Tag Archives: Horse Training

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Lots of people talk to their horses, but not many actually listen in return. Have you noticed that?

I have a way I talk to my farrier. When the leg I’m standing on gets tired, I asked him to give back the one he’s held up. I tug the foot a little bit against his hands to let him know. He’s smart enough to listen to me, and he gives me my leg so I can put it down and rest. I’m not being belligerent or stubborn. I’m simply talking to him in the only language I have. I’m grateful that he listens.

Has your horse ever tried to tell you something, but you didn’t listen? Has your horse ever told you he or she was tired, or hurt, or scared, but you decided it was defiance or laziness? Do you tend to use force when your horse says no?

Figuring out what your horse is trying to tell you is part intuition, part observation, and part faith. If you’ve struggled with this, try taking a step back and using a different part of your brain than usual. If you normally go by your gut feeling, try looking at the situation through intense and unbiased observation of the physical evidence. If you normally use only your logical mind and five senses, try using your feelings and intuition to assess the situation.

You can expand your skills by acknowledging what you normally do, and then adding something else. You have the time. You have the ability. Why not give it a bit of practice?

Jane reads me pretty well. She usually knows when I don’t feel good and when I’m just being lazy. She doesn’t just assume that I’m being belligerent, and knows that to push me when I’m not feeling my best would be counter-productive.

Give yourself and your horse a break now and then. Remember, all living creatures have good days and bad days. Sometimes we just need a little respect for how we are feeling in the moment. Of course, if your horse really does become belligerent or stubborn for no reason, a little pushing may be just want he needs. The key is learning to recognize the difference.

Love, Moshi

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

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

There is a lot of water around here, where we live. Lots of Jane’s friends have boats. One day a couple of people walked by my stall talking about sailing. I heard one of them say to her friend: “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors…”

I pondered that idea, and realized she was right. If you had a horse who never challenged you, always did whatever you asked, could read your mind, and would perform perfectly every time, how good a rider would you become? Not very good, I would think…

Sometimes the challenges we face are the things that bring out the best in us. It’s our judgement that these challenges are “wrong” that causes us a problem, not the problem itself.

Think about the thing that’s bothering you the most right now. How could you use that situation to learn and to grow? How could you make that a positive event in your life?

Perhaps I’ll challenge Jane a little bit today, just to see what she’ll do. It’s my job to keep her skills sharp!

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

Today, I met a two-legged person who is just my size. I could look right into her eyes and see the joy she felt at my presence. She smiled at me like she really meant it. It made me feel so good inside. I really like her!

Did you know that animals can read your mood, your attitude, and your intention? We KNOW if you’re upset or pretending to be okay when you’re not. We sense the incongruence when you’re smiling but the rest of you wants to cry or is afraid. We’re not easily fooled.

Do you have permission to feel your feelings? Did you know that resisting uncomfortable feelings can make them even stronger? Let yourself FEEL what you honestly feel! If you really allow it, really experience it, that icky feeling will shift. Then you can replace it with something that feels good!

My new little friend, Paz, is a very happy girl. She is such a joy to be with! So today I’m going to allow myself to feel joy.

How about you?

Love, Indy

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

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I’m a dreamer. People say I look “dreamy,” but that’s not what I’m talking about. I dream about things. I imagine winning a gold medal in the Olympics. I dream about sugar cubes in my food every morning. I dream about being massaged by Jane after a long ride.

Okay… I realize I’m probably not going to the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do the very best I can, right now, where I am. I can decide to do whatever it takes to achieve the goals Jane sets for us. It doesn’t have to be the Olympics. It can be the next small schooling show. It only matters that I do my BEST. I dream about doing my best, and that puts me on the path of doing my best. It all starts in my mind!

What kinds of things are important to you? Do you do your best? Can you see yourself in your mind, achieving the things you dream about? Do you make that little bit of extra effort to be the very best you can be?

Think about it. Then pick one thing in your life that means a lot to you, and decide to give it your best. Visualize your best outcome. Hold that vision, and see what happens. You may be surprised at your success!

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

I found it! I found the ball I left in Florida last year! I had lost it in the deep grass right before we left for Vermont, and now I have it back! I’ve been worrying about it all summer long, wondering if another dog or an alligator found it and ate it. But no… it was right there, where I’d been visualizing myself finding it!

