Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Falling on my face

I had a bit of a surreal day today. Despite an attempt to get up early I ended up sleeping till 11.30am! I am so strangely tired. Not so much physically though, just this peculiar sort of tiredness when you just want to go to sleep and let the life pass by for a bit. 
I was fine once up, jumped into my breeches and riding stuff, ran to the station and managed to arrive just in time for my 1pm start. Once I walked into the arena I barely stopped until 9.30pm, talking and talking and riding and talking. I tend to get into this trans sometimes when I have to keep telling myself to shut up although clients seem to like it! 
The "owner of my Tuesday's job" is a funny man. Cynical as they come. So he watches me for a moment giving a jumping lesson to my super new French rider (whacked the fences up today for her and she loved it), walks up to me and says: 'Wiola, you enjoying your job here?' - his face motionless. Smile less. I look at him thinking, s**t, hope he is not going to ask me to do more hours as no way I am going for it. . 'Glad you do' - he says instead - 'someone has to' ;) Cynical people make me laugh. 
I think I got two more riders mega excited about coming to one of my Training Days. Super. 

And now I better sleep or I will never get up at 7 tomorrow. 

P.S. I have just spell checked this post and Blogger highlighted my name as a word with a spelling mistake. How rude! ;))

Monday, 30 March 2009

Day off, more of de Kunffy's wisdom and house hunting continues

The spring has certainly arrived to London. Ricky and I had a very tasty breakfast in the company of Mr. Holland basking in the sun :)

These gorgeous flowers have no scent whatsoever. How disappointing. They look stunning though. 
The more I read of de Kunffy the more I realise he is a communication genius. Every word he uses seem to have its purpose and there is nothing unnecessary that would cloud your understanding. 
Just have a read how he describes "the horse on the bit":
" 'The horse on the bit' is a misleading expression, yet it is one we are accustomed to using, and, by consent, we pretend to understand, in spite of its mischievous suggestion that it has to do with the rider's hands and the horse's bit exclusively.
Being on the bit is the most important concept in classical horsemanship. Only a horse that contacts and accepts the bit and moves forward to the bit is athletically correct. Using a human analogy, let me suggest that there is a great difference between people who are moving about in a grocery store buying mustard, for example, and those working out in a gym. Both are moving and are engaged in some mental activities, but only the one working out in a gym is improving himself physically and mentally. He will show muscle development and skeletal coordination that one cannot acquire by shopping for mustard. 
Likewise with horses; just by moving a horse around, the rider traveling, the horse covering ground without using himself properly, no improvement can take place. One can only make athletic and gymnastic improvements if the horse is longitudinally flexed. Therefore, the horse must be flexing toward the bit before any gymnasticising can take place[...].
Being on the bit, or longitudinal flexion, as it should be called, has to do with the total horse. When a horse is on the bit, his skeletal position as well as his use of his muscles changes. To be on the bit connotes relaxation, suppleness of muscles, elasticity in the joints, elegance, and obedience. That is both the foundation and the substance of dressage work.
The most important feature of horse on the bit is that he is longitudinally flexed, thereby becoming a shorter horse, capable of moving deeper under his own weight with the hindquarters, lifting the weight up rather than pushing forward. The longitudinally flexed horse is well poised to carry his rider, and therefore will be able to surrender his haunches to the rider's will and become obedient rather than subservient to force. "

I am continuing the house search and I am ever so thankful for the Internet! There are some really lovely properties out there but it's not so easy to match all the requirements that we need fulfilled. Not that there are that many but still!

After 1.5 years of super service my fantastic Tredstep Ireland gaiters gave in (the zip went) so I have just ordered a brand new pair, eek! :) I think I will attempt to repair the other ones though as they are still doing fairly well despite being used rather heavily almost every day.

My computer crashed twice while uploading the new pics and videos from last Friday's Training Day. The Great Upload goes on. I really would like a brand new machine ;) 

Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Way To Learn

I had one of those days today that make me smile quietly. Days that make me think that whatever happens I actually do love my job and want to be the best I can ever be at it. All the riders worked superbly today. If I can't bring the best out of my riders I always feel like I failed and brought the horses down.
But not today. 

Pics above.: The sun kept coming and going today. 

What is immensely interesting in this whole teaching adventure is that every single rider has it's own special way of learning. You can't just run all the instructions by default because we are all so different, our perception of the world is so varied. Some people 'feel' things more, some 'see' more, some 'hear' better. I think that as an instructor you have to learn to deal the right cards to the right person and only then you have a chance of a correct response. 
The finding out of the way an individual rider learns the best is quite an adventure. An adventure when you constantly make mistakes but you repeat them less and less as your experience widens. 
I make mistakes all the time. I just try not to make the same ones. 

