Concluding to the EDS-auction Olympic rider Diederik van Silfhout and his coach and father Alex van Silfhout gave and interesting training clinic. Bringing the KWPN-stallion Expression, with whom Diederik became Dutch national champion Small Tour this year, they demonstrated the importance of control. Alex let the Vivaldi-offspring move in different postures and paces. “Changing your pace is extremely important, if you let your horse collect and then extend, you work on your control. Expression is an eager horse that loves to work with you, but it is important to keep him focused. By adding variations in your training, you keep his focus on Diederik.”
Diederik performed several pirouettes and Alex also put some variations in those: from small and collected to a higher-paced and bigger pirouette. “We keep the practise playful and the figures do not need to be repeated to many or for a long time. Extended trot can easily be practiced on a 20-meter line, the entire diagonal is unnecessary. This prevents overburdening your horse. What you do notice is that we are focused every stride he makes: we do not simply trot around, but ask in everything just this bit extra expression, collection or relaxation.”
Expression lived up to his name. The bay athletic stallion trotted with lots of schwung and impulsion through the arena and demonstrated his talent for higher-level dressage. “The power of Expression is that he makes it all look so simple,” says Alex. “He has lots of talent, but he needs to develop more strength. This takes time, it cannot be forced.” As a goodbye, Expression trotted another lap and put all out: once again we could enjoy this gifted stallion.