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IEA-- a few questions

Recently, my trainer suggested I join the IEA team at at her daughter’s barn. I am hoping to ride in college and it would be a good experience for me. I do w/t/c and cross rails in equitation shows, and I have gone in the two foot jumpers recently. I started cross rails this summer. I have done extensive flat work and I don’t know much about jumping, but according to some people at my barn it doesn’t look like I just started jumping over the summer… Anyways, my trainer’s daughter said that I would only get to flat for the first year. Is this normal for an IEA team? I know when I start IEA I will start at the bottom, but it is frustrating to me to pay the very expensive trainer fee to only do one class, as a teenager, and my parents aren’t the type to just give me money. Any thoughts? Will it be worth it in the wrong one?

If you’re only jumping 2’, I assume you’re looking to ride in college on an IHSA team, and one of those that doesn’t really have any sort of try out. I don’t think it’s worth it to get the extra experience unless you for some reason really want to join. At only 2’, the team likely has some kids schooling much higher and regularly riding different horses that can fill the jumping classes. To be entirely honest, I didn’t even know that 2’ jumpers existed.

I never did IEA but I did do IHSA and this is very typical. It is a competition and your coach will want you to be as competitive as possible - which means putting you at a level that you the most comfortable with. Also, just because you’ll be only doing the flat class at shows doesn’t mean you won’t be able to jump in lessons, especially if you want to move up to the jumping classes at shows!

Haha, it’s IEA. It is designed for middle school and high school students, I’m not in college yet! It’s a try-out team. The highest you can show in the IEA is 2 ft 6. I’m hoping to go to Centenary-- my trainer is a bit of a perfectionist (she’s also an IHSA coach), so I will probably be one of the lower-level people on the team, but hey, they need all the levels to succeed.

2 ft jumpers is mostly a clear round equals a blue type of thing. It’s mostly for fun. :slight_smile:

ETA: thank you To the MAX! I’m hoping to prove to her that I will be fine in cross rails, since I “tried out” through her mom, she’s never actually seen me ride! I usually jump cross rails to 2 ft 3 with her mom, so I am hoping it will be the same with the daughter!

I show 3’ and my coach has me in cross rails for IEA. It’s very common for them to place you as low as they can, because then you have the best chances of doing well :slight_smile: IEA is certainly a whole other world, but I’ve really enjoyed it! It’s a really good experience to ride other horses and horses of all types.

That is very common. To jump cross rails, you are expected to be able to jump 2’6" courses at home on your regular mount. It is definitely different, but everyone learns a ton, no matter which classes they are in. One of my friends was put in the flat only class, even though she could have done cross rails, but she went all the way to nationals! I jump 3-3’6" usually at home, and I jump 2’ in IEA, but it is just as much work, but I love it!

It’s absolutely worth it even if you start in flat for a year (which is highly likely). Learning to get on any size/shape/type of horse in any size/style tack and show off your riding will do you well in the future.

Very normal for an IEA team. http://www.rideiea.org/rules/rules-13-14/2013-2014-IEA-Rules-Marked-Changes-6.5.13.pdf See page 16.

I show 3’ and my coach has me in cross rails for IEA. It’s very common for them to place you as low as they can, because then you have the best chances of doing well :slight_smile: IEA is certainly a whole other world, but I’ve really enjoyed it! It’s a really good experience to ride other horses and horses of all types.[/QUOTE]

I find it very interesting, however, that individuals on here are saying they compete at 3’0" otherwise and compete in crossrails in IEA, considering that according to the rules, one can only compete in crossrails if they have competed at 2’6" or below in any other horse show, rated or not; ie, if they have ever competed above 2’6", they are not eligible for crossrails in IEA.

IEA vs. All Other Competition Equivalency:
IEA Crossrails = 2’6" or below
IEA 2’0" = 3’0" or below
IEA 2’6" = 3’3" or above

Not sure what to do in your situation, but just take it and go.

Join the team. Go for it. Don’t look back one day and regret not doing it.

Many IEA coaches love to interpret the rules in order to win. For example, it used to say that only the Hunter division counted in determining your eligibility. So many of the kids would make sure that they only competed in the equitation divisions. They love to win at IEA crossrails then turn around and compete at the prechidren at the rated shows. Coaches know exactly what they are doing. It really is not the intent to have the kids with lots of bigger show miles competing in the beginner classes.

Thank you so much everyone! This makes me feel a lot better. :slight_smile: Right now, I am leaning toward just doing it and hoping next year I will do cross-rails. I really would love to make it to nationals, and if it means competing the lowest I possibly can, I guess I will do it. I’ll just try and do some non-IEA shows so I can show over some jumps.

I think it’s a really good experience, and you will learn a lot - I wish the program had been in place when I was in middle school/high school.

Keep in mind that your competence on your own horse, or a horse you have ridden before, may not be directly related to your ability to negotiate a course of crossrails on a horse you’ve never sat on before. :slight_smile: It’s not just your coach putting you in a level below what you are doing at home to stack the deck- it’s your coach wanting you to be safe and have a good experience.

I’m a former IHSA team captain and an IEA big sister- I hear a lot from students who are upset that they’re showing below their level of schooling on their own horses or at home. But jumping around on a horse you’ve never sat on before is a whole different ballgame.