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Thoughts on CMP article in Eventing Magazine

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  • Thoughts on CMP article in Eventing Magazine

    Okay, so reading the Eventing USA magazine cover to cover, I read what Capt. Phillips had to say about our less than stellar performance overseas. It did stink, but....this isn't really about that. It was what he said later in the article about working hard, and getting up in the ranks.

    He made a comment about riders saying that if they had more funds, they could learn more, and that if they could just get that sponsorship, they could win...

    I agree for the most part with him. I do think it takes a lot of hard work, and a lot of digging trenches to get anywhere. However:

    With the short format, it is much easier to find a horse that can do this job. At a higher price of course, because that same horse might excell in the dressage ring, or in the jumper ring as well. Didn't I just read something that a decent horse for Prelim brings 40K? Down from another price.....WELL....

    I don't think the average American can go buy a 40 K horse, for prelim. And if that is an average price for a prelim prospect, how much for one that might make it to the top?

    I have watched over the years how much finances have to do with if you get to the top or not. PLEASE am not saying you can't get there without finances, but it's not easy. I really believe that we don't always get the best of the best represented. For the financial reason. I have a daughter who is good. I think she is very good. I know upper level riders who think she is very good. But that sure doesn't buy her a good horse, or one made for eventing. Those she trains with, try to do as much as they can to help her out, letting her work off lessons, or giving her a discount....BUT still...it's not going to pay for a good horse, and it isn't going to cheapen the entries...

    So....I guess what I am asking is this, if as CMP suggests, work hard, quit whining, something she doesn't do anyway, and you will get there. HOW do you get past the moutain of a problem called money?

    I know that there are other really good riders out there, in the same boat as us. Sleeping in thier cars in subzero temps to go to a show, doing without groceies so you can give your horse the best they can have, buying someone's horse that they can't ride and fixing it....working 16 hour days to pay for one lesson with a big name if they are lucky?

    THanks for the advice. I really want to help my daughter get where I know she could go, if i only knew how.
    May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
    www.mmceventing.com

  • #2
    I am probably in the minority here, but I think of upper level "success" more in terms of producing horses to the level rather than winning gold medals. That's a great dream, but is certainly not the only way tomeasure success or to define an exceptional rider. One can, I think, make quite a good career in horses without even coming close to being on "the team".
    Click here before you buy.

    Comment


    • #3
      you don't buy a good horse....you MAKE them.

      Sorry...it doesn't take 40K to buy a good prelim horse....or even a good Advanced horse. The purchase price of my first Prelim horse was $1200. The purchase price of my second cost $1500. Why...because they were green OTTBs when I got them. I put in the time to produce them into good solid Prelim horses. I didn't have to spend 40K on a the purchase of a horse to learn to ride at Prelim.

      MOST horses can go prelim...and a hell of a lot of them can go Adv. Just not every horse/rider combination can go at those levels.

      The money factor is NOT in the purchase price of a horse....it is in the cost to maintain and train that horse. And in the talent of the rider to put in that time and work.

      Those who want it bad enough....can do it if they have the natural talent, the drive and are willing the put in the time.....without tons on money to start in their pocket. But that road is a very very hard one. Just as the road to the top in ANY career is tough. Most of the young lawyers who come into my law firm are NOT going to have the talent AND drive to make partner.....most normal people are not willing to do what it takes.

      Your daughter has to be willing to ride the tough horses, shovel the sh$t......perhaps be willing to ride any horse that comes her way for free that might help he progress or give her experience. She has to be willing to put in the time.


      Sorry...it isn't the money or sponsors...it is putting in the hard work and the TIME. Most YR want it now....life doesn't work that way....most of them need to be looking on a 10-20 year time scale of work before they possibly make it to the top of the sport (and have the skill to stay 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? **

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        AGREE AGREE

        I so agree that good horses are made, and perhaps I sounded like I wanted to be able to go buy a nice horse, made. No we have MADE everything she rode. We just recently sold a horse we bought out of auction. She made it into an amazing mare, and she will do training all day long. Had she been a little bit taller, she might well have done advanced. Heck she might have done advanced anyway, but my daughter is tall....was a little worriesome.

        No, I agree, shoveling poop, working horses for free, yup, all that helps. BUT it doesn't necessarily pay the bills for the travel, or the entries, or the lessons, especially the lessons.

