Wednesday, March 02, 2016

And the Blue Goes To...Appropriate Expectations!

Don't Ruin a Good Horse - Horse Collaborative

Great article.  Read it before you continue.

I'm not a professional rider or trainer.  Like Carliegh Fedorka,  I never rode Rolex or ran at the National Finals Rodeo or went to the National Horse Show as anything but a gawker.  Unlike Ms. Fedorka, I wasn't even chosen to be a trainer in the Thoroughbred Makeover.  I did, however, spend some brief time lamenting how far I could have gone had it not been for _____________

  1. lack of money
  2. lack or support
  3. lack of good horses
  4. lack of money
  5. lack of talent
  6. lack of time
  7. lack of money
If you've got better excuses, add them.  I'm not all that creative.  

But I rode.  I started in 1961, won my first local class in 1963, and I still get aboard my equally-elderly horses at every opportunity and pretend to be amazing.  

Actually, that I'm still riding considering the damage I've done to my body and brain truly is amazing, so why press my luck and wish for more?

The point that Ms. Fedorka makes that I want to bold up here is that there aren't enough trainers creating good, solid family horses.  I can attest to that based on my lack of luck finding them when I needed them.  My horses are terrific; don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't trade any of them...not right now, anyway.  In the past I've done some serious trading to find something that wouldn't kill me while I faked my way through hunter paces, barrel races, dressage tests, and endless Something On the Flat classes at local unrated shows.  And try to find a good "husband horse" these days..!  


TIP:  It's harder than finding a good husband.

This post, therefore, is aimed at all the breeders, trainers, and professional riders who think the only worthy goal is Big Competition and a trophy buckle the size of a dinner plate.  Please, do the rest of us a favor.  Do what you do, but spend  a little time making some good horses for the masses.  Make us horses that aren't hot and difficult to read.  Retrain those OTTB's that we already know are amazing from the ground, and send them forth ready to cart our teenager safely around a 2-foot course in the back hay field.  

And riders, take heart.  Nothing you do with horses is "not good enough" if you really work at it.  Let me quote from the linked article:
 
"Let them scratch their heads as they read 'Ranch Worker. Eventer. Pony Club Drop Out. Dressage Queen. Racing Enthusiast.'”

They truly are all more similar than they are different, and it's time we stop focusing so hard on what we can't do and take a real good look at what we can.