On December 2nd, Danson Wolkenaction and I were given the opportunity to ride in a VIP clinic with Kylie Burton co-ordinated by Adele Plumridge from Horse in the Box Equestrian Clothing and Giftware at her lovely property in Seville. The clinic was a fantastic outing with a super friendly, positive attitude and much to be learned!
Jenny Bray was also to attend the clinic and we were given times in the afternoon which made for a lovely relaxed morning and no chaotic four am starts like we horse-riders become so used to. We got the horses out of their paddocks late morning, cleaned them up, loaded the last pieces of tack, food and other bits and bobs onto the floats and headed off towards Seville at lunch time. The sun was out and the weather forecast was promising so everyone was hopeful that the rain of the previous day was passed and would stay away for the afternoon.
Upon arriving at Adele’s property we were immediately impressed by the stunning views of the Yarra Valley that surround it. We were generously allowed to put our horses into the stables and so Archie and Action had some time to relax before their lessons. The stables were fantastic with windows in the back wall so that the boys could look over the paddocks outside and the boys loved this! While Archie gazed wistfully out the window, Action gazed intently at Archie. What a strange love triangle! While the boys relaxed, we watched the end of Adele’s daughter Bella’s lesson on her lovely four year old pony from the seating area by the arena. This was a great opportunity to have a chat whilst watching some horsey action and we also caught up with local Seville mother-daughter dressage team Allysse and Annette Smith who had also participated in the clinic earlier that day.
Luckily, this time there was no forgotten gear and no last minute trips back to Kinglake in order to pick it up (if you haven’t already, you can read all about the case of the missing saddle here https://michaelaglass.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/charlotte-pederson-clinic/) and so with Allysse’s help I tacked Action up, put on my top boots, gave him some last minute Rewards (his new favourite food!) and headed out to the arena for my lesson. This was the first time I had ridden Action at this new location and with so little time to settle in and observe his surroundings before being ridden so it was another important step on his journey to becoming a seasoned competitor.
Although there were apparently a few boogy men in the trees down one long side of the arena the first time he saw them, Action soon settled into this new environment and was working like a superstar. Kylie was very encouraging and able to teach me new ways to maintain his focus when there were a lot of distractions, work on my position and also help me to sharpen up my transitions within the paces. All of these things are key to getting the best work out of your horse in a competition environment and so I was very grateful for the opportunity to address them in this new place with such a helpful and approachable coach.
After my lesson it was time for a few happy snaps with Adele and some last minute planning of when we will all be seeing each other at the Saddleworld Dressage Festival at Werribee Park later this week (6th-9th December). I learned that Kylie will be participating in a ‘dressage riders try vaulting’ demonstration on Saturday 8th – be sure not to miss it! From what I hear it is a very challenging task and has provided Kylie with some new skills and the bruises to go with them. Also, don’t miss out on visiting the Horse in the Box trade stand in the trade village where you can meet the team including Adele and Erika and view all their new and exciting stock.
FInally, we bundled the ‘Ranga Club’, as we have affectionately coined our collection of chestnuts, onto the floats, waved goodbye and headed back up the highway and home again. On the way home we debriefed a day well spent, watched the video footage and planned where we go from here.
I would again like to thank Adele for hosting this great opportunity and Kylie Burton for sharing your expertise.