After feeding, the duties of interns include mucking out the paddock paradise and stables. Between the tasks there is time to watch Ylvie train her horses and watch lessons she gives to visiting students. Of course as an intern you are also entitled to several lessons per week yourself and the lessons with Ylvie were one of the main reasons why I decided to go for an internship. However, I also wanted to experience a small glimpse of daily routines of running a yard, and feel how it is waking up with sounds of horses every morning!
At the start of my internship Ylvie and I discussed some training issues that I wanted to focus on. A few notable training goals emerged immediately, including a very important exercise called shoulder-in (SI). Riding SI correctly will ask the horse to take more weight on its inside hind leg, which will set the outside shoulder more free. Therefore, SI will strengthen the horse’s hindquarters and releases weight from the more fragile front legs. So, it is not for nothing that Nuno Oliveira named SI the aspirin for horses!
In riding we put the aids in action, while practising the side movements. By asking a little bit of SI and a little bit of QI my aim was to align Zamour’s shoulders with the hips and create a straight, light and balanced horse. “In your stage of training, it is not always about riding a perfect SI or QI. It’s about getting a reaction to your aids and to get Zamour to stays light between the reins. “stresses Ylvie! “If you get that its good”. Further Ylvie outlined following 4 steps that I should follow in my training. And if I get stuck in one of them, I must go back to step 1 and build again from there:
- make sure you have the right swinging of the horses back
- check moveability of the shoulders
- see if you can get the frame of the horse little higher towards forward-forward or even forward-up
- check if you can increase the rhythm and shorten the step to get collection
So Zamour and I had a great trip to Lunteren and a very educational internship! Now we just need to get on with the homework and see how our training develops!
Below also a short video impression of my stay with Ylvie. I hope you enjoy it!