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The UK Summer is Coming to an End

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There are now only a few weeks left to my U.K. schedule. To date we have had 17 horses come through the 2 young horse modules and the courses have all gone well and been well attended. The horse below was one of the horses that came through the last intake of horses, the image was taken on the 9th ride.

During the courses of late I have had a few discussions about being more effective on the end of a lead rope and not having to resort to the flag all the time and timing up with the feet.  (There is nothing wrong with the flag, just don’t get dependant on it. ) I have also spoken about riding more with your seat and legs and trying to do less with our reins.

Riding with your seat and legs, and having more feel both on the ground and in the saddle does take time to develop. For some riders things  fall into place vey quickly and for others not so. The sensitivity the horse has is amazing if we get that to working for us, it has to be great thing. While at times it may seem like we are in the slow lane, equally we should look at it from the perspective of where we would be if we had not started. I think that we would all agree that we are better off having started on the horsemanship road than we would otherwise be.

We also try and have a little bit of fun on the courses. Having me behind the bar at a steak house is always going to be fun.

For a brief moment I thought that I was in the movie Cocktail , I probably have more the Bryan Brown look than Tom Cruise. There was no hippy hippy shake going on either.

 

Back In The U.K.

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Well what a start to a U.K. summer and its rumoured that the U.K. is about to run out of sunscreen and cold beer. Even in Scotland the sun is shining, legs are coming out that have not seen the sun in years. At the end of the day they do appear red with embarrassment.

The courses have been well attended and are going well, the first horse start is nearly over, with this being the last week. The horse above is Tina’s horse, this was I think her third ride, with the horse below also one of the young horse starts. This is a short blog with not many words. Perhaps pictures say more than words. I have a few more weeks in the U.K. and look forward to catching up with old and new friends in the coming weeks.

A What Has Happened Blog

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It has been a crazy few months and there has been a bit of water go under the bridge since my last website blog. In March I was in Canberra for a green horse course and then a private course outside of Sydney. The green horse course in Canberra was well received and there is another in October. During April & May I have had quite a large young horse intake. There is a home course this weekend, again the focus will be on green horses. The image to the left is from the green horse course in Canberra.

Then for the first week in June I will be in Western Australia at Jenny & George Jackson’s Horsemanship First facility, at Serpentine. The courses at Serpentine are always good with lots of variety and I look forward to catching up with everyone in Western Australia.

Over the next few months I have an article coming out in Horse Deals Magazine, I am not sure which month as yet. At the end of June I will be back in the U.K. I look forward to catching up with everyone over there.

I have also added an article below that my local vet Bruce Howlett of  Stabler & Howlett in Australia put together on wound care. Please note that this is of a general nature and may not fit all circumstances.

While I hope that no one needs the below, horses do find ways to injure themselves and perhaps the below is helpful in some way.

First Aid for Equine Leg Wounds

3 Priorities

  1. Prevent excess blood loss. Surprisingly few wounds have dangerous blood loss, however if a wound is bleeding profusely apply a firm compression bandage of cotton wool and vetrap above the wound and leave in place for 20minutes. Seek urgent Veterinary advice if bleeding persists.
  2. Decontaminate the wound. Wounds can be cleaned with clean running water and dabbing with moist gauze swabs. Take photos once the wound is clean.
  3. Protect the wound from deterioration/allow healing to commence. Fill the wound with Intrasite Gel, dress with a nonadherent dressing like MediSteriPad or Melolin, bandage with a thick layer of cotton wool overlayed with Elastoplast and Vetrap. Seek Veterinary advice and send the photos to your Vet.

Common Mistakes

1.Failing to cover the wound – leads to drying of the damaged skin making repair and healing more difficult.

  1. Bandaging too tightly- this is the most common error, cuts off blood supply so retards healing by killing tissue, in extreme cases can lead to laminitis/founder due to lack of circulation to and from the hoof. Bandages on horses’ legs need to include a THICK layer of cotton wool to provide even pressure over the wound surface.
  2. Delaying seeking Veterinary advice – it is amazing what we can do to help repair fresh wounds as opposed to old wounds. The difference can be months in healing time.

Wound Kit

10cm x 10mtr Vetrap x 2

7.5mtr Elastoplast x 2

Cotton Wool Roll

Gauze swabs

Intrasite Gel x 2

MediSteriPad 10x 20cm

Have A Horse That You Can Be Proud Of

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The new year is already under way and many new years resolutions have been made and cast aside. What is it, that you want to do with your horses? When you ask riders or auditors on courses, many have not really answered that question. Whatever your answer,  be it for recreational reasons, competition or work, the horse is the common denominator and horsemanship is nondenominational. To have horses in your life shows you have a love  of horses, improve your horsemanship and develop a riding horse that you are proud of. ( Horsemanship should not be thought of as a fad or style )

Over a few decades of teaching I have observed riders that make the most amount of progress in their horsemanship are the ones that educate themselves and then go away and do their homework. In this case they are the ones that over time develop a good riding horse through increasing their knowledge and refining and honing their skills What you define as a good riding horse today will be different tomorrow.

