Rober Dover HorseMastership Week – Day 4. Blog by Kerrigan Gluch
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Jan 7, 2016
Kerrigan Gluch, 19 years old, a participant in the fifth annual Robert Dover Horsemastership clinic at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex that is the home of the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, is writing a daily report for dressage-news.com. Kerrigan, from Mount Pleasant, Michigan but based at Hampton Green Farm in Wellington and Fruitport, Michigan for the past four years was the 2015 United States Young Rider reserve champion on Vaquero HGF.
Thursday started with the morning workout with Mike. We were separated into different groups and participated in multiple relay exercises. I think keeping the workouts fun with the large group of young people is very helpful. It also gets us to work together and act like a team.
Throughout the day we participated in many lectures that were geared to further our equestrian education.
We heard from Jane Savoie, a prominent speaker and author. She discussed the importance of acting like a champion before you actually become a champion. She said that every thought that goes into your mind has an effect on you to some degree. I found this discussion with Jane informative and very helpful.
We heard from FEI 4* judge, Janet Foy in the afternoon. I was really looking forward to hearing from her because it is always good to hear information from a judge’s point of view. We learned about the training it takes to move through the various levels of judging. What the judges look for, and what goes through their minds while looking at a horse in the ring. Accuracy, power, brilliance, and harmony are the common points the judges try to look for when they are watching a test. It was very nice to hear that her colleagues try really hard to be educated and want the riders to be successful in the show ring.
The last lecture of the day was with Dr. Hilary Clayton. She talked about performance horse care and what it takes to maintain the wellbeing of your horse. Cross training was a common topic that she strongly thinks helps the horses succeed. Keeping the horses mind and body versatile is proven to help the horses maintain their top-level fitness. Another topic that I felt was very helpful was the different types of footing. What works best for the horses and what does not. Synthetic surfaces are what a lot of the top facilities are turning to. This footing incorporates sand with natural or synthetic fibers of various lengths, rubber, and cloth or felt strips. I thought Hilary touched on subjects that could apply to our riding along with the care for our horses.
Friday is another day of lessons with various trainers such as Robert Dover, Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, the United States Young Horse coach, and Steffen Peters, who flew in from California to work with us.