“Banyandah” (via Howlong), NSW/VIC border – 4 courses June 6th- 17th

Information

June 6-8 Connecting & Fundamental Feel in Ground Skills.

( The preparatory course for the Postural Development, Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Ground Work Therapy course.)

 

Three full days to immerse yourself in learning the philosophy and techniques of “Connecting with  Horses and Riding with Synchronicity”. This Ground Skills course is the most important of  all the courses I teach. It sets the foundation of concepts and principles from which all the rest is built. It is essential for all who are new to my teaching and whether you are a beginner or had years of experience I believe it will be of great benefit to you. This course will begin to teach you how to understand horse’s minds, emotions and their physical bodies. It also goes deeper into the spiritual nature of horses and the spiritual connection between horses and humans.  This course teaches the core principles of centering, breathing, body scanning, energy awareness and body language which are all essential keys to success with horses.  Begin the journey to becoming a “true” horseman. “True” meaning with the qualities that the horses themselves would choose to have in a horseman. Whilst we acknowledge and work with the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of horses this course is very practical. Teaching a quality of FEEL in horsemanship handling that most people never learn in a life time. FEEL  is the HOLY GRAIL of horsemanship, it is the fundamental essence of all great horsemanship. Some believe that it can never be taught but I have found a way. Here is what you can learn at this course:-

Connect with your horse’s heart and mind and hear what horses have to say. Learn to listen.

Learn the principles and qualities of great leadership

Learn the art of nonverbal communication – thoughts, energy and body language

Learn how horses learn

Learn the ever elusive and commonly unteachable qualities of FEEL – mental, emotional, physical and energetic feel

Learn how to problem solve and understand your horse to resolve any behavioral/training issues that you are having.

Develop safe horse handling skills and habits on the ground to set you up for any activity or  handling that you may need on the ground and which translate into aids and skills needed in riding .

Learn techniques on the ground that all lead to horses using their bodies with healthy biomechanics and developing good posture and hindquarter engagement.  

 

Come along with or without your horse. Of course if you can bring your horse along your learning will be maximized as nothing beats hands on experience and having direct feedback from a supportive instructor to accelerate your learning. However the other option for attending these courses is to come and participate without a horse, in which case you would actively participate in all of the theory sessions, Q & A sessions, body awareness and balance sessions, healing sessions and simulations as well as  watch the demonstrations and observe those with horses practice and experiment with the exercises and tasks. All of these “non-hands on” with horses sessions actually make up a big percentage of the course which is why the pricing for those  wishing to come without their horse is approx. 50% of the full course fee. People coming without their horses are not just fence sitters. They get equal value to those bringing horses for at least 50% of the course.

Investment

The cost to come with your horse is $595 for the 3 days (if you pay 50% deposit before April 1st) or $695 thereafter. The cost to come without your horse is $80/day or $240 (if you pay 50% deposit before April 1st) or $90/day or $270 thereafter.

Start & Finish Times 9:30-5:00

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a raw beginner and/or feel very unconfident or unsafe in handling or riding your horse please contact me before registering and booking into this course with your horse. No stallions without prior permission.

For questions regarding the course content, horsemanship or eligibility for the course contact Mel mel@melfleming.com.au Please scroll down for booking forms.

 

June 8-11 – Postural Development, Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Groundwork Therapy

 

 

This course is designed so that people can flow on into it straight after doing the “Introductory  Connecting & Ground Skills Course”.

Who is this course for ?
Virtually everyone that owns a horse and wants to ride it. This program can help horses with hollow backs, weak backs, poor top lines, poor posture, down hill horses, horses that pull themselves along with their forehand,  horses that don’t travel straight, have trouble turning, bending, picking up a certain canter lead or have difficulty with you on one trot diagonal. It will give you the tools to prepare your horse to be balanced and develop some strength in preparation for riding either because your horse has been on a spell, has never learned to use his body well or  is about to be started under saddle. It can help with horses who are spooky, shy, oversensitive and reactive, impulsive or who lack impulsion and are shut down and lack energy and motivation. It can help any horse that does not have correct and healthy biomechanics, which is probably 99% of horses. This therapy is very powerful in making changes in the horse’s body but it may in some cases need to be supported by other bodywork, nutritional supplementation and corrective/supportive trimming and hoof care.

