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Spinoff: How do YOU know you're riding correctly?

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  • #41
    Certainly more relevant than some nonsense about bicycle racing.
    I dunno...the referrence was about trying to show the bike at a high level.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!


    • #42
      Originally posted by Velvet View Post
      (BTW, I wanted to start this thread because I really am curious how many people do any research and checking before riding with someone--even at the beginning. And if they recheck and are willing to leave, and what drives that decision. I'm just curious. )
      I do put a lot of thought with who i am taking lessons from. We all spend quite a lot of money doing all this horsey stuff, so i want to make sure it is money well spent!

      I did have a "lesson" once with a "dressage trainer" that went horribly wrong. She was stressing both me and the horse out! I tried to do what she was instructing but my gut feel was that it was all wrong. Now, i know i have my limitations and i have a lot to learn, but i also knew enough to realize that this was not a good situation. what's more is that she was arrogant and condescending when i tried to discuss what i was feeling from the horse. I promptly got off the horse. thanked her for her time and left.


      • #43
        Originally posted by Velvet View Post
        Eggie, you're starting to worry me. I think you're going to have a stroke if you keep reading her posts. Try the ignore option, and make sure you log on before reading any posts. It really does help with lowering the blood pressure.

        (BTW, I wanted to start this thread because I really am curious how many people do any research and checking before riding with someone--even at the beginning. And if they recheck and are willing to leave, and what drives that decision. I'm just curious. )
        I observe a trainer or clinician before taking any lessons. They have to be willing to work with and be supportive of a lower level rider.


        • #44
          BTW, I wanted to start this thread because I really am curious how many people do any research and checking before riding with someone--even at the beginning. And if they recheck and are willing to leave, and what drives that decision. I'm just curious.
          Someone who knew me and what I was looking for (moved far, far away from where I could ride with Walter Zettl) made the recommendation to me for my current teacher. I audited for a very long day before committing to a lesson, and then took quite a few lessons (and much more auditing) before bringing my own horse down.

          It's funny you ask about the recheck and willing to leave part... I hit a very rough patch with my teacher about a year and a half ago. It was very frustrating. And I was half-heartedly looking for another teacher. But then I'd teach, and know that what I am learning is good, because I can pass it along and the horses go sooo much better.

          So, I was chatting with him at a show I was scribing at, and said something disparaging about my own progress or lack thereof, and he pointed out to me how much higher my expectations are, and how much more aware we become of the smallest mistakes in timing, balance etc.

          You have to be discontent, to some extent. If you get off, thinking the ride was perfect, you are fooling yourself. Certainly you can get off thinking that's the *best* ride to date... but if you're not always wanting more, wanting better... you're not learning.

          I have scribed a lot and find that extremely educational. One thing that is really fun is to scribe for shows at my teacher's farm. While he is considered quite classical and by some to be just an exhibition rider (he does train horses to airs etc. and certainly does do exhibitions at times) it is always a treat to sit in the trailer and write down the exact same things you're hearing in the lessons. Proof in the putting and all.

          I do think my teacher must be very frustrated with me at times and the lack of progress. But *I* am bringing along my own horse. Every step and misstep of the way. And life gets in the way. The progress is very, very slow. And it is actually a compliment that he is not always Mr. Sunshine to me. He's NEVER rude or mean--don't get me wrong, but I am treated at times almost like staff. Which is far from a bad thing. I really feel it is a privelege to ride with him and his Assistant. They are fabulous, the facility is amazing, and my horse adores both of them.

          I have ridden with just two other instructors since going to my teacher. One was a very well recommended Centered Riding person, supposedly doing upper levels, whom I hoped could help some of my health related issues. I did NOT get along with her ideas or methods at all. They contradicted both Herr Zettl and my teacher. The other was with Richard Ulman, and was the ride of a lifetime. I knew I couldn't pass up the chance to ride with the real deal SRS. He had me do just one technique that my teacher can't stand. Every other moment was completely in agreement. It was progress and a great compliment.

          I have also met a handful of other folks from around the country at my teacher's who also ride with or rode with Walter Zettl. I find that very telling.

          There's only a handful of others I would like to RIDE with. And then probably only a dozen I'd *pay* to audit. I'll audit anyone I am able to for free

          There's a quote from Oliveira that goes something like this...(not exact--my bad) "Above all it is important to ride often, while not entirely letting the books gather dust on the shelves."
          InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

          Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


          • #45
            Originally posted by Kathy Johnson View Post
            I suspect the gentleman's ride at DAD meant just as much to him as my ride did to me. I also suspect that aside from offending a few sensibilities, riding above our level had the exact same impact on the sports as a whole: 0.

            I LIVE to stir up App owners
            Well, one of my goals ALSO was to show at DAD. I knew I would never have a horse I could show at the FEI levels, so my only shot was when I got a young horse. A draft cross. A 6.5 mover. Not a prospect for upper level, not a breeding prospect. I entered the 4/5 yo materiale. I spent $1000 for the week. My trainer at the time was very supportive, but realistic. I planned to come in dead last, regardless of the number of entries. I just wanted to be in the Dixon Oval, to not just watch but BE part of the history. There were 20 horses originally entered, I think only 17 actually made it into the ring. My husband video taped it, turning off the camera at the final line up. All the riders (all professionals) were so nice to me. Cute horse, smile, have fun, etc.

