Rhythmic independence - timing - theoretical understanding
Riders of all disciplines are familiar with the refrain from their trainer during a lesson: "Slow your posting!" or "Post faster!" or "Tempo!" And chances are, most dressage riders have seen the words "Needs more/better/clearer rhythm!" written in a test box. But, why is it so hard to slow that posting, or to speed it up, when your horse has other ideas? What does "tempo" mean? And, how on earth does one go about making more/better/clearer rhythm, anyway? Rhythm is everywhere a rider looks, but understanding it - let alone controlling it - can be bewildering at best.
As a classical musician, Erin has long been intrigued by the connection between music terminology and dressage theory. Dressage - and indeed all riding - shares much of the language it uses to describe its practice with classical music, having borrowed terms and phrases over time. Rhythm is the foundational piece of the dressage training pyramid, after all, and a keen understanding of what rhythm is, how it works, and how to influence it are paramount.
Using a blend of movement-based learning, music theory, and a rider's understanding of dressage, Erin has created Ridden Rhythms, a series of movement-based exercises that teach riders how to develop rhythmic independence, better time their aids, and increase their understanding of written dressage theory, all while cultivating a strong inner metronome. Ridden Rhythms draws on Erin's decades of musical and performance experience, and the sessions are as fun and energizing as they are educational. Ridden Rhythms is an ideal component to a biomechanics clinic, youth education event, or demonstration event, and Erin teaches sessions at Fermata Farm and at other locations. Ridden Rhythms was a featured lecture event at the 2015 Region 6 USDF Young Rider Overnight Camp at DevonWood in Sherwood, Oregon, alongside distinguished clinicians such as Jen Verharen of Cadence Coaching, "S" judge Trenna Atkins, and Lendon Gray.