Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Idle Hands

It appears that my shoulder still hates me, so time off will be had. I don't know quite what I did to it. After our rather raucous ride around Valinor I had a sore neck and if I turned a certain way I could feel it pull through my left shoulder. I thought 'tight muscles, possible pinched nerve' and carried on. It's about 10 days (and two horse shows) later and I'm now treating myself like a horse with a mild lameness and some heat and swelling. Ice, handwalk, some bute, stall rest. Well, Advil instead of bute and staying away from the barn instead of stall rest, but it's the same general idea.

This means a lot of time to sit around and read the internet. Never a good idea. I've been following discussions on whether or not stupid people should own horses and some on how to fix the problems with America's eventing system. I was less than kind on the discussion about the 'I didn't know' excuse. If you're going to go out and buy a horse, buy a damn book and learn that they need their feet done and how to put on a halter. There's no excuse for that nonsense when handling a thousand pound animal. 'I want one because they're pretty' is not enough cause to buy a horse.

As to the future of eventing? What a tangle. Our culture calls for teenagers to get out there and win right NOW, so we end up with young riders buying packers that take care of them and moving up the ranks. Does this produce our future Olympians? Nope, but what is a trainer to do? Tell them that they need to put in some time on difficult horses and learn to not win? It's frustrating for a kid to keep losing because they don't have the 'made' horse. I know from my current project that it can be frustrating to put in so much work and go to a show and get trounced. I'm proud of her, and there's a sense of accomplishment that comes from riding my own work, but who doesn't want to go in and win ribbons?

I don't have a solution, since the culture is increasingly that everyone has to win. If you're not winning ribbons, you shouldn't be playing. And if mommy and daddy have to buy a fancy packer to make that happen, then so be it. The kids with less money riding horses they have to work with are squeezed out, and trainers make more money on kids that campaign, anyway. Until the base culture changes, no decisions made by the USEA or the USEF will make any difference. People want results and they want them NOW. Thanks, Google.

Time to grab some frozen peas for my icing. Typing out a rant clearly is not the best way to rest my shoulder.

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