Category Archives: Aspire Equestrian E-Academy (Virtual Coaching)

ASPIRE’s MONTHLY BLOGGERS CHALLENGE – CHRISTMAS SPECIAL….

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LOCATION INDEPENDENT. ANYONE CAN ENTER. Intensive Training Day offer can only be used in the UK. Photo model: Flirting with Destiny owned by our lovely Guest Blogger: Candace!

If you would like me to cast an eye on a problem you are having with your riding and give you a mini-training plan to work on the issue, be brave and do the following:

STEP 1

  • film 1-2 min of clear footage of one issue you would like a training plan for
  • embed it on your blog in a post titled “Aspire Equestrian Monthly Virtual Training Challenge – Christmas Special” and a short description of what you are trying to achieve and what you are doing on the problem right now.
  • send me a link to your blog post as a comment to this post

I will comment on your blog with a thorough feedback and a mini training plan. 

STEP 2

You can then pick a friend with whom you can claim your Christmas Special Offer: 1 MONTH FREE OF ASPIRE VIRTUAL COACHING FOR BOTH OF YOU! (to be used any time before the end of February 2014) and £50 OFF an Aspire Intensive Training Day in 2014 for each of you*.

Be brave :) Bloggers must enter the challenge before 24th December 10pm London, UK time.

All levels and problems welcome. 

* blogger who publicly blogs about their training via Aspire Virtual Coaching programme and a friend will receive £50 OFF full fee when they book Aspire Intensive Training Day (location: Berkshire UK). Normal Intensive Training Day’s fee: £200 per rider per day. The offer can be claimed any time between Aug – Dec 2014. 

SEE PREVIOUS BLOGGER CHALLENGES HERE:

https://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/category/weekend-bloggers-challenge-2013/

Don’t know what to expect from an Intensive Training Day? Watch our little video preview to Aspire 2014 coaching 🙂

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: https://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.

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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!

ASPIRE’s MONTHLY WEEKEND BLOGGERS CHALLENGE – AUGUST

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The Aspire monthly bloggers challenge is here again! Here are the rules for the weekend 🙂 

If you would like me to cast an eye on a problem you are having with your riding and give you a mini-training plan to work on the issue, be brave and do the following:

  • film 1-2 min of clear footage of one issue you would like a training plan for
  • embed it on your blog in a post titled “Aspire Equestrian Monthly Virtual Training Challenge – August” and a short description of what you are trying to achieve and what you are doing on the problem right now.
  • send me a link to your blog post as a comment to this post

I will comment on your blog with a thorough feedback and a mini training plan.
Be brave 🙂 Offer expires 12th August 10pm London, UK time. All levels and problems welcome. 

(but I will run it again next month if you need time to gather your courage 🙂

AFTERTHOUGHT 

Alchemy Eventing’s comment made me think…When wondering what problem you would like to work on, be open minded. Look at yourself riding with a fresh eye, there are many basic things that can be made better and once corrected, cause less issues with more advanced elements.

There are many training issues that can be worked on in walk (like better feel for contact, improved perception of back motion, use of your psoas/abdominal muscles for better posture, arm suppleness…etc). Same goes for your horse. If you currently ride with less intensity, there might be ways to improve your sessions too – look beyond obvious 🙂

How to get the most out of your your riding videos. Part 1: How, What and With What to Video!

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I’ve never been a greatly talented rider and had to work hard to develop my own skills. To this day I learn best by feel because this is how I learnt in my early days when nobody who taught me knew how to explain what to do to improve for example your seat in sitting trot or canter.

At 14 I saw a local instructor who was cantering his horse in the arena and I remember being amazed that he did not bounce an inch. I was determined to be able to do so too so would go in a field with a horse and would canter forever for weeks on end until I could get that absolute feeling of being connected to the saddle. I dread to think back now what these poor horses had to go through with me but to this day, to learn something I like to be described how it feels so I can seek that feel.

I also watched plenty of videos, shows, other instructors and can appreciate the educational help this provides.

Whatever way you learn best, you can significantly upgrade your skills via visual feedback. This 3 part series will hopefully help you get the most out of one the least expensive, fabulous training aid out there:  video analysis.

HOW TO FILM & WITH WHAT for USEFUL FEEDBACK?

Continue reading How to get the most out of your your riding videos. Part 1: How, What and With What to Video!

My New Horse

My New Horse

A very special extended training option for all riders with a new addition to their family.
AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE.

It can be daunting to form a good relationship with your new horse. This programme will help you get to know your horse/pony better, understand what to look for in its conformation to aid your schooling, understand hoofcare, way of going, how to put together training plans for you and your horse regardless your level (novice riders welcome!), how to work on your posture to improve your seat and effectiveness in the saddle and many more.
If you share Aspire’s values and like what we do please feel free to print the poster out and put it up at your yard, share or email it to your friends and get the enthusiasm for horse friendly, rider-centred training growing.

