Monday, 31 July 2017

Confusing horse training jargon…

Mystical, humorous or deliberately elusive – the terms we use in the horse business can leave a rider scratching her head.  I was a coach’s worst nightmare - “What do you mean by that?” I’d ask . I rarely got a meaningful answer.
When coaching ,I’ll often press a rider to explain a term they’ve used. If they struggle to put it into words, we’ll unpack the idea and isolate the aids step-by-step. 
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Einstein.
Training a non- English speaking horse partner is complicated enough without including vague terms which a prompt riders to give vague signals and horses to be stressed out.  I get a kick out of those light bulb moments – my student grasps the “phonics” of a certain skill and gets results on her own.
So why do we do it? Why do we horse professionals have these weird terms? What are your thoughts?
Here are some of my ideas:
  • ·        Unique terms define my personal brand
  • ·        A little mystery  makes my clients more dependent on me
  • ·        I know how to do it, but struggle to explain it
  • ·        Some horse trainer lingo is just – funny!

So here’s some of the top terms I’m often unscrambling:
Pick up his shoulder. Dropping his shoulder. Drive him into the bridle. Disengage his hip. Engage his hind end. Ride him in front of your leg. And the ever elusive half- halt.
What are your befuddling horse training terms?

Saturday, 29 July 2017

A unique “Horse Show Checklist”!

Heading off to a show this weekend?.
(condensed from hunter judge, Laura Kelland ‘s May17 blog)

DON’T go to the show  if:
§   you aren’t getting excellent rides at home, mentally and physically, both you and your horse.
§   you haven’t taken your horse off-property in many months (go somewhere lower-key first).
§   you haven’t done your “homework”: both you     and your horse are fit, and riding AT LEAST one level (regardless of discipline of riding) higher than what you will be doing at the show.
§   you are struggling with a component that you will need at the show.
§   you absolutely HAVE TO take home the winning ribbon/prize/championship (well, ok, unless you are there to win thousands of dollars or the Olympics).
§   you are unprepared in terms of tack/supplies