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Month: September 2016

Jumping Lesson 1

My hacking buddy, Suki Low whom I met in GHRC texted me out of nowhere “U keen on jumping?”. Jumping has always been at the back of my mind. I have always been impressed by how professional show jumpers elegantly cantering and jumping over tall fences. Throughout all my visits to different stables, I particularly like AS Equestrian Center when I went hacking with Aqil few months back. I replied, “Yup, let’s give it a try!”

Sunday, we met up in AS Equestrian Center for our first jumping lesson. Well, it was my first jumping lesson but not for Suki. She was jumping back in Netherlands 20 years ago. In one jump, her pony (1.35m tall) and her were jumping an oxer of 1.10m got his belly stuck in mid air. He felt down, rolled over her and the obstacle collapsed. You can imagine it was quite a chaos. Since then, she has lost her confidence in jumping and has not been jumping. Last Sunday was her first jump since 20 years!

Aqil started the lesson by explaining the basics of the equipment.

DCIM100MEDIA

Aqil got Marco for Suki to ride on to warm up.

DCIM100MEDIA

Aqil got me another horse, Nixs Bahamdan to warm up. A fairly tall and slightly slim dark brown horse.

trotting-on-nix-bahamdan

While trotting at one particular corner, he consistently likes to start cantering. Probably due to his previous training that got him cantering at that corner.

Then, Aqil taught us about sitting 2-point to get ready for our jump.

Here go Suki’s first jump on Marco!

suki-jump

Suki made a turn at the corner and go for another jump.

another-attempt

She continues to go on for another 10-15 jumps throughout the lesson.

We exchanged horses. Suki definitely looked super happy for making so many jumps after 20 years!

exchange

First I trot on Marco for a round or two. Then, Aqil arranged the jumping pole for me to trot over. Next, he made a low barrier for me to jump over.

Here goes my virgin jump!

virgin-jump

And another jump…

pole

The poles are there to make sure we pass through the yellow section to stay in the middle.

At one jump, Suki was walking across the landing area. I was shouting “Horse coming!” to make sure she knows I was approaching.

suki-blocking

Aqil was explaining a similar experience he had while he was training in Europe doing a 1.6m jump. There was a person standing and chatting right in the middle while Aqil was approaching fast. The horse was too fast to stop. Since he knew his horse could jump over that person, so he jumped!

coaching

After a jump, Aqil coached me on what could be improved further.

Aqil showed me I was hunching my back.

wrong-posture

Aqil showed me I should be straightening my back instead while jumping.

right-posture

People say horse is the reflection of the rider. I didn’t really quite understand that until I do jumping.

Obviously, I was a little unsure and worried in my first few jumps. When Aqil asked me if I was scared, I acted and responded confidently that I was not. However, Marco could picked up such subtle hint and amplified the emotion by 10 times. This is a time when Marco moved away from the jumping poles while I was approaching with an unsure emotion. A little worry on the rider has such an impact on the horse.

move-side

To be fair, I’m sure Marco is a very well trained horse for jumping. If it’s not for such a well trained horse, I wouldn’t be able to make so many jumps in my first lesson. Well, instead of saying I learn jumping, I should say Marco taught me how to jump.

Aqil was taking a photo of my jump. How thoughtful!

photo

actual-jump

After making about 10-15 jumps, we slow walk to let Marco rest.

Final Thoughts

Jumping is not as hard as I initially thought. I often see people falling off from horses on YouTube videos. That gave me really bad impression how dangerous jumping could be. Well I’m not saying jumping is not dangerous, it is just not as bad as I initially thought. In fact, throughout our jumps in our first lesson, none of us felt down.

Big part of the reason for such a satisfying and pleasant jumping lesson has to do with Aqil and Marco. First, Aqil is a very experienced jumper himself and he still actively jumps. He breaks down the transition so seamlessly to the point it felt so natural for us to jump 80 cm at the end of our first lesson. Second, Marco is a fantastic jumping horse. Like I said earlier, instead of claiming I’m learning how to jump, the more accurate way to say is Marco was teaching me how to jump.

