What a full and interesting beginning to the month it has been. On Monday I had the honour to deliver a presentation to the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) annual conference in Oxford, UK. I want to thank ABRS for their invitation and the delegates for their warm welcome. It was also interesting to have an insight into how it is to run a riding school in the UK and to listen to the other speakers. I like to take every opportunity to learn from other riders and from other horse cultures. It was a very giving day.
Back in Portugal, we welcomed a group from ‘Effective Riding’ to Quinta do Brejo. They stayed with us for 4 days with three riding lessons and three work in hand lessons. The objective was to explore what the different exercises from the ground led to; how these different steps help the horse to work effectively without the weight and influence of the rider and what effect the rider’s seat then has on these same movements.
This new perspective and way of working allows you and your horse to break out of the habits and routine problems you may become stuck within when riding. For instance if you have a problem on the right rein and in a particular exercise you or your horse may become tense just with the thought of it, since it has been a problem in the past. But working from the ground allows you a release from these set in patterns. Therefore we worked on ways to see work in hand as an integral part of the training of a horse and rider, rather than something distinct or novel.
We also had the pleasure of being able to visit Senhor Luis Valenca at Centro Equestro da Leziria Grande. We saw a small demonstration of his work and want to thank him very much for this opportunity.
I want also to give a to complement to the riders from ‘Effective Riding’; they all seemed to really want to learn and showed a big interest in knowing more about the training of horses.