Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good lessons

Hope is what keeps us all going, so it's great when horses' lessons go well. Schooling sessions for young prospective jumpers which go well are real fuel for optimism; happily we had one of those today. I had the services today of a jockey who had never ridden for me, the good conditional Gerald Tumelty. He works for Alan King but was in town today to school for Jeff Pearce, and seemingly was keen to widen his list of contacts while he was here. William had given him my number so he called me a couple of days ago to offer his services, an offer I was only too happy to accept. I duly kept him busy. He started with the easy task (taking Ex Con, who is due to run on Saturday, up the line of French hurdles on the all-weather strip) but then he moved on to some less experienced jumpers over the mini-jumps, and everything went really well, which was great. When you see an inexperienced horse (Alcalde) jumping as well as this in his first lesson, I think one's entitled to view the future with optimism. I didn't know Gerald at all prior to today, but he's clearly a very good horseman and, while I'd never look farther than William for a jockey in a jumps race, having a young rider like this on one's side has got to be an asset.

The other main area of teaching which can go either right or wrong is stalls-work for Flat horses. Asterisk, who I hope will make her debut next week, has been our on-going project in that respect over the past few weeks and this project, too, has been going pleasingly well (touch wood!). The two main people to thank for this have been the famed stalls guru Steve Dyble (better known as Yarmy) and Iva, both of whom are pictured here with her a couple of weeks ago. Iva, of course, won't be able to reap the benefit of her work in the immediate future as she'll be sitting at home watching the race on TV with her broken leg up when Asterisk runs next week, which is a real shame as she and Yarmy have turned a filly who was very, very nervous of the stalls into one who goes in them and stands in them very calmly, something which really is easier said than done.

1 comment:

Alan Taylor said...

It is always invaluable to have access to a top class conditional jockey as the weight allowance can be invalueable in handicaps. Very impressive picture shows a jockey in a classic jumping position with well positioned hands.Anyone under the stewardship of Alan King needs no further recommendation than that.