September 13, 2011

Part Time Working Student Program

Exalt & Salute, in West Jefferson OH close to Columbus, is proud to offer a part-time working student positions!!

We are always on the look-out for someone who wants to learn training, re-training, rehabbing, instruction, care, feeding and development of horses and riders with basis in biomechanics, as well as be included on the growth of a developing dressage training barn.

Part time students work at least one day per week but can work as often as able to get what they need!!

Compensation includes possible reduced board for one horse, lessons on your horse and/or ours in dressage and flat/jumping with a qualified instructor and daily involvement in the business of running a training stable and keeping clients happy. Your specific needs, goals and availability will weigh into determining your compensation.

Responsibilities include assisting the full-time student or groom as needed in the following:
Mucking 8-16 stalls 1-4 days including weekends (shavings)
Emptying/scrubbing/refilling water buckets
Sweep/rake aisles (keep it clean!!)
Feeding daily
Riding Riding Riding
Cleaning tack
Schooling and hacking out
Basic barn work
Did we mention RIDING?

Requirements are:
Own reliable transportation
A sense of humor
Comfortable working/riding
You have to deal with clients of all shapes/sizes/personalities!
Courteous/Polite/Non Whinier
Appropriate riding attire for job

What you get:
Lessons-More riding than you can imagine
Tons of experience in the horse business

Contact Monet at for details

September 2, 2011

Please Pull Out My Chair...

The position of the rider in the saddle (including leg position and seat position) greatly affects the movement of the horse. As riders, we need to make sure our legs are to be used in a way so that our horses can move and breathe appropriately in the movements and the gates. We tend to use them in more of a restricting way. Horses also need to be used to encourage their bellies to swing and freeing up the shoulders. As we have spoken before, the belly usually swings more one direction then another so we need to help the belly to swing equally both directions. The shoulders are also more braced in one direction then the other and we need to use our thighs/knees to free them up. 

A student prior to coming
ride with me.
The term ‘chair seat' refers to a rider looking as though they are sitting in a chair, with thighs parallel to the ground. If you were to pull the horse out from under them, the rider would lose their balance and they would land on their bottom. Their knees are pointing towards the horse’s ears, eyes or face instead of pointing towards the ground. I have also seen riders with their legs too far forward. Our toes should NEVER move in front of the knees as this is also creates a 'chair seat.'

When a rider sits in a ‘chair seat’ they are unable to affect the horse’s shoulders. This also does not allow the rider to affect the movement of the girth area.  Have you ever had a horse with girth sores? This would be why (along with poor saddle fitting).

Instead of sitting in a chair, we should always be looking as though if someone were to have the horse pulled out from underneath us we would remain in a standing position. This places us more in balance and in the center of the horse.

The correct position of our leg is VERY IMPORTANT because this is where we first determine
Me at the rising trot.
Note the straightness of my knee.
how we will be able to affect the horse either as an effective or passive rider. When a rider is sitting with their knees in more of a straight position from the front, and with knees point to the ground, they are in a better position to affect and increase the movement of the shoulders (encouraging them to move up and down)…which also helps movement of the girth area…which then leads to the belly swing. A rider should have their leg position with their knee facing as straight to the ground as possible. This will be especially apparent when the rider is at the rising trot.

Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘It is not possible to have it straight to the ground’ - but if you are aiming for that you will be right on track.

When we are kids we learn to propel the horse by kicking or squeezing the sides of the horse. However, when you kick and or squeeze you stop the movement of the belly which prevents the back to front movement. Simply kicking and squeezing is riding front to back…which hollows the back…and stops all the movement over the back…and then you have no throughness.

The same student as above,
now riding with more
correct leg position after
several months with me.
Another aspect of rider position is the seat. When you apply your seat bones improperly you will hollow your horses back. Just imagine when you rub a cat’s back what does he do? He will lift up. This is what will happen when we use our seat bones in a more massaging way. When we use them in a way that is pushing into the horses back it becomes VERY PAINFUL so the horse will hollow their backs. For instance, if you were to push your finger down on that cat’s back he will hollow his back. This is what we do to our horses when we are just pushing down and not massaging with.

Instead, our seat bones need to go in a forward and back movement along and with the muscles in their backs to get the horse to LIFT their backs. Massaging the back can help to create throughness, movement, belly swing and balance.

July 12, 2011

Back Movers and Leg Movers

There are major differences between horses that are back movers and those that are leg movers. Having a back mover is the goal. When you have a horse that moves over the back and is ridden with the biomechanics you have a horse that is in perfect balance, happy and THROUGH. This is the ultimate ride!!

Leg movers are horses with NO BACK MOVEMENT. They only move with their legs. They are not even on both sides nor are they ever through. Leg movers are difficult to ride in a sitting trot, especially an extended trot. This is because horses have a hollow side and a braced side. When the back is hollow it leaves no place for the rider to sit. It is like you are sitting in a hole; instead, you should feel like you are sitting on a GIANT BEACH BALL.

Horses that are leg movers have more issues with soundness, spook more, and brace in the
riders hands for support. Leg movers also have a hard time cantering to the right because the inside hind leg has to be in the pushing stage in order to pick up the right lead canter and instead the right hind is usually in the sitting stage.

Horses that move over their backs move with more expression, stay sound longer, and are BIGGER movers. They have a beautiful top line because they use the top side of their bodies and not the under part of their necks. They are horses that don’t spook easily and are more even on both reins (even on both sides). You can tell by sweat marks on specific parts of the body, evenness on both sides, and going in both directions. Most importantly, you can tell by the relaxation in the body and the connection in the reins.

