Skip to content

YOUNG DRIVER TRAINING WITH GLENN GEERTS

13 March 2024
Phoebe and Amy Matthews with Glenn Geerts
Phoebe and Amy Matthews with Glenn Geerts
The British Young Drivers started their 2024 season early on 2nd & 3rd March at Moreton Morrell when they had the opportunity to train with top Belgian four in hand driver Glenn Geerts. We hear from some of the delighted participants
Megan Wheelan

The training allowed drivers to get some early practise in ahead of upcoming competitions whilst learning from one of the best in the world! For some drivers this was the first training session this year as part of their selection campaign towards the FEI Youth European Championships in Flyinge, Sweden.

Glenn Geerts

It was nice to train with new people in a new country. I enjoy working with youth drivers. They are very respectful and open for new information. What I admire about the British youth is not only that they are very talented, but also very mature. They could really explain me what they wanted to work on, what their problems are and what their goals are. Proud and hopeful to see that our lovely sport has upcoming talents for the future

Jamie Horden

A wet, cold and wintery weekend may not be everyone’s idea of the perfect weather for driving but for the committed British Young Drivers and their support teams the indoor facilities at Moreton Morrell provided the perfect venue for two days of training with Belgian Team Driver Glenn Geerts and Great Britain’s Mike Hodgeson and Sara Howe.

All the young drivers had two lessons on day one with the second being obstacle training. Everyone pitched in to help build an obstacle with four elements and rails round the edges. Rather than practicing a lettered obstacle, Glenn would call out where he wanted you to go be it a step over, circle one element, two elements or four elements and changes of rein in the form of a staircase. Having to respond instantly to the calls whilst cantering the pony was ‘slightly’ stressful but great practice. At the end each exercise there was a shout of ‘finish line’ and you had to push as fast as possible to the line.

We gathered for a traditional group meal of fish and chips under the ‘heaters’ in the indoor arena which provided a welcome chance to catch up at the end of the first day.   This was followed by a cones masterclass hosted by Glenn Geerts with Mike Hodgeson and Grace Smith demonstrating which focused on cones exercises based on two twenty metre circles with pairs of cones at the quarter points joined together with an oxer in the centre. Glenn asked the drivers to start by driving simple 20m circles on both reins linked with an oxer. The difficulty increased when he introduced changes of rein through the circle with S-bends finishing at the oxer. Adding in medium trot on the long sides with collection for changes of rein through the circle followed, then canter circles and changes through the oxer to finish.

Glenn told us that the Swiss Young Drivers team which he trains are practicing this exercise with three oxers to create a slalom as he thinks this will be in international competitions this year. The British Young Drivers will be practicing hard to get ahead thanks to this inside information.

The following day the dressage lesson was in fact the chance to practice the masterclass exercises as well as a driving a full cones course. With a practice trot up and conversations with the team vet at some point during the two days it was a fun and busy weekend. We are all grateful to Mary Jane Campbell and Jo Alvis for organising a weekend of inspirational teaching.

Phoebe Matthews

The training weekend with Glenn Geerts at Moreton Morrell was a weekend well spent! I personally learnt so much from the lessons that I received and I’m sure that many other juniors will agree with me. The lessons were super informative and helpful, I have learnt so much more about my ponies and in general.

On the Saturday it was flatwork in the morning and obstacles in the afternoon.  In the dressage, Glenn helped me getting the ponies working together more and was giving great advice. In full team driver spirit, he was very enthusiastic when it came to obstacles, getting us to drive faster and more precisely.

On Sunday, for me it was dressage/cones training in the morning where we went over a combination of cones to help the ponies bending and listening. In the afternoon it was time to drive a full course, we went over it a few times, taking in Glenn’s comments and including them in our driving to reach a really good cones course at the end.

Ruby Gray

It was great getting together with all the young drivers at the recent training weekend. It was clear to see everybody has been working on their own individual goals and everyone’s ponies were all looking in top shape. It was a great opportunity to have some training with Glenn Geerts and I took a lot away from the lessons and I’m sure everyone else did. He is so knowledgeable and complimentary of your driving whilst also making tweaks to improve things some more.

Mike Hodgson and Sara Howe were also training at the weekend and my cones lesson with Mike was really good and again I took a lot from it including driving the course backwards without walking it.

We had an opportunity to see a cones masterclass on the Saturday night and watched Mike and Grace being taught by Glenn. Everyone was so intrigued to listen to what he had to say and we were fortunate enough to then take that into Sundays lessons.

Everybody was really excited about the opportunities we had at the weekend and it was great to catch up with everyone and get to talk about our plans for the season.

As you can imagine there was a lot of hype around the European championships due to be held in Sweden in July and there are lots of us all working really hard towards selection for that. I’m really looking forward to taking what I have learnt into my training at home and also attending the upcoming Easter camp where we all get to see each other again.

Izzy Brunner

It was so great to see all the young drivers last weekend at the training. I’ve got a new young pony, so it was his first time out. I had Mike training me all weekend and ticked off lots of boxes and have lots to work on for upcoming training at Stowe. Thank you to all the organisers involved and for Glenn for his very informative cones masterclass on Saturday night, it was very much enjoyed!

Kiera Chivers

It was an amazing weekend.  My lessons went so well and I learnt so much I think it was really good and I really, really enjoyed it.  I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity and I am sure that all the other juniors who attended had a brilliant time!

The next training camp for the British Young Drivers will take place on 28th – 31st March at the Unicorn Equestrian Centre.

Related Articles