First Impressions from the Under 25 Training Sessions

Young Rider Connor Husain had a brilliant year in 2012, winning individual gold at NAJYRC, and then going on to dominate at Fair Hill CCI**. These combined performances put him right where he belongs, on the Under 25 Developing Riders list for the new and improved 2013 team training sessions. Connor graciously agreed to take lots of pictures for me, and write a little bit about how his first experience is going this week, and the kind of stuff he is learning with Coach O’Connor. Thanks to Connor for writing, and thanks for reading!

Drill team with Meghan O’Donoghue, Lizzie Snow, Jenny Caras, and Caitlin Silliman

It has been a busy few days at the Developing Riders under 25 Training sessions! We have been fortunate enough to use Meredyth South, one of the most stunning facilities I have ever seen. A huge thank you to Jacqueline Mars for making this possible, she is such an asset to our sport and we are lucky to have such a supportive patron. As you all know, in the training sessions DOC has been going back to basics with both stable management and riding as a whole.

Day one started off with an incredibly informative exercise that focused on accurate test riding. Coach O’Connor put tennis balls in the arena marking three 20m circles and had us ride in a drill team which forced you to be incredibly accurate. All this made me realize how many points I have thrown away because of not taking advantage of certain elements of dressage, such as riding your corners correctly!

Nora Battig, Lauren Lambert, Jenny Caras, and Danielle Dichting practicing stable bandages and polo wraps

Day two was show jumping, we worked with different exercises to tidy up the horses’ technique and increase rider precision when it came to finding the right type of canter and maintaining it.   We worked with low-wide oxers, related distances, and ground rails on either side of a vertical.

Yesterday we focused on movements and lateral work as a drill team which helped to develop a consistent level of accuracy within each movement because we had to stay in synchronization with the other riders no matter how different our horses were.

Meghan O'Donoghue and Pirate jumping the low-wide oxer

So far it has been such an honor to train with David O’Connor and ride with such talented equestrians. The camaraderie between the riders has really been amazing and it is only amplified by the fact that the barn at Meredyth South is so remarkable.

Until next time!

Connor

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