Equestrian Life - June
PUBLISHED: 16:35 03 June 2013 | UPDATED: 17:18 03 June 2013
Bee is an ex-racehorse, owned by Cassie Brough. Cassie is retraining her to event, and has already taken her out to do some British Eventing Pre-Intro classes, where Cassie says the mare has been “getting better and better every time.”
If you and your horse want to be our Sussex Star, email a photo and some information about you and your horse to firstname.lastname@example.org
Each month we will be talking to international event rider Gemma Tattersall about her tips and tricks for keeping her horses on the road to success. Gemma will be helping us with everything from how to ride a square halt to preventing an excitable horse from rushing into a fence.
Having started her competition career at the age of eight, Gemma won both the Riding Club Junior (U17) Dressage Championship and, shortly afterwards, her first one-day event. She then went on to become part of the Junior British eventing team before representing her country at Young Rider level for two years, and winning two team gold medals in the process.
The World Class Programme has been supporting Gemma for the last nine years. A lottery-funded training scheme, this is designed to help athletes who show the potential to be future Olympic stars.
In 2010, Gemma was U25 National Champion, and this year she has been invited to become part of the World Class Elite squad. Now aged 28, Gemma has completed both Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials, two of the toughest and most prestigious three-day events in the world, and hopes to be selected for the Senior British Team.
Gemma is supported by Timothy Foxx, Weatherbeeta, Childeric Saddles, Treehouse Sporting Colours, NAF and Gemma J Jewellery.
Tip from the top
Before you can start asking your horse to do anything you need to think about your position, especially keeping a still, relaxed seat and steady hands. Really let yourself sink into the seat of your saddle whilst keeping your back straight, and think about tucking your tailbone underneath you and dropping your heels down, so that your stirrups are resting on the balls of your feet. Practice this in halt, before asking your horse to move forwards into a walk, and then when you’re happy, a trot and canter, keeping the same relaxed position thoughout.
When riding along, glance at your hands: they should have closed fingers, with thumbs on top, and most importantly, should stay still – imagine that you’re holding a cup of coffee in each hand, and if you tilt or wobble them, you’ll spill it. Every movement that you make with your hands can be felt in your horse’s mouth, and a soft, happy mouth is going to make for a soft, happy horse.