I find that with some riders I can just give the key-words and they will know what I mean. Especially if we have worked together for a long time.
With others we need to dig in into every possible technicality and when I thought we've just wasted 10 minutes on dry theory they walk away and show me the most perfect canter transitions I have ever seen them doing. 
I try to keep my mind open. Try not to think that my ways are the only ways. I like to talk to my riders. About everything and nothing. Look for cues on how best to teach them. 
If I ever get bored with that I think I will get bored with life.

A. brought a memory stick with pics and videos from Friday's Training Day so looks like a long evening/night of editing fun in front of me!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

This Chapter's over

The ladies on the Training Day were so much fun that it must have been one of the best Training Days so far. And just as well as today's afternoon was one of the worst I had for ages. 
First of all today was my last day of working with my dear friend and I have this personal dislike of all things last. 
It was a rather memorable year and quite a chapter that is now over. I guess many people just don't care and take no notice, they just keep going and enjoy what comes next straight away. Believe me I wish I had the same attitude but being a sentimental old cow as I am it takes a bit of an effort! 
So last night for the last time I waited for my friend to finish her late Friday night teaching. I sat in a coffee shop and thought it was somewhat sadly fascinating watching things, being places, living moments and knowing that these particular circumstances will never ever happen again. It's almost like being from the future and watching an already happened past. 

To balance totally shit afternoon today I had a fabulous morning jumping my friend's event horse and then teaching one of my favourite teenage lessons. 
The horse can really jump and makes you feel like you can actually ride well, just sit there and wait for the jumps to come. We popped over some 1.10m and he made it so easy. 

So here you go my dear, a little written thank you note for a teaching year of so much fun, for every single lift to stations, for waiting, for all the funny singing, for all the silly 'why' buttons talk, for super coffees, for listening, for your help with my training days, and for many other little things I shall miss on my working days to come.
All the best with the new job! 

Full day of teaching tomorrow and a very early wake up alarm as no more Great British Lie In!


Thursday, 26 March 2009

Feeling guilty

I always feel guilty when I don't give my 100% on my lessons but unfortunately I must say I am running on an auto-pilot. Hopefully a good one as have lovely ladies coming for a Training Day tomorrow and I know they have been waiting for it for weeks. 
Jumped my baby horse today (as I call him although he is a 6 yr old but he is a very special horse to me) and he was fantastic. I seem to go through fazes when I have no riding fear whatsoever which is slightly worrying. I think I need a good fall to keep me on the straight and narrow. 

I am not looking forward to all the changes at work. I am totally rubbish at dealing with them. Especially when I enjoyed myself so much beforehand. 
But se la vie. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Late nights

Almost midnight so I am well and truly tired but hey, I managed to edit one long video remix so have a look at http://trainingdays-equestrian.blogspot.com. Compiling those videos is actually a lot of fun but it is also extremely time consuming! The riders better like it ;)
I wish I knew how to add own music to it but since I don't I have to use default pieces provided by photobucket. They are rather amusing...;) You got to at least smirk at them!
I still have some super videos left to use for two additional remixes so watch this space. 

There is more editing to come as I have a group of three ladies on a Training Day this coming Friday. 

The recent late nights make me feel a little spaced out in the mornings so it took me a good couple of hours to wake up properly today. I am also trying to switch off from all the necessary changes at the yard due to my friend leaving which certainly doesn't help me to stay mega focused. 

On a good note, got to ride three horses and even jumped one over the actual jumps (as oppose to 2.6/2.9ft poles that we seem to train over on regular basis). If only that was an everyday occurrence ...

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Funny day weather wise today! I started teaching in a long sleeve t-shirt feeling rather hot dragging jump stands and poles around and ended up with three jumpers, a body warmer AND a coat at my 8pm lesson! 

Decided I need to spend as much time in the saddle as I possibly can so I walked all the horses and ponies to and from the arena ;) 
Had a chance to school a 4yr old 15hh pony as well that is actually a really interesting animal, very trainable and is moving well. One of my regular clients is currently riding the pony and it teaches her a lot. 
It's fantastic to ride well schooled horses who are fairly straight, fairly flexible and you can focus on more advanced work with them but I think that when we truly learn to grow as riders is when we ride those 'green', unbalanced youngsters that make us so aware of our body language and how detrimental we can be to the horse.
Those good old fellows with strong muscles and soft backs might be super to sit to but they won't tell you as well as a young horse that you have pushed too much here or there, that your contact froze for that 1/10th of a second too long blocking the movement that would otherwise have earned you 8s or 9s few years down the line.  

