It’s Happening Again

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The old man walks down a city street with his grandson. It’s the middle of the day during the summer months and he is taking his grandson for an ice cream cone. As the little boy looks up and smiles at his grandpop, an angry group of five people surround them. The group yells and screams at them. They are cursed at and mocked. Scared and crying, the little boy clings tight to his grandfathers leg. What’s the reason behind this attack? The grandfather is wearing a red Make America Great Again Hat.

Across town, a mother is driving her sick toddler to a doctors appointment. The entire house hold was up all night listening to the child scream. The mother is thinking that she can’t get to the pediatrician fast enough to find out what’s wrong. As they wait for a traffic light to turn green, an angry group of ten or so people surround her car. They are yelling and banging on her car hood. Several of them try to open the car doors that thankfully are locked! The mother is frantic and worried about her daughters safety. She can see out of her side mirror, one of them doing something to her car bumper. They are trying to peel away the Trump/Pence 2016 bumper sticker. She has been targeted.

Persecution, and fear of persecution, is a reality to the Republican living in America who supports the president. The above two scenarios are true events. Shocking isn’t it? You would think these were stories told by Jews during WW2. The spirit of Adolf Hitler is alive. Those who don’t learn from the past, are doomed to repeat it.

In July of 2018, Judge Pirro appeared on a television show called The View. The show has a strong liberal bias in it’s topics of conversation, and Judge Pirro is a stark Republican and personal friend of the president. Pirro was invited to advertise her book but the conversation quickly turned to insults of President Trump. Judge Pirro did not appreciate this and fed right into a political debate. When the host of The View (Whoopie Goldberg) could not debate on an intellectual level she resulted to bullying tactics and ultimately had Judge Pirro removed. It didn’t end there. As Pirro was leaving, she passed Goldberg in the hallway. Judge Pirro said that she’s never been treated so rudely in her life to Goldberg. Instead of apologizing, Goldberg began cursing at Pirro and chased her out of the building, even spitting on her!

So my question to all Republicans is, WHEN DO WE FIGHT BACK?…

Members of the Trump Administration go out to eat and they are forced out of the restaurant or denied service. They go out to the movies with their families and get harassed and again forced to leave. Democratic Congresswomen Maxine Waters, has called for violence against any Republican. The media prints lies and fake stories while CNN is a 24/7 anti Trump liberal propaganda network. And to top it all off, there is a slogan known as “Resist”. Resist President Trump, resist the laws, and support tyranny and fascism.

Ironically during the campaign of 2016, the Democrats had a motto. The said “Love Trumps Hate”. Michelle Obama so famously said “When they go low, we go high”. But then Donald Trump won the election and it’s been one big temper tantrum ever since. All of those lovely clichés mean nothing now, and the democratic Party has become nothing short of a modern day Nazi regime.

There use to be a saying, “I might not like what you have to say, but will fight to my death so you are allowed to say it.” Republicans need to start standing up and fighting back before it’s too late! The harassment will continue and grow in power. Eventually America will have a Democrat in The White House. The new creed of the Democratic Party is socialism. Should a socialist become President and if the Democrats ever gain all three branches of government, The United States will be doomed! You might as well fly the swastika on top of the White House at that point!

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Sarah You Have This BACKWARDS

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So Sarah had to get all the cyberbullying losers to actually report a truthful review. This should teach everyone how much stock to put into a Google review.

I haven’t seen Sarah since I was a teenager, over 20 years ago. She comes out of no where with her crazy self, spreading all kinds of hate about me. Then I posted this review to warn her boss, but IM the cyberbully? You got that BACKWARDS. You Sarah started talking about ME, not the other way around.

You need help. Both your parents are nuts. It’s obviously hereditary🙄

Sarah Keeling Encouragement Of FALSE REVIEWS

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Don’t start trouble and there won’t be any trouble. You don’t get to cry victim because I fought back. I haven’t seen you or talked to you in over 20yrs, then out of the blue you jump on a hate campaign to cyberbully me. Fact is, even when I did know you, I might have said 5 words to you because I thought you were odd even way back when. So stop talking about me and I’ll go away. It’s pretty easy to do.

My Horse Chevy, Skeptics And The Truth

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Allow me to tell you about my horse of a lifetime…

My parents bought Chevy for me in 1994 when I was just 14 years old. I owned him From 1994 to 1999. So first let me start out with clarifying why there isn’t much video of me from back then, and let me address a certain video that shouldn’t even have been shared.

In the early 90s there were no cell phone cameras. If you wanted to take a video you had to lug a big camera around and set up a tripod. My parents weren’t horsey enough to do that on a daily basis, so consequently there really isn’t much video.

