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Leinster Dressage Training Clinic with Marion Greene Saturday 4 April 2009

Published 21/04/2009

The second Leinster Dressage-organised training clinic for adult riders with Marion Greene took place at Dollanstown Stud, Kilcock, County Kildare by kind permission of Caroline and Lars Bjoerk and Ulla and Rolf Seidel.

Three ‘repeat offenders’ from the first clinic took the opportunity of a follow-up session with Marion and were joined by a further five ‘first timers’, making up the complement for the day.

As for the first clinic, each participant had an individual session with Marion, during which she assessed the progress of their horse’s training and identified and addressed those areas that should be improved. Building on the theme from the first clinic, harmony between horse and rider, the focus was, as always for the novice horse, particularly on the first three points of the scale of training, rhythm, suppleness and contact. Marion now focussed on the use of the half halt to promote connection and engagement and to improve the horses’ way of going while maintaining relaxation and harmony.

Marion also noted the importance of correct saddle fitting, with good clearance over the withers. Since poorly fitted saddles can so often be the cause of tension, unsteadiness in the rein contact and shaking heads, Marion emphasised that the horse’s equipment must fit properly and be comfortable in order to keep him a “Happy Athlete”. As put so well by Aubert, “One should avoid resistances, instead of trying to conquer them”.

At the close of each session, Marion provided the riders with a copy of an article she wrote for the first clinic, regarding suitability and compatibility of rider/horse combination: Dressage Should Be Fun.

She also directed them to some further reading regarding half halts, saying “I believe that it is so important to read up and study in theory what we are trying to achieve in practise!”

Recommended reading:

  • Misconceptions and Simple Truths., H.L.M. Van Schaik. Published by J H Allen
  • 100 and a Half Ways to Half Halt by Kathryn King Johnson, M. Ed. (link removed)

“A Good Hand is the one that can resist and yield when necessary and receive with precision the action created by the legs” —Salamon De La Broue.

“Those who devote themselves to practice without science are like Sailors who put to sea without rudder or compass and who can never be certain where they are going. Practice must always be founded on sound theory..” —Leonardo da Vinci.

—Jenny Egan

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