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Workshop Testimonials

Workshop with Bernie Traurig 

 

 

Workshop testimonial

Keep hands wide for a following arm over fences. Keep chin up, literally and figuratively. What's the only part of my body sore after 2 weeks of twice daily riding in Bernie Traurig clinic? : My brain! (Also the most important body part to use in riding as Bernie frequently reminded us).  

Bending lines: stride length and track allow at least half a dozen options in most lines. Yes, it all happens in seconds, however, as any of us who have been in a wreck know, time can slow-mo when we laser-beam focus. So if I settle my brain just right, I can feel and adjust to those split second decisions like a master of the arts. 3 stride turns. Rebalance and reshape every corner. 

Balance point formula : if you don't see an accurate distance gather your horses stride, even canter in place, until you create one that works. Every horse has a speed they jump best at, finding each individuals best pace makes slightly inaccurate distances still work out okay. Most elements of riding courses have a formula.

Seeing long approaches and loosening to the first forward distance we see. Hand galloping fences. Direct straight line tracks from rail to rail. Centered. Precise, yet soft. Walking to a fence picking up canter from 6, 4, 3 strides out and creating an accurate take off spot. 

The level of heightened senses when riding horses activates and elevates all that we carry like a nerve ending exposed to the elements or like a serene float on a cool lake. We can breathe in laser-beam focus and develop the hoardes of multitasking that is required to ride these sports well or we can get lost in the fuzzy psychology of it all. It is brilliant how last months challenges become muscle memory when practised consistently and correctly - a ready preparation for new tools and skills to be added to our muscle memory toolbox. 

I did x, y, AND z poorly ... I exposed to myself my weaknesses that require transformation. I grieve their existence for a moment, then exhale their passing as I catch on to greater heights of ability. Having Bernie Traurig in our ears ride after ride after ride from 8am till 6pm for 10 full clinic days is the greatest blessing I have ever had to fast track this evolution of my riding the hunter jumper sport. I will be hearing Bernies educated commentary looping through my brain as I ride for the rest of my life. And not a moment will pass that I am not thankful for it. I know I'm not alone here. There were, I believe, 13 of us riders during this time who all took home a wealth of brand new (to us) theory and application. Bernie made it clear that he hasn't created a single formula or skill in riding... But that he passes on the legacy of effective horseman and classical training techniques modernized when appropriate. He and Cait transfer this legacy with an unparalleled passion and generous devotion to those of us, at all levels, who wake up in the middle of the night thinking of ways to improve our ride.

Keep our eyes on whats ahead, in life and in riding. Be natural and disciplined. And ever so grateful to the beautiful humans & horses along the way who lift us up.

- Rachel M., Desert Bloom Horse Training and Sales

 

 

Workshop testimonial

 

 

I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you for such a wonderful experience in New Jersey in December. I have found that I always take so much away from the lessons with you; I learn so much while I am there but you explain it in a way that I am always able to continue to improve upon the things we work on once I get home. I have had that big bay horse for a while. I have struggled so much with that one over the past few years since his surgery. I have just constantly felt like something was missing. Something clicked after you rode him and i was able to see the indirect rein aid and it has been such a positive curve every day since I have gotten home. I have made more progress in the last month than I have in the past two years, but most of all I feel like I have a partner again as he is happy and working with me instead of against me. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. I was telling some of the people at the barn about the clinic and I was only half-joking when I said, “Bernie is like a wizard!” Thank you so much for all you do.

- Gwen Goodwin

 

 

 

 

EquestrianCoach.com Workshop Lindsey Long

 

 

"The EquestrianCoach Riding Workshop with Bernie Traurig is a truly a one-of-a-kind experience. First, there's the riding. Twice a day, very small groups (2 or 3 people) means Bernie gets to know you and your horse inside and out. I learned specific exercises to improve my eye and my horse's adjustability, among other things. Riding twice a day makes it an intensive experience (not unlike a horse show) but also led to improvements that I don't think would have been possible otherwise, not to mention increased bonding with my horse.
Then there's the rest of the experience. Highlights included dinner at Cait & Bernie's tiki bar - a fire pit, cocktails, and delicious grilled food including fish caught by Bernie himself! Entertainment came in the form of watching grand prix DVDs, listening to Garth Brooks records, and trying to get 'Flip' the parrot to talk. Plus telling horse stories and laughing a lot. At the end of the week I was exhausted but sad to leave! There is no doubt I left the workshop a better rider and a better partner to my horse. The EquestrianCoach Riding Workshop is the ultimate "summer horse camp" for the competitive rider!"

