November 13, 2009

I am alive (if anyone wondered...)

It's just that the new job has been occupying my mind and time lately, and with the addition of horses and family there has not been much time for blogging.
I am afraid there will be a bit more infrequent blogging here for a time.

I am fortunate enough to be able to attend seminars from time to time, and they always are a great source of inspiration.

I am also fortunate enough to have access to good trainers.

I say "fortunate", and value it because I grew up in a small town without these possibilities.

I know that in many places around the world the distances makes it impossible to have the support of, and the inspiration of, skilled trainers and riders.

We do have the internet.
Lots of information is available for free.
Use it!

I have lately joined a site called
They have a lot of videos on training (all disciplines), stable management, showing, grooming, health, interviews - you name it.
You can try it out for free, then you have to subscribe for a reasonable sum - £15/year.
I like it.

Another source is youtube.
I found a nice video from Jane Savoie on youtube about the always important subject of straightening the horse. She here introduces a term which was new to me: "first position", which I understand is an even softer position of a shoulder fore.

I like her comment about the difference of resisting and evasion in a horse.
In the video we see an example of a well schooled horse evading, but not resisting.

I just have to smile when seeing this, because I experience much of the same problem with my horse Fame.
She also wants to drift to the right when I ask her for the left canter depart.

There is a saying in dressage that "the hind legs are attached to the reins".
We have to watch the contact on the reins. If the hind legs are not working properly, you will feel it in the contact.
(Read more about the crooked horse in an earlier post here)

So why is the straightening work important?
When the horse is to collect, he has to engage more with the hind legs, i.e. carry more weight by closing the angles in the joints and stepping under more.
If one hind leg is not strong enough to carry, true collection will be impossible.
So it is just to hang in there.
Patient work over time.

This weekend I am fortunate again -
Jimmi is here, and Fame and me we have to work haaaard.
On Saturday I will do my best to compensate for the fat I've burnt -then it's time for dinner with some horsey friends again.

Have a nice week-end everyone!

No kittens! The Sofa princess was in heat again last week.
Tricked us all.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I have wondered where you were. Sounds like you're very busy, but at least you'll have a great lesson this week. Love the picture of your sofa princess, she's beautiful. Thanks for the info, I'll check out the link for the horse site you mentioned. Have a relaxing weekend.

Kate said...

I was just wondering where you had gotten to - glad all is well, although busy. Beautiful cat!

Stephanie said...

I too was wondering what you have been up to! Good Luck with the new job and in handling all your busy life. Look forward to reading your posts even if they are not as frequent.

RuckusButt said...

Oh, I wondered alright! But figured it was the new job and busy life. Hope things are going well. Your posts are worth waiting for, no worries!

RuckusButt said...

I really enjoyed watching that video, thanks for posting!

trudi said...

Hope you're enjoying the new job not just very busy!
Hope we'll get to hear how the training with Jimmi goes, enjoy!

mmm, I'm not sure if it matters if it's evading or resisting, if the rider lightened up a little in the hand and shoulder then there maybe wouldn't be anything to evade or resist. Agreed though that there is LOTS to learn on the www, sometimes there's just too much :-)

Shame no kittens but in a practical sense probably better. Have fun with the friends and eat well.

HorseOfCourse said...

Trudi - resisting/evading.
I feel that there is a difference.
I agree with you that the fault often lies above the saddle, but in my opinion an evasion is often a matter of a cooperating horse not having enough strength, while a resisting horse might have a health problem.
Now this comment is written after a very good dinner with wine and (french) food, so maybe I should wait until tomorrow to clear my thoughts, lol!!

trudi said...

I didn't actually say there wasn't a difference ;-) although the semantics often get in the way!
I was really just implying that to 'feel' a resistance/evasion and know what's going on you need to have communicative hands/seat, you can't feel the horse saying no if he says it at the same time you are saying no (ie being backwards acting) with the hands.
Her 'first position' by the way is more usually (well in my experience anyway) referred to as riding/working 'in position' .

Come on, Jimmi write up missus!!!

HorseOfCourse said...

Trudi, I am sitting heare eating my breakfast and wonder why on earth I booked three lessons in a row, lol!

He did have us work hard, and yesterday after the dinner I just passed out in the bed.

Not complaining mind!
But I did contemplate to use some of that Absorbine horse liniment on myself yesterday...
But today is a new day, rise and shine!
I will try and put together a post, if I am not a total wreck after this morning's training!

Irene said...

Trevligt inslag med den fina hästen. Bra övning.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I figured you were busy with the job transition. How do you like your new job so far? Glad the Sofa Princess is still without-kitties. Maybe another time when her beau is properly chosen. I've been reading some of Jane Savoie's writings on rider fear. Good to hear from you HorseOfCourse.

stilllearning said...

Glad to see (or read?) that you're back...and totally understand how much chaos changing jobs can cause.

It's good that you're still riding and training, too. Let us know how it went when you get a chance.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your posts. I always learn something and something my horse can learn. Your writing is often right on the mark. Hope that you find time to tell us about your clinic...I also grew up without lessons..and although I have been riding for more than 30 years there is so much I don't know.

I don't know how anyone who rides can find time to blog, but I sure enjoy them.