Sunday, January 16, 2011


January is a dead month for a lot of reasons, namely because temperatures dip into the teens and the great indoors looks much better than frostbite.

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.


JJ said...

Hey -

I know I don't comment often, but I do read and love your blog! Your ponies are beautiful!!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you have an award waiting for you on my blog :)

Checkmark115 said...

AHH JJ beat me to it! I nominated you for an award too! And I 2nd the gorgeous pony comment. Been following you for a while and I love Sinari. (If thats how you spell it, sorry if I messed it up) I actually saw you guys in the Smartpak magazine too!
The biomechanics thing sounds....riveting? You have more patience than me to sit through that!
Anyways if you want to get it come visit my blog,

Kelly said...

You guys are sweet!

Sinari is her short name (and yes it's spelled correctly;)) and the only name the public knows how to pronounce.

Kelly said...

Ah you guys are too sweet!

The biomech isn't so bad, it's just grasping the terminology and then applying it in roughly 16 hours. No big deal.

I'm incredibly lucky to have Sinari and Sincere in my life. Hope to see you guys at the FEI premiere!