Robert Dover HorseMastership Week – Day 6. Blog by Kerrigan Gluch

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Kerrigan Gluch on HGF Brio receiving instructions from Robert Dover with the pair's regular trainer, Oded Shimoni, looking on.  2016 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com
Kerrigan Gluch on HGF Brio receiving instructions from Robert Dover with the pair’s regular trainer, Oded Shimoni, looking on. 2016 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

Jan. 9, 2015

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.

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Saturday marked the final day of the Robert Dover HorseMastership Week.  I was given the opportunity to ride HGF Brio, an 11-year-old Andalusian stallion owned by Hampton Green Farm, with Robert again.

He picked apart a few of the movements that he thought needed the most work. We schooled the one- tempis more on Saturday than the day before. I had to make sure that the horse was covering more ground as the line of changes went on. By being conscious of this, the line of changes always ended with large, swinging changes.  It is very important for my particular horse to start any sequence of changes with a collected, but very active canter. This is the perfect set up for successful changes.

Robert also worked through the piaffe and passage tour again. He emphasized that I need to be in control at all times and have the ability to regulate how fast or slow his legs move. Robert had me make his legs slightly more active so the transitions in and out of piaffe improved. In addition to the activity, I constantly had to be thinking about sitting the horse down during the piaffe/passage transitions. This took the weight off of his front end and allowed his front legs to move more freely. I was so happy with the outcome of the lesson. It is so great to feel like you are figuring the movements out and what it takes to make them very successful.

At lunchtime everyone involved in the clinic met with Robert and Lendon Grey, the founder of Dressage4Kids and who created this event five years ago has seen is expanded to Michigan in summer and now is looking to move further afield to California. Lendon handed out the certificates for participating in the clinic and Robert discussed the importance of goal setting. He said that you should always dream big because you never know what opportunities might come up. Never use the words “I hope.”  You must use “I will.”  He said you have to do be doing something to get what you want; not just hoping changes will come. I found this to be very encouraging for the young people. It gave us the security that it is okay to have big dreams.

This past week was filled with so much information. From helpful tips given by top trainers, to horse care information by top vets, this clinic is really one of a kind. I learned so much.  A huge thank you to all of the sponsors for the constant support of the youth. Also, another thank you to Kim Boyer and Hampton Green Farm for allowing me ride the two amazing stallions in the clinic and your constant support of my riding.  It was another great experience!

Kerrigan Gluch riding HGF Brion on the final day of the Robert Dover Horsemastership Week at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. © 2016 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com
Kerrigan Gluch riding HGF Brion on the final day of the Robert Dover HorseMastership Week at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. © 2016 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com