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Egon Von Neindorff & TheWalk

Should you be Training the Spanish Walk?

The Power of the Herd Linda Kohanov

Video Subscriptions Juan Manual Munz Diaz The Thinking Foal Horses ForISSN LIFE 1918-8226


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Upgrade to our NEW Downloadable Video Enhanced Option of Horses For LIFE It started with Volume 57.... Your NEW downloadable subscription provides you with access to past online issues but NOT to past Downloadable Video Enhanced Versions of Horses For LIFE Don’t wait and miss any of the video issues! Contact us at equestriansquest@horsesforlife.com to upgrade OR order at http://horsesforlife.com

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In this issue Power of the Herd Video “Juan Manual Munoz Diaz, The Thinking Foal and The Whole Reality.” “Inspirational.”

Horses For LIFE


What is Katiku Nuru? Join us on a Journey in Photography, Film and the Written Word. A Book that with the ingenious use of new technology will come alive in Print, as an Interactive Online Book and on DVD... Katika Nuru, Calling Me Home In March 2012, Author Susannah Cord embarked upon what was to be the adventure of a lifetime - a dream vacation, a riding safari across the Kenyan savannah, about which she would write for our magazine. But what happened next exceeded all expectations.

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A book is emerging, a remarkable book that has sparked a groundbreaking multi-media project detailing an adventure experienced against the backdrop of Kenya and her beauty and challenges. An adventure of body, heart, mind and spirit as the safari and Kenyan wilderness worked it’s magic on a receptive soul. A book that asks the questions: Who and what are we really, have we forgotten, and what may we become when we remember once more? And what will become of us if we don’t? http://katikanuru.com/

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Like to read the rest of the story? Be one of the first! We were so inspired by reading this series of articles that we realized that the author Susannah Cord had actually created this incredibly powerful book that really needs to be shared so we have been working hard and long behind the scenes figuring out how could we help make this happen. We reached out to the public and the response has been overwhelming. Prebook to get your copy of Katika Nuru, the story, the pictures and the video. http://katikanuru.com/ Check out our REWARDS! 6


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Riding By Torchlight In

Africa By Susannah Cord for Horses For LIFE

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Read Part 1 in Volume 65 Horses For LIFE Magazine Just login at: http://horsesforlife.com/RidingByTorchlight-KatikaNuru This is one of our free articles In Volume 65 Not already registered? Just click on the Register Button to Register Horses For LIFE


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Volume 65 The Power of the Herd 274 pages of information. Cover Photo from The Thinking Foal from the Song of Horses

On behalf of all of us at Horses For LIFE may the gift of the horses be with you always.

All material copyright protected by Horses For LIFE Publications. Please contact us for information, suggestions, comments and submissions at equestriansquest@horsesforlife.com or 1-306-383-2588

Join Friends of the Horse.org. and become a Friend of the Horse. http://friendsofthehorse.org Horses For LIFE Publications is honoured to sponsor Friends of the Horse

We recognize and salute Dressage &CT for their incredible contribution and as the inspiration for Horses For LIFE with the welcome blessing of Ivan Bezugloff Jr. the editor and founder of Dressage &CT.

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“To pass judgment ... based on a snapshot is unreasonable, as a still shot from a certain angle does not reflect the whole reality.� Danish Equestrian Federation Rollkur continues and these pictures do show the whole reality. Judge for yourself All pictures are from the Danish Championship 2013 copyright Veronica Starstone Merlin

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There is concern throughout the equestrian world that we are being prevented from cataloquing what is happening especially at the warm up rings. During the Olympics, guards, pink screening stopped anyone from taking both photos and video. We want to ensure for the welfare of the horses that this is not something that continues. There was some concern that this would be the case when the media accreditations were posted. Since then the corporate sponsor has become involved and issued this statement. “Criticism has been raised over photo and video restrictions at the FEI European Championships 2013. And it has been suggested that this was enforced to keep something out of the public eye. This is clearly a misunderstanding. Any spectator can take all the photos and videos they wish. And they can share it on all private social media, including FB if they so choose. The broadcasting restrictions are – the organisers tells us – exclusively directed at professional media in order ensure a proper handling of the broadcasting rights, which are part of what pays for an event like this. They are not intended to prevent ordinary spectators from taking all the photos they want – and share. Best Regards, ECCO Social Media Team We encourage everyone to contact both the national and international organizations to follow this lead for all horse shows. The only way to protect the horses in the warmup ring is to ensure that everyone including the media is allowed free access at all times.

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LDR vs Rollkur


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Video Article Available on all Downloadable Video Enhanced and DVD subscriptions To Upgrade Contact equestriansquest@horsesforlife.com

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Relaxation vs. Stiffness by Dr. Brie Hamblin DVM

For LIFE • Horses © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine


Relaxation vs. Stiffness by Dr. Brie Hamblin DVM

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any riders mistake speed for power, and power for impulsion. We have bred our horses to be big. Big expressive trots have falsely become the definition of better extended trots. But this power comes from stiffness.

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Power from stiffness is useless! Later in training, it will lead to difficulty in lateral work, canter pirouettes, piaffe, passage and problems with the development of true extension of the gaits. In the early working of the young horse, we need to be fastidious about making sure that stiff moments are few and far between. Should the stiff moments prevail, then we need to go back and once again encourage the horse to relax and release to the rider. Power arising out of relaxation results in more correct work. The reason that relaxed work is more work lies in the way the muscles are used. Stiff trots and canters are less work for the horse because the muscles are using the skeleton as a lever to pull against. Relaxed working muscles don’t use the skeletal structure to pull against, they use the full flexion and contraction of the joints to move fluidly. Think of the effort it takes to flat foot run across the street.

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For LIFE • Horses © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine


Moving like this is easy because the bones of your skeleton are supporting the movement of your muscles. Now, think of prancing across the street, making your footsteps as light as possible and soundless. This is harder because now you are using your muscles to flex and extend your joints in order to complete the movement. The exact same theory applies to horses that are moving on their forehand stiffly in any gait (and by the way the footfall are very loud) versus horses that are working from their haunches “prancing� through their gaits in a relaxed manner (and yes, the footfalls are much less audible than the prior example.)

What does that mean? More correct? I mean that most dressage masters we revere found the rassembler by removing every stiff, resistant area of the horse to the rider and vice versa.

