Glass Case of Emotion

Man… how are we back at Monday already? That did not feel like a particularly restful weekend, mostly because I was riding an emotional rollercoaster following along (ok, and weighing in sometimes) with all the discussion about this new MER rule, and the revision, and then the arguments about the revision, and then more details about how this all came about in the first place. Frustrated, disappointed, resigned, irritated, discouraged, disconnected, discarded… a lot of dis-.

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I mean it makes sense that a lot of us are so emotional about this, because the potential implications are huge and we all feel passionate about the sport we love. To many of us outside of the east coast it looks like a Mt Everest that has been plopped directly in our path. Anyway, I read a lot of great things and I read a lot of extremely disappointing things, but I filled out the survey at least so… I guess we’ll see how the dominoes fall. All I know for sure is that if I see one more east coast pro rider say “ThAt’S wHaT mOdIfiEd iS fOr” I’m going to have an aneurysm. The Modified division pretty much does not exist outside of the east coast so that’s a useless statement. I’d have to drive 14 hours each way to get to the closest available one. Welcome to one of the challenges of not living in area 2 or 3. Want to help make the T to P move-up safer? Instead of making us burn up our horses with endless travel and a million T runs, organize a push to help make Modified available in every area. I’m also still not over the one saying that maybe if people want to event at Prelim or above we need to move.


In between being angsty at people on the internet, I did actually get a few things accomplished. The jumps that SO ordered for me (because he set fences for me once and hated my old semi-ghetto jumps so much that he literally went home and ordered me a couple new ones) finally came last week, although they required some assembly. Ok “some” isn’t accurate, they required all the assembly. Basically it just came as four PVC 4 x 4’s, 16 PVC feet, 8 tracks, 4 caps, and a baggie of screws. I kind of expected them to at least be pre-drilled, but no, it was all just cut to size. So, we built them ourselves. I guess I’m not really sure what I expected to show up, I never even thought about how they would ship standards (or not) but I was surprised that literally nothing was put together or pre-drilled. It gave the SO something to do though and made him feel like he accomplished something, which he did, since now I have 4 new standards. Now I can have more than one oxer! Exciting times indeed.

After spending so much time watching Ingrid and Piggy to cavaletti exercises lately I keep jonesing for those super cool square cavaletti ends that they use. They seem so useful, and so easy, and so stable. They’re also so expensive though. I saw a British company that’s coming out with some made out of a hard foam rubber type material and they look interesting. Still not particularly cheap, like 2/3 the price of the plastic ones, but it’s an interesting idea.

Kind of makes me wonder if I could find 12 x 12 x 4 blocks of the stuff and make a hole in it myself. I haven’t really started the hunt yet but it’s on my list.

Otherwise I spent the weekend checking some things off my list that have just kept getting pushed off. I finished the breeding info sheet for the Red Hills 4*, made Presto’s next vlog for the US Event Horse Futurity (will these vlogs ever take me less than like 6 hours to put together?), got the Baby Bets Contest post drafted and ready to roll (IT’S THAT TIME!), and organized more stuff that I want to sell. I’m more motivated to actually put in the effort to sell things now that I’m trying to pull more money together to keep Presto in training.

Aside from all that I also rode Henry plenty (I can’t tell if he loathes or loves being the center of attention once again… maybe both) and spent some quality time with my new spin bike. So far in the 5 days I’ve had it I’ve done 4 spin classes. It’s fun, in a really painful I-think-I-can-taste-my-own-lungs kind of way.

note to self, clean your lens

This week I’ve got a lot of meetings at work and I’m taking Thursday off so I can go up and visit Presto. The next item I need to start thinking about knocking off my list is the blog rebranding, which admittedly I’ve had precisely zero motivation for. It’s a lot of work, and it’s not even fun.

Hope everyone had a good weekend, and eventers if you haven’t filled out the survey about the new MER rule proposals yet, no matter how you feel about it, please please please please do so! This will probably be our only real chance to weigh in and it’s only fair that we all give our opinion.

