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Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman June 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
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
equestrian idols

When I started competing in the early 1980s, Leslie Burr was one of my idols. What I remember most was her look of determination whenever she was in the ring. She would go through the in-gate with her set jaw, and you knew she was going to try to win. Yet off the horses, she was often all smiles. As a gawky teenager with a big case of nerves in the arena, I was in awe of her talent, toughness and apparent enthusiasm. That star-struck feeling continued 14 years later when I interviewed Leslie in my first full year as an assistant editor at Practical Horseman for a story in the August 1996 issue. It focused on how Leslie, Michael Matz and Anne Kursinski were handling the pressure as they vied…

5 min.
choose the best jumper

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…

7 min.
judging rider angles

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 has an old-fashioned leg position and a good base of support, but I’m concerned that the horse is jumping with an overflexed neck, a sign he isn’t being worked properly on the flat. The rider’s leg is reminiscent of the 1950s because her toe is turned out more than 45 degrees. I’m one of the few judges who appreciate this type of leg because it allows for a very viselike grip, but others might mark her down for it. This…

9 min.
we’ve all been there …

Based at Fox Covert Farm, in Upperville, Virginia, Jim Wofford competed in three Olympics and two World Championships and won the U.S. National Championship five times. He is also a highly respected coach. For more on Jim, go to www.jimwofford.blogspot.com. We’ve all been there, dejectedly sitting in the bleachers after yet another disastrous round as the star du jour rides by, using invisible aids while sitting motionless in the saddle. “Why is this so HARD?” you ask yourself. The bad news is that riding well is hard to learn. The good news is that every good rider, at one time or another, has been right there with you in the bleachers. The important thing to know is that you can be a better rider—you just have to decide to get better. First of…

8 min.
omaha raises the bar

Y ou can sum up the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in one key word: “Vindication.” It applies not only to McLain Ward’s long-awaited victory in sweeping each phase of the Final with perfect performances from HH Azur but also to the outstanding way the championship was presented in Omaha, Nebraska. When the venue for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final and the FEI World Cup Dressage Final was announced three years ago, there was an abundance of skeptics—many of whom were unable to find the Midwestern city on a map. How could Omaha, with no history of presenting championship equestrian competition, hope to match such previous hosts as Vienna, Berlin and Las Vegas? As it turned out, Omaha didn’t just match what they did, it blew them away. Omaha…

3 min.
putting on a show

Contrary to what some may have expected, there’s plenty to do in Omaha. Opportunities abound for good steak dinners and there’s a variety of other kinds of dining in the Old Market area, a short walk from CenturyLink Center. Sightseeing possibilities included several museums, Lauritzen Gardens and the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, where the World Cup’s draw party and after-party were held. But organizers weren’t relying on just the city’s attractions to make sure show-goers were entertained. They drew on cultural organizations, such as the first-rate Omaha Symphony; the Rose Theater, which features young performers; Opera Omaha; the Frontier Strings and others during the course of the show. Saturday is always a rest day for the horses jumping in the Final, who compete on Thursday and Friday, then return for the…