Originally Posted by PraireCreekFarms View Post
I have a GM clinic coming up in April and I have some questions! I have really been drilling our transitions, but still having some trouble with the left lead. Any tips? Do we need to know flying changes? It's an up to 3' hunter/eq class. He leg yeilds, what about shoulder/haunches in/out? Akso, What length crop should I use? I usually ride in eskadrons, can I use then or do I need leather open fronts? Thanks every one!
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Very very cool! I have been fortunate enough to ride with him a few times and I LOVE him. He is a wonderful clinician and you will get a tremendous amount of wisdom from riding with him!
As for getting the left lead... why is he not getting it? Is he stiffer to that side? Is there a soundness issue? Is he duller to your leg? Can you leg yield into it? How balanced is he? Without knowing anything about him I can't really help, but find the source of the problem and go from there.
For the 3" groups the flatwork is honestly not very complicated. At one clinic we did leg yields but that was the most complicated lateral exercise we did. There were several transition exercises (left lead, walk, right lead, walk, etc) and things like lengthen the canter, shorten the canter, etc. At the last one I did in the fall the most complicated exercise we did was an exercise where we did a turn on the forehand to a leg yield to a counter canter. But that was the 3"6 group and he increases the difficulty with each group. I don't think I've ever had to do a shoulder/haunches in or shoulder fore. The jumper groups always do (those are normally the most advanced grousp, ~4") But I think as long as your horse is pretty responsive I think you'll be ok.
It is nice to have a lead change but I have taken a green horse that did not have a solid change. Always swapped in the front but not the back. Funny, after the clinic he got very consistent with them! There were others in that group that also missed changes too and he didn't make a big deal about it. He talked a lot about balance and suppleness and mentioned that better schooling would solve problems like that, but he never yelled at anyone for not getting a change.
Use whatever crop length is best for your horse and you are most comfortable with. I ride with a 28 in long crop because I am very short and some of the horses I ride are very big so I need something with a little length to it! He did tell me it was almost too long, mainly because I sometimes flip it out a little as I jump and it was distracting to my horse. But I think if I rode with a much shorter crop he would tell me that I couldn't use it effectively. No matter what though, BRING A CROP and no matter what, WEAR SPURS. If your horse doesn't need them and has never had them, start wearing them now and get him used to them! I guarantee he will make you go get a pair of spurs before you do anything else. The green horse I rode was very hot and sensitive and I bought these little 1/8 round nubs! But he did not yell at me for not having my spurs!
Eskadrons are very acceptable. I use them. Just make sure that they (along wtih everything else) are very very clean. I scrubbed mine every night of the clinic and gave them another wipe before I went in the ring. Also scrub and polish your bit, stirrups, spurs, etc. Scrub your tack, polish your boots, wear a hairnet, blah blah blah.
If you have any other questions please ask!
PS, where are you doing this clinic? I'm riding with him in the spring as well...