MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedMarketplaceDates & Results
 

Blogs - Catherine Haddad Staller

April 17, 2014

A Conversation With My Mother

Dear Rita,

Please don’t be insulted that you found out I went to Europe with Hotmail via social media. It was a snap decision, and there was no time amid massive and frenetic logistical planning to call even my closest friends. My own mother did not know until today!

Comments

swgarasu
21 hours 25 min ago

ROTFL... my grandma was the

ROTFL... my grandma was the same way without her hearing aids. My mom's cousin, whose name was "Mary Jo" became "Joan" to all of us after my Grandma misheard us when we introduced them. :) And hey, I think I like Scottsdale better than Hotmail... :D
April 13, 2014

Moving Up: Be Fierce

Dear Rita,

The last time I wrote, I had a story to tell about the morphing of Mane Stream Hotmail into a Grand Prix horse. We were mid-season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla., and I knew that his career was about to take off.

March 9, 2014

From Here To There

Dear Rita,

Grand Prix horses are made, not born. And my horse Mane Stream Hotmail is no exception.

Pieces of this story you already know. Mane Stream Hotmail came to me in late spring of 2012. He was 10 years old, a bit stiff and resistant in places, but not without charm. He was a third level horse who was scoring 62 percent in Denmark at national shows on a good day. 

January 7, 2014

Enter: The Year Of The Horse

Dear Rita,

If you happen to follow the Chinese zodiac, you already know that we are about to enter the Year of the Horse 2014 at the end of January. All I can say is, “Hasta La Vista, Baby!” to the Year of the Snake 2013! That was a tough year for me, Rita, full of incredible highs and devastating lows. Quite frankly, I prefer the middle way.

Now I happen to think that every year is the Year of the Horse, but I am very excited about the beginning of this one.

Comments

Lynne De
11 weeks 4 days ago

Promoting Dressage

Your “call to action” inspired me to put this idea out there to see if it is worth pursuing. If the purpose of dressage is to develop a horse through a systematic, progressive and humane training (and conditioning) program; then rewarding that commitment would be another way to promote the sport and purpose of dressage. Learning to be a good rider is a great achievement and the USDF recognizes that with the Rider Awards. However, transferring those skills to developing horses should be recognized as well. My thought is to have a USDF Training Award such as: • Bronze medal for a horse and rider combination that achieves 2 scores of 64% or better for each level – Training, First, Second • Silver medal for a horse and rider combination that achieves 2 scores of 64% or better for each level – Third, Fourth, PSG • Gold medal for a horse and rider combination that achieves 2 scores of 64% or better at Int. I, Int. II and GP • Platinum medal for a horse and rider combination that achieves 2 scores of 64% or better from Training thru GP. The cost to create this award could be minimal since the database is already there. This type of award may result in: increasing memberships, encouraging riders to strive for proficiency at each level, increasing exhibitor attendance at shows, opportunities to promote professional riders/trainers/instructors, benefit breeders by showcasing trainability of offspring, and possibly other opportunities to promote the purpose and significance of the sport.
December 18, 2013

Giving

Dear Rita,

I’m not talking about giving on the reins today. The holiday season is here, and giving is what we do. Have you finished your Christmas shopping?

Personally, I don’t like to give material gifts to my family, friends or clients. But every year I try to connect with the special people in my life around Christmastime. I like to share a tale or two and get at least one in exchange. A glass of wine with good friends has always meant more to me than a basketful of gifts.

Having said that, sometimes we really need a special gift for someone in our lives.

September 30, 2013

Mane Stream Hotmail Finds His A Game On Perfect Footing

Dear Rita,

I know I am starting to sound like a broken record but I JUST LOVE the horse show at Devon. I am so pleased that the facility continues to upgrade the footing and stabling. The renovations and improvements made this venue competitive with rest of the world’s horse shows!

August 16, 2013

Mane Stream Horses: Winyamaro and Hotmail

Dear Rita,

Winyamaro, my World Cup horse and generally too cool for his shoes Grand Prix horse, and Hotmail, my up-and-coming star, have had an official name change. From now on, the horses will be called Mane Stream Winyamaro and Mane Stream Hotmail.

My horses and I are giving our professional names to a worthy cause. And we hope that through our future success in dressage sport and the publicity that goes with that, that we can get more people interested in Mane Stream’s mission.

August 8, 2013

Dressage And The Glass Bead Game

Dear Rita,

I don’t think anyone can argue with this universal truth: The basics are everything in dressage. In fact in life in general, learning the basics is what everyone must do in order to achieve any performance goal we set for ourselves. Last week, I had to learn the basics of accounting in order to prepare my tax return. It was painful, and I am not yet good at it.

Comments

Crich
36 weeks 5 days ago

After 20 years

Until recently I spent the last 15 years out of the saddle, but I still remember the basics you taught me as a teenager in Michigan, 20 years ago, on my not-so-fancy Arab. "Treat your horse's mouth like fine china" still goes through my head every time I get on! Thank you for that.
happyrider234
36 weeks 5 days ago

Catherine, Catherine, Catherine...

You don't believe in the classical school of see-sawing? I am SO offended! Get ready for the soup kitchen, because no see sawers will EVAH take lessons with you again! And if you would get a good, supportive saddle with a high cantle and big knee rolls, you wouldn't feel the need to work so much on your seat. Saves energy for the sawing... Regards, Rita
Catherine Haddad
36 weeks 5 days ago

Bwahahahahahaha!!!

Bwahahahahahaha!!!
smithdan
36 weeks 5 days ago

CHS, you're posts are

CHS, you're posts are refreshing! If I'm spending $75+ an hour for a dressage lesson I hope to be learning the correct way and progressing. It's sad how many trainers you have to go through before you find one that's honest.
smithdan
36 weeks 5 days ago

whooopsies

I meant to say "YOUR" posts, not "you're". My bad! Does that annoy anyone else out there?
BVanDyke
36 weeks 10 hours ago

Fondest Memories...

