Dressage at Ladykirk Riding School

A MASTERCLASS in classical dressage, in the beautiful surroundings of the Ladykirk Riding School is being given by Sylvia Loch, one of the country’s best exponent’s of the art, as part of the Borders Festival of the Horse.

Now in its tenth year, the festival offers a huge variety of events, all with one thing in common - they all involve horses. From horse logging to classical dressage the month long programme offers it all.

With the assistance of her Portuguese Lusitano stallion Prazer, Sylvia Loch will be giving the classical dressage demonstration in what she describes as ”the most stunning riding school in Scotland”.

Stunning it may be but it has been a well kept secret for many years and this event is the first time the riding school will have been used for an equestrian event for over a century.

The stables and riding school were built for Ladykirk House in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The house was demolished in the 1960s, but some of its ancillary buildings still survive, including the early 19th-century stable block and attached riding school.

The stables are arranged in a U-shaped block with an arched central opening, over which is set an octagonal dome. But while the stables have been used for both livery, and stabling race horses, the riding school has remained largley ignored until now.

Helping Sylvia demonstrate the philosophy of ‘Dressage in Lightness’ will be a small number of her students, including the new tenant at Ladykirk Stables - horse whisperer Lucy Simpson, who is the only Monty Roberts (the original horse whisperer) instructor in Scotland.

Sylvia is an international dressage teacher and trainer who founded The Lusitano Breed Society Of Great Britain and The Classical Riding Club

“Quite simply, I’ve been riding and practising the art of classical dressage for some 30 years,” Sylvia explained.

“In addition, I’m a trainer, teacher, writer, video producer, lecturer, and the founder of the Lusitano Breed Society of Great Britain and the Classical Riding Club.

“My late husband and I were the first to establish a large classical dressage academy of Lusitano and Spanish horses in the UK back in l979.

“Long before classical dressage became fashionable and acceptable again, I was teaching and promoting the subject throughout the world including South and North America, South Africa and Australasia.”

The dressage demonstration takes place at Ladykirk Riding School on Monday, May 30, from 1.30pm-5pm; Tickets are £7.50 in advance or £10 on the door. For bookings and more information contact Sylvia on 07977 926156, email sylvialoch@tiscali.co.uk or check out her website www.classicalriding.co.uk