Paradise Farm

Paradise Farm Ride better through knowledge ... not luck! Welcome to Paradise! Owned and operated by international event rider and trainer,
Lellie Ward. With over 30 years of international level 3-day experience, Lellie sets herself apart by concentrating on the most important tenets in successful eventing: safety, balance, control and confidence.

In 2007, she initiated a unique series of Foxhunter Safety Clinics employing the same vital principals. Lellie welcomes riders and horses of all levels to train with her at Paradise. She also is available to conduct a clinic at your facility. Contact Lellie to schedule.

Operating as usual

11/19/2021

For this week’s tip I’d like to share with you how to develop your self confidence. Many riders aren’t pursuing objectives out there because of self limiting beliefs and their fear of the judgment, defeat and embarrassment.

Self confidence is not something that you inherently have or don’t have! Self confidence has nothing to do with talent. Many of my students in clinics think that self confidence comes from the achievements and basically having proven that we are good at riding having achieved a certain level or earned certain awards. But I want you to consider that many riders don’t pursue things in the future or don’t set challenging objectives for themselves because they don’t yet have the experience to be good at riding at a certain level. But how can you reach that level if you don’t even attempt to try things you haven’t done before?

Self confidence doesn’t come from experience nor talent, but comes from our willingness to experience vulnerability. It comes from our willingness to experience judgment from other people, failure and embarrassment at a show, at a clinic or at your barn. We are worried ahead of time about the emotion on the other side of that attempt, we don’t even want to try because we don’t want to feel such negative emotions.

I made a shift in my life by applying the following process: instead of avoiding feelings of failure or embarrassment ahead of time, preventing me to put myself out there at a show, a championship, a symposium or even posting a video of myself on social media and exposing myself to critics...I rehearsed ahead of time what I would feel if I would fail and actually be embarrassed. Having a bad score, a bad ride, having people criticizing your riding, or even worse: your horse, are things that will happen to any rider at any level. What hurts and holds you back is only what you make it mean for yourself. The fact of getting a bad score at a show is harmless, the only thing that makes it painful is what you make it mean.

By rehearsing the worse that can happen in any given situation, in my mind, I realized that what I was actually afraid of is the judgment from other people of me making that attempt and miserably failing. But what I also noticed is that none of those people really matter in my life. None of those people truly support me, and genuinely care about me. None of those people we are anticipating judging us are true friends, mentors or family.

The secret to develop more self confidence and allowing yourself to grow and chase your dreams as a rider is to stop anticipating opinions of people that don’t matter to you, and more importantly starting to have your own back. We are terrible support to ourselves! We actually are the first ones to beat ourselves up for a failed attempt. The key is to develop the willingness to have your own support. Regardless of what happens to me at a show, a symposium, a clinic, I don't make it reflect bad on myself as a rider or a trainer, I create a soft landing for myself. Even if I fail miserably, I only make it mean that I tried my best and that I will get back up. The same way, I will never be disappointed in a student putting himself or herself out there trying and failing. They have to go through the process of failure and defeat to build their own self confidence, get out of their comfort zone and grow as a rider. Self confidence is not a talent, it is something you can create in your mind to fuel your journey towards whatever success you envision for yourself.

Vincent Flores
USDF Gold, Gold Bar, Silver & Bronze Medalist
Vincent Flores Dressage, LLC
Merrimac, Massachusetts
http://vfdressage.webs.com/

Photo credit: Kevin Hadfield

Many people have asked me what I plan to do now that Paradise Farm has been sold.I will be holding clinics around the co...
11/18/2021

Many people have asked me what I plan to do now that Paradise Farm has been sold.I will be holding clinics around the country for people that are interested in Riding Better.
These clinics cater to the individual needs of each horse and rider.
They begin with the rider stating what they want to improve and go where ever the riders goals take them.Any level of riding is accepted. The purpose is for the rider to gain specific knowledge of how to correct their weaknesses.
And everyone has them.
45 years of International riding and teaching experience and a solid 10 years of proprioceptive work ,learning how to make the brain function in times of fear, uncertainty or pain has created a unique system of education for horses and riders.

