Hi everyone! I am 13 and I really love dressage. My goal is to make it to the 2024 olympics! So far I have not competed to much but I practice a lot. If anyone has any tips on how to get there and qualify for WEG? And also am I right that you must go to the World Equestrian Games to qualify for the olympics??
Get a good trainer to help you out.
Explain to them your goals and just know that if you currently do not have a top level horse it will cost quite a bit to get one and compete and train.
I do know of a young girl who went to a junior Olympics or Young rider (cant remember the name) and her horse was a Schoolmaster at only 3rd when they started and was not too expensive at all so it can happen.
Start early. Get good help!
Welcome to dressage! :)
Ask yourself this: what is it about competing in the Olympics that's so important to me?
Is it the level of riding or the level of competition?
You can get to Grand Prix with hard work, determination, and the right horse on a budget.
You cannot get to the Olympics without boat loads of money.
Thanks! I know the money factor is HUGE, but I am hoping that I can end up being like that horse that either won the olympics or almost won. The $80 champion?? I want to find a good horse for less than $10,000 and even less than $5,000 if possible just to get me to a higher level then look into a more expansive horse. Thank you all for the tips!
You want to get to the Olympics by the time you are 25?
Charlotte Dujardin was 27.
Courtney King-Dye was 34.
These are the young phenoms.
The things they both had in common were that they were working students for Olympic caliber programs. Courtney left home at age 17, took a bus, and moved in at Lendon's. Charlotte has been working at Carl Hester's every day since age 20 or 21.
Neither of them owned their own horses.
They found a top top TOP level stable to work at and then worked and rode other people's horses for years and years.
Even if you magically get a free international caliber horse, just competing in Young Riders is like $30k a year. Shows and getting to them cost a lot.
This is why the route for these young phenoms has generally been to work for others and ride other people's horses, as a full time job, from a very early age.
So if I were you I would change your focus from finding the right horse to finding the right trainer to work for for the next decade or two. :)
Really agree with finding the right place. Right now you should worry about a great lesson program with very nice horses that you can move up to. When you are older, say 18, you may have to leave home for a working student position at an Olympic caliber barn. Then it will take years to build the skills needed to really have someone want you to show and ride their Olympic caliber horse at shows. Really getting the caliber horse and training you need on your own is very expensive and unless your parents or you have lots of unused money laying around it's a hard road to do it on your own. You need the help of top level riders and barns. I'd start by maybe emailing a few riders to discuss with them your goals and get your name in their ears a bit. Ask them what you need to do to be at their barn. What level of training and what age also do you need to be at to come in as a working student. Get your plans and goals together and work toward them.
I understand that I need to worry about training and what not more than I need to worry about owning a good horse. I do not own but own horse now. It is going to be a challenge that I am looking forward to. There was a girl just this year that got to the olympics at age 18! That is really young and she probably worked her butt off to get there. That is my plan to work as hard as I can.
Everyone is so busy bringing the OP back down to earth, but not all that much practical advice has been offered. I was 13 once and believed that maybe, just maybe it could happen as soon as I was eligible, if all the stars aligned.... that kind of dreaming is what being 13 is for!! Dressagegirl, if you haven't already, get involved with your nearest Pony Club and look out for opportunities. Start taking dressage lessons with a trainer who has produced successful young riders, and ask them if you can do extra chores at their barn. That can lead you on to other opportunities to become a working student. Also, start reading everything you can get your hands on and watch as many people ride as you possibly can.
To ride at the Olympics these days is definitely a long shot, but the work you put in trying to reach that goal will stand you in good stead for perhaps more realistic competition goals that you'll develop as you get older.
Another factor to think about is networking and attitude. If you are a difficult person (which I don't think you are) people wont want to help you along. The best riders don't make it to the Olympics.
Networking is making connections with people.
Two books that I recommend for you to read are: Outliers this is not a horse book but is a book about being successful and How Good Riders Get Good this is a horse book and will echo some of what you read in Outliers.