Once again the crowds gathered at Hartpury to watch our two star German trainers, Ulf Moller and Michael Klimke, talk through their methods for developing horses from youngsters through to Grand Prix at the National Convention supported by Harrison Clark Rickerbys (26 November).
Continuing from the first day, a few of the main ideas touched on today were:
- Dressage is working with small details, when you get a seven what can you do to get an eight? You have to work and play to find out what you can improve.
- It’s important that you give the horse confidence. You have to support him with both your legs and your seat.
- Sport means we must make a show and we must present, the judges are not judging feeling they can only see the five minute test and they only judge what they see.
- Ride the test at home so you can get the right warming up feeling for your horse. I (Michael Klimke) think that most tests are won in the warming up.
- Practice the same things at home as you do in your warm up, this will give the horse security. Don’t think or change anything.
- Always ask for more in training, over do things so it’s much easier to do it all in the tests.
- Go back to previous exercises if the horse is trying too hard or doesn’t understand and then move forward again.
- Warm up – working – stretching is a good routine to follow when you’re working your horse.
- After the horse works always stretch him long and don’t worry if he goes on the forehand. It’s important for the horse to go around and relax. When you feel the horse is stretching and relaxed you go home with a happy feeling and the horse goes to bed with a happy feeling.
- [On half halts/transitions] the principle of transitions is always the same, you bring the horse back and then you go forward. After working on the half halts always remember to go forward before you give the horse a break.
- If the rider thinks ‘I cannot do it’ then give the horse to an experienced rider to help him learn. We aren’t alone, ask for help from others. One rider is good in hand, one rider is good with changes – work together.
- Straightness is important. Because the horse’s hips are slightly wider than the shoulder we have to be careful keep the shoulder in front. Ride out of the corner with the shoulder slightly to the inside to develop the straightness and the thoroughness, use the corner to balance the horse and automatically you get control.
- [On corners] the corner is quarter of the volte, if you learn to ride your corner first then you can already ride part of the volte properly.
- Focus on giving young horses the time they need to develop.
- [On flying changes] it takes between one month and three months to teach the flying changes. Sometimes it takes even takes six months but every horse can do a flying change so some learn quicker but don’t think you can go wrong by trying.
- Ride with a correct seat because only out of a correct seat can you give the correct aids
- Don’t die in harmony and prettiness, when it comes to it and your horse needs support don’t be afraid to help him.
- It’s key for the mental state of the horse that he has variety and that the work is not boring, especially during the winter months try to do some jumping classes and cavaletti.
Thank you to Ulf and Michael for an incredible two days of training at Hartpury as well as to all of the demo riders who did a fantastic job. Thanks also go to Harrison Clark Rickerbys for their support of the National Convention and all the team behind the scenes who made this year’s event a great success.
To view videos from the day head to British Dressage Facebook page
Visit Twitter for lots of comments and quotes from the weekend.
Article Source: British Dressage News
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