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horse safety, horse helmet, riding helmet, riding safety, why wear horse helmet

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.

winter horse, riding in winter, training in winter, conditioning horse, keep horse fit winter, horse stretches, carrot stretch

3 Rules to Maximize Time Off - Periods of downtime come as realistic parts of horse ownership, although how a rider uses these stretches of poor weather or busy schedules contributes profoundly to a horse’s long-term soundness and performance. Recent data from biomechanics researchers and veterinary schools shows that large vacillations in fitness can be detrimental to overall health, particularly for horses past their mid-teen years. Most notably, periods of lesser activity lasting over a month can weaken deep postural muscles and supporting soft tissue.

slipstreaming, reducing drag, horse racing, drag horse racing, Professor Franz “Tino” Fuss.

As much as speed is everything in horse racing, so is slipstreaming. Also known as drafting, slipstreaming is a riding technique in which jockeys run their horses behind or alongside another horse to reduce aerodynamic drag. Slipstreaming saves a horse’s vital energy for that last dash to the finish line. It is a technique used in many speed and distance sports such as speed skating and cycling to save an athlete’s power and energy. Now some fascinating science has shown just how precisely different racing positions reduce drag during a race.

lori k. warren, fit horse, horse fitness, horse conditioning, horse schooling, equine conditioning, equine schooling, equine fitness, fit equine, equine interval, equine gymnastics, horse gymnastics, horse strength, equine strength

If you’ve ever been to a gym after a long absence or started up a new exercise routine as part of your New Year’s resolution, you have a good appreciation for the importance of gaining and maintaining fitness. The same concept applies to your horse when you put him back into training after giving him the winter off, after a layoff from an injury, or when starting a young horse under saddle. Unfortunately, many horse owners and trainers are concerned only with working their horses over obstacles or schooling maneuvers specific to their sport, rather than ensuring their horses are fit enough to perform such tasks.

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Riding Vactions in California with Jec Ballou