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Andreas Helgestrand Masterclass © 2010 Walter Berger ADip AppSc (H. Mgt)

In November 2008 Andreas Helgestrand presented a Masterclass at Equitana 2008 in Melbourne. There were 6 Riders and horses lucky enough to be involved in this. There was a lot of information passed on in a relatively short time, so here are some of the points Helgestrand shared. These comments should be taken in context with regards to the particular horse and the level of training the horse is at.

Gary Lung - GB Winchester (5Yr old)

  • Do the opposite of what Horse wants to do, instead of fighting do transitions.
  • When collecting don’t sit too tight.
  • When stiff on one side do half halts on that side
  • You can’t extend the trot by just pushing the horse forward. It is developed from half halts and collecting the trot to get the horse working and pushing from behind.
  • When asking for more forward or for an upward transition give with your hands to let your horse know he has done the right thing
  • Make lots of collect and forward transitions within the pace. Don’t hold horse too tight in canter as they will loose forward.

Gitte Donvig - Shiraz Black (5Yr old stallion)

  • If asked to go forward use whip if there is no reaction to leg.
  • It’s not possibly to do a nice Grand Prix with a lazy horse. You need them to be a little hot to get that movement.
  • Better to do changes early so they get used to it rather than only start training it when they need to do it. That way they get less stressed.
  • Lots of transitions back and forward again. Use of half halts and leg and maybe whip to get hind legs to come under.
  • Sometimes go forward a bit more to make sure horse is thinking forward.

Kate Taylor-Wheat - World Star (6Yr old)

  • Forward should come from leg, whip should be use only if needed.
  • Need forward and power in canter to help with changes.
  • It is easier to train higher level movement on younger horse, but not too much as they need to build strength.
  • For the start of canter pirouette start with haunches in. Keep strength and jump. Don’t do too much and then back out and forward to keep canter.

Clare Porz - Candi Ka (8Yr old Prix St George)

  • If the horse is not doing something, both the rider and the horse have to react.
  • When the horse is not working from behind use half halts and maybe whip to get back legs working under horse.
  • Horse has to work not the rider.
  • Horse has to be in front of leg before doing pirouette.
  • Right leg and right rein together, left and left to keep straight in changes and stop the horse running away. But prepare the horse first and keep forward thinking.
  • To collect equals to stop the front but keep working from behind.

Brett Parbury – Welthill (Intermediaire I)

  • If the horse has a slow rhythm push forward a bit sometimes to improve things, make it flashier.
  • With extensions, don’t always do whole long sides, but sometimes collect then forward to get horse to push off from behind.
  • Same principles re forward of paces apply to all horses regardless of education,
  • To improve tempi changes slowly only do one or two at first so horse does not get tense.

Marianne Crawford – Amanda (Helgestrand rode)

  • The horse should be supple and light before you start pushing the trot in lateral work.
  • Don’t always ride shorter collected paces as you will lose forward in jump.

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