Our community blogs
I started this year with Level 1 behind me and my goals were to progress in level 2 and feel confident to canter Gulliver in a circle. I am proud to report that I have finished the easier half of the assignments in level 2. I can also canter Gulliver and have learnt thanks to Mel's Impulsion Clinic how to ride up into the canter and get my direct rein lighter. I have a great connection with my big boy who always gives me his best try. Thanks to the Great support of Fiona and all the wonderful Quantum Savvy family both in our play groups and online we are achieving more than I every felt possible. I now never feel nervous when heading out to practice my homework and know that Gulliver has my back if I make a mistake. Now to plan for the future. I have a huge journey ahead of me as we head into more challenging assignments. This journey involves my own physical journey in managing my Fibromialgia and Achillies Tendonopathy. Lots of stretching and getting the weight off so that I can stay in the saddle long enough to get through the programs needed to move forward. I am not expecting fast progress but I do promise to always practice the Quantum Savvy principles when ever I am with my horses. I know I will finish level 2 some day but not in 2018 as bareback on a wide back horse may sound comfy but the reality is that sitting with legs so wide does make it far more difficult to balance. I dream of being able to one day but one step at a time. Also will need a QS saddle at some stage and I am putting things in place to be able to afford it in about 2 years. Mostly I just want to be a ROPE champion to my horse and enjoy the journey.
it might as well rain until September.... and it feels as tho it has
the weather has been less than pleasant through out August to say the least, hence no blog post as nothing was really achieved!
So spring has now sprung and time to 'grow' a bit more in our horsemanship journey, pull out the excuses (like weeds), nurture the brain - lesson with Mel as opposed to layering with s*%# - and encourage new buds of experiences and learning
With this in mind Bailey and I are looking at L3 A2 - contact with flank rope assignment - while the ground dries out and revisit the last few L2 ones including imagination so some filming to be done, to be done
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I am so amazed in only a few days I am able to rub Cheyene's face a little tonight,
and then all of a sudden he pulls away again, It has helped that Teena has not been here with him this week.
oh well back to the drawing so to speak, onward we go tomorrow with it again.
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First time blogger here...
I've been studying with QS for many years. I passed my first level one with my big TB Scrubber years ago, unfortunately Scrub passed away.
I have now got a new girl called Sonia, she's a Standy, a baby just 5 yrs. We have been together since the start of this year.
I plan to get all my assignments into Mel by the end of the year and have level one done and dusted, we are about half way through.
Mel has done some horse training with her, to assist her with her transition to a riding horse.
Being a Standy with that extra gait, Sonia and I needed a bit of help softening and learning the canter stride. Of course Mel has done an amazing job.
I have attached a photo of Sonia at an event we attended recently.
This little horse just takes everything in her stride, and tries so hard for me and despite me sometimes (When Im not being as clear as i should be).
Anyway I love following everybody's journeys with their horses and slowly but surely getting to meet as many of the QS family as possible.
I wanted to write something here so I remember how much try Perl gave me tonight!
I was playing with the ranch rope and tried our first jumps bigger than the sideways barrels. I made a jump out of crossing 2 poles between the upright barrels. I started with the barrels spaced far apart and moved them together so the jump ended up quite big. Perl did so well and followed my direction so well she trotted beautifully in and out of the jumps even when they got quite big (probs 3/4 the upright barrel). It looked like she was really enjoying the challenging jumps.
Then as a warm down I decided to put a pole on the ground in between the upright barrels and asked perl to circle me and walk over the pole. As she approached the pole I was focusing on flicking the rope up so it would go over the barrel, so accidentally my energy got really high. As Perl walked towards the pole on the ground she kept looking at me to see what I was asking, then she did a big jump over the pole (definitely bigger than her usual 2') and walked out the other side. Later I tried it again asking intentionally and she did another beautiful jump over the pole. Then I circled her again keeping my energy low and she just walked over the pole.
I am so so so blown away by the try Perl gave me tonight! She jumped a large jump that wasnt even there all because I asked her to with my energy...
I have felt more up lifted in the last 2 week as the weather has felt like spring is in the air. Cold starts but by mid morning the sun has a bit of warmth with low winds. 1 more month of winter to go. August is usually the worst for me as the winds are higher, colder and more rain. But so far so good.
Ive had a slump of motivation but slowly it has been regained. I have been practising bits and pieces of activities but still not ready to hand in any assignments as yet. I have been doing short range circles while holding the stirrup and with the stick on the saddle then allowing Iggy to drift out to a larger circle while doing transitions then bring him back with a spiral. Then sending out by backing and getting the step over with correct leading leg. Then in the saddle I have done follow the rail on a loose wind in the reins walk and trot for 10 minuets intervals. Poor Iggy has been in a lather of sweet by the end. I think he is a tad unfit. Just like his owner.
Im in no hurry to hand in any assignments as there is so much to consider bio mechanically and refine.
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Our Quantum Savvy journey is so much more than learning horsemanship skills... if I allow my horse to push on my personal space, do I allow people in general to push my personal space. Oh Human Mind, we tried to deny the truth as I truly couldn't be this way. Thank you QS as not only am I learning to be a better horseman, I am also learning to be a better me
Just before christmas I decided to throw up three assignments to see how Khmari and I were going and low and behold we passed all three.
After doing the summer lessons with Gulliver and learning more about horses and what it takes to keep them sound and how they should be started. Khmari has had issues all along and he would be about 10 or 11 years old now so riding him wouldn't be fair. He is always around when I am playing with Gulliver and even comes into the arena with us. So I though that I would just do the ground work with him and that way he will be connected with me and Gulliver and can come on our journey with us. I think this is the best way I can give him a worth while life with people as I was going to keep him anyway as Gulliver's paddock mate anyway.
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Thursday 17th March 2016, the girls from Nudae are doing the Dolly Parton "Working 9 to 5".
Morgan and I were left in charge of our little slice of heaven, for the week while the girls were away, or as I like to call it, when they leave me in charge: "The Asylum"
As we'd managed to keep the place nicely moving along, without burning the joint down, killing ourselves, or anyone else in the process. We were both given a beautiful gift of Gratitude, and I'm especially ecstatic with mine.
