Okay, mother nature has finally let up on the heat in south east Texas. The weather has been beautiful and I find my lesson schedule briefly picking back up at the moment. My schedule eventually slows back up again when the days get shorter and the nights get substantially colder, however that is content for another blog.
Anyway, I wanted to take a minute to talk about the phrase "one more time..." As trainers, coaches, or anybody in the athletic world can tell you, we use the phrase "one more time" a lot. It is a small phrase, just three words, however those three words are the building blocks for some of the most frustrating and revolutionary lessons to date at my farm. So as a trainer for horses and people alike, I find that once a new idea is introduced and taught that the best way to concrete the idea is to practice it. Lets take the idea of the two-point or otherwise called the jumping position. It is a certain position that the rider will take as their horse goes over a jump or obstacle. The horse is then allowed to stretch their neck and back in order to clear the jump or obstacle. I give you the back ground on the position to say, that it is one of the harder positions for a rider to learn. Their is almost no ground exercises that the rider can do in order to strengthen the muscles required for the position.
Once I have gone over the finer points of the jumping position, I then have my rider practice the position while the horse is standing still, then we move up to the walk, trot, and canter. Afterwards we begin with small ground poles and build up from there. With any sort of work out, and I do mean any, you must practice it. Sometimes over and over and over again, with that being said, practice allows the muscles to remember how to move into the jumping position without a struggle.
There have has been countless lessons where I have asked to hold the jumping position up the straight line, only to be answered with a grown of displeasure. Which I answer with "continue to hold through the corner." I have taken time to set up gymnastics in the arena, which are exercises to help the horse with foot placement and aid in the riders balance and depth perception. Once my riders go through the exercise, I may make minor adjustments to the exercise or I may just say "one more time..."
"One more time" isn't meant to be a cut down, or to show any displeasure on my part as a trainer. "One more time" is a salute of sorts. It is a salute to your strength, a salute to your goals, it is a salute to my desire to make you (my riders) be the best that yall can be.
So my readers, "One more time ...!"