Shaun Saunders Clinic
Photographs and words by Monique van Vliet
Pictured Left: Shaun Saunders taking Readies Lil Whizzel for a spin.
On the weekend of Saturday 31st of January till Monday 2nd of February the South West Show Horse Association organised a reining clinic with Queensland reiner Shaun Saunders. Shaun represented Australia at the World Equestrian Games in France last year when Australia placed 5th in the world. At Equitana 2014, with scores of 213, Shaun placed equal first in the Australia Open Reining with the two horses he rode: Ruf Major and QXH Docs Stylish Oak.
The clinic was held at Kerry Thomas’ property in Kirup. A select group of riders was divided in two groups with each having a morning and afternoon session. The first day was spent working on body control and circles. The second day was reserved for spins and stop. On Monday Shaun gave private lessons.
What better way to reflect on this clinic as to hear from the participants themselves:
“I had the great pleasure in hosting and to participate in one of Shaun's clinics. All I can say is; soft, soft, supple, supple! It was a great reminder from one of the best, heaps to work on after Shaun left.” Kerry Thomas
“It is great to learn from a very experienced horseman. Shaun is clear and communicative in his teaching.” Gary Woolaway
“Fantastic clinic. Something to learn for all riders and horses at different levels.” Marie Wetherell
“Very clever clinician who delivers his message well.” Susan Peace
“Sit back, sit back,…….!” Mike Donavon
“Many horses have been purchased from over East without riders having been able to ride them. Our horse Little Bit Shiney was broken in and trained by Shaun. It is great for us to have Shaun here to show us how our horse is trained and help us find all the buttons.” Eloise Gardner and Susan Tuia
Above Left: Eloise Gardner watching Sarah Merralls perform a spin on Bob. Above Middle: Shaun demonstration shoulder control on Little bit Shiney Above Right: Nateisha Sedgwick and Eriwn van Vliet watching intently.
“Very good clinic. Shaun’s reputation and track record is beyond question.” Bruce Whiteaker
“He is the first clinician that has worked on my position not only on my horse. It is all in the horse rider combination. I needed someone to tell me the things I knew I was doing wrong.” Amy Morris
“It is good to know we’re on the same wavelength when it comes to training. It confirms to me that we are on the right track.” Erwin van Vliet
“Fantastic learning opportunity with a great clinician and top class Australian reiner.” Nateisha Sedgwick
Above Left to Right: Susan Tuia, Bruce Whiteaker, Amy Morris, Gary Woolaway, Mike Donavon, Sarah Merralls, Shaun Saunders, Erwin van Vliet, Kerry Thomas, Marie Wetherell.