You don’t have to take my word for it! I am grateful to have received many, many great testimonials from equestrians who have seen real changes having subscribed to this blog and taken action on my advice.
I give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who takes the time to let me know how I have helped. Here’s what you think …
Annie : Thanks again for a great post. Together with my instructor you are helping Nemo and I progress I’m so pleased!!!
Here’s the post Annie, loved: In the Stirrups Magazine – Oct 2015
You may remember that you sent me a lovely message and pointed me to a blog when my horse Nemo had an awful accident. He’s doing well thankfully and enjoying life as a field ornament. The time off gave me time to read your brilliant book. It lives now at the side of my bed and is regularly picked up as I ponder the new challenges Mac and I face on a daily basis. Many thanks and keep blogging
Annie, Nemo and Mac
Lisa Harrison. Your blog today is so spot on. In my training, and in my non-ridden activities, I have really tried to focus on this muscle group and the difference it makes to my riding and the effectiveness of my aids is astounding. I love getting your e mails – although they are a distraction to work!!
Kirsty I’m still in disbelief at our performance! 68.75% and we made mistakes! As to what I attribute it all to, there are several things you have helped me with- Power of positive thinking was huge. As you highlight, a lot of issues are the rider not the horse and this is so true with me. I have been focusing on my position and correcting it and most importantly trying to lose the tenseness. I aim to do less in my riding, stop over riding and thus achieve more ~ gluteus maximums- something I have to sit on and relax! Thanks for your generosity in sharing what you know.
Paige: I just wanted to tell you that after your advice the other day it worked wonders with my girl!! She went onto the bit much more and the contact stayed more consistent! Still a working progress but a very positive step in the right direction. Love getting these emails, they are great so now I can have some dressage fun at home in the school. Thank you again. 🙂
Kerry Keightley: The ‘Good Habit’ forming technique that you sent me the link to is really beginning to help! It’s amazing how looking up and levelling your gaze straightens your body all the way down! While I was always upright my weight was still pitched forwards, now with my head upright I am able to truly align my shoulders over my hips without tension and allow the weight to ‘drop’ down through my body evenly.
Your advice has been so useful, I love the way that your posts are centred around the way something should feel both physically and mentally rather than a mechanical tick list of ‘How To Do…..’
Thank you so much!
Kerry and Coco
Erica Cilliers : Your tips are fantastic! It helps me to help myself plus other riders. I live in a very ‘remote’ area in South Africa, and lessons from realy knowledgable instructors just not possible and almost imposible ; (
Wish you were a bit closer! Please do not stop doing what you are doing! It might, and certainly does help a lot of riders, and most of all, the poor horses whos mostly on the suffering end.
Wishing you a wonderful 2015, and may your Blog go from strength to strength!
Carol Cosy: You ARE … VERY useful 🙂
(from the Rider Asymmetry/ Muscle-Memory post)
Annie. I stumbled across your blog by accident. Who says accident = disaster?? I’m so pleased to have had this accident!! I just wanted to say a huge thank you. So glad I stumbled across them and I keep telling all my friends to sign up. As you know, I’d mentioned I kept getting comments about how my horse needed to go forward and into a consistent contact. At our test on Friday there were no such comments. Reading your blogs is both fun and informative and the messages clearly hit home, as we can see improvement.
Sasha P. I love your website! You have really helped me improve my riding 🙂
Rosie Kinneir. Friend’s father took some photos over the weekend which have proved very telling – I was trying too hard. So my mantra thanks to you was 3 point seat (do not “armchair”), relax, keep balanced, hold my core, shoulders back, heels down……eureka!!
Thank you for your amazing insight x
HaleySmith – Your article in ‘Stirrups‘ was absolutely brilliant and perfectly timed for me. I am having trouble getting a good connection and everything you said resonated with me. I too have been thinking I’m being ‘kind’ by not having the reins, what I felt to be, too short but I am finally understanding the error of my ways. And I am working on getting my horse to react immediately and effectively from my leg. It’s almost like you have got together with my instructor to write this article especially for me! Thank you so much.
Kirsty : I’m in disbelief at our performance! 68.75%. Thanks to you, the power of positive thinking was huge benefit, I have struggled with negative thoughts, worried about my horse spooking and being too strong and being just a passenger and lo and behold these tend to come to fruition with alarming accuracy. So I changed my thoughts to positive words – calm, relaxed, flowing, joyful, fun etc. and imagined me riding a great test over and over. Any negative thoughts I drew a big black cross through and reinforced the good thoughts. This in itself was my biggest improvement. I also practised repeatedly the test off horse imagining the aids I would give and position of my body. Hubby thinks I’m nuts! ~ as you highlight, a lot of issues are the rider not the horse and this is so true with me. I have been focusing on my position and correcting it and most importantly trying to lose the tenseness. ~ listening to music whilst in the school takes my mind off the horse. I can wind myself up with her looking at things, spooking etc. and spiralling into situation where I tense up and all goes pear shaped. With the music I ignore her and concentrate on my breathing and finding our schooling is becoming more relaxed. I aim to do less in my riding I.e stop over riding and thus achieve more ~ gluteus maximums– something I have to sit on and relax!
I’m not a competitive person and enjoy seeing others do well so when I compete, I’m competing against myself but most importantly I treat nerves as ‘excitement’ and enjoy our outings. If I don’t, what’s the point?
Blogpost : You are not Nervous, You are Excited
Nicki Pennie: Thank you so much for the self assessment document. I can’t express how pleased I am to have come across your Facebook page and now your website. Having read some of your A-Z tips and some of your articles, the ‘On the bit’ myths was particularly enlightening for me, I’ve made some changes to how I’m riding and in just a couple of short schooling sessions the difference is immense. I really like the motivation articles because I have definitely considered giving up and just jumping with Bella, but currently I feel we are on the cusp of real progression that I can sustain and that there is a chance I could realise both of our potential and achieve the ridden partnership I’ve always dreamt of.
