Thursday, February 17, 2011

AHS symposium continues

On Saturday, the group moved to the beautiful DevonWood facility, for a day of demonstrations. Maren and Stefan were charming and humorous while sharing with the audience.  Maren did a mini-clinic on how to show a horse in-hand from correct use of the reins - she shared a few new techniques - to running and whip handling.  With Stefan as the 'student', there were some funny moments when he did things wrong and Maren would correct him.  She teased him often.  The audience had questions and one lady offered to be a second 'student' taking her turn around the triangle.  Everyone learned some new techniques and had fun.

 Next Stefan worked with a couple of jumping horses - one inexperienced and one lower level Grand Prix horse.  The first horse was Wooster, owned by Jessica Wisdom, and bred by my good friend Maggie Clark. Wooster is a high energy, black gelding who belies his pedigree. By Wolkenstein II o/o Miroirs by Maurice (Matcho AA), Wooster should have been a dressage horse.  But no, he prefers jumping and shows power and a lovely bascule.  Several people laughingly commented, after seeing him, that they would like to see his DNA results!  Stefan worked with the rider to start slow and low, establishing balance and cadence before and following the fence.  As the horse gained more confidence, Stefan asked for a small vertical and then oxer.  The horse was mostly worked on curves, rather than in long straight lines, to the fences.  One this day, not every technique was successful with Wooster; however, the schooling lessons should provide good basics over time.  The second horse Landha is well-known on the local jumper circuit.  She is owned and ridden by Alexandra Holmes.  Landha is by Lanthan o/o Falkenbraut by Falkland (Wanderer).  Although Lanthan is usually thought of as a dressage sire, he has sired many jumpers; and Falkland/Wanderer are known equally well for producing both dressage and jumping horses. This pair knows each other so well and has lots of experience so that Stefan did not have to do much but raise the fences.  Landha was a delight to watch.

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