Review of lecture/demo on Developing a Successful Practice

Our second lecture demonstration of the year, Developing a Successful Practice, was a comprehensive overview of principles for both the rider and the horse. Rose began the afternoon with a talk on some of the science and theory of “deliberate practice” as a path to expertise, based on research by sports psychologists and scientists. She included the importance of mindfulness training to help with calm, focus, and a positive outlook. Next, Rose rode a midlevel horse while Paul discussed effective practice for the horse in the form of sound biomechanics and exercises based in classical principles that address both the longitudinal and lateral fields of balance. He showed how to layer exercises and choreography to be sure that the biomechanics stay correct and the horse’s balance develops properly. After a short break for a light snacks,

Loretta Damron spoke about the parallels between her education and career as an international musician and as a dressage rider. She emphasized the importance of following a sound, proven system, engaging in self-evaluation, and getting good coaching. We enjoyed her stories of musicians from around the world in unique and challenging situations. To close the afternoon, Rose rode her Grand Prix horse while Paul explained exercises and specific choreography for the upper level horse. Audience members of all ages were attended and good questions were posed, leading to additional in-depth discussion. We are looking forward to our next afternoon presentation on “Rider Position: Your Toolbox for Effective Riding,” on Saturday June 22. Sign up online on this page!