Great Teams and Systems Build Success

I provide Dressage lessons to clients at Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis,  Alberta. The western lilt of the barn’s name and that our regular clinician is regarded as one of the most renown hunter/jumper equitation coaches in Canada should peak your interest in our program.

We have a team and our team has a system, a program for developing skill sets for horse and rider. We practice correct aids and communication with our horses from Walk/Trot to Grand Prix.

I know this may sound simplistic, but without a basic system of understanding between horse and human, it is difficult to achieve a harmonious progression in Dressage.

I’m fortunate to be able to work with Chris Brand and reinforce the material presented in the bi-monthly clinics. It’s my job to keep the lesson program consistent and clients true to their journey between Chris’s  regular visits to Black Whiskey Ranch.

We are taking new clients in at this time. We work with jump riders to improve their skills over fences too. Call Bev 403-616-5771 for information on boarding your horse at our barn.

 

 

 

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I’m working with riders and horse out of Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis Alberta. Don’t let the western lilt of the barn name fool you, or the fact that the resident clinician is hailed as one of the countries greatest hunter/jumper men and horse trainers. We at Black whiskey, are developing a consistent system of training horses and riders from Walk/trot through training Grand Prix level movements.

Chris Brand gives regular clinics. every two weeks, and I keep the lesson program moving forward with consistency, reinforcing the basics. This builds on the success of the regular clinics with Chris.

If you are looking for a team approach to help you achieve success in Dressage and Jumping, consider our barn, Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis Alberta, 403-616-5771

 

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c.parentNode.insertBefore(cp, c); })(); </script><noscript>Powered by Cincopa <a href=’https://www.cincopa.com//media-platform/html-slideshow’>HTML Slideshow</a> for Business solution.<span>Clinics at Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis AB</span><span>Images of Chris Brand teaching Dressage at Black Whiskey Ranch, with Kimberly Cox Competition Coach Specialist </span><span>Chris Brand Schooling Sonny</span><span>Lateral work for staightness and suppling the horse</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2120</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 5:18:38 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 1531</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Long lining a young horse</span><span>Ground driving a young horse is an essential part of the system</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 1404</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 8:02:28 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 937</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris Brand in the tack</span><span>One of the few true horsemen in our area.</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2233</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 5:56:28 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 2092</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris brand teaches a young rider</span><span>Great skills are progressive and systematic</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2448</span><span>orientation</span><span> 1</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 3:38:11 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 3264</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris Brand works with Bev &amp; Neo</span><span>Adjusting the Rider’s leg position for canter work</span><span>flash</span><span> 32</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 960</span><span>orientation</span><span> 6</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.4</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 3:09:26 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 720</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPad 2</span></noscript>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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c.parentNode.insertBefore(cp, c); })(); </script><noscript>Powered by Cincopa <a href=’https://www.cincopa.com//media-platform/html-slideshow’>HTML Slideshow</a> for Business solution.<span>Clinics at Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis AB</span><span>Images of Chris Brand teaching Dressage at Black Whiskey Ranch, with Kimberly Cox Competition Coach Specialist </span><span>Chris Brand Schooling Sonny</span><span>Lateral work for staightness and suppling the horse</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2120</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 5:18:38 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 1531</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Long lining a young horse</span><span>Ground driving a young horse is an essential part of the system</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 1404</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 8:02:28 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 937</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris Brand in the tack</span><span>One of the few true horsemen in our area.</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2233</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 5:56:28 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 2092</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris brand teaches a young rider</span><span>Great skills are progressive and systematic</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2448</span><span>orientation</span><span> 1</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 3:38:11 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 3264</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris Brand works with Bev &amp; Neo</span><span>Adjusting the Rider’s leg position for canter work</span><span>flash</span><span> 32</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 960</span><span>orientation</span><span> 6</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.4</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 3:09:26 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 720</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPad 2</span></noscript>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Cox – Competition Coach Specialist Dressage

