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Velvet
May. 13, 2011, 03:18 PM
Okay, so is the biggest problem in this country with the dearth of good instruction? Or that people will not travel for good instruction--even when they are teachers who are training other riders?

Where does the fault lie? Oh, and don't even try to tell me that the USDF is addressing this. They really aren't. And if they some day ended up being the only approver, a LOT of the really good instructors in this county would be without a job due to politics.

Is it that people just really all think that it should be easy and want the dressage world to revolve around them and their chosen needs of the day? Are we making it TOO easy for people to get into the sport and show...and get ribbons?

I'm really curious. I mean, if we had awesome instruction in this country that was available to everyone, we wouldn't see some of the basic questions that are repeatedly asked out here. Right?

War Admiral
May. 13, 2011, 03:22 PM
The problem is performance dressage. Anybody can crank their horse's nose in, win some things here and there, hang out their "Trainer" shingle and call that "dressage", but it's not. :no:

Velvet
May. 13, 2011, 03:32 PM
You mean competitive dressage? (Performance to me means circus dressage.)

Then you're laying the blame at the judges' feet?

Elegante E
May. 13, 2011, 03:37 PM
Wrong. Thing is, this country is HUGE! Sure there are some areas where you can't get dressage lessons or would have to trailer for hours, and honestly who has time or wants to put that much stress on their horse? So it's not surprising people come here asking basic questions. That isn't a bad thing or unexpected. It think it would be impossible to ensure great training everywhere in the US. Some areas just couldn't support it.

The problem as I see it is there is no systematic training so it's very hard for students to tell if they're getting good or bad training.

You're right about USDF. I've attended one session of L-program and wasn't impressed with some of the information being taught. I shouldn't be so harsh as it was the first course but it seemed weak.

If USDF really cared about members, they would create a data base for answering standard questions and offer free vid viewing online for members. At least make joining worth the money. That would help students evaluate trainers with better tools to judge.

Just remember, even with their system, Germany and other european countries put out some crappy trainers and go down dark paths for easy success. We're not alone in this quagmire of horsey training. Seems to be the human way. Take the easy route, biggest bully wins.

Velvet
May. 13, 2011, 03:49 PM
The USDF is doing one thing that addresses your request for online training information. Did you see they started the e-trak? You can get into it if you're even just a GMO member.

http://www.usdf.org/e-trak/

I don't hate the USDF, I just think they are often arrogant in their approach to the membership, or just plain ignorant from having the people making decisions living in a vacuum.

mishmash
May. 13, 2011, 04:02 PM
I don't think there is an abscence of good instruction-I think that people don't know how to recognize good instruction. Good instruction is hard-it forces you to improve, to rethink what you are doing and why. It encourages you to come up with a plan and school it. And it also costs...in dressage, as with everything else, you get what you pay for.

1. There are a lot of trainers that call themselves dressage trainers who have no clue how too advance the horse. How does someone new to the sport recognize this?
2. The one USDF certified instructor in my state teaches equitation. Equitation is part of it, but when people lesson with her for four or five years, and neither horse or rider advance, something is wrong...
3. Yes, some people want to only hear good things, and never be pushed outside their comfort zone. If you don't leave your comfort zone, then you never make progess.

There are two good instuctors in the state I live in-both with their USDF gold medal, both have trained several horses to GP, both have students who are successful. They have two different teaching styles, but what you hear about both is that they are tough. A lot of riders don't want tough. They want easy. Easy is fine if you are a dabbler. But if you want to compete, then by golly, you better look for someone who has been there, done that, and can teach it. And that means tough.
A good instructor can work with and improve any kind of rider or horse. Out of shape mature adult on an out of shape quarter horse? They can improve that. Young rider on inexpensive OTTB? They can improve that. Someone who has had several bad experiences and lacks confidence? They can improve that.

To find a good instructor look for:
1. Someone who has been there, done that. Want to ride at PSG? Don't work with someone who has only ridden to 2nd. Want to compete?-find someone who has competed. Want to train your young horse? Work with someone who has trained young horses.

2. Kindness and toughness are not mutually exclusive terms. You don't need to be insulted during your lesson. But don't mistake honesty and criticism for unkindness. You are paying them to correct your faults, right? And to do that they will have to point them out.

3. Certification in anything means only they have completed the requirements to be certified. It is not a guarantee of competency. Sad, but true.

alicen
May. 13, 2011, 04:02 PM
I'm really curious. I mean, if we had awesome instruction in this country that was available to everyone, we wouldn't see some of the basic questions that are repeatedly asked out here. Right?

I don't think Universal Riding Instruction, given the present
economic situation, is a high priority for this country.

Velvet
May. 13, 2011, 04:17 PM
I don't think Universal Riding Instruction, given the present
economic situation, is a high priority for this country.

I'm confused with the caps in the title. Are you saying a school or certification that is Universal or universally good instruction across the country?

Or are you pointing out that people will not seek instruction at all, in the form of a live person teaching them from the ground, in this economy?

exvet
May. 13, 2011, 04:17 PM
Well perhaps we should first define what good instruction is. What I consider good instruction is not necessarily agreed upon by others. The list of attributes, accomplishments and honors required by many I think can give a false sense of capability to some. That is not to say the individual in question cannot ride, cannot train or cannot teach but I think the individuals who can do all three very well are few and far between. They also tend to have limited openings and/or time to take on those who need them the most. I think too that riders must take on some of the blame.

My riding instructor does not have all the medals or glory that many think is necessary to be considered accomplished or even good; however, I think she is one of the best kept secrets. My riding has advanced more with her than those I've ridden with in earnest who have all their medals, HOYs, etc. I think what cannot be ignored in this case is the fact that we click; so, I don't necessarily mean that the others were not "good" but they did not get through to me the way she did. I will also say and have repeated this many times too that her willingness to do lounge lessons has been a godsend for me.

Now if you compare me to her other students, do we see the same advancement/improvement? Well I think one would see much more if her other students rode as much as I do and worked in other areas as much as I do (pilates, yoga, etc). I have several horses, a pretty solid background simply in survival seat mode and work pretty darn hard. Many consider me more "driven" for an amateur than your average amateur. She is quick to point out that not all of her students have the same dedication or interests that I do, nor should they.

Everyone has to set their own goals; however, if their goal is to improve "x" amount within a certain time frame then they better be willing to put as much time and effort into it as they expect from others (especially the horse). I see a huge disconnect in this regard. Many have legitimate mitigating factors but then that does not equate to poor instruction as the reason/cause for lack of advancement.

So I guess I see many details that must be considered in the broad stroke of "the lack of good instruction". I think there are those who are not the most effective instructor despite their accolades. I think there are many riders who want to learn by osmosis rather than the "real burn" that is necessary for at least some of us. I also think there are far too many combinations that require instruction of the rider as well as training of the horse and tackling both is, well, difficult and not something that will be accomplished overnight yet if it's not handled the Burger King way then the student and sometimes even the trainer/instructor moves on or becomes disgruntled. The only simple thing is the FACT that it isn't easy and many don't have the time, energy, dedication or money to throw at it so many of us dabble, some get lucky and some, well, just keep dabbling.

tm
May. 13, 2011, 05:00 PM
I'm confused with the caps in the title. Are you saying a school or certification that is Universal or universally good instruction across the country?

Or are you pointing out that people will not seek instruction at all, in the form of a live person teaching them from the ground, in this economy?

I'm thinking it was a pun on Universal Health Care.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
May. 13, 2011, 05:04 PM
On your first question, I completely agree. It is the quality of instruction. But part of that is the lack of history of dressage in this country. It's really just gaining momentum. I live in a richly dressage educated area, and I still feel to get real, FEI geared instruction I need to do clinics. There are plenty good basic lower level trainers. Even plenty of trainers who ride at FEI level. But very, very few who train TOWARD FEI from the beginning. When you get a feel for how many quality horses and international quality trainers i.e. my European trained clinicians have had access to, and how deep the knowledge runs over generations (!!!!), only then can you get an idea of what you're not getting from the vast majority of instructors here (not saying there aren't any who have gone to mastery, but access to large quantities of quality horses in instruction for themselves makes it hard!)

I also think that American culture makes it harder for the average trainer to push the average student. They are more likely to work within the comfort zone of the student than to say 'with what you're willing to put in you should take up pleasure trail riding at the walk on an older QH'.. etc. ;)

Hm, and then there is this thing about unsuitable horses (over/under-horsed riders)... I have a hunch that in Europe the percentage of amateurs who are well paired with their mounts is quite a bit greater than here, again, because of the quantity of quality available and the generations old experience level.

(I realized today that my 5 yo WB mare, after about 8 months of training (from being green broke) does more, at infinitely higher quality than my OTTB ever *could* in the 8 years I've tried with him (where he was mostly off or not participating for one reason or another...) (NOTE: I'm not dissing TBs here, I know some lovely ones. Just saying that I tried for 8 years with a horse, could have been any breed, who simply could not do his job. He now *excels* at being a retired pasture puff, btw. :))

On your conclusion that you would see less basic questions on an internet forum if there were better instruction, well, I don't think so. Just think of the Bell curve -- there will always be beginners (and that's good!!) and those without access to good instruction. ;)

netg
May. 13, 2011, 05:12 PM
I don't know of any riding programs around which are horsemanship programs as much as riding - teaching tack, horse health info, etc. I think longe lessons are still common for people getting into dressage, but don't think they're that common for someone starting out riding. I'm speaking specifically of my area, but it feels as if riding lessons are more purely riding than they were when I started and horsemanship was emphasized.

On top of that, I know of some situations where students/horses are rushed. They do well at shows, to a certain point... and then they suddenly hit a wall and can't improve. But the theory is - you got this young horse, and trained it through second. Sure it misbehaves and fights a lot, but you get it there, so sell it and buy a horse who can do better and hasn't been treated that way... they then buy a 4th/PSG horse, get to that level, sell it, and get a GP horse. Never pay the real repercussions of the rushing and pushing the horses too hard, because someone else has to deal with the horse who is now nuts. And those students do WELL. Trainers have great eyes, pick great horses, teach the students how to do what needs done in the show ring. Yes they require prep telling them where to do each half halt, how to shift weight when needed, etc. But they do well in the show ring, and the picture judges see is one which should place. The riders learn to ride and do what's needed for the levels. They just don't learn the horsemanship needed to go up the levels with one happy horse.

At the same time, I see some amazing trainers. Saw someone ride who was a lower level trainer and thought that I would never want to buy a horse she had started... and 6 months after she started riding with a GP trainer I love, I saw her working with horses and realized I no longer felt the same, as she'd had some great instruction and improved ridiculously huge amounts.

Right now, I have no real need to ride with a GP trainer. I'm just learning. However, I eventually want to reach GP if I'm good enough - so I am with a trainer who teaches lower levels in dressage and eventing but knows how to ride and train upper levels, because she can help ensure I'm getting things right at my level before moving on, to make sure I don't cause road blocks on the way.

I still think a lot of the questions here are legit to ask even if you have a trainer, though. My trainer often tells me that I ride a lot like she does, which makes it easier for her to understand some of my problems - but doesn't give very diverse opinions on how to do things! I love reading different perspectives on how to do things and taking what I choose from those opinions. The more you learn, the more tools you can add to your toolbox.

I kind of look at opinions regarding training here as free clinics with generally questionable instruction. ;) I go to clinics when I can to get diversity of opinions and other perspectives - and that's why I read responses to questions about training here, too.

Velvet
May. 13, 2011, 05:26 PM
I still think a lot of the questions here are legit to ask even if you have a trainer, though. My trainer often tells me that I ride a lot like she does, which makes it easier for her to understand some of my problems - but doesn't give very diverse opinions on how to do things! I love reading different perspectives on how to do things and taking what I choose from those opinions. The more you learn, the more tools you can add to your toolbox.

I kind of look at opinions regarding training here as free clinics with generally questionable instruction. ;) I go to clinics when I can to get diversity of opinions and other perspectives - and that's why I read responses to questions about training here, too.

I just wonder how many people can filter that information well. There's a lot of bad information passed around, and often because someone doesn't fully understand what an instructor was teaching at the time (maybe a miscommunication or it was situational information only) or it seems like a quick and easy way to get things done. I've seen a LOT of people saying really crazy things at shows and in barns, where they honestly believe their information is correct. And yet, when you watch it in action it's obviously flawed. That information is being passed on and people without a filter from years of experience or access to quality instruction think it's correct.

I know, I know, this happens everywhere. Just look at the LDR discussions and disagreements, and rabid adherents. I just think it's interesting and makes me wonder if what the root cause really is--if there are any that are truly identifiable. Is it a lack of good instructors? Wanting a quick fix and just to get the job done? Is it the American way of learning and not wanting anyone to push you because nowadays everyone needs to be petted and told their great? (Well, not everyone, but you get the idea.)

Where's it coming from? Oh, and no, I don't think all the questions out here are silly, etc., it's just that I see a recurring pattern that makes me wonder where the newbies are getting their information when not on this board.

netg
May. 13, 2011, 05:36 PM
I've seen a LOT of people saying really crazy things at shows and in barns, where they honestly believe their information is correct. And yet, when you watch it in action it's obviously flawed. That information is being passed on and people without a filter from years of experience or access to quality instruction think it's correct.

:lol: This just made me think of some of the "Inside leg to outside rein!" folks who have horses severely counterflexed and off-balance.

Yep, the filter is important, and I think working with a good trainer appropriate to the level is VERY important. It's too bad they aren't out there everywhere. As far as why not, or if it's worse than before, I don't know. Around here, I feel like there's enough of the Wild West that people want to be rogues and not use a trainer so they don't have to listen to anyone else. :eek:

I've also seen situations where people just believe someone simply because that person speaks (or types) with confidence. Sometimes I wonder if I should have a signature line warning people that I tend to type in a tone as if I know everything, but I DON'T, so please take all I say with a grain of salt and assume cluelessness! :lol:

I know of one "trainer" who claims to be a barrel racing and h/j expert. As if those two are very similar disciplines. Seemingly strongest talent? Flipping horses over on herself and others. Many of her former students realize how awful she is for that, after learning not to be so scared once they went to a trainer with a clue. Yet they still believe her when she says she can give injections for them or that she does teeth because she was in school to be a human dental tech. Let's not discuss the horse who couldn't put on weight and had sores from the points on his teeth after she supposedly fixed them....

Velvet
May. 13, 2011, 05:51 PM
netg,

Your last paragraph reminded me of people who have come to me and said that they are looking for lessons on school horses. They ask for my advice on people they've found online or in ads. Um, well, the person who has a laundry list of experience as a hunter rider or western pleasure rider and also adds that, btw, they teach dressage really is the wrong place to go! But they suck people in and those people believe they are learning dressage. :no:

That is the kind of instruction and false advertising that is bothersome.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
May. 13, 2011, 05:57 PM
:lol: This just made me think of some of the "Inside leg to outside rein!" folks who have horses severely counterflexed and off-balance.

...

Lol, I was just going to ask how you could make such a statement :mad: never having seen me ride, and how lovely and balanced my mare was going, when I realized you made a statement on a group of riders who don't understand that principle properly. Phew. :lol: So glad it's Friday. :winkgrin:

netg
May. 13, 2011, 07:10 PM
Lol, I was just going to ask how you could make such a statement :mad: never having seen me ride, and how lovely and balanced my mare was going, when I realized you made a statement on a group of riders who don't understand that principle properly. Phew. :lol: So glad it's Friday. :winkgrin:

:lol: I have to say, I forgot your username as I was reading your post, and was confused for a second, too!

It's one of the dominant contrasting images I have of a philosophy which is great if you get it, and awful if you follow what you think it means and are wrong.

And I'm very glad it's Friday, too! Done with work for the day.... Woohoo! :D

TheHorseProblem
May. 13, 2011, 10:17 PM
Okay, so is the biggest problem in this country with the dearth of good instruction? Or that people will not travel for good instruction--even when they are teachers who are training other riders?

Where does the fault lie? Oh, and don't even try to tell me that the USDF is addressing this. They really aren't. And if they some day ended up being the only approver, a LOT of the really good instructors in this county would be without a job due to politics.

Is it that people just really all think that it should be easy and want the dressage world to revolve around them and their chosen needs of the day? Are we making it TOO easy for people to get into the sport and show...and get ribbons?

