Day 1: Light Hands Equitation Steve Halfpenny and the incredible Tipperary clinic 2016

By , June 27, 2016 8:04 pm

Steve Halfpenny started his Irish clinic today! It went great, lots of fun. Here is what Oz and I got up to.

I hope it makes some sort of sense, my head feels very full right now. Anything that isn’t clear is 100% my fault. Oz & Steve were genius as always 😀


– Walk in circles. Ask for the inside hind leg to step under. A horse falls in because they are looking out. Asking the inside hind leg to step under results in the horses head looking in more.
– Backup from suggestion. I was asking Oz to backup but even though I was putting energy into it, Oz was doing it physically (slowly) but not mentally. So Steve took over and changed things so Oz was now listening to us. Before he was zoning me out a bit. This got very good. So we did backup from suggestion to follow a feel with turns right and left. After Oz turned, he would check in to see if that was it (stop) or if we were going to continue out on a circle (great). I have to realise that instead of thinking I’m working, look at see what result I’m getting from Oz.
– Backup from suggestion – the amount of slack in the rope should stay the same.
– Shoulder in on a straight line.
– I decided then we should try stuff in trot. We ended up getting nice trot circles. I moved the inside hind leg under to get a little more neck bend. And then a huge change resulted every time Oz rushed in trot, and I blocked his forward movement a bit, then we got a lot of slower elevated gorgeous relaxed Spanish style trot, with his weight now more on his hindquarters (instead of his forequarters), and his withers elevated.
– We did trot sidepasses in the middle of the field both sides which were very cool.
– We did trot shoulder in on a circle (I think anyway!)
– I know I did a lot of running and Oz looked pretty amazing.
– Did my first attempt at canter leg yield groundwork!


– Circle in walk. If Oz’s body is straight, the move his HQ out. If Oz is looking out and his shoulder is falling in, then I need to walk faster which really helps this a lot. Then we went up to trot to help it even more and circles got better again.

– I need to pay attention that we don’t get too much bend. Just a little, and then this bend is used for lots of moves.

– Trot. Oz was lazy and didn’t want to trot for too long. I explained we had too. Then we did a ton of trotting around and he was great. We ended up with a very floatly equal leg yield across the field which felt really good.

– Trot circles. We worked on first a normal trot circle, then a circle where the HQ were on their own outside circle track, then back to a normal trot circle. Need to do more of these tomorrow.

– Serpentines in walk, head at a 90 degree angle. I did this for about 15-20 mins. Oz was getting much softer as they progressed. I need to change my leg position, depending on the direction. I was looking for the front foot to step sideways (when he did this it felt like he was on wheels). Focused on turning one way or the other, very little straight line steps.

Great Day. I need to somehow cancel Steve & Irena’s boat back to the UK & keep them here for a few more weeks 😀 Great to see lots of old & new friends here too today.

One Response to “Day 1: Light Hands Equitation Steve Halfpenny and the incredible Tipperary clinic 2016”

  1. Pearl Stephenson says:

    Sooo good to read about the clinic & what you got up to. I’m going to read it a few dozen times to remember & try to perform same exercises. Was thinking about ye all week. Wish id been there. Thanks Elaine

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