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GraceLikeRain
Dec. 22, 2010, 05:57 PM
I recently had my first lesson with a new trainer and while I liked her general demeanor and exercises, I feel that she really rushed my mare.

Going into the lesson I told her that we are an intro/training level pair and that most of our issues stem from my personal anxiety/tension. As the lesson progressed I felt that there was an emphasis on impulsion (lots of walk-trot-walk transitions, pole work, increasing the heigh of my post to encourage a longer step, etc) and going forward, forward, forward.

However, in working on this I strongly felt that we were compromising rhythm and relaxation and by the end my mare felt tense. The trainer remarked that my mare was behind the vertical and we started to address it but it was as the lesson was drawing to a close.

As a whole I felt that the lesson was asking too much to soon and as a result we compromised the training scale which resulted in tension and evasion.

I didn't really come to this conclusion until day or two later when I sat down and really thought about my lesson and tried to pick apart where it went wrong. I know that as a rider it is my job to "speak" for my girl, especially when working with a new trainer and I definitely failed to do so.

Is it appropriate to send her a brief, polite email explaining that I really enjoyed working with her but that in future lessons I really want to emphasize rhythm & relaxation even if it means our lessons progress at a much slower rate? As a trainer would you be offended? Is there a better way to handle this situation?

Thank you

netg
Dec. 22, 2010, 06:07 PM
I wouldn't tell her how you want lessons to go in that sense, as in writing it sounds slightly as if you want to sacrifice forward progress altogether.

I would bring it up at the start of your next lesson. Let her know that reflecting back on it you felt your mare had too much tension, and you would like to back off slightly/take things slower to keep the relaxation. Don't tell her how you want her to teach you, but that keeping the relaxation is important to you. Let her tell you how she wants to handle that - she's the professional, which is why you go to her... but if she doesn't give an answer which is satisfactory for you and you think works for you, you are also fully within your rights to go elsewhere.

Keep in mind, if you tend to be anxious and tense, any time you do something new YOU are likely to be and transmit it to your horse, making the first time at something new more tense for her, too. But you need to push past that some - at whatever speed you are ok and comfortable with. Definitely don't let anyone else push you to a speed faster than you want to go, and speak up for both your horse and yourself, but accept that in progressing there may at times be some tension.


Your lesson actually sounds like a similar first ride I had with a clinician. We had a slow and steady rhythm down, but were lacking true hind end engagement. She had us working on walk/trot and forward a LOT. It was totally uncomfortable. However, it made a HUGE difference in the gaits I was getting from my horse, and actually increased his relaxation as we both became comfortable with going more forward. Rhythm doesn't just mean a steady beat like music, but also true gaits - and often you need to get moving forward to get your rhythm into a true working trot.

bort84
Dec. 22, 2010, 06:26 PM
It's possible she's not the right trainer for you, but it's also possible you just need to give it a bit more time to adjust.

If you did your homework in picking this trainer and liked her, then I think you should give it some time. It takes a lot of people more than one lesson to adjust to a new teaching style, and it may very well take your trainer a couple of lessons to get in the groove with you and your horse as well.

I would not send an email - it makes it seem like too big of a deal. I would sit down and discuss your lesson with the trainer whenever she has a bit of free time (maybe for a few minutes before your next lesson). She may be able to better explain what she was trying to get out of you and your mare. A simple, "Hey, I had a few questions about my lesson the other night - do you have any time to break some of it down for me? I think it might help for our next lesson."

I will often stop my instructor and discuss things for a bit in order for us both to have a better idea of where the other is coming from. It can help clarify things for both parties. If you're feeling rushed, stop and feel free to ask questions. Most instructors welcome that (unless you happen to be the type who uses too many questions in order to avoid work that is making you a bit nervous and really shouldn't - then she might tell you to get back out there and work, haha.)

You might be surprised what your trainer has to say and what her reasoning is for what she was asking you and your mare to do. I've given many lessons where I felt the rider needed to be pushed out of their comfort zone a bit in order to progress. You have to do it tactfully, and it may take more than one lesson for them to get it, but it can be very helpful - especially for nervous nellies who are capable of much more than they give themselves credit for = )

I'd say: give it another shot and express your feelings and questions to your trainer in person - an email might come across kind of strange in this particular circumstance. It doesn't have to be confrontational at all, just an educational chat - that's what she's there for, afterall, to teach you. If after another couple of lessons, you really don't feel she's the one for you, you can always try another.

