Frenk Jespers Brings International Insight to Ten Broeck Farm NEDA Sponsors Sold Out ClinicThe following article was published in the June 2008 edition of Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar
Ten Broeck Farm, Pepperell, Massachusetts and the New England Dressage Association (NEDA) hosted a three-day clinic with Frenk Jespers. Jespers has made two trips to the United States and both have included NEDA events at Ten Broeck Farm. The sold out clinic ran April 4-6 featuring local equestrians and more than 40 horses who participated in the riding and in-hand sessions.
“I really enjoy watching a talented rider with a talented horse in the arena. American riders seem interested in my assessments; they listen and have a great desire to learn,” says Jespers. Jespers is famous throughout Europe and his native Holland as an accomplished rider, trainer, breeder and judge. Recently, Jespers left his position after serving nine years as a member of the Royal Warmblood Studbook of the Netherlands (KWPN) Stallion Selection Committee. KWPN is the Dutch breeding organization for jumping and dressage horses, harness horses and Gelder horses.
Jespers commented that he noticed American riders are “friendlier” with their horses and they use less “physical pressure” than he sometimes sees with European counterparts. According to Jespers, the softer style helps horses stay healthy and relaxed. He says even with a quieter state of mind you can still get results.
Some of the riders suggested that they liked Jespers’ similar teaching technique. Alexia Rosoff of Pepperell says, “Frenk has a quiet, gentle approach to getting horse and rider into position.” Likewise, Colleen O’Conner-Dzik of Majestic Gaits Farm commented, “Frenk has a very relaxing tone, it keeps us calm and I feel like my horse is actually listening to him.”
Julia Hefferan of New Hampshire rode her Variant x Kompromis gelding “Nike” and explained her experience like this, “I was so impressed with his low key yet supportive style. He did an excellent job of communicating and gave very specific direction during the walk and trot. He emphasized the importance of properly setting the horse up for transitions. Collected walk then trot. The reassurance always helps too.”
Brittany Lincoln performed with her horse Tai-Pan and explains, “Frenk has a valuable international perspective. I rode with him a year ago and he actually remembered us as well as what we needed to work on. It was great to have him notice our progress.” Shelby Lawrence, who recently relocated from New Jersey to intern at Ten Broeck Farm, summed up her riding experience as “fabulous.”
The crowd touted Jespers as a “wealth of knowledge”. He was well respected riders and auditors alike. Jespers has described growing up in an area surrounded by jumping, yet says his heart has always been in dressage. According to Orintha Silva, co-owner of Ten Broeck Farm, “Frenk brings a unique combination of knowledge to the arena. His astute eye for conformation and breeding experience is transferred under saddle where riders can benefit from his profound feedback.”
On the third day, the clinic focused on in-hand sessions to assess the horse’s conformation. Each horse is scored based on its physical characteristics and movement while shown by a “handler”, or person on the ground. Phil Silva, co-owner and professional handler at Ten Broeck Farm, comments, “Frenk spends a lot of time evaluating each horse, explains as he goes, and helps everyone understand what’s important to a judge.”
Frenk and son Rick, who is now working full time in the business, both enjoyed their time in Pepperell. They especially enjoyed the evening reception where everyone could socialize more intimately and share stories outside of the arena. Jespers plans to return to the States in 2009. The Silvas say they always welcome his wisdom at Ten Broeck Farm and another event is in the works.
Ten Broeck Farm is a 14 acre equestrian center, sponsored by Nutrena, specializing in the art of dressage. Owner/Trainer Orintha Silva shares more than 35 years of equine experience with every client. She works with both Warmbloods and Lusitanos offering lessons, training and coaching. Services also include professional handling for breed shows/inspections, equine valet and international horse sourcing. Ten Broeck Farm is also an authorized dealer of the amazing TR3 Rake for optimizing your arena.
Visit www.tenbroeckfarm.net for the latest clinic and show schedule. Ten Broeck Farm, 1 Old Farm Lane, Pepperell, MA 01463, 978-877-6636.
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