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Equestrian news from across Sussex

PUBLISHED: 12:16 02 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:16 02 January 2014

Gemma Tattersall

Gemma Tattersall

LIBBY LAW PHOTOGRAPHY - NZL

All the latest equestrian news and views from Sussex

Tip from the top - with international event rider Gemma Tattersall

When riding on the flat, riders are always looking to improve their horse’s paces. The good news is that whether you’re riding something that can really move, or a horse that isn’t the most expressive, there is always something you can do to improve his way of going.

The only way to influence horses’ paces is to ride forward in a balanced way. The trot is the easiest pace to change and improve, to gain the better marks. If your horse’s walk and canter are not the best, they too can be worked on, but it’s in trot that you can really reap the rewards. Use half transitions to bring a horse back to you in trot and teach him to wait in balance, rather than asking for a full half-halt. This will teach him to sit on his hind legs more, and engage them to push himself forward again – strengthening these muscles will really work in your favour.

Half-halts are invisible – or should be – that’s why they’re so hard to explain, but think of them as a transition within the pace – a trot is not just a trot, it is a collected trot, a working trot, a medium trot or an extended trot. To start with, just practise going from collected to working and back again, without rushing, breaking to walk, or losing rhythm, and go from there.

Gemma gives lessons from her base near Handcross, for more information or to book yourself in, call 07785 773565, or go to www.gemmatattersall.com

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Sussex Star

Chezzie Brough is pictured here on Angels Spirit at Aldon International Horse Trials, where the pair came third in the Pre Novice Three Day Event last month. Chezzie and Angels Spirit, who is known as Goose at home, have had a hugely successful season out British Eventing, finishing in the top ten on an impressive 13 occasions, and taking home the win four times.

At the South East Eventers League Ball last month, Chezzie took home three awards, for Grassroots Overall Leading Rider, the Pegasus Grassroots BE100, and Billy Stud Leading Mare.

Chezzie is in the process of setting up her own event yard, and is on the look out for new rides and sponsors. If you are interested, give her a call on 07769 681540. This is a fantastic opportunity to sponsor a hugely promising up-and-coming local event rider.

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Racehorse trainer’s daughter delighted at first big win

Fourteen-year-old Serena Flower, youngest daughter of retired local racehorse trainer, Mark Flower, beat 66 other competitors, including some of the top riders in the country, to win her first cross country riding competition at Firle Hunter Trials, Lewes. Serena was contesting the Intermediate class, which stood at 3ft. Serena, who lives in Jevington, East Sussex, attends Eastbourne College, where her instructor is Judi Piper–Dadswell.

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