or point? I don't think they can add more classes because of financial issues, and things like that. However people can just lie and say that they are green or that their horse is a greenie, so it wouldn't really be worth it.
Ugh, I don't know what to do. Glad I got that off my chest at least.
Suggestions will be awesome.
I'm really only hearing that you want these classes to be for green horses and riders to give yourself less competition? However you state the horse is doing very well even in her early training stage and that "Amazingly she placed a lot. Lots of 2nds and 3rds"
From my understanding W/T classes don't exist exclusively for horse or riders who are not fit to canter, as you seem to assume should be a rule? They exist to give horse/rider teams more opportunities to show and yes, gain points, what's the shame in entering a class you are qualified for?
How big is this show? Are there just the two divisions, 14 and under and 15 and over? No "open" class? I do agree with you on the annoyance of showing against trainers on very broke horses but the limited shows I've attended have built in many age and professional divisions in attempt to break up the field. I think you should take into account that horses and riders who legitimately put in the effort to become successful at shows deserve to be in the arena just as much as you do. I think, as you stated yourself you should think of it as a bar being set that you have to work to. Yes, it may take years! Many of those people (that you may want to look up to if they are good, successful horsemen) spent years riding and training to get to where they are. If they did it, you should have to.
You can voice your concerns to the council. I've seen classes that are specifically for green horses and riders, it's not unheard of. However, you state yourself you're not sure they have the finances to add classes. If this is meant to be more of a local schooling show or lower level show you may have to tough it out there or find somewhere else with divisions you're comfortable showing in.
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However, yes, I agree that those people deserve to be in that arena as much as a I do. At the same time though I also feel like that those people should be competing with their level and not a level at which there are green horses/riders. I'm kinda conflicting here, haha. Hopefully I don't sound too confusing.
going by the age divisions,I take it the walk/trot class is not at a breed show level?:? There is restrictions on eligibility for them at Breed shows,making it for the more green horse or green rider:D. If you show Amateur walk/trot you cant cross over show the regular classes that have lope/canter.
Only open division walk/trot classes i've seen where you may see a trainer in is 2 yr old walk/trot in which this case the horse is new to riding/showing:-).
Thanks for the input!
So you'd like them to leave the show? It's hard with just two divisions to have people compete only with "people of their level" they have the choice to show or not show at this event basically. Yes these people should probably show at bigger shows, but you mentioned they do that already, that they show all over. Maybe this is a tune up show for them? While its a bummer to think they're at this small show because they know they'll win, use it as motivation. Any other emotion towards it doesn't better yourself or your horse.
Thank you for accepting my devils advocate tone. I do absolutely see/feel your pain but I'm thinking you're learning the lesson that everyone who's ever shown has had to learn....things don't always feel fair.
Only about 45 competitors total is pretty small. The fun show I attend (meant for schooling and starting out in showing, it's a laid back atmosphere meant for learning) gets that many riders in the 12&under and 13-17 divisions alone. There are then fewer 18-39 riders and 40&above. The riding association also has what they call an open show with divisions specifically for professionals or green horses, not both together necessarily. The show you're describing sounds almost like a schooling show am I right? If so you may be even more locked into accepting just the two groups of riders and just striving to do better each time.
Placing at her first show, and up in the top third, is a great accomplishment. You already touched on this point in the OP but there's a saying I saw floating around the Internet that basically says at the end of each class you should pat your horse on the shoulder and thank them for working with you as a team because they didn't have to and infact could've made your life/ride horrific. At this early stage of training take these classes as places to practice and work hard and if your rewarded materially then that's Great. If the horse rewards you physically by working hard feel good and maybe look into bigger and better shows.
I wish I could say more. You could always propose more divisions but realize there is a very real possibility you'll be shot down.
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To be honest, it doesn't bother me.
I think competing is about comparing your skills to others, and seeing who does best I guess. I'm not really in it for the "fun" or the "experience". Maybe I'm a little competitive, and maybe it's why I don't compete. But I wouldn't enter a 4 foot jump class if I was only jumping 2 foot. And if I wasn't jumping at all I wouldn't compete at all. But it wouldn't bother me what level the other competitors are at, if they're better than me they'll win.
So in that way I wouldn't enter a competitive show if I wasn't cantering my horse, and if I wasn't at the level that I thought I could win, well I wouldn't be there at all.
It doesn't bother me why people go there - for the fun, or for whatever reason, but I don't feel that there needs to be any special classes. Everyone still has the same chances and the same experiences while they're there. If its the experience that matters... well it's there regardless, and if they're there to win well then that's there too.
We don't have any ridden 3yr old classes here, everything must be at least 4 - so at least you are able to do something :-)
I have done walk and trot classes on my hanovarrian when she was 10. We probably looked out of place. But i have a disability in my leg and was trying to regain some confidence before moving up a level (and at the time the nerve disorder i have was very painful and causing a lot of issues). We won on well over 70% but as she was a medium level horse i went Hors Concur (HC) as it was never about the rossette but the personal achievement. :)
I didn't read through all the comments but I'm 100% agree with you, to no end does it frustrate me to see a horse rider combo, that I know can walk trot and canter go in the walk/trot class, just this weekend I participated at a dressage show there was a walk trot test, I did it as my horse still hasn't mastered that right canter lead, a girl who I know goes out competing official on her pony and wins did the walk trot class, and won it.
I'm not upset because I lost, there was no way I would of win but everyone else in that class was put at an unfair disadvantage.
It just peeves me
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