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Travel & Outdoor
Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman April 2016

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.

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United States
Active Interest Media
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
trust and training

The weather has been very wet recently, turning typical puddles at the barn into small ponds. Leading my horse from the pasture, I was avoiding one by pressing against a fence line where there was a narrow strip of dry grass. I figured my horse would clomp through the water, but when I turned to look at him, he was squishing onto that same bit of grass as I was. I chuckled at the scene and realized how true eventer Mike Huber’s statement is in his article this month on introducing horses to cross-country water jumps (page 22). He discusses that they need to be trained to go into water because they cannot easily judge its depth or the quality of the footing underneath it, so they are wary of it.…

5 min.
choose the best young warmblood sporthorse

Whether I am judging a model class, evaluating a prospect for a client or sizing up the yearlings at home, I first stand back and look for an overall impression of balance and symmetry. My ideal horse “fits” in a square box. By that, I mean he is defined by matching and equal parts, both front to back and side to side. This allows for athletic ability, soundness, trainability and longevity in the job. A horse who fits in a box will have a body that is made up of one-third shoulder, one-third back and one-third hindquarters. I like to see the withers and point of croup at the same level. The horse’s stance, from point of shoulder to buttock, should equal the distance from the height of the withers to…

7 min.
four good bases of support

George H. Morris is the former chef d’équipe of the U.S. Equestrian Federation Show Jumping Team. He serves on the USEF National Jumper Committee and Planning Committee, is an adviser to the USEF High-Performance Show Jumping Committee and is president of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. 1 Our first rider’s leg position is good except that it has slipped back. This activates the leg, which can send the horse unintentionally forward and irritates him. The angle behind her leg looks correct at 110 degrees, so the slipping back is probably a habit. It also could be due to this small, narrow horse. Sometimes with a horse like this, you need to ride with stirrups that are shorter than you would need on a wellsprung pony or bigger-barreled horse. So she…

9 min.
transports of delight

Based at Fox Covert Farm, in Upperville, Virginia, Jim Wofford competed in three Olympics and two World Championships and won the U.S. National Championship five times. He is also a highly respected coach. For more on Jim, go towww.jimwofford.blogspot.com. We spend a lot of time thinking about horses, but have you ever wondered if horses think about us? As they stand in their stalls, quietly munching on hay that cost as much as tickets to Adele’s latest concert, are they thinking about what these strange humans are going to ask them to do tomorrow? On the one hand, horses have a pretty good life. In civilized countries, they get fed and watered regularly, have shelter and generally have their needs taken care of in style. Take a look at the wash stall…

14 min.
confident cross-country water jumps

One of the most important aspects in an event horse’s training is exposure to cross-country water jumps. With a positive, well-planned introduction, you can avoid the all-too-frequent heartaches that many riders experience when their horses refuse or are eliminated at this inherently challenging element. In this two-part series, I will walk you through the training plan that I follow with both green and experienced horses. This month, I will help you see water jumps through your horse’s eyes and will explain how to overcome his initial fear and hesitation in your first training sessions. Next month, I’ll show you how to teach him to jump fences in combination with water. Let’s begin by recognizing exactly how difficult this task is. Horses don’t magically go into water without being trained to do…

14 min.
develop your athlete with dressage

Perhaps the 12 riders at the George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session thought Olympic medalist Christine Traurig would be easy on them the first day of the clinic. After all, George wasn’t there, it was unseasonably hot and humid on the last day of 2015 and it was dressage day. When Christine kindly and thoughtfully checked each horse’s bit and bridle fit before the riding began, it appeared to be a softer start to the 10th annual clinic compared to George’s rigorous legacy. But when the long-legged dressage icon strode to the middle of the ring, she seemed to channel George’s no-holds-barred style. As Christine drilled the horses and riders, they were peppered with dressage theory and she cut them no slack in the South Florida sun. “It is a journey…