To all of you dressage instructors with school horses I want to thank you.
I currently am lucky enough to have found an instructor in Flagstaff who is very good and has a lovely school horse. This is such a blessing as I am not a beginner, but my confidence has been severely eroded. I need to get legged up on a horse that is a confidence builder while not learning any bad habits and having my old bad habits replaced with correct ones.
I know it's expensive to keep that school horse. I know it's hard putting someone on a horse you ride and compete not knowing, especially for the first ride, that the student isn't going to be someone who is a bit to rough or just sits really poorly on your horse.
To all of you who carry the expense, risk the emotional damage and possible physical injury to your horses, thank you. It does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
At LEAST a bajillion! I learned with two wonderful teachers and their equally wonderful teacher-horses. Then we moved. I never truly regained the untarnished confidence I had once I was introduced to riding lessons with a woman who had ridden for less time than I had (found THAT out years later) on OTTBs (and I mean NEWLY OTTBs)!
Real eye-opener in Ireland - first day at Burton Hall was trying to figure out aides for turn on haunches. Had done a turn on forehand once or twice. Instructor said, 'That's the difference between here and America. Over there, you have school horses. Here, we have schooled horses.' Before anyone goes getting themselves all in a knot, this was 1969 - and those of you who rode school horses back then have pretty good memory of the truth in that statement.
God bless school horses. I've always said that they are the ones who should be commanding the big dollar pricetags.
God bless knowledgeable, saintly instructors who not only know WHAT they're teaching but HOW to teach it - how to say it 10 different ways until one way finally clicks.
Thank you, Miss Martin & John Stoecker. (John, I've been able to TELL you this; I hope Miss M just 'knew' - as she did so many other things)
For a number of years now my daughter has been using her older mare for lessons. Last year she took on another older mare who needed to be brought back and needed a soft place to land. Both of these mares are very steady and have been responsible for a number of adults who had quit riding because they had been injured and hurt and were afraid to ride.
With the exception of one woman, the others have typically taken these wonderful mares for granted and I get really annoyed and frustrated with them.
\"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables
A decade later, I remain grateful to COTHer Tasker's great Double Bounce, the Grand Prix horse she let me ride in a lesson who taught me what an upright corner felt like and thereby introduced me to the concept of inside-leg-to-outside-rein.
Adding my thanks as well. I will never forget the lesson when my instructor let me ride her old Prix St George gelding. She had ridden his dam through 4th level and he was her very first training project. It was so enlightening to feel how well he responded to my aids and really helped my riding.
I am now riding an equally awesome but completely different schoolie once a week and love that I can focus on improving my riding without always having to focus on fixing the horse (my mare's training has gone in fits and starts, so she's greener than she should be).
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
I tip my derby to the PSG and above horses and their owners who shared with me over the years...
to what level are who trained -the horses, or the instructors? or both? actually, beats me.....I don't remember ever hearing about any of it as a young teen, so probably didn't have the best....well, guaranteed I didnt have the best...lol.