Day 2: Light Hands Equitation Steve Halfpenny and the incredible Tipperary clinic 2016

By , June 28, 2016 8:31 pm

I got up very early this morning & I was trotting around practicing our homework at 8am.

Today was GREAT! Tons of stuff done by everyone and lots of progress. Coupled with tremendous cakes, great company, lots of fun some rosettes & horsey t-shirts!

Any mistakes are 100% me. Great day & everyone learned a lot with their horses.

Here is what I got up to with Oz today:


We started off with a few trot circles and trot shoulder ins in the middle of the field. Steve said they looked nice, so I asked him what we should do next.

Steve said what about yielding him on the ground, away from you, in trot. The exercise was for Oz to trot around me (grand) and then while Oz trotted, I had to start to run around Oz and he had to yield out of my way, and by himself go back to walk and do a FQ yield away from me, looking where he was going.

I did a lot of running around and got fit. We were doing pretty well, but not as good as Steve had demoed it. Steve helped me out… I was cutting in too close to Oz, which I had to change. Also I had to make sure Oz yielded his whole body away from me, not just half heartedly do it. Its a tough exercise to do properly. but Oz’s trot circles were just LOVELY and relaxed and soft with lovely bend so I was very happy.


We worked on hindquarters in. I started these with Tanja at her clinic, so it was time to keep improving. When I put my leg on to move the hind over, at halt he would move it over but at walk he would just push back into my leg.

So we tried it on a straight line but he was a bit jammed up. We tried it on a circle, using the same circle bend but he was also still jammed up.

We ended up riding a circle, then while on the circle, getting a counter bend (and still staying on the circle), then looking to the outside and moving Oz’s inside hind to the outside. This is one of the trickest ways to teach it but it seemed to be the easiest for Oz.

Two things helped a lot – Steve in the inside of the circle, and then when I did it one handed (to get the right neck bend) and my spare hand just touching him with the dressage stick in time in that hind. We got it!! Then we got half pass for a few steps!! It was G-R-E-A-T!!

I have to remember to keep the forwards and have my inside circle hand forwards. Remember to keep my weight on the inside of the bend.

Also to remember that step 1 is the counter bend. Only when I have this, step 2 is the hindquarters in. My shoulders and pelvis are to stay straight.

Release and walk on when he is still moving, do not wait too long until he has lost forwards.

AFTER HQ IN……………………………………………………

We did a little shoulder in, in the field and also leg yield a la Tanja it was lovely 😀 We also did tear drop style with leg yields in between both ends.

I was working again on the HQ in. I was finding it hard to figure out when Oz was doing a small try so I asked Steve for help. Steve VERY kindly asked me if I’d like him to ride him. I said YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

With Steve, Oz had decided that HQ in was just too tricky, and instead he was trying to push forward and take over, instead of just moving his HQ over 1 step. Poor Steve had to ride a slightly ‘Ozzie of old!’ as Oz threw a minor strop and tried to takeover & run through Steve’s hands. Ozs habit was to tense up and jam u the front end. Even though it was the hind end we wanted to move over, it was the jammed up front end, caused by Oz’s frame of mind, that was the actual issue. OZ was trying just to stop thinking and take over. Steve was like ‘…eh… no!’

Steve was really patient, and his timing was brilliant… after a while Oz was changing and his mind got more supple, his body softened, and he stopped trying to push forwards a step or two. Instead the hind end started to move… Steve said that teaching HQ in is not usually as tricky as this.

Oz was just having a moment.

Steve worked then on HQ in, with the front feet not moving, and so the hind feet were doing a little circle around the front feet.

Steve was letting Oz walk off only after the hind feet took the first step.

This was just brilliant to watch.

I hopped up after and Oz was TONS better. HQ in was now there on both side, Oz was mentally mellow and everything was so much easier.

That’s what happens when a legend rides your horse 😀

Can’t wait to try these tomorrow, as Oz learns so quickly, I think after sleeping on today he will be great tomorrow.

He learns really fast.

Thank you STEVE & IRENA!!!


Want to come to a clinic? Sign up to hear about future clinics: HERE

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy