The horse shows certainly come with plenty of entertainment values but they are also a fabulous way to educate one’s eye, analyse different ways of riding and training horses, appreciate certain techniques and discard others.
Below is a short footage of all the riders who took part in Speed Stakes class at Royal Windsor on Friday. I videoed small part of the course (from fence number 3 to number 4) which I thought was an interesting one: it tested pretty much every skill a show-jumper must have as well as showed technique of each rider rather well.
I personally appreciated the skillful, no pulling approaches showed by several riders, dynamic and fast yet not hectic or rushed..
I hope you enjoy the footage 🙂
Video: showing riders’ technique and approach choices over jumps 3 & 4 at CSI3* Land Rover Speed Stakes — Table A, Art 238.2.1. Royal Windsor Horse Show, 16th May 2014. Class winner: Abdullah Al-Sharbatly on Andrea. Saudi Arabia.
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 😉
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hello everyone! There’s been a few quiet days on the blog due to various things taking over my time but the daily posts are back now. Meet Wanessa, the brave new-ish guinea pig on my Aspire Video Library project and her 10 year old coloured mare which I will just call J. as her name is unpronounceable 😉
Wanessa is 17 and together with J. jumps at regional shows at 1m and sometimes 1.10m. In our initial chat she said she has had problems with confidence when jumps get bigger and speed control as J. likes to take over and run onto the jumps. They have problems with J. liking a long spot too and with Wanessa’s indecision as to which take off spot to direct the mare to as they go over a course of jumps.
Before you watch the below videos let’s have a think…
Motivated, keen riders often deal quite well with their own technique, riding style or methods and they go on to even have reasonable success at shows, winning or going clear. I believe that we have to be very weary of a difference between winning or doing well at a show and having training results.
I am fully aware this might sound a little controversial but here is why I think so. It’s not so difficult to do reasonably well at lower or even higher levels whilst skipping on own basics and/or have badly trained or fear trained horses. I am talking about show-jumping here. Dressage is somewhat more difficult to do well at under judges you respect if your training isn’t done correctly with long term soundness of your horse in mind.
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.
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…
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→
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!
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.
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.
The weather in California is set to be warm with some sunshine and a gentle breeze. Perfect for some training I reckon. The handsome boy above is a big horse, a hunter-jumper with that great rolling ta-da-dam, clockwork canter that I have only ever seen en mass in hunters (as in, US Hunters, not UK hunters).
The pictures below are a study of a few steps within a simple exercise: transitions within trot. The horse shown is a 4 1/2 year old warmblood (the great model for Aspire Video Library) ridden by his owner (our very brave Library case study!):
Photo on the right shows Liberado S in a moment of transition from a little trot (short steps) into a bigger trot that is closer in stride length to his working trot. The rider is doing a great job in initial transition asking for it with feel and attention to the horse’s balance. You can see that he pushed his body onwards and slightly upwards from an active hind legs, his whole top line rounded slightly, his wither & shoulder lifted and neck relaxed at the bottom and rounded through the crest automatically. You can see he is not overly happy in his work on these pictures but that has its root somewhere else and I will write about it in due time 🙂 You are all very welcome to have your guesses! Please leave a comment and in a few weeks time I will post videos tracing the work on a certain issue this lovely horse has in his basic training.