Mel Fleming Newsletter – Dec 2014

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IMG_8694  Hi everyone,
Greetings from “Alchemy Place”, where it  is now green and the grass is finally growing after a very long dry spell. Another year has flown by. I have just finished my last course for the year at Bathurst and since I last wrote, have also taught clinics at “Banyandah” Howlong NSW, Adelaide, Albany and Margaret River WA, another 5 day course here at “Alchemy Place” and presented Rider Biomechanics and Saddle fitting at the Manning River Valley Horse Health and Wellness Expo. Phew !!!  I am definitely feeling ready for some time at home. I am planning to spend lots of time riding my horses, playing with Avalon (the foal pictured), catch up on lots of office work and start working on lots of projects for next year. and maybe just a little chill out time.

DSC_1458In the clinics this year there were many amazing break throughs with horses and people. Helping people to connect with and understand their horses and themselves  in a much deeper way at all levels of mind, body and spirit, leads to phenomenal change. What is so great about teaching the Introductory courses is seeing the monumental transformations in both horses and people in as little as 3-5 days and seeing these changes in people of all ages, shapes and sizes.

IMG_0117webIn the Intermediate  and Advanced Courses teaching liberty has been a big focus area for this year. Not just for the purpose of  being able to do “tricks” with the horse but because  it takes people to a deeper quality of feel, clearer understanding of body language and more profound learning on how to use energy and how to communicate holding a mental/energetic connection with the horse.  All of these skills can then be transferred to all other aspects of working with horses, both on the ground and riding. 

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This horse is just starting to get a sense of coming through and pushing from behind with the back and the whither lifting. He is still slightly too much on his front end to say he is engaged and getting his power from the back end. He needs to rotate his pelvis more under and bring his whither and forehand up more, to get his weight more onto the hind end but he is perfect for the stage of the process he is in. He is now ready to start shifting more weight back. The lengthening of the top line and lifting of the whither needed to come first so that the weight shifts back in the correct way. The rider doesn’t have much contact here and usually I would have more connection through the reins to help this process. Not a restrictive contact but a more supportive “together holding hands” type contact. The good thing about the contact in this picture is that it shows that the technique to getting the horse to use the body well is not about holding their head in with tight reins.

 

Refining riding skills to a much deeper level, with subtle body positioning and weight transferences and helping people find pin point accuracy with their rein positions led to people getting a forward energy flow through the reins and in their  horse’s body and hence straightness in the horse. This straightness when combined with helping people to learn to “ride in suspension” over their horse, enabled the horses to start shifting their weight back to the hindquarters and get in better balance with more correct biomechanics. Students began to realise how much better their horse’s mind and emotions where once the horses were helped in a clear but gentle way to have better physical alignment, posture, and balance. It has always been rare to see horses and riders in this state of balance but fortunately for the horses sake, I am very happy to say, it is becoming somewhat less rare in my more advanced courses.  Correct understanding about biomechanics, even though it seems to be the buzz word at the moment, seems to be some of the most lacking knowledge of all. I am pleased to be seeing more smiles on horses faces when they are ridden in the ways that I am presenting – that is the feedback and how we know we are on track.

I have lots of exciting new things planned for 2015. You can read more details on my website via the links posted below. Here are a few of the bigger things planned.

IMG_8792webThe long term courses at “Alchemy Place” continue to be highlights and the courses where the biggest transformations happen. The people who have done them keep coming back so that says a lot. This year we have extended them and there are also possibilities for lease horses for those who are unable to bring their horse interstate, although one lady brought hers from WA this year!! 

The March module is now extended to 4 weeks and the September module to 6 weeks. Weeks 5 and 6 of the September course will be for more advanced students and hopefully week 6 will include teaching by Carol Brett from the UK, designer of the BALANCE saddles, who has been and continues to be one of my mentors in understanding about biomechanics, posture and balance for horse and rider. All the details are  yet to be confirmed as we are in the midst of working them out.

The Easter Retreat will be 6 days instead of 5 and hopefully will be co-taught by Sandra Wallin from  Canada who has trained with EPONA and Linda Kohanov. Sandra is also a teacher of “Psych K”  which is connected with Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of the Biology of Belief (how our beliefs affect our cells) and teaches how to clear subconscious beliefs that are limiting  you. So we will be combining some equine facilitated learning and belief clearing with the horsemanship learning. Very exciting!!!  Again we are still in the planning stages for this but I wanted to let you know what we are planning. I will keep you posted.

IMG_0074webI wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year and look forward to continue sharing my horsemanship journey with you.

All my best to you,
Mel

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