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Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman November 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
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
good memories

I’ve owned my horse, 23-year-old Merlot, for 16 years. We’ve spent the last 10 in the same boarding facility. During that time, he has demonstrated that he really dislikes one of the two grooming stalls. Interestingly, the stall he doesn’t like is closed in on three sides and the one he is much more comfortable in has a door in the back of it. The door isn’t often used, but when people do come through it and Merlot is there, he is totally fine with it. It seems to go against instinct for him to be happier with someone coming up from behind as opposed to being in what I think of as a “safe” enclosed area. Similarly, he also has never really liked the closed-in wash stall. A Thoroughbred,…

7 min.
four good releases

1 Great riders follow the horse, like one partner follows in dancing, and our first competitor is such a following rider. This is in part because her basics are so correct—she has a very good leg position and she is showing a beautiful short crest release. Starting at the all-important stirrup position, about a quarter of her foot is correctly in the iron, which is at a right angle to the girth. This puts the outside branch slightly ahead of the inside, creating a supple leg. This is how a base of support should look—she is not jumping ahead or dropping back. You might say her seat is a little high out of the saddle, but it’s over an oxer and her horse is really using his back. Her eyes are looking…

9 min.
hoofprints through history

“Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere …” Most of us have read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem about the historical ride that Paul Revere took on “the eighteenth of April, seventy five,” to alert the Minutemen of Lexington and Concord that British soldiers were coming. I suppose we can’t measure the historical impact of men on horseback strictly by the distance they covered. Revere rode only about 30 miles, although it was the middle of the night and most of it was on unlit back roads and country lanes. Still, we are the beneficiaries of Revere’s endeavor. I read this poem the other day and got to thinking about men riding on horseback to change history. Most of my columns here in Practical Horseman are aimed…

7 min.
the long-standing trainer–student relationship

What are the most important things you can do to keep your relationship with your trainer going strong? Perhaps you have an annual goals meeting. Or you make sure to let her know what you appreciated most at the end of a lesson. There are so many facets to a healthy, long-term coach–athlete bond. It can certainly be tricky to keep your eye on them all. From time to time it is useful to take a step back and examine your role in the partnership you have with your trainer and what you can do to keep it functioning optimally. I thought it would be useful to highlight some tips from someone with a long and prosperous relationship with her trainer and mentor—Olympian and World Equestrian Games dressage competitor Adrienne Lyle.…

1 min.
about the murphys

International eventer Sara Kozumplik Murphy rode in her first Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event at age 20 on an off-the-track Thoroughbred named As You Like It. In 2009, she was named to the U.S. Eventing Team short list. Last year, she and Rubens D’ysieux finished second in the Bromont CCI*** and won both the $15,000 Ocala Horse Properties Eventing Prix, hosted by Southern Cross Equestrian, in Florida, and the inaugural $50,000 Arena Eventing class at the Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania. A graduate “A” Pony Clubber and United States Eventing Association-certified instructor, Sara is a popular coach and clinician. She coached the Venezuelan event team at the 2013 Bolivarian Games in Lima, Peru, and the 2014 Central American Games in Veracruz, Mexico. Sara’s husband, Brian Murphy, is an Irish show jumper…

15 min.
sharpen your show-jumping skills

Many American eventers readily admit that stadium jumping is their weakest phase. Yet today’s medal winners—from countries like France, Germany and Great Britain—all look like they could walk into a jumper ring and not appear out of place. Some top U.S. eventers, such as 2018 World Equestrian Games competitors Lauren Kieffer and Will Coleman, are beautiful show jumpers, but as a whole, our skills are far behind those of other countries. It’s time we Americans take a look in the mirror and set the bar higher for ourselves. One factor helping us to do this is the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s eventing show-jumping course advisor, Richard Jeffery. He’s pushing course designers around the country to raise their standards. Now as good as any in the world, our courses at all levels are…