In this video series, we follow the training of the 4-year-old Westfalen mare, Soma Bay, step by step as Olympic Champion, Ingrid Klimke, commentates from the saddle. Come along with Soma Bay on her journey and receive valuable insights for your own riding as Ingrid Klimke shows how she gives the aids and explains her training methods and ideas for us.
In this first video, Ingrid Klimke concentrates on the first steps of the training scale: rhythm, suppleness (physical and mental) and contact. She begins with cavaletti exercises at walk and then moves on to establishing a light contact in rising trot. It is important to work at a tempo where the horse is comfortable and can find his own rhythm easily. The regular opportunities given to the mare to chew the reins out of her hands encourages a stretching frame and suppleness. Ingrid Klimke first rides canter on both reins in a light seat and lets Soma Bay play with stretching forwards and downwards. The strides are lengthened, and power increased in both trot and canter, with an explanation of the necessary aids for riding clean turns and correct circles.
Soma Bay is allowed to slowly become accustomed sitting trot by introducing it in short reprieves, encouraging her to maintain a light contact to the hand and keep stepping through from behind. The Westfalen mare is eager to learn, very rideable with a ground covering stride and active hind leg. The confidence and elegance with which the mare approaches her work one can see educating her will be a fun and exciting journey. Once the first steps of the training scale are acquired, the basic exercises such as transitions or tighter turns become easier.
Further videos in this series:
Soma Bay Part 2: Dressage Training Outside the Arena
Soma Bay Part 3: Transitions, Counter Canter and Turn on the Haunches
Soma Bay Part 4: Walk-Canter Transitions & Walk Pirouettes
Soma Bay Part 5: Trot-Halt Transitions and Riding Simple Changes
You will learn in this video:
She is an Olympic Gold Medallist and World Champion and is following in the footsteps of her famous father, dressage legend Reiner Klimke. Ingrid Klimke is one of the few professional riders in the world that is successful at an international level in both eventing as well as dressage.> more
After a few months under the saddle, Lenny learns from Uta Gräf, step by step, to seek the support of the hands and drop his neck from the withers. Look at how the flatwork exercises are used to get him more open and stretching his neck while keeping him active behind.
Duration: 00:30:17 Minutes
Lenny is now 7 years old and the contact to the bit is well established. For this training session, Uta Gräf focuses on changes of tempo within the canter. She makes sure that Lenny doesn’t become too short through the neck, especially when riding the downward transitions.
Duration: 00:12:37 Minutes
The horse’s mouth is sacred. Groundwork can be used to teach the horse the desired responses to the bit. Philippe Karl uses the bit exclusively in a way that acts on the corners of the mouth as low hands create too much pressure on the sensitive tongue.
Duration: 00:11:44 Minutes
Uta Gräf is of the opinion in order to improve performance in dressage, the aids need to be continually refined, until barely visible. She makes sure that she takes enough time with the young horses so that they learn to be ridden with a fine contact to the rider’s hand. This helps her later with further training and is a result of communicating with almost invisible aids.
Duration: 00:15:31 Minutes
The gelding Lenny tends by nature to become rather tight in the neck and light in the hand. Uta Gräf shows you how she helps him step by step to find a way into the right position by improving the riding contact. You will also see how an active hind hand is important for the horse to swing in the body. Benefit from Uta's tips and improve your riding contact.
Duration: 00:20:15 Minutes