Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lynn Palm

I personally think of trainer Lynn Palm as a rock star among trainers. Way back when I was first trying out my training wings I read a lot of Lynn and Sally Swift. I first saw the possibilities of using dressage techniques in my western training because of what I read. Over the years I picked up anything I found one of her articles in and read it.

So you guys can probably imagine how excited I was when I got to interview her for our paper.
I'm going to post my interview because I'm still tickled silly I got to talk to her and I want to share.

I am beginning to understand how cool this job is.

BTW, she is an incredibly nice woman.....

Lynn Palm Comes To The Fountain Valley
by Janet Huntington

The horsemen in the Fountain Valley are being offered a rare opportunity to ride with one of the most innovative and successful horsewomen in the country.
Lynn Palm and fellow trainer and lecturer Cyril Pittion-Rossilon are offering a three-day “Ride Well” Clinic at the MM Equestrian Center at 12393 Squirrel Creek Rd., Friday, May 23 through Sunday, May 25.
Almost everybody who rides horses, whether it’s English or Western, in the show pen or out in the field has heard of Lynn Palm, rider and trainer of Rugged Lark, the two-time winner of the AQHA Super Horse Title.
I first found Palm in a series of articles written in Horse and Rider Magazine in 1997. I was fascinated with her idea of dressage principles incorporated with training a western horse. I had a small lesson and training business going in Green Mountain Falls and eagerly latched onto the concepts she shared.
I learned to think past my saddle horn and into the world of dressage. As my horizons broadened so did my ability as a teacher and trainer. My horses became more flexible, balanced and easy to handle. I also learned to explain what I wanted from my students with a much clearer voice.
Once I moved forward into the sport of reined cowhorse I carried the principles and open-mindedness I had first learned from those articles written by Palm. It enabled me to grasp the overwhelming amount of information I had to absorb to become competitive in an extremely complex event. It helped me convince the hard-core cowboys I rode with I was worth teaching a thing or two.
Palm is considered a pioneer among men and women in the horse industry. Her “Palm Partnership Training” brings her unique melding of dressage and absolutely any equestrian discipline to the educational schools and clinics she offers in the United States and Europe every year.
She is a regular commentator on Horse TV and RFD-TV, and is steady contributor to a wide array of equine publications. Horse & Rider, Dressage Today, Western Horseman, Horse Illustrated, the Paint Horse Journal and the American Quarter Horse Journal fill out her impressive list of articles.
Palm is also known for her bridleless exhibitions on her horse Rugged Painted Lark. The beautiful pair does a dressage exhibition along with a reining and western exhibition. They demonstrate not only the versatility of the horse, but the spectacular results of her riding and training approach.
If you haven’t seen her ride before, check her out on www.lynnpalm.com/ruggedlark.php, or just hit “Lynn Palm and Rugged Lark” in the YouTube search engine, it’s a great example of what hooked me in the first place.
In a recent interview with this writer Palm was eager to share her methods.
“I’m open minded and love to work with every kind of horse and rider,” Palm said, “we always try to improve the rider in order to improve the horse.
“I come from a dressage background. What dressage really means is ‘Train the horse.’ This concept certainly applies to any discipline,” she said.
“The more balanced the rider the more balanced the horse will be,” she continued,” I don’t care if you’re turning a barrel or making a fence turn, the better your balance, the better the performance of your horse and the better a turn you’ll get.
“We work to define and understand the natural aids, the seat, leg and hands, and the artificial aids, the crop and spurs. With a better understanding of balance in the horse and rider and the knowledge to correctly use both natural and artificial aids we create lightness in our horses.
“You won’t see any over-bending the neck or spur stops around here,” Palm ended with a laugh.
Palm and Pittion-Rossilon offer a relaxed and open-minded approach to their clinics.
“We can adapt to any group of riders who come to the clinics. I love a mix of dressage, western riders and hunter jumpers at all levels. I do ask that the riders be able to walk, trot and canter their horses,” Palm said.
My guess is she’ll be just fine if you decide to lope too.
The cost for all three days is $395. Spectators are welcome at $25 a day and if you pre-register you can bring a friend for free! Call 200-2906 for stall reservations.
This is a rare opportunity to ride with one of the country’s best trainers and clinicians, I hope I’ll see you there.
Go to www.LYNNPALM.com or call 1-800-503-2824 for more information.


badges blues N jazz said...

going to read your post now.. I had just scanned it to see if there was a sonita story first..hehe

Original L said...

Lucky you, that sounds like fun! I actually was given several 1997 H&R magazines years ago, I think in 1999, and those were some of my first exposures to the modern horse world (I was out of the country prior to that and had to content myself with reading Black Stallion and things like that) and were very pivotal for me. I still have them and I remember the Lynn Palm articles. She seems like a really sensible trainer.

lopinon4 said...

