dancing horses

dancing horses

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Good Enough

 


I am a few posts behind and I had intended to post about my weekend. And then I saw a shared post on FB that won't leave my head and I realized that I need to have to get it out of my head and onto the internet (because that will make everything better, right?). 

Danny Hill of Tamarack farms is at it again. I unfollowed Danny after his racist bullshit last year. A recent post was shared about women and riding. I won't share it all (you can find it if you like) but in a nutshell:

  • the top women riders are impressive athletes who work out (duh)
  • most women he knows don't' work out 
  • if women want to be better riders they need to be stronger. 
  • men don't need to be stronger they need to be softer
And my first thought was 'can we fucking stop telling women that they are not good enough'. First of all any rider in the top of their field work out in other ways than horses. That's their job. Charlotte DuJardin has an amazing fitness schedule: she rides 9-11 horses per day, works with a personal trainer 3-4 times per week, does cardio twice a week, has massages, acupuncture etc. Good for her. It's what I would expect for any elite athlete. It is what they are supposed to do and their schedule reflects that. 

I am not saying that being physically fit in other disciplines will not make you a better rider. I've been experiencing great gains with my foray into yoga. 

But you know what? I have time to fit that in. Not everyday. Sometimes it's a struggle to do it 3 times a week. I also work and have other responsibilities.  When I was younger and had children at home my time was extremely tight. I had time to either ride or do another type of exercise. Guess what? I chose riding every time. I still choose that. 

 It is well documented that women, in addition to working at a paid job, carry more of the load at home as well. 
workin' it


We don't need some old guy mansplaining why we will never be good enough because we're just not trying. 


Let me tell you that you are GOOD ENOUGH: 

If you are a young women working long hours and can fit in riding horses 
If you have a family and find time to sit in a saddle and enjoy yourself
If you are retired and are loving having time to groom and ride your horses
If you are a student struggling to work part time, study and still engage with horses
If you work out 6 times a week and are a badass weight lifter (looking at you Nicole)

Because at the end of the day what the Dannys of the world think is of zero consequence. What matter is whether you are happy and your horse is happy.  

AA women make up a huge component of the horse world. We bring the money and the love of the sport. We are the grassroots and it is time for people to begin to respect that. 

Anyone who can't respect that can piss off. 

who said you aren't good enough? 
I'll teach them to not pick on my servant! 

23 comments:

  1. Ugh, not the first time, I think. He posted a “joke” about women and riding a few months ago that he ended up deleting and leaving fb for a while over due to it not being received as he would have liked. I started steering clear a few years ago after I saw someone’s #metoo post naming him :(

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  2. Du, Liebe,

    Mark Rashid said the number one thing keeping people from the feeling of safey on their horses was a lack of fitness in middle old ladies. He did not accuse us, he just said, "Get fit and stay balanced so you won't topple off your horse."

    He's right.

    But the cruelest trainer of all I've watched was Buck Brannaman, he was just the nasty schoolmaster to everyone, and especially to anyone who's mind drifted during his schooling, he would basically send them out of the room. He's an example of someone with a talent with horses, and an animosity toward humans. Glad I only spent the 25 bucks and not the 300Euros in Germany to watch him verbally abuse female riders.

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    1. It is true that fitness improves riding. That is true regardless of gender

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  3. Sounds like the cliche George Morris “ladies in the hunter ring shouldn’t weigh more than 100 pounds” BS.

    Women definitely drive the economic bus in this industry, and its probably time we clear the room of the old farts and their pedantic and unhelpful criticisms.

    Furthermore, for all the ladies taking care of their own horses, with 50 lb bales of hay to throw around and lots of wheelbarrows to fill and cart ... I think its mostly fair to say your exercise quotient is well filled.

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  4. Ugh, yes I read that too. My first thought was why is this being directed at women? I wouldn't disagree with this statement if he'd said "Riders" instead of women. Yes, to be a top athlete in any sport, part of your job is working out outside of the sport itself. True statement. This is not true only of women. ANY ATHLETE.
    He really is a misogynist old man.

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    1. I honestly rolled my eyes ‘oh look, another old man telling women what to do’. πŸ™„

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  5. That post of his had me in a major hissy fit too. Like Nat D said above, it was reminiscent of George Morris's rider critique posts in Practical Horseman, where if a woman didn't have the "classic hunter look" (120 lbs soaking wet) he'd bash them, no matter how lovely their eq was in the submitted photos! I was a plus-sized teen at the time I was avidly reading those critiques and his words always made me feel like shit. And I wasn't even the rider in the photos.

