Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lyndon Rife Clinic September 2014

A few pearls from day one of September's Lyndon Rife clinic:
          For warming up Rijkens, it is ok to keep the trot tempo slower or less than what he initially wants to offer, but in the canter warm up he needs to get going-- think medium canter in shoulder fore so he really wakes up and goes in canter.

          Always keep the goal of being electric to the aids by taking your legs away, "be daring" and allowing him to generate his own energy for self carriage.  Doing transitions such as from canter to walk to immediate half steps teaches Rijkens that "downshifting" to collection is really a wake up call.

          In the canter pirouette, take your legs away-- do less-- to develop the very collected canter.  Then at a horse show when you are in the actual canter pirouette you can let go the reins a little so he gets even taller in front then ad leg in the show pirouette so that he keeps the energy of the canter.

          Developing a better trot comes from keeping the horse a bit more open in the throatlatch and tall in front so that the hindlegs then have access to come underneath the horse more.  Rijkens has a good talent for sitting but remember to keep the stored energy with a feeling that he is really carrying you somewhere and wants to "get out of there" by taking your leg away and developing a quick reaction to the smallest aids.  Teach this at home by reminding Rijkens to be bright-- if you make a correction: let go the reins in front, make a deliberate correction, immediately take your legs away, get a reaction, then pat him for a correct response.

From the second day:
A canter warm up exercise is to get a feeling of haunches in in the corner then shoulder fore on the long side in medium canter.  Do the shoulder fore with less angle, and get him on the outside rein so you don't let him bend too much.  Keep him more open in the front with less curb to allow him to be more open.

Trot shoulder in is an exercise that will give us a better trot, but it is even better if you can get him to bring his hindlegs more under you.  To develop this, do walk transitions where he has got to be prompt.  Even if he raises his head, you stay strong enough in your position to keep him walking up with energy with his hindlegs more under you and bringing his ribs up.  To do this give him enough room in front, keep your legs under you, ask him to trot and then PROMPT-hut! trot.  Develop this further by doing a walk transition then trot right off.

When you want Rijkens to come more up in front: if your leg is back ALL the time, it won't work.  But if your leg is in normal position then you want to feel that he comes up in front and more under you then bring your leg back and "talk to him" a little bit then he should come up.  What really happens is once in awhile you're in normal position you bring your leg back and give him a quick kick and he'll jump up in front; then the leg aid coming back means a lot but if the rider is a little careless with their leg then it's not as good.  Rijkens has to know the consequences.  If the rider brings their leg back that should be a button to say "collect: step more under."  But you can't make use of it all the time-- if you use it something has to happen.

You can do the trot walk trot transition in shoulder fore position.  Really sit down in the walk, then trot right off.  Rijkens has to think about this as a wake up exercise.  In shoulder in right, do a bit less angle to guard the left hind from stepping out.  In the transistion from trot into walk, close your upper leg when you want to bring him back stronger and leave the lower leg free then just as he goes to walk if he's lazy behind then you can come with the lower leg.

In schooling medium trot, think about ideally the poll doesn't get lower; then if he really comes through you can let the nose out a little bit.  You can use the shoulder fore trot, walk, stretch-up-trot right away exercise to keep him bright between schooling movements.  To prevent his shoulders from going lower, be sure to get your signal through without interfering with his neck so his poll stays the highest point.

He's warmed up already so right away when you start the canter, in the collected canter he starts to build up so that he feels like he's trying to break out of there.  If he doesn't have that breakout attitude then go forward again just for a little bit then bring him back into collection.  In school canter he needs his outside hind tucked in a little.  Squeeze the outside rein in time to the canter in little half halts, even put your outside leg back and move it a little bit-- he has to wake up behind immediately.  Maybe you have to give him one good kick.   Don't take too long; if he doesn't do it go a couple steps medium then bring him back.  If he doesn't do it then you need some help (a ground person you trust with a lunge whip in the middle).  Halt him, hands in front, one really good kick where he comes up when you kick.  Get there quickly then when you get a really good canter pirouette right away walk and pat him.

Your better gaits are going to come when he is more in front of your leg.  Even though you're doing a good job and not riding with the leg too strong, the leg is a little bit pleading him at times.  Rijkens needs to get even more electric about it-- if you bring your leg back he's ready to GO.  Give him a good kick but you can't control him [with any reins] when you give him one good kick you need to allow him to jump up in front of you.  Keep him a little more open in the throatlatch.

In the half pass for PSG, by the end of the half pass you catch his haunches up; he should be in shoulder fore toward the new direction.  So at the end of the half pass left line he closes up to shoulder in right and then he does the change to right lead then the right half pass.   In schooling start the stand up, really correct half pass then turn it into leg yield the second half of it.  So the last part of the left half pass his butt is left and his shoulders right.  Then at the end of the right half pass his butt is right his shoulders left.  As we know in correct half pass his shoulders are going to be a little bit leading but when you get to the centerline you need to change the alignment so he is straight for the change.  Then the half pass to the long side in the corner you end it with him a bit in shoulder fore to the new lead and then the change to the new lead.  At the end make sure he has the new alignment then bring him slightly forward and then the change.

Remember when he does something hard, transition to an uphill energetic open walk.

Concerning the tempis: don't always do the tempis on the diagonal but have an exercise to keep making it better.  Come across the short diagonal then come up the second quarterline.  You have to stand him up between the two legs to be able to do that since it is like the arena ends at the second quarterline instead of the longside wall and then do a change.