When I was a young child I remember riding the school horses, lovingly cared for by Mrs. Parker...on special occasions she would click in a cassette tape over the loud speakers and we would ride to music to help us listen to the horses and what they could teach us. We were to keep tempo and adjust our seats, soft and quiet or extravagant and flowing...the school horses were well versed and knew that tape off by heart. Without any hesitation while the music ebbed and flowed from adagio to allegro they would transform from plodding school ponies to light footed unicorns, sometimes we would close our eyes to feel the air on our cheeks as we floated on our dancing ponies.
One year my grandparents took me to Olympia, I was astounded by the Frenchman and his fleet of white horses parading their extravagant liberty displays. I sat on the edge of my seat squinting while trying to figure his cues as they drew patterns around the arena, always returning to his side.
At home I would sit cross legged, inches from the television screen as I watched the Dressage freestyle to music. My brow furrowed, concentrating as hard as I could to see if I could catch the flick of leg or hand that made those horses dance...I rarely could...and to me, that was MAGIC. Witnessing that secret language only heard between the horse and their rider and dreaming that one day I could have the same.
I’m sure many of us entered into equestrianism for the same reason, searching for that same secret language. In pursuit of our goals this might be momentarily forgotten or may become lost in translation. On our way I think it is important to stop and regroup now and again, to remember those moments of awe and return to searching for and striving for that subtle communication. Creating the kind of relationship that allows those special moments that make you feel alive or as if you are flying.
On your journey it’s important not to lose THE MAGIC. 🦄🦄🦄
As trainers we are frequently faced with an element of proving our worth – with each new client comes a certain burden of proof to demonstrate how or why our methods work.
Sometimes we see dramatic changes during our first training session - cut to scenes involving much moving of feet, rearing, striking, bucking etc.
More often than not, our first session may be underwhelming in terms of the action movie we have envisioned, with minimal explosions and car chases. Though in some cases this may not be enough for our critics, we would encourage you to watch through to the credits. Think of it more as a slow burn with a feel good ending and sometimes even a little unexpected twist.
With every horse that is presented, I work with the energy level that is in front of me.
I frequently yabber on about the ‘volume knob’, this can be related to pressure, cues, energy or gaits, on the ground or under saddle.
I always try to minimise anxiety and tension throughout a session to promote a good learning environment and maximise retention of information. Even when teaching coping mechanisms to an anxious or nervous horse or responsiveness and awareness to a dull or shut down horse, I want to keep high energy to short bursts and set ambient conditions for the horse to figure out the correct answer.
I will always work in the best interests of the horse and will not compromise on causing unnecessary stress for the WOW factor, even if that leaves the door open for an inconclusive review.
CADENCE HORSE TRAINING
Striving to maintain an encouraging and inclusive culture among fellow equestrians. We're passionate about all things equine including behaviour, biomechanics, training and horsemanship!