One of my favorite things about the USEA website is being able to search by horse or by rider and pull up their entire competition record. One of my least favorite things about the USEA website is how anyone can search by horse or rider and pull up my or my horse’s entire competition record. Lots of data is awesome, until there’s something you’d rather everyone not see.
I feel pretty protective of my horse’s USEA record. I’m not really sure why… he’s not a sale horse at the moment, and he’s not headed to any kind of upper level or team competition. It’s not like he has phenomenal dressage or always jumps a clear stadium, and I certainly have nothing to prove his pilot. I just love scrolling down that page and seeing 0 XC penalties. Probably really weird, but I do. Even though he’s ridden mostly by me, so any mistakes on his record would be easily chalked up to rider error.
But this isn’t quite like a USEF or USDF record where you have several classes per show, and several chances to fix mistakes. One show, one score, no redemption. Permanently. It’s why, after a few stops, a lot of people choose to retire instead of make that one last attempt and get an E. It’s why, with a young horse, a lot of pros won’t bring it to a recognized show until they feel pretty confident that it’ll get around. Leave the baby mistakes at home or at an unrecognized, ie “off the record”.
Of course, if I was shopping for a horse, being able to pull up it’s entire show history is totally fantastic. Sometimes it shows you a pattern or a weakness. Granted, it only tells you a part of the story. Sometimes the score just doesn’t reflect what really happened.
So basically, I have a love/hate relationship with our results database. Henry had a 20 at his very first event in 2014 when he just didn’t understand the question. Since then, clear. I like that, I’m proud of him for that, and I think it tells you a lot about how genuine he is, so I’m protective of it. But then again, I think… it’s been BN and N. Let’s be honest, it’s just not that hard to go clear at BN and N.
He has a clear T on his record now thanks to Trainer, but now it’s my turn. I know it’s ridiculously silly to feel even a minute amount of pressure to keep his record “clean”, and probably really unlikely. I should probably focus more on, like, not dying. Things just get harder as you go up, and it becomes more difficult for him to overcome my mistakes. Plus, if I mess up THAT badly, it’s often the safer thing for the horse to say “um no, that’s actually not safe”, and I would definitely rather he do that if it’s the right choice. But still. I like 0’s.
Am I the only one with a crazy irrational rider obsession like this, feeling some kind of overprotective quality of what goes on a horse’s public record? I’ll let it go someday…