Jumping for Joy with Piggy French


by Lisa Mancuso

It's not every day you're invited for a Show Jumping lesson with Piggy French, but that's exactly what happened. After replying to a post on the Your Horse Magazine Facebook page, inviting people to apply for the lesson that would feature in an article in the magazine, they picked me out of 60 odd applications - I couldn't believe it!

The morning of our lesson was a foggy one, but I was assured the lesson would still be going ahead, so off we trotted to Piggy's yard in Maidwell. As we got closer the fog got worse, and when we arrived we could only just see the arena from across the yard.

The Your Horse Magazine photographer arrived and decided it wasn't going to be possible to take any photos (I was gutted), so it was suggested we get another date in the diary. We met Piggy and she said, "you've come all this way, we may as well exercise the pony", so I got a lesson anyway, and what a lesson it was. I learnt so much in just the one session and came away totally buzzing. It's not every day 'Joe Blogs' gets to have 4* tuition, and I felt very privileged to have been given the opportunity, and the thought of coming back for another lesson (so Your Horse could get their photos) was just fantastic.

Lesson with Piggy French2 small

We got another date in the diary, but that had to be cancelled because of high winds, however it was third time lucky, and at the end of January we finally made it over to Piggy's for a lesson with the sun shining and one happy photographer.

I was expecting to pop a couple of jumps and pose for a couple of photos with Piggy and that would be it, but no, I got another full lesson. And again, learnt so much and came away feeling so much more confident and happy we had made even more progress with our show jumping.

Check out the video below to see a snippet of the lesson with Piggy French.

I work on the principle that "if you don't ask, you don't get", and I was desperate to know if Piggy gave private lessons, so when the Your Horse Team were out of earshot, I asked her and she said she would, but that she finds it hard fitting it in, especially during the Eventing season, but she did offer to fit me in for a couple of lessons before Badminton, so we could have a tune up; as you can imagine, that made my day, my week, my year (and it's only January!).

Since then I have had a couple of SJ schooling sessions with Flynn at home, and boy what a difference Piggy's tuition has made...I'm now feeling confident for our first competition of the year, an Eventer Trial at Keysoe this weekend!


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