ADVANCES IN NATURAL TRAINING
Discovering the Horse’s Gymnastic Ability
Riders: €250 - Non-riders: €200
The aim of advanced training, be it classical dressage, Spanish vaquero, Western or whatever, is to recover the horse´s natural agility under a rider´s weight, usually through practising the movements proper to the discipline in a manége.
These movements require strength, impulsion, coordination and change of balance that the horse sees no need to exert himself to acquire in a flat school. Drilling him deprives him of the pleasure of being agile so the movements lack fluidity and willing grace, and resistances, tensions, pain and damage often result.
It´s a question of motivation, or lack of it.
Where horses move willingly is in the country, even when overcoming natural difficulties like steep banks, ditches and trees requires effort, coordination and agility: in fact, they delight in discovering their gymnastic ability. Equine biomechanics show that some of these problems require the same muscles to work together in the same combinations as certain school movements.
In this course, we introduce a new concept: the natural gymnasium, where the horse, in negotiating a series of selected natural obstacles and slopes, practises until he perfects the movements later asked in the school – when he has pride in showing how easy he finds them.
Born in Wales, Lucy currently lives in Extremadura, Spain. She studied zoology at the University of London, specialising in neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and ethology and went on to complete her undergraduate studies at the university of Sussex.
She lectures at several universities as well as riding clubs and gives clinics and courses internationally. Lucy has written several books, her latest ‘Horses in Company’ of which combines her experience with the scientific studies of equine ethology and the feral horses called Pottokas.
Theory and Practice Sessions
Friday evening theory: the horse´s natural life and motivation.
Saturday - Theory: Emotional and physical tension, their effect on quality of movement, and how to eliminate them.
Saturday – Demonstrations with a naïve youngster and a badly-ridden older horse.
Sunday – Theory: the biomechanics of athletic movements.
Sunday – Practical: using the natural gymnasium so the horse discovers advanced movements by himself.
Hacienda Dos Olivos is a country house of special charm blending Moorish and Andalusian styles, surrounded by 35 acres of organic olive grove, giving a peaceful atmosphere. The main house has two double rooms set around an interior patio and two charming cottages adjacent to the main house. Wifi internet is available both inside and outside the buildings. Traditional Spanish food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) is prepared with local produce and regional Andalusian flavours. Lunch is accompanied with Spanish beer and/or refreshments. Dinners are served with good table wines in a fun, family atmosphere including reflections of the day. Tea and coffee is available at all times. Our small number of guests (minimum 4, maximum 8) ensures your group, our personal attention and retains the intimacy of this private home.
You can spend your free time enjoying the warmth of the Andalusian climate in the gardens which offer shade under the palm trees, by the salt-water swimming pool or taking a peaceful walk in the olive groves. All of these areas provide opportunities for self-study, practice and making new discoveries.