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Back2Horseback 12-15-2012 04:45 AM

Jumping Bareback & Bridleless 6'+
How many of you have seen this woman ride? She has, I believe, @ least 2 videos of herself & the amazing jumper featured with her in this clip (which shows them doing a fair bit of flat work)...the other is of her briefly, toward the end, showing Dressage, with same horse, and the remainder is about 90% jumping bareback/bridleless, 6'+.

I'm going to go and try to find her other clip now....

ETA: Apparently I copied URL for the second video of hers I'd described! Thought it was the newer one with the flatwork element! I'll check for THAT ONE instead! Apologies! Awesome riding...

Canterklutz 12-15-2012 02:14 PM

Apparently she is a high school dropout and has had no formal riding instruction. She shoes her own horses and doesn't have the funds to really support competing in the upper levels. Her horse doesn't have the greatest conformation either.

That being said, they are a true paradigm of what hard work and raw talent can do. :-)

Back2Horseback 12-15-2012 02:57 PM

That's right! I believe she is from NZ? Can't remember --I know it's on YT in her little Bio and I had read it there a while back...I also remember reading someplace that she is looking for a sponsor/someone to help her get onto an equestrian team of some kind (?).

Personally, I'm an advocate for higher education whenever possible (& lacking in significant talent other than being a school-nerd, not at least obtaining my B.S. would have been a major detriment to MY future). That said, while achieving at least a high school education is definitely of value, I also believe there are people out there who have significant talents (in my opinion, she is a prime example) that make it possible for them to do amazing things despite never having obtained a rudimentary education.

My hope for her would be that she would find that "sponsor" and thus, help her achieve some of her higher-level horse-related goals, & then, perhaps later, obtain some higher level, formal education in the equine field to round-out her "training"/make her more marketable in the larger world/horse industry.

I am no equestrian expert by far...this said, I see this young woman as a "diamond-in-the-rough", who, despite, or possibly in this rare case, because of lacking actual training seems to simply have quite amazing natural abilities with horses--if her videos are indicative of her "true way" with the animals.

My question would be WHY she HASN'T found that sponsor? Another serious opportunity to ride/show for a higher level stable? I'm not knowledgeable on how that process goes...anyone have any personal knowledge of her/know anything about the "why" portion? If so, would love to hear more!


upnover 12-16-2012 03:24 PM

Who knows why? Unfortunately in this sport its a lot of who you know. I don't know what shes like or what she's done in her search but showing is A LOT of money so before someone is willing to invest in her they're going to want to know that she's worth it. IMO making a few videos in YouTube won't cut it. she needs a show record to prove she is capable of jumping a technical course at that height and handle the pressure of a rigorous show circuit and WIN before they would invest money in her as a sponsor. Unfortunately a good show record is important. If I were a big name rider though I'd look into her. But even to do that she'd usually need to be willing to start from the bottom and work her way up. Callie, beezie madden's rider spent several months cleaning stalls and grooming horses before they started really letting her ride. She had to prove herself first and is doing quite well now. However she had quite a show record before she even got her foot in the door.
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Back2Horseback 12-16-2012 04:09 PM

Thanks for your comments, Upnover. Knowing less than nothing personally about what it takes to "make it big" in the horse/showjumping world, I had (erroneously) assumed that raw talent was probably the main ingredient; yet your post makes a lot of sense.

"It's who you know, not what you know!" isn't a well-known colloquialism for nuthin'! :wink:Also, I can imagine that if I was a big time showjumping "sponsor"(?), I'd definitely want to be sure that any prospect I chose to take on wasn't going to wuss out if/when things got tough, when they were asked to do "menial" (though absolutely necessary & character building/not to mention literally educational if your plan is to take care of horses and ride them for the rest of your life) "grunt work", and allow another, better rider to coach them, without giving off any "I'm better than being told what to do!" attitude.

Upon reflection, my guess is that many an equestrian prince/princess has been booted out of the big leagues, simply for showing those uglier traits...

Very thought provoking! Thanks again!


upnover 12-16-2012 05:09 PM

Unfortunately to make it big you need more then raw talent. I just don't see anyone being truly successful without formal training. It's just too difficult a sport to figure out on your own. I have heard some cool stories where people were noticed for their talent and guts and were given the training they needed to make it. I think Practical Horseman had an article a while back about an eventing rider who was noticed for her potential and basically re-started from the ground up. She was laughing about she didn't even know how to half halt and would just fling her horse over things and because he was so naturally talented and she was so gutsy (and had an amount of talent herself) they "made it" but looking back she never realized how utterly dangerous she was being. I think she's doing quite well now. I just watched some of the video again. It looks like she's shown so she's not just a backyard rider. But yea, I'd think for someone to invest a decent amount of money into she's going to have to prove herself at least to a certain point.

I would like to add that raw potential isn't everything either. I was at a clinic with George Morris and he was discussing what it takes to be successful. He said that at his first riding lesson his trainer told his parents that he didn't have what it took and that he should look into another sport. They eventually talked him into it (thank goodness!) and he has turned into one of the most successful riders/teachers in the world. But he also explained that he had the drive to succeed, the money, the personal connections, and managed a little bit of luck. And he claimed that he'd rather work with someone with drive and desire then natural ability. So, I guess it's really a formula you need rather then one or two things.

