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Elegante E
Dec. 18, 2007, 07:23 PM
Anyone else find the article "Own a Better Horse" in DT somewhat flawed?

The suggestion that a dressage rider should buy the best horse she can afford is sound. BUT when the author suggests that one should equate buying a horse with buying a car, I have to stand back and wonder about this person's rationality. She suggests that most people own cars costing from $25k-30k and so riders should spend less on their car and more on their horse (ok, not awful advice but then here's the kicker), because one can find a good dressage horse for $20k-50k! So, go into debt, she said it, to buy your horse.

Where was the editor for DT? Just wondering how what is such obvious stupidity got past the editor. I bet several people will miss my point so will repeat it. I do think that dressage riders should buy the best horse she/he can afford. I do NOT believe they should get themselves into debt for a horse. Horses are expensive enough to train, outfit, and care for - they are also mortal. So investing what most would consider a huge sum of money on something that could die or, even worse to some, be injurred which would still require care and more money - is not wise. There are many breeds out there that do dressage quite well and don't cost as much or more than a car. If the majority of us are not aiming at the Olympics, we would be much better suited by purchase a cost friendly animal who's movement and conformation are good enough. Then we can get a loan to pay for lessons so that we can pay for shows so that we can move up the levels.

Rant over.

Regal Grace
Dec. 18, 2007, 07:39 PM
for a living???? "No way Jose unless" you have money to burn. I work plenty of O/T just to be able to afford to board my horse and take lessons. Unless I had the time and money $$$$$ (i.e Win Lotto) then maybe I would splurge.

It's a shame that many people think they have to spend that kind of money and end up putting themselves in a financial hole to have a good horse. Plus you're not doing no favors to the horse either if you have to struggle financially. Also if the author is equating horses with cars that is VERY sad for how many times have I heard good horse people say you should not treat a horse like a piece of sporting equipment/machinery.

I would love to see what the reader mail feedback is to the editor for the Feburary or March issue of DT re: this article.

class
Dec. 18, 2007, 07:47 PM
So investing what most would consider a huge sum of money on something that could die or, even worse to some, be injurred which would still require care and more money - is not wise.

cars can "die" too. that's why people carry insurance on them.

sorry, but i don't see my horses as a little side project or a hobby. i see them as a necessity. kind of like a car. ;) i don't have a car payment, but i do have a horse payment. although, i'm really not sure exactly how it is any of your business what other people do with their money?

CenterlineGirl2
Dec. 18, 2007, 08:00 PM
What's the big deal? People take loans to buy all sorts of stuff, why not a horse? Look, if you don't care whether the horse you ride is good quality or not and you don't have much to spend, well then don't do it. But I think its a great option for many people who dream about owning a quality horse. I went into debt for my horse and it was a really good decision. I have a wonderful horse now that took my riding to the next level. And most likely he will last me many years. My car without any accidents will only last me 6 maybe if I take good care of it. I really don't see anything wrong with going into debt to buy a horse, just like I don't see anything wrong with going into debt to buy a boat/car/airplane/whateverwhoeverneedsorwants

Reynard Ridge
Dec. 18, 2007, 08:00 PM
As with so many things, I think it all depends. In my opinion, for the average Jane-schmoe rider living paycheck to paycheck and working their butt off to get to first level, going into debt to buy a $25k horse seems like a stupid idea. It's a relatively high risk (worse case scenario: horse dies, no money for insurance, so you are paying interest on a dead horse) with little reward.

If you're a reasonably talented rider, and maybe are in a two income family and can get yourself a really nice horse for $30k, but don't have that kind cash lying around, but can afford insurance and can handle monthly payments, well, why not? The risk is much less - if you have the horse insured, you can pay off debt if horse croaks. And if you're reasonably talented rider you might be able to bring the horse along and re-sell it.

Personally, I would never go into debt to buy a horse, but I can see situations where it might make sense for someone else to.

MistyBlue
Dec. 18, 2007, 08:01 PM
It isn;t anyone's business what they do with their income or credit reports. Heaven knows the horse world is not populated heavily by financially responsible people. :winkgrin:
However...IMO...it is extremely poor reporting to publish an article on finances and debt in an equine magazine. Equine folks are highly probable of making stupid decisions and really don't need the "help" from a magazine that's not a financial one.
And yeeesss...I know many people can indeed afford it or at least think they can....so no need to jump on my post for that. :winkgrin:

Melissa.Van Doren
Dec. 18, 2007, 08:03 PM
What Reynard Ridge said. :yes:

Elegante E
Dec. 18, 2007, 08:44 PM
cars can "die" too. that's why people carry insurance on them.

sorry, but i don't see my horses as a little side project or a hobby. i see them as a necessity. kind of like a car. ;) i don't have a car payment, but i do have a horse payment. although, i'm really not sure exactly how it is any of your business what other people do with their money?

It's my business when they borrow money and default - did you miss the junk bond fiasco?

pinkme
Dec. 18, 2007, 08:47 PM
I am up to my eyeballs is horse debt right now. It stinks, and I shouldnt have done it, but i enjoy the horses, so its worth it..now if I can only get one of them sold..

SerenaGinger
Dec. 18, 2007, 08:50 PM
The best advice I got from a very successful business person was, "Never finance a hobby."

texang73
Dec. 18, 2007, 08:53 PM
As with so many things, I think it all depends. In my opinion, for the average Jane-schmoe rider living paycheck to paycheck and working their butt off to get to first level, going into debt to buy a $25k horse seems like a stupid idea. It's a relatively high risk (worse case scenario: horse dies, no money for insurance, so you are paying interest on a dead horse) with little reward.

If you're a reasonably talented rider, and maybe are in a two income family and can get yourself a really nice horse for $30k, but don't have that kind cash lying around, but can afford insurance and can handle monthly payments, well, why not? The risk is much less - if you have the horse insured, you can pay off debt if horse croaks. And if you're reasonably talented rider you might be able to bring the horse along and re-sell it.

Personally, I would never go into debt to buy a horse, but I can see situations where it might make sense for someone else to.

Exactly what RR said! :)

JRG
Dec. 18, 2007, 08:56 PM
I was dismayed at the article. I think it sends the wrong message, the message I got was...you need to buy your way though the levels.

not again
Dec. 18, 2007, 09:05 PM
It would make more sense to go in to debt on riding education. Then you could make horses to sell to those buying expensive horses.

Daydream Believer
Dec. 18, 2007, 09:09 PM
The best advice I got from a very successful business person was, "Never finance a hobby."

Amen! I haven't read the article but I have to say it is amazing that a magazine article would encourage someone to go into debt to enjoy their hobby! I also think there are a lot of nice, lesser priced horses out there that are suitable for ammies that don't cost more than a car! The problem is that articles like that support the misconception in dressage that one needs such a beast to "be competitive" or "be taken seriously." Both quotes I have heard from people justifying the purchase of such a horse that ended up being way too much horse in both situations. :no:

pintopiaffe
Dec. 18, 2007, 09:49 PM
There was an article on UDBB a few years ago regarding the demographics of the "average" DT Subscriber. DT was flauting it's audience to potential advertisers.

I'm recalling the "average" income was $90k plus a year. I was really insulted. I'll net slightly less than a third of that this year, with three jobs (plus the farm.) And the most I've ever spent on a truck was $12k, and it was my one and only brand new truck. My HOUSE and farm cost less than many horses we talk about commonly on this board, and I've got 30 years to pay for it. Hell, my house cost less than the TRUCKS most people talk about... and I've got 30 years to pay for it...

The demographics on this board are somewhat skewed as well, but there are a few of us poor trailer trash who stick together... (and I'm not even talking WTD either!)

Yes, any horse, whether he was a rescue or a six figure horse, can go out tomorrow and snap a leg, colic or just plain stop performing.

*I* don't think you should need a mortgage to buy a horse. That's part of my vision statement of breeding. And lo and behold my 'backyard' horses hold their own, winning against those fancy 5 figure horses... <shrugs>

not again
Dec. 18, 2007, 10:05 PM
You need to know where to insert the quarter if you want to go for a ride.

Miss-O
Dec. 18, 2007, 10:26 PM
I read that article today and thought it was skewed also. First of all I don't spend nearly that much on a car. But I do get her point. It WOULD probably be more worthwhile to get a horse who either a) has a job already and is good at it or b) buy a greenie/new to dressage horse who has real potential to be great in dressage. But I don't think a horse is a great thing to take a loan out for. I will never do it for the main reason being murphy's law. If I take out a loan on something that doesn't have a warrenty on it, it WILL break. Probably as soon as the monthly bills start rolling in.

But that doesn't mean that someone shouldn't be able to buy that $20,000 horse just because there are cheaper ones out there. Why not save up your money to buy that horse rather then go into debt over it? Take what you would have paid per month and set it aside or better yet invest it.

angel
Dec. 19, 2007, 07:10 AM
I would never go into debt to buy a luxery item. In fact, I have a difficult time going into debt even for a necessity. But, you should also think about the flip side of the coin, and that is the integrity of the person who is holding that debt for you. When you finish your payments, will you actually get the papers for the horse? Sometimes, the person at the other end of the payment schedule does not really have the papers, or there is a problem with the papers, or the person is sick/dies without making arrangements for your receipt of the papers. Don't think this won't happen to you just because the person from whom you are going the installment route for your horse lives in a big house with the "trappings" of money.

merrygoround
Dec. 19, 2007, 07:33 AM
cars can "die" too. that's why people carry insurance on them.

sorry, but i don't see my horses as a little side project or a hobby. i see them as a necessity. kind of like a car. ;) i don't have a car payment, but i do have a horse payment. although, I'm really not sure exactly how it is any of your business what other people do with their money?

But there is no 50,000 mile warranty or drive chain warranty, etc. :lol:

Your right to do as you please is unchallenged. Your financial acumen is in doubt. :)

rebecca yount
Dec. 19, 2007, 07:35 AM
Just so everyone knows, after an initial few emails in reply to ones I sent, the responses from the USEF Dressage Committee seem to be tapering off. I know the members of the committee are busy and it IS the holiday season.

I encourage everyone who is interested to keep sending emails to all members of the committee, regularly, including links to all the threads on all bulletin boards regarding this subject. Paste comments from threads into the emails. It is probably important to let TPTB how the discussions are evolving and make them aware of new points (some very good ones, IMO) that are being raised. ry

NotaDQinMD
Dec. 19, 2007, 07:55 AM
<<The best advice I got from a very successful business person was, "Never finance a hobby.">>
I do like this advice, however horses and riding are much more than a hobby for many people, including amateurs. My husband would never agree that my horses are a hobby, in his eyes it's an obsession (I like to think of it as a passion). If horses are your passion and you can afford driving the car a few more years or borrowing money from a savings plan, by all means, buy the best horse you can afford (be sure to insure it) and go for it!

That said - I do agree that you don't have to spend that kind of money for a capable dressage horse if you are willing to look at alternative breeds or creative alternatives. I personally have opted for buying a youngster and waiting it out.
Trish

PiedPiper
Dec. 19, 2007, 08:20 AM
I agree and thinks this falls soundly into the housing slump that we are dealing with right now. Foreclosures are happening every month b/c people maxed out what they could afford and bought on the hope that the market would continue to boom and their interest only loan would continue going at a lower rate. There was little thought to the future and realistic predictions.

I can't say I have always made sound financial decisions and can say most of the poor ones have involved horses :cool: but I would never get a loan for a horse unless I happened to be in a situation where I owned nothing on a low mileage car and had the mortage paid off. Then and possibly only then would I think of doing that. Luckily I have a husband who would hit me upside the head if I came to that. :lol:

But you can call the horse habit whatever you want, addiction/obsession/need/etc, but unless its your profession its a hobby.

FYI- Economic forecasting is saying that the slump will continue through 2008 before things bottom out.

carolprudm
Dec. 19, 2007, 09:59 AM
FYI- Economic forecasting is saying that the slump will continue through 2008 before things bottom out.
Maybe a good time to buy a youngster as an "investment"

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 19, 2007, 10:28 AM
I agree with RR except that the danger is not so much that the horse dies without mortality insurance. The risk is colic surgery or navicular syndrome, etc. etc. And it is not even really a gamble. A horse is a "depreciating asset" in many cases--as he will usually be less valuable every year after 12 or so. If you do not have your own farm, you may be stuck paying board, shoes and vet on a horse that you cannot ride for a very, very long time. Do you have money to buy another to ride while one is recuperating? I can tell you stories of well off people who have 4 or 5 horses at a boarding facility, only to have 2 or 3 of them on stall rest at a time.

I know people who have bought fancy WBs on credit and it has always ended badly. They usually buy a lower priced horse (say $15k to 20k) that is being dumped because of soundness or training issues. If they could afford a horse without issues, they wouldn't need to buy on credit.

In the US we are drowning in debt. Individually and as a society. Look at the subprime mortgage mess and credit card debacles. I highly recommend the documentary "Maxed Out" to find out what is really happening with debt in this country. Most people do not know yet that you cannot wipe out credit card debt in bankruptcy any more. The credit card companies can chase you for the rest of your life.

I think that the article by DT was irresponsible, and it is sad to see dressage (and all equestrian sports) becoming more and more elitist. Soon it will be time to kiss it good-bye, baby.

xQHDQ
Dec. 19, 2007, 10:37 AM
"Going into Debt" and "Carrying Debt" are two different things.

Going into debt is bad.

Carrying debt may not be bad and it would depend on the circumstances. Examples, car payment and mortgage.

Speedy
Dec. 19, 2007, 10:51 AM
Yes, you should buy the best horse that you can afford. BUT if you have to get a loan to buy the horse, you cannot afford it. This society is so comfortable with debt - and has such an instant gratification mentality - it scares me. What happened to saving cash up over time to buy that horse (or any other luxury item for that matter) when you actually have the money?

slc2
Dec. 19, 2007, 11:05 AM
Unfortunately, that expensive horse IS a big part of quite a few goals. I think part of the angry reaction comes from that myth that all horses can achieve any goal the rider may have, if the right person just loves them enough - and that all expensive horses are just overpriced cheap horses, and no different athletically, gait wise or balance wise.

Conversely, here, we often hear that if a person has competitive goals, that's bad, and they shouldn't. Tis far nobler to walk the pasture and trail ride, and to not have those goals. That I think more comes from people who are looking at those moving up and achieving more than they and saying sour grapes, than any principle that says that people shouldn't have different goals.

I think people should have different goals - very different goals, as suits their personality and what they value. The only problem comes when they try to achieve those goals in a way that simply won't work. And I believe that's what the author of that article was trying to address.

The expensive horse? I hate to say it, but there IS a difference - a huge difference. And I have seen SO MANY people trying to make NICE - average horses to be more than they are - making them unsound, making them sore, making them miserable, making them feel - well, yeah, inadequate and unappreciated. Yes, I do think the horses understand that.

The most sad one being that you can watch people have horse after horse after horse become unsound trying to do move up the levels, and finally say to yourself that there IS a difference - the really athletic well balanced horse quite a bit of the time, has a better chance of staying sound for the training! The training up the levels is long and difficult, and requires a horse that can come out and work - really work, frequently, for - well - years.

While some 50k horses are overpriced and aren't worth it, there are quite a few that are, frankly, very athletic, very capable, and very able to do demanding upper level work. After trying to take 3, 4, 5, 6 horses up that path and wasting 5, 10, 15, 20 years, yes, many riders DO say - yes, I really do need a horse with excellent conformation, gaits and balance, to be able to do this work, and they go and get one.

I don't think it's right to trash the author of that article, in fact, I think it is extremely unfair. That IS the right choice for quite a few people. That is exactly what quite a few people want to do and have done and will continue to do.

For most people they will not choose to do that. They will not buy the most expensive horse they can get, they are more likely to buy the LEAST expensive horse they can get, or near to that, because they feel that will allow them to do what they want - most people are interested in casual riding, and while they may work very hard on their horsemanship and their own skills, even if they take very seriously what they do and really care about their horses, they aren't aiming for medals, awards, or moving up the levels and becoming an expert, skilled rider. Their goals are modest - compete at some schooling shows, perhaps 1-2 recognized shows a year, and most likely, as 90% of people do - remaining at intro, training and first level their entire riding career. The horse isn't strained as much and less than ideal balance and conformation isn't going to get put to the test as severely as with more demanding work.

Look at what most people do - and see the 'breed' thread to see that most people are not buying 50k horses. I can count up 50 local riding friends and of them, 1 has that expensive of a horse. And it's the right choice - for her.

Each family is going to decide what their disposable income allows and what their values are. I know a very wealthy family who always refused to buy their daughter a horse she could reach her goals on. She had to earn that herself and she is riding a very cheap off the track tb and struggling. They could afford a 250k horse. They chose not to.

I know much LESS wealthy families who have taken out loans and are working very hard to give their child a horse that cost nearly that much, so she can reach her national YR goals on it.

People take out loans all the time. It's up to the individual to decide what is right for them. People take out loans to get their kids racing car trailers and cars and outfits and to pay for costly private schools, and to pay for house remodeling they don't need, cars much fancier than they need, and buy vacations anyone could, technically, live without. And it's THEIR choice, and up to them. It's no one's business to go into an outrage at how SOMEONE ELSE should spend their money. What I spend on my horses each month, my friend spends on eating out and having cocktails and going to Sedona each winter. I don't have hysterics about it - it's her choice!

Whether that choice is right for one specific individual is up to them - to suggest no article should propose buying a costly horse is I think a very wierd sort of denial that people have different goals and need different types of horses.

"Going into debt" is a relative term in riding. Having horses is expensive. There aren't a lot of homeless unemployed deciding to buy a 50k horse based on that article. For most of us, it's a choice - do I want to spend money on this, or that, what can I do without that would let me have this horse, or this vacation, or whatever. Shall I get a loan for this, or that. It isn't in most cases very much of a sacrifice, and most people only get a horse they can comfortably manage to pay a loan off for or write a check for. IF they choose to make more of a sacrifice - that's up to them!

I think it's great that an author of an article can tell it like it is, and admit that in some cases one isn't too darn likely to reach their specific goals on horses that can't fulfill them...in addition, I think it is EXTREMELY unfair to a horse to try to make him something he isn't, and I'd much rather see someone buying a horse that is more suited to their goals. than pushing an unsuitable horse - even inexpensive horses deserve to be trained lovingly and appropriately, and not overtaxed physically. Each horse has a job that's right for him and each person has some different sort of goal or job for their horse. The only problem is when someone tries to make the wrong horse do that job.

Equine Senior
Dec. 19, 2007, 11:22 AM
I too found that editorial disturbing. My personal feeling is that you shouldn't buy a horse if you can't afford for it to die the next day! After all, horses are fragile and my experience is that by the time they really need insurance, you can’t get it any more. (I tend to keep using them well into their 20's and 30's if they are healthy and sound) The other thing is that insurance is such a bad "investment", on average you will pay more for insurance than you will ever receive in benefits.

The real reason to buy a horse is to enjoy riding, training and working with it. My personal feeling is if the horse is a vehicle for self gratification, you can't really enjoy owning him. If you are worried about affording proper healthcare, you can't enjoy him.

Having said that, I buy horses I find easy to live with and enjoy working with them and just seeing how good they can become. At one time it was important to show to prove I could ride well, as I became a better rider, it became less important to me what others think and more important that I was happy with my horse's performance. I work with a trainer 2X/week but have little interest in showing beyond giving the horse a good experience.

Everybody has their own reasons for owning, riding and showing horses and I don't mean to discount anyone's reasons or experience.

riverbell93
Dec. 19, 2007, 11:25 AM
Going into debt for a horse? What is this, the middle-class version of buying $1000 purses while living in a trailer park? This thread is so interesting I now have to go read the magazine. I think an amateur going into debt to buy a horse is insane. Yes, it's undoubtedly hurtful and sad and thwarting when you can't afford a very high-quality horse when you have the ambition and the drive to achieve something that lower-priced horses can't do. But the only justification for debt is a financial return - houses and college educations are profitable debt; cars are usually neccessary to enable people to reach a larger range of proftable jobs. Horses are money pits. Gorgeous, wonderful, great money pits. And yes, it's a personal choice where people choose to put their money, blahblahblah, but it's disturbing that people want to ignore their financial circumstances and place themselves in debt to indulge a luxury hobby.

Ilex
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:04 PM
Never finance a depreciating asset.

That definitely means a car/truck ... yet most Americans take out loans to buy vehicles.

Is a horse a depreciating asset ... I guess that would depend on the transaction.

Sorry to all you neigh-sayers .......

BUT.....

I really see NO difference to the average Americans between financing a CAR v. a HORSE!

I don't have either financed.

If your goal in life is to build wealth ... then you would not finance either.

That being said....

not everyone wants to build wealth.

So be responsible and if you can afford a 50k horse or car payment and that's what you really really want. Then go for it I guess. Just make sure that whatever you buy is well insured. But your better bet is to save the money up and purchase outright.

fargaloo
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:10 PM
One significant diffrence between going into debt for a car and going in debt for a horse is that the car does not suffer if the owner makes a poor financial decision and can't keep up payments and/or maintenance. Many horses with owners who can't afford to keep them just end up being sold (hopefully to someone who can afford them), but some end up with poor or non-existant training or care; their value declines and a downward spiral starts. Financial irresponsibility of the owner is never a good thing for a horse.

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:11 PM
Unfortunately, that expensive horse IS a big part of quite a few goals. I think part of the angry reaction comes from that myth that all horses can achieve any goal the rider may have, if the right person just loves them enough - and that all expensive horses are just overpriced cheap horses, and no different athletically, gait wise or balance wise.

Conversely, here, we often hear that if a person has competitive goals, that's bad, and they shouldn't. Tis far nobler to walk the pasture and trail ride, and to not have those goals. That I think more comes from people who are looking at those moving up and achieving more than they and saying sour grapes, than any principle that says that people shouldn't have different goals.

I think people should have different goals - very different goals, as suits their personality and what they value. The only problem comes when they try to achieve those goals in a way that simply won't work. And I believe that's what the author of that article was trying to address.

The expensive horse? I hate to say it, but there IS a difference - a huge difference. And I have seen SO MANY people trying to make NICE - average horses to be more than they are - making them unsound, making them sore, making them miserable, making them feel - well, yeah, inadequate and unappreciated. Yes, I do think the horses understand that.

The most sad one being that you can watch people have horse after horse after horse become unsound trying to do move up the levels, and finally say to yourself that there IS a difference - the really athletic well balanced horse quite a bit of the time, has a better chance of staying sound for the training! The training up the levels is long and difficult, and requires a horse that can come out and work - really work, frequently, for - well - years.

While some 50k horses are overpriced and aren't worth it, there are quite a few that are, frankly, very athletic, very capable, and very able to do demanding upper level work. After trying to take 3, 4, 5, 6 horses up that path and wasting 5, 10, 15, 20 years, yes, many riders DO say - yes, I really do need a horse with excellent conformation, gaits and balance, to be able to do this work, and they go and get one.

I actually see more of the opposite. People who upgrade to a horse with PSG capability without ever sitting the trot or even the jog on their QH well. I see more riders outgrow their horses when I haven’t seen their riding improve at all! I looked at several very nice horses to buy and reluctantly admitted that I had not outgrown the horses I was on. My rides on the nicer horses were just ok and that large movement was out of my league for now. If you cant get your average horse to at least attempt some of the movements then why pay 25k for a horse that you think will magically make it happen for you.

FriesianX
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:30 PM
I think people are taking this out of context. I dont' know Cindy, but she is a respected judge and clinician and trainer who works well with many different types of horses and riders. I have to believe she is saying if you want to climb up the dressage competition ladder, you need a horse who is athletically, conformationally, and mentally suited for it. And that means you may need to buy a fancier moving horse with training - and those horses are not inexpensive.

That does not mean you should give up on your $5k horse, nor does it mean you should buy something you can't afford. But - if you can afford it, and you want to climb the competition ladder, make sure you buy the best horse you can comfortably afford? I'd guess that is what she is recommending?

Having said all that, there are plenty of nice horses with three decent gaits and with the mentality to do mid and even upper level dressage that are available. Check with smaller breeders, look at alternative breed horses (Morgans, Tbreds, Friesian crosses, AWS, Paints, etc). Spend more time looking at the less obvious horses - and learn to spot three good gaits.

Too often, I see people wowed by the million dollar trot (hey, there are TWO other gaits that are much more difficult to improve, and can you even ride that trot?), or wowed by the big name breeding barn or big name trainer (is it work the extra $15k price tag to say your horse came from XBigNameX?), or wowed by the "My Horse is Imported" syndrome. There really are plenty of horses in the "under $10k" prince range that are quite nice, but the average AA rider passes them up because they want a name brand horse.

pintopiaffe
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:43 PM
The expensive horse? I hate to say it, but there IS a difference - a huge difference. And I have seen SO MANY people trying to make NICE - average horses to be more than they are - making them unsound, making them sore, making them miserable, making them feel - well, yeah, inadequate and unappreciated. Yes, I do think the horses understand that.

But don't confuse "expensive" with PURPOSE BRED.

For a long time it pained me to admit how much easier it is to ride my stallion than any previous horse I'd ridden. How easily (sometimes too easily!) he takes to dressage. How natural it is for him. His kids, a generation later, out of carefully selected *forr dressage* dams, are even easier.

And that's why despite the opinions of some, that you should just rescue, I am still breeding. Because it is SO MUCH easier to get there on a horse that is BRED for sport. Built to do what you are asking it to do. I agree 100% with that. BUT, that doesn't mean they have to be European. Have they been breeding for sport WAY longer than we have? Absolutely. So might it be quicker/easier to find one within the Euro WB breeds? Yes.

BUT, there are breeders who are very, very carefully choosing from the remarkable breeds we have available right here, and bringing up generations for sport. Usually there's at least one comma difference in price though. ;)

I don't really care how *anyone* spends THEIR money. If they can buy a stunning, imported horse of theri dreams, more power to them. But as pointed out... can THEY ride it? If they can, GREAT! Go kick @ss at shows! YOU GO!! And I mean it.

Meanwhile, I don't think that folks who work 2 and 3 jobs to afford board, who can't pay five figures, should believe they *can't* show and be competitive, and move up.

Just find the best horse for YOU, really. It's simple. Not easy, but simple. :yes:

Ilex
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:45 PM
One significant diffrence between going into debt for a car and going in debt for a horse is that the car does not suffer if the owner makes a poor financial decision and can't keep up payments and/or maintenance. Many horses with owners who can't afford to keep them just end up being sold (hopefully to someone who can afford them), but some end up with poor or non-existant training or care; their value declines and a downward spiral starts. Financial irresponsibility of the owner is never a good thing for a horse.

I agree with this......

but.....

I will take it one further and say that .....

It's a problem w/horses of any pay grade.

Race horse castaways, backyard ponies ..... the sugarcreek auction yards of the world are full of horses that are headed to the knackers because someone didn't 'do right' by them.

$500 vs. $5000 vs. $50,000 = doesn't really matter when the bottom falls out (be it the horse doesn't live up to it's expectations or the owner runs out of money) the possibility for the horse to end up on the losing end of the stick is still there.

CatOnLap
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:59 PM
:lol:
Financing my hobby was one of the best financial moves I ever made.

So :p

Because of my hobby, about a decade ago, I bought a farm, financed as far as I could. Maxed out every line of credit, borrowed from every relative, had 4 credit cards in rotation at the time. I would not have bought the property except the board on 2 horses was more than the mortgage payment. And one of those horses had been "financed" a few months earlier by selling my car.

The property has more than tripled in value and will provide the bulk of my retirement income when it is disposed of in a few years.

The horse was worth selling my car.
You learn so much from an excellent quality horse that you cannot learn from an average talent.

fargaloo
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:59 PM
It's a problem w/horses of any pay grade.

Oh, I agree completely. In fact, I'd guess that it is more likely to happen to a $5,000 horse (whose owner may be living from paycheque to paycheque) than to a $50,000 horse (whose owner is probably not raiding the grocery budget to pay for the horse). I know the article is likely aimed at a small slice of the horse-buying market, but I just hate to see this attitude being promulgated. Bad things happen to good horses when owners can't or won't live up to their responsibilities.

Dune
Dec. 19, 2007, 01:16 PM
No, please don't write letters to the editor to fix this, I want people to think that they have to spend enormous amounts of money on horses! :yes: That's how I got a GP horse for under $10,000...a 4th level horse for $5000.00....a PSG horse for free....a former Olympic Team member (3-day) horse for free...and the list goes on and on. People buy these horses, they can't afford them anymore and I get them for a song. Please don't stop my steady stream of lovely horses, I'll cry...:no::(:winkgrin:

not again
Dec. 19, 2007, 01:22 PM
Somehow this thread goes hand and glove with the one about qualifying scores for third level......

slc2
Dec. 19, 2007, 01:25 PM
I don't see any way in which that article is 'promulgating irresponsibility'. People are not entirely stupid. No one is going to read that and say, 'Dayyum, I'm gonna get me a loan and buy Brentina!' so easily. It is more a nod to people considering it, able to do it, that there are times when that is what is needed. I really do not feel a paragraph in a magazine article is going to make people any more or less responsible than they already are.

