Newsletter March 2020

Hi Guys.

Well, it has been an interesting month for me.  

I have enjoyed sharing and discussing with the riders who have attended two of my contact clinics so far that have been held in Albany and Oakford. 

The Telerein has brought some great information to the riders and awareness that they can now work on. What is interesting since I have got the Data recording on the Telerein working, there is a trend that most riders are left-hand dominate. I am also collecting information now on if the rider is left or right-handed, and is the horse right or left bent in his body. 

All the riders on the clinics receive the data chart after the clinic when I had got home and downloaded it. 

My last Contact Clinic is on 7-8th March in Margaret River and that will conclude the contact section of the themed clinics in 2020. Of cause it doesn’t mean we stop learning, discussing contact because we need to always be discovering and growing in our knowledge.  

To conclude each section of the themed clinic’s I am teaming up with Laura Bird of One Spirit Animal Therapies, to do unmountedworkshops and delve into the skeletal and muscles involved in the area of our themed clinics. Laura is a highly qualified Bowen Therapists of both horses and humans. This workshop titled Equine Structure & Movement Series, part 1. From Head to Hand, it will be held on 21st March at Keysbrook. Together we will go into a deeper exploration of the horse and demystify this important understanding of how the body works especially concerning being ridden. Bookings are available on the website, here is the link https://annmontgomery.com.au/event/equine-structure-movement-series-part-1-from-head-to-hand/

The next set of themed clinics will start in August and will be on ‘Improving the seat and efficiency of the rider’.

You may have noticed I have been a lot more active on Facebook. I have so many thoughts in my head I want to share. Its has taken a lot of self talk to pluck up the courage to do this. Hense the Facebook avalanche of posts has begun. 

I had a massive shock this week when I did a post on the connection of the riders tongue affecting the horse’s tongue. 

One person after another shared it, the positive comments flooded in. I was taken back because I expected my close network to only look at it. People from all over the world were asking if they could translate it into Czech and Spanish. To date, it has been shared by 2.1K and viewed by 338,811 people. I am still in disbelief that so many would read my post, but also very happy and grateful for all the wonderful comments and discussions that it created. 

Thank you if you commented or liked it.   

 

Up and coming “The Mindful Rider” clinics.

March 

6th March: Margaret River WA, Private lessons please contact me directly for booking. 

7-8th March: Margaret River WA, Themed Contact Clinic.

13th-14th March: Oakford WA,  Mindful rider clinic. 

21st March: Keysbrook WA, Equine Structure & Movement Series, part 1. From Head to Hand workshop. 

23rd March: Coolup WA, Murray Riding Club please contact the club directly for booking. 

April  

3-4th April: Oakford WA, Mindful rider clinic.

5th April: Stoneville WA, Sunninghill Equestrian Centre, Mindful rider clinic. 

17th April: Coolup WA, Murray Riding Club, please contact the club directly for booking.

24-26th April: I will be on Belinda Bolsenbroek Master class. EXCITING  

 

Happy Riding 

Best Regards 

Ann

Please follow and like us:
Why would a riders tongue affect the horses tongue?

Why would a riders tongue affect the horses tongue?

