Clinic Christofer Dahlgren

On February 9th and 10th I had the opportunity to participate in the first Christofer Dahlgren clinic in the Netherlands.
I’ve seen lots of video’s of his work and like the suppleness of his horses, the airiness of his aids and especially his longework.

It was a very inspirational weekend with lots of new insights and great discoveries. The atmosphere was very relaxed due to the easy and pleasant way of teaching by Christofer.
Jameson (BIG 12 years old Irish Cob) was his normal energetic self and tried his very best. It was wonderful to hear Christofer emphasizing Jamie’s happy, open character, which enables him to do things beyond what you would predict of a horse with his physic. A lovely quote from Christofer about Jamie: “I’m really a PRE stallion, I’m just big boned”.
He confirmed my finding I need to have short, positive sessions with him because he looses attention fast and gets angry and obstinate when he doesn’t understand something.
For me and many other riders this weekend was about being accurate in the aids so that the horse is reacting to the aids because he understands them and not merely doing the excersice from memory. This also enables the rider to correct parts of the excercise if needed. For instance ask to bring the haunches a little more in or the shoulders a little more out.
An excample of this has been illustrated in the following film:
Haunches in on whip aid

In April I will attend a Ben Hart clinic to develop my Clicker Training skills: a positive, friendly way to train!