Sylvia Loch
Eden Hall
Fax: ++44(0)1890-830667

Classical Dressage - People To Avoid

Even in the practical field however, there are people to avoid. There are those who will blind you with long words, terms you do not understand and a general air of aren'tyou lucky to be taught by me! These are the bossy, officious trainers who bully their pupils and horses into submission and if you dare to ask a question will brush it aside..

  • " It isn't relevant for now!"
  • " That's the way it's always been done!"
  • " If you don't know by now, I'm not going to tell you!"

I can only assume they behave in this manner, because they don't actually know the answer to the questions themselves.

There are others who will tell you you're making great progress when little has changed; in fact nothing between you and your horse feels any different at all. These trainers milk the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome for all its worth. Sadly, there are some gullible enough to believe them when they say -

  • " He's much more forward and through!"
  • " You wouldn't believe it's the same horse!"
  • " He's really round and in a great outline!"

And all the time your horse feels heavier and heavier in your hand and you are working considerably harder than him.

Then there's the no pain, no gain instructor. They use very complex images to make you identify, investigate and separate every muscle in your body, which is then given its Latin name. By this time you'll have forgotten all about your horse as you prepare to

  • brace your *&£@_+^^
  • stretch your %!_+^$%,
  • push down on your *8=£!^"(@+
  • hitch up your ~_+)=$^)>,

Eventually, you reach a point where there's simply no breath left in your body. When you question the wisdom of all this, the answer is so convoluted you feel more mystified than when you began.

Finally, there's the do-gooding brigade, who make you feel guilty you ever took up the reins in the first place. They're into every method of

  • de-tox...!!!
  • de-stress...!!!
  • de-motivate...!!!
  • and de-stroy...!!!

Often well-meaning, they believe a horse is tight in the back when actually he's offering you his back, they think a straight line from the bit to your hand with the two of you nicely in contact is cruel, and that it's kinder to let the horse find his own balance - which generally means out of balance, with his forelegs the first to suffer.... but who really cares?


The main problem with all these trainers - and I'm sorry to sound cynical - is general ignorance about the horse's nature, his inherent capabilities and the biomechanics of movement. After all, knowing how a person and a horse moves in balance is a science in itself. Everything has a logic to it and every question should be answerable.

So you see - that Australian lady has done me a real favour, because it has made me think and realise one should get into the new millennium and become more available. There are many people who don't know where to start looking for the classic books, articles or videos, so how can they know these things have been said before, many, many, times over? Attitudes may change, but the purity of the message remains. The trouble is not enough people are saying it, so it is up to the few to reveal the truth. So, despite all the work that awaits us out in the stables .... here we are!.... at last... and thank you for reading thus far!

Sylvia Loch A Personal Point Of View

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Eden Hall, Kelso, Roxburghshire TD5 7QD, Scotland, UK.
Fax: ++44(0)1890-830667

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