Kim Cox is awarded her Competition Coach Specialist Dressage through Equine Canada
Kim Cox is awarded her Competition Coach Specialist Dressage accreditation through Equine Canada

I am the first candidate in the province of Alberta, Canada to achieve my Competition Coach Specialist Dressage accreditation. This certification is backed by Equine Canada, the Coaching Association of Canada and administered by the Alberta Equestrian Federation.
The process involves reaching or exceeding all 7 certification outcomes to be mastered. Some of these outcomes are theory based and others are evaluated in person by expert evaluators chosen by Equine Canada. I was evaluated by Dale Irwin and Maureen Walters, both hailing from British Columbia.
My evaluators observed my preparation of a Fourth Level student at the recent CA/ADA Mardi Gras gold show to ride her test. The warm up evaluation includes both the horse and rider. The goal of the warm-up is to achieve suppleness and harmony in both. Some riders need to be pushed in the warm up and some need to be kept calm. Horses need to be ready and in a mind set to listen to the rider’s aids without distraction in a new and sometimes scary environment. The competition coach‘s job is to bring all the training and expertise together to maximize the performance. The coach takes care of all the logistics, making sure the rider is kept free of pre-test distractions and can offer 100% attention on the task at hand. Keeping tabs on contingencies, hydration breaks, medications (asthma), timing of the warm-up and checking with the ring-steward for the order of go are all part of the pre-performance requirements. This is all part of outcome 6, “Supporting the Competitive Experience”.
Hopefully all the pre-test warm-up and training has led to a successful test. I was so very pleased with my student and her horse. This was her debut at Fourth Level and as one of the evaluators exclaimed, “She has launched”. That being said, even a less stellar test has its merits from a learning perspective. This leads to the coach being able to logically debrief the athlete and comment knowledgeably and complete Outcome 3 – Analyze Performance.
After the competition piece of my evaluation, we reconvened the same evening at the facility where I coach. The evaluators were to view Outcome 2 – Support Athletes in Training. I prepared and taught 4 different lessons to 4 horse/rider combinations on topics chosen from the Competition Coach Specialist Dressage protocol. One lesson involves correctly and safely teaching a student to improve the horse through lunging. The other lessons topics I chose were improving the half halt, exercises to improve the half-pass and riding 10m circles.
The evaluators asked me to switch my lesson focus in situ, to improve a rider’s equitation. A good coach can think on her feet, and the evaluators were asking me to show adaptive management. This happens in training lessons frequently. A coach may have a plan, but a horse and rider can enter into a training session with some issue that needs to be addressed before moving forward.
Planning for all training of horses and riders in my care are part of Outcomes 4 and 5, Designing and Managing an Equestrian Sports Program. All equine and human athletes are on a time line of progress. The riders are classified as to their LTED (Long Term Equestrian Development) level and the horses are progressing along the Scale of Training. Improvement in dressage is not linear, nor constant. Coaching identifies areas in both athletes that need remediation and develops exercises that benefits both. YTP (Year Training Plan) is a flexible model that accommodates strengths and weaknesses in athletes. It also includes augmented training, such as weight training, Pilates, yoga and other modalities to improve rider fitness. Horses are also on a competition program of enhanced equine health, including dental and veterinary care, massage, chiropractic adjustments, saddle fit and farriery. The YTP is a time line divided into phases in the competition year, with attention to rest and recovery cycles for both horse and rider. The YTP is part of the written work submitted to the evaluators before the practical examination.
I feel my tenure as a Physical Education Teacher and High School Coach helped me formulate successful year training plans for riders. As an athlete, I can appreciate the importance of planning for progress, and as an equestrian I know what it takes to bring a horse along in training. The end result is a harmonious relationship between horse and rider.

CalgaryDressage.com…..Tools for success in the Dressage Court

CalgaryDressage pictures
Showing in Del Mar

The Digital Horse visual aid for learning dresage tests.

