Tag Archives: Horse Training

Auction Winners Collect on Winning Bid for Laura Kraut and Nick Skelton Clinic

Barbara Borg and Quinn, Nick Skelton, Laura Kraut and Mary K Schaughnessy and Java. Photo by Sue Weakley.

Wellington, FL – March 9, 2017 – Barbara Borg and Mary K. Shaughnessy looked like they were having the time of their lives. They were all smiles as Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut led them through a series of exercises including flat work, ground poles and jumps. But more important, the three equestrians were doing it for a good cause: The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center located in Loxahatchee, Florida.

Kraut and seven-time Olympic athlete Nick Skelton offered up a clinic, including a barn tour and lunch, as a fundraiser for the 30th Annual Vinceremos Benefit Dinner and Auction in February. As the bidding heated up during the live auction, Kraut and Skelton graciously offered TWO clinics and Borg and Shaughnessy were the winning bidders for one day while Angi Holtgers won the other day, netting $40,000 in donations for the two clinics to the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center. Vinceremos serves children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities in Palm Beach County through unique equine partnerships and Borg and Shaughnessy are fans of the non-profit.

“Mary K. and I are good friends and we did this three years ago,” Borg said. “We were at the benefit and it was available again and we looked at each other and said, ‘Can we do it again?’ I love Vinceremos and they do so many wonderful things. What better way to contribute to it? I just had a tour of Vinceremos last week, so this was perfect.”

She and her 10-year-old Brandenburg gelding Quinn took the jumps in stride in the South Florida humidity. “It was fabulous and so much fun,” she said.

“It was great,” Shaughnessy echoed. “Working with horses is a benefit for children and adults and this combines everything: caring about people and caring about horses.” She loves that the charity is local, allowing visits and volunteering opportunities. She and Borg used to ride together until they branched off into different disciplines but they have remained friends. Borg is competing in the hunter ring while Shaughnessy concentrates on flatwork and jumping exercises on her Hanoverian, Java.

“I was lucky enough to have been in a clinic with these two a few years ago,” Kraut said, laughing that she counts on them as her faithful buyers who won’t leave her standing on a stage at a charity auction without “purchasing” her. “It was really fun. Both of them are on different horses this time and they’re both wonderful riders. They’ve really got great eyes and they see the distances well. We just tried to work on some of the fine points of strength and concentration.”

In fact, Kraut schooled both riders on getting more energy out of their horses. “One of the hardest things to learn in riding is getting a reaction,” she said. She also had them work on asking for accuracy and establishing straightness. “A very important thing is to feel the horse is straight before you ask him to move laterally. In hunters, a correct straight approach is everything. If your horse is crooked or off balance, you also have a better chance of getting a rub.”

Kraut was as equally enthusiastic about helping Vinceremos as she was the riders. “It’s an honor to get to do something for such a great cause,” she said. “It’s the least we can do.”

Susan Guinan, Director of Development for Vinceremos, was on hand to watch the clinic. “I’m thrilled that Laura and Nick and so many are willing to support the efforts we make at Vinceremos, because it absolutely does enrich the lives of all those children and all those adults. For these kids and adults, holding the rein translates into holding a spoon or a crayon. It makes a difference in their everyday lives.”

For information about how you can help, call (561) 792-9900 or email Vinceremos at info@vinceremos.org.

Michel Assouline Conducts Para-Dressage Symposium March 12-14 in Wellington

Michel Assouline (credit www.assoulinedressage.com)

Wellington, FL – February 22, 2017 – Michel Assouline will conduct a Para-Dressage Symposium March 12-14, 2017, following the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida, March 9-12. The symposium will take place at the Van Kampen Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Riders will begin working with Assouline on March 12, and will continue to ride over two full days March 13 and 14. The cost of the symposium is $500 for riders and $200 for auditors. The focus of the symposium will be finding the appropriate competitive horse for each athlete’s Grade, working on what the judges are looking for in the new FEI Para-Dressage Tests. Assouline will work in collaboration with the U.S Para-Dressage Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt. For more information on the details of this symposium, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Email: lkjohnson@usef.org .

About Michel Assouline
(credit www.assoulinedressage.com)

Michel is a graduate of the French National Equestrian School, home of the Cadre Noir in Saumur and gained a vast international experience in the USA, France, Germany and the United Kingdom as an international dressage rider and trainer. Michel was long-listed to represent France at the Seoul Olympics and won the French National Championships in 2000.  He has also scored numerous successes at International and National level.