I loved schooling that pony. It's amazing how you can just "click" with some rides, from the very minute you sit on them. I ride a fair few horses and on some I just feel absent, there is no connection no matter how many times I ride them. 
With the others it's as if I was entering this fascinating conversation where you sometimes disagree but enjoy it nevertheless. 
And what's even more unbelievable is that the horse seem to feel the same...it's as if it *understood* with some magical-like clarity what every single cell in your body is telling it to do. 

It seems to be similar regarding human interactions. We feel completely blank about some people regardless how much time we spend with them and find others infinitely fascinating. 
With some we can't agree about the simplest of things and with others we connect almost instinctively.

So hey, horses are awesome. It blows my mind and I am happy to admit I am well and truly addicted to the feeling of this complete connection. It's my drug.

Pic.: On the left, the pony in question, enjoying the sun with a couple of little fellows.


Uploads struggle continues

Ok so I managed (just around 2am) to upload all 130 files to photobucket, falling heavily asleep in between the uploads. I guess I could have used a bulk upload or something funky like that but hey I am not a computer geek!
Anyway, all files are sitting where they should now but I am being called in early to work today so you will all have to wait a little longer for the final product!
I watched a few videos yesterday, quite a laugh ;)

Now I have to write invoices for one of the yards or they will bite my head off. Then onto my late night teaching day.


Monday, 23 March 2009

Still uploading!

It's past 11pm and i've been uploading the pictures and videos since 4pm ish! Ah the joys! Let's hope the effect will be worth it and the riders will enjoy having their antics recorded :) 15 more files left, then onto the slow work of putting it all together into slideshows and videos with some music.


Working on the biggest video/photo record so far!

Pic.: Dimitri performing a Greek dance? ;) upon dismounting!

Stay tuned to http://trainingdays-equestrian.blogspot.com/.
In a few of hours there should be a lovely photo-video record from a super fun Training Day from Friday the 20th; featuring Sara, Dimitri and Libby. 

I am working here downloading, uploading, saving and creating videos/photo slideshows on photobucket so be patient(have 129 photos plus videos to sort through) as I am trying to be too with my dear, slow computer (anyone who wants to buy me one of those cool new VAIOs will be cherished forever!).

Pic.: Hacking out in the morning

Pic.: KJ, my dear friend who is leaving and who ran this Training Day with me. Now I have quite a task of finding another instructor who I will trust to teach my clients well! 

Pic.: And myself with Dimitri 

Sunday, 22 March 2009

We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese

The coming week is the last one I will work with one of the best friends I have ever had. It's very true what they say that it's the people who make your workplace unforgettable. 

She is venturing into the blogging world with http://ramblingsofahorserider.blogspot.com/.
It should be a very interesting career record of one very special person. 

I will miss working with her. No-words. Much. 


Saturday, 21 March 2009

Aa who needs a title

On Thursday I was one of the guinea pigs taking part in an Intermediate Teaching mock exam lesson and rather enjoyed the simulated cross-country play. The funny thing, it transpired the instructor teaching is taking her exam on the same day as I will, at the same centre in Gloucestershire. 
She seemed way more patient than I will ever be ;) The only time when I am extremely patient is either when I can't be bothered or when I don't care. Neither is a frequent occurrence. 

What else have I done since last post? I've been riding a little, fair bit of hacking which actually is super in this weather, plus I tend to try to jump all the logs on the ground to keep myself amused. 
Been to a party last night, which was a lot of fun and stayed over at my friend's which I always enjoy. The sad bit is she will be leaving soon having accepted a brill job offer so 1) it will definitely be less fun at work 2) she won't be able to help me with the group Training Days. Not great for me but of course super chance for her so...congratulations my dear, best of luck and fingers crossed for successful competition season :)  
Sometimes I 'write' in my head even when I don't actually want to. The words just keep coming so I usually have to just sit somewhere quiet and let them flow. Here is what I "wrote" tonight while waiting for my friend to feed her horses: 
What I miss when I am away is the vociferous silence of his presence, the body warmth and the cuddles
I miss travelling round the circular blue path of his eyes; Stopping for a quick kiss. Looking forward to seeing him feels good.

I wish I could find a way to fit my whole world into a small village at the very bottom of my soul; the place where all the guards are down, where time is just right no matter how late or how early there is. 

