Category Archives: Training/Clinics

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

One of the hardest things I’ve ever learned to do is the one-tempi changes. It’s like a whole new gait I didn’t know I could do. I was confused and a little bit frustrated when Jane started teaching me to do them. There was a point when felt exasperated, and I wanted to give up. But I know that life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you. They’re supposed to help teach you what you’re really made of. These challenges help you discover who you really are.

I’m an athlete. I know that. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to accept failure. So after a deep breath, I calmed my mind and really concentrated on what Jane was asking. Suddenly I was doing multiple one-tempis down the long side of the arena! Jane was so thrilled, she stopped, jumped out of the saddle, and hugged me around the neck! I knew I’d finally done it!

Today the one-tempis are easy for me. But it’s taken a lot of practice to get to this point. The key has been that we never even considered giving up. We accepted the challenge, took it one day at a time, and spent a lot of time visualizing, breathing, and practicing each piece of the puzzle. And now I’m showing at Grand Prix!

I’ve heard people around the barn say that life is hard. You can simply accept that and be upset about it if you want to. Or, you can take that negative idea as a positive challenge to see what you’re made of. The only wrong answer to the question “Can I do it?” is: “I’m not going to try.”

Come to the barn and watch me skip down the long side! I’m really good at it now!

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

There’s nothing I love more than to spend the day in the water. I get so excited when Rhett and Jane throw sticks in the pond for me to retrieve. The sticks keep moving as they float away in the waves, so it’s a challenge to grab them. I love a challenge.

I decided I would see if I could catch the stick before it hit the water. I would jump as far as I could into the pond, just as Rhett threw the stick. Occasionally I caught it in the air, before I even got wet! It was great fun.

Yesterday I jumped into the water just as Rhett let go of the stick, and it landed on my head instead of in the pond. It really hurt! I cried. Rhett felt bad and decided to take me home. But in a few moments the pain subsided, and I was ready to go again! I wasn’t going to let a little setback stop our fun! I let him know that I was okay and ready to try again.

I could have concentrated on the bump on my head and had a bad day for the rest of the day. I probably could have stretched it out for a week if I really wanted to. But I decided to put my attention on what I wanted, which was to have fun, instead of what I didn’t want, which was the sore bump on my head.

Do you ever think more about the bumps and bruises of life than the good places where you’d rather be headed? Just being aware of that tendency, is the first and most powerful step in changing it.

Are you good at throwing sticks? Let’s go to the pond and see how far you can throw one! I’ll bring it back to you.

Love, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Register for the FREE USHJA Zone 4 Clinic with Tony Sgarlata

Photo: Alison Hartwell Photography.

Have you registered yet for the free USHJA Zone 4 Riding Clinic with Tony Sgarlata? Scheduled for Monday, June 19th at the Georgia International Horse Park during the Atlanta Summer Classics, the clinic will focus on General Horsemanship including flat work and jumping techniques that will improve your show ring performance for the Hunters, Jumpers and Ponies.

Clinician Tony Sgarlata is a well-known and respected USEF “R” Judge, Rider, Trainer and Coach. The clinic is FREE for Zone 4 Riders and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  In the Pony section, besides teaching flat work and jumping, Tony will also instruct participants on how to properly model their ponies. The Hunter and Equitation section will address flat work, jumping skills and include Handy Hunter, Equitation and Hunter Classic strategies to win. The Jumpers will focus on winning techniques. Tony looks forward to giving back to the sport, interacting with riders and providing insight into what is expected when showing and how the USEF judges score riding skills. The Riding Clinic is FREE for all USHJA Zone 4 Members and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Janet McCarroll at gcclassic@aol.com to register and for more information.

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Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I got mad this morning. I mean, I was really angry. My neighbor tried to steal my breakfast, a big fat fly bit me hard on the rump, and it started getting hot really early. I was so irritated I wanted to reach out and bite someone. HARD.

Have you ever had a day like that? Why is it that we sometimes want to hurt others when we’re hurting?

It’s a natural thing. We act this way when we’re looking for a way to release the uncomfortable pent up energy we have in our bodies. Dumping it on someone else works a little, but it’s not the best way to release your negative feelings. Plus, it causes problems for someone else. That’s just not fair.

