Don't shut me down - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 31 Old 04-11-2010, 05:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Washington
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But your leasing a mare right? In a way leasing can better help you right now. Because once you out grow that horse you can find another one to lease. And if you had your own horse. You might out grow it and maybe its not able to get into those higher levels that you want and may have to sell. I know its nice to have your own horse. But leasing is great to. Unless you can afford to have more then one horse at a time...

From east to west a travlin gypsy found her prancing pony for now their hearts run as one...into the north
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post #22 of 31 Old 04-11-2010, 06:31 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Queensland, Australia.
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I want to make it to the top -- Of What I can get to -- To get to a high level you need to make sacrafices, just to be able to start in pony club I have put my horse up for sale, whom I love dearly. But he also has behaviour problems, but I want to get out compete while I'm at this age and get into the feel of things, with my horse it would be another two years before we even do little comps, so that means I wouldn't be competing till I was 15. So I made the choice to sell my best friend and get a more advanced horse. Sacrifice one.

I do not have a social life, I go to school, I do homework then I eaither ride or help teach at my riding school to get more experiance. Weekends are spent doing hours of training, washing horses, cleaning tack, riding other peoples horses for experiance. Then I'm to stuffed to go party with my friends. Sacrifice two.

Money, while my sister wastes her money on crap, mine goes into a jar for comp fee's or towards new riding gear. I'm lucky that my parents help me out incredibly with affording my horse and they pay for feed, major tack and agistment. But if I need a new saddle blanket, I pay for it. Sacrifice Three.

But it can all "Fall over" on top of you easily, I've spent just over a year now training my TB, now he's for sale. Not a complete waste, I learnt alot. But I could have easily gotten a better horse straight up and would be competeing by now. But I am in the process of starting again with a more advanced horse and I will get somewhere.

Basically what I'm trying to say is, its not easy but don't give up. Don't give yourself massive goals. Eg: The olympics. Give yourself smaller goals like placing in an event and slowly build up your goals and one day you might get there. Its tough and not everyone gets there. I dream to make the olympics but at the moment I have my goal on finding a horse that can get me in the show ring. Don't give up, but don't exspect the impossible from yourself.

Sir Success. Eventer.
2000 - 2013,
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post #23 of 31 Old 04-14-2010, 03:03 PM
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Okay, here's my two cents. Actually it's going to be about $2 worth, so be warned.

I am 100% behind you following your dream. Too many people let themselves get shot down. What it means, though, is that you have to have TOTAL commitment to your dream. For you to have total commitment, you have to know EXACTLY what you want. What is "a great rider"? Put your dream into numbers. "I want to ride in the Olympics in 2020." Not "I want to ride with George Morris," because George Morris is going to ask you what your goal is. "I want to be in the ribbons at the A circuit shows within 5 years." Not "I want to be a horse trainer."

There's nothing wrong with those less defined goals--except that you're less likely to achieve them. In order to excel at any sport, you need to work harder and longer than everyone else. Another George Morris quote is something to the effect that he had no natural talent, but he was persistent. Pick any top athlete, look into his or her life story, and you'll find that they devote HUGE amounts of time and effort to their sport. The better they are, the more they go beyond what everyone else does. Yes, it requires money. But one thing other people aren't mentioning is the domino effect. If you demonstrate your commitment, it will show. The people around you will notice--especially if you have a good attitude and don't complain. You keep working your butt off, keep looking for and making the most of every small opportunity, and people will start thinking, there's someone who would benefit from my help. The trainers/instructors/barn owners/horse owners with the most to offer you are in great demand. You have to show them that you're worth their while. If you show them an ability to learn and a huge commitment to your own future in horses, opportunities will open up that you'd never imagine were there.

Here's an example. When my daughter was about your age she was saying kind of the same thing. She took lessons and had some natural ability, but money was an issue. One spring I was helping with a dressage show and went to pick up the judge from the airport. On the ride back, my daughter talked to this well-respected judge about her dream. The judge explained that she would have to work really hard and spend a lot of time at the barn learning everything--pretty much what I've just said. My daughter made some excuses about how she couldn't fit everything into her schedule, how could she afford it, etc. I was embarrassed. The judge was telling her hard truths in the kindest way she knew, but my daughter's commitment wasn't the equal of her dream.

Now, that's perfectly fine. Nobody needs to be a great rider, or even ride at all. And it's perfectly okay to change your mind about what your dream is. Just understand that you can never get outstanding results unless you put outstanding effort into it. And that doors open when they're ready.
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post #24 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The great, white expanse of Maine...ugh!
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I agree with everything that's been said, and will add my POV - be prepared to give up EVERYTHING except horse. That includes parental support, friends, free-time, sick-days, sleep, love of riding at times, bones, soundness of mind and body, etc. etc. etc. Get a working student job over the summer - practically everyone who rides goes through the "I absolutely want to be an Olympian, no questions asked" phase. Mine lasted for 18 years before I decided that yes, I still want to reach the top levels, but I also want to write, paint, travel - so I'm going to college and exploring ALL my options. And believe me, I was DIEHARD about the Olympics thing. I graduated at 16 to move 800 miles away and be a working student.
First things first, though - being an elite rider takes guts. It takes strength of character. It takes pushiness to get noticed. If you're too afraid to ask your instructor for some extra tutelage, then you've got a major disadvantage. If you really want this, the rest of your life will constitute pushing other people out of the way to get the opportunities you want.  907
And now, the men of the Second Armored Division with their famous close-order swanning about.
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post #25 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 09:07 AM
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Location: Eventing Country
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lol, I remember when I wanted to make it big. I remember I wante to ride beside Ian Millar in the Olymics and be a regular competator in the GP ring at Spruce Meadows.

