April 26, 27, 28 - Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave North, St. Paul, MN

Sponsored by the Minnesota Horse Council
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2019 MN Horse Expo Speakers/Demos
Schedule is subject to change

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Laura Benson

Laura ‘Lala’ Benson was the first American to graduate from the 3-year program at Hólar University in Iceland and become a licensed Icelandic riding instructor and member of FT. She graduated with the high point ‘Astund Reiomennska’ award for best horsemanship.  She’s been riding since she can remember but at the age of thirteen she met Gudmar Petursson and his Icelandic horses and never looked back. Laura has devoted her life to the training, education and promotion of the Icelandic horse in North America. Laura is famous for her bridleless riding performances on her gelding Stjarni frá Blönduósi. Laura is an avid competitor and has worked with many acclaimed Icelandic Horsemen such as Guðmar Pétursson, Mette Mannseth, Eyjólfur ísolfsson, Sígurður Sígurðarsson and Halldór Guðjónsson to name a few. In her ‘free time’ she studies Portuguese classical dressage with world renowned Portuguese trainer, Carlos Carneiro. Laura travels around the US and Europe teaching clinics and is a partner and performer in The Knights of Iceland Show team. In 2005 she independently founded the Valkyrie Icelandic training program and riding school in the Northern California Bay Area. In 2017 Laura founded Gaedinga Dressage with partner Carrie Lyons Brandt of Taktur Icelandics.  Laura will present with Carrie at the Minnesota Horse Expo on Friday and Saturday. 

Friday April 26

9:00-10:00am  DNR Building  Lecture
Defining and Understanding Collection and Carriage for the Gaited Horse 

Exploration of the benefits of collection for horses with an ambling gait, and why correct form is important to your gaited horse's health and happiness.

11:00-Noon  Compeer Arena  Arena Presentation
Gæðinga Dressage

Experience how to use dressage to balance the horse through a flow of classical exercises while maintaining the spirit and freedom that characterizes Icelandic horsemanship

2:00-3:00  Compeer Arena  Arena Presentation 

Dressage Exercises for the Gaited Horse 
A demonstration of a variety of dressage exercises, how they are ridden, and why they can have a positive impact on your gaited horse.



Saturday April 27

10:00-11:00 Compeer Arena   Arena Presenation
Clean Gait for a Smooth Ride

Fixing beat problems in gaited horses for a smooth ride out on the trails or in
the show ring. A study of the biomechanics of the ambling gait in gaited horses and exercises to help bring out a clean four beat gait in your horse.  Demo would include case studies of pacey, trotty, and rolly horses and the best strategies for dealing with those issues.

3:00-4:00 Compeer Arena  Arena Presentation
Building a Dressage Training Session for the Gaited Horse

Although we all love to hit the trails, building a foundation of dressage in the arena can be very beneficially for all gaited horses and riders.  This demo explores how to design a training session using dressage concepts and exercises to bring out the best in your horse

6:00-7:00 DNR Building  Lecture
Applying the Dressage Training Pyramid to the Gaited Horse

Detailed information on each element in the dressage training pyramid and how it applies to gaited horses.  Discussion of why these elements are important to your gaited horse’s quality of movement and long term soundness.



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