Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Linda's Rider Makeover Clinic Day 1

Well - one of my goals got ticked off this month.

To ride and be taught by Linda Parelli.

I had it on my goal list since about 2010 and I had no idea how it would happen. That's the beauty of goals and writing them down. :-)

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

I arrived in Sydney on Day Two of Pat Parelli's Clinic in which my lease horse was in with his owner Christine. It was pouring with rain so I unpacked in my hotel room and waited till the worst of it went through.

Once I drove to Camden the rain had passed and I stayed dry - it was just quite cold - I needed two jackets - crazy for November in Sydney.
Pat Parelli Clinic Sydney Nov 13

I met Christine - she'd had a great time in the clinic and once it was over they took Boaz to Cobbity for me - with me following.

I got to know Boaz a little more once I gave him some dinner and tucked him in for the night. Christine was great and said "just treat him as if he's your horse for the weekend". Of course the hardest thing about coming to these clinics overseas os that you don't have you own horse and you kind of wish you could - but that's life so you make the most of learning what you can with the horse you have.

Day One arrived and i was out at Cobbity by 6.30am to give Boaz some breakfast and have a ride and play before the clinic started (and everyone arrived) - 100 auditors were due. I had a play and he seemed quite right brain but really quite good considering he was in a new arena, had been in a new stable, and now had someone new playing with him.

I played touch it mainly to get his confidence and show him all parts of the arena and I quickly got on before we had to meet for the briefing and to meet Linda. He seemed very different to ride because he was so small compared to my big warmbloods but he didn't spook or do anything nasty so my nerves settled - I wasn't nervous at all about the clinic - more about not knowing what to expect from riding a different horse.

I suddenly realised we were meeting without the horses so quickly put Boaz back and set my saddle etc up ready next to the arena, just in time for the start of the briefing. Linda decided to separate the groups into introverts and extroverts which I was happy about.

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

What I was also pleased about was that the introverts got to go first! As you can see it hadn't warmed up a whole lot!

We did some simulations first to "feel" the differences and then Linda asked us to warm up our horses and get on when we were ready.
Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

My notes (which I scribbled down at lunch time) were this on Simulations.


  • Hold hands and walk. Tighten fingers, hand, lift hand up, tighten shoulders. See what it feels like to other person. 
  • When walking turn shoulders so feet follow. Don't lead with your feet first. 
  • Resting hands - use a savvy string and a human horse. 
  • Then clench a fist and stand side by aside and rest your forearm and fist in your simulation partners forearm, they should be able to move their arm up and down without losing you. If they do you have too much tension in your fist and not enough in your thumb. Strong thumb and elbow, soft fingers and forearm. 
  • When holding reins hold with thumb on top and soft fingers, hold rein with thumb.

Warm up to get responsiveness

Then once we'd warmed up our horses Linda asked to play with one of them to show us the difference in a good warm up compared to just practising the alphabet - so many of us just do circle game and it bores the horse. 

My notes for this part were as follows;
  • Warm up to get responsiveness don't just do do the alphabet. Ie circle game is e e e e e
  • Isolate halter for lateral flexion on ground
  • Do bit simulation
  • Will you stick to me? Where are you, without looking at horse, if not at shoulder, turn the other way, and look at his end looking long way around, then lift carrot stick and tag hock till horse at shoulder again, phase one is start to look around. 
  • When Linda played with LBI she said ask a teeny ask and if he doesn't respond bite him and say good boy. Tag the ground...you better be gone from that space. 
  • Back up for LBI wiggle very little then bite him. 
  • Sideways at trot online. 
  • Will you go forward off lead? No? Tap on elbow. Coming towards you. 
  • Match your horses energy.
  • Look for expression.
  • Bring back often.
  • Wait for mind. 
  • Don't put up with a chain gain trot
Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

Then it was time to get on!

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13
I have to admit it took me a while to venture down in front of the main section of auditors lol, I stayed down in my safe end doing my own little approach and retreat. Our task was to ride freestyle and not use the reins unless our life depended on it. Secondly to warm up riding forward - none of this chain gang trot nonsense. She wanted the horses to relax my going forward. To lose tension by going forward. She pointed out one of the larger geldings was making a squeak from his sheath/belly area which Garbo can do - and someone just told me it was a gelding thing - well  - Linda said it's tension - and sure enough once relaxed, the horse stopped making the noise. 

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13
Then next Linda had us doing windmills to get our seat more solid and our lower leg more stable. Both sides and both directions. Then we also had to turn by having airplane arms and turning our arms and shoulders to turn not using reins. Must admit there were no collisions - pretty amazing that a whole clinic of horses can all be in the arena and no one is touching the reins and no one collides. 

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

These are my scribbled shorthand notes form the riding section. I feel sure there was so much more I just didn't hear because you're so focussed. 

Riding notes from Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic

Warm up forward till horse stretched neck and head down. Freestyle.
Stand up in stirrups hold saddle till you are more balanced.
Windmills both ways.
Weight stirrups to turn - no reins. Test at freestyle before you pick up contact.
Turn shoulders and head together like you have side reins on your head to your shoulder. Test.
Match your horses energy.
Don't go faster until you get responsiveness.
Get horse to go off energy not legs.
Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

Try leaning forward, try leaning back.
Both arms out at walk while riding and turn shoulders and weight stirrup to turn, get this before you pick up reins. Then with arms down try in trot.

For a bigger trot, move forward on the rise more.
To get better movement in the trot Tap introvert on the should every three seconds without being harder. Don't put up with a chain gang trot.

Energy for transitions. Walk in body. Trot in body without riding. Use calves not heels. Tap on shoulder every three seconds.
Rising trot - think about coming forward. Keep your bra dot and belt dot equidistant while coming forward, don't poke bust out. Make the angle in your hips when sitting, straight when you come forward. Belly button back to remove hollow in my back. Move whole upper body forward as one unit.

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

Using a casual rein, ride forward into hands, then soft energy to downwards transitions. Don't sit before you walk from trot. Match energy, get in harmony with your horse.

  • Spiral in when getting impulsive, then when calm spiral out again and go back to pattern.
  • In trot use weight in stirrups and shoulders to turn.
  • When standing in stirrups in warm up think about knees behind you.
  • Stand up in stirrups. Think about weight in knees then sit down. Most people when they rise their knee comes up then so do their heels.
  • Trot the neck down in freestyle.
  • Squeaking belly (sheath) is tension.
  • Warm up on loose rein so they learn to relax and use their bodies properly. Teach them to use those body properly themselves. Don't correct.
  • Do transitions without reins to get connection.
  • Use calves not heels.

Linda Parelli Rider Makeover Clinic Sydney Nov 13

Downward transition. Chin up. Chest up. Get stretch and transitions in freestyle before you start finesse.

If you tend to lean forward, use backwards windmills.
Dominant horses that boss others when riding are not thinking of you as a leader. Bother him on neck with reins or stick to say HEY.

If horse falls in on shoulder, weight outside stirrup. Weighting outside stirrup on a turn pushed outside shoulder.

  • When horse audibly breathing with each stride it's on the forehand, more forward. Then that will stop.
  • If one ear is lower, take more contact on that side. Or less on high ear.
  • Too low - too little contact.
  • Horse chomping on but you are going too slow.
  • Squeaky belly , more forward, you may be holding him back. (Oh yeah that's me and Garbo)

That was it for the Introverts - we got to go have lunch and then watch the Extroverts in the afternoon. 

No comments: