Training Day with Judy Harvey FBHS

It is hardly possible to believe that a year has gone past since we were last at Judy Harvey’s for a fantastically informative day through the F and I Association. The main difference this year was the weather. Last year it was a scorching hot June day, but this year it was grey and cloudy, threatening storms – good old England!
Judy put various riders and their horses skilfully through their paces, giving sound, clear and sensible advice. They all improved and the riders were thrilled with the results. I had such fun watching, catching up with old friends and discussing horses and Judy’s great advice. The day was over all too fast, roll on next year.
Thank you Judy for sharing your skill and knowledge with us. I for one will go away fuelled up with enthusiasm and determined “to do better”. Let’s hope that we can go back again soon. Also many thanks to Mandy Luesley for taking so much time and effort into organising this brilliant day.
Report by Caro Haynes

Talland Training Day

A huge thanks to Pammy Hutton for a fantastic training day. It is wonderful to see what a life time of hard work, dedication and passion can create. The New Talland is a purpose built British Riding School that is setting a standard that could almost be impossible to imitate. Two huge barns are evident as you drive down a long drive to an enormous car park, one holds 64 stables, tack rooms etc and the other for riding. I was impressed in every area of the business. To me the key points were the quality of horses, facilities and instructors, but the marketing, staff and overall professionalism was evident. Many of the horses had competed at CCI**** or Grand Prix, others had serious quirks and were given to the school, who then went through the Talland system and became National dressage horses!
The next area was the training facilities, obviously built with determination to get it right first time. All under one roof was an indoor school (able to fit 2 60×20 arenas), Café, 2 offices, accommodation for students, viewing gallery and as many extras as the imagination can think of! The music system was going in on the day we arrived and I ’ m sure we ’ ll see further developments as the whole business gets used to its new surroundings. The instructors all seem to be part of the training system, that also includes Pammy and her entire family as it is obviously a family run business in the true sense, with everyone living, breathing and working towards individual goals and a common objective, to train, teach or coach. Pammy says she doesn ’ t care which title people use.

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Newmarket visit 16th May 2007

Eight F&I members took the opportunity to stay the night in rural Suffolk due to the generosity of Simon Somers who arranged a fabulous evening and Iris Gregson who lives at Bears Farm. We had a super supper and the Pimms, wine and port slipped down easily in great story-telling fashion. By 1am we all thought we had better be sensible and retired to bed. An early breakfast set us up for our first visit to Ed Dunlop ’ s racing yard.
Gainsborough stables had 125 horses in training, split into various barns. Colts and fillies are housed and grazed separately and the facilities available just showed us what is available if money is no object. Swimming pool, water therapy unit, treadmill, indoor school, covered horse walkers, round pens, wash boxes, solariums, individual tack lockers. 47 members of staff ensure that the horses have the time and necessary attention to detail to make them a Group 1 flat race champion. The horses hack to the “Heath” along railed horse walks and with 3,500 horses in Newmarket using the gallops, horses seem to rule in this town with cars stopping to give way at all times. Toby, the assistant trainer was very informative although most of us thought he looked so young! (No, we are not getting old!!). He was extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the sport, predicting sponsors in most yards and gaining valuable experience about the racing industry before becoming a trainer himself.

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Jumping report from the Annual Course

The 2007 annual F & I course took place at Addington Manor on 10 th & 11 th January – if you missed it, WHY WEREN’T YOU THERE ?!!
As a relatively new member of the association I was astounded at how few people took advantage of such a fantastic opportunity to train with 2 of the equestrian world’s most respected and admired coaches.
Pammy Hutton FBHS was busy for 2 days solid, teaching and openly discussing training methods and different approaches to many of our dilemmas and questions.
I was able to book 2 lessons each day with Eric Smiley FBHS, taking a Novice and an Intermediate horse with me, and was able to benefit from Eric’s consistent and positive approach to jump training.
Day 1 :We used individual fences and worked on the quality of canter and rider’s position.
Day 2: We used a course of fences and looked at distances in combinations and linking fences – and at the end of the session we jumped a few angled lines and tested the horses’ straightness, agility and understanding of the exercises we had covered.
I thoroughly enjoyed the logical and progressive style that Eric delivers so easily, basically if you can’t canter a straight line over the centre of a single pole without the horse changing canter lead, how can you progress to successful course jumping ?!  We all teach it, but when under the spot light the exercise revealed a lot of basic errors that, however minor, affect the overall jump, and that was just the warm up !!
Various corrections, suggestions and group discussion resulted in an improvement in horses in every group – whether it was bit changing or rider position.
A little Irish wit and dry humour ensured the experience was a memorable one – if you missed it, you missed out !!!
What a great opportunity for liked minded people to get together, bounce ideas around and learn different techniques – there are many roads that lead to Rome, through the F & I Association and the various Fellows and Coaches in attendance, we covered a lot of ground !
by Heidi Woodhead

Report from training with Pammy Hutton at the F&I course

Once again the two days of dressage training was provided at the F and I course by Pammy Hutton FBHS. The biggest theme for the first day that I believe Pammy was trying to get across was that training was a team effort. Very kindly Pammy had asked if Ian Woodhead, who was at the course with his wife Heidi (who was riding in the jumping sessions with Eric Smiley), would possibly give his opinion and training in some of her sessions.
In my first session Ian, asked by Pammy, came in to the session about half way through. My big Dutch warm blood was working nicely but was being quite strong in the hand and tanking at times. What Ian had me do was gallop down the long sides of the arena as fast I could and then just before the wall I was to pull him up, not by continually pulling until he stopped but by giving him short sharp pulls on the rein to try to make him stop instantaneously. We spent the next 10 to 15 minutes doing this exercise on both reins. The end result was a horse that was in much more self carriage, much lighter and softer in the hand and a much more expressive trot that was coming more from behind.
Throughout the rest of the day when Ian wasn’t watching and helping his wife Heidi he would be watching the dressage with Pammy and they where talking about various ideas with the spectators as well as the riders during the sessions.

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