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tania millen, shannon lee dueck, amanda self, nrha contact rules, dressage FEI contact rules, Federation Equestre Internationale, megan lane caravella, steffen peters

Contact with a horse’s mouth via the bit is a generally accepted principle when riding or driving. But a horse’s mouth is incredibly sensitive and many riders around the world are successfully guiding their steeds without bits. Where did the idea of contact come from, what is it, and do riders really need contact with a horse’s mouth to convince their horse to perform?

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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.

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Simple Exercises and Routines to Reprogram Dysfunctional Movement - As tempting as it is to use our riding skills and training expertise when teaching a horse to carry his body differently or when rehabbing post-layoff, this actually slows the process down. Somehow, many of us equestrians missed this crucial fact during our educations.

effective breathing techniques for horse riders, how to breathe properly when horse riding, overcoming nervous breathing when horse riding

We breathe more than 20,000 times a day. Most of the time, we don’t give it much thought, since we do it automatically and all seems to go well… except when it doesn’t.

canter lead, correct canter lead, horse picks up wrong lead, lindsay grice horse trainer, my horse doesn't canter right, exercises to improve canter

Every Time, Everywhere - Wrong lead! It’s one of the earliest alerts a young rider hears from her coach. One’s heart sinks to hear that same alert from the coach calling over the show ring rail. The novice rider learns the outside leg back and kiss cue to canter but I’ve found that riders are often unsure why they should use this cue. Let’s break it down. We’ll review the phonics of teaching your horse to pick up the correct lead and some hints to help the rider recognize it.

lindsay grice, flat class, how to judge a flat class, how to judge rail class, rules of a flat class, how to prepare flat class, lindsay grice

Riding the Rail - No jumps. No pylons. No letter markers. Unlike classes assessing the accuracy of patterns, the quality of movements in tests, or how the competitor meets each jump on course, flat or rail classes appraise the picture of you and your horse in profile.

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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.

overheating horse too hot summer riding heat

A hot humid day. One rider. One horse. Both are exercising at a moderate level. Who is more likely to overheat? It might surprise you to learn that your horse gets hotter much faster than you and is more susceptible to the negative effects of heat stress. Prof. Michael Lindinger, an animal and exercise physiologist at the University of Guelph, explains: “It only takes 17 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in hot, humid weather to raise a horse’s temperature to dangerous levels. That’s three to ten times faster than in humans. Horses feel the heat much worse than we do.”

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One of the simplest ways to improve athletic output is to ride your horse at different speeds within every gait throughout each week. Moving through a range of gears stimulates the neuromuscular system to create fuller metabolic function within muscles.

back country survival, christian mceachern, riding back country, horse riding back country, packing trip, saddle horn

It’s a beautiful day to head out to the mountains for some playtime. You grab your horse and tack and head out in the afternoon for a quick ride to your favourite spot. It’s 28 degrees Celcius and you don’t see a cloud in the sky. You grab a light windbreaker for “just in case,” get on your horse, and soon you’re enjoying the peaceful sights, sounds, and smells of the forest.

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