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Relaxed horses use more of their musculature to move. Think of the effort it takes to walk stiffly versus glide loosely along. It is easy to be stiff. Stiff horses aren’t fit for proper relaxed work. One relaxed step of extended trot is ten times harder than ten strides of stiff extended trot. I would also argue that the work is no longer proper if it isn’t relaxed. Basic dressage involves the development of the manipulation of the gaits. Their rhythm and tempo should be adjustable, just like a musical instrument playing a different songs. Some manipulations are fancier than others, like passage for example. Sometimes the manipulations are miniscule like the hundreds of variations that exist within the collected trot. Sometimes the changes are dramatic like collected trot into medium trot into extended

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trot. However, while a professional musician and high-school student can both play a musical score, one most definitely sounds better to the trained ear. Just like the horse asked to go through his paces stiffly and the one allowed to perform while relaxed; allowing him to utilize all the endless variations, there are a multitude of muscle groups. Riders need to always bear in mind how the horse feels underneath them. Can you sit the trot? Follow his back? Feel his rib cage swing through the trot or walk? Can you feel the left and right sides of the back muscles contract separately under the saddle? Can you move the shoulders and base of the neck wherever you want at any time? Can you feel a yield in the poll to the left and right at the same time? If your answers are no to any of these questions, your horse is stiff. Don’t forget that

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stiff horses typically look more flashy. Look at any Olympic Dressage extended trot. It’s fancy and flashy but as stiff as a board. The hind legs trail behind the base of the tail, the neck is foreshortened, the pelvis is not basculed and on and on…And the work is largely incorrect and subject to fads and faux pas. Why is it wrong to be stiff? I suppose it is a matter of opinion -- competing in dressage means performing in a way that garners marks, and there you go, a new trend is born. I don’t suppose that’s wrong. Dressage is art, and like art it can be molded many different ways. Some ways are more physiologically healthy for the horse. Insisting on relaxation in your work with your horse is much healthier for him or her than allowing stiffness to infiltrate your art. Stiff horses tend to land with their limbs straight resulting in greater concussive forces acting on the joints. Think of running and landing

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on your heels versus your toes. Over time, repeated concussive force results in arthritic change to the joints. This is going to happen eventually regardless of what we do or how we ride. BUT Asking your horse to move in relaxation, as opposed to allowing him to move stiffly, will delay this process. Visually, I find relaxed horses more pleasing to the eye. The artistic expression of a horse’s unique personality shines through the work the rider completes with them, if they are allowed to work in peace and in relaxation. Horses worked this way have a soft eye while they are being ridden, and there are no lines of stress or tension in the body. This is important! I want my dancing partner to be happy while we play

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together. I also want to make sure my partner completes his work with me correctly in the most physiologically-friendly way possible. That is my job as the rider. The horse’s job is to tell me when he is uncomfortable or stiff so that we can amend the training program.

Dr. Brie Hamblin D.V.M enjoys teaching and sharing her knowledge as a trainer and a veterinarian with her students. She is an experienced instructor and trainer whose teachings emphasizes that all training has to have a strong classical foundation based on extensive knowledge of how the horse’s physiology responds to training. She is a regular contributor to Horse For LIFE Magazine

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The Power of the Herd

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Excerpt– Introduction to The Power of the Herd “Throughout history, knights in shining armor often rode spirited, well-trained horses like those featured on the cover of this book. If you’re an experienced equestrian, you know that these luminous creatures aren’t white; they’re gray. And they were, in all likelihood, born black.

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Pure white horses are extremely rare. Some experts argue that they don’t even exist. All those movie heroes racing around on snowcolored stallions are riding older mounts whose youthful coal-colored coats lightened dramatically over time — as their focus, selfcontrol, and athletic prowess increased through years of careful training. Dark horses slowly turning gray, then silver, then white are the perfect metaphor for developing power — innovative, compassionate, and mentally, emotionally, and socially intelligent power. The more faithfully we work to bring our talents out of the shadows, shining a light on those notoriously elusive areas related to creativity, charisma, and mutually supportive relationships, the more quickly we are bound to excel.

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If black horses represent unconscious, unbridled spirit, energy, intuition, and instinct, the process of developing this raw “material,” of making it fully conscious, is, truly, the path we must undertake today. We can no longer wait for great leaders to emerge accidentally, as radiant freaks of nature whose inspiring presence nonetheless remains mysterious, untranslatable, unteachable to others. The stakes are much too high. .... — Linda Kohanov Amado, Arizona September 2012 From the book The Power of the Herd. Copyright © 2013 by Linda Kohanov. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com

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Editorial The Power or Building a C 70


of the Herd Copyright Brianza2008

Cathedral Horses For LIFE


Copyright Brianza2008

Editorial: The Power of the Herd As I start to read this book. I am only two pages in and already the book is life altering. As I read the first two pages, and then closed the book to stop and ponder the 72


Building a Cathedral

reality of what just these two pages are saying I see the cover of the book. And I have another one of those brilliant aha moments. The Power of the Herd. Well that says it all in a nutshell. So what was so unique, so important in those words on the very first few pages? Linda speaks about cathedrals. Which might seem like an odd subject. As Im reading I think to myself Linda you’ve lost it. But... But as I continue reading, a voice speaks out. The voice tells a story and in that story lies a truth that should be obvious and apparent but isn’t necessarily. “Nearly a century after Antoni Gaudí’s death, his architectural masterpiece Sagrada Familia is barely half finished, yet millions of people travel from around the world to marvel at Barcelona’s controversial cathedral in progress.” Horses For LIFE


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Copyright Pachango

Building a Cathedral

Artist at work in the gypsum workshop at Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Horses For LIFE


“Several on-site conversions have taken place over the years, fortifying a Vatican-sanctioned movement to grant sainthood to the reclusive artist. Gazing into Sagrada Familia’s parabolic arched doorways, soaring towers, and other gravity-defying effects, Japanese architect Kenji Imai had a religious experience, eventually converting to Christianity as he studied the work in depth. And it’s no wonder: Gaudí’s neomedieval structures and biomorphic forms combine the highest aspirations of humanity with the flowing artistry of nature. Somehow defying logic, convention, and, at times, the laws of physics, this massive stone basilica has a soft, melting appearance, creating the impression that it’s slowly being molded into existence by God’s own everlasting hand.”

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Building a Cathedral

Workers and AWP’s in the nave of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona

Horses For LIFE


“For Gaudí, Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) was a mission transcending personal concerns. He worked on it for over four decades, eventually taking up residence on-site and devoting his final years to the project with increasing obsession. “My client is not in a hurry,” he once said, responding to the frustration that workers voiced as he made constant changes to the architectural plans. Gaudí literally lived the concept of cathedral thinking. This term describes an emerging philosophy of sorts, one that explores the mind-set involved in tackling any long-term vision. It contrasts sharply with our modern, quick-fix mentality, but socially conscious leaders recognize that significant, sustainable change requires generational effort. And so, an increasing number of innovative thinkers — in business, art, politics, and science

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— are interested in the 150-year process that built Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. They’re even more fascinated with Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, which survived numerous wars, recessions, political movements, and religious reforms during the 632 years of construction before the final stone was set in place.”

Linda speaks specifically of those monuments that are not done in a life time. But those that are only completed across generations. Long term goals that start in one life or one generation but the vision remains so strong that the vision just can`t die and there is someone else to carry on.

Copyright Brianza2008

From the book The Power of the Herd. Copyright © 2013 by Linda Kohanov.

