Updated: May 18
Wow, it's been ages since my last blog post...sorry folks! I had intended to do one earlier but the days just seem to have run away with me. You'd think that this time of year would get quieter but this is actually a really busy time of year for us. We've just resurfaced all of our winter shelters and put brand new mats down as well as doing maintenance on drains etc. All this in preparation for our horses to come off the fields for the winter. We were actually fairly lucky in that we just managed to get them finished in time for the first rain storm. Everyone was very pleased to be in the dry and out of the elements!
We've tried various surfaces over the years with our shelters. Everything from gravel to wood chip, with drainage bordering on the excessive. All to no avail. Each year, due to an abundance of natural springs, we have an isssue with the floors in the shelters becoming too wet. So, this year we had a brainwave and decided to put down mats. A godsend already! Should have done it years ago. Hindsight as they say, is a wonderful thing!
It already seems like a lifetime ago but only a few weeks ago we were lucky enough to host another Clinic with Rupert Isaccson, this time over 2 days. I think what really struck me this time was how much fun everyone, including the horses had in each and every session. I had two sessions each day with my own horses. Bink, who is not only incredibly talented, is also a genius. This means he has a real talent for all things at the top end of the scale from piaffer to passage. This time we started canter inhand. After only one session he was offering a change inhand when we changed direction. A total superstar!
My mare, Suki had an entirely different workout although equally entertaining! I really wanted to work a little more on her pirouette's in canter. So with that in mind we did a few different exercises. We started in walk working on walk pirouettes and then moving into the canter from there. The main focus here was my own position and biomechanics. We also tried an exercise called a pasade which is essentially a fast pirouette-style movement executed at the canter. Once we'd accomplished that a few times I then did it one handed with an imaginary sword in my right hand ala warrior style. Great fun for me and Suki enjoyed it too!
I have observed that she actually does a pasade herself quite often when she is loose so I'm thinking that she gets a lot of joy from it! Interestingly, after this exercise she naturally started to slow herself and collect more into a pirouette.
The fun and joy we are bringing into our work has been a real game changer and one I MUST remember. I had been feeling that her personality was not really shining through in her work, her work having become so structured and bent on perfection. This actually effected me too and these sessions were becoming monotonous. However, Rupert has helped me to bring the fun back in to every session, for both of us! We strive for perfection so often that it can actually pull us away from the very thing that we are trying to achieve and the reason we are trying to achieve it. To remember why we love horses and why we enjoy their company is an important task and cannot be overlooked. I don't think it matters what level you ride at, if you compete or not, just remember WHY you do it and enjoy the moment.