I consider those first lessons with you some of the most productive times that I ever sat on a horse. I remember, in vivid detail, the moments of the correct connection, as well as the moments of flying gloves! :) I will never forget, nor would I want to, the feel that I developed in those lesssons.
aes88
36 weeks 9 hours ago

simplicity

Perhaps those angered or annoyed by truth should further evaluate from whom they gain their 'knowledge'. A gold medal accomplishment doesn't mean so much these days if it can be gained by going to one day shows. Riding in young riders on a horse already accomplished at that level and above doesn't make anybody a trainer either. So,for those preaching about dressage being an amateur dominate sport- you're right. Its dominated by people with the misplaced moniker of 'trainer'. To their students, its the biggest shame, because they are being taught incorrectly. Please don't cry amateur tears, just find better people to ride under, and do your homework to find out who and what the person you spend money with really is.
RideWithFeel
35 weeks 6 days ago

Fitness

I find Ms. Haddad's direct communication in her blog quite refreshing and thought the comments aimed at her Train the Trainer piece quite nasty. Regarding this posting and the basics - and being direct myself - what I found missing here was an emphasis on rider fitness. most riders at the lower levels I find are not fit. No this is not necessarily about weight. I don't care how good your trainer is at teaching the basics - one lesson a week without at least three more practice sessions AND out of the saddle conditioning - sitting the trot ON a big mover is nearly impossible. Even on a smaller mover it will take much longer to do well. I have found that many in the dressage world complain they would be riding at a higher level if they had an expensive warm blood, or more money to get more lessons - and certainly these things CAN make a difference - instead of complaining about what they may not be able to change ($) - they don't focus on what they could be doing currently to help their situation. I don't know if it is instructors not telling students this due to their fear the student will be offended and thus they will loose the client or just ignorance. I asked my trainer what else I could be doing to better myself and i was told get fitter, particularly in the core, and work on your flexibility. I had to ask - but I followed the directions and my riding has improved significantly. Another basic worth mentioning....in my opinion
Reese D
31 weeks 3 days ago

Coming to the Game Late

Catherine, I read with amazement your last blog and the sh-tstorm it aroused. I had my first riding lesson last September at age 55. Fear, yes. Excitement, yes. Self-doubt, double yes. But thanks to a local trainer I have a basic seat with sooooo much more to learn. On behalf of an over-the-hill, un-toned, and green rider I must thank those of you who train us. It must be painstakingly slow at times for you. But much more so for those craving that wonderful connection with a horse. I admit my goals are simple: to be near horses, to feel them breathe under me when riding bareback, to mount, walk, trot, turn and stop. That's it. This forum provides me the mechanism to thank those who don't discard the older person who through good karma unearths this passion for riding. It's been such a blessing. Thank God I found this path and the people who are helping me to achieve more than I ever dreamed possible. Blessings to you and yours.
July 31, 2013

It's Time To Train The Trainers

Dear Rita,

New Jersey’s heat wave has finally broken, and we are blessed with breezy days in the mid 70s. While the horses find their energy again and my riders feel like they can breathe and think, our daily work continues at our base, the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters in Gladstone. Winyamaro and I won a Grand Prix last week. Hotmail (extraordinaire!) continues his onward storm toward his Grand Prix debut with me in August. All is good in New Joisie.

Comments

meupatdoes
37 weeks 5 days ago

Personally I love watching my

Personally I love watching my trainer and the clinicians I attend teach beginner students. The results that Eddo Hoekstra can get out of lower level riders and the transformations he creates in one session are amazing to see. I sit there and watch with eagle eyes the teaching decisions he makes, what does he pick up on, would I have chosen the same thing to mention at that time? What do I see, what does he see? I recently watched someone who has trained multiple Pan Am medalists teach a lesson that I honestly realized I would have taught completely opposite. I watched that ride intently trying to see what he sees, why is he making that choice, why is he telling the rider the opposite of what I, in all honestly, would have come up with. What teaching decisions does he make, what does he pick up on, what does he save for another day? Where in the progression does he pick up which piece? And so on. Yes, I enjoy watching them teach more upper level riders, to improve my RIDING. I like to take my own slot to ride in to improve my RIDING as well (and they kindly tolerate that I cannot afford "multiple slots on multiple horses"). But to improve my TEACHING, I like to watch experts teach the level of most of my students. I want to watch so that I can learn how to work the same transformation. I guess you don't want to afford this fledgling trainer that opportunity. This trainer will have to get her "trainer" training from other trainers than you.
paulaedwina
37 weeks 5 days ago

Okay, good to know

I know enough ammies who are reluctant to ride in clinics because they feel they aren't good enough or don't look right, or don't have the right horse, or some other perceived shame. I used to be the type to encourage them to put their fears aside and go for it. I stand corrected.
Loveold
37 weeks 5 days ago

I'm sure there are other well

I'm sure there are other well respected riders you can still recommend to your ammie friends. Not all clinicians feel this way!
paulaedwina
37 weeks 3 days ago

Someone just posted in another forum and it made me sad

The poster is a solitary practitioner. A person far away from a trainer with a working-person's budget who tries his (or her) best on her own to get things right. The person just said that she (he) would not attend a clinic because "it wouldn't be fair to anyone". For this kind of person who has the drive to attempt this on his own a clinic is a taste of what he is striving towards. He is going to have holes because he's not a trainer and he's working on his own. To my mind he is exactly who should be at the clinic of some great rider. TOO BAD he has already internalized the belief that he's just not good enough to darken the clinician's door. That's really unfortunate.
Loveold
37 weeks 5 days ago

Wow! To say I'm shocked would

Wow! To say I'm shocked would be an understatement. I'm sure that you would much prefer to teach those that ride at a higher level, but has it ever occurred to you that perhaps a "trainer" that an ammie has worked with really isn't a "trainer" at all? In the US anyone can be a trainer, you know that. It is not Germany where you must master and learn, in essence, earn the right to be called a trainer. Maybe a lower level rider has not found a great match with a trainer in her area, and jumps at the chance to ride with you? What a shame that after she or he shells out BIG $$$ to ride with you, the fact is that you really don't want to teach them. The lower level riders apparently are not "worthy" of your knowledge. I think I want to vomit. Remember what you felt like when you were just beginning...oh wait, you have always ridden well apparently. What if Willi told you to take a hike when you wanted to ride with him? The biggest mistake you have made is that you don't realize that it could be just ONE thing that an amateur learns from you that changes it all, whether it be a new "spark" of life that gives hope in a terribly frustrating sport, or a pocketbook opening from a wealthy rider who may also consider sponsorship for you because you helped them and they appreciate your talents. I guess you will never know. You cannot speak about everyone "helping each other" and then discriminate as you have. This is shameful, and very disappointing. I used to really admire you.
Jeff
37 weeks 5 days ago

A solid foundation is best built by an expert in their field.

