Rider of Ann Romney's Horse: Dressage Is Something You Can Do On a 'Normal Budget'

Before you go around criticizing Ann Romney for her eliteness, remember that you, too, could probably buy a horse, pay for its upkeep, and pursue a career in dressage.

Jan Ebeling, who will be riding Ann's horse Rafalca, resents the idea that dressage is considered elitist — especially given his own modest background. In an interview at the Olympic Park, he explained that there's not as much money involved as people might think.

If you look at our team, there's nobody who's a millionaire. When I grew up we had no money. I worked my butt off. I cleaned stalls. People saw the talent and would let me ride their horses. Money is not something that defines dressage. It's something you can do with a normal budget.

Not to mention the fact that Ann Romney co-owns Rafalca with two other women, so presumably the whole enterprise was a steal.

But cleaning shit out of stalls and eventually getting the opportunity to ride horses isn't quite the same as owning horses, right?

Well, no. Still, Ebeling insists that dressage just isn't that pricey.

Riding lessons don't have to cost much money and if you buy a young horse you don't have to pay the seven digits that I have heard about. You can buy a foal for very cheap.

What Ebeling didn't mention was how much foals or riding lessons actually cost, or what he considers to be a "normal budget." He did say he's ignoring the haters and focusing on all the positive media attention the sport of dressage is getting. (Namely mainstream Americans learning that dressage is an actual thing.)

Ann Romney will be at the venue to see Rafalca do his thing. Mitt Romney, however, is likely too busy on his world tour.

[Image via AP]