Subtle tips on horse craft
By Toby Walker
Former Olympic showjumper George Sanna would probably disagree that he was teaching dressage skills to the 12 pupils attending a three-day showjumping clinic at Trenayr yesterday.
But it appeared otherwise as Mr Sanna constantly reminded and corrected his young charges about their posture and position as they manoeuvred their young horses around the Trenayr TAFE's equine centre.
The posture and position of a rider might not seem to have anything at all to do with the skills needed to compete in showjumping, but if anyone would know it would be Mr Sanna.
During the first day of instruction, Mr Sanna taught his pupils that even the subtlest of movements or reactions from the rider could influence their horse and needed to be controlled when riding.
Mr Sanna, a world class showjumper who has competed at the highest level, arrived in Grafton from Sydney this week to lend his expertise to a small class of keen showjumpers over an exhaustive three-day program of tuition.
Students between the ages of 15 and 35 travelled to Grafton with their horse floats from across northern New South Wales to receive private lessons and learn about special kinds of saddles and riding techniques.
Mr Sanna is a renowned trainer, who has worked with some of the country's most talented junior riders, including 15-year-old Emily Blinkworth, who has been touted as one of Australia's future Olympic hopes in Equestrian.
"The state of junior riders in Australia is pretty strong right now," he said.