As BHSII’s with our E and C exams looming, it was with great interest and excitement that we attended the training day at Judy Harvey’s yard.
First was Amanda Holloway who was riding a welsh X. Judy’s emphasis was to work on rhythm, keeping the tempo slow enough to improve the quality of the trot and response to the leg. The session ended with an interesting exercise on improving the flying changes. Amanda started them on a serpentine and Judy asked her to ride horseshoe shaped loops to give a straighter line to encourage a clean change.
Next was Nikki Herbert on a teenage ex event horse.
Then Nicole Biggs rode her older event horse. Both riders made improvements in the way of going of their horses.
Di Roberts rode her horse which is currently competing at Medium level. Judy rode this horse and improvement came from the horse being ridden forward to a still contact.
Nikki Herbert came next on a big rangy ex event horse with a lovely attitude. As requested we looked at the walk pirouettes. Judy emphasised the importance of preparation and rider positioning and improvement was shown. We then looked at the half passes followed by a flying change and tempi changes. Nikki was inclined to ask for the change too near to the corner. When riding the 5 tempi changes every 4th stride, Nikki was asked to ride the 1st change sooner on the diagonal so that the middle (3rd) change was over X and the final change was not too near the corner.
Nicole Biggs rode her Hanoverian event mare who she said was rather fixed down the rein. The mare proved to be a tricky customer but when she softened she worked really well.
Finally we observed some very good work from a client of Judy’s on a lovely Hanoverian gelding that has just started one time changes and has the beginning of piaffe. We all wanted to take this one home!
We found the day hugely helpful and so did the riders. We felt it was very open and easy to ask questions and discuss points. We would like to thank the F & I assn for allowing us to attend and Judy for being so positive, constructive and inspiring.
Report by Joanna Henbrey and Helen Hawkins.