Allen goes on to talk about the importance of a firm horsemanship foundation, as well as, the need for short and long-term goals. I got a lot out of this article and I hope you do too!
"The more I teach around the country and the world, the more obvious it becomes that there's a world of difference between being able to ride a jumper and being a jumping rider.
Let me describe what I mean: It might not take too long for someone to teach me how to drive a race car around the Indianapolis 500 track; but would this mean I could then race that car in even a moderately difficult race? No, I don't think so!
To not be a menace to myself, the car, and the other drivers, it would take years of practice and experience until I was truly one with the car. Results--and safety--depend on far more than just knowing how to steer, brake and change gears. Being a race-car driver means having finely tuned reflexes--the ability to feel the subtleties of when, where and how much to do things--under all the incredible pressures of a 200-mph race.
How similar this is to riding jumpers! Relatively quickly, one can learn the aids involved to negotiate a basic course on a well-trained horse. But becoming the kind of rider who allows the full talent of the horse to shine through and produces consistent results (without panicking, freezing or over-reacting when things get "interesting") is a completely different story. Natural talent-- in the rider, the horse or both--can help a lot, but even that cannot serve as a substitute for a lot of time in the saddle."
Talk to you soon,