Aleco: Thanks for being here.
Ali: Happy to be here.
Aleco: What is the best advice that you’ve ever received? Ali: Don’t give up.
Aleco: Plain and simple.
Ali: Plain and simple, don’t give up,
Aleco: Don’t give up. That’s the answer. What would you say to an up and coming rider as a key to success?
Ali: Don’t give up. And it’s on you. You have to find a way. Don’t rely on other people to make it happen for you. It’s your personal responsibility to make it happen for yourself.
Aleco: What are the three most important lessons that you emphasize to your students?
Ali: The three most important lessons… that you are responsible for yourself. So, whatever coaching and training you’re getting, that you are absolutely responsible for your own actions. And it’s on them to do to take the information and process it. To always operate in a way with integrity and honesty with yourself, your students, your coaches, but most importantly, your horses. To not make it so much about your own ego, but to keep their best interests in mind at all times. And that’s hard to do, especially when you’re competing. And then the third thing is that it’s not enough to be a good rider. You have to be a good horseman. You have to really know your horses, take care of your horses well and, in a way, put their interests almost ahead of yours, if you want to be really successful.
Aleco: What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?
Ali: Boy, that’s a really tough one. That there are things you can’t control. And that’s something that we all learn with horses, is that as much as we try to manage them appropriately and do whatever we can, sometimes things happen that are unfortunate. And that you have to pick yourself up and go on. And I think when you start these things, you think you’re gonna be able to manage and control everything, but you can’t. And that’s part of life. So, to absolutely do the best you can and then… and help manage what you can. And then there are things that are out of your control and to accept that. I think that’s something that’s a hard lesson to learn. We all hope that we can just control everything, but we can’t.
Aleco: In general, what do you wish more people would pay attention to?
Ali: That that they develop more self-awareness of their own seat and body language and how they influence the horse. I think most people don’t realize how much they’re influencing the horse in a negative
way, because they’re not aware of where they’re sitting, or how they’re sitting, or that they’re tight here, or crooked there.
And then it’s easy to blame the horse for a lot of things, when it’s really not necessarily on the horse. Again, to take ownership of what they’re doing with their own body and in their own training. And are they consistent enough or. That’s a big one for me.
Aleco: That’s a big part of Ali’s clinic today.
Ali: Yes. Biomechanics matter. And you know what we do on the horse… All of that matters to them. They can’t tell if we mean it or not, necessarily. Be really consistent and have self-awareness to how you are actually influencing the horse when you’re working with them. That’s a big one for me.
Aleco: Ali, thank you.
Ali: You’re welcome. Thank you.