Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The Very Last Wednesday of 2009

Main Entry: soaked
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: saturated

Synonyms:

dank, drenched, dripping, drowned, soaking, sodden, soggy, sopping, soppy, soused, water-logged, wet, wringing-wet
Another day that can only be described as per words above. I've decided to ignore the fact my clothes are permanently soaked and you know, if you keep busy you can just about assume the sogginess is a normal state of affairs.
It's a messy time around horses. If you think about career in equine industry you are better off waiting till the warm, dry spring days. It won't delete the drenched days of winter but will at least make for an enjoyable beginner stage.

Kingsley is doing well so far playing with his fieldmates in the mud. I am starting the walking under the saddle tomorrow.

Speaking of walking - I've initiated my new beat-the-delayed-transport plan...not sure how long it will last but I am determined to keep it up. It, however, means 30 minutes walk from station to the yard in the morning and 30 minutes of same walk in the evening after whole day on my feet. Hmmm.
On the plus side, it will certainly keep me fit[er] (not doing nearly as much riding as I would like due to the weather and short days so walking fast will have to do for my cardio workout ;). It skips on lengthy waiting for the bus to come and enduring it stopping at every bush and getting stuck in traffic. And it saves me good few £ a day.

Any waterproof clothing producer fancy sponsoring a drenched riding instructor?...
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Tuesday, 29 December 2009

What is it about throwing stuff away that...

...makes you feel quite liberated?
I did a substantial tidy up today throwing away lots of old horsey magazines (which I seem to produce in mountains throughout the year) and other bits and bobs that I really don't and won't be using ever again.
It was also my first day back at work and typically I got soaked to the bone teaching in a pouring rain from 11am till evening. It rained without a single pause.
Really bad news from First Great Western trains - they are changing their peak and off-peak hours and Transport For London is raising fares from January 2010. Very, very bad news for me.
Looks like I will be forced into finally getting a car...! Something also tells me I will have to work even more to be able to pay all those expenses back. A bit of a worry.

My mission today is to go to sleep at a reasonable hour as I am becoming increasingly nocturnal. On one hand it gets a lot of things done but I am not sure if it's any good for my mood and energy levels during a day.
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Sunday, 27 December 2009

Afresh

Christmas days are not easy for me, being away from my family takes its toll at this time of year. However, I can safely say the 2009 was good for me and I spent a lovely few days with Rick and his family in Cheshire who made me feel very welcomed.


Lots of delicious food and probably a stone more later I am back in London and it's days away from New Year...

The Trees

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

[Philip Larkin]

I might disappoint some of you who wanted to read some detailed plans of goals and aims as I don't think I will be writing mine up like so. I do, however, have a few things set and there will be done. I am not even sure if I think about them as goals. There are more like milestones I know will and need to be achieved. My little quest in life might not be as regulated as a business person would like it mostly because I like the margin of luck and an input of coincidence. I like when things happen when I make other plans. It's exciting to keep the back door opened. Cat flap enlarged.
The Thing to achieve in that next year is to launch and start developing my little riding academy project. It's something I want to put my heart and skills into and make it work.

For aims keen my 3 main ones are:

1) Pass Stage 4 Riding & Care for full BHSII (Intermediate Instructor)
2) Get my head around the Stable Manager exam and get theoretically ready for it (and maybe have a go at it should finances allow)
3) Watch & Learn from the best out there (i.e. fit as many shadowing days into my year as humanely possible)

It's the year I will be tough on myself not because I feel the time is running out but because it feels right to push myself right now. As to the time...I think we all have to enjoy the journey. If you think you need to speed up or you will run out of minute, hours, years...then maybe you're on a wrong train. Heading in the wrong direction.
My belief is that if we can make our journey the most fascinating thing in life we will never have to rush anywhere. So that's what I am going to make my 2010 into - a journey I will love being part of.
This way, I know I can help others enjoy it too.

“Dreams are like stars...you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.”

Bring on 2010...

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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

It's not just the cold...

I've just came back from work and let me tell you, if not for a hot water bottle and a heated fluffy toy (yes, I did open those presents Wendy & Suzanne - sorry! but blimey you two know what to give me!!!;) stuffed under my three jumpers, a coat and another coat I doubt I would live up to this moment - a hot cup of tea in a beautifully warm house!
It's OK when you do yard work or ride in between lessons but 11am-8pm outdoor teaching in -4C is a killer.
The biggest problem though it's not just the cold. It's all the disruptions in the road transport that I am really worried about (this is a town I need to get to tomorrow and the news don't look great do they: http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2062984_drivers_abandon_cars_after_snow_hell)...

I am now going to submerge in hot bubbly bath and see what the morning brings weather wise. For the sake of my finances this weather had better calmed down...The thought of working few months a year in some sunny corner of the world suddenly appeals! Seriously!

PS. A video of French rider winning at Olympia International Horse Show 2009 - show-jumping in a beautiful style:

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Saturday, 19 December 2009

Reminds me of home


Somewhere in between the painful cold and the frozen arenas all this snowy aura warms me from inside. It looks homey :) There is no turn out in Kingsley's field at the moment as roads are slippery and ground frozen so the boy got his walkies in the indoor school and a little wonder around in the snow.

Despite all the problems to do with the weather my rider on Training Day worked her socks off which made for very productive set of sessions. Shame she can't ride every day, I am always curious how good motivated and committed people could get if they ride more ;)

I am having a good look at nutrition info as we need to build Kingsley's muscles up without making him fat and excitable. A little bit by accident he is put on Spillers Cool Fibre to go with his Baileys No 4 and I am hoping that this combination will work well together once I get the amounts up from trace amounts to proper build up portions. At the moment I am reluctant to feed him up as all he does is go out for several hours in the field. He seems to love Spillers fibre and eats it all up in minutes. He lost a lot of condition and muscles (the little he had) since September (i.e. since he's been out of work) so it will be a slow process.

