What I wish I was told years ago; introspections of the commited Dressage rider

Sometimes some of us are lucky enough to ride with a clinician on occasion. On those occasions we usually look forward to it with great anticipation as we have high hopes of coming away with life shattering ah ha moments that completely fix our issues we are working on with our horses.

Experienced riders who clinic often know this is not the case. What I learned over time is that the time spent with that clinician is only as good as what I am willing to put in front of them.

It’s not so important to show off my riding abilities and my horse’s perfection as it is to show how I really ride and train. To allow my ride to look like crap and be ugly so that I can be observed and said trainer can give me honest feedback and suggest imperative changes.

Additionally, let’s talk agenda. We usually know in our minds going in what we are hoping to work on. Often riders never get to those things because they are stuck working on what the trainer wants to work on. This is obviously ok because the trainer wants to of course address the most obvious issues first. We as a rider, WANT this. But one also has to be willing to attempt to move forward within their session to begin to work on what THEY the rider, wanted to address. If the trainer feels they want to bring you back a few steps, they will say this. But if you don’t try to move forward to the next piece that you would like assistance on, often you will not ever get there.

In closing, have a plan, be open, and don’t be afraid to go where you need to go, it’s YOUR session, take some control of it!

 

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