Sept 2019 - polework and new horse transformation

This month we bring you polework exercises with Heather's Lusitano gelding Sudi and working student Eliska.

20 year old Sudi hasnt done any  polework exercises for several years , after he was lame in his right stifle. But I confess, I had never used poles except for cavaletti type exercises, rather than the type we are doing in these videos. It was watching working equitation that inspired me to try getting Sudi and Sultan to leg yield along the pole, but then it became obvious that adding turn on the forehand or haunches to move sideways along various pole designs, could also be of great value. It certainly sharpened Eliska's turning aids and made her much more precise. Our only problem now, is that as soon as Sultan sees the poles out, he wants to go and play with them, and we have a job to persuade him to leave them and go and work in the rest of the school! I now have some more poles cut and painted so will be looking to add more exercises, having bought a couple of books on the subject to give me inspiration too!

Also this month, introducing our short-term schooling livery 10 year old cob, Duke, with five videos following his progress during the week he was at East Leigh Farm, whilst owner Janet Jessop was on holiday. Janet has been for a handful of lessons but trying to learn on such a stiff and very green horse was no help to Janet, so Heather suggested he come here for her week away to try to persuade him that he could remain on the correct bend and therefore stay on the track! He improved out of all recognition in that week. Janet was able to ride Duke so well when she and husband Dave came to collect him, as shown in the final video.

Heather Moffett

Heather Moffett began riding as a young child in the UK, but by her early teens, was questioning the methods being used to teach. By the age of sixteen, she had developed a different method of teaching riding, especially how to synchronise exactly with the movement of the horse. This enabled her to teach beginners with extraordinary speed, and also, to rectify long established faults in experienced riders. More than 20 years ago, she pioneered the teaching of riding with the Equisimulators, machines which simulate the movement of the horse, enabling very precise, hands on teaching, in total safety, successfully teaching hundreds of riders, all over the world.

Heather has trained for many years with classical teachers, including Belgian Capt Desi Lorent, a student of Portuguese Maestro, Nuno Oliveira, but specialising in the teaching of the Classical Seat, and refined aids. Heather then went on to train with Dr Margaret Cox, who grew up in Germany, training in German classical methods, and latterly, with Mestre Luis Valenca Rodrigues, in Portugal. Chiefly following the French school of classical equitation, which focuses on dressage as an art form, rather than as a competition sport, Heather is however best known as a remedial teacher of riding and an authority on the Classical Seat.

Heather has been an invited guest lecturer at the Equitana, Kentucky, USA, Your Horse Live! BETA Trade fair, and regional events in the UK, The Horse Event in Holland 2006, and a two day seminar at Sydney Olympic Equestrian Centre, Australia, in March 2006, and the only British trainer to be invited to demonstrate, at the Equitana 2007, Essen, Germany. She has been the guest lecture/demonstrator at the UK Annual Conference of Mounted Police Instructors and has also lectured at the Veterinary School at Cambridge University. Heather has written series for most of the UK national equestrian journals, in the UK, and has featured in a number of articles in the Dutch magazines 'Bit', and Amazone, and the German Cavallo magazine, and also in Australian journals.

Her book "Enlightened Equitation" is an international bestseller, and has been fully revised and updated in 2013 including almost 500 new pictures and over 100 new pages, plus a book for beginners, 'Horse Riding RIGHT From the Start' to be published later this year, but currently available as an ebook download. Heather has also launched on October 2016 The Online Riding School, now known as the Online Classical Riding Academy, a growing library of videos to teach riding and horsemanship, from complete beginners to advanced riders needing help with riding problems and provide the clear, simple, effective teaching methods of Enlightened Equitation.

Heather rides and trains Iberian horses, for her own pleasure, but also believes that correct classical training can transform almost any horse, from an ugly duckling into a swan, and relishes the challenge of training any type of horse! She utilises clicker training extensively, believing in the humane training and treatment of the horse, through positive reinforcement.

She is also well known as a designer of saddles and accessories which improve the comfort of horse and rider, having an exclusive range under her trademark 'HM Saddles'.