        As far as being at the top in the business and not having to be on the team...lol, okay, so between us, I wish that was her wish. I so would be behind that. LOTS less stress. BUT her, no, she threw Javelin in High School, and was a national AAU champion. She was rated in the top 15 in the country in college, pro, or otherwise. Same for Heptathalon. Was ranked both nationally as well as being one of the top high-schoolers. SHE is driven to be the best. Her personality makes her that way. But she is nice too, and most people like her okay.

        I just wish that instead of that once in a while lesson, she could be a working student for some big name....instead of being out working for minimum wages....and trying to be a single mom on top of it all. I just wish the sponsor's were easier to find, and that it wasn't so much about the money end of it....Believe me, we are in eventing, cause in Jumpers, well, that is awful hard.

        Anyway, just needed to have a place to vent I guess. We are working so hard and seems like we take two steps back for each one forward.
        May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
        www.mmceventing.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
          I don't think the average American can go buy a 40 K horse, for prelim. And if that is an average price for a prelim prospect, how much for one that might make it to the top?
          I don't think the "average American" can afford a horse at any price.

          Personally I don't think 40K is particularly expensive for a prelim prospect when you start comparing the expense of UL horses for dressage and jumping. Eventing is still the best deal in town. Of course that's a prelim prospect trained by a pro. If your daughter is that good, then she ought to be good enough to make her own...from scratch.

          I have teenage daughters. If one of them wanted to make being on a Team a goal, the last thing I would do would be buy her a 40k horse--regardless if I can afford it! First we'd look at a timeline of 10-15 years then I'd start buying young OTTBs to flip the one that don't show UL talent and try to recoup some expense then try to hang on to the best ones. The education would be incomparable.

          In my opinion kids under 25 are better served by spending their money on getting in situations that provide more rides instead a single quality ride.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
            Had she been a little bit taller, she might well have done advanced. Heck she might have done advanced anyway, but my daughter is tall....was a little worriesome.
            This can't simply be about height. Tall riders and small horses have been successful at even CCI****.

            Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
            I just wish that instead of that once in a while lesson, she could be a working student for some big name....instead of being out working for minimum wages....and trying to be a single mom on top of it all.
            These are choices your daughter has made. Nothing wrong with it. If she wanted to be a WS for a BNT, she should have chosen a different life. Or she can simply wait a few years until her child is older. The option will always be there.

            Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
            I just wish the sponsor's were easier to find, and that it wasn't so much about the money end of it....Believe me, we are in eventing, cause in Jumpers, well, that is awful hard.

            Anyway, just needed to have a place to vent I guess. We are working so hard and seems like we take two steps back for each one forward.
            Maybe you need to sit down and make a realistic, long-term plan. Work in increments toward your goals, have back-up plans, etc.

            And like others have said, don't measure success by teams and medals.

            Good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              The sport DOES cost money....it is a sport. But being a WS isn't the only way to go.....

              Again....you are still focusing on the short term. The sport isn't a sprint. It is a long distance race. It takes time to produce a horse right...time for a rider to gain skills (we all learn for a lifetime).

              Life is all about making tough choices..... and honestly, being a good rider isn't the most important thing to making it to the top. It is just one element.

              It sounds like she made other life choices which are going to make achieving her goal a lot tougher. You cannot undo those choices and responsibilities. She needs to be an adult and look at her options....and make her choices.

              My mom felt that way about me...she wished she could have supported me with the horses....but kids do all grow up...and we do have to realistically look at our lives and make long term decisions.
              ** 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


              • #8
                First, let me say, "I hear you."

                BUT

                Eventing is a sport. Being a professional sportsperson is nice, but it is not essential. If you want to be a professional sportsperson, then it is time to kick your PR/Marketing skills into high gear.

                Where do you get the money? Look at the people who have been successful and try to emulate them. So you are not Zara Phillips - and neither are most of the rest of us.

                First, it appears that in order to be a sponsor-worthy candidate, you must have some success. So your first successes have to be self-made (and of course, your parents are your first sponsors). Keep making your own horses and go out there and win some things. Become a working student (many people will take WS who don't have a lot of money) and LEARN the program that gets horses from green to Advanced. Work on your riding, schmooze at events, become known.

                Mary King came from a working-class background. She worked really hard, and obviously had the riding ability, the work ethic, and at some point, the charm to secure sponsors.

