Loxahatchee, FL – January 25, 2016 – The Adequan/USDF FEILevel Trainers Conference took place at High Meadow Farm in Loxahatchee, Florida, Jan. 1819 with Johann Hinnemann. Hinnemann worked with a range of riders and horses from 4year old horses to the progression to Grand Prix. He emphasized suppling, renewing each gait, and the importance of focusing on a clear goal. Here are the top 15 takeaways from Hinnemann:
1. In every stride, think about it being uphill. In every transition, think about the inside ear up. Control the poll up, but that does not mean pull or make the neck shorter. The horse should not get behind the bit.
2. Push the horse to the trusting contact. Picture you have a ping pong ball and you throw it to the wall. It goes there because your driving aid sends it there, and then it bounces back to you because it hits the wall.
3. Don’t give the horse a chance to get behind your leg at the canter. If he is behind, do not ask for the flying change; perform simple changes instead.
4. Before transitions, you need a clear halfhalt. For the downward transition, think about a leg yield out to help with the suppleness and balance.
5. What is the most important thing when you start the halfpass? BEND! The rider should think “bend behind me” and not only focus on the front end of the horse flexing.
6. The horse needs to have a forward desire. Only when you have the horse in front of you can you do transitions forward and back.
7. The only moment that a horse can perform a flying change is in the moment of suspension. The more suspension, the more amount of time to change.
8. Trot-canter transitions are one of the best exercises to get suppleness.
9. End the ride with your reins a little bit longer. This tests the horse’s true self carriage. If they cannot carry themselves, then there was artificial carriage created with the hands.
10. In the half pass, the horse’s head needs to be looking at the letter to which you are heading.
11. You need to think about the when and the where for every movement. If you have accuracy and expression, only then can you achieve high marks. Remember to transition into the letter.
12. When you have the horse through and supple at the trot and canter, then it will come through in the quality of the walk. You need to practice to let go. Make sure that the horse is really, really walking. Give the rein after the transition. Keep every movement active.
13. When you use your outside leg as too much of a pushing aid, you are losing your balance. You need to renew your straightness. It is not only that you have the sideways movement, but you need the expression and flexibility throughout your movements.
14. When you come into the arena and warm up the horse, you need to think about where you want to end up and focus on that goal of submission and suppleness. The idea is to develop exercises to make things better.
15. Only with the right seat and the right aids do you get the right result!