Michel was voted in 1995 UK Dressage Trainer of the Year, and is a member of the International Dressage Trainers Club. He is also currently on the British Dressage panel of trainers eligible to judge Potential International Dressage Horse classes and officiated several times at the Championships for four, five and six-year-old horses.

In 2005 Michel became the British Para-Equestrian Dressage Team Coach and has led Team GBR riders to win Team Gold medals at the 2005 European Championships, the 2007 World Championships, the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, the 2009 European Championships, the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, the 2011 FEI Europeans, the 2012 London Paralympic Games, the 2013 FEI Europeans, the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, the 2015 FEI Europeans and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. At the Rio Games his athletes came back with a total of four silver and seven gold medals, medaling in all their classes contested.

In March 2009 Michel was awarded the PDTT Coaching Award, and in November 2012 Michel was awarded the UK Sports Coach Medal and inducted in the Coaching Hall of Fame at the UK Coaching Awards ceremony. Later that year at the London Olympia International he received the prestigious British Equestrian Federation Medal of Honour. Team GBR made the following statement at the time: ‘Michel has been the British Paralympic team coach for eight years, during which time the GB team have remained unbeaten at major team championships, amassing 85 medals in total, including the 2012 Paralympic haul of 11.

At the 2016 UK Coaching awards Michel Assouline, along with Carl Hester, Angela Weiss, Lisa Hopkins and Helen Burt, was awarded the Mussabini Medal – a sports award recognizing Coaches of British sports people and teams, and was inducted in the UK Coaching Hall of Fame.  Michel recently successfully completed the inaugural intake of UK Sport’s Elite Coaching Programme.

For more information on the details of this symposium, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Email: lkjohnson@usef.org.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Sierra Keasler Accepts Invite for USEF’s Select Athlete’s One-on-One Coaching with Charlotte Bredahl

Sierra Keasler and Lux Stensvang (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, Florida (February 7, 2016) – The USEF’s Dressage Youth Program targets some of the country’s best up-and-coming dressage talent, helping aspiring Juniors and Young Riders break their glass ceilings and build their skills in the upper echelons of dressage sport. As part of their resolve to connect with and teach America’s future dressage stars on a more regular basis, the USEF implemented the Select Athlete’s One-on-One Coaching Program, which identifies top Juniors and Young Riders to connect with top FEI coaches with the intention of providing support and resources for them to advance in competition. Following a decorated Junior and Young Rider career, Wellington, Florida based dressage rider Sierra Keasler was selected to participate in the prestigious 2017 coaching program with FEI Judge Charlotte Bredahl.

Horse and athlete combinations must meet rigorous criteria to be considered, including average scores of 68% or higher on the USEF Ranking Lists for the 2017 and 2016 Festival of Champions/NAJYRC/U25 Grand Prix or have earned a top 3 placing of 68% or higher in the last 12 months in the Young Rider or Junior Divisions at the Festival of champions and/or CDIs. Keasler, who has been a top placed competitor since 2011, has numerous advanced dressage placings including Reserve Champion in the Brentina Cup, a top 5 finish in the NAJYRC, and scores over 70 in the FEI Grand Prix and U25 Grand Prix. She currently trains with Silke Rembacz in Wellington, Florida, who will be included in the coaching program’s workshops as she and Bredahl work to take Keasler’s career to the next level. As she gears up for another season of intense competition on Florida’s winter dressage circuit, Keasler is thrilled to be able to receive concentrated, in depth instruction from Charlotte Bredahl and Dressage Youth Program.

“Any opportunity to work with the USEF has been an invaluable learning experience and particularly rewarding in terms of my development as a rider,” said Keasler. “I’m so happy that I’ve been selected to receive the One-on-One training, and look forward to the opportunity to ride with Charlotte and utilize the input from a highly regarded coach and judge. I cannot state enough how beneficial these programs are for competitors and am thankful that the USEF has chosen to invest their time and efforts into developing young riders.”

