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 [email protected] 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.