Ingrid Klimke Clinic

Today Doug and I audited the Ingrid Klimke clinic in Truro that Joanne Dustan (Nova Scotia Dressage) organized. We're so lucky to have the quality of clinicians she brings in, here in Nova Scotia. Last year she brought in Steffen Peters - can you believe it?
Ingrid of course uses LOTS of cavalletti in her training. There were mostly dressage riders in the clinic, but some eventers too, which I was really intrigued by. Can a mid 50's woman who's never jumped take up eventing? Maybe the most introductory level? No? Damn. To digress for a moment I do want to learn to do just low, basic jumps, because I think it would be good for both Rogo and I, but that's another story.
Back to the clinic - I'm not educated enough to interpret it in detail for you, but here are some key points that Doug and I took away:
  • do lots and lots of transitions - trot walk trot with only ONE walk step, canter walk canter
  • put cavalletti at the 1/4 points of a circle and count your strides between them to make sure your strides are rhythmic and even in either trot or canter. You can also set the cavalletti higher and go 3 strides between, four strides between, three strides between, four strides between, etc. by regulating the stride length and steering more to the inside or more to the outside of the circle / cavaletti. This is a good exercise for eventers to control stride length and control steering at speed, but would be good for any horse and rider.
  • school canter pirouettes by coming out of the corner doing canter half pass to the far quarter line followed by a 6 m circle in travers. Do this several times, then ride a half pirouette. Focus on the rhythm and quality of the canter more than keeping it small.
  • A recurring theme was to release the inside rein on the circles, something I need to do more, especially to the left where I still hang on it too much
  • When schooling changes, if your horse starts to anticipate and change on his own, make sure your aids are saying 'no', until you say 'yes'. Reduce the number of changes to 3 (i.e. 3 three tempis, 3 four tempis) and concentrate on getting three correct changes rather than trying to go all the way across and having the horse start changing on his own. Don't collect too much - let the horse go reasonably forward.
  • to help a young / greener horse do canter walk transitions, try cantering 10 m figure eights, with 2 or 3 walk steps to change direction. We watched her working with a 5 year old Friesian stallion on this exercise and is was striking how quickly he went from not being able to come close to a canter walk transition to almost nailing it.
  • Here's a picture of him. I LOVE Friesians to look at. I don't expect I'll ever own one. Stunningly beautiful as they are I'd rather spend my limited time and budget with a warmblood if I can, simply because most are better suited to dressage. But boy, I'm sure glad others ride them so I can watch! Come to think of it, I think Jane Savoie rides some Friesians, so I guess they can do dressage just fine  :) This guy just may have been the most beautiful one I've ever seen.

 And here he is going over the cavalletti, with Ingrid in the background (phone photos, sorry):

In other news, I start my lessons with Sue Fraser tomorrow, on Rogo. When the vet came to take out the stitches he decided he needed five more days off, so he's been there getting settled (the wound was still a bit open). Rogo's been off for over three weeks except for three or so short bareback rides, and I've been doing very little riding. Soooo, I'm a little nervous to jump right in, but how else will we get going again? We really need lessons from a skilled teacher right now and Sue fits the bill. It's over three hours to make the round trip, so I may stay in the living quarters in the trailer tomorrow night. I have lessons Mon., Tues., and Thur. this week. Let's hope that trailer furnace is working well!
Here's a picture I took when riding Savanah on the beach the other day:

These are a couple of the horses that live next door. They're in with cows and this is where Rogo had his terrible cow fright :) He'd only been to the beach a few times so when they ran over to look at him it threw him for a loop.
I was very proud of Savanah on our ride. She was bareback (she's so warm and comfy I can't resist) and I aasked her to lengthen, shorten, lengthen and shorten her canter down an open stretch and she did it perfectly! Twice! This is a challenge as she loves to go forward and an open beach on a crisp Nov. day brings out the 'go go go' in her, but she stayed perfectly on the aids and responded brilliantly. We're so lucky to have a safe, sensitive, forward horse like her.
Hope everyone had a good weekend.


in2paints said…
I haven't been to a clinic in quite some time. We don't have them around here like we had them back home. You're lucky to have such great ones come to your area!

Have fun with your lessons!
Megan said…
Sounds like a great clinic. I'm going to work on getting the trot-walk-trot with 1 walk step with Scarface.

I'm thinking it might keep him on his toes a little more, because often his thinks walk = stop = he is done.
Kerri said…
I'm with you on the Fresians - gorgeous! Martha Stewart also has a few, surprisingly.

I love the tip about putting cavaletti on the circle quarter points! So simple, but so genius.
Brittany said…
what a beautiful horse!
Anonymous said…
I love Ingrid! How lucky for you to be able to attend one of her clinics! I strongly believe she does so well in eventing because she has such a firm background in dressage and she schools her as such. I was scibing eventing tests in a dressage test and they were just a disaster. The judge was trying really hard to give helpful notes on the tests but as we left for lunch she commented that she had heard a lot of eventers claim to not even lookat their score sheets for comments. I told her I had heard the same and her response was that what they don't realize is their run on the field is won or lost on what they do with their dressage training. So true!
One thing I always do to remember release my inside hand is pet my horse's neck with the inside when she's doing well, this makes the release become a habit.
As for Friesians doing dressage, as long as they are started properly, i.e following the classical method, they will excel at dressage. I just don't like all that hair! I would clip those feathers if I owned one:)
Kelly said…
Sounds like a great experience! I am fortunate that the training barn that my daughter is as a working student has some top notch clinicians frequently. I am taking the day off work this Friday to attend one. And bonus - my daughter gets to have a session with the clinician!
Anonymous said…
Looks like an amazing clinic and a great clinician. High dressage manoeuvres too! Must have been such a treat to watch.
AC Quigley said…
What fabulous clinics you have to go to! I would have loved to see Ingrid Klimke - and the Fresian is a real beauty!
Carol said…
Thanks everyone! Great comments. Kelly, if you see this, tell us who the clinician is! Inquiring minds need to know :)
Achieve1dream said…
I think everyone knows by now that I LOVE Friesians lol. You're so lucky you got to see him in the clinic. He's so gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the pictures. :)

That clinic sounds awesome! My barn has several really nice ones, but most of the people riding in them are beginners so I don't get to see the fun stuff like the pirouettes lol. Sounds like you had lots of fun and learned a lot too.

Good luck with your lesson. I bet you're going to have a lot of fun!
smazourek said…
I just started riding at a barn that has friesians- apparently, due to inbreeding, they are just full of health issues. As in, look at them funny and they colic health issues.

Better off just seeing them in pictures I say.
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