Boyd is recently back in Aiken from a training session in Wellington, Florida. Here are his thoughts on the experience:
We had a tough, grueling time with Neville, Remington XXV and Rock on Rose in sunny Wellington. It was the first time I’ve made the trip down as a rider; in past years I visited Silva there with her dressage horses.
To work on my horses’ dressage I took them to Oded Shimoni. Silva has worked with Oded previously and Captain Mark Phillips recommended that I go him as a dressage instructor not only because he’s a fine horseman but because he’s about the same height and build that I am and he thought that he would improve my riding the most.
In show jumping I worked with American team member Lauren Hough, who has a stables full of Grand Prix show jumpers that she takes to Florida half the year and to Holland for the other six months of the year. Phillip Dutton suggested I’d benefit from riding with Laura because of his fantastic experience training with her last year.
Oded improved Neville and Rose the most: both horses mainly worked on getting soft and relaxed and engaged in the connection. Oded hopped on these two and schooled them a bit to try and get the message across of them.
I must say jumping with Lauren was outstanding! I love the way she taught: she has quite a simple way of getting the message across and she didn’t over jump the horses but worked on their rideability and adjustability. The biggest improvement was the way she worked with Remi – she’s a hands-on coach and hopped on and showed me how it’s done. The thing I got most is getting into the fences in a more balanced way and not being too hard on him, but building confidence by giving him a perfect approach.
I feel like getting help from these two fantastic trainers has helped me get the right start on the season as we aim for Kentucky. I’m pretty fired up and excited about putting some of these new skills to the younger competition horses at home, too, and I’ve got a great feeling about the three advanced horses, that they’ll all show their best this spring.
This weekend I’m taking a few of the young ones to Pine Top in Thompson, GA. I’m looking forward to getting them out; some have never had a start and some I have very high hopes for this season.