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Workers on the towers of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona

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Building a Cathedral

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You know as silly as it may sound that is what Horses For LIFE is about. It is about creating a vision that goes beyond one person. A vision that we hope will speak on not just for today, or tomorrow but for many tomorrows to come. We want to ensure that the creative minds of the past and the present, the visionaries who gave, who give of their life energy to protect the horse, both from the past and the present, that the classical, foundational elements that protect the horse body and mind are respected today and in the future. It is about the coming together of all of us to make a difference. A difference that we don`t want to die when we stop teaching. When we are no longer here. We have seen so much go backwards, so many horses around the world that are being damaged. It is so sad and tragic that we hear of barns where regular hock infusions are necessary. Where riders are paying more for massage and chiropratic help then they

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are for lessons, because they can see there is something wrong in their horses. IN this generation we are creating a herd of crippled horses. We see the maxims such a poll high flaunted as if they really were never important. We look at diagrams from Podhajsky of basic walk, trot and canter and we don`t see horses that work like that anymore. We feel sometimes like we are in a battle that we have lost. But as Linda says. `The Power of the Herd`

There may not be power in a single voice railing against the damage being done to horses all around the world. We cannot even be sure that our voice just won`t die with us and will there be anyone left to say that this is not working for the horses.

Copyright Brianza2008

Think of the power of those words.

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The only way for this vision to continue is in The Power of the Herd “Whether you’re building a church, a business, or a mandate for social change, cathedral thinking presupposes that the vision you initiate must be handed over to others, that everyone involved will be laboring on faith at times, that people will share their most innovative ideas and tools, that the plans will change, that the blueprints may even be lost, and that the most important part of your job will be to inspire, in every neophyte who joins your team, reverence for a project you will never see completed.” From the book The Power of the Herd. Copyright © 2013 by Linda Kohanov. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com

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Building a Cathedral

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain Horses For LIFE


Building a Cathedral Cathedral Thinking means Working Together to create a better world for our horses, both in this generation and the next. Nadja King Horses For LIFE Publications

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Building a Cathedral

Horses For LIFE Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain


EXTEND YOUR EXTEND YOUR RANGE OF RANGE OF GADGETS or GADGETS or EXPAND YOUR EXPAND YOUR TRAINING TRAINING TECHNIQUE? TECHNIQUE? by Jenny Rolfe

By Jenny Rolfe

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EXTEND YOUR RANGE OF GADGETS or EXPAND YOUR TRAINING TECHNIQUE? By Jenny Rolfe (International Trainer/author) In this world of competitive goals, is the art of true horsemanship becoming compromised by more and more ‘quick fix gadgets’?

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THE CORE CONNECTION Whether we are riding across country or in a dressage arena, balance and harmony are fundamental. Imagine you are running a marathon or appearing on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Would you perform better wearing loose clothes for mobility or tight garments causing restriction? Imagine running, with someone kicking you in the ribs and pulling at your mouth. It would definitely disturb your balance, mobility, equilibrium and concentration. When you sit in the saddle on the back of the horse, you are sitting over his central nervous system. The horse will tune in to any balance adjustments within your seat and he can also be easily taught to connect with core breathing and energy exchange. Horses For LIFE


The seat of the rider can be the main connection, but without rider preparation it may naturally be ‘The Weakest Link’. We more readily tune into the endless thoughts buzzing around our mind. Much of our day we use our arms and hands for eating, washing, mucking-out and driving – the list of tasks is endless. So it will be second nature to sit on a horse and continue with this pattern of body language. If the rider can be taught more awareness of ‘The Core Connection’ with the horse, then fewer aids will become more significant. ‘Less will be More’!

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Core/seat connection as a potent aid is more comfortable for the horse and much more effective for the rider, as strong leg aids disrupt balance and natural stability. As aids become stronger, the horse’s fear/flight instinct will increase. This is the enemy of empathy for horse and rider. ‘Strong aids create stress and stress equals restriction in movement’. Riders need to feel safe. When we sit on a horse, we embrace another mind and soul with ‘high power capability’!! Various gadgets and bits are used to help to control the horse, and in educated hands they may not cause excess physical and emotional damage. Unfortunately, less experienced riders will copy trends in their disciplines, using martingales, draw reins, tight nosebands or the extensive range of bits on offer. Horses For LIFE


Here are a few points clarified by my highly skilled, cranial osteopath:

INTERVIEW WITH A CRANIAL OSTEOPATH * The most direct way to transform performance is to change the pattern of breathing. • When horses perform in fear/flight mode, they are using shallow breathing. • Deeper, steady core breathing sustains energy and function. • Restriction of natural movement suppresses mental capacity, creates stress and impedes natural flow. 94


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• Any restriction of the tongue directly affects energy, rate and performance. The tongue is capable of highly sensory perceptions. The vascular tongue is connected to the thyroid gland, which is a regulator of energy, /rate and performance. • Suppression of tongue movement and swallowing restricts performance. • The muscles of the underside of the neck finish at the jaw. These muscles are responsible for chewing - a relaxed jaw will assist relaxation through the poll area. Restriction in the poll area will create huge tension and excess mouthing.

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INTERVIEW WITH A CRANIAL OSTEOPATH Continued • Horse structure is supported by an important layer of fascia (like packing material). Important impulses transport messages through the body giving instructions on how to respond. Long term memory is stored within the fascia - with every physical trauma is stored an emotional memory. These communications become disturbed when the natural flow of motion is impeded.

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• The head and neck counter.balance the motion from the hind limbs- any restriction creates imbalance and inability to co-ordinate. • Movement from the front limbs dictates depth of breathing as it creates a pumping action through rib cage and lungs. • Tight nosebands, draw reins or tight reins all cause tension within the neck and poll. This impedes freedom to move and breathe naturally. Anxiety creates a stressed mind, labelled often as ‘bad behaviour’ and the result can become an accelerating battle between horse and rider.

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A Simple Listening 98


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EXPERIENCES FROM RIDERS, ACROSS THE GLOBE: L.B .(Australia) - My 17 year old Andalusian was my first dressage stallion and I made many mistakes, which show in his tension and conformation. My boy has always had issues with the bit and keeps the jaw still, sucking back when he gets tense.He also opens his mouth and gets his tongue over the bit. A trainer suggested that we try a drop noseband but when we put it on him, he would neither chew nor salivate. When I took it off, he was back to chewing and salivating, which told me he was open to a relationship with the bit but not under forced circumstances. These days my riding with him is focussed on building strength, and stretching over the topline. My ignorance in training forced me to improve and I am humbled that this horse still accepts me as a friend and partner.

