Western Pleasure

sponsorship programs horse events, sponsorship horse rider, canadian equestrian sponsorships, tania millen

Horse events are expensive to host, so event managers love to have sponsors help fund their events. Top events put on shows with good prize money that competitors, spectators, and sponsors flock to. However, attracting and retaining sponsors can be challenging. We asked the sponsorship managers for The Royal Winter Fair Horse Show and Angelstone Events to share how they do it. Plus, we asked a smaller company which has provided sponsorship to share their perspective. Here are the eight steps they recommend to help garner top-notch sponsors for your next horse event.

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It’s common for riders to compete at high levels today without advanced horsemanship knowledge. A rider’s success in the show ring seems to have greater value than their horse management skills, but that wasn’t always the case. Many of Canada’s former top riders credit Canadian Pony Club (CPC) for their horsemanship knowledge and acknowledge its importance to their success. The horse industry has since changed and now, riders rely on coaches to know what’s best for their horses.

Dressage Youth, Eventing Youth, Young Equestrians, New horse people, Programs for horse riders, canadian pony club, equestrian canada, Ontario Equestrian GRIT, Show Jumping Youth Development, Vault Canada, CADORA, Endurance Riders Canada

Youth riders are the future of Canada’s equestrian teams, but not every horse sport has dedicated programs to bring along competitive riders aged 12 to 30. Equestrian Canada’s (EC) Long-Term Equestrian Development document provides a road map for athlete development — from those new to horseback riding to riders competing on Canada’s senior teams. Yet, there’s no one-stop-shop that describes pathways and programs for youth in different horse sports. Every sport has unique divisions and opportunities to advance, but some lack systematic activities that encourage advancement. Regardless, many riders who have represented Canada internationally have honed their skills through the youth programs and competitions that are available. Here’s a brief summary of programs available for Canadian youth riders, along with insight from those involved.

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Dressage, show jumping, and three-day eventing are the only Olympic sports where men and women compete against each other. They’ve been doing so for over 50 years, but it’s an aspect of equestrian sport that receives little public recognition. Most sports are divided by gender — men in one class and women in another — to prevent one sex from having a physical advantage over the other. But the gender of horseback riders and drivers is not considered an advantage or disadvantage. Hence in equestrian events there’s no need to level the playing field by segregating men and women.

tania millen, pony club, how to join canadian pony club, history of pony club, brian morton pony club, karl slezak pony club, alberta north pony club, jill irving youth riding, prentice creek equestrian centre

Contrary to what the name may imply, Pony Club isn’t just for little kids on ponies. Pony Club is an international volunteer-based organization that originated in Britain and came to Canada in the 1930s. The Canadian Pony Club alumni Wall of Fame reads like a “who’s who” of Canadian equestrians: Ian Millar, Beth Underhill, Chelan Kozak, Christilot Boylen, Dana Cooke, Danny Foster, Gina Smith, Jim Henry, Jimmy Elder, Joni Lynn Peters, Karen Brain, Leslie Reid, Liz Ashton, Lorraine Stubbs, Lynn Larsen, Rebecca Howard, Rob Stevenson, Sandra Donnelly, Tik Maynard, and many more. Some of those alumni still compete at top level; some no longer ride. But they all struggled through a series of written, stable management, and riding tests, then put those skills and knowledge to use to become some of Canada’s best riders.

canter pirhouettes, cow horse stops, reining spin, footfalls reining, clix photography, tania millen, shawna sapergia, vern sapergia, cow horse turnaround, how to turn reining horse around, canter turns

Every horse sport has unique movements which require specific footwork, balance, and training. Some movements appear similar while still being unique to their sport. For example, dressage riders bring their horse’s front end around their hind end in elevated pirouettes; ranch riders do 180-degree turns while tracking cows; and reining horses do 360-degree spins at high speeds. They’re all turning around but for different reasons and in distinct ways. What’s the purpose of these turns, when do riders use them, and how do they differ? We asked a dressage rider, a ranch horseman, and a reining judge to explain.

tania millen, shannon lee dueck, amanda self, nrha contact rules, dressage FEI contact rules, Federation Equestre Internationale, megan lane caravella, steffen peters

Contact with a horse’s mouth via the bit is a generally accepted principle when riding or driving. But a horse’s mouth is incredibly sensitive and many riders around the world are successfully guiding their steeds without bits. Where did the idea of contact come from, what is it, and do riders really need contact with a horse’s mouth to convince their horse to perform?

jec aristotle ballou dressage exercises dressage stretches english riding stretches equine stretches horse stretching carrot stretches equine physiology horse fitness

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.

effective breathing techniques for horse riders, how to breathe properly when horse riding, overcoming nervous breathing when horse riding

We breathe more than 20,000 times a day. Most of the time, we don’t give it much thought, since we do it automatically and all seems to go well… except when it doesn’t.

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Riding the Rail - No jumps. No pylons. No letter markers. Unlike classes assessing the accuracy of patterns, the quality of movements in tests, or how the competitor meets each jump on course, flat or rail classes appraise the picture of you and your horse in profile.

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