Nuggets of Knowledge from the 2023 USDF FEI Stage Trainers’ Convention
by Carmen Franco for Eurodressage
I believe I shared the identical sense of pleasure with greater than 300 attendees for the return of the USDF FEI Stage Trainers Convention on 16 – 17 January 2023 after a pair years of hiatus due to Covid.
Mary Anne McPhail’s Excessive Meadow farm in Loxahatchee, FL, is the right venue for this occasion: ample parking, stunning grounds with room for a number of lots of of spectators, one exterior area for the horses to warm-up, the coated ring for the motion, so there are a couple of of some great benefits of the place. It makes me just a little nostalgic as I used to coach there for a few years, and now, two of her horses are with me at one other farm across the nook.
The Audio system
The audio system chosen for this yr’s Convention have been all members of the FEI Judges Supervisory Panel (JSP): Linda Zang, Lilo Fore, Henk van Bergen and David Hunt. It is very important know what the perform of the JSP is to grasp why they’re right here. Indubitably, we have been handled to 2 fantastic academic days stuffed with detailed info, each with its personal fashion.
It is by no means simple to use to trip in these seminars: you might be placing your self and your horse in public to scrutiny; you’ll present your weaknesses and your strengths too. We have been in a position to study from watching these courageous riders carry out with their horses: a number of gratitude in the direction of them for being so good!
They have been:
- Lehua Custer from Wellington: USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist; graduate of the L program and a USDF Licensed Teacher. She rode FJ Ramzes, 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Juventus owned by Wendy Sasser.
- Kimberly Herslow from New Jersey: USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist. Has represented the USA in two Nations Cup groups and member of the 2015 Pan American Video games Gold medal staff. She rode Feymar OLD, 7-year-old Oldenburg mare by Furstenberg.
- Chris Hickey from Wellington: USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist; Licensed Teacher; member of the 2007 Pan American staff profitable staff and particular person Gold medals. He rode Valentine, 11-year-old Swedish warmblood gelding owned by Cecelia Stewart.
Jan Lamontagne from Loxahatchee Groves: USDF Bronze and Silver medalist, has participated within the Markel USEF Younger Horse Rising program. She rode Kentucky, 7-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding by Lord Leatherdale.
- Anna Merritt from Ocala: USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist. Rode Fox Creek’s Censational, 9-year-old German Using Pony stallion by Caramel, owned by Orona.
- Endel Ots from Wellington: USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist, Diamond Achievement recipient. Rode King’s Pleasure, 8-year-old KWPN accepted stallion by Darkish Place, owned by Heidi Humphries.
- Krisitin Stein from Wellington: USDF Bronze and Silver medalist. She rode Elbrasco L, 14-year-old KWPN gelding by Ampere, owned by Sally Alksnis.
- Cindi Wiley from Palm Seaside Gardens: USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist, USEF “S” Decide and USDF Licensed Teacher. She rode her personal Amado XXXV, 14-year-old PRE stallion.
After a short introduction from USDF’s Kathie Robertson and Stephan Hienzsch retired worldwide decide Lilo launched the panelists. There was additionally a short rationalization of the thought course of behind the brand new USDF assessments that change each 4 years.
On Monday evening Dressage4Kids) hosted a spherical desk with the panelists. Lendon Grey launched her many applications to develop youth on this nation. It was a enjoyable and relaxed occasion the place they have been requested a couple of private and concept questions like after they began educating, the way you introduce a double bridle to the rider, what trainers do not take note of with the riders, and which train folks aren’t doing sufficient. The occasion was sponsored by Tuny Web page from Nonetheless Level farm.
Nuggets of Knowledge
Listed below are a few of my take aways. I needed I had a bit extra apply taking notes and footage on the similar time, however I believe I managed to get some good moments on each components.
Here’s a “abstract” of ideas and concepts shared.
- It’s higher to say: “horse accepting the bit” than “horse on the bit”.
- Horse and rider should work collectively, it’s a thoughts recreation. Don’t power the motion, do it collectively.