I hope people in Aiken will attend these clinics.They are extremely popular everywhere I am fortunate enough to teach.We ll keep you posted!

Many people have asked me what I plan to do now that Paradise Farm has been sold.I will be holding clinics around the country for people that are interested in Riding Better.
These clinics cater to the individual needs of each horse and rider.
They begin with the rider stating what they want to improve and go where ever the riders goals take them.Any level of riding is accepted. The purpose is for the rider to gain specific knowledge of how to correct their weaknesses.
And everyone has them.
45 years of International riding and teaching experience and a solid 10 years of proprioceptive work ,learning how to make the brain function in times of fear, uncertainty or pain has created a unique system of education for horses and riders.

I hope people in Aiken will attend these clinics.They are extremely popular everywhere I am fortunate enough to teach.We ll keep you posted!

Paradise Farm has been sold.I don't know what the new owner plans on doing with it.I will still be holding RIDE BETTER c...
11/16/2021

Paradise Farm has been sold.I don't know what the new owner plans on doing with it.I will still be holding RIDE BETTER clinics in the area.If interested please contact me directly. 803 640 4918.Thankyou to all for your friendship and support.

Paradise Farm has been sold.I don't know what the new owner plans on doing with it.I will still be holding RIDE BETTER clinics in the area.If interested please contact me directly. 803 640 4918.Thankyou to all for your friendship and support.

Timeline Photos
10/18/2021

Timeline Photos

To maintain a correct upper body position in the corners, imagine you are balancing on an exercise ball. If you lean your torso into a turn, your seat bones will push the ball (horse) in the opposite direction (below left). To help the horse balance, keep your spine straight and use your shoulders to turn. Your seat bones will follow. Try it on a ball, it works!

Illustration by Sandy Rabinowitz

The Bold and the Beautiful: Preview Ian Stark’s CCI5* Track at the Maryland 5 Star - Eventing Nation - Three-Day Eventin...
10/15/2021
The Bold and the Beautiful: Preview Ian Stark’s CCI5* Track at the Maryland 5 Star - Eventing Nation - Three-Day Eventing News, Results, Videos, and Commentary

The Bold and the Beautiful: Preview Ian Stark’s CCI5* Track at the Maryland 5 Star - Eventing Nation - Three-Day Eventing News, Results, Videos, and Commentary

EN’s coverage of the Maryland 5 Star is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products. KPP is our go-to for all things nutritional when it comes to supporting our horses and their healthier selves. Managing horses

07/15/2021
06/24/2021
Timeline Photos
05/11/2021

Timeline Photos

To keep your shoulders level and your spine centered over your horse …

Think of expanding your collarbones sideways as if the top of your shoulders were pointing East and West on a compass. From this position, with your rib cage back, you can elongate your neck and spine even more into superior-torso alignment. This well-balanced, upper-body position allows you to carry yourself better so your horse can carry you.—Holly Mason

Illustration by Sandy Rabinowitz.

Timeline Photos
02/09/2021

Timeline Photos

To improve accuracy in all your half passes…

Align your outside hip, inside hand and the bit with your destination
letter in one straight line. (This will help you remember to use your
inside rein as an indirect rein, not an open one.) Imagine this
line, and you will always arrive at the proper destination in all your
half passes, whether they are shallow or steep, at trot or canter.

—Leslie Webb

11/29/2020
Badminton Horse Trials

Badminton Horse Trials

We hope you enjoy the 2017 winners' cross country round - a brilliant round featuring an all-star commentary team to boot!

Partnered with Nereo, Andrew Nicholson finally won his first Badminton Horse Trials title after 36 attempts. What a performance it was and made for a truly memorable Badminton.