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Strada Saddles EU Ltd Horses do not like pressure on their tongue especially if their mouth is clamped shut. And look at that delicate bone that takes the full force of a tight noseband. A closed mouth may impress some of the judges at a competition but it does not impress the horse. He fights to use his tongue to swallow but cannot, so the saliva runs out of his mouth. This is not a moist mouth, it is a horse in difficulty. The tongue is black or blue by now but we cannot see it. As the horse’s nose starts to approach the vertical, it is not possible for him to keep his mouth closed as the lower mandible needs to advance slightly. If his mouth is shut tight it cannot do this so he bends his neck further back to avoid some of the pain instead of flexing through relaxed poll and jaw. This tension goes through his back and hind legs so the best the rider can get is 4 wheel drive instead of real power and carrying from the hinds. Even worse is the pain caused to the joint at the back of the skull which becomes inflamed and very painful. If the jaw is allowed to open, the lower mandible can slide forward, which is natural. If the mouth is forced shut, it cannot! (short extract from an article)

Horses For LIFE


L.V. (Sydney Australia) Part of the problem in ‘listening’ to our horse is that we are too busy listening to what we are told by trainers, judges and fellow horsemen. We live in a world of competitiveness and self-doubt, and this has made us out of touch with our basic, primitive feelings, and those of the things around us. We don’t trust our feelings or judgements; we are afraid to make a mistake or ‘fail’. I am 40 years old and have been riding since I was 4, but only more recently have I allowed myself to stop, listen to my horse, listen to my body and fade out the insistent voices that say it must be done a certain way. I have spent years gathering knowledge on animalhuman relationships, from wolves to turkeys, to elephants. All have a common theme of focussing on each other to the exclusion of all else. Call it a bond or rapport, but it is, quite simply, listening.

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D.M. (UK Trainer) Over the past 4 years I have read and studied the various ideas on the biomechanics of good posture, especially in relation to the spinal structures, pelvis, back and neck, and how this develops into collection. I have done much theoretical study and also practically with my own and my clients’ horses, watching the change in their posture and movement. I have thought a lot about this ‘modern’ way of training using ‘deep and round’ and I am convinced that it is deeply flawed and misguided. I can explain the spinal biomechanics of why it is so, and just how important it is for horses to move ‘forward, down and out’. There is much need for informed teaching relating to the rider biomechanics essential for truly independent hands seeking a subtle communication.

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Building Trust

Horses For LIFE


FROM A BSJA FACEBOOK PAGE If you love horses please try this experiment........... Allow your tongue to rest on the base of your mouth and then try to swallow. This cannot be done unless the tongue can contact the roof of the mouth to create a vacuum. This vacuum is fundamental to life. !! It allows EITHER ...air to enter the lungs, OR food & saliva to enter the throat.

(S. UK) Veterinary scientist Dr. Robert Cook has discovered through over 50 years of equine post mortems that the bit can be responsible for: excess salivation /which is a sign of stress, excess poll flexion, tongue over the

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bit, blue tongue, swallowing the tongue, partial suffocation (as in race-horses which suddenly stop during a race), bleeders, bolting, jigging, rearing, bucking, head-shaking, napping, stumbling, pulling, poor performance, sour attitude, etc. When the head is severely bent; - as it is in ‘behind the vertical’, breathing can be further restricted as oxygen is blocked at that bend in the windpipe. (It is also blocked at 4 other points in the windpipe which can lead to collapse of the windpipe.) If Roger Bannister had been asked to run the 4 minute mile thus handicapped, I think he would have refused to run; - unless it had been in the opposite direction of his torturers.

Horses For LIFE


(R.M.-UK) I bought Tom, a 14hh piebald cob who had been broken in by a rather large, tactless man with no patience, so Tom had resorted to rearing, and ultimately changing his whole character to a nervous, flighty and defensive two year old . Tom was sold to my instructor who battled with “his disposition” using draw reins to try to stop the rearing and jumping around, by restricting his head and neck movement, plus a ridiculously tight flash to stop him from opening his mouth. A very short martingale helped to restrict any undesirable head position. Overuse of very long spurs were also a favourite. He was taken to a dressage competition - an eyewitness said the minute she removed these gadgets he was spooky and uncontrollable, so she had to come home. He was soon on the market due to his “quirks” so I bought Tom and started to build a rapport through groundwork and play - it took a week for him to stop bolting when I led him anywhere.

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When ridden, he was tight and compact in himself and seemed stuck in just three gears, bucking whenever I asked him to move forwards. He didn’t understand how to release, stretch or move freely. He didn’t understand a canter transition, as the draw reins had pulled his head into his chest - so he’d just trot faster and pulled very upset faces! Having removed the gadgets, and over time, we now hack out and go to shows for ‘fun.’ He shows great character, wanting to interact and be around me more, and I noticed how much bigger and brighter his eyes were (eyes are windows to the soul, after all). We hack and school bareback and bitless, often winning or being placed in various disciplines – he became a very happy little horse. I am a true believer that less is more!

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Conversation

Horses For LIFE


ADC (UK) - Mac came to me in a Dutch gag and a tightly fastened noseband. The first problem was his head shaking, violently side to side, which made any contact impossible, closely followed by a habit of going well behind the vertical, again to avoid the bit. The head shaking was reduced dramatically by simply putting the reins on the snaffle rings, and loosening the noseband. Very soon the reduction in pressure had a dramatic effect on his behaviour and also his quality of life. The next step was to remove his noseband and keep pressure on his mouth to a bare minimum. Replacing a contact which had been measured in pounds with one that was barely there, reduced the habit of dropping behind the bit dramatically. Being able to open his mouth seemed to calm him too. He began to move forward willingly without fighting the bit or setting his not inconsiderable neck against me. Our relationship changed from being a constant battle to one where we conversed, in kindness, based on mutual trust and respect, right up to the moment he died with me right beside him. What he taught me has benefited all our horses, now ridden with minimal tack, no flashes or grackles or martingales.

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G.S. (U.K) I trained my Friesian mare for several years but never seemed to be getting to where I wanted to be. I did not feel my horse enjoyed our lessons and this troubled me. She was labelled lazy and I was advised to use spurs, a different bit, a bungee to keep her head down. She resented contact so much and became so resistant that eventually I stopped schooling altogether and just hacked about the moors in a head collar, rebuilding my relationship with her. My first lesson with Jenny was what she calls the “top to toe�. Whilst practising postures of core stability and all over relaxation, I was amazed how much tension I carried with me and how obvious it was to Jenny. It was actually really challenging to keep my jaw, neck and shoulders relaxed.

Horses For LIFE


Jenny asked if she could loose school my mare to introduce herself and the new environment. After a few minutes of tense high headed trotting she relaxed, and shortly after was following Jenny around attentively and with the soft expression on her face I never thought I’d see during any form of schooling! Jenny’s assessment of my mare was “really sensitive and willing as long as she is asked politely, as she tries hard but gets offended if asked rudely or pushed”. I have learnt how to lose the tension that builds up in me when Welmoed isn’t going as I would like her to (a situation that rapidly gets worse on all counts for both parties) and how little changes in my body make a huge difference to the horse. We have been working on suppling exercises at walk, which seem to have an instant effect on the quality of her trot.

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She now softly accepts contact, with no noseband and in a snaffle bit. She willingly moves forward, relaxing and stretching very early in a session and seems to enjoy our lessons. I finally feel as if my horse is with me and now when Jenny talks me through an exercise and adds that “this is preparation for the pirouette” I can actually envisage Welmoed and me doing such things. Before learning about riding from the core and seeing the changes in my horse, I couldn’t picture anything other than my own frustrations. I am so glad that the dream I had of dancing with a willing and happy horse has become possible.