I'm really curious. I mean, if we had awesome instruction in this country that was available to everyone, we wouldn't see some of the basic questions that are repeatedly asked out here. Right?

I, for one, am outraged. Something must be done immediately to address this terrible problem!!!:p

Paddys Mom
May. 13, 2011, 10:27 PM
I'm really curious. I mean, if we had awesome instruction in this country that was available to everyone, we wouldn't see some of the basic questions that are repeatedly asked out here. Right?

I think I have a good instructor now, but I only see her for one hour per week. So I have questions in between lessons and I come here.

Also, there are times I just am not grasping a concept my trainer is trying to impart, and maybe someone on here can explain it differently.

For my "filter", I go by people's past posts, general consensus, and some trial and error.

fatwhitepony
May. 13, 2011, 11:06 PM
I always find the comments about 'competitive dressage' vs 'classical dressage' a little bit amusing, on a personal level. I have worked (at least annually) with a bereiter of the SRS at for at least 15 of the last 18 years, about 4-5 different ones. This year I am hosting a clinic with the chief rider. So call me a 'classical' rider.

Here is the shocker.

Monthly, I pay a European FEI judge (competitive!!! :eek:) to come to my farm and give me lessons on my own horse as well as horses I have in training, to ensure correctness. He is DUTCH (double :eek:).

And, he is just as 'classical' as the SRS bereiter I first took lessons from 18 years ago! (triple :eek:)

So in my opinion, it's either right or wrong. NOT 'classical' or 'competitive'.

fatwhitepony
May. 13, 2011, 11:09 PM
Oh, also wanted to add that I have not found that distance is an issue for people to travel to find good instruction (even in this economic climate). I have had people come routinely from as far away as NYC to take lessons (4 hours), as well as bi-annually from Chicago (15 hours).

Even this summer, I will have people trailering in from as far as Chicago to lesson with the Chief Rider of SRS. A couple are flying in from AZ to audit. They could go to CA, which is a little closer.

merrygoround
May. 13, 2011, 11:10 PM
[QUOTE-netg]This just made me think of some of the "Inside leg to outside rein!" folks who have horses severely counterflexed and off-balance.[QUOTE]

You mean those who have heard it endlessly as the "be all and end all" of dressage and then ask if a Kimberwick is a suitable bit for dressage? Simply because the whole basic concept of riding off the leg and seat has been shoved aside in the search for"frame"!! :Where is the icon for "growl": :lol:

fatwhitepony
May. 13, 2011, 11:13 PM
Sorry, I have too much time to burn...waiting for a flight tonight.

I think the dearth of good dressage instruction currently is exactly the same as it was years and years ago. It's just a matter of how motivated (mentally AND financially) people are to chase after it. There will always be people who can access the best training available, regardless of how bad things get in the economy.

Slowly, very slowly it is improving nationwide, and I truly hope it continues to do so! I don't want to sound entirely negative.

Elegante E
May. 14, 2011, 12:15 AM
Hey, Velvet, thanks for the E-trak link. Somehow missed it despite being a USDF member. At least it's a start. Would help if the vids were better quality (checked out one where the pic size was about a square inch). Some of the old USDF symposiums are great.

Was thinking on the traveling for instruction thing. That's a very hard one. I'm thinking of attending a clinic that is about a full day's drive and will take up an entire weekend. That's four days. Since I've only seen vids of the clinician but like what I see, there's always the wonder of whether or not this particular clinic will have riders there that I can I can learn something from. It's a big expense, more so if I fly and rent a car. What I've also learned from attending lots of clinics is that even if the clinician is good, by the time I'm at a spot to use the most useful information, I'll probably have forgotten it. So there ya go.

Oh, and one more thing. Most of the top trainers that I would consider working with and who are in driving/hauling distance are full up. Getting in to work with them is nearly impossible - and forget clinics as one usually has to train with the trainer who hosts the clinician. Hmm, I guess part of it is that there are too few really good trainers. I so need to move to a dressage mecca.

Liz Steacie
May. 14, 2011, 08:57 AM
Two things would improve the quality of riding, and make us (yes, in Canada too) more competitive internationally and more progressive:

1) Competitive licenses. A rider should have to demonstrate success and proficiency at lower levels before moving on to higher levels. Every time this gets mentioned there is a huge hue and cry against it.

2) Trainer and instructor licensing. If trainers and instructors had to demonstrate success and proficiency IN THEIR STUDENTS, as well as have knowledge and experience before they could acquire/renew a license, there would be fewer instructors, but they would be better. And GOOD instructors can make a living with people who want to progress, so there would be less incentive to pamper the paying client. If students only patronized the licensed instructors, then they would KNOW that there was a good chance to progress.

A third, and sure to be highly unpopular idea would be to eliminate the AA classes. Raise the bar for everyone. IMO, AA classes, walk-trot competitions, and lower level freestyles all could be eliminated. Save those for local schooling shows, and "fun" shows. I have nothing against the recreational rider, I teach several people who have no interest in showing, and I encourage people to have fun with their horses. But I do make the distinction between enjoying your horse as a hobby and pastime, and getting into top level dressage ... the two are not necessarily incompatible, but the dedication, energy and focus required to progress through the levels in more than many will want to commit to. And we won't even talk about the relative costs.

There are lots of people who take one lesson a week and expect to improve enough to progress through the levels. And train their own horse at the same time. And get prizes at sanctioned competitions. The top competitors ride with instruction or eyes on the ground ALL THE TIME. 6 days a week. Lessons and coaching at least 3 times a week, often more frequently. Often with a more experienced trainer schooling the horse in addition to the lessons. Those are the people who progress and learn and become top level competitors, and sometimes, trainers and coaches in their own right.

I realize that this kind of training is simply not possible for many people; lack of funds, family and work commitments, location, other life choices that influence one's ability to totally focus on dressage. I just don't think it's possible for people with other choices already on the table to really "make it" in competitive dressage. And there is nothing wrong with that.

But to lay it all at the feet of "poor instruction" would be equally erroneous. There are many, many great instructors available. Most of the best ones are full up with paying clients, some of whom will never actually learn to sit the trot, but are kept on because someone has to pay the bills (simple economics, if you are in this business, you cannot afford to turn away people who are not serious about improving). If some of the people who take lessons with "marginal instructors" would discover the difference between good instruction and less good instruction, and start to patronize the best instructors, the picture would start to change, I think. But it's hard to make a good selection when anyone can hang up a single and proclaim themselves a good instructor.

Right here where I live there are a number of people who advertise themselves as "dressage" instructors, and there are many people who have spent vast amounts of $ with instructors whose skill set simply doesn't measure up, but who had no way to judge whether or not this instructor or that instructor will get them where they want to go. And meanwhile, some very good instructors scramble for enough customers to pay the bills. That kind of thing weakens the system. And promotes mediocrity.

<End of rant>

It's not a simple question, for sure, because one wouldn't want to disenfranchise some riders whose goals are more modest, but one also wouldn't want to see the really talented, dedicated riders failing because of the quality of instruction they are getting ...

Just my observations.

canyonoak
May. 14, 2011, 12:47 PM
This interview with Anky (in English) has many interesting insights into what she thinks good instruction needs to be.

http://www.anky.nl/files/Anky_Arabianmagazine.pdf

millerra
May. 14, 2011, 01:00 PM
A third, and sure to be highly unpopular idea would be to eliminate the AA classes. Raise the bar for everyone. IMO, AA classes, walk-trot competitions, and lower level freestyles all could be eliminated.

While I agree that, IMHO, AA classes are a bit silly as I tend to ride for the score than the ribbon, I really don't understand this idea that eliminating the classes designed for the lower level/entry level folks will somehow equate to making the upper levels better. A similar thread is going on over in the eventing world.

By not welcoming people to play in the sandbox, no matter their skill level only perpetuates the idea of elitism and decreases the amount of money coming into either sport. Good grief, somebody please explain how does MY putzing around on my greenbean in an intro class or seeking quality instruction have a negative impact on the sport as a whole or on someone else's goal to reach the upper levels, etc...

2ndyrgal
May. 14, 2011, 03:32 PM
Then you won't have to worry about competion dressage at anything resemblinig a local level, there won't be any. Show organizers put in the "lower level ammie stuff" to pay the bills so all you upper level folks and pro riders can go get some more ribbons and coolers.

Good dressage instruction is very hard to come by. But it's out there and you just have to make the effort and suck it up and pay for it. Because while your horse might be cheap, your tack might be older, and you might never be able to afford to compete, it's not about that. Truly good instruction in dressage will almost never be inexpensive because it's really not common and those that are well qualified instructors will never have trouble filling their lesson or training rosters. It would be better to take one good lesson a month and then call or email your trainer if your homework isn't going too well than to take 3 lessons a week from the hack down the road that convinced her DH or Daddy to buy her a big fancy made horse, and because she's placed at a upper level, or won something, she feels skilled enough to train others.

TheHorseProblem
May. 14, 2011, 05:08 PM
Are we making it TOO easy for people to get into the sport and show...and get ribbons?

I'm really curious. I mean, if we had awesome instruction in this country that was available to everyone, we wouldn't see some of the basic questions that are repeatedly asked out here. Right?

Oh, YES, OP, it is insanely easy to get into dressage! Too easy! Look at all the riff raff we have buying nice horses and trying to show! I am shocked, shocked at how very easy it is!

And you are exactly right, if any of us had decent instruction, why would we need a silly bulletin board to ask questions on and get people all riled up?

Dressage needs to be much, much harder.

betonbill
May. 14, 2011, 05:34 PM
There is a similar thread going on in the Eventing section about equitation and eventing. I think that the people with the drive and will to succeed will do it some way or the other and somehow make it to the upper levels. So you have the top levels of dressage (and eventing) and then the rest of us who are happy to try to do the best we can with what we have and probably not aspire all that high.

I did the showing thing years ago and went for the ribbons and the points (on a minor scale). Even got an AHSA zone award one year at First Level. For now I'm taking lessons every other week or so from a good trainer, and enjoying the process of training/riding for itself. No, I'm not a particularly good rider, and my horse isn't particularly talented, but we take these 1/2 hour lessons ($$ again) and in between work on what we need to do. To me, the process is the fascinating thing. After each ride I might suddenly discover, "oh, maybe I need to use more leg, less rein, etc.," and the next time when I try it out it works, and we stumble further down the path.

There are always going to be people who want the experience, but want it at a lower level, and that's okay. It's what pays the bills for the shows, it's what keeps all of those instructors in business. Maybe some of these people will never "get it," but maybe some of them will and strive higher.

I've the utmost admiration for those who can do it and do it well, but I'm also enjoying my own experience in figuring things out. And who am I or the collective "we" to say who is right and who is wrong?

I think the instructors are out there, and I think people avail themselves of the instruction, but what they are going to get out of it is going to vary from person to person and where their particular mind set is at the time. I took lessons from this same instructor about 10-15 years ago, stopped, and then started up again in the past couple of years. What I got from the same instructor 10-15 years ago and what I am getting from him now is entirely different. He hasn't changed--but I sure have, and that's making all the difference.

pluvinel
May. 14, 2011, 08:58 PM
You mean competitive dressage? (Performance to me means circus dressage.)

Then you're laying the blame at the judges' feet?

Is there a problem with the circus?

Velvet
May. 14, 2011, 09:16 PM
Is there a problem with the circus?

Nope. It's entertainment. Just not competitive. There is a difference. Competitive dressage is more about the perfection of a moment, one is more about entertainment.

These days one of common factors is the hurry up and get in the ring style of riding.

Velvet
May. 14, 2011, 09:22 PM
Liz,

I was with you up to the licensing point. What is the criteria? Who are the people doing the licensing? If it's anything like the program the USDF is trying to push in the US, you're stuck with a political quagmire. Not pretty and not good for the sport!

As for the AA classes, I have always questioned the need for them as well. I don't see why AAs will not compete in Open classes. In the old days it was more about dividing the classes by age, so the kids didn't compete with adults. This division between those who train everyday and those who rode on the weekends came about because weekend riders felt there was no way they could beat a pro. Funny, but I remember some ammies who were teenagers beating pros. Still happens.

ctab
May. 14, 2011, 09:52 PM
My sour grapes...
I attended the 3 different Workshops required to become a USDF Instructor. At the time I started that journey the Associate Instructor level was available. It took over 1 1/2 years to complete the process. I learned a tremendous amount about teaching and riding. By the time I submitted my paperwork I was told that the USDF was discontinuing the Associate Instructor because too many people were confusing it with Certified Instructor. Wouldn't a simple sentence on the website suffice to clarify?

When I found out that the Associate Instructor was discontinued I was really upset. How many instructors out there are like myself, seeking to better myself and provide a better product but may not be able to or be interested in going the Certification route. You would think that the USDF would be interested in promoting better dressage especially at the lower levels where most of their revenue comes from. Not only that, but to encourage cross-discipline participation. I teach jumping and eventing as well. The cost, financially and in time, of getting to the point of Certification is just more than I can pay or will be able to for a long while. I need that money ( and time = money!) for other things, like my children.

There are many discussions about licencing trainers and the USEA & The USDF and the USHJA are heading in the right direction by offering certification. However, most of the riders in this country will never compete in any of those disciplines. Some will compete at a local level. Fewer will compete at a recognized show and then even fewer will really want to move up the levels. So who teaches the majority all about the principals of dressage? Not many BNT. Nope, the instructor making a living teaching beginners and intermediate riders with limited funds. You know them, they ride pretty well, most of them have decent communication skills, their students advance even if it takes a year doing once a week lessons to learn to jump or do a leg yield on a schoolie. If they are lucky they will have a few that own their own horses and really want to progress. But they themselves don't have access to a horse that can take them to the next level. So they grind away doing the best they can.

The point is the USDF makes it pretty hard for the people at the bottom to climb the ladder. And it should not be that way at all.

To me the Associate Instructor was a great solution. It was a stepping stone to the next level and a really nice addition to my resume. By removing it and only offering Certification you are barring the way for many instructors to pursue an education and expand their abilities.

Equus
May. 15, 2011, 11:04 AM
I think a huge part has to do with money, mentality and the schoolmaster culture. People like to take shortcuts and not do the ground work. Here you can just buy an FEI schoolmaster and have your kid go straight from Training Level to Young Riders (PSG) championships. That same kid has missed the million hard working "in between steps" (like seat lessons on the pony, mucking many many stalls, and working yourself up through every level) what later makes for a well rounded trainer. To be a good trainer I think you need to have been through it all. You need to have started young horses under saddle, competed (self trained!) horses through every level, and ideally also exposed yourself a little to other disciplines (like show jumping).

USDF instructor certification program is a huge joke and is not going to fix the problem. How they ever came up with a certification where in 1 day some "examiner' is going to tell somebody whether or not they should be a certified instructor is a mistery to me.

The problem is going to be fixed by the grass roots, educating our future trainers from step one. Make a promotion system in competition which no longer allows that riders can compete in whatever level they like. Just like Europe, a rider will need to score at least 10 times over 60% to move up to First level and so on. If a second level rider buys himself a PSG schoolmaster then horse/rider team will have to start in the highest common level, which is second.

Also, ditch the amateur classes.

I know this all will likely never happen due to economics, but o well..

(Disclaimer: I know there are many exceptions to the rule, not saying all trainers are uneducated. I know America does have some talented well rounded trainers, so it's not all a joke)

Elegante E
May. 15, 2011, 04:26 PM
Ditching ammi classes won't do a thing. It's a silly notion, blaming the wrong individuals. And seems many missed the discussions and statistical analysis about scores and moving up the levels.

Also blaming the YA with parents buying them trained horses is just odd. The ones who are serious about dressage will move on and train their own horses. And what's wrong with learning to ride on a school master? Hear how important it is on this board all the time.

Dressage is still a young sport in the US. It's still growing and gaining popularity. The size of our country will always be somewhat of a disadvantage, making it harder for those with serious interest. But they will persevere and the cream will rise to the top.

