She’s not just horsing around

She’s not just horsing around

Paralympic gold medallist gives horsemanship clinic in Cookshire-Eaton


By William Crooks


Canadian Lauren Barwick, dressage gold medallist, is visiting from Florida to teach horsemanship with local instructor Kari Bowser. The Record spoke with both at Bowser’s home in the countryside of Cookshire-Eaton.

“I am a four-star Pirelli instructor… I teach horse behaviour and psychology,” Barwick began, with a specialization in finesse and dressage training. She is here to help some dedicated and fun students, “at the refined level.” Pirelli instruction has four levels, from basic safety teaching to the heights of excellence and mastery.

“[Dressage is] dancing with your horse,” Barwick explained. Its roots lie in ancient tactical methods for using horses in war, like moving away sideways one-handed, she said. She thinks of dressage’s function today ultimately as creating balance with one’s horse.

Barwick won gold and silver medals in 2008, the gold in the individual freestyle category and the silver in the individual championship category. The freestyle event involves mandatory technical manoeuvres along with optional moves all set to music. She remembers she was initially hesitant to participate but decided to do so with the encouragement of friends.

Bowser is also a Pirelli instructor who teaches mainly from home. She organizes horsemanship clinics and wants to keep students progressing through the levels, thus the requirement for higher level instructors like Barwick to visit.

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