John Fullick With Heidi Stevens
The welfare of ex-race horses is in the front of our minds more than ever before and what a great job RoR (Retraining of Racehorse) have done to show just how adaptable and versitile former racehorses are. So with Pal, Heidi Steven's new horse, less than 1 year out of racing, I thought you would like to join in their journey.
I love it when a plan comes together and tonight Heidi Stevens, one of our sponsored riders came up to Coxleigh Barton for a session with John Fullick. John has very generously offered to support us with our sponsored riders.
John Fullick is well known as a dressage rider but also has a background in training and competing event horses, specifically ex race horses, perfect for offering support to Heidi and Pal.
Heidi was keen to work on balance and straightness with Pal as he has a tendency to not work totally straight and leans into the hand.
John suggested a couple of exercises to work on starting to straighten and balance Pal.
First exercise was to prepare early for the bend, having a strong inside leg on the girth and outside leg behind. Heidi worked to relax the inside rein, with half halts but kept a good feel on the outside rein. In a short time you could see Pal working things out and starting to have to balance himself and work straighter. With the mirrors in the arena Heidi was able to keep checking their positioning, an essential training aid when dealing with the detail of movements.
Second exercise John suggested was spiralling circles
“keep playing with these both in walk and trot”
Then it was time for some canter work and after a quick assessment , John explained that
“he actually has very good balance but just lacks a little confidence in himself with the transition”.
So the third exercise suggested was to site, position and canter. Only if Pal was settled, when positioned for canter, was the canter then asked for. After a few attempts Pal started to offer a more relaxed trot to canter transition with a lot softer outline.
To finish off with John suggested some long and low work. So Heidi and Pal went home with a little homework before their next session with John.
A very big thank you to those who are supporting our sponsored riders especially to John Fullick who very kindly took time out of riding and to Coxleigh Barton Equestrian Centre for the use of their arena which is available for hire.