Just relax = ) There's more than one way to skin a cat, Rome wasn't built in a day, and all that, haha.

Ibex
Dec. 22, 2010, 06:45 PM
Give it another couple of lessons. By all means mention that you felt tense/rushed, but it could also be that she's approaching the issue in a different way than you're used to.

GraceLikeRain
Dec. 22, 2010, 07:44 PM
Thank you for the different ways of looking at the situation and different advice. I really appreciate it and would love to hear from anyone else who has a experience something similar or has some advice on how to approach this.





Keep in mind, if you tend to be anxious and tense, any time you do something new YOU are likely to be and transmit it to your horse, making the first time at something new more tense for her, too.


I just wanted to clarify that the exercises we were working on such as rapid transitions, shoulder in, cavalletes,etc are very familiar exercises for both my horse and I.

My concern stemmed not from the exercises but rather that I felt we progressed very quickly from one exercise to another (about 6 different exercises within 20 minutes) without addressing the increasing tension.

cutemudhorse
Dec. 22, 2010, 08:08 PM
I agree with giving it more time and keeping an open mind. Forward is very important and also is variety. A couple different exercises can work together when ridden correctly. It is true that sometimes riders get stuck and need a little push to accomplish their goals. That said, it is also possible that you are getting shown too much at once which increases your tension, therefore your horse also gets tense and that can negate what could have worked to create balance, or impulsion or ? for another pair. Speak to the trainer and discuss your ideal method of learning with her and maybe there is a compromise to be found here.
As an example, if your horse is not going forward or is behind the bit, you may be better off just working on that one piece of the pie for the first part of the lesson, without contact or trying to incorporate other exercises along with 'going more forward.'


Good luck!

EqTrainer
Dec. 22, 2010, 08:22 PM
I appreciate it when students give me feedback and their opinion in those situations... They know their horse better than I. We can discuss it and decide what to do...win/win :)

Gestalt
Dec. 22, 2010, 08:27 PM
Most of us don't like to move beyond the comfort zone. So unless your trainer is a phony, I'd give her a chance. I have found that it will take me 3 to 4 lessons before I am able to understand and execute what I'm being asked to do.

BetterOffRed
Dec. 22, 2010, 10:08 PM
She may not be the rigt instructor for you or for your horse. If nothing changes, move on! Don't waste months or years struggling to communicate what YOU know you need!

The last few years, I've struggled to find the right instructor that suited both me and my horse. I struggled to come to terms with the 'forward, forward, forward' kind of trainingI tried to embrace it. I was told to always go for gaits, go for gaits, more, more, more. Frankly, not every horse needs that. Tempo, Rhythm, relaxation and balance are as important. Esp. with a lot of the sport horses that are being bred today- they are built lighter, to be more forward, to have a quick hind leg.

ArabDiva
Dec. 22, 2010, 11:53 PM
I just wanted to clarify that the exercises we were working on such as rapid transitions, shoulder in, cavalletes,etc are very familiar exercises for both my horse and I.

My concern stemmed not from the exercises but rather that I felt we progressed very quickly from one exercise to another (about 6 different exercises within 20 minutes) without addressing the increasing tension.

6 exercises in 20 minutes does seem a little bit excessive but there could be very good reasons for that, especially seeing as it's a first lesson. First lesson with a new trainer always involves a bit of that "getting to know you" tension and she is still at the point where she is feeling you out and seeing what you're capable of doing. She may have been jumping from one thing to another in order to test you and your mare and see where you are at, how your mare would respond to the different exercises, what works, etc.

I know with my own trainer, there are days when we spend a very long time working on one thing, and there are other days where we work on several different concepts. It all depends on the goals for the day, and what we need to accomplish. I know I am a very active participant in my horse's education (and it sounds like you are too) and so sometimes the lessons are more about showing me a set of exercises (giving homework) and it might seem like a rapid-fire set of new concepts at first (because it is) but then we are able to go home and practice these things more slowly, and it all comes together. Then at our next lesson things will be totally different and we will be working on finessing one or two of these concepts.

So, as others have said, I wouldn't e-mail but you should definitely bring it up in person at the beginning of your next lesson. And then give it another lesson or two to see how things settle.

