Photo: Paige Cade.
Middleburg, Va. – Nov. 23, 2020 – To close out the 2020 season, Rutledge Farm welcomed Olympic medalist Anne Kursinski Saturday, Nov. 21 to host an exclusive one-day clinic as a part of the Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. Kursinski brought decades of experience with her, including five Olympic show jumping campaigns that earned her two team silver medals. Welcoming riders from all skill levels to the picturesque property in Middleburg, Virginia, Kursinski brought riders back to the basics on the flat and over fences, including dropping their stirrups, mastering the automatic release and building a stronger awareness of how they work with their horses.
Kursinski commented, “I have been teaching for a long time, so it is about quickly finding the riders’ weaknesses to give them some tools and exercises that can help with their awareness. I think that is so important. In our short amount of time, my goal is to get them to try to change something or improve something and it’s rewarding when they feel more confident afterwards by having a few new tools to take home.”
Four groups and a total of 18 riders traveled to Rutledge Farm to learn from Kursinski’s vast experience. In the spirit of “No Stirrup November,” Kursinski asked riders to drop their stirrups on the flat in order to build a strong foundation for the exercises to follow. Riders were also asked to knot their reins for a portion of the flatwork, a tool Kursinski utilizes to build awareness and encourage quick corrections. Over fences, riders practiced with driving reins and an automatic release to learn body control and work in sync with their horses.
Amber Ide commented on her experience, saying, “I’ve only owned my horse for one week, but I feel like a lot of the exercises we did, like halting and having them listen on the back side, really helped me get to know him better. It’s a really awesome opportunity to ride with Anne Kursinski, and this facility is gorgeous. There is so much land, the footing is great, the jumps are great, and it’s really an awesome facility to have a clinic like this.”
“Rutledge Farm is a fabulous, beautiful facility,” Kursinski added. “And of course, Aleco [Bravo-Greenberg] is so enthusiastic in wanting to share the education with people and that is wonderful in our business to have somebody like that. It’s fabulous to help riders become better horsemen and to be better for the horses. To me education is about the riders, but it is really about how the riders are improving with their horses and making their lives better.”
For more information about the Rutledge Farm Sessions, click here.