Welcome to 2016 everyone!

Last year was a pretty exciting year for me and my horses. One of my goals for 2015 was to be able to do flying lead changes with my mare Dawn (she’s the one I am riding at the bottom of the email).

For Dawn and I this movement has eluded us for quite a long time because she is such a balanced horse and can happily and easily counter canter to her hearts content!

Well last year was our year to change that. I am very pleased to report we did it, yay!! By the end of the year after months of work on isolating the elements of flying changes, she started offering them and was absolutely thrilled with her efforts.

So whats happening for 2016? Well, I am going to be refining those flying changes with Dawn and more!

One of the key things I learned in all those months of work was the more accurately I rode my circles and diagonal lines, the better my result with Dawn. This makes perfect sense in theory as her body right down to her twinkly toes was in the perfect position to support the movement successfully.

Putting it into practice, well thats another thing! I had to focus intently on being accurate and that I was on target to reach the right arena marker at the right moment. This was lots of effort and concentration.

I now realise why it had taken me so long to get those changes. I simply wasn’t particular enough about the evenness and shape of my circles or diagonal lines. I thought somewhere near enough was good enough. Well it has worked for me up til this point but with Dawn’s penchant to counter canter, those flying changes were not going to happen unless I did some things differently.

The other thing I discovered about accepting eggs or squares for circles or wiggly worm straight lines or cutting corners off the arena is what a huge impact it has on how the horse views us as their leader and safe haven.

Watching my students over the holidays accept near enough or even way off with their circles and riding the arena space was fascinating. Seeing their horses disconnect little by little from what they were doing together and instead start to watch out for bogey men in the corners or other imaginings. Amazing!!

The horse knows when you are willing to accept less and compromise your position going along with whatever by your actions, whether on the ground or in the saddle. As soon as my students started to ride into the corners more, focus on the markers in the circle and really think about where they wanted their horses feet to go, the horse was interested, actively listening to the rider and way more relaxed. The scary monsters had disappeared.

This year I dedicate to perfect circles, corners and straight lines!

I hope you will join me 🙂

By the way I have a small number of places available for private coaching. Would like to be coached by me and supported in your horse training with specific tailor made help for you? Now is your chance… email me at lkropach@gmail.com

To Your Horsemanship Success!