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How talented do you *really* think you (or your offspring) are?

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  • #21
    HM. This is interesting.

    I'd say, for me personally, I have some natural talent, but not enough to like offset me from other riders. But, what I do have is the complete passion to not only improve myself, my horse and others around me, but I also have the passion to work my BUTT off. And this has shown through to others around me. I think that's what makes me "special".

    But other than that I'm your average rider. Maybe even less than average. I'm a timid rider, and it takes me a while to get some things. But all that said, I'm extremely determined and I try hard to please.
    Evy and Me

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    • #22
      "So, let's say you have all the money and time in the world. Do you think you actually have the *talent* to be competitive among top level riders?"

      No, of course not at top levels. But with unlimited funds I'd sure have fun trying!!! More lessons...clinics...nicer horse(s) [one for each event perhaps]...nice shows. Hmm...
      “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
      ¯ Oscar Wilde

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      • #23
        Originally posted by HazelG View Post
        I strongly recommend a book called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell for some very interesting insight into this topic.
        Agree, the 10,000 hour rule . . .

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        • #24
          I had the opportunity to ride a retired Olympic jumper level horse, he was ridden in the Olympics, I learned when I rode him that sometimes the horse can make you look very good. However, the horse was taught by very talented people to give him the ability to know distances and you could point and shoot that horse over fences. If you could stay on he made you look very good, no talent required. Some times people who have money don't necessarily have the talent but have the money for the trainers that do. This is the one sport where the horse needs to have talent where the rider can just be determined.

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          • #25
            I was actually reasonably talented at hunter/jumper stuff -- I had a good eye and feel for jumping and never felt like I had to fight to get my body to cooperate. It all came pretty naturally, and after not jumping for like 15 years when I took a few "brush up" lessons, it was like I'd never quit. Had all the stars aligned and I'd chosen to stick with jumping, I think I could have been reasonably successful. Sadly, my heart belongs to dressage, at which I am *incredibly* untalented. I am truly the slow kid in class -- like, embarassingly slow progress, constantly fighting my body, and just terribly awkward. But I am determined to keep beating my head against that particular wall until either I or it breaks.

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            • #26
              I believe I do. No sense being modest when asked
              However, I just had a kid, so life has changed...my priorities are different.

              BUT if anyone rich is reading and feels the need to invest in someone, I may change my mind
              Kelli
              Horse Drawings!

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              • #27
                I'm in the "if you asked me this question when I was young" group... I'm quite certain that witb unlimited funds I could have been a much more successful rider. 8'm sure I never would have owned the miserable puke that wrecked my nerve, so I'd be a netter rider today... OTOH,I doubt I'd have ever made it to the GP ring.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                  However, depending on how you define "competitive among top level riders," then the answer is, "maybe."

                  For example, there are top level amateur hunter riders who never have to jump more than 3'6" or 3'9" ...I believe that with the right horse, being competitive in that ring is very achievable for riders of average talent who are willing to work hard (assuming access to a good program, training, etc.)
                  This.

                  Could I be "top" now? Nope. I have too many fear issues. Could I have been "top" when I was younger? Probably not, but I could've been a lot further up the heap.

                  As Joe Fargis says: the majority of riders are just average. That describes me.

                  What I do excel at is developing a plan to meet a goal. I can see the little individual steps that are going to get my horse to whatever goal I've set. I am talented at that.
                  Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                  Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                  • #29
                    I suck! I fully acknowledge (and always have) that you can put me on the best horse out there, with instruction from the very best trainer, and I'd still suck, just less so. I have no natural ability, and frankly my work ethic is limited. Even IF I had the time and money to ride 6 horses in 6 lessons a day, I don't want to. I like having one horse to ride, and if I end up with 2, I move one on quickly.
                    .

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                    • #30
                      This might actually be the first

                      completely honest thread on COTH.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by suzier444 View Post
                        Had all the stars aligned and I'd chosen to stick with jumping, I think I could have been reasonably successful. Sadly, my heart belongs to dressage, at which I am *incredibly* untalented. I am truly the slow kid in class -- like, embarassingly slow progress, constantly fighting my body, and just terribly awkward. But I am determined to keep beating my head against that particular wall until either I or it breaks.
                        Hmm, we seem to have been partially switched at birth. I'm told I should do dressage, but my heart is in the jumpers. I'm pretty sure I'm progressing at less than half the normal rate, but I don't care. I like it and I'm going to keep doing it dang it!

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                        • #32
                          I strongly believe that if I had the set up that most of the BNT's I know have, then yes, I think I could hold my own mainly because I have nothing holding me back (nerves, fears).

                          I know that not all BNT's have the same set up's as the ones I know BUT I know any rider with guts (and experience) that has multiple horses to jump everyday, with someone else (amazing flat riders: usually a dressage rider) doing most of the flatting on non-jump school days your eye and game is only going to get better and better.

                          I think experience can trump natural talent.

