clinic notes · cross-country · equine affaire · phillip dutton · video

Phillip Dutton at Equine Affaire

I kind of lost track of time while shopping and only saw the second half of Phillip Dutton’s clinic on using ringwork to prepare for cross country, but what I saw was really terrific.

I had sat through nearly all of Julie Goodnight’s clinic earlier that day on the canter, and was really disappointed at the amount of time she spent covering extreme basics (like…what a canter looks like, and how you have a right and left lead, and how to cue the canter. yeah. that was the first HOUR) so I was thrilled to see that Dutton had a group of extremely capable riders and was kicking their butts.

He worked with individual riders, setting up broad exercises but then addressing each horse and rider pair’s challenges as they worked through it. These were NOT easy exercises – think one stride extreme slices, and one stride right angles, and big wide corners. He had them up and out of their saddles and in a true cross-country gallop to approach some jumps. It was really cool to see, and to see the riders and the horses improve in just a few minutes.

Here are three of the exercises that I watched.

6 thoughts on “Phillip Dutton at Equine Affaire

  1. ah man, how cool! looking at these exercises makes me miss training with one of my former eventing trainers, who himself trained with phillip. challenging work but FUN!


  2. Nice! At least you got to see a bit of it. I rode in Julie Goodnight's canter clinic with Dreamy in 2013 (she has a flat STB canter, so I was excited to have been accepted!) and it was the biggest waste of time ever. We barely cantered and she spent more time talking and showing things on the horse she was riding than paying any attention to us riders. Ahh well. Live and learn for sure.


  3. There was an adorable STB in the Goodnight clinic this year, too, and I wanted so badly to see her work with him. But she did the same thing – talked and demoed. She did do a brief exercise toward the end with the STB, encouraging the rider to go up into a hand gallop to get her horse more comfortable with the beats of the gait itself and then gradually ease back into the canter after some time (she thought weeks) hand galloping. Which…I dunno. I'm torn. I think it might be useful, but it also might be kind of a waste of time.


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