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R.T. (Tennesse- USA) I met with Jenny and we immediately worked on relaxation, core breathing and self-awareness to facilitate connecting with a horse. She suggested I ride Delfin, so we worked on my posture and breathing in walk, and then on transitions to trot with core breathing alone. What an amazing teacher Delfin was! In sitting trot, he offered passage but he seemed more stilted through the right hind leg. Jenny explained that Delfin was telling me that I was holding tension somewhere in my body and not ‘allowing’ him to move forward freely. By breathing in time to his trot steps, allowing my hips to move with his hind legs and remaining completely focused on sitting straight in the saddle, Delfin made the transition into a lovely swinging trot! He therefore revealed to me that I hold tension between my shoulder blades and in my left hip (the result of an old riding injury). Without Delfin to show me my weaknesses and Jenny to interpret them, I would still be riding with unevenness and stiffness – oblivious to the hidden tensions in my body! How very unfair to the horse!

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Brio, my Lippizaner stallion, is proud, confident and very clever. Through core breathing and calm assertive body language, I have taught him to respect my space. The biggest challenge I have faced has been keeping Brio’s attention focused during our work sessions together. Brio stays focused much longer as loose work and lungeing prepare him, mentally and physically for our daily work. The addition of core breathing to lungeing clarifies my aids, resulting in a more immediate response to half halt, and upward or downward transition requests. My awareness has restored my confidence in challenging situations. By taking a slow deep breath right into my core and then exhaling, I can now re-center my thoughts and open my mind to new solutions to situations before they become frustrating and escalate into a problem. Core breathing has enabled me to take charge of a situation and change it, stopping my busy thoughts and calmly re-centering. Then I am prepared to really listen – to both my own thoughts and to those of my horse.

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CONCLUSIONS: When the rider is willing to take a step back, listen to the horse and introduce more empathic training techniques, this does reap more harmonious rewards. There is a need for trainers to focus on rider awareness of posture and balance. ‘Sit still’ is a comment often heard which can result in a tense immobile frame, rather than a rider understanding natural posture which allows the flow of movement with the horse. Anxiety creates a stressed mind, labelled often as ‘bad behaviour’ and the result can become an accelerating battle between horse and rider. Only a horse able to move with a natural fluidity and posture together with a rider supported by natural posture awareness can come together to produce any harmony. The core breath will support this empathy, as when the rider is breathing with steady deeper core breathing, the horse 120


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will calm and mirror this rhythm. This pattern of breathing will calm the mind and thoughts of both horse and rider and help to gain a connection of both trust and comfort. This is the path of horsemanship - to ride with ‘MORE TRUST and FEWER GADGETS’ Jenny Rolfe Jenny is an International Classical trainer/author. With her Iberian stallions she teaches a connection through breath/ energy awareness. Information about training/books/DVDs are on her web site www.naturallyclassical.com

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juan manuel munoz

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diaz

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juan manuel munoz diaz clinic

Question: What do you look for when you are looking for a horse to do dressage Horses For LIFE


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First I look for rhythm....

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Then I look for the position of the neck....

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juan manuel munoz diaz clinic

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Host Frank Grelo

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The basic work in walk, trot, and canter.

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This is the most important thing. If this is good, you can go for the exercise.

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juan manuel munoz diaz clinic

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After the clinic Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz happily climbs upon a strange horse to ride in the evening demonstration. juan manuel munoz diaz 136


• © Cathy Burrell

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Juan Manuel Munoz

juan manuel munoz diaz

After the clinic Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz happily climbs upon a strange horse to ride in the evening demonstration.

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Watch the thought process... The expresssions... Of this young stud colt... As he tries to get what he wants.

Learning more about horses from horses when we have those rare opportunities to watch them in their natural environment interacting without our influence is something that most of us have too rarely nowadays.

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After a brief feed of grass....

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Time for a drink...

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Getting What I Want

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But we don’t always get what we want... You can literally see this young lad trying to problem solve... He tries sweet, cute and then agressive. Of course mom, knows exactly what he wants. But with incredicble sweet patience for her pushy young son, she prefers to just have a nice rest in the warm summer sun.

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Order The Thinking Foal Calendar The Thinking Foal http://www.cafepress.com/horsesforlife.867297694

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The Walk The Most Difficult Gait by Egon Von Neindorff

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The Walk - The Most Difficult Gait by Egon Von Neindorff Reprinted with Permission Dressage&CT July 1991 Vol 58 To be sure one should always serve pure wine. But that a bottle labelled “Naturwein” must correspond with its content does not seem to be respected any more. It seems that riding will also inevitably “go with the times” and adopt modern standards. Modern training methods too easily ignore the horse’s natural way of moving -- not without undesirable results. 194


Even today, neither man nor horse is a machine, and consequently each must still learn to adapt himself to the other’s changeable and unchangeable traits. Moreover, because of the endless factors involved in riding, one is never finished learning. For this very reason, it is all the better that during the apparent haste to learn, there are clear rules based on natural laws which have been valid for hundreds and thousands of years. Horses For LIFE


Only a good instructor with good horses can pass on classical rules from generations of experts to the present generation of riding students -- for the benefit and pleasure of all.

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In riding, the foremost criteria are: clear aims for the training and furthering of horse and rider and well-schooled horses with which to put theory into practice (especially in this regard, the best is barely good enough) Accordingly, the constant training of future school horses is no less important than the “measuring� of oneself in competition. Whether we talk about a relaxing ride through the countryside, a tough jumping competition, or the high school of dressage, they all begin with the basic gaits. It might be an interesting question whether the prehistoric horse only knew how to walk and canter and later, through domestication, learned to trot. This has been debated by many, and ancient pictures lead us to believe it could have been fact.

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Today we look back on hundreds of years of trotting in riding and driving. Walk, trot, and canter remain, therefore, the three basic gaits our horses use from their first day onward. Derivatives of these have been created through breeding for specific conditions and requirements. The pure gait, the true sequence of steps, even under the unaccustomed weight of the rider at walk, trot, or canter, is the only valid measure for a “correct” gait. Quote: “[I]n a correct walk, then, the lifting and putting forward of the legs is done by the diagonal pair of legs, one after the other, and at the trot by the diagonal pair of legs at the same time.”

