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  1. #41
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    Thumbs up Right on Alagirl!!!

    I'm with Alagirl. There are many ammies out there who have the talent and abilities to ride these difficult horses, but who early in their educational life decided that the life of a professional wasn't for them. They had known many

    So they like the professionals, rely on the advice and help of professionals to continue educating their horses, albeit at a slower pace because life gets in the way. They don't always hand their horses off to a pro to be trained, they enjoy the journey too much.
    Last edited by merrygoround; Nov. 29, 2012 at 05:42 PM.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWjumper View Post
    I want to add to this thought, because it's so true.

    The absolute BEST pros I know are that way because they've never stopped learning and still take lessons from other pros. Same goes for the best amateurs. They're the best because they know who to go to for help and when to ask for help.

    In short, the best riders and trainers are that way because of that willingness and desire to learn something from everyone.

    I would say that NO ONE does it completely on their own.
    Yes.

    The top riders still work with other pros. I loved at the USDF convention last year when Anne Gribbons pointed out something about Weltino's Magic when Steffen Peters was riding him, and Steffen asked her to tell the crowd he hadn't felt what she just told him; I can't remember what it was, but as a spectator it was something easy to see. Steffen may be the best dressage rider in the world, and this is why even he rides with other pros. If I were to make it to GP, not to world championships even, it would be because of having professionals watch and help me.

    At the same time, I feel full training and you only ride once a week in a lesson to get to championships is completely NOT the way things need to go.

    In my case I have my trainer ride my horse probably on average 2 hours/month to feel what he's like and if there's anything I need to fix which can be better felt than seen. I take regular lessons and go to as many clinics which fit my riding style as possible also. I am progressing much faster than I would without help because there are eyes on the ground who see problems I may or may not feel, but also because they can say "YES! That's it!" when I'm going for something as well.


    As a kid I did breed shows. I had my horse at home and qualified him for the (open) PHBA world show myself, but I took both private and group lessons at the same time, trailering to my trainer's for that. By then my trainer pretty much didn't ride my horse and my horse was still improving. But I wouldn't call that going without a trainer. In the end, my parents split up two weeks before world show entries were due so I didn't get to go. Another youth in the state had never beaten me in several classes she went on to win at the world show, so I can only assume I would have done well... My trainer from my youth is still doing breed shows and has had students get multiple championships at their respective national shows with horses who are in someone's backyard, horses he may or may not ride regularly.


    Someone mentioned learning to train your own horse to go better vs. training rides to "fix" your riding mentality. My former breed show trainer definitely expected us to improve our horses in our rides, and while he was demanding and picked up on little things we did to fix, it was fun and most definitely did not feel like we were dependent on him. My current trainer is both a dressage and eventing trainer, and she is the same way - part of why I love her!
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed


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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by amm2cd View Post
    Totilas would not be the horse he is today without the training. This is where an experienced trainer picked, say, ten youngsters to be started as sport horses. One made it to be Totilas. All probably had talent... One ended up being trained by Gal, which made him into the SuperHorse he is.
    But it's a bit of a chicken and the egg, or nature v nurture argument. Would he be that great of a horse if an ammy had seen him as a weanling and bought him because she liked his socks?


    The natural ability isn't hard to find (though the exceptional horses are unique). I think that there are lots of horses who could be competing higher and more successfully than they are with their owners. It's the owners/riders that make the horses what they are.
    F for comprehension.
    It was not the point, is not the point and shall not be the point whether or not the exceptional horse is born or made.
    The examples was means to illustrate the direction my question was headed.



    I've never had a trainer tell me that I can't ride my horse, though I would never claim that I've gone at it alone. I have had countless hours of lessons, the patience of nice schoolmasters, coaches at shows helping me enter the right classes and navigate the warm ups when I was just starting out.

    Anyone who says that they are a self made rider is lying. There are hundreds of hours that others have invested in your journey, be it by cleaning stalls, coaching at a show, giving your horse a 'training ride or two', clinics, lessons, etc.

    Let's give credit where credit is due. Though some people choose more support than others, none of us have done this alone.
    again.
    wide off the mark.

    it is not a question of how we got there.
    The starting point of this discussion, in the vein attempt to exclude the million of variables was a 'made' rider in possession of the skill set to advance to the high levels.

    I think my late sister had it, she never had the luck to find the horse.

