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Bernie Traurig Clinic in Buenos Aires: fantastic! Complete report and videos.

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  • Bernie Traurig Clinic in Buenos Aires: fantastic! Complete report and videos.

    As I did with Neco Pessoa's clinic, I am posting a review of everything done during the three days.
    First, I have to say that it was a fantastic experience. You can tell Bernie Traurig enjoys training common mortals like us: he pushes and praises plus doesn't let you get away with anything because he knows you can achieve what he is asking of you. He is clear, concise and informative. He pinpoints your troubles, helps you work with them during the three days and gives you homework to make it better, so your improvement continues after the clinic. He enjoys working with anyone that tries hard, has an open mind and strives to learn, no matter what their level is. He is coming back in September and I have already saved my spot for both of my horses.
    I highly recommend you log into his site (equestriancoach.com) as a guide/helper after the clinic: if you have doubts or need a refresher, it's all there (plus more info with other coaches).
    I recommend his clinic to anyone wanting to learn the true basics of riding (he keeps it so wonderfully simple), full of teachings form greats like Littauer, Chapot, Steinkraus and DeNemethy. What more can you ask for?
    So, with no more delay, on the next post, there will be a written review of the clinic and, on another post, all the links to the videos of the clinic (sorry, no diagrams this time, but I explained the exercises and distances in the review).
    Over what hill? Where? When? I don\'t remember any hill....

  • Original Poster

    The written report:


    How to warm up:

    Start with a long and low frame. Use your outside rein on the long side to encourage the nose to stretch down. Walk with a following hand to maintain a quality gait. Use your inside rein to flex the poll but for a short period of time, not holding it, but flex and let go, flex and let go, making sure the horse is relieved of pressure when he flexes (and this way we don’t overflex and reward him by relieving pressure when he is submissive). Every time you use an aid, make sure there is a reaction, if not you will be making your horse dull to your aids. Make many prompt transitions walk-stop with no leg, but only hand. Back up with only hand, no leg (no clashing aids). If the horse resists, stay with the pressure…at one point it will go back at least a step to relieve it. In that precise moment, after that step back, let go and move forward, patting, so he understands that if he goes back, the pressure will stop. Make many direction changes with half circles for lateral flexion, ribcage suppleness and obedience\aid response. Trot with following hand to encourage good gaits. Make some transitions in speed, following hand and with leg to move up and closing your fingers with no leg to decrease speed, but using your legs when you feel your horse needs it because he is about o stop. This leg aid should be precise: not before to create confusion and clash, but not to late so that he stops or goes into a walk. Trot in a circle flexing and straightening and changing directions so to not bore the horse and improving suppleness. Practice some flying changes: open “inside rein” (the rein in which the horse is galloping with), keep him absolutely straight, collect three strides or more and ask for the change with “inside “ leg (the leg the horse was galloping to). DO NOT CHANGE OR MOVE SIDEWAYS OF THE TRACK!! KEEP STRAIGHT!! Correct the bulging shoulder with an opposing opening rein and not an indirect rein!

    1)canter to a ground pole-3 easy strides-2ft vertical-prompt transition to walk
    2)canter to ground pole-3 easy strides to 2ft vertical-12ft bump to 2ft vertical-canter collected-flying change if necessary- forward canter-prompt transition to walk
    3)canter to ground pole-3 easy strides to 2ft vertical-12ft bump to 2ft vertical-1 stride to 2’6”vertical-1 stride to offset oxer-canter to flying change (if necessary)-diagonal-flying change-forward following rein canter-collect-prompt transition to walk
    4)canter to ground pole-3 easy strides to 2ft vertical-12ft bump to 2ft vertical-1 stride to 2’6”vertical-1 stride to offset oxer-1 stride to square oxer-canter to flying change (if necessary)-diagonal to offset oxer-flying change (if necessary)-forward following rein canter-collect-prompt transition to walk

    Second Day
    We basically warmed up in the way he explained yesterday, everyone on concentrating on fixing the flaws marked the day before:
    1)start long and low
    2)multiple changes of direction
    3)flex and let go
    4)prompt transitions
    5)upward and downward transitions during trot and canter

    The jumping exercises consisted in trotting a 2’3”vertical with a 9ft ground pole in front and back for the horse to get round over a jump. Once that was done we had to trot over the same vertical and when after the jump the horse cantered, get him back to a trot and jump over a water jump with a vertical 3ft vertical to obtain obedience and response from your horse in backwards transitions. Later, with the same vertical to water line, we had to add or subtract a stride in it, depending on the difficulties each horse had: we trotted in (with the 9ft ground pole) and did a normal 7 or a steady 8 in a 72ft distance. Then that same line, we did it the other way around: enter cantering to the water jump (3’6”) and ask for a trot in the middle the line to a small 2’6” vertical with a 9ft ground poles both in take off and landing sides. This was also mainly for obedience and response, to get the horses alert and under themselves. Last exercise of the day was a line made up of a 9ft ground pole to a small 2’6” vertical, 4 very easy strides (13.5m) to a triple, 2 forward strides to a square oxer and 2 normal strides to another oxer. This was to show how correct position and suppleness affects your distance in some lines: if you weren’t quick enough recovering in the first stride because of faulty position (or you let your horse too loose in the first stride) you couldn’t make the four correctly and you would chip and then land on the spread pole of the square oxer after the triple. The key was to get the first three strides really easy and supple to have a nice, natural distance to the triple so the square oxer would not be such a long stretch. This helped us be alert on where our body was and be quick with our aids in asking what we wanted. After every exercise, we had to continue doing something referred to our flatwork training, depending on what each horse needed most. In my case I had to continue a forward gallop (to encourage my horse to reach for the bit) then do a downward transition to a shorter canter to end with a prompt transition to the walk, to make him alert and supple. Each horse needed different things after the jump exercise and what Bernie wanted is to teach us to be aware of our training at all times (“be on the job”) so as to continue the flatwork even during a jumping session and to have a purpose for everything we asked of our horses.

