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YoungFilly
Sep. 9, 2007, 10:22 PM
:)

Lisa Cook
Sep. 9, 2007, 10:38 PM
I know of an event rider scoring in the 60s at PSG in Florida at recognized shows while riding her Appendix QH event horse in a Wintec Saddle.

Given her example, I don't think it is the politics. Your post implies that if you spend enough money, and have the expensive horse and the right accessories, you expect to be be given the scores automatically.

Pommederue
Sep. 9, 2007, 10:41 PM
I'm sorry you had a bad day, however, I'm no 'BNT' and I get fairly good scores (consistently) at all the levels because I put in an accurate test and follow the directives. My horses are not expensive movers either. Perhaps you're missing something. Do you have a video of your ride?

StarDoozer
Sep. 9, 2007, 10:42 PM
Ride well, train well, and take good care of your horse. The judges don't care who you are nearly as much as we like to think. :-)

Yes, it is expensive. But it's not about what gadgets you have, or if your horse has the poshest browband... Don't tell anyone, but my horse's favorite curb bit is a $30 one I borrowed from a friend.

YES, saddle fit is important. YES good training is important. YES good maintence (adequan/legend/joint supplements, and other preventatives) are important. Are these things expensive? YES.

But politics? Phhh. Not so much. Judges LOVE to see good riding and happy horses. If you go in the ring and exhude these qualities, you will get the scores.

Best of luck!

PMU mom
Sep. 9, 2007, 10:43 PM
Young Filly,

What type of payoff are you looking for? Believe me, it takes a lot longer than a year to be truly successful in dressage - Even on a nicely trained horse. I doubt the issue is politics and I know the area you are in very well.

If your "payoff" is winning then show only at smaller less competitive shows and you are likely to have some pretty decent results.

If your "payoff" is to really learn to ride and show your horse, be prepared to put in years of time, effort, and money. Only then do you have a chance to be successful in the big shows. Sucess in the show ring is a byproduct of correct riding and harmony with your horse.

I don't think most people realize how long it takes and how difficult and expensive it is. I currently own a lovely horse because his previous owner underestimated these factors. She gave up and I was able to buy her horse.

Perhaps you should take some time to rethink your goals. You can certainly improve your riding without spending the close to 6 figures annually unless you are figuring in the cost of your horse. Good training is important. Doing a million horse shows probably isn't.

I would be happy to discuss this further if you would like to send me a PM.

Dalfan
Sep. 9, 2007, 10:58 PM
I haven't really gotten the successes to really warrant the cost

What successes are you referring to? We all know there is not much prize money to be had.

Are you thinking you are good enough to beat some pros? What kind of recognition/accolades are you looking for?

Are you expecting people to see you ride and make a bee-line to your door to offer you their horses to ride?

What/who are you riding for??

dressurpferd01
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:02 PM
Stop spending so much bloody money on shows and get some training. Just because your horse can do PSG, doesn't mean you can. Go train full-time with a QUALIFIED trainer for a year and THEN start showing. I just can't wrap my brain around why you think money=success. It's such an ignorant attitude that seems all too prevalent among those with money. Money doesn't buy the ability to ride well, sorry honey. Sounds to me like you just like showing off how much money you seem to have, rather than actually enjoying the journey of dressage.

angel
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:04 PM
Maybe it is time to re-evaluate the instruction you are receiving.

dutchmike
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:07 PM
If winning PSG would just take money instead of knowledge it wouldn't be a sport would it? You should ride to learn instead of just worrying about ribbons. That way you learn and actually might actually win something at one stage

Dalfan
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:07 PM
Sounds to me like you just like showing off how much money you seem to have, rather than actually enjoying the journey of dressage.

Bingo!!

"Seems to have" is the pertinent passage.

BTW, how's that severely malnourished mare that recently came back from the Texas "retirement" home? We haven't heard much about her progress. Why am I not surprised.

Sabine
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:09 PM
I agree with a lot of peeps that have posted here before. The essence is that really good riding is required. And- the big surprise is- that a trainer that is a BNT and charges a fortune is not the necessary assurance that you will learn how to ride. Rid yourself of all the preconceived notions about DQ-stardom and what is needed as far as earthly items..and go back to buying a couple of essential books- study them and get real about if you really want to pursue this direction.

It is a long hard road. Some start early and learn their basics so easily that it doesn't seem so hard to them- and they are truly in FEI level when they are in their early 20's. They can then ride that stuff. Others start as adults and it takes double the effort and persistence and savvy to navigate around on a budget and make the most of it.
Rule number one: don't show unless you're ready. If you get lo 60's- go back to the drawing board.
Especially in the top notch shows that you have been going to. There is a better way to operate on a budget and learn the ropes and save your $$ for the time when you KNOW that you can RULE and then go to the top shows. Noone has done it in one year...noone that I know or ever have heard of. It takes years to get there...and it's best to spend your $$ on videotaping your lessons , digesting them and truly spending the time to LEARN the details...before you think about buying that tophat!

Be humble- love the sport- it will come but you have to have patience and persistence.

Good Luck!

YoungFilly
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:16 PM
:)

Samrdr1
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:20 PM
HAHAHA.

A frustrated wannabe DQ ??

Fire the trainer-Fire the instructor.

Throw some more money at the "problem".

Buy all new tack-all new outfit.

Horse was probably ruined by trainer.

Better get brand spanking new one (only from Europe of course)

Tom N

Dalfan
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:21 PM
This is where my fan club chimes in and can't give any useful info except on how pissed they are that they haven't a done thing with their lives except harp on how I am living my life.

You have a consistent habit of ignoring useful advice - remember the "Gigi's done" thread. And your life (such as we know it from your own posts) to me seems to full of chaos and to be lacking in common sense. Sorry.

YoungFilly
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:22 PM
:)

flshgordon
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:29 PM
Well that was mature......:rolleyes:


If you have spent almost 6 figures showing (holy crap are you sure you calculated that right? :eek: :eek: :eek: ) maybe you meant 5? I personally don't understand your question all that well? Are you looking for reassurance that you aren't getting anywhere because you aren't a "big name" on the FL show scene? I hate to tell you but that's probably not it. While there are politics in every horse sport, I think that is more of a hit or miss thing and if you've spent almost 100K showing and you aren't getting anywhere, then it's not the politics that are the problem.

If you've spent that much money and aren't getting the "success" you want, then you need to drop back down a level or two or stop showing altogether until you get some better training. Even a hack can get lucky and have a good day sometimes so if you're not even having success some of the time, it's time to revisit your abilities.

Something is wrong---fix your riding then get back to showing before you waste anymore money.

atr
Sep. 9, 2007, 11:31 PM
I guess the question is what are you expecting/hoping to achieve?

Great scores? Awards? These you'll have to ride for. If others are riding better than you, oh well. Back to the drawing board. More lessons, more sweat.

Recognition from your peers? Your picture in the GMO newsletter? Now this is where the politics comes in. And rightly so.

If that's the issue, and it's that important to you, you've really got to learn to play the game. Unless you are Isabelle Werth's doppelganger, your greatness as a rider and the wonderfulness of your horse is only going to get you so far. You've got to be out there being a face and a name. Volunteer for the GMO, scribe, schmooze, chat up the judges and officials. Be a known "Go To" person. This is how you "succeed" in any amateur persuit, be it dressage or theater (is there a difference?)

It isn't about the money you spend. Really.

slc2
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:36 AM
you're assuming you should beat a lot of people with a lot more riding lessons under their belt than you. you haven't been at this all that long.

there was a series of threads earlier addressing the level your horse had shown in europe. you might want to refer to them.

you have the seat and the forwardness appropriate and typical of a person at your stage of learning, and that means that you aren't going to always win, because other riders will be further along than you. a person has to learn to accept that when they show at the better shows. it's either that or stay at the schooling and smaller shows.

in many years i saw virtually nothing of 'who you are' and how wealthy you are making it any easier. i saw weak tests, fairly scored. we all go thru the same thing, you know, no one starts winning instantly.

what that money buys that helps success is not bling browbands and new saddles - it buys riding lessons, and very often, very appropriate, suitable horses for the rider, well chosen by a wise trainer. you DO have that - you DO have a very nice, suitable horse. now you just need to work at it over a little longer period of time.

i recall when you first started posting here, you were quite confident that you would be riding and winning at the upper levels very quickly, in big competition. you had, frankly, very unrealistic expectations and a very unrealistic timetable. maybe you're finding out now what you were told back then by just about everyone that responded....it just doesn't happen that way.

dressage judges are mostly very independent, and very knowledgeable. most of them i've met aren't from wealthy families at all, and quite a few of them aren't particularly interested in how much money other people have, in fact, quite a few of them appear to be quite disdainful of the whole 'blingy' thing as well as the weak rider on the expensive horse. years ago i was walking with a judge at a show and asked, 'what about the last bay?', an expensive and very fancy horse that did an erratic, disobedient test for an overmounted rider...he grinned....'i slaughtered it'. people like hilda gurney, linda zang, most of the really super judges i really respect, they are very independent people. they've judged for eyars, if they are still doing it, they have learned long ago to be quite impervious to things like how much money people have or how cute their horse is.

most of them have many decades of working their way up in dressage. most of them are very, very dedicated and take their job very, very seriously, and they aren't schmoozing with customers when they judge and giving them unfairly high marks. judging isn't something you take up to get wealthy, or to be popular, especially not to be popular...at least in part because at some point someone who is not winning is going to accuse the judge of bias. judging is not something a person does to become popular.

there is the exceptional case from time to time, but there are many more people claiming it happens than what realistically is going on. i used to listen to people claim it and then make a point of watching their tests. the problem was that they didn't understand how weak their performance really was, and if they ever read the judge's sheet, they denied every single thing they read on it.

~Freedom~
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:53 AM
Yeah. This is where my fan club chimes in and can't give any useful info except on how pissed they are that they haven't a done thing with their lives except harp on how I am living my life.

That "severely malnourished mare" is doing good today, thanks a lot. :)

I have done it and on a very limited budget.


Success=HARD work.

merrygoround
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:59 AM
I cannot help but agree with Sabine. Time and training are so important.

Another point, buying a horse trained to PSG, or higher, does not mean you have purchased a PSG horse. It is quite common for the European trained horses to be trained in the necessary movements, but that does not mean that they are confirmed in them. :no:

It takes an educated rider to continue their education.

I can think of more than one person who has spent more than you, and never gotten into the BNT category or even "famous for their riding" club. :cry:

Bogey2
Sep. 10, 2007, 07:06 AM
There are a lot of very talented riders out there who can tell you what it takes to get to FEI... blood, sweat and NO tears.
If you give up this easily then you will not make it. You can't BUY that level without being a really good rider. You are laying blame all over the place but taking your own riding to taske. Get ONE trainer and stick with them, and it does not have to be a BNT. Sometimes they are too busy to committ what it takes to one student.
I have watched a young rider with a talented horse work her ass off to figure out how to show him successfully. There is a big difference in her ability a year later! She is now looking like a dressage rider and kicking butt! She worked with one great trainer and was pushed hard...she stood up to the challenge!

Lancaster9
Sep. 10, 2007, 07:13 AM
Very simply, if competetive dressage isn't making you happy then do something else! You clearly have enough disposable income that you shouldn't waste time on something that doesn't do it for you. I mostly agree with the other posters, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and make two kinda controversial points. These aren't about YoungFilly particularly, more about competetive dressage in general, as the OP was about.

1) pssst, don't tell anyone.... dressage IS sometimes political. It's a subjective sport! Just like figure skating or gymnastics it has it's share of bias. Not bias as in favouritism but bias as in the kind that comes with subjective judging. Many ULRs and judges and trainers have commented on the fact that certain pairs will be given the benefit of the doubt on an off day if the judges know them better. Even at the lower levels, you will very occasionally experience this sort of thing. But that is in no way an excuse for anyone's scoring abilities. This is something that might impact you once in a blue moon during your show career, not consistently over one season. It doesn't hurt though to recognize dressage for the subjective game it is... I don't personally know of any dressage riders who choose this sport for it's competetive value. I'm sure they're out there but the vast majority do seem to get satisfaction from the journey they experience with their horse. Ribbons and medals are kind of irrelevant for a lot of us.

2) Here's where I type quickly then duck-and-cover: Spending in the upper regions of five figures on dressage is beyond extravagant. (Unless you've just bought a horse, or if you're a pro earning a good chunk of that back). Do people really spend this much owning and competing a single horse? I hope board is included in that, but even so....! I realize that my soapbox here is a rickety one, as we live in a place where everyone can earn as much as they like and spend it however they wish... but I think it's fair to say that there are more conscientious ways to dispose of one's surplus income and money can't buy aptitude or ability.

Fire away. ;)

AnotherRound
Sep. 10, 2007, 08:49 AM
Maybe the lesson you have learned is that money doesn't buy ability. Or aptitude. Or, apparently, personality.

Whatever the things you just want, few can be purchased. Most you have to work for. If you aren't winning, then you aren't working long enough or hard enough.

Work harder.

YoungFilly
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:26 AM
:)

sing
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:30 AM
Alot of us have been in the position of wondering why we are doing this. Alot of us have an SO wondering that right along with us.

Dressage puts you where you are at, and can be very discouraging. The hard part is finding the place where you are unhappy enough with your current skill level to want to improve, while being happy enough with it to have the motivation to stick with it.

If you are someone with abundant disposable income, it can be very refreshing to want something that you cannot buy in the same nano second you form the urge to possess it.

Ja Da Dee
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:31 AM
if you think money is what makes a winner, I believe you should look for a horse sport that is really really really political, then you can help to ensure your wins by putting full page advertizements in the magazines and hiring the "right" trainer. maybe try Saddlebreds (I am not saying there is no skill involved, but that there are more politics involved).

JSwan
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:33 AM
Maybe you can't ride.

Money doesn't buy talent.


I am working hard. I have been taking lessons extrememly consistantly since I purchased the horse. I have had a regular instructor the whole time.

It really is just getting so expensive, and when I go up to the board at horse shows its very frustrating to see scores that do not reflect how much time and effort I have put into it.

There is a part of me that wants to just drop the whole sport all together. I have spent a good long while and a lot of money to not feel happy. I also think that I am dreading regionals. I have gone to way to many shows this year, I think I am burned out.

slc2
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:36 AM
boy sometimes one wants to just go upside of your head. one would just feel so much better.

to an extent, this sort of 'I WANNA GO HOME' stuff is very, very common just before regionals. this is when just about everyone who rides dressage and has a prayer of going, really start getting tense and afraid that they won't do well. many people react just as you do, by saying they're tired and want to go home. it's just another way of trying to avoid the uncertainty of the regionals - one may do very well or one may get the gold star for showing up.

WHO CARES? if you don't do well there, SO WHAT! it's a great experience. you get to see lots of nice horses and lots of very good riding. and if you DON'T go, how are you going to learn how to show regionally? you can bet, you have to learn to show regionally, before yoiu can go one to show at more demanding levels.

no one but YOU is going to be all upset if you don't win. everyone else will be saying, 'hey, good job, tell us all about it! was it fun? how did your friends do?'

you have unrealistic expectations. you had them when you first came to the bb and you STILL have them.

what you call 'a long time' isn't a long time at all. at all.

you are very, very lucky, which you can't seem to recognize, as you have enough money to buy a nicely trained horse and get some decent lessons, which a lot of people can't do. you ARE, in fact, making good progress. thee are thine own worst enemy i fear.

PaddyUK
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:36 AM
Maybe the lesson you have learned is that money doesn't buy ability. Or aptitude. Or, apparently, personality.

Whatever the things you just want, few can be purchased. Most you have to work for. If you aren't winning, then you aren't working long enough or hard enough.

Work harder.

Work Harder is the only advice.

£s or $s without dedication, training, appitude and damned hard work will not buy you a place on a team or at the higher levels.

I am from the UK. 3rd Level Horse.

In the UK riders are graded as well as horses so the likes of Carl Hester etc cannot ride in 2nd, 3rd level but their "pupils" do.

On horses trained by Carl, Spencer, Pammy, Richard Davison etc. In the same way that I cannot compete at lower levels or unaffilliated.

I am an everyday amateur rider.

I work hard, I am fortunate to have a husband who funds my dressage and loves both horses.

But, the work is down to me.

If I get a poor mark, it's down to me.

If I decide to not to ride and let up on my training it's down to me.

If I ignore my trainers advice, it's down to me.

I don't have huge amounts of money - and even if I did, I would never expect to buy my way into a level where the eyes of the FEI were upon me. In my dreams!!!!!

Here in the UK, the emphasis is on training, progressing, improving correctly.

Sabine - if you are the same Sabine as on SU, then you have trained with Carl and Spencer then I am sure you can also speak for the UK system.

Money might buy you a good horse, a fab box (I go to BE comps in my 20 year old lorry and park next to Patsy Bartrams immaculate lorry and think nought of it).

It's 2.30 in the PM here in the UK, I have popped in for a drink and a sandwich, in a hours time, I'll be back out, either doing the yard or riding one or the other.

I compete on a shoestring compared to many people and I have to say, your post has really hacked me off!

Keep your money in your purse "or pocket book" and work for the result you want.

It is far more satisfying.

On that note, I shall crawl back under my stone.

Paddy

Dalfan
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:38 AM
YF; Did you really think if you bought a horse trained to PSG you would be able to show at that level straight out of the box when it appears you are a first level rider?

YoungFilly
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:42 AM
:)

KimPeterson
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:44 AM
People spend a fortune, and a lifetime learning dressage :) I don't think you can put a price on success per dollar spent :) as you could buy a GP horse spend a ton and still never be at the top of the sport rankings. Given the cost of lessons, tack, ect.. you have to show because you love the training aspect and want to track your personal progress winning is nice but I think achieving perfection is the goal, which can take more than one lifetime. Plus given the subjective nature scoring of the sport, having a brilliant horse doesn't hurt. I have ridden since I could stand, and have to say that if my scores reflected the time and money spent on riding to this point I would be getting straight 80's and also jumping for the Olympic team by now :) (which obviously isn't the case)

slc2
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:48 AM
i suppose you want to compare yourself to someone who makes 5,800 dollars a year driving a school bus, and sleeps in a trailer their husband put together from spare parts, at shows, and rides an off the track thoroughbred they bought for 800 dollars and trained themselves? of COURSE it's expensive. and you chose to spend the money on it. i also know that you can show for far less if you put your mind to it.

:no: i hope your pity party is about over.

sing
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:51 AM
The lack of money can be a huge buffer between you and reality-it can act as the be all end all of excuses.
I can say I suck because I don't have the money for the BNT, for the trip to europe to buy the high-dollar horse, for the indoor arena with high tech footing, for the Hermes saddle, the elkskin breeches, the air-conditioned trailer with living quarters to get me out of the godforsaken hell-hole I am living in to a place where they ride "real dressage."

Of course I suck, how could I not?

But take the money out of it, and all those excuses have to go away, and you are left with the fact that you suck BECAUSE YOU SUCK.

It is quite awful really, if you stop for one minute and think about it.

ps read a bit of advice recently "walk a mile in someone else's boots before you critisize them, that way you are a mile away from them, and you have their boots."

monstrpony
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:55 AM
I'm leaving for the day, but I just wanted to add, I am NOT rich. This is a huge amount of money to be spending on training and showing. I just wanted to throw that out there because I can see people reacting to the money. It has been expensive.


This from the person who considers Gucci handbags (or whatever it was) throw-away?

Just because you've been able to do what you have so far, you are far wealthier that most of us, far wealthier (or else a lot more in debt ;)). And much of what you say here implies that you expect the money spent to buy the results you want.

With horses, it just doesn't work that way. Perhaps you would be happier in another endeavour. Perhaps you should spend the money sponsoring a rider with a track record of success, so you can have the success vicariously. Or, if you're determined to stay in this game, I think it's clear you need to spend less $$ on showing and more on training. The showing will always be there, it will just be more satisfying when you're adequately prepared to produce the results that you crave.

Janet
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:00 AM
It really is just getting so expensive, and when I go up to the board at horse shows its very frustrating to see scores that do not reflect how much time and effort I have put into it. Since when were scores supposed to "reflect the amount of time and effort"? They are supposed to reflect the QUALITY OF THE PERFORMANCE.

Yes, it takes time and effort to produce the performance, but it is the performance being judged, not the time and effort.

okggo
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:02 AM
Well...I'm guessing at this time you are training for a goal, but can you also take time to just enjoy your horse? Go for a long trail ride, maybe go to a small hunter pace, trailer to a national park....?

I had the benefit of de-souring a really nice 4th level Hanovarian at one point. The owner constantly grilled the horse in the arena and I don't know if it was mare and/or rider but their performance was getting worse rather than better. Her trainer suggested getting somebody to take her mare out to try and get her mind back. I was the lucky receipient. I took her trail riding, jumping, and took her to a Novice event (her first ever) which we won. Her ring/dressage work was cut back and she started to improve and not dread her training so much.

Just a thought. I've never been to the levels you and some of your commenters are at, but as a practical horse person, maybe you need to re-evaluate your goals and remember why you are riding in the first place? Try to get the joy back in the sport.

Erika
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:04 AM
I'm leaving for the day, but I just wanted to add, I am NOT rich. This is a huge amount of money to be spending on training and showing. I just wanted to throw that out there because I can see people reacting to the money. It has been expensive.

Then don't show. No one is FORCING you to show. It's your choice. You can ride with whomever you want and don't have to show. Showing is not automatically part of "riding" dressage.

Everyone's view of what level of income they have to earn to qualify as "rich" is different. In someone else's eyes, they might view you as rich. You do not view yourself as rich - plain and simple, let's agree to disagree.

If you have felt that you have spent too much money on showing with poor results, then do what other posters' have suggested: stay home and show less. One would assume that by taking the time lost due to showing (preparing for the show, traveling to and from the grounds, unpacking after the show, etc.) and apply that to your riding at home, your level of riding will improve by leaps and bounds. Time away from the show scene is not time wasted.

Remember, dressage is a journey. Enjoy the trip.

Erika

BarbB
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:20 AM
If you are just venting, fine, we all need to vent.
If you really are looking for feedback then you need to answer some of the questions posed here by several different posters.
What defines success for you? What exactly are you not achieving?
Where do you think you should be at this point?
Why do YOU think you are not there? (beside politics)
What are you spending that amount of money on?
Not to get to personal about your money but you did throw it out there.
Subtract the price of the horse and upkeep for said horse.
Are you spending the money on instruction with the RIGHT instructor?
If you are working with an instructor that you personally don't click with you are wasting money. Regardless of whether it is a BNT or a backyard trainer...you have to be communicatiing and problem solving, have a plan and be making progress....or go shopping for someone new.
Are you running off to every BNT clinic? THAT can be confusing and set you way back. Audit them all...ride with a few select that you know can help you with your weaknesses.
Are you running all over showing all the time? STOP. Get your act together, have a plan that breeds success, do it a step at a time.


Lay out some more information.....or just say that you were just venting. :winkgrin:

EqTrainer
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:21 AM
Define success?

ToN Farm
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:23 AM
Someone always has to come in last, even at the Olympics. Someone will always be a better rider or have a better horse. Only you can decide whether riding and showing is worth the dollars and effort you put into it.

Money does not always buy success in the show, but let us not deny that it helps. YF may have a nice horse, but the horses on the Florida competition circuit are some of the best in the country. There are lots AA's out there buying six figure horses.

akor
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:25 AM
I'm probably going to get into trouble posting on this thread, I almost feel like it's a bit of a club of some sort, but my reasons are well-intentioned.

Here's where I'm coming from: I grew up in the "bigger" US dressage scene. I was a snot-nosed kid blessed with excellent balance in my butt and kind hands and the lack of common sense to prevent me from riding certain horses. Since I was a kid and as low as dog doodie, it gave me a invisiblility, almost, as I sat and watch and listened and kept the grey horse from rolling (this is pre-cowboy magic;) and slept in the stall and heard the morning talk. I "got the bugs out" of FEI level beasts before their riders got on for tests more times than I can count.

I saw SO many "rich" (and sorry, if you can spend six figures on dressage in one year and not be homeless, you are "rich" in my book - rich is relative, but still...) women that just never seemed to "get it" - the "get it" that unless they are the small percent with natural ability, they can't overcome the years it takes to get to the upper levels of dressage just by paying money. Hard work doesn't always work, either, at least that I saw, unless they are willing to ride many different horses of varying ability. Riding the schoolmaster over and over doesn't do anything but wreck the schoomaster. It's great you have him to "shine" on, but sometimes that's not how to learn to ride.

I saw this over and over and over and over and over again. From the little time (you seem to think 100K+ in expenses is "littel - to the big time, as in millions), the money part only carried them so far. It fell apart very fast. And, it was apparent to everyone. A horse scoring 7-8 started scoring 6, 7, or 5s even. The movements were done, but not well. The rider "piaffed" but not well, etc.

And, to top it off, no one wanted to say the emporer had no clothes. And, the rider didn't want to hear it. They took more lessons and more lessons and showed more and it just got worse.

It does seem "easier" in some other disciplines - hunter for example, I have seen many "average" riders do well with a great horse and the trainer tuning it up before the class, etc. You have to be able to jump, but if you have a good smooth horse with always gets good spots, that becomes easier, too.

I really agree with the poster that if you want money to correlate with success, you may want another discipline. Or, go down levels. If you know of others who paid their way there, it may be they have more "innate" talent and/or they are spending a lot of hourse on the lunge on a blind appoloosa that makes them ride. They aren't going to tell you that, but it may be that way. It's the good and bad of horses. I do think that buying a REALLY really good 2nd/3rd horse might help you "win" second and third level. Buying 4th+ to win lower level dressage doesn't work well, IMO, unless you are a great rider. The horse is often just beyond that stuff. Heck, I think that once they confirmed third, it's hard to go back.

I posted this because many many of those woman were some of the nicest people I will know. They weren't pompous or rude or snotty or anything (even though honestly they could come across that way if you were from working class/farming stock like I was), they just had access to funds and wanted to ride upper level dressage and have fun and win or place well a time or 2. They wanted respect from other riders and their friends. They really wanted the same thing that I want from my horses.

So, I don't know you, I don't follow your posts, and I don't want to tick off everyone else here, but I do wish you the best and that you have a catharis moment sometime soon and that your dollars are channelled in the direction that leads you where you want to go.

flshgordon
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:27 AM
I am working hard. I have been taking lessons extrememly consistantly since I purchased the horse. I have had a regular instructor the whole time.

It really is just getting so expensive, and when I go up to the board at horse shows its very frustrating to see scores that do not reflect how much time and effort I have put into it.

There is a part of me that wants to just drop the whole sport all together. I have spent a good long while and a lot of money to not feel happy. I also think that I am dreading regionals. I have gone to way to many shows this year, I think I am burned out.

I hate to be blunt, but not everyone can learn to do dressage (UL or otherwise) well. Perhaps you are one of those people....

Saying you are dreading regionals is a cop out. You qualified.....so either suck it up and ride your best or quit. If you are training as hard as you say with good people (and it sounds like from others your trainers are good) then maybe it's just time to say "I've gone as far as I can go" with this horse. Perhaps another horse would work better for you or perhaps you are just at the level you will never get past. Where's the shame in that? Try something different if you are so frustrated.

But I have to echo what someone else said....Dressage scores will NEVER relate to how much time and effort you put in. They relate to the accuracy and beauty of each specific movement. If you practice something 1000 times and still suck at it, you're not going to get a "sympathy 8" from the judges. They can only judge what they see at any given moment.

***edited to add, Akor said exactly what I'm thinking but more eloquently. You can't buy riding ability. You can train and you can practice, but you can't buy natural ability. Some people will hit their threshold at 1st level, some at 4th and some can do anything. Not everyone is cut out to be an UL rider.

Helen of NC
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:39 AM
Goodness knows, I must be running in the wrong circles, but "6 figures" of disposable income is "rich" in my book. For perspective, try taking a break from competition if it makes you so unhappy, and volunteer just a small amount of your time with a therapeutic riding program. If you want to see what true joy really is, step outside of your world for an hour or so each week, and work with kids and adults who treasure every moment spent around and aboard horses.

http://www.narha.org/Centers/FindCenter2.asp

Valentina_32926
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:43 AM
Having read many of your old posts I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon and slam you for wanting to do well. It does takes YEARS to learn to ride correctly. What works at the lower levels (you can get 70%+) does NOT necessairly work at the upper levels, so it does take time to work your way up the levels.

I believe it is simply a matter of time. You were riding your 1 mare at lower levels and having a hard time, she got sick. So you purchased a healthy, well trained mare and started learning. It really has not been "that long" since you were riding at First level - now you're riding 4th/PSG? Of course you're not going to score that well - YOU are still learning..

Sounds like you're a bit burnt out. We all go thru that... so take some time off and have your trainer or another GOOD rider ride your horse for about 1 month while you rest and relax (stay in shape in the gym or by playing sports). By the time you get back in the saddle you'll be ready.

One thing that has helped me is that I have brought my horse up the levels. That means I have to learn how to correct evasions and mistakes both I and the horse make. It also means my progress has been a LOT slower but I am more than 'just a rider', I am a trainer in the sense that I learn how to correct mistakes - sometimes before they're visible from the ground. Perhaps you should go back down a level or two and stay there until you can obtain the scores to show you're more than ready to move up to the nest level.

Hopefully this information will give you something to think about. And when you start back in riding try taking some lessons with OTHER trainers, tell them what you've been taught and see if they agree or suggest something different that can help you ride more effectively.

Backstage
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:46 AM
Define success?

I rarely post on the dressage board, even though I often lurk.

People are being very direct, the bottomline is that your scores will represent the ride not the money, time or effort that was expended to get there. Sometimes the two are correlated, but it certainly isn't a foregone conclusion.

That said, I think EqTrainer hit on something important. You need to define what success is for you. What would you be happy with? What are the standards by which you are measuring your progress and/or success? Then, you need to determine whether they are reasonable and whether they are depend on too many external factors, rather than the thing you can actually reasonably control.

arena run
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:46 AM
I'm probably going to get into trouble posting on this thread, I almost feel like it's a bit of a club of some sort, but my reasons are well-intentioned.

Here's where I'm coming from: I grew up in the "bigger" US dressage scene. I was a snot-nosed kid blessed with excellent balance in my butt and kind hands and the lack of common sense to prevent me from riding certain horses. Since I was a kid and as low as dog doodie, it gave me a invisiblility, almost, as I sat and watch and listened and kept the grey horse from rolling (this is pre-cowboy magic;) and slept in the stall and heard the morning talk. I "got the bugs out" of FEI level beasts before their riders got on for tests more times than I can count.

I saw SO many "rich" (and sorry, if you can spend six figures on dressage in one year and not be homeless, you are "rich" in my book - rich is relative, but still...) women that just never seemed to "get it" - the "get it" that unless they are the small percent with natural ability, they can't overcome the years it takes to get to the upper levels of dressage just by paying money. Hard work doesn't always work, either, at least that I saw, unless they are willing to ride many different horses of varying ability. Riding the schoolmaster over and over doesn't do anything but wreck the schoomaster. It's great you have him to "shine" on, but sometimes that's not how to learn to ride.

I saw this over and over and over and over and over again. From the little time (you seem to think 100K+ in expenses is "littel - to the big time, as in millions), the money part only carried them so far. It fell apart very fast. And, it was apparent to everyone. A horse scoring 7-8 started scoring 6, 7, or 5s even. The movements were done, but not well. The rider "piaffed" but not well, etc.

And, to top it off, no one wanted to say the emporer had no clothes. And, the rider didn't want to hear it. They took more lessons and more lessons and showed more and it just got worse.

It does seem "easier" in some other disciplines - hunter for example, I have seen many "average" riders do well with a great horse and the trainer tuning it up before the class, etc. You have to be able to jump, but if you have a good smooth horse with always gets good spots, that becomes easier, too.

I really agree with the poster that if you want money to correlate with success, you may want another discipline. Or, go down levels. If you know of others who paid their way there, it may be they have more "innate" talent and/or they are spending a lot of hourse on the lunge on a blind appoloosa that makes them ride. They aren't going to tell you that, but it may be that way. It's the good and bad of horses. I do think that buying a REALLY really good 2nd/3rd horse might help you "win" second and third level. Buying 4th+ to win lower level dressage doesn't work well, IMO, unless you are a great rider. The horse is often just beyond that stuff. Heck, I think that once they confirmed third, it's hard to go back.

I posted this because many many of those woman were some of the nicest people I will know. They weren't pompous or rude or snotty or anything (even though honestly they could come across that way if you were from working class/farming stock like I was), they just had access to funds and wanted to ride upper level dressage and have fun and win or place well a time or 2. They wanted respect from other riders and their friends. They really wanted the same thing that I want from my horses.

So, I don't know you, I don't follow your posts, and I don't want to tick off everyone else here, but I do wish you the best and that you have a catharis moment sometime soon and that your dollars are channelled in the direction that leads you where you want to go.


Thoroughly enjyed reading your post... Great 'take' on the whole situation... sylvia

claire
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:54 AM
akor, Great post. :yes:

YoungFilly, The people on this BB have taken the time to give you some great advice. Including some very "Been There Done That" BNR's :)

There seems to be a big hole in your training (2nd and 3rd is where the "holes" become apparent both for horse and rider)

Maybe go back to the beginning: Spend the BNT clinic $$$/recognized show$$$ on intensive longe line lessons to develop an independent seat/aids?

Do you have (one) trainer? Or do you trainer/clinic hop?

Have you asked your trainer for a truthful assessment? With the upfront understanding that you are not going to remove your business and want a
blunt,honest answer and suggestions. :confused:

The ball is in your court! :)






I saw SO many "rich" (and sorry, if you can spend six figures on dressage in one year and not be homeless, you are "rich" in my book - rich is relative, but still...) women that just never seemed to "get it" - the "get it" that unless they are the small percent with natural ability, they can't overcome the years it takes to get to the upper levels of dressage just by paying money. Hard work doesn't always work, either, at least that I saw, unless they are willing to ride many different horses of varying ability. Riding the schoolmaster over and over doesn't do anything but wreck the schoomaster. It's great you have him to "shine" on, but sometimes that's not how to learn to ride.

I saw this over and over and over and over and over again. From the little time (you seem to think 100K+ in expenses is "littel - to the big time, as in millions), the money part only carried them so far. It fell apart very fast. And, it was apparent to everyone. A horse scoring 7-8 started scoring 6, 7, or 5s even. The movements were done, but not well. The rider "piaffed" but not well, etc.

And, to top it off, no one wanted to say the emporer had no clothes. And, the rider didn't want to hear it. They took more lessons and more lessons and showed more and it just got worse.

Kimberlee
Sep. 10, 2007, 10:59 AM
Little voice... (My husband and I won't even see the upper 5 figures for income this year or next year most likely.)

I muck out stalls to have a chance to ride and train on nice horses (after working a full-time job), as I do not have any money that can be budgeted for lessons (bills have to be paid first). I braid at shows to save up for a horse, and am going to be borrowing money from my "horse fund" so that I can ride with Hans Biss in a clinic this fall. I am "hoping" to be able to show some next year. I will be braiding and working my a$$ off to do be able to do that. I will be volunteering at those shows, because I learned while eventing that you get more education helping the TD set up the dressage rings, or scribing, than you could ever pay for.

And in all that, I try very hard to stay focused on dancing with every horse I ride every time. Of course I want to do really well when I get to a show, but I am not going to go to a show with unrealistic expectations either.

Just to point out that I think that dressage (as with any animal endeavor) understanding the animal is sometimes more important than your level of training (or amont of money spent).

Bogey2
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:18 AM
YF, you really are discrediting the people who do make it. A lot of them scrapped their way to the top.
You sound like a pissy 16 year-old

see u at x
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:21 AM
Someone always has to come in last, even at the Olympics. Someone will always be a better rider or have a better horse. Only you can decide whether riding and showing is worth the dollars and effort you put into it.


This is pretty much what I live by. Somedays, that person coming in last will be me, but I live for the days when it isn't.

Riding should be a humbling experience. When you are truly passionate and in love with the sport and your horse, none of the b.s. or the money matters. You find ways to budget and to improve the quality of yourself and your horse. I wish that I even MADE 6 figures a year! Currently, I'm working 2 jobs just to afford regular lessons with an instructor who may not be a BNT, but who has taught me so much in 2 months. What I have learned in that period of time is astonishing, and my instructor is absolutely thrilled with my progress. (It's a huge compliment when your instructor tells you that YOU make THEM look good... :)) Obviously, I still have a looooooong way to go, but I revel in the little steps forward. I am thrilled at even the IDEA of possibly doing TL with my mare next year and I have learned that when it comes to my riding and how I progress, there is no timeline - my horse and I have all the time in the world.

You are SO blessed to be able to even ride...just enjoy that! I'm with everyone else who says train more and show less. Videotape your lessons. Do this for the next year or so and THEN go out there and kick a$$ if you really feel like you can do so. Honestly, not to be mean, but putting in solid rides will prove you worthy of the respect that it sounds like you think you deserve right off the bat just because you spent the big bucks this year.

Auventera Two
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:32 AM
It seemed to me that YF was saying she spared no expense in making sure her horse had the best training, the best tack, the best care, the best bloodlines, etc. in order to help ensure her success in the upper levels. I didn't take it to mean she wanted to buy success, or that she wants to appear like a rich snob.

Too many times on this board newbies have been bashed for trying to do dressage with an inappropriate mount, in an inappropriate saddle with an inappropriate trainer, and so forth. It seemed to me that YF was only trying to point out that she's tried hard to buy all the appropriate things to set herself up with the best chance for success at the upper levels. I've seen slc tell people over and over again not to have champaigne tastes on a beer budget. ;) If you're going to play with the big dogs, you better be a big dog yourself. If you're really serious about this sport, then you spend the money on the appropriate horse, tack, and training, and you do it. I guarantee you that all of the greats of the dressage world don't scrimp on their training, their tack, and their horses. I bet you they buy the very best they can find.

I think we all know that if you want to compete at FEI on the Florida circuit, you better have your act together. I'm not sure how many mixed breed horses ridden in a 200 dollar Wintec saddle and trained by a 20 dollar an hour "all round" english instructuctor could be a serious reckoning force on that circuit. Sure, I bet some are out there, but I believe YF was trying to make the point that she's trying to take this seriously with the proper horse, the proper big dollar trainer, and the proper equipment, regardless of the cost.

If she didn't make this point right off the bat, I bet she would have gotten 3 pages of lecture on how you can't be successful on that circuit unless you are REALLY serious about it. And being REALLY serious about it means spending the funds necessary to meet all the requirements.

And honestly - I would personally never spend that kind of money on a horse or my riding hobby - but YF did, and that's her perogative. If she imported a European warmblood, I could see where a person would easily and rapidly approach that 6 figure mark simply on the horse alone! And then by the time you figure all the full training board, show fees, custom saddle and bridle, etc. it is very easy to approach that 6 figure mark.

I think the focus of this thread is in the wrong place. I think the focus should be on constructive remarks to help her find a trainer that better suits her needs, or brainstorming on why the horse may not be performing as desired.

So far I haven't seen one person ask exactly WHAT is happening with the horse that she is netting her bad scores. Hmmmm.

rileyt
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:39 AM
YF - I don't know you, I've never seen you ride... so I'm just making some assumptions based on what you and others have said.

I think people are being direct with you -- its not the politics. You're scoring poorly because your rides aren't good enough.

But it may not be that you are "lousy" and will never be a good rider. I will say this: If you were basically a 1st level rider a year or two ago, and then bought a PSG horse and think that in a matter of 2 years are going to be competing at 4th/PSG, I think your goals are unrealistic for all but the most dedicated, most natural rider.

Schoolmasters can teach you lots... but not if you don't spend adequate time at the beginning getting the "basics" (through, supple, connected) down. It sounds like either you (or your trainer) gave you the mistaken impression that if you buy a PSG horse, you can BE a PSG rider in a matter of a year or so. If it was/is your trainer who is pushing you to show at these levels that are beyond your skill right now... have the perspective to push back and get back to basics.

You and your horse will be much happier.

Tucked_Away
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:40 AM
I'm leaving for the day, but I just wanted to add, I am NOT rich.

YoungFilly--you are spending more money on dressage--a luxury--than many of us earn in a year. Or two. Or more.

There is nothing wrong with having a lot of money to go around. Lucky you, or hard-working you, or whatever. But please take some ownership of who and what you are. If you're spending near six figures on a hobby--if you're in a position where you have the option of spending near six figures on a hobby--you are not "NOT rich".

I'm sorry you're frustrated. Welcome to the club; we all spend some time there. Which means that lots of us have sympathy to offer and suggestions for dealing with and getting past it. But do you really expect sympathy and help from people when you're saying this kind of thing about them?


...can't give any useful info except on how pissed they are that they haven't a done thing with their lives...

I'm doing plenty with my life, thanks. I have plenty that I'm happy with and proud of. How 'bout you?

NOMIOMI1
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:47 AM
I think the Op gets it ! Op you must be very good to have come this far! I think what the mass is trying to say (watered down) is that you have to be exceptional to go beyond where you are. I think getting a little pissed is just what we need when we have to push for more.

Much luck to you!

slc2
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:47 AM
if this place is a 'club' that can't listen to observations like that, it's a club in a whole h*** of a lot of trouble, :lol::lol:

Tucked_Away
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:49 AM
if this place is a 'club' that can't listen to observations like that, it's a club in a whole h*** of a lot of trouble, :lol::lol:

Hell, I'm still trying to convince the bouncer to let me in!

Mozart
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:51 AM
Decide what defines "success" for you. Ask your trainer why it isn't happening. Then listen very very closely.
Read the comments on your tests. See how they correlate with what you trainer is telling you day in and day out. Connect the dots, make a plan and stick with it.

Auventera Two
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:54 AM
I am working hard. I have been taking lessons extrememly consistantly since I purchased the horse. I have had a regular instructor the whole time.

It really is just getting so expensive, and when I go up to the board at horse shows its very frustrating to see scores that do not reflect how much time and effort I have put into it.

There is a part of me that wants to just drop the whole sport all together. I have spent a good long while and a lot of money to not feel happy. I also think that I am dreading regionals. I have gone to way to many shows this year, I think I am burned out.

This post really makes me sad because I too quit dressage for another discipline. I never was even remotely closely to the level you are. I was just putzing on my Appendix horse, thinking I was having fun. But it just got to where it wasn't fun. I dreaded riding because it meant we had to work on something else that I didn't want to work on.

I now do endurance riding, and am so much happier! I'm having the time of my life! I enjoy every minute I spend on my horse out on the trail. It's challenging, and rewarding.

I gave up the ring for good when I took a long hard look at things and decided I didn't want to be 80 years old and realize I'd never really had fun.

It might be worth just giving yourself and your mare a little break and trying something else. Try a few jumping lessons, or take her out on a trail ride with some friends. See if anything else trips your trigger. I don't think there's any harm in doing other things too.

Good luck to you, and remember that horses should be FUN and exhilerating! :D I bet ya the AERC would love to have an imported european warmblood competing in endurance! Hehehe! *hint hint!*

Kimberlee
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:59 AM
YF has yet to say what type of results she is looking for. What scores she wants to receive, or what. How can we give "helpful" advice if all she has posted is about how disillusioned she is.

Even when she said she is taking "regular Lessons", does that mean once a week, twice a week? Clinicing with a BNT once a month or once a year? It did not seem that she felt there was stuff for her to improve on before she should be receiving better scores. How do you give her advice when you don't know what direction she is currently pointed?

Just my $0.02 (or I think I am up to $0.04)

Eq3nStar
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:02 PM
I am working hard. I have been taking lessons extrememly consistantly since I purchased the horse. I have had a regular instructor the whole time.

It really is just getting so expensive, and when I go up to the board at horse shows its very frustrating to see scores that do not reflect how much time and effort I have put into it.

There is a part of me that wants to just drop the whole sport all together. I have spent a good long while and a lot of money to not feel happy. I also think that I am dreading regionals. I have gone to way to many shows this year, I think I am burned out.

All I gotta say is many of us work hard- and sometime working hard doesn't mean you are working correctly. Bottom line- dressage IS hard. Sounds like you need to rethink your goals and what you expect from the sport. And maybe get some counseling- whether you are happy or not shouldn't be contingent on how you do at shows.

Sabovee
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:06 PM
1) Do you know how many people would just like to be able to ride a PSG horse or a 4th level test?

2)Money doesn't buy talent.

3)If you give up, send me your nice expensive horse, it would be special to have a horse that came from Europe and one that I didn't have to start from the bottom up.


You sound just like those spoiled little rich kids you see at every show.

If you aren't scoring to your expectations it's probably time to go home, go back to basics and fix the problem.

slc2
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:09 PM
bouncer he**, tucked away, you just as much in here as anyone else is. post away, and don't be put off if not everyone agrees with you.

this is a forum and nothing more, and the purpose is to give people a place to speak their mind, no matter who disagrees with them. you are entitled to come in here and say whatever is on your mind.

no, i don't think the focus needs to be on brainstorming new 'exercises' to do with the horse, there is nothing wrong with the horse. or on 'YOU SUCK'.

because in fact, 'you don't suck'.

people don't take forever to excell at dressage because they suck - that's absurd and it's a stupid remark. it's so utterly stupid i can't even think of a response to it.

and to rip on yf's 'personality' - that's absurd, not just absurd, but totally ignorant (comments about her not developing a personality are utterly childish and a very low blow - where do you get off?).

people with all kinds of personalities have done well in dressage. dignified, overly emotional, calm, flamboyant, reserved, sophisticated and just about as plain as you can get. people who grit their teeth and silently work, and people who have hysterics and strut and fret their moment on the stage and THEN work. they have all done well at dressage - really well. the only thing that they REALLY need is to simply be willing to work their asses off for quite a long time, and be willing to accept instruction, far more of it than they really believe they need, or than most horsepeople will tell them they need.

robert dover was a flamboyant person who could burst into tears at a show - another who shall remain nameless screamed at her help at shows and acted like a total beeeyotch - you'd never see that battleaxe shed a tear.

another does all her own grooming and works her horses with an intensity and focus few people can match, others are quite casual about how they set their goals and structure their schooling. another is such a shy, private person that despite many wins she has little publicity - one is throwing up before her championship class at GP, another has a double cheeseburger, falls asleep an hour before her gp championship class and has to gallop his horse, laughing all the way down to the ring and waving to pals, to make it in time to his test.

the rich person buys a trained horse and shows at as many shows as he wants; the poor person buys a very average, untrained horse, shows at a few shows a year, and guess who gets to the top first?

frankly, the one who struggles to train his own horse is more likely to get there first. because he isn't just doing what he's told - he UNDERSTANDS the training, WHY it's done the way it is, and he REMEMBERS it, because he does it wrong so many times and sees what happens when you do it wrong.

money doesn't buy this sport. it doesn't buy a damned thing in this sport.

i know SO many 'grand prix beginners' showing at upper levels on expensive horses, and that's just what they are beginners on nice horses. they are STILL beginners. i know people who have been grand prix beginners for 30 years. and i don't dislike THEM, either, because every damned one of them has worked pretty hard, even doing what they do, to do that.

dressage brings together the rich, the poor, the shy, the flamboyant, the meticulous, the creative, the plodder, the educated, the not educated, the professional, the non professional, and says to all of them - you will be changed by this, and you will work your ass off, and you will learn over and over the different ways in which you have to work your ass off, and you will progress.

which is one of the reasons i like it so much.

you just haven't figured out what it takes to do what you want to do.

and every time someone tries to tell you, you get mad and tell the people who agreed with you that they are great, the other people who didn't sympathize with you are mean, and leave.

flshgordon
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:24 PM
people don't take forever to excell at dressage because they suck - that's absurd and it's a stupid remark. it's so utterly stupid i can't even think of a response to it.............

people with all kinds of personalities have done well in dressage. dignified, overly emotional, calm, flamboyant, reserved, sophisticated and just about as plain as you can get. people who grit their teeth and silently work, and people who have hysterics and strut and fret their moment on the stage and THEN work. they have all done well at dressage - really well. the only thing that they REALLY need is to simply be willing to work their asses off for quite a long time, and be willing to accept instruction, far more of it than they really believe they need, or than most horsepeople will tell them they need.



umm.....WRONG......just because someone works their ass off for 'quite a long time' doesn't mean they WILL be good. Just because someone learns to accept instruction doesn't mean they WILL be good. To borrow your remark, that's "so utterly stupid i can't even think of a response to it."

