September Musings

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We are now halfway through September and no doubt it is starting to feel  autumnal in the Northern hemisphere and in the Southern hemisphere we are heading out of winter and waiting for summer.

We still have horses coming and going here at our home facility. There is also a home course planned for November as well as courses in Emerald and Brisbane. More information on courses and schedules can be found on the website.

I have put together another horsemanship article below – Happy ReadingFor many people around the world, their introduction to horses starts at a young age and then there is a break with many returning to horses in their 30s and 40s, some start at this age as well.

To be around horses for any length of time, there has to be a love of horses. Riding well, takes a lot of dedication and time, horsemanship is not just about riding. You can be a knowledgeable and educated rider and still not be able to trailer load your horse.  While I am probably biased, I am of the view, that the more we educate ourselves, the better we become with horses and for our horses.

Horsemanship is non denominational it is not a discipline or a competition, it is applicable to all horses. Our horses are a reflexion of ourselves and our abilities. Our confidence and ability to adjust to fit the situation is a reflection of our experience and education. As we become more educated and experienced we will be able to fit an array of horses and situations. The attitude and presentation behind what we do has a lot to do with the outcome, this is not just about learning some techniques and your horse is magically going to get into the trailer , stand still to saddle, not shy when going down the road etc.

It is more about who you to have become, to be able to fit your horse at that point in time. You can not walk into the round pen or arena pretending to be one person and then be another outside.

As I have said many times if we make our goal to  develop a dependable riding horse the rest takes care of itself. I had better go and start riding some horses.

 

 

 

 

 

A Website Blog For Spring

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Spring is on the way, at least in the southern hemisphere.  Since my last blog a few months ago we have had a course in Central Queensland at Emerald and have upcoming courses in the next few months at Emerald , Brisbane and at the end of the year in Western Australia.

We have also been doing some virtual courses in the U.K. I was unsure how these would go and thus far the feedback has been great. This weekend we are in the New Forrest. We have a yard full of young horses in for starting with some due to go home over the next few days.

I have written a horsemanship article below for all

When putting theses articles together I try and come up with a topic that is beneficial to everyone. This time there is not a topic, just a conversation.

In recent horse conversations, we were speaking about horses taking over. As they are a herd animal, it can be their nature to do so. With developing your horse you may need to revisit exercises, ground and ridden for the horse to understand and learn and become solid. You would try and do this in a way that was not drilling and had both consistency and variety.

Some horses will pick up on things very quickly and others not as quickly. When the horse makes a change or a try, then give some recess for the horse. Some horses will pick up on things and start to anticipate and that is mostly a good thing. What happens for riders is that they stay there a little to0 long and then what works for them starts to work against them, the horse starts to take over.

Riding with accuracy and learning to be particular without being critical is an awareness that can be of benefit. With a young or green horse you will not be as particular as you might with a horse that was further down the line.  You would still begin with the end in mind, you might want to back up 5 steps and be straight. You may get 7 steps and not be straight.

I am also of the view that when you approach your horsemanship in this way it creates discipline within both the rider and horse. You don’t want fear, although the horse’s self preservation may come out at times, in time you will have confidence and understanding.

 

Time For Another Website Blog

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It does seem like it was only January and now we are looking at the end of May. To date this year we have continued with horse starts and home courses. Plus having had a few away courses as well. We have just finished a cow working course here over the weekend and also have a 2 day course in Emerald, Central Qld in June.

Unfortunately again this year we have had to cancel our overseas schedule due to Covid and travel restrictions. Our domestic schedule is slowly resuming and we trust that by the end the year we will see more certainty with domestic travel. We thank you all for your continued support and wish everyone good health.

The horsemanship article below, is relevant to us all in some way. Happy Reading

Riding Your Horse Outside.

This is a question that comes up every now and then, whether it be with a young started horse or a new horse that you have acquired. Preparation is the first place to start for both the horse and the rider, Ray Hunt spoke of being prepared for the unthinkable.

How well prepared are both horse and rider with your ground work and ridden work in the arena. Buck Brannaman speaks of having your horse stay in your rectangle and if your horse is spooking and shying you might say that your horse does not stay in your rectangle or that you have a vey big rectangle.

