Last week, Luc and Daisy organised the GROW Ride event in Wachtberg for one of the best showjumpers in the world: Luciana Diniz. The Brazilian Luciana has developed a program combining coaches from all over the world; GROW Ride. This program challenges the riding skills of participants, but they get also challenged emotionally. In addition, fitness is also one of the important subjects of GROW!
Showjumpers & company day
Participants could chose between different programs. There was a five-day and a two-day program. These programs were specially designed for show jumpers. The intensive time that the participants spent together resulted in a good group feeling, creating a super atmosphere.
There was also a special day for companies. Also non-equestrian entrepreneurs could register for this day. This created particularly beautiful situations between people with zero horse experience and the noble animals.
Physical & mental fitness
During GROW, attention was paid to a wide range of subjects. The Colombian Diego Linares, initiator of Rider Balance, put the riders to work. He showed that balance is one of the core values of a good riding posture. He let the participants execute exercises to improve core stability, posture and balance. Deto Marco da Silva freed all participants from aggression and tension with his boxing lessons.
Xiaofei Sui showed the art of Taiji ball. By mixing tennis and tai chi, self-awareness and awareness of the body is improved.
Bettina Halifax spent time on mental well being in smaller groups during the Emotional ride.
Dressage queen Monica Theodorescu
Because dressage is the basis of almost every equestrian sport, this discipline was also on the agenda. The first couple of days, Susanna Andersch and Antonio Luis Conejo Paez from Club de Equitación Rio Grande from Spain trained the showjumpers. They focused on various dressage exercises, such as flying changes.
On Friday, Monica Theodorescu, yes: the national coach of the German dressage team, came to Wachtberg to provide dressage classes. She showed them the intricacies of the trade. It was amazing to see how quickly the riders picked up the tips and showed improvement.
The participants started riding in a playful manner during the color counting part. While riding, the riders were asked questions, putting their focus on the test. Examples of this are calculating sums and rising and sitting down in canter.
Of course, GROW also paid attention to jumping. Antonis Petris, for example, put the riders to work with cavaletti’s and Luciana Diniz explained her Butterfly exercises. Per participant the exercises were videotaped and analysed in the evening.
Psyche of the horse
The psyche of the horse was also discussed. Horsemanship expert Leo Rauscher taught all participants everything about good horsemanship. Delilah Cuddihy went deeper into the behavior of horses at a scientific level. Finally, Anna Kerckhoff de Sacchi performed a demonstration with a horse in the round pen. She showed how to be a good leader and how well a horse can mirror your emotions.
The week ended with a competition that was won by the American Katia Manuel Adams. She managed to secure a place for the final which will take place next year. The French rider Marie Madeuf became second and the third place was for the young Irish rider Finn O’Hara.