Category Archives: 2014 ASPIRE EQUESTRIAN

London riders – places on Aspire programmes are coming to you :)

***Apologies for those of you who are waiting for Part 5 of the Gift Guide! I am on limited internet at the moment so uploading the pages is tricky! It will be up as soon as possible!***

Caitlin on Tilly
Trial lesson at a London yard. Caitlin on Foundation programme.

In the last few months I have been receiving more and more enquiries from London based riders who for one reason or the other can’t make the journey for Reading lessons. The challenge was on to find a place that would be accessible by public transport, had at least 2 to 3 horses available for share or loan, had an all-weather arena plus ideally some field riding and hacking and also be do-able for me to travel to regularly.

Having tried a couple of places and them not meeting the criteria, this weekend myself and a couple of my lovely clients tried a little yard not very far from a hub of public transport at Ealing Broadway. The initial trial went well so we are setting off with several places available from December 2014 🙂 More information will be included in our Newsletter tomorrow and details are available via email at aspire@outlook.com.

I will continue to search for more opportunities in and near London so if you don’t manage to get a place at this yard, rest assured I am on the case! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or email any time 🙂 Wiola

Emma Z
Trial lesson at a London yard. Emma on Development Programme on a newly backed youngster.

 

Photo updates from some of the Aspire training sessions – September edition

For all of you who don’t visit us on Facebook but enjoy following other riders’ training adventures, here are some photo updates from some of the training sessions in September so far 🙂

 September: good balance is a moment in time. It is up to the rider to help the horse find that balance and then it is up to the horse to keep it. Joker is now able to keep a good posture for several strides and Helen is becoming much more tuned in to his balance changes. The earlier the rider can detect the loss of balance is about to happen, the more they can help the horse regain it and the more willing the horse will be to maintain it. Good balance changes the horse visually from ungainly to athletic. Achieving this with patient gymnastic work and thorough rider training takes time but is incredibly rewarding for everybody involved

September: good balance is a moment in time. It is up to the rider to help the horse find that balance and then it is up to the horse to keep it. Joker is now able to keep a good posture for several strides and Helen is becoming much more tuned in to his balance changes. The earlier the rider can detect the loss of balance is about to happen, the more they can help the horse regain it and the more willing the horse will be to maintain it. Good balance changes the horse visually from ungainly to athletic. Achieving this with patient gymnastic work and thorough rider training takes time but is incredibly rewarding for everybody involved 🙂 

 September: Caitlin walking Sox back to his field after her lesson

September: Caitlin walking Sox back to his field after her lesson 🙂 

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September: Second to last session on Start programme for Nigel who decided riding is rather fun and will be moving on to a progressive introduction to Foundation programme! I’m delighted with Nigel’s progress today 🙂

 September: little bareback bonding walk for Jordan and Sox at the end of their session.

September: little bareback bonding walk for Jordan and Sox at the end of their session.

 September: step-by-step rein back to teach a crooked horse how to shift his body weight on rider's cues. The poles help the handler and the horse to maintain a straight line and prevent the horse from swinging his hindquarters sideways and avoid joint flexion.

September: step-by-step rein back to teach a crooked horse how to shift his body weight on rider’s cues. The poles help the handler and the horse to maintain a straight line and prevent the horse from swinging his hindquarters sideways and avoid joint flexion.

September: Caitlin getting to know Sox and having a go at the lesson in an open field for the first time to encourage her to ride with purpose, plan all turns well in advance, appreciate balance changes in the horse and the rider and enjoy the feeling of freedom that riding out of the arena adds to training  Foundation Programme.
September: Caitlin getting to know Sox and having a go at the lesson in an open field for the first time to encourage her to ride with purpose, plan all turns well in advance, appreciate balance changes in the horse and the rider and enjoy the feeling of freedom that riding out of the arena adds to training Foundation Programme.

