Just somethings to ponder
Just wanted to know others opinions on this. I had read an article by I believe either Jim Wofford or Mark Phillips, but anyhow in the article he expresses his thoughts on the amount of serious injuries we have had at upper levels - Darren Chiccihia, Frodo Baggans etc. Anyhow he discussed how today's eventing expects more in dressage and our cross country in attempts to make it safer by eliminating the steeplechase and roads and tracks and have the jumps ask more of stadium type questions and not xc questions the problem is us. Not only are we moving horses up too fast but we are not allowing them to be thinkers. The thing that made eventers I don't want to say better but stood out was that the horses were bold and smart and took care of their riders. Sometimes the footing just not right and you have at let the horse do the work and stay out of its way. By doing so much upper level dressage and more technical stadium we are taking that away from them and making it that every step on every course they have to listen to their riders at all times verses thinking on their toes. Do any of you think that this is something that is important?
I agree. I also think that a lot of riders, in an effort to move through the levels faster, aren't attentive to their horses' needs and don't identify when the horse is burned out or maxed out.
I really am lucky to have the trainer I do as she isn't out to push you up the levels but does lots and lots of grid work and her philosophy is that once you set the horse up the best you can coming into the grids or jump and then you sort of have to take the back seat to say and just ride. Bouces are really good at teaching us this we get the horse there then we have to sit there and let them do the work (of course we have to keep them going forward) But now we have an issue with having to direct their horses at all times - kind of like the horse has to ask permission to jump. I don't know if this makes sense but horses at higher levels of dressage are so much put in a position that we have to direct their every move. On a cross country course we can't always tell the horse step by step what to do. I wish I could find the article.
I totally agree.
I have a riding buddy who has a 5 year old mare that she just started eventing a year ago (almost exactly). She bought her for a pretty penny as an unproven 3 year old by a very famous eventing stallion. She did one beginner novice and moved up to novice where she had some major ditch and water refusal issues. However, she took her to Florida and moved her up to Training in May. She still has refusal issues but often still gets a good placing because her dressage is fantastic. The horse's jumping style is not ideal and in fact- scary at times. But, she pushes her because she thinks she can. A BNT told her to slow down but she insists on taking the horse Advanced by the time she is 8 or 9. The horse is totally maxed out at Preliminary.
I hate that eventers today are starting to think that the horses are disposable and don't listen to their needs as much.
I think bringing the long format back would give some a wake up call. I'm totally in support of bringing the long format back and I'm very glad that they are doing Novice and Training 3 days with all phases.
I absolutely agree as well.
And this is quoted from Jim Wofford himself:
I believe it is in any sport that is out there, Hunters, Jumpers, DQ's, and Eventing.
Just as Jim Wofford said - riders have crossed the line from it being a discipline and working together as a team, to riders who believe they can dominate the horse and force them beyond their capeabillities.
We see this domination even amongst us here.
I absolutely love Charisma and if I could have a wish it would be to ride that horse once and feel his incredible ability. I wish they would bring the long format back it would make people think twice before moving up. I am excited when the day comes that my horse can compete at training so I can do one of the 3 phases they are running at a near by farm. It is great alot of these farms are offering programs to educate people on proper times to move up if your horse is ready etc. the people that are attending these are the future of eventing and until we can weed out the ones who keep pushing. I do know that USEA has started something that you have to complete so many clear rounds in Prelim before you move up I only wish they did this for the lower levels. Eventing was never meant to be a sport that was rushed, take your time and reapt he rewards.
That's what I meant MIEventer. Thanks for clearing that up :)
Yep, Jim Wofford even wrote an article about how riders are moving up levels too quickly. He asked "Are your Quallified? Or are you READY?
I like his Check List Test to make us lower level riders stop and think about if we are ready to move up in levels, at the end of his article:
Just remember that once you have taught
your horse how to do something, your job is
to tell him what to do, and then stay out of
What more can I say
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