Obviously, our hands might not be in the right position, our heels might not be pointing down, our back were hunching (okay probably just me) and I’m sure there are still a lot to improve. But the important thing is we did jump. A lot of jumps!

Frankly, I did not have much expectation before stepping in. It took me a long time to trot steadily and to canter when I first started learning horse riding. I thought jumping is going to be another steep learning curve. However, it was surprisingly easy with the right coach and the right horse. Thanks Aqil! Thanks Marco! Also thanks Suki for giving me a kick to get me started in jumping!

It was a really pleasant jumping lesson, really looking forward for my next lesson!

If you want to learn jumping, I highly recommend you to visit AS Equestrian Center. The fee is pretty affordable at RM80/lesson. Give Aqil (017-620 0027) a call and he will he happy to assist you further.

Here is the location. Please note that the location in Waze is incorrect.

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MAEPS

MAEPS (Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang) is located in Serdang, approximately 30KM from KL city center.

I went to MAEPS for a ride on Kolonel Fakharuzi’s recommendation whom I met in Unit Ekuin UPM few weeks back. He is one of the guys who helping running the stable operation in MAEPS. Last week, he was out of town so he got his partner, En. Faud to take care of my riding arrangement.

MAEPS is a massively huge place. The stable in MAEPS takes a little effort to find. Make sure you check out the map at the end of the article to get there easily.

After circling around for 10 minutes and asking 3 different people, I finally arrived the stable.

Stable in MAEPS
Stable in MAEPS

There was a stable management course going on. The staff was explaining the importance of horseshoe the participants.

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This handsome young man is Aziq, son of En. Faud. Aziq brought me out for the trail ride later on. Aziq is only 17 years old but he is already a solid rider. He has been riding for many years. He is now actively training for endurance competition and he even trains horses for other private owners.

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I got my horse, Rohill for my trail ride. Although Rohill is a schooling horse, he is surprisingly responsive. I could easily pop him into trot and canter without using a whip. With a whip, a light tap on his shoulder will get him to canter really fast.

I brought Rohill into the arena to warm up while waiting for Aziq to get ready. The arena is pretty big to the point there are another 2 smaller circles within the big arena for other riders to train.

Riding in MAEPS arena
Riding in MAEPS arena

I was trotting and cantering in the arena for about 15 minutes to warm up Rohill.

canter

Shortly after, Aziq and I left the arena to head to the trail.

leaving-arena

Trail at MAEPS

Here is a video of my ride inside the arena and at the trail.

We walked on tar road and passed by a pineapple farm.

pineapple-farm-maeps

Aziq got back up on his horse after he got down to open the gate to trail entrance.

We started trotting at the entrance of the trail.

start-trotting-entrance

One thing you can be assured is to get a good view of greenery and wide clear sky in MAEPS.

greenery

The trail has swallow trace.

swallow-trace

You can also spot a lot of trees along the trail although they are not big enough to provide shade.

trees

There are plenty of hilly path where you can canter up comfortably.

hilly-canter

Overall Riding Experience

The track in MAEPS is not particularly long. If you are new to trail riding, this will definitely be a good start. I spent most of the time trotting. I did not get a lot of chance to canter because there are plenty of turns I was not familiar with. Once you are familiar with the turns, it will be a really good place to test your cantering skill. Also, we took the shorter trail because the night before was raining hence we could not go to another trail which is supposed to be more challenging. I will definitely go back for another ride to try out another trail. The fee is affordably at RM80/hour.

If you want to ride in MAEPS, feel free to call up En. Faud (019-2770449)

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Vistapolo Equestrian

Vistapolo Equestrian is located in Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, approximately 40km from KL city center.

I typically go for a trail ride on Sunday morning because the traffic is super clear. It took me less than 1 hour to arrive Vistapolo Equestrian from Kajang.

The Stable in Vistapolo Equestrian

The stable in Vistapolo Equestrian is surprisingly big. The stable operation is built on top of a big piece of land. There are enough boxes to home 40 horses, although currently they only have 18 horses in the stable for various activities.

Vistapolo Equestrian Stable
Vistapolo Equestrian Stable
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Horses in Vistapolo Equestrian Stable

When I arrived, Fendi came to greet me and got me to wait for a while, while he prepares the horses.

