Sunday, 11 October 2015

October/November/December 2015

Often I will sit on a horse or pony to either show the rider something or to give the horse a better feel for what we are asking. This can really help the rider get the 'conversation' going when they get back up as the horse will feel upgraded in the connection and engagement. The horse and rider can then get a better feel/taster for what the next stage is.
I have to be very very careful which horses I sit on as I have a bad joint degenerative condition which is incredibly painful when jolted so only 'safe' type horses. I have a team of event/sj riders that help me with any naughty, cheeky or unknown ones!

Correct posture. As the horses training advances, slowly through the
 lateral work and transitions the haunches are taught to lower,
thereby resulting in an ever increasing raising of the withers, poll
and lightening of the forehand, known as an uphill frame.
Look familiar!? Phoebe and Rosie now in internally correct posture
I sat on this gorgeous little pony Rosie about 5 months ago. Great fun, forward thinking, super jumper. But very very hollow, huge underneath neck muscle and so stuck in right banana I was actually a little concerned and thought 'well we can just nibble away gently and see where we get'.
The owner/rider is the most lovely 11 year old girl, Phoebe Murray. What a talented young lady and so mature for her young years. Phoebe takes this very seriously. She wants to be good and is going to be very very very good. First lesson I sculpted her into the dressage position and over the next few monthly lessons her homework was to get her strength up in a more functionally correct position and teaching Rosie how to move away from her left leg so we could start to supple her and straighten her. I sat on Rosie last week and I could not believe the difference. So much more equal and supple in both directions, so much more understanding of how her abdominals could round her back up thereby rounding her neck. At pony club it has been suggested to Phoebe that you round a horse by moving the bit from side to side. This is how you artificially round the HEAD and NECK. In times of dire need/emergency like getting past a black bin on a road of course I will momentarily 'put my horses down' so hes's looking at the floor not the bin, there and then for safety. But it's not dressage, its just artificial get your head down horse riding and it is certainly very uncomfortable for the horse to be forced there. Sadly, many people think this is 'it'. Its not. The elasticy in the contact comes from the elbow joint and of course the fingers can have movement, but if that's just to 'get the horses head down' then its going wrong. We need to ride the whole horse not just its head and neck. Look at Rosie above, can you see her internal Pessoa connecting the two ends together. Yes Phoebe is talented, but she is only 11! |If she can do it so beautifully at that tender age, you can do it too!

I cannot tell you how proud I am of Phoebe and Rosie as the photos show the complete correct internal biomechanics, skeletally and musculatory. All done by an 11 year old girl with a super little pony but who was hollow and upside down 5 months ago. WELL DONE PHOEBE AND ROSIE.

Alfie at Pachesham

Alfie at Pachesham

What a lovely week with my pony. We haven't been out to compete since last March (as I have been rather busy trying to make all my clients dreams come true) So was rather surprised to win both Mediums outright especially when Alfie was piaffing through all the collected walks and squealing with excitement in the walk piris! Then two fabulous days training with Herwig Radnetter from the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. Herwig sat on Alfie the second day and OMG the more I train the more I realise how much more I need to learn! What a seat and back and legs he has got and oh boy the timing. Alf felt like he had a car tyre pump put up his bum when I got back on he was so inflated! Wowzer.  Couple of days off for his lordship then gently back into it.

Ellie & Maisie

Ellie & Maisie
Ellie Burden is doing such a lovely job with her young horse Maisie. A very talented mare. So much so that if she had auditioned to be at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, lets just say I am 100% sure they would either paint her white to get her in, or she would be the first bay mare performing high school airs above the ground under the very talented bottom of Herwig Radnetter! Ellie is now at the stage when she can nip most of the caprioles in the bud and can then channel the energy back into tick tock dressage rhythm they were in before the mare thought leaving the floor and flying was a better option. A lovely medium trot has appeared and under the training of KJ Turner from Hall Place the jumping is coming on fab too. Huge respect for this young lady and whenever I say please can I get one of my sj/event riders over to do some work with Maisie (Ellie's safety has to always be my number one priority) Ellie says please can she do it all herself. What a clever brave chick she is, being raised on fabulous principles of if you want something in life, keep working away and with that determination and dedication, your dreams will come true . Clever mum Debbie Burden has worked wonders doing the ground work (lunging stretching and uphill work, lateral work in hand) so its a super team effort. Ellie Burden you are one talented young lady with very sticky bum jodhpurs! Very proud of you.

Jemma & Smirnoff

Jemma & Smirnoff
"Hello Tracey,
Its Jemma, from Hatch Farm, Smirnoff has now safely moved and settled into his new home. I just want to thank you, out of all the many instructors I've had over the years I've never gained so much out of them like I had in the couple of lessons with you. I cannot only continue to train my own horse the way you have taught me, but others. You have taught me a new way to ride. I want to show you how well my boy is doing, he's now very responsive to my leg aids in order to move him across the school.The massive issue I had was overcoming how strong he was and not one instructor told me to keep the Pelham in for schooling apart from you. Here I have attached a few pictures of him in the field! IN A HACKAMORE. Usually I would have no control in a field as it is. especially bit less! Im so so happy with the results from what you've taught me and I will take it on with me for the rest of my riding career to help other people and horses. Jemma Tribe"

This email made me very very happy. Previous to the first lesson, Jemma contacted me and asked what tack I wanted her to ride in. I always like to see people in their 'normal everyday' tack to start. My goal will always be to have you riding in dressage legal tack asap, but we reach this point together once we have worked out why your not in it already. Jemma is a super rider and presented me with a cracking little horse, very attractive, but yes very hollow and very strong in his under neck muscle. He was working front wheel drive not rear wheel drive. We did some in hand leg yielding together and I struggled to ask the front end to wait whilst I asked the back under to catch up, thank goodness he was in a pelham as I would have been in Devon in minutes if I was in a snaffle at that point!
Cracking? Yes. Knew he had any hind legs? No. But Jemma was stuck in that vicious circle of struggling to find them because it is very difficult to put your leg on in a leg yield or shoulder in to gain control of the hind legs, if the horse only goes faster from the leg. This is where the leg yielding along the wall or shoulder out can be brilliant as it provides a barrier until the horse has a light bulb moment that the leg can also mean hind leg step under not just go faster. Jemma did her homework. Leg yielding in hand and under saddle. She found the back end of her horse and therefore transformed him into the stunning horse he is now.
I am over the moon for Jemma, look at those photos of him now in a hackamore! Wow! And I am even more happy for Smirnoff as he is soooo happy now he understands his riders half halt (front end wait, back end catch up) and can now carry his rider in a good comfortable posture with a lifted back and can go show the world how good he was born to be.
I currently have Charles de Kunffy's voice ringing in my ears - 
'The hind legs are your brakes as well as your accelerator'
I currently have Arthur Kottas's voice ringing in my ears - 
'When you have control of the hind legs, you have control of the horse'