Friday’s Five – Tips for all of the equestrian parents


Friday’s Five – Tips for all of the equestrian parents

Eventing is not for the fainthearted. It is a demanding and dangerous sport. Take every precaution to be safe and ensure that your child has the best horse, equipment and instruction you can afford. After being an Eventing mom for 10 years now, I am sharing what I have learned from the mistakes I have made and witnessed. Certainly, I made more mistakes than I witnessed and trust me I am still learning…

1) Schoolmaster.
Start your child with an experienced horse. Let them learn to ride before they need to learn to train a horse.

2) Lessons.
Get your child lessons with a coach that has a record of producing successful riders. Not all great riders make great coaches. Choose a coach that has a record of riders that can make it around cross-country without stops and with confidence. Ask other parents for recommendations. If you have extra money to spend, use it for more lessons, not on pretty saddle pads and bling.

3) Don’t enable coulda shoulda woulda.
Never allow your child to make excuses for their results. When they start with “If…” be quick to remind them that everybody competing also has a few “Ifs” and it is what it is. Teach them to accept their placing and work to make it better next time. Not every show is about a top result. Every show is for the rider and the horse to learn. The number one goal should be to have fun, and for child and horse to come home happy and healthy.



4) Dignity at all times.
Win or lose, accept it with grace. Never cheer too loud, never pout and cry. Eventing is one of the most humbling sports there is. One week you are collecting your first place ribbon and the next week you are in a soaking heap in the water complex. Sable Giesler, my own daughter is proof of that.

5) Your kid is never really as good as you think they are.
If by chance your child beats a big name rider in a division, keep it in perspective. He/she is not better than Buck Davidson or Leslie Law. They just had a better showing in one class. This sport is about longevity and the legends earn their place in history over time. One-horse-wonders are just that. The best in the sport produce horse after horse, year after year, for decades.

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