The Summit Philosophy
Our philosophy on riding is that classical riding is the basis of all equestrian sports. Good riding is good riding whether it be hunter/jumpers, dressage, reining or cutting cows. We always stress to our riders and clients the importance of dressage, not only for the rider but for the horse. Dressage is vital to the soundness of your equine partner in order to build a proper partnership as well as to build proper musculature which enables him or her to perform in the hunter/jumper world. We have always found that the more time we spent on dressage, the better jumper we had.
When it comes to the welfare of a horse, we believe that less is more. We do not drug horses in any way unless they are injured, arthritic because of age or another medically indicated problem. We do not believe in calming agents, hock injections for prevention, steroids or any other performance enhancing tricks of the trade. It is our belief that if you are taught to ride correctly in the first place, you will be able to ride anything. If you are taught how to handle horses correctly and continue to be an active participant in your riding and horsemanship, you will see problems at the beginning and not get into trouble. Kelly has spent her entire riding career without a serious injury (knock on wood!) because she doesn’t push a horse past where they are both comfortable and she doesn’t ride unsound horses. We ask the same of our riders. It is a horseman’s responsibility to know his or her and his or her horse’s limits and only expand their riding to bigger and more challenging things when they are ready.
Any horse we have given a student to ride is not medicated in any way to affect that horse’s personality. Some of the horses may be challenging, some may be lazy, some may be high strung but it is through these challenges where the student becomes a better horseman. When you learn to ride something challenging at the beginning, then you are able to go buy that pretty untrained horse or that nice thoroughbred straight off the track because you have the foundation which allows you to be able to train a horse successfully. Many people would rather take the easy route and buy the pre-trained European imported warmblood. The problem is, what happens when your $50,000 horse acts up? You then have to pay a trainer to fix the problem which may have been caused by your bad riding. If you learn correctly in the first place and have had challenges, you will be able to buy the inexpensive thoroughbred or inexpensive untrained warmblood and be able to train it yourself which saves you money in the long run!
We are happy to teach anyone who wants to learn about horsemanship and the hunter jumper sport. We do recommend that all our riders at least take the basic horsemanship course and take a dressage lesson at least every other month with the owner of Salado Creek Riding Club, Deirdre Malburg. We also recommend our students take advantage of the clinics offered at Salado Creek Riding Club.