Stuart Walker clinic success

First clinic

DSC06591A Stuart Walker Show-Jumping Clinic was held over the weekend of 31st July, 1st/2nd August, 2015, at two venues in Gaborone. The clinic was hosted by the Horse Society of Botswana and the lessons were subsidised by the HSB so that the cost of a one hour lesson to the rider was BWP200.00. Thank you HSB. This clinic was organised entirely by Mrs Belinda Irish who had the unenviable task of allocating group lessons and schedule times to suit the individual riders and their current jumping height. The clinic was held in the north at Penndragon Equestrian Centre, Ruretse, by kind permission of Sean and Belinda Irish. It was the first full clinic to be held at this venue and feedback from the riders suggested that this new 72M X 45M arena prepared over many months of hard labour to level and compact the ground then spread innumerable loads of local river sand evenly on the surface, water and rake it, was well worth waiting for. The going was perfect.

Second clinic

The clinic was held in the south at Per Erik Bergh and Sandy Davies private home and stables at Crocodile Pools, Notwane. This is always a very friendly and welcoming venue where the hosts love to entertain their friends. This tranquil and pleasant 62M X 40M arena is lined by stunning aloes in the surrounding bush. Per Erik’s “Pub Equestrian” with its generously stocked fridges is open to everyone with more kind hospitality and only a short wobble back to the vehicles!

Stuart taught at Penndragon Equestrian Centre on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday mornings. He taught at Crocodile Pools on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Debra Freeman transported Stuart to and from Crocodile Pools on Saturday afternoon and Belinda drove him on Sunday afternoon.

Stuart came to Botswana in March 2009 to give the first of many show-jumping clinics. In April 2013 Stuart became the designated HSB show-jumping coach to provide consistency to all our riders. Stuart is a versatile instructor who teaches riders and horses at all levels. He has gained an enormous amount of knowledge and competitive experience over the years and he comes to Botswana to impart this to our riders and interested spectators. Stuart teaches at private yards in South Africa most days of the week and at weekends he competes on his own horses and client’s horses at the big shows there.

Thank you to all those riders who travelled or rode their horses to the two venues in order to enjoy Stuart’s clinic. We welcome two new horse/rider combinations on this clinic who were Elena Jobson on Havenspride Symphony and Tammy Bradford on Enya. Belinda Irish rode “Mother and Son” on the same clinic since Highborne High Surprise’s foal is Penndragon State of Hope.

Fantastic exercises

On Friday afternoon and Saturday morning Stuart built a series of gymnastic exercises at Penndragon Equestrian Centre to practice riding the correct related distances between jumps. For the younger horses and riders Stuart built different gymnastic lines of a pole on the ground, two strides to a cross pole and two strides to an upright.

DSC06587On Sunday Stuart combined all the lines of jumps to make a fabulous technical course of ten jumps with eleven jumping efforts and three changes of rein. The course started on the right rein to jump one, an upright, land right and on a right curve in seven strides to jump two, an upright, land right and around to jump three, an upright, straight on in three strides to jump four, a parallel, land left and around to jump five, an upright, straight on in four strides to jump six, an upright, land right and around to jump seven, a parallel, land right and around to jump eight, a parallel, land left and around to a double combination of an upright and one stride to a parallel, land left and on in eight strides on a left curve to jump eleven, an upright and through the finish.

On Saturday afternoon at Crocodile Pools Stuart built a gymnastic grid of a pole on the ground, one stride to an upright, three strides to an upright and two strides to a parallel to help the riders count the strides between jumps. He also built a line of an upright and seven strides to a parallel on a right curve.  On Sunday he built a course of jumps consisting of a grid of a pole on the ground, three strides to an upright, two strides to a parallel, land left and around to an upright land right and on in seven strides on a right curve to a parallel, land right and around to an upright and two strides to an upright, land left to a parallel and around to an upright and straight on in four strides to a parallel.