Gateway Training Day

 5 May 2022by Sue Johnson

As training officer for the Forest of Dean Driving Trials Club, I was asked to put on a Gateway training day.

Due to my ill health at the moment I was lucky to have Nichola Waddicor assist me to ensure a great day was had by all at The David Broome Event Centre.

We had prayed for good weather and it couldnít have been more perfect.

As this was aimed very much at either new drivers or new ponies and horses to outdoor events we decided for safety sake to only allow one turnout in the arena at a time.

To keep things running smoothly, the turnouts did their dressage test then moved on to the arena where a cones course and two obstacles were set up and they were allowed 20 minutes in the arena to practice whatever they liked.

This meant they could try different routes to see what their equine preferred or if the pony was nervous of arenas they could walk around the edge of the course where all the advertisement signage was to learn not to spook at it before trying the course.

Everyone seemed very positive about the style of training and have already asked for another session.

Iím not saying we bribe our judges and Stewards but the Chocolate Guinness cake went down well and kept them energised.

It was so good to see new faces having a go at the event and enjoying it.

Even one backstepper decided to have a go and to see the smile on her face when she managed to do the course was fabulous.

A really fun learning day for all.

Huge thanks to the wonderful team who helped. Matthew Broome for all his help in setting things up and to James Broome for designing the open and flowing courses which posed lots of route options.

Esther Rawlinson was our dressage judge and as Esther is a BC judge her constructive comments were extremely useful.

We had two regular stewards Alan and Carolyn to help who are very knowledgeable and encouraging. And the assistance of Ainsley who as a driver her suggestions were great for drivers to think about trying different routes.

As the saying goes, Team Work makes the dream work.

There is to be a Gateway competition on 12th June at Cricklands, which is the Sunday of the national event.