Dressage Clinic At Cranesfield Farm
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Reprinted with permission from Mid-South Horse Review
FAHRENHEIT, a Westphalian, is shown free lunging in the walled round pen. This training technique allows the horse to work, learning to round his back, without the weight or interference from the rider. FAHRENHEIT was in the top ten 2004 USDF Horse of the Year standings at second level.
On April 22-24, Delta Dressage Association sponsored a weekend training clinic April 22-24 with Sarah Martin, United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Certified dressage instructor and USDF Gold Medalist from Longmont, Colorado. Sarah spent the weekend at Cranesfield Farm, south of Macon, Tennessee in Fayette County, teaching dressage riders and their horses how to improve their performance. Clinic participants included a wide range of training levels in dressage, from 1st through 4th level, up to beginning FEI. They came from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
Sarah works with riders using multiple teaching and training methods, including free lunging in a walled round pen, long lining, and work under saddle to teach the horses how to work through their backs; by doing so they respond better to their rider's aids. Each rider is taught how to respond to the horse's needs on the ground and under saddle, and how to ask firmly but tactfully for a higher level of performance.
Sarah has teaching and training skills that last well beyond the clinic experience. She gives very precise directions for the use of seat, leg, and rein aids. She thoroughly explains the use of these aids for each horse and rider pair at their level of training, and is extremely detailed in her approach to helping riders understand what to do and why to do it. She explains why the riders should use particular aids and training methods with their horses. Because of this teaching technique, non-riders who audit the clinics can learn a lot as well, and the riders take home an understanding of what to continue doing to develop their horses. She is unique in this talent. So, at the end of the clinic on Sunday, each horse-rider pair finished with a clearer understanding of their partnership and of their "homework" assignments for the next couple of months. They had "tools" to take home to continue what they started in the clinic.
Sarah and Clayton Martin operate a dressage training stable, Taka Chi Dressage, in Longmont, CO. They have successfully guided their students to multiple USDF Horse of the Year awards and to Junior Young Rider Championships. Clay and Sarah come regularly to Cranesfield Farm for dressage clinics. Auditors and new riders are always welcome. Contact Jane Crane at 901-854-6651.