I am working on making Hudson stronger and more balanced. In this session I am for the first time doing canter circles. I have two fences up as an anchor for my circles. The size of the circle is decided by Hudson’s ability. This size is big enough to feel do-able but is also challenging for him. My focus points are the fences and riding a perfect round circle. Where ever Hudson is out of balance he will deviate and the circle will become egg shaped. When I feel him going out of balance I help him restore, but that is all the rest is up to him.
Since this is difficult and I need his engagement I interchange with stuff he likes. Going over a small bank, some poles on the ground. He likes that and becomes more forward. Which I then utilise by going back to the canter circles.
Tuesday 3 November 2020
Eager but relaxed
We are finally getting there! Combining balance, power and relaxation. We have spent month on building up power and rebalancing Hudson. Because just putting him more on his hindquarters and keeping him there by force is not a long lasting solution. So time was spent in building up the strengths of his hind legs using lateral work, both “in hand” and ridden. At the same time I have been working on educating him in taking responsibly and moving in a more balanced way.
When playing with free jumping I became aware how he loved jumping and that he was really good at it. So I introduced pole work sooner than I normally would.
But what a leap in his development he has made! The little pieces of training as pieces of a puzzle are coming together. During our third pole work/jumping lesson he could relax between the work, while being really eager over the poles and jumps. My only assistance was to keep him balanced. Look at this beautiful video of today:
Saturday 24 October 2020
I am so happy, because Hudson is so happy! We began our journey together in Januari 2020. We started out getting to know each other and discovered I did almost everything different then he was used to. Most importantly I was not going to do any “work” for him. Like putting all my energy in getting him to move or keeping him in balance … and I was inviting him to get invested in what we were doing.
In March I wrote about leading him in little steps and in august about building him up in layers.
Today it all came together! Warming him up trotting around with loose reins while riding circles and changing hands. And we cantered around in a relaxed and balanced way – on the straight lines! Still lots of work to do but have a look at these videos and see this happy free moving horse, thanks Hudson for following my lead.
Very important for this process is that Terri is following us and is changing her riding accordingly. She is also becoming balanced and light in her riding!
Warming up on a loose rein:
Cantering with the lightest contact possible:
Thursday 27 August 2020
First time with long reins
Big boy Hudson is actually just a little boy on a confidence level. He is uses to being led around and being told what and how to do thing. So I was looking for a way to invite him to stride out more confidently. To take the lead. Doing so will inevitably mean we need to connect and communicate to go someplace “together”.
Today I started with me working him from the ground using long reins. I will not take him along, but will ask him to stride on with me at his shoulders or further back. But for starters I will be at his shoulders until he gets braver. Hudson struggled and had this big question mark and tried to turn to me for help. It took some coaxing and lots of positive reinforcement to get him going.
But what a joy to have this boy become lighter in his movements and more sensitive and in tune with me. He got it and relaxed into it. Today’s goal was to get his mind-set changed and his confidence build up.
First getting the gears in place: stop, start, walk, trot:
Finishing off with some directional changes:
Thursday 20 August 2020
Building up in layers
Building up in layers means I train the horse on physical, mental and emotional level. But I do it in small increments and just focus on one layer at the time. Here I love how Hudson makes the choice to connect with me.
We did some ground work with the focus on giving him freedom to express himself. So for any action there was loads of positive feedback from me. I worked with two poles on one side to use for direction and distraction.
Wednesday 18 March 2020
After a lunging lesson with Terri Hudson was feeling very happy! First going off to the left, his favourite side. After blowing of some steam I asked him to go to the right and he followed my suggestion.
This is the first time I had him free in this paddock and he totally loved it. Afterwards we had a nice “join up”. He was breathing hard but no sweat what so ever 😉
Saturday 14 March 2020
Leading in little steps
When I met Hudson I loved him straight away. But I knew that I trained and rode differently than he was used to. This meant I would be challenging him on different levels. Challenging because I was asking him to change. Horses, just like people, often do not like change.
Now setting him down for a good verbal conversation does not work that well with a horse. Instead I lead him in little steps on this new road. Making sure he is ready for the next step before I start asking it. Giving him a say and I do listen, but I also encourage him if he is unsure. At the end of every training I want him to feel really good, tired in mind and body, but relaxed and ok.
Today we made a big step. We cantered on a circle while staying balanced! He needed some support and activation, but he picked it up so well! Coming out of the canter is almost the most difficult part, keeping him balanced and ride down to a relaxed quite trot. He was giving me his all.
Monday 27 January 2020
Now meet Hudson, a gorgeous horse that I will be working and riding with! I met him when I was asked to do a bodywork session with him, since he was lame at the time. A very grounded solid but sensitive guy that really enjoyed our sessions. Just 14 years, so in the prime of his life!
After coming to Northern Ireland in April 2019 I did not have a horse to care or ride and missed it terribly. I started helping Terri, the owner, out now that he could not be ridden. He could not go into the field so to option to have someone extra to take him out was very welcome.
I started out with just wandering around Gransha Equestrian Center together, since it is pretty big. Just getting to know each other a bit better. From there I moved into more “training” like sessions. Trying him out “in hand” and on the long reins. This was all new to him so I took it easy.
After a chiropractor session I started with riding him. Or maybe I should say that I extended my “in hand” work with ridden work in walk. Working on his balance and helping him with apparently new but healthier movement patterns. We have progressed to trotting and he is doing fine. As you can see he has had a morning out in a field by now 😉
In the future I will write more about how we progress together!
Thursday 16 January 2020
Connecting and Communicating
On the road again for more lessons. What I like best is when I can help a human connect better with their horse. Help them understand the horse and what he is telling them. Most of the time we are not clear and precise enough for them to understand us. So working on body awareness for the rider and for the handler of a horse is lesson 1. Because the horse is a herd animal body langue is his second nature and communicating on that level can be a true revelation.
Like the total amazement of an owner that the horse that was always strong and pulling just stopped and stood still on a breath.
Like the joy of an owner when lunging she could sent her horse away by just pointing in the desired direction instead of pulling and pushing him around.
When an owner feels “save” to lunge her horse for the first time.
If you would like to get closer to your horse and understand him better, feel free to contact me.