Six ways to improve your dressage scores this spring.

1. Have a lesson on a schoolmaster horse

One of the best ways to increase your comprehension of a particular movement, or improve your flatwork skills in general, is to book a lesson or training break at a BHS approved training centre on a schoolmaster horse. These horses are suitably experienced so that you can learn how it feels to perform a movement in the right way. Many wise schoolmasters will not respond as to your aids unless you have asked the question of them correctly!

2.Write for a dressage judge

If you write for a dressage judge, you will find it invaluable to Read more

Winter Woes

Keeping up enthusiasm and progression for riding and training through the winter months can be tough! It’s cold, often wet, and if you’re fitting in your riding sessions before and after work, then it’s usually dark too. If you’ve only got half an hour or so to play with, then you need to utilise your time as best as you can, to ensure that your horse not only gets exercised, but that there’s some progression throughout the winter months. Without any progression, it can be hard to keep up the enthusiasm to go out there in the cold. By the time Read more

Staying safe this winter

Staying safe this winter, by our head trainer Jenny Richardson BHSAI

Winter-time can mean increased risk factors for horsey accidents – slippery surfaces, darker days, frisky, fresh horses, windy weather and equine dietary changes, for example – so what can we do to reduce the risks, and ensure we enjoy our horses during the colder season?

Here, I share some tips to stay safe in the saddle this winter.

  • Develop balance – this can help you sit a ‘spook’. Two main elements aid equilibrium; good core balance, and whole-body balance, the latter gained through co-ordinated muscle strength. Ask your instructor to help develop Read more

Introducing counter canter.

Castle Leslie Estate presents: Introducing counter canter, By our Head Trainer, Jenny Richardson BHSAI

If you have aspirations to ride flying changes, I’d like to show you an exercise. It builds up to this movement by helping develop balance. It utilises using quick-fire changes of bend and counter canter.

Step one

Ride a small, half circle in the F/A corner (the top left corner) of the manege on the right rein in trot. You will be on the right rein, with left bend. Turn just before A and bend the horse to the left, as if you were turning towards ‘E’. Instead, Read more

The most common riding mistakes

Our Head Trainer Jenny Richardson BHSAI highlights the most common riding mistakes we ALL make!

(1)Imbalance

A rider who loses his or her own balance will compromise the balance of the horse, which will affect the horse’s way of going. Whether riding a simple upward or downward transition, or over jumps, imbalance may create one or more of the following problems: hollowing, wobbling, the wrong bend, the wrong canter lead, running or leaning.

(2)An insecure position

Ensure your position is central, straight and fluid, so that you move as one with the horse, and not in any way against him. Simple Read more

The skinny on jumping narrow fences

The skinny on jumping narrow fences – By our Head Trainer, Jenny Richardson BHSAI

 Many guests come to Castle Leslie Estate to hone their riding skills over tricky fences – the kind that you may not have at home, or that you need some assistance with! A good example is the narrow fence; which can be anything from 3-6 feet wide!

These fences can be more troublesome to jump, as they do invite the horse to take the easier option and run out, or go straight past them! Riders can often get more tense or worried because of this, which can then transmit a Read more

Aspirations to be a dressage diva!

Our Equestrian Centre Business Manager, Jenny Richardson BHSAI, poses the question – when should we ‘move up’ the dressage levels?

As a trainer, I know that many riders are keen to move up the competitive dressage levels; many of my clients here at the glorious Castle Leslie Estate see this process as an integral part of progression, whereas others can find this transition nerve-racking! So, with so much to consider, how do you know when the time is right to move up the levels in dressage?

There are usually many reasons behind wanting to move up the levels, just as there are some Read more

The benefits of hacking your horse or pony.

 The benefits of hacking your horse or pony – By Castle Leslie’s Equestrian Business Manager, Jenny Richardson BHSAI

We’re renowned for our lovely hacking, here at Castle Leslie Estate. If that’s all you and your family would like to do with us when you come for a riding holiday, or spend some time riding if you’re visiting us for another reason, then you can be sure of enjoying glorious woodland rides with us, on well-trained, safe horses.

Hacking is one of the most basic pastimes that’s necessary for any horse or pony to learn. If you’re a horse (or pony) owner, I am Read more

Read the summer issue of the Castle Leslie Equestrian newsletter.

Welcome to the summer issue of the Castle Leslie Equestrian newsletter.

Discover the latest news from Equestrian Centre Business Manager, Jenny Richardson and her team. Castle Leslie Estate offers memorable horse riding holiday experiences for riding enthusiasts of all levels. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, Castle Leslie Estate is the place for you. The Estate offers an idyllic setting for outdoor activity and adventure and we are conveniently located in County Monaghan, only 80 minutes from Dublin airport and 60 minutes from Belfast airport.

It’s the perfect place to discover the thrill of exploring the beautiful Irish countryside on Read more

Jumping ditches

Jumping ditches – By Castle Leslie Estate’s trainer, Jenny Richardson BHSAI

Welcome to our blog! Please do check out our series of informative articles. Today, we’re going to look at ditches – as we know that many guests come to us for help and tuition with their XC prowess!

If you are new to jumping ditches, or have a new or young horse, you may be concerned about this particular type of cross country jump, and how to tackle it. If I can offer three pieces of advice, they would be: slow down (while you’re honing your technique); look up, and maintain Read more

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