Abigail says: I’m up to my third shooting lesson and while I’m not sure how much I’m learning about technique, I’m learning an awful lot about my father-in-law. After missing a series of on-comers in front of the clay, he said “Always remember to take the bird slowly from behind,” with a twinkle in his eye. We had been using my beautiful 20-bore side-by-side for my previous lesson, but Michael decided I’d get on much better with an over-and-under as a beginner, as, rather than having both barrels side by side (hence the name), having them one on top of the other would give me a single, more accurate line of vision to aim through. This 20-bore Beretta also felt much lighter to me (apparently something to do with its point of balance) and I was averaging 7 out of 10 on-comers. I didn’t feel I was much improved from my last session, but Michael assured me I’d been placed much nearer the traps, so I’d less time to shoot the blasted things before they fired over my head. We rounded off the lesson with a few cheeky crossers – more challenging because I needed to shoot about two inches (by sight) in front of the clay, rather than aiming for what I wanted to hit (which is taking me a while to get my eye round) and the fact the wind was picking up. After a couple of guided shots with Michael’s help, I finished smashing one to dust on an unassisted mount, ending on a high and heading for a well-deserved sherry.