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  • Writer's pictureShelley Day

Albrecht Heindemann Clinic

I recently had the pleasure of riding for Albrecht Heindemann. Mr. Heindemann is an international Clinician and has spent many years coaching the Canadian Young Rider Team. He is a long time student and assistant to Conrad Schumacher. He has also worked with the Olympic medalist Josef Neckermann. Here are some highlights I took away from his clinic.

"Ride Every Step" From the moment you sit in the saddle, you are training. A horse cannot rationalize what steps you are riding and which steps you are not., We must be fair to the horse, be consistent in everything you do. I was often reminded of this in my warm up and cool down walk, to continue to ride every step and not leave it up to the horse.

"Be Exact on Your Line of Travel" From the moment you move your horse's feet, know where you are headed. If you do not know where you are going, this will lead to confusion for your horse. Without a plan, your aids will be behind the necessary timing needed to communicate with your horse.

"Keep a Consistent Rhythm"  There must always be a metronome clicking in your head. This is particularly important in all transitions, whether it is from one gait to another or transitions within the gait itself. I was reminded of this many times when going from extended to collected walk, as well as, in the collected canter. By the time the clinic was over, I could hear "Collection is not slowing down" in my sleep!

"The Top Line Must Remain Soft AT ALL TIMES" A soft top line begins with; "Riding Every Step, Be Exact on Your Line of Travel, and Keeping a Consistent Rhythm." Another component of a soft top line is shoulder balance. If the neck is allowed to bend it will directly affect the shoulder balance. The shoulders will typically fall to the outside with the neck bent, making it impossible to engage the inside hind. The poll can flex but should not incorporate the neck.The horse will have no choice but to (invert) tighten his neck if his shoulders are out of balance. Finally, if the poll, neck, and shoulder are correct the hind feet can propel thru resulting in a soft top line.

A big thank you to KYB for allowing me to ride. It was a very educational clinic!




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