Valuable Dressage Lessons For Jumpers
Olympian Laura Graves’ valuable dressage lessons for jumper riders
Olympian Laura Graves taught jumper rider Kama Godek's students—who won the clinic as a prize for best video during Barn Night at the 2017 Washington International Horse Show—that no matter the discipline, the fundamentals of correct riding ring true from horse to horse.
Though grand prix show jumper Kama Godek’s indoor is usually set with jumps, there wasn’t a fence in sight for the clinic with dressage rider Laura Graves. Instead, the Olympic bronze medalist and World Equestrian Games’ double silver medalist helped a group of jumper riders hone in on their dressage basics, showing that no matter the discipline, the fundamentals of correct riding ring true from horse to horse and from saddle to saddle.
Graves shared her wealth of dressage knowledge during a “Dressage for Jumping” clinic held last summer in Aldie, Virginia, courtesy of the Washington International Horse Show and BarnManager.com. Kama Godek LLC’s team won the clinic as a prize for best video during Barn Night at the 2017 WIHS.
Responsiveness, straightness and steady contact were the training pillars that Graves illustrated with various exercises and visualizations. She summed up her role to the eight clinic riders this way: “When I meet people who have had their horses for a long time, I say, ‘Somewhere in your 10- or 11-year relationship, you guys have written a contract. It’s like a prenuptial. You say, OK, you do this and I’ll do that and you don’t buck me off, run away with me or be naughty. And I won’t do x, y or z.’ I come in and help you rewrite that contract a little bit. Mediation is a big part of my job.”
Trainer Kama Godek rides her 6-year-old mare HRH van de Elsakker in the clinic.