Schooling

Lindsay Grice, Horse Show Safety, equine show safety, horse safety

It is a wise coach who prepares their green competitors for all aspects of show day before it arrives. As a coach who enjoys working with novice riders, I’ve learned that there are as many issues to deal with outside the show ring as inside it.

By Will Clinging - Getting back to work after having time off can be difficult. The holiday is never quite long enough, so it’s nice to be able to ease back into the job. The same is true of horses that have had some time off.

By Will Clinging - Much of what I teach is far more mentally and emotionally challenging than it is physically difficult. There comes a point when we are just plain tired of working and learning, and it can be detrimental to continue training until this mental and physical fatigue has subsided.

By Will Clinging - If difficulties in the training process aren’t dealt with in the right way, they can cause incorrectness and frustration to become the normal attitude of both horse and handler. It is often then that the horse gets labeled as a problem. In reality, the only problem was that the real issue was not diagnosed properly. It is common to work on the obvious — how the horse is expressing himself — when faced with something he may or may not understand.

By Will Clinging - As the difficulty level and expectations increase, those fundamental skills may need to be improved. Forward motion, accepting contact from the bit, steering with a direct rein, steering with an indirect or neck rein, adjusting pace, and some basic lateral work such as turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches, are fundamental skills that will be improved and modified as training progresses.

By Will Clinging - Now that the horse is prepared to trot when cued, I will start to spend more time developing a quality trot. By “quality,” I refer to movement that is forward and has rhythm, with the horse maintaining a calm attitude while continuing to listen and trying to be correct.

riding green horse, riding inexperienced horse, will clinging

With the green horse there is also a safety factor that is not always present with a schooled horse. If we do too much the potential for the green horse to react violently is very real, yet to continue learning there must be a challenge to improve every day. The amount of improvement will be different each day, but there must be some.

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