SunsAfire
Dec. 23, 2010, 12:21 AM
I recently had my first lesson with a new trainer and while I liked her general demeanor and exercises, I feel that she really rushed my mare.

Going into the lesson I told her that we are an intro/training level pair and that most of our issues stem from my personal anxiety/tension. As the lesson progressed I felt that there was an emphasis on impulsion (lots of walk-trot-walk transitions, pole work, increasing the heigh of my post to encourage a longer step, etc) and going forward, forward, forward.

However, in working on this I strongly felt that we were compromising rhythm and relaxation and by the end my mare felt tense. The trainer remarked that my mare was behind the vertical and we started to address it but it was as the lesson was drawing to a close.

As a whole I felt that the lesson was asking too much to soon and as a result we compromised the training scale which resulted in tension and evasion.

I didn't really come to this conclusion until day or two later when I sat down and really thought about my lesson and tried to pick apart where it went wrong. I know that as a rider it is my job to "speak" for my girl, especially when working with a new trainer and I definitely failed to do so.

Is it appropriate to send her a brief, polite email explaining that I really enjoyed working with her but that in future lessons I really want to emphasize rhythm & relaxation even if it means our lessons progress at a much slower rate? As a trainer would you be offended? Is there a better way to handle this situation?

Thank you

I had a similar experience in a clinic recently. This was my take on it: She could have been a little hard on you two to see just exactly what you two are comfortable with, and what you're breaking point is.

I'm sure if you spoke to her and told her how you felt - you'd get a different result. Do you know her as a reputable trainer in your area, or are you going out on a whim with trying her?

mickeydoodle
Dec. 23, 2010, 12:32 AM
6 exercises in 20 min, and you say you and the horse are familiar with the exercises? No problem from my interpretation of the situation you have presented. Perhaps it seems challenging, but perhaps that is needed for your next phase of training????

alibi_18
Dec. 23, 2010, 01:32 AM
6 exercises in 20 min, and you say you and the horse are familiar with the exercises? No problem from my interpretation of the situation you have presented. Perhaps it seems challenging, but perhaps that is needed for your next phase of training????

There is more than 6 exercises in a 5 minutes dressage test. And if you were familiar with the ones being asked, what was the problem doing them one after each other? Maybe if you were good enough on both sides, your trainer didn't bother with practicing them over and over?!

Maybe she was building a sequence of exercices to fix an issue you have.
This is something you should in fact practice!

Give yourself and this new trainer some time and don't panic!
Good luck!

cyndi
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:11 AM
<snipped>
Your lesson actually sounds like a similar first ride I had with a clinician. We had a slow and steady rhythm down, but were lacking true hind end engagement. She had us working on walk/trot and forward a LOT. It was totally uncomfortable. However, it made a HUGE difference in the gaits I was getting from my horse, and actually increased his relaxation as we both became comfortable with going more forward. Rhythm doesn't just mean a steady beat like music, but also true gaits - and often you need to get moving forward to get your rhythm into a true working trot.

THIS. Sometimes your perception as a rider is not as good as someone standing on the ground. I had a similar issue with a young horse - I thought she was motoring around pretty well, soft, etc. Clinician said my horse was basically correct and being very polite - but had much more to give me...she had me do transitions, etc. and wow - the power from behind ramped up considerably. Perhaps this is what you are feeling. My horse felt very much energized and 'dancier' but I have ridden many young horses, so recognized what the clinican had me do was much better than what I was doing on my own. There is more than one kind of 'tension' in riding, I think - what I think of as 'positive tension' is what the clinician had me get out of my mare - and perhaps you are confusing positive tension - born of 'forward and engaged' with the negative tension which comes from nervousness, etc.

I would talk personally with the trainer at the start of your next lesson, and give it a bit more time.

GraceLikeRain
Dec. 23, 2010, 11:41 AM
Thank you for all of the different opinions. I still am not sure if this women will be the best match for us but at the same time the majority of y'all seem to agree that I should give it at least one more lesson.

Couple of quick clarifications:

sunsafire: Although I live in a fairly "horsey" area it is nearly impossible to find a reputable quality dressage trainer who will drive to my barn only to teach one horse 2-3 times a month and doesn't charge $50+ a lesson. This women also works with another rider at my barn which is why I gave her a chance. I am open to other trainers, I've just had a very hard time finding someone.