You feel it in your body when you wake up, this unmistakable softness, lightness and restful yet energetic peacefulness. There is nothing like it. The feeling of endless security in your own fairy bubble beautifully scented with a just-washed-in-freshness perfume. 
Too many prickly ends are bursting my bubbles.

The best, biggest ones you can create just before you are truly awoken, half in sleep but slowly emerging. You can hear only things you want to hear, like birds singing. Nothing you don't want to know will ever enter your bubble then. 
My mission seems to be to blow the most resilient ones and superimpose them on an exciting, lively action of unpredictable everyday life. 

Naive me is me, the weakest link. In a food chain of my strengths and weaknesses the wolves and sharks keep feeding on silly rabbits and seals. 
Got to play one of those games where you build virtual cities and lives even and buy myself a pack of hyenas. To hunt and to laugh. At myself. 

More of my rambling thoughts on my Waffle Blog.

Back to all things horses, I must remember to: send off my application for the UKCC on Monday and order British Dressage Elementary dressage tests (for my Intermediate teaching test).

Also, fingers crossed South of England British Eventing event is going ahead as I am planning to go to see Jenny and Kiri cracking Novice and to have a good look around, watch pros working in, learn this and that. 


When you can't decide...

Whenever you're called on to make up your mind, 
and you're hampered by not having any, 
the best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find, 
is simply by spinning a penny. 
No -- not so that chance shall decide the affair 
while you're passively standing there moping; 
but the moment the penny is up in the air, 
you suddenly know what you're hoping."

From this book:



2010 Radio Show Episode 28 - World Equestrian Games News & Merchandise


This week we have Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games news and merchandise. Ariat joins the show today to speak about the new WEG signature merchandise and what cool new stuff is coming in 2010. Plus, Clayton and Lucinda Fredericks speak about their plans for the 2010 WEG. Listen now....

2010 Radio Show Episode 28 - World Equestrian Games News & Merchandise:

March Games Giveaway



Listen Now, Download or Subscribe:

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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Thoughts and Emotions are like wild horses...

...don't try to understand them. Just set them free.

I decided to keep this blog free from my thought -full-less waffle. I am way to addicted to writing to stop waffling all together so I will still write whatever comes to my head but on a separate blog. If you would like a link to it then let me know by emailing me via one of the links on this site. Obviously if you know me just let me know and I will let you have the waffle link.

So, this blog here will be kept a little bit more down to earth ;) Well, I will try anyway ;)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Bushcraft with horses?

Ok, so we all have some dream holidays and 101 places we want to see before we die etc etc Among some other things I would love to do there is this one adventure idea that keeps coming back to me...If I ever find someone crazy enough to do it with me that is!
So what is it? I would love to do a couple of weeks long survival sort of trail: think tents and bareback horses, no tv, no computers, no much civilisation... Nowhere stupidly remote but somewhere unspoilt like Wales perhaps...


Agreed to take part in some psychology research

Someone has just emailed me saying she's a psychology student doing her masters and whether I would agree to fill in some questionnaires. She's writing a dissertation on how horse riding influences the riders...
I wonder if she's aware that me filling in those forms might slightly complicate her results - a weirdo person as I am ;))) 

Just a few words on First Aid for hypothermia

Many years ago I had a car accident in which one of the passengers needed medical attention and none of the rest of us in the car knew what to do. Since then I've always had a First Aid book with me whenever I teach. Well, almost always. 
There is rather a few things that can happen and if there is something I hate most is not knowing what to do and how to help. 
So since I had a bit of an adventure with some mild or moderate hypothermia yesterday and had no clue what to do here are just a few links to some info:


2010 Radio Show Episode 27 - Looking at the Past World Equestrian Games


We take a look at the past World Equestrian Games with Chris Stafford. Chris has covered all the World Equestrian Games through the years and shares with us her memories of the games and the growth of the WEG since the first games in 1990. Listen in for this fun look to the past...

2010 Radio Show Episode 27 - Looking at the Past World Equestrian Games:

  • Register to win the March Games Giveaway - we have a fantastic Jack's Custom Cooler for you from KBC Horse Supplies. Remember you have to re-register every month to win. Sign up now.

  • A new sponsor for the games was announced this week. Kentucky Ale Will Be the Official Beer of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Alltech, the title sponsor of the 2010 Games, owns the Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company that produces Kentucky Ale, Kentucky Light, and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. Kentucky Ale products will be the exclusive beer available to the general public at the Kentucky Horse Park during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

  • A new set of doping and medication guidelines will be in place for the 2010 Games and a panel of anti-doping experts is pushing for increased efforts to teach equestrian riders about doping rules in an attempt to solve the sport's problems with horses failing drug tests at the Olympics. Read all about this education effort....

