Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

In another comment from my return to saddle seat post [And We’re Back, 1st comment post ], buffy bourbon said that I like older Stepping Stone Farm horses because young, nice horses are priced out of lesson programs. (Full quote below.)

I don’t want this to be true.

I will grant the market angle. It was approved of by people who know more of such matters than I. Over my 40 years of horsing, I’ve owned a handful of horses (5 or 6 depending on how one counts Mathilda. She certainly never thought of herself as my horse. But I digress.) I tend to look at horses in a narrow focus, as individuals. I don’t have the wide-angle, market view of someone who buys and sells that many horses in a year.

I will also grant that we all like to ride nice horses. An Olympic aspirant may be more interested in athletic talent than manners, but who wouldn’t take manners AND talent, should such a beast exist?

What I don’t want to be true is that I can only ride forgiving horses. I may be an amateur, but I still want to be the best rider I can be.

One interpretation is that Ms. Bourbon’s comments apply to me and saddle seat horses. I’ve often thought of riding in the saddle seat world as similar to living as a expatriate. You have a good time. You enjoy the people. You might even fantasy shop for an apartment. In your heart, you know you will go home eventually.

I can speak saddle seat, but I am not fluent in it. Not the way I am in whatever bastard combination of eventing/hunter/jumper/dressage is my default riding style. The fact that kids can ride horses I can’t [Show Photo] is on par with children speaking their own language better than an adult can as a second language.

Perhaps cheap, green, and saddle seat is more than I can manage.

May I present an alternate version of your theory? It seems to me that it’s not an “age of horse” that you get along with, but a personality type. You feel comfortable on the more forgiving horses. Most of us do, that’s not a weakness just a fact. The age thing comes in because of price point. A young, talented, forgiving horse just doesn’t make it into the lesson string very often, because an amateur is going to pay more for that horse than a training barn can afford to pay. Eventually, that horse ages up and the amateur wants something else and that’s how the older versions make it into lesson strings. So, I submit that you want to ride the same sort of horse that most of us want to ride… but you’re riding on the Stepping Stone budget which means some older horses.

This is not the first time I have cited a comment by Ms. Bourbon [Patterns, Clean Cups!] Clearly, a friend I have not yet met. Would it be considered stalking if I flew out to a show to cheer on a stranger?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Comments on: "Nice Horses and Lesson Programs" (2)

  1. buffy bourbon said:

    I certainly didn’t mean that you could ONLY ride the nicer horses – only that it’s more fun for you. It’s easier to focus on yourself if the horse is dependable! And i think you’ve proven that – you do lessons on the other horses and do fine!

    And no, i don’t think it would be stalking at all – but Splinter’s retired from the big shows at this point (we’ll still do local fun shows but no long trips anymore) so it’ll be a bit before I get out there on the new horse*.

    *Legs if i steal him? Another new horse i haven’t met yet? Who knows!

  2. I kept hoping that SSF would decide to got to St. L. As you say, who knows.

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