Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Deja Vu and Fast Forward

The first of December and although the light icing of snow flakes is hardly a world stopper it has been enough to severely limit my work.
I managed to work as normal yesterday in a beautiful mini snowy blizzards - all the clients bravely turned up and soldiered on. Horses actually seemed to have enjoyed themselves. The barefoot ones worked without a problem but the shod ones were a disaster, tripping on sizable balls of snowy high heals.

Today on the other hand is a deja vu of the last winter. All my lessons were cancelled due to the weather. Same tomorrow. When I am finally in a position to have my own venue it's going to have a gorgeous indoor arena with a decent surface and a nice, warm club house so I don't have to go grey with worries about making a living. That, or I will have to become a seasonal migrant, living in milder climes throughout the winters.
There is something primitive in how the weather can so easily destroy many months of hard work and efforts with one cold snap.

But never mind, I guess I can always buy large quantities of porridge and milk and go on it through the winter ;)

The good news is the Academy's partnership with a very interesting riding club is going ahead so I will fill you in fully once all the details are set and everything made public.
Kari and I spent a couple of hours today talking the Academy's plans through. There is a lot we want done but out of necessity and the fact we are very much learning to work together as we go, everything is done in little steps. Being a health care professional, Kari has very clear idea about what can and what can't be done with a rider from posture re-education point of view. I can't argue with that :)
There are many exercises you can do to improve your riding off the horse and from what I've learned so far, the routine that works your core, improves your overall body awareness, coordination and symmetry brings the best results in the saddle. The key to success with any routine though is that you have a functionally correct posture. You can be doing the best exercise programme out there but if your postural movement is incorrect you might be doing more harm than good.
Funnily enough, it applies to training horses too, doesn't it?
This is why we are determined to keep improving on the Academy's rider performance services and some interesting materials will soon be available to all Academy riders.

Tomorrow I am off to meet managers of an exciting new company who emailed me a few days ago. They have recently launched a product that is said to "to change the way amateur sportspeople monitor their performance through multiple-camera systems at sports centres". I'm an absolute believer in video feedback and the benefits of it for all level of riders. About 60% of people are visual learners and even if your preferred style is auditory or kinesthetic you can still get a lot of quality feedback from video analysis.
I am looking forward to seeing the product in action and perhaps find a way to use it. I will scribble about it after the meeting once I've learned more about the product.

Weather permitting, Pauline and I will hit the road to visit Kingsley in his winter wonderland!

Photo: Rockley Farm - Kingsley snow ploughing :) Visit for all the updates on rehab horses and more stunning photos.

Then, again snow mercy permitting, I am flying to Poland for a few days to finally see my family. I haven't been home since Aug last year and I will be devastated if the flights are cancelled. So please keep everything crossed the winter calms down. I can't wait to see them all!!

Back from Poland, wether the weather permits or not(!), it's Olympia time :) A perfect highlight to the winter, I love this show and will be watching Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle to Music with a bunch of friends. We might invest in a bottle of Champagne to celebrate this year of so many failures that it easily classifies as a worse one to date. But then again, it might yet be the best in other ways ;)

After Olympia, it's Xmas time - for me Up North with Ricky's family so I am hoping for masses of snow, some great walks in Lyme Park and plenty of rest.

So that's my month ahead on fast forward, now back to the day one.


Judi said...

I thought of you last night as I was riding in the indoor arena while the snow was falling down outside! I hope your weather gets better. Do you get that much snow over there? We average about 60 inches a year, here.

I hope you get to go home to Poland. You must really miss your family after all that time.

Judi said...

I do core exercises, and I have for years. Initially, I started to help my riding, though I'm not sure if they did. The reason I keep doing them is because I lost a lot of aches and pains that I had, and I grew 1/2"!

Unknown said...

My letter to Santa lists many indoor facilities ;)

London doesn't get much snow, last year was rather freaky though with fairly heavy snowfalls. At the moment, it varies from borough to borough. Kent area is pretty much snowed in with no trains running beyond certain point.
Problem is in low temperatures as the arena surface becomes frozen and slippery.

I really really hope for decent thaw and no flights problems. I miss my family terribly and will be rather upset if I can't go.

The core exercises are great but as I am finding out, some exercises work for some riders and not for others. It all depends on their initial posture and movement mechanics. Some people need to stretch a muscle while others will only make themselves unstable if they do the same.
This is why I got Kari involved as I think there is more to postural improvements than just doing some off the shelf sit ups...

The best "side-effect" of most exercise routines is improved body awareness which is what any rider needs in abundance.

Looks like your exercises work for you though :)

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