I must admit, I did have an emotional moment, but hey, it's ok, I got over it.
Friday Morning arrives, I've also been given the day off to enjoy doing whatever the hell I like...and that's exactly what I did.
Dropped my Rug Rat off at school, came home and prepared for what was, is, and always will be, one of the most memorable lessons of a life time.
Lorraine, will usually ask what it is we want to work on, and she's usually more in tune with what will help, than you are yourself. Today was going to be no different.
I'd done some prep work before hand, and had "Chillies" saddled and ready for a nice morning or learning and, I thought, anything else that might happen for the morning. You think I'd have learned by now, YOU'RE NEVER READY, UNTIL YOU'RE READY!!!
I realise I must have been ready for what was about to happen, as usual, I just didn't know it.
We started off with some Lateral Flex, Direct, Indirect and back up. My power steering was non existent, up until such time as I figured out how to ask properly. I was getting some serious resistance in my flex, and lets face it, No Flex, No Stop. Oooops that could be a problem. And as Shane is famous for saying..."OOOH WE'RE GONNA LEARN SOMETHING TODAY"
and Thankfully we did. I need to say, we have a better understanding of the ask now, and it has given me the confidence to Trot even more...and I just need to say this as well. I LOVE IT!
Ok, says Lorraine, I want you to trot around the Arena three times in this direction, yield to a stop and then trot in the opposite direction and yield to a stop.
I have been becoming more and more confident with the sitting trot, but being the chicken I am. 3x ??? Each Way??? As anyone who has had a lesson with Lorraine knows, she'll only ask you to do, what she knows you're capable of doing. You don't have to know you're capable, Lorraine knows more about our capabilities than we do most times.
Soooo, what's a Mad Maori to do...Trot of course..and we did.
We threw in a couple of Canter Strides, (Unintentional of course) and that got a bit hairy for me, but I stayed on, learned to bring him back down without too much panic (I said without TOO much, not without ANY) and we continued on. Keep him on the rail, ask him forward, sit back, relax ....Holy Crap, we were doing this and it was amazing.
I still need to relax more, but I wasn't terrified, I wanted more, and he was giving me more.
I don't really know which part we were doing when the Smile that crossed my face, did just that, crossed my face from ear to ear. I don't really know when I started to laugh like a maniac, I only know I did, and I was loving it.
Now it was time to practice some of our One Reign Riding Assignment, of which I'd never attempted to do all in one go. I don't know how to explain the exhilaration, excitement, achievement, amazement, and sheer joy I got from doing my sitting trot circles, throwing the rope over, and keeping him moving while doing it. You see every time I threw my rope over "Chillies" would stop. I knew I was stopping him, but wasn't really too sure how or why.
Now I knew, and we were doing it. OMFG...who knew, I had only hoped this is what it would be like to get him really moving forward, and me not being afraid to let him.
I have always imagined myself, trotting around and smiling and laughing and Cantering??? I'd seen so many of our fellow QS'ers doing just that, and one day I wanted to be able to do that too....Today was that day.
We were moving in some, what seemed to me, nice circles, when, of course, Lorraine says, OK Nita we're gonna try for the Canter (On purpose this time)
At this stage I was High as a Kite and she could have asked me to climb Mount Everest, and I would have thought that was possible.
and we're off, walk him out, sitting trot, ask him, lift your hand. Relax, and I don't even know how many times we'd done those circles, before something just didn't seem to be going quite right. Errrrmmmmm
I felt myself slipping, WTH was going on here, we'd been at this for an hour or more and I was still smiling and yahooing my head off, when it clicked. My saddle was slipping, I had to let go, I was stunt riding like a maniac, or so I thought. What do I do here, oh, ok, let yourself go, let him go and GALLLOOMPH.
I hit the ground, had not let my rope go quick enough and felt the burn.
Kerensa and Lorraine both moving, blurry grass, blurry sky, blurry legs, mine and his... holy shyte, I'd fallen off. He hadn't bucked or done anything at all wrong. My saddle had slipped...DOH!!
Kerensa: "Are you alright"
Lorraine: "Are you ok" attempts to put stubborn Maori in recovery position...
Me: "DID WE GET IT"??
Kerensa: (insert giggle here) YES!!
Me:"Is he ok"
Kerensa: "Yes, he's fine"
You know that beautiful boy, could have gone straight through me, but chose to step around me, in a trot, or maybe it was a canter, I'm not really sure, I was on the ground and sort of laughing I believe. (Not sure what the hell was happening really)
But I do know, I could have been seriously hurt, if he'd not have been the amazing boy he is, if it had not been for the confidence and connection Quantum Savvy has bought to our lives and for all of the support I get here at home through the Program.
I could have been really really hurt. I also have to thank Maxine Williams for me not being harmed in anyway. Maxine gave me a Helmet, as I didn't have one and didn't wear them until M'bah, clinic with Mel. Thank you Maxine, after I'd scraped myself off the ground I looked at the helmet, and there may have been a giant lump on my head had it not been for that helmet. It had a bloody big grass stain on it that would have been my head if not for the helmet. Thank You.
You might ask, "What the hell's she still laughing about". I'm laughing because I had the most fun, I have even more confidence now, if that makes sense, and I smile because I felt the way I believed riding should feel and would feel, and the way I felt FREE....
Oh, and you can be Damned Sure, we tightened that girth strap back up and got the hell back on again....
and even had a cheek to do our Mounting Assignment as well...bhahahaaaaaaa
I LOVE QUANTUM SAVVY.....
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I am going to be in London when the Badminton Horse Trials are on.
I would like to get on a day trip and am finding it difficult to find a tour.
Does anyone have any ideas how I can source one?
Thanks in advance.
