Neue Schule Bit Fitting Clinic

Florence Wetzel, a bitting specialist from Neue Schule USA, came to visit us at Waltzing Horse Farm November 2 and 3, 2018. Her knowledge and assistance was everything we had hoped for and more. She gave a wonderful lecture with all sorts of information, new to all of us no matter how long one has been involved in horses.

The "clinic" portion of the weekend consisted of 12 horses and their riders, scheduled in sessions up to an hour long. After reviewing training roadblocks and feedback from the rider, Florence was able to sort through her wide variety of beautifully designed Neue Schule bits and swap out the original bit(s) each horse had for a new variety to compare to. Some of the horses and riders tried up to 3 or even 4 bits each until settling on one that gave the most impressive feelings.

The event was originally specifically scheduled to satisfy the need for a curb bit that meets the demanding requirements of one of the stallions on the farm. We found that bit, but even more exciting and totally unexpected was to also find a bradoon to go along with it - one that is 100% to his liking! As a dressage professional, I can say it was a real awakening to experience "just how good it can be" for each horse and rider pair, even when you think you already have the best bridle arrangement figured out.

We are very excited to host another round of bit fitting with Florence in Spring 2019. If you are interested in having this experience for you and your horse, get in touch! Bit purchase is not required, but I can promise your horse will thank you if you do decide to go forward with a purchase after experiencing a better fitting and better conformed bit for your horse and their unique needs!

2018 USLF Breed Evaluation

The last weekend of October brought a great crowd of Lipizzan people to New York! Saturday’s events included the annual USLF business meetings, followed by an afternoon masterclass on Lipizzan conformation, movement, and differences among the various types found within the breed. Klemen Turk was a great teacher with a wealth of detailed explanations. There was not one question that he could not answer! Saturday evening was a group dinner in the lovely intimate setting of the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, NY.

The following day brought the action to the Waltzing Horse Farm in New Berlin, NY. First thing in the morning, all of the evaluation horses were officially measured as attendees rolled in. Shortly afterwards the Arena Masterclass was held, again under Klemen’s expertise. The somewhat famed 30 year old stallion 499 Conversano Barbarina was the first model horse as Klemen went over all of the fine points of conformation and function. Attendees had a good “hands on” opportunity during the class, asking questions while applying what was learned both the day prior and also that morning. C. Barbarina later showed the beauty of his mechanics in motion when Klemen asked his handler to “run as fast as possible” so that he might really let loose.

Over lunch the attendees enjoyed great local Italian food in addition to a work in hand demo by Sarah Casey. Two stallions were used in the demo. Maestoso Krabbe, owned by Jennifer Judkins, was the first horse used to show elementary level work in hand, where the horse learns to understand a half halt, the whip, and eventually lateral work. The second horse, Maestoso Marina, owned by Sarah, demonstrated an advanced horse working in piaffe and developing passage. There was also a driving pair of Lipizzan geldings present for Klemen to demonstrate the basics of driving with. Klemen discussed the harness and correct fitting of the gear. It was really special to have an expert in the sport of driving on hand for such a demonstration.

After the close of the demonstrations the inspection horses were brought out. In total there were four mares and five stallions evaluated. It was a very informative weekend, and everyone left having learned at least a bit more than they knew before!