            Too bad we don't have them announcing our 10th place on that video, but I've got the ribbon and the memory.

            Oh, and I kept my trainer. Cryin' yet slick?

            Goals are goals. Some are lofty, some are meager. Mine have certainly changed over the years. I try to always do right by the horses and myself. I have not always succeeded. So then you step back, re-examine, reassess, and start again. I think I'm on the right track now, but ask me again in a couple of years
            From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


            • #46
              Velvet, I've rarely switched trainers unless there were logistical issues involved (moving to a new home or new job, or starting a part-lease on a horse with a defined trainer).

              In my case, I mostly have felt that the trainers *were* knowledgable people - maybe a few things I didn't like (like I prefer longe lessons on a horse who I can knot the reins up on his neck and really work on my seat, rather than just riding with a "leash" attached). For the most part, I just wasn't aware enough of what my body was doing, both in terms of not being able to feel it, and overcorrecting a lot when my instructor had me do something. I also tend to be too tense. I have the same issues in non-horse-related exercise things like some martial arts and some kinds of dancing, but it's harder to put together on a horse. Vaulting really helped, and my instructor's approach really helped (lots of awareness exercises, different ways of putting the same thing, etc.). I think some people feel like the problem is the instructor's fault, and it isn't always, but some instructors are better than others at addressing the issues.
              Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.


              • #47
                Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                well that was a well played hand. should bring a tear to every eye here, and send them on a lynch mob after me, any app owners should be especially stirred.

                i don't think jumping a 3'6'' course at pin oak charity 20 yrs ago is what i'm talking about though.
                This reply doesn't make any sense and is...odd. Sometimes it's better not to post, slc. BTW, look up Pin Oak Charity show online.
                Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                • #48
                  Some interesting and thoughtful replies here.

                  I've learned over the years to become more selective in whom I work with. Whether that be in an equestrian or "other life" capacity.

                  I've learned to look at both the way the trainer rides and treats his or her horses, and how the products of his or her training are fareing--either competitively if that is their thing, or just how they are doing with their horses.

                  I've only had one really bad experience--and really, I didn't have that bad an expereince out of it because I did stand back, look at the bigger picture, protect myself, my wallet, and my (despised) horse, and get the hell out of there before things got openly abusive. I learned a lot from the whole experience. Not a whole lot about dressage, admittedly, but a lot about human nature and the gulibility of easily led people who don't do their research.

                  My current trainer and I interviewed each other quite thoroughly. She was a bit dubious about taking on a completely unknown person (I dropped off the face of the earth dressage-wise for about 5 years so I had no credentials at all) with (for goodness' sake!) an appy! (There you go, Kathy )

                  However, I'd watched her ride and show very successfully, which is important to me, and really bring on horses of all kind of breeds over several years, watched her interact with her horses and clients, and liked what I saw, so I asked her for a trial lesson, which she gave me because we share a mutual (non horsey) friend and she would have felt rude not doing so

                  She obviously liked what she saw, because she asked me back, and she's still persisting with me and the appy (who she loves, and who is really a warmblood in pajamas), and has stuck with us through major illness and lameness and all kinds of disasters. As well as preparing me to show at an appropriate level (there's no doubt in her mind that I will qualify for regionals in the first two shows of the year...) she makes me think, and offers me all kinds of opportunities to further my education, pushes me to work with other people for particular issues, sticks me up on all kinds of horses if I'll let her, and generally works on making me a more rounded horseperson.

                  A maxim to live by is that you are judged by the company you keep. Stick with the respected and the respectable, and you won't go far wrong.


                  • #49
                    My schoolmaster let me do a flying change that was pronounced clean and straight by my trainer. That horse will not/can not do a good flying change if he's not totally together, on the aids, straight and happy
                    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht


                    • #50
                      Hate this question as I'm always questioning what I do. I know when things feel right or wrong and in time can decide whether or not things have worked but during some points of training, I am just guessing. Ugh.


                      • #51
                        I know I am riding correctly simply because what my horse produces is correct.

                        Isn't exactly rocket science.


                        • #52
                          I wonder about that negative experience you had... would it be helpful to share?

                          I am new to Dressage (h/j, trail, Eng pleasure and --*gasp*-- a little polo in college), a lot of my riding I had to go along by myself and take what lessons I could along the way usually borrowing horses. So now here I am looking for a trainer (and in the midst of purchasing a second horse, this one trained 3rd level).... if you haven't seen the trainer perform over time, what sort of things to you go by? I like a few that I have met.. I have seen 1 or 2 ride and they are stunning.
                          My thought was to take a few lessons (which I have already) see if we 'gel' and go from there.

                          Additional thoughts?