There is a lot of things to see to before we set off for Xmas in Cheshire - I need to organise a lot of housework type stuff which isn't my strong point to put it mildly...;)
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Friday, 18 December 2009

On fast forward and yet in slow-motion

The more it snows (Tiddely pom),
The more it goes (Tiddely pom),
The more it goes (Tiddely pom),
On snowing. And nobody knows (Tiddely pom),
How cold my toes (Tiddely pom),
How cold my toes (Tiddely pom),
Are growing.
Winnie the Pooh
The House at Pooh Corner

It snows. It's cold. I am in need of warmth and energy giving sun.
Life feels a little on an odd side right now. There are some things I worry about and some things I have to arrange for and other things I need to plan properly very soon. My anxiety might have something to do with the year running out and I feel like there should be some goals for the next year forming, some resolutions being thought up and all that. That's despite knowing very well that the end of December is just another end of a month and nothing really makes me treating it like some form of catharsis. However, I also feel like I am rather gasping for breath in these fast moving waters, possibly being thrown into the wrong river. Thankfully, as we all know from geography lessons, the rivers end up in a sea anyway.
It always amuses me somewhat that we sit to plan things that should describe our next 365 days while we tend to feel tired, low and lacking in energy due to cold, short days, lack of natural light...you get the idea. Shouldn't we plan our pursuits in the spring when we are possibly reaching the peak of our positive energy?

It's been a fast, hectic week but I somehow managed to fit in most of my Xmas shopping, cards writing and feeding myself (always a problem to find time for this!) in between all the running around. I also decided in the last minute to chop my hair off so spent a rather "hilarious" hour today among these surreal people dotting on their locks ;)

Olympia horse show is in full bloom and I popped down to walk around the shopping village. It seemed really quiet in comparison to previous years. I was looking for some good waterproof and warm overalls but couldn't really find anything that fitted my budget AND met the criteria! There were some AMAZING self-heated jackets and gloves (www.blazewear.com) which I am going to save up for. If you teach outside at this time of year and have low blood pressure like me you're going to LOVE this thing. I can't believe I haven't heard about it before.

I can't wait for Xmas break. Not because I am physically exhausted but because I need a break from every-day-life for a moment. To re-think a thing or two without events of every hour cramming me up. In a way I am waiting for it all to be gone too. It's this time of the year when I miss my family the most. It's the time of many rituals and I missing them with my whole heart.

Deep down I am still in a very up-beat mood and the up coming rest should complement that just right.
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Tuesday, 15 December 2009

...

A few words to send some healing vibes to friend of mine.
Hope all goes well. Hope all gets better.
There might never be a life without fear. There might never be a life without pain.
But we all deserve a break.
If any travel agency ever offered such a break I would have an easy Xmas gift sorted.

...X
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Monday, 14 December 2009

Vet & Physio post injections re-assessment plus videos

Pic. above: Kingsley being given a sleepy stretch...
There is no doubt we are here for a long haul and we are miles away from soundness but there are some positive signs of improvement so here is where we are at right now...
We had Kingsley seen to today by Richard the vet (who did initial injections on the 16th of November) and physiotherapist Anna Johnson. The plan was to have Kingsley re-assessed to see if there is any improvement following the injections and for Anna to do physio under sedation to relieve his muscle spasms and devise further rehab programme.

1) There is a significant improvement in general coordination and movement as well as desire to move forwards.
2) The SI (sacro-iliac) joint is less sensitive to palpation but still tender. I am told the SI injury is comparable to suspensory injury. It's the ligaments that respond positive to palpation which is why it will take months of rehab for a potential return to soundness.
3) There is a lot of compensatory pain in the back muscles, around the withers and along the spine.
4) There is some secondary neck pain that should disappear once the primary injury is sorted.
5) He now needs to re-build his muscles along the back and neck in the right places before any further prognosis can be made. Months of walking ahead.

Pic.above: Slowly waking up from sedation.

The rehab plan for now is as follows:

15th Dec - quiet rest day, no turn out or walking
16th-21st - rest with turn out as normal to let him recover from today's manipulation
I am then away until the 28th so he will have a further rest with his normal turn out routine.

Then 30th Dec -18th January: walking exercise under the saddle 10 minutes a day, extended by 1 minute each day, either road work/hacking or walking in arena. Working in an outline if possible encouraging the weaker right hind to work.

18th January: Physio and Vet coming for 2nd re-assessment.

And here are the videos from first day of 10 minutes lungeing (4 weeks post injections):

LEFT REIN


RIGHT REIN
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Saturday, 12 December 2009

2010 Radio Show Episode 67 - The AQHA and the International Equestrian Festival

internationalequestrianfestivallogo

Listen Now

Today we have a variety of guests and topics all about the Alltech 2010 World Equestrian Games. We take a look at USEF Showcase at AQHA World Championship Show, the International Equestrian Festival 2010 and the recent FEI medications ruling. Listen in....

2010 Radio Show Episode 67 - The AQHA and the International Equestrian Festival:

  • Hosts: Samantha Clark and Glenn the Geek

  • Guest: Thank you to Fran Jurga for joining us to explain the FEI medications ruling. You can read Fran's articles on this subject at the Jurga Report.

  • Guest: It is always fun to have Joanie Morris, the USEF High Performance Marketing Communications Manager, on the show. She filled us in on the USEF as it highlighted its new National Affiliation with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) during a presentation of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) disciplines at the AQHA World Championship Show. Read more... Visit Club Equestrian today.

  • Guest: Kimberly Brown joined us to give us an update on the International Equestrian Festival 2010 to be held at the Lexington Convention Center during the 2010 WEG. Sounds like a fun event, we can't wait!

  • News: Well, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has released its list of dressage officials for the WEG, and Gribbons's name is on it! She is indeed listed as president of the ground jury, meaning that she will be the head judge at "C." Is it a done deal? Has Gribbons turned down the chef position for sure? I'll let you know as soon as I hear it from the horse's mouth, if you'll pardon the expression. Read more from TheHorse.com...

  • News: Sweden's Tomas Eriksson beat Boyd Exell on home soil by winning the third leg of the FEI World Cup Driving in Stockholm, Sweden. Exell, who has won the previous World Cup competitions in Hannover and Stuttgart, was last to go in the World Cup competition in Sweden's capital city, but knocked three balls down and came fifth. Switzerland's Werner Ulrich ended the second place, followed by his compatriot Daniel Würgler. Read more...

  • News: Kentucky's bourbon distillers are seeking a change in state law to promote more sampling of their whiskey. The change would make it easier for distillers to set up sampling booths at conventions, conferences, liquor stores, restaurants and special events, said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers' Association. Learn more at kentucky.com....

