April 24, 2018
New Trainer at Cranesfield
Was he hired just because he has the correct last name? Is he the former star of Hogan’s Heroes? Hardly!
Dressage is Bob’s passion. For the last 12 years he has ridden with a number of top notch trainers; Sarah Martin, Amanda Bailey, Megg Hilly, Kim Fokema, Peggy Gaboury, Ally Rogers, Cindy Thaxton, Sabine Shutz-Kerry and Olivia Weltz LaGoy, gaining knowledge in training and riding from them all. He has taken USDF training through Second Level precertification clinics and the precertification test, so is qualified through Second Level, but not USDF certified yet.
His other “instructors” have been the difficult horses he has ridden. “I have ridden some rank horses and wouldn’t have it any other way,” Bob said. “I learned more from the difficulties than from the successes. Each horse has given me a new tool with which to work on the next horse. I am currently working a ‘gifted’ horse, and by ‘gifted’ I mean he is both very talented and was given to me. Being too much horse for his owner, she has graciously allowed me to use him indefinitely.”
Bob has shown through Third Level and is currently competing his horse Renoir at Second Level. The pair received a score of 68.4% in Second Level Test 2 from national judge D. Rodriguez at the Tennessean Dressage Show in Franklin, TN, June 8, 2014. It was high score for Second Level Open!
However, Bob’s riding career started with eventing. “It was exhilarating and I thrived on the adrenalin,” he admitted. “I breezed through Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training levels with an off-the-track Thoroughbred named Winston. Dressage was always the weakest part of our scores, but what he lacked in balance and connection, he made up for in sheer determination. Ultimately, I got to Preliminary level and found I needed a new horse with more scope, and I absolutely had to improve my dressage scores. I bought an Appendix Quarter Horse name Bodacious Bo Harley. What soul he had! I worked with Kari Barber, Ralph Hill, Regis Webb, and rode in clinics with Karen O’Connor, Cindy Thaxton, and Marty Hopkins. All these trainers added to my repertoire of jumping and dressage knowledge.
Fear Factor. The same year that Christopher Reeves took his spill, I took a similar spill at a water complex. I found I no longer had the edge needed to compete. It was the first time I had to deal with fear. Believing myself to be a liability to myself and my horse, I decided to go into dressage and have never looked back. I still love to jump, but it took a few years to work through the fear and rebuild my confidence. As a teacher I am completely empathetic with anyone who suffers from fear. You can’t just ‘get over it;’ fear has to be brought into the conscious realm from the nervous system wherein it resides. Since I have done that, I can teach that process.”
Training Philosophy. “With all horses, it takes time and lots of patience, clear aids, and more patience,” Bob explained. The formula starts with “creating rhythm, relaxation, add more patience; forward tempo, connection, add more patience; working towards straightness, add more patience; and finally, collection. Did I mention patience? When working with horses it is imperative to not have a strict agenda. Each day is unique. Ride what is presented and improve on it, even if just a little. Each step builds to the next. My philosophy for teaching is very similar. Lots of patience, clear communications, and work on moving up the training pyramid.”
Artist. The other side of Bob Crane is the artistic side, which he likens to training and teaching. “As an artist I start with a foundation which can be built upon. Patiently I apply layer upon layer, creating a depth of color, texture, form and composition, knowing that with each ‘mistake’ is an opportunity to learn and to correct. I am currently represented by the Red Door Gallery in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Over the years I have been represented in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee. I am currently developing my own gallery, which should open by next year. I do accept commissions and have work ready for exhibit. I continue to create works as I find it relaxes me and is an excellent source of grounding.”
Peggy Gaboury remains the manager and main instructor/trainer at Cranesfield. However, as Peggy does a lot of traveling to shows, Bob fills the gap in training and teaching. He works mainly with green horses and riders, training level and below, and schools others on a very experienced Second Level school horse. He also works with Peggy’s students sometimes, coaching them at shows when she is show secretary. “We’re both happy,” Peggy said. “Our styles of teaching are different, but complementary.”
Cranesfield Farm is located at 7295 Hwy. 194, Williston, TN. For more information about Cranesfield and their instruction program, visit www.cranesfielddressage.com
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