After 35 years of striving for fair and balanced in what I write, I’m not one who drinks the Kool-Aid. In a way, I’ve envied those who could, because religion of any kind offers comfort, a balm in times of hurt, and most important, a clear path.
But I have been saved! Hallelujah and praised be! I am drinking the Kool-Aid of Olympic rider and trainer Greg Best because his teaching has provided me the comfort of knowing I can fix my horse’s problems without relying on a trainer and his path is crystalline clear.
I will scour my notes today and present an organized accounting of the 3 day clinic, not just to gloat that I got to ride with Greg, but to share with anyone interested the wisdom he has to offer. And believe me, brothers and sisters, it is fountain of horsey knowledge.
Until then, a few tidbits of what I remember most:
Ride the horse, not the distance.
Look at your horse’s outside ear to stay straight.
A turn has three parts: 1. collect into it. 2.Enjoy the ride. 3. Lengthen going out.
Follow the script: Six strides before the fence, lengthen 3 inches a stride till you get to a 12 foot stride.
If your horse jumps with a left drift, approach the fence to the left, then correct him to the right at take off.
………and don’t let the pursuit of perfection get in the way of good. For me that meant letting go of finding the perfect spot and focusing only on the canter. That eliminated the pick, pick, pick ride to the fence and guess what? More often than not, we nailed the distances. Amen.