Reining

Lindsay Grice, prepare for horse show, prepare for equine show, showing a horse, how to show a horse, prepare for a dressage test, prepare for a horse jumper class, prepare for a Western horse class

Seated at the head of the quiet classroom, I watched the students in the classes I teach write their Equine Behaviour and Equine Business final exams, noting the happy faces of smug recognition (“Yes, I studied that!”) and the winces (“Rats, I’d hoped that material wouldn’t be on the test”). I empathize with them. I know what it’s like to sit in the “test seat” – as a student in university and, more recently, writing judging exams. And as a competitive rider, every horse show is a test.

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.

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.

Routines for Balanced  Horse, horse arena routines, jec aristotle ballou, arena diamond, balanced horse, balancing your horse, horse flexion, equine sacroiliac joint, riding ground poles, dressage exercises, equine fitness

At some point, most riders have wished for something like a magic pill, a solution that will instantly alleviate nagging training issues. Since that is impossible, the next best thing is an arsenal of arena routines whose execution will improve your horse. The exercises in this article will give you a looser, more balanced horse, and will create engagement without excessive effort.

Analyzing Reining Horse Conformation, Lisa Coulter, strong-boned with short, well-sloped pasterns, equine topline, horse conformation, equine conformation, reining horse conformation, kentucky reining cup, nrha championships, fei ranking rider, kentucky equine research

The perspective expressed in this article is based on what I look for in a reining horse. There are many conformation points to consider, but I am focusing on a few key points that truly make a difference in the form-to-function of our reining horses.

Love Your Horse, but Riding Scared?, April Clay, M.Ed., afraid of horse, fearful of your horse, anxious horse riding, overcoming horse riding stress, breaking up with your horse, make up or break up with your horse

If you have been riding for some time, chances are you have come across a mount that challenged you. Or maybe he scared you. Perhaps the horse forced you to face that very difficult question: Is this the wrong horse for me… or is it just me? What can you do when fear cripples your riding experience?

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Riding Vactions in California with Jec Ballou