Western Dressage Clinic Feedback

from Margo Hepner-Hart

There was a good response but unfortunately owing to a conflict with another Clinic on the same day several interested parties were unable to attend although there were several spectators watching as well.

The students ranged from novice to more advanced, confident and no confidence, riding Paint and Quarter Horses, and several of them had already shown in Western Dressage.

We worked on various points of dressage and had them work their horses while I observed, then we began with how to start a horse in Western Dressage.

I explained what the aids meant and how to use them, and then had them apply them to their horses in straight lines as well as circles, getting the horses to learn how to respond to the aids.

It took a while for them to totally understand what I was wanting them to do, but within the time the riders were able to start feeling the difference from before the lesson once the aids were applied correctly and the horses responded positively.

We worked on transitions and how they should be ridden like ballet, with fluidity, smoothness, grace, consistency, engagement and balance.

The time flew and by the time the clinic was over there was such a difference in the riders and horses from the beginning of the lesson to the end and the faces of the riders were beaming.

The riders were amazed at how Dressage worked with their Western horses, with such great improvement on each and every horse.  It was wonderful to see the eagerness of the students, and I look forward to working with them again.

Some of the comments from the riders:

  • Finally someone who knows what they are doing !

  • A trainer who knows how to explain aids well enough for the riders to understand and then be able to carry through with improvement.

  • I learnt more from Margo than any other trainer I have worked with.

  • For the first time I felt I was actually RIDING my horse instead of being just a passenger.

  • I started with no confidence but I feel much more confident now.

  • Yes this is the way to do it !  I loved this one, can I take you home ?

One of the students found out I was returning to the area the following week and asked if she could have another lesson which I did, and her smile was from ear to ear all through the lesson and at the end it was so great to see the improvement.

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