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How to recognize the correct gaits has been well described in teaching aids, riding rules and various texts. Here is short reminder, because we often overlook the importance of correct gaits when breaking a young horse and, through lack of patience, when training them from one level to the next. In a correct walk, then, the lifting and putting forward of the legs is done by the diagonal pair of legs, one after the other, and at the trot by the diagonal pair of legs at the same time. Therefore, from a well-balanced horse in walk, one can hear four hoofbeats, one after the other at equal intervals; at the trot, between the moment of suspension, we hear only two beats; and at the canter, three. Keeping the rhythm between each stride at all three gaits is called a “pure� gait. Of these three basic, natural gaits, the walk is the relaxed movement, without haste and with impulsion according to ability and level of training. Since even the beginner finds and keeps his balance on horseback at the walk without difficulty, it is usually considered the most comfortable and easiest gait to

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learn. Whoever does not sit securely yet (or no longer during trot and canter) feels at ease at the walk. the walk is a restful intermission for horse and rider after work at other gaits. However, for the horse, having to balance the rider`s weight at each step, the walk is by no means simple. The walk is not an energetic movement in which the horse forces the trotting or cantering rider to react in some way, as best he can. Even a beginner can take irregularities or lack of elasticity of the horse`s back without endangering his own balance. But the achievement of balance of horse and rider in walk requires feel, thus experience and attention, which the horse cannot force on the rider at the walk as he can at the livelier gaits. This may explain the incorrect concepts of the work at the walk but does not minimize the importance it had in regard to efficient performance and obedience of the horse. Successfully finished basic training manifests itself in the achievement of the two main aims: the trust and obedience of the horse, indispensable prerequisites of good performance. Horses For LIFE


It is important to make the young horse forget his first encounter with the more or less heavy weight on his back. Without the rider, the horse already carries more weight on his forelegs, having to bear the head, neck, shoulder, and chest. The hind legs are pushing more weight onto the forelegs than they carry themselves-at first anyway. Adding the weight of the rider, whose correct seat is ahead of the actual center of the horse, the center of gravity is placed near the forelegs. The forehand, therefore, becomes unduly burdened and will suffer in the end until a new weight distribution is initiated. This is done by making the horse use his hindquarters more by stepping well under. The hocks must be bent considerably more, thereby lowering the hindquarters and raising the neck without allowing he horse to hollow his back.

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The anatomy of the horse permits increased bending of the hocks only when the horse is straight, when two imaginary parallel lines drawn from the hips of the shoulders of the horse have equal length. At the natural walk, the horse puts down one foreleg followed by the diagonal hind leg followed by the other foreleg and, in the same sequence, followed by the diagonal hind leg. The rider must use his driving aids at the right moment, when the hind leg is about to be lifted off the ground, in order to make the horse step well under. During the first phase of training, when lunging the horse, great caution is to be exercised when increasing the demands. The same goes for `the contact with the bit`. Pulling the reins must not inhibit the natural individual posture and free walk of the horse. One should always begin working a young horse at a free walk on long reins and then slowly search for contact with the bit,

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but only as much as necessary to have it walk between driving legs, on a straight line, with long steps, without haste, and also without laziness. Quiet handling, patience, and great care are indispensable. A frequent check in the mirror in the indoor arena will help detect faults and allow immediate correction. (or, if riding in the open, by a qualified `ground person.` Editor) Only when the horse has found his balance under the rider at the walk (also advisable for the advanced school horse) should one begin to ride circles, figure eights, serpentines, etc., to take him away from the security of the wall Only when the rider has light but consistent contact with the bit through the riding of voltes and other bending exercises at the walk, and the horse is straight, may we slowly begin with collection. The rider pushes his horse carefully with a constant driving back and legs on to the equal and lightly held reins. When the nose comes down voluntarily, not

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having been pulled by a heavy hand, it is proof that the neck muscles are relaxing and the hind legs are stepping `through the swinging back to the muzzle Only when the minutest action of the reins reaches the hind legs via back and neck will the increased driving aids of the rider`s seat and legs result in increased ``stepping under`` at a quiet, rhythmical pace. The rider`s hand influences movement from `back to front`` without interfering. Therefore, there must be no pulling back of reins. As soon as the horse becomes light on the bit, the hand must respond immediately, or the split second in which to tell the horse what to do has passed. In that case, begin again, patient and observing, and at the first success, don`t be sparing with praise and a long rein. A lively pace, however, should be kept.

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At all ages of the horse, and at the different levels of training, the walk remains an unspirited, unenergetic gait, which nevertheless must be ridden with impulse and activity on the part of the rider so that the horse doesn`t simply fall apart. The true four-beat is a sure sign of whether the degree of collection has not asked too much of the hindquarters. Any irregularity in the sequence of steps in a young horse must be corrected at once by changing to a walk on long reins at a tempo comparable to the working (German ``Mittelschritt``) walk of a trained horse. That means the hind legs should cover the tracks of the forelegs.

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Walking on a long rein with a long, downward-stretched neck should also be the reward after the daily lesson, so that the horse returns to his stall relaxed and well balanced, mentally and physically. Too free or hasty steps may be taken as a warning and reminder to work carefully until successful correction has been completed.

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Unnatural tension in certain muscles causes inharmonious and unnatural movement, which can intensify itself to the point of pacing instead of walking. If the horse`s walk needs correction, it would be wrong to put it off to a later date. A faulty walk unavoidably shows up in a tense trot and/or canter. Inasmuch as the walk lacks the moment of soft suspension present in the other two basic gaits, it is the most difficult to control continuously. Only the experienced rider is able to recognize the activity of the horse’s back muscles, and if attentive, draw the correct conclusion from it. 208


In training and correcting horses, the walk has deserved to be called “the most difficult gait.� As the basis of furthering a horse, in teaching and practice, it is grossly underestimated and requires more attention than is being given. By Egon von Neindorff .

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The Chosen One

The Journey Continues Horses For LIFE


ανακάλυψη discovery

Anakalypsi: The Chosen One The Journey Continues Never haltered, never held on a lead rope, never bridled, never saddled, free to be together 24 hours a day, bonds formed and forged, they spend their days together, in the warm sun, in the fresh wind, and live out their lives...

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Entering into their element, you usually get one response or the other, either they are shy of the stranger or they crowd around you, sniffing and snuffling at your boots, your clothes, as they try to figure out who the stranger in their midst is. 214


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ανακάλυψη discovery

It is usually the adolescents who are the most curious. Sometimes they can get a little too friendly, looking to lick and chew, to taste in their curiosity. A half step back only encourages them, but a half step to the side, or stepping towards their hips, or turning quietly away, provides them with a soundless, touchless silent message with all that they need to know, that for this creature, they need to tread a little more gently and carefully. 216


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ανακάλυψη discovery

When you have several crowding around you, it can be a quite the dance for the first few minutes of stepping forward and backwards, trying to respect their space while trying to encourage them to not overwhelm yours.

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ανακάλυψη discovery I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know it was going to happen once again. I had no sense that this connection, that this horse, was going to be different. She seemed just as curious as the others, but she strangely enough did not come over right away. Instead, she waited. And they seemed to wander away in disinterest when she did come over. Perhaps they knew far sooner than I did, that this meeting was going to be different. Considering what did happen, looking back through the years, it makes me wonder if, when horses do this, is their interest, is the multiple crowding around, a precursor, a search as they look for the one? Their one. At first I thought she just wanted a sniff, to exchange our breaths in the age old meeting between new and interesting creatures. Then I thought that she was asking for a scritch

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--scritches and scratches from the one thing we humans can offer our horses, our hands. But no, it wasn’t that either. And then I noticed the one detail that was different with this meeting, besides the fact that she was glued to my side so tightly that stepping away was an impossibility. And that was where her head was. Anytime a curious strange horse comes to check things out, they do it with their eyes, noses and mouths. Their heads are all over you, as they check you out and they almost seem to resent it if you try to get away from their heads. They can’t check you out if they can’t smell you, can’t nibble at your boots. But this was different.

