F & I Show Jump Coaching Day at Kenneth Clawson’s yard, Leire.

This C.P.D. day was co-hosted by Peter Murphy and gave all those who attended a valuable insight into coaching show jumping skills to top riders.
The day was organised so that the morning consisted of coaching sessions on a one to one basis, where several Fellowship candidates were able to demonstrate their coaching skills with guidance from Peter or Kenneth.
Kenneth had the indoor school, while Peter had to get wet several times in the outdoor school. There were opportunities for the coaching sessions to be analysed and several teaching points were discussed before feedback at the end of the sessions. Peter was particularly keen to stress an attention to detail with regard to the basics. He encouraged the coaching candidate to identify the key issues to gain improvement in the area being examined before moving on to further exercises.

The common core from both Peter and Kenneth was achieving the correct canter and true straightness: of the rider, of the horse and of the line ridden to a fence. From the quality of the canter and the straightness, the balance and freedom of both the horse and rider improved. All horse and rider combinations were able to leave the sessions with significant tips for their future development.
For the second half of the day Peter Murphy was even blessed with some sunshine as he coached three group sessions. Again his attention to detail on the flat between the fences was impressive and it was this factor that focused the riders to producing their enhanced performances.
Kenneth concluded the day with a thought-provoking question and answer session. He then developed this into how we see ourselves as coaches and reminded us that our role is to achieve improvement, whilst allowing that to take place in an enjoyable atmosphere.
The day was extremely interesting and certainly the benefits will be felt not only by those riders, horses and spectators who attended the training day, but also the wider equestrian community who will benefit from the improved coaching techniques.
Tuesday 23 September 2008
(report by Sue Colley and Jonathan Chapman)