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Spyder 08-03-2009 10:22 AM

Age vs Experience
How many times have you seen adults in classes for beginners where most of the competitors are children of ages 7-10.

If the adult is truly a "beginner" I can see why, but sometime the adult is not. In some cases the adult is truly a beginner but feels embarrassed to go in these classes and instead enter an adult class where they are not suited.

How many have had this experience either from the adult side or from the junior side?

Tennessee 08-03-2009 10:35 AM

I am no adult, but I didn't start barrel racing till a few months ago, and I was going into the beginner class, whereas all my friends my age were running 16s in the youth and open. It is embarrasing at times, but you have to start somewhere. And I only did the beginner class twice, and then dropped out for a bit until I got fast enough to where I could actually compete.

ClassicalRomantic 08-03-2009 10:53 AM

there are lots of adults that are beginners :) they have to start some place! Even if it seems like they have a well trained horse doesn't mean that their not a beginner! One circuit i used to show on had adult beginner classes and then youth but every area is different!

I think the same aobut horses I think there should be a green horse class no matter the horses mare is 10 and she is green..some places have it some dont

Scoutrider 08-03-2009 11:06 AM

I'd been around horses since I was around 9, but didn't start seriously riding or showing until I was 13, in 4-H. Walk/trot division in my state's 4-H program is 12 and under. I ended up thrown in the Junior division, and barely able to canter safely. I survived, but I often wonder why things are divided purely by age at so many of the shows I go to. On the other side of the coin, I see little kids who are darn good riders confined to walk-trot pleasure, etc. at many 4-H shows, when they can easily and safely lope/canter in the ring.

In my first year of 4-H I went to an Open show and rode in 13 and Over W/T Pleasure. I was still very unconfident and unready to canter, so I was all excited that I found the perfect class for me, ha ha. I was the only entry under 30, 6 other riders were well known trainers in my area, and most were cantering their horses in the warmup ring.

Another age/experience conflict I see occasionally is in respect to the horse. I know several (and own one myself) horses who are physically and emotionally prepared to show at the walk and trot, but are not balanced enough at the canter (or even older horses who are healthy to show W/T, but arthritic or otherwise unable to canter) to be competitive. Granted, the solution is to simply wait to show and work on the canter, but I still smile when I read an open show pamphlet and see an Open W/T Pleasure class. I dunno, maybe I'm a whiner, but there are some oddities out there in the show world. Shoot, maybe I'll be lucky enough to someday have access to an arena and run my own open show and I can come up with the class divisions that make sense to me, lol!

1dog3cats17rodents 08-03-2009 12:14 PM

I agree there should be more begginer adult classes, such as cross rail and WT. I mean, adults have to start somewhere!

eventerdrew 08-03-2009 12:39 PM

My mom is very booksmart about horses, has been around horses her whole life and rode occasionally, and has watched all of my lessons, but can she do it herself? no. She is the first one to admit that. There was a point in time (when she could ride, she had back surgery and can't ride anymore) where I was teaching HER how to ride... and I was 12.

Adults should not be embarassed to go into beginner classes. Like 1dog3cats17rodents said, they've got to start somewhere too!

hotreddun 08-03-2009 12:53 PM

I don't think its an embarrassment...beginner is beginner. Although I will admit I've always wanted to learn karate but never have 1 because of time and 2 because I picture myself in a class full of 5 year olds. :)

farmpony84 08-03-2009 01:25 PM

most of the shows I go to break it up by age. They'll have an age group bracket for beginners... One of the shows I go to has a walk class for 10 and under and then a walk/trot class for 13 and under, then there is the 14-18 junior class THEN they have a novice rider which is for people in their first or second year of showing. That's where the adults can go. Although the Novice Rider/Novice Horse classes usually irritate me because the horses and riders in them are not what I consider novice....

Angel_Leaguer 08-03-2009 01:57 PM

When I was in 4-H this something really really worked on in our county. Just because the rider is older doesn't mean they are ready to lope/canter... so we added walk-trot classes for all ages. Also the cloverbuds are required to have someone lead but if the rider is out of the cloverbud age but still not ready to "ride on their own" there is a class for that as well. Too many kids are discouraged and stop riding because they didnt get started at a young age and just need more time to learn... why force them to lope/canter when thy just are not ready???

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