Based on my longtime practice as an active FEI dressage rider, instructor, clinician and Grand Prix Judge, the three cornerstones of my own training philosophy called "Distinguished Riding" took shape. Main focus is to build up a harmonious communication between horse and rider, in order to improve the natural movements of the horse underneath the rider and to develop the potential of any horse.
What does this term mean and what is the concept behind it?
means the fusion of the insight for the physique and psyche of the horse, sensual perception and intuition,
with the purpose of an invisible communication to achieve a mental harmony between rider and horse which is based on confidence, attention and tolerance.
The first cornerstone is characterized by the term "Insight"
"Riding commences in the rider's head."
Understanding for equestrian essentials can only be accomplished through the knowledge of the physique and psyche of the horse. The intensive study of the processes of the special biomechanics of the horse is of utmost importance, since specific thought patterns and riding techniques can be deduced from the elements of the physique.
Thereby I deem it necessary to convey the logics of aiding to reach a deeper understanding why a specific aid must be applied in a certain way and not in another.
The learning of mental techniques is indispensible to see things from the horse's perspective and to ride successfully whatever success may mean to the individual rider.
What we think about ourselves and our horse, be it conscious or subconscious, is going to control success or failure of the team human/horse.
By means of targeted mental training the riders will be enabled to use their potentials and resources, overcome blockades and to deal more effectively with issues like lack of confidence, undifferentiated aiding, false moving patterns etc.
The second cornerstone is characterized by the term:
Perception means ideational realization and the comprehension of
sensorial information, which we gain through contact with the horse.
It is vital to facilitate the rider the feeling of lightness and freedom in order to win the horse as a willing partner through mutual communication. I would like to convey to any student that the sensation of the movements, the suppleness and the impulsion in connection with the lessons are important milestones during the development of the riding abilities and skills.
It has turned out to be a good idea that at first I ride the horses of the students myself. This way I'm able to empathize with the strengths and weaknesses and the particular motion sequences of the horse. Thereafter I work with the horse to enhance looseness, impulsion and a steady contact depending on the individual circumstances and thus to improve the basics for the performance of the correct lessons. After that the rider may mount his horse again he should be able to sense by himself whether a noticeable change has occurred.
In this moment it is most important that the rider gets the feeling and a clear idea of a swinging horseback, a lighter contact, active hindquarters or a correctly ridden lesson. Should he notice an improvement he should immediately "store" the feeling in his mind and try to recall it any time when needed in the process of the subsequent daily work with his horse. "Who doesn't sense it will never learn it"
The third cornerstone is characterized by the term:
The magic of riding results from the communication between horse and rider, i.e. where human beings and animals meet on the mental level.
It is accomplished when the horse anticipates what the rider intents to do in a specific situation and subconsciously transfers his intent even before giving a certain aid.
It is an essential building block of this training concept to accompany horse and rider in their individual mental and physical development and steadily guide them to a harmonious entity.