Welcome back to another blog post! Hope you had a great weekend 🙂
This past weekend I went to the Mane Event, which is a large horse event in Alberta, Canada. It was SO much fun and there were so many amazing speakers and equestrian companies! If you are in Alberta next year and are looking for a great horse event, I definitely suggest you check out the Mane Event!
One of the speakers I listened to at the Mane Event was Diane Creech, who is a Grand Prix Canadian Dressage rider and in 2007 won the silver medal at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2012, Creech was named the reserve for the London Olympic Games. Diane grew up in Germany gaining experience by working with veterinarians and learning important business skills. Diane is very knowledgeable about dressage and I learned a lot of important tips!
Today, I am giving you the 6 tips that I learned from Diane Creech. I hope you enjoy and learn something too 🙂
Tip #1: Our Position in The Saddle is Important
Diane stressed this a lot in her talk because our position in the saddle really can affect our horse! Something she said that was really helpful was “Ride with Your Whole Body”. Don’t just ride by engaging your core, but engage your core, your thighs, and your whole body. Diane also talked about riding by having the horse between our legs, reins, and seat bones. If you are engaged, your horse will be engaged as well!
Tip #2: Ride Your Horse From Back to Front
This tip really hit home because it totally makes sense! Ride your horse from back to front, instead of front to back. You have to make sure you are engaging the hind end of your horse for the front part to work properly. Your horse needs to be able to not only round it’s neck, but also it’s back as well. If you don’t engage the hind end, your horse’s energy gets stuck in it’s poll. So it is very important to engage everything to have a smooth ride!
Tip #3: Owning Perfect Training Makes Perfect
Another tip I learned was “owning perfect training makes perfect”. Diane said to be critical of your riding and always work towards perfecting it. If you are owning your mistakes and knowing what you need to do to improve that will help you to develop as a horse rider.
Tip #4: Get to Know The Canter
The fourth tip I learned was to get to know the canter. Diane really talked a lot about the technical parts of the canter such as the placement of the feet. I came to realize that you really have to understand how the canter works to perfect it and have a smooth transition from trot to canter.
Tip #5: Know the Difference Between Bending and Flexing
Knowing the difference between bending and flexing is also super important. Diane explained how flexing is done in the head and bending is done in the whole body from poll to tail. She gave example of two exercises that can help with either bending or flexing. To practice bending, you could ride a 20m circle and practice bending around the circle. On the other hand, to practice flexing you could do the leg yielding exercise. Bending and flexing are both equally important to the horse!
I hope you enjoyed the tips and found them helpful to your riding! Now is the time to go practice. When you ride your horse this week, try to implement the things that Diane Creech mentioned. You will definitely start to see a difference and an improvement in your horse and your riding skills. Until next time… don’t forget to hug your horse!
What is your favorite tip? What is a tip you have for dressage riders?