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July 31, 2013

It's Time To Train The Trainers

Winyamaro won the Grand Prix on 71 percent at Hawk Hollow Ranch in Bedminster, N.J., last week. He's back! Photo by WhoTookThat.net
Catherine Haddad
1 year 3 weeks ago
Stephanie, Was I
Stephanie, Was I disrespectful to the people I taught in the clinic last week? I try to give 100% to every rider who comes in front of me, no matter what level they are riding. Please don't imply... Read More
Stephie
1 year 3 weeks ago
I saw Catherine Haddad at a
I saw Catherine Haddad at a clinic this past week in Michigan and understand why she was writing this article, but still, somewhat of an elitist attitude… .... While I am sure that all international... Read More

Comments

Catherine Haddad
1 year 3 weeks ago

I does make complete sense to

I does make complete sense to take applications if you are only willing to teach people who can already ride. I am happy to teach anyone of any level who has ADVANCED beyond getting the horse on the bridle. In my world, dressage is about giving up control in order to ride more power. If you are ready to learn that , I will teach you no matter what your level. That is advanced riding.
Lizags
1 year 3 weeks ago

Beyond the Pale of Good Manners

I was saddened and disheartened to read this article. While it is important to remember it is only one small person's opinion, I wonder if it does not reflect a larger issue in Dressage. However, that is not my battle to fight. Being the rank amateur that I am, I will continue to do my level best to work and train my horse. Since this is costing me a great deal of hard earned money I will gladly spend it on trainers who are happy to teach us bothersome beginners and Miss Catherine Haddad Staller can go jump a fence. Oh, by-the-by, I will also never recommend her to anyone that I know, and I suggest as many of us as possible do the same. But that is just my opinion. Sincerely, Liza G. Schneider Green Bay Wisconsin
Catherine Haddad
1 year 3 weeks ago

Liza, Who said beginners are

Liza, Who said beginners are bothersome? Those are your words, not mine. They would not be beginners for very long if they were being well taught at home. I can't teach them all in two day clinics. It makes more sense for me to improve the teaching of their trainers, don't you think? Their teacher can in turn help many other riders with the basics. Why does this have to be offensive? I have the whole afternoon off, Ladies. Come with it. Catherine
Elfe
1 year 3 weeks ago

Regarding Trainers.

Catherine, your blog hit a spot with me. I no longer ride, but breed horses aimed at dressage. I put a lot of effort and money into this. The difficulty arises when putting these youngsters into training as I realize that a lot of so called trainers sorely lack the basics. Improper use of gadgetry,trying to put horse into a "frame" by yanking on mouth, improper saddle fit and unawareness if it, etc. I am sure you know what I am talking about. So, PLEASE, do train the trainers ! My horses will be grateful !
Catherine Haddad
1 year 3 weeks ago

It would be my pleasure,

It would be my pleasure, Silvana. Catherine
meupatdoes
1 year 3 weeks ago

duplicate, can't delete sorry

duplicate, can't delete sorry
snicklefritzG
1 year 3 weeks ago

Political savvy

I think Catherine's editor gave her the wrong advice. Although the general sentiments do need to be communicated broadly, the tone is too controversial. The negativity seen in responses not only here but on the COTH forums supports this. Politically savvy people realize that they have to think very carefully about how to get across a difficult message. Those same people also realize that getting in arguments on the internet is unproductive and creates bad press that will not help their image. Peter Wylde was very wise when he said many years ago "I would like to speak out after I've earned my stripes in this industry". Coming back from Europe with a passion for improving the state of dressage in the US is extremely welcome. Using unprofessional communiques to begin getting the message across is not. Can I get my horse on the bit? Yes. Can I do this at all three gaits? Yes. Have I ridden in front of tough judges who have complimented my riding and my horse? Yes. By Catherine's recent comments on this blog, would I be acceptable as a student in her clinic? Yes. Will I attend one even though I live in her neighborhood? No. Why not? Her comments have generated too much controversy and the unproductive arguing with people on COTH and this blog are a turnoff. Spending my hard earned money with her would be too risky. I have no idea what kind of lesson to expect. I will take my hard earned money and go down the street to Heather Mason or Betsy Steiner instead.
Catherine Haddad
1 year 3 weeks ago

