Middleburg, Va. – May 18, 2021 – Chronicle of the Horse Hunter Horse Person of the Year and Hall of Fame Hunter Rider, Louise Serio, kicked off the 2021 Rutledge Farm Sessions Saturday, May 15. Hailing from Pennsylvania, the owner of Derbydown brought her hunter training expertise to Middleburg to help riders understand how preparation is key. From the warm-up to the end of a course, Serio continued to emphasize the importance of preparing both the rider and the horse.
Serio commented, “I think it’s really important that we warm-up as riders and we warm-up our horses, and during that warm-up we are really working on that rideability because most of us want to go onto jumping. If we don’t work on that everyday it really limits the accuracy of the riders.”
Over the course of the one-day clinic, Rutledge Farm welcomed 16 riders of all ages and skill level who were eager to learn what Serio had to offer. A thorough warm-up focused on the basic rhythm of the horse, the riders’ positions, and the use of a driving rein. Following the warm-up riders learned more about how essential it is to correctly utilize aides, which included a unique and fun “pole-bending” exercise as well as lateral work. Before putting it all together over a course, Serio asked riders to go through a bounce and a pole grid to practice the adjustability of their horses. All of this was done in order for Serio to demonstrate to riders how an effective course is an example of proper preparation.
Participant Kimberly O’Donnell commented on her experience, saying “The opportunity to learn from someone like Louise was priceless. I’d like to do it again tomorrow! The facility at Rutledge Farm is also stunning and this is my second time here. It’s just fabulous to be here.”
Serio added, “Rutledge Farm is amazing. Every part of it is just gorgeous – the ring, the footing, the jumps, the whole thing. It’s a privilege to be here.”
Based in historic Middleburg, Virginia, the Rutledge Farm Sessions invites the country’s top high-performance athletes and trainers to host clinics for riders of all levels and disciplines. Founded in 2017 by Rutledge Farm owner Aleco Bravo-Greenberg with the help of Olympic gold-medalist Will Simpson, the series has since expanded to now host clinics for show jumping, dressage, eventing, equitation and hunter riders. The Rutledge Farm Sessions invites Olympians, international champions and renowned trainers to share their knowledge and expertise with the mission to actively support the development of U.S. equestrians to enable them to successfully compete at all levels of the sport.
Rutledge Farm is proud to bring on-demand access to all of the Rutledge Farm Sessions thanks to USEF Network. Using the code ‘Rutledge21’, all 2018-2020 clinics can be accessed from the comfort of your home for free within one week of Serio’s clinic taking place!