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A Happy and prosperous New Year to All.

Alice sends her love and tailwags!

I wish for you all happiness and prosperity in 2011.

May you have a great year.

MW

Posted: December 31, 2010
Filed under: Cedar Creek Stables News — By Melyni Worth

An impromptu clinic with Jim Koford

Jim came by just before he headed off to Florida. He really came to see Dux his youngster, but while he was here he taught a clinic.

April rode 4 horses no less. Donna R was her first one. Donna is a very technical ride, she a big mover but likes to drop her back and brace, she looks good but the rider can tell that there are no half halts when she does that. and then when you want the canter to be straight she gets wired and resistant. But Jim had April working her over the back and then into the half halts and wow did she begin to sit and flow. Her worst thing are the changes, you get a few then she hits the roof and things get wild. But Jim had April keeping her straight, leg yielding in off the rail, change, leg yield out to rail, change and bam lovely soft clean changes with no excitement.

First up for me was Xafaire, we have been working on keeping Xafaire soft through all his transitions and NOT bracing against the leg or hand. And it seems like all our work on those circles, those endless circles, has paid off. Jim was pleased with how much softer and rounder X2 was thru all the transitions and changes. He pretty much has the counter canter nailed and he was listening to my leg and stepping up to the bridle. Best of all was when Jim hopped on and asked him for a flying change in each direction. Oh the hand (seat) of the master, nice relaxed and easy, no problem at all. So if we can get ourselves together enough to get our scores at second level,  it looks as if X2 will have no problem moving up to 3rd later on.

Then Tinuvel, with April, working her forward in a nice soft outline working to encourage her to sit and accept the weight onto the hind legs and get them quicker. Sugar is only 3 coming 4 so she can only do so much, but she worked hard, and really showed improvement in engagement and throughness by the end.

Melissa and Sabine came from Shenandoah Farms with one of the Akhal Teke stallions (I’m sorry I have forgotten his name), but what a nice  horse.  He a cremello 5 yr old, and a really super mover, with lovely soft fluid gaits and a really good mind.  Again working to get the half halts through and to get the horse to be round and soft over the top line and to bend correctly in corners esp at canter. Once again Jim worked his magic and by the end the horse was moving even better and certainly carrying his rider in a softer more accepting frame.

Xavoy and I did some work to get that ever elusive throughness along with being quick enough behind and having enough power.  We get through,  and round OR  powerful but not through and round, it’s all 3 at the same time that eludes us!   We worked on piaffe, and on the canter zig zags in half pass, plus pirouettes and then on to the trot work. Oh boy Jim made us do shoulder in and renvers until X decided to step up the bridle and carry! and he felt so good but I was about wiped by the time we finished.  It’s great to know that he can do that but I fear there  is not way I can reproduce that effort on my own.

April again on Halifax,  they did work very similar to Xavoy and I getting acceptance of the half halt and staying round and through in all the transitions, (must a family tendency).  But Halifax is a little powerball and he is so athletic and elastic, he gets it all so easily!  They will be moving up the levels pretty quickly at this rate.

Then Mikey on Sheela, Sheela has not been ridden that much, and is usually used as a guest horse and trail horse, so her dressage experience is limited, but Jim had them leg yielding and doing shoulder in as well, all of this being new to Sheela. But as she is a Knabbie she just gets on with it even when new and difficult stuff is presented so she shouldered on and by the end was doing some nice work.

April again on Cita, working to get the hind end up and quick. Half passes, extended trot and canter, Flying changes including some 4 tempis and the beginnings of pirouettes. Phew some tough work for our little beauty queen.

Finally Mikey on Arwen, and boy have these two made some progress. Arwen is so much better balanced and is beginning to accept the half halts though she is a lot of horse for Mikey to ride! Her canter is so much better as well, and she is really good about trying new things and not getting upset.  Mikey and she were leg yielding and doing 10 and 15 m canter circles, plus some lengthening at trot.

By the end we were all exhausted, horses and humans, but we are all still feeling buzzed and have lots of home work to do.

We all miss Jim since he took off to Germany, but the work there has really helped him to sharpen his eye and know what to say and do to get the best out of each pair. He always did have an outstanding feel for what a horse and rider can do, but the stay in Germany has really moved that up a notch.

A great clinic and all the horses did so well.  Hopefully we’ll get one more in some time this Winter.

Posted: December 20, 2010
Filed under: Cedar Creek Stables News — By Melyni Worth