  • Thank you to KBC Horse Supplies for sponsoring this week's episode of the 2010 Radio Show. They have some fantastic March specials that you are going to want to check out.


  • Bill Long is making a comeback. Bill is one of the top four-in-hand drivers in the world. So it comes as no surprise that Long won the team division at the mini-Combined Driving Event held at the Carolina Horse Park Feb. 8. Read all about Bill Long...

  • Chester Webber won the Sunshine State Federation Equestrian International division for four-in-hand at the Florida Horse Park last week, taking the Ocala resident one step closer to qualifying for the the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Learn all about Chester Webber's win...

  • Maurice Beatson and My Gollywog entered the NZ history books when they won the New Zealand showjumping championship title at the national jumping championships in Christchurch. It was the combination's third consecutive win in the event, the national senior championship. Maurice has his eye on the World Equestrian Games and we hope to see him there...

  • McLain Ward and his two-time Olympic Gold medal partner Sapphire claimed their second grand prix victory in a row Saturday night by winning the $200,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix CSI**** presented by CN at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center during the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Read the entire article about McLain Ward's victory.

  • See all of our news highlights of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

  • Thank you to Chris for joining us to speak about her memories of the past World Equestrian Games. What a fascinating look back at the past games. Chris's website can be found at chrisestafford.com.

Chris Stafford


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Borrowing a bit of time

Decided to rest properly today so haven't moved from bed yet. Ealing managed to find replacement teacher for me in the afternoon and if they are equally lucky with my evening replacement I won't work tonight. If they don't then I will. 
For now, rest sweet rest.

Monday, 16 March 2009

The day of super things: super house viewing trip and a super ride

The night was rather bad, I kept waking up and drinking tea as my throat was killing me and my temp seemed to fluctuate lots but felt surprisingly well in the morning.
Just as well as we had to be in Wokingham by 11.30 to view a house. Now, the house itself was actually quite nice but there were a few things about the immediate surroundings that we didn't really like: a big sign on the house next door - 'Demolition in Progress, Keep Out' he he, large storage type buildings that have massive lorries visiting them in mornings and just that little bit too much traffic. However, I really liked the little town and we were told by the estate agent that there are much better areas of Wokingham to look at.
We left the industrial area and walked up to the town centre where we popped to a bookshop (of course I had to buy a book - it's an incurable habit of mine, can't resist the books!), sat on some random benches, got chatted up by some random people and treated ourselves to delicious lunch - super yummy!

Pic. below: that's where we had our lovely food

Then off I went to have a play with my dear friend's new horse and wow, what a super horse he is! The moment I sat on him he reminded me of the good old days riding show-jumpers at Boguslawice stud: same genuine work ethic, so willing and such a pleasure to ride. Need some schooling but no doubt will get it. I wished I felt better and rode him properly rather than like a numpty but he is one of those horses that make you feel like you can actually ride quite well and you know your stuff ;)
The best thing was to sit on something with this fab adjustable canter that I remember from riding show-jumpers in Poland, the canter that lets you play with the stride and that was always what I loved about show-jumping. All this: sit and keep the rhythm, however good it is, it's also mega boring! The exciting part is to bounce in between the jumps on a horse that feels like a rubber ball :)
So yes, it was a super ride :)


Sunday, 15 March 2009


Typical. The most gorgeous spring day and I am having a cold. Speaking is a torture and I feel totally rubbish. 

Took one hairy cob for walkies today:


Thank goodness for Strepsils and stupid amount of coffees and teas that kept me going throughout the day. Absolutely hate my colds!

Oh well, at least the riders had a lot of fun! I don't think I managed to make much sense today but guess I can't be perfect everytime ;)) 

Pic.: Pip and Ada learning how to do dressage :) They are making a super progress and believe me the mare is as mad as they come!

Mr Z rode really well so I challenged him bare back for a bit.

Pic.: Hmm, how many times do I say: please do not drop your reins...oh dear oh dear ;)))


Saturday, 14 March 2009

Highway Code and Sore Throat

I had my first driving lesson on Friday - I love it! Wonder if F1 is looking for staff..;) 
I even managed to obey road signs.
Now, I bet all the teachers in the world will symphatise with me - I have a very sore throat and am not looking forward to whole day of talking tomorrow :( Laughing a lot today probably didn't help my throat but surely must be good in the long run ;) 
Maybe I can devise some sort of a sign language for riding instructors... 

