Sometimes we make a real change in our habits, our lifestyle, the way we think or act, just because we heard someone say something or read a few lines somewhere that stuck with us. Whether four words or twenty-four, whether plain-spoken or clever, the best lessons from the best teachers fall like rain in monsoon season—at predictable times, sometimes pleasantly and gently, while others in a soaking deluge.
The horse world is filled with great teachers—those who are wordsmiths and those who cut to the chase; those who nurture and those who suffer no fools—and perhaps our most important lesson is that we can learn something from all of them.
Here are 10 great quotes from some of the amazingly talented, motivated, and successful riders, trainers, and equine experts who TSB is lucky to call their authors—a little something to do on a rainy day.
1 PHILLIP DUTTON, 12-Time USEA Leading Rider of the Year and 5-Time Olympian with Two Gold Medals
“The general thought now is, or should be, that there is always another day! The rider should understand that sometimes, more training for your horse is necessary, and retiring [pulling up/changing a lesson] before more damage is done is a much better course of action than pushing your and your horse’s limits.”
2 LINDA TELLINGTON-JONES, Founder of the Tellington Method Approach to Training and Communicating
“I feel strongly that the tenets of classical riding are imperative and pure, and there is no moving forward without conscientious attention paid to all that has been learned and proven in horsemanship’s past. However, move forward we must, with the intent of achieving something better in the decades ahead and a common goal of alleviating the prevalence of pain, anxiety, and depression in the wonderful, talented sport horses with whom we are so lucky to pursue our dreams.”
3 BUCK BRANNAMAN, Renowned Horseman and Clinician
“Working horses is a little like being married. Sometimes you need to adjust and change your plan.”
4 DOUGLAS PUTERBAUGH, Dressage Trainer and Clinician
“Centered riders understand the harmonious relationship between knowledge and achievement. They’re active participants in their own education, reading the writings of the masters, observing other riders, and seizing opportunities to train with someone good.”
5 CLINTON ANDERSON, Internationally Recognized Horseman and Clinician
“Horsemanship should be fun. By learning how to control your horse in any situation, your confidence will greatly increase. When you’re confident, you can relax and enjoy your partnership.”
6 DENNY EMERSON, USEA Hall of Fame Inductee and “One of the 50 Most Influential Horseman of the 20th Century”
“The only thing that each of us can guarantee is that we are prepared to take advantage of opportunities if they happen to come our way. Even when opportunity doesn’t drop out of the sky into our lap, we still need to be ready. In other words, the preparedness part is up to us.”
7 KERRY THOMAS, Pioneering Researcher in Equine Athletic Psychology and Founder of the Thomas Herding Technique
“As equine caretakers, it is our responsibility to understand how the domestic environment affects the horse on all levels—physical and mental. As a social animal, the horse depends on daily interaction for mental growth. Striking a balance between the physical environment and the emotional requirement of the horse to survive within that environment is essential.”
From HORSE PROFILING
8 PAUL BELASIK, Rider, Trainer, Author, and Proponent of Classical Equestrian Ideals
“You can watch wild horses for a whole day and nothing astounding may happen. They graze, they drink, they seem to meander without obvious direction. It is all subtlety….When we do it right, there won’t be much drama. You learn to increase your attention and you train your mind to let more information to you….You learn to have more patience, you learn to watch, and you learn to let it come to you. To train horses well you have to learn to observe subtleties.”
9 SEAN PATRICK, Horseman and Clinician
“Never assume a horse remembers anything from one day to the next. Check his responses and use previous lessons as warm-up exercises before trying to advance to something new.”
10 FREDERIC PIGNON and MAGALI DELGADO, Renowned Trainers and the Original Stars of Cavalia
“We all make mistakes and by doing so we discover something about our limitations, but if someone or some horse suffers from these mistakes, then we must do our utmost not to repeat them. May every rider strive for a better connection with his or her horse by observation, closer understanding, and patient groundwork. It matters not what discipline is pursued, only that there be a perfectly balanced union between the two—man and horse—so the two become one.”
From GALLOP TO FREEDOM
All these books and DVDs, and many more, are available from the TSB online bookstore.