Fendi preparing Ashante, a beautiful white horse although might get scared easily.

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Another groomer was preparing my horse, Lym, a solid endurance horse which has completed 80KM.

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Lym is one of the best horses I have ridden so far. He is super responsive to my signal. I didn’t even need to carry a whip  during the trail ride. One light touch on the leg will get him into trotting. Releasing the reins a little and few more kisses sound will get him into slow canter. From there, all I have to do is to hold him back from cantering too fast. Totally awesome horse!

Trail Ride

Here is a trail ride video with Fendi.

Another groomer, Doha followed us along on a bike. He asked for my phone to capture some really fantastic video and photos along our ride. Thanks Doha!

We head out to the trail passing a long stretch of tar road. Of course we try to walk on grass whenever possible.

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The entrance of the trail.

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We passed by a lake on our way in.

lake

Fendi trotting in front and I followed closely behind.

trot

We make an entry to the long stretch of red earth path.

enter-red-earth

I shifted gear into canter to overtake Fendi. Yeeeeeehar~

overtake

From there on, it is a fairly long stretch of path for me to canter on. If you are into cantering, this is the best place I have visited so far for cantering. I probably spent 10-15 minutes non stop cantering on this path.

long-stretch-canter

We took a break to let the horses walk. In this stretch of the path, I have a good long chat with Fendi on endurance competition.

chat

We move on to canter on the remaining path

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At the end of this path we passed by RimBayu project by IJM.

RimBayu project by IJM
RimBayu project by IJM

After that we walked along a tar road to get back to stable

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Back to Stable

We head back to stable in about 1 hour time.

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Kak Nuri walking her horse.

Kak Nuri from Vistapolo Equestrian
Kak Nuri from Vistapolo Equestrian

The hospitality of Vistapolo Equestrian totally impressed me. The staffs even brought nasi lemak and drinks for the riders. This is the first stable I have encountered that serve refreshment. Although the refreshment doesn’t cost a lot of money, it’s the thought that counts!

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Kak Nuri was cutting cake for me. Thanks Kak Nuri!

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This stable really gives a sense of belonging with the warm hospitality.

The horses took a shower after the trail ride.

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Further Details

These are the activities offered by Vistapolo Equestrian.

Vistapolo Equestrian activities
Source: http://www.vistaequestrian.com.my/packages.html

If you want to find out more about Vistapolo Equestrian, please contact Kak Zah (019-6627144) or Kak Nuri (019-2408184).

You can also check out Vistapolo Equestrian webpage here.

Here is the location if you are planning to go for a visit.

Until next time!

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Trail Ride @ ESAR Bukit Beruntung

Last Sunday, I have a trail ride with ESAR Bukit Beruntung. This time we went out in a group of 4 riders. Boy (ESAR operator), Abang Iskandar, his son Opie and myself.

Trail Ride @ ESAR Bukit Beruntung

Abang Iskandar is a very seasoned rider. He has been training endurance horses and riders for a decade and he even ride 120km himself!

Opie is a really talented kid. He is only 9 years old and he is already a solid rider. Abang Iskandar put Opie on horses as early as age of 2! In fact, he wasn’t riding for fun; he was helping his dad to train a new horse.

The 2 horses Abang Iskandar and Opie riding have been together for a long time. They always stick together even in the trail. Lizaz, the horse that I was riding seemed a little tired, probably was exhausted from previous day training.

You can see the video that we first canter our way to the entrance of the trail. Then, we spent most of our time cantering in the trail. Although it was a lot of slow canter, it was pretty satisfying.

It took about 1 hour to complete the trail, across 17 KM. The outride fee was RM120.

Please contact Boy (018-918 8871) if you would like to do a similar trail ride with ESAR Bukit Beruntung. You can also find out more about Empayar Sunnah Archery and Riding Club in the previous post with more details.

You can check out Empayar Sunnah Archery and Riding Club Facebook page for more updated activities. In the Facebook page, the location will point you to their paddock where the training happens. The following map points you to their stable, which is about 200 meter away from each other.

Until next time!

