Ride! Ride! Ride!

CHB (2 of 10)

I recently had the privilege of watching Christilot Boylen teach Belinda Trussell and Belinda’s assistant trainer Lynsey Rowan.  I say it is a privilege because both of these riders could say they preferred their lessons to be private.  But since I am  student of Belinda’s I was able to watch. Christilot is a seven time Olympian.  She has trained numerous horses up to the Grand Prix level. So I was most interested to see what Christilot would be emphasizing in the lessons. Belinda was first. She was riding Barb Sinclair’s horse Carlucci and they are training the Prix St. George and Intermediare 1.

“Two legs! Two legs! Two legs!”  Christilot said this often to both riders. Sounds simple doesn’t it. But the execution is not simple. When riding a half pass or any lateral work you are using one leg to move the horse sideways and the other leg is working to keep the bend in the horse’s body and move the horse forward.   Here is Belinda riding a half pass and using two legs.

CHB (5 of 10)

Ride!Ride!Ride!   This would seem obvious. When you are on a horse you are riding. Once again it is not that simple. Every step, every stride you are checking yourself, checking the horse, how is the frame, how if the contact, what do I need to do. There is no coasting along thinking “this is nice” unless you are out for a trail ride. There is absolutely no coasting along when you are being taught by Christilot Boylen!

CHB (3 of 10)

Two reins! Two legs!” “We want to show expression and allow him to relax.”  That is a tricky balance. The horse will look its best and show the most expression when it is relaxed in the work. Riding the horse between two legs and two reins is necessary to produce this. Here are Belinda and Carlucci in shoulder-in.CHB (6 of 10)

Lynsey had her lesson on her new ride Tattoo. Tattoo has been ridden at the Grand Prix level by Belinda and they recently competed at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon NC on the Canadian Dressage Team.  For Lynsey it is a great opportunity to learn the upper level work with a school master horse like Tattoo. However it does not mean the horse is push button and the rider can just sit and do nothing. For their warm up Christilot asked for  “a nice warm up canter. Just let him lope along.”  Christilot knows Tattoo well and she knows this is the best warm up for him. It might not suit another horse but this is the best warm up routine for this horse.

Through the lesson she told Lynsey “take the rein, then get off……..take, get off. Push up, take, let go. The faster you get off the easier everything gets.”

Christilot took some time in the center of the ring with Lynsey to guide her about the rein length for Tattoo.

CHB (9 of 10)

Finally she had Lynsey ride with no stirrups. If you are rider you will know this is not easy and yet so beneficial.  “Two reins! Sit quiet!”

CHB (10 of 10)

At the end of Lynsey’s lesson I knew that although I had not been riding I had learned a lot that I could bring to my riding with Biasini. Thank you to Belinda and Lynsey for allowing me to be an observer.

20 Comments Add yours

  1. A careful observer can learn a lot…well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Very true. Thank you for commenting.

      Like

  2. kunstkitchen says:

    Beauty in motion. What elegance! fun to read about technique.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kunstkitchen says:

        Very much. It’s a discipline that inspires respect.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. dray0308 says:

    Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Almas says:

    Thanks for writing this!! It’s not simple at all!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your story shows that learning never stops where riding is concerned. Thank you for reminding us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it is an ongoing process. I am encouraged by the fact that this applies not only to me but to professionals as well! Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  6. Emma Cownie says:

    They look so beautiful although they are both clearly working very hard. I did smile when you said there’s no coasting along thinking “this is nice”!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yeah exactly. In my own lessons I never cease to be amazed at how focused and quick I have to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sandy Macfarlane says:

    Awesome that you were able to watch these lessons!! Great photographs that you shared! Thanks

    Will you be at the Charlotte Dujardin Masterclass this weekend?
    Sandy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes Sandy I will be there but only on the Saturday as I am going on holiday. But I am going to do a blog post on the Saturday. Will you be there?

      Like

      1. Sandy Macfarlane says:

        I will be there both days. Perhaps our paths will cross! Looking forward to the Masterclass and seeing Charlotte in action with such a variety of horses!!
        Sandy

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          I’m looking forward to it. I will be in the bleachers madly taking notes. Do say hello if you see me.

          Like

  8. cagedunn says:

    Did you find yourself moving as if you were the one receiving the instruction, as if you were on the horse?
    I always feel this …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I know what you mean. Sometimes I did but since I was also taking photos I couldn’t be ‘riding’ all the time. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. dprastka says:

    How great to observe these lessons with such great riders! Lovely photos and explanations. I felt like I was watching too! You are so lucky up be with these Olympians! Thank you for sharing! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I am very lucky! Ir is a real privilege. I’m glad you got something out of my recounting the lessons.

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.