Clinics in BC
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, June 12, 2014 07:17 PM
This year it was quite intense. Over 6 days I taught 44 lessons. The problems started to look like patterns, however,
similar mistakes required different explanations for different riders. Also, I caught myself creating statements
that sounded like catch phrases I can use in my teaching. Thinking about it led me to a few bulb moments
regarding some challenging problems which is always very exciting to solve. Below is a concentrated version of this work.
- Elbow supple and bent. Common mistake is lifting of the shoulder and lowering of the hand while elbow stiffens. Usually one hand more than another.
- Outside aids like an electric fence. The horse does not lean into it but can stay just inside of it respecting it's perimeter.
- Quick leg aids are for forward impulsion. Steady or holding leg aid is for half-halt, downward transition or collection.
- Hips stay under the rider at all times - never feel the hips sliding forward from under the upper body. This is particularly important for half-halt.
- Quiet hands with light but steady contact give a horse's head and neck posture which is necessary to perform the task.
- Moving hands too much gives a horse permission to be unstable in the neck/head position
- Hands and hips work together. Each elbow "attached" to it's hip.
- For travers: inside hand works toward the bellybutton - indirect rein, controls flexion and inside shoulder.
- This is true for working pirouettes which are travers on a small circle. Do not open your hand to the inside as horse's inside shoulder will fall in.
- Half- pass is nothing more but travers on a diagonal line. Watch the line!!!, control bend, shoulders, and haunches.
- For medium trot - control the symmetry and balance of your own movement: hands stable and even, lower back supple and full.
- To prevent the tendency to lean forward - feel the back of the saddle.
- To prevent your "long" side from stretching up - crunch it down.
- To prevent your wobbly seat bone from "falling off" the horse "keep" it over the horse's spine.
- Picking up a correct lead in canter very much depends on rider's ability to sit correctly for the lead. For example, for the right lead rider's left shoulder and hip must be back and right shoulder and hip forward.
- Hands start at the elbows and legs start at the hips. Shoulders are part of upper body and must be well connected to it.
- Elastic hands come from soft and straight wrists and supple and bent elbows not loose shoulders.
- Always sit with inside hip forward when turning.
- Leaning into a turn with the shoulders is a compensation for lack of stability and control of the inside seat bone.
- Never pull down on a horse's mouth. It pulls rider's upper body forward. And it encourages the horse to pull up. Lowering of the hands is an act of release not resistance.
- The seat "walks", "trots" and "canters" matching the movement of the horse and keeping the tempo and "size" as the rider wishes.
- Leaning forward in anticipation of faster movement disconnects rider's seatbones from the horse. "The anticipation" happens inside
the body (change of muscles tone) without visual movement.
- It is much easier, more effective and consequentially nicer to use a whip to encourage the horse to move forward rather than repeated kicking.
- Inside leg must stay stretched down near the girth. Allowing it to slip back in an effort of getting more response creates a lot of confusion and mistakes in a horse.
- Change tempo regularly to make your horse more supple, through and attentive. Change tempo inside the movements not just in between.
I would like to express huge Thank You to all the riders who participated in the clinics. I see our work together as a team work with me, the rider and the horse
working together, giving the input and developing solutions. The riders were keen on helping me find the right advice for them, the horses were showing us if we were creating
a correct posture and right balance for them. Such collaboration is always FUN! :)