Are you an accomplished equestrian?Â How do you know?Â What equates “accomplished”?Â My dream is to become an accomplished equestrian.Â I often ask myself, how will I know when I get there?Â I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and have come up with a couple of different ways that I couldÂ quantify my accomplishment.
The United States Equestrian Federation is the governing body for my sport.Â I think they have an entire points and awards system.Â Honestly though, I just looked at their website and could not figure it out.
Rated shows:Â Horse shows are rated.Â There are “B” shows and “A” shows.Â “A” shows are bigger than “B” shows and supposedly have stiffer competition.Â Nikki and I have only been to schooling shows, which are below “B” shows.
Again, I’ve just done some internet research on the subject and I cannot tell you how shows are rated or by whom.Â The whole area of “points” and “rated shows”, etc. has always been and still is a slight mystery to me.
I’m sure my trainer probably knows – I’ll have to ask him to sit down and explain it to me.Â I think I’ll feel more “accomplished” when I’m realizing success at “A” shows.
Instructor Certification:Â I think I’m safe to say that most riding instructors are not certified in any way.Â Â However, the American Riding Instructor Association (ARIA) does offer a certification program.Â The requirements look fairly rigorous.Â There are exams given throughout the country.Â There are multiple different levels and specialty certifications available.
I could look into this.Â I have taught horseback riding in the past and really enjoyed it.
I would definitely still be teaching if I had an appropriate lesson horse.Â I do best with beginners and have had some success working with people who are scared of horses but want to learn to ride.
The British Horse Society also offers a training and certification program.Â In my mind, the BHS certification is more widely recognized than the ARIA.Â Let’s put it this way – I’d never heard of the ARIA until I did a bit of research for this post.Â Earning an BHS certification has always lingered in the back of my mind.Â The training program is difficult and expensive, and I think must be done under a BHS certified instructor, none of which are near me.
There is a horse owner’s certificate which may be completed through “distance learning”.Â That may be a place to start.Â Any certificate program may be too much of a financial undertaking and time commitment to ask of my family at the moment.Â I can hear my husband now, “Why don’t you just go ride your horse first?”
Judge’s Card:Â Become a horse show judge.Â I actually took horse judging in college and could have been on the Horse Show Judging Team (yep, its a competitive sport).Â Again, a quick internet search did not turn up a clear “how to become a horse show judge”.Â It does look like a good way to get started is to do 4H shows.Â I’m not sure I know enough at this point, nor do I have have enough show experience myself.Â I think judging will have to wait awhile.
Those are a few of the ways I’ve thought about to quantify “accomplished equestrian”.Â Of course, there’s always being able to jump a Grand Prix course or the Olympics, Rolex, or something like that.Â Ha Ha Ha Ha . . .
What do you think makes an “accomplished equestrian”?Â I’d love to know.
(Danelle left 8 Women Dream in March of 2010 and is still workingÂ on her dream is to become an accomplished equestrian)