- In case you have acceptance of the aids’ issues, you have to tackle them now or you should have extra hassle attending to higher ranges. By means of transitions and workout routines you will get the horse collectively and thru: hold the identical quiet rhythm, make your horse responsive, transitions should occur whenever you need them and the way you need them, comprise the vitality for the actions, do not enable him to make use of it in opposition to you.
- It doesn’t matter what coaching system you utilize, what’s essential is to make use of easy coaching in steadiness. For the horse to be in steadiness, the rider should management its personal steadiness. Modern-day horses, bred with large gaits, steadiness might be tough to attain.
- What’s dressage? Is the systematic growth of pure skills of the horse.
- It´s not what number of transitions or actions we do, it’s how good we do them. You’ll be able to’t disguise issues with the fundamentals by doing tips, educated folks understand what’s happening.
- Acknowledge when the horse wants to enhance its suppleness as an alternative of energy.
- Using ahead you introduce assortment.
- Do not wait till it’s good. Good is the enemy of excellent. Transfer on when you’ve achieved good.
- Generally is alright to trip the neck in a deep place: good riders can put the neck wherever they need, the issue is when the neck is deep, and the horse is on the forehand. Change the horses’ place on objective, as a result of you’ve a motive to do it.
When addressing half steps be certain you’ll be able to management a brief stroll, and transitions to a simple trot. Additionally transitions trot – halt and be certain horse reacts fast to have interaction and settle for the aids into connection. Generally horses settle for higher connection being behind the vertical, then work on opening the body with an uphill steadiness.
- Pirouette work can’t disturb the canter; let the collected canter turn into a pirouette. Do 5-meter volte with out altering rhythm, then trip haunches-in within the five-meter volte.
- Work the piaffe and the passage individually till they are often put collectively.
- Using horses is addictive like cocaine twice as costly and we, the trainers, are the sellers.
- About connection issues: bitless driving does not provide the stunning really feel of what it’s a horse appropriately accepting the bit. “If you’re not married you’ll be able to’t divorce, so compromise”.
- For positive we do not need to do mistaken on objective, however errors occur within the course of. When you realize higher, do higher! Respect what different folks do with horses, problem yourselves to do higher.
- Shoulder-in is a bodybuilding train to have interaction the hind leg below the physique, it develops energy. Take note of end the shoulder-in on the finish of the lengthy facet.
- Preparation of workout routines will lead to higher efficiency.
- In pirouettes at stroll and canter, the flip isn’t the essential half; it’s the stroll and the canter.
- Repeat workout routines however do not cross the road into creating damage, soreness, or thoughts issues. You could repeat to make the horse stronger and higher, simply watch out to not cross the road.
- When doing adjustments, it is not essential what number of or between what number of strides you do them, is how good the canter is and the way good the flying change is.
- Do not enable the horse to take initiative, rider is the chief.
- Three the explanation why workout routines go mistaken:
- The horse does not know.
- The horse understands however does not have the bodily skill.
- The horse understands however ignores the rider.
- They virtually look the identical, however options should be completely different due to every motive. Lack of know-how by the rider will create extra issues. Make options easy.
- When you’ve irregularity within the passage, the nice hindleg has to remain longer on the bottom so you’ll be able to steadiness the motion.
- When the horse is tense do not do massive actions, higher management the place to go first than how he goes. A decrease body is OK, hold him small and do transitions. Be mild on the aids if horse is responsive. Neck will come out when hindlegs come below.
- Trot must look pure and straightforward, not synthetic.
- If the horse is climbing tone the motion down and even, go right down to the stroll.
- Do leg-yieldings to vary path, and do them on the stroll, trot and canter. Variate the diploma of steepness.
When canter feels proper give with the reins.
- Really feel, do not look a lot within the mirror.
- Play with the stride simple ahead and again, be very exact with directions with tons of adjustments of path and gait to make the horse extra attentive.
- “I see the neck and the connection drawback, however the neck isn’t the issue, is the best way he engages and makes use of his physique.”
- To appropriate mouth points in some horses, verify anatomy after which select the bits; in different horses, rigidity within the situation.
- Do the alternative of what the horse desires to do.
- What are aids? Are, in a logical relationship with the angle of the horse, indicators from the human to teach the horse.
