Jumping report from the Annual Course

The 2007 annual F & I course took place at Addington Manor on 10 th & 11 th January – if you missed it, WHY WEREN’T YOU THERE ?!!
As a relatively new member of the association I was astounded at how few people took advantage of such a fantastic opportunity to train with 2 of the equestrian world’s most respected and admired coaches.
Pammy Hutton FBHS was busy for 2 days solid, teaching and openly discussing training methods and different approaches to many of our dilemmas and questions.
I was able to book 2 lessons each day with Eric Smiley FBHS, taking a Novice and an Intermediate horse with me, and was able to benefit from Eric’s consistent and positive approach to jump training.
Day 1 :We used individual fences and worked on the quality of canter and rider’s position.
Day 2: We used a course of fences and looked at distances in combinations and linking fences – and at the end of the session we jumped a few angled lines and tested the horses’ straightness, agility and understanding of the exercises we had covered.
I thoroughly enjoyed the logical and progressive style that Eric delivers so easily, basically if you can’t canter a straight line over the centre of a single pole without the horse changing canter lead, how can you progress to successful course jumping ?!  We all teach it, but when under the spot light the exercise revealed a lot of basic errors that, however minor, affect the overall jump, and that was just the warm up !!
Various corrections, suggestions and group discussion resulted in an improvement in horses in every group – whether it was bit changing or rider position.
A little Irish wit and dry humour ensured the experience was a memorable one – if you missed it, you missed out !!!
What a great opportunity for liked minded people to get together, bounce ideas around and learn different techniques – there are many roads that lead to Rome, through the F & I Association and the various Fellows and Coaches in attendance, we covered a lot of ground !
by Heidi Woodhead

Report from training with Pammy Hutton at the F&I course

Once again the two days of dressage training was provided at the F and I course by Pammy Hutton FBHS. The biggest theme for the first day that I believe Pammy was trying to get across was that training was a team effort. Very kindly Pammy had asked if Ian Woodhead, who was at the course with his wife Heidi (who was riding in the jumping sessions with Eric Smiley), would possibly give his opinion and training in some of her sessions.
In my first session Ian, asked by Pammy, came in to the session about half way through. My big Dutch warm blood was working nicely but was being quite strong in the hand and tanking at times. What Ian had me do was gallop down the long sides of the arena as fast I could and then just before the wall I was to pull him up, not by continually pulling until he stopped but by giving him short sharp pulls on the rein to try to make him stop instantaneously. We spent the next 10 to 15 minutes doing this exercise on both reins. The end result was a horse that was in much more self carriage, much lighter and softer in the hand and a much more expressive trot that was coming more from behind.
Throughout the rest of the day when Ian wasn’t watching and helping his wife Heidi he would be watching the dressage with Pammy and they where talking about various ideas with the spectators as well as the riders during the sessions.

Read more Report from training with Pammy Hutton at the F&I course