I scanned for a Sonita story first, too.
I would love an hour with Lynn. I'm completely green with envy, Mugs. I have always loved her ability to communicate and educate. What a fantastic trainer and a wonderful mentor for all horse enthusiasts! By the way, great article. :)

Shanster said...

What a great opportunity! I'm sure you had a blast!! Fun, fun, fun.

Sydney said...

Awesome! What luck!

Are you going to ride in the clinic?

mugwump said...

Sydney -No,I don't have the $$.I have spring shots, worming and a bilateral cryptorchid colt to geld. I'm hoping to audit a day or two.

Shanster said...

Oh - hey - Mugs! I took my gelding to the trainer yesterday late morning. I returned at feeding time to deliver a warm beet pulp mash (stop rolling those eyes - I see you!) and check in with my horse.

Ummmm - it is a place that is ALL cowboy, ALL the time.

This guy and 3 of his buddies were sitting there having a brewski at the end of the day. Cowboy hats, squinty eyes, chaps, wranglers and sun-leathered skin....

I pulled up with my polka dotted car listening to Copacabana.

I'm pretty sure I don't want to know what they thought.

I'm going out tomorrow to watch some round pen work between the trainer guy and my gelding. I'm gonna bring my camera.

I'm think if the polka dot car didn't seal the deal of him thinking I'm a complete whack-a-doo, my camera will. heh, heh.

The Epic Barrel Racer said...

I find Lynn Palm very informative, but so slow and sometimes rather boring. I attended one of her clinics and just the way she talks had me going bonkers, must be the speed demon inside me lol.

That being said she's a super wonderful person and yes a "rockstar" trainer.

mugwump said...

Shanster - That's OK, they needed something to talk about when they popped the tops on the next round.

The Epic Barrel Racer - I totally get why any clinician trying to explain their theories seems slow and dull.
It's dangerous work taking on a whole group of people at different levels and try to give them your insight.
The trick is to share information in a way that will make a difference and still keep people from getting killed.
So it gets slow. John Lyons could use an air horn periodically and he still wouldn't be able to keep me awake.
AND I think he's one of the good ones.
I think the "tricks" we all hate so much come into play trying to keep the audience awake.
Let's face it. Training a horse is a lot like watching paint dry.

The Epic Barrel Racer said...

Mugs, you couldn't have said it any better. I've got one horse in training right now that is a chronic head tosser. Right now we are just walking around the arena and every few strides I ask for his face while keeping him moving forward. I hold until he stops tosses his head and gives the slightest bit. His owner came out the other day to watch and I'm sure she thinks she's paying way more then what she's getting as all I did for 45 mins was walk the horse around lol

As for the clinic, curiously got the best of me and I just watched one of myself giving a barrel racing clinic at the Alaska Horse Expo and I came to the scary conclusion that I acted and sounded a lot like Lynn Palm, as far as slow and repeating myself a lot. It's like the realization that you come to when you say "Oh my god, I sound just like my mother" ha ha

Holly said...

the lone voice of dissention.

LP came to our area a few years ago. I was a spectator and left before noon at the way she was tearing riders apart. Won't go see her again.

does she know what she's doing? Perhaps, but so do others that aren't so harsh.

Esquared said...

Wow, that would be awesome to attend. Of course that sort of thing doesn't seem to occur in Iowa... but I would attend if it did :)

I got a real word for my word verification: ducks

wonder if that means something?

Juli said...

I love Lynn Palm. I'd give a lot to be able to afford one of her partnership clinics at her farm. However, I feel that I must first pay the rent and the electric bills, and then there isn't any left for that kind of horsey fun.

HorsesAndTurbos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HorsesAndTurbos said...

Hmmm...need to check her out next...after I finish digesting Sally Swift's Centered Riding.

I want to know what has happened to my horse these last few days - I think someone switched her out! She's gone from la-te-da to hot-hot-hot! I have to attribute it mostly to Sally...I am focusing on "opening my hips" and "relaxing" and "riding with her" these last few days, and she is extending out, has tons of forward, and is super responsive! I was cantering her and actually having to hold her in - I have to get my courage up for a full out gallop, which is what she seems to want to do. I have not have her ask to gallop before - and it's great, I just need the confidence to do it (and I've learned to take my time and go when I'm ready).

So, can just simply balancing and "opening" create forward? Like I said in another post, by doing this I am not "half-halting" by tensing up. I am not pinching my knees (hence her shoulder area/sides) together and now allowing her to move with more extension/free motion. Still pondering this..I know it's been nippy, but I've ridden her all winter and not had this response.