A number of years ago I had an interesting lesson with a student. The rider was struggling with getting a constant contact with her horse.  After watch both of them move around the arena for a while and seeing the mare, chomp, and fiddle with her tongue and bit I asked the rider “where is your tongue sitting in your mouth? To this the rider stopped the horse and said ” how the hell did you know that” so it turns out that this rider has a gap in-between one of her upper molars and she has a habit of twisting her tongue to place the tongue in the gap.  When I asked her to place her tongue softly onto the top of her mouth the horse became quite in its contact and as the lesson went on the horse began to move freer in the shoulders, the rider’s tonal quality of her arms into her hand and fingers became a soft tone.  So why is this so, I asked myself, and did some research. Why would the riders tongue affect the horses tongue so much? Well from what I have researched the hyoid bone is part of the tongue movement apparatuses as the omohyoid muscle origin site at the superior border of the scapula and can vary in location and in size, and at times the muscle also originates from the superior transverse scapular ligament. The attachment of the central tendon can be only to the clavicle or to the clavicle and the first rib. This image on the left is the human only; horses do not have a clavicle.  Wow I thought so when her tongue curls up a whole tension goes from her tongue down to her shoulder which must create a tension down her whole arm to her hand. This in turn puts a tension onto the rein and bit which travels onto the horse’s tongue, so guess what this also affects the horses hyoid bone and his omohyoid muscle into the shoulder causing the tight steps and fussy mouth. It’s a circle of tension.  Along with this is the TMJ joint of both parties again the hyoid bone, which is located in the throat latch area in the horse and upper throat of the human comes into play, as the hyoid connects to the larynx, pharynx and tongue and articulates with the temporal bone. With the horse it’s more complex as the TMJ also has the ear movement involved so mouthy horses, head shakers or sensitivity in this area could be a having tension in this area, if the rider is tight in the hyoid or TMJ it should be checked out. If a rider is constantly clamping the jaw I often get them to chew gum to help prevent this.   I was so fascinated by this I asked Sharon May Davies to show me the hyoid of the horse on my last course with her. I was amazed how big it was and yet frail it was. And so when the rider asked me “how did I know that”, it was a simple answer “the horse told me” but I did tell them the next day exactly why it was affecting her mare after doing some research. It’s all part of looking outside the box, to find a solution which works for the horse and can carefully guide the rider into a better place.  Sometimes the rider makes the coach look deeper as to the why something worked. Your gut feel can’t always be enough information for the rider. Also by having hard facts it takes away the mystical element of the lesson.
Please follow and like us:
February 2020 Newsletter.

February 2020 Newsletter.

Well I have to say I am pretty excited because this month the Themed Clinics start, and already the Albany Clinic is almost full with only one place left.  Oakford Clinic has three places left , and Margaret River Clinic has only one place left! This makes me so happy because it means riders are curious and ready to be open to learning about the finer detail and welfare of their horses. They are about to step into another level of understanding and riding.

There will be a workshop on this clinic discussing contact – what does contact mean to you and what does it tell you? Riders will be learning about how to gain more dexterity and feel. The Telerein will be used and clinic participants will all receive a report later of what their left and right hand is doing as well as visual feed-back as they ride. You may have seen the FB feeds on my discoveries with the Telerein. If not, have a look on my Ann Montgomery “The Mindful Rider” Face book page from earlier in the year if you’d like more information.

Also on the clinics this month, I am trying out sending riding times via a Messenger group. So far it has worked well in Oakford and Margaret River, so watch out to see if you are added to the group when you book onto clinics.

 

Following on from this clinic Laura Bird and myself will be conducting 1 day workshops on the underlying muscles and structures between head to hand. Jane the skeleton will be assisting. This will be held on 21 March at Keysbrook WA and bookings are open on the website: annmontgomery.com.au

We will also be doing the ridden back, pelvis and hindquarters later in the year. These will follow on from other Themed clinics “The rider’s seat” and “The timing of the aids”.

 I’m also thrilled that the Body and Mind Mastery Clinics, that New Zealand-based Jennifer Abdelnoor and I run yearly, are already booking up for May.

The Yoga challenge I created was great and has got me back into my grounded yoga state again, with calmness and slower, longer breathing. I never realised how yoga positively affected my nervous system. This also brought more people to the Yoga FB page than I imagined, not just from around Australia but also New Zealand, USA, Netherlands and South Africa. It was for me, wonderful to create what I thought would be a handful of riders but ended with 100 followers giving it a go. Thank you if you took part and motivated me to do it daily as I instigated it. Dogs, cats, chickens and horses were captured on photos also joining in, so it involved lots of laughter and jokes. A big thank you to Adriane Yoga who didn’t even realise she was becoming loved by us all.

