My program at the time, as I recall, was one lesson per week on Ms. V, and one lesson per week on Paddy the 2nd level schoolmaster. Since I was only finding time to ride three or so times a week, the rides on Paddy had to go. I had to focus the free time I had on Ms. V. I also added one training ride per week for Ms. V and Coach Ritenau - without me.
Oh Curmudgeon - what is the point! Dressage is a journey, not a destination. Getting your coach to do the riding so you can get there faster? That is such a cop-out.
I love when people say this sort of thing. "You aren't going to be one of those people who takes the easy road and lets her trainer do all of the work then just shows up to ride a "made" horse, are you?"
It is right up there with saying that people who ride dressage bred horses are choosing to do it because it is "sooo easy" to ride insanely big moving, hotter than hell Dutch Warmbloods the way Anky does. And that real, hard-core riders choose to ride beasts that are hopelessly ill designed for the task, just to up the ante and make life a bit more challenging.
But I have already bitched about that elsewhere, so I will spare you the recap.
Mmm-mmm I love a sweet lemon, don't you?
Anyone who utters this phrase has obviously never spent much time in a full training facility dedicated primarily to helping the average adult amateur women who actually wants to ride and show her own horse. Take it from me.. it ain't always pretty.
Even if you let the trainer ride your horse five days a week, warming it up just right for you each and every day - if you can't ride, YOU CAN'T RIDE. That's it. Coaches are not magicians. Trust me, if they were, they would magically conjure up some way to earn a living that did not involve dealing with you, every day.
You are probably wondering if I still read Psychology Today to try to figure out why so many people are so weird and fricking irritating. Why yes, I do. I had to take a brief hiatus since just about every other blog post for the month of December was dedicated to discussing how to get Americans with access to guns who also happen to be bat-shit insane to not shoot schoolchildren which is a bit too heavy a topic for my Canadian brain, but they are now back on track with topics that are more my speed... (things like 12 Rude Revelations About Sex...hmm, that sounds good)...or assholes in the workplace (who could resist this one...A Jerk Whisperers Guide to Jerk Management .. might also come in handy for dealing with many horse people as well).
At the Psychology Today website, different psychologists spend a lot of time discussing logical fallacies or biases in the way people think, and how this affects their perception of the world around them. These are some of the articles I find most interesting. For example "why do 95% of people think they are above average at doing whatever the hell it is they are doing".
One topic that would be right up this alley would definitely be "The Dressage Coaching Bias". I have not yet read an article dedicated to this subject in particular, but I am sure it is only a matter of time.
The Dressage Coaching Bias refers to the fact that any horse and rider combo that can afford to get MORE coaching than you do - at home, or GOD FORBID, in the warm-up ring at a show - is kind of a scamming "takin' the easy road" cheater (even if the rules don't say so - c'mon! It is SO not fair. Asshole! If I had THAT (insert advantage not available to you due to lack of funds here), I would be awesome too!).
The interesting thing about this bias is that as the amount of coaching that YOU personally can afford to receive increases - the "takin' the easy road, Asshole" bar gently slides up the scale, so that YOUR particular amount of coaching is just right - only levels of coach intervention above this are inappropriate.
If your budget dictates that you arrive at your horse shows with only your Grandma as an assistant and a lawnchair, everyone who shows up with Grandma AND Grandpa, three lawnchairs and a beer cooler = takin' the easy road, Asshole
|Motorized? Oh come ON now. That is SO takin' the easy road, Asshole|
Did your coach once ride at a gold show? Then anyone with a coach who earned a gold medal, at a gold show = takin' the easy road, Asshole
If your coach needs to school your horse at the show because Stormy noticed a terrifying port-o-let barf out its innocent prisoner and has turned into a blubbering heap of equine jello, that's ok. Everyone whose coach schools their horse to tweak their transitions for a 65% instead of 60% = takin' the easy road, Asshole
I haven't actually done research on this myself, but I would imagine that someone having their horse warmed up by Edward Gal prior to a training level class at a Bronze show would still object to another rider having a microchip implanted in their brain so that the neural synapses of Charlotte Dujardin could be piped directly to their spinal cord. "Oh come ON now, that is SO takin' the easy road, Asshole
At Psychology Today, the writers always encourage us to overcome our thought biases. I try readers, I do try. But I know it is not easy. I remember one day of volunteering at a Bronze show, many years ago, when who arrived but a favourite Gaah-man coach, with her little dressage protege children and their china doll ponies in tow. Why, the first Gold show is next weekend! We need somewhere to practice before our big day! Hellllooo Conestoga!
Frau warmed up the perfect ponies impeccably and plopped the actual child riders down in their saddles, ready for action. They then proceeded to enter their training level classes or whatever they were, and of course, smoke the living shit out of the competition - hairy, unruly pony club ponies, ridden by hunched over children sawing enthusiastically away at their faces with their knuckles hitting their knees to get them "in a frame", while their clueless mom and dad "coaches" watched from the sidelines. And, as their Curmudgeonly whipper-in said silently to herself "Oh come ON now, that is SO takin' the easy road, Assholes
|It is so weird. Sometimes my knees hurt when I ride.|
Hey, I am not perfect. I struggle to overcome this Dressage Coach Bias too, even when I don't have a dog in the fight, as Dr. Phil would say. I have to remind myself that some people are just socially awkward, really fucking irritating, and only have loud voices. And just make a mental note to stay far, far, away from them. Then stick to this mental note. Then make a mental note to remind myself stick to my mental notes. And also remind myself that whether I like it or not. I know, Mr. Curmudgeon, I know. Nobody said life had to be fair. And if it ain't against the rules, short listed riders can warm up ponies at Bronze shows - it's not pretty, but it IS entirely fair.
I guess what I am saying is this... in defense of myself, and my gradual progression away from "self reliant rider, bringing her horse along all on her lonesome" to "Curmudgeon in full training and hating every minute of it"... If you think it is depressing to NOT have the money to get the very best training for your horse, I agree. It really sucks. But try to get over it.
Because I have witnessed something even worse - people who have all the money, the sound horse, the right coach - and still are not able to sit the trot, or ride a transition, or do any of the other basic things to get out of the dressage basement. When you are in this boat, there is no one to blame but you. Now THAT must be depressing.
So next time you are at a show, and sneering away from the sidelines at these bouncing yanking women - well, just stop. Do your best to overcome Dressage Coach Bias. There is a good possibility that these women are actually jealous of you, relaxing with your Grandpa and a beer in a lawnchair. I don't know what this bias is called, but it sounds much less stressful to me.