Sussex equestrian news - February 2014

Sussex star

Sussex star - Credit: Archant

All the latest equestrian news and events from Sussex

Tip from the top

When riding across country it’s important to look where you’re going – turning your head and shoulders will indicate to your horse where you’re heading next. You can’t always let your horse see the fence much before you get to it but, if you can, always do it. Make sure that time is on your side.

Tips for accurate steering: if necessary, come down a gear and rebalance between jumps, especially elements of the same fence. Slow to a trot for sharp or tricky turns. Ride straight at the fence you intend to jump. Look for the second element of a fence as soon as the first is behind you.

When jumping downhill, try not to get in front of the movement. If you do, you put yourself in a vulnerable position if it goes wrong – and you’ll also force your horse on to his forehand, which could mean he hits the fence or puts in a stop.

Tips for jumping downhill: keep your body upright. Keep your lower leg forward. Let your horse have plenty of rein. Don’t go flat out but don’t hold your horse up too much either.

Gemma gives lessons from her base near Handcross, for more information or to book yourself in, call 07785 773565, or go to If you have any questions for Gemma that you would like covered in a future column, please send them to

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Harriet Greenfield has had a share in Lilo since August. Lilo is 14 years old, and they love schooling and hacking out. Lilo, who was registered as Tutjin, jumped up to Foxhunter level at BSJA events, but now likes nothing better than a quiet ride and a cuddle. Harriet says that “everyone who meets her falls in love with her, because she’s just such a friendly horse.”

Harriet hopes to take Lilo to some local shows, and enter some 90cm classes. Harriet takes Equine Studies at Chichester College.


Join-Up with the Monty Roberts Method in Sussex

Sussex-based Monty Roberts Instructor, Chris Morris, will be holding a number of courses including two in the Join-Up method, and for the first time will be demonstrating all practical elements for students wishing to embark upon the Monty Roberts Preliminary Certificate in Horsemanship.

Chris is one of only nine instructors in the UK fully qualified to teach others the methods of world-renowned horse whisperer and advocate of non-violent horse training methods, Monty Roberts.

Courses will be held at Pleasant Rise Equestrian Centre in Alfriston, Sussex:

10-11 March - horsemanship 101

Ideal for beginners that have no experience with horses, or people who lack confidence when handling horses, this course introduces the beginner to safe practices.

17-18 March - ground manners

Learn how to eliminate problems on the ground.

20-23 March, 21-24 April - join up

Learn the language of Equus and Monty Roberts’ world famous Join-Up technique.

25-26 April - long lining

Learn why two lines are better than one, and master the long lining technique. Students enrolling on this course need to have completed the Join-Up course beforehand.

For more information and to apply go to or email