...and so everything is changing!?
The day I was supposed to post this blog, the Covid-19 virus came, and turned the world upside down. Suddenly, we are all in the middle of a world wide crisis. I wondered if I should write a new blog, abuot that sudden situation, but my conclution were-NO! In this time of crisis, it is more important than ever, to try to keep our daily routines. Our TOPIC OF THE MONTH blogs, are exactly that, a tool for staying with our routines, and stick to the plan!
So that is what we do, cling to our plan the best we can.
The topic of march
The last couple of months we have worked with canter and transitions, and the topic of March, is "the different arena patterns". We are choosing this because it is a perfect diagnostic tool, in finding lacks and gaps in our education. Both for horse and rider.
It reveals where you are in your riding today, and give you the perfect opportunety to simplify your aids if needed, or you can add different schools into the patterns, to make them more interesting for your horse, or to improve his balance and suppleness. It all depends on what is needed in your education right now.
All these questions will be answered as soon as we start riding different patterns. And, that is exactly what we are going to do this month!
change of plans?
The spring is coming to Norway, and the clinic season was about to start. Because of the pandemic, we are all stuck around our homes, and all clinics are cancelled. We, as humans, are rapidly adapting to the new situation and instructors all over the world are offering online lessons in different forms. In this case, it is important to be prepared in knowing what we need the different instuctores to look at, and help us with. Riding the arena patterns as neat as possible, is a great thing to do to figure those things out.
My suggestuon for everyone these days, are to stay put, be patient, practice with your horse, and figure out what you might need some help with.
Contact your trainer, and try out differtent online sessions.
For a lesson with us, click the button, and fill out the form.
Hope to see you online!
It's all about the basics
In this blog I will talk about the basics in general. How I see them as such important building blocks for everything else.
The main topic of February are transitions, and I believe that our difficulties about transitions often is caused by the lack of certain elements in the basics.
The tree of education
In a the last blog I talked about how I see the education of the horse, as a growing tree. You need to start from the ground, and grow equally strong branches to form a strong and healthy stem. This needs a constant maintenance through out life. Both for horse and rider. If you constantly grow tiny little twigs on each and every branch of your education, you will grow the most beautiful tree ever.
One of my favorite trainers, Christofer Dahlgren, talks about The Basics for the Horse, in four elements: relaxation, lightness, balance and roundness. To think of all these elements, and their need to be established in the horse's training, has helped me a lot in the education of my horses. They are great reminders, and points out what might be missing/lacking in a particular movement or exercise.
The Basics for the Horse:
The Basics for the Human:
1 Relaxation, the adrenalin is low, and the horse is ready to take in information, and learn
2 Lightness for the given aids from the rider
3 Roundness of the movement and the spine. Lifting its back while keeping a fluent, forward thinking, movement.
4 Balance, horisontal and lateral
1 Relaxation in body and mind, so you are able to follow the movement of the horse and recieve information
2 Understanding of the secondary aids, and their influence on the horse
3 Feel the balance and roundness/self carrige in the horse
4 Influence and devellop the balance and the roundness of the horse
"Where am I, in our (the horse's and mine) education, right now?"
We can divide us into two types of riders:
1 Novice (passanger)
As a Novice, I am most concerned of how to relax and how to do things correctly in my own body. Step 1 and 2 in The Basics of the Human. From the the horse I would not expect more than relaxation and that he listens and tries to understand what I try to communicate. Step 1 in The Basics for the Horse.
As an Influencer, have more or less automated, when and how, to communicate my aids. I am most concerned of the balance and movement underneath me. Step 3 and 4 in The Basics of the Human.
My goal is to improve the communication, skills, strength and the suppleness of the horse. Step 2, 3 and 4 in the Basics of the Horse.
This month we will focus on the change of gaits, and how it fits into the elements of the basics.
The horse needs to be relaxed enough to be able to listen to his trainer. He also needs to understand the aids that are given, or be relaxed enough to be able to learn them.
I think that is why it is so difficult to ride a transition from a higher to a lower gait. We, as riders, have a tendency to do the downward transition by using the reins and half-holts, more than riding the transition from the hindlegs and as a change of rhythm. In that way we loose the forward thinking and the roundness of the horse.
For Bolcher and me, the main tasks this month are those downward transitions. We will focus on the forward and the change of rhythm, and try to be accurate in when and where to do them. This will challenge me in my feel (Riders basic 3), and Bolcher in his lightness and roundness (Hors' basic 2 and 3).
