to many of you who responded to my query in the March and April newsletters
about the video topics you'd most like to see covered in our upcoming Cherry
Hill Videos. We compiled all of your comments and suggestions into one huge
file and are tabulating your needs and wants! Thanks again. You all
were very helpful.
the last month, our newsletter and askcherry computers received 13 e-mail messages
with the kak.hta virus attached to the e-mail signatures. It is such a pesky virus
that it is impossible to reply to the person to tell them they are sending
a virus to everyone they communicate with because every time you highlight the
e-mail message, the virus begins to try to attach itself to the Windows Start
menu where it does its dirty work. So I encourage you all to invest in an anti-virus
program and update it regularly (weekly). We use Norton Anti-Virus and are
very satisfied with its performance but there are other software programs available.
soon, my 24 year old Quarter Horse mare, Sassy Eclipse, will be foaling. I
purchased Sassy from Chris Watson in Arizona when she was 12 months old and had
her shipped up to Alberta where we were living at the time. Since then, I've ridden
her for years and used her in my books and articles. She's my cover girl
Sassy has produced Quarter Horse foals as well as a part-bred Selle Francais
and two part-bred Trakehner fillies. This time she is bred to an Akhal
Teke stallion. I'll let you know about the addition to our herd next month.
I'm excited! By the way, if you have a mare due to foal, I recommend
you read "The Complete Book of Foaling" by Dr. Karen Hayes.
IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
How to Get the Most from Your Lessons or a Clinic
Training Special for Newsletter Recipients Only
on the Roundup Page
Our Recent Magazine Articles
you ever wanted to go to a clinic but didn't know which clinician would
be best for you and your horse?
Believe it or not, until
last week, except for my dressage lessons from visiting Europeans, I have never
attended a clinic. I've given many clinics, and in fact, taught college and university
horse training, riding and horse care courses in the US and Canada for ten years
as my full-time employment, so I essentially gave several clinics every day!
am not giving clinics at the present time but I receive many questions from folks
that have problems with their horses that would be best solved by working with
a qualified instructor or clinician. In many instances I can't give you the
help you need in an e-mail. I can head you in the right direction however.
I figure that one way I might be able to help you is to point you to a suitable
trainer, instructor or clinician. There are quite a few traveling clinicians
out there that might be able to help you work with your horses.
to see if you have a qualified resident instructor or trainer in your area so
you can work with him or her on a regular basis. Word of mouth is the best
way to find this out. Ask your horse friends, look at bulletin boards at
barns and keep your eyes open in your ag papers or regional horse papers.
You can also check the website of the American Riding Instructors Association
at www.aria.com where you'll
see a complete listing of all ARIA certified instructors.
If you can't
find a local trainer or instructor to help you, perhaps one of the many clinics
that are offered around the country would be suitable for you. Here's a list of
clinicians I'm aware of and links to their web sites clinicians .
to Get the Most From Your Lessons or a Clinic
you go to a clinic as an auditor, take a chair, a sack lunch, water, a hat, sunglasses,
sunscreen, a notebook and pencil. Plan to sit quietly and observe every detail, jotting
notes. If the clinician allows questions from the audience, ask him
or her to explain rather than "accuse or question" the clinician's methods.
If someone sits next to you and starts chatting, tell them right away
that you prefer not to talk but to watch and listen. It is a waste
of your time and others that chat to pay for a clinic and then spend the
time visiting. And chatting can be disruptive and really is disrespectful
to the clinician.
Whether you work with a regular instructor or plan to
attend clinics, you will get the most out of your experience if you think about
some of the advice I offer in my book, Becoming
an Effective Rider partially quoted here:
positive and receptive attitude is of paramount importance in your lessons. Keep
an open mind and take what your instructor is trying to give you.
is puzzling why a student with a doubting, negative outlook bothers to take lessons
in the first place. Yet a great number of students are this way, often without
realizing it. It seems logical that if you are investing your time and money,
you should be ready to learn. Listen to your instructor's advice and apply it
open-mindedly and diligently during and between lessons. Often, results are not
possible in just a few sessions. Switching instructors or methods just when you
are getting started may not be wise unless you find you are regressing.
old habits. If you come from a different type of riding, you might be holding
on to some of the principles from that discipline unknowingly or in an
attempt to feel comfortable. You must become aware of your old habits in order
to change them, or else they will hold you back. Understanding the goals and purposes
of your new type of riding, as well as your previous style, will help you change
more easily. Most importantly, you must shed the constraints of the familiar and
be willing to try a new way of doing things. It is a false security to hold onto
something just because it is familiar.
