Once again there are only a few weeks to Christmas and there are so many things to fit in between now and then. The last few months have been very busy too, what with my growing family and horses to train and clinics to teach. I feel very lucky though, that I have been able to combine all of these these things. To everyone who has attended a clinic or lesson since our daughter was born, I want to express heartfelt thanks for being so welcoming and patient with us and all of the paraphernalia and distractions that come with a new baby!
There has been plenty of exciting work in the making since my last post. I had a very interesting seminar in Sweden as part of the project I am collaborating on with two very experienced Swedish colleagues – a project called Ridanalys. We are three instructors working in different fields: Toini Pettersson is a teacher in Centered Riding and Ewa Åsberg is a Personal Coach. I then focus on the training of the horse. Together we have developed a Swedish-language programme of online training and support which can be accessed via http://www.ridanalys.se. The project is still in development so please be patient for more information to come.
My recent demonstration at New Barn in Cheshire was a very exciting and enjoyable experience for me. I hope that everyone who came to watch could take something useful away with them. I demonstrated ‘work in hand’, showing some of the steps from the basic foundations toward more collected work. My horse Cartuxo was helping me and behaved very well – especially considering he’s newly gelded.
Following the demo we had a one day clinic, which – being just down the road from our house in Cheshire – meant that I didn’t have to pack up the suitcases and catch a plane this time! A new experience and a very enjoyable one for me.
I’m pleased to say that two further dates have been added – the 14th and 15th of December – for one day clinics at New Barn. There will be one work in hand lesson in the morning and one riding lesson in the afternoon, with your choice of 30 minute or hour long lessons. Lessons are on a one-to-one basis. The work in hand will be very suppling and is worked in walk so it will not be too tiring for your horse.
Cost: EITHER 2 x 30 minutes sessions = £65 in total (inclusive of arena hire), OR 2 x 1 hour sessions = £130 total (inclusive of arena hire). Boxes are available for daytime stabling if required, for an additional charge. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Sessions can be tailored to the requirements of horse and rider so please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. The places have already started to fill so please let us know as soon as possible as the numbers are limited.
Long time no see! This time there really has been a loooong wait between posts, for which I must apologise. But, these last few months have been a big adventure. More of that later.
First, to more familiar matters. There have been some wonderful courses held at Quinta do Brejo in Portugal – not least during the week of the Golegã festival. My guests – now also dear friends – shared many emotions under the tutelage of our Lusitano horses. Of course, we ate wonderful traditional meals cooked by our host Donna Antonia. It was a real joy to go back to work in surroundings that I love, and I hope and think that our Swedish guests felt the same. It was then very rewarding to see their progress again on a later clinic back in Sweden – to see the changes in their riding and the developments they had been able to achieve with their own horses at home.
I have been continuing with my programme of clinics in Sweden and the UK, with many long-time students and some very welcome new faces. I look forward to sharing their progress in 2014 and beyond.
And so to the big news. In September last year, we packed up the car and moved lock, stock, dog, little one and us to our new home in Cheshire, England. Two of my Lusitano horses have joined me here at the farm – Equador from Portugal and Cartuxo who had been with me in Sweden.
My life and work will now be based here, even though I will of course keep up my regular clinics in Sweden and my work in Portugal.
So, that’s all for now – a little update after the long silence. Normal service will resume shortly!
The time seems to have passed so quickly since my last post but I have neglected my writing for long enough. A lot of things have been happening here at Quinta do Brejo and beyond.
I had a very nice week in England – giving my second clinic at Birtle Riding Centre near Manchester and then teaching some private lessons around the North West of the country. I’m looking forward to returning there in a couple of months to see how everyone is progressing.
Back over in Portugal I’ve been busy with guests of both the two legged and four legged kind. Most recently a beautiful new friend has come from Quinta da Encosta to stay with us for a while – a 3 year old horse named Esquivo da Encosta. He’ll be with us for a period of training before moving to his new owner in Sweden. Esquivo moves wonderfully and is a very tall and handsome horse.
We have also been scouting out some hacking routes for clients who come to stay here. And my goodness the scenery around the farm is beautiful. On horseback you can wind your way through the woodlands and over the hills surrounding Quinta do Brejo, eventually looking out on the small villages around Malveira and toward the ocean. When it’s clear you can see as far as Sintra. To smell the wild herbs and eucalyptus trees; hear the gentle song of church bells and ride through villages alive with the daily chores of laundry, bread baking and the gossip of elders: it reminds me of the reasons I fell in love with riding in the first place. Sometimes it’s good to put aside our projects and just enjoy how the world looks when you’re sitting on a horse.
Happy New year to all! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that 2012 will bring peace and much happiness.
I’m now in Sweden looking forward to my first clinic of the year which starts tomorrow. It’s now full up with old friends and new, so it will be a great start to the new year.
Our friend, Mr Tony Dampier of Bury, Lancashire, England 15/06/1936 - 18/11/2011. This photograph was taken circa 1954 while he was serving in the British Household Cavalry.
I have a few places left on my next clinic near Manchester, UK on the 29th January. The clinic was originally organised with Tony Dampier, who very sadly died in a riding accident in November. Tony had visited us at Quinta do Brejo to work with our Lusitanos in the late summer last year. He was a lovely man and spent his whole life working classically with horses. This facebook page contains hundreds of tributes from people he taught to ride over many years and who have been touched by his kind, understanding way with horses and with people. It’s very sad indeed that Tony won’t be able to share his experience and expertise at the clinic but we hope that he’d be pleased with the work we’ll do.
29th January 2012: 1 Day Clinic – Birtle Riding Centre, Bury, near Manchester, UK
£45 for one lesson (special taster session price). Please enquire if you wish to share a lesson. Non-riding spectators welcome. Lessons can focus on any aspect of classical training for horse and rider, including work in hand on request. All horses and riders welcome. Please contact either Charlotte directly or Birtle Riding Centre (tel: +44 (0)161 764 6573) for bookings or further information.
Download a flyer here: charlotte-wittbom-clinic-290112