Best bit of wisdom you ever got from a trainer/ clinician?

Don’t you just love it when you go to a clinic or a lesson and in the midst of the usual schooling…BAM. Something is said that completely blows your mind with its truth. The horse masters have a lot to teach us, no doubt, but there’s something very special about finding a trainer who can sum up a chunk of that elusive mastery in a short phrase. So. What was your most memorable take away?

“Slouch.”

First lesson with my current trainer. I KNEW I needed to get my tailbone under me, I knew my back needed to be flat instead of sway, and after a year and a half of working on it with my previous instructor and a biomechanics instructor, I simply could NOT figure out how to stay that way.

I did a whole lot of winning in equitation classes in my previous horse life, and runway modeled. Both taught me to have my shoulders FIRMLY back. Holding tension. What felt like slouching to me was still shoulders back as they should correctly be, but released tension so I was able to sit correctly.

I have heard thousands of piece of great advice, but that was the #1 lingering pain in the neck (literally, due to tension) item I could not solve.

“Keep the right rein” Harry Boldt $60 per word. Worth It.

One of you has to relax first, and it won’t be HIM!

I can still get wound up, but I am much more aware of how important it is for me to relax, along with applying the correct aids.

“Heels out.”

Years of riding with my toes out and being fussed at to turn them in resulted in 1) no success, and 2) sore calf muscles. Then my favorite trainer said “heels out”. Somehow that command allowed me to access the right position and the right muscles to hold that position without strain.

star

Carry a glass of wine on your boobs.

That fixed my posture like boom.

ETA “Heels out” was revolutionary. I am going to try that!

Paula

“hard hands, soft elbows”

and

“more seat than hands”

I had the same problem, and my trainer told me to do the same thing (and then said I was never to tell anyone that he’d told me to slouch and that he’d deny it if I did) :slight_smile:

“Breathe.” :lol:

“They’re your reins. She doesn’t get to take them from you.” :slight_smile:

Just a comment about a horse in training “with this sort of horse…” This was said many years ago, and clued me in to what now is a very obvious thing. Each horse is different and must be approached differently.

So when someone says I should do thus and so, I can cheerfully look them in the eye, and say Yup! and go on my way.

First clinician I ever used with my own horse–I was restarting my TB mare who was eight years old, but she had no idea what the bridle and bit were for. He told me to slow down and not demand so much from her too quickly. “Remember,” he said, “you may be in high school, but your horse is still in kindergarten!”.

Later I had a problem with her pulling. Took her to another clinician and he said, "Your mare is trying to tell you to get out of her mouth! Use your seat to stop her instead (and he showed me how to do it)… Worked like a charm–she never pulled on the reins again! :wink:

[QUOTE=merrygoround;7949259]Just a comment about a horse in training “with this sort of horse…” This was said many years ago, and clued me in to what now is a very obvious thing. Each horse is different and must be approached differently.

So when someone says I should do thus and so, I can cheerfully look them in the eye, and say Yup! and go on my way.[/QUOTE]
Indeed!
Though I had a funny situation yesterday with a serial know it all who knows very little, and most of it either wrong or very outdated (not that there isn’t a lot of good in some of the old timey maxims, but some of the explanations, wow)…
I’ve been fighting a battle with the management to not overfeed my horse, and the kia came to stand next to my “lovely rounded horse” to which I replied “FAT?” lol “no” says she “I like him that way!” to which I replied “what you like has no relevance to MY horse” ha ha “oh but he’s lovely” “obese?” “un-athletic” “risking metabolic syndrome???” says I…
“OH well, I know it’s not good for them” she finally says standing next to her own hugely overweight horse.:lol:
De rail over, sorry,carry on!

Kathy Connelly----“You can do this”. After I had a hiatus away from riding.

Not to me, but a friend who had 2 horses.
Her steady-eddie appendix & newer OTTB.
She had to sell one.
Trainer told her:
“Keep the one that makes you happy”

Not that I always manage to achieve them:

Each gait should have the feeling of the next higher gait in it.

And also that thing about hands and elbows (your hands are just extensions of the reins)

Carry your hands.

Sit up and let go of the reins (when I get in trouble, my brain automatically hears my coach yelling this to me).

I love this thread!

Last year I was lessoning on a good-ol’-boy-type gelding who took opportunities to laze his way out whenever possible. I’m admittedly a passive rider by habit (still a learning process.)

I work at the barn, and the trainer knew me pretty well, so she made an analogy. She said, if you were working with someone at the barn, and they weren’t pulling their weight, that wouldn’t be very fair. You and gelding are a pair- you do some work, but he has to do his end too.

That was a lightbulb moment. I wasn’t being “mean” to push him forward, I was telling him to do his part, and I in turn would respond. I think about that every ride now. :slight_smile:

I love it when my trainer tells me which muscle to engage in my body. As I am very anatomically educated/aware it is golden when somebody can tell me which muscle I should be using.

Ride the balance…quit being in such a hurry to go sideways. After she told me this I realized I was ‘pushing’ my horse over and causing him to lose his balance. I rode his balance/rhythm instead of mine and bingo! we get beautiful half pass now. And a whole lot less resistance.

Gen. Jack Burton:

“The more hardware in the horse’s mouth, the less knowledge in the rider’s head.”

“Only one of you can be rational.”