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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/


Nawaab: Stallion of Ahmedabad

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 23, 2012 12:45

 

 

 

 


Nawaab: Stallion of Ahmedabad

By Gina McKnight
Photography By Uzair Kasbati, Manthan Mehta, Nrupal Mehta


The commotion in the backyard at 5 o’clock am can be heard along the streets of Ahmedabad.  Nawaab, handsome five-year old black stallion of Anish Gajjar, is awake and ready for breakfast!  An anxious whinny resounds as the local farmer tosses pulas of green alfalfa over the wall into Nawaab’s stable; the syce arrives to place the forage into the appropriate feeder, along with Nawaab’s daily portion of Bajra (grain).
Nawaab is comfortable amongst the sounds and hustle of city life.  His stable is ideal; a large space for meandering throughout the day, a fragrant frangipani tree and a pink-flowering bougainvillea vine for daily shade.  At 15.2 hands, Nawaab towers the neighborhood children who are sometimes startled by his appearance as he gazes with probing stallion eyes over his stable wall.
Sired by Suraj and dam Lakshmi of the famous Manaklao Stables located forty kilometers from Jodhpur, Nawaab mirrors his ancestral lineage with his cognitive skills and signature physique.  He is the horse of legend.  A gazing star on his forehead symbolizes good fortune, giving him a distinctive appearance, making him desirable amongst Marwari breeders.
Wielding a confident and graceful countenance, he is brave and loyal, embracing all the characteristics of the classic Marwari; the mount of kings and warriors, the result of centuries of natural selection, environment and geographic.  “His disposition could be described as content, curious and an explorer. He's got one of the best temperaments; a little assertive, as a stallion should be, and always very friendly,” says Gajjar. 
Dedication and compassion makes a true horseman, which is evident in Gajjar’s articulate training and intuitive approach. Training is in process and the bond between horse and rider has been well established. According to Gajjar, “Nawaab has been bred by a very reputed breeder, Dr. Narayansingh Manaklao, but was never trained for riding. After bringing him home, I’ve done three sessions with him and he doesn't rear anymore or show any impatient signs. I really have my hopes set on this one. Looks like he'll turn out great!”
Gajjar plans to school Nawaab in dressage, an equine ballet in which the horse’s eloquent moves are orchestrated through an unseen channel of communication between horse and rider. Rooted in military training traditions, dressage will allow Nawaab to demonstrate his nimble and adaptable qualities. Nawaab’s genetically engineered structure for intricate maneuvers, such as dressage, ensures his success as a champion.
Gajjar affectionately strokes Nawaab’s neck and tickles his ears. His great admiration for Nawaab is evident.  Nawaab responds with equal affection and trust.  Gaining Nawaab’s respect with strong but moderate authority establishes Gajjar’s natural leadership role. It is a magical image of connected friendship between horse and rider that has been envied throughout time.
Nawaab and Gajjar can be seen on their trek from the stable, through the city streets of Ahmedabad, to the adjacent green fields for their brisk morning ride.   It is a pleasant ride, the result of expert care and training.  “The gaits are soft and he's quite sure-footed. I've brought him into a well collected ride. The trot and canter are both quite soft and comfortable,” says Gajjar.  When asked about Nawaab’s beauty, agility and expert performance, Gajjar states, “I don't have any magic in me; it’s just passion and hard work. Every day is a learning experience!”
Within the annals of Indian Mythology, the fascinating Marwari hold a prominent position. There is no denying that the Marwari image emits a powerful influence on equestrians around the world. The indigenous Marwari is one of India’s most precious resources; progressive, resilient and unique.  Currently, due to low census, Marwari are confined to India (with very few in the U.S.A., France and Spain, which were transported there before the ban); however, as their numbers increase, the export ban may be lifted.
As an equestrian and avid horse lover, I hope to find a Marwari in my stable one day.  Their versatility and etiquette would be a welcome addition to my valley. I am positive one of Nawaab’s offspring would be right at home in my peaceful Appalachia countryside.
 
