Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Auditing Leslie Law

I had the great pleasure of walking out on the Stuart Horse Trials cross-country course today to watch eventer and Olympian Leslie Law coach local riders over coops, drops, water obstacles and the dreaded coffin.
Leslie Law watches a rider from a new  jump.
The sprawling course provided an ideal setting for the eventing clinic, and many riders found success under the guidance of Law, who won the individual gold medal for Britain in the 2004 Olympics.

My friend Trish Pierce and I perched nearby, with other auditors, through two sessions, in which riders took their horses over increasingly difficult obstacles, ending their work by splashing through the water obstacle and up over jumps on either bank.

Holly Barrett urges Tenacious G (Gryphon) over the water obstacle
Some of the riders also took the opportunity to jump straight into the water, an act that looked to be completely stomach-dropping as the horses leapt over a log on the bank and down into the drink.

It was a good way to spend a beautiful morning, and it left me hoping that one of these years I'll be riding a horse on those grounds.

Riders show the horses the water before working through it.

A look at the course.


  1. I love the SHT grounds. This year when we go watch it will be even more exciting because 2 students from the barn Elley works at will probably be going. Elley & I may get to groom and meet some competitors. Will miss seeing some of the greats who usually are there since they will be in London. I love the water jump. I actually have seen 2 spills there. A little scary but it's an awesome jump. I so want to do x-country sometime. I'm sure Allie could handle it.

  2. I love Leslie Law. He's such an inspiring teacher. Always confidence-building and creative. I remember watching him improve a rider's trot by hopping on another horse, trotting alongside and having a conversation with the rider. Before long, the rider was posting beautifully -- all the tension and awkwardness gone. Leslie said that he thought it was a shame that so few of us get to grow up (or start riding) in open country, because it helps us feel rather than just think.

    1. "...feel rather than just think." So true, in so many activities.