The arena was then changed to a jumping arena, and the jumps set up like this:
So there we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the horses that The Olympian Silver Medalist believes are in the same sphere as our dear Pipster. In rides a Giant red horse, with a very skinny little rider. Then arrives a Big Black Horse, and then after a few moments a dark bay smaller horse. Miranda felt that the little Horse was about the same size as Pippi, and we later found out that he was 15.3 hh. (his Trainer sat behind us.) Pippi would have been the littles one, no surprise there as she tends to be the little one.
Peter Leone was introduced, and started his clinic asking the riders to circle the arena while he spoke and gave us a run down of what he called his "Riding Principles."
These are the things I took away:
"Less is more; less bit, less equipment, less exercises, less fuss." Leone stated that one should do what works, no less and more importantly NO MORE. Don't over complicate riding, it is simple, keep it simple, and use the least of what works for you and your equine partner.
"Horses like Routine, and comfort in repetition, but you must keep the work interesting." These are of course opposing goals, so the key is to "routinely integrate the unexpected." Do the same old thing in a new way. In different orders, in different places, with different obstacles.
Riding Principles: 1. Straight & Forward. Easier said than done. But always the main goal.
2. Ride Back to Front.
"The bulk of a horse is from its shoulder to its tail." People who try to control the front end should consider that they in fact only have "contact" with 1/2" of horse on either side of its mouth, only 1" of bit contact in which to try to control all that mass. Think of all the contact with horse you have with legs and seat, and remember that those are fundamental while hands are secondary.
Hind end is the engine; control the engine and the horse is yours.
"The shape of the horse arriving at the jump, determines the shape of the horse going over the jump." Flat, inverted, curved, coiled, etc.
And again: "Riding is simple, we want to get good enough to keep it simple."
Then he introduced the Riders and Horses (left to right):
Big Red Horse,10yo TB 17hh+, Showjumper, never told name (Big Red?), and Bridget, professional.
Big Black Horse, 8yo TB 17hh, EQ. Hunter, never told name (Big Black?), and Jody, 3-4 years riding.
Pheonix, age unknown, 15.3hh, Hunters, and Morgan, 12 years riding.
Leone wanted them to pretend they were in a Flat class, "let's check your positions, because Good Position Enables Good Function."