Ever since I was little, I always knew I loved horses more than anything. Growing up, I didn’t know the difference between all the styles and disciplines. I just knew I wanted to ride. Working with Paige, I got more than I bargained for- in a great way.
When I first started riding with her, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I thought I was going to just get on and the horse was going to go. Quickly, I realized it wasn’t that simple and I wanted to know more. It’s one thing to have someone explain science and biology stuff to you. It’s a completely different thing to experience it and see how it works right before your eyes.
Barney started out as a horse with navicular and hock arthritis who couldn’t stay sound. Paige taught us how to apply the correct kinematics in our work to prevent further damage and stay sound. Barney has been consistently sound since we started this work and will be for many years to come.
The difference between Paige and other trainers is that her training is consistent. One thing always flows to the next and works together. She uses her engineering background to explain things in a way that is easy to understand and apply. Paige always makes learning new things fun and helps you through the more frustrating parts of riding. Once you get a basic understanding of biomechanics, the lights will go on in your head and you’ll think, “Why didn’t I do this before? This is common sense!”
Starting out, Barney didn’t even want to move forward. He wasn’t using his body the correct way to be able to carry a rider as well as himself. Teaching him how to use his body took time, but through the process, I gained his trust and respect. I started with an uncomfortable horse who didn’t want to do anything and now I have a willing partner, ready to learn with me. We still have a long way to go, and there will always be more to learn.
Like I said before, Barney used to not even want to move. Now, he loves to move and work with me because it’s finally comfortable for him to do so. There are so many things he can do now that he knows how to move his body in a way that doesn’t compromise it. It has been the highlight of my life being able to work with Barney and Paige.
Marissa E., Iowa
Taking lessons from Paige Labella has completely changed my riding for the better. She has not only improved my physical riding, but also my mental riding. Because of her I think about my horse's perspective more and am developing a much better relationship with my horse than I otherwise would have.
Emma S., Iowa
My mare could jump clean but was dragging me around the course, and tight turns were a little sketchy. Paige watched us jump and explained that she was not using her back right over the jumps and that was why she was rushing. Within a few lessons, she taught me how to fix it and what I should feel. Now we can get around a stadium course sanely and our times are faster. My mare is so confident on course now! She (Paige) said smoothness first and speed comes automatically. I wasn’t sure about that because it felt slow, but she was right.
I have been an internet student of Paige for some time now. Our cooperation started when I sent her a video of me and my horse working together in the moment of great despair of mine. I desperately needed "tools" and guidance. I did not believe I can learn riding via internet but I hoped to gain better understanding of what my horse does. I was so wrong. It is possible to learn to ride and have a successfull partnership with your horse having internet guidance of such a proffesional. So as everyone can imagine I was struggling alone and frequently showed her "what we did" on videos. Sometimes a description of mine was enough. Paige has many gifts. She does understand horses well but the clue when teaching people to ride is to understand human part of equation. She does it very well knowing exactly what to say in the right moments. By this she helps getting out of dead ends, calming down both: the horse and the rider. Her great knowledge in horse biomechanics is not something that she shows off with. Instead it is gently used by her to explain why my mare does what she does, what conditions are needed to change it, and possible ways of approach are suggested. When I frequently turned to her with a vent "my mare and I will never get this!"...I would hear a suprising answer like for eg. "they don't know until they know" which immediately would calm me down and made me ready to start again with my horse. She loves human and horses equally and believes in them. She believed in my mare before I did...giving me strength to go on. Because you should never give up on your horse. And this is one of her gifts, either solution or thorough explanation (which with all the complicated biomechanics knowledge is presented by her in easily understandable way). With this you never feel left alone. And that is how I feel having Paige as my teacher, as if she was with me.
Paige I’m ecstatic! Your descriptions really clarified a lot for me…..I was starting to have this conversation that we were not having before! I was able to adjust tone as needed, which was a bit of trial and error throughout instead of clenching the entire time and he <horse> was responding!
Gen D, Australia