Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour’s high 5 dressage coaching suggestions


  • On the 2023 Dressage at Devon (September 28) within the USA, Danish Olympian Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour hosted a masterclass during which she shared her high dressage coaching suggestions.

    Cathrine labored with a spread of horses and riders, throughout totally different ranges, and we’ve rounded up 5 workout routines you may strive beneath.

    High dressage coaching suggestions: bettering the weaker canter lead

    Cathrine began the night working with Hope Beerling on the then-six-year-old gelding Marokko, focussing on bettering his weaker aspect in canter.

    “On the best, his inside entrance leg actually comes off the bottom,” explains Cathrine, “which is good as a result of for the horse to tuck below, and get the again to decrease itself, then it’s essential open up in entrance, in order that the horse feels that he can put the hindlegs someplace.”

    Marokko was a bit of decrease on the within entrance leg on the left leg so Cathrine requested Hope to the touch along with her education whip a bit of bit in entrance of the saddle: “when his entrance leg is within the floor and he’s about to elevate it gently faucet him on the shoulder.”

    “It’s not that you really want an enormous response for a number of steps, you simply desire a response and for the within shoulder to return up.

    “Each time they do one thing which is perhaps not excellent, however a bit of bit higher than earlier than, then reward them – the extra we reward the horses, the extra we’re going to get again.

    “All horses have one rein that’s worse than the opposite, and this can be a good strategy to develop the canter on the weaker rein.”

    Marokko picks Hope’s use of the whip shortly, however Cathrine demonstrates how she would introduce the train to a much less skilled horse.

    She begins by asking Hope to face on the observe alongside the lengthy aspect whereas she takes the whip and really gently touches the within foreleg, asking Marokko to elevate it. When he lifts, Hope rewards him after which permits him to stroll on.

    “I’m not utilizing the whip in a tough method, I’m simply touching him to make him conscious of that a part of his physique. Typically folks use the whip as an support to push the horse ahead however for me it’s a device to the touch a selected physique piece, just like the shoulder or the hocks.

    “I don’t like to make use of the whip an excessive amount of on the bum, as a result of how are you ever going to copy that with the leg?

    “I desire to maintain the whip near my boot as a result of then I can recreate that support from my leg and never the whip with time.”

    Introducing working canter pirouettes

    Cathrine begins by asking Hope to trip giant in counter canter. “I would like her to maintain his neck straight and join with the skin rein and use the within leg to regulate the tempo and the rib cage,” Cathrine explains

    Now and again she requires Hope to offer Marokko a pat – “simply to verify she’s not holding him, and to let him know there’s house for him.”

    When Cathrine feels Marokko has an excellent steadiness, she asks Hope to show a bit of bit in from the observe in direction of the center of the varsity – however whereas nonetheless imagining she has the fence on the skin.

    In the direction of the centre of the varsity, Cathrine then asks Hope to gather utilizing her exterior leg and switch in a small circle and head again in direction of the observe on the opposite rein.

    “I do know the classical strategy to trip the pirouette is with the within leg and out of doors rein, however I discover it tremendous exhausting typically when you may’t actually use your exterior leg as a result of then the horse simply flies round to at least one aspect,” says Cathrine.

    “The explanation why I exploit the observe is to have the ability to use my exterior leg, with out the horse wobbling to at least one aspect.”

    High dressage coaching suggestions: changing the way you maintain the double bridle

    With Lauren Sammis and the then eight-year-old mare Heiline’s Oh Land, Cathrine began by asking her to carry the double bridle in another way.

    “I’m a easy copycat as a result of that is one thing I’ve learnt from my coach Kyra Kyrklund,” explains Cathrine.

    Lauren holds the bridoon on high of the hand, with the rein getting into her fist between the index finger and thumb, and the curb rein beneath the pinkie finger, leaving 4 fingers between the 2 reins.

