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Are you a product of your trainer?

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  • Are you a product of your trainer?

    I was thinking about this the other day, actually I think about this often. I remember hearing people say "she/he rides just like their trainer." Has anyone ever noticed or questioned the abilities of a trainer or professional, who once rode with some of the best BNT's? Or if not their abilities, the riders that they produce? I've noticed this quite a few times now. A fairly unknown trainer, someone who didn't ride with anyone recognizable let alone travel to any sort of prestigious shows or have any sort of claim to fame, basically a "nobody" as some would say. I've watched this trainer bring riders up to be a beautiful product of their instruction, both nice to watch and accurate in their ride. I've seen the trainer who has been under the instruction of several BNT's, can easily dish out a list of their impressive accomplishments and have a certain name attached due to their history. I've watched this specific trainer bring up some very awkward riders, not typically accurate or desirable to watch. Is this common?

    As a rider I always tried to ride with the person who had the same accomplishments as I had goals, the money wasn't there so I settled on what I considered to be the best. Looking back on so much of my training, I feel as though I could have searched for better instruction. Now as adult I see these "nobody" type trainers bringing along riders who are in my opinion great. So how does this work? A simple answer i'm sure, but am I the only one who has seen this.

    I know a trainer doesn't always reap what they sow but I feel like in most cases they used to.



    EDITED -

    I may have miscommunicated the point of this topic, actually I completely forgot to change the subject name when I posted.

    My main question was if anyone has any experiences first hand as a client, trainer or just a bystander of the "nobody" type trainer creating great talent, and the ex-client of a BNT who is now a trainer creating riders who aren't so pleasant to watch. I don't mean one or two riders, I mean over half of their riders.
    Last edited by strides; Feb. 24, 2013, 11:03 PM.

  • #2
    Part of the problem is is that a lot of BNR who become BNT because of their very big list of accomplishments are riders that so what they do in the saddle due to shear natural ability and feel. And because it is out of natural feel they don't even think about how they do it they just do it. They can find it really hard to teach this cause they never had to 'learn it'.

    Comment


    • #3
      Speaking more as a musician, yes, you are a product of your teacher--both in your technique and your demeanor. And it's not just juniors who are sponges for soaking up the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know many twenty year olds (in a ten year range) that are remarkably like their teachers.

      When I was considering who to consider pursuing my graduate studies with, I took a lot of lessons, but I also looked specifically at the students. I watched them perform and talked to them afterwards. One teacher in particular had a technique and a sound that wasn't... well, it wasn't what I wanted to sound like. But on top of that, she could have a really condescending attitude--and ALL of her students projected that attitude! That gave me real cause for concern... On the other hand, another teacher I'd wanted to study with was perhaps the most poised person I've ever met, and all her students were the same way. She was mostly quiet as she was an elderly singer, but she clearly knew what she was talking about and would demonstrate when necessary for the pupil.

      That all said, now transfer that over to the equestrian world. Reflecting back on my junior years, I know a number of juniors who readily conveyed their trainers' attitude. I also know some trainers who couldn't get on a horse again due to physical constraints but were still very knowledgeable. I also knew trainers whom I'd watch ride and go, hm, don't think I want to ride like that. The thing is, in order to know what you want to ride like and what you DON'T, you have to have an educated eye and ear, and as a junior, I know I certainly didn't.

      Then there are just so many different ways to approach teaching good riding (well and good singing), and that comes down to personal preference. Some like being yelled at. Others need cajoling and support. The best teachers are the ones that can switch gears and give each student what he or she needs, but that's hard.

      Last comment and I'll shut up--the students of today (in music or riding or otherwise) are not how the used to be. A lot of them feel that due success will come to them or they ride on natural talent. Those that think due success will come to them end up finding another career and/or hobby. Those that keep going on natural talent do eventually hit a wall--in fact, it might be when they have to start teaching. I know a music teacher with an impressive resume, and he studied with the best of the best, but he is not a good teacher. He simply doesn't understand when a student is having a problem how to fix it because he himself has never had that problem or had to address it before. Likewise, a trainer could have ridden with a BNT and been a good rider, but that doesn't mean they'll be able to convey information properly and make a good teacher.

      Comment


      • #4
        I ride pretty differently than my trainer does. She gave me the tools that I have in my bag of knowledge, but I sometimes utilize them differently than she does. We tend to get along with different types of horses; my mare does NOT like Kip schooling her (and takes it out on me for about a week afterward!) and so that became exclusively my job when I was still a junior. For sure, I'm a product of her training and her program, but we do not ride all that similarly.

