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Horses of course

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Carl Hester rocks and William Michlem rocks!

In a time where riders are competing for owners, sponsorship and good horses, it’s always refreshing to hear their views. They bring rationality and empathy to the horse world and I love reading their thoughts, training methods and columns as they always refer back to a better life for the horse especially the competition horse.

In the following pieces William discusses Carl’s training methods which as usual prioritise the horses’ mental and physical well-being.  It’s a timely reminder as many riders are either involved in the competition season or about to prepare for it.

http://eventingnation.com/william-micklem-guinea-fowl-gold-medals-part-1-carl-hesters-presentation-to-top-british-irish-coaches/

http://eventingnation.com/william-micklem-guinea-fowl-gold-medals-part-2-lighten-the-reins-carl-hesters-presentation-cont/

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Elizabeth Alexander is a horse lover, rider, competitor, coach, trainer, professional business teacher, writer, blogger and author of Team Up, The Druidess of Connacht and soon-to-be-released chic/lit comic/crime novel ZIPPED! featuring detective dill extraordinaire Easter Lilley and her mates, in a mad-cap rescue of her racehorse from very unpleasant villains.

 

 

 

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Here’s a story…

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I love young horses but some days they can be too (fill in your own word here!) playful, joyous, cheeky, cranky, scatty, energetic, inattentive, loving, boisterous, needy…the list goes on and on those days I may simply not want to work with all those adolescent emotions boiling under the surface.  On those days, I will often do fun ground work, which is in many ways useless in terms of horse learning but I love watching the process of the horse working out what I’m suggesting, offering a few suggestions until the correct one appears and then their reaction when they realise it’s what you are after. Priceless!

I’ve just come in from trying to encourage my young boisterous and very smart and easily bored 4 yo that he would love to walk while straddling a ground pole. He stood there contemplating my suggestion. I could hear his brain ticking over!  He then stepped over the pole with one leg, I asked him to re-straddle the pole which he did but then when I asked him to walk on, he hesitated, he looked at me, sort of lifted his left leg to take it back with the right while I brought it back to the left side of the pole. Him watching me carefully, me making corrections, all the while loving the serious and concentrating look on his face as he offered various suggestions he thought I wanted with his feet while looking at me for feedback, which thrilled me beyond words, and then the correct solution appeared – he straddled the pole and walked a few steps. He got lots of pats and hugs for it and  I laughed at his surprised look when he worked it out – as if to say, really?  He nudged me along and we played both straddling the pole for no reason other than it was fun and we both enjoyed it.   Horses are more than capable of working out a puzzle – there has to be a story in that, surely?!

Elizabeth Alexander is a horse lover, rider, competitor, coach, trainer, professional business teacher, writer, blogger and author of Team Up, The Druidess of Connacht and soon-to-be-released chic/lit comic/crime novel ZIPPED! featuring detective dill extraordinaire Easter Lilley and her mates, in a mad-cap rescue of her racehorse from very unpleasant villains.

 

Christmas idea!

If you are looking for a last minute pressie for your horse-mad teenager, you cannot go past TEAM UP available on Amazon Kindle. A laugh-out-loud novel starring Henrietta O’Hara and her best friend JJ Marlborough along with their farming families, who are horse mad and jumping crazy! Hetta and JJ are determined to solve the mystery of Savannah’s new show jumping horse which her father has purchased so his daughter can ride in the local schools’ show jumping event. Who would’ve thought that involved so much drama!

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Available on Amazon Kindle

Outsourcing

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Back in the day, you had a horse, you had your own property and you did everything for your horse yourself as you were living together.  Your horse experience grew with each passing day and you probably didn’t have daily lessons or even weekly lessons but you rode around the countryside and developed an independent seat and lots of stickability.

With the increase in barn environments, riders can leave the main care of their horse to others. Added to this it seems as time poor workers, family people, children organisers, we have developed into a society that is happy to outsource many routine roles that we once took care of ourselves.There are advantages and disadvantages to this outsourcing depending upon your personal circumstances.

This outsourcing overflows into nearly every other area of our lives including writing. We can leave many of the routine tasks to others and pay them for their skills, and as a result, like horse caring, there are many new occupations that have been created to fill this market gap.  Interestingly, indy writers and publishers are very hands on!

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Reactive vs Responsive

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When you begin a relationship with a horse, it takes some time to get it established to find what works, how and why.  The first 12 months is usually spent showing the horse that being reactive is not the desired state and that you’d prefer them to think rather than just react despite the temptations – and some of those are mighty!  Once that’s established the next 12 months seems to be spent teaching the horse to become responsive within a framework that includes the degree of responsiveness and the speed and duration of the response.  After that, you’ve got a mate for life!

Great reviews!

Lots of fabulous reviews!  Meet Hetta, her best mate JJ, her brother Theo and their fabulous horses.  Now is the time to grab your copy of the YA/teen fun horse novel TEAM UP from Amazon 🙂

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