Originally Posted by SlideStop
While I'd agree that things like cavalia can also influence people in the wrong way it a little bit different, its a professional performance. Alysia is purposely marketing and targeting this crowd of young people BECAUSE they are so vulnerable. Hence higher revenues from her DVD.
First, I didn't realize she was selling a DVD. (I read "self-promotion and figured she was just chasing fame. It didn't click quite right!) Which is why I said "free" on my last post. I have to agree that she's marketing toward the ignorant more than not though.
Second, I have never known the separation between "professional" and "amateur" to create a thick boundary between what people are willing to try at home due to being "inspired" by an act they witnessed. Just the other day my cousin returned from a circus-type deal that had an Aerial Silk act. It was a professional performance and it was stamped with the "do not try at home" sticker. We caught him tying blankets to their indoor balcony, so he could practice for his show. Luckily we caught him in time. The kid is somewhere between 10-13.
One day at the barn where I used to ride, I was taking a bareback lesson and had cantered a half-lap. It was a new victory for me and I had been working on my cantering skills for months. I went off to another arena with my instructor to finish out the lesson. Behind us, a newbie with six or seven lessons behind her had been grooming her lesson horse. She saw me do my victory half-lap and decided she was going to do it too. So what did she do? She grabbed a helmet, untied her horse, lead him to the middle of the arena and managed to get on. She was riding bareback. When my instructor felt a random need to turn around and check a fence, she instantly flipped her lid and went off to get the girl off of the horse. She was 16ish years old. She was old enough and normally acted mature enough not to need a babysitter at the barn.
Hell, even my first ever horse riding instructor was helplessly influenced by a horse movie. You know that movie "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken?" (Favorite movie ever.) She and her friend were trying to do the canter mount that Sonora had to do to learn how to mount when the horse came up the ramp. They video taped it, and it was basically a video of two fourteen year olds flying over a horse's back in a lunge circle.
People have an endless enthusiasm when they become inspired. Inspired people can do the dumbest of things, with or without the boundary of professionalism. I'm sure these things could have been prevented. My instructor could have not been allowed with the horses by herself. We could have babysat the sixteen year old and put my cousin in front of a game. But this is only a small testimony to what a lot of people do. Even if you look at kids who want to be like Tony Hawk in their skills. He's a professional skateboarder and he's known for doing crazy tricks. Whether you're with those kids or not, they're going to try to mimic what they saw on tv. Even if the only reason is to one-up and show off to their friends.
With all that said I can't truly reprimand Alysia for trying to make money in whatever way she's trying to do it. Even if she was only trying to market herself to the experienced horse people's community as a "free riding" horse trainer, there'd be the chance of an impressionable fool watching her video and trying to mimic it on their own. We just have to put our faith in people and hope for the best that they're smart enough not to try what she does.
(But she SHOULD be promoting safety if nothing else.)