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gold2012
Jan. 20, 2010, 12:54 PM
Okay, so reading the Eventing USA magazine cover to cover, I read what Capt. Phillips had to say about our less than stellar performance overseas. It did stink, but....this isn't really about that. It was what he said later in the article about working hard, and getting up in the ranks.

He made a comment about riders saying that if they had more funds, they could learn more, and that if they could just get that sponsorship, they could win...

I agree for the most part with him. I do think it takes a lot of hard work, and a lot of digging trenches to get anywhere. However:

With the short format, it is much easier to find a horse that can do this job. At a higher price of course, because that same horse might excell in the dressage ring, or in the jumper ring as well. Didn't I just read something that a decent horse for Prelim brings 40K? Down from another price.....WELL....

I don't think the average American can go buy a 40 K horse, for prelim. And if that is an average price for a prelim prospect, how much for one that might make it to the top?

I have watched over the years how much finances have to do with if you get to the top or not. PLEASE am not saying you can't get there without finances, but it's not easy. I really believe that we don't always get the best of the best represented. For the financial reason. I have a daughter who is good. I think she is very good. I know upper level riders who think she is very good. But that sure doesn't buy her a good horse, or one made for eventing. Those she trains with, try to do as much as they can to help her out, letting her work off lessons, or giving her a discount....BUT still...it's not going to pay for a good horse, and it isn't going to cheapen the entries...

So....I guess what I am asking is this, if as CMP suggests, work hard, quit whining, something she doesn't do anyway, and you will get there. HOW do you get past the moutain of a problem called money?

I know that there are other really good riders out there, in the same boat as us. Sleeping in thier cars in subzero temps to go to a show, doing without groceies so you can give your horse the best they can have, buying someone's horse that they can't ride and fixing it....working 16 hour days to pay for one lesson with a big name if they are lucky?

THanks for the advice. I really want to help my daughter get where I know she could go, if i only knew how.

deltawave
Jan. 20, 2010, 01:19 PM
I am probably in the minority here, but I think of upper level "success" more in terms of producing horses to the level rather than winning gold medals. That's a great dream, but is certainly not the only way tomeasure success or to define an exceptional rider. One can, I think, make quite a good career in horses without even coming close to being on "the team".

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 20, 2010, 01:28 PM
you don't buy a good horse....you MAKE them.

Sorry...it doesn't take 40K to buy a good prelim horse....or even a good Advanced horse. The purchase price of my first Prelim horse was $1200. The purchase price of my second cost $1500. Why...because they were green OTTBs when I got them. I put in the time to produce them into good solid Prelim horses. I didn't have to spend 40K on a the purchase of a horse to learn to ride at Prelim.

MOST horses can go prelim...and a hell of a lot of them can go Adv. Just not every horse/rider combination can go at those levels.

The money factor is NOT in the purchase price of a horse....it is in the cost to maintain and train that horse. And in the talent of the rider to put in that time and work.

Those who want it bad enough....can do it if they have the natural talent, the drive and are willing the put in the time.....without tons on money to start in their pocket. But that road is a very very hard one. Just as the road to the top in ANY career is tough. Most of the young lawyers who come into my law firm are NOT going to have the talent AND drive to make partner.....most normal people are not willing to do what it takes.

Your daughter has to be willing to ride the tough horses, shovel the sh$t......perhaps be willing to ride any horse that comes her way for free that might help he progress or give her experience. She has to be willing to put in the time.


Sorry...it isn't the money or sponsors...it is putting in the hard work and the TIME. Most YR want it now....life doesn't work that way....most of them need to be looking on a 10-20 year time scale of work before they possibly make it to the top of the sport (and have the skill to stay there).

gold2012
Jan. 20, 2010, 01:42 PM
I so agree that good horses are made, and perhaps I sounded like I wanted to be able to go buy a nice horse, made. No we have MADE everything she rode. We just recently sold a horse we bought out of auction. She made it into an amazing mare, and she will do training all day long. Had she been a little bit taller, she might well have done advanced. Heck she might have done advanced anyway, but my daughter is tall....was a little worriesome.

No, I agree, shoveling poop, working horses for free, yup, all that helps. BUT it doesn't necessarily pay the bills for the travel, or the entries, or the lessons, especially the lessons.

As far as being at the top in the business and not having to be on the team...lol, okay, so between us, I wish that was her wish. I so would be behind that. LOTS less stress. BUT her, no, she threw Javelin in High School, and was a national AAU champion. She was rated in the top 15 in the country in college, pro, or otherwise. Same for Heptathalon. Was ranked both nationally as well as being one of the top high-schoolers. SHE is driven to be the best. Her personality makes her that way. But she is nice too, and most people like her okay.

I just wish that instead of that once in a while lesson, she could be a working student for some big name....instead of being out working for minimum wages....and trying to be a single mom on top of it all. I just wish the sponsor's were easier to find, and that it wasn't so much about the money end of it....Believe me, we are in eventing, cause in Jumpers, well, that is awful hard.

Anyway, just needed to have a place to vent I guess. We are working so hard and seems like we take two steps back for each one forward.

subk
Jan. 20, 2010, 01:49 PM
I don't think the average American can go buy a 40 K horse, for prelim. And if that is an average price for a prelim prospect, how much for one that might make it to the top?
I don't think the "average American" can afford a horse at any price.

Personally I don't think 40K is particularly expensive for a prelim prospect when you start comparing the expense of UL horses for dressage and jumping. Eventing is still the best deal in town. Of course that's a prelim prospect trained by a pro. If your daughter is that good, then she ought to be good enough to make her own...from scratch.

I have teenage daughters. If one of them wanted to make being on a Team a goal, the last thing I would do would be buy her a 40k horse--regardless if I can afford it! First we'd look at a timeline of 10-15 years then I'd start buying young OTTBs to flip the one that don't show UL talent and try to recoup some expense then try to hang on to the best ones. The education would be incomparable.

In my opinion kids under 25 are better served by spending their money on getting in situations that provide more rides instead a single quality ride.

JER
Jan. 20, 2010, 01:54 PM
Had she been a little bit taller, she might well have done advanced. Heck she might have done advanced anyway, but my daughter is tall....was a little worriesome.

This can't simply be about height. Tall riders and small horses have been successful at even CCI****.



I just wish that instead of that once in a while lesson, she could be a working student for some big name....instead of being out working for minimum wages....and trying to be a single mom on top of it all.

These are choices your daughter has made. Nothing wrong with it. If she wanted to be a WS for a BNT, she should have chosen a different life. Or she can simply wait a few years until her child is older. The option will always be there.


