Well we had a super day yesterday at Walford College, with 6 horses and riders, beginners and more advanced, and a healthy audience which included some complete beginners. There was a super positive, friendly and open atmosphere.
The horses were all very open and willing, so ready to learn and eager to please, and offering behaviours before we even asked for them, such great mind readers they are! All of the lessons were in groundwork.
Huge huge thanks to Kotti Brewin for organizing the day so well, and providing most excellent tea and biscuits.
Kotti kicked the day off with her lovely gelding Bozwell, by demonstrating beautifully the standstill exercises – forward down, stelling and bending – and the LFS on a circle. (So sorry Kotti I didn’t get a picture of Boz)
Rachael Childs made a great start with the beautiful Oregon, who mastered the standstill exercises and LFS circles. A lovely gentle horse, a great worrier who looked much more relaxed and confident by the end of his session. Changes in his mental state will be very interesting to see as Rachael progresses with Straightness Training.
Karen Whittaker and Tango – it was a treat for the new people to be able to see the advanced groundwork routine in walk through to the haunches in turn and renvers turn in the walk. Karen did a great job and Tango was giving his all and, although he was excited, he was still able to learn about diagonalizing the walk in preparation for the half steps.
Gill Cooper brought along her lovely mare Fen, who gave us a fascinating lesson about leadership and how the horse will be grounded when we are grounded, and will follow our leadership when we offer it. Counter shoulder in was invaluable to condition her to the spooky boards on the wall. Gill did a really great job bringing her back down to earth and in the end Fen was really quite relaxed and did some beautiful LFS without pushing and we were able to improve her haunches in.
Kate Martin and young George, such a sweet character and super sensitive, he demonstrated just how powerful air pressure can be from quite a distance from the horse, and how very light our aids can be. He is more than ready and will be a fast learner and a wonderful horse for Kate to work through the Home Study course with.
Pauline Daley and her wonderful thoroughbred Alf ended the day in a huge storm through which Alf stood like a rock. He was all the time ready to learn and trying his best for Pauline. A strongly right bended horse he started out very stiff on the left rein and after a really good release and giving him time to process he was able to offer a lovely LFS with good bending on both reins, with a good connection over the spine.
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Wendy Poore, Licensed Straightness Training Instructor with Marijke de Jong