Western Pleasure

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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.

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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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Experienced riders know that riding is risky business. Falls and other horse-related injuries are a real possibility, and even top riders cannot prevent all riding-related accidents.

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.

Shaping Your Horse's Canter

By Lindsay Grice - Shaping, in learning science, refers to gradually teaching a new behaviour through reinforcement until the target behaviour is achieved. Have you ever played the “Hot and Cold” game? As the player gets closer to the prize, you yell “Hotter!” telling him that he’s on the right track. When my horse is on the right track, I reward his approximation of the behaviour. I call this rewarding the thought, or rewarding a try.

Improving Impulsion in the Reining Horse

With Jonathan Newnham - All reining horses must go forward powerfully. Good impulsion is necessary for a horse to effectively use the power in his hindquarters and back. A hollow-backed horse will not be soft on your hands and/or legs without the maximum use of his hind end, back, withers, and neck.

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