Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thomas Walker clinic lesson

To improve canter, think about riding slight shoulder fore position.  Shoulder in and haunches in at canter are also good suppling exercises.  Think about activating Rijkens' hindquarter to establish more engagement by keeping the hindlegs quick but not necessarily quickening the tempo.

For canter pirouette, keep the rider's outside leg long.  Collect into a school canter as you come into the pirouette and start the first couple strides on a very small circle, then in the last part of the pirouette come out larger and come out of school canter into a bigger normal collected canter.  The size of the circle the hindlegs are describing stays the same, but the horse begins to come out a bit bigger into regular collected canter instead of maintaining the pirouette canter past the end of the pirouette.

In the 2009 PSG test canter half pass, aim for before X in the left half pass, then the flying change at X, then aim for before M in the right half pass, then the flying change at M.  That way you give yourself room for the flying change at X and at M.

The voltes at B and E are 8 meters, 2 full meters away from the centerline at X.  So Thomas, who's about 6'4", could easily lay down with his feet at X and his head extending toward B and my circle at B would not trample him by 2 inches.  It's a small circle!

In the walk pirouettes, give yourself plenty of room past G between G and M for the pirouette, (same between G and H).  No need to hug G before the pirouette.

Riding right into the corner in both trot and canter work allows you to use the corner to prepare and re-balance the horse.  In the medium and extended work, ride right into the corner and generate energy before the letter so that you already have some power going onto the diagonal. 

 Thomas Walker schooling another student's horse in an earlier photo


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