I'm an avid reader, a rapacious consumer of the printed word; or rather, nowadays, the backlit words on my paperwhite kindle. I've collected over the years a pretty extensive library of equestrian reference and textbooks, but that's a different post, here I want to share some of my favourite novels that feature horses.
A while ago I wrote a blog on my favourite horsey novels, and I intended to follow up with another one on my favourite reference books. Well, time got away from me a bit, but finally tonight I got round to it.
Jumping can be great fun for both horse and rider, and, as jumping correctly encourages the horse to use its topline, can be seen as a valuable training tool, even for riders who aim to improve their dressage!
I’m really looking forward to coaching at Tannoch stables near Cumbernauld shortly. I’ll be teaching every Sunday, and before I start, the proprietor Dawn Harrison invited me down to ride some of the school horses. As she quite rightly pointed out, it’s much easier to structure the lesson and help your clients achieve their goals, if you know the horses. So here are some introductions to some of the charming school horses I met yesterday at Tannoch.
One of the vital elements in improving your horse's way of going on the flat is to teach him to carry more weight over his back legs and less on his front.
Firstly, you may have noticed that the title riding instructor is gradually becoming replaced with, or perhaps interchangeable with, equestrian coach. Within the British Horse Society, one of the main providers of instructing/coaching qualifications in the UK, both terms are in use, whilst the newer UKCC framework prefers the term coach. Google instructor v. coach and you'll find a multitude of sports, from skiing to acting discussing the difference between the two.
The purpose of riding shallow loops is to improve the lateral suppleness of the horse and develop his elasticity. As mentioned in previous exercises, all horses will bend more easily in one direction than the other. This is normal, and work on loops will develop his symmetry throughout his body.
This is such a useful exercise to advance a horse’s training. In order to progress you must be able to use your outside aids effectively – think of the half pass where the outside aids coax the horse to move into the direction of the bend rather than fall away from it.
Over the years when I've told non-horsey people what I do, and if the conversation comes round to mucking out, invariably there's a comment along the lines of what a nasty job that must be. “No!” I exclaim, “you couldn't be more wrong. Everyone thinks that but mucking out is fine. In fact it's really satisfying.” But I can see in their faces they remain utterly unconvinced.