Ann Bostock wanted help with the canter work for her 18yr old RoR. Judy addressed this by helping the horse to become more comfortable in his surroundings and worked to get him supple around Ann’s leg. This enabled him to let go in all three paces and lessened the need to ride him so forward.
Jenny Ward brought her big, beautiful 13yr old who she is competing at Inter 1.
Judy initially worked on improving the horse’s reaction to the leg, as opposed to him offering speed, which made his hind legs participate in propelling and carrying his frame forwards.
Judy provided assistance from the ground with the piaffe and passage, asking Jenny to work with a slightly longer and lower neck for throughness.
Mandy Luesley rode Betty, her home bred 6yr old mare, with whom she had achieved 69% at Novice the day before.
Judy improved the mare’s basic way of going by finding balance in a slower tempo, developing straightness on an inner track and reaction to a lighter leg aid.
Sarah Stewart rode Polly whom she had bought as 4yr old. The mare is now 14, and they are competing at Inter 1.
Sarah wanted help with the canter pirouettes, during which the mare was rushing and losing balance.
Judy addressed control, making Sarah responsible for steering, and wanted less effort from Sarah managing the horse. This allowed the mare to find her own balance and take her own responsibility for maintaining the canter.
On the left rein mare ran onto the inside leg, turning too quickly. Judy had her taking a couple of pirouette steps left, then turning right out of it into counter canter. The mare learned to wait for instructions rather than anticipating the movement and improved her balance.
In the passage, Judy included a couple of steps of medium trot between the passage periods, to teach the mare range of movement as well as create energy.
Elizabeth Allen brought Harry, a 7yr old, who was only backed at 5.5. She had taken him to the Nationals at Novice last year, and has qualified him for the Medium Regionals with 67%, recently achieving two Advanced Mediums of 68%.
Liza rode through a serpentine with changes. Right to left was balanced and clear; left to right, the horse twisted. Judy helped create new bend by over-curving each loop, fitting 6 loops into the arena rather that 4, which helped the balance.
Harry twisted at the poll in shoulder-in right. Judy corrected this by removing the bend and putting the horse on an increased angle without bend in order to gain control of the shoulders and straighten him.
Judy said that Harry is an enthusiastic horse, who needs to learn to wait so that he doesn’t drag the rider through the movements and lose balance. He hasn’t currently got the strength to manage his own power, which creates the twisting through the crest.
Sam Champney-Warrener and Sarah Stewart both coached sessions in the afternoon with Judy’s staff and schoolmasters. These led to many good discussion points and suggested exercises in order to improve each partnership.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, and the sun shone throughout! Thank you to Judy for hosting and Ann for organising.
Report by Dan Spencer and Melissa Troup