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Allowing posting at med and ext trot through Fourth

Nope, just stating my general opinion.

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Instead of just attacking me, if you took a moment to read what I have written, you wouldn’t have to ask.

I am for it. Another older rider that a lifetime of living has brought me back problems and #1 in the inability to sit the mediums…a tailbone spur and subsequent surgery to remove said spur. That would give me hope of being able to show again.

Most of all, I think it is for the welfare of the horse.



Attacking you? That’s a stretch.

I read what you wrote. It made no sense. There is no need to give a charity division to folks who may choose (for myriad reasons) to ride mediums and extensions at posting trot. The only thing it would do is cause more paper work for shows that are already stretched.

It is only in your own mind that these poor riders who can’t/don’t want to ride mediums and extensions at posting are disadvantaged.


Why would it need to be a different division if, according to you, riders who post would end up with lower scores?

Med and Ext are hard on both horses’ and riders’ back, and both could benefit at times from posting in order to get a smoother ride; older riders, younger riders who are still growing, riders with back issues, younger horses (PSG - horse must be 7yrs), older horses, horses coming back from injuries, …

I see this rule as a way to do what’s right for the horse’s and rider’s welfare; a riding choice, and it doesn’t change/lower the standards of each level. It’s just 2 movements.

To me, this is similar to the double bridle rule; it just makes more sense to allow people to choose what is best for their horse. Is it less GP if it’s done in a snaffle? It’s not an advantage either.

If it was me, I would allow the choice of posting trot at all time from Intro to GP up to National shows. I would exclude posting at CDIs and classes to qualifiy for NAYC, PanAMs… Mostly because trying to qualify for games is very demanding, and I don’t think someone or a horse who has back issues should be put through that.


Thanks for the clarification that it was a test change vice a rule change, BTW, the question of whether to stop at 4th was meant to be rhetorical.

Yes, good med and ext trot require a supple back from both horse and rider. I don’t view that as a bad thing in and of itself but agree that many riders are unable to do so for whatever reason yet go out and pound their horse’s back in shows.

Clearly it’s better for the horse, the question is whether the overall standard should be lowered to make those movements more accessible to more people. The alternative is to continue to score those who can’t sit lower.


Which standards are being lowered? Welfare of the horse - no. Riders’ ability to get a truly good medium or extension - no (and if it did, it would be reflected on the score sheet.)

So it must be the ability to sit to mediums and extensions? Wouldn’t it be better to say, hey, choose as you will, we have the welfare of the horse in mind here.

As I’ve aged and become the less than quintessential amateur, my views on this have done a complete flip flop, btw. I have a lot of empathy now for my order students back in the day. When you’re not riding several a day and not as young as you once were, have a bunch of back injuries in the wings just waiting for the opportunity to step on stage again, sitting large gaits is not as easy or kind to the horse. Add in a horse (like many ammy horses) that may be through in smaller, more collected gaits but throws all that out the window at the chance to drop that back just enough to throw a less than perfect seat off in bigger gaits if the planet’s aren’t perfectly aligned (maybe a little tense on show grounds, maybe rider is a bit seized up on that day) and well, here I am - 100% flip flopped.

It’s kinder to the horse to allow last-minute decisions than to create a whole new division where a rider is locked in to their choice weeks in advance.

It also gives riders who may be striving to sit the bigger gaits a chance to dip their toes one test movement at a time. Maybe they try the first in a test and it doesn’t go as well as at home. Save the horse and post the rest. Next show try again.


You are correct it’s the standard for the rider that would be lowered.

Tell me about it; I’m coming 65 and ride with multiple, shall we say, hardware enhancements these days.

Technically speaking, people can choose to post the med and ext trot now, they just aren’t going to score as high as those that sit effectively. They aren’t going to be eliminated and I’d be surprised if they got an error but technically they could.

Let me turn the question around and ask if riders that can effectively sit the trot should score higher than those that can’t for whatever reason?

I’m reminded of a Lilo Fore answer to a question at a CDS symposium about horses in TL classes carrying themselves in more engaged frames where the person asking suggested they should not get extra credit; Lilo’s answer was “Well, I’m sure not going to penalize them.”

I get wanting to make dressage more accessible, I just don’t think this is the way to do it. I do like the idea of having different divisions based on rider experience and even, gasp, age.

