Travel & Outdoor
Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman Dressage Today Extra Volume 6

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

13 min.
position 101

In dressage, rider position and balance affect everything—the horse’s rhythm and tempo, his longitudinal and lateral balance and his willingness to go forward and come back. Being balanced in the saddle will also make your aids more clear to your horse. But as anyone who rides knows, finding and keeping your balance on a living, breathing, moving animal is an enormous challenge. Some people compensate by hanging on to the reins or gripping with their legs or tightening with their back. The result? The horse is heavy; he won’t go forward or he won’t bend. It’s our job to work with our conformation and that of our horses to find our core strength and balance in the saddle and maintain them every single time we ride. Just watch riders like my…

1 min.
finding my dressage seat

I grew up riding Arabians in saddle seat, which meant my feet were up close to the horse’s shoulders and my back was hollow. When I switched to dressage at about 19, it was quite a challenge to change the way I sat in the saddle and change the muscles I used to ride in proper alignment, ear to hip to heel. Part of how I learned was from experience on a longe line. Riding without stirrups and reins is the single best way to accomplish finding your center of balance in the saddle. Of course, this requires a good longe horse and an instructor to help you with biomechanics. I’ve had some wonderful teachers along the way. My first dressage instructor, “S” judge Debbie Riehl-Rodriguez, taught me so much about…

10 min.
suspensory ligament injuries

“My horse has a suspensory injury” is a commonly heard statement in the equestrian world when a horse is suffering from lameness. What is heard less often is how the injury may have been prevented and the intricacies of what lies ahead on the road to recovery. Having experienced a two-year healing journey for a severe deep-flexor-tendon injury with my own horse, I always keep my radar up regarding information about equine health, particularly leg injuries. So when I was invited by my veterinarian to attend a University of California Davis (UC Davis) event in Los Angeles about sport-horse injuries I seized the opportunity. Dr. Claudia Sonder, director of the Center for Equine Health at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, presented the informative educational program. I was fascinated by…

2 min.
suspensory-ligament injury prevention

Human and equine athletes struggle with soft-tissue injuries that fail to heal completely. In many cases, this is due to premature return to work before the ligament has regained tensile strength. Tendons and ligaments rarely heal with their original elasticity, which can further predispose them to re-injury. For this reason, detecting suspensory ligament strain early on, before significant tearing has occurred, goes a long way toward preserving overall soundness. There are a few variables that horse owners can control to minimize injury to the suspensory ligament: • Work with your trainer to develop an exercise program that addresses both cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness. Musculoskeletal fitness takes much longer to develop, and a gradual work up to a performance goal is key. Working your horse on different types of footing also helps…

1 min.
studying an ultrasound image

The photo at right is the leg of a horse with ultrasound transducer placement to obtain images. The ultrasound images (left) show suspensory-ligament body injuries from two different horses. The top ultrasound image is a severe injury of the suspensory-ligament origin (location of the upper ultrasound transducer) in the hind limb. The suspensory ligament is outlined in green. The blue outline shows the hypoechoic (dark) tissue that indicates injury. The right side of the image shows the fiber pattern where a few normal fibers are seen near the top arrows, but the majority of the ligament has short fibers that are consistent with fiber tearing. The lower ultrasound image shows a moderate injury of the suspensory-ligament body before it divides into its two branches (location of lower ultrasound transducer) but…