                          Money buys experience, which can create talent.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                            For example, there are top level amateur hunter riders who never have to jump more than 3'6" or 3'9" ...I believe that with the right horse, being competitive in that ring is very achievable for riders of average talent who are willing to work hard (assuming access to a good program, training, etc.)

                            I do not personally think the same can be said for, say, GP level jumping, high level eventing, etc. Although GM famously said he was successful sheerly through force of will and exceptional effort; he claims he had no eye and terrible nerves throughout most of his competitive career. So who knows?
                            2 things. 1) First paragraph, thank you for coming out and saying what I've been thinking about the hunters. 2) Second paragraph, agree again, but love the GM reference, it makes me feel like there's hope for me yet if I just keep working at it.

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                            • #34
                              I have absolutely no talent whatsoever. That hasn't stopped me from being extremely successful in the adult jumpers and low jr/ao's on occasion. If I could afford to show more I would have no trouble in the low jr/ao jumpers and even do fine in the highs eventually. Being a student I don't have the time or money to show as much as I'd like, so I stick to a level I feel safe and effective without a full time trainer/coach.
                              friend of bar.ka.

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                              • #35
                                I think if I had top horses and instruction for a longgg time I'd be really good. I am pretty decent and have a good eye, but sometimes I just can't put all the pieces together.
                                Von Hendrix aka Jimi

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by hundredacres View Post
                                  LOL...I have no natural talent. It's all learned (and still learning)...all of the money in the world WOULD make me a better rider - I'm positive of that .
                                  This is me! Oh. and my darn kids are really getting in the way, haha. But now I have a horse crazy daughter so I can live out all of my dreams by pushing her into ponyland. On a small budget.
                                  Katie

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                                  • #37
                                    Having five kids and owning horses they have climbed on the back of a horse or two. A few showed some major talent for it. Like they knew just what to do the first time. One of my boys I even got him a pony... and bummer not one of them followed through or was interested. That same child showed major talent for many things, hockey, baseball, volleyball, dirtbikes and never had the interest to pursue.

                                    Interest, attitude and love of something can bring on success and it's hard not to have success without it. Combine it with talent and money; you have yourself a superstar.

                                    People definitely have different levels of talent an accelerate in a sport more than someone else. We are not all created equally. Being quite coordinated is something not everyone has.

                                    The question of do you have the talent to be competitive at the top levels if I had the time and finances? I would say yes.

                                    As a kid I found whatever I picked up to be very easy like baseball, basketball, track, singing, swimming, and riding horses. I have had trainers say to me - you have something I cannot teach and that is feel.

                                    As an adult rider I am "all" ammy. I never got the "miles" to be a great rider. I do find myself sometimes getting frustrated because I do want to be that great rider but I know unless I spend a lot more time on horses I will continue to improve slowly. I hope that if my body agrees that in a few years I will be able to ride a lot more, compete a lot more, have fun and feel much more confident with my riding. I do find that I am probably the hardest on myself but that's what I think keeps me wanting more.
                                    Live in the sunshine.
                                    Swim in the sea.
                                    Drink the wild air.

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                                    • #38
                                      Do I think I have the natural talent to be competitive against top riders? No.

                                      Do I think if I had unlimited funding, 30 years experience under my belt, and the right horse I could possibly in certain circumstances be competitive against top riders? Sure.

                                      I think our sport is especially forgiving to those without natural talent for it. If you are not a prodigy in gymnastics or swimming or track, you're not going to the Olympics. But with top training, funding, a ton of hard work, and the right horse you might. I don't think its because our sport is any easier, but because our sport has a higher age range that allows experience and dedication to propel you to the top in a way that you can't in other sports.

                                      A 16 year old gymnast is competing against many other gymnasts in her age range and experience level, even at the top. An 18 year old equestrian, no matter how amazing her mount or funding or talent is, is still lacking about 40 years of experience behind her team members at the Olympics. That is not a slam at Reed at all, but it does go to show that in our sport all the talent, financing, and dedication in the world isn't any sort of a guarantee.

                                      I think our sport just has more factors is in. We are the only Olympic sport where we have a living animal that we rely upon on for a top showing. I think because there are more factors (experience, talent, money, luck, the horse, etc) less emphasis is put on each factor (except maybe luck and the horse! )

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                                      • #39
                                        I am straight up mediocre and have been fortunate to have had horses who have taught me to be less so.

                                        (Oh, one area in which I'm above-average: I can stick a buck/spin/bolt/eight seconds on a TB who hasn't been turned out in a week while my saddle is falling off the side of him. Wish someone had that on video. Again, thanks to educational horses.)
                                        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                                        Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                                        Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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                                        • #40
                                          I did. Was told so by two Olympic clinicians.

                                          My parents couldn't support the effort and I moved to the totally wrong area.

                                          Now I'm old, fat, and have sustained injuries that make certain parts of my body not work quite so well. Made a switch to riding western when I discovered that it made my body hurt less. Now trying to come to grips with all of that, but it's better than not riding, which was becoming the only alternative. Now, I'll never be great, but I can work like mad to keep enjoying myself on a horse!

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