Windy Hill Equestrians’ Natalie Gerst was among the qualified riders who participated in the USHJA’s Gold Star Clinic – West through the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program and the Zone Jumper Team Championships. AON HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California, hosted the event, January 17-20, 2019.
Over the course of four days riders learned from top industry professionals with hands on learning in the barn and in the classroom as well as in the saddle.
“Sunday featured an exciting Gold Star Team competition with eight teams at heights of 1.10m, 1.20m and 1.30m vying for the top honors. Guest Chefs d’Equipe included Olympic rider Will Simpson, Kirsten Coe, Diane Carney and DiAnn Langer, USEF Youth Chef d’Equipe/USHJA Show Jumping Technical Advisor…Langer’s Team 7 with Grace Belmont, Jasmine Talley and Natalie Gerst took the early lead after round one with only 4 faults. Coe’s Team 8, with Lauren Flather, Gerst and Rachel Long, gave Langer’s team a run for their money with all riders jumping clean in the jump off, but Langer’s team held the lead for the win.”
Windy Hill was privileged to host a clinic this weekend with Jeff Cook. Riders were asked to lengthen their stirrups 1 to 2 holes for the flat portion. This exercise produced a deeper heel and stopped riders from nagging with their spur. A longer stirrup also helped horses with self carriage. He advised the use of old school steel stirrups in practice to encourage a better base. He feels that the wide base stirrups encourage riders to stand on their toes a bit, but are great for showing.
Jeff suggested carrying a short stick with every horse in practice so that if one is needed the horse is used to it.
For beginner riders he suggests starting them in a light seat or half seat to deepen their heels from the get go. Most people start riders in the full seat which does not allow the heels to sink. Since we have a lesson program with beginner riders, this was a valuable piece of advice!
It was a fantastic weekend! Everyone came away with more tools for their toolboxes. Horses jumped super and were more and more rideable as the weekend moved on. We are ready for 2018!!
Welcome Anam Terra, Nathalie Gee, and Ella Begovic!
“Great fun and family oriented environment to take your riding to the next level whatever that may be. I highly recommend all of their programs.”
“Windy Hill Equestrians is a terrific barn. I’ve been there for 3 years now and am so happy to have found such a stellar team. I trust them implicitly with my horse.”
“Love the people, love the horses! Such a warm and caring place for horses and kids!”