I was going to post a photo with this topic, but in delving into the legalities of the one I wished to use, because I choose not to cross any lines I shouldn't- no picture. SooOOoo, again, use your imagination folks.
Here on the blog, while I am addressing all of the grooming techniques and procedures a lot of people go through in preparation to showing their horse(s), there's a bit more to showing than just making the horse 'pretty'. There's more to winning than having the best looking horse in the ring. Boy is there ever more to it all, than just that...
Recently I attended a sport horse inspection across town, where, in the barn before things got started, we were discussing another person and their horse. The oh ever so proud owner, has been going on and on and on, to everyone and anyone who will listen, about how well the horse is (finally) doing. The others I was discussing things with, just knew there HAD to be more to the story, so they asked me to find out what I could and report back.
That was on a Sunday and by Monday afternoon, I had my 'dirt'. Yeah. Like that took any time at all? Oh Puhleeze!
The amazing thing in all of this though, is the great lengths people will go to, to brag about their own or their horses accomplishments---> when ALL of it can be checked out! SOMEWHERE... there are listings of year end standings, class placings, show results, breeding/pedigree verification, certifications, fines, suspensions and just about anything else, good, bad or indifferent, involved with showing. With the Internet- all of this information is easily accessible to anyone caring to look for it.
Taking it a step further- in some cases, people are using their placings, standings and the show results to promote themselves as trainers, their farm as grandiose producers and the results of it all as some pedestal on which they stand while the rest of us should be fawning over them and hailing to them as our leader. Yes, you are all excused for a few moments to go hurl...
What they are doing though, is tooting their own horn, blowing smoke and sunshine up everyone's ass and hoping nobody else reads into it from a realistic perspective and annihilates what they are projecting as 'reality'.
So here's the truth about the horse and owner I was asked to look into and what I found-
An unregistered mare, having been shown twice and winning her two classes with the 'trainer' riding her, not the owner. As the owner is claiming, the horse IS in the running for a year end high point award. Sounds impressive enough right?
Well then, let's take a step back into the real world and take a GOOD look at it all-
*insert drumroll please*
The horse has been in training for 4 years.
They 'won' training level- consisting of walking, trotting and halt.
They are listed as 'qualifiers' for the club high point, but so are 9 others.
The trainer is only listed as a qualifier for high point, with this ONE horse.
Their highest score? 56%
So with the trainer riding the horse, they couldn't do well enough to advance to the next level of dressage? Last I knew, three scores of 58% or better, was required to move up or advance to the next level. They are winning classes but not doing well enough to move on. How sad is that?
They might have won their classes, but with such low scores I have to wonder- Just how BAD were the others in their classes? How many others were IN their classes?
As C3D pointed out to me- the trainer is FEI certified... Doesn't say much for that level of certification either, now, does it? Also please note- this is a Dressage barn. Not a barn focusing on other things, such as jumping or hunters. No, the focus is emphasized solely on dressage.
This 'trainer' is listed as the 'assistant trainer' on their website. So digging further- the 'trainer' in that barn is also a qualifier for high point, but again -One horse. -First level. Again, bragging about scores in the low to mid 60's and a few topping out at 70%.
For comparison sake, I looked at a few of the other dressage barns listed for the state. On their websites, I found a few who did not post scores unless they were damn sure worth bragging about- which mid to high 70's and up certainly are! and found they were also commanding 'Sale Horse' prices of high 5 figures, ($65K, $75K) a couple 6 figures- and getting them. These trainers were also competing on various levels- Training, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and on up, on a number of different horses in each level as well... Now which barns do you think you are getting your money's worth at?
There are a few other 'issues' which are points of contention for me, but seeing as how I have been going on long enough, I'll turn it all over now for the rest of the things you find, which seems to be indicating either the judging is getting extremely tough and not tolerating ANYTHING, or that the level of some trainers is just so craptastic and speyshul- the whole discipline seems to be eroding away because of creatures like them.