David O’Connor, Silvio Mazzoni Impart Knowledge at Ocala ICP Symposium

Auditors gather to watch Silvio Mazzoni teach day two of the Ocala ICP Symposium. Photo by Sally Spickard. Auditors gather to watch Silvio Mazzoni teach day two of the Ocala ICP Symposium. Photo by Sally Spickard.

There was much to be learned in last week’s Ocala ICP Symposium, held at the beautiful Longwood Farm South. Featuring clinics and lectures from David O’Connor and Silvio Mazzoni, the U.S. Chef d’Equipe and U.S. Show Jumping Coach, respectively, both the demo riders and the large audience were able to take new tools home with them when it comes to instruction.

Day two of the symposium involved a show jumping lesson for both the Training/Prelim as well as the Intermediate/Advanced riders. Silvio took the reins on this day, methodically setting up gymnastic exercises that tested both horse and rider.

Silvio took the time to address each horse and rider, focusing on the key points of straightness and position effectiveness. Without an effective position, he explained, the horse was unable to know or perform its job correctly. He reminded many riders to avoid getting defensive with their hands when on stronger horses, instead encouraging the horses to seek the bit even over fences.

Silvio’s gymnastic was progressively raised in height and involved a bounce to a one stride to a second bounce and ending on another one stride. This kept the horse’s feet moving while encouraging the rider to maintain an effective position in order to achieve straightness and a correct jump.

From there, the lesson progressed to a full course that again challenged the riders to find straight lines aboard a responsive and adjustable horse. He instructed the riders to halt after jumping an oxer on a diagonal line, again reminding them to use their seat and leg to achieve the halt rather than a defensive and aggressive hand.

Demo riders for the Training/Prelim group on Tuesday were AJ Dyer, Megan Gardiner, Steph Kohr, and Marah Lueders. The Intermediate/Advanced group for Silvio’s lesson were Hannah Sue Burnett, Leah Lang-Glucsic, Lara Knight, Jeanie Clarke, and Sally Buchheister.

Monday’s session included many thoughtful insights from David O’Connor on all three phases of eventing. You can read the full reports over on the USEA here.

Many thanks to Event Clinics for sponsoring a fun and educational seminar that contributes immensely to the further education of both rider and instructor. The ICP Symposiums are an excellent opportunity to learn, and the ICP Certification Program is also available for those who wish to become more involved as coaches.

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