No one is going out there and finding team horses in backyards. Horses have always been expensive, and good horses are more expensive. For certain kinds of goals, this is what people do need to do, and it often means a loan or taking money intended for something else.

I don't like to see kids skipping college in favor of riding of course and often post stay-in-school advice here - unless...unless it's a very talented individual, and a real structured, intelligent program intended to wind up giving them a very solid livelihood.

Banks giving loans generally enforce a certain level of responsibility. A person has to have a certain amount of backing to get a loan - collateral -a house, something they can put up of value. People do not lightly enter into something that could take away their collateral.

Too, loans for discretionary purchases are not handled quite the same by banks as house and car loans aided by the automotive companies and federal housing agencies. My understanding is that banks are not all that cavalier about them.

A bank doesn't ask 'do you have enough money for vet bills' directly, however, I have had a couple friends who went to the bank to try and get a loan for an expensive competition horse and were denied (both youngsters in college or just out), with the same argument I've heard given to some new home buyer wannabes - 'You can't afford to keep it up'.

The only person I ever knew who got loans on things they couldn't really manage, had put fraudulent information down on the application. Unless one is willing to be fraudulent one is unlikely to get a loan for something they can't maintain (in a few months, even for a house, LOL!).

The interest puts such a requirement on people (as well as the possible long term fallout of not keeping up) that I know no one who wants to enter into a loan so lightly or irresponsibly, and surely even fewer banks, who give loans to people who are not capable of managing what they buy (except houses, and that's going to go away).

kaluha2
Dec. 19, 2007, 01:30 PM
FriesianX and NOMIOMI1:
Good posts. I often wonder about those that venture across the pond or mortgaged the house to buy their next horse and then discover they can't sit the trot claiming "it's so uber" LOL!!! And they show locally and hit a few rec shows after spending 75K. Double LOL! Whatever.

However, if one wants to get out of second level and run with the big dogs their going to need a horse that can too. I think this is a given NO? And I am sure this is what Cindy was trying to convey.

I have to comment on Cindy though. Just recently my little white mare and I attended a clinic with her. Yes, this little mare was certainly outclassed by the much nicer horses that were there. After all, I plucked her from a farmer’s field not for her exquisite movement (lol) but because I couldn't stand looking at her in that condition any longer. So, although I love this gal, and she gives me 100%, I am not delusional, I know what she is and isn't. But she is a hellova great ride and her confidence is building each time out.

Anyway, Cindy did not look down on this little mare. Why would she? She works with all different horses and riders. She got on her and did a fabulous job with this mare and gave me a lot of input, some good, some not so good but all very helpful and constructive.

I am not understanding all the hullabaloo going on here. I do believe that Janet Brown-Foy made pretty much the same statement in one of her recent videos concerning this issue and no one came undone over it.

Dune: I just saw your post and I roared over it because I too have picked up fantastic horses that I could never afford because the owner couldn't ride it after spending all that $$$. LOL! IT's that damned "uber trot". So, yea, keep on buying those expensive horses.

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 19, 2007, 01:43 PM
I see this more in the hunter/jumper world and you really can get horses for a song and dance over there. A horse in our barn sold for less than half of what he is worth after placing well at his first A show because they want to go buy a jumper across the pond. He is a very safe and cute 4 year old hunter that still needed some miles but was sold well within my price range. Of course he sold in one weekend and will go on to do very well. I know of two people who have shown at most 2ft 6in and are buying 4ft horses this year and have maybe one rated show under their belt. TO each his own I expect. I foresee alot of schooling shows on horses well over 30k around here!

slc2
Dec. 19, 2007, 01:46 PM
Who says everyone who buys an expensive horse can't sit its trot? This central assumption that so much of this very faulty logic is based on - that's total bull! Nonsense!

Quite a few people I know are doing far, far better on their 'expensive, imported' horses. Better balanced horses, even with huge gaits (and who says they all have huge gaits anyway, that's utter rot), are far easier to sit than the unsuited, on the forehand horse who can't balance and tightens the back up to compensate, tossing his rider around at every stride, or the long heavily built ungaingly, uncollectible horse that rattles ANY rider all over the place. That is EXACTLY the kind of horse you see so many people 'can't sit to' properly.

I've seen people leap up in riding ability riding these better quality horses. The modern types are incredible to ride - a rider can sit and look far, far more elegant on one of these animals.

A friend of mine just bought a 'very expensive' horse and it's UNBELIEVABLE the difference in how well she rides just in one month. This is not exceptional. This is how it IS, more often than not.

I think it's pure jealousy that leads people to generalize that everyone who gets an expensive horse can't sit its trot! What nonsense!

fargaloo
Dec. 19, 2007, 01:52 PM
slc -- I'd like to believe that people are so careful in handling their personal finances, but I don't think the facts bear this out. Consumer debt and default on that debt are at an all-time high. I haven't read the article, but I'll still take the position that it seems to promote an attitude that can have disastrous consequences. People who are showing at upper levels aren't getting their horse-buying advice from a magazine and don't need the author's blessing to buy a pricey horse. The message "go in debt for a nice horse if you want to move up the levels" works on the low-level, not-rich rider with a nice safe QH who wonders if the barrier between her and 3rd level is a high dollar horse. Then you see people who gouge their retirement savings for a schoolmaster they can't ride anyway (I saw it happen). Anyhow, my original point still stands -- houses, cars, boats and plasma tv's don't suffer when we feel buyer's remorse, but horses often do.

slc2
Dec. 19, 2007, 01:54 PM
You have some really good points. But I'm going to maintain on two other points - 1 - the magazine article is not going to alone change anyone's behavior, and 2 - expensive horses are not always so hard to sit - quite the contrary. people do quite often improve their riding by leaps and bounds with such horses. AND sit far better.

I do know many very irresponsible people who handle money badly - but they handle all their financial decisions badly - their horses, their children - everything. everything suffers fairly evenly. i don't feel that anything - an article, a person, anything can change someone who is fundamentally and chronically not able to make responsible decisions - it comes out of a lack of impulse control and planning, and there you're getting into their early training and - neurology.

glfprncs
Dec. 19, 2007, 02:01 PM
I'm rather conservative when it comes to going into debt for anything. I do currently have a mortgage and a car payment (got a new car this spring, because my husband's 1992 Ford Taurus was ready to die, so I gave him my 98 Mustang). That's it. I really don't want to be in debt any further than that, and I do not live paycheck to paycheck.

I think it's rather risky to go into debt on an animal. What would you do if the horse broke its leg or coliced and died tomorrow? I realize many people would purchase insurance on the horse, however, if you're going into serious debt to buy the horse, how many of you have the extra cash around to pay for insurance for the full amount as well? In addition, if it's only a $20 or 30K schoolmaster, it may be uninsurable. I, for one, would not take that risk.

Mozart
Dec. 19, 2007, 02:02 PM
I think people's goals, abilities and financial situations are too different to generalize. Would it make sense for ME to go into debt for a horse? None whatsoever.

Would it make sense for a talented young adult, who wants to make a career out of horses to take a risk on an expensive and talented young horse. Maybe. I would not automatically rule it out.

xeroxchick
Dec. 19, 2007, 02:04 PM
cars can "die" too. that's why people carry insurance on them.

sorry, but i don't see my horses as a little side project or a hobby. i see them as a necessity. kind of like a car. ;) i don't have a car payment, but i do have a horse payment. although, i'm really not sure exactly how it is any of your business what other people do with their money?

None of our business untill imprudent loans start to destroy the economy. I guess sub-prime loans are none of my business either.

kaluha2
Dec. 19, 2007, 02:05 PM
Sorry SLC: I forgot your the Grand Mystic Puba that knows all, hears all, and sees all, even reading someone's mind. LOL!

There are plenty out there that can sit very well on their imported/expensive horses so please don't try to stir up crap. K?

I am referring to those that can't and there are plenty of them out there too.

So glad your "friend" is doing well on her new horse. No, this is not how it usually is even if you want to play that in your head.

What usually happens is this wonderful horse will go along nicely for awhile and then finally falls apart because it is not being ridden correctly and then someone like Dune comes along and picks it up for a song. LOL!!!

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 19, 2007, 02:10 PM
I don't see any way in which that article is 'promulgating irresponsibility'. People are not entirely stupid. No one is going to read that and say, 'Dayyum, I'm gonna get me a loan and buy Brentina!' so easily. It is more a nod to people considering it, able to do it, that there are times when that is what is needed. I really do not feel a paragraph in a magazine article is going to make people any more or less responsible than they already are.

No one is going out there and finding team horses in backyards. Horses have always been expensive, and good horses are more expensive. For certain kinds of goals, this is what people do need to do, and it often means a loan or taking money intended for something else.

I don't like to see kids skipping college in favor of riding of course and often post stay-in-school advice here - unless...unless it's a very talented individual, and a real structured, intelligent program intended to wind up giving them a very solid livelihood.

Banks giving loans generally enforce a certain level of responsibility. A person has to have a certain amount of backing to get a loan - collateral -a house, something they can put up of value. People do not lightly enter into something that could take away their collateral.

Too, loans for discretionary purchases are not handled quite the same by banks as house and car loans aided by the automotive companies and federal housing agencies. My understanding is that banks are not all that cavalier about them.

A bank doesn't ask 'do you have enough money for vet bills' directly, however, I have had a couple friends who went to the bank to try and get a loan for an expensive competition horse and were denied (both youngsters in college or just out), with the same argument I've heard given to some new home buyer wannabes - 'You can't afford to keep it up'.

The only person I ever knew who got loans on things they couldn't really manage, had put fraudulent information down on the application. Unless one is willing to be fraudulent one is unlikely to get a loan for something they can't maintain (in a few months, even for a house, LOL!).

The interest puts such a requirement on people (as well as the possible long term fallout of not keeping up) that I know no one who wants to enter into a loan so lightly or irresponsibly, and surely even fewer banks, who give loans to people who are not capable of managing what they buy (except houses, and that's going to go away).

Things have really, really changed in this regard, slc. Please do see the documentary "Maxed Out." It was a 2006 release and is available on DVD now.

Credit card companies have become predatory lenders of the worst sort. They will give multiple credit cards to college freshman with part time jobs and no credit history. In fact, you get a higher credit score if you only make minimum payments. This is how they make money. Most of the cards "fine print" allow them to jack up the interest rates without prior notice(to as much as 28%) if the creditor obtains more credit, because they say their risk has changed. it is truly appalling.

I have no problem with people buying the best horse that they can afford that is suitable for them. In fact, I have given people the same advice, whether they need a schoolmaster to learn on or just want to be competitive.

The only problem that I had with the article was telling people to buy a horse on credit. Although I am sure that there are exceptions, in most cases, this is a very irresponsible practice.

Financing "necessaries," like a car to get to work or a home to live in, is quite different, in my view. It must be noted that the advice in the article is not from a disinterested observer, but rather from a person who sells horses. I wonder how business is doing? ;)

http://www.braeburnfarms.com/forsale.htm

fargaloo
Dec. 19, 2007, 02:12 PM
slc -- I certainly agree with much of what you say, especially point 2 -- sometimes the more expensive horse is exactly the right choice (IF you can afford to keep him and keep him tuned up so he holds his "value"). In the case I alluded to, the horse and rider were not a good match, so it was a disaster all around -- rider would have been happier and wealthier had she kept working with her humble QH. And yes, rational people will not be swayed into making a major error by a subtle message in a magazine. But as you note, some people are impulsive and irrational -- a bit of licence from any source is all they need to justify their foolishness.

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 19, 2007, 02:26 PM
If the majority of people are less than average in the show ring then generalizing about peoples lack of ability as well as money would be correct. Lets just pretend that the majority of people we are discussing do dressage, are average riders, and are in regular training with a good trainer. Then spending 25k in my opinion is still a bit much when your still perfecting contact, departures, and aids. You still have to spend money on training, shows, and board. Add that up and your looking at your first year with your new horse in training and showing regularly for 40k on the low side. If you are mediocre and end up with scores you deserve I think that this might be a bit off putting. "Ive spent all this money and have gotten not much further than I did on my 7k horse".

My question is this why the huge jump from 5k to 30k. Why not sell the ones you ACTUALLY do grow out of and buy something a bit more athletic for not much more?

flshgordon
Dec. 19, 2007, 03:00 PM
Those of you that say this is "nobody's business" need to wake up and crawl out from under your rock!!!:no:

I have PERSONALLY been a victim of someone who "financed a hobby" so to speak. He was my landlord, overextended himself and sent SIX properties into foreclosure that he owned.....would you like to know how much notice I was given that I would be evicted? The initial time was 15 days that finally stretched to 3 weeks. All because some dumb@ss at a bank kept allowing him to finance stuff he couldn't afford.

So DO NOT sit there and tell me that this is NONE OF MY BUSINESS!!! It is part of the credit crisis. People who have to go into debt to buy a horse should not be doing it UNLESS that horse is to be their means of livelihood. Buy the best you can AFFORD, not the best they will let you finance.

Cars: most people need a car to get to and from work. Not many of us need a horse to get to work.

class
Dec. 19, 2007, 03:11 PM
oh lord. i was going to ignore the first person that said it was there business because i just felt sorry for their poor excuse for an argument. but now many people are claiming it is there business.

you must be the same people who feel it is your business if people don't wear helmets, smoke cigarettes and overeat to the point of obesity. afterall, if it has an effect on your insurance premiums it must be your business. but wait, even people who ride horses are risking higher medical costs because of their hobby, so maybe you should start preaching about that, afterall it is your business and it could effect you however indirectly.

all i can say is you must have A LOT of business to attend to. i would start with the war on iraq, that is costing you about a trillion times more than any costs related to someone defaulting on a $25,000 horse.

akor
Dec. 19, 2007, 03:19 PM
To me, borrowing for x horse is no different than borrowing because for x car. What I mean is, we "just" need something with wheels and other simple features. But, we typically get more than that, and often borrow to do so.

People spend/borrow on what they want to. If the lender decides to take the risk, so be it. That's between borrower and lender.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Dec. 19, 2007, 03:22 PM
My question would be how paying off that loan affects the ability to care for the horse properly, pay for training and have (horse-)emergency money. I opted for a loan when my boy needed emergency surgery (at the precise time I had gotten laid off and was in the middle of a divorce).... and that did delay our resuming training after he was healed, but way better than the option to lose him :yes:

Obviously that's a choice everyone needs to make to their very own circumstances and comfort zones, but my philosophy is: get as good a horse as you can afford, b/c a one that's not build to do the job or doesn't have the desire to do the job is just as expensive to take care of as one you're enjoying. But I also don't agree with over-horsing. The average AA who wants to get out of training level and considers 3rd the goal doesn't need a 25-50K horse.

flshgordon
Dec. 19, 2007, 03:33 PM
oh lord. i was going to ignore the first person that said it was there business because i just felt sorry for their poor excuse for an argument. but now many people are claiming it is there business.

you must be the same people who feel it is your business if people don't wear helmets, smoke cigarettes and overeat to the point of obesity. afterall, if it has an effect on your insurance premiums it must be your business. but wait, even people who ride horses are risking higher medical costs because of their hobby, so maybe you should start preaching about that, afterall it is your business and it could effect you however indirectly.

all i can say is you must have A LOT of business to attend to. i would start with the war on iraq, that is costing you about a trillion times more than any costs related to someone defaulting on a $25,000 horse.

Well since you asked, I can certainly voice my opinion on the above topics but since this is a horse BB.....:rolleyes:

If you want to live in your own little world with your head in the sand, that's fine, but I personally don't. And if it takes responding negatively to a completely irresponsible editorial like this in a magazine then hey...we have to start somewhere.

You can feel sorry for my argument all you want, I feel sorry for you that you don't give a damn and think nothing you do could ever negatively impact someone else. That's the attitude that causes the problem in the first place---don't care how your actions relate to others.

c5rose
Dec. 19, 2007, 03:34 PM
In a way, I can understand the author's point of view on some of what she write, but in no way would recommend anyone take out a loan for a horse, go in debt for a horse, etc. But, it truly is no one's business what someone does with their money. To each his own.

I know a woman who is on Horse #5 in as many years. She buys cheap, always thinking "diamond in the rough". She dumps the horses at an auction for a fraction of what she paid initially because the horse turned out dangerous, or just isn't what she wants. She could have spent that cash on an animal of more quality if she wasn't in such a hurry to get a horse. The latest horse, I hear, is also a pickle.

There are quality animals around for amazing prices if you just take your time and really look. My last two were complete and absolute steals - one of them is 4th level!

TBROCKS
Dec. 19, 2007, 03:53 PM
Yes, you should buy the best horse that you can afford. BUT if you have to get a loan to buy the horse, you cannot afford it. This society is so comfortable with debt - and has such an instant gratification mentality - it scares me. What happened to saving cash up over time to buy that horse (or any other luxury item for that matter) when you actually have the money?

I agree completely.

Sandy M
Dec. 19, 2007, 04:11 PM
Not being able to sit the uber horse's trot is one thing. On the financing, I think the scenario goes more like this:

Nice ammy lady has a nice TBX (not crossed with WB) and is doing well at 3rd level. Horse's soundness becomes an issue, so she retires him. Says, "This time my dream horse, my WB." Budgets about $25K. Moves to barn of BNT. When she goes to buy new horse, does trainer find her an already 2nd or 3rd level horse to move on with (no); does she find her a younger horse with great potential locally (no); does she find her a trained horse or horse with good potential within 3,000 miles (no). She hauls her off to Europe, insists she MUST buy THIS horse, talks this near retirement age woman into MORTGAGING HER HOME to buy a $40,000+ YOUNG horse..... which, of course, is too much horse for her in general, so the trainer gets a nice young prospect to ride, and for $40,000, a woman who was showing competently and winning at 3rd level gets to be a "horse show mom" and pay for the privilege.

I've seen this happen several times... sometime with lower level people, sometimes with higher. One does wonder about the motivation behind that editorial.....

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 19, 2007, 04:19 PM
Not being able to sit the uber horse's trot is one thing. On the financing, I think the scenario goes more like this:

Nice ammy lady has a nice TBX (not crossed with WB) and is doing well at 3rd level. Horse's soundness becomes an issue, so she retires him. Says, "This time my dream horse, my WB." Budgets about $25K. Moves to barn of BNT. When she goes to buy new horse, does trainer find her an already 2nd or 3rd level horse to move on with (no); does she find her a younger horse with great potential locally (no); does she find her a trained horse or horse with good potential within 3,000 miles (no). She hauls her off to Europe, insists she MUST buy THIS horse, talks this near retirement age woman into MORTGAGING HER HOME to buy a $40,000+ YOUNG horse..... which, of course, is too much horse for her in general, so the trainer gets a nice young prospect to ride, and for $40,000, a woman who was showing competently and winning at 3rd level gets to be a "horse show mom" and pay for the privilege.

I've seen this happen several times... sometime with lower level people, sometimes with higher. One does wonder about the motivation behind that editorial.....


Ah, Sandy, you are a cynic. Just like me. :lol:

class
Dec. 19, 2007, 04:24 PM
You can feel sorry for my argument all you want, I feel sorry for you that you don't give a damn and think nothing you do could ever negatively impact someone else. That's the attitude that causes the problem in the first place---don't care how your actions relate to others.

truly, i do know that financing my horse in no way could ever negatively impact someone else or the horse himself. and i never said that i "don't give a damn"? perhaps the holidays are stressing you out or you have some anger issues. i am not saying that as a snark, but hopefully help you take a breath and relax a little bit.

xQHDQ
Dec. 19, 2007, 04:43 PM
Let me present you with my true example.

I needed a new horse. Found a great one costing $15,000. Did not have $15,000. Borrowed from my 401K and bought horse. Paid back 401K over 3 years. I still ate, the horse ate. The mortgage still got paid, etc. There was no risk of no one eating or having no where to live.

There is nothing wrong with borrowing money to buy a horse as long as the loan fits into the budget.

I could not afford a $30,000 even with a loan, so I didn't go there. I think what Cindy says in the article is fine. Just people need to be smart about it.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 19, 2007, 04:49 PM
Let me present you with my true example.

I needed a new horse. Found a great one costing $15,000. Did not have $15,000. Borrowed from my 401K and bought horse. Paid back 401K over 3 years. I still ate, the horse ate. The mortgage still got paid, etc. There was no risk of no one eating or having no where to live.

There is nothing wrong with borrowing money to buy a horse as long as the loan fits into the budget.

I could not afford a $30,000 even with a loan, so I didn't go there. I think what Cindy says in the article is fine. Just people need to be smart about it.


Well, Cindy said in the article that you can get a nice horse for $20k to $50k. Apparently, according to her, you did not get a nice horse!!! :no:

Now do you get the problem with her advice?

Whisper
Dec. 19, 2007, 05:02 PM
I haven't had a chance to read the article yet, so I feel funny about commenting. The impression I have from the quotes so far is that she's saying you can pay a lot more for something that is trained and fancy enough to win right away, or you can spend more time (either buying a youngster and putting money into training, or waiting for the right deal) and get something just as nice for a lot less. If she's recommending that the masses at Training and 1st Level all spend their home equity loan money on a horse, that's rediculous. If someone is riding well at 2nd and 3rd and are *actually* being limited by their horse to learn more, and want to really be competitive at the upper levels, then they have to be realistic and spend either money or time usually. I think that recommending that a lot of people take out loans is rather irresponsible of her, if she was serious -the tone of the quote comes across as a bit sarcastic.

I think there are a lot of bargains out there right now - the horse market is pretty tough for sellers. I've seen several horses going 3rd or above who are available for part-lease in my area in the past couple of months. They have to stay at their own barn with their regular trainer, but it's certainly something to consider for someone who's budget conscious, or who wants to work with a more knowledgable horse in addition to the one they're trying to retrain from other disciplines, develop from scratch, or whatever.

AllWeatherGal
Dec. 19, 2007, 05:14 PM
I only know one ammie who did that. She bought an Iron Springs 3-year old mare in the mid 90s. Her argument was the same ... except she said she bought a fancy horse INSTEAD of the fancy car. Not that she got both of them.

She and the horse got to 2nd level and I still see them around looking beautiful and thrilled with each other.

I wouldn't do it. But then I also don't finance vacations or any number of other things that people feel comfortable paying on credit.

I agree that we've got a problem in the US with lending and borrowing, but not that a couple of horses is going to make all the difference.

Sandy M
Dec. 19, 2007, 05:39 PM
I only know one ammie who did that. She bought an Iron Springs 3-year old mare in the mid 90s. Her argument was the same ... except she said she bought a fancy horse INSTEAD of the fancy car. Not that she got both of them.

She and the horse got to 2nd level and I still see them around looking beautiful and thrilled with each other.


I am curious: Is that just the present state of her training, i.e., she will most likely go further, or that is as far as she's going to go? (I'm figuring mid-90s, 3 year old, so 1995 -the horse is now 17.....?) Because, while we were hardly a brilliant pair, I was very happy with my old horse and we got to show 2nd, were schooling 3rd - and he cost $2,200 (NOT $22,000) as a 4.5 year old. He certainly isn't anywhere near the quality of an Iron Springs Horse, but I had plenty of fun fun and got (mostly) decent scores and USDF All Breeds placings, etc. It's fine that she made such a choice and that she is happy with it, but... does the average ammy REALLY need to go into debt for an expensive horse...to get to 2nd or 3rd level...??

Mozart
Dec. 19, 2007, 06:03 PM
Does the average driver really need an SUV or pick up truck or even a new car every few years?

Does the average person really need 10 pairs of black pumps?

Does the average horse really need 5 bridles?

How about a Starbucks latte vs coffee from home?

The answer to all of the above is no.

We (collective we) all have things that we don't need but that we feel (rightly or wrongly) improve the quality of our lives. I'm sure we are all guilty on that score in some fashion or another so I have a hard time with some people deciding what is important for someone else.

swgarasu
Dec. 19, 2007, 06:06 PM
Well, Cindy said in the article that you can get a nice horse for $20k to $50k. Apparently, according to her, you did not get a nice horse!!! :no:

Now do you get the problem with her advice?

Exactly. Cross posted from TOB-
I read it and TRIED to keep an open mind, and give her the benefit of the doubt. But then I read this, "Most [people] drive cars costing $25,000 to $30,000. Nobody thinks anything of that. My advice is to drive a cheaper car and own a better horse. you can get a very good horse for between $20,000 and $50,000."

WHAT???

with the bottom 50% of taxpayers, having a gross income of 30,122 or less, I don't think most people in this country ARE driving cars costing $25,000 to $30,000, since that would equate to oh, a YEAR's salary. So maybe she meant MOST of her rich friends, but that's not what was printed.
The article made me furious. She came across as ignorant and blatantly advised spending as much money as possible on a horse. I don't believe she ought to be allowed to be a judge with an attitude like this - the entire article could be summed up as this- a $20k to $50k horse is a necessity to ride well.
"Certainly, it isn't all about competition. You might not have any ambitions to win classes at shows with your horse"
"Only the best horse you can find is good enough."
If DT is going to have advertising telling us to go out and spend mega bucks on something, at least they should get to know their target audience. Most of us (women who ride horses) would really prefer a handsome man as the spokesmodel.

SGray
Dec. 19, 2007, 06:12 PM
median income in U.S. was $46,000 something at last reporting

sure - we all need to spend equivalent of annual income on horse

RiddleMeThis
Dec. 19, 2007, 06:32 PM
Here is my thought. If you are able to pay board and feed yourself and the horse with no problem on what you are already earning plus pay back the loan then go for it. If you are struggling already no way.

Sandy M
Dec. 19, 2007, 06:34 PM
Does the average driver really need an SUV or pick up truck or even a new car every few years?

Does the average person really need 10 pairs of black pumps?

Does the average horse really need 5 bridles?

How about a Starbucks latte vs coffee from home?

The answer to all of the above is no.

We (collective we) all have things that we don't need but that we feel (rightly or wrongly) improve the quality of our lives. I'm sure we are all guilty on that score in some fashion or another so I have a hard time with some people deciding what is important for someone else.

LOL. No, indeed.

A new truck or car every few years? - My truck is an 1988, bought used, my trailer a 1993, also purchased used.

10 pairs of black pumps? I think I have MAYBE 4 pairs - and one pair is at least is 5 or 6 years old, the others, moderately expensive ($50-$75) pairs bought on sale for $20 each.

Five bridles - Semi-guilty - four. But my horse WON two of them.

Starbucks? Never. I'm a tea drinker and bring my own or use what is provided for free at my place of employment.

kkj
Dec. 19, 2007, 06:53 PM
I got my DT today and read the article. I liked it and found it right on the money. I know a lot of people who will only spend 10k or whatever on the horse and then get a horse that is just not really suitable for competitive dressage. These same people will spend $3k for a saddle, $700 for board, lessons, training etc. They never get where they want to go and in my opinion throw a lot of money away. After a couple of years, they have more than 10k in training in a horse that if they are lucky is still worth 10k. Put that money into a bonifide dressage prospect and barring unsoundness, you can have a horse worth a lot more than you paid in a couple of years.

To care for a cheap horse is the same as to care for an expensive one, so I say buy the best one you can. People investing a lot of money in horses that will never be competitive when they dream of being competitive or who are delusional that they will be competitive is the bad investment in my mind.

If you don't want to be competitive or if you are one of those super lucky ones who finds a horse that turns out to be a competitive FEI star for cheap well then the article was not directed to you. The author was not stating that horses who lack competitive qualities for dressage- gaits, conformation etc are not worth your time; merely that they are not in her mind worth the time and money of someone who wants to be competitive and move up the levels. That is not some crazy controversial thing..that's just the truth.

The article was not advocating financing a horse to the point that you cannot afford its upkeep or feed your children. I remember a girl growing up whose mother took out a second on her house to afford a better horse and $$ for bigger competitions. That girl became an amazing Grand Prix Jumper rider and trainer so the investment was worth it in that case.

I have never financed a horse and I would not buy a horse that I could not afford insurance on or to take care of properly, but I cannot say that I would never borrow money to buy the horse of my dreams.

xQHDQ
Dec. 19, 2007, 07:08 PM
Well, Cindy said in the article that you can get a nice horse for $20k to $50k. Apparently, according to her, you did not get a nice horse!!! :no:

Now do you get the problem with her advice?

To be honest...A lot of people would think that I didn't get a "nice" horse. He was perfect for me but no way would we have been competitive against the big boys.

The definition of NICE is subjective. Cindy's definition probably USUALLY costs $20-50,000 (I sure you could get lucky and the market is changing but...). My definition of nice I'm sure is different from her's. Your definition of nice is most likely different.

And FYI: I now own a $5,000 QH who I consider "very nice" but others would think wasn't a good enough mover, wasn't trained enough, etc.

Daydream Believer
Dec. 19, 2007, 08:36 PM
The author was not stating that horses who lack competitive qualities for dressage- gaits, conformation etc are not worth your time; merely that they are not in her mind worth the time and money of someone who wants to be competitive and move up the levels. That is not some crazy controversial thing..that's just the truth.



