Thursday, February 1, 2007
Developing Riders Clinic at LA Equestrian Center
Well we finished our third day of the Developing Riders Clinic today. I feel like I learned a lot and got a really good feel for how the connection needs to feel in the piaffe and how I still need to further develop better self carriage and hold a more consistent rhythm. It can be overwhelming at times at how much there is to learn but I felt like I got a real good grasp on where things need to go. I primarily worked with Debbie McDonald for the last three days and Klaus oversaw things. She is a wonderful instructor and I highly recommend if any of you ever have the opportunity to work with her you jump on it.
The first couple of days we worked on getting Wistar more supple in his body and not me trying to supple him only in the mouth. We did a lot of bending exercises and she really emphasized half halting more often but much quicker and then immediately activating the hind legs in the moment of releasing the half halt. It was like "Get of my hand but keep your hind legs moving." We worked on this quite a bit until he automatically would activate behind even when I was patting him on the neck. It was a great feeling.
Today (the third day) Debbie got on him herself and wanted to work this exercise a bit more thoroughly. He looked lovely and she got him really up in the neck and kept his hind legs very underneath him in the piaffe with the croup honestly lowering. It was very inspiring. She had many good things to say about him. I will continue to work with Debbie through the weekend. I had contemplated doing his first Grand Prix this weekend but I would rather utilize this time with Debbie before she heads back further north. I feel that I have many little things that I would like to perfect before I take him into his first GP test. All and all I am very thrilled with the week. Wistar worked very well especially after his long journey. I will work him very light tomorrow to give him a little break. Take care.