The Problem of the “Overhorsed” Amateur
Ispent five years traveling the country giving mounted sport-psychology clinics called “riding with confidence,” and i still work individually with riders of all ages and disciplines, so i feel i have a pretty good range of exposure to our equestrian culture. while this piece is risky for me, i feel that not bringing this up is only out of fear of people disagreeing with me or not liking me. but since i am committed to more than that, here goes:
the issue i want to bring up is the overhorsed amateur. the main players in this game are the amateur (client) and the trainer. what i have seen and heard illuminates a problem we have in dressage that needs to be addressed. Some (not all) trainers encourage or allow amateurs to buy “too much horse” with the promise that they will train the horse up for the owner to be able to someday ride. take a deep breath and focus on the some part. i have seen just as many wonderful horses paired with amateurs having a great, successful time. what i want out of this conversation is for us all to raise the bar of expectation, behavior and responsibility.
To read more from sport psychologist Dr. Jenny Susser, visit dressagetoday.com.