If you don't like teaching the basics, that's your call. Just say it as it is and you'll have a lot less lower level students to deal with. Of course, you might scare off a few of the higher level students who might think they are undeserving of your knowledge too. I think that it is worthwhile for a person who wants to advance in the sport to learn the basics from the best available knowledge that they can access early on, a specialist in their field, otherwise they might discover holes in their training and have to move backwards. Seen it all the time. It's easier to build a solid foundation in the beginning than it is to patch it up later.
Linn
37 weeks 5 days ago

Right on the money!

Catherine's post reminds me of an eCards meme that has been floating around: most people don't need a $35,000 horse; they need a $1000 horse and $34,000 in lessons. I spent a part of my summer as an observer at several riding camps. The riders had minimum requirements to participate (certain levels of recognized shows, jump heights in competition, etc.) and yet many of the riders were sorely lacking in the basics. There were position problems, balance issues, etc. that prevented many of the participants from fully benefiting from the lessons in the various sessions. It doesn't matter if a rider is going 2'3" or 3'6", training or third level, the basics are the basics. It is a poor allocation of both the participant's money and the clinician's time if all that is covered is something they should have already handled with their trainer at home. Perhaps the trainer would be better served by riding in or intently auditing clinics in order to expand their own "bag of tools" so they can better prepare their students for a more beneficial experience the next time around.
meupatdoes
37 weeks 5 days ago

What clinic is this inferior

What clinic is this inferior trainer going to ride in or audit if NOBODY IS GOOD ENOUGH TO FILL IT? People in far off areas 1.) don't have good local options, but 2.) apparently shouldn't fill good clinician's clinics with the lower level riders either because that is a waste of the clinician's time. So unless their are 8 or 9 upper level horse and rider pairs who just happen to be miraculously springing forth from the void in bumbleville, CHS will leave everyone to their crappy local trainers until they spontaneously exceed the local knowledge base and become good enough to lesson from her, at which point the trainers in question will FINALLY have something they can ride in and audit. Makes perfect sense!
Catherine Haddad
37 weeks 5 days ago

Ladies, Let me be more

Ladies, Let me be more clear. I AM ONE PERSON. I cannot train the entire base of beginners in this country although from those I see in clinics, I think that I should. The basics are not being emphasized and not being taught as they should be in the USA. Otherwise, all of the beginning level riders who show up in my clinics would be able to sit the trot, create decent contact, turn right and left, stop and go. Since I cannot train them all, SEND ME THEIR TRAINERS, I DO NOT CARE HOW ADVANCED THEY ARE. IF THEY ARE TEACHING, THEY SHOULD BE LEARNING. All trainers need to learn good basics and teach good basics. Let me be helpful to them. I cannot teach any more than I am already teaching. I cannot put any more energy or passion into making people learn. So send me the riders who will teach other riders and my skills and time will be put to the best use. How many of you critics know how to give a proper longe lesson to teach correct sitting? How many of you can correct a contact problem? Clearly, not enough! Ask yourself, "If I can improve my own riding and teaching skills, will it help advance the sport of dressage in the USA?" If the answer is yes, call me.
blondmane
37 weeks 5 days ago

AMEN sister!! There are too

AMEN sister!! There are too many "trainers" who can't get their own horses on the bit, let alone teach there students to do it. I admire my trainer because she enables me to learn, develops my skills as I advance up the levels (at 4th Level now) and does not feel threatened by me as far as competing for clients. I am a great novice rider/novice horse trainer. She develops horses and riders to go up the levels. You are not the only BNT who does not want to teach beginners. I had an Olympic rider at the farm after you visited and her criteria was no one under 3rd Level. Thanks for being so honest and blunt and saying what many other BNTs want to say but don't have the gumption to admit!
Margo Hoagland
37 weeks 5 days ago

Bravo

We Americans have been at this dressage thing for such a short time and many people started in very different forms of riding we need to admit where we are with this sport. It is important to learn from the people who have a history and knowledge. That Ms Haddad-Staller is expected to teach people how to hold their reins or how to sit the trot only magnifies the problem of how shallow our base is in this country. We need to teach the trainers to teach they also need to know how to ride(usually with success in the show ring) and understand the progressive training of the horse. Her point that we need to talk to each other is extremely important we need to share with each other not always be in competition. Competition is great in the show arena not necessary in the warm up or at clinics or forums.
GabbyG
37 weeks 5 days ago

Trainer isolation and stagnation

Its possible the trainer who brought CHS in did offer the clinic to outside trainers had no takers. Many trainers will only have one highly selected non-threatening clinician come to their farm over and over and their students are discouraged from going elsewhere. We had George Theodorescu clinics in my area twice a year for about 5 years that I helped organize. Out of probably 25-30 busy professional trainers within 150 miles, less than 5 ever came to these clinics over the entire period. It seemed as though the closer they were, the less likely there were to come. Not a single person from a barn less than 20 miles away ever rode or even audited. I think there is too much possessiveness and insecurity among trainers to have them get out and admit they could learn from someone else like the CHS is suggesting, and even risk looking less than perfect. One of my favorite things to watch was George having people ride changes one-handed (something I believe CHS has mentioned here). The reactions to this process were on either end of a spectrum: those who try hard, understand the benefit of having a weakness exposed and laugh at themselves when things go awry. The others just get pissed off, continually "cheat" to keep up a better appearance, and usually were never seen again.
TRLMH08
37 weeks 5 days ago

Thank you standing up in what you believe!

It is easy to sit back & critize others for standing up for what they believe. You don't have to agree but be thankful you are able to voice your opinion. Words can be like poison, toxic for both parties, so choose your words carefully. I am an amateur who has lived and tried to find quality trainers in various states with every transfer from my ex-husband's job. It amazes me how many trainers cannot explain what they are trying to convey. Finding a good trainer who can teach solid foundations is 10 times harder than anything I've ever experienced. I think my money is well spent on a trainer who actively seeks learning experiences on various horses & brings it back for all of us to learn from. Teaching is hard! Riding is much easier as you do not have to explain what you felt, how you interrupted your horse's reactions & what your end results were. I take my helmet off to those trainers who can do that! Furthermore, I have wasted too much money riding in a clinic with a very well known trainer who sat back & cheered me on...... I am not looking for some "name" to blow smoke up my skirt! My work my marginal at best. And to think my then trainer encouraged me to ride with this individual! I beg you as trainers to stop before you throw another stone at CHS & take a good look in the mirror. Are you giving us amateurs a solid foundation to build our dressage futures? Stop and think about that. None of us are too good to stop learning!
paulaedwina
37 weeks 5 days ago

The issue isn't that we want to stop learning...

