An On-Line Video Lesson Series with Trainer Christopher Ewing


Sandringham trainer Christopher Ewing has over 30 years of national and international show jumping experience.   With numerous wins in the show ring, Christopher is credited with having imported and trained some of the top hunters & jumpers in the country and he has a unique gift of bringing, both, horse and rider, to that "next level".  Many of the horses that he has imported and trained have gone on to win championship tri-colors at top shows, including "Renaissance" (pictured at left), the 2008 USEF Regular Working Hunter "Horse of the Year".  Several other horses that Christopher has imported and trained have gone on to win tri-colors at such shows as Capitol Challenge, Washington International Horse Show, Harrisburg, The National Horse Show,  Winter Equestrian Festival, Indio, Hampton Classic, and many others. Christopher has also trained junior riders who have ranked among the Top 100 equitation riders in the country.  Many became finalists who have competed in all of the major equitation finals, including the ASPCA Maclay Finals in New York, the USEF Medal Finals in Harrisburg and the USEF Talent Search Finals in Gladstone.  Christopher specializes in the sales of top quality hunters, jumpers and equitation horses.  He also gives clinics around the country and receives horses in for training.
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TRIVIA

The Origin of "The Forward Seat"
Captain Caprilli jumping in Italy.
Captain Federico Caprilli (Apr 8, 1868- Dec 6, 1907)
was an Italian equestrian who revolutionized the jumping seat. 
His position, now called the "forward seat," formed the modern-day technique used by all jumping riders today.

The old jumping seat: leaning back to "save" the horse's legs. Note the horse's inverted frame and poor technique.

 

 

 

Caprilli examined horses free jumping (without tack or rider), using photographs to document their shape over fences, and found that they always landed on their forelegs. He then developed his theory on the position the rider should take while over a fence: one that would not interfere with the horse's jumping movement and most importantly one that would not touch the horse's mouth.

 








The old jumping seat involved the rider using long stirrups, keeping his legs pushed out in front of him, and his body leaning back, pulling the reins, as the horse took the fence. This position was adopted because it used to be believed that the hindquarters and hocks were more flexible and better shock absorbers than the fragile front legs. By leaning back and pulling the horse's head up, the riders tried to encourage the horse to land hind legs first (YIKES!), or at least with all four legs, to decrease the impact on the front legs.

This position had extreme problems, first and foremost because the horse was uncomfortable being hit in the mouth over every obstacle. The position also kept the rider's weight directly on the back of the horse, and pushed the rider behind the motion, sending his center of gravity behind the horse's. The weight on the horse's back, in addition to the upward pull on the head, made it impossible for the horse to round up in a natural bascule over the fence. Thus, the rider interfered with the horse's jumping movement, making it more difficult (and sometimes painful) for it to clear the obstacle, and made many horses sour when it came to jumping.
(Photo: Unknown rider, circa 1929 at a horse show in the United States, displaying the typical jumping style of the day, prior to the Caprilli influence that was becoming increasingly popular in Europe and, soon, the US).

Caprilli's position made horses much more willing to jump obstacles, now that they were free of interference. However, his "rebellion" against the "classic" position of the day lost him his position as Lieutenant in the Italian cavalry and he was no longer allowed to train cavalry units.  Luckily, the Italian Military Chief tried Caprilli's methods years later with great success, and reinstated Caprilli in the famous cavalry schools of Northern Italy.  After a year of training, members of the schools had made incredible progress. The horses became so willing to jump that riders completed the training course without reins!

Due to his incredible success, Caprilli was made Chief Riding Instructor of the Italian Cavalry. The Italian cavalry began to dominate international competition, and riders came from countries all around the world to study Caprilli's system. The style spread world-wide, helped by the fact that Caprilli himself rode in the 1906 Olympic Games.  Caprilli died in 1907, after a freak accident when his horse slipped on icy cobblestones and fell.

 

Questions & Answers
To email your training questions to Christopher, "Click Here"

Q"Hi, I noticed on your website that you called a horse an 'Oldenburger'.  Isn't that a typo?"

Christopher: "Actually, that is the correct name of the breed.  Almost all of the European breeds, especially the ones from Germany, are named after towns or areas of the country where the breed originates.  Think of it this way, if you are from New York, you would be called a 'New Yorker'.  If you are from Michigan, you are called a 'Michiganian' or sometimes a 'Michigander'."   