10 thoughts on “Glass Case of Emotion

  1. I was annoyed by the size of the comment box. And I feel like the survey is kind of a trap with the way they worded stuff… but I filled it out!


  2. We actually use cinder blocks to make small cavaletties and oxers. They suck weight wise, but it’s an easy shape/size to replicate with a lighter material. Or you can always use cinder blocks in the mean time and hope you don’t slip a disk trying to carry them . . .


  3. I filled out the survey and added my comments about imposing a mandatory set back for repeated failure to complete a course at a certain level. I don’t really expect anything to come from it, but at least they have it.

    Area IV is in the same boat, where there is 1 event all year that offers Modified. Usually a T/P or P/I is the offering of choice around here. I would hope it would be easier to make the M course mostly T fences with some P to see if you and your horse are really ready. Or have it follow the P with T options for the difficult combinations or fences. That seems like it would be doable for organizers and useful for competitors.


  4. Yeah after I saw the modified comments I went and looked. Area 6 has some pretty beefy eventing programs. There are 5 events in the whole area that offer modified (23 total events lined up for 2021 that offer up to P) and 4 of them are from Sept – Dec AND 3 of them are at the same venue. Not exactly the well rounded education a horse moving up needs…


  5. Trying hard not to fall down this MER rabbit hole myself, since I consider myself a LL eventer and with luck can dodge any impact on my life & riding.

    BUT. It is easy to misunderstand statistics. The top level numbers are not enough. One has to deep dive and find out – in the data and in the *explanations* of the data from the people who are the data points (riders who fell, in this case) – what the real causes and commonalities are. Numbers aren’t the answer. Numbers point the way to identifying the path to a more accurate answer, an answer that takes a much larger effort than just scraping the numerical data.

    Whenever I read/hear the statement “the numbers tell us” I want to run screaming. The numbers don’t tell you. Numbers point you the way to further deeper dives.

    If what they are calling the “UR” “Unlicensed Riders”, in the data they are presenting with their proposal, are those with fewer horses, fewer rides, then their falls are going to stand out as a larger percentage of their rides than those who have 10X more rides at the same level. It does NOT PROVE they are less safe as riders. It’s just a function of numbers. The other riders could have had the same number of falls, falls that are just as dangerous, but because they have so many more rides the % looks less significant. But the % is not enough as a *true* measure of safety.

    To truly determine if there is a safety issue based on the stats takes a much more involved analysis that goes beyond mere numbers. One has to go on a head-spinning journey of more minutia, and ultimately, many conversations with the riders themselves. That is true analysis.

    Anyway, reading supposedly statistically-driven things like this makes me crazy, due to past professional experience with analysis of data and numbers. I spent so many more hours talking to the people behind the numbers than I ever did calculating percentages and making pretty graphs. But I think those “UR”‘s who are the most involved with the sport at that level are the ones to give their input and drive the conversation. Because they are the ones with the real stories behind the numbers.

    The USEA has a history of coming up with new rules that appear to be safety measures in response to accidents occurring in the years just before the new rule. Rarely would the new rule have made a bit of difference to any of the accidents they are supposedly addressing.

    Another USEA ring around the same rosy, IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I made my cavaletti blocks in the shape of those red ones from a 4’x8’ sheet of 3/4” plywood. Cut the shapes on a band saw and the holes with a jigsaw. They don’t stand up straight in the footing but I tilt them outward a bit from each other when I put the poles in and they stay nice and sturdy. Haven’t busted one yet and they’ve had quite a bit of use. So I got myself 8 “blocks” for the price of a sheet of plywood.


  7. I saw someone comment that “most people that want to compete at the upper levels of their sport have to relocate” and that “if you’re not willing to run your horse every other weekend or even once a month, then you must be raising weak, unsound horses.” WTAF.


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