Excerpts (used with permission) from Eclectic Horseman “Reports on A Legacy of Legends 2012,” Las Vegas, Nevada, where Betty made a rare public teaching appearance.
“After that (the previous demonstration) we were lucky enough each day to see dressage rider Betty Staley work her young horses. I live near dressage barns. I’ve never been able to comprehend what these people are doing to attain the perfomance they get from their horses. Betty talks constantly as she rides and she has a gift for simplifying the explanations, and making it all understandable. Her horses go beautifully too. Betty showed us how she incorporates the Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance groundwork into her training. Her precise explanations as she rode showed us how she makes it easy for a horse to correctly do what she is asking and difficult for them to do it the wrong way. If they didn’t get it right she just stopped and asked again. She said if you ask the right questions you will get the right answers. She was entertaining and inspiring, and for me, she showed dressage in a whole new light.”
Mary E. Marks – 1st Whipper-In Norkfolk Hunt, Massachusetts.
“We then were treated to a dynamic session with Betty Staley, a dressage (rider) and author who explained to us in a heartfelt fashion what Ray’s teachings did for her riding and competing. She began working with Ray and Buck when a ‘flat saddle’ was a rare sight at horsemanship clinics. Cowyboys and dressage weren’t thought to mix, but the combination actually goes down as smooth as lemonade on a hot summer day. Betty explained that Ray taught her, ‘If you put them away good, they will come back better. If you put them back bad, they will come back worse.”
Mary Brownlie, Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada
“Betty Staley showed how you could make corners of anywhere in the arena and get to the horse’s hindquarters by bending him, first at the walk and then the trot. Turning on the forehand got the hindquarters engaged, and lifting the inside rein got the hinquarters engaged in both upward and downward transistions. For dressage-types like me, this was amazing, using the same aid going faster and slower, because it was basically a half-halt. Wow, to finally get a grasp on the half-halt! But it was just another version of Ray’s and Tom’s message, ‘Get to the feet!”
Sally Goshorn, Pinehurst, Michigan