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January 31, 2024 2 min read

Gallagher’s Water Ambassador, Valerie Pride, recently came to Louisiana for an eventing clinic. We had a great time hosting this accomplished equestrian.

If you were one of the lucky participants of the Valerie Pride clinic then I am sure you will agree that the whole weekend was a complete success including the weather.

Although it started off on the chilly side on Saturday morning, the dressage portion was conducted in a true dressage arena with test of choice ridden by participants.  After the test was ridden and graded, Valerie then went over the test in detail with each rider and broke down the movements offering drills as well as pointers on how to score higher by different utilizations of either real estate within the ring or riding technique.  This format allowed individual attention to detail of both horse and rider.

A delicious lunch was served in the clubhouse and and gave everyone time to gather around for a question and answer period and to hear the story of Valerie's new competition horse she recently acquired from Spain.

 

Stadium jumping consisted of a couple of grids followed by line options and combinations. Emphasis was placed on stride adjustability of the horse, quality of canter and approach. Grid work was fun because each cavaletti work was adding or subtracting striding and the quality of the canters was preparation for this. Both dressage and stadium gave Valerie additional time and information for rider evaluation to school cross country which began Sunday morning at 8:30.

Teams of three were schooled over the water field as well as the start field as warm up. Riders were then asked to take the stadium portion of their work and add terrain into the scenario. Approaches and canter quality as well as rider position varied depending on terrain level, uphill, downhill, as well as canter through water.

All in all, Valerie impressed our riders with her quick eye and attention to detail.  The fact that she took the time to explain what was going on from a horses' perspective also brought in a new dimension. Valerie was very impressed with our cross country course as it asks many different questions and makes good use of the terrain. She was also very complimentary of the preparation of both horses and riders and of the local trainers that worked so hard with all of these riders.

I think everyone agrees that we look forward to making this an annual event!



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