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Olympic Dreams...

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  • Olympic Dreams...

    Hi guys!
    I'm an olympic wannabe in Eventing. How can I make my dream come true? I'm 14, been riding for 5 years, jumping 3'9 but jumped 4'3 in a lesson a few weeks ago. I lease a horse, and I have a job training horses. I ride the greenies about 2-3 times a week. I'm in Pony Club, but i'm a D2 as I just joined. I'm taking lessons from Peter Rayne, he gratuated Pony Club and teaches eventing lessons for pony clubbers. I will start taking lessons from Peter again next spring and through fall, then in winter from my other trainer. I've been researching it quite alot. My plan is to get my C2 in pony club next year (i'm currently a D2, but I just joined so I will be taking my D3 in a week), start competing in rated jumper/dressage shows and recognized events. I live in Wi, so not many eventers around me, i'm taking lessons once a week and riding Desi (lease) 2-3 times a week otherwise. Next year my pony club is going to qualify for PC nationals, hopefully compete at Training level. Hopefully will be competing at Training next year and 2013, after nationals (if we do good) I am hoping to go Prelim. on Desi or my trainers TB after that. Once I get my H-B and C3 I want to start showing at 1*/2* events, like NAJYRC (2*). 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.
    How does my plan sound?

    L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
    ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
    3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing

  • #2
    Plans are nice to have, but very few things go to plan. My prelim horse went lame before my first 1* as I was trying to qualify for YRs as a junior. I had to change plans because I couldnt afford another horse and especially one that I would be able to do young riders on. So I got him sound, sold him as a lower level packer and worked with greenies until I saved enough to buy a nice horse who will take me up to the 1* and 2* level provided nothing happens. I aged out of YR a few years ago and it was bitter sweet, but I learned a ton.

    Have fun, take your time, and not making on the NAJYRC team for the 1* or 2* isnt the end of the world. Its a great experience and something to strive for, but in the end if it doessnt work out and you never make it to the olympics, which no offense is a good chance you will not make it, just keep going and do it for you or it wont be worth it.

    Good to have a plan, dont be terrified or upset if it doesnt work. Life, especially with a 1200 pound animal, rarely goes to plan.
    I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.


    • #3
      You have a good start, but here's something to remember: there isn't an age that's too old to go to the Olympics in equestrian. You're going to have to be better than people that have been riding for much longer than you've been alive. The plus side of this, is that you have the time to gain the skills and find a capable horse because rider age is not a factor. You can go to the Olympics when you're 50.

      So, go ahead and start learning what you need to so you can get to that level, it's a great dream, but be realistic in that it's going to be very hard work to be that good and that the time frame you're thinking of may not be what reality will be
      Pam's Pony Place

      Pam's Pony Ponderings


      • Original Poster

        Yeah, I was hoping to be in the olympics when i'm like in my 30's. But, 50 would be amazing, even 100!
        L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
        ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
        3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing


        • #5
          I love your enthusiasm, but I agree with the previous posters. Getting to the */** level by the time you're 21 is a very tight timeline, especially if you don't have a lot of financial support. Which for all I know you may, but the expense of the sport is absolutely a factor.

          Also, I googled your instructor and, assuming the photos on the first results page are of you, your armband does not go on your thigh.

          Since it doesn't sound like you have very much practical eventing experience, for now focus on getting out of the ring as much as possible. There's a world of difference between jumping one 3'9 fence in a ring and getting around an xc course at any level. Maybe think about some dressage lessons if you aren't taking them already.

          Even if you never get to the upper levels, there's no reason not to become the best rider you can. I wish I'd had Pony Club available in my area as a teenager.
          "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!"


          • #6
            I think you may want to slow down and really take a look at your riding before getting excited about a two year plan to 1*. Judging by your pictures on horse forum, you have a lot of work before your ready to go training, especially since you haven't started eventing yet. Your mare is cute, but she looks very, very green. There is a long way from where you are now to a steady beginner novice test. Rather than getting a head of yourself, start with the basics. Find a good dressage/event trainer to help you get Desi soft in the bridle, instead of rushing with her hed up. This will help you with jumping too.


            • #7
              Keep dreaming big....but bring your practical goals a bit more in. You have a VERY long way to go....but will have a blast on your journey. {think about it...double your life here on this earth...and you are still under 30!!! You have a lot of living still to do...learn from it all!}

              To be a great eventer....you need to be a great rider and horseman. Don't be so focused on the height of a jump...or a competition. Ride as much and as many different horses as you can. Learn about horse care...wrapping, conditioning, farrier work. Learn from different sources....different disciplines. What is similar...what is different.

