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So what can be done to make Dressage more affordable?

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    Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post

    See, when you start yelling "sour grapes", you actually undermine your argument. Personally, I mostly just avoid riding with those big name clinics because I can't afford them. But I have friends who HAVE been turned away by clinicians and organizers because "their horse isn't of the calibre we want to work with".

    I witnessed a big name clinician just recently, stuck with a lower level rider on a stock horse - do NOTHING to help either one. She provided 20 minutes of watching - and her one suggestion was to cut the horse's tail, and her parting shot was "this horse will never go to 3rd level". SO useful. The trainer (who is an FEI rider and USDF certified) was horrified - they had been very open at the beginning -the rider's goal is FIRST LEVEL on a totally appropriate horse for her experience and budget.

    And as Lorilu points out, there are plenty of clinicians (and clinic organizers) who will not work with lower level riders. And others who will take the money, but make it clear they are not really interested.

    I've ridden with, or audited all the people you mention, and more. I'm probably more educated and advanced then you realize. BUT I'm also very involved, and I see what is going on. Membership is dropping, volunteers are disappearing. If you deny the reality, it will keep happening.

    Yes I absolutely recognize some riders are less advanced then they would like to think. But - if we can't provide them with affordable training opportunities, that will continue to be an issue. And if we continue to exclude them - we will continue to lose members and volunteers. Which will make costs go UP, not down, and it all goes down to the original question - which I think you've lost sight of. HOW DO WE MAKE DRESSAGE MORE AFFORDABLE?

    And I think those who can afford the "new dressage" with the fancier horse and full training just don't understand - that is not the majority of riders. You may soon become the majority in a rapidly shrinking pool. And I’m sure for you, that is ok. Just realize costs continue to go up as the number of participants and volunteers go down. You may be happier to be free of the sour grapes, the less able, the riders and horses you feel are not suitable for dressage, but ultimately that will just increase costs even more.
    What is "affordable" and who is supposed to pay the difference?

    It costs $1500/day or more, plus travel, to get a clinician in. Who is going to pay for it?

    Is an hour of a competent trainer's time not worth $75 or $100 or $150? After all, how many lessons did they pay for to get where they are?

    What if I can only afford $20 a lesson? Is someone obligated to provide me that because I want it?

    ​​​​​Nobody has answered these questions.
    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the long as its in a conservative color.


      Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post

      What is "affordable" and who is supposed to pay the difference?

      It costs $1500/day or more, plus travel, to get a clinician in. Who is going to pay for it?

      Is an hour of a competent trainer's time not worth $75 or $100 or $150? After all, how many lessons did they pay for to get where they are?

      What if I can only afford $20 a lesson? Is someone obligated to provide me that because I want it?

      ​​​​​Nobody has answered these questions.
      You have not read my posts, which are about inclusivity. I’m done explaining.


        Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post

        What is "affordable" and who is supposed to pay the difference?

        It costs $1500/day or more, plus travel, to get a clinician in. Who is going to pay for it?

        Is an hour of a competent trainer's time not worth $75 or $100 or $150? After all, how many lessons did they pay for to get where they are?

        What if I can only afford $20 a lesson? Is someone obligated to provide me that because I want it?

        ​​​​​Nobody has answered these questions.
        I generally agree with your posts....but I disagree with your tone here.

        My cleaning lady gets $20/hr.....My attorney gets $300/hr.....but I can go on and get some pre-packaged legal forms.

        If someone wants dressage education, then they have to figure out what they can afford and figure out how to make it work.

        No one is OBLIGATED to provide anyone for anything.

        If you (g) want an education in dressage, then it is up to the individual to make it happen.

        I have stated that a group of barns in my area have banded together to fly a clinician from EUROPE (airfare and accommodations) and gotten enough riders to make affordable lesson work.
        Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
        Alfred A. Montapert


          Everyone seems to want something for free here. MysticOakRanch You say that "we" should provide riders with "affordable training options". Really? I'd LOVE to find someone to "provide" my lessons. There are LOTS of FREE videos on the USDF website - and an Education membership is only $35 (I think). There ya go, affordable training. VERY affordable. And there is also Dressage Training On Line, but that's more $$. And LOTS of free lessons all over youtube.

          and soloudinhere , to answer your question, no one is "obligated" to provide a $20 lesson.

          The most expensive clinician my GMO ever had in was I think $900/day...... there ARE good clinicians less than $1500 (which is more than $150/lesson...... wow that's high. )

          And if a group gets a clinician together, once again I will mention The Dressage Foundation and their many grants.

          ​​​​​​​In other words, like pluvinel said, no one is obligated to give you anything. USDF and TDF BOTH offer grants - USDF to GMOs, and TDF to both GMOs and individuals.

          And Oh, my trainer charges $65, (she is an S judge), and HER trainer who comes to clinic only charges $110. So yes......, in the equine world, that's pretty "affordable".,


            Originally posted by mysticoakranch
            See, when you start yelling "sour grapes", you actually undermine your argument.
            When you call this:
            Your post sounds a little like the sour grapes we often hear: "I didn't do well at the show because the judge didn't like me because I don't have a fancy horse."
            yelling, you undermine your argument. Grow up.
            "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."