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Olympic Dreams...

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    My passion didn't change when I read the stuff about qualifying, I've always wanted to do eventing. I only wanted to do show jumping because it seemed "easier" to get there.
    L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
    ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
    3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing

    Comment


    • #22
      Was just making a statement based on your statement in your OP
      "I wanted to be a show jumper about a month ago, but now I have switched to eventing. I found stuff about qualifying for SJ."
      Above all else, be in the saddle more if you want to Event at all in the next year. 7 days a week is really basically a necessity. It doesn't matter what discipline or horse or length of time you are riding. Time in the saddle is just simply invaluable. For that matter, bareback is just fine too!
      "Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by EventingGirl_98 View Post
        My passion didn't change when I read the stuff about qualifying, I've always wanted to do eventing. I only wanted to do show jumping because it seemed "easier" to get there.
        I love dreams, goals. They are the energy that drives us along in life.

        You've gotten some great feedback, but upon reading this, I'll add my voice. Learn tact. Beazzie Madden may have a few choice words about how "easy" it is to be an Olympic Show Jumper. In getting to Olympic levels...

        Nothing Is Easy

        It takes dedication, hard work and then some, sacrifices by friends, family and yourself. You are standing at the bottom of a Mount Everest and are trying to figure a way to the top quickly, in big leaps and it just does not work that way in life. Sounds simple, yet to get to the top takes small steps, one in front of the other and the eyes, not looking at the top, but what is in front of you.

        Make a plan, go ahead, but know that the plan will change, because life changes. The closer you make your goals (while still keeping the dream) the better you can plan to meet the goal. I want to ride in the Olympics is the dream, but the goal right now may be, I need to learn to ride BN and qualify for AECs. Can I even do that (many can't). The next goal may be "I want to ride in a T3D" to learn what it takes to really really prep you and your horse for a big show.

        Look at the "dreams" thread to get a sense of this approach. Folks there (including me) may say "I want to do a **, but most times they also set a closer goal like "I want to do training by next year".

        But above all, learn tact, grace, honesty, and as bfne commented, don't make excuses when called out in a learning moment. I truly wish you the best in your endeavors. By the time you get even close to something like the Olympics you will have experienced more then most people will have even known.

        Comment


        • #24
          If your passion is to do eventing, then do eventing. The Olympics are not even really the "real" sport any more, in my opinion. REAL eventing is the three day event, which is extinct at all levels other than Training and Preliminary.

          If your passion is to be in the Olympics . . . there are MANY sports that one can do that are a lot less costly than riding!

          It is entirely possible to be hugely successful and to enjoy our sport for a lifetime without even thinking about the Olympics. They are a pinnacle of sorts, but far from the only one. And hugely over-rated as an equestrian pinnacle, if you ask me. Pinnacles can come in many shapes and forms. Qualifying for a CCI* is a pinnacle. Learning to sit the trot is a pinnacle. Scoring a "9" in dressage is a pinnacle. Ribbons are pinnacles for a lot of people.

          I think I get the whole "Olympic dream" thing, but then again I don't. Probably why I am the type with very small pinnacles.
          Click here before you buy.

          Comment


          • #25
            I can't think of any sport that is "easier" than another to reach the Olympic level unless perhaps you move to an obscure country where few people compete. If you are thinking USA, then don't worry about fast or easy.
            Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
            http://www.ironwood-farm.com

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #26
              I never said it was easy... just saying eventing would be harder to qualify because there are 3 phases...
              L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
              ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
              3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                Does anyone know the qualification rules for 2014 WEG?
                L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
                ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
                3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing

                Comment


                • #28
                  You realize that the WEG is a **** event of equal caliber to the Olympics and countries select teams in much the same fashion, right?

                  Here are the qualification requirements for the 2010 WEG. Eventing is on page 4.
                  "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    Yep, I know. I just wanted to take a peek at it.
                    L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
                    ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
                    3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Scaramouch View Post
                      You realize that the WEG is a **** event of equal caliber to the Olympics and countries select teams in much the same fashion, right?

                      Here are the qualification requirements for the 2010 WEG. Eventing is on page 4.

                      Actually WEG is typically a tougher test than the Olympics.....at least it historically has been.
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Some advice from someone close to your age (I'm 17):

                        I have similar dreams. I would love to be successful at the **** level and ride on an Olympic team. We are certainly not the only two teenagers in the country who share that dream. It is a long, hard road and you need to have dedication, commitment, and a very strong sense of humor to do it. And while having goals and dreams is a fabulous form of motivation, you will quickly become discouraged if you are not realistic in setting your goals. I am not saying that it is impossible for you or me to make it to the Olympics, but it is quite a lofty goal to set at your age, especially considering you have never evented before.

                        You never makes plans with horses. They don't care about our plans. In fact, I think they enjoy crushing all of our hopes and dreams occassionally. You need to focus less on what level you are riding at, what height you are jumping, etc. and start focusing on your relationship with your horse, your position basics, keeping a good canter rhythm around a jump course, along with all other aspects of horse care such as proper conditioning, first aid care, proper nutrition, etc. Now is the time to soak up as much as you can and build a strong foundation to build on later.

