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We’ve all had a horse that was hesitant to go forward with ease and willingness. I want to share the story of one such colt I started recently, and some of the strategies I employed to help him “free up.” These techniques work well for horses of all ages. This article is ultimately about rider self-awareness, timing, and avoiding the overuse of pressure, which unintentionally dulls the horse. Take special note of the tips for success, and the pitfalls many riders face when their horse is dull to their aids.

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.

Steeplechaser senior Senator, Hunt Cup, Vicki Crawford, Penn Vet New Bolton Center, tomography system, equine science breakthrough

April 29, 2017, was a clear, sunny day in Worthington Valley, Maryland, United States. Crowds were gathering as restless Thoroughbreds full of anticipation were being saddled and warmed up for the 121st running of the Maryland Hunt Cup, a steeplechase over solid fences. On the board, 13 horses were listed as entered, but after three scratches, 10 horses lined up.

horse saddle fit, properly fitting saddle, how to tell if my saddle fits, does my saddle fit correctly? schleese, saddlefit4life

Q: I ride a Thoroughbred with a moderately roached (convex or round) back. How should I determine if my saddle fits correctly? A: The nine main points of saddle fit are absolutely common to all saddles and all horses – if you want to determine whether and how well your saddle fits, these points should be considered, and each of these points has video instruction on our website at www.saddlesforwomen.com.

am I overtraining my horse? drawbacks of overtraining your horse, how much should I train my horse? how much time should I leave between horse training sessions?

If you are repeatedly training your horse to do the same task every day, a recent study suggests that you could well be spending your time more productively. The research, by equine scientists from Germany and Australia, found that allowing horses breaks of two days between training sessions rather than training daily results in similar learning progress over a period of 28 days. The researchers suggest that such a training schedule might be considered to make more efficient use of trainers’ – and horses’ – time.

how horses see colour, changes to horse jump racing hurdles and fences, Equine Vision Research, human sight vs horse sight

The colours deployed on hurdles and fences on British racecourses may be set to change following research led by the University of Exeter into the way that horses perceive colour. The research, commissioned in 2017 by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Racing Foundation, was undertaken by Dr. Sarah Paul and Professor Martin Stevens of the University of Exeter with the aim of improving obstacle visibility for horses, thus reducing the risk of falls and injuries for horses and jockeys.

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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