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  1. #1
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    Default Modern Pentathlon - Women Riding

    So I was watching the 2012 Olympics, and I saw there was a video Modern Pentathlon never heard of it so I decided to look. HOLY COW, their riding is ummm different? In the Modern Pentathlon I saw that they can choice a horse and then ride the course with the horse, but other than that do they train jumping before entering the ring with the horse..? I saw a lot of riders sitting behind the horse, or not even being in 2-point..Do they train at home a lot??



  2. #2
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    We had a huge Petathlon event in Sarasota a couple of years ago... The jumping part was interesting to watch.... Many of the horses were saints, but some just quit. And that was bad if you were a good rider but had the 3rd ride on one of the horses who quit... IMO the riding part seems to be a bit like playing the lottery...
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  3. #3
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    You don't choose a horse, as I understand, you draw it like IHSA, so like IHSA it's a complete gamble. You might get a great ride, you might get one who has had IT and is just done with this business (I had an IHSA draw like that in a flat class-at the first canter depart she tried to spin me off because it was the end of the day and she was not having any. Sure she was a decent horse but it was hot, she was fed up, she was a chestnut mare....) At least in pentathlon there are four other events.



  4. #4
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    I think it has to do with how they came into the sport. Some will have started with horses and added the other elements, maybe growing up in Pony Club and doing tetrathlon (pentathlon without the fencing). Other people might have years invested in fencing or shooting, and only pick up the riding later in life, so that they can do pentathlon. I'm guessing those are the scarier looking riders.


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  5. #5
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    I volunteered at a World Cup as a horse handler; even trained for it a bit (fencing is fun!). It's a random draw. Its very difficult to find suitable 3 foot + horses that can be catch ridden by just anybody. Most of the horses I would say were not suitable but we had to make do, made for some "hold your breath" moments. Most of the training is dedicated to the other four events, as Swimming and fencing set up your base score, and then the jumping just adds on penalties (so basically, you can't make up points... at best you stay on your score from the previous events). So one might train more on the swimming to get a fast time, and then hope they get a good draw and can hang on, because it's so hit or miss anyway.

    The guy who drew the horse I was in charge of in the World Cup ended up winning the gold medal at the Olympics in 2012. He was very nice and very very good looking, haha. I'm rooting for him again this year!


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  6. #6
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    When I lived in San Antonio, TX the US team was based there and the team trained at the barn I rode at. Not sure if they're still there it's been 12 years since I lived there.

    From what I understand it is a lot like IHSA. The hosting team provides the horses for the competition. You draw your horse but unlike IHSA you do get a couple practice jumps before going in the ring (not sure how many but I know it's a very limited number).

    All of the team horses they had were donated so as you can guess none of them were prefect. The best were the older schoolmasters that just needed maintenance meds to be sound. The worst were the dirty stoppers. Whenever the team was out practicing it was very common for at least a couple of them to come off.

    The team recruited for the swimming and the running. They felt that you already needed to be fairly competitive in these areas and they could teach the other 3 (riding, shooting and fencing). Bonus if you already knew one of the other areas.

    They had a new recruit while I was there. They started him walk/trot on the lunge line, literally holding on to the pommel and bouncing everywhere, never been on a horse before. I kid you not with in 6 weeks they had him out with the other riders jumping Olympic size courses. Seemed insane to me but they were all really athletic so the actual riding wasn't hard for them. Once they could walk, trot, canter and point the horse at a fence they were good to go. There wasn't much time for teaching the finer points of riding.

    The ones that had been on the team for awhile did get pretty good, I think they arranged to come out and have private lessons during their off times which helped.


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  7. #7
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    Wow, just watched a couple of videos on YouTube. I imagine that mastering all of those sports would be hard, but when there is another living being involved, ugh. Lots of questionable riding, unhappy horses, refusals, run outs, etc. Not my cup of tea.
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  8. #8
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    I fenced epee through high school, and every now and again I get tempted to look into Pentathlon competitions. The only thing I'm missing is the shooting (well, my swimming could use a tune-up), but my husband -- a former competitive shooter -- has offered to teach me.

    And then I remember that I blew out my knee fencing in high school, so no being a equestrian ringer for me.



  9. #9
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    Haven't read all the replies but JER ( member here) is pretty active in pentathlon. And I think a couple other COthers have supplied horses for various competitions.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draftmare View Post
    Wow, just watched a couple of videos on YouTube. I imagine that mastering all of those sports would be hard, but when there is another living being involved, ugh. Lots of questionable riding, unhappy horses, refusals, run outs, etc. Not my cup of tea.
    I was looking at that too some of the horses there are saints like wow.



  11. #11
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    Do they ever grant rerides if the horse really decides not to play?

