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From 2009 to 2010

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Out with the old- In with the new!

  ruth santaWell, its the end of 2009, and what a year that has been. Teaching and helping so many people, some working at their relationship <BLOG_BREAK> with their horses, some wrestling with the demons within, and finding that once confronted those demons were not real after all! Some people moving on competitively and some happy now to hack out, enjoying time with their horses.

There was the American clinic, thanks to Cordy and Lee for making that so “Alive”, a wonderful experience. Thanks to Andy for being there, photographing and blazing on his own journey, and to Giles for being there with his support.

It has been a FAB year with Sherlock, a real journey for both of us. From 3 years off to Sherlock’s own competitive journey, with 5 placings out of 11 British Eventing starts, and a win in his final event.  That year can be seen by this link http://www.upbeatequestrian.co.uk/sherlocksdiaries.html

Next year? Well, Sherlock threw a splint at the end of the season, he was just a little sore, so had the required 6 weeks off, then the ground froze, and it still is frozen! I am due to go to Las Vegas with my mother at the start of January, we are meeting up with Cordy and Lee if we can arrange it (burning fires of inspiration for the 2010 clinics!), so I have decided to leave bringing Sherlock back into work until after I get back. Then he will have light schooling and road work to get fit, after that back into training.

Next year we hope to do just a few pre-novice events before upgrading to Novice events, now THAT will be exciting! There will be a lot of training, and for the extra effort at that level we will take it all a bit more seriously, for example hiring the Northern Racing College Gallops, so we can do faster work without straining or concussing Sherlock’s legs. I do love that facility, the good ground and the white “Racecourse” fencing allows me to be off in a flight of fancy, I am Frankie Dettori, training the Derby winner, obviously!

As for the grey Charlie Horse, he may be in for an exciting 2010 too! Charlie is 15 years old now, and I retired him from eventing when he was 9 years old, as he did not seem to enjoy the cross country. He will jump anything unless he cannot see the ground on  landing side. Then he has to slow right down, and when he can see the landing he will jump. This tactic worked for Charlie at Intro and Pre Novice level, he often won a numnah! However, when we upgraded him to Novice the jump was just too wide to be jumped if he slowed down for a look, we did lots of training, including hunting and team chasing to “light the fire in his belly” for cross country, but no, it did not work. I could ORDER him to jump the jump, and we did get around a couple of Novice courses, but neither he or I enjoyed it so we stopped.

Charlie retired sound, and has messed around a bit with some dressage and Show Jumping since, and David (my husband), and good friend Andy have been riding him too. Well, this year they would both like to start training towards doing a BE Intro Event.

Andy has done 2 dressage competitions, and also a couple of Show Jumping competitions, up to 85 cm, but as yet has not done any cross country other than to escort me with Amber and Sherlock when we have been training. David has done 3 dressage competitions, and was even placed in one. David has not yet, however, learned to jump! Two years ago he started, and got to trot at a cross pole or two, but, no jumping since. So, lots of learning for David and Andy!

On 21 March the real “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan is coming to Sheffield Arena, and Andy has kindly bought his wife Lorraine and I a ticket. I am SO looking forward to this, Cesar has much the same ideas of leadership and fairness with dogs as I feel is right with horses. I don’t know his work well, but intend to go with an open and enquiring mind to Learn Learn Learn!

The “America 2010 Clinic” is set for June, watch this space for details when they become available. It amazes me how Lee and I, from such different backgrounds, have such similar thoughts on training horses. It is good to see how the experiences may be wildly different,  but as Lee says “Good Horsemanship Is Universal”.  

At some point I am going for a Car Rally Driving Day, and I look forwards in trepidation to this! It will be a whole new set of skills to try, to put me out of my “comfort zone”, and probably to scare me half witless! I Love new experiences, a chance to “feel alive” and practice observing what is happening.

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  1. Andy

    Ha! I am hoping Charlie remains his generous self and guides me through the process of what will be a challenging and exciting prospect. My target is just one intro, to do something I have never done and just enjoy it. I'm also really looking forward to watching David have a go too, he is far more competitive than I so it will be great to watch him take on the challenge! as for Ruth, my camera and I will hopefully follow Sherlock and you around your next challenges, that along with another American experince make it look like a thrilling year. That along with changes in my working life make 2010 full of challenge. Yeehah!

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  2. Gail

    Sounds like another great year is in store for you and the crew! Can't wait to hear about what you learn from Cesar, as I've also heard good things about his methods and how they can be applied to horses!

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  3. Cordy

    Great Ruth. Keep an eye on www.horseinbalance.com for more information on the possible upcoming seminar with Lee Hop & Ruth, as well as other events!

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  4. Anne Bradford

    Like this.

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