During the last two months Sara organised two ' ride and drive ' days at Bradbourne. Seven people took part each time.
I was ' indoors ' with the riders while Sara was 'out in the cold ' with the drivers but incidentally both days were dry and bright! 

The object of the riding sessions was to show how to achieve the rapport needed to be able to help the horse when driven by utilizing certain exercises such as leg yielding and shoulder in to improve the general way of going.   Clearly training under saddle can be beneficial because of the riders proximity to the horse enabling them to feel what is going on and because the horse does not have to pull.  It also provides the opportunity to find out how to make the horse go forwards, to bring him into a round outline vital to developing muscular strength and to teach him to accept the bit . The rider should teach his horse the voice commands that will be used in the carriage and how to understand and respond to the whip aids. 

The riders need to understand about the all important connection between impulsion and control and how to keep the horse together without restriction. So many problems occur in the transitions where good coordination is needed and where it is so important to have prepared the horse properly . This involves forward thinking ! 

Keeping the right amount of energy into the right sort of contact requires much practice but teaching without the carriage is often the best way to start . As riders and or drivers we do bear a big responsibility to make the horses job as easy as possible . This does mean that we must be consistent in our training .if we ask in the same way each time we do a particular exercise the horse will learn quickly.

Following the ridden session each person ' put to ' and went off to Sara to be shown how to put into practice in the carriage the work they had been doing ridden.

The two days were much enhanced by the soup and rolls provided by Barry in the clubhouse which fortified everybody all day.