Sunday, December 2, 2018

Nicole Harrington Clinic

This weekend, one of the riders at our barn organized a Nicole Harrington clinic. Nicole is a dressage trainer from Ohio and she is one of the clinicians that Amanda trains with. Amanda and I had talked about me doing a clinic next time she was in town, to help with the canter work. Amanda thought that perhaps she could provide the bit of the puzzle I seem to be missing. I had two rides over the weekend and they proved to be interesting 

She improved our flying lead changes immediately. The trick? She said to look in the direction of our turn, like we would be making a sharp turn around a pole. Guess what happens when you turn your head and shoulders in the direction of your turn? Your weight shifts to what is going to be the new outside, and the horse changes his leads.

This was our first day clinic with Nicole.
Ashke demonstrates how incredible a horse he is.

The other thing she identified was my grabby-grabby hands. That will probably not change, but it is something I can work on in my lessons.

Working on our lateral work.

I felt like I had an epiphany with the whole “turn the head” thing. I will not be practicing lead changes every ride. We need to build the new muscle and strength, plus see if I can’t refine my technique.

Second day lead changes
They look soooo much better than even the day before.

Turn on the Haunches

He is thinking so hard

Note of importance: moving the Pixem from next to the door/wall to the opposite.corner of the ring made all the difference in the world.


  1. Holy cow!!! What a difference in the lead changes. Even your canter approach was smooth .. then you turn your head and BOOM.

    I love love love ashke and what you have accomplished together!

  2. Love to read your blog!
    Greetings from Sweden

  3. That is the joy and the bane of having such a sensitive horse. When you put the pieces together it's all there. But it can so easily go the other way. He and you look great.


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