Tag Archives: training plan

The Aspire Weekend Challenge: Comments on Helen and Bella’s Video Blog. Improving sitting trot.

Hello Helen!

It’s a pleasure to help you and I hope you will find my thoughts useful. Congratulations on entering the challenge too 🙂 My reason for doing the bloggers challenge in this format is so we can all learn from each other. Analysing issues of different riders on different horses is very beneficial for instructors too so I include myself in learners department also.

Let’s have a look and try to help Helen and her lovely mare. I love Bella’s elevation in passagey trot, definitely a talent there! She looks in a great condition, very relaxed and content.

Helen entered Aspire’s monthly virtual coaching challenge on improving your riding and said: “I would be very grateful if you would take a look at some of this sitting trot, especially in the lateral movements. I know I tend to lose the independent, unilateral movement of my seat bones and block her as soon as I ask for sideways movement – too much else to think about and trying too hard! Bella and I have found a big trot together which feels wonderful! I feel if I lose some weight from my ‘top half’ I will be able to sit it better but keeping the big trot and performing lateral movements is definitely a challenge for me! Thank you very much for any help you can give poor Bella to get me up to scratch and worthy of her, and I really do mean that!” She added a video of the issue she would like to improve which you can find on her blog: http://bellaandrico.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/aspire-equestrian-virtual-training.html

PROBLEM ANALYSIS using still frames from the video

I see a few things that stop you from feeling balanced on Bella’s back in lateral work so we will look at those first and then move on to how to work on them. I suggest they are addressed first before moving onto more consistent ability to join Bella’s back motion in trot.

Helen and Bella 1
THREE ISSUES I WOULD SUGGEST WORKING ON BEFORE GETTING TO THE ACTUAL “SITTING MORE CONSISTENTLY” STAGE: UPPER BODY STABILITY AND SYMMETRY, BELLA’S NECK AND SHOULDER POSITION IN LEG-YIELD, YOUR INSIDE LEG POSITION

Continue reading The Aspire Weekend Challenge: Comments on Helen and Bella’s Video Blog. Improving sitting trot.

Where to start when you want to improve…Thoughts on building training plans & developing as a rider

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.

SONY DSC
29th July: Wanessa at her first session in which we define the starting point and things to work on…

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.

Continue reading Where to start when you want to improve…Thoughts on building training plans & developing as a rider