                        Sure Young Riders is a fabulous thing to work toward, however, it is not the end all be all. Keep in mind that you can't even compete at Intermediate until you are 16 or Advanced until you're 18. That's quite a few years off for you, plus it takes many many many more years after that to become successful and competitive at that level. Not to mention that it takes a very special kind of horse to be successful and competitive at that level.

                        I think you should start by riding and practicing as much as you can. Watch videos of upper level riders as much as you can. READ as much as you can. You can't learn everything out of a book but there are truly some fantastic books out there: Denny Emerson's "How Good Riders Get Good" (as someone already mentioned), Jim Wofford's "Training the Three Day Event Horse and Rider", I love Janet Foy's new dressage book "Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse", and although somewhat outdated, Susan Harris's "Grooming to Win" is a great reference for top notch horse care.

                        Start working your horse up to Beginner Novice. That should be your one and only goal right now. Don't put a time frame on anything. It will only stress you out and discourage you if you don't get there in time. Moving up the levels takes a lot more time than you think it does. It is not a matter of if you can jump a certain height, its if you can do it safely, at speed, in balance, over varied terrain, in various conditions, the list goes on. Just to give you an inkling of the time it takes: I've had my horse for two and a half years. I put all of the training on him and competed him at Novice for two full years. We just did our first Training this fall. We will be at Training for at least another year and a half. Pushing your horse when they are not ready will not end in anything but disaster. Sure I would LOVE to do Young Riders, but unless I win the lottery, that's not going to happen and I'm okay with that because I know it will be better for me and my horse in the long run. When we do get to that level, we will be far better off than we would if I had pushed it.

                        Instead of pushing for a certain level at a certain time, you should be striving to be the best rider you can be, so that when you do get to the upper levels, you can be safe and effective. Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          So I have heard two answers from elite level riders about "how to get to the top" (or in this case, the Olympics) in eventing. The first was Peter Grey (lives in Canada, but represented Bermuda in the Olympics). At one of our year-end awards banquets we were lucky enough to have him talk to us. Someone asked "How do you get to the Olympics or the top level in this sport?" His answer?? "Be nice to everyone you meet."

                          He followed that up by adding that to get there you need the right horse, and anyone you meet might be a prospective owner, sponsor, or someone that has connections. So, yes, you need to be a fabulous rider, and work your tail off--but some of it is about the network you build, the trainers you can work with, and the horses you can get access to.

                          The next rider was Clark Montgomery talking about his experiences. He has not made it to the Olympics yet, despite having several top level horses and doing very well in competitions (both here and overseas). He told a story about a time when he got too focused on making it to the Olympics. In the process he pushed his horse. The horse lost trust in him and they had a bad fall, which injured the horse. That horse has never come back from the injury. Clark said that he keeps that horse in his barn as a reminder to himself---to not let your ambitions cloud your judgement and forget about what's most important--the love and bond you have with your horse. It was very hard lesson to learn, I'm sure, but it has made him a better horseman and it will serve him well going forward. He also said that you need to enjoy the journey and the relationship you build with your horse to get there.

                          Some things to consider with regards to your Olympic goal.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by JFCeventer View Post
                            Some advice from someone close to your age (I'm 17):

                            I have similar dreams. I would love to be successful at the **** level and ride on an Olympic team. We are certainly not the only two teenagers in the country who share that dream. It is a long, hard road and you need to have dedication, commitment, and a very strong sense of humor to do it. And while having goals and dreams is a fabulous form of motivation, you will quickly become discouraged if you are not realistic in setting your goals. I am not saying that it is impossible for you or me to make it to the Olympics, but it is quite a lofty goal to set at your age, especially considering you have never evented before.

                            You never makes plans with horses. They don't care about our plans. In fact, I think they enjoy crushing all of our hopes and dreams occassionally. You need to focus less on what level you are riding at, what height you are jumping, etc. and start focusing on your relationship with your horse, your position basics, keeping a good canter rhythm around a jump course, along with all other aspects of horse care such as proper conditioning, first aid care, proper nutrition, etc. Now is the time to soak up as much as you can and build a strong foundation to build on later.

                            Sure Young Riders is a fabulous thing to work toward, however, it is not the end all be all. Keep in mind that you can't even compete at Intermediate until you are 16 or Advanced until you're 18. That's quite a few years off for you, plus it takes many many many more years after that to become successful and competitive at that level. Not to mention that it takes a very special kind of horse to be successful and competitive at that level.

                            I think you should start by riding and practicing as much as you can. Watch videos of upper level riders as much as you can. READ as much as you can. You can't learn everything out of a book but there are truly some fantastic books out there: Denny Emerson's "How Good Riders Get Good" (as someone already mentioned), Jim Wofford's "Training the Three Day Event Horse and Rider", I love Janet Foy's new dressage book "Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse", and although somewhat outdated, Susan Harris's "Grooming to Win" is a great reference for top notch horse care.

