I’ve been a bit busy and haven’t updated you all in a while (I’m sorry!) – I’ve been up to a few things these last couple weeks. Let me catch you up to speed with my latest learnings and happenings.
June 17th I flew out to Maine for part two of the Centered Riding Instructor’s course. It was 4 very intense days. Every day we did some body work (exercises with no horses to practice our riding position), riding, and teaching. I met Margreet from the Netherlands, she was assisting teaching the course. She is a Level IV centered riding instructor and does Sacral Cranial work on horses – which is pretty amazing to watch. I’m planning to have her up to our farm on the August 22-23 weekend so let me know if you are interested ($200 for the weekend).
One of my biggest epiphany’s during the course was learning to sit trot. Instead of thinking rise and fall with my hips, I learnt to think and feel a diagonal motion in my hips. Try taking your right hip to your left shoulder and vice versa. When you do this in rhythm with the horse you can sit a lot better in the saddle. It makes sense… the horse moves right & left so why wouldn’t I?
At the end of the course it was really rewarding to earn my Centered Riding Level I coaching certificate along with another 4 out of the 5 other women. Now I can keep growing and learning and hope to move up through the levels over the years.
The weekend of the 27th of June I took Cupid and Kahleesi to the Finesse clinic with Todd Owens – Parelli Professional. I had a really nice ride on Kahleesi in the morning and learnt some exercises to help supple her. In the afternoon I rode Cupid and he showed me what a calm and collected guy he naturally is.
I was lucky to have a private lesson with Kahleesi on day 2 to help our impulsiveness. To do this we really slowed it down and went back to basics of a good mount. Then I had a private lesson with Cupid and we did some neat porcupine game with the rope around his belly to ask him to yield from pressure in different ways.
I was reminded about a lot of excellent theory on natural horsemanship. One of the biggest messages I took away was
‘Never release on a brace.’ I love this because it reminds us that as natural horsemen we aren’t just trying to accomplish a movement or a task, but we are trying to get our horses emotionally and mentally connected and calm. Never releasing on a brace means always release when the horse’s mind is completing the task, not just his feet. If you release when the horse is bracing and tense, then you will teach your horse to be tense and bracing.
The July 4th weekend we had adult camp at PHH. What a fantastic weekend with so many people! We did some centered riding body work exercises, centred riding exercises in the saddle, ground games, riding obstacles, and jumping. We had a few new people and experienced people, so it was nice to have everyone together as well as splitting into groups.
Some tips from the weekend –
- · Forget about your waist… it’s not a joint, instead ride from your hips and allow your hips to move, and let them fold into two point position.
- · Get particular in your ground work – if you want your horse to be snappy with transitions and other cues, then you need to be particular from the start… otherwise how is your horse supposed to know when to be responsive and when you don’t care?
- · Ride with a purpose – when you ask your horse for trot, canter, or anything, have in mind what your horse needs to do for you to reward them and move on. It’s important to have a plan and a goal, otherwise if you are simply trotting around aimlessly your horse can lose motivation and you may find it hard to progress. For example when you ask for trot, maybe you want to achieve stretchy trot, a fast trot, or get 3 laps in the ring before you move on – whatever your goal is, have it in mind so you know when to move on and can reward your horse in the right moment.
On Wednesday July 8 I went to the Hamilton Hunt’s Jumper Jackpot and placed 3rd out of a tough 27 riders, missing first by only 3 seconds… it was a super fun and exciting experience… I’ll write more later about that one after I have the video ready to show you (but I've given you a snapshot from show day up top!)– stay tuned J
Tonight we have Todd Owens coming to PHH for a Rein Positions clinic for Power, Control and Performance, tomorrow I’m headed to the NHA Obstacle Challenge show, and then Sunday I’m headed to Kevin Alcock’s for play day on the obstacles, followed by a jumper show at 2pm in Bethany at Sky Haven…. Crikey it’s going to be busy and a lot of fun!