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Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman May 2016

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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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Active Interest Media
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the value of not-so-obvious skills

As with every issue, there are many articles this month that give complementary concrete tips to improve your riding. Having a progressive training system so your horse can understand what you’re asking him to do, for example, is discussed by both show jumper Beezie Madden in our article about her day of teaching at the 2016 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session (page 40) and eventer Mike Huber in his article about teaching a horse to tackle jumps into and out of water (page 52). Beezie also talks about how the horse must be able to concentrate on jumping fences, which he can do only when he’s so well-schooled that responding to the rider’s aids has become a force of habit. Similarly, in speaking about eventer Lauren Kieffer (page 28),…

5 min.
choose the best thoroughbred eventer

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.
two solid bases of support

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 This looks like a small horse with a long-legged rider, so she should raise her stirrups up about two holes to avoid catching her foot on the rail. I had to do this on Sinjon, whom I rode in the 