LeTrec Training Report

LeTrec Obstacle Training Day
11th November 2007, Manor Farm, South Newton
Report by Rachel Barnett

Our leTrec obstacle practise day 'Take 2' dawned bright, if a little chilly - but was a definite improvement on our initial date.
Katherine and Chris Protheroe had done a marvellous job setting up lots of different obstacles to try. Katherine demonstrated how each obstacle should be completed, on her beautiful (and very well trained!) horse, Canastero.
Then the riders were given time to have a play and try each obstacle for themselves. The initially terrifying 'bridge' - a wooden construction over a large blue tarpaulin which flapped rather menacingly in the breeze - turned out to be no problem at all for the horses, who walked over it very obligingly.
The 'low branches' had been cleverly constructed using jump wings and plastic household pipes. These are set for each competitor, 30cm above the height of the horse. This obstacle can be attempted at walk, trot or canter, with more points being gained the faster you go. However, as we discovered, the 'branches' fall very easily and 30cm does not give the rider much room! This was a really fun obstacle to try, with some horses dipping their heads or flattening their ears to try and help!
The beauty of leTrec is that it is so multi-layered. Not only are there different levels of competition, but within each level the complexity of the mark scheme means that you can make up marks on obstacles you are good at, whilst missing out anything you really don't fancy. You can go and have a fun day out, or you can be fiercely competitive. You can ride a pony, a thumping great big cob, or a thoroughbred and have an equal chance of doing well.
In short we all had a fabulous day - so next time we organise a leTrec day, why don't you come and have a go?
Our thanks go to Chris and Katherine Protheroe and to our hosts at Manor Farm, South Newton.