I agree. As long as you realize that there is some political aspect to showing, and you just go to have a good time and gain experience then it is way fun. I highly recommend it. And I'm an adult and my classes are all adults so it's not confined to the younger crowd. But if you were thinking about showing, do it. It's great!
I do put some blame on the coaches, for sure. It all starts with them. They are supposed to be the authority on the sport so we look to them for guidance and structure. I would not be comfortable suggesting that my trainer totally throw out her methods when I don't know half of what she does. We just trust that what they are telling us is correct. Now I read books and magazines all of the time to increase my personal knowledge, but still, she is my source for knowledge too.
I think there is too much pressure from some barns to pin and pin high. Certain barns around town, and I'm sure all over the country, won't even take new students or boarders unless they plan to show and have a fancy horse. This can be tough for the people that really want to ride, ride well and become great horsepeople, because most of the better trainers are the ones that want to show. At least in my area they are. I saw a lady at this last show riding her horse, warming him up to go in the ring and at the last minute her trainer barks at her to jump off..."I'm showing your horse for you this time!" She wanted to be sure that the horse pinned, and they did. Kudos to her...a pro...for winning against a bunch of beginners. ::rolling eyes:: Now that woman, who paid **** good money for the show, and the horse and everything before it, missed out on a learning opportunity because her trainer wanted a shiny bauble.
I love my trainer because her whole focus is having a solid leg. She always emphasizes how a secure leg is your base, etc. I just got the newest issue of PH and there is another article about having a good lower leg. It looks like this issue is being brought into the light more and more.