Hunter Holloway's Tips on Bringing Along Young Horses
Hunter Holloway and HB Investments' Cesna M in the 7-year-old jumpers at Tryon. Photo Sportfot
Topeka, KS - October 30, 2019 - Trainer and rider Hunter Holloway of Topeka, Kansas, talks about bringing along young horses. While 2019 has been a rebuilding year for Holloway and her string of grand prix horses; she still managed a trip to Spruce Meadows and earned numerous championships at shows in the U.S. in the young jumper divisions.
“I personally love bringing along young horses as you get to make them your own,” said Holloway, now 21 years old. She has successfully been bringing along two 7-year-olds this season, Silver Creek's Vindication and her new import, Cesna M, owned by HB Investments.
Holloway follows three basic principles for not just her young horses, but her seasoned horses as well.
#1 – Foundation
“Like anything, a good foundation is a must, it all starts there,” explained Holloway.
Foundation for Holloway starts with flatwork. She spends the majority of her training time on building fitness and strength through her flatwork. Horses with good technique on the flat are fitter and more rideable to the jumps. With courses today requiring more technical skills between the jumps, rideability is an important step to the winner’s circle at any stage or height.
#2 - Never let them know what they can’t do.
“This goes for all horses but especially when you’re bringing one along. I always want my horses as confident as possible,” added Holloway.
Holloway is careful to not push her horses too fast and carefully assess the course designers, the footing, and the tracks when making decisions. She stays optimistic but also very real when determining if her horses are ready to move up to another challenge. Repetition is good for young horses yet Holloway makes sure to allow for some new experiences for them such as grass footing, night classes and large, visual rings like at Spruce Meadows. When she feels that her horses are confident, fit and capable, then it’s time for another challenge.
“Sometimes you just know when they are ready,” commented Holloway, “and sometimes you just know it’s time for them to take a step back and take a deep breath. Never be afraid to move up and down levels to build confidence.”
Holloway aboard Cesna M with Silver Creek's Vindication; both winners in the 7-year-olds.
#3 - Remember they are learning.
“Remember they are learning and even just a 2% improvement is good. Some horses take longer than others to catch on, they are all different; patience is key,”said Holloway.
Consistency in the training program plays an important role in learning. If you come out every day and work on a similar program, they will retain more than if you are always changing things up. This applies to the barn as well. Having a consistent routine for them in the barn keeps their mind at ease so they are ready to learn. The time they get fed, ridden, turned out and groomed are just as important to the learning curve of any horse, not just young horses, as your riding routine. If you are constantly changing the tack every day, it’s also harder for them to catch on to the routine and understand what you want them to do. Stick with a program and make minor adjustments within your program as needed. Be patient and let them learn at their own rate.
“All three of those points also pertain to made horses and everyday riding but I feel they are crucial when bringing a young one along,”summarized Holloway.
Holloway and VDL Bravo S at the International Omaha. Photo Marketing4Equestrians
Balancing a program
“When balancing my business and horses it really just comes down to a good plan. Your top FEI horses can’t be expected to show every week anyway so I try to pick weeks that I feel are really important for them to do well and peak. I also keep in mind the shows that are important to the client’s goals. Then we start to build around that!” explained Holloway. “I try to create a good balance of showing, training and time off to keep both the horse’s and the rider’s brains fresh.
“2020 should be a really exciting year. We have a couple of new members to the team that will start stepping up to the grand prix and 2/3* level competition. Two of those are 7-year-olds, who just ended a fantastic 7-year-old year.”
HB Investments’ Cesna M already has 8 wins in the 7-year-old jumpers including wins at Split Rock, Santa Fe, Colorado, and Tryon with Holloway. Silver Creek’s Vindication also earned top ribbons in the 7-year-old jumpers including the championship at Tryon Spring 4.
“It’ll be focused on bringing those horses up while the current string of FEI horses’ focus will be getting points and clear rounds in the bigger classes,”added Holloway.
Holloway and HB Investments' Pepita Con Spita at Spruce Meadows. Photo Sportfot
Her FEI string includes another new mount, HB Investments’ Pepita Con Spita, imported in the spring of 2019, Silver Creek’s Validation, and Hays Investment’s Eastern Jam, VDL Bravo S and Lucky Strike. Holloway will also be looking for some U.S. Team opportunities as her horses move up the jumper ranks.
“I would like to thank all my sponsors and owners for believing in me including Hays Investment Corp, Silver Creek, and the newly formed HB Investments. 2020 should be a very exciting year with big things ahead!”added an enthusiastic Holloway.
Holloway and Silver Creek's Validation at the International Omaha. Photo Marketing4Equestrians
Holloway and Hays Investment's Eastern Jam at the InternationalOmaha. Photo Marketing4Equestrians.
About Hunter Holloway Stables
Hunter Holloway is accepting new clients and horses for training. Hunter Holloway Stables provides full-service care and top stable management along with high-end training and showing. They offer quality horses for sale for all rings and levels and welcome investment horses.
Holloway has an impressive career resume from her junior years on up including the 2016 WIHS Equitation
Championship and the ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals Championship. Among her numerous grand prix victories is the prestigious Aon Cup at Spruce Meadows with Eastern Jam in 2018 second in the West Canadian Cup. The pair also won the $70,000 CSI3* Grand Prix at Tryon Spring and the FEI $10,000 Hermes U 25 Welcome during the Winter Equestrian Festival and placed second in the $25,000 Hermes U25 Grand Prix. Holloway took the top two spots in the 2018 $130,000 International Omaha Grand Prix with Eastern Jam and VDL Bravo S respectively bringing the crowd to their feet.
Visit the website for a detailed list of Holloway's accomplishments at www.Hunterholloway.com.
Contact Hunter today for a private consultation as the first step toward achieving your goals.
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