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    Backing Youngsters – fast or slow?!

    2011 - 04.02

    Probably the most important event in a young horse’s life is how it is first backed and ridden away.  The phrase ‘breaking in’ has now been abandoned, for maintaining and winning over the spirit and temperament of the youngster is as important as how it carries and obeys the rider.  

    For me, Natural Horsemanship’s claim of joining up and backing a horse in 20 minutes, is a short cut too far.  It also does not work too well with the sharper temperament of a bright, fit thoroughbred or warmblood type!   They need to learn to use their bodies differently with a rider than they do when loose with other horses.

    When backing my youngster Connie  I will be working with Greg Drummond and we will probably take 20 days over the process.  This allows the horse time to mentally process the developments day by day and for a very gradual introduction of the different steps. 

    She will then be turned away for a month, then be ridden again for another month and so on, allowing her body to adjust to the changes. Follow Connie’s progress here.

    Greg was brought up on a TB stud farm in New Zealand, and has developed his own process to slowly back youngsters over many years.  He is in much demand in racing yards in the South West, and will be coming over to the  Surrey/Sussex area over the summer to back Connie and some others in the area.  If you know anyone with a youngster to back at their own yard, please contact me.

    Horses helping young people

    2011 - 02.26

    Darcy Day had just come to the yard , a neglected racehorse, saved by a  charity run by Helen Yeadon.  Despite how ill Darcy was, the mare was able to make a connection with a silent child who had not spoken in 2 years.  Read this extract of Greatwood’s work with horses and young people from the Daily Mail – and see below to buy their new book. (more…)

    Knowing yourself – a career with horses?

    2011 - 01.10

    Karen, aged 38, now runs her own livery yard and explains how coaching sessions with Liz using NLP based techniques has helped her:

     “.. Previously I used to work teaching IT, which I loathed. To add insult to injury, I ended up paying someone else to ride my horses, which is why I was working in the first place!  So I took the decision to stop working to concentrate on the horses and teach at local riding schools part time. However, it wasn’t adding up financially. It was so frustrating and I was losing my confidence that I could make a go of it…”

    One of the biggest impacts was to get her teaching business going. From the goal setting exercises, Karen became determined that this was what she wanted to do:

    “…Before I only had one or two lessons to teach a week, now I am kept busy with teaching and running my yard, and I am able to afford to keep my horses, have training, and improve the yard to really build the business….”

    “..Looking back I was not focused on getting pupils and giving lessons, I kept looking at different options to make ends meet. I was able to pin down what I really wanted, so now I stick to one path and do it properly. I have advertised and feel more confident because I believe I can help my pupils, before I didn’t really have that confidence. I’ve stuck to it and talked to everyone I know about it and am very positive.


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