What is a true horseperson?
I haven’t been active on the Horse Forum in quite some time, because I’ve 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, it’s time on horseback, so I’m not complaining!
Lately, however, people who I talk to online have been pressuring me into taking dressage lessons. People are saying that if I don’t take dressage lessons, I will never be anything more than “just a rider.” They say that I’ll never be “a true horseperson” until I take dressage lessons. These comments are not only hurtful, but I’ve been thinking that those statements aren’t 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? What’s 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 same… doesn’t 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.