Heather Mason and Betsy Steiner

Heather Mason and Betsy Steiner are both excellent trainers with a good grasp of the basics. You should do well there and I applaud you for seeking further help with your riding. I have never shied away from controversy and being careful and politically correct is absolutely not my gig. I am not afraid of what I believe in or the format in which I express it. Best of luck to you.
mishmash
1 year 3 weeks ago

Amateurs

Although your points are valid, I think you are a little idealistic. You can put a 12 year old on the lunge line and most will learn very quickly. Heck, you can put a 20 something on the lunge line, and they will improve rapidly. But a 40-50-60 year old...not so much. And many of those older riders are either returning to riding after years/decades off, or learning for the first time. Being placed on the line until they develop their seats will, in most cases, result in their giving up, or moving on to the trainer down the road who isn't so demanding. I think most of the older adult amateurs you teach, and who can afford to clinic with you get regular instruction. I would also bet it is pretty decent instruction, as the backyard trainers aren't probably the ones bringing you in for clinics. And I also bet that the things you are telling these older riders re contact, position, etc are the same things their instructors have been telling them, as you put it, for years. Hearing it, knowing it, believing it, does not always translate to DOING it. There are old injuries, arthritic issues, and sometimes most important of all-FEAR-that can keep the older AA from accomplishing what they so desperately want to. Some people will move along like a rabid snail because that is what their minds/bodies are capable of. Many believe USDF needs to be more aggresive in making sure instructors are certified. If this is the case, they need to become better at screening for teaching skills, as the certified instructors in our area aren't very good at teaching. Riding yes, teaching no. The two better trainers/instructors (both of whom have cliniced with you) are not certified. I have also ridden with you, in a clinic setting, and enjoyed my lesson. We did work on basic things re position, better connection, and better gaits. I am still working on my position (and yes, I have done and am currently doing lunge lessons), better gaits, and better connection. I think we all should. But I am realistic to know I will never sit the trot as well as a good pro, or be as quick to figure things out, or as good with my timing. The reflexes just aren't there anymore. But I will keep plugging along, slightly faster than a rabid snail..maybe a non-rabid one??...and will someday, hopefully, get to wear that shadbelly.
michelle
1 year 3 weeks ago

Catherine didn't you teach

Catherine didn't you teach Sandy a 40 year old that had not ridden before and within a few years was I1 champion at regionals?
Stephie
1 year 3 weeks ago

I saw Catherine Haddad at a

I saw Catherine Haddad at a clinic this past week in Michigan and understand why she was writing this article, but still, somewhat of an elitist attitude… .... While I am sure that all international level clinicians would rather work with talented, upper level riders when they travel to town, the local hosts can't always fill up every slot with talented upper level riders... The host is filling up the riding slots with as many appropriate riders as they can in respect to the clinician. ..the local riding community, the 'real world,' is not full of FEI riders who ride full time,with fancy horses ready to work on two tempis, who can take days off from work to attend these clinics or have the finances to do so. So, whomever is available to attend the clinic will. It does not mean that the local trainers can't teach their students or don't aspire to assist them to ride at the best of their ability at that point in their training...it means that these particular riders are the ones available and able to spend the time and money. Either accept the clinic, whatever the riders skill level or don't (or only work with FEI riders, or have certain requirements for riders to take a lesson from you).......I saw Steffens Peters last year at a clinic and one of his riders was a 9 year old girl on her first pony. Maybe she was a last minute stand in for someone else, because I agree that it wasn't the best use of his talent, but no matter that, she paid the high dollar to be there and Steffen was wonderful with her and didn't have a crass attitude towards her.......While I agree with Catherine that we should ‘train the trainers,’ as this will help us all, she is also a trainer of the highest quality, and she should understand that we are all eager to learn, no matter what our skill level is... We are paying her incredible amounts of money to share her experience and wisdom....treat all of us with the same respect we are giving her.
Catherine Haddad
1 year 3 weeks ago

Stephanie, Was I

Stephanie, Was I disrespectful to the people I taught in the clinic last week? I try to give 100% to every rider who comes in front of me, no matter what level they are riding. Please don't imply otherwise. I never blame the rider for their current state. I always try to make it better if it is within my ability. I actually wrote this blog well before I got to MIchigan last week. That clinic was generally speaking... advanced. Do you have a better understanding of my frustration now? Catherine