Words can’t express my gratitude at you sharing your hard earned knowledge in this way. I’m going to print off the 99 questions and keep a copy in my stables.
By the way, I won my online dressage class in April after using your tips and advice for the last 6 weeks or so, it was the first class we’ve entered this year so to win was an unexpected bonus 🙂
Heather – seems like you actually understand a great deal related to this topic and it demonstrates as a result of this specific posting called “To PAT or not to PAT – You decide“. Thanks.
Sue Paterson – Thank you for yet another simple and easy to understand explanation.
It would have saved a lot of confusion if I’d discovered The Crystal System years ago!
Lindsay Jackson – Another ‘keep it simple, simple’ tip – so obvious but not necessarily done ( by me especially!). Something else to include in my training! Thank you!
I am loving these posts, they are helping me a lot! As always, they make very good sense! I have been searching for your advice on how to do a half halt – can you point me in the right direction please?
Tracy Arrowsmith – There are 3 main things that have really helped me since subscribing to your blog. When I train I often catch myself in a state of ‘trying too hard’. This results in tension in me and also in my horse. Whenever I feel this happening I focus on just 3 things that I’ve learned from you that I know make a difference to my riding (and automatically improves my horse)…
- Relax and don’t hollow lower back. This really does help me get my leg down and on the horse’s side.
- Relax arms and let them hang at my sides. As soon as I do this my horse softens through the neck and jaw. And I also feel better because my shoulders aren’t creeping up and up and up….
- Un-clench my jolly buttocks! A favourite of mine, especially when I’m doing upward transitions or asking for more activity.
There are many other things that have been helpful but I find it hard to retain a lot of information so I just focus on those 3 things, and then hopefully they will become automatic too.
Tracey Kibler – BHSII UKCC2 CENTERED RIDING COACH LEVEL 1- UK – I am a riding coach and have loved your posts. I am very keen to do my UKCC Level 3 and find lots of your examples very helpful as another way of describing things. I look forward to see what follows.
Blog post Tracey likes Z – IS FOR Zzzzz
Stuart – I am glad I found your blog site. Why is it so many times I learn something from someone like yourself and I realize the horse has been offering it to me but I just didn’t know that is how the horse works? They really are a treasure – cheers.
Really enjoy how I am learning about half halts and how they empower the hind quarters and forming a frame/ frames and about how I learnt in one of your other articles about raising my torso & breathing. Thank you.
Awesome again, what you have done to my riding in one month is very exciting. It is been noticed by Instructors too! lol. Thanks so much. Stu
Kristiina Kurki-Suonio – Thank you for the insightful words. I took several years long break from dressage, returned recently and discovered to my great pleasure that the wisdom of 100′s of books and many coaches have ripened inside me and amalgamated to a “method” of my own that works! Now I just need a MIRROR.
Blog posts Kristina likes M – IS FOR MIRRORS
Debbi – Have loved A – F!!! However this ‘G’ is Great! thank you and looking forward to the rest of the alphabet!
Blog posts Debbi likes G – IS FOR GEOMETRY
Lynn – Excellent! I always love your posts, they are simply put and easy to understand. I love it even more when a fellow horsewoman speaks about her riding and it’s so similar to mine! I am not alone!!!! It amazes me just how mental dressage is! I have spent the last 2 years attempting a positive mentality to get to a better level of confidence for riding my spunky little pony. Thank you for always writing such helpful articles!
Carol Green – That is a fabulous clear explanation, while reading it I was able to visualise the movement….I’m going to go and practice it now! I now look forward to these every day, I like how you break things down to make them user friendly…..love it!
Blog post Carol likes B – IS FOR BALANCE
Angela Equssmaluso – Thank you so much for your support and understanding, Patricia! I hope to translate a lot of your articles in 2014! Thank’s again for this opportunity, I’m really happy to collaborate with you and translate your amazing articles! Hugs!
Johanne Picken – I find your tips extremely helpful! Thank you
Johanne’s Real Life Rider post As long as you have passion, you are unstoppable
Nicky Pennie – I just wanted to say that I’ve recently found your dressage tips on Facebook and been reading the articles on your website. I think it is brilliant that you are sharing the information you’ve used to improve your dressage. Your stories are so helpful and the language really speaks to me in its simplicity. The back to front article is me and my Warmblood mare personified! I’m going to head to the arena on her this weekend while the sun is shining to put the 3 areas for connection from your ‘on the bit‘ myths into practice.
Julia Hather – Great to read your Facebook articles! Just quickly skipped through your checklist and I’ve got a lot to work on! Great to hear from you and I’ll continue to enjoy your posts!
Laura Camacho – I am just starting with dressage. I LOVE IT. Thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog. I am learning so much!
Emma Louise Anderson – I would just like to say how fabulous I think your articles are – I read them daily on my lunch break and they have really inspired me to train hard in my flat work and not just jump on and have a jolly.
Sioban Pringle: Thanks I am really enjoying all your advice really helpful 🙂
Deb Green: I too really enjoy reading your very helpful tips and blogs and am looking forward to your book. I have a similar problem in that I need to go and find somewhere quiet to read your blogs without feeling guilty that I really should be working so flick back and forth between work and dressage. There just does not seem to be enough hours in the day. It would be lovely if we could all go and sit in the woods in the sunshine and talk about dressage and horses
Kristina Kurki-Suonio – I do enjoy and take in every word you write. I print the tips and have them handy.