Softness Training

by Monica Andreewitch


Horses, competition and ego

 Last Saturday I wore my white jodphurs and rode down a center line again for the first time in about 8 years (except for a one-off outing after about 2 years ago!). I was motivated to attend the local dressage friendly competition because it is important to me that I support the community of riding centers that are local to me here in Spain. Plus, this particular event was running on a 60m arena, and that was soooo tempting!

For many years I dreamed about going down an Olympic Center Line. Everything I did around my horses was driven by that goal. Then, 8 years ago, I discovered something that brought that dream to a sudden awakening and I haven’t had that dream since. What I discovered was that my dream was driven by ‘my need’ to prove something. To be recognized, to be“the best”, to win, to be better than others and to be applauded. All ego driven motives.

With the horses needs in mind

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Shaman’s Story: From “Stuffy” to “Softy” in 10 Short Sessions



From Stuffy to Softy
A nice soft walk on Handover Day.

About 2 months ago, Anna and her Mom were sitting on the terrace enjoying a cool drink after having a riding session with Shaman. Shaman is a 6 year old appaloosa gelding they have been sharing time with for about 2 years.  Shaman is at livery on the ranch in Spain where I am based.

Little did I expect the tears and emotion that that question were going to elicit….

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About Monica Andréewitch

Does your horse really want to be caught?

One of the first things most of us do every time we arrive at the yard is go and catch our horse.  This might be it in the field, a smaller paddock, his stable. We go up to our horse and either halter him or touch him, hug him, rub him. Usually we do something else after that, too – depending on our agenda for the day.

The majority of horses are very compliant with this request from our part and stand still as we approach them. Others let us know in varying degrees that they are not so happy with this plan!

Some “put up”, others “speak up”!

Sometimes the only difference between the first group and the second group of horses menAbout Monica Andréewitchtioned above is that one “puts up” and the other “speaks up”! And yes, a “puts up” horse makesfor an easier day…. but is that what we really want?

Wouldn’t we rather have a horse that is totally with us, in body and in thoughts? A horse that is 100% willing and happy to share our agenda for that day?

Catching his body or connecting with his thoughts?

So how can we tell how “willing” our horse is to be caught? Is standing still whilst we approach a true indication that our horse wants to come and play? I would like to share some excerpts of an article I wrote after a coaching call with one of my students on this subject….

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Connect with your horse

It’s my time to shine!

Well here it is!  My very own blog!
 I have hmm’d and umh’d and procrastinated and put it off time and time again….  But this is no longer! I am ready to share what I have learned and experienced during my 45+plus years with horses.  And if what I share resonates with one person out there and it makes a difference to at least a single horse in the world I will feel I have succeeded!

For many years I have hidden in the shadows of a big guru or programme.  I have supported these people with total dedication and loyalty.  In return, I have gained invaluable knowledge and had experiences of a lifetime which I will be forever grateful for.  But now….

Connect with your horseIt is my time to shine…. It is my turn to be brave and put myself and my beliefs out there.  It is my turn to speak up for horses in spite of my fear of “social media criticism”.  I am prepared to take the brunt of it knowing that I come from a place of integrity and good intention.   It is time to believe in myself  and give myself permission to be commended and/or critized – publicly!

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