Introducing a new column by Biz Stamm, following the journey of a “somewhat ordinary” horse and rider pair as they strive for greatness. Today, Biz defines why she’s so basic (and what exactly that means.)
The other day I jokingly referred to myself and my horse as “basic b!tches.” For those of you unfamiliar with the most recent definition of the word “basic,” it has become a slang term meaning ordinary and somewhat unsophisticated. I know I said used the word “basic” jokingly, but the thing about jokes is that they usually contain a kernel of truth. I am an aspiring dressage rider with a four-year-old dressage prospect, Alpha Helix (aka Helix) who I am preparing for his first year of real showing. My horse is a 15 hand Kiger mustang I bought for $300 off a Craigslist ad as a weanling when I was a broke graduate student. While all of his gaits are very correct, he is somewhat lacking in the pizzazz **jazz hands!** department.
In terms of my raw ability as a rider, I sit firmly in the average camp. I have been able to develop decent muscle memory over years and years of repetition, but I’d be lying if I said any of it comes easily for me.
As I prepare for next year’s show season, I know there is only one way for a “basic” pair such as ourselves to stand out: rock solid basics. That’s right. In order to be more than “basic,” we must embrace the basics. Without flashy gaits to fall back on, Helix must exhibit meticulous, sequential training, as well as obvious joy for his work. In order for me to get him to that point, I must ride with correct, effective equitation, and develop a training program that not only helps my horse progress physically, but keeps him mentally healthy as well. We’re going to have to squeeze every point out of accuracy, rider position, and overall harmony to make up for the average scores we are bound to receive for gaits.
I’d like to bring all of you along on our journey and hopefully along the way show the world that “basic” can be brilliant.
Biz Stamm is a part-time seed scientist and fulltime trainer/riding instructor specializing in starting young horses for sport horse disciplines. She brings the analytical mind she developed while working in a lab to her riding and teaching, emphasizing a thorough understanding of how the horse’s body works. She currently owns two horses. The Kalvin Cycle (Kalvin), a 9 year old half-Arabian gelding, and DB’s Alpha Helix (Helix) a 4 year old Kiger mustang gelding. While she is currently pursuing competitive goals, her main goal is to enjoy her horses, and for her horses to enjoy her.