Keasler began her advanced dressage career in 2011 as a successful Junior competitor in the NAJYRC. She placed in the top 5 at Nationals that year, and quickly progressed to the FEI level, earning her USDF Silver Medal after competing Hyperion Farm’s Corcovado at Prix St. Georges. She and Corcovado were also the Fourth Level Young Rider Region 3 Champions in 2014. In 2015 she earned the ride on Lux Stensvang, and in their first outing at Grand Prix scored 72.9%. That same year they successfully competed in the U25 Grand Prix at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and were the Reserve Champions in the 2015 Brentina Cup. In 2016 she again campaigned Lux in the U25 Grand Prix, culminating in a 4th place overall finish at the 2016 US Dressage Finals. After purchasing Lux as her primary competition mount, Keasler began training in 2016 with FEI dressage trainer Silke Rembacz as she prepares for the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
954 205 7992

The Warm-Up, by Jane Savoie

Many riders get confused about how to warm up their dressage horses so they can have a productive schooling session. As a rider and trainer, your goal in the warm-up is to take the restrictions away from your horse’s body. Depending on the day, your warm-up could be as short as ten minutes, or it could end up being your entire ride.

Here are 9 tips to help you with your warm-ups:

  1. Since your horse has probably been standing in the stall, spend the first five to ten minutes walking around on a loose rein.
  2. After walking around “on the buckle” for several minutes, pick up a contact with his mouth so you can begin your warm-up.
  3. Focus on the first three ingredients of the Training Scale: rhythm, suppleness, and connection. I always start my work with those first three ingredients on a large circle. Then, if all goes well, I’ll go large around the arena.
  4. Rhythm: As you walk, trot, and canter, check that the rhythm is always regular and that the tempo is neither too fast nor too slow.
  5. Suppleness: Spend as little or as much time as you need to supple and relax your horse both mentally and physically. Work done in tension is a waste of time. When you supple your horse, you’ll relax him physically. Once he’s physically relaxed, he’ll relax mentally.

In a nutshell, to supple your horse, bend his neck seven inches to the inside of a neutral position (neutral is when his nose is in line with the crease in the middle of his chest) while you close your leg on the same side.

Do a set of “three supples,” meaning you’ll bend and straighten him three times quickly but smoothly. Then do nothing for seven or eight strides, followed by another set of three supples. (This “suppling” technique is described in detail in Dressage 101, Train with Jane Volume 1, and A Happy Horse Home Study Course.)

  1. Connection: Use the connecting aids to put your horse on the bit. The connecting aids last approximately three seconds. During those three seconds you add, add, add hind legs through your closed outside hand while maintaining flexion at the poll to the inside.

To apply the connecting aids:

  • Close your legs steadily for three seconds as if asking for a lengthening.
  • Close your outside hand in a fist to capture and recycle the energy back to the hind legs.
  • Keep the neck straight by giving three to four little squeezes or vibrations on the inside rein.

In warm-up, I connect my horse and then ride him long and low as seen in the picture; or, if he tends to be heavy on the forehand, I ride in a horizontal balance with his topline more parallel to the ground.

  1. When things fall apart, always go back to the beginning of the training scale. First, reestablish regular rhythm. Then, supple your horse. Finally, ask for connection.
  2. While focusing on rhythm, suppleness and connection, it’s appropriate to ask your horse to do school figures like circles, serpentines, and shallow loops.

The First and Second Level horse can do school figures as well as leg-yields and rubber band exercises like modest lengthenings.

  1. Many riders do a lot of transitions from gait to gait with their dressage horses in the warm-up. Personally, I think your horse needs to be warmed up sufficiently before you can expect him to do good transitions. As a general rule, I save schooling the transitions until the second phase of my work, after the warm-up is complete.

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website

Kristi Wysocki Conducts International Para-Dressage Symposium

Para Dressage Judge Kristi Wysocki talks about shoulder in.

Wellington, FL – January 28, 2017 – Following a successful Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida, FEI 3* Dressage and FEI 4* Para Dressage Judge Kristi Wysocki conducted an international Para-Dressage Symposium in Collaboration with U.S. Technical Advisor Kai Handt. The symposium ran over three days January 22-24, 2017, and it included demonstration rides of the new tests given by top level Dressage riders. The focus of the symposium was to talk about and work on technical aspects of the FEI tests that were recently released.  Kristi Wysocki was able to give her recent experience judging the new tests at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* and explain to the riders what they should aim for in each Para-Dressage Grade. Kai Handt worked with the riders and spoke to them about horse preparation and expectations in the ring. The format of the symposium included both riding intensive and sit down discussions.

Each FEI Para-Dressage Grade Test was demonstrated by top Dressage athletes those included Shelly Francis, Noel Williams, Rebecca Waite, Roz Kinstler, and Jessica Rhinelandar. During the Grade V test demonstration by Grand Prix rider Noel Williams with horse Caprice, owned by Hampton Meadows Farm, Wysocki spoke about the importance of geometry.