Sit, Push, Lift and ReachThere are 4 phases that the horses back legs go through during any gait. Each of them has their own importance and the timing is critically important for a rider’s biomechanics to influence the movement.

Sit: This is where the horse is carrying all of their weight. The sit phase is the best time to ask for half halt and/or ask them to sit more on their hocks for more collection

Push: This is where the horse is getting ready to take a BIGGER stride. This is a great time to ask the horse to lengthen its stride. This is NOT THE TIME TO ASK FOR A HALF HALT.

Lift: This is when you have air time! And, depending on how much you were able to affect the sitting and the pushing phase, will determine how big the stride you will get. This is a time when you would NOT apply any aids.

Reach: This is also an air time movement. This is where you get your l-e-n-g-t-h-e-n-i-n-g. This is a phase that you need to make sure YOUR hips are swinging with their hips so they get out of the way of the horses hips and do not interfere. The reach phase is also a phase where you should NOT apply an aid.

Belly Swing: Another important factor in through movement and biomechanics is the belly swing. The belly swing is where their belly swings both left to right and right to left evenly (literally the swinging of the belly!). The horse needs this to be even on both sides. If they don’t have a belly swing they cannot become a back mover because a swinging belly allows their hips to become even. It also allows both hind legs to perform the lift and reach phases of movement. Through biomechanics, the rider can learn to influence and move the belly.

So - there you have it. A riders biomechanics works with the horses biomechanics to change the way the horse moves. Through the understanding of, and proper use of, biomechanics, a rider can bring a horse from being a leg mover to a back mover and ride a GIANT BEACH BALL!!

July 5, 2011

Update on Danny

With just two weeks of intense training under, browband, Danny has been improving by leaps and bounds (some of those leaps are pretty silly!). Monet is working to balance him out, build up his confidence in his left-lead canter, and bring his back up so he can learn to come through and track up. His owner, Anna, is learning how to use her body to influence him properly - not so easy with someone with years of habits to break!

Below are some new pics with Monet riding.

July 4, 2011

Two Weeks with Norman

Here we are already - two weeks later!
Norman is cruising along sooooo well! He is loving his new lifer and home and routine. He has made new friends with a big crush on a mare in the next paddock. His new "bestie" during turnout is none other than Danny! Reports are in that they stand with necks over whithers...enjoying the weather and grass. Most importantly, he and Stephanie (his proud new owner) are bonding and getting to know everything about each other and becoming a sweet little pair together.

Norman has increased his body weight and muscle tone in just these two weeks. His coat has gotten all shiny and bronzey, and his whole attitude has lifted. We will post in two more weeks with a broader 30 day report and some statistics. But for now - here are some pics from a recent training session with Monet. Note the mischievous look in his eye!!

June 12, 2011

Welcome to the newest client at Exalt & Salute ~ Norman!

June 12, 2011
Welcome to the newest client at Exalt & Salute ~ Norman!
Norman (formerly named Ike) was purchased by Stephanie Good, and is 15 years old.
He has competed in dressage at 3rd level and jumping. He has been rather sedentary for awhile so his first 30 days will be very important. He begins a new life where he will be trained by Monet, loved by Stephanie!

This page will be dedicated to documenting his journey. We hope you enjoy seeing him progress!

Here are pictures of his first day:

April 16, 2011

A fellow blogger who we love!

Once a month, Monet teaches a day of private lessons as a guest instructor at Equi-Valent Riding Center, in Delaware, Ohio. One of the regular students there,  Rebecca White, writes a great blog about her riding experiences: Diary of an Over Anxious Horse Owner.
As part of those posts she also uses videos of some of her lessons with Monet, as well of some of Monet's other students at these sessions. The posts are a wonderful glimpse into what it is like to learn these methods and see the differences that we see every time we ride.

Rebecca had her first lesson with Monet last fall and she wrote "We worked mostly at the trot and had ground poles along one wall and raised cavaletti on the opposite wall. It seems I've been 'throwing away' the contact at the poles...She rode him for a bit. The look on his face was 'WTF are you doing?!?! Um...okay.' I think he had more forwardness and more contact in that brief ride than he has in the two years I've ridden him...It was cool to see how he came around for her. When I got back on there was SUCH a difference in his movement. She had me post on the wrong diagonal to show me how much we had been helping him with the alternating pressures. Wow."
Then Rebecca documented a fellow rider's results in her post about Sarah and Max along with a great video - read the whole post and watch the video here. There is another posting about October's session at EVRC with wonderful photos here in which Rebecca writes about Monet "I REALLY like Monet and look forward to our next lesson. She's a very honest teacher. She'll push you to work hard but she makes it fun. She explains things really clearly and is quick to reward good work." <- awwwww!!! We love that!!!

More recently, in January, Rebecca was experiencing some lameness issues with her horse, Junior. She was working with an equine chiropractor/massage therapist and Monet. This posting and video shows how using the methods of biomechanics that Monet coaches on can help horses with physical issues.

So be sure to stop by there, follow her blog, and keep tuning in! We love Rebecca's writings and we love how she writes about Monet!

April 4, 2011

Welcome to Exalt and Salute's blog page!

We are just getting started and expect to post blogs regularly about Monet's coaching methods, clinics, students, and horses. In the meantime, please feel free to visit the links on the side, "like" us on Facebook, and view the videos we have uploaded on our YouTube channel.

To learn a bit about Monet - check out that page right here on the blog!
And you can watch this little clip too!

Thanks so much for stopping by!