Authorized Assistance

For me, the weirdest part of a saddleseat show is the yelling from the sidelines. In dressage and eventing, you get eliminated for Unauthorized Assistance (usually, see below). In Hunters, a little mild correction might occur as the riders pass the ingate. At the show last weekend, particularly at the Beginner levels, every coach and assistant coach in the place was helping as loud as she could. I was told to change diagonals, sit back, hands up, pass wide, look forward on the straightaways, and so on. Multiply that by every rider in the class. The next time I do a dressage test or a hunter class, I will suffer abandonment issues. Some commentary is acceptable in jumpers, but I probably wouldn’t hear you.

Un/Authorized Assistance Story
Years back, I was flailing my way around a cross-country course. I was miles out of the ribbons and in danger of elimination. As I came at a log jump for the second? third? time, my friend & coach yelled “KICK!”. Over we went and on to the next. The fence judge just smiled.

Today’s Question
For those of you who have done saddleseat, like the sideline coaching? Dislike? Found it odd to cross over to or away from?

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