Stephen Hayes Dressage Clinic Tour a Huge Success
We couldn’t be prouder of our Dressage ambassador Stephen Hayes as he returns home to the U.K from his Australia Dressage clinic tour, where he completed 6 full days of coaching Australian dressage riders. Hailing from the North West of England, we have watched Stephen grow over the past three years into an outstanding example of a professional dressage rider and trainer. His genuine commitment to helping riders make the most out of their own, and their horse’s ability whilst making them feel totally at ease, is second to none.
His recent summer dressage clinic tour of the U.K had everyone talking about his effective training methods which were successful on all levels of horse and rider. Over 80 clinics have taken place the summer of 2016 and a whirlwind of positive posts/pictures flooded social media daily from riders attending his clinics. This caught the attention of many people around the world, in the world of dressage, who wanted to experience a Stephen Hayes Dressage Clinic. To no surprise Stephen was then contacted from barns in Australia, Malaysia, USA and countries in Europe to conduct future clinics.
In a short space of time Stephen had put together a plan to jet out to Australia and visit two densely populated equestrian states in Australia to conduct 6 full day clinics.
“I don’t quite know how it all came together so quickly, but if I want something, I won’t stop till I’m there, and I really wanted to make this happen. How often can people get the chance to travel to different parts of the world and at the same time do what they love! I love to coach and share my knowledge with people who love our sport. I was very lucky to have great equestrian venues such as Juravon park Equestrian and Kleinreiterhof with strong teams behind them to help me organize this all too, they took such good care of me”
Stephen Hayes was coaching six dressage clinics per week throughout the summer at around 10-14 lessons daily which is a tall order; “Maintaining that stamina daily can be mentally tiring, I put so much into each individual lesson, it’s the feedback from the riders that keeps me thriving even when it’s my last lesson of the day, when they walk out with a massive smile on their face, and they’ve felt a big change in their horse, that literally makes my day, it feeds me” Stephen explains.
Stephen plans to hold many more clinics in different countries of the world, and no matter where he goes riders seem to be left buzzing from their training sessions. A dressage enthusiast from Australia who attended his Melbourne clinic says; “He’s brilliant, sensitive, positive, genuine, inspiring, knowledgeable, thoughtful, professional, funny…. I just can’t find all the words I want to say. I can’t recommend him enough for his style and natural affinity to give to others!”
One of the things that seem to astonish riders who join the clinic is his ability to treat every single combination of horse and rider differently. Establishing riders strengths and weaknesses quickly, Stephen is already then able to see each partnership vastly improve in a matter of minutes into the lesson. Another rider from his Perth, Australia clinic said; “ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! Getting tears on the way home thinking how incredible your ride felt, is exactly what you want coming home from a lesson. He watched us go around for a minute and worked out the best course of action, and within a few rounds of the arena my horse was changing, and starting to listen and work like he’s supposed too”
Despite the success of his dressage clinic tour and his own accomplishments in the saddle, Stephen remains a very down to earth, humble person, making him approachable, and it’s also that quality that rapidly speeds up the learning process for the rider during their lesson as they feel relaxed enough to ride and not be judged or belittled; it’s obvious he wants the absolute best for his riders. “Sometimes I have riders attending my clinics for the first time literally petrified, I know exactly how that feels, I’ve been there! There is no way you can ride to the best of your ability under that negative pressure, you block, and then you block your horse. A little bit of nerves is healthy, it’s those nerves that drive you to do well. But to be afraid to ride because you feel ‘looked down on’ if you make a mistake is a horrible feeling, one I believe very quickly changes after a minutes of talking to me, at the start of the lesson. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m honest with my riders and it’s never my intention to just say things to make a rider feel great and uplifted, I aim for their horse to do that for me”
We will be keeping you up to date with the progress of Stephen Hayes and any future clinics! In the meantime, to follow Stephen on Facebook you can visit his page www.facebook.com/stephenhayesdressage