RDA Epsom will be hosting Caroline Baldock, Friday 1st December 2023.
will be giving a talk on the life and techniques of Monty Roberts, the renowned horse whisperer.
Go and have a look at the Nigel and Rosie page with the story of where they are now. this was last week July 2021.
We can also offer:
– HORSE BEHAVIOR. An all day courses
– LONG REINING, Introduction. All day courses.
– HORSE AGILITY in hand. All day courses.
For more details please contact: Caroline Baldock, via contact page,
or Wildwoods Riding Centre.
Below is Imogen riding Rosie the pony I have worked with these past 6 years winning a rosette for doing a clear round at the Durdans showjumping. How wonderful is that!
Epsom Downs is a wonderful place, streaked with racehorses in the morning, a place of exercise and activity if offers the hack rider a wonderful landscape to ride in.
Bridleways abound and you can go as far as Box Hill and Reigate on bridle paths. There are places to park your box and a tea hut and always the ice-cream man’s van. Come and view the beautiful racecourse buildings and the racecourse itself and pay homage to Emily Wilding Davidson, who died so tragically on Derby Day 8th June 1913. Across its green swathe galloped Eclipse into legend. One of the greatest of all great sires and whose blood flows through the veins of every thoroughbred today.
It is a place of history and of nature, owls live here, dormice and voles, many birds too. The fauna and flaura of the downs is worth experiencing. You will find wode orchids, meadowsweet, vetches and lots of butterflies.
So come out in the morning and watch the racehorses at exercise, or fly your kite in the afternoon. Walk your dog but on a lead before twelve and always put it on a lead when a horse is present.
Come and learn to ride Side Saddle.
We are happy to offer side saddle lessons on the mechanical horse Trojan. He won’t buck you off! That’s a promise.
Call Wildwoods: 01737 812146 or Caroline: 07745 831 843.
Go the article on Wildwoods in Articles.
Wildwoods have just celebrated Mrs T’s 90th birthday. She began the school along with her daughter Anthea about 50 years ago. it has been a place where so many people have come to learn to ride and more than that to become part of a family here at Wildwoods. Anthea has a great team, who are qualified, kind and always helpful. They have all worked incredibly hard to achieve this day which I think shows us how it can be done and just how much fun you can have riding horses.
We had musical long reining, a demonstration of classic dressage, Skill at Arms, demonstrated by Paul Allison, A teddy bear ride with the Pony Club children. Side Saddle demonstration, a Western demonstration, Birds of prey, and the carriage pulled by Duke and driven by Bernie. The evening followed with a demonstration of Bernie and his jiving girls, Flute playing a singer and live music, Sheila dancing Flamenco, and generally a good times being had by all.
We have just had a starter clinic on the 4th April with 6 students. As an introduction to long reining I start the Kate Harris and myself collaborated to put together a PONY DAY for the children for half term. The day began at 9am. We had games and then settled down to a workshop based morning.Here are some of the photographs of the day. After lunch we tested the childrens memory with a long jumping course which they had to walk first. Then they all had a go at jumping.
After that is was gymkhana games. These included the saddling up race, which you play with a partner, who waits with your saddle and one child has to ride bareback to the end and then they both saddle the pony up and the orignal rider gets up and rides back. This caused great hilarity and has been the most talked about game of the lot.
The chilcren were amazed at how different it felt to ride bareback. It struck me that we have dumbed down riding to such an extent that now the BHS have all but banned the riding of ponies bareback. How on earth can anyone learn to balance or trot and canter if you don’t begin bareback. it has to come back as a discipline.
I won a bareback jumping competition at Chertsey show when I was 14. Unheard of by todays health and safety standards. We have to track back and teach children to ride naturally.
We did not take any photos of the bareback games as we were too busy. But here are some of the other events. They all enjoyed it and are still talking about it. Fun was had by all. We ended the day by the children all giving their ponies a lovely massage, which they so enjoyed by that I mean the ponies. I am sure the children loved it too. It was beautiful to see the ponies thoroughly enjoyed a good back rub and neck scratch and a lovely tail massage. It is a good idea to finish every session of work with a lovely massage. Just imagine how keen you would be to work if such there was a treat at the end of it.
