Horseback Riding

Oh, for goodness sake.
[Ann Romney's dressage trainer] Mr. Ebeling was at ease with the wealthy women drawn to the sport of dressage, in which horses costing up to seven figures execute pirouettes and other dancelike moves for riders wearing tails and top hats.
Well, OK, "up to."  Remember those posts about the Dawsonville Pool Room from a little while back?  Well, just down the road is Unicorn Valley Farm, run by a nice lady named Carol.  She has horses to sell from around eight hundred bucks up to a few thousand, and will break and train them six days a week for you for $720 a month.  If you can't afford a horse but still want to learn, she'll cheaply lease you time on one who knows dressage already.  If you do that, or if you already own a horse who knows, the price for human beginners is forty bucks a month.  For all of these prices, if you don't have that much money but you or your kids know how to shovel out a horse stall, there's a discount.

She used to sponsor the equine club for the local high school, until the recession hurt her enough that she couldn't afford to give that much time and money to charity any more.  Even so, I can promise you that there are a lot of poor girls from Dawson County who know more about dressage than Ann Romney.  Nothing against Mrs. Romney:  but I've seen some of them ride.


tyree said...

Thanks for that. I would expect that you are right when you wrote, "I can promise you that there are a lot of poor girls from Dawson County who know more about dressage than Ann Romney." I also expect that Mrs. Romney would agree with you.
I had a boss whose sons rode horses competitively. At a competition decades ago his son was riding against another man's daughter. They sat in stands, talking and exchanging horse stories in the hot Santa Barbara sun. My boss's son did very well with his $400 horse that day against the rich guys daughter and her $80,000 horse. The rich guy didn't care. To him is was not about the money. It was about letting the kids have some fun. That rich guy was Paul Newman. I wonder if the press ever vilified him for the price of his daughter's ponies?

bthun said...

Good points Grim.

I would brag on the Equestrian team Walkin' Boss coaches, progress since formation, shows and awards received, etc. And how one of the best riders on that team now owns her very own horse through the efforts and sacrifice of her parents along with the good will and support of the previous owner who is selling the horse on the installment plan, much I imagine, like Tyree's boss, but I'll refrain.

As a rule, I've always though folk of the land, rich, poor and all points in between, and particularly horse people, are among our best. My opinion, but I'm sticking with it...

The Ann Romney horse stories leads one to think there are large portions of the population who imagine the equestrian sports, of which Dressage is only one facet, are exclusive to the muckety muck. So disconnected from anything beyond urban/suburban/mall-walking living...

Poor urban dwellers.

Anonymous said...

I have a cousin that does this, although in a different style of riding. It's a natural for people who grew up on farms and around horses.

Ann Romney's current wealth is something that developed long after her love of horses.

The author of the article is a horse's .... yeah.


Anonymous said...

I did horse-by-the-hour and swap-work for the instructor's time. As do a lot of people; I can't think of a hunter or hunter/jumper barn that doesn't have students braiding, washing, and cleaning up as part of their "tuition."

So some people pay cash and others pay labor; big whoop. The reporter needs to find more news-worthy material to write about.


DL Sly said...

b, I love your avatar.