My initial reaction to reading comment that was "what the hell....it's time to go back to eventing where there is not pressure to mortgage your house to be competitively mounted and I don't have to spend years trying to qualify to move up the levels." Eventing for 99% of the ammies out there about getting around cross country and about a partnership with your horse...and having fun. Winning is icing on the cake but winning is hard to do with three phases to be good at so finishing without jumping penalties usually means you had a GREAT outing. The parties are great too...pizza and beer!

Dressage is turning into such an elitist sport and comments like that stating that only an expensive horse can be competitive and move up the levels just rubs me the wrong way. I seriously worry about the future of dressage when I see the direction it is being taken and the attitude of the people high up in the sport.

xQHDQ
Dec. 19, 2007, 08:50 PM
My initial reaction to reading comment that was "what the hell....it's time to go back to eventing where there is not pressure to mortgage your house to be competitively mounted and I don't have to spend years trying to qualify to move up the levels." Eventing for 99% of the ammies out there about getting around cross country and about a partnership with your horse...and having fun. Winning is icing on the cake but winning is hard to do with three phases to be good at so finishing without jumping penalties usually means you had a GREAT outing. The parties are great too...pizza and beer!

Dressage is turning into such an elitist sport and comments like that stating that only an expensive horse can be competitive and move up the levels just rubs me the wrong way. I seriously worry about the future of dressage when I see the direction it is being taken and the attitude of the people high up in the sport.

Agree, but have seen it time and again...whenever money is involved, eventually it gets to be who has the most wins. I do not doubt that eventing will follow suit eventually (no pun intended). I hope not, though.

slc2
Dec. 19, 2007, 09:03 PM
I disagree with most of your statements. I think a lot of it is an outgrowth of trying so hard to market your Spanish Colonial horses as ideal dressage mounts. I think you are also grossly misinterpeting the article as somehow threatening your marketing of what you have for sale. It's in your best interests, you think, that everyone never reads anything that would suggest even in the most bizarre stretch of the imagination, that your Spanish Colonial horses aren't ideal dressage mounts for any level.

Which I think is just not realistic.

I REALLY think a person cannot hope to compete at the elite levels of dressage (or any other riding sport, to be honest) and beat a lot of other people, on a horse that isn't approaching the ideal of gaits, soundness, longevity in training, balance, SOMETHING.

It is really, really foolish to think that one is going to excel in ANY riding sport whith a horse that is not purpose bred and suited to the task at hand. You all would laugh if someone insisted their 2300 lb Belgian Draft Horse was going to win the Kentucky Derby, and that it would be easy on a horse like that to TRY, or that it's not completely animal abuse to try to MAKE him run that fast, but you continue to have extremely unrealistic fantasies about your own sport, dressage, ie, that any horse of any type can excel at any level of the sport.

I can't even COUNT how many times people have gone utterly ballistic here when someone starts talking about buying more costly horses. Talking about expensive horses here is usually a way to get the most incredibly insipid train wrecks going. Why? Because the average price paid for horses on this bulletin board is between 2 and 7 thousand dollars, so people go NUTS when anyone suggests one may have to spend a fair wad of cash to meet some more ambitious goals. And of COURSE we hear the ad nauseumly repeated 'truism' that everyone who buys these horses can't ride 'em. Again, I think more because of that average price of horses people purchase on this bb. than any real reason.

I spent many many years, competing and learning a great deal on cheap, non-purpose bred horses. For 99% of people in dressage, this sort of horse is all they need to meet their goals. Because most people's goals are very, very modest.

Carefully chosen from their breeds to be as suitable as possible, but by no stretch of the imagination, anything more than very average dressage mounts. When I rode them in small shows where all most people HAD who WON, was a correct, accurate test, I did very well. I had fun, I learned alot, and I met all my goals many times over. But my goals were created based on what horses I had and what my financial means were. Not vice versa.

I didn't try to show them at Devon, or White Fences, or cry over not getting to the national championships or rant that I should be able to. I set rational goals for what I had. Otherwise it's just ridiculous. And I think sitting there and beating your chest because you can't beat everyone at some big fat Devon CDI with a 2000 dollar horse is a little beyond the pale.

Dressage is no more 'elitist' than any other riding sport, and though many here equate 'elitist' with 'expensive', I don't. I'd like to concentrate on 'expensive' since 'elitist' is such an emotion-laden (and largely meaningless) term. IT is just as expensive to go out and buy a top class horse of any breed or type - prices of top quality horses are ALWAYS high, and always have been.

To a degree, ALL riding sports are 'elitist' because riding of all types has ALWAYS been expensive. You won't find any homeless unemployed riding in dressage, you won't find a whole lot of people under the average annual income at shows, either, students and others with less money who show usually have a family they can lean on for basic expenses even if mommy and dad won't buy them a real expensive horse. My college friend with 3 horses she 'can't afford' has ALWAYS had mom and dad's help any time she really needed it, even if she was loathe to ask, she wasn't out in the street starving and the horses never went hungry or without vet care, there was a foreign study program, grad school and a whole lot of other stuff in there. That isn't unusual - poverty is VERY relative in the horse show community. with a few exceptions it isn't really what I think of as actual 'poverty'. Most people I know with financial problems the horse is the very first thing to be sold.

The USEF is attempting to make it more costly to move up the levels because that is what organizations do, is perpetuate themselves, promote themselves, and think up ways for them to charge people more money to use their organization. The USEF, ever since it got ahold of dressage, has grasped eagerly at ANY way they could to make it more expensive because that is more profitable to them, but ALL their fees STILL don't add up to what board, purchase, training, lessons, vet bills and everything costs - the MAIN cost is STILL - keeping the damn horse.


I just do not see how anyone can sit so in judgement of other people's goals, or other people's financial decisions, and try to moralistically and loftily tell people what they should spend money on or what their goals should be! Everyone is different. They value different things, they make different decisions, they want different types and costs of horses.

STF
Dec. 19, 2007, 10:17 PM
What about the "heart factor".......????
That darm heart factor, falling in love with those big brown eyes and such always seems to control the checkbook :lol:
When you love it, its ok when you in debt so bad you have to eat mac and cheese, right?? LMAO

kellyb
Dec. 19, 2007, 10:31 PM
What about the "heart factor".......????
That darm heart factor, falling in love with those big brown eyes and such always seems to control the checkbook :lol:
When you love it, its ok when you in debt so bad you have to eat mac and cheese, right?? LMAO

:D

Daydream Believer
Dec. 19, 2007, 10:49 PM
slc... What did I say that warranted a personal attack from the likes of you? I'm honored! As usual, you don't have a clue as to my motivations and you are completely wrong...as you often are. It has nothing to do with my horses but everything to do with my background in eventing which is a non elitist sport if there ever was one.

My problem is any sport or representative of that sport that promotes purchasing 40k horses by amateurs so they can be competitive when the majority of them will never go above 3rd level. The sport is already too elitist and becoming more so by the moment with nonsense like this article and the proposed rule changes.

STF
Dec. 19, 2007, 11:08 PM
I dont think we can judge anyone on personal prefrences. If I want to spend 50K on a horse, its my desire and debt, not anyone elses.
If I want to spend another 100K on a top of the model sports car, its my business too. Not anyone else. Could I have got a Madza and got from point A to point B? Yup..... was the seat as nice, NOPE! :lol:

Lori
Dec. 19, 2007, 11:10 PM
Let me present you with my true example.

I needed a new horse. Found a great one costing $15,000. Did not have $15,000. Borrowed from my 401K and bought horse. Paid back 401K over 3 years. I still ate, the horse ate. The mortgage still got paid, etc. There was no risk of no one eating or having no where to live.

There is nothing wrong with borrowing money to buy a horse as long as the loan fits into the budget.

I could not afford a $30,000 even with a loan, so I didn't go there. I think what Cindy says in the article is fine. Just people need to be smart about it.

I agree. I have borrowed from "myself" like this to finance a horse, usually paid in full over a years time. I do not borrow above my budget.
I do not judge others who borrow to get a horse or a 4-wheeler (yep, know people who have done this, too, but I surely would not).
An article like this is not going to make me run out and buy a pony over my budget. Would I like one, you bet, but I cannot afford it.
If someone is going to be irresponsible, it does not matter what they read, they are going to be irresponsible.
The crazy neighbor I had ran up her debts so much, refinanced using OUR land (she used to own---fault of the title search), so when she went into foreclosure OUR name was in the paper along with hers. Enter the fee of a lawyer for us to pay to set it straight. Guess what, she skipped the darn country! THAT is the type of person who we all pay the price for, not necessarily those of us who finance a horse that we can afford to.

fargaloo
Dec. 20, 2007, 01:55 AM
At the risk of flogging a dead topic, I guess what really irks me about the attitude in the article is how it pertains to another situation I am familiar with.

A lady I know has fallen under the spell of a trainer who pushes this mentality. Of course, a rider with talent and realistic aspirations to rise high in this sport knows what kind of horse they need to make it to the top, but as I said before, they are not taking their horse-buying advice from articles in DT. My friend, however, is a nice but not very talented re-rider who has fallen for this mentality hook, line and sinker. Under the "guidance" of her trainer, she has been buying horses she really can't afford nor enjoy. Instead of being the happy owner of a sweet but limited horse, she is now the uneasy owner of a very nice prospect to which she is really unsuited. Instead of happily going to schooling shows, she is paying through the nose to watch her trainer ride her fancy horse at rated shows. She has unwittingly become the underwriter of her trainer's aspirations, not her own.

I know -- a fool and their money are soon parted, she's an adult and needs to step back and take control of the situation, and this is really more an issue of disconnect between the goals of the trainer and the client. Where the article plays into the situation is that this is exactly the type of ammunition this trainer will use to talk my friend into dipping yet again into her retirement savings or maxing out her credit line for another buying trip to Europe.

Aggie4Bar
Dec. 20, 2007, 02:47 AM
The crazy neighbor I had ran up her debts so much, refinanced using OUR land (she used to own---fault of the title search), so when she went into foreclosure OUR name was in the paper along with hers. Enter the fee of a lawyer for us to pay to set it straight. Guess what, she skipped the darn country! THAT is the type of person who we all pay the price for, not necessarily those of us who finance a horse that we can afford to.That type of person is a different animal entirely. A guy who was former ranch help claimed our herds as loan collateral. That situation only came to light when the bank got ready to sieze someone else's cattle that he'd also claimed. When the inspectors went to look over the cows, they encountered the owner. Surprise!!! We soon learned that there were three other places with cattle he'd claimed to own, which turned out to all be our land and cattle. The whole thing was a huge mess that went way above and beyond the things we were aware of at the time. He was in it for fraud in multiple Texas counties and actually had a federal case against him. Why did he do it? To fund his dream of becoming a country singer and produce his debut album. (FTR, this was no youngster trying to strike it big. He's old. Very old. Age and failing health are the only reason he's remained out of prison.)

With regard to (legitimately ;)) taking out a loan to purchase a horse, I would strongly discourage it. Getting into debt is much easier than getting out. Interest accrues at a phenomenal (and painful!) rate. In the case of unexpected bills, illness, unemployment, etc., how fast can you sell that horse and stop your financial free-fall? Murphy's law dictates that the more desperate you are to sell, the longer the horse will stay on the market and the less money you'll take for it. You may end up upside down in car deal, but at least blue book value provides some safety net. There's no seller's safety net with horses. I can understand a great pro taking out a loan to begin their training business and get their name out (which is still a risky endeavor), but for anyone else... no. In the best case scenario, it all works out. The likely scenario is you just set yourself up for heartache.

thumbsontop
Dec. 20, 2007, 09:06 AM
I, personally, would never be comfortable taking out a loan for any hobby unless I was confident that I would be able to get out of the situation if it became necessary. In the case of a pricey horse, generally speaking, those DO NOT sell quickly, unless you are willing to lower the price dramatically. So you're in a lose-lose situation at that point, making payments on and caring for a horse when you don't have the money to do so, but you can't sell it either.

I haven't read the article, but I would agree that if it seriously and openly gave the impression that anyone should be just willing to bite the bullet and take out a loan for a horse, that would be irresponsible.

vandenbrink
Dec. 20, 2007, 10:10 AM
What frustrates me about this is that I see soooooooo many riders on horses not built for dressage.

For many that is their reason..."that is all I could afford, I'm not going to borrow money to buy a horse".

OK..sounds logical BUT.

Lets compare a hypothetical situation...$2000 TB....vs $15 000 WB or WB cross prospect.

Take a talented rider with little money to buy, just money for board and training.

After 6 or 7 years of training both horses are going well and the rider is ready to sell and upgrade.

$2000 TB is now a $10 000 TB with LOTS of good training but with a very limited market.

$15 000 WB prospect is now a $60 000+ PSG horse that is giving the owner some success at the shows and is quite marketable.

I guess what I am saying is....IF you have some riding skills and are going to be spending money on lesson, board, showing etc....it's worth the extra investment. You'll MOST LIKELY get more then the difference back when you sell the horse. It's a sound investment which can be insured to protect yourself.

You'll also likely have more enjoyment and satisfaction and will advance more as a rider because the horse is better built for the sport.

If you cannot swing it financially DON'T do it. But if you're in fair financial shape with a steady job, drive an older used car for a few more years, skip the cruise or trip to Mexico, keep a smaller apartment for a few more years and buy a nice horse.

The other option!!!!
Ride a schoolie for a year or two and don't show to save money for a better quality prospect.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 20, 2007, 10:21 AM
II just do not see how anyone can sit so in judgement of other people's goals, or other people's financial decisions, and try to moralistically and loftily tell people what they should spend money on or what their goals should be! Everyone is different. They value different things, they make different decisions, they want different types and costs of horses.

You are right. And that is what was so appalling about Sydnor's article in DT. Sydnor was sitting in judgment of other people's goals and financial decisions. She was implying, if not stating outright, that you need to do whatever it takes to buy a $20,000 to $50,000 horse if you want bother to ride dressage. Very discouraging---like "you and your horse suck and you may as well do something else if you do not buy something better."

Sydnor's statements would be less offensive if she said that people will probably not make it to the top levels of competitive dressage if they do not spend at least that much money. I absolutely agree. But very, very few people make it to those levels anyway, no matter what they spend!

I think it was a mistake for DT to print the article because there are very few people who need to take out loans to buy a horse that costs that much money to enjoy the sport of dressage. I am sure that it was off putting and disheartening, if not insulting, to the majority of their average readers with average incomes who can afford average horses. :no: Not a good way to promote or to grow our sport.

slc2
Dec. 20, 2007, 11:38 AM
I don't think Sydnor was suggesting any such thing, she is not like that and she is not so naive or simpleminded or stupid as any of that. I think you're taking what she said and twisting it all out of proportion.

The mistake with the 'now a psg' horse example is that the person has to have the skill and ability to get the horse to that level. Very few people do.

What is a REAL mistake is for a magazine to so sanitize and pablum-ize and so scrub every article until they say NOTHING AT ALL, rather than have SOMEONE potentially misinterpret, twist it and pick at it. To get articles so that they don't EVER challenge anyone or make them think, or EVEr introduce them to a new idea, or EVER make them think at all or GOD FORBID, ever suggest ANYTHING someone doesn't 100% find comfy and cozy and apply exactly to them. Sounds like that is EXACTLY what you all want!

TropicalStorm
Dec. 20, 2007, 11:42 AM
In the end, its the rider who is going to have to pay off that debt. And if it means for a horse or a car, who cares? In the end, you still owe money.

I've thought about it in the past-even taking out a student loan. But in the end, I realized that my whole life will probably be debt anyways, might as well not start that way with the horses ;)

But I wouldn't think less of a person for going into more debt to buy a horse, unless they were so far in debt that they couldn't pay basic necessities.

class
Dec. 20, 2007, 12:43 PM
honestly, i am just stunned that everyone on here who is codemning borrowing money for horses does not carry ANY credit card debt whatsoever. kudos to you! you are probably in the very small minority in the US that does not. i just found that the average credit card debt for all households is $8,400. i guess i would feel better about having $8,400 dollars worth of horse charged to my card than $8,400 worth of pizza hut, circuit city, macy's and sephora!

Mozart
Dec. 20, 2007, 01:24 PM
Honestly, I am with vandenbrink and kkj on this one. I think they have expressed it really well. And I don't think it is just dressage and that it is guilty of being so elitist. What do you think good reining prospects sell for?

Sometimes it makes for sense to spend the money. Sometimes. But don't be stupid about it.

Spending thousands to slog away with a stocky downhill built horse who tries his heart out for you but is built to do something else makes no financial sense to me either (please, please don't think I am slamming a particular breed...I truly am not....I don't care about breed, just aptitude...)

swgarasu
Dec. 20, 2007, 01:32 PM
I don't think Sydnor was suggesting any such thing, she is not like that and she is not so naive or simpleminded or stupid as any of that. I think you're taking what she said and twisting it all out of proportion.


No, SLC2, you and others stating that she means this is to be competitive at the top level of the sport are not reading the article. That is not what the article says.
I will put the quote in again:
"Certainly, it isn't all about competition. You might not have any ambitions to win classes at shows with your horse."

We all know it costs a fortune to compete at the top of the sport. You will progress faster on a better horse. Most of the time, a horse with better gaits, conformation, and training will cost more, say in the neighborhood of $20k - $50k. If she'd left it at that I'd have no problem with the article. But to have a judge saying that a horse isn't competitve (she doesn't specify what level) and furthermore, that it isn't even worth riding if it doesn't cost $20k or more, is sickening.

I have no problem with people buying expensive horses- it's their money. I have no problem with wanting to ride dressage on a horse that has an easier tiime of it- that's why I wanted and bought a warmblood. I do have a problem with a judge telling everyone to buy one and telling them they will not be good riders because they don't have a nice horse (where nice horse is defined as costing $20k - $50k), and operating under a mistaken assumption that it's ok because everyone drives expensive cars and so they really can afford it.

The reason people are saying eventing is better and will probably always be better, is because 2 out of 3 phases are objective vs. subjective. The horse clears the fences in a certain amount of time or he doesn't. There's no "Oh, but this one is PRETTIER so he wins." A friend of mine stated that all subjective sports ought to be removed from the olympics and I'm starting to think he was right, because unless there's an objective goal of go higher, go faster, or go farther, anything else can (and probably will) become a factor. Greed, politics, etc.

class
Dec. 20, 2007, 01:38 PM
But to have a judge saying that a horse isn't competitve (she doesn't specify what level) and furthermore, that it isn't even worth riding if it doesn't cost $20k or more, is sickening.

i don't have the magazine myself, so haven't read the article. but if you are going to correct us on what the article actually SAYS and MEANS, then please post the quote from the actual article where she says that, "a horse isn't even worth riding if it doesn't cost $20K or more." thanks!

swgarasu
Dec. 20, 2007, 01:42 PM
i don't have the magazine myself, so haven't read the article. but if you are going to correct us on what the article actually SAYS and MEANS, then please post the quote from the actual article where she says that, "a horse isn't even worth riding if it doesn't cost $20K or more." thanks!

Try reading the article then.

I don't have it here to type up the entire thing, but at least I read it before commenting on it.

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 20, 2007, 01:47 PM
Honestly, I am with vandenbrink and kkj on this one. I think they have expressed it really well. And I don't think it is just dressage and that it is guilty of being so elitist. What do you think good reining prospects sell for?

Sometimes it makes for sense to spend the money. Sometimes. But don't be stupid about it.

Spending thousands to slog away with a stocky downhill built horse who tries his heart out for you but is built to do something else makes no financial sense to me either (please, please don't think I am slamming a particular breed...I truly am not....I don't care about breed, just aptitude...)

My question is why cant you buy an uphill, less stocky, better moving horse for 7500.00? Are all uphill sporthorse types 20k or more??

class
Dec. 20, 2007, 01:58 PM
Try reading the article then.

I don't have it here to type up the entire thing, but at least I read it before commenting on it.

how were you quoting from it and telling us what the author really meant just 10 minutes ago then?

swgarasu
Dec. 20, 2007, 02:10 PM
how were you quoting from it and telling us what the author really meant just 10 minutes ago then?

No, the quote was from the other day, when I had the magazine in front of me and was typing the quotes word for word. But you would know the quotes were from the article if you actually read it.

class
Dec. 20, 2007, 02:19 PM
well swgarasu, i can't afford the magazine because i am paying off my horse! duh!

also, i am not commenting on what the author actually said and what she actually meant, like you are. i am commenting on my own experience and opinions. you are the one who is telling us exactly what the author said and meant, so i would expect you to have the back up on your "facts."

maybe someone else who has the magazine can tell me where in the article sydnor says, "a horse isn't even worth riding if it doesn't cost $20k or more" as you claim?

seal
Dec. 20, 2007, 02:20 PM
Instead of happily going to schooling shows, she is paying through the nose to watch her trainer ride her fancy horse at rated shows. She has unwittingly become the underwriter of her trainer's aspirations, not her own.

Trust me, this unhappy scenario can happen to anyone regardless of whether or not the trainer hand picked the horse. You run this risk ANYTIME a nice horse goes into training with an unscrupulous trainer.

Case in point: Woman imports very fancy 3 year old. Has trainer work the horse. However, at some point in time the youngster becomes trained enough for the woman to ride the horse. Trainer does NOT want to give up the pleasure of being paid to ride a nice horse, so woman has to give notice that she is leaving the trainer's barn before trainer *allows* her to ride her horse.

Same thing happened to me. :( Had back troubles, put horse into training for a few months, ask for lessons and am told only one lesson a week is allowed. Nice. Propose riding horse twice a week, trainer riding the other 2 days and then riding a 3rd time on lesson day. Nope. Only *allowed* to ride in a lesson once a week!

Of course a trainer is going to encourage that their clients buy the nicest (read expensive) horse they can find. They get a bigger commission, and hopefully the expensive horse will be better trained, easier to ride and thus able for the ammie to show right away, thus adding again to the trainer's bottom line. If not, they can always show the horse for the client and still collect the added revenue.

From the trainer's perspective it's a win-win situation.

riverbell93
Dec. 20, 2007, 02:28 PM
honestly, i am just stunned that everyone on here who is codemning borrowing money for horses does not carry ANY credit card debt whatsoever. kudos to you! you are probably in the very small minority in the US that does not. i just found that the average credit card debt for all households is $8,400. i guess i would feel better about having $8,400 dollars worth of horse charged to my card than $8,400 worth of pizza hut, circuit city, macy's and sephora!

There is a huge difference between letting your credit card spending get out of hand with $20 to Pizza Hut here and $50 to Macy's there, and putting yourself $20,000-50,000 into debt at one blow for a horse. Ed. to add - not in the ultimate outcome, perhaps, but in the mental hardiness required to make that leap. I nearly pass out when I buy a car, and the entire dealership comes over to watch the shaking nervous wreck sign the papers enslaving her to a finance company for 4-5 years. That's for a $14,000 car, btw :)

And that's not even mentioning the glibness of talking about credit card debt like it's all spoiled middle-class families splurging at Starbucks and teenaged girls trolling the mall. A lot of people are in credit card debt because of a single crisis - a hospitalization, a huge car repair, soaring bills for an unusually hot summer or cold winter - and they were suddenly in the hole for $1,000+ and could never get back out between interest and the fact that repaying the credit card is hampering their ability to pay other bills.

petitefilly
Dec. 20, 2007, 02:41 PM
I think people's goals, abilities and financial situations are too different to generalize. Would it make sense for ME to go into debt for a horse? None whatsoever.

Would it make sense for a talented young adult, who wants to make a career out of horses to take a risk on an expensive and talented young horse. Maybe. I would not automatically rule it out.


I agree with you. For years I rode the horses that came to me. IE: cheap ones. I bred a few better ones, loved them. I then decided after fifty to buy a good horse. I did, and it was the best decision I ever made. Did I need him? No. I wanted him. The only thing I can say is I now have the money to buy things I want without worrying about the check. That takes time in your lifetime to attain. What you want and what you need are two entirely different things. If you NEED a horse to go up the ranks, or if you are an older rider who has done her/his time on the average horse, maybe it is time to "just do it".

Debt is the hard factor here. Everyone has to do what their own pocket book will dictate. What I think the article is saying is that every horse is not going to be competitive in the "big ranks" and to go up with more ease you need a horse with more natural ability and talent to succeed. Usually, 9 out of 10 times this animal will cost more, and will stress your $$$ limits, so in the end if you need to do this you will HAVE to spend more money on a horse of quality. I do not think the article said in black and white that you MUST do this, it suggested that it would be easier with a horse of quality. **more money** :) :) :)

The young person who is trying to "make it" will have to go into a loan of some type, or find Daddy Warbucks to support this theory. Let's face it, how many times have you seen this happen? I've seen it a zillion times over, and it happens more times than you can imagine.

I bet we could start a thread labeled :I went into debt, so now the problem is_____!

Is that wrong? Frankly it does not matter if YOU wanted it!

pinecone
Dec. 20, 2007, 02:51 PM
duplicate

Sandy M
Dec. 20, 2007, 02:57 PM
the big ranks...


See, that's what makes the article/editorial so "in your face" and arrogant. It doesn't specify that it's addressing someone aiming for the big ranks. It seems to be saying that ANYONE who wants to "do dressage" seriously MUST have an expensive horse, and if they aren't willing to do the necessary to get one, they AREN'T serious. The subtext would seem to be that if you can't pay for a fancy horse (or search for a less expensive but talented one for a looooong time until you find that one in a million), do what you can with the one you have and don't complain. THAT I can agree with to a degree: But not to the degree where badly trained/ridden fancy movers beat well-trained/well ridden average to good movers.

Additionally, let US be serious: Those who are aiming for the big ranks ALREADY KNOW THIS. I don't see Debbie McDonald or Steffan peters shopping for their next GP horse among Appaloosas, dearly as I love that breed. Thus the article was redundant and unnecessary for those who truly aspire to the higher levels, and insulting to those who do not.

Remember the big hoo-hah over the Lisa Wilcox critique of the little downhill Paint? That rider was simply seeking to improve the horse she had, not to compete at FEI levels. But people were rightfully upset that Ms. Wilcox's primary advice seem to be "get another more suitable horse." Same thing here - only now were talking how much $$$$ one should spend in order to "do dressage." *shrug*

pinecone
Dec. 20, 2007, 03:03 PM
Having said all that, there are plenty of nice horses with three decent gaits and with the mentality to do mid and even upper level dressage that are available. Check with smaller breeders, look at alternative breed horses (Morgans, Tbreds, Friesian crosses, AWS, Paints, etc). Spend more time looking at the less obvious horses - and learn to spot three good gaits.


Somehow this thread goes hand and glove with the one about qualifying scores for third level......


There used to be a time when "any" horse could move up the levels successfully with a skilled rider. Not any more. This new thinking of judging everything starting with the gaits is partly to blame. If you've got a 6 mover, you are going to be struggling to be competitive from the minute you enter the arena, whereas you've got a lot more margin for error if you're on an 8 mover.

Dressage is not just about training any more. (Sad, but true.) It has reached the point where it is almost a disservice to people to try to maintain the fantasy that "any horse can be successful if you work hard enough". Perpetuating this Big Lie just leads to frustration and disappointment.

It's also easier to train a horse designed for this job (there is a saying about teaching a pig to sing which would be perfect here), and easier to ride a horse already trained for this job. Both of those come at a price.

Usually when the non traditional horses do well it's because they are exceptions to their breed, or they've been paired with a really talented rider who just happened not to be able to afford anything better, or had some special reason for choosing to be involved with that breed.

(I also wouldn't lump TBs, Friesian crosses, or American Warmbloods in with Morgans, QH's, or Paints, fwiw;))

This sport is getting more elitist by the minute, and to be successful you really need a nice horse, it's not enough any more just to be a good rider (and most people aren't really good riders anyhow, and could benefit even more from the brownie points a fancier horse will get them.) So although I have not read the article, I can imagine what the author was getting at.

see u at x
Dec. 20, 2007, 03:08 PM
Own a Better Horse
Don't waste time. Ride the best quality horse you can afford.
By Cindy Sydnor

I relish the opportunity to say that the quality of the horse one spends time with should be worthwhile. Too many of us American s have spent too much time improving horses that are not really designed to do upper-level dressage. I never had the money to buy expensive horse s but, if I had to do it again, I would not spend so much time with horses whose conformation doesn't really allow them to move the way the books say. If you're going to spend the time, you might as well spend it with the best quality horse you can find and afford, because you'll never get the time back.

I'm not saying that I regret having worked with any of the horses I've ridden. Every horse teaches you something, there's no question. But in the world of competition, the best horse wins (not that that's all there is by any means). Sometimes, the best rider is on an inferior horse and doesn't win. She doesn't understand why, because she has watched fancier or better quality horses being ridden less well, and she still loses to them. It begs the question : "Isn't it all about the training?" Well, yes, it is about the training, but it's also all about the gaits, the case of movement and how coordinated, balanced and athletic and dancer-like the horse is. These are the things good dressage horses are bred for.