“It’s important to make sure your geometry is perfect,” stated Wysocki. “If you don’t get the geometry correct you get in trouble with balance and gait. If you know a particular movement is difficult for your horse, you can use certain preparations or movements on the geometry to get the best score.”

She also spoke about transitions. “Don’t throw your transition score away. Even if you have trouble in the lengthening, for example, make sure the transition is done well.”

Hope Hand, President of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, was happy with both the CPEDI3* and the participation at the symposium. Hand acknowledged, “I want to thank all those involved with both the CPEDI3* and the symposium. That includes the riders and support staff; Judges President Kristi Wysocki (USA), Carlos Lopes (POR), and Anne Prain (FRA); Show management, Thomas Baur, Monica Fitzgerald; Sponsors Mission Control and Mane Stream, Rowan O’Reilly; Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt; USEF Discipline Director Laureen Johnson; USEF; and USPEA.”

She continued, “Even with low entries, this event jump started the season off with great enthusiasm and hope for a fantastic year heading into The World Equestrian Games. The January show is a good way for our Developing Riders to get their feet wet and they did just that with promising scores that met the first step of WEG qualifications. I am excited to see new horse rider combinations coming up the ranks. I look forward to seeing our riders return in March.”

The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida is scheduled for March 9-12, 2017 at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Three USEF/USPEA National Para-Equestrian Dressage COEs Complete Series of Clinics

Thousand Oaks, California – January 11, 2017 – USEF/USPEA National Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence (COE) Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports in Lyman, Maine; North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) in Wylie, Texas; and Ride On Therapeutic Riding Center in Chatsworth, Calif.; each completed a COE clinic this fall/winter season.

Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports
Lyman, Maine
October 21-22 and November 18, 2016

Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy and Sports recently conducted two Para-Equestrian clinics for para-driving and para-dressage. The clinics ran over two weekends and took place in Lyman, Maine on October 21-22 and November 18, 2016. The clinics, conducted by international para-equestrian coaches Clive Milkins and Scott Monroe, are part of Carlisle Academy’s ongoing efforts as a USEF/USPEA Para-Dressage Center of Excellence.

On October 21 & 22, 2016, five developing riders, including Carlisle’s own para-equestrian youth and disabled veterans, in addition to two adult riders from Virginia, and a PATH coach from New York took part in curriculum-rich para-dressage training with esteemed Paralympic Coach Clive Milkins. Participants gained new coaching networks, adaptive equipment ideas, and the fundamentals of para-dressage competition, but also received thought-provoking and empowering lessons to dive deeper into the sport.

On November 18, 2016, American Diving Society Judge and International Para-Driving Coach Scott Monroe offered an Introduction to Para-Driving. Participants from neighboring Maine riding centers included three PATH coaches, three veterans, several auditors, and one adult driver with a disability interested in the competitive sport experience. Monroe presented the foundations of para-driving while sharing his recent experience coaching international athlete Stefanie Putnum at the 2016 World Championship. Introductory lessons were given to those who were interested.

In both clinics, Carlisle’s Head of School Sarah Armentrout shared information on veterans’ funding assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs, encouraging eligible veteran athletes to learn more about and engage in para-equestrian sports.

For more info on the Para-Equestrian Training Camps, contact Carlisle Academy Head of School, Sarah Armentrout at 207-985-0374, sarmentrout@carlisleacademymaine.com, or visit carlisleacademymaine.com.

Carlisle Academy is a recognized PATH Premier Accredited Center and a USEF/USPEA Para-Equestrian Center of Excellence.

North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC)
Wylie, Texas
December 2-4, 2016

North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) of Excellence in Wylie, Texas held its first para-dressage trainer and rider forum December 2-4, 2016. This was a brand new format for the trainer and riding forum where the successful Danish Olympic coach David Amager gave a rider clinic and theory seminar after the clinics and Kai Handt USEF National Para-Dressage Advisor and Chef d’Equipe gave a Para-Dressage coach seminar. The clinic was exceptionally well received. The very intense course attracted lots of spectators, went from 8 AM to 8 PM each day, and involved not only horse and rider training but theory sessions about how to train, prepare, and show horses in national and international competition. The trainer seminar gave in-depth information about how to school and train para-equestrian athletes and horses for competition and how to correctly evaluate riders and their mounts for safety and competition.  Representatives from USEF, USOC, and USPEA were impressed with the high level of competition and excellent facilities.