ETA: Of course it’s best to put the horse’s welfare first, that doesn’t mean the rider is off the hook for meeting standards for any certain level. It’s not an either or, nobody is forcing anyone to show at any specific level.


Because, and this is just my opinion, it’s not really all about the horse. It’s about people wanting to show at higher levels but not be penalized with lower scores.


Having spectated a fair number of 2nd level and above classes at breed and open shows… there are more than a few people sitting the trot who look ungainly (to be charitable). Without getting into an argument about whether they should show at that level or not if they can’t sit properly, the fact is that they are in the classes showing. I think these riders and their horses would be a lot better off if they could post. It sure would make for a more pleasant picture.

Maybe that’s just the former saddle seat rider in me doing the observing? Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m 71 and if I ever get past 1st level in this lifetime I’d like the ability to post?

And if sitting confers an advantage, so does being 25 or having a great horse or any of a zillion other factors. I would think posting would only add a very minor advantage all other things being equal - but of course they never are!


You used to have to sit the trot starting at training level, tests 3 & 4 (there were 4 tests at each level until fairly recently). You also had to sit everything but the lengthenings and the stretch circle at first level.


Yes, but it wasn’t in the RULES. It was just ON the test.

It’s not that posting confers an advantage, it’s that it decreases the level of difficulty. Very much like making a circle/volte bigger than required in a test.

I’m OK with people posting all they want and them not being eliminated, but those that sit correctly should, IMO, score higher. If indeed it’s about the horse’s welfare, then why care about the score so much?

Natalie Lamping is pretty clear in her Facebook campaign that this is about opening up higher levels to more people. That’s OK, just call a spade a spade.


I think it would certainly help many at least at Second Level when “medium” trot is first required. I wonder if sitting those trots should still be required at Fourth. My reasoning being that it is the last National Level and most have sights set on FEI and need to prepare.

Also wonder about instructions to the judges. Do they reward the rider collectives more for a good extension ridden sitting? Interesting choice for some riders if they can get a better extension rising but can sit well enough to perhaps get a better rider score.


I think this is fair, so consider someone who tries, but can’t sit well. They should be allowed to post and score the same or better than if they try to sit and are getting bounced out of the tack. The horse might perform the movement better too, without the bouncing. They still have to sit the whole rest of the test, so if they can’t do that well, it will show up in the rider collectives.


Sounds like a lot of sour grapes from people.

If someone is posting those movements at that level, and if it is really true that they have holes in their riding because of that, then why is anyone worried about the rule change since they must wind up being easy to beat?

I mean I’d prefer that they make a “adult ammy in a jump saddle on a short pony” division so I don’t have to compete against someone’s leg flinging monstrosity but here we are.


“Leg flinging monstrosity” speaking of sour grapes …


Or humour, but whatever, some folks seem to be severely lacking in that department. Thankfully people like @enjoytheride who is advocating hard for a legitimate new AAJSSP division have their priorities straight!


And what exactly are those priorities? Making things easier for the horse? I’ve already said I’m cool with letting people post to their heart’s content without being eliminated. I just assert that the intention of such a change in upper level USDF tests is to make those levels more accessible to those who either cannot or choose not to sit those movements.

Do you disagree that it is more difficult to execute a correct sitting medium or extended trot? If you agree, do you disagree that the more difficult execution of a movement should score higher?

Why are you so offended by this?

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I’m not offended by any of the things on this thread. That would be silly.

I neither agree nor disagree. It depends on the horse. It can also depend on the rider. It can also depend on the horse/rider combination. A blanket statement that one is easier than the other or gives/removes an advantage is ridiculous.

I do disagree that sitting a movement where choice to sit or rise is given should confer a higher mark. If the rider posting an extended gets as good a result as someone sitting, the mark should be the same unless there’s some little caveat that says “Rider may choose to rise or sit in the extended trot. However, rising will incur an automatic .5 deduction from the score for the movement.”

Discrepancies for not sitting could be taken up in the collectives. But that would also be silly - a rider sitting poorly throughout the test and a rider sitting well and choosing to post for 2 movements should not receive equivalent marks. If they both sit equally well, meh, it comes down to who actually got the better extension. If it was the posting rider should they really be penalized for that?