Friday, 17 September 2010

Books, Burghley, Home Made Pizza and Academy's tasks


You never know how much rubbish you have in your own house until you try to tidy things up. September started for me with a giant clearance. Having been ill almost entire August and being unable to shed a horrid cold for several weeks, my energy returned all of a sudden. At first I just wanted to get rid of stacks and stacks of equestrian mags that I seem incapable of throwing away but ended up filling our patio up with mountains of large, black wheelie bin liners full of all sorts of stuff we no longer need/use...For those of you who don't know our house is a size of a match box so I was impressed at how much storage space it actually has ;)

Old magazines gone it was only fair to order some new books to take up the available shelves! I decided to ask my mum to order some books in Polish for me as although I have no problems reading any English training books it always feels like I learn more reading in the mother tongue.
There are many new things I've learned since I've lived here and I am ashamed to admit but I find some concepts way easier to explain in English than in Polish.
I am rectifying this by reading some excellent books in both languages. The two I've just finished are:

1) Centred Riding by Sally Swift


2) Klaus Balkenhol - The Man And His Training Methods


The Sally Swift book was a great read, some very good ideas on how to explain variety of riding concepts and some excellent examples of very creative images illustrating those concepts.
I also have her second book and I am looking forward to reading it.

The Klaus Balkenhol's biography was a joy to read and very inspirational. I thoroughly recommend it, fantastic insight into life of a very dedicated horseman and coach as well as into his classical training methods.

He is to be the guest speaker at British Dressage's: The Albion National Convention which will be held on the 27-28 November at Hartpury College and I am planning to go to at least one of the days.

Burghley 2010

On Saturday the 4th of September, Kari and I made a two hour road trip to Burghely Horse Trials to watch the XC and to see Craig and Spider doing their first 4* track. It was immediately apparent why Burghely is regarded as the most difficult 4* - the ground goes up and down non stop and there is barely a stretch of even galloping surface. Everything seems to have a gradient to it and if the ground happens to flatten a bit there are strategically placed mounds to make things nicely hair rising!
Despite Kari's hope to avoid any drastic looking falls we ended up witnessing a dreadful one of Rosie Thomas. Her horse Barry's Best caught a knee on the table jump, landed on his knees and face, rider's foot went deep through the iron and didn't release when the horse got up resulting in an awful looking drag :(
Both were fine and Rosie hopped along to give the horse a big hug once stewards had caught him.

Spider went clear and looked fabulous.




A couple of videos I took of Craig and Spider:



The crowds were substantial and it wasn't easy to see the action unless you planted yourself at one jump, sneaked your way to the ropes and just watched several riders going over. In this way you could compare different ways of riding to and over each jump but it could get samey!

The Academy

Time has come to deal with the mammoth task of editing all the Case Studies videos. It's a Grand Design scale project in itself as I literally need hours of free time to upload all the videos and then put them together into short clips. Let's just say I will be relieved when that's done.
The riders are doing very well and I hope you will enjoy reading about their progress.

I wrote a second part of the blog for Horse & Country TV's website and sent it over. I try to make sure that what I write there isn't identical to the content on here so if anybody reads both blogs they won't find the same boring waffle ;)
The H&C TV blog is more about the ups and downs of the Academy from the launch, set up and the running point of view but I also included details that I haven't discussed on here. I will post a link once the second part goes online. If you missed the first part, here it is:

There is another company that wants me to write for them so I need to come up with an interesting version of a blog like material that isn't a repetition of the other material I already write. It's all great opportunity to share my passion for this project but believe me, writing on other sites is a bit stressful as I am very aware of my lame grammar. Thankfully, I have lovely secret proofreaders who will help with any major mishaps!

On the subject of sharing the news - I am working on more, hopefully interesting ways of spreading the word about Academy. Once those ideas are finalised I will post more details about them.

Other Stuff

I blame my friends for making me re-visit the kitchen and start cooking at home again! I really don't have the time for this!! ;) They prepared the most fantastic home-made pizza last week with plenty of some home-prepared ingredients and then actually baked own bread for our breakfast! It was just plain delicious and so tasty :)

Haakan's Home Made Pizza - Yummy!

It's therefore entirely their fault I spent an hour in the kitchen today getting our dinner ready but it was so worth it!

London Ride Network

A couple of weeks ago someone emailed me saying they couldn't make a meeting organised by London Ride Network and whether I would be interested if she recommended me for her place. I have never heard of this organisation but thought it might be interesting to go. According to the information I received "The purpose of the network is to: work in the collective interest to develop the industry, share knowledge and best practices, fund access to the sport, work with external agencies and engage with County Sports Partnerships (CSP’s) and schools. "
I then got sent the Agenda for the meeting and decided it sounded intriguing.

I am not sure if I will be able to meaningfully contribute to the meeting but I would certainly love to learn how to search for funding as well as how to create better environment for the sport to develop further. Every now and then I teach a child or a teenager who have so much drive and talent and I think, damn you could be really good if there were opportunities for you to make it in this sport! The sad truth is that the costs of training and competing are way beyond the reach of those kids' parents. The meeting is on the 28th so I shall post a note of what it was all about.

Off to Kent tomorrow for more Academy chat, some riding, some videoing - speak soon!
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