        On the other hand, I do apparently teach just like her, according to people who either watched or rode in a mini-clinic that I did last weekend!
        http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
        Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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        • #5
          I've ridden under a number of people. Most of them, nobodies. I was NOT a natural rider. Matter of fact my trainer when I was 10 told my mom to quit wasting her money (jerk). I think that lack of natural ability really has helped me as an instructor. I get it when the kids don't! Doesn't mean I always have the right words to explain what they are doing wrong, and I come here for ideas in how to help someone through a problem I never had, but I get it not coming naturally, I get having to work harder, and not to pat myself on the back too hard, I think it makes me a better instructor for it.

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          • #6
            I am a TERRIBLE Eq rider (with that said), when I used to teach lessons I hammered the Eq at my students whether they were interested in it or not. I found that my weaknesses were my students strengths. I don't feel that my students were similar riders to myself in that capacity.
            PS I am a nobody but my kids were able to be very successful in the Eq.
            Last edited by GoGrnRideIrish; Feb. 24, 2013, 08:15 PM. Reason: clarification of post

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            • #7
              I am lucky to be a product of a lot of educational systems and trainers and while I'm no great talent as a rider, I am really good at synthesizing information from different sources. So I learned to truly get a horse on the outside rein from Glenn Moody. I learned to ride a haunches-in from Hans Gerling, an event rider who I wish hadn't moved out who knows where because I loved him as a teacher. I learned how to ride a haunches in with better connection on the outside rein from Scot Hofstetter in a clinic. I learned why to ride a haunches-in from George Morris in a book. I won't disgrace any of my teachers by claiming to ride like they do.
              "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

              Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
              Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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              • #8
                ^That's true, I've had a lot of people put things into my riding.. I've learned a lot from working not just with Kip, but with her barn manager Joan Brierley, Mclain Ward, Joe Fargis, Katharine (Burdsall) Heller... Victor Hugo-Vidal worked with me when I was a wee one, and of course my mom put a really good foundation on me. I've also been fortunate enough to [finally] learn how to do a trot jump properly from Elzabeth Lampert and worked with a naughty pony with Scott Hofstetter.

                Fun fact: I met Scott for the first time earlier this winter - I had to get on a medium pony in a clinic because she was having some issues. I fell off within a few minutes of getting on. I'm all about making an awesome first impression.
                http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think that it's entirely possible to turn into an "echo" of your trainer. I ride a lot like the trainer I rode with for 20-something years. I hope that one day I become as much of a "horseman" as he was, but there's still a LOT of learning to go!

                  But there's another factor that I think you have to take into consideration. Often times the people that ride with a trainer long enough to turn into a "mini-me" do so because they speak the same language....and by that I mean that they're a similar type of person from the get go. I totally *got* my old trainer because we thought alike. I'm not sure anyone else he taught ever got as much out of him as I did (except for a dear friend of mine who I also think thinks like me).

                  But on a more topical note, I think that certain trainers teach horses in a certain way that can be unique. And if they train their kids to ride the horses the way they train the horses it can be easy to see where a kid came from.
                  __________________________________
                  Flying F Sport Horses
                  Horses in the NW

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I may have miscommunicated the point of this topic, actually I completely forgot to change the subject name when I posted.

                    My main question was if anyone has any experiences first hand as a client, trainer or just a bystander of the "nobody" type trainer creating great talent, and the ex-client of a BNT who is now a trainer creating riders who aren't so pleasant to watch. I don't mean one or two riders, I mean over half of their riders.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I firmly believe that you can be a great teacher, but not the best rider, and you can be a great rider but not the best teacher.. It's the same with everything.. Some of the smartest people in the world may not be able to teach someone, while many great teachers are not the next Einstein. It's all about how effectively the person is able to communicate their knowledge or talent and apply it to others.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My LNT of 7 years, since I was 14, has been a wonderful influence on me as a rider and as a person.

                        I'm proud to say I'm a product of her in every way! I've made incredible progress and have achieved goals that were only dreams when I was a child.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think some people definitely are. I look at how Reed rides and how Katie Prudent rides, and their positions do seem very similar. On the other hand Katie Dinan rides markedly more like McLain.