Not everyone can be really good, not everyone can be at the top of their sport and some people NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY TRY and practice and sweat and cry and feel pain will never be really good riders!!! And to say otherwise is just flat ridiculous. I'm not saying YF can't be good....I don't know her or her horse from Anky & Salinero but I'm saying it IS a possibility.

Of course there are people who take forever to excel at dressage because they suck! Big deal....they may be the next women's basketball star, they might be the next nobel prize winner, but they might NEVER be a good dressage rider!

I would also venture to say that to get into the upper echelons of ANY sport, someone has to have some innate natural talent to go along with the will and persistence to improve.

MyReality
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:33 PM
No comment on the "money spent" aspect.

But boy do I know plenty of people who bought a great horse and do not know what to do with it. Too many people like that.

What it comes down to, they over evaluate their riding abilities. They are not bad riders, but they are not good enough for the horse. Then they are surrounded by people who has success with fancy horses.

I would like to see these riders, who actually have pretty good basics, to bring up some average and even problematic horses to a solid 3rd. Then ride as a working student for a good master, train and work more horses, good/bad/green/experienced you name it. Then they are ready for a PSG schoolmaster.

AllWeatherGal
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:34 PM
It's pricey out west, too. A BNT recently noted that it seems to be competitive in Northern California (and we're still not up to speed with the southerners) people (Ammies) are buying six-figure horses. No, it doesn't make them a six-figure rider, but for a reasonably competent rider, it goes a long way.

Another trainer told me that all I needed to BE an upper-level rider was the right upper-level horse to help me get there. That's right. I could ride/show 4th level with the "right horse". And no, she wasn't trying to sell me one, but that was her assessment of my riding potential.

LOTS of people hearing that from her would be taking out a loan right now ... I'm a bit more fiscally conservative, have a nice young horse I don't want to sell ... and I guess, am content refining basics with DPH (darling professor horse) and enjoying the little successes.

Sorry, my point WAS that spending six figures to be competitive and compete in dressage-rich areas is not uncommon. It's also not the free ticket to winning.

Dapple Dawn Farm
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:36 PM
I'm always curious about the quote "six figures'. Is that 100,000 or 999,999...a bit of a difference there.

AllWeatherGal
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:44 PM
I'm always curious about the quote "six figures'. Is that 100,000 or 999,999...a bit of a difference there.

In my story, it's something less than $200,000.

You're right ... BIG spaces there!

EqLuvr
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:47 PM
boy sometimes one wants to just go upside of your head. one would just feel so much better.

to an extent, this sort of 'I WANNA GO HOME' stuff is very, very common just before regionals. this is when just about everyone who rides dressage and has a prayer of going, really start getting tense and afraid that they won't do well. many people react just as you do, by saying they're tired and want to go home. it's just another way of trying to avoid the uncertainty of the regionals - one may do very well or one may get the gold star for showing up.

WHO CARES? if you don't do well there, SO WHAT! it's a great experience. you get to see lots of nice horses and lots of very good riding. and if you DON'T go, how are you going to learn how to show regionally? you can bet, you have to learn to show regionally, before yoiu can go one to show at more demanding levels.

no one but YOU is going to be all upset if you don't win. everyone else will be saying, 'hey, good job, tell us all about it! was it fun? how did your friends do?'

you have unrealistic expectations. you had them when you first came to the bb and you STILL have them.

what you call 'a long time' isn't a long time at all. at all.

you are very, very lucky, which you can't seem to recognize, as you have enough money to buy a nicely trained horse and get some decent lessons, which a lot of people can't do. you ARE, in fact, making good progress. thee are thine own worst enemy i fear.

A lot of wisdom in this post. You have been given a lot - why don't you start enjoying it?

I don't know why you come to this tough BB with your sappy, bragging complaints. "i've spent SIX FIGURES" blah blah blah What do you think is going to happen? COTH people are going to shoot you down. Is it self-loathing or narcissism that brings you here?

Maybe you just need to start loving yourself more and enjoying what you are blessed with. seriously!!!

EqLuvr
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:52 PM
Goodness knows, I must be running in the wrong circles, but "6 figures" of disposable income is "rich" in my book. For perspective, try taking a break from competition if it makes you so unhappy, and volunteer just a small amount of your time with a therapeutic riding program. If you want to see what true joy really is, step outside of your world for an hour or so each week, and work with kids and adults who treasure every moment spent around and aboard horses.

http://www.narha.org/Centers/FindCenter2.asp

Exactly.

EqTrainer
Sep. 10, 2007, 12:55 PM
I was going to wait for YF to define what success means to her, but I'm going to add something first.

Horses in general, and dressage particularly, are the great equalizers.

It is true, that you can indeed spend all the money necessary to learn, and then spend a lot of money working on learning, and still not be competitively successful, if being competitively successful means winning.

More later. I have to go trim some horses.

Tucked_Away
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:01 PM
bouncer he**, tucked away, you just as much in here as anyone else is. post away, and don't be put off if not everyone agrees with you.

this is a forum and nothing more, and the purpose is to give people a place to speak their mind, no matter who disagrees with them. you are entitled to come in here and say whatever is on your mind.

Oh, yikes! I'm sorry, SLC. I wasn't put off by someone not agreeing with me--I thought you were getting the joke.

"Welcome to the club" is an expression. It doesn't actually mean that the thing (whatever that thing happens to be) is exclusive. It means that you (the general you, the person being addressed) have company. So my "welcome to the club" in response to YF's "I'm frustrated" was just me saying, "Yes, I hear you, I've been there, too. This is not an unusual thing." It does nnnnnnot mean "dressage is an exclusive club, and now you are a member." Not even a little bit.

Sorry again. I wouldn't have cracked the second joke if I'd realized my post had been misread.

I can't tell if the rest of that post is directed at me or not. I hope not, because I didn't rip on anyone's personality, and I certainly didn't accuse anyone of not having one. I made a crack about manners that I thought better of a moment later and edited out of the post; if that has you riled, SLC, then please note that I agree with you that it was uncalled for--that's why I took it out. If it's what's left? I suggested that she'd might get more and more sympathetic help if she didn't insult the people she was talking to. That's all.

I'm a pretty straightforward communicator. My posts mean what they say. There's no sneaky subtext coming from this corner.

sing
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:15 PM
Everyone sucks at dressage, that is the beauty of it, you get one thing down, get a split second to celebrate the moment, and you move on to try and master the next thing. You're always stumbling towards grace.

Clearly, there are alot of folks on this BB that believe that a lot of money equals alot of happiness. YF seems to believe this too, and is struggling to come to grips with the fact that it is not true.

There is a message here for all of us who think that maybe we'll just put off being happy until we have that saddle, or that horse or that trainer.

Grintle Sunshine
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:17 PM
No comment on the "money spent" aspect.

But boy do I know plenty of people who bought a great horse and do not know what to do with it. Too many people like that.

What it comes down to, they over evaluate their riding abilities. They are not bad riders, but they are not good enough for the horse. Then they are surrounded by people who has success with fancy horses.

I would like to see these riders, who actually have pretty good basics, to bring up some average and even problematic horses to a solid 3rd. Then ride as a working student for a good master, train and work more horses, good/bad/green/experienced you name it. Then they are ready for a PSG schoolmaster.


This is very good advice. YF, I don't know what your routine is, but do you have access to riding more horses than just your own? This will help you so much.

Coreene
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:22 PM
It really is just getting so expensive, and when I go up to the board at horse shows its very frustrating to see scores that do not reflect how much time and effort I have put into it.Scores are not supposed to reflect time and effort. They are a reflection of the test you rode. Time for a reality check, perhaps?

flshgordon
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:23 PM
I'm always curious about the quote "six figures'. Is that 100,000 or 999,999...a bit of a difference there.


since the OP used the term "almost 6 figures" I took that to mean she's somewhere in the 90K (90,000) range since 100,000 would be where 6 figures starts.

Holy crap if it's more than that! :eek:

GreekDressageQueen
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:23 PM
I am going to try and stick with the OP's question although I agree with several of the comments already posted.

First, dressage (and every horse sport to some extent) is very political and money does talk. Yes, there are always exceptions, but that doesn't negate the underlying truth of the matter. Catherine Haddad in a recent interview with Dressage Today discussed how long and difficult it was for her to "get noticed" by the German judges. I don't think anyone would argue how talented of a rider or how hard this woman worked just to get a chance in the big league. I am sure the same sort of thing happens in the U.S. especially in the highly competitive regions such as Florida and California. I used to ride with a BNT from California and she used to tell me that most of the horses winning in other regions wouldn't have a chance in CA. Is it because the horses are that much better? The riders that much better? More money? Who knows, but I am sure "politics" plays a part. Maybe the judges in FL perceive that you are "trying to buy your way to the top" and they judge you more harshly - I don't know - I am just speculating.

As for spending 6 figures - I have several friends who have spent too much money pursuing their dream on a horse that really wasn't very suitable for that level or the rider just wasn't talented enough to make it. However, I also know several H/J riders spend that much easily in a year just because showing is THAT expensive - but that is a whole other argument. I don't know you YF so I am not sure what the story is, but there is one thing that can be said. If you are spending this much money and time and you are unhappy then reevaluate what you want. Maybe you should stop showing and just ride, take lessons, and enjoy your talented horse. Riding should be fun whatever you do.

Carol O
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:34 PM
YF, I admit I have not read all the posts to your thread, but I do wonder if you are working with a trainer who is familiar with how the Europeans ride and train? I have found quite a few differences in how a lot of trainers here do things, as compared to over there. Before I get flamed I will add that this is a generalization, but I have seen differences, such as a lot more round and forward from the Europeans. If your horse is not as round and forward as he could be perhaps this may be working against you. Just a thought. You are in Florida? My trainer will be in Fla. for the winter. She is Dutch, trained in Holland, and has worked with some of the top traioners here too. PM me if you want her info please.

Dressage Art
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:35 PM
YF,

When you say 6 figures – do you mean more than one hundred thousand dollars per show year per horse? You are talking to many people who live on 30K per year and support their horses on that amount. In that case, responses can be predictable. I’d like to ask you to concentrate on the useful and positive answers instead of replying to the snarky hurtful ones.

Would highly recommend you to audit or to participate in the USDF “L” training judges program. It gives a huge inside in to what the judges are looking for. I’m positive it will help with your showing.

What is success is for you and your hubby? Can you buy a GP schoolmaster and show him PSG?

I don’t know the FL show seen, but in here, we have many different riders with different backgrounds and horses. Most of them don’t have 100% of success or respect all the time. There always be a show that can be scored low for various reasons. There always be somebody who is ready to dispute any success to nothing with hurtful remarks like yes, she is showing GP, but she bought her scores, or she still doesn’t know how to ride, or she is abusive, or her training makes horses lame, or yes, but she is a biach, or any monkey can ride GP on that horse, try doing that on OTTB, or with out lessons, or with limited funds and so on… If you are trying to prove to somebody something – it’s a loosing battle.

Nobody cares about your life as much as you do. If you don’t want to go to regionals, don’t go. Set yourself goals that will make YOU happy. Do you know what are they?

FancyFree
Sep. 10, 2007, 01:38 PM
1) Do you know how many people would just like to be able to ride a PSG horse or a 4th level test?

2)Money doesn't buy talent.

3)If you give up, send me your nice expensive horse, it would be special to have a horse that came from Europe and one that I didn't have to start from the bottom up.


You sound just like those spoiled little rich kids you see at every show.

If you aren't scoring to your expectations it's probably time to go home, go back to basics and fix the problem.

Money certainly does not buy talent. It makes my black little heart so happy when I see this type of bragging person not doing well, no matter how much money they spend. They seem to think because they put X amount of dollars into their sport that they should automatically be getting the scores. Thank God it doesn't work that way. You may be able to afford a fantastically expensive horse but that doesn't mean you can ride it. Ability is the great equalizer. You either have it don't. You can not buy it.


I don't know why you come to this tough BB with your sappy, bragging complaints. "i've spent SIX FIGURES" blah blah blah What do you think is going to happen? COTH people are going to shoot you down. Is it self-loathing or narcissism that brings you here?

I don't get the impression that YF actually even loves the sport. Her motives for competition are solely to inspire envy in others. That's the impression I get from her posts.

Sakura
Sep. 10, 2007, 02:05 PM
Take a year or two off and just train. Instead of blowing your $$$ on show fees use that money to take one or two extra lessons /week. Go back a Level or two while you are at it (even if you have to ride another horse). Really, really put your nose to the grindstone... be able to ride your tests in your sleep. BTW... if you have another $90+K to spend I have a mortgage that I could use some help with :D.

Dale Area 1
Sep. 10, 2007, 02:33 PM
I think I figured out the 6 figures? Owner horses for almost 15 years, I think I figured out how YF got to her number. Mind you, this is the first time I ever tried to figure out how much I spent on horses and owning them. They way I look at it, I enjoy it, I save on other items (no vacations, no eating at restaurants and I just installed an outside clothes line -- that should save another $40 a month).

Live in the Northeast, and always boarded our horses out till 2003, when we finally bought our farm. So for 10 years, boarding at $600 a month per horse (average rate for 10 years) , 2 horses, $1,200 a month, comes to -- $120,000. - Six figures? I am not going to add the lessons, shows, training, vets, shoes, trailer, truck, maintence, etc. etc. Sorry -- I do it because I enjoy it and I love it.

So, I assume YF, added the cost of her horse, cost the trip to buy the horse, cost to ship her horse, boarding fees, vet, massage, chiro, shoes, truck, trailer, show clothes, saddles, bridles, hotels, restaurants, parties, etc. etc. If she added that all up, let's say for 3-5 years, well, she may have spent close to 6 figures...

If you really want it, you will find away to work for it and get it, without spending a ton of money. I never understand how someone feels that riding is an investment, payback, etc.

Just this weekend, I saw a young trainer that was starting out at 1st level a few years ago at a clinic. Nice horse, but was told he would not go higher than 2-3rd level, but she bought him anyway. She worked hard, very hard, did the training herself, took an occasional lesson with a BNT, worked, worked, worked. Well, that no higher than 3rd level horse is at I1 and doing great. Again, this girl does not have money, family with money, etc. But, she did everything, from stall mucking, teaching, house sitting, living in a tack room in a barn. BTW -- YF used to ride and train with her.

Agree with FancyFree -- I don't get the impression that YF actually even loves the sport. Her motives for competition are solely to inspire envy in others. That's the impression I get from her posts.

twnkltoz
Sep. 10, 2007, 02:40 PM
YF, how long have you been doing dressage? What are you getting marked down on?

eurofoal
Sep. 10, 2007, 03:07 PM
Keep at it, it doesn't come easily. You've got a nice horse, hopefully get some nice instruction, maybe lay off the show circuit for a while, now that you've got it out of your system for now. Work on getting the rides down pat.

We all get discouraged at some time or another, this is a sport that is not for the faint of heart or the faint of pocketbook. There's prob no one on this board that hasn't spent in the 6 figures on our horses, depending on how much time you give to tally up the totals.

If you'd like, though, post a video link and we'll have a gander at it!

EqTrainer
Sep. 10, 2007, 03:27 PM
Ok, I'm back. With blisters.

I don't think taking more lessons or learning to show better is the answer. Why keep doing what is not working for you?

When I got to the stage she is at, I actually stopped taking lessons and started reading. And reading. And reading. And then I took my riding apart, late at night, in an indoor after I was done w/my day job. I learned to love the process of learning to ride better.

That was the last time I have ever been jaded with this sport.

Maybe YF needs more introspection at a slower pace rather than more of the same that is not getting her where she wants to go. Spending more money is not the answer IMO.

eurofoal
Sep. 10, 2007, 03:31 PM
awwwhh, Eq Trainer, you put my kindness quote on your signature! THANKS!

gr8fulrider
Sep. 10, 2007, 03:36 PM
My ex-husband's dad hired a Dodgers batting coach to help my ex with Little League when he was a kid, but he didn't make the MLB or even the traveling team.

That's why it's a sport. Some people do well, some come in second, or third, or last. It's a sport.

You have chosen one of the most difficult sports in this world to master. And you've decided to compete in the epicenter of serious, talented people. Be ready for it to take several years of hard work, and possibly still not be at the top-- but better than where you started.

My former dressage trainer started her dressage career with a three-year-old Trakehner sales project that the breeder didn't like because he was missing part of an ear and he was hot. She got bucked off daily for about two years, was told by a BNT that the horse would never get past 2d level, kept working, sweating, believing, and the horse is at GP (at age 17!!!) and has done decently in FL in the winter. She did all of this while running a big barn and raising a daughter, and without a ton of money. Getting this little guy to GP had its bumps and took over a decade, but it happened!! She believed and worked and believed and took lessons and worked and worked and worked and they became partners. And now this woman can ride anything.

Cheap horse no one wanted at the beginning.

Bloody-minded rider who never gave up.

FEI success story.

Never heard of a judge marking her down, not even for the dreaded ear blemish or for riding (gasp) a Trakehner, or for not being a local celebrity.

And for every story like that, there are 100 that didn't turn out that way. Because it's a tough sport, and not everyone is as good as she is, and not every snot-nosed bucker is actually an FEI horse waiting to blossom.

Now I've moved over to eventing after a couple of years away, and we mostly have OTTBs. It's humbling to teach a horse who's trained to run flat out that we need to balance (even in canter!!! :eek::eek:). But you get on today and ride, and you get on tomorrow and ride a little better, and your little racehorse grows a topline and some balance. And it's a wonderful feeling. If you can embrace the progress-- in your own riding, in your horse's training, whatever-- then it all becomes more fun.

Dressage is, in my opinion, a phenomenally difficult sport. The timing, the feel, the seat.... all on these big-moving horses.... that's riding.

When I would mess up, my trainer (the one with the funny-eared Trakehner) used to say THAT'S WHY IT'S A SPORT!!

It's a sport. You can't buy a ribbon, and if you've spent six figures without getting one, it would be hard to claim that politics and money are what's standing in your way. Most of us here know people who've done very well without European horses or six figures to spend, and while balancing work, family, and riding.

Be happy you have dressage in your life. Spend some money on carrots, and feed them to your horse and pet her nose. Remember why you started riding. Was it to learn? Have a new challenge? Because you like the animals? To win at something? If the last, then be ready for years of effort. Or for failure, because lots of people have the same goal, and not everyone can win.

It's a sport.

EqTrainer
Sep. 10, 2007, 03:44 PM
awwwhh, Eq Trainer, you put my kindness quote on your signature! THANKS!

Oh no.. THANK YOU. That day I was PMS'ing and had a sinus infection and everyone was telling someone to tell some little girl to piss off and leave her ponies alone... I was so emotional when I read your words I starting crying :lol: it is true.. .kindness is FREE :)

katarine
Sep. 10, 2007, 04:56 PM
Your scores reflect your ride, not your pocketbook.

I don't recall any joyous threads of yours about how much you love riding, just riding. Do they exist?

It looks to me like you want to buy some fame. Dressage is a tough damn way to get famous, and you're getting famous on COTH for all the wrong reasons, YF.

monstrpony
Sep. 10, 2007, 05:05 PM
Maybe YF needs more introspection at a slower pace

Umm, not sure introspection is an option here ... :rolleyes:

Sandy M
Sep. 10, 2007, 05:11 PM
I still want to know exactly WHAT isn't working out to her satisfaction. If we knew, then the comments could be more objective, rather than guessing if the OP IS having political issues, or her goals are VERY high, or praising/casting aspersions on her riding ability?

Still, I must say it certainly is another world. Not rich? Well, maybe not Saudi oil sheik rich, but SIX FIGURES on training and showing?????? I don't even MAKE six figures or anywhere NEAR it, but I've managed to place/win nationally several years from training through 2nd level on my under $5 K (in 1990) hunter converted to dressage at about age 8 or 9 domestic color breed horse. Would I even break 60% on the Florida circuit? Maybe when he was doing training/1st level. Maybe. Otherwise, probably not. Out of my league. But I set goals I thought WERE attainable and eventually attained them (except for my bronze - arthritis got to my horse before we could do that.) Sigh. I read extensively. I cliniced when I had a little money set aside. I took once weekly lessons. When i think what we might have accomplished had I had six figured to devote to my hobby.....

So now I have a 3 year old, very VERY green (90 days under saddle). He dumped me the other week, which set us back a bit. I'm also supporting my retiree. Purchase price on baby also under 5 figures - I couldn't afford any more (but he is a VERY nice mover). He's not likely to make FEI levels, but you never know. ...... It makes it a bit hard to be sympathetic with the OP's "frustration" when I am a single woman, making a mid five-figure salary, renting, trying to support two horses.....Hey, how LUCKY to be able to spend that kind of cash on a hobby that one SHOULD love if you're devoting that kind of time and cash to it. What is NOT to enjoy, whether you're outscoring Carol Lavelle, or just breaking 60% at PSG?

YoungFilly
Sep. 10, 2007, 05:15 PM
:)

Cielo Azure
Sep. 10, 2007, 05:33 PM
mmmm

Costs can easily reach 6K. I don't know why anyone would even question those costs (as you didn't explain what you included in that 6K package).

An example:
Lessons: ($55. X 2/wk X 52wks) = $5700 per year!

If you got a trainer for your horse, the costs would be much higher than that.

Now, the thing is...

If you aren't having fun, it is time to find something else.
If you are having fun, decide what level you can afford and work from there. Then you can decide where to make the cuts in expenses and decide what stays.

Learning and working towards being more competent in dressage, to some extent, is about the journey (although, i will admit I am a goal oriented person and goals are what have allowed me have many of my successes in life). So, the journal and the goal need to dove-tail into each other. That intersection is where you will find the most fun, given what I have gleaned through your writings.

Also, work toward training your own horse. Frankly, I think too many people rely on others (instructors, trainers, clinicians, etc) because they are afraid and don't think they can. It is partially through the training, that one progresses into being a better "rider." That is where learning comes in too.

Ideas:
Don't go to the shows to compete. Go to learn. Watch other riders in the ring do, take blank score cards and see what you would give each rider. In you can, ask to see your friend's score cards and see how close you were.

Organize a "play" schooling show of friends. Take turns being judge, scribe and riders. Take it seriously. Try to get some more advanced riders involved. Discuss your differences in scoring/scribing/riding with each other.

I really liked the idea of getting dressage books, reading and almost memorizing them. That will give you a theorectical core of knowledge to work for you!

Start a dressage journal club of like-minded friends. Build a network to support you in your goals.

Don't show until you know you can get the scores you want. This will save big bucks on show fees.

There are a ton of non-tradition and traditional ways of learning that don't cost. Maybe it is time to think outside of the box!

Dressage Art
Sep. 10, 2007, 05:47 PM
My goals are pretty much just like everyone elses. I want to get my bronze (which I got this year), silver and gold medals. I would love to get good enough where I can become an instructor myself.

Do you think that might be a misconception? Not everybody wants what you stated above. Do you think that there is a chance that your goals might be tad too ambitious? Setting realistic goals makes a huge difference in being satisfied with the outcome.

There are a few bitter dressage folks around, disappointed with their progress and angry on the whole USDF and FEI dressage system. I would highly recommend you to read one of my favorite books of Jane Savoie “It's Not Just about the Ribbons: It's about Enriching Riding and Life with Innovative Tools and Winning Strategies”: http://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-Just-about-Ribbons/dp/1570762554/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b/103-3180539-9603035

Open your heart to the possibility that you will not make your goals and try to find out how you and your SO will deal with that. The bitterness of disappointment of “not making it” to the certain level in dressage: either it’s a humble breed awards, or national ranking with-in the level, or GP, or national team, or even an international standings – this bitterness seeps out of those horseman in daily conversations. Soon, people start to refer to them as “oh, isn’t she the one who has strong international aspirations, but failed to make a team and can’t stop bitching about that?” When in truth she shouldn’t be bitter, but happy that she had enough talent to get to that certain level.

I think it’s a glass half full or half empty perception. People who have their glass half empty will always find something or somebody to blame.

Dalfan
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:09 PM
YF; It would be a mistake to equate your happiness and goodness as a person with how good a rider you percieve yourself to be and in other peoples eyes.

I've known people who do this and it leads to dissatisfaction and misery.

flshgordon
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:10 PM
mmmm

Costs can easily reach 6K. I don't know why anyone would even question those costs (as you didn't explain what you included in that 6K package).

An example:
Lessons: ($55. X 2/wk X 52wks) = $5700 per year!



The OP said six FIGURES, not 6K.....as in she's talking almost ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS.....I can't even come up with a way to spend that much on showing in a year unless it includes buying the horse.

The more I think about that the more it pisses me off that she thinks she can buy her way into a bronze-silver-gold medal or whatever. :rolleyes:

egontoast
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:16 PM
I haven't read the whole thread but I agree with those who are telling you that you are going about this the wrong way. You can't buy success but with money AND HARD WORK you can do a lot. if you are lucky enough to be able to afford fantastic horses and top notch training, make it work for you.

Spend at least a year or three in regular lessons with ONE great trainer. Move north and it will be cheaper. Forget the Florida circuit and the name dropping. Get humble and go about learning as much as possible from the best person you can find. Stop posting your every thought on the internet and get busy learning to ride your nice horse. You are in too much of a hurry. If you don't have the maturity and humility to do this , you won't make it.

dalpal
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:49 PM
I know I sure pour a great deal of my income into horses....I saw a great bumper sticker on an old Ford truck the other day..."If I didn't own a horse, this would be a Ferrari" :lol:

Everyone has different income levels....honestly, if I won the power ball lottery, I cant say, I wouldn't be splurging big bucks into riding, because I am certainly addicted to it.

I've been at low points in my riding career. Had one instructor just tell me that basically I sucked and didn't show me how to "unsuck" :lol: That was about a year and a half ago and I seriously contemplated giving it up, tired of crying all the way home.

Now I have both horses within in driving distance, I have a good trainer who gives me attainable goals every week, I work on them. My husband will come take pictures every few months and I compare them. I got very excited about the ones he took today..FINALLY, my leg is starting to hang and not suck up into the saddle.

As I told my trainer, what really helped supplement my lessons was watching the Schumacher 99 dressage symposium tapes that were aired on RFD. Watching Courtney King, Chris Hickey and others ride over and over again and listening to Schumacher's comments about what he wanted them to do with their hips, hands, legs....really started to pull everything together for me.

Am I an upper level rider...no. Do I hope one day to ride a PSG test...absolutley.

I will tell you this (something to chew on with future horses)...I prefer to ride the underdog. I either buy horses that others have "tossed in the trash" as they move on to their next imported 50K mount or ones that are an off breed. If I go show and win...great, if not..no big deal, we weren't supposed to win anyway. ;) When you start spending huge bucks on horses, along with it comes pressure to win. "I've spent all this money and now I'm not winning".....with a horse that's a less investment, personally, I think it's more fun. I know of one horse that a client bought on the advice of a former trainer. Horse was winning everything in Europe.....horse is ring sour and is the devil to even get in a show ring...lots of money/lots of frustration.

For me, dressage has evolved to the importance of every day physical therapy for my horses...we'll do a show here and there (I hope), but it is no longer my focus....harmony with my horses has become my primary focus.

Good luck....I would just scale it down a notch or two...go back and figure out why you started riding to begin with...in otherwise, what do you enjoy about riding?? Sounds like competition isn't necessarily it.

Sandy M
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:51 PM
mmmm

Costs can easily reach 6K. I don't know why anyone would even question those costs (as you didn't explain what you included in that 6K package).

An example:
Lessons: ($55. X 2/wk X 52wks) = $5700 per year!



Unless I am misinterpreting - the OP said SIX FIGURES, not $6,000 - i.e., close to $100,000.

The first year I showed in dressage extensively, I spent around $8K (including board and training). That was in 1993. I think a lot of us who do show may spend that much, but not SIX FIGURES/

Thomas_1
Sep. 10, 2007, 06:55 PM
For the last year I have been competing a horse at 2nd and 3rd level. My horse (bought in Europe) was trained to PSG, and we are just getting to 4th/PSG this year.. You need to appreciate that a fantastic rider can turn an average horse to a good competition horse. Conversely a top winning horse is just an average horse with an average rider.


My main problem is the politics of the sport. It really does seem that in real competitive dressage, in FL, that you really need soooo much money. I'm not clear if its the lack of money, the politics, the fact your horse isn't performing for you or the fact you just don't know why you're not winning that's bothering you.


I am embarrassed to admit what we spent in the last year on dressage, its getting close to 6 figures. I haven't really gotten the successes to really warrant the cost, and my SO (as am I) are getting extremely frustrated. You never recover the cost of competing unless you've got a high value stallion with exceptional blood lines and you are able to charge premium fee. If you're spending more than $100,000 (£50,000) and that includes the cost of the horse, upkeep, competition fees and travelling expenses with a support team going up and down the country to the prestigious national events etc etc then I'd say that's par for the course.

Is this normal doing exclusively recognized shows in FL? Am I just wasting my money? The pay off is not working for me :( Its truly beginning to seem like a lot of wasted money and time and persistance.. I am a decent rider. I am just so frustrated. :( Unless you are a brilliant rider with a string of brilliant horses that you own to ride and can be highly credible and charge for the likes of clinics etc, you'll never get it to pay off.


I am having fantasies of getting a barrel horse. :) At least that way I have a clock. The same is true with any equine sport. You have to make massive financial and personal investment and have talent and luck in high measure to make money.

petitefilly
Sep. 10, 2007, 07:50 PM
What successes are you referring to? We all know there is not much prize money to be had.

Are you thinking you are good enough to beat some pros? What kind of recognition/accolades are you looking for?

Are you expecting people to see you ride and make a bee-line to your door to offer you their horses to ride?

What/who are you riding for??

Have to say: yeah- What the heck do you want? Success is a very thin line. Professionals show to campaign horses for people who pay them. Success is a way of living for them. Is this what you want more people to give you horses to ride and pay you for it?

Adult amateurs rarely get the attention of big bucko people, they want *NAMES* to ride their horses. It is a progression of Professional, professionally trained students under this Professional, new Professionals breaking free of first Professsional, and then Amateurs who own a horse and try to compete with all this money. You are low on the totem pole for attracting people with money to support you.

All you can gain from the money spent IMHO is Personal Gain, Self Worth, and a Feeling of Success. Is this the kind of validation you are seeking?

A Horse of Course
Sep. 10, 2007, 08:21 PM
I've never posted on one of YF's threads, (that I can remember anyhow.)

And I wasn't going to post on this one either until I kept seeing, "I'm burnt out from all of this showing and I think I need a break."

This is off topic from your concerns, but I just wanted to point out that if you are burnt out from all of the showing, I wonder how your horse feels???
I bet she could use a break too.

And that shouldn't be a side note, because your horse should come before your own show aspirations, and IMO before you realize you yourself are burnt out.

To say a word on the original post, I strongly feel that you need to change your mindset. As someone else said, I think that is a terrible misconception to think that most people competing in dressage have their focus on winning the medals and the scores. I think having that overpower your thoughts gets in the way of really becoming a better rider.

Winning the medals has never even crossed my mind!! My aspirations have everything to do with learning and communicating with horses!!!! I love to learn from the horses and from as many great riders and trainers as I can watch, listen too, read, and take lessons from. The journey of learning more and more and applying it to my riding is the most incredible and exciting aspect to this, to me at least!

IMO, if your goals of showing and winning medals is greater than loving to LEARN how to train and ride like the pros than HOW is that going to help you learn to train and ride like the pros.

If you want to be able to ride and train at that level than I would look at what process the pros went through to accomplish those skills. Some of that process usually always involves riding TONS of horses at all different levels, breeds, temperments, conformation etc., and figuring out how to better those horses with the help of watching, listening too, taking lessons from etc., great trainers/riders.
And really THINKING about what is happening underneath them, experimenting, and learning from the experimenting. (I totally skipped the large process of mastering one's balance and seat, as one needs quite a decent seat before any of the above will be successful.) There is a lot more that could be added to that, but I'm sick of writing, and others can elaborate if they would like.

To the point, the best riders are trainers not just riders, knowing how to train and not just how to ride the trained is the best combination to be an awesome rider. And I think to get there, you have to love the process and understand that it always is a process, the pros I admire the most never want that process to end, and don't have some tangible goal that gives closure to their success, if you love the process the success is neverending.

If you aren't willing to change your your mindset I see you being in this same place for a long time.

GreekDressageQueen
Sep. 10, 2007, 08:40 PM
To say a word on the original post, I strongly feel that you need to change your mindset. As someone else said, I think that is a terrible misconception to think that most people competing in dressage have their focus on winning the medals and the scores. I think having that overpower your thoughts gets in the way of really becoming a better rider.

Okay - I totally agree that this shouldn't be the only reason why we do what we do, but come on! Who are you kidding? I don't know anyone actively showing that isn't doing it for a medal or a score or for something. Why bother showing (and spending $$$$$) if you aren't chasing a goal or dream of some kind? There is nothing wrong with focusing on winning medals and getting scores as long as it isn't at the expense of the horse or your own mental sanity, which includes being delusional about whether you or the horse should actually be chasing such dreams anyway. ;)

A Horse of Course
Sep. 10, 2007, 08:51 PM
But what I said was, having the medals and the winning OVERPOWER your thoughts, can get in the way of actually becoming a better rider.
I didn't say that it's bad to have those be a part of your aspirations, not at all, but having them be a part of versus all consuming is a bit different.

I hope I don't have to dissect my entire post, I don't think it was that hard to understand what I was saying, maybe I'm wrong.

Carol Ames
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:42 PM
The only person I know of who spent $$:eek: to get to winning at FEI level; spent hours each day riding without stirrups:yes: on schoolmasters her BNT had found for her while hHE :oshowed her iimports

Cowgirl
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:47 PM
No matter how much you spend, you cannot alone buy talent, knowledge or a good seat. You need time for that.

And the right trainer, perhaps.

And the ability to be trained.

among other things.

YoungFilly
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:50 PM
:)

AllWeatherGal
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:52 PM
Dressage: You're always stumbling towards grace.


Beautiful!!!

dalpal
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:59 PM
Here's a question for you....not knowing which trainers you've worked with.

I've worked with BNT....many who would just tell you what the horse should like, but because many of them are naturally talented, they don't exactly know how to explain it. For example...while one trainer might tell you that you need to get your horse rounder, another one might be able to explain to you HOW to get the horse rounder.

In your lessons, are you learning about your own biomechanics or are you just learning the movements and what it's supposed to look like?

AllWeatherGal
Sep. 10, 2007, 09:59 PM
When I step back and think about it, I haven't really done that bad. My horse is not bad. Do I think I did too many shows this year? Yes. Have I put in time with good instructors? Yes. So what the hell is the problem? There really isn't one except that I have to keep getting better, and keep refining my horses response to the aids.


Uh ... where's the politics?

If your horse is upper level and you're not, you really mean keep refining your ability to create the aids.

Having said all that, from reading your various posts here, you're not someone I'd rush to lesson with. I do much better when the focus is on me :)

Pony Fixer
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:32 PM
It's easy to get focused on the scores and ribbons when you do a lot of winning initially, I think. Then as you go up levels and it gets harder, because the work is not only harder, but the judging is more exact and expecting all the previous levels plus (ie, the training scale in action).

I did a lot of winning at Tr and 1st with my young horse. A lot. And if I didn't win (against admittedly nicer horses) I still got good scores. I got regional ribbons, I got GMO year end awards, etc.

Then second level happened. And it's not so much that the holes in our training (his and mine) showed, as I think we've been very correct, but you have to perform the more difficult movements AND be through, AND not have a short neck, AND AND AND. And I thought we were ready. And I was wrong! (dang emoticons not working for me---YIKES!). Sure some of it is we were both virgins to this level, and part is that being confirmed at the mid and higher levels has a whole new meaning.

So, this year I got scores in the 50s. I did get one over 60% at 2/1, but mostly 56-59%. No one's gonna parade those around. So we stopped showing, and have been working hard on the weaknesses, reconfirming the basics, etc. I've been taking more frequent lessons (granted I have a new horse now too), and more lunge lessons. Have I been dissapointed? Sure. But disillusioned? No. It was a wake up call, and I know I just have to dig deeper. Will next season be better? Probably. But if not I know I will have to keep going back to the drawing board if we're gonna do this the right way.

I figure most dressage Olympians are far older than me (I'm late 30s), so I have like 30 more years of learning (I hope). You have to be in it for the long haul, and as others have said, define success in a meaningful way. I think, despite my scores, that I have been successful this year. I get to own and ride 2 really nice horses, and we're teaching each other stuff at every step.

Dressage Art
Sep. 10, 2007, 11:36 PM
... but come on! Who are you kidding? I don't know anyone actively showing that isn't doing it for a medal or a score or for something. Why bother showing (and spending $$$$$) if you aren't chasing a goal or dream of some kind? ;)

Hello, nice to meet you :D
It’s sad that you really don't believe that other people do show just for the fun of it, but really, we do exist ;) again, you just need to envision for a second that there might be people who have different goals than you do. Who don't care if they win or loose, who don't have a desire to be better than you are in the show ring. I'm quite a non-competitive rider. I'm glad to see people do well, I cheer for my competition and I'm capable of being happy for them if they do better than me.

It makes me sick to watch riders being pissed if they didn't get a blue ribbon - that is a skin deep show off! Who is benefiting from the blue ribbon? The rider? Their trainer? That's about it - the rest of the world stays untouched by your existence. Blue ribbons or medals will leave a slight trace and be forgotten quite soon. Not many people care if you got a blue ribbon. It's a fast experience with way too many hours involved in working to achieve it. So why not focus more on the experience rather than the end result? It’s similar to enjoying to travel - I don't expect to get medals for that, but yet I’m spending my money traveling around - same with showing my horse - it is an EXPERIENCE not the final dream of the blue ribbon that keeps me spending my $ and going to the shows.

For professionals it’s different, they do that to make more money – more awards generally means that they can charge more money for lessons, but for AAs – what’s the benefit of chasing blue ribbons? Do you really think that anybody really remembers what AAs got blue ribbons? Do you really think that anybody reads pages and pages of USDF year end awards looking for your name?

PiaffeDreams
Sep. 11, 2007, 12:04 AM
YF; It would be a mistake to equate your happiness and goodness as a person with how good a rider you percieve yourself to be and in other peoples eyes.

I've known people who do this and it leads to dissatisfaction and misery.

Not to mention that its a terrible pressure to put on your horse- measuring your daily worth by how well the rides go. He has good and bad days too- ANd absolutely no vested interest in your scores! :-) He just wants some hay, a scratch, a place to run and time for peace and quiet.

One thing I talk about with my students is having goals just for themselves (which can be hard when families/spouses/kids are involved). Many people make goals and say they WANT them when in reality they feel they NEED them to meet someone else's approval/respect/fitting-in/..... When we "NEED" something we get into survival mode just like you don't WANT air, you NEED air... "we'll die if we don't get that score." When YOU want it, you crave it... your mind wanders there, your dreams vacation there and your body works and works and works to subconsciously get you there- or as close to it as it can. Your mind sees no problem with detours. It just works out a way around them or through them as there is no success/survival or failure/death. True want puts you in 'seek' mode. You just keep seeking.

Keep hunting out your goals YF. Remember that dressage is a very very long drawn out hunt where you are very apt not to come home with any prize.... that's what the wine is for later.... drink and enjoy sharing your tales of adventure.

Eq3nStar
Sep. 11, 2007, 12:13 AM
[QUOTE=YoungFilly;2674974]Thanks to everyone with the kind words, I appreciate it. My goals are pretty much just like everyone elses. I want to get my bronze (which I got this year), silver and gold medals. I would love to get good enough where I can become an instructor myself.

Its a humbling sport to be sure. I think once regionals are over with I will be taking some time off from showing and just be more intent on training and having fun."

You don't seem to enjoy what you're doing now enough to teach- if you think showing can be frustrating... :uhoh: your goals sound like you're throwing darts and are hoping something you hit will be what you want. I think someone else suggested time and introspection- wise words. ;)

twnkltoz
Sep. 11, 2007, 12:41 AM
I love to show for showing's sake...I love the whole experience. My main goal is to not be the worst one there, but I LOVE getting ribbons!! I'm a ribbon ho, but if I don't get one I'm ok. As long as I ride as well as I'm capable of, I'm happy.

FancyFree
Sep. 11, 2007, 01:05 AM
Hello, nice to meet you :D
It’s sad that you really don't believe that other people do show just for the fun of it, but really, we do exist ;) again, you just need to envision for a second that there might be people who have different goals than you do. Who don't care if they win or loose, who don't have a desire to be better than you are in the show ring. I'm quite a non-competitive rider. I'm glad to see people do well, I cheer for my competition and I'm capable of being happy for them if they do better than me.

It makes me sick to watch riders being pissed if they didn't get a blue ribbon - that is a skin deep show off! Who is benefiting from the blue ribbon? The rider? Their trainer? That's about it - the rest of the world stays untouched by your existence. Blue ribbons or medals will leave a slight trace and be forgotten quite soon. Not many people care if you got a blue ribbon. It's a fast experience with way too many hours involved in working to achieve it. So why not focus more on the experience rather than the end result? It’s similar to enjoying to travel - I don't expect to get medals for that, but yet I’m spending my money traveling around - same with showing my horse - it is an EXPERIENCE not the final dream of the blue ribbon that keeps me spending my $ and going to the shows.

For professionals it’s different, they do that to make more money – more awards generally means that they can charge more money for lessons, but for AAs – what’s the benefit of chasing blue ribbons? Do you really think that anybody really remembers what AAs got blue ribbons? Do you really think that anybody reads pages and pages of USDF year end awards looking for your name?

What an excellent post! That's exactly how I feel. I show for myself. I'm solely concerned how my horse and I do, not how we compare against anyone else.

As for trainers, I've respected all the trainers I've had. I haven't had one that came from a ton of money and bought their success.

slc2
Sep. 11, 2007, 05:56 AM
well you all may just be so happy taking the journey and communing with your horses, but SOMEONE is pretty wound up about how they do at dressage shows - like, oh, say, about 95% of the people i see at shows....who are still talking 20 years later about how unfair the score for the free walk was on one training level test 1 back then, and how blind the judge was.

i gotta say - i think it's easy to make a post on a bulletin board about how little one cares about their scores or lack of moving up, but i just am not seeing that behavior - before, during or after the shows. people are wound up as tight at a piano string for a week before the show, they are on edge during the entire show, adn often express disappointment after with themselves, their horse, their instructor, and most of all, the judges. and when they DON'T win we get posts like 'i'm disillusioned'.

i see people CONSTANTLY doing a great many things because they are so desirous of winning - in fact i think it motivates a great percentage of what people do in dressage - changing coaches, buying new horses, changing barns....and talking and talking and talking and talking about how others ride, which i think frankly is all about people just feeling a great deal of frustration that they themselves aren't doing better and meeting their own (unrealistic) expectations. and many people chimed in that they had QUIT showing - and it sure sounds like the reason was they wanted to win and they didn't.

we have a post just this week - 'i'm so disillusioned about showing', that smacks simply of 'i want to win more'. i think a great many people try showing and can't understand why they don't, so they blame the judges and the other 'unfair' competitors with 'expensive horses'. showing is unfair, that's why i didn't win. if one wants so badly to do something and it doesn't work out, blame someone else.

and if you say you don't care really all that much, then when you don't win, it doesn't look so bad.

i dunno - is it just coincidence that so may of these posts are so happy joy joy? frankly, i think people are kidding themselves - big time. i think people care a great deal more than they care to publicly admit. i think alot of riders really DO care how they score, and are very puzzled and confused when they don't do better. i think people tend to go to shows really excited thinking how they will do so well, and come back thinking, 'what a disaster, what happened'. with half a dozen ribbons and 25 or more people in teh class, the vast majority that show are NOT going to win, they aren't even going to get a ribbon. look at the numbers. 25 in the class, a half a dozen ribbons....?

i think learning how to compete in a sport, and keep an even keel, and have reasonable yet progressive goals is a huge part of showing that people do not get - especially - learning how to compete, how to win, how to lose, how to think about competing, and how to be honest with oneself about it. and somehow, i just don't really believe that 'sportsmanship' is demonstrated by what i see alot of dressage riders doing - especially the bit***** about how everyone else rides, how much they pay for their horse, blah blah blah blah. if people could be honest about what they expect, and learn what it's realistic to expect, and then try to get those two things a little bit closer together, they would be a heck of a lot happier showing and just in general with their horses, coaches, fellow riders and judges.

Rusty Stirrup
Sep. 11, 2007, 07:46 AM
I must admit I haven't read all the posts and if someone else has posted this and has taken the heat already I'm sorry to rehash it. I'm also sorry if this sounds snarky, or harsh but I have little sympathy for someone who chooses to spend that amount of $$ on a sport and whines, yes whines, about not scoring what they think they should. Many of us have never had anywhere near that amount to spend on life, let alone a sport. If you hope to one day become a professional, take that $$ and travel to Europe or find a trainer here and invest it in an education. And today, of all days, count your blessings. Disillusioned with competitive dressage, take up dog showing.