So, what can you do instead? Well, if you’re a horse, you RUN. You spend that energy running as fast as you can. Throw in a few bucks and kicks too! Of course you need some turnout to do that, so hopefully you’re either in a pasture or your person turns you out where you can stretch your legs freely for a few minutes each day.

If you’re a person, get up and MOVE. Take a long walk and add in a few fast sprints now and then. If you’re in an office, find a reason to visit the farthest part of the building. Or take a break and walk with energy and purpose outdoors. Figure out a way to just MOVE!

We all need exercise, but we need it as much for our minds as our bodies.

Can you come out to the barn? We can move and release our pent up energy together!

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

I got a sharp thorn in my paw this morning. It hurt. A lot! I tried to pull it out with my teeth, but it was broken off at the skin and I couldn’t get hold of it. OUCH!

I’m so grateful that Rhett has thumbs. He had no trouble pulling the thorn out of my foot. He’s my hero! I licked his hand, and would have licked his face, if he’d have let me. He understood that I was thanking him for helping me, and I noticed that it made him smile.

Who in your life has helped you? Do you make a point of letting them know you appreciate them? Do you tell them how much of a difference they’ve made in your life? It’s so important that you do. It’s another way we share positive energy with those around us.

Moshi and I have received some wonderful e-mail from folks on Jane’s list, thanking us for sharing our motivational thoughts and ideas. It makes us feel good inside to know that Jane’s friends like to hear from us.

So, from both Moshi and me, THANK YOU for your kind words and wonderful feedback! We really appreciate it that so many of you take the time to write and let us know that you enjoy receiving our musings. Your positive energy inspires us to write more!

Now, let’s go chase a rabbit before it gets too hot!

Love, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Hanneke Gerritsen Para Dressage/Dressage Symposium and Schooling Show June 2-4

Lyman, Maine – May 22, 2017 – Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports, recognized as a USEF/USPEA National Para-Equestrian Dressage Center of Excellence, will host a Para Dressage/Dressage Symposium and Evaluation Ride Schooling Show June 2-4, with Hanneke Gerritsen. Hanneke Gerritsen is a FEI 5* Paralympic Dressage Judge and Deputy Chair of the FEI Technical Committee. Gerritsen will offer an educational and interactive symposium packed with information and training for riders and coaches. The symposium will be held at the Carlisle Academy located in Lyman, Maine. Friday & Saturday, June 2-3, 2017, includes the Dressage & Para-Dressage Symposium, followed by Sunday, June 4, Dressage & Para-Dressage Schooling Show. Para-dressage athletes, dressage riders, and interested veterans are encouraged to attend. For more information about dates, activities, or biographies, please visit http://carlisleacademymaine.com/programs/sports-education/para-dressage-education-training/ or contact Sarah Armentrout, Head of School, at sarmentrout@carlisleacademymaine.com or 207-985-0374.

This will be Hanneke Gerritsen’s fifth visit to Carlisle Academy. During the symposium riders will have 45-minute private mounted sessions each day along with lecture-based education. Trained program horses are available. PATH Instructors and Dressage Coaches are encouraged to audit lessons and participate in coach development sessions. A USEF National Classifier will be available for classification. A Sports Medicine Veterinarian will lecture and utilize horses for demonstrations. Veterans may participate free of charge and are encouraged to audit to learn more about the sport, in collaboration with to an Adaptive Sports Grant provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Participants will receive a bound manual on a variety of topics with accompanying lectures on Para-Dressage Classification Process, Introduction to Para-Dressage Competition, A Judge’s Perspective on Winning Rides/Video Analysis, Musical Freestyle Tips, Adaptive Equipment & Compensation Aids, Paralympic Military Program, and Common Equine Athlete Soft Tissue Injuries. Sunday’s schooling show is open to symposium participants, but is managed under a separate registration.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I love to run. I love to feel the wind in my mane and the deep thrum of the earth when my big feet make contact at each powerful stride. My friends Flint and Bradley love to run too. Someday those two young fellows are going to be faster than I am, but not yet! I can still beat both of them to the barn at feeding time.

