Hillock Farm in Calera, Ala., hosted an Eiren Crawford clinic on Nov. 7-8. It was fantastic!
Eiren spent an hour-long session with all of the participants. Riders were mounted on a range of horses from young horses up to the Hanoverian stallion, Davignport, who Eiren used to lease and show.
I rode three horses with Eiren. One was Davignport, whom I bought recently. We worked on getting him rounder through the back and being more supple.
He is a huge show-off when people are watching. He really acted a bit naughty by throwing his head around and doing a bit of leaping. Her suggestion was to lower my hands and move him forward. She was really concerned about me establishing the correct contact with all of the horses.
Another one of mine is a 5-year-old mare that I also bought recently. I thought the mare was a bit balky and stubborn. Eiren got on her and established that the mare is really way more sensitive than I realized. She told me to ride her with “electric spurs” to make her go forward and then to leave her alone. Again I needed to lower my hands. (As a youngster, I rode saddle seat.)
Also, she wanted this mare to be supple in her back, and I needed to get her rounder with light but active contact. The last horse is a very fancy but very stubborn mare that likes to constantly resist contact whether she’s above the bit or below it.
Her suggestion for this horse was to longe her in side reins or vienna reins to let her fight it out with herself before I get on. She thought that this particular horse was just being difficult, and that I should plant my hands low by the withers even looping my pinky finger through the bucking strap to keep the mare from pulling on me so hard. It seemed to help.
She also helped many others with totally different types of horses, and everyone seemed pleased. It was a great experience. All of the participants wish Eiren didn’t live so far away in Germany. We would like to have her teach regularly.