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At the end of the day..

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  • At the end of the day..

    We jump horses. Over sticks. For fun.

    Do I have the most brilliant animals in the world? No. Do I care that I'm not jumping around a 4' course at a hand gallop like they did in 1972? No.

    I do actually work incredibly hard to learn how to RIDE. I catch anything I can at the barn, ride the greenies, ride the made ones, hack as many out as I can.

    But. Do I care that some other person has her horse made up for her and she just sits there for four classes a week and wins? No. Do I care that there is a whole genre of adult riders out there aspiring to jump 3'? No. To each their own.

    It is a HOBBY. A rich man's hobby, like sailing, or sports car driving. Industries evolve to meet the needs of the customers in that industry. If it was all about jumping 4' or better in an open field, this industry would have died off a long time ago.

    I am lucky enough to enjoy my horses, enjoy what I do, and get to show when I want. I doubly lucky to have a wonderful 3'6 horse though not the "winner" I brought him along myself and we do ok. And I'm just fine with that. I'm never going to be the Olympian or the GP rider. In fact 99.999999% of us can say the same

    So don't snub the ammy, don't snub those that will never have enough talent or money to be at the top. And by all means don't snub the industry that has made it possible for those people to go out there and jump a 2'6 course and feel good about it. Respect them for their desire to ride, desire to show and desire to have FUN doing it.

    Remember. We jump horses. Over Sticks. For fun.
    My adventures as a working rider


  • #2
    Well said Nik. There is a ton more available then there used to be, not just in H/J, across the board. There should be something any rider can find these days that makes them happy.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • #3
      I agree very well said Nickelodian


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nickelodian View Post
        We jump horses. Over sticks. For fun....And by all means don't snub the industry that has made it possible for those people to go out there and jump a 2'6 course and feel good about it. Respect them for their desire to ride, desire to show and desire to have FUN doing it.

        Remember. We jump horses. Over Sticks. For fun.
        Amen. My old re-rider self will be thrilled to get back up to 2'6" with no need to go higher. I can have as much fun at 2'6" as I can at higher levels, with less risk. And given all my "real world" responsibilities - less risk is a good thing.

        I never thought that made me less of a rider, but according to some of the posters here, it apparently does.
        Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


        • #5
          So timely for me, as my OTTB had a bad day yesterday and I felt like all my hard work for the past year went down the tubes.

          We jump horses... over sticks.. for fun... translated for me.. i trot cross rails.. and small verticals.. for fun.. and yeah, my horse is 8. So what. He's come along so far and i dont care what anyone else says.

          Thanks Nik.. i needed to hear that today (and yeah, next year I am aspiring to do 2'6 - been there, done that.. showed the eq, the jrs. adults...jumpers.. done it all.. and now, on my OTTB ,my goal this summer is a flat class. Yup thats all. 1 stinking little flat. And I am happy)


          • #6
            We jump horses. Over Sticks. For fun.

            Ok...I'm pretty sure this is the best line ever!!!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rebels_Princess View Post
              We jump horses. Over Sticks. For fun.

              Ok...I'm pretty sure this is the best line ever!!!
              Originally posted by rustbreeches
              [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis


              • #8
                Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been broiling a little over some of the recent threads even going so far as to write up a long reply, then decide to take my own advice and mind my own business and to each their own and didn't submit.

                I admire and respect all riders, from those who sacrifice and work hard to jump 4' and natural jumps and gallop, to those who sacrifice and work hard to enjoy jumping crossrails or 2'6" or 3' or whatever as long as they who ever it is takes care of their animal and has a good time.


                • #9
                  Thank you!!! Very well said and I agree BEST.LINE.EVER!!!!!!


                  • #10
                    Yes, thank you very much!

                    Even as Ammies we have just as much right to enjoy it as anybody else. I appreciate that there ARE places for us to compete and test our skills. So what if we're not going to get to GP!

                    We all pay good money, usually hard-earned money to enjoy this. Pros and Ammies alike. There's room enough for all of us.

                    And my goal? To jump my new mare around a small course of cross rails. Outside line to outside line. Maybe 2 feet. Without getting jumped out of the saddle. She can do so much more but I'm still learning to ride a big moving, big jumping girl safely.

                    I'll watch the Olympics and dream. But it's really just a fantasy. We can still get on our mounts and ride at any level and enjoy it. As is our right!!
                    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                    • #11
                      You are so right. I catch myself (often!) getting so serious about a lesson or a ride. They are animals, we are animals. There are good days and bad days. If we can't enjoy the process (whatever our goal is), then I think we need to reevaluate what we are spending lots of money on We are all lucky enough to be involved with horses and do something we love (at whaever level). Not everyone has that opportunity!


                      • #12
                        Very wise words. For the pony and I, Friday nights are set aside to just have fun. I swear she now knows when it's Friday


                        • #13
                          What a great post, Nick. Very much needed.
                          "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio


                          • #14
                            Well said Nik. I am getting older now, and glad to still be able to truck around at 2'6" and it is very discouraging to hear people berate the lower divisions.

                            You can ride any of mine any day... you have done a beautiful job with every horse I have seen you ride and/or bring along.
                            Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                            • #15
                              Well said Nickelodian!!!! Agreed!!


                              • #16
                                Well said.

                                I've had a number of people tell me that I'm "wasting" my horse. Was a successful 1.20-1.25m horse, and now we're aiming for 2'6 hunters this year, and maaaaybeee 3' at some point way off in the future. And you know what? It doesn't bloody well matter. So what if he can jump twice that height. He's mine now, and that's all I want to do, and we're both much happier because of it.

                                I work hard to be able to afford it, so I better enjoy every single minute of it, even when I'm working hard.

                                I have some good friends who are dressage riders, and we try to remember that they're just "flatvork" (in a ridiculous German accent) riders and we're just "stick jumpers".


                                • #17

                                  I love this, and with your permission OP, want to use this as a mantra.

                                  This winter I had a confidence crisis and started seeing a mental coach, and we've made tremendous strides. One of the big questions qas - Why do this? Why? Especially if it's not fun?

                                  And then I realized all the other crap I was letting influence me, and realized that so what if I jump 2'6", 2'9" or 4'? All that matters is my family and my horse are happy and healthy. The rest is just what they now call "white people problems."

                                  So yeah, I jump horses. Over sticks .(literally-some days there are just poles on the ground) For Fun. Yay for me!
                                  My Blog: A Work In Progress


                                  • #18
                                    Great post, OP!


                                    • #19
                                      Great post...but Ill add that you do a little more than just "ok"...you and the BBH are ab-fab if I must say.

                                      I have no desire to jump 3ft again...been there, done that. Yes, I get the pants beat off of me in the Jr/Sr at 2'6 by the teenagers, but really...I am ok with that.
                                      Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
                                      Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
                                      Green Alligator "Captain"


                                      • #20
                                        Thank you for your wonderful post At the end of the day it really is that simple, isn't it?

                                        After nearly six months of very limited riding due to my horse being lame, I got back in the saddle and savored every moment of it. Just me, my semi-sound horse and the sunshine (and some birds chirping, an imaginary rainbow, a big grass field and flowers, lots of flowers - ok, not really but that is how it felt in my mind, it was that wonderful). I can't wait to get back to riding my horse over sticks, even if they can't be set higher than 2' off the ground.