Training Day at Talland School of Equitation with Pammy Hutton

On Monday 25 January 2016, Pammy Hutton hosted an excellent and informative training and learning day for the F&I Association, at the Talland School of Equitation near Cirencester.

In attendance and in support were Jeremy Michaels and Judith Murphy with ten participating riders, four of whom are working for the BHSI exam and twenty spectators.

The day commenced at 10am with five riders being fortunate enough to ride some lovely horses ranging from dressage schoolmasters, eventers and show jumpers all of which gave the riders (and spectators) much to think about and discuss. Pammy in her inimitable style, cajoled and teased questions and comments from all in attendance. During the day the horses were probably the best coaches as they showed when the riders were ‘pressing the right buttons’ – thank you to all those excellent schoolmasters and mistresses, the BEST teachers of all!!

The first five riders were fortunate enough to ride until lunchtime after which a new group of riders rode a similar high standard of horse. During the afternoon session, Pammy also rode several of the horses to demonstrate the rapport and understanding she shares with them and you could almost hear them saying, ‘OK Mum, whatever you say!’ Once Pammy had shown how her horses should be working – connected, forward and over their backs – the riders remounted and soon felt exactly what she was looking for.

Spectators were encouraged to participate by questioning and discussing methods of training, BHS/UKCC exams, horse breeds, rider position, rider effect and many, many more topics.

Towards the end of the day, we were treated to a fantastic GP freestyle test ridden by Pippa Hutton who rode beautifully with precision and feel for the music, and we all wish her luck in her forthcoming competitions.

The feedback from attendees after the day and later on Facebook was unanimous – an excellent, inspiring day with fabulous horses, led by an experienced, thought-provoking coach. Thank you Pammy and we all look forward to the next one!!!

Jeremy Michaels, FBHS

Scholarship in memory of Margot Tiffany BHSI

The Fellows & Instructors Association has pleasure to announce the news of an important new scholarship through the BHS, in memory of our own Margot Tiffany BHSI.  It was announced by Lynn Petersen BHS CEO at our AGM on 6th January 2016, and is aimed at supporting the development of our next generation of talented BHSAI’s.

From Lynn Petersen, BHS Chief Executive Officer

Dear Member of the F&I Association

We hope you have all had an enjoyable and productive 2015 and are looking forward to an exciting 2016. We would like to thank you for your support of the BHS throughout the year.

We would also like to take this opportunity to let you know about the exciting new changes that are taking place within the education department of the BHS.  We are updating and refreshing our training and exams and improving our marketing to ensure we provide better quality customer care.  Throughout 2016 and beyond we will be working to map and actively promote the training provision across the country.  In addition 2016 will see us launch a scholarship scheme to support the next generation of instructors and coaches employed in BHS Approved Centres and Livery Yards.

BHS Instructor Development Scholarship

As the largest provider of equestrian education and qualifications in the UK, it is our duty to inspire those individuals who will truly make a difference to the future of our sector.  Our experience has shown us that to reach the level of qualification necessary to aspire to a constructive equestrian career can cost a considerable amount, which is often the stumbling block for many talented individuals.

The initial aim of the scholarship is to increase the number of qualified BHS Assistant Instructors (AI) across the country.  It is hoped that by supporting these talented individuals we will strengthen the equestrian industry, providing it with additional qualified instructors who have gained a valuable industry recognised qualification. The Scholarship is to enable the individual to train and gain industry experience to create a well-rounded and knowledgeable instructor.  In addition to contributing towards the costs of training, the BHS will also provide funding towards the cost of the BHS Stage 3 and PTT examinations and the first year on the BHS Register of Instructors.

At the heart of this scholarship, is a celebration of the life and legacy of Margot Tiffany BHSI. We are honoured to have received a legacy for this scholarship in Margot’s name as well as contributions from many of her friends and close family members.  Margot served as a BHS Trustee from 2008-2011 with particular interests in qualifications and training, education and welfare. Margot’s tireless hard work and continuing advocacy of high standards make her an enduring figurehead for this scholarship. Each year, together with her family the BHS will present the Margot Tiffany Award to those candidates which successfully pass this scholarship. 

From Margot’s legacy and our own fundraising efforts, we are aiming to fund a minimum of ten scholarships in the first year with an ambition to grow this opportunity over the years to come.  We will have two application windows, one in the Spring and one in the Autumn.  All applications must be received by Friday 29th April 2016 for the Spring scholarship and Friday 28th October 2016 for the Autumn scholarship.

