Tag Archives: Aspire Equestrian 2014

Photo Report from Aspire Grassroots Clinic at Stajnia Sabat near Warsaw, Poland

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Myself and Alison who grabbed one of the two places available for outside riders and travelled from London to take part in the clinic 🙂

I’m writing from Poland day after the weekend clinic at Stajnia Sabat. In fact, I am sitting here processing the hundreds of photos taken by my wonderful helpers (my cousin Karolina and my Dad – go family power! 😉 and many hours of video footage for riders’ visual feedback. It was one of the best training sessions at Stajnia Sabat to date with everyone making fabulous, positive progress both with regards to long term homework and the weekend’s tasks. I had so much fun teaching there yet again, it’s such a pleasure to see riders conquering variety of issues they have with their training be it mental, physical or logistical even.

There are usually two places up for grabs for riders outside of Stajnia Sabat so I offered one place to any rider either already on Aspire programmes in the UK or anyone simply interested in joining in and learning from me and the other to the rider I trained in Poland for a few months in 2013. These places are advertised in Aspire Newsletters so if you like experiencing new horses, new places but prefer to stay with my teaching philosophy, keep an eye on forthcoming clinics with available slots by signing up to the newsletter 🙂

Here is a little photo report from the clinic, hope you enjoy browsing the photos and feel like you had been with us basking in the sun 🙂

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In-hand work
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Having a chat about the stirrups length. This tiny lady transformed herself into a much more effective rider simply by riding shorter for the moment and employing the leg muscles full time 😉
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Young rider with her lovely mare – gentle work on suppleness
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Young rider with her lovely mare – gentle work on suppleness
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Polishing balance to help the rider with her very crooked”project horse” who tries his heart out and has so much potential 🙂
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Getting the feel for connection on the reins that is neither backward nor too yielding but supports the horse with poor balance.
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Just casually demonstrating why sometimes our hands are completely reactive to what happens with our middle.
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Learning half-seat over the poles to improve feel, suppleness and stamina in novice rider
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Polework and jumping session that’s gone a little exciting for Alison
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Cavaletti fun – great for the rider who tends to ride with locked joints or stiff ankles.
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Half seat/Light seat in canter – great for the rider who tends to ride with locked joints or stiff ankles.

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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!

One Month To The Big Go – We are in The Equestrian Index ‘s News Today

AspireNews Equestrian Index 6th Feb
Click the image to read our full news story on: http://www.equestrianindex.com/news/sign-up-for-riding-lessons-that-redefine-progress/

To say I am excited to shake up the grassroots lessons’ delivery prevalent at many riding schools is an understatement (not all riding schools mind you, I will mention there are some great ones!). I strongly believe that if the very basics are taught exceptionally well there will be more sound horses around, many more people who now drop out would stay in the horse world and more riders would venture into horse ownership and sport involvement with safer, more robust skill set allowing for long term enjoyment of grassroots (and beyond!) sport, fitness and quality outdoor time.

Oh, and if you don’t know The Equestrian Index, do check them out – great directory of all things equestrian 🙂

1 minute and 57 second Video of What You Can Expect at Aspire 2014 Programmes…

Here’s is a very short video that will take you for a brief journey through Aspire Equestrian‘s riding courses. The goal of those courses is to bring quality, classical principles based equitation to riders at all levels, including beginner and novice riders. No pulling, no booting, no skipping on solid basics. Join us and help Aspire Equestrian and other programmes like ours change the way horse riding is taught at grassroots level…

Full details on our 2014 programmes can be found here: https://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/aspire-academy-2014/ & our Christmas Offer waits for you here 🙂 https://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/aspire-christmas-offer/

Continue reading 1 minute and 57 second Video of What You Can Expect at Aspire 2014 Programmes…

How would you like to take part in something amazing in 2014? Introducing our next year’s offer…

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THE TIME HAS FINALLY COME…

… to invite all inquisitive riders and challenge seeking riders-to-be to our 2014 all-levels training programmes which will initially be available at the following two locations:

1. Cullinghood Equestrian Centre, near Reading, Berkshire (5o min from West London)

2. Moorwards Farm Equestrian Coaching Facility, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire (25 min from West London)

CHOOSE YOUR PROGRAMME: 

ASPIRE2014STARTFor real first timers or anyone who wants to go back to basics and establish a safe, correct seat both for jumping & dressage. You don’t need your own horse to sign up for this programme. You will be free to progress to the next programme once you’ve achieved the following skills: Start Skill Set

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For all you ambitious leisure riders out there! You will be challenged within your level, encouraged to progress your skills and better understand horses as riding companions. You don’t need your own horse to sign up for this programme. However, horse owners are welcome to join in as well as non-owners who would like to loan or share a horse for duration of training (help with choosing the right horse is given free of charge). You can stay training and riding at this level indefinitely but will be free to progress to the next programme once you’ve achieved the following skills: Foundation Skills Set

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Both for leisure and sport minded riders who have keen interest in training a horse that moves in a bio-mechanically correct, happy and healthy way. No gadgets training aimed at understanding rather than quick fixes. You don’t need your own horse to sign up for this programme. However, horse owners are welcome to join in as well as non-owners who would like to loan or share a horse for duration of training (help with choosing the right horse is given free of charge). You can stay training and riding at this level indefinitely, we never stop learning to school different horses. The skills worked on during this programme: Development Skills Set.

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For grassroots, amateur competition riders with passion for dressage, show-jumping or eventing. You will be a horse owner or Development Programme level rider who is keen to loan or share a horse to compete.

12 PLACES AVAILABLE…

From March 2014, each month we will have up to 12 places available and they will be offered on first pay first serve basis. There will be 5-6 places for non-horse owners and 5-6 for horse owners. All training will be available in form of packages consisting of 8 ridden training sessions (average price: £40-£60 per 90 minutes session) and 8 Aspire Coaching Sessions. Stay tuned for ‘Early Bird’ Packages coming up on the 6th of December! UPDATE: Click here for further details

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE REGULARLY WITH A CLEAR PROGRESSION PATH, EXCEPTIONAL ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND INTERESTING CHALLENGES AHEAD OF YOU? 

Email Wiola at aspire @ outlook.com and be the first to receive Aspire offers.

Looking forward to meeting many aspiring riders in 2014 🙂