Finally... I am blogging again! I had to get my webmaster to re-show me how to do it. It seems that I have a brain like a sieve when it comes to computers. Oh well!
It is now April 09, and it seems a long way from July 08. I have made two teaching trip to the USA over the winter, mostly teaching people I know well, and both trips were great fun. They also catalysed a lot of insights, some of which are ideas I could have thought of years ago. It is amazing how just thinking of something in a slightly different way can have so much effect, and how it changes they way that your brain organises your muscles. I still marvel about this even though I have experienced and seen it so many times over so many years.
My own horses, Quite and Merlot, keep demanding that I get better organised. Merlot (who was given to me by some American friends who had had enough of his antics) has, in reality, provided the learning curve from hell. His asymmetry has (of course) played on mine, and I have had to figure out a lot more about both sides of my body. I have also had to become stronger per se. He is now becoming much easier to ride, and way more willing to stay with my agenda.
It has really helped learning about Andrew McLean's approach to groundwork (aebc.com.au), and been very exciting to see how he and Heather Blitz (the American Grand prix dressage rider I have coached for many years) have independently come up with a similar philosophy. Whilst Heather does not use this in groundwork, her ideas about how to 'get through to' the horse
in ridden work are essentially the same as Andrew's. It is very exciting that we now have good ways to address the horse's conscious mind as well as his instinctive responces to the pyhsics of our riding.
Overdale is buzzing, with Karin doing a great job at the helm. We have some new horses at livery and in training, and they are available for people to ride on courses. Our older stalwarts are all doing well, and teaching well. The leaves are coming out on the trees, and the sun is shining, so at least we are all breathing out after a long snowy winter.
I am back to the US very soon for another short trip - including the 'Naked Truth of Riding' symposium in St Paul MN. I am looking forward to this hugely, and plan to have it videod with a view to making a new set of DVDs. This could take a while, though, so don't hold your breath!