                I recently checked Leslie Law's website, and he has a similar background.

                This bring us to geography. Are you living in a place where being a professional sportsperson is going to be a career that will earn you a living? Are there sponsors in your neck of the woods? If the answer is no, then time to relocate.

                Next, a comparison of careers. Some people have become upper-level riders on their own money. Hinrich Romeike, for instance, is a dentist. He is also well-geographically located for this. In order to "have your own money" you need a career that will pay. In order to get that career, you probably have to spend 4-8 years in university, paying along the way.

                I think a lot of younger riders don't look at their riding career in these terms. If you are going to ride as a career, don't you think it makes sense that you would put in a similar amount of time and money to get the education and skills you need?

                Soapbox over - it'll be interesting to see what others have to say.
                Blugal

                You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
                  I just wish that instead of that once in a while lesson, she could be a working student for some big name....instead of being out working for minimum wages....and trying to be a single mom on top of it all.
                  Your phrasing here is confusing. Are you the single mother, with the daughter who wants to compete at the upper levels? Or is your daughter, who wants to compete at the upper levels, a single mother?

                  Because honestly, if your daughter is the single mother, she needs to realize that she can't be selfish and have goals that may prevent her from raising a child correctly. And honestly, I think that it would be virtually impossible to make the Olympics as a young adult with very little money without neglecting the child in some way (either emotionally, mentally, financially, etc.).

                  If, on the other hand, you are the single mother, then while it may be difficult, it might not be impossible for her to break into the upper levels of the sport. Like others have said, it takes many, many years of hard work. She needs to stop looking in terms of years and start looking in terms of decades.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If wishes were horses . . .

                    This SPORT is not a realistic means of making a living for most people. A few can make it happen. And most of them are not riding at Rolex, either. For the rest of us, it is an avocation, our chosen passion, whatever. And most of "the rest of us" have jobs and careers that pay the eventing bills. Some of "the rest of us" are fortunate to love those jobs, but this is not always the case.

                    Working hard to be successful in ANYTHING is pretty much a given. If your daughter is committed to doing eventing and nothing but eventing, that's great--her work ethic will certainly come in handy. But having everything we want and fulfilling each one of our dreams is not an inalienable right. Most of us find ways to have a little bit of the dream, pay the bills, be responsible for our families and all those other grown-up things. If you want some examples of people who are committed to the dream and nothing but the dream, at the expense of everything else, have a look at the latest Darren Chiacchia thread. Sometimes "having it all" isn't what it's cracked up to be.
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      thanks to most of you.

                      As for neglecting her child, no she doesn't. We have her daughter in private school, another source of money drain, but way good results. And they think she is an awesome mom. She jsut doesn't sleep. LOL.

                      Blugal, you are way cool. She isworking hard, and has made horses....some get sold, praise Lord. Some are ready to move up to Preliminary. One might have the scope to do it all. Just wow.

                      I had to laugh at your post about moving. We just moved to Florida, and had to bring the G-Baby's ponies...all 3 of them. One a mini that ended up riding in the back seat of the truck with me, of which the checkpoint for ag had to take pictures...a different story all together...smile.

                      She does schmooze as someone suggested. I think a lot of people know who she is. Which is always good.

                      She did get a degree...in animal science.

                      And she isn 't so focused on that particular dream. She is actually, a pretty rounded kid. I think it is terribly sad about Darren btw. how sad for someone to have so much and lose it.

                      I really do appreciate the advice. Perhaps sitting down making a plan would be a great idea. Right now, it feels like we are just drifting with no plan, other than to see what comes tomorrow, and work as hard as we can....Any suggestions on HOW to do that...
                      May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
                      www.mmceventing.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Where does she see herself in 10 years?

                        Where does she see herself in 10 years if she keeps going the way she's going now?

                        Where does she see herself in 10 years if she no longer has your support?

                        Where does she see herself in 10 years if something were to happen that didn't allow her to ride?

                        How can she make it from "here" to "there" by making use of the assets she has--a degree, supportive family, talent for riding, a great work ethic? If the answer is "she can't" or "we don't know", then a good hard look at the current plan is probably in order. If she did something besides horses full-time, keeping horses as recreation rather than career, would that make the ultimate goal easier to attain? Maybe more education is in order, a career for the next 5-10 years that would allow her to save some money, get herself solid and secure financially, and THEN start the pursuit of the dream.
                        Click here before you buy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sometimes you need to work smarter, not harder. Ask yourself whether spending effort and resources on eventing as a career, and chasing sponsorships, is really that great of an idea in the current economic climate...

