Monday, July 14, 2008


Thanks so much for your continued support and confidence in this blog!

Recently, someone who saw me working at the Lake Placid horse show, asked how much showing I was doing as a young professional. As it is with many other careers, a professional rider must earn the confidence of an owner, sponsor or benefactor and, or their boss, in order to be asked to show a horse. When you are starting out, like I am now, you are competing for rides with other professionals who have many years of experience and with those who have vast achievements and accomplishments. Your new peer group is quite different from your peers in the junior ranks. Of course, I am not saying that there weren't fierce competitors in the junior ranks, but that the opportunity to ride and show as a young professional is diminished by the new peer group, in particular. So you might wonder how I am thinking about this, right?

So far, this year I have been very fortunate to have shown more than a half dozen pre-green hunters, a six and a seven year old jumper in the young jumper division and, at Lake Placid, I was given the opportunity to show a horse in the 1.35m and 1.40m classes. In addition to the rides that I have just mentioned, I have schooled hunters, jumpers and equitation horses in and out of the show ring. I am taking a long-term view about trying to get the best riding/showing opportunities possible and, in the process, I want to enhance and further develop my riding skills. I am committed to continue to work as hard as I can to attain my goals. So far, the experience has been great!

Catch up with me next time when I answer another one of your questions.
Talk to you later!
Maria Schaub


At Thu Jul 17, 07:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like a great experience, riding and working as a young professional. Can't wait to read another update! :)

At Thu Jul 17, 07:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for these awsome blogs!
Do you ever get nervous at horse shows, or bet nervous jumping a jump bigger than you have ever jumped before?
Cant wait to read you next blog! :]

At Thu Jul 17, 08:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Maria,
what is the difference between working as a young proffessional and being a working student or are they the same?

At Fri Jul 18, 08:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey maria, whats the best place to get work experience for someone who wants to go pro??

At Sun Jul 20, 09:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,Maria i was wondering if you would ever consider owning another horse if possible in the future, or bring along future prospects to show and sell.

At Mon Jul 21, 07:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maria -
When you answer our questions, a lot of times I see you mention that you are focused on a lot of your long term goals. Can you share what your long term goals are with us? I would love to know!
By the way, I am a HUGE fan of you and your riding! You have already done our sport a lot of good and you have the talent and work ethic to really, truly make something of yourself. I wish you the best of luck! You are a huge asset to the equine world.

At Thu Jul 24, 09:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Maria,
I know that you blogged once about how much you ride and how many horses you ride everyday and I think that you could provide a good answer to this question. I was wondering how long do you normally ride a horse (on the flat-not jumping or having a lesson) that needs to have a good workout but doesn't need to be too overworked and also what exercises do you typically do? I own a horse that is in the process of becoming a hunter/jumper that is somewhat green and understands the basics but I feel like both me and my horse get bored with going in circles in an arena doing just basic walk, trot, and canter. And if I try something a little more advanced it usually never ends up working and I sometimes feel like the session ended on a bad note. Any information or tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks and keep up the blogging-it is greatly appreciated by many!

At Sun Jul 27, 04:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^ id love to know how long you think a horse should be worked without over working them as well. awesome question!

At Tue Jul 29, 02:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same! I work my pony for 45 minutes to an hour for the most part but i sometimes wonder if it is to much/not enough. If you could answer that question that would great!

At Wed Jul 30, 11:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, would love to know what you consider your long term goals for riding. Please share!

At Thu Jul 31, 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Audra said...

to the people not knowing how long to ride your horse: that changes with different rides! obviously lessons are 1hr. and that usually includes some type of jumping or hard core flat work. for rides w/out a trainer, (hopefully no juniors are jumping w/out trainers) you could ride 15min. to over an hour depending on how often you show, your goals, your horse, the weather, what you did in your previous ride, how many days the horse has previously had off and many other factors. if you have been out of town and decided you just wanted to turn your horse out in the pasure for a week of vacation, when you ride again, you probably just want to make it a light 20min. hack to get your horse stretched out and moving. if you just had a big jumping lesson the day before, you might want to hack for 30-40min. and start out with lots of stretching before getting your horse into their frame and working on trans. or lead changes. the flat work for jumping is not very complex compared to dressage. the hunter/jumper goal for flat work is just to make the horse soft, supple, light on his front end, and using his back end to achieve impulsion. this doesnt normally take more than 20min. to get your horse in that frame at the w/t/c before moving on to something harder. (lead changes, transitions, turn on the haunches ect.) but lets say you have a green horse that doesnt know much about getting into the correct hunter/jumper frame. then your goal for the ride might simply be getting the horse to stretch and accept a little more pressure from the rider's hands. the time you spend riding has many factors and there is not just one size that fits all. my advice would be to add some dressage in with your jumping becuase it makes such a huge difference for horse and rider. unfortunatly, most of today's hunter/jumper riders dont know anything about basic dressage and their jumping suffers because of it. my trainer has just started dressage with her level 5 jumper and it has made such a huge difference its amazing! then she went a step farther and she has added dressage basics into her hunter/jumper rider's flat work and i know those little basics from the dressage world has made me understand the entire sport of english horsemanship and the horse in general so much more!! i really think more people should be taking dressage lessons with their jumping lessons. its just amazing!

