View Full Version : Notes from CA EAP -Updated with notes

Release First
May. 27, 2010, 04:26 PM
I put this in the other Melanie thread but that one appears to have stopped. Last year I wrote up and posted all of my notes from the sessions. Are people interested in notes from this year?

May. 27, 2010, 04:31 PM

ETA: if anyone has videos, I'd love to see them too!

May. 27, 2010, 04:36 PM

May. 27, 2010, 07:42 PM
would love to read your notes. I only have snippet video to look at as I did not actually attend - my daughter went with her assistant trainer.

May. 28, 2010, 12:21 AM
Yes again

May. 28, 2010, 01:08 AM
yes please!

Brydelle Farm
May. 28, 2010, 11:18 PM
4 sure!! ;) TIA

Release First
Jun. 7, 2010, 12:59 AM
EAP Melanie Smith Taylor

Melanie is amazing and well worth spending the time and money to audit an EAP session. While she is working and motivating the participants, she is also motivating the audience and giving them lots of ideas that they can take home and use the next day. She is demanding and positive and understanding of the riders who had horse problems. The weather was uncomfortable with a strong, cold wind blowing all day especially on Sunday but she made it worthwhile staying out in the weather.

The Champs once again did a wonderful job of providing a beautiful setting for the session at their Hansen Dam Equestrian Center. They provided a well prepared ring, an effective audio system, a lovely continental breakfast and made sure that all of the participants had a good lunch. Such generous people.

Just as Melanie did last year, she focused on the basics. “The smallest thing can make the biggest difference.” She focused on safety by having the students drop and pick up their stirrups quickly. She also had one group drop and pick up their reins quickly and correctly at a walk, trot and canter. (Correctly – starting with the buckle in your right hand and running the reins through your left hand and finally both hands)

She emphasized the need for students to really know their horses. Not just on their back but on the ground also. She told the riders to follow the grooms, the farriers, the vets, etc. and learn as much as they can from them. It is important.

Melanie repeated many times that aids should be used “as little as possible but as much as necessary. She did some interesting turns that were a combination of turn on the haunches and turn on the forehand. She wanted the students to have control of every step and to be patient and allow the horse to figure out what was being asked of it.

She worked on refining the rider’s sense of feel by working on the timing of the aids. She expected the riders to know the foot fall patterns of the walk trot and canter and explained that the horse could only respond when the timing of the aids were correct. She emphasized the timing of asking for the canter by telling the riders they must ask when the horse’s inside front leg was coming forward because the next foot fall at walk was the outside hind leg which is also the strike off leg for the correct lead canter.’ She also emphasized the need to come up on the correct diagonal and not just rise on any diagonal and then change to the correct one if necessary.
She said that it is important to mix up the lateral work and the forward work so she would have the riders do shoulder-in or side pass and then have them work on lengthening.

Melanie refined the saying of “”Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” She modified it to say that the ATTEMPT for perfect practice is what is important.

I will give you bullets in the next post.

Release First
Jun. 7, 2010, 01:52 AM
All the jumping exercises involved trot and canter poles and concentrated on the ridability of the horse and the timing of the riders aids.

Bullets - These are in no particular order:

Shape your body to the shape of the circle. Makes it easier for the horse to understand the bend

Become one with the horse. – said often

Do a lot of transitions. Important to your riding and the ridability of the horse. She emphasized that rideability was important for the horse is all divisions.

DON’T PAT your horse but stroke or rub it. Horses speak to each other by rubbing. They understand that. We should mimic what horses learn in nature. We need to learn how they learn in nature.

Riders need to learn the history of the sport. They need to know the names and what they brought to the sport. Also learn about the great horses of the past.

Shoulder-in – 30% Leg yield 45% from the rail

Visualize the feet moving to pick up the correct diagonal by feel.

Lots of transitions – between gaits, within gaits and between lateral and direct work.

Break down you problems into the smallest parts and work on those. The smallest thing will make the biggest difference.

Have control of all of the feet, one at a time.

Learn to dial up your own internal energy to help prepare the horse to go forward and dial it back down to slow down.

Have control of your hip angle. Close it to go forward and open it to slow down or stop.

You are training the horse each time your get on it. Make it your goal to have a better horse each time you finish your ride.

One horse had trouble standing and she had the rider let the horse walk but make it work at the walk and then offer it an chance to stand. She said that horses will stay if it knows it is free to go. Watch for peaceful expressions on the horses faces.

She wanted the riders to be patient and give the horse time to figure out what is being asked of them. If the horse comes up with the idea, the learning will stick.

After a halt she had the riders look back over their shoulder and check to see if they were in the middle of the jump.

Your eyes should initiate the turns and then not look away. She emphasized the use of the eyes over the jumps.

Aids – use a little as it takes but as much as you need to get the job done. Get it, give and hold what you have created.

She wanted the horses searching for the correct answer – not guessing, not panicking, not rushing

Set horses up to succeed- do things to help the horse be successful.

Make the right ting easy and the wrong thing hard.
If a horses mind is with you, his body will be with you. Horse should be thinking back to the rider. “What does my rider want?””
Feel gives you timing – timing gives you accuracy and the horse understanding

Prepare the horse - don’t blindside them with the aids

Think as a horseman not as a rider – horse is most important A true horseman is in how you handle and ride a horse with feel, care, generosity, trust and understanding,

THE TEACH IS IN THE RELEASE of the aid not in the application of it.

Rider needs to stay one step ahead of the horse

Release First
Jun. 7, 2010, 01:54 PM
I have several more pages of notes but I don't want to type them unless people are interested. Just let me know.

Release First
Jun. 7, 2010, 02:07 PM
I have more pages of notes but I don't want to type them up unless people want them. Just let me know.

Jun. 7, 2010, 02:51 PM
I'd love to read more, if you don't mind. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Jun. 7, 2010, 02:54 PM
Keep typing, please. :D

Jun. 7, 2010, 03:05 PM
Definitely keep typing...

Jun. 7, 2010, 04:19 PM
I am interested in reading them. And thank you for being such a good note taker!!

Jun. 7, 2010, 07:58 PM
Thank you , I appreciate your generosity.