I just wish the sponsor's were easier to find, and that it wasn't so much about the money end of it....Believe me, we are in eventing, cause in Jumpers, well, that is awful hard.

Anyway, just needed to have a place to vent I guess. We are working so hard and seems like we take two steps back for each one forward.

Maybe you need to sit down and make a realistic, long-term plan. Work in increments toward your goals, have back-up plans, etc.

And like others have said, don't measure success by teams and medals.

Good luck.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 20, 2010, 02:02 PM
The sport DOES cost money....it is a sport. But being a WS isn't the only way to go.....

Again....you are still focusing on the short term. The sport isn't a sprint. It is a long distance race. It takes time to produce a horse right...time for a rider to gain skills (we all learn for a lifetime).

Life is all about making tough choices..... and honestly, being a good rider isn't the most important thing to making it to the top. It is just one element.

It sounds like she made other life choices which are going to make achieving her goal a lot tougher. You cannot undo those choices and responsibilities. She needs to be an adult and look at her options....and make her choices.

My mom felt that way about me...she wished she could have supported me with the horses....but kids do all grow up...and we do have to realistically look at our lives and make long term decisions.

Blugal
Jan. 20, 2010, 02:05 PM
First, let me say, "I hear you."

BUT

Eventing is a sport. Being a professional sportsperson is nice, but it is not essential. If you want to be a professional sportsperson, then it is time to kick your PR/Marketing skills into high gear.

Where do you get the money? Look at the people who have been successful and try to emulate them. So you are not Zara Phillips - and neither are most of the rest of us.

First, it appears that in order to be a sponsor-worthy candidate, you must have some success. So your first successes have to be self-made (and of course, your parents are your first sponsors). Keep making your own horses and go out there and win some things. Become a working student (many people will take WS who don't have a lot of money) and LEARN the program that gets horses from green to Advanced. Work on your riding, schmooze at events, become known.

Mary King came from a working-class background. She worked really hard, and obviously had the riding ability, the work ethic, and at some point, the charm to secure sponsors.

I recently checked Leslie Law's website, and he has a similar background.

This bring us to geography. Are you living in a place where being a professional sportsperson is going to be a career that will earn you a living? Are there sponsors in your neck of the woods? If the answer is no, then time to relocate.

Next, a comparison of careers. Some people have become upper-level riders on their own money. Hinrich Romeike, for instance, is a dentist. He is also well-geographically located for this. In order to "have your own money" you need a career that will pay. In order to get that career, you probably have to spend 4-8 years in university, paying along the way.

I think a lot of younger riders don't look at their riding career in these terms. If you are going to ride as a career, don't you think it makes sense that you would put in a similar amount of time and money to get the education and skills you need?

Soapbox over - it'll be interesting to see what others have to say.

Divine Comedy
Jan. 20, 2010, 02:10 PM
I just wish that instead of that once in a while lesson, she could be a working student for some big name....instead of being out working for minimum wages....and trying to be a single mom on top of it all.

Your phrasing here is confusing. Are you the single mother, with the daughter who wants to compete at the upper levels? Or is your daughter, who wants to compete at the upper levels, a single mother?

Because honestly, if your daughter is the single mother, she needs to realize that she can't be selfish and have goals that may prevent her from raising a child correctly. And honestly, I think that it would be virtually impossible to make the Olympics as a young adult with very little money without neglecting the child in some way (either emotionally, mentally, financially, etc.).

If, on the other hand, you are the single mother, then while it may be difficult, it might not be impossible for her to break into the upper levels of the sport. Like others have said, it takes many, many years of hard work. She needs to stop looking in terms of years and start looking in terms of decades.

deltawave
Jan. 20, 2010, 02:58 PM
If wishes were horses . . .

This SPORT is not a realistic means of making a living for most people. A few can make it happen. And most of them are not riding at Rolex, either. For the rest of us, it is an avocation, our chosen passion, whatever. And most of "the rest of us" have jobs and careers that pay the eventing bills. Some of "the rest of us" are fortunate to love those jobs, but this is not always the case.

Working hard to be successful in ANYTHING is pretty much a given. If your daughter is committed to doing eventing and nothing but eventing, that's great--her work ethic will certainly come in handy. But having everything we want and fulfilling each one of our dreams is not an inalienable right. :) Most of us find ways to have a little bit of the dream, pay the bills, be responsible for our families and all those other grown-up things. If you want some examples of people who are committed to the dream and nothing but the dream, at the expense of everything else, have a look at the latest Darren Chiacchia thread. :no: Sometimes "having it all" isn't what it's cracked up to be.

gold2012
Jan. 20, 2010, 03:40 PM
thanks to most of you.

As for neglecting her child, no she doesn't. We have her daughter in private school, another source of money drain, but way good results. And they think she is an awesome mom. She jsut doesn't sleep. LOL.

Blugal, you are way cool. She isworking hard, and has made horses....some get sold, praise Lord. Some are ready to move up to Preliminary. One might have the scope to do it all. Just wow.

I had to laugh at your post about moving. We just moved to Florida, and had to bring the G-Baby's ponies...all 3 of them. One a mini that ended up riding in the back seat of the truck with me, of which the checkpoint for ag had to take pictures...a different story all together...smile.

She does schmooze as someone suggested. I think a lot of people know who she is. Which is always good.

She did get a degree...in animal science.

And she isn 't so focused on that particular dream. She is actually, a pretty rounded kid. I think it is terribly sad about Darren btw. how sad for someone to have so much and lose it.

I really do appreciate the advice. Perhaps sitting down making a plan would be a great idea. Right now, it feels like we are just drifting with no plan, other than to see what comes tomorrow, and work as hard as we can....Any suggestions on HOW to do that...

deltawave
Jan. 20, 2010, 03:45 PM
Where does she see herself in 10 years?

Where does she see herself in 10 years if she keeps going the way she's going now?

Where does she see herself in 10 years if she no longer has your support?

Where does she see herself in 10 years if something were to happen that didn't allow her to ride?

How can she make it from "here" to "there" by making use of the assets she has--a degree, supportive family, talent for riding, a great work ethic? If the answer is "she can't" or "we don't know", then a good hard look at the current plan is probably in order. If she did something besides horses full-time, keeping horses as recreation rather than career, would that make the ultimate goal easier to attain? Maybe more education is in order, a career for the next 5-10 years that would allow her to save some money, get herself solid and secure financially, and THEN start the pursuit of the dream.

jesposito
Jan. 20, 2010, 04:18 PM
Sometimes you need to work smarter, not harder. Ask yourself whether spending effort and resources on eventing as a career, and chasing sponsorships, is really that great of an idea in the current economic climate...

