Travel & Outdoor
Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman Practical Horseman Extra Volume 2

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.

United States
Active Interest Media
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$8.40(Incl. tax)
$28.04(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

12 min.
develop a strong galloping position

When someone comes to me as a new student, I usually say, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re not going to jump for a while.” Before we work over fences I want my riders to work on position—and their galloping position in particular. Otherwise, we’ll have to come back later and fix the position flaws that become a bigger issue as a rider progresses. This happens because our horses go the way we ride them: Horses want to feel secure, which includes knowing that their riders feel secure. If we’re riding out of balance, our horses go out of balance. At the beginning of every year, even I review my position and determine where improvements can be made. Some eventing riders take the attitude that if their horses can…

1 min.
five-star success

In 2011, Colleen Rutledge rode Shiraz to her first five-stars (Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event—where she placed 12th—and Burghley). She completed a total of five five-stars with Shiraz before his retirement at age 18, and was named to the U.S. Equestrian Federation World Class High Performance Training List with CR in June 2015. By then she had already competed CR, then a 9-year-old, at Rolex, where they came in 11th. The recognition helped her get to Burghley with CR that fall, where they finished 22nd. More recently, Colleen and CR won 2019 Plantation Field CCI****-S (September) and 2019 Morven Park CCI****-S. They placed second in the CCI****-S at Great Meadow International in the summer. She and Global Absolute were seventh in the 2019 Young Event Horse Championship for 5-year-olds in October. In…

1 min.

The easier you are to carry, the happier your horse is. A happy horse does his job much better. To help keep your center of gravity above your base, close your leg by turning your toe out slightly and contact the saddle with the back of your knee. To practice this new leg position, shorten your stirrup leathers two or three holes above your regular galloping and jumping length. Then practice riding in a two-point position. A new, correct riding position can feel unnatural. Have a friend take a photo or video as you ride so you can see that the new position is correct even if it feels wrong. Listen to music you love as you ride. Try holding the new riding position for the duration of one song, then two songs and…

1 min.
center of gravity in dressage

In dressage, you ask your horse to bring his hindquarters under his body, lift his back and withers and take a contact. But when you grip with your knee, causing your leg to swing back and your upper body to tip forward, you block the energy you’re developing from behind. So it’s like driving with the parking brake on. With your lower leg, you’re telling him that you want him to go forward, while your thigh is restricting the energy when it grips to support your upper body’s forward lean. At some point, he stops listening to your subtle cues. In addition, many riders grip with their legs incorrectly just to try to hold themselves still on their horses for flatwork. A truly “still” rider cannot maintain the proper motion with…

11 min.
combating joint disease

Did your horse take a funny step or are you just imagining it? He seems to be working happily and you checked his feet for stones before mounting. Yet he does seem to take a little longer to warm up for work recently. Could something be wrong? When your horse comes up lame or even a bit stiff or lackadaisical under saddle, countless different ailments could be the cause. One likely reason for lameness or a reluctance to work has to do with soreness in the joints. Many joints work together to allow a horse to accomplish daily activities like walking and grazing in the field as well as athletic feats like jumping a cross-country fence or performing a half-pass in the dressage arena. When a joint becomes painful, a horse’s…

1 min.
how does joint disease affect my horse’s career?

Because osteoarthritis widely varies in how quickly it progresses and the level of pain it produces, a positive diagnosis may mark a different future, depending on the horse. In the case of early-onset osteoarthritis that is progressing slowly, a horse may easily continue his career supported by appropriate joint management. In more acute cases, a horse may need to reduce his workload or compete at a lower level. For older horses, transitioning into retirement may be the best solution. Much of it depends on what the horse’s job is and his level of use. “Let them tell you what they can do. If they are happy working and are comfortable and sound with some maintenance, keep them working. If you can’t keep them comfortable and sound, it may be time to…