    The last day was a compilation of all we worked on the previous days. We all warmed up according to our horses’ needs. After that he explained a 7 jump course and practiced some lines before we did the whole thing. The first practice was a left turn 5 or 6 stride bending line (vertical to oxer) showing us how an opening outside rein with a direct inside rein, just above the withers, moves the shoulders to the outside track, enabling to add a stride (the 6 stride choice) instead of a direct forward 5 stride. Next practice was a vertical, a steady 5 strides to a vertical-vertical one stride combination. In my case, my big 17.3h chestnut mare was a Little forward and we did a prompt transition to a stop a couple of times until she understood she had to listen to my aids (and the 5 strides fit perfectly in there!). The trick was to jump the first vertical before the combination very steady. The third practice was a water jump with a long 5 strides to a vertical: you had to come into the water jump with a long distance and keep forward to the last vertical and hold the last stride so the jump is not flat. The course was then added up with all these lines (plus a couple of solo jumps):
    2)bending line (5 or 6 stride) to an oxer
    3)right turn to a vertical
    4)5 steady strides to a one stride vertical-vertical combination
    5)full left turn to a triple
    6)right turn to the water jump
    7)5 long strides to a vertical
    End of course

    This all added up to what we did during the three days: flatwork with suppling and responsiveness, stride and body control and analyzing a course on day three. Very organized and comprehensive, like building blocks to good riding.

    *always listen to what your horse is telling you! If he raises his head and is stiff in his back it’s because you are using too much leg when trying to collect, if he flips his head, it’s too much bit (or it’s uncomfortable), if he goes behind the bit, it’s too much contact.
    *always work with a purpose, making sure it is teaching something. Be always on the job!
    *keep correct leg placement for the job at hand
    *have a following hand to maintain quality gaits
    *be aware of clashing aids and avoid confusion
    *if you use an aid, your horse should be 100% responsive always
    Last edited by faraway46; Apr. 23, 2011, 05:11 PM.
    Over what hill? Where? When? I don\'t remember any hill....



    • #3
      Great write-up and superb vids!! Thank you so much!!!
      "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for the input WarAdmiral!

        It was a great experience. As I did with Neco Pessoa's clinic, I tried to describe what we did so others can try to practice some tips.
        Incredibly so, some principles he explained are common knowledge (they even sounded too basic) but when you train on your own for some time, you tend to get sloppy or careless, thinking basic is irrelevant. This clinic really spiffed me up and reminded me how important the simple things are. Having a keen eye on the ground, like Bernie's, was fantastic because he really pinpoints the problems.
        As I said before, I will do this clinic again in Sept. and, in the meantime, his website (equestriancoach.com) is helping me keep up with his training methods.
        A truly worthwhile experience.
        Over what hill? Where? When? I don\'t remember any hill....



        • #5
          Thanks for the post.
          Nobody puts baby in a corner


          • #6
            Yes, thank you! I always enjoy your clinic write-ups...


            • #7
              Thank you so much for the write up and videos.

              You and your horse are a beautiful pair. I LOVE the chestnut with the blaze that Bernie was riding. Are these all Argentine horses? GORGEOUS!
              ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


              • Original Poster

                Thanks Snaffle!

                Originally posted by snaffle635 View Post
                Thank you so much for the write up and videos.

                You and your horse are a beautiful pair. I LOVE the chestnut with the blaze that Bernie was riding. Are these all Argentine horses? GORGEOUS!
                Yes, all bred in Argentina. Mine is a Quick Star/Luck Boy grandson.
                The chestnut mare (yes, mare... nice enough to forget the "no chestnut mare" rule, eh?) is ridden by my friend, Fernando. She is showing in the 1.40 divisions (about 8 y.o.) and Bernie loved her, too. She turned out to be the teacher's pet...hehehe . There is great breeding in Argentina, fortunately.

                Thanks for the compliments on my mini-sized, quirky gelding. I'm more of a trier than a talent and he let's me get away with everything. He's my pride and joy.

                I'm glad you enjoyed the review. Hopefully, everyone can try to post good learning experiences and let everyone dig into great info on this board! I have found a wealth of info here and I'm just trying to give back a little to the pool.
                Over what hill? Where? When? I don\'t remember any hill....