For many riders riding outside for the first time or so they do not keep their horses busy enough, they are not keeping track of where their horse is at mentally. If you ever rode in one of Ray’s horsemanship courses he would have you walk your horse as slow as you could and then walk your horse out as fast as you could, walk serpentines , walk a small circle with all 4 feet reaching equal, stop and back up while counting the strides. See if you could move the hindquarters a quarter of a turn on the left rein and then bring the forequarters through.

When you are going through these exercises, feel the horse, are they still bracing against your leg, are they relaxed and letting down are they soft and responsive to your leg and rein. There are many things going on. When you ride outside you take these things with you, it seems odd that you would ride your horse differently in an arena than you would outside.

As a teenager , ( yes I was also one once ), I was starting one of my own horses and I could not get my horse to move out in the round pen at the time. I asked my grandfather to open the gate into a bigger yard and again the outcome was similar. This time I asked my grandfather to open the gate outside, well at this point we did get going very quickly and covered a lot of country very quickly as well. When I did get back to the yards I asked my grandfather to close the gate. We don’t know what we don’t know. Now when I ride outside I am a lot better prepared and have more experience and better judgment.

You can go with a more experienced rider and horse to give you and your new or young horse confidence, when you are outside for the first time or so you may just want to stay at the walk. With many of the young horses that I ride, mostly it is at the walk and trot. With time, the mind settles more and the horse gets more balanced with the weight of the saddle and rider.

 

First Blog for 2021

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Happy New Year to everyone and to think that it is now February and it is nearly a year since I was on a plane. While being in Australia appears to have been a great country to be locked down in, we all trust that we are closer to the end of this pandemic. Until then stay safe and healthy.

While travel has been limited, we do have some courses coming up, a 3 day course at Anstead Acres in Brisbane at the beginning of March and a then a weeks course in Western Australia in April. There is also a Horsemanship / Cow Working home course in May. More information can be found at www.davidstuart.com.au

At home we have had a lot of horses in for starting and are thankful that they keep coming. As mentioned in earlier blogs we have done a lot of upgrading of facilities over the last 18 months. They certainly make a difference for everyone.

The links below are some of the articles that I have written for Horse Deals Australia over the years

DAVID STUART cop

Serpentine-Exercise

David-Stuart

 

 

 

 

Below is also a Horsemanship Article. Happy Reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To go slow too go fast, it is hard to get your head around those words. When it comes to developing your horse they are quite profound. At the first Ray Hunt course that I attended in April 1989. In the horsemanship course, he would ask you to walk your horse as slow as you could and then to walk them out. Pick up a soft feel, back them 6 strides, to count cadence with your horses feet or to back an 1/8 of a circle. The fastest the whole class got, was a trot. I don’t think I had ever tried to ride a horse with such accuracy and discipline before. All I had done before was try to go fast, I did not know there was so much to riding a horse. I did not know there was so much to the walk , as I heard it said some time ago; The walk is the Mother of all Gaits. 

Going slow too go fast, riding with accuracy and discipline did help my horses and horsemanship. It helped my horses to understand more, it prepared my horses, it gave me time to understand and improve my feel and timing, my horses stayed sound longer, they are more mentally and emotionally stable.  I could get along with more horses. Then when I did speed things up, my horses were there for me and not running out or running off.   One of Ray’s quotes was; It is the preparation to the position for the transition. As my friend Mike says if you want to find the holes in your “programme” add speed.  Every now and then Ray would say, now see how fast you can bring the forequarters through, but don’t loose the softness.

By slowing down and developing my horses over time they developed better impulsion, balance and engagement you can feel the power coming through them and the lightness to signal from your seat and leg aids.

In a book that was gifted to me a long time ago, the author wrote that as these principles had been true for them. They were happy to see these same principles coming true for myself. I would also like to offer those words of encouragement to many others

While many may look for a technique as a means of accomplishment, our attitude towards our horse and behind what we do has such an impact.

Everyone has to adjust to fit their own situation and to the horse that they are riding.  Enjoy your horses.