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Tips Tunggang Hacking

Tips berikutnya adalah hasil perkongsian daripada rider Zulidia Kamaruddin

Zulidia-Kamaruddin
Zulidia-Kamaruddin

Untuk rider baru dan ingatan diri saya.

Tips pengalaman tidak formal apabila Ride kuda ex-race yang kita tidak pernah Ride / Tunggang @hacking dalam keadaan kuda sukar dikawal.

Disiplinkan diri:

Note: Tanya stable kuda itu ex-race atau ex-show jumping atau ex-polo.

  1. Harus beringat ex-race “kebanyakan” mempunyai kekuatan yang tinggi. Lebih sesuai penunggang lelaki dan perempuan yang bertenaga. Ex-race juga berupaya menukar kelajuan ke tahap maksimum tanpa batasan.
  2. Boleh dikawal untuk berhenti dengan gerakan reins secara zig zag @ gergaji. Pastikan badan disandar ke belakang. Heels down. Jangan tarik rein secara terusan. Harus tarik dan lepas secara berulang kali.
  3. Bersuara supaya rider lain boleh dengar kita sedang dalam masalah.
  4. Jika ada rider lain di depan, minta mereka perlahankan kuda mereka ke tahap paling perlahan kerana kuda bersifat mengikut kuda lain.
  5. Jika kuda kita di luar kawalan dan memintas kuda lain, alihkan pergerakan kuda ke kiri atau ke kanan asalkan bukan terus kehadapan.
  6. Jika di luar kawalan, dan and nampak bukit, arahkan ke atas bukit kerana kuda bersifat laju mendaki bukit tetapi auto berhenti di puncak bukit.
  7. Jika di tepi pantai, kuda yang di luar kawalan, arahkan kuda ke laut dan bukan memandang ke hadapan, mereka tidak akan bisa lari di dalam laut.
  8. Samada kuda ex-race anda baik atau perlahan, pastikan genggaman jadi pada rein dalam keadaan berjaga2. Jangan alpa. Di kebanyakan waktu rider jatuh waktu kuda sedang perlahan tetapi menukar pergerakan secara tiba2 dan rider dalam keadaan alpa Dan terlalu santai.
  9. Biasakan tanya sifat kuda yang anda naiki dari stable dan dari rider yang pernah tunggang kuda tersebut. Terutama apa yang kuda itu tidak suka. Elak lakukan perkara yang kuda itu tidak sukai.
  10. Tanyakan cara terbaik pengendalian kuda tersebut. Ingat sifat kuda berbeza beza. Ada kuda tidak boleh bawa whip. Ada kuda tidak boleh rein panjang atau rein terlalu pendek. Ada kuda pergerakannya ranggi. Ada kuda laju bila balik. Ada kuda persekitaran. Semua ini amat penting untuk diketahui.
  11. Berterus terang pada stable tahap riding kita, kelebihan kita dan kekurangan kita. Pihak stable selalunya akan memberi kuda yang sama dengan keupayaan kita.
  12. Ex-Race bila di trail bersifat jiwa bebas. Kita sebagai rider baik untuk merendah diri, jangan mencabar kuda. Harus ingat sebaik mana pun kuda, mereka tetap haiwan apatah lagi tenaga kuda jauh lebih kuat dari kita.

Admin rasa amat berbangga dan berterima kasih kepada rider Zulidia Kamaruddin kerana sudi mengambil masa untuk menulis tips-tips di atas.

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Unit Ekuin UPM

Unit Ekuin UPM is the stable for University Putra Malaysia, located in Serdang, Selangor.

Unit Ekuin UPM sits on 4 hectares of land. It consists of two stables that can comfortably home 47 horses. There is a 150 ft x 20 ft sand paddock of international standard. The most exciting part is the riding trail that run across a 160-hectare grazing field, with a 30 km riding track in the farm area.

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There is a round paddock for students to develop their basic riding skills.

The student in Unit Ekuin UPM
The student in his 3rd lesson practice trotting without holding reins.

The bigger paddock for students to practice trot, canter and various riding activities.

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A big white board for scheduling the horses activity.

