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Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman August 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
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
universal appeal

After reading Traci and Carleton Brooks’ article, “Sharpen Your Course- Riding Skills” (page 30), Prac Assistant Editors Emily Daily and Jocelyn Pierce, both eventers, said they wanted to try out the three jumping exercises in the story and Emily planned to use them with some of her students. I’d been having similar thoughts of trying the exercises with my elderly dressage horse, but using poles on the ground. Though Traci and Carleton are hunter/jumper/equitation trainers, their exercises have a universal appeal because they can help riders of all disciplines and levels both in the competition arena and at home. For instance, the first exercise is about tuning your eye to a small vertical that you canter to through a curved chute. When the vertical is replaced with a ground pole, this exercise…

7 min.
four good legs, two faulty releases

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. 1Nothing is more important to me than leg position, so I remind readers to send photos where I can see all of their leg. Nevertheless, I can see this rider’s leg is stable, just behind the girth. Her heel is lower than her toe, her ankle is flexed, her toes appear turned out and she has contact in her calf. Her seat is too far out of the saddle. She needs to allow the thrust of the horse to open her knee angle, close…

11 min.
silverbacks of the sport

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. Chances are you would pay good money to be able to listen to the “matriarchs” and “silverbacks” of eventing when they get together. Naturally, adult beverages feature prominently in such gatherings and the conversations soon turn toward the “good old days when things were right.” I remember sitting outside the circle as a young rider, listening to the verbal pyrotechnics and thinking, “Wow, these geezers can talk.” When they were in a gathering of their equals, they could talk and they had a lot to talk about. They talked about horses and their…

9 min.
andre dignelli: “life is a competition”

PH Was it hard to be a working-class kid breaking into such an expensive sport? AD We came from a working-class family. What we were lacking in money we made up for in love and support. I viewed the kids who had more as being a real opportunity, even when I was a kid. They had fancy horses and often extra horses and I got to ride them and help train. I also think that being around these kids was the start of my American Dream. I would see them drive up to the barn in their BMWs and I would say to myself, “That’s not just for them. That’s for me, too.” I wanted to have it all. Live in the big house on the hill and have a big stable…

23 min.
sharpen your courseriding skills

Have you noticed that as you ride around a course, it tends to get harder, rather than easier? That’s because you have a constant stream of variables to tackle, including the questions posed by the course’s turns, jumps and striding options as well as the many aspects of your and your horse’s performance, which can change from one second to the next. Maybe he lands off a jump with too little pace and threatens to break to trot or perhaps your balance tips forward onto your hands. If you don’t address each variable immediately, you won’t be ready to face the next challenge in time, so things can unravel quickly. Instead of schooling courses over and over again at home, the best way to prepare yourself for these high-pressure situations is…

1 min.
carleton and traci brooks

Husband-and-wife team Carleton and Traci Brooks run a successful hunter/jumper/equitation business called Balmoral, which they operate in two California locations— Malibu and Brentwood, on the west side of Los Angeles. This unique setup allows them to provide their horses with plenty of healthy open space while also being accessible to their diverse clientele, which ranges from Short-Stirrup to Adults and high-performance levels. They shuttle horses back and forth between barns almost daily to be sure everyone enjoys plenty of turnout and trail riding. Traci and Carleton have coached riders and trained horses to a long list of wins, including many Indoors championships and Horse of the Year awards. They developed and competed top show hunters, including Wish List, Triton Z, Ragtime Cowboy, Penn Square, Doubletake, Trinity, Vested, Play with Fire, Calvin,…