Instead of hitting your head against this fact, saying to yourself, "Surely they'll recognize the better quality of training and riding of my horse," you'll have to accept the fact that some breeds just don't usually move as well as a good warmblood for dressage competition. The only exceptions are for the halt, rein-back and turns on the haunches. In these movements, theoretically, any horse could get a 10. But how are you going to compete against a horse that has a beautiful, natural trot extension with a horse who has learned to lengthen as well as he can but still can't hold a candle to the other horse?

Certainly, it isn't all about competition. You might not have any ambition s to win classes at shows with your horse. But still, when riding a better quality horse, you actually do become a better rider. Whereas, riding an inferior quality horse, even though you do become somewhat skillful by making up for some of his shortcomings, you cannot create the gaits of a good mover.

You might think that I'm prejudiced and don't like other breeds, but that's not true. I love all horses and have happily ridden most breeds. But they usually don 't have the conformation that allows them to move like a well-bred dressage horse. That's why the Europeans have been breeding the way they have for hundreds of years. They said, "You know, I want a horse with a better walk. I want a horse whose neck comes up out of the withers. I don't want a horse whose neck comes out from between his knees."

You might say, "Look I only have $5,000, and this horse is the best I could get." Here's my answer to that:

1. Look around a little longer.

2. Take out a loan. People take out loans for cars. Most people drive cars costing $25,000 to $30,000. Nobody thinks anything of that. My advice is to drive a cheaper car and own a better horse. You can get a very good horse for between $20,000 and $50,000.

3. When going on a horse-buying trip, look for a horse with really good conformation, gaits, temperament and rideability. Don't settle for the horse that will bite you. Don't settle for the horse without over-stride at the walk, even when you walk him freely in a halter.

4. After you've narrowed down your choices for a new horse, get good professional advice. Find someone who has had many hours of experience training and observing sport horses. Remember, four eyes are better than two.

5. Get the horse vetted. Only the best horse you can find is good enough.

Cindy Sydnor is a U.S. Dressage Federation (USDF) "R" judge, a USDF certification examiner and a popular clinician. After training seven years in Europe and Brazil, shewas long-listed for the 1976 Olympic Team. Together with her husband, Charles, and daughter, Eliza, she operates Braebum Farm in Snow Camp, North Carolina. Her Website is braebumfarms.com. She is a frequent contributor to Dressage Today.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 20, 2007, 03:19 PM
I wonder whether Braeburn farms will do financing? Or maybe take mastercard or visa?

You bet they will!

Ka-ching.

Lambie Boat
Dec. 20, 2007, 03:20 PM
so funny. I went into serious debt to take lessons with Cindy Sydnor's ex-husband :D


I'm sure that education would have gone even further had I been working with a horse more suited to dressage, but I had to choose between the horse or the lessons! Or if I was younger, lighter, richer, more athletic, brighter (fill in the blank). I'm at an age now where "it's now or never" to really learn how to ride and train a horse, and that's the facts. It's the sad truth, but Cindy is keeping it real in that article. Don't blame the messenger.

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 20, 2007, 03:25 PM
Hmm this article doesnt ring true to some of what the posts are saying. I see someone saying "Hey its ok to spend more if you want to be competative". In the begining of her article she says UPPER LEVEL not LOWER LEVER pshewwwww. My horse was 6k and my trainers says he should have no problem going to 3rd and after we start tempis we'll see. I guess Im out of the fire. I better call my bank and tell them I dont need that 50k loan. Thanks for posting the actual document.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 20, 2007, 03:29 PM
:rolleyes:
Hmm this article doesnt ring true to some of what the posts are saying. I see someone saying "Hey its ok to spend more if you want to be competative". In the begining of her article she says UPPER LEVEL not LOWER LEVER pshewwwww. My horse was 6k and my trainers says he should have no problem going to 3rd and after we start tempis we'll see. I guess Im out of the fire. I better call my bank and tell them I dont need that 50k loan. Thanks for posting the actual document.

This is an exact quote from the article cited above:

"Certainly, it isn't all about competition. You might not have any ambitions to win classes at shows with your horse. But still, when riding a better quality horse, you actually do become a better rider. Whereas, riding an inferior quality horse, even though you do become somewhat skillful by making up for some of his shortcomings, you cannot create the gaits of a good mover."

So Cindy's saying-- "Oh, but you will never be as good a rider if you ride cheaper horses!!! You can't be as good a rider if you don't have expensive gaits!!"

Puh-leeze!:rolleyes:

:lol::lol::lol:

dkcbr
Dec. 20, 2007, 03:52 PM
>>>>Cindy is keeping it real in that article. Don't blame the messenger.

BINGO!

Also would like to say: I am thankful for the opportunity to read the article, and I have no quarrel with any of it. It's not utopia out there, folks, and if you aspire to do well at the upper levels (upper, not third/fourth), you probably do need to choose to pay "more" in order to get the gait quality needed to virtually ensure success.

see u at x
Dec. 20, 2007, 04:11 PM
After reading this, I can only think that, gee, it was a good thing that Sydnor wasn't around Hilda Gurney when Hilda bought Keen for a mere $1,000. I mean, really, Keen was just a dumpy TB of only average lineage, right? :rolleyes:

I'd be interested to know how this woman scores horses in the dressage arena who are NOT warmbloods. And maybe I'm wrong, but isn't it easier to get a car loan than it would be to get a loan for something like a horse?

slc2
Dec. 20, 2007, 04:16 PM
So now Sydnor is an unethical judge?

The plot definitely thickens.

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 20, 2007, 04:16 PM
See u at x

Yes it is harder to get a good apr on a personal loan if they wont let you use the horse as collateral or if you dont have any other kind of collateral.

What are we talking 15% or so for personal loans these days!!

class
Dec. 20, 2007, 04:22 PM
After reading this, I can only think that, gee, it was a good thing that Sydnor wasn't around Hilda Gurney when Hilda bought Keen for a mere $1,000. I mean, really, Keen was just a dumpy TB of only average lineage, right? :rolleyes:


yes, one person and one horse totally disproves the advice for everyone else out there. you will probably make it to grand prix on your $1,000 horse just like hilda did. you probably won't burn him out and top out at 2nd level like the 9 million other folks who have tried it.

i am left wondering why people spend all that money buying race cars with big engines when herbie the love bug was able to win races himself!

swgarasu
Dec. 20, 2007, 04:27 PM
>>>>Cindy is keeping it real in that article. Don't blame the messenger.

BINGO!

Also would like to say: I am thankful for the opportunity to read the article, and I have no quarrel with any of it. It's not utopia out there, folks, and if you aspire to do well at the upper levels (upper, not third/fourth), you probably do need to choose to pay "more" in order to get the gait quality needed to virtually ensure success.


Um, I *paid* for the oppertunity to read that article. Forgive me if I'm not falling all over myself with appreciation. Maybe if it told me something useful instead of just marginalizing me, I would feel a bit more thankful.

Halfbroke
Dec. 20, 2007, 04:37 PM
I tend to think its the "American Way" to be against this mentality of buying your way up (not that buying a better horse will automatically get you better scores..) but that Americans have a strong sense in them that if they work hard they get somewhere.. isn't that the american dream, to work your way up the ladder of sucess. I kind of think thats part of the reason why this article comes off as offensive.. it is discounting the "anyone can make it" mentality. I know I think like that.. I think I am realistic about my horses and their abilities, but have big dreams for both of them, even if those dreams arn't realized. I also know that MANY people (including a lot of people on here) will not share the same dream for my horses because they see them as sub par. It makes me mad that this article states that you have to buy a fancy horse to win, but unfortunatly I think that is the reality these days.. so whoever said don't shoot the messenger is right..!

To each his own about financing a horse. I can say that financing a horse has never crossed my mind, because my horses are a luxury to me, and I think it is irresponsible to finance a luxury..

My concern comes into how a horse is financed. More then likely someone will take a equity line of credit on their home, or pull out of their retirement savings. Both seem like bad ideas to me. If someone takes a line of credit on their house, depending upon the circumstances, could be paying a interest only variable rate loan on that. So, they are not paying off any principle on their loan, with their interest rates INCREASING monthly, on a DEPRECIATING asset (and horses do depreciate, under tax law you can depreciate them, and they do lose their value over time, although it is not as cut and dry as say depreciating machinary).. so you are technically paying more money as time passes for a asset that is worth less as time passes. If that family ever got into trouble and needed to sell their house, they very well may be carrying a bigger mortgage then what the house sells for.. so they have to PAY money to sell their house and hence forclosure happens... Just sounds like a unsound financial decision to me. And does this affect others.. absolutly!!

The subprime housing market is a very small part of the overall real estate market.. maybe 6%, and look what that small part of the market did to the overall finacial market?!? Banks wrote off billions of dollars in losses, the stock market has been crap these last few months, the fed has been undertaking some very agressive rate cuts, and that has happened all in the U.S. this credit crunch has also affected international markets (because the market is international.. there really isn't a u.s. market, a asian market.. its all just pretty much one market!) What does that do to your retirment account.. well it signicantly lowers the value.. so you may have to work an extra 5 years now because you don't have enough money to retire now..

Now lets talk about pulling money out of your IRA. First of all, I am not all that well versed in IRA's but I do know that it has some tax sheltering properties.. if you take money out of it, you have to pay taxes on it which can sometimes defeat the purpose of taking out of it. But anyways, lets assume that when you are 40 years old you take out $20,000 out of your retirment account. This means you are not earning any interest on that $20,000. Assuming you pay this back over a 4 year period (that would mean putting $416 extra back into your retirment account monthly.. which I think is a generous assumption.. do any of you have an extra $420 lying around each month) you have just given up around $9700 in interest earned over that 4 year period assuming you are earning 10% a year on your account (which is a safe assumption, that is what large cap stocks have earned historically) also assume that interest accrues monthly.

So $9700 sounds like a fair amount.. Now lets figure out what that $9700 would have earned over the next 20 years in interest (assuming you retire at around 64 years old). If you still assume you earn 10% a year and your interest compounds monthly, you have just given up $71,720 in INTEREST earned when you retire :eek:
If you take into account that if you paid back your $416 a month, you would only earn around $30,000 in interest over that same 20 year period. So you just gave up $40,000
To be fair, my "model" didn't take into account inflation, so the purchasing power ofthe dollar would erode that $71,000, but you get the picture right?!?

Does that sound like a "sound finacial decsion?!?"

fargaloo
Dec. 20, 2007, 04:46 PM
ok, I see I was getting my shorts in a knot about nothing...:)

Nothing really radical in that article after all -- none of this is news. And she did say "buy the best horse you can afford." I guess it means you have 2 options: A) If you want to be a better dressage rider and more competitive, follow her advice; B) if you are learning dressage simply to have the best riding relationship you can have with your beloved arawalkaloosa, ignore her advice. I just feel badly when riders who could be perfectly happy with option B) are pressured into taking option A), particularly if that means remortgaging the house. (BTW, if you are going to whine about why your beloved arawalkaloosa keeps losing to fancy warmbloods, you need to give your head a shake.)

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 20, 2007, 04:59 PM
Again we are talking upper level right. It makes sense to spend some money for a horse that is or will be above 4th.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 20, 2007, 05:01 PM
Again we are talking upper level right. It makes sense to spend some money for a horse that is or will be above 4th.

Reread the article. She is not restricting it to a particular level or even to people who ride competitively. :no:

canticle
Dec. 20, 2007, 05:04 PM
Own a Better Horse
Don't waste time. Ride the best quality horse you can afford.
By Cindy Sydnor

I relish the opportunity to say that the quality of the horse one spends time with should be worthwhile. Too many of us American s have spent too much time improving horses that are not really designed to do upper-level dressage. I never had the money to buy expensive horse s but, if I had to do it again, I would not spend so much time with horses whose conformation doesn't really allow them to move the way the books say. If you're going to spend the time, you might as well spend it with the best quality horse you can find and afford, because you'll never get the time back.
How is the quality of the time one has spent with one's horse in any way based on the horse's propensity for upper-level dressage? Some of my best moments with my horses have been while grooming and fussing over them. Could Ms. Sydnor please tell me how spending more money could have given me better memories? :confused:


I'm not saying that I regret having worked with any of the horses I've ridden. Every horse teaches you something, there's no question. But in the world of competition, the best horse wins (not that that's all there is by any means). Sometimes, the best rider is on an inferior horse and doesn't win. She doesn't understand why, because she has watched fancier or better quality horses being ridden less well, and she still loses to them. It begs the question : "Isn't it all about the training?" Well, yes, it is about the training, but it's also all about the gaits, the case of movement and how coordinated, balanced and athletic and dancer-like the horse is. These are the things good dressage horses are bred for. All horses are dressage horses, Ms. Sydnor. :sigh: But you are right, it isn't all about the training. It's also about the grooming, about the trail-riding, about the bonding, about listening to your horse eat, about holding his head in your arms. THAT is what is about! :mad:


Instead of hitting your head against this fact, saying to yourself, "Surely they'll recognize the better quality of training and riding of my horse," you'll have to accept the fact that some breeds just don't usually move as well as a good warmblood for dressage competition. The only exceptions are for the halt, rein-back and turns on the haunches. In these movements, theoretically, any horse could get a 10. But how are you going to compete against a horse that has a beautiful, natural trot extension with a horse who has learned to lengthen as well as he can but still can't hold a candle to the other horse? Ah the fallacy that the warmblood is a better mover than the Arabian, or the Saddlebred is a better mover than the TB. There is nothing special in any one breed that makes their gaits BETTER. It's just that some people have grown accustomed to certain types of horses and now prefer that type. But never mistake your preference for correctness!


Certainly, it isn't all about competition. You might not have any ambition s to win classes at shows with your horse. But still, when riding a better quality horse, you actually do become a better rider. Whereas, riding an inferior quality horse, even though you do become somewhat skillful by making up for some of his shortcomings, you cannot create the gaits of a good mover.Now rider skill depends on the type of horse you ride? I can't believe I'm reading this... :no: Maybe Ms. Sydnor is just trying to scare people into spending their money on the type of horse she is selling, because otherwise we as riders won't be as "skillful"? Is she that desperate to drum up business? :(


You might think that I'm prejudiced and don't like other breeds, but that's not true. I love all horses and have happily ridden most breeds. But they usually don 't have the conformation that allows them to move like a well-bred dressage horse. That's why the Europeans have been breeding the way they have for hundreds of years. They said, "You know, I want a horse with a better walk. I want a horse whose neck comes up out of the withers. I don't want a horse whose neck comes out from between his knees."Europeans have been breeding modern WBs for less than 50 years; they are one of the youngest breeds in terms of type. Maybe the type will survive like Arabians, Lipizzans, or even Morgans. But only time will tell. Right now it is a nascent breed.

Ms. Sydnor might "like" or even "love" other breeds, but it is obvious that she does not respect other breeds. Huge difference.


Cindy Sydnor is a U.S. Dressage Federation (USDF) "R" judge, a USDF certification examiner and a popular clinician. After training seven years in Europe and Brazil, shewas long-listed for the 1976 Olympic Team. Together with her husband, Charles, and daughter, Eliza, she operates Braebum Farm in Snow Camp, North Carolina. Her Website is braebumfarms.com. She is a frequent contributor to Dressage Today.I can't believe this poor excuse for a horsewoman was able to become a judge. Having spent so much time in her own little bubble, has she become blind to the true beauty of the horse? Is she so far removed from true dressage that now she is trying to scare others away from it as well? :cry::cry::cry:

Mozart
Dec. 20, 2007, 05:06 PM
Does that sound like a "sound finacial decsion?!?"

Well, you won't catch me taking out a loan for a horse but I do think the word "horse" is always incompatible with the phrase "sound financial decision" :lol:

see u at x
Dec. 20, 2007, 05:09 PM
So now Sydnor is an unethical judge?

The plot definitely thickens.

Those are YOUR words, NOT mine. My perception of the article is that she's coming across very biased, and my curiousity about how she scores horses that might not have warmblood movement but who are genuinely CORRECT in their movement is sincere because I would really like to know.


yes, one person and one horse totally disproves the advice for everyone else out there. you will probably make it to grand prix on your $1,000 horse just like hilda did. you probably won't burn him out and top out at 2nd level like the 9 million other folks who have tried it.

Again, not what I'm saying, and I'm really hoping that you're not accusing ME of being someone like that, because I'm one of the LAST people who could ever be accused of pushing my horse too far and too fast. :lol: In fact, I'm probably borderline OPPOSITE of that in that I tend not to push my horse enough because I don't want to risk injury, burnout, etc. I was merely pointing out that there are exceptions to every "rule" out there. But I can't help but think that the whole tone of her article goes against how so many dressage people talk about how they want dressage to be for everybody and that it isn't about winning and competing against other people, but about how you're supposed to be competing against yourself and your previous scores every time you ride a test.

If that's NOT the case, which is how this article comes across, well then, I guess the rest of us losers on horses worth less than $20K and with an average person's bank account, may as well just chuck the whole thing and give up now, because unless we win the lottery, marry some rich guy, make a killing in the stock market, etc., we will never stand a chance to even THINK about buying the big fancy horse that she claims we MUST have, much less be able to afford to show it.

Halfbroke
Dec. 20, 2007, 05:14 PM
Well, you won't catch me taking out a loan for a horse but I do think the word "horse" is always incompatible with the phrase "sound financial decision" :lol:

haha!! you are right about that!!! My horse economics factors in all of the knowledge that I acquire with each horse, so even if, in reality I am losing money like crazy I am making GOBS of it because i am just learning so much, and thats worth a lot right?!?:winkgrin:

canticle
Dec. 20, 2007, 05:25 PM
i am left wondering why people spend all that money buying race cars with big engines when herbie the love bug was able to win races himself!
I love my Mini Cooper, so why buy a Porsche?

Fence2Fence
Dec. 20, 2007, 05:40 PM
I love my Mini Cooper, so why buy a Porsche?

Because you'll be a better driver. :)


Sorry, had to chime in. :) :)

I don't find the article all that off base or insulting. And my retired ottb eventer is making a career change to dressage and we are technically newbies to "straight dressage" competitions. Yep, I realize if I want to ride GP one day, I'll have to buy a very athletic warm blood instead of hoping I can luck out with an OTTB.

katarine
Dec. 20, 2007, 05:50 PM
Thanks for posting the article.

What's the big to do over this?

You can teach any horse to sort a cow out of a herd...it's going to take huge bucks to win the NCHA futurity ;) Huge.

Remember the good ol boy that ran that utterly outclassed horse in the Kentucky Derby? Did that horse ever remotely stand a chance?

Buying your way to the top of the ranks, is just a fact. Because Hilda finding the jewel in the junkheap, isn't something just anyone can do.

canticle
Dec. 20, 2007, 06:03 PM
Own a Better Horse
Don't waste time. Ride the best quality horse you can afford.

That's the title of the article. I have never for a single moment felt that spending time around my horses was time wasted. Anyone who feels that way should not be around horses imo. :no:

Sandy M
Dec. 20, 2007, 06:03 PM
Thanks for posting the article.

What's the big to do over this?

You can teach any horse to sort a cow out of a herd...it's going to take huge bucks to win the NCHA futurity ;) Huge.

Remember the good ol boy that ran that utterly outclassed horse in the Kentucky Derby? Did that horse ever remotely stand a chance?

Buying your way to the top of the ranks, is just a fact. Because Hilda finding the jewel in the junkheap, isn't something just anyone can do.

The tone of the article is that if YOU, the average ammy, can only spend $5,000 on a horse, then you aren't serious about dressage or riding, and that the only way to be so is to somehow get that $20K to $50K horse, even if you have to go into debt to do it. It totally disses anyone who realistically prefers to work with the horse they have/can afford, and just do the best they can with that horse. The article does not set itself out as being addressed to ONLY those with FEI ambitions. Most of us would acknowledge that she is absolutely right IF THAT IS YOUR GOAL , but she appears to be saying that anyone who is serious about dressage MUST have an expensive, purpose bred horse or they aren't as good a rider, etc. Apparently, one cannot be a serious rider unless you aspire to FEI levels. Well, .... we can all aspire, but many of us just work with what we have and are quite "serious" about our horses and dressage. Heck, I evented through prelim, did a few Intermediate combined tests. Had some pretty nice eventers that were probably capable of going further than I was. But I never "seriously" considered doing a ** or ***. Does that mean I wasn't a "serious" eventer - because I didn't have an imported Irish or English event horse?? Bleacch!! Whole article just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

canticle
Dec. 20, 2007, 06:09 PM
Well said Sandy M!:yes:

WBLover
Dec. 20, 2007, 06:15 PM
Well, I went into debt for my horse, and I STILL didn't get a $20k horse. I got a $5k horse and spent another $7k in setup expenses to have that horse at home, and that's not even for a barn yet!! :eek:

Honestly, I'd love to be "serious" about dressage and have that "serious" dressage horse, but I don't have the time even if I had the money (because I have to work to have ANY money). I'm just going to have to make due with my "junk" horse that won't go anywhere I guess. :(

Sandy M
Dec. 20, 2007, 06:29 PM
Well, I went into debt for my horse, and I STILL didn't get a $20k horse. I got a $5k horse and spent another $7k in setup expenses to have that horse at home, and that's not even for a barn yet!! :eek:

Honestly, I'd love to be "serious" about dressage and have that "serious" dressage horse, but I don't have the time even if I had the money (because I have to work to have ANY money). I'm just going to have to make due with my "junk" horse that won't go anywhere I guess. :(


Sounds about like my situation. Got an interest-free loan from a friend to buy a $5,500 two year old. He oversteps about 8" at the walk, so presumably Ms. Sydnor would approve at least that much about him - but probably not those spots on his butt...., and of course he was vetted. (Where did she come up with that as a bullet point - would anyone with any sense buy ANY horse for more than slaughter price WITHOUT having it vetted?). I board, so I didn't do the outlay for setup, but I am indeed a 9 to 5-er, AND I'm paying monthly retirement board (and supplements and extra feed and regular trimming and shoeing and vet bills) for a retiree, as well as supporting the newbie from time of purchase as a two year old, plus colt starting expenses at age 3, and only now that he is 3 years 8 months am I getting back into the lesson/training routine. Extra time, extra money, the loan payments on a $50K horse.....I don't THINK so. I'm just thankful that my '88 truck (purchased used) and '93 trailer (also purchased used) are still running. To suggest I - or any ammy positioned as I am - go into debt for what is, to me, an uber-expensive horse (but that in real-world FEi competition would be a lower end horse) is just INSANE. Guess I'm just not serious about horses and dressage.

Elegante E
Dec. 20, 2007, 06:54 PM
Oddly, just read a similar article in Practical Horseman, except that it didn't set price or suggest a loan and it also mentioned buying a horse "suitable" to your abilities. Not a great article but much better advice.

To go out a buy a $20k if you don't know how to post is silly. To say that only the best moving horse will really teach you to be a better rider is silly. Which horse one buys and how much one spends should be related to skill and goals. I've learned tons of good dressage on a little morgan mare and an Andalusian cross, both well under the $20k amount. Both were built to do decent dressage even though the latter wasn't a great mover to begin with. Because of them, I now have a pretty darn good seat, don't use my hands to post, understand how to balance and influence a horse and can even ride a big spook and bucks. Should I have spent $20-50k to learn all that? Would it guarantee wins at shows?

Btw, the Andi cross gave me my first rides with Passage, Piafe and collected canter - and the morgan mare gave me glimpses of a canter pirouette. Can't beat that for the price!

Yes, look for a horse suitable for the sport but don't worry about buying the absolute best till you really have a need for it. There is so much to learn from the average horse that it shouldn't be belittled.

EdwynEdwyn
Dec. 20, 2007, 07:08 PM
I think that the biggest problem with this article is that Ms. Sydnor is a poor writer. Or at least this is a poor example of writing.

And I completely agree with Elegante E when she says:

"There is so much to learn from the average horse that it shouldn't be belittled."

tollertwins
Dec. 20, 2007, 07:14 PM
Quote:
It begs the question : "Isn't it all about the training?" Well, yes, it is about the training, but it's also all about the gaits, the case of movement and how coordinated, balanced and athletic and dancer-like the horse is.
Quote:

You mean it ISN"T all about the training? (smacks self in forehead).....At least somebody was willing to actually say that.....

Sithly
Dec. 20, 2007, 07:40 PM
I've seen people leap up in riding ability riding these better quality horses. The modern types are incredible to ride - a rider can sit and look far, far more elegant on one of these animals.

A friend of mine just bought a 'very expensive' horse and it's UNBELIEVABLE the difference in how well she rides just in one month. This is not exceptional. This is how it IS, more often than not.

Uh, sorry, that's not riding ability. I can easily feel the difference when I ride my ASB mutt vs. when I ride my friend's WB, but does sitting on the expensive horse make me a better rider? I think not. I can get my friend's horse to perform higher level movements, but does that make me a better rider? I think not. There's more to riding than sitting there and letting the horse compensate for your mediocre ability.

That's not to say that you can't learn A LOT from a schoolmaster. Not to say that shouldn't buy the best quality horse you can afford. In general, you should -- especially if you have competitive goals.

IMO, appropriate challenges are the key. Buying a better horse to make everything "easy" may be your ticket to competitive success, but it's not necessarily your ticket to better riding and horsemanship.

carolprudm
Dec. 20, 2007, 08:04 PM
And that's another thing - you better have insurance to pay off that 75K gem when you croak, or your family's going to be doing it for you.


Not really. If you die and your estate doesn't have enough assets to cover your debts the creditors lose, unless your relatives cosigned the loan.

vandenbrink
Dec. 20, 2007, 09:55 PM
If we would add typical expenses for a dressage rider...
6000 per year board
1500 in lessons/coaching
300 in gas and wear and tear expense getting too and from the barn.
300 in riding apparel and horse equipment,
500 vet and farrier expenses.

This adds up to 8500+ per year even if they are not showing.

In a 5 year period that adds up to 42500...10 years 85000 etc etc...you get the picture.

The purchase price of the horse at $20 000 is a small piece of the total budget...but the key ingredient to success at the sport.

I say it's worth borrowing for it or saving a year or two for it if you are in a good financial position.

A good dressage prospect is a worthwhile investment. They can be insured and will increase in value with more training and show experience.

petitefilly
Dec. 20, 2007, 10:09 PM
Buying your way to the top of the ranks, is just a fact. Because Hilda finding the jewel in the junkheap, isn't something just anyone can do.


BINGO! Give that girl a cigar. Or, the horse of her dreams, whatever!

:):):):):):)

Lambie Boat
Dec. 20, 2007, 11:50 PM
I'm guessing even Hilda might agree that Keen wouldn't 'make it' in today's showring

Dressage Art
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:19 AM
After reading the article, I agree with most of it. She is laying it as it is, honestly calling what it takes to be competitive in the current dressage show ring. Yes, gaits are a large part of every score and especially walk can bring the scores really down. Yes, no amount of correct training will make a horse competitive if it doesn't have a natural talent for dressage. Yes, there are limits for horses that are not built for dressage and some flaws turn in to soundness issues latter. Horses have to be gymnasts for competitive dressage. I agree with all of that. Yes, it's difficult to find an under saddle horse for less than 15K that doesn't have conformational issues, soundness issues or mental issues and that can perform as a gymnast on FEI levels.

However, I strongly disagree with this paragraph:

2. Take out a loan. People take out loans for cars. Most people drive cars costing $25,000 to $30,000. Nobody thinks anything of that. My advice is to drive a cheaper car and own a better horse. You can get a very good horse for between $20,000 and $50,000.
I am against taking a loan for a living creature. I think this is a very irresponsible advice. If everything will go perfect - yes that horse can turn out to be a good investment and it can bring a lot of satisfaction to the in-debt owner. But if one of the many things will go wrong: lameness, colic, loss of job for owner, sickness of owner, addition to the family, any other financial hardship - what will happen when those horse owners will default on their financed horse? Who will help them to pay for their debt for the horse and for keeping the horse? Does she give a reasonable answer what to do in this situation? No, she doesn't, she just hopes for the best outcome. Please ask yourself how often in YOUR life you do have "perfect" outcomes?

My second problem with her advice is about "getting the best horse that you can afford" - I might decide not to buy a 3 thousand square foot house, because with this kind of house I will need to hire help to keep up with chores and lots of money to furnish it as well. I might decide not to buy a Porsche, b/c when I drive to San Francisco other drivers scrape your car while parking on daily bases. Initial investment is only a part of the expenses. Plus house, horse, cars (if we are comparing them) all have to be functional for your particular purposes - not just the best that your money can buy. So, I will not buy a $50K horse - my horse has to be able to take me for a trail ride and be able to live like a horse. She thinks that showing dressage is the only real goal that we can have - wrong! Being a horse owner is not only about getting blue ribbons and seeing your name in HOY awards. Being a horse owner is about enjoying your horse and DAILY things that you do with your horse. For many, many AAs winning is really not an issue or even a goal.

