Great new book for riders’ and coaches’ bookshelves! – The Science of Equestrian Sports by Inga Wolframm

Inga
See Inside the book feature

“The Science of Equestrian Sports is a comprehensive study of the theory and practice of the rider in equine sport. While most scholarship to date has focused on the horse in competition, this is the first book to collate current data relating specifically to riders. It provides valuable insight into improving sporting performance and maintaining the safety of both the horse and the rider.

Drawing on the latest scientific research, and covering a wide range of equestrian disciplines from horseracing to eventing, the book systematically explores core subjects such as:

 

  • physiology of the rider
  • sport psychology in equestrian sport
  • preventing injury
  • biomechanics and kinematics
  • coaching equestrian sport
  • the nature of horse-rider relationships

This holistic and scientific examination of the role of the horse rider is essential reading for sport science students with an interest in equestrian sport and equitation. Furthermore, it will be an invaluable resource for instructors, coaches, sport psychologists, or physiologists working with equestrian athletes.”

More: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415637251/

 

What are your plans for 15th of September?

Hello All!
Another of our Intensive Training Days is coming up on 15th of September. There are maximum of 4 places available (1 booked already so maximum 3 left) and the cost includes hire of horses, Racewood Equine Simulator, all facilities hire, all coaching, video feedback and some cookies if you deserve them 😉

15th Spt Poster
15th September

All levels welcome but most suitable for those riders who want to improve their skills and effectiveness.

Video from equine simulator session from our last Training Day at the venue:

Approximate times: 10am-5pm

Venue: Cullinghood Equestrian Centre (www.cullinghood.co.uk)
Cost: £200 per rider per day (BRING A FRIEND OFFER – rider who books with a friend receives £15 OFF each).

Message Wiola on aspire @ outlook . com for more information and booking. If you have never trained on Aspire Intensive Training Days and have any questions please email away, always happy to advise if this is suitable Day for you.

Feel free to share with friends!

To see some photos from the same venue from Aspire June Intensive Training Day see here

Candace: Reflecting on partnership. The Importance of Foundations, Confidence and Trust

potempadigital
Candace and Flirt

Dear All,

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
– Mark Twain

I hope you’ll indulge me today as I spend some time reflecting on partnership. It’s something that has been on my mind a lot this summer and I think now is the perfect time to write about it as Aspire is launching the “My New Horse” program. Yes, I know I’ve owned Flirt for about 3 and a half years and she’s not exactly “new.” But with everything that has happened in the last year, we did have the opportunity for a new beginning. Now I find myself continually staring at her and taking so much pride in how healthy, fit, and simply happy she is – such a change from even one year ago!

In many ways, Flirt and I are very fortunate – a lot of partnerships that encounter as much trouble as we had do not end so well. I often see other riders who fix problems by selling one horse and buying another. But does that teach you or simply put off the issues to a later date? I tend to believe the latter and have gained such a sense of accomplishment from working through the steps and ultimately finding ways to improve. Prior to my accident last summer I was on the toughest plateau of my life. And while I can’t recommend a major trauma incident to anyone, in a way it was just what I needed to move forward. The second time around, Flirt and I built on a stronger foundation and we finally have a partnership that we can be proud of and confident in.

potempadigital2
Candace and Flirt

Speaking of accidents, it’s important to note that first and foremost – health is key. If you or your horse is not healthy and pain-free, you’re in trouble. Flirt was injured last summer and managed to hide it too well… we had so much trouble and were so angry at each other… and I feel so guilty that I thought she was being bad, that I didn’t see it sooner, but she only ever felt stiff and then trotted sound. However, I can certainly promise that I will not suppress the instincts that told me something was wrong again! On the bright side, Flirt’s rehab from the injury triggered bi-monthly visits from the chiropractor and monthly visits from the body worker. And now, one year later, wow does my horse feel good. So out of the bad came exactly what Flirt needed to feel her best.

Then came my own accident.

