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Western Riding

This properly shaped light hat draws attention to the rider's face. Few things mark you as a greenhorn versus a pro like the shape, style and fit of your hat. Properly outfitted, your hat is your crowning glory. Poorly shaped,...
Horsemanship tops today showcase crystals only on collars, shoulders, yoking and arms rather than on the bodice. Photo courtesy CaBlu Competing with your horse in front of the judges requires a delicate balance between fitting in and standing out. You...
Are you a western rider who thought dressage was just for beautifully braided horses and riders in black jackets and white breeches? Well, think again. Western dressage is a cool new equestrian sport, and, if you ride an obedient...
Q: I’m learning how to ride, and I’m having trouble staying balanced at the lope. My trainer tells me balance comes from the heels, but is there anything else I can do to stay secure in the saddle? A: When...
If you’d like to truly "show off” your horse at horse show, you can’t do much better than to enter him in a halter class. This ground-based class might appear a bit like showmanship at first, but unlike that...
Q: When I ask my reining horse to do large, fast circles, he takes off and I can barely slow him down. How do I get back control? A: Speedy circles bring top reining scores, but it takes time for...
Q: I’m teaching my horse the barrel pattern, but I can’t keep him in a lope. How do I fix this? A: If your horse is young, he may not be strong enough behind to hold his inside hind...
Q: I was told to use a tie-down because my horse is high-headed. Is this a commonly used training correction for a green horse? Does it work? A: Your horse’s head may be exactly where it needs to be at...
Q: How do you train a horse to go from direct reining with two hands to neck reining with one hand? A: When I start training a young horse, I lay the groundwork for neck reining in the future. I...

How Tight Should a Cinch Be?

Q: How snug should I make my horse’s cinch, and what is the right way to tighten it? I don’t want to hurt my horse and I want to make sure he never becomes cinchy. A: How tight the...
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