Cyndi: I know what feeling you are talking about when a horse goes from trucking quietly around the arena and starts to sit and BAM you're on top of a sports car (quick, cat-like, very powerful). Unfortunately this felt more like we were trucking along and then someone put me on a motorcycle with no way of steering (lots of speed but no power, breaking at the 3rd vertebrae, jigging at the walk, shortened irregular stride)



To those of you who were pushed outside of your comfort zone during a lesson or clinic, where do you draw the line? For example my mare was jigging at the walk and ducking behind the bit (very uncharacteristic) which to me signaled that the progression was not working for her. In retrospect maybe I just needed to push a bit harder and give her more time to adjust to the new demands. How do you decide when an exercise is not beneficial or do you always go along with your trainer/clinician?

Gestalt
Dec. 23, 2010, 12:36 PM
I don't always go along with a clinician or trainer. BUT, sometimes it takes a bit to break through. I had a TB that would get jiggy when I asked him to take an honest connection with the rein. On my own I backed off, with the trainer we pushed him through his "comfort zone" and showed him he could feel contact, move forward and not rush.

Give your trainer another chance. If you still feel the lesson wasn't right for you or your horse, talk to her about it.

I'm leery of the riders that always want to discuss what they think is the issue with the trainer, when they really should focus on riding and feeling. (I'm not saying this about you) This is something you see a lot at clinics.

Lost_at_C
Dec. 23, 2010, 05:37 PM
I hate to say this OP, but $50 for a drive-in lesson is perfectly reasonable for most areas - therein may lie the problem. However, I suspect that you and your horse may be quite comfortable in a conservative but not-quite-correct way of going, and this instructor may have been trying to instill true FORWARD for both of you. I see so many novice horses and riders toodling along with relatively good basics but lacking the essential impulsion to move up. Learning this is uncomfortable at first to be sure, as both of you must learn to cope anew. It's possible your trainer pushed you too far too quickly, but at the very root of your description I detect a trainer honestly attemting to improve the fundamentals of the training scale. Whether she has the appropriate skills to actually achieve this is another matter. Give her one more go and if you still feel shaken then look elsewhere. The trainer-student relationship is a complex one, and mutual respect and communication should be the top priority.

ArabDiva
Dec. 24, 2010, 01:03 AM
How do you decide when an exercise is not beneficial or do you always go along with your trainer/clinician?

I pay my trainer to train me and so I do what she says. Of course, she is quick to recognize when something is not working, and will then approach from a different angle. But such occasions are pretty rare--usually she is able to get what she wants from us or at least put us on the right path so that by next lesson, we have made progress and have 'building blocks' for her to work with for the next concept.

As a teacher myself (music, not riding) I am familiar with pushing students outside of their comfort zone in order to achieve a desired result. It's always difficult at first and may not sound all that great and some students tend to get anxious. But sticking with it yields results and they say, "aha, now i know what you were getting at" in the end.

we all know there are quack trainers out there, and some trainer/horse/rider combinations just don't click. But if this one comes with good reviews, give her another lesson or two before making a decision, and just keep communicating and asking questions about things you're not quite comfortable with. If she's worth her salt she'll have good, rational answers for you!

cyndi
Dec. 24, 2010, 10:58 AM
<snipped>Although I live in a fairly "horsey" area it is nearly impossible to find a reputable quality dressage trainer who will drive to my barn only to teach one horse 2-3 times a month and doesn't charge $50+ a lesson.


Where I live, it IS impossible to find a good dressage trainer who will come to you for $50 or even $75 - $100. The only time I've been lucky enough for this was when I had a young, but very good trainer who had not established a local reputation or large clientele yet. And I would take two lessons each time.

Now, even when I drive to dressage trainers in my area it's $60 - $100 for lessons. These are people who have trained and ridden GP.

katarine
Dec. 24, 2010, 11:13 AM
I would wait and see.

You may think doing the same old low and slow will deal with your tension. She may think that pushing you harder and asking for more will get you out of your head and into the saddle. The mere fact you want to email her and critique your lesson this much, this early, reeks of ...over controlling. Tense.Worried.

What are you so wound up about :)

I pay 50/lesson if bought in a package. Otherwise it's 70. That's just what it costs at a minimum.

Let's turn this around; What did you WANT her to do with you for that hour?