Anish Gajjar is co-founder of the Equestrian Club of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, India
  
Gina McKnight is an author and freelance writer from USA

http://ginamc.blogspot.com/

http://gmcknight.com

Horse Man of India - Anish Gajjar

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   November 26, 2011 18:09

The Equestrian Club of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, India

Introducing Anish Gajjar, Horse Man of India

By Gina McKnight

Photography Courtesy of Nrupal Mehta

 

 

          There is a place in India where the love of horses surpasses all understanding.  It is a place where equestrians and equines thrive in harmony, integrity and friendship. It is a community that promotes rider ethics and horse welfare; a place where riders convene to embrace and learn the wonders of quality horsemanship. It is the Equestrian Club of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, India.

          Anish Gajjar, Co-Founder of the Equestrian Club of Gujarat, Freelance Equestrian Trainer and Riding Instructor, is a seventeen year veteran on the equestrian scene. He is a charismatic entrepreneur, creating a firm foundation for one of India’s premier riding academies.  Gajjar is candid about riding and his passion for horses.  Through the years, he has enabled many to fulfill their dreams of horsemanship, while providing an outlet for his own ambitious ventures.

          The riding club is nestled on the outskirts of the Ahmedabad suburb.  The stables are clean and comfortable; the horses are grand and sleek, with a whinny now and then.  The smell of horses and leather permeate the facility.  As with any quality riding club, the horses are kept with utmost care. Each horse is stalled separately, without hobbles as is customary in some Indian stables.  The brick and mortar stalls are settled neatly in rows with adequate space for grooming, tack, and the frequent affection provided by riders and visitors. 

Gajjar arrives at the stables every day by six am for his morning ride.  Students appear shortly thereafter for riding lessons and coaching sessions.  Upon entering the riding academy, each student is evaluated as to their level of expertise.  The chosen horse is determined by the size and weight of the student; a quiet, gentle horse is given to an inexperienced adult or child, while educated riders can begin with a more spirited horse. Students range from children to adults, novice to intermediate levels.

Under the expert guidance of Gajjar, students learn proper equitation as well as respect and care for horses.  Students learn that horses can recognize anxieties and desires through physical messages and focal movements; that physical and focal cues act as communication tools to achieve the desired response from their mount.  The large riding arena is surrounded by mango groves and beautiful landscape.  The arena adjoins the stable providing adequate room to hone basic riding techniques as well as jumping and dressage skills for horse shows and competitions.

Gajjar not only provides clients with riding lessons, but also the opportunity for guidance with equine training, procurement, breeding, and nutritional/health management.  Working with local veterinarians and horse experts, Gajjar has formed a deep friendship and camaraderie amongst horse owners.

It is hard work, but as Gajjar indicates, “Hard work has no short cut and success is not achieved overnight.  One should not get disheartened at short term obstacles, but should focus on long term gains.”  His vision has become a reality; he is world renowned for his riding expertise, advocacy for the ethical treatment of horses, and, most of all, his mesmerizing, beautiful horses.

          If you have the opportunity to travel to Ahmedabad, stop in and visit with Gajjar.  He will readily welcome your intrigue and take you a tour of his facility, and maybe a quiet ride through the nearby mango grove and dry riverbeds.                .

          With a pleasant smile and confident stance, Gajjar states, “Tell me it can’t be done, and I will do it; tell me the goal is too high, and I will reach it; place an obstacle in front of me and I will soar over it; challenge me, dare me, or even defy me, but do not underestimate me - for on the back of my horse anything is possible.”

 

 

 

Follow Anish Gajjar and his beautiful horses on facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604156224

 

Anish Gajjar - Horse Man Blog:

http://www.apnuahmedabad.com/2011/07/horse-man.html?spref=fb

 

Nrupal Mehta - Photographer

https://www.facebook.com/nrupalmehta?ref=ts

 

Reprinted with the kind permission of

Gina McKnight is an author and freelance writer from USA

http://gmcknight.com

http://ginamc.blogspot.com/