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Quality instruction and compassionate training methods for equestrians and their horses. Welcome to Journey Horse! Want to improve your horse’s performance?
Looking to enhance your connection with your horse?
Operating as usual
This photo is from 1981 when I first demonstrated the Tellington Method to Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais and students in the Amhurst Feldenkrais® Professional Training.
I graduated from the 4-year Feldenkrais® training at the Humanistic Psychology Institute in San Francisco in 1978 and was one of the graduates invited to give Functional Integration® lessons to students in the Amhurst class.
I was 35 when I began that training with Moshe Feldenkrais. I had been training young horses since I was 12 years old. On the 2nd day of my training in 1975 I realized the potential for working with horses in a completely new way - That was the inspiration for the Tellington Method as it's known today.
Feldenkrais is a fabulous modality that is so complementary to the Tellington TTouch! Join me at the upcoming Feldenkrais Summit where I am a presenter! Get your free ticket here: https://feldenkraissummit.com/spage/mbfb-summit-2022/?affiliate=tellingtonttouch
OBITUARY: Her Majesty The Queen – a happy and glorious life
OBITUARY: Her Majesty The Queen – a happy and glorious life Following the sad news of Her Majesty The Queen's death, Horse & Hound acknowledges the influence of this great equestrian
[video] Seat Bone Control In Walk - https://dressagetraining.tv/seat-bone-control-walk/
Some riders move around too much in walk, which gives them little control over tempo or the length of the horse's stride. In this 2 minute video in the above link I talk about seat bone control and show a little exercise which prepares the rider for developing better control of tempo and better control of their seat. The final exercise is a precursor to learning how to halt directly from stopping the seat bones.
Join Linda Tellington-Jones at 10 am PST on Sunday, September 11th for an in-depth discussion of the how the Tellington Method® has successfully improved the well-being and performance with Grand Prix dressage horses.
Linda will share a video that demonstrates the improvements of several horses ridden by Olympic Gold Medal riders Klaus Balkenhol and Nichol Uphoff, before and after the Tellington Method. She will share her experiences helping several specific Grand Prix horses such as; Grazioso who had a habit of bolting at sudden movement in the audience – who, after 3 days of working with Linda at a horseshow, won the Intermediate level for the first time; another young horse who was reactive to the lightest leg pressure, gained acceptance to leg aids in one TTouch session; and Meggle’s Weltall who was renowned for explosive behavior in the ring and turned around as a 16 year old thanks to 4 months of TTouch, winning 8 Grand Prix classes in his 17th year.
The techniques Linda used can be helpful to any breed, discipline or age. Join Linda as she coaches you to observe your horse with new eyes, while you learn TTouch® Techniques to take your horse to a new level of trust and cooperation.
To register for the talk Sunday Visit:
As always, this session will be recorded so if you cannot make it live, you can catch the replay in the community library. To access the Tellington TTouch Community Library and join the community visit www.ttou.ch
My special guest - Linda Tellington-Jones
Yes, and keeping consistent supportive aids 'on' that give confidence and are not random
Never Fall Off Again --- Get Your Free Ticket To My Clinic
What a crock of s**t. Desensitizing horses has nothing to do with whether or not you know how to ride. That is the only path to competence and still no guarantee that you would never fall off.
From William Steinkraus
Alice Tarjan & American-Bred Serenade MF Win Festival of Champions Grand Prix Special to Put Rider Within Reach of Back-to-Back Titles
Shrimp does it again!
Alice Tarjan & American-Bred Serenade MF Win Festival of Champions Grand Prix Special to Put Rider Within Reach of Back-to-Back Titles Alice Tarjan and the American-bred Serenade MF won the Festival of Champions Grand Prix Special to put the rider within reach of back-to-back titles.
FOC- FEI Grand Prix Test Winner
“Lottie” Fry & Glamourdale Score 90% to Win World Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle Championship Gold
“Lottie” Fry & Glamourdale Score 90% to Win World Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle Championship Gold Britain’s newest dressage superstar “Lottie” Fry on Glamourdale scored 90.654% Wednesday night to become the World Freestyle champion to add to the individual gold claimed two day…
Marydell Farm - A Tale of Fate, Love and Horses – American Style | Horses Daily
Marydell Farm - A Tale of Fate, Love and Horses – American Style | Horses Daily In 1987, Maryanna Haymon witnessed Reiner Klimke riding an exhibition freestyle aboard Ahlerich at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden (N.Y.). “Every footfall fell on every beat of the music. ” She knew then how she wanted to spend her time with horses.
