DetailsLaura and Dr Bechtolsheimer develop the core work and begin preparing the youngsters for their first dressage tests. Laura teaches Joey simple changes by breaking the move down into small pieces. Step and Teddy perform practise tests and Dr. Bechtolsheimer offers invaluable advice on ring-craft. It's a privilege to see the youngsters at the start of their careers.
- Laura's warm up with Joey: Joey can be a little tricky at the beginning so "he determines the length of the warm-up", says Laura. Using exercises to help him relax and let go. Laura comments "hind leg activity is a prerequistie for a good connection".
- Joey learns simple changes: Laura begins work on simple changes. Starting with walk-canter, canter-walk transitions on each rein, Laura maintains engagement in the canter. She says, "if Joey isn't in front of the leg, it's impossible to make a clean transition to walk".
- Laura rides a novice test on Teddy: "The scales of training need to be in evidence for this test" says Dr. Bechtolsheimer. "The horse should show relaxation, rhythm, a steady contact plus a little impulsion but no collection, and his movements should not be too flashy." Dr. Bechtolsheimer offers tips on maximising marks on poorer moves and minimising the loss of marks on the better ones!
- Step's first elementary test: An Elementary test is still early days in a horses's training, according to Dr. Bechtolsheimer. Judges will want to see evidence of more impulsion, better straightness, the first degree of collection and some lateral work. Step does a good job in his debut test performance at home with Laura.
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