PC: Event Clinics
I've noticed that there is somewhat of an epidemic going on with lack of confidence both within my own friends, and at shows. Now with show season approaching, I'm sure I will continue to see it, and I don't understand it. I think I know why I don't understand it, but I still can't comprehend it.
People are deathly afraid to ride their own horses without their trainer. Key word THEIR OWN HORSES. Not a lease horse, not a lesson horse, or any other form of riding a horse that you do not personally own. THEIR OWN HORSE. They act like their own horse, which they paid for, pay all the maintenance on, and even insure, in some cases, has been syndicated. So, who is the mystery owner that limits them from doing whatever they want with their own horse? Their trainer.
Having a trainer is not bad thing, at all. This post is not to discredit trainers in any way shape or form. But, is not a little ridiculous when people pass up shows or schooling because their trainer can't go on that day. Do you really lack that much confidence in your own abilities that you can't even go to a damn schooling show without your trainer? Think about this...you ride your horse with them all the time, is the training they are giving you not sinking in, no making sense to you? Because if that is the case, you better speak up and fix that. At a show, you can either ride your horse or you can't. There is no big, magical fix that is going to happen in the short time span that is a horse show.
Last year I was at a show where the girl ahead of me was called in for her stadium round and she started freaking out "I...I can't go yet, my trainer isn't over here yet. I can't go in." This was a schooling show, so it is a learning opportunity and I can appreciate that, but...either you can ride your horse, or you can't. If you can't go in the ring and ride your horse without your security blanket, is that not dangerous? The people running the ring at that show weren't having it, because there was a nasty storm on its way in, and said get in there and go, NOW.
Think about all the great schooling opportunities you miss out on when you won't go because your trainer's schedule doesn't match up. I understand if you are in a spot where you are trying to move up a level and feel you need some coaching to school it, but I would say 99% of the situations I have witnessed, that is not the case or anywhere close to it. Do you realize just how much you are limiting yourself? Also, do you realize how much self confidence and partnership building you are missing out on by refusing to take the training wheels off and going out without your security blanket?
What if your trainer gets hurt and is out of the barn for a few weeks? Then what do you do? Nothing? Your progress stops?
I've known people that want to jump but won't because their trainer isn't there that day. I suggested just putting up a course of cross rails and they still were like "oh no, I can't." You can't jump cross rails by yourself? Say what? You do realize your horse could STEP over a cross rail at the walk, right?
Some of the examples above are why I understand why this happens sometimes. I can't comprehend it because I don't have a frame of reference for it. I learned to ride with no trainer at all, ever. My mom bought me my first horse and told me I had to learn to ride bareback first before she'd get me tack. She didn't have money to put me in lessons, so I never had any. Now as an adult I have taken lessons here and there but have never had a regular trainer, and have never had any of my horses in training with any trainer. A trainer is an absolute luxury to me, not a necessity. But I do understand some people had the good fortune of growing up in a regular lesson program and from there they have developed this need for their security blanket. However, I don't think that changes the fact that you limit yourself in a big way when you rely on someone else so much.
We have all heard that nothing grows in a comfort zone, practice what is difficult or what you are not good at, etc... That doesn't mean you have to do something dangerous that is so above your skill level you run the risk of hurting yourself or your horse, it can start with simple things like jumping a small course by yourself at home, or going along with a friend for some xc schooling at a level you are already competent at. If you can't do these things, maybe you have the wrong horse? Maybe you have the wrong trainer? All I'm saying is do yourselves a favor and work on your self confidence both within your own abilities and the trust you have with your horse.
PC: Event Clinics