This is Colleen here. If you’ve had a lesson with me, or watched, you’ll know it’s fun, fun fun.
What I’m trying to do is COVER UP the learning! Telling you where to sit, and how to sit is as silly as reading a book on balance – while sitting on the couch!
Please practice. Or get rid of your horse!
I’m constantly infuriated at people that have horses in the wrong areas (too hot/cold/wet/muddy/mosquitos for that breed or horse’s age, and especially too HOT for that breed.
I’m broken hearted when I see fat horses. I really can’t see why you would let that happen. You’re in control (or are you?). NO EXCUSES! I hear all the time “I board my horse and I don’t know what they feed”, or “I can’t change, the barn owner decides”. So, along that line, if your child was getting fed POISON at school – you’d just let them do it, not move the child, not speak to the school
YOU ARE THE OWNER….you are the one who is responsible..not the barn owner! That’s just a cowardly way to back out of a problem…blame the barn and not yourself!
Excuses like “oh it’s cheaper to feed pellets, or “it’s cheaper to stick him in the lucerne paddock”, or “it’s the only way I can afford a horse – is to put him in the wheat paddock”, or “I can’t ride every single day” just don’t cut it.
If you own a horse – you have a responsibility. Letting it get as fat as an elephant in rich paddocks without exercise is DEADLY. You know it. And yet you kill or your horse by letting them in improved paddocks, feeding & over-feeding grain and pellets, and thinking that “a little obese is OK”. It is not OK. Allowing your animals to be hurt, in any way, is cruelty & abuse. Over-feeding, under-feeding, not caring in ANY way is animal abuse.
So..now you know…then go and get that horse fit, learn about nutrition and saddle fit, and bridles, and get blood tests on your horse before you choose what supplements, and x-ray their teeth – you NEVER know what’s going on in there!
You’re practicing the exercises I gave you that improve your safety, confidence, seat & position, but for me, it’s about making it much happier for your horse, less stress for your horse, more comfort for his back and limbs, and hopefully, more enjoyment for his soul & spirit.
With the invention of Youtube came the end of the excuse “I didn’t know”. You need to research the following topics thoroughly. Know these topics deeply, and learn more and more every day:
- How to take your horse’s vitals
- Bandages too tight?
- New rules on nosebands needed!
- Are my boots to hard or tight?
- How to know my horse’s weight
- The worst form of animal abuse
- Feeding the obese/laminitic horse
- The difference between engagement – tracking up – ‘underneath behind’ free article by Colleen Kelly.
- Riding to Music – what music & where to find it
- Seat & Position Cornerstones: The 4 most important things – or 4 ‘rules’ – to remember about seat & position. Free 4-part written series by Colleen Kelly
- Leg position…is your riding coach trying to kill you?
- Acid or alkaline – What is your horse’s pH? Can pH improve performance?
Things you need.
My retirement has certainly changed my thinking into what do we NEED, and what do we only want. We NEED safety in the saddle. We NEED to get rid of that fear of coming off. We NEED to know why those cowboys and eventers stay on – what do they know that we don’t? Why are they so fearless? Why are they so relaxed – when we’re out of our nut terrified half the time.
We NEED a position in jumping with only one philosophy in mind…”If we can save the horse, saving ourselves is EASY!”. The most deadly fall is the trip/flip/rotational fall. It can happen to anyone, any time, in any sport. Obviously the faster you go the more the risk, but you can be killed at walk just as easily if a horse stumbled down a rabbit hole and flipped on you.
I want you to know how we teach the Police to stay on – and pull them in every single direction. How with very little training you can get the same feeling of NEVER being able to be pulled off that saddle.
Then, of course it’s the higher level work. Why are you holding yourself back? Why don’t you want to learn more about shoulder in, why I think it’s the basis of nearly every bit of work from now on. And…if I say it’s GOOD for your horse in terms of their spine, hind legs, using the stomach muscles, raising the outside long back muscle, improving the flexibility of the inside hind leg, and carrying power of the back leg….with one super result: GREAT CANTER! If you’re scared to canter your horse, or if he’s not ready…this is the exercise for you. If you want to win competitions – this one is a must.
Let’s get you to the next level. Don’t get stuck. Don’t get lazy. Remember you have a RESPONSIBILITY to learn. This is not like buying a new set of expensive chaps – for a start this is WAY cheaper than the money you’re going to spend on yourself.
This is what you NEED to continue your training (sorry…the expensive chaps are just something you WANT!).
- Questions and Answers to the Official Exam. This is the previous Official ISRB Coach’s exam – fully answered in an extensive E-Book. Find out what the exam might look like if you want to become a coach, but it’s incredible for great technical skill & info for coaches. (Sorry, this one might be a bit to technical for younger kids, but teenagers will understand it) (Only $9.99)
- The Teacher Training DVD Library. The world’s largest library of DVD’s on seat, position & posture from from several year’s of filming the very best presentations up to 2nd level (shoulder in, flying changes, jumping etc.). Ideal for all sports, and juniors. Includes specialty trainers on reining, vaulting, eventing & dressage – but it’s ideal for ALL horse sports. (Only $99 – split into: Instant payment of $50.99 followed by 1 monthly payment of $49.99 to make it even easier!)
