Tuesday, March 5, 2013 |

This blog is moving!

Thank you to everyone who has followed this Cambria Horsemanship blog for the past few years. In an effort to simplify my life and combine both horses and spirituality in my life (as well as match with the expansion of my business), I now have a new blog combining both my Prayers of Light and my Cambria Horsemanship blog over at www.cambriaequine.com.

If you're an e-mail subscriber, I'm going to import your e-mail, but you'll still have to activate it, just like you did with this blog. I hope you will, though, because I don't want to lose any of you in the blog switch. :)

If you want to subscribe directly, just click this link!
Saturday, October 13, 2012 |

Horse scholarship opportunity

I don't do this thing very often, but I thought of all you when this came up. There's a really neat trainer in Australia, Jenny Pearce, who offers an online course in really connecting to your horse, developing an excellent seat, working at liberty, and helping eliminate sourness/fear/frustration/etc. I've studied a ton of trainers and Jenny actually seems pretty different, and what I've used of her methods really seems to connect with my mare, who's really picky. :P Anyway, Jenny is offering a couple of scholarships for her 8-month online course, and I'm applying for one of them.

This is the course: http://www.jennypearce.com.au/deeper-than-trust-deeper-than-connected-deeper-than-confident-the-on-line-horse-riding-program-from-your-horses-heart/

And this is the scholarship, which is for the course plus private distance ed lessons with Jenny: http://www.jennypearce.com.au/competitions/details-on-how-you-and-a-friend-can-win-the-goldstar-scholarship-competition-2/

I know some of you won't be interested for yourselves, but if you teach others who perhaps have some fear issues, interest in developing connection with their horse, etc., perhaps they'd be interested?

Anyway, that's all I had! Hopefully someone can benefit.
Saturday, June 30, 2012 |

The mountain is calling...

As much of this blog seems to be about new experiences with horses, I think it is fitting I am now off on my own adventure for the summer -- I will be gone from now through late August in Israel and Europe.

Have a wonderful summer with your horse!

Image by Leah Flores (http://society6.com/floresimagespdx/Muir-Mountain_Print)
Thursday, May 31, 2012 |

Effortless lightness: It's not about release of pressure

There is a lightness attainable with a horse that has nothing to do with him coming off a light pressure. “A light horse,” a trainer might say, “is one who responds to the lightest cues.”

I would disagree. A light horse, I would say, is one who never looks for pressure—and to whom you never give it.

Maia wildly resists pressure, real or anticipated. If she’s trotting on the lunge and expects to hit the end of the lunge, she instantly starts slinging and throwing her head in anxiety. If the pressure is something she cannot escape, such as my pressing on the bridge of her nose to get a step back, her ears tilt back, eyes go dead, and I may not even regain her spirit in that session; she shuts down.

You can feel when a horse is not truly light: you don’t feel you can lunge him at the canter with your lead simply looped over your pinky finger; you could not ask for a halt-gallop depart without squeezing your legs (and it might not even come with a big kick!); if you were to let your horse gallop in an open field at liberty, you couldn’t just watch with a leg cocked and a smile and know he was going to boomerang back to you.

Do you sense the lightness in this picture of Caspian and me? I put out no effort or pressure and everything happens.

What is one step toward attaining this lightness? With Maia, it is first clearing my mind of any inclination to match pressure with pressure. If she bolts when I’m on her, will I match that with pressure and pull on the reins? Or will my mind stay clear and find joy in the gallop?

And after my mind is in a light, non-pressure state, my hands follow. When your horse appears he is going to pull on the lunge, have you ever tried releasing, loosening, the rope to him instead? I know what changes in Maia when that happens; but what happens to your horse?

Sometimes the greatest changes occur when we do not apply effort, as we understand effort.
Monday, May 14, 2012 |

Western-style photo shoot!

I had a photo shoot with Maia today! It was such fun, Western in the woods, kitty in the hayloft (Maia wasn't in that one ;) I haven't taught her to climb ladders yet), then bridleless/bareback in a skirt. Maia was a saint for not having been ridden consistently (read: more than once a month) since last summer. And the shoot needed to be traditional Western (for the ad agency the photographer is looking to get into), so Maia had only two rides to figure out a curb bit (thankfully I've ridden her a few times in a double bridle). She is such a good mare!

Here's a sneak peak picture -- more coming tomorrow! The photographer was Maurice Northrup and his website is http://www.imagesbymaurice.com/. Go check him out! And he's on Facebook too!