Pure dressage is not good for show jumping horses, according to BSJA head of coaching Lars Sederholm.
Lars, talking in Horse & Hound (9 November) to Graham Fletcher on a wide variety of training topics, says: “Some people believe that dressage will improve the jumping; I say pure dressage will make it worse. In fact, it can be very dangerous for the horses’ brains to get too dominated and ‘set’. I want the flatwork to be done so that they remain flexible in their brains and in their bodies.
“At home, we have a little dog. We also have cattle grids about the place. That little dog trots over a cattle grid without missing a beat. When they add an iron girder to repair it, the dog still trots over as if nothing had happened.What he has done is take things into his brain subconsciously; he has made a judgement.
“Horses will also do that – as long as you allow them to. But when a rider becomes too dominant, the horse loses that ability; it’s been taken away from him.”
Lars Sederholm is best known for training many top event riders from his famous Waterstock House centre in Oxfordshire.
Since giving the place up and moving to Leicestershire, Lars has accepted his new appointment with the BSJA.