USEF National Para-Dressage Advisor and Chef d’Equipe stated, “Thanks to the United States Olympic Committee for the grant to put on the first coaching forum. The seminar was an excellent combination of having a US and top rated European coach working hand-in-hand to give our riders and especially our trainers in-depth information on how to train and prepare horse/rider pairs for competition and how to evaluate upcoming or new talent for further training for competitions. The participation of local trainers as well as a few trainers from other parts of the country show that there is a large interest in seminars of this caliber and form.  We had excellent feedback on the theory, video, and printed material from athletes, trainers, and support staff. NTEC is looking forward to running multiple seminars of this caliber with international trainers and judges in 2017 and beyond.”

He added, “Just thank USOC for the Grant to put on the first coaching forum.”

Rider Katie Jackson added, “The clinic was a great experience. Everyone rode really well and showed significant improvements over the three days of riding. For me, this was my first dressage clinic since becoming a para-dressage rider.  David was spot on with his observations and gave me some really great tools to continue working with. The horse I rode, Wembley, worked hard for me all weekend and I enjoyed feeling the improvements in our connection and overall relaxation that David helped us achieve.  I really enjoyed meeting some new para-dressage riders and getting to know others better too. We had a very supportive and enthusiastic group. The NTEC family and Kai Handt did a wonderful job of organizing and hosting our weekend of learning and spoiled us with all kinds of delicious food.  Thanks to NTEC, USPEA, and USEF for making this symposium possible. I am already looking forward to the next one.”

For more information about the North Texas Equestrian Center clinic, please contact Kai Handt at Kaihandt@yahoo.com and visit uswarmblood.com. Office phone number: (972) 442-7544.

Ride On Therapeutic Riding Center in Chatsworth, Calif.

Ride On Therapeutic Riding Center in Chatsworth, California hosted a clinic with David Schmutz. The clinic was unfortunately cancelled after three rides due to 40 mile per hour winds.

Megan McQueeney expressed, “We couldn’t even keep the arena standing. Despite 40 plus mile an hour winds both David and the riders were extremely hearty. We managed to get in three rides before we had to cancel. Joann Benjamin also did a national classification for one rider. It was incredibly generous of Dave to offer his time to develop these riders and everyone had a great time and learned a lot despite the weather.”

She added, “We have been very pleased with the para-dressage interest we have received over the year. We hosted an Open House Clinic and Classification last fall and that event was great. Riders from all over California came including five riders that did five classifications.”

Ride On Therapeutic Riding Center in Chatsworth, Calif. will host another clinic February 5, 2017 with David Schmutz. There will also be a nationally recognized Para-Dressage show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center May 13-14, 2017. For more information, contact Megan McQueeney at jrsporthorses@gmail.com

USEF/USPEA National Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence (COE)

The regional COE hubs of excellence goal are to attract new riders to the sport of para-equestrian dressage. Additionally, they work in partnership with the USEF high performance programs to develop athletes to a level where they can represent the U.S. in international competition and at the Paralympic Games and ultimately win medals.

COEs play a vital role in attracting dressage trainers to the sport and helping them understand the aids and methods of training the disabled athletes in para-dressage. The COEs are the primary hosts of USEF para-dressage high performance programs and educational symposiums. In addition, COEs aim to further develop their links with the therapeutic riding community, thus exposing interested athletes to competition opportunities.

Each COE is unique in the structure of their para-dressage programs and offer opportunities independent of other COEs. The USEF/USPEA is committed to working with each COE to build plans that complement their individual strengths and opportunities. These regional hubs of excellence will attract new riders to the sport of para-equestrian dressage. Additionally, they work in partnership with the USEF high performance programs to develop athletes to a level where they can represent the U.S. in international competition and at the Paralympic Games and ultimately win medals.

For more information on the COE programs, please contact USEF Director of Para Equestrian, Laureen Johnson at lkjohnson@usef.org, or 908-326-1155.

The USPEA is the USEF’s Recognized Affiliate for all para-equestrian disciplines and exists to help develop, promote, and support athletes wishing to participate in the para-equestrian sport. For more information on getting started with para-equestrian, please visit www.uspea.org or contact USPEA President, Hope Hand at wheeler966@aol.com.

