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February 20, 2013

The Lines That Make You Go, "Duh!"

Photo by Amy Duckworth.

If you've never sat in on a lesson between two upper-level riders, I bet you'd think it's really beautiful work, full of piaffing and passaging and half-passing and the upper echelons of dressage.

You'd be mistaken. I spend a remarkable amount of time in my lessons trotting a 20-meter circle and hoping that whichever horse I am on will put his or her head up, down or in, respectively.

What also happens in my lessons, 99 percent of the time, is being reminded of things I already know and have forgotten, or am not doing enough, or am doing too much. A little bigger, a little smaller, a little higher, a little lower, give, not that much!, etc.

But there's that 1 percent of the time where I hear something NEW, or if not new, at least revolutionary. And it's almost inevitably something really, really simple, which makes me feel really, really stupid. Today, it was a brilliant little nugget on the transition from extended trot to passage.

Michael: Pretend like you're going to bring him back for one step of walk.
Midge: (executes it perfectly)
Me: (dies)

Here are a few other DUH one-liners that changed my life:

- A stroke of brilliance from Max Gahwyler during my young rider days: In the canter pirouettes, look where you're going.

- From Lendon Gray: When you school trot extensions (or mediums, or lengthenings) on the diagonal, bring your horse back at X for a couple of steps every time. When you show, he'll half-halt himself, and you can just push your leg on and find a whole new gear.

- Not sure who this is from, but if your horse tends to fall to the inside in the half-pass, sit to the outside.

What's the training one-liner that turned your training around?

LaurenSprieser.com
SprieserSporthorse.com

briannabowling
1 year 29 weeks ago
Tango
It wasn't something that my instructor said but it was during a lesson where she was trying to teach me to sit deeper on the outside leg and I just couldn't get how I could sit deep and not "stop"... Read More
ldemaria
1 year 29 weeks ago
"It's no big deal, move on."
"It's no big deal, move on." -Scott Hassler advising a clinic rider to not dwell on the less than stellar moments. So simple but so important. Read More

Comments

Catherine Haddad
1 year 30 weeks ago

Let/Right

"There is no left and right, only straight." Willi Schultheis
efelgnar
1 year 30 weeks ago

"Wiggle your elbows, you're

"Wiggle your elbows, you're holding him up" Does what coach says...horse happily goes into contact and starts to breathe. Duh!
mayidesign
1 year 30 weeks ago

Listen to his back!

"Listen to his back!" A German trainer told me this during a clinic and I never rode the same after. I guess I had subconsciously thought that riding was telling my horse to do stuff. It turns out it's much more about listening to him and getting out of his way. I forget it sometimes (glad I'm not the only one!) but it always comes back to me in that German accent when I realize I'm having issues. :)
InsideLeg2OutsideRein
1 year 29 weeks ago

She has to WAIT for your seat

She has to WAIT for your seat and GO from your LEG!! (Or similarly a very emphatic: Your seat is NOT a driving aid!!!)
ldemaria
1 year 29 weeks ago

"It's no big deal, move on."

"It's no big deal, move on." -Scott Hassler advising a clinic rider to not dwell on the less than stellar moments. So simple but so important.
briannabowling
1 year 29 weeks ago

Tango

It wasn't something that my instructor said but it was during a lesson where she was trying to teach me to sit deeper on the outside leg and I just couldn't get how I could sit deep and not "stop" the horse. I suddenly got a picture in my head of fox trotting with inside hip while the outside hip did a tango. That vision has helped me over and over again. I keep an online journal of my "ah ha" moments and this was one of them... Brianna
randomness