While I would love to ride with Steinberg when he comes, my finances have not allowed me to splurge on such a thing. At first I believed my horse and our work not to be worth such a clinic, but I am starting to change my mind. With our work towards 4th improving monthly, I do think it's time to bite the bullet and sign up. Of course, that means eating less, cutting the fun budget entirely, refusing to turn on the heat, and no driving except to the barn. Oh, the joys of riding and training dressage on a budget!
|Plus his tattoos are pretty stellar!|
|Working with a rider on developing consistent feel in the piaffe|
Most ride more than once in multi-day clinics, adding to the fun. While not always to easy catch from a time management perspective (damn you real life and your responsibilities!), it is fun to see a horse and rider pair change over the course of the weekend. Jeremy holds his riders to a high level of accountability. A pair is expected to have absorbed the lessons from the day before and not need the same lesson two days in a row. While he is content to call out a reminder of the work from the previous day, it is clear he expects to be able to move on an work on other concepts. The message is clear: "Riders! Do your homework!"
|Steinberg lecturing a rider on the relationship between bend and power generation in the canter.|
|A rider warms up while another lesson finishes.|
- "You're the personal trainer for your horse. Personal trainers have to be a little tough. If they aren't a little greedy, they'll never get their client results. But, a good personal trainer has to balance that greed with an awareness of the emotional and physical abilities of their client. You can't push your horse past what he can take emotionally, nor should you wear them out working on an exercise."
- "Think of the horse as a seagull from Finding Nemo. They are simple minded creatures, with a tendency to get fixated on something. If you spend too long trotting around to the left, they might develop a fixation on that outside rein thinking 'MINE! MINE! MINE!'. It's best to avoid that whole fixation in the first place by mixing up the work before they can latch on to something. Changes of direction, tempo, and gait should come more quickly with a horse who tends to zone in and fixate."
|Steinberg, explaining his theory of horse psychology.|
|Steinberg explaining why a horse pushed to go too fast in a gait may struggle and fall off balance.|
Obviously Steinberg doesn't put all the blame on the horse. "Now, you have to be careful with this. It's the job of the rider to know when a mistake is their fault. It's a partnership, you both need to be responsible for your own balance and actions to work together effectively. Neither you or the horse can hold each other's hand through the work."
|Rider and horse working to maintain balance in increased collection.|
I know some California bloggers recently had the pleasure of auditing and riding for Steinberg. Does anyone else have experience with him or want to tell me about any other dressage clinicians you love?