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Wow, what a fantastic day we had at Boomerang Stables with Blyth Tait and Matt Ryan courtesy of SupaStuds......
Well, where do I start?! Those of you who read my Blogs on a regular basis will have known that I was lucky enough to be selected and invited to the SupaStuds Training Scholarship viewing day.
So, Thursday 12th April arrived and I was very excited. As it was quite a way to travel we left the yard quite early in the morning to ensure we got there in plenty of time. I had looked on the website for Boomerang Stables and noticed they have superb XC schooling fences so I decided to take Milli to see some new fences, and I pleased to say she was very well behaved. She jumped whatever I asked her to very confidently! I can't wait to get her out eventing :)
As I was in the adult category I wasn't riding until 3pm so, once we had sorted Milli out we headed off to go and have some lunch, which was incredibly tasty. With lunch eaten I watched the beginning of the lesson before me, and took note of any useful advice given.
I then went and got Roxie all tacked up for our first lesson of the afternoon, which was an hours SJ lesson with International Event Rider and Trainer Blyth Tait. This was probably the best hours SJ training I have ever had! Blyth commented on my weaknesses and showed how making tiny adjustments can bring great results. Blyth noticed that my left shoulder occasionally dropped down which was then making me sit off centre in the saddle. To correct this he told me to think I had a pet parrot on my left shoulder and when my shoulder dropped the parrot would fall off.....poor parrot! So whenever I am riding from now on I will keep checking I’m sat straight and that my parrot is still on my left shoulder!!
After this we had a very informal interview with Bruce and Annie Jolly. This was our chance to let them know how the scholarship would help and how we would use it and also what we would do for SupaStuds in return for the support. It was lovely chatting to them, and hopefully I said the right things?!
Next I had a lesson with International Event Rider and Trainer Matt Ryan. For this we were jumping a course of SJ's on the grass, which was very helpful as 99% of the SJ at events is on grass. We were told the course and went off to jump it, we were then given advice on improvements we could make to our round by Matt and then told to jump the course again. Matt said that I needed a stronger canter when I approach a combination as she rushes through it because she is struggling to make the distance, so on my second round I approached he triple in a much stronger engaged canter and she jumped it superbly, not rushing at all :) GREAT!! We then went and jumped a few XC fences with Matt, which helped me and Roxie enormously, as we are still not that confident when we drop into water. He sent me away to canter trough the water and then jump the log drop into the water as I normally would, so we did. Matt then asked me to come again, but this time my canter needed to be much stronger (really quite fast!) and when I get to the log drop I was to soften my contact on her so she could lower her head and see what she has to do......off we went again with a much stronger canter and WOW, the jump in was superb, probably the best jump into water I’ve ever ridden!! She got to the log lowered her head, dropped in and swiftly cantered out. Brilliant I thought....''Much better'' Matt said.....''But'' (there's always a but isn’t there?!?) Matt said the jump and drop in was much better but I need to keep my shoulders up a bit more. Once the rider softens the rein the horse has all the space she/he needs so the rider needs to just sit up nice and tall on landing so the horse doesn't land on the fore-hand is properly balanced and ready for the next part or exit from the water. We came round again and this jump was great or ''Brilliant jump, much better approach and drop in'' as Matt put it :)
If you haven't noticed already I had a fantastic day and am so grateful to be given this fantastic opportunity to train with the very best, this was just the training we needed before our first International event of the 2012 season next weekend at Hambleden. So, all that is left for me to say is a huge, HUGE thank you to SupaStuds for organising such a brilliant day. All the advice I was given has been taken in and will stay with me and be used for many years to come. I would also like to say thank you for the superb gifts given out to the finalists on the day.......SupaStuds all the way from now on!!
Some pictures from the day are below and there are more pictures and exciting videos to follow soon so keep your eyes peeled..............including a video telling you the best way to jump and drop into water! (trust me it is great advice that really wor
Also Videos and Pictures taken whilst I was teaching at Chilham Park on Good Friday to be uploaded soon. We had a brilliant day, and the weather was nice to us!! It was lovely to see so many new faces as well. Don't forget keep checking out my Diary to see what's next.....
So, until next time,
Keep Calm & Canter On