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  1. #1
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    Jan. 18, 2008
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    Default Where is the FEI/Long Format

    I was thinking this morning about some of the positive things to come out of the safety summit and the talks of late, and I had to wonder--where is the FEI?

    I should preface this by saying that I am new to the discussion of the sport's governing processes, etc. I am not in the loop, am not informed (especially since I just joined this board and am just now learning about the ways in which to influence the sport's direction, etc), and I am not always aware of things going on or things that have already been discussed.

    Anyway, I was wondering why our national organization is investigating, talking about the issues, etc. Isn't this a worldwide problem? Most of the deaths we've been discussing did NOT take place in this country; in fact, the big push wasn't Mia, Amanda, or Eleanor, but Darren and Laine (both of whom lived--they aren't counted among the 15--now 16). If people are dying everywhere, why isn't the FEI doing more to investigate causes? Why are they deferring to FNs? Why is the USEA paying for horse necropsies--shouldn't it be the FEI? How do we collect ideas about what's wrong and how to fix it from around the world--what's working so well that the Aussies and Kiwis haven't had the same deaths? What things are different in Europe/US (where all but one of the deaths have taken place) and what are some of the suggestions coming out of the UK, France, Germany, and Sweden, where the riders have died?

    In conjunction with that, we're about to spend big bucks on studies regarding speed, etc. Are there studies planned around the change of format? It's interesting that for the first year or two after the death of the long format, things were quiet. Presumably most of the ULRs during that year had experienced a LF3DE. As newer ULRs moved up the ranks (such as Mia), the accident rate went up. Also, as ULRs, even those who had done LF events, brought up their new horses, these new horses had not done the LF3DEs. Is it a coincidence that McKinlaigh, who has completed LF CCI****s, did better than Mandiba, who has not (despite the difference in rider experience)? I don't know the answer, but it's worth examining, right?

    We should also be studying the effects of having done a LF on riders, both objectively (those that have done a 1/2* do/do not do better at their first Prelim than those who did not) and subjectively (having judges at fences to watch rounds and give their opinion on how much better prepared riders who have done LF are). This can be done for both the 1/2* and the CCI* LF events as those riders move up to Prelim/Intermediate (respectively). You can't account for all factors, but you can identify some trends.



  2. #2
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    Sep. 13, 2007
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    Default

    I know this is going to be a very touchy subject, so I don't really want to get involved, but I must say I agree and so do many others. The breeders of my gelding are both Vets from Germany and at one point many years ago were both international event riders. They said when the LF went the way of the Do-Do that injury rates would go up, which they did.
    That being said, another well known Olympic rider told me once that she wished they continued the LF through the 2* level so that it would continue to produce good horsemen, not just decent riders. She explained that after the 2* level it was easier for the horses to not have to do multiple LF events a year, as it limited their careers due to concussion, etc.
    I think there is something to be said for the LF, as it gets horses in front of the rider's legs and teaches them how to gallop. I'm saddened that this could potentially be Galway's last year of running the CCI1* LF, so we are definately entering it... barring any unusual circumstances.
    So my 2 cents worth: I'm from the "change" generation and began eventing at the age of 10 in the early, early '90's, so I know a little bit of the "good old days"-- Back when less than 25% of Intermediate riders would finish. I'd like to say that I thought we were going the wrong direction, but then, who's going to listen to some kid? I honestly believe that people need to take more responsibility for their decisions and that's the bottom line. You better be damned sure you are ready when you move up. 'Nuff said.
    Keep your feet on the ground, but always look to the stars!



  3. #3
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    If I had a few million dollars to build 2 or 3 courses around the US, I wold create the American Long Format Horse Trials Association. I would base it on th eFEI rules from the 80s and early 90s. The I would end my membership to the FEI, USEF and USEA. Nothing personal but the sport just ain't what I want any more.

    Reed



  4. #4
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    Nov. 5, 2002
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    Hometown: San Antonio, TX ; Current Location: Amarillo, TX
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    Default

    Reed-

    I would join your organization. Heck I will help organize stuff, if needed, as I have done my fair share of LF 3-Days.