Well it has been a daunting thing for me to ride with one rein. But I thought its in the program I'll do it. Ill give it a whirl. I have done 7days of passenger at walk by myself and I must say by the 3rd day I was getting a bit board. Which speaks volumes because if I was getting board it means that I am no longer worried about doing this activity. I am now working on riding around 2 cones with one rein at the walk. So to keep my focus, you know what I did. I turned it into a game. A game of body check. I found that when I was doing this activity my body slumped. I more or less stopped being a rider and was just a heavy object on the back of my horse. So I talked to my self. Where are you looking?Was I looking at to where I wanted to go. where are my shoulder? Are they in line of the direction of going. Oh Im getting a sore back! What is my pelvis doing? tilting forward, so tilt it back.No more sore back.How light can I make my body? I imagined I had a hook on the top of my head and it was getting pulled up. You know there was so much to think about and adjust that each 10mins flew past. When I rested for 3 mins I needed it also. Sitting correctly is hard work.
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I went out to Nero last night for the first time to play since Mels, lesson and the try and eagerness he gave me was phenomenal.
He didn't once turn his face from me, he looked to me for answers and the 'next job'. It is beginning to feel like we are starting to truly talk and understand, properly connecting. I cant believe this horse offers so much from so little, and yet I had never experienced it because I was always banging on to him about something.
I cant wait to see what we can do now that I 'get the picture' and am more aware of my body, energy and thoughts
I am nearly speechless from the growth I have had over the last few weeks. It is hard for me to describe but it feels like my bubble has gotten larger, clearer, I feel lighter in myself and looking at things in a different way.
I think it was all kicked of by some fantastic feedback from my coach via VOV. Mel Peacock hit the nail on the head with some comments and really got me licking and chewing on it. This opened me up and things began to change. Each time I rode Music, something was different- she tried that little bit more, gave me a little more in impulsion, responded on a lighter phase, my energy was beginning to feel like my own and I was taking charge of how to use it and the biggest thing.... Music had a lick and chew when she was doing a walk sideways. Now I don't think I have seen my girl ever lick and chew in movement- this should have been a sign long ago, however I get it now. She wasn't getting the release in movement, she didn't have comfort until we stopped. Now this had me thinking!
Music has just finished 4 days with Mel at horse training, followed by a last minute decision to join in a full day of Level 3 riding clinic and then a lesson with Mel and today, assignment feedback and filming of another assignment. She will be very happy to hear she is getting 4 days rest before a fun filled morning at the WBPD this Sunday).
My head is full of thoughts, tahdahs, exciting information that I can now truly understand. My body feels like it is listening more and I have been able to feel more control over my phases- go up but to also come back to being light.
The thing that has me totally in awe of the programme and Mel's well earnt skill- I see Music in a new light and I think she is seeing me clearer too.
After the last week of hard work, she is still interested in me. I called out to her and she walked at least 2 1/2 acres to come to me and she stayed all the way, even when she saw the halter and lead (she usually stops and or turns away when she sees the halter). She looked interested and willing to go out in the float to have another session. This blew me away, this is coming from the mare that blocked the world out and stared blankly at you, the mare that would turn her bum on you when you approached, the mare that had no connection at all with anything around her. Over the last 3 days, I have seen her lick and chew in movement (once in trot!), stay with me in the present, look interested in her surroundings without being fearful, been in very close contact with horses either side of us and not even put an ear back (not one squeal! she may not have the nickname 'Music the magic dragon' anymore lol) and the big thing...... her face looks softer. She is letting me cuddle her a little and will soften and relax when I give her a little scratch.
I feel like all the pieces are fitting together!
so proud of were we have come from and where we are heading, it is so exciting to see what we can achieve 12 months from here
PS- We recieved a blue tick on a live assessment yesterday, so we only have 2 more assignments to get our level 2 grad!
Hi everyone. Here is my latest article, which is the first part to a three part series about Horsemanship! I hope you enjoy it.
Time to change - by Meredith Ransley
"The danger from horse riding is compounded by the interaction of two species, human and horse, which may result in unpredictable events."
- Dr Raymond A. Cripps, AIHW National Injury Surveillance Unit
"We need to be a Horseman not Human when it comes to interacting with horses."
- Shane Ransley, Founder of Quantum Savvy Horsemanship
Do you, as a horse lover, personally know of someone who has been killed or seriously hurt by a horse? With the statistics alarmingly and unforgivably high, chances are that you do. Each year in Australia alone, 20 people on average are killed in horse related activities*. That is, riding or handling horses in some way. And while the stats are often hard to track down, they state that more than 3000 people each year in our country alone are seriously hurt by a horse*. Just this week a lady in South Australia fell off her horse and broke her neck, and another in Victoria came off her horse and fractured her skull. Plus there have been at least two deaths this summer already, and this is just incidents that I've heard of without even looking.
The trouble is that statistics are just that. Numbers, that give a benchmark of occurrences and their frequency. Something to measure. They aren't real to most of us who would just write them off as 'acceptable' in this 'risky' sport we all partake in, that is horse riding. It's annoying and frustrating that those researching the statistics of horse related accidents say, in nearly every paper I've read, that the number of injuries and deaths is "comparatively low as a percentage of people actually involved in the dangerous sport of horse riding". In other words, lots of people ride horses so what is a couple of thousands injuries and only twenty or so deaths a year? I'll tell you what it is. It's not low enough for the families of those who died. It means in the 20+ years I've been teaching horsemanship, more than 400 people in Australia have died. In the UK, the numbers are only slightly lower than in Australia, but some stats claim that in the USA the figure is over 200 a year!
If we just look at things purely as statistics, as percentages if you will, the odds of being killed in a plane crash or by a shark are only 1 in many millions. But we are all horrified by these facts. And yet when someone is killed by a horse we say "how terrible" then shrug it off as acceptable in such a risky pursuit. We've conditioned ourselves to the point that it's no longer shocking. It's normal even.
"The way we've learned to live with the shock of loss of life, is by telling ourselves it's a dangerous sport, therefore it's acceptable." Shane Ransley
But it isn't acceptable. These aren't just numbers. They are real people....Mums of small children, grandmothers, fathers, daughters of distraught mothers who have to live the rest of their lives overwhelmed with questions why and with no answers.
