Although the U.S. team didn’t come away with a team medal, our columnist said things turned out much better than she might have hoped a year ago.
A year ago, looking to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games was not my favorite thing. It loomed large and menacing as I accepted the position as U.S. Equestrian Federation’s technical advisor of dressage. At that time we had few American combinations who appeared ready to meet the challenge presented by the horses I had just judged in the Alltech FEI European Championships.
Our columnist points out the unique strength U.S. horse sports have at the grassroots level.
After the excitement of hosting the world’s top equestrians at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, it’s natural to get caught up in comparing ourselves to the rest of the world. As with every world games, there’s tremendous excitement to get behind our teams, to cheer them on, and to come together as a nation. These types of events fuel our passion.
We’ve had an exciting year for hunters and jumpers in this country in 2010. We’re in the midst of an economic crisis—horse shows have all been hit by fewer entries—yet we keep going because of our love of our horses and ponies and our love of competition.
This year’s The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA $100,000 International Hunter Derby Finals hit a home run. The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games limited the choices as to where this competition could be held, so this year it moved to the new indoor ring at The Kentucky Horse Park.
Historically, the road to becoming a professional horseman has been based on the apprenticeship model.
Learning to train horses or to teach and shape riders so that they reach their full potential are skills that develop over a lifetime and are best learned from watching and working with those with greater mastery of the craft. This emphasis on learning by working with a mentor is the cornerstone of education in our sport. The top horsemen have spent time in the trenches, and they never hesitated to expand their edu-cations and to seek evaluation and feedback.
Whether finding a mentor, attending a clinic or reading a book, continuing education is the cornerstone of being the best horseman you can be.
Historically, the road to becoming a professional horseman has been based on the apprenticeship model. Learning to train horses or to teach and shape riders so that they reach their full potential are skills that develop over a lifetime and are best learned from watching and working with those with greater mastery of the craft.
Our columnist reflects on the responsibilities of the sport’s national governing body to its various parties.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation has existed in some form for more than 50 years with the purpose of governing equestrian sports. Originally started as an organization of horse shows, the federation has evolved into a member organization. With this evolution came a change in responsibilities, accountability and membership.