That kind of Hassler I can deal with…..

Rainy day again…  Good day to look over earlier videos and try to learn something.  For the thousandth time I watch my videos of previous lessons and clinics to refresh my memory.  For the thousandth time I find something that I didn’t notice before and seems suddenly profound.  I am never sure if these revelations become clear because of recent events, but that’s immaterial anyway, might as well just take it like it comes. 

This particular instance comes in a lesson I had two years ago at Hassler Dressage, with the King of young horses, Scott Hassler.  I believe Scott is the future of dressage.  I spent a week in Maryland at his beautiful facility and have never ridden with anyone more positive and encouraging than Scott.  It is no wonder he is so successful with the young horses, they are such willing partners as he is extremely knowledgeable, and incredibly respectful, patient, and kind to every horse he trains.

I have attached a clip of my lesson on Lucy, a very lovely, but quite hot, little Oldenburg mare that belongs to my friend Kimberly Vernachio.  I have included this piece of video, as the explanation Scott gives about “coaching” her through her tension, especially when there are loud noises in the unfamiliar arena, are of particular interest to me.  At the time this video was taken I had not been riding very long after a bad fall and was quite reactionary to loud noises.  Scott’s advice, riding the horse’s body and not the noise, was, to me, a very meaningful analogy.  I have watched this video time and time again and have never before caught the quick explanation. 

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to ride with a trainer I respect as much as Scott.  And very glad to have gotten it all on video, as I will continue to learn from it years after the experience!

10 thoughts on “That kind of Hassler I can deal with…..

  1. He is a really nice trainer. You are so lucky to have a lesson with him. I loved that pony! Thank you for posting it.

    1. He was the perfect person for me to train with when I was trying to get my confidence back after my accident. He is always positive and tactful in his riding and training and always looking out for the welfare of the horse. Thanks for your comments!

  2. My young mare BW-Callista {by Contucci} was raised, and put under saddle by Scott and crew! They are the best people and I always love hearing other people sing their praises…..if I ever get around to breeding either of my girls, believe me, I will work with the Hassler group, their stallions and their program…

    1. I was so blown away by their honest professionalism and innovative thinking. Whenever I can, I want to go back and learn some more! I bet your mares would have beautiful foals!!!!

  3. God I love Scott! He was one of the most fun people I have gotten to ride with and I learned so much from my experience with him. I hope he gets back in our area this year since he didn’t make it back last! It was amazingly fun and so informative!

  4. Don’t remind me I need to look at the DVDs from my last clinic with Ron. I have a feeling it will not be pretty. After watching I would love to spend a week with you and Scott Hassler. heading out to buy my lottery ticket before midnight 🙂

    1. Watching my ride was annoying as well! I feel like screaming “shorten your reins! sit to the right! go forward! you’re killing me!” but that is what makes you go out and ride with shorster reins, straighter, and more forward! You notice I only put skinny videos on! If I watch my fat videos I will go lose weight! Look for me at the gym tomorrow!

  5. Sending Suzanne & Lucy to Scott probably saved Lucy’s career as a dressage horse. As Suzanne said, she’s a wonderful flashy horse but she is very “hot”. Lucy was recovering from a very serious leg injury and while I love to ride that energy, it’s not fun to manage when you are trying to rehab a horse. Scott and Suzanne did a fabuous job crafting a program that challenged Lucy’s “head” without over stressing the body. There is a VERY fine line between energy and tension and it takes a skillful rider and a masterful trainer to separate one from the other in a positive and productive way.
    Lucy is now fully recovered and is enjoying the assignment of teaching my son to ride. Yes, you heard correctly – very hot dressage horse teaches son to ride. Again, Suzanne and Scott are to be credited because the fundamentals of separating energy from tension (that started with these lessons) have continued to be carried forward to this day. She’s now a happy energetic dressage horse for an 11yr old!

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