    That is the only reason I will event again, I am afraid except to maybe do a T-3D. What is fun about doing a glorified horse trial?
    RIP Kid Gloves (Holly) 1992 TBxHanv CCI*** mare.
    http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/holly
    New mare: Miss Bunny Express (Missy) 1995 AQHA Jumper mare.
    http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/missy



  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tbeventer View Post
    I honestly believe that people need to take more responsibility for their decisions and that's the bottom line. You better be damned sure you are ready when you move up. 'Nuff said.

    I think the problem isn't that riders all of a sudden turned stupid and irresponsible. That doesn't make sense. We are screaming "rider responsibility," but I think those riders honestly thought they could do it--based on their success without being truly tested. For example: I can go Intermediate because I did well at Prelim--never mind that I was never truly "tested" at Prelim (as in, CCI* LF). The holes in my education didn't show up, so I didn't know I wasn't ready until I had a bad fall. (please note that I don't mean ME--I compete at Training)

    So are we, by failing to adequately assess horses and riders, duping riders into entering the wrong divisions?

    Even if that's not the case--riders didn't suddenly decide they were going to quit paying attention to their skills and just enter things willy-nilly or irresponsibly. What changed (besides the format)?



  6. #6
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    I have been riding for 40 years. I am STILL filling in holes in my skill set. I think that some aspect of problems are coming to those riders who are at a point where they think they know it all (because they get by on pure ahtletic ability) but are far from it. Why do I say this? Because that is a path that I took, my friends took and almost every older rider I know took.

    Trainers overlook holes when we are younger because our athletics cover them up (e.g. leg strength, reaction time). As we get older, those go away and we must be better skilled (e.g. Bruce Davidson, Mark Todd, Denny Emerson, Ian Stark, Karen O'Conner).

    Now, I need a BIG DONOR for the American Long Format Horse Trials Association! We have an organizer. It will only be 3 courses at most and all will go to Advanced. I just see a way all of us oldsters and those who want to see what once was, can get together and PLAY! Kinda like classic car racing.

    Reed



  7. #7
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    Jan. 13, 2008
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    Default

    What is the minimum acreage necessary to put on a long format? How much is needed to house horses that participate? What, in general, is required?



  8. #8
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    Jan. 8, 2007
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    Ithaca, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    Now, I need a BIG DONOR for the American Long Format Horse Trials Association! We have an organizer. It will only be 3 courses at most and all will go to Advanced. I just see a way all of us oldsters and those who want to see what once was, can get together and PLAY! Kinda like classic car racing.

    Reed
    I'm a youngster, can I still play?
    I would join, volunteer, and when my skill set reaches the appropriate point, I'd LOVE to have long format goals beyond the T3DE (the current goal).
    Unfortunately, being a youngster that spends all her money on academics and feeding the zoo I have acquired, I am not your donor
    ~T3DE 2010 Pact Clique~



  9. #9
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    May. 24, 2007
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    I've got a section (about 640 acres) in the panhandle of TX we can use. Problem is, it's not near anyone/thing!



  10. #10
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    Sep. 13, 2007
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    Aiken
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thames Pirate View Post
    I think the problem isn't that riders all of a sudden turned stupid and irresponsible. That doesn't make sense. We are screaming "rider responsibility," but I think those riders honestly thought they could do it--based on their success without being truly tested. For example: I can go Intermediate because I did well at Prelim--never mind that I was never truly "tested" at Prelim (as in, CCI* LF). The holes in my education didn't show up, so I didn't know I wasn't ready until I had a bad fall. (please note that I don't mean ME--I compete at Training)

    So are we, by failing to adequately assess horses and riders, duping riders into entering the wrong divisions?