If she has a degree in animal science, try to USE it!! That type of background could go towards vet school or a Master's degree--and then she might find opportunities as an animal pharmaceutical sales rep, college level teaching, etc, just as an example.

There is more than one way to reach the goal of upper level competition, and I think that people sometimes overlook the value of a separate career to provide the funding in lieu of using the riding to make a living. And I don't even mean the type of job that will buy her a 40k prelim horse, but one that will allow her to pay to bring along her own prospects as far as they may want to go, as well as being able to train with whoever she chooses on her own terms. She will still work hard, and might not get much sleep (ask me how much I got during tax season last year...) but she might have a better chance at getting by through reassessing how to get there.

WildOne
Jan. 20, 2010, 05:03 PM
The writer at the beginning of this thread brought up an excellent point in a very good manner. It is not bitterness,just facts. Eventing (as a career/job/etc) has gone by the wayside much as the "American Dream" has for the whole of the USA. Before everyone begins, I am NOT proclaiming that hard work will not gain success, of course it will, but many other factors go into play. this is a realistic fact.

The days of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" are long gone. We all see this in the business world and Eventing has become just that, a business. 20 yrs ago, hell 10-15 years ago I think you had a better shot at scratching out a living. But the "cost of living" for eventing was much less. People were willing to work a real job and teach/ride horses or even work part time.

Most of the older horsemen went to college. Hardly any young "hot on the scene" riders do that. What parent can risk not sending their child to college so they can go train with a bigtime trainer full time and travel all over the country? Ones with backup money in case things go awry. We all know it is very, very hard to find competitive jobs without a degree. Keep in mind, being a working student today often means you have to pay to be there. At the least, you have free room and board but you aren't making money. All the money is going out!

Yes, you have to be good. Either buying the made horse or bringing it up is irrelevant. Besides, you are going to have to have more than one heavy hitter. What happens if your one shot horse goes lame, retires, etc? You are out of the lime light.This requires money! Even if you make a horse, the expenses requried (feed, medical, tack..) to get him and keep him at a high level are high.

I could go on for a while but here it is in a nutshell. You can make a living in horses if you are smart, work hard and plan ahead. But you do not live the celebrity lifestyle so many ULR's do by teaching lessons all day. The money does not equal out. Tried it! To get in the major leagues you need sponsors but to get sponsors you need to do very well consistenly at high levels. So, until you have the sponsors/owners you must have "fallback" money to support you until then. Its a cycle.

Its not fair and it doesn't take away from the top riders currently out there. But, it is a shame so many true horsemen and horsewomen will probably go unoticed by the majority public.

NeverTime
Jan. 20, 2010, 05:56 PM
So....I guess what I am asking is this, if as CMP suggests, work hard, quit whining, something she doesn't do anyway, and you will get there. HOW do you get past the moutain of a problem called money?

I think you are not only missing the point of his article (because he's surely NOT saying "work hard, be a good rider and you'll get there eventually") you are doing some of that whining he's tired of hearing. When he talks about "working hard" and the "movers and shakers," he's not just talking about working hard in the barn. He's talking about working hard at raising funds -- the thing you need to do to get over that mountain of a problem called money.

Truly, I don't know of any sport where talent and hard work alone get you where you want to be. Every sport takes money, every sport takes being in the right place at the right time and every sport takes a dash (or more) of plain good luck.

Fundraising, or access to money to buy a string of horses, is a HUGE part of the picture. Without it, a rider isn't a longterm investment for the team. If you don't have the money or you can't get it, you aren't the total package. Period. Sorry. Welcome to the real world.



With the short format, it is much easier to find a horse that can do this job.

Where did you come up with this "fact"? Winning horses now don't just have to have TB endurance, they have to be strong in every phase - as you say, the good ones could be winning in jumpers or dressage, too. Finding a horse who is a jack of all trades and master of ALL is the order of the day now, and that's nearly impossible to find. And that's EXACTLY why you need all that darn cash. Used to be able to take a lot of cheap TBs and turn them into big-time eventers. But very few of those cheap race-bred babies have what it takes in terms of movement and versatility to win a modern three-day. (More's the pity for all of us who love them so much.)

SevenDogs
Jan. 20, 2010, 06:09 PM
.... and yet, the Gold and Silver individual medalist from the last Olympics did NOT have a string of horses at that level.... maybe there is still a thread of hope.

Honestly, it does take money... always has and always will. The amount may vary.

When I listen to CMP talk (which I try to do as little as possible), I realize that he isn't particularly interested in "thinking" riders who are capable of making their own upper level mounts. If he had his way, I think he would rather have basically talented YOUNG riders (who wouldn't do too much thinking for themselves) who can afford to buy several MADE horses and would take his coaching advice right down the line. It is soooooo inconvenient if a rider actually wants to think for themselves.

He has "made do" with his list of favorites but it isn't his first choice. There is always the chance that one might go "rogue" and start asking questions. He has been somewhat successful in containing such behavior by basically showing preferential treatment to them, so that they don't have any desire to rock the boat.

Luckily, his "vision" has not come to fruition. We just continue to have those pesky riders who make their own horse (singular), think for themselves, and make it to the top anyway. Gina Miles, anyone?

Still, Gina was lucky to find financially supportive owners (like most elite level riders today). There is no getting around the monetary aspect to one degree or another and many talented riders miss opportunities because of it. It is a part of the sport.

NeverTime
Jan. 20, 2010, 06:30 PM
SevenDogs, agree totally.
Perhaps I should soften my stance to say, if you can scrimp and scrabble to get yourself and your horse to the top - even if you are a one-horse wonder - eventually they'll have to take you on the team because they do really, really want to win and they'll ultimately take the soundest horses with the best results. But generally those folks have to do it on their own, without the support of the team.
(Though, if you aren't a fan of CMP and his training program, that's probably no great loss!)

SevenDogs
Jan. 20, 2010, 06:42 PM
But generally those folks have to do it on their own, without the support of the team.
(Though, if you aren't a fan of CMP and his training program, that's probably no great loss!)

Yup, and the most unfortunate part is that for every rider that DOES make it to the top this way, there are many, many others that are overlooked, discounted, discouraged and discarded for consideration.

I think CMP is all about trying to discourage riders from thinking that they might make it to the top, in order to convince them that they should give up their horse to the "real riders". I have seen him in action with an amateur rider with a very promising mount, that he brought up to *** level himself. CMP told the rider that he should consider giving the horse to one of the "favorites" in order to see "how far he could go". Um...so I guess you are clearly saying that this rider doesn't have a chance to make one of your teams! This rider is extremely talented as evidenced by the horse he "made" himself.... why can't he continue to take this horse "as far as he could go"? What exactly are you saying, Mark?