To help, we need to ensure the integrity or our judges and disseminate knowledge so that those coming into the sport have somewhere to go for help. Why doesn't USDF have a board for asking questions? Why don't they offer ride a test and get instructional help, maybe letting people send in vids, or at shows (instead of competing for scores, people can ride for training help and comments - riders would have to choose to do one or the other). Of course this puts a lot of weight on the judges and how many are up to it? On a different board, read a judge saying he attended a conference where half the other judges said a horse has to be btv to be accepting of contact. If this is the case, then maybe things are hopeless for dressage in the US.

Sigh.

rainechyldes
May. 15, 2011, 09:41 PM
well I can't speak for the US, haven't lived there in decades, but up here.. the lack of theory is mind blowing. Riders aren't taught the basics anymore - simple things like timing your aids correctly. - least what I've been seeing.

Pely
May. 15, 2011, 10:12 PM
I am happy to hear that not everyone is blaming the instructors for not being able to give good instruction.

Many people who say they want to learn, really have no idea how hard it is to move up the levels. then they blame the instructor for their lack of progress, or worse, spread rumors that the instructor is mean. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and most of all, focused determination, to move up.

I do take exception to the idea that you do not need an upper level instructor to teach the lower levels. Many times, this is where the poor instruction is found.

Usually, a student who has been taught by a lower level coach, cannot understand where priorities have to be in the training. Neither does the coach. So often, if that rider moves on to an upper level coach, the basics have to be totally re-learned.

A good friend of mine says: you don't know what you don't know.

Read, learn, study the old texts, become informed. Then you can decide if you are getting quality instruction.

suzy
May. 16, 2011, 09:39 AM
Exvet and Pely,

You both nailed an important aspect of this entire conversation--the willingness of the student to work hard. I continue to be stunned by people who think they can progress by riding one horse 2 to 3 times per week. Equally discouraging are the people who are so desperate to be able to say they ride at 3rd or 4th level, that they are not willing to put in the effort required to establish correct basics. Instead, they go to the instructor who will help them teach their horse the "tricks" and, in this scenario, they truly are tricks, rather than the instructor who will install solid basics. And, they don't seem to mind scoring in the 50s. This isn't to say I've never seen scores in the 50s, but they were when a couple of catastrophes happened. ;)

Agree with much of what Liz says except for the AA comment. Actually, I agree with it in principle, but in practice, I think we need the AA division for entirely financial reasons. I think a large number of AAs might fall by the wayside and not compete if they had to be riding against the likes of Debbie MacDonald, Gunter Siedel, etc. Their entry fees are needed to keep shows running, so it's entirely a practical matter.

carolprudm
May. 16, 2011, 10:58 AM
Agree with much of what Liz says except for the AA comment. Actually, I agree with it in principle, but in practice, I think we need the AA division for entirely financial reasons. I think a large number of AAs might fall by the wayside and not compete if they had to be riding against the likes of Debbie MacDonald, Gunter Siedel, etc. Their entry fees are needed to keep shows running, so it's entirely a practical matter.
As one of the great unwashed AA's I'm so glad to say I don't show. I'll spend my money on quality instruction (and yes I do have access to a super instructor) when life doesn't get in the way. The lofty pros can pay their own way

Pocket Pony
May. 16, 2011, 11:07 AM
I've been reading this thread with interest and have been wanting to reply but am unsure what to say. I think there is good instruction and bad instruction in every area (geographically speaking) and every discipline. Dressage is no better and no worse.

I started dressage after doing h/j my whole life, and it was really difficult. I would have lessons where all I would do is go around on the 20m circle and have my instructor stop me about once each circle to come up to me and fix my leg position and then tell me to go on. Next time around the circle, same thing. This went on for a while to get me from a more forward-knee, broken-ankle, toes-out (I was never a big toer-outer but moreso than dressage calls for) position to a longer, drapey leg that I could move from my thigh. She talked about how to use my core, how to breathe, etc. It was hard but it was also fun. It took me YEARS to go from looking like a hunter riding in a dressage saddle to more of a dressage seat. But I still don't think I look like the elegant dressage rider.

A few years ago I moved to a more rural area and took up eventing. What fun! But then a couple years ago I decided to focus on dressage again. I am very lucky that my coach is in my area. She is not a BNT. Probably no one would recognize her name. She doesn't have a list of USDF medals. Her training program, though, is very disciplined, very consistent, very progressive. I've had a horse with her whom I've done 1st level with and now a mustang whom we've been working together with for a few months. The program is the same for both. We focus on the basics. We focus on biomechanics of the horse and riding with a consistent aid system. It doesn't matter if we're doing Intro level stuff or higher, it all starts with the basics and if the basics are solid then you can do the movements.

Sometimes I feel like I'm on the slow track. I see other people I know out competing and "doing tricks" or moving up the levels faster. But I do believe in this system. It has been amazing to see the progress with my mustang who, when I got him, didn't know how to lunge, couldn't focus, couldn't bend or turn, etc. I'm enjoying the process of watching him learn and watching his body develop and change and seeing the confidence in him and feeling his balance improve and his ability to take on more work.

Let's face it. I'm not going to the Olympics. I ride for fun. I keep my horses at home and trailer out for lessons. I am not as "serious" as the person who keeps her horse at the barn and in full training, or let's say I'm not taken as seriously. But I do my homework, I try hard, I follow the program, and I'm making progress. I don't think my coach cares if her students show or not - her program is all about the systematic development of the horse and rider. If we want to show, great. If we don't, no problem. I actually like that approach because I still get the attention and quality instruction no matter what my goals are.

suzy
May. 16, 2011, 11:45 AM
Carol, I am honestly sorry if my post was interpreted as painting AAs with a broad stroke, implying they are a bunch of backyard, incompetent hacks. There are some tremendously dedicated and talented AAs out there who can give the pros a run for their money. They either are not pros because it just isn’t their interest to pursue horses as a career or they have some other satisfying career – one that probably pays better, is more stable, and less full of headaches. ;) Then there are the other AAs who are every bit as dedicated and quite good in their own right. They do not want to be stuck in schooling shows with only 5-6 riders per class and no real competition. So, why shouldn’t the recognized shows have a division for them that is more challenging than their local schooling shows but doesn’t pit them against top pros and/or those with deep pockets to buy high quality, well trained horses.

Nice post Pocket Pony. You might find that your "slow track" is actually a faster track than you think. There's nothing like good, solid fundamentals to progress. Not to mention you end up with a horse that is a joy to ride.

Velvet
May. 17, 2011, 10:50 AM
Thanks, suzy. You come out here and kill the thread/discussion! ;) :lol:

suzy
May. 17, 2011, 11:22 AM
Someone had to do it. ;)

paulaedwina
May. 17, 2011, 12:32 PM
This,

"There are two good instuctors in the state I live in-both with their USDF gold medal, both have trained several horses to GP, both have students who are successful. They have two different teaching styles, but what you hear about both is that they are tough. A lot of riders don't want tough. They want easy. Easy is fine if you are a dabbler. But if you want to compete, then by golly, you better look for someone who has been there, done that, and can teach it. And that means tough.
A good instructor can work with and improve any kind of rider or horse. Out of shape mature adult on an out of shape quarter horse? They can improve that. Young rider on inexpensive OTTB? They can improve that. Someone who has had several bad experiences and lacks confidence? They can improve that."

Describes my trainer and the trainer who owns the barn where I ride to a T. I'm definitely the "out of shape mature adult" who needed to be pushed BTW. I feel very fortunate to have made the connection. And it was by word of mouth.

Paula

colorfan
May. 17, 2011, 08:49 PM
[QUOTE=Elegante E;5604776]Wrong. Thing is, this country is HUGE! Sure there are some areas where you can't get dressage lessons or would have to trailer for hours, and honestly who has time or wants to put that much stress on their horse? So it's not surprising people come here asking basic questions. That isn't a bad thing or unexpected. It think it would be impossible to ensure great training everywhere in the US. Some areas just couldn't support it.

The problem as I see it is there is no systematic training so it's very hard for students to tell if they're getting good or bad training.

I really agree with this.

If my horse doens't do something I have know way of knowing is it me, the horse just not getting it yet or incorrect training.
I spend way too much time crawling the web watching online training, buying bnt teaching dvd's and books.
Good grief I could start my own library.

Trevelyan96
May. 18, 2011, 03:07 PM
While I agree that, IMHO, AA classes are a bit silly as I tend to ride for the score than the ribbon, I really don't understand this idea that eliminating the classes designed for the lower level/entry level folks will somehow equate to making the upper levels better. A similar thread is going on over in the eventing world.

By not welcoming people to play in the sandbox, no matter their skill level only perpetuates the idea of elitism and decreases the amount of money coming into either sport. Good grief, somebody please explain how does MY putzing around on my greenbean in an intro class or seeking quality instruction have a negative impact on the sport as a whole or on someone else's goal to reach the upper levels, etc...

If you eliminate the lower level and AA classes, how will the lower level riders ever get feedback from a knowledgable judge on what they doing right and what needs fixing?

The lower levels are the 'foundation' for correct work. Probably not a good idea to take away the feedback for whether or not the foundation is correct.

suzy
May. 18, 2011, 03:11 PM
Trevelyan, I think what is really being suggested is that AAs not be segregated from pros. They could still compete but would have to enter open classes. I also didn't see any mention of abandoning lower level classes, but I admit that I didn't ready every post. ;)

Trevelyan96
May. 18, 2011, 03:17 PM
I've been reading this thread with interest and have been wanting to reply but am unsure what to say. I think there is good instruction and bad instruction in every area (geographically speaking) and every discipline. Dressage is no better and no worse.

I started dressage after doing h/j my whole life, and it was really difficult. I would have lessons where all I would do is go around on the 20m circle and have my instructor stop me about once each circle to come up to me and fix my leg position and then tell me to go on. Next time around the circle, same thing. This went on for a while to get me from a more forward-knee, broken-ankle, toes-out (I was never a big toer-outer but moreso than dressage calls for) position to a longer, drapey leg that I could move from my thigh. She talked about how to use my core, how to breathe, etc. It was hard but it was also fun. It took me YEARS to go from looking like a hunter riding in a dressage saddle to more of a dressage seat. But I still don't think I look like the elegant dressage rider.

A few years ago I moved to a more rural area and took up eventing. What fun! But then a couple years ago I decided to focus on dressage again. I am very lucky that my coach is in my area. She is not a BNT. Probably no one would recognize her name. She doesn't have a list of USDF medals. Her training program, though, is very disciplined, very consistent, very progressive. I've had a horse with her whom I've done 1st level with and now a mustang whom we've been working together with for a few months. The program is the same for both. We focus on the basics. We focus on biomechanics of the horse and riding with a consistent aid system. It doesn't matter if we're doing Intro level stuff or higher, it all starts with the basics and if the basics are solid then you can do the movements.

Sometimes I feel like I'm on the slow track. I see other people I know out competing and "doing tricks" or moving up the levels faster. But I do believe in this system. It has been amazing to see the progress with my mustang who, when I got him, didn't know how to lunge, couldn't focus, couldn't bend or turn, etc. I'm enjoying the process of watching him learn and watching his body develop and change and seeing the confidence in him and feeling his balance improve and his ability to take on more work.

Let's face it. I'm not going to the Olympics. I ride for fun. I keep my horses at home and trailer out for lessons. I am not as "serious" as the person who keeps her horse at the barn and in full training, or let's say I'm not taken as seriously. But I do my homework, I try hard, I follow the program, and I'm making progress. I don't think my coach cares if her students show or not - her program is all about the systematic development of the horse and rider. If we want to show, great. If we don't, no problem. I actually like that approach because I still get the attention and quality instruction no matter what my goals are.

This! Some of the problem is that our system gives the greatest rewards to show ring success, so many trainers are forced for economic reasons to foucs on getting their students to the highest level possible as quickly as possible. This results in a focus on the student who can either buy the more $$ naturally talented horse or the one willing to take the 'shortcut'.

The rest of us, with average horses and means who want to slowly and systematically improve ourselves and our horses are left trying to find the talented trainer who has the time to work with us.

AllWeatherGal
May. 18, 2011, 06:14 PM
I think it's market-driven: Americans want everything instant, just like their coffee. And when instant is more important than top quality, you get what you get.

I may be repeating other posters when I say that I believe good instruction exists, but too many people don't know how to identify it.

I also believe, just as if you want to train a horse to FEI, you need to start with that end in mind, if a rider wants to get there, it's most efficient and effective to learn from someone who knows how to build the best foundation, not a barely-2nd level rider who hasn't ever taught a horse collection!

Trust me, you spend a lot of time and energy un-learning.

I'm very discouraged about a number of very nice people in my area who will spend $40 on someone with no credentials other than her advertising because they "just want to know the basics." To them the basics are getting around the ring in a walk, trot, and canter, not the qualities that begin with rhythm and relaxation. And then when their horses cannot canter on both leads, or "won't go where I tell him" they cannot believe it's because they aren't riding accurately.

katie+tru
May. 18, 2011, 09:09 PM
I'm all for any type of instruction certification so long as it does not include anything to do with competition or clinics with BNT's. It should be based solely on one's riding and ability to teach others. Attending shows/clinics does not make you a good rider or a reputable one. Coaches should not be expected to have the money to make it to dozens of shows a year to be considered excellent coaches.

Coming from eventland, we have this program called the ICP... the Instructor Certification Program. It has mixed, often negative opinions towards it because the application to just begin the process wants the applicant to list their show records, clinics attended and with who, etc. Stuff that does not really matter because it does not reflect on their actual riding ability. Then they make you attend expensive, but short seminars that again, do little to prove what you can do riding wise. Many folks, including myself, regard it as a money maker and hold no value to it.

I also agree with those saying that instruction/training should be more uniform. Dressage should be dressage. I don't really understand all these subcategories that suddenly involve different training techniques and ideologies. It was not like this 100, 50, or 75 years ago. Maybe this is just my opinion because I come a classical, very much "old school" school of thought when it comes to dressage. If everyone was on the same page about what the objectives of dressage were and how to go about achieving them maybe we'd be in a better place.

I will say that perhaps judging is involved, but not every single judge or show. I definitely feel there are judges, both in regular and eventing dressage, that are rewarding the wrong things, especially at the lowest levels. People are trying to shove Intro and Training horses into tight frames without ever achieving impulsion or any amount of collection. Yet they are scored well because the horse's head is on the vertical and it makes a pretty picture. This is not what dressage was meant to be, yet it is what's winning at some places, so it's what people are doing.

AllWeatherGal
May. 19, 2011, 10:05 AM
Dressage should be dressage. I don't really understand all these subcategories that suddenly involve different training techniques and ideologies. It was not like this 100, 50, or 75 years ago. Maybe this is just my opinion because I come a classical, very much "old school" school of thought when it comes to dressage.

Not exactly true ... for example, the French and German schools have always held different approaches. Far further back in history than a mere 100 years.

katie+tru
May. 19, 2011, 05:01 PM
Not exactly true ... for example, the French and German schools have always held different approaches. Far further back in history than a mere 100 years.



Let me reword that a bit... I don't understand how these different, but otherwise seemingly legitimate approaches have turned into many more approaches that cannot agree on what is right and wrong. I think the Germans and French of Ye Olde Riding Schools back in the day would be rolling in their graves if they saw how some people rode in the dressage ring these days. While the old German and French approaches were different in terms of training tools and such, didn't they both pretty much get the same end result? And weren't they both focused on pretty much the same objectives? Some of the new "approaches" of today have objectives and goals that were never meant to be part of dressage, or they are placing certain goals on horses too soon or without proper prerequisite training.

AllWeatherGal
May. 20, 2011, 02:33 PM
Let me reword that a bit... I don't understand how these different, but otherwise seemingly legitimate approaches have turned into many more approaches that cannot agree on what is right and wrong.

Myself, I think it's "there's a buck to be made in this game" strategy ... or "I'll clinic with whoever looks best in wranglers" ... Cynical, yes. Genuine? Yes.

I think the folks who cannot agree have an investment in their "unique" and "superior" (and marketable) approach. If we distilled them all down to the basics (removing carrot sticks, and whatever the dressage equivalent is) ... you're right ... there's not enough TRUE difference to distinguish. (Except for the ones who are flat-out wrong about anatomy and physiology.)

J-Lu
May. 20, 2011, 09:54 PM
Well, I think mishmash and others make good points.

