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Riding and Training

Barrel racing is all about seconds, and you’ll do anything to scrape off a tenth of a second here and there to get closer to the buckle. The single biggest time waster is a wide barrel turn. But you don’t...
Q: I have a 7-year-old pony named Timmy. One problem I often face is not having enough time for riding some days, so I longe Timmy a lot. He does very well on a longeline, but it can get...
Horses are sensitive, but also easy to desensitize. With anything new, a horse will likely react at first. That’s his prey-animal reaction to anything new that could be a threat. Within a split second, horses must decide whether they...
Successful groundwork relies on having numerous exercises and routines in your repertoire. No groundwork patterns should be practiced to the point of boredom, dullness, or excess. The following are my top tips for using gymnastic exercises from the ground,...
Knowing how to balance correctly on your seat bones can be tough for new or inexperienced riders, but it’s important to learn. As the old rhyme goes, the seat bone’s connected to the leg bone; the leg bone cues...
Every rider should strive to have soft, giving hands. As a result, your horse will have a soft mouth. Establishing correct contact will help develop your horse’s topline and make him more supple. Learning correct contact takes concentration and patience,...
Showmanship class requires you and your horse to work as a team. While leading your horse through the pattern is important, the inspection is a major factor in placing. During the inspection, the judge evaluates your horse based on...
By Eitan Beth-Halachmy and Jenni Grimmett, DVM Illustrations by Eitan Beth-Halachmy Photographs by Lesley Deutsch Adapted from the book Dressage the Cowboy Way The walk, trot, and canter (or gallop) are the natural gaits of the horse. The jog and lope are cultivated...
You’ve decided to go to a dressage show. Now it’s time to start preparing! Your first step is learning the test. There are also a few other things you can do to prepare yourself to get the best score...
Q: My horse walks off when I try to mount from the mounting block. How can I teach him to stand still? A: Not standing still at the mounting block is a safety issue—as well as just plain annoying! Teaching...
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