Equestrian Coach Comes From UK to Help Out

A horse and rider prepare for an early morning ride at the SFA Equestrian Center. Both are out to learn something about their sport from Ernest Dillon, Britain's leading show jumping coach.  Dillon has had 25 years of success in elite international show competitions including Grand Prix, international trials, and derby wins. Dillon says horses have different personalities, just like people, but basically they do have something in common. "I think that generally that horses are really waiting to please people. They're really wanting to do the right job," said Dillon.

Dillon's expertise is English riding, but no matter the tack or interest he enjoys connecting with horsemen around the world.   "I think a horseman is a horseman and any horseman rather he's a roper, rather he's a cutting horse rider, reiner, whatever he may be he can appreciate a good horseman."

Equestrians benefit from Dillon's encouragement. Team members now would like the public to come out and see what they've learned.   SFA team member Cindy Hinojosa said, "I think people that have never been on a horse would be really surprised how much it takes. It's just like any sport. You see a baseball player swing a bat and it looks really easy and how many years of practice, maybe 15 years to get it perfect. It's a lot like that." You can see the team compete against Delaware State on Saturday at the Equestrian Center located on highway 259, north of the Cushing y.

Dillon won't be there. He'll be off teaching more young equestrians, but his lessons will possible earn the team top scores. His praise at the end of a lesson can go a long way for horse and rider. Like with any challenge, confidence is more than half the battle.