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For students and staff alike

  • Be coachable.

  • Be committed to never ending self-improvement.

  • Learn, Do, Teach - Whatever you learn you should share back to the broader community generously.

  • If your horse is recreation for you you should be recreation for your horse.

  • Do it for the horse, not to him.

  • If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question, or asked the question wrong.

  • Put you heart in your hand and go rub your horse.

  • The barn should be a fun place- low stress, low drama- a place where people can relax and be themselves.

  • Horses don’t wear watches and they don’t think people should either.

  • Take the time it takes and it takes less time.

  • Kids should be on appropriately sized ponies for the health of their hips, so they are lower to the ground, and for empowerment and independence, and for the most transferable learning.

  • Parents and children should be able to appreciate and respect each other’s knowledge about horses. Parents should not feel taken advantage of and children should not feel micromanaged.

  • Good riders should be good riders no matter what saddle they are riding in and good horses should be good horses no matter what saddle is on them.

  • Neither people nor horses should ever have to feel scared, but those who never learn to work through fear and come out indignant, miss out on an essential life skill.

  • Horses and humans can learn to speak the same language. Facial expressions and body language are very powerful.

  • Horses and humans have goals that are not mutually exclusive. In fact, their goals are often the same when the situation is presented correctly.

  • The difference between coaching and instructing is that coaches believe that the athlete already has all the skills needed; they just need to figure out how to harness them. Instructors function under the belief that they need to give the student skills. We are coaches.

  • The coach’s job is to keep frustration low, safety high, and to help students and horses make steady progress. They do that by narrating what they see and feel in the horse and involving the student in choices about how to respond.

  • Horses are born light and responsive. They become dull with improper handling.

  • People’s and animal’s names are innately tied to their personalities and affect how others view them.   Horses should be given names that fit them and that draw out their best qualities.

Training Ideas:

  • Expect a lot, accept a little, reward the slightest try.

  • Isolate, Separate, Recombine

  • Smooth transitions, snappy departures.

  • Find out what happens before what happens happens.

  • Riders’ legs should cling to the horse like a wet towel, not grip or squeeze constantly.

  • Riders’ hands should be as sensitive as a horse’s skin.

  • Be as gentle as possible but as firm as necessary.

  • Do less sooner so you don’t have to do more later.

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