Category Archives: Flatwork

Flatwork lessons with Mary Finneran, Friday 15 February

It looks like we might avoid the permanent torrential rain for Friday night’s flatwork tuition with Mary Finneran at Glenleary. The first in a series of three lessons, Mary will always identify and work on small but critical details in our riding and our horses’ way of going which can transform the overall experience and result.

If you haven’t booked already, please do so immediately with Louise on 085 850 8941.

Further details confirmed for upcoming activities

Vera has confirmed the details for the series of three flatwork lessons that will run parallel to the NW League, beginning on Friday 15 February. Mary Finneran will provide instruction and the venue is Glenleary. Anybody who attended her classes in October and November will be eager to continue the good work. New pupils also welcome, of course.

Looking further ahead in Spring, Eglinton is confirmed as the venue for our North West Team Show Jumping Challenge on Sunday 28 April.

Excellent tuition as the weather plays ball at Cyril’s

Geraldine’s debut as a riding club instructor was a great success on Friday evening at Cyril’s. Horrible weather during the day gave way to a fine dry evening and two batches of four pupils enjoyed the instruction.

Francis, Leo, Tanya and Libby opted for a jumping lesson and Geraldine focussed on shortening and lengthening strides over poles before gradually building up a grid. All four horses (or rather three horses and a pony!) mastered the exercise well, each adopting very different attitudes to the task.

Vera and Liz, Rachael and Ruth turned up for the flatwork session at 8pm and looked to be getting nicely unto their stride as the first batch of riders made their way carefully up Cyril’s steep and windy lane.

Jenny and Audrey were on site to ensure that the non-riding division of the club was adequately represented. Audrey’s tea station was left at home for a change and it did everybody good to rediscover what Friday evenings are like without this wonderful service. Audrey, we’ll never take it for granted!

Horses off the hook as Mary Finneran focuses on the rider

Mary Finneran has chosen to focus her current series of three flatwork lessons on the correctness of the rider, leaving the performance of the horse out of the equation  for a little while. Of course, as anyone who benefited from last Friday’s tuition will have noticed, the two go hand in hand. When the rider sits well and applies the aids correctly, the horse — not surprisingly — tends to go better.

We all develop certain poor habits over the course of time and it’s great to have an instructor who can identify one or two small but critical details which can help get things back on track. Book with Louise for this Friday’s lesson, if you want to put your riding under the microscope. It’s well worth it.

Flatwork lessons to enhance your competitive chances

How often have we been told that show jumping is 90% about the bits between the jumps? If you want to polish your flatwork in advance of this weekend’s league show jumping — or if you just prefer that your horse retain a firm connection to solid ground when you ride — make the most of our flatwork lessons over the next three Fridays.

Mary Finneran will teach the classes at Glenleary. Book with Louise on 085 850 8941, if you plan to participate.

Formation riding with Valerie on the cards again

Following last Friday’s free form riding on the beach at Rathmullan, hopes are high that this Friday will see our members riding in proper formation as Valerie directs affairs at Harley’s arena in Trentagh.

Please book with Vera on 087 232 5632 by Wednesday at the latest, if you plan to participate.

Formation riding lessons with Valerie Craig

It’s time once more for our infamous formation riding lessons with Valerie Craig. They’ll run for the next two Fridays at Harley’s arena in Trentagh. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s the very best way to ride great flatwork without even realising you’re doing it. You’ll be too busy concentrating on holding up your side of the formation (and holding your sides from laughter when things go haywire) to even think about keeping your heels down, riding from the leg to the hand, and looking up. It will all be happening in spite of you!

The session will probably start at 7 pm, subject to numbers. Book with Vera on 087 232 5632, if you plan to participate.

Circles the focus of attention at second Glenleary session

Spectacular weather on Friday evening meant that some horses were left grazing in their fields by sun-starved members but the six riders who rode at Glenleary made the most of more excellent tuition from Mary Finneran.

It was good to have Hazel’s Sapphire back from the sickbay on the first ride and she was joined by Paddy on Lizzie and Sally on Tutu. Annette, Karen and Laura made up the second lesson and the focus of both sessions was circle work, concentrating on bringing the horse up into the outside hand.

Thanks again to Louise for organising these evenings at Glenleary and of course to Mary for her invaluable instruction.

Fine-tuning the basics at sunny Glenleary

No matter how much tuition any of us experiences, there’ll always be some little detail that an instructor can spot that makes a lesson worthwhile. Mary Finneran’s most enjoyable flatwork lessons on Friday evening focussed on achieving the correct bend when riding corners accurately. The exercises were built up step by step, culminating in a lovely sequence of formation riding which was great fun for both riders and horses alike.

Sally, Denis and Cyril rode first on Tutu, Davy Arthur and Lady — the three lovely coloured cobs making a pretty picture in an arena bathed in beautiful evening light. They were followed by Annette, Karen, Laura and Libby on Sasha, Jack, Jessie and Fenway — a less well colour-coordinated group but an equally happy one.

Louise organised the evening but skipped the lesson so that she didn’t miss the Ramelton 5K. She appeared at Glenleary before the evening was over looking as if covering 5K on foot is a great deal less arduous than riding for an hour of focussed flatwork!

Pictured below: Concentration on coloured cobs. More in the Gallery.

Flatwork lessons with Mary Finneran, Friday 3 August

The next two Friday evenings see the club in action at Glenleary in Ramelton. Mary Finneran will instruct us in flatwork, beginning at 7.30pm.

If you plan to participate, book in with Louise on 085 850 8941 as soon as possible. If you’d like to use one of the Glenleary horses, contact Mary herself on 086 170 2357.