The wind came in strong gusts and suddenly that tape (three rows of them) came alive and attacked.
September 27, 2009
The wind came in strong gusts and suddenly that tape (three rows of them) came alive and attacked.
September 25, 2009
Saturday was needed to arrange all things for the show, print startlists, protocols, purchase what was necessary etc. (in addition to taking a fab trail ride with Fame, lol)
I have got some help with Fame lately.
Anna, who is 15 and earlier shared my daughter’s pony, is going to share Fame with me and ride her twice a week.
I thought she could start Fame in the class where the club championship was to be hold (LB) and I could start her in LA, same as last but this time with a saddle. Nice.
Just outside our "office" we got a new friend.
It was such a cute mouse youngster (are the spieces called shrews in English?)
He was not afraid at all, and kept wandering around us in the grass.
He finally decided that Elisabeth's leg was a nice place to be, so he started there.
Kept climbing though, so in the end he ended up under her sweater.
Elisabeth kept giggling, but was quite pleased.
I was a bit sad, because I thought to myself that he wouldn't last long, being so unafraid with the cats around.
And two days later, we had a present in front of our entrance door...
I know the cats are just doing their job, but sometimes I wish they could let be.
We have had a lovely Indian Summer lately, sun and warm weather (but cold at night) so we needed to irrigate the arenas on Saturday.
Shouldn’t have done that.
Of course it started to rain Sunday.
We had quite a lot of participants, first was 9 am and last was 3.30 pm, so it was a long day.
As we are a small club everyone has to help out and do their share of work.
Half of the day I wrote for the judge.
I find that very interesting.
I can compare what I see myself to what the judge is commenting and how it is marked.
As I often write at our shows, I also have the possibility to compare how the different judges are evaluating the rides. There are differences.
There were some huffpuff this time about the judge being strict.
Maybe she was, but that is how the sport is.
She was very strict about the correct execution of the exercises, and also that the horses should not be behind the vertical.
I appreciated that she was strict about the latter; I am frustrated to see that riders get remarks about the horse being too open in form when horses going behind the vertical is not commented, which is a more serious fault.
We had a lovely day in the rain.
My daughter won her class, and was Club Champion Pony.
Anna won her class, and was Club Champion Horse.
And the Geriatric rider remembered the program this time, and won her class too!
If the weather’s fine I will take an early ride on Fame and then watch the SJ show that is arranged at one of the other stables in the valley.
Sunday they arrange a dressage show, so guess where I will be?
And hooray, as it is the same program, I might remember it too!
Jimmi, the Danish trainer, is coming from Wednesday to Sunday next week.
Which will make me broke, but happy.
I wish you all a very nice weekend!
And at last, Friday’s entertainment.
You guys over there think you know what country music is.
September 19, 2009
If you look at the picture of our "new view" in the post below from yesterday, you can see a large mountain in the right side of the picture.
It is a lovely ride as you ride in the sunshine and get a marvellous view over the valley as you climb.
Unfortunately the picture below is not sharp (might have something to do with an impatient horse) but the bright red rowan berries were such a beautiful contrast to the dark green of the spruce.
September 18, 2009
I have had a very busy week at work, and as our club is arranging a dressage show this Sunday where I have the main responsibility, time has been a bit short, lol!
September 15, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 10, 2009
Always a smile on his face - the only exception being when you brush his belly (but if he is eating that's OK too)
He is 14 yo Swedish bred New Forest, and a perfect school master to our daughter.
He has not the most impressive of gaits, but he knows all the FEI movements and is happy to help the rider along.
He might on the other hand throttle the motor if the rider is not attentive, but hey, no-one is perfect. But he is very close to.
Yesterday I rode him as my daughter was not feeling well.
After some stretching and supplying work, we got down to business.
Once he got going, it was a treat to ride him.
He is very stable in the connection, and also in the exercises.
Starting up he was slightly stiff in the right side, but that loosened up during the session. Shoulder-in, half-pass, transitions – everything flowed quite effortlessly, he was such a good boy!
The trot work felt very good, in the canter work I had to watch those hind legs to keep them active.
He is not lazy, just checking me from time to time very subtly to see how much he has to work, smart thing.
He is a Very Macho Cat, mostly out hunting or sleeping the hard work off.
Yesterday he was following me around in the arena during the whole session with Anna, very sociable, stroking himself against my legs, curling up his back to get some pats and scratching.
When I was finished and walked into the stable, he even followed me into Charlie’s box (but disappeared quickly out again when Charlie wanted to say hi).
September 06, 2009
Kate from A year with horses talked about a book called "A horse's thought, a journey into honest horsemanship" by Tom Moates.
September 05, 2009
”The joys of breaking through to a new understanding all along the horsemanship journey are incredibly exciting and strong motivation to continue the work” (Tom Moates)
I know I have just said it, but I find it so exciting to get all kind of impulses from different corners of the world, and different horse disciplines.
I read and digest, and mull it over in my mind. And I wish I could get you all guys together in reality, and we could sit together and have a marvelous discussion over a bottle of wine or some beers. (Thanks for the idea, Trudi!)
What a night that would have been!
We would for sure not have been in agreement over everything, but does it matter? I believe we all would have been a bit wiser. It is always good to look at things through different angles.
