Dear Rider,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you All!

Whilst reflecting over the last year I decided to read some of my notes from the various speakers who have visited Gainfield and also the seminars I've attended.

I am always surprised at how much I have managed to forget despite experiencing "light bulb moments" at the time! I still have notebooks going back more than twenty years and it is always refreshing to be reminded of the many ways there are to say exactly the same thing! Invaluable help when delivering explanations to different riders with different learning styles.

Anne Tezers' Sports Psychology days are still talked about as being one of the most fascinating. The two days we spent with her unravelled quite a few misconceptions we had about ourselves and a lot more! The 4Cs for me still remains invaluable for helping maintain focus:

CONTROL - sometimes I find riders so bogged down with theory from reading and listening to experts that it seems they have forgotten the very first rule of riding- whatever sort - to have control!

Control relates to the rider as well in the form of self control, managing thoughts and emotions. Why should we think we can influence a horse under pressure if we cannot control ourselves?

CONFIDENCE - if you are unsure about what it is you are supposed to be doing and the fear of making a mistake prevents you from being positive about what you want then you are unable to develop the necessary consistent performance that is essential in the development of your horse's mind and body.

COMMITMENT - is about desire and for this we require commitment to turn those thoughts into reality.

CONCENTRATION - is required to achieve all of the above!!!

I hope with the New Year approaching you can take your ambitions - whatever they may be - and work out your personal set of achievable goals. Knowing that you absolutely can achieve them with the help of all of the above!

My New Years wish for you is to - KEEP YOUR CONCENTRATION!!

This can be quite a challenge when life does all it can to distract us

I hope Gainfield can be a useful tool to help develop your progress whether it is our training clinics, warm up mornings, competitions (dates out shortly!)

Some of next years trainers' clinics are already being put into place so should you require some extra help then contact us with a view to joining one. If you are unsure as to who would be the most appropriate then do give me a ring for a chat 07887 808 630.

Best wishes,



Training Stories

As it is the holiday period and you just might have a little more reading time I have included two training stories. I always enjoy reading about other people and their horses, I hope you do too. Find their full stories on the News page on the web site.

Dorothy Maundrell - India

I have known Dorothy for many years but only been involved in helping her for the past few, first on her Arab x mare Willow and for the last year on her beautiful Pro-Set mare India.

After a long time of struggling with the "not so easy Willow" Dorothy decided that life was too short and this was her last chance to get on and get a "proper" dressage horse. We discussed at length how we would go about it knowing that shopping for a then 63 year old would possibly take a little time. Dorothy went off on a few reccies to suss out what was out there. What seemed like moments later I had a call - she was in love! A five year old - not exactly what I had in mind! However we went on the hour and a half drive towards Southampton and for the whole journey down I was preparing Dorothy for the fact I thought it was highly unlikely that I would think this would suit her. Dorothy made it clear that this was something special to her and I was clearly going to have to come up with something pretty awful to put her off! I saw the mare ridden and we identified the work we had to do, Dorothy sat on her and I sat on her. It was clear that she was absolutely sweet and genuine but big moving and very green! Dorothy was ready for it all!

The first year has been full of ups and a few downs (literally); the training went back a bit as the confidence waned but with hand holding via consistent management and training they are both now looking like a partnership. Although India is sweet it is without doubt Dorothy's complete commitment that has been the secret of her success.

This reminded me that the ideal horse doesn't exist it is the dream that keeps us focussed at the end of the day it is that passion that gets us out of bed in the morning- not being sensible!

I hope that I can still be showing such courage when I get to 64! I'm not so sure I will though - Dorothy's a hard act to follow!

Alison Hinchliffe - Philesia

Alison is one of my more challenging training clients! After ringing for some help with a young pony mare I have to admit to slightly scratching my head as she entered the school like a whirling dervish! Where to start? Alison's honest description will fill you in on the detail!

"Although Philly has been quite a challenge it has given me great satisfaction to see that the training system really can work on any of our equines! Philly fights everything unconditionally not only because she's a mare, so she would wouldn't she? But an Arab mare! Slowly we have got her on side, albeit reluctantly and we have started to see her show more ability to stretch - to be forward and even occasionally work evenly into both reins giving a good impression of being on the bit!"

Alison's bond with the mare is immense; her emotions tend to sometimes restrict the progress we make as Alison is unaware of how dominated she is! We can all relate to this - I'm sure I can! "Oh I think he/she's a bit tired now"; "Wow that was so good I'd better stop!" We sometimes have to be reminded of who is actually training whom here!

We ALL love our horses but we can love them even more when they are well trained and mannerly. Alison has discovered that she is the limiter on where she goes with her mare. She is a very competent rider- believe me sitting on Philly in the beginning was a feat in itself! She has surprised herself with what she has achieved and all she needs now is to do more of the same - remembering the FOUR Cs!!

George Schumacher at Gainfield

Try as we might we don't seem to be able to avoid it so those of you who are developing thriftiness might be interested to know that Gainfield is now the outlet for George Schumacher!

We have beautiful breeches, tops and jackets all at clearance price. Stock will be replaced every month so a regular visit will ensure you can keep well dressed when riding or around the stable yard without breaking the bank!

Give me a ring if you would like to come and have a browse.

We are not a shop so an appointment is necessary unless you come at the times shown on the dates page of the web site.

GOOD LUCK with all you do in 2009!