Becoming a capable, confident rider is hard enough without having to go it alone or rely on information from people you don’t know who post on bulletin boards.
So that’s why I’ve been working like a maniac on something very special for you—my membership site called Dressage Mentor.
First I want to explain why I think a site like this is so important. I’m sure you understand the value of ongoing coaching and training. I’ve had a coach in every area of my life from riding to fitness to writing to speaking.
My coaches and mentors help me set goals, keep me on track and are great motivators and support systems when things get tough. Plus, they recharge my batteries by giving me new ideas and new ways of problem solving. (That’s why I audit as many clinics as I can, and I’m even planning to audit the learner judges’ program this year.)
But back when I started my riding career, I was so BROKE that I couldn’t afford a coach. With the economy the way it is now, I’m sure you can relate.
I could barely afford 2 clinics a year (I paid for those lessons with my waitressing tips!)…And I even had to borrow a truck and trailer to get to those clinics.
Since it was very expensive to travel to and from the clinics, pay for the lessons, and stay at hotel for 2 short lessons, I learned how to supplement my education. Because those were the days before the internet and home study courses, I relied on Alois Podhajsky’s Complete Training of Horse and Rider. That book was my bible. Even though Podjasky was no longer alive, I considered him my coach and mentor.
Whenever I had problems, I’d look up the solution in his book. In fact, you’ll find that Podjasky’s “unilateral half halt” is what I call the “connecting half halt”. (I found the word “unilateral” too much of a mouthful to say when teaching!)
And money wasn’t my only problem. FEAR was a biggie for me. I had had a very serious accident. A horse kicked me in the mouth with both hind feet. He crushed my upper jaw and knocked my 4 front teeth out. The doctors told me that if he had kicked me 1/2 inch higher, he would have shoved my nose up into my head, and I’d be dead. So, I’m sure you can imagine I had to work through some pretty intense fear issues.
I’m not saying that you have to get your teeth knocked out to be afraid. Maybe you’re nervous because you’ve had a bad fall, been on a bolting (rearing, bucking) horse, dreaded riding in front of other people (including judges), or you’re riding a young horse.
The point is that fear is fear. And having gone through my fair share of fear and anxiety, I know how you feel and can help you deal with your mental monsters.
And last (not really last!) but not least, I’ve struggled with a lack of SELF-CONFIDENCE throughout my career.
I remember when the long-list of the 12 horses and riders for the Barcelona Olympics first came out. I looked at that list, and I could understand why every single person except for me belonged on that list. I was totally intimidated and didn’t feel like I belonged in that company. (That insecurity set me on the path of working with an awesome sports psychologist.)
Anyhow, I feel like I’m living proof of the value of coaching and mentoring so I want to offer the same opportunity to you. Since many of you enjoyed the 3 learning formats in A Happy Horse, I decided to follow that type of format in the membership site—video, audio, and written material.
Lots of you have told me:
• You’re frustrated with the high cost and/or lack of availability of on-going coaching.
• You’re discouraged and confused by clinicians who don’t break things down into understandable pieces so that you can re-create the lessons at home.
• You want more help with your position.
• You want terminology clarified without having to feel like an idiot for asking what things mean!
• You need ways to evaluate and “feel” if you’re making progress when you’re on your own.
• You want more info for horses and/or riders who are at the basic levels.
• You want a plan and a variety of exercises to “brighten” your daily routine.
• You’d like to see a “compare and contrast” of the right and wrong way to do things.
• You want to see “normal” horses (not expensive warmbloods!) and average riders sorting through training issues.
• You’d like tips and help for the middle-aged, not-so-agile, somewhat fearful rider.
• You’d like a supportive community forum to share experiences and brainstorm.
…And I’ve been listening!
If you’d like to see samples of some clips of the some of the lessons,
paste this address into your browser or click on:
For more information on Dressage Mentor, go to http://www.janesavoie.com/dressage_mentor.html
Live you dreams, love your life!