What I have mulled over lately is our perception of how the horse is to behave when he “is behaving”. What is manners?
Where does respect come in? And trust?
And how does our horse culture come into play?
Bloggers from the US are occupied about the horse not getting into your space, about signals of licking and chewing.
Important things, yes - but things that the average Norwegian horse owner doesn’t have a clue about!
The horses here might be unmannered out from an American point of view. But we do get things done here too without much problems or fuzz.
And then I just had to laugh, because I understand that many people around the world experience Scandinavians as a bit rude and uncivilized; too direct. No manners.
Maybe our horses are like us, ROFLMAO!
So dear readers, I beg you to please excuse my rudeness - it is a cultural baggage. I was born that way. Can’t be helped.
(nice excuse huh? I wonder if it goes for being unfit too? Sorry, was born that way...)
Now I am off to have some refill on my learning. New training here this weekend.
I am not participating, but I will fold out my big ears and see if I get some fish.
September 04, 2009
I have been a spectator to a two days seminar/training with Christoph Hess.
Mr. Hess is head of the training department of the German National Equestrian Federation, and an international dressage judge.
Being the dressage nerd I am, I try to get to all seminars within an acceptable distance.
I’ve been to clinics with Salzgeber, Ingrid Klimke, Kyrklund, Helgstrand, Hoyos, Balkenhol and more – but I wonder if not this clinic was the best.
Hess is a very sympathetic and knowledgeable trainer. I envied those riders that got the chance to train for him these two days!
But being a spectator was not bad either. It was definitely cheaper, lol!
Each day 8 riders participated.
The first day was “The training scale in practice” and the second day was “Program riding”.
I believe the first day was the most interesting one.
If I should do a sum up Mr. Hess' philosophy, it was that the base requirement was a relaxed and happy horse, which he always kept coming back to.
He worked much with stretching the horses in a deep form but with contact to the rein, to loosen the back (and no, no overbending!) and to always keep the horses truly in front of the leg.
They started to work much with transitions halt-walk, and then halt-trot.
The horse was to answer forward, and the rider to soften the hands when doing upwards transitions.
Canter work. Medium canter along the long side, followed by shoulder-in in medium canter while giving the rein, both hands. Using medium canter as a tool to keep a true three-beat rhythm in the canter and to get the horse in front of the leg. He wanted the rider to stay up in a light seat in between, to facilitate more forward action with three beat canter and to get the horse’s back up.
The rider was to take both reins in the outer hand, and decrease the circle gradually.
Mr. Hess did not worry about keeping the bend, the most important was self balance in the horse. He kept repeating “give both reins”. The rider was to look towards the centre of the circle to keep correct body posture.
Less hand, and get the horse truly in front of leg and in self balance was the goal.
#2. Was a GP horse, making the debut this year.
Not the best mover, but steady in the exercises.
It was not truly in front of the leg, so Mr Hess wanted more activity here.
They started out with warming up in trot and canter work at a forward tempo. Then shoulder-in at the long sides, still in a forward tempo with soft contact on the reins. Starting with half-pass and flying changes, Mr. Hess noted that problems with half-pass left and being one behind in one of the changes had the same cause, the horse did not truly respect the leg.
To solve this they started to work on diagonals, changing between half-pass, ride forward medium canter - half pass – medium canter. He made the point that this horse did not have a truly collected canter, just a slower one, and that this exercise would help.
Over to flying changes, one-tempi.
The horse was still one behind back in one of the changes, so he put them to this exercise: Medium canter through the short side, then going on the diagonal – 3 off three-tempi changes, medium canter again – new diagonal – 3 off tree-tempi changes.
He summed up that the horse needed to go more forward, and asked the rider to take off the spurs to next session. (Which was interesting)
#3. Junior/advanced level horse, 17 yo.
Started out tense, and tensed up against the rider’s hand.
They started to work for quite a while in a long and low form, to get the horse to be “happy and relaxed”, with improved contact to the bit and better hind leg activity through a supple back. When starting canter work Mr. Hess wanted a transition to medium canter from the rider’s inside leg, but the horse did not react on this. He wanted the rider to soften on the contact on the inner rein, but pointed out that the horse must accept the aid from the inner leg.
He asked the rider to straighten up and look forward, and then proceeded to work with long and low form, collection by opening up the body in front without using reins. Transitions trot-canter-trot on the circle, again without touching the reins.
Mr Hess thought that the horse did not accept inside/outside leg enough, so they started to work with increasing/decreasing the circle to improve this.
The horse got more and more relaxed during the work, with much better hind leg activity/swinging more through the back in the end.
They continued same kind of work day two.
#4. Talented 8 yo GP-debuting horse
This horse and rider were working quite well, so Mr. Hess mainly concentrated upon seat and position. He wanted the horse to be a bit quicker behind, and that the rider should shorten the reins so the hand came more in front of him. He also wanted him to think of keeping the small fingers towards each other as the rider had a tendency to place the hands like riding a bike instead of holding a glass. In the work with half pass the rider had a tendency to sit to the outside, so they also worked on keeping the weight into the inside leg, and look in the direction of motion. When working with the flying changes the rider also was giving the signal with the leg placed too far back, this was also corrected.
Will be continued....(but without a murder)