Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nuno Matos Clinic Day One

 Today was the Nuno Matos Working Equitation clinic in Erie. Day One. Nuno was the Portuguese 2006 Working Equitation Champion. He ran his clinic like they do in Europe - one student at a time. I rode at 3 pm. Until then, I sat and studied the other riders, listened to what Nuno was trying to say, and made notes. At noon, they brought in an interpreter.

I am pretty artistically challenged. And yes, the rider's leg does look like the hind end of a dog.

 Warm up outside

 Explaining to Ashke where the end of the arena was.

 He was less than sure

 Recognizing J sitting at the end of the arena.

 Nuno asked me what my expectations were. I answered that I expect to be the International Champion tomorrow. They laughed. I really was serious.

 Working on softening, relaxing and bending at walk/trot/canter

I need to get over my fear of contact with the shank bit. Ashke was fighting me a bit today, but we were both hyped up and stressed. Nuno also stressed that I need to slow and collect the walk and the trot, which would then help with slowing the canter. A lot of the dressage work is done in small circles, and we worked between 10m to 20m circles. This was a challenge for most people, including us, because we have been working on larger circles.


 Pretty much all we did is canter. At the mid and upper levels, the horse either walks or canters. There is no trot.

 Nuno speaks Portuguese, but I really wasn't having any trouble understanding him. For some of the more complicated concepts, it was good to have a translator, however.

 More work in small circles.

 Trying to relax

 It's so complicated, trying to remember everything.

 Nuno told me that Ashke and I are very balanced together as a team.

 I made the mistake of switching the bit, which did not help our situation. I should have stuck with the shank. Nuno told me to ride with the first bit again tomorrow.

Nuno explaining why I should not be riding in the myler snaffle without a cavasson. Without the Cavasson, the bit is too aggressive. And not good for Ashke, since he is so sensitive.


More Sidepass

We also got a flying lead change, which we did not catch on video.

We are going to start with that tomorrow, so video proof should be in the future.

Too tired to write more. Details to follow . . .


  1. I'm so happy that you were able to have this opportunity! It's a truly special thing to learn from the greats of a sport we are passionate about. Love the changes that are visible in both of you in the photos, and can't wait to read the write-up about part 2!

  2. How exciting!

    Did he speak Portuguese the whole time? Or accented English? Or are you multilingual?

    1. I do not but I worked with Spanish speaking people for over fifteen years. I understand the gist pretty good. It was nice to have an interpreter for the more complex concepts.

  3. Wow! What a thrill it must have been to ride in this clinic!

    1. It was really awesome. I might get to ride with him again in September.

  4. I'm with Liz... was he speaking accented English or do you know Portuguese?

    Did he explain why using the snaffle without a cavesson makes it too aggressive? I don't understand that.

    You guys look great! What a fun and exciting clinic. I can't wait to read about day two!