Friday, 20 November 2015 14:28

Jessica Mendoza Shines|FEI Awards 2015

British show jumper, Jessica Mendoza has topped off her incredibly successful year by being awarded The Longines Rising Star Award at the FEI Awards 2015.

This award is open to riders aged 14 - 20 who demonstrate 'outstanding sporting talent'.

At 19, Jessica became the youngest British senior championship team member for 40 years, representing GB at the 2015 European Championships. She triumphed with 10 wins this year, and also played a key role in Britain securing Olympic qualification at the Aachen Championships where the team finished 4th, just missing out on a medal.

"I want to say a huge thank you to everyone, I really wasn't expecting this," said Mendoza, who beat off five other nominees. "I'm so proud to be here tonight and receive the Longines Rising Star Award. I am honoured to be amongst such great sporting talent."

The awards, known as the 'Oscars of the Equestrian world' were presented by Hollywood actress Bo Derek.

The other 4 award winners were

  • Boyd Exell (AUS) - The Reem Acra Best Athlete
  • Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna (USA) - The Best Groom Award
  • Oriana Ricca Marmissolle (URU) - The Against All Odds Award
  • Les Chevaux qui pansent les plaies (Horses that heal wounds) (HAI) - The FEI Solidarity Award


Congratulations to them all!

 

 


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Following a head injury sustained in a XC fall at the World Young Horse Championships at Lion D'Angers, France on October 17th and a 3 week stay in hospital there before being flown home to UK a week ago, we are delighted to report that British eventer William Fox- Pitt has now been discharged from hospital to continue his rehabilitation at home. We continue to wish him well.

Update, Tuesday 17th November from Fox-Pitt Eventing

William has made good progress with his recovery and has now been discharged from hospital to continue his rehab at home.

“It is fantastic to be back home, it feels like it has been a long time away from my family,” said William, “I would like to thank all the doctors in France from the team at Le Lion D’Angers to those who looked after me in the ICU in Angers. The rehab team in Poole General Hospital have been incredibly thorough.

“The team at home have been doing an amazing job keeping everything going but luckily everything is quiet as the horses are all on their end of season break. I am looking forward to making a full recovery over the winter.”

The family continue to ask for privacy as William recovers.

 


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Author, Jackie Parry's recent book release A Standard Journey - 5 horses, 2 people and 1 tent is the story about how she and her husband, Noel adopted five horses and sold everything they had. Life became horses, trail, and endurance: all seven reliant on one another as they trekked along part of Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail - a learning experience if ever there was one... Here, Jackie shares with Trot On, some lessons learned.

I learned a lot about myself while trail riding in the Australian bush – unaided – for several months. But I learned a lot more about the horses.

Lesson Two.

In lesson one I talked about Charlie’s entire demeanour altering, but what about their personalities?

I’m lucky enough to have a partner that allows me to be me. I have no pretence of who I am, and that’s an incredible freedom. But what would happen if you gave this same liberty to a horse?

Neddy-boy came to us with his nerves in shreds. He was terrified of everything – us, dried leaves blowing in the wind...

In the beginning he always hid behind Charlie

When his nerves would take hold of his emotions we’d talk to him and explain that he didn’t have to worry any longer; he listened intently. He’d then heave a huge sigh of relief and release the tension from his body.

He’d listen to us intently – Ned and Charlie

Due to his fears Ned curtailed his personality. He kept himself to himself and was quiet, subordinate.

He was quiet, even though he didn’t initially like the packsaddle gear

Gradually, through trust he learned he could be himself, and suddenly we had a very cheeky chappy on our hands.

Ned learned to trust us and his cheeky personality shone through without a hint of malice

One evening, at our camp at Caloola Farm, I was debating whether to rug them up or not. It was warmer than it had been, but during the night the temperature could drop and their weight could then drop quickly too – something we couldn’t afford to happen on the trail. We had to search for food for the boys every day.