By the way: This is Frank, Frank thinks the mat is fun be more like Frank

Up and coming “The Mindful Rider” clinics:

February 

14th Friday – Albany. Please contact Sarah Williams on 0488 695 157, if you want to book a lesson.

15-16th Sat-Sun – Albany. Themed two-day clinic on Contact. (1 place left.)

21st Friday – Oakford. Private lessons.

22-23rd Sat-Sun – Oakford. Themed two day clinic on Contact. (3 places left)

March         

6 th Friday – Margaret River. Private Lessons. Please contact me via Messenger if you want to book a lesson.

7-8th Sat-Sun – Margaret River. Themed two day clinic on Contact. (1 places left)

 

Happy Riding

Best Regards

Ann

Please follow and like us:
January 2020 Newsletter

January 2020 Newsletter

 

Happy 2020 to you all. I am actually glad I am stepping out of 2019 as I don’t feel it was an easy year and I’m convinced 2020 is going to be much better, so I am jumping into 2020 with excitement and vigor.  

In 2019 I undertook a lot of extra training myself so that I would  always be challenging my depth of knowledge. This has involved a wide range of learning, one of which was learning about the skeletal frame of the horse by bringing a full horse skeleton named Jane over to Western Australia for all of us to learn from. ‘Building’ Jane has caused me to look through x-ray eyes at every horse I have seen since.

Working with Belinda Bolsenbroek who is a true master in classical training, is another and I am thankful to have been able to be one of her Master class students. I will continue to work with her throughout 2020.

The year ended with another learning experience, working and training with Mary Wanless in New Zealand. Mary’s forward thinking and knowledge is inspirational – she always seems to be a step ahead of others in her field.  

Additionally, I have invested in some super new equipment/toys, to add to the learning experience for myself and my students. The Telerein is fantastic and I am sure a lot of you will have seen my posts on Facebook regarding this valuable tool. The Telerein lets the rider know how strong the rein contact is as they are riding, with sensors on the reins it has lights that change colours as the contact changes. It will be used in lessons and clinics, if the riders want to use it.

The other ‘toy’ I purchased was a ‘human tool’ – eeeekkkkk, a bit of a weird name! But, it’s use is far from weird, it is a swiveling saddle shaped seat which the rider can move the their pelvis around on, allowing them to ‘feel’ how to balance and correcting errors.  

It has been a lovely quiet month for me and I have had time to reflect about my own direction and choices, in both training and also guiding my life into a place of contentment, addressing what I’d like to receive into my own life.

It has also been a time of reflection on how am I going to direct my coaching in 2020, and how I can deliver to my clients and their horses. Clarity is a word that comes to mind – I want to deliver clarity in my coaching, to my students and especially to the horses. Without clarity, frustration and confusion will step in, and from there it’s a downward spiral.

Over this quiet time, which has allowed me to catch up on updating the calendar on my website with the help of Sarah Williams (Thank you Sarah for your patience), I have been working on the promotion of my business with my new mindset.

One of the things I have had to make a decision on is increasing my clinic and lesson fees in 2020. The fees for lessons at my home base will remain the same. I haven’t put them up for a while and yet my running costs have gone up in travel, education, equipment, etc.

2020 is already looking busy with lots of plans underway with Clinics being held at Oakford monthly, Albany and Margaret River, Sunninghill four times yearly. For further information check out my website Calendar for these dates: https://annmontgomery.com.au

 A number of these clinics that are already planned will be running as themed clinics run over two days, as these seem to be very popular and it gives the opportunity for me to go into more detail with riders.  

