This week, I’d like to talk about Pikar, my endurance coach. I met Pikar a few years back at Horse Valley Riding Academy, working alongside Zahari. When I was selected for the race, I contacted him, knowing he offered endurance training in Terengganu.
Since my first trip to Terengganu in August of 2019, Pikar has given nothing short of great advice and always offers new challenges for me to try.
Here, he answers my questions about his experience, horsemanship, and what he has in mind
when planning our weekends in Malaysia.
- What is your experience and your area of specialty?
I specialise in two aspects of horse-riding:
Teaching riders to understand why, when and how to use aids
I believe all horses are good horses if the rider knows what he is asking for, how to ask for it, and why aids are in the sequence.
- What's your general approach to coaching or training people?
For me, my first focus is on balance.
Without balance, riders usually can’t control their hands and legs, so it results in confusion for the horse. I teach them to control the horse, not by power, but by communicating the relevant message to the horse.
- How do you measure progress?
It really involves a lot of things. When you start, it’s about balance, then once you can control the rhythm it really means progress. Progress happens when a rider understands and knows how to ask, act, anticipate and react to the horse's different movements.
Ultimately, there are six key characteristics that I consider when I assess my
riders’ progress: Rhythm, Straightness, Contact, Suppleness, Impulsion, Collection
-What is your training plan for me?
For Amelie, considering the long distance and the semi- wild horses, it’s important
she gets to ride as many different horses as possible. No matter the character of the horses, knowing that she will be able to handle them is a strong component in building her confidence and mental game. Also, making sure she can ride long hours in the saddle is key. I am planning a 240km ride (120km per day, 20Km per horse) over a weekend in February and my aim is for her to do this monthly. I do feel she is ready - at least her energy and enthusiasm about it are great!
- What do you aim to be? What do you aspire to become?
I would like for people to think automatically about Style De Cheval when they think about any kind of horse services. I’m ambitious and would like to be able to
become a reference in the horse world in Malaysia. I want to be innovative and
create new services as well. But most of all, I want people to feel confident and
safe when riding. When I bring people to ride on a trail, I want them to trust that they can relax, feel safe, and enjoy the ride around me.
Thanks to Pikar I have been able to get a taste of long-distance riding from the
early days of my training. He introduced me to the endurance world in Malaysia.