June 14, 2009

Clinic with Helgstrand

Before Andreas Helgstrand started to work for Blue Hors, he worked at Stall K in Kongsberg, Norway.
He has been returning to throw clinics there even if his schedule is very tight, which of course is a treat for a dressage nerd as I am.
Tuesday this week he was here again.
And guess who was there? Lousy pics I know, but all I had was my cell phone (Sorry Anne, was so stressed so I forgot the video camera too!)

On other occations he has instructed Norwegian riders as well as been riding himself, but this time he did all the riding himself.
And it IS a treat to see him ride.
He has a seat to die for, always in balance - even through youngster jumps and tricks - and he is a very sympathetic and soft rider.
(Dear Santa, on top of my wish list for next Xmas is a Helgstrand-seat. Please, please?)
Together with the Norwegian horses shown (ranging from a nice 4-yo stallion to a GP horse) he brought his new star, Laetare. It is a 5 yo stallion (Bundeschampionatwinner I believe), which he bought at the PSI auction to the nice sum of 520.000 EUR.
And what a talented horse it was.
Still a gangly teenager, but in balance in spite of much movement and much legs (though I believe this also requires a talented rider) and they played with movements like flying changes, even in some series, half-pass and collection. It will be very exciting to follow them.

Andreas works very much with transitions within the gaits, and is always returning to the basics; to keep the horse in front of the leg, to work with a soft and steady hand, and get balance and hind leg activity by collecting with the seat and then soften and ride forwards again. And again. And again.
He plays with the horses and the excersises. It doesn't have to be perfect. If the horse has a talent, he might try a flying change or some collected steps towards passage even at an early age to see what happens. And at every seminar I've seen him ride, he just magically produces the most amazing results in all of the horses.
He is just one VERY talented rider, and it is a treat to see him work. I get very inspired and much of it is of use even for us mortals.

It has been a busy week.
Tuesday we first went to the hospital with Fame to have her tooth checked.
The result is that the tooth is not damaged enough to be removed. One piece is missing, one root is definitely good but they are a bit more worried that there might be a channel up to the other root, the x-ray wasn't clear.
The tooth sits firmly however, and as the removal is a bit tricky they don't want to remove it until it is absolutely necessary. She doesn't seem to be troubled by it so far.
We just have to follow it closely, and if it seems as if she has any problems we have to return. She is put on antibiotics for 5 days though. They didn't think she is bothered by the bit, so I can ride her as normal.
I will continue to use the sidepull as a change to the snaffle though.

Tuesday evening was the seminar with Helgestrand.
Thursday and Friday I was off with work, and on Saturday we arranged a regional dressage show at the stable, which required much work in advance in addition to a busy and long day on Saturday.

Today I could relax, and I decided to try out some of the Helgstrand things on Fame.
As I am still waiting for X-mas, things definitely didn't come as easy for me as for Andreas, but we worked with transitions and to get Fame a bit quicker off my leg. I believe we got some OK work out of it, and we'll continue in the week to come.
Jimmi, the Danish trainer, is coming this weekend again and I'll try to squeeze in two sessions before travelling to Sweden on Friday.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Andreas Helgestrand is an excellent rider and trainer, he is one of my favorites too. You are so lucky to have seen him in person and watch him train and ride.

Kate said...

Good news so far on the tooth front!

You are fortunate to be able to observe a master - and then try to use some of what you learned. For me, this sort of thing really helps move my riding along.

Anne i Hannover said...

Wish I had been there:) At least I have my chemistry-test on thursday to look forward to... :/

I was hoping maybe I'd see you this weekend, I'm going home just friday-sunday and going to Linnesvollen and the horseshow there on saturday, but I guess you'll be in Sweden then. Well, we'll have to catch up later:)

Once Upon an Equine said...

Glad you enjoyed your clinic with one of your favorite riders. That's a treat.

Glad Fame's tooth isn't causing her trouble. Hopefully what's left will hang in there and she'll get used to it and all will be well.

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks for your comments all!

Thing is that when you attend an inspiring seminar, it leaves you with a hunger for more...
The internet is a wonderful thing. Right now I am browsing through videos at horsehero.com, which is a free provider of videos on traning, shows etc. Very nice. I am looking at the dressage training videos, and they are good.
Try it out!

Helen said...

I feel like you do Horse of Course. I like to watch my heros on video then get on and pretend that I AM them. I always feel that I ride better when I do.

Some of my friends get depressed by watching brilliant riders and say it makes them feel like giving up but I always feel inspired and determined to improve, as watching them proves how much is possible, even if I can only ever achieve a fraction of it.

Irene said...

vad avundsjuk jag blir! Andreas verkar otroligt ödmjuk o duktig med sina hästar. En förebild.

mugwump said...

Hi HOC - Would you be willing to think about the term "in front of the leg" and write a piece on it? Especially geared to us western nerds? If you send it to me I'll post it Monday.
I'm being completely self serving here. I don't quite have the complete concept, but I have a gelding who I am sure needs it.
I'm glad you like the side pull!

HorseOfCourse said...

Hi Mugs! Nice of you to drop by! I would be happy to try and put something together, but I don't know if I am able to send something before Monday.
I am leaving for Sweden right now. Today it is Midsummer celebration (a large thing in Sweden and maybe the closest you get to a national celebration like the 4th of July) and we also are to celebrate my nephew who turns 18 in the weekend.
If we can stretch the time frame a bit it would be easier?

Once Upon an Equine said...

HorseOfCourse...got a question for you. I think I would like to enter Marley in a little parade. I want to dress us both up in Norwegian attire. I don't want to ride him, I just want to lead him in the parade. Can you give me any suggestions for something authentic. I could dress up as a viking woman or is there a historical Norwegian costume for a woman who might lead her fjord to market with the Fjord carrying produce or bread baskets or something. Any tips for an authentic looking costume for the two of us would be greatly appreciated.

Also..I just noticed (I've been out of it this month) that the picture on my June pet calendar hanging in my cubical at my office is of two Norwegian Forest Kittens; so cute and fluffy.

Hope you had a great time in Sweden!

stillearning said...

HOC, when you have time, could you also write a description of riding a horse straight, as in keeping equal weight in each rein, etc.? I really like how you explain things, and I'm currently riding a "wiggle worm", so would enjoy your input.


HorseOfCourse said...

Hi stillearning!
Didn't see your comment on "wiggle worms" until now.
I will give it a try!

HorseOfCourse said...

OnceUpon - I left a comment on your own blog re. the outfit.
How cool with the Norwegian Forest cats! Our grey cat is a Norwegian Forest. We discussed that a while ago, didn't we?