(14 year old me on Chevy at a show)

Teenagers have difficulty seeing around the bend. I had no inclination that anybody would ever want to watch video of Chevy performing years down the road, or even if I would! I only shot what I needed to improve on. I’d go home and study the tapes after my rides. I am largely a self taught rider in this way.

In 2013 my Facebook account was hacked and a video was stolen. The Hacker put it Youtube. It’s of me trying to figure out the Piaffe. The video was in my Facebook and privately shared with a friend who knew me from way back then. I was showing them our early Piaffe Training because my friend only knew Chevy as a Grand Prix Schoolmaster. At this time I was an on again off again working student for an upper level trainer. She would graciously allow me to feel a correct Piaffe on one of her school masters, as well as other movements from time to time. I tried to recreate that feeling at home with Chevy. I look silly in the hacked video and I acknowledge that, but it’s not the end result nor an accurate representation of who I am as a rider  today.

Actually, as funny as I look I’m impressed with my fortitude! If you watch it, you’ll notice there’s no bit in Chevy’s mouth. That’s because I didn’t want it to come from hanging on his mouth. We see a lot of hanging in the show ring today even at the Olympic level. And despite what I look like, he has some really nice steps of Piaffe! So If you look at that video and then look at the pictures of how he looked later, it really does show a nice progression. I doubt the cyberbully who hacked it could do any better, especially at the young age that I was and pretty much left alone to figure it all out.

By the end of 1997 I had a trained Grand Prix Horse. From 1994 to 1997 we were in training. It didn’t happen over night like so many people try to claim about us. In 1998 I took Chevy to a schooling show and competed him at Grand Prix. I received a low score and I should have kept going but I got discouraged. I was an easily impressionable teenager and didn’t think we had much of a career. The judge very condescendingly said to me when I approached to complain, “It’s an Appaloosa sweetly and trying to compete at Grand Prix”. So Competing in general left a bad taste in my mouth. Aside from this, I learned that politics have a lot to do with the marks you get in the ring. I watched a trainer I respected receive low scores on 10 movers, and watched big names get high scores on poor movers. I went to the Olympic selection and saw horses that should have been picked, get lower scores because a bigger name was also there. This ended our show career. I decided to focus on the art of Dressage instead.

By the time I was 19 Chevy was performing a Grand Prix test easily and also could perform some of the Airs Above Ground. I’m proud to say that I self taught him all of it! It was a crazy time but we had a lot of fun together. Chevy would get excited and start bunny hopping when he knew the Airs were coming!

(Chevy demonstrates Pesade)

Determined to make horses my full time occupation, I made the difficult decision to sell Chevy and use that money to buy my next project horse. A friend suggested that Chevy would sell faster if I made a video. For a week straight I taped every ride and then put it all together for a would be buyer. I relied on a tripod and took pictures of my TV screen. The tape itself was unfortunately lost when my parents sold my childhood home. These pictures and a few private videos are the only images I have left.

(Chevy bitless in Canter To Rear)

But even though they aren’t HD pictures, I’m still proud of them! They show how light I always rode Chevy and they show excellent self carriage! The Passage in particular shows great lift, lightness and is of excellent quality!

(Chevy in a light, high class Passage)

My pictures show the finished product. I have friends who rode Chevy as witnesses. I also have high school representatives as witnesses because Senior year I won an athletics award after I impressed the school principal. I can totally understand how it’s difficult for some people to believe. Most people are accustomed to seeing a rider compete a horse from Training level to Grand Prix. They like seeing an adult who came from a big name trainer, or educated in Europe. But fortunately it’s the evidence and eye witnesses that I have that legitimized me to the committee of Dressage At Devon. In 2013 Devon allowed me to sponsor a memorial trophy in Chevy’s honor!

(Chevy in Piaffe. Light, forward, self carriage)

For 3 years Chevy’s Cup was awarded during Dressage At Devon to the highest scoring non-warmblood competing at FEI! I always felt that had we been taken more seriously in the show ring, Chevy and I could have (and probably would have) competed very often at Devon. So as the saying goes, “you’ve got to give credit where credit is due.”

(Chevy’s Cup & first presentation)

To the reader who is still skeptical, I say fine. Your skepticism or even your jealousy, does not change the real truth about my abilities as a trainer or the horse Chevy was. Over the years I’ve trained other horses to what would be considered FEI level and there are lots of videos of my training and teaching that detail my methods.

