It all started in a small Dutch field not far from her home. That is where Liz Barclay as a four-year old preferred to spend her time dreaming of riding a little fat Shetland. It became the red thread through her life. Her love for horses together with her dedication made her into the trainer and dressage rider she is, today. She is versatile and inventive and likes a challenge; whether it is a technical training question, a confidence issue or a problem involving the management of the horse or pony. The mix of working with all ages and also her interest in all aspects of riding, including `hacking a horse in a friendly and balanced manner’ keep her fresh and motivated.
MAARTEN VAN STEK IS COMING BACK!
A CLINIC IN MAY
Yes, Maarten van Stek is back on form! And visiting Cornwall again for a clinic in May. Last year he couldn't make it due to a lengthy recovery period because of multiple leg fractures after having been stuck under his horse who had a very unfortunate slip on the concrete.
Yet again, the fact that Maarten is back riding and instructing after such a horrendous accident tells you of his phenomenal resilience. We, who have met him and were already part of his clinics, know his story. Maarten has been at the dressage subtop for many years, despite the fact that he lost one arm because of an accident when he was only six years old. Other than having trained numerous horses ready to compete Grand Prix, he has coached five Dutch riders into Grand Prix level and 17 into the PSG.
MAARTEN: UNDERSTANDING, FORGIVING AND A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOUR
What I personally find Maarten's greatest gift is, that he, despite the fact that he himself has had to be as tough as nails to have such a brilliant career as a sublime horseman, he is very understanding and forgiving to anyone struggling at any level.
Having trained so many horses and riders to the highest levels, there is nothing kocky or snobby about him and his sense of humour, together with his knowledge, has given all of us the chance to feel secure and free to ride with confidence, at the same time able to absorb his comments and thrive. For me it has meant I have developed my teaching skills through watching him and for my pupils it meant we were able to continue our journey with more focus and understanding about where we are heading.
Below some statements from some who have taken part in Maarten's previous clinics in Cornwall:
Lucy Lloyd: Maarten's clinics have been invaluable to tweak and improve many aspects of our training programme. This helped me to move up to medium level dressage, something I never really thought I would achieve on my old eventer, Tomtom.
Becky Wilkins: I had a lesson with Maarten on his last visit and I can honestly say that it was incredible. He identified and addressed the small issues that I was having with my little mare and made a huge difference to the way she went. I was then able to work on his advice afterwards with Liz. With Maarten and Liz's help we've been consistently in the top 10 after dressage which we definitely weren't before. I would strongly recommend booking for a lesson with Maarten, he is brilliant!
Emily Skerrett: I had a lesson with Maarten when he visited the UK last, and really enjoyed it. I am a grade 5 para rider and found it very helpful being taught by someone who not only understood my disability, but my fierce independence and also understood my hot warmblood who then was recently imported from Holland. He worked with us with a lot of sensitivity and insight which left me feeling more empowered and confident with some good tools to help my horse. Looking forward to seeing him again!
Davina Pritchard: Maarten is a really inspirational trainer. He is very firm, direct and clear in what he expects from you as a rider and he doesn’t settle for anything less than 100% commitment. Yet he is insightful and generous with his time and knowledge and helped gain real improvements to my riding and my horses way of going.
Liz Bailey: I have been lucky enough to participate on Maarten's clinics in Cornwall over the past few years. He has a superb manner of calmness and confidence about him, putting yourself and your horse at ease very quickly. His lessons are incredibly informative & fun & I find myself referring back to moments within our sessions multiple times long after the event. I always try and make time to watch some lessons throughout Maarten's clinics too, there's so much to learn!
Claire Daniels: My horses and I have been so fortunate to have had several lessons with Maarten on his visits to Cornwall. Every experience with him has led to several light bulb moments, turning some training methods completely upside down! Maarten has a true gift in enabling riders to help their horses in an amazing way all through working within their natural instincts. In a single lesson he is both inspiring and so intuitive that you always come away on a real high, eager to continue in the same fantastic groove he’s shown you and addicted to achieve that ‘feeling’ from then on!
Maarten van Stek clinic dates at Tall Trees: May 18, 19 and 21. £70 per session. Claire Daniels is taking bookings on messenger WhatsApp or text. Mobile number: 07790 394234.