Problems That Younger Riders Have Never Had To Worry About, aka The Boot Jack List

Training Journal


I come in the house. I get distracted talking about how the horses went. I look down. I am using a boot jack in an attempt to pull off my zip-on boots.


Which got me thinking about other things the younger generations of riders have never done, or conversely have always done. Have you heard of the Beloit College Mindset List? Check it out, it’s awesome. “One reason we began the List was to remind faculty members and the general public that entering college students have a particular and limited range of experiences,” notes McBride [The Mindset Lists of American History].

It reminds us old farts about the reality of being 18. They’ve always had cell phones. They’ve never had the Soviet Union. And so on. In that light, I have started a version for the horse world.
If you are talking to a group of 18-year-old riders, they have ….

Never used a boot jack to pull off their tall boots.

Never competed at Pre-Training in Eventing. It’s now called Novice, and is no longer the lowest level.

Never had to worry about penalty zones on their cross-country courses.

Never seen a long-format Olympic Event. Short format was introduced in Athens 2004.

Always ridden with a helmet in hunters or jumpers. Yay!

Always had Warmbloods as the standard in hunters. They have never had a need for a Non-TB Hunter Class.

Always had Academy as an option in saddle seat. The first ever class was in 1989, per Saddle & Bridle: Whatever Works.

The Chronicle of the Horse has been in color since they were 6 years old.
I may be off on the dates here and there, but you get the idea.

According to Wiki, Beloit College no longer claims the list, “ ‘A poorly written compendium of trivia, stereotypes and lazy generalizations.’ ” Wiki: Mindset List. There’s even more vitriol in the full quote. I smell academic infighting. Marist College has taken up the mantle.

What do you have for the Boot Jack List?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

3 thoughts on “Problems That Younger Riders Have Never Had To Worry About, aka The Boot Jack List

  1. My last horse died in 2001, and I hadn’t been able to ride (spine problem) for a time longer than that, so I never really saw how things changed with the riders in that time.

  2. Today’s riders never think:
    – That blankets, halters, buckets, etc only come is 1) Black 2) royal blue 3) Kelly green 4) red
    – That show coats and breeches with leather knee patches will need to be sent to the dry cleaners every time
    – Time to schedule the annual tube-worming?
    – Where have all the diaper pins gone for the shipping wraps?
    – Are my tallboot garter straps still on the boots?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: