Hi to one and all as we have now officially begun winter here in Australia, it feels more like a U.K. summer. This is the first time that I have been in Australia in June for probably over 15 years. Presently I have young horses that are in the 3 rd week of their month of starting and I now have my Australian schedule wrapped up for summer and autumn. My Australian and New Zealand schedule will start up again in October when I return from the Northern Hemisphere. The course schedule is up on the website , new dates are being added. My U.K. schedule starts in July up in sunny Scotland, of course I will get to stop off with my friends in Dubai on the way across. Stock work back home also continues to play a role in my schedule.
Recently I have been asked to write a series of articles for a newsletter / magazine back here in Australia. When first starting out with these articles it does really feel like writing about the search for the Holy Grail or the meaning of life. It is now becoming a novel as opposed to an article.
In April and May I had a horsemanship / cow working course in central Qld and a horsemanship course in Victoria. The image to the right was taken at the course in central Queensland. This horse had some challenges going across a tarp, it all worked out at the end. In handling and starting young horses over the years I see situations where the horse is gentle and not really bothered by the human but braced and not let down. Often that brace is in the hindquarters and the horse’s feet can get stuck.
In attempting to offer a suggestion, try to get the horses hind and forequarters and feet freed up. Watch when the horse is moving, do the feet have a rhythm to the movement and is the horse feeling down to the feet or just running or stuck. In this case I am speaking from the ground but equally the same is true when riding.
In Australia and now New Zealand I do quite a few horsemanship / cow working courses, I believe that there is a lot of benefit to the cow working even if you are not really that interested in cow working as it shows and highlights the areas to work on with your horsemanship. Often where the horse is not really free moving or able to be ridden forward this comes out with the cow working. Or where riders are unable to keep their horse between their legs and hands, again this comes out.
A good analogy of keeping the horse between your legs and your hands is what I have heard Buck Brannaman speak of, keeping your horse in a rectangle. You would not want your horse running out the side of the rectangle, but equally not having your horse go out the front or the back of the rectangle. Horsemanship is non denominational it does not matter if you have a dressage horse, a cutter or a polo horse what you have is a horse and horsemanship applies to us all.
In June I will also have an e-newsletter going out, I am in the process of revamping the template so hopefully it will have a little bit of a new look and format to it. I look forward to catching up with all in Dubai and the U.K. in the next few weeks.