Currently, we are watching a clinic at Hof Börnsen with Manuela Keller. I am very excited to see her teach! She is teaching in German, so I know I am missing some of the points. However, watching the rides and understanding the context makes me feel like I basically know what is going on.
What I have seen so far emphasizes the same basics that Judy and Sven work on every day. For example, an upper level horse came in and Mrs. Keller wanted him to stretch. She took the time to make sure the horse was reaching over his back even though it wasn’t easy. She started at the trot with the horse on 20-meter circles with changes of direction to make him more even from left to right. As that started to work well, she asked the rider to change direction through the circle frequently and he became more and more through, releasing his back. Mrs. Keller pointed out, that bringing the neck down requires the horse to also lift the back and the sternum so he reaches through the throatlatch instead of curling.
When she moved on the collected work, she took the same idea that the changes of bend helped this horse. She had the rider practice traver and renver each way to make sure the bend was honest through the whole body. Then she moved onto the half-pass, but kept reminding the rider to keep the idea of traver on the diagonal line. In the end, the horse was reaching more toward the bit and the balance and cadence was improved.
I can’t wait to watch the rest! I’ll send more updates soon.