One such Mum, whose 18 year old daughter was killed a number of years ago while attending a horse related course with an accredited establishment, has been doggedly pursuing answers and demanding change ever since. She has been relentless in chasing down why this happened. How her beautiful girl could leave home happily one morning, to attend a course she was looking forward to and not ever come home again. Ever.
Frustratingly, to many people (and I of course include most horse riders in this) this rate of injury and death is acceptable. Even normal and to be expected. Recently an acquaintance's young daughter came off her horse and hurt herself and everyone's response was, "Never mind, get back on. These things happen. When you ride horses you can expect to get hurt from time to time." But it isn't acceptable. Not to me, not to the families of the people killed and injured and nor should it be to any of you who own or are around horses.
I have been very fortunate to have been consulted by the Mum of the 18 year old, as she pursues her goal of having an industry standard code of practise put in place for all establishments who teach horse related activities. I have been asked to participate as one of many consultants, to put forward my opinion and to provide input and feedback to the ongoing cause. To date there has been quite some success with this pursuit, and it does look like some kind of industry code will commence at some point. However, I am very afraid that it will have little or no effect on the statistics as they are. I fear that all we will end up with are more useless rules made by people who really have no idea about horses and safety and saving people's lives. Why do I fear this? Why won't it have an effect?
Most of the professionals consulted agreed that horses and horse riding are dangerous. They also didn't want any kind of industry standard being put into place and were happy to do their own risk assessment in their own businesses. And here in lies the first issue. Belief number 1; That horses are dangerous. Horses are not dangerous. Horse riding is not dangerous. We have this belief that it is, so when someone falls and gets hurt, we accept it as 'normal'. Which is just wrong. Horse riding should not be dangerous. Beginner riders on green horses however is unbelievably dangerous and terrifying to watch. What we need, and in Australia we are terrible for this, is to not let green, beginner riders get on horse's that are not fully educated. And I don't mean educated in the conventional sense of the term, I mean a proper education. Horse's that are mentally, emotionally and spiritually educated to take care of a beginner rider. Here in Australia, we just jump on anything and hope it will be okay. To protect ourselves we wear helmets, body armour, and put all kinds of gadgets on the horse and then go. We may as well cross our fingers as well for all the good it does us. And that brings us to Belief number two: That it's okay to ride dangerous horses as long as we wear a helmet and use the right gear on the horse.
It's not okay. And this is something I see all the time and that both frightens and frustrates me at the same time. This is a really important point and when I raise it, it'll seem obvious. Riding horses shouldn't buck, bolt, rear or shy. If a horse does any of these things, or has a tendency to do any of these things, it shouldn't be ridden. Don't get on it. Plain and simple. A Riding Horse should be emotionally calm, sensible, quiet and using it's left brain. It should be thinking. I see so many people on or around right brained, scared horses it amazes me....actually it astounds me that more people aren't hurt by them. And when I say a quiet horse, I don't mean one that is dull, or has no play, or is boring. I just mean one that is educated, can think it's way through what would normally be an emotional trigger for a horse and stay calm. And this, believe me is really easy to achieve with a horse.
To most people, and this may be many people reading this missive, this may seem like a huge and complicated thing to do. Indeed it must do because even after so many years of having this kind of knowledge and help available, the majority of horse owners and riders still just don't get it. And that is because of Belief No 3: We think in order to work with horses, we need to control the right brain instead of educating the left brain. Think about that one a bit because it is really important.
Traditionally, everything we do involves controlling the horse and his instincts (his right brain). We want to use bigger bits, more tie downs, nose bands, side reins and on and on. And just in case that doesn't work, we need to wear helmets and body protection. Everything we do, every decision we make is based on the need or the belief that we need to control the right brain. And that is complicated and hard and something we still haven't been successful with because of one thing. It can't be done. You are never going to control the right brain of anything let alone a flight response prey animal like a horse. At best all you will do is contain them, but certainly not control. I bet you have all experienced, or else seen someone who has, a horse that has been right brained and emotional and felt the need to flee or be free. It is terrifying. The moment that containment is no longer enough and they really try to break free. They would rather risk hurting themselves.....or worse, in an effort to be free. And if you are around them or on board in that instant, you soon become aware of just how vulnerable and insignificant you are in that moment.
In all honesty, if I felt that I had to put a helmet on, or wear body armour, then I would not get on the horse. And I mean a riding horse. I am not saying that people should not wear helmets. Far from it. But I do think we should consider more fully the times they are actually needed and make sure our horses are better prepared before we get on. This is the problem; trying to ride horses that shouldn't be ridden. The problem isn't that horses are dangerous. I want to be really clear on this because I know there are some people who may get confused by what I am saying or try to twist my meaning. A 'Riding Horse' should not bolt, rear, buck or shy. If a horse does any of these things, it needs more help, more education by a true horseman to overcome it fears. Or else the person causing the horse to do these things should step away from the horse! A beginner rider who is still learning about balance and developing their seat, should certainly wear a helmet and should only ride a fully educated horse. Period!
Any horse of course can put a foot wrong at times, so we need to be prepared for that. But even a beginner rider can stay on a horse that stumbles a little at walk. Even trot. Usually they end up in a fit of the giggles when it happens. If a horse stumbles at canter or gallop it can be difficult to stay on but this shouldn't be beginner riders in an arena. For people doing eventing, racing, jumping, colt starting or horse training and so on, it only makes sense to wear a helmet. The risks in this case are higher from a practical view point.
What about trail riding or hacking? Trail riding is one of the riskiest and most dangerous sports to under-take and one of the most commonly pursued by horse lovers. As a horseman it is very easy to understand why it is risky. Horses are flight response prey animals. Their default system tells them to run (in a straight line) if they get scared. Out on the trail there are any number of things to trigger a horse's flight response so it is really easy for a horse to trigger right-brain and flee. It is usually not beginner riders who get hurt on trails, but people who lack horsemanship on emotionally uneducated horses, trying to ride in straight lines! (Horses being prey animals are very vulnerable in open spaces and presented with straight lines will often trigger a right-brain flight response.)
