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Riding and Training

Start your ride with this exercise to work your horse’s key postural muscles correctly. Set your horse up for a successful workout at the beginning of a ride by activating his deep postural muscles, the small tissues with a rich...
Teach your horse to stand still for the vet and farrier. By Julie Goodnight with Heidi Melocco When an emergency is happening, it’s too late to train your horse to cooperate with the veterinarian. It’s frustrating for everyone involved when your...
Use this exercise to add strength and looseness to your horse’s movement. One of the greatest tests of balance in an equine athlete is to transition smoothly from a maneuver requiring flexion of the spine and stride to one requiring extension....
By Julie Goodnight with Heidi Melocco You’ve probably seen horses tied to all kinds of inappropriate things, from lightweight plastic chairs and moveable objects like gates, truck mirrors and bumpers, to flimsy fence rails instead of solid posts. You’ve probably...
Q: My pony has a very fast trot that is really short and choppy. Are there any exercises to help lengthen it? A: Trotting is so much more comfortable when a pony learns to lengthen his stride and slow...

Quick Learners

Horses learn quickly. In the wild, they learn to read the environment and react in ways that will save their lives. Horses must learn if a sound or object is dangerous to the herd or safe to ignore. If...
By Marsha Hayes, Photos by Ron Osborn Tennessee Lane, riding a 17-year-old, bald-faced chestnut Arabian gelding named Auli Farwa ("Far”), won the 62nd Tevis Cup on August 5, 2017. Her picture graced the front page of local California papers and...
The Western States Trail Ride (Tevis Cup) is a point-to-point, 100-mile ride traditionally starting near Lake Tahoe and ending in Auburn, Calif. It requires one rider on one horse to complete the journey in one 24-hour day. August 5,...

Going Bitless

Photo: S.M./Shutterstock Metal and synthetic bits are long-established cornerstones of control, but they aren’t for every horse or rider. Some see bitless riding as the perfect expression of unity between horse and human. That doesn’t mean bits are inherently harmful;...

Taking the Lead

Hyper-vigilant behavior is useful in wild herds, but can be troublesome in domestic horses. Photo: Livno Wild Horses by Brian Eager on flickr/CC BY 2.0 Good leaders create structure and rules, then enforce them fairly. When it comes to being...
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