Meet Mr. Smeets….


Ron helps Lauren with the connection

Ok, ok…It’s hard to think of a catchy title that rhymes with Smeets!  That’s what I have to work with however, as it was the second day of another great clinic with international rider and trainer Ron Smeets from The Netherlands.  Anyone that has visited my website, Tango Dressage, knows I am a big fan of Mr. Smeets.  He travels to the U.S. on a regular basis in order to  maintain a consistent training program.  I try to ride with Ron every opportunity I get, however, unable to ride this weekend I observed from the sidelines as several of my students took advantage of his expertise.

This is the forty-fifth post I have published on this blog and several times leading up to the weekend of the clinic I felt it would boost rider entries to post an article about Ron and previous clinics, however, these attempts remain unpublished as I have come to realize that if the intentions of my posts are anything other than my sincere feelings or opinions at the time of writing than they are nothing but advertisements and advertisements are always biased to favor the advertised.

Sincerity is the trait that I admire most in Ron’s professional dealings.  When you ride with Ron it is evident that he cares if you understand what he is trying to convey in the lesson.  This is not just true of upper-level or potential horse purchasing clients.  Ron routinely spends as much time and energy as is necessary to make sure even more novice riders understand and benefit from their ride, even if his lunch break or rest breaks are depleted by doing so.

The same sincerity that conveys concern for the rider’s education also puts the rider in the hot seat at times.  Don’t expect phony compliments or platitudes from Smeets.  His concern is with the education of the rider and the welfare of the horse and if a mistake is made and repeated, expect to hear about it until it is corrected!  He is never unkind or condescending but instead determines what a rider is capable of and pushes them to meet that mark.  It is a quality in a clinician that I greatly admire as so many clinicians I see under-challenge or placate riders, as they wish to maintain a loyal following, but platitudes do not make a Grand Prix rider.

This is the last day of Ron’s clinic and I look forward to riding with him when he returns in June.  His dressage knowledge and teaching style make him an excellent trainer.  His sincerity and candor make him an exceptional person.

Click here to visit Ron’s website R.S.D.H. in the Netherlands.  He has exceptional dressage horses for sale and is available for training at his new facility.

8 thoughts on “Meet Mr. Smeets….

  1. All I want for Christmas is the opportunity to go to rons training facility and really work on my riding! The opportunity to go back and watch the video from the first time I rode with Ron and yesterday is in valuable. I am so impressed with the changes in my horse. I can’t wait to work on all the things I learned and it tied together perfectly with my current training.

    1. It was fun watching you ride this weekend! Your hard work has really paid off- I’m glad you compared this weekend’s video to videos from previous clinics, it is a great way to gage your progress in a sport where changes are gradual. You and Luna have really come a long way and you should be very proud that you are willing to participate and take constructive criticism from an international rider and trainer. There are lots of people that will never be able to put themselves under that kind of scrutiny, especially in front of others, for the opportunity to learn. I’m glad you had fun, you deserve it!

  2. I also enjoyed watching him teach! Lauren was so excited, she hasn’t quit talking about it and has already watched the video several times! Look out Suzanne she is planing on grabbing you to watch it with her! I was very pleased to have this oppertunity for myself and my daughter! I hope we can make it in June!

    1. I’m glad you both enjoyed it! It was great seeing Lauren riding with the best of them. We will carry on with what they worked on, getting the horse supple for better straightness. I would love to watch the video with her, especially if you cook!!! June would be a great time to check our progress!!! 🙂

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