~Freedom~
Sep. 11, 2007, 08:05 AM
Not many people care if you got a blue ribbon. It's a fast experience with way too many hours involved in working to achieve it.

Do you really think that anybody reads pages and pages of USDF year end awards looking for your name?

Agree 100%. 10-15-20 years later the young newer riders will go pfffttttt at any accomplishments you worked so hard at and spent so much money on.

You may have even been champion but it will be for absolutely nothing because it wasn't done in the last year. If ribbons was the only goal you will be sadly disappointed.

SLC is right in that it is what the main focus seems to be but she is wrong in that she is focusing only on what is NOW. She of all people should realize that. I believe SLC you said you went to a high level in dressage. Do you think anyone cares now. Nope. Not you, not me nor any other AA that accomplished good stuff in the past did anything as far as the riders showing today thinks.

If it hasn't been done in the last year it was NEVER done.

egontoast
Sep. 11, 2007, 08:21 AM
Freedom, don't believe all things people say about themselves on the internet.;)

sing
Sep. 11, 2007, 08:48 AM
Most of us also need a place where our ego can go and be competant. Most of us find this at work. Even if we don't really love our jobs, we get something out of being good at them.
If Miss Filly isn't working(????) maybe she is putting all her ego eggs into her dressage basket-and the dressage basket is no place for a lonely little ego. Why?
(All together now)
BECAUSE WE ALL SUCK AT DRESSAGE

Queen Latisha
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:21 AM
I am working hard. I have been taking lessons extrememly consistantly since I purchased the horse. I have had a regular instructor the whole time.

It really is just getting so expensive, and when I go up to the board at horse shows its very frustrating to see scores that do not reflect how much time and effort I have put into it.

There is a part of me that wants to just drop the whole sport all together. I have spent a good long while and a lot of money to not feel happy. I also think that I am dreading regionals. I have gone to way to many shows this year, I think I am burned out.

Do you want a little cheese with that whine?? I've been competing on a limited budget for years, can't even imagine spending 6, or even 5 figures on a horse.
I would love to go out and buy a "made" horse to pack me around, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
Just because you spent big $$$$ on a horse, it doesn't guarantee success.
Focus more on becoming a better rider and less on winning and scores.:)

NMK
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:26 AM
Riding is a very competitive sport. I once heard Chris Carmichael (Lance Armstrong's cycling coach) say this (I am paraphrasing) --there are usually two kinds of athletes that win--those that are naturally talented and those with a disciplined work ethic. Lance posesses both talent and discipline, which make him very, very special.

Most of us are not blessed with natural talent, so we have rely on discipline. Which means riding when we are tired, when it's dark, when it's cold and when we are discouraged. It's picking yourself up by the boots, literally, and finding a way to be better. Mostly it's by not giving up. YF--sometimes after a show or clinic I want to take up bowling. Then I take a moment, find a way to change or improve and just do it. Nike did not pick up that tag line without knowing sports.

Dig deep YF and decide.

Nancy

Sandy M
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:40 AM
I always started every show year with a goal. Yes. Wanted to "win." Wanted to achieve "x". Wanted to qualify for All Breeds. But that was the long-term aim each year. Each individual show was more like "Have I/we improved?" "Am I riding up to the best of my abilities?" "Am I still collapsing my left side?" (LOL), etc. Sure WOULD have been nice to have a high level school master, but c'est la vie. My budget doesn't allow for that. Hard to say "poor you" to someone who's budget DOES accommodate that wonderful advantage and is still not satisfied.

Last night I had a WONDERFUL ride. I was able to lead out my 3 year old who dumped me HARD three weeks ago, and thereafter would not let me remount, do a little ground work with him, some carrot stretches, work with his head (he doesn't like his ears handled), then lead him up to the mounting block and have him stand perfectly still while I got on! I then rode him for about 30 mins at the walk and trot, on a loose rein, getting him to do school figures off my seat and legs, then some more carrot stretches and a nice after-ride grooming session. He won't be going near a show ring for at least a year or more. I think along the way to that first show I will most likely endure frustration (already have!), but if only showing and winning were the object of my horse ownership/riding, I sure wouldn't be working with a 3 year old. It was a great evening.

egontoast
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:44 AM
Is your trainer blowing smoke I mean supporting you in your view that your scores are because of 'politics'?

claire
Sep. 11, 2007, 11:27 AM
Is your trainer blowing smoke I mean supporting you in your view that your scores are because of 'politics'?

YF,

About your trainer. You never mentioned what he/she says about your frustration with your scores. :confused:

And exactly what kind of scores (or is it placings) are you are frustrated with?
I would think there is a big difference in consistently getting mid-high 60's and being dissapointed in not getting the +70% scores at 3rd level that one gets at T-level.
As opposed to showing "alot" to get the few 60% scores for a bronze medal...but averaging mid-high 50%'s.

This is what confuses me. You never mention what exactly your trainer advises you. Maybe it is just me, but my trainer is the one I would go to first with my concerns about my (or my horse's) abilities and progress and what is holding me back: politics/money/talent/training holes?

The other thing is, maybe it is just my trainer (whose niche is hunters) but my trainer is VERY involved in decisions about what level one shows and when one moves up. You don't get to show at a level unless you are performing/answering the questions of that level.

So, it is not about placement, but being able to CONSISTENTLY perform at that level. For Dressage I am talking about AVERAGING at least 65%.

Just some questions I have. Maybe things are looked at differently in Dressage?

I usually don't get involved in these famous threads :winkgrin:

But, alot of people have brought up some interesting points about Dressage/Success/Moving Up/Training Holes etc. and I had some questions! :D

twnkltoz
Sep. 11, 2007, 11:27 AM
slc2 I think you're right in that a lot of people SAY they don't care about the ribbons etc when in actuality they do. In my case, I'm just so damned grateful to even be out there that I'm truly happy with whatever I get! That's the blessing of spending my whole life with barely enough money to even have horses...every single thing I get to do with mine is a reminder of just how lucky I am! Am I disappointed when I don't win a ribbon? Yes, of course. but, I'm generally so happy with how my horse tried her heart out for me that the ribbon doesn't matter.

Mozart
Sep. 11, 2007, 11:28 AM
I made that comment at a party on Saturday night but half the crowd was too young to get it. Guess I am dating myself again. Anyway, it still applies here. Dressage is hard. Good dressage is really hard. You have to love the process as well as the results or it will not be worth it.

I think your goals were too broad and too unrealistic. Your trainer should be able to help you with realistic goals. Doesn't mean a girl can't dream. Just don't confuse dreams with goals. Goals need to be broken down into specific achievable steps.

The end of the show season at our barn is goal assessment time. We are given a sheet of the shows that the barn plans to attend next year. Check off the ones you would like to do. Other side of the sheet is your goals for next season. If they are too vague (i.e. "want to do better at level one") the sheet is given back to you, too vague, try again. "I want to keep my horse "through" in his wak/trot transitions" is more like it. What tests do you want to ride and what specifically does your horse need to do, and in what way, to be able to ride those tests. (and this from a jumper coach btw).

Something to think about.

Auventera Two
Sep. 11, 2007, 11:42 AM
As someone just mentioned, I think its good to set long term goals and then label it a success when you move one step closer to that long term goal. In other words, don't set your goal at - I want to get a 72% or better on this test at that show. What happens when you don't achieve that? You failed. Don't set yourself up for failure. Set goals that are attainable and always keep the big, overall picture in mind.

This has become very important to me with bringing my current horse along from babyhood to worthwhile citizen of the horse community. It's all about setting a larger long term goal, and then smaller short term goals that move you toward the long term. That way - any step in that direction is success.

And I've found that setting little tiny goals makes you feel much more successful. For instance - I don't ever say - I want to finish this 18 mile ride in 3 hours. Instead I will say - I want to do the first 5 miles in 45 minutes with a good recovery. Then I get to the end of that 5 miles, and I set a goal for the next 5 miles. I break it down in baby steps. That way I don't have to feel like a failure if the overall end result didn't come out like I wanted. When my horse was really green, I broke the goals down even further. My main goal for today is to cross that ditch safely and sanely. And anything else good that happens beyond that was pure bonus.

slc2
Sep. 11, 2007, 12:23 PM
I think it really helps to have watched others go through the process, and see many examples of who succeeds and how they define success, and even more importantly, who doesn't succeed and why.

The facts of 'excelling in dressage' are very, very hard to swallow for most people. They usually think THEY will be the exception, THEY will have the exceptional horse that takes them from backyard to national champion. No...most people don't expect to reach the Olympics, but I still hear an awful lot of unrealistic goals.

I hate to say it, but I think it's very unrealistic for someone to have as their 'dream' to breed, birth, and train up a foal of theirs to grand prix. Not unless there are a whole lot of other steps included. And a whole lot of other horses.

how are you going to know, as a training level rider who has never done that work, how to breed a grand prix horse? what is the difference between a grand prix, and an i2 horse? what makes one get to that point and not the other? how are you going to breed that? how does anyone breed that?

the answer is, they don't. there is not one person in the world who can tell you, 'this is how you breed a grand prix horse', and so i just wonder, how are you going to do that?

I think the commonest mistake is 'one horse will do it'. yup. one horse will take me from training level to grand prix. just cause i love him so much.

i have met so many people who believed this. and when that horse failed, the said, 'i just made a mistake. i just got the wrong horse, THIS ONE, my NEW horse, HE'S gonna be the one to do it!'

odgih....

the next common mistake is that it's not going to take more than a year or two of really buckling down, making sacrifices and working hard.

YF's goals were always unrealistic, not just how fast, but how she would achieve them - and how easily, without any obstacles or frustrations, and without any bruises or speed bumps to the ego.

She also is a very sensitive and easily upset person, and this can dissipate a lot of energy that could be used alot more productively. It can also lead to a lot of bad choices, and to an exaggerated or distorted sense of what the situation really is.

But there are so many widespread unrealistic ideas about dressage.

that it should be easy.

that training should always be easy on the horse, easy on the rider, and look pretty, too.

that if we want to, if we just WANT TO, we will win.

We have very bad examples of achievement with horses, and we don't see people every day, slowly climbing that ladder, step by step.

many of us have no experience in other sports or sports training.

many of us find it very hard to devote time to it every day. many of us - MANY of us - find it very hard to stay in a program, to accept instruction, to stick with a system.

long ago i recall talking to a trainer about a student of hers who simply could not accept that anyone could instruct him. she said, 'being 'uninstructable' comes in many flavors and types, but that's what it comes down to, being 'uninstructable''.

in some place in us, we believe that we are just like Alec Ramsey, that little boy who has never ridden before, that we can get on a chubby little out of shape non-racehorse breed, that we love, and beat all the biggest race horses in America (or dressage horses, or whatever) after being led around in the rain by an old man. all he has to do is love horsey and close his eyes and say 'but i must...for HIM!' and when reality interferes with that ... boy oh boy, look out.

in fact, i have watched my friends, all of them, not just the poor ones, but the rich ones too, struggle to master this sport. it is just a very hard sport. it requires a commitment of time and effort and mental concentration that, if we really knew what it was going to take we would run off into the forest screaming, LOL.

i think people just have a very, very unrealistic idea of what it takes. very.

any of us can sit back on our haunches and see what he's doing wrong and where he's missing the boat. but to know what to change for one's own situation...to carry it out...not so easy.

flshgordon
Sep. 11, 2007, 12:41 PM
oh no the sky is falling.....I'm gonna agree with SLC! :winkgrin:

Everyone on here may SAY they're doing it just for themselves but we really all know that's not true.

Now I don't necessarily agree with all she said, but there is a lot of truth to it. Of course we go to shows for scores, that is HOW we assess our progress at a given time.

I personally go to shows with small goals like I want to score at least x percent in this test or I want 7s or better on my halts or 8 on the free walk....whatever it is, everyone should have little goals and show for those....otherwise why the heck would you show anyway? However I don't think you should show FOR ribbons/prizes/etc. Esp in dressage it's EASY to tell how well you did without winning anything simply because you get a score. I once got a 67.7% on a test and placed "only" 3rd but you know what, that was the BEST 3rd place ribbon I've ever gotten and it beat many of my first place scores on other days so just because you don't WIN doesn't mean you didn't do well. It just means there was someone who had a better ride on that day.

I am also lucky that shows don't make me nervous....I think that's a big part about what "disillusions" people....they freak out and get so nervous at shows that they can't even concentrate. Conquering show nerves takes time and some people will never be able to get over it. I've been showing for over 20+ years so showing is nothing but fun now to me. But it wasn't always that way! :yes:

dougx3
Sep. 11, 2007, 01:03 PM
I'm still kind of confused why this is even a question. Didn't you answer it in your original post. You said "I'm a decent rider." You didn't say "I'm an excellent rider, I'm a gold metal rider." If you were admitting you were an excellent rider but not getting the right scores, perhaps there is a political issue. But I don't think "decent" will get you very far in just about anything. :/

akor
Sep. 11, 2007, 01:29 PM
I don't "do" dressage for ribbons. I say it and I mean it.

I do it because I grew up developing horses that way and I realize how much I value a horse that knows say up to 2nd level (schooling) for jumping, trail, etc.

Yes, shows are great and fun and a way to get feedback. But, goodness, my going it for shiny things would be silly for me. It doesn't motivate me, dressage wise.

I get more satisfaction from realizing that if I just sit up straight and weight my butt this way, my horse straightens right out than I do any ribbon or score. The relaxation in the TL TB that was a hunter who squeaked through with little flat work, seeing her ears flop out, and feel her come under me, even at a show, in a rythmn and going forward nicely rounded, that is a great feeling.

And, I'm very competitive. Just not so much in dressage.

Now, get me in the jumper ring, and I'm all about the ribbons. So, I get the poster's point that we are kidding ourselves some.

But, dressage is a tool to me. And, it's so rewarding in its little moments, to me. I suspect that it's just as great to nail the one-tempis or the piaffe/passage transition, but they key for me is "just as" - I've been lucky to feel some GP movements and they are WOW, but I really get the same feeling sometimes in my little weekly lessons.

BarbB
Sep. 11, 2007, 01:29 PM
I
many of us have no experience in other sports or sports training.


I think that when you combine that with the mantra of the non-horse people in our lives who say how easy it looks, how the horse just does it.

We look at each other knowingly and pity the poor nonhorse person who doesn't understand what is going on between horse and rider.

But it plants a little seed in the back of our minds that it should be easy. Combine that with never having sweated your guts out to make a team or compete at the top levels of another sport.......and that little weed starts growing...I can do this....without any real plan or concept of how long or how hard it is going to be.

Me?, I'm middleaged and poor so I settle for steady improvement and enjoying the process and I am still pretty fanatical about it. Probably a good thing that I wasn't exposed to the possibilities when I was 20 or 30 and had the energy.

WBLover
Sep. 11, 2007, 01:33 PM
WOW, six figures? Ya know what I've spent on the sport this year? $200 on a cheap dressage saddle, $40 on a new pair of white breeches to replace the ones I was using 4 years ago that had a hole in the crotch, and $150 on three shows, two classes each.

I am riding a friend's horse for free (doing horse chores and show grooming for her here and there to make up for it), using my dusty old show clothes, dressage bridle, and various other horse tack from 4 years ago. I pulled them all out of storage in June and got back into riding after a 4 year hiatus. I am THRILLED with my progress, although small in some people's minds I'm sure, I guess little successes make me happy.

1st show July: TL1 54%, TL2 56%
2nd show August: TL1 58%, TL2 59%
3rd show last weekend: TL1 60% TL2 63.5%

Yeah, I've been doing the same tests all year. But I have IMPROVED at every show. I feel better and better about my riding, and am blessed to have this wonderful, unpedigreed, washed up ex-jumper mare with some basic dressage training who puts up with all my mistakes and always gives me 100% of what I ask for to ride. Next year maybe I'll tackle TL3 & TL4 and start working on 1st. Who knows, maybe I'll have my own horse I'm starting and will be back to Intro.

I take every comment and suggestion I have been given by the judges and LEARN from them. It's all about learning, enjoying, and being grateful for the little successes and just having the opportunity to take the journey for me.

alacrity
Sep. 11, 2007, 01:39 PM
I think there's got to be a little of YF's dreams in all of us, which is probably why her posts generate so much attention. Though many have experienced enough to know that there is no magic bullet, others (like myself) have learned by reading her posts! I look at her experiences as sort of a public service announcement. Personally, I've worked hard for over 2 years learning the sport and am just now ready to show Training, school 1st. I feel that YF has done me a great service in regards to how to proceed with purchasing my first dressage horse.

- Sometimes I think I should take a big bucket of cash over to Europe and buy a well-trained Utopian Warmbood with hopes of cracking open the local dressage scene in all my glory. Everyone will flock to me in adoration of my graceful performances as I skillfully navigate every level between into and GP in record time! Because of me, dressage will be broadcast on prime time TV and I become riding instructor to the stars. Then, I read YF's posts.

- Other times, I think I should go take my big bucket of cash and support a US breeder by buying a flashy young dressage-bred prospect. Clearly I'm skillful enough to train a horse from the ground up! There will be multiple features in DT about me and my skillful "From Foal to Olympic Gold" training techniques. I will provide lectures on my greatness and acquire many minions along the way. Then, I read YF's posts.

- Realizing I don't like the way I look in glossy photos anyway, I decide to go to the local auction and buy a "rescue project". I can use my big bucket of cash to bring it up proper-like and beat all the fancy schmancy horses at GP... Everyone will love us, we'll be the underdog! Wait, could this be the NEXT chapter??

I haven't done any of these things, but they've all gone through my head at one point or another. I'm going to wait it out and see what happens next. But until then, I'll just keep doing what my trainer advises - keeping my expecations and goals realistic and searching for a suitable horse that fits my needs at this point in my riding.

Sakura
Sep. 11, 2007, 01:50 PM
I hate showing! Maybe I am weird, but it stresses me out... I don't like the person I am when I'm freaking out before a show... I'm nasty, bitchy, nauseated. I really don't know why I do it. Maybe because I have a nice little horse that deserves to be seen.

I cried last year when I didn't place in my Regionals class. I really did. I did not cry because I did not place though. I cried because it was the best damn ride I have ever had on my horse (to this day!)... I cried because I was happy, proud and I'm sure the adrinilan had something to do with it too, lol. God, I hope I have another ride like that soon... maybe that is why I show :).

BarbB
Sep. 11, 2007, 01:53 PM
- Sometimes I think I should take a big bucket of cash over to Europe and buy a well-trained Utopian Warmbood with hopes of cracking open the local dressage scene in all my glory. Everyone will flock to me in adoration of my graceful performances as I skillfully navigate every level between into and GP in record time! Because of me, dressage will be broadcast on prime time TV and I become riding instructor to the stars. Then, I read YF's posts.

- Other times, I think I should go take my big bucket of cash and support a US breeder by buying a flashy young dressage-bred prospect. Clearly I'm skillful enough to train a horse from the ground up! There will be multiple features in DT about me and my skillful "From Foal to Olympic Gold" training techniques. I will provide lectures on my greatness and acquire many minions along the way. Then, I read YF's posts.

- Realizing I don't like the way I look in glossy photos anyway, I decide to go to the local auction and buy a "rescue project". I can use my big bucket of cash to bring it up proper-like and beat all the fancy schmancy horses at GP... Everyone will love us, we'll be the underdog! Wait, could this be the NEXT chapter??


Excellent post!!!
A little 'true confessions' for all of us.
:lol::lol::lol::lol:

slc2
Sep. 11, 2007, 01:59 PM
"Maybe because I have a nice little horse that deserves to be seen. "

i think that's what they call in Alcoholics Anonymous, 'Stinkin' Thinkin'', dear.

that horse doesn't 'deserve to be seen' at all. first of all, i don't think that's what people really think inside, i think they want THEMSELVES to be seen and their skill and winning to be admired by others...if someone would just ever ADMIT that....they'd be a hell of a lot happier.

if you didn't want to just plain old WIN so bad, you wouldn't be nervous at a show at all! it wouldn't be so crushingly direly important what happened on that day, and people wouldn't be snappy, nasty...or verbally assaulting some 3 year old child that happens to bump into them or screaming at the first person who innocently says, 'hey, nice ride..' OR replaying what happened at the show for months, years....decades!...i mean REALLY...people i think go completely insane at shows.

some people are just araid - they're afraid an unruly horse will hurt them, or they're just shy and don't like to be looked at...but to be honest...i really don't think that's what's going on with most people. at all.

in bike racing i told my coach, 'i want to raise my 25 mile timetrial time by 10 minutes this year'. he laughed his a** off, he said, 'oh for god's SAKE! in one YEAR? not even eric heiden could do that, i have been coaching people for 30 years and no one has ever done that, do you know that? it would be incredible just to shave HALF THAT off your time trial time! go for THAT, for god's sake - 10 minutes is just absurd! it's out of the question'. we set up a very ambitious program, i followed it to the letter - and shaved exactly five minutes off my time.

we don't have realistic goals, not for the long term OR the short term, i don't feel. and then, after setting realistic short and long term goals, we have to find a way to be - HAPPY at reaching them. are you happy not doing something 'really special'? are you happy doing what is practical, sensible, and makes sense for your situation? well, frankly, many people are NOT happy doing that! but life would be better if they were happy doing that.

i don't think the majority of people, even people here, are really on honest speaking terms with their feelings about this matter. i feel that working with a sports trainer or sports psychologist would do a heck of a lot for a lot of people. understanding competition - how to win, how to lose, how to set goals, it would help a lot of people alot. i think for starters local clubs could have presentations in which experienced coaches show them the average time line, and sports psychology coaches could talk to them about setting goals with their riding coach, long and short term. this would go a long way to making a lot more happy riders.

Coreene
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:03 PM
Maybe someone can explain how someone with a "PSG horse," who can't get the scores they want at 3rd/4th, sees GP looming in the future?

Briggsie
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:04 PM
A peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, be it served on Fine China or on Chinette paper plates....is still that....a Peanut butter and jelly sandwhich.

Maybe Dressage just is not your thing.

akor
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:09 PM
Briggs: But, at the Ritz Carlton, it does cost $12.50, and you get a cloth napkin and the waiter will cut in half the short way.... ;) $2.00 at the local diner, but paper napkins and you have to cut it yourself. ;)

But, you can boast you spent 2 figures on PB&J and complain about how it just tasted like jiffy on store bought wheat.

Back to the Original thread...

Eq3nStar
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:12 PM
YF, your scores for this year are fairly consistent. If it's "politics", it's a pretty wide-spread conspiracy among a bunch of judges. I don't think they care enough to devote that much time to plotting how they will trash your dressage career aspirations. It's not majikal- if the hard work and $$ aren't paying off then more hard (and maybe smarter) work is what's in order. And ironically some of the best scores you got were from a judge in your neck of the woods so maybe THOSE scores are the ones that should be in question...? :winkgrin:

flshgordon
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:15 PM
Maybe someone can explain how someone with a "PSG horse," who can't get the scores they want at 3rd/4th, sees GP looming in the future?

Fantasy land? :lol:

slc2
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:16 PM
coreene, i'm not sure that's so necessary - unless we ALL ask ourselves similar questions. i think YF has had enough of a drubbing...i think it's more important to examine one's own goal setting and expectations.

flshgordon
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:22 PM
I'm confused SLC, who else here is whining about having a PSG horse and not being able to move up with it after spending 100K other than YF?