September: Helen working Joker on the lunge to improve his lateral suppleness. His body is becoming more and more athletic with each week and when they are both focused and listening to each other, some decently bent circles are starting to happen :)
September: Helen working Joker on the lunge to improve his lateral suppleness. His body is becoming more and more athletic with each week and when they are both focused and listening to each other, some decently bent circles are starting to happen 🙂

 September: Jordan and Sox working on rhythm, balance and directions. Fabulous session with the rider finding the right buttons to motivate Sox and building a great working relationship with him. This is Jordan's beginnings at Foundation Programme and there are many more challenges to come !

September: Jordan and Sox working on rhythm, balance and directions. Fabulous session with the rider finding the right buttons to motivate Sox and building a great working relationship with him. This is Jordan’s beginnings at Foundation Programme and there are many more challenges to come !

 September: Learning canter aids, their meaning, timings and first canter off the lunge for Caitlin. We started today with Caitlin lunging Star in canter herself to observe the sequence of the horse's legs, when they hit the ground and how fast. We also did some fun exercises involving skipping to build the feel for synchronising own hip and legs motion with that of the horse

September: Learning canter aids, their meaning, timings and first canter off the lunge for Caitlin. We started today with Caitlin lunging Star in canter herself to observe the sequence of the horse’s legs, when they hit the ground and how fast. We also did some fun exercises involving skipping to build the feel for synchronising own hip and legs motion with that of the horse

September: Casually supervising Caitlin on Foundation Programme who now gets the horse ready for lessons by herself. Many horse owners would take that little bonding time with their horse for granted but for once-a-week riders it's a wonderful way to get to know the horse, warm up gently while grooming and build relationship with the animal  :)
September: Casually supervising Caitlin on Foundation Programme who now gets the horse ready for lessons by herself. Many horse owners would take that little bonding time with their horse for granted but for once-a-week riders it’s a wonderful way to get to know the horse, warm up gently while grooming and build relationship with the animal 🙂

September: I like adding lunge sessions on all the programmes as it helps the rider focus on what they feel while I partially take over the "riding". Today we are working on feel for position of the horse's shoulders and understanding how rider's weight aids and rein aids help with balance in the corners. Many thanks to Helen for taking the pics!
September: I like adding lunge sessions on all the programmes as it helps the rider focus on what they feel while I partially take over the “riding”. Today we are working on feel for position of the horse’s shoulders and understanding how rider’s weight aids and rein aids help with balance in the corners.
Many thanks to Helen for taking the pics!

September: Dual purpose session for Moira mixing unsupported riding with some lunge workout! Calm walking around a large field is great to settle rider's nerves and feel how "zen mind" of the rider calms the horse in the process too  Many thanks to Helen for taking the pics!
September: Dual purpose session for Moira mixing unsupported riding with some lunge workout! Calm walking around a large field is great to settle rider’s nerves and feel how “zen mind” of the rider calms the horse in the process too
Many thanks to Helen for taking the pics!

September: Most Coordinated Rider of the Month award goes to Isabella who did my "cycling" and reversed arms circling exercise right from the word go in both walk and trot. Sorry to all my other riders who still struggle with this  It's a great exercise for learning independence throughout the seat i.e. being able to use arm/hand without tension in the leg and vice versa
September: Most Coordinated Rider of the Month award goes to Isabella who did my “cycling” and reversed arms circling exercise right from the word go in both walk and trot. Sorry to all my other riders who still struggle with this
It’s a great exercise for learning independence throughout the seat i.e. being able to use arm/hand without tension in the leg and vice versa

 September: Caitlin making a great job of transition work today and rising trot without stirrups (not pictured here).

September: Caitlin making a great job of transition work today and rising trot without stirrups (not pictured here).

