What little reminders have helped you in your riding!
From the time you started to now and continuing what little pieces of information have you gathered, sayings you've heard or experienced you've had and learned from and the like have helped you become a better rider.
A few of mine that are constantly repeated in my head:
Heels down thumbs up
If I feel myself get frustrated or angry tie the horse and walk away
most mistakes my horse makes are my fault...breathe and figure out what did I do wrong.
Sit up, shoulders back, hands down, chin up. GOOD JOB!!!!
Look between the ears, look down and you owe me a cookie (from my first ever trainer from 3 years old to 10 years old and yes I was required to bring cookies to the next lesson)
"If you look down that's where you'll end up"
And with Caleigh under the instruction of my current trainer "INSIDE LEG INSIDE LEG GUIDE HER....THERE YA GO FEEL THAT?! inside rein outside leg sit up!!! THERE YA GO!!!"
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.
The BIGGEST things I've had to learn, slowly, but I did! :
"Just R-E-L-A-X", I would get so tense and feel like "we have to get this, this, and this done", I forgot that I had to go slow and just breathe.
"Don't get frustrated or mad at the horse, YOU'RE not asking him clearly or right." I get mad now when I see someone complain about the horse when riding because all I can think is "it's your fault" e_e
When doing sitting trot: "There is a £20 note/Winning lottery ticket on your saddle if you don't sit on it then it will blow away now SIT!"
Head, shoulder, hip, heel.
Inside leg, outside hand.
when im trick riding im always saying in my mind "dont screw this up!, dont screw this up!"
That the bad days just make you appreciate the good ones even more
"You're like a darn married couple, when you're in a bad mood all he wants to do is avoid you and when you're in a good mood, he can't get enough of you." hahaha my friend
"Only the best riders fall, so what the heck are you still doing up there?" My trainer after my ex-horse took off in a mad moment of rodeo bronc.
"How many things are you going to try to get done today? Riding your horse, riding someone else's horse, doing chores, and running to the vet all in a 4 hour span? Well how many of those jobs are you gonna do half-...butted?" My trainer after I had a busy day, but didn't really need to do all of it right away.
"Rise and fall with the shoulder on the wall." is the one that has been jammed into my poor head so much!
Also "How many strides was that?!" from the militant BNT I used to ride with.
"Lift your baby toe" instead of heels down works like a charm.
You can learn from anyone...even if it's what not to do.
I should get my book out, haha i write down all the kelpful things and tricks that my trainers/clinicians tell me.
But when someone at the barn sees someone else looking down they say: "theres no money down there you know!"
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