Thursday, 12 March 2009

On Focus and Psychic powers

For the first time in several weeks our staff trainer actually didn't pick on me so I could just relax into my new challenge of schooling with a plan ;) 
Rode this warmblood mare that is a pleasant animal to work with and I do enjoy riding her but she can be a right strop at times. She'd already been ridden early in the morning by a person who loans her so she wasn't that keen on second effort. 
The biggest problem with this madam is lack of submission and her amazing ability to drop her entire weight onto her shoulders. She loves her long and low work but try to pick her up and she might show you who's a little stronger ;) 
I rode her a lot in sitting trot through lots and lots of transitions and I tried my best to make sure I did everything equally on both reins (as I sometimes ride too long on a better rein and stay there like on a cloud nine silly me!), made sure I kept asking for lots and lots of different things to keep her brain busy and finally we got some nice uphill moments but she's hard work in general. However, once you get her on your side she can give you a Ferrari ride. 
I came to the conclusion that if it was somehow possible to acquire psychic powers I would like them to allow me to read in people's minds ;) I find it quite fascinating how inaccurate our perception of people can be and think it would make life so much easier to know what exactly and truly is going on in other's heads! 
Oh well, for now I will just have to follow the best advice there is (Descartes):  “To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say.”

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Discipline and planning

Pic.: Moulting horses - the joys! 

The weakest link throughout my ridden work is lack of schooling plan. I can discipline my riders well and work them progressively and towards goals I set in my head for them and their horses but when I school myself I don't seem to be planning as well as I would like. Which is bad as I know I don't get the results I would want. It's even worse to know that when I do plan and discipline myself throughout the schooling session I have the best of rides.
This considering I decided to never again school randomly and to really think what I am doing until it becomes a second nature.
And surprise, surprise - had the best rides for ages on both horses I schooled this morning.
One of them was on a 5 year old, super young horse, green as grass but such a pleasure to work with. Sadly for sale and will probably be snapped up quickly. 
I walked him round for good 10 minutes just thinking what shapes to ride to get him better etc So the rule No.1 is - no longitudinal flexion means no lateral flexion. This in mind I put him on a figure of eight and encouraged him to trot very slowly in as best a rhythm as possible and to stretch forward and out while staying active. At first he was rather unsettled in the contact but then got the message and started taking the rein down and forwards. 
Once I was happy with that I started bending him around my inside leg but really using the outside more to make sure he wasn't just yielding or drifting. Again at first he was quite resistant and just moved away from my leg instead of around it but I persevered in walk and then in trot and after very short time he started feeling much more supple on the outside, took a very nice contact on the outside rein and his rhythm improved too. 
Then I rode him as I used to ride Hamlet as per Anna Ross-D. instructions: asking for bend on circles and half-circles or serpentines and immediately follow that with transitions. This is apparently to put together exercises that improve longitudinal (this is a funny word by the way  - quite a mouthful for me to say it!!!)  flexion and balance - transitions - with lateral gymnastics. So as an example, I would ride a half-circle left in walk, then ask for trot right upon reaching the wall. 
It worked super with this horse and I was pleased I didn't just go 'round and round in circles' as I tend to do too many times! Still plenty to improve on that though. 
So, no more wasting time on random work.

I finished the day taking my afternoon group out for a hack and they rode very well! 


Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Ponies playing today in the arena at one of London's riding schools; they always remind me of inner city children who have no access to true countryside...


Just a quick thank you

Many thanks for the emails regarding the below post, please keep them coming, all very much appreciated and a very interesting read. I am making lots of mental notes :)

Monday, 9 March 2009

Nothing to lose so I will have a go...

It was suggested to me that writing what you will read below might be a good idea...I am not so sure if it will be of any success but I see nothing to lose in following the advice so I shall give it a go. 

Here is the thing. I need to make some decisions about how to drive events forward and although there still is some time left for me to decide which way to go exactly I am told I should look into as many possibilities as possible as soon as possible...

Perhaps there are people I already know who I might approach with this but since I am not that great with decisions in general I thought I would listen to someone who is.
Apparently good decisions take months to take and even more time is involved in thinking about them so maybe I am not that bad after all!

Two things are certain: 
1) I want to keep my teaching largely as it is now as it's what motivates me in the horse world 2) I need a small yard with good facilities to base myself at and to be able to move on with my riding plans.  

So dear readers, here is me asking you to spread the word... If you know/heard of someone who:
- have/will soon have 3-6 stables available to rent at a reasonable rate at a well run yard within 30 minutes radius of Wokingham or Reading area 
- is a decent rider, reliable and ambitious and would like to get involved (as a business partner) in a small business of bringing on/schooling and selling as well as some teaching/training 
- or simply someone who would want to offer any further advice.