1. There are very many good instructors in this country already. Some are "certified", some are not. There are also pretty bad instructors in this country. Some are "certified" some are not. I don't think there is a good "legislative" system to determine who is good and who is not (i.e. the USDF instructor certification). I know alot of "certified" instructors that I would not take lessons with. In fact, the ones I have usually trained with are not USDF "certified" and I would not seek a certified instructor when looking for someone to train with. Problem is that certification costs more money and hassle than many professionals want to deal with. And if they have a client base and their own trainers/training system, why should they deal with it? Yet not-so-good instructors can learn their way through, can perhaps gain scores on a schoolmaster, and can master the system without being good trainers. A good instructor should be a good trainer, IMP. How can the beginners feel them out? a. Progress. Are they progressing or not? b. show scores. do they score well-even at schooling shows? Does their instructor score well? Is their instructor a good horseperson? c. Does the advice make sense or does even the beginner rider think that their horse is supremely unhappy? Any good owner knows the difference between a horse that is challenged and a horse that is supremely unhappy.

2. I vehemently disagree with lumping the pros and the AAs. Lets be realistic, here. Most pros are paid to ride multiple horses a day. They should ride well. Most amateurs ride one horse, maybe once a day because they have another full-time job, and financially support the pros. Amateurs pay the bills for the USDF and keep the USDF afloat. What is the problem with giving them a 25 cent ribbon for their efforts? Sheesh. I think your average "pro" would squawk if you raised their qualifying scores to the level that the average Olympic rider can get. I mean, shouldn't pros be able to ride at the level of an Olympic rider? Isn't it just about the score?

3. Many pros charge too much for instruction. That's a large factor why good instruction isn't well received. Relatively few non-wealthy people can justify 250-400 dollars for a two day RIDING clinic when that can feed their family for the month, or be the car payment, etc. Very few non-wealthy people can afford to pay $80/week for lessons. Yet many pro dressage riders think they are worthy of $80+/hour. I don't think so in the grand scheme of things, yet they can get it from the same amateurs that people here complain about.

4. Many pros make a living off of selling horses to AAs, putting those horses in part or full-time training, and keeping the AAs dependent. They LIVE off of dependent AAs. What is their incentive for creating independent and correctly mounted AAs? Many of these "pros" teach their students to be dependent. Many of these pros are not good riders/trainers yet they hang out their shingle. I have seen this first-hand.

5. There are quite a few pros out there who are reasonable, ethical, and extremely knowledgable. Yes, it is hard for the average beginner to find them, but I think that most AAs are smart (many AAs are professionals themselves and are perfectly capable of sorting bullsh*t from facts) and can determine good and bad instruction.

6. That said, some AAs are really bad riders and are not suitably mounted. Because they don't want to be. It's painful to watch them ride. Many have access to good instruction but they don't want to hear that they MUST master training level to move on. They want to move on. The good instructor tells them that they don't support this but these riders can always find another instructor who will take their money and take them to the show.

I think many of the problems result from misplaced priorities in the sport of dressage. I also think it's a top-down problem. IMO.

My 2 cents.

katie+tru
May. 20, 2011, 11:29 PM
a. Progress. Are they progressing or not? b. show scores. do they score well-even at schooling shows? Does their instructor score well? Is their instructor a good horseperson? c. Does the advice make sense or does even the beginner rider think that their horse is supremely unhappy? Any good owner knows the difference between a horse that is challenged and a horse that is supremely unhappy.



Agreed... partially.

Progress only comes from someone who knows what they're doing. And that someone doesn't necessarily have to be the one in the saddle, atleast not initially. If you see students that have been riding Training for 5 years and express interest in going higher and have horses that capable yet they never do, something's up in the coaching department. It's one thing to have some slow moving students because of financial/time restraints -- I was one of them -- but they shouldn't be stagnant on a year-to-year basis.

My only issue is... do all beginners recognize good horsemanship and what is and is not good sense in training? I don't believe so. People who are totally new to horses often buy anything their trainer tells them, especially if the trainer has, or appears to have, a good reputation. The client just figures "Well they know better than me, they're the trainer" and doesn't question strange training techniques or innapropriate horse care and handling. The can't recognize wrong-doing if they don't know what is wrong and right to begin with.

I also wouldn't say that just because you're a good horse owner you will always identify if your horse is unhappy. I guess I should say you need to define a "good horseowner". A good horseowner could be someone who has only been riding a couple years and bought an old packer. They care for him, love him, but they can't read him the same way someone with years of experience can. You see plenty of pissed off horses at shows that are clean, plump, shod, and given cookies every night. Whose fault is that? The owner or the trainer? In many situations I say the trainer, especially if the rider is a child with non-horsey parents or an adult who is still a newb to horses.

BaroquePony
May. 20, 2011, 11:56 PM
Posted by Katie+Tru:

You see plenty of pissed off horses at shows that are clean, plump, shod, and given cookies every night.

This is one of the reasons that I think we should come up with some kind of affordable, nationwide program for some kind of certification.

J-Lu
May. 21, 2011, 12:01 AM
Katie+tru,

I hear you...to a point.

I have seen people stay at training level for 9 years or more. It's FINE if the rider states that this is their goal, but I hate to hear when riders...or coaches...complain. One of them is not doing their job here. And I think it's fine as long as the rider/trainer isn't complaining.

I hear you. But I think beginners know more than you'd guess. I know of several relative beginners who went to a barn riding at X level and one year later were riding at x-1 level. All of them knew their riding had regressed (even if it was cantering 2.5 fences to only trotting crossrails), and all of them had friends at other barns who were becoming more, not less, confident at riding even 2.5'-3.0' fences. I knew one gal who went from cantering 2.5' fences to riding bareback on the flat and was "disallowed" from jumping. Yet she was assigned to ride the trainer's beginner horses. WTF? I knew another gal who purchased a CALM but nice horse who was disallowed from riding her horse because the trainer wanted to ride it, and she was forced to take lessons on the trainer's low-level horse. WTF? These riders knew something was wrong after a year or so when they realized that both they and their horses are regressing.

Similarly, these and other more dressage-oriented riders recognize when their horse develops an attitude, stops wanting to go into the arena, stops wanting to try, doesn't want to be caught, etc. I don't think you have to be an expert rider to notice behavioral changes in your horse when it comes to doing work.

I hear you, and I understand what you're saying. I can only comment on my own experience. In my experience, most amateurs who can't ride their horses but insist on riding their horses know this, they just don't want to admit it. Most any rider who rides a horse for a year or more knows their own limitations/the horse's limitations. The problem is accepting it. In my opinon. ANd accepting it also encompases committing to quality lessons *if* they want to progress. As a dressage rider, I know that even bad riders who are involved in the sport can recognize good riding when they see it even if they can't produce it themselves.

I'm sure that some riders are easily fooled by professionals even after a year or more of training. It's easy to believe good advice. But to me, that's why showing is important - it's an independent evaluation of what you're doing that you really can't refute. That said, if you can't show, time and attention to your progress/your horse's attitude really goes a long way. And most amateurs, who own one horse, are acutely aware of their horse's attitude and progress. Not all. In my opinion. And most amateurs are capable of having themselves filmed so they can see for themselves what they look like. Seriously, in dressage, I think most amateurs can recognize a good ride, and I think it's really eye-opening to subject themselves to their own critical eye!
:)

J-Lu
May. 21, 2011, 12:03 AM
This is one of the reasons that I think we should come up with some kind of affordable, nationwide program for some kind of certification.

Not sure this will change things. Riders who know better still covet a Dover medal or a bronze medal. Changing the mindset might help the lower end of the sport.

katie+tru
May. 21, 2011, 12:24 AM
Katie+tru,

I hear you. But I think beginners know more than you'd guess. I know of several relative beginners who went to a barn riding at X level and one year later were riding at x-1 level. All of them knew their riding had regressed (even if it was cantering 2.5 fences to only trotting crossrails), and all of them had friends at other barns who were becoming more, not less, confident at riding even 2.5'-3.0' fences. I knew one gal who went from cantering 2.5' fences to riding bareback on the flat and was "disallowed" from jumping. Yet she was assigned to ride the trainer's beginner horses. WTF? I knew another gal who purchased a CALM but nice horse who was disallowed from riding her horse because the trainer wanted to ride it, and she was forced to take lessons on the trainer's low-level horse. WTF? These riders knew something was wrong after a year or so when they realized that both they and their horses are regressing.





I agree with this because it's a different example than what I was thinking. I was thinking more along the lines of the trainer's totally misusing training aids, like draw reins, and mishandling horses to the point of abuse. A person who is not familiar with how dressage horses are trained, or how they're supposed to be trained, may not recognize downright incorrect training at first, especially if they have not observed or worked with other trainers.

Perhaps this goes back to the issue of people not agreeing on what is right/wrong. I can see how it would be quite hard for a person who wants to do dressage, but has no previous knowledge of it, to get all kinds of mixed messages and constradictory information on what should and should not be happening. You can go around the internet and find people that think one thing is totally permissible and is a great training technique that someone else thinks is horrendous. If we cannot give the newcomers a straight, uniform answer to the question "What is dressage and what should a dressage horse look/go like?" then they may not immeadiately recognize abuse or incorrect training.

LaraNSpeedy
May. 21, 2011, 12:54 AM
I have scribed for a lot of judges and I find that in general - competitive dressage does try to look for the classical principals. It really is more that the clientel out there - one set wants to learn and the other set wants to show - the first set will show but that is second in prioirty.

I think that in the end it comes back to who spends money and what for.

I have a lot of kids who ride at my barn. They cant afford for me to train their horses so I re-mind constantly classical principles. And the more experienced teens have gone from their starter ponies to their green horses - parents cant afford nice trained horses so their step up was a green nice horse. And these kids KNOW they will not be showing tomorrow and know there is high value in the dressage work.

SO I agree there are not a lot of trainers who really cling to classical values and train such. But I think maybe in some ways - its because they are trying to make a living. SAD to say.

BaroquePony
May. 21, 2011, 11:24 AM
Posted by J-Lu:


Posted by BaroquePony:


Quote:
Posted by Katie+Tru:

You see plenty of pissed off horses at shows that are clean, plump, shod, and given cookies every night.

This is one of the reasons that I think we should come up with some kind of affordable, nationwide program for some kind of certification.

Not sure this will change things. Riders who know better still covet a Dover medal or a bronze medal. Changing the mindset might help the lower end of the sport.

I was thinking of trying to change the mindset :yes:.

My thinking was more along the lines of a certification program that was structured in such a way that horsemanship, stable management, horse care, horse *handling*, understanding of and ability to execute the general "Balance Seat", young horse training, green horse training, etc., could be provided/would be available. Then specializations for reining, combined training/eventing, dressage.

This would provide a more consistent set of basic best practices for all of our horses, eastern or western, which would (hopefully) sort of permeate the U.S. horse industry and make it more *socially uncomfortable* for those little spoiled brats who only care about ribbons.

I do not think competing actually should be the way to achieve success/certification with any of it :no:. In fact, I think that has been the problem :yes:.

ETA: that is not to say that anyone wanting to pass a test for their riding skills and/or abilty is not still going to have to ride in front of a panel of senior instructors/judges, just not in a public organized show.

It might be a good idea to have/offer a specific *competitive showing* certificate that is only able to be taken AFTER the multitude of basic best practices certificates have been earned.

Velvet
May. 21, 2011, 11:48 AM
I was thinking of trying to change the mindset :yes:.

My thinking was more along the lines of a certification program that was structured in such a way that horsemanship, stable management, horse care, horse *handling*, understanding of and ability to execute the general "Balance Seat", young horse training, green horse training, etc., could be provided/would be available. Then specializations for reining, combined training/eventing, dressage.



Problem is, this is what they try to teach at college/universities. This just does NOT work. Most universities and colleges only have instructors who have lived in their ivory towers all of their lives and have not gotten their feet wet and studied with some really great trainers. You need real horsemen/women to teach. You don't need someone with a degree that has no practical experience to be teaching these kids. If you look at most people who hire for the real world, they generally do not count the education/degree if it's horse related. They will still start the person in the lowest position to have them learn how to REALLY do things in the real world.

So, what about those who have then chosen to take the apprentice/working student approach who begin with actual hands on experience? I still think the ARICP is much closer to providing what is needed. I just think that the program needs more backing and more help to get to where it needs to go. I think that the video lessons are a great place to qualify beginning instructors (along with their tests on general horse care, etc.), but I do think that they need to have more live riding/training demonstrations and lessons to really see what the people testing for a higher level of approval can do.

Isabeau Z Solace
May. 21, 2011, 06:59 PM
I just returned from a 3 day Teacher/Trainer clinic in Ohio given by Mary Wanless.

It was 3 days of lecture, mounted and unmounted teaching exercises, analysis of riders, and 'round robin' lessons with instructors taking turns riding, teaching, and consulting. It requires a lot of horses (in our case about 9/day) of varying training levels. So you need to have a farm available with the variety of horses to lend and the facilities. (Thank you Jennifer of Dancing Horse Farm !)

There are very few opportunities of this type in the USA. Where you can go for multiple days with a group (I think we had 16 participants + Mary + one of Mary's accredited coaches) lead by a Master Instructor with a very detailed system to impart to the student instructors.

I have attended Lendon Grays Dressage4Kids weekend educational program also. It is also a program aimed at teaching people how to teach.

Despite the many professionals advertising their services in the USA, there is a lack of good instruction. Very, very, very few of those teaching have ever had so much as one hour of education on HOW to teach !

Velvet
May. 21, 2011, 11:42 PM
Very, very, very few of those teaching have ever had so much as one hour of education on HOW to teach !

Because there are so few places where teaching people how to teach (specifically for riding and dressage) is just not available. It's something the USDF does not even attempt to address. The psychology of teaching, etc. We don't need dressage instructors trained by one person on their method that makes them all like Parelli acolytes, but we do need something. We need some people to work with universities to come up with a course that teaches the psychology of learning, then we need to also have that worked out so people understand how it works in conjunction with teaching people on living breathing horses that don't always behave as expected.

Then again, new teaching styles seem to be pretty milk toast and that could put us right back where we started with teachers who worry more about making the student happy than about making them good horse people and dressage riders who can do more than a parody of dressage movements.

quietann
May. 22, 2011, 09:39 AM
Just to add to the chorus... had perhaps the best lesson I've had in a long, long time yesterday... from a 16 year old girl. She's been riding for years, is qualified for Prelim eventing, and she's tough but positive. To be fair, she has the advantage of knowing both me and my horse very well, but still... if a 16YO girl can give me such a good lesson, does it say something about lesson quality?

meupatdoes
May. 22, 2011, 10:09 AM
Everybody on this thread complaining about a lack of quality instruction in this country:


If you have offered out your own personal horse for somebody else to use in a lesson, raise your hand.

Now raise your hand if your "nice" horse is included in this, not just the one you learned on way back when.

Raise your hand if you've ever let someone on your competition horse and stood in the middle of the ring to help them ride it.



Imagine where dressage would be in this country if the riders who have climbed to the higher levels of the sport gave back.

Few do.

notalterme
May. 22, 2011, 11:03 AM
I don't think there is an abscence of good instruction-I think that people don't know how to recognize good instruction. Good instruction is hard-it forces you to improve, to rethink what you are doing and why. It encourages you to come up with a plan and school it.

For me, I think this is true. Although I can't say I have a large 'sample' size. My experience is that I've had a few good riders, who've had access to a couple nice horses/ridden with a good trainer or two in their careers and gave so-so lessons. More recently I've had what I think most here would consider a 'good' basic instructor. She had shown up to 4th, has ridden with some well known riders/trainers, recent L judge graduate, and is a very competent teacher, is knowledgable, knows good patterns/exercises, etc...

and THEN...I started taking occassional lessons with a German Bereiter who had ridden AND trained horses (I think the training part is KEY) up to Grand Prix... It was just on a WHOLE different level....:eek: It was NOT easy, it was not all walk and talk and theory, and cute exercises and warm fuzzies...it was an expectation to ride basic gaits/transitions absolutely correctly EVERY-SINGLE-STRIDE, to ask for and GET a reaction every single time, and it was HARD. He saw my contact, seat, legs, etc start to get out-of-whack 5 strides before 'I' knew what was happening..and I was promptly corrected when I was doing it wrong and got a 'good' when I was correct, so it was fair but not for the thin-skinned. It was having someone have an eagle eye on you and expect correctness every stride...and because he had trained extensively, he knew what I needed to concentrate on for 'my' particular horse at the stage we were in...they weren't just 'good' lessons they were GREAT! :yes:

I have seen huge improvements in myself and the horse (and my scores) in a very short period of time. But I would have never known the difference if I hadn't been lucky enough to take those lessons...they are moderately expensive, but not outrageously so,..but I would rather take fewer really great lessons, than more frequent just good lessons.

exvet
May. 22, 2011, 11:15 AM
If you have offered out your own personal horse for somebody else to use in a lesson, raise your hand.

