I asked around on social media for the best advice ever received from a trainer. I've heard quite a few of these in some iteration, a few I've never heard but will take it to heart – next time I'm on a horse whenever that may be! ok, whining over – and others, well...it's best if you just read for yourself.
Before walking into the ring (first on course), my very first trainer told me "set the bar."
@droptopblonde / IG
"Never be in a hurry. Pretend you have all day, even if you don't. Horses take patience."
"Don't wait until it's time to go - GO until it's time to wait."
@adultammyesquire / IG
@motherandequestrian / IG
"Establish a good even pace before the first jump."
Brook Fredericks Doyle / FB
"Trust the process."
Moira Murty / FB
"Don't try to mold the horse to you, learn to ride the horse you're on."
@chawkk / IG
"Don't look down unless you plan to go there. Always keep looking and moving forward."
@kargo_chan / IG
"If you don't have straight in a circle, you won't be straight going towards the fence. And if you don't have their shoulder when you start towards the fence, you're f*cked. Every time. No matter what."
"Your job isn't over when his feet leave the ground, it's not over till you walk out of the ring. You ride, every step, with him. That doesn't mean over manage every step. That means making a plan and sticking with it, and adjusting as needed. But not sudden changes, small ones, as needed. Just because one jump doesn't go as planned doesn't mean you throw the whole plan out the window and wing it the rest of the way. Use what you know."
Amy Banachowski / FB
"Shorten your reins."
Mimi Polston / FB
"Your reins are not your seatbelt."
@mcehammond / IG
"Hands to (your horse's) nose."
@meaganlondon / IG
Deborah Walters Arnett / FB
When discussing if I should sell my mare, “Riding is supposed to be fun. You don’t look like you’re having fun with her and haven’t for a while. Let’s get you a horse to have fun with.”
Molly Basney / FB
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. (More of an axiom than advice)
Vanessa Corry Julsen / FB
“Get your canter pace early and keep it. “
Sarah Brooks / FB
"It is meant to be like a walk in the park. It’s so beautiful you want to take your time and enjoy it."
Stonehouse Stables (Toano, VA) trainer Tara Matthews Best / FB
"Short reins, long arms."
Laura Lohse / FB
"Counting (out loud if necessary) one, two, one, two, one, two..... to get and maintain the rhythm. I did not learn this technique until I was a re-rider in my late thirties. No one had ever taught me that as a junior. It made a huge difference in my riding. I still count out loud in my lessons and and while showing."
Another trainer (the one I currently ride with), "another good piece of advice: 'whatever happens, it’s not going to happen with your left hand!' In an attempt to thwart my incessant left rein pulling habit."
Allison Kratish / FB
"You’ll never be more than a 2nd level ride. - So I changed trainers and barn friends and am now (or was before quarantine) solidly schooling 2nd and playing with 3rd and 4th movements.
The one positive one though I got was “you need to change something ANYTHING and stop riding the same way and getting the wrong result. I don’t care what you change just CHANGE."
@CSpicola / Twitter
"Tara Mathews Best told me 'I'm in it to win it in my heart.”
I think about that one every time I have a ride that felt like it should have won the blue ribbon."
Aly Haynes-Traver / FB
"Think cosmically. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter if you chip in to the second jump of the two stride."
Erica Hoiness / FB
Deborah Day / FB
"Stare at it until you know where you are."
Norm Forbes / FB
"Sounds mean, but exactly what I needed to hear: 'You’re just not that big of a deal. You’re worried about screwing up and everyone seeing, but no one except me and the judge (and you’re paying us!) is there to watch you that closely.' "
Sarah Thompson Shipping / FB
"Shut up and ride."
Catherine Downs / FB
"Chest out, elbows together, arms up! You’re at a bar and trying to get the bartenders attention!"
Merrilyn Elise / FB
"A whip is like a credit card. What's carry it and hope you never have to use it."
Rachelle West / FB
"Make a decision. Do not sit there and passively do nothing, always make a conscious decision."
Lauren McDevitt Ensor / FB
"Let go, meaning go forward and let it flow rather than micromanaging."
@kg_eq / IG
"Stop riding the horse you he was a month ago. Ride the horse you have today!”
Janet Roark / FB
“Less is more."
In other words sit still and allow the horse to do its job!! I think of that when I find I’m working harder than the horse!!
Dorothy Murchie / FB
Brianna Hammerman / FB
"Stop thinking too much."
Which applies to my riding as much as it does my life in general.
Ellie Waagen / FB
"A short cut is really the long way around."
Kaitlyn Clark / FB
"Those who jumped first jump alone."
Michelle Drum / FB
"Don't fall off."
Brenda Placko / FB
"You can't learn anything from a circle."
Nilani Rafferty Trent / FB
"All great riders put in lots of hard work to get where they are. You have to fight to get great and put in the work."
Cindy Balasubramanian / FB
"Set him up and get the hell outta his way."
Katie Sons / FB
"Meet him where he is."
Wesley Fairman / FB
"When in doubt, leg!"
Leea Bridgeman / FB
"Honestly, I can be a little nervous walking in to the show ring simply because I want to do my best. So being told 'don’t forget to enjoy yourself' hits me just where I need it walking in to the ring."
Jessica Leonard / FB
"Take your time, we aren't going to the Olympics any time soon."
Shari Hanania-Director / FB
"Keep your shoulders back."
