Western Pleasure

It had been three months since Laura, a junior rider, had sustained a simple concussion during a fall from her horse. Her parents were becoming increasingly concerned that she was not progressing in her recovery. Laura was having difficulty focusing at school, disrupted sleep patterns, and intermittent headaches. Fearful of creating any further escalation in her symptoms, she had not returned to riding or any activity.

Lynne Gunville, Dr. Trisha Dowling, horse conformation, horse balance, horse angulation, horse care, horse built for job

Function follows form, according to Dr. Trisha Dowling. It’s the conformation or structure of a horse that ultimately determines its athletic function.

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Simple Exercises and Routines to Reprogram Dysfunctional Movement - As tempting as it is to use our riding skills and training expertise when teaching a horse to carry his body differently or when rehabbing post-layoff, this actually slows the process down. Somehow, many of us equestrians missed this crucial fact during our educations. The horse’s big, fleshy gymnastic muscles that engage as we school him are not the ones where habitual patterns, sometimes called “muscle memories,” are stored. Nor are they the ones responsible for joint and posture stability. In fact, they carry a low supply of nerves and have, therefore, a weak relationship with the horse’s neurosensory system. Working these muscles is not the fastest way to instate new patterns and habits.

Equine Symptomatic Lameness, Jochen Schleese, horse lameness, horse stumbling, horse back pain, equine back pain, equine injuries, equine lameness, horse saddle fit, saddlefit 4 life

Why is my horse lame? Why does he keep stumbling? Why does he seem to trip over his own feet? The horse suffering from back pain or injuries can exhibit symptomatic lameness, which can also manifest as behaviour issues including stubbornness or resistance. When the horse is displaying symptoms of lameness and logical treatments are not working, the horse’s owner may turn to injections, anti-inflammatory creams, or chiropractic adjustments at the sacroiliac joint.

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!

hunter patterns for horses, equitation patterns, showmanship patterns for horses, lindsay grice

By Lindsay Grice - Each of us memorizes material in a different way. Knowing your learning style is helpful. Try a number of memorization styles in each of these categories and see what works.

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.

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