I have also switched her to a ration balancer, and she has lost a lot of needed weight, and looks great (I think I need to eat it too!). They say after 90 days you'll see a difference in body and attitude, and I definately think this is part of it.

For smiles...I am reading Sally at work during lunch, and am sitting at the table practicing dropping my hips, centering, moving my legs, shoulders, and some of the exercises in the book. I looked up the other day and saw my boss staring at me...I wonder what he was thinking watching me gyrate on the chair LOL!


Anonymous said...

I've got a question for ya mugs, we just got a cute little red quarter mare for my parents who is western trained, got the nice western stop on her too! My question is about leads. She has a hard time picking up her right lead, so I've been making sure to bend her correctly to try and get the right one, as well was pulling her back down immediately and asking again to correct for picking up the wrong one. Am I doing alright? or are there other things I can do to encourage her to pick up the correct lead and correct her when she doesnt

Candy'sGirl said...

Totally unrelated question to the post, but I'm curious - how do you teach a horse to do lead changes? My 4yo will pick up the correct lead along the rail, but always drops to a trot for lead changes.

I'd love to start teaching him barrel and pole patterns, but that all seems useless if we can't do flying changes...

stillearning said...

Horses and Turbos said "So, can just simply balancing and "opening" create forward?"

Sometimes I don't think we consider our human conformation enough. If your hips are tight naturally, learning to soften and relax them can make a huge difference in encouraging a horse to go forward. Sally Swift is great.

(One of my problems...)

heater said...

I went to the Olympics in Atlanta in 96. They had western demonstrations during the breaks in the GP dressage. Lynn Palm & Rugged Lark did a demo. I was almost as excited to see them as I was to see the competitors! I was 14 at the time. I don't remember much of it, except that she took his bridle off in the middle of the demo and rode without it. Then she had him sit down at the end. At 14 I was more enamored with Lark with LP!

Heidi the Hick said...

I have always thought she's something special. I had a subscription to H&R from 1989 to 2004. I loved her articles. She had an approach totally different from anybody I knew.

Recently, my coach-friend bought "Head to Toe Horsemanship" and regularly comes out to the barn with a new piece of information about our riding position.

I'd love to go to a weekend like that too, but I hear you: I've got two horses needing shots, Mike the Vet wants to float their teeth, but I think if anybody's getting dental work it's my kids, and I've got another hoof trimming coming up. That's not including the horse trailer with no floor...

Heidi the Hick said...

Almost forgot- that really is a cool job you've got yourself!

Anonymous said...

Let me just say I'm a complete fan your blog and I'm always looking on your site for new postings...I've worked very personally with Lynn Palm (as a vet assistant) and her stallions and sale horses. I think she's a very talented person and has done very well for herself. On the other hand, i know her to be "slightly" dishonest when it comes to her horse sales and their "soundness". I will not elaborate, but just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. Again, I think the woman is a genius at training horses...Just make sure you have a vet that's not "in her pocket" do the lameness tests if you buy...

SkyBar Farm said...

I absolutely adore Lynn Palm. i have had the pleasure of meeting her a couple times and I must agree she is very easy to talk to and get a long with. She is fantastic in her approach to teaching. Because of her, I sought out the Rugged lark bloodline, and am proud to own several of his progeny. Carol Harris, Rugged Larks owner, is equally a pleasure to talk to and learn from. Carol and Lynn were the perfect match up. I use Lynn's techniques daily in my riding and instruction.
Lucky you to sit down with her for an interview.

Anonymous said...

New red QH mare I just got has trouble with balance at the canter, shes perfect walk trot, but unbalanced at the canter and turns like a motorcycle despite my best efforts to bring rider and her back under herself and balance her... I'm an english rider, and shes western trained so its very possible that she just has no idea wtf im asking, any advice or exercises to help her improve her balance?
~Maddy~ (blogger id wont let me in!)

quietann said...

Maddy --

Try turns on the forehand and turns on the haunches. Both help the horse to bend, and I have found, with my stiff "motorcycle" mare, that if we do a turn on the forehand and then set right off at a canter, and I am still thinking "turn on the forehand" in the corner, she will bend much better.

oregonsunshine said...

I am a day late and a dollar short to this. However, I find it interesting that I purchased the first dvd of her "Dressage for the Western Horse" series. (I'll be getting the second one next payday.)

As they say, great minds think alike!

Vaquerogirl said...

I first met Lynn Palm in Oklahoma City on Rugged Larks Farewell tour. You would have thought I was going to kiss Mick Jaegger, I was so excited to see that horse. ( I'm really dating myself huh!)
She has also come to California and I've been able to audit her there, but I haven't been able to ride with her- yet! I agree she is one awesome woman!

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