It is our job to educate our hands and our legs so that we can align the horse’s body. That means working on our feel, timing and balance every day. Your feel, timing and balance will increase the more you ride your horse, but be warned, you can ride horses every day of your life and not become a very good rider. It’s a matter of studying these elements. It’s generally considered that one cannot teach feel. I won’t dispute that, but I do know that feel is certainly improved by awareness. Your feel will increase by being more aware of what’s happening down through your seat and your legs and the more obscure parts of the horse. Most of us are readily aware of what’s happening with the horse from his shoulders forward because it’s in front of our vision. We’re less aware of what’s happening behind our legs and seat because it’s not in our line of vision. This is where we need to be more conscious of feel. One of the ways you can do this is to count the cadence in your horse’s feet. Becoming more aware of your horse’s foot fall will give you a greater sense of feel. -Ian Francis
To Change your LIFE
you must first change
Ian Francis is a world renowned horseman. Ian was born in Maryborough Qld. He didn’t come from a family who understood or encouraged his obsession with horses and cattle. As a child Ian would make himself terribly useful to anyone in the district that had livestock, and when he was 11 he rode his first horse at a nearby dairy farm, where he would bring the cows in or take them out to graze. He pretty well learned what he knew about horses as he went along.
Growing up and into his early thirties Ian was a hard worker but had little self confidence and no idea of his abilities as a horseman. It wasn’t until he attended a clinic of John Stanton’s that things were to turn around. John predicted that Ian would become a great horseman and John was the first person that gave Ian the confidence that he could be. The rest is history.
Ian’s competitive career spanned more than 30 years and his success’s in the show ring speak for themselves – he has multiple National and State Championships across all AQHA disciplines, he has multiple National and State Championships in Working Cowhorse, Reining and Cutting and has two Cloncurry Stockmans’ Challenge Cups.
At the end of 2010, Ian finished training and showing horses to begin teaching and to develop another passion – Brangus Cattle. Ian’s teaching focuses on getting riders to develop their feel and their timing and to understand and think about their control of the horse’s body parts, and how to put this together so their horse can perform in an efficient and functional way – so the horse can relax without fear, and be soft and supple. Ian, through his understanding of the horse’s biomechanics, can explain simply and clearly how riders can achieve this.
FORM TO FUNCTION doesn’t mean it is just the horse’s responsibility to get into the correct shape, the responsibility also rests on our shoulders. Just as important as it is for the horse to have his body properly aligned, so is it for you. For example, if the horse is traveling to the left, we need our body to be shaped and focused to the left as well. If our body position is not in alignment with the horse’s, we are going to inhibit him. Our focus, where we want the horse to travel, is just as important. Horses don’t have crystal balls; they can’t guess where we’re going to go. The more correct our body position is and the better we focus on where we want to go, it makes things more obvious and less obscure for the horse. -Ian Francis
Don't worry about what's ahead.
Just go as far as you can....
From there, you can see
a LOT further.
HELD AT WILLAMETTE WEST RANCH, NEWBERG OREGON. THIS CLINIC IS LIMITED TO 15 RIDERS AND RUNS FROM 8 AM ( SADDLED UP WARMED UP AND READY TO RIDE ) UNTIL 5 OR 6 PM.
COST IS $600 PER RIDER
$50 TO AUDIT
STALLS AND CAMPING AVAILABLE ON SITE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JANELLE BLUGAUGH
15th and 16th Sept 2018
HELD 45 KM NORTH OF FORT ST. JOHN.
HOST IS PETER KING
FORT ST. JOHN. BC. CANADA
12th and 13th September 2018
In all clinics Ian has everyone together to start, and covers the basics, flexion, control of the head and neck, shoulders, ribcage and hindquarters. After lunch Ian will then run through each person individually and concentrate on what he sees needs improving or refining – or if you are having a particular problem, let Ian know and he can cover that. All riders are encouraged to stay and watch, and practice what is being shown , or what they have learnt in the first session.
Ian will cover exercises for suppleness, exercises to get control of body parts, and exercises for guiding and speed control. Techniques to build your horses knowledge, understanding and confidence.
In a horsemanship clinic Ian concentrates on building a foundation for your horse or advancing on from the foundation you have on your horse, in talking about foundation training, we are simply trying to provide a basis from which to firstly consolidate and then advance a horse’s education. My goals are to have my horse understand how to;
1. Flex his head and neck left and right in response to rein and leg cues
2. Flex his neck vertically, breaking at the poll, throat, withers and lower jaw
3. To travel at a walk, trot and lope in both directions, body arced in the direction of travel
4. Walk, trot and lope both directions with body in reverse arc
5. To speed up and slow down in response to body and rein cues
6. To stop straight
7. To back up
8. To turn both left and right and
9. To side pass both directions.
There are three other areas that I try to be diligent about:
(1) Give to pressure – I pull he should give, I press he should go
(2) I try to always travel on the correct lead – I see no benefit in being careless about this and
(3) To be aware at all times about form to function – i.e. to be conscious of the body shape a horse needs to be in to perform the gait or manoeuvre he is attempting at an acceptable level.
In a Cattle Working Clinic –Ian will work on basic manoeuvres for cattle work - flexion, body control, speed control. Ian will work on tracking cattle, going left and right and checking. Ian will work on having your horse in the correct position and form (or shape) to perform the manoeuvre needed. He will be teaching about your position on a cow and he will cover safety on a cow.