I post the many great reviews from lots of people on my Facebook Dressage Page titled “Nick Peronace Dressage Supporters”. Often they say I’ve helped where no other trainer could! I encourage everyone who is skeptical or critical of me to book one of my lessons. I’m absolutely the real deal and I will work with any horse, any rider, at any level anywhere in the United States. I am well aware of the disbelief that surrounds me, but if I was some type of fake I wouldn’t be so eager to prove people wrong. I wouldn’t be putting myself out there. I would actually be afraid to work with riders! But instead I’m saying “Here I am. This is what I’ve done in the past, and these are the testimonials from those who gave me a chance. I helped them and I can help you too”.

https://www.facebook.com/nickperonacedressage/

I’ve ridden lots of horses over my 30 plus years of experience. I’ve ridden horses at all levels and many were sired by the worlds very best stallions. However Chevy remains my all time favorite! Chevy was fearless and loved to work. He gave me the pride to be able to say that I created a body of work not many others could. I didn’t buy my way to Grand Prix, instead I took an out of shape western style trail horse, and carefully sculpted him to perfection. Chevy was my best friend and when my parents first bought him, we would go for long hacks around the open fields. Saturdays we trail ride and would stop to eat lunch under a shaded tree together. Chevy was my best friend, my greatest teacher and I will always love him.

Know Your Barn Types

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The Barn Snob: They are half decent riders with really shiny tack. Matching polos is a must. Everything they own is in pristine condition and they carry an air that the universe revolves around them. They aren’t much of a conversationalist due to being so self absorbed.

-The Master: They know everything about anything…well at least they think they do. They brag and tell tall tales of their success and will exaggerate small accomplishments. They will often brag about working with a big name trainer even if it was just for one lesson.

-The Grand Master: They can just barely put a horse on the bit yet criticize everyone and anyone. They ride like donkey balls but offer advice and training solutions. They pick apart and scrutinize Grand Prix riders without a clue of what they are really talking about. These are often your message board trolls and cyberbullies. They typically work in groups and feed off each other. They are totally convinced they have all the answers but yet still learning how to sit the trot.

-The Elitists: They believe they are the only one in the world who can ride their horse properly. If they over come a training obstacle they believe they are the only one in history who has ever encountered the same issue. No one rides their horse because no one is qualified enough to them.

-The Scholar: The main requirement here is that they must be a lower level master. They’ve trained numerous horses to Training Level or First and can ride a test easily. Every student is kept at Intro level. They will criticize riders at higher levels and make everyone believe they could do better.

-The Barn Brat: They get the best horses to ride and go to all the A list shows. Often these are children of the head trainer or farm owner. They’ve never had to work for anything so if it’s not a school master they are completely lost. The Barn Brat will often look down at others and they possess a false sense of confidence. They’ve won at the biggest shows on horses other people trained.

-The Queen: Wealthy riders who buy expensive horses already trained to Grand Prix, or students who pay trainers that allow them to compete on their school master. If it’s not a school master The Queen is completely lost. The Queen will also often advertise themselves as a legitimate trainer. We often see The Queen types at the highest levels and without doing real research we would be none the wiser.

-The Struggler: They have full time jobs and responsibilities. They often have kids, spouses and careers. They try to balance it all while feeding their passion for horses. They come in all shapes, sizes, genders and skill level.

-The Loner: Rarely seen yet you know they’re there. They often ride alone and at times when no one else is around. They can vary in skill level from novice to Grand Prix. They prefer to left alone and not seen. You’ll see their horse all the time but you’ll never see them ridden.

-The Cuckoo Bird: Every Barn has at least one of these. They act strangely and tell strange stories. Drama follows them. They are obsessed with their horse and treat them like their child. They are a real pain in the ass to deal with because they are so neurotic. They express extremely odd behavior yet it all makes sense to them.

-The Toolbox: They expect all horses to be the same. They have no concept of maintenance. If they run a barn it’s often dirty, in disrepair, cluttered with junk and with practically no shavings in the stalls. This type is often argumentative and difficult to talk too. Hobbies typically include something to do with cars, lots of dogs or other farm animals. Though not a requirement, they often wear Cowboy hats in a predominately English style barn.

-The User: Praise and friendship seems to come quickly and easily when you encounter them. They appear to be kind hearted and you’ll wonder how you ever got on without them before. But be warned! Once they get what they wanted from you or can no longer gain financially, they will drop you!

-The Dreamer: This is a type reserved exclusively for farm owners. They act like they wrote the book on horse care. They are never wrong nor open for suggestions. They are desperate for money but act like they don’t need customers. It’s their rules, their way every time. Typically they are dependent on investments or a second income because they can’t run a successful farm operation due to their terrible attitude and lack of know how. Another characteristic are overly inflated prices for basic services.

