Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Improve Your Riding With Music

When we were riding at Hyde Park on our first riding lesson, I clearly remember how difficult it was for me to get accustomed to the rhythm of the 'trot'. As a drummer, I thought I had a good sense of rhythm and beat, but as I soon realized, playing an instrument is very different from riding a horse! You can only do so much to control the horse and get what you want from it. There has to be an equal amount of leading and guiding from both rider and horse. But for the most of my ride, it felt like my horse Shame Us was 'playing' me!

I soon encountered a very interesting article about music and horse-riding by Larrisa, a riding coach who runs a school in Vancouver, Canada (www.larissacoxtraining.com). In her article, she writes about how listening to music or a metronome while riding can actually improve your sense of rhythm and beat. What an interesting concept! For more details on how to use music to improve your riding, check out her blog http://tackandtalk.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/311/.

Larrisa has also created a poll entitled "What music do you like to listen to while you ride?". If you'd like to participate, you can go to http://twtpoll.com/bqrfdj and submit your answer.

As a music lover myself, the idea of riding with music is a fantastic idea. I can't wait to make a music play list for my next ride!

Anna wins her endurance race!

Anna Williams, our friend at the FEI, just wrote in to tell us that she won her endurance competition over the weekend! I asked her to tell us a little bit about the experience, so here it is in her words:


"It was a National Swiss competition, an endurance race of 81km ran over 3 loops (30km, 30km and 21km) with a strict veterinary control at the beginning, between each loop and at the finish. There were 15 starters and 8 finishers. 

"In order for a horse to ‘qualify for the next phase’ they must pass the vet controls – this includes lameness, pulse, dehydration and general well being. If at any point the vets feel there is even the slightest problem with the horse they will stop him and the horse and rider are eliminated from competition.

"19kph doesn’t seem so fast when you’re driving in your car, but it basically means 

we did a good canter the whole way round…that’s tough!"

"It was a difficult competition, very competitive and fast. We also had temperatures of about 26 degrees just to make sure we were nice and hot ;-) This also takes a toll on the horses, they have to use more effort when it is as hot as that and then of course they tire more quickly. 

The speed was fast with the average riding speed of around 19kph – this dropped to a winning speed of 17.6kph once the times for the vet controls had been added. So 19kph doesn’t seem so fast when you’re driving in your car, but it basically means we did a good canter the whole way round…that’s tough!

Image by Claudia Meier

"My horse (HS Saboteur – but Sabby to his mates!) was great. He was so enthusiastic all day and just flew over the terrain. We both had a great day, and top podium position just about topped it off! The atmosphere was brilliant with big crowds at the prize giving…everyone was very supportive even though an English girl had just swiped away their first place!! The satisfaction of completing the 81km was huge, after all the hard work, training and 5am starts, it all seems to be worthwhile!"

"So Sabby is having a week’s holiday now before he starts his training again. He has a couple more smaller competitions before he then goes to Hungary in September to compete in the Young Rider World Championships with a rider from Australia – he has a busy summer ahead of him!"

Thanks Anna for sharing your experiences - and keep us posted how it goes in September! If any readers have any questions for Anna - please comment!

Friday, 12 June 2009

The fashionable world of Polo

A friend introduced me to the editor of The Intrepid Fox last weekend. He runs this site as a peek into high society in London. Something that I found interesting was his 'How To' guide to Polo.

For a newbie like me - and definitely not a member of high society! - I found it really well written, helpful and easy to understand how the Polo world works. Now I just need to get an invite to a game...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Horsemanship weekend

Just found out about this event near Oxford here in the UK (thanks LivingSleep!) devoted to sharing knowledge about horses! The reason this event looks to great is the premise on which it works:

 I wonder what my horse thinks of this concept?

"The weekend is about learning, sharing and exploring things alternative and complimentary in the horse world. There will be a wide range of demonstrations and exhibitions of products, training methods, healing techniques and practices that are founded in considering the horses’ and dogs’ perspective and offering choice to the human. There will be opportunities to try something new, lectures on a variety of topics and a chance to put your questions directly to the experts."

Sounds like an interesting concept - check out more here. And if you have any experiences with Natural Horsemanship - I'd love to learn more, so leave a comment!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Learn from an Olympian

Just discovered this cool series on Barnmice.com where Olympian Equestrian Belinda Trussell answers questions from the Barnmice community. Here's an eg on how to over come fears:

Find more videos like this on Barnmice

Check out Barnmice for the whole series and bookmark the page to follow for updates. I know I will!

Friday, 5 June 2009

What we learned from our first day at the stables

Stephanie Seymour for Loewe

Just discovered this beautiful ad campaign for Loewe starring the stunning Stephanie Seymour.

It has inspired me to get my glam on next time I go riding!