Just like everything else in the horse world there is a lot of confusing and conflicting information out there about hindquarter engagement, biomechanics and collection etc. So how do we know what is truth ? Primarily listen to the horses – when we know how to listen to them which includes reading their body language -they will show us the truth. It is the only way to decipher the truth from all the information out there. When the horses look prouder, taller, have more presence, are more relaxed, more willing and are offering things with a happy expression on their face, then you will know you or who you are following are on the right track. My foundation of learning on this particular subject came from the BALANCE organisation (the developers of the BALANCE saddle) which I combined with my own learning in Feldenkrais and Aikido and of course hands on experience with many, many horses. There is a book that I can recommend to support this learning – The Horse’s Voice  by Keren Morris – you can purchase it on Amazon or through me. This book has the most correct information on biomechanics  that I have seen published.

I highly recommend that people learn and do this ground work therapy program before coming to my riding courses so the horses will be more prepared mentally, emotionally and physically before being ridden.

In this course you will learn :-
The difference between posture and conformation.
What correct biomechanics are.
What a healthy horse’s back and healthy movement look like.
Why so many horses have poor posture, balance and biomechanics.
How to start changing their posture, balance and lead them back into a better biomechanical way of moving.

Healthy posture and biomechanics leads to happy horses and happy riders. Horses are more comfortable, more relaxed and things feel effortless and easy when they are using their body with correct biomechanics. They will stay sound, be calm and be athletic. Basically this means you could have everything that you could ever want in a horse. A calm, safe, sound, healthy, athletic, responsive, balanced horse that is willing, enthusiastic, has good energy and impulsion and has a proud majestic presence.  What more could you want ? I think that I just described the perfect horse for any discipline !!!!

For the biomechanics to be right, the whole process must be based on horses being deeply relaxed. A relaxed horse means a safe horse. Most people misunderstand relaxation. Most people think of relaxation as being slouched on the couch with no energy. But there is a different form of relaxation  – where the body is totally relaxed but equally, the body is poised, alive with energy and ready to go – this is the form of relaxation that we are talking about. This is the state that the elite of the elite sports people operate at. The foundations are in learning to operate in a “centered state” for horse and human – a concept I learned through martial arts. The Introductory Connecting & Ground Skills Course teaches this vital foundation.

Why are the initial stages for developing better biomechanics better done on the ground than under saddle ?
Without the weight of the rider or the saddle, the back muscles in particular, are not restricted and are much more easily able to recover. The less skilled the rider and the heavier the rider is, the more inhibitive they will be to the correct biomechanical movement of the horse which makes it impossible for the horse to find  correctness and therefore impossible for the nervous system to be reprogrammed as to what healthy movement is. Without a rider the horses can develop the strength to carry the weight of their own forehands with their hindquarters, before adding the additional weight of a rider and saddle. Even when we are highly skilled in helping horses use their bodies well while riding and light weight, it is often quicker in the long run and easier for the horse, if we do the initial stages on the ground.

If riders are overweight, unfit and unbalanced the groundwork program will also help them to get into a better state of fitness, body weight and body awareness and develop their posture and biomechanics, which is essential to riding horses well.

How long does the program take?
This course is just an introduction which can be followed by more advanced courses and supported with video coaching. To get maximum results I would allow a minimum of 4 weeks to do this ground work therapy program WITHOUT riding. Please note that this is very specific ground work that supports correct quality movement. Groundwork without this quality and understanding will not produce the same results and in fact may be detrimental to your horse. Some horses with very poor postures may need longer, 6-8 weeks. Traditionally in Europe it was not uncommon to do a preparatory ground work program of 3 months before a horse was ever ridden.

Sometimes we need to “slow down to hurry up” and “go back to go forwards”. As in any endeavor, when we take the time to set a solid foundation we end up with a good and long lasting result. At first the prospect of not riding for 4 weeks might seem daunting but you will most likely be surprised by how quickly the time passes and how interested you become in the process as you observe your horses changing and learn more about them.

It is a simple process.
The process is simple and anyone can learn to work with their horse on the ground in this way. Sometimes the power of “simple” is overlooked. Patience, focus and awareness are what is required and you will develop these three things a lot more during the process. Also in the process, by connecting in, being so present and doing something great FOR your horse, you will build an incredible bond between yourself and the horse. The qualities of feel, timing and balance learned on the ground through this process will also help develop the skills you need to be a great rider.

To be eligible to do this course with your horse you will need to have completed an Introductory Connecting and Groundskills course with me. You may come along without a horse without having any prior learning with me.

CASE STUDIES
Following are some before and after pictures of a few of the horses that I have worked with showing the changes in their postures. Most of these changes took place over a 6-12 week period. The process involved groundwork, riding and energetic healing and bodywork.

