Tag Archives: Video

The purpose of Dressage explained in a short video :)

Check out the video below 🙂

A week ago, a rider watched a lesson I was giving to her fellow livery and asked me afterwards if it was dressage that was my main/preferred coaching area. The content of my lesson was a very basic flatwork encouraging a more correct, relaxed body in the horse and more balanced and effective seat in the rider so that question surprised me somewhat.

It made me think that we often compartmentalise training into Dressage, Jumping, XC etc and then we have “dressage horses”, “jumping horses”, “I – don’t – do – dressage but only hack horses” , “hunting horses” etc whereas I like to think about it not as horses for dressage but dressage for the horse, any horse, any rider…It’s simply training the body of a riding horse so its job of specialising later in life is as easy as possible. It’s the training the body of the rider so they can dressage = train their horses into willing, comfortable riding horses/hacking horses/jumping horses…

My main, preferred area of coaching is training a healthy horse and a sympathetic, empathetic rider in both basics of dressage, more advanced dressage and jumping . Karen Rohlf from Dressage, Naturally, explained my thoughts so much better in this great, short video:

A pro filming system goes mainstream? FMBs Therapy Systems launches new FilmMe system!

FMBSlogo[4]I do enjoy sharing interesting news with you all and having been made aware of the below announcement I thought some of you might like to read. The company which got involved in Aspire Equestrian Gift Guide last year – the FMBs Therapy Systems – now launches a new FilmMe system. 

Many of you know I love video feedback and I do browse the news in film making area regularly. I learnt about FilmMe a couple of years ago and from what I understood at the time it was a fairly luxury technology not accessible to mere mortals 😉 I was therefore intrigued by the “new FilmMe” solutions… 

What do you think?


FMBs Therapy Systems launches new FilmMe system!

Laura T and FilmMe[3]FMBs Therapy Systems is delighted to welcome an additional FilmMe system, which provides those on a tighter budget with the ability to have their every ride and training session videoed at the press of a button.

The new system, called FilmMe (with the original system rebranded as FilmMe Pro) has a smaller white camera unit and includes one wristband. The footage captured is HD ready 720p (with the Pro version capturing footage in Full HD 1080p). Otherwise, both systems include the same technology, allowing the rider’s every move to be recorded, so there’s no difference in coverage.

FilmMe logo sm[1]“FilmMe is a brilliant system that’s being used by colleges and in private arenas all across the country,” says Serena Hickson from FMBs. “FilmMe Pro, the original version, provides exceptional quality footage and a few additional benefits, but the new FilmMe is excellent too. By examining each area, FilmMe has produced a more affordable version, to help encourage more venues, colleges and private arenas to install the system. Both systems offer automatic tracking and zooming, automatic video upload with free and secure storage, ability to live stream, share with owners or trainers or playback instantly for analysis and more…it’s just at a lower cost.”

Laura Tomlinson and Myerscough College use the FilmMe Pro system and the system has just been installed at Rockrose Equestrian Centre.

FilmMe and FilmMe Pro are available in the UK exclusively through FMBs Therapy Systems. To find out more about both systems and how they can be used, just contact the team. Please note that finance options are also available.

For more information see www.fmbs.co.uk or call 01494 883433.

Prepared by: Rhea Freeman PR Email: rhea@rheafreemanpr.co.uk Tel: 07980 757910

Show Jumping: Comparison of technique of riders over jumps 3 & 4 (vertical, roll back to vertical)

3 to 4 txt

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.

Video Day Wednesday: Christmas Countdown Day 6 – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are…

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]. 🙂

Video Day Tuesday: What INSPIRATION really is…Christmas Countdown – Day 7 (a must watch for all riding instructors)

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)

Video Day Monday Christmas Countdown – Day 8

This is a very equestrian focused blog naturally since it’s a part of the main Aspire website but in the run up to Christmas I would like to post 8 videos that are really somehow special and emotional and some of them might not have a horse connection at all…

To me, this time is all about making a difference and sharing. It’s good to say we should do this every day but hey, let’s face it, that’s not how the world works for many. So Christmas time is perfect to stop and think and DO something…

First goes this one…Judging by my blog stats I have many American readers out there and so perhaps one of you will know someone who could give a home for life to these two lovely dogs.

Visit http://www.fuzzyrescue.org/ or their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TFPF.org to learn more!

Video Day Tuesday: A day at the 2013 KWPN Autumn Stallion Performance Testing

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.


Jumping training. Three strides out and how your actions before them as well as there and then determine the quality of the jump

Today I would like to chat with you about jump training and describe some of my teaching methods.

Let’s start from watching this slow motion video showing a rider approaching and going over few different jumps at different take off points. The rider is myself and I put together the footage where take off spots vary from good one to much too long one.

Continue reading Jumping training. Three strides out and how your actions before them as well as there and then determine the quality of the jump

How to get the most out of your your riding videos. Part 2: how I analyse videos, what I look for and how you could do it too.

Part 1 can be found here: https://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-your-riding-videos-part-1-how-what-and-with-what-to-video/

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.

Liberado wants to have a look too 😉

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.

Continue reading How to get the most out of your your riding videos. Part 2: how I analyse videos, what I look for and how you could do it too.