                            Start working your horse up to Beginner Novice. That should be your one and only goal right now. Don't put a time frame on anything. It will only stress you out and discourage you if you don't get there in time. Moving up the levels takes a lot more time than you think it does. It is not a matter of if you can jump a certain height, its if you can do it safely, at speed, in balance, over varied terrain, in various conditions, the list goes on. Just to give you an inkling of the time it takes: I've had my horse for two and a half years. I put all of the training on him and competed him at Novice for two full years. We just did our first Training this fall. We will be at Training for at least another year and a half. Pushing your horse when they are not ready will not end in anything but disaster. Sure I would LOVE to do Young Riders, but unless I win the lottery, that's not going to happen and I'm okay with that because I know it will be better for me and my horse in the long run. When we do get to that level, we will be far better off than we would if I had pushed it.

                            Instead of pushing for a certain level at a certain time, you should be striving to be the best rider you can be, so that when you do get to the upper levels, you can be safe and effective. Good luck.
                            Great post. You are very mature for a 17 yo! Best of luck to you!

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by JER View Post
                              Let Mary King be your spirit animal. From this week's Telegraph interview:
                              I think I am going to make Mary King MY spirit animal. I've picked fruit for money, too, for horses.
                              Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                              Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by JFCeventer View Post
                                Some advice from someone close to your age (I'm 17):
                                You may be 17, but your words are timeless.

                                Wonderful post that I hope the other young lady understands, I know I do. In my first go around I pushed and the harder I pushed the slower it got. Pushing also blinded me to my own horse's needs (like you said, horses don't care about your plans), which didn't help her at all. Now I take it in small bites and me and Sterling progress so much better for it.

                                I honestly hope you can make it to the Olympics for if you can express such character at this age, I would be proud to have you represent this country. All the best in your endeavors.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Yep, gonna take it nice and slow now. I have plenty of time, right?
                                  L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
                                  ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
                                  3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by EventingGirl_98 View Post
                                    Yep, gonna take it nice and slow now. I have plenty of time, right?
                                    Since you ask the question...Yes, you have all the time in the world, you have your whole life.

                                    What you got here (and by extension helped others get) was some amazing advice and support in persuing a dream. Its not so much about slow vs fast, its about pace, balance, rhythm; things we learn as Eventers to make the rider safe and successful. Those same principles apply in life.

                                    Life is about change and adjusting to change. Don't focus so much on time, focus on steps. There may be moments when it all comes together and you'll feel like its moving right along, then you hit a period when it feels like it is taking forever...accept both, because giving into frustration will undo, in one day, a month of positive work.

                                    An idea I will suggest, keep a diary (blog) about your steps along the way. Write down your feelings, thrills, spills, fears, and joys so that you can not just document the process, but use it to help you go forward. You can share them or not, but it can help show how far you progress and help to not repeat the past.

                                    All the best, mayhap I'll be reading about you in Eventing Nation one day as an up and comer in the sport.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by kcmel View Post
                                      Great post. You are very mature for a 17 yo! Best of luck to you!
                                      Originally posted by JP60 View Post
                                      You may be 17, but your words are timeless.

                                      Wonderful post that I hope the other young lady understands, I know I do. In my first go around I pushed and the harder I pushed the slower it got. Pushing also blinded me to my own horse's needs (like you said, horses don't care about your plans), which didn't help her at all. Now I take it in small bites and me and Sterling progress so much better for it.

                                      I honestly hope you can make it to the Olympics for if you can express such character at this age, I would be proud to have you represent this country. All the best in your endeavors.
                                      Thank you both so much, that means a lot to me!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        My mom and I made an agreement.
                                        I can ride 4 times a week and do more clinics. (one lesson a week) IF I do better on my school (got all A's on my last tests!).
                                        My parents are thinking about going to Rolex next year, so then I could do course walks, talk to pros, and learn from watching. Ughh so excited!
                                        L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
                                        ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
                                        3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Going to Rolex to watch is a great idea!!! My Dad took me when I was 10 and 11, and it changed my life....from then on I knew Eventing was what I wanted to do and to try to get to the highest levels. I couldn't even see over some of the jumps that's how small I was (or still am lol.) That was 19 years ago and I'm still working towards the same dreams...it hasn't been an easy road at all!! The biggest obstacle...finances!!! It's freaking expensive to just keep one horse competing all year, let alone living expenses etc! If I could go back, I would have gone into University straight away after HS...at least you can still ride etc, but then will have a better chance of getting a higher paying career afterwards. Since you're only 14, I assume your parents pay for most of your riding?
                                          A lot of good advice on here - just remember everything you do has a consequence (ie: if you have to take off for a week to help out at an Event or to ride, will your school work be affected? Are your parents going to financially support you after school or do you need to find your own way financially?)
                                          Have a plan, but never put all your eggs in one basket!
                                          I like your enthusiasm though and determination is a big asset to have! Perhaps during the summer months you could look at doing a WSP with a top trainer? Just remember that the biggest thing you can have is horsemanship! Be all rounded - learn as much as you can! You have a lot of years ahead of you.

                                          Just my 2 cents!

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