Ballou, Jec Articles

jec a ballou dressage, exercise programs for horses, best way to exercise horse, how to have an effective horse ride

Most of us intend for our daily rides to improve our horse at some level, either by adding to his physical conditioning or progressing his training skills. But whether or not your horse actually makes these gains often comes down to the amount of time you spend on each phase of the ride. The format of your ride determines the outcome of physical improvement.

large animal rescue, equine emergencies, jec ballou

Source: Best Horse Practices | Season 2, Episode 4 

jec ballou, horse exercises, dressage training exercises, walking activities horse, walking equine exercises

Many classical dressage masters from the past often praised the merits of long schooling sessions at only the walk. This kind of training refines muscle recruitment, releases tension stored in poor postural habits, and stimulates the slow-twitch fibers used for stabilizing the skeleton. In other words, there is big value in workouts at the walk. And note how I have used the term workouts, since that is how you should think of them. These are purposeful sessions, not strolls.

how to take a horse heart rate, horse breathing heavily, jec ballou, horse's fitness level, is my horse sick, horse resting heart rate, horse shallow breathing

Moving Well by Breathing Well - At some point, most riders aboard a horse that is breathing heavily will draw a conclusion about its fitness. Respiration, though, can be a fickle fitness marker. And it might sometimes tell you more about a horse’s mental state, physical tension, or plain old natural aptitude than his current fitness. Respiratory rates are always telling us something important. The key is figuring out what the message is.

podcasts equestrian, jec ballou horse trainer, best horse podcasts, amy skinner

In the episode, Jec and Amy Skinner meet in the Coaches' Corner to discuss the nuances of mounting. It's simple. Sure. But a challenging-to-mount horse might mean backing up to make sure you have all the pieces in place for a safe, fun ride.

podcasts equestrian, jec ballou horse trainer, best horse podcasts

In this segment, we kind of continue - tangentially anyway - with our Gender Gyrations project to talk about mare/gelding bias in the horse world.

jec ballou podcast, best horse practices podcast, are horse shows good for horses? amy skinner, katrin silva

This milestone episode is a Coaches' Corner with Jec Ballou (host), Amy Skinner, and Katrin Silva. They have a lot to say about the state of horse shows.

horse stretches, carrot stretches horses, help horse supple, jec ballou, groundwork for horses

The disappointing news of fitness is that we cannot keep repeating the same thing to get results. After a while, we need to modify exercises in order to keep gaining conditioning adaptations from them. Otherwise, the body becomes so efficient and habituated at performing movements that it recruits fewer muscle fibres to do them and operates with less involvement from the nervous system. Movements become robotic, a state in which no conditioning gains occur.

horse to lateral work Jec A. Ballou prancing dressage horses, lateral movements shoulder-in haunches-in dressage exercises, conditioning horse, offer unrivaled conditioning effects for almost any equine athlete

Why and when to introduce your horse to lateral work - While they used to be predominantly the domain of prancing dressage horses, lateral movements like shoulder-in and haunches-in offer unrivaled conditioning effects for almost any equine athlete. Exercise science has shown them to be on par with gymnastic routines like hill repeats and cavalletti routines in terms of muscle recruitment, with a bonus of altering motor sensory patterns. Below I will explain how and why you might consider incorporating them.

jec a. ballou podcast, best horse practices podcast

Source: Best Horse Practices Podcast | Episode 10 - Maddy Butcher and Jec Ballou meet for the ongoing segment called On the Fence, in which the two discuss horse-related musings. In this episode, Butcher and Ballou chat about experts, open-mindedness and how to keep things fresh if you're a learner, teacher, or both.

jec ballou equine trainer, using the long cavesson on horse, equine groundwork, lateral poll flexion horse

Due to its effectiveness in helping the horse carry his body with good form, the longe cavesson is arguably one of the most useful pieces of equipment to own. Yet, only a surprisingly small number of riders who know about it. While early depictions from the 16th century refer mostly to its value in lateral poll flexion, its benefits for groundwork extend to a horse’s entire body. For anyone who performs groundwork it is an indispensable tool, as I will explain. Common misalignments of horses during groundwork include a twisted poll that comes from a handler using a line attached under the chin, or one-sided pressure on the bit when using a bridle. The alignment and state of positive — or negative — tension in the poll directly affects the rest of the body.

