Words by Wiola Grabowska
Photography: Christine Dunnington Photography
The atmosphere, the effort and the fabulous training spirit: The Riders
There is so much planning and thoughts that lead to Academy’s Intensive Training Camps that it’s hard to believe when one is done and dusted!
Our host for The Spring Camp 2017 was Oldefields Equestrian Centre in Seer Green, Buckinghamshire. Huge thumbs up for this venue as even though they have been undergoing some extensive improvements works, we felt welcomed and comfortably left to enjoy the facilities of which their 40×70 ish m arena was a luxury we don’t have at home.
A few of my own reflections
The actual Camp is a whirlwind for me and probably the biggest challenge is to switch quickly between teaching different riders, different horses, different tasks, different learning styles, personalities and characters, in such a way that the sessions bring the best out of the horses and riders.
I feel I am getting better with each Camp but still plenty to improve. It’s important to me that all the riders retain their own styles of riding with just the core foundations and structure in place.
I don’t want to train carbon copies and my personal coaching challenge is always is teaching certain basics of horsemanship and training values that matter to me and become so solid, so confirmed, so ingrained that they simply provide an unbreakable foundations for the riders to grow on in their own style.
The key is that the rider treats the horse with respect and knowledge of how the animal learns – both from physical and mental point of view, what makes them do what they do. I have zero tolerance for violence in training and zero tolerance for riders who think it’s horse’s ‘fault’ something isn’t happening.
I feel very lucky to teach the kind of riders I do, they keep me on my toes and challenge me for sure but I wouldn’t have it any other way and hope they are able to continue riding with me long term 🙂
Enjoy the photos 🙂
THE CANDID SCENES
THE TRAINING SNAPS
RIDERCISE SESSION WITH CLARE GANGADEEN
On Sunday morning we spent 2h with the founder of RiderCise, Clare Gangadeen, who ran a variety of test exercises to help everyone build more awareness of their own individual strengths and weaknesses from the rider fitness point of view.
Next Intensive Training Camp is planned for August and we are on the lookout for a suitable venue to hire 🙂
Until Summer Camp!
All the best,
Huge thank you to:
Christine Dunnington (left on Jasper in her Friday session) for hundreds of photos and videos taken during this Camp as well as hours of help behind the scenes;
Kelly Hill, the Academy’s livery head honcho, for all the assistance and help with making this Camp happen;
Gemma Hill for legging back to home yard to teach our youngest rider who didn’t attend the camp and for making a super video out of many vlog clips we took for our in-house enjoyment;
Tatiana and Gary Thorpe for all-round support and a fantastic BBQ on Saturday night;
Lou Crow for helping me get home in the evenings!
And all the riders for making these Camps so much fun to run!