or that anyone denies we need more trainers. Although I do get tired of the comparisons to Europe -we are not Europe. It's the contempt in the writing; "Sadly, a large portion of my days away from home are spent teaching the most rudimentary fundamentals of riding to people who have already been in the saddle for a number of years. Years, Rita! These people are trying like hell to learn the most basic principles of riding and are struggling along at the pace of a rabid garden snail." That's not clever, it's rude in my opinion. Look, I teach college level microbiology and regularly I have students who don't have enough algebra to understand titrations, dilution math, or other operations. I could berate them and make them feel small. I could go on about how their high schools left them lacking this basic and necessary skill. Or I can teach them some algebra. So I am offended on behalf of those people who paid their money and will likely recognize themselves in her writing. Let us not in the next breath ask why dressage seems to be growing less popular in regions. Just my opinion of course.
meupatdoes
37 weeks 5 days ago

Oh, ok. Let me take a good

Oh, ok. Let me take a good look in the mirror. Here goes. Yes, it is hard to find people who can teach the basics. Perhaps because it is not easy trying to be one of them. I try to bring good quality instruction to the backwater area in which I live and boy do I get it from all sides. First of all the horses are generally remedial and have issues, so I hop up, hang on, and try to resolve everything step by step. Of course the owners want faster progress since board is expensive and they want a horse they can ride. Sorry, I'm not the one who told you to buy I it and I am not the one who messed it up, I am just the one trying to fix it (while it tries to spin and bolt and whatever else, btw, you're welcome). I try to teach the humans the basics and sometimes these poor beleagured amateurs who want their trainers to look in the mirror prefer to ride with someone else who lets them do more. They want to go to shows now, not spend three months at walk and trot building a good training foundation in their horse. They can and do go to other trainers for that, in a snap. My other favorites are the ones who show up to clinics with the BNTs we can lure in but refuse to lesson with any locally. It's not my fault whoever is filling this slot can't get their horse on the bit. They refuse to take a lesson from anyone who is not flying in from at least 1,000 miles away. Have I mentioned I don't HAVE to do this? I'm a lawyer in real life. I own my own FEI horse. Not the "several" I apparently should bring to a CHS trainer-only symposium, but I do have the one. I don't NEED to get up at 5am to ride other people's remedial projects before heading into work. I don't NEED to struggle endlessly to attract and keep clients who actually will tolerate learning exactly these basics, so that they can be better riders for their horses. If they won't listen to my instruction I don't NEED to try to find them quality "bigger name" instruction that they will listen to. I don't NEED to ride under pressure from owners who want their horses to be doing more sooner, to be going to shows faster, teach people who don't want my advice because it's too boring to ride on a circle and what the hell do I know anyway, I don't need to pass up riding my own horse so that lesson students can learn from him, I need exactly none of this. I could get twice as much sleep and just ride my FEI horse around, have a significantly lower injury risk, do my own thing and have to put up with zero crap. But instead I have this pathalogical need to spread quality instruction to people who could not otherwise afford it, because I can see how many people here have no other options, so I slash my rate to $40 a pop and drive 45 minutes one way for one lesson on the side of a hill Sunday morning and keep going for 12 hours straight on the weekends. I take sh*t from horses, owners, students, barn owners, the god damn barn cat, you name it, and now we can add the COTH blogs to the list. So it's really great to read about how those shoddy local trainers aren't installing the basics and CHS is apparently the only one in the universe who can save us. I should just "SEND MYSELF" to her for 18 hours of driving and some instruction and then when I return magically all of the horses will stop being remedial and all of the clients will want to go slower and more deliberately with their horses, we will all go on horse show moratorium for the summer, clients will flock to me and everyone will listen to my advice and actually do what I say. Or you know what else I can do? Infinitely reduce the amount of crap I have to put up with on a daily basis by hanging up my shingle, focus only on my own horse and my own learning, and let everyone else make their own way up the ladder without feeling any compunction to help. I can play the "teaching the basics isn't worth my time and effort" card too. I already know how to ride, why "wear myself out" teaching people how to hold the reins? Who needs it, honestly? Forget this noise. If someone has an FEI horse they want me to ride around, call me.
kmchansen
37 weeks 4 days ago

Misplaced frustration

In my opinion, I think the point she is trying to make is valid. Yes, riders that don't have the basics down don't really need to be coming to her clinics and should spend their time/money with local trainers getting those basics down. However, it's the tone in this article that is so alarming and honestly, very rude. Although this is suppose to be about "training the trainers", the blame is put on the riders who seem to be getting the blame in this article. CHS states she doesn't have a screening process- unfortunately, that is not the riders fault. If you feel so strongly that these riders shouldn't attend, make a better effort to screen them. Sort of like the saying "if you know better, you do better", how are riders who in many cases don't have access (geographically, etc.) suppose to know that they have holes in their basics? For many, attending a clinic with her could have been a present to themselves or something really special. Although the title says otherwise, it is apparent from this article's tone and hurtful comparisons that the riders are blamed. I wonder how many of the riders signed up for the rest of her clinics will end up attending now? Yes, this is an overall problem in the States because there isn't a truly regulated training program that ensure all trainers are licensed. I am a local trainer and understand the frustration of seeing some riders who don't know skills that they should at a certain point, but they can't be blamed and they are here.
words of wisdom
37 weeks 4 days ago

While the sentiment of

While the sentiment of frustration with teaching beginners is valid, here's the part that I have a problem with: "To show up for training with an accomplished rider before you are ready to benefit from his or her knowledge is bad form and disrespectful." Any teacher with a larger base of knowledge than their student has something that the student can benefit from. Yes, it may not be CHS's preference to teach lower-level students, and that's fine. But I honestly cannot believe that she could possibly feel that the students do not benefit from her knowledge. As others have mentioned, there's a lot to be learned by watching someone else do your job, and if your job is teaching beginners, it can be very edifying to see how someone else would teach that same student; it can give you additional tools to help them progress at a pace faster than that of a "rabid garden snail" (a phrase that, frankly, I found to be exceptionally offensive-- did it occur to CHS that maybe these people would like to improve at a faster pace, but are limited in terms of training, horsepower and finances to whatever pace they are currently progressing at? Not all of us are going to be world-class riders) Horse sports, especially at the upper levels, are intimidating enough, regardless of discipline. Clinicians like CHS just fuel that intimidation, apparently. If I were a dressage trainer, I would now worry that my skills aren't up to snuff for her apparently exceptionally high standards of participation, which would make me less likely to ask for the help that she is insistent that I need. Additionally, should I have enough money that I were looking to sponsor an apparently talented rider, I would be looking for someone with a better attitude towards paying customers.
Chance Encounterr
37 weeks 4 days ago