-The Real Horse Person: They are kind and friendly to everyone. They ride whenever they can and are interested in their horses daily care. They often have real jobs and responsibilities. They either took the time in the past to get horse educated or are taking the time now. If they are trainers or farm owners, they no doubt have loads of stories about dealing with crazy horse people! They are the real deal and support their farm based on their clients. They often have real success on horses they have actually trained. If they are boarders, they often farm jump or trainer jump and find it difficult to coexist with others in the barn. This is no fault of their own, they just struggle to deal with all the other “Types”…..

Nick Peronace Olympic Athlete?….

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This afternoon I was in deep conversation with a fellow horse loving friend. The question came up(yet again)as to whether or not I’d ever wish to become an Olympian. I was flattered by her and joked it all off. But after our conversation I got to thinking. As a kid it was my dream, and as a teenager I figured it would all happen for me sometime in my 20s.

The reality is that any major league sport like football or baseball drafts the pro player out of college. There is no draft in Dressage. In any other occupation your hard work and tenure pays off and produces a bigger paycheck with seniority. That isn’t so in Dressage either. No, in Dressage money talks. You need millions, strong politics and lots of luck to make it to the Olympic level. In Dressage, lower level riders with enough money can buy their way to Grand Prix literally over night. The flip side of that are the countless riders with unspeakable talent, training and ability that will never compete at FEI due to no other reason than lack of funds.

Talent is a dime a dozen at a major facility and these are the riders we never hear about. At such barns everyone has a massive ego thinking they are the best. I can’t stand ego and arrogance around horses so my personality wouldn’t last at such a stable offering Olympic level training and opportunity.

I like to think in terms of the butterfly effect. Before my parents bought my first horse, we looked at a Grand Prix horse. He was an 18 year old warmblood and competed. I wanted him…BADLY. My instructor at the time thought it would be a good idea and tried to express to my parents how much I could learn off of him. But he was 18 and my parents (who are non horsey) thought he was to old for the money it would have cost to own him. But suppose they didn’t feel that way and instead bought the school master for me? At age 16 I started training with a rider long listed for The Olympic team, so perhaps she could have guided us in the right direction? Maybe I could have competed at Grand Prix? Maybe a sponsor would have noticed and I would have at least tried not just once, but many times to qualify for an Olympic team. Maybe even had made it.

You can spend hours sitting alone and dreaming of all the “what if’s”. None of it matters. What matters is what you’ve done and what you could do. I trained a Grand Prix horse from scratch. I’ve trained other horses to 4th Level and FEI. I’ve started and worked with more young horses then I remember and I have over 30 years of experience. I can say with full confidence that I am more then capable of riding any horse, at any level, anywhere, and out of any barn including horses at The Olympic level. Heck, when I was a working student I rode Grand Prix school masters trained by some of the worlds best, and these were horses with incredible talent and winning Grand Prix show records! Plus riding a school master isn’t that complicated if you’re a balanced rider and know what buttons to push. In fact plenty of people rent them so they can either win the USDF medals, earn a letter judge credit, or compete, then later advertising themselves as an FEI rider and trainer in hopes of getting students and clientele. It’s shoddy and garbage but people rent school masters all the time.

Then there’s the issue of my riding style. Anyone who rides a horse I trained will tell you how light they are. I bring a lightness and self carriage not normally seen in the show ring. Judges tend to like a short rein and elevated arm. I refuse to compromise this. I also refuse to compromise what a correctly moving horse should look like. What an FEI judge marks as a 9 or a 10 I’d probably mark as a 3 or 4!

Lastly there’s the issue of my personality. I’m a purist. I’m an artist. I’m the kind of guy who paints the Mona Lisa then immediately destroys it before anyone can have a look at it. I’ve dabbled in competition and I’m proud of my results. I’m proud of the good and I’m proud of the bad. In my childhood I was winning championships at hunter jumper competitions. In my early teens I was winning with good scores up to 2nd Level Dressage. As an adult, I’ve won an ECRDA year end award at Training Level and received a 4th Level score of 75% during a Freestyle held at an annual farm horse show. But when I competed at a USDF event, politics killed me and I received terrible scores. It’s clear to me that USDF isn’t a wise idea. To be honest I only competed because I thought it would be fun, not because I cared about what some judge thinks. It would be the same sentiment at the Olympic level. Whether they give me 10’s or 2’s is irrelevant to me.

So I guess to sum it all up, “could” I ride at the Olympic level? Yes.
“Would” I ride at the Olympic level? Yes if I had the right horse.
“Might have I”? Yes if a few different paths were taken.
“Will” I ride at the Olympic level? Time will tell but it’s not a priority. Politics and finances are not in my favor at the moment. Politics and finances is what creates an Olympic dressage rider, not just your talent.