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ανακάλυψη discovery

Her head was nowhere near me -which is why I initially thought that she was asking for scritches. Rather than facing me she was beside me. Her neck, her shoulder, her back. Offering herself up completely. Not leaving, not moving away. Willing to allow full access, full range to touch her where I pleased. Not asking for anything in return. She, out of the blue, instantaneously bonded completely to me, with complete and utter trust.

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ανακάλυψη discovery

At least until one other horse decided he wanted to come and visit too.

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This one had a little bit of a different attitude and rather than coming towards me with curious and upright ears, his ears were directed behind him. It made me wonder as to his intentions. But I stayed where I was and allowed him to approach, and he sniffed while the other horse stood on my other side quietly,and then without warning she took off like a shot! She blasted away, hooves churning, digging down into the dirt as she chased him away, with teeth bared. Horses For LIFE


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Twenty feet away from me after a threatening bite to his hindquarters, she eased to the side and turned around to come trotting quickly back to me.

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Her job was done to stand once again beside me. It took a minute or two for her head to drop once again and completely relax with the adrenalin in her system, and I thanked her for wanting to protect me.

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ανακάλυψη discovery Again the other horse tried to approach and she was much quicker this time,not allowing him to even come within sniffing distance of me. She had told him once, she shouldn’t have to tell him a second time, to leave me alone.

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As we stood there together quietly afterwards, as I stroked her, I placed my forehead against her neck and breathed in that special incredible smell that only horses have. I stood there resting against her, but I hurt inside. It is, was, such an incredible gift this sweet mare was giving me. I knew, in my heart, it was a special gift, but a gift that required of me that I stay. Because that is what horses do. 234


Once bonded in a herd, they don`t leave their friend to go home to dinner, or go to bed, or work the next day. They stay. They stay forever. They eat, lie down together, watch out for each other, they are there for each other always. I knew that once I left, that gift was thrown away. It would never, could never be the same again between me and this mare.

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But I had to go, and with a heavy heart I started to walk away.

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But she would have none of that and quickly trotted up beside me, not letting me get away. Where I went - she was going to go. Again I softly stroked her and then rested my head against her. Not wanting to leave, but realizing that I couldn`t really stay. I knew if I stayed she would be there for me, offering herself up with complete trust. She presented her back to me,standing completely still. And it was if, as she presented her back, she was saying go ahead, climb up on me, let us be together forever. I trust you completely and you can trust me. What an incredible gift!

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ανακάλυψη discovery And all I could do was look down at the ground feeling so incredibly sad that I couldn`t, couldn`t explain to her, why I had to go. I tried. With tears for not being able to make her understand - I tried. This time when I walked away she didn`t follow. This series of events in the past couple of years happen again and again. Always with horses that have been little handled, often untrained by the human hand. Surprising me, touching me to my core, each and every time it happens. Never doubt that we are not meant to be together. And always remember there is a special relationship to be had if you take the time to hear, to listen, if you allow your horse, rather than dictate, as their voice can quickly be stifled, shut down and sometimes they will not speak again for years. . 240


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Should you be Training the Spanish Walk?

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Should you be Training the Spanish Walk? March 1 copy “There are a number of reasons for both horse and rider to learn the Spanish Walk. First, it graphically demonstrates how each horse learns. For example, a horse will often naturally lift one foreleg more readily than the other.� Michael Pineo, Dressage&CT March 1995

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This can be wonderfully eye opening for many riders -- the chance to discover in very obvious and clear terms which shoulder on which side has mobility and which one, for whatever reason, is limited in mobility. The Spanish Walk as a Diagnostic Tool While a very experienced horseman can, through attention to detail, become aware of the uneven development of the horse through the two different sides of the horse, it can be difficult for most riders, even those with experience, to fully understand the movement limitations of their horses. The Spanish Walk in this way provides the trainer with a wonderful diagnostic tool.

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The Spanish Walk shows not only which shoulder provides you with more mobility. It can also show which side the horse has a tendency to want to support himself on, the same way that when we stand at rest we tend to shove more weight over one hip, and hence one leg, than the other. The horse has the same tendency. He has one foreleg he prefers to extend and a different foreleg that he prefers to support his weight over. This has a direct consequence on his balance, his back and his uneven muscle development through his back. When he does Spanish Walk, this becomes abundantly clear, as he will clearly show you unmistakably which leg he prefers to bring up, sometimes to the point where he doesn’t want to bring the other leg up at all. 248


Not only does the Spanish Walk show us which leg he prefers to use for support - it can also tell us something important about his neck. Most horses will find it easier to lift the foreleg on the same side where the neck muscles readily engage, but this is the same side that the horse will have more problems bending/releasing/ lengthening through. While we, for obvious reasons, have a tendency to focus on the brilliant expression of the front legs of the horse in the Spanish Walk, the hind legs tell a tale as well. Rarely will a horse bring his two hind legs under himself equally in Spanish Walk, which is why we see so few horses doing this exercise well. It is when we observe the hind legs that the real limitations that exist within the horse’s body are shown up with the Spanish Walk. Horses For LIFE


The obvious use of the Spanish Walk is to develop a greater range of motion in the shoulders of the horse. Too often we see that horses, rather than stretched to their full range of motion, are stifled and end up limited to their worst side. In other words, rather than encouraging the horse to a larger range of motion on their limited side, the horse is instead encouraged to complete evenness which sometimes means limiting the range of motion on his good side to the level of his limited side. Yes, now your horse is even and balanced and the timing is even between the two sides. 250


But perhaps consider that under the guise of classical dressage of even, slow and careful development, the horse ends up continually under challenged. While yes, evenness, balance, rhythm and even development of both sides is of ultimate importance in your horse, it does not hurt to occasionally take a moment and allow the side with good mobility to fully engage and to invite the side with limited mobility to try to match the good side. The Spanish Walk can be a wonderful challenge to achieve this possibility. “A horse will often naturally lift one foreleg more readily than the other. This shows whether he has left or right brain tendencies, which will allow the rider to anticipate on which side of the horse he is likely to experience more training challenges.� Michael Pineo Horses For LIFE


Challenging the horse to reach with the foreleg that he prefers to use for support, and then challenging him to support with the foreleg that he prefers to reach forward with, in Spanish Walk, is an excellent opportunity to stretch the horse further in his abilities, both mentally and physically. There are areas of concern in training the Spanish Walk, which is why many trainers prefer not to include the Spanish Walk and Spanish Trot in their training repertoire and strongly suggest that riders do not include it in theirs. Disconnection between the front and hind end of the horse is perhaps the primary concern. As mentioned already, rarely will we see a horse bring his two hind legs under himself equally in Spanish Walk. Which is why we see so few horses doing this exercise well. Instead, we tend to see horses short stride on one or - more