Hopefully, at the end of the month, we can also feel into both our basics 4, and develop the suppleness further.
Ronja and Gladiador, will work with the gait transitions in general, but also have focus on Gladiadors responsibility to keep his own gait.
This means, that he must learn to keep the gait given to him. When trotting, he shall keep trotting until he is told otherwise. When cantering, he shall keep cantering, etc. In this fase of the education, Ronja will allow him to build up his stamina in the higher gaits, gradually. Transitions will be a natural part of the training, but the fluentness will be less important than the actual understanding of them.
Gladiador will then be in his basic stage 1 and 2 regarding the transitions, and 3 and 4 when it comes to keeping his gaits.
The topic of january 2020
The first topic we will work with this year is the canter. There are several reasons why. One reason is that the horses have had a lot of time off in December, and the canter is an amazing tool to build up fitness, strength and roundness for the horse, relatively fast. With an increased fitness and strength, you get a more forward thinking horse, and the work for better suppleness is more likely to succeed.
Bolcher is born in 2008, and we have struggled with the canter for a long time. The last few months I have focused on him keeping the responsibility of his own gait, thinking forward. He has a nice canter in the lunge, there he is quite easy to regulate, and collect, due to the better balanceâ¦ without me disturbing him. I started the training under rider, thinking balance first, then forward, so he could feel safe in the canter with me on. This little fellow is super polite, he prefer to stop if he feel that we are out of balance. Therefore I really need to build up some confidence in thinking forward also while riding. (We did some Working Equitation exercises to help with that). The video to the right shows where we are nowâ¦ moving forward!
âMonique is a 5 years old Danish warmblood mare, staying with us for training. For her the goal is to get balanced and forward thinking under rider in canter, and to fully understand the transitions.
The growth of education
If you think of the education as a growing tree. You can grow one branch at the time, but to get a well balanced, and beautiful tree, all branches needs to grow to the same length, before the tree can grow any taller. If it grows too much on one branch, it will be to heavy and the tree starts to lean, the growth tries to equalize that unbalance, and grows a crooked trunk. Then the task gets a lot more difficult for us to complete. Therefore I believe its important to always have the great picture in mind, while allowing every little twig to grow equally towards a strong branch before letting the tree grow taller.
You want the horse to regain his balance, with you as a disturbing element on his back. You want to install the new riding aids, that is slightly different from what he has learned from the ground.
Use the the same voice aid as from the ground, but remember to carefully add the riding aid a second before, so he has the chance to actually learn the new aids.
Play, educate and grow together with your horse. Use your imagination to give him new tasks and challenges, most horses love to use their body and mind. Then they grow strong, confident and proud. Remember that the stronger foundation (trunk) you have grown, the less likely it will break or bend if you do "something wrong".
- only the sky is the limit.
Feel free to join us
Feel free to add a comment or share a picture/movie, at our Facebook site of what you are working with these days.
Lets inspire each other!
New year-new beginnings
When looking back at 2019, we can see that it was a year of changes in many ways. The company HorseClue-Jahnsen turned from a sole proprietorship into the corporation HorseClue AS, which was a huge step for us.
For Ronja, the dream turned close to a nightmare, when she had to take one of the hardest decisions as a horse owner must do, to put two of her horses down.
In addition to this, Ronja had to return her new friend Soffen, a stallion she borrowed to train as her own, due to an accidential tooth problem.
Ronja had now, no riding pony left, so we had to get her a new one! That was a hard investment for both the company and Ronja her self, but we thought it trough, and found the coolest Lusitano, Gladiador, in Portugal.
These things made some delays in our strategy plan, both in training and the economics of the company, but it also gave us the opportunity to look at the future with a different pair of glasses.
Soooooo, what we have learned of 2019 is to really apprechiate what we already have! We will work hard to take advantage of each opportunity that is already there! We just have to grab it and do the best we can with it, every day!
This blog, is my first baby step on our journey, into the 2020's. The blog will be a tool for us, as a planner for our goals, and training schedule. We will precent different topics that we work with, and how we decide to approach them.
Every now and then, we will invite you to join us with comments and questions, either here, at Instagram or Facebook.
Jannie B Jahnsen
Horseclue AS is a small family business, owned by mother (Jannie'73) and daughter (Ronja'94).
We are both addicted to horses, and true horse nerds. In this Blog serie we will present some of our ideas in our daily life horse training. I hope you will enjoy the reading, and follow our journey.