                          If she has a degree in animal science, try to USE it!! That type of background could go towards vet school or a Master's degree--and then she might find opportunities as an animal pharmaceutical sales rep, college level teaching, etc, just as an example.

                          There is more than one way to reach the goal of upper level competition, and I think that people sometimes overlook the value of a separate career to provide the funding in lieu of using the riding to make a living. And I don't even mean the type of job that will buy her a 40k prelim horse, but one that will allow her to pay to bring along her own prospects as far as they may want to go, as well as being able to train with whoever she chooses on her own terms. She will still work hard, and might not get much sleep (ask me how much I got during tax season last year...) but she might have a better chance at getting by through reassessing how to get there.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The writer at the beginning of this thread brought up an excellent point in a very good manner. It is not bitterness,just facts. Eventing (as a career/job/etc) has gone by the wayside much as the "American Dream" has for the whole of the USA. Before everyone begins, I am NOT proclaiming that hard work will not gain success, of course it will, but many other factors go into play. this is a realistic fact.

                            The days of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" are long gone. We all see this in the business world and Eventing has become just that, a business. 20 yrs ago, hell 10-15 years ago I think you had a better shot at scratching out a living. But the "cost of living" for eventing was much less. People were willing to work a real job and teach/ride horses or even work part time.

                            Most of the older horsemen went to college. Hardly any young "hot on the scene" riders do that. What parent can risk not sending their child to college so they can go train with a bigtime trainer full time and travel all over the country? Ones with backup money in case things go awry. We all know it is very, very hard to find competitive jobs without a degree. Keep in mind, being a working student today often means you have to pay to be there. At the least, you have free room and board but you aren't making money. All the money is going out!

                            Yes, you have to be good. Either buying the made horse or bringing it up is irrelevant. Besides, you are going to have to have more than one heavy hitter. What happens if your one shot horse goes lame, retires, etc? You are out of the lime light.This requires money! Even if you make a horse, the expenses requried (feed, medical, tack..) to get him and keep him at a high level are high.

                            I could go on for a while but here it is in a nutshell. You can make a living in horses if you are smart, work hard and plan ahead. But you do not live the celebrity lifestyle so many ULR's do by teaching lessons all day. The money does not equal out. Tried it! To get in the major leagues you need sponsors but to get sponsors you need to do very well consistenly at high levels. So, until you have the sponsors/owners you must have "fallback" money to support you until then. Its a cycle.

                            Its not fair and it doesn't take away from the top riders currently out there. But, it is a shame so many true horsemen and horsewomen will probably go unoticed by the majority public.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
                              So....I guess what I am asking is this, if as CMP suggests, work hard, quit whining, something she doesn't do anyway, and you will get there. HOW do you get past the moutain of a problem called money?
                              I think you are not only missing the point of his article (because he's surely NOT saying "work hard, be a good rider and you'll get there eventually") you are doing some of that whining he's tired of hearing. When he talks about "working hard" and the "movers and shakers," he's not just talking about working hard in the barn. He's talking about working hard at raising funds -- the thing you need to do to get over that mountain of a problem called money.

                              Truly, I don't know of any sport where talent and hard work alone get you where you want to be. Every sport takes money, every sport takes being in the right place at the right time and every sport takes a dash (or more) of plain good luck.

                              Fundraising, or access to money to buy a string of horses, is a HUGE part of the picture. Without it, a rider isn't a longterm investment for the team. If you don't have the money or you can't get it, you aren't the total package. Period. Sorry. Welcome to the real world.

                              Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
                              With the short format, it is much easier to find a horse that can do this job.
                              Where did you come up with this "fact"? Winning horses now don't just have to have TB endurance, they have to be strong in every phase - as you say, the good ones could be winning in jumpers or dressage, too. Finding a horse who is a jack of all trades and master of ALL is the order of the day now, and that's nearly impossible to find. And that's EXACTLY why you need all that darn cash. Used to be able to take a lot of cheap TBs and turn them into big-time eventers. But very few of those cheap race-bred babies have what it takes in terms of movement and versatility to win a modern three-day. (More's the pity for all of us who love them so much.)
                              I evented just for the Halibut.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                .... and yet, the Gold and Silver individual medalist from the last Olympics did NOT have a string of horses at that level.... maybe there is still a thread of hope.