I ‘ve found it is better to learn all my dressage tests by memory.  It goes beyond memory, I learn them “by heart”.  In this way I use my anticipation and sequencing skills to help prepare for the next movement.

If there is soft music in the background of our ride I use it to “dance” to with my horse.  If there is no music I ride with a tune in my head.  When I studied dance at Uot C years ago, no one would talk us through the moves from the curtain, in gymnastics you need to remember your floor routine or you couldn’t sequence your tumbling lines, one portion of the routine flowed and built on the next.

I have been in the trenches of training level and I know nerves can play interference with memory. Have a reader if you must to keep yourself secure. I urge all of my riders to know their tests upside douwn and backwards.  Practice a sequence of 2 or 3 moves at a time untill they flow.  Dance with your horse.

Another way to learn your tests is to draw them out on a dressage court template.  This method suits visusal learners best.  Riders can visualize where the next transition takes place.  You make a dressage map for your test.  Advanced riders can add in half halts or what “feel” they should experience at each transition. Preparation points are critical, for example you can’t wait to get to a letter before asking to start a circle, shoulder in or half pass.

Good luck with this, see you at the shows.

Kim

 

 

 

Calgary Dressage prepares for the Mane Event in Red Deer April 26 – 28, 2013

 

Tom Dvorak at Mane Event 2013 in Red Deer
Tom Dvorak

The Mane Event, Equine Education & Trade Fair at Westerner Park in Red Deer, April 26 – 28, 2013 is pleased to announce our jumping/equitation clinician and dressage clinicians for this year are:

George Morris  and Tom Dvorak

If you would like to participate in their sessions or simply audit please visit http://www.maneeventexpo.com for details or call (250) 578-7518 for http://www.fridayhilldressage.com/page.asp?pageid=10002

Calgary Dressage…Riding Dressage Tests – Preparation

Haflingers rule
Think ahead of your horse.

At a recent clinic on general horsemanship, the clinician repeated over and over again he was “getting the horse ready” to move or complete a task.  He was preparing the horse to choose the correct way to move based on his preparation.  This took me a moment to realize that this is what we as dressagers must do in order to succeed at the number of transitions we ride during a Dressage test.

It occurs to me that it is not so much the trot lengthening that we show that earns us our mark, but how we prepare for that diagonal line.  It is how we set up the horse on the short side and the turn onto that diagonal that sets the score.

This is a difficult mental task for some amateur riders who may be dealing with show nerves. Some riders are a little tight themselves during a test.  I think we could turn this around by not focusing on riding the movement (the diagonalfor example), but breaking down how we need to set up the horse. s  Any time you can focus on small things that can set your horse up and allow the horse to perform, it helps with show nerves.  If you are focused on preparation, the horse can then do his job.  Setting the horse up is proactive.  Trying to fix a bad line is reactive, and a futile attempt at best.

Sometimes that means riding a letter ahead.  I used to think I had to ride to the letter. This made me “late” in my transitions and behind in my thinking. Also when things didn’t work out the way I had planned, my nerves would increase and I would get tight.  Now I try to not ride the test, but prepare my horse for the upcoming transition. We still end up at or close to the letter, but my thinking has changed.

My thinking ahead of my horse has helped him become calmer and more willing to do his job.  After all I am suppoed to be the benevolent leader and then allow him to perform.  It has taken me awhile that making him do a transition is not as effective or asthetic as seting him up and allowing him to follow through.

I hope this insight helps other dressagers out there.

 

The Origins of Dressage

The history of Dressage is celebrated in this video of the tradition of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria.

Dressage is the art of perfecting the natural gait.  It is the perfect 4-beat in the walk, the precise 2-beat of the trot and the even 3-beat of the canter (as the 4th beat is the breath of  suspension).   Horse and rider are said to be two hearts, with one mind, reaching the pinnacle of training.