              Get out of your comfort zone. Go audit as many clinics as you can...volunteer at shows. READ! Listen in at warm ups. Learn how to be a groom for a more experienced rider/trainer. Even if it means grooming for free....that is how I first got most of my experience. As a groom, get to the bigger events...and then LISTEN. Go on as many course walks as you can...etc. Too many people focus on just their own riding...when at your stage, there is still also soooooo much you can still learn off the horse.

              The best event riders (and SJ riders) that I know (and I've known several Olympians)...know more than just eventing and riding. They have foxhunted, raced, trained youngsters...understand physical and mental care of their horses. They are good horsemen as well as riders. And it takes a very long time and a lot of work to get there.
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


              • #8
                1) Start looking into schooling online. You need to spend 8 hours/day or more in the barn, and if you want to get on the fast track in any sport at a young age, you need to cut out the long school day and devote your time primarily toward training in the sport.

                2) Make a plan to get yourself 'indentured' (working student) to someone at 16. With the blessing of your parents and some good sticky seated riding, you could probably find a trainer to take you on full time at 16. Providing you have all your school requirements organized, and references from some local trainers who can vouch for how awesomely hard you work and how overwhelming your dedication is.

                3) Figure out how you can afford a car and insurance by the time you are 16. A lot of trainers travel around a lot, and they may/will likely expect you to drive your own car to all the events they attend. It will also be helpful to have a part time job when you are a working student. You will probably be competing your own horse, and that costs $$. And even if you aren't, you want to keep some $ coming in at all times, so you have options if you get in a tight spot/need to buy a new helmet/health insurance/car repair, etc.

                In this day and age, if you are not super wealthy, you will have to rearrange your entire life around the sport you hope to excel at. If you are not willing to do that, then you can pace yourself.

                Only those people who go all out, full throttle, take no prisoners, balls to the wall have any chance at all of 'making it to the top.'

                Good Luck.
                "Friend" me !



                • #9
                  First and foremost, never, ever make plans when it comes to horses. I didn't even really make plans this year, but had some ideas in mind. They went up in smoke, and now I am left brewing about my mental game and spending the winter with a sports psychologist. No plans. Goals are good, but don't give them time frames. Horses do no keep calendars or care at all about what WE want to do.

                  After that, work VERY hard, and when you think you're working very hard, work even harder. Ride everything you can get on. Watch lessons. Ask questions. BE HUMBLE. Admit when you don't know and ask so you can. Did I mention work hard and be humble? Read and watch everything you can. BE A SPONGE. Do all this until you can get into a good WS position somewhere where you will be surrounded by the best. Then, work hard, be humble, ride everything offered, ask questions.

                  That won't guarantee you a spot on a team, but it will set you on a good path and hopefully open other opportunities.


                  • #10
                    1. Finish School.

                    2. Go to college. Even with financial backing, its better to be independant, so you can keep your horse. Nothing harder then selling the horse you are on, even if he wont make it, to get another year in.

                    3. Get a degree in something besides horses.

                    4. As a child, take advantage of every opportunity to ride horses, with differant people.

                    5. Summers, be a working student, stick it out, work hard. You will learn, and people will come to recognize a person that can be counted on. You will. Get bigger, better opportunities. Having a reputation dor reliability, and stick to it ness, comes in handy.

                    6. Make much smaller goals. That one is so huge, with such a small chanceof liklihood. Many get frustrated along the way, because that became everything.

                    7. Have fun, because the day it becomes something not dun, is the day you lose, no matter what else may be true
                    May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.


                    • #11
                      What BFNE said. Dreams are important, but should not entirely shape your life, unless you have a VERY large trust fund. You still have to be a grownup and responsible for yourself in the future. It is very tempting to be completely single-minded about one's dreams and ambitions, and it's probably mentally the way to be, but if you look at the biography of actual Olympic eventers you'll see that only a very few of them have nothing else in their lives besides horses and competing. And since there are probably 10,000 teenagers with Olympic dreams for every one that makes the team, well . . . have a plan B.

                      Not being an Olympian doesn't mean you can't have a great horsey life!
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        Eventing Girl -- if you read only one post in this entire thread, read Bornfrees. Better, print it out -- large, red letters -- laminate it, and post it in your room where you can read it every night before you go to bed. Consider it your BLUEPRINT to the OLYMPICS. If you do something everyday on that list -- pay attention, read, study, ride, work....do your Pony Club stuff faithfully, go to Rolex and walk the course and soak up all you can soak up at every event for the next few years of your life ... eat, sleep and breathe eventing ... you can get to the Olympics. Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot. You can do anything you want to do!
                        Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                        Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                        • Original Poster

                          I know my armband shouldn't go on my thigh, but it doesn't fit on my arm. My riding had improved SOO much from then, i'm still working with Desi. Her head is lowered now, and she is soft in the bit. I'm taking lessons with a fourth level dressage rider, and I have jumped a course of 3'9 jumps.
                          Also, I have been training at Novice.
                          L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
                          ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
                          3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing


                          • Original Poster

                            Oh, and that was my 2nd. time riding her, so I was still getting used to her.

