"You just need to ride her better"

Ambers Echo

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Best comment from my lesson with my new dressage instructor. I was asking far too many questions about how she was going... but yeah I just need to ride her better! Sadly the simplest solution is also the hardest. I guess there really are no short cuts.
 

milliepops

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(sidetracking, again... sorry... but reflecting on our 3 week recent bootcamp. Has she ridden Amber? I found it SOOOOO useful to watch someone ride Kira. Never had that chance before, but I got to watch how she responded and what it looked like, and I was already able to imagine what it felt like. Was very useful. Not everyone will want to do it but might be worth asking if you're struggling to put the whole thing together in your head).
 

dogatemysalad

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My instructors nugget of advice was, stop thinking, you always ride better when you don't think. He was probably right, my finest hour was falling asleep for 3/4 of a mile on a hack. I only woke up when my horse politely stopped and waited for directions at the end of the track.
 

j1ffy

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Can't beat a bit of simple advice :p If only we could all act on that one! I had a friend message me the other day and say "if only we could go at a competition how we go at home" - erm, yep, we all want that! The same day Carl Hester put something similar on Instagram about his ride on Hawtins Delicato to win the Somerford GP, it's a relief knowing even he has the same problem!

I don't think you can ever stop learning. I feel like a complete novice most of the time, I have no idea how a dressage horse should feel (and even if I did, I'm sure the next horse would be completely different). The joys of riding!!
 

Ambers Echo

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Funnily enough in the Tik Maynard book, one of Tik's instructors said something similar to him.

Millie-Pops, she has not ridden Amber. I don't know if she rides other people's horses or not. My previous RI was unable to ride due to health problems that led her to retire from competition herself, so I never think about an instructor riding but I can ask her. She does compete so she CAN still ride!
 

Wheels

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hhmm... kind of why we all have lessons lol

I think we all wish we could ride better - I hope your new instructor will help with that AE
 

monte1

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ha ha love it, having recently been to a 2 day horse camp and the trainer did indeed get on my horse, in fact he rode everyone in the groups horse for 10 mins or so each and gave us all super improvement tips, based on what he felt as well as saw when we rode them- really useful.

my usual trainer and friend, said to me recently , when riding one of her horses, yes she is green but you do still need to ride her :) so very true !
 
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Leandy

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The simplest advice is always the best. It is very easy to overthink rather than just getting on with it. Often we know exactly what is wrong - "he always does x, y, z". The obvious answer is "well why do you always let him? What do you need to do to correct it?". "Just get it over the fence" is another gem.
 

splashgirl45

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when i was having lessons the instructor kept telling me to do certain things and they were not working, , in the end she asked if she could have a sit on her and after about 10 mins of doing other things my horse was really going well, instructor could then coach me through what she had done and it worked :) sometimes what is seen from the ground feels different when on top so may help you if your instructor rides amber for a little while just to feel what you are feeling, good luck
 

Roxylola

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That's the sort of thing my old boss used to say to me. She could be a bit brutal and would bung up some mahoosive seeming warm up fences never mind the courses she used to send us round but bottling it was never an option and I always came away feeling like I could just jump the moon if I got the right line
 

ycbm

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My new instructor came terribly close to saying that if my youngster with a lot of potential is going to reach that potential he needs a better rider. He stopped himself just in time and said 'you can do it' several times over to try to convince us both. I decided to take it as a compliment to just how good he thinks the horse is 😋
 

Orangehorse

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"You need to ride better" is just about the most unhelpful remark ever. Everyone is trying to the best of their ability and if it isn't working then it is up to the coach to explain exactly what they mean, what they want to alter and to help you do it - even if they say do 15 minutes without stirrups every day.

Is it contact, looking down, stiff elbows, rounded shoulders, hollow back, tipping backwards, forwards, sitting unlevel, twisted in the saddle - coach, we need to know.

