Ban The Camera

My friends and I went to see a dressage trainer yesterday. I don’t remember his name, and it really doesn’t matter. This guy was someone that my friends liked a lot, and wanted to see teach, hoping to ride with him one day themselves. Curious as I am, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at the guy and see how he was training the horses and the riders at an event like that. It’s free to look, right?

Also, I have never found a dressage trainer, or show jumping trainer for that matter, I could agree with, so I was kind of hoping that this guy would be different. No doubt, I can still learn a lot, and some day in the future I might be able to afford lessons with him, right? Saleem needs to grow up anyway, there is a lot I can teach Saleem on my own, but once he gets to the point where Apollon was when he died, the passage, piaffe, stuff like that, point, I do need help.

My friends and I arrived at the training event to see him teach a pony I know from a farm close to my stable. This pony is a HUGE talent, the girl that rides him is a real talent as well, but they do have a few issues. The pony is very tense, he tightens his neck line and lowers his back. He spooks a lot too. The girl handles him the best way she has learned, and she has managed to get very far with him despite their issues.

And yes, I call it issues, not real problems. Of course, the pony is not supposed to be tense, but from where I am standing, looking at this pony, I see a nice little horse, that works hard and does everything he possibly can for his rider. I see a pony with a saddle problem, causing him to lower his back. I see a pony that has been “held” at the reins and has learned to tighten his neckline. I see a pony that, when he spooks, does so because once in a while, he just NEEDS to avoid the tight rein and the saddle.

In my eyes he is a very honest horse.

As we walked into the hall, the first thing I heard this trainer say was, “when he spooks, just kick him so hard in the ribs that he won’t remember his own name. He is just naughty.” Then he realized that the girl’s father was recording them on video and he turned and said, “don’t post this online.”

I almost left instantly. Any kind of respect I might have hoped to have for this guy, just died right there. No matter how good he is, how skilled, how brilliant at dressage, I cannot accept that kind of statements.

First off, NO horse is EVER just naughty. Any trainer that would use that old, worn out excuse to punish the horse, knows nothing of horses. Sorry, but everything inside me is screaming to hear that.

Second, IF he really did believe that the pony was “just naughty,” then stand by it. Why would it matter if it was posted online, unless he knew it was wrong of him to say something like that to a little girl?

So no, once again, I have not found anyone who I would like to trust to help me train my horses, but you know what, I have been on my own all my life. I guess that even if I never find anyone, we are better off than by settling for someone like that.

One must wonder though, are there no decent trainers anywhere? Do those who train their horses fairly never get to the top? Are we just bound to stand at the sidelines watching the others ride, while we are still desperately trying to figure out why our horses spooks once in a while?

I can honestly say, I want to compete, but not at any prize. Apollon spooked a lot too. Any trainer that would have told me to “just kick him so hard he couldn’t remember his name,” would have got me killed. Apollon would have snapped. He ALWAYS had a reason when he spooked, and telling him off was NEVER the answer. I have yet to meet a horse where it is.

Still, surprisingly, a lot of horses put up with that kind of treatment. Those who don’t, end up labeled “trouble,” and that’s where they end up with someone like me, the Natural Horsemanship trainers, who actually bothers to ask the horse “why.”

One would wish that there were more professional trainers in the world of horses, who bothered to ask that question, instead of just suppressing the symptoms and forcing the desired result in any way they see fit.

I do know myself well enough by now though, to know that I am DONE. I have met too many people like that in my life. I have no time for them, no patience with them, no desire to ever have my name mentioned in connection with them. If 18 years as a horse owner, 15 years as a Natural Horsemanship trainer, has taught me anything it is this: You have to stay true to yourself and never compromise on behalf of your horse.

To make things better, FEI are now thinking about allowing a total ban of cameras in the warm up areas at shows, in order to protect the reputation of the world of horses.

What? Excuse me, WHAT? Say that again?

Well, that is one way to solve the Roll Kur problem. Just make sure no one sees it and catches it on tape, and posts it online. You have got to be kidding me.

I mean, sure, it would give the world of dressage a much better reputation, if no one knew what went on, but how about FEI grew a pair and banned Roll Kur for good instead? How about allowing cameras everywhere and banning anyone who got caught violently abusing their horse?

No, I will never be part of that world. I will never be able to understand or accept that kind of thinking. And even though I try, I will never be able to stop bitching about it either. Someone needs to say it once in a while. It might as well be me.


