6 week Course Format


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6 Week Module Sept – Oct 2016


This 6 week module is designed in 2 week blocks of Introductory, Intermediate I and Intermediate II levels. It is possible to participate in just 1, 2 or any number of weeks of the 6 weeks. Below is a guide for the outline for each week, however I will adjust to meet the needs of the horses and riders attending.

Week One –  INTRODUCTORY – Part one
Develop connection, communication and confidence on the ground and in the saddle.
Learn how to “BE” around horses and how our thoughts and emotions affect them.
Understand horse psychology – How do horses think and what are they feeling? How do they learn?
Learn the ABC’s of communication- energy, intention, body language, tools, body yields, pressure and release. The body yields can also be used as a diagnostic tool to identify where there are emotions hidden and trapped in the body. Moving and yielding these tense or “stuck” spots can release trapped emotions and tension and can also be like physiotherapy for the horse.
This week the focus will be approx. 75% ground work and 25% riding.
N.B. This course is not just for those new to horses but also those new to my teaching and the concepts of Connecting with Horses and Riding with Synchronicity. The concepts taught on energy awareness, feel and connection, will most likely be new for most people, even those with many years of horse experience. These concepts are foundational for all of the rest of the teaching.  Week one is in fact the most important week of all and you will apply the concepts and principles taught here at whatever level you are at with your horse.

Ground skills
Centering – preparing ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically
Energy, body awareness and body language
Developing Feel
Getting “connected” with your horse – energetically and intuitively
Leading- different aspects and positions for leading – why, when and how
Fundamental and safe horse handling techniques
Personal space and ground manners
Introductory body yields
Introducing your horse to circling/lungeing
Playing with obstacles.
Building confidence for horse and human

Basic position – neutral pelvis and alignment
Saddle savvy – saddling safely and does your saddle fit?
Emergency handbrake
Stopping and going
Spiralling to a stop
Turning and directing – bending ribs, yielding FH and yielding HQs
Backing up
Moving in harmony with the horse – feeling and following their movement
Developing feel in handling the reins
Bending the ribs and rolling the HQ’s around

In this week and for the following weeks, there will be a big focus on Body Awareness and Body Balancing sessions for the human.
Progress the ground and riding skills taught in week one.
Develop more feel and balance both on the ground and riding.
Develop deeper levels of relaxation and responsiveness in the horse and yourself.

Ground skills

More responsive and yet calm and relaxed  yields
Develop greater feel and understanding of the horse’s body, balance and biomechanics
Introducing sideways
Upwards and downwards transitions
Beginnings of shoulder and rib mobility exercises
Trail walking – developing your horse’s confidence on the trail or in big open spaces.

Body awareness exercises on gym balls and the seat builder.
Developing relaxation, rhythm and impulsion
Getting horses to better follow your focus
Refining your aids for turning, stopping and going – using your body better
Beginnings of shoulder and rib mobility exercises
Improving the Backup
Improving the HQ  and FH yield
Trot diagonals
Smooth and Balanced transitions
Body Balancing exercises to develop riders balance, feel, and co-ordination

Week 3 – INTERMEDIATE I Part 1,

Learn about positive reinforcement versus negative reinforcement.
Introducing the “clicker” to pinpoint and positively reinforce and motivate behaviour.

While all of the teaching is aimed at developing good posture, self-carriage and healthy biomechanics this week focusses more deeply in this area both on the ground and riding, with the first key principles leading to balance and self-carriage being relaxation, energy and lateral alignment (straightness).

Introducing the clicker to the basic ground work already taught.
Circling: Working on longer lines – 22’ line
Changes of direction and bend on circles
Cantering on line
Advancing the groundwork as physiotherapy to help develop good posture, healthy biomechanics, balance and self-carriage.
Ribs swinging equally
Slalom, zig – zag patterns and serpentines
Trot diagonals
Rein positions with both reins in the one hand
Turn on the forehand ( HQ yields) & Turn on haunches – Pirouette (FH yields)
Forehand yields – getting in time with the feet
Riding more accurate figures and patterns
Getting your horse straight and in alignment
Riding sideways – getting the horses more responsive to your legs.
Teaching  the horse to stretch over the back and into a contact with the reins at the halt.

Week 4 – INTERMEDIATE I Part 2

Riding to encourage the horses to lift their backs, swing along and engage their HQ’s.
Longitudinal balance –where is the weight?  Shifting the weight to the HQ’s.
Is your horse “through” in the back? Meaning having the energy flowing through the horse’s back and energetically connecting the hind quarters to the front end.
Learn about the cycles of energy flow that travel through the bodies of both you and your horse when you are connected and in balance and self-carriage.

Ground work exercises to get horses more in alignment and supple, and balanced back on their hindquarters.
Lateral work – improving sideways, forehand turns, leg yielding & shoulder in
Good quality transitions – smooth and balanced

Riding in suspension – riding so that you are weightless and the horse can come into suspension underneath you.
Better balanced transitions
Improving sideways
Improving straightness and alignment
Ribs swinging equally and bending on circles
Leg yielding.
Teaching the horse to stretch over the back and into a contact with the reins in motion.
Develop confidence to ride in open spaces or on the trail.

This week we use liberty to take all of your ground skill communication to another level. You will really learn to get clear with how you use your energy, body language and body positioning because without a lead rope we have to get very clear and precise. Working with your horse at liberty in this way will take your quality and of feel and mental and energetic connection to a whole new level.

“Filling in the Holes” – Going back and working on any week spots that we can notice in our training so far. I am always going back and “filling in the holes”.  Advancement is based on really correct fundamentals and as we advance we start to see the holes in the basics that we need to fill in.

“Filling in holes” in all the previous learning.
Hindquarter yields in motion. – (haunches in /out, fish tailing)
Inside leg to outside rein concept.
Canter leads
Balance at the canter – Forward seat
More hindquarter engagement

Week 6 – INTERMEDIATE II – Part 2
Take it all a step further, to get more power, more expression, more exuberance and have more fun. Use dressage manoeuvres to develop athleticism and balance. Get everything more energised but keep the relaxation.
Ground skills
Advancing groundwork on line and liberty
Getting more responsiveness and athleticism
Energising things and getting more responsiveness to have more fun, playfulness and athleticism

Riding Skills
Balance at canter – upright seat
Simple lead changes
Transitions to further develop balance
Shoulder in
Haunches in
Half passes
Turns on the haunches
Energise things to have more fun, playfulness and athleticism


Getting ourselves in good shape mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually is at the crux of good horsemanship. So there is a big focus on Mind and Body Balancing and Awareness in the courses and class sessions will include aspects of Chi Ball, Tai Chi, Quigong, Feldenkrais, Yoga,  Aikido (martial arts), Meditation. The catering will be very healthy, fresh, live food. Previous course participants have described it not only as a horsemanship course but also as a health and wellness retreat.


There will be opportunities available for individual bodywork sessions in Shiatsu, Feldenkrais, Craniosacral Therpy, and possibly extra yoga and meditation classes available for those interested. Students are also invited to come along to my Aikido training to observe or participate. I would encourage people to make the most of these opportunities to get themselves in as good a shape as possible.  There are often also opportunities for bodywork and dentistry for horses.


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