More than 500 riding instructors and horse enthusiasts benefitted from ideas and expertise shared at The British Horse Society’s National Convention held at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, last Monday (2 March).
International showjumper and popular personality Tim Stockdale hosted the event, which also included a presentation from Christopher Bartle FBHS and a question and answer session with a panel of experts.
The British Horse Society believes in training and supporting the best instructors and grooms, and part of this process is offering days like this where people can receive the highest quality professional development and have access to a forum in which ideas can be shared.
“I think days like today are fundamental to training,” said Tim Stockdale.
“The aim is to offer new ideas, new aspects and new focus, and hopefully to give people a thought process to go back and impart to their pupils. That little bit of incentive to get back and want to go and ride a horse because you’ve seen something that inspired you – that’s what we’re looking for.”
Tim presented two coaching sessions with guinea pig horses and riders of varying levels, before taking to the saddle himself to demonstrate some of the training techniques on one of his own horses.
His focus was on very much on rhythm and control – something echoed by Christopher Bartle FBHS in his demonstration, which aimed to relate dressage to jumping.
“One is always learning, no matter how long you are in this game,” said Christopher. “The horses teach you something every day.
"You watch other trainers working, as I’ve had the fortune today to be able to watch Tim, and you learn something new or a different way of explaining things.”
It was an extra special day for Christopher as he was also presented with the inaugural British Horse Society Lifetime Achievement Award for coaching excellence.
“It’s a tremendous honour,” he said of the award. “My mother was a founder member of The British Horse Society and so it is a great honour to receive this accolade from the Society."
Christopher received his award from the President of The British Horse Society, Martin Clunes. A keen rider himself, Martin was delighted to have the opportunity to watch two such talented horsemen.
“I enjoyed the day immensely,” he said. “I am not a showjumper and I’m not a dressage rider but I felt that, because there were two riders at the top of their game, they spoke in such a way that everything felt relevant to everyone.”
Watch the Convention round-up now on YouTube.