About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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14 Responses to Ban The Camera

  1. You can push a horse to far, like mine Next, he was pushed to hard by the people who borrowed him, to the point where the girl who rote him there couldn´t recognized him, I talked to her, she told me about how he was while he was away, how he was around he and how he was when they were there, I have sold him now. I feel I have found the right home to him, because like when I met him the first time, it was love at first sight with the man who brought him, and he was the first man that was able to touch him since he came home. He almost became the horse I met the first time, but there is still some work ahead before he learn to trust again. But he almost learn to trust me again, I was the only one who could get near him on the field the last couple of weeks before he went to his new home. And it is a good home, the man cares more about his animals then anything else, and if he sells him, he will make sure he gets a good home.

  2. Maria says:

    I did not hear him say that. But I will agree that it was not the right way to handle if a horse spooks
    That beeing said I’m sorry you didn’t saw him train the girl and pony last time. Cause they really got some where and he handled the pony spooking in a very different and good way. Don’t know why he suddently changed his tatic.
    And its because of their daily trainer the pony goes like that, don’t blame the teacher from this friday that.;-)

    • Starstone says:

      i didnt blame him for that 😉 i know how the pony is trained usually 😉 and he did make it better, i am just having a hard time getting past anyone telling a child to be violent with her horse….

  3. LHK says:

    Just to make things clear, I didn’t know him either, I had seen him train him a girl earlier in the day, and that was it. I was positive about that though, because he really made a different with that horse…
    But that said I had a very hard time accepting what he said about the pony too, because I like you simply do not belive that any horse is ever just naughty…
    Now I dont know if I one day will ride with him or not, but if any trainer ever told me to do anything like that to my horse I would tell him op her to go to hell…!
    He was a good trainer I thought, not perfect, but not bad either, he had a lov of god intensions, personally I didnt think he did enough though to get to where he wanted… Like the gray horse, I would just have told that rider to loosen the reins 50 cm and down in tempo, now to af fair, he did the tempo… But they would have gotten a lot father if he had done the reins things too…
    What I mean is, it was a mixed feeling for me, generally I did like some of what he did, but I wouldn’t just jump on his next couse even if I did have a horse that was ready…

    • Starstone says:

      the trouble is, once you sit on the horse, and people are watching, and you are frustrated that ther horse is spooking, you have to be able to TRUST your trainer to not tell you something like that, because you are fare more likely to do it once you are in the situation, because well, he told you to…
      I’d never ride with a person like that, no matter what and no, I think he completly misjudged the grey one, he kept saying that it was alowed to go deep… agreed, but not LDR which was what they were doing… there is a huge difference i nmy world 😉

      • LHK says:

        That is completely true, and you really should be extra careful what you say to a young girl cause they do not have the judgement that adults have…
        And yes he did misjudge the gray completely… Cause sure its ok for it to go low in the neck, but not in like it did, and it was clearly a rider fault…
        So no, I wont just ride with him, he is not completely what I want, though he is better than some I have seen…
        But just to make things clear, I wouldn’t just ride with him, and I wasnt thrilled, with the way he handlede everything. I do not like being put in a certain box when I do not belong there… 😉

      • Starstone says:

        I never said that you were did I? And if you chose to one day ride with him, I won’t judge you, its hard to find a good trainer, and just because I am a picky bitch, doesn’t mean that others can’t be happy about it…
        But I must say, I’m kinda glad if you won’t 😉

  4. Maria says:

    Feel free to put me in a box if you want to. I know what I stand for. I trust my own judgement it have never failed me.
    And I did on the purpose not comment on most of the things he did, simply cause he was way better the last time.
    And as a rider I trust my self and my horse and I know that we can get something good out of riding with him when my horse is ready and not a day before. 😉
    And for the record I do not and have never supported LDR and I’m never going to. That box I will never fit into.:-D and my horse is thrilled by that

    • Starstone says:

      I really don’t think I was putting you guys into any boxes or saying that you supported LDR in any way?

      • LHK says:

        You kind of did when you said I liked him “a lot”, and thats just not true… 😉

      • Starstone says:

        I really don’t think I mentioned your name anywhere 😉 but les’t be honest, when we left, you didn’t not like him 😉 that’s just me, ruining that with this post 😉

  5. LHK says:

    You didn’t, but you said ‘friends’ with an s, and since we very only two besides you, well then, that must include me…
    I still like him, I really thought he had something good to teach a lot of people… Maybe even me, but I havent seen enough to know, and from what I saw this time, what he did, I allready knew, and could do myself, proberly better… 😉

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