Also (although this is far fetched):
- anyone interested in investing their time and money,  

then please write to me for more information on ridinginstructor at gmail dot com (written in this way to limit the amount of spam) or contact me via my website.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated so please feel free to write what you think!
Many Thanks,

On the move

Pic.: Wokingham town centre some time ago..;)

All the food I consumed today obediently stayed in my stomach which is a bonus. Another is having quite a productive day off if I say so myself ;)
Having spent some time exploring the areas to move to we are currently settled on Wokingham, Berkshire. It seems to have a nice town centre, good railway connection with London and some of the houses are very much likable. 
If all goes to plan we shall have a look at some more properties next Monday. In a way I can't wait to move but all this house searching and organising the whole moving process is a pain in the a***e. 

2010 Radio Show Episode 26 - WEG Community Forum & the Economic Effects

World Equestrian Games Logo

The World Games 2010 Foundation held a community forum in Lexington, KY last week in which they discussed the planning for the games and how the economy has affected the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games planning. We have the recording of the forum for you this week and we announce the winner of the February Games Giveaway. Listen in...

2010 Radio Show Episode 26 - Show Notes and Links:

  • The winner of the February Games Giveaway was Emily Wigley of Vashon, WA. Congrats to Emily on winning the KBC Horse Supplies Triple Stitched Leather Halter.

  • Register to win the March Games Giveaway - we have a fantastic Jack's Custom Cooler for you from KBC Horse Supplies. Remember you have to re-register every month to win. Sign up now.

  • The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Web site has a new home at www.alltechfeigames.com. The Web site still includes features such as the event schedule, discipline information, latest news, information on tickets, and hospitality packages, as well as the latest news on the 2010 Games.

  • The online store for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games also has a new look with added merchandise at WEG2010store.com. The new online store now features the new merchandise from Ariat, they are the official Apparel and Footwear Sponsor of the Games.

  • Be sure to listen in to the WEG Community Forum in this week's episode. It was very interesting.

  • Thank you to KBC Horse Supplies for sponsoring this week's episode of the 2010 Radio Show. They have some fantastic March specials that you are going to want to check out.



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Sunday, 8 March 2009

post For My Grandmother

I spoke to my Grandmother today. She's not that well at all and thinking about her reminds me how amazingly cruel life can be. We are given the chance to be surrounded by people who mean the world to us. We are given moments of absolute love which gives us infinite feeling of security, of being invincible, powerful and above the law of living.
We are given those only to have it all taken away. 
My Gran has always been the most loving, unselfish person I have ever met.
She is a worrier. If she misses my call she will be calling me back every five minutes until I can pick it up. She would say she felt bad for not being there when I phoned, even if it was something totally unimportant. 
If I close my eyes I can picture her sitting in her chair in the living room, smiling and asking what would I like to eat. And you know what, if I said I want some exotic food platter she never even heard about I bet she would still somehow tried to arrange for it. 

She never asks too many questions but when you go and sit with her for a while, even in complete silence, you still feel like it was the best conversation you have ever had. You don't meet many people like that in your lifetime...

I once said to someone that when Gran goes she will take a massive chunk of me with her.  I was told that it won't be the case and that instead she will always be with me.  How good would that be.

Don't you think that having something wonderful and losing it hurts way more than never having it in the first place?


A little rest

I think I have finally found out the root of me feeling so run down for the last couple of days. Looks like I got myself a nice stomach bug which decided to attack me fully this morning. As a result I spent entire morning fighting with overwhelming nausea, went to work anyway but only lasted a few hours before deciding to escape. 
One of my riders kindly drove me all the way home which is very much appreciated both by me and my stomach!

I've been spending my afternoon reading and enjoying the speed of Google Chrome (my computer has been driving me crazy recently being so slow I could chuck it into the bin if I could replace it straight away) and I am going to brave some food in a moment - hope it stays where it should do!

Once my food intake is back to normal I am going to test a joint supplement - my knee is being a little temperamental of late so here is what I will be shoving into myself and hope it helps: Seven Seas JointCare Sport.


