So remember when I was bitching like hell about horse show classes for people who don't canter? Right. If you don't remember, it was 10-23-2013. But anyway.
The PA 4-H horse program just announced the following on facebook: New for 2014 - There will now be Beginner classes available across the state in the PA 4-H Horse Program. This division is intended for the beginner rider who is not yet ready to canter or lope in a horse show setting. Beginner classes include Beginner Western Pleasure, Beginner Western Horsemanship, Beginner English Pleasure, Beginner English Equitation and Beginner Trail. These classes will be offered at the county, district, and state shows.
No. This is wrong. We ALREADY HAVE walk-trot English and walk-trot Western at the county round-up level, so that the kids who are not ready for canter have showing opportunities. There is ABSOLUTELY NO NEED to allow walk-trotters to progress to district and state levels. If they want to progress, they should fucking learn to canter. It's not really that difficult.
Demonizing the canter and making it seem super-difficult means that you wind up with adult fucking "riders" who do not feel comfortable at the canter. That is not progress. This mollycoddling in the endless realm of walk-trot classes fails to produce adults who are competent and confident horsepeople.
What's next, walk-only classes? For people who feel insecure at the trot, you know, so that they can show and progress. And we can have lunge-line classes for people who don't think they can navigate show ring traffic at the walk *and* ride at the same time. Because, y'know, perfect equitation is way more important than being able to steer your animal by yourself. We could even let folks use a saddle and a barrel (fits "full QH bars") so that they can demonstrate their "at the halt" equitation competitively, too. It'd be great for kids whose families can't afford a horse but can support a 55-gallon drum.