USEF Developing Rider Training Session, #2

Wow! Just got off of Poof after an amazing dressage lesson with David O’Connor!

David was happy with the overall quality of our work, but naturally wanted to put that next level of polish on everything. We worked on forward-back transitions to warm up, pushing for more collection with each transition. From there we worked on some elements of the Advanced test, focusing on “ringmanship” to get the best score possible. One area of focus was riding the corners accurately, which carried over to everything else we worked on, including changes, half pass, and walk pirouettes. Poof was excellent and a total gentleman today. I think DOC is pleased!

Click Here to watch videos of the session

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My mom and Poof’s owner, Teresa Groesbeck, will be happy to know that David thinks Poof should he a 28-31 horse in dressage ๐Ÿ™‚

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Poof’s First Passage!

Poof has been a horse that historically I have struggled to communicate effectively with, as a rider. He is very sensitive to the aids but can also get strong through his shoulders and, when tense, looses activity behind and looses “thoroughness.”

Since I have been here at KingsWay working under HBE, and also thanks to the the help of NW Dressage before that, I have been working on becoming more loose in my own body and encouraging Poof’s elasticity and rhythm with softness in my seat and hands.

Gradually, Poof has become more active behind in our collected work and is learning not to loose impulsion as he transitions between “forward and back.” Having been inspired by the recent training sessions with DOC and our auspicious beginning of the show season with nice marks in dressage, today I decided to push the envelope.

To start today, I began working in working trot, then asking for collected steps, then medium steps, then back. Each time I made a transition, I asked for more of a difference between the different trot steps. Eventually, with DOC’s voice in my head telling me to “go there,” Poof lifted into several steps of passage!

I would say that today is a major milestone for us and is a real benchmark of our progress as a team.

Go eventing! Go Poof!

USEF Training Session, Eventing 25: Day 1

Hello from Flying Tail Farms. Wow! What a great start to the training session with drill riding in the dressage court. I rode this morning with Mark Grandia and Zach Brandt and we were asked to change bend, length of stride, and gait all on drill formation, without passing or getting left behind. There was heavy emphasis on perfecting the basics and improving position for greater effectiveness in our seat. Wort was a champ, I am so lucky to have such a great horse and so lucky to be here riding with Coach David O’Connor and watching some great riders take instruction. Flying Tail Farms is beautiful and we are all very grateful to Shannon and Dayna for opening it up for us this week.