So.... I got home a bit after on Friday evening, ate some pizza and headed over the
The Friday night lecture included lists of the top ten rider mistakes and horse problems:
Rider - looking down, legs to far behind the girth, hands to high/not following movement, slouching, butt not in saddle, heels up, upper body not vertical, uneven stirrups, rein contact/uneven-strong-weak, and equip/other.
Horse - irregular, no impulsion, not on bit, on forehand, not straight, falling in/lost balance, bend/flex, tail swishing, fat/fitness, and equipment or other.
Regularity - most important thing a judge is looking for. Walk/92-95 beats per min., Trot/150-155 bpm, and Canter/95-100 bpm. Canter and walk should be in time with Jingle Bells while trot work should match Elton John's Crocodile Rock. Regularity needs to go with rhythm and tempo.
After regularity - P I S R / Paces (freedom and regularity), Impulsion (music), Submission (hand position), and Regularity
TEN COMMANDMENTS - Appropriate for Easter Weekend, since the movie version is on right now.. 1) Invisible aids, 2) effortless, 3) sit in center of saddle, 4) leg well stretched down, 5) heel lowest part of the body, 6) upper body vertical, 7) Hands - steady at trot / go with motion of canter and walk and stay low, 8) thumbs highest part of hand, 9) elbow follow @ walk/canter, and 10) harmonious.
Saturday started off with 3 demo riders and detailed discussion of several topics including the "sticker" turn, the fallacy of the 1 rein stop, the "nose up" stop and several equipment discussions. Colleen does not use spurs or whip and evaluated all three riders and found that all three had uneven stirrup lengths. Demo riders were Patty Couch,
All three of our horses were pretty sluggy and we did a follow the leader exercise telling the rider ahead which shoulder, stirrup, elbow, hip, etc. was higher and making efforts to correct the unevenness. I had some trouble getting Splash to move on without using the whip and cues were not invisible or silent and we did not look effortless. Then we worked on the "whistle whip transfer" the "flip-flop" upward transition and the "bee pop" in the corners to get more impulsion. These techniques really worked for Splash today and will hopefully work if I don't over use them.
Larry grilled up delicious burgers for lunch break and then I watched Patty, Heather, and Nicole work on leg yields and travers in the walk and trot using only eyes and weight in the stirrup. Very impressive. They also worked on the Sticker Turns. Nancy E was back in the saddle with Willy and did a really great job with Paula and