                                Honestly, it does take money... always has and always will. The amount may vary.

                                When I listen to CMP talk (which I try to do as little as possible), I realize that he isn't particularly interested in "thinking" riders who are capable of making their own upper level mounts. If he had his way, I think he would rather have basically talented YOUNG riders (who wouldn't do too much thinking for themselves) who can afford to buy several MADE horses and would take his coaching advice right down the line. It is soooooo inconvenient if a rider actually wants to think for themselves.

                                He has "made do" with his list of favorites but it isn't his first choice. There is always the chance that one might go "rogue" and start asking questions. He has been somewhat successful in containing such behavior by basically showing preferential treatment to them, so that they don't have any desire to rock the boat.

                                Luckily, his "vision" has not come to fruition. We just continue to have those pesky riders who make their own horse (singular), think for themselves, and make it to the top anyway. Gina Miles, anyone?

                                Still, Gina was lucky to find financially supportive owners (like most elite level riders today). There is no getting around the monetary aspect to one degree or another and many talented riders miss opportunities because of it. It is a part of the sport.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  SevenDogs, agree totally.
                                  Perhaps I should soften my stance to say, if you can scrimp and scrabble to get yourself and your horse to the top - even if you are a one-horse wonder - eventually they'll have to take you on the team because they do really, really want to win and they'll ultimately take the soundest horses with the best results. But generally those folks have to do it on their own, without the support of the team.
                                  (Though, if you aren't a fan of CMP and his training program, that's probably no great loss!)
                                  I evented just for the Halibut.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by NeverTime View Post
                                    But generally those folks have to do it on their own, without the support of the team.
                                    (Though, if you aren't a fan of CMP and his training program, that's probably no great loss!)
                                    Yup, and the most unfortunate part is that for every rider that DOES make it to the top this way, there are many, many others that are overlooked, discounted, discouraged and discarded for consideration.

                                    I think CMP is all about trying to discourage riders from thinking that they might make it to the top, in order to convince them that they should give up their horse to the "real riders". I have seen him in action with an amateur rider with a very promising mount, that he brought up to *** level himself. CMP told the rider that he should consider giving the horse to one of the "favorites" in order to see "how far he could go". Um...so I guess you are clearly saying that this rider doesn't have a chance to make one of your teams! This rider is extremely talented as evidenced by the horse he "made" himself.... why can't he continue to take this horse "as far as he could go"? What exactly are you saying, Mark?

                                    I hope that changes with a new leader coming in 2012, but I may be dreaming....

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thanks. I appreciate those who understood what I was saying. My daughter did go to school to get a degree. She is very good. Really. She is out there trying every day to get sponsors, and she has two horses. Though one is just not real clean with his knee's. The other is downhill in dressage but can sure jump the moon. BOTH were made by her.

                                      And I am NOT whining. See that ticks me. What I am saying is that I wish there were a system in place to help riders get furher. I know that there is this talent system they have...but you either have to be found by an ellite rider, or send a resume...but don't bother if you haven't competed at the 2* level I think. UGH. it is just a never ending circle.

                                      THanks Wild One for getting the gist. I obviously sounded whiney.

                                      Never Time, my point was in the old format, those wondeful OTTB's could do the job, and do it well. Now a days, the sports seems to be more and more dominated by Warmbloods....and those just don't come cheap. We have done the OTTB route, and had a lot of success with it..
                                      May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
                                      www.mmceventing.com

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                                      • #20
                                        I know that there is this talent system they have...but you either have to be found by an ellite rider, or send a resume...but don't bother if you haven't competed at the 2* level
                                        There are probably several hundred very talented riders competing below the 2* level, maybe more. How would you propose the talent search process sift through this large number of people and pick out the ones who are glory-bound? The process as it exists takes care of that with no effort on the part of the selection committees--if you complete a CCI**, you are sort of semi-automatically on what used to be called the "long list" and that is probably what is considered the entry level for people with genuine team prospects. Riders competing successfully at Prelim and below are just too numerous to come to the attention of the Exalted Ones.
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