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I went there on a Sunday morning. Haji Kordi is the trail leader for Sunday; while Mr. Azmi is the trail leader for Saturday.

The groomer helped me to get my horse ready. We chatted a little on preparing the horse. I got a beautiful horse name Bucky.

Naughty Bucky likes to bite. Sometimes biting people when they go near him. The staff put a small warning signboard on his stable to warn people that Bucky might bite.

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I brought Bucky into the big paddock to warm up. Perhaps Bucky has been serving as school horse for far too long, he was not very responsive to the my leg, sound and even light tap with whip.

Later I found out that Bucky is one of those difficult horses to ride in Unit Ekuin UPM, especially inside paddock. However, he does follow another horse that is in front of him to trot and canter. So I guess Bucky is more likely to be a follower horse.

In the paddock, Haji Kordi adjusts the stirrup for me. Thanks Haji!

haji-kordi-adjust-stirrup

We have a round of warm up in the paddock. There is another student practicing in the big paddock. I took the opportunity to get Bucky to walk behind the student’s horse while she trots so that Bucky starts trotting 😛

warming-up

Lt Kol Fakharuzi, a retired army (with his private horse, I Told You in Unit Ekuin UPM) gathered us in the paddock to give us a short briefing after the warm up.

This is the first time I had a briefing before heading out to trail ride. He told us the do’s and don’ts while in the trail. He even put us into a sequence labelled us as Rider 1, 2, 3, 4 and reminded us not to cut queue. It sounded exactly like when I was serving in National Service.

Shortly after the briefing, we head out to the entrance of the trail.

Trail Ride in Unit Ekuin UPM

trail-entrance

Haji Kordi leads the way. He was riding on Arjuna, an elegant Arabian. A breed that dominates endurance riding. However Arjuna was a little scared in the trail as I noticed he abruptly avoids objects on the ground and stopped several times while trotting. It takes a skillful horseman like Haji Kordi to handle Arjuna.

haji-kordi-leading

We passed by a lake in UPM. The highway on the right is SILK highway, the highway where I occasionally drive by to notice the wide hilly field in UPM.

lake

Haji Kordi trots on the really clean trail and I follow behind.

trot-on

Haji Kordi opens gate for us that leads us deeper into the trail.

haji-kordi-open-gate

Haji Kordi trots into an uneven narrow path to get into the hill.

trot-up-slope

We canter our way up the hill. Yeeehar~

canter-up-hill

I overtake Haji Kordi while cantering up, then Lt Kol Fakharuzi overtake me on his I Told You. It was amazingly fun racing on the hill!

overtake

Gazing down the wide green field from the hill. I’m guessing that is the highest point in UPM. It was a little hazy on the Sunday morning else the view is going to be more magnificent.

view-from-hill

 

Back on the track. I was able to canter on this clear path.

canter

Overall Experience

The trail in UPM has a few highlights. The top of the hill where we canter up is one, where we can appreciate the far reach greenery. There is a deer farm and a cow farm along the trail as well.

The trail in UPM is clean and flat. Not a lot of trees which means we did not have to avoid tree branches all the time. We could do a good mix of trotting and some canter. Well, actually there were a lot of clear path where we could canter however Haji Kordi was leading the trail ride trotting most of the time as we have one rider falling behind.

UPM claims to have a track of 30 km however our ride was only slightly more than 8 km. If you are a more serious rider looking for something more challenging, you might feel like just getting started and then whoops… you are back to stable already.

Back to Stable

Arjuna, the gray Arabian is taking a rest to dry his sweat.

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The groomer, instructor and Lt Kol Fakharuzi are chilling out in front of the stable.

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Other Information

The list of activity offered by Unit Ekuin UPM and the fee are published in their webpage. It might be a little difficult for public to dig out as it is quite hidden. I have attached it here for your convenience.

rate
Source: http://www.upm.edu.my/sp/page/51/pusatekuin?LANG=en

If you would like to schedule a ride in Unit Ekuin UPM, please contact Mr. Azmi (012-3745820) or Haji Kordi (019-6361543). You can also visit their brand new Facebook page Benua Equestrian Stables to find out more. Have fun!

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