Running away from things has a bad rap. People usually believe they should stand and fight. Why is that? Sometimes this is true that you need to stand up to fight for something you believe in, but sometimes it is just as true that you will do better to stop giving the issue your energy and simply run away. Why waste your energy on things such as negative people, bad attitudes, and discouraging past events? Let them go. Allow yourself to fill your life with positive people, upbeat attitudes, and encouraging memories.

YOU get to choose who you entangle yourself with. Give your time and life energy to ideas and people who support you, uplift you, and inspire you. Let go of people, memories, or things that drain you of your precious life energy. Life is short! Don’t waste it!

Flint and I are going to have a race to the barn this afternoon. Maybe this is the day he will finally beat me. If he does, I’m going to focus on his success, be the encouraging friend, and congratulate him on improving his speed. I want to win, but I’m also a good sport and a good friend. I’ll just have to work harder and get faster too, and maybe next time I’ll win and he will congratulate me.

Meet us at the barn for the big race! And don’t forget to bring a carrot for the winner! Bring one for second place, too…

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

Good dog. Bad dog. Good and bad dog. What kind of dog am I?

There are good dogs and bad dogs, even to us dogs. I love Geoffrey because he is my best friend, and a good dog. But I’ve known some bad dogs too… dogs that wanted me to run away with them and create our own wild pack. It sounded very exciting but I knew in my heart that it was a bad thing to do.

I didn’t do it. I know right from wrong, and I’m not going to give in to the bad dogs. I stood my ground and told them that I was a good dog. My family came first. I would not run away from Jane and Rhett, and I would not join the bad dog’s wild pack. The other dogs got mad and called me names. They said it was people who were bad and we should leave them. They were very negative thinkers, and wanted me to be a negative thinker too.

Geoffrey stayed with me and didn’t run with the bad dogs. I realized he would probably have gone with me to be part of the wild pack if I had done so. It dawned on me that I was a good influence for Geoffrey. I was a good leader and a good friend. That made ME feel good. I knew my positive thinking was good for me, and also good for Geoffrey.

So instead of giving into temptation, Geoffrey and I decided to run home and away from the negative thinkers. We left those bad dogs in the dust! We ran so fast they didn’t even try to follow.

I like being a good dog. I like being a good friend. And I love my family. We’re a happy bunch and help each other focus on the good things. That’s why we get more good things!

Do you want more good things? If you were absolutely certain you’d get more of whatever you thought about, what would you think about?

Love, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

What is excellence to you? Is it finding a specific purpose for your life? Or perhaps it’s getting over 70 percent on a dressage test? Or maybe it’s as simple as getting the right canter lead every time you ask.

We all have different ideas of excellence. And there’s nothing quite like the amazing feeling of knowing that you did your very best, and it all came together perfectly in that moment.

Excellence doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a decision. It’s hours and hours of practice, coupled with a burning desire to be the best you can be. It’s doing everything you can to learn, improve, and achieve; while not accepting less than your very best. If excellence is your goal, you must give it your all and not settle for anything less.

When I first arrived at Jane’s barn, she was very excited but was also a little bit concerned. She could see that I was young, strong, and beautiful, but she had no way of knowing if I had it in me to give her everything I had hidden inside. She needed a partner who was willing to work hard and strive for the very best. She needed a horse for whom excellence was important.

We made a deal that day. She promised she’d take good care of me, treat me with respect and kindness, and teach me all she knew. In return she asked if I’d promise to do all I could to learn what she could teach me, and give her 100% every time we were together. I agreed. And so our journey began.

Is excellence part of your goals? Does it matter to you that you’re the best you can be? If it is, then set a clearly defined goal of what excellence looks like to you. And then do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. Start small if that’s more comfortable for you, but start. Just START. And don’t accept less than your defined vision of excellence.

Jane and I strive for excellence today. Do you?

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

It’s so much fun to go out in the yard and catch the sticks and balls Rhett and Jane throw for me! As I get older, I get better and better at catching things mid-air.

My eye-mouth coordination continues to improve with practice. And I’m willing to practice all day! Unfortunately, Rhett and Jane don’t have all day to throw things for me, but they do make sure I get to practice playing catch every single day.

Being really good at something makes me feel warm inside. I’m proud of how high I can jump to catch a ball in the air. I feel good about my ability to run really fast. It’s not arrogant to be proud of your accomplishments. On the contrary, it’s good for you to acknowledge what you can do! It’s only arrogant if you use your successes to belittle others or try to make them feel small.

