dressage horse

IT WAS THE World Cup Final this weekend, in Omaha. Many congratulations to the world’s best rider Isabell Werth to her win on 82,3% with her 12-year-old mare Weihegold OLD! Isabell gave a clinic earlier on Saturday (very jealous of my ex colleagues in US for being there with their horses!) but here are some of her tips on developing a GP horse:

1. The most important thing in the education of the horse is improving the flexion and bend. The goal is to make the horse more flexible, supple and elastic. The horse will be safer in the connection once you work for more bend and flexion of the sides — lateral sideways movements will help encourage the horse to come into the bit.

2. It’s important from the beginning to bring him from behind, while trying to make him lower behind. Find a good contact from behind and then you can start to do half halts. He needs to become more steady from behind with a really nice, clear swing.

3. Let the swing come out of the horse: Don’t interrupt the swing or rhythm. Encourage the horse to swing from behind. It’s very important for a young horse to find the rhythm on both sides.

4. Be careful with the inside rein, it’s a discussion. As soon as you use too much inside rein, you block the horse. Don’t shorten him with your inside rein.

5. Look for the contact: The horse needs to trust and look for the reins in order to begin proper work. Try to let him chew. He should look for the reins, so don’t throw away the reins.

6. Sit straight and still to encourage the horse to come through. When you sit on the horse, try not to lose his natural jog or interrupt the fluidity.

7. When beginning to work on the flying changes, try to get a little more connection and contact between the changes so she goes a little more ‘through’ the change evenly in both reins. Only a good canter will bring a good change.

8. To keep him in front of you, keep the shoulder in front of you.

9. Try to make the hind end more active with more jump. Ask for small, quick steps.

10. When you start with the half pass, start with more cadence control, and flexion. Once you have achieved that then you can ask for more forward more fluidity and swing within the gait.

equestrian stockholm london

Photos of Amaretto & I by Frog & Field. We are both dressed is Equestrian Stockholm SS17, & boots from Celeris UK.