Monday, July 18, 2011

Event Camp-Balance/ Tempo /Rhythm-And Really Great Food!

Come Again Farm Event Camp 1
I started out with visions of grandeur – dutifully recording our adventure by uploading photos, videos and notes from camp every evening. An uncooperative laptop and video camera coupled with 111 degrees squashed that. So overdue is my Camp recap starting with Monday.

MondayPeter Atkins (Grids) | Jennifer Kaiser (Dressage) | Leslie Law (Demo rides)

Peter gallantly tries to teach me-no easy task!
Monday I began my camp experience with a grids lesson from Peter Atkins. Most eventers know Peter due to his helmet cams and horse Henry of “Run Henny Run” fame.
Peter is for sure a talented rider but even more talented as a teacher...and I think that will be a future blog post!

We began the grids lesson through a tangled maze of poles working on tempo and balance (this would be the theme for camp) and ended with a few bounces to a small oxer. The take away for me was the importance of balance and tempo.  My big breakthrough of the session was…wait for it…slowing the tempo with my seat. Duh. I thought I had been doing this correctly for years but for the first time I was truly able to control Moose’s speed and tempo without touching the reins. It was a very nice feeling!

Moose through the Grid
 Dressage with Jennifer Kaiser focused on getting Moose soft (he prefers this pose): 

Moose or Giraffe?
by raising the inside rein…as he goes up I go up. I understood this conceptually but by working with Jennifer the idea cemented. Now when I feel I am getting trotted off with I have a tool.

We also worked on our nemesis –the canter. Transitions, transitions, transitions. When I expressed my frustration (we have done 1,000,000,008 transitions in the last year) Jennifer indicated I just needed more time. Drat.

That evening Leslie Law rode three horses in front of ~ 100 spectators.  I had grand plans of taping the rides but the video camera had other plans and took the night off. Luckily COTHer ‘enjoytheride’ posted some videos:

My take away from his rides was that regardless of level- balance, rhythm, and softness are key. While riding and jumping in balance with a steady rhythm hunting and picking a distance was unnecessary…the distance found you.

Oh -enough with riding you say -your title mentioned food...oh my lord the food.

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