Tuesday, January 15, 2013

5 Minute Clinic Series, Sally Amsterdamer

Sallyn valmennus huhtikuussa 2012

I wanted to share with you Sally Amsterdamer's great training advice. In the first part of the 5 minute clinic Amsterdamer shares her advice on riding a square for better turns.

“The most common problem in all riding is using too much inside rein,” says Amsterdamer. “When you pull the horse’s head in too much, the shoulders actually pull out; they don’t turn.”

“It’s really about turning the horse with that inside weight and the outside leg aid. Your hands are, of course, helping. But they are not the predominant aid.
“If you look at a Grand Prix dressage rider riding a canter pirouette, which is literally turning on the spot in canter, they are not pulling the inside rein. It’s all from your weight aids, your body, riding the horse from your pelvis. Your arms are kind of together doing the same thing.
“That corner in the square reflects the turn in the canter pirouette.”
In the second part of the 5 minute clinic Sally writes about the cartwheel and the importance of using pole work when training a horse.

“The horse has to work a little harder, lifting his legs a little higher, therefore increasing the flexibility and strength of his muscles. Working a horse over poles with a lowered neck position, therefore arching its back, is a good suppling exercise; especially when done on a circle line including bend,” says The Netherlands-based trainer.
“Poles also make the horse think a little bit more, he has to work things out, and balance himself.”

Stretching the horse's top line is discussed in part three of the series:

“The first thing on the training scale is rhythm. The second is suppleness. One of your main priorities should be to get the horse’s body as supple as you possibly can,” explains Amsterdamer. “In jumping, you want the horse to be able snap his front legs up high. Stiffness or tightness in the shoulder will hinder that.”

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