Third issue that her advice is putting us in a rat race and “Keeping up with the Joneses" race. Because even $30K horse can have a better gaits and be even more talented for dressage, so how about $50K horse or $100K horse or heck, how about $500K horse? When is it enough? How deep we should go in to debt?


I say it's worth borrowing for it or saving a year or two for it if you are in a good financial position.
A good dressage prospect is a worthwhile investment. They can be insured and will increase in value with more training and show experience.
And what happens if these dressage prospect injuries a tendon has a year off and still can not continue as dressage horse? He is literally given away - with owner still taking a loss on many things.

slc2
Dec. 21, 2007, 09:12 AM
Lord I hope the Sydnors don't see this thread because it is getting damned embarrassing. :lol:

ToN Farm
Dec. 21, 2007, 09:41 AM
Lord I hope the Sydnors don't see this thread because it is getting damned embarrassing.
Thanks for getting her name correct, SLC. By now, I suspect she has been notified of the on-line dicussions. The voices on these two popular discussion forums in no way represent the majority of the dressage community. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the majority of readers of DT might share the opinions of the posters on these boards.

So many different opinions come from the various definitions of what 'dressage' is. Those that still hang on to the concept that it means 'training' and improving the horse, will continue to buy unsuitable for the sport horses and spent the rest of their riding life basically doing simple 'flat work' claiming they are 'doing dressage'.

Whether you show or not, dressage to some of us is achieving collection at the highest level of the sport. Actually, I think that was the goal of the ODG's that so many of you admire.

From what I read on these boards, many of you do not even know who Ms. Sydnor is and her background. This is a woman that has more than paid her dues in the sport. She is someone that I admire. It's a shame that everytime any professional writes anything in an article, the crows have to swarm and pick it apart so they can criticize it and it's mostly because they know what they are reading is true.

ps: SLC, your posts on this thread are right-on.

canticle
Dec. 21, 2007, 09:53 AM
So many different opinions come from the various definitions of what 'dressage' is. Those that still hang on to the concept that it means 'training' and improving the horse, will continue to buy unsuitable for the sport horses and spent the rest of their riding life basically doing simple 'flat work' claiming they are 'doing dressage'.

Whether you show or not, dressage to some of us is achieving collection at the highest level of the sport. Actually, I think that was the goal of the ODG's that so many of you admire.
I guess we'll never know which definition is "real dressage," will we? :sigh:

Each side feels pretty confident that they have the ultimate answers to these questions. I think Ms. Sydnor's problem is that she is so out of touch with the majority of riders. Most people do not hold such an exclusive outlook on dressage. By taking such an extreme stance, DT risks alienating many of their subscribers.

NotaDQinMD
Dec. 21, 2007, 09:54 AM
I really don't have a problem with the article. It's a personal choice and it all depends on your priorities and your personal financial situation.
If you can get approved for a 30k personal loan to buy a horse, chances are you can afford the payments, insurance and upkeep for the horse.

My thoughts are that this article is geared toward people who are boarding and training with professionals and probably show at recognized shows and have aspirations to show and progress. I don't know if it's the same in all of your areas, but just make a visit to one of the bigger recognized shows and look around. The expensive rigs, saddles, grooms, tack stalls, trainers, coaches...
this is a pretty expensive sport and most of these competitors are not making anything close to the country's average salary. Trish

onzbit
Dec. 21, 2007, 10:08 AM
If showing dressage and learning dressage is important to you, then I think you do need to buy the best horse you can buy. Showing and lessons are both very expensive, it doesn't make sense to invest your time or money on a limited horse. That is like buying a VW bug and taking to a race track to race sports cars. Why would you spend you money to do that? I see lots of people spend money on their trucks and trailers and barns and then have a $1,000.00 horse!

canticle
Dec. 21, 2007, 10:48 AM
If showing dressage and learning dressage is important to you, then I think you do need to buy the best horse you can buy. Showing and lessons are both very expensive, it doesn't make sense to invest your time or money on a limited horse. That is like buying a VW bug and taking to a race track to race sports cars. Why would you spend you money to do that? I see lots of people spend money on their trucks and trailers and barns and then have a $1,000.00 horse!
Excellent question. Yet so many people are happy with their VW bugs. Whether it be normal driving or tuning them and taking them to the track, the cars sell well and have a loyal following. Are all of the owners and drivers wrong? Should all of those people sell their VWs and buy Ferraris?

How can they be wasting their time if they are happy and having a good time? :confused:

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 21, 2007, 11:03 AM
The people who seem to favor Sydnor's point of view keep reading the article as if she limited her comments to competitive dressage. If it was so limited, the article might be seen as a refreshing, honest take on competitive dressage today. But apologists are twisting the article, because she did not limit her comments to people who want to do FEI or even to those who want to do any showing at all.

As another poster pointed out, one key thing that was missing in the article was that she said nothing about a person buying the most SUITABLE or appropriate horse that they can afford. Since most average european WBs that are in the $25k to $35k range are 3 and 4 year olds, I ask you, how many riders are these young horses appropriate for? On the other end of the price range, for most beginning and intermediate riders, a crappy moving, aged, PSG level WB will have buttons that the rider will never even be able to find, let alone push. All this for about $50k.

I can tell you that if Ms. Sydnor was a real judge in a real court, she would be in trouble for making biased statements that prejudge competitors before they enter the ring. She also has an obvious conflict of interest as a seller of horses.

Finally, perhaps recent articles like hers are a last ditch effort to try to keep the market of expensive horses from collapsing. We have all heard that the less expensive horses are being given away due to the economy and specific industry related factors. It is probably just a matter of time before values come down on expensive horses as they run out of wealthy prospective buyers.

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 11:35 AM
It is indeed apparent that many people here have NO earthly idea who Cindy Sydnor is.

I am certain she is fully aware of this thread, as her daughter Eliza does participate on at least one BB; usually if you're on one BB, you're on several.

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 11:49 AM
I think many posters here are reading the article in an unnecessarily defensive manner.

I just reread the article and I'll be darned if I can figure out why so many people are up in arms about it.

Even the subtitle states clearly, "Ride the best quality horse you can afford." Let me add for emphasis: "you can afford."

And in her very first paragraph, she is NOT talking about grooming and snuggling, folks - she is talking about the quality of horse you spend training time with should be commensurate with your goals and ambitions. Truly, I don't see how anyone can argue with that concept.

Then the last sentence of that first paragraph clearly states (again), "you might as well spend it with the best quality horse you can find and afford, because you'll never get the time back." She is NOT saying everyone should dump their less-expensive horses and go out and spend megabucks on a new horse just because. She IS saying that horses designed to do upper level dressage and are naturally good movers are a better choice for someone who is aspiring toward upper level dressage.

slc2
Dec. 21, 2007, 11:53 AM
"if Ms. Sydnor was a real judge in a real court,"

:lol:

"Ms. Sydnor's problem is that she is so out of touch with the majority of riders"

I am now SURE no one writing this nasty garbage knows who Sydnor is, what she's done, or what she's like as a person, and I'm VERY sure no one here has the right to sit in such incredibly august judgement of her.

Ms Sydnor is actually one of the LAST people to have any breed prejudices (having spent years and years working with Karl Mikolka and so many non warmbloods) or insist people get horses that aren't appropriate to their goals.

This whole thing would be funny, if it wasn't so nasty and personal against Sydnor.

"I think many posters here are reading the article in an unnecessarily defensive manner. "

here, here. Time to get my pillows fluffed and get out the Baileys. I wonder how it tastes with Robitussin?

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 21, 2007, 11:59 AM
"if Ms. Sydnor was a real judge in a real court,"

:lol:

This whole thing is getting REALLY funny.

"I think many posters here are reading the article in an unnecessarily defensive manner. "


No, not funny. SAD. :no: It is very clear that horse show "judges" do not need to follow the most basic ethical standards that are imposed on any legal judge or hearing officer in order to ensure integrity and impartiality. Some people seem to think otherwise, so I thought that it was worth pointing out.

The article speaks for itself. It has been posted on this thread. You can either read the words as they are written, or not.

Here is Cindy Sydnor's bio-
http://www.horsesdaily.com/whoswho/sydnor_cindy/index.html

We know WHO she is. We just don't AGREE with her. :(

canticle
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:16 PM
I am now SURE no one writing this nasty garbage knows who Sydnor is, what she's done, or what she's like as a person, and I'm VERY sure no one here has the right to sit in such incredibly august judgement of her.
You are correct, I've never heard of Ms. Sydnor before this and thus I have no idea who she is. But doesn't that give my opinions even more weight?

Perfect Pony
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:18 PM
If you can get approved for a 30k personal loan to buy a horse, chances are you can afford the payments, insurance and upkeep for the horse.

OK I have been lurking on this thread, but this quote just brought me out. What rock have you been living under? Watch the news much?

This economy is spiraling into a recession and possible depression due to reckless lending and a country that is as addicted to credit as many are to crack. And you come up with this gem... :eek:

slc2
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:25 PM
Eclectic, that seems like an even LESS veiled accusation that she is an unethical judge. The last one could easily be backed out of, 'oh no, you misinterpreted, i didn't say that, how could you possibly suggest i said that, that's YOUR problem'.

THIS is just REALLY over the top. That someone suggests getting an appropriate horse is unethical because you people go ballistic when people bring up reality.

I have seen ENOUGH people abusing unsuited horses, screaming at them, jerking their mouths, screaming at their horses as they ride, 'I hate you you bi***'!', I've been watching wannabe people for YEARS who buy 100 pairs of expensive breeches, 10 bridles, a dozen expensive saddles, a huge expensive truck, a big rig, go to 300 clinics a year, on this poor animal that can barely stand up, FORCING horses with bad feet and chronic arthritis to go in class after class (just get that chiropractor out and that supplement out and all will be healed!). I am SICK of seeing people take unsuitable horses and try to force them do do work they can't POSSIBLY stand up to! There's the other side of that story for ya and it's not exactly about smelling the roses and going for trail rides on Sparky.

ALL Sydnor is saying is to be realistic, and to get the right tools for the job you want to achieve and to not expect outrageously lofty things of a horse that can't possibly do it - the idea that suggesting someone take out a loan for a horse is bad - good lord, it may be the LEAST stupid thing they ever take a loan out for in their life! My relatives have bought far stupider things with loans!

xQHDQ
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:29 PM
I think what Cindy is really saying is that a GOOD RIDER on a GOOD HORSE will score better than a GOOD RIDER on a NOT SO GOOD HORSE and a GOOD RIDER on a GOOD HORSE will be able to advance faster in training than a GOOD RIDER on a NOT SO GOOD HORSE.

Note: "Good" is subjective but I think she's talking about movement and natural ability in her article.

I have found that I do ride better when my horse goes better. I switched from an excellently trained horse with so-so gaits to a less trained horse with better gaits and I do ride better now - I feel A LOT more (shoulder dropping, inside hind leg not under him, etc). That's not to say that I didn't get a lot out of the horse with so-so gaits. Cindy says this in her article too.

About the actual prices. When I was horse shopping those were the prices I saw for the type of horse Cindy is talking about. I was not looking for the type of horse she was talking about. I don't own the type of horse she's talking about. Do I wish I did? No because I can reach my goals on the horse I have. But if my goals were different you bet I would want THAT type of horse. Some people do get lucky though.

About taking out a loan. Taking out a loan is different than going into debt. Cindy never says go into debt. I would rather have $10,000 in the bank and take out a $20,000 loan than use the entire $10,000 and have nothing in the bank. If something happens (ie, lose job) I have $10,000 to tide me over until the something resolves. If the loan is attached to my home loan the interest wouldn't be so bad and the monthly payments low enough to fit into a budget (less Starbucks or dinners out or whatever).

If your desired goals are attainable with what you have than this article is not for you. If you feel that you've been struggling to reach your goals than you may want to take a second look at this article. You may need to change your goals or you may need to change your horse or you may need to change something else in your life (ie, move to another trainer).

Sandy M
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:31 PM
Really, I don't think any of us disagree that CS is right if she is addressing highly competitive riders with definite FEI ambitions, amateur or pro. We all know that, like it or not, gaits are assessed in every movement and while training may, in some cases, be rewarded over quality of gaits, it's a very thin line. We get rightfully upset when badly trained/badly ridden fancy gaits get scored over correctly trained/correctly ridden average to good gaits.

I think the big objection and defensiveness are raised by the "get a loan" comments, the "most people drive a $35K car," comment. A casual assumption that the average ammy should go into debt to buy that "best horse you can buy" (and with little advice regarding the consideration of suitability). It's sort of like a economics expert giving a seminar to high level investors, telling them not to try to do something on the cheap. And that would be okay if she had so addressed the editorial, but she did NOT. She specifically comments on people saying they can only afford $5K. While I'm sure there are exceptions, the average person with definite high level ambitions is not limited to $5K horses, unless they consider it a $5K horse because they bred it and that was the cost to get the baby on the ground! It is the average adult ammy, single, or married and returning to riding, etc. who has that "cheap" horse.

Those of us who are driving older, used cars/trucks and doing without a lot of things in order to be able to afford the best horse we CAN buy - and THAT horse costs under 10K, are understandably "defensive" about being both dissed and dismissed! To me, it is particularly interesting because at least it is honest in this respect: It admits that the average ammy has been LIED to for many years: We've been told it's about the gaits and training; we have articles about how any horse can do dressage; recent featured articles on non-traditional breeds - you CAN do it, we are told! Then we have CS editorial: At least CS is honest: IT'S ABOUT THE MONEY AND THE GAITS - and presumably if you have the money and the gaits you can afford the training. So.... you folks with the cheap horses.... just.... move along...nothing to see here. Go to schooling shows or go into debt.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:33 PM
Eclectic, that seems like an even LESS veiled accusation that she is an unethical judge. The last one could easily be backed out of, 'oh no, you misinterpreted, i didn't say that'.

THIS is just REALLY over the top. That someone suggests getting an appropriate horse is unethical because you people go ballistic when people bring up reality.

I have seen ENOUGH people abusing unsuited horses, screaming at them, jerking their mouths, screaming at their horses as they ride, 'I hate you you bi***'!', I've been watching wannabe people for YEARS who buy 100 pairs of expensive breeches, 10 bridles, a dozen saddles, a huge expensive truck, a big rig, go to 300 clinics a year, on this poor animal that can barely stand up, FORCING horses with bad feet and chronic arthritis to go in class after class (just get that chiropractor out and that supplement out and all will be healed!). I am SICK of seeing people take unsuitable horses and try to force them do do work they can't POSSIBLY stand up to!

Huh? :confused: Under the Rules of Judicial Conduct in most jurisdictions it is per se unethical for a judge to comment on something that will come before them in the future. They are supposed to judge only based on what they see before them in that particular case- not preconceived notions or biases. Secondly, judges are supposed to recuse themselves from any matter in which they have a conflict of interest. When you have an interest in selling horses, then telling people to take out a loan to buy one is a conflict of interest. Period. It is not, and cannot be, impartial advice.

I don't see what this has to do with abuse at all..... :confused: People who don't spend $20k plus on horses are abusive? What?

It is a discussion. You disagree with me, so what. Don't have a heart attack. :eek:

thumbelina115
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:34 PM
My thoughts on the article are these. In my opinion it's directed towards people who have FEI/International goals. (That's just my opinion and I can see how people are taking it differently.) I simply can't fathom why a well respected judge and trainer like Ms. Sydnor would suggest to someone who rides dressage casually, purely for enjoyment to remortgage the farm and buy a 50K horse.
She also says quite clearly that you should "buy the horse you can afford." Well, in my case I had less than 10K to work with and after YEARS of searching I found my next FEI prospect (got a helluva deal.) (Oh, and FEI horse #1 cost 12K, go figure, I'm lucky...) If I had not found him, would I have headed out to the bank to attempt to get a 50K personal loan? NO! WHY? Because they would have laughed me out the door. It just doesn't happen..... If you have home equity or similar, maybe. But if you are the average young pro, you are living month to month and have very little that a bank looks upon as being valuable.
I disgaree with the quote that a horse is a "sound investment." An investment for a rider, yes indeed. An investment that is going to appriciate over the years and make you richer than you are now? Eeesh, not so much. My banker told me that a fully developed horse business is not considered by most banks to be a "sound" investment, and a horse certainly is not.
The last thing I have to say is this. I have been on the re-training and selling end of quite a few very expensive and talented horses whose owners bought them with the dream that a $$$ horse would bring home the blues. When they found that the better horse did not make them a better rider (often, even with years of time with their trainers) these folks became frightened and frustrated. Which is once again why I think that this article was directed towards pro, or extremely talented riders who are seriously looking for world class horses.
Just my opinion......

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:42 PM
Better natural gaits (a.k.a. purpose-bred horses) are more likely to train up more easily into correct, supple, elastic, upper level dressage horses.

Train the best horse you can afford for your goals.

Getting a loan to buy a horse that has the natural ability to be more easily trained to upper level dressage is an option. The loan is one option, among others.

Really, it's so simple and so not an outrage.

Perfect Pony
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:44 PM
I have seen ENOUGH people abusing unsuited horses, screaming at them, jerking their mouths, screaming at their horses as they ride, 'I hate you you bi***'!', I've been watching wannabe people for YEARS who buy 100 pairs of expensive breeches, 10 bridles, a dozen expensive saddles, a huge expensive truck, a big rig, go to 300 clinics a year, on this poor animal that can barely stand up, FORCING horses with bad feet and chronic arthritis to go in class after class (just get that chiropractor out and that supplement out and all will be healed!). I am SICK of seeing people take unsuitable horses and try to force them do do work they can't POSSIBLY stand up to! There's the other side of that story for ya and it's not exactly about smelling the roses and going for trail rides on Sparky.

Goodness, are you still on here playing authority on everything and spewing extremes to prove your point?

I have seen ENOUGH people who have gone out and probably taken out loans to buy BIG, FANCY horses they cannot sit, abusing them screaming at them, jerking their mouths, screaming at their horses as they ride, 'I hate you you bi***'!'

These are the same people who are totally competent riders who are grossly over mounted by often times FEI level horses costing them nearly 6 figures or more because that is what they need to "win". I have seen the tears in the barn when all that money and talent can't get the rider past 1st or 2nd level, because the horse is simply too big and extravagant for the rider (who could easily be at 4th level on skill on a suitable, smaller, a little less fancy horse).

It goes both ways... and in this land of debt, keeping up with the Jones' and throwing money at things I have seen a lot of it.

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:45 PM
>>Under the Rules of Judicial Conduct in most jurisdictions it is per se unethical for a judge to comment on something that will come before them in the future. They are supposed to judge only based on what they see before them in that particular case- not preconceived notions or biases. Secondly, judges are supposed to recuse themselves from any matter in which they have a conflict of interest. When you have an interest in selling horses, then telling people to take out a loan to buy one is a conflict of interest. Period. It is not, and cannot be, impartial advice.<<

The topic is horse show judging and I fail to see the relevance horse show judging in what you have posted above regarding the American system of justice.

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:49 PM
>>>>These are the same people who are totally competent riders who are grossly over mounted by often times FEI level horses costing them nearly 6 figures or more because that is what they need to "win". I have seen the tears in the barn when all that money and talent can't get the rider past 1st or 2nd level, because the horse is simply too big and extravagant for the rider (who could easily be at 4th level on skill on a suitable, smaller, a little less fancy horse).<<<<

Please point to the place in the article where Ms. Sydnor suggests riders buy over-big, extravagant horses that they cannot ride just because they need to win.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:51 PM
>>Under the Rules of Judicial Conduct in most jurisdictions it is per se unethical for a judge to comment on something that will come before them in the future. They are supposed to judge only based on what they see before them in that particular case- not preconceived notions or biases. Secondly, judges are supposed to recuse themselves from any matter in which they have a conflict of interest. When you have an interest in selling horses, then telling people to take out a loan to buy one is a conflict of interest. Period. It is not, and cannot be, impartial advice.<<

The topic is horse show judging and I fail to see the relevance horse show judging in what you have posted above regarding the American system of justice.


If you read the thread, you will see that I was defending myself against slc's comments, that's all.

And you are right, that was exactly my point. Horse show judges are NOT bound by the same rules of ethical conduct. Positively.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:53 PM
>>>>These are the same people who are totally competent riders who are grossly over mounted by often times FEI level horses costing them nearly 6 figures or more because that is what they need to "win". I have seen the tears in the barn when all that money and talent can't get the rider past 1st or 2nd level, because the horse is simply too big and extravagant for the rider (who could easily be at 4th level on skill on a suitable, smaller, a little less fancy horse).<<<<

Please point to the place in the article where Ms. Sydnor suggests riders buy over-big, extravagant horses that they cannot ride just because they need to win.


As many, many posters have pointed out--Sydnor says buy the best horse you can afford. Not buy THE MOST SUITABLE horse.

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:55 PM
>>>>>And you are right, that was exactly my point. Horse show judges are NOT bound by the same rules of ethical conduct. Positively. <<<<<

So what? I confess that I seem to be missing your point.

Unless your point is that because horse show judges are not bound by the same rules as the U.S. judicial system , each horse show judge is automatically suspect.

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 12:59 PM
>>>>>As many, many posters have pointed out--Sydnor says buy the best horse you can afford. Not buy THE MOST SUITABLE horse.<<<<<

But, the most suitable horse IS the best horse you can afford!

The most suitable horse for each of us is the one that can go with us to wherever our goals are, to the degree of success that each of us will define for ourselves.

Don't we all understand that?

Sandy M
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:02 PM
>>>>>As many, many posters have pointed out--Sydnor says buy the best horse you can afford. Not buy THE MOST SUITABLE horse.<<<<<

But, the most suitable horse IS the best horse you can afford!

The most suitable horse for each of us is the one that can go with us to wherever our goals are, to the degree of success that each of us will define for ourselves.

Don't we all understand that?\

Yes, but Ms. Sydnor seems to feel that such horse does not exist under $20,000.

Perfect Pony
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:07 PM
As many, many posters have pointed out--Sydnor says buy the best horse you can afford. Not buy THE MOST SUITABLE horse.

Thank you! That is exactly what she is saying...

If you want to win, you need a horse with incredible talent and gaits
These horses are expensive
You might need to go into debt

I have seen a lot of this around here. I have seen plenty of people grossly over mounted on these horses.

I have seen the people and the horses suffer because of it.

Thing is, these people ARE the ones she is addressing, and that's what bugs me. These are people that are above average ammy riders who really do want to move up the levels, and they are fed hook, line and sinker by their trainers (making huge commissions btw) that they need to go out and buy the "best" the "fanciest" and the most spectacular horse possible to reach their goals.

There seems to be no gray area here. There are plenty of horses out there that are completely suitable but maybe not the biggest, or the fanciest, or whatever. Everyone on here seems to be talking about the extremes, but look around. I bought a horse with good breeding, above average gaits, and a mind worth millions for 8k because she is 15.1. Never mind that she has the stride of a much bigger horse, and gets 8s on her gaits --- she was cheap because she was plain and small and not a trainer on the planet would look at her.

Anyway, I think it goes both ways, and if people actually took the time to look, and trainers cared as much about their clients pocketbooks as their own, it would be a much different sport.

lizathenag
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:08 PM
poor excuse for a horsewoman

No need to be nasty. . .

I have ridden the same OTTB for the past 6 years and am happy with my progress and am a better rider than I was before. Those are my goals.

My cousin has a very fancy WB and has won Grand Prix at Wellington.

There are many paths up the mountain and the goals are not always the same.

canticle
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:08 PM
But, the most suitable horse IS the best horse you can afford!

The most suitable horse for each of us is the one that can go with us to wherever our goals are, to the degree of success that each of us will define for ourselves.

Don't we all understand that?
The best horses I ever bought were for $750 and $3000. Since it happened twice I know it wasn't a fluke! :D

Donella
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:09 PM
Unfortunately, that expensive horse IS a big part of quite a few goals. I think part of the angry reaction comes from that myth that all horses can achieve any goal the rider may have, if the right person just loves them enough - and that all expensive horses are just overpriced cheap horses, and no different athletically, gait wise or balance wise


Yup. If this really wasnt true we would see a tonne of "off" breeds ect at the top national/international competitions. Everyone likes to save money. Really. I also find that there is a strong theme on this board that "any horse can do dressage competatively" and "my qh/walkaloosa beats all the big time imported horses all the time"...yeah..well, only if the individual riding that horse is not suited to the horse. If you get two comparative riders..there is no contest. Sorry, that is reality. You can't say "ohh well, my cheapy horse is just as competative because I can beat the AA that can't actually ride the horse she bought". That is winning by default. I just don't buy it.

I ride a somewhat "off" breed..ie a friesian. She is modern and has exceptional movememt for the sport but there is STILL a big difference in ability (especially at the canter) than a top class wb bred for this sport! If you want to be competative, and it is a huge priority in your life, you need to equipt yourself with the tools to do so and a horse that CANNOT collect, or a horse that has no rideability ect is going to hamper that. Horses with ability are expensive. As soon as you want to get competative in any sport, the expectations go up. You don't try to ride a horse that cant collect if you ambitions are FEI. Just like you don't try to run a marathon if you have a heart condition. Just doesn't work.

And on that note..this whole "all the people who ride expensive horses cant ride thing" is baloney. It's just like when people make it seem like you can't be smart and super beautiful at the same time. They are totally unrelated factors and how we assume one goes with the other is beyond me. There are LOTS more people bouncing around on rescue type horses than there are people who are serious enough about riding to seriously invest in a top mount. And that correlation makes more sense.

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:15 PM
Its offensive that people automatically assume that because your horse is under 20k he/she is downhill and has no overstride. When you spent the time to find one that is built well and has great gaits but was out of practice its almost insulting.

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:23 PM
>>>>>If you want to be competative, and it is a huge priority in your life, you need to equipt yourself with the tools to do so and a horse that CANNOT collect, or a horse that has no rideability ect is going to hamper that. Horses with ability are expensive. As soon as you want to get competative in any sport, the expectations go up. You don't try to ride a horse that cant collect if you ambitions are FEI. Just like you don't try to run a marathon if you have a heart condition. Just doesn't work.<<<<<


YEP!!

Well said!

Daydream Believer
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:24 PM
I think what Cindy is really saying is that a GOOD RIDER on a GOOD HORSE will score better than a GOOD RIDER on a NOT SO GOOD HORSE and a GOOD RIDER on a GOOD HORSE will be able to advance faster in training than a GOOD RIDER on a NOT SO GOOD HORSE.


But in the world of competition, the best horse wins (not that that's all there is by any means). Sometimes, the best rider is on an inferior horse and doesn't win. She doesn't understand why, because she has watched fancier or better quality horses being ridden less well, and she still loses to them. It begs the question : "Isn't it all about the training?" Well, yes, it is about the training, but it's also all about the gaits, the case of movement and how coordinated, balanced and athletic and dancer-like the horse is.

No go back and reread and I'll put it there for you to save you going back. She is saying that a less able rider on a good horse will outscore the good rider on the lesser horse because of movement and quality. It is not as much about the training as it is about the quality of horse. I think that is what is upsetting so many people who were deluded into thinking that training is important also.


About taking out a loan. Taking out a loan is different than going into debt.

Come again? How do you figure that? If you take out a loan you have gone into debt. You have to pay it back and don't think for a minute that a collaterized loan is a guarantee that you are off the hook. Someone I knew could not make her car payments so she let them come and repossess it thinking it was all she had to do...WRONG. They (the car dealer who sold it to her) got less than half for the car at auction than she owed on it and she still had to pay back the balance of the loan.

I personally do not care if Ms Sydnor reads this. She should know how people feel about her article. I personally am very disappointed in it.

Fence2Fence
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:38 PM
Come again? How do you figure that? If you take out a loan you have gone into debt.

I don't really give a rat's tail about this topic, but the train wreck is amusing.

To address this statement:

If you have $100,000 in the bank and you take out a $50k loan, you've taken out a loan, not "going into debt."

"Going into debt" is taking out a loan when you are qualified by your yearly income/collateral to cover said debt.

Like a prior poster stated, I'd much rather keep my $20k stashed in the bank and take out a loan. Probably a fixed rate equity loan on my house and then write off the interest on my taxes.

C'mon to thnk of it, the article was so persuasive, I think I'll go do that. :) :) :) :)

I'll be posting pics of my Japanese WB imports here in a second, begging for critiques. :) :)

slc2
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:39 PM
But this is absurd, it's ridiculous! Not everyone who gets a loan defaults on it !

How many people here are over college age and have ever gotten a loan for something other than college? And of those of you who have gotten a loan, how many of you have defaulted on that loan?

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:42 PM
As someone else mentioned, obtaining a loan is not the same thing as going into debt.

I obtained a loan to help pay for a $3,000 horse in the 1980s. Although I didn't have the money to pay in full at the time of purchase, I was perfectly able to pay the ~$60 per month. Thus, I don't believe I "went into debt", which (to me) implies not being able to keep up with payments.

