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Four things I learned from Greg Best

FORT COLLINS, Colorado -- (Oct. 23, 2010) I headed over to the Equine Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins for a couple hours of (free!) audit time watching the clinic by Olympic medalist, Greg Best. I learned four things:

    1. Stick a crop down the front of your breeches, so it sticks up in front of your face. Try riding at all gaits, AND over jumps. If you can keep the crop from hitting you repeatedly in the face, you’re probably doing a good job of maintaining proper, consistent body position. This isn’t just a parlor trick. Horses perform better for riders they can trust not to flop all over the place.
    2. Shorten your stirrups about three holes. OK, take this with a grain of salt. It is a fact though, that many riders attempting jump courses need to take up their stirrups.
    3. Use a tack taped to the rear quarter of your saddle to tell you whether you’re centered. Again, not another parlor trick, just a sharp way to remind your body about centered position, even while launching, flying and landing after a jump.
  1. 4. Get in shape. Greg Best clinics, which I have audited a number of times, are microcosms of the strength, agility, and endurance you will need to compete. You expect your horse to be in shape, and you should stay fit, too.
    Watch the video for a small sample of a Greg Best riding clinic.

The CSU English Riding Club hosts Greg Best about twice a year, and his next clinic is Aug. 9 & 10, 2011. Save up your money, and sign up. You won’t regret it.

More training: Foolproof flying lead changes

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