Below is a table that I have created with images of some of the various German horse brands, along with a small diagram of the region or town where that breed originates, as well as the correct pronunciation of that breed:

Horse's Brand Horse's Area of Origin in Germany Pronunciation of Breed

Brandenburg / Berlin
 
"Brandenburger"
 Location of Hanover in Germany
Hanover
"Hanoverian"
*Germans actually
call them a "Hannoveraner"
(sic)

Holstein
"Holsteiner"

Mecklenburg
 
"Mecklenburger"

Oldenburg 
"Oldenburger"

Rhine River/Rhineland
 
"Rhinelander"
or "Rheinlander"

Westphalia
"Westphalian"

   
Below are some other brands that you may have seen and wondered "what kind of brand is that?"
(Note: For breeds that are named after regions or towns, a small diagram of the country of origin is displayed
with the location of the region or town highlighted):

Horse's Brand Horse's Area of Origin

American Trakehner
 
United States

Anglo Arab
 
Syria


Australian Warmblood
 
Australia

Belgium Warmblood

 
Belgium

British Warmblood
 
Great Britain

Canadian Trakehner
 
Canada

Danish Warmblood
 
Denmark

Dutch Warmblood
 
Holland


 
Finland

German Riding Horse
 
Germany


Great Britain Hanoverian
 
England


Haflinger
 
Austria

Hessen
 

Germany


New Zealand Warmblood
 
New Zealand

Sachsen
 
Map showing the location of Lower Saxony in the northwest, Saxony-Anhalt in the center, and the Free State of Saxony in the southeast.
Germany

Selle Francais
(Translation: "French Saddle")
 
France

Swedish Warmblood
 
Sweden


Swiss Warmblood
 
Switzerland

AAchen 2006
Trakehner
 
Russia

Note: The origin of the Trakehner traces back to the horse breed "Schwaike", which is now extinct.  Our modern day Trakehners were started in the 1700's in the town of Trakehnen, which is located in Russia.


Württemburger
 

Germany
 

Zangersheide
 
Belgium

Zweibrucken
(Translation: "Two Bridges")
 
Location of Zweibrücken in Germany
Germany

Questions & Answers

To email your training questions to Christopher, "Click Here"

"How are horses branded?"
 

    

Videotaped on a trip to Europe, Christopher shows you the process of a foal being branded. 
Caution: this video clip may be disturbing to some viewers.  "Click Here"

 

"How are horses transported on airplanes?"

 

"What kind of planes do horses fly on when they are imported?"
"What do the planes look like?"
"Are they cargo planes? Are they commercial planes?"
 
After having imported countless horses from Europe, Christopher shows you,
using moving video from one of his trips overseas, just how horses are flown on an airplane. 

"Click Here"

For Beginner Riders & Green Horses:
"Mounting"


In this on-line lesson series geared for beginner riders, or those with green horses, Christopher explains the proper way to mount a horse.  For those training green horses, he also explains an often overlooked technique in training your horse to be mounted that is very important, not always easy and, at times, can even be dangerous.  "Click here".

For Advanced Riders:
"Why Can't I Ride Like That?"


"Overcoming the Adult Rider Jitters"
Christopher gives Adult Amateur riders advice on how to shake the "jitters" 
and ride with confidence. "Click Here"

 

Sandringham trainer Christopher Ewing
featured in the November 2006 edition of "Equestrian magazine"

"Click" on the photos above to read the article
 

 


Sandringham trainer Christopher Ewing has over 30 years of national and international show jumping experience.   With numerous wins in the show ring, Christopher is credited with having imported and trained some of the top hunters & jumpers in the country and he has a unique gift of bringing, both, horse and rider, to that "next level".  Many of the horses that he has imported and trained have gone on to win championship tri-colors at top shows, including "Renaissance" (pictured at left), the 2008 USEF Regular Working Hunter "Horse of the Year".  Several other horses that Christopher has imported and trained have gone on to win tri-colors at such shows as Capitol Challenge, Washington International Horse Show, Harrisburg, The National Horse Show,  Winter Equestrian Festival, Indio, Hampton Classic, and many others. Christopher has also trained junior riders who have ranked among the Top 100 equitation riders in the country.  Many became finalists who have competed in all of the major equitation finals, including the ASPCA Maclay Finals in New York, the USEF Medal Finals in Harrisburg and the USEF Talent Search Finals in Gladstone.  Christopher specializes in the sales of top quality hunters, jumpers and equitation horses.  He also gives clinics around the country and receives horses in for training.

      Horse Shows in the Sun    

 

 

 

To schedule a clinic with Christopher at your farm, or at Sandringham,
"
click here".

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