    I remember watching the riding portion in the last Olympics. Coming from IHSA, I can understand the catch riding. I remember thinking sometimes it seemed like the warm up actually hurt the pair. The horse and rider would walk into the arena already clearly at odds.
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  12. #12
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    The Modern Pentathlon is not regulated by FEI rules so horse welfare is not apparently a priority.

    The riding in the 2008 Beijing Olympic competition was so abysmal there was an outcry. The equestrian disciplines were in Hong Kong but the pentathlon used local horses. At London 2012 the horses were selected from a much better population but the riding was still awful. As someone above said, most of the participants see riding as an add on and aim to make their points in other disciplines. As everyone knows, it is the horses who do all the work when jumping and the rider just steers. Or not.
    "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


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  13. #13
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    A lot of countries recruit not-quite-good-enough swimmers or runners and teach (or try to teach) them to ride. In the USA we take riders and train the other sports, though even our riding is still hit or miss.



  14. #14
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    Here we go again - why didn't you search other threads - some people are
    real antis while not knowing too much. Trolling?
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  15. #15
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    A woman from MD who is quite experienced with riding competed. It looks like it's a hard sport to master.

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  16. #16
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    Suzanne got her start through Pony Club tetrathlon. She and her parents are still very involved in PC Tet. For the last few years, any kid who competed at USPC championships for tetrathlon were invited to go for a free training camp at the US Olympic facility in Colorado, with the hopes to recruit them for modern pentathlon.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polydor View Post
    JER ( member here) is pretty active in pentathlon.
    Yes, this is true. I compete as an American and coach sometimes for Canada.

    Some responses to the discussion here:

    Pentathletes draw horses somewhat randomly. The horses are numbered, the first-placed person pre-ride draws a number, the other numbers are assigned sequentially, with the first-placed rider going in the ring last. I hope I just confused everyone with that, but really, it's simple. What makes it random is it's not your horse, although you've usually seen the horses go around the course in the test ride, which assures that the horses are capable of the course.

    It is really, really, really, really difficult to gather together enough suitable horses for a pentathlon. Especially if you want to have a biggish course. Last summer at the Pan Ams in Toronto, we had a fantastic assortment of horses, including a Rolex horse. (I brought up two of mine and they had a great experience. My little black pony helped two girls qualify for Rio!) Pentathlon horses are more like eventers: they have to go forward and not worry about imperfections and rails. Pony Club horses are also generally good as they're used to different kid riders.

    The riding standard varies widely in pentathlon, ranging from excellent to shouldn't-be-riding. Fortunately, the standard is improving all the time, as the sport is so competitive that you can't afford a poor riding score. You can also get a 0 in riding, which means you will be at the bottom of the results table. Really, the situation has improved tremendously. Not long ago, it was far too cringeworthy.

    Training time varies, with most well-funded teams riding regularly and very well. Some athletes are horse people to start with and have their own horses. Some countries are notorious for bad riding. Russia, for example. I've heard the Korean team rides almost every day -- and they've become quite good -- and the Chinese athletes have really, really improved over the last few years. Canada, I'm pleased to say, has always had good riders, but then many athletes come from Pony Club.

    Pentathlon riding is a special skill, and I've grown to have a good amount of appreciation for it. You have a 20 minute warmup (with 5 jumps) to figure out the horse, then you go jump the course. You know the horse can get around, so it's up to you to ride forward and try not to interfere with letting the horse do its job. You have to correct mistakes going forward. It's quite a test, even for the most experienced riders, but also a really rewarding challenge.

    I've seen bad rounds by good riders who are too rigid in their approach to riding -- trying to make the horse go the 'correct' way to them -- and good rounds by not-good riders who sit quietly and go with the horse.

    It's a great sport, all five sports of it, and you can do it at any age, and you can sit out any phase you don't want to do and just take a 0. You don't get eliminated if you don't ride or swim or run, you just get a 0 for that discipline and keep going. The regional comps in the US and Canada are very friendly and beginner-friendly. I think at Ontario Provincials last year our youngest competitor was 7 and the oldest was mid-70s, so it's never too late or early to start.

    I'm happy to answer any questions...


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  18. #18
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    Hi There!

    I am very interested in the sport. I ride jumpers, have fenced to a high level, and am currently training for a half marathon. I have zero swimming experience. Can you advise what the training schedule would look like? Do yo know if there are events on the east coast of the US that I might be able to watch?

    Would love to chat!


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  19. #19
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    I'll pick your brain if you have a minute, JER.

    I imagine the Olympics is the top of the sport, so is the format (IE jump height, running distance) different at the local/club level?

    I looked for a club in my town but unfortunately they are everywhere but here. It is surprisingly popular over here in France though! And I found out the fencing association gives 3 free classes! But any ideas on how to get involved if there's no organization where we live?

    Also how does this 'age' thing work out? I imagine there are different classes for different age groups?

    Thanks in advance, I've become nearly obsessed
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  20. #20
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    Que the quadrennial "oh what terrible riders those pentathletes" comments.



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