                          I'm on an IHSA team and have an amazing coach, who has taught me so much. But you go to IHSA shows, where a bunch of students ride with the same coach for 1-4 years and you can definitely start to pick out which riders are on which team by how they look. One school might have really pretty riders who fail on harder horses, another might have riders with great legs and weaker upper bodies, another might ride a course really well but be weaker on flat. I'm not kidding - show against the same schools for four years and you can start to see a trainer's "stamp" on their riders (for better or for worse.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Supershorty - Kip Rosenthal? I met her several years ago when she judged IHSA at Mt. Holyoke - and gave a wonderful lecture the day before the show. I was the videographer for the show, and I still use and think of comments she made during that lecture!
                            www.ayliprod.com
                            Equine Photography in the Northeast

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ccoronios View Post
                              Supershorty - Kip Rosenthal? I met her several years ago when she judged IHSA at Mt. Holyoke - and gave a wonderful lecture the day before the show. I was the videographer for the show, and I still use and think of comments she made during that lecture!
                              Yep. I've been riding with her since I was on a medium pony (which was a long time ago)
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                              Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                                Yep. I've been riding with her since I was on a medium pony (which was a long time ago)
                                What a great trainer to be a product/echo of!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                                  I think some people definitely are. I look at how Reed rides and how Katie Prudent rides, and their positions do seem very similar. On the other hand Katie Dinan rides markedly more like McLain.

                                  I'm on an IHSA team and have an amazing coach, who has taught me so much. But you go to IHSA shows, where a bunch of students ride with the same coach for 1-4 years and you can definitely start to pick out which riders are on which team by how they look. One school might have really pretty riders who fail on harder horses, another might have riders with great legs and weaker upper bodies, another might ride a course really well but be weaker on flat. I'm not kidding - show against the same schools for four years and you can start to see a trainer's "stamp" on their riders (for better or for worse.)
                                  VERY true. When you go to a Boston-area school, you learn to pick out the Stonehill and Mount Holyoke girls pretty quickly...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think you pick up pieces from everywhere, and what comes out in your riding might not be the same as what comes out in your teaching. I rode with Rodney Bross for most of my life, and he had retired from showing and rarely rode at all in the time I was there. So I ride nothing like him, but most of what I teach echoes him, even down to my vocabulary when I stop to think about it. But as far as training horses, I use a lot I learned from him, but also a lot from my five years at Tommy Serio's, and a bunch from begging as many rides as possible over the years from Jay Matter and Larry Glefke, both of whom were/are great help on the ground for both horse and rider, but again, neither rode much in my presence. And Tommy and I are so dissimilar in type that I don't think I incorporated any of his style into my ride either. Anything I can particularly point to in my riding style, not that I have the talent of either of them, comes either from Dave Kelley, who taught me to ride as a child, or Kelley Farmer, whom I've spent a lot of time observing, and who helped me make a few key adjustments in a conversation that started with "You've been taught to ride by men..".

                                    As to the other aspect of the question, I think you teach what you know. Your "nobody" trainer might be a great technician and instructor, but without the experience at the top levels of the sport she might not be able to teach to that level of showmanship and ring sense, or recognize and delelop quality in a horse, all of which require ring miles over real courses and a familiarity with judging practices, as well as some miles in the tack on the real thing, to learn to see and feel the difference between that horse and the average or the merely above average.
                                    On the other hand your trainer with all of the above might not be able to teach the basics effectively, or have the experience necessary to get the most out of an animal of lesser ability.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I don't think anyone should WANT to be the spitting image of their own trainer. Of course I was taught from pretty much infancy in riding that you're job as a rider was to learn what you could and apply it to each horse and see what works and what doesn't. I was never really told to ride like my trainer, I was told to ride like me and learn what worked for me. I've had both BNT and the nobodies. You learn something from everyone.

                                      Now my current trainer rides like a freak of nature and there's no way to ever even TRY to ride like her. She has two grown adult children who also ride identical to her and she's bringing up a grandson the same way. So I just chalk that one up to genes!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think my essential style is mine alone. I've learned a ton from my trainers and horses over the years but even the ones who tried to change my style were unsuccessful in the long run. I was probably more malleable when I was a junior. My more recent trainers all work with my style as is. Any little quirks I have do not effect how my horse performs and my eq days are done.

                                        I do tend to like trainers who have the same philosophy of riding that I have but they do not ride like me as far as position/personal style goes.

                                        I did have one trainer who was a BNR who really couldn't translate to a good BNT. He trains a very technical ride but I have to believe he rides more with natural feel. That very technical instruction doesn't work for me as I'm an over-thinker and have good natural feel.
                                        You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!

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