Educating the left brain, to teach the horse to think through moments that may trigger survival behaviour, is actually really easy to do. But it has nothing to do with controlling the right brain, or training the horse, or wearing him out, or beating it out of him. It is just a matter of learning to become a horseman. And I don't mean someone who just calls themselves that. Someone who thinks that being able to stay on a horse makes you a horseman, or working with horses, or having been around them forever and a day. I mean a real horseman. Someone who understands horses, what makes them tick and can communicate with them in a very real and repeatable way and who horses trust and respect.
One of the points of interest that was brought up in regard to the new standard code of practise, was that people who teach horse activities should have riding accreditations and teaching accreditations. All very well but what about horsemanship accreditations? Most people who fall from horses and get seriously hurt are not beginner riders. Probably the most at risk are those who have been riding for some time, even years and who think they are good riders. And maybe they have even have had lots of riding lessons. But what they still lack is horsemanship skill. Having a good seat will not necessarily save you on a bucking or bolting horse. Having the horsemanship to know when to step off, or better, not get on at all, will save you every time.
The other day a man was killed when he walked up behind his horse and patted it on the rump. It responded by kicking him in the throat and killing him. A tragic accident many said. A freak thing to happen. I am sorry but it was not. It was a head shot....a kill shot. Horses know exactly where their feet are going. They are very good at warning shots. Just watch them with each other for a while and you'll see it. They know just how hard to kick or bite to let each other know and get their message across, without inflicting damage. I am very, very sorry for this man and his family. It was a truly terrible thing to happen. But you should be able to walk up behind your own horse and give it a pat without risk of injury. I know some of you won't agree and you'll probably even be quite cross with me in regard to this, but that is because you still think horses are dangerous. A horse shouldn't be so wound up and so scared that it feels the need to defend itself to this degree. And if it is, we should have the horsemanship to be able to tell and to steer clear.
There are examples of lack of horsemanship everywhere. Recently a British elite equestrian was under attack for her let's say 'forceful' dealings with a horse at a demonstration. She had the chance to work with a famous race horse and try to turn it into a dressage horse. I don't know the time frame she was given but the outcome was not very successful. She had to resort to a lot of force and strength to get it to do anything and people were upset by it. But let's look at this scenario because it is one we see all the time in Australia. A race horse is bred and trained to run as fast as it can in a straight line. It is what we call a long horse. Flat out, fast, straight, length of stride. A dressage horse is bred and trained for elevation of stride. To collect, round up, engage and power up in an elevated or lateral frame of movement. A good race horse then, should not be a good dressage horse and vice versa. It was ridiculous to try to turn one into the other. A horseman should know this without thinking. Of course it can be done, with enough time and education you may be able to take all the forward out and redirect it to up but it'd be like trying to turn a Ferrari into a 4WD. Even if it can be done, what is the point?
The trouble is that we don't even understand which end of the horse is the bit that needs to be communicated with. Because we believe that we have to control the right-brain, we try to put things on the horse's head to achieve this control. A horseman knows that it has nothing to do with the head physically. You can take control of the head but that doesn't mean you'll have control of the rest of the horse. We've all seen horses bucking or bolting with someone hanging on to the reins (and therefore their heads) for dear life and it making no difference whatsoever. Control of the horse comes from the back end, from the hind feet if you really need control. From being able to communicate with the hind quarter and the horse having the trust and confidence in you to offer disengagement of it. Communication with the horse when riding, comes through your seat and the lateral softness of the horse. Even a horse that is collected and truly engaged can only be so if his back and ribs are soft laterally and his hind coming underneath him. Getting a hold of his head will only make him feel more contained and claustrophobic. If you cause him enough pain he may do your bidding but how will he feel about that? Do you think you'd really be getting the best from your partner if you are hurting him? Most horses who have assumed the 'correct' head set, are also hollow in the back or over flexed at the poll, to try to give themselves some relief. Even people who think they are being kind by riding in bitless bridles still don't get it. It is not about the head. And there are plenty of bitless bridles around that still work by causing pain or depriving the horse of air. Cruel.
True self carriage comes from soft lateral ribs and back, calm emotions and an engaged hind quarter. You shouldn't need anything on their heads at all for that.
While it is wonderful that at last there seems to be some, who are at least listening to the need for things to change within the horse industry, the new code of practise for beginner riders won't save lives. I doubt it will make any difference to our statistics at all. It is time to change. Time to change our antiquated beliefs about horses and to stop thinking that horsemanship is just owing a horse. All riders, beginners and experienced riders alike, are at risk until we understand that it is Horsemanship that needs to be encouraged and mandated. A true understanding of the way horses think and respond and a knowledge of true communication.
* Related statistics taken from;
J R Silver, High Street, Wendover, Bucks HP22 6EA, UK
*Flinders University Study
Australian Institute for Health and welfare
National Injury Surveillance Unit - Raymond A Cripps
Now, the only reason I'm writing about this is because I have to. If you gathered from the title, this is to do with one really big school project needs to be finished in seven weeks and I've barely even started. 😁 One of the tasks is to write a blog about what you discover and what you learn along the way whilst completing your project. Considering I've only just started all I can say is that the people who are authorising the culling of brumbies are potatoes, to say it kindly ( and also because everyone and anyone will read this once it's published and when it comes round to presentation night at school😳). Brumbies are a really important Australian icon (The Man From Snowy River) and the way some people repay that is by saying, ' the brumbies are damaging native plants and landscapes...here's a bright idea, let's say we're "controlling their numbers" and go out and slaughter hundreds of them and leave the vast majority of shot horses to die slowly and painfully'.
I might as well say it now, that any and all comments are welcome on this blog as they will help in the project. If anyone knows any sights that might help or people that can help (apart from Jen because I know she can 😄) that would also be helpful.