Continue reading Candace: Reflecting on partnership. The Importance of Foundations, Confidence and Trust

Before and After: Training video comparison between Day 1 and Two Months Later

SONY DSC
Practising focus without “trying too hard” and letting the horse perform the movement in a relaxed manner. Some lovely end result in this exercise in our final session.

I have just done the final filming session with one of our Aspire Video Library test-riders. I will very much miss our training but we need to focus on riders fully committed to Aspire programme to really present what the programme can do. Magda has been great to work with but declared to be happy with most of her training at the time saying she was happy with her competition results. She wasn’t prepared to make more changes so we needed to cross out some core elements of Aspire training. Nevertheless, I liked the rider and the horse and their drive to improve. I do believe in being relatively flexible in training approach at times and Magda bravely agreed for her progress to be made public so that alone was a proof to me that she was ready for a challenge. The rider remained fairly open-minded and gave her best during the sessions which made for a very enjoyable experience.

My initial training plan for the rider assumed a lot of work aimed at balance and suppleness (in-hand and ridden) but due to rider’s training beliefs we needed to alter that.

We did, however, went through all main points and started addressing stiffness and a holding seat in the rider to help progress towards more feeling, stable yet more supple seat which in turn will be eventually able to balance the horse without unnecessary tension. Long way still in front of Magda but considering the amount of training she did on these elements I think she made a good effort and showed proportional results.

Continue reading Before and After: Training video comparison between Day 1 and Two Months Later

Jumping training. Three strides out and how your actions before them as well as there and then determine the quality of the jump

Today I would like to chat with you about jump training and describe some of my teaching methods.

Let’s start from watching this slow motion video showing a rider approaching and going over few different jumps at different take off points. The rider is myself and I put together the footage where take off spots vary from good one to much too long one.

Continue reading Jumping training. Three strides out and how your actions before them as well as there and then determine the quality of the jump

Emotional value of attachement in training

This very interesting article caught my attention the other day. I really recommend the read and would love to hear what you think, do you agree?

“McLean said horses that feel a closer “attachment” to their trainers will have a stronger sense of security compared to those that feel less attachment. As a prey animal, an insecure horse is a fearful horse, and a fearful horse is a looking-around-and-not-paying-attention-to-his-trainer horse. So a lot of what might seem like “horse whispering” as well as all sorts of touch therapies might really be “horse attachment.” The Horse

 

CLICK ON IMAGE TO GO TO THE ARTICLE

 

How to get the most out of your your riding videos. Part 2: how I analyse videos, what I look for and how you could do it too.

Part 1 can be found here: http://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-your-riding-videos-part-1-how-what-and-with-what-to-video/

In this part I would like to share with you my little strategy on using video analysis within training programmes. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a more accomplished rider, video footage can be helpful at all levels.

SONY DSC
Liberado wants to have a look too 😉

How do I analyse videos and what I look for in the footage

First of all, I think about a schooling problem the rider has. For example, a relatively experienced rider brings on a young horse. Throughout training it becomes apparent she doesn’t notice or feel or is able to recognise when the horse loses his balance through his shoulders i.e. for various reasons either leans in onto his inside shoulder or falls out through his outside shoulder.

I want the rider to be able to learn to stabilise horse’s weight in such a way that it is possible to ride a balanced 20m circle. However, the rider doesn’t learn so well via instructions (she does them well but isn’t able to replicate when riding on her own) and although visual feedback is helpful she learns best through feel. Such riders need to do something that makes their body notice the difference and then they need to get on the case of the problem and arrive there via trial and error.

I like to come up with an exercise that magnifies the issue, film it and let the rider learn both via feel and visual feedback.

Continue reading How to get the most out of your your riding videos. Part 2: how I analyse videos, what I look for and how you could do it too.

Do you know Helmet Cameras? Have you ever wanted to capture your best rides on camera? Check out this Special Deal for Aspire Equestrian clients!

