Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Conrad Schumacher clinic notes, April 2012

Here are some notes I took from last weekend's Conrad Schumacher clinic in Longbranch, WA:

We do not work dressage, we play dressage.
Don't pull the arm back--turn the wrists back and give.
Swing with the hips to the hands to the ears.
Collection means power, power on the place
Exercise for refining canter collection: canter-walk-canter transitions on 20 meter circle.  Start with 5 strides walk and 10 strides canter, then 4 strides walk and 8 strides canter, then 3 strides walk and 6 strides canter, then 2 walk and 4 canter
A good dressage rider must have "feel" memory or "body awareness" memory
"Take him back and give" or "Turn the wrists back and give"
Ride serpentines with an "s" curve rather than straight across the centerline, helps to get a hold of the horse by working him from inside to outside
Outside hand must give in the turn if the inside rein takes, outside hand must allow
The horse must be open in the body
Outside leg must be back and on--this is particularly important for getting the horse round
In canter pirouettes, inside leg doesn't do much, just stays down, outside leg rides like in half pass.  Inside rein leads along the path of travel, outside rein is soft. Give the inside rein to get out of the pirouette
When you allow, the horses can move. When you "try to ride", you block the horse.  "Stop riding and start allowing"
We control the young horses with transitions not with the reins
Everything to form the horse comes from: 1) transitions 2) turn on the forehand (basis for lateral work) 3) reinback (basis for collection)

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