  -Lindsey Long, Los Angeles, CA
Riding Kingston

 

 

  

EquestrianCoach.com Workshop Anne Godfrey

 

 

"My week training with Bernie Traurig in the Equestrian Coach Workshop was a once in a lifetime experience. I waited two years to finally get there and I can say it was definitely worth the wait. Everyday I learned something new and the daily improvements in both my horse and my own riding were amazing. Bernie and Cait were so warm and welcoming. I hope to attend again in years to come. Thank you so much to all involved for this life changing experience. I left with so much new knowledge of our sport and made lasting friendships while there." 

-Anne Godfrey, Salt Lake City, UT
Riding Gabe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 EquestrianCoach.com Workshop Katherine Kinnison

 

 

 

"Working with Bernie is always an incredible experience. He provides a professional yet fun and inviting environment- I've always felt welcomed by the Traurig family. His training methods have opened my eyes to the good and bad of the horse world and he encourages me to become a better horseman. I've met wonderful people from all over the world and it's a great learning experience watching Bernie dissect a rider to the basics and teach them a new form of riding. Bernie is truly a master with both people and horses. This workshop is the highlight of my summer and I look forward to next year!"

- Katherine Kinnison, San Marcos, CA
Riding Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

EquestrianCoach.com Workshop Marcia Sadler

 

 

"These 3 days for me, were better than 2 or 3 years worth of weekly lessons, month after month. In fact, I wish I had come sooner. I think Bernie is more of a coach then a trainer. If you want to ride like a Grand Prix rider there is nothing better than to have one in your ear (with headphones) every stride correcting your hands, your seat, your legs and your thinking as you approach your jumps. Bernie is detailed in a way that I have never experienced before. I left with a little of Bernie in my brain forever.
The staff and even the other riders were friendly and fun which is no surprise because you attract the kind of people you are and Bernie and Cait are good people!"

- Marcia Sadler
Riding Rio

 

 

 

 

 

 

EquestrianCoach.com Workshop Moummar Nawafleh

 

 

"After spending 10 days training with Bernie Traurig, at the EquestrianCoach ranch in San Marcos, I feel that I have learned many new skills and techniques which I can apply on my horses in Jordan. One of the most important things I learned is being adjustable in my seat. I used to ride with a German seat, all deep in the saddle and I was really comfortable in this seat, getting the strides right, feeling the horse underneath me. However, I also experienced problems with this seat when riding a hot horse or when I need to move the pace up in the course, the German seat was not the best option. What we mostly worked on in the workshop was me being adjustable from the German seat, to the forward riding seat. It was tough at the beginning, I was not getting all my strides right, I was not able to feel the horse under me, nevertheless with different techniques I was able to do a full course comfortably in a light seat. When I came back to Jordan I began introducing the forward riding seat to my German horses, and to my surprise both mares responded perfectly to this seat. All in all, the experience I had during these ten days was outstanding, the Equestrian Coach family was so warm and welcoming it felt like home.

- Moummar Al Nawafleh, Jordan
Riding Solomon

 

 

 

Ryan Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

"My experience at the Bernie Traurig workshop was one of the best investments I have made for my riding career thus far. My time with Bernie corrected some critical holes in my riding, as well as brought out untapped strengths. I look forward to continuing my education of The American Forward Riding System with the help of Bernie Traurig and will continue to attend future workshops and clinics. Thank you  Bernie and Cait for a fabulous experience."

- Ryan Miller, Mesa, AZ

 

 

  

 Amy Shanahan EquestrianCoach.com Workshop

"Bernie's workshop was an incredible experience that was jam packed with knowledge not only about how to ride but also about how to perform in the ring. I have been to many clinics in my riding career but nothing as unique as this. Of course the riding was challenging but that was only a piece of the experience. I have never had a trainer so dedicated to making sure I understood a new skill and how it can benefit me and my horse. He was always available for questions and I absolutely loved all of the videos he showed us. He even landed us a Skype date with Tonya Johnston to work on the mental skills it takes to become a top rider. This workshop is one of a kind in the fact that it looks at the whole picture of what it takes to be a great rider by not only focusing on the physical side but also the mental. I look forward to attending workshops in the future and would definitely recommend it to any rider wanting to further their abilities."

