Amanda Perkowski (GP dressage rider) is working with horse Sonata MF (owned by NLP Center) for the Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage National Championships on August 22nd-28th, 2022.
She has shared with us how she is preparing for Championship using Equestic data.
“I am really focused in this time with Sonata that her fitness and strength grow while she maintains feeling comfortable and sound.
This is a young horse I hope to see many years in the Grand Prix ring one day, so I want to balance her training to benefit her for the long run.
Suppleness and evenness are such important pieces of a horse’s development, so I pay close attention to the data on push-off and landing symmetry.
Leading up to the championship at the end of August, I have three major things in my focus with Sonata MF: Building strength, stamina, and fitness so she is in her peak physical condition at the time of the show Soundness.
That she stays feeling comfortable in her whole body, that my training is not too taxing or straining on her body at her relatively young age of 7. Intensity and length of training should fluctuate accordingly.
Correctness, that I am focusing my training in the right areas, so she continues to develop and learn.
How I’m putting that into practice:
I spend a lot of time walking before I pick her up. I usually take a long lap around the property and start my lateral work in the walk when I get to the arena. I find this walk work so important, you can set up your whole ride with it and it is not hard on their bodies.
Moving sideways from a light aid, finding a place to carry their own head and neck softly and receive the contact, preparing your horse to listen to clear aids and start the warmup in a calm balanced way.
Then I proceed to the warmup, which in many ways is unique to the individual horse. With Sonata, I work in a more relaxed frame without putting pressure on her to be expressive. I do lots of suppling lateral work in trot and canter, some counter canter work, and many small transitions within the gaits.
On an “easier day” this will span the length of my entire ride, keeping her supple and fit.
Duration would increase but not intensity. About 2-3 days a week I increase the intensity and may shorten the duration. It’s also very hot here in the Florida Summer so I try and keep that in mind.
In the canter, I have been working on riding her a bit more boldly forward to the edge of her balance point within movements, so she can develop better canter quality and pushing power.
This involves lots of transitions forward and back and encouraging that she does not fall down or loose the self-carriage when I increase the impulsion.
Her trot feels the best it has ever felt right now, I have really accessed a feeling of adjustability and lightness with power.
I continue to focus that she has a more even push-off and landing symmetry, as she has always had a slightly Left Front-Right Hind percentage.
I can feel this in the way that her rib cage falls slightly into my left leg at times and encouraging evenness through lateral and suppling exercises has brought the best results.”
We are wishing Amanda to successfully implement her training plans with Sonata MF leveraging Equestic data!
To follow how Sonata is progressing please subscribe to our Instagram @equestic and keep track of it.