The Chronicle of the Horse

The Chronicle of the Horse

Wellington, Fla.—Jan. 5

Robert Dover did something new Thursday at the beginning of his 11th annual name center for young dressage motorcyclists: He rode.

Annual, Dover presents the Robert Dover Horsemastership Facility Week with a lecture on common principles of dressage, examining crucial assistance in addition to extensively deconstructing the half-halt. The lecture provides to orient the 20 young motorcyclists picked for the center with the fundamentals that will definitely most likely to the facility by means of 4 days of lessons with leading motorcyclists in addition to teachers. Yet additionally for the extremely very first time thinking about that the center’s development in 2012, Dover integrated his principle lecture with a trial journey Thursday morning at the Adequan Global Dressage Event showgrounds.

His picked horse for the discussion was Kristin Snyder Ducote’s 10-year-old “Perlito,” a horse he specified encouraged him of Kennedy, amongst his extremely own favored rivals mounts, in measurement in addition to task.

After doing a trial journey on Perlito, Robert Dover discusses the principles of dressage with people in the 2023 Robert Dover Horsemastership Facility. Taylor Pence Picture

In his talks, Dover discusses the half-halt as the entryway to every change, with the application of driving, bending in addition to resistance assistance—seat in addition to within leg to a closed outdoors rein, as an instance—made use of quietly in addition to successfully within the location of one breath in, one breath out, to maintain power cycling by means of the horse’s body.

“With these 3 collections helpful I have the capability to figure out the rhythm, the speed, the dimension of the stride in addition to the pace in the dimension of time of a breath,” he specified.

Aboard Perlito, he exposed the motorcyclists exactly simply exactly how that features.

He started with a “rubber band exercise,” a gymnasticizing exercise Dover specified he uses early in trips, after prolonging, to help horse in addition to biker tune right into the assistance in addition to the half-halt. In the exercise, which he specified he normally uses with students in the trot, yet revealed on a 20-meter canter circle, he asked Perlito to return in addition to forth in between many degrees of prolonging in addition to collection.

“We want the horse to be able to minimize, prolong, progress, come under, remain well balanced in addition to light,” he specified. “We start with canter that’s comfortable initially, afterwards evaluation factors.

“I’m probably to ask him to prolong some, in addition to presently I’m probably to take in a breath in addition to build up, build up added,” Dover distinguished the saddle—consisting of a quiet, assuring “fantastic young kid, fantastic young kid” to Perlito for his extremely initial campaigns at collection—”afterwards prolong.”

After revealing many “rubber band” alterations within the stride, Dover stopped to examine the exercise with the students. In the middle of all those alterations within the stride, he asked, what didn’t adjustment? The action was the rhythm, the power,  protected from half-halt to half-halt .

“When I broaden, collection is still energetic in every activity of the best growth, in addition to when I build up, the forwardness of him [is still there],” Dover specified. “In the grandest collection, the piaffe, the substantial trot is still energetic, in addition to in the very best growth, the piaffe exists. That’s when factors are beautiful.”

In an incredibly seasoned horse, Dover specified throughout his lecture in addition to copied once more from the saddle Thursday, the assistance happen so fine-tuned that from the breathe-in of the half-halt, the biker can make the smallest task—a search in the appropriate guidelines, envisioning the change they want, as an instance—in addition to the equine abide by.

To reveal, he took Perlito by means of a collection of modifications that transformed from workmanlike to perky. The equine exposed pace alterations, half-pass, pirouettes, developments, piaffe in addition to circulation. As well as additionally when the regular mistake occurred, an understanding “it’s all right” over Dover’s microphone, integrated with a quiet regrouping, emphasized the rhythm of hoofbeats.

“I had worrying 3 different mistakes therein,” Dover acknowledged after they went back to quit, yet he bore in mind that wasn’t the variable of the discussion. “I presume additionally at my age, it’s not worrying precisely just how expensive he was, or precisely just how premium he was when [his owner] got him. It’s about the training, the reliability, the uniformity. With each minutes, I was trying to expose you what happens when factors start clicking in for a motorcyclist, in addition to they start identifying what they are viewing as well as actually feeling from up right below relates to what you are seeing down there: ‘Oh, take a look at him dance there.’”

“It’s pleasurable to be able to expose them on this little equine precisely just how pleasurable it can look in addition to precisely just how pricey it can be, while I’m just kind of relaxing there surfing from half-halt to half-halt,” he specified in the future. “That’s pleasurable for me.”