                            ETA- I'm homeschooled.
                            Last edited by EventingGirl_98; Nov. 6, 2012, 08:21 PM.
                            L.O.V.E Desi. ♥
                            ~When In Doubt Half-Halt~
                            3 Phases, 2 Hearts, and 1 Goal~ Eventing


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EventingGirl_98 View Post
                              Oh, and that was my 2nd. time riding her, so I was still getting used to her.
                              I think many of us had similar dreams at your age...so trust us, we do understand. Dreams do change but that's fine too. At this point this is your dream so you should try and do what you can. In 3-5 years....let us know if it is still your dream and how it is coming

                              But your comment reminded me of one of life's biggest lessons.....stop making excuses. (took me forever to learn that one!!!)

                              No one is perfect...learn from your mistakes but acknowldge your mistakes...OWN them. Arm bands belong on your arm for a reason...if it doesn't fit...change it to make it fit! THINK and do---ask for help and suggestions if you can't think of something yourself. Making a mistake or still learning does not make you a lesser rider or person.

                              What people want to see is someone who doesn't make excuses for the level they are currently at...but who is ready to be a sponge and wants to work at getting better. There will ALWAYS be someone better....be THRILLED when you meet them and compete against them...because they will be the ones who you can learn from (even by just watching) and push you to get better! Better competition usually produces stonger competitors....seek out that better competition.

                              And I ABSOLUTELY agree...the best riders I know are MORE that just riders. They are well rounded balanced people. Having very good people skills can be as important to being successful as a rider (if not more important) than actually riding.

                              How to you get good people skills....by being a well rounded person who can relate to other people. Who is reliable, thoughful and hard working...being positive and fun to be around helps too Be ready and willing to do other things beside just riding....you will be surpised how doing those other things can in turn help with your riding in different ways.

                              Play other sports too.

                              Bottom line...it takes a long time to become really good. Don't put things on a time table. You can be doing this sport when you are older than you currently can imagine!!! Do not give up on your dream...but don't let that dream cause you to forget that there are a LOT more things to learn and do than just ride at the Olympics. Let riding at the Olympics be one dream (and work hard to make it come true)...but you should certainly have a couple of others too!
                              Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Nov. 7, 2012, 03:18 PM.
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                              • #16
                                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.
                                How does my plan sound?
                                Like you are YOUNG


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by EventingGirl_98 View Post
                                  How does my plan sound?

                                  sounds cute to me.

                                  Yes you are young, but dreams don't hurt anybody, go for it!

                                  If online forums had existed when I was your age, I would have probably been all over them with the same type of hopeful messages, except that I would have made way more spelling mistakes!

                                  I like your style, you sound like a smart girl and it's great that you have plans for your future! I wish more kids were like you!


                                  • #18
                                    Let Mary King be your spirit animal. From this week's Telegraph interview:

                                    At 16, she went to work for event trainer Sheila Willcox for three years. At 19, she came home and talked a local farmer into letting her turn a disused cowshed into a stable. Using her savings to buy a horse for £1,500, she practised her new skills on him, then sold him on three months later for £3,500.

                                    “That got me off the blocks, and I built up my business, buying, improving and selling horses, and teaching too. I’d do anything.” She also picked fruit, dug gardens, had a butcher’s delivery round and cleaned campsite loos to make ends meet.


                                    • #19
                                      Read Denny Emerson's "How Good Riders Get Good". It is a very accurate, spot-on assessment of what it takes to be an elite rider at any level. A month ago you probably felt the same way about Show Jumping. You say your passion changed when you "found out stuff about qualifying". Does the qualification path for Eventing at YR's seem easier? That's because it's is significantly harder to master not ONE discipline, or TWO disciplines, but THREE discpilines. And really master isn't even the right word. It's is significantly harder to even become proficient enough to keep one let on either side of the horse that parents buy to pack riders butt around YR's. Good luck and keep dreaming big.
                                      "Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by olympicdreams04 View Post
                                        Read Denny Emerson's "How Good Riders Get Good". It is a very accurate, spot-on assessment of what it takes to be an elite rider at any level. A month ago you probably felt the same way about Show Jumping. You say your passion changed when you "found out stuff about qualifying". Does the qualification path for Eventing at YR's seem easier? That's because it's is significantly harder to master not ONE discipline, or TWO disciplines, but THREE discpilines. And really master isn't even the right word. It's is significantly harder to even become proficient enough to keep one let on either side of the horse that parents buy to pack riders butt around YR's. Good luck and keep dreaming big.
                                        Dream like you are going to live forever, Live like today is your last day!