Do you ever worry about things? Do worries about money or a relationship or a health concerns keep you up at night? Did you ever stop and wonder if worrying actually helped?

I’ve discovered that you can only think one thought at a time. Because of this, you can replace worry with another thought.

So, the next time you find yourself worrying about something, create a story in your mind with the BEST possible outcome of the thing you’re worrying about. Or, if that’s too hard, replay a happy event in your life. Consciously distract yourself with something positive, and let the thing you’re worried about take care of itself for the moment. The issue will still be there when you’re ready to take action, so there’s no need to worry about it now.

I’m sorry I wasted so much energy worrying about that ball. But now I’ve learned to enjoy what I have in the moment.

What would you like to think about that would make you happy right now?

Let’s go play catch with my ball! That makes ME happy!

Love, Indy

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

What Do Medium Trot and Canter Feel Like? by Jane Savoie

Here’s what you should feel in a medium trot and canter:

  1. The SAME tempo as collection (although it might “feel” slower than the collected gaits because the strides are longer). Try counting it out loud.
  2. An uphill balance like an airplane taking off.

The success of your medium gait totally depends on how much you collect and engage the hind legs on the short side.

So give connecting aids and keep them on for most of the short side. Then just soften your hands a bit forward when you start the medium.

During the connecting aids, you’re coiling the spring of the hind legs and getting your horse “bubbling over” with compressed energy so he can express that power over the ground in the medium.

To apply connecting aids, close both calves as if asking for a lengthening. Close your outside hand to recycle that power. Vibrate the inside rein to keep the neck straight. The connecting aids can last for a couple of seconds or even for the entire short side.

If your horse goes wide behind in the trot, it shows a lack of engagement. Use a long set of connecting aids and also as an exercise, do the following:

Ride a few steps of shoulder-in. Then do a few strides of medium. Then collect the trot after the medium by stepping back into shoulder-in.

The shoulder-in engages the hind legs. Stepping into shoulder-in BEFORE he gets wide behind teaches him to keep the hind legs stepping under and not start pushing backwards.

Stepping into shoulder-in to collect AFTER the medium insures that you don’t rely too much on your hands, which would stop the hind legs.

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

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Balance.

It’s the nature of all living beings to always work toward balance. Finding balance is much like driving a truck. I can feel Jane turning and adjusting the steering wheel of the truck all the time from my stall in the trailer. She doesn’t just point in the direction she wants to go and then become passive. She constantly makes tiny corrections to keep the truck and trailer going straight when the road is straight, turning when the road requires that she turns, but always heading in the general direction of our destination until we actually get there.

Finding balance in your life is the same thing. You don’t just say: from here on my life is going to be balanced. You constantly have to make tiny (and sometimes large) corrections, tweak and change your behavior, your direction, your actions, until you get to your goal or destination. And of course, once you get to your destination, there’s always another destination waiting.

When Jane rides, I can feel her body move in harmony with my movement. She is very balanced because she DOES allow herself to move as she sits on my back. If she was still and unmoving, she’d disturb my balance. And that would make it hard for me to do the things she asks me to do. It would also make us both very uncomfortable.

Where in your life are you stuck and stiff? Are there areas in your life where you’ve stopped moving with the flow and become unbalanced? Where are you too passive and without a sense of what needs to be tweaked or changed? Where are you too rigid? Can you look at the areas of your life you’d like to be different and create a new map for how you want to get to where you want to be? Are you willing to make the small and large corrections necessary so you can get there?

Go to the barn, get on your horse, close your eyes, and allow your body to move in balance and harmony with the movement of your horse’s body. Allow yourself to flow with the sway of your horse’s back. Now imagine your whole life flowing in this way. This is one of the gifts horses give you. It’s an incredible metaphor for life. This is where that special magic happens.

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

I love to run. I really do. I love to swim, to chase things, and run as fast as I can through the grass. My body is fit and strong because I get lots of wonderful exercise.

I’ve noticed that I really do feel differently when I’m running with one of my friends. We challenge each other in a very fun way. Somehow, I always seem to run a bit faster and jump a bit higher when I have a friend nearby. We challenge and support each other without saying a thing. Just being together changes our focus, and naturally inspires us to give what we’re doing a touch more effort.

