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WEG musings

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  • WEG musings

    Just pondering show jumping day. Then pondering William Micklem's COTH magazine article in their Forum section. Then pondering our riders and what they have achieved in the past.

    Phillip D has been a master of show jumping throughout his long career. KOC hasn't been shabby.

    Does anyone know how long and how much Katie Prudent actually worked with them before the time between the AECs and the Games? We all know that KS and Paddy have worked with her since this year's Rolex, but that seems to have been voluntary and not a mandate from TPTB. Besides, KS hasn't decades of experience at the top. She's always admitted that show jumping is her mental weakness.

    From what we've read Katie Prudent did want to change a lot of things that event riders do. One assumes that during the training sessions she worked to change them and the riders used her suggestions.

    But can one make fundamental changes to made riders and/or made horses in two or three weeks? Wouldn't the rider in the stress of competition revert to instinct developed by years of success, especially when things aren't perfect? And would not that then confuse the horse?

    It takes much longer than a two or three week camp to internalize a new system and have it working all the time under all conditions. Doesn't it?

    Does anyone know precisely what was expected of the coaching?
    Last edited by vineyridge; Oct. 22, 2010, 09:45 AM.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

  • #2
    She was helping them down in Aiken earlier this spring. Not sure if she was helping them last year but I think so...and there were other sessions scattered through the year.

    Most of what I heard her changing in the riders was demanding more correct positions...better balance and staying with their horses....better balance from the horses...better canters.....horses being schooled to be straight, ridable and adjustable. Riders to focus on accuracy in their rides...walk their courses, know how many strides between the fences and then KNOW how many they got.

    Honestly...What I saw taught by her was pretty good stuff...pretty classic stuff too.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


    • Original Poster

      Thanks, BFNE. I was just wondering if I had picked up on a subtext of the Micklem article.
      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
      Thread killer Extraordinaire


      • #4
        Going to generalize a bit here, but - event riders could learn a LOT from show jumpers in the stadium ring. Yes, they are specialists so of course they are going to be better. But when I switched from hunters/eq to eventing the FIRST THING that jumped out at me was how poorly most eventers - across the levels - ride show jumping.

        I think a lot of it comes from the fact that we don't have an equivalent to equitation - we don't have anyone drilling basics to perfection from a young age. Eventing is much more seat-of-the-pants gallop-your-pony kind of learning, which is wonderful in its own way; but overall eventers lack the precision and schooling of the hunter/jumper world. Show jumping is all about schooling and precision. It just isn't the forte of most eventers.

        I know it's a bit off point as the real question is whether you can improve show jumping significantly in a short period of time especially coming from a different school of thought - probably not. But I do think weak show jumping is endemic in eventing and we should draw a lot more on what the jumper trainers have to teach.


        • #5
          I only got to watch a few lessons by Katie and talked with some people about others that I didn't see (knowledgable people who saw them and a few who rode in them).

          Honestly...I wouldn't say she was making any fundimental changes. But what she was doing is raising the bar. And she doesn't mince words--was pretty fun to see her....yell...at a few people who really did need their ego given a reality check

          She doesn't care if a rider is someone like Boyd or Phillip or Karen....if she said go down that line and jump it in 5 strides to 2 strides...she expects riders of this level to get the job done and do it well. Sloppy riding (in position or execution of aids) was unacceptable.

          She was demanding perfection in practice and putting the pressure on in practice. This is something I remember talking to Frank and Mary Chapot about many years ago (I worked for them long ago) And something that I will always remember.

          Frank always put the pressure on you at home...whether you were sitting on a barely broke 4 year old or a more seasoned horse. If you got used to always riding under pressure...always seeking perfection in your practice....you are better able to cope with the pressure in competition.

          As Jimmy Wofford often says...practice does not make perfect...only perfect pratice makes perfect. (I think I got that right

          It is something that I've seen in all the great trainers. She was demanding each rider to really improve.....no matter who you are or your past success....there is always room for improvement.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


          • #6
            She was demanding perfection in practice and putting the pressure on in practice.

            I did a clinic with Anne Kursinski a few years ago and she said to us all -

            when you go in the ring at the olympics you don't get a re-do if you don't get it right the first time. Why practice needed a re-do at home. GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

            It was a really good clinic -while she put the bar high, she didn't ask us to do the impossible, but did a lot of things that pointed out where we could easily do better. (if you managed to halt, why can't you manage a halfhalt)

            Sorry, sidetracking a bit, but it sounds like the same attitude - the basics work - so do them, and don't slack off.