Hunter Jumper

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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.

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When it comes to cantering, riders seem to divide in two camps. In one camp are those who favour it above all else, while the other camp includes those who find it scary or unpleasant. I would like to add a third camp: riders who understand the unparalleled physiological benefits of cantering their horses. Beyond the obvious cardiovascular conditioning, cantering can improve muscle tone, symmetry, and flexibility more than other gaits. Let me explain this further, in addition to offering some tips and guidelines.

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Keys to an effective horse training session. I’ve trained a lot of horses. After nailing up my sign as a “professional horse trainer” several decades ago, I learned quickly that overhead is high in the horse business so you’d better make some hay if you’re going to pay your bills. Consequently, I rode many horses each day, breaking young ones and tuning up show horses.

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Fall fairs, circuit championships, and club awards banquets signal the end of another horse show season. So how did it go? Did your shows, rodeos, or competitive trail rides meet your expectations? For the majority of horse owners, the answer to this question will likely be no. Stuff happens. And so we look toward the next year. But with chilly fall and winter weather looming, we all need some goals to motivate us to get off the couch and out to the arena on those cold nights!

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Head injuries are the most common reason for admission to hospital or death among riders. Sobering statistics reveal the high percentage of equine-related accidents resulting in traumatic brain injury, and helmets have been associated with reducing the risk of traumatic brain injury by as much as 50 percent. Yet many riders still do not wear a helmet.

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There are many reasons, or rather, excuses for not wearing riding helmets. Yet research shows that a properly fitted, safety-approved riding helmet can drastically reduce the risk of head injury. When a rider falls, the head is usually the first thing to impact the ground. The human skull can be shattered on impacts of 7 to 10 kilometers per hour, and horses gallop at over 60 kph. According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky, three out of every five equestrian accident deaths are caused by brain injuries, and there is four times the risk of mortality for non-helmeted riders who become injured.

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Galloping after hounds for over 150 years - In 1873, Canada’s Governor General Lord Dufferin started the Ottawa Valley Hunt (OVH) for Ottawa’s upper classes. It was popular with politicians of the day.

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The Fraser Valley Hunt Club has been organizing “drag scent” hunts in British Columbia every fall and winter for almost 50 years. A local horse and hunt enthusiast hosts the opening hunt for the club each fall from his farm on the upper slopes of Mount Elphinstone on the Sunshine Coast. This story begins in early November when the core group of dedicated hunters arrive from the Fraser Valley by ferry with several trailers of horses and one of hounds.

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Q: My horse always rushes the jumps. How can I slow him down and keep a more consistent rhythm in the approach to the jump?

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In the last few years, teenaged horses have been making headlines by winning some of the biggest competitions on the planet. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games (held in 2021), over half of the three-day eventing horses were aged 13 through 19. The oldest horse was Tayberry, a 20-year-old ridden by Hong Kong’s Thomas Heffernan Ho.

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