Watching someone else ride can help you fill in the holes of your own training. Do you see something familiar? Do you drool a little watching her jump? Maybe not drool, but her position is envy worthy. You can learn a lot by watching others ride, especially when it comes to equitation.
If equitation is the art of riding and how you do it, watching others helps you learn consistency, style, and accuracy. If you’re able to apply what you see, especially in professional trips or high quality riders, you might find your own ability getting stronger.
McKayla Langmeier rides for Keliada Farm, where her parents Kenny and Linda Langmeier have coached and trained her from day one in the saddle. Get this: her mother won the Maclay Finals in 1983! This makes Linda and McKayla Langmeier the only mother-daughter duo to win the Maclay Finals. McKayla also works with Missy Clark of North Run Farm from time to time. You might recognize Missy’s name from her coaching of previous equitation final winners. So let’s check out the round.
The 2015 ASPCA Maclay Winner rode such a lovely trip that the King of Equitation himself didn’t have any suggestions as to how to improve her course. As you can imagine, you might learn a thing or two from watching Langmeier ride.
Starting with her position, Langmeier is effectively with her horse. She rides neither behind nor ahead of the motion, offering support and control by stretching upright and rooting her seat when her horse considered being less consistent. George Morris tends to call this a sympathetic seat, something that becomes essential in keeping a consistent stride, accurate distances, and making deliberate choices. It also allows her to ride stride for stride and make adjustments as necessary around the course.
Equitation is all about the style of how you ride, and how effective you are as you’re doing that. Langmeier rides her winning 2015 ASPCA Maclay trip with unwavering certainty, visible in how intentional her choices are aids are, proving her style and effectiveness were stronger (in comparison to) the rest of the finalists.
It’s important to remember the “in comparison” term, because when you take a step back, there are guidelines for judging but there’s no one size fits all. So in comparison to that trip, someone else could have had a better one. In comparison, you know. McKayla Langmeier’s efficiency, style, and accuracy made the perfect cocktail for a winning ride.
One thing that particularly stands out about her ride is that her decisions were definite. Each distance was accurate, each stride was deliberate. These things are important to note because she left no room for confusion for her horse. Their communication was seamless, invisible aids to everyone else.
Watching the 2015 Maclay Finals winning ride gives you a great example of a really accurate, effective rider. So if watching this video inspires you to head to the barn, try watching her 2013 Maclay Finals rides. The difference between the two will really encourage you to drop your stirrups.
Okay, if you’re not into dropping your stirrups, then taking a look at where McKayla Langmeier is now might do the trick. This past year, Langmeier took the blue ribbon in the 2017 George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship. Now really, go drop your stirrups.