Forward, Compress, Connect

Yesterday I was able to audit a clinic with Tami Smith that a few girls from my barn attended at Twin Palms Combined Training. I didn’t go to the dressage day on Saturday because well….adulting…but I spent to day Sunday watching from the rail and learning. My big take away…

Forward, Compress, Connect….

Tamie most likely telling someone they needed to square their corners

That is how you should ride every stride and every jump.

The first group was a group of lower level riders (probably the group I would have been in had I been riding) She spent part of the lesson sending each of them individually out of the rail  and having them send their horses forward, compress them coming into the corner, and forward out of the corner. Square corners were important too, nothing rounded. One of the girls put her horse into a gallop instead of just forward and it was explained that she wasn’t looking for speed but rather power to get to the base of that jump.

Once the girls started jumping and I saw the grids I was kind of glad I wasn’t riding.

Grids scare me to start with and these were SCARY! Far line was a 1 stride 4 stride  1 stride. Near side was a bounce, one stride oxer,one stride, bounce. And the middle…. oxer 1 stride 3 bounces 1 stride oxer.

The scary center grid

The girls in this group weren’t thrilled about it especially the 11 year old but Tamie told them to give it a shot. And mentioned to the young girl that she was impressed because at her age she (Tamie) had been afraid to canter.

The next two groups were novice and training and I knew a few of the girls in them. The message was the same. Square corners, forward, compress and connect right before the jump. (Oh and pay attention to what the person in front of you worked on and don’t make the same mistake)  But as the jumps got bigger it seemed more obvious why it was important and it worked.



Compress in the corners and forward out of them


Connect and jump!


Or this might happen!

Ok so that’s not totally fair but this girl was struggling to get her horse forward through the grid.  To that point Tamie said ride forward to the start of the grid and get off your horses face so they can figure it out.(rider and horse are both fine) And I was told the photo had a missed it Monday type feel…

Overall I got a lot out of auditing this clinic. Tamie is a really good teacher with the type of humor I like. And she taught the levels with the different amount of intesity I felt they deserved. She also was able to recognize when a rider needed to do somthing different to maintain their confidence. When horses were naughty she didn’t let it continue. (Make the refusal harder than jumping)  I feel I could have hung with the first group and it was a lot of fun the watch the other horses jump bigger.

Oh and we got to watch Tamie ride a little.

tami ride
Not sure who this horse is but he is pretty fancy!


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