I started blogging in 2007 by setting up a diary for my freelancing pursuits. It became a very genuine, honest account of a not always straight forward journey to a place I wanted to be at. I decided to stop publishing that blog in 2012 (more on this later) and set up one that was less about just me and more about everything grassroots equestrian sport related.
That’s how this blog came to life as part of my Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy. In its current form it’s only a baby (not even two months old!) and with it I am learning to use a different blogging platform (have previously used blogger and an integrated version of wordpress on Aspire’s site).
I appreciate every single person who reads and leaves comments on here. I am old enough to remember the world without Internet and as a knowledge greedy person I am incredibly grateful for an opportunity to write, read and chat so freely about things I am passionate about.
Ok, here we go with the Award!
Here are the rules of Liebster Award:
Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog. List 11 random facts about yourself. Answer the 11 questions given to you. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs. Go to each blogger’s page and let them know you have nominated them.
Here are Suzie’s questions and my answers to them:
Having a horse with many issues is both heartbreaking and enlightening. Many athletic, healthy horses or extremely good natured, laid back ones put up with huge amount of training and management abuse without batting an eyelid. Now, if you have a horse with a plethora of problems who is unable to move in correct movement sequence when badly shod, when having side reins fitted, when saddle sits not quite where it should do, when you don’t sit straight…consider yourself lucky.
Horse with physical issues that are not a lameness and that eight different vets feels helpless in identifying opens your eyes so wide they never squint again. Even better, you start seeing a miniature version of those issues in horses that have no problems as such with their bodies but that are trying their best to communicate an issue without exposing themselves to danger…
One vet a few years ago told me that it’s interesting that we rarely see horses that “complain” upon a small physical discomfort like a person would. They get on with it, they adapt their way of going, way of holding their bodies so that whatever discomfort they feel is minimised. It’s a nature of a pray animal not to show its weaknesses and instincts often override thousands of years of domestication.
Over time they strain more and more structures until it’s no longer possible for them to hide the fact that something is “off”. By the time this happens though, the intricate patterns of compensations have become like a labyrinth with many twists and turns and it takes thorough veterinary examination to find the real centre where it all started and where the treatment will be the most successful.
I thought for this post I’d share with you the trials, tribulations and steep technological learning curve I’ve been though in my efforts to get my photography business off the ground.
I worked happily and contentedly with horses for about 13 years before making the difficult decision to leave and set up my photography business. I’d been doing more and more portrait work with friends and family and was loving it. This combined with my ever decreasing bouncability lead me to decide to take the risk and make the leap.
This was a difficult decision for many reasons. Firstly, I genuinely loved and would miss horses, I would also be financially worse off as I’d always had accommodation provided with the job and I would have to move away from the idyllic countryside lifestyle I was used to into a more affordable and convenient for finding work area. However, I felt I’d reached a point in my life where it was now or never and I felt it was worth the sacrifice.
It transpires that Carl Hester, Richard Davison, Charlotte Dujardin, Sylvia Loch and Miguel Ralao Duarte of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art are bringing in a one of a kind event this year – The Dressage Convention 2013…
Hello there 🙂 Everything I post on here is inspired by conversations I have with clients, friends; by things I read or hear about on daily basis. Today, a chat with an old friend who is having a hard time juggling life with a small child and a partner who is rather negative about her aspirations have both inspired this post.
I don’t want to sound like I’m telling people how to live their lives so please take it or leave it but here it goes…If you have a passion for something do everything to immerse yourself in it. If you read this blog right now and have some shy goals of starting to ride or setting up an Etsy shop for your creative product, or go on a world tour or starting a process to prepare yourself and your horse to an event a year from now, make a step towards it today. Why?
Who has never had a saddle fit issue is a one lucky person! When I was buying my first ever saddle in 1995 I had to trek many miles to a saddler and all I had to give him was the hight and type of the horse. He was a 16.2hh high wither Trakehnner and got his jumping saddle on that information alone No fittings, not even a photo of a horse for the saddler.
Thankfully, it’s a different story nowadays. We have some great saddle designs that can be fitted to both the horse and the rider well and come with some very good advice too.
As a horse owner or even as an occasional rider you want to know (don’t you?) how is your saddle doing on your horse’s back. There is a science to the saddle fitting and saddle check process and I will get back to it very soon but in this post I would like t odraw your attention to the secret language of the sweat marks that your saddle leaves on your horse’s back after you’ve ridden.
If you have never done it before, grab hold of a small-ish horse (one you can walk next to with your hands placed on his/her back on each side of the spine). Get someone to lead the horse whilst you walk next to it with your hands placed on muscles exactly where the rider would sit (not far behind the wither). How much movement is there? Is it a forward movement? Is it a side – to – side movement? Up – and – down?
If you had a go please let me know 🙂
Next put your hand nearest to the horse flat on his/her spine as you both walk. How much are the vertebraes moving? would you say the movements could be described in mm or cm/inch?
Now it’s time to move towards the hips of the horse (only do this with a suitable horse that is used to being touched all over). Put your hand just on top of your horse’s point of hip (above the protruding part of the hip bone) – is horse’s pelvis moving more or less than his/her back?
You might conclude, that there is very little motion in actual back of the horse and much more in his/her pelvis. Your job as a rider is to replicate this in your own body.
The more athletic the horse is the more stable he is able to make his spine (through the use of deep abdominal muscles) and more controlled movements he is able to execute (through superior balance). As a rider, you work on eliminating the wobble through your upper body, on stabilising your own spine whilst allowing for great elasticity through your hip joints.
How can you start learning the feel for stability?
You might think that my support for today’s International Helmet Awareness Day comes from being an instructor, you know a proper Ms-have-you-checked-your-hat’s -kite- mark type every time you have a lead rope in your hands. It’s not.
I used to like riding without a hat and guess I could say I still like it, I just don’t do it any more. Self-perseverance doesn’t necessarily guide me nor am I scared to ride without head gear as such.
The driving force behind my passionate support for wearing a helmet when riding at all times is