Monday, March 3, 2014

Jan Ebeling Clinic March 2014

Before I ever picked up the reins, Jan asked me how things were going.  I told him it was going very well, that I had been doing well showing just a couple of times at fourth level, and that I'd like to take a break from showing to focus on training to ready myself for Prix St Georges and then resume showing at that point. 

Jan emphatically told me that showing is part of the overall approach to my training, that I should continue to show at fourth level until I'm ready to go out and conquer at PSG.  He said that show butterflies never completely go away (he would know, he's shown all the way up through the Olympics!), and we as riders must keep going to shows until it is second nature to continue to grow our confidence.  Nothing can re-create a show experience, not even braiding and wearing show attire at home; nothing is quite the same for taming show nerves as riding often at actual shows in front of real judges. 

In our warm up we schooled shoulder fore in trot and canter, and Jan said I must do lots of transitions both between gaits but as importantly withing gaits as well.  Working, collected, medium, extended walk trot and canter every day, every ride, thousands of times in a week.  And by thousands per week he was NOT exaggerating.  The response to my giddyup aids must be prompt, crisp and when I give a driving aid it can be strong, but then I must sit there and let the horse do his job of carrying me and himself forward.

To improve canter pirouettes he had me do the following exercise, in addition to riding transitions in the canter from schooling canter to medium canter and back again.  Bring the horse onto a ten meter circle between the quaterlines.  From working canter go to four steps of medium canter then four steps of collected canter.  Spiral the collected canter in to a pirouette in school canter, remembering to keep the rein aid VERY LIGHT while the horse is in collection.  The aids should become lighter and lighter in the collected pirouette canter.  Rijkens has to maintain as much energy as a medium canter, but doing so while in a school canter.  Riding those thousands of transitions weekly will facilitate this access to medium canter level of energy as the horse becomes more and more prompt and obedient to my aids.

It was exciting to hear Jan talking about his plans that will include the upcoming WEG in Normandy, France!

 My barn buddy Carla, the Percheron cross Gryphon, and Jan:
 My barn buddy Maddie, the PRE Sandalo, and Jan:
The Holsteiner Rijkens, Jan and me:


Ingrid said...

Carrie, just now checked out your blog and loved the description of what all you did with Jan PLUS the analysis of beats per minute!