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2009 Podcasts
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Tammy 2

Joined: Sun Feb 3rd, 2008
Location: Redland, Alberta Canada
Posts: 129
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 Posted: Fri Jan 30th, 2009 10:05 pm
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I want to pay for my 2009 membership but would like to choose the podcasts.  Any idea on when they will be ready ?  And what this years topic will be ?




Super Moderator

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Posts: 3233
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 Posted: Sat Jan 31st, 2009 02:20 am
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Yes, Tammy -- I was gone all through late December and into mid-January, and have not yet had time to do the 2009 podcast. But it will be coming shortly.

As to the topic: Well, we sent out surveys with all the 2008 podcasts during 2008, and there was an almost 100% rate of return on those! So obviously people were glad to be asked what they would like for 2009. Now, I say there was a 100% rate of return, but there certainly was not a 100% agreement as to the topic....we gave several suggestions, and then left a spot open for people to suggest anything else they wanted to, and those were filled in on many of the survey forms.

Before I announce the winner here, then, let me share with the whole group what your really great suggestions were. I have combined a large number of individual suggestions into eight "groups" that could be made into a two-hour audio discussion of the subject. Your suggestions will provide us with ideas for many a season to come, and I am very grateful for all the input!

1. Techniques and methods for retraining older horses, and techniques and methods for starting horses that are much older than 2 yrs. (say, six years and up)

2. The whole gamut of "aids": i.e., how do you "aid" a horse to depart canter, how do you "aid" for half-pass, how do you "aid" for different transitions, etc., especially where the horse/rider team may have been having difficulty with one of these areas. What a "half halt" is and how to do them. Along with this: rider position, how to improve balance, timing, and feel.

3. Proper techniques for various things normally considered to be therapeutic -- i.e. stretching, different release techniques, exercises to strengthen specific body areas, and the relationship of these to the whole "perjustice" approach to riding which regards the act of riding itself to be potentially therapeutic.

4. How to teach what are called "tricks", i.e. bowing, wave goodbye, mount the drum, work the teeterboard, etc., but also daily skills that are largely memory-based and that are built upon prior proficiency at "tricks", such as loading into a horse trailer.

5. Approach to training gaited horses, so that they perform properly while remaining "round", and so that they learn and can perform lateral work while in gait. Use of cavalletti to achieve this.

6. Topics that relate to the history of horsemanship, including what classical horsemanship is (and is not); relationship of classical horsemanship to competitive dressage, reining, and saddle seat riding; origin of the hackamore, Persian, Greek, and Roman contributions, Baroque riding, Japanese and Chinese horsemanship history.

7. Saddle fitting principles and issues; what to look for in purchasing a saddle. Along with this: bridle and bit fitting principles and issues; how different types of bits work; how to select and fit a bit.

8. Analysis/comparison of the gaits of different types and breeds of horses. What to look for, and actually what to look AT, when watching a horse move. Red flags to watch out for as in cryptic or potential lamenesses or unsoundnesses. Discussion of the potential "fixability" in the case of mild-grade lamenesses, or how to maintain or improve any horse's level of soundness.

In addition....the choices we originally gave were as follows. They were voted for more often than any of the above. So here's the drumroll (like on Dave Letterman) -- in order from least voted-for to most voted-for:

No. 6: How to teach your horse to perform flying changes of lead

No. 5: Trail riding skills and techniques, including teaching horse how to cross water, how to handle hills, small jumps, gates, stand still for mounting, load and unload from trailer, spooky objects

No. 4: "Building blocks" exercises -- for physical suppling and straightening. This would be basically how to use arena riding to progress your horse, including circles, corners, halting, backing up, transitions, turn on the forehand, and turn over the haunches

No. 3: Proper use of the roundpen, including calling the horse, sending the horse, use of rope and flag, preparing the horse to tie safely, first saddling, first bridling, true objectives in starting young horses, first ride, reforming problem horses

No. 2: How to teach your horse to perform lateral work

No. 1: Expanded lessons on Birdie Theory, what makes horses "tick" on the inside, and techniques for teaching/increasing the ability to focus.

As to the actual voting -- Birdie Theory won by a long shot, I think because people realize that it lies at the heart of everything else and without a clear understanding of it, you can't get much else done. Interestingly, however, topics nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5 were separated by only a couple of votes -- so there is a lot of interest in those as well.

But there it is -- your winner -- Birdie Theory is what the 2009 disks will focus on (no pun intended!), with lots of examples and practical situations or exercises for you to try with your own horses. There have been a certain number of letters here in the Forum, and also to our office in-box, requesting a brief explanation of what 'birdie theory' is actually all about, so this should help to take care of that need.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey -- and I want you to know that we are going to recycle all the survey forms through our neighborhood philatelist, who covets the stamps! Best wishes -- Dr. Deb



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