  • News: Contributing travel writer Patti Nickell has written her first book, about one of the great passions of Central Kentucky: horses. In Horse Lover's Guide to Kentucky (Eclipse Press), Nickell explores the gamut of equine travel opportunities in the Bluegrass State. In 256 pages, Nickell, who spent a year researching and writing the book, covers the history of the horse in Kentucky, goes inside the region's famous horse farms and visits the state's racetracks. On a more practical level, the book details information about visiting farms and tracks and lists a wide variety of horse-related attractions throughout the state. Horse Lover's Guide includes chapters on Nickell's picks for where to stay and eat when visiting Kentucky's cities. Buy this great book using this link:


  • Please support our sponsors because we would not be here without them:
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Thursday, 10 December 2009

Kinglsey's road to soudness? Bringing Back To Work Day 1

I've lunged Kingsley today (and will post a video as soon as I've uploaded it from my phone - the problem is my phone's software doesn't work with my new computer's mega newest software and my old computer takes about 25 minutes to switch on and another 2.5h of crashing before it manages to perform the simplests of tasks) and he looked EVEN!
I kept him on a large circle for about 5 minutes on each rein, walk and trot (about 2.5 minutes of each). He moved with much more freedom than 2 months ago, positevely rhythmic and level.
However, his body work is very crooked on both reins, a problem which I hope will be only a schooling/physio problem.

Got to rest now. Running one my Training Days tomorrow day time then Rick and I are off to have a look at a potential new house in the evening. Exciting :)
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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Good value for money?

I started my day very early today which is probably why I am feeling overwhelmingly sleepy now. Thanks to a few breaks in between the lessons I made some all important To Do lists so I am somewhat organised in the run up to Xmas. Considering I only have 1 day off before the 24th (and even then it's the day Kingsley is having his physio under sedation and we have a Xmas dinner at one of the yards I teach at ) it's no wonder I am a bit worried about fitting everything in ;)
I suppose I could try to pop to some shops in the late evenings on my way back from work but hmmm to say gently, I am usually knackered by then.
Now, there is always the option of buying online but I would have to buy things right now so they arrive on time. So it all comes down to organising myself.

During my long day at work today I concluded the yard does give both the clients and instructors a fantastic value for money. I can perform trekking over some spectacular riding arenas, today defined as: wetland featuring temporary inundation of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water and gentle rolling hills. I also get superbly fit running with Full-Of-Life ponies, bursting with health & energy and thinking child is an unnecessary luggage.
My riders get to experience true outdoor sport of hacking without leaving the arena enclosure. They learn to balance on horses investigating variety of terrain, often losing balance themselves and yet soldering on.

You just can't beat that value for money. I mean, xc lessons are a pricey event you know. Same goes for Gym memberships.
So I better shhhushh and enjoy the fact I am saving some pennies before that Xmas shopping!
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Monday, 7 December 2009

The heating is back but...

The heating returned today - what a relief! I can't wait for a lovely hot bath after 4 days of cold water therapy! Suppose to be good for you, right?...
The heating is back but sometimes your friends can tell you things that freeze you right down to the bone whether there is 10C or 30C inside...bad news are the life's reminder that we better enjoy what we have because tomorrow is only a reality. And reality never last.

I can't even tell you how I hate this kind of bad news and if I ever had any super natural powers I would know precisely what to do with them. I am hoping for better news for my friend as soon as possible.

On the working front I am brain washing myself on how to improve suppleness in my two lovely Sunday riders who spend their lives on blooming office chairs 6 days a week. In a few words -one needs to be able to sit to the canter and the other to improve flexibility in the upper body/arms/shoulder/hands...

[What's Athlete's Flexibility - Read Here].

Here is a photo showing the problem which manifests itself through hand/wrists stiffness:

The rider basically keeps her hands in this position all the time and we have a grand problem with her using her hands with more feel. She does ride most of the horses very nicely I must say but we are stuck on a very basic level due to lack of flexibility.

I have a little programme for both of them which they haven't seen yet ;) but I will let you know how we are getting on.

Talking about flexibility...before I discovered Pilates I used Callanetics exercises to be able to walk without pain (after my knee op). After swapping to Pilates I almost forgot about Callanetics until one of my riders mentioned it the other day. I have an old book on it still somwhere but I've just googled it callanetics.com - read Callan's story, it's quite inspirational).

Kingsley.
Little man is loving his new field, the mud and extended turn out time. He is so much more relaxed in the stable and doesn't try to keep himself in my pocket.

The mud though is relentless. Every time he is back from the field there are boots to clean and rug to dry and it just goes on and on. In the ideal world I would need a dry rug per day in a week plus set of boots per day! C'mon summer...;)

Below: Dry and groomed tonight. I am starting to bring him slowly back to work on Wednesday, then vet and physio are coming the following Monday to assess his response to work load. He seems to be trotting much more level but I now look for so many things that might not even be there so I don't trust my judgement. Fingers crossed...

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Friday, 4 December 2009

Surprise message from Horse Hero and something seriously not funny

Horse Hero, a great site with some excellent training videos among many other interesting content, emailed me saying they read my earlier post on shadowing Anna Ross Davies and they wondered whether I would want to embed a video interview with her.
As the site operates a subscription (£17.25 a year) I thought I will go for it so all of you who read my blog can have a look for free :)

Here we go, let's hope it works:



HorseHero
filmed some great training videos with Anna too but they couldn't send me the code so I guess if you want to see them you would need to pay. Tough I know. I am hoping Santa might bring me the subscription this Xmas ;) Here is a link to the training/schooling videos (they have FREE trailers): http://www.horsehero.com/5201/13908

Now, it's seriously not funny having your heating breaking down in the middle of the winter!!! It's the second evening in the cold :( Fortunately the plumber says he found what's wrong with it so hopefully he will repair it tomorrow.
Having to wash in cold water (oh yes, did I mention our water and heating are somewhat connected so if there is no heating there is no hot water either?) after whole day out is pushing it. Having said that, my feet were so cold when I came back I didn't even notice the water being of diffrent temperature...I am sitting here with hot water bottle by my side, in 2 pair of socks and a little heater on full blast.
Fun, fun, fun...NOT!
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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Amazingly...

Despite the far from satisfactory conditions I get to work in many a time I am feeling amazingly motivated. In fact, I feel driven more than I have had for a while which feels great.
I say amazingly as there are many things that are in urgent need of being sorted and I am often finding myself in various life's troubles and yet it all feels very very right.