The horse above was a horse that came through a young horse intake a few years ago, he could kick and strike and buck a little. What has been exciting is to see how this little horse has developed into the riding horse that he is now. He is not perfect and will probably never win any ribbons etc. His self confidence has grown and he can work a cow both inside and outside an arena, rope horses or cattle, gather or muster cattle and amongst many other thing he puts a smile on my face when I ride him. Also what makes me smile is that I know if I had this horse 10 years ago he would not have ended up being the horse that he is evolving into.

Having a horse that is good to lead, tie up, bridle and has good ground manors is just as important as riding. Your ground work, is preparation for your riding under saddling. If your horse is not sure of you on the ground they will also reflect that when you are riding.

As a teacher/instructor I gain enjoyment out of seeing students progress, ( most instructors do I believe ). I also gain enjoyment out of seeing horses progress, from when they are started under saddle to their development into a nice riding horse. The horse below in the U.K. could really get to bucking and to be able to see the owner ride him was a highlight. It took time and dedication on both the rider and my part for this to happen.

If we can help develop ourselves our horses will reflect and benefit. Enjoy your horses and horsemanship.

 

Happy New Year

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Its been a month or so since I have updated with a blog or E-Newsletter. In that time I have had young horse intakes and the Legacy of Legends in Tamworth. The Legacy event is always a great time to catch up with friends and colleagues from around the world and this year was no exception. The image below was of the colt that I had to start this year. The New Zealand course has been rescheduled for later in the year, a date and venue to be confirmed soon. My Australian and U.K. schedules are up on the website for viewing, schedules may change from time to time.
Events Coming Up

February: Qld – Nebo – Lesson Day Feb 4,  March: Canberra – Green Horse Course – March 23, 24, 25,  May: Qld – Nebo Young Horse Intake. For more info, please email: info@davidstuart.com.au

Horsemanship: Transitions are an important part in our horsemanship and riding.  Transitions are relevant from riding young horses to older horses from one discipline to another to hacking/trail riding your horse out. When many riders are riding a young horse they are looking to survive and perhaps have the view that they will start riding their horse well when he gets a little older with a few more rides. Why wait, ride to the best of your ability every time, your horse will appreciate it and benefit from it.

Transitions will help the horse with impulsion, balance and collection, keeping the transitions smooth both up and down is also a tip for riders. At first work more on your transitions at a walk and trot, don’t try going from canter to walk while you are on the straight. In other words don’t override your horse to the extent that the downward transition becomes difficult.

As your transitions become better you will feel your horse is more off the leg and seat than being dependent on the reins. For a very forward horse you may want to do your transitions more on a circle and for a less forward horse more on the straight.

Hope all enjoyed the above, happy riding, stay safe and I look forward to catching up with everyone throughout the year.

Best to all – David

 

 

 

 

Your Horse’s Expression

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My travels for the year are now finished and I am now back home in Central Queensland for the first time since the end of June. There is still a colt starting course here at home in November and a young horse intake to finish the year out and with the Australian Legacy of Legends event in Tamworth to start the new year in January.

In the last few sessions that I had with Ray,  a couple of the points that he really seemed to be wanting to emphasis or get across was the importance of expression and getting down to the feet. The reality was that he was always trying to get those points across. It is amazing though if your horse’s feet are freed up and your horse is going forward then the horses expression is also more likely to be more positive. If your horse is going into a jump with the ears pricked forward then the horse is also more likely to jump and while I have used jumping as an example it is also true for other situations. Crossing a stream or a creek while out riding, leaving the stables or riding back to the stables may be the better example.

It was always emphasised not to drill your horse on any exercises and to keep setting it up and to help your horse gain in confidence. You were trying to get the exercise done with a positive expression. As we all gain more experience and our judgement improves it is the small things that matter, the end result will take care of itself.

The End of the 2017 U.K. Summer

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The 2017 U.K. summer has now almost come to a close. The last intake of horses is going home this weekend, after the handover course. Then there is a couple of courses left before I leave for sunnier climates. A big thank you to Tina and Total Horsemanship in organising the courses and horse intakes and to all those that come along to courses and the weeks at Dudgeley in Shropshire. What is really pleasing to see is the progress that all have made over the many years. I wish all well and look forward to when we next catch up, below is a small horsemanship article that I hope all enjoy.