The themes will be:

  • Contact. This is an interesting subject, after all what is a good contact? Is your contact even, too light or heavy? How can I get my horse stepping from behind if I don’t hold a firm contact? As mentioned above, I have now invested in a Telereinwhich tells you how much contact you are holding, and we will use the Telerein on this clinic and go into discussions about contact.
  • Timing of the aids. Often riders are frustrated by their horse not responding quick enough or as they want. But the truth often is, that you may be asking when it’s not possible for the horse to balance into the request, and their feet are not in a place to be able to respond at that exact moment. 
  • The seat of the rider. This will go into using your seat more effectively. The seat can be under-used and then the hands and legs become too strong. Let’s train you to be more subtle and therefore your horse too. 
  •  Biomechanics of the horse and rider. Laura Bird and I will be doing some clinics together, working with Jane.
  • Body & Mind Mastery clinics will be held once again with myself and Jennifer Abdelnoor, with  two in Keysbrook on 2-3rd May & midweek on 5-6th May and one at Albany on 9-10th May 

Talking of Themed Clinics, our first will be on Contact and will be held at Albany 15-16th  February. Followed by Oakford 22-23rd February and Margaret River on 7-8th March.

And amongst all this I will be doing my rounds to Mackay, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin and New Zealand. And maybe pop to Europe to see my two new grandchildren in July ;-/

So, as you can all see, I am trying to slow down a bit this coming year.

Up and coming Clinics are:

January 2020 

17th Fri and 18th Sun – Oakford ( Fully booked)

19th Sun – Murray Riding Club.

25th & 26th Sat-Sun – Margaret River.

February 

1-2nd Sat-Sun – Baldivis ARC

15-16th Sat-Sun – Albany. Themed two day clinic on Contact.

21st Fri – Private lessons Oakford

22-23nd Sat-Sun – Oakford. Themed two day clinic on Contact.

March 

7-8th Sat-Sun Margaret River. Themed two day clinic on Contact.

I am wishing you all a very happy riding into 2020 and onward into your future.

Best Regards

Ann

 

Please follow and like us:
December 2019 Newsletter

December 2019 Newsletter

 

I have finally returned after what seems like a very long time away from my much loved home in Keysbrook WA.

The past few weeks have been busy, with Jen Abdelnoor and I doing 3 x Mind and Body Mastery clinics together in New Zealand.  Riders who have attended these clinics will understand how we work together to notice and change both the rider and horse physically, emotionally and mentally for the good of both parties.

For those who don’t know what we do, Jen and I jointly analyse the riders’ biomechanics which can vary from weakness, tightness in the fascia net which may be causing asymmetrical issues, breathing issues. Mental blockages which are stopping forward progress can be picked up, or if the rider  knows there is a problem but can’t work out what is wrong with their equine relationship this can also be analysed.

Once the assessment is made jointly by Jen and myself, the rider is taken off the horse for a brief Physio session with Jen on the treatment table in the arena. This starts to address the rider’s issues, and after this session the rider is put back onto the horse to re-tune to the alterations made to his/herself and the effect it has on the horse.

At this point I take over and coach the rider with the changes, giving them references on how these biomechanical changes can be kept.

Day two starts with delving deeper into the body as the riders start on the treatment table for a longer session which is then followed immediately with a lesson with Ann to consolidate the changes. Often mental or physical blocks the rider has held for a long time can be changed in these sessions and can have far reaching effects for the future.

Pilates sessions on Day 1 and video feedback of the changes are used daily with workshops to cement information over the days. Some of these, plus new techniques, will be used next year in WA in our joint clinics in April/May. I will be looking for expressions of interest in Albany, Margaret River and Keysbrook so that we can plan these clinics.

The week following our clinics in New Zealand, Mary Wanless arrived from the USA where she had been working. Sue Pennington was hosting both Mary and myself so it was great to spend some time with both of them. Sue showed us around some of the beautiful New Zealand countryside and beaches.

I am continuing to challenging my fears, a year ago I was terrified to walk over these swinging/ hanging bridges. I can now manage a tree pose on one. What fears have you got that need to be challenged and you would like to overcome?