I've got my plan all sorted out courtesy of mum, and now the tough part...sticking to it. 3 to 4 blog posts a week for the next seven weeks highlighting what I do and how. It will be like sticking to the task of, 'I'm going to get this assignment in the next month and film every week' and then 'the weather is to wet' or 'it's to cold'...except this is for school *sigh*. There should be a photo somewhere on the blog showing what I achieved tonight with mums help. Each A4 sheet of paper is a different task to do with the project.
Hopefully next time I write I will have more info on the brumbies.
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRALIA...they go hand in hand 🐴
Found Jens article on Facebook courtesy of mum. This just goes to show how these beautiful brumbies can turn out when given some TLC. The project is about brumby culling and using evidence and articles (thanks Jen) to show why the culling is inhumane and downright wrong. I just need to find a bit more on articles (success stories and cull activities 😔) and that will be one piece of the project out of the way. Thanks for suggesting to talk to the president of VBA Jen, I think I will and hopefully get someone else's opinion on the issue and what you guys do to help the brumbies.
Link to the article in horse deals (will test it but it should work)
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRALIA...they go hand in hand 🐴
I've done some more searching and one article was about two, three day aerial culls in Canarvon National Park. Some numbers:
*since 2007 more than 6300 horses have been shot
*Ms Jones, Environment Minister for the QLD government fears that if action against brumbies is not taken quickly in the area, the numbers of brumbies could quickly escalate to more than 45,000. This should be supported by scientific facts and numbers. There are approximately 4450 brumbies in the park, with mares producing only one foal per year...I don't see how the population could get to 45,000 in the next year...
*autopsies after the last cull show that many of the horses had up to 7 bullets in them- meaning that the horses took this many bullets in them to stop moving.
*after these brumbies die, they become a food source for other feral animals, allowing their numbers to grow and impact the environment.
* Ms Jones states that shooters will be aiming for the brumbies heads and hearts- this is against all Codes of Practise, which state that shooting for the head on a moving platform is not humane...4-7 bullets in the brumbies sides isn't exactly humane either, but Ms Jones seems to think it is.
To improve this situation I think that Ms Jones needs to do her research before making statements. In the next year, even two years the population won't rise to 45,000 brumbies. Hypothetically, if we assume 90% of the population of brumbies are female and are able to reproduce, with none of them dying or their foals dying, the numbers would only increase by 4000 approx., this would take 11 years to reach 45,000 brumbies. Factoring in the death rates of foals and infertile mares and stallions in the numbers, this makes the time frame for the brumbies to reach 45,000 exceed 11 years.
Gotta go to bed. 😔
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRALIA...they go hand in hand. 🐴
Done some more reading tonight on the culling methods used in the Kosciuszko National Park (KNP). Aerial culling was banned there, but I haven't got so far as to know when.
*There are 27 trap yards throughout the park.
*Horses have been removed from the area since 2002, with 2555 removed in the last decade.
*Rob Gibbs, park ranger and senior project officer for the park Wild Horse Managemnet Plan Review Project, says that "only 37% of the horses captured were able to be rehomed. 😞 With the remaining 1700 horses going to the abattoir to be euthanised."
*Rob Gibbs also says that when the brumbies, trapped in the trap yards, "come into human contact they become very flighty and very stressed." Something tells me that the humaneness of these projects doesn't seem to fit in with the stress levels but, hey, I need to do some more research.
*Of the 200 horses that were removed in 2013, only 94 were rehomed.
*Rob Gibbs says that this removal method does not match that of the breeding rates of the brumbies. He says that "over 1400 horses need to be removed a year to keep the population static, but there best year of passive trapping has been 675 horses in one year. So as you can see we're not really even keeping up with the natural population increase."
*Graeme Worboys, protected mountains expert, says NSW National Parks must be able to aerially cull. "Every year there are more and more horses. Trapping is not keeping up and rangers need aerial shooting, culling, as a tool in their tool box to control these horses, as unpleasant as that may be." He says. This method of culling polarises communities, because of the sheer inhumaneness of it.
Going to sleep now. ☺️
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRALIA...they go hand in hand. 🐴
I'm getting my thoughts together to put down all that I know about brumbies. If anyone knows anything about them that would be good to hear about. To answer the question about what year I'm in at school, it's year 8 and it's starting to strain me. 😫 Anyway...
I known that brumbies have been in Australia since the white man brought him in and he either escaped or was released into the bush. This was about 150 years ago or more. If anyone knows the year that would be appreciated in the comments. 😄 Conservationists have started to think that brumbies are causing damage to some of Australia's national parks, such as Carnarvon National Park, QLD, Kosciusko National Park, NSW and the Apline National Park,VIC. They believe that the brumbies are trampling the fragile environment in these places and also believe that the brumby population needs to be controlled by whatever means it has to be. Sadly, this means that in QLD the brumbies are aerially culled to control their numbers. In NSW and VIC the only way that the brumby population is controlled is by passive trapping and removing, as far as I am aware, which many conservationists/environmentalists are saying isn't keeping up with the natural breeding rate of the brumbies and seem to be wanting the approval of aerial culling as a control method. In the NT and WA they use aerial culling as a control method, but, these two terrains (WA and NSW) are very different from each other, and it shouldn't be thought that because aerial culling is practical in WA means it will be practical in NSW. There is no way that shooting a moving object form a moving platform is humane, even when the shooters are aiming for the heads and chests of the brumbies.
My brain has stopped funtioning and it's only 7:45 pm. Got school tomorrow and need some sleep. 😌
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRLIA...they go hand in hand.🐴
Now, I known that my updates are a bit all over the shop but, hey, I've kinda gotta do other more important things (i.e. Instagram). But I've finally got my butt moving and have typed up most of my facts and figures, just a bit more tweeking and have done half the work I need to on the mapping side of things and am chewing through the story behind the issue part slowly. I've also done my letter to the editor and sent it to my English teacher to see what see thinks of it. I really need to catch up on my journal though...that's so far behind. So considering that I need to do my blog and a couple of journal entries, I should probably make this blog entry a bit shorter than the others but, hey, it's me so whatever.
