How many “taps” per second?

Even in the lessonless Lockdown I can still hear my coach, Belinda Trussell’s voice in my head every time I am working with Biasini. In the downward transitions to walk she is saying “Could you piaffe?” If I think I cannot it means I do not have him connected enough. So then she would be saying. “Tap,tap,tap,tap.” That means a tap on his side with the inside of my ankle or my heel. This is not a thump or a jab with spurs. It is just a tap. And when Belinda says it she does not say tap… tap….tap. It’s taptaptaptaptaptaptaptap. How many taps can I do in a second. It better be at least TWO! I can do that speed at the walk. But trot and canter my taps are not quite fast enough.

But does this tapping work? YES! When I get my ankles speed tapping at the walk the piaffe is right there. Even my slightly slower taps at the trot and canter engage Biasini and his expression improves tremendously.

Here is a video of Charlotte Dujardin and her horse Valegro at the Rio 2016 Olympics. If you go to minute 6:51 you will see her doing a piaffe pirouette. This is their gold medal winning Freestyle and they held the world record for the Grand Prix freestyle. Valegro is now retired but their record still stands! Watch the whole thing as it is an example of dressage at its best. But be sure to watch from minute 6:51 and watch Charlottes ankles as she does the pirouette.

As you can see she is doing the super speed tap. Yes! And this is the Individual Gold Medal winning ride of the Rio 2016 Olympics. I will never need to be tapping Biasini around two piaffe pirouettes but this video certainly demonstrates that those rapid fire taps are magic! So I will keep working on my tapping speed because Belinda clearly has the right idea.

20 Comments Add yours

  1. dunelight says:

    I know nothing of Dressage but it is cool to see a stunning horse change leads while seemingly hanging in mid-air. That was a lovely vid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Charlotte Dujardin is one of the best dressage riders in the world and that horse was epic in his talent and ability and his partnership with her. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. O.D. says:

    I saw the moment you referenced at 6:51. Wow, she made it look so easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thats the thing about a top dressage rider. They look like they are just out for a nice ride in the park when in fact they are doing something every stride, every second! Thanks for commenting OD

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emma Cownie says:

    Wow! I think I would have missed the important detail of the tapping ankles unless you told us to watch it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is pretty subtle. I noticed it when I watched it live in 2016 and I thought: “WOW that is so quick!” And now that Belinda has me doing it the image of Charlotte Dujardin came back to me. Thanks for taking the time to look at the Video Emma.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Anne Sandler says:

    All I can say is WOW!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Rupali says:

    Interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s funny how the trainers voice echo’s in the brain.
    I always forget to breathe when watching shows like these it is just perfection, floating, controlled strength in motion. Then my brain goes do this then that now here & there & wow. Fantastic clip of tapping feet I couldn’t count quick enough. Magical performance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Charlotte and Valegro were magic indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. cagedunn says:

    How tight do you grip with knees during the trot/canter when tapping? I always felt bruised around the knees after this type of training/riding, and it felt like two separate parts to my body – above the knee and below the knee – operating independently.
    Looking at the video, I can see what I should’ve been doing, but it’s been a long time and although I think I can say, ‘oh, yes, that’s what I did,’ I somehow doubt that my memory and the facts are aligned, and may in fact be somewhat distant from each other.
    Lovely to watch, always lovely to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think that it is key to not grip with the upper leg. The upper leg has to just hand like a noodle. Then you can put the lower leg and calf onto the side of the horse and push or move the leg to give an aid. The ankle tapping required the ankle to be relaxed It is tricky. I’m glad you liked watching the video. Charlotte is such an marvelous rider!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Tap tap tap is wonderful to watch, though it needs lots of hard work to you as a viewer I enjoy it. Waiting to see yours maa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I will get some video up as soon as we get out of the lockdown and I am back to lessons. Thank you. Subbashini.

      Like

  9. David says:

    Saw the taps. Nice to see a rewind of Valegro.

    BTW, you’d be proud of my daughters yesterday. They did a full morning of dressage exercises with all their horses. They threw in a few pirouettes and piaffes to keep things interesting. Ask me, they were having a private dressage competition. They often have their private competitions. They debate among themselves who had the better performance. Next week, they start riding for real.. 🙂 🐴🐴🐴

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I had so smile at the idea of their private competitions. And of course dressage is very necessary flatwork for the jumpers.😀

      Like

  10. Sort of like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and their tap dancing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it is a bit like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kevin Kenny says:

    Superb. I could see the tap tap tap more clearly and up close in the slow motion segment at the end of the video.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes! Thanks for taking the time to look at the video. It is a visual that helps with the understanding of the tapping .

      Like

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