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.