Coreene
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:29 PM
coreene, i'm not sure that's so necessary - unless we ALL ask ourselves similar questions. i think YF has had enough of a drubbing...i think it's more important to examine one's own goal setting and expectations.But is she examining goal-setting or is she just using COTH as her It's All About Me platform yet again?

slc2
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:51 PM
yeah...i know what you're saying and i agree...i just don't like to see someone picked on for this long, even if they do seem to deserve it. it's starting to look less like a firm talking to and more like a grade school pile on, even if the intentions are all so pure.

and sakura, yea, i know that voice, and i think that taming that voice is exactly what i'm talking about.

Dressage Art
Sep. 11, 2007, 02:59 PM
You may have even been champion but it will be for absolutely nothing because it wasn't done in the last year. If ribbons was the only goal you will be sadly disappointed.

People who been there, know that. The ones who don’t' care, keep on going and the ones who care become bitter that their hard work is forgotten so fast.

I once heard a (stranger) pro trainer say to her students: “championships can’t be fun – they are work and they are stressful. If you didn’t come here to win, you shouldn’t be here at all.”

Clearly, that trainer deeply believed in what she was loudly broadcasting for many to hear. I was wondering, what if she brought along a dozen of her students and most of them are competing at the same level against each other? I wonder how her students feel. Can they possibly have a healthy atmosphere in their barn or jealousy is quietly eating them alive? There is only ONE blue ribbon even in the class of 40+ people.

I can’t imagine that most riders who go shows truly go there to get ribbons. If this is really the situation – we have way too many disillusioned people with big heads. Again, there is only ONE blue ribbon even in the class of 40+ people – I hope that the 39 other riders didn’t come there only for the chance of getting that ribbon. There is absolutely no logical way to justify a chaise for ribbons!

kkj
Sep. 11, 2007, 03:54 PM
Youngfilly,

I know two people who have spent very close to 6 figures just on the horse, who have been riding for 20 plus years, who take lessons quite regularly from good trainers who produce great results for people on less expensive horses, who work very hard at it but frankly still pretty much suck. Life just isn't fair that way. Some people just don't get it..ever no matter how hard they work at it. Some people have very little athletic talent, timing and feel. Practice and money can only make up for so much. This is the part of life that is really unfair, because even if you win the lottery, you can't buy talent. I am not saying this is you because if I remember correctly from a video you posted before, I thought you had potential.

Something is lacking there however; what it is I am uncertain.


What I am fairly certain of is you can't buy your way through dressage. The person on the 10k horse who takes a lesson every couple of months may well kick your butt even if you spend 6 figures and study in Germany for a year... and that is fair. It is a sport after all.

swgarasu
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:07 PM
There is only ONE blue ribbon even in the class of 40+ people.

I can’t imagine that most riders who go shows truly go there to get ribbons. If this is really the situation – we have way too many disillusioned people with big heads. Again, there is only ONE blue ribbon even in the class of 40+ people – I hope that the 39 other riders didn’t come there only for the chance of getting that ribbon. There is absolutely no logical way to justify a chaise for ribbons!

But if you only wanted feedback, you could go ride with a different trainer/clinician and ask them their opinion, AND they will probably also help give you solutions to the things you are struggling with. I remember showing in 4-H as a kid, and never getting as excited because they only gave little bits of ribbons with no rosettes....LOL. I always loved going to shows with bigger, prettier ribbons. The truth is pretty much along the lines of what alacrity posted, that most of us really do show in hopes of "showing the world how great I am."
And while most of us don't go thinking we are going to win and ONLY because of the ribbons (since yes, it usually costs at least $100 to show, and the ribbons cost like 98 cents), we certainly hope we are and we're going to do our best to win. That's part of being competitive, and horse shows are a competition. Being able to accept NOT winning, and enjoying the experience anyway- that's more about being a good sport. And usually the motivation behind that is that the experience will help us win later on. ^_^
Having said that, I no longer hang strings of ribbons on my walls and I think I threw most of mine away when I went to college- though I still have a few trophies and blues gathering dust in a closet- does make me feel like I'm not THE WORST rider in the world when I'm having a crappy time of it. (That's that validation we seek when we're competitve).

YF sounds sad because she's spent quite a lot of money to show the world how great she is, and the world is simply not cooperating!
But her post made my day- I can go, "Well, maybe I'm not so great, but at least I didn't have to spend 6 figures to find out."

Not to be a complete snot- YF, you can subscribe to my camp- the camp of "someday" where you keep plugging away in spite of things, and the small successes are satisfying, and keep the dream alive. You're ahead of me if it makes you feel any better- I'm totally jealous that you show successfully at 3rd in Florida.

Dressage4Fun
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:11 PM
I just wish I HAD a trainer!! LOL,, I have a great horse,, but no trainer,, my bad for living in the middle of NOWHERE!!!!

Whisper
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:16 PM
I like going to shows because I tend to get good pictures there, and the score sheets give me tangible, relatively objective feedback on our progress. Winning is great, too, as is getting a better score even if I don't win. I think achievement depends on who the competition is, and what level we're at too - winning at a *** show means more than winning at a little schooling show, and getting a lower score or ribbon right after moving up can be more satisfying than a blue at the previous level.

Dalfan
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:16 PM
YF sounds sad because she's spent quite a lot of money to show the world how great she is, and the world is simply not cooperating!

This is sort of my take as well. It appears to me that she wants recognition - for others to be impressed with her horse and ability.

Maybe you just aren't there yet.

But that's why I asked - WHO are you riding for?


The truth is pretty much along the lines of what alacrity posted, that most of us really do show in hopes of "showing the world how great I am."
And while most of us don't go thinking we are going to win and ONLY because of the ribbons (since yes, it usually costs at least $100 to show, and the ribbons cost like 98 cents), we certainly hope we are and we're going to do our best to win. That's part of being competitive, and horse shows are a competition. Being able to accept NOT winning, and enjoying the experience anyway- that's more about being a good sport. And usually the motivation behind that is that the experience will help us win later on.

I agree with this as well. I think you NEED to have a fair amount of ego/confidence to get in the ring. When I was preparing to show the horse I leased, I thought for sure I would win - IF I didn't make any mistakes. I knew that he had his stuff down pat. But if I didn't win, no way would it have crushed me.

YoungFilly
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:24 PM
:)

STF
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:27 PM
If winning PSG would just take money instead of knowledge it wouldn't be a sport would it? You should ride to learn instead of just worrying about ribbons. That way you learn and actually might actually win something at one stage

Wow, my little dutch friend, that was DEEP coming from you!!! I did not know you had a heart! ;)

STF
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:30 PM
YF,
Ride for yourself, not for the shows. Ride because it makes you feel good, becuase you like to learn. Pour yourself into learning.... read books, watch videos, go to clinics, attend clinics if you can. Life is NOT all about showing. Showing is just the final outcome of the level were working on, IF that is your goal. Some people dont even have the show goal.
What are you trying to prove? Are you proving something to yourself or someone else? Think ahout it. It needs to be about YOU!

Coreene
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:30 PM
In all honesty, I really think that most people who are not actively showing in dressage do not really understand what it takes for some of these people to get to the top (I am not saying me, I am saying what I have observed).

I think that you are mistaken. After all, you're the one who has made the fact that, despite all the $$ you have thrown towards a dressage career, you're not at the top. We do know exactly what it takes. We also know that some make it and some do not. It seems more like another COTH Whine du Jour.

Good lord, don't you think by now I am getting used to it? :lol:

See above reference to COTH Whine du Jour.

YoungFilly
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:40 PM
:)

swgarasu
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:40 PM
Actually, never mind. :)

I don't think you should have deleted your post. I actually understand a lot of where you were coming from with it, and many of us have so often thought "If only I had the money...". It's both upsetting and comforting to think money might not be the answer.

Upsetting, because if it's not the money, maybe it's me.

Comforting, because if it's not the money, maybe it's me.

BarbB
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:54 PM
I can tell you what it takes to get to the top in any sport. It takes talent and skill and ability and training and luck. And since you are doing this with a horse, your horse needs to have the same list.
And then what separates the top from the rest who have all that is an all consuming passion that doesn't question or doubt or look for the easy way or waiver one bit no matter what.

Everyone else is an also ran.

findeight
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:56 PM
I wouldn't dream of posting over here...you guys scare me sometimes:lol:.

But this has been a good read. Very entertaining.

Carry on.

Grintle Sunshine
Sep. 11, 2007, 04:57 PM
I can certainly understand the frustration of wanting to move up faster and score better at shows. However, why is there a perception amoung some in dressage that they will AUTOMATICALLY get to that top level?? I mean, nobody would think that about the sport of golf, or basketball, or track. It is a sport! If it were a show like a dog show, or a halter show, yeah, you could probably buy your way to the top quite easily. However, it is a sport, and not everyone will be great at it. Hell, it's probably even harder than being great at golf or basketball because you have a whole 'nother personality to contend with (your horse)!

Can you imagine the same thing being said by someone who wanted to excel at track?? "I bought the best shoes, I ran every day, I got the best coach, and I still didn't win my race." ;) Why would it be any different for dressage (and as I said, I have been guilty of getting frustrated too).

BarbB
Sep. 11, 2007, 05:00 PM
If it were a show like a dog show, or a halter show, yeah, you could probably buy your way to the top quite easily.

uh...no

flshgordon
Sep. 11, 2007, 05:02 PM
I can certainly understand the frustration of wanting to move up faster and score better at shows. However, why is there a perception amoung some in dressage that they will AUTOMATICALLY get to that top level?? I mean, nobody would think that about the sport of golf, or basketball, or track. It is a sport! If it were a show like a dog show, or a halter show, yeah, you could probably buy your way to the top quite easily. However, it is a sport, and not everyone will be great at it. Hell, it's probably even harder than being great at golf or basketball because you have a whole 'nother personality to contend with (your horse)!

Can you imagine the same thing being said by someone who wanted to excel at track?? "I bought the best shoes, I ran every day, I got the best coach, and I still didn't win my race." ;) Why would it be any different for dressage (and as I said, I have been guilty of getting frustrated too).

BRAVO!

Some of us are going to suck at it and that's just the way it is! It's nothing to be ashamed of if you have worked hard and tried your best.

Not to be the sunshine fairy :winkgrin: but everyone is good at SOMETHING, just not everyone can be good at dressage (I often think that includes myself but so be it, I am better at other things!)

slc2
Sep. 11, 2007, 05:03 PM
pile on type thing at this point.

i don't see any reason for anyone to get all high and mighty. i think YF is expressing the same thing many of the bb participants have made very clear - they have problems dealing with competition.

someone who vomits before a class, or hears a voice in their head telling them they have to be perfect, or feels burnt out coming up to the regionals, or wonders about why spend the money on shows, or feels sad because they haven't accomplished enough, or quits because they get discouraged, or feels miserable after a show because others are so much better, or doesn't understand why someone wins and someone else doesn't - they all are dealing with the same problem. and it's a problem, to one extent or another, and in one way or another, that EVERYONE has - everyone!

how bout we turn this into something CONSTRUCTIVE instead of pile on YF?

how about talking about yourself rather than picking on someone else?

how do people learn to handle competition? what problems can occur? how can competition be more rewarding and less burn out?

look, most of us will never win the olympics. how about talking about how to have sportsmanship when one is competing at the local, regional and national level? how about talking about what clubs can do to teach people to compete.

lizathenag
Sep. 11, 2007, 05:05 PM
compete at the highest levels in Dressage down in Wellington. I would be curious if you know? What does it take to get there?

I have a family member who has won at grand prix at Wellington. I can't speak for her but among the things she has going for her are:

1. talent (it is clear if you look at the photos of her eventing her pony as a child)
2. support (family behind her)
3. hard work (including going to Germany with her horse)
4. work ethic (hours spent teaching as well as learning)

I am sure others can add to the formula.

DopyDgz
Sep. 11, 2007, 05:16 PM
I read a quote in VA Horse Journal that reminded me of this thread.
I forget the exact quote but the point was that the journey is what matters, not the destination: be happy to improve even if you don't 'win'.

flshgordon
Sep. 11, 2007, 05:19 PM
pile on type thing at this point.

i don't see any reason for anyone to get all high and mighty. i think YF is expressing the same thing many of the bb participants have made very clear - they have problems dealing with competition.

someone who vomits before a class, or hears a voice in their head telling them they have to be perfect, or feels burnt out coming up to the regionals, or wonders about why spend the money on shows, or feels sad because they haven't accomplished enough, or quits because they get discouraged, or feels miserable after a show because others are so much better, or doesn't understand why someone wins and someone else doesn't - they all are dealing with the same problem. and it's a problem, to one extent or another, and in one way or another, that EVERYONE has - everyone!

how bout we turn this into something CONSTRUCTIVE instead of pile on YF?

how about talking about yourself rather than picking on someone else?

how do people learn to handle competition? what problems can occur? how can competition be more rewarding and less burn out?

look, most of us will never win the olympics. how about talking about how to have sportsmanship when one is competing at the local, regional and national level? how about talking about what clubs can do to teach people to compete.

Get real.....we are not talking about all the same problems. And I COMPLETELY disagree that YFs problem has anything to do with "dealing with competition". Dealing with competition means you get nervous, sick, anxious, bitchy or whatever prior to and during a competition. Kavetching about the money you have spent and haven't done well has nothing to do with "dealing with competition". It means you are a sore loser and can't possibly admit that you weren't the best rider on that day.

I'll start a new topic for your question because I'm sure a lot of people can learn from it but seriously, this is not a total pile on YF thread and her initial angst had nothing to do with competition nerves. It was an "I can't get anywhere because dressage is so political" blog about spending money and getting nowhere.

My big question to you is WHY is it not OK to admit that some people are just going to suck at dressage (or jumping or reining or driving or whatever):confused: :confused: :confused: It's a fact of life and if you don't think so, you live in fantasy land.

Whisper
Sep. 11, 2007, 05:23 PM
many of us have no experience in other sports or sports training.

I used to be on the track team in High School. Frankly, I think it would be a much more realistic, achievable goal to complete a half or full marathon than for me to compete at Grand Prix (at least with halfway decent scores).

YoungFilly, I remember the whole GiGi thing, and your excitement with your new horse. I wish you luck in achieving your goals and your dreams. :D

class
Sep. 11, 2007, 06:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grintle Sunshine
If it were a show like a dog show, or a halter show, yeah, you could probably buy your way to the top quite easily.


uh...no


what are you talking about barbb? what does "uh...no" mean? do you think that if i bought the 2007 congress world grand supreme champion halter stallion that i wouldn't win any shows with him? i think it would be only about 1000x easier than buying salinero tomorrow and winning some shows with him.

STF
Sep. 11, 2007, 06:38 PM
Some of you just care WAY to much about what other people think.
Live for yourself and well......... just live and have fun.
In the long run, someones opinion of you, your riding or your overall being, DOES NOT MATTER!

petitefilly
Sep. 11, 2007, 06:54 PM
Some of you just care WAY to much about what other people think.
Live for yourself and well......... just live and have fun.
In the long run, someones opinion of you, your riding or your overall being, DOES NOT MATTER!


LOL Unless you spend over $100,000 per year to ride in shows and then find it unfullfilling.


Then I think you might care. :(

Hey, I'm smart enough to know I would not be able to compete in that venue to begin with. At least I stay home and stay happy. :)

Priscilla
Sep. 11, 2007, 07:36 PM
I'm curious as to how long the OP has been riding and how much show experience she has????:)

egontoast
Sep. 11, 2007, 08:11 PM
hey people, back off. Rule #1- Only slc may slap people around verbally. If anyone else utters a practical though potentially negative thought, it's a pile on and the born again slc will just have to step in with a smack down.

Get with the program.

STF
Sep. 11, 2007, 08:13 PM
Only slc may slap people around verbally.

Oh Pluuuuueeeeeeezzzzzzzze!!! Susan is a pussycat! :lol:

Pony Fixer
Sep. 11, 2007, 08:25 PM
Maybe the problem is not the horse, the training, even your talent, but de facto because you are showing too much.

I hope I can get my point across correctly...

Whether we want to admit it or not, we ride differently when preparing for a show, than when we are just training. For instance, all winter we train, train, train according to the scale, etc. Then show season starts. We want to show off our training, but we also want to score/show well. So...we begin practicing the tests and training for the tests rather than training for the training. Training for the tests becomes a downward spiral, IMHO. I always have to check myself and either skip a show, or decide to blow a class if I need to do so.

Maybe if you just train for a few months, and not worry about showing, you will both become more solid and the work. The bonus is that then the scores will come when you do go back to it.

That still doesn't sound exactly like what I mean, today has not been a good day personally so my eloquence has gone missing...

YoungFilly
Sep. 11, 2007, 08:31 PM
:)

Grintle Sunshine
Sep. 11, 2007, 08:32 PM
I don't know if slc's comments were to me or not, but I wasn't trying to rip her at all. I really feel her pain, although I haven't spent anywhere near that kind of money. I want to succeed so bad and do GP so bad, and I didn't even get my own horse (1000$ from an Amish auction) until I was 25 years old. So talk about unrealistic goals! I was seriously posing the question of "Why do we in this sport expect to be able to compete at the highest level?" Do people who do jumpers expect that they'll be one day competing at the Grand Prix level? I don't know, but I doubt most of them do. They probably realize that it takes so much $$, talent, work and an amazing horse to do that. Doesn't mean they don't want it as bad as anyone else.

And there are some very good trainers who have never had that opportunity...maybe they can't afford the dream horse. Maybe they are specialists at starting young horses or retraining projects. There is a lot to be said for doing these kinds of things really well, even though they aren't GP in Wellington.

I would probably be frustrated too if I was in her shoes and especially in Wellington which makes extraordinary horses, income, training and spending seem the norm.

GreekDressageQueen
Sep. 11, 2007, 09:37 PM
uh...no

Agreed! At least you can show your own horse in dressage.

I am referring to the "politics" of dog showing where it is often more difficult to win if you are the owner/handler rather than just the owner sitting in the bleachers. Every sport has its "issues."

Carol Ames
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:04 PM
I just reread this thread and was reminded of the old joke about the tourist in NYC who asked "how do I get to Carnegie Hall?" the answer : practice, practice:winkgrin:, practice,:lol: and to carry the analogy further it doesn't matter if you're playing a strad and graduated Julliard:winkgrin: if your intonation is bad, bowing "screeches :no:" or left hand and right arm are not in sync; you will get panned by the critics and rightly so:yes:!

BarbB
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:15 PM
what are you talking about barbb? what does "uh...no" mean? do you think that if i bought the 2007 congress world grand supreme champion halter stallion that i wouldn't win any shows with him? i think it would be only about 1000x easier than buying salinero tomorrow and winning some shows with him.

I mean just buying a good animal doesn't guarantee you a win in halter (or dog shows either). You still have to have the skills to show the animal at it's best and beat other extraordinary animals standing right next to you and being shown at their best.

Nobody hangs a price tag on animals shown in hand and the highest number wins. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Money can buy you a superior animal, money can buy you a superior animal to ride also, it doesn't mean you know what to do with it.

Briggsie
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:37 PM
Coreene, please tell me what you think it takes in order to compete at the highest levels in Dressage down in Wellington. I would be curious if you know? What does it take to get there?

How is Wellington relevant?? Dressage is Dressage is Dressage......

I just love when people boast on a certain place......"oh yes, please tell me, don't you just think the classes are harder at DEVON"

who honestly gives a shit. Just because you competed at a certain place, does not mean you have made it. You know you have made it when you stop bitching about your shortcomings on a public forum and stop utilizing COTH to stroke your ego....

oh, and living vicariously through your glamorous little posts about your accomplishments and your high dollar horses........your time would be better utilized practicing, and not name dropping about some Nirvana Utopia horse show Mecca you competed at.

snbess
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:50 PM
Not that it matters, but I wanted to say a couple things. First, this has been a very good thread for me to read. Not because I show, but because it speaks to the healthy attitude that is so important whether we're training/learning or showing or whatever we're doing with our horses.

Second, I actually went to USDF and looked up Youngfilly's show record for this year, because I was curious after reading so many pages of this thread. Youngfilly, a year ago, you were showing 1st level. The beginning of this year, it was 2nd. Now, it's 3rd. You are getting fairly consistent scores and if I'm not mistaken, have managed to qualify for regionals at 2nd AND 3rd levels. Your scores may not be consistently brilliant, but you still qualified. Two levels above where you were showing last year. That's huge! I say celebrate what you have and what you have accomplished. Take a few months after regionals and train your butt off. Expect to repeat 3rd level next year and keep focusing on learning and doing better if those are your goals. Then, see where you are. You may be surprised. Just maybe don't push so hard...it's very hard on both you and your lovely mare.

Sandra

K Bayo
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:56 PM
Can we move on please?

Eq3nStar
Sep. 12, 2007, 12:10 AM
Can we move on please?

No doubt
It's clear from YF's replies (and lack thereof) that all she wanted to hear is how we all agree she's being screwed because of the horrendous lower level Florida dressage politics- she's obviously got a superior dressage horse and her riding skill must be blinding them to how brilliant her tests really are.
We all know the judges are actually keeping track of how much money so-and-so spends and that just plain hard work should be rewarded. yawn
(Captain Kirk voice: can't... look... away... thread... sucking.. me... in...) ;)

Hazelnut
Sep. 12, 2007, 06:40 AM
Not that it matters, but I wanted to say a couple things. First, this has been a very good thread for me to read. Not because I show, but because it speaks to the healthy attitude that is so important whether we're training/learning or showing or whatever we're doing with our horses.

Second, I actually went to USDF and looked up Youngfilly's show record for this year, because I was curious after reading so many pages of this thread. Youngfilly, a year ago, you were showing 1st level. The beginning of this year, it was 2nd. Now, it's 3rd. You are getting fairly consistent scores and if I'm not mistaken, have managed to qualify for regionals at 2nd AND 3rd levels. Your scores may not be consistently brilliant, but you still qualified. Two levels above where you were showing last year. That's huge! I say celebrate what you have and what you have accomplished. Take a few months after regionals and train your butt off. Expect to repeat 3rd level next year and keep focusing on learning and doing better if those are your goals. Then, see where you are. You may be surprised. Just maybe don't push so hard...it's very hard on both you and your lovely mare.

Sandra

Competing open classes..showing a lot in a very competative and "beautiful people" atmosphere. Wellington -That's where most of the "serious dressage competators, I'd like to be a player on the national dressage scene" go to make a splash. I can imagine burnout.

Horses bring out all of who we are...facing oneself can be the most daunting task of all. One can forgive a lament or two along the way.

The cost of success with horses can make one cringe at any level- after all its not world peace we're putting the hard earned greenbacks toward.

Just thoughts from a person working and training hard to become competent enought to compete.

Strictly Classical
Sep. 12, 2007, 06:47 AM
we can comment on how rider's qulaify for regionals. I live in region 1 - perhaps others regions have different cut off for their qualifying scores. I know of an instance where a person qualified for regionals by BARELY making the minimum cut off scores. Since then their scores have consistently, dropped but they continue to brag and try to rub in the rest of how faces about how great they are and they they qualified for REGIONALS...... like its something spectacular.

Cut offs for AA at first level are 62%. Is it just me or is that not a bit low for sut off scores for a regional CHAMPIONSHIP. How is 62% - and less - indicative of success in dressage - since afterall, the regionals are supposed to showcase the "best" horse/rider combos in each level in their respective regions.

Frankly, I think its a bad joke. Anything below 65% to means that you need to go back to the drawing board and look at your weaknesses and work to correct them. If you and your horse (with both your limitations) are doing the best you can and you still can't break the mark - that's ok. Go show and enjoy the experience and learn all you can. But Come on people - for regional competitions shouldn't the standards be HIGHER?? Or does USDF design it so that it can accomodate as many who want to come ride in them as possible by setting scores so low - espec. for ammies. For pro's the cut off seem to be a bit more in line with my thinking.

