First “Training the Trainer” Clinic held at Chesapeake Dressage Institute
with Grand Prix Rider and Trainer Jan Brons
by Janet Richardson-Pearson
When Jan Brons asks a horse for a response from an aid, it better happen. That was one of his strongest messages repeated over and over at the Chesapeake Dressage Institute’s “Training the Trainer” clinic.
In response to expressed interest from local instructors and trainers who spend countless hours working with their students, but hardly ever get to have advanced training for themselves, we have organized a series of clinics from top level Grand Prix riders. Not only are they serious competitors in the show ring, they also are highly respected instructors, as well. Trainers were offered early registration before opening the clinic to others.
Jan (pronounced Yon), is a dedicated competitor, sometimes riding four or more horses a day in a show, as well as being a successful instructor, with a waiting list for his teaching and national clinics. Working with Robert Dover for close to a decade, he knows what it takes to be successful. With clinics in Chicago, Tennessee and California, we felt fortunate to have been included in his roster.
His instruction was clear and concise and he had riders working hard on three basics – forward, responsive and straight.
Some of his comments include statements like:
- “When you touch him with your leg, he better be breathing fire.”
- “ When he throws you a trick, hoping you’ll go away, it is not “let’s make a deal.”
- “When you touch with an aid, he should respond like a Ferrari, not a diesel truck.”
- “ No matter what – he must stay on the line you’re on and the gait you’re in.”
- “Touch him, he must immediately answer you, then you must get quiet.”
- “Think about the activity on the hind legs – he needs the hind legs to be more correct to build up his back.”
- “Don’t worry about the front legs.”
- “Flying changes have to happen on a straight line.”
- “In pirouette, need to make steps smaller without losing activity before starting turn.”
- “The more collection you need, the more forward you have to think.”