Greta Gerspacher Pogue / FB
Jasmine Nadine Weber Talley / FB
"Leave him alone!!"
Keri Torretti / FB
"'Go have fun,' every single time I walk in the show ring. It’s my favorite tradition.
'Add up to 100' which is my reminder that my horse and I must add up to 100% effort. If he’s tired or uncertain, it’s my job to make up for that to get to 100!"
Olivia Pechstein / FB
"My trainer reminded me today sangria will help me get out of my head. She isn’t wrong."
Destaney Sperry / FB
"Your head weighs 10 pounds. Don't look down."
Abby Hoffman / FB
"Looking down won't help him get his feet over the pole."
Karen Itin / FB
"Look earlier for your next jump than you think you need to. Even if you don’t think you 'see' anything from that far away, your unconscious brain is already measuring where you are out of the turn & naturally telling your body what to do."
Kiera Corbin Phlipot / FB
"Focus on your canter. Memorize it. Once you have that rhythm memorized then the jumps just roll right up! Don’t think about distance but rather pace and impulsion."
Stacia Snow / FB
"[Go] Forward even when you think you are."
Amie Graham / FB
"Stop doing SO much."
@benefr05 / IG
"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."
@bashfullll / IG
"Trust your horse, they don't want to die either."
Corinne Leghner-Milbury / FB
"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."
Kelly Leigh Smith / FB
Carrie Wilson / FB
"If you can put your horse's feet wherever you want them, you can compete in any class."
Jennifer Devanna / FB
"When in doubt more leg."
Lisa Steele-Hillier / FB
"It needs to be fun!"
Heather Visser / FB
"Don't worry so much about getting it perfect."
Nansi Stretcher / FB
"Its going to be ugly before you get it; don't expect pretty, expect right and ask right."
Heather Victoria Oliver / FB
"Good riders wait until it’s time to go. GREAT riders go until it’s time to wait."
Melissa Marshall / FB
"After a particularly emotional grand prix win: 'remember how you feel right now. How every time you fell short, thought of quitting, every rail, every stop, every failure was worth it for this feeling. Treat every win like it’s your first and last - no one is entitled to winning' (Liza Boyd)"
Erin McGuire / FB
"Acknowledge where you made mistakes, but don't obsess on those. Obsess about the parts of the trip you did well and are proud of."
Karyn Zambrano Clifton / FB
“Outside elbow back and leg up out of the corner” when approaching a fence.
Kelly Powell / FB
"Hold your arms like you're hugging a ball."
@dancing.with.adagio / IG
"Never, ever, ever give up."
Nikki Livermore / FB
"Use my plan."
Margi Wolson / FB
"As a junior in an Eq U/S class with my very athletic warm blood, I was griping beforehand about having to sit his trot. Shane says...”you entered the class, shut up and grit through it.” I clenched my teeth and smiled so big when I sat his trot...everyone laughed at me and I won the class!
That became my thing for every Eq class going forward."
Rachelle Goebel / FB
"Inside leg to outside rein."
Karen Lingenfelter Howey / FB
"The stronger you are, the softer you ride."
Kennedy Hamilton / FB
"Don't lie to them. If you say go, then go. Don't get there, lie and pull back. Same for the opposite. Don't ask for whoa then get there and gun it. You can only lie so many times."
Kelly Rutland / FB
“'You don’t have to be perfect, just be good' took a lot of anxiety away for me in the ring. Nancy Dye taught me that!"
Gretchen Smith Jelinek / FB
“'If you’re using 6 lbs of hand, you must use 12 lbs of leg.'
That one has stuck with me for many years!"
"The way you manage every canter step on course is what determines your success. If you do this properly, the jumps will just be incidental.”
Melinda Lanier McDonald / FB
“Make a decision and support it, don’t be a passenger.”
“If it is still not working out, change something about your approach."
Emily Branch / FB
"Even professionals are nervous, the difference is how they channel it."
"You may not be as good a rider as you were when you were a kid, but with all you know as an adult you’re a more compassionate rider."
(For when I near myself up about work— what I do to afford this — getting in the way of doing this) "You’ll never get out to the barn as much as you did when you were a junior, and you shouldn’t."
Sarah Maslin Nir / FB
"The greatest thing you can do for a horse is to leave them alone. Tell them what you want then stay out of their way."
@kat_jenkins88 / IG
Adelaide Paul / FB
"Sit up and wait for it."
Judy Gustafson / FB
"Don’t get caught up in making (the round) perfect, make it the best you can."
Erica Bocaner / FB
"Stay in the moment."
Christine Schober Martin / FB
“If you are automatically seeing a big distance blink and a better one will come up.” Needed advice after I kept trying to leave a full stride away if not more
Courtney Baggett / FB
"It's not the horse, it's you."
Catrina Williams / FB
"While coming back from an injury, my horse has grown up substantially, and our first show back she said, 'Ride the horse you have today and not the horse you had last time.' (June 2019 so a while ago) It was our best show we had had in a while."
@AmberHopper10 / Twitter
"STOP looking down, his neck isn't going anywhere."
@sly_theeventhorse / IG
"Talk to your horse, he will listen."
@decrinesycascios / IG
"Don't let the fear of making a mistake get in your way. Mistakes will make your horse better."
@kedkid / IG
"You can't always have a trainer with you, you can't always take a lesson, you have to be your own trainer." (Boyd Martin)
@rebeccamlh / IG