The steps

The steps

I was pleased to see so many people sharing my post on Skeletal Maturity. If you haven’t read it yet here is a link: https://janniesmit.com.au/skeletal-maturity/ As for most, riding is the main goal with their horses but if we can’t ride them before they get close to...

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Skeletal Maturity

Skeletal Maturity

I am disappointed to see that still horses as young as two years old are started under saddle, despite the clear information on the detrimental effects on starting horses too young is readily available. I am very aware there are many different opinions on when to...

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The start of a movement

The start of a movement

When am doing my Feldie sessions I try to focus on the start of the movement. This goes as far back as just the thought of that movement as all movement comes from our brain. It is quite amazing what you can feel when you really focus. It made me think about the work...

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“Ivanhoe the Great”

“Ivanhoe the Great”

I was recently watching a lecture by Bent Branderup where he said that he hoped that every student would have at one stage a difficult horse in their life.  Ivanhoe came into my life just over 10 years ago and our journey has for sure been a challenge in many ways. It...

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Beautiful Paradox

Beautiful Paradox

It has now been over 22 years ago that this girl surprised me. We have been through a lot together. My part of our journey has been full of the most wonderful moments but also filled with many mistakes (at least I recognised them later as mistakes) and huge learning...

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The Voice

The Voice

Exploring the BasicsI am currently working on a documentary for the Atherton Herberton Historic Railway. Marty is “the Voice” for this doco and this weekend we did the last recordings. I had the feeling that I had not enough commentary with the footage but as a visual...

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Observations

Observations

Exploring the BasicsLike any other relationship, before you start working with a new horse you need to get to know each other. I start by “Hanging Out”, spend time in the paddock and Observe. Two weeks ago a new horse arrived at our place, she will be a part of our...

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Explore the Basics

Explore the Basics

Exploring the BasicsPiaf’s, Canter Pirouettes, School halts and Levade’s. These moves can be inspiring for some, for others it is daunting. It is important to understand that these exercises will only make up 10% of a training session. Focussing on the gymnastic works...

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Neutral Observations

Neutral Observations

I have all but one of my lessons with Jossy Reynvoet and Bent Branderup from my last trip to Europe on video.Back home watching the video’s my first reaction was disappointed.  I could not believe how bad I was “performing”. Why was I so out of balance, why could I...

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Gymnastic Groundwork

Gymnastic Groundwork

I was asked by the owner of this beautiful mare to help her with Gymnastic Groundwork. Through some unfortunate injuries in the paddock a few years back, she has some problems in her hind quarters. Gymnastic Groundwork is a great way to help the horse to become more...

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Head movement

Head movement

After coming back from Jossy Reynvoet I am paying a lot more attention to the side to side movement of the head. Especially in the Ground work and Longing.It is very easy to block this movement with your hands. By blocking this movement you can interrupt the movement...

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From being to doing

From being to doing

People talk about that Centaur feeling between you and your horse. That 100% connection where you and your horse become one. I have told students that this is one of the things we aim for but I had never really experienced it myself until last year when I spent time...

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Every move you make

Every move you make

A few years ago a friend had suggested a trainer in Belgium called Jossy Reynvoet. Jossy is a student of Bent Branderup’s Academic Art of Riding for many years and has become one of Bent’s recognised instructors.Jossy has now setup the Bitless Art of Riding where he...

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