Dressage Today
11/02/2020

Dressage Today

To get a feel for the aids that ask your horse to bend …

"Imagine walking up a spiral staircase. To negotiate the stairs in balance, you must turn your shoulders on the precise path of the stairs and your seat and leg must be in the correct, stable position to ask for bend." —Corinne Foxley

🎨 Illustration by Sandy Rabinowitz

Montana 406 Outdoor Adventures
10/17/2020

Montana 406 Outdoor Adventures

People frequently ask me what's so special about Montana. I try and tell them but until one actually sets foot here and experiences our Big Sky Country will he or she truly ever become fully aware of the magic of
God's handiwork in his own backyard.

10/02/2020

Please leave feedback here about your experiences at Paradise Farm

Secretariat
09/27/2020

Secretariat

Something Royal & her foal
Baby Secretariat-future triple crown winner

08/10/2020

I will be back teaching at Paradise and avaiable for lessons Aug.14.
Thank you!

Dressage Today
06/22/2020

Dressage Today

To improve accuracy in all your half passes…

Align your outside hip, inside hand and the bit with your destination letter in one straight line. (This will help you remember to use your inside rein as an indirect rein, not an open one.) Imagine this line, and you will always arrive at the proper destination in all your half passes, whether they are shallow or steep, at trot or canter. —Leslie Webb (Illustration by Sandy Rabinowitz)

A few pictures from recent Stono River Stables RIDE BETTER clinic.We have a clinic there the last weekend of every month...
06/03/2020

A few pictures from recent Stono River Stables RIDE BETTER clinic.We have a clinic there the last weekend of every month.Hope you will join us .

Ritter Dressage
05/16/2020

Ritter Dressage

We are often asked how to get a horse light in hand and off of the forehand when he is leaning heavily on the bridle. Both issues are closely related to each other. The rein contact that the horse offers is not a localised affair that is limited to the rider’s hand and the horse’s mouth. It is, rather, the result of the horse’s balance, overall posture, and muscle development. That’s why it usually doesn’t help to change bits, because the underlying causes are located somewhere else.

Possible Causes Of A Heavy Rein Contact

Whenever something isn’t going well it’s always important to research the possible causes before deciding on a course of action to correct the situation because if you address the symptom (heavy rein contact) and not the underlying cause, it is unlikely that the horse will become truly light.

When a horse leans on the bit, it’s always a sign of an imbalance: the hind legs push more than they carry. They use their extensor muscles more than their flexor muscles, and the horse transfers some (sometimes a lot) of his weight from his hindquarters to the rider’s hands.

In some cases, the hind legs throw the weight onto the forehand because they don’t engage enough. They step down close to the vertical or behind the vertical so that they skip the flexion phase and start extending their joints right away. Because they are far away from the center of gravity, this force (in the physical sense) approaches the body mass from behind and pushes it horizontally forward. When the hind legs step down closer to the center of gravity, they can lift the body mass up because their force approaches the body from below rather than from behind, so the direction of the force is more vertical, rather than horizontal.

In some cases, the hind legs step down close to the center of gravity, but without flexing and without supporting the body mass. If the horse doesn’t have the strength in his hind legs to lift the body mass, or if he lacks the confidence in his hindquarters to support and lift the body mass, he will try to relieve his hind legs in one of several possible ways. One possibility is to lower his neck and lean on the reins. At the same time, he will try to keep the joints of his hind legs as extended as possible. This results in a hard and heavy rein contact and a hard, uncomfortable feeling under the seat bones.

Possible Remedies

Since the root of the problem is an imbalance, a lack of flexion of the hind legs, it can’t be fixed by using a stronger bit. It has nothing to do with the horse’s mouth. The heaviness in the reins is merely a symptom and it will only go away when you address the root of the problem: the imbalance between pushing and carrying. When the hind legs flex and support a larger share of the body mass, the rein contact will become light again.

