Monday, May 21, 2012

Shortcuts

One of the big problems with today's society is that people take short cuts. I'm interested in dressage (and even have a horse available to maybe take to a couple of shows this year). I went to the barn yesterday to ride him. (which ended up not happening much because another horse was lame and he was needed for a lesson).

When I got there, I saw not just my trainer's car, but her horse trailer. She'd brought her personal horse over to school in peace (that is, away from her six year old). He's a 16.3 Hanoverian. (For the non-horsey, 15 hands = 5 feet and it's measured to a point just in front of the saddle, not the head...this horse is, in other words, taller than I am). He's competing second level, schooling third, and is considered a 'professional' quality horse, capable of working at the higher levels. He's beautiful. And huge. And worth more than your car. (Well, unless you have a very good car).

I stuck around to watch her school...and then she turned around and said 'I'm getting tired. You guys should get up'. I thought at first she was joking...this is her 50k upper level horse, not her rescued Thoroughbred who's still working on training level... Nope. She was serious.

There's a bit of a scandal in the dressage world right now called 'rollkeur'. These horses are basically forced into something which LOOKS like a classic dressage frame by the use of heavy hands, harder bits and various devices to pull the head down. I've long suspected that these people, who include Olympians, do it because they can't be bothered to get fit enough to ride these big, powerful horses.

I was...so right. Just ask my abdominal muscles. I spend enough time in the gym, and I was TOTALLY not fit enough to ride that horse.

How many people take shortcuts because they can't be bothered to get 'fit' enough to do whatever it is they want to do? Whether the fitness be physical or mental...people pay to be published because it takes to long to learn to write well. People harass teachers to give everyone an A because they don't want their kids to have to be bothered with learning. It's an epidemic.

My goal?

To be fit enough to ride that dang horse. Or at least to get some good scores on the pesky Thoroughbred. (He cantered off with me. Three times.)