CHS post

I have looked at it from the other end of the telescope. I have never thought it worth paying huge sums to get a famous trainer to give me basically the same advice I am already getting from my reg. teacher. Though, now that I am living where decent trainers are not common, and many of them depart in the winter, I can understand why people do it. I helped organize a clinic with Jan Ebeling, who was unfailingly gracious. Probably half the participants weren't getting much extra out of it, because his advice was what their reg trainer should have already been giving them; mainly they were on green horses. The other half were upper level riders/trainers and appreciated and could use what he was saying. I've seen other big time trainers come and be presented with riders that had no business there. I've heard workaday trainers hope that if their students won't listen to them, maybe they will listen to the famous clinician who says the same thing. It's a status thing to say I rode with so and so. If CHS wants to teach college and not elementary school, I don't blame her. But as long as we have no system in the US and no way for most students to know if what they are learning is valid or how good or not good they really are as riders, not much will change. Right now most rely on show scores. On the other hand auditing is a big bargain. More people should do it. To learn whether the horse is on the bit, leaning too hard on the hand, or has a fake contact, watch as many rides as you possibly can, read all the debates, and don't be intimidated because somebody famous has the horse's nose on his chest or dismissive of some no-name trainer whose horses are forward and happy. And look for someone who not just a nice rider but a really good trainer who gives as much thought to how to help people as he or she does to how to help horses.
farahmom
37 weeks 4 days ago

Puleeze!

In response to your blog re training the trainers: 1. If you are too busy to vet riders for your clinics it would be a simple matter to just require that all riders be 2nd level or above. 2. Clinics can be very difficult to fill. Horses become lame, riders can have unforeseen scheduling conflicts arise. Sometimes it is hard for the clinic sponsor to present the level of riders they would like. Sometimes we're just grateful for warm bodies who can afford to ride. 3. I'm sure you are being paid handsomely for your services -- suck it up and teach! 4. I ran clinics for many years taught by a leading American rider with considerable International credentials. When I first interviewed her about doing our clinics and asked her if she had restrictions on the level of riders she wanted, her reply to me was "NO, EVERYONE DESERVES TO LEARN". Food for thought!
apollotops
37 weeks 4 days ago

Disappointed!! "Let them eat cake"

CHS, you are not doing much to dispell the theory that dressage is an elitist sport. Where only those who can spend the big $ on top shelf horses and who have already been trained to the top level are welcome. I don't think you understand what we ammies are faced with, often in areas where there are ONLY clinics to learn from. Not all of us were lucky enough to have Bodo Hagen nearby to learn from. I struggled for years finding a local trainer who could teach me correctly. All I could find was the 'yank 'em and spank 'em' variety that I knew was incorrect. I wanted to learn correct and classical, so I went to clinics as that was the best education available to me. After reading this blog, I am SOOOO grateful that the BNT that now trains me regularly(I met doing a clinic) is willing to teach little old, insignificant me, and has not left to me to be led down an incorrect path of bad riding!!! Fortunately for us little people working hard to be great riders, there are others at the top who are willing to teach us!
CryCoy
37 weeks 4 days ago

It's Time to Teach the Bloggers About Marketing

Rather than posting a defense of your position regarding the need for qualified riders at your clinics, you could simply advertise your clinics as being exclusively for riders or trainers and horses proficient at a certain level or above. Or, if you want to really target your demographic and achieve your goal of training the trainers, look at the results of shows from around the country. Host your clinics in areas where there is a concentration of riders who have successfully competed at or above the level that you want to instruct. Then, personally invite them to attend your clinic. This will make the selected riders feel special and ensure that you have qualified students. No one wants the embarrassment of being in a clinic where they are not wanted. In the same way that riders need qualified instruction, in the future I hope you will please seek guidance from experienced equine marketing professionals before posting blogs of this sort. It is not that your opinion is wrong. It is just that saying it in this way is bad for the already fragile U.S. equestrian marketplace. During a time when the amateur base of all riding disciplines is turning towards less structured forms of riding or leaving altogether (due to expense and exclusionary practices), we do not need to contribute any further to the decay of their interest in our sports. We need to all be making a concentrated effort to encourage new riders and protect their egos and dreams, regardless of their ability. Their love for the sport is what fuels the equestrian economy. Remember, a solution always produces better results than criticism.
Obi Licioso
37 weeks 4 days ago

Yes Ma'am

I am sure to NOT attend any of your clinics Madam, since I have no doubt as an amateur I am "not advanced enough". But I WILL attend clinics by professionals who travel from Europe to teach people like me. And I will gladly spend my hard earned (not sponsors) money to have someone take me yet another step toward what might be an Unrealistic goal of riding at GP level, given that I have no talent. I will follow those clinicians and root for them when they show and happily purchase products they endorse. Who am I you might ask???? Only an insignificant one of many amateurs whose interest and support keep this sport ALIVE. Yep I am one of those countless faces in the grandstands. Because you see I AM DRESSAGE, even if I never make it anywhere my love for the sport is pure. Its not about status. I am afraid you have missed the whole point of holding clinics. Sincerely ONE OF MANY
KnockKnockKnockPenny
37 weeks 4 days ago

Train the Trainers

Oh jeez. This topic is a hot one. I have mixed feelings. I appreciate Catherine's honesty as well as her right to train anyone she likes. After all, it is her career and she should do what makes her happy. I also agree we need more training for all the trainers/instructors in this country. However, I don't really see the connection with Catherine teaching trainers to ride better at the upper levels and how that will help them to train their lower level students. It will make them better riders and better competitors, but not necessarily better instructors/trainers. There is a distinct difference between being a good rider and a good instructor. Sometimes one does not make the other so. Catherine - I'm wondering if you would like to offer a suggestion on how to make better instructors, rather than just better upper level riders?
winding down
37 weeks 4 days ago

I think you need to consider

I think you need to consider why the top riders do not choose to ride in your clinics. I am sure the trainers are advertising your clinics in a wide radius. Perhaps you should be honest with yourself and think about why these top riders are obviously choosing to skip your clinics. The only people who the trainers can find to fill your clinics are the lower level riders. time for some self-reflection?
jpwalkerosa@tds.net
37 weeks 4 days ago

train the trainers

Yes,unfortunately your attitude has derailed the origin of this whole subject. Too bad because THAT my friend is EXACTLY where and why dressage and its riders get the profile of being DQs. And better than all the other equestrian disciplines out there. It is an elitist attitude. Bad for business. The same thing can be said in a much kinder way. So, too bad I can't see past all this hogwash to the real issue, cause I am sure I would have something to say, but, I can't remember what it was! And just a side note, we amateurs run the show and the business of dressage, not the upper level riders. We buy the tack, we buy the horses, we pay for the lessons. Get a grip. Reword what you write and reprogram your attitude. Then we will listen to what you have to say.
Catherine Haddad
37 weeks 4 days ago