    Even if that's not the case--riders didn't suddenly decide they were going to quit paying attention to their skills and just enter things willy-nilly or irresponsibly. What changed (besides the format)?
    There's a lot of pressure to move the younger horses up faster. For the YEH the 4 year olds are going novice, Ch are at training, and for the 5 year olds CH is at prelim! My first upper level horse was supposed to (according to my trainer and YR coach) go Prelim as a 6 year old, but he wasn't mentally or physically ready until he was nearing 12! When she told me her plans to move him up, I was scared to death... not to mention just barely 14 and hadn't had a chance to experience anything above training on a schoolmaster. Note: He was an 18hh TB that I had started and brought along from a weanling. Fortunately, school and real life got in the way and held our plans off for a few years. Now that I'm older and wiser (hahah), I am able to make the decision for myself when my horse will move up and not have to rely on my coach to decide prematurely that we're moving up the levels.
    It's becomming more common place to see horses under 10 at the 4* level. Just as our human athletes are becomming younger and younger, so are our equestrian partners. There are very few 6 year olds that I have ridden and would feel confident going around a prelim course on. They've just gotten through the terrible 5's and are still developing.
    Honestly, it is the rider's decision and they should know when and if to move their horse up and if they should pull up XC. There's been many times that I've not felt like I had the horse I want when I get over the third or fourth fence and I've pulled up. Sucks to say, but sometimes you're better off waiting for another day.
    Keep your feet on the ground, but always look to the stars!



  11. #11
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    Default

    Originally posted by tbeventer:

    There's a lot of pressure to move the younger horses up faster. For the YEH the 4 year olds are going novice, Ch are at training, and for the 5 year olds CH is at prelim! My first upper level horse was supposed to (according to my trainer and YR coach) go Prelim as a 6 year old, but he wasn't mentally or physically ready until he was nearing 12! When she told me her plans to move him up, .....
    According to Brig. General Harry D. Chamberlain, horses really shouldn't be backed until they are four. That is military riding.

    Also, on another thread it was brought up that competing on a horse that had colicked the night before would have been how they did it in the military (cavalry) because they would have been at war and a military rider couldn't just say, "sorry my horse is under the weather".

    However, the cavalry always had remounts and they would NOT have used a horse that had been sick the night before unless all of the other horses had been killed. That is military riding.

    You don't use up your horse. Period. No horse, no soldier, no winning any war.
    Last edited by BaroquePony; Aug. 20, 2008 at 10:49 AM.



  12. #12
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    Sep. 22, 2005
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    Southwest WA
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    Default I'd love to help

    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post
    Now, I need a BIG DONOR for the American Long Format Horse Trials Association! We have an organizer. It will only be 3 courses at most and all will go to Advanced. I just see a way all of us oldsters and those who want to see what once was, can get together and PLAY! Kinda like classic car racing.

    Reed

    I help with the T3DE here, but the land owner/organizer is now working full time and doesn't have the time/resources to pull it off (or so she thinks) in the future. We'd previously had thru Prelim (but not this year due to the floods washing away most of the prelim jumps) - perhaps we could work on something here in the northwest (would have to be in the summer due to the land location). It would take some $$ to get the rest of the course lined up, but we've got the land as a possibility...



  13. #13
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    Jan. 8, 2007
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    Ithaca, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbeventer View Post
    It's becomming more common place to see horses under 10 at the 4* level. Just as our human athletes are becomming younger and younger, so are our equestrian partners. There are very few 6 year olds that I have ridden and would feel confident going around a prelim course on. They've just gotten through the terrible 5's and are still developing.
    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...=162107&page=8
    Post #143 (by me)
    I didn't feel like reposting the whole bit + it seemed slightly off the LF topic Bottom line: I am shocked at how much emphasis people who don't have a lot of experience seem to put on getting a younger horse.
    ~T3DE 2010 Pact Clique~



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAyers View Post

    Now, I need a BIG DONOR for the American Long Format Horse Trials Association! We have an organizer. It will only be 3 courses at most and all will go to Advanced. I just see a way all of us oldsters and those who want to see what once was, can get together and PLAY! Kinda like classic car racing.

    Reed

    If you change it to North American to include Canada then maybe we can work something out in about a year!



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jealoushe View Post
    If you change it to North American to include Canada then maybe we can work something out in about a year!
    Sure. North American is fine with me (NALFTHA).

    The point will be just doing the long format. I actually think there shouldn't even be jump judges (other than a zone steward) or even timers (we can use GPS data) and money should go to the facility use and organizer. We would use local dressage judges and vets. No FEI officials. There would be prizes and cocktails for the competitors.

