In any clinic with two-time Olympian Jacqueline Brooks, two things are guaranteed: there will be lots of laughter, and there will be lots of analogies and images used. From asking riders to picture themselves as the pole in the centre of a carousel horse to imagining they’re riding a roller coaster heading up a steep incline, Jacqueline uses a creative approach to help riders create the feel she is looking for.
Jacquie recently taught a clinic at our barn at was fascinating to watch how she used the same visualization technique with every horse and rider and how it applied to each of them, whether working at First level or PSG. The simple idea of imagining themselves riding down a hill, or up a hill helped every rider improve their horse's balance and self-carriage.
It was so interesting, I wrote an article for Horse Sport about it - you can read it here.
Do you ever wonder what the judge is thinking as you're making your best effort to get through your dressage test without a mistake? Spoiler alert: No, they don't hate your horse, and yes, they can hear you cluck.
Canadian FEI 4* judge Brenda Minor recently shared some inside knowledge with me for a Horse Sport article titled 10 Things Dressage Judges Really (Really!) Want Riders to Know.
What's at the top of her list? Brenda really wants riders to know that judges are on our side. They want us to have a great ride and they love being able to reward great work with a great score. She also wants us to know that judges are human too, and mistakes do happen. In cases where the judge misses part of a movement (due to a sneeze, spilled coffee, flying test papers or any number of mishaps that can occur in the booth) judges are trained to give the rider the benefit of the doubt with a positive score.
Want to know more? Read the full article here:
About the author
I'm a middle-aged, overweight, rusty re-rider who refuses to let any of that get in the way of my passion for dressage.