Verne Batchelder has the gift of being able to positively influence both the rider and the horse while standing on the ground in the middle of the arena. When you take a lesson with Verne not only do you come away with a thorough understanding of the concepts and a specific set of exercises, you also come away feeling like you and your horse are a dynamite team. Verne is the only clinician I have met who truly thinks that your horse is absolutely wonderful. He is full of compliments for each individual horse and takes the time to physically touch and talk to each horse. In addition, Verne has the ability to ensure that the student feels valued and supported in their efforts. His students feel good about themselves and their horses.
Verne makes an extra effort to bring positivity and fun to the arena. His sense of humor is liberally sprinkled into serious explanations – students have fun learning. There is a balance between challenging students and giving them exercises that they are not able to achieve. There is a balance between giving students verbal explanations and overwhelming them with too much information. Verne has the ability to find this balance with each rider and horse combination. He pushes the rider to the edge of their abilities and self-confidence, asking for more while making sure the rider is successful. He knows when to provide an explanation and he knows how to help the rider feel the correctness of the movement. At the end of the lesson, Verne’s students ride away with a feeling of accomplishment, confident, and happy.
But ultimately, I think that students love clinics with Verne because he sincerely seems to believe that each and every single one of us is an awesome rider and has an awesome horse. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!