    There should never be more than a few venues to keep the focus on the social aspects as well as the fun.

    The mission behind this is to provide a venue that brings together like minded riders in a SOCIAL environment. Competition is second.



  16. #16
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    No jump judges and cocktails for all, hhmmm ....



  17. #17
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    TP--Waredaca has done a study on the success of the T3D in relationship to moving up to P. From what I gather the results are positive. Some COTH thread recently brought this up (link anyone?). If the USEA really wants to educate because we no longer experience riding as we "used to" they will use the T3D as an educational tool. Heck it could highlight the ICP program if they wanted to dovetail it. I really don't want to see this "apart" from the USEA because I think it is important to eventing, period. The FEI--not so much.

    Some folks mentioned here that having one at even the Novice level would be well-received. I know I learned a lot and gained a lot of confidence after the T3D I did in July. Maybe it's a series like the AEC. there are folks that are trying to find sponsors for T3D right now.

    Nancy



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by melodiousaphony View Post
    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...=162107&page=8
    Post #143 (by me)
    I didn't feel like reposting the whole bit + it seemed slightly off the LF topic Bottom line: I am shocked at how much emphasis people who don't have a lot of experience seem to put on getting a younger horse.

    I read your post and wholeheartedly agree!!!! When I have an older horse (around 10) in for training that has some great show miles, people who are just getting started turn and run! They want that 4 year old that is freshly off the track, when they've never ridden an OTTB and when I put them on a mellow 4 year old who is pretty fresh off the track, they cringe and make a face similar to my daughter when she first tried a lemon! I had a student sent over to me from her other trainer because she is a 14 year old PC'er looking for an OTTB, which is what I specialize in. I immediately put her on my very quiet 3 year old who just came off the track and she had no idea what to do! It changed her mind very quickly that she wanted a youngster and we wound up getting her a nice 8 year old WBX that has some miles at the lower levels... What people don't realize is you can get a nice horse in your price range without getting a rank baby!
    That being said, I love the youngsters. I grew up riding the rank ponies and horses that had been ruined, so when I began riding babies it was an easy switch... except that the babies get the benefit of the doubt. There's nothing more wonderful than seeing them progress and "get it"! I just believe they're not for everyone and you need lots of time before you should run right out and buy your first greenie.
    Keep your feet on the ground, but always look to the stars!



  19. #19
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    Yup, there's a ton of discussions on the demise of the long format. And to say that this one event dropped horsemanship from the up and comers is not quite it. The long format FORCED the up and comers to learn horsemanship is all. It was do or you don't get past GO. Now you can get a get out of jail free card. And look what's happening.
    Tbeventer, okay, so how come you decided that moving up quickly wasn't the answer? You thought that was a bad idea. Good for you! But I'm scratching my head as to why you thought otherwise and other young people think it's okay to mimic some ULR's who do it all the time. I mean you had a trainer and generally, when young, the trainer's word is gospel until you learn the hard way. So, what made you go against the trainer? Just interested.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jealoushe View Post
    If you change it to North American to include Canada then maybe we can work something out in about a year!
    I think that would be super but I also think that it could be difficult. Although I wish this would happen I feel that the long format is dead here. I don't know if our young eventers are even aware of it's existence. It would be important to contact the right people to gain support for this venture. I know that Belvoir used to hold a T3DE but it has been 3 years since their last one. They certainly have the facilities to do it though.

    On another note, one of the reasons I think that our sport is having such an increase in accidents is because we have opened it up to the "entry", "pre-entry" and "grasshopper" levels. I'm not sure what these equate to in the US. I suspect it is pre-novice and below.

    I know this is going to hit a nerve with some people but from what I understand a similar thing happened when this occured in the h/j world.

    When eventing started at 3' to 3'3" people took a good hard look at their ability before trying it. That is probably where the term "crazy eventer" came from.
    When a dicipline becomes a mass market you get a different group of people involved and the changes are reflected from the lowest to the highest levels.
    I certainly don't think this is the only issue but I do think it's something worth considering.



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