The majority of good riders have been riding since they were toddlers, and seem to think that people who start riding later in life will never be able to compete with them. I am 17 years old right now, and started riding when I was 15. The question in short: If I start getting lessons at 18, compared to those who started as a toddler, do I have a shot at the Olympics?
In my town, lessons are impossible. I am a self taught rider. I would have a video taken of me, see what I need to improve on, and fix it next time. I'd keep doing that until I feel like i was good at it. It works just as fine as traditional lessons, but takes 10x as long to get anywhere haha. My horse and I worked on general riding skills and very basic dressage moves (square halts, lead changes, and his awkward half-pass). I trained him to jump (trotting poles, free jumping, etc), but I'm not stupid, so I never got on him for anything more than jumping a log. I want a trainer for that part.
I had to sell him a few months ago, and now I don't have a horse to ride. It has been about 6 months since I've been in a saddle (believe me, I'm surprised I'm not counting the hours). At the end of this year, I will be moving to Auburn, WA (next to Emerald Downs, close to Seattle). I will get myself some actual lessons there. I want to do either Dressage or Stadium Jumping (but not eventing).
I want to join the Olympics one day. I know its an unrealistic dream, but since when does it hurt to dream? Would you say I have a chance and competing with people who have ridden their entire life, compared to my late start at 15 years?
Here is my latest video in riding. It's not the best, but from this video, my posting trot is now less awkward, my elbows are more tucked in, and I'm stiller in the canter. I still have troubles keeping a good shoulder-hip-heel alignment, but then again, I haven't been able to practice since. Being self taught and looking like this, so I show any promise?
Also, is there anything you can say about my position by these pictures?