Andreas Hausberger – the Spanish School meets Competition dressage | The Horse Magazine
Andreas Hausberger – the Spanish School meets Competition dressage | The Horse Magazine Andreas Hausberger – the Spanish School meets Competition dressage Posted on August 7, 2020 by horsemagazine Rebecca Ashton has one of the most fascinating interviews we have ever published, enjoy… When I was growing up, the Spanish Riding School was Shambhala. Given this was a time before the i...
DNA evidence may link Chincoteague pony origins to Spanish shipwreck
DNA evidence may link Chincoteague pony origins to Spanish shipwreck Local legend has it that the wild horses on Assateague Island descended from survivors of a Spanish shipwreck 500 years ago. New DNA evidence appears to back it up.
Just because you didn't progress, it doesn't mean your instructor is rubbish.
When I first started teaching it was not uncommon for people to use our initial lessons to do a lot of complaining about and denigrating of previous trainers for their perceived lack of progress. At that stage in my career I would be super optimistic that I could help. These days I tend to stop these tales, and suggest we just see how things go....
Now don't get me wrong, some people have had really crappy times with previous instructors and have had very poor quality tuition.
You may also end up with someone you just don't get on with (and that's OK. As my friend Jane reminds me, we are not for everyone ). You may also discover that the training approach your instructor is sharing is not for you .
It can take a while to really discover someone who both teaches in a way you appreciate and who teaches the kind of thing you really want to learn.
The other reason you might not have progressed with your previous instructor - and also may not progress with me - might be for other reasons.
It is not uncommon to meet students who have gone from one trainer to the next, initially taking on board with great enthusiam what they are doing (even if it goes against everything they have previously been taught - again and again and again). And then after a while, when things don't improve as they would like, they move on to the next trainer, then the next.
Because let's be clear; learning is really hard. I am a lifelong student, and I am now confident that large parts of that learning journey involves plateauing for ages; appearing to make the same mistakes over and over, and having to dig so deep yourself that it hurts.
To progress there are a few things you cannot avoid:
1. You will have to practice - a lot.
2. You will have to look to yourself, again and again
3. You will have to be responsible for that practice - by this I mean, really considering what you're doing and why, observing, comparing, reflecting, trying again. This is not for your instructor to do, this is only for you. If you're contacting your instructor after lessons and asking them to send you notes about your session, you may have to rethink where the responsibility lies.
4. When it feels tricky and hard and messy, this is not the time to give up.
5. You will have to practice even when you can think of every reason not to.
6. You will have to look to yourself.
At some stage - I promise - the act of practicing becomes a wonderful and addictive act that you cannot exist without. But it does not start this way. Motivation tends to follow action, not the other way around.
Beginnings are wonderful, but at some stage the glitter wears off, and then there is the work. And no one else can do this bit for us.
Photos from Chincoteague.com's post
Serenade MF Serenade MF is an American-bred Hanoverian mare ridden at the international level of dressage by Alice Tarjan. In 2021, she won the Markel/USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix Dressage National Championship at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. Tarjan and Serenade went on to win the Intermediate I...
Happy Birthday, Misty! Born July 20, 1946!!
Here's a question to ponder---I don't consider this a right or wrong issue, as much has to do with personal taste. I have never been a fan of giants, and have always been comfortable on small horses, but have also ridden a few that were 16.3 plus.
(photo---15 hand High Brook Rockstar)
Morgans, Arabians, Connemaras, others, small in stature perhaps, big in attitude and ability--So what are YOUR thoughts on this?
L.A. Sokolowski asks:
"How do we combat the general riding population's intoxication with the 17hh animals? Particularly over fences or obstacles. How do we get the normal sized horse (15hh range) back into the competitive psyche as well as create courses safe for them?"
Friday Funny! Hats off to a great weekend.
