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Developing riders

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  • Developing riders

    I dont know if anyone has been to a recent Active Riders Meeting but they are revamping the whole talent searching and developing rider program. Talks of cutting down on the numbers and focusing more on talent.... and helping fund those riders to getting more international experience. Maybe if people spent less time being so negative on these boards (or went to the open meetings on these issues) and starting trying to help change we could see some positive..... I hate to be idealistic but I do believe that the harder you work the luckier you get and you dont have to have a bottom less purse to make it in this sport (not saying it doesnt take alot of money) there are people who have made it that dont have bottemless purses but theve gone places with help from people who maybe do have the resources and the will to help fund them..... needless to say its a heartbreaking sport but some people have overcome these mountains..... and its those people that I try to learn from
    Last edited by JB1987; Nov. 11, 2008, 11:11 AM.

  • #2
    Well at least it has been noted that "revamp" and "change" are used in your negative first post. It is clear from your post...and those who have posted regarding the issue as it stands...that the programme is not working in it's current form. Some times negative posts have their place and actually do get some great results.


    • #3
      Uhm, you actually DO need money to make it. Friend of mine, last year won a grant, got to go to FL for the winter. Was still a working student and worked her tail off. Was/Is on the Developing Riders (I don't know if its a yearly thing or what) ... Got to Rolex. Was 14th... made a very very respectable showing for her first ****. Had done well at Fair Hill, won some awards etc etc. Competed this summer. Would like to go to Rolex again, but you know what? She can't afford the THOUSANDS it costs to be in FL, even with a working studentship, in order to prepare for Rolex. And you are not going to be ABLE to be ready for a **** in early spring without going south.

      Going south is still a possibility on the table, but no one, including her, is quite sure how they are going to make it happen this year. It's too bad too. It's probably her horses last year at that level. But she does have another horse who went Training this past season. *shrug*

      She can't seem get sponsorships, rides, etc.

      Sorry but I've seen someone with the talent and desire to "do it" and shes made it to the top and still can't break through... yet anyways. Heres to hoping.
      2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


      • #4
        What's the new program like? Any details? Who can we expect to see on the list?
        I'm not totally sure I loved the program in the past. I hope this is an improvement.


        • #5
          We can't go to FL every year either. It's more than 3,000 miles from our home.

          You CAN do Rolex without moving south for the winter, but you may have to travel back and forth to GA and NC to get a HT or two done prior to running a ****.

          We drive back and forth to CA, which is a 1600 mile RT, to run the horse a couple of times before we go. The rest of the work is done at home.

          We have competed from home 2 times and went to FL once. It isn't that easy to get the conditioning done, but it's possible.

          Where there's a will, there's a way.


          • #6
            Originally posted by tuppysmom View Post
            We can't go to FL every year either. It's more than 3,000 miles from our home.

            You CAN do Rolex without moving south for the winter, but you may have to travel back and forth to GA and NC to get a HT or two done prior to running a ****.

            We drive back and forth to CA, which is a 1600 mile RT, to run the horse a couple of times before we go. The rest of the work is done at home.

            We have competed from home 2 times and went to FL once. It isn't that easy to get the conditioning done, but it's possible.

            Where there's a will, there's a way.

            and that is just one of the many reasons why I am one of your daughter's biggest fans.


            • #7
              I am not sure of your experience but in my experience competing at the upper levels takes around $30K a year (and that is just for horse trials and a few FEI events). That is just below the median annual income of Americans. If you don't think that is a lot of money, congrats on the silver spoon. Several buddies of mine have gone to the World Cup, Olympics and other top events over the years. By my estimates they spent around $15K a MONTH on average when they were running hard to qualify for these competitions.

              As for folks being negative here on COTH, perhaps some of them are some of the same who are part of the selection process, who govern the sport, who help others make the team. You might be talking to the very same folks who would look at you and wonder if you have the maturity to represent the US.

              Many of us here are very actively involved in the governance or are current riders or volunteers and thus are doing the work you suggest we get out and do. It is just sometimes COTH is a good place to kvetch (it is the perfect word for this) and unload their frustrations.

              You can also learn a lot about how the sport functions and where the USEA/USEF/FEI boundaries are by reading things here. You can learn our limitations (Can you name the law that DICTATES that the USOC declare the USEF be the NGB and prevents any barring of an amateur from being denied from competition?) and our possibilities as well.