September: The Most Entrepreneurial Rider Award of this week goes to Gary Thorpe. Gary is on my Start Programme which means his lessons are on the lunge while he learns to control his balance and builds body awareness on a horse. I rarely lunge on repetitive circle and today decided to give Gary an experience of "whole arena" riding since we worked on surface where lunging is not allowed (repetitive circles damage the surface). To be able to do this I had to walk, jog and run with him as and when needed. And so a little conversation emerged:  Wiola: "That's how I keep fit!" Gary: "Well, I think I will start charging you for personal training sessions"  I am thinking next session will be on a circle ;)
September: The Most Entrepreneurial Rider Award of this week goes to Gary Thorpe. Gary is on my Start Programme which means his lessons are on the lunge while he learns to control his balance and builds body awareness on a horse. I rarely lunge on repetitive circle and today decided to give Gary an experience of “whole arena” riding since we worked on surface where lunging is not allowed (repetitive circles damage the surface). To be able to do this I had to walk, jog and run with him as and when needed. And so a little conversation emerged:
Wiola: “That’s how I keep fit!”
Gary: “Well, I think I will start charging you for personal training sessions”
I am thinking next session will be on a circle 😉

September: a little (big) pony love :)
September: a little (big) pony love 🙂

September: Caitlin and Isabella walking back to the stables after a really good (albeit a little exciting!) training session today. Can you tell it's autumn?
September: Caitlin and Isabella walking back to the stables after a really good (albeit a little exciting!) training session today. Can you tell it’s autumn?

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September: Jordan is rather lucky in that his fiance is a qualified horse therapist so all horses he rides get a short after training massage (and they all love it!). All horses used for learner – riders really benefit from periodical physio sessions because they are having to compensate for rider’s imbalance and inexperience.

September: Warming up with a long walk on longer rein gives the horse and rider an opportunity to get to know each other, for the horse to relax into the working mode and well, find out the weaknesses of the rider so they can be taken advantage of
September: Warming up with a long walk on longer rein gives the horse and rider an opportunity to get to know each other, for the horse to relax into the working mode and well, find out the weaknesses of the rider so they can be taken advantage of

 September: groundwork with Joker prior to getting on. His reactions and focus are getting better with each session.

September: Jordan meeting his new training partner on Foundation Programme

 September: groundwork with Joker prior to getting on. His reactions and focus are getting better with each session.

September: groundwork with Joker prior to getting on. His reactions and focus are getting better with each session.

September: Helen and Joker slowly building the quality of the their work. We can now manage a few steps at a time without neck tension and Helen is doing pretty well too  :)
September: Helen and Joker slowly building the quality of the their work. We can now manage a few steps at a time without neck tension and Helen is doing pretty well too 🙂

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September: Moira making the most of the beautiful September afternoon – first session at new little Hampshire base 🙂

1st September! Probably the the most demanding riding fitness session for Nigel today! All exercises completed
1st September! Probably the the most demanding riding fitness session for Nigel today! All exercises completed

 Last days of Aug: Caitlin - early canter training. Here on the lunge developing balance and feel for own posture. Serious bonus points for my little rider today for being brave and trusting her own hard-worked balance!

Last days of Aug: Caitlin – early canter training. Here on the lunge developing balance and feel for own posture. Serious bonus points for my little rider today for being brave and trusting her own hard-worked balance!

Little peak into…

I’m sitting here having just finished the next Aspire’s newsletter – all fresh and ready to go out tomorrow morning.

newsletter peak

If you are subscribed already look out for it in your inbox in the morning! This will be the 3rd little newsletter leaving Aspire’s press quarters and we now have over 120 readers from various countries – any feedback will be much appreciated so future newsletters can be more and more useful If you have not signed up yet, head over to our microsite here: http://aspir1.wix.com/aspireequestrian2014 and add yourself on 🙂

All the best,

Wiola

Introducing: our new little training base!

Those of you who are signed up to Aspire’s newsletter (you can sign up HERE) will have known by now that last month a great opportunity came about to base some of the Aspire coaching activities at a small yard near Reading. The yard is still in the process of being developed to its full advantages by the new manager but it will be ready very soon.