A selection panel of BHS Centre proprietors, staff members and leading relevant industry experts will review all applications and the top applications from each period will be awarded a scholarship.

If you have a talented individual working at your centre, or a centre near you, who would truly benefit from this scholarship, please encourage them to fill in an application with as much information as possible and return it by the deadline.

We look forward to working in partnership with you.

Yours sincerely

 

Lynn Petersen

Chief Executive Officer

 

Click here for The British Horse Society Instructors Development Scholarship – Guidance Document

Click here for Application form

Do you have your FBHS or full BHSI?

For those of you who are Full Instructors of the BHS i.e. you have your FBHS or full BHSI qualification we would like to draw to your attention that you are eligible to join the Association of Fellows and Instructors of the BHS.

The Association, or “F&I” as it is commonly known, is designed by FBHSs and BHSIs, like yourself, to fulfil a need for further training and development, and to be a vehicle through which we can all keep up with current events and future developments in our senior coaching world.

Chaired by the redoubtable Jillie Rogers BHSI, and with a strong and diverse committee of Fs and I s to assist her, membership is currently around 200.   We put on training days, visits, course walks, study days of all types, from top level discipline coaching, to yard management, to the latest training and veterinary techniques.   Events take place across the UK and Ireland, and they will enable you, one of our most qualified coaches, to gain access to top names, interesting locations, wise advice and an enjoyable exchange of ideas with peers.  And we run our own much-sought-after 2 day Annual Course in January each year.

The group knows how to have fun too – the recent post-AGM dinner and evening entertainment, with attendance limited to F&I members only, was widely acclaimed as a very enjoyable evening for all!   We even have a carefully maintained closed-group Facebook page which is proving handy for those who use it.

All FBHSs and BHSIs are welcome, wherever you are based.   The subscription is astonishing value at only £20 a year.  And if you’ve just passed your BHSI the first year is free!  Check out the website –fandiassociation.org.uk – or get in touch directly with Treasurer / Membership officer Judith Murphy FBHS on 07710 759901.  We look forward to welcoming you at our events this year.

Annual Course Dressage Training Report

It was great to have Jennie Loriston-Clarke back again this year to help and inspire riders and spectators! How many others have her depth and breadth of experience, and such understanding of horses and riders and their training, and her generosity to share this with others and pass the knowledge on!

She teaches with great insight, and quick identification of riders and horses abilities and problems, finding exercises and corrections appropriate to them, given with great energy and enthusiasm, forthrightness, clarity and simplicity, humour and encouragement and praise for improvement.

Jennie always started by finding out what the riders wanted to work on, and there were frequent discussions about what was happening, questions about what the rider was feeling and understanding, and during the work making corrections and adjustments in such a positive and clear way, that riders all made significant progress and were swept along by her energy and enthusiasm – often to achieve more by doing less, but doing it better, feeling more, tuning into the horse better, and always trying to be clear, asking for what was appropriate, and being fair to the horse. Every horse and rider showed real improvement, especially with the continuity and development of the work on the 2nd day.

The emphasis throughout the work was on ensuring the horse was reactive to the aids, which was dependant on riders sitting in a supple and balanced way – giving clear aids, and instantly rewarding with a quiet leg and a forward thinking hand, encouraging the horse to work actively forwards, willingly, and in self carriage. The rider should not be over-working with the aiding, nagging with the legs, over-supporting with the hands, with them doing more and more and the horse less and less! You allow the horse to make a mistake, then correct it, be a bit dramatic if need be, and keep the horse guessing what is coming next, so he is attentive, listening and waiting for you!

Much emphasis was placed on the transitions between and within the paces, where Jennie was looking for the balance in horse and rider, fluency, steadiness in the contact and quick but smooth reactions. In the trot, walk, trot transitions she encouraged riders when training to walk for enough time to get the rhythm and tempo really established. She was concerned that in novice tests where that transition was asked for over 2 or 3 strides, that it was often done too hastily and the walk and transitions suffered accordingly.

There was some discussion about leg-yielding, which Jenny did not particularly like as a movement. She preferred to start with shoulder-fore and shoulder-in, building gradually to travers and half-pass. With a 4 year old she would start with shoulder-fore in walk, then jog a shoulder-in, then step sideways a bit without a bend. She felt that with leg-yielding riders get muddled and ride it so badly, and that the elementary test where they ride a half 10 metre circle into leg-yield is confusing and not performed well. When leg-yielding was being used, she encouraged the riders often to keep the neck straight, with little or no bend away from the movement, and not to let the horse fall out through the shoulders.

