Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Loudoun County, VA
I have no idea what post you are referring to, but here's my thought on the riders with no trainers. I'm trying to organize this so it is coherent, so bear with me here!
When you start learning something without a guide, there's an ignorance that comes into play. It's just because when no one has told the person, they have no way of knowing. They don't realize the correct way to do something, so they kind of stumble through it. Sometimes they'll have to do trial and error to figure out a better way, but sometimes they'll figure out something works well enough, and just leave it at that.
Or, they won't realize what's important about what they are learning. They completely ignore somethings, and focus on the wrong things.
An example of this - a woman I saw at a barn who apparently rode dressage. I watched her hauling on her horse's face as the horse did a rushing strung out trot. She was trying to focus on getting a headset as though that was the most important part of riding. Watching that, all I could think was "she must be a beginner".
I think that without taking riding lessons, you are forever stuck at the "begining rider" stage. Without learning about more advanced riding techniques, or even different ways to do things, your tool box is extremely limited. You may have been riding one horse that reacts "well enough" to what you do, but your ability to ride other horses is extremely limited. Some horses take advantage of riders, and without having had the lessons to teach the proper way to do something, you will find yourself having a tough and frustrating time. It may come to the point where you want to give up because it seems so hard.
The point I'm trying to make is, many of the rider's without trainers don't realize the holes in their education until they are tested. It's extremely difficult to get a well balanced horse education without a guide. Imagine signing up for a class on chemistry, getting handed a book to look at (if that), and then told you will be tested randomly sometime in the future, most likely multiple times. That's what riding without instruction is like.
Some people can do it, and are excellent self taught. That is wonderful if that is the case. However, the majority are not. And it's not because they are silly or stupid, it's because it can be hard to read about a concept in a book/online and apply it with sucess. Or it ends up "sort of working" and they think that's how it's supposed to work. They can't see themselves riding without mirrors or video to play back later, so they don't see what errors they are commited. They get the muscle memory of doing it wrong, and for them, it seems to work great.
My personal story - My second horse as a teenager was completely green, and after trying to teach it myself, I got a trainer. I was completely shocked at how much I didn't know. I should mention that before I got the trainer, I still thought I had been doing awesome. I thought, "the horse does what I want it to do!" Turns out, I was just lucky the horse didn't take advantage of my ignorance, and had tolerated my errors.