Join Date: May 2010
Location: Queensland, Australia
I've picked up little bits and pieces from all the instructors I've had - they've helped me with all the horses I've ever ridden.
"Lift him up with your heels, pretend you're trying to shove him further between your legs"
"Heel before spur!"
"Eyes up! UP UP UP! Grab the mane!" (when doing cross country).
"If he's feeling flexed too far to the inside, counter flex then flex. If he's still too flexed, counter flex then flex. In time, he should become straight."
"When beginning a horse in shoulder-in, ride it in rising trot on the wrong diagonal from a 10m circle or smaller, this will help Joe get his legs underneath him. Once he's going alright, start doing it in sitting. The alternate until he's established it."
"This horse needs to know who's boss. Show him that you are the one wearing the pants. This could be a beautiful relationship if you don't let him get away with murder."
(So I watched in awe as this tiny 5 foot tall ex professional eventer climbed aboard my 16.2hh OTTB and did some beautiful dressage. That image will be forever in my mind...)
"If he doesn't listen the first time, ask harder. First comes squeeze, then nudge, then kick, then spur, then whip, then voice, then I 'spose I'll have to come and drag you out of there aye?"
"You will never be able to tire out a Thoroughbred. You are better off teaching a horse to do shoulder-in in walk and trot while he's competing Prep than putting up with an out of control horse that you've been trying to canter for months,"
And the one I cop each time I go to my cousin's place...
"Don't think I don't know why you stopped carrying a whip and opted for spurs! I'll go and find one of my own dressage whips if I have to! Now, I don't care how terrified you are, get out there and ride that horse or I'll find that dressage whip and use it on you!"
Apparently it works on me... I'm more scared of my lovely instructor than my rearing/bucking/spooking horse. But then again, he's the only one who can scare me enough into doing it.
...Every rider has that one horse that changes everything about them...