COMPLETED JAN 3 Elizabeth Ball lectures aboard Unitario, a 12 year-old Lusitano gelding training Intermediare 1-1, 1-2 and Pre. St. George.

Posted by admin On January - 3 - 2017

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Head Banner Elizabeth Ball

Dressageclinic.com is pleased to present Elizabeth Ball, riding and lecturing aboard Unitario, a 12 year-old Lusitano Gelding training Intermedaire 1-1, 1-2 and Pre. St. George.

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Watch Elizabeth Ball riding and lecturing aboard Unitario, a 12 year-old Lusitano gelding training Intermediare 1-1, 1-2 and Pre. St. George.

This video is a beautiful lecture and demonstration showing how this 15.3 hand average gaited horse, through Elizabeth’s philosophy and technique, can produce suspension, engagement and lightness in Unitario’s trot, passage, piaffe, and flying changes.

Imported from Brazil, Unitario is owned by Julie Bullen who rides her horse at the Intermediare level.  Elizabeth rides Unitario twice a week at the grand prix level to ensure he’s capable and ready for Julie’s riding progression. Elizabeth and Unitario have ridden together for a year. 

Here’s what Elizabeth teaches in this video aboard Unitario:

  1. Balance

Elizabeth explains balancing which is the ability to bring the horse into an improved state of balance that is off his forehand by encouraging the bending the hind upper joints of the horse and carrying more weight there.    “Balance is being able to sit in and influence the shape of the horse’s body and their first stride.”

To demonstrate, Elizabeth asks Unitario to transform is flat trot though half halts into a suspended trot.  Then by reducing the speed and increasing the activity – passage and half steps emerge.  By going forward, we see a lengthening trot.  All these variations of balance and speed create variation in the gaits.

  1. Forward – in front of low heels

Elizabeth visualizes her horse moving forward in front of her low heels.  Elizabeth shares the importance of keeping a deep, supple seat.  This is another way of saying the horse is in front of your seat.  She reminds us to stretch into your stirrups while keeping your deep seat as it becomes very important in collection work.

  1. Correct and Release

“Corrections shouldn’t become maintenance,” she affirms. “If you have to hold them together and squeeze them together.  “Once you’ve half halted, can you release and hold it on your back on your soft seat and neutral hand?  Or are you dependent on holding him up?”   We should be providing only a moment of correction aids.  In essence the horse should do his job and carry himself.   This leads into the final point: Trust.

  1. Trust

Trusting our horse to do his job is a key component to training.   “Letting go and trusting that he stays where you taught him to be, it opens up the possibility that he could fall apart or make a mistake but then you are in a position of being able to correct it and then reward the improvements.”  She then shares “Making mistakes is not a problem, it’s part of the proof that you are allowing him to do his part.”

ElizabethBall RidingElizabeth reminds us of the importance of adhering to the classical techniques and principles of dressage.  She is focused on using dressage principles in a fair and systematic way to see sound progress in her horses.  “It’s a lot easier said than done however,” she reminds us.  “One lifetime isn’t necessary enough to figure it all out,” she jokes. “The more we learn, the more we realize how much there is to learn.”

Congratulations to Elizabeth for her clear and beautiful way of sharing her classical principles of dressage.

 

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