I constantly worried about their weight on the trail. They all did well, Noel and I – not so!

Loose in their paddock they all stood patiently as we strapped them in, they knew the routine.

Ned had been proving how smart he was. He’d listen to everything we asked of him, verbally or otherwise. By now we’d been trekking along the Bicentennial National Trail for several weeks.

We’d been on the trail together for several weeks. Ned knew his job well and enjoyed overcoming his fears.

But as I walked towards Ned carrying his rug, he walked away. His ears were up, his eyes twinkling.

‘Ned, Neddy-boy, come on.’ I called.

He stopped and looked at me.

He waited until I caught him up and just before I reached him, he trotted off for a few strides, stopped and looked back.

I’m sure he grinned.

A happy horse, waiting for his moment to have fun!

I walked around to approach him from the front.

He threw his head in the air and chased the rest of the team away as if to cover his antics in a show of following his mates.

He circled around us, head still high, still grinning.

He stopped, snorted, and then lifted his tail high and cantered off. A small buck was pointed in our direction and he watched me carefully as he flung his back legs out behind him.

Every evening he’d accepted his rug without question, until tonight, clearly he didn’t want it on and he playfully told us so.

His eyes were wide in challenge, head high, and he carried a smile of an animal who has finally found home – a place where he can be himself.

I’m on Charlie leading Ned, he became so confident he’d try and stride out in front of Charlie!

Lesson three coming soon…

The boys are with friends while we are near family in the UK. I miss them everyday – they don’t miss me at all, they are living like royalty.


 

If you want to read the full story, A Standard Journey: 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent, take a look HERE.

At least 50% of profits from this story are donated to horse charities, see HERE for more information.

We adopted our boys from the Standardbred Pleasure and Performance Horse Association of NSW (SPPHA).

If you have any questions about trail riding, or anything else please do contact me, Jackie Parry here on Trot On.

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New Zealand eventer, Andrew Nicholson has been taking his recovery very seriously; taking it easy.

"I had no problem not riding because I appreciated the luck I'd been given to be able to walk around."

The Kiwi legend, who has a silver and two bronze Olympic medals to his name as well as three world championship medals, including one gold was lucky not to have been paralysed after sustaining a serious neck injury when falling at Gatcombe this summer.

In an interview with Irish eventer and commentator, Jonty Evans, Andrew reveals that after many falls in his career, he is very aware that this one was 'different'.  He has realised that the longer he can wait to get back in the saddle, the better the success of his recovery. He is healing well and on target to return to riding soon.

"The surgeon is very pleased with the work he's done and the way I've looked after his work.  It's just about being sensible now."

Such positive views from the medical specialists means that riding again should be a possibility if all is well after the next CT scan, due shortly. But the veteran rider sounded a note of caution over how seamless his return to the saddle could be.

"It's whether I've got the commitment to want to do it. At the moment I very much want to ride, but I fully understand I can hop on a horse and I may feel frightened, and [if that's the case] I wouldn't do it.

"I don't want to ride to make the numbers up. I don't want people to say I was only doing a good job considering he hurt his neck. I want to be doing a good job and winning.

"You never know until you try. I very much feel that's what I want to try. I think it's important to have something to aim at, and that's what I'm about to do."

Andrew Nicholson's commited determination to succeed in his recovery will only be a success, in his eyes, once he's back to his winning ways.

Take it easy, Andrew. Make the dream of a seventh Olympics, in Rio, a reality.

 

 


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Thursday, 12 November 2015 12:35

DE-STRESSAGE|Lucinda McAlpine

Lucinda McAlpine is a big believer in the words of Winston Churchill "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." But it also began to dawn on her that there was something particularly special about her own horses and the powerful effect they had on anyone who met them, whether they were involved with horses or not. After inviting a few people who had hit a low point in their lives to spend time with her and her horses at Bowhayes Farm in Devon, and witnessing how revitilised they were afterwards, she came up with the idea of De-Stressage; horses helping humans to help themselves.