I should sleep more but then I wouldn't have time for reading, blogging and learning more ;) December is looking pretty busy with very little time off, lots of teaching and with my self-inflicted deadline to get all the academy site materials ready by the end of the year.

If only I could just stop the time for a week so I could sit somewhere quiet and listen to all the ideas crowded in my head I might just be able to pull it all out just right. That luxury being obviously not possible, I will just need to cope as usual :)
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Monday, 30 November 2009

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. Vince Lombardi

And work I did this month - can feel it in my tired bones.
Following some substantial amount of snoozes I managed to get up at 6.50am on Saturday morning, plastered some ice from the freezer to my eyes to wake up enough to be able to find my wardrobe and just made it to my first lesson at 9am.
Watching all those lessons yesterday made me look at the riders with fresh set of eyes (if still just a little sleepy).
I ran a Training Day for one of my beginner riders who normally rides with me in Surrey. We devised mutual understanding with Lindsey where upon she provides me with a lot of laugh therapy and I teach her riding ;)
I am following the belief that beginner riders have to first learn as much as possible about balance in motion so we do a lot of riding which might seem like plenty of fun (which I guess is a great bonus) but there is a lot of thought going into it.


Kingsley is feeling rather well within himself and decided to show me that keeping plastic containers inside his stable is out of order.

He is also being very playful still with his field mate and we are having to re-think the turn out arrangements as the two of them play Ascot Racecourse in their paddock . I let him free in the indoor school at lunch time and he had a little trot around there. I watched him trying to scrutinise any and every odd step he made but he looked much sounder to me that I've seen him for ages. There was definitely a marked improvement in front legs movement but I am not totally sure about the hind legs action still. There were some steps where I could tell he was choosing to pop himself into canter instead of making a little effort to turn in trot - whether that's just weakness or something more, I wouldn't be able to say.
We have Anna Johnson coming to Kingsley to do physio session under sedation on the 14th December so hopefully she will be able to determine whether there is any improvement in his neck/back/hindquarters muscular spasms.

"Long suffering" Lindsey who only had about 10 or so lessons braved through entire day rather well and then drove us both back to London. She dropped me off at Suzanne's where I had about an hour to scrap all the manure off and get myself to more or less presentable state as we were due to appear at the RDA (Riding For Disabled) charity/fundraising Ball.
We got there just in time and the whole thing was one hilarious event by another. We indulged in some sort of dancing which would probably classify as pogo and ate all that was put in front of us but I was too tired to make any sense of any conversations ;)
Back at Suzanne's I slept like a baby and didn't wake up until just about 15 minutes before I was due to appear in the arena at my first lesson. Suzanne let me sleep till the very end and we arrived at the yard with perfect timing.
I decided I had enough of rain and tested the ponies by sitting in my corner with a massive garden parasol above me. Ponies behaved just fine but I got drenched anyway taking hack out in torrential rain and thunder followed by lunge lessons (where I thought the parasol might be pushing my luck).
It's been a hell of a tiring month but I've learned a thing or two and it feels good.
Today I've been spending time with my dear Rick whom I have barely seen this past mad week. I feel a little bit rested and almost ready to face more rain and mud tomorrow. Bring it on December.
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Friday, 27 November 2009

Shadowing the best

Thanks to someone's Internet addiction I ended up being given a fantastic opportunity to shadow Anna Ross Davies - an international Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer. Anna invited me to spend a day with her watching her working her horses at her base at Bury Farm in the morning and teaching variety of clients there and at Patchetts Equestrian Centre. The riders today ranged from serious amateurs to professional riders to children trying for/or already on FEI pony teams.
I had a lesson with Anna a couple of years ago and both my riding and my teaching improved dramatically afterwards so it's no wonder I was absolutely delighted to be able to learn more.
Although, as perhaps most riders, I am very much a kinesthetic learner, I also noticed that watching good quality training challenges and develops my teaching skills far better than any hours of riding.
I like to relate what I hear to what I see and observe the rider's reactions to certain corrections which seems to create a real brainstorm in my head - in a very positive way.
Another great thing I noticed is that in the same way as a video feedback helps the riders to improve their perception of good and bad moments in their training sessions, watching a very good, skilled rider can improve your own riding without apparent effort.
If you dig well enough into sports psychology you will probably find some scientific explanation to this phenomenon but I tend to think about it as a children way of learning ;)
A 6 year old can "learn" rising trot just by watching another rider doing it. You put a child on a pony and say "do as that rider does" and more often then not your little rider will correctly rise to the trot rhythm. Sure, you will need to tweak the technique later on but the basic skill is there.

Some time ago, when I was out of action for months on end with my dodgy knee, I read about this top Olympic skier who happened to injure himself right bang in the middle of his Olympic preparations.
He took part in a physio-rehab programme that involved watching videos of his own best performances and it was found out that you can "exercise" the muscles through watching and active imagining of participation in the training.
He did go to Olympics and his physio noted amazing rate of recovery and much faster return to form the athlete had prior to injury.

I can't quote statistics and I am too tired to search the Internet for some academic papers on this but I know it works for me. I ride, teach and think about training much better after watching quality teaching/training.

What I really like in Anna's teaching and riding is that there is clear method to it, whether it's a talented young dressage horse or a pony with shortage of legs and talent. It's like watching lots of elements of a puzzle being put together. Sometimes the riders try to cheat inadvertendly and force some pieces together but they never get to finish the picture like that. It's the undoing what was put together wrong and trying to put it back together in a better way, finding the pieces that do fit and those that don't, is what I find fascinating to watch. It makes you pay attention to details, quality of basic paces and self-carriage of the horse you are riding or teaching on.

I had a chance to watch morning training of Anna's horses and 8 (I think!) lessons she gave afterwards. They all involved very different riders and very different horses. The Prix St George horse, one was putting together her Elementary freestyle to music, then a green 5 year old (that was super to watch), some more Elementary level horses, some work on improving changes with Advanced Medium horse, some contact issues, back stiffeness, basic flexion problems etc etc I personally found sessions with the young/green horses most interesting but I also had a chance to watch Simon working on piaffe in-hand with Anna's advanced horses which was rather impressive.
And the kids - they were all fab little riders. Amazingly, many many PTT or even some AI instructors I have seen in training have less feel and work ethic than I saw with those young riders today. They transformed these ordinary animals into rather special dressage ponies, they listen and try their best to correct what's wrong and you can really see improvement.

