From Endurance to Dressage
CDS Adult Amateur Clinic - Part 3
I am not sure I've found the funny yet, but best friend and I did laugh our butts off the entire weekend. Sometimes it was even at Hilda's expense, or mine.
Now that I've had a few days to mull it over, I think I know why this clinic demoralized me so much. Besides hearing about EVERYTHING that I am doing wrong, which would take the wind out of most anyone's sails, I realized that Hilda simply took the fun out of things. I am not saying she's humorless or anything, although she might be, but she just took the darn thing too seriously.
Let's face it. We're adult amateurs. We have jobs, husbands, kids, friends, and other stuff to do besides ride our horses. We love riding, we love showing, but there's a bit more to life. Most of us have no aspirations of being Olympians or WEG competitors. We're just happy to eke out our 60% scores towards a bronze, move up a level now and then, and maybe even get a ribbon or two.
So when Hilda told me I don't react fast enough one day and then told me that I over-react the next day, I just laughed it off. When she told me I need to ride more often, I laughed that off too. She doesn't know I ride five to six days a week, and if she had known, she probably would have been horrified that so much saddle time isn't helping.
She also said I should try to ride different horses. I think she forgot that I also ride a second horse, one that is totally different in shape and attitude than Speedy. If she thought I rode Speedy terribly, she would have kicked me out if she'd have seen me tootle around on the big brown horse.
When she heard that I've owned Speedy for ten years, she actually said that I should have learned to ride him better by now. She then praised him for being such a nice horse (in spite of me is what she was obviously thinking). I couldn't help it when I saucily threw out that I had done his training myself. She harrumphed a little and begrudgingly said that I must have done a good job. I don't think she believed me.
I learned a lot from Hilda, and most of it was good. My biggest take away from the weekend though was that no matter how intensely I ride, I actually need a trainer who can keep it lighter and more humorous for me. I beat myself up plenty already; I don't need help doing that. With Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, I know that she's going to teach me correctly, but she's also going to do it in a positive, supportive, and friendly manner.
For a good time, call her!
5/12/2017 05:41:35 am
That's the truth!!!!!
5/12/2017 07:28:21 am
I think this lady needs to sign up for a clinic with you instructing on how to teach in a way that celebrates the joy of learning! She could sit in with your fifth graders, lol! If you cannot enjoy the journey to where ever your goals are leading you....it makes the destination pointless! You trained Speedy & he obviously loves showing his skills off!!
5/12/2017 08:48:14 am
LOL! I haven't mentioned this, but she was a special ed teacher!
I've worked with Hilda at shows, and found her to be delightful. I'm surprised you had such a terrible experience. She certainly expects a lot from riders, but as a regular competitor I have found her to be a compassionate judge to those who show under her. I haven't sat in on a clinic, though.
5/12/2017 10:12:52 am
I have also found Hilda to be a very kind and compassionate judge. In fact, some of my highest scores have been from her. I've also chatted with her at shows where she was a competitor, and she was very friendly.
5/14/2017 12:21:47 am
OK we wanna see the videos of your rides at the clinic!
5/15/2017 05:35:52 am
We ran out of space on my ipad for day 2, and all of the clips from day 1 are less than a minute long. Sorry!
Bubble Butt J
5/14/2017 08:40:54 pm
Smartly written and brave, a hat tip to you for this honest writing. I have a deep fondness for Hilda and have had the chance to spend quite a bit of time with her over the years. I'm definitely a fan and to some degree a devotee. I will say though that the coaching we get from Chemaine has been so perfectly tailored to my learning style that for me she is best in class, period. She has surpassed every clinician I've ever worked with by somehow tuning into my learning style and finding the exercises, and most importantly, the language and descriptions, that have helped me finally understand this weird, nuanced sport. We're lucky to have access to Chemaine's unique ability, she's changed my life! And yeah, it's kind of nice not to be shouted at, as is the style of so many trainers.
5/15/2017 05:41:18 am
Thank you, BBJ. My policy on this blog is (usually) to only write positive comments, but I also need to be truthful. I think Hilda is probably great for some people, but not for me.
5/15/2017 07:03:29 am
It is too bad that the two of you didn't mesh personality wise, that little thing can make or break a great clinic for a rider. There are a lot of teaching styles and not everyone flourishes under each style. Here's to hoping you can get with Christian Schacht more!
5/17/2017 10:08:59 am
I've ridden with other trainers that I didn't really like before as well. When I first started taking lessons, I would clinic with anyone and was surprised that others didn't. Now I know why. LOL I am definitely the kind of student that needs a relationship, however temporary, with my trainer.
5/15/2017 01:31:35 pm
First off, Happy Belated B-Day to Mr. Iz!
5/17/2017 10:13:48 am
I can't wait to hear what you think of the clinic. I've tried to be as ... diplomatic as possible, but I think many of the riders left with bruised feelings. She was REALLY tough on one rider in particular, make that two.
Comments are closed.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: