Training Demonstration By Wayne Walker
By Sarah Jones

Sam, Russell and I went along to the above seminar, as I feel it is always a good thing to have a little knowledge of many methods, this way you can string together what you need for each individual horse, as they are all..... Individuals.

In the idyllic surroundings of Grange Farm, Derbyshire, the morning of Sunday was cold.... but the hospitality of Madeline and Wayne, as always, was warm and friendly as was the greeting from the beautiful stallion Sanbinec (Sanadik el Shaklan x Bay Diva) who entertained the guests with an outstanding display of flamboyancy from his field.

The training day had very obviously been planned ahead; Wayne began by introducing himself and running through what the days events would entail. He then started the session with an immaculately presented colt Bay Ffantasy (Bay Dream x Ffinesse). Wayne had been working on this colt for two weeks and proceeded to demonstrate the importance of ground work explaining that if "you give them the grounding to start with .then everything else follows" It was evidential during this session with the colt that Wayne worked totally with kindness and a quiet respect for the animal in question.

We were then shown a 5 year old mare that was further advanced in her training and Wayne proceeded to explain to everyone the different ways of standing a horse out in front of the judge to show the horse off to its best potential. We then had a chance to put Wayne's ground work training into practice under his excellent supervision!!!!!!!

Wayne then bought out a variety of fillies, and a gorgeous mare with which he covered the subjects of free schooling and lunging - and some more audience participation in standing out. He didn't overtire or bore any of the horses shown, he explained that the emphasis should be on "quality time" with each horse so that they are enjoying what they are doing with you without switching off. He then went on to cover clipping, conditioning, feeding, toning, bathing, make up and bridles.

Whilst we were there, we were privileged to see Wayne and "his stallion". Templars Orchestral Pearl (Last Crescendo x Templars Magic Pearl). The raport that this stallion had with this handler was beautiful to watch and what we should all strive for in a relationship. Wayne went on to show us free schooling and .... free riding!!!! and how working with kindness and consistency can build bridges.

The whole seminar was very well put together. Wayne answered continuous numerous questions throughout the day with ease and good humour. I have seen some of the best handlers in this country at work with various horses and I must say that Wayne Walker has that quality that will take him to the top and keep him there. He treats each horse as if it is an individual and he has a total obvious love of what he does and what he does it with. He makes it fun and so evidently has the horses best interest always at heart.

He told us at the end that he felt a little awkward with us there as we were not really beginners and he felt he only really went through the basics.......all I can say to that is " It doesn't matter Wayne, seeing you with that stallion was beautiful to watch, and we never stop learning.......I actually learnt a lot that day, (including not to leave my camera full of pictures unattended with my husband!!!! opps sorry Wayne!).

The training days are perfect for anyone who wants to know a little or a lot about any of the fundaments of showing - I can honestly say that Wayne covered the lot, and what he didn't cover he was free to be questioned about. The lunch was beautiful, the company was totally araby equine, and there were endless supplies of tea and coffee throughout the day....what more could you want?!...well.....maybe we can manage to conjure up some hot sunshine next time eh guys?!!!

As to the question of "Will there be anymore training days in the future at Grange Farm?"........well this space!

Sarah Jones


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