For more information about the USEF/USPEA Centers of Excellence, please visit USEF.org or go to http://uspea.org/may-5-2016-usefuspea-names-para-equestrian-dressage-centers-of-excellence/.

Riders and Clinicians Announced for 2017 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the participants for the 11th annual USEF George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session presented by the USHJA and sponsored by Adequan, Ariat, Practical Horseman, and Equestrian Sport Productions. The Training Session will be held at The Stadium at Equestrian Village, the home of the Global Dressage Festival, in Wellington, Fla., January 3-7, 2017. The Training Session is designed to develop the next generation of U.S. Equestrian Team talent through intensive mounted and unmounted instruction from a variety of experts. Twelve athletes earned invitations to the 2017 Training Session through one of three avenues: success in USEF marker competitions, performance at the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session, or by selection from a competitive pool of Wild Card applicants.

The following athletes will participate:

Kelli Cruciotti (Elizabeth, Colo.)
Caroline Dance (West Chester, Pa.)
Cooper Dean (Fayette, Ala.)
Coco Fath (Fairfield, Conn.)
Madison Goetzmann (Skaneateles, N.Y.)
Emma Marlowe (Lake Balboa, Calif.)
Gracie Marlowe (Lake Balboa, Calif.)
Brian Moggre (Flower Mound, Texas)
Maya Nayyar (New York, N.Y.)
TJ O’Mara (Rumson, N.J.)
Taylor St. Jacques (Glen Allen, Va.)
Peyton Warren (Rancho Murieta, Calif.)

In addition, the following participants will join the Training Session as Assistant Stable Managers, having been selected from the 2016 USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session:

Hannah Bentz (Boca Raton, Fla.)
Matt Drohan (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

The 2017 Training Session will feature instruction by the following mounted and unmounted clinicians.

Mounted Clinicians

Anne Kursinski: Flatwork Demonstration & Instruction – Thursday, January 5
Nations Cup Team Chef d’Equipe – Saturday, January 7

Beezie Madden: Gymnastics Demonstration & Instruction – Friday, January 6
Nations Cup Team Chef d’Equipe – Saturday, January 7

Laura Kraut: Nations Cup Instruction – Saturday, January 7
Lauren Hough: Nations Cup Team Chef d’Equipe – Saturday, January 7

Unmounted Clinicians

Colleen Reed: Fundamentals of Equine Care
Janus Marquis: Equine Anatomy and Physiology
Andy Thomas: Human Sports Science & Medicine
Tonya Johnston, MA: Sports Psychology
Dr. Tim Ober, DVM: Veterinary Care
Conrad Homfeld: Course Design

USEF Network will live stream coverage of all mounted sessions and demonstrations, which are also open to the public to audit in person at no charge. Mounted sessions will occur in the mornings on the days noted above and a complete time schedule will be available in late December.

The USEF thanks the many clinicians and sponsors who make this event possible, with special thanks to Equestrian Sport Productions for the generous donation of the facility.

For more information about the 2017 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session, please contact Casey Easley, USEF Director of Show Jumping High Performance Programs, at ceasley@usef.org.

From the USEF Communications Department

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Dressage riders tend to be perfectionists. I’ve noticed that dressage riders are often very tough on themselves if things aren’t exactly right.

What if your ride today was just a tiny bit better than it was yesterday? Would that be enough?

Jane tells people to invent reasons to celebrate. She knows that those “little bit betters” very quickly add up to a whole lot better!

When you go to the barn today, pick something to work on and notice if, at the end of your ride, it’s just a little bit better. Then celebrate!

Life is not a destination; it’s a journey.

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

Going for a walk with Jane is one of my favorite things to do. We can walk for miles, just looking at new things and taking in the interesting smells.

Jane likes to think when we walk. She comes up with some of her best ideas for her books and DVDs while quietly strolling down the long paths around where we live.

Walking is a great way to help your mind and your body. It helps strengthen your heart and your legs, and it helps calm your mind. When you’re stressed or upset, a nice long walk can really make a difference in how you feel.

Besides, your dog loves it. Be sure and take him with you.

See you on the path!

Love, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Horses think in pictures. Jane says that all super-achievers have developed the ability to clearly see what they want, in great detail, before they actually achieve it.

I found learning the tempi changes very difficult. But Jane pictured what she wanted very clearly, and then I pictured what she wanted me to do very clearly, and we got it! Now I can do lots of tempi changes without making a mistake!