I remember my Mom teasing me saying "By the time you make it there, Ian will bein a wheel chair" lol.

Yeah, it is very hard work to make it to the "top". No kidding here, it really is. It is VERY competative, you will be up against THOUSANDS of other riders who are wealthy, who are talented and who have been in the game since they were in their single digits in age. Very competative, very tough, very demanding, very draining, very involved.

It's not an easy world, nor is it a friendly world - so be prepared. It is all fine and dandy sitting here at home infront of your computer saying "oh yeah, I can do it" until you are actually face to face with it.

My Suggestion is become a full time working student for a "Big Named" rider. Like Beezie Madden, Ian Millar, Rodrigo Pessoa, Erik Lamaze, Beth Underhill and the list goes on. I know many who are climbing the ladder in levels by being working students - but that's not easy either. Many of these "big named" riders are not fun to work for, and are very hard on you mentally and physically to ensure that you are doing your job 100%, and riding 100% under them - but that's also alot of money because you have to pay them $ a month to stay with them, yes, even when you are a working student.

Can it be done, yes, it can. You have to be that 1 special person inside who can do it, and that person is far and few between the normality of the horse world.

Remember, when you are a working student, you are working amongst other people just like you, who are striving to be the "one".

I'm not trying to scare you, but I am wanting you to wake up to reality and be aware of what it really is like out there in the cometative world of being "a top rider".

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post #26 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 09:40 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Don't forget there's a very very big difference between "making it big" and "being successful" in the horse world. (not that I quite know what you mean by 'make it big') I actually had a long conversation with John Madden (Beezie's husband) about the realities of a person "making it big". Think about it this way... how many players play in the NFL? A LOT. And they play in the Super Bowl EVERY YEAR. How many riders are on an Olympic riding team? Like... 5? And they ride every 4 years. Statistically, it is very VERY difficult to make it to the top. He also mentioned there are a lot more riders then horses out there. You may very well be one of the best riders in the country, doesn't mean you can find something that has the scope to make it to the Olympics.

It is extremely difficult to be the top, BUT it's not nearly as difficult to say, be a Grand Prix rider. I would consider that to be a successful rider, and that's a goal that I think is actually achievable with LOTS of hard work, the right connections, etc etc. It is also an achievable goal to be a very successful trainer or instructor. John also said that he wasn't good enough to be very successful rider (he also comes from no money) but he realized he could do very well as a seller/importer of the top horses in the world. I would say he is at the very top of his field. He's just not a rider.
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post #27 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CT
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thanks guys(: and how did you get to meeting John Madden? Beezie is my hero and I LOVE Authentic!

The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave.
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post #28 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 04:28 PM
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To add to what upnover said, once you get to the level to be noticed by team selectors, money becomes a HUGE thing. For one thing, they want to see you all over the country all year at the big shows, and perhaps spending some time in Europe too. And they want you to not only have one Olympic candidate horse (worth well over $500,000) but at least two or three so that you'll be a reliable team member. They can't select people who don't have backup horses, because if they only have one and the horse goes lame, the team is up the creek without a paddle. So keep that in mind.
Getting a working student position is far and away the best thing you can do. Depending on your discipline I know several Olympic-level riders personally and would be happy to give you the "inside scoop" about what you can expect at each place. Every barn conducts the working student positions differently.  907
And now, the men of the Second Armored Division with their famous close-order swanning about.
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post #29 of 31 Old 04-15-2010, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CT
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Eventer- I would LOVE that and I am very happy that you guys care enough to be sharing this information with me. You guys are great. I have been looking for jobs in my area but to no avail. And the "inside scoop" about what to expect would be great!

The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave.
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post #30 of 31 Old 04-16-2010, 11:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North Texas
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Honestly the best thing to do is to look for a working student job with a top trainer. I rode for a couple big names in my area and caught a lot of rides. Riding lots of different horses is not only good for your riding, but for your reputation. You do a good job on one horse, suddenly another owner wants you on their horse. You CAN succeed without money, you just have to put in the extra time, even though it can seem fruitless at times.

Another great thing to do to help you with the money problem is to write people about sponsorships. That will get you very far when you begin a professional career.

But the best advice I can give is ride as many horses as possible and show, show, show to get your name out there. Start small and network well, and you can go far! You should tell your trainer about your goals, and your parents too. Hopefully they can "hook you up" with some good resources!
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