My apologies to those of you

My apologies to those of you who I have offended with my elitist attitude. When I write my blog I always try to write as if I am writing to a friend, and I do realize that the attitude that crept off the page this time was not well interpreted by people who do not know me. I come from nothing. I became a successful rider by putting every penny I have earned into my own further education. I still pay for training once a month. I am not sponsored and I support my own horse habit at the highest level. I have taught hundreds of people how to ride. I have given more lunge lessons and on the bit lessons than anyone can imagine. I have given Open Training Days in Florida, free of charge. I've spent hours filming video for online training sites. In the last two months I have given over 200 riding lessons in clinics--some to para riders, some to advanced able body riders and some to complete beginners. Every single one of them has improved or learned something because of my focus on the basics. My frustration now lies in the fact that I find the basics EASY to teach. I can prove this to anyone who hires me. So I cannot understand why someone has to fly me half way around the country to tell a student how to bend a horse. Why are so many people struggling for so long to sit the trot, put their horses on the bit and ride in a balanced way? Why are these people not being taught the basics by the very trainers who put them in my clinics?? And more often than not, the advanced riders in a clinic show up, ride and leave. They don't even stay around to learn how to teach these beginners. We cannot advance dressage as a sport in this country until we work together to educate our trainers. Don't throw useless anger at me from the amateur. I have always given 100% anyone who wants to learn, 95% of the time to amateurs. I have never limited my clinics to advanced riders only and I never will. But do you know how many riders in the USA believe that you put a horse in a frame by see sawing on the bit???! Something must be done. Education for our trainers is the only answer I can see at the moment because I have already tried other avenues open to me. Your points are all well taken. Everyone who knows me thinks I am too blunt. However, there are lots of people in this business who will take your money and tell you that you look great. I will not. I will fix your riding. I would like to see hundreds of other trainers learn to do the same. I care enough about this sport to stir the pot.
paulaedwina
37 weeks 4 days ago

Too bad this wasn't your original blog!

IMO you've said much more constructive things here than in the blog. I personally don't have a problem with blunt. In fact my personality prefers it. I don't need anyone to blow smoke up my skirt at all, and I don't think that attitude is so rare. I wish this had been more your original blog submission frankly. It makes more sense, IMO.
Embrace Wisdom
37 weeks 4 days ago

BRAVO !!!

Catherine you are spot on!!! Thank you for speaking out. Disregard the wrath coming your way. Our "system" here in the US is flawed in too many ways to mention. The common thread of all of the problems is some people's lack of intellectual integrity. In order to learn we must take a brutally honest inventory of what we know versus what we need to know to become better riders. Too many people prefer ego massages to authentic instruction. Many people think that if they ride with big name riders they will somehow become like those riders, without realizing that riding, teaching, & training are three separate, but related activities. Winning ribbons doesn't make teachers. "Certified Instructors" often can only regurgitate curriculum, sometimes with little real understanding of the basics. Many judges who use their credentials as some sort of guarantee that they can teach, well.. I have felt for a very long time that the time is ripe to create a new, independent riding academy patterned after one of the European national schools, without granting the concession to all of the USDF & USEF officials who have already proven that they can't get the job done.It is going to take a very ambitious, virtuous group of individuals to get the job done without letting nepotism creep in.
poltroon
37 weeks 4 days ago

Training trainers is different from training riders

You said it yourself, but you failed to follow through in what you wrote. *Teaching people to ride is not the same at teaching people to train riders.* If you find the basics EASY to teach, maybe it's time to reflect about that, and what it is that you do that is so effective and so powerful. Break it apart. How do you build it? Can you write a recipe? Why not have a dedicated clinic weekend about training riders? Get some demo riders, demonstrate a lunge lesson, talk about what you are doing and why, video it. Take close feedback from the trainers - is this helpful in teaching their students? Stay in touch with the ones that click with you, chat about student issues. You have this blog soapbox right here. So what is it you do with a rider that is very beginnery? The eventing instructor certification program took on this mentoring and lesson plan system with their Instructor Certification Program. Maybe it's time to rebuild the dressage version of it to step up the game, to make it more about mentoring and development of teachers, rather than evaluation. There is a whole theory and discipline about teaching athletes and sport to humans that cuts across all sport. We could benefit greatly by bringing more of this into equestrian sport.
Catherine Haddad
37 weeks 4 days ago

I do what you suggest in

I do what you suggest in every clinic. And since writing the blog I have had four clinic offers in various parts of the country to set up symposium style learning for trainers. This is what I hoped to achieve. Many of you complain that I am rude/blunt/offensive. More of you appreciate the honesty but don't write that in the comments here. To those of you who understand my desire to get this sport rolling in the USA, thank you. Thank you for choosing positive action in the face of my frustration. I can work with that!
paulaedwina
37 weeks 4 days ago

Couldn't just apologize and leave it alone, huh?

There is a difference between being blunt and being rude. Example: Observing we need to formalize training curricula because you're seeing holes in riders' foundations is blunt. Contemptuously describing people's progress in terms of rabid garden snails is rude. Taking personal insult when these people pay to come to your clinic is arrogant. To now imply that those who don't like your rudeness somehow just don't understand your good intention is specious.
Catherine Haddad
37 weeks 3 days ago

PaulaEdwina, Are you happy

PaulaEdwina, Are you happy when you or one of your students progresses at the pace of a rabid garden snail? I am NOT. I want to see progress in all my riders. And I hope that other trainers do as well. I FIGHT for the people who train with me and put EFFORT into making them better. If I see someone struggling with a major issue in a clinic, like contact, and I get that issue fixed in two days in May, I do not expect to start all over again with the same issue in July. I expect their home trainer to TRAIN that rider so that progress is visible in two months. What I have finally come to understand is that the trainer needs more education, not the student. Describing me as specious is rude. Catherine Haddad
paulaedwina
37 weeks 3 days ago

Catherine Haddad Staller .....