- Amy Shanahan, Johnson City, TN
Riding 'Bonnie' owned by Denise Terrazas

 

 

 

  

Julie Biel EquestrianCoach.com WorkshopI had an incredible experience working with Bernie. I had read reviews that said Bernie was a master at making everything simple.

What I realized at the end of the workshop, is Bernie's true genius is prioritizing. He sees EVERYTHING, your heels that might not be down enough, your contact that could be a little more consistent. But he starts with the biggest or most important issue. He doesn't bombard you with instructions, he focuses on the fundamental issues that are going to have the largest impact if corrected. Once he feels confident that he's addressed the issue, that becomes your new bedrock. You may forget or need to fix which Bernie of course, will gently remind you of, but you have so much confidence because with this one new tool, you've seen a tremendous improvement.

I see so many trainers yelling out all sorts of comments and it's very easy to get lost and not know which to do, when and most importantly, why. Bernie gives you the why. So you don't just learn how to correct an issue, you learn why you're having the issue and why the correction addresses that.

And it gives you confidence, because you realize that great riding is really a collection of building blocks. Bernie gives you the assurance that you can, over time, achieve measurable progress, by breaking things down into components and working towards improving those elements. But it's so much easier with Bernie teaching because you take them one at a time.

The other benefit of his workshop is his demeanor. Bernie maintains great care and calm of his students and horses. He never makes you feel stupid. He's patient and happy to keep breaking exercises down into smaller and smaller pieces to make the lessons easier to understand for you and your horse.  By doing so, you gain more confidence. He's sympathetic while still challenging you. And he always puts the horse first. He walks that line of encouraging the horses to perform their best, while being understanding of every individual horse's strengths and limitations.

I found the environment of the workshop to be so friendly. A big part of that was Bernie of course, cracking jokes and reminding everyone to laugh. But also Cori and Cait's efforts to make the whole experience warm and welcoming. Everything ran on time, but the team also flexed the schedule to comfortably accommodate everyone and make sure each student got lots of personal attention. It was all very professional.  I enjoyed learning about my fellow clinicians. It was a nice opportunity to get up to my elbows in horses.

I found the whole experience invaluable and feel like I've advanced my and my horse's training ahead by a few months. Bernie has long been one of my heroes, so of course, I was nervous to have him watch me ride and actually get on my horse. But the experience was one of great learning and fun. I honestly can't say enough good things about my workshop with Bernie.

- Julie Biel,  Pacific Palisades, CA
Riding Bravo

 

 

Susan Hovdesven EquestrianCoach.com workshopMy experience at the clinic was fantastic.  I found Bernie to be so personable and with no ego. As a result he speaks to the student in a clear and concise way which allowed me to focus on a the really important aspects of my riding.  One of the first improvements I found in my riding was in how I approached a fence and what I should look at.  Bernie taught it so simply and it worked.  I found the strides to my fences much more consistently based on what Bernie taught me.

I also loved how involved Bernie is with your horse and the equipment.  I have never seen a professional take the time to examine the tack and the bits.  Bernie actually had his magical bag of bits that seemed to always do the trick.  The simpler the better.

It was a honor to be able to watch Bernie ride.  There was so much to be learned just by watching and listening to him when he rode.

Beyond Bernie and the horses there were some fabulous people that I met.  I enjoyed every person I met in our group including the people who work for Bernie.  It was an even better experience, because all the people involved were so nice.  We came from all walks of life, but we got along so well and had some great laughs.

My next dream is to bring my daughters. (I lied my next dream is to buy a horse!)

Thank you, thank you, thank you,

- Susan Hovdesven, Southampton, NY
Riding Lincoln

 

 

Brian Wright

 

"His deep experience as a rider and coach, his unparalleled ability to communicate, his strong desire to see his students improve, his obvious enthusiasm for the sport. You benefit from all four at a clinic with Bernie Traurig . It is a truly rewarding experience."