    “It’s a nightmare if you go from having your reins in a single particular method and then you definately swap it,” Cathrine sympathetically provides. “However the motive why I do it’s as a result of many people can’t have classes day by day, and due to that we do a whole lot of the issues with the reins on autopilot. Then if you do change one thing, for instance, the way in which you maintain the reins, it makes you conscious of which rein you’re pulling and why you’re doing that.

    “This fashion it’s virtually like holding a deal with. If a horse tends to fall a bit of bit on the forehand, then I desire to be clear on the bridoon, and simply depart the curb there, till I really feel that they arrive up after I ask with the bridoon. If the horse comes too excessive then you’ll really feel it as a result of the curb will get tight, which is your signal to the touch the curb a bit of bit. It lets you be actually clear together with your palms.”

    Introducing the piaffe and passage

    Cathrine explains that within the early levels of piaffe coaching, she likes to go onto a small circle, turning across the forehand and serious about getting the horse in entrance of her leg.

    “It’s not even concerning the piaffe but, or making it fancy, it’s nearly getting a response from the within leg,” she provides. “I desire the horse to be a bit of bit bent to the skin so I can get the entrance legs nearer to the centre of the circle.”

    Taking Lauren by means of the train, Cathrine asks her for a bit of impulsion from the within leg: “This isn’t a piaffe, however we’re on the lookout for her to get a bit of bit extra light-footed, which is all we would like to start with.”

    Quick-forwarding to the following step, Cathrine particulars easy methods to preserve the impulsion within the piaffe previous the preliminary 5 or 6 steps.

    “As a substitute of punishing the horse or doing one thing actually sharp within the piaffe after they lose power, return to that response of simply shifting the horse away from the within leg, after which into some smaller steps once more.

    “In that method, it’s a optimistic correction, somewhat than simply wanting extra. You don’t wish to intervene or give the horse a foul expertise within the piaffe – you need it to be enjoyable for them.”

    On introducing the passage, Cathrine asks Lauren to start out in a rising trot, to keep away from being too heavy within the seat, and to maintain the whip near her spur.

    She asks for a bit of at a time, compressing the power into some passage steps earlier than driving out in a extra ahead trot – “to make her a bit of bit electrical for the transition to the passage.”

    “Once more as an alternative of doing too many corrections within the piaffe and passage – which must be enjoyable – I simply return into the trot, give them a break, refresh and get some power again.”

    “I don’t need the rider to do an excessive amount of with the whip both, it’s extra like enjoying with the way in which you strategy it with the leg.”

    Stress-free a tense horse

    With eventing star Boyd Martin and Commando 3, Cathrine works by means of easy methods to loosen up a tense, match horse in a brand new atmosphere.

    “These eventing horses are available on a special degree of power, so typically it may be fairly exhausting to loosen up the horse in a hoop like this,” says Cathrine. “What I desire to do with a tense horse is to consider the neck, if the neck goes up, you’re feeling just like the adrenaline is pumping.”

    Cathrine asks Boyd to permit the neck to drop and trip some brief stroll to halt transitions across the exterior of the sector.

    “This define is after all not excellent for a present, and I do know it’s at all times a bit dangerous exhibiting a not-so-perfect define, however it’s the true deal, we now have to place the horses spherical to construct up again musculature and to make them stronger – it’s method too exhausting for them to face within the excellent place on a regular basis.”

    Cathrine then asks Boyd to trip some easy, walk-trot transitions, virtually “lazily”.

    “It’s more durable than it seems to be, transitions,” Cathrine provides, “you wish to begin in a brand new ring with transitions, one thing easy to construct up the arrogance of the horse.”

    “It’s a easy factor, however typically I really feel with the recent horses that you find yourself going up, down, up, down actually shortly. Go slower up and down, so he listens to you and also you’re not simply following his fast rhythm.

    “If I’ve a horse that continues to go faster and faster and doesn’t actually take heed to transitions or me slowing my rise then I’m going on a circle and rise up for 2 steps after which sit for one.

    “It’s actually awkward however it makes the horse conscious of what you’re doing and will get their focus again on the rider.”

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