              • #8
                The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. Here is the link - worth reading in your spare time: http://videos.usoc.org/legal/TedStevens.pdf


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tuppysmom View Post
                  We can't go to FL every year either. It's more than 3,000 miles from our home.

                  You CAN do Rolex without moving south for the winter, but you may have to travel back and forth to GA and NC to get a HT or two done prior to running a ****.

                  We drive back and forth to CA, which is a 1600 mile RT, to run the horse a couple of times before we go. The rest of the work is done at home.

                  We have competed from home 2 times and went to FL once. It isn't that easy to get the conditioning done, but it's possible.

                  Where there's a will, there's a way.
                  Please pardon me if my first post seems negative i didnt mean for it to seem that way, Im very glad to read peoples posts that are so educated. Im also glad to see posts from people that are making things work. I think thats the point is really important to make. Im a huge fans of riders that are from ca, Idaho, and other places that arent in "meccas" of our sport. I also am well aware that you need quite a lot of money to make it but I find riders like Boyd Martin pretty impressive since there not coming from a ton of money and just like this person said where theres a will theres a way. See im not ignorant to the fact that It takes a lot of money to compete at the upper levels but it seems like there are some people out there that are trying to help truly talented horses and riders but some great talents get lost and dont get support which is awful...

                  not trying to be negative just wanted to inform people that our federations are trying to change things and make them better.... but i know that everything is a process........

                  my apologies.... never ment to be negative


                  • #10
                    You are correct sir! Not the best piece of legislation as it gives ultimate power to the NGBs yet binds their hands to function independently as well.



                    • #11
                      Well, I can tell you how we do it.

                      We own our place. 20 acres. It was sagebrush and badger holes when we bought it, but it was what we could afford. When we got the mortaged paid down, we borrowed and built a small indoor, that we did most of the work on ourselves, We have 19 stalls that we built ourselves, in our spare time. It took 2 years. Big outdoor jump ring. 1/3 mile track for conditioning. We built xc jumps in our pastures. We are still a work in progress and we have been at it for 27 yrs.

                      After graduating from college, DH worked 3 jobs and I worked 2, one in the day and one all night 3 nights a week. And we had 2 small children to shuffle between us, very little day care for them. Glad that part of life is behind me.

                      Currently, our newest vehicle is a 99 Buick that we pd 2k for. We tried to give some excess furniture to Goodwill, but it wasn't new enough or nice enough for them! Ouch. yep our furniture is what we bought when we got married a looong time ago.

                      The kid still lives at home, keeps her horses at home, works all day at home. Rides, teaches, drives tractor. Has never had a car of her own, shops at second hand stores, as do I. She has lots of hand me downs. She keeps track of every penny. She sells her 2nd best horse every year.

                      We train and board and teach and sell. Start young Tbs headed to the track, mules, you name it.

                      We buy OTTBs and make them into something that we are proud to sell. That is where the bulk of the $$$ come from.

                      My brother and sister in law live here in an apt in the barn. In exchange, they help out everyday and care for the horses and dogs when we go to a comp. We have some race horse friends who pitch in whenever we need them in exchange for using the track for their young horses. They have a big stong son who does the heavy lifting, lol.

                      We all work well together and no one shirks. We all take turns grousing and complaining, though. Ther's a lot of limping around and moaning from the old folks. We have a LOT of fun. We drink a lot of cheap wine ! DH has recently decided that he needs top of the line beer, though.

                      We have a great group of friends and family who help on many levels.

                      We don't have any silver spoons, we use plastic.


                      • #12
                        I bet youve got some good stories to tell.... thank you for sharing that


                        • #13

                          Thanks for your post regarding how you do it. But there is a big difference between your daughter and my friend. Your daughter has you and your husband who have been able to buy a farm and supply the resources to help her. I'm not saying you guys didn't work your tails off... but that is a major + for your kid (good for her! and you too!)...

                          It's a bit different for a 21-22 yr old who doesn't have a family owned barn to keep the horses at anymore and supports the horses mostly on her own.

                          Anyways, onto some real questions I have for you. I am not familiar with the weather in Idaho...
                          How do you condition with snow? Do you plow your track? In other words, how do you get your galloping done? Use a de-icing agent? How big is your indoor? We have a REALLY small one that used to be a sawmill and we converted it. I've been debating the merits of making it longer, though the short side will still be SHORT (50ft.)... or just saving my pennies for the bigger indoor altogether. My thought was at least if it was longer we could set up a gymnastic line. But I can't do both because where the current indoor is, is where we'll have to put a bigger one when we are able to do it. So I'm not investing more in the current building just to pull it down in a few years.

