Category Archives: Aspire News

LOGO DESIGN CONTEST/CHALLENGE – create an update for our logo!

Dear Creative People out there 🙂

I am looking to update the Academy’s logo with an image/illustration that would look awesome across various media as well as rider wear, horse wear and accessories…

Apparently this is what everybody wants but I am looking for a memorable, strong, simple yet powerful symbol to add to current logo (please see below).

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A LITTLE BRIEF

Name of the logo: Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy
The industry/business type: Equestrian grassroots sports coaching/amateur sports coaching

Who are our clients aka target audience
Horse riders and owners who like to train, progress and/or compete with horse’s wellness in mind

Horse riders and owners who believe they too are athletes whatever the level and participate in this sport accordingly.

Horse riders and owners who are open minded, always wanting to learn more, always striving to be the best they can be (whatever the level/discipline/abilities)

Tagline: “For dreamers and hard workers” (not looking into adding this to the logo though)

Structure of the Academy: There are 4 main programmes – Start (colour code Green), Foundation (Colour Code Deep Red), Development (Colour Code Navy) and Performance (Colour Code Black) + Instructor Training (Colour Code Yellow).

Start is fully on the lunge and focused on seat training, Foundation is an all-round-have-fun-with-horses-whilst learning to ride training, Development is where we learn how to school the horse as our training/riding partner and Performance is where we go out and test the knowledge and skills in grassroots competitions environment.

Other info

I would like the logo to highlight the progressive, structured adventure in riding training at lower levels; to be memorable, strong, simple, suggesting quality/progress/”study in training”, easy to use on different media and products.

Nothing cheesy please 😉

WHAT NOW

If you think you have an idea for Aspire’s logo update, please email Wiola at aspire@outlook.com with the following:

  1. Your project
  2. Your fee (please read on before submitting your project)
  3. Any other questions email away 🙂

If there are few good projects submitted then I will do an open contest on here and other Aspire’s social media making sure all designers are mentioned by name/website to offer exposure of your services.

I will let readers, riders and friends to vote to see which logo is most popular. Winning logo will be chosen shortly after voting is closed. The choice stays in my hands.

The winning logo receives:

  • 1 year banner on Aspire blog and website for the creator’s services. Banner can be designed by the creator.
  • small ££ payment (details by email)
  • promotion across all Aspire’s social media channels

Help create something unique and be the part of Aspire Equestrian’s training adventures 🙂 

Thank you!

Wiola

***NEW*** ASPIRE COACHING LIVERY in collaboration with BRACKENHILL STUD

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This project has been brewing behind the scenes for quite some time now and I am delighted to finally share the news with you all!

From August 2015, I am teaming up with Brackenhill Stud in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire to bring an exciting new service to aspiring amateur riders.

This collaboration opens up an opportunity to like minded riders with own horses to livery and train in one place where there are fabulous facilities and a friendly and supportive group of other aspiring riders. You can join Brackenhill livery long term or come on bespoke programme basis for a few months of intensive coaching, motivation and inspiration 🙂

Please see Aspire website for more information on the coaching side of the project: Aspire Equestrian Coaching Livery with Brackenhill Stud and the Brackenhill Stud’s website for more information about the yard.

And here is a little video showing you the yard and the kind of training options available. We hope this 7min ish footage will help you decide whether our service is that something you are potentially looking for!

The Coaching Livery will work on the basis of Aspire programmes and riders across all levels are welcome. In short: 

Start Programme – it’s a lunge training based programme of 12 to 14 weeks which focuses on the seat of the rider, communication, basic in-hand work and groundwork.

Foundation Programme – novice/intermediate level riders, all-round, general coaching towards being a confident and sympathetic rider and horse person.

Development Programme – riders who focus their training on progression of not only oneself but also on athletic development of the horse. Intermediate to Advanced level, confident in all paces and able to make a difference to horse’s way of going thanks to own competence. Focus is 80% on training at home and max 20% on competition schedule.

Performance Programme – coaching for riders who train to compete. I personally focus on lower to medium levels (BE Novice, BS to 1.20m and Dressage to Elementary/Medium). My emphasis is on style, sympathetic communication with the horse and overall performance not simply on results.

Feel free to email Wiola at aspire@outlook.com with any questions you might have and please share this news with any riders who you think might want to join us for no gadgets, aspirational and inspirational training environment with many exciting plans ahead!

All the best,

Wiola

NOT TO BE MISSED :) One training space available on Aspire Development Programme in London

JASPER From mid May 2015 I will have 1 training space available for a rider wanting to train at Development Programme level (good basic seat and learning to school the horse sympathetically) on a lovely, young cob. Location: West London (near Ealing Broadway). Training time: Saturdays. Adorable horse, 16hh gelding, very easy to do, quality show cob in the making. Great opportunity for someone who loves to train regularly and is after consistency, progress and “own horse” experience 🙂 As usual, minimum 3 months coaching and weekly horse share commitment required (but longer preferable for this lovely chap). How it works: http://www.aspireequestrianacademy.com/#!riding-programmes-for-non-owners/czxg For more details please email Wiola at aspire@outlook.com Funny video of Jasper last month:

UPDATE 25 April 2015

Jasper is now taken following a successful assessment of the rider who is now joining us on Development programme 🙂 Wishing you wonderful time with Jasper, Indra!

