Isabella Sonntag reports about Risky Business‘ way. Risky has been in the Oliveira stables since 2017. We show the early films of Risky on our channel, how did he arrive here, how was the initial work. We have published a few moments on Facebook to show which (physical and mental) issues the Hanoverian warmblood had when he was 9 years old. This led to questions that we want to answer.
This horse seems totally stressed on the video, caused by mental overload or physical problems, which certainly are based in the earlier riding style. Is there no possibility to restart the horse in a way Risky doesn’t get to emotional „red level“ or to deal the physical problems before start riding? Why did you choose the ridden correction?
Our answer (corresponding translation): These sequences under the saddle are only part of our work. In 2017, of course, the horse was also worked a lot in hand, quite detailed. We always use a combination of working in hand, on the longe line, and the work with cavesson an touching with the stick or whip. So there are a lot of components that have led to the result: a horse fully dedicated to the riders aids and seat, a horse which flies in the arena. The steps before are sometimes not nice or beatiful to see, and if we show that little or no understanding is exerted today. Manuel has to correct and make up for everything that has been neglected in 6 years before Oliveira stables or convince the horse that dressage work is fun. As the 6 years before that work was definitely not fun for the horse. That means, a horse like Risky Business with its strong and own will, that could not be broken, will always show displeasure at the beginning.
This displeasure comes for two reasons: from the body/physical condition and from mindset. The horses mind says: Oh, stop. Someone comes with a whip, I’ve never liked the whip. Why should I accept that? Or: I can’t do it, it’s difficult, it’s exhausting. And of course it’s difficult. Imagine that you are 40 years old and have never done gymnastics. And now someone convinces you that you should going to start doing gymnastics now. What will happen? You will say ohhh, I don’t even know if I really want this, it pinches everywhere and is a bit uncomfortable. And that’s completely normal! This has absolutely nothing to do with a „red level“. Risky was far from being in an overwhelmed area. But he showed very clearly what is difficult for him, where he has the most problems. And of course we are working on that. In hand, under the saddle, on the cavesson. And that is one of Manuel’s specialties: he knows exactly what and for how long. I have often asked myself: Manuel, does that really have to be the case? Is it really like that? But we cannot judge that without experience. And most of us, including those who ask these questions, just don’t have the experience Manuel has. And of course I understand that – with the many different books, themes, ways of psychologists, vets, professionals, etc. write today – you are confused when you see the work of Manuel Jorge de Oliveira. But I promise you that every horse that has come to Manuel has blossomed. And after years of good training they all do the dressage lessons elegantly and proudly. These are all horses that have a positive attitude towards humans, they are reliable horses, bright horses – which show that this man is doing something right. We can trust that, otherwise we would no longer have any riding teachers here, Christina would certainly not want to run a stable in which the horses are broken and worn out. We do the opposite, and that’s what I stand for. Every horse, no matter which past, benefits from Vertical. Even if in some starting moments it may look as if they don’t want that – finally it leads to good habits and healthy horses beyond the problems.