From twenty plus years ago there is an anecdote that a very famous German coach came to do a clinic of the top dressage riders in the UK and he ended up getting crosser and crosser and shouting at them all "ride better, ride better."
 

milliepops

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I don't think it is an unhelpful remark , as usual context is everything. From the OPs posts about this instructor, it sounds like she is giving plenty of useful information and this is just an off the cuff humourous comment.
 

JFTD-WS

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In isolation, it's an unhelpful remark. If that's the sum of what the instructor is saying, or if it's a barked instruction across the arena, it's unhelpful.

If it's a literal answer to a specific question - e.g. how are we going to get better placings at competition? "You just need to ride her better. So keep coming for lessons / training with other people / learning and you'll get there." That's a clear and honest response - assuming the training involves some specific examples of how to achieve that!
 

Ambers Echo

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My new instructor came terribly close to saying that if my youngster with a lot of potential is going to reach that potential he needs a better rider. He stopped himself just in time and said 'you can do it' several times over to try to convince us both. I decided to take it as a compliment to just how good he thinks the horse is 😋
A previous instructor on camp outright said I was not up to riding Amber and should send her to him! Very disheartening but hey ho. I know and have accepted that she won't reach her potential with me but we will reach OUR potential as a partnership. That is good enough for me.
 

Ambers Echo

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It wasn't unhelpful in context though I can see that it could be an infuriating comment in other contexts.

She meant that there was no single solution to improving Amber's way of going. It's not something I can just DO. I essentially need to BE more balanced, stronger in my core etc. All the quick fixes are done. To improve I just need to ride her better not particularly differently. And that will come.
 

splashgirl45

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she is your horse and you are getting pleasure from competing (mostly) so amber wont know she hasnt reached her potential and as long as you are riding the best that you can and she is happy that is the main thing. lots of horses can go better with a professional, my horse went brilliantly for my trainer and all i could do was try as hard as i could to emulate her....that remark was not necessary from the instructor at camp IMO...you are doing a great job with your horse...
 

Ambers Echo

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Thanks Splashgirl. I was gutted when he first said it but I've got over it now! I do sometimes think I would love someone really good to ride her and see how far she could get. But I'm having too much fun myself at the moment. And she isn't bothered in the least!
 

PapaverFollis

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Ha! The instructor at camp was a dick clearly! How rude. No horse stands in its field wishing a professional would take it on so it can fulfil its potential. As long as the owner is capable of riding the horse safely then it doesn't matter!

I understand the "just need to ride her better" comment though. That's fine, makes sense, as long as the instructor is then prepared to go on to help you learn how to ride her better!

Probably applies to all of us too!
 

JustMe22

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Jumping instructor said the same to me when horse was being tricky to jump and had stopped three times at an innocuous filler.

"You need to ride better"

I think I just said "oh thanks, great, if only I had thought of that earlier. That fixes everything"

Should add that instructor and I are on great terms and I'm not actually a nightmare pupil!
 

nikkimariet

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Don't we all need to be better? Doesn't CDJ still strive to be better?

I never tell any of my clients they just need to be better. They might need shorter reins, a bit more fitness, to keep their shoulder back, to go watch some local dressage tests as inspo etc. Those things will make them better, but gives them direction.

I'm sure when Sophie watches me car crash through a movement in a lesson she's thinking I need to be better, but then gives me a little more insight as to how!

So yes, I get where the comment came from...

As an aside, I don't believe any horse is wasted as long as it's a happy horse with a happy rider. What I do resent on the horses part is a talentless brat buying something they can't ride one side of and ruining it to the point it has no confidence and starts to say no.
 

DabDab

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Haha, I come to the same conclusion pretty much every time I ride 😂

Saying this as a massive armchair Amber fan....I think you're actually really lucky with her in the same way as I'm lucky with Arts in that she's the sort that seems (from afar, over the internet) to really rise to the challenge when everything does fall into place, so I totally get where the instructor is coming from.

And that camp instructor just seemed like a right dick, as I think I expressed at the time - v glad you breezed on past him.
 
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