A Flatwork, Pole-Work and Show-Jumping Clinic took place at Herbie’s Haven Stables and Havenspride Stud at Ruretse last weekend.
The visiting instructor was Tossy Raynor. The cost of the clinic to the rider was P700.00 for two one hour lessons and P850.00 for three one hour lessons. The arenas were watered and raked by Ardmore Morero and Abraham Vundla.
Khumo Rasekedi and Brian Mlalazi helped Tossy to build the jumps throughout the weekend. The lessons started at 6.15am each day and ran through until late morning on Monday. Lessons started at 4.00pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons due to the heat.
Tossy is a first rate instructor, who enjoys teaching enthusiastic riders of all age groups and levels of riding. She is particularly patient and encouraging using the same calm, correct and clear instruction giving both horse and rider the confidence that they need. Tossy moved from Zimbabwe to South Africa in 2000 where she has a long list of show-jumping achievements. She teaches every day either at her own yard or that of her many clients.
As always, Tossy built technical, interesting and challenging gymnastic exercises to make both horse and rider think. The first was on a circle and had a pole on the ground and guiding poles beside it to keep the horses straight before and after the pole, then eight canter strides on a curve to three poles on the ground with one stride between each pole, then eight canter strides on a curve back to the first pole on the ground. This could be jumped on either rein. The middle pole on the circle was also built into a small upright. This exercise was to help horse and rider with balance, rhythm and consistent striding.
A second gymnastic line was built after the first pole on the ground of the first exercise. There were four straight canter strides to three canter bounces built as small uprights, land left and turn back over a small wall. One exercise was to land left after the three canter bounces and turn back to a wall and eight strides back to the first pole on the ground and jump it in the opposite direction, land right and then back on the circle in eight strides to the three canter poles on the ground in the opposite direction, land left and eight strides back to the first canter pole on the ground.
Tossy built a third gymnastic line from the first canter pole on the ground of the first gymnastic exercise, land left and on a left curve in five strides to a red, black and white parallel, land right and on a right curve in six strides to a black and white upright with a white gate filler.
Tossy built a fourth gymnastic line of a pole on yellow boxes, two strides to a brown, cream and green parallel, three strides to a brown, cream and green upright, land left and on a left curve in five strides to a red, black and white parallel with a gate filler.
Tossy a built a fifth gymnastic line of a double combination of a blue, black, white and yellow upright with a yellow box filler and one stride to a blue black, white and yellow parallel with a yellow box fillers.
One fabulous course using four of the gymnastic lines was to approach the first pole on the ground on the left rein, eight strides on a left curve to the three canter poles, one stride between each pole, land left and eight canter strides to the first pole on the ground, land left and on a left curve to gymnastic line three, the red, black and white parallel, land right and on a right curve in six strides to the black and white upright, land right and around to gymnastic line four, the pole on boxes, two strides to a parallel, three strides to an upright ,land left and five strides to a parallel, land left and turn back to gymnastic line five, the double combination of an upright and one stride to a parallel.
Participating riders were overjoyed by the thrilling experience.
One declared: “I really enjoyed my lessons with Tossy and so did my horse. It is amazing how Tossy thinks up completely different gymnastic lines every time she comes here. Each line is real challenge and she insists on straightness and rhythm and the horses end up balanced and with the correct striding between jumps”.
“What a privilege to do Tossy’s fabulous clinic on Adele’s magnificent horses; a double whammy. And, as always, the hardest part is to get right the precision of the poles on the ground. Thanks to both Bridget and her staff,” said another.