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Video: 1988 Bridleless Grand Prix Dressage

After seeing this video from 1988 I had to know more. The video is of Andrew Sałacki, a Polish rider, demonstrating Grand Prix dressage on his mare without a bridle. His ride led to numerous demonstrations around the world for more than three years including performing for the Queen.

I translated the following from this website (that I cannot read) and learned the following:

As reported by the service well known and respected in the equestrian environment not only Polish, 58-year-old Andrew Sałacki is one of the greatest riders in the history of Polish dressage.
In his credits include 12 Polish Championship medals in dressage as well as participation in the World Cup Final struggle in this competition.
Undeniably the maturing permanently in the memory of his demonstration rides were GP class Font mares during the “Horse of the Year show,” which took place at London’s famous Wembley Stadium in 1988.
Polish rider sensation show was the fact that the whole program of the competition he performed GP Fonts walking in deprived bridle.
This has led to so much recognition that Andrew Sałacki was invited to present his show in front of Queen Elizabeth II.
No less impressive looks Sałackiego Andrew coaching achievements. Levada successful club players with sufficient Zakrzow are the showcase. In the years 2000 – 2004 he was the coach of the National Team FEI dressage. He also worked as a training consultant in its crown discipline of dressage (formerly practiced equestrian vaulting and eventing) in Germany and the USA.

How interesting! I wondered what inspired him to do this in 1988? Did he ever try again with another horse? Either way it is a video worth watching.


Posted by on March 8, 2015 in Video


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Do you start your training sessions with lunging your horse?

“Hi Stacy! Question for you. Do you start your training sessions with lunging? I lunge my horse every time I ride and also any horse I’m going to ride. Lately I have been talking with other friends who think lunging is not necessary and one who says it makes her horse more naughty and hot. Just wondering what you think about it. Thanks:)” -Melissa T.

What is the purpose of lunging a horse? Is it to physically wear him out? Is it to change his mental state of mind? Is it to teach him a new concept? Lunging has been used with all of these goals in mind at some point…the question is ‘why are you lunging your horse?’I don't always lunge, but I do always evaluate how the horse is behaving on the ground.
Early on in a horses training I use lunging, or groundwork, as a big part of my training. My goal is to begin to change his state of mind, which is a new concept to the horse at that time. Part of this often involves physical exertion because we often work the body to influence the mind. If you go back and watch the early episodes of Stacy’s Video Diary you can see a huge change in the horse’s behavior in a few days. This is because I am doing more than just running the horse around me…I am using a variety of groundwork cues to train him.
As the training progressed and the horses mental state of mind was changed, I began riding more and I gradually reduced the amount of groundwork.
Many people use lunging in an attempt to wear the horse out. If the horse’s mind is not engaged but instead they are only asked to physically exert themselves this should be considered an attempt to wear the horse out. The problem with this is that the horses get more and more fit, requiring longer and longer lunging times. Engaging the mind is far more effective than only trying to wear out the body.
If lunging is making the horse more naughty or hot I would evaluate what methods are being used. This is most common if the horse thinks the only point is to run wildly around the human. If instead of lunging the handler instead uses groundwork to engage the mind then the horse should respond more favorably. If not, then the pair should look at taking some lessons.
I don’t always lunge…but I do always evaluate how they are behaving on the ground. With a horse I know this ‘evaluation’ may take place as I lead them to the area where I groom and saddle and then out to mount up. If I know the horse I can evaluate their mental state in this short amount of time, much like you can evaluate a friends state of mind during a short ‘hello.’ If I detect that they are feeling fresh or seem distracted then I may choose to do some groundwork.
To decide if you should lunge you should be able to identify your purpose for lunging. You may lunge a horse that is new to you for an evaluation, or a horse you know because you detected his behavior was a bit odd, or yet another horse because you would like to improve your communication on the ground.

Posted by on December 18, 2014 in Members Question, Training


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A Horses View: The good and the bad

Newt the horse diary

Newt, the horse, is keeping a diary.

Dear Diary,

Hello Diary, this is my first time doing this but with all of my traveling I want to make sure I remember it all. The good and the bad.