cavaletti walk, cavaletti canter, cavaletti trot, jec aristotle ballou, cavalletti exercises, horse cavalletti, training a horse, horse gait, equine gait, equine conditioning a horse

Each of the horse’s gaits offers a unique tool when conditioning for performance and, used correctly, can accomplish results that might otherwise be missed. Optimally, horses should spent equal time in all three gaits during training sessions in order to achieve both looseness and strength. Certain conditioning phases, though, sometimes necessitate prioritizing one gait over another. This article will clarify how and when individual gaits can serve the equine athlete, especially the way he uses his back, and how cavalletti routines can help.

horse riding blogs, jec ballou podcast, besthorsepractices podcast

Source: Best Horse Practices Podcast | Episode 7 - In our 7th episode, Jec Ballou interviews saddle fitting expert Kristen Vlietstra. The California-based saddler works with horses and riders of all disciplines.

horse podcasts. jec ballou podcast, best horse podcasts

In this debut episode, Jec Ballou interviews Jim Masterson, founder of the Masterson Method. Learn more about how body work can invigorate your horse's performance and well-being. Also in this episode, an Exercise of the Week.

spring conditioning horse, spring horse exercises, prepping your horse for show, exercising horse, jec ballou, equine groundwork, horse, dressage horse exercises, jumper horse exercises, western horse exercises, hunter horse exercises

Where Should You Start? By Jec A. Ballou. When spring finally arrives, the sunny riding season ahead can greet riders with both excitement and anxiety. Where do I start, you might wonder as you calculate how unfit your horse has become from a winter of being off work. How long will it take to ease him back to fitness? What sorts of exercises and timelines should I use? In this article, I’ll answer these questions plus offer a simple schedule in addition to some rules you never want to break.

exercises for horses, jec ballou riding exercises, training horses with poles, pole exrcises horses

One pole? There is still plenty to do - Simple exercises can sometimes be the most effective because riders are apt to practice them more consistently. And when it comes to movement and fitness, consistency matters above all. I often use the following single pole exercises in clinics because they offer an easy way to derive the postural benefits of pole work without the logistics and effort involved in setting up more complex routines. When you are short on time or dealing with poor weather, these exercises offer a convenient way of ensuring you do not miss the calisthenics your horse needs.

horse pole exercises, stretches for horses, jec a ballou equestrian horse trainer, groundwork for horses, corrected exercises for horses

It is a simple enough goal: The more time a horse spends in the correct alignment and balance, the more firmly good habits form. But putting this into practice during our daily training is often not as straightforward as it seems.

jec a ballou groundwork, stretches for horse, equine neuromuscular patterns, imbalance in horse exercises

Groundwork can serve a range of purposes, from behaviour modification to physical conditioning, but over the long term its greatest contribution is its alteration of neuromuscular patterns. When a horse needs to adopt a new pattern of muscular activation, coordination, or balance, groundwork is often the quickest way to accomplish it. Using focused and brief groundwork sessions daily, many horses’ postural challenges can be rewired with far less tension and confusion than under saddle.

Jec Ballou horse training, core exercises horse, balance exercises horse, groundwork horses, pole work horses

Stability Before Strength - Balanced muscular development cannot happen without first achieving a body that can stay stable throughout movement. In other words, a horse that is wiggling around trying to find balance, or one that has found balance by adopting a crooked posture, cannot develop strength in the ways that lead to better performance. Before a horse can add power to his locomotive muscles, he needs to find joint and limb stability while moving in his basic gaits.

jec a ballou training exercises, trail riding exercises, core exercises horse, jec a ballou

Students who ride primarily on trails often ask me what kinds of exercises they can do to benefit their horses. If they don’t plan to be in an arena anytime soon, does that mean they can’t give their horses the gymnastic and core exercises that optimize their bodies and comfort?

Pages

Advertisement

Advertisement

Equine Connection — it's not just a course...it's a career!