Mayhem

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It has been a very busy month to date with having returned from Western Australia mid May followed by a quick trip down to Bowral in New South Wales.

It is great to see the progress of all the riders and their horses. When you start down the horsemanship road there is a few turns and twists for everyone.  It is always rewarding to see horses and riders make it through the rough spots.

Upcoming Events; In mid June we have a Foundation Horsemanship course coming up in Brisbane at Anstead Acres. For more information please contact Pam Andrews, contact details are on the course page of  the website. In July we have a virtual course in Shropshire in the U.K. and also a Green Horse home course here in Central Queensland, email me at info@daivdstuart.com.au for more info and prices.

The horse starting at home in Central Queensland is still very busy and with the improved facilities, life is easier for both horses and humans. Below is an image of our new horse wash bay. I have also added a horsemanship article below that I hope all enjoy reading.

 

Building the Foundation: It is easy to say, it takes a lot longer than many realise. Time is one of the ingredients to building that foundation. With some horses that are really sensitive and their self preservation is right on the surface  it may take longer to develop their confidence and trust in the human than horses that don’t have that depth of self preservation. The riders competence also has a lot to do with this as well.

What are you wanting in your horse or maybe what are you not wanting in your horse is a great question to ask yourself as well.

In reading some articles the other day I thought they really touched on some great points. One, was having a ground covering stride and how some horses can have a trot that is very short or “floaty” and the importance of lengthening that stride. The other point I was reading was on responsiveness, if a horse can feel a fly land on them then why are we having to do so much with our arms and legs to get the message across,  the horse is not responsive to our aids, in other words they are dull or not understanding.

One of many ways to lengthen the stride of your horse is riding out. Often a short stride is associated with a horse being anxious or nervous. As long as it is safe to do so, hacking as it is termed in the U.K. or riding them out will lengthen the stride and help the horse to relax and let down over time. In the U.K. I used to take young horses out a lot on trail rides. I also took riders out a lot as part of the courses that I ran over there.

 

When you are out there on the trail there are so many things that you can do to help your horse gain more confidence, the environment often causes your horse to be more forward and responsive than what many achieve in an arena environment.  This will also help with straightness in your horse as well, when you are out there have your horse walk out. Growing up on my families cattle property we often had large  areas to cover, so you appreciated your horse if they had a good walk.

The horse below was a polo horse that I rode for a little bit in the U.K.  While not swinging a polo mallet well, if I can ride them outside swing a rope on them, ride them with a flag, others will be able to swing a polo mallet. It is easy to focus on the end result and if we get the preparation better then the outcome is also likely to reflect this.


 

A Late Blog for April

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I may just have time to get a website blog in for April. It has been a very busy time since my last website blog. At the end of March I headed up to Barkly Downs Station for 10 days. Barkly Downs Station is in Qld near the Northern Territory border. Words do not do justice to the size of these operations. One photo of the landscape looks very similar to the last, when you are on the downs country. It was a great experience and thank you to ACC and Rob and Megan Mcauliffe and all the staff at Barkly for your hospitality and having us there.

In the mean time we have also continued adding infrastructure to our facilities at home. I am sure that they will be appreciated by those attending our home course in July. This course is a Green Horse Course so if you are interested then please contact me on info@davidstuart.com.au

We also have a Foundation Course coming up in Brisbane in Queensland in June. This was originally planned for March but due to floods has been rescheduled for June. This course is held at Pam Andrews facility at Anstead Acres. More information is available on the course schedule page.

Presently I am in transit in the Qantas Lounge in Brisbane on my way to Perth for 10 days to do some courses and lessons at Horsemanship First in Serpentine, Western Australia with Jenny Jackson. Again for more info please go to the website or get in contact with Jenny.

Within the U.K. we have some virtual courses happening in the next few months. Tina will be able to provide more info and the dates are again on the course schedule page.

During the second half of the year we will also be updating the website, so please stay tuned for that. Hopefully all goes relatively smoothly.

I have also added a horsemanship article below, enjoy and we hope to be able to catch up with you many of you throughout the year.

( Some may call the new seating around our round pen a viewing stand, I am calling it a Grand Stand.)

At many of the courses over the years I have mentioned that these days everyone has a ground and ridden work repertoire of one nature or another. What differentiates the outcome for many is that one persons approach may have more quality and understanding to what they do in their ground and ridden work to what anther person is doing.  The horse then becomes a reflexion of this.

What are some of the qualities or outcomes that you are looking for within your horse when you are  both on the ground or in the saddle. Is your horse understanding and thinking and feeling down to their feet, do you have relaxation within your horse both at a standstill and in motion? Does your horse accept you on the ground and in the saddle? How well does your horse accept their environments? What are your transitions like ?

The above are just examples of and you can make a long list of questions here. To get better with your horse you have to ask different questions, if you want a different answer. If you are just running your horse around on the ground or in the saddle, you are not going to like the answers to your questions.

