Clinic on Bridleless Riding

The Horse as a Mirror of the Rider Clinic

June 6th – 7th

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Here at Léttleiki we believe that the majority of issues riders run into are simply due to miscommunication. Because of this we emphasize in our riding lessons and clinics developing a better balanced seat and clear understanding of how horses learn so that riders can apply their aids effectively. This final clinic of the first half of the year focused on the importance of a balanced seat and how to use your body to communicate with the horse and move together in lightness. The topic was addressed in two ways. First we worked on the physical training of the rider through seat lessons on the longe line. Then we began to work on bridleless riding and communicating with the horse through your seat and legs.

The clinic was taught by Léttleiki trainers Terral Hill and Carrie Brandt. As with all of our clinics it involved a variety of group lessons, private lessons, seat lessons, lectures, and demonstrations. We also videotaped riders and then reviewed the videos in class giving riders the opportunity to see and evaluate themselves on the horse.

It was a small clinic with only four participants but this gave us the opportunity to give each participant extensive individualized attention. By the end of the weekend each participant got the opportunity to ride bridleless in the round pen and everyone was successful in turning and doing transitions. Clinics with specific topics like this offer the opportunity to really become immersed in an idea and what better idea to take all the way than lightness?

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First Spring Sanctioned Show at Léttleiki

Léttleiki Spring Sanctioned Competition

May 30th – 31st

All photos by Shaila Ann Sigsgaard

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This spring we held our very first Spring Sanctioned Show here at Léttleiki Icelandics. Although most of the horses and riders were from KY we had attendees from Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia, & Maine that showed incredible dedication driving such long distances to participate. All total we had 36 horse-rider combinations in the show.

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Four gait V1 was won by Terral Hill on the stallion Veigar frá Lækjamóti but it was an exciting finals as there were only 0.3 points between him and the runner up Coralie Denmeade on Viður frá Lækjamóti. Veigar and Terral went on to win T1 finals as well followed closely by Carrie and Shaila on second prize mares Brá frá Fellskoti and Ögrun frá Grafarkoti. Carrie Brandt and Svali frá Tjörn won the T2 finals showing not a single correction during the loose rein section of the test and receiving a total score of 6.8. The gelding Máni frá Eskiholti II had many memorable performances at this show winning both 100m pace race and pace test with Martin Nielsen and then also F2 intermediate five gait with Shaila Ann Sigsgaard. Young ride Alicia Flannigan impressed everyone by riding against the adults and exhibiting beautiful horsemanship with the mare Salvör frá Grafarkoti. Other memorable performances were Ellie Pittman receiving 6.5´s in Youth Tölt on Ögrun frá Grafarkoti and Tammy Martin winning both intermediate four gait and tölt on her beautiful gelding Kvintett.   Highlights of the show also included Martin Nielsen winning Green Horse Four Gait on Svás fra Raunbjerggards from his own breeding and everyone rising for the Danish national anthem. Kydee Scheetz also had several harmonious performances with horses from her own breeding program. Ellie Pittman and Rós from Helms Hill won the Beer Tölt due to extra style points for being the only rider to show beer pace! The most exciting class of the show was F1 Five Gait where Terral Hill on Sporður frá Bergi and Carrie Brandt on Svali frá Tjörn gave exciting performances demonstrating six powerful but harmonious pace sprints. For the first time Terral beat Carrie in finals!

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Here at Léttleiki one of our goals is to promote good horsemanship in competitions and therefore the judges gave out featherlight riding awards at the end of the competition. The youth award went to Alicia Flanigan, the adult amateur went to Martin Nielsen, and Carrie Brandt won the professional featherlight riding award.

The weekend was filled with learning, competition, and Icelandic horse fun. The thing that never ceases to amaze us is the joy these incredible horses bring us, and what a blast we have sharing that joy with other horse owners at a show. A big thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors, and riders (especially the ones who drove such incredible distances) for making the show possible.

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