Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blair attends Jeff Moore's clinic at Osierlea

This past weekend I attended the bi-annual Osierlea Extravaganza in beautiful San Juan Bautista, CA. Judy received an email about two months ago from Jeff Moore about this event and suggested that I should go. I was all in. Learning more in my discipline and hanging in California?! I think that sounds great! Anyway, I took away many great tidbits and gained a new perspective on the actual "training" of the horse. It shouldn't be an emotional battle between trainer/rider and horse. Jeff was constantly telling us all that horses do not DO things to us on purpose. They simply do not think in that way.
The major focus of the entire clinic was core, core, core. If you do not have a strong core muscle it is nearly impossible to have a steady horse. In order for your horse to be cooperative and respond easily to your aids, the core muscle must be stable and engaged. Several key signs of a weak core (according to Jeff and his program) are Unsteady hands, pulling hands, unstable legs, unsteady trunk, shoulders held too high, and twisting in the upper body. These are just a few, of course there are many others. 
And here is a simple exercise to help strengthen your core! It is called "the squeeze" and fairly self explanatory. You could do this while sitting in the office chair, while driving, and even while standing still on your horse. If you are in a chair, move forward so that your back is not touching it and exhale. Think of pulling your belly button in and up towards your spine(in the direction of your throat). You could also think of narrowing your waist so that your waistband is no longer touching your skin. Continue to breathe normally WITHOUT letting your core relax. Every few seconds concentrate on your belly button to be sure that your core is still engaged. Do this 3-5 times for 60seconds each. 
You'll be sure to have a super strong core after a few weeks of that!
 All of this broken down bio-mechanic theory cleared my mind of some unnecessary pre-set ideas and I'm confident that all of my horses are going to appreciate my new outlook! I'm extremely grateful to Judy for not only pushing me to further my education but helping to support it as well. I look forward to the upcoming show/clinic season and am very excited for what is yet to come!
by Blair Niemcziek

No comments:

Post a Comment