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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Catharpin, Virginia
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    6,691

    Default Classifying the level of expertise...can be funny, interesting or a bit sad...

    Having been a horsemen who has been around u/l rider/trainers and training myself I'm always "gentle" to those who think have they more skill than they really do,. Especially those who may treat them like motorcyles but don't know any different. I try to judicisously take them over to "the other side" (aka it takes years and devotion -- and it IS a living species).

    It's troublesome for horses who have humans to depend upon their care when so many deem themselves and adverstise themselves as advanced riders, trainers and "breakers"... who know so little. Many are in their teens and 20's. Horse owners glom to them.

    What is most troublesome it the new horse public buys it hook, line and sinker.

    Maybe a sign of the times. Maybe it's just me -- just being and older horseman -- who worries about these shortcuts for those seeking fame and recognition at the expense a real knowledge of horses.

    Is this just me...or am I just more aware of something that has been around for a long time?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2008
    Location
    now in KCMO, and plan to stay there
    Posts
    3,056

    Default

    I agree with you! The 'instant experts' I've come across have been alternately terrifying or depressing to observe. I would classify myself as an 'older horsewoman' too, having just attained the age of 58. I was so very, very blessed to have learned much of what I know from a woman who was a stickler for teaching complete horsemanship, not just how to ride.
    Last edited by sdlbredfan; Nov. 18, 2009 at 09:04 PM. Reason: add and fix a typo
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Hay

    I'm an older horsewoman but by no means u/l. One thing I see missing is grooming and spending time with the horse in the cross ties; grooming, playing, checking various bumps and things. Really knowing your horse. It does seem get on and go is the norm these days but then again, maybe I'm out of the loop on this...

    I worked for an elderly woman in the 70s who would send you back up to the barn to regroom even if it meant missing half your lesson. While I've never trained or even been near George Morris, I hear he does the same.
    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
    One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
    Posts
    7,229

    Default

    sid, its not you, its the culture....and it sucks
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    229

    Default

    Culture indeed - I think parents that get a kick out of ribbons are part of the problem. My parents were great, but they didn't care a hoot about blowing money on a "hobby." I think making me work for my rides backfired on them, though! But they did save money, and I learned a LOT more - didn't own a horse for 19 years, rode everything I could, sucked up knowledge like a sponge. Maybe it's the internet- the fanciest barns have such nice websites I also think the economy is part of it - most barns I knew growing up weren't new, they'd been then forever, and it wasn't a money making scheme. I do understand the pressures on trainers- why not take people's money if it means you can afford to support your habit and the real riders? I have seen some top barns that define levels of riding, and you don't move up to the higher level jumps or whatever, until you have the horse management skills to boot - like an internal Pony Club rating system. Kudos to those trainers! They train horsemen, not just riders.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    Location
    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
    Posts
    12,079

    Default

    twenty years ago on the ranch, we did public and group trail rides. The way we filtered it out was to ask "how many HOURS of riding time have you had in your life?"

    Generally the people who really knew their stuff would put something like 100+... or 500+, but nothing exorbitant. They KNOW enough to know they DON'T want the 'advanced rider' horse...

    And the 'cowboys' would have, say, 10 and be All About how much they knew. Every once in awhile we'd give them the mostest advanced horse, Lucky. Lucky was big and black and handsome. Handy and proud... staff loved to use him--he made you look good. BUT--dig your heels in, yank on his mouth, or grip with your thighs? Lucky wouldn't move. And then, sometimes, if you gripped hard enough with your thighs, he'd lay down.

    I dunno... I think it's just part and parcel of the changes in society. Instant results, gizmos, gadgets... just an entirely different... I don't even know the word... karma's not quite it... just a different spirit to it all these days.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,964

    Default

    So, I am not just old, but more like an antique, I think, so my views of today's horse world may be somewhat skewed.

    What I think is happening is that there are many instant experts out there, that don't know how little they know.

    I think that many years ago, most people came to horses knowing that they didn't know much and ready to learn and, as they learned, they may have been eager beaver with their new knowledge, but didn't dismiss everyone else around them as not possibly knowing something.

    I see that especially with some that are following the NH gurus, that they now know it all and think no one else knows what they are talking about.

    I am sad about them, try to be gentle with my words, but sometimes, the devil gets the best of me and I do speak up, even knowing that they are not ready to listen, they think they already know it all and the only one that they listen to is their guru of the moment.

    Those gurus many times foster that, saying that they are the great ones and everyone else doesn't understand horses, if not is right down abusing them.

    The times, they are changing...



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2008
    Posts
    581

    Default

    On the other hand, there are some more experienced horse people who have had years to perfect their methods, and I wouldn't want to attempt to learn anything from them, either, because the methods they have spent years honing are not necessarily appropriate.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,305

    Default

    I have just turned that corner where I have found myself taking lessons from trainers younger than me. I'm not old so much as Old Skool. Thanks to a broad horse-education as a kid, I usually have some decent ideas about how the horse underneath me is going, how he ought to go and a handful of ways to get there.