- The nook is your good friend or your enemy.
- Be certain you begin your workout routines, you develop them, and also you end them.
- “With him it’s important to watch out that he is not too relaxed missing constructive rigidity”.
- In our every day coaching we do not consider the judges’ marks, solely when going to competitors.
- Play with the neck, play with the body.
- Higher is the enemy of excellent, cautious with being a perfectionist. When a rider lacks confidence repeats the actions too many instances; that, burns the horse.
- Change between shoulder-in and renvers to manage the shoulders.
- To seek out extra airtime within the canter, play with the rhythm, do not cease and go, simply discover fluidity.
- Look for a similar trot whenever you do lateral work or straight traces.
- Growing passage from collected trot is a ahead train not backwards.
- Trip a 6 loop Serpentine with flying change on centerline to assist regulate the steadiness. Preserve similar canter earlier than and after the flying change and thru the bend.
- Horse and Rider should belief in one another, aids must be steady.
Pirouette is only a small circle, hold the canter, you must have the ability to come out of it at any time, do not decelerate and do not shut down. If the horse does not settle for preparation hold going. Trip a pirouette on the lengthy facet, keep on observe and do a small circle.
- A great horseman is the one which takes the time to get issues prepared, however does not take perpetually to get issues prepared.
- When driving zig-zags do not depend in the beginning, simply hearken to the horse first.
- If the stroll is tough to trip rest is crucial half.
- For those who’re a decide you’ll be able to clearly inform the distinction between the horse not being prepared for the train or the train being wrongly executed.
- When driving one tempi adjustments, do not do too many. Cease to make the canter higher.
- Good does not exist however it’s important to be happy and cease there whenever you get all you’ll be able to within the second you might be.
- We have been reminded time and again of the vitality wanted if we need to go to Grand Prix: the stroll should have a objective, the horse should settle for aids, go the place you need to go the way you need to go, hold your horse in form, be exact in the usage of the world, hold the steadiness, be sharp, transitions must be fast.
- Leg-yielding is an train that has the nice objective of transferring the horse away from the leg, be certain he does not run away.
- You are attempting to do all the things proper, your horse is gorgeous; however be certain he’s not profiting from you being good to him
- That is the boring a part of the teachings as a result of they will be a lot of the identical.
- You could take note of throughness on a regular basis and do not have lifeless arms. Transitions and workout routines should make horses higher if ridden appropriately.
- Accumulate with out shutting down.
- Most tough a part of driving is attending to the actions and workout routines of the check within the appropriate form, steadiness, and thoroughness.
- Heat up in working trot with out pushing, do transitions with out hurrying, regulate the scale of the steps on the stroll and introduce half steps to get the hindleg below, use it as a instrument to have interaction, not solely to show piaffe.
Have a plan however you should definitely hearken to the horse within the warmup, so you might be positive what path you need to go. Trip the body as you need it down or up and be certain you’ll be able to change it. Trip the lateral actions in response to the extent of coaching, adjustability is crucial factor. You by no means develop muscle however staying in the identical place.
- Think about the conformation of the horse as it can make issues simpler or tougher. Nonetheless, the ideas of coaching should be met on all of them.
- Corrections are essential, punishment isn’t.
- When driving tempi adjustments do two diagonals of fours, two of threes, two of twos and two of ones, it does not matter what the path you might be coming from. It is not OK to solely prepare in response to what the check says.
- Some horses you have to recover from the sting in order that they carry out higher, some horses it’s important to calm down. It’s tough to speak about it due to the welfare of the horse but it surely’s higher one clear signal than many comfortable ones that do not create any response. Attempt to produce a breakthrough response.
- Within the prolonged stroll the nostril can’t be decrease than the purpose of the shoulder
- You’ll be able to’t change a horse should you do not do transitions, that’s adjustability. Most essential factor: the horse must need to do it too.
- Judges do not search for fancy, they search for appropriate and expressive.
We had two incredible days watching dressage being made easy and delightful and we left impressed to attempt to reproduce these ideas. Heartfelt thanks to USDF; Mary Anne; volunteers; panelists; riders and horses with their groups, for this.
Textual content and Pictures © Carmen Franco
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