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David Stuart

Autumn & Spring 2014

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MapMarker Whats Going On:  Autumn is now upon those in the U.K. and of course spring is now in the air for the Southern Hemisphere. My time in the Northern Hemisphere has been busy with horsemanship courses and young horse starting. All has gone well with full courses and starting some 15 head of horses in the U.K. for the 2 months that I was there.

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I am now travelling back to Australia, currently enjoying some time in Europe practicing my golf swing. I will be back in the Middle East for a short time before arriving back in Sydney for a course at the end of September at Fullcirlce Farm, Picton, N.S.W. It is then back into my 2014 Australian and New Zealand schedules. My website will be updated over the coming months with my 2015 Australian, New Zealand  and U.K. course and young horse schedule. I also have the second article titled ” Timing” coming out in the e-magazine, The Horseman’s Diary shortly.

Horsemanship: Within the horsemanship courses that I teach I speak of the importance of the horse’s inside leg and also the riders. Equally the importance of your outside rein when you use your inside leg and how that affects the position of your horse’s inside leg.  Many riders may find that when they use their inside leg it will not  initially have much meaning. When used in conjunction with your outside rein your inside leg should help the horse to step forward and track up with their inside leg and become more united and engaged. When your horse’s inside leg is tracking up you will find that your canter transitions should also improve with your horse ” going up into the canter ” as opposed to running, falling or rearing into the canter. Equally when you have both inside legs tracking up equally this will help you with straightness within your horse. It will also help you to have your ridden circles become more even on both reins.

When speaking of the importance of the riders inside leg I am not suggesting that riders not use an outside leg to cue their horses for the canter. The horse is like a ship and steers from the hindquarters. If we become more focused on what occurs behind the withers the front often takes care of itself. Again it is the ” Preparation to the position for the transition.”

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July & August in the U.K. & a New Website

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This blog has been a while coming and a lot has happened since the last update. As many will have now noticed there is a new website that is up, it has a new look and feel to it. If you scroll down the home page you will find links to different webpages as well as having the buttons at the top of the page to navigate from. If I can navigate my way around others should find it a breeze.

Since my arrival into the U.K. I have started in Scotland and have been out and about doing courses around the countryside of the U.K. We have now taken in our second intake of young horses with the first intake from July going back over the weekend. The Foundation Training Weeks here at Dudgeley  Farm have been very busy with both new riders and of course, well seasoned riders from past years. It is really great to see the progress that riders have been making over the years with not only their horses but in their understanding and knowledge.

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In recent courses and lessons etc, I have really tried to emphasise the importance of not just going through the mechanics of an exercise. If riders can obtain a better understanding of what they are looking for in their horses in the outcome and the feel that they are trying to obtain from their horses, the outcome will be greatly improved. In an article I have written recently that can be view from the media page titled  “Feel” I try to get riders to understand that they need to transcend beyond just the mechanics of an exercise if they want to continue to progress with their horsemanship. Where your horse has a good feel and rhythm to what you are doing on the ground or in the saddle your horse is likely to be more let down and relaxed as well.

I made comment today, to the class here at Dudgeley in Shropshire, that when the impossible becomes possible it becomes exciting. For many when we start out we do not even know what is possible. As we all progress in what we have to offer the horse, we will be able to get so much more done yet with seemingly so little.

This year my UK schedule is short and at the end of August I start to head out  for other parts of the world and then back to the Middle East and then back home at the end of September. Of course my Australian & New Zealand course schedule start up on my arrival back home, there have been new dates added to the course schedule for Australia so please check the website course listings for those.

In closing the U.K. weather to date has been very accommodating  and welcoming, I am hoping that this will continue through for the month of August as well.