I've finally worked out who I'm believing in this whole brumby argument, debate thingy...the people who are saying that the brumbies should just be left alone and have Mother Nature take care of itself. I'll try and add some photos of what I've done at a later date.
So I've done some more research and it turns out the the brumbies had either escaped or been released somewhere around the 1804 mark in history. From what I can remember off the top of my head, the domesticated horses were left behind after being freed when the white man moved to Tasmania. I will double check that but it's something along those lines, and I'm tired and I really can't be bothered doing this right now considering that it's quarter to nine at night, I have swimming tomorrow and I'm a teenager that has other things to do right now (like Instagram!).
I think I've just rambled tonight so you can completely ignore my babble if you so desire but, meh.
Going to do my journal entries and get into bed.
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRALIA...they go hand in hand. 🐴
Haven't been on for a while cos I've been lazy, so tonight I might attach some of my research for people to read. That way my entry can be shorter. I've got about two weeks until the end of term and that's when this is all supposed to be ready to print but I don't think that this is going to happen...we shall see. I haven't been doing much research lately but have started getting some photos to use in my folio. I've written my letter to the editor and my English teacher checked it, so that's all good and ready to print. I don't really have anything else to write in this blog, but will paste my letter to the editor into this blog tonight to see what people think. 😄
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I am writing to alert the community of the serious issue of brumby culling that occurs all over Australia. It is disappointing that the Australian government allows the culling of a very iconic creature, and what is more so disturbing is the fact that they think that it is humane to maim these stunning creatures and leave them to die, who are absolutely defenceless against the firearms of their killers.
There are two main ways of controlling the brumby population. Passive trapping and removal is used in NSW and VIC. Aerial culling is used in QLD, WA and NT. Passive trapping and removal means that the brumbies are lured into a trap yard and then trucked to the abattoir, if they are not adopted. In one instance of passive trapping and removal, over 1700 brumbies were sent to the abattoir.
Aerial culling is cruel and inhumane. Autopsies performed on brumbies that had been shot down in an aerial cull were found to have up to 7 bullets in them, meaning that there was no kill shot and that the brumbies are left to die slowly. Once dead they are left to rot and decay, becoming a food source for other animals. Really, the brumbies either end up dead in their homeland to become food for another animal, or they end up as dog food.
The QLD state government, for instance, is spending $4.5 million a year to combat pests. We would assume, if the government is willing to spend this much money on combating pests, they would at least try to find new and humane ways to control the brumbies numbers.
Quite often, culling in national parks, can end up dividing entire communities in half. Everything to do with brumbies has always been argued about, and it's time people pulled their heads in and thought of a humane way to control the brumbies population, and to determine if they are actually doing any harm to the environment, or if we are doing all of this for no gain to our nation whatsoever.
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRALIA...they go hand in hand. 🐴
So I've been a slacker and now it's come round to bite me. My weekends are turning into mad MAD project weekends and I've finally gotten my motivation back in reading that, really, brumbies are only protected in certain areas and there aren't many of those.
I have finished my Story Behing the issue and it's looking better on the "amount of things I have left to do" list. I've done a design for a t-shirt and am hoping that it won't need to many more tweek...but considering that I'm aperfectionist it might well have quite a few more tweeks coming its way.
I can't really think of much more to say and basically have given you an update on where I'm at...hopefully I'll be able to blog some more in the next few days coming not the holidays.
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRALIA...they go hand in hand. 🐴
Ok, ok, I know I said I wasn't going to blog during the holidays but it so turns out that I have to so, it's basically going to be another update on where I'm at.
I have finished my story behind the issue, the maps are nearly ready and I've just completed as of yesterday who is helping the brumbies (i.e. the Victorian Brumby Association) and as of today what I can do to help the brumbies.
Now all I've got to do is spell check and print everything out and make a front page and a contents page and all the really fun stuff...I hope...
Oh, my grandma was telling me about this place in the UK where the wild horses are protected and they have right of way in the villages that are in the forest that they live in...I'm thinking about listing it as a DID YOU KNOW fact in my project but I'm no sure yet...
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRALIA...they go hand in hand. 🐴
So....I'm home all day today providing I get my MAD project finished...on Saturday and Sunday I'd done most of the layout and sticking stuff in and now I've just gotta print out my bibliography, journal entries, blog and make some headings and a front page and I'm all done...except I'm a perfectionist so it'll take a while...I don't have any research to do anymore though, so that's a good thing.
I don't really have anything else to say except I'm so glad this is nearly over...then I might be able to think...or more likely I'll be drowned in ridiculous amounts of homework again...oh well, school is school...better get racking on the rest of this project.
BRUMBIES AND AUSTRALIA...they go hand in hand. 🐴
By chance we ( Buronga Practice group ) are having a winter solstace bonfire on the same night ! Next Saturday June 22nd at Riverbend Vet ( late celebration for dr debs birthdy too. Horse free , 4pm start - bring bbq meat , we will do roast vegies ( and red wine ! ) maybe we can skype you guys !!
Ph Dr deb 0418303890
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Yesterday just went so.. Perfect? It was a lovely day, birds were singing, sun was shining, horses were happy.
Myself and Izzy arrived and Anita had told us to start walking to the Horses field while Megan -who rode again, yay!- and Livvy groomed Jack and Tango at the top where the ponies were. Me and Izzy eventually got to the horses field and took our head collars, smiling very brightly in the mean time. We both walked across the field and caught Blue and Logic, and it was nice to receive a 'Pony Hug'.