I am always happy to answer any questions or just chat about the programme without any obligations – email me (Wiola) any time at aspire @ outlook.com

Here are examples of feedback from riders who trained with Aspire Equestrian E-Academy:

Corinna & Bentley

Nicoline & Panache

Francesca & Chagall

So you would love to train with video feedback but have no-one to film you? Introducing: TRAINING FRIENDS

Training Friends Option
AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE. Aspire Equestrian’s new virtual coaching option for riders who would love to progress but would like to share costs and experience with someone doing it all too. All components of usual E-Academy training apply here: http://issuu.com/aspireeq/docs/aspiree-academy/1

From talking to the riders training with me on Aspire virtual programme I realised they can struggle with support from fellow riders or simply have nobody with similar goals to ask for help with filming for a few minutes or to do the off-horse exercises with, have a laugh, cry, share the whole experience, enjoy the ups and downs…

Continue reading So you would love to train with video feedback but have no-one to film you? Introducing: TRAINING FRIENDS

This is Why I do It…- Hugely Rewarding Feedback from California

Update on website link (please ignore links on photos, we have a new URL 🙂 ) – check it here: E-Academy: Aspire Equestrian Virtual Coaching Club

Last night I received a wonderful feedback from a rider who won 2 weeks of my virtual coaching via a competition organised by Hay Net.  The rider very kindly agreed for me to share it publicly. I don’t normally do less than a month long programmes because with my attention to detail it would be too much to cram into shorter time but I amended it all slightly and Corinna stood up to the challenge 🙂

I did my feedback as always when I do it for my monthly clients and enjoyed working with Corinna and Bentley very much. I did not, however, expect the amazing email she sent at the end. I put a lot of effort into educating myself, my eye for detail, for deeper hidden causes of easily visible symptoms. To be able to help riders as a result of that is hugely rewarding.

Over to Corinna…

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Corinna and Bentley on one of the photos she sent over prior to me putting together her training plan.

Hi Wiola,

Well it looks like I have come to the end of our 2 week virtual training with you! I cannot even express what a fantastic and wonderful experience it has been for us!

My trainer here in California is focused purely on show performance, so it was very valuable to me to be able to ask you detailed questions about Bentley’s health, hooves, movement, personality, etc. without being concerned that it would annoy you. I have been so impressed with your knowledge of horse and human biomechanics, and I have been sharing your insights with everyone. Continue reading This is Why I do It…- Hugely Rewarding Feedback from California

Manic Monday :)

I had an interesting subject to write about today but! I worked until really late yesterday, woke up late to a great email from Kent which will hopefully mean an Aspire coaching day(s) or weekend(s) at an exciting new venue.

Attempt at breakfast failed as empty fridge and shelves didn’t cooperate so food shopping had to be done. My plan was to start working on August and September diary which I did (phew! something went according to plan) but then ended up editing videos for the Video Library for longer than I anticipated, then ran to do more filming in the afternoon and Monday disappeared!  So, a bit of a manic day 🙂

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Filming for Aspire Video Library – 22 July 2013.

 Oh, did I mention that the battery in my camcorder ran out half way? Yep. I love Mondays really 🙂

What lifts You and Keeps You Balanced in Rising (Posting) Trot? (plus Video Exercise)

Let’s start with an experiment. [if you do it please leave a comment sharing how it felt:) ]

Exercise: It will only take you 2 minutes. You can sit on the floor or on your bed. Sit on your heels, upper body straight. Take your arms to your sides and move up so your are kneeling. Repeat 3-4 times. Do it side by side with a mirror if you can or rest your phone somewhere so you can film yourself doing this. Then, read on and see video at the bottom of this post 🙂 And share your views!

Exercise 1
Exercise: Sit on your heels, upper body straight. Take your arms to your sides and move up so your are kneeling. Do it side by side with a mirror if you can or rest your phone somewhere so you can film yourself doing this. Then, see video at the bottom of this post 🙂 And share your views!

Let’s have a think now…

In basketball, there is a clear difference between bouncing the ball up and down against the floor, and throwing it up and forward on a nice arch so it goes through the net. Different body position and use of limbs, back, shoulders, fingers must be assumed for either.

In equestrian, in rising [or posting] trot, there is a similar difference between an up and down rise when we use the bounce of the horse plus push from the stirrups or forward and up rise & sit when hips of the rider travel on an arch and we lift our body without changing neutral spine posture. Different use of back, abdominal muscles, hips, feet and..thighs.

So, which way is the right way, and why?

You might think, hey I’ve been doing rising trot for so long I don’t even remember when and how I learnt it but if you have issues with your horse’s forwardness, impulsion, straightness, back roundedness, connection back to front, consistency of contact to name just a few, stay for a little longer, it would be great to hear your views!

Over the last 20 years I taught over 14.000 complete beginners or novice riders to ride (I am actually slightly overwhelmed by this number as I decided to under calculate it as not to exaggerate!) and sadly, half of those I would have taught by an up-and-down mantra. In 1997 I came across Centred Riding and changed my ways slowly until I was able to eliminate the need for up-and-down instruction from my teaching vocabulary.

Why?

Rising by using your back, upper body motion and/or by pushing up from stirrups (standing up on them) has a huge effect on rider’s ability to stabilise own body, achieve independent hand, encourage free, forward movement in the horse, use their lower legs independently of upper legs, ask for greater collection later in training and the list goes on.

Random freeze frames

I typed in You Tube: ‘my horse riding lessons’ . Below are random freeze frames from some public videos showing what most of us assume is a stage “we all have to go through”. But do we really?

upanddown

rising trot bad 1
To make things worse these frames are from a video titled: how to ride posting trot. You need to be very selective in what you watch if you are a novice rider seeking to learn on You Tube…

Continue reading What lifts You and Keeps You Balanced in Rising (Posting) Trot? (plus Video Exercise)