Monday, October 25, 2010

October lesson on Huey

Here's my lesson on Huey from a couple weeks ago. Shoulder-in and travers are improving; he's not tilting his head as much. Towards the end of the video you'll hear the inappropriate comedy stylings of Camilla, and then Flash offers his opinion of the proceedings, dropping a load of manure so stinky I could smell it at the other end of the arena. "Oh my god!" says trainer Leslie. It was that bad.

Since my last post, I've learned a bit more about Adelinde Cornelissen -- that she uses rollkur in her training and that she was eliminated from the 2010 WEG for blood in her horse's mouth. Her article in Dressage Today implied that she rides with too much hand; these latest revelations seem to support that. I wish Dressage Today wouldn't promote this type of rider.

I'm off to visit Wolfgang and Suzanne's ranch for Thanksgiving. Suzanne said they'll likely have several training horses for me to ride. Yay! The day after Thanksgiving I leave for the Guadalajara Book Fair. I've never been to Mexico, and I don't speak Spanish. It'll be an adventure.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Say what?

Here are a couple puzzling excerpts from Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen's article "Clarity & Speed Control" in the latest Dressage Today:

When I was a Pony Club rider, they taught me that when you slow down you should also use your leg, however, in a car, you don't give gas and brake at the same time, and I think it should be the same with your horse. To slow down, don't use leg.

And then a bit later:

To shorten the stride, I use my hands and no leg.

I have to wonder if that's really what she meant to say. Maybe the article is a translation, and the translation didn't quite convey what she meant? Because isn't slowing down your horse by using all hand and no leg the epitome of riding front to back? Slowing down is nothing more than a series of half halts, and my feeling is half halts should never consist of only hand. Of course you don't apply hand and leg at exactly the same time, but you certainly do balance any restraint in front with the creation of activity behind via the seat and leg. Cornelissen is a Dutch Olympian--obviously no slouch--so I suspect if she were asked to eloborate on these comments the takeaway might be a little more complicated than the excerpts above. I will be perusing future letters columns to see if any other DT readers had the same reaction I did. What do you all think?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lesson on Baby Huey

Here's video from Thursday night's lesson, in which we worked on getting Huey to stretch up and out toward the bit. No more curling behind the vertical! I'm really pleased with how Huey looks towards the end. We have another lesson this coming Thursday.