    This is not about the lesson, be it regularly once a week (or more often for that matter. It is work, after all), but the over all picture. Resigning yourself to be spectator more than participant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


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  4. #44
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    [QUOTE=Alagirl;6693774]F for comprehension.
    It was not the point, is not the point and shall not be the point whether or not the exceptional horse is born or made.
    The examples was means to illustrate the direction my question was headed.
    [\quote]

    No, it was not your OP, I get that. But since you didn't trademark your example, some of us ran with it to illustrate our point... If you read the whole thread (which i'm sure you did, didn't you?) you said that:

    or the sake of argument, let's say the Ammy can ride at the level, and the horse is the equivalent of Totilas.

    I mean, even an ammy can luck out and find that diamond.
    then followed that up with:
    yes, you luck out getting a horse like this.
    He was one of a few hundred born that year, with similar bloodlines.
    I am sure seasoned pros will tell you it is luck having a horse come your way that is this good.

    And the ammies that ride that good get that way by riding and not watching the trainer.
    I think you neglected to take in to account all of the hours that someone put into making that world class horse the horse he is today and making that hypothetical worldclass ammy the rider that they are today.

    That is not done without a teacher of some sort. If you want to be an Olympic Dressage rider, you got help from someone

    again.
    wide off the mark.
    Not my quote, not my problem.
    it is not a question of how we got there.
    The starting point of this discussion, in the vein attempt to exclude the million of variables was a 'made' rider in possession of the skill set to advance to the high levels.

    I think my late sister had it, she never had the luck to find the horse.

    This is not about the lesson, be it regularly once a week (or more often for that matter. It is work, after all), but the over all picture. Resigning yourself to be spectator more than participant.
    Vain, not vein. Unless you're working for a h/j show barn (kidding!)

    Also, I think, if that was your point, your OP was poorly worded.
    Reading through that other thread I was struck at how many people concede to the presumed fact that an amateur cannot take a horse to a high level competition stage with success without having a professional do the majority of the work.
    Having a pro do 'the majority of the work' could mean boarding and having someone take care of your horse for the 23 hours a day that you (the rider) aren't there. It could mean financing a rider's career and sponsoring their showing goals a la Ann Romney (who also rides).

    I think the ammys who want to succeed at the top levels, do... But rarely without help.


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  5. #45
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    as far as I understand, many/most olympic riders (and FEI level) do not ride with out a coach present (dressage).

    I did the dressage thing sans coach and I never will again. I happen to enjoy lessons a lot and its all very positive. I did have to go through 4 trainers to find one I really clicked with (over many years). I do however take a VERY active role in my learning and don't expect to be tied with a leash to my trainer. I can experiment/try things on my own within reason. I don't want to say we are equals in riding skill--- but I don't think its just the fact I listen to her and do what she says..... I get to discuss and add my own thoughts and suggestions.



  6. #46
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    I am sure, the breeder will attest to the luck he had to produce this horse, repeating the pairing a million times over he might never come up with something this great.
    THIS. Yes, training is what gets the horse to the top... But breeding is what gets the ball rolling. Very VERY few horses have the capability to make it to the top and if you head over to the breeding forum they can tell you how it is absolutely 100% one-in-a-million luck that you will produce a horse that has a chance to be the next Totilas. 99.9% of the foals born have zero hope of being that good even with the best training in the world.

    I don't want this to come off as conceited or braggy, but I consider myself a talented ammy. I fully believe that if I had pursued a pro career at 20 I would have been very successful. I work my ass off just like the pros on the one horse I have to ride and just like every pro I know that is worth their salt, I make sure I regularly have good eyes on the ground to keep me moving forward. Doing this I have reached a very respectable level of success on a very nice, moderately talented horse. I bought a fancier baby and hope to do even better on him in the future. But I will never be as good as my coach and I can tell you why.

    The difference, and the reason most ammys will never be as good as the talented pros, is that I ride one horse per day. My coach rides 10+ very different, very talented horses per day who are going at all levels from super green to GP. If you take two people with the same innate talent and one of them rides one or two horses per day for 20 years, while the other rides 10 or 12 horses per day for 20 years, the first rider will never be as good as the second. Bottom line, for the rider it comes down to hours in the saddle.

    So yes, it takes luck... Finding that one in a million horse. And it takes a massive amount of hours each day that most ammys don't have the ability to put in.


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  7. #47
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    I think this thread might have been a spin-off of my thread (if so, I'm so proud...that's a first for me! )

    My thought is this:
    The biggest difference between ammies and pros, as aluded to by the prior poster, is hours in the saddle. If I rode 10 horses a day, 5 days a week, I'd develop tons of skills for my riding tool box and I'd be a heck of a lot better rider than I am right now.