    I could not have said it better (and I chuckled at the shoutout above! :)) The only reason I can work out as much as I do is because I have a schedule that allows it + no children. We don't own a house so other than general normal cleaning, there is no maintenance that we have to be doing on property. I have my horse in a partial care field board situation where I don't have to worry about mucking a stall daily.

    On the days that I work, I only work. I have zero time left over for working out. Going to the barn is impossible on those days, as it is still closed when I leave the house at 6:00 am and is already closed again when I return home after 9:00 pm. If I want to get enough sleep to function, I have to go straight home to dinner and bed...and I don't even have time to cook dinner: I just eat something I prepared in advance! As it is, even on my days off I find myself that my entire day can go into just the barn and then lifting...and that's with me lifting at home, not even driving to a gym! Most people don't have the privilege of 4 days off/week.

    To add to that, when I boarded at self-care barns and had to keep my horse part-time in a stall because that was the only option available, I had zero time left over for working out. I didn't go to the gym AT ALL. My baseline fitness came from riding my horse, my job, and the hard work of mucking stalls (I did extra work for a discount on my board), turning in/out, feeding, carrying bags of feed, loading bales of hay, etc. The entire strength sport of Strongman is basically modeled after what we do as equestrians on a daily basis!

    I was furious that Denny was comparing adult amateurs to *professional* athletes. There is no comparison! You can't compare people whose job is to compete and win to people who do it for fun/as a hobby in their spare time.

    I've never been a fan of his, but his bashing of women on International Women's Day and now this post shows an attitude that is abhorrent in a man that makes a living thanks to training female amateur athletes. You'd think he would show them a little more respect as whole, since they drive his business. Why any woman continues to follow him, let alone admire him, is beyond my comprehension.

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    1. Brilliantly written as always. These dinosaurs need to go.

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  6. I routinely get commenters on my blog telling me to work out more if I want to be a better rider and... I mean. Yea ok on one hand it’s possible that we could all be “better.” On the other hand tho.... gfy?? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    1. Seriously? Why? It seems you have people who like to bash you. It’s ridiculous.

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  7. I don’t know who this guy is. I don’t have any social media like Facebook. He sounds like a real jerk though.

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    1. He won a gold medal in eventing back in the 70s and runs a training farm. And yes he’s a jerk. He also blocks/deletes comments disagreeing with him. Life in an echo chamber is much better apparently.

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  8. You nailed it! πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»

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  9. People like that are one of the reasons I am glad I am no longer on Facebook.
    One does not have to be a top athlete or a slim trim svelte trophy wife to be a good rider; one needs feel, timing and balance and I'm pretty sure the horse doesn't care what you look like.
    Just curious- is said grumpy man a fit top athlete?

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    1. Well he says that men don’t need to work out so I’m going with ‘no’.

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  10. I agree with the sentiments that it is important for ANY rider (regardless of gender) to be as fit and balanced as they can be. But at the same time, he is comparing us to TOP athletes in the sport who have the time, capabilities and means to do the additional trainings, classes, meal plans, etc. A lot of us don't have that luxury or time.

    I own 3 horses... and I may be unbalanced and overweight but I am still going to ride and I'm still going to enjoy them. My riding mare sees massage/chiro regularly, has fitted saddles (currently shopping for a new jump), and is very well loved and spoiled.

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    1. Clearly you are not motivated enoughπŸ™„. I have zero tolerance for the lack of respect for women in this sport.

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  11. I guarantee that asshat has never worked out a day in his life.

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    1. Exactly. And even if he has, so what? That was his job.

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  12. I’ve know some hearty gals who can ride like nobody’s business. They ride a lot. They’re strong. They’re tough. They have great saddle balance and horse skills. There’s a lot that goes into it. I think attitude is #1. If you ride a lot, you’re probably cleaning stalls, hauling bales, and living an active life. If you don’t ride a lot, you’re probably out of shape, but the fact you’re not riding a lot is why you’re not doing well. IMO, Time = success. And lately, I haven’t put in enough of that, so I’m probably not as balanced and spry as I should be.

    PS. I have no idea who that guy is.

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