When writing these blogs I try to leave readers with something that will help them with their horsemanship. I am not the first to emphasise the importance of having your horse in balance both on the ground and in the saddle. Many look at balance as being longitudinally, you must also consider latitudinally and this is just the physical. The horse may be out of balance and or pushing on you for a number of reasons from fear to learned behaviour and or for other reasons. Some time ago I heard it said that until your horse is in balance your horse will not be emotionally stable. In cases where you horse is pushing on you or rushing and are are out of balance, while you can back them up etc,  if you do not get the horse back in balance and the weight right, then the horse may not make a mental change and as a result continues to push on you.

I may not have found all the right words here to explain the above,  but hope these words are insightful in some way and wish all well.

A U.K. Summer

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MapMarkerI am now back in the U.K. and almost halfway through the schedule. Starting the schedule in Lancashire we have since been in Scotland, The New Forrest, Cumbria  as well as having the first intake of horses going home this weekend.

IMG-20170726-WA0020While in Cumbria last week I was lucky enough to be offered a ride in a Ferrari, this horse still   prances and dances impressively. Many thanks to Tommy and Sally Spencer for their hospitality  and the opportunity to be a passenger in this red horse.

I have included a horsemanship article below that I trust all will find informative.

When I first started, starting horses for the general public which was back in the mid eighties, horses where around 3 years of age with the odd 5- 6 year old. In recent years I have noticed a rise in the age of horses that are coming through the young horse intakes. In some cases these horses are 10 to 12 years or older in age with the average being 5 – 6 years of age. The horses are mixed from horses that have been started as  3 & 4 year olds then not ridden since, or are unable to be ridden because of bucking, not going forward or bolting etc, others have had injuries and not ridden for many years to now be deemed sound to ride. In many ways you could say that these horses are now not young horses but green horses, or in some cases, horses that are a serious challenge to ride.

IMG_5259While I appreciate that the above scenario is not ideal and these situations occur for many reasons, it would be better if they could be prevented. For many owners & riders once they have had their horse started it is almost a case of what happens next.  In the U.K. I run a hand over course after every young horse intake to help bridge the gap between horse and rider.  While I am supportive of riding these horses out and giving them a job to do, you still need to have a handle on your horsemanship both on the ground and in the saddle.  Having observed this situation for some time now,  offering a course for green horses was a possible solution.

Both in the U.K. and in Australia this course has been included in course schedules. While still not being a course for those with series ridden issues with their horses it is aimed to help those that have just had horses started or their “green” horse has been spelled for a period of time  and they are now wondering how to get started again. If you would like more info on this course please email; infouk@davidstuart.com.au  or  info@davidstuart.com.au

 

 

 

A Blog for May

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MapMarkerMy Australian schedule is coming to an end for a couple of months having just completed a 2 day home course this past weekend plus the ongoing young horse intake. It will then be time to start to get ready to head out for the U.K. at the end of next month. During the month of April I have travelled to Bowral – N.S.W., Canberra – ACT and Serpentine in Western Australia with courses and lessons etc.  It is always great to see the progress of all in my travels. Particularly for those that have been attending courses for some time, I always remember where you started from.18221911_1851803965143631_427641186028701635_n

The image above and below was a young horse start with the owner riding the young horse for the first time. This was in Serpentine, W.A. at a course organised by Horsemanship First organiser Jenny Jackson. These sort of situations are great learning for all, regardless if  you are participating or watching. Every horse has the ability to learn and to teach.

I have just started to put together next seasons schedule so please keep an eye on the course schedule over the next few months. In November it is likely that there will be a cost starting course here at home in Qld. This will be invitational, so please email me if you are interested. I have also added a horsemanship article below as well for all to read.

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Feel is such an intangible thing and what it means to you today will change over time. To get your horse to operate from a feel both on the ground and ridden is something to aspire to. Many can drive a horse but still not have the horse following a feel on the halter or feeling down to the feet. Many riders can get to where they are just pulling on the reins or lead rope rather than feeling of the horse. As a result of just pulling you may be building in resistance or a brace. In a recent conversation with a friend an observation was  that when a horse steps over a pole on the ground with feel, the horse will not knock the pole. I remember Ray pointing out to a group of us one time, a horse that was not feeling down to the feet and then when the horse was really feeling with feet. It was too completely different pictures,  observe your own horse in the way that they move at different gaits and in different situations. Equally before the horse moves they have to get ready to move, in this case the weight must shift.

While appreciating that many have heard and read the above several times before, we do have start living this more to gain the benefits.

When I started putting this blog together it was the beginning of May and now we are at the end of May. The year is flying by, I look forward to meeting up with all those in the U.K. in the next few weeks.