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PIB Clinic Wrap up 🫶

I'm looking back on a fantastic trip to the US to visit my dear friend Deanna, her lovely family, and smart four-legged boys and many more like-minded horse lovers in the clinic on the weekend. ❤️

This weekend's clinic was a great success, blending a harmonious mix of beginner and advanced participants, both equine and human. The supportive and like-minded community made it a wonderful experience filled with learning and fun. Here are the key takeaways from our sessions:

1. Do Less

When you notice the need for constant micromanagement or heavier guidance, it’s a sign of issues such as a lack of focus, understanding, motivation, or physical ability in your horse. At this point, it's crucial to change your approach. Bring back playfulness and effortlessness to your guidance. This might mean taking a step back to rebuild your foundation. Remember, less is often more in horse training, and a lighter touch can lead to better results.

2. Balance, Understanding, and Coordination First

Focus on achieving balance, understanding, and coordination before anything else. This might be best found at a slower tempo initially. Once these elements are in place, gradually introduce a more fluent tempo and rhythm. Correct biomechanics can only kick in by gradually also adding in a more fluent tempo and rhythm. And only having balance, suppleness, shape, tempo, and rhythm will bring the full benefit. Of course, here we need to be very agile in helping the horse to rebalance in between, if needed, and then gradually allow more flow and energy to develop organically.

3. Be a Sign Post for Better Balance and Alignment

Your role is to help your horse find better balance and spinal alignment, creating a harmonious "schwung" direction from back to front. Ultimately, your horse needs to take responsibility for these movements. When he is able, the desired bigger and more swingy steps will develop naturally. These cannot be forced; they must emerge from a relaxed and effortless activity.

4. True Elevation and Building Up in Front

True elevation and proper build-up in the front come from engaging the correct biomechanics, which starts with keeping the back engaged and lifting from back to front. This process activates the underline and with this the thoracic sling, lifting the chest and allowing the head and neck to elongate forward and up. If this elevation is not coming from back to front, the back tends to drop.

Therefore it is super important to check the lateral movements also in a more forward forwatd position to then build it up correctly from back to front. Whenever you feel the back dropping, return to a forward-forward position before supporting the horse to build up again.

5. Plan and Structure

Having a clear plan and structure is vital to avoid overwhelming your horse, which can lead to desensitization. It's easy to become bogged down by theory and start asking for too much in an unstructured way. Instead, focus on stacking qualities in a clear, manageable structure for both you and your horse.

6. Give Space for Self-Discovery

Allow your horse the space to find solutions himself rather than producing outcomes and preventing mistakes. Giving your horse the freedom to figure things out on his own leads to more accurate, effortless, and lighter movements. Support your horse, but let it be his decision.

7. Be Creative with Exercises

Creativity in exercises and movement patterns is essential. Find organic ways to help your horse achieve better quality in his movements. This will not only improve performance but also make the training process more engaging and effective.

In general, it was a fantastic weekend with a diverse group of participants. The shared passion and support created an environment conducive to significant learning and enjoyment for both horses and humans. Thank you all for making this clinic a memorable and enriching experience.

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