On June 17th, 2017 I participated in a clinic with Luis Denizard at Rhythm & Blues Stables in New Jersey. Luis is a Gold Medalist, “L” Graduate, Grand Prix competitor and certified instructor though 4th level. I completed a 45 minute private lesson during the clinic with my 11 year old arabian dutch warmblood who is currently showing 2nd level at recognized shows. First Luis observed my horse at each gait. He then had me get off of my horse and worked on the biomechanics of the rider’s seat and how it influences the horse’s biomechanics. Once mounted, I applied the concepts on the ground and realized how much my seat was impacting my horse’s tension and suppleness. When I was able to find that “sweet spot” in the saddle and facilitate my horse’s movement in a positive manner, his trot (posting and sitting) became more rhythmic and he remained round and quiet on the bit, which prior he was bobbing his head. At the canter, if I did not get in front of the movement, I was able to better help my horse stay forward and balanced more consistently through my proper position and touching with the whip. Something as simple as tweaking my position made me feel empowered and energized. Luis is calm and encouraging. His directions are simple yet effective. He focuses on biomechanics and empowers the horse through proper positioning of the rider’s seat, back, legs, etc. He teaches you how to utilize your position based upon how the horse naturally moves. This clinic helped improved my awareness of not only my horse’s movements, but also the effectiveness of my position. This clinic helped improve the quality of our gaits while decreasing the level of tension and tightness. Working with Luis helped me see how I can improve the quality of my performance at second level.
By Joelle Rybakowski