Friday, October 22, 2010

new blog!

I have started a new blog, mostly because i liked the setup and want to try to experiment a bit with it. For those of you who want to follow, the adress is

Clinic time!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Clinic with Edward Gal at KOHS

Kingsland Oslo Horse Show is a yearly event here in Oslo, it is also the first indoor competition in the Rolex FEI world cup in show jumping. This is mainly a showjumping and family show, but there are some dressage classes aswell.

This year they managed to get Edward Gal to have a clinic in the evening on the first day. I attended this clinic and was asked to write a blog about it afterwards, so here goes.

First of all, I think mr Gal is a highly talented rider, he knows what he does and succeeds at it. I just don't like his training methods. You can call it rollkur, LDR or what ever you want, riding hyperflexed does not do the horse any good. You get the "amazing" front leg action, but they also carry a lot more weight than they are supposed to.  I could go on and on, but this post is about the clinic.

The horse mr. Gal brought for the clinic was a 6 (?) year old stallion which he had ridden for 3 months I think it was. It was a beautiful horse and in some ways reminded me of Tootilas, a powerful, black stallion.  Throughout the clinic he talked about changes in tempo, always keep the horse alert and thinking forwards even when you want him to go slower. Change the tempo, not the rythm. Since he rode an unexperienced horse he wanted him to go round, which by his standards means low, deep and round, which he did throughout the clinic. He only talked about 2 aids, legs (spurs) and hands, he has a good seat and uses it correctly but didn't mention it by one word, which i found quite weird.

After showing how to get the horse relaxed and alert by changes in the tempo in all 3 gaits, he started doing more difficult exercises. Like half-pass, canter changes on the diagonal and so on. To me and many others who aren't at that level, showing all these exercises were not so much something to learn from, as showing us how you can train your horse once you are at that level.

In the end of his riding session he actually collapsed somewhat in his seat. I am no one to talk, and we were a bunch of "seat nerds" (if I can call it that) who can find an error on anyone, but its good to see that even the best of the best can struggle with basic stuff.

The second half of the clinic, Edward was instructing the winner of the norwegian championship for junior earlier this year. I thought it was really brave of her to ride for Edward Gal, in front of that many people, but she did fine. She was asked to work with the same excersises he him self worked with on his horse. Especially getting the horse responsive to the aids, this horse was a bit lazy so everytime he was told to go forwards, he did for 3 steps then slowed down. They worked on getting him forward until he was told otherwise. The rider said that the horse was a lot better after the lesson.

A little bit of energy in this one aswell

Edward instructing the norwegian rider, this is at the end of the clinic

In the end i thought the clinic to be ok. I knew about his training methods before going to the clinic, so no surprises there, I just wanted to see how he trained his horses outside the competition arena. And you can say what you want about his training methods, but he is still a really really good rider. I especially like the fact that he uses light aids and that he has a good functional seat.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Spanish tack

Years ago, a friend of mine went to a horse show in Spain and bought some bridles. I think she used them a couple of times before leaving them somewhere, until now. I said I wanted to buy them, and now I have tried them on Bosco. I have only pictures of one of them, the other one looked weird at the moment. I have a feeling that it will look better  when he gets a bit older, but now it was a bit too much.

Here are the pictures!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hoof issues

In the past few weeks my motivation has reached a new low, mostly because we have no arena. But this week a new problem emerged. Bosco is barefoot and has never worn shoes. He grew up at Trollspeilet where the ground is mostly made up by river sand. This will not become as muddy or as hard as the ground where I keep him now. And we have got alot more gravel roads so his hoofs needs to adjust abit and before they do, he is not comfertable.

This was a problem in may, when it was wet everywhere, exept on the roads, and its a problem now.

The other day I wanted to train him in the round pen, but quickly realised that was not a good idea, as he was so touchy on his frontlegs he was almost lame. The roundpen is usually ok, but now anything else than grass was not comfertable. Of course I get worried that there might be something else than just sore hoofs (have no idea what the english expression for this is), so when the vet was at the stable on thursday I asked him to take a look at Bosco. He did not think it was anything else and I should keep him where he is comfertable until he comes back next week to see if there is any change.

This has also given me a kick in the butt, I have to get boots for him! I have been planning to order some for a long time, but since its impossible to buy boots over the counter I have hesitated since I want to try them on. I got a tip about someone who imports Renegades and she has boots I can try before ordering, nice! I think renegades is the way to go with his hoofs, atleast according to others who has tried different boots. So now we will try them out and be more carefull at spring and autumn, where his hoofs are the most sensitive.

Hopefully he will be allright with the boots, or else I would have to consider to shoe him, but I don't want to do that unless I have no other choice. Whats most important is that Bosco is comfertable.

He showed me today that he is more than comfertable outside in the pasture. When I let him out after feeding him he was really playful. Tried to get the other horses to play with him. Fist victim was Stelpa, a small medium aged icelandic horse who is the lowest ranked horse in the herd. She wasn't that interested, but Bosco kept chasing her around, throwing his neck, rearing and rolling over multiple times. After a while he got bored with her and moved on to "Flekken" (the norwegian version of the nickname Spot). With a full fronal assault he tried to get him to play with him, but no luck there either. I was watching with a friend and we tried to get her horses to play with Bosco, but no luck there either. We quickly realised that her horses are his ladies, and not playmates. Oh well, atleast he doesn't have any pain when he is in his pasture. I will just give him the time off while I buy boots and hopefully we have a solution!