Trainers and Teachers

The more I teach, the more I believe a lot of harm is being done by trainers concentrating on the horse rather than the rider. Give me a problem horse and I'll nearly always see a problem rider.

One of my reasons for starting CRC was to highlight the existence of instructors who were not necessarily in the public eye but who had at least studied the work - if not taken lessons - from someone of impeccable background, well versed in the classical principles and who could make it sound simple. (The theory is simple, it's the practice that can be hard!)

To give you an example... The kind of instructor who knew the importance of, say, leg on AND leg off. Similarly, the ask and release of the fingers on the rein. Such a person would also see when the student is sitting too heavily or moving about too much. They would also know how to correct the rider who was restricting their horse on a circle by not allowing their own outside shoulder to come round ... And so on.

So - long before we trainers start to correct the horse, we should be addressing those matters which make it so hard for horses to give their all to the task in hand.

It would be nice to see more lower level trainers on our Directory too. You don't have to train to Grand Prix. What the average rider needs is a shrewd pair of eyes on the ground to look at them as well as their horse, and to differentiate between the different aids eg. Leg on to go forward is a different feel from legs on to go to halt. This needs to be explained.

Once the rider is in balance, and clear about the aids, the horse then has a chance to operate happily and easily without restriction.

So if you know of an excellent teacher who fills that criteria and who your horse likes too- do encourage them to join CRC and join our growing list. Experience and a good eye counts for a lot more than exam results.


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