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frequently - both sides with their hind legs. Thus the act of the Spanish Walk can end up being a training exercise that actually encourages the horse to put even more weight on his front end the antithesis of the values of classical dressage. It is relatively easy to do the Spanish Walk incorrectly without balance, without rhythm, without forwardness, and without an engaged back and hind end. Instead, we tend to see stiffness and tension throughout the horse’s body, uneven strides, and a horse that is supporting himself heavily on one front leg at a time. Horses For LIFE


This is also the reason that, while we see many attempt the Spanish Walk, we see so few progress to what is often perceived as the much more difficult Spanish Trot. In reality, the Spanish Trot is not more difficult; it only becomes so when the Spanish Walk is not carefully trained to maintain the basic qualities and requirements that are outlined by the tenets of classical dressage. Nuno Oliveira warns, “In order that they may be beneficial, they must be executed in a well balanced attitude, the horse at ease, and it must be remembered that the Spanish Walk, like a normal walk, consists of four equal beats, and the Spanish trot of two beats, perfectly connected diagonally as in the normal trot.�

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“The height, the extension and cadence are the qualities which give Spanish Walk its value.” (D. Jose Manuel da Cunha Menezes) “There are those who highly recommend the Spanish Walk and Trot, among them Nuno Oliveira, who comments in Reflections on Equestrian Art, “Included in the French equitation of a century ago are several valuable gymnastic exercises, such as the Spanish Walk and Trot, which German critics of the time and other so-called purists called artificial airs. “I have seen, quite recently, a young horse who, newly arrived from the pasture, and let loose in the indoor riding school, did some steps of the Spanish Walk naturally, stepping very high and brilliantly. This is my retort to those who denounce as artificial the magnificent exercises of this type of equitation.”

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While lifting one front leg at a time is easy to teach a horse, it is far more difficult to train a Spanish Walk that creates the kind of changes that we want to see in the horse, that create qualities that will help us progress with the horse in more advanced work. There are those for and those against the Spanish Walk, and for good reason either way. But as Nuno said, “If well done, with good carriage of the head and neck, without alteration in the walk, it is an elegant spectacle, and a healthy gymnastic exercise. It is beneficial, favouring a great development of the shoulders, and amplification of the forelegs’ stride. It makes the horse mobile, elastic, and brilliant when coupled with the gymnastic exercising of the hindquarters.”

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It is too bad that this is what we so rarely see. If you choose to train the Spanish Walk, be observant, careful, encourage forwardness, and create a Spanish Walk that creates balance in the horse, with the body working together as a whole, not as individual parts. by Nadja King

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FEI PRESS RELEASE Lausanne (SUI), 10 May 2012 In Memoriam: Joanne Pitt 1979-2013 Joanne Pitt (GBR), 34, Paralympian, individual bronze and team gold medallist at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ and member of UK Sport’s World Class Performance programme for almost 10 years, died peacefully last week with her family beside her after being treated for a rare lung condition. 258


Jo had right-sided hemiplegic cerebral palsy, which affected the feeling and mobility down her right side, but she never let that stand in her way. After attending a summer holiday camp when she was six years old, she became hooked on horses and never looked back. At the age of 25, she represented Great Britain at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with Rockhill Horses For LIFE


Kashmir, and six years later with her gelding Estralita she took bronze in the Grade II Freestyle and team gold at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky. This season, Jo and Estralita had won all but two of their 12 starts, including international team and individual victories at Deauville CPEDI3* in March and the Grade II title at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships. The FEI and Horses For LIFE expresses its sincere condolences to Joanne Pitt’s fiancé, family and friends, to the British Equestrian Federation and British Dressage, and her many friends in the international equestrian community.

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Photo caption: Joanne Pitt, individual bronze and team gold medallist at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, is pictured (second right) with her teammates in Kentucky (left to right): Ricky Balshaw, Sophie Christiansen, Emma Sheardown, Sophie Wells MBE, Lee Pearson CBE and Anne Dunham MBE (seated). (Photo: Kit Houghton).

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FEI PRESS RELEASE Lausanne (SUI), 10 May 2013 Photo caption: Ted Dwyer, former coordinator of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Pacific League and international course designer and judge, who has died in Australia. In Memoriam: Ted Dwyer OAM, 1923-2013 Ted Dwyer, former coordinator of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Pacific League and international course designer and judge, has died in

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Australia just days before his 90th birthday. Ted lived in Young, New South Wales together with his wife, Judy and their two sons on a farm that had been in his family since 1868. Ted was a livestock and crop farmer, and he and Judy, an accomplished four-in-hand driver, Horses For LIFE


also produced English Hackney horses at their Ellmore Stud. Ted was an FEI international course designer and Jumping judge and was instrumental in developing FEI World Cup™ Jumping competitions in New Zealand and South-East Asia. He was the coordinator of the FEI World Cup™ Pacific League for 25 years, from its inception until his retirement at the 2003 Final in Las Vegas. He helped lobby the FEI World Cup committee members for the establishment of the South-East Asian League, the 13th league in the world. He owned a number of successful Jumping horses, including Ocean Foam, the horse ridden by Kevin Bacon on the Australian team that finished seventh at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games

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He officiated as both a course designer and a judge all over Australia and New Zealand, as well as much of South-East Asia, including designing courses for the Xanthus Show Jumping Open series from 1991-1994, the 2nd and 4th Asian Show Jumping Championships and the 1995 Chiang Mai South-East Asian Games. Over a 40-year period, Ted was also a contributor to a number of magazines in Australia and New Zealand and wrote two books, Show Jumping Down Under (1972) and Show Jumping in Australia (2005). British equestrian journalist Alan Smith, who worked closely with Ted on the FEI World Cup circuit, remembers him with great fondness. “The huge contribution that Ted has made to show jumping in Australia and in parts of South-East Asia, where he is something of a

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godfather figure, would be hard to exaggerate,” he wrote in a foreword to Show Jumping in Australia. The pair were together at a party on a cruise ship during the 1989 FEI World Cup™ Final in Tampa, Florida. Thinking it might get chilly on the boat later in the evening, Ted asked one of the organisers if he should take a jumper, and was told by a very alarmed lady that no horses were allowed on board! Ted was awarded the FEI Medal of Honour in 1998, three years after the Governor General had presented him with the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in recognition of his “services to equestrian sport both nationally and internationally”. He was inducted into the Equestrian Australia Hall of Fame in 2011. “The FEI World Cup exists in its present form in Australia thanks to the dedication and passion of Ted Dwyer,” said John Roche, FEI World

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Cup Director. “The sport in Australia owes a lot to Ted’s dynamic efforts and enthusiasm. Our thoughts are with Ted’s family and friends at this sad time. He will be much missed.” FEI Press Release

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LONDO 2012

DRESSAGE AT THE OL Laura BECHTOLSHEIMER riding MISTRAL Hojris (GBR) in 2nd place after first day of team dressage. 270 Copyright: Kit Houghton/FEI


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Horses For LIFE Magazine - The Power of the Herd