Training Tip of the Week: There are a lot of heroes in the graveyard.

When I was studying under legendary Australian reining and cow horse trainer, Ian Francis, he used to remind me that there are a lot of heroes in the graveyard. What he meant by that was that too many people get on horses that aren't ready to be ridden and get bucked off. They break their necks and die because they don't use their heads. Preparation is the key. Groundwork exercises are designed so that you can get control of your horse's feet on the ground before getting in the saddle where you have less control. Remember, there's no shame in getting off your horse if you're having problems or if you feel unsafe. The horse only wins if you get off and put him away, not if you get off and move his feet. I'd much rather fix a problem from the ground than be in the saddle wishing I was on the ground. Get your horse to respect you and use the thinking side of his brain on the ground. Then get on his back. You only get one body so take care of it.

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Comment by Amy Robinson on March 30, 2012 at 12:40pm

Sounds like common sense, but too many people avoid "embarrassing" themselves to get off the horse, OR could be too stupid to know that getting off the horse will help rather than harm.

Thank you for this reminder.  Safety is always key, and to hear it again from a well-respected trainer... just makes it all the more real.  :-)

Comment by Kate Green on November 26, 2011 at 2:35am

Makes me feel better about my decisions to dismout while I could and move the horse and remount.

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Comment by jay hughes on February 3, 2011 at 10:44am
Great wisdom there. Preparation and patience are the key to so much if not all of life. Dad always told me that while boating you could end up "dead right". Not much satisfaction in that.
Comment by Laura Hunter on October 8, 2010 at 8:47am
Thank you for stating that! So many people in the riding world are quick to denigrate others who would prefer to get off and fix things on the ground. Coming from a well-known and well-respected trainer this concept will hopefully have a more credibility. Isn't there another well-known saying? - "Better a live coward than a dead hero."
Comment by Missy Dressage on June 1, 2010 at 5:00pm
Thanks for the reminder :)

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