The Global Dressage Forum promises to be more exciting than ever. The program shows an ideal mix of practical techniques and a scientific approach. Rescheduled on a Sunday and Monday this year, on 30th and 31st of October 2011 the Global Dressage Forum will take place after the conference of the International Society for Equitation Science. The most important equine scientists in the world will be present and many will stay to attend the GDF. New practical research evidence will be presented at the GDF on how horses can be learned to react less fearful. ISES President Andrew McLean, famous zoologist from Melbourne Australia, will present practical evidence.
The title of his presentation is 'Overshadowing: desensitizing horses to fear inducing stimuli', which means in practical horse language that he will explain how horses can be learned to react less fearful on things as for instance needles, clippers or the farrier.
New study on canter
The famous American 'horse professor' Hilary Clayton will speak about the canter, the changes that occur with training and the rhythm problems that may arise. She will give a unique demonstration with a horse that can show the typical young horse canter, the FEI collected canter and the canter pirouette. Clayton: "by looking more careful and studying the movement with high speed video we found out that things are different then we have considered them to be for a long time. This might even have consequences for rules and judging".
Next to the scientists the Global Dressage Forum program of course has many clinics by top trainers and riders such as Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and Princess Nathalie zu Sayn Wittgenstein. The English riders Carl Hester and his student and stable mate Charlotte Dujardin were the sensation at the European Championships in Rotterdam. The English did beat the Germans and the Dutch in the team competition and won the first gold medal in dressage for their country. Because of that and the two silver individual medals for Carl, the English have been declared the big favourites for the Olympic Games in London. For Carl and Charlotte this will be a home match! At the end of October both riders will come to the Global Dressage Forum in The Netherlands as well. Charlotte will bring her phenomenal horse Valegro (Negro x Maifleur), Carl will train her and also ride one of his top horses in a demonstration. During this clinic he will focus on his point of view of training: 'It is not always what you see in training, but what you feel'. Is this one of the secrets of the sensational success of the British?
Charlotte Dujardin will bring her phenomenal horse Valegro
It's a fact that after years of domination, first from the German and later from the Dutch, the relations in the international dressage sport have been completely reshuffled. Ten months before the Olympic Games, the organization of the Global Dressage Forum invited these riders to Hooge Mierde " to study once again and see what we can learn from the top riders" says Joep Bartels. Since 11 years the international dressage in crowd is yearly gathering at the Forum. "This year we expect more the 350 riders, trainers and other dressage enthusiasts from 25 different countries", Bartels explains.
Bridleless Grand Prix: why not?
Much more will be on the agena. What to think of a discussion on the use of different bits in the top of dressage. A recent quote by dressage rider Richard Davison: "Why can we compete in the UKat GP level in snaffle and at FEI level just in a double bridle? If governing bodies don't like tight nosebands then they have to supply alternatives."
French Grand Prix rider Alizee Froment will even go one step further. During the Global Forum she will ride her Grand Prix horse bridleless.
Alizee Froment is the French pony Chef d'Equipe and a young Grand Prix rider who competes at CDI level. Riding dressage horses is her profession. Alizee says that it is sometimes essential to break the routine of riding the one after the other. "It is the reason why one day, when my Grand Prix horse Mistral was saddled and waiting for me, I decided to leave the bridle aside and just put his head-collar on. I needed to check that Mistral and I were still one. From the first tentative steps, I once more felt pleasure with blood running through my veins, found a taste of freedom and the immense confidence I had in him. More than anything, what came out was an optimal concentration between us, each on the other. In my eyes, dressage is the way toward perfect understanding and absolute harmony and working in the head-collar is a further step along this path. This is why I decided to work all my horses regularly in this way from my 5-year olds to my two Grand Prix horses".
Alizee Froment will demonstrate her bridleless riding at the Global Dressage Forum and discuss with trainers, judges and an audience of international dressage experts from over 25 countries some of the following questions. Is bridleless riding compatible with 'classical' dressage? What about the technical riding details, how does one work like this, and how often, and how does it combine with usual double-bridle riding? And finally, to be discussed with the FEI representatives: to what extent should the rules of competitive dressage adapt?
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