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Western Riding

Horse Illustrated covers anything you can think of related to western riding, including how-tos, tips from experts, discipline specifics, and more. Disciplines included are: western pleasure, western dressage, reining, speed events like barrel racing, and cattle events like cutting and team penning. Many riders start out riding in this style, especially in the Western states, and then progress into one of the disciplines above. Some of the topics covered include introducing your horse to cattle, how to ride the rollback, how to cue the lope, how to go bitless, selecting a hat for the show pen, showmanship, and much more.

A versatile ranch horse can do anything his rider asks—including pulling gear or livestock with a rope connected to the saddle horn. Versatility ranch horse competitions mirror real-life ranch tasks that include a rope-drag obstacle in the ranch trail...
The type of saddle you first sat in does not need to be your last. Changing riding disciplines can help you renew your interests and find new joy with the horses you love.“Everyone goes through a process,” says dressage...
When competing with horses, there are a lot of things you can’t control. You can’t control the schedule. You can’t control who the judge is. You can’t control the arena conditions. You can’t control the weather. You can’t control...
To reach the point in the reining arena where you’ll slide to a stop, you must first build up speed and guide your horse in the rundown. But what happens when your horse thinks that heading straight across the...
A staple piece of tack for many West Coast western riders, romal reins can be a bit of a mystery if you learned how to ride in the eastern parts of the United States. While this rein started as...
Life can surpass the best of fiction, particularly for someone like Eitan Beth-Halachmy, the founder of cowboy dressage. Called “8” by his friends, he first came on the radar of many horse enthusiasts for his performances in the opening...
Years ago, if you attended a Saddlebred horse show, you could expect to see high-stepping, animated horses shown in saddle seat and fine harness classes and not much else. And while the beauty and excitement of the saddle seat...
The shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but it’s not always the fastest—especially in barrel racing. If you want to shave seconds off your time and leave the barrels standing when you cross the timer,...
If you’ve been to a horse expo, you’ve probably seen a bridleless riding demonstration. The lack of tack looks like an inspiring next plane of communication and connection with your horse. But is bridleless riding an attainable goal for...
The horse spins to the right, then left, at a reining show. With his full body engaged and his hindquarters carrying his weight, it appears that the spin is a fast turn on the haunches. However, to master this...
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