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The roads to Rome

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  • The roads to Rome

    Another thread has gotten me asking questions.

    It is my firm belief that there is only one Rome but many roads that lead to it. Thus all those roads must go in sort of the same direction at some point or they'll never get to the city!

    If there are many many different systems then you end up with a really really confused horse as soon as you sell it, especially if one person asks for the half halt by pulling on his ear and the other asks by pulling on his tail. This base system of what works has been established by ages of working with horses, which really all learn basically the same way.

    The main difference is in the brain of the horse and the brain of the rider. Perhaps my horse spooks everytime he gets bored, so an instructor that works on long walk periods doesn't really match. So although we really need to work on our walk perhaps switching to a trainer that changes things up works best. Or maybe using both trainers helps because the one that helps keep my horse busy makes it easier for my horse to settle down when we do those long walk periods.

    Now, I'm just a weeny level rider which is why I take instruction but I know when I'm enjoying a lesson, when I understand, and when I'm frustrated. I also know when I'm frustrated because I'm having physical difficulty with an exercise or when I simply don't get it.

  • #2
    Well....I know a lot of the "top" systems. They are not that different from one another.

    The underlying principles in training a horse and rider are pretty much the same. I've ridden with some very very big names....while on the surface, what they may describe may sound different. When you get them elaborating, it really isn't any different.

    This is why you can pick a book like Riding Logic..written a very very long time ago.....and still gain knowledge and insight.

    The really good trainers and riders do have their own "system" but they are also constantly improving and developing that system. They know that things have to vary some from horse to horse. And what you find is that while the principles may all be the same or very very similar....how they articulate those principles and exercises that they use to teach those principles will vary some.

    Riding is one of those great sports that it takes years and years to master....and very few become real masters...and even then, you will be constantly learning and evolving (or regressing).
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


    • #3
      The fundamentals are the same, but the teaching methodology or communication skills may differ.

      The other variable is the rider, who may or may not process information given in a certain way very well. People learn differently and that really impacts what a rider is "hearing" during a lesson.


      • #4
        Originally posted by flabbergasted View Post
        The fundamentals are the same, but the teaching methodology or communication skills may differ.

        The other variable is the rider, who may or may not process information given in a certain way very well. People learn differently and that really impacts what a rider is "hearing" during a lesson.

        exactly. And why one trainer will suit one rider/horse combination very well but may not be as suited for someone else. It isn't that the trainer is bad or wrong....

        I will say that when I do take a lesson or clinic from someone else who seems to be telling me something very different from the fundamentals that I already know (but can't always execute). I make sure I ask questions to really be sure that I am "hearing" them correctly.......that is how I learn and understand the "why" and the "when" better.....usually turns out to be the funamentals that I know, but they may be focusing on one point more than another for this particular time.
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


        • #5
          I fundamentally agree with the premise of this thread.

          I suppose where I disagree is in the case where a VERY new and inexperienced rider is learning the basic basics. In that case, I think that it is important that their progress be monitored mainly so that holes don't develop in their knowledge. I am sure that there are exceptions to this but those are my 2 cents.

          Side note: most true "beginners" seem not to own their own horses and, since they are reliant on the provision of a lesson horse, they seem to go back to the same person.
          "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant