Quick Links

Ride from the Heart DVD - The Art of Communication By Jenny Rolfe

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 28, 2012 07:10

 

 

 

Ride from the Heart DVD

The Art of Communication

By Jenny Rolfe

Cracking Media

50 minutes - $37.00

To purchase on-line, go to: http://www.spanishdressagehorses.com

Also available on Amazon

 

Reviewed by Carol M. Upton http://www.dreamsaloud.ca

Training is about connection with our horse with love, harmony and respect. The more we understand the ways of the horse, the more we understand our own feelings. As a result we can live in more harmony - not only with our horse - but with ourselves. ~ Jenny Rolfe

 

U.K. riding instructor Jenny Rolfe teaches innovative techniques of core breathing to connect with the horse and help the rider to find harmony in body, mind and spirit. Now these techniques are available in progressive and well-organized detail on the DVD Ride from the Heart.

 

Rolfe’s principles are based in dressage, but applicable to all forms of riding.  She demonstrates with her Iberian stallions using liberty work, not only as a training aid, but also as a warm-up, re-establishing connection on the ground prior to riding. The object is calm, assertive leadership, and total empathy between horse and handler.

 

The DVD includes common training tips such as not pulling on a horse’s head when leading. There are also excellent demonstrations of Rolfe’s exercise system to improve the rider’s body awareness. Exercises, loosely based on Tai Chi, are done in standing positions. The rider is then soft and relaxed when mounted, and thus the horse is as well. Most athletes already use such techniques prior to competition, but not much has been offered on DVD for the equestrian.

 

Instructors will value this DVD as a teaching tool for all levels, but it additionally offers fresh perspectives on position and groundwork. It is really for anyone who wants to help their horse become a more confident athlete and simply create a better ride.

 

Jenny Rolfe’s clients come from all over the world and include those professionally involved with horses, among them BHS trainers, physiotherapists and natural horsemanship instructors. She is also an artist and author of the book Ride from the Heart and her upcoming 2012 release Breathe Life Into Your Riding.

HorseOwnerToday and Elaine Ward of Western Dressage in Canada

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 11, 2012 16:05

 

 

1.  Tell HorseOwnerToday about your journey to developing Western Dressage in Canada to where it is today.
I've been involved with Western Style dressage for the past 30 years. I was a successful youth rider, and did the 4H, Paint and Quarter Horse Shows. I was learning dressage at the time also. My first dressage lesson was back in 1973! When I started teaching professionally, I would have students that would come to me with their Western horses.  I would work on really basic dressage exercises to improve the gaits and suppleness of their horses, and work on the rider's  position. It's really no different for me. Good training is good training. I teach the horse to use his hind end, and teach the rider how to achieve it.  Ideally we want the horse to carry it's self. My best analogy to riders is to imagine the horse is like a motor boat. Without the power of the engine (the horses' hind end) to lift the bow (the horses' front end), you will never have a horse that is light and can carry it's self.
Western Style dressage as a discipline is so new, that our job right now is to educate riders to the benefits of it. To develop a better level of communication, and a higher level of learning. What's really cool about Western Style dressage is that it is a progressive training, and the levels of tests increase in difficulty to reflect that. Even if someone has no interest in showing, the tests are just that, the ability to ride patterns of increased difficulty and to ride to a standard.


2.  What changes have you seen in the the Dressage in Canada market in the past 5 years?

I think the market has really not changed. You have two types of riders out there. The competitive and the recreational rider. It has always stayed that way. But on the other hand, the generations are getting older. What I have discovered from talking to people is that the older riders no longer wish to sit in a dressage saddle. They find the Western Style of riding much more relaxed and less restrictive. Those riders have also gone out and purchased a more average moving horse with a good mind. They still want to learn dressage, but not on a big moving, active minded horse. They love the camaraderie of riding with friends, and still want to go out there and learn, but not with the big warmblood or hot Thoroughbred types anymore. I'm not saying that Western Style Dressage is for the older riders, but from looking at several studies, the demographics point to the over 45 rider. I have discovered the same thing from talking to people interested in Western Style Dressage.  WSD also is important to the youth out there too. We would like those riders to develop a good foundation for training, no matter which discipline they choose to ride. Dressage is the French word for Training. Training done correctly.

3.   What changes do you predict for the future of Western Dressage in Canada in the next 5 years? 


The goal of the Western Style Dressage Association is to get WSD out there to every corner of Canada, through demos, displays, clinics, etc. Our long term vision is to have Equine Canada except WSD as an actual discipline with a section in the rule book. In the mean time, it's all about education!  We would like to see WSD included in regular dressage competitions. We would like to have an affiliate in every Province!  http://westernstyledressage.ca/


"Gumption and Grit" Edited by Sage Birchwater, Reviewed by Carol M. Upton

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 10, 2012 17:46

Gumption and Grit:
Women of the Cariboo Chilcotin
Edited by Sage Birchwater
Caitlin Press, 2009
Soft Cover, $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-894759-37-3
Available at bookstores and on Amazon
 
Reviewed by Carol M. Upton – www.dreamsaloud.ca

They just do what they have to do, with love and humor, be it making a home in the wilderness, writing books, breaking horses, trying to make the world a better place, raising families, raising spectacular gardens, putting their lives back together after some disaster, sometimes all of the above.
 ~ Diana French, Foreword to Gumption and Grit

The women of British Columbia’s Cariboo region were and are strong souls, experienced with hardship and adversity. Gumption and Grit is the first book in a new series that will showcase the lives and history of these women. This collection of 35 stories, some beginning in the early 1900’s, will resonate with ranch folks and history lovers everywhere.

Often living miles deep in unpredictable wilderness, Cariboo women had to summon their courage to overcome the day-to-day hardships. Jessie Moon had her foot stepped on by a horse while in late pregnancy, triggering premature labor, leaving her crippled and needing help to care for the new baby. Josephine Gregg recalls how her family coped with the toughest times by living entirely from the land – hunting, trapping, fishing, canning and preserving. Maddie Jack was 12 years old when she traveled with relatives through icy wilderness by horse-drawn sleigh to celebrate Christmas Mass with the one priest at Burns Lake. Chiwid was a reclusive first nations woman who lived outside, shunning the company of others and surviving the extremes of the frigid Chilcotin winters, for 50 years.

The women all had to fulfill multiple roles – from mother to trapper to rancher to homesteader, volunteer and business owner. Gumption and Grit is a fascinating tribute to their triumphs and survivorship.

Royalties from book sales will go to the Williams Lake Women’s Contact Society whose members originally started collecting stories back in 2002.

Sage Birchwater is the author of several historical books. He was a staff writer for the Williams Lake Tribune until his recent retirement. He still lives in Williams Lake and he has seven grandkids, a dog and a cat.

"Ground Manners" by Cynthia D'Errico reviewed by Carol Upton

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 6, 2012 15:06

 

Ground Manners

A Novel

By Cynthia D’Errico

Xlibris

Soft Cover, 2011, $19.99

Hard Cover, 2011, $24.99

ISBN: 978-1-4568-2394-8

Available at: www.groundmannersnovel.com or on Amazon 

 

Reviewed by Carol M. Upton

 

Learning that horses were butchered for meat left many people feeling raw and lied to,

like suddenly finding out that your neighbour had barbecued your retriever or microwaved your cat.

Like so many others, Yanne was clearly unaware that, whether for meat or other reasons,

horses were slaughtered at all. ~ Part Three, Chapter Four, p. 116

 

Ground Manners. A Novel is an innovative synthesis of adventure, romance and animal advocacy. 

Cynthia D’Errico has produced a compelling tale based on true stories about Canada’s horse slaughter industry,

the dangers of continuing to ignore coastline erosion, and which features an especially intriguing thread on how

le Canadien became both Quebec’s heritage breed and the National Horse of Canada.

 

Through the thoughts of Ausencia, a slaughter-bound polo horse, the opening pages introduce us to the horse refuge

run by animal communicator Skye Spahro and her daughter on Isle-Saint-Jean- Baptiste. 

The Institute of Nature Communications, like many horse rescues across the country, 

is dedicated to the care and rehoming of abused horses, including the rescue of those slated for slaughter.          

 

The horses narrate a good part of the story as D’Errico performs skillful shifts from the human to the animal point of view.

These shifts are reminiscent of those in other classics like Babe and Black Beauty, with that same brilliant seamlessness

that keeps the reader fully engaged.  The character of each horse is carefully delineated so that when Ulric,

the eternally calm Belgian draft says:  “I don’t like the look of things, Tessa,” his ominous tone ushers the reader

into the darkness of the book’s last half.

 

The themes in this book require the reader to confront the moral dilemmas often present in horse ownership and

attempt to expand the reader’s vision of horses.   Yet the darkness is never overdone.  The storyline is simultaneously about love,

heroes and hope for lasting change in our treatment of animals and the planet – indeed of the very ground we walk on. 

D’Errico’s writing style intimately involves readers in the lives of her characters, human and animal,

in such a way that their world becomes difficult to leave as the book nears its gripping finale. 

 

Ground Manners is the tale that horse lovers have waited for, but also essential reading for anyone intent on

creating a more harmonious relationship with our planet.

It will definitely raise public consciousness and is sure to spark debate.

 

Dreams Aloud Promotions
~ Linking your dreams to the world
Website:      www.dreamsaloud.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , ,

geriatric horses | rescue