View Full Version : Your favorite Quotes/sayings about Dressage, or riding in general

Jun. 12, 2011, 04:13 PM
I'm looking for good sayings about riding, but dressage in particular. It could be something about the sport, some inspirational saying, a piece of advice, words from a famous rider, or even something tongue-in-cheek.

So. Share your favorite quote or quotes!

Jun. 12, 2011, 09:10 PM
These are my faves:

"If one induces the horse to assume that carriage which it would adopt of
its own accord when displaying its beauty, then, one directs the horse to
appear joyous and magnificent, proud and remarkable for having been

"In buying a horse or taking a wife, shut your eyes tight and commend
yourself to God."
--Tuscan Proverb

Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse. ~Robert Smith Surtees

A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham

Jun. 12, 2011, 09:32 PM
"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty
of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backward, or
sideways." H. Jackson Brown

"Inside leg to outside rein."

Jun. 12, 2011, 09:42 PM
"from the moment you arrive on the horses back, you must apologize"



"the outside aids are the most underused, the inside, the most overused"

Eric herbermann

Maybe not verbatim but close!

Carol O
Jun. 12, 2011, 09:46 PM
From Dr. Klimke, with small mistakes; "Doesn't matter".

Jun. 12, 2011, 10:44 PM
Dressage is good for every horse. Not every horse is good for dressage.

Jun. 12, 2011, 10:55 PM
"The horse reflects the rider"....

From my riding instructor, Susan Terrall. Also heard it from Erik Herbermann, and in not-so-many-words, author Mary Wanless.... if someone knows the true origin, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!

Jun. 13, 2011, 12:11 AM
"Learn how to develop a horse that wants to work for you " Andreas Helgstrand
"Let the aids breathe"
"Get more from your horse by asking less"
"Forwards Sideways"
"Ask often, demand little, reward generously"
"Horses do not think in a complicated way. It is ot conscious. They do things the easiest way."
"Every horse has a chocolate side "

Jun. 13, 2011, 12:55 AM
"Every horse has a chocolate side "

I like this one.

Jun. 13, 2011, 05:04 AM
"A horse "held in shape" by his rider is only posturing in a seemingly correct outline, usually for the benefit of the inexperienced observers."

Charles de Kunffy

"Ride your horse calm, forward and then make him straight."

Walter Zettl

"My horses are my friends, not my slaves."

Dr. Reiner Klimke

Jun. 13, 2011, 07:11 AM
Even though this is not horse related, it is inspirational

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the Stars" Les Brown

Jun. 13, 2011, 07:20 AM
"Dressage...it's not like trail riding..."

Jun. 13, 2011, 07:26 AM
Brought home to me in spades last summer "Fix it Forward"
"Ride the trot you want to have"

Jun. 13, 2011, 08:29 AM
"You see, the horse knows. He knows that you know and he knows that you know he knows"-- Ray Hunt

"Take your time, but don't waste time." ~Arthur Kottas

Horsemanship is the one art for which it seems one needs only practice. However, practice without true principles is nothing other than routine, the fruit of which is a strained and unsure execution, a false diamond which dazzles semi-connoisseurs often more impressed by the accomplishments of the horse than the merit of the horseman.
~Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere

Jun. 13, 2011, 08:48 AM
I don't know if she got this from someone else, but it was given to me by my trainer, Hannah Johnson, many years ago:

"A loud rider makes a deaf horse."

Jun. 13, 2011, 08:56 AM
Neat thread, but I don't understand "Every horse has a chocolate side." Could someone enlighten me?

All of the ones I would share have already been posted!

Jun. 13, 2011, 09:11 AM
" Enter the sanctuary of the horse
ever with honor and respect "

Erik Herbermann

Jun. 13, 2011, 10:02 AM
My Horses, My Teachers
Col. A. Podhajsky

InWhyCee Redux
Jun. 13, 2011, 10:18 AM
"It is by no means the privilege of the rider to part with his horse solely by his own will." -- Alois Podhajsky :no:

Jun. 13, 2011, 11:28 AM
"The fastest way to get where you're going is to take your time." No idea

Paraphrasing Dr. Klimke: "Some riders have good enough hands to use draw reins; I, myself, do not."

Jun. 13, 2011, 01:44 PM
Dressage is the art of teaching the horse to carry you. Riding is the art of learning to be a good load to carry.

Richard Weiss

Jun. 13, 2011, 01:47 PM
Life is a journey. Dressage is beating your head against a brick wall because it feels SO good when you finally stop.

Jun. 13, 2011, 02:05 PM
Related to wearing helmets:

If you think your hair is more important than your brain, it probably is.

Jun. 13, 2011, 07:44 PM
I don't know if she got this from someone else, but it was given to me by my trainer, Hannah Johnson, many years ago:

"A loud rider makes a deaf horse."

good quote, very true

Jun. 13, 2011, 09:38 PM
Pertaining to training a horse:

Make the right thing easy; make the wrong thing hard
Ray Hunt

Jun. 13, 2011, 09:45 PM
I wish I was smart enough to credit this as my own - sadly I do not know its true origin.

"Light off the leg, soft in the hand, ride the horse and not the plan."

I've found it very helpful to recite this to students when they get stuck in "Why me" or "Why TODAY" mentality. It also helps to enforce that it is okay when things are not going as planned - we can adapt and change our approach/plan for the day. In short - we'll work with what we have with that horse, that day, that moment.

Jun. 13, 2011, 09:59 PM
"A good rider rides from transition to transition, a great rider rides from half-halt to half-halt !" ~Robert Dover ...
I have this posted in my tack up area......so I can read it every day.
I try to think of this with every step.......now admittedly, a LOT of things get in the way but I"M TRYING Robert, I'm trying. :)

Oh....and Dr. Klimke, "forget the ^$#@%$% inside rein!!!!" That is SO hard for me sometimes....

