Saturday, December 14, 2013

Jane Savoie's Newest Release

This is just a quick post to tell you about Jane Savoie's newest product.  It came out yesterday, and you can take a look at it here.  It is called "Choose Your Own Riding Adventure."  And no, it isn't like an Indiana Jones movie:)  However, it is pretty cool.  Basically, what Jane has done is develop 69 audio tracks that can be downloaded to your mp3 player in a customized "playlist" for your ride.  The tracks cover pretty much everything, from warm-up to basic movements to flying changes and canter pirouettes.  I would say the vast majority of the tracks are for 2nd level and below, but there are a few for 3rd or even 4th level.  The tracks range in time from 6 to 20 minutes and work like mini lessons to listen to while you ride. They can help you problem solve or just give you a formula for your warm-up.

The reason I'm writing about this product today is because it is on sale until December 21st, and her sales are usually pretty good ones.  The way the product is set up, you can purchase a fixed number of tracks for different price points, starting with 5 tracks, and then you can incrementally buy more as you need/want to.  Or, you can purchase all 69 tracks for $347.  I went ahead and did the whole package, using the money I had earmarked for a biothane bridle and breastcollar, because I've always been impressed with the books and videos I purchased from Jane in the past.  Having nice tack is great, but I really want to do more dressage schooling and having a tangible lesson plan helps motivate me.  I've used Jane's Happy Horse program, which consists of DVDs that show you how to do a lot of the things that are in the CYORA program, and I've found it really helpful.  What CYORA does is take the Happy Horse 45-60 minute lessons and break them down into smaller chunks that you can customize for your ride.  It also builds on it and provides more combinations and more problem-solving/technique information.

I will definitely provide a more detailed review of the program as I work through it, but for now here's what I accomplished yesterday.  I purchased all the tracks, got a log in to the site, downloaded all the tracks to my computer, and transferred about 20 of them to my mp3 player.  I've listened to all of a couple of the warm-up tracks and parts of some of the more advanced tracks.  What I love about Jane's products, which is continued in the CYORA, is that she is very down-to-earth and practical about her training.  Many of the dressage masters can get a bit "up in the air" when they talk about dressage.  I wish I could find a good example of what I'm talking about, but all my dressage books are packed because we're renovating our office.  I guess what I mean is that when I read a book by someone like Paul Belasik, there's a lot of language that doesn't really make sense to me.  It sounds a lot like an academic, who is respected in his field, but can't communicate his knowledge to people who aren't at his level.

Jane, on the other hand, is a great teacher.  I see her using a lot of techniques that I learned in my education classes.  For example, she breaks down the connecting aids and goes through the order in which they should be applied.  Riders with experience know that combinations of aids are usually given almost simultaneously, but before you get to that point, you have to learn what effect the individual aids have and how they work together.  And she gives beginners or even more advanced riders who are just having trouble a way to work through learning the aids.  She also provides problem solving tips.  For example, what if you followed her directions about applying the connecting aids, and it didn't work?  And that problem-solving advice may be what I love the most about her.  I haven't ever had much trouble applying the techniques from her books and DVDs, but she never assumes that everyone who listens to her automatically has complete success, which is a wonderful attitude for a teacher.  I've worked with trainers and read books by dressage "experts" who basically say, if you did what I told you to do and it didn't work, then you just didn't do it right.  That may, in fact, be true, but it's not helpful to the student.  Instead, you need some trouble shooting tips.

Anyway, this post turned out not to be that brief:)  I'm so enthusiastic about Jane Savoie because I used her Happy Horse program at a time when I thought I might not continue riding anymore and it saved my relationship with my horse and rejuvenated my love of riding.  And when I wrote to her to tell her about my experience, she responded the very next day with a substantive e-mail of her own and a link to another Friesian owner's website.  This other lady had experienced a lot of the same problems I had, and put together a video about it, which made me cry.  If you're interested, you can view it here.  And of course, Jane uses her Friesian, Moshi, quite a bit in her Happy Horse program, and it was so cool to see a Friesian moving so beautifully!

Note: I have not been paid to endorse any of Jane Savoie's products.  I've just had great experiences with them, and wanted to let you know!

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