We’re all on this trek through life together. No man (or woman, or dog) is an island. What affects one of us, affects all of us in some way. How can your goal of being good at what you do help someone else? Perhaps you can set a good example. Or perhaps you can teach someone what you did to achieve your goal. Be generous, and it will come back to you in a good way.

Let’s go play catch! I want to show you how high I can jump!

Your Friend, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I hate being on a diet! Jane says I’ve eaten too much green grass this spring, and now I have to cut back. So instead of my usual long turn out in the lush pasture, I get just some hand grazing each day. The rest of the time I have to eat hay. It’s terrible! I want to eat the yummy green grass!

Sometimes you don’t get what you want. Sometimes you just have to deal with what life presents to you. It doesn’t mean you have to like it. But if it’s something you don’t have the power to change, stop resisting and accept it. Find a way to live with whatever it may be, and move on. Dwelling on things you can’t change only wastes your energy and makes you more unhappy.

There is a great poem I overheard at the barn:
“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

I can’t convince Jane to let me eat all the grass I want, so I guess I’ll just have to learn to enjoy my hay. At least I’m not starving! If you come to the barn today, will you bring me a carrot? But don’t tell Jane. It will be our little secret!

Your Friend, Moshi

From Indy:

I got to ride in a boat today! It was scary at first, but exhilarating too. The boat went very fast. The wind felt good in my fur and in my ears. I stayed close to Jane because I didn’t want to fall out, and I knew she’d protect me. I protect her and Rhett by barking at danger and letting them know something is going on. We take care of each other.

It’s great to have someone to trust like I trust Jane and Rhett. It helps make you feel safe. Moshi trusts Jane that way too. He may be big, but he can be a scaredy cat. He’s learned that if he feels scared that he should look to Jane for reassurance. She does a great job of helping us both feel safe.

If you get scared, who do you look to for help? Do you have a friend or a spouse whom you can trust to be there for you? Do you have a dog who warns you and protects you?

Are you there for your horse when he or she gets nervous? Being the leader and taking charge is especially important when it comes to your horse. He needs your calm assurance to know he’s safe. That’s why you do leadership exercises, such as ground work and/or clicker training. It helps your horse feel safer, which makes you feel safer. Everybody wins.

I promise to scare the bad guys away from the house with my barking, if you’ll promise to scare away that big mean dog down the street! Deal?

Love, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

A new horse came to the barn today. She is very young. I was in the arena with Jane when she arrived. She saw us practicing some upper level movements, and it embarrassed her. She told a friend of mine that she was ashamed that she didn’t know very much, and was afraid to talk to me since I obviously know a great deal.

That surprised me, and made me sad. She is young and hasn’t had much training. Why should she be shy about what she can or can’t do? I’ve been around awhile and have lots of experience. She’s just starting out. I don’t like it that she’s intimidated by me.

I heard Jane tell someone that you don’t have to be an advanced rider to be a really GOOD rider. Just be the best at what you’re doing now! My friends who are working at their training level foundations are just as hard working and dedicated as I am at Grand Prix. I’ve just been at it longer.

If you get a twinge of self-doubt when you meet someone who is more advanced than you, remember: he or she was once were where you are now. There is no reason to be shy or embarrassed. Just do the best that you can do, right where you are at this moment. If you chose to grow and improve, give it your energy and do so. If you’re happy with what you’re doing and don’t want to move to the next level, acknowledge that fact and allow yourself to be satisfied.

I’m going to go ask that young mare if she’d like to play with me today. I’m going to do my best to let her know that she’s okay, just the way she is. If she’s open to it, perhaps I’ll show her something new. And perhaps she has new things to show me as well!

Who at your barn could use your kind support today?

Your friend, Moshi

From Indy:

I’m a water dog! When I’m not in the woods chasing lions and tigers and bears, I’m swimming in the creeks and ponds looking for sharks! I’ve never found any, but that’s okay. I just love to swim! I especially like it when Rhett throws sticks in the pond for me to retrieve. I am a Retriever, after all!