The imbalance of the horse usually has a longitudinal and a lateral aspect:

✯ The front legs have to support a larger share of the weight than the hind legs, when the joints of the hinds are not flexing enough under the weight,
✯ and one lateral pair of legs has to support a larger share than the other pair. This is a straightness issue. The naturally concave side of the horse’s body typically carries a smaller share of the weight because the hind leg of that side moves alongside the body, instead of stepping underneath it. This shifts the weight onto the shoulder of the naturally convex side, which is why the rein contact on the naturally convex side tends to be heavier or harder than on the concave side.

There is another, related, aspect to it: Gustav Steinbrecht says that the resistance you feel in the bridle usually finds its support in one of the horse's legs. In many cases it's a hind leg, in others it's a front leg. The horse can only brace and lean on the bit as long as this leg is on the ground. He uses the ground against the rider, essentially. When you ask him to pick this leg up, he has to redistribute his weight to the other side of the body. Otherwise, he would fall down. It creates an engagement of the deeper core muscles and an opportunity to relax the outer muscles that had been bracing against the ground and against the rider. As the horse shifts the weight to the other side of the body, he can let go of the rein he was leaning on, at least for a few strides.

Any bracing and leaning by the horse is static in nature. It's human nature to try and fight the static behaviour of the horse with static counter measures, like holding and pulling. But since the horse is heavier and stronger than the human, the horse will win a leaning and pulling contest every time. The only thing that works in these situations is usually to dissolve a static resistance by moving the weight around so that the horse has to reorganise his balance which leads to him engaging muscles that had been slack and relaxing muscles that had been tight and braced. In other words, he stops bracing against the ground and against the rider.

Posture and balance tend to become habitual. Horses like to support themselves with the legs that they are more aware of. Using a certain leg more often develops the muscles around it, and it makes it even more available and more neurologically connected to the brain than the other legs. Some horses have a “favorite” front leg with which they always support themselves. Unfortunately, this asymmetry develops the musculature very unevenly, creates excessive wear and tear in the overused front leg, and leads to compensatory stiffness and bracing in various parts of the body.

If you try to change the weight distribution, some horses become very defensive because they think that you are trying to kill them. They are not aware that they have two healthy legs on the either side of the body. Or they don’t believe that these legs are all strong enough to support the body mass. So they may resist against any change of balance at first. In these situations it usually works well to move the weight only for short moments away from the favorite leg and allow it to return briefly. The more often you rock the weight away from the favorite leg and back, the more they realise that they have one leg at each corner of the body and that all legs are perfectly capable of supporting the body mass, at least for brief moments. This creates a greater sense of security and self-confidence. The horse no longer worries that he may fall down and die, and it leads to a better body awareness and a more even muscle development.

Summary

In order to make a heavy horse light, there are 6 areas you need to work on.

1. Mental flexibility: the horse has to be able to visualise the movement the rider is asking of him. If he doesn’t understand what the rider wants or how to do what the rider is asking, he will brace and resist.
2. Body awareness: the horse has to be able to feel his legs as well as the weight distribution over the support base. If he can’t feel where his legs are and which leg is supporting the weight, he can’t change his balance and will brace and lean or resist.
3. Balance: the horse has to learn to distribute and redistribute his weight over the supporting legs at will. Balance is not static. It’s dynamic. A horse is only truly balanced when he is able to adjust the weight distribution from one split second to the next, to meet the requirements of the situation.
4. Coordination: the horse has to be able to move his legs in any direction (forward, backward, sideways) and to move off from the halt with either hind leg.
5. Suppleness: shoulders, pelvis/hindquarters, and spine should be freely mobile, without being limited in their range of motion by muscle blockages. This enables the horse to balance himself and to carry himself without having to use the rider’s hands as a fifth leg.
6. Strength and stamina: The hind legs and the postural muscles need to be strong enough to maintain self carriage for longer periods of time.

I have found in practice that we often need to start with developing the horse’s body awareness first, then we can improve suppleness and balance, and when the horse has discovered the correct muscles that he needs to use to balance himself, we can strengthen and condition them.

