Aiken Training Sessions with Oded Shimoni

Dressage coach Oded Shimoni presided over the training sessions today here in Aiken.  Several riders who worked with Oded earlier this Spring told me that they were really impressed, and I saw what they meant today.  I have watched training sessions for years the US has a fantastic combination of discipline specific coaches in Oded and Katie, which I would not have said several years in the past.  

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(1) Oded gave all of the horses multiple breaks throughout the sessions, whether walk-breaks or stretch-breaks within the gaits.
(2) I’m not sure if most people understand how althletic Woodburn is.  Watching Woodburn work reminds me of one of my friends who can pick up any sport and immediately be the best at it.  
(3) The other side of Woodburn is that the horse can get tense, and Oded hopped on Woodburn for about 15 minutes.  Whenever Woodburn would start to act up, Oded would remain relaxed and patient, never changing what he was asking until the horse gave.  
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(4) Oded also rode Twizzel and worked on getting him to move more forward naturally, rather than having to be asked from the aids.  
(5) When Oded was working with Will on collected trot to working trot transitions, Oded said “I’m more interested to see how a horse comes out of a half-halt than how it goes into it.”  I won’t pretend to understand what that means, but hopefully it will improve my half-halts if I think it really hard before I go to sleep tonight.
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who let that weirdo with the camera in here?

(6) Oded mentioned positioning the horse’s body parts much more than the rider’s aids.  Oded also spoke about positioning the horse’s chest in the half-pass, which I think is a really rare body-part for coaches to discuss, but seemed to be a great concept for the riders to think about.  
(7) I’m not sure what they are feeding Tru Luck, but he is ripped.  Milo looks as muscular, strong, and on-target as I have ever seen him.  Phillip has two fantastic horses aiming at the WEGs.  
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Yes, Oded is wearing aviators.  

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What do you say?… No, aviators are still cool.  Really, they are, I have a pair…. No, that does not make your point for you.  He’s a Grand Prix dressage coach, he can wear whatever sunglasses he wants, get off his back.
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In other news, I apologize if you visited EN this morning and missed our regular morning post.  I was too busy playing the addicting unicorn game pushed the wrong button at 5:30 this morning and the KHP post did not publish properly.  Since I was in a hurry, I didn’t take the time to load the site and find my error.  We have had a new post every morning of every single day for months, and we intend to keep the pattern going, along with a new afternoon post each day, and an evening post most days.  NBC does not plan their Olympics TV schedule to accommodate us early risers in the horse world.

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