Fireworks! This time of year always seems to come around far too quickly. Luckily, we have very considerate neighbours who check it is alright to set their fireworks off, but the poor ponies don’t understand. They haven’t been too agitated though and I have kept the radio on and checked them at regular intervals — I wouldn’t mind, but Bonfire Night seems to last for at least a week!
I have just finished reading last week’s Horse & Hound article on Carl Hester’s pupils. This was of particular interest to me as two people who have influenced me in my riding career, Alice Peternell and Dan Greenwood, are both trained by Carl. They pass his training techniques onto their pupils, in a similar way that I like to pass the training methods that Alice and Dan trained me with, onto my pupils. I have also had the opportunity to watch Carl train Dan and Alice. Carl has a way of training horses and riders that looks seamless and effortless. It’s also interesting how many different ways Carl influences the Dressage world. I purchased Dalito (my four-year-old) as a two-year-old from Carl — I have very high hopes for him!
In other news Slim and Seren, the Irish cob and Welsh section D, went home today. Both have come on so much in just a week. Slim is feeling a lot more athletic, carrying himself much more and is better balanced. Meanwhile Seren has turned from being a red headed wild child to such a smart little poppet. She is still a bit of a demon and the canter is still a bit green, but the walk and trot is a lot softer and rounder so I am sure the rest will come in time. I’m so pleased for Laura, their owner.
As some of you may know, I like to train all sorts of horses in dressage. I enjoy the challenge of producing a correctly trained cob, ex-racehorse, whatever, to being a horse that can be just as competitive as your stereotypical warmblood. So many people fall into the trap of thinking flashy paces are what it takes. Obviously it helps if your horse moves well, but actually what is key, especially at the lower levels, is that the horses are rhythmical, consistent and forward — which with correct training any horse can do.
All the other horses are going well. Dalito, Stig and Woody are all being clipped this week — I have tried to leave them as long as possible, but it’s time for a good old haircut!