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Lindsay Grice, how to enjoy fall winter with Your Horse, meeting your equine goals, explore alternate activities with your horse, horse training, bonding with your horse, winter horse riding, autumn horse riding

Fall fairs, circuit championships, and club awards banquets signal the end of another horse show season. So how did it go? Did your shows, rodeos, or competitive trail rides meet your expectations? For the majority of horse owners, the answer to this question will likely be no. Stuff happens. And so we look toward the next year. But with chilly fall and winter weather looming, we all need some goals to motivate us to get off the couch and out to the arena on those cold nights!

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.

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.

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?

optimal horse fitness, horse peak performance, equine athletes, Dr. Sebastian McBride, understanding horse temperament, horse temperament testing, horse care, Psychological Factors Affecting Equine Performance, temperament of a young horse, Psychology of Performance Horses, Margaret Evans

It is common knowledge that a horse must achieve optimal physical fitness in order to deliver a peak performance, but what kind of impact does psychological condition have on equine performance? In a competition environment, equine athletes in any discipline may show symptoms of stress, but to what degree does the expression of that stress affect the quality of a jumping round, dressage test, reining pattern, etc.?

With Lyle Jackson, By Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne - In reining, rhythm, or “cadence,” is necessary when it comes to executing all aspects of a well ridden pattern. The horse should be balanced and responsive while willingly accepting the riders aids which should appear seamless. Establishing a consistent rhythm which can be adjusted accordingly is one of the fundamental building blocks that will assist the rider in achieving the ultimate goal in reining, which is a horse who appears to be executing a flawless pattern without the interference of the rider.

Matthew Hudson explains collection for the reining horse

With Matthew Hudson - When a horse is collected – which means that he is engaged from behind and elevated up front and light in the mouth – it is much easier for him to perform any required task, especially the demanding manoeuvres of a reining pattern. If we can make it easier for the horse, then, in turn, he will be more willing mentally to try. If you try to get your horse to spin or do a sliding stop when he is strung out, hollow-backed with most of his weight on the forehand, high-headed, and heavy in your hands, it won’t be easy for you or the horse, and it definitely won’t be pretty.

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