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Are you ready to leave your bit behind? About 15 years ago I first went bitless with my mare, Diva, after a particularly passionate foray, on my part, into natural horsemanship. Riding with a rope halter and lead rope felt a little like wearing a thong bikini to a public beach, with many people waiting to see if this get-up was actually going to do the trick once we hit the water, or in this case the trails.

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There are many reasons to bandage a horse’s legs, including to provide protection and support, to reduce the chance of post-workout swelling, and to hold a wound dressing in place and guard against infection. You will need: Clean dry legs - Clean dry cotton bandages which provide good cushion - Clean dry wraps (non-elastic unless applying a pressure bandage).

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I smiled, walking past the airport hat kiosk, en route to a judging adventure at an exhibition in Eastern Canada. I’d be wearing several hats and judging a kaleidoscope of classes at the show — equitation, road hack, reining, Western riding, working hunter, pleasure driving, driven dressage, conformation, showmanship, miniature horses… and more!

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When mankind began riding horses, and saddles were developed to help keep riders astride their mounts, the original purpose of the saddle was to support the horse in his job. Saddles were designed to accommodate the demands placed on horses during activities such as combat, transportation, and sport. And since riding in long skirts was not practical and it was unbecoming for a women to straddle a horse, side-saddles were created to allow women to ride.

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In the report “Ten years of major equestrian injury: are we addressing functional outcomes?” published in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes, lead author Jill Ball and a team of health professionals with the University of Calgary, the Foothills Medical Centre and the Calgary Health Region explored the outcomes of severe and serious equestrian injuries.

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The Horse Habit located at Kemble, Ontario, was established 29 years ago by Ellen O’Reilly, with the mission “To bring quality equipment to the horse and their human.”

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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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One AC from Magic Powder Company - for the non-sweating horse