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Travel & Outdoor
Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman February 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
$8.38(Incl. tax)
$27.97(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
worth the effort

When starting riding, I was fortunate to have great horses who took care of me—and I let them. Then I went through a phase where I thought I needed to control their every step. I became obsessed with whether or not I saw a distance, often fussing with my hands to try to find one. Eventually I started to learn that I didn’t have to work so hard to see a distance. Because of this experience, reading hunter trainer and judge Tom Brennan’s article brought back a lot of memories (page 28). In it, Tom gives advice and exercises to help you produce a hunter round that exudes confidence. A big part of that, as Tom says, is getting “comfortable with the concept of going forward until you see it’s time…

7 min.
two good legs; two that have slipped back

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. 1 Our first rider does not have a good leg. The weight is not in her heel and her toes are parallel to her horse’s sides to the point where they are almost turned in. This has taken her calf off her horse and encouraged her to pinch with her knee. The result is that her lower leg has swung back. This is a leg that originally was based in the Netherlands and Germany as opposed to the French leg that is the…

5 min.
choose the best warmblood hunter

Whether judging a model class, evaluating a prospect for a client or sizing up the yearlings at home, I first stand back and look for an overall impression of balance and symmetry. My ideal horse “fits” in a square box. By that, I mean he is defined by matching and equal parts, both front to back and side to side. This allows for athletic ability, soundness, trainability and longevity in the job. A horse who fits in a box will have a body made up of one-third shoulder, one-third back and one-third hindquarters. I like to see the withers and point of croup at the same level. The horse’s stance, from point of shoulder to buttock, should equal the distance from the height of the withers to the ground. I also always…

10 min.
finding carawich

When it comes to horses, I think of myself as a fairly mechanical trainer. Squeeze your hands and the horse will slow down, close your legs and your horse will speed up … that sort of thing. However, there is more to it than that. Spend any amount of time around horses and you will become convinced that there is a communication between horses and humans that can’t be measured. The worst among them sense our fears and take advantage of us; the best among them sense our dreams and take us where we have always longed to go. For example, there was Carawich. Not many people get a chance to ride in the Olympics. During the time that you are involved in the training and selection process, you don’t have…

3 min.
confessions of a nitpicker

Being a word lover, a seasoned nitpicker and something of a curmudgeon, it is not surprising that I find certain present- day usages of equestrian terminology mildly rankling. I will pass on five of them just to get them off my chest and not expect any sudden adoption of my preferred terms. To start with, I’ve never liked the “two-point” and the “threepoint” to describe the half-seat and the full-seat. What are the two “points”—my knees? They’re not pointed, and in the half-seat, the calves are also very much involved. As for the “three-point”—presumably my seat bones and my sacroiliac—they’re not pointed either, and the full seat also involves the thighs and the back very conspicuously. I rest my case. Next I would like to consider the “crest release,” whether long or…

11 min.
john french: ‘try to always find the good’

Q How did you develop your amazing timing? JF I loved jumping as a kid and practicing cross country. When you ride a small pony and you are jumping postand- rail fences, you have to get pretty accurate with your timing. I used to get in trouble. My mom would leave me in the ring and, if she wasn’t looking, I would jump my pony in and out of the arena and hope I wouldn’t get caught. I didn’t have top show horses or ponies as a kid. I rode Shetland ponies, Quarter Horses, Arabians or a boarder’s horse. I had the opportunity to ride so many different kinds of horses and I think that is how I learned. Q Did you always know you’d be a professional rider? JF Growing up, I saw…