/ Straight Forward Riding

This course will count as a CPD refresher - please contact the Training Team if you wish to run this course.

With Carol Brett & Hilary Wakefield

As a riding coach for many years, having experienced many training methods, Carol Brett came to the conclusion that many of these training methods were becoming too complicated for riders, but more importantly, too complicated for horses and ponies to understand.

Carol and Hilary’s course aim is: to produce a sound, basic, logical and progressive system that can be used as a set of building blocks, for the teaching and training of both horse and rider, as neither can progress without them.

The act of riding inevitably subjects the horse or pony to a range of stresses on their bodies, that their biological structures have not been designed by nature to cope with. Therefore, it makes good sense to gain an understanding of how we, as riders, and coaches of other riders, can minimise these stresses in order to:

  • Increase the athletic potential of both horse and rider to improve enjoyment and performance
  • Protect the long term, health and soundness of the horse or pony

When one looks at how a horse works from a more scientific perspective, it is easier to be discriminating about various riding techniques and training methods. They either fall into the category of supporting progressive, correct movement, or inhibiting and eroding correct movement.

With the knowledge of the simple mechanics of riding, we can understand the balance of horse and rider regardless of the latest trends or streamlining equipment.

Therefore, we can simply assess the influences on the horse as either helpful and appropriate, or unhelpful and inappropriate.

This is information that Pony Club senior Members and coaches, at all levels, in all disciplines and of all ages can benefit from.

The course is all about fundamentals, with the emphasis on FUN! The morning session is an interactive, dismounted session in a classroom situation. The afternoon is a demonstration of a ridden session in an arena.

Explanation of the points of balance of horse & rider:

  • What are they?
  • Why are they important?
  • How do we find them?

How the following influences affect the above:

  • The rider’s habitual patterns of movement and posture
  • The quality of the contacts (seat, leg, rein)
  • The quality of straightness
  • The combined influences of speed (mph & tempo), rhythm and impulsion
  • Transitions

Carol Brett started teaching in The Pony Club in 1966.  She has recently retired as an A Test assessor and co-presented the Young Instructors Advanced Course for 14 years.  She has been involved with the study of equine and human bio-mechanics for many years and is now a highly respected international teacher and trainer.

Hilary Wakefield has a great passion for coaching and is a Pony Club Visiting Coach.  She thoroughly enjoys coaching riders of all ages and standards in any of the disciplines.

Carol and Hilary have a unique and unusual way of sharing their knowledge, which means that although this course will be covering the basics, it will be stimulating as well as fun and will provide everyone with food for thought.

See below.

Bring a packed lunch, check this with organiser.  Tea and coffee provided.

Morning session:

9.00am - Coffee & registration
9.30am - 1pm -This is an indoor interactive workshop where all participants get involved, so wear loose and comfortable layers. 

A warm room is required, especially in the winter - a local village hall would be useful for large numbers so that it’s easy to move about, especially if there are 20+ participants.

All equipment will be provided by the presenters.

Afternoon session:

2pm - 5pm - We will require 3 horses whose riders have attended the morning session, in order to demonstrate and experiment with the contents of the morning.  This can take place in an indoor or outdoor arena - again an indoor would be safer in the winter as the rest of the participants will be watching, seated.

Check details of venues with the organiser and dress appropriately to allow for temperature and weather conditions.

A fold-up chair would be useful if seating is not available in the afternoon.

This course would be very helpful to Pony Club senior Members and coaches at all levels, in all disciplines and of all ages - numbers will depend on room size in the morning - 15 minimum and 30 maximum.

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