Now raise your hand if your "nice" horse is included in this, not just the one you learned on way back when.

Raise your hand if you've ever let someone on your competition horse and stood in the middle of the ring to help them ride it.

I have. Few have taken me up on it. He's not a warmblood; so, to many it's "not the same". He's quite able to do tempis (so learning changes is a piece of cake) and could easily earn someone their bronze. My daughter is the only one who is taking advantage of the offer. That includes lounge lessons which I have given on him. I"ve offered him to my riding instructor to use in lessons (of any type - lounge, under saddle, etc). I had one rider tell me that they don't want to work that hard (ie, lounge lessons). That is why they pay the trainer.

meupatdoes
May. 22, 2011, 11:25 AM
I have. Few have taken me up on it.

I have the same issue, actually.
I even attempted to offer a once-a-week ride on him, with rider's trainer or with me, as a "scholarship" through my GMO.
No go.


He's not a warmblood; so, to many it's "not the same".
Mine has just started fledgling canter pirouettes in the snaffle.
He is saintly and can teach a very correct Training/First Level lesson to your dead grandmother with his eyes closed.
But he's a TB so I guess it doesn't count.
:rolleyes:


So basically, somewhere there is a disconnect.

Very few amateurs are willing to let any other amateurs ride their horses, or allow their trainers to use them in any lessons. Suddenly it's all very "you have to pay to play."

Conversely, when people bend over backwards trying to make opportunities available, no rider wants to ride it, and no trainer will use it.

And then we wonder why it's so hard to learn to ride in this country.

katie+tru
May. 22, 2011, 12:27 PM
Everybody on this thread complaining about a lack of quality instruction in this country:


If you have offered out your own personal horse for somebody else to use in a lesson, raise your hand.

Now raise your hand if your "nice" horse is included in this, not just the one you learned on way back when.

Raise your hand if you've ever let someone on your competition horse and stood in the middle of the ring to help them ride it.



Imagine where dressage would be in this country if the riders who have climbed to the higher levels of the sport gave back.

Few do.



I shared Tru with the other students. Heck, I'd offer him even if they didn't ask if they could ride him. But I don't think he counts here... he was basically a Training level horse who did NOTHING on autopilot.

However, my trainer is so generous as to let her students ride her upper level (event) horses. What's nice about them, and this is probably the point you're getting at, is that they know how to do many things already, but they don't do it for free. The rider still has to ask them for things, but when they do, they get the results and can thus learn the skill and refine it. Learning to ride on fully trained horses is a luxury not every kid gets because there are not fully trained horses in every barn.

So are you saying that people should be more generous and share their best horses with others? I do agree with this, so long the horse is kind and patient enough to safely tolerate a novice. Share the wealth, I say.

Or are you saying that if there were more fully trained horses available for students to ride we'd be in a better place? I agree with this too, of course. But not everyone knows how to make a finished horse in the first place, so that goes back to our original issue. Goodness, if every person who advertised themselves as a trainer could actually produce a finished horse that could be used to teach others so many problems would disappear.

millerra
May. 22, 2011, 12:43 PM
Problem is, this is what they try to teach at college/universities. This just does NOT work. Most universities and colleges only have instructors who have lived in their ivory towers all of their lives and have not gotten their feet wet and studied with some really great trainers. You need real horsemen/women to teach. You don't need someone with a degree that has no practical experience to be teaching these kids.

I agree w/ your idea that it does not work. However, the instructors/professors that I know working in the university setting are not your typical academics. Most have worked out in the industry and are quite experienced.

IMHO, the problem is that these programs typically attract folks who love horses but frequently are relatively inexperienced. And to be frank, you simply can not teach in a class room setting or in 3 hour "labs" what really needs to be taught. The horse world, from management to training, requires hours and hours and hours... and hours of hands on, getting dirty, hard work, sweat equity. There are no short cuts. While the 20 yr old may be able to ride the ULs on her horse, how many different horses has s/he broken out, solved training issues. To be sure, some have... Most have not... So I agree the certification program won't really work. Apprenticeships/working student placement w/ some kind of certification would be a better program...

horsefaerie
May. 22, 2011, 06:26 PM
I have been teaching for decades. I also taught unrelated material at a college level. I can teach.

A few decades ago I had students who wanted to learn to ride. They wanted to learn HOW to compete and train their horse. They wanted to make a huge effort and glean every scrap of info from their time with me.

Today there are very few people who want that. They want to compete and win. THey want to skip basics. They want to ride one hour a week, take their made horse to a show and win.

I have watched instruction by others and some are good and some are horrible. I know many BNT's that CAN NOT TEACH. THeir students do not seem to care as long as they can drop their name.

I remember a conversation I had many years ago with a BNT. She was giving a lesson at canter to a woman who could barely ride the walk. I asked her why. She said she had a mortgage to pay.

I can teach you to ride and train. You need to bring something to it. I am also getting into the ranks of the old broads and heaven help you when we are gone. You will be left with fast food presentation and that will be all.

Certification won't work. You need to look at the horses that people have. Are they happy? Trained? Is that what you want for your horse? Does the work follow the training schedule? Or is the horse NEVER encouraged to relax? Is it all the horses fault? Is the whip used in anger?

So many of my peers have given up it is a shame. Good Luck. I am glad I am not starting out now.

J-Lu
May. 22, 2011, 07:10 PM
[quote=meupatdoes;5619019]Everybody on this thread complaining about a lack of quality instruction in this country:


If you have offered out your own personal horse for somebody else to use in a lesson, raise your hand.

*** I'm not complaining but yes, I raise my hand to someone who is right now leasing my horse.

Now raise your hand if your "nice" horse is included in this, not just the one you learned on way back when.

**** third level regional champ, fourth level reserve champ. SHe just won AA first level championship under her leasee.

Raise your hand if you've ever let someone on your competition horse and stood in the middle of the ring to help them ride it.

***** Raising hand.


Imagine where dressage would be in this country if the riders who have climbed to the higher levels of the sport gave back.

**** The good ones do. I've had the priveledge of riding some uber-nice show horses to learn upper level movements, even in the middle of show season. It's how it should be.

[quote]

J-Lu
May. 22, 2011, 07:14 PM
Hmmmm. Interesting.

But let me ask you, if a show record isn't involved, who would be the "independent input" to determine if people reach the goals of your proposed program? At the very least, show records are published, judges are publically responsible for their scores, and one can contest the score to some degree.

The whole purpose of showing *should* be to get an independent evaluation of your riding. If a judge can't give you this, I find it hard to believe that some other panel can.

What do you have in mind?

J.


I was thinking of trying to change the mindset :yes:.

My thinking was more along the lines of a certification program that was structured in such a way that horsemanship, stable management, horse care, horse *handling*, understanding of and ability to execute the general "Balance Seat", young horse training, green horse training, etc., could be provided/would be available. Then specializations for reining, combined training/eventing, dressage.

This would provide a more consistent set of basic best practices for all of our horses, eastern or western, which would (hopefully) sort of permeate the U.S. horse industry and make it more *socially uncomfortable* for those little spoiled brats who only care about ribbons.

I do not think competing actually should be the way to achieve success/certification with any of it :no:. In fact, I think that has been the problem :yes:.

ETA: that is not to say that anyone wanting to pass a test for their riding skills and/or abilty is not still going to have to ride in front of a panel of senior instructors/judges, just not in a public organized show.

It might be a good idea to have/offer a specific *competitive showing* certificate that is only able to be taken AFTER the multitude of basic best practices certificates have been earned.

Pocket Pony
May. 22, 2011, 07:44 PM
A few decades ago I had students who wanted to learn to ride. They wanted to learn HOW to compete and train their horse. They wanted to make a huge effort and glean every scrap of info from their time with me.

Today there are very few people who want that. They want to compete and win. THey want to skip basics. They want to ride one hour a week, take their made horse to a show and win.

. . .

I can teach you to ride and train. You need to bring something to it.

Oh the things I wish I had done in my youth. One of them would have been to be a young-adult barn rat. Of course I was a childhood barn rat but the things you can learn and comprehend as an adult are so nuanced. Even now I would love to have time to spend at the barn all day every day. I love to watch lessons and learn. My coach is very methodical and really has a way of picking apart movement and balance and I would love to just sit and watch and learn. Alas, I keep my horses at home so after work I come home and ride and do chores and I don't have the time to go to the barn a lot. The only lessons I get to watch are when I trailer in for lessons - I see the end of the one before me and possibly the beginning of the one after me.

My coach also teaches to ride and train. Through her instruction I have brought my horses along. She does not ride my horses, and has only lunged my mustang once so I could take pictures. All of the work we do together is her training ME to train my horse, to recognize how his body moves (take THIS step vs. that step, move the body this way to get him straight, etc.) and to systematically bring him along. For a while I was getting the blahs in the winter but lately since I can see and feel a lot of progress I'm really excited about this summer.

Oh, and I also have offered up my show horse to another rider. We competed at 1st level last year so it isn't like he's a high level horse or anything, but he's a nice horse, he's a good mover, the judges love him, my coach loves him, and the rider is a good rider who is need of a good horse to learn on (she's a re-rider who grew up doing h/j). With my work schedule I don't have time to bring two horses along and obviously the greener horse needs more work. She rode him in a lesson a couple weeks ago and last weekend we went trail riding and she seems to love him. I think she'll lease him for the summer so she can progress in her training and possibly show.

Once my friend who rides FEI put me on her mare and that was really interesting. I would welcome the opportunity to ride more advanced horses but such an opportunity hasn't come up.

Carol O
May. 22, 2011, 08:13 PM
If you have offered out your own personal horse for somebody else to use in a lesson, raise your hand.

Now raise your hand if your "nice" horse is included in this, not just the one you learned on way back when.

Raise your hand if you've ever let someone on your competition horse and stood in the middle of the ring to help them ride it.

I have. Few have taken me up on it. He's not a warmblood; so, to many it's "not the same". He's quite able to do tempis (so learning changes is a piece of cake) and could easily earn someone their bronze. My daughter is the only one who is taking advantage of the offer. That includes lounge lessons which I have given on him. I"ve offered him to my riding instructor to use in lessons (of any type - lounge, under saddle, etc). I had one rider tell me that they don't want to work that hard (ie, lounge lessons). That is why they pay the trainer.

My hands are up, any yes, I got very little interest too. Weird.

BaroquePony
May. 22, 2011, 10:27 PM
Posted by J-Lu:

The whole purpose of showing *should* be to get an independent evaluation of your riding. If a judge can't give you this, I find it hard to believe that some other panel can.

What do you have in mind?

Riding exams taking place outside of a competitive environment, preferably under the paid eye of an "I" judge or possibly a high level SRS Berieter ([sic, sp., ]or whatever their official title is), or any other *high level* certified (in some way), German, British, Austrian or maybe French Judges/Head Instructors/Master Horsemen sorts.

This is a rough idea, but you should get the picture.

paulaedwina
May. 23, 2011, 12:13 AM
Everybody on this thread complaining about a lack of quality instruction in this country:

I'm not. I have a brilliant trainer at a brilliant barn. She's an accomplished rider and a teacher as well as a dressage trainer. She's tough and effective.

Paula

BaroquePony
May. 23, 2011, 12:29 AM
Well, goody for you :yes:.

I thought this thread was about discussing the entire U.S. and the number of instructors vs the number of really good instructors available to everyone.

AllWeatherGal
May. 23, 2011, 09:16 AM
Well, goody for you :yes:.

I thought this thread was about discussing the entire U.S. and the number of instructors vs the number of really good instructors available to everyone.

Really? "available to everyone"? ...

My experience has been that good instruction is available to those who put forth the necessary effort to find it.

There are many colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer excellent instruction in economics, literature and science, but it's not available to just anyone who wants to pay for it.

Potential students have to demonstrate aptitude, determination and discipline.

Sometimes that means moving to a different location, it means re-organizing your priorities, it means taking this activity more seriously than "general hobby". It means making it worth instructors' time to share their expertise (and their horses) ... which, from the responses by people who have offered their horses, are qualities that are missing.

People are inspired to teach when they are excited about their students. I think the education exists, but in pockets. Just like the top law schools aren't in Nebraska, neither can we expect top dressage instruction to be.

Heck ... we can't even get the public school system squared away throughout the nation.

TickleFight
May. 23, 2011, 11:17 AM
Really? "available to everyone"? ...

My experience has been that good instruction is available to those who put forth the necessary effort to find it.

There are many colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer excellent instruction in economics, literature and science, but it's not available to just anyone who wants to pay for it.

Potential students have to demonstrate aptitude, determination and discipline.

Sometimes that means moving to a different location, it means re-organizing your priorities, it means taking this activity more seriously than "general hobby". It means making it worth instructors' time to share their expertise (and their horses) ... which, from the responses by people who have offered their horses, are qualities that are missing.

People are inspired to teach when they are excited about their students. I think the education exists, but in pockets. Just like the top law schools aren't in Nebraska, neither can we expect top dressage instruction to be.

Heck ... we can't even get the public school system squared away throughout the nation.

I think you may have some unrealistic expectations. Comparing moving to where the good universities are for school, to moving to the good dressage instruction is a little silly too.

meupatdoes
May. 23, 2011, 12:32 PM
I think you may have some unrealistic expectations. Comparing moving to where the good universities are for school, to moving to the good dressage instruction is a little silly too.

This is not unrealistic at all.

People make different choices in life.

Some people want to have kids and a particular job and live in a particular area and that is more important to them than good dressage instruction.

Other people get on a Greyhound bus at age 15, knowing they will be disowned and cut off by their father, and go be a working student for Lendon. See: CKD.

The point is they are choices.

Nobody forced Person A to have kids, and nobody forced CKD to get on that bus. But guess which one went to the Olympics.

The one thing that is for certain is that if you are sitting there with three kids and a job that requires constant travel and a high mortgage payment because you and spouse wanted that particular house in Nebraska whining about how there are no cheap international dressage instructors next door, the world ain't gone change. You'll have to.

And just because learning dressage isn't *that* important to you, doesn't mean it isn't *that* important to somebody else. The people who ride well make choices (which are often sacrifices too) to get there.

AllWeatherGal
May. 23, 2011, 01:03 PM
I think you may have some unrealistic expectations. Comparing moving to where the good universities are for school, to moving to the good dressage instruction is a little silly too.

meupatdoes makes the excellent point of choices.

I was commenting on a reply to someone who said she did have wonderful instruction. I don't think she's the exception ... there's lots of it, and lots of people who make finding it a priority.

*shrug* I am arguing against my perception of the implication that it's up to a federation or association to ensure that good dressage instruction is available throughout the U.S. even where the market can't support it.

MassageLady
May. 23, 2011, 01:27 PM
I have found a few things to be distressing:
going to a show, and having no good riders there! Most are BTV, no impulsion, riders flopping in the saddle-so the judge has to give out scores, and unfortunately one of these win! So then they believe they're great and start 'training' others to ride the same way!
I believe that I have a great friend who trains, and her take on it is this...most of the upper level dressage riders really don't wan to learn correctly-they just want 'smoke blown into their (choose an oriface)' LOL.
She does do clinics and people there improve immensely...most of the time with less stress on their horse and less overall pressure (as far as using rein/leg/etc.) Just simple cues from your body, and your horse moves where youwant it to.
Watching her ride, and train her own horse is really an inspiration.
She is working on a second book...you should read her first.
Biomechanics of the Dressage Horse and Rider
She has also helped me continue with my therapies, to work with horses under saddle also.
Check my site for before/after pics!
www.midwestnha.biz

Velvet
May. 23, 2011, 02:45 PM
Most are BTV, no impulsion, riders flopping in the saddle-so the judge has to give out scores, and unfortunately one of these win! So then they believe they're great and start 'training' others to ride the same way!