My friend Geoffrey doesn’t like the water as much as I do. It makes his hair so curly that he thinks he looks silly. But I don’t care if Geoffrey looks silly. I love him just the way he is. I don’t tease him about his curly hair because I know it hurts his feelings, and I never want Geoffrey to feel bad. He’s my friend, after all. I would never want to hurt my friend.

Whomever you love, it doesn’t matter what they look like, smell like, whether they are rich or poor, or if they can swim as good as you. You just accept them for who and what they are. You see beyond the outside stuff, and feel them all warm and cozy in your heart.

Can you feel your friends in your heart? Close your eyes and notice. And remember what a gift it is to have friends in your life. Be kind to them. Remember that hurting them also hurts you. Think before you gossip or criticize. You’ll be happier in your own heart when you treat your friendships with trust and respect.

It’s hot today. Let’s get Geoffrey and go swimming! But don’t tease him about his curly hair, okay?

Love, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Moshi: Liz Ritz Photography.

Dressage riders tend to be a very driven group of folks. It’s such a demanding sport, it’s natural that it attracts Type A personalities. It takes a real work ethic to be good at something this challenging, so those who get into the competitive part of the sport tend to overdo much more than underdo. Jane and most of her friends and students work very hard and have a difficult time taking time to just RELAX!

I’m not like that at all. Being a Friesian, it is natural for me to be fairly laid back. Sure, I get excited sometimes, but for the most part being quiet and easy going is natural for me. My gift to Jane is reminding her that someone can be relaxed and go with the flow of life, and still be very successful.

There is a time for work, and there is a time for play. There is a time to be driven and give it all you have, and there is the time for rest and recharging.

If you’re feeling tired or burned out, perhaps it’s time to do something different. Maybe today is the day to go to bed early, and perhaps even sleep in. Or maybe just sitting on the back patio and watching the sun go down while listening to some soothing music is the best thing to help you to recharge.

Remember, if you try to cut down a tree with a dull saw, it will take forever. If you stop and sharpen the saw, you will cut it down in no time. Rest is the same as sharpening your own personal saw. Stop. Take a break. You’ll be better at what you do, and happier doing it, for spending the time to recharge.

I’m going to go rest in the warm sun. Would you like to join me?

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

It was hot today. I’m not nearly as energetic in the heat as I am when it is cold.

So today I slept in. I lounged in the warm sun and let it bake my bones. It felt so good! When it got too hot, I came inside to sleep in my soft bed. It was wonderful.

Figuring out what you want sometimes requires that you pay attention to the opposite. It’s called contrast. If I realize I’m too hot lying in the sun, I go inside. I don’t focus on the heat and complain about how hot it is; I simply recognize that I want something different and make it so.

When I go into the house, I let myself feel grateful for how good the nice cool air feels. I don’t leave my attention out in the hot sun. I enjoy what I have NOW.

Do you ever leave your attention on what you don’t want? Does it serve you in any way?

If you don’t like your NOW, change something. If you do like your now, don’t think about what you didn’t like in your past. Be NOW!

(Yawn!) Right now, I want a NAP!

Love, Indy

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Use Leg Yielding to Help Pick Up the Correct Canter Lead, by Jane Savoie

Somewhere in most horses’ training, usually when they are still green, they have trouble picking up one or both canter leads. If that happens to you, try using leg-yielding to increase the size of a circle to solve this problem.

This exercise works because it increases the flexion and bend, and horses will pick up whatever lead they’re bent and flexed toward. If you’re tracking to the left and your horse keeps picking up the right lead, chances just before the canter depart, he throws himself into right bend and right flexion.

To ask for the leg-yield to increase the circle size, first spiral onto a smaller circle – 10 or 15 meters.

Then to start the leg yield, shift your body weight from your inside seatbone to your outside seatbone if you’re sitting the trot, or from your inside stirrup to your outside stirrup if you’re in posting trot. That difference in your body weight tells him, “go sideways,” as opposed to just staying on the circle.

Also, be sure to look where you’re going as you leg-yield out to increase the size of the circle.

While you’re still go sideways, sit the trot for a stride or two while blending in the aid for the canter by brushing your outside leg back once like a windshield wiper-like action while you’re still going sideways.

Keep your inside leg on the girth to support the bend. If you’ve kept the bend while going sideways, he should pick up the correct lead.

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com