To give people an idea of what New Barn Riders is all about, below is a selection of some of the varied and diverse topics that are discussed on our Wednesday evenings.
Saddles and Saddle Fitting
Lisa Pritchard and Lorna Kettle.
Another great turnout with 30+ people coming along to listen to Lorna Kettle from Happier Horses and Lisa Pritchard from the Modern Horse discuss Saddles and saddle fitting
Lorna had previously decorated two of the New Barn horses, with Fergal sporting a skeleton on his side and Cal his muscular system. Lorna's explanation of how the whole muscular skeletal system is affected by a poorly fitting saddle caused quite a few eyebrows to shoot upwards, and lots of whispering and nodding as spectators suddenly understood why tripping, stumbling, head shaking and dragging feet can be symptoms of a badly fitted saddle, as well as obvious discomfort from directly under the saddle.
Lisa followed up Lorna's talk by discussing some of the wide variety of makes of saddles, including treeless, semi-treed and the differences between dressage, VSD, GP etc, and how the rider can create the same problems as a badly fitting saddle, if they cannot sit well in their own saddle.
Despite another unseasonably cold evening, this talk was extremely well received and we were fighting to finish off and go home!
The Horses Digestive System explained.
Sally McDarby from Dengie feeds
This title may have sounded a bit boring but it was an entertaining evening as the demo gut was discussed as it spread out around the room! As well as being entertaining the serious side about getting the diet correct for each horse was discussed and explained, and we had two horses to condition score and calculate the weight, followed by a question & answer session.
Massaging your way through the maze of Equine Bodyworker
Lorna Kettle came along to the May New Barn Riders and lifted the veil over all the different types of Equine Bodywork that are available to horse owners these days.
Lorna's clear, concise and fun presentation proved to be extremely helpful, especially her broad categorisation of the various types of bodywork and massage into three areas, Manipulation, Soft Tissue and Energy flows. Now many of us have a handle on what the differences are between Bowen Therapy, the Masterson Technique and Equine Touch to name just 3 of the many and varied types of Equine Bodywork.
o ride with your horse, both at home and in competition. Pam also persuaded one of her clients to bring her eventer along to be the guinea pig, and they played their part to perfection.
We were so glad that Nikki came along as the talk and demo were fascinating and inspired quite a few of us to consider putting together some music for ourselves - and Pam has agreed to host a Dressage to Music competition later this year - including a Walk/Trot intro test, so there is no excuse!
We had another full house for this talk, with 40 people coming along, and despite the last minute surprise change, everyone said how much they enjoyed it.
Debbie Jones Lecture Demo
Taking the Mystery out of Dressage
Re-training the troubled horse using Natural Horsemanship techniques
Listening Horsemanship (http://www.listeninghorsemanship.webs.com/
) featuring Rachel Randalls, her husband Paul, and her two very talented daughters, Beth and Laura, kicked off our first New Barn Riders event. With the help of Antonia Rooney and her beautifully trained horse, the team took us through some of the philosophies and principles of her natural horsemanship techniques.
It was hard for the 90+ people who came along to see this event to imagine how the beautifully behaved horses and ponies who were working so calmly in the arena had ever been classed as dangerous or unrideable. Rachel and her family are passionate about non-violent methods and the responsiveness and willingness of the horses to respond to their riders and handlers - some of them just using a rope around the neck - was impressive and inspiring.
The New Barn Riders got a lot of bang for their buck - we saw horses jumping barrels at liberty, bareback with just a headcollar (although Victor was a little surprised at one point and Laura made an unscheduled dismount - which just added to the fun of the evening!). One of the horses who was trotting and cantering around quietly had previously been a complete bucking bronco, now he goes out and regularly competes and is placed in showjumping competitions.
With so many remedial horses and ponies, the Listeninghorsemanship team have to get them to earn their keep on occasion, and they have trained some of the horses and ponies to be dressed up in full medieval costumes and have birds of prey fly to and from them. As an extra treat for the New Barn Riders, Rachel had organised son Jack, and husband Paul to be fully kitted out in medieval costume astride their fully costumed ponies. Then, Womble the Barn Owl made her appearance. She played her role to pefection, flying from handler to the fist of the riders - especially impressive was the sight of young Jack on his impossibly cute grey pony with the owl on his wrist. Even some members of the audience got the opportunity to fly the owl. We think that Pam Rigby might want a barn owl for Christmas....
If this wasn't enough, Beth Gibbons brought along some of her artwork and creations for people to look at while drinking their coffee and sipping their wine. What a very talented young woman she is - the willow horses (based on one of their own ponies) were absolutely spectacular, along with her glorious paintings of horses and people. She even paints horseshoes and is happy to do commissions for people.
It was freezing cold - the coldest night so far this autumn, but the indoor arena looked wonderful and the feedback we have had so far has been fabulous. Pictures were taken, and will be put up as soon as we have them.
Some comments from the audience:
- "Really enjoyed last night, despite temperature!"
- "Had a great time on Wednesday, can't wait for the next one!"
- "Hi, it was lovely to meet everyone last night at New Barn Riders. Thank you for a very enjoyable evening. I look forward to many more over the coming months".
- "Fantastic evening yesterday - truly inspirational!"
- "Mum and I thoroughly enjoyed it - despite the cold!"
- "Brilliant event last night"