Sunday, May 2, 2010

101 Things: Number 93: Schoolmaster

One of the best things a rider can do for themselves is the gift of education.

Education comes in many forms, books, DVDs, media, forums, instruction, symposium, and a variety of sources but usually, the best is something that has been there, done that and knows the ropes.

Enter the schoolmaster.

These are university professors reincarnated into horse form. They know all the movements, they know how to do them correctly and they know that you don't know any of it.

Usually they are the unassuming 12 plus year old geldings that is a little too worn out of the showing, but still too young for full retirement, who has a low level of tolerance for mistakes and green riders, but won't bury them near the bushes. These equine gems are worth their weight in gold, teaching correct feel, execution and how to ask for specific movements.

The title isn't limited to ex-FEI horses, you can have a schoolmaster who is great from level to level.

The benefit is riders become stronger, more knowledgeable with their aids, gain more confidence through asking for more advance movements and a stronger seat, which translates down the levels to green horses. 

If you have the opportunity especially to ride the upper level masters, do so. You'll thank yourself in the end.

2 comments:

Dressage Kid said...

I feel like by our mutual friends alone (included picture) that we should know each other in the horse community and that we don't makes me awfully sad! :D
I am Stephanie by the way, avid stalker of your blog. I think your writing is superub and I really enjoy the 101 things posts you do!

Kelly said...

Hey Stephanie! Thanks for the lovely words. I posted a comment on your blog (and I'm still jealous of your arena!)