I obtained a loan in 1999 to pay for my Ford Explorer . I did not have the thousands of dollars in my checking account to pay for it, so I took out a loan, which I did pay back month by month. I don't consider that "going into debt" so much as it is "getting a car loan."

I obtained a loan in 2001 to pay for my house, too. I don't have enough ready cash to pay in full for a house, but I can make my monthly payments. Thus I don't believe I "went into debt"'; rather, I am carrying a mortgage.

I truly don't think anyone is saying people should ruin their financial situation to pay for a horse -- only that a loan is one option for a horse, just as it is for a house or a car. The key here is to figure out how much you can afford, to buy whatever horse you believe suits your goals and financial situation.

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:48 PM
>>>>>Yes, but Ms. Sydnor seems to feel that such horse does not exist under $20,000.

Why are you letting someone else define your goals?

Daydream Believer
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:48 PM
No one said that slc..I just pointed out that even a collateralized loan does not necessarily get you off the hook if you default. Go back and reread for comprehension this time and lay off the Nyquil.

Debt/loan whatever you want to call it...it takes resources to pay it whether you have it collateralized by other assets or not. So you have 100 k in the bank which very few people really have...and I wonder why if you have that much you would not just outright buy the horse...anyway...you buy a horse for 50,000, you are out of 50,000 no matter how you twist it and you have an obligation to pay back every penny even if your collateral is not worth what you owe on it.

Sandy M
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:56 PM
No one said that slc..I just pointed out that even a collateralized loan does not necessarily get you off the hook if you default. Go back and reread for comprehension this time and lay off the Nyquil.

Debt/loan whatever you want to call it...it takes resources to pay it whether you have it collateralized by other assets or not. So you have 100 k in the bank which very few people really have...and I wonder why if you have that much you would not just outright buy the horse...anyway...you buy a horse for 50,000, you are out of 50,000 no matter how you twist it and you have an obligation to pay back every penny even if your collateral is not worth what you owe on it.

Indeed. If you are carrying a car payment and a mortgage, are you going to tell people you are debt-free? Good luck with that!

ElizaS
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:57 PM
I'm really sorry that so many of you are upset by the short article my mom wrote. It was definitely not intended to insult anyone or their horse. I wanted to make a brief response in her defense. The title of this column is, "What I wish I'd known but didn't..." (Or something similar, sorry I don't have a DT nearby!) When DT asked her to write something for that column, she asked me what I thought she should write about, and *I* suggested this topic. The reason being that she spent most of her life riding horses that were really not well suited to UPPER LEVEL, COMPETITIVE dressage. She was long listed for the USET on an OTTB and an appenidx QH, both of whom were not really well suited for FEI dressage due to conformation, gaits, and previous training. Since then she's ridden and trained many more horses of the same ilk up through the levels. On the one hand, she always thought it was very impressive that she could take an OTTB (or something similar, no offense to OTTBs!!) that had poor conformation and tight, short gaits, and train it to do a competent, confident job through 4th level, PSG, GP, whatever it was that the horse finally got to. And that IS impressive, and it IS worthwhile. But as I grew up and eventually decided to go into this sport professionally, I decided that I wanted to do it a bit differently. I looked at her years spent on these types of horses and thought, isn't is just as impressive and worthwhile to do this on a horse that was made for the job? So after my wonderful, 14.3 hand, terrible moving, (but incredibly kind) QH maxed out at PSG and we wanted to look for another horse for me, I knew I wanted to take the time to find a REALLY GOOD horse. It took two years to find him and we had to buy something very young and green so we could afford it. Then when I started doing this professionally, I began trying to take the best possible horses in training. Since I was young and no one wanted to give me their nice, trained, horses, that mean working for a good breeder and starting babies under saddle in order to be able to ride some really good quality horses. Over the years I have been able to keep the ride on some of these super horses and slowly move them up the levels. My mom has also begun to ride better and better quality horses (mostly at my insistance), and it has really been an eye opener for her. To be perfectly honest, I think she used to enjoy riding the difficult, poorly built horses because she thought it made her seem like an even better rider than the rider on the beautiful moving, well built horse. But it doesn't. And now she is finally riding some really super horses for the first time in her life, and thinking, "Why didn't I do this sooner?" It's still an incredibly challenging thing to train one of these super movers to the FEI levels. And it really does make you a BETTER rider to be able to ride these kind of horses *well*. At least it has for myself and my mom. We both still LOVE all types of horses. I still own my 25 year old QH and cherish him, and she still owns and loves the last OTTB she trained to GP (now 28.) She doesn't feel that the time she spent with all of those previous horses was wasted time, but she does now feel like that time could have been spent on better quality horses. The feeling that she used to have was somehow reverse snobbery, in a way. Like she was better for having done the training on a very limited horse than Trainer X was for having done it on Mr. Fancy Schmancy WB. And that's just stupid, and now she realizes it. In a way she has come down off her high horse (terrible pun, especially since most of them weren't very high!!) and realized that all of these years of trying to make stiff, tight, short moving horses into "ballet dancers" was perhaps a little mislead. You only get one shot at life, and at some point you have to decide how you are going to spend those precious hours.

So much for the short response! I hope this clarifies things a little. The point of this column in DT is to keep people from making the same "mistakes" that these writers have made in the past. She knew in writing this article that it was going to be a touchy subject, and perhaps she should have written it in a different way. (I did not read it before it was written on this thread. I personally would have voted to remove the take out a loan line, but that's Mom for you.) For those of you who know my mom, she is very direct/blunt, and sometimes it doesn't come across too well in print. For those of you who are insulted, please do not feel that way. Love your horses, keep trying to become better riders, and enjoy the journey on whatever horse you're riding.

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:59 PM
debt
–noun 1. something that is owed or that one is bound to pay to or perform for another: a debt of $50.
2. a liability or obligation to pay or render something: My debt to her for advice is not to be discharged easily.
3. the condition of being under such an obligation: His gambling losses put him deeply in debt.


loan1

–noun 1. the act of lending; a grant of the temporary use of something: the loan of a book.
2. something lent or furnished on condition of being returned, esp. a sum of money lent at interest: a $1000 loan at 10 percent interest.
3. loanword.

You receive a loan and now you are indebted to pay it.


in·debt·ed

–adjective 1. committed or obligated to repay a monetary loan: He was indebted to his friend for a large sum.
2. obligated for favors or kindness received: He was indebted to her for nursing him through pneumonia.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 21, 2007, 01:59 PM
I only know two people who took out loans to buy horses.

Neither person had any hope of ever getting to 2nd level. Neither one ever competed in shows nor did they want to compete.

Neither of them defaulted on their loans.

In both cases, the horses proved too hot for their owners to ride.

Ironically, in both cases the horses developed soundness issues within two years.

In both cases, the people are paying interest and principal on loans for horses that they no longer own.

Neither of them rides any more. They will be unable to buy another horse until they pay off the loan on the horse that they got rid of.

Now which one did not waste time because they bought the best horse that they could afford?

Which one became a better rider because they bought a better horse?

Maybe these are just isolated incidents. But I think not. They are just examples of why it is not such great advice to get a loan to buy the best horse that you can afford.:no:

Perfect Pony
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:02 PM
As someone else mentioned, obtaining a loan is not the same thing as going into debt.

Oh now this discussion is getting absolutely ridiculous!

"Getting a loan" for any amount and paying interest on that loan is "DEBT". Debt IS what it IS. You cannot just change the entire meaning a word to make you feel better about it...

Goodness, no wonder we are in such a mess!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/debt

NOMIOMI1
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:04 PM
I'm really sorry that so many of you are upset by the short article my mom wrote. It was definitely not intended to insult anyone or their horse. I wanted to make a brief response in her defense. The title of this column is, "What I wish I'd known but didn't..." (Or something similar, sorry I don't have a DT nearby!) When DT asked her to write something for that column, she asked me what I thought she should write about, and *I* suggested this topic. The reason being that she spent most of her life riding horses that were really not well suited to UPPER LEVEL, COMPETITIVE dressage. She was long listed for the USET on an OTTB and an appenidx QH, both of whom were not really well suited for FEI dressage due to conformation, gaits, and previous training. Since then she's ridden and trained many more horses of the same ilk up through the levels. On the one hand, she always thought it was very impressive that she could take an OTTB (or something similar, no offense to OTTBs!!) that had poor conformation and tight, short gaits, and train it to do a competent, confident job through 4th level, PSG, GP, whatever it was that the horse finally got to. And that IS impressive, and it IS worthwhile. But as I grew up and eventually decided to go into this sport professionally, I decided that I wanted to do it a bit differently. I looked at her years spent on these types of horses and thought, isn't is just as impressive and worthwhile to do this on a horse that was made for the job? So after my wonderful, 14.3 hand, terrible moving, (but incredibly kind) QH maxed out at PSG and we wanted to look for another horse for me, I knew I wanted to take the time to find a REALLY GOOD horse. It took two years to find him and we had to buy something very young and green so we could afford it. Then when I started doing this professionally, I began trying to take the best possible horses in training. Since I was young and no one wanted to give me their nice, trained, horses, that mean working for a good breeder and starting babies under saddle in order to be able to ride some really good quality horses. Over the years I have been able to keep the ride on some of these super horses and slowly move them up the levels. My mom has also begun to ride better and better quality horses (mostly at my insistance), and it has really been an eye opener for her. To be perfectly honest, I think she used to enjoy riding the difficult, poorly built horses because she thought it made her seem like an even better rider than the rider on the beautiful moving, well built horse. But it doesn't. And now she is finally riding some really super horses for the first time in her life, and thinking, "Why didn't I do this sooner?" It's still an incredibly challenging thing to train one of these super movers to the FEI levels. And it really does make you a BETTER rider to be able to ride these kind of horses *well*. At least it has for myself and my mom. We both still LOVE all types of horses. I still own my 25 year old QH and cherish him, and she still owns and loves the last OTTB she trained to GP (now 28.) She doesn't feel that the time she spent with all of those previous horses was wasted time, but she does now feel like that time could have been spent on better quality horses. The feeling that she used to have was somehow reverse snobbery, in a way. Like she was better for having done the training on a very limited horse than Trainer X was for having done it on Mr. Fancy Schmancy WB. And that's just stupid, and now she realizes it. In a way she has come down off her high horse (terrible pun, especially since most of them weren't very high!!) and realized that all of these years of trying to make stiff, tight, short moving horses into "ballet dancers" was perhaps a little mislead. You only get one shot at life, and at some point you have to decide how you are going to spend those precious hours.

So much for the short response! I hope this clarifies things a little. The point of this column in DT is to keep people from making the same "mistakes" that these writers have made in the past. She knew in writing this article that it was going to be a touchy subject, and perhaps she should have written it in a different way. (I did not read it before it was written on this thread. I personally would have voted to remove the take out a loan line, but that's Mom for you.) For those of you who know my mom, she is very direct/blunt, and sometimes it doesn't come across too well in print. For those of you who are insulted, please do not feel that way. Love your horses, keep trying to become better riders, and enjoy the journey on whatever horse you're riding.


Thank you for this very informative post. How lovely that you mother wanted the OTTBs and other breeds to not be the underdogs so to speak for so long.

Sandy M
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:21 PM
Why the assumption that any horse that cost less than $20K and up is "stiff and short moving?"

Of course, if we had the money, most of us would opt for the fanciest mover/best temperament, etc. we could manage, which usually, but not always, means a WB. But when one's budget is under $10K that doesn't usually include the uber fancy movers.

But anything less is a waste of our time?

I would be absolutely THRILLED if I were able to get my horse, who is NOT a "short stiff mover" to PSG, even if he isn't a WB.

I appreciate the explanation, and Eliza's note that, given the choice, she would not have included the "get a loan" comment, but I still think that most of us KNOW that if we aspire to the highest levels, you do need the sort of horse Mrs. Sydnor recommends. BUT... not all of us expect to reach FEI levels, and not all of us have the money or will go into debt to get that super horse. If the comment about "I can only afford $5,000" had not been treated so dismissively, and the article had, as Eliza sets forth, simply meant, "get the best you can if you aspire to the highest levels"... no one would have been upset.

see u at x
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:22 PM
Thank you, Eliza, for the clarification and insight. That was an incredibly thoughtful and well-written response, and very much appreciated. :yes:

slc2
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:23 PM
Sydnor never said you can't find a nice horse to have fun on for less money, or that you can't have a lot of fun.

But she's entirely being realistic when she says really competitive horses aren't cheap. I just spent 3 years looking for a very special horse, and gave up ever finding anything in my price range. I spent all that time and had some real expert people beating the bushes for me, I looked at hundreds and hundreds of horses; it is just not all that easy to find a really super competitive horse that is not expensive. They have only gotten more expensive. They have not gotten cheaper.

No, Sydnor is not trying to preserve the top end of the market, as one of you accused her of. She is not some conniving operator like that.

Expensive horses aren't selling as quickly as they used to, but the prices aren't coming down.

Ever.

Unfortunately, and I know everyone here is going to scream bloody murder, but riding better horses DOES make one a better rider. I have learned from not riding such talented horses - they DO cause a rider to ride badly in certain ways. And lesser movers simply don't challenge the rider to develop a more supple, athletic seat and position.

Less able horses CANNOT maintain the collection needed for the upper levels and stay sound. Either they do the upper level work in a sort of fake 'working' gait, not collection at all (this is VERY common in fact) or they become unsound and are retired or dropped down.

Sure, one gets that basic experience on almost any type of horse, but when it comes to some really more ambitious higher level goals, the trouble does start.

I agree that most people could do what they want to do on a cheaper horse. I was the POSTER CHILD for doing as much as you can on a cheap horse. I did that nearly all my life. I rode free horses, 800 dollar horses, I-can't-stand-this-one-here-you-ride-him horses. That was ALL I rode for a very long time.

Horses without natural balance and ability DO cause the RIDER to struggle constantly to artificially create that balance - he gets up on a more naturally talented horse, and he drives it completely insane, he has to completely change how he rides, and it isn't easy; many people can't make that transition after they ride that way for so long, I have seen plenty of people not able to change. years and years of habits are not easy to kill off.

Less able, less balanced horses, horses with less natural impulsion, horses that roll the rider all over the saddle - they cause riders to create lifelong - BAD HABITS.

Someone who's never had to make this transition just isn't going to understand what this means.

Yes, there is a difference. I recall when Klimke came here in '86 I think and told one of our riders, 'This is just not an appropriate horse for this job' she burst into tears and was freaking out at a clinic, she just couldn't believe it, so unfair, so CRUEL, so MEAN, so UNTRUE! It was a LOVELY horse, right? What was the bastard trying to do! What horrible evil philosophy does such a cruel unthinking mean old man have????!!!!

Well, no. It was not the right horse. Not for what she wanted to do. She just couldn't accept it. And she wound up VERY angry and very unhappy after that meeting. And she was telling the world about it.

And there was only one problem.

Klimke was right.

Years ago a friend of mine had one of those lovely, agreebable, kind horses who was just a sweetheart and would do anything for you - the horse was a very nicely built horse, quiet, obedient, nicely bred, moved nicely, plenty nice enough for 99% of people.

But he was just not a top class horse.


A very astute trainer I knew was watching this gal compete at a local show, and of course, this gal beat everyone at that regional type show. Trained it herself, that rider did. We were all as proud as punch of her. Fairy tale come true, right?

I watched the sweet old horse go around and the trainer said, 'There's only one problem with that type of horse'. I watched dreamily as the rider went around performing upper level movements in the test...dreaming I had that sort of horse....and the trainer said, 'Only problem is, that sort of horse makes you ride like a god damned butcher'.

I turned around and STARED at this genteel woman who I had never heard talk that way. HOW HORRIBLE a thing to say.

"But, but he's LOVELY..." I said.

The trainer just smiled. "You'll learn - you have to learn to think for yourself."

Lacking balance, he was hard on himself. Every step put twice as much wear on him. He gave as much as he could, you could see how hard he tried. He was never over worked or exhausted. She was as kind as a mother to him. And oh how he tried. And how she tried. Before anything bad happened, he was dropped down.

Over many years I cliniced and showed now and again with the rider, and as she worked so hard over time to move up the levels, and got each new horse (no, she didn't break them down and sell them to the knacker, if that's your next accusation), I watched how she chose horses and how it went. She was very forthright and would tell anyone the process she was going through.

She got horses that were more and more reactive and sensitive, and had more and more natural balance, their gaits were more and more balanced. She seemed to be going thru a process, largely on her own but with some guidance, of totally remaking herself as a rider.

The horses stayed sound.

She began to win at other shows. Not just our regional shows.

We didn't see so much of her locally.

We started reading about her in the magazines, instead of the local county paper.

And to my complete amazement, 10 years later, when I see her ride, she is unrecognizable. She has a finesse, an elegance, ,and a body control and a posture and position that was never there before. Watching her ride, says my SO, 'is like watching waves break on a beach' - smooth - elegant - classical dressage at its best.

She has given everything to do this. Money that could have been spent on other things - vacations, new cars, furniture - went to this. No, they didn't go into debt or have dramatic problems. But they did make decisions. Mainly, "This is what we want to do with our lives".

No, she probably will never compete in the Olympics or the world championships.

And she as well as her family all worked hard and gave up other things to help her achieve what she has done. And she worked very hard.

And what a wonderful way to spend a life, in the pursuit of excellence.

slc2
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:27 PM
Thank You ELIZA!!!! Best wishes to both of you!

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:28 PM
Yes, thanks, Eliza.

In retrospect, the article would not have been offensive if she had written the whole thing in the first person, i.e., I wish I had done this, I wish I had done that.

She probably didn't even realize how the article would sound when she was phrasing it as general advice applicable to everyone.

Her advice is right on the money for someone in her, and in your situation. But for the rest of us, maybe not so much! :winkgrin: :lol:

Ginger
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:29 PM
Eliza, thank you for your post.

dkcbr
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:29 PM
Thank goodness this topic is de-heating and now, presumably, we can all settle down. :)

For the record, I did read the article as simply advice to get the best we can afford, as I tried to explain in my posts.

This has been a fun thread! I hope we all enjoy and appreciate our individual horses, and that we will continue to progress in our own ways toward our own goals!!

canticle
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:47 PM
Why the assumption that any horse that cost less than $20K and up is "stiff and short moving?"

Of course, if we had the money, most of us would opt for the fanciest mover/best temperament, etc. we could manage, which usually, but not always, means a WB. But when one's budget is under $10K that doesn't usually include the uber fancy movers.
Sorry, I do have to disagree with you on the bolded statement. People have favorite breeds/types of horses, and for me it is irrespective of budget. In my travels I have found the fanciest movers/best temperaments to be TWHs, ASBs, Morgans. WBs are great horses, but they are not better. They are just a different type which some people prefer.

Can we please stop with the myth that one type of horse is better than the other? :(

class
Dec. 21, 2007, 02:49 PM
newsflash to canticle: we are on the dressage board, talking about dressage horses.

Sandy M
Dec. 21, 2007, 03:05 PM
Sorry, I do have to disagree with you on the bolded statement. People have favorite breeds/types of horses, and for me it is irrespective of budget. In my travels I have found the fanciest movers/best temperaments to be TWHs, ASBs, Morgans. WBs are great horses, but they are not better. They are just a different type which some people prefer.

Can we please stop with the myth that one type of horse is better than the other? :(

Preaching to the choir. I'm an Appy person down to the bone. And agree that there are wonderfully moving horses in all breeds. But generally speaking, and in the internationally competitive dressage world, that still means a WB.

Now, just for the exception that proves the rule: I don't know that he'd be competitive today (though he did have an excellent passage and piaffe), but let's remember that Gwen Stockebrande's international horse and Pan American medallist horse, Bao, was a TWH/Morgan. BUT..... you don't see that sort of thing nowadays. Still - should someone have told Gwen she was wasting her time......???? (and when she competed in Europe, they called him an "American Saddle horse" (not Saddlebred), because they feared the European judges would have problems with the idea of a Tennessee Walker/Morgan Grand prix dressage horse.)

CatOnLap
Dec. 21, 2007, 03:16 PM
Now which one did not waste time because they bought the best horse that they could afford?

Unfortunately, although your friends bought "the best horse they could afford", it was not the best horse for them. As you said, both temperaments were too hot for their riders and should probably have never been purchased.

Too many people have ended up in that situation. Some have been misled by trainers, but more do not bother to sweep the stars from their eyes.

petitefilly
Dec. 21, 2007, 03:21 PM
Ms Sydnor is actually one of the LAST people to have any breed prejudices (having spent years and years working with Karl Mikolka and so many non warmbloods) or insist people get horses that aren't appropriate to their goals.


:) If I'm not mistaken, she was even married to Karl at one time. :)

Maybe she is tired of run of the mill horses when she teaches a clinic. :):):):):):)

Just a theory, nothing more, nothing less. I still do not see what the hub-bub is about. Sometimes you want things, sometimes you don't. How any one spends their money is totally not my business. ":)"

slc2
Dec. 21, 2007, 03:39 PM
Whether or not she was married to Karl has nothing to do with how good her advice is. I get so sick of hearing how so and so was so and so's husband. She worked just as hard as anyone else.

Auventera Two
Dec. 21, 2007, 03:47 PM
slc - the rider you just told the full story on above - what's her name please?

slc2
Dec. 21, 2007, 03:52 PM
The one with the sweet pleasant horse? I'm not giving her name in public. She exists and the story is real, if you don't believe it, there's nothing futher I'm going to do about that.

Furthermore, I've watched the same thing happen to many people over the years. It's not exactly an unusual situation - it's very common.

As for the rider in the Klimke clinic, no, I'm not givin her name. It happened. But that same situation has also happened - many, many many times. Neither of those stories are unusual.

YOU ALL choose to concentrate on the people you see that buy costly horses and have trouble riding them because that's what makes YOU feel better you are better than them, and because you like to see people fail, and feel clever and smug.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 21, 2007, 04:05 PM
The one with the sweet pleasant horse? I'm not giving her name in public. She exists and the story is real, if you don't believe it, there's nothing futher I'm going to do about that.

Furthermore, I've watched the same thing happen to many people over the years. It's not exactly an unusual situation - it's very common.

As for the rider in the Klimke clinic, no, I'm not givin her name. It happened. But that same situation has also happened - many, many many times. Neither of those stories are unusual.

YOU ALL choose to concentrate on the people you see that buy costly horses and have trouble riding them because that's what makes YOU feel better you are better than them, and because you like to see people fail, and feel clever and smug.

Who ME? I don't think so. It makes me feel very, very badly for them, and I don't like to see naive people repeatedly given advice that results in their frustration and unhappiness. I like to see people, particularly my friends, do well. I love a heartwarming success story as much as anyone. I've helped quite a few people buy appropriate, affordable horses and have been really happy for them when it worked out.

When people I know are overmounted, I frequently get the ride. So I suppose I should encourage them to buy inappropriate horses for my own benefit. But I would rather be a "wet blanket" than take advantage of people's delusional dreams. Maybe I am in the minority, but I hope not.

canticle
Dec. 21, 2007, 04:14 PM
newsflash to canticle: we are on the dressage board, talking about dressage horses.
Thank you!!! And I am just as welcome here with my $3000 horse as you are with your $30,000 horse. I am certainly NOT living with regrets, as I have made no mistakes by choosing the horse I did. I cherish my memories. Don't you? :)

class
Dec. 21, 2007, 04:20 PM
actually, the horse i am riding right now cost $500. what do i win? i must be better than everyone else because my horse was the cheapest and i love him the most.

slc2
Dec. 21, 2007, 04:29 PM
You haven't been smug about it, EC, but you sure have concentrated on that aspect of it - the failure side.

Remember, in the past here, when I even advised a CAUTIOUS approach or a stepwise approach to moving up, I got hooted down with catcalls and insults, and was ordered to 'let the rider follow her dreams'. You guys sure are hypocritical!

And I think as usual, the threads you all get the most furious about are the ones that strike too close to your own emotions - anything that strikes a little too close to home - whooeey, look out.

I on the other hand have seen people do very well with these choices.

EVEN when they struggle - even very publicly, for a time.

People DO have to struggle to move up especially with that talented horse - but BOY there sure is someone out there rubbing their hands together and gloating any time someone has a problem, isn't there? Bunch of little female vultures, is what you all turn into.

It depends on the person and how determined they are, and how well they choose the horse and what sort of help they are willing to accept, and how mentally (and physically) flexible they are.

No, the tiny little 86 lb woman isn't going to do well on the 1600 lb tank that gallops into the double bridle like a world class house on fire, but she might do very well on a light, sensitive, very talented young warmblood who has been carefully and lightly schooled.

I knew a lady who did that - delightful danish gal - got herself a lovely smaller schoolmaster and did very well. And OH YES, the vultures were out there gloating any time she screwed up. No matter, those people are the losers. She had fun, and she, at least, was out there TRYING, instead of just whispering on the sidelines.

No, the person who won't take lessons, won't change how he rides, and thinks he knows it all, isn't going to do well on ANY nice horse he buys.

But for DAMNED sure - the person who spends more money on pants, saddles, bridles, and riding jackets, is not going to do as well as the one who spends that same amount of money on horses and lessons.

Cowgirl
Dec. 21, 2007, 04:35 PM
Oh for god's sake don't shoot the messenger! LOL!

A friend of mine and I were discussing this the other day. I think this particular topic is very closely linked to the USEF proposal for qualifying up the levels that alot of people are upset about too. My opinion is that what this is all about, and what people are upset about, is the reality that this is about the evolution of dressage in the US.

Yes "Dressage is about Training"....this is how dressage was sold in the US and how it became popular. Yes, dressage will improve every horse, BUT not every horse will be competitive or easy in the dressage training. A fact of life is that the purpose bred horses will have an easier time learning the exercises and moving up the levels. And the rider will have an easier time as well because some elements of the training scale might be innate in purpose bred horses. That is WHY the breeding of horses for dressage has evolved over decades. We are a far cry now from the military remounts and the dressage tests of yore. The horses have become built better and the tests more difficult. Europe is far ahead of us in this respect, way beyond "dressage is just about training and every horse can do it." It is about dancing too, harmony, lightness and ease--and the horses of whatever breed who are more suitable to do the movements are going to have an easier time exhibiting the dance aspect of the sport. And they are going to be easier to train.

Sure you can have an individual of a breed who has more heart than physical capabilities who is going to try to do it for you, even though it's hard. If you can recognize that heart quality while shopping, then yes, you might not have to spend much for a prospect who is going to be easier to train. And for an amateur training their first horse, the ease in training is important. And I think all that the article stated was to buy the horse whose going to have the easiest job of the training--it makes it all easier and more pleasant all around.

Anyone who has been showing knows that the riders who have horses who have innate qualities that are required in the tests are going to have an easier time getting the scores. If your horse has innate tick tock rhythm and you don't have to train it, then you can focus on other things. It is not easy to ride a dressage test well, even at the most basic level. You have to ride perfect figures, prepare your horse, balance your horse, think of many different things AND remember the test AND deal with your horse's reactions to a strange environment. If some of the things are a gimme--good rhythm, natural uphill balance, elastic paces that are easier to shape, it will all be easier. So I think that was the message and many people focused on the small thing in the article, which was the "how will I get that kind of horse" part. She suggested financing, but there are many roads to Rome. You can also buy a foal fairly inexpensively and pay to raise it over time; you can buy a spectacular individual from a non traditional breed if you have a very very good eye; you can lease, etc. Or you can choose to ignore this advice, continue on with a horse not entirely built for the sport and see what you can make of it. That's your decision to make. All it was was advice.

The fact of the matter is that the bar has raised for dressage in the US and we are now being asked to meet it. Deal with it, and move on.

MaresNest
Dec. 21, 2007, 04:36 PM
I was dismayed at the article. I think it sends the wrong message, the message I got was...you need to buy your way though the levels.

I was dismayed, too! It's one thing to try to buy horses that can easily do their jobs (I agree with that point), but it's quite another to tell people that taking out a loan to buy a horse is a reasonable thing to do.


The best advice I got from a very successful business person was, "Never finance a hobby."

AMEN!!

Lambie Boat
Dec. 21, 2007, 05:29 PM
I remember a similar firestorm in reaction to an article written by Leslie Webb encouraging the practice of 'trading up' and allowing your ex-mount to help train a rider just starting out. Anyone else remember that?

Thank you Eliza. Thank your mother too. I'm sure she must have known her article would have some knickers in a twist. Many people have been raised as children to believe they can be President if they work hard enough. Many women read and believe in The Secret.

But as my dear husband says, you don't take a Pekingese dog out coon hunting, so why the outrage? Not every baller is Michael Jordon.

Sandy M
Dec. 21, 2007, 05:30 PM
Oh for god's sake don't shoot the messenger! LOL!

A friend of mine and I were discussing this the other day. I think this particular topic is very closely linked to the USEF proposal for qualifying up the levels that alot of people are upset about too. My opinion is that what this is all about, and what people are upset about, is the reality that this is about the evolution of dressage in the US.

