Two Olympians in the Arena. What did I hear?

Just in case you are hoping for some Olympic level gossip I will stop you right here. This is not about that. Last Friday, my coach Belinda Trussell, a two time Olympian for Canadian Dressage and Megan Lane also a Canadian Olympic dressage rider were at Belinda’s Oakcrest Farm. They both represented Canada in Rio 2016 and also at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon NC in 2018.

Belinda was riding Farley, a horse she has in training, and Megan was her “eyes on the ground”. Megan had brought one of her horses to ride and then Belinda would be her “eyes on the ground.” It was a cold day and the arena windows were frosted but there was much for me to listen to!

I was riding at the same time as Belinda. I did, of course, ask if this was OK and Belinda said yes. So there I was, riding Biasini in the arena, with Belinda riding Farley, and Megan giving her some helpful pointers. So what did I hear?


Megan made a suggestion to Belinda about something she could do to help improve Farley’s movement in the corners. She said that Belinda should start to instigate this before she got to the corner; two or three strides before the corner. Ah Ha! I have some issues with Biasini in the corners. I tend to not have enough bend and also loose some impulsion. Hearing what Megan said I realized I needed to start to prepare for two or three strides before I reach the corner. How to do that? First, make sure my inside leg is ready to keep the bend. Second, go into the corner with support from both legs to maintain the impulsion.


Belinda and Megan had both ridden for Robert Dover in a recent clinic here in Ontario. Megan had particularly liked a mental image he had given her. When you are riding you should feel like there is wind in the sail carrying you forward. This is the feeling when the horse is moving forward freely, ready for you to ask him to do something. When Megan told Belinda about this image it spoke volumes to me. Biasini is a forward moving horse but sometimes he takes to pulling. That might rip the spinnaker right off the ship. To feel the wind in the sail means there is not pulling but gliding freely over the water. Sailing!

I did not have a chance to watch Megan ride her young horse as I had to get Biasini cooled off and ready for his afternoon meal. But nonetheless I felt I had two gems to take away with me and apply to my own riding.

I do not have any photos from the lesson but here are photos of Belinda and Megan riding for Canada in the World Equestrian Games in Tryon NC. in 2018.

Belinda Trussell and Tattoo WEG 2018
Megan Lane and Zodiac WEG 2018

15 Comments Add yours

  1. “Wind in the sail”, I love that analogy. I’ve ridden plenty of horses where the ship was dead in the water. I’ve also ridden a few where hurricane winds rushed us forward! I imagine finding the happy medium takes training — for both the horse and the rider.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I have been in both of the sailing ship horses you mention. I am lucky to have a horse like Biasini who has a natural desire to go forward. I think it is easier to move towards calmer forwardness and away from hurricane than it it do propel the dead in the water ones. Thanks for this good comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the good post!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          You are most welcome

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Rab says:

    Nothing is better than hearing wise counsel and heeding it! And it this case, expert wise counsel!! People do better with a couple of prep steps before the corners in life too! Lots of applications in this post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Jeff and you are right in saying that life’s corners can benefit from preparation too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I want to say something apart from this post ma’am. Yesterday night myself and my younger daughter was seeing few of your videos with Biasini, she enjoyed a lot. Saying I want to do this. I had a beautiful time with my daughter because of your videos

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      That is wonderful! You may know that I rode as a child and as a teenager and then with university and work didn’t ride for 30 years. My daughter started to ride and thay got me back to riding. We had a wonderful time together through her teenage years . She is now a mother and has a full time career and is not riding but perhaps she will come back to it later. Thank you for sharing your story about your daughter. 💕


  4. Emma Cownie says:

    I was hoping for some proper gossip!! lol!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      😄 well Emma you know I can’t print that. I will have to visit you in Wales to give you the gossip!🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dprastka says:

    Totally enjoyed this post and there is always so much to gain from different points of view. I think it’s wonderful and a great idea to watch and learn from not only your own trainer but from others when possible. What a fun day to ride with such experienced riders!! I’m slightly jealous, maybe a better word is envious and I’m so glad you share with us as it always feels like I’m there and along for the ride! ❤️🐴

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I am so glad you feel like you are along for the ride! That makes me very happy and thank you for commenting and letting me know!😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is so useful to watch good riders take lessons. Growing up when I couldn’t afford riding at clinics for famous trainers I often attended as audience. It was always inspiring. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. These gems are such a lovely gift Anne 🙂💜 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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