View Full Version : MSEDA Micklem report, please

Jan. 15, 2012, 08:32 PM
I'd love to hear a synopsis of what he said.

Jan. 16, 2012, 01:56 PM
William Mickem was very entertaining, informative and a very nice fellow.

In the morning session, he spoke about "The Go Rules". "Open the door to accelerated progress and success in any activity." "Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard."

Rule #1: Have a Go! Get started and go out and do it. Make your riding days, meaningful. Have a plan and do the work. Take your training "one step at a time". William spoke of how many horses are rushed along, so that they do not have a strong base (foundation). Take the time to build the foundation.

Rule # 2: Have another Go! "You will never win, if you never begin." "Forge ahead, with fortitude." Get good instruction. Learn lessons from failures, so that you will "Go" on to improve and succeed. Do not give up. Use failure positively and always talk about the positive. In other words, focus on what was good about your ride. Do not dwell on the negative.

Rule #3: Produce the Goods. Aquire the ability to manage yourself and deal with people. Do the right thing. "Good practice equals permanent competence. Choose a personal best over going for a win. Do not give up!"

Rule #4 Goal Set: You begin with forethought, aim, goals, action and steps. "Excellence is not a fact, but a habit." "Focus on what works and what you do well." Confidence and competence are linked together. Plan backwards and execute forwards.

Rule #5 Be the Governor. "Do right by yourself." Develop the 3 "F"'s, Forward, Feel and the Fifth leg. The fifth leg is the ability of your horse to take care of you in any situation. By now, you should be begin to think clearly under pressure. You should have established calm, forward and straight with your horse. When jumping fences you should have developed direction, speed, timing and balance.

"When we value ourselves, we cease to be afraid of other people."

That was my favorite truism!

In the afternoon, William spoke about "The Equestrian Illusions".

He showed how a stargazing (hollow) horse was actually in the same frame as a horse who sets his head, but is not coming through. Both of them are hollow in their backs.

William begins his young horses on the lunge, when they are three to four years old. He starts with a lunging surcingle, then progresses to a saddle, when they are around four years old. He uses loose side reins. He does not back his horses, until they are coming through, with a round shape, on the lunge. It takes how ever long that it takes. Some horses learn to come through, before others. Patience is the key.

The reason for starting horses this way is because a horse does not fully mature (close growth plates) until between five and six years old. The growth plates begin to close from the hooves upward. The spine is the last to close. Many horses who are backed when they are two have damaged spines, thus causing an inability to come through.

William showed Mandiba and High Kingdom on the lunge when they were four year olds. He said that lunging creates impulsion, acceptance, calmness, forwardness, straightness and purity (rhythm).

Once the horses are backed, William begins with a balanced rising trot. The balance comes from the rider being balanced, by rising from the middle of the knee to the ball of the foot. A bad position in rising trot will cause the horse to not come through.

William showed Karen O'Conner's WEG cross country and show jumping rounds. He explained that the cross country round was as close to perfect as he has seen. In the beginning of the show jumping, Mandiba was jumping a bit flat. When Mandiba jumped the oxer, he just could not do the number of strides that Karen saw. He was her fifth leg. He stopped, because he knew that he could not do that distance.

William recited several poems during his lecture. They were awesome.

One of the poems is by Robert Frost.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to Go before I sleep, and miles to Go before I sleep."

I have a friend, who reminded me that we had met William in 1975, when he was working with Robert Hall. I did not remember our meeting, nor did he. However, he did remember Monty Mortemer and Liz Browne, who were our teachers at the Fulmer School of Equitation in Ledston, UK.

Does anybody from the UK know Liz Browne, who worked up at the Fulmer School of Equitation, back in the mid '70's?

I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures. I came away inspired. Now, if these shingles will just go away so that I can start working my horse......

Jan. 16, 2012, 02:35 PM
Oops! Viney, I forgot the part that would interest you the most: breeding.

William showed how influental TB's are in stallions and performance horses.

USA TB Greats:
San Lucas
Good Twist
Idle Dice
Jet Run
Gem Twist
Touch of Class

Eventing Greats
Merely a Monarch - 87.5% TB
Durlas Eile - 75% TB
El Dorado - 100% TB
Might Tango - 100% TB
Cambridge Blue - 100% TB
Kilkenny - 87.5% TB
Eagle Lion - 75% TB
Charisma - 75% TB
Reddy Teddy - 100% TB

World's Top Modern Event Stallions
Heraldik - 100% TB
Master Imp - 100% TB
King's Master 75% TB
Puissance - 75% TB
Fines - 100% TB
Primitive Rising - 100% TB
Stan The Man - 100% TB
Cavalier Royale - 51.5% TB
Cruising - 53.75% TB
Sea Crest - 20% TB
Jumbo - 41.5% TB
Clover Hill - 50% TB

Hidden Genes
Marius - 75% TB
Butts Abraxxas - 96.86% TB
La Biosthetique Sam - 75% TB
Butts Leon - 96.875% TB
King Artus - 85% TB
Jaguar Mail - 85%TB

Warmblood Jumping TB Stallions
Cottage Son
Lucky Boy

TB in Top Modern Warm Blood Jumpers
Milton - 75% TB
Jalisco B - 65% TB
Quidam De Revel - 65% TB
Jus De Pomme - 69% TB
Authentic - 68% TB
Baloubet De Rouet - 75% TB
Shutterfly - 62.5% TB
Julio Mariner - 100% TB

There are other catagories, but my fingers are tired of typing.

