Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Advice

Well, I didn't even manage a full week of my new blogging schedule, partly because my internet's being dodgy and I can't edit my posts the way I like to and partly because I'm too lazy to really learn how to use the Blogger app on my phone (the phone is currently my only internet source).

So, I missed Friday and Monday, but then I saw the Viva Carlos blog hop posted today and thought, "Hey! I can get myself  back on track with that!"

Here goes: fingers crossed that I can get this posted and properly linked from my phone..... 

What's the best advice you've ever received from a trainer or other rider?

Years ago I worked for a very large, and usually angry, Swedish ex-cavalry officer. His training method mostly consisted of using his substantial size to muscle the horses around. My job was riding the sale horses, mostly young imports from Europe. 

One day I was assigned to ride an 18.2h 5 year old who had just arrived at the barn a few days before. I was about 20 minutes into what I thought was going to be a pretty good ride, when the 18.2h youngster decided to have a meltdown. His meltdown involved leaping, bucking, and some other aerobatics that I have repressed from my memory. 

Fortunately, I stayed on, got the youngster back under control and finished up my ride. Unfortunately, my big, angry Swedish boss saw the whole thing. 

After I put the horse away, he cornered me. I thought I was really in for it. He never minced words and had a knack for insulting his riders in multiple languages. I would need to take my shoes off to count all the riders who had fled from his barn in tears, never to return, in the short time that I worked there. But all he said to me was, "That horse forgot you were there. Make sure they know you're there."

Although I didn't agree with most of his training practices, that advice has stuck with me over the years. Even today, most of the accidents, misbehaviors and even simple training issues I encounter are a result of the horse forgetting the human was there and the human failing to make his or her presence known. 

What's the worst piece of advice you've ever received?

"You can't do that with a Thoroughbred."


  1. Great advice- hadn't even thought of that!

    Tbs are the best! :)

  2. Goes to show you can learn something from anyone if you're willing to listen. :D Thanks for sharing the story. It's crossed my mind before when out on a relaxing trail ride that it's probably a good idea to remind them you're up there every once in a while, but I hadn't really thought about it more than a passing thought. Good advice!

  3. Excellent. I hadn't thought about the first one but it sure rings true. And the comment about thoroughbreds -- yeah, don't be breed bigot. :-)

  4. That is a great piece of advice. Funny how somewhat negative experiences can yield some good lessons. I agree about the TB rudeness as well!

  5. This is related to advice Mark Rashid gives - make sure you don't stop riding . . .


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