Lessons are expensive
After being broke most of my life, I realize that every single dollar is important. When you’re trying to squeeze the family budget it’s really hard. So, this is my very best recommendation to you: please get the Society’s DVD’s.
It’s not fair to your horse not to know. Not to know EVERYTHING. Everything you can find out to make his life more comfortable and your practices more humane – and effective!
You know me, I won’t recommend something unless I really believe in it. This is the BEST way to improve your seat & position. You watch them on your phone or computer (like Netflix), so you can start today! They’re ON SALE right now, and CHEAPER than a riding lesson – and you can have a lesson every single day and learn all the higher movements and why we do them step by step. More info
Bits & Bitting: Does your horse “chew gum”?
A horse doesn’t stand in a paddock chewing and fiddling with it’s mouth. It’s not natural. If you can “hear stuff” from down there…LISTEN! It’s simple..the horse hates that bit. No matter how much you paid for it, or who thinks it’s a great idea – how can you not hear that CHEWING IS UNHAPPY. Fiddling, stress, clunking, I don’t care what anyone says, a good fitting bit (and less stress!) and they stop it IMMEDIATELY.
I have one single bit I use on just about anything and everything, until the level where the authorities MAKE us ride in a stupid double bridle. It’s cheap, simple and easy.
The difference of this bit is that the two metal pieces BENT. If you put it on your knee and pull, it’s KIND! Even if you see-saw like a madman beginner on caffeine, it still doesn’t hurt. Try that with your bit.
The difference with this bit is that it’s BENT. The two pieces of metal are not straight. You can put your fingers in between, and close it like a nut-cracker and it won’t crack your fingers. That means, that the middle isn’t sticking into the roof of the mouth and causing discomfort. No matter how hard you pull. Two straight pieces of metal are not as comfortable.
Bottom line…if your horse is “chewing gum”. HE HATES HIS BIT! Why won’t you LISTEN? Are you more invested in the horse, or are you more invested in a $50 bit, or someone else’s opinion. LISTEN TO YOUR HORSE! I don’t have any affiliation with bit companies, or saddlery companies – so for just a few dollars…isn’t it worth a try?
- Here’s a picture of my favorite bit
Everyone is always asking me about saddles, and I wish I could just recommend one saddle above everyone else, but honestly you have to get a PROFESSIONAL to fit the saddle to your horse, and then it’s a matter of what is comfortable for you.
A few things to look for:
- That your knees are not up on the pads that will make your toes turn out.
- That your knee is in the CENTER of the flap….if it’s too far to the front, you need a more forward cut saddle. I actually don’t recommend straight cut flaps at all, they very VERY rarely fit the rider, and a more forward cut flap supports the rider in a much more balanced way.
- At the International Symposium in 2015 we addressed the topic specifically “are you too heavy for your horse”, where Dr. Fernanda Carmargo from the University of KY recommended 15-20% as the MAXIMUM weight a horse should carry. However other studies are as low as 10%. A 5 foot 11inch man weights on average 155 to 189 pounds, plus 30lbs for a western saddle, 10 pounds for their big huge pads….total 229 lbs.
That would mean you would need a horse that is 2290 lbs to 4,580 lbs!
But the average horse is only 840 – 2,200 lbs.
Therefore, according to MANY University studies, western saddles are simply cruel because of their weight. Western saddles are actually PACK saddles from the 1600’s. Their design hasn’t changed a bit! That’s why all the leather straps everywhere to carry hundreds of pounds of equipment, food and water and it not slip.
The little tiny horns of western saddles have caused death and injury in the past. I have so many reports of jackets catching on the horn, bras catching on the horn, and I myself had a bruised spleen from landing on a horn years ago. I could easily have died. However there is a LIGHT, and flexible alternative. It’s not possible to use this saddle in dressage, but I have ridden in them myself, and they are SO COMFORTABLE…And…LIGHT! Take a look at the saddle that will KEEP YOU ON the horse way better than a western saddle.
Suggested replacement for western saddles.
My words of wisdom:
Well here it is folks – finally you’re getting rid of me!
I couldn’t retire before I had EVERYTHING on DVD! After all these years of study and starvation, trials and tribulations I wasn’t going to leave the industry without giving my friends the greatest gift I know, and people who are not so much my friends, and not good in this industry a real JAB to tell them to be safer and more careful with their clients.
I didn’t want to let all this time, effort and money go to waste, so about 5 years ago we started filming, and filming and filming. We’ve got the very best of that for you including the entire Level 1 Course and the ENTIRE level 2 course (including step by step shoulder in, travers, half pass & pirouettes).
This isn’t just a DVD…it’s like a “Netflix Library” of so many titles – you’ll be so surprised at how much there is!
I honestly ask all my pupils to get these DVDs. I don’t want you to waste the lessons I have given you, or I’m about to give you. You should know ALL of the technical – everything I’ve learned in the industry all my life.
On a personal note…
I am proud to say that I am leaving the ISRB as a strong group of remarkable individuals, but I’ll always be keeping a “Grandmotherly” eye out, and helping for many years to come. The Society has a lot of recommended reading that’s free for all!
I thank you for your continued support of my work! Hoping you’ll read The Last Wild Horse! It will be out soon…at the top right of this page is the