I hope that changes with a new leader coming in 2012, but I may be dreaming....

gold2012
Jan. 20, 2010, 07:04 PM
Thanks. I appreciate those who understood what I was saying. My daughter did go to school to get a degree. She is very good. Really. She is out there trying every day to get sponsors, and she has two horses. Though one is just not real clean with his knee's. The other is downhill in dressage but can sure jump the moon. BOTH were made by her.

And I am NOT whining. See that ticks me. What I am saying is that I wish there were a system in place to help riders get furher. I know that there is this talent system they have...but you either have to be found by an ellite rider, or send a resume...but don't bother if you haven't competed at the 2* level I think. UGH. it is just a never ending circle.

THanks Wild One for getting the gist. I obviously sounded whiney.

Never Time, my point was in the old format, those wondeful OTTB's could do the job, and do it well. Now a days, the sports seems to be more and more dominated by Warmbloods....and those just don't come cheap. We have done the OTTB route, and had a lot of success with it..

deltawave
Jan. 20, 2010, 07:12 PM
I know that there is this talent system they have...but you either have to be found by an ellite rider, or send a resume...but don't bother if you haven't competed at the 2* levelThere are probably several hundred very talented riders competing below the 2* level, maybe more. How would you propose the talent search process sift through this large number of people and pick out the ones who are glory-bound? The process as it exists takes care of that with no effort on the part of the selection committees--if you complete a CCI**, you are sort of semi-automatically on what used to be called the "long list" and that is probably what is considered the entry level for people with genuine team prospects. Riders competing successfully at Prelim and below are just too numerous to come to the attention of the Exalted Ones.

gold2012
Jan. 20, 2010, 07:21 PM
Yes very true Delta Wave....I c your point. We fall in a gray area. If my daughter were younger, the YR program would be out there for her to be in.

I dunno. Some friends of ours are following this thread. I just got an email from one saying if all these people only knew how good she really is. i guess that is the hard part. She is good. VERY VERY good. But it does take years to make an upper level horse. It's been one for the good horse she has now, the other got hurt and has been back 4 months. She is sick to death of Training and was actually on the adult rider year end list...high on that list. So, it's either spend the money for her to take this horse Preliminary, even downhill as he is, and watch her once again, be toward the bottom of the dressage, or.. ? We haven't the money to invest right now in another horse. No one is out offering her rides. Perhaps gettinug a job would be a great idea. She can go to work, come home, train her horses, occasionally go to an event....and find time to be with her daughter. Her Father and I stand behind her 100%. We are doing what we can do. i am sure that there are a TON of people in the same boat. I guess I was hoping to hear from some of those who made it to the top without money, without sponsors, how they did it. I haven't heard anything other than it takes money. BUT it has been done.

I was really hoping for some ideas....not to be slammed because my Daughter wants to be a ULR.

Anyway, thanks for the input....and I didn't know some of this about some of this....trying to be politically correct here. So thanks.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 20, 2010, 07:32 PM
Never Time, my point was in the old format, those wondeful OTTB's could do the job, and do it well. Now a days, the sports seems to be more and more dominated by Warmbloods....and those just don't come cheap. We have done the OTTB route, and had a lot of success with it..


Actually...I disagree. There have ALWAYS been purpose bred horses in eventing....not warmbloods but lots and lots of Irish horses and purpose bred TBs. OTTBs are also STILL very competitive. There are many at the top. I have a 5 year old OTTB right now that moves well enough to be competitive at straight dressage. You do have to be a bit lucky. But I look around....and MOST of the **** horses that I know are either OTTBs or full TBs who never raced. There are still quiet a few of them out there.

Honestly though, the fanciest horse DOESN't always win in eventing. There are a lot who are not so fancy but still very competitive. Competitive enough to get a rider noticed....and being competitive on a less fancy horse is a better way of showing a rider's skill.

I'm sure your daughter is good....a lot of people are good. And yes, it would be wonderful for a system to be in place to give her an opportunity....but honestly....at the level she is at (if you are saying she hasn't gone Prelim or above)...that system has NEVER existed and I doubt it ever will. And honestly...I don't think I want it in place.

Who would pay for that?

There are organizations and lots of people she can talk to but honestly....it really isn't that hard...even today....to produce a competitive horse at Prelim without a ton of money. First you get to prelim...then you get competitive.

Getting beyond that...and producing a competitive horse at and above the ** level. That is of course harder. And producing a top level international horse....very tough. Competing at the international level...very expensive.


But you need to take baby steps. Just like horses....you really don't know if a rider has the ability to be at the top of the sport until they do it. She may have potential now...but until she gets a horse to prelim and beyond...it isn't a certainty. She may wake up and realize it isn't what she wants ...that her risks of getting hurt are more than she wants to take given her daughter. She may run prelim or intermediate and think...damn that is faster than I want to go, this isn't fun any more.... You then rethink your goals and dreams. I've known that to happen to more than one very very good rider.


So talking about planning.....first is bring those project horses to Prelim...and get her some miles at that level first...then get competitive. And honestly....many many many OTTBs can get you there and you don't need a **** caliber horse YET.



ETA: I'm not slamming you....and I hope she achieves her dream. But you are putting the cart before the horse. She NEEDS to run at Prelim before setting her sights on being a **** rider. NOT be competitive at training level. Even lowly me has gotten horses to Prelim without a lot of money.....me not being competitive at that level is because I suck (and why I went back to school). Get her xc experience at that level. Then bring the next horse along.... The more horses she brings to prelim...and does a nice job with...the more people will notice...the better able she will be to convince people to pay her to ride their horse and help them get to training or prelim. You (work hard) to develop relationships with people....you develop your owners. They ultimately are the ones who sponsor you. BUT she has to first establish herself as a solid Prelim rider.....and THAT I KNOW you can do without a lot of money. And you want to talk about short term goals....an average OTTB can make it to Prelim within 2 years (if there are no soundness issues). You do need to have the eye or find someone with a good eye to help you pick the RIGHT type of cheap horse though.

deltawave
Jan. 20, 2010, 08:21 PM
She can go to work, come home, train her horses, occasionally go to an event....and find time to be with her daughter.Sounds like the status quo of a whole lot of extremely good riders I know. :) And I'd guess more than a few of them would love to be upper level riders, too. And heck, some of them ARE.