What are you working on today? Picture the perfect result over and over in your mind, before you go to the barn, and again before you get on your horse. Fill in all the details. Involve all five or your senses. Then add emotion to your “mental movies”.

You’ll be amazed at what you can do!

See you at the barn!

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

I want to be a Veterinarian. I hear that is a great job. I’ve met lots of horse doctors at the barn, and think they are a nice bunch of folks.

indyI heard someone say that horses tend to colic, and sometimes they need surgery. So I got my favorite lobster toy and performed colic surgery the best way I knew how. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to put the lobster back together.

Sometimes you need someone with skills you don’t have to help you. So I took my lobster to Jane. She put his stuffing back in and sewed him up. He is fine now.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to do it alone.

Love, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website

Shoulder-In, by Jane Savoie

Shoulder-in is the father of all the advanced lateral exercises. What I mean by advanced lateral exercises are exercises like shoulder-in, haunches-in, half pass, walk pirouettes, and canter pirouettes.

Shoulder-in does a lot of different things. It is a straightening exercise, a strengthening of the inside hind leg exercise, and a collecting exercise. The quality that makes shoulder-in a collecting exercise is that your horse must bend while he goes sideways. If your horse isn’t bending from poll to tail then your shoulder-in becomes a leg yield. That’s fine if you want to do a leg yield. But if you want to collect your horse–meaning you want to load the hind legs, shift the center of gravity back toward the hind legs so that the forehand is lighter and freer – then your horse must bend.

The two tips that I’m going to give you today are rider tips because you want to be sure that you’re part of the solution – not part of the problem. Next month, I’ll go over some of the things you can do to help your horse become more bendable.

  1. Keep your inside leg forward on the girth. I find that it is very common for riders to come into shoulder-in and draw their inside legs behind the girth. If you draw your inside leg behind the girth, it displaces the hindquarters out toward the rail, and your horse has no option but to leg yield. Remember, if your horse is truly bending in shoulder-in, the hindquarters stay parallel to the rail as the forehand comes in on an inside track.

You want to be sure that you aren’t drawing your inside leg behind the girth and pushing the hindquarters out. As you think about stepping into shoulder-in, exaggerate your correction by thinking about putting your inside leg a little bit forward and tucking it right up behind your horse’s elbow. It’s not really going to be behind the elbow. You just want it to be on the girth in an engaging position. But if your tendency is to draw your leg behind the girth, thinking about putting your inner leg up by the horse’s elbow will prevent you from drawing it too far back.

  1. Keep your outside leg behind the girth. The other common mistake that I see is that the rider’s outside leg is either too far forward or it is completely off the horse’s side.

Remember, it takes two legs to bend your horse – one on the girth and one behind the girth. So if your outer leg is too far forward or is away from the horse’s body, there is no way you can bend your horse around your inside leg.

One of the best rider exercises that you can do in order to make sure your outside leg is behind the girth and on your horse’s barrel is to start your shoulder-in from a haunches-in. Come through the second corner of the short side, and don’t let the hindquarters finish the corner. Keep your horse in haunches-in as you start down the long side.

In haunches-in, your bending aids are the same as they are for shoulder-in. You have a little flexion to the inside, you keep the horse’s neck from over bending his neck to the inside with the outside rein, your weight is on the inside seat bone, your inside leg is on the girth, and your outside leg is behind the girth.

Shoulder-in is the first step of a 10-meter circle continued on a straight line, and haunches-in is the last step of a 10-meter circle continued on a straight line so you should be able to slide your way from haunches-in to a shoulder-in and then back into haunches-in. This exercise will help you learn the feeling of enveloping your horse with your two legs – inside leg on the girth, and outside leg behind the girth.

To start the haunches-in, slightly increase the influence of your outside aids. Close your outside hand in a fist, and press with your outside leg behind the girth. Focus on the feeling of your outside leg pressing against your horse’s barrel.

Then keep your aids in exactly the same position as you advance forward into a shoulder-in position. To do this, relax your outside rein so that your horse can advance forward onto what is essentially the first step of a 10-meter circle. As he advances onto the circle, close your inside leg and look straight down the long side.

Do two or three strides of shoulder-in, and then go back to two or three strides of haunches-in. Then do two or three strides of shoulder-in and go back to two or three strides of haunches-in again. You should feel that your bending aids stay exactly the same as you swivel from haunches-in to shoulder-in to haunches-in to shoulder-in.

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website