Sacred Springs Farm presented a series of Equitation Clinics under the leadership of World Cup rider, Guillaume Ducos, in the fall of 2004. The clinics were an overwhelming success. Stay tuned for future clinics in 2006.
Guillaume is a Grand Prix, World Cup competitor who has developed a prestigious training program in Belgium. He represented Belgium in the Concours International at CDI***Saumur (France); CDIO Mondorf les Bains (Luxembourg); CDIW Mechelen (Belgium) and CDI**Pompadour (France).
When asked about his training philosophy, Guillaume explained, “My belief is that excellence in riding begins with the development of your relationship with the horse. The horse has not asked to be for us what we have made him; therefore, he deserves our respect. In nurturing your personal connection with your horse, you also strengthen the connection that will create a long-lasting riding partnership with your equine friend.”
“Although my family has been involved with horses for 4 generations, it was not until I discovered dressage with my first horse that I began to understand what riding was all about. I have learned that dressage takes years of patience, practice and discipline, both for the rider and the horse. Unfortunately, some people try to ‘dress’ their horses more and more rapidly, forgetting how important basic, everyday training is to maintain the foundation from which you and the horse work.”
“The same respect that I ask riders to show for their horses, I show to the rider while training. To be a good trainer requires patience, interest in the rider/horse relationship and respect. Both the rider and the trainer must adapt to the horse and its capacity, not the other way around.”
“By using seat, position and the employment of appropriate aids, jointly with the rider I develop those approaches to the horse that will have the greatest positive impact. My training objectives are to increase the horse’s elasticity and engagement with the rider, while at the same time resolving any problems that you may be experiencing with your horse. As such, I provide instruction from the ground, but may ride your horse in order to correct a particularly difficult issue.”
“Ultimately, I want to see my students progress toward their riding goals, whether those goals include becoming a Grand Prix competitor, or a solid recreational rider. Remember, your relationship with your horse can and should be a wonderful, unique and enjoyable journey!”