GraceLikeRain
Dec. 24, 2010, 09:18 PM
The mere fact you want to email her and critique your lesson this much, this early, reeks of ...over controlling. Tense.Worried.



Lol goodness, I certainly hope you didn't mean for that to come off as so...well rude to be honest. I didn't think anyone would take it in that direction nor do I feel a need to "justify" my line of thinking but to clarify:

(a) she prefers email: She prefers to schedule lessons and talk via email and it seems less intrusive during the holidays to send an email to schedule a future lesson when she is likely with friends and family.
(2) She plans ahead: she came into my lesson with a game plan and if I would like things tweaked it only seems fair to give her a quick heads up.
(c) I am (clearly) long winded: If I email I can edit it down to a single sentence saying "I really enjoyed the exercises you gave us but we experienced a bit of tension. In our next lesson would you mind giving me some tips to help her relax and work through this tension."

Lol it is definitely interesting to see how different people interpret things for sure. Thanks to everyone who gave constructive suggestions. I am going to schedule another lesson and briefly mention that I would like some exercises to increase relaxation. I really liked her and rates really are so reasonable it seems a shame not to see if we can't find a comfortable middle ground. And yes, I am sure y'all are right that I could use a push out of my comfort zone. I have to admit her pokey relaxed trot is quiet soothing but I guess if it's easy then we aren't working hard enough ;).

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas Eve/Happy Holidays/Relaxing Friday night.

Thanks again,
Taylor

RLF
Dec. 25, 2010, 12:04 PM
Lol goodness, I certainly hope you didn't mean for that to come off as so...well rude to be honest. I didn't think anyone would take it in that direction nor do I feel a need to "justify" my line of thinking but...

Ummmm...have you ever been on COTH? :lol: lol

People are definitely judgemental and abrasive. I actually encourage my husband to read certain posts to reinforce what a delicate flower I actually am! lol :D

I haven't read all the responses, but my opinion is that you should try it a bit more with this trainer. And I would encourage you to be open to her (?) training methods. You may be surprised where you end up by working outside your (and your horses') comfort zone.

That being said- follow your gut. I tried a trainer one time...oh my god... he was awful. Talked the talk, dropped all the right names, lol...and boy did he believe in two of my horses, or so he said. So much went against what I believed in, but I did it...thinking sooner or later I'd get to that 'ah hah!' moment... well...the only 'ah hah' moment was when I realized he needed to GO! lol Both my horses went down hill with him, started sucking back- but what I realized the most was their overall attitude. They weren't as happy. People thought I was imagining things and since his 'credentials' were better than mine I was supposed to just go along with it...
I don't think so!

But I have had horses take one step back then finally get the training excersize and progress right back to where they should be... so temporary loss of rythem wouldn't scare me unless it continues to get worse, or she isn't picking up the new concept or building strength, etc...

Good Luck! We all need it in this game!!!!

katarine
Dec. 25, 2010, 12:38 PM
OP, in your haste to clutch your pearls and quote me being mean oh so mean, you left off the next line I wrote, where I jokingly asked what's got you so wound up, complete with smiley face. You know, the kind and well intended part when I poked you in the ribs a bit for overthinking.

Best wishes to you and yours, and I hope you find the instruction you seek.

merrygoround
Dec. 25, 2010, 03:07 PM
I suspect that this trainer pushed you beyond your personal comfort level.

However, from what you say in your initial post, everything she was asking you to do was simply to establish Forward. Without Forward, nothing can be accomplished. Without Forward there can be no impulsion. There can be no true roudness, nor can there be real contact.

I also suspect that the cause of your horse's tenseness was the fact that you were being pushed past your comfort level, became tense, and transmitted it to the horse.

So, it is your decision whether you wish to progress, or toddle around in your comfort zone, going nowhere. Realize that you have survived your first lesson, and are most assuredly going to survive the next.

And $50 a lesson, at your barn, is a gift. Take it and run!

Schiffon
Dec. 25, 2010, 08:16 PM
I'm also in the camp of giving this more time.

A sizable percentage of riders schooling the lower levels do not ride forward enough and it is going to feel wierd to ride that way at first. Our brains like habits.

