Past Clinic – Linda Zang Ride a Test Clinic 5/19/15

February 8, 2016
Linda Zang Clinic at CDI 5/19/15
by Janet Richardson-Pearson
Even though I am one of the many local riders who learned about dressage riding at Linda Zang’s Idlewilde Farm, I had never attended one of her clinics. She was at the Chesapeake Dressage Institute on May 9th for a Ride-A-Test Clinic, and I was incredibly impressed! What a wealth of knowledge and advice she had for each and every rider.  The auditors, too, were simply amazed and remarked that they saw every horse and rider improve through the lesson.  Linda would say, “give me a problem”, then answer by announcing, “I can fix that!” And she would! Every ride improved.  It was amazing!
I guess we locals kind of take her for granted, since she has been such a part of dressage in our area for a long, long time. I remember when riders at her farm had bumper stickers that said, “Dressage – ask me what it means”, (or something similar), because very few did know!
Her background is broad and deep – from being one of the earlier riders to study in Europe, then a member of the U.S. Olympic Team. And on to being a U.S. FEI 5*Judge and now on the Dressage Judges Supervisory Panel. She still gives individual and clinic training and is very respected for her accomplishments and expertise throughout the horse world.  We are indeed lucky to have her in our area.
The tests ran the gamut from Training Level to Intermediare I, and a common theme throughout was the rider’s position.  While that is not a new concept, these instructions fine-tuned each rider in ways that were instantly noticeable.
There was also a lot of emphasis on the “core”, and she commented that, “the upper body holds, controls and collects”.
One rider’s instructions were, when going to the right, to twist the lower part of her body to the inside, and the top part to the outside, – actually turning her shoulder in that direction – not what one would normally think to do.
Another rider was told that she leaned to the side and that in a test, she would lose a point per movement for that.  Linda also told her that her horse’s nose should be at the letter, not the shoulder before starting a circle.  It is these fine points that add or subtract numbers from your score.
Here are comments from some of the riders in the clinic:

I thoroughly enjoyed my ride in the Linda Zang clinic. Linda truly had a way of making me feel at ease. She started by adjusting my body position with longer stirrups. What an amazing ride that Ty and I had. From the beginning of the ride until the end we made such huge improvements. I can still hear her saying” supple supple supple- half halt. I would love to ride in a clinic with her again!

Cheryl Cavalier & Ty


Thank you for hosting such a great clinic.  I really appreciated Linda’s insightful remarks.  What I liked most, is here ability to “explain the why”, not just give directions.  She tied everything together, the exercises and the biomechanics of me and my big horse.  More importantly, she was concerned that I understood.   It worked!   I am looking forward to your next clinic with her.

Lori Willis

I rode two horses with Linda. She gave me great exercises for each horse that immediately improved the balance and quality of movement for the test. She is funny, articulate and a blast to ride with!

Lisa Gruen


What an opportunity – to be able to work with an Olympic judge doing a fix-a-test!  Linda has such an amazing eye for detail and doesn’t miss a beat.  She helped me polish my test by working on the finer details and exact geometry.  For example, she would explain where the judges like to see the placement of the pirouettes and how to ride before and after each pirouette.  She also put her trainer’s hat on and helped me with subtle rider position changes to help set up for the next movement.  I really appreciated the opportunity to work with her and many thanks to CDI for hosting the clinic at their lovely facility.
Hallie Ahrnsbrak


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