Hi Jane, I thought I would give you an update on how things are going for me since
our lesson the other week. I must say, everything is going a treat :) I know I was
harping on about my ankles, but becoming aware of them has helped tremendously. Also,
since doing the standing in the stirrups has made me aware that previously I at times
was pivoting my lower leg away from the horse because my knee was too straight whilst
standing/rising in the stirrups. The image/feeling of backward peddling has also
helped our walking heaps. I know, because he can be a tense horse, I have had a habit
of bracing through the lower back. This would cause him to jog at times, especially
going from a free walk to a medium walk. Now when I collect my reins I make sure
that I’m "peddling" and not anticipating a jog. Now for the last 3 rides, we haven't
jogged in this transition at all through the whole ride. Next, Canter. I know we
didn't get into this, but this seems to have improved too. I think mainly because
I am aware of my ankles and letting them flex. I am also aware of keeping weight
down on the the inside leg in circles especially. Sitting trot also is coming along.
We are now getting a trot down the long side and mostly a circle before we get the
tension and loss of rhythm, so that is a definite improvement. I’m sure it will continue
to get even better as we build more strength and he gets used to the fact that an
aid is not coming as soon as I sit. Cheers and once again, thanks, Bec, Gold Coast,
Then a further update from Bec (a dressage rider) a week later - Today interestingly
I was in a bit of a hurry to ride. forgot about my ankles for a while and was wondering
why we were getting tension again, esp in transitions. I stopped and thought about
it, and I was back in my old habits. Stiff ankles and uneven weight distribution
in my legs again. So I went back and had a little standing in the stirrups session
for a minute, and then everything came back again and we had relaxation and rhythm
back again. It amazes me how much I need to keep this in my consciousness to remember
to do it, but I guess its just 20 odd years of doing it to replace in my hardwiring.
Also amazes me how many horses put up with it and how this guy will not! Bec
Dear Jane, I cannot thank you enough for the past weeks experience. Your patience,
kindness and sincere empathy have reconnected me with a part of myself that I had
feared was long gone. Your instruction is not only clear and easy to understand for
the novice, it's also as if you lend your own confidence to the scared and nervous
rider so that it feels like you are right up there guiding each new step. Good teachers
give good instruction, brilliant teachers give of themselves along with great instruction.
It is truly wonderful to meet someone that is clearly doing what they were born to
do. I wish you all the very best for the future and will definitely be coming back
soon. With sincere thanks and gratitude Suzanne, Buderim, Qld
Dear Jane, just writing to thank you for all your help at the Clinic yesterday. As
you had warned - I think of you everytime I move !!! R... & I just had the best day
& your observations were a great help to us. Would love to do another so will have
to see if we can get together another group together in the future. Once again thank
you so much for yesterday - it was the best Mother's Day present. Christine, Sunshine
Dear Jane, On behalf of Karen and myself, I write to express our heartfelt thanks
for a really great 4 days last week with you and our horses. Your knowledge, patience
and clear imparting of what was required (plus your neat sense of humour!) made the
lessons all we had hoped for. Royce and Karen, West of Brisbane, QLD
Hi Jane, Thank you so much for the lesson this morning. It was just what I needed,
and I’ve been on such a big high since. Poor Brendan has had to put up with me telling
him how great it was all afternoon...hehe. I found it so easy to understand (and
definitely learnt a few things) and I can’t remember feeling that comfortable and
secure in ages, especially at sitting trot. Am really looking forward until my next
lesson. Thank you again, Julie, Gold Coast, QLD
Dear Jane, I just had to let you know how well my (regular) lesson went this week
after my two weekend sessions with you - Byron (my instructor) commented almost immediately
" you seem to be sitting so much better to-day Norma!!!” and it felt so much better.
I did my "standing in the stirrups" around the arena both at the walk and trot and
it seems so easy to do now, I am also trying to get that weight distributed between
my seat and legs and found my aids in the canter so much more controlled, I even
managed to get a nice transition on his difficult right side!! Many, many thanks
Jane, I can't wait to continue. Kindest regards, Norma, Redlands, QLD.
About ‘Independent Seat’ clinics and lessons
The mounted clinic is for up to eight people at a time. The clinic runs for 3 - 4
hours and includes breaks. The group goes through the balance exercises in walk and
trot (no cantering as a group). Then each rider has a short session where they can
work one on one with myself on a particular problem they may be having. The clinic
teaches riders how to be safer and more effective and also gives them an awareness
of what their body is doing whilst riding. Most importantly these sessions are fun
and interactive. Riders of all levels are welcome (beginners must be able to control
their horse in a group). Riders who are also instructors learn new and innovative
ways of teaching balance to their students.
For a review of a riding clinic by Tracy Mayhew from Cyberhorse click here
If you want to know want it feels like to attend one of my seat clinics read this
insightful article by a recent participant Kal Newcomb click here
I am also available for individual lessons. If we are in your area you may want to
get a group of friends together. See our rough itinerary for the next year or so
on the News and new stuff page to see where we will be and when.
My clients usually fit into one of the three following categories:
Experienced riders who are having specific rider problems that their own instructor
is unable to fix (this is quite common as many otherwise excellent instructors do
not focus on the rider in their teaching but instead focus on the horse and rider
combination). These clients use me as a trouble shooter, get their problem sorted
out, and then are able to carry on with their own instructor.
Another typical client group are people who are returning to riding after a long
break (or who are learning to ride as an adult). These riders may have seat problems
and/or confidence issues. I find this group particularly rewarding whether they are
planning to simply ride recreationally or to compete in the future.
The third group are people who have lessons with me to improve the rider/horse combination.
I teach people how to improve themselves and the horse that they have whether it
be an endurance horse, trail riding horse, dressage, western, stock or a recycled
racehorse (Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds). It really does not matter as every horse
can and is improved through good training.
Please read the sampling of testimonials below to get a better idea of my teaching
Riding clinics and lessons
This page is where you can find out more about the clinics and lessons that I offer
- see also the Riding - Independent Seat page for more information about how important
it is to have an ‘independent seat’ and the more riding info page for some articles
that I have written and have had published.
On this page there are also some testimonials from previous clients. See our rough
itinerary for the next year or so on the News and new stuff page to see where we
will be and when. If you would like to be kept up to date with any changes/additions
to the calendar and receive notification of updates (including our travel blog) to
the site in general (a regular email every one to two months) subscribe to our free
mailing list. Another way to keep in touch is via Facebook.