After a very quiet few months, due to a certain pandemic that need not be mentioned, I am finally back out teaching. Yesterday was the first day back, and it was both busy and brilliant! 12 lessons taught in all, and all went superbly.
Each clients is different, with different horses, needs, ambitions etc. so each lesson is different.
Due to their horses or themselves being a little unfit, apprehensive, or just wanting an easy session, a number of my clients were quite happy to spend their lesson schooling exclusively in the walk. It is amazing how much you can do and achieve only in walk, and it's a pace that I think a lot of us are guilty of neglecting. For some of my less experienced horse & rider combinations, their lesson consisted of variations on circles, shallow loops, serpentines, and turn about the forehand, and for my more advanced riders who wanted to work just in walk, we tackled different exercises which were variations of shoulder in, leg yield, quarter pirouettes, travers, and half pass. Some of the things that improved across the walk lessons were bend & suppleness, balance, regularity of the walk, forwardness, engaging the quarters, lifting the back, stretching, obedience, proprioception, and general good posture from the horse (and of course, the rider too) - all things that you'd hope to improve in lessons that involve all three gaits. So, even if you predominantly enjoy a leisurely hack, or have a play with Intro level dressage tests, a little schooling will go a long way to keeping your horse comfortable, healthy, and happy, and it really doesn't have to involve hooning around the arena!
I have to confess to quite enjoying my 'quiet' periods, of just training the walk work, between the more lively trot and canter lessons. If you've been considering having a lesson, but are apprehensive about trot and/or cantering, please know that there are coaches out there (myself included) who will respect your preferences and needs, and will still help you to learn lots and have a lovely time. If a slower pace suits you better, you will be just as welcome!
With some of my other clients we also tackled some nerves, did some trot poles, hooned around the school a bit, and did a lot of goal-setting & goal-achieving, which is always lovely
Next week I've got plenty more teaching to do including an equally busy Sunday of teaching, I'm schooling a few lovely ponies, and even having two lessons with my own coaches - saying that "I'm glad to be back" is quite the understatement!
I am a dressage trainer and general equestrian coach in Surrey, Sussex, and Berkshire. I teach dressage lessons, and hold a range of riding and equestrian clinics around the UK, and use my blog to share horse training tips, advice, and resources.