News

Part 3

11 September 2017
Part 3

Bridleless

03 September 2017
Bridleless

Trimming

08 August 2017
Trimming

Maverick

01 August 2017
Maverick

Page 2: Ebony

13 July 2017
Page 2: Ebony

Part 1: Echo

13 July 2017
Part 1: Echo

Jazz

After almost 4 years owning Jazz, we are finally at the start line and ready to begin training!! This a truly a celebratory moment for me :) The last 4 years I have been working on the inside of Jazz, to get her to the level where mentally and emotionally she can cope with the pressures of training. Jazz is ultra sensitive, doesn't handle pressure well, is easily worried and very easy to make anxious and tight.

I realised in the first few months of owning her that our journey would be long and slow. I threw all expectations of where we might end up out the window and decided I'd be happy with wherever that might be. Things we take for granted with our other horses, have been a hell of a big deal for Jazz. In fact my young horse Zefir in her first couple of weeks of being started under saddle was ahead of Jazz on some tasks. Thats not a criticism of Jazz, she is a very complex horse, and I am absolutely fine with that. She has given me many light bulb moments in the last 4 years, and I love what she has brought to my knowledge bank.

Jazz's main issue is that she gets out of balance easily, which makes her worry and become anxious and tight.She has taught me probably one of my most critical lessons in the last couple of years.

When horses lose balance, they lose confidence. And then they become anxious.

By losing balance I don't mean falling over literally, but just not having the weight spread evenly over the four legs. We all see examples of lost balance every day. Watch some showjumping, those out of control speed rounds are often lost balance, and usually you will see a lot of anxiety in the horse. Out on the trail a jig jog horse is out of balance and once again you see the emotion in the horse. The defualt for the human in this situation is to pull back on the reins which is about the worst thing you could possibly do...it just amplifies the tension.

I was finding while I could help Jazz with balance on the ground and could get her settled quickly, I was really struggling when riding her. The breakthrough I had was the result of two additional things.

1. The knowledge I learned from Koha our Kaimanawa mare. Koha has taught me a lot about pressure. Another horse who can't handle much, she has caused me to think much more about how I use my energy, about controlling it and being more thoughtful in how I use it. I just love what I have learned from her, and it has been phenomenal in my work with Jazz. Although I understood about pressure, I realised I had been too caught up in what I thought Jazz needed to understand, and was not listening to her enough.

2. Improving my riding. For many years I have invested a huge amount into understanding horses better through my horsemanship, and my riding had slipped. Going to monthly lessons with Julie Malcolm has done wonders for me. Julie has helped me understand my responsibilities as a rider so I am much clearer to my horse with consistency and we've worked on my position so I'm not disadvantaging my horse.

It is worth thinking about. Horses are sensitive animals and we humans have a tendency to do things to them without taking in or misreading their feedback. The smallest amount of pressure can seem like nothing to us, but to the horse we are literally screaming at them. And when it comes to our riding, it doesn't matter if we only pleasure ride, we all need regular input into our riding because the bad habits creep in over time. All the knowledge in the world wont help if your horse can not get his balance back due to your riding.

Once upon a time Jazz and I would start a ride good as gold on a loose rein, something would worry her and the rest of the ride would be buggered because I couldn't get her to settle again. Now I can have her balanced and back with me in a matter of seconds. It's bloody awesome!

I'm sooo excited Jazz and I have reached the start line and can now begin to explore all the possibilities of our partnership together :)

#ManestreamHorsemanship #Partnership #Connection #Patience #TakeTheTimeItTakes

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Louisa Andrew
Phone: 0274 300 875
Email: louisa@manestreamequine.co.nz

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