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Talking to The Gait Post about inspirations, motivations, international experiences and the Aspire Academy :)

The GaitPostThe lovely Sarah from The Gait Post invited me for an interview for her great website and here is the result! If you read my answers to Sarah’s questions and would like to add yours please leave a comment below, I would love to know what you think 🙂

Here is a link to my interview but do check all the others too, great read!  http://www.thegaitpost.com/wiola-grabowska/

All the best,

Wiola

My little mention in today’s Horse and Hound – if you struggle with no arena this winter, check it out :)

Horse and HoundHaving no arena is seen as a huge disadvantage for many riders who want to carry on training and riding through the autumn and winter months (or even through very wet spring/summer!). And indeed it can be if the surface is very slippery, the wind blows you out of the saddle and rain drives into you and your horse changing him/her into a Thelwell pony turning his bum against the gusts of wetness.

However, riding in open spaces has it’s advantages and sometimes having no arena can be the best thing that happen to your riding skills 🙂

Check today’s Horse and Hound magazine for full article with quotes from Lucinda Green, Steph Croxford , event riders and little me too! Page 14.

Taking this opportunity to say well done to my riders who has been braving field training sessions over the muddy months. It’s hard enough when you are a competent rider but these are Foundation level riders just learning the ropes so all more reason to feel good about learning very useful skills indeed!

Today’s Horse and Hound also have a great feature with Carl Hester and several great professionals in their respective fields (no pun intended here!) on “How to Get The Edge” which discusses the importance of diet, physiotherapy, psychology, fitness, biomechanics of THE RIDER in improving performance. Good read!

Due to increasing numbers of London riders wanting to ride on Aspire programmes…

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Due to increasing numbers of London riders interested in Aspire’s coaching programme, I am looking to work with a centre nearby (30min from Central London) so not all London riders have to trek all the way to Berkshire or Hampshire every week.

My training is horse friendly and rider centred – the courses aim to inspire, motivate and educate those riders who ride for improvement, ethical sport and joy of being around horses. We offer positive, dynamic tuition that is creative and fun.

Any of the below or all available as part of the cooperation: 

– committed, passionate instructor happy to help with existing business

– quality tuition for existing liveries if needed/wanted at special rates

– freelance teaching cover

– schooling for ponies and horses ridden, groundwork, in-hand

– teaching training for trainee instructors – quality “teaching to teach” service

– assistance with marketing & PR

– overall helping hand

I am looking for someone with Aspire values and passion for equestrian grassroots sports…If that’s you, or you know of someone I could contact, pleasedrop an email to Wiola at aspire@outlook.com 

ALSO LOOKING FOR CENTRES ANYWHERE IN THE UK WHO WOULD LIKE TO HOST OUR ASPIRE TRAINING GET-AWAYS! (These are bootcamp training weekends and weeks – please get in touch if you have 4-5 lovely horses we could hire for training, good lesson’s facilities, safe hacking and a local B&B).

Thank you!

Wiola Grabowska BHSAI/INT’T

www.aspir1.wix.com/aspireequestrian2014

Join in Aspire Christmas Gift Guide 2014 :)

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Do you have a great product or service that might appeal as a gift to a grassroots, ambitious, improvement driven rider who takes lessons, loves to learn, loves to be around horses and leads horse happy lifestyle? 

From 1st November until 24th December, I will post weekly gift guides posts and would love you to get involved! I will chose things I like all around the web but would love to have independent creators, artists, photographers, other instructors (as long as they share our coaching values), trainers, personal trainers, yoga teachers, stable manufacturers, small clothing brands etc etc showcased on those pages.

I will make the pages into downloadable pdf documents to be sent out with Aspire bi-monthly Newsletters as well as blog the pages weekly on Aspire NewsBook (this blog).

Email Wiola now at aspire@outlook.com for format guide and bring your products or services to horse loving audience 🙂

All the best,

Wiola

PART 1 2 AND 3

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!

Spot of training on a weekday anyone?

Do you need a little incentive to get in the saddle in a lesson environment and want to be challenged during the working week? Apparently, physical effort is good for ones brain cells so have a look at our weekday, daytime offer 🙂

may offer weekdays 2

 

With weekends fast becoming booked up, I am hoping to entice some of you to come and train on a weekday! The Venue is: Cullinghood Equestrian Centre near Reading, Berkshire and here is a full information on the training programmes available if you haven’t seen it already: http://aspir1.wix.com/aspireequestrian2014

The courses are designed to address and train solid, horse friendly and biomechanically sound basics and are best suited to riders at all grassroots levels whose main goal is to improve their current skills whilst enjoying sympathetic training methods.

Please share with your friends and family and give Wiola a ring on a number mentioned on the poster with any questions you might have!