Just over fifteen years ago Lucinda McAlpine was at the top of her game, competing internationally as a dressage rider, when she decided that she wanted to give it all up to provide her horses with a more natural lifestyle. So she removed their shoes, stopped clipping their coats and turned them out to live in small herds, never to see the inside of a stable again. She also also likes to free-school her horses but when she rides it's in the classical style.

It's this lifestyle which Lucinda thinks makes her horses so therapeutic.

" They are tame horses who act as they would in nature. They are stress free and still in tune with themselves which is why they are so effective. Unlike a lot of horses used in therapy who are rescues and left damaged in some way, I have bred my horses to be 'clear'.

So what is it that horses can do for humans?

"Being around horses get's you back in touch with nature," says Lucinda, "and they bring you into the now. They act like a mirror and show you who you are in the moment. When you've lost your perspective they can give you clarity and help you discover a new direction. With my horses I want to offer that mirror and provide a calm place where you can assess yourself and start again."

This is why Lucinda believes that her horses can help anyone who has got a bit 'stuck' in their lives, whose habitual behaviour has caused unhappiness and ill health. She also think her horses could help artists, such as musicians who've spent too long in the studio, to get their creative mojo back.

Lucinda is quick to stress that there are no therapists around trying to get you to address your problems.  "You're not being examined or judged. What we do here isn't human driven, it's horse driven. I just provide people with the opportunity to learn from my horses by interacting with them in a safe, nurturing environment."

"Neither horses or humans are forced to do anything. My horses aren't enclosed in a small space such as a round pen where they have to deal with a person and their problems. They are free to make choices. We often start at the field gate to begin with and then progress from there.  We just go with the flow. The client may even end up riding if they want to but how far they go is up to them and the horses of course."

"If horses don't like a person's energy then they won't come near them. Everyone likes to be liked don't they so this can often be a wake-up call. What I've found particularly interesting is that most people get drawn to one particular horse and that horse in some way will be just like them. My job is to act as translator for the horse and their story usually resonates deeply with the person who has chosen them. From this they start to gain greater clarity about who they really are. Also the act of achieving harmony with an animal can be phenomenally powerful."

From personal experience just witnessing the amazing bond that Lucinda has with her horses is quite wonderful to see and becoming part of that energy can be very moving and change your perspective on life.

So if you want time to reflect, become re-energised and move on in your life, let the horses do the talking with a dose of De-Stressage.

Julie Moore

If you want to discuss the subject of horses helping humans or share your story then join our group Horse Therapy For Humans.

 


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As top showjumping horses fly business class into Doha, Qatar, the top flight showjumpers prepare for the 15th and final leg of this year's Longines Global Champions Tour. - "the best in show jumping."

Excitement mounts ahead of the final at Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre this weekend (12th-14th Nov.) - One of three riders can win the coverted LGC Tour crown... Scott Brash (GBR), the current Longine's ranking leader who is only 2 points ahead of Luciana Diniz (POR), ranked 2nd, or Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE), ranked 3rd.

Scott Brash will be riding Hello Sanctos again, the gelding he won the Rolex £730,000 Grand Slam bonus with in September, and he is aiming to make history as the only show jumper to claim a hat-trick, 3 successive GCT titles.

Exciting stuff! and there is LIVE STREAMING too for those of us not lucky enough to get to Doha :-)

Good Luck, Scott Brash!

 

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Wednesday, 11 November 2015 11:19

You Know You Are Horse Obsessed When...

You Know You Are Horse Obsessed WHEN...

1. Your horse comes first 99% of the time.

There may be some unique circumstances when they don’t, but the majority of the time your horse will always come first. You’ll quite often find yourself at the yard late at night making sure they are ok, and have everything they need. Their tea is always on the table before yours!

2. You’re always thinking about your horse.

Some may think your crazy, at times you may also think you’ve lost it because your horse is on your mind. Constantly. There are many reasons for this - they are your best friend, your passion, and your happiness.