Well, let's also add some of the top rides today with rides of just 20-30 years ago. Take a look at these two for comparison and you can see a real difference (and remember that video makes a horse look slower). We have changes at the top and they trickle down. Pretty soon (and we probably should take this to the judging thread) we'll see WP peanut crawlers winning in dressage. Oh wait, isn't that why they invented Western Dressage? ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKbqokuTzh8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTjVepyNLuM&feature=related

I always find it interesting to see the two pretty much side by side. Got to love YouTube!

TickleFight
May. 23, 2011, 06:25 PM
Other people get on a Greyhound bus at age 15, knowing they will be disowned and cut off by their father, and go be a working student for Lendon. See: CKD.

I don't think endorsing dropping out of high school (if she was indeed 15) to go learn dressage is a responsible position. Luckily it seems to have worked out for the best for this young lady, but how many other minors will try the same thing and fall through the cracks? Hopefully she has a long and successful career too, since she doesn't have an education to fall back on.

It is a misnomer to say that people may have success in dressage OR a successful career/family. There are plenty of olympic riders who have both.

Isabeau Z Solace
May. 23, 2011, 08:16 PM
She does do clinics and people there improve immensely...most of the time with less stress on their horse and less overall pressure (as far as using rein/leg/etc.) Just simple cues from your body, and your horse moves where youwant it to.
Watching her ride, and train her own horse is really an inspiration.
She is working on a second book...you should read her first.
Biomechanics of the Dressage Horse and Rider

www.midwestnha.biz

What is her name ? Couldn't come up with the book title on google.

meupatdoes
May. 23, 2011, 08:44 PM
I don't think endorsing dropping out of high school (if she was indeed 15) to go learn dressage is a responsible position. Luckily it seems to have worked out for the best for this young lady, but how many other minors will try the same thing and fall through the cracks? Hopefully she has a long and successful career too, since she doesn't have an education to fall back on.

It is a misnomer to say that people may have success in dressage OR a successful career/family. There are plenty of olympic riders who have both.

It is not endorsing a position to REPORT FACTS of what somebody else did. I am not endorsing Courtney's actions OR the actions of having three kids and a job with lots of travel, I am simply reciting them as choices that other people have made.

If I believed that Courtney's choice was the best choice for me I too would have dropped out of highschool and been a working student at Lendon's. In fact, I was a working student at Lendon's, when Courtney was there no less, but I limited my time there to summer vacation from school. If I had chosen to follow Courtney's example no doubt I would be a far better rider today but I also would probably not be a lawyer either. I am happy with the path I chose.

And amazingly enough no one had to "shield" me from the existence of the choice. I made my own decision even though Courtney was right there at the barn with me getting all the rides on Idy. And you think someone reading this on the internet is not going to be able to withstand the allure???

I think it is preposterous that not only are you judging other people's choices so extensively, you are even going so far as trying to get everyone else to stop even acknowledging that those choices exist for fear that someone you don't even know might make a choice you don't agree with. Sheesh.

You get to make your choices, other people get to make theirs.

TickleFight
May. 23, 2011, 09:37 PM
Isabell Werth is a lawyer.

meupatdoes
May. 23, 2011, 09:55 PM
Isabell Werth is a lawyer.

a.) She is no longer practicing.
It took her 11 years to get the degree and she practiced for 1.

b.) But thanks for the info.

c.) People make all kinds of different choices and lead all kinds of different lives, ain't it grand?

d.) Maybe you should put a picture of her on your wall of "People Whose Career Choices You Approve Of," if you haven't already.

TickleFight
May. 23, 2011, 11:39 PM
a.) She is no longer practicing.
It took her 11 years to get the degree and she practiced for 1.

b.) But thanks for the info.

c.) People make all kinds of different choices and lead all kinds of different lives, ain't it grand?

d.) Maybe you should put a picture of her on your wall of "People Whose Career Choices You Approve Of," if you haven't already.

Forgive me for not memorizing the minutia of various riders' lives... I have chosen to prioritize my time otherwise. For what it is worth, here is a piece of advice: Try not to become angry at anonymous people, whom you'll never meet, through a computer screen.

paulaedwina
May. 23, 2011, 11:51 PM
Well, goody for you .

I thought this thread was about discussing the entire U.S. and the number of instructors vs the number of really good instructors available to everyone.

Well it is actually goody for me, thanks. I feel fortunate to have found her and pretty much don't spend my money on anything else (well other than food, mortgage, etc). Just wanted to add a dose of reality to the very general trend of this thread. There are indeed good dressage trainers to be found. They may not be evenly distributed across the States, but they do exist.

Paula

paulaedwina
May. 24, 2011, 12:07 AM
Thanks for the side by side videos, Velvet. Wow; horses and riders have changed so much haven't they. It's almost art versus athleticism.

Paula

MassageLady
May. 24, 2011, 01:55 AM
What is her name ? Couldn't come up with the book title on google
Dr. Nancy Nicholson
http://www.amazon.com/BioMechanical-Riding-Dressage-Riders-Atlas/dp/0977810216

Here's her website...will give you a great preview!
And a ton of info
http://nicholnl.wcp.muohio.edu/DingosBreakfastClub/BioMech/BioMechIntro.html

meupatdoes
May. 24, 2011, 05:19 AM
Forgive me for not memorizing the minutia of various riders' lives... I have chosen to prioritize my time otherwise. For what it is worth, here is a piece of advice: Try not to become angry at anonymous people, whom you'll never meet, through a computer screen.

Ahahaha, I did what a trained lawyer does:

I looked it up and checked facts before posting.
Crazy, I know.

Never have I expressed any issue with you obviously prioritizing your time differently. My issue was with the fact that you were getting on my case for even MENTIONING choices that were different from yours because this might "encourage" people you don't even know to make other choices you don't agree with.

If I employ the same logic you employed earlier on this thread, I should criticize you for "encouraging" young people to take on what will likely be six figures of debt to practice for only one year. I guess I could say "I don't think that's a responsible position," too, but hey, if that's what someone else really wants to do who am I to say that other people on the internet shouldn't even mention it?

AllWeatherGal
May. 24, 2011, 07:36 AM
It is a misnomer to say that people may have success in dressage OR a successful career/family. There are plenty of olympic riders who have both.

You only named one. I am guessing that Anky also considers her family life successful. And I know quite a few professionals who are not Olympians who also are quite happy with their families, for example my instructor who is a Pferdewirtschaftsmeisterin.

The genesis of this discussion is
1. how come there's "no good instruction in the US"
2. several posters (myself included) responded "ah but there is ..."
3. then the reply was "goody for you, but not where most of us live"

and I am simply pointing out that because it's not local to a rider doesn't mean it doesn't exist and asking why it seems to be someone else's responsibility to make it available when many people (who we may presume REALLY want it) are willing to make it a priority and go SEEK IT OUT.

Jeito
May. 24, 2011, 07:53 AM
My experience has been that good instruction is available to those who put forth the necessary effort to find it.

I agree with this. I had written a long post, which I deleted, as I get the feeling some people simply want to vent and seem almost put out by the possibility that there might actually be good instruction available to them :(

I signed back on to post this link to a recent article by Catherine Haddad, which I think contains a lot of truth -

http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/teaching-and-learning-shared-responsibility

I'm not an ideal student. I'm an opinionated lawyer who talks too much and questions too much. My trainer is not perfect, but I think she's a saint to put up with me. I don't think Catherine Hadded would :D

At the same time, it's utterly ridiculous to suggest that success in dressage is all about talent and dedication. Money, time, and luck play a huge role. But all we can do is the best we can with the cards we're dealt.

Words of wisdom: "Why the hell don’tcha, instead of keep saying it?" – J.D. Salinger

meupatdoes
May. 24, 2011, 08:20 AM
I agree with this. I had written a long post, which I deleted, as I get the feeling some people simply want to vent and seem almost put out by the possibility that there might actually be good instruction available to them :(


People do get put out.

I think sometimes exvet irritates the bejeesus out of people riding PSG on her cobs out in the desert in the middle of nowhere. :lol::lol:

Sometime the most unpopular thing you can say on this board is, "It's possible."

Meanwhile three threads up is a nearly totally blind woman in Australia riding Grand Prix on a 22yo OTTB.

And we sighted folks in the States can't find good instruction no matter how "hard" we try.

BaroquePony
May. 24, 2011, 08:37 AM
I have always put students of mine on my own personal trained (by me) horses.

I do not see why university equestrian programs could not b developed to fit the needs of a nationwide program, including the provision of acceptable off-campus apprenticeships.

I had a working student who recieved college credit for the time she spent as my student.

I would like to see more high quality options provided around the country.

carolprudm
May. 24, 2011, 08:56 AM
I've got a super instructor locally. I just have to find the time.......

Mr P's very terrifying health issues( 5-6 TIA's a day) have been resolved as no big deal so I spent 7 hours in the ER with our son on Sunday night, another 5 hours yesterday taking him to the ortho twice because he forgot his insurance card the first time. Surgery Thurs, probably another 7 hours door to door

paulaedwina
May. 24, 2011, 09:15 AM
Meanwhile three threads up is a nearly totally blind woman in Australia riding Grand Prix on a 22yo OTTB.

And we sighted folks in the States can't find good instruction no matter how "hard" we try.


Couldn't have said it better.

Paula

Velvet
May. 24, 2011, 10:13 AM
Meanwhile three threads up is a nearly totally blind woman in Australia riding Grand Prix on a 22yo OTTB.

And we sighted folks in the States can't find good instruction no matter how "hard" we try.


Couldn't have said it better.

Paula

I'm missing your point when you say you couldn't have said it better. Meaning it doesn't matter? Sighted or blind...you just ride? Or that she's blind and in Australia she was able to find a good instructor?

Wish they'd shown more of the ride. Hard to tell how good the ride was from the snipets. You could, however, tell how sweet the horse was. :yes:

meupatdoes
May. 24, 2011, 10:17 AM
I'm missing your point when you say you couldn't have said it better. Meaning it doesn't matter? Sighted or blind...you just ride? Or that she's blind and in Australia she was able to find a good instructor?

Wish they'd shown more of the ride. Hard to tell how good the ride was from the snipets. You could, however, tell how sweet the horse was. :yes:

The ride was good enough for her to be 19th out of 32 in the GP at what was apparently the biggest show in Australia.

I'm guessing it didn't suck.

Velvet
May. 24, 2011, 10:23 AM
The ride was good enough for her to be 19th out of 32 in the GP at what was apparently the biggest show in Australia.

I'm guessing it didn't suck.

Depends on the rest of the field...

meupatdoes
May. 24, 2011, 10:33 AM
Depends on the rest of the field...

Well, ok, we can wrap some black cheese cloth around your head and stand around holding some lights and see if you get a 64% at I-1.

(Apologies for my earlier error, the video said 'highest level' but google reveals consistent mid-60's at PSG and I-1.)

Velvet
May. 24, 2011, 10:56 AM
Well, ok, we can wrap some black cheese cloth around your head and stand around holding some lights and see if you get a 64% at I-1.



:sigh:

Ghazzu
May. 24, 2011, 01:24 PM
I was thinking of trying to change the mindset :yes:.

My thinking was more along the lines of a certification program that was structured in such a way that horsemanship, stable management, horse care, horse *handling*, understanding of and ability to execute the general "Balance Seat", young horse training, green horse training, etc., could be provided/would be available. Then specializations for reining, combined training/eventing, dressage.

This would provide a more consistent set of basic best practices for all of our horses, eastern or western, which would (hopefully) sort of permeate the U.S. horse industry and make it more *socially uncomfortable* for those little spoiled brats who only care about ribbons.

I do not think competing actually should be the way to achieve success/certification with any of it :no:. In fact, I think that has been the problem :yes:.

ETA: that is not to say that anyone wanting to pass a test for their riding skills and/or abilty is not still going to have to ride in front of a panel of senior instructors/judges, just not in a public organized show.

It might be a good idea to have/offer a specific *competitive showing* certificate that is only able to be taken AFTER the multitude of basic best practices certificates have been earned.

I do believe you have just reinvented Pony Club.:D

suzy
May. 24, 2011, 04:58 PM
Ghazzu,

The British Horse Society offers such a program. I went through it years ago when they offered the AI (Assistant Instructor) and I (Instructor) certification. They have different certifications now, but I'm not current on what they are. Anyway, it was a very good program. Testers go out four times a year to the varoius riding schools around the country to evaluate students. It's a very unbiased group, and they won't pass you if you don't have a good solid understanding of riding, teaching, stable management, first aid care, etc. I recall an organization in Maryland (Potomac Horse Center?) setting up the same thing, but I don't think it was financially feasible.

Pony Club is great and offers many of the same training, but I don't think they offer a program to train instructors. But, I could be wrong....

TickleFight
May. 24, 2011, 06:05 PM
Okay, so is the biggest problem in this country with the dearth of good instruction? Or that people will not travel for good instruction--even when they are teachers who are training other riders?

Where does the fault lie? Oh, and don't even try to tell me that the USDF is addressing this. They really aren't. And if they some day ended up being the only approver, a LOT of the really good instructors in this county would be without a job due to politics.

Is it that people just really all think that it should be easy and want the dressage world to revolve around them and their chosen needs of the day? Are we making it TOO easy for people to get into the sport and show...and get ribbons?

I'm really curious. I mean, if we had awesome instruction in this country that was available to everyone, we wouldn't see some of the basic questions that are repeatedly asked out here. Right?

I do think there is a shortage of quality trainers in this country. Part of the problem is the size of the country itself; things here are just not very concentrated. But aside from this fact, Velvet, the fault lies with both the riders and the instructors. I do not think there are many good trainers here, instead there are many mediocre ones. On top of that many students don't seem to know the difference, therefore there is little demand for high quality instruction. It is easier to purchase a good horse than to find a good instructor and become a good rider yourself.

So often people ask questions on this forum that a good instructor can answer. This leads me to believe that either these people have no access to trainers at all, or their instruction is shoddy. There is no way that hints on a forum are as useful as a good person on the ground who knows you and your horse. Unfortunately, however, I do not see this changing any time soon.

BaroquePony
May. 24, 2011, 07:20 PM
I believe that Potomac started a program based out of Potomac Horse Center (?) and they brought in Betty Howett from England to teach, run and test everyone there. My cousin went through that program.

My Aunt got her BHSI in England.

The difference between my Aunt's horsemanship and my cousin's was quite obvious, and not in a good way.

A friend of mine here got her BHSAI in England and she said that Potomac got shut down because of unsafe practices of some sort.

carolprudm
May. 24, 2011, 08:53 PM
Morven Park used to have a good program

BaroquePony
May. 24, 2011, 09:12 PM
I heard that the Morven Park program was really good.

Potomac, you brought your own horse and payed to board it, along with everything else, I believe.

What I am thinkng of is to connect a variety of already existing programs, university equine science programs, as well as USPC programs, 4-H horsemanship programs, along with a few things I haven't thought totally through yet, using the internet.

I would like to see some kind of affiliation with USDF and/or USEA and reining horse equivalents.

Different certifications available.

All that Pat Parelli money and other money spent on bad instruction that is not safe could support this type of thing easily.

For youth and adults.

Everyone on the same page with horse handling.

BaroquePony
May. 24, 2011, 09:20 PM
Some USPCs are excellent (some of the best programs in the U.S.) and some have, unfortunately fallen into political disarray.

exvet
May. 24, 2011, 11:15 PM
I think sometimes exvet irritates the bejeesus out of people riding PSG on her cobs out in the desert in the middle of nowhere.

Reeaaallllyyyy?!....Gee I never noticed :winkgrin:

Now what are those same people goin' think when I do it all over again on a 13 hand welsh pony of cob type that I got for free? Hmmmmmmm....

Lucky for me I not only found good instruction but I found someone who was willing to give my lessons on the lounge line.

As for choices, I thank the powers-that-be which have given me the family who tolerate my choices all in the name of riding dressage.

And it is possible, especially if you're willing to kiss toads, turn over rocks and believe (in addition to the countless amount of blood, sweat and tears that have gone into it too).