In daily training, motorcyclists build their horses’ durability, adaptability, mental understanding of the work in addition to mental capability to respond to aid without stress or danger, he specified.

“Whenever we probably to a location of mood or a location of what I call ‘biker in distress’ in addition to flight with unfavorable sensations—whenever you show up, art goes away,” he specified. “Joyfulness requires to frequently exist. As well as additionally grit in addition to resolution require to exist, yet that recommends, ‘Oh, I didn’t like that, we’ll do it once more… We’ll just do it time after time’ till repeatings begin to establish what we desire.

“As well as additionally when they do,” he consisted of, “our job is to enable them identify quickly precisely just how delighted we are of them for figuring it out.”

The purpose, he specified, is the cooperations like that in between Lottie Fry in addition to Glamourdale, where the training, the half-halts in addition to the communication within them are so solid that a ground-devouring substantial canter can change perfectly to a double pirouette.

“What is the beautiful facet of each of this,” he specified, “is that as we have an expanding variety of control over all these factors, what happens is that from half-halt to half-halt, we’re able to talk about with the horse that adhering to stability, that adhering to stride, is that an individual concept, that an individual half-halt away.”

Finishing his discussion journey, in addition to before seeing the young people off to their sessions with physician containing U.S. Dressage Youngster Train George Williams in addition to Olympians Adrienne Lyle, Sabine Schut-Kery in addition to Ali Brock, Dover exhorted them to examine, in addition to to be investigatory worrying their picked showing off task.

His extremely own extremely early expert, Swedish equestrian Col. Bengt Ljungquist, that located him at a Steed Club rally in Florida in addition to enlightened him from the age of 15, recommended him to examine the requirements: “The Overall Informing Of Horse Along With Cyclist,” by Alois Podhajsky; “The Dressage Horse,” by Harry Boldt; in addition to what Dover called his 2 “bibles:” Ljungquist’s extremely own magazine, “Practical Dressage Manual” in addition to the “U.S. Equine Club Manual Of Horsemanship.” (“It requires to check out by every child because of the truth that it integrates each of horsemanship,” Dover specified of the last.)

“I was a really fantastic student,” he specified. “If my trainer specified, ‘I want you to base upon your head in addition to reduced the centerline,’ you’d see me trying to figure out precisely just how to show up. Nevertheless also it wasn’t adequate for me to pay attention to, ‘Robert this is what you do…’ I needed to identify why it is the implies it is, in addition to he offered me this list of magazines.”

Lessons with Ljungquist were organized, virtually military, in addition to abided by the similar design every solitary day. “We started a certain implies,” Dover specified. “We experienced this gymnastic rubber band exercise. We participated in the movements that were the meat of the training that day, as well as later on we cooled down. That was a day-to-day factor, in addition to it was a used.”

Most likely to kick back any kind of kind of nerves that might be creating amongst center people considering the popular teachers they will certainly ride with, Dover notified an entertaining story worrying being humbled on his extremely initial day riding with Ljungquist at the trainer’s base in Potomac, Maryland.

At age 16, Dover turned up in Maryland “presuming I’m all that, in addition to I’m thrilled to show off everything,” he kept in mind. Ninety minutes right into his extremely initial lesson, he had in fact gone stale on from a walk—in addition to he had in fact uncovered there was above one.

“He specified; ‘Robert, What kind of walk is that?’ ” Dover kept in mind “As well as additionally I specified, ‘An exceptional walk,’ in addition to he specified, ‘No. There’s a collected walk, a device walk in addition to a long term walk.’ That was the beginning, as well as later on he remained to walk along with me for 1.5 humans resources.”

“This is the beginning of your understanding of the art of dressage, in addition to it’s probably to lead you to terrific factors in the showing off task,” Dover kept in mind Ljungquist educating him later on extremely initial journey.

Along With, to his extremely own young motorcyclists, Dover made use of a modern spin on that particular specific thing of suggestions, encouraging them to search for the greatest training help practical: Referencing author Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-hour standard”—that it takes that much time to complete actual expertise at any kind of kind of used capability, Dover specified, “He overlooked something: It’s 10,000 humans resources under terrific advice.”

The Robert Dover Horsemastership Facility Week continues day-to-day by means of Sunday at the Adequan Global Dressage Event in Wellington, Florida. USEF individuals can watch a livestream of the center on USEF Network.

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