Advice from José van Haaren, Femke de Laat, Frenk Jespers and Brecht d’Hoore about young horse competitions


In the run-up to the NAF Dressage Talent Berlicum competition, the organization spoke with jury members José van Haren, Vimke de Laat, Frenck Jespers and Brecht Dehor about presenting horses and ponies in young horse competitions. They give some advice.

On Friday (10 February), before the competition starts, NAF Dressage Talent Berlicum organizes a training moment where young horses and ponies can get used to the competition round at their own pace. This is also the first tip from Femke de Laat who will be judging the pony division with José van Haaren. “Make sure you train somewhere else a few times first, so you know how your pony reacts in the trailer, while riding in a new environment. Track reconnaissance is absolutely perfect for this and I would definitely take advantage of it.”

In good shape

The competition begins on Saturday morning with colt classes for four- and five-year-old D&E ponies. José van Haren says of this: “Above all, try to ride relaxed. They are little ponies and so can get scared or bob their heads occasionally. If your mare finds it exciting, ride after the other group. After all, you’re in A job with the two of you. I don’t necessarily have to drive the perfect turns yet, so it’s no problem taking inside turns.”

Finish with a Fimki tip to get your bangs in style. “But don’t suddenly start training more often or differently than usual. This can cause the foal to develop muscle soreness, which gets in the way of a good presentation.” Jose concludes with the fact that you should try to enjoy it. “It’s a learning moment for both of them!”

on their own

After the tests, inspired by the IBOP test, the best colts and horses return for the final where they ride. The test for four-year-olds consists of simple shapes such as a dashed line, circles and diagonals with a number of transitions between cycles. For five-year-olds, an extension and passage to the quarters is also required. In the end, she rode the colts Evi van Rooij and the horses Marten Luiten. They both agree that horses and ponies should be easy to ride and should walk evenly on their feet. “We hope that we will feel it while driving in all three gaits and in shifts and gear changes. Straightforwardness is also important, because this is an important basis for the distant future. In addition, we will also feel how ready they are for work and the possibilities we feel.

lanes of interest

After the pony section, the competition continues on Saturday with the five-year-olds and on Sunday, February 12, it is the turn of the four-year-olds. The horse classes will be judged by the experienced Frenk Jespers alongside Brecht Dehor who is currently making great progress in the Belgian sport of dressage.

According to Frink, an interesting performance is an important point in judging. “It should be nice to watch. In addition, you will also be assessed on the gait. On the march we especially want to see a nicely loose walk across the body. The trot must be carried from the hind leg with gentle use of the back and a natural freedom of the shoulders. We are on the face Particularly we don’t want to see a trot made. On the case we make sure it’s interchangeable well forward. All this uphill without being forced.”

Transfer value

Brecht adds that it is especially important for a young horse to get a chance to discover his body and be gradually developed in this by the rider or rider. “Young horse competitions are a great way to do this in my opinion. That way every horse can learn to get used to competitions at their level of development and gain a good experience there. Horses that are on their feet and are positively stimulated to use their bodies well, learn to feel comfortable In competition and can also be judged honestly.For us, transitions are also an important point to pay attention to.In this you can see the horse’s quality and training, I personally attach great importance to this.Horses that can start naturally from the hind leg using the body and can Picking their bodies like an accordion, it’s often the horses that are far behind.”

Source: press release

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