“While we may all ask what our horse can do for us, it is perhaps what can we do for our horse.” This may not be the first time this line has been used and I believe that it is still relevant today.

Ray Hunt used to say you have to THINK, many just react to circumstances. On a halter that I received as gift a long time ago, there is a leather nose band on the rope halter that says THINK. I had kept this halter in my house and recently thought that perhaps the giver of that gift would like to see it in use.

It is a very useful reminder and lesson and a wonderful memory.

 

A March Autumn

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While it may be the start of Australian Autumn, in Central Queensland it feels more like the beginning of Summer. I thought my temperature  gauge was broken as it has been stuck on 40 degrees celsius or above for the last few weeks.

Working from a saddle horse

In the last few weeks we have done a green horse course in Bowen in Central Queensland and we were to do a course in Brisbane, that has now been rescheduled for the middle of June due to the recent floods.

We have been busy with stock work on my families cattle property and are continuing to add additional  improvements. My welding and fabrication skills are not strong, but I have found someone with that skill set.

In the coming weeks and months I have private courses in North Queensland and in New South Wales. At the end of April, depending on covid I am back in Western Australia and we are looking to have a home course in the middle of the year. There will also be additional courses added once confirmed.

Below I have written a horsemanship article on working with the blind spot, I hope all enjoy.

The Blind Spot;

Can really get riders into a lot of trouble, horses have a blind spot, almost directly behind them and also in front of them and under their neck. Getting horses confident in these areas is really important. At times horses will spook, go to bucking, bolting etc because of not being accepting of movement or motion in these areas.

On the ground when using a flag if you are too sudden with your movement and go underneath a young or green horses neck with the flag, they may strike with their front feet or escape backwards. Have your horses solid when changing eyes and going through that blind spot, you would like them to be really smooth when changing eyes.

Using a saddle horse also helps for your green or young horse to be able to see you from above them before you get on. I have put a small video on social media and if you go to my facebook page David Stuart you should be able to view the video. This video probably gives more understanding than my words do. ( we are also amateur video editors as well ).

I hope you all enjoy.

 

 

 

Happy New Year 2022

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Christmas does not seem that long ago and now we are at the end of January. In Australia I think the warm days of December and January are now behind us. From memory I think those of you in the U.K. still have some cold weather ahead of you. Australia has had a great summer in sport capped by Australian, Ash Barty winning the women’s Australian Open tennis final. Barty’s mind set coach, Ben Crowe is more about being on purpose than on winning. Preparation to the position for the transition is a quote from Ray Hunt. It is not about the topic of the conversation it is about the quality of the conversation.

 

This month rather than doing a horsemanship article I have put together some of the Q & As that have come up over the last 12 months or so.

Question; How important is trust?

Answer; Trust is extremely important as is confidence.  In fact you might say trust comes with confidence. With some horses that might be the thing that stops you getting bucked off or run off with. It takes time to develop that with some horses that are really sensitive and their self preservation is close to the service.

Question; My horse braces with his flexion

Answer;  Flexion, regardless of your discipline is going to be play a part in your outcomes.  To start this conversation look at your horses poll.  If your horse is braced in the poll  that brace is going to come out in many other ways, through your horses back and flexion etc. This is also going to influence your horses behaviour. ( This is not the only thing that is going to influence your horses behaviour.)

As a suggestion I would also add, it is our presentation, sometimes the way we are asking is building the brace. If we can feel when the horse is well balanced, the timing of our aids and questions will be reflected with a feel that is good to both your horse and you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Christmas Blog

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It has been a few months since I have put a blog out, so I had best pen to paper.  Since my last blog we have had more horses come through our facility as well as having a home course as well. In October we had a 3 day course at Anstead Acres in Brisbane, our thanks to Pam Andrews for all her efforts and those that attended the course. We even had some cows to rope and play with as well.

I have just returned home from 2 weeks in Western Australia with Jenny Jackson at Horsemanship First. Jenny and George Jackson have a wonderful facility and we had both courses, lessons and a couple of young horse starts.

Next years schedule will  be updated as courses dates are confirmed and as borders slowly reopen. So keep going to the course schedule page to check the schedule. I have added a horsemanship article below for all, happy reading.

I would like to thank all that have organised  and attended courses and sent young horses to us this year, your business is much appreciated. My family would like to wish you all a safe and a very Merry Christmas and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Take The Time it Takes and it Takes Less Time.

While in Western Australia over the last two weeks I spoke about preparation. The horse above was a horse that could get quite athletic when wearing the saddle. With the time available in April all we did was introduce him to it. Between then and now the owner prepared him more on the ground and this time around we put a dozen rides on him and he was really in a good place at the end.

There is a short video on my facebook page davidstuartfoundationhorsemanship  of my riding an older saddle horse and the horse above following in a larger arena and back into the round pen.

As the horse gains more confidence in you and themselves it is amazing what they will do. If you can handle your young horses with quality before you start them you will be further ahead when you come to saddle them and ride.