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Monthly diary — August

Lucinda Green

The team announced for the World Equestrian Games contains several brave choices, including Pippa Funnell with her talented nine-year-old Redesigned, who has only done 3*.

Having been off the top level for four years, Pippa commented how people don’t appreciate the time it takes to bring a horse up through the ranks – and that’s from someone with all the skill and experience necessary. Another brave choice is Piggy French with Jakata, who Piggy has only ridden for a few months. I admire the selectors for bringing these young partnerships to the fore.

“Recently, I watched my daughter Lissa eventing on a ride she had last year and has picked up again. He’s very spooky, so when he hesitated approaching a low telegraph pole into murky water in a dark wood, she gave him three smart smacks to send him over. Asking the fence judge if she’d got a refusal, I was told no - but he did feel there could have been overuse of the whip. I was astounded.

While you should always give your horse thinking time, you should not give him stopping time. Using a whip judiciously but firmly can be a vital part of training, encouraging bravery and decisiveness. A horse will either go forward and do what’s asked, or if he won’t, then you have a real problem. Clarity about the role of the whip is vital.

Only those who really understand its place in training should be in a position to judge its misuse. Nothing further came of this in the end and interestingly, at their next event, with plenty of poky fences and dark corners, the horse flew.

“As for Bill, he was inside the time at Barbury Open Novice, before heading to Wilton Intermediate.

He went really well, other than stopping 100yds before fence four, I think to read the writing. Then he jumped it – a corner – from two strides of trot…so naughty!
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