Jun. 13, 2011, 10:07 PM
"Keep the horse between your legs!"

The unspoken is, put your legs where you want you and your horse to be, and learn to keep him there. Not in, or between your hands.

"Ride your horse" Not your fears, or "what ifs". What if he spooks at the flower pot, dog, motorcycle. Put your legs on, sit down and ride!!!

Jun. 13, 2011, 10:12 PM
There arent many dressage quotes, but here is a great one:

"Dressage is the art of putting one crooked body on top of another crooked body and making them both straight." ~Richard Weis

Jun. 14, 2011, 10:57 AM
From a great, old horseman I once knew:

"Ride him like he's going to do everything right".

and another favorite, not sure who first said it:

"Show me your horse and I'll tell you who you are".:yes:

Behind the 8 Ball
Jun. 14, 2011, 11:15 AM
I dont remember who said it but I teach it:
"Dressage is going bent on staight lines and straight on curved lines. "

"Ya, Doesn't matter, FORWARD, FORWARD! Now, that is good." Isabell Werth from a clinic

Jun. 14, 2011, 11:44 AM
"Horseback riding: the art of keeping a horse between you and the ground."

Jun. 14, 2011, 12:55 PM
"Every ride that ends in a voluntary dismount is a good ride."

On a more serious note (and I may have read this here), "An open hand can only take; a closed hand can take and give."

Jun. 14, 2011, 01:13 PM
Life is too short to ride an ugly horse.

Sometimes you have to forgo what's popular in order to do it right.

Anything forced or misunderstood can never be beautiful. Xenophon

Keep your horse between your legs and between your reins.

Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.

You don't ride the color.
(Client wants to buy the oh so purdy (at best mediocre) crazy buckskin over the well-trained and nicely behaved sorrel.....:mad:)

Jun. 14, 2011, 01:30 PM
From my trainer teaching another student how to ride with finesse:

"Almost just think it."

Jun. 14, 2011, 01:39 PM
"It's better to have fingerprints on the saddle horn, than dirt on your pants."

Oh, wait - wrong discipline? Still good advice! :winkgrin:

Jun. 15, 2011, 05:46 PM
"That horse is a Ferrari and you're riding him like a garbage truck."

-Hilda Gurney (yup, to me :cool:)

Jun. 15, 2011, 06:12 PM
"The sun is in my eyes."

Jun. 15, 2011, 06:21 PM
"As soon as you feel that you can give the rein, give the rein. If you don't feel that you can give the rein, give it anyway, then fix whatever happened."

Jun. 15, 2011, 07:29 PM
"Feel the ride, don't think the ride"

Jun. 15, 2011, 09:47 PM
"Turn with both hands."

Jun. 15, 2011, 10:02 PM
"the horse is not a drum" (meaning stop nagging him with your legs)

Jun. 16, 2011, 11:03 AM
If you look down there your going to end up down there :lol:

Jun. 16, 2011, 12:59 PM
"Gather your thoughts...and your reins."
Linda Weldon

Jun. 16, 2011, 01:43 PM
Oh there's so many.... a few that spring to mind:

Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down
like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"When your horse has reached its potential, leave it. It's such a nice feeling when you and your horses are still friends." - Reiner Klimke

"The goal is not to raise the neck, it is to lower the hips .” - Decarpentry

"It is the difficult horses that have the most to give you." - Lendon Gray

Poll Evil
Jun. 23, 2011, 10:48 PM
"Know exactly what you're going to have to do, and give yourself plenty of time to do it in."
-Bill Steinkraus

Jun. 24, 2011, 09:23 AM
"Remember the training scale", something I forgot yesterday

Jun. 24, 2011, 05:48 PM
As you can see, I have a thing for quotes (ask me about all my non-horsey ones!)

Speak your mind, but ride a fast horse. :yes:

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway ~John Wayne

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill

He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots. :winkgrin:
~Author Unknown

To ride a horse is to ride the sky. ~Author Unknown

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. ~Sharon Ralls Lemon

If the world was truly a rational place, men would ride sidesaddle. ~Rita Mae Brown :lol:

In riding a horse we borrow freedom. ~Helen Thomson

A woman needs two animals - the horse of her dreams and a jackass to pay for it. ~Author Unknown :lol:

My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder
He carries me away from all my fears
And when the world threatens to fall asunder
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis

I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted. ~Anonymous

Jun. 24, 2011, 05:48 PM
Indeed, always so many. Ones that immediately spring to mind:

From a very sage groom at the racetrack:
"Ain't no body can hold no hoss." "Ain't no hoss can run faster than a body kin ride."

From Arthur Kottas: "Take your time, but don't waste your time."+ "CONTROL YOUR BODY!!"

From Sally O'Connor: The primary avenue of communication between you and your horse is the horse's back.

From Steinbrecht (???): "Calm, straight and forward."

From Xenophon (sp): "where knowledge ends, violence begins" + "nothing forced is beautiful."

Jun. 24, 2011, 06:03 PM
This isn't dressage related but it is one of my favorites....

"My treasures neither chink nor glitter, but gleam in the sun and neigh in the night." -old Arabian proverb

Alpha Mare
Jun. 28, 2011, 02:10 PM
'ride with intent' (said by a hunter trainer for riding over fences but it applies to everything).

'I think she'll do best working on 'forward' first' (said by my trainer when I was concerned horse's nose was not 'in' during my 2nd lesson starting back to ride as an adult when I had no seat whatsoever so 'on the bit' was a long way in the future).

'the horse you lead is the horse you ride' from a young horse trainer

I enjoy all the others that have been posted also.