"Working" gaits mean the horse is working, pushing a bit harder than they would normally do on their own. It is pretty unusual for a horse to get tense being asking to change from lolly-gagging gait to a working one. Her jigging at the walk at the end is not a good indicator of a productive session though, so I'm wondering if either the sequencing of exercises was too much or if you transmitted the tension to her. A good trainer will be able to work with the horse's issues and the rider's.

Getting behind the bit is a pretty common evasion to contact. I would think that perhaps at your comfort-level gait, there is so little impulsion that there isn't true connection, so when asked to go forward your horse is running into the contact and doesn't know what to do with it. If the trainer is good, she will acknowledge it happening and explain what to do with it. Its hard to know for sure without seeing what is happening. It also could be that your own tension with the lesson made you tight in your arms or shoulders and created stronger pressure on the bit.

You might want to video tape your lesson and then review it with the trainer and other educated folks to help educate your eye and your feeling. Good luck!

staceyk
Dec. 25, 2010, 10:05 PM
Hi,

One lesson just isn't enuf data points to go on -- your trainer may be "testing the limits" of your horse and learning what she can/can't ask you to do.

I changed trainers in the last year and the first lesson was a huge change in communications, different excercises, and most importantly different language. Over time I've really come to appreciate what this trainer brings to the table and I feel I have a whole new perspective on dressage. Not that I can implement it all yet :-).

ACMEeventing
Dec. 25, 2010, 10:35 PM
You might want to video tape your lesson and then review it with the trainer and other educated folks to help educate your eye and your feeling. Good luck!

This is great advice! Videoing yourself is such an eye opener. Sometimes what our mind is telling us is NOT the same as what is actually happening with our bodies.

You sound really level headed and dedicated. Give it a few more tries and let us know how it goes. Good luck!

JackSprats Mom
Dec. 27, 2010, 04:45 PM
I would give it more time, new trainers take a while to 'break in' ;).

One thing that *I* personally do is stop and ask the trainer what they are hoping to get from an exercise. I'm very visual and it helps me to know what they want as an end result and I can then give them feedback on what I'm feeling. So if she's looking for more impulsion but your feeling alot of tension I would tell her. Her response may well be 'I see that, once we have forward we'll work on x/y/z to relax your mare, this isn't uncommon'.

I do think an open line of communication is important and I think telling your trainer how your feeling will help guide the her and the lesson.

suzy
Dec. 27, 2010, 05:04 PM
of steering (lots of speed but no power, breaking at the 3rd vertebrae, jigging at the walk, shortened irregular stride)

To those of you who were pushed outside of your comfort zone during a lesson or clinic, where do you draw the line? For example my mare was jigging at the walk and ducking behind the bit (very uncharacteristic) which to me signaled that the progression was not working for her. In retrospect maybe I just needed to push a bit harder and give her more time to adjust to the new demands. How do you decide when an exercise is not beneficial or do you always go along with your trainer/clinician?

You have answered your own question. You do need to ask more of your mare. The jigging and ducking behind is an evasion. It sounds as though she is a bit "spoiled." She is used to doing things her way, so when the trainer made greater demands on her, she opted for evading. These are things you simply have to work through if you want to progress to the next level. It will feel rather (very) uncomfortable for both of you. Only you know what your end goal is, so this will determine how much you want to push forward.

cyndi
Dec. 27, 2010, 05:45 PM
suzy wrote:
You have answered your own question. You do need to ask more of your mare. The jigging and ducking behind is an evasion. It sounds as though she is a bit "spoiled." She is used to doing things her way, so when the trainer made greater demands on her, she opted for evading. These are things you simply have to work through if you want to progress to the next level. It will feel rather (very) uncomfortable for both of you. Only you know what your end goal is, so this will determine how much you want to push forward.


This very well could be too - my third level horse, who is very honest and a very hard worker, will even jig or, do a mini 'levade' sometimes when she's been asked to work really hard, or to repeat an exercise one more time than she thinks she should have to. ;) I can recognize this for what it is, and can gently 'push through' the brief resistance. And as many people have noted, you can't advance without pushing the envelope.

I audited a Stephen Clarke clinic once (probably the very best clinician I've ever seen) and one of his quotes was something along the lines of "You don't get to Grand Prix with rubs and pats." Not meaning you needed to beat the horse, but that sometimes to progress, you have to be firm and insist the horse work just a bit harder. Sometimes I really feel sorry for my dressage horses -- just when they think they've got it -- I ask them to learn something new and work even harder! ;)