Wellington, FL - Dressage riders were thrilled to participate in a Ride-a-Test clinic with Cesar Torrente, held February 4-6, 2014, at the International Dressage Academy in Wellington, FL. Presented by Stacey Macleod, of Everything But The Horse, the clinic offered participants an incredible opportunity to ride for an FEI 3* judge and receive immediate feedback. A native of Colombia, Cesar Torrente has successfully competed in three Pan Am Games and two Central American Games. In 2010, he earned a Team Gold Medal at the South American Games held in Colombia and a second Team Gold Medal at the Central American Games held in Puerto Rico. He’s known as a rider’s judge, because he knows what it’s like to be in the judge’s box as well as competing in the dressage ring. Torrente has great compassion for riders and always makes an effort to provide value comments to help them improve their scores and enjoy their journey in the world of competitive dressage.
Torrente believes that Ride a Test clinics give a good snapshot of what to expect during a show. “These clinics are a wonderful opportunity for riders for different reasons,” he says. “They provide a wonderful opportunity to see how your horse will react in an environment very much like what you’ll face during a real competition. However, you don’t have all the pressure of the competition, because you know you can repeat movements that didn’t go as well as you expected.
“Afterwards, you can verify with the judge if the quality of the gaits is correct, and receive advice as to how better you can present your different movements. Each of these items is very important, and when you can have them all at the same time, it’s really a great opportunity to learn, improve, and benefit.
“When I teach clinics, I start by assessing the level of the horse and rider. As a clinician, I want to get the best out of the combination, but I always take into consideration their background and goals. After a quick assessment, I focus on the basics. Is the rhythm good? What weaknesses can be corrected? Is the contact proper, or are some adjustments needed? Is the horse straight? Is he properly bent?
“Obviously, while working on the basics, I give special attention to the rider’s seat and overall position to make sure he’s helping the horse and not interfering. After all this, I focus on collection, and finally, on how to better present the horse in a competition environment. I also give advice as to how much warm up may be needed or how to better show the horse’s strong points.”
Torrente really enjoyed the clinic’s atmosphere and especially the positive attitudes of all the riders.
“Obviously, I was pleased they all showed improvement and left feeling happy at what they’d accomplished,” he said. “The auditors and riders were astonished at the impressive results we saw in only minutes with just minor changes. I believe it’s very important in this sport to be happy with the smallest improvement.”
And Torrente’s students are thrilled seeing the improvements of their mounts: “Every horse I put in front of Cesar shows improvement in each lesson,” said Philesha, a student who rode with Cesar over this most recent clinic. “My horse always seems to love his approach to the task at hand for the day, and I feel they leave the arena relaxed and proud of the work they have done.” Sheri, another clinic participant, stated, “Mr. Torrente was to the point and yet kept the instruction light and positive, which made the learning experience a delight.”
Torrente will return to south Florida to hold clinics on March 8-9, May 10-11, and June 28-29. To reserve a ride contact Laura Killian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-682-1898.
Everything But the Horse, LLC was started by Stacey MacLeod and Heather Houck in 2007. A brick and mortar, internet, and mobile equine consignment and retail store, it offers the finest in used and new items for rider, horse, and farm. They have a passion for helping you and your equine partner reach your goals. Visit Everything But the Horse, LLC in Wellington this winter season at the retail location on Fortune Way or at the booths at The Winter Equestrian Festival hunter/jumper shows and The Global Dressage Festival. For more information on the tack shop visit: http://www.everythingbutthehorse.com/