An eventing day with a difference!

Baxter and I attended our clinic yesterday, run by Aadom Sporthorse Stud and the amazing Allison Domney.

The day started with the usual pack up and float load, Baxter was so excited we were going on an adventure he practically ran onto the float! On with the two hour drive (and a few wrong turns) and we arrived at the beautiful grounds at Brookleigh Equestrian Centre.

First up we had our dressage lesson, which was an hour one on one for each rider. Baxter and I started off doing some large circles of walk, trot and canter with a few transitions, which Baxter achieved smoothly.

As always, Bax was a little stiff in his hindquarters so Allison directed us to achieve more flexion on the circle while still continuing our transitions through trot and canter.  We were nicely warmed up by now, so to further encourage Baxter to loosen up Allison moved onto some canter leg yielding with us. We started on the right rein riding the full arena and on the straight I asked Baxter to move across, away from my inside leg and step underneath his tummy more to leg yield. In between our leg yields we did some huge stretches, where I let Bax drop his head right down and extend his canter stride out to stretch his back and enjoy the ride!

We got the hang of it eventually and Bax loosened up well so we repeated the exercise on the other rein.

The next exercise was shoulder-in. We still need a lot of improvement here, however we have improved from our last efforts. As with most horses we have one side that is easier to achieve shoulder-in than the other. We need to concentrate on Baxter getting his hindquarters really active and underneath him, which I suppose will come with time and practice.

Our last exercise was a little bit of walk to canter transitions. These are hard to do smoothly and cleanly! Allison guided us to work in a figure eight with the transition in the middle, this was a great way to get these transitions working even if we only had two clean transitions out of the ten or so we tried!! Homework for next time I say!

We then warmed down and gave Bax a big drink, wash and put him into his little yard with some lunch to prepare him for the afternoon!

The cross country was a combined lesson with six riders. HUGE FUN! We worked on all different types of jumps from a ditch, drop jump, ditch/log, another log setup and a log combination with shark teeth and a double log.

Each jump was worked on individually, then once we were all confident with them we worked all the jumps in together. Our favourites were the drop jump (which had a nice steep slope coming into it) and the ditch/log. The jumps were about 60-70cm… however, Baxter thought he would make his own height and decided to jump way higher than he needed to over a few of the jumps, say 1m, I think we need to practice judging the height of the jumps Bax!!

Here are some snaps from the day! Photo’s courtesy of Maxine Waterhouse. Hopefully I can track down some jumping photo’s, unfortunately I didn’t get any on my camera!

A big thank you to Allison Domney for running the clinic, to Maxine Waterhouse (also riding at the clinic) for your generous help and support and to the other riders Danielle, Isabelle, Rebecca and Kate for helping make the day so much fun!