In 1962, Bill Steinkraus, then the captain of the U.S. Equestrian Team, wanted a saddle that would give him a closer feel of the horses that he rode. He wanted to feel their movements through his seat and legs. He wanted them to feel what he was doing.
Mr. Steinkraus turned to the French luxury goods company Hermès to build his new saddle. With his help, Hermès designed the first close-contact saddle, which became known as the Steinkraus Hèrmes. They used a racing exercise saddle tree and the finest leather. The wooden trees were made by local artists and then returned to the Hermes shop to have the saddles built around them. The new saddle weighed a mere 10 pounds.
With the exception of a slight dip directly in the center of the seat, the saddle was perfectly flat (Mr. Steinkraus explained, recently, that to have the proper balance on a horse, one must be sitting in the center of the saddle). It had no knee rolls, blocks, or suede. Each saddle had a serial number stamped under the left skirt and if you contacted Hermès, they could tell you when the saddle was made and by what saddle maker.
I never do this, but I am going to do this.
I am going to talk about safety.
And I am not going to mention hats once.
I’ve seen one too many sad stories about people tumbling off their horses, one too many melancholy pictures from A&E, one too many shy, shamed admissions that the nerve has gone.
People feel ashamed that they are afraid to get back on their horses after a nasty fall. But there are two kinds of fear: the useful, sensible fear that keeps us humans alive, and the paranoid amygdala fear that says everything is going to hell and we will never amount to anything. The first one is the one I listen to. I don’t, eccentric as it may seem, want to die.
That fear tells me a lot of good stuff. It tells me that if the red mare and I are out of practice, we will need to go and do a bit of preparatory work before we ride out into the hills again. It tells me that preparation and practice and patience are everything. It tells me not to rely on luck or what the hell; it tells me to do the work, day after day.
So, in our field, we do the work. We do it on the ground, for days and weeks and months, until the fear nods its head sagely and tells us we are ready. We do stuff which looks boring or nuts to a lot of people. And that’s because I don’t want to be the person who has to sit up all night in a chair because of seven broken ribs, or who can hardly speak and is the colour of putty because of a smashed up pelvis, or who is hobbling about on a broken ankle. I live alone. I have to do my work and look after dogs and horses. I can’t break my ankle.
I have a whole boatload of rules that many people will scoff at. I don’t care. For instance, I won’t get on a horse who can’t stand still at the mounting block. Won’t do it. It’s not only dangerous in and of itself, but that inability to stand is what my friend Warwick Schiller calls ‘bolting at the standstill’. That horse cannot control itself, and so we’re in trouble, right off the bat.
I spend years teaching my horses to control themselves. I learnt an entire new horsemanship from scratch to do this. It is never complete, because horses are prey animals and flight animals, but it goes a hell of a long way.
You literally can teach horses to think their way through problems, rather than react.
You can teach them to move easily between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, so they can bring themselves down after a fright.
I’ll give you a specific example: when Clova first came to us, it took her as long as forty-seven minutes to bring herself down. I once timed it on my telephone. And that was not after a fright, that was after the tiniest bit of pressure - just me asking her to trot round me on the rope. Forty-seven minutes. I stood and breathed and waited and broke my heart, a little, thinking of the things she must have been through in her life.
Now, it takes between three to seven seconds.
I watched her do it the other day, out on the trail. An unexpected duck flew up off the burn. It gave her a tiny fright. Four seconds later, she dropped her head, relaxed into her loose rein, and licked and chewed. We taught her that, because it’s a lifesaver, for her rider. It also makes her own life so much easier and happier.
We do a ton of other stuff that helps safety. We teach all our horses to stand still, we teach them all personal space, we teach them focus and connection. This means they won’t trample over us in fear. When horses get scared, they go blind. They’ll knock you over because they don’t know you are there. They are in full survival mode. I won’t work with horses like that. It’s not their fault, but they scare the jeepers out of me.
Actually, that’s not true. Our Freya was like that, and I did work with her, because I wanted her to relax and be happy and find herself, and so I had to work through a lot of very sensible fear. It was a balance between keeping myself safe and giving that horse what she needed, all the time. Thank goodness those days are behind us. Kayleigh was sometimes scared and I was sometimes scared and we were absolutely right to be afraid. There was danger, and we reacted to it rationally.
