The sun is going down on the first day of our Piggy French training camp and our three lucky competition winners have had a blast! The day started with our winners, Annieka, Christie and Vicky being treated to a box fully of goodies from Toggi and being fitted with their new Champion Puissance Riding Hat, Champion Ventair Deluxe Helmet and Champion Ti22 Body Protector.
Once they where kitted out, Piggy came and introduced herself and gave them a tour of her yard where she gave them some insight into the workings of running an event yard and the different procedures that where in place to ensure everything runs like clock work. Consistency is key with all the horses on Piggy’s yard.
The horses that have had a busy season and been to the Europeans or Burghley Horse Trials where currently being treated to six to eight weeks off in the field. But there where several young horses in the stables that our winners got introduced to and Piggy shared her insight into there winter plans. “We hunt our horses throughout the winter, it is really important if they are a bit backwards as it helps with their confidence” said Piggy. “I never fell too precious, you can’t wrap them up in cotton wool and they really enjoy it. You just have to be sensible out in the field and give yourself space.”
Next up was a well earned lunch before heading out to walk the showjumping course with Piggy ahead of their individual showjumping sessions.
First up with Annieka on the wonderful Archie who was very excited to be at Piggy’s yard and in the lovely arena with a view! “Ignore him, let him settle and keep him on the move”, said Piggy “Annieka needs to feel she can ride him and put her leg on before we start thinking about jumping.”
Piggy had them working on moving forwards nicely to the bridle and give and retaking the inside rein when Archie started to get strong. Once settled they popped a few practice fences before tackling the showjumping course. Archie likes to try and take control whilst jumping and Piggy asked Annieka to halt and rein back after each fence throughout the course to help get Archie waiting and listening. This really helped and on the second round Archie was much more consistent.
Next up was Christie and Galaxy a 10 year old mare that Christie has owned from 18 months old. Galaxy is a little pocket rocket and Piggy wanted them to concentrate on keeping the rhythm and balance within the canter. “Don’t over ride to the fence,” said Piggy “let the fence come to you”. Christie concentrated on keeping Galaxy steady and balanced through the turns to receive a much more consistent round.
Last up was Vicky and Jason who she has owned for 13 years! Piggy had them working on their straightness to the fence and the activity within the canter. “You need to keep the revs up and not let him go long and flat”, explained Piggy. With this in mind Vicky produced a fantastic energetic round from Jason to Piggy’s delight.
Then it was time for a debrief, where the riders got to ask Piggy any questions or queries they had and Piggy shared her journey as an event rider with them before the day ended.
Tomorrow starts with a focus on Dressage followed by cross country. We are already looking forward to another action packed informative day.
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