They stand in the middle of the ring and yell. A lot.
Trainers have to repeat a lot of the same commands. “Heels down. Don’t pull. Kick.” So it’s no surprise that they frequently come up with some entertaining versions.
We asked fans of the Chronicle’s Facebook page what some of their favorite trainer quotes are and got hundreds of responses. Interestingly, the majority of them included two, ahem, specific areas of the body (hint: on the beach they’re usually covered by a bikini). There’s also a saying that seems ubiquitous involving a monkey and a football.
Let’s suffice to say that the general consensus can be summed up by this saying: “Shoulders like a princess, hips like a harlot.” (from Olivia Chapeski)
“Just don’t puke at C.” –Dev Little Bit Kelsey
Sadly, I have actually puked at C. –Janet Royce
“Ballet lessons are on Tuesday night! Heels down.” –Carolyn Mikonis Jordan
“I’ve been teaching for 30 years and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything like that before.” –Elizabeth Callahan
“Honey, just save us both some time and get off and lay in the dirt. It’s where you’re headed anyway.” –Cara Schmidt
“Please stop trying to turn your horse into Superman,” as I continue to hunt the gap. –Anna Long
No words. She just walked over to a big jump standard and banged her head against it three or four times. –Buffy Seidel
“You looked like you were having a heart attack! DID you have a heart attack?” after my first hunter class over fences during which I apparently forgot to breathe. –Kelly Moore Synnott
“Didn’t you hear all of us clucking from the stands?” –Susan Johnson Penland
I was battling some pretty significant confidence issues and had a phobia of cantering. When my dressage trainer told me to canter, I told him I was going to die if I cantered.
His response? “That’s just fine, I’m fully capable of dialing 911. Now canter the horse.” –Margaret Cluff
In the busy schooling area at a big show, I missed badly at a warm-up jump. As if I wasn’t already mortified, Trainer yelled loudly across the ring, “Jump that again and please try to find something that resembles a distance!” –Heidi Young Schmutz
I rode in a two-day dressage clinic with Michael Poulin and we were working on keeping a forward momentum. He yelled out, “When I die, I want to come back as your horse because I won’t have to work at all!” –Robyn Chervenak
“Don’t sit there like a potted plant!” –Jody Livak Werner
“No twerking in jumping position.” –Rebecca Brooks
“Hope and prayer are things you do in church, not when galloping toward a solid obstacle, RIDE! It’s called R-I-D-I-N-G!” –Cindy Caruthers Newenhouse
“There are no fleas breeding in his mane, but perhaps you’re counting the number of mane hairs?” –Bethe Mounce
When I was engaged to my husband, my trainer yelled “You’re not even married yet and you’re already nagging!” because I was riding too slow to the jumps in the schooling area. –Kelley Murch Corrigan
“Halts should be a period, NOT a question mark.” –Caitlin Nichols
Said to me after a pretty dismal jumper round: “You’re like a damn calculator you add so much!” –Christa Deagan
“You have very nice and long legs. Try to use them.” –Karla Rohová
My trainer asked if I was coming from the bar. I replied “No, ma’am.” She said, “Because you’re swerving to that jump like you’re drunk.” –Liz Aaron-Hirneisen
I had just gotten my jumper and was learning his ways. She said “OK, we’ll stop there. I don’t want him to lose respect for you.” –Franny Monsen-Schmidt
My former trainer said to another student: “Have you ever thought of taking up tennis?” –Kimberly Gatto
“No turn left. Your OTHER left!” –Jenna Osborn
Don't miss the Chronicle's upcoming Amateur Issue, published on Dec. 2. There's a great humor story in there along with stories of inspiring amateurs and an in-depth look into finding the best clinic experience for your needs. Subscribe now!