You just can't spin gold out of straw. If there were an easy way for a good, solid lower level rider to make it to the top within a few years starting out with little money and good-but-not-great horses, well, you'd have to redefine "the top". :) Maybe that's what eventing needs--things like they have in the QH world where a horse can be "Ultimate Supreme Champion of the Universe" after going to six shows and placing 2nd and 3rd a couple of times. :lol:

Not poking fun, not meaning to be critical. Dreams are great, but adults and parents have to sometimes face the fact that dreams don't just happen, in which case they need to be redefined realistically. There's no reason someone with limited time and funds can't be an upper level rider. Plenty of people do that. But the ones who are at the pinnacle are a different species. If only the pinnacle will do, and the accomplishment of simply making good horses to go up the levels isn't enough, I'm afraid your daughter may be in for disappointment.

Foxhall
Jan. 20, 2010, 08:37 PM
What everybody else and Captain Phillips has said is SO true. You make it to the top first w/o any support, (maybe not winning rolex) but Advanced, then you get sponsors, owners etc. NOT the other way around. Of course its going to be hard to make it to the top without a boatload of owners sponsors etc, but thats the sport. You make it or you don't. its that simple.

NeverTime
Jan. 20, 2010, 10:17 PM
To clarify, because you've talked a lot about the prohibitive expenses, there really isn't any institutional financial support system for American riders at ANY level in the sport, unless you're talking about the Team footing Team members' travel to international team competitions.




And I am NOT whining. See that ticks me. What I am saying is that I wish there were a system in place to help riders get furher. I know that there is this talent system they have...but you either have to be found by an ellite rider, or send a resume...but don't bother if you haven't competed at the 2* level I think. UGH. it is just a never ending circle.

Please keep in mind that this "talent system" -- if you are referring to the developing riders list -- is nothing more than an opportunity to participate in ONE, two-day session with CMP, and you need to pay your own freight to get there. There's no windfall of cash support or professional training for being named to the Developing Riders list -- unless you are the ONE rider selected for a $5K grant (which, depending on where you live, might just cover the cost of going to the training session). And some of the advice you might get from the good Captain, should you be so lucky as to make one of these lists, is "You need to attend XX competition if you want to be taken seriously." It's up to you to figure out how to afford getting to that competition.

Even at the very top of the sport, there's no big windfall for the riders who make it. The riders who went to Burghley and Blenheim last fall were awarded competition grants of $10K-15K. That may sound like a lot, but it doesn't even cover the whole cost of that trip.

It's a money game at every level of the sport. If it's overwhelming at training or prelim, realize that the expenses only get bigger as you go further up the levels.

gold2012
Jan. 20, 2010, 10:45 PM
Well, this is all true enough I suppose. I never thought I was trying to spin gold out of straw. And perhaps from your perspective it would sound this way. I don't have my head in the clouds. I don't see anything wrong in working another job to make a living and coming in and competing as an amateur. And my whole point wasn't to say "HEY, here we are, please give us a free ride". Those of you who know us, are probably laughing your butts off. I don't know anyone who works harder then my daughter.

I was asking people for ideas on what we can do to make it "possible". There are riders who are out there, who from the ground up, had to buy thier own horses, had to get to the competitions on thier own, and who had to pay for it almost entirely without the generous help of Mom/Dad/Sponsors etc. Luck is the one factor a person can't do a lot about. You have to be in the right place at the right time.

I would ask you all, for one moment to consider this, What IF this young girl really is a brilliant rider? WHAT IF? Someone said something about getting on horses that are green and riding the one's no one else wants to ride, and breaking the babies. She has done that. This past summer she took two babies out of the fields, broke them, taught them to jump, and took both to thier first event. In pouring rain. One jumped into the dressage arena, but stayed straight, and judge gave her a 7 on entry.....after trying to not laugh at the unorthodox entry in, both won on thier dressage scores. One had 45 days training. The other 60.

This is her dream. This is what SHE wants to do for a living. I have found through the years, try to not reinvent the wheel. There are other's out there who have done this. Of course there are not easy ways, no short cuts. I wasn't asking for that....just some ideas on cost saving, on ways to make up for less than perfect funding., ways to save on lessons, and cost of competing.

I hope she does make it to the top...if that is what she wants....I am sure at that point I will be funding the company that makes valium. I hate x/c. But I really don't understand the negativity coming from COTHer's. Usually you guys are a genuinely nice bunch of people, who have very helpful advice. Putting a plan together great idea. And honestly, that's all I have heard that is constructive for the most part.

SevenDogs
Jan. 20, 2010, 11:14 PM
Honestly Gold2012, I don't hear negativity nearly as much as I hear reality.

JER
Jan. 20, 2010, 11:16 PM
One question, gold2012: where is your daughter?

You're the one posting here and asking these questions but when I look at what your daughter is actually doing -- starting and producing horses, working, raising her child -- it seems to me like she's doing just fine.

This BB is a good place for networking. You should encourage her to join in discussions here. I've used this BB to find trainers/riders for my young horses -- it is a good resource for making connections. However, I should add that I never came here advertising for a trainer. Instead, I approached people privately after getting to 'know' them through the BB.

Also, your daughter could look for role models in the eventing world. Gina Miles has been essentially a one-horse rider and she took time out along the way to have children. Another CA rider, Tamra Smith, rode at Rolex for the first time (she's 34) after putting a serious career on hold in order to have kids. Lucinda Fredericks sold just about any good horse she ever had and finally made it to the very top of the sport after she turned 40. The pathfinders are out there.

Your daughter also has you. A supportive parent is a very important asset. :)

Beam Me Up
Jan. 20, 2010, 11:44 PM
I think the "negativity" that you're hearing is that we've ALL had these thoughts, and then had to try to channel them productively.

We've all felt like undiscovered talents, that in some other set of circumstances (more money, more time, better horses, whatever), that we would have risen instead of someone else. Because we can ride the crazies, or the babies, just think what we could do with more . . .

It's probably true--all top riders were once lower level riders, and no doubt there are plenty of lower level riders out there with talent to be contenders if given the right opportunities (just like many horses, with the right training can be upper level horses, riders too).

Much like other areas in life, the playing field is not level. Some people have trust funds, others have to work their way through school, others have to overcome disabilities. There is always someone who has it better than you, and someone who has it worse. All of us have made life choices that brought us closer, or took us further from, our eventing goals.

It's not intended as negativity, but there are many, truly talented riders sitting under the radar, working hard to make it. Buying a proven horse is fast, but if your daughter is able to work with enough OTTBs, she will find an upper level one. She also needs to carefully consider her goals. What is the top to her? There are many ways to be a successful eventing professional, teams aside.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 20, 2010, 11:45 PM
Honestly Gold2012, I don't hear negativity nearly as much as I hear reality.


I agree. It sounds like she is doing what she needs to be....sorry, there is no map or process that guarantees success....wish there was.

Great that she started two horses this summer....now make that 20.