Mary’s 3 day ridden clinic (Fri-Sun) started near Auckland, with 12 riders riding in pairs for an hour.  You may think that a bit strange to have 12 riders in a shared lesson, however as each pair takes their turn, the other riders are thankful to be able to move to the other end of the arena and work on the pieces of body awareness and getting that part to function in a way that instantly improves the horses.

At midday Mary does a question and answer session with both the riders and the auditors, and goes into valuable detail for all, to fully understand and at times feel, the difference within their own body or nervous system and how it is affecting both horse or rider.

The afternoon is followed by the next set of lessons. I was privileged enough to stand in the arena for most of the lessons with Mary for the 3 days, watching and listening in detail to the instructions and viewing the changes as they developed. I was asked to go work with some of the riders and support them while they were at the other end of the arena working alone if they wanted it. It’s always interesting for me to see what will Mary target first, what is drawing her attention.

After this clinic Sue and I drove home, dropped off horses and prepared for the 4 hour drive to the 3 Day RWYM Teacher Training in Tauranga, which started on the Tuesday morning. Amy O’Neill joined us at this stage. Amy has been my sponsored rider for the past year and we have grown a great relationship together having many deep discussions about bodywork of both horse and rider. Because of this I have encouraged Amy to do RWYM Teacher Training.

The Teacher Training was yet again an eye opener. It always impresses me that Mary never stops developing, evolving and building on what she would like us to know and coach. Since her last book “Rider Biomechanics” was published, she is giving us wonderful detail on the rider’s and horse’s fascia nets and trains. I love the way she teaches us this in a way that is so clear to understand including how to notice a snag in this net and some of the fixes for it.

Each day is conducted starting with Theory, then a group session analysing 6 riders and giving them constructive corrections. Afternoons have all of us teaching in groups of three’s and swapping every 30 mins so each of us rotate to teach, ride or observe. Each day is finished with more theory and a questions and answers session.

I always find a wonderful supportive group of people at these clinics, and it is also a chance to catch up with RWYM colleagues and friends.

For those of you that work with me on a regular basis, get ready for 2020, because I have invested in some super new equipment and toys that will be used in the workshops and in lessons to help you develop more as sensitive feeling riders into the future. One of these new pieces of equipment will be used this coming weekend.

As the year comes to a close I wold like thank you all for your wonderful enthusiasm, hard work and dedication to your riding and development with your horses and to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas with family and friends plus the very best rides with their equine partners in 2020.

Over the Xmas holiday period I will be available to do lessons. So if your taking leave over this time and want to concentrate on you and your horse, feel free to contact me and we can workout a plan. The clinics will start up in the new year in January.

Please follow and like us:
November 2019 Newsletter

November 2019 Newsletter

Hi Guys.

The newsletter is a little late this month as I’m away doing clinics.

I’ve just completed clinics in Mackay and Canberra and as always, loving working with such dedicated riders. Mackay had me putting my thinking cap on, as one rider Anita Evers, who a lot of you have met in the building of Jane workshops in WA, was struggling to tune into her body since having a concussion a month ago.

We gave her a facia ‘wake up’ down her sides, front and back so she could feel her skin and edges, but she still was struggling with feeling her feet. “Ah ha” I thought, my magic bag had just the thing to get her in touch with her feet and we pulled off her boots and socks. By placing the spiky sausage shaped instruments of torture under her foot on the stirrups we regained her sense of feel to her feet. This gave her the final touch of regaining the full feel of her body again.

Canberra is a lovely place to coach too, the indoor venue at Sherony Park is amazing with the owners always happy to see us and bending over backwards to accommodate any need. Nothing is too much trouble, and it’s delightful to see them always improving and loving their property of which they are so proud of. Holding clinics there works for them and brings in an income and we are appreciative of their welcoming us.

