11 Jan 2011
I have owned Ted, my fifteen year old Irish gelding, for four years. We compete at pre-novice level eventing and have now been training with Debbie for two years.
In this space of time both Ted and I have transformed as a partnership. Before we came to Debbie, although we were achieving good marks at Pony Club level, we were struggling to achieve the same results at affiliated level. The judge’s comments always featured at least one (if not all!!) of the following:
Needs to develop greater self-carriage for higher marks
Needs to work more uphill showing a greater degree of engagement
Hind legs could be more active
Horse a little stiff through back
Debbie explained that, by working to establish straightness into both reins, Ted would be able to soften through his back, engage his hind legs and stop leaning on his forehand. However, this required us both (mainly me!!) to break the bad habits we had got into over the years!
Debbie explains concepts so clearly that I now have a much better understanding of how a horse is working properly by softening through the back and going forward consistently into two reins. Ted is a lot suppler, more relaxed and works in a completely different way. The proof is not just in the fact that he looks and feels like a different horse - before starting training with Debbie our dressage scores were in the 40’s eventing, yet we finished last season on a dressage score of 26.5! The judge also commented that Ted was well engaged and has good dressage potential!
‘On the forehand’ and all the other old comments no longer feature on our dressage sheets, and this is all due to Debbie’s attention to detail and the soundness of the training we’ve received over the past two years. Thank you Debbie!!
Lucy Gowing and Ted
Lucy and Super Ted II