I started one this fall....well an OTTB (I've started others from scratch but not this year---and honestly, OTTBs can sometimes be tougher)...took him to a schooling dressage show after 30 days and scored a 32 on Novice A (winning his class--with an R judge) and then after 60 days to his first HT at BN (first time I've ridden that level..I usually start them at novice) scored a 34, clear xc.....and I'm an amateur who sucks at dressage.

What I'm saying is while it is great what she did....it is what I would expect from a decent rider. Especially one trying to make a career of horses.

BUT she need to KEEP doing that to build her reputation. Developing her reputation...meeting people and just taking things one horse and one step at a time. It takes time.


Until she has that reputation...and a soild stream of paying business coming as result of that reputation...she will need to fund her own competitions...and her budget for that will depend on her cost of living and what sorts of paying jobs she can get.

SevenDogs
Jan. 20, 2010, 11:53 PM
We've all felt like undiscovered talents.

Not me!! Nobody is going to come looking for me at WEG time! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Beam Me Up
Jan. 21, 2010, 01:51 AM
Not me!! Nobody is going to come looking for me at WEG time! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Haha, no, me neither. I've had a hefty dose of reality as an adult. :-)
But when I was younger I did watch some YRs get ahead and feel like "if only" I'd had their circumstances it would have been me.
Now I see how numerous life choices as well as good and bad luck have made the the rider I am.

deltawave
Jan. 21, 2010, 08:48 AM
We've all felt like undiscovered talents

Not I! Just ask my trainer. :)

gold2012
Jan. 21, 2010, 08:59 AM
Thanks Everyone.

She is busy riding/raising her daughter/working...hence my being on here instead. But you are correct, I do think she would do well to be on here with her own words and ideas.

She has started way more than 2 horses, just those particular two did well really quickly. She was very proud of those two horses....

Thanks for the dose of reality. Gina Miles is a nice girl, as isTamra. I believe my daughter already had some talk with Gina. We met her up at Rebecca.

I am probably sensitive to the subject. I know how well she rides, and like all parents, hate seeing her struggle.

Anyway, thanks.

RunForIt
Jan. 21, 2010, 09:00 AM
Not I! Just ask my trainer. :)

I love you!!!! :lol: :cool: can always count on you to "keep it all real!" :D

graytbmare
Jan. 21, 2010, 09:35 AM
I just wanted to say that, as someone who is probably your daughter's age (Im 23), having a parent who cares enough to brainstorm ideas is probably one of the best things that you can give her. Better than a UL horse, lessons with every trainer she wants. Not to put down my own parents, but I dont know many who would do that. My dad still thinks its a hobby (?!) Ill out grow and my mom gets so nervous whenever Im on a horse that she might have to have a support group to watch me run xc this spring.

The fact that you support her and her daughter the way you do is quite a bit more than she can ask for.

On money: my advice and whats working for me, is work a job, for now, that uses that college degree she worked for. Make the money, to get the horses, to train, to compete and be noticed. I can promise you I know what it feels like, with loans on everything I own, to miss an event because I cant afford the stabling or gas. But I, and your daughter, have to realize that every event that we DO go to is one more step. And I have definitely found it important to realize that our sport is one that you can compete in ( an be good, UL good) until you have dentures.
Maybe one day she will get to be paid to ride, but she has to look at each jump first, not just the distance to the finish flags.

NeverTime
Jan. 21, 2010, 09:45 AM
I was asking people for ideas on what we can do to make it "possible". There are riders who are out there, who from the ground up, had to buy thier own horses, had to get to the competitions on thier own, and who had to pay for it almost entirely without the generous help of Mom/Dad/Sponsors etc. Luck is the one factor a person can't do a lot about. You have to be in the right place at the right time.

OK, sure. I guess I'm one of those. But there's no magic to it, it's just being as frugal as humanly possible and having a LOT of perseverance -- thinking about how you CAN get something done rather than why you can't.
I made a 4 yo OTTB into an advanced horse and got to compete at that level for several years without major financial support and with a very time-consuming and not overly lucrative day job, but no child. We won a few low ribbons, but we weren't in any danger of taking someone's spot on a team! I was really just thrilled to be doing it, as an adult amateur, and doing it safely.
The horse was free (bowed tendon), so that helped, and my first few years with him I got to keep him for free on the ranch where I rented a room for $250/mo. No barn, I broke ice on the pond for him to drink during the winter and we did all our riding on the flattest spot in the field. We trailered to $25 and $30 lessons to learn to jump. I rode before or after work and muddled my way up to training level. I knew I needed to find some specialized eventing help (I was living in a Colorado ski town, so not exactly eventing central) if I wanted to safely progress to prelim, so I took all my rainy-day funds, quit my job and went to work for Denny Emerson for 6 months. I used my savings, wrote freelance stories to support myself and, for part of the time, didn't pay rent while I helped take care of Denny's wonderful father. During that time, my family did cover my health insurance and occasionally help me, like when the dog and the truck broke down simultaneously. While with Denny, I did my first CCI*.
I went back to my life as a writer afterward and lived first in Unionville, Pa., then back out in Colorado. I boarded my horse at inexpensive places, sometimes self-care and usually with limited facilities, and always lived with roommates to keep my own living expenses down. I used my discretionary income on lessons and shows.
In Colorado, we had to travel 10-20+ hours to get to an intermediate or advanced HT. I met up with people to travel with, we'd sleep in the trailer, eat Ramen and hustle back home to get back to work.
I somehow made ends meet financially until I got a management job at a newspaper in Delaware and moved back to Unionville. I got into a really good training barn (the first place I'd ever paid more than $400/mo in board) and moved up to advanced for good. Even with my trainer bending over backwards to help keep my costs down, there's no getting around how expensive that level is. The travel, the vet care, everything. I don't think, in retrospect, that the amount of money I was spending at that point (vs. my paycheck) was smart, but I did it because I felt very strongly that I was in a once-in-a-lifetime situation with a horse who could jump the fences and I wanted to see what we could do.
We were never good enough to win back money or apply for grants, but boy did we have fun.
No big secrets, no outside help, just living frugally, persevering and being resourceful about finding cheap places to live, friends to travel with, etc.
(When I wanted to go to California for a CIC**, I called a girl in Wyoming. I'd never met her but I'd seen her name in the results and asked if she'd like to travel together out to Cali. We ended up doing MANY long road trips together!)




I would ask you all, for one moment to consider this, What IF this young girl really is a brilliant rider? WHAT IF?

In the real world, it matters very little how brilliant she is if she can't put the whole picture together -- if she can't make or find the horse who will take her to the top and figure out a way to pay her bills once she's there. Sadly, talent isn't worth much if it exists in a vacuum.

