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February’s 2017 Blog

By February 23, 2017February 21st, 20182 Comments

MapMarker It has been a good start to the new year with young horses and cattle work. My course schedule started off recently with a 2 day course at home in Central Queensland, everyone made a lot of progress and the riders were a great group to teach. There is another 2 day course planned for May 20 & 21, this will be a horsemanship and cow working course.

I am now in New Zealand and have just finished a great 2 day course in the North Island at Russell Higgin’s facility, Brumby Farm. I have not seen Russell and Ruth for some time, so was great to catch up, and thank you for your hospitality. There is now a 3 day course this weekend in the South Island near Timaru, details are available on the website.

Also there are still a couple of young horse places available for my next intake in May in Australia. Places can go quickly, so if you are interested then please email me at [email protected]

I have included a small horsemanship article below, I trust that all will enjoy.

A young horse from the U.K.

A young horse from the U.K.

In reading a recent interview with Carl Hester, he spoke of situations where riders have a horse that has impulsion at the canter, but is not in balance and how riders then slow the horse down to where there is more balance in the canter, but no impulsion. Equally you could say this is true of other gaits as well.

Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance spoke of Feel, Timing and Balance. As a rider, and as your position and effectiveness as a rider improves, so to will your feel and timing. You will not use the reins for your balance and you will gain a feel for when the horse is in balance.

If you can count strides with your horse’s feet, at the different gaits, you will develop your feel and timing. Equally an exercise to try, might be to count how many canter strides to a marker and as your eye for a stride develops you can increase the strides. This exercise will also help you to develop a canter that is adjustable and one that you can lengthen and shorten.

With time you will continue to refine and redefine what a good saddle horse means. Most of all, we need to enjoy the process and realise that this is not a race and there is not a finish line.




  • Clare Mac says:

    Ah, this is an interesting one. It’s funny how each of your horsemanship posts seem to refer directly to myself and my situation…but I’m sure that applies to everyone! Thanks Dave…you’ve reminded us of a challenge plus something to help us work on it 🙂

  • Debra says:

    The meanings for feel, timing, and balance is monumental. There is so much that go into all three and balance, to me, seems the most elusive. Balance in the rider and the horse, for every stride, in all gaits is what we want to achieve but sometimes it is hard to achieve. I like what you said about counting steps because then you can determine the norm for your horse as a foundation and work from there. Made me think of Ray and Tom’s idiom of Observe, remember, and compare. Thanks David. Safe travels to TX.