My husband and I were talking earlier today about my path with horses and in particular with my upcoming journey back into the horse show world. I had taken some time off the rated show life to focus on being a full time mother, helping with the back end stuff of Scott’s business, as well as establishing my own lesson program and show team. Now that my kids are a bit older, Scott’s business is booming and my facility is established successfully, we have decided that it is time to start back on my own path which is stepping back into the show world for ME. This is going to be a slow process to the top, as these efforts take time and hard work. I am ready and willing to put in all the work and time necessary to get where I want to be but there is a part of me that is hesitant or turned off by the show scene.
See, our conversation tonight wasn’t just about my path to the top. It was about all of the crap we’ve been seeing, hearing and DEALING with in regards to the horrible horsemanship and horrible “horsemen” that I will be sharing the arena and courses with. We talked about how giving cocaine to Hunters (the horse’s) has become a thing, how some hunters and jumpers share in the act of “poling” their horses, how easy it is to write a check for people to look the other way when there are things in question but also write a check when you need someone TO look your way to make it. This is not just in English disciplines, there is the soring of walking horses, and so much with the pleasure horses that the list would grow to half of the page. So, please understand, one is not worse than the other.
Do not get me wrong or exaggerate my words though, most definitely not all horsemen, trainers, grooms, coaches, etc do these questionable things! There are absolutely wonderful horsemen of all disciplines out there and I can name more than a few! But, like everything in life, the select few seem to ruin it for the majority. It’s truly hard to comprehend. It’s hard to comprehend because it makes you wonder just how many of the top riders, trainers, etc practice shady horsemanship that you have never found out about and which ones have made it all the way without anything questionable. I have to believe firmly that it is possible to become the best of the best with the right rider AND the right horse. It is also irritating to see so many young riders looking up to top level professionals when some of these professionals are setting such a poor example. However, I suppose something that I wanted others to take away from this blog is not the behind the scenes negativity, but that someone of my position: a professional, skillful rider that also happens to be married to a growing international clinician with resources and contacts galore, is still hesitant to step back in this world!
To my students; stick to your guns! Don’t let a ribbon determine how high you hold your standards and values!
I have decided to fully step into the show game as a professional and I have a wonderful young horse to bring along with me. This road is going to be hard. Physically and mentally. It will be time consuming and emotionally draining. I have, however, the most fantastic coach and partner that I could ever dream about and I have one hell of a support system with my family, friends and horse family! I pledge that as I work my way to what I hope is the very top, it will be with using only good horsemanship and not letting my morals and values slip.
To all that have asked, that follow me, and to those interested……
LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN!!!!!