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April 5, 2011

High Performance Training Sessions And Andalusian Galloping

March 29th through 30th offered the last of the five USEF High Performance Eventing Training sessions, held either at Three Runs Plantation or Paradise Farm, both here in Aiken, S.C.

Katie Prudent was coaching our top eventers this time, concentrating on gymnastics as well as the controlled approach to fences.

The groups were split up in 3 to 4 riders, many of whom brought numerous horses. Imagine you had to ride in a group consisting of Phillip Dutton, Kim Severson and Doug Payne—talk about intimidating.

Well, I, as a lowly dressage rider, took my Grand Prix stallion out for some well deserved galloping. Yes, living in Aiken and being expose to these top eventers taught me a thing or two about fitness, and so my boys do get the chance to let off some serious steam once in awhile. Mind you, this stallion is an Andalusian and try as he might, we "ain't going fast" as they say down here in the South.

He did have a great time, even when a herd of deer crossed our path—great transition of gallop to passage, levade, courbette and back to gallop.

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