March 3, 2017 / 0 1935
During the EE teacher training, Heather Moffett gives a quick lesson for Kelly and Isis. This is Isis’s first time indoors with a gallery full of people so was naturally, a little unsettled compared to her usual surroundings. This is week 7 into her training including time off with mastitis. This mare has so much potential!
The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art will be here in London, at Olympia, this Christmas for the first time in 40 years! Here is a brief video of the Dancing Horses from their home in Jerez giving you a taster of their performance to come!
This year I have been working my mare Fergie with a Natural Horsemanship Trainer. I got Fergie back from a free lease to a rider who was struggling with managing her. Their solution was to have her put to sleep as they had her tested for EPM. The tests did reveal that she had the EPM titers but she did not have any clinical signs other then that she had a difficult personality. This personality quirk was known to me and the rider who leased her, Fergie has a big personality and she can be difficult. When the lease situation did not pan out I brought her home and had two different veterinarians evaluate her and neither one could see any clinical signs of EPM but I treated her with a round of Marquis to be sure.
I gave her about 3 months off to recover from the trauma from her lease situation. When I went to pick her up she was very stressed our and very thin. They had her locked in a 12X12 stall with no windows and they where feeding her 2 pounds of concentrates so she was crawling out of her skin. This was a mistake which I had advised again prior to her departure, I recommend only feeding grass hay especially if your horse lives in a confined area. You can add concentrates if you are working your horse so hard that he/she is losing weight but unless this is the case less is more. So she came home did a series of Marquis and relaxed in her 3 acre pasture.
When I started riding her again she had some issues with transitions and basically a bad attitude. That is when I found a Natural Horsemanship Trainer to help me out. So now about 8 month after we started I want to share what I have learned from Eric Bravo (EricBravo.Horse) We started on the ground and I wish I had video taped her from the beginning as her transformation has been fascinating. Eric started me with working her on the ground and I was flexing, flexing, flexing her, from there we did games on the ground that taught her to move her feet and yield her hip, her shoulders, her body and her head and neck.
In this video I am getting ready to take her out on the trail and I am working her on the Digital Horse campus before I take her out. What I want to share is how nice an rhythmic she is moving. Once you have a quite rhythmic horse you can add other challenges, like lowering your horses neck, or shoulder-in, or a leg yield. But everything needs to start with a quite, forward, rhythmic horse. Remember just one year ago her rider and trainer wanted to have her euthanized because she was so difficult and they felt she was beyond helping.
Thanks and keep watching for more of her progress.
Liza got her first pony (today her name is Ginger Snap although this may change by tomorrow) this January 2016 she is a Welsh Mountain Pony standing 11 hh. Liza is a first grader and a wonderful student. We decided to work together and teach you how to learn with your new horse or pony.
If there is one name in the American equestrian story that everyone knows, it is George Morris.
Carouser, competitor, taskmaster, dreamer, teacher, visionary. George Morris has been ever-present on the rarified stage of the international riding elite for most of the seventy years he’s been in the saddle. He has represented the United States as an athlete and a coach and, at one time or another, instructed many of the world’s best horsemen and women. His carefully chosen, perfectly enunciated words are notoriously powerful. They can raise you up or cut you to the quick. His approval can be a rainmaker; his derision can end a career.
But as much as people know and respect the public face of George Morris, he has lived, in other ways, a remarkably private life, keeping his own personal struggles—with insecurity, ambition, and love—behind closed doors. It is only now that he has chosen, in his own words, to share the totality of his life—the very public and the incredibly private—with the world.
Trafalgar Square Books (www.horseandriderbooks.com) is proud to announce the autobiography of George H. Morris:
UNRELENTING: The Real Story – – Horses, Bright Lights, and My Pursuit of Excellence Click here to pre-order
Can you identify the correct line of a circle?
Luis Ortega Swimming with Horses
Luis Ortega specializes his activities to educate difficult horses, using swimming in the open sea to win the confidence and the respect of the horse. Currently he breeds sport-horses, using water technique to train high level horses.
You can get run away with at the walk, trot or canter. When we think about getting run away with, most of us think of a white knuckled excursion off the trail or out of the arena back towards the barn. But that is not where getting run away with starts. You can get run away with leading your horse from their stall.
Being present and staying present the entire time you work with your horse is the key to control. Sometimes we go to the barn to wipe off the grime of a hard day. It just feels good to step over the threshold into the breezeway or out in a pasture and breathe in all the smells that define the horse. What I encourage you to do is to take a second breath right at that moment. Take as many breaths as you need to calm the turbulence knocking around in your head. Horses live in the moment, and that is where you need to be.
When you gather your equipment, be mindful of each item. Take note of worn threads, loose Chicago screws, dirty bits, and plan to repair and clean them accordingly. As you approach your horse, practice pushing thoughts of past and future out of your head, be present. Look at your horse, take note of how he is responding to your energy and be mindful of his. Sometimes horses have bad days, so treat them with consideration.
When you groom be thorough, check you horse’s legs for swellings, and bumps, look for anything that might need attention. Touch your horse’s back and notice if he is sore and sensitive to your hand. Look carefully where the bridle will lay and adjust it properly. Then take a few moments to do some ground work. Move your horse’s hind end out of your space pushing him sideways with energy or if necessary tap him over with your dressage whip. Do both sides. Back him up on the ground, avoid dragging him back with his mouth and rely instead on moving him back with energy and/or tapping with the dressage whip.
Starting your ride this way reveals the mood of your horse and yourself. From this point, you can map out your ride. When you enter the arena or start your hack, you have a feeling for how hard to push yourself and your horse. Mounting up and riding, takes us back to the idea of getting run away with. Starting at a walk is both safe and appropriate because you are starting slow, getting a feel for your horse and your body. When you walk, you can revisit the ground work you just practiced allowing your horse to review the movements explained from the ground.
Continuing your ride, work on establishing a rhythmic, forward walk. Test your navigation and your whoa. Actively flex your horse using the soft curves of a 20-meter circle. When you are schooling your horse, you will accomplish more at a good walk than a sloppy trot. Practice round circles, large sweeping loops and leg yields, try the shoulder-in or shoulder-fore all at the walk.
Use the exercises mentioned above, to actively flex your horse; active flexing is not standing in one spot pulling your horse’s head from side to side. Active flexing is a soft round horse whose entire body is following the curve. Active flexing is not a forced headset, when your horse is soft and balanced in their body; their head will follow.
Once you have a soft forward good walk, you have earned the right to ask for a soft forward good trot. Your next challenge is the upward transition. Don’t throw away all the work you just did at the walk and race into a trot. You need to step up from a good walk to a good trot. If your horse starts to “run away” through the transition and pulls you into the trot, you need to step back and re-establish the good soft, balanced, rhythmic, forward walk then try again.
By staying present every moment you are riding, and slowing things down, you avoid getting run away with. Keep in mind that every moment you are working with your horse, you are teaching him something, horses live in the moment so stay there with them when you ride.
Author Robin Kelly
Robin is the developer of www.TheDigitalHorse.com. Robin lives in New Mexico where she hosts customized riding clinics and weekend seminars. She also gives lessons and is a traveling clinician. To learn more about her (click here)