The first good thing I want to remember is my first time swimming. It was scary at first because the ground was all squishy but then it got fun. It made me snort. I hope I get to do it again.

The bad thing is I got in trouble. Mom told me not to beg for treats…but I keep forgetting. The kids have been sneaking me treats and then I got all excited and kept stopping other people. It’s really hard to remember which ones give me treats and which ones don’t. I will try harder tomorrow.

Well, thats all I have for now. I’m headed to bed. We just got to a new place today and I bet we will do something fun tomorrow.

Newt, the horse, signature


Posted by on December 7, 2014 in A Horse's View


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What is your favorite horse movie of all times?

needed a horse movie that I could watch over and over again in the motor home…can you guess which one we bought last night? Do you have a go-to horse movie you love to re-watch?What is your favorite horse movie of all time?

I always loved The Black Stallion. Even watching it now as an adult I am impressed with how non-verbal the entire beginning is. I love it because it makes the horse/human interaction even more personal.

I try to go to every horsey movie that comes out…even if it is a movie like Hidalgo where I have to poke my husband to get him to stop picking on the movie (he wasn’t a fan of Hidalgo).

I am hoping that when I check the comments on here I will have a complete list of the best horse movies so I can make it my mission to watch them all.


Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Video


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What time of day is the best for training horses?

Most of the time we choose to train our horses as our schedule allows, first thing on a Saturday morning, just after school on a weekday or in the hour before dinner on a summer night.

Others schedule to ride with their coaches once or twice a week, maybe 1:00 on Wednesdays or Tuesday and Thursdays at 4 pm. and they hope to do most of their training under supervised rides. But when is the best time to train?When is the best time to train a horse; Night time training

Answer: When the opportunity presents itself.

As much as we would like to make the ‘best’ training times fit into our schedules, it is often the worst times that offer the most opportunity.

Take this photo for example. This was taken close to midnight after a very long day at the Congress…but it happened to be the best time for training. I say that it was the best ‘time’ because it is the time that Newt, my horse, told me he needed to be trained. Earlier that day we had ridden in the arena but I noticed when I left the arena and walked down this alley, Newt was excited by the activity. What you cannot see in the photo is that to our left (the right side of the photo) there are horses being ridden..and their feet are at Newts eye level. It is a strange angle to view horses from…at least that is what Newt said!

When Newt got excited I chose to turn him back and ride up and down the alley until he calmed down. I even took him up into the arena for a little work. He ended up walking back to the stalls fine…but it left a lingering question in my mind. Did Newt really get over it?

So here I am, four hours later, double checking. I knew I wouldn’t sleep well without knowing the answer and I was hauling out of the show the next morning and would lose the opportunity to be in the same situation again. So I saddled up, just before midnight, to do some final training.

Turns out everything was fine. Newt walked quietly and the entire ride took only a few minutes…but if it had taken all night I would have been find with that too. The best time to train a horse is when the opportunity presents itself and I’m not one to skip that opportunity.


Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Performance horse, Thought provoking, Training


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Successs is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill

Successs is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill

1 Comment

Posted by on October 4, 2014 in quote


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Top Ten Ways to Get Rid of Your Farrier

Top Ten Ways to Get Rid of Your Farrier

  1. Have your horse shod once a year, then complain to everyone you know ‘the shoes just fell off!’
  2. Do not handle your horses feet at all. Especially the young ones.
  3. Make sure your horses are loose in the pasture when the farrier arrives. The larger the pasture, the better.
  4. Read horse magazines so that you can instruct your farrier on the latest shoeing techniques.
  5. Fill the shoeing area with as many obstructions as possible. Dogs and children count extra.
  6. Be sure and feed the other horses while the farrier is working.
  7. Lead the horses through mud before bringing them to be trimmed or shod.
  8. Don’t clean your stalls and don’t use fly spray.
  9. Complain about the bill shortly after pointing out and discussing the huge price of your new truck, daughter’s horse, boat, etc.
  10. Always wait until the last minute to schedule your appointments, insist that the farrier come right away. Then, avoid paying the bill as long as possible.

How many of these are you guilty of? Have any you could add?

How many of these are you guilty of?

How many of these are you guilty of?


Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Life, Thought provoking


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