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Anyone attend the Edward Gal clinic?

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  • Anyone attend the Edward Gal clinic?

    I would have loved to go but it was a bad weekend for me. Fingers crossed that someone who went will be able to put up some comments/observations.

  • #2
    I attended. I don't have time to give details but here's the short form:

    Ride forward. More active behind. Don't waggle the horse's head from side to side. Take the rein and just wait until horse gives in. Ride through your transitions. Don't use a whip. Forget the whip. Learn to use your leg and seat.

    Make the horse work from the start. Don't allow the horse to come off the bit on walk breaks.

    The riders all rode well. The horses were well behaved. The facility was beautiful. The speakers and mics worked.

    Gal was gracious and nice but direct and to the point. No stopping allowed while asking questions or listening to his suggestions. They really got no breaks for an hour. Boy, you had better be fit to ride for him.

    Lunch was nice. Pies were great!!


    • Original Poster

      Thank you!


      • #4
        Super clinic for horses and riders, he was very firm in the basics. The riders had to have the horses in front of the leg and forward, as well as straight, bendable, had to have control of tempo before they could do any lateral/collection/fun stuff.

        Some good points:

        1. every aid must have a reaction from the horse, be clear and expect a reaction. Do not work harder than the horse. Many American riders ride "too much backward" he said.

        2. if the aid does not get a reaction- one horse had absolutely no reaction to the whip- one must use the aid in a manner to get the reaction, not just keep repeating the same aid.

        3. the horse should stay at the tempo requested by the rider until the rider changes it. For example if you ask for lengthening/medium on a long side, do not let the horse just fade into less tempo in the corner, make it your decision.

        4. Lighten the curb, give the hand a little for forward but do not throw away the connection. if making a corrective aid (as in you asked for forward nicely, did not get it and had to give a big kick) give more, do not immediately care where the head of the horse is, when he is forward get back the roundness.

        5. the horse must be straight (shoulder fore) in the different tempos, if they throw their haunches in, or shoulder out, they are not really forward in the connection.

        6. Ride a FORWARD canter in the changes.

        The farm was lovely, lunch was a little light for the cost. Plenty of water and soda as it got hotter.


        • #5
          Many American riders ride "too much backward" he said.

          does that mean he thinks US riders are in the Dark Ages with dressage or riders are riding front to back too much


          • #6
            Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
            does that mean he thinks US riders are in the Dark Ages with dressage or riders are riding front to back too much
            Hmmm.... I was curious as to which US riders he was referring too....those at the int'l level that he has seen in person, or those on the domestic side, that have never showed against him.

            BTW, where was the clinic ?


            • #7
              A question was asked about the forward riding-we were allowed to write questions on a notecard and he answered between riders. He said it was the second time he had given a clinic in the US, and that he saw lots of riders doing lots of movements, without the horse having the basic aids-forward when asked, coming back when asked. He emphasized throughout the day that respect and obedience of the rider needed to be established before any movements were schooled. Rider #3 did only that-working on forward, and transitions within the gaits-he explained to her that she had to have that to school movements. His advice to her was to go home and school only what they had worked on today-then when that was established, she could begin working on other things.
              The facility was Gayla Driving. Absolutely beautiful, and nicely maintained.
              Agree that lunch was more like hors d'oevres than lunch. Pies were yummy, though. Hosts were gracious. Thought auditor rules strange-no talking at all, could not leave while clinic sessions going on (no bathroom trips), plus a dress code.


              • #8
                I take that to mean that Gal thought the US riders were doing to many fancy manuevers before they had the horse listening to the aids and going forward when asked.


                • #9
                  Yes, BP-that was pretty much how I took it.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                    I take that to mean that Gal thought the US riders were doing to many fancy manuevers before they had the horse listening to the aids and going forward when asked.
                    that is what I thought he meant too, not necessarily about riders like Steffan Peters, but those he encountered in the clinics he taught.


                    • #11
                      I looked at the slide show. Great photos.

                      I did not however see one rider that had a correct deep but light seat. I can see why he focused on straight and forward.


                      • #12
                        No. You cannot make the call about correct seat from pictures. 4 of the 5 riders had very good deep and light seats. They just needed the forward/tempo control and immediate response to the aids, you could see that they would have it with some ground instruction for reminding. They were talented riders who would excel with a ground person like him ( or Sue Blinks, Steffan Peters, Ulla Salzgaber, Chris Hickey, Lilo Fore, Isabel Werth, ......)


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for the additional info. I hope the rider who was encouraged to work on the transitions within gaits takes it for the great insight and advice it likely was. I have seen dedication to working on this take an average horse and make it lovely, and a lovely horse made into a head turner and in both cases, every - EVERYTHING - else was easier after that groundwork was laid.

                          What is the set up for spectators at Gayla Driving? I am hoping to make it to the Debbie McDonald clinic next spring. Do they have bleachers or do you need to bring chairs - are the spectators under roof on the sides of the ring or ??


                          • #14
                            Gayla is incredibly spectator friendly. Its a huge arena and the spectators have comfortable chairs and tables at one end and bleachers and extra chairs on one long side. Very confortable .
                            Touchstone Farm. Visit us at the slideshow of our Dutch mares and foals below! 30 mnutes of photos.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thank you.

                              I really appreciate the efforts that are going into bringing these clinics to the Lexington area.


                              • #16
                                I think it's fabulous that Edward Gal was willing to take the time to provide clinics for US riders. He looks like he would be really fun while working your buns off.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mishmash View Post
                                  Thought auditor rules strange-no talking at all, could not leave while clinic sessions going on (no bathroom trips), plus a dress code.
                                  RunPee is my favorite ap! If I can't hold it through a movie, how could I hold it for four hours, yikes!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by mishmash View Post
                                    Thought auditor rules strange-no talking at all, could not leave while clinic sessions going on (no bathroom trips), plus a dress code.
                                    Do tell more about the auditor dress code. I thought it remarkable that Gal was in jeans.


                                    • #19
                                      From the pdf on their website

                                      Auditor Requirements:
                                      1. Reservations are required. There will be an additional fee, for entry at the door, at time of clinic unless prepaid.

                                      2. You must remain seated while clinic is in session. Please be prepared to sit for three to four hours. We ask this to minimize distraction to our riders and teachers.

                                      3. Do not approach the clinician.

                                      4. The stabling area is strictly off limits.

                                      5. If you have questions, please leave them to the end of the session.

                                      6. Dress: casual with collared shirt and close toed shoes.

                                      7. Food: help us keep the area neat. Do not bring food into the riding and auditing areas.

                                      8. Chair space is limited, please bring your own chair.

                                      9. No photos or video for personal use.

                                      10. Cell phones off, silenced or on vibrate. Cell phones will not be allowed in the arena, or in the auditing areas.

                                      11. No dogs.

                                      12. No smoking.

                                      13. Mind your manners. We host clinics and classes in positive, friendly environments. We expect our participants to be kind, courteous, civil and professional to each other. If you cannot do this, we will ask you to leave, without refund and without return invitation.


                                      • #20
                                        I don't think the clinic rules were unreasonable (from reading them - I didn't attend). Most of them are simply common courtesy.

                                        I was at a clinic recently where I couldn't hear the clinician well because a group of ladies were chatting away next to me through a good portion of it. It was extremely annoying as I had come to hear the clinician, not hear about their lunch plans, etc.

                                        The only one I wouldn't have been able to adhere to is the bathroom one… as I'm very pregnant at the moment, there would be no way to prepare my tiny bladder for that However, it sounds like the host barn was very courteous with the event, so I'm sure that with special arrangement, I could have sat at the far back/corer so that I could slip out without causing a distraction.