William Solyntjes Dressage Clinic

On the Bit FunnyI audited a William Solyntjes clinic back in January at Majestic Farm and am just now getting around to posting my notes.  Overall the day was awesome.   I saw some fantastic riders and horses and some fantastic aspiring riders and horses.  I was happy to see many different breeds of horses and riders at all different levels.  Going in I was slightly worried all the riders would be Prix St. George or higher and while I love watching them ride, I don’t learn as much since I’m light years away from those levels in my own training.  Even though each horse & rider pair was unique from the next one, there were the same overriding themes throughout the day.  The focus was on stretching into the contact and keeping the correct inside bend. Even the upper level horses took time to work on these basics.   William kept saying flex them to the inside then send them down with the outside rein.  Inside flexion, outside down. Inside flexion, outside down.  Inside flexion, outside down.  Even though Nicole has told me this over and over, hearing it from someone else and for 6 hours finally drilled it into my head.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked Nicole how I half halt on the outside rein without loosing the inside bend.  It’s all about timing.  Wiggle the inside rein for flexion at the poll, THEN squeeze the outside rein to get them on the bit.  Simple right?  Ha!

Here are my favorite quotes:

  • Squeeze him like a tube of tooth paste.
  • Neck down, shoulders up.
  • Don’t let the problem find you.  Go after it and find it yourself.
  • Chewing is the window to their soul.
  • Take a lot, give a lot.  Take 100%, give 100%.
  • Speed kills.

I hope I can work with William Solyntjes one day.  I’d love to hear what he has to say about the Savster.

In other news it’s finally above freezing!  A balmy 48 degrees.  I am so excited to get to the barn and ride in comfort that I can barely stand it.

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