Winter days here at “Alchemy Place” are mostly really lovely weather for being outside working with horses and I have been able to make the most of this weather and enjoy a lot of time with my horses recently. Working with Avalon (pictured above) – a 3 year old Warmblood filly that I bred. Even though she is 3, I haven’t done a lot with her besides basic handling, mainly because of a lack of time. She has not yet been ridden – we are slowly progressing towards that. I’ve been taking her on adventure walks- building her confidence in me and the world, by exposing her to new things and different environments – allowing her own curiosity to explore to be the biggest factor in building her confidence, rather than forcing things on her. We are both enjoying the process – without time pressures, I am allowing things to naturally evolve when I have time to spend with her.
I have also been focusing on Helium my older, chestnut warmblood – forever my teacher as he has been one of the most challenging horses I have ever come across. Much of what I teach now is due to what I have had to learn to work with him. Then there is the cutie Merlin, a 13hh grey pony, such a cool character (pictured left – not a recent photo though as there is grass in this pic – we are currently experiencing a very bad drought). Doing lots of riding out with both of them – walking, trotting and cantering. Travelling out in straight lines where there is flat ground and good footing is so good for developing horses. Riding out is mentally stimulating for them and thereby encourages them to travel forward with impulsion and use their hindquarters (if they are calm and relaxed). When we ride out, with the same quality that we would aspire to have in the arena, we can really make huge progress with our horse’s straightness, balance and hindquarter engagement.
I do a lot of riding out with my horses. In the courses I teach, we do a lot of work in the arena to keep things safe and to keep everyone together so they can hear and see, but there is much value in riding horses out IF we ride out with quality, focus and attention – not just slobbing along without paying attention.
I have now just begun working with a few horses that I am starting for other people so I am sure I will be keeping very busy with that – hopefully I will still have time and energy to keep working with some of mine too.
Course details are now available for the QLD, WA and “Banyandah” (Howlong) courses so those interested can now go ahead and register and take advantage of the Early Bird prices. Rider spots are limited so book early so that you don’t miss out.
There are still some spots open for the September/Oct 6 week course at “Alchemy Place” so if you can find your way here we would love to have you along. This course is always such a transformational experience for people and horses – a total immersion in all aspects of horsemanship. I really don’t know of another course where so many aspects of horsemanship are covered. Build your confidence, your connection, your savvy and your skills beyond measure. You don’t have to book for the whole 6 weeks – anywhere from one to all six weeks is possible. There are options for leasing horses if you can’t bring your own or just want to get experience with other horses and there are also positions available for helpers – a way that you can be involved and learn if you don’t have finances.
If anyone has a specific question or something that you would like me to write about for the newsletter please email me your request. In this newsletter I have included an article written by BALANCE about one, often quite controversial, aspect of saddle fit – saddle length. However the article is not only very educational about saddle length, but also about posture and biomechanics, so well worth reading.
Remember if you need help – the distant coaching (video coaching) option is a great way to get help and keep progressing if you can’t get to a course or when it is a long time in between courses.
Until next time,
best wishes to you all,