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English Riding

Riding your horse over poles on the ground is a great way to improve his balance and to teach him to pick up his feet. It’s also a great introduction to jumping and it improves a horse’s gymnastic ability....
If you’re going to enter hunt seat equitation classes this show season, you should know how to impress the judge if you want to win a ribbon or two. In an equitation class, the judge looks at you and...
  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...
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...
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...
Horse and rider jumping over a crossrail

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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