British Eventing dressage tests for 2009

BE 90 series

  • BE 91
  • previously called Intro 100
  • BE 92
  • new
  • BE 93
  • new
  • BE 94 Championship
  • previously called Intro 103

    BE 100 series

  • BE 101
  • previously called Pre-novice 110
  • BE 102
  • new
  • BE 103
  • new
  • BE 104 Championship
  • previously called Pre-novice 113


  • Novice 111
  • new
  • Novice 112
  • new
  • Novice 113
  • new
    Intermediate to Advanced

  • Intermediate 116
  • previously called Intermediate 130 with amends
  • Intermediate 117
  • new
  • Intermediate 118
  • new
  • Advanced Intermediate 120
  • previously called Advanced 140
  • Advanced 121
  • previously called Advanced 143
  • Advanced 122
  • new

    Saturday, 7 March 2009


    Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder if there is enough life left for me to do what I want to do. I am not very good with decisions although if I make some I go for it 100 percent.
    How do we really know what's best and what will take us that one step forward to what really matters for us?
    Why every next decision has to be so complicated and why do we often feel so alone making them...would be so much nicer to have some super-wise-special-advisor helping us along the way...
    "We're born alone,we live alone,we die alone. Only love and friendship create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone".

    Friday, 6 March 2009

    In Photos

    Sorted a few things and feeling much better for it.
    Here is the last couple of days in pictures.

    Teaching Reading University riders:

    Pic. above: I think I was saying 'Ride from behind to the front not the other way round!' ;))

    Pic. above: having a chat about the horse's centre of gravity and how to keep it towards the tail rather than pushing it towards the ears!

    And today I ran one of my Intensive Training Days spending several hours on putting Jo through her paces. For video and more pictures from her Day go to: http://www.trainingdays-equestrian.blogspot.com/


    Wednesday, 4 March 2009

    One of Them Days

    You know how sometimes you just want to hibernate and everything seems like it happens to someone else? Well, I've been having a day like that today, feel switched off and really just wish I was 18 again and not have to worry about life's whereabouts.
    Ideally I could just put my phone on silent, not talk to anybody (well, might allow a couple of people through ;), go to sleep and wake up in a less detached reality.

    Work was good today. It kept me within the narrow path of heightened awareness good enough to carry on as normal.

    I wish I had a wise owl sitting on my shoulder who would always listen with its eyes wide opened, be able to look right through me and tell me exactly what's best to do. Lazy me.

    Tuesday, 3 March 2009

    Rain is back

    What a dreadful weather tonight. Spent the evening shivering under horse rug over my legs ;) Ah the joys of instructing job without an indoor arena!

    Morning of RRR

    Resting and Reading and Revising - to my Intermediate Teaching exam - is what I am doing this morning. I reckoned I should really do some BHS books reading so I do sound like I have a vague idea about the subject ;) Also managed to add some updates and more info to: http://trainingdays-equestrian.blogspot.com/
    A perfect Life Recipe should include...a cocktail spoon of magic...
    If I knew were to buy it I would do it in an instant, mix it with some pancake butter and make sure my dear special friend eats loads of it to last her for a while...

    Starting work at 3pm today. My late night day. Hope the rain stays away. Don't feel like getting soaked today. In fact, I am wondering how many PocketPak Paracetamol 500mg caplets I can shove into my stomach to kill period pain but not the stomach lining! Grrrr

    Happy Birthday to Jenny

    Pic.: Jenny on Kiri (Kir Royal) yesterday

    I was fortunate to meet Jenny in summer 2006 when (less fortunately) she broke her ankle xc schooling. She couldn't ride her lovely TBx, Hamlet (!!), and was looking for someone to keep him ticking over while she was waiting impatiently to be back into action. I've been on and off Hamlet's saddle ever since. We did some BSJA, BE and BD as well as having some fab lessons/trainings/clinics together with Anna Ross-Davies, Lucy Thompson and Very Strict Marianna!

    So a big thank you to Jenny for letting me ride her lovely horses over the years - here is me wishing you a fantastic eventing season this year with Kiri (aka Kir Royal) and many enjoyable days with Hamlet boy. Happy Birthday! x

    Meet Kiri: a mare that spends half of her life doing what she should not be doing and another at being a rather talented, athletic creature! How on earth Jenny sticks to the saddle on her remains a mystery to me - I hit the deck numerous time riding this madam! I love this photo though - So Kir Royal.

    Let's not forget about Charlie - Jenny's super little pony who can turn his hoof at just about anything and is going strong at 18! He also featured as a model on my website patiently performing everything that was asked of him :)


    Monday, 2 March 2009

    Look who is now sound enough to be schooled again!

    Hamlet is now schooling for 30 minutes and felt superb today. I love riding this little horse, hope he stays as sound and eager as he was today.
    He's not really that small as he seems here, the pics are taken by J. off Kiri hence funny perspective ;)

    And just a couple more, just because he is such a lovely boy:

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