    Which is why I'm puzzled by the barns who do limit the time in the saddle by their ammies. Their focus is on the horse, and getting that horse so polished and tuned up that a monkey could ride it. And sure that can work. But I do think it would be easier to work on both parts of the team. I'm fairly new to the arab breed scene, and yes, I've seen spectacular crashes at h/j and eventing and even dressage shows, but I swear it is almost a given that when you go to an arab show, there is going to be at least a few WTH moments in the warmup ring and in several classes. And now having seen how many of these riders prepare (riding in lessons once a month when they fly in, or not riding for months and then doing a week "boot camp" before the show) I'm more suprised that nobody gets killed. A testament to how great "crazy ayrabs" are for sure!

    I promise I'm not wearing my judgy-pants. If that is how people choose to participate in the horse industry that is fine. I don't like sharing the warm up ring with them but hey, you do what you gotta do. For me, I just need more time in the saddle than that model allows.

    But back to this particular topic. I think the most successful ammies I've encountered are the ones who practically live at the barn, they ride as many horses as they can, and they basically do everything the pro does and just don't get paid. Usually teenagers because most working adults just don't have that kind of time. Even the ones without the money or the right horse can usually make it work if they put in the hours...I've seen many times where these uber-dedicated ammies have been able to borrow or somehow finagle rides and have a lot of success catch riding. The best riders, pro or ammy, are miles made.


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  8. #48
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    It depends on what you mean by "do it by herself".

    NOBODY, pro or amateur, gets to the top without LOTS of help, lessons, etc.

    Is THAT what you mean? In that case, NO.

    You refer to a pro doing "most of thework". Do you mean "a pro doing most of the riding and training"?

    In that case, Yes.

    It is possible for an amateur, with lots of talent, a talented (not necessarily expensive) horse, determination, dedication, a willingness to sacrifice other aspects of their life, and a fair amount of money, to get to he top levels of Eventing, while being the primary, if not ONLY, rider of their horse. But they spend a lot of time and money on lessons.

    For instance, Amy Tryon got to the top levels of eventing while maintaining her amateur status (eventually turned pro). There was no "pro" riding/prepping her horses for her.

    There are others.

    I expect it is true of other disciplines as well.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


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  9. #49
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    I do think the average joe owner who wants to show locally and maybe even on the rated circuit can do it on their own. Will they be the best of the best? Not necessarily. But I think you can do it for sure.

    I didn't really understand the reliance on a trainer to manage every single aspect of the horse and the training and the owner's riding... but I am coming from a lifetime of being trainer-less. By "understand" I am not being snarky, I am saying this as an adult who grew up in a do-it-yourself atmosphere. I didn't realize how "full care" things could be! As an adult, I am for the first time ever, boarding at a barn with a legit pro, program, full care, etc. If I had the money, I sure as hell would have my horse in full training and I would be taking lessons every week. Alas money doesn't grow on trees so I'm still plugging away mostly on my own, and the pro graciously lets me board there even though I cannot commit to the training and lessons and showing that her clients do.

    I do also think it varies across disciplines quite a lot.... the barn I'm at is an eventing barn and though the trainer is heavily involved, I see a huge emphasis on horsemanship and owner accountability. At the hunter barns I see less of this. And like I said in the other thread, at the breed barns "full training" reaches a new level.

    I don't think any of it is bad or wrong, and frankly I WISH I had been part of "a program" growing up as I think my riding would be much further along in many ways. I think it is all just a personal choice, and varies a lot depending on the discipline, or the breed.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


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  10. #50
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    double post! boo.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  11. #51
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    I guess it depends on your definition of top levels of showing. If you're talking dressage do you mean showing at places like Devon, CDI's, Pan Am, Gladstone, etc or Olympics? I think it is possible though not probable in this day and age.

    There are those of us who meet the definition of an ammy who have started, backed, managed, cared for, trained, ridden and shown their horses from start to FEI levels as the sole rider, no trainer per se but definitely benefited from lessons and occasional clinics along the way. Locally and regionally it is possible to do so and do so well. I work full-time, have a family and still manage to train/show 4 horses regularly (have a few more that I breed) which I keep at home so in addition to all of the above I also care for my facility.

    As far as a level of competition that is considered more competitive than regional level, I still think it's possible but it takes a certain caliber of horse that we do not all have access to.....that does not exclude the diamond in the rough that one might come across or produce..... but to find or produce such a horse does narrow the field further. So I believe it is still possible but not probable.

