Date: 20th June 2016

On the 14th June, HRDC arranged a  demo with the international show jumper - David Simpson at his Yard in Coolham. We were very lucky with the weather - it stayed dry albeit a tad chilly! Everyone sat on picnic blankets or chairs on the bank surrounding the arena which provided a great view of the demonstration. David talked us through how he was producing his youngsters. He started with a  beautiful roan 4 year old called Diego ridden by Lola.  David explained about why it's important to keep horses straight and centre at jumps and demonstrated how to correct a horse should it jump too far right or left. After Diego, Lola brought out Rio - a 6 year old chestnut who was currently jumping up to 1.30m. David gave us a taster of the exercises he was currently working through with this horse, especially how he was working on improving his jump off technique. Rio could be sensitive with his mouth when asked to turn sharply. We watched as Lola and Rio worked through a figure 8 exercise with a jump in the centre, repeating until the horse  became much more compliant with the turns. All in all - repetition was the key, getting the horse to first accept the exercise and then do it almost without thinking. David provided a good insight into the psychology of the youngsters and how he uses it in partnership with physical training. A very insightful and enjoyable evening all round.