LisaB
Jan. 21, 2010, 09:48 AM
Sevendogs is right on the money. He wants a bunch of Zara's in his group. Well, he is her dad so we can give him that.
Anyway, I think if there was an answer to 'how to get there', then that person with the answer would be loaded with money and have swept every prize there is up.
So, there is no magic pill.
It takes a lot of riding talent, patience, and yes, money. But most of all, it requires luck.
I personally think if I knew about conformation of a horse a long time ago, I would be a lot more successful now. Yes, there's the brain. And there's the flukes. But you can weed out a lot of horses just by looking at their angles.
You need to hunt and hunt and hunt for the horse(s) that can do the job. And even then, they may not have the heart or the brain.
go to every clinic. Audit every instructor out there. Take notes. You need to have a TON of tricks in your bag to ride different horses successfully.

gardenie
Jan. 21, 2010, 10:02 AM
NeverTime, you are my hero. I know the drill of driving forever to get to a show...but you have me beat.

Its not about the destination, its about the road travelled. If you don't like who you are without the ribbon or the gold medal, you aren't going to like who you are with it.

Gold2012, you are a great mom. Just remember its her life, not yours. She's doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing. She'll get there if she's supposed to get there. With lots of preparation, money, energy, hard work, and an absence of bad luck.

GotSpots
Jan. 21, 2010, 10:05 AM
I'd second what Nevertime and BFNE are saying. Being good is simply not enough: there has to be a business plan, a ridiculous amount of hard work, and a good deal of luck.

I can tell you from having witnessed fairly closely the career of someone who is knocking on the red-coat door that it takes a long time and is a very rough road. This is someone who has built a sustainable business model on four different prongs: riding and competing, training horses, teaching lessons, and buying/selling. No one prong can support the whole business, but with multiple avenues for income, there's a bit of a safety net. To get there it wasn't the case of having one super star horse: there's been horse after horse at all levels that this rider has made a reputation on as always being very correct, laying down good basics, and showing polish in the ring. Hours of riding the crap horses and the ones no one else wanted and making them go like good ones that built up a clientele and attracted sponsors. And it has taken years to get there, including heartbreaking times with horses who weren't good enough, or who were possibly good enough but who got hurt, and all of those mornings out breaking ice in buckets or cold-hosing yet another leg that seems a bit touchy.

Building up the business that supports a career in horses takes a number of steps, but one of the basics is getting out there and doing it every single day with multiple horses. You need to be the one who is taking the OTTB or the problem child horse out and being competitive in the ring, or turning that horse into a safe ride for the adult ammy or junior to ride, and to do it consistently and safely. You need to build a group of people who support you because they not only like you, but also believe that you are helping them with their horses and goals, be that at a riding or owning level. It takes time to build the word of mouth reputation, and alot of that comes from consistently being at the shows or in the schooling ring and being seen to be riding well, safely, with polish, and getting good scores.

Far, far easier to be a "good amateur", with a day job that pays the bills.

Blugal
Jan. 21, 2010, 10:24 AM
On the "good amateur" note, there is maybe a small advantage in that you don't NEED to be able to ride every sort of green, crazy or bad horse. Pros do to keep their training/selling/client business happy. But an amateur with a day job can weed out which horses are more suitable for them, and stick to riding those - and can play the waiting game for the right horse to come along that will get them to the top, whether that be in their 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s.

gold2012
Jan. 21, 2010, 11:39 AM
Thank All of you. Now there is no magic spell to ge her there, but it is good to hear it can be done. She has done some of it...she certainly has a reputation for being able to ride the difficult one's and get them into the ribbons.....that's a long story, and kinda fun, but not for public consumption. And she is getting noticed....

Thank you for the recognition of being a good parent. So you know, My dad is still waiting for ME to outgrow horses too...am I am almost 50. My daughter another matter....she is "GREAT" according to him.....I suppose I was just chopped liver...smile


It sure is a slow process...but then it certainly takes years to succeed in any business. Perhaps our move here will help.

Again thanks for the words of wisdom, and thoughts on the subject. I will have her read them tonight.

Anyone know how to write a bs. plan? Grin

THANKS.

tuppysmom
Jan. 21, 2010, 12:14 PM
I agree with about everyone here. My family has been in the thick of it for a number of years. Dad rides everything that comes in the door, buys, trains, sells, teaches, etc etc. Does about everything but shoe horses to keep the wheels rolling.

Our daughter has been competing in USEA competitions since age 7. She made her own pony and a number of horses since then. She buys, sells, trains, and teaches, she also has a job that can be very flex with hours. She is an EMT, but spends no time doing that, other than as a volunteer, right now.

She has had some wonderful experiences with "the team". The insight has given her a vision of where she would like to be in 5 years, 10 years and 15 years. The horses she has now are at the top of their game. They are now her teachers. There is no way to get the needed experience at the advanced level other than to ride advanced courses. Our goal now is to keep them all sound and happy and gain as much competition experience as possible while they are able. Both advanced horses now double as lesson horses, which is a hoot!

When you first blast onto the scene and get noticed by the selectors and coaches it is a great boost to your determination to stay there. Staying there is the hard part. The horse gets hurt, you run out of money, you have to pay off the credit cards and on and on. But you hunker down and make the changes that you need to make and keep going.

It's all about what you can produce in competition. If you produce, they, (all of they), will notice.

They won't notice you at training level, nor should they. It all begins at the CCI** level.

Good Luck!

gully's pilot
Jan. 21, 2010, 12:16 PM
Gold2012, I'm not in anyway talking about your daughter here--but I've witnessed a lot of entitlement thinking in some (again, not all) of the younger riders I've seen around this sport. Working hard does not mean you deserve to make the team. Having talent doesn't mean you deserve to make it, either. There are so very, very few spots--really I think the happiest people in this sport want to make the team, but that's not close to the only thing they want.

As far as sponsorships--I'd be sure that your daughter realizes that support can come from many avenues--tell her not to burn bridges. My husband is a surgeon who relies on patient referrals. Very early in his career he operated on an elderly man who was severely mentally handicapped and lived with his very elderly mother in public housing on a fixed government income. The man was unable to read and could barely speak; they had no other living relatives. But my husband said that for months and months afterward, patients would tell him they came to see him because, "Doc, I heard how kind you were to Kenny." I was thinking of this story a few weeks ago, when some young riders were really snotty to me (I'm a 42 year old still struggling to master training level)--I thought, okay, remind me never to recommend you to anyone to ride, train, or buy a horse. I also thought someone should tell them that they never know who or what might be helpful down the road.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 21, 2010, 12:48 PM
I also thought someone should tell them that they never know who or what might be helpful down the road.


