Stephen Johnson Clinic

Gidgegannup Dressage Club - June 25 & 26

by Danielle Risby

One of their recent clinics held by Gidgegannup Dressage Club was with Stephen Johnson, held at Brookleigh Estate’s indoor arena on 25 & 26 June. 

Following a very cold start, fifteen riders took part in the clinic over the course of the weekend.  Those sitting on the sidelines also enjoyed watching the improvement in the horse and rider combinations over the weekend. 

Left: Beverley Leonard on Harry.





Stephen takes a very positive approach to coaching riders and draws on his own riding experience to help riders achieve the best from their horses.
Some of Stephen’s comments to riders included – “ride forward to the hand”, “stay connected to him/her”, “ride positively forward on YOUR line”, “keep the tune, keep the rhythm”, “come on - lighter, quicker, lighter quicker” and “provide the opportunity where you can be quiet with the leg – but be ready to back it up if you need to.”
All riders really enjoyed their lessons and their horses responded to the forward, positive, soft style of riding and showed some great work.  The question on everyone’s lips now is – “when are we getting him back?”



Left: Chris Henderson riding Mystelle


Gidgegannup Dressage Club (GDC) is based at Gidgegannup Showgrounds and offers riders top quality coaching in dressage in a supportive, friendly environment.  There are three categories of membership available full, associate and social.  Rallies are held on the second Saturday each month from February to November at the Gidgegannup showgrounds on Toodyay Rd in Gidgegannup.  Other events run by the club include information evenings, social events, dressage training days and of course they are famous for holding a well organised open dressage competition with great prizes and sponsorship in March annually.


City of Swan
The City of Swan has completed a $420,000 upgrade to the Gidgegannup Showgrounds.
City of Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright said the works were part of the City’s budgeted capital works program and would be a great benefit to the region.
“Drainage had become an issue at the showgrounds so the works included the installation of subsoil drainage around the perimeter of the arena,” he said.
“The drain which was installed will collect the water from the arena and direct it to the dam in the arena’s north-west corner.”
Swan Valley/Gidgegannup Ward Councillor Darryl Trease said the previous surface had also become uneven over the years.
“The existing ground of gravel and sand was stripped off and a fresh layer of gravel was laid and graded to the intended level,” he said.
“On top of this there is now a layer of cracker dust topped with river sand.
“Staff visited numerous equestrian facilities in the outer Perth region to look at how they were constructed and their effectiveness.
“We also consulted extensively with the user groups to discuss their experiences and needs for the site.
“This resulted in agreement on a design that considered the learnings from other arenas and considered the unique elements of Gidgegannup such as its size, topography and soil type.


Above: Leanne Sadler riding Ricky Above: Marjory Stanger on Ren getting a “well done!” pat from Stephen after their lesson.