Friday, June 26, 2009


I know several people who I will not name that have within the past couple of years decided to become "professional" horse people. Now don't get me wrong; I definitely believe that if you've invested blood, sweat, and tears into a career with horses, and have spent time training with good trainers, doing what you want to do professionally and you now have lots of practical experience and want to help bring students and horses along, that's a good thing. Obviously, not everyone's background is going to look the same. So let's say you want to teach Hunter/Jumper riders and horses. In my book, that means you took lots of hunter jumper lessons. You showed hunter/jumpers successfully on the local level. You graduated from the local level and traveled in your region, still showing as an amateur. Now get this: you worked under a nationally-renowned trainer and showed successfully for let's say a year.

At this point, you may not be national trainer quality. You're almost certainly not. In fact, if you were, I would probably lose all faith in national-level trainers. But at this point, in my mind, you could come back to the local level and start coaching your students up through the levels while riding and training horses yourself.

The point is, you need to have done SOMETHING. I know horses are expensive. I know Idaho isn't frequented by many english riders of renown. If you're young and/or have the capability, get off your butt and go do something. I don't mean go to a local schooling show, though that is a start. If you expect me to respect you as a person and I trainer, I have to believe that you can do something and have done something worth while.

The people I was speaking of earlier now promote themselves as equine professionals, yet their only claim to anything is "I re-trained an ex-racehorse". Whoop de freaking doo. I did that too. I have over a decade of experience with horses from the ground up. I have successfully showed locally in H/J, eventing, dressage, and 4-H. I have started numerous young horses for my trained (who did do something before going pro), and she used to have me ride problem horses for her back before I started college. I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL. I know that. Just because I have some of the basic groundwork does not make me qualified. I'm getting to the "do something" stage. Maybe I'll go there. Maybe I won't. If I don't, I will not be setting up a shingle claiming that I'm qualified because I retrained an exracehorse. Even if I do, I'm not sure it's a job I'd want. I love horses, and I don't want to change that.

And on a related note:

Colored horse equipment.

I'm not talking about nylon halters and leads. I mean colored boots, colored wraps, colored pads, colored saddles, all that crap. While I'm not a fan of it, I do have some. When I was eventing, I bought royal blue splint boots and a royal blue saddle blanket for Cassie. That's the extent of it. I would like to upgrade the boots, but I'm not sure which direction Izzy will go yet, so it doesn't make sense to buy her anything sport-specific yet and they still work ok.

Seriously though, people. Show some respect for your sport. If you've spent any time reading the estimable Mr. George Morris, you will perfectly comprehend my position. These glaring colors distract from the turnout of the horse, look and are tacky, and have no place in english riding. When I see grown women riding around with zebra polo wraps IN A DRESSAGE CLINIC, all I can think is how completely out of place and classless it is.

Oh, and did I mention that zebra polo queen is pretending to be professional now? It rankles me.

I don't think I can do justice to my disgust today. Next time, maybe I'll talk about those co-dependent students who drive me up the wall.

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