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Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman April 2017

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
$8.14(Incl. tax)
$27.15(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
listen to your horse

My 8-year-old daughter is learning to pick out my horse’s feet. The challenge is that he is 21 years old and when he first picks up his hoof, he tucks it up into his body. Then he takes a few seconds to let it relax back to where she can work on it. My daughter doesn’t understand that he’s stiff and just needs a little time to get comfortable. In other words, she needs to listen to what he’s telling her. Reading this issue, I was reminded of the importance of listening to our horses many times. The most obvious story is in grand prix jumper rider Lauren Tisbo’s profile (page 28). “I guess some people might say I go to extremes,” she says about her willingness to try unusual equipment…

7 min.
‘what the horse takes, the rider gives’

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 This is a good rider with an exemplary leg, a seat that has been thrust out of the saddle just the right amount and a workmanlike crest release. He has a relaxed position and looks as if he can ride—not just appear soft and beautiful. A tiny detail to fix is his stirrup position. The iron is not at a right angle to the girth so the outside branch isn’t forward enough. He should twist the iron so the outside branch leads the…

5 min.
choose the best thoroughbred hunter

Whether 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 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 the ground I also always…

8 min.
beware the ides of woff

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. When I mentioned to a friend that lately I was out of sorts, he said something about the “Ides of March.” When I looked up the Ides, Google told me that it is March 15, best remembered for a seer’s unheeded warning to Julius Caesar before his assassination (at least according to Shakespeare). But there was a second definition: It’s “a seasonal tendency of saddle-tramp columnists to rant about various topics.” “Ah,” I thought, “that’s why I have been unsettled lately. I need a good rant.” The competitive season has started again, which…

6 min.
education vs. strength

Are you as strong as your horse? Of course not. Then why do some riders use so much leg until they are completely worn out yet their horses are still not going forward? They use their spurs inadvertently every time they use their legs, sometimes going so far as to make spur marks on their horses. This is unfortunately quite common. Many riders don’t differentiate between using the leg and using the spur—to them, the two go hand in hand. Soon the horse becomes dead to the nagging leg-spur combination and the result is a lack of response and a spur mark that sometimes can actually draw blood. A bloody spur mark is cause for elimination in a dressage show. A well-trained horse will move away from the leg, either forward or…

12 min.
a key to every horse

In a sport where riders are known for experimenting with all kinds of tack, 32-year-old grand prix jumper Lauren Tisbo still manages to surprise crowds when she enters the show ring. Two of her horses compete in a racehorse exercise saddle and one shows in a bridle with no headstall, often described as an Indian or war bridle. “I’m a firm believer that you’re going to get the most out of a happy horse,” she explains. “I guess some people might say I go to extremes.” Standing sixth in the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping North American Eastern Sub- League at press time with one qualifier left, Lauren agrees with the common wisdom that elite-level horses are invariably quirky. “Part of the fun of the sport is figuring out those quirks…