I’ve been doing this riding thing for a long time and I hate that I’m still only riding Training Level, but I realized today that I’m not as bad as I thought. But I also solidified something else I’ve been thinking about for a while. There are two types of people who profess to ride well: those who can ride a broke horse and make it look good (riders), and those who can actually train a horse to do something (trainers). And while all trainers are good riders, not all riders are good trainers. To go one one step further, you can be a good rider and not a good trainer but to be a great rider, you need to be at least a good trainer. And it’s definitely possible for a rider to learn to be a trainer, although it doesn’t seem that many want to because it takes a lot of work and if they are given or can afford nice, broke horses, why should they. Nevertheless, too many people put out shingles saying they are a trainer when they are really just a good rider. On the flip side, there are some (rare) amateurs who are very good trainers. For the most part, I think we amateurs really profess to want to be good riders but sometimes get confused and think we should be trainers, which is where I’ve been finding myself.
I am definitely in the rider category, which is a step up from the failure category that I was beginning to believe I belonged. Unfortunately, I keep picking up green horses, thinking I could be in the trainer camp. However, I don’t think all of my efforts are wasted and that by trying to train PJ and my last horse, and several before them, I’ve become a better rider than I would have if I had only had broke horses. Now, why the switch from failure to rider? Because as Bridget’s been riding PJ, he’s become more consistent. Now when I get on, I can actually maintain, and more importantly, build on what he offers (I had a good lesson today). Also, when I got on Jesse, Bridget’s PSG schoolmaster, or Phoenix, I could actually ride them half-way decently.
I’m seeing the light at the end of the Training Level tunnel. I’m hoping that by continuing to have Bridget train PJ, I can actually concentrate on becoming a better rider. By becoming the best rider I can be and leaving the training to the professionals, I feel I am being the most fair I can be to PJ, and that’s my overall goal.