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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.

 

October Blog News

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It has been a while since I last put pen to paper and since then we have been busy. With horses continuing to arrive for starting,  we have had courses as well. One last weekend in Brisbane at Anstead Acres, thank you to Pam Andrews and all involved,  it was a great 3 days and a great venue. In September we had a home course that involved some local cattle stations and was a follow up to a course a couple of months earlier. It was great seeing the improvement in everyone.

We also had an interview with the online Equestrian Life Magazine, a link to the article is below.

http://www.equestrianlife.com.au/articles/From-Nebo-to-the-world

There is is also a new Horse Deals article coming out in the next month or so.

The cover over the the round pen works well and will be much appreciated during summer for not only when starting horses but also courses as well. While the year is not over yet, we feel that there has been a lot accomplished during some quite challenging times. To all our friends and family wherever you are, stay safe and healthy.

Below is a horsemanship article that we trust you all enjoy.

Having not been able to travel for the last 6 months or so has given me an opportunity to start more horses here at home. There has been a wide selection of horses coming through and all are different. Some horses are more friendly and others not so, so have bucked and others not etc.

Reading the horse that you have in front of you and where they are at today and working at their level is important. Many times we are all guilty of saying that our horse was not like that at home or yesterday our horse was perfect.  Developing that dependable riding horse takes time and consistency on our part. Over time that then transfers into a dependable saddle horse that you can take anywhere.

When you on the ground with your horse or in the saddle, look at your horse’s expression, when you change the flag from one side to the other, does the expression change. Paying attention to the expression in different situations can really help in reading your horse.

I have spoken quite a bit about flexion and balance at times this year. Recently I was watching a horse who was prone to bucking. I had a rope around the girth and you could really see the horse would brace against the rope, in a couple of different ways. The flexion and balance was not there and in the initial few rides this was the same. When I rode this horse the first few times I would only sit there quietly, standing still and bending and doing a lot of rubbing. As the horse started to let down more and become more accepting you could feel the flexion starting to change from the withers back. It is not just the outside that you need to be able to see it is what do you feel on the inside of the horse.

 

 

 

Happy New Year

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My course schedule has already begun with a one day horsemanship and cow working course at home in Qld. This weekend there is a 3 day course in the South Island of New Zealand, plus lessons are available on the Monday, more details at https://www.davidstuart.com.au/course/aust-intermediate-2-2016-09-10/

Courses are also coming up in March, at Canberra and Western Australia. Again more details on courses and young hors schedules at: https://www.davidstuart.com.au/courses/

Trailer Loading:  Will get you advice from everywhere and will be a subject that has many stories and will create many more. It is also applicable to everyone with a horse. From a recreational rider to a competition rider. A couple of suggestions:

Do not wait until you are late for the “show”

Be prepared before you go near the trailer

Preparation in this case, means having your ground work in order: How confident is your horse, does your horse follow a feel well, does your horse lead well, can you move your horses hind and forequarters, back your horse up. How is your horse with a flag.

Look at things from the horse”s perspective understand that being confined in a small area is not always going to be in the horses nature.

There are many approaches to loading: Look at whats going to be safe for both you and your horse. Loading a horse up a truck ramp or into the back of a trailer already loaded with horses may require you to load from outside the trailer. Other situations may require you to lead your horse in. Look at what is best for both you and your horse.

I look forward to catching with up with everyone through out the year. Enjoy your horsemanship and horses.

A Blog Update

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Whats Happening or Coming Up: With the end of November and another year upon us all. Temperatures are beginning to climb as we officially enter the Australian summer. Since my last blog there has been a home course here on the family station in Queensland. This was a green horse course, there is also a horsemanship/cow working course planned in mid January as well.  Another green horse course will be held in early March at the end of the young horse intake.

U.K.: Next years U.K schedule is available for viewing on the course schedule page. Please contact Tina for more info at infouk@davidstuart.com.au

Young Horses Modules: The young horse modules are quickly filling up so if you are wanting to send your horse please contact to ensure availability.

New Zealand: In January on the dates of 25, 26 & 27 I have a 3 day horsemanship course in the South Island, again more info is available on the course schedule page. On the 28 I am having a lesson day, please email Scott and Michaela at info@scottomalley.co.nz for more info.

More info @: https://www.davidstuart.com.au/courses/

Below are some of the images taken this year of young horses and of my travels from Australia to the U.K. Below is also a horsemanship article on backing, so please scroll down. I hope all enjoy these blog updates and horsemanship articles. I can be contacted via email at info@davidstuart.com.au

Horsemanship: Backing Your Horse:

  • A backup has 2 beats and is the diagonal back and front
  • The weight distribution is to the hind quarters
  • The poll should be the highest point
  • You should feel your horse lifting through the withers  and starting to round out through his back underneath you.

Some tips to improve your back up:

  • If your horse is dragging his or her feet try backing up a hill to encourage your horse to start to pull with the hind end instead of pushing.
  • You can also back on a circle if you live in flat country.
  • As your horse’s balance and impulsion improves so will your horse’s back up.
  • Don’t get to pulling your horse back wait for the feet to come, the weight should change first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

February’s 2017 Blog

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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 info@davidstuart.com.au

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.

 

 

November’s Blog

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MapMarkerIt is hard to believe that we are in November and nearly at the end of another year. The last months travel has taken me to W.A. and recently Braidwood in NSW, Wamboin just outside Canberra and Bowral. Next week I am back home in Qld  and will have the last course of the year at home. For those that are interested in this course please email me.

The image below was from a course that I had in Serpentine in Western Australia with Jenny Jackson at Horsemanship First.

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Past Reflections: The first Ray Hunt course I went to was in 1986 and I promised Ray that I would work really hard on my horsemanship. I did not understand his reply at the time when he said don’t work to hard at it son, I am still working hard on my horsemanship , equally though I now have a better understanding of what Ray meant by those words. I have also had many that have helped me over the years some very well known and others not known at all.

In reflection over past years it has been interesting to watch the evolvement of the horse industry and horsemanship in general. You now see where many riders have some sort of ground work repertoire, many are wanting to consider and understand things from the horses perspective. Riding has in general changed for the better and riders now have more access to information and knowledge than ever before, whether this be in the form of books, DVDs or internet.

Again in my travels I have had the opportunity to meet, many people from all over the world. Some have been leaders in their respective fields and others leaders of large companies and leaders of families. Many have an interesting story to tell and many have become good friends and if they choose to  give advice I really try hard to listen and act on this. I know they are going to ask me if I have done my homework. These people also have a huge desire to learn and improve. They have a real fire in their belly, that is very hard to put out.

Those that really progress with their horsemanship are ones that continue to educate themselves, do their home work and keep the fire stoked. As Ray could not do “it” for me, nor I for others. If you can learn to do “it” for your horse and yourself , what you will lean, will be more valuable.