I think it can be a gray area. I school alot of my trainer's sale horses 1) because she gets some cool horses in that anyone would love to ride and 2) she doesn't always have time to do it. I will also warm up the kids at a show if she is at different ring. Now I pay for full service board, shipping, entries etc. So according to my empty wallet - I am an amatuer. But do I get some free "perks"? For example, my trainer will school my horse more than the one time per week she gets paid to if I can't get to the barn. So I guess there is a bit a barter system going on. But I certainly don't consider myself one of the "shamatuers" I see around shows.
I do understand that perception is reality but I just wish Ms. S would have asked me what the deal was. I really cannot speak for the other people at the barn's situation, only my own.
I would have been happy to tell Ms. S why I teach, and why I don't need the income from teaching -- there is a reason for that too, and I would rather not go into it here. I don't think it is fair to assume things without knowing the facts.
And yes, you guys are correct. Any remuneration, whether it be bartering for services, or direct payment would make a person a professional, so I can definitely understand why people would be upset at the "shamateurs" out there.
And by the way, Ms. S -- the "payment" I received from Mickey was a beer.
Toronto, a city that\'s not won a Stanley Cup in my damned lifetime
Can we contemplate for a second the following scenario.
Let's assume I have a horse I want shown in the amateur jumper divisions, as the horse's best resale value is as an amateur jumper. There is an 18 year-old amateur at our barn who is cash-strapped and could not otherwise show a nice, competitive horse, unless we provided one for them. We pay the board, the amateur dedicates two years to bringing the horse along, we pay entries, and associated show costs, the amateur in appreciation will occassionally school our child.
Two years later the horse is sold on at great profit, largely due to the efforts of the amateur. We want to compensate the amateur as our token of appreciation -- given the current rules though, we can't.
We can rail against the 'shamateurs' all we like but perhaps we can similarly acknowledge that the rules may not work in anyone's favour -- and in certain instances qualify as being unfair.
MargaretF- I am truly sorry that you have taken offense and are upset by my post. If you really have never received any kind of compensation and are doing this out of love, then I must commend you for selfless contribution to this sport. I only wish I had the time and dedication that you do! As Sleepy said, this may be a case of perception vs. reality. I would recommend that in your case you should minimize your open participation in any activities where someone might misconstrue the situation and deem you a professional according to AHSA rules. And it is not a question of ability, only of honesty.
Of course, that may not explain the other amateurs at the barn that are getting paid, even if it is only a few dollars a week. This should not be condoned by the barn, and it reflects on their reputation when they allow this to happen. But how do you protest a barn?
One just has to hope that everyone will play by the rules, even though they don't always seem fair!
Don't get me wrong, I think I should be able to teach lessons to kids and still be an amatuer!
I said somewhere on some post that there should be something like to stay an amatuer your students can't compete above a certain level or something along those lines.
I think that if I have a handful of kids that do stuff like the W/T, short stirrup, student hunter type divisions I should still be able to compete in the adult amatuer classes. Riding is expensive, and a few extra dollars could certainly open up some additional opportunities for me.
But that is not what the rules say. I believe in rules, and regulations and boundaries. That is what keeps us civil.
I also think that rules should change if they aren't affective or fair.
**Before you can be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid.**
S - I would have been happy to tell you that my trust fund pays for my riding. All you had to do was ask me. I am pretty much an open book and feel that if anyone has a question, they should ask me!
Its up to you to decide what to do about the other folks at the barn, but definitely if you feel strongly about it, you should do what you feel is the right thing. Maybe they just need to be educated about the situation and the potential rule violation.
Moe, you asked "what about the parents who are paying good money for a lesson to be taught by a teenager or "amateur" that has no business teaching." I have seen plenty of crappy professionals out there, so just because someone says they are a "professional", it doesn't mean they are a good trainer.
MargaretF - I agree that maybe these people just need to be educated about the rules and how they could be violating them. But who's responsibility is it to educate them? I would think that their employer would make them aware, but I think in this case the barn is knowingly condoning this situation. Maybe they think it is a way of getting cheap instructors? Of course, maybe I'm wrong about that too.
And I definitely agree that calling yourself a professional does not make you a good trainer. There are some young people out there that are very good teachers and are more worthy of a paycheck than some of the bigger trainers...as long as they're not showing in the amateurs!
I couldn't agree more that some pro's shouldn't be. But.... I've seen first hand the people that are teaching there. I think it's cheap labor and the parents are getting ripped off. But that's just the way that particular barn has operated from day one.
Ms. S -- maybe what we can do is just let the management of MM know that there are a number of people who are questioning the ami status of some of the instructors. I think once they know that there are questions being raised, they will quickly address the situation (well, one would hope so, anyway).
Anyway, welcome to the board -- it is a really fun place, and I get lots of great information here.
Thank you VT Rider -- I don't know what I was thinking -- I just got worried that I had offended you.
Okay, I feel much better now, guys! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
Yes, there are some shamateurs out there who make you want to grind your teeth, but I am still getting regularly beat by a lot more riders who are fortunate enough to have several mounts, and can jump/practice more than me, or the spouses of trainers who have access to a lot more animals than I will ever have. Only problem is that they are not breaking the rules. So I try to color me green with envy, instead of red with anger (besides, I like green more than red [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] )
And usually before I get too green with envy, I am witness to one of those lovely spouse/trainer "discussions" in the schooling area or at the in gate. Then I lose all envy. It's mentally hard enough to do this sport, without getting trained by a loved one.
Should an amateur who is not "good enough" to teach intermediate lessons really be teaching beginners?
I understand that showing costs a lot of money, especially in the A/A division where prize money is a joke. But there are plenty of other ways to earn a few extra bucks legally.
I just started a business ($100 start up cost!) in January and am already showing a profit. I'm not going to get rich real quick off it, but I expect it to be paying my board bill by March. Email me if you want more info, it's fun and easy.
I agree Janet! It seems to me the logical solution. However, Someone will always feel slighted and there will always be people who try to bend the rules. It is impossible to make everyone happy and be totally fair.
What about this "working student" deal? They're still considered amateurs, right? I don't see a big difference. On the other hand, I see a lot of abuse of the amy rule at the various barns I've ridden at. You just have to chalk it up to the fact that some people will cheat, and that's that. Personally, I wouldn't have the cajones to show in the amateur divisions, with everyone knowing I was a big cheat -- but to each his or her own.