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Sat, 11 Jan


Mark Smith

BRC AREA 6 Mark Smith Hold your Horses

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BRC AREA 6 Mark Smith Hold your Horses
BRC AREA 6 Mark Smith Hold your Horses

Time & Location

11 Jan 2020, 09:30 – 13:30

Mark Smith , Grove Farm Milton Hill, Abingdon OX14 4DP, UK

About the Event


The aim of Mark's highly successful Hold Your Horses Clinics is to train the rider and horse in the complex skill of travelling cross country in harmony at an appropriate speed for their ability. Mark's methods are to show the rider how, by correct use of bodyweight and legs, it is possible to show a strong puller that this is not what the rider requires. It is not that the horse deliberately wants to ignore the rider - the rider is inadvertently sending the horse contradictory messages.

The clinic is designed to be appropriate, relevant and helpful to:

  • Happy hackers
  • Drag hunt riders and team chase riders
  • Children wanting to compete, or already competing, at Pony Club eventing
  • Amateur riders wanting to compete, or already competing, at riding club or BE eventing.
  • British Eventing riders who wish to improve their technique in order they may safely move up to the next grade of competition (which inevitably means faster).

The programme is divided into four phases as follows:

Phase 1

The horse and rider are able to canter around an enclosed arena in a settled and even rhythm.

Phase 2

The rider learns to be able to recognise the different speeds at which they will be required to travel for various cross country standards eg for BE 90 events 450 metres/minute, BE 100 events 475 metres/minute. Horses do not have a speedo between their ears so riders only learn what 450 metres/minute feel like by experiencing it. This is done an open field environment.

Phase 3

The rider learns how to move up and down the gears to arrive at the stipulated speed to simulate the fact that cross country courses incorporate some sections where an appropriate speed will be considerably less than the average, and some sections will involve travelling at speeds faster than the overall average speed.

Phase 4

The rider learns the appropriate speed for each type of jump taking into consideration the gradient, complexity of combinations, narrowness and types of fences. Only then is the rider properly prepared to incorporate jumps into the equation.

Mark's first priority is for the safety of horse and rider. Riders are required to have mastered the skills for each phase to Mark's satisfaction before being allowed to move onto the next phase and Mark's decision is final.

All clinics and work undertaken by Mark Smith will be subject to a Health and Safety assessment. Mark is fully certified by the Pony Club and the BHS, holds full First Aid at Work certification, and Mark and his equipment are fully insured.


All cancellations will incur a £5 admin fee and refunds only given if your place can be filled

In the unlikely event that we have to cancel an event we will offer alternative arrangements, if these are not acceptable to you we will refund all of the event, but will not be responsible for any other loses incurred. 

Bad Weather Conditions: activities might be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, you should contact the event organiser before you leave for the centre if the weather is in doubt. We reserve the right to cancel riding because of bad weather at anytime. The committee's decision is final. 

Clothing Standards

Hard Hats (To current British Riding Club (BRC) requirements) MUST be worn by ALL riders.


  • Booking (group)

    +£0.50 service fee
    Sale ended



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