Top professionals have years of experience as riders, trainers, coaches, and clinicians. You name it; they’ve probably done it. But, believe it or not, they were all amateurs at one time. So, we’ve asked them what their tips to today’s amateurs would be, with their experiences in mind. Here’s what they had to say:
Gayle Lampe: “I’m so old that I barely remember being an amateur! From a professional’s point of view, I wish the amateurs would listen to what the trainers tell them to do. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, and that is very true when dealing with horses.”
Gigi Nutter: “Take the time to enjoy the journey while you are working on getting to your destination. Remember, there can be detours along the way. Sometimes, the back roads take a little longer, but in the long run, enjoy the scenery and allow your mind to process your work.”
Dale Brown: “I’m not sure I can even recall my days as a youth rider! But, from a trainer’s perspective, I wish they would understand that there are a million factors to riding and showing. They need to be proud of every single accomplishment they make.”
Jamie Price: “I wish I knew how important rhythm is. From the swinging rhythm of the canter down to a jump, to the swing of the hips in the sitting trot, rhythm is the force behind the beauty and elegance between horse and rider.”
Karen Evans Mundy: “In my early years as an amateur, I wish I had known that winning wasn’t everything. Learning to be happy with a great ride, and/or the progress you have made with your horse, is very rewarding.”
James Hale: “I wish amateurs realized it’s about what you learn (good or bad) each time you ride, and enjoying the process of reaching the goal. That is what is valuable—not just attaining the goal.”
Take it from the pros, and keep these tips in mind when you’re riding—whether it’s at your home base or in the show ring.