Friday, February 10, 2012

This is way off the dog topic but maybe it relates....

This is my, hopefully, final vent about horse things going on around me....I gave up the horse showing world for a reason and really stopped teaching for the same reason. 

I love horses, I love sitting on a horse, I love teaching kids and adults alike and I really love caring for horses.  But what I don't love it the politics, uncaring trainer and riders, and those who move up the levels without the basic skills that keep them in the saddle.

Classical equitation/horsemanship, is just that classical.  Yes it can change slightly, you can put your variation on it, each discipline has slightly different forms of equitation to better serve the terrain they will be riding over.  But classic equitation should be the same basic seat, hands and leg position with slight variances for what type of riding you are doing. 

So if you look at every single picture and video that people have taken of you on a horse and you are looking down.  You should probably start doing something about getting your "chin up".  If every picture and video shows your heels up, or your horse inverted, or your horse in rollkur then that is how you probably ride the majority of the time or how your horse goes.  DO something about it.  Stop blaming the photographer or the day or whatever.  Find someone that can help you.  I'm not talking about backyard riders/trainers here that have no clue, I'm talking about competent students and adults who will argue that its just in that picture or those pictures.  Its not.....I'm sorry, if someone captures you doing something in almost every single picture/video on different days doing the same thing then its a problem.  If your trainer isn't catching it then ask!  If they don't see a problem with it then maybe its time to start looking for another trainer or a supplemental trainer, something as simple as looking down can affect your whole position.  Constantly hearing that you need to lift or pull back your inside shoulder?  Straightening your head/neck is only going to help your shoulder.  Use the pictures people take to help you understand whats going on, post them and ask for honest opinions, I'm so tired of seeing horrible pics of glaringly blatant faults where everyone goes "how pretty"....

And you trainers who are out there and have gotten by without the basics, have no idea how to teach the basics and have just lucked into damn good horses.  STOP, stop now.  Don't teach anymore because you are going to get someone killed.  Good trainers have students that get hurt even with the best basics, bad trainers are the ones that are getting kids killed.  I'm not calling anyone out but we all know trainers who have kids over faced on horses or who let kids jump 3'6" because that what the kids/parents or even the trainer wants.  Horses are dangerous in themselves, 1200 pounds of raw power, that we sit on and point at huge fences.  Just because your horse has gotten you out of scary situations doesn't mean your students are going to fair so well.  I honestly hold the trainers responsible for what their students are doing.  You are the higher power, you should know what's right and wrong, you should put a stop to it, you should do the right thing no matter what.  Just because something is in right now or not being effectively stopped by the governing bodies doesn't mean you should teach it to your students! Its not just hunters, jumper, eventers, dressage riders.  It flows over into the western sports as well
Rollkur in western?


Yes there are different ways of getting a result but in the end they should all start from the forward riding system, legs first, hands just control the movement!  I ride hunters and believe me I'm not taking up for them either, most hunter riders need to learn how to sit!  I'm glad I can go back to being an amateur and not have to be the one who decides what is right and wrong, but now I need to find a trainer who has some b#ll$ and isn't afraid to do the right thing...

9 comments:

Julie Poudrier said...

Amen sistah!

Doniene said...

Way to Go!!! The politics in all professional equine disciplines is a burr under my saddle!! So, I just ride on the ranch and try to better myself every day!

Kelly said...

I used to live it :) And I today I see more and more trainers "hanging their shingles" that should still be riding in the ammie classes....yet they are teaching kids. Or what kills me even more are those that have the money to buy great horses, so have done well at the upper levels because of the horse, but couldn't ride their way out of an accident if they tried.

Julie Poudrier said...

BTW, this DOES relate to dogs, especially dog training (we all know folks who have no business teaching). The practices you describe here are about getting to an end by any means, about taking shortcuts instead of doing things the right way. And I think that crosses species, disciplines (including non-performance events), and even human endeavors in sports and other areas. We are largely an instant gratification society and rarely does anyone pause to consider the long-term consequences of this rush to get to the end result, by any means. It's a shame, and especially for the animals who suffer in the name of human ego.

Kelly said...

I agree. I just remember the days when trainer would say you do flatwork for 2 years before every seeing a x rail jump. Because that's how long, give or take, it takes to develop a solid seat, leg and hand that are independent of the body.
Instead today we see kids that start with trainer who are great at the basics but are in such a hurry to move up that they skip on to a trainer who puts them above their levels. I see kids jumping horses with dangerous jumping faults over huge fences when they should go back to gymnastics and fix the problem.

But hey what do I know, I'm just a former trainer who got her ammie status back :)

Robin French said...

Oh this totally relates to the dogs too. I love when i see someone spend big bucks to buy a dog or two who then starts giving lessons to beginners. Sorry, all you're qualified to teach at that point is how to write a check. And then there are those running dogs in novice novice and giving lessons - sorry, but if you're giving lessons, you sure as heck shouldn't be competing as a "novice" (get a dictionary for pete's sake and look up the difference between professional and novice/amateur). It drives me nuts to see some of the people who are out there taking advantage of unknowing novices by giving lessons when they're just not qualified to be doing it! There's a reason i waited years and years before i started giving lessons to beginners.

Kelly said...

I think the people who buy trained dogs are kind of like the people who buy saints of horses that save their butts, even unknowingly, and then start teaching. Just because you have won at the higher levels doesn't qualify you to teach. Until you can win at the higher levels consistantly with different dogs/horses I dont' think you are qualified to teach anyone up through the ranks.

Now in horses, I do know that there are some awesome people that start horses and riders. They may not have won at the top levels but are typically exceptional riders. I think the dog world will be there with these people as it grows, the big trainers will have a need for someone they trust to start either dogs or students. But the basics still apply and must be there.

Laura Carson said...

Very well said, and I too agree that it applies to both horses AND dogs. It gets my panties all in a bunch when I see novices out there giving lessons. It's dangerous, at best.

And yeah, if you're doing the same thing in every photo I would guess it's a problem.

Kelly said...

I just can't imagine looking at a series of pictures of my self with my head down and blaming it on someone else.

Prime example for me is seeing a series of pics for me showing 2 different horses with my toes turned out over the fences. I could have said "they are both lazy and require a ton of leg/spur." But instead I decided to fix that!!