Connected Horsemanship had a fantastic time last weekend at Diamonds Lane Equestrian in Portaferry Co Down.

Laura Domenica with Judy Braniff owner of Diamonds Lane Equestrian

The horses and participants were very varied during the weekend offering the spectators lots of different situations to watch and learn from. We had a lot of spectators over the two days from varied backgrounds, riding clubs, other branches of natural horsemanship, showjumpers and a lovely lady who was a horse sport Ireland L2 coach.

Ssaturday started with two wonderful hairy black and white cobs belonging to Jane and Martina. Both girls had experienced quite a bit of bother with their horses being scattered or bargey and invading their space and carting them around a bit. At the end of the day i was delighted that both girls had very good control of their horses on the ground and were beginning to really teach them things that would really help build and cement their connection. They could lead them, they could stop them , turn them move their hindquarters and ask them to back up and to respect their boundaries.

Laura helps jane with her cob

Martina works with Dillon, a riding school pony for many years, he is very braced but with martinas patient help he will learn to bend his body and use himself in a better way

Next came Andrew and his lovely pony Scottie, Andrew has been working with me for over a year. I am very pround of Andy , this dedication and his progress. He is already a horseman and one to watch for the future.

Andrew works with Scottie

When Andrew bought his horse Scotty he was very anxious and very inverted. I am going to ask Andy to tell Scotties story in the Students Stories section of my blogg.

Here are some photos of Andy lunging and riding his pony, look at the relaxation and softnness and the wonderful postion of Andys body that is facilitating this. The photos of Andy riding he is working on getting his balance perfect at the rising trot so that his horse can carry himself.

Scotty used to throw his head in the air even with a martingale, andrew now turns him just with his focus

Andrew perfects his balance at rising trot so he can allow Scottie to really use himself

Day one ended with me working with the second of Sarah horses. This thoroughbred had offerend up some pretty interesting behaviour when Sarah got to lunging him, rearing, striking and even coming at her with his teeth, he sounded quite aggressive. When I first started working with him he was and tried to srtike me a couple of times but the true source of his behaviour was was his herdboundness. He constantly whinned for the other horses, prancing around and paying no attention to anyone human. Once i started moving his body in a purposeful way he began to settle and changed quite quickly. At the end of our session he was quiet and settled.

At the end of the day i loaded him in the trailer, this had taken three hours the night before to get him there and Sarah loaded him herself after i did. she was i think delighted and so was her dad.

Sarah loads her horse at the end of the day

others photos from the day

An unexpected visitor gives us a giggle at lunch time!

taking shelter from a rain shower

taking shelter from a shower

participants learn how to walk and "hold" their own circle for lunging

participants practise walking circles for lunging and try to "hold" the shape of the circle as they walk

catch em young!

Particiants practise lunging position