At Thu Jul 31, 03:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Maria! My name is Chelsea and i am 12 years old. I have been taking lessons since I was about 4. I have a 14.1hh bay quarter horse/welsh mountain pony who i have had since i was eight.I trained him my self(with some help from my trainer)He lives at my house with our 2 mini donkeys.I show him in 2'6 jumpers. He still fits me pretty well but i am going to need a new horse fairly soon. I was wondering, do you have a particular breed that you would recommend. I want some type of warm blood. But i'm not sure which breed. I'm fairly tall for my age and i like to ride big horses. Thank you so much for the AWESOME blogs. You are a huge inspiration to me. Thank You!

At Thu Jul 31, 08:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^i think on the opposite note it is important at some point that junior riders be able to branch out from their trainers and jump on their own. Grant it not necisarily the regular 3'6'' or 3'9'' heights but at least be able to succesfully navigate some smaller stuff and figure it out on their own. Thats what is expected in the (sorry if i butcher this) R.W. Muitch medal class. And of course only if their skill level is at a level that they can succesfully and safley do this.

At Fri Aug 01, 04:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said audra, dressage is one of the most important things for someone whos a serious jumper or equitation rider, because when ur on the course the only moment when ur jumping is when ur over the jump, the rest of the time ur using dressage to get around the course as fast as u can. i'm speaking from experience cause i just came back from ireland where i won three professional shows( i'm 14 and i was showing in 1.3m which is about 4ft 6inches) and it was all because my trainer gave me some intensive dressage lessons before i left. so what that means is, next time ur working ur horse focus on the dressage and if u don't have a trainer get a book called "101 dressage exercises for horse & rider"
i hope my comment helped u.

Benjamin Flakoll

At Sat Aug 02, 11:15:00 AM, Blogger Audra said...

everyone has their opinions but i dont personally think jumping by yourself when you're under 18 is smart. if you have your own horse and you jump atleast 3'6" on a regular basis, sure jumping maybe
2'6" with another person who knows horses could be ok, but i'm a strong believer that you should not be the only one who knows horses and is jumping by yourself. i think you should always have another horse smart person with you just to watch and add a couple comments between fences. even my trainer who has jumped over 4' and has been riding for over 25years does that! to me, i just dont see why you would risk hurting you or your horse or even forming bad habbits when jumping by yourself! if you already jump in lessons and show often, why would you even put the extra stress on your horse when you could be hacking or working on dressage? a horse only has so many jumps in them and why would you waste 10 of them to jump by yourself when you could make them potential grounds for bad habbits? i just think more harm could come out of it then good, but do what you want!

wow that sounds awesome!! i would love to show dressage along with the hunter/jumper showing i do but i cant afford to do both! i have had a lesson with an FEI level dressage rider and it was amazing! she's the best trainer i have ever ridden with including all the hunter/jumper trainers!

At Sat Aug 02, 05:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 12 and I jump 3'6 at home and for the most part on my own b/c my trainer can only so often. I have no other choice then to school on my own. I show on the A circuit 2-3 times a month in jumpers. Granted i have a AWESOME Dutch Warmblood. He's 12 and already had some show experience when i got him. I don't like having to train on my own but don't have a choice. And to Audra if you can ride fairly well and there is some one with in shouting distance in case something bad happens i don't really see whats wrong with schooling over fences at home by your self especially if it's your only way to jump between shows. And I don't think 18 is automatically a magic number that makes is safe to jump on your own .

At Sat Aug 02, 11:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

audra, i think u missunderstood me, i normaly work with a trainer, and when my trainer isn't around i stick to the dressage. i only jump obove 1.2m (4foot) when i'm at a show.

Benjamin Flakoll

At Sun Aug 03, 12:43:00 PM, Blogger Audra said...

to ben, i wasnt telling you to jump with a trainer!! i was just saying good job in ireland!

and to everyone freaking out on me, its just an opinion! again, i dont think jumping by yourself is smart but obviously you do and thats fine!! i really dont care what you do honestly! if you want to jump by yourself and risk getting you or your horse hurt, be my guest! it doesnt matter how good of a rider you are, people can make mistakes jumping by themself! even olympic riders always jump with a trainer! think about it. america's top riders are riding very valuable horses and it would be stupid to jump by themself and risk getting hurt. so they always jump with a trainer or some other horse smart person. again, i said little jumps like 2'6" and under is ok, but anything higher should be jumped with someone else! i'm not here to fight with someone i dont even know so just get over it. i added a little opinion in parenthesis and my post was just suppost to be about how long to school your horse by yourself and how important dressage is when most people dont have a clue about dressage! thats all i have to say about the topic so lets just get over it becuase its not even a very big deal!

At Sun Aug 03, 06:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, thanks for the compliment.


At Sun Aug 03, 08:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

calm down lol:) obiously people should use their better judgment when jumping alone and just because there is no one there to "coach" you or offer pointers doesn't mean no one should be around. And of course people should be minimalist when it comes to jumping and not overjump. The point i was trying to make is that once you're a good enough rider working by yourself without a trainer every now and then, you have to put your own knowladge and skill to a test. lol i'm not trying to argue with you or anything sorry if it came off that way.

anyway back to maria(the blogger):) I was wondering what your considering your next big step to be? What i mean is do you plan to own and/or train a specific horse for competitions, travel over to europe, continue to work your way up at your current positions, eventually start your own stables, etc? thanks for the great blog:)


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