Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Day 137 to 145: A week that got lost in cyber space (long post alert!)

My usual routine with these daily posts is to jot some thoughts throughout the day, pick a leading thought that is still with me in the evening, explore it some more and put it all together. Or simply recollect the whereabouts of the day. Unfortunately, my wi-fi at home continues to be really bad so although I have written every day I didn't have the energy to fight the constant drop offs. Other online duties took priority over this little blog hence this big catch up. You might want to grab some tea or coffee or whatever else you like to be sat next to you when you read blogs because this one will go on a bit ;) I cut all my scribbles to a few notes per day so nobody is here all evening ;)

137: Sunday: Aston Le Walls with Emma, Shabhash and Merehead 

Emma plaiting Merehead before his eventing debut at Aston Le Walls

Little report from the day at Aston le Walls is now on Aspire blog so head over there for photos and videos if you would like to check how the boys fared :)

138: Monday: Escaping the rain

Today, I've been playing hide and seek with the weather and winning. We arrived at the yard in the downpour and lashing wind for it to stop as we entered the arena. I would like to record this for the future reference when/if I complain the weather is not on my side ;)

I spent the afternoon writing so not much else to report here. Except maybe a little bit of a writer's block frustration!

139: Tuesday: The jump field is now open :) 

There is a wonderful sense of freedom to riding in a large, green space and I can't wait to get all the riders out there, test their balance, control and spatial awareness. Horses behave differently in an open space which allows for a horsemanship test in itself.

Mairi was the first one to experience the field's challenges. Since I mentioned the luck with the weather above, I must note we were less lucky on Tuesday. Shortly after taking this sunny photo, the hailstorm arrived and we trotted off back to the stables absolutely drenched in a space of a few minutes. The sun promptly came back out twenty minutes later ;)

140: Wednesday: Just a little bit of Merehead

Wednesdays are one of my favourite days of the week. Mid week, vibrant and full of fabulous, challenging horses to teach on.
Since I am trying to breeze through this update a little, just a short video for you of one of the big boys:


Back home very late today so just a little birthday meal for Richard with more B-Day celebrations tomorrow.                                                                                                                                        
141: Thursday: Richard's birthday continued in Oxford

Don't you just want to bring a horse here and school on this lovely arena?! ;) 

142: Friday: Rockingham Castle International Horse Trials

I will publish a full report from this event this week on Aspire blog so just some photos for now. Shabby tried his best again. Beautiful event all round, amazing day.

143: Saturday - The magic of riding barefoot

You will need fluffy socks for this one. It was Mariana who first shared this exercise with me and ever since I've been looking forward to trying it with a suitable "subject" ;) It's ingenious in its simplicity as it simply takes rider's awareness of the stirrup iron - ball of foot connection to the next level. You might think, stirrups are not that important for the good seat, but there is this curious desire in many riders to let that very seemingly unnecessary stirrup dictate their leg position.
When the rider becomes tuned in to the placement of the stirrup iron, they can in turn dictate the position of the stirrup leathers and the iron through small changes in weight distribution through the thighs and lower leg.
The other benefits include improved suppleness through ankle joints and a better command of the foot in general.
I loved the effect this exercise had on my rider today. Genius and simple.

144: Sunday - Day Off

I spent most of today uploading videos and editing them and made this task somewhat into a restful and pleasant exercise by doing bits at a time at different cafes with different cups of coffees ;)

145: Monday - More off-arena training and writing continues

More field training today at a different location for one of my Foundation level riders for whom it was the first time experiencing the grass arena lesson. When I have my own place I will make room for a big field arena with some gradient to it as it never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully challenging and educational riding off-surface is. We are so used to modern arenas nowadays that we seem to lose the ability to interact with the ground that isn't perfectly flat and perfectly designed with letters to guide the rider and what's more interesting, the horses lose that ability to some extent too.

More writing for me in the evening.
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