Behind the Scenes at the Eventing 18/25 West Coast Training Sessions

You might remember 14-year-old Madison Temkin and Geriann Henderson's Kingslee from their EN's Ones to Watch segment segment at Galway Downs. She just participated in the Eventing 18/25 training sessions in Temecula last week and kindly wrote a guest blog to give us a behind the scenes look at what the riders worked on with new Developing Rider Coach Leslie Law. Many thanks to Maddy for writing, and thanks for reading!

Madison Temkin and Kingslee at the training session. Photo by Mia Farley.

Madison Temkin and Kingslee at the training session. Photo by Mia Farley.

This past week, I rode in the Eventing 18 West Coast training sessions at Tucalota Creek Ranch in Temecula, California, where the Eventing 18 and 25 riders rode with Leslie Law for four days. I found Leslie to be a great coach and rider.

We had rider meetings at 8 a.m. each day to talk about what we were going to do that day, positions we were going to use, movements we would do and so much more. Not only did Leslie teach us new things, but he explained them and went into detail to ensure we understood what he was teaching us.

On the first day, we did dressage in a group of three people. Leslie set up 20-meter circles with cones at each end of the dressage court. We worked on going forward and back, rider position, transitions and giving our reins.

Mia Farley and Leslie Law. Photo courtesy of Mia Farley.

Mia Farley and Leslie Law. Photo courtesy of Mia Farley.

On the second day, we jumped. We worked on adjusting our horse’s strides so that we could get seven, six and five strides in a line that was actually set at six strides. We also focused on balancing the horses around turns and before and after the fences.

On the third day, we did dressage again. This time we worked on lateral work and sitting the trot. Leslie set up two 10-meter circles in a figure eight shape by A. We worked on suppling our horses, haunches in, shoulder in, shoulder fore, counter canter, lengthening the trot,and much more!

The Eventing 18/25 riders at the West Coast training sessions in their SmartPak jackets. Photo via USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

The Eventing 18/25 riders at the West Coast training sessions in their SmartPak jackets. Photo via USEF Eventing High Performance Facebook page.

Then for the fun part. We went cross country schooling on Wednesday. We focused on schooling terrain rather than height or width. We jumped banks, fences on mounds, open corners and fences that have different type of terrain on each side. We also schooled the water, and Leslie added show jumps on a mound in the middle of the water to make it more technical. We practiced our releases and bridging our reins for cross country as well.

To finish up the great week of learning and riding, we each got private lessons, and we got to choose whether we wanted to jump or do dressage. I chose to jump, and Leslie had me work on bending lines, jumping a wide spread oxer on a figure eight and roll backs.

This past week was a great learning experience, and I am so thankful to be able to ride with Leslie and such a great group of other Young Riders. I look forward to seeing Leslie and everyone again for the next set of training sessions.

See below for a video Mia Farley posted of the Eventing 18 riders in their training sessions, as well as a gallery of photos of all the Eventing 25/18 riders she posted to Facebook. Thank you, Mia, for the great photos and video!

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