SPEAK YOUR MIND!
We have always wanted to know the answers to the questions "the other guys can't ask." For years we've all played the politically correct game and tried to figure out a way to ask "the questions" and find out the answers.
At AAOTR.com, we think we've found a solution. We want to ask the questions, but we don't want to start a political war by announcing the results. If you have read the welcome sections of this site, you know how we feel about message boards. The survey section of this site will be striving to find out how YOU feel about the hot topics...it will not be used as a slamming board or naming names session.
The solution...how to ask the questions, get the answers, and still remain politically correct? Simple, E-mail us with your answer(s) to the survey questions, and we'll post the results. AAOTR.com reserves the right to edit all submissions for content, which includes omitting names and references where applicable. In addition, AAOTR.com will only publish those answers which are accompanied by a sender's name and true contact information. Remember, this is your forum, and we are hoping you will treat it with respect.
AND THE RESPONSE...
My sister and I are amateur owners in every sense of the word. We both ride in, and support adult amateur classes at every horse show we attend. We both take weekly lessons. At horse shows my sister and I school each other, as said trainer is schooling his/her horses that are in training. It is from this standpoint that we give an emphatic, "No!" to your question: Should the spouse of a trainer's family be permitted to participate in adult amateur classes?
It is our opinion that spouses of trainers have 24-hour a day accessibility to training. In addition to having unlimited accessibility to the horse, the spouse/rider has unlimited accessibility to the trainer. If a problem comes, spouse/rider can immediately seek help from spouse/trainer. Whereas, adult amateurs must correct a problem at the convenience of their trainers. It might take days to catch the trainer! But, for spouse/rider it might only be minutes.
Our other area of concern is whether or not spouse/rider is helping spouse/trainer train horses at home. When spouse/rider shows horses that are in training with spouse/trainer, one wonders who actually doing the training of the horses, spouse/rider or spouse/trainer? Yet, spouse/rider is seen in adult amateur classes ribboning. It is our understanding that the purpose of adult amateur classes is to give the adult amateur rider an even chance to compete with other adult amateurs without going against theri own trainers.
As for adult family members of trainers participating in adult amateur classes, we feel it is a grey area and circumstances alter cases. Each situation should be judged individually.
In conclusion, it is our opinion that the adult amateur spouse/rider of spouse/trainer has an added edge over the other competitors in the adult amateur classes, and should not be permitted to compete in such.
Thank you very much for your interest in this most controversial subject.
What I wouldn't give to have a husband who was a professional Reining (or WP/HP, etc...) trainer!!!! While some may argue that having a trainer for a spouse is like having a shoer for a spouse (we come last), I have to point out that it is NOT hard for one to say, "Honey, would you hop up on "Ibn Sputnik" and tell me what I'm doing wrong?" This is a bit more convenient than the ever popular scenario: Phone call to FAMOUS TRAINER JOHN DOE MUDPUDDLE where the average conversation would be: "Uh, John, can you fit me into your schedule within the next month or so? I need some tuning up."
What about amateurs whose families own huge breeding farms and have full time trainers as part of their staffs? How can you delineate between the two? (Family members who hire full time trainers and spouses of professionals?)
There needs to be a way to allow "normal" amateurs to compete with the "professionals." Perhaps a declaration of income made to AHSA/IAHA at the beginning of each competitive season? After all, if you could create classes for folks who are working on a similar financial basis it might offer a more fair basis.
It isn't fair. We need to work to find a way to at least make it easier for normal folks to enjoy the rewards of National competition.
Keep those responses coming! We want to hear from you, on EITHER side of the coin.
Please remember that these posts are OPINION of our readers/viewers ONLY and in no way represent any formal positions on the part of AAOTR.com. It is our hope that by allowing readers/viewers with a place to speak up, we can begin to work together to level the playing field for all (ALL!) of the amateur exhibitors out there...whether or not you have a professional trainer...