This is an anonymous post from a guest writer. We asked Trainers what they would write if they could share whatever they wanted without worrying about social media backlash or stereotyping. This article does not (necessarily) represent the beliefs of Austin Eventing. Here are their thoughts. Thank you for the outpouring of support for this blog idea.
Trainer rants, so here I go:)
- Negative, competitive, critical people who gossip and create drama without knowing facts.
- Horse people who have chips on their shoulder because of other’s success or money.
- Parents who are overly competitive and who fail to see the big picture and the true meaning of the sport.
I have been there with the chip on my shoulder because of the money involved this sport. I have students who can spend almost nothing on a horse and some that can spend more than I can make in year. Also, some get to do one recognized show a season and others get to show and clinic all year.
I get free or green ones and enjoy bringing them up. I sold my grandmothers antiques and silver to pay for my daughter to do shows. But you can’t have a chip on your shoulder. We must encourage everyone in this wonderful sport no matter where they are financially or what their competition level.
I hate the negativity and criticism I hear.
My daughter’s best friends got to go to Europe and import several horses while she got free off the track or green horses but they supported each other and will forever be best friends! They put the horses first, loved them and cherished the time spent with them. The highs, lows, heartache and success is all the same. We must respect each other at every level.
Every horse needs to be treated as an individual as does each student. I have students that my biggest accomplishment with them is overcoming some kind of anxiety or fear. Some are highly competitive and want to do Young Riders. I have an adult that never even wants to show and doesn’t even ride much but her horse is like family. For me, being in the barn with the horses is my therapy! I don’t even like to let others feed for me! I LOVE caring for them! I love giving ottb’s a new job, finding a rescue pony a loving home, finding a perfect match for a student, and teaching patience because it is about a relationship and partnership and trust. It is about teaching classical principles of riding and not cheating and rushing to get results.
It’s not about the money at all, it’s a lifestyle that I choose. I started teaching about 10 years ago when the owner of a barn where we were boarding at the time needed help with the up-down lessons. No one cared until my coaching business grew and my lunge line students started to become accomplished little riders. Then the criticism started coming. Ugh! This is an entirely different rant, haha!
The life lessons that come out of this sport are another part of what drives me to teach and not just ride. The horses can change lives and I love getting to be a part of that. In a selfish world when we can show our students how to put our horses needs and well being before our own is a priceless lesson to teach. After your ride take care of your horse first, pull out of a show if you think something is not right, take your time, do the groundwork, do your homework, feed the best, don’t cut corners! Horsemanship first is the most valuable lesson I can model, followed by sportsmanship while being a team player in an individual sport!
The horses come first! Skip a few shows if they need something! I love teaching, I love the light bulb moments, I love the horses.
Enough with the negative, critical, judgmental horse people already. Do your best with what you have and enjoy the enormous privilege of working with these amazing animals and wonderful people who should be united by a shared passion.