The bitter cold in Chicago didn’t keep a dedicated group of equestrians from huddling under coolers in the corner of the ring at Matchmaker, LTD in Barrington Hills, Illinois this weekend to learn from one of the best in our industry: Anne Kursinski. I was among the small group of riders who hoped to soak up even just an ounce of Anne’s knowledge over the course of the three-day clinic at this beautiful farm.
I watched as riders blossomed with each passing moment as Anne tore them down to their foundation and began laying the brickwork for a new, better version of themselves. Anne was truly a wonderful clinician who was firm, yet fair and genuinely wanted to see each rider overcome their issues. Throughout the weekend I scribbled down quips and quotes the five-time Olympian shared that struck me in some shape or fashion. So I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, quotes to live by courtesy of Anne Kursinski.
“Does the horse HEAR you when you ask? Do you get a reaction?”
“It’s not a beauty contest. It’s effective riding, effective communication with your horse.”
“To be a winner is an inside job. It’s not the trainer’s responsibility. It’s not the horse’s responsibility. It’s the rider’s responsibility.”
“Position. Position. It’s all about position. That’s why basic equitation is important. It’s about body control.”
“When I was younger I was always the leader. I was the one who said, ‘I want to go first. I want to show you. I want to be the best one.'”
“I want you to be a rider, not a zombie. Move the horse. Ride the horse.”
“Practice like you compete and compete like you have practiced. At the horse show you should be as relaxed as you are at home.”
“Don’t come to me for me to tell you how beautiful you look. Do it beautifully and then I will call you beautiful.”
“Watch the others. You learn by watching everyone. That is the beauty of a clinic!”
“You have to listen to the same radio station as your horse.”
Go Anne and Go Jumping!