Karin Persson Coaches Young Riders in a Solid Consistent Long-Term Program for Great Futures
Written by Betsy LaBelle - In Dressage - Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Swedish Rider and Coach, Karin Persson builds a strong program for youth riders by keeping it simple and consistent. Karin’s passion as a coach continues to grow. A devoted and appreciated trainer of young riders as she deliberately goes back to the basics every day in her classic training, she shared, “The basics are everything, so I teach my students to be patient with the training. They have to be eager, yes, and they also have to be patient.”
She makes the complications in each horse simple for the rider by letting the rider work through the horse’s subtle changes as it moves forward. She consistently encourages her riders to concentrate on the rhythm of the horse most importantly, that the horse is in front of the leg controlled by the rider’s seat and that the hand connection is soft with elbows staying alongside the body of the rider.
Training out of the beautiful facility, Jewel Court Stud during the winter months, only a couple of farms away from the Adequan®Global Dressage Festival showgrounds, Karin shared how she learned to not give riders too many instructions all at once, “That’s the way I am, if I get too much information, I cannot process all of it. The horses are complicated enough for the rider to figure out. I try to keep it as simple as possible so they have the opportunity to work out the necessary adjustment during the moment.”
While training at home and not at a competition Karin said, “I work a lot on the basics. It may be boring, but before they do the tricks they have to work to keep the horse in front of the leg and on the bit. I really want them to learn how to feel the hind legs to the hand, to sit up in a good rider position, to really understand the rhythm and how to regulate that rhythm well. They really have to learn with the seat and how to connect with the hind legs. That is number one to get that strong seat.”
“In America my young riders have so much pressure on their schoolwork. They don’t get to watch horses go day after day. I have learned how to create a program that fully gives them the best that they have in those couple of hours. It’s a work in progress. I make sure they spend as much time as possible with their horses because they have to connect with them. That is the most important thing. When they connect with the horse that is when the horse is going to do the most for them. At the shows, I do not let them have grooms. They really have the time to spend with their horses. That is a big thing for me. Sometimes it’s not possible due to too many horses, but overall they have to do all the work themselves.”
Karin spent many years learning in Sweden under Olympic medalist Louise Nathhorst where she grew up, near Stockholm. She spent many years in the business of caring for and training young horses from the beginning up the levels. She coached a Pony Division rider and Junior Division riders to qualify for the European Young Rider Championships and the Nordic/Baltic Championships before moving to the USA. “I love working with young people and applying many skills from my own background,” she professes. “I also love training the ponies and because I’m not super big, so I can also ride the ponies for my students. I’ve come to think that it’s a pity the pony sport is not bigger in the United States than it is.”
Karin's philosophy includes creating clear lines of communication with the horse through an effective approach in keeping the exercises simple so the horse has complete and thorough understanding. “It’s really important to teach my students the correct contact and positions through the many transitions to get the horse from behind in their riding. ” Always working to make sure the horse stays forward, not falling behind the rider’s aids, she said, “One of the main things I teach them is showing them that a horse has to stay in front of their legs. It’s really a big thing for me and I stress that importance to my students because then they’ll be able to find the right balance.”
Amelia Devine is a 15-years-old who rides Perazzi an 11 years-old gelding (Prince Thatch x Donnerhall) and 2016 was her first year in the Junior Division level. The pair scored in the 70%s in Saugerties and Devon this fall and won all the classes they entered. Amelia started with Karin as a novice in dressage three years ago and is on her way to being a top Junior rider for the USA.
Amelia has been accepted into the Robert Dover/Dressage4Kids HorseMastership Clinic. Asia participated last year.
Asia Ondatjee Rupert is a 16 years-old riding Firmamento an 10-year-old gelding (Don Crusador x Raphael). She has been in the Junior division for two years with two different horses, Last year Asia rode Twelfth Night in the Juniors Division at the International Florida Youth Dressage Championships placing 4th overall, at the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships (NAJRC) and the Dutta/USEF Festival of Champions. This year, Asia and 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding Firmamento placed 4th overall at the International Florida Youth Championships. Both Ameilia and Asia are unbeaten in 2016 at the Northeast CDI competitions in the Junior Division.
Since moving to the states in 2013, Karin has been on a steady incline in achievement. She successfully captured the win in the 5-Year-Old Test at Dressage at Devon 2016 with her Dutch Warmblood, Giuliano B (Bon Bravour x Elcaro), with a score of 82.0 and 85.4 the second day. The pair placed second at the Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse National Championships in August near Chicago. Not only a great coach for young riders, Karin Persson rises up the levels step by step with success for a strong consistent future.
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