 

  Come along with or without your horse.  Of course if you can bring your horse along your learning will be maximized as nothing beats hands on experience and having direct feedback from a supportive instructor to accelerate your learning. However the other option for attending these courses is to come and participate without a horse, in which case you would actively participate in all of the theory sessions, Q & A sessions, body awareness and balance sessions, healing sessions and simulations as well as watch the demonstrations and observe those with horses practice and experiment with the exercises and tasks. All of these “non-hands on” with horse sessions actually make up a big percentage of the course which is why the pricing for those  wishing to come without their horse is approx. 50% of the full course fee. People coming without their horses are not just fence sitters. They get equal value to those bringing horses for at least 50% of the course.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a raw beginner and/or feel very unconfident or unsafe in handling or riding your horse please contact me before registering and booking into this course with your horse. No stallions without prior permission.

For questions regarding the course content, horsemanship or eligibility for the course contact Mel mel@melfleming.com.au

Start & Finish Times

9:30-5:00 

Investment

The cost to come with your horse is $595 for the 3 days (if you pay 50% deposit before April 1st) or $695 thereafter. The cost to come without your horse is $80/day or $240 (if you pay 50% deposit before April 1st) or $90/day or $270 thereafter.

 

June 12-14  Riding in Synchronicity – Introductory Course 

 

Smoky cantering‘Riding in Synchronicity’ means to ride in perfect synchronicity and harmony, becoming like a centaur where you become part of the horse and the horse becomes part of you. To achieve this we need to understand the horse’s physical body and the biomechanics of how their body works. It is vitally important for horses to be ridden in correct posture and biomechanical balance if they are to enjoy the experience, stay sound, be healthy and reach their highest athletic potential.

This course teaches the fundamental principles and “how to” of learning to ride with harmony, effortlessness and ease. Start learning the secrets to happy and successful partnerships with horses. Whether you just want to ride for pleasure or have high aspirations for competition these secrets  will be invaluable. These fundamental keys will  develop you to be a great rider and will be of great benefit whether you are relatively new to riding or had many years in the saddle. Even high level competition riders have been greatly helped by this teaching.   If  you are a raw beginner please contact me before booking to make sure that this course will be appropriate for you to come with your horse.

There are some common principles that will be found at the highest levels in all great sports people – athletes, martial artists, dancers and even singers – these principles also apply to horsemanship and riding.  I have learned these principles through feldenkrais and martial arts as well as what I have learned through my experience with horses. These principles lead us to riding with fluidity, without brace and resistance and give us the ability to move freely with the horse. They require being centered, aligned and using our body in a smooth, unified way, without getting into a state of contraction or tension. The techniques presented will  lead to you feeling more balanced and that means safer and more comfortable in your riding, as well as allowing your horse to move with healthy biomechanics which results in them being calmer, happier, have less resistance and with the ability to reach their highest athletic potential. To achieve these aims, the teaching includes a lot of body awareness and body balancing exercises. I am very excited to share all of this with you because it will be a game changer  for you and your horse.

 

students-under-treeCome along with or without your horse. Of course if you can bring your horse along your learning will be maximized as nothing beats hands on experience and having direct feedback from a supportive instructor to accelerate your learning. However the other option for attending these courses is to come along as an auditor (that is a participant without a horse) where you will participate in all of the theory sessions, Q & A sessions, most of the body awareness and balance sessions and simulations (this may depend on numbers – some of these sessions might need to be restricted to those bringing horses) watch the demonstrations and observe those with horses practice the exercises.

Investment

The cost to come with your horse is $595 for the 3 days (if you pay 50% deposit before April 1st) or $695 thereafter. The cost to come without your horse is $80/day or $240 (if you pay 50% deposit before April 1st) or $90/day or $270 thereafter.

Start & Finish Times: 9:30 am-5pm

PLEASE NOTEThe preceding course “Connecting & Fundamental Feel in Ground Skills” is a pre-requisite for  bringing a horse along to this course except in special circumstances. If you come along without a horse, although recommended, it is not essential to have first done the pre-requisite course. 

If you are a raw beginner and/or feel very unconfident or unsafe in handling or riding your horse please contact me before registering and booking into this course with your horse. No stallions without prior permission.

For questions regarding the course content, horsemanship or eligibility for the course contact Mel mel@melfleming.com.au

 

June 15-17  Intermediate Level

Participants in this course will have needed to have previously attended an Introductory clinic with me. On some occasions people may request permission to attend by submitting a video of themselves working with their horse on the ground and riding. Please email me for details regarding this.

