THE NEW EQUESTRIAN ECONOMY
The entire equine industry has undergone considerable shifting in recent years. Riding and horse ownership has become too costly for many. Those who do continue to ride often do not invest in regular lessons, and some may simply think they do not need consistent instruction. It seems as though patient training over years and long-term goals have given way to short workshops and clinics, online seminars and video instruction. This conveniently allows online marketing and potentially lucrative opportunities for building a fan-base well beyond the local area instructors and trainers usually tap. High-tech tools for equestrian education are indeed marvelous, but they are meant to be in support of and not a replacement for the amount of time it takes to learn how to ride and train horses well.
This new economy has also given rise to opinions and methods that often pit one person’s version of training against another. Well-known methods are copied, then individualized and branded with a new twist. While not all of these techniques are necessarily bad, it is possible that some have contributed to a contentious and divisive atmosphere for both competitive and recreational riders.
One of our goals is to have riders learn to look carefully at their chosen disciplines and training methods. Decide for yourself if what you are doing to and with your horse is really in his best interest. Be discerning and cautious when exploring trainers and trends that deviate from common sense and classical training and handling. Claims of humane treatment may be made but not necessarily practiced. Some individuals may have little, if any, actual training experience, or training experiences that are not applicable to horses and disciplines outside of their scope of knowledge and ability.