I'm knackered now but it was so worth it. It's not often, if ever, that you get help when trying to get better in whatever you do and I am ever so grateful to Anna for taking her time to share her knowledge and experiences with me.
I mustn't have caused too much problems (I did try to control that cute, fury, active dog of Anna's with varied luck!) as I am invited again and I sure will make some time for another day like today. Minus the COLD!

Now, I must remember to set off my alarm for multiple (read: hundreds) snoozes as have to be in Berks at 9am tomorrow.
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Thursday, 26 November 2009

Why is it that...

...horses that are apparently so unsound and so incapable of moving without looking lame are yet perfectly able to gallop flat out round and round the field when turned out??!!
Kingsley gave a mild coronary today when he decided to play a race horse and have a fight with his field buddy. They tested how fast can an equine travel around relatively small field which ended in Kingsley falling over and hitting the deck rather hard :(
Both horses had to be caught and taken out of the field as they would not stop running and I then spent good 15 minutes walking Kingsley in-hand before he started breathing more or less normal. He was absolutely covered with mud, not to mention he drenched his rug and boots too. Thankfully, he seemed to be in one piece. I checked on him every hour or so to see if his legs stayed tight but there was no swelling or heat when I left just before 8pm.
I told him he is a silly man and his body will never feel better if he keeps playing like this but all I got was a lot of nuzzling and sniffing and checking for food.

He will be going out tomorrow with some immensly lazy pony that will hopefully ignore every invitations for a mad run.
I am hoping he behaves as I am not at the yard tomorrow and I always worry he comes up with something when I am not around.
Ok, sleep time as 5am start to the day tomorrow, off for some dressage training.
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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

One of many days

Reading University seems to have a rather active riding club which meant I spent entire day teaching uni riders. As we are having an additional new outdoor arena built on site at Hall Place and massive machinery goes forwards and back all the time, all the day time lessons were indoors so I stayed dry and my voice was saved from battling with the wind. Good.

The world around me has all of a sudden become very Xmassy. All the decorations are up and all the shops seem in the festive mood already. I think I'm looking forward to this year's Christmas a little bit more than the last but I am still rather sad I won't be with my family.
I am hoping that one day this feeling of being constantly torn in between the two lives will finally lessen in intensity and I will be happier with things I just can't change.

You know, all I really want is to have a demanding, inspiring job, horses to ride, homey cosy place to live in and have all the people dear to me close by.
And a dog and a cat ;)
My friend's puppy is currently benefiting from my dog love whenever I see him although he did wake me up at some ungodly hour when I stayed over last night. He thinks that placing a well chewed sock on my face is a good idea and will definitely make me wake up and play. Okay ;)

Kingsley is also being very playful and very cuddly. He rests his head on my arm and shoulder while I scratch his face which he absolutely adores. I am giving him chaff only with a sprinkle of Baileys No.4 at the moment as he has way too much energy when out in the field. He does have a lot of hay to keep him busy and I am keeping everything crossed that some healing is taking place in his sacro-blooming-iliac joint.

Right, mission for today is to grab some decent rest!
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Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Medical Approach to Teaching = the evening with Andrew Murphy. The mud and comforting cup of tea


It's the winter that's always the hardest in this job. It's not even the cold and the rain and short dark days, it's the tiredness that comes with it. I feel shattered and organising everything so it runs more or less smoothly seems like a grand effort. It's even worse when one or two things crop up unexpected which means whatever managed to be painstakingly planned ends up upside down and inside out.

I spent last evening in Hampshire on a first in a series of lecture-talks with Andrew Murphy, senior instructor at TTTTrust (Training The Teachers of Tomorrow Trust).
The lectures are to be loosely based on training/bio-mechanics subjects as well as being driven by whatever the participants want to focus on which is great. Andrew shared his view on training horses and riders from beginners to Grand Prix level and is mostly focusing on Dressage.
He advocates a medical approach to teaching where problems are diagnosed and found cure for and where pinpointing and treating the cause is more important than patching up the symptoms. The other thing he mentioned was the importance of understanding and being able to explain why, as a rider/trainer do we correct this thing not the other and why do we do it this way and not the other.
Bad riding is born out of frustration and frustration is born out of bad education.
When training the horse we should first see an animal with its instincts, needs and impulses. Then, we see the horse. And only after that we see our pet, The CutiePie. Not the other way round.
Andrew went even further stating that horse trainers should understand that horses have predominately two states: Pain and No Pain. All problems we have with training stem from the horse either being in pain, remembering the pain or anticipating pain.
However, subscribing to this thought would also mean acknowledging there is no such thing as a happy horse...Not sure if I want to burst my bubble.

The next meeting is in January and I will definitely put myself down for it.
My attending those various courses and talks is not only to gain as much knowledge as possible but also to learn about...all the different ways of learning.

Straight from Hampshire I went down to teach in London till late evening and I am now writing this drinking super sweet tea, alike one my gran always makes. It's way too sweet and you wouldn't be able to tell what variety of tea you are drinking but that's how I like it on those cold, muddy winter evenings - hot,no milk and lots of brown sugar :) While I am drifting somewhere in between where I am and where I would like to see myself being, this super sweet tea tastes comforting.

Here are little insights into my week ahead: Wed/Thu regular teaching in Berks, then roll on Friday - I have some super training arranged for in Bucks and Hertfordshire. Sat - running Training Day in Berks for a fab beginner rider which should be lots of fun. She will then drive me back to London and I will have an hour or so to scrub up to to an annual RDA ball organised by one of the riding schools in Surrey. Sunday - will try my best not to fall asleep in the arena!
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Monday, 23 November 2009

Photo Movie from various Training Days up to November 2009



To book one for yourself or to just check out what is it all about go to:
http://trainingdays-equestrian.blogspot.com/
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Sunday, 22 November 2009

Odd kind of Day

You know those days when you think how much you know about how little you really know? That's my day today...
Thankfully, a fabulous trainer I was contacted by last month seems to want to let me learn from her so I can't wait to grab that chance.
Sometimes it feels like life is too short for what I have planned to do with it.
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Saturday, 21 November 2009

Someone has too much energy...

...and it's certainly not myself. Little Kingsley has so much vigour after being allowed back into the field that I dare to hope he is feeling slightly better. However, if he doesn't stop running around he will probably make it all worse!
Today was his second day out and he spent a lot of the time playing with his field buddy which he hasn't done much of before.
Yesterday, he was way too full of himself and ended up pulling front shoe off. After 20 minutes of walking around the field I found the shoe sitting nicely in mud. Good, one fee less to pay on the list of never ending expenses' list.