Travers was used quite frequently, often with the comment that there needed to be more suppleness, and more bending through the body, while the horse looked straight down the line. In work in halfpass, keeping the rider’s weight into the direction of travel was emphasised, preparing with weight in the inside stirrup around the corner, usually starting in shoulder-fore, making sure the shoulders were leading, and being prepared to make adjustments, either steadying up the shoulders, or bringing the quarters more, feeling for the balance and rhythm, and riding the horse forward and sideways with energy and fluency, sometimes with medium trot, taking care not to block it with an overstrong inside rein. If there was any head tilting, ‘soften the hands and shake him off the rein.’

In all cases riders were encouraged to develop their own balance and core strength, so that they could sit upright and ride the horse forward with their seat, neither getting left behind the movement,nor being pulled forwards and tipped off their seat.

With some horses working on the canter zigzag and flying change work, she encouraged the rider when training, to ride the halfpass, get straight for several strides, and ride the flying change straight, and with one horse, for example, after left halfpass, to ride a little shoulder-in left before the change. Much depended on the horses balance and whether it was falling in or out with the shoulders when making the change and moving onto the new half pass.

In the work on flying changes, with a horse who got very tense and tight, the rider was encouraged to to ride him more forwards, and with another horse who got faster and faster through the tempi changes, to do one or two changes then halt, and possibly reinback, or ride a walk pirouette, then canter on, or ride a canter pirouette at the the end of a line of tempi changes to help set him back – ‘make him not sure what you are going to do and learn to wait for you!’ Riders were encouraged to sit quietly, staying on their seat in the changes, using small but clear aids, given in time -(this was often commented on -‘you were too late with your aid!’) to help the horse’s balance, straightness, forwardness and fluency. Improving the quality and balance of the canter was fundamental to getting good changes, and Jenny did much work using a variety of exercises tohelp a horse who was late behind in the changes. These did not produce the desired effect on the day, but the canter improved and gave the rider some good ideas to work on at home.

When working up to canter pirouettes, Jennie quite often used canter in quarters in on a small circle – the size varied according to the stage of training. With one horse who was just starting this and lacking confidence and then tending to lean on the bit and stopping itself, the emphasis was on using very little hand, very gently turning with the legs, seat and the lightest rein aid, ‘relax and turn your body’, ‘bring your inside shoulder and elbow back to bend her’, ‘just guide the horse round with more outside leg’. She was asked to come in and do a few steps then ride out, sometimes in medium canter, then come back again and gradually build up the work, being quick with the leg and ‘not so much poking the ribs with the spur’. With more experienced horses working on canter pirouettes, time was spent getting the horses canter really reactive forward and back, finding the right balance, engagement, and self-carriage in a ‘pirouette canter’. Some preparatory work was done in quarters in on a circle, taking care not to get too much neck bend, which could then block the inside hind leg. Sometimes they moved from quarters in to shoulder-in on the circle. When riding half canter pirouettes, as in PSG, riders had to make sure they were on the right line between K and X, and approach in a slight shoulder-fore position, not quarters-in, and not spend too long ‘preparing’ the canter, but be able to do so over 2 or 3 strides, half halt, keep the outside rein and turn. ‘The pirouette should be easy!!’ When riding out after the pirouette the rider should really keep the energy, straightness and line inthe counter canter as well as in the change at C.

Most horses worked individually, but there was a pair of very contrasting horses and riders that were very interesting to watch. One horse was ‘hot’, and inclined to get too short and deep in front, and tight in the steps, and the rider rather too ‘electric’, whilst the other horse had bigger but slower movement and needed to offer more effort and energy, and work more consistently in the contact, and the rider needed to ask for more. With the hot horse the request was frequently to ‘let the neck out more’, ‘relax, sit more quietly and softly’, and in the changes ‘do less with the legs – they come too far back, then that tips you off your seat and the horse starts swinging’. In some of the tempi changes ‘he’s doing the rumba! LOOK UP and ride forward more and stay up in front – horse and rider must focus upwards and forwards!’ In the one time changes, the rider needed to balance the horse more between each change as he gets faster and faster. Throughout the horse needed to relax more to enable him to work with bigger steps.