If that irritates anyone well :D

BaroquePony
May. 24, 2011, 11:23 PM
.... a little voice in the wilderness .... :lol: ... on a Cob :lol: ....

mishmash
May. 25, 2011, 12:12 AM
Had not been paying much attention to this thread lately, but had some more thoughts after watching a friends horse this weekend.
Background: She is an AA, came late to riding. Bought a green horse, but a fairly sensible one, and committed to putting it in training while she improved her riding ability. Very dedicated, she also began a workout program to improve her own flexibility and strenght. Horse was bought on a payment plan, and is stabled at another barn. Last year horse was trained and shown by a YR from our barn, who has her USDF gold medal. Horse was scoring high 60's to low 70's at Training and First at recognized shows. This year YR is doing a college internship in another state. Friend decides to use the trainer in her barn throughout winter, and allow her to show mare this summer. Trainer started out as eventer(lower level) and now is billing herself as dressage trainer. Actually a very nice, pleasant person. Had not seen friends mare since this trainer took over. Saw her at show this weekend. Mare looks awful-no topline, poor muscling, thinner than she should be. Trainer showed mare and scored in 50's to low 60's at Training and First. Mare tense, unfocused, spooky. Trainer yanking mares head from side to side. To the right, yank, yank, then to the left yank, yank in warmup. Trainer also did this on other horses she was showing. Her own personal horse she scored in the 40's on. I was so saddened, and felt so bad for my friend. I finally spoke up and told her. One of the things she told me is that current trainer explained to her that YR had "held' horse together last summer. And that mare is bored at Training level. Friend has had her eyes opened, but is stuck at that facility.
So...yes, there is good dressage instruction in this country. But so many AA's-especially those just getting interested in dressage-do not have the background or knowledge to know what good instruction and training is. So they end up with someone like the very nice person trainer above, who very sincerely explains why her way is correct, and why horse will be harmed if she goes to a different trainer. And if no one is willing to speak up and tell her she is being taken for a ride, the AA struggles along, sometimes for years....

colorfan
May. 25, 2011, 12:48 AM
[QUOTE=betonbill; I think that the people with the drive and will to succeed will do it some way or the other and somehow make it to the upper levels. So you have the top levels of dressage (and eventing) and then the rest of us who are happy to try to do the best we can with what we have and probably not aspire all that high.


For those of you who think dressage should be harder so the riff raff, (curious what is riff raff?) what about those of us who love to ride, want to train dressage, as opposed to just letting the horse randomly pack us around?
Should we just watch? Perhaps take up racket ball or croquet?

stryder
May. 25, 2011, 12:55 AM
[QUOTE=betonbill; I think that the people with the drive and will to succeed will do it some way or the other and somehow make it to the upper levels. So you have the top levels of dressage (and eventing) and then the rest of us who are happy to try to do the best we can with what we have and probably not aspire all that high.


For those of you who think dressage should be harder so the riff raff, (curious what is riff raff?) what about those of us who love to ride, want to train dressage, as opposed to just letting the horse randomly pack us around?
Should we just watch? Perhaps take up racket ball or croquet?

Probably not croquet. We aren't tony enough for that.

MyssMyst
May. 25, 2011, 12:57 AM
With my talent in croquet, trust me, you'd rather see me ride intro...

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 09:03 AM
Thanks, Carol. It was called Morven Park--so many years ago, I couldn't remember the name. Two friends of mine went through the program and were quite satisfied.

carolprudm
May. 25, 2011, 09:20 AM
I think it was Morven PArk Equestrian Insatitute run by Tad Coffin and Raol de Leon

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 09:22 AM
If I believed that Courtney's choice was the best choice for me I too would have dropped out of highschool and been a working student at Lendon's. In fact, I was a working student at Lendon's, when Courtney was there no less, but I limited my time there to summer vacation from school. If I had chosen to follow Courtney's example no doubt I would be a far better rider today but I also would probably not be a lawyer either. I am happy with the path I chose.



Um, just for the record, Courtney has her degree from Columbia University! She did take time off between high school and college, so she graduated when she was in her mid 20s, but your post is misleading. She is quite well educated--kind of hard to do much better than obtain a degree from an Ivy!

xcpony
May. 25, 2011, 09:58 AM
I only read the first page of this 6 pages thread because I only have another 20 min from my break but I wanted to comment a little on this too, because I am an American currently living in Germany participating in the Pferdewirt appreticship program right now and I keep seeing refrences comparing European and American training. Well, since I have both expierence in training in the US and now Germany. (lets not confuse Germany for all of Europe... all the European countries train very differently) As far as superiority in training goes, nearly all of the western European countries have a better training system than the US... and the biggest reason why is because they have a system. No system is technically better than any other system but everything is of better quality when there is some kind of system. There is nothing like it in America.

In case you arn't aware of how difficult it is here I will break it down as easily and quick as possible. In Germany there are not many bad novice riders because the system makes it pretty much impossible for a trainer to become a trainer without a crap load of work, riding, and theory learning first being done. Students start off being geared to ride for a purpose, most German students are pushed from their trainers to achieve their Reitabzeichnen which are series of 4 tests which you recieve a medal for when you accomplish them... nothing like the medals from the USDF. The medals here start from 4, 3, 2, 1. You are not even allowed to show at the lowest level of showing till you have the Class 3 medal (something between 1st and 2nd level dressage and 3' jumping plus a very annoyingly difficult but important theory test in dressage, jumping, and general info about horse care and managment)... which will take a minimum of 6 months to accomplish but most likely 1-2 years. I'm working on my Class 4 right now... since I too cannot show untill I get it. Most really decent riders stop somewhere at 3, some accomplish 2, very few accomplish 1) There is even a test before 4 called the Basis which is only theory about the horse's nature, care, horsemanship, etc which you first pass... you are not even allowed to handle or groom a horse at a show without this certificate.

To be accepted into the apprenticship program to become a trainer (which is normally the only way you can become a trainer) you typically need at least the Class 3 accomplished. Then you spend 3 years working, training, and learning... yes... more theory 1-2 times a week at a college. At the 18 month mark you have to test in Warendorf. Its very difficult to get an apprenticship because only Masters can accept you and there are not a lot of Masters in the first place... because that requires even more work and time to become one (+10 years expierence and testing after apprenticship). All the apprentices come to a single location (Warendorf) where they are drilled like crazy for over a week and then the report is given to their Master on what they need to improve on then they are tested again at the end of the 3 years. And if you don't impress the FEI trainers in Warendorf or pass the theory you can't become a trainer. You also are trained on how to give lessons and come up with lesson plans for students during this time... so with all of this in mind the quality of trainers (in Germany, at least) is really heavily regulated.

I can't imagine a system like this will ever show up in America... because it goes against American culture to be so regulated, critical, and to have such high demands. Many Americans have big dreams but do little to accomplish them and as many others commented, they don't like to be pushed outside their comfort zone. Most US riders only have the goal to go to about 2nd level and stop, but German riders dont have that goal. They dont have an particular main goal about their riding, just to be better than they were yesterday. most of them don't even have plans to become an FEI GP rider, they just believe in constantly improving themselves and becoming the best they can be... they dont just hit 2nd level and say okay... im the best i can be now... im done. but they are sponges for wanting to learn and improve and incredibly disciplined and self-motivated people... comes from their culture (the unacceptibility of things that arnt perfect or of exceptional qualitiy lol) the US has good trainers and riders but the majority of the novice riders in the US will never match the quality in quanity of the German novice riders because the culture dosnt allow it.

First the novice riders in America dont have the mentality of the German novice riders. Second, their is nothing governing the qualitiy of riding instructors. Third, the USEA will never except making such changes because the US dosnt like change or strict regulations.

Just another comment I want too add to parents... would you accept a teacher at your child's school you had not done a background check or had gone to college? Would you let them take swiming lessons with out CPR certified instructor? Karate instructors, yoga instructors, swiming instructors are all required to go through a certification system... even a nail stylist and a dog groomer must proove they know something of what they are doing... but hey throwing a 5 year old on 1200 lb animal and calling yourself a professional and taking full responsilbity of the wellbeing of that child while its on that animal... is not required... I just think it dosnt totally make sense. By the way, the ARIA is a joke... sending in videos of you instructing as proof of your knowledge? opps... breaks up... gotta wrap up the ranting :D wow, this post is way too long and has way too many typeos, sorry :)

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 10:00 AM
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/teaching-and-learning-shared-responsibility

I'm not an ideal student. I'm an opinionated lawyer who talks too much and questions too much. My trainer is not perfect, but I think she's a saint to put up with me. I don't think Catherine Hadded would :D

At the same time, it's utterly ridiculous to suggest that success in dressage is all about talent and dedication. Money, time, and luck play a huge role. But all we can do is the best we can with the cards we're dealt.

Words of wisdom: "Why the hell don’tcha, instead of keep saying it?" – J.D. Salinger

Great post Disco, and thank you for the link to Catherine's excellent article!

Concordia
May. 25, 2011, 10:16 AM
Had not been paying much attention to this thread lately, but had some more thoughts after watching a friends horse this weekend.
Background: She is an AA, came late to riding. Bought a green horse, but a fairly sensible one, and committed to putting it in training while she improved her riding ability. Very dedicated, she also began a workout program to improve her own flexibility and strenght. Horse was bought on a payment plan, and is stabled at another barn. Last year horse was trained and shown by a YR from our barn, who has her USDF gold medal. Horse was scoring high 60's to low 70's at Training and First at recognized shows. This year YR is doing a college internship in another state. Friend decides to use the trainer in her barn throughout winter, and allow her to show mare this summer. Trainer started out as eventer(lower level) and now is billing herself as dressage trainer. Actually a very nice, pleasant person. Had not seen friends mare since this trainer took over. Saw her at show this weekend. Mare looks awful-no topline, poor muscling, thinner than she should be. Trainer showed mare and scored in 50's to low 60's at Training and First. Mare tense, unfocused, spooky. Trainer yanking mares head from side to side. To the right, yank, yank, then to the left yank, yank in warmup. Trainer also did this on other horses she was showing. Her own personal horse she scored in the 40's on. I was so saddened, and felt so bad for my friend. I finally spoke up and told her. One of the things she told me is that current trainer explained to her that YR had "held' horse together last summer. And that mare is bored at Training level. Friend has had her eyes opened, but is stuck at that facility.
So...yes, there is good dressage instruction in this country. But so many AA's-especially those just getting interested in dressage-do not have the background or knowledge to know what good instruction and training is. So they end up with someone like the very nice person trainer above, who very sincerely explains why her way is correct, and why horse will be harmed if she goes to a different trainer. And if no one is willing to speak up and tell her she is being taken for a ride, the AA struggles along, sometimes for years....


THIS ^^^

I see this ALL the time and I'm not even an upper level coach! I was nodding my head the whole time reading this because I can't count how many horses and riders that come to me with such similar stories - often times from 'trainers' who SHOULD know better!

I was a product of much of the same above as a Jr and my parents were the unsuspecting and somewhat uninvolved adults. Thankfully I finally stumbled onto some good coaches and have really dedicated myself to learning correct methods. It's taken me longer then a lot of other people, but I feel that what I'm teaching/training is really solid.

What I find is that many coaches have a little success in the show ring and think that is all they need to know to start teaching. They seek no further education.

There ARE educational venues out there, although many of them are cost prohibitive.... but I get frustrated that there isn't some sort of standard for lower level trainers. I mean, these are the people teaching the all important basics! If the base for all other learning is shaky at best, how will we continue to produce upper level riders in this country?! There are VERY few people who start out with really good instruction...

I hope that the USDF eventually rolls out certification programs for the lowest levels....currently they start at 2nd Level/below.... I would really like to see certification for trainers teaching/training TL/below. Because they are out there...go to any local GMO show and you'll see them. And often, they are as clueless as the AA's we're talking about above!

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 10:36 AM
Um, just for the record, Courtney has her degree from Columbia University! She did take time off between high school and college, so she graduated when she was in her mid 20s, but your post is misleading. She is quite well educated--kind of hard to do much better than obtain a degree from an Ivy!

Yes she does.

Her clients paid for it.

(I think she eventually got a scholarship to Columbia, but one of her customers was paying her way when she was initially at Pace.)

So yeah, totally typical for your horse training customers to flat out put you through college...

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 10:43 AM
Um, just for the record, Courtney has her degree from Columbia University! She did take time off between high school and college, so she graduated when she was in her mid 20s, but your post is misleading. She is quite well educated--kind of hard to do much better than obtain a degree from an Ivy!

:yes: :yes:

cb06
May. 25, 2011, 12:58 PM
Thanks xcpony, interesting insights on how the German system works.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 01:17 PM
Yes she does.

Her clients paid for it.

(I think she eventually got a scholarship to Columbia, but one of her customers was paying her way when she was initially at Pace.)

So yeah, totally typical for your horse training customers to flat out put you through college...

Wow. Why the bitterness? Good for Courtney that a client thought highly enough of her to pay her way. More kudos to Courtney IMHO. Anyone who has the brains and drive to get through college should be supported in their efforts if needed. I'm a great proponent of students on financial aid and the wonderful donors who support them, so you may not want to go down this road with me. ;)

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 02:21 PM
Wow. Why the bitterness? Good for Courtney that a client thought highly enough of her to pay her way. More kudos to Courtney IMHO. Anyone who has the brains and drive to get through college should be supported in their efforts if needed. I'm a great proponent of students on financial aid and the wonderful donors who support them, so you may not want to go down this road with me. ;)

I am not bitter at all.

I am simply saying that this is hardly typical and not an option that would be remotely availble to 99.9999999% of the aspiring dressage world. Most aspiring dressage riders can barely find someone to sponsor a horse, much less their tens of thousands of dollars worth of extracurricular activities.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 02:29 PM
There are a lot of financial aid opportunities out there for qualified and motivated students who are also dressage riders, and I find it simply stunning that you seem to be referring to a college education as an "extracurricular activity." In fact, I think elite athletes may need higher education more than most because they are more likely to need a fall back position. The professional life span of most athletes is short and, with horse pros, there is the very real possibility of having a catastrophic injury.

meupatdoes
May. 25, 2011, 02:45 PM
There are a lot of financial aid opportunities out there for qualified and motivated students who are also dressage riders, and I find it simply stunning that you seem to be referring to a college education as an "extracurricular activity." In fact, I think elite athletes may need higher education more than most because they are more likely to need a fall back position. The professional life span of most athletes is short and, with horse pros, there is the very real possibility of having a catastrophic injury.

As far as your client when you are their horse trainer is concerned, your going to school so that you can do something else if you decide to go with a "fall back position" instead IS an "extracurricular activity."

Especially if you have less time for training their horse because you are doing it.

And you can make all the arguments about why its a great idea for athletes to get an education, (with which I who have an ivy league law degree would agree), the simple fact is that having their training clients fund it is a highly unusual situation.

TheHorseProblem
May. 25, 2011, 02:55 PM
Um, just for the record, Courtney has her degree from Columbia University! She did take time off between high school and college, so she graduated when she was in her mid 20s, but your post is misleading. She is quite well educated--kind of hard to do much better than obtain a degree from an Ivy!

Fat lot of good that did her.

(I'm sorry. I don't really mean that. It's just that I have been trying to derail this thread since its inception. Go back and read the original post. The fish stinks from the head.)

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 03:03 PM
Are you Redux's other alter? Redux seems to think that she should be goddess of all threads out here and instead of thoughtfully joining in, she's out to kill anything she deems as not fitting into her view of her little world. :no:

Just not getting why people can't talk and discuss and put forth options. Not sure why you're trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one, especially when some people have posted some really insightful thoughts out here.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 03:14 PM
And you can make all the arguments about why its a great idea for athletes to get an education, (with which I who have an ivy league law degree would agree), the simple fact is that having their training clients fund it is a highly unusual situation.

What precisely is the point you are trying to make? If someone has the money and wants to put another person through school, where is the problem? A friend of mine's neighbor put my friend's son through college just because she likes him. No other reason. It may be unusual, but it was very kind, and who can argue that we aren't better off with a better educated population.

Courtney is a spectacular rider, bright, motivated, and from what I hear, a very kind person to boot. If I had the money and met someone like her in need, I would gladly finance that person's education.

