My daughter recently atempted to rate to her c1 and passed the flat portion but not the jumping. Her horse that she is leasing has a confidence issue with jumping, and my daughter couldnt get her over the whole grid, even though the horse did the grid fine two days before. The examiner knew this but said she didnt pass because of it. I wanted to know, sure the horse didnt get over the 2’9" ascending oxer but she jumped over the 2’9" course in show jumping, so the examiner knew she could jump the hieght. So why if my daughter tryed and tryed to get the horse over the grid and had no luck at the oxer, but jumped the hieght in stadium she shouldnt be marked down for it. The horses problem was out of my daughters control, so why say it’s her fault? It isnt fair the examiner marked my daughter down on something because of the horse.
I haven’t been to a rater’s clinic in several years, but if my memory serves me correctly and assuming they haven’t changed the rules, the kids are expected to show up with a horse who can do the job so it’s clear that the kids can do theirs. At C1, they are expected to be effective riders, so if the horse was clearly able to do the job, as evidenced by the performance in show jumping, then the difficulty with the grid would be assumed to be due to the rider. New ways of dong things may have superseded that, but that’s how I remember the discussion.
Most Pony Clubbers ride at a higher level than their rating, and struggle with the stable management piece. The ridden portion is often the easiest portion of the rating. It’s been years since I was an examiner, but my memory is the same as Betsy’s. Not being able to jump through the grid would be a huge red flag, and it would have nothing to do with whether or not I thought the kid or horse could jump the height in another setting.
Also, the step up to C-1 is a BIG step. Lots of kids struggle with that rating. It’s about a lot more than being able to jump 2’9". IIRC, you have to bring in a regional examiner at that level rather than a club or local examiner.
Talk with your kid’s instructor, if they have one, talk to the DC of the club, talk to the examiner, if possible, and figure out what you need to do different next time.
You’ve been given some good answers, but the best is to discuss your daughter’s performance with the examiner. Not having seen the ride, none of us can say exactly. However, it is important to know that simply being able to jump 2’9" is not sufficient to pass the jumping portion.you must ride to the standard and be able to discuss your performance with the examiner.
Betsyk is correct. Also, the stadium and grid sections are separate. An examiner does not judge both sections based on one. If your daughter only failed the grids section, then she can certainly retest that section without having to do the entire rating over. At the C1 level riders are expected to accomplish the task with some coaching if needed… Sounds like the task (grid) was never accomplished. Examiners pass/fail what they see on the day. If would be unfair to pass riders based on previous experiences, as some riders are unknown to the examiner.
If you can borrow a horse for the retest that knows/likes it’s job better than the leased horse it might be less stressful. If not, take several grids lessons the retest.
I’m a graduate HA and continue to do ratings for local clubs In The heartland region.
It’s been years since I was involved in PC upranking but one thing that always struck me as extremely important was that passing or not had as much to do with how you handled the things that did not go well. As a rider are you able to understand and express why the failure is happening? Are you able to CHANGE your riding in an attempt to fix the problem OR do you just keep doing the same things expecting a different outcome?
If she didn’t know why she was having a problem and she didn’t make changes to address things it won’t go well–and at the C level it shouldn’t go well. If she did have an understanding of why she was having a problem and was able to articulate it then make appropriate changes to her riding to address it she should have had a chance even if it still didn’t go well. Since we don’t know which case was that of the OPs daughter there is no way to really know if the outcome was “fair” on not.
As others have said, the stadium and the grid are separate. If she is supposed to jump a 2’9" oxer at the end of the grid, and doesn’t, then by definition she failed to meet the standard ON THAT DAY, and can’t pass. It doesn’t matter if she did so 2 days before, or if the horse has confidence issues, etc, etc. If it doesn’t happen, they are not supposed to pass her.
And height requirements are very black-and-white, so the examiners really don’t have any wiggle room.
And you can’t really blame the horse in this situation. You are expected to show up with a horse that can meet the standards. If the rider can’t ride through the problems on that horse, then either the rider is not up to standards, or the horse is inappropriate for the test.
For example, if they specifically say on a test sheet that the horse needs to jump a ditch, and my ditch-y horse says “no” that day despite me riding like Karen O’Connor, I still fail because it is specifically written on the test sheet that this task must be performed.
You’ve gotten great answers so far. Each rating test is divided up into sections, and the candidate has to pass EVERY section to pass the rating. Grids are in a different section than stadium jumping, so a “did not meet standard” there will take down the whole jumping portion. If your daughter passed everything else, she should be able to retake the grids portion within a certain period of time. The examiner can only rate what they see during the test and cannot take any previous knowledge of the horse/rider into account. The examiner should not be someone who normally instructs the candidate.
Problems in a rating are not necessarily a problem for passing - if the kid is able to explain what went wrong, and has some ideas to improve the ride and is able to implement them, the examiners will be happy.
It sounds like you have a lot to learn about Pony Club and about horses in general if you think this problem was only the horse’s fault.
Mel, if the grid section was the only thing she DNMS on, she should be eligible to do a retest for just that section. Fortunately and unfortunately, the standard is the standard which is what makes USPC certifications so tough… but is also what makes them actually mean something.
Ratings have always had an inexplicable and arbitrary element. Some raters will let somethings slide. Others will be very hard on all of the kids or on one particular kid. Some raters expect the kids to all arrive with horses who are extremely experienced and mellow. Others will help a kid work through a problem on a less cooperative horse and be successful. It is frustrating to fail ratings, but it is good preparation for life.
Talk with your DC or one of the long time pony club moms and see what she suggests.
