Horseriding: A Passion that Cannot be Tamed!

Freezing cold, raining, tornado winds, and I watched as the local golfers battled it out in the wind.

horseriding2 (1)I thought “crazy”!

Then I realised that I was off to my horse to do exactly the same thing.

During school I would miss carnivals, and parties, and excursions, and the line “oh Sarah has another horse competition” was pretty well the norm, fused with an eye roll and a “oh not that again” sort of attitude.

In Australia they say “only a surfer knows the feeling” (…)

Everything we do in life is a mindset, and horse riders have a mindset that enables them the thrive in the silence between horse and rider.

In Australia they say “only a surfer knows the feeling”, I would say that what a rider feels is a powerful thing, and for some of us, the thing we will pursue for a lifetime.

For the Full article on Giving Up Click here and go to EURODRESSAGE

Readers’ Choice: Give Your Horse Time… THE WARM UP

Give your horse time people!

I have watched many lessons where the rider walks for ten minutes, and then trots off like they are entering the Grand Prix test.

warneyswhip (1)As dressage riders we are always searching for perfection, but a very key thing for us to put in our minds, when we first start, is that we need to give our horses time to warm up.

Often I hear people say that at the beginning their horse feels like he is not listening, and so they push him forward to get him on the aid.

When you first get out of bed, do you go for a sprint? Are you athletically prepared to go at full throttle?

When you begin a lesson, your horse is of course feeling stiff, just as we ourselves are feeling not yet ready to fully relax.

If you have a horse that begins the lesson in a calm way, then for the first ten minutes, after the free walk, just give him time to let his muscles move.

If you’re immediately thinking, oh god, I must have him engaged, through, up in front, light on the contact, off my left leg, off my right leg, forward, you drive your self into a stew, without leaving room for the possibility that all of that might fall into place a lot easier when you are both warmed up.

“Start slow, don’t rush the horse(…)”

Start slow, don’t rush the horse, rushing might seem like you are more active, but in fact you are just covering up all the weaknesses that are happening, and giving yourself no chance to feel where the weight is going.

Think rhythm, think relaxation, think control. I’m not saying that you should just let your horse fall behind you, keep him off a light aid, but don’t push for more until you feel him loose through his body, and you through yours!

Gradually you will feel him free up, and he will start to carry you forward without you having to ask for it.

If you have a horse that begins the lesson tense, again, riders are often told to just go forward, and that may work, but I have found recently that if I calm everything down, and think slow and rhythmic, if I concentrate just on my breathing and on his, we both become calm together, and we can start the warmup process in a similar way.

It’s not a race to see who can achieve lightness, balance, self-carriage, engagement, activity, suppleness, and straightness the quickest, and if you try to rush it, chances are you will end up with a forced stuck version, and you’ll very quickly realise that you need to go right back and begin again!
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Click here for the full article on The Warm UP at Eurodressage…

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Readers’ Choice: What Our Horses Pick Up On…

Recently I’ve been thinking more and more about what our horses actually pick up on.

IMG_0262Why is it that we convince the people around us that we are ok, or not afraid, or not tense, angry or upset, and yet the minute we set foot in our stables our horse knows.

We don’t have to hold up a sign in front of him, and quite often, even though we would love to pretend everything is ok, and ride our very best, our horse feels tat we are feeling off,and simply can’t produce his best either.

Whether it be the weather, or relationship troubles, family worries, or simply just a bad day, it’s very hard to put on a strong front when we are around our horses, and far more difficult for them to actually fall for it!

“What does your horse pick up on?”

What does your horse pick up on?

What issues do you have that you need to really put out of your mind so you can give the best to your horse?

The truth is we are all human, and the art of learning to block out our outside issues, and be one with our horse, is almost as difficult as the art of dressage itself.

Click here for the full article on What Our Horses Pick Up On!