Jump Training – Ashley Danks

All members of Upper Hunter Working Equitation club would like to extend our heartiest thanks to Ashley Danks for the informative, fun and fabulous Jump Training day she hosted for us this Sunday, 22nd July at the RDA Grounds.  Many thanks as always to Riding For The Disabled for the use of their excellent grounds.

Ashley’s jumping skills are second to none and the capability she showed in being able to translate that knowledge on the ground floor to turn even the most nervous and tentative of our club riders into confident, calm and enthusiastic jumpers was astounding to say the least!

View gallery here

An enjoyable and informative day was had by all who attended and we can’t wait to have Ashley back again.  We highly recommend her training and experience to anyone wishing to improve and hone their jumping skills and technique!

No only did we jump on Sunday, but we also worked together in our Working Equitation paddock, helping each other to hone up on our Working Equitation skills, focusing principally on the finer points of the sport and what is required and looked for by judges in competition with each obstacle.

We’ve come a long way as a club over the past twelve months and it was so lovely to see that we are still maintaining harmonious, happy horses and riders as we all work – and play! – together doing what we love most!

We look forward to our next gathering for more Horsey High-jinks together!

Until then, keep riding ladies & gents!

To view pics of the day, click here!

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UHWEC

 

 

Working Equitation Explained

What Is Working Equitation?

Working Equitation is a sport which offers a fun and creative alternative to the more traditional equestrian disciplines; challenging and training both rider and horse in multiple riding skills and techniques. Acting as a showcase for traditional riding costumes and equipment, the sport is non-discriminative, welcoming competitors from every breed and discipline and encouraging all riding levels and ages.

The sport is a representation of the working horse; developing and advancing the training of both horse and rider. It draws on all the basic skills required to work a farm, ranch or livestock, yet still encompasses the fundamentals of traditional dressage, but done in a working style which requires riders to demonstrate their horsemanship capabilities by showing off their skills and developed riding techniques.

Founded in Europe and overseen by the world regulatory body, WAWE; World Association for Working Equitation; Working Equitation as a competitive sport has taken hold on a worldwide scale and is rapidly becoming a popular preference for riders throughout Australia.

Competition events may be individual or for teams, and are in three or four phases. All Phases are designed to test the attributes and correct training of horse and rider. At lower levels, all phases can be ridden using two hands. The long-term objective however; and a requirement at higher levels; is to ride all events one-handed and 100% accurately!

The Four Phases consist of;

Working Dressage

Ease Of Handling (with obstacles – known also as Style, Manageability or Maneability)

Speed (with obstacles)

Cattle (handling)

The Dressage Phase is a working dressage test which requires horse and rider to perform a sequence of specified movements. They must maintain regularity and correctness of movement and pace, whilst giving attention to impulsion, roundness, lightness of aids and the subtleness of relaxation of both rider and horse. This is performed in a 20 x 40 Dressage Arena.

The Ease Of Handling (EOH) trial can be compared to a gymkhana-type event in which horse & rider must tackle a course filled with obstacles similar to those which are likely to be encountered in the field, or day-to-day work on the farm; e.g. bridges, gates, barrels, variant surfaces etc. Obstacles are numbered in order of execution and markers, known as ‘transition markers’, are placed a little apart from each obstacle. These must be passed by horse & rider and indicate the start and finish of the obstacle. Each obstacle must be completed accurately and in order and no obstacle may be omitted. The obstacle course is designed to demonstrate the harmonious partnership and physical mastery of horse and rider in a working environ. This is not done ‘at pace’ and indeed it is advisable to take one’s time and maintain fluidity, whilst preparing in advance for each obstacle as you choose the smoothest lines possible.

The Speed Phase, is generally a similar obstacle course to that found in Ease Of Handling, but usually shortened. This must be completed in the quickest possible time. There are no transition markers in the speed trial. This phase is judged solely on the time taken to complete the course, however it must be ridden as accurately as possible, while demonstrating the skill of horse and rider at speed. Time penalties are given for errors of course. Time bonuses are often granted for the showing of certain more difficult skills, such as the knocking of a ball or collecting rings at pace with a garrocha stick.

The Cattle Phase is designed only for team competitions. It is a timed event and consists of a team of four riders. Each is required to separate a specific numbered cow from a herd of cattle. The rider must then herd it across a marked half-way point, and may only then draw on the assistance of fellow team members as they attempt to fulfil the objective of herding only that cow into a designated pen. All other cattle must be prevented from crossing the half-way markers. The successfully penned cow is then returned to the herd and so commences the next riders turn. This is a timed event and the quickest overall team is the winner. An overall individual fastest rider score is also recognised.  A dismount by any rider, for any reason, will result in instant elimination of the team. All riders have a maximum of three minutes to pen their designated cow.

There are 8 Competition Levels in Working Equitation, ranging from Lead Line to Masters.  Each Level encompasses 4 Divisions; Child, Junior, Youth and Open.

UHWEC First Club Fun Day

Click To View FUN DAY GALLERY

Our very first Upper Hunter Working Equitation Club meet was a fabulously fun and informative day, enjoyed thoroughly by all as we acquainted ourselves with the working equitation obstacle course, as well as each other and each other’s horses!  “Getting to know you… Getting to know all about you…!”  That about sums it up!  The weather was kind and the turn-out was great with thirteen of our already enlisted members rocking up to have a crack at the course.  The day commenced at 8.30 and we finished up at around two-thirty.

Lunch was a fulsome banquet fit for medieval royalty, with fruit platters, salad platters, cold meat, sandwiches and homemade quiches, sweet custard tarts and an assortment of other yummy dishes – too many to list!  An impromptu meeting as we munched our lunch served to sort out our shirt sizes, next meet and nut out where we are at as a club and where we are headed.

Our enormous thanks to Kerry Balmer-Smith who hosted the day on her lovely property ‘Kevarty Oaks’ in Wybong, and to her and her team of helpers who put in the tremendous effort required to set up the course; an excellent job, really well done and much appreciated by all who participated.  Also a big handshake to all available hands helping to pack-up, which made for an easy and pleasant end of day.

Overall it was a successful, informative and fabulously fun day which we are all keen to repeat again in the very near future!

Our next meet is a Working Equitation Clinic with Kim Peterson on September 24th.  This Clinic is now fully booked!  For further information regarding this or anything further details about our club please contact our Secretary, Judy Anshaw at  rainwhisperer66@gmail.com .

Happy Horsing!

UHWEC