Monday, March 2, 2015

Conrad Schumacher Symposium February 28, 2015

When using a tap of the whip on the inner shoulder to increase power it is important that you let it happen, that you give on the inside rein in that moment, the inside rein stays soft in that moment. That is how you create to ability to go willingly forward.

In order for the rider's body to be straight and relaxed, all riders must have the horse go willingly forward. The straight and relaxed rider's position comes from this willingly forward horse-- it is what we all need.

Also in canter you can touch him with the whip on the inside shoulder, then the outside rein stands and allow the horse to go forward.  Animate the horse to go willingly forward with little aids, not with hard work.  Driving aids are clear and once, not nagging.  A touch with the whip in the right moment with a giving hand: that makes the horse go.

When once in a while the horse gets touched with the whip on the inner shoulder, sooner or later you can come with the inner leg and you get the same result as with the whip.  Sit completely relaxed; feel that your hip moves, the saddle is soft; how easy it is.  In the flying changes, tempis, and circles look through the horse's ears and widen you hips and let your hip swing.

Riding can be effortless when the horse goes willingly forward and your seat position is correct by leading the horse along the path of travel and not trying hard.


  • On the long side in trot shoulder in to E (or B) to volte to travers.  Look through the horse's ears and swing with the hip.  Just sit and feel the swing of your hips; in the volte look through the ears and swing with the hips with the hands to the ears.  Keep your inner leg hanging down and your inside shoulder "falling down."
  • Down centerline in trot, start with shoulder in right then half pass right keeping a brisk tempo. Then again down centerline shoulder in left to half pass left.
  • By doing good walk pirouettes you have a good chance to do canter pirouettes.  Keep the neck round, with hands up and wide.  The neck must stay round.  Go down the longside in travers left, then turn in left walk pirouette and go along the wall again in travers right (the new direction) then the walk pirouette right.  Lead in with the inner hand then ride forward.  
  • In canter left ride travers left along the longside.  Then make a canter pirouette to the left; start with the inside rein.  Then flying change and travers down the longside in right canter then canter pirouette right.  From the travers let go and ride forward and the turn happens with your position, not by trying hard.
  • An important prerequisite for understanding pirouettes: start in the walk go deep in the corner (on the right rein), at the corner letter (M) half pass to the quarterline then keeping your same seat and leg position leg yield back to the wall then the left leg brings the half pass right again, then leg yield back to the wall keeping the same position without pressure from the left leg but the left leg is guarding in the leg yield.  When we do this exercise we give understanding of the aids to both the horse and rider for pirouettes.
  • Then do the same half pass, leg yield, half pass, leg yield exercise in (right) canter.  Keep your same seat position.  Give the left rein, don't pull, use the right leg (in right canter).  The moment when you go from the leg yield to the half pass in, that is the feeling of the aid for canter pirouette.
  • Half pass in. leg yield out, half pass in, pirouette.  The leg yield makes the horse hollow, then you can take the inner rein and lead it in, and the aid for pirouette is the same like the half pass aid.
  • Cantering over poles helps Rijkens' canter stride, and gives his canter more power.  It is an easy and fun exercise for the horse and rider.  
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