                          We don't have a track here...so thats out anyways, and there is no way I can afford to put one in during the next few years. The indoor arena is more important to me.

                          We do have a XC field/woods in the works, we just had the field part refitted so it will be decent footing to gallop on. It's about 8 acres field and 10 acres woods. I'm working on clearing lanes through the woods for trails/jumps. Hoping it will be solid enough to use next summer, with the grass growing in... I'm going to be building jumps this winter/spring.... already have a ton of materials saved aside.
                          2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


                          • #14
                            Not tuppysmom, but to answer the part of your question about conditioning in snow: If you get lots of it, so the ground is consistently snow-covered, it's actually pretty ideal! The fields get way too deep and inconsistent, but you can plow a lane or, where I used to live (in the Colorado mountains), we'd simply do our trot & gallop sets along the shoulders of plowed dirt roads. The snow right on the edge, where it was plowed but the cars didn't go, was usually the perfect depth and consistency to ride, gave you the benefit of all the hills those roads climbed, and was perfect for horses who were unshod all winter.
                            I evented just for the Halibut.


                            • #15
                              To add, the lighter, dry snow is better than the heavy wet stuff. The best gallops ever are on snow covered grass. Where I am, the fields where I normally gallop are pretty consistent so you can do gallops during and after a snow.


                              • #16
                                We usually get alot.... typically once winter sets in there is 18"-3 feet sitting around. Unfortunately, the ground doesn't usually freeze below it so you have mud (or soon will be mud) under snow.

                                I thought about the roads, but I worried about the horses slipping... because we are on a dirt road, but it gets like hardpack on it, which is pretty darn slick.. maybe some sort of studs would take care of it.. combined with borium? I dunno. An eventer I am not (yet). I aspire to low levels one day LOL. For myself I don't really have to worry about it because I'm not trying to get to a major upper level event first thing in the spring.

                                I guess for trot sets it would not be too bad footing/slippage wise but man, I'd be worried about vehicles - people fly around here even in the bad weather/road conditions Hmm. I do have an access road that goes across my property and I'm sure the other landowners wouldn't care if I plowed it and she could use that for trot sets. I'll ask them but I know they won't care - already have permission to use the whole thing for riding anyways - and one guy has 80 acres he uses for logging and we are allowed to ride in there too, but it's a lot of work trying to cut trails. Though (happy day!) he re-cleared his logging roads this summer/fall and when he's done he is having them smoothened out for us to get rid of the ruts!!! Wicked nice guy! The access road itself is probably close to 1/2 mile long all together.

                                Hmmm. Thanks for the food for thought!
                                2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                  To add, the lighter, dry snow is better than the heavy wet stuff. The best gallops ever are on snow covered grass. Where I am, the fields where I normally gallop are pretty consistent so you can do gallops during and after a snow.
                                  Yeah, unfortunately, in the Erie area... you get lots of WET snow and rain/ice mixed in.. ground doesn't freeze often.. it really stinks. Now that you mention it, when I was younger and lived on Cape Cod, we didn't have the muck/wet/snow issues we seem to have here, I did a lot of trail riding and romping around on my horse in the snow. And I don't think we usually had as much snow at once on the ground as we do here...
                                  2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com


                                  • #18
                                    Money helps, but perserverence is key!