The weather was relentless today - rain followed by heavy rain. I feel like responding to one of those adverts looking for riding instructors in Dubai ;)
My today's Training Day rider braved through and had a great day despite being drenched most of the time!

Kingsley happy to be out after 3 days on box rest following injections:

Training Day in The Rain:

Kingsley in his new box being a model for Kiran's stable management session: 'Getting a horse ready for turn out' :)

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Thursday, 19 November 2009

National Coaching Conference 2009 Summarised
















The Programme included:

  • Sports Psychology with Sandie Chambers
  • Nutrition with Stuart Chambers
  • Rider Fitness with Jon Pitts
  • Tim Stockdale's speech
  • Motion & Performance Centre
The Conference might have just been a perfect day for BHSAI instructors/coaches preparing for their Intermediate Teaching exam and/or anybody training others for those exams. In terms of development or improvement of my own knowledge I wouldn't say there was much I haven't known already. Having said that, there were little things here and there that I either never heard about or forgot about. Additionally, it was a great day in terms of consolidating the knowledge and re-focusing on the bigger picture. It was good and I enjoyed it. I might be wrong but I think it would be great if all the material was presented with plenty of practical examples of using it in every day life or training riders. There have been moments when the info seemed a little too dry and classroom like.

Let's start from possibly the best session in my book: the Jon Pitt's Rider's Fitness in Coach's Perspective. It was perhaps the only lecture that thoroughly engaged the audience in terms of being both educational and interactive as well as fun.
A few scribbles I made during that session:

Equestrian Specific elements of focus for coaches:
  • balance
  • core stability
  • brain: concentration, focus, confidence, memory
  • co-ordination
  • brave
  • reactions
  • cardio-vascular (CV)
  • weight
  • strength
  • suppleness
Jon Pitts underlines the latter - suppleness - as one of the most important. He also mentioned that suppleness is often misinterpreted as flexibility. Suppleness, he said, has nothing to do with flexibility. Flexibility is for example, an ability to touch the floor with your fingers without bending your legs. The suppleness is the ability to absorb the impact of movement without tension.

Coaching Points:

Quality of Repetition
Simple Steps
How many instructions (human brain is consciously capable of absorbing only 5-9 bits of information at any given moment)

Jon Pitts: www.jonpitts.co.uk

Tim Stockdale gave a vary amusing and inspiring talk about how he isn't sure whether he really should be joining the BHS ;) He underlined the importance of quality coaching and correct tuition from the lowest of levels and encouraged everybody to keep coming up with initiatives to make the training more productive.
Tim certainly has a talent to captivate his audience with variety of stories, the enthusiasm and very apparent passion for what he does.
His speech focused on:
  • riding schools, the facilities vs quality of teaching and how it's not always going hand in hand
  • ways of teaching; he condemned constant bellowing often observed in riding school's arenas
  • he encouraged to understand the pupils' needs and tailor each instruction making it specific to particular rider
  • goal setting/progress cards/initiatives to make training effective
  • college vs qualifications vs experience - Tim wondered why are the colleges and the BHS aren't doing enough to make equine courses/degrees more practical and industry relevant. He compared what is happening in equine education sector to Law graduate becoming hairdressers. More equine students should be prepared/ready/happy to join the industry they trained to work for.
The subject that always grabs my attention is Sports Psychology. Unfortunately, the speaker who discussed this subject was simply reading from her notes that discussed very basic information which most PTT (BHS Preliminary Teaching Test - the first exam on coaching ladder) students should know already and she was so monotonous I virtually fell asleep! Sorry!
I'm afraid that from what people were saying during the first break I wasn't the only one who felt like a nap during that lecture. To be fair though it was the first session of the day and I was mega sleepy having gotten up at 4.30am AND there were stars displayed on black curtains behind the screen ;)

Stuart Chambers' Nutrition lecture with his off the notes presentation was way more interesting. I haven't really made any notes here though as most of the subjects were either common knowledge or I have covered them while at Hartpury on Rider's Performance module.information at any given moment)

Stuart also made us do a very simple exercise to prove how much our brain and body get used to certain habits and movement patterns.
Fold your arms in front of you. Are you feeling comfortable? Which hand is showing? Now, fold your arms so your other hand is on top...feels awkward? Apparently it takes ten thousands of repetitions for the pattern to become comfortable and a second nature. If you always ride with your left hip collapsed a little and right stirrup longer half a hole, centering your position will feel uncomfortable and odd to start with. So persevere.
Edited here to pass on a comment from Stuart Chambers from Horse and Hound Forum: The point I was making was that we are creatures of habit and changing a habit feels awkward at first but then becomes more comfortable, just like changing the way you fold your arms!
Fold your arms in front of you.

One thing I did note is how to estimate your REE (Resting Energy Expenditure) to then be able to estimate how much calories do you need to maintain basic functions of your body.

Women:
(10xW) + (6.25 xh) - (5xa) + 5
Men:
(10xW) + (6.25 xh) - (5xa) - 161

W-weight (kg)
h-heigth (cm)
a-age

In layman terms, knowing your REE helps to plan your diet in a way that protects your muscles from being eaten by your own body ;) Muscle tissue is the first one to be used for energy. If you don't provide your body with enough good quality nutrients it will start using lean muscles' tissue to produce more fat.

Another subject that is my personal favourite was:

Dr David Marlin discussed Digital Video Analysis and its usage in equestrian coaching. There are some fascinating software available that allows coaches to see details seriously superior to what you can see yourself in real life with bare eyes.
It is most likely the fact I am very visual learner myself that I have always rated video feedback. However, it is proved that:

Hearing = slow processing of information
Visual = rapid processing


Improvement depends on better retention of information. This can be achieved by:
  • repetition
  • reinforcement
  • physical involvement
The last lecture of the day was Motion & Performance Centre's (MPC) presentation which we didn't stay on as we had to hit the road and go back. I am going to a series of bio-mechanics lectures though starting this Monday so hope I will brush up on whatever I might have missed.

