What is a true horseperson? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-13-2009, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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What is a true horseperson?

Hello everyone!

I havenít been active on the Horse Forum in quite some time, because Iíve been busy with school and such. I have been thinking about some things relating to my riding and I would like to write some of them here because I want to know what you all think. I just would like to know if any of you feel the same way or anything.

You may have seen some of the pictures I have posted here for critique. I love getting critiques from people. Since I only can ride once a week, it helps to get some feedback between lessons. Usually, when people critique me, I see things I never noticed before, and it really helps. I post videos and pictures for critique on YouTube and other horse sites, too. I have gotten some pretty awful advice, so I know to take everything with a grain of salt. But lately, I have been getting a lot of grief about my jumping.

Before you read on, please know that none of this applies to members of the Horse Forum. The comments I will be writing about came from other sites. I would just like to discuss it here to see what you all think. I am not bashing any of the people who have said these things to me. Their comments have simply provoked thoughts that I wish to share.

I take an hour lesson each week, as my parents are not willing to drive me to the barn more often than that. Lessons are with 2 or 3 other people and consist of a half hour walk-trot-canter warmup, and about a half hour of jumping. I absolutely love jumping. It is the highlight of my whole week. I know that flatwork is important for warming up the horse for jumping, so while I find it boring, itís time on horseback, so Iím not complaining!

Lately, however, people who I talk to online have been pressuring me into taking dressage lessons. People are saying that if I donít take dressage lessons, I will never be anything more than ďjust a rider.Ē They say that Iíll never be ďa true horsepersonĒ until I take dressage lessons. These comments are not only hurtful, but Iíve been thinking that those statements arenít really true.

I love horses just as much as a person who competes in dressage. What is the difference between a person who is competing in eventing, shooting for the Olympics, and a girl who takes one group lesson every week? Whatís the difference between a person who loves dressage and finds jumping boring, and a person who loves jumping and finds dressage boring? We are interested in different parts of horseback riding, but we all love horses! A warmup trot around the ring for a top-notch eventer could be a major achievement of a handicapped person or an adult regaining her confidence after a bad fall. Why should it matter how advanced we are or what we love to do on horseback? We all love horses all the sameÖ doesnít that make us true horsepeople?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I would really love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Every ride, good or bad, teaches you something new.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-13-2009, 10:11 AM
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Hm, I think that those comments about taking dressage lessons are aimed at helping you improve your jumping.

To have a good trot you need a good walk, to have a good canter you need a good trot, and to have a good jump you need good dressage. To me, that's very true. Everything builds on everything else, and I don't think those people were trying to hurt you by saying you would only be "just a rider" if you never took dressage lessons, instead I think they meant to tell you that to improve your jumping, you need to learn at least some basic dressage.

To be a "true horseperson" all you really need is a love for horses. Nothing more than that.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-13-2009, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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I agree that dressage is the foundation for all riding. If I had my own horse and could ride several times a week, I would definitely do some more flatwork for the benefit of my horse. No doubt it would help me jump better. But if somebody is saying that I can't be a true horse person until I take dressage lessons, that's like saying a person who can only ride for one hour a week in a jumping lesson can't be a true horse person. To me, that is quite insulting. I too think anybody can be a true person even if all they are doing is having fun with their horse.

Every ride, good or bad, teaches you something new.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-13-2009, 12:22 PM
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I do not think that horsemanship is a matter of how well you ride. I believe it is about your drive and passion for horses. If your life circumstances were different I am sure you would ride more, but we can only work with what we are dealt.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-13-2009, 03:03 PM
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There are a lot of over-the-top dressage riders out there that think that's the only way to ride and I'm sure there are people like that in every discipline, but I've known some incredible horsemen (and women) that never took a dressage lesson in thier life. It is a worthwhile thing to do, just for the sake of improvement, but that has nothing to do with being a horseperson. That is all about the time spent, the compassion for the animal, and how well you communicate with them. You don't even have to ride to be a great horseman/woman!

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-13-2009, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equuestriaan View Post

Lately, however, people who I talk to online have been pressuring me into taking dressage lessons. People are saying that if I donít take dressage lessons, I will never be anything more than ďjust a rider.Ē They say that Iíll never be ďa true horsepersonĒ until I take dressage lessons. These comments are not only hurtful, but Iíve been thinking that those statements arenít really true.

Hogwash. Dressage riding has nothing to do with being a true horse person. Dressage is simply good riding and that applies to all levels and disciplines.

A true horse person is someone that will always put their horse over their desire to do or be somewhere else.

This is the person that will ensure their horse is brushed fed and comfortable after a show before they themselves get cleaned up to go out for the evening. This is the person that will speak up when they see another horse in distress whether the other person is aware of it or not. This is the person that will make a side trip to look after an abandoned horse even though they themselves had somewhere to go. This is the person that ensure their horse is happy and healthy even if they may be miles away from him or her.

This is the person that lingers one extra minute just to give ALL the horses in the barn an extra scratch on the withers.

NONE of the above has anything specifically to do with dressage.

You let those people chew on that.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-13-2009, 07:41 PM
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You have to have a true passion for what you do. You are willing to sacrifice to improve yourself, you are willing to take time to help others, you will do your best to improve the sport and make it even better than it already is.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-14-2009, 01:49 AM
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Good riding is good riding no matter what background you are from.
I ride dressage, but I also jump, trail ride, ride my horse bareback, do obstacle courses and other things because these all help my dressage. It is the same with any other discipline.
Because you are a kid and your parents pay for everything and drive you everywhere, you really have little say in your riding career right now. It is good that even between lessons you are trying to learn more! Keep this thirst for knowledge and when you are older, have a part time job and drive then you will have more say in your riding career and can take the occasional dressage lesson and ride more and learn more. Until then, sit tight, read a lot about horsemanship and horse riding and ignore anyone that tries to get you down. It is not your fault that you only ride once a week.
Good luck!
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-14-2009, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
Hogwash. Dressage riding has nothing to do with being a true horse person. Dressage is simply good riding and that applies to all levels and disciplines.

A true horse person is someone that will always put their horse over their desire to do or be somewhere else.

This is the person that will ensure their horse is brushed fed and comfortable after a show before they themselves get cleaned up to go out for the evening. This is the person that will speak up when they see another horse in distress whether the other person is aware of it or not. This is the person that will make a side trip to look after an abandoned horse even though they themselves had somewhere to go. This is the person that ensure their horse is happy and healthy even if they may be miles away from him or her.

This is the person that lingers one extra minute just to give ALL the horses in the barn an extra scratch on the withers.

NONE of the above has anything specifically to do with dressage.

You let those people chew on that.
Well said Spyder! We all love to ride but I think the mark of a true horse person is the one who thinks about the horse first above everything else.
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