11 Oct Bigger and Better
By Victoria Sudkamp, SEDA Scholarship Recipient
Gallagher and I used the award to participate in the Anne Hornbeak Dressage Clinic and Daniela Moguel Jump Clinic.
Gallagher and I have been Eventing for only about one year. Within this short time Gallagher proved himself to be an incredible athlete. During our first two recognized horse trials, Fleur De Leap and Holly Hill, we registered in the Starter division. Our goal for Fleur de Leap was all about finishing. During our second show, Gallagher showed everyone his tenacity to move onto bigger obstacles. When Gallagher moved up to Beginner Novice we found ourselves on the unprepared side for dressage. Our trainer, Greta Peterson, recommended that we register for the Anne Hornbeak clinic to get ourselves ready to overcome Beginner Novice dressage challenges. Gallagher and I practiced many techniques in the clinic. However, the one skill that was really stressed was the up and down transitions. Anne gave me a life changing tool to open the inside rein and leg-yield into the transition. By doing this the horse is allowed to bend and to become more supple and obedient to the inside bend.
As the year continued Gallagher and I were feeling confident about the move to Beginner Novice and were ready to take on the challenge to qualify for the American Eventing Championships. After we focused on dressage, Gallagher and I needed some stadium work. We used the other half of the scholarship to participate in the Daniela Moguel Jump Clinic. During this clinic we practiced approaching the jumps collected and adding leg about one and a half strides before the fence to prevent him from getting long and flat and keeping the power underneath him. Danny provided reinforcement to keep Gallagher collected right before the jump and then adding leg to prevent him from getting long and flat. I learned when a horse gets long, flat, and powerful the rider could lose contact/control and rails may come down.
No doubt that both of the clinics helped us to not only reach but to exceed our 2019 goal. Gallagher and I competed in the AEC and finished third in our division. Gallagher has once again demonstrated how high he can fly. We are excited to move up to Novice this show season and tackle new challenges. Thanks to SEDA and the 2019 Spring Young Rider Scholarship, Gallagher and I were able to train with two amazing horsewomen to learn life long Eventing lessons that strengthened our team relationship and performance.