I went to Your Horse Live on Saturday and watched 2 brilliant demos. One was by Sylvia Loch who gave a lesson to someone on their 9yo Andalusian stallion. When his owner was warming him up he was rushing around with her driving him on and his trot looked singularly flat and uninspiring. I overheared her tell someone afterwards that this was the first time she'd met Sylvia and her usual trainer is a well known German dressage trainer.
Sylvia slowed everything down and got him balanced and by the end of the 45min session his trot was transformed, showing real elevation and power. He was a lovely, tolerant, generous looking horse who showed no signs of resistance either way but I did think he looked relieved at the change in the way he was ridden.
The other demo was by Diane Thurman Baker of Turville Valley Stud. Her 14yo daughter is competing at Prix St. George and heading towards Grand Prix on a Warmblood that Diane has trained from scratch using Portuguese in hand training because, as she said, "that was the only way I know how to train." She trains passage from Spanish Walk because, again, "that was the only way I knew how." This was a warmblood who'd been rejected by other dressage riders as he was built downhill, quarters high, but her results were just breathtaking and it was all so calm and relaxed! The horse went into and out of piaffe and passage as calmly as a walk in the park! The whole demonstration showed total trust, harmony and co-operation between horse and handler and was beautiful to watch! I got really excited and enthused watching them and was beaming from ear to ear by the end of it!
Diane's daughter is now on the junior British teams with this horse, in spite of her being so young.
I've been asking via Facebbok how to train passage from Spanish Walk and David Bowler of Strada Saddles very kindly pointed me towards his explanation here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strada-Saddles-EU-Ltd/201433879957900
I can't wait to get Bella back in work and have a try at this!!! I still haven't managed to do anything with her as I've had to make some new accomodation for 2 of my horses to make room for a new livery who arrived last weekend. She's a 3yo Clydesdale mare and she has to be seen to be believed! She must be the most laid back horse ever born! She never turns a hair at anything and I don't think she'd know how to spook if she tried! She's a complete sweetheart and a very welcome addition to the yard (her owner has kept 3 goats here for years so we already know her!!).
Anyway, the stabling is all sorted now so I can get going with Bella again, although not tomorrow as we're going to Whipsnade Zoo to see the baby giraffe!!!
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