I had been looking for such opportunity for years so I am delighted to finally be able to invite the riders for “home” clinics and coaching rather than always travel away. There will be many exciting training options available and I will be releasing the news via this blog and Aspire social media channels as well as adding development pictures and first hand information via the newsletter.

newyard

 

It’s always been my mission for Aspire coaching to deliver best possible rider-centred coaching with understanding of training for wellbeing of the horse and create a learning space where sport meets horsemanship…This is a next step towards making those goals better and better 🙂 Stay tuned!

Wiola

 

Exclusive content, first hand news and offers plus video tutorials await :)

Hello Just a quick one to say that Aspire Equestrian’s little newsletters are now out there in the cyber space and if you too would like to receive our exclusive content, video tutorials, answers to training questions and be informed of any exciting news and offers in first instance then pop over to our microsite http://aspir1.wix.com/aspireequestrian2014 , scroll down a tiny bit and add your email into the box 🙂

Bare with me as I make it better and better and more and more useful with each one!

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Check this out if you would like to get away for a few days and spend them with horses…

It’s my great pleasure to invite anyone who feels like spending several days doing nothing but the horses to the second Aspire GetAway to La Fiaba in Tuscany, Italy…

If you would like to wake up and start your day from bringing horses from the field, feed them and groom them; if you would like to follow this up with half a day over challenging Tuscan countryside, rider technique focused lessons, sessions on your body awareness and feel as a rider as well as use video feedback to help you progress – you might just love to check it out 🙂

Click HERE or the image below for full details:

September Aspire getaway Poster

Surprise, Surprise! Second Aspire GetAway: September 2014!

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It’s official! We are giving it a go and jumping into the 2nd Aspire GetAway bootcamp of 2014 🙂 If you couldn’t make the June trip and really wanted to go, here is your second chance!

Following feedback from the first tour, some upgrades and improvements will be made on this upcoming trip so hopefully the service will be better and better with each time we GetAway 🙂

The idea is simple: breathe, live, ride horses. The focus is on learning, improvement and plenty of fun. 

There are very limited riding places available with 3 currently reserved and 2 up for grabs so please contact Wiola on aspire@outlook.com for full details and booking conditions. Non-riding companions welcome!

To get more feel for what to expect see our June video below (plenty of photos from the June trip can be found HERE)

 

So You Want to Improve Your Sitting Trot? Try this :) [plus voucher for Aspire blog readers]

So you want to improve your sitting trot?

Perhaps there is another pesky seat issue you just can’t seem to get right? Maybe you have a young horse or one with sensitive back and you would like to improve your balance and technique?

Check out our seat bootcamp sessions offer below! Come by yourself or get together with a small group of friends from the yard and boost your riding this summer All levels and ages (11+) welcome. These sessions are fun, educational and often enlightening and are suitable to improve your seat for dressage, jumping and just-for-pleasure riding (hacking, schooling at home etc).

simulator

All Aspire NewsBook readers who would like to purchase the session(s) please mention “Aspire NewsBook Special Offer” when booking to claim £5 OFF the total fee per person. 

If you are not familiar with how the sessions might look like, please read more about mechanical horse training on HERE or have a look at the couple of videos below:

 

Anyone welcome 🙂

Calling horse owners in London, Berkshire, Surrey – Aspire lessons going mobile

As some of you will know, the Aspire courses have been mainly venues based and non horse owners focused in the last three months and we know that some of you found the distance to Reading too much to travel. Starting from today (6th June 2014) we are much more mobile and available for regular lessons in many areas of London, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent (Orpington) and who knows, maybe somewhere where you are too 🙂

Give Wiola a ring, book your trial lesson now and start a very aspirational summer this year 😀

If you share our training values for grassroots riders and would like to help us to spread the word, please feel free to print out the below poster and pin it at your yard, tack shop, feed shop or just forward the link to this post to your friends. 

berks and london