BHSI Coaches and Assessors day at Ingestre Stables Staffordshire 2nd October 2014

20 enthusiastic BHS instructors travelled to Ingestre Stables, Stafford from Ireland, Scotland and nearly every region of England. Linda De Matteo excelled in her organising of the day, her first go at a training day for the F&I Association. The team at Ingestre did a smashing job ensuring that the day ran smoothly from the yard staff to “Aunty LIZ” in the coffee shop. It was my first attendance at an F&I day and it was great to feel part of an organisation which is proactive and supportive with NO uncomfortable ego’s to negotiate.

This day with Tim Downes FBHS, Rob Lovatt FBHS and Carole Broad FBHS was amazing value at the £25 cost for the day with lunch included, throughout the day all the sections of the BHSI Equitation and Coaching were covered.

My overview of the day was the assessors feeling the need to try and find a way to pass the candidate on the day of the exam. It was stressed that due to the pressure of the day it was often the case for the assessors to put in place “signposts” for candidates who may be getting stuck in that familiar rut at different  points throughout the exam process. The value of the practical candidate was discussed and how everyone has their own pathway to negotiate on the way to the BHSI exam through experience, training and self help development. The candidates ability to impart knowledge to the assessor in the oral discussion after the relevant section was also stressed,  at this level the candidate should be delivering a critical evaluation not just a descriptive one.

Delegates were encouraged to get involved if they wished, to lunge, and ride on the flat and over fences. Ingestre supplied a superb selection of horses, some being young and green starting their career to older schoolmasters and current competition horses most of which were involved in the BHSI Equitation and Coaching exam on the previous day.

Organised discussion groups evaluated horsepower, riding ability and coaching to improve the BHSI candidate in their preparation for the BHSI exam.  The role of the BHSI in today’s market was discussed, the outcome was that a BHSI should be “a problem solver through being a reader of the horse and rider to ensure the ongoing welfare of the horse”; another point to come out was the BHSI is the link between “development and performance”.

The consensus of the day after speaking to a number of delegates was the value of spending time with a peer group and realising that everyone was on a similar page of the BHSI exam training book. Inspiration was clearly achieved over this enlightening day with one of the parting questions being “How do I prepare for the Fellowship?”

Erik MacKechnie BHSI

Report from Burghley 2014

6 BHSI’s and 14 guests were given the chance at Burghley to walk the xc course with Eric Smiley FBHS. As always Eric kept us entertained with various tales from years gone by. Beyond the stories there is a great depth of knowledge that Eric is very good at putting across especially when talking about times/speed and where you should be on the course to stay up on the clock (which no one was able to do this year).

There were many relevant questions and discussions throughout the walk including why to have knot in your reins and how to tie it using a shoelace!!!!!

Our thanks as always goes to Eric for his time, knowledge and enthusiasm.

by Ann Bostock


Carl Hester Day 19 August 2014

Organised by Andrew Fletcher BHSI

On Tuesday 19th August a “large” group of F and I members and some of their guests were treated to a truly inspirational demonstration of HAPPY horses enjoying their work with superb horsemanship from the maestro Carl and his riders: Charlotte, Katherine. Amy and Katie.

Carl, with his lovely sense of humour, led us through his training philosophy from the young horse to Grand Prix. We were privileged to watch 6 horses with different temperaments, conformation and training plans. The horses definitely had an aura of “WE LOVE BEING HERE!” The convivial surroundings with dogs, hens and guinea fowl greatly enhanced the relaxed atmosphere.

Carl explained that he buys 2 y o horses with 3 good expressive paces and a workable temperament. The aim is to produce horses to compete at Grand Prix. Of course not all get there but the outlay has not been huge initially. Remember a huge walk not desirable for future collection. The trot can be developed. The horse’s ability to shorten and sit is even more important with the emphasis on piaffe in GP Test. An uphill canter is important.

The mechanics of the horse’s structure and movement (hock and knee) must allow a good moment of suspension. The horse must have self- motivation and want to go! Read more Carl Hester Day 19 August 2014

Céad míle fáilte Blossom Hill Ladies’ Day at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show

Boats, trains, planes and automobiles, but no horses, were all used as means of transport to get members of the BHS F&I association and their guests to the recent Blossom Hill Ladies’ Day at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show.  Style was to be seen everywhere, our party included, and thanks to the very kind arrangements made by Joan O’Connor, we were allowed to use the judges and stewards box and felt rather like VIP’S with ring side seats at the main arena for the day.

Most of our party met early to watch the jumping phase of the young event horse classes. These were divided into small, 4 yr old and 5 year old classes. Horses have tough competition to qualify over the spring and summer to reach the Dublin finals. There were a lot of quality horses on view with the obvious influence of continental blood being injected into the Irish breeding program so as to meet the demands of the modern sporting animal. It was nice to see good mares competing and we all agreed the winner of the 5 year olds, OBOS Impressive, a mare by  OBOS Quality 004, did indeed live up to her name and was indeed impressive. Read more Céad míle fáilte Blossom Hill Ladies’ Day at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show

F&I Visit To R.I.H.S At Hickstead  Ladies Day 2nd August 2014

Our group had a very pleasant day which started off as we meant to carry on in the BHS Hospitality Box with teas, coffees and biscuits. We were ably looked after throughout the day by Eamon and Nigel the catering staff who also and most importantly did the washing up.

We watched a variety of Championship Judging Classes that included Hack, Ladies Hunters, Miniature Horses and Scurry Driving.

After an early lunch we then walked the Queen Elizabeth Cup Course with the renowned Judge Alan Jones. It was immediately obvious it was up to height (1.50m) and imposing, leaving little room for rider error. I was surprised to note a slight gradient to the arena which is not apparent on the television. Read more F&I Visit To R.I.H.S At Hickstead  Ladies Day 2nd August 2014