InWhyCee Redux
May. 25, 2011, 03:18 PM
Are you Redux's other alter? Redux seems to think that she should be goddess of all threads out here and instead of thoughtfully joining in, she's out to kill anything she deems as not fitting into her view of her little world. :no:

Just not getting why people can't talk and discuss and put forth options. Not sure why you're trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one, especially when some people have posted some really insightful thoughts out here.

I do not have an alter, in this forum or any other. Until now, I have not posted on this thread. For you to call me the self-proclaimed "goddess of all threads" here is uncalled for and insulting. Yes, I have put forth my opinions on other threads, some of which have led you to insult me, my riding ability (or lack thereof), my less-than-lofty goals, and even my trainer. For the record, have I EVER criticized YOUR goals or your riding ability?

Seems to me that it is you who are out to discredit everything that does not fit into your definition of dressage (e.g. Training Level, Western dressage, people who ride less than three days a week, the self-proclaimed "peons," H/J riders, blind riders who may or may not be competing against the Australian Olympic team.)

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 03:20 PM
Suzy, want to give me some money? I have some swamp land in FL I need to sell. ;)

Seriously, I agree with suzy. It was very kind of that person. And as for mopey's post, it looks like her credentials keep changing... :lol:

TheHorseProblem
May. 25, 2011, 03:26 PM
Okay, so is the biggest problem in this country with the dearth of good instruction? Or that people will not travel for good instruction--even when they are teachers who are training other riders?

Where does the fault lie? Oh, and don't even try to tell me that the USDF is addressing this. They really aren't. And if they some day ended up being the only approver, a LOT of the really good instructors in this county would be without a job due to politics.

Is it that people just really all think that it should be easy and want the dressage world to revolve around them and their chosen needs of the day? Are we making it TOO easy for people to get into the sport and show...and get ribbons?

I'm really curious. I mean, if we had awesome instruction in this country that was available to everyone, we wouldn't see some of the basic questions that are repeatedly asked out here. Right?

Where does the fault lie--for what?

Do you really think that your average ammy dressage rider gives a rat's ass if their instructor had a certificate or not? And does having one make a good instructor?

Too easy to get into this sport--are you kidding me? You want to exclude people by making it harder? Who the hell are you?

And as far as repeating the basic questions--what, you mean on COTH?

It's just a ridiculous post, that's all. Some good discussion has resulted, but, I mean, it's just doopid.

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 03:30 PM
thehorse,

Well, after over 130 replies and an ongoing conversation on the topic out here, I'd have to say that you're in the minority with your opinion. But you are entitled to have one and air it out here. I'll try to just be a grown up and ignore your topics if I disagree with them. That seems like the mature thing to do...after all.

suzy
May. 25, 2011, 03:46 PM
Do you really think that your average ammy dressage rider gives a rat's ass if their instructor had a certificate or not? And does having one make a good instructor?



I think this is the crux of the discussion. Two of the best instructors I have ever had do not have teaching certificates, but they have trained with the best in Europe, brought a number of horses to GP, and are successful competitors here and abroad. Best of all, they are phenomenal teachers. So, the certificate does not matter to me.

However, if I was just getting started, how would I know if someone is a competent instructor? I am stuck having to make a judgment based on the person's personality and my *perception* of their skill level. I know for a fact that a lot of prospective students are also influenced by how many ribbons are hanging on the wall. And we all know how misleading that can be.

So, I don't agree that there is a dearth of good instructors in this country. Rather, there is a dearth of reliable information on who these people are.

InWhyCee Redux
May. 25, 2011, 03:56 PM
thehorse,

Well, after over 130 replies and an ongoing conversation on the topic out here, I'd have to say that you're in the minority with your opinion. But you are entitled to have one and air it out here. I'll try to just be a grown up and ignore your topics if I disagree with them. That seems like the mature thing to do...after all.

Good idea — why bother to read other people's opinions if you disagree with them? Just don't personally insult people.

InWhyCee Redux
May. 25, 2011, 03:59 PM
So, I don't agree that there is a dearth of good instructors in this country. Rather, there is a dearth of reliable information on who these people are.

Agree with you entirely here.

Velvet
May. 25, 2011, 04:07 PM
Good idea — why bother to read other people's opinions if you disagree with them? Just don't personally insult people.

Um, kettle? This is the pot...


:lol: :lol:

BaroquePony
May. 25, 2011, 08:45 PM
xcpony, thank you for taking the time to post this :yes:.


Posted by xcpony:

I only read the first page of this 6 pages thread because I only have another 20 min from my break but I wanted to comment a little on this too, because I am an American currently living in Germany participating in the Pferdewirt appreticship program right now and I keep seeing refrences comparing European and American training. Well, since I have both expierence in training in the US and now Germany. (lets not confuse Germany for all of Europe... all the European countries train very differently) As far as superiority in training goes, nearly all of the western European countries have a better training system than the US... and the biggest reason why is because they have a system. No system is technically better than any other system but everything is of better quality when there is some kind of system. There is nothing like it in America.

In case you arn't aware of how difficult it is here I will break it down as easily and quick as possible. In Germany there are not many bad novice riders because the system makes it pretty much impossible for a trainer to become a trainer without a crap load of work, riding, and theory learning first being done. Students start off being geared to ride for a purpose, most German students are pushed from their trainers to achieve their Reitabzeichnen which are series of 4 tests which you recieve a medal for when you accomplish them... nothing like the medals from the USDF. The medals here start from 4, 3, 2, 1. You are not even allowed to show at the lowest level of showing till you have the Class 3 medal (something between 1st and 2nd level dressage and 3' jumping plus a very annoyingly difficult but important theory test in dressage, jumping, and general info about horse care and managment)... which will take a minimum of 6 months to accomplish but most likely 1-2 years. I'm working on my Class 4 right now... since I too cannot show untill I get it. Most really decent riders stop somewhere at 3, some accomplish 2, very few accomplish 1) There is even a test before 4 called the Basis which is only theory about the horse's nature, care, horsemanship, etc which you first pass... you are not even allowed to handle or groom a horse at a show without this certificate.

To be accepted into the apprenticship program to become a trainer (which is normally the only way you can become a trainer) you typically need at least the Class 3 accomplished. Then you spend 3 years working, training, and learning... yes... more theory 1-2 times a week at a college. At the 18 month mark you have to test in Warendorf. Its very difficult to get an apprenticship because only Masters can accept you and there are not a lot of Masters in the first place... because that requires even more work and time to become one (+10 years expierence and testing after apprenticship). All the apprentices come to a single location (Warendorf) where they are drilled like crazy for over a week and then the report is given to their Master on what they need to improve on then they are tested again at the end of the 3 years. And if you don't impress the FEI trainers in Warendorf or pass the theory you can't become a trainer. You also are trained on how to give lessons and come up with lesson plans for students during this time... so with all of this in mind the quality of trainers (in Germany, at least) is really heavily regulated.

I can't imagine a system like this will ever show up in America... because it goes against American culture to be so regulated, critical, and to have such high demands. Many Americans have big dreams but do little to accomplish them and as many others commented, they don't like to be pushed outside their comfort zone. Most US riders only have the goal to go to about 2nd level and stop, but German riders dont have that goal. They dont have an particular main goal about their riding, just to be better than they were yesterday. most of them don't even have plans to become an FEI GP rider, they just believe in constantly improving themselves and becoming the best they can be... they dont just hit 2nd level and say okay... im the best i can be now... im done. but they are sponges for wanting to learn and improve and incredibly disciplined and self-motivated people... comes from their culture (the unacceptibility of things that arnt perfect or of exceptional qualitiy lol) the US has good trainers and riders but the majority of the novice riders in the US will never match the quality in quanity of the German novice riders because the culture dosnt allow it.

First the novice riders in America dont have the mentality of the German novice riders. Second, their is nothing governing the qualitiy of riding instructors. Third, the USEA will never except making such changes because the US dosnt like change or strict regulations.

Just another comment I want too add to parents... would you accept a teacher at your child's school you had not done a background check or had gone to college? Would you let them take swiming lessons with out CPR certified instructor? Karate instructors, yoga instructors, swiming instructors are all required to go through a certification system... even a nail stylist and a dog groomer must proove they know something of what they are doing... but hey throwing a 5 year old on 1200 lb animal and calling yourself a professional and taking full responsilbity of the wellbeing of that child while its on that animal... is not required... I just think it dosnt totally make sense. By the way, the ARIA is a joke... sending in videos of you instructing as proof of your knowledge? opps... breaks up... gotta wrap up the ranting :D wow, this post is way too long and has way too many typeos, sorry :)

Velvet
May. 26, 2011, 10:27 AM
The Germans obviously have a very successful program. I just have to wonder about how fair it is. Are there people who leave Germany to train elsewhere because they feel it is too political? Sometimes it might just be sourgrapes if they say it is when they go elsewhere, but is that a problem over there like it seems to be over here?

BaroquePony
May. 26, 2011, 10:40 AM
I'm sure the unhappy Germans are beating the door down to come train in America. And I'll bet they all secretly covet *carrot sticks*.

Velvet
May. 26, 2011, 11:10 AM
I'm sure the unhappy Germans are beating the door down to come train in America. And I'll bet they all secretly covet *carrot sticks*.

Um, since the US doesn't really having anything, it wasn't even on my radar. I was thinking more along the lines of them leaving and going to Holland, etc.

Unhappy German's who want to come here don't need any credentials at all to build up a buisness. They just need an accent. ;)

netg
May. 26, 2011, 11:14 AM
I'm sure the unhappy Germans are beating the door down to come train in America. And I'll bet they all secretly covet *carrot sticks*.

That's what I hear happened with Steffen Peters.

BaroquePony
May. 26, 2011, 11:55 AM
Velvet, sorry, I thought we were discussing the American *program*.

I have ridden under a number of German, French and Austrian instructors that left the *old country*. I am glad they came over here, because really there is a dearth of HIGH QUALITY instruction over here.

ETA: the ones that I have known came over due to political reasons of one sort or another. Take that however you like. America has it's own political nightmares, so I would love to see some effort made to keep the politics under control if at all possible, which I think can happen if there is a well-thought out system. The best of both worlds, so to speak.

canyonoak
May. 26, 2011, 12:21 PM
Maybe all the regulation and difficulty explains why the number of members in German riding clubs has taken the biggest nosedive since the FN started keeping records.
(I will come back with the exact cite and link later--no time right now.

There is a loty of worry in Germany right now about the lack of younger riders.
Only Holland is showing an increase in interest and membership and this has been discussed on various BBs /news services over in Europe.

Western-- not just reining-- OTOH, is gaining great popularity in Germany

xcpony
May. 26, 2011, 03:54 PM
We were talking about the American riding program, but since peps kept bringing up comparisons to Europe I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I think we can sometimes only improve ourselves when we look at systems that do work, it dosnt mean we have to copy them but we can ask ourselves ''What is wrong here and correct there and what can we learn from one another and even improve on?'' :winkgrin:

The German system isnt really that politcal actually, well no one really looks at it like that here... mainly because every working field has some kind of system that is governed by the state that you have to go through to work in that field. So everyone is pretty much use to it here. I mean I guess, there must be so people who don't like it, but I havn't really actively heard anyone call out against it.

I also don't see a lot of Germans leaving Germany to train themselves... why should they? The FN and Government work together to provide a solid training system that obviously works. It is not difficult nor complicated and if you want it and its your dream to become a trainer than you can secure a position as long as you follow the system... kissing butt and having dinner with the boss dosnt do anything to win you points in Germany... they are rather honest and blunt people... if you want something you gotta do it like everyone else does and start from square one. Its very fair... but they are a socialistic country. :yes:

Most Germans are also just a tiny bit egoistic about their knowing that they are pretty much on the top of their game with everyone in the world wanting a German bred horse, a German trainer, a German saddle or German chocolate, beer, or car^^, because they know their standards are high and they are a little overly proud about it (in case you didnt know German beer is also governed by the governement). But German riding is incredbily popular here and really much much more affordable than the US. That is why you do see a lot of Germans leaving Germany only after training here first to go teach in places like... America, because they make a killing there. They can charge the ridculous prices, especially if they have a name you cant pronounce.^^ Americans are willing to pay top dollar for a foreign made car, foregin cuisine, and also foreign training because there is obviously something lacking in the homebred stuff or people just like to be fancy and have imported stuff. ;):cool:

I am sure your sick of hearing stuff about Germany... but it is hard to ignore whenever it is obvious that the country is dominating in the fields of breeding, competiting, and training. If we are going to start somewhere and say lets make a rough draft based on a system that works, I think its a good place to start to investigate. ;)

Velvet
May. 27, 2011, 11:09 AM
Velvet, sorry, I thought we were discussing the American *program*.

Love your asteriks. Yeah, not much of one is there? ;)

not again
May. 27, 2011, 11:26 AM
It is also a modern issue. I hate to use the"back in the day" comment but there were many WWII military refugees who came here with cavalry training, and set up riding schools with standards similar to their training at home.
The list of Hungarians includes Bert deNemethy, Gabor Foltenyi, Deszo Szilagyi, and Laddie Andahazy. I was first instructed by Dutch riding master to Queen Wilamina Jan Janssen. Hans van Schaik was a fixure in New England after coming from Holland, as Lillian Wittmack Roye was in Pa. Max von Bleucher was a fixture in Mn. Klaus Albin spent time in a POW camp in Tennessee, and immigrated back to the US to become a trainer a Tempel Farms.
Jack leGoff was a successful grand prix dressage rider as well as an Olympian in the Three Day Event. Some of the best two tempi changes and pirouettes I have ever seen were with Bret deNemethy riding San Lucas, a 17.3 thoroughbred.
Those of use who really wanted to learn about dressage had ample opportunity to learn basics from these people and others. And those basics are very different from the basics being offered up by the mass of teachers and trainers today, now often consisting of grab the front end and squeeze the back end of the horse, with the horse going nowhere.
Hence the label, crank and spank coaches.

Classical Truth
May. 28, 2011, 12:32 AM
"Those of use who really wanted to learn about dressage had ample opportunity to learn basics from these people and others. And those basics are very different from the basics being offered up by the mass of teachers and trainers today, now often consisting of grab the front end and squeeze the back end of the horse, with the horse going nowhere.
Hence the label, crank and spank coaches."

And when those so called trainers use other names to advertise themselves it leads to degradation of the Master's name and the quality of dressage/horsemanship, as they have NO understanding of the basic and therefore teach with the horse in resistance. Do not judge Instructors/Teachers/Masters by those who have to use their Instructors/Teachers/Masters name to validate themselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpKMkt8S55s

merrygoround
May. 28, 2011, 04:47 PM
As mentioned before.

There are good dressage instructors out there. certified and uncertified. However the novice rider, and sometimes even the intermediate rider has difficulty recognizing them.

It is daunting for a rider who has spent time and money on "lessons" to find themselves taken back to the basics, losing their reins, and stirrups because this new instructor keeps babbling about "seat and leg", and transitions without reins.
What!!! :eek: Not to mention actually actually riding the sitting trot. :lol:

So they beat a hasty retreat back to the yank and crank club. And are delighted that now they can do "First" without learning to sit.

Bless those who hang around and learn. :yes:

And as for a recent post including an "interesting" video. Even the great masters have, or in this case had, to eat. ;)

TickleFight
May. 28, 2011, 06:04 PM
As mentioned before.

There are good dressage instructors out there. certified and uncertified. However the novice rider, and sometimes even the intermediate rider has difficulty recognizing them.

It is daunting for a rider who has spent time and money on "lessons" to find themselves taken back to the basics, losing their reins, and stirrups because this new instructor keeps babbling about "seat and leg", and transitions without reins.
What!!! :eek: Not to mention actually actually riding the sitting trot. :lol:

So they beat a hasty retreat back to the yank and crank club. And are delighted that now they can do "First" without learning to sit.

Bless those who hang around and learn. :yes:

And as for a recent post including an "interesting" video. Even the great masters have, or in this case had, to eat. ;)

Too true. The number of dressage riders today who have never learned to sit on a horse is disappointing. A good foundation takes time and dedication to learn, and I see fewer and fewer people who make the effort.

I was really lucky when I started riding. My trainer was a student of Bodo Hangen, another German expat, and there was no way I was going to make it off the longe until I became competent without stirrups and reins. She taught me how to jump too. To this day I still ride once a week without stirrups... and in a Stubben Tristan Extra.