1. Patricia Weston
    April 19, 2018 @ 12:33 pm

    I like the idea of two trainers whose styles are similar enough (yet different enough at the same time ) that there is no confusion in your riding. At one time, I was fortunate enough to have the perfect storm. 2 people that worked well together (and would sometimes tag team in a lesson) and I really learned a lot. One person’s style was to be more focused on the rider in each moment and the other person was more focused on the horse in the moment — so they worked together brilliantly and I had some of the best (and exhausting lessons) Unfortunately for me, one of those individuals moved away to that fun is over!

    Anyway– It’s really nice to have that ONE person who knows you and your horse inside out and upside down, as well as your goals — but I think sometimes being that intimate (for lack of a better word) sometimes blinds you to things and sometimes, for whatever reason, something might be overlooked or “accepted” where someone else might pick up on it. That’s where for me, trainer number two would step in — they also know the horse and rider …but maybe they see them 2x a month as opposed to someone who sees them every day. I think that sort of relationship can be just as valuable.

    I think trainer/rider relationships are important — and hopping around might be good for some but it’s not my style. I need to be able to tell someone my goals and aspirations with my horse and they need to know me and my horse well enough to be able to (and willing to) look me in the eye and say “Well, those are a bit lofty but let’s see what we can do” or “are you NUTS??” or “I think you can do better”.

    I LOVE CLINICS!!!!! I try to audit first to get a feel of the clinician (as well as their teaching style) to see if it’s someone that I can work with (not completely different from what I’m used to) and then I make my decision. I’m also careful to watch how they teach the lower levels, green horses, green riders and hopefully, a TB or something that’s not the Ideal dressage horse. The clinician that gives the nervous AA on a draft cross the SAME level of instruction as the fancy WB doing 4th level — is the one I’m going to choose. In all the years that I have gone to clinics I have only made one mistake and it was a very expensive disaster when my hot OTTB didn’t fit into the cookie cutter lesson scheduled for that day. Oops! I crossed that one off my list and that’s when I started auditing clinicians first. 🙂

    As mentioned, I also think that sometimes just hearing the same thing said a bit differently also helps too — for whatever reason it just makes you “get it” or a concept sinks in…and it doesn’t have to be something profound either. Just recently I was able to ride with Linda Zang (a favorite) and she told me to remember that my body was a column with the inside being the highest point …and the word “Column” just stuck in my head. I laughed about it because it’s not a concept I didn’t understand, I’ve been told countless times not to lean, not to get forward…all sorts of different ways but that particular word is stuck in my head now — and it’s working!

    Ok, point made, question answered. Now if the weather would cooperate so I can put my efforts where my mouth is that would be awesome!

    See you out there!!

  2. Jacki Holland
    April 19, 2018 @ 11:50 am

    It seems that life does not let me have enough money to show so I do clinics when possible and rad a lot. With a long past and some amazing instructors, the knowledge is in my head and my horses usually find a way to make me realize it. Multiple instructors are not bad if you have a base of correct knowledge and can sense when things do not work for you. Often a rider has a weak base and, when the instructor corrects them, they can not get their “head around it”. This takes time and the instructor must give minnie exercises so the rider can absorb the correction. Of course, the rider should write down the correction exercises as soon as s/he dismounts. I also read a lot and, fortunately know French, so have read Baucher and Oliviera and de Ruffieu ( alive and in the US) which helps when I ride to understand the horse and the reactions of aides. I have had multiple operations and often must only walk and have been able to work on minute balance issues which helps when I can trot and canter. Multiple instructors ate not bad but one must select what is needed and work on it.

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