- Dr. Thomas Ritter
www.artisticdressage.com

Read this article on the Blog - https://www.artisticdressage.com/blog-content/self-carriage-balance-and-lightness

Subscribe to our email newsletter to get thought-provoking articles about the art of dressage delivered straight to your inbox: https://ritterdressage.activehosted.com/f/47

Address

4069 Wagener Rd
Aiken, SC
29805

General information

Paradise Farm is on Hwy 302 (Wagener Road), just a short distance from the city of Aiken.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Paradise Farm posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Paradise Farm:

Category

Nearby food & beverage services


Other Farms in Aiken

Show All

Comments

Good ribbons & great ponies this windy 🌬weekend at Paradise Farm! 🐴🥇🥈🥉🍺🦄❤️
🐴Show day at Paradise Farm is underway and we want to give a quick shout out to this woman! Kristin Michelle is keeping us all organized, cleaned, fed, watered, lunged, tacked up...everything! 🥰 Thank you, Kristin! ❤️🥇
🐴 Back to the barn after a successful cross country school with the first group this morning at Paradise Farm! ✨ Windy but thankfully sunny 🌞
A snippet of Anita Antenucci’s Arden Juju on the training XC course at Paradise Farm last weekend. I really enjoy taking this horse XC - he has such a fantastic gallop! 🐎 Huge thank you to Airowear for keeping me safe while out on course. ❤️ #airowearbodyprotector #crosscountry #ArdenJuju #eventing #eventinglife #eventinghorse
Bonito - Advanced event horse that would make an awesome Young Rider horse. Finished 2nd on the weekend at Paradise Farm Horse Trials on a score of 28. Priced reduced!
Yet another good result for Excel Star Phoenix this weekend at Paradise Farm, finishing 2nd in the Open Novice. This handsome bay Irish Sport Horse gelding is fun, uncomplicated and ready to pack someone around. Rhythmic and consistent to the jumps, he is a scopey jumper and a good mover. Perfect for a junior or amateur, he is a people pleaser that is easy to make round. He is by bred royally by OBOS Quality out of Kildalton Duette (Ramiro B) and has plenty of talent for a professional. Contact Courtney at 610-952-5347 #crosscountry #eventing #salehorse #irshsporthorse #younghorse #horsesofinstagram @excelstarsporthorses @usef @usea @useventing
Yet another good result for Excel Star Phoenix this weekend at Paradise Farm, finishing 2nd in the Open Novice. This handsome bay Irish Sport Horse gelding is fun, uncomplicated and ready to pack someone around. Rhythmic and consistent to the jumps, he is a scopey jumper and a good mover. Perfect for a junior or amateur, he is a people pleaser that is easy to make round. He is by bred royally by OBOS Quality out of Kildalton Duette (Ramiro B) and has plenty of talent for a professional. Contact Courtney at 610-952-5347 #crosscountry #eventing #salehorse #irshsporthorse #younghorse #horsesofinstagram @excelstarsporthorses @usef @usea @useventing
Stay in-the-know this weekend with our weekend quick links! Remember - you can access the weekend quick links from any of the USEA's social media platforms or directly on the USEA website. Rocking Horse Stables, Paradise Farm
Send your entry in sooner rather than later - your event secretary will thank you! Carolina International CCI and Horse Trial, Florida Horse Park, Pine Top Eventing, Southern Arizona Eventing Association, Rocking Horse Stables, Paradise Farm, Holland Eventing LLC
Welcome baby Beatrice! Middleton’s newest member - special thanks to Southern Equine Services & Lellie Ward, Paradise Farm for taking such great care of mom and baby.
We're so proud to have Erin Risso on Team Sagmae! Erin won the IP division at Paradise Farm yesterday, scoring a 36.4 on Sportsfield Enquiry! Go Erin! 👏🏼🏆
Due to a cancellation we are in need of a stadium steward tomorrow from 10:30 - 6:00 PM and fence judges from 10:00 - 6:00 PM. Please contact me via messenger. Thanks