The content of this course will be based upon the following, but will be adapted to specifically target the needs of the horses and riders that are attending.

We will begin by reviewing, expanding and improving upon the concepts learned in the Introductory course.

Then advance the ground skills with more precision, more responsiveness and with a better understanding of the biomechanics of the horse. Explore transitions, changes of direction, sideways and also using longer lines.

Both you and your horse will develop confidence which means safety and better performance.

Learn exercises to improve rider balance and learn more details about riding dynamics and how to flow with the horse in perfect harmony, this includes learning about trot diagonals and canter leads.

Learn about posture, self carriage, balance and biomechanics for both the horse and rider and how to enhance these through ground work and riding. Start to develop HQ engagement and collection in the horse.

Some more specific areas of learning would be :-

Reading and understanding your horse more accurately.
Deepening your Connection with your horse, developing intuitive communication.
Getting your horse more calm, connected, responsive and athletic.
Developing Feel, Energy awareness and how to use energy.
Becoming clear  and more precise with Body Language.
Using ground skills as a diagnostic tool and for your horse’s emotions and  as physical therapy for your horse.
Using obstacles to create visually clear mental pictures and “games” to help your horse learn.
Putting ground skills to purpose eg. trailer loading, crossing bridges, creeks etc.
How to better “go with” your horses movement.
Helping the horse to better follow your focus and line of direction.
Riding from your centre with a unified body.
Refining your aids, by using your body more and the reins less.
Learning meditation techniques to clear emotions and heal your horse and yourself – mentally, emotionally and physically.
Learning bodywork and horse care practices to improve your horse’s physical health and well being as well as improve and develop their physical capability, athleticism and performance.

Come along with or without your horse. Of course if you can bring your horse along your learning will be maximized as nothing beats hands on experience and having direct feedback from a supportive instructor to accelerate your learning. However the other option for attending these courses is to come and participate without a horse, in which case you would actively participate in all of the theory sessions, Q & A sessions, body awareness and balance sessions, healing sessions and simulations as well as  watch the demonstrations and observe those with horses practice and experiment with the exercises and tasks. All of these “non-hands on” with horses sessions actually make up a big percentage of the course which is why the pricing for those  wishing to come without their horse is approx. 50% of the full course fee. People coming without their horses are not just fence sitters. They get equal value to those bringing horses for at least 50% of the course.

Investment

The cost to come with your horse is $595 for the 3 days (if you pay 50% deposit before April 1st) or $695 thereafter. The cost to come without your horse is $80/day or $240 (if you pay 50% deposit before April 1st) or $90/day or $270 thereafter.

Start & Finish Times 9:30-5:00

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a raw beginner and/or feel very unconfident or unsafe in handling or riding your horse please contact me before registering and booking into this course with your horse. No stallions without prior permission.

For questions regarding the course content, horsemanship or eligibility for the course contact Mel mel@melfleming.com.au Please scroll down for booking forms.

 

 

Private Sessions – Lessons, Saddle fitting & BALANCE saddle test rides, PEMF Bodywork sessions

Private lessons  ($110/hr), Saddle fittings and opportunities to test ride the BALANCE saddles are available on request. Saddle fittings with the BALANCE saddles take 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. cost $150. 
Energetic Bodywork/ PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) treatments upon request $110. 
Equissage sessions – $88
 
Please email to get more details or to book a session. Please let me know as soon as you can if you are interested in one of these sessions so we can plan and make sure we can fit you in.

For questions regarding the course content, horsemanship or eligibility for the course contact Mel  mel@melfleming.com.au

 

Course Venue

 

Banyandah has wonderful facilities and accommodation for both horse and rider. For more information about the venue and accommodation contact:-

Jane Reid horseheaven@albury.net.au (02) 6026-8800

 

Banyandah facility5.jpgBanyandah facility4

 

 

 

 

 

Banyandah is a very beautiful horsemanship facility situated on the Murray River with a big variety of riding arenas, open paddocks, bushland  and horse play and riding areas. There is also great accommodation onsite or  the option of camping.  Catering for lunch and dinner is available with extremely delicious gourmet cooking.   I highly recommend staying on site and taking advantage of the catering  so you stay fully immersed in the relaxed atmosphere to support your learning. 

 

Register on line

You can make your payments by direct deposit, cheque, credit card ( 2.5% surcharge) or by PayPal (2.6% surcharge). The details of how to  pay by dd, cheque or cc can all be found on the registration form below. If you wish to pay by PayPal fill out the online registration form and indicate that you wish to pay by PayPal and I will send you a PayPal invoice.

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