    I think it takes longer to do so and is something fewer can or want to spend the time doing. I grew up on horseback. I have a family with a long history in horses and is supportive of my interests. I never got into horses to have someone else "do it." That is my choice and took it on knowing the journey would take longer by the DIY method. I have toyed with the idea of just turning pro and following that path from the time I was a teen but had the "hard life" pointed out to me often enough that I chose to pursue another professional interest never, ever thinking that I would ever give up on my riding or choice to care for my horses in a manner I feel is best; but instead use the other profession to fund my hobby. Yet, I fully acknowledge because of my choice to "have it all" - professional career, family and horses that I will likely never have the resources to compete at the top of the game and that's OK with me. I feel I've accomplished a lot on my own with needed and appreciated though intermittent assistance/guidance/coaching in the local venues. If I had the goal to compete and campaign a horse (and had the horse capable) in the more competitive and prestigious venues I'd likely have a coach as an eye on the ground but not a trainer doing most of the work. Why do I know this?....well....because I have done it without a trainer/barn in the breed shows - trained, ridden, shown and won at the top competitive level/show for the breed. I found it "easier" to have the caliber of horse required for such; and, I do think dressage is different in that way in terms of the odds of an ammy doing it but again still possible.

    So I wouldn't presume "we all" presume that it cannot be done without a professional taking control or doing all the work.
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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by meaty ogre View Post
    Which is why I'm puzzled by the barns who do limit the time in the saddle by their ammies. Their focus is on the horse, and getting that horse so polished and tuned up that a monkey could ride it. And sure that can work. But I do think it would be easier to work on both parts of the team.
    I think the trainers don't want to do the work of educating their clients about just how much saddle time it would take to become competent. They'll be the messenger to be shot, right?

    The one quality of some ammies I see that surprises me is the point where they stop and say, "Hey, I wanted this to be fun...." (so they won't go to the barn and do the 20 minutes of handwalking in all weather, or they'll skip a lesson or whatever.

    That's not built into the definition of being an amateur. I don't do that (and I wouldn't enjoy doing that since I'll be writing all the checks whether the horse and I are mediocre or not). But plenty of people do feel this way and it's a wet blanket when someone tells them point-blank that they won't get something they vaguely fantasized about if they aren't willing to dig deeper and work harder.
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  13. #53
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    Personally, I just need someone around my skill level or better to watch me and yell at me to do things. Growing up, my friend and I rode 3' hunters at GHJA shows and only had a lesson here and there. We mainly watched and critiqued each other...

    Then when I was in college, a friend of mine who also rode English worked with me at Southern Cross Ranch and we would watch and critique each other. When she moved away and I had no one to ride with, I had to start lessons again.
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  14. #54
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    I was about to post this. Every barn I've been at, the pro had someone working with them. Everyone needs a second opinion, at least someone on the ground watching what's going on, and it isn't just riding. Opera singers at the highest levels still take regular lessons (I'm a music teacher). Actors still go back and work with acting teachers. It's the way the best stay the best.


    Quote Originally Posted by PNWjumper View Post
    I want to add to this thought, because it's so true.

    The absolute BEST pros I know are that way because they've never stopped learning and still take lessons from other pros. Same goes for the best amateurs. They're the best because they know who to go to for help and when to ask for help.

    In short, the best riders and trainers are that way because of that willingness and desire to learn something from everyone.

    I would say that NO ONE does it completely on their own.



  15. #55
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    Everyone needs a second opinion, at least someone on the ground watching what's going on, and it isn't just riding.

    Yes, it's considered to be essential in continuous improvement regardless of what we are talking about and coaching is necessary and beneficial in just about every sport. The difference I believe (but am more than willing to admit if I'm wrong so please correct me) which is being hashed is the increasing need for amateurs to turn over everything there is to bringing a horse along to someone else. While this is a choice and I don't begrudge anyone who makes that choice, I do have to admit to shaking my head and biting my tongue when I hear the same "ammy" blaming this, that, or the other on their horse for something that is clearly due to their lack of riding skill or lack of horsemanship knowledge. I also am growing weary of trainers who tell me that my horse would be purrrrfect for their ammy client if only she were solid 1st/2nd level because at training level she is too green for the client's needs (ie, need fancy but dead, dead, dead to banging legs, flopping seat, harsh hands). I guess it just never occurred to me that a horse is to be like the KMart pony - don't hear from it, don't need to do anything to it (that's because the trainer/barn manager takes care of every detail) until you drop the quarter in before you put your foot in the stirrup and then everything is predictable and controllable from there.
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