Shannon Dueck: Sharing Her Training Tips for the Strengthening of 8-Year-Old Oldenburg at 3rd Level Watch Sample Video Below

Posted by admin On July - 9 - 2016

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DressageClinic.com is proud to present, one of North America's most talented dressage trainers, Florida based Shannon Dueck riding Question, a talented Oldenburg 8 yrs. old Oldenburg gelding– or otherwise affectionately known as Johnny.  This is one of the most effective and linformative training video we have yet to bring to you.

Click Below to Watch the Sample Video 

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For the entire duration of this training video, Shannon rides Quaterback through a series of training exercises that are a sure path for strengthening and balancing towards the FEI levels.  Currently, their work involves 3rd level strength-training movements including lateral work in the trot and canter, staying uphill when collecting at the canter, practicing clean and straight changes, and developing the beginning movements of canter pirouette.  

Additionally, Shannon reveals her philosophies around horses and their training during the 40-minute riding and lecturing video with Johnny.  As she flows effortlessly around the ring, lengthening then collecting in the corners and often checking for correct movement in the mirror at the far end of her riding ring, Shannon is close to her words and can describe her views of what Johnny needs and what exercises he best benefits from to bring the best out of him.

Her natural talent of communicating linked with her experiences riding in the US, Canada, and in Europe makes Shannon a knowledgeable and effective dressage educator.   In addition, her time in the saddle training many young and experienced FEI level horses gives her an influential perspective on the individuality of each horse and, thereby, their individual training needs.  Shannon easily reads the horse and effectively adapts exercises to best teach the horse how to move like a grand prix champion.

This video is rich in riding philosophy and executing training details, which we can all reflect on and implement when riding our own horses.

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Here are Shannon’s Top 5 Insights on Training horses like Johnny:

1. Take the Time to Connect
Shannon takes her time to warm up Johnny and connect with him.  She usually takes 10 minutes or more to warm up her horses, which begins at a walk, and then moves into a trot that is low in the neck and has a steady tempo allowing the horse to balance and exhale.  Shannon wants to feel the horse is “well connected, seeking the bit, relaxing and becoming supple to the point that the horse can point his nose to the ground.”   This is the necessary feedback before beginning to all subsequent work Shannon explains while riding.

2. It Takes Years to get the Strength
Strength is the platform for all upper level movement – and it takes time to get it.

“It takes a lot of work to have his hind legs carry all of this in front,” as she gestures to the whole front end of Johnny.   She goes on to say “it takes years for them to get the strength to be able to do that especially when you are talking about a very big moving horse.”

3. Know your Horse
Knowing your horse and his strengths and weaknesses are necessary for improvement.  For Johnny, Shannon recognizes improving strength and confidence is needed for him.

Before beginning, Shannon shares with us a bit of insight about Johnny. “He has a lot of strength building to do before he becomes a good FEI horse,” she states. She is also quick to share Johnny’s strengths too: “He’s a very supple horse, he is a very talented horse.” And as such, Shannon has a plan to work fairly towards improving his strength and confidence all the while maintaining and rewarding his natural gifts of suppleness and talent.

4.Help Him Learn
As a trainer, Shannon shares the need for being flexible and adaptable in training your horse.  Shannon shares how she used many exercises to find the right method of communicating the concept of changes to Johnny.

 “It took me a season to get reliable clean changes both directions, “ she says.   “One way was pretty simple, the other he couldn’t quite figure out.”

“I just ended up setting it up many different ways to try to put him in a place where he could figure how his hind legs had to work.  It was really was him learning how his body could do it.”

5.Reward
Shannon’s positive feedback to the horse is lovely.  She has a dialogue not only for her video audience, but also for Johnny as well.  Her kind feedback to him includes words like ‘good boy!’, ‘good job!’ and ‘super nice!’ and rewarding activities like neck pats, walk breaks and stretching circles are scattered throughout the ride.   You get a sense that Johnny’s work is fairly compensated and he is happy to push for excellence in the exercises.  The feedback is clear, positive, and well-timed and is perhaps one of the most potent tools in Shannon’s riding tool box.

This is special video that shows us a wonderful rider using a beautiful training philosophy.  Enjoy!