THAT is key to just about all things in life....and especially in the horse world.

gold2012
Jan. 21, 2010, 01:25 PM
Gully's Mom, if my daughter EVER treated anyone with anything less than respect, she is still not too old to turn over the knee. I promise. I can also tell you she in no way thinks she is entitled to anything. I too have seen that in this business. Before moving to Ocala we had a business, and I had it in a college town. The girls who brought their horses to my barn, oh my gracious, the attitudes. My daughter would get up at 6:00 in the morning, get her daughter up and off to school, come home and ride 10 horses, muck stalls, feed, mow the grass, fix whatever needed fixin, go pick up her daughter, come home, and finish whatever didn't get done earlier while I taught. The girls who showed up late would act like we were awful cause we expected them to be on time. So when thier lesson would be only 45 minutes vs. 60, you would think I was a big witch. Or the girl who got to buy whatever she wanted with her Mom's card, and got MAD when she couldn't buy our horse. it goes on and on. I like to think she is a well rounded kid. She helps little old ladies in walmart parking lots put heavy things in the trunk, and she would give you the shirt off her back if you asked and she thought you needed it worse. I don't know waht is going to happen, and fellow COTHer's have been great with the advice. Some of it we are cdurrently doing, like we now live where there is more events, without having to travel two days. We also are working with a BNR who likes her, and sees her possiblities...It might not be daily or even weekly, but she is a tough cookie and is trying to learn. But thaks for your words of wisdom, and I hope you master Training.

Thanks.

NanO
Jan. 21, 2010, 01:36 PM
I know Gold2012 and have seen her daughter ride and I know how hard they have both worked to get to this point. I have no doubt that some day it will happen for them. I think part of the anguish is being the mom and trying so hard and watching your child want something so bad and also work so hard and not having it within your means to make it possible for them. It's so hard in this sport to watch other kids who have less talent,less work ethic, and poor attitudes sail past your hard working deserving kid just because they have more money to make more opportunities for their kids. When you read about those who did make it happen with limited resources and for what ever reason you can't seem to make it happen for your kid it kind of makes you feel like you let them down, and that hurts.

gully's pilot
Jan. 21, 2010, 02:24 PM
Gold2012, I don't know your daughter and I was not in any way trying to imply that she was like the girls I was so unimpressed with. But if she's not--if she's what you describe--then you've done what you could to help her be as successful as possible, and she's doing everything right, too. It won't guarantee a red coat, but it will help her have a good life.

flutie1
Jan. 21, 2010, 02:44 PM
THAT is key to just about all things in life....and especially in the horse world.

The late Benny O'Meara summed it up when he said "Be nice to everyone when you're on the way up. You'll need them when you're on the way down." A good philosophy to live by!

gold2012
Jan. 21, 2010, 02:57 PM
The late Benny O'Meara summed it up when he said "Be nice to everyone when you're on the way up. You'll need them when you're on the way down." A good philosophy to live by!

LOL....so, we all know people right now having to go through that. I am sure. Right after we moved here, I was speaking to a woman who knows one of the ULR's rather well. She was like a secretary or something. She told me he got his Red Coat by clawing, and scratching his way to the top. And that it will take some of that to get somewhere. We were both in her car when she told us that, and here is what my daughter replied. " I never want to be like him. I don't want a red coat if it means that I have to walk on people, or use them, or betray thier trust. Nothing is that important to make me that kind of person". I waas so proud of her. She has watched those with many many more resources go to the top and get on the long list, or the watch list. She knows some of them pretty well. And there are a few that I don't ever want he to emulate. I am proud that she has her priorities in order. Her daughter, and her morals. As it develops, will let everyone know. I really do appreciate those who tried to give some good tips, and who were supportive. As for the rest, time will tell.

Thanks Nano. Thank you for saying what you did. I think you summed up a lot of what we are feeling right now. You are a good friend, and we miss you both. Santa was wonderful. LOL, she went around for days pretending to be Santa on the phone, and Mom was "Mrs. Claus". IT WAS HILARIOUS!!!

deltawave
Jan. 21, 2010, 03:45 PM
I think part of the anguish is being the mom and trying so hard and watching your child want something so bad and also work so hard and not having it within your means to make it possible for them. It's so hard in this sport to watch other kids who have less talent,less work ethic, and poor attitudes sail past your hard working deserving kid just because they have more money to make more opportunities for their kids.

Trust me, it doesn't mean very much to the kids who have it handed to them on a gold-rimmed platter. Sometimes putting our kids in a position to struggle, to have to really put themselves up against something, is the BEST thing we can do for them. What parent wouldn't choose a strong character, fortitude, and two feet solidly planted on the ground over a blue ribbon or kudos from Mark Phillips? :)

Regal Grace
Jan. 21, 2010, 03:48 PM
Given what was being discussed on this thread...I thought Lucinda's take her own daughter and trying to make it in this day and age of Eventing would be of interest to you all.....

http://www.petplanequine.co.uk/events/lucinda-green-monthly-diary.asp

"For me, it has been a mixed year - Bill has done extremely well and next season we hope to aim for a CCI**, while my Petplan clinics have continued to go from strength to strength. Lissa's hopes and dreams, however, were shattered after saying farewell to Willie (see Nov diary). What her next step will be I do not know.
As for eventing generally, the British team have learned plenty of lessons since Hong Kong. There they weren't placed as high as they had hoped due to not being fast enough in cross country. By Fontainebleau, they had really upped their personal bests and their self-imposed cross-country mantra of 'look ugly, just get the job done' paid big dividends. Their determination was fantastic. Hopefully we are now set to break our biannual cycle of success at the Europeans followed by a less golden performance at WEG or the Olympics.

I am still concerned for eventing though, and for riding in general. Money is becoming ever more important and now, while you might make it into the big league with one horse and bags of talent and dedication, it is very difficult to stay there. The pressures on riders to deliver results are enormous, leading to much more changing of owner allegiance. Riders are finding they need to keep stables of 20-30 horses going, even though the returns are nothing like that of racing. It is very tough.

Also there is a trend towards people entering the sport without the foundations of all-round riding, but being 'taught riders'. This can be seen across the horse world, as access to the countryside is lost and health and safety concerns bite ever harder. Our upcoming riders are as likely to have only learned to ride on level, raked surfaces, on 'safe' mounts and kitted up with protective gear.

How can riders or horses learn to look after themselves if this is their practice ground? The generation who can remember learning to ride by needing to stay on and sharing adventures with their pony without worry of what is 'correct', will soon be lost.

We need to accept that riding can be risky, but it's much more dangerous if you haven't learnt to cope with real problems and your horse hasn't had the chance to develop a leg at each corner."