Posted by: rstor | June 7, 2012

Absolute Horse Magazine Kyla’s Corner: A new addition to the team!

Hello again! My current news is that I’m recently back from the annual Inter-Nations Show, which was held this year at Norton Heath Equestrian Centre in Essex. I took my present equine team of Zac, Zula and Zerro, all of which had wins for me – I had a great time being part of the team events – as we riders get so few opportunities to work together, instead of against each other! Zac and Zerro’s teams both won gold, we had a fantastic team spirit all day and the results were really close; only one fence between the top two each time. Grand Prix Day was excellent fun and I was ecstatic to win four of the six classes; it works out so well when you can save the best till last, a strategy I always try to achieve.

But my best news of all is that on Good Friday, in the early hours, my mare Sonate produced a beautiful baby girl – a bay with one white sock and a drizzle of white down her face. Her daddy is No Limit, a top KWPN showjumper who has been imported from Holland by the Whorridge Stud, and this baby is my second home-bred foal by this stallion. We are all besotted by our new addition and much time is wasted on the yard at the moment making friends with her. Sonate had an easy birth with no complications and is very proud of her new daughter.

Still on the subject of youngstock, I have now actually sat on Frankie, Sonate’s two year old son – he has been much handled since birth, with all the basic skills for later on, and is a very happy confidant lad, taking everything in his stride. Actually getting on him caused him no stress whatever. This was a huge relief to me as obviously it can be very dangerous getting on a horse for the first time. I did have my RS-tor in place on the saddle and in my hand, but was glad not to need it. Frankie will now walk around with me on him comfortably once or twice a month in between his other in-hand lessons. It is so important to spend the time and energy with the young ones, so there are no sudden changes to their routine – routine is so important for all horses.

Team work between you and your horse is key. You must understand each other as much as possible – you must be the leader, as you have the greater brain, and must take the driving seat. Good horses are usually very forgiving and will often help where they can, if they understand your signals. Many of my pupils are frustrated at not being able to get it 100% right all the time but if you can get it 80 – 90% right most of the time, your horse (if he trusts you) will happily provide the little bit extra needed. Your job is to present the horse at the correct pace and take off point and his job is to jump it for you. Fail at your part of the bargain, and you make it harder, or sometimes impossible, for him. Build up your partnership with little exercises and always reward with a change, such as a gentle hack or a canter on the bridleway.

In this column, I’m aiming to help ABSOLUTE HORSE readers and Make a Difference! If you have any particular question or problems concerning your riding, I’d love to hear from you. I love puzzles, and horses are often the most puzzling creatures on the planet. Stay in touch at –

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