    When I see the Whippersnappers, I really try to keep a lid on my judgement. I was once one... at least in my mind. I, too, could swing my leg over some of the nasty or untalented horses they do, or deal with whacky owners that come with whatever the horse is. But I remember that 1) I chose not be a pro and 2) It's a hard life.

    Let 'em do what they do. IMO, the market, sooner or later, lets the cream rise to the top. In the meantime, if someone wants to spend an entire career in round pens doing a whole lot of nothing, I say "go for it!" I also remain gently amazed that they can find people to pay them for what they do.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GilbertsCreeksideAcres View Post
    On the other hand, there are some more experienced horse people who have had years to perfect their methods, and I wouldn't want to attempt to learn anything from them, either, because the methods they have spent years honing are not necessarily appropriate.
    True.

    Let me put my previous post in perspective for you.
    There is a lady that, for several years now, sounds like a certain guru's infomercial, always telling all those glowing stories of what they do and how good it is and how bad all other kinds of riding are.

    One day, she happily posted a video of a fellow riding around, jumping some barrels on their sides and once in and out of an arena, then spinning a horse around and other such, without any tack.

    That is sure interesting to watch, very accomplished in several ways, but the comment was made that the horse didn't know how to jump, chiped in at the barrels, barely made it over the fence and back, didn't use himself well enough to have kept jumping without crashing, as he was flat and getting flatter and front legs hanging.
    As the horse was spinning, front end going one way, hind end scooting another, not rocking over his hind end and properly crossing in front, he was hopping up and down and almost hitting himself or stepping on itself part of the time.

    It was showing a horse that had not learned the technical parts of carrying a weight and handling his mass and that of the rider in space in an effective way, was running around helter skelter and a misstep out of a wreck.

    The fellow may have been an accomplished rider in a seat of the pants way, but he was barely a beginner as far as knowing how to ask a horse to move correctly, so the horse can work smoothly and stay sound and happy in his work.
    That basic, very important knowledge was missing.

    When that was pointed to her, her comment was that the fellow was a very advanced rider and how marvelous what he was doing was and that we didn't know what we were looking at.

    That is the kind of person I was talking about in my previous post.
    There seem to be more and more of them around, that already know so much AND know that no one else knows.

    Some times, the old knowledge is really not that obsolete as some may think.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
    Location
    Catharpin, Virginia
    Posts
    6,691

    Default

    Pintopiaffe....

    Everyone should have a "Lucky" in their barn to humble those who need it.

    Frankly, horses are better teachers than people anyway....



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,687

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LilyandBaron View Post
    Culture indeed - I think parents that get a kick out of ribbons are part of the problem. My parents were great, but they didn't care a hoot about blowing money on a "hobby." I think making me work for my rides backfired on them, though! But they did save money, and I learned a LOT more - didn't own a horse for 19 years, rode everything I could, sucked up knowledge like a sponge. Maybe it's the internet- the fanciest barns have such nice websites I also think the economy is part of it - most barns I knew growing up weren't new, they'd been then forever, and it wasn't a money making scheme. I do understand the pressures on trainers- why not take people's money if it means you can afford to support your habit and the real riders? I have seen some top barns that define levels of riding, and you don't move up to the higher level jumps or whatever, until you have the horse management skills to boot - like an internal Pony Club rating system. Kudos to those trainers! They train horsemen, not just riders.
    We must have been separated at birth

    When I choose to take on a student (yes, I choose), they know before they ever set foot near a horse, that they will learn everything: from Paddock Poop Patrol 101, to Fence Tightening & Repair, to Grooming to Win.... it's NOT just about riding. Riding is a privilege.

    No shows, no ribbons, no drama or attitude. Horsemanship, plain and simple.

    If they don't like it, I refer them to a lesson program down the road.

    Alas, there are many causes to this current effect. The internet itself is major: it has put instant info within instant reach. No more does a kid have to spend hours alongside a horseman/woman to absorb or be taught. They just Google it and, in their naivete', take the first thing they see/read as gospel and run with it.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoMare View Post
    We must have been separated at birth

    When I choose to take on a student (yes, I choose), they know before they ever set foot near a horse, that they will learn everything: from Paddock Poop Patrol 101, to Fence Tightening & Repair, to Grooming to Win.... it's NOT just about riding. Riding is a privilege.

    No shows, no ribbons, no drama or attitude. Horsemanship, plain and simple.

    If they don't like it, I refer them to a lesson program down the road.

    Alas, there are many causes to this current effect. The internet itself is major: it has put instant info within instant reach. No more does a kid have to spend hours alongside a horseman/woman to absorb or be taught. They just Google it and, in their naivete', take the first thing they see/read as gospel and run with it.
    I say, maybe we just need to learn to be better teachers.



  14. #14

    Default

    Three questions were used to start sorting my "advanced" University riders into lesson groups:

    Suppose you are riding in a L circle in a flat class:

    What posting diagonal should you be on?

    Which lead should you ask the horse for?

    How would you ask for a counter canter?