Back2Horseback 12-16-2012 10:04 PM

I totally hear ya, Upnover. I also can't help but be incredibly impressed with this woman's riding skills...even if she doesn't "make it big", she has very obviously put MANY years and much effort into getting that good.

I just woke for work so am not thinking fully clear yet, but I think I'll rewatch that video I posted, as well as the second one (I'll post it, too) & look for any real positives in her riding and any real negatives...I do think she's had training for sure...from memory, her position seems pretty darned flawless over those giant jumps...with no tack.

I saw her lower leg hardly move. She does seem a bit active on the neck strap with her hands, however, having never used a neck strap, I have no clue if it's something you have to adjust & readjust...also have no idea if doing so is seen as having "busy hands", since it's not connected to the horse's face or mouth, does it matter?
I think she looks really professional in her dressage presentation. Don't know how high of a level she's at, but Id bet (based upon her surroundings alone @ that show) definitely not beginning...

Then, her balance is impeccable! That takes YEARS of riding, and years of many hours to ride that well bareback, I'd think...She's certainly an athlete! But, she could be a TOTAL DISASTER AREA to work with behaviorally/mentally. I wonder, could that be why she's not progressed farther? Could that be why she left HS? All speculation for sure...and, she's young....could just be a matter of time? She could just still be young! I think she's what, ALL of 22-24? I'd say she has plenty of time!

Maybe we'll see her in the big league's yet! I have to admit that I really hope so. She impresses me...not because she jumps high and big, but because she struck me as one of those "never say die" sort of riders...maybe she, like GM, was wrongfully overlooked at some point yet will get her chance in the future!?

One never knows :wink:

Canterklutz 12-16-2012 10:45 PM

Her show record from the ESNZ site in case you're interested. I'm not very familiar with what the NZ eventing levels equate to in the US.

Muppetgirl 12-16-2012 11:02 PM

I'm from NZ (originally) and worked for a high level show jumping barn......she would have no problem apprenticing or working under a big time trainer in NZ......she'd have plenty of opportunities to 'establish' herself a lot better by being associated with a big name......perhaps she's chooses not too.....I actually believe she is very very talented and will go a very long way, it may take her longer on her own, but it will happen.

Theres also a mindset that many people (within the 'higher' classes of equestrian society) have about bareback riding, it's not taken seriously, it's something very 'common' (ie. can't afford a saddle, but obviously she can!) etc a couple of YT videos bareback riding isn't necessarily going to motivate someone to invest in this girl......even though she's good at it.....

She needs to be seen in a more 'professional' light.....the difference between someone who excels at their office job and shows up in flip flops and jeans and someone who is ok at their office job but dresses the part........first impressions count.....

Back2Horseback 12-16-2012 11:59 PM


Originally Posted by Muppetgirl (Post 1802777)
I'm from NZ (originally) and worked for a high level show jumping barn......she would have no problem apprenticing or working under a big time trainer in NZ......she'd have plenty of opportunities to 'establish' herself a lot better by being associated with a big name......perhaps she's chooses not too.....I actually believe she is very very talented and will go a very long way, it may take her longer on her own, but it will happen.

So pleased someone else sees in her what I do...Not sure why, again, that I feel so strongly about her potential, but I

In regard to the bareback and YT video thing; I completely "get" what you are referring to Muppet Girl. The way I see it (again, from a NON-SHOW-WORLD RIDER/NON-"status"-interested-type-of-person), and not implying you are MG; I get that you are simply relaying the general opinions of high ranking riders in upper level communities.

The way I see the bareback clips is that they are merely evidence of ability, and imagine that if she is capable of doing all of that bareback and bridleless, then she should have no trouble replicating those very same skills WITH tack. To me, I don't see it as meaning she is less worthy or poor/unable to purchase tack; just a fantastic rider with impeccable "feel" and balance/gentleness/ease and fluidity of movement.

I think she probably does own tack...or at least borrowed some that looked very fine on her horse in that dressage show in the clips...not to mention that IMO, she cleans up very nicely in appropriate show clothing, etc...for the same mentioned show.
I feel she is "probably" showing her versatility with the clips...she can ride without any tack, or ride dressed to the nines, and still perform valiantly.

She's the office worker, IMO, who does a kick a** job daily in her Gucci skirt and blouse, Coach purse, and perfectly manicured nails and hair. Then she gets called in on a Saturday and shows up with no clients present, wearing a sweatshirt, Levi's and Nikes, & still does kick A** quality work! My analogy built upon your initial one...sorry for jumping on your bandwagon! :-)

Anyway, perhaps a second New Zealander will pop onto the site and also read/interpret her show record for us, and let us know how it spells out in terms of what Upnover was referring to, in terms or needing to have "proven her worth" in the show world, and whether or not she has accomplished such yet.

I have an Egyptian high level Stadium Jumper friend on FB...He owns a very "exclusive" (apparently) training barn, and rides GP level or its Egyptian equivalent, and is constantly competing in extremely high level shows in the Middle East...I emailed him about, oh, six months ago asking him whether he felt she would be somebody he'd be interested in taking on as a rider for his barn...he was not, but I honestly believe it likely had do with her being a female than her skill-level, as most of their riders, due to cultural norms tend to be men...I'll ask him sometime straight out what he didn't like about her. I felt he might not react well to such directness from a female, but I'll give it a go!

Anyway, just some thoughts! Definitely an interesting conversation, nonetheless. I really do hope.for.good things for this young woman.

B2H. :-)

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