The Prob­lem of the “Over­horsed” Am­a­teur

Dressage Today - - Arena -

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 dres­sage­to­

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