My unforgettable lesson with Sylvia Loch

Well, I don’t know where to start! We’ve both been fans of Sylvia Loch for a good few years now, have her books, DVD’s etc. At the time she was based on the Scottish Borders, so we couldn’t believe our luck when she moved to Suffolk!

Mum, Dad and Claire very kindly bought me a lesson on Sylvia’s Lusitano schoolmaster, Prazer, for my 30th which I can’t thank them all enough for! I’ve been fretting for the past week that I wouldn’t be good enough to ride such a fantastic horse but Sylvia was so welcoming and Prazer, a complete gentleman.

We started in walk while I got my bearings on some 20m(ish) circles. I can’t really describe the feeling of riding such a refined horse, the slightest incorrect aid, or my using too much leg, or not enough, and the circle would be an egg. Prazer, being the gentleman, took my amatuerishness (is that a word?!) with good grace, poor boy, and just responded with what he though I was asking him to do. We did a some turn-on-the-haunches, where I would put a little more weight in my inside stirrup and he turned as if by magic (that’s what he felt like!)

Up to trot, which Sylvia commented, was better than my walk, and we made some circles bigger and smaller with weight aids. I was even allowed a canter, in which the power was something I’ve never felt before. The moments before the canter depart felt like a spring coiling up and then off we went – heavenly! I could do that all day! I floated back down from cloud nine and we did a little work on shoulder-in in walk, then then in trot, and I’m happy to report that I think what I’d done with shoulder-in with Saf was on the right lines and it felt kind of similar.

Lastly we did some trot serpentines, which are incredibly difficult and we wobbled along a bit due to rider error but a good learning experience 🙂 And to finish we managed a few steps of passage, which was magical (I’m still grinning!)

I’m still in a dream-like state and keep saying to everyone that I can’t believe what just happened haha! Sylvia is an amazing teacher and explains everything so well. I will definitely be back for more! Oh and Claire now wants a Lusitano for her next horse!

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