                                    I once dreamt of finally going Intermediate and it happened. My family was far more poor than I realized growing up. We lost our house when I was in HS and thanks to amazing friends, like Tuppysmom said, I was able to ride while in college and begin back up the levels. That horse was supposed to be my international horse, but as money grew slim and he got older, that dream faded... until I met my husband. I had the horse, truck, trailer, and all my tack for sale. I was done riding, but right before I got married, my husband encouraged me to continue and rather than a wedding ring, I got a second OTTB filly. By turning her around, I was able to buy my most "expensive" horse to date--a 4 y/o OTTB gelding who was the most neurotic idiot I've ever ridden! Two years later he has completed his first Intermediate and there looks to be no limit to him. He is far from most people's dream horse, but he has created more opportunities for me. Because of him, I began teaching Pony Club again and bringing more kids into the world of eventing. He was so successful that his breeders helped me buy his full brother who came off the track this year at the age of 3 and has everything his brother lacks. I also bought a 4 year old who was going to slaughter. Come to find out he's a Polynesian horse who has the heart and soul of a warrior.
                                    Now, my husband moved south to CA for me to compete, but we can't afford property here, so I am looking at property in SC because it is more reasonable and closer to more large events. I would live in my trailer... or hell, I'd live in a tent for my horses to have the best lives possible! So now my husband who encouraged me to keep riding is willing to let me live on the opposite coast with our 3 year old daughter so that I can pursue my dream.
                                    My father moved down this fall from Idaho in his motorhome to help with my daughter while I'm teaching lessons and riding horses during the day. He feeds me at events, otherwise I would starve. He works 18-20 hour days so that he can fill in financially where we need help. Before I left WA in January, my mother quit her job to take care of my daughter while I went South to compete for the winter. On weekends she did caretaking to pay the bills, but during the week she was the live in nanny and kept the house taken care of while my husband was at work.
                                    As for training... I live in the mountains in an equestrian community where cowboy is law. We RENT less than 2 acres and have a standard dressage arena that floods when it rains. There are lots of trails, but footing isn't amazing. I am blessed to have been taken in by a retired Grand Prix jumper rider who sees talent in myself and my upper level horse. She works tirelessly with us on the flat and o/f. We also have a gal who was on the German International team that I try to ride with when I can scrape enough money together. I clinic when possible 4 hours away and haul 3 hours to the closest XC course. Hills are my main source of conditioning, besides being at elevation, but we lose 3 months in the winter due to bad weather and no indoors. I have yet to be here in the winter, so I'll have to get creative!!
                                    I am so fortunate to have a family that supports me. The breeders of my two full brothers have created so many opportunities. They have made contacts for me all over the country, along with many in Europe of places to stay should we make it that far. As vets, they are my sounding board on ways to help my horses stay the most sound and happiest and they help wherever possible.

                                    Unlike Tuppysmom's daughter, I have yet to make it to Rolex, but it is so much closer than I could have dreamed. We have a few 2*'s in our sight for next year with the hope of Jersey Fresh 3* in 2010 and then, well.... I have one phenomenal upper level horse and a second that I think will surpass his big brother with time. The third wants it, but physical restrictions will probably limit him from true International competition.

                                    I believe that it is perserverence that can get you to the top, not necessarily money. When the Pony Club kids start getting down on their horses, I tell them I never took a single rating on my own horse, but always rode someone else's. My B was taken on a horse who we rescued his on his SECOND time to slaughter. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen!
                                    Keep your feet on the ground, but always look to the stars!


                                    • #19
                                      Snow in PA is different from snow in Idaho - I know, I've been both places in the winter and conditioned horses both places. I think VCT needs to get the girl to Chester County to work for the winter. When the biggies go south the barns are empty except for a few back to work ones and young ones and rehabbs. Contact two or three of the big names and see if they will give you stipend for barn work and ride/care the left behind ones. It can work that way. Big nice indoor and outside tracks to ride on when weather permits. When they come back in spring you probably have to get out but worth it in meantime. Usually find a barn apt. Jump in the car and drive over and knock on doors for the weekend til you find something. There has been an explosion of TB farms in Lancaster and Chester co.'s who need knowledgeable help and riders. Get your a$$ out there and get asking for work.
                                      In addition lots of racetrack/tb jobs available going out on babies in AM or feeding at night for various barns, etc. and teaching picking up some beginner lessons at local stables etc. I wish I was her age I could really have fun! Tell her to get on the phone and get busy. Line up a job in Chester County for the winter and keep going to Rolex!
                                      Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                      Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                                      • #20
                                        Thats a GREAT idea!! It'd also put her MUCH closer to get to some winter events if it'd be possible with a work schedule, etc. PA is Big and we are way up in the NW corner!
                                        Hmm... very interesting idea. She got to know a bunch of people last year and whatnot so that should help.
                                        I will definitely put the thought in her head... but it's up to her to do what she needs to do...

                                        I gotta stay put and take care of my clients and (few) students and apparently I have to ride herd on these dudes who are doing the footing in my arenas so it gets DONE... sheesh.

                                        I also want to really get into work this winter, once the footing is done, so that maybe I can do a couple mini-trials next summer. My horse is capable.... but I'm not so sure about me LOL (nah, really we'll be fine, but I'm a perfectionist and want to feel MORE than ready).
                                        Last edited by VCT; Nov. 11, 2008, 05:24 PM. Reason: Edited to add: Kelly is in NO WAY _my_ student or whatever. She's a friend of mine and keeping her horses at my place now.
                                        2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com