Every year since Emma Brinkworth took over the livery business at Brackenhill Stud, she opens its doors with a bit more of a shebang to celebrate past achievements and future opportunities in what is possibly one of the most challenging, demanding, overwhelmingly stressful yet also incredibly rewarding job in the equestrian industry (as any livery yard owner or manager will sure know!).
Having been based on site for the last couple of years I became very fond of the place and even though I continue looking for a full on base for the Academy, Brackenhill Stud will always be very special to me.
We have some exciting new training opportunities planned in the coming year so do come and snoop around 🙂 Grab a chair and sit down for a chat or just take a walk, buy some tack from the table tack shop sale, win a MINI, win something in Tombola – you know the drill!
I will be around too if you would like to know more about training stays with me at Brackenhill so give me a txt or a ring if you can’t find me 🙂
On 23-25 May 2014 we will be running Aspire Grassroots clinic near Warsaw, Poland. It turns out that there will be horses available for outside riders to borrow for training so if you after a weekend riding adventure please feel invited and give Wiola a call on +44 7438 758 217.
The format will be that of usual Aspire clinic – 2 hour private sessions on each day. Accommodation and food will be taken care of so all you need to do is to book your flights (only 1.5h from London).
As the Aspire Intensive Training Day on Saturday 23rd got booked up pretty much on the spot by my regular riders, I decided to offer Sunday 24th as well in case there were more all-weather aspiring riders looking for full-on, fun training that weekend 🙂
As always, both non horse owners and owners, novice and advanced riders are very welcome. You can bring your own horse for one or two sessions whilst also having access to a different hired horse in order to practice and develop your feel.
Training will take place at Cullinghood Equestrian Centre where we will have access to equine simulator and which we will use in the opening session (after tea/coffee and a chat of course 🙂 to work on rider’s technique, position and balance.
I will include links at the bottom of this post from previous sessions in case you are not sure what to expect from this work.
You can also search this blog for “rider training” for more information on our approach and teaching methods.
All levels are welcome, including beginner riders or advanced riders looking into improving specific issue with their training. I focus on long term effects and as such don’t teach quick fixes to problems. The aim of Aspire training is to find a path of progression individual to each rider.
The off horse session is focused on balance and body awareness and it’s a fun, creative and interactive lesson that encourages you to use your strengths in order to combat your weaknesses.
Elements of all your lessons will be filmed – we use video feedback extensively to help riders correct their riding as well as understand what happens in the horse’s body and how it affects their way of going.
This November weekend will be limited places weekend with maximum of 4 riders on the day (max 2 in ridden training). It is possible to book both days (with a discount) and it is also possible to stay overnight, feel free to contact me any time for more details.
There is 1 space left on Saturday 23rd and 4 on Sunday 24th.
As always, all questions about Aspire training are welcome and I am happy to chat with you to make sure it’s something you are looking for.
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?
“Don’t worry, you don’t need to do it perfectly, it’s not like we are aiming at Olympics”
When I hear such statements being said to riders I feel both sad and incredibly motivated to carry on with my work. We are creatures of beliefs even more so than creatures of habits. When we believe in something (the deep down kind of belief, not the verbal “yes, I sure can do this” kind of belief), we adjust our habits, actions, tactics and goals to those beliefs. And they are funny things you know, they develop in us from an early age and are shaped by everything and everyone around us. Smallest daily occurrences, big events and everything in between wires our brains into an intricate pattern of unique being. Before we know it, we believe we do, can, make it happen or not…
A few days ago I received an email enquiry from a rider interested in my lessons. I read with interest about issues the rider has with her horse and then I arrived at the sentence concluding the enquiry. The person writing had heard I work a lot on the rider, their position and way of riding and wanted to make sure this wouldn’t be the case with her as she wanted to work mainly on the horse.
This email made me think of other riders who perhaps think the same so I would like to clarify a few things. Although I do put a lot of emphasis on rider’s seat it is not at all to achieve a pretty picture. In fact, my increasing interest in posture and seat of the rider has very little to do with visual outcome. My greatest fascination with rider’s biomechanics is due to an incredible effect a correct body use can (and does) have on communication with any horse.
The riders really enjoyed the mechanical horse sessions and the value of those has surprised me. We were able to pinpoint several interesting points to work on in all riders and then work on those in real life situation on horses these riders never sat on before. Superb tool as far as seat work is concerned as it allows the instructor to observe the rider in a way they would not be able to do otherwise.
Aspire training availability for the next couple of months Please feel free to share and spread the word about Aspire intensive training opportunities for both non-horse owners and owners out there.
General outline of Aspire coaching weekends can be found on here: http://issuu.com/aspireeq/docs/aspirecoachingweekends2013/1 but individual & weekday training requirements welcome.
Available: Nationwide & Europe.