Phoebe Kett's Bursary Lesson with Andrew Gould
On Thursday 4th November, Evita and I were lucky enough (thanks to the incredible opportunities that the Horse Quest bursary has provided) to have a lesson with international dressage rider Andrew Gould.
When we arrived at Andrew’s gorgeous yard we were greeted by Sarah and Chloe from HorseQuest before I got Evita tacked up and off the lorry. We then went to the arena where I hopped on Evita and was greeted by Andrew where we initially did some arena familiarisation with Evita (who was convinced the radio was going to eat her!).
Andrew then watched us warm up so he could assess Evita and I where he concluded that I need to be a lot more assertive with my riding as ‘when you have a nice horse like Evita, you can either accept them as you find them, or you can say I want to make this even better’. I often tend to be too polite with my riding and I need to be more proactive and disciplined with what I want to then create better quality.
Once we warmed up, we started to have a play with the changes where I tend to struggle with keeping the straightness but once Andrew made me aware that when I ask for the change, I tend to throw my body to the side I want Evita to change to and that I need to be clearer with my aid when I ask we came away with some lovely, on the aid changes.
Following this we worked on the trot half pass, which is probably one of the movements I find trickiest to ride. And initially I really threw Evita under the bus by over asking of her and then as a result of this we worked on rather than worrying about the mark I would get in a test I need to focus on keeping the trot forwards with a clear and direct line of travel between the markers before even thinking about the back end. Which in the end created a lovely and forward movement. As Andrew says, ‘it is not always about riding sideways across the school’.
Andrew has said that the key thing he observed is that I need to have more trust in my own ability to ride the horse underneath me and I need to stop dwelling on things that happen in the past and focus more on the present and future which will in turn improve the way of going of Evita as I will be more positive and proactive in my riding. Evita and I have our first BD back since I was unwell with Covid soon and I am really looking forward to using my new found knowledge in our preparation during the next few weeks towards our next test.
I want to say a huge huge thank you to both Sarah and Chloe from HorseQuest for travelling to the lesson and for taking lots of photos and videos. Of course a massive thank you to Andrew for the lesson where I have come away feeling incredibly inspired and another thank you to the team on Andrew’s yard for being so welcoming (Evita definitely enjoyed her hot wash after she worked so hard!).