Since we're going with proper names in your comments section instead of user names, I already made my point about this. I wouldn't talk about them with such contempt. Despite my frustrations with the education system sending less-than-prepared students to college I would just buckle down and add my influence to their experiences. Teachers have teacher's lounge where, like Vegas, anything said in the teacher's lounge stays in the teacher's lounge. I like that in teachers and trainers and instructors. The truth is it takes a great deal of courage for a student to lay herself bare and show her inadequacies. In fact I've had students say that they had been lost in a discussion for a while but were concerned that they would be wasting the class's time if they spoke up and asked for clarity in the session. I assure them of two things: first, someone else is also lost and hoping another student would have the courage to say so. Second, it's my job to get them unlost, they're paying tuition for this service and should feel entitled to it. I don't take offense at learning gaps. I do not see learning gaps as an affront to my expertise. I DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE FEEL SMALL FOR THEIR LEARNING GAPS. And for the record, I didn't describe you as specious -I described your implication that the only ones offended were the ones not interested in the truth as specious. EDITED TO ADD: You know what? This discussion is academic for me. I'm an old fat woman who rides a draft cross nowhere near the skill set you're interested in so don't sweat my opinion. I'll likely never be on your radar so don't worry about it.
michelle
37 weeks 3 days ago

Awesome Catherine. You know

Awesome Catherine. You know how many are supporting you I wouldn't worry about trying to make everyone happy:) Keep it up and you will change the face of U.S. Dressage. Don't fret the small stuff. It's refreshing to have a rider/trainer at your level care about riders that most are just happy to take their money and walk away and never give them another thought. You can't help those that read something into your posts that is just not there. You clearly want to help those at the lowest levels and I applaud you for that. You must have been a very frustrating point to write your blog and it might have come off harsh but good for you for apologizing and explaining things. Keep plugging away and leave all the negative people behind.
Ghazzu
37 weeks 4 days ago

Thank you *so* much for

Thank you *so* much for helping me trim my list of BNTs that I would like to do a clinic with.
Toadie
37 weeks 4 days ago

I'm offended

Let me clarify. I understand Mrs. Staller's complaint. The same complaint in the eventing/jumper world is not only annoying/frustrating, but down right dangerous. The big picture she's complaining about is not easily remedied, but she's made her frustration personal and that's easily remedied. She should have rider qualifications for her clinics, and if the clinics don't fill then, like she said "I have a deep pocket of skills". She can find another way to supplement her income. This blog on a PUBLICation is not the place for her very personal complaint. Take it to a trainer's symposium, or the dressage worlds equivalent of the ICP.
SCWDressage
37 weeks 4 days ago

Rude, but, Right

I watch your DTO videos almost to the exclusion of the other videos. Why? Because I can understand you. Your information is usable to me. How much of your information I have used to help my clients, I cannot begin to count. Your initial blog post came across as elitist and rude, even I, a fan, will admit that readily. But you are right. Now what are we going to do about this? We need schools. We need to train our trainers. And, we need financial support. I live in an area where my clientele cannot afford to pay me what I am worth, in spite of the enormous risk I take riding their remedial horses and the toll it takes on my body. I teach them anyway, like the post from the lawyer with the FEI horse. My experience as a trainer mirrors hers exactly. I don't need to do this. But I can't NOT do this. Like most trainers, I came to this because I happened to be decent with the horses, and many people assume a coach this makes. In spite of my long lineage of teachers, and my teaching degree(in art), I find teaching what I do to riders to be extremely difficult.I can teach someone to draw much more easily than I can teach someone to put their horse into the connection. And the USDF's requirements that I have STUDENTS who have already gotten Second level scores and that I have four years experience, does my education as a coach no favors. They have only recently changed this I see, but why only just now?! I have to travel a minimum of 5 hours round trip for training, but unfortunately rarely do clinicians come to that area and the only one that does I would never in a million years ride with, so I wind up travelling TEN hours round trip, five or six times a year, to further my education. I watch these trainers coach ALL of the students, and gain valuable insight. I need to be able to go and do this for months, years, at a time. But I can't-I have a life, I am married,I have a family, I would bankrupt myself to do this. I will never be a good enough rider to garner sponsorship, I am too old to be a working student(aka slave) although I did do it in my early thirties in spite of having been a very successful professional in my own field. I endured the poor treatment,the lack of respect for my humanity and intelligence, because I wanted to learn, that badly. But since there's no SYSTEM of trainer education in this country that is mandatory, I mostly just learned what NOT to do, how not treat horses, how not to treat clients...Well at least I learned SOMEthing. Use your stage for making a change please...I know you have paid your dues, I am familiar with your career. And maybe find a friend to edit your posts before posting them :) Your very valid points are lost on those who are offended.
michelle
37 weeks 3 days ago

Great post SCWDressage:)

Great post SCWDressage:)
Catherine Haddad
37 weeks 3 days ago

Stacey, I asked my editor

Stacey, I asked my editor for an opinion before this blog was published. We both worried that it might be misinterpreted but she encouraged me to publish without further edits. She felt this is something that needs to be said. I agreed. It is my intention to be blunt but not rude. People who ride with me will tell you that I am a very positive teacher who GETS RESULTS. I am just overworked and in view of that, it makes sense to me to train people who teach (at any level) rather than individuals with basic problems that could be solved by ... a well trained teacher. I appreciate those of you who have tried to follow my logic and not get taught up in a misinterpretation of my attitude. It IS bad form to show up for any lesson in any profession without being properly prepared. I would not take piano lessons from a master before learning to read music. Catherine
apollotops
37 weeks 3 days ago

Contradiction

First you said your clinics are "Wide open, that is, to anyone who can organize a clinic with at least three or more trainers participating on multiple horses. If any slots are left unfilled, an advanced student of any one of the trainers is welcome to join the fray." . Then you said "I have never limited my clinics to advanced riders only and I never will. ". Which is it? The original blog is very clear that you don't want to waste your incredible talent training riders who are less than top shelf advanced. I was a huge fan of your training and teaching and am very sad to say that the self glorifying attitude in this blog has sqaushed that. I wouldn't personally attend a CHS clinic now, but I will be sure to relay to Steffen Peter, Tina Konyot, Guenter Seidel and the like that you would be willing to teach them.
michelle
37 weeks 3 days ago

You crack me up Apollotops

You crack me up Apollotops and where in her blog did she say she needed to teach steffen, tina and guenter. Can we read what she wrote and not embellish.
Catherine Haddad
37 weeks 3 days ago

How do you define "advanced" rider?