Before you blast me - I am an ammie.

Auventera Two
Sep. 12, 2007, 09:25 AM
Second, I actually went to USDF and looked up Youngfilly's show record for this year, because I was curious after reading so many pages of this thread. Youngfilly, a year ago, you were showing 1st level. The beginning of this year, it was 2nd. Now, it's 3rd. You are getting fairly consistent scores and if I'm not mistaken, have managed to qualify for regionals at 2nd AND 3rd levels. Your scores may not be consistently brilliant, but you still qualified. Two levels above where you were showing last year. That's huge!

WOW, YF, great job! I agree, that is a huge accomplishment. You can definitely be proud of your success! Getting respectable scores, 2 levels above where you were a year ago is tremendous. Have a drink and a pizza, and celebrate a little bit. Don't be too hard on yourself! :)

findeight
Sep. 12, 2007, 10:02 AM
Horses bring out all of who we are...facing oneself can be the most daunting task of all. One can forgive a lament or two along the way.



Good thought, may I qoute you on that in the future?

Have to add as long as it is a lament and not placing blame elsewhere.

flshgordon
Sep. 12, 2007, 10:06 AM
we can comment on how rider's qulaify for regionals. I live in region 1 - perhaps others regions have different cut off for their qualifying scores. I know of an instance where a person qualified for regionals by BARELY making the minimum cut off scores. Since then their scores have consistently, dropped but they continue to brag and try to rub in the rest of how faces about how great they are and they they qualified for REGIONALS...... like its something spectacular.

Cut offs for AA at first level are 62%. Is it just me or is that not a bit low for sut off scores for a regional CHAMPIONSHIP. How is 62% - and less - indicative of success in dressage - since afterall, the regionals are supposed to showcase the "best" horse/rider combos in each level in their respective regions.

Frankly, I think its a bad joke. Anything below 65% to means that you need to go back to the drawing board and look at your weaknesses and work to correct them. If you and your horse (with both your limitations) are doing the best you can and you still can't break the mark - that's ok. Go show and enjoy the experience and learn all you can. But Come on people - for regional competitions shouldn't the standards be HIGHER?? Or does USDF design it so that it can accomodate as many who want to come ride in them as possible by setting scores so low - espec. for ammies. For pro's the cut off seem to be a bit more in line with my thinking.

Before you blast me - I am an ammie.

I think the problem itself is not necessarily the qualifying scores but that many people are perfectly happy getting in the high 50s. I personally would not be but if that's someone's idea of good then I doubt the rest of us are going to change that. And as far as showcasing the best....it still works that way, the best people are going to win....the people that are scoring 65 to 70 all year long are GOING to beat the people with 2 lucky 62s. So I wouldn't worry about the cream rising to the top. Someone still has to finish LAST at regionals just like every other show. I hope it won't be me :winkgrin: but if it is, I just know what I have to go back and work on next year!

I don't think the Qual scores are too low (looks like yours are the same as ours) or maybe could go up one point or so, the thing that I don't get is we have another championship series here called the Southwest Dressage Championships. The Qual score for TL and 1st is only 59%. To me that is just nuts. There will probably be 100 people in the classes!

cuatx55
Sep. 12, 2007, 10:46 AM
Hmmmm...most days I am just happy I have a beautiful horse that I enjoy riding, and I happen to not be going backwards in my riding. Happy I can pay board and have lessons and my horse is sound. Glad that my SO supports my horse and we can hang out there together...Happy when I can ride pain free.

I guess I'm not a show nazi. I'd love to have a nice $$$ horse, but threads like this make me see they aren't all they are cracked up to be. The dressage queen persona is losing it's luster...It's unfortunate that I see no real enjoyment for the process of dressage from YF, which is sad. If you do the same thing you will get the same results. Maybe it's time for a change if YF is that unhappy. Don't show so much, no one will really care anyways.

mbm
Sep. 12, 2007, 10:52 AM
if i remember the vids posted a while back - if i were YF - i would stop showing and just concentrate on learning to ride well. the vids i saw were of a rider that needed to let go and learn to ride from her seat and not throttle the horse.

YF - if you wnt to suceed - get your ass to a trainer that wont blow smoke and that that will tell you the truth about your riding - that will instill in you some correct solid basics that will serve you well ..... so that then you can work on what needs work (we all have issues) and then you can progress.

it is possible to get a psg horse and show psg - but you need EXCELLENT training and rock solid basics in rider and horse.

good luck - be humble and realize that you will need to get very very humble to get to where you want to go.

slc2
Sep. 12, 2007, 11:02 AM
god...how good is she supposed to be at this point? i think you guys are being a little too hard just because the subject of money spent on a horse came up. you guys can't be THAT jealous of someone who buys a horse with a little training...CAN YOU? i don't think it's THAT bad. certainly not worth totally ripping her to pieces right before regionals, is it? do you WANT to have her fail? i think some people here DO, they resent someone buying a little more trained horse THAT MUCH.

in fact, buying a horse with a little training is about the most difficult thing anyone will ever do - the vultures will descend the moment you do!

daring to raise your head over the rim of the Training Level scrub bucket being the other! the first time i did a half pass on my pony at a clinic, the vultures literally decended to tear me limb from limb. there are people who just cannot STAND to see anyone progress, and if their victem should confess their doubts or worries publicly - HERE COME THE VULTURES AGAIN!!!!

and when a rider improves very quickly like this, it's usually a case of having been on the wrong horse.... i think most of you would have been a little grim riding miss gigi yourselves. i see a very normal and expected progression in this rider. she just says a little too publicly what most of you keep to yourselves - and gets piled on for it. nothing like showing the underbelly and having the wolves move in, is there.

ToN Farm
Sep. 12, 2007, 11:35 AM
YF, I just looked at your show record. I think you are doing great! 3rd-3 might be a bit much for you at this point, but you are always improving. I think it is important to consider that you don't have years of showing experience at any level. Another thing is that at 2nd level you were getting scored by two judges, which makes it even harder to score high. You are getting top judges in an area where there is still competition. Maybe you aren't doing as well as you'd like, but I still think you should be proud. So many people would be if in your shoes.

MBM, you are in no position to judge YF or anyone else. Here you are a person with a coming 9 year old horse that isn't even confirmed on the bit yet. Maybe if you'd get yourself another trainer and stop listening to those people on the other board, you would be doing as well as YF is.

Gayla
Sep. 12, 2007, 11:47 AM
YF one thing I have realized about myself is that I can mistake something that i really really want. When I start to get it...it doesn't make me feel good. I have an empty feeling. Maybe you only thought you wanted to be a BNR and the showing thing is leaving you with an empty feeling. I know I do not like showing. Now strangely I love public speaking, conducting training for big groups of people and being in charge of a very public place. But I hate showing a horse. For ME I get absolutely no pleasure in it at all. I love to clinic and take lessons. I don't even go to shows to watch anymore...So boring I could die. Now I have friends that love it. Great!
I think that we are conditioned to be competitive as children and it is difficult to explain why we might spend so much money on horses if we don't compete. People understand why you spent a fortune if you are a WINNER! SO, think about the part of the process of showing that is making you unhappy. You are working so hard and then going to see the score and it does not reflect how you feel about your work. Maybe you are not a competitor of dressage but a lover of the sport. The score does not reflect your love of your mare, your love of the sport, your hard work, your SO's hopes for you and support, the money you've spent. But for me a great ride I have alone with my horse does reflect all of those things. But a score from a judge...not so much. A clinic with that judge where we have a real conversation about my training...love it! So, maybe reflect on what is not making you happy. Because many people would be happy with what you have achieved. So I am wondering if showing will ever make you happy. It doesn't me.

mbm
Sep. 12, 2007, 11:48 AM
MBM, you are in no position to judge YF or anyone else. Here you are a person with a coming 9 year old horse that isn't even confirmed on the bit yet. Maybe if you'd get yourself another trainer and stop listening to those people on the other board, you would be doing as well as YF is.

?? i wasnt trying to be mean... she asked why and i responded honestly. if she isnt doing as well a she wants she needs to reevaluate her goals and work harder and perhaps get a better trainer.

exactly like i did - which is why my 8 y/o mare is doing really really well... - thanks for asking :) - and it is also why i know how much difference a good trainer can make and how much the BASICS - for horse and rider - are so very very important for good work - especially as the work gets harder (ie collection)

YF didn't publish her scores and i dont know her name - so i only went on what she wrote and the vids i saw of her riding her two horses.

and if you reread what i wrote - i didnt say she was a bad rider - i said she needed to get solid basics that would serve her well... and of course it is just a phase.... and dressage is hard....

but of course - i could just give platitudes - if that is all she wanted.

MyReality
Sep. 12, 2007, 11:56 AM
Again, when everyone is saying she just needs to train harder, we will have voices of opposition saying she is great. When we have the opposite opinion, then we hear suck it up.

Again, I have no comment on how much money was spent. But do yourself a favour, if you did spend a lot of money, no need to say how much. A. People don't want to hear it, because they hate to think money can really make a difference... thank God it doesn't. B. really most people are spending quite a bit on their horses, doesn't mean a thing.

When she bought the PSG horse, she was barely first. I think her trainer is doing her the biggest disservice, by helping her buy a PSG horse. In my opinion, if you can ride 4th, yes get a PSG horse that has potential for GP, or buy a GP schoolmaster.

So she is trying to get her saintly made horse to do the test for her, and taking lots of lessons. Now logistically, there is NOT a thing wrong with that. And results show, you CAN do that and will advance faster than others (I mean two levels in one year, wow). So why not?

It depends who you talk to. My opinion is, it will make you over-evaluate your abilities and that could be the end of your career. You can ride a made horse, but can you start one from scratch? Can you train a couple of horses from scratch? Can you ride your student's horse, or get on any horse and get answers? If your trainer's not there, can you still bring the horse up, or do a reasonable test.

It's a journey... long and lonely road. I trust YF can figure it out.

claire
Sep. 12, 2007, 12:32 PM
MR, Great post. Great advice.

YF, I think some very experienced people have taken the time to give you alot of great "No-BS" advice and some things to consider while trying to figure out what you want to do with your "equine" career.

(despite what slc NOW has decided is just a jealous vultures pile on :rolleyes: )

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with riding for a ribbon or spending YOUR $$$ to assure yourself of the best possible chance of getting a
ribbon/move up the levels. In the end though, YOU are one who is going to have to make the decision of "Is It Worth It". Good Luck! :)







So she is trying to get her saintly made horse to do the test for her, and taking lots of lessons. Now logistically, there is NOT a thing wrong with that. And results show, you CAN do that and will advance faster than others (I mean two levels in one year, wow). So why not?

It depends who you talk to. My opinion is, it will make you over-evaluate your abilities and that could be the end of your career. You can ride a made horse, but can you start one from scratch? Can you train a couple of horses from scratch? Can you ride your student's horse, or get on any horse and get answers? If your trainer's not there, can you still bring the horse up, or do a reasonable test.

It's a journey... long and lonely road. I trust YF can figure it out.

quiet girl
Sep. 12, 2007, 12:44 PM
Jerry Lopez, the famous surfer (aka Mr. Pipeline) said "the first twenty years is just to see if you are really interested, the journey does not begin until the second twenty".

Auventera Two
Sep. 12, 2007, 12:58 PM
Jerry Lopez, the famous surfer (aka Mr. Pipeline) said "the first twenty years is just to see if you are really interested, the journey does not begin until the second twenty".

:yes: I like that! And I try to remember that where you're going is about the journey - not the destination.

Ja Da Dee
Sep. 12, 2007, 01:08 PM
god...how good is she supposed to be at this point? i think you guys are being a little too hard just because the subject of money spent on a horse came up. you guys can't be THAT jealous of someone who buys a horse with a little training...CAN YOU?

It's not how good we think she should be, but how good she thinks she should be.

Not jealous at all that she has a nice horse, I think it's great that she has a good mare to learn on. I admit to being a tad jealous that she has the funds to spend almost 6 figures in one year, but certainly not bitter. She says that because she spends money, she should be doing better ... I think the thread is just saying the truth, money helps pay for the lessons that make you better, but it still comes down to talent, hard work, talent, time, talent, effort, talent.. Also, bitching about politics then stating that for the money invested, she should be scoring better, makes it sound like she wants politics, just wants them to be in her favor.

FancyFree
Sep. 12, 2007, 01:30 PM
It's not how good we think she should be, but how good she thinks she should be.

Not jealous at all that she has a nice horse, I think it's great that she has a good mare to learn on. I admit to being a tad jealous that she has the funds to spend almost 6 figures in one year, but certainly not bitter. She says that because she spends money, she should be doing better ... I think the thread is just saying the truth, money helps pay for the lessons that make you better, but it still comes down to talent, hard work, talent, time, talent, effort, talent.. Also, bitching about politics then stating that for the money invested, she should be scoring better, makes it sound like she wants politics, just wants them to be in her favor.

I agree. I would love to have the same amount of funds that YF has to put into my riding, but I don't. I have other obligations. So I find it irritating that someone with so much throws herself a pity party on a BB.

You have the expensive horse, you take clinics and have a great trainer, you pour tons of money into your sport, yet you aren't doing as well as you'd like. Maybe it's you.

hluing
Sep. 12, 2007, 02:04 PM
Well, perhaps it all come downs to definitions of goals. I too bought an FEI schoolmaster (I-1)...I daresay for a LOT less money. I made the financial stretch to keep the horse (and myself) in full training with my trainer. Expensive...yes! But not 6 figure expensive;) I credit this to being the key to my success. Then I worked, had a ton of fun and always keep my horses well being first in my mind. My ulimate goal is to become a better rider and have enjoy my wonderful horse. When I go to shows I focus on competing with myself mainly...but ussualy end up in the upper third of the class of pros (I am an amy but they lump our FEI classes with the pros). Now I am competing at I-1 and hoping to move on to I-2 this year. My goal is not to win my class or get any recognition...but to have the experince...which is priceless;)

Ja Da Dee
Sep. 12, 2007, 02:05 PM
I agree. I would love to have the same amount of funds that YF has to put into my riding, but I don't. I have other obligations. So I find it irritating that someone with so much throws herself a pity party on a BB.

You have the expensive horse, you take clinics and have a great trainer, you pour tons of money into your sport, yet you aren't doing as well as you'd like. Maybe it's you.

And frankly, it sounds like she IS doing really well, moving up and getting respectable scores at her level, and still not happy.

Speedy
Sep. 12, 2007, 02:18 PM
OK, I haven't read all of this, so I might have missed it. BUT I have to ask how in the world the OP got into six figures in one year? I take a lot of lessons and do quite a bit of showing (dressage AND eventing - so we are talking 3 different trainers, all BNTs, with whom I do full board on 2 horses) - and I honestly can't even imagine getting close to that! It boggles the mind. I am not making or implying any judgments about the spend at all, but I am wondering if the OP isn't getting rooked. Is that too off topic?

On topic - I think it sounds like the OP's made good progress. Rome wasn't built in a day. And, if the scores and, more importantly, the comments from show to show are consistent, regardless of the judge, then you have to admit to yourself that the issues are with the riding, not the judging. But that's what it's all about - for me - anyway. The shows are merely a measure of my personal progress and motivate me to work harder, recognizing that it will never be perfect, that at any level there is room for improvement. The journey never ends.

YoungFilly
Sep. 12, 2007, 02:26 PM
:)

Speedy
Sep. 12, 2007, 03:15 PM
Its just sometimes I do get discouraged when I sometimes think I am kicking butt in the ring and then get a 54. :lol: And trust me, it happens. Then I say I bleeping suck, I hate dressage, why do I do this, blah blah blah. It happens. :) But, for some darn reason I keep getting back in the ring.

Yes, well, we are all sado-masochists on some level, aren't we, or we wouldn't be doing this? Seriously, I think it is totally normal to feel that way! Fortunately, the opposite sometimes happens, too - the "wow, that really sucked!" coming out of the ring, only to get high point award for the level. Been there, done that. You just have to keep smiling, enjoy your fab horse and forget about the scores. They come, consistently, in time. At least that's what I'm hoping.

imapepper
Sep. 12, 2007, 04:27 PM
YF, you seem to have a gift at starting really long threads :winkgrin:

It's tough when you push yourself hard and have big dreams. Especially if you are the type of person who trys to be perfect and doesn't like to accept less. You need more ring time :) And from what everyone has said about the levels that you have jumped, you are doing fantastic. Stop beating yourself up and enjoy the journey a little more. Even the most talented folks need show miles to get there.

eurofoal
Sep. 12, 2007, 05:02 PM
Let me clear up the money. The horse cost a good chuck of that. Its really a quite bit less than that. Sorry for overstating the costs, it wasn't my intent, just me venting.

I am happy with our progress. Really, I am. Expecially when we have some kick butt training sessions.

I just need to try even harder to get the rest of the way. My horse is a good horse, and we have really excellent instructors. Its just sometimes I do get discouraged when I sometimes think I am kicking butt in the ring and then get a 54. :lol: And trust me, it happens. Then I say I bleeping suck, I hate dressage, why do I do this, blah blah blah. It happens. :) But, for some darn reason I keep getting back in the ring.

I am glad that this is turning around into a useful thread. I don't hate dressage, I do enjoy showing, and I love my horses. :yes:

Well, we'll chalk that math up to artistic embelishment! I think that you, YF, can really take a lickin' and keep on tickin'... these posters take no prisoners!

I do want to remind everybody that this is a sport where a GOOD score (Let's say, 65%, just to keep everybody happy) would be a "D" in any of our failing American schools. This is just not a sport for anyone who's looking for perfect 10's. At the World Cup this year, some amazing rides-- the top riders in the world on some of the world's best horses, mind you,-- had to settle for mid-60's. Harsh? you bet!

If those riders can't do it, well, that makes me darn proud of my little scores. I'm of the school that's still trying to figure out why the judging isn't more generous than it is, but that's another thread...

In the mean time, YF, looks like you're doing pretty well according to your actual progress.

EqTrainer
Sep. 12, 2007, 05:05 PM
And if you're ever feeling really down, just remember Nootka :cry: that puts it all into perspective for me, everytime. Everytime.

kellyb
Sep. 12, 2007, 06:08 PM
Then I say I bleeping suck, I hate dressage, why do I do this, blah blah blah. It happens. :) But, for some darn reason I keep getting back in the ring.


Who doesn't go through this at one point or another. I've had a string of awful shows too...and not just bad scores - horsie was bad enough I had to withdraw altogether. On the ride home I vow to quit showing and take up golf or something.

The next monday, I am back at the barn, butt crack of dawn, still going at it...the next weekend, I am looking for a show to go to. Like others said, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Furthermore, these subjective disciplines can make it easier for you to get down on yourself. If you're a jumper or a barrel racer and you stink at a show, you just know you've got to be faster/cleaner. If you're a dressage queen or a hunter princess and you never place, you don't know what it is. Are you ugly? Is your horse ugly? Are you wearing the wrong clothes? Does the horse move like he should be a plow horse? And sometimes you never know...every judge's opinion will vary.

Just hang in there. If you're unhappy with the results, re evaluate your situation. Maybe you need a new trainer with fresh ideas. Maybe you're just not cut out for dressage, who knows!

Cowgirl
Sep. 12, 2007, 06:36 PM
YF, it's nice that you have a trained horse. However, having a trained horse doesn't mean you should be showing third level.

I think you are moving up too soon. Did you consistently get mid-60s scores from a variety of judges before you moved up a level? If you did not, like as not you did not understand the requirements of the level and you are just going to be more disappointed as you move up.

foursocks
Sep. 12, 2007, 06:37 PM
Jumper rider here, sort of poking my nose in because I am interested in the whole idea of showing purely for fun, not for the win. I have a green horse, and up until recently, our shows were for experience, and doing well was icing. However, the whole point of doing these shows for mileage was to make us competitive down the line. To me, being competitive at whatever level we are at is a major goal- it is *the* goal, really, because doing well is the proof that my horse and I are utilizing all of our hard work. Taking ourselves out in public and competing against other people at the same level is the proof in the pudding that we're on the right track with our program at home.

If we're talking about greenies, that is obviously different- and in fact, my horse and I just moved up a level and our first time competing at that wasn't.....magical, let's say. However, we'll stick at this level until we have it nailed down (i.e. we're winning or at least placing high consistently), and then we'll reach a bit higher. Moving up showed me some huge holes in my riding and made me incredibly happy with my horse's progress- and next time we go out, damn straight I'm going to try to win! All of our hard work is for this- and I get intense joy out of our daily improvement.

Without this streak of competitiveness, I wouldn't have the horse I have- he's incredibly challenging; i.e. a pain in the ass- I'd have some nice, easy guy to dork around on. But I chose my horse because he has (I think) the goods to make up into an amazing jumper- and working with him towards these goals is fun and hard and satisfying and frustrating and intensely enjoyable for me. I love my horse, but if he became unusable tomorrow, I'd find a way to keep him happy as a pasture pony *and* find another one to compete.

Moreover, if I truly didn't care about winning, I wouldn't waste my funds on shows. So I guess I'm confused about people who truly say they don't care about winning and still show- are you showing a lot, or just now and then for the experience/fun/outside evaluation? Or are you a lucky soul with lots of disposable income and you just love being in the ring and the show atmosphere? Either of these things I can understand, but not someone who shows regularly but isn't showing to win/place well. I'm not saying the way I feel is better than those who don't like showing- I don't give a hoot about that, and I'm glad for anyone who gets to experience the joy of being around horses, regardless of what they do. What I am genuinely curious about is: why show if you aren't competitive?

I don't hate my other competitors, I'm not jealous or resentful of them when they do well, and I always learn a lot from watching everyone else, both the good and the bad trips. But I sure as hell ride to beat them- because, again, my own performance tells me valuable things about my level of progress, *and* because I'm competitive! I love winning! It makes me feel incredibly proud of my horse and myself and all we have accomplished. I guess I don't understand why there is anything wrong with this.

If I threw tantrums because I didn't do well, or glared at my fellow competitors, or bitched about the judging (although, jumpers is all time and faults, so not much scope for politics) or the footing or the fences or whatever- well, then I'd just be a rank pain in the butt. But when I get myself in the ring, I am going in there to win- to the best of my and my horse's ability. Why else would I be there? I'm sorry this is so long- I've been thinking about this subject for weeks now due to a conversation I had and when I saw this thread, it all came out....

hluing
Sep. 12, 2007, 06:56 PM
I'll take a stab at jumper-riders questions. Of course I like to win as much as the next rider...but I am an amy rider and this is my way to have fun. I love dressage because I can compete against myself...I can set other goals for myself...earning my bronze, silver (and gulp gold) medals....adult amy awards, competing at regionals, etc. Besides that...my primary goal is to learn. Dressage shows offer great feedback on your riding. Bottom line....if I was that worried about winning all my classes...I would be too nervous to ride well and I would not have fun. IMHO:)

NOMIOMI1
Sep. 12, 2007, 07:08 PM
YF remember that half of the people on here probably have invested (not including money) alot less than you have. I know what it is like to spend some cash and work hard and then be angry when I feel jipped. I have friends who tell me Im too competative and that I should just show for fun yada yada yada. I wanna tell them to stuff it because most of them havn't spent the money or the time or the studytime I have. You wanna see results ! There is nothing wrong with that. I wanna see results too! Im pushing harder and harder to ride better and better rather than spending more but let me tell ya Im still spending quite a bit.

