May began with Beef Week in Rockhampton, during which I was able to catch up with many friends that I had not seen for a long time. As well as have the opportunity to sit in on seminars and listen to speakers from an aurae of fields. After Beef Week it was back to the horses with a new bunch of young horses coming in for the month, all are making good progress and are now being ridden outside.
The image below is of some of the new intake of young horses. The country side here at home in Qld is in stark contrast to that of the U.K. with many places in Western Queensland facing a long winter with little chance of rain until the end of the year. The horses below are mostly 3 year olds with an older gelding in the herd as well.
Last weekend I was in Gatton in South East Qld doing a 2 day horsemanship course. It was good to have riders from the previous course in October last year and see the progress that they had made. Many thanks to Wendy Palmer and Ron Howland for their hospitality and all their efforts in organising the weekend. Everyone made good progress and I often believe riders make more progress when they go home and have the opportunity to put into practice the lessons of the weekend.
One of the topics of conversation that I spoke about during the course was the need for your horse to be off the leg. There are times when you will feel that your horse is moving forwards but when you put your leg on there is a resistance or a lack of forwards or your horse is escaping from the leg. This is something to be aware of as some horses will buck, or hold the rider to “ransom” , with a, if you put your leg on, I am going to buck you off, or kick out, run off etc . A quote from Baucher ” I like the horse to be behind the hand and in front of the leg, so that the centre of gravity is placed between these two aids, as it only on this condition that the horse is absolutely under the control of the rider.” I have heard other words and metaphors used to describe this and help riders gain a better understanding and meaning. Over time with experience and understanding the meaning of these words will change and enlighten. Better yet, as riders we will get to feel this with our horses even if it is only briefly.
Towards the end of next month I travel back to the U.K., I will have the opportunity to catch up briefly with friends in Dubai on the way over.