How do you define "advanced" rider? I do not define that as a terrified 65 year old with a 19 yr old horse who tosses his head every time contact is made with the bit. Someone who can't canter and asks me halfway through the lesson, "Should my horse be looking to the inside when he bends?" Why would anyone (rider, trainer, clinic organizer) in their right mind put this rider in front of me? Is our country so lacking in good basic trainers that someone else cannot teach this rider how to ride into the contact?? I define an advanced rider in this country as someone who can sit the trot, ride with elastic contact, bend, turn, stop and go. I don't care what level of horse they are riding or what level they are attempting to show. Basics: Sitting trot, rising trot, ability to ride the horse on the bit in walk, trot, canter and the transitions between. Stop, turn, go. Dressage 101. Advanced rider: Someone who has a good grasp of the basics and seeks to improve them as they attempt to advance their horse at any level. Amateur Rider: Somehow who does not make a living riding horses. Professional Rider: Someone who makes a living teaching other people to ride or training horses. Trainer: Someone who teaches other people to ride or trains horses whether they are an amateur or professional. I was a huge fan of Bodo Hangen, Willi Schultheis, Rudolf Zeilinger and Morten Thomsen. I went to learn from them because I needed knowledge. I did not feel qualified to judge their attitudes nor did I find it necessary. I trained with them AFTER Jan Macafee and Maryal Barnett taught me my first basics. Why do the people commenting here pretend that you can succeed at algebra before learning 2 + 2 =4? And why do you think it is rude that I point out the fact that more people need to be teaching basic math? Tina, Guenter and Steffen do not need my help. I am available for those of you who do. Catherine Haddad
vadressagerider
37 weeks 3 days ago

Sometimes the truth hurts...

But at least she is saying how she feels. I don't know why so many people are bent out of shape about this blog post. How do you guys think one gets to ride in a Steffen Peters clinic? You have to APPLY, and then all applications are scrutinized and the final roster for the clinic is entirely dependent on all of the things (level, ability of horse and rider, talent for upper levels etc) Catherine mentions in her article. I think it makes complete sense.
Ghazzu
37 weeks 3 days ago

It *would* make sense if...

Ms. Haddad *did* that. What she has done, in contrast, is to avoid putting requirements for who can attend in place upfront, then take the money of these hapless amateurs and follow it up by writing contemptuously about them. That displays a substantial lack of class.
Catherine Haddad
37 weeks 3 days ago

I would never describe any

I would never describe any student as being hapless. I find your insinuation off base. I have never taken money from any rider at any level without trying 100% to make a change in their riding. Nor have I written contemptuously about these people. I am horrified that their progress is garden snail slow because I know how much they are spending to learn to ride. I can only change a few things in two days which is why our trainers need to learn to advance such riders. I cannot be there every day. Stop writing on these blog comments if you are anonymous on a forum, "CM from Newell." Is that classy?
meupatdoes
37 weeks 3 days ago

Did you ask the terrified 65

Did you ask the terrified 65 year old if there is a trainer she lessons with regularly? Maybe she is one of the legions of people who rides dressage like the first Mongolian to ever pull a horse off the steppes, soldiering forth on their own with no help from anyone except the occasional clinic. I go to a lot of clinics and stand next to people who ride atrociously who moan, "Whatever will we doooooo until the clinician comes back???" Meanwhile there are other riders in the clinic who are local and could certainly help them. It is not my local-pro fault that they ride like sh*t on a pile when they REFUSE to lesson with any of us in between clinics. If she was lessoning with someone regularly, did you ask her if she was ok with her progress? Did you inquire if her trainer was auditing or riding that day? Did you look around at some of the other people in the clinic who DID ride well and see if you could make a training match? Perhaps some of the other people in the clinic know of a better local trainer that they use, or could help her themselves.
Catherine Haddad
37 weeks 3 days ago

Yes, obviously. I might be

Yes, obviously. I might be blunt but nobody will every call me unconscientious.
meupatdoes
37 weeks 3 days ago

What was her answer? Was

What was her answer? Was there someone who was taking her money every week or was she flying solo? In your experience across the people you have encountered who can not elicit three organized gaits from their horse, when you ask them if they lesson regularly what is the usual answer? I am just wondering if these students you encounter are actually lessoning at all outside of your clinics. I see plenty of people who can't reliably elicit three gaits in an organized manner, so I know a healthy population of such folks exists, but all the ones I know are people who never lesson at all (but will go to the occasional clinic). Not trying to be combative, just wondering if these people who ride so badly are really spending weekly money on lessons? Or just not taking them in the first place?
Catherine Haddad
37 weeks 3 days ago

Christina, You assume that

Christina, You assume that the 65 yr old was a woman which is a safe guess but untrue. And this brings to light how many assumptions are being made about what I wrote. The "rabid garden snail" comment for instance has been interpreted to mean that I don't like people who learn slowly. Bullshit. It frustrates me to see them struggling with such simple things because I know how easily the basics can be taught if instructors have the right knowledge. Many who suffer so clearly from a lack of basic training are indeed in regular training. And most of them for many years already. Almost all in fact, which is what led to me writing this blog. If you are in regular training with a professional, you should at least be learning to sit the trot, create elastic contact, ride all three gaits and the transitions in between. If you can already do all those things, then I think it is a great idea to seek help from an outside clinician. If you can't do those things AND YOUR TRAINER KNOWS IT, then go back to the drawing board (both of you). How many people who choose to be insulted by what I wrote have spent time on the longe line in recent years? Ever? How many of you are comfortable sitting the trot? I, and all of my dedicated students, prefer to sit the trot over riding rising trot because we have spent MANY YEARS developing our seats and it is comfortable for us. I do not believe it is acceptable to take someone's money every week and see no progress unless your student is riding just for fun. ( If that is the case, all the more power to you! But you don't have to ride in a a clinic with me unless you are there to learn real dressage because that is what I teach.) If you are riding just for fun, let your trainer take a lesson on your horse or some other rider in the stable who really wants to advance. This will help progress the sport in our country.
Ghazzu
37 weeks 3 days ago

My name *is* CM

My name *is* CM Newell. Sorry it isn't classy enough for you.
June 28, 2013

Oh Baby, What A Comeback!

Dear Rita,

Have you been wondering where I’ve been? Much time has passed since I last wrote. Where were we, Rita?

Florida, February, back injury, out of competition for the entire CDI season. What a bummer! I had just gotten Hotmail ready to go Grand Prix, Winyamaro was back in action, and I’d hoped I could qualify both of my horses during the winter shows for a short tour in Germany this summer.

Comments

twelvegates
42 weeks 2 days ago

...and I HELMET with a pink

...and I HELMET with a pink cover would have made a more brilliant statement....
randomness