USHJA Zone 4 and Gulf Coast Winter Classics Liverpool Clinic

Friday, March 7, 2014
Posted by Carrie Wirth for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International



Devin Ryan clearing a liverpool aboard Chantilly. Photo by MH Hamm.
Devin Ryan clearing a liverpool aboard Chantilly. Photo by MH Hamm.
Gulfport, MS - March 6, 2014 - After riding with clinician Devin Ryan on Tuesday, February 25, 2014, the participants in the USHJA Zone 4 and Gulf Coast Winter Classics clinic may well be hoping a liverpool fence makes an appearance on their next course.  The junior, amateur and professional riders alike worked with Ryan on site at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics to master a straightforward approach to introducing and tackling the liverpool.

Throughout the free clinic, made possible by USHJA Zone 4 and the Gulf Coast Winter Classics, Ryan focused on the fundamentals. Ryan, of Long Valley, NJ, explained to riders and auditors that as long as the horse is in front of your leg and well schooled to your aid, any jump including a liverpool, should pose no issue. With that in mind, Ryan first worked riders on the flat to help maximize each horse's responsiveness to its rider's aids.

Ryan then worked riders through gymnastic exercises, having each participant jump through the gymnastic and halt in a straight line well before the liverpool. After repeating this exercise several times, each of the horses were anticipating the halt and landing softly and slowly.

Ryan then had the riders jump the same gymnastic, but this time they continued at a canter to the liverpool. Since each of the horses would anticipate going to the halt, this enabled riders to add a lot of leg down the six stride line to really encourage the horses to jump well over the liverpool. With the horses all well schooled to their riders aids, the addition of the liverpool was a non-issue

The final component of Ryan's approach to the liverpool focused on course work teaching riders to prepare themselves for any jump on course.  Ryan encouraged riders to know how their lines ride and to establish the proper pace for each line well before the turn to face the jump. 

"Establish your pace early and avoid making big changes in front of the jump.  This allows the horse to focus on jumping the jump," Ryan explained to the riders and auditors.

Throughout the course work phase of the clinic, Ryan reminded all the riders to remember to focus on the basics including keeping their horse in front of their leg and listening.

Ryan's valuable instruction at no cost to riders would not have been possible without the generous support of USHJA Zone 4. The clinics put on by USHJA Zone 4 provide riders and auditors with the opportunity to learn from the best riders and trainers in the country. Visit the USHJA Zone 4 homepage here.