Monday, August 2, 2010

White Birch Show 2010

Congratulations to Nicole and Rugby on their second show at First Level. 2 Qualifying scores and Jr High Point!! Looking forward to our next show at Hansen Dam and DASC championships.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

USPC Mega Rally Prep Clinic

We had a wonderful clinic Saturday for the Southern California Region of the US pony Club. Riders came to do a ride-a-test clinic with me to make sure they were ready and add some polish. We had riders from Training level through Third Level and everyone had a great time.
Using biomechanics and correct geometry each rider was able to make a marked difference in their tests within 30 minutes. Good Luck to everyone at Mega Rally!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hansen Dam March Show

The show was fantastic! We could not have asked for a more beautiful weekend perfect temperature with a light breeze.

Nicole and Rugby proved that it is time for them to leave Training Level behind with first place and a 74% in Training Level Test 4. They made their debut at First Level earning a score of 68% and a Second place. Congratulations Nicole!!!

It was another debut performance by Janet and Ace’s Flemming (Figaro). Janet’s first ever competition and Ace’s first time at Introductory. They were wonderful earning a 68% on Saturday and a 60% on Sunday, Ace was much more tense Sunday morning.

I got to show Ace in Training Level Test 4 to earn qualifying scores for CDS Championships this year. Saturday we had some disobedience issues with the canter and earned a 58%. Sunday we had a more productive warm up and finished with a 68.8% and only a moment of disobedience.

This was a great start to the 2010 show season. I am looking forward to the IEL and CEC shows in April and continuing our success. Happy Showing!!!

L program Part A

It has been awhile since I have had to sit still for more than an hour or so at a time. Teaching and riding keep me on my feet and moving most of the day. So I thought I was going to have a hard time sitting still for an entire weekend of lecture even if it was about judging and horses. I was wrong.

The first session of the USDF L Program was inspiring to say the least. We have come so far in our understanding of the true biomechanics of horse and rider that I feel ecstatic to be around for a new era of dressage. Where a deeper understanding and a clearer methodology of scoring will not only draw more people to the sport but will help outsiders begin to understand why we ride dressage.

The session began with what a judges responsibilities are, to the competitor, the show management and our governing body USEF. A review of key rules pertaining to judges and the competition. Realizing I needed to look up almost half the answers to questions about the rules I made the USEF rulebook has now become my personal best friend. Then we moved on to how to develop a personal methodology in order to arrive at consistent scores. After much discussion on making a clear difference between a 5 and a 7, and the criteria for training through 2nd level; we dove into biomechanics.

Having a through understanding of biomechanics is key for judges to accurately score correct riding and training while having no background or reference for the horse and rider pair in front of them. By knowing how all the pieces are supposed to move in harmony it becomes much easier to see and pinpoint disharmony. This became highly apparent when we got to evaluate real horses the afternoon of day two. Sandy Howard set us the task of assigning scores for 4 different training level horses based on their walk, then trot, and then canter. Small idiosyncrasies that were hard to distinguish in videos were very clear in person. Every participant placed the horses in the same order even if their number scores were a little high or low. After one day of training we were all on the same page.

I am thrilled to be participating in the L Program and I cannot wait for the next session. I feel inspired by a deeper knowledge of this sport that I love and look forward to continuing the L Program and becoming a judge myself.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Conrad Schumacher comes to Corona, part 1

When I found out Conrad was coming to CA three times this year I was thrilled. Getting to work with him has not only improved my riding but my teaching as well. He gave a clinic in Corona the beginning of February at Susan Peacocks Hidden River Ranch. I took Figaro a 4 year old Dutch warmblood, who belongs to my client Janet. His biggest problem has been going to the connection and carrying his rider.
The first day we worked on short sitting trot sets, and then posting to get Figaro comfortable with carrying me. Then we started on trot-canter transitions. By the end of the first lesson we had decided to change Figaro's bit to something thicker so there would be less sharp pressure on his mouth. Conrad also asked to see him in the support rein the following day. The support rein is one draw rein that is attached between the horses front legs, through the flash(or drop nose band) and then the rider holds it in their hand. This allows for more control than draw reins. The support rein is used to help young horses find a steadier connection to the riders hand. It should mainly be passive unless the horse comes out of balance and then the horse feels the support rein to help them come back in to the correct balance. Videos of the rides will be posted soon. Next, Day 2.