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.