Friday 25 November 2011

It's time. Shit or get off the pot, Dressage Curmudgeon...

First, I want to thank all of you for your comments, it is really fun to know that people are actually reading the blog, whether you hate it or love it.

I really did start it just to make my friends laugh.  Also - because I am kind of sad about selling my horse and am not sure what I want to do next in the equestrian world - it is a fun outlet for me.  I do seriously hope that if nothing else when reading you get a feeling now and then that you are not alone when faced with the total weirdness that seems to permeate our hobby.

Perhaps if you don't find any common ground at all, and think that I am just a vitrol spewing bitch - I would suggest that in some instances, you too may be able to see the various Emperor's penises (or labia depending on gender) if you look a little bit harder. And for the record, I say this entirely tongue-in-cheek - in case anyone out there isn't on side with my humour, and based on some of the posts I have read, I get the feeling there just may be a few of you out there.  So don't get too excited. (due to their lack of clothes - get it?   No real genitals were involved or displayed, I am just messing with you).  

But then on the other hand, maybe you are much better off than me if you don't.  I often do think to myself how much easier life would be if I could see the invisible shorts too, and there are many days I really wish I could.  Unfortunately if there is an ass or a dick out there, I seem to be able to spot it.  It is stressful, really.  Maybe Valium would help.  I am open to suggestions.

I see naked classical dressage instructors.  They are everywhere, walking around like regular people....

Anyway, enough of that. Back to the story.

It had now been probably 3 or 4 months since I started trying to find the right dressage coach.  The one option that is fairly obvious that I had not yet tried was to ante up and go to one of the big name, competitive coaches in my area.


There are a few issues with this, as I am sure some of you can identify with.

First and foremost - there is the associated expense.  Now, if I was starting from scratch again today, I kind of know the scene well enough that I would be able to find a good coach stationed out of a barn that does not require a full training program, and we are fortunate enough to have some excellent options in my area.

But at the time, I was not as informed, and the people I had tried had..well, you read it... they sucked.  I wasn't taking any chances.  I was going to go whole hog - full training or whatever was required to get hooked up with a known, proven FEI coach.  And they don't come cheap.

To address this lack of finances issue, I did what we all do.  I started on a hard core program of self delusion, telling myself that it totally made sense to spend $1000++ per month on learning to ride.  Who wouldn't?  I would be an idiot not to, really, don't you think?  What's that?  Did I hear you say YES?  I thought so.  

I still may not be able to count tempis to save my life, but I must say, (if you can allow me to brag just a little), that my financial self delusion program has been beyond successful, and I can probably soundly kick anyone's ass in this department.  Shazam!  Take that.

As just one example, I proceeded to drive my 1995 Honda Civic into the ground for the next 5 years and 500,000 km because I really, really loved it.  Errr...yah, that's it.  Pfft, who wants a NEW car.  I loved "Old Blue".  It had nothing to do with lack of funds... noooo, noo, nothing at all.

"We've got a thing, and it's called, Poverty".  Wait, wait - I meant to say  "Radar Love".

So that was that.  Which brings up the next issue - would they want the Platypus?

Because as cute as I thought he was - it all goes back to the invisible shorts thing and how I never see them - I knew the truth.  He was not what most FEI level coaches dreamed of having in their barns.  Forget what the bulletin boards say about "a good horse is a good horse" blah blah blah... there is no way, no how, breed bias doesn't exist.  I will get into this discussion at many points in the future, but for now, I am sure you can identify.

So, I figured the best way to deal with point #2 was just to lay it all on the table.  I called up the biggest, hottest name in my area and asked if I could come for a ship-in lesson to discuss the possibility of putting the Platypus into a training program.

Sure!  Come on over!

So I loaded up the red rocket and off we went, and had the BEST LESSON YET!  I was so pumped.  She was an awesome coach, kind of funny in a dry way, the arena was beautiful, the horses were beautiful, barn was beautiful...

And best of all, she did not recoil in horror when I asked if we were welcome.  Of course!  Come and start in our full training program next month.

Finally!  The stars were aligning.  I was about to really get started.  FEI, here I come....right?


  1. I am soooo enjoying reading your very accurate (if sad) account of the AA journey in dressage. Thank you for sharing!

  2. So funny. So true

  3. Finally! Someone brave enough to tell it like it is! (And I'm a I really know how this works) From the classical cap wearing crooks to the ladies on the UDBB who would love to see you spend the rest of your life perfecting the 20m circle, this blog is AA dressage in real life.

  4. I, too, love your blog. Would love it even more if I could receive the posts via e-mail. Is that an option, and I'm just missing it?

  5. Thanks for your comments - re: e-mail, yes I think you can but I am not sure hot to do it - does anyone know? I will see if I can figure it out.

    You can also join my facebook group then you will see updates there -

  6. Ok, I added a "subscribe by email" box. If anyone tries it let me know if it works!