What I think is the best about Conferences like this is the inspirational factor of them. The brainstorming and ideas generating effect it often has on people. I certainly came back with a few more :)
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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

British Horse Society (BHS) Coaching Convention

Just a quick one today to say it was a very enjoyable day - proper update either tomorrow or on Friday. I got up at 4.30am today and it's been a busy busy day!
On the amazing note - I came back home to find Ricky bought me a new, shiny, fantastically fast and reliable laptop so I am Over The Moon :) :) :)
Speak soon! X
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Monday, 16 November 2009

The spine X-rays later and...

Every time I get Kingsley out of his stable I hope for some miracle to happen. I hope to see him moving with no sign of discomfort, loose and supple like any healthy, sound, happy 5 year old horse would. But of course, it's not as easy as that.

After a lot of lost time with previous vets we went for a completely different Veterinary practice and Kingsley is now in hands of a back/spine focused vet.
Richard thinks Kingsley shows very classic signs of Sacroiliac (SI) disease/strain but because of high level of pain in the poll area as well as neck muscles and rather distinct way he carries himself over the back (extremely one-sided) he needed to rule out Kissing Spine disease first.

X-RAYS RESULTS

The Poll

These showed a tiny bone chip just behind the poll, in between the ears. On the image it looked like one of those little cork board's pins pinned onto the bone. Apparently some horses' polls do look like that though and it could be a normal thing to have. However, it could also be a result of rearing and hitting the head and any similar trauma injury. Considering how sore Kingsley is on palpation and the only a very slight abnormality of the x-ray, the vet concluded it is probably mostly a soft tissue problem after an old injury.
We will be treating this with physiotherapy sessions under sedation in about 4 weeks time.

The Back
All his thoracic and lumbar vertebrae look great. There are wide spaces in between them and all looked nice and healthy from radiographic point of view. The sacral area cannot be X-rayed with a portable machine as it's not powerful enough. The amount of muscle tissue in the loins and hindquarters doesn't allow the rays to penetrate deep enough.
However, Kingsley is mildly back sore and extremely one-sided and if allowed to stand in preferred position he will always move one or the other hind leg underneath his barrel and if you look at his spine from above he holds himself in a bit of an 'S' letter with a lot of body mass bulging to the right.
A bit like in the below photo but the other way round:

This we will also treat with physio in several weeks time.

The Sacro-iliac/pelvis
To be able to X-ray this area we would have to transfer Kingsley to Vet clinic. The soreness of the area is not a secret (he almost goes down as you prod around the pelvis). He also displays following clinical signs: unlevel pelvis (ever so slightly but still - apparently can be normal but not if pain is present), intermittent hind leg lameness, the stance with one hind leg always propped forwards, avoiding square stance, strong reaction to palpation, unbalanced movement, rushing in all gaits or refusing to move properly forwards, dropping into four beat canter, back soreness, and the list goes on.

The diagnosis
The current diagnosis is: sacroiliac disease/strain, poll and neck soreness due to an old injury and way of going caused by sacroiliac (i.e. front leg unlevelness shows up as a result of a horse compensating for the pain in the back and pelvis).
The sacroiliac problems could have been a result of competition/ridden/field injury in the past, been unnoticed when horse was in rest and resurfaced when horse was brought back into work.
I was also told by someone who exercised Kingsley in between the day of the vetting in Aug to the day we picked him up in Spt that he was always ridden in draw reins and lunged in pessoa. Now, I am not going to get started on both of these but as I have spent a while reading up all I could find on sacroiliac injuries it seems that they do become aggravated by pessoa lunging gadget. If he was sore in the back and pelvis but had his neck snapped down by draw reins could he have developed muscle soreness in the neck in an effort to alleviate the back pain?

The Treatment
Either way, Richard the Vet suggested cortisone injections which are basically steroids injected into sacroiliac area in between tendons, soft tissue and joint. Their role is to kill the inflammation and pain and help the healing process. It seems that even if he was taken to the clinic for bone scan to fully confirm the severity of the problem, the first thing that is being done now in cases like his is to inject anyway.
Injections are basically both the treatment and diagnostic tool in one. If the horse improves, it definitely has sacroiliac strain/disease/problem whatever you want to call it. If it doesn't then the bone scan is the only way to take diagnosis further.
So we went with injections.
However, they are steroids...and some horses might develop laminitis due to injections. That and various allergic reactions too.

The Rehab
So we are now on (providing he doesn't get worse):

3 days of box rest post injections followed by
2 weeks of limited turn out daily followed by
1 week of slowly bringing back to work on the lunge followed by
Richard coming back to assess the level of improvement before walking under the saddle starts.

Providing all goes well with that he should be ready to have more rehab done on his muscles and will have physio work done under sedation on his neck, poll and back.

So I stayed with little man until he was fully awake from sedation, munching on his hay. He's got a dressing on where the mahosive needles went in and it's to stay on for 48h. There is a slight possibility of infection as always with any under skin invasive procedures so I asked friends to keep an eye on him as I am not there tomorrow.

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Sunday, 15 November 2009

For the smiles



I had to pull a couple of horses out of lessons today which didn't seem very well welcomed by the school's owner. Considering there is only a few horses to play with, the team on the yard had rather difficult task to keep everything ticking somewhat. On top of that, the weather is wrecking the arenas and we couldn't do much at all.
It's hard to find an economically viable solution to so many problems that need resolving...for now, I am in it for those smiles:

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Saturday, 14 November 2009

A-Z of Last Two Days


Working outside is current weather is rather interesting. It seems that glorious, sunny and warm October was sent down to make up for what is happening now.

A is for Absorption exhibited by my clothing. Generous of it but seriously unnecessary.
B is for Books read in a hot bath while recuperating after A.
C is for clients. Super Training Day today with a pleasure-to-teach rider not bothered by W, R and H.



D is for Dash the puppy playing an alarm clock with empty bottle of Lucozade.
E is for enjoying the madness of W,M,H and R as well as V.
F is for Farmhouse Yogurt Apple and Cinnamon at 23:16 while writing this post.
G is for achieving goals.
H is for Horses being wet, muddy and not impressed with W and R.
I is for a giant, fabulous, amazing Indoor Arena I dream about having every single winter day.
J is for juggling life, food, mud and manure without losing sanity.
K is for Kingsley's new lycra hood :)
L is for Loving life and Leaves - the wet, soggy yet beautiful autumn/winter leaves.