We walked Blue and Logic to the posts and started grooming, already Blue was molting! I love Blue's coat, it's because it's very very soft and my favourite horse coat colour!! After hanging out with them for a bit, we tacked them up and Woah it was hard to mount without help haha xD
With the Help of Monica giving us both a leg up, we soon saw Livvy and Megan who were both mounted on Jack and Tango coming towards us. We walked Blue and Logic out and then said hi and talked about what we thought might happen today. Then, we slowly made our way to the field opposite the Ponies one and rode in. Monica put a cone in the middle and we had to walk around it altogether in a steady pace. Blue and Logic in the mean time were doing great!!! After we got used to the feel for our new Rides - well for me, Izzy and Megan- we had a trot one by one. Still going around the cone with a huge circle. Blue really didn't need much more then the slightest feel with your boot and he went into a steady trot! We had to trot, turn into the cone and hind quarter yield (?) them using our indirect rein (?). Blue was fantastic and so were the others. We then, all 4 of us, walked around the field together once and then when we came back to the cone, offered them a drink. Logic and Lue had a drink while Livvy and Megan went off to the other side and had a very fast canter together! Monica explained to me and Izzy that she wanted to take it easy today and we oth understood why . When Livvy and Megs came back, we went back around the cone and did some all together trot! It was great and all our rides were doing a fantastic job!
After that, we all took turns to do some different figures around that area (figure of eight, circles, serpentines Ect.) which was basically follow the leader. Blue was amazingly amazing at the end, Iivvy went off and had a VERY VERY fast canter to us because she was the only one who was on a pony she was used to. It all slowly came to an end and we made plans about the summer! We walked out the gate, and Megan and Livvy went back up the bridle way back to the ponies area up at the top, while Monica came with Izzy and I back to the horses field. We untacked and let Logic and Blue go who both immediately rolled-!
Yesterday was absolutely great and Monica had even said it had worked better then she had thought it would! Thank you Blue and Logic for being great great boys, and Well done to Tango and Jack who also did very well
Today I headed to do some qs stuff with Detroit, and I have noticed that he no longer walks away from me when I approach him which I am thrilled about! as I used to drive up to the stables and he would instantly rack off down to the other end of the paddock and I would have to walk down there to retrieve him.
But noticed something funny when I got the halter and stick out of the shed and went to get him from his stall he turned away from me and stood at the gate as if to say "I don't want you to come catch me and play today" so instead of just walking on in there and catching him I sat down in one corner of his stall and waited for him to come over to me and ask me to catch him and he eventually did!
Ive been doing a lot of advance and retreat on his ears as this is a major sensitive area for him, but can now successfully put my hands between his ears without him pulling away.
My off side short range yield didn't go as successfully today as I was asking him to step over poles as he was going around just to keep it interesting. But with a bit of persistence and reward we got through it and came out more confident at the other end.
But on a more positive note I asked him to side pass over an L shape on poles on the ground and he managed that very well only using a phase one the whole way to complete the task, was so proud.
But by the end of our play time Detroit was licking me so ill take that as a good sign.
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Very challenging session this morning. Sid trying to bit me and pigroot rather than give me forwards movement. Hopped off and checked saddle fit and his movement to ensure he wasn't lame. Seemed ok but kept missing his canter leads so really not sure..........had to choose so went with him giving me opposition reflex. Quit as soon as I could find some soft forward to reward him for.
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My second visit to the Northern Territory to meet all the wonderful QS students up there and help them continue with their horsemanship journey. We started off with an Introductory Horsemanship Confidence Building Clinic, with new riders, newly started horses and all the rest in between. Everyone put in a huge effort with trot passenger lessons, leap frog canter transitions and lots of steering and stopping...all with 1 rein!
Level 2 Connection Clinic followed and it was back on line for everyone to discover how to communicate with their horses through their lead ropes to develop a stronger connection when going off line.
The final clinic for the tour everyone saddled up for the Level 2 Impulsion Clinic where it was all about riding and developing emotional fitness in all gaits with the secret weapon being sideways and making sure our horses moved off of our legs!
It was a fantastic week of horsemanship with a huge thankyou to Jude Egan for her dedication in organising both the students and myself to make it happen and a huge well done to all those that did all 3 clinics!
Bareback riding for the first time - walk & trot!
Canter - in CONTROL!
Worship the red string
Feel in both reins and legs
Mounting Henry Bareback
Feeling Sid's weight Shift from HQ to FQ
Sid sticking with me at liberty in round yard
Sid doing flying lead changes
Skip doing great ridden sideways
BB & Bridle less in the round yard with Skip
Quinn float loading from the end of the 22ft rope
Learning about The Pocket!
Being soft with reins
Appreciating the importance and power of a good indirect rein
Source: Darwin Tour July 2013
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After taking Stella as far as she was capable of ( all of L2 except the gallop asssignment, not for lack of trying )I had a long break from QS and last year got Dexter , a 3yr old ID, I am his 5th owner already.
I aquired him in the April and had him started by a NH colt starter/ horse developer in england.
Not doing much with im over the winter apart from hacking him every sunday when the weather permitted he has been very good.
After deciding to start Dexter in the QS programme now that he has had his time off he is teaching me lots of valuable lessons.
So in no paticular order today he taught me that if I was not in the right position to ask him to move his shoulders over he would rush back and either rear or strike out at me, so I became a fast learner today too.
Next, take time to make it clear what I want and release as soon as he even thinks about it! if I dont he takes it as me nagging him. When I get my timing right he is so willing and light and he also learns fast. Yesterday he would not yield for a fore 1/4 turn today he was quit happy to oblige , WAIT FOR HIM !
In the "teaching "phase, slow down and accept every little try. Then when he undersatnds he doesnt pull all those crabby faces and get mad with me.
Listen to what he has to say, listen to his opinion. If he says NO change the way I asked till he understands.
Carnie has had some hoof separation on one of his front feet recently and, although there didn't seem to be an abscess, it has been quite sore on and off and he has had about 4 weeks off. Anyway, I warmed him up and checked him out this morning and he was all good. Riding him after the break we have had was so exhilarating. The sun was warming me, his trot was rhythmic and I could have just gone into a trance. When he was well and truly warmed up we cantered calm and relaxed for quite a way, and then just maintained a steady trot home.
I have always thought about the things Carnie has taught me that I can use to work with Calypso but today I realized he really appreciated something that she has taught me. She gets cranky if my leadership is woolly and there are grey areas. She exploits grey areas and can wriggle room into a wrestling stadium . Even though Carnie doesn't seem to exploit wriggle room, he relaxes more quickly and responds with enthusiasm to clear, black and white communication.
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