When I am in the UK I follow the habit of gifts on Christmas Day but in Poland it’s Christmas Eve that’s the most important of festive days. For this reason I think it’s only fair that today’s video is about the joy of gift giving 🙂 Bringing happiness to people must be one of the most rewarding and uplifting of careers so if I was to ever stray away from equestrian industry I think I would look into CPD in Santa stuff.
The video below is barely a couple of weeks old and yet it has been watched by over 32 million eyeballs. It means that you may have seen it already but I think it’s one of those short stories that one can watch it numerous times and smile.
Dream Big. Think Big. And believe in Santa 😉
Happy Holidays everyone! Thank you for reading Aspire blog, commenting and writing your own great blogs which I love catching up with on daily basis 🙂
Continue reading Video Day Tuesday Christmas Countdown Day 1: The Joy of Being Santa 🙂
Today’s video subject wasn’t planned but I chose it because of an inhumane and ridiculous schooling methods I witnessed this afternoon.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were deeply ashamed to have known and admired someone? Do you know that feeling of your brain not processing fast enough what your eyes are seeing perhaps to protects itself? That moment when you watch and you cannot believe how incredibly thoughtless a seemingly intelligent and talented human being can be? Well, that was my afternoon.
It occurred to me as I sit here still affected by the situation, that every single person who ever wanted to school horses should first train a chicken…These funny birds are considered to be pretty silly and pretty low on brain cells.
The best thing, however, about first learning to train a chicken is that you cannot whip the bird mindlessly so it goes over a little obstacle course…you need to understand what motivates it and then use your own brain to non-violently manipulate chicken’s brain.
And that knowledge in my opinion is a prerequisite for any horse trainer…
In show-jumping, like in life, it’s the little details that count 🙂 Watch this head-to-head jump off from Olympia International Horse Show and see how pretty much one turn made the winner…
The yards, tack rooms and forums are full of heated conversations on whether to shoe or not to shoe one’s horse and in today’s video countdown I would ask you to have a little think with me 🙂
My question to myself as a trainer/instructor/horse carer is “am I asking the right question”…
What if the questions were:
“How important is it for my horse to be able to expand his hoof capsule“?
“How degenerative and long term pathology inducing the rigid hoof capsule is for my horse?”
“How rigid hoof capsule affects the mental state of my horse?”
“Is the hoof’s inability to function without restriction connected to my horse’s back pain/shoulder pain/bridle lameness?”
Forget Shoe or Not to Shoe..Who cares…What if we ask better questions, ones yielding educational answers not just the “yes/no” answers…
Short Video for today…;) Please share your thoughts whether you agree with me or not!
Aaannd today’s video is all about the importance of fun…I tend to think back to this particular experiment whenever I have a rider who just “can’t get something” or a horse that finds something difficult…It makes me think more creatively and less in terms of “this must be done like so”… Hope you enjoy this short little video 🙂
Continue reading Video Day Thursday Christmas Countdown Day 5: The Funny Side of Fun…
I chose today’s video thinking about all the riders I have taught who suffered from various confidence crisis or are simply lacking in self-confidence with certain tasks or movements be it jumping higher, cantering bigger, letting the horse have its head…
I also thought about many trainee riding instructors I have worked with over the years who struggled with voice projection, believing in what they need to teach, believing in exercises they prepared or their feeling at ease in a big open space of an arena filled with riders to be responsible for.
I chose today’s video thinking of many riders who say “my horse doesn’t respect me”, “my horse never listens to me”, “my horse walks all over me”, “I can’t do this with my horse”…
We often seek equestrian specific advice on many horse related subjects but I think it’s important to sit down for a moment and honestly revise our own body language, how it affects us and then what message do we pass on to our horses, the animals highly tuned in to every single movement, weight distribution, muscle twitch.
It’s not about dominance or overpowering but being in control of own emotions, giving the horse confidence through own self-belief. What I liked about the below talk is the mention of cortisol levels…In my opinion that’s the key when dealing with many horses…Do let me know your thoughts if you watch the video.
If you watch until the end I really recommend doing the little exercise Amy Cuddy proposes before you go out and work with your horse or have a jumping lesson or go for a hack or do groundwork with your horse or go out to teach or…[insert your own little challenge here]. 🙂
Time for the second countdown video and this one is all about inspiration with a side to it that perhaps we don’t think about a lot. Most of us wants to feel inspired to do something or be inspired by something. The video below, however, talks about the real essence of inspiration…Please do watch it until the end 🙂
And once you have watched it, do share in comments what or who inspired you to follow your passion, whatever that might be…horses, art, business, photography, travel, writing… If you have any great videos on the subject that you would like to share please link to them. I’d love to watch them.
Inspire Me by Dr. Brad MacLain
I’d love to say that my own inspiration to improve equestrian teaching & riding at grassroots level came from something incredibly grand and valuable like the experiences mentioned in the video but it’s safe to say it didn’t. At 16 I damaged my knee which resulted in me having full leg plaster on 8 times for months within few years and so I bottled up my passion for riding and training horses and poured it all into teaching people. I watched my friends’ training sessions for hours from the bench next to the arena. Some lessons were good, many were awful. I realised there and then that no matter how much effort, knowledge, compassion, time and understanding we put into schooling horses they would never, ever have good lives if there are no well educated riders to ride them. It was not a highly intellectual but nevertheless important light bulb moment for me 😉
I have put myself through many different experiences ever since, not fully consciously I don’t think, to be able to fuel my passion constantly. There is still a lot on my experience list 🙂
Continue reading Video Day Tuesday: What INSPIRATION really is…Christmas Countdown – Day 7 (a must watch for all riding instructors)
Now you have saved some pennies for training 😉
This video pretty much sums up a training environment I grew up in, trained and aspired to stay working in between 1995-2002 (minus state of the art surfaces, matching outfits for grooms and high calibre of horses).
It was a structured, fairly regimented horse life dealing mostly with stallions at a stallion depot/stud.
Ten years on there are not many things from that world that I aspire to. I respect the routine and attention to detail which I miss being surrounded with on everyday basis and would like to see more of it in general training and riding education (from lowest levels up). Overall though, I look at this training environment now and think: There MUST be a better, more equine nature friendly way to maintain young sports horses…
P.S. I wish they showed a little more of the lunging by the guy in between the no-gadget lunging…(about 4:16-4:20). I believe all but one of the stallions were 3 years old (one 4 year old). I don’t know which one is this one.