students repeat the same pattern over and over because they are unconsciously
more comfortable knowing the result of an old technique even if it is not
effective -than with a new one. But often it is just that the student does not
know what the result should be or should feel like. Usually it is easier to learn
something if you use a totally new procedure than if you try to modify your existing
system. But you must be willing to risk in order to win.
an instructor will ask you to work your normal routine so she can see your and
your horse's skill level and tendencies and evaluate the work you have been doing
on your own. Although no instructor wants to make discouraging statements at first
about the work, she must at the same time be honest.
for example, a rider is applying incorrect aids, then the instructor has an obligation
to point it out, even if the student is an accomplished competition winner. If
an instructor has substantiated expertise, her observations and constructive suggestions
should be respected.
It is best if
you do not take comments about yourself or your horse personally. Constructive
criticism during a riding lesson is considered an essential part of learning.
The criticism should be delivered tactfully, however, never with the intention
of belittling you or undermining your confidence. If you are sincere and your
instructor ridicules you, for whatever reason, discontinue the lessons and find
warranted, constructive criticism and advice, don't be argumentative. There is
a fine line, however, between making excuses and conveying essential information
to your instructor about your limitations. If you have a physical problem, state
it beforehand so you are not overworked. If you claim a limitation just to get
out of working hard, you are losing an opportunity to advance.
is generally a mirror of your character. Your nature will show up in your lessons
and in your daily work. Even with proper instruction, if a person has a tendency
to be too careful or too aggressive it will show up in her techniques or in her
responses to the instructor's comments. If a person does not try to get more balanced
within herself, her riding will not change. Something in the person must change
or the same tendencies will repeat themselves over and over.
a student will say, "This horse hates this exercise." First of all,
it is an anthropomorphic trap to assign human emotions to a horse. In actuality,
it is the rider who dislikes the work. Once a rider learns the effective use of
the aids, the horse's expression changes and both the horse and rider begin to
like what was previously either a frustrating or a boring exercise.
order to get the most out of your lessons, learn to interact with your instructor
in the way acceptable to her. Many instructors prefer that you do not talk when
you ride. If you are asked, "Do you understand?" or "Do you have
any questions?", listen to how you reply. If you say "I think so"
or "I don't think so," you are probably speaking with a questioning
inflection. Be decisive in your thoughts and words. If you don't understand, say
Sometimes because of the noise of
your breathing or heartbeat, the squeak of your saddle, the sound of your horse's
hooves, or the wind, you cannot hear your instructor. If that is the case, be
sure to tell the instructor rather than straining to hear and guessing what you
are being asked to do. Your instructor should have the proper equipment to amplify
her voice if it is not loud enough for you to hear.
you receive feedback from your instructor, you will be subconsciously adding to,
deleting, modifying, and clarifying the visualization images in your mental checklist.
If you are not sure exactly what you are doing correctly when your instructor
says "Good," then ask. The same applies, of course, when the instructor
calls out for you to change what you are doing. Be sure you understand how much
you should move your leg back and when it is just right, so you can register that
in your mind-set.
Positive vs. negative
lessons. The overall feeling you get during your lesson can be one of positive
momentum or a disastrous cycle of mistakes. During a positive lesson you continue
building on your successes throughout the lesson, adding new techniques or exercises
that build to a greater performance from you and your horse. Your instructor will
recognize the optimal time for short breaks. She will also know the best time
for the lesson to end on a successful note so that you do not destroy what you
have gained by going beyond your energy or skill level.
interesting phenomenon occurs with many riders during lessons. When the instructor
praises the rider, the rider experiences such a sense of elation that there is
a relaxation of the aids and things fall apart. During a lesson you need to stay
on Earth, concentrating on riding every step even though your instructor's approval
may understandably put you on cloud nine.
lesson with negative momentum may start with a major error followed by a strong
remark by your instructor. This arouses a fear in some riders, a fear much greater
than falling off the fear of failing. A riding lesson can be an excellent
opportunity for failure. Each person has certain circumstances that make them
anxious: outside distractions, the opinions of onlookers, a horse behaving less
than perfectly, and so on. If you let these outside influences affect you, you
are setting yourself up for failure. You become flustered to the point that you
cannot even perform elementary exercises correctly. This happens because external
factors have caused you to focus on preserving your self esteem rather than on
performing what the instructor is trying to teach you.
a lesson disintegrates into frustration, the instructor has basically four choices:
to take a break; to end the lesson; to push you through the trouble spot if you
are mentally and physically able; or to go to less demanding work to reestablish
a line of communication. Lesson anxiety usually diminishes once the rider is in
good physical shape, the horse is better trained, and both are used to the routine
of the instructor and the lessons.
helps to have a positive attitude but realistic expectations about your progress.
