Galston Equestrian Club – A Jam-Packed June And July!

Picnic Day attendees
Picnic Day attendees

After a cancelled start due to a wet long weekend, we had brilliant sunshine on 24th June for our first Agility Day of the year. We had 20 participants who took their horses through, over and around tarps, shower curtains, barrels, gates and witches hats. Two even rode the course bareback! Everyone increased their skill levels and their horses became more confident and relaxed. During lunch, Suzanne Bellette of Natural Equestrian, did a beautiful liberty demonstration with her four horses and explained how she worked with herd dynamics to get her horses to move as one. What a perfect way to spend a perfect winter’s day!

On 25th June, we ran two events – we had the pleasure of Anne-Katrin Liebe providing dressage training using cavalettis. Anne-Katrin is a German International Equestrian Coach Level 2, FN German Equestrian Coach Level B – Competitive Sport and EA NCAS Equestrian Coach Level 2 General. She provided lessons at the level of each horse and rider, and they all left the arena with smiles and more relaxed horses, as the work helped each horse and rider combination with balance, adjust the length of stride and loosen and strengthen muscles in the horse.

GEC also hosted a Working Equitation (WEQ) clinic with National and International Working Equitation Competitor, Trainer and Judge, the accomplished Kim Peterson. Riders learned about the WEQ obstacles, their purpose, the training technique and then practised together. Everyone had an enjoyable and informative day and all are looking forward to our next day with Kim on September 10. In 2018 Kim will also be back to do a 2 day clinic with a training day, and then an in-house GEC WEQ competition!

Six riders attended the mid-week training day with Rebecca Ashton on Wednesday 28 June. It was a great day, though a little wet. Rebecca worked with riders on their body position to help them sit straighter in the saddle with more even weight distribution, thereby helping their horse’s movement. All riders who participated were excited to put into practice at home what they had learned on the day.

On a bright sunny Saturday 8th July, 18 riders set about trying to get the highest score to win in the show jumping competition of Gambler’s Stakes. Rosettes were awarded from 1st to 3rd, with ponies and horses competing separately. With some riders having multiple horses and most having a go twice, we all had a fun day. Wonderful volunteers and full tummies from the canteen made the day a great success. Smiles on faces of riders was all we needed to know we had run another fabulous show jump day at GEC.

GEC has now run 3 days of classical dressage training using the method “Ecole de Légèreté” (Légèreté Method). Our last clinic was on 8 July 2017, and there is one more training day in November 2017. The Légèreté Method clinics have been full since day one and interest is growing. The Légèreté Method is taught to train horses of any confirmation and temperament to their full potential ultimately to lengthen their working and competing life. We are lucky to have our very own trainer, Paul Cairns, here in Galston.

Sunday 9th July was our inaugural Fun and Picnic Day. Nineteen enthusiastic riders and handlers enjoyed building trust with their horses while having fun trying out the large array of obstacles and toys. The bunch of balloons and the hanging pool noodles were a challenge! We then played some games like riding a pattern holding a full cup of water, riding in pairs holding a crepe paper ribbon, etc., but the football game produced the most cheers! After a picnic lunch in the sunshine, we had our competition – the longest tail, the biggest feet, the hairiest ears, etc.! Everyone went home with a ribbon and lots of lucky people took home lovely prizes, kindly donated by Horseland Dural. I think all riders and horses slept well that night, having had a splendid relaxing day out with friends!

Upcoming events :

• 9 August – Peter Haynes show jumping lessons
• 13 August – Show jump Training and Horsemanship Practice Day
• 22 August – Heather le Provost will give a talk on weeds and their control at the Galston Club
• 27 August – Show Jumping Competition

As usual, please check our Facebook page and our website for up to date information on all our events. http://www.galstonequestrianclub.org.au/