Currently my job keeps me busy. I’m also a father with a family and kids. Dressage is a hobby that I rarely even have time for anymore. I’m trying to sell my horse. I give a few clinics each year and that’s enjoyable. These days I do what I like to do, and I do what’s fun. I ride my off the track race horse that I trained to 4th Level schooling FEI. I have some great rides and I have some bad rides. Some days we produce a beautiful Piaffe or a beautiful Half Pass and it’s just me alone with God and my horse to see it. That’s worth more to me then the satisfaction any Olympic medal could ever bring.

Will The Real Horse Person Please Stand Up

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“To thy own self be true.” These are the words my father instilled onto me and has always been my northern star. I’m one of the rare individuals on this planet with zero regrets in life. Oh sure, I wish certain choices didn’t work out counter to how I thought they would, but I always put my best foot forward and always stayed true to myself. In any deal, trade or relationship, I never once ripped anyone off or cheated. I sleep very well at night knowing this.

Along with my strong moral code has come blunt honesty. My whole life I was raised to be honest with people and don’t pull any punches. I see this as a plus in my character. It’s funny how a plus in the real world can be so damaging in the delusional horse world.

Horse people absolutely loathe honesty!

As a trainer, when I get called out to help a rider, I take this very seriously. This is a person who is choosing to spend their hard earned money on their education. Therefore it’s not my job to tell the student what they want to hear, it’s my job to tell them what they NEED to hear. I’m always nice and I try to teach by using positive reinforcement, but sometimes in order to be heard you need to rip into them, especially when the student is arguing with you instead of listening. As a student myself, I always listened to what my trainers had to say and tried whatever they suggested. If they cut me up, I probably deserved it and I went back for more!

I have lots of terrific reviews from clients, but in the past unfortunately certain horse people have not been so thankful. This is the sport of kings and rich people who normally get whatever they want, don’t take kindly to the reality that they aren’t as good as they pay to believe they are.

Haven’t we all seen it? The rider who competes on the school master someone else trained, then puts themselves out there as a “trainer”. The trust fund baby who buys a stallion from Germany trained by an Olympian, then competes at Grand Prix having only ever ridden at Training Level. Dare to call these types out of their bubble, and you just might be out of a training job! Personally I’ve had such a person log onto the message boards and lie about my abilities only because I forced her to look at herself and the lie she lives. If I didn’t have so many positive reviews, people might actually believe her.

Judging schooling shows is something I enjoy and take just as seriously as being asked to help and give a lesson. But the more things change the more they stay the same. Judge a wealthy person fairly and what you see with a low score or no ribbon and I can promise you won’t be called back to judge the next event. Videos on Facebook work the same way. If you post one comment about a riders poor seat or heavy hand, you’ll get labeled a cyberbully. Post an opinion that doesn’t fall in line with the status quo of a top well known rider, and next thing that happens is a parade of hate against you.

With all of this in mind you’re probably wondering how these conflicts can be avoided. It’s easy….

Lie your ass off!

Got a clinic coming up? Great! Bring your coffee cup, tilt your head to the side while teaching and blow thick smoke up everyone’s ass. Congratulate the riders for being masters of the universe no matter how much they remind you of your first day at pony club. See a video on Facebook that hurts you to watch? Just hit the like button and comment how beautiful the horse is. Notice a top rider receiving a world record breaking score, yet her riding closely resembles the pile of dog shit you cleaned up this morning? Post your congratulations, and for added effect, leave a comment begging them to come to your hometown so you can attend their master clinic! Maybe you’ll find yourself in the barn at the same time the local snob is grooming her horse that cost more then your house. Best thing you can do in this situation is ask them what they have in store for todays ride, then sing the theme song to The Golden Girls quietly to yourself as they go on and on spewing their narcissism. Notice a “friend” or fellow horse person stabbing you in the back or ripping you off? Simply smile and thank them for pissing on your leg while telling you it’s raining.

If you’re to stupid to pick up on my sarcastic humor in this blog, please don’t embarrass yourself by leaving a hateful comment. I’m making light of a very serious epidemic within the horse community.

This Politically correct oversensitive culture where “everybody gets a trophy” isn’t working. Instead of selling the horse because you find him too difficult and labeled him stupid, you should be studying and figuring out what makes him tick. Instead of buying the school master or riding your trainers, you should be sculpting your own FEI horse from scratch, that is if you really truly want to either call yourself a real trainer, or rider. And if someone like me is honest and direct with you, it’s not because we are being mean. It’s because we care.

“Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you”
-Billy Joel