By Chelsea Smith
The Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association welcomed International four-star rider Kim Severson for a clinic April 1-2, 2017.
The first day of the clinic was stadium jumping at Land’s End Farm. Kim started each session with exercises that tested the rider’s straightness. In the arena, Kim had corners, skinnys, several carefully placed ground poles which were used to direct riders indicate EXACTLY where she wanted them to land and takeoff. She also focused heavily on accurate and balanced turns and again used ground poles to make riders act quickly.
“I loved the turning exercises on the stadium day. Even though the jumps weren't big, the questions were really hard. It made me feel really good when I got everything done.” –Robyn Munson
Munson works on keeping her horse straight. Photo by JJ Sillman
“Day one I really enjoyed the variety of exercises she had us do in stadium jumping, within the first half of the day she identified the issue I was having and helped me correct it by riding him straighter to the jumps and putting my leg on and really supporting him.” – Tess Utterback
Utterback jumps through a grid. Photo by JJ Sillman
Day two of the clinic was cross country held at Flying Cross Farm. Prior to jumping, Kim asked riders to demonstrate a gallop at a pace appropriate for their level. For example, the Beginner Novice group was instructed to gallop between two points at 350 and then 400 meters per minute (mpm). Kim discussed each rider’s accuracy and emphasized how important it is to be able to recognize what it feels like to ride the correct speed while on course.
Smith jumps into water. Photo by JJ Sillman.
Throughout the day, Kim had riders jump several courses that included banks and water, but again focused on straightness and turning. Both bank and water complexes had verticals strategically placed on lines that would require very straight and correct riding.
Kim instructs Rudd and Smith. Photo by JJ Sillman.
Tess Utterback was touched by how caring Kim was when she found herself unable to participate on the second day of the clinic.
“Kim saw my disappointment and took the time to get us over a few fences for my confidence and then talked to me explaining how many times she had been where I was before, wondering if she was being afraid or truly protecting her horse. I was so touched that she took the time away from the clinic to help me mentally with the decision not to go on that day to do what was best for my horse. I would happily and eagerly sign up for another Kim Severson Clinic, not only was she a great clinician but a true horsewoman with a big heart!”