Do you need to get more exercise? Would you like to be a bit more fit? I hear being fit really helps your riding abilities. Jane is constantly exercising to keep her body strong and healthy. She has a couple of good friends she meets with when she exercises because it is much more fun to do it with someone, and it keeps her inspired to try just a bit harder.

If there is something you know would be good for you to do, like exercise or ride more (or both!), find someone to do it with you. You’ll be surprised how much difference having a friend along will make! It helps you stay on track and keeps you inspired when you get tired.

My friend Scruggs and I are going to go swimming today. We’re going to run all the way to the pond! Would you like to go with us? We’ll race you there.

Love, Indy

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

Teaching Flying Changes with Laura Graves

Watch Laura Graves, a member of the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team that won a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, talk you through step-by-step instructions to teach your horse a flying change. Graves demonstrates the exercises, from simple transitions to flying changes to the more advanced tempi changes, aboard Fizau, owned by Susan Shattuck-Fryett, and on her 2016 Olympic mount Verdades. This week, cheer Graves on as she competes on The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Aachen aboard Verdades.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

US Equestrian Names Eventing High Performance Summer Training Lists for 2017

Lexington, Ky. – The US Equestrian Eventing High Performance Program is designed to achieve Olympic qualification and medals in the current Games cycle, in addition to building a sustainable foundation for the success of future championships. The Eventing High Performance Program consists of the Elite, Development, and Emerging Athlete Programs. For the 2017 Summer Training Lists, a two-tiered system was introduced for the Development Program, and no changes have been made to the Emerging Athlete Program list of participants. The following combinations have been named to the 2017 Summer Training Lists for the Elite Program and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Development.

Elite Program

These are athlete/horse combinations that have established themselves as having met the criteria, or demonstrated potential to meet the criteria, required to be competitive at CCI3* and CCI4* events and championships.

Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) with Jacqueline Mars’s Harbour Pilot and Mary Ann Ghadban’s Under Suspection

Matt Brown (Cochranville, Pa.) with Blossom Creek Foundation’s Super Socks BCF

Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) with Kristine and John Norton’s I’m Sew Ready, HnD Group’s Mighty Nice, and Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran’s Z

Lauren Kieffer (Middleburg, Va.) with Team Rebecca, LLC’s Veronica and Marie Le Menestrel’s Meadowbrook’s Scarlett

Marilyn Little (Frederick, Md.) with Jacqueline Mars, Robin Parsky, and Phoebe and Michael Manders’s RF Scandalous

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) with the Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate’s Blackfoot Mystery

Tier 1 Development

Tier 1 is designed to support experienced international athletes who have horses that are on a trajectory to reach the Elite criteria in the next four years and experienced international athletes who have horses that do not meet the Elite criteria but remain in contention for selection for the next World or Olympic Games.

Will Coleman (Charlottesville, Va.) with The Conair Syndicate’s Tight Lines and Four Star Eventing Group’s OBOS O’Reilly

Buck Davidson (Unionville, Pa.) with Carlevo LLC’s Carlevo

Phillip Dutton with the Revelation Group’s Fernhill Revelation

Lauren Kieffer with Debbie Adams and Jacqueline Mars’s D.A. Duras

Boyd Martin with Lucy Boynton Lie’s Cracker Jack

Doug Payne (Aiken, S.C.) with Debi Crowley and Doug and Jessica Payne’s Vandiver

Lynn Symansky (Middleburg, Va.) with The Donner Syndicate, LLC’s Donner

Sharon White (Summit Point, W.Va.) with her own Cooley on Show

Tier 2 Development

Tier 2 is designed for athletes who have not previously attained team selection or Elite criteria that are on a trajectory to achieve Elite status in this or the next four-year period.

Katherine Coleman (New Orleans, La.) with Kalai, LLC’s Back to Business

Lillian Heard (Hamilton, Va.) with her own LCC Barnaby

Kurt Martin (Middleburg, Va.) with his and Carol and William Martin’s DeLux Z

It is important to note that inclusion or exclusion on a Training List has no impact on selection for Games and championships. These lists will be reviewed in November of 2017.

Learn more about US Equestrian’s Eventing High Performance Program.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

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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GulfCoastClassicCompany.com
Phone/Fax: (843) 768-5503
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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.