Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Refining Those Skills,
Challenging Our selves,
Let the Horses Tell us How We're Doing!
There are lots of places I enjoy going but there are 4 that are my all time favorites, the first being on my own ranch working, being with Dave, the critters here and doing my workshops. The second being in the Pryor Mountains living with the Mustangs. Third in Thailand with the elephants.
Forth is special place out west I go every year to be with Friend Judy where she and I just ride and work with horse after horse just getting so absorbed in refining our horsemanship skills.
I also here get my fix of the wild life I so love, with moose, elk, antelope, fox, turkey, deer, hummingbirds and so much more.
Judy like myself not only has gaited horses but also has Quarter horses, we both still appreciate a good stock horse, being part of both our pasts.
This year Fern a Haflinger has been added spending some time with me in MN and some time with Judy on her ranch. We both also have a smathering of the English disciplines in our backgrounds, well maybe more than a smathering.
So when we get together we get out the new gloves , put away the ones with holes and we go to work.
Between the two of us we've had some great teachers to brings us where we are, Judy has been around some of the greats such as Tom Dorrance and a wonderful Mexican Calvary officer that just watching the movies of him mesmerises me of his work and teaching abilities, plus countless others along the way.
For myself of course my mother who spent countless hours and years teaching a scrawny little kid and she still is teaching me in our 3 to 4 hour phone conversations, she still amazes me with what she knows.
Also Monty Foreman, Don Burt, Reed Kettlewell, Benny Van Cleve and so many more and several of these influenced and helped me not only as a rider and showman but as a judge and developing judging programs over the years.
I feel as an adult the most moving and impacting teacher I've had is Sr. German Baca and the time I spent with he and his wife in the late 90's. I'm still working on what he taught me. I think as an adult I am just now really getting clarity in understanding what they all said and taught way back when.
It's coming full circle.
We both really enjoy and have a backgrounds in bosal ,and yes there is a huge place for it in working with gaited horses, but not so if not done correctly, those that don't have success just don't understand the proper use and application of the art and as a great tool of communication. We both find bosal work a wonderful way to hone and fine tune ones skills.
Much of our work is refining our energy applications, in acceleration, decelerations, and directional movements, maintaining straightness in gait all with out our hands, but seat and legs only.
Working on gait clarity, we love playing with reductions of leg extensions and increases, especially in the gait of fox trot. A big challenge to our selves is how far can we push the reach and still be in 4 beat timing but on the line oh so close to a 2 beat trot and back down to fox walk , again all with no hands and working through our core energy changes.
Not all our work is done in the saddle, we also do a lot of body work on the horses with acupressure and massage, and lots of ground work.
Another young mare was also added to Judy's string in which I really enjoyed doing ground work the first day was able to mount up and down the second and on the 3rd and 4Th day did some riding and working on getting her energy for forward movement and light directional work.
She's going to be a another great horse when she finishes out.
There nothing like having great horses,a good Friend and spend time together just working on our selves for betterment of our skills.
Yep, we were sure tired at the end of those days but it was such a satisfying tired.