3. You’d rather not go out on a Saturday night if meant that you couldn’t go to a show the next day.

Whilst you love a good party with your friends, you are not prepared to let that get in the way of a riding competition. If it means that you have to swap partying for tack cleaning you are prepared to do it. Getting to a show is priority!

4. You’ll pay to keep your horse not matter what.

Whatever the cost of keeping your horse, you are prepared to pay it! You won’t have savings because you can’t resist spending on your horse, who will have a better wardrobe than you. Your family and friends who don’t ride will really struggle to see how you can justify spending that much on your horse.

5. You are still riding no matter what has got in the way.

You’ve fallen off, broken limbs, cried many tears, and bought horses that have turned out to be a disaster, yet through it all you’ve never lost that burning desire to ride. Why? Because without riding and horses life would be miserable.

Abi Rule

 


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Author, Jackie Parry's recent book release A Standard Journey - 5 horses, 2 people and 1 tent is the story about how she and her husband, Noel adopted five horses and sold everything they had. Life became horses, trail, and endurance: all seven reliant on one another as they trekked along part of Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail - a learning experience if ever there was one... Here, Jackie shares with Trot On, some lessons learned.

I learned a lot about myself while trail riding in the Australian bush – unaided – for several months. But I learned a lot more about the horses.

Lesson One

It wasn’t just Charlie’s behaviour that changed, his entire demeanour altered too. He’s a completely different horse.

Taken when Charlie arrived, with his thick winter coat

Taken when Charlie arrived, with his thick winter coat.

I wasn’t sure how his scrawny neck was holding his massive head up!

On the trail camping at Crookwell showground (this was the one time Noel rode Charlie – he was my riding horse).

Charlie’s 16 hands high and he came to us a coward. He’d competed around the trotters’ racetrack all his life, and had only ever lived within the boundaries of his paddock and the track.

The landscape we trained on in Kangaroo Valley, NSW, is hilly and steep. Charlie was fascinated with the countryside; he’d lift his enormous head to look up hills and down ravines. He was captivated, it was as if he was saying, ‘I never knew all this existed.’

During training, we’d let Charlie go free while trekking (he had become a great riding horse and we had to concentrate on training the others in packing) – but whether on the trail or on a break he’d wonder off and scout the area ahead – periodically returning (and often causing hysterical mayhem) to check we were all okay.

When I did ride him, he’d become an energized mischievous bundle of fun. He’d sneakily sidle towards the bottom of a steep incline, as if I wouldn’t notice, and then try to leap up it!

I was sure he was going to reach the top and burst into song, ‘The hills are alive…..’ The rough terrain built all their muscles and their coats started to gleamed.

A different horse!

We earned their trust, they felt safe with us.

Soon, instead of bowed heads, uncertain ear flicking, cautious steps, and worry-lines creasing above their eyes, the boys – and especially Charlie – lifted their heads high, pushed their ears forward and strode out with brave leadership qualities.

Walking out in front, at first he was worried about what was around the corner, not anymore!

The face-off with enormous grey kangaroos, one day, caused Charlie’s heart to thud against my leg. But he only hesitated for a second before walking right up to the stubborn roos and seeing them off.

Charlie became my war-horse; a proud beast with the appearance of a leader, he’s no longer a submissive coward.

Comparison, from worry lines above his eyes, to a relaxed, happy horse.

Lesson two coming soon...

The boys are with friends while we are near family in the UK. I miss them everyday – they don’t miss me at all, they are living like royalty.


 

If you want to read the full story, A Standard Journey: 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent, take a look HERE.

At least 50% of profits from this story are donated to horse charities, see HERE for more information.

We adopted our boys from the Standardbred Pleasure and Performance Horse Association of NSW (SPPHA).

If you have any questions about trail riding, or anything else please do contact me, Jackie Parry here on Trot On.

