SmartPakers Ride Dressage with Dueck

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Catching up with Team SmartPak riders isn’t always easy during a busy show season but last weekend we did just that. Team SmartPaker Shannon Dueck visited with SmartPakers to teach a dressage clinic and gave some of our riders a chance to brush up on their flat work. Riding with a Pan Am Silver Medalist isn’t something you get to do every day so it was a great opportunity to learn tips from Shannon on the ground and in the tack.
Don’t take it from me though; here are some of the things the riders had to say about having the opportunity to ride with Shannon:

SmartPaker Kristina from our Creative team rode her gelding Harri

Shannon chats with SmartPaker Kristina while rocking our Alexus Full Seat Breeches

Shannon chats with SmartPaker Kristina while rocking our Alexus Full Seat Breeches


“Shannon got us focusing on having a steadier tempo and quieting my hands. While we still have lots to improve on, I saw the results almost immediately! Harri softened through his topline and started to relax into the bridle which released lots of built up tension.”
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SmartPaker Mollie from our Creative team rode her mare Eden
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“My favorite part of the clinic was being able to ride with my fellow SmartPakers. We all talk about each of our horses at work but it was nice to be able to put a face to the name and work through some of our training together! My horse Eden and I have been struggling with collection since she is still building up her hind end. Shannon was able to give us tools to introduce the concept of “collection” and “small trot/small canter”, which will help strengthen Eden’s hind end. I’m so proud of the progress she made on Sunday and can’t wait to see her develop even more!”

SmartPaker Kerri from our Marketing team rode her mare Luna
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“I learned that my mare has a lot of tricks to avoid going forward! Shannon helped me to recognize these and work through them to help us move up a level next year. I’m definitely going to focus more on my canter work as Shannon suggested. Additionally we are going to continue to work on going forward into more contact in order to develop more collection and balance.”

SmartPaker Jen from our Retail Store rode her mare Tally
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“I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of dressage training in the past, and I love when the same concepts are reinforced time after time. Shannon helped me to push my still-green mare to the next level by reinforcing the basics and letting me know that Tally was ready to do a bit more. We pushed her a little bit rounder and more active, and the trot improved by leaps and bounds. We talked about the shoulder-in and how to maintain the bend and relaxation in the lateral work, and started developing the medium trot on the circle – I couldn’t believe the loft in my mare’s step during that exercise! My favorite part was working on the canter transitions by using more inside leg and seat-bone while maintaining the bend and relaxation in the active trot. Hard to put all the pieces together, but our canter transitions got a ton better and the canter itself felt the best it’s ever felt, especially on the more-difficult-for-Tally left side.”

SmartPaker Emily from our Marketing team rode her gelding JZ Junior
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“It’s been a while since JZ and I traveled off farm for a clinic or show, so it was great to get out of our normal routine and comfort zone. While he had some (very) naughty moments it was still a positive experience and Shannon helped us work through these challenges. Tempo, tempo, tempo! One of my biggest takeaways of the day was finding the appropriate tempo for walk and trot. Shannon had us ride forward with a purpose.”

Posted in Stories & Adventures, Team SmartPak

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2 comments on “SmartPakers Ride Dressage with Dueck
  1. Cheryl Sisco says:

    How lucky you all were to get instruction from Miss Dueck. I am happy to know there are many riders that see the true benefiets of Dressage and keep trying,even through the sticky times!!! I am at a difficult point as I don’t have a horse right now but am fortunate enough to have a stable near by that has many nice ones for lessons.I am trying to remember the dressage I learned in the past and it is exciting to see the “baby steps” I have taken!!!Keep up the good work and ride on!!!

    • SmartPak SmartPak says:

      Keep it up, Cheryl! You’ll be surprised how quickly it comes back to you :-) Enjoy the lessons!! – SmartPaker Sarah

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