Monday, 18 February 2013

The Great Awakening - Although My Leg Still Feels Asleep

Boomerang XC Schooling Field - A Hive Of Activity Today
This weekend has been uncommonly warm and sunny in the UK, although probably not quite as warm or sunny as Rocking Horse Horse Trials in Florida, which has headlined the US eventing season over the last few days. Over at Boomerang Stables, which has one of the few truly great cross country schooling facilities, the eventing community had woken from hibernation and there was plenty of pre-season activity. It has been one of the busiest days I've ever seen at Boomerang, and there was an incredible buzz around lorry park which was six deep in horses and ponies of all shapes and sizes with riders excited about getting out onto a real course in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

International Eventing Forum 2013 - My Highlights

No This Isn't An Event Horse, But It Perfectly Illustrated Some Basic Fundamentals & Floated When It Entered The Arena
February would be almost bereft of anything vaguely eventing were it not for the International Eventing Forum, and I'm very pleased I made it back home for the occasion. As you'd expect the day
 was split into three sessions one for each of the phases.

A Quick & Amusing Lesson On Presentation
Sadly I arrived late and was distracted by "hello's" & "how are you's" so missed a fair bit of the first session on Dressage and flat work led by Ian Woodhead, which included an amusing little slot on presentation and an exaggerated example of how not to present yourself and your horse for the dressage phase. It was all about look smart - think smart. If you put effort into your presentation, you'll be more prepared to enter the arena was the simple message.

The dressage horse pictured above did grab my attention when it entered the arena though. Please excuse my forgetfulness though as I can't remember the rider's name, but as you can probably see he rode beautifully and had switched from eventing to pure dressage.  One of the key purposes of this section was all about the relationship between flatwork and the other phases something both Mark & David reenforced later in the day (more on that in a minute). As such we were treated to watching this very expressive horse almost gallop round the arena and be brought back down to a balanced forward canter as if "galloping down hill and then preparing to jump an upright rail". The desired result: a horse underneath and in front of you.