Sunday, January 16, 2011
January is also the start of several educational programs at USDF around the country including the L Program.
Signed up in December, I trekked up to Ohio this past weekend for Session A: biomechanics and conduct.
Truth be told, when the word biomechanics is uttered, I glaze over faster than hot sugar on dough. On paper, its naturally boring material between abducting and adducting legs, center of gravity, non-brilliant movement, lateral gaits, origination and creation of bend (it'll surprise you), engagement, impulsion and diagram after diagram.
Add a little kinetic energy to that dry material and it actually comes alive. Throw in different breeds and types, and you have a party.
Judging, first and foremost, is a systematic use of language and scale applied to standards. While, as a rider you know what the movements are and you may know what a good movement or gaits are, but applying a figure and appropriate language per directives and with the knowledge behind correct bio mechanics is difficult.
It's much like Helen Keller learning associating the right words with the physical thing. It's learning to recognized water in different forms and learning to adapt the language to it. Everything still the same, is now different.
We went through four marathon sessions of biomechanics, biomechanics in relation to the pyramid and threw in conduct for good measure. It was an incredibly pleasurable while challenging in certain areas. In the end the group was grasping it, now comes the difficult part of finding willing subjects to perform tests (good and bad) in front of you.