Yes, but…

‘Yes, but he….’ I think most instructors hate this phrase. Someone told me once that ‘yes, but’ actually means ‘no’ and I’d have to agree.

Saying that, I do believe instructors have a task explaining what and why. Gone are the days in which drill sergeants just told you what to do and shut up. It was how I was taught in my childhood. Because I am of an inquisitive kind I wanted to know more about the ‘why’. But I didn’t dare to ask. So I went to the library instead (I’m from before the internet). And I was so lucky to find a wise, even then already quite old lady, who had great knowledge of training horses and biomechanics, and was always willing to explain everything in clear terms. And she was especially good at tempering my impatience. Along the way I was lucky to meet a lot of knowledgeable horse people who taught me and shared their knowledge.
It is very important to understand why certain exercises are good for a horse. And you have to keep an open mind. With a horse, if you feel something going wrong in the front, most of the times it means the solution is behind you.

It is not wrong to ask

If an instructor tells you to do something, but you have no idea why (or how), in my opinion it is not wrong to ask. You’ll be more motivated to train your horse the right way, if you understand what you are doing. Also it is more fun. It’s like finding the pieces of a puzzle. Think about what goes wrong and how you can work on it to improve it.


So go on the internet, read all the books, watch training sessions everywhere, try to follow as many lessons as you can. Not everything will suit you or your horse. But you will learn more along the way, you’ll get more tools in your mental toolbox. Don’t look down on anything. Go to see different disciplines. Keep an open mind. Find someone with knowledge who’s willing to share and to explain. Horseriding should not be a secret.

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