Remaining Consistent: 2017 Adequan/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference Day Two

© Sarah Harper: Nora Batchelder and Fifi MLW
Nora Batchelder and Fifi MLW

Loxahatchee, Fla. – Jan. 17, 2017 – The final day of the Adequan/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference held at High Meadow Farm in Loxahatchee, Florida welcomed the group of riders and horses from the previous day, and built upon the lessons they taught. Clinicians Lilo Fore and Hans-Christian Matthiesen focused largely on simplicity and consistency in movements with the riders, and brought the audience of judges and trainers into the discussion.

Nora Batchelder of Williston, Florida, riding her 7-year-old Hanoverian mare Fifi MLW, worked on creating a more ground-covering medium trot without pushing too much into the extended trot. Fore noted that if the rider is always asking for more in the medium trot, there will be no room for extension left when moving up into the extended trot.

© Sarah Harper: Elizabeth Caron and Schroeder
Elizabeth Caron and Schroeder

Increasing ground-cover was also addressed as Elizabeth Caron of Lebanon, Connecticut rode the 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion Schroeder in the medium canter. When an audience member asked the clinicians how many strides across the diagonal they felt was appropriate for the medium canter, Fore answered by saying the rider should focus instead on the quality of the gait and how much area the horse is covering with each stride. Number of strides in this instance is less important than movement quality.

Fore and Matthiesen also reminded Caron to establish a clearer rhythm going into the canter pirouette, and to be sure to collect the horse in preparation. The rider’s seat should be quiet and move very little, and the core should feel as if it is collecting the horse.

In order to help Caron with rhythm in the canter pirouette, Fore talked the pair through an exercise that simplified the movement.

Cantering on a circle, she had them perform a collected canter, and reminded Caron to support the horse with her outside leg aids. With these simple cues in mind, she had them ride a smaller circle maintaining the same feel, then move into a canter pirouette with improved cadence. Matthiesen reminded the riders and audience to think of movements in a simpler way and not over-complicate them.

© Emma Miller: Karen Pavcic and Beaujolais
Karen Pavcic and Beaujolais

Karen Pavicic from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada and her 7-year-old Oldenburg mare Beaujolais practiced self-carriage in a stretching trot. Matthiesen explained that the horse should stretch forward and out into the frame with no resistance while keeping the same cadence.

Fore noted that the horse needs the engine, or her hind-end, to stay in her own balance even while stretching. In order to keep the frame, Matthiesen said that the core and seat must be used to ride so release can occur.

Both Fore and Matthiesen explained the importance of keeping a rhythmic canter and making subtle changes in position with Alexandra du Celliee Muller of Little Rock, Arkansas and her 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding Rumba.

For one exercise, they asked her to move from a working canter to a medium canter, and back to working to improve the adjustability of the gait. Fore advised riders to make the aids a bit less visible, which would in turn make them more effective and subtle.

© Sarah Harper: Gardy Bloemers Raffle Presentation
Gardy Bloemers Raffle Presentation

© Sarah Harper: Dana Fiore and So Special
Dana Fiore and So Special

© Emma Miller: Karen Pavcic and Beaujolais
Karen Pavcic and Beaujolais

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