Thursday, June 17, 2010

Eddo Hoekstra Clinic June 11th through June 13th, 2010

Eddo Hoekstra Clinic June 11th through June 13th.

Hay River Equestrian took three horses to this clinic. Jamie rode Hazel, a basic training level mare, and I rode Bacara and Amedeus.

We arrived on Thursday evening and were hoping to get the horses into the indoor arena to show it to them. Le’ts be honest. Bacara and Hazel did not really need it as bad as Amedeus did. He panics at first when away from home. He does o.k. if I can move him around in the arena I later have to ride him in. Minus that and I am not going to have an easy time of it. Well the arena had already been dragged so Amedeus was out of luck. I will have to arrive earlier to be sure next time to get him in there.

Eddo is very straight forward in his teaching style and shows the rider how to ease into and out of movements as to not disturb the horse. That is especially useful if your horses are a bit sensitive like mine are. One thing he had me do was to school the shoulders in and haunches in. What I mean by that is to do shoulder in and then come off the wall and then back to the wall all the while with the same angle. This was really useful in that it made the horse more adjustable within the lateral movement. I see this as universally helpful.

Amedeus benefitted by walk canter walk exercises to help him with his canter elevation. We also mixed up a lot of shoulders in haunches in, haunches out and half pass. I could feel that helping his flexibility and his ability to carry himself.

Bacara benefitted by riding two squares one inside the other. We did half passes in and out and flying changes to change directions. There is a lot going on in the riders head but it later makes the tempi changes feel easier.

Hazel did really well, adjusted to her environment and allowed herself to do lateral movements. Jamie and Hazel have not done that many lateral movements yet and I could really see it loosening the horse. They both picked up a lot of information.

Eddo has a wonderful soft focus that the horses love. He keeps things playful but focused. I noticed the way that this technique made the most out of each horse at the clinic.