Saturday, April 25, 2015

Auditing Conrad Schumacher Clinic

 Last week, I had the opportunity to audit a Conrad Schumacher clinic. Conrad Schumacher is a German dressage rider who has coached the Dutch Olympic, World Championships, and European Championships dressage teams for many years. Many of the riders he has coached have earned individual and team silver and bronze medals. 

 All the horses and riders in this clinic were very advanced and have competed at Grand Prix. It was amazing to see so many excellent horses and riders. In fact, these horses were the nicest horses I have ever seen in person. I have never seen a Grand Prix horse before the clinic, except in pictures and videos, and I believe that the piaffe, passage, and Grand Prix movements look even more spectacular in person. 

 The riders were all really great too. Many of them had trained multiple horses up to Grand Prix level. One of the horses there, Vinnie, was actually stabled next to Dyna at the U.S. Dressage Finals, so Laura, who was with me, knows the rider. Laura's trainer, Grand Prix rider and judge Renee Johnson, was also riding in the clinic. Renee actually lives in the area. I didn't relayed until recently that there is a Grand Prix rider living within an hour from me!

 A lot of the things Schumacher talked about during the clinic was very advanced and applied to the particular rider he was teaching(they rode one at a time). Even so, there were some things I can understand and apply to my riding now, and it was awesome to watch those great riders. It's not everyday that I see so many Grand Prix riders and horses, and very rarely do some many Grand Prix riders and horses come to this area.

 One of the things he said during the clinic was that your leg is very important when riding. It is what clearly tells the horse what to do(or at least it should clearly tell the horse what to do). When one of the horses was a bit nervous and not really paying attention, Schumacher told the rider that in your relationship with your horse, you have to be the alpha mare. Horses need someone to be their leader, or they will be the leader. When you are there leader, it is important not to react when they spook or get nervous. If you do, then the horse will react as well. I also watched Schumacher lunge, getting the horse to use his body correctly as he did so, which is what Laura does when lungeing as well.

I really loved to see these fancy horses and great riders. Seeing a great trainer who has taught many Olympic teams was also awesome.


  1. That's great that you were able to audit the clinic and see so many advanced horse/rider combos!

  2. great pictures - sounds like a really wonderful experience!!

  3. those pictures even look majestic! sounds like you had an amazing experience.

  4. Those pictures are so awesome!!


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