While a good instructor can often spot the very thing a horse and rider need to
work on in the first lessons and make a significant break-through, this will not
happen every lesson. There are exciting milestones but also seemingly endless
plateaus where progress may appear to be at a standstill. Here again the instructor's
judgment must be trusted. If you have doubts about the qualifications or effectiveness
of your instructor, seek the opinion of well-respected professionals in the area.
You may find that your performance is poor in part due to your teacher's low expectations
of your success. Sports and educational psychologists have found that athletes
and students perform to their teachers' expectations of them. If you progress
consistently in your work at home and regress during lessons, it may be your instructor's
opinion of your ability that is holding you back.
with a Clinician
of the principles that apply to working with a regular instructor are also appropriate
when you ride in a clinic. There is one significant difference, however, between
how your regular instructor and a clinician will work with you. Your instructor,
who knows you well and looks to preserve a long-term relationship with you, may
tend to work with you more subjectively. A clinician merely analyzes your current
problems, prescribes corrections, and delivers all in a direct and objective manner.
A clinician doesn't have the opportunity
to get to know every horse and rider well and it is difficult to know what is
safe to give each rider to work on. That's why it is best to have several lessons
with the clinician so that there is a chance for things to come together before
the clinic is over. The student can look back at the first day and understand
why the instructor did things in a certain way.
the techniques you learn in a clinic bring good results, they should be incorporated
into your regular training program and you should work with the clinician again
when possible. If you have no success with the techniques, you may not be ready
to go to clinics. You may benefit more from working with a regular instructor.
If there is not one available in your area, organize some other students and arrange
for an instructor to come on a regular basis.
if you are an experienced rider, be careful of going to a large number of clinics
that promote different approaches. The contrast in theories and techniques can
seem contradictory and confusing. While one clinician may emphasize rider position
as the key to getting a horse round and balanced, another instructor will spend
the majority of the time focusing on the horse itself, through flexing and bending
exercises. And even among those clinicians who zero in on the horse rather than
the rider, each one approaches the lessons with slightly different exercises and
techniques. While an advanced rider may be able to see the similarity in the aim
of all of these methods, the less experienced rider might easily become perplexed."
Postings on the Roundup Page
and Long Lining
Recent Articles and Books
Here's a roundup of the most
recent magazine articles and books by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh, the "Klim-Team":
|May 2000 Horse & Rider||"The
Buzz on Fly Control" p. 93|
|May 2000 Horse & Rider ||Winning
Ways Horsemanship Pattern, "Ride Crisp and Savvy" p. 36|
|May 2000 Western Horseman||Book Review "101 Horsemanship and Equitation
Patterns" p. 266|
|April 2000 Western Horseman ||"Choosing
a Barn Builder" p. 54|
|April 2000 Western Horseman ||"Keep
Ol Paint in the Pink" (Senior Horse Care) p. 82|
2000 Western Horseman||"Cinching Without Soring" p. 194|
|April 2000 Horse & Rider||"Field Wash Your Blankets"
|April 2000 Horse & Rider ||"Stable
Details: Make a Creep-Feeding Area"|
|March 2000 Horse &
Rider || "Filling a Hay Net" |
|Jan 2000 Storey Books || Stablekeeping,
a Visual Guide to Safe and Healthy Horsekeeping|
|Jan 2000 Storey
Your Horse, A Visual Guide to Safe Training and Traveling|
Cherry Hill doesn't do endorsements!
I don't accept payment to recommend
or endorse any horse products in my articles, books or this newsletter.
I do, however, mention names of products that I am currently using and find satisfactory.
I do this to give you a starting point or help narrow the field. Sometimes finding
the right product or piece of tack is the beginning of the answer to a training
or horsekeeping problem.
Foal news, clinician update, my training philosophy, and tips on
buying and selling horses.
That's it for this month.
Keep your mind
in the middle and a leg on each side.
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e-mail question, please go here and follow the instructions:
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