- Brian Wright, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Riding Solomon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stacey Workshop Testimonial

 

"For those of us who don't ride with a trainer on a regular basis, and even for those who do, EquestrianCoach.com is a rich resource that is invaluable to understanding correct basics and putting them to use in more advanced areas. It was fantastic to put the lessons that I have studied on EquestrianCoach.com into play during the workshop. Bernie did a wonderful job clarifying any techniques that I was unclear about, and helped me execute those techniques correctly."

 

- Stacey Howlett, St. Louis, MO
Riding Bean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellen Workshop Testimonial

 

"I liked how Bernie wasn’t negative about how we rode. Instead, he focused on what we could improve. Bernie explained things very well.  He told us how to do things and why it would work. Bernie was always open to questions. The best thing about going to the clinic was that Bernie’s personal experience with horses blended with how he taught us. We learned a lot about history and now I understand why things are done a certain way.  Bernie made me a better rider! "

- Ellen Haghighi, Anchorage, AK
Riding Hollywood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah Workshop Testimonial

 

 

"I really enjoyed my experience with Bernie. The way he phrased and explained things was so simple and easy to understand. In the span of 5 days, I learned so much about leg position, strategy on-course, and jump preparation.  He also gave me things to work on after the clinic, so I could further improve my riding. This is exactly the structure I need.  Bernie was also so kind by providing food for us in-between our riding times. His family’s hospitality was incredible. I feel like I have improved so much as a rider after working with him. I would definitely do it again!"

- Hannah Haghighi, Anchorage, AK
Riding Rio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Going into the Equestrian Coach Workshop, I knew that my 3 girls would learn a lot and gain from the experience.  But within the first hour after arriving I was amazed.  Not only were they going to learn and gain from this experience, they were going to be immersed all 5 days in history, technique, application and new habits.  The Equestrian Coach Workshop experience will forever change the way they think about their riding and how they go about executing the skills needed to be not just a rider, but a good  student of riding that is constantly learning from the horses they encounter.  Cait and Bernie’s hospitality was warm and welcoming to all of us.  The atmosphere was one of learning and discussion from all of the participants.  I highly recommend this workshop to anyone willing to improve themselves and the horses they ride.  As a parent of participants, I also learned everyday about how my girls can follow through on their homework from Bernie and execute the skills they have learned.  They can refresh their knowledge daily with Equestriancoach.com topics and put into practice what they learn.  Thank you to the team at Equestrian Coach for all that you do.  Keep up the great work!"

- Kathy Haghighi, Anchorage, AK

 

 

Tori Montgomery

 

 

"Thank you so much Bernie for an outstanding workshop. You provided full 3 days of information. Loved the equestriancoach.com backpack filled with great goodies, the Q&A in the evening, all the meals & having Tonya Johnson via Skype. You outdid yourself!!!  Tory & I brought 2 green young horses (1 very green), & was a bit worried if it was going to be over the young horses heads... we were very pleased to the contrary. The progress that both horses made, from the first day to the last was great to witness. Simple instructions,  straightforward exercises that Tory could implement to the young horses without over-pressuring them. Your hospitality was spectacular, as both you & Caitlin opened your house for us all to enjoy. Thank you for continuing to give great clinics & now workshops, for always giving back to the horse community."

- Vickie Montgomery, Paicines, CA

 

 

 

 

Leslie Fiering

 

 

"As wonderful and helpful as Bernie Traurig's clinics are, the workshop moved up to a whole new level. There was time to drill down on individual problems and monitor the progress over a longer period of time. Every rider had the chance to practice and reinforce whatever we were learning.  Everyone in the workshop, myself included, showed marked improvement.  The best part is that I'm able to use everything I learned in the workshop now that I'm home and riding other horses."

- Leslie Fiering, Pescadero, CA

 

 

 

 

 

Sgarib Bradford

 

 

 

"I've had the opportunity to have two clinics with Bernie and both were great experiences. He was as interested and helpful to me jumping 2 feet as he was the other riders jumping larger fences. Bernie is a superb teacher, let alone an amazing rider. He followed up with each of us individually a few weeks later with a personal overview of our three-day clinic and homework assignments. Really fun to be able to go online and watch the lessons I was trying to learn on EquestrianCoach.com. The best of both worlds to have a personal clinic with him and and an online coach."

- Sharon Bradford, Santa Barbara, CA