ZINIO logo
Travel & Outdoor
Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman February 2018

It presents step by-step training programs and showing advice from recognized experts in hunters, jumpers, equitation, dressage, and eventing, along with money- and time-saving ideas on health care and stable management.

Read More
United States
Active Interest Media
SPECIAL: Get 40% OFF with code: BLACK2020
$8.38(Incl. tax)
$27.97(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
aging gracefully

After walking my horse, Merlot, around the ring a few times recently, I picked up the trot. He felt pokey and a little like he was walking on eggshells. I continued to walk and trot him around for the next 15 minutes, but he got only marginally better so I ended our ride for the day. There was a time that I would have hopped off immediately and called the vet. But Merlot is almost 23 years old now, and he has some good days and some stiffer days. At those times, if he doesn’t work out of his arthritic creaks, I turn him back out, watch him for a few days and then try riding again. Needless to say, this issue with its senior-horse focus was of particular interest to me.…

7 min.
a few small position fixes for even better riding

1 This is a good rider who could make a few small changes to be even better. Her heel is very far down. Some trainers might say it looks a little overdone, but I’m OK with it. The stirrup iron is a little close to her toe—it needs to cross the ball of her foot so the outside branch leads the inside. Her calf is in contact with her horse’s side. She needs to shorten the stirrup by a hole for two reasons: There is very little angle behind her knee, which should be between 100 and 110 degrees. She also is jumping ahead, partly the result of a too-long stirrup. Jumping ahead, where her buttocks are too far out of the saddle and her crotch is in front of the…

9 min.
ready to ride?

Now that the holiday season is over, let’s sit down and have a talk. You have big plans for yourself and your horse this year and I want to make sure you have done everything possible to make those plans become a successful reality. I know we have talked about these things in the past and I have asked my editor to link to a sample of my columns on future planning so that you can review them. You can find the columns at www.PracticalHorsemanMagazine.com. But I take this sort of thing seriously and want to go over the main points again with you. Horse care: Whatever we do with horses always starts with their health and well-being. Fortunately, you already have a full workup planned for your horse next week.…

10 min.
ron danta: ‘there’s a real world out there’

PH How did Danny & Ron’s Rescue get started? RD Danny and I were always going to animal shelters and greyhound kennels in Florida to try to find homes for dogs. Then when Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, we became aware of the thousands of dogs that were pulled out of the floodwaters but then put in crates in warehouses. The state didn’t have the staff to take care of them. So we sent a horse trailer down and got the first 25–30 dogs. We ended up taking more than 600. That fall we loaded an extra trailer and brought dogs to Harrisburg for the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. We adopted out 50 dogs at that show. People were so generous in wanting to help. Horsepeople are animal lovers—I don’t think…

14 min.
weighty matters

Last month, Grand Prix rider Nicholas Fyffe explained the importance of having consistent aids and expectations when working with your horse on the ground. This month, his husband and business partner, David Marcus—an Olympian and accomplished Grand Prix rider—shows how to translate those same goals into your work under saddle. The world’s best riders make dressage into an art form by creating and controlling their horses’ power with opposing aids—producing energy with the legs and seat and using the body and rein contact to channel it. They do this so harmoniously that you rarely see their aids. What you also don’t see is all the homework that went into getting to that point. To achieve such finesse, you must be effective at every level. From the very first time you mount…

11 min.
training the mature hunter

It’s an inconvenient truth for all of us: Aging is not for the faint of heart. The hard realities of aging and the need to stay in a disciplined program of good fitness are just as true for the horses we love as they are for ourselves. Most good show horses enjoy their jobs. But once they get to be 10 or 12 years old, the normal wear and tear on their bodies starts to catch up with them. As show hunters mature, we start stepping them down to the lower divisions, from classes with 4-foot fences to 3-foot-6 and all the way down to 2-foot-6. It’s nice for horses in their mid to late teens to have a second career and it gives us steady, experienced mounts who are perfect for…