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Travel & Outdoor
Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman July 2018

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
$8.38(Incl. tax)
$27.97(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
live vicariously

We have a real problem,” says a bloke with several-days-old stubble on his face. The video with the ominous staccato music pans to two squat, riderless ponies racing toward the mountainous horizon with a lone figure chasing them. “Saddle’s gone. Horse’s gone. What do we do?” continues the chap to his equally grungy mate as they trudge after the ponies. This video has nothing to do with the sporthorses we cover in the pages of this magazine, but I’m captivated. It’s about Mongolian horses, who, when they’re not bucking off their riders, are flying across the countryside of grassy plains, rocks, rivers and salt pans in the Mongol Derby, an annual race that involves riding 25 different horses more than 600 miles in, of course, Mongolia. Why am I telling you about…

7 min.
which two horses would george love to ride?

1 Over the years, the only other person I’ve known to be as obsessed about stirrup-iron position as I is Helen Crabtree, the doyenne of saddle-seat equitation about 40 years ago. She said, “George, it starts with the stirrup iron.” It’s such a trivial-appearing thing, but in my own experience, it’s critical because it is the foundation of position and balance. With that in mind, I want this very nice rider to twist her iron so that the outside branch is a little ahead of the inside. This puts the iron perpendicular to the girth, which allows for a suppler leg. Otherwise, her leg is excellent: Her toes are turned out, her heels are down, her ankles are flexed and there is even distribution of contact between her thigh, inner knee…

12 min.
best horses, best riders, best weather = best weekend

The 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event lived up to its billing as the “Best Weekend All Year.” Held at the CCI**** level and celebrating its 21st anniversary, the event showcased the Kentucky Horse Park with sparkling weather, enough activities to keep even the most jaded spectators entertained, a gold-medal-winning list of competitors and beautiful horses everywhere you looked. Spectators’ overwhelming opinion: This was one of the best events held at the KHP since the 1978 World Championships. Beginning with the low (lower the better) scores in the dressage phase, it quickly became clear that the audience was in for a treat. This year brought a change in the dressage scoring rules, which compressed the dressage results. At the end of two days of dressage, roughly half of the competitors were…

13 min.
finesse your flat class

If you hang around horse shows long enough, you’ll hear this comment ringside: “You can’t beat that daisy-cutter. He’s going to win this flat class.” But the truth is you don’t always have to have the best mover to be competitive in the under-saddle class. Most judges are looking for the whole package: a horse who has good movement but is also obedient, alert, sound and has good manners. Does your horse look like he is a pleasure to ride? Are his ears up? Are his gaits balanced and his transitions smooth? How well you present your horse to demonstrate these details can have a tremendous impact on the judge’s ultimate decision. Even if you’re not aiming for a blue ribbon, doing your best in the under-saddle class is growing more…

1 min.
about amanda steege

Growing up, Amanda Steege was never far from a horse. Her parents were horse professionals and owners of Red Acre Farm, in Stow, Massachusetts. At a very young age, Amanda would frequently be placed on top of one of the school horses in its stall to keep her safe while her father, Mitch, completed his barn chores. As a Junior, Amanda campaigned her Small Junior Hunter, One In A Million (aka Spanky), to great success. Coached by her father and Bill Cooney (and still riding Spanky), Amanda won the 1991 Massachusetts Medal Finals and competed in the Medal and Maclay Finals in the following two years. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston College and started her own business, Ashmeadow Farm, in 2001. Amanda has been the World Champion Hunter Rider for…

1 min.
don’t undermine the trot

Trying too hard at the trot is a common mistake in hack classes. Sometimes you will see a rider ask the horse to lengthen the trot by using a heavy driving seat with an open hip angle. But the driving seat is counterproductive, as it can make the horse lift his head and drop his back, which creates a quick, choppy step rather than the desired long, loose step. And if the rider lands too heavily in the post, it can make the horse crabby or pin his ears. To address this, do lots of work at home in the two-point position. This will give you the leg strength necessary to keep the right position even with a horse who is reluctant to go forward. Then, when you return to normal…