Like my trainer says "As long as your kind to the horse I dont really care how pissed you get about your scores".

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Sep. 12, 2007, 07:23 PM
I don't know if this will help. I think it's a personality issue, and truly, I understand.

When I was an adult, just after getting my degree and starting post graduate studies, I looked for something physical to do outside the lab - I simply couldn't afford horses in Boston on a post doc fellowship. But there was an ice rink, and it was free (this was at MIT, believe it or not - fabulous intramural sports).

I had never really skated, but I invested in a decent pair of skates, joined the club, started taking lessons. I did extra lessons at summer sessions at the Skating Club of Boston.

One day I was doing school figures in a lesson, and I just couldn't get something. And my coach got frustrated, and shook me by the shoulders and said, "WILL YOU JUST RELAX ALREADY????" And I pushed the hair out of my face, looked at her, and replied in all sincereity, "I understand. I should be thinking, I'm an adult, isn't it wonderful that I can do this, and enjoy this, in addition to my work...but all I can think of is, the February Olympics are only a few months away."

And she looked at me, jaw dropping, then lost it. Then she calle dover all her competitive kiddies, and made me repeat the story to them, and she added, "Now YOU - YOU should be thinking this way." But she had to quit the lesosn because she couldn't look at me without laughting.

I'm not trying to say YF wants to go to the Olympics - although she's got a far better chance than I do! But sometime sthe drive, and the desire is there, and you just want it so bad you can taste it.

Regardless of whether, as in my case, you have a fruitbat's chance in hell of getting there.

slc2
Sep. 12, 2007, 07:48 PM
still trying to get the marrow out of the bones, i see.

Every situation is different, and every rider and horse are a different situation. And to be perfectly honest, it doesn't always make that much difference whether someone shows at one level or another, especially someone who's been riding for a while and buys a more trained horse - they get marked down for the same things at whatever level they show at. YF has worked with plenty of people like John Z who if he told her to show third level, he's smart enough and experienced enough to be right. The horse is more trained and it's not always that simple what level a person should be at, and it doesn't always progress at the same rate.

Odette is a very nice pleasant horse with very appropriate gaits and a wonderful temperament, and I think quite a few people could have bought that horse and moved along quite well. She was the perfect choice for YF - i commend whichever trainer picked her out.

going through first, second third level fairly rapidly isn't all that unusual. It really isn't. It may piss people off, but it's not unheard of for people to go through these levels quickly with a well trained horse, not that it is 'EASY' to do so, it isn't really. But the person's suffering may be compressed into a shorter time frame, LOL.

Nor is is 'bad' for someone to show at third level fairly quickly. There are in fact horses that do far better at third level than first or second. For a lot of horses, the lower tests just don't have enough stuff in them to keep them together or busy. a friend of mine who had ridden years ago in eventing, but not for many years, borrowed an fei horse for 5 weeks and took her in a third level class and did satisfactorily. more to the point he learned alot and enjoyed it. again, not to say that was easy. he worked his *** off.

getting in there and doing those tests of different levels is important, and how a person exactly scores is not really as important as just getting it under one's belt. it all depends what the person's goals are. if the person's goal is to collect lower level club awards, then it's really important to show as much as one can at each level, whenever possible. if the rider is trying to progress up the levels, and he has the horse, the money and the time and health to do it, he damned well better do it, before something changes...he needs to get used to the harder tests and find out what he needs to work on, as well as getting through the usual anxiety and nerves. it's not as important to get a really high score or to win awards along the way - it's more important to just do it. this starts to get a little disingenuous as one gets farther up in the fei levels but at this level it's more important to get through it and get the experience.

atr
Sep. 12, 2007, 07:49 PM
Foursocks, I think there are a couple of things that make dressage "different," if you like.

First of all, each rider really has a chance to set their own goal--what they define as "winning", as Hluing says, that may have nothing to do with how you place in the class and everything to do with whether your score has improved, whether you are getting your medal scores, qualifying for Regionals, etc,. Getting a blue ribbon is nice, but not as nice as bumping your score up by a few percentages compared to the last show.

I think, because of that, certainly at the lower levels, you tend to find that people really aren't going out there to "beat other people", but to "beat themselves" (figuratively speaking :))

Now there are exceptions to this. I'll admit to getting a certain guilty satisfaction out of out-scoring one particular person. Doesn't reflect very well on me personally, I know, but there it is. I keep it to myself, and there are probably two people in the world who know how I feel about it--one of them is not my trainer!

And secondly, I think it is really darned hard and prone to disaster for a dressage rider and horse to "pull a rabbit out of a hat" to suddenly be able to put in a winning ride that might be completely out of character, as you can try to do in a jumper round, by taking risks to get a faster time, for instance. It's a different skill set, as those of us who have transitioned between the two approaches have discovered!

lizathenag
Sep. 12, 2007, 07:50 PM
Guess I am lucky the Rome Oympics are over (the last ones I thought I could make. . .)

A Horse of Course
Sep. 12, 2007, 07:53 PM
I think my love of dressage lies with the training aspect of it, of myself and horses.

Where others seem to have a certain score at a certain level in mind, as their goal(s), I look at what the top riders/trainers can do, riding and training wise, as my guiding light. To me, giving myself a score and level in showing to reach, limits me.

When I show, do I care what score I get? Of course I do, but showing in itself is not where my drive lies, it's not where my passion for dressage comes from and as I said above it's not where I go to for goals to reach.

Scores and showing won't tell me if I have reached the level of riding as such greats as Kyra, Hubertus, or Nadine.

And for example, in order for me to place someone in the "greats" list that I would like to learn from, knowing their scores at different levels in no way tells me what I need to know.
I need to watch you schooling a variety of horses at different levels. I'm picky, and gravitate to riders with a certain feel of the horse, seat, and way of training, scores don't tell me about that at all.
There could be two different riders with the same fantastic score at GP, but in watching them ride, I may not like one at all, his feel, his seat, the way he trains the horses, but he gets the same score as someone else whose feel and etc., blows me away with how incredible it is.

I don't seem to think about any goals or steps inbetween, I'm always looking at the great riders/trainers and how I want to be able to ride and train like that. Maybe that seems daunting and overshooting, but I love the process, I'm obsessed with it. And if I could ride and train on the same field as the Kyra's and Hubertus Schmidt's over night, I would be pissed, I like the process.
However, I wouldn't stop there anyways, I would keep perfecting it and taking it further.

So when someone says to me they love dressage, I assume they love the process and the training, but maybe that's because that's what I love and the only way I know how to look at it. When someone really doesn't love the process than I can understand the impatience and frustration, because maybe they put more focus on an end goal, or several goals, and they need to reach certain goals to feel inspired in moving on.

I'm not saying there is a right or wrong side, or that there aren't many more sides than what I've listed, these are just two sides that I've observed in reading this thread and in other people.

Hazelnut
Sep. 12, 2007, 09:07 PM
Good thought, may I qoute you on that in the future?

Have to add as long as it is a lament and not placing blame elsewhere.

Thank you, please feel free, and agreed; laments OK, placing blame elsewhere is not so good.

Grintle Sunshine
Sep. 12, 2007, 10:11 PM
A Horse of Course - great post! There is so much more to dressage than just scores. The learning and training and experimenting process is so addictive and fun.

Pony Fixer
Sep. 12, 2007, 10:32 PM
you guys can't be THAT jealous of someone who buys a horse with a little training...CAN YOU?

slick, is there an algorithm so I can figure out ahead of time who you will support and who you will blast? I seem to recall many a "whining" post where you told the poster to suck it up.

YF, FWIW, you know this board, so you knew what kind of responses you were likely to get. I hope you can separate the wheat from the chaff. Maybe you can dust off slick's nose as well ;)

And for the record--I for one am not jealous. I just bought myself a super fancy 4th level horse. But thanks for asking!

slc2
Sep. 12, 2007, 11:15 PM
pony fixer, i'm afraid you don't get what i'm saying. it is not a matter of 'supporting' YF, it's a matter of not supporting the endless ragging on an individual.

Briggsie
Sep. 12, 2007, 11:38 PM
..............the endless ragging of an individual who endlessly complains and begs for the critiques, but only in a favorable light.

Some people just are not cut out to ride.......you either have it or you don't...........politics are a cop out.

YoungFilly
Sep. 13, 2007, 12:55 AM
:)

claire
Sep. 13, 2007, 09:00 AM
Briggs, no offense or anything, but aren't you at the tail end of things? Don't you think people have hashed this over enough? You are at the end of the party girlfriend! Give it up!

This little party sure as hell did not deserve 11,000 - 12, 000 posts either.

DOES MY NEXT AMAZING LATE NIGHT POST deserve 12 billion posts? No.

YF, ummm isn't this about the third time you have posted a topic about hating dressage/your horse? And then you get "MAD" when you don't get the answers you want? :confused:

As I said before, many people took the time to write a reply and give you the benefit of their experience.

Maybe, some are just feeling like fools for being taken (again) when you decide, after several pages, that the OP was just an "AMAZING POST" written out of "LATE NIGHT" boredom. :no:

Sad. :(

Sabovee
Sep. 13, 2007, 09:11 AM
Good lord....

YF - If you're feeling all disillusioned QUIT! Less whiners in the arena would make this sport more tolerable for the rest of us.

You sound like a spoiled little rich kid and it's getting a bit old.

All you can do when you show is do the best you can for you and your horse on the day. That's IT! If you go to each show expecting greatness you will be disappointed. PERIOD.

I agree with the above poster as well - you constantly post these threads about how you hate the sport/your horse etc. Leave the pity party and come play in the hay. Maybe if you spent the amount of time you spend bitching about dressage and your horse in the saddle you might be worthy of the horse you own.

slc2
Sep. 13, 2007, 11:33 AM
MIAOW!

some people need a target to focus their own anger and unhappiness on, don't they.

i see YF's posts more like 'Reality, this is YF, YF, this is Reality.' This is just the process of watching a person comes to terms with reality - the reality that the sport is hard and there's a lot of bumps and bangs along the way.

Wondered why we do it? Wondered why we spend the money and time? Had doubts? For God's sake, JESUS had doubts and ambivalence, and feelings, not all of which everyone thought were 'politically correct'.

If a person isn't really pushing their comfort zone they don't get the ambivalence and the wondering. 'if they ain't yellin' they ain't workin'' as someone once told me.

These are the exact same feelings I have heard expressed over and over in many years of riding and being around riders. I've felt all of those things myself, feeling guilty about spending the money on it, wondering what it's all for, and then you talk to the SAME person at another time of day and they have worked it out and they know what they want to do. People - HUMAN BEINGS - do ponder and wonder and get themselves back on track. it's a constant process.

Why else do you think 95 % of the rides in america are at intro and training level? And why else do you think someone who tries to go beyond that draws such incredible venom when they express feelings honestly, instead of the PC cr** we usually read on these boards.

This is what just about anyone feels sometimes as they go thru this process. YF just dares to say it out loud.

You think this process is PRETTY, people? You're kidding yourself, then. You all seem to think the horse and rider just BREEEZE through this process of moving up the levels and responding to the challenges it brings. ha. just ain't true.

This is a sport in which the world champion over and over again was told what she had to do to win and said 'I just don't see how i can do any better, I don't have it in me', and another world champion wailed, 'Oh god, where's my coach, I don't know what aids to give the horse' (YEAH, Christine Stuckelberger! one of the best riders in the world, the last person anyone would think would say that).

I guarantee, anyone who ever tries to go thru the process of moving up the levels is GOING to have some very mixed feelings and a lot of wondering and ambivalence as they go thru this process.

It's like looking at upper level riders and bashing them (a hobby to many here). one does a bit less of it when one walks in their shoes a little bit. You find out how hard it is, you're a wee bit more charitable watching others try.

FancyFree
Sep. 13, 2007, 11:47 AM
YF, ummm isn't this about the third time you have posted a topic about hating dressage/your horse? And then you get "MAD" when you don't get the answers you want? :confused:

As I said before, many people took the time to write a reply and give you the benefit of their experience.

Maybe, some are just feeling like fools for being taken (again) when you decide, after several pages, that the OP was just an "AMAZING POST" written out of "LATE NIGHT" boredom. :no:

Sad. :(

ITA. I think "amazing" should be substituted with "attention seeking".

fullmoon fever
Sep. 13, 2007, 11:53 AM
Wondered why we do it? Wondered why we spend the money and time? Had doubts? For God's sake, JESUS had doubts and ambivalence, and feelings, not all of which everyone thought were 'politically correct'.

Is this why I can't find his scores online? Did he get to PSG and quit or was he unable to afford a good quality horse and the politics were too much for him?

slc2
Sep. 13, 2007, 11:55 AM
he was riding before they were recording the scores on computer, darling. Now JESUS, there was a good rider. Never had an unsound horse, either.

alacrity
Sep. 13, 2007, 12:04 PM
Now JESUS, there was a good rider. Never had an unsound horse, either.

Now I've seen it all... SLC claiming to have first hand knowledge of JESUS's riding... I'm playing the lotto today!

flshgordon
Sep. 13, 2007, 12:13 PM
Now I've seen it all... SLC claiming to have first hand knowledge of JESUS's riding... I'm playing the lotto today!

:lol: :lol: :lol: Not if I get there first!

claire
Sep. 13, 2007, 12:14 PM
:rolleyes:




-you're assuming you should beat a lot of people with a lot more riding lessons under their belt than you. you haven't been at this all that long.

-there was a series of threads earlier addressing the level your horse had shown in europe. you might want to refer to them.

-you have the seat and the forwardness appropriate and typical of a person at your stage of learning, and that means that you aren't going to always win, because other riders will be further along than you. a person has to learn to accept that when they show at the better shows. it's either that or stay at the schooling and smaller shows.

-in many years i saw virtually nothing of 'who you are' and how wealthy you are making it any easier. i saw weak tests, fairly scored. we all go thru the same thing, you know, no one starts winning instantly.

-i recall when you first started posting here, you were quite confident that you would be riding and winning at the upper levels very quickly, in big competition. you had, frankly, very unrealistic expectations and a very unrealistic timetable. maybe you're finding out now what you were told back then by just about everyone that responded....it just doesn't happen that way.

-i suppose you want to compare yourself to someone who makes 5,800 dollars a year driving a school bus, and sleeps in a trailer their husband put together from spare parts, at shows, and rides an off the track thoroughbred they bought for 800 dollars and trained themselves? of COURSE it's expensive. and you chose to spend the money on it. i also know that you can show for far less if you put your mind to it.

:no: i hope your pity party is about over.

mp
Sep. 13, 2007, 12:19 PM
he was riding before they were recording the scores on computer, darling. Now JESUS, there was a good rider. Never had an unsound horse, either.

I heard his horse could be a real ass.

NOMIOMI1
Sep. 13, 2007, 12:20 PM
11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter."[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

Oh ya he can ride!!!!

Bogie
Sep. 13, 2007, 01:17 PM
I am working hard. I have been taking lessons extrememly consistantly since I purchased the horse. I have had a regular instructor the whole time.

It really is just getting so expensive, and when I go up to the board at horse shows its very frustrating to see scores that do not reflect how much time and effort I have put into it.

There is a part of me that wants to just drop the whole sport all together. I have spent a good long while and a lot of money to not feel happy. I also think that I am dreading regionals. I have gone to way to many shows this year, I think I am burned out.

Why not try something different? You can have lots of fun with horses for less money and angst. Take six months off from showing. Take your horse on some hacks, try going back to basics on the lunge line, and see if you have any lightbulb moments when you rebuild your base.

Otherwise, I think you probably need to accept that it will take you longer than you anticipated to achieve the level of success that you want; perhaps you should talk to your trainer and find out from them whether they think you are competitive at the level you are riding, or whether you should wait.

If you feel like you are going to too many shows, you probably are ;).

egontoast
Sep. 13, 2007, 01:19 PM
i suppose you want to compare yourself to someone who makes 5,800 dollars a year driving a school bus, and sleeps in a trailer their husband put together from spare parts, at shows, and rides an off the track thoroughbred they bought for 800 dollars and trained themselves? of COURSE it's expensive. and you chose to spend the money on it. i also know that you can show for far less if you put your mind to it.

:no: i hope your pity party is about over.


Slc, stop picking on YF! Oh right, only you can call this a 'pity party' for someone with plenty to spend but anyone else who has a similar thought is SO MEAN!!:cool:

MEOW yourself!!

rileyt
Sep. 13, 2007, 01:23 PM
Oh Geez-us.

I love how SLC identifies with YF's hard work, dedication, and struggle to make it to the top levels while the rest of us Training level folks hurl insults out of pure jealosy. It must be because SLC has ALSO struggled to find her way to the very top of the dressage pyramid, where she now sits ialone n all her glory.

Where is my short sword -- I feel a need to disembowl myself. If I can't finish the job, Eggy, would you be so kind as to put me out of my misery?

YF, don't listen to anyone here... especially not me. We're all just insanely jealous, and have no idea how hard it is to ride at the upper levels, because instead we trot circles all day trying to get our horses on the bit.

But, SLC... SHE knows what you're talking about. No, PSG ain't easy... no it isn't... yessiree bob.

Geez-us is right.

slc2
Sep. 13, 2007, 01:35 PM
That's not what I said at all, and that isn't what i mean, it's just a way of ridiculing something you don't want to hear.

What i'm saying is that there is a point at which i don't feel you have to keep hammering on an individual - a horse or a person. you don't have to have gotten to psg at all, or even done dressage, just having ever tried to do any sport to any level will give a person some perspective. you can walk a mile in someone shoes without having done EXACTLY what they have done.

so i'm not flying off the handle in indignation and ragging on and on and on at YF, and that's wrong now, because the majority here have spotted someone to pick on and don't want to have ANYONE not joining in or saying hey, i don't agree with this going on and on ad nauseum.

you don't have to be at any specific level to have a little bit of commonsense and tolerance when dealing with a rider who is having some issues. people get upset at times and they go forward. there's no point in picking on someone endlessly because they said a few things that you didn't think were perfect enough.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Sep. 13, 2007, 01:54 PM
I guess I am in the minority here...must be my week for doing that (see the Parelli bashing thread on Off Course).

I thought slc2 posted some very heartfelt and sincere comments. And I agree with them. I didn't interpret the OP as whining, so much as a "All this hard work and where the hell am I" kind of post. If it weren't for the fact that I do this all the time in lab during the day, it would frustrate me as well at night, when I am riding.

I don't think it was a matter of looking for payback, or easy scores. Sometimes, when you're in the middle of a frustrating plateau, you can feel like you're spinning your wheels. Endlessly. I interpreted YF's post as one where she was trying to get a peek out of the trench to assure herself that yes, there is a way out, and yes, other people have been in the trench too, and gotten out. I assumed people would be posting things like, "I spent a year at 2nd level getting scores in the 50s and I almost gave it up but I plugged away and figured out "X" and "Y" and now we are getting 60s and 70s and looking forward to plateauing at 3rd level!"

Of course, I am not in that situation, so all I could do was post my skating Olympic story...did I mention the time I won a gigantic trophy, but I took 2nd out of 2 and lost to a woman who had suffered polio as a child? Whoops.

egontoast
Sep. 13, 2007, 02:05 PM
There's nothing 'heartfelt' about Slc's posts. If you think so, go back and read some more but eat some maalox first. Slc likes to go against the grain so if 10 people say the sky is blue she'll argue that it is not. If 10 people say it is not blue than she will argue that it IS blue.

If people give a positive response to a whiney thread, she'll stomp the person all to sh*t. If people crap on a whiney thread, she'll stand up for the poor soul.

The heart is not involved at all.

Being right and being the ONLY person in the world who knows the right answer is what slc is all about. If you don't think so, you haven't read enough of the flipfloppy posts.

FancyFree
Sep. 13, 2007, 02:09 PM
There's nothing 'heartfelt' about Slc's posts. If you think so, go back and read some more but eat some maalox first. Slc likes to go against the grain so if 10 people say the sky is blue she'll argue that it is not. If 10 people say it is not blue than she will argue that it IS blue.

If people give a positive response to a whiney thread, she'll stomp the person all to sh*t. If people crap on a whiney thread, she'll stand up for the poor soul.

The heart is not involved at all.

Being right and being the ONLY person in the world who knows the right answer is what slc is all about. If you don't think so, you haven't read enough of the flipfloppy posts.

As a newbie, thanks for the lowdown. I was wondering how one goes from describing the poster as having a "pity party" then to be said poster's champion. Kinda schizophrenic.

rileyt
Sep. 13, 2007, 02:34 PM
Eggy - please PLEASE don't forget about my request! What's a little assisted suicide between friends?

Vesper Sparrow
Sep. 13, 2007, 02:37 PM
From what I've seen so far, this is a classic COTH thread: it goes from someone's midnight crise de coeur to a serious and useful discussion on rider expections to a rant against SLC, with a stop along the way to discuss what kind of rider Jesus would have been if he were doing dressage (should this be a spinoff thread?). I love it! :lol:

Anyway, about contrarians, some of my best friends are contrarians. I have a fellow opera friend who invariably delights in going against the grain and debunking the generally expressed opinion about an opera we've all seen. There also seems to be one on every board of directors and they can be very useful in bringing up alternate points of view once you get past being royally pissed off at them. :)


There's nothing 'heartfelt' about Slc's posts. If you think so, go back and read some more but eat some maalox first. Slc likes to go against the grain so if 10 people say the sky is blue she'll argue that it is not. If 10 people say it is not blue than she will argue that it IS blue.

If people give a positive response to a whiney thread, she'll stomp the person all to sh*t. If people crap on a whiney thread, she'll stand up for the poor soul.

The heart is not involved at all.

Being right and being the ONLY person in the world who knows the right answer is what slc is all about. If you don't think so, you haven't read enough of the flipfloppy posts.

mp
Sep. 13, 2007, 02:43 PM
I guess I am in the minority here...must be my week for doing that (see the Parelli bashing thread on Off Course).

You were in the majority there, geek.

Great summation, vesper. Contrarians can be interesting ... when they're not being giant PITAs.

egontoast
Sep. 13, 2007, 02:46 PM
Vesper, I think maybe you missed the point. I have no problem with healthy 'contrarians".

I do take issue with the claim that said contrarian's comments are 'heartfelt". Since they change willy nilly with the tides, the heart does not appear to come into it.

I have some respect for contrarians who are consistent and have some continuity of thought. Slc is not one of those. There are contrarians and then there are people who just have personality disorders.

PS OHOH someone will now jump on me for playing a psychiatrist on the net! let she who hast not casteth a thimilar stoneth, etc..blahblahblah

Vesper Sparrow
Sep. 13, 2007, 02:58 PM
Maybe, since I don't know any of the people involved and so I'm looking at it unemotionally... But the thing about contrarians (to follow up on the religious imagery, also known as the devil's advocate:) is that they are often inconsistent. My late father was a huge one: liberal to the nth degree but a member of the NRA because he thought that we should all have the right to bear arms when the revolution came...


Vesper, I think maybe you missed the point. I have no problem with healthy 'contrarians".

I do take issue with the claim that said contrarian's comments are 'heartfelt". Since they change willy nilly with the tides, the heart does not appear to come into it.

I have some respect for contrarians who are consistent and have some continuity of thought. Slc is not one of those. There are contrarians and then there are people who just have personality disorders.

PS OHOH someone will now jump on me for playing a psychiatrist on the net! let she who hast not casteth a thimilar stoneth, etc..blahblahblah