New Hope, PA (July 22, 2011) – Grand Prix Dressage rider and trainer Bethany Peslar taught a clinic this month at Planeta Stables in New Hope, Pennsylvania. The focus of the clinic was “Seat, Position and Effectiveness of the Aids”. Known for giving her students 110% during a clinic or lesson, Peslar’s talent, dedication and ability to keep the concepts clear helped the riders not only enjoy the day but come away with a better seat and deeper understanding of the effectiveness of the aids.
“Everyone was very enthusiastic about learning how to improve their seat. I really enjoyed working with each rider and it was a fun day,” Peslar said, adding that she enjoyed the camaraderie with the riders including Pam Olshavsky, Alex Poggi, Eileen Ward and Roberta Weiss. “Alex rode Zoey, my lesson horse who is a nine-year-old Friesian mare. I always enjoy teaching on Zoey, and I know there are a lot of my students who can’t wait to ride her each week.”
Peslar said much of the clinic was focused on getting everyone to sit correctly. “Almost everyone spent their entire ride on the lunge so they could really concentrate on their seat without worrying about steering. Some of the issues I worked on were sitting straight and upright in the saddle, never leaning forward or backward and not collapsing to one side or the other. We also worked on keeping an invisible straight line from hip to heel as well as how to achieve a deep seat. An issue many of the riders had was gripping or pinching in with their knees and holding too much tension in their upper leg. This literally pushes them out of the saddle and prevents the rider from having a deep seat.”
Peslar, who said she enjoys the process of teaching a clinic, said all riders need to work on relaxing their upper leg and develop a gentle, supportive “hugging” contact with the calf muscles and engage their abdominal muscles in order to sit quietly, deep and effectively in the saddle. “I also really focus on teaching each rider to use their ‘core’ for balance and support. I’ve been taking Pilates for a few years now with Dr. Tatiana Habanova in Wellington. I was already a Grand Prix rider when I started and it really improved my own seat and the way I use my body. I’m able to incorporate a lot of what I’ve learned in Pilates when helping riders with their seat and position,” Peslar said.
Currently Bethany Peslar is planning an August clinic at Planeta Stables and a benefit clinic for the Gold Coast Dressage Association to be held in November at Everglades Dressage in Wellington. For more information or to schedule a clinic or lesson, visit Peslar’s website at www.evergladesdressage.com.