Weekly Training Tip from Kate Chadderton: Daily Schooling

Kate Chadderton and Buckharo. Photo by Jenni Autry. Kate Chadderton and Buckharo. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Each day I set out with a purpose for each horse. It may be to improve their medium trot or shape over a fence — the idea is that you practice what you’re not good at. This is great in theory but unfortunately someone forgot to tell the horses that they should be improving on their rider’s schedule!

With the day’s plan in mind I get on each horse ready to put it into action. The problem is that although you’ve been up all night stewing over your flying changes, your horse has been munching hay watching Modern Family. This means that you don’t always pick up where you left off the day before.

Accordingly you need to be prepared to abandon your plan and react to what you’re riding. For example, I really wanted to work on Cole’s canter/halt transition, turns out he perfected it overnight but he no longer remembers his left half pass. What do I work on? Left half pass!

The young off the track horse isn’t picking up his left canter without bucking? Go for a hack and come back to it! Or even leave it for tomorrow. Practice what is difficult AND be prepared to change your plan.

As much as I like to think I’m bright, it has actually taken hundreds and hundreds of horses to reinforce this principal to me!