You’ve been given some good answers, but the best is to discuss your daughter’s performance with the examiner.[/QUOTE]
No. Your daughter, if she wishes and only if SHE wishes, can discuss her performance with the examiner. One of the best things about Pony Club is teaching children self-confidence and to deal with things themselves. Mommy does not run to complain because poopsie didn’t pass. This is your daughter’s thing, not yours. She can handle it.
You said yourself why your daughter did not meet standards on that section:
You, your daughter, the horse, and the examiner know that the horse can jump the grid. In the rating your daughter tried and tried and could not do the grid and here you are saying it’s the horse’s fault.
Also, this has nothing to do with “jumping the height.” You say that it does, that the fact the horse proved it could jump the height in stadium therefore since the HORSE can jump your daughter’s inability to get the horse to do so has nothing to do with the rating. Pony Club ratings are not about that at all. It’s about what your daughter can do, not the horse.
Exactly. That’s why your daughter didn’t pass. She could not meet the necessary ratings standards on this day. It’s no big deal. She will work harder and succeed.
Did they switch horses? Was another rider able to ride your daughter’s horse with success?
Pony Club is about oh-so-much-more. This is a golden opportunity to teach your daughter not to complain UNFAIR UNFAIR, but to accept the constructive criticism and wow them next time. THAT’S what she should be learning here.
I’m a former Pony Club mom and a former Pony Club DC.
I am a current Pony Club examiner. Unfortunately, the testing is about your performance ON THAT DAY. If you never get through the grid, you never demonstrated that you can have an acceptable position through the grid, at height.
I agree with Anne FS. It is not about fair/unfair but about the oppourtunity to take the day as a learning experience and try again soon. Sometimes nerves are a factor and hopefully she will be able to work hard and succeed next time.
I’ve seen many a PCer fail a portion of a rating and go back to retest with a horse who was more of a packer/sure not to fail that portion. So grids weren’t this horse’s thing? Practice, practice and/or see if you can borrow a horse who can do the grids in his sleep. I lent my horse to do all KINDS of portions of ratings (once I almost lent him JUST FOR LUNGING AND WRAPPING). If confidence is an issue, either address the confidence or find a different horse if you are really concerned with getting through the rating.
Just about everything I thought to say was said much better by others who responded first! I will just add this: treat the experience as a LEARNING experience, not a failure. Horses and kids are not machines, and Pony Club ratings are tough. There’s no harm in reorganizing and retesting.
So grids weren’t this horse’s thing? Practice, practice and/or see if you can borrow a horse who can do the grids in his sleep. [/QUOTE]
OR, your daughter can learn how to ride this horse over grids, since everybody says this horse does grids “just fine.”
Depends on your daughter’s objective: does she want to learn to be a horseman or not?
Pony Club teaches kids to be tough and resilient. Explain to your daughter that failing a rating is a good experience for life. She needs to figure out how to get through the rating next time. It may involve learning to smile and negotiate with adults who own a packer so they will loan him to her for the grids. It also teaches her how to deal with situations that seem unfair.
Years ago, shortly after my daughter failed her C 3 on her horse who was deemed “unsuitable”, she was competing him at Training. The rater who failed her was in the same division. My daughter really enjoyed placing well ahead of her with the “unsuitable” horse. A few months later, one of the kids who had been in my daughter’s rating group and then passed her B on her very expensive packer was competing in my daughter’s division. The girl burst into tears, told her coach the course was too hard, and was eliminated on course. My daughter and the “unsuitable” horse had a clear round. Our horse was not an easy horse, but he gave her a lot of good mileage.
Pony Club does not always seem fair when you have a horse who isn’t quiet and cooperative. Pony Club is still a valuable experience. It is good for kids to learn to work hard with the horse they have, and to figure ways around the obstacles that they face as they try to progress through the levels. As a parent, your job is to be supportive and to help her try to plan and struggle for success. Learning to overcome obstacles to success is a really important life skill. The kids from our club, who were used to struggling and persevering for every success, all have done well in their lives and careers.
Pony Club does not always seem fair when you have a horse who isn’t quiet and cooperative. Pony Club is still a valuable experience. It is good for kids to learn to work hard with the horse they have, and to figure ways around the obstacles that they face as they try to progress through the levels. [/QUOTE]
This is a really good point!
OR, your daughter can learn how to ride this horse over grids, since everybody says this horse does grids “just fine.”
Depends on your daughter’s objective: does she want to learn to be a horseman or not?[/QUOTE]
Um, that’s what I meant by “practice” and “address the issue.” The word “or” is conjunctive.
The horses problem was out of my daughters control, so why say it’s her fault? It isnt fair the examiner marked my daughter down on something because of the horse.
What a wonderful life lesson even beyond PC. Take a driving test and the car breaks down during the test*, is it the cars fault, or the driver not showing up prepared. Take a Private Pilots test and screw up one element of 33 specific, known test elements and get a pink slip. Plane’s fault or the pilots?**
Life is not fair, that’s a given, but we can try to even the balance by showing up, in those moments, as prepared as possible. Horse jumps wonderful in warm up and the blows $100,000 prize winning by running through a jump***…horse’s fault or rider’s? That C1 sounds like an important step, but in the scheme of things it may pale compared to other life tests. However, it is a good opportunity to teach that life is not fair or easy, that we can deal with disappointment by learning from it, and that when failure occurs, first look in the mirror before looking away.
(*Failed my first driving test on a stupid but important point)
(**Almost failed my PPL on one element, examiner allowed a reattempt with tighter restrictions, I passed)
(***Just watched a rider sunday miss $100K pay off by blanking out on a roll back to angled vertical, something they had just done two jumps before).
Failure happens, how we deal with it matters more. I hope she learns, grows, and then beasts that grid with the same horse so she can say “Take that Life, I got past that one”