The Super Middle Class

Last Saturday I watched a clinic with a fancy German trainer. Being the well informed dressage student that I am… Ha. Just kidding. I was clueless on who the lady was before I went.

Anyway…

During the lunch break, I’m mowing down the spinach/lettuce bar that was set up while listening to the upper level riders discuss the dire future of dressage. The gist of it being that dressage is declining, shows are closing, people are not participating in the sport anymore. At some point these riders determine that dressage needs to get more middle class riders involved, that “dressage is not just for the elite”. I look around at the house we’re eating lunch in: The stainless steel appliances, marble counter tops, what looks like cherry flooring surrounded by floor to ceiling windows that overlooks a wide creek and rolling woodlands. They have custom rubberized footing in the indoor AND outdoor arena’s.

The dichotomy of proclaiming you want to entice the middle class to participate in a sport where you are paying $250 per lesson to ride in a clinic…

The irony kills me.

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4 thoughts on “The Super Middle Class

  1. Very well stated! Our local dressage association is always talking about getting more Junior riders involved, but that would involve parents with the means to support them.

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    • If someone had time and energy, I bet someone could put together a barter system to help Juniors get some of the stuff they need (tack, show clothes, etc). And if we also had a network of ride shares for hauling horses… It’d cut some of the expense down for the ones who need it most.

      And I’m still shocked at the lack of entry level grants and scholarships available. The majority of the grants I’ve seen for juniors require that they prove they are 4th level or higher. Right there you kicked out all the middle class Juniors.

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