    Gave me a good idea of what I actually had to work with. I think a certain amount of bravado/bull**** is inherent to anything with horses

    I don't know that it is generational,,.. we simply seem to attract it.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 1999
    Location
    Clayton, CA USA
    Posts
    4,967

    Default

    I just found out yesterday that a kid I know, who, just a few years ago was incapable of riding a 20+ gelding I offered him, is now a "colt starter". This is wrong on so many levels. It means that he is selling himself to owners as someone who can help them, and he is utterly, totally, and completely incompetent. He is apparently attracting business, which is even more horrifying. I wonder how many horses he will ruin before he moves on to his next career.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
    www.mysticowlsporthorses.com



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    6,813

    Default

    I got my first pony 35 years ago (tomorrow exactly) and every day I worry more and more about all the stuff I DON'T know.
    The more perfect our happiness,
    the more nagging and wretched
    do our unsolved problems seem.
    ~ Gordon Grand



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2008
    Posts
    2,887

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoMare View Post
    We must have been separated at birth

    When I choose to take on a student (yes, I choose), they know before they ever set foot near a horse, that they will learn everything: from Paddock Poop Patrol 101, to Fence Tightening & Repair, to Grooming to Win.... it's NOT just about riding. Riding is a privilege.

    No shows, no ribbons, no drama or attitude. Horsemanship, plain and simple.

    If they don't like it, I refer them to a lesson program down the road.

    Alas, there are many causes to this current effect. The internet itself is major: it has put instant info within instant reach. No more does a kid have to spend hours alongside a horseman/woman to absorb or be taught. They just Google it and, in their naivete', take the first thing they see/read as gospel and run with it.
    Our special needs riders are taught this way. To the best of their ability of course, but there is no glitter blown around, we want our kids to learn the skills that will last them a lifetime. If they work hard and do their best we pay the fees and take them to the local shows so they can reap the rewards of their hard work. I will proudly boast that some of our riders are lookin' pretty sharp out there Two have taken Gold and Silver medals at the NYS Special Olympics state games and medals in local shows.

    I'm so proud of these kids it's silly
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2008
    Posts
    161

    Default

    I'm a college student who KNOWS that I don't know very much. I've been riding for about 8 years, never owned my own horse and still trying to learn everything I can. My trainer however is one of you guys He's an older horseman who know horses inside and out, in his 70s and just recently quit jumping, however he still reins. I've had many instructors through the years, from the young 25 year old to a 50 year old ex-florida A circuit judge, and now I've ridden with my current trainer for 4 years and still can't help but admire all of his years of knowledge. His stables was passed down to him from his father, it's old but well built and well taken care of. I've done the fancy barn, young instructor and found that it really wasn't anything nice. I much prefer my older horseman trainer and his older barn to anything else I've experienced. I hope that someday I'll be that "older horsewoman" who has enough experience to claim that, but as of right now I'm still just a young, inexperienced kid with a whole lot more to learn.

    And at my current barn, you come for a lesson, you stay afterwords to help out. I love to show up at the barn super early, help turn out horses bring horses in, muck stalls and whatever else is needed, take my lesson, then do the same thing after my lesson. To me, yea riding is great, but it's the time with the horses I value the most; and that includes learning how to properly care for them.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2008
    Posts
    2,887

    Default

    Just to clarify...I am lucky I have learned from some amazing and talented horsepeople and have worked with some who were not amazing and talented. Seeing it done so badly really makes you want to do it right lol! Especially when it comes to the special needs kids. They deserve so much bless their hearts, I hate it when they just get "good enough" from instructors and programs. There should be no such words as "good enough" in the English language. =

    Strive to achieve all that you can to the best of your ability as you know it, not what someone else decides is enough.
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,848

    Default

    Sadly, there's at least half a dozen of those within 20 miles of me. Expand to 60 miles, and I don't even want to begin to count. Probably at least 50. They typically advertise on craigslist, using the same 3-4 pictures of some little kid or adult ammy plodding along on a lesson horse, even for training ads. If you're lucky, you might see a picture of the actual trainer trotting along on some inverted, wooly beast or perching on the neck of the same poor beast over a 2' jump. If there ARE photos of the "pro" riding, it is on the same horse, over and over.

    I am personally acquainted with one of the locals, and have met or know by association a few others. We're in the same age group, relatively (I'm 22), and word gets around in this area. None of them seem to show much, and if they do it only happens at the rank beginner schooling shows. When approached about their experience and asked to produce pictures, placings, ribbons - they vehemently avoid the subject and become extremely defensive.

    I suppose it is easier to maintain such a facade if you never actually APPEAR at a rated show where you might prove that you really don't have the skill or knowledge that you've been advertising yourself to have.

    I will consider myself a young semi-pro. I do not advertise or solicit for business. I do, however, occasionally have people approach ME with teaching and training opportunities. I do not profess to know everything, and I'm honest about what I've done and where I've been. At this point, I start and train my own personal horses and have a network of highly respected trainers to fall back on if I need help. I compete regularly with consistent success and hope to continue to do so and make a name for myself that way - with proven results, rather than exaggerated lies.

    Have faith. Not all of us are naive liars.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



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