Jack le Goff said, "The young trainers are teaching their students to compete. They are not, necessarily, teaching them to ride. Therefore, when the student reaches a certain level, he or she fails or falls short. The student doesn't really know how to ride."
There are a lot of trainers who focus on preparing their students for shows, saying that going to as much shows as possible is important. Sometimes they go to shows almost every other week. I know because I used to ride at at such a barn. Let me make it clear that I am not against showing and I am not against anyone who goes to a lot of shows. In fact, I wish to show in the future, eventually at the top level of eventing, though I am in no rush. What I have learned the past months is that solid basics come first.
In the article, George Morris said, "These are just some of the many things that come way before competing with a horse. These are the basics, the platform from which you might successfully and correctly reach the top of your particular discipline."
He says that shows are tests, and the lessons and riding on your own are meant to prepare horse and rider for the "test," just like homework and lectures prepare students for tests. According to George Morris, training should take up the majority of the time and shows should not happen nearly as often. A while ago I read a Practical Horseman article about the care of several top horses, including Boyd Martin's Shamwari and Laura Grave's Verdades. What these horses have in common, despite their varying disciplines, is that they don't compete in very many competitions a year. Obviously these horse will go to less competitions than the typical horse for many reasons, but the still take time between shows.
George Morris also makes a point about that many riders have poor positions. It is a work in progress for many people(myself included), but many riders become negligent about it. I've even shocked noticed some Grand Prix and CCI**** riders jump ahead or have legs that swing back when going over a jump.
I wholehearted agree with the article, considering the fact that I am dedicated to learning correct basics, horsemanship, and riding. What is your opinion about the article? What thoughts do you have? I am curious to read what other riders think, especially since many of my readers have the showing experience that I don't.