Yes "Dressage is about Training"....this is how dressage was sold in the US and how it became popular. Yes, dressage will improve every horse, BUT not every horse will be competitive or easy in the dressage training. A fact of life is that the purpose bred horses will have an easier time learning the exercises and moving up the levels. And the rider will have an easier time as well because some elements of the training scale might be innate in purpose bred horses. That is WHY the breeding of horses for dressage has evolved over decades. We are a far cry now from the military remounts and the dressage tests of yore. The horses have become built better and the tests more difficult. Europe is far ahead of us in this respect, way beyond "dressage is just about training and every horse can do it." It is about dancing too, harmony, lightness and ease--and the horses of whatever breed who are more suitable to do the movements are going to have an easier time exhibiting the dance aspect of the sport. And they are going to be easier to train.

Sure you can have an individual of a breed who has more heart than physical capabilities who is going to try to do it for you, even though it's hard. If you can recognize that heart quality while shopping, then yes, you might not have to spend much for a prospect who is going to be easier to train. And for an amateur training their first horse, the ease in training is important. And I think all that the article stated was to buy the horse whose going to have the easiest job of the training--it makes it all easier and more pleasant all around.

Anyone who has been showing knows that the riders who have horses who have innate qualities that are required in the tests are going to have an easier time getting the scores. If your horse has innate tick tock rhythm and you don't have to train it, then you can focus on other things. It is not easy to ride a dressage test well, even at the most basic level. You have to ride perfect figures, prepare your horse, balance your horse, think of many different things AND remember the test AND deal with your horse's reactions to a strange environment. If some of the things are a gimme--good rhythm, natural uphill balance, elastic paces that are easier to shape, it will all be easier. So I think that was the message and many people focused on the small thing in the article, which was the "how will I get that kind of horse" part. She suggested financing, but there are many roads to Rome. You can also buy a foal fairly inexpensively and pay to raise it over time; you can buy a spectacular individual from a non traditional breed if you have a very very good eye; you can lease, etc. Or you can choose to ignore this advice, continue on with a horse not entirely built for the sport and see what you can make of it. That's your decision to make. All it was was advice.

The fact of the matter is that the bar has raised for dressage in the US and we are now being asked to meet it. Deal with it, and move on.

YES - BUT... All this addresses the person who is a determined young rider, accomplished pro, or dedicated amateur WITH some money. If all the Ammies who ride horses that are "unsuitable" in one degree or another stopped "doing dressage", YOU WOULD HAVE NO SHOWS. The comment in the article about $5K horses did not address the idea of buying a baby (what I did) from a non-traditional breed (ditto), but still suitable for dressage. It said look forever (but some people already have a horse and have to make do) for that one in a million that will have FEI potential but costs only $5K now, or finance the big horse/big gaits. Had she addressed the editorial to those YRs, pros and wealthy ammies, no one would disagree. But basically - though apparently from Eliza's posting it was unintentional - it comes across as "if you don't want to spend the money on the appropriate expensive horse, forget about dressage." It says (again apparently unintentionally) that if you are an ammy, happy to strive to reach MAYBE 2nd or 3rd level, on whatever horse you happen to have, you are wasting your time.

canticle
Dec. 21, 2007, 06:19 PM
But as my dear husband says, you don't take a Pekingese dog out coon hunting, so why the outrage? Not every baller is Michael Jordon.
What about dog obedience, or even agility? Myriads of breeds (and mutts too) succeed at agility. If the Australian Shepherd people came along one day and tried to sell us the line that THEIR breed was the ONE TRUE agility breed, you can bet that people would be outraged! You can promote your breed without arguing that it is the best breed. Some people prefer smaller dogs, different temperaments, different coat type, etc.

Back to dressage: rated showing is only a tiny sliver of the dressage world. I wonder how many people who ride dressage really have FEI aspirations? The ultra-competitive type is such a small minority, so let's step out of our bubbles and look at the big picture. Most people ride dressage to improve their horse's obedience, training, balance, way of going. The moment you tell people to get a new or "better" pet, you have completely turned them off to dressage! The horse is the CONSTANT; dressage is just a means to an end! ;)

Angela Freda
Dec. 21, 2007, 07:23 PM
Better natural gaits (a.k.a. purpose-bred horses) are more likely to train up more easily into correct, supple, elastic, upper level dressage horses.

Train the best horse you can afford for your goals.

Getting a loan to buy a horse that has the natural ability to be more easily trained to upper level dressage is an option. The loan is one option, among others.

Really, it's so simple and so not an outrage.

But if you are an avg ammie, you can not train that horse yourself no matter how much more easily trained he is. Thus it will cost you time and money to train it. Heck most upperlevel riders need to have an educated pair of eyes on the ground just to school the upper level movements lest they end up schooling error ridden movements, over and over.

Someone earlier posted a porposed budget for this situation and priced the board at $6k for a year
HA!
Avg board around here is that. Board at a BNT barn is double that if not more.
That is without training rides and lessons that the avg ammie WILL need to learn to ride that bigger moving horse.

Donella
Dec. 21, 2007, 07:38 PM
YOU ALL choose to concentrate on the people you see that buy costly horses and have trouble riding them because that's what makes YOU feel better you are better than them, and because you like to see people fail, and feel clever and smug.

I am starting to really notice that theme on this board too.

The fact of the matter is, no matter how much it hurts feelings, the most talented animals in the sport were bred for the sport and they are the cream fo the crop and these animals are priced accordingly. If you have MAJORLY competative goals..ie Nationals/International then you will need to outfit yourself accordingly.


If this is your goal you have two options. Refuse to accept reality and boohoo about it or figure out a way to get with the program. I like to run..I like to run long distance runs. I will never be the best runner in the world because I am not derived from the appropriate genetics (note how even in human sports...certain races totally and compeltely dominate many althetic persuits). If I want to win or do well in the tevis cup..then I had better get out there and find that top arab. If I want to win in Schutzhund training..I will get with reality and buy a top GSD from pure working lines where every dog in the pedigree is a Schtz 3. If I want to win the Kentucky derby..yeah, you probably guessed I am not going to buy just your random percheron or TWH...I am going to buy a very specifically bred TB to give me the best chances. If I want to win WC jumping finals..mmm..I am not going to go buy a qh,..or even some WB's ie something with Lauries Crusador or some other strictly dressage stallion up close. Come on guys..this CANNOT be that difficult to understand.

The world isnt always fair or about "having a good time"..competition is competition. The best team wins. You can be the best rider you want..but that is only half of the team!

And you can do this for under 20 k..just depends how. If you are very ambitious and a good rider you could buy a 12 k yearling, put 8 k into upkeep and training and you will have a horse that is going solid WTC that you can develope. That is the best chance. If you cant develope that horse yourself from WTC then national goals are probably not realistic.

egontoast
Dec. 21, 2007, 07:46 PM
Never finance a hobby? Why not? Life is short. Try to enjoy it.

I'd rather be in debt and living the life I want to live than pinching pennies and waiting ,waiting, waiting until I'm too old to enjoy my 'hobby'. If not for my 'hobby' I would not have a farm. Farm is paid for but there's a mortgage for the arena so I guess I'm financing a hobby. Tsk Tsk :)

Angela Freda
Dec. 21, 2007, 08:02 PM
YES - If all the Ammies who ride horses that are "unsuitable" in one degree or another stopped "doing dressage", YOU WOULD HAVE NO SHOWS.
Not to mention no one to market your saddles to.
Or your breeches.
Or your clinics, lessons and videotapes and books.
Not to mention magazines.
And saddle pads.
And gloves.
And jackets.
And whips.
Or those Warmblood horses for that matter!

I think you get the idea.
While ALL of us would probably love to wave a magic wand and spend at least a day in the boots of any BNT/BNR... MOST of the financial base for horse sports are those of us who are in the ammie ranks for the foreseeable future and spend all kinds of money on all manner of stuff designed to make us better riders and support the businesses/aspirations of the BNT/BNRs.

I get that Ms Sydnor maybe could have expressed her regret for not riding more suitable horses from day 1 in this "What I Wish I had known" article perhaps, as someone suggested by writing in first person.
But then She is who she is BECAUSE she rode those other, less suitable, stiff, tight,... horses isn't she?
So maybe they were not so much a waste of her time after all?
*shrug*

Angela Freda
Dec. 21, 2007, 08:05 PM
Never finance a hobby? Why not? Life is short. Try to enjoy it.

I'd rather be in debt and living the life I want to live than pinching pennies and waiting ,waiting, waiting until I'm too old to enjoy my 'hobby'. If not for my 'hobby' I would not have a farm. Farm is paid for but there's a mortgage for the arena so I guess I'm financing a hobby. Tsk Tsk :)

Alas I did that until I got married. Now I think my 'partner' might object!

Cowgirl
Dec. 21, 2007, 09:24 PM
YES - BUT... All this addresses the person who is a determined young rider, accomplished pro, or dedicated amateur WITH some money. If all the Ammies who ride horses that are "unsuitable" in one degree or another stopped "doing dressage", YOU WOULD HAVE NO SHOWS. The comment in the article about $5K horses did not address the idea of buying a baby (what I did) from a non-traditional breed (ditto), but still suitable for dressage. It said look forever (but some people already have a horse and have to make do) for that one in a million that will have FEI potential but costs only $5K now, or finance the big horse/big gaits. Had she addressed the editorial to those YRs, pros and wealthy ammies, no one would disagree. But basically - though apparently from Eliza's posting it was unintentional - it comes across as "if you don't want to spend the money on the appropriate expensive horse, forget about dressage." It says (again apparently unintentionally) that if you are an ammy, happy to strive to reach MAYBE 2nd or 3rd level, on whatever horse you happen to have, you are wasting your time.

See, I disagree. I didn't get that tone from the article. I got more of the tone of "If I had to do it all over again, I'd make it easier on myself and borrow the money to get a horse that would make this whole journey easier, more pleasant and get me quicker to learning the fine points of the sport." I mean she's right: if you have a horse that is so naturally built downhill and earthbound, you'll spend MOST of your riding time trying to get it off the forehand and more elastic, and will never have time to get to the finer points of dressage riding--the cake part. You'll spend a gazillion dollars trying to get to second level. Moreover, if you push that horse to do more than it really is built to do, you'll put more wear and tear on it than you would on a horse that was born to do the job. To me, I get it. And I did it with my second horse by purchasing a weanling. I have a friend who is doing it through catch rides. Another friend who is breeding her own. Just because the author did not list out all the options does not mean that they aren't there. She's not insisting you get a loan--that's probably just the easiest and quickest way to go about it though.

Let's face it, this sport IS expensive. My board for my two horses and all the things they require every month is more than my mortgage. From that perspective, it is already elitist and each and every one of you belongs to a very privileged class. Even those that keep their horses at home and on pasture, and do it on a shoestring, are SO privileged. It's just the way it is.

canticle
Dec. 21, 2007, 10:08 PM
See, I disagree. I didn't get that tone from the article. I got more of the tone of "If I had to do it all over again, I'd make it easier on myself and borrow the money to get a horse that would make this whole journey easier, more pleasant and get me quicker to learning the fine points of the sport." I mean she's right: if you have a horse that is so naturally built downhill and earthbound, you'll spend MOST of your riding time trying to get it off the forehand and more elastic, and will never have time to get to the finer points of dressage riding--the cake part. You'll spend a gazillion dollars trying to get to second level. Moreover, if you push that horse to do more than it really is built to do, you'll put more wear and tear on it than you would on a horse that was born to do the job. To me, I get it. And I did it with my second horse by purchasing a weanling. I have a friend who is doing it through catch rides. Another friend who is breeding her own. Just because the author did not list out all the options does not mean that they aren't there. She's not insisting you get a loan--that's probably just the easiest and quickest way to go about it though.
The tone I detected was that Ms. Sydnor felt the rest of us are on the verge of making a huge mistake and desperately need her advice. I'm sorry if she regrets any of her decisions to ride/train/own certain horses, but the rest of us love our horses dearly and would not trade them for anything. It is not a question of taking out a loan to buy a "better" horse. There is no better horse out there for me.

Perhaps Ms. Sydnor should stick to giving training advice which would actually be useful instead of trying to keep us from making the mistakes she thinks she made. I've made mistakes in life but none of them have been related to horse purchases, thank goodness! :D I'll say it again, one cannot help but think that Ms. Sydnor is trying to drum up business by warning the dressage community en masse about the dangers of "unsuitable" horses (unsuitable for what?). I'll take a wild guess and suggest that perhaps she has some "suitable" horses she'd like to try to sell us??? :yes:

CatOnLap
Dec. 21, 2007, 10:09 PM
Let's face it, this sport IS expensive. My board for my two horses and all the things they require every month is more than my mortgage. From that perspective, it is already elitist and each and every one of you belongs to a very privileged class. Even those that keep their horses at home and on pasture, and do it on a shoestring, are SO privileged. It's just the way it is.

It is fortunate, therefore that for many, competition is not a main goal, but the discipline and relationship with the horse becomes the ultimate joy. Because being competitive at dressage requires a great deal of money, but learning to ride and train and dance with your horse- any horse- does not. and can be done on a shoestring.

I would put forth that the learning can be done on most sound sane horses and the relationship can be completely immaterial to the athletic ability,breeding or cost of the horse.

Notwithstanding, if you can balance the payments on an expensive form of the hobby, why not? You will learn faster and better on a better horse with better training.

Hazelnut
Dec. 21, 2007, 10:50 PM
Saved $$$$. Bought horse bred for dressage...He's teaching me to ride with CORE. I love to watch him move. :yes: Love to see him in the arena mirrors and always think, Oh my God, that's your horse!!! Gaits, very nice, but not too big for AA. LOVE having a very nice moving horse, great equine companion. He brings me joy. Worth every-single-penny.:yes:

I wanted to buy the best horse I could afford, I did, and I'm glad...but I did not go into debt. I could not do that...

I would spend my savings again, cause he's a jewel!

Get the horse that brings you joy.

canticle
Dec. 21, 2007, 10:54 PM
Get the horse that brings you joy.
YES! :yes:

This is the only important thing!

Angela Freda
Dec. 21, 2007, 11:44 PM
Get the horse that brings you joy.
I did.
For $1200.
And 16 years later he is STILL teaching me things about riding and life and myself.
Oh and he is a pretty incredible athlete that I enjoyed watching in mirrors way back when too. That is not exclusive to priceier horses.

Hazelnut
Dec. 21, 2007, 11:53 PM
I did.
For $1200.
And 16 years later he is STILL teaching me things about riding and life and myself.
Oh and he is a pretty incredible athlete that I enjoyed watching in mirrors way back when too. That is not exclusive to priceier horses.


AMEN! and celebrate having the horse that makes you HAPPY when YOU look in the arena mirrors-NOT the horse others tell you will make you happy.

Angela Freda
Dec. 22, 2007, 12:55 AM
I'm sorry if she regrets any of her decisions to ride/train/own certain horses, but the rest of us love our horses dearly and would not trade them for anything.
This train of thought, which started for me with her daughters response, has really started me thinking.
If Ms. Syndor is regretful for the path she took, on less super, not bred for Dressage horses and she has still reached what many of us would consider a pinnacle in Dressage,... then HOW should I feel? Suicidal? 16 years and Idonotwanttothinkabouthowmuch money later... and the best I can say is I've been told I have nice hands? EEks!

I worry that the sport is leaning towards accomplishments and away from the journey.
Focusing on showing and not training, gaits and not the whole package that creates the gaits or better allows the gaits.
That rather than learning from the horse you have we should be searching for a 'better' horse. What then? An 'Even Better horse'? Who says our riding deserves a better horse?

Not all of us can (or want to) spend what to most amounts to ALOT of money on this. Fewer of us have the time to train for more than a handful of hours a week. We're as serious about this as we can be, living in our own reality.
If Ms Syndor isn't happy, even with all she has achieved, why should I even bother?

Angela Freda
Dec. 22, 2007, 12:58 AM
AMEN! and celebrate having the horse that makes you HAPPY when YOU look in the arena mirrors-NOT the horse others tell you will make you happy.
Alas these days he is teaching me that in life, time for riding an elderly horse is hard to find if non-existant... that having an older horse at this stage of ones life is not really tha best combination (at least from my POV)... but that keeping that elderly horse in the best manner possible, regardless of it backburner-ing any riding goals I dared to have, is the right way to repay him for what he has given me over the years.
No more arena mirrors for us.

magnum
Dec. 22, 2007, 02:29 AM
Disclaimer: I have not read the article in question, so not sure precisely what the author is stating. Just commenting below on what it takes to get a loan for a horse.

Just an FYI (and, also an FYI, I have not read this whole thread, it goes on for too freakin' long) ... when I wanted to get my first horse right out of college ... and was prepared to make tremendous sacrifices to go as far as possible, I located my "dream horse" and then went to the bank to apply for said loan. They about laughed me out of the bank, explaining with no hesitation that horses were TOO HIGH RISK to be considered reasonable collateral .... they would have considered a co-signer, but I was too proud to ask Mom and Dad ....

In the end, I never took out the loan. The horse slipped thru my fingers and ended up going VERY HIGH in the levels (Y.R.) and for an extended period. He was still competing and teaching new kids new things at age 20! I stayed with what I could afford and as it turned out, what I could afford just wasn't always ultimately the soundest beast on the block.

When I stayed within my budget, I bought lesser quality horses for horses #1, #2, and #3 .... they were ultimately plagued with soundness issues and/or disease (#1 -chronic colic- necropsy revealed small colon ulcers, #2 a calcification in the shoulder at age 5, and #3 EPM). This took me thru 15 years of reduced accomplishments and progress.

Only recently at age 42 have I been able to afford the quality needed to have any prayer of attaining my goals -- goals sidelined by becoming a nursemaid to my beloved horses and trying to fix soundness problems that always seemed to have every vet from Cleveland to OSU to Rood and Riddle just scratching their heads.

People can say what they want and will surely have opinions on this example ... of course the outcome might have been different, or even the same with higher quality horses (soundness and disease). .... Sadly, the outcome was NOT different ... and for those who are quick to criticize .... I did not progress because I put my horses well-being in front of mine. Trust me, I have the debt to prove it.

I don't regret putting the horses FIRST one bit .... but am a little embarassed to say how much money I have thrown at horses for so little advancement ... but that is just my story ... I stuck with only the facts, here. While I am not bitter and in fact appreciate every moment with my horses .... there is a small voice inside of me that begs the question: What if I had only taken out that loan to get that first horse who ended up on magazine covers later on and was SOUND into his 20's? We'll never really know the answer (which is best, actually - we aren't meant to KNOW ALL in life).

Magnum

Sabine
Dec. 22, 2007, 02:53 AM
Disclaimer: I have not read the article in question, so not sure precisely what the author is stating. Just commenting below on what it takes to get a loan for a horse.

Just an FYI (and, also an FYI, I have not read this whole thread, it goes on for too freakin' long) ... when I wanted to get my first horse right out of college ... and was prepared to make tremendous sacrifices to go as far as possible, I located my "dream horse" and then went to the bank to apply for said loan. They about laughed me out of the bank, explaining with no hesitation that horses were TOO HIGH RISK to be considered reasonable collateral .... they would have considered a co-signer, but I was too proud to ask Mom and Dad ....

In the end, I never took out the loan. The horse slipped thru my fingers and ended up going VERY HIGH in the levels (Y.R.) and for an extended period. He was still competing and teaching new kids new things at age 20! I stayed with what I could afford and as it turned out, what I could afford just wasn't always ultimately the soundest beast on the block.

When I stayed within my budget, I bought lesser quality horses for horses #1, #2, and #3 .... they were ultimately plagued with soundness issues and/or disease (#1 -chronic colic- necropsy revealed small colon ulcers, #2 a calcification in the shoulder at age 5, and #3 EPM). This took me thru 15 years of reduced accomplishments and progress.

Only recently at age 42 have I been able to afford the quality needed to have any prayer of attaining my goals -- goals sidelined by becoming a nursemaid to my beloved horses and trying to fix soundness problems that always seemed to have every vet from Cleveland to OSU to Rood and Riddle just scratching their heads.

People can say what they want and will surely have opinions on this example ... of course the outcome might have been different, or even the same with higher quality horses (soundness and disease). .... Sadly, the outcome was NOT different ... and for those who are quick to criticize .... I did not progress because I put my horses well-being in front of mine. Trust me, I have the debt to prove it.

I don't regret putting the horses FIRST one bit .... but am a little embarassed to say how much money I have thrown at horses for so little advancement ... but that is just my story ... I stuck with only the facts, here. While I am not bitter and in fact appreciate every moment with my horses .... there is a small voice inside of me that begs the question: What if I had only taken out that loan to get that first horse who ended up on magazine covers later on and was SOUND into his 20's? We'll never really know the answer (which is best, actually - we aren't meant to KNOW ALL in life).

Magnum

WOW- all I can say is- you should have asked your parents- and your story is captivating.
I am sad to hear that you have spent a lot of money since and not scored...:(
I believe once you have a really BAD case of what I call a 'vet-horse' you can become addicted- as it teaches you a behavior of consulting the vet at every corner for EVERYTHING.
Rarely are there truly healthy horses- and many times we make them unhealthy or coddle them toom much- just my 5 cents.
I would NOT take out a loan for a horse- NO! but I would buy and have bought at age 18month or 2 yrs to get a better price for an unproven horse. I think that's the best way to get a good one- if your care is meticulous...!

magnum
Dec. 22, 2007, 03:27 AM
I believe once you have a really BAD case of what I call a 'vet-horse' you can become addicted- as it teaches you a behavior of consulting the vet at every corner for EVERYTHING.

Rarely are there truly healthy horses- and many times we make them unhealthy or coddle them too much- just my 5 cents.

Thank you Sabine, and what a nice post.

( .... "My name is Magnum and I am a vet-aholic!" :lol::yes: )

I have since worked really hard to kick that nasty habit!

While my horses were and still are far from coddled (they don't wear blankets and stay on full T.O. now that they are home and not at boarding stables), I agree I tried to hard to "over-engineer" their diseases/illnesses ( control freak! :lol: ) and also had to rely on boarding stables for their feed and care at that time. There was just a period of learning ... I is a slow learner :( .

One of the hardest lessons in my life, PERIOD was this: my drive to cure the uncurable, stop the unstoppable was not always in the best interest of my horses, anyway.

BTW - KUDOS to SLC. This is some of your best posting yet! Thanks for calling a spade a spade, SLC.

Everyone enjoy your holidays!

Magnum

slc2
Dec. 22, 2007, 07:40 AM
The central delusion still exists here that a cheap horse is somehow a better horse than an expensive horse. Mommy loves him more, or when he farts, it's more wonderful.

I've had cheap horses, I've had expensive horses. I love them both. They both love me. And it took me a VERY long time to get rid of this same delusion most people have. It took me 3 horses and many years.

Only a few people are very clear about their horses limitations and are very smart about doing as much as they can, and stopping before things become uncomfortable, while still - achieving anything at all.

This one has sickle hocks, chances are, we aren't going to get much past 2nd level before we start to have problems. This one has cow hocks. He's gonna be workin' pretty hard to do a pirouette at a canter, we may not get much further than 4th. This one is just a huge big heavy long guy, somethin's gonna give before we get to show much as PSG. This one is a dainty little thing with very light bone and one crooked foot, cross our fingers and pray to the Gods.

No. No horse is perfect. Nope. But some are a hell of a lot more perfect than others.

It is VERY difficult to find an inexpensive horse with good enough conformation - just in the legs, let alone balance or talent for collection - that the horse is going to hold up for years of training! Ths is the central problem. The less naturally balanced a horse is, the more strain he puts on himself - for any kind of training in sport. Every step the horse takes, it puts wear and tear on his legs. If there is any flaw in those legs - it's going to become very painfully obvious that it limits how much sport he can do.

I've seen it happen more times than not - in fact - though people don't talk about it openly (they may want to sell the horse at a lower level, or not want to open themselves up to public criticism that they overdid with a horse). MOST of the horses people try to move up - become unsound. I'm not talking about the ones that compete comfortably on a maintenance program that keeps them comfortable - but about the ones that either further or harder work would cause too much discomfort, or they need to retire completely, or something in between. Some are just rotten luck, but a hell of a lot of them are horses that could NEVER have been expected to stay sound for this sort of work.

Developing impulsion and throughness for really top notch dressage - that isn't easy on horses physically. It doesn't happen with lazy hacks down the trail - but nor do horses stay sound if they're mostly hacked and occasionally worked hard - they have to be in a program with sound, consistent, progressive training routine.

Sure. It's not just the horse. The rider has to be very clever- those gallops or extended trots down the side of the road, those 'oh what the hell' gallops across the thick mud that pulls a shoe and injures a tendon - the 'oh god I wish I hadn't turned him out on that ice' - every little decision one makes is crucial. Sometimes 'shit happens', but you better bloody well not be out there helping it happen!

Sabine, I know magnum well, and even SUGGESTING she is 'vet addicted' is absolutely absurd.

She has taken excellent care of her horses and always been very, very sensible with them. She has NEVER 'over vetted' or 'under vetted' them. She has not 'gone looking' for things - her horses are kept in a very natural, healthy environment, and they get excellent care - not fussy, over vetting.

She has, however, done as she said - she's tried to be very cautious with money while still attempting to advance herself. She tried to find bargains. And it has, I believe, in her case, proven to be a very difficult road. Her situation is in fact, one I was thinking of when I wrote my posts.

People are throwing around all sorts of accusations. I'm not saying, and I don't believe even Sydnor is saying, that everyone should despise their 2000 dollar horse or feel like crap if they don't get a big loan and get a 50k horse - or even, if they simply don't WANT to chart that sort of intense path, and enjoy just riding more casually.

It simply isn't FOR everyone to get an expensive horse, show more intensely, and move up the levels - or to ride that intensely.

Most people are not going to say, 'I am going to spend 150,000 dollars on an indoor arena and an appropriate horse for higher level goals, so I can keep the horses in work all winter, I'll just do without the new kitchen, bathrooms, furniture and the new car for the next 10 years'. VERY FEW people are going to say that. VERY few people are going to say, 'No, I'm not going to Quarter Horse Congress, or the clinic in the next town to watch my friend, or to the movie tonight, or to the shopping outlet for the afternoon, because I have to ride". EVEN FEWER people are going to say that for 10 years, for 20 years every day, 5-6 days a week, - this is an UNUSUAL choice, to devote one's self THAT MUCH - to any one thing.

When I was taking 5, 6 lessons a week, people told me, "GOD, I could NEVER stand that pressure, I would NEVER take more than 2 lessons a month, because I would rather trail ride, and just have fun around the barn, grooming my horse, and I don't want someone telling me what to do all the time".

This sort of thing isn't for everyone. It just isn't. But please - don't try to find things to look down your nose about at these people. Don't try to say, "I'm better than her because I love horsey more, because I don't show as much or work that hard", because that's BULL.

But yes, there comes a point where people with the means do make choices to devote a great deal of resources to what they want to achieve. And I believe that get a horse that MATCHES one's goals and aspirations and makes it possible within a lifetime, is the right thing to do. And I'm someone who understands how frivolous this can be - I've seen poverty and homelessness and some of the saddest situations in the world - and I still believe - people makes their choices.

For most people, that Right Horse isn't going to mean buying an expensive horse at all. A domestic breed, trained to 2nd or 3rd level, especially a little older one, can be a real bargain, and allow the rider to learn a great deal about dressage, improving his posture and aids, and riding well at the lower levels - which is all most people want to do anyway.

It's very strange. Riders tend to be far, far more sensible in show jumpers, eventing or even driving - many more people seem to buy older, trained horses that are serviceably sound, learn a lot and do very well for their means, show at appropriate levels, and do very well and be VERY happy with it.

Does anyone here - come on, pipe up - ANYONE - do you REALLY think those better horses are easy to ride?

I was watching a video of Hubertus Schmidt work Furst Fabio last night, he said, 'This is the best mover I ever had'.

This horse was ALL OVER THE PLACE. He was just like a loose cannon. Hubertus was using every BIT of his very considerable skill to develop that horse. EVEN HE - one of the best trainers in the world, was having to really concentrate and at times be quite brave in letting go and trusting himself.

And below that, I have seen person after person after person, humbled by the wise old schoolmaster - even with the trainer there shouting, 'No, no no, don't do that!' it is MURDER, people, to get on one of these brilliant horses and learn to be as sensitive, as reactive, as well trained as those horses. I've seen PLENTY of people get on that wise old schoolmaster and not even be able to post a 20 m trot circle after months!

You think it's EASY - to get on a really nice horse (trained or young and talented, whatever kind of nice you want), and just sit there and grin while the ribbons roll in - you're DELUDED, people! That's crazy thinking!

Maybe when jumping is added it just makes people want to surivive, and they choose those older, trained horses - or maybe there are more trainers in those other sports, out there saying, 'look, this just isn't going to work the way you're going about it - you're going to be disappointed and angry in the end'. What is it, really, truthfully, about dressage? I think alot of it is lack of trainers - pure and simple, to keep people abreast of reality.

