Tiana Coudray: Recap of the California Training Sessions

The USEF training sessions wrapped up in California on Saturday.  Tiana has once again generously written for Eventing Nation about the sessions.  In 2010, Tiana Coudray won the Jersey Fresh 3* and placed 6th at the Boekelo 3* with Ringwood Magister.  This year, Tiana is a High Performance B-List rider and we will hopefully see her at Rolex.  Visit Tiana’s website to learn more about her program.  Thanks for writing this Tiana and thank you for reading.

From Tiana:

I guess I was a little optimistic about my first lesson with Ringwood Magister “Finian” setting us on the right track and taking care of all our problems.  When I came out Friday looking to show Mark all our improvement, I was immediately brought back down to reality.  Things were just not getting good enough fast enough for my satisfaction.  When we tried to go counter canter, Finn began changing leads every two strides, and after that didn’t get us anywhere, he started doing one times changes.  All I wanted was to hold a single lead, and I was ready to cry as the little wind-up toy wouldn’t stop! Eventually Mark got on him to try to understand why we were short circuiting and things started to improve.  We finished up alright but I was not going to get over the frustration for a while.

Fortunately for me, Master Hill “McCool” came out and had a perfect jumping lesson.  He has not always been the strongest show jumper, but we’ve been working hard at it, and Friday he was jumping out of his skin.  I couldn’t be happier with him.  Max had a dressage lesson on Beacon Hill “Taylor” and made the mistake of asking if he was too low in the poll.  After that, Mark kept asking her “is this too low”, “is that too low” as every horse went around for the next two days.  By now, she’s learned that, when it comes to Mark, he likes them stretching and really through.  After that she came out on her super cute pinto Project Runway “Devon” for a jumping lesson.  At one point, the film crew from the Jeep commercial all stopped working and stood around watching him.  I think they were trying to figure a way to work into the script a scene that involved Devon.  I didn’t get to watch anyone else’s lessons, but from what I heard, every one was happy and Friday went smoothly.
Saturday was a little crazy as we only had half hour lessons so I got to watch even fewer lessons than Friday.  Allie started off with a dressage lesson and then jumped a bit during Max’s jumping lesson.  Both said their lessons went well.  I had a jumping lesson on Finian that went really well and lets me go home feeling a little less like such a looser.  He was really well behaved and jumping well, and Mark gave me a good exercise to take home a keep working to make him looser though his hind end over the jumps. 

Amy jumped Coal Creek but I didn’t see that at all.  After being so perfect yesterday, I decided to do dressage with McCool today, and it was a really fun lesson.  He went super well, and he kept getting bigger and more expressive the more we worked.  It is very exciting to see how he is developing and improving.  After that Amy had a dressage lesson on Leyland and then Marris finished things up with a jumping lesson.  I want to give a big thanks to El Campeon for hosting us once again and juggling the chaos of the Jeep commercial and our training session along with the daily goings on of their barn.  We are always lucky to be there.  Thank you too to Sara and Mark for all they do.  I for one am very appreciative of the chance to make myself and my horses better.

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