This post is NOT an advertorial. I have no commission or any other financial gains from this deal which is offered to riders who are training or have been involved with Aspire Equestrian’s clinics, virtual coaching, events, shadow training events etc. 

Dear Riders

As some of you will know my long term mission is to help amateur riders get the most out of their training and lessons. I am therefore always on the lookout for ways to bring you something of value, something that will help you with your progress, motivation and enjoyment. Something that matches Aspire values of quality education, passion for amateur equestrian sport and living life to the full.

I think this deal should tick all the boxes!

HeadCamz – http://www.hedcamz.com/ – is offering from 10% OFF on their head cameras to all Aspire Equestrian riders who would like to capture their life on the go 🙂

HedCamz
HedCamz “are crazy about helmet cameras, head cameras, action cameras, sports cameras, bullet cams….call them what you like….we love them!
HEDCAMz sources some of the best high quality HD (high definition) wearable camcorders available on the market today and are proud to be associated with the leading brands. “

Continue reading Do you know Helmet Cameras? Have you ever wanted to capture your best rides on camera? Check out this Special Deal for Aspire Equestrian clients!

11 Thoughts on Teaching Children to Ride Aspire Equestrian Style

teaching kids to ride
Aspire’s new website: http://www.aspireequestrianacademy.com/

Today I will share with you 11 thoughts on teaching children to ride.  The thing I enjoy the most about giving lessons to kids is their imagination. Unrestricted, unspoilt, free mind. I feel we can learn a lot from that as adults.

Here are some of my “rules” when teaching 6 to 9 year old pony mad kids:

1) I get the child to help me prepare the pony for first lesson. Especially, when they are afraid of ponies. It lets  me show them how to groom and tack up the pony. From my experience most kids love doing it.

2) I teach them basic pony body language before they get on.

3) I let them just feel the movement of the pony first before letting them touch the reins. I always start on the lunge or lead rein doing various exercises to get the child to feel happy in the saddle and connected with the pony.

sofija3
http://www.aspireequestrianacademy.com/

4) I always teach sitting trot first. Most children, if not scared or tense, will follow the movement of the pony’s back beautifully.

Continue reading 11 Thoughts on Teaching Children to Ride Aspire Equestrian Style

Aspire Weekend Blogger Challenge: Comments on Suzie & Echo’s Video Blog. How to improve weak upper body.

Suzie is the second brave rider who entered Aspire’s Virtual Coaching challenge this passed weekend and she has a quite subtle issue which she finds is hindering her ability to work on straightness in her mare, Echo.

Suzie wrote: “[…]So here we are – Echo is back in full work again and much more comfortable after her back injections. She is feeling good, which is making me even more determined to get my own position sorted out. I don’t think my position is horrendous, but I have a real issue with keeping my core straight and therefore I have problems keeping Echo straight too. My right hip is really inflexible and tends to clamp to the side of her, then I find it difficult to get enough weight in my left seatbone. I am working on the right hip flexibility, doing exercises on and off the horse, but I really don’t know how to straighten my upper body and be stronger through my core.

We are only hacking now and I will be doing all of my schooling out hacking. As of next week, we will have more varied terrain to hack on, rather than just roads. Echo has a weak right hind, so we are doing lots of pole work to build this up, but any ideas about how to sort out my position would be much appreciated.[…] Full post by Suzie together with the video where she illustrates her problem can be found on her blog here: http://diaryofayounghorse.blogspot.com/2013/08/aspire-equestrian-monthly-virtual.html

PROBLEM ANALYSIS using still frames from the video

Hello Suzie!

I’m glad to have had such a good timing for you 🙂 I hope you will find these comments useful.

To drill into your issue and come up with a plan that will help you work on something that I know you had battled with for a long time, I had a look at how exactly your body absorbs Echo’s motion. You can follow my “thought process”  by observing the below frames:

Suzie posture in walk

Continue reading Aspire Weekend Blogger Challenge: Comments on Suzie & Echo’s Video Blog. How to improve weak upper body.