A Christmas Present to enhance your rider skills

ANY RIDER whether novice or advanced, can benefit from help in using their seat more correctly and effectively or being in better harmony and dynamic balance with their horse. When I visited Eileen O’Connor this summer, she said simply, “The effect of lungeing is magical” — like having 10 lessons in one! Her students and clients would add that Eileen is fairly magical herself! For more information about Eileen, read the-effect-of-lungeing-is-magical

Continuing on the theme of improving riders’ seats I asked international rider Hannah Biggs if she would help an Out and About Dressage reader in a free training session. Hannah believes the minutest adjustments to the rider’s seat can have a significant effect on the horse’s ability to perform at its best. In fact, it’s a bit of a hobby horse of hers! And, unsurprisingly, it is a subject she frequently discusses with her friend Nicola Bell who trains riders on ‘Hoggy’ her mechanical horse. These trainers offer a combined session where seat corrections identified on your own horse can be practised and corrected on Hoggy. For more information about Hannah and Nicola, read trainer-hannah-biggs-talks-about-the-serious-fun-of-dressage and hoggy-inspiring-ride-life

What apart from a good balanced seat mostly inhibits a rider’s progress and success? I would say it is the issue of confidence, or the word we run away from, ‘fear’. Horses are acutely sensitive to people’s body language and inevitably performance and relationships can suffer when they sense uncertainty. It is the rider’s job to manage their own emotions and build the horse’s confidence but most of us need to be given coaching help and an appropriate toolkit for that at some point.

Claire Gallimore went to Holland for her own advanced education in horsemanship, training firstly at Academy Bartels and then seeking help from groundwork specialist Tristan Tucker with her own spooky competition horse. For more information about Claire, read

british-teams-rider-plans-to-settle-in-east-sussex and also recent show report two-good-little-boys-and-some-mega-and-mini-mighty-movers

With all the dedication it takes to become a good rider, it’s a shame when that effort is thrown away by not making the most of your own and your horse’s abilities in the competition arena. Leanne Wall has assisted countless young riders enter the arena to do their best for their team and country. And, of course, she helps many adults, too. Leanne has contributed towards several articles published on this website, a whole series on Dressage Basics, and most recently an article about warming up. See burnish-your-test-riding-skills-with-leanne-wall and warming-big-day

In her Christmas Present session she will video you riding your selected dressage test and then re-riding it having had the benefit of her coaching and advice.

All four of the above trainers, whatever your level of experience or whatever your goals, will be happy to help you with your riding.

Celia Cadwallader, 15 November 2018

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