M is for Mud. Bloody mud that makes me slip and rip my favourite Gore-Tex coat on a barb wire!
N is for Never enough sunshine
O is for Overtrousers. I am loving my Toggi Extreme.
P is for Pub meals while rain is pouring outside.
Q is for Question that needs good answers.
R is for Rick's jokes and for Rain, bucket load of it!
S is for Staying over at my dear friend's house when it's too rainy to go back home
T is for Too many soaking wet numnahs, rugs, boots and bandages
W is for Wind. 70 miles per hour or it. Not. Nice.
U is for Underwear & Pyjamas shopping because of S.
V is for lack of Visibility when cantering in W and M and R.
X is for ...who knows. eXtraordinary events some time soon?
Z is for Zzzzzz - sleep needed.


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Thursday, 12 November 2009

Thursday Words of Wisdom

The one thing all famous authors, world-class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things.

Yet still, they began their journeys.

~Mike Dooley

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Day Off

My teaching was cancelled today, one of the things that are rather unsettling when you freelance, especially that the cancellations very often come day before and not much else can be arranged for in such a short space of time.
I thought it would be a good idea to do some resting but I am not convinced one day of rest is so beneficial. I actually feel my bones and joints more! Must be ceasing up. After half a day leisurely in bed I played a very very good housewife and spent good few hours spring -winter cleaning the kitchen and catching up with washing. Things I never have time for.

I am now trying to draw a site map of the website for riding academy I am working on so Rick can have an idea what needs to be built and how extensive it will need to be. I am aiming at a decent amount of content which will include not only the information on the actual services I and the others in the academy team will provide, but also various interesting articles on horse and rider training. To give you an example, one of my riders is a professional fitness trainer managing his own studio and I am roping him in into writing a series of articles on how to work on different muscles to aid riding progress.
I know it's going to look great. And it must do as I have some more plans connected to it.
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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Horses...who would've them...The saga continues...

Whoever is responsible for heating in my office is doing a really bad job! The winter is here and surely this should now be taken care of...there is also a lot of mud and rain and cold. Hmm.

First, some jolly things so I don't sound too grim throughout the entire post. I had a fab time at my darling crazy friend's birthday, laugh therapy is certainly one to go for. We also ran a rather hilarious 'Have-A-Go' day today for some uni students who have never ridden before. I thought I was going to roll on the floor laughing, it must have been some post bad news trauma release! Either way it was funny.

Now, onto the bad news.
Kingsley. I wanted to give you an update yesterday but I was so tired and so upset by the results of physio and vet's visit that I thought I'd better leave it for today and write it all down without feeling so emotional and too dramatic about it all. Especially that we are still awaiting the diagnosis.
So here we go. The physio found no improvement after a month of TENS and walking. He is still oddly uneven in trot on all 4 legs really. She suggested the symptoms make it look like some sort of neurological problem that might improve via rehabilitation of movement patterns. She suggested a series of exercises and rehab programme to follow to aid balance and improve motor skills.
However, my gut feeling was that there is something seriously wrong as since I got to know him more now I can tell there is a lot of things about the way he moves that are way out of normal. The chance had it that one of the other liveries needed a vet for some quite dramatic back problem and was going to have a vet specialising in such I thought it was wise to share the visit. After having a chat with P., the owner, she agreed it really was the time to get a totally unconnected vet to have a fresh look at the symptoms and take it from there. The vet came yesterday and unfortunately he was rather concerned about little Kingsley.

Looks like he is uncomfortable to varied degrees along his entire spine, from the poll to the tip of his tail, the poll and sacroiliac joint being the hot spots.
He will now have his poll, back and sacroiliac x-rayed on Monday to make a proper diagnosis a little bit more possible. If X-rays don't show anything, then he will be referred for MRI.

I really am trying to stay positive but hearing about cortisone injection in a 5 years old just doesn't make my day. That little horse is ever so lucky to have such a fantastic owner like P. who will do all there is possible to fix him.
And I am very lucky too that she has this wonderful attitude as the entire situation makes me feel dreadful.

So we are now waiting for the results of the X-ray and hope that whatever it is it's not the end of the ridden life for little man.

Some links to various resources on Sacroiliac Pain and Injuries in Horses:
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Sunday, 8 November 2009

Hunting in Ireland and religion...

...got summed up to me in one sentence today. I taught this American woman who told me how many years ago she went for a hunting trip to Ireland. I asked her what she thought of it and she said:

'You know, if you are not a Christian in the morning of the hunt you definitely are one in the evening!"...;)

I had a weekend from hell travelling wise with ALL my tube lines' options out due to engineering work. I spent considerable amount of time walking vaguely towards home from the train station because I couldn't be bothered waiting for overcrowded buses.
Then today I must have had a ride on board of about 8 buses and I am positively worn out.

Kingsley is being reassessed tomorrow at 12pm. All the hope in the world that there is some improvement...

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Friday, 6 November 2009

2010 Radio Show Episode 63 - The WEG Equine Village

Culver Academies Black Horse Troop

A number of guests join us to speak about the Alltech 2010 World Equestrian Games. We take a look at the 2010 WEG Equine Village, get and Alltech update and hear about the natural Tennessee Walking Horse. Listen in...

2010 Radio Show Episode 63 - The WEG Equine Village:

  • Hosts: Samantha Clark and Glenn the Geek

  • Guest: Susanna Elliot, PR Alltech, gives us the latest on Alltech's preparations for the Alltech 2010 World Equestrian Games.

  • Guest: Andrea Ohnstad of Silver Phoenix Ranch speaks to us about the Natural Tennessee Walking Horse demonstration that will be held at the 2010 WEG. Visit her blog at http://forthetnwalkinghorse.blogspot.com.

  • Guest: Kathy Hopkins, Director of the Equine Village, speaks to us about all the activities and entertainments planned for the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

  • News: Professors at Georgetown College are manning the phones for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, making sure volunteer applicants have done their homework in French and Spanish. Called Language Proficiency exams, every language service volunteer applicant must complete these tests in order to become an official language specialist for the Games. Language Specialists are expected to facilitate communication for officials and athletes in more than 12 languages during the Games.

  • News: Colorful, creative benches will appear again on the streets of Frankfort in the summer of 2010 as part of an effort to beautify the community for tourists attending the World Equestrian Games. The project - “Horsin' Around Frankfort” - is one of several designed to make the city more attractive, enliven cultural activity and increase tourism to the capital before and during the games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

  • Please support our sponsors because we would not be here without them:

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