The focus work is not just so the horses won’t send us flying when they are in survival mode, it’s also for things like feeding time and putting them back into the field.
I have a ridiculously strict rule in the field. All our children obey it to the letter. I owe it to their mothers to keep them safe. It is: we lead the horses in, find a good space, turn them to face the gate, check whether they are relaxed, check whether they are focused on us (rather than on the bears in the woods), check whether they are connected to us, and only then let them go.
I do all this because I love being with horses and I don’t want to be scared of them. A horse who can regulate her own nervous system is so much easier to be around. She’s easy with herself and that makes the humans happy and confident. A horse who knows about personal space is a pleasure, in every interaction. A horse who has control over himself is a joy, not a terror.
Horses will always be intrinsically risky. We’ve all tumbled off, at one time or another, the posse and I. But I like to reduce the risk to the lowest possible point. Every time one of us tumbles, we learn a boatload of lessons from that. It’s almost always that I’ve let something slide, got a bit cocky, ignored a warning sign.
I’m not very brave, and I’m glad I’m not. I used to be deadly ashamed of this. Everything in my childhood was geared to kicking on and riding through it. That was what my dad did, with his steeplechasers; that’s what he famously did when the docs told him he could never ride again and he was back the next year in the Grand National. That was how it was done, in our house.
But I don’t have that kind of physical courage; not any more. I am afraid of breaking things and hurting things. So I train my horses in the ways of slowness and peace. I train them to know me and know themselves, so that fear does not swamp them when it comes. I train them to trust their humans, so they don’t have to go into that hard, terrified survival mode. They always have someone, in their corner, on their side, who will stand on the ramparts and not let the mountain lions pass.
I think a lot about what horses want. Sometimes, I think they want someone who will stand between them and a hungry lion. I am not physically brave, but I would do that for my red mare. I can’t tell you that she knows that, not for sure (I will never entirely know what she knows), but my guess is she has a sense of it. And that is why we are a team. We will protect each other until the last lion is down.
Photos from Tamarack Hill Farm's post
Their behavior is their language. It is up to us to observe and ask the right questions, listen for the answers and BELIEVE them
Sometimes in my practice I come across an owner who wants to normalize something that isn’t normal.
This sounds like:
❌ My horse works out of the stiffness/lameness after 15 minutes under saddle.
❌ He always crow hops after a bigger jump.
❌She throws her head around in the arena but not on the trail (or vise versa).
❌He always makes a face when I do the girth up.
❌It usually takes me 15 minutes to catch her and I need food to do it.
❌The left lead is always harder to get.
❌She’s always weaved in her stall.
These kinds of statements are usually followed by “that’s just the way he/she is.”
This is your horse speaking to you, over and over and over again. Please listen, before they have to get louder. Stop and think about what behaviors your horse demonstrates that maybe don’t seem totally right to you but you’ve just accepted them as “normal”.
This is a question very much worth asking of yourself, then your horse, then work with your trainer/horse care professionals to get to the bottom of it.
Answer the question as best you can, and you build a deeper, more solid partnership with your horse. Why? Because you listened. And then you did something about it. And your horse knows it.
When things go wrong, people tend to escalate emotionally.
Say a horse gets out, horses are fighting in their pasture, a horse isn’t getting in the trailer, whatever it may be, at any given barn, you see people running around, flapping their arms, waving ropes, maybe yelling.
Logically, I think we all know that adding intense emotions and commotion to an already escalated animal will not produce the desired result. Trying to de-escalate a prey animal with our out of control emotions and behavior is a fool’s game.
In order to stay calm during these intense moments, I think it has to be our go-to state. Take, for example, emergency responders, law officers, and anyone frequently working in intense scenarios: they are able to stay calm because they are executing what they practice day in and day out.
If you find yourself emotionally escalating when things aren’t easy or pretty, firstly, understand it is normal to feel that way. The cure for this is 1- experience and knowledge, and 2- practicing the right mind frame; day by day.
Welcome to Journey Horse!
Emphasizing cooperation through the use of sound training practices
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