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English Riding

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....
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...

5 English Saddle Fit Mistakes

Good saddle fit can help your horse do his job comfortably and well. Fit is crucial for any type of saddle, but English saddles distribute the rider’s weight over a smaller panel area than western saddles, so a precise...

Lighten Up!

Riding a horse that’s lugging you about is probably not your idea of a good time. With a few simple tips from Grand Prix dressage rider Reese Koffler-Stanfield, you can put a stop to the endless tug-of-war. Are you...

Getting an Active Trot

Q: Sometimes my trainer will tell me to ask for a more active trot. As soon as I ask for it, she will remind me, "Not faster—more active.” What does that really mean? A: An active trot is all about...

Counter Bending to Canter

Q: I’ve seen professional riders counter bend their horse before asking for a canter transition from the walk or trot. When I counter bend, my horse just feels disconnected with his neck to the outside. How can I make...

What is a Half-Halt?

Q: My trainer explains the half-halt as pulling and pushing at the same time, but it’s still a mystery to me. Can you explain the mechanics of the half-halt? A: In its rawest form (meaning without balance or technique), the...
Q: I have a 2-year-old gelding that I want to train to jump. Is that too young? If so, how old would he have to be? A: Most trainers won’t ride horses at all during their 2-year-old year if...
  Riding over ground poles isn’t just for riders who jump; working a horse over poles has benefits no matter what discipline you ride! Some of these benefits include: strengthening his hind end (especially helpful for horses coming off...

Teach Your Horse to Jump

If you have a young horse or a horse that is brand new to jumping, it’s important to carefully introduce him to the sport so he will jump correctly and be confident over fences for the rest of his...
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