But for some very strange reason that I've never been able to figure out, the bulk of dressage riders seem to chart for themselves the most unimaginably unsuccessful way to reach their goals and stick like grim death to that path despite how obviously unhappy they are - and then come and complain bitterly at shows and bulletin boards, how much showing, judges and successful riders - suck.

Simply put, quite a few people don't want That Horse. Instead of spending money on a practical, sensible purchase, they buy cheap horse after cheap horse (or at times just one and stagnate), thinking they're going to get rich quick reselling them (or discover an Olympian in someone's back yard) and learn dressage by some sort of - I don't know - magic osmosis, without getting sufficient guidance. They fail. They fall in legions.

And in fact, they spend far, far MORE money going about this path than they EVER would getting one horse, a sensible, appropriate horse, working along with lessons, and they would be FAR more successful! And - they would be far less bitter and angry in the long run!

Buying horse after horse (or even just one and stagnating) with soundness problems and no training, for 20 years - while the rider knows nothing of dressage and struggles to grasp the basic concepts on an untrained, unwilling unsound horse with a scattering of expensive clinics here and there with various very disjointed approaches from widely different trainers....no. These people do not make progress. And BOY are they pissed!

They're ESPECIALLY pissed when they see someone buy a little bit more horse and find some success! That just toasts 'em!

Sydnor was addressing riders who have ambitious goals to move up, and need the appropriate horse and she gave them permission to think about a practical, sensible path to reach their goals - like she wished she had.

I think what we really need to talk about here right now, is not all of Ms. Sydnor's failings - but something a HELL of a lot closer to home - WHY in the name of heaven does the more average rider, with more limited goals - seem to so frequently craft SUCH a very unrealistic way of meeting those goals! I think the VERY emotional reaction to Sydnor's article is just one more way to avoid this rather unpleasant reality.

dkcbr
Dec. 22, 2007, 10:02 AM
>>>>>Only a few people are very clear about their horses limitations and are very smart about doing as much as they can, and stopping before things become uncomfortable, while still - achieving anything at all.<<<<<

Uh oh... the "L" word...

Seriously I do think the "L" word is the crux of the matter. To generalize, horses with fewer limitations TEND to be more expensive, and horses with more limitations TEND to be less expensive.

Thus it follows that if a rider has high dressage aspirations, it follows that he or she may - may - have to pay more to get a horse that has as few limitations (conformation, temperament, talent, soundness, age, whathaveyou) as possible to align with the rider's goals.

"Limitations" does not mean "bad horse", however. Just that there may be things that make it harder for a particular horse to excel in dressage competition, and easier for another particular horse to excel in dressage competition.

I guess it's all about knowing what you want earlier rather than later, and selecting your horse based on your goals. That's the reality, right?

ToN Farm
Dec. 22, 2007, 10:09 AM
SLC, that was an excellent and accurate post. Because I agree with and understand everything written, I find it so difficult to understand why others can't see the truth. There are many subjects, this being one of them, that it is wasted time trying to get a minority opinion (like ours) across to the majority. There are many, many others that feel this way, even readers of this board, but they are wise and stay readers, not posters.

Coming from the jumping disciplines, I do understand why riders are more sensible about the mounts they select. A rider won't get far with a horse that stops at fences, runs out, pulls a rail, rushes, etc. You'll get whistled out of the ring or eliminated.

canticle
Dec. 22, 2007, 10:33 AM
Does anyone here - come on, pipe up - ANYONE - do you REALLY think those better horses are easy to ride?
Maybe they aren't really better then??? :confused::confused::confused:

My horse IS easy to ride. THAT is what makes him SUPERIOR. :mad: Everyone who has ever ridden him comments on what a pleasure he is. People who felt it was beneath them to ride the little horse suddenly saw the light once they got on him. Seriously, I've lost track of the compliments.

What irks me about Ms. Sydnor's article is the suggestion that I might have made a mistake? She knows nothing about me, yet she suggests that I might be wasting my time with my "unsuitable" little treasure. So her solution is to buy HER type of horse, which would be inferior for me, definitely more expensive, most likely less sound, arguably harder to ride and less of a pleasure to be around. Just so I can collect some $1 ribbons which I never wanted in the first place. :mad: Talk about wasted time!!!

angel
Dec. 22, 2007, 10:39 AM
slc wrote: "do you REALLY think those better horses are easy to ride?"

Well, my thought in the matter is "yes, they are provided....


...provided that the training has been correct!!!!!!!

This does not mean that a hot horse will suddenly start plodding along, nor that they suddenly will not feel as if you are sitting on a keg of dynamite. But, that energy is controled, contained, channeled.

Two big mistakes that I see in the developement. First of all, the contact is not correctly established in the horse before collection is begun; Second, the riders are not correctly balanced within the motion. When you take one, or both of these together, you are cruisin' for a bruisen.

And by the way, I do not believe that the "better" horse must by necessity be a warmblood. When I say "better," I mean a better conformation to do the job at hand.

slc2
Dec. 22, 2007, 10:55 AM
D you have to be SO DEFENSIVE about what you've chosen to do that you have to attack ANYONE who even DISCUSSES something even SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT?

Good lord, Canticle!

No - actually, being 'easy to ride' is NOT the pinnacle of competitive achievement! It is the epitome of being a family horse, a beloved pet, a teacher and kind companion!

A ferarri isn't easy to drive - a formula 1 racing car isn't easy to drive! It takes immense skill and experience. The car that IS easy to drive probably isn't going to win the damned race!

I've had the sweetheart horse who was easy to ride, who was so forgiving - that horse is a teacher, a one in a million beloved companion, and never to be forgotten, and I will love him and remember him til the day I die. Longe him before you ride? Ha! Worry that he might be a little HOT that day? Never! Just take those reins on the buckle and off you go down the trail...or go in the ring and do dressage if you want.

NOTHING will change that! But that horse ISN'T going to win in big competition! EVER! All that sweet, quiet nature that made him perfect for what we wished for - went against him in competition.

He simply could not do it. A horse cannot make a miracle happen - he couldn't make his conformation change and make it easy for him to do that work!

Fit as a fiddle, he was still exhausted after an FEI test - and we said - enough! He's done more than anyone could EVER expect - we love him for trying so hard, but it is ENOUGH ALREADY!

OF COURSE I don't care! What he did for me was the job he was chosen to do, the job we so loved him for, that we so hoped we would find he was able to do - and which he never once let us down or wasn't a perfect gentleman.

But for heaven's sake, I also know what he ISN'T - that doesn't make him any less to me because he was JUST what I needed at that time - he was 'perfect'!

But I am at least realistic about what other types of horses there are out there and what it takes to do each job!

The jockey Bill Shoemaker also probably loved and valued the horse he first learned to gallop on - but he didn't ride him the friggin' Kentucky Derby - and he didn't get pissed off at the horse or rider that won! And he didn't sit there and pretend the horse was something he wasn't, or that the Kentucky Derby winner didn't have his own sort of value and worth! You have to have some sort of sense of that.

Without realistic expectations or understanding of these issues - you have nothing. You will never be at peace or satisfied with what you do, or accept gracefully what anyone else does - no matter what you do - you will always be looking at other people and feeling angry and disappointed and defensive about your choices. And that to me is an incredible shame.

fish
Dec. 22, 2007, 11:12 AM
This train of thought, which started for me with her daughters response, has really started me thinking.
If Ms. Syndor is regretful for the path she took, on less super, not bred for Dressage horses and she has still reached what many of us would consider a pinnacle in Dressage,... then HOW should I feel? Suicidal? 16 years and Idonotwanttothinkabouthowmuch money later... and the best I can say is I've been told I have nice hands? EEks!

I worry that the sport is leaning towards accomplishments and away from the journey.
Focusing on showing and not training, gaits and not the whole package that creates the gaits or better allows the gaits.
That rather than learning from the horse you have we should be searching for a 'better' horse. What then? An 'Even Better horse'? Who says our riding deserves a better horse?

Not all of us can (or want to) spend what to most amounts to ALOT of money on this. Fewer of us have the time to train for more than a handful of hours a week. We're as serious about this as we can be, living in our own reality.
If Ms Syndor isn't happy, even with all she has achieved, why should I even bother?

I think that perhaps what the 2 Ms. Syndors are saying is that we learn from riding ALL different kinds of horses-- including the really good ones, and it was just as much a mistake to nurture that "reverse snobbism" that comes from taking less talented horses up the levels as it is to ride only the highest quality horse flesh in the interests of "winning." Please note that what Cindy says she discovered was that riding higher quality horses with naturally excellent gaits made her a "better rider." Having been blessed with a truly gifted horse at one point in my life, I believe I understand what she means. Just as riding a correctly trained schoolmaster is invaluable for learning how to administer correct aids to any horse, so also, the experience of riding horses with exceptionally good gaits helps enormously not only to learn how to sit them, but also to learn what they feel like, and from this, how to help less talented horses use themselves better. I vividly remember, for example, learning from my youngster with the natural, almost irrepressible medium trot, how finally to succeed at coaxing good lengthenings from my less gifted older horse. Her natural rhythm helped my sense of rhythm, her natural activity from behind helped me recognize what I needed to help my older horses improve their balance. Her balance improved mine. In short, although she couldn't teach me the various movements, she was like a natural born schoolmaster as far as teaching me how to ask for and not interfere with quality gaits was concerned. When I consider what I learned from her, I often wonder how truly "limited" various horses I thought simply incapable of lengthening really were-- i.e., were they really incapable, or was the problem really that I didn't have enough experience with riding lengthenings to know how to ask for them?

There is a saying: "what nature (or good breeding) gives, you don't have to train." IMO, what this ends up meaning is that these naturally gifted and therefore more expensive horses have very important roles to play in training us. This is not, IOW, just about being serious about competing, but in recognizing the very real intrinsic value of the justifiably expensive sport horses being bred these days. Breeding is, after all, an art, just as training and riding are, with good breeders contributing enormously to what riders and trainers can accomplish not just in competition, but in striving for the exhilaration of excellence wherever we venture with our horses.

I would like to point out, too, that Cindy is not saying "you need to spend five figures to get a quality horse, and if you don't have the money, go borrow it." If I read her correctly, what she's saying is that we should not be so conscious of our financial limitations that we only look at lesser quality stock without even exploring what "the best we can afford" might be. What I think she's advising against is the all too common phenomenon in which people buy too cheap, too quickly-- which can be (as many others have pointed out), a very "penny wise, pound foolish" approach both to horse shopping and to trying to improve ourselves as riders. She wants us to explore our many very real options, whether they are shopping longer and harder for the right horse at the right price, buying younger, cutting back on other expenses, and/or investigating financing (which many people do) in order to acquire the best horse possible for our own situations.

I do, BTW, think Cindy is probably very happy with her journey-- because not only does she keep on learning, but now she is also in the enviable position of continuing that journey with her beautiful daughter, who's further expanding her view of dressage and the limitless opportunities for improvement it affords. It truly is not about what we achieve, but about continuing to make progress from wherever we have been before.

Kathy Johnson
Dec. 22, 2007, 11:32 AM
Go into debt for a horse????

Of course, at any price. Is there any other way? The purchase price of the horse is simply the down payment. It costs as much to keep a good horse as a bad horse. The price is relative; $150 might be a lot for a child and a first pony, $1500 might be a lot for a college student, $15,000 might be a lot for someone supporting a family. But, no matter what, the purchase price is a drop in the bucket compared to keeping and training the horse.

It is like buying a car. You can buy a $500 clunker and get collision insurance, or you can buy a $25,000 sedan and buy comprehensive insurance. Either one might break down at a moment's notice, and either one might go forever.

It all depends on the goals of the owner. Do you want to travel in style? Do you want to travel safely, or both? Do you want to compete, do you want to learn or both?

Everyone on this board is a serious rider who wants to move up the levels, whether they show or not. It's the nature of dressage. We can't generalize what will work best for most riders. I've seen expensive horses break down, and I've seen many a rider overmounted on expensive horses. I've seen cheap horses break down, and I've seen many a rider over their heads trying to train green horses.

The bottom line is that learning dressage is usually a series of horses. The usable life of any horse is about 10 years, if we're very lucky. Most of us learning dressage seriously will train 30 or more years. Few riders are allowed the luxury of their first horse being their last horse. Many of us make concessions in our education to be able to keep the horse we love. There is nothing wrong with that either.

The price of the horses goes up as riders advance in skills and can handle more athleticism. There is a definite first horse every new rider should buy. You can't put a price on safety. There is a very special second horse most intermediates should buy--and that is where I see most riders making the most expensive mistakes. The horse on which we are going to place our Grand Prix dreams should normally be the third or fourth horse.

It is the education of the rider and the welfare of the horse that are paramount. Making the right match is more critical than the price tag. But will you go in debt? You've all heard the old joke: how do you make a small fortune in horses? Start with a large one!

Atlantis
Dec. 22, 2007, 11:51 AM
you will always be looking at other people and feeling angry and disappointed and defensive about your choices.

I am getting a different vibe from this thread. I don't think people are angry and disappointed about their choices so much as they are angry and disappointed at the direction dressage has taken - away from training, rider skill, and hard work, and more towards horse talent and 'buying your way'.

For decades we've heard dressage is about training, and any horse can do it, work hard and ride well and you'll make it. But not any more, and now as people have to come to terms with the fact that it really is not just about training and riding well, but equally as much about the horse and money, this realization can be pretty discouraging. It can be even more discouraging when people act as if it's a waste of time to ride anything but one of the expensive horses, when you know you can't (now or ever) afford one of them. This may not have been exactly what the author meant, but I can see how people are reading it this way.

Perhaps it would be nice and easier if everyone could just buy talented trained horses from the start (except then we'd hear a new outcry, because with a level playing field it would come full circle back to training and riding skill, which would be a good thing, but a lot of the people trying to 'buy their way' wouldn't be happy about it.)

However, don't discount what you can learn from riding a lesser horse. After all, if you can master the skill to be successful on a $1000 horse, imagine how well prepared you will be if you ever do get the $50000 horse, and unlike many of the examples of people who bought expensive horses and then ruined them or had to turn them over to a pro, you will actually be able to ride yours.:yes:

canticle
Dec. 22, 2007, 11:57 AM
D you have to be SO DEFENSIVE about what you've chosen to do that you have to attack ANYONE who even DISCUSSES something even SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT?

Good lord, Canticle!

No - actually, being 'easy to ride' is NOT the pinnacle of competitive achievement! It is the epitome of being a family horse, a beloved pet, a teacher and kind companion!

A ferarri isn't easy to drive - a formula 1 racing car isn't easy to drive! It takes immense skill and experience. The car that IS easy to drive probably isn't going to win the damned race.
Why are you so obsessed with competition??? :confused::confused::confused: That's your thing, and I'm glad you're having fun with it, but let's keep it in perspective please. Don't denigrate "easy to ride" because it is not YOUR pinnacle! You have no idea what qualities other people are striving for. For most people "easy to ride" is VERY important and it doesn't make you a better rider just because you played the martyr and chose difficult.

And OF COURSE people should choose their own goals, I'm all for that! But when it is published in a NATIONAL magazine that those on a different path are making mistakes or wasting time, then it becomes a bigger issue. Is DT taking an official stance on the issue? Like I said, they will be alienating most of their subscribers if they tell them to change their goals. :no:

sidepasser
Dec. 22, 2007, 11:59 AM
I wonder how much the borrowing to buy expensive horses (20-50,000 and above) is actually encouraged to PROP up the faltering horse market?

Sure there are those that can afford to take a loan for that amount and pay it off. There are those that will struggle and may have to miss payments on other things or not take lessons, or provide a lesser amount of training for the horse. There are people who will default as well and the bank ends up with the horse and sells it for little or nothing to get something out of the deal.

I do wonder how many people are led down the primrose path into debt by being told that "you can't win unless you have a higher caliber horse" or they are talked into it by being told, that the horse will increase in value, etc."

Perhaps to prop up an industry that couldn't keep it's momentum if people didn't finance horses, go into debt for training, showing and lessons as the horse industry is taking major hits right now due to the general economy.

I don't care if people buy boats, jetskis, horses, or what have you..as long as they can afford to pay for it. However, in the matter of a horse..if a job is lost, the payments still have to be made, the board/training/vet care, etc. paid and most banks just see a horse as an "asset" to be sold and don't care who it goes to or where, as long as they are paid something. I don't think I would want to subject a horse to that situation.

There are no guarantees that any of us will be employed always..would you risk your horse being repossessed and sold at auction to just "anyone" with the money because you lost your job and couldn't afford the payments? I couldnt' do that to one of mine. and it does happen, I've worked for attorneys who handled bank repo's and you'd be surprised as some of the caliber of horses that are repo'd and run through the nearest, closest, fastest sale barn for whatever the bank can get for them. As they do not want to invest any money in upkeep in an asset that costs them money every single day and returns nothing if no one is riding said pony or showing it (which costs the bank even more money). Occasionally you do have a bank officer that understands but even they have limits as to how long they can keep a horse on the "payroll" before running it through a sale.

Not a chance I would want to take with my horse.

slc2
Dec. 22, 2007, 12:05 PM
your point has been responded to many times, very adequately.

We hear over and over 'dressage means training' because the word 'dresser' in French means to train or prepare. But who is so naive as to imagine that this is more than a popular slogan to get people involved? Or to SUGGEST - that perhaps, in the original spirit of the art, that there are more important things - even at a competition - than...winning? And that everyone can find a way in which to value competition, whether they get a blue ribbon or not?

Improving horse and rider in dressage is about training - practicing, taking lessons, working hard.

Winning, in competition, in TOUGH competition, against the best riders, it requires more than just making accurate circles, obedient transitions at the letter - a neat salute, proper attire. When everyone is well trained - to win requires more than just good training.

It always has. This is not something that has changed.

When I was showing in dressage, I rode several very, very limited horses. I did not have unrealistic expectations. I did not expect to beat the horses that were stronger, more athletic or more able to do the work. I expected to better - MYSELF...AS A RiDER. I did not care if I won or not. I cared if I bettered my last score, if I was A BETTER RIDER.

How is it that people have gotten such a sense of entitlement that they feel now competition should be taylored to them, so they can get a ribbon each time they go to a show? Or do we need to have an 'everyone is a winner' division where everyone gets a blue ribbon, like the Special Olympics (that even the Special Olympics participants didn't like - as my autistic friend told me, "I don't want a baby Special Olympics, I want a real Special Olympics, with a real first, second and third place").

Angela Freda
Dec. 22, 2007, 12:21 PM
I am getting a different vibe from this thread. I don't think people are angry and disappointed about their choices so much as they are angry and disappointed at the direction dressage has taken - away from training, rider skill, and hard work, and more towards horse talent and 'buying your way'.

For decades we've heard dressage is about training, and any horse can do it, work hard and ride well and you'll make it. But not any more, and now as people have to come to terms with the fact that it really is not just about training and riding well, but equally as much about the horse and money, this realization can be pretty discouraging. It can be even more discouraging when people act as if it's a waste of time to ride anything but one of the expensive horses, when you know you can't (now or ever) afford one of them. This may not have been exactly what the author meant, but I can see how people are reading it this way.

Perhaps it would be nice and easier if everyone could just buy talented trained horses from the start (except then we'd hear a new outcry, because with a level playing field it would come full circle back to training and riding skill, which would be a good thing, but a lot of the people trying to 'buy their way' wouldn't be happy about it.)

However, don't discount what you can learn from riding a lesser horse. After all, if you can master the skill to be successful on a $1000 horse, imagine how well prepared you will be if you ever do get the $50000 horse, and unlike many of the examples of people who bought expensive horses and then ruined them or had to turn them over to a pro, you will actually be able to ride yours.:yes:

Thank you!

Donella
Dec. 22, 2007, 01:37 PM
First of all..to all of you who haven't noticed...dressage is a SPORT. It is an Olympic discipline. When something is a sport...there is competition. Competition means to compete. Horses are half of the picture..a real big half of it. I think if you can grasp this..then you can maybe get over the "we don't like the emphasis they are taking off of the rider" thing.

No..they aren't taking the emphasis off the rider. The emphasis is on BOTH the horse and rider, so just like the ammy who can't ride her GP schoolmaster she bought, the person who is an excellent rider with an incapable horse is also not going to be successful in competition. WHAT IS SOOOOO HARD to grasp about this!?

This post is all about what to do if you want to advance in the sport. Ie BOTH horse and rider need to be at the same place. If you dont wanna advance in that way, in the sport, then thats fine. But don't be delusional in regards to the fact that it is a sport and it is competative and you do need a capable partner.

Actually , I think one can pretty much tell where each poster on here is in terms of their riding because anyone who is truly ambitious in competition will have figured out by now that not any horse can collect ie be successful in this sport and the ones that can sure as hell are not cheap.

SLC..excellent posts. I can tell you are in touch with reality and have probably gotten alot farther because of it.

slc2
Dec. 22, 2007, 02:33 PM
A few years ago, I would have said all the same things as Angel and Canticle.

And I was mired in all those same thinking patterns for quite some time.

When I got rid of all that, I was a lot happier, I had appreciation for what a whole HECK of a lot more people out there were doing, I never felt jealous or unhappy or defeated at after a show, if I didn't like what someone was doing, it was what I was doing that I didn't like, not someone else. If things were not going as I liked - I looked at ME - What should I be doing different, not the rest of the world, not someone else. I didn't blame the judges, how the sport is organized, other people - just ME. And if something needed to change, it would be me. I don't score well? I don't bitch about the judges, I work harder. And guess what - it's always worked! Even with the crappiest horse in the world, wonders of wonders.

All of a sudden, I could appreciate just as well the rider on the ancient quarter horse just barely posting the trot, JUST as well as I could be comfortable with that wealthy gal on the super warmblood wining the FEI class - I could appreciate the effort of both, and both types of horses, and not saying some fake 'bless her heart', but feeling it - really feeling that and being HAPPY about it.

I could love that old sweetheart horse of mine MORE (if that is even friggin possible) - as well as understand a tiny bit of what it takes to climb that competition ladder and make some very, very different choices and take a very different direction. Most of all, I was happy with my choices and what I had. And I was NOT unhappy about what the rest of the world was doing, either.

I don't think ANYONE on this thread is honestly, really as far as this issue of getting a horse that matches the goal, 'unhappy with how the sport of dressage is developing', I think the indignant and hysterical freak out about the mention of the word 'loan' in the article, is a complete fake out.

I think 'how the sport of dressage is developing' at the Tournament of Winners or the national championships, even in the business of qualifying for 3rd level, or any of that - I think none of that has a whole heck of a lot to do with what affects them directly, and why they're so unhappy. they are unhappy because they look at people winning and it makes them - jealous. Pissed. I think it galls people's hides that they go to shows and they don't win as much as they want - I think quite a few people don't even VENTURE to shows, some NEVER did, the excuse always being, 'it's all about money, it's so unfair, I can't afford the winning horse'. And THIS - THIS is not a new problem. This has a lot to do with the psychology of competition, and how extremely difficult most (women, yes, women) find it to understand competition. And it totally distorts how people look at the issues Sydnor discussed, how they look at the sport, how they view others in the sport.

see u at x
Dec. 22, 2007, 02:36 PM
Atlantis, very well said. You hit the nail on the proverbial head. :yes:

slc2
Dec. 22, 2007, 02:44 PM
"successful on a $1000 horse, imagine how well prepared you will be if you ever do get the $50000 horse"

this is right where Atlantis did NOT hit the nail on the head. And this was part of the point of the article - that every one ignored.

Kathy Johnson
Dec. 22, 2007, 02:48 PM
First of all..to all of you who haven't noticed...dressage is a SPORT.
For some. But dressage is not a sport at the Spanish Riding School, nor at the Cadre Noir, nor at millions of backyards across the world. If people's goals are to advance at shows, then buying up to a fancier horse makes lots of sense. But, it's a sweeping generalization to assume that everyone wants to do dressage strictly for sport (if we define sport as horse showing). For many, dressage is an art, a hobby, a tradition, and a way of life that may or may not include competition. If dressage is indeed going the way of a commercialized, strictly competitive sport, then I can certainly understand why people might be up at arms when it is suggested the only way to advance in dressage is to buy a better horse.

Reynard Ridge
Dec. 22, 2007, 03:15 PM
What I find rather disturbing about this thread is the sense that there is only one way to do things.

Personally, I would never go into debt to purchase a horse. The things that interest me about dressage are all about harmony between horse and rider. I do not aspire to ride at the upper levels, nor will I ever compete at the national level.

This is all true for me. This does not preclude my being able to believe that for some riders, riders who have different goals and aspirations than I do, perhaps taking out a loan to purchase a suitable competition horse is a reasonable expectation. And I don't think the fact that there are people with high level, national goals who want to take out a loan to buy the best horse that they can belittles my position at all.

I can truck around on my $700 Pony all happyhappyjoyjoy, dreaming dreamy dreams of harmony and lightness, knowing that it would be the height of delusion to think I could ever get to Devon on My Little Pony. But I can strive for, say, second level locally and be happy with that.

And sure, there are lots and lots of FOs (Friends of slc) stories out there of heartache and lost opportunity, money badly spent and people who end up overmounted and miserable, but hell, there are also lots of stories of people who ante up for a nice horse and do well with it. N's-of-one, each and every story.

To sum it up: no matter how much paprika you sprinkle or how much Quicksilver you slather on, the world just ain't black and white.

sm
Dec. 22, 2007, 03:28 PM
you still have to put in the best test to win. Money can give you can advantage (if you want to go into debt for that advantage, it's fine with me).

An expensive horse isn't going to guarantee you'll end up winning unless you're competing against professionals and competing as a serious sport. For most dressage people however, dressage is a hobby or an art (after all, most who compete at shows are not dressage professionals)... and a well ridden average horse can and does win over the expensive model poorly ridden.

Velvet
Dec. 22, 2007, 03:40 PM
I haven't read every reply, but I still wanted to say something to the original post. I think that the people saying you should invest in your education as a dressage rider FIRST are absolutely correct. Find the way to ride already trained horses. If this means being a slave for someone, do it! That is if you're serious about the sport. If you aren't that serious, then you shouldn't be worried about spending a fortune because that would be foolish.

If you are serious and you get those rides and more education, then you can buy those horses for $3,000, invest your time and energy into them (as well as more on additional lessons) and make them worth $30,000. Then sell them and buy a better horse. Keep moving up the ladder. If something tragic happens to a horse, start over. It all adds to your education--and I thought THAT was the point of dressage. That you are always learning and always working on things with not only one horse for the rest of your life, but with many horses spread out over time.

I think going indebt when you are a beginner and you don't have the funds is rather silly. If people really want to do it, I say let them. But I don't suggest it to people, EVER. I would always advise them to stay within their budget because I've learned that you can never tell what will happen tomorrow. I think the person who wrote that you need to go indebt for a horse is not looking at the big picture, taking all people and situations into consideration, nor are they able to. So think outside the box, and take a reality check before you make such decisions.

JMO

ToN Farm
Dec. 22, 2007, 04:01 PM
Perhaps it would be nice and easier if everyone could just buy talented trained horses from the start (except then we'd hear a new outcry, because with a level playing field it would come full circle back to training and riding skill, which would be a good thing
That's mostly what I see in the show ring today in my area. Nearly all of the horses competing at PSG and above (even most in the lower levels) are attractive horses with very good or better gaits. The winner will likely be the horse with the best training ridden by the rider with the most skill. So yeah....a good thing.....and it's happening!

I've got some more bad news for some of you. That is, that 50k doesn't really buy much of a horse anymore. Surprise, Surprise. Therefore, no matter how much you spend and what quality you buy, there will always be people out there that can buy something even nicer and ride it even better.

FYI, the high price at recent PSI auction was over 700k Euro. This is the kind of price you buy for the International horses, not 50k.

Dressage Art
Dec. 22, 2007, 04:44 PM
For some. But dressage is not a sport at the Spanish Riding School, nor at the Cadre Noir, nor at millions of backyards across the world. If people's goals are to advance at shows, then buying up to a fancier horse makes lots of sense. But, it's a sweeping generalization to assume that everyone wants to do dressage strictly for sport (if we define sport as horse showing). For many, dressage is an art, a hobby, a tradition, and a way of life that may or may not include competition. If dressage is indeed going the way of a commercialized, strictly competitive sport, then I can certainly understand why people might be up at arms when it is suggested the only way to advance in dressage is to buy a better horse.
Thank you for wonderful post.
Bodybuilding and cycling are sports as well. Yet, there are plenty of people enjoying those sports on daily bases and keeping themselves healthy and entertained by doing that.

Dressage Art
Dec. 22, 2007, 04:47 PM
I've got some more bad news for some of you. That is, that 50k doesn't really buy much of a horse anymore. Surprise, Surprise. Therefore, no matter how much you spend and what quality you buy, there will always be people out there that can buy something even nicer and ride it even better.
Yes, and that's another reason NOT to get in to the debt b/c of the $50K horse. I do know people who spend more than $50K on their dream horse and still didn't get what they were hoping to get. No need to "keep up with the Joneses"