As we travel life’s arduous road, our life experiences help us shape and develop the core values we hold dear. They mature into a set of principles which we deem significant and refer to time and time again, because we consider them worthy, useful and important to us.
There are so many fabulously inspirational stories coming out of the Rio Olympics; stories of how athletes have overcome great strife to achieve their dreams of becoming an Olympian. Continue reading 5 Olympic Values That Shape What I Do
Riding good canter to trot transitions is a joy and a skill. In my experience the upwards transitions are the joy and the downwards transitions are the where the real skill lies!
I want to, nay need to, share with you my ‘eureka moment’ I had only this week whilst working on improving the quality of our canter to trot transitions. Those confounded downward transitions can be tricky, can’t they? Continue reading The Ultimate Guide to Canter to Trot Transitions
Para Dressage Rider, Johanne Picken looks back and updates us on the progress of her dream.
Some of you will remember back in November 2013 when I introduced Johanne Picken to you. My blog post, called ‘As Long as you have Passion, You are Unstoppable’ created quite a reaction due to the struggles Johanne had overcome simply to be in the saddle. I caught up with Johanne again recently. Here’s her memories of where she was back then … Continue reading Para Dressage – I can, I will, End of Story
Did you know that our beloved sport is under threat as an Olympic sport, as are all the equestrian disciplines? Imagine that, just as Team GB get up there as a force to be reckoned with in Olympic Dressage they pull the rug from under us!
I don’t think so, certainly not if we can help it. Thankfully there is something we CAN do to help.
Continue reading What Rio 2016 Olympics Means For Dressage
Haunches in, haunches out, quarters in, quarters out, travers, renvers – strip back the technical terms and what you are aiming for is the ability to move your horse’s quarters left or right (with bend through the horse’s body). Getting to the heart of the matter will dispel any fears you have about cracking on with this type of work, because the sooner you do, the sooner your horse will benefit from these straightforward exercises. Continue reading LATERAL WORK: Travers
There are many elements to the half pass which can go wrong but the good news is that 90% of the issues can be dealt with really easily. The solution to many half pass issues is energy. It is essential that you create sufficient energy in your horse for him to flow across the arena without labouring. Fact is, it is simply not worth beginning a half pass if your horse’s gait is not energetic as you enter the movement, it will fade, become stuttery, lose bend and just be a ‘puffed up’ leg yield. It is crucial there is no loss of rhythm, tempo or impulsion throughout the movement and this can only be achieved if your horse is forward and energetic.
Continue reading Why The Half Pass Cannot Be Improved
I’d like to bet that the majority of aspiring dressage riders enjoy their riding. Yet how often do you see a smile on the face of a rider whilst training? The answer, in my experience, is not often.
A very simple and hugely beneficial tip is to relax the lower part of your face; smile from the inside. By doing so, your face will soften, your eyes will relax, so will your jaw and it will help you to relax your shoulders and arms.
Continue reading SMILE FROM THE INSIDE
Gotta love those generous guys at Blue Chip Feed, following the success of their All Star Academy series on Horse and County TV – a mixture of Big Brother, The Apprentice and Pony Club involving 8 contestants going head-to-head in various equine and media related tasks to find the eventual winner, Rhi-Lee Jones they are running a competition in which one person on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter will win over £290.00 worth of products.
Mahoosive contratulations to Rhi-Lee.
Hop over to the Blue Chip Feed Facebook Page and give it a go! Just gotta like and share.
Continue reading Blue Chip Feed – Competition Give Away
A little PICK ME UP
Problems and set-backs in your riding are inevitable. When everything seems to be going wrong, practice asking these questions of yourself to give you a quick and easy ‘pick you up’:
“How far have I come?”
During a recent training session I kept dropping my inside hand in the canter a centimetre, maybe two. It was having a detrimental effect on my horse’s ability to stay on the circle. To Mark this kind of problem is like a beacon flashing at him, to him it looks like I’m dragging her round with the inside hand and he said so! I got a little uptight about the whole thing so ‘skulked’ off after the session to reminded myself that there was a time when I couldn’t canter more than 2 circles without collapsing in an exhausted, purple faced heap and my circles were what I now call squircles (squarish circles), egg shaped or worse I couldn’t actually get my horse onto a circle without actually dragging her round with the inside rein. (I am ashamed to confess)
It’s all relative, when things are going wrong, it’s hard to recognise what is going right. It’s easy to screen out the good things and only focus on the bad things. Remind yourself that some things are going right. Purposely look for the positive, even if it is something very small. Continue reading Pick Me Up
We have teamed up with Equine Magazine to offer an exclusive package of dressage goodies including a copy of The Crystal System Book, A Blue Chip Dressage Saddle Cloth and a set of Kitt Equestrian Dressage Wraps.
I am absolutely delighted with The Crystal System book review featured on Page 45 of the July 2016 Issue of Equine Magazine, they say … Continue reading Equine Magazine – July 2016