Some work was done on going from large walk pirouettes directly into a canter pirouette, and when approaching on a straight line to think shoulder fore. This rider was encouraged to work in walk – do shoulder-in, halfpass to the centre line, straighten, then a half walk pirouette – keeping the work relaxed but very precise, rider and horse correctly positioned and fluent. Jennie said she would not do this work with the other horse who needed to be kept more active and forward.

With the other horse, when warming up she was told not to worry if he did’nt want to stretch at the start, especially when they are fresh, but to keep the contact, and feel how much better the working trot was on the second day, and he was working well through his back. ‘You have to be able to ride into the connection for them to have something to stretch out to’. ‘Take care not to let the quarters swing outwards on turns and circles’. ‘Don’t waggle with your legs – the horse must canter FOR you, not BECAUSE of you!’ Much work was done on transitions within the paces, getting more energy, and when collecting the rider needs to find and keep the same rhythm with shorter, higher steps, and then he must GO, being instant in his reaction, not taking 3 strides over it. In the halfpass work the horse needed to move over more – if need be turn it into a leg yield, and be more incisive. In half passes take care not to be too strong with the inside rein and be stopping and blocking him. If he is tilting his head, soften your hands, shake him off your hands. ‘Bend your elbows, don’t have stiff arms’. When riding the SI and ride straight between the changes – sit stiller – don’t twist and throw your body about – be in time with your aids

When riding the tempi changes – SIT STRAIGHT and ride straight between the changes – sit stiller – don’t twist and throw your body about – be in time with the aids!  Much improvement was shown with both horses, especially on the second day.

One rider was encouraged to relax more throughout, the other to be more demanding, and not be happy because he offered something nice and then stop, but keep going, get him fitter and work him harder!

There were also some excellent group discussions with Jenny Ward, Tim Downes and Carol Bennitt, which all enjoyed and gave people a chance to ask questions and talk at more length about what was happening, and various ways of dealing with problems that occur in training.

It was a superb two days, and this report only begins to touch on the depth and detail in Jennie’s teaching. I know everyone would want to say a huge THANK YOU to Jennie for all her help, and sharing her knowledge so generously with all of us!

Report by Cherry Elvin

Plans for 2016 and beyond

Events with confirmed dates will be added to the events page.

25th January -F & I training with Pammy Hutton,  i/c Judith Murphy 07710 759901 or 01452 762020

30th January – Hunting In Ireland followed by a hunt ball. i/c Sarah Thorne 07768 981176 or 01823 481049

February 1.5 days training at Wellington Riding  with Richard Waygood i/c David Sheerin date tbc david.s@wellington-riding.co.uk  or  01189 225373

23rd February Jeanette Brakewell XC Training at Aston Le Walls i/c Catherine Shine 07720838153

3rd March – National Equine Forum – Birdcage Walk, London.  Contact Jillie Rogers at: jillierogers001@gmail.com

18th March A day at Millfield training towards the Fellowship exam. i/c Mandy Luesley 07941 116498, or mjluesley@sky.com

21st March – Mandy Holloway and Jeremy Michaels Coaching Day at Shorthampton Farm i/c Mandy Holloway 07753 367252

15th April – Scotland is organising a day with Nick Gauntlett  i/c Erik MacKechnie

 April date tbc a day with Judy Harvey  i/c Erik MacKechnie is on   07769553065  

18th April Russell Guire of Centaur Biomechanics –being organised by Mandy Luesley 07941 116498, or mjluesley@sky.com

26th April Punchestown Racing i/c Faith Ponsonby  Tel: 00353 872929449

May Course Walk at Badminton – Eric Smiley  i/c Ann Bostock 07889648478

May/June – Judy Harvey Training Day i/c Ann Bostock 07889648478

30th June Coolmore Stud Visit i/c Faith Ponsonby Tel: 00353 872929449

28th July (Thursday) F&I Hickstead details will be available later in the year from BHS

24th /25th August Millstreet International horse trials i/c Faith Ponsonby Tel: 00353 872929449

September Course walk at Burghley – Nick Turner i/c Ann Bostock 07889648478

19th – 24th October – The French Trip – booking form attached to email i/c David Sheerin- details above

Dates to be arranged:

Emile Faurie Training Day I/C Cherry Elvin

F&I Day at Ingetre with Tim Downes i/c Linda De Matteo

HOYS tickets will be available for F&I members – will be limited kindly organised by Simon Somers