Monday, June 23, 2014

Lyndon Rife clinic June 2014

The take home message of this weekend's clinic with Lyndon Rife was to make Rijkens sharper to to the aids so that I will have access to his generated energy for the increased requirements of collected and extended work of an advanced horse.  For example in walk to canter transitions, get Rijkens' shoulder in front of my leg then cue for canter while keeping a still, strong position.  If he does not canter right off from a small cue, then one sharp reminder from the whip immediately. My legs must remain long with my heels down and toes turned in.

To collect, I do less, or sit still in my strong position.  The whip can be used as a reminder to increase cadence in collection, while the rider's leg is used for more giddyup (or "forward") into extension.

An early in the ride suppling exercise is start with counter flexion for example on a large circle to the left, while having the horse's ears look right but keeping his shoulders (and haunches) turning to the left.  Then return to normal flexion left while the horse continues to turn left.  Then flexion right again while the horse continues to turn left.  You can spiral the circle in smaller as you continue turning the horse left.  Of course ride the exercise on both reins in both directions.

The inside hind must be active, yes, but also the outside hind must be addressed for straightness and collection.  A good exercise to address the outside hind in trot and canter is nose to the wall leg yielding. Start in trot on the longside with nose to the wall leg yield thereby activating the outside hind, then turn onto a large circle and ask for canter.  This improves Ri's canter as the outside hind is in a state of readiness.  In canter do nose to the wall leg yield, then return to shoulder fore position in canter.  Again since the outside hind is active in the leg yield, this improves the regular collected canter and helps build strength for pirouette canter.

"How are my ears?" Lyndon wanted to know as our barn buddies tapped whips and tossed arena sand behind the photographer.