Loxahatchee, FL (March 15, 2023) – Some of the best examples of the modern competitive Lusitano horse were on display during February’s 2023 US Lusitano Conference, held this February at May Faire Oaks in Loxahatchee. On day two, attendees and riders enjoyed a targeted day of dressage training with one of the legends of the sport, Kyra Kyrklund, who covered topics from neck position, steadiness of connection, quiet hands and legs, and body control. One of the Grand Prix level exhibitors was Tyra Vernon and the grey Lusitano gelding, Hadrian Interagro, and with Ms. Kyrklund’s guidance demonstrated the power of weight, body control, and how the rider must use her body effectively to control the impulsion and balance of the horse at the higher-level movements.
Carmen “Queca” Franco of Q-Equestrian was on the ground at the Conference, and gives a detailed account of Hadrian Interagro and Tyra Vernon’s ride:
“With this wonderful combination, Kyra worked the execution of the [canter] zig-zag [a movement required in the Grand Prix]: In the change, he looks into the new direction.
“We were able to learn also some very helpful tips to improve the piaffe and passage, like using turn on the forehand at the piaffe with a small flexion to the outside and produce very small steps to improve engagement. For the passage Tyra was asked to do rising trot, go slower, push the hindlegs out, then make the horse straight, find short steps. If you lose the hindleg, push them out.
“Kyra used this explanation: if you want to bounce a beach ball, you variate how quick your hand meets the ball, but your hand needs to be flexible for the ball to bounce. [The] same happens with the back of the horse: the rider needs to know how to maintain control of his own energy to move up and down. ‘Your weight is the one thing that’s influencing the horse all the time.’
While stressing that the rider needs to be patient training horses, she also said: ‘Don’t go on and on practicing a movement; at some point in a dressage test it has to happen the first time you ask.’
I wish I could put in writing every single word and phrase Kyra said, but I’m happy I can share here some of my notes. Her approach is always interesting as she has a wonderful way to break down the movements, for both horses and riders, to improve their performances. All that added to very entertaining stories and funny jokes. Absolutely inspiring in so many ways!”
Carmen Franco’s excerpt on Hadrian Interagro is part of a larger article written for EuroDressage.com on the US Lusitano Conference. Read the full article by clicking here.
Hadrian Interagro was bred by Interagro Lusitanos of Brazil before being sold as a young horse to Tyra Vernon’s BREC Dressage in Ocala, Florida. By FEI Dressage Champion Baldor Interagro, Hadrian Interagro embodies much of the athleticism, trainability, and rideability that have been the staples of Interagro’s breeding program for more than 4 decades.
For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.