Facebook: For the love of horses

 


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1. Competing will be 80% bad and 20% good.

You’ll be sky-high one minute, and then back down to earth with a bang the next minute. Riding is tough. Very tough. Every rider will no doubt more or less agree with the above statistic. It takes an incredible amount of hard work and determination to be successful in riding. I wish I’d known just how hard it would be when I started!

2. You will become horse obsessed

Horses become more than just a hobby. You will eat, sleep, breathe, horses and become totally wrapped up in the equestrian world. Weekends will no longer be about spa days and shopping, but instead what competitions are on and where you can take your horse for a play.

3. Your non-horsey friends will think you’re crazy

To your friends you will be considered mad, damn right crazy in fact. People will wonder why you do it? Why you spend so much time? And money? To you however, it will be worth every single minute and penny.

4.  Your horse will become your therapy

At your time of despair you’ll go straight to your horse for a hug. If you’ve had a bad day at the office, your horse will be the one thing that makes everything better.  He becomes your therapy and life would be very daunting without him.

5. You will fall off – a lot!

In the early days you will fall off a lot! You’ll probably really hurt yourself and break at least one bone along the way. However, as a committed equestrian you’ll always get back on and give it another shot!

Abi Rule

 


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Friday, 30 October 2015 09:42

Connect with your horse - BE HERD

All of us want a strong bond with our horses don't we? However, achieving that can sometimes feel like a daily challenge. When we saw the moving video about The Trust Technique, we really wanted to find out if they had the answer.

So,last week Trot On went to visit the Mane Chance Horse Sanctuary in Surrey, established by the actress Jenny Seagrove and set up by James French and Shelly Slingo. The horses they have taken in and rehabilitated at their 47 acre sanctuary have experienced the very worst treatment by humans and reading any one of the case studies on their website is enough to make you, well, just weep. How can humans be driven to behave like this towards horses you find yourself asking again and again?

It was to help horses and humans connect that James and Shelly developed The Trust Technique at the Mane Chance Sanctuary and we were lucky enough to be shown first-hand what the technique involves. Breaking it down to the most essential level it teaches you…

  1. BE PRESENT: “Unthink” to be in the NOW because when you think, you are generally either in the future or the past. To connect you need to be still and focus on the NOW, the present.
  2. REGARD and respect those that are around you. Your horse. Your dog. Your cat. Your partner, friends and family. (only kidding lol)   Acknowledge their presence, their right to be there with you in the PRESENT. Give your horse REGARD
  3. NARRATE and RELATE between your NOW selves. You and your horse. You mirror each other. Neither the past nor what is to become, but NOW – the NARRATIVE of your respective journeys that led you to be here.

…and that's it – Simple and powerful and it works!

 

So how can "unthinking" lead to a happy horse and  :) owner? In one word HERD. What James and Shelly have done is to provide a framework for getting back to the HERD - like behaviours horses and other animals have used for millennium to live lives of trust and respectfulness. It is a system that has worked for them very well but it is us humans that have introduced FEAR and FORCE into it. It is human behaviour that has undermined the natural way of doing things.

As a wild HERD of horses roams, MOVES ON – it grows as it flows in an environment of high trust and mutual regard.  The HERD is more in the now - the PRESENT. Each herd is made up of members who are young, old, capable, and incapable in varying degrees. Each member of the herd has a respected part, and role to play. Each individual has their own narrative which they bring to the HERD when they arrive, and by mirroring and relating to that narrative the newcomer is both accommodated and integrated into HERD ways and to each member of the herd.

In short The Trust Technique provides a HERD like framework which all animals understand when their human partners are willing to give it a chance to happen.

If you want to learn this wonderful technique then click HERE and take advantage of a FREE 24 hour access to James' online training course - over 30 hours of video tuition divided into 14 sessions.  This could be the start of an even more beautiful relationship between you and your horse.

 

John Bethell

 

 


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