Last Monday, 35 coaches and coaches gathered at the KNHS Center for the (regular) six-monthly meeting of the KNHS Trainers platform. Due to Covid-19, the meeting could not be held for the past two years.
KNHS Technical Director Iris Boelhouwer explained the theme of the first part of the programme: “As the equine sector, we still have some work to do to put the sport in a better light with the (often ignorant) public. What everyone involved in equestrian sports must do He asks himself: How can I commit myself to influence public opinion about equestrian sport as positively as possible? This is a fundamental issue, because the future of our sport depends on it. “
Guest speaker Klaas Dijkstra from Zest Marketing was immediately clear: “Always put animal welfare first, or else you will shoot yourself in the foot. And as a segment, also announce that you do!”
Dijkstra explained that activist parties often market it superbly and that sectors under attack are lagging behind. According to him, the horse sector is losing opportunities because it lacks the courage to advance.
“Tell the story as it is and as you feel. If you always put animal welfare first, you can always speak from your heart about the sector. The sector should not turn its back on the community, but rather turn around and engage in dialogue. This requires the commitment of all those involved in the sector and the role of ambassador It really exists for everyone.”
The urgency to invest more energy in this topic from the equine sector was clear. This led to a discussion about social media among the coaches. Keyboard knights. How do you deal with that? If you see an ugly comment under a post with a fellow rider or coach; Are you trying to refute them or are you afraid to attack you? There was open discussion about how attendees dealt with this and what they believe they need from the KNHS to better perform the ambassadorial role.
Success starts with the basics
The second part of the meeting consisted of training in Amaliala, where National Jump Coach Gus Lansink worked with 4 young riders. The trainers were divided into groups to consult with each other and start the dialogue within the whole group from there: What is good basic training for a jockey and a horse, what is important in this and do we all do it this way?
Emma Bokin and Tejman Voss
Emma Boken and Tejman Voss were the first to appear on the scene. It soon became clear what Guus Lansink believed an important basic principle: “A horse should in principle be able to walk on its feet, be able to draw straight lines and, as a rider, you should not want too much. Good leg posture and rider posture are critical, so that the knight’s seat, hand, and mouth can interact with each other.”
A discussion arose within the group about obedience. What is correct about this and how should a horse restrain during a loose ride? Do jumping coaches view this differently than dressage coaches? After a few critical questions from President Marion Schroeder, the differences turned out to be minimal.
When Lansink let his show players run for a relatively long time on the ground-beam lines for more tempo control, he could count on important questions from the stands: Is it worth continuing if the horse is running smoothly? Lancink has been very clear about this: “Yeah, I want to get that perfect first, because that’s the basis for a good track ride. With firmness you have a chance to get it right in a good way, because a horse isn’t easily caught off guard. If you only do it during the course, they often facing problems.”
As Emma Bocken jumps around the track after this groundwork, it’s really clear that the firmness contributed to more speed control and confidence in the distances to go.
Dressage riders above the girders
Then came the dressage riders and KNHS team members Talent Marten Luiten and Febe van Zwambagt. Right from the start of the training, it was clear that these two riders got the basics right. There is a great deal of control over the pace of the horses. Gus also began working with dressage groups with the same line of beams. It was amazing how easily both horses and riders turned into this work and how precisely they controlled the number of trotting jumps between the girders. The horses were clearly enjoying it and it was good to see the horses loosen up in the process.
National dressage trainers note that for dressage riders, for their balance and independent sitting, it is sometimes a good idea to have the stirrups shorter and to adopt the lighted seat. The trainers concluded: A good foundation is essential for every discipline. Combined with good management, this plays a role in animal welfare and benefits athletic performance. To keep the horses alert and alert, changing the work on display is a good idea. With a number of dressage coaches out there, jump bars will definitely appear again on the track!