Inspired to Ride
The little girl in this photograph was 11 years old. The pony was called Blackie and technically stolen. The little girl was in love with horses and had been since she was cognitive. Her earliest memory is of the pony that pulled the milk float up the hill to her home on Taymount Rise, Forest Hill, in London.
When her parents decided to move to Chertsey her dream came true she was going to be allowed to ride. Follow the story in ‘Articles’.
Horses need to be treated with respect. They too have a natural hierarchy; you have to prove to them you are a worthy leader. You may think that horses are not very intelligent, but I feel we would be missing a point if we treated them like what was known in olden days as ‘animals’. All animals have intelligence, we may just not see it. If you think that the horse is a brute beast then read this next message left on the ground after the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
This says it all.
Here are men locked up in prison pleading to be treated like human beings. Your horses are also locked up in domesticity pleading to be treated like horses, they too are part of our mamallian specie. They think and fear and feel the same as we do. They learn and remember and communicate the same as we do.
Don’t treat them like the prisoners in Dartmoor. Don’t treat your horses like criminals when they do something wrong. Their mistakes are opportunities for them and us to learn.
The message reads ‘thank you for treating us like human beings and not criminals.’
In the words of the Leonard Cohen song, ‘Alexandra’s Leaving’ ‘she gave you the honour of her evening and by the honour had your own restored‘.
Remember that every time you work with a horse you restore his faith in you and his honour. It is by mutual respect that we can go forward and not by force, fear and negativism.
Working from the Ground
- Can you control your horse with a light touch of the reins?
- Can you do this from the ground?
- How do you teach your horse voice controls?
The relationship between horse and man is an ancient one stretching back 10,000 years BCE. But it is a relationship that needs to be passed on from parent to child, from teacher to pupil. This work must continue if we are to appreciate and continue to work with out equine friends.
This wonderful moment in time shows synchronistic horse/human behaviour. We are all the same, we have to let go the idea that we are different. The three of us just loving on each other in a mutual scratch.
The essence of this relationship lies in communication. The horse learns our intent it feels it can trust us or maybe not, this depends on our understanding of the horse, of its needs and our ability to tap into its communication system.
In order to become partners we must learn how to get the horse to trust us. Before you get on your horse’s back a connection should have been made in which the horse trusts your leadership and in which you have respect for each other.
Long reining will establish those building blocks of trust and communication, as part of a program of correct handling and correct husbandry it is a corner stone in the development of shared performance.
Learn to dance with your horse. Learn how you can achieve that special relationship which has throughout history been the wonder of mankind.
The horse, gifted to us should not be abused in any way. Traditional methods which include pain and restraint have done only one thing; they have convinced the horse that the human is a predator. Do you want your horse to see you as a predator? I cannot teach you to be a sympathetic and sensative horse person. If you think it is appropriate to hit a horse with a stick then I fear for your relationship with this prey animal.
Fred Archer the 19th century jockey so brutally spurred and whipped many of his mounts. On May 1st, 1880 one horse, Muley Edris, unseated the jockey and then attacked him, nearly tearing his arm from his shoulder.
We are all mammals, our evolutionary journey is closely connected, our skeletons prove that. The horse has evolved physically and Homo Sapiens has evolved mentally. Given our evolutionary proximity it is little wonder that we share so much potential empathy.
The horse was thought to be a brute animal in the past. Little care was given to its feelings, in fact it was thought to have none. But now we know better.
Horse’s have the same range of sensitivity as we do; the horse has needs as we do, the horse needs companionship, affection, food, sex and leadership. The horse feels pain and anger and panic and fear.
The horse has chosen to evolve alongside mankind, help make this journey a good and safe one not just for the horse, but also for us. Learn how to provide him with a safe environment from which he can view the world and you with delight and not fear and misery.
The horse shows all its emotions in its face and body language; despair, anxiety, fear, boredom, excitement, comfort, pride and love. I have found real affection in Equus it has always amazed me and filled me with awe. I know they know what we feel and who we are it is up to us to learn to respond.