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Get lucky!

2 May

A friend of mine has just written this super article on hard work and making your own luck. Probably not quite the connection some people are expecting though . . .

Video Day Tuesday: A day at the 2013 KWPN Autumn Stallion Performance Testing

20 Nov

Great insight into a training environment few people in North America and the UK get to immerse themselves in.

Official Blog by Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy

This video pretty much sums up a training environment I grew up in, trained and aspired to stay working in between 1995-2002 (minus state of the art surfaces, matching outfits for grooms and high calibre of horses).
It was a structured, fairly regimented horse life dealing mostly with stallions at a stallion depot/stud.

Ten years on there are not many things from that world that I aspire to. I respect the routine and attention to detail which I miss being surrounded with on everyday basis and would like to see more of it in general training and riding education (from lowest levels up). Overall though, I look at this training environment now and think: There MUST be a better, more equine nature friendly way to maintain young sports horses…

P.S. I wish they showed a little more of the lunging by the guy in between the no-gadget lunging…(about 4:16-4:20)…

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Thinking about feeling.

10 Sep

There is a very good article on Eurodressage currently, discussing finding the balance between theory and feel. Obviously this applies to all aspects of riding and training, from starting young horses to the extremes of the sport.

It ain’t just what you do it’s the way that you do it!

Failed delivery systems

7 Aug

An interesting article about an interesting article!

This, of course, goes for teaching horses, too. Sometimes it’s not WHAT we are trying to teach them that’s the problem, it’s the way we’re trying to get it done. The content is fine, the delivery systems is faulty.

Next time you are getting frustrated because your horse “doesn’t understand” – or your horse is getting frustrated because he doesn’t understand – stop and think for a minute. Is there a way you could explain things differently? Is your tone correct for the horse and the situation? Is it the time and place to have the discussion in the first place? Are you teaching/conversing well?

Never hurts to check. You can defend yourself to people if you upset or offend them, but horses are both harder and easier in this way. Harder because you cannot use your most advanced skill, language, to get the job done or to explain your actions, Easier because, most of the time, they will forgive you. Just don’t use that capacity for forgiveness to avoid examining your side of the conversation.

Reflections on Riding

Right now, there’s a very active thread in the dressage forum on the Chronicle of the Horse bulletin board.  Thirty-seven pages have been filled in the last six days by dozens of posters.

It’s all in response to a blog post by Catherine Haddad Staller, also on the Chronicle of the Horse, entitled “It’s Time To Train the Trainers.”  When I read it, I thought the message was clear:  riders are deficient in the basics, and that’s the fault of the trainers.

Clearly, however, the message was not clear.  Because my interpretation of Catherine’s words were only one interpretation, and in a minority.  Some people read the blog post and felt insulted.   Some people read it and felt that it insulted every adult amateur in America.  Some people felt it was high time that someone said something about the problem.  Others felt that Catherine should stop talking…

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