Jan. 16, 2012, 02:51 PM
Love it!! Thanks, Auburn. I was home recovering from surgery myself, so I appreciate the notes. I heard it was a fabulous seminar!

Jan. 16, 2012, 02:55 PM

Jan. 16, 2012, 04:43 PM
AWESOME Report, Thanks!

Jan. 16, 2012, 04:48 PM
Well covered, Auburn!! :)

Jan. 16, 2012, 07:31 PM
Lastly, SMILE! :D:D:D

William has three beautiful children. He showed photos of them riding and jumping. All of them had great smiles.

Your horse can feel when you are smiling, so smile when you ride. Enjoy the journey with your horse.


I am happy that I did it justice. I am certain that there must have been something that I forgot.

Jan. 16, 2012, 10:11 PM
Thanks, Auburn. That was JUST what I needed!

Jan. 17, 2012, 04:48 PM
Thank you Auburn, well done!!

Jan. 17, 2012, 05:17 PM

Kim K
Jan. 22, 2012, 12:35 PM
Great report Auburn. Why don't you send it directly to COTH and see if they will publish it in the paper version of their mag? Since William is a writer for them they may be willing.... Beth Rasin is very nice and I would send it to her if I were you.


Jan. 22, 2012, 12:46 PM
many thanks Auburn...........great read on a very cold Sunday in the northeast. It will making riding today a little less "cold" :)
I really like his philosophy!

Thanks again!

Jan. 23, 2012, 10:37 AM
Thanks for all of your replies. I appreciate the feedback.

My shingles have gone away enough for me to start my shaggy mare back from her two month break.

I am starting on the lunge, with loose side reins, surcingle and a boatload of patience.

The first day, Tess was higher than a kite. She bucked, farted, leaped and began the lunging session at the canter. She did not remember the voice commands, to which she used to understand quite well. She was hollow and ignored me for most of the session. By the end, she was starting to stretch down and listen to my voice commands. She gave me her inside ear, which William told us is a sign of listening.

I used a technique that I learned from Frank Bell to help remind Tess how to stretch down. When I stopped her to change direction, I asked her to stretch down, by pulling down on the lunge line. The instant that she would give, I would release. Repeat, until she would stretch and stay, then stroke her neck and praise her. Since I usually change directions several times during a lungeing session, it gave me the opportunity to ask her to give me a stretch at a halt. William did not suggest this. I added this part. It seemed to translate to the lunge.

Day two: At least, Tess did not act a fool. She was a bit more responsive to my voice aides, but still was hollow. After 15 minutes, she started to stretch down a bit. I have found that it hard to be patient. :yes:

Day three: Tess listened to all of my voice commands. :D She stayed more round than the last time that I lunged her, but still was not willing to give me a complete stretch down at the walk or trot.

Since our weather has been quite strange with warm, then ice, sun and rain, these lunge sessions were spread out over several days.

My DH bought me a Micklem bridle for Christmas. When William showed how to put the bridle together, I noticed that I had put the crown piece on backward. I changed it, before I began lungeing.

Another thing that William mentioned was that we would have no need for sugar cubes or treats before we rode, to get our horses to salivate. He was right on the money. As soon as I begin lungeing Tess, she starts a slobberfest. It will be nice not to have to remember to bring a sugar cube to an event.

Kim K
Jan. 23, 2012, 03:14 PM
Hi Auburn,
Glad you are feeling better. If you need an introduction to Beth Rasin or even if you want to put all your thoughts on paper for publication I may be able to send them to COTH and maybe Eventing Mag too (with credit to you of course)
I am not comfortable giving my contact info on a public forum but you can find me in the contact info at www.rein-aid.com

Kim K
Jan. 24, 2012, 04:25 PM
Auburn, I got your private e-mail but cannot figure out how to reply to it. My stupid. It may be my security that is blocking it....I still have dial up. Still my stupid.

Anyway, William can't really submit what you watched as that is considered self promotion and the mags wont pick it up.

But, someone that was at the presentation has an independent and excellent view of what went on is 'news' and interesting to readers. So I urge you to put your posts in paper format and then they can be either e-mailed, faxed or snail mailed to Coth or Eventing for mag publication. Editors do NOT read forums. They have too much to do.

William was my mentor and trainer as I grew up in Ireland. William made me brave enough to come here and now have a thriving training business of my own. I thank Jim Wofford and Karen O'Connor in a major way too...