Part 2: Olympian Sue Blinks shows how her multifaceted approach works in teaching movements like shoulder-in and piaffe.
Part 2: Olympian Sue Blinks shows how her approach works in teaching movements like shoulder in and piaffe
Extreme success in dressage is a direct result of certain very specific positive qualities of the rider. Last month we discussed those qualities and how riders can improve their weak areas. In summation, we talked about:
1. The skilled dressage rider, who is able to give clear, consistent aids in all situations because of an independent seat and position, elasticity, feel and timing.
2. The effective horse trainer, who is able to explain what she wants so her horse understands.
3. The rider who is educated in classical theory and has integrated it into her riding.
4. The rider who has a deep knowledge of horsemanship and takes exquisite care of her horses. 5. The rider who has people skills and attracts students and sponsors. 6. The rider who has a positive, resilient, patient, concentrated personality. When one person “has it all” we’re likely to find her on the podium, and you can be sure that she has consciously worked on these qualities. This month we’re going to discuss how to practically apply some of these qualities to the teaching of two movements: shoulder-in and piaffe.
Why is shoulder-in important other than the fact that we have to ride it in dressage tests? It’s a tool—in its infancy all the way through to Grand Prix—for increasing suppleness, engagement, collection and throughness. The movement develops the horse’s understanding of stepping from the inside leg to the outside rein into a more round, shortened shape, which gives it a gymnasticizing quality, enabling the rider to add upward mobility and cadence to the gaits with her driving and recycling aids.
Shoulder-in also helps the rider work through resistances (spooking, reluctance to stay round, through or going into the
When teaching your horse shoulderin, explain all the basic prerequisites to him: the leg-yielding, the bending and engagement expectations.