The big star of this clinic at Canberra was a lady who was very crooked in the saddle. She knew she had a big problem which was affecting her horse and not helping him, as he has muscle wastage on his right side, and excess muscle on the left side near his shoulder. Due to him now also developing head shaking syndrome she brought another lovely mare which her coach loaned her. This mare was rounder than her own horse so it really highlighted her asymmetrical issues as her saddle from her own horse slid to the right on the mare.

Most of the auditors believed her stirrups were not level, but in fact they were level. This wonderful determined lady worked so hard to level her seat bones and put her weight into the stirrups. We had to change her saddle, as over the months / years the padding had become uneven leaving her an impossible task, and fortunately another rider loaned her a saddle for the clinic. She went that evening to Big W and bought two sets of scales on my request and stood on them in an on-horse position, one foot on each scale. Looking forwards and making her weight even into each foot, then looked down to see what the dials showed. To her surprise she had 5kg more weight into her right side.

The rope you see on her right side was to allow me to pull her into place, and then as I released it she had to learn to feel how to stay there. Over the two days she became more and more level and on day two had the same reading on the scales left to right. A number of techniques were used to make this incredible change, including spiky balls, soft Franklin balls, boards engaged on the right only and a rope around her hips to pull her into place.

If it wasn’t for her incredible determination, focus and wanting to change for her horse’s sake, it would never have been achieved. Well done Leanne Davis, it was great to see all the other riders cheer you at the end of the clinic. Sorry you needed a Zimmer frame the next day to walk.

Thank you Anita Evers, Annie Maren Benton and Sally Letts for all your organisation of the clinics and hosting me in Mackay and Canberra.

Late in October I spent two days participating the Belinda Bolsenbrook Masterclass clinic. My mind has gone over again and again the information presented to us at this clinic. The depth of knowledge and the eye for detail is mind blowing. Each day we started with a theory lesson which went into wonderful detail and explanations.

This clinic had a big focus on the hyoid apparatus. Belinda’s main belief is training the horse with correct bio-mechanic function to enable the horse to have longevity into old age. With careful, precise training, noticing the smallest detail and correcting the tiniest of misalignment, you can have a happy, healthy horse that can carry the rider into his older years.

Without this development you will possibly encounter issues of kissing spine and joint problems. The lack of this development is often seen in an emotional fall-out, as the horse can’t cope with the imbalances. With Heidi we explored the release of the hyoid which affects the horse from the tongue right through their ventral line, and any issue or blockage will stop the horse being able to carry the rider round and through. Every muscle in the horse’s body eventually connects to the hyoid.

What was incredible with Heidi is her sensitivity to the slightest pressure around her head and its impact on the tongue, hyoid and the rest of her body. In the first clinic earlier in the year, we removed her flash noseband. In this clinic my whole, very loose, noseband was removed!

OMG I had to get over that belief that a horse doesn’t look good, is missing something without a noseband – the horror and amusement! However, the feel of her little by little experimenting with letting go, releasing the blockages through her body and being able to come over her back and in self carriage, was incredible.

I will spend the next few months building on encouraging her to let go of the tension and building her strength so she can carry me easily in good posture for longer periods. My home-work is set, and when Belinda returns at the end of March 2020 I hope to have it established and a flowing energy throughout her body developing and being maintained for longer periods.

I am enjoying a few days break in Canberra with Sally Letts which is just as well as when I finished my last clinic, I lost my voice. My next stop is New Zealand and I’ll update you all on that in my next newsletter. Don’t forget our next clinics and lessons are as follows:

New Zealand;

7th-8th Nov Hawkes Bay Private lessons

9-10th Nov Hawkes Bay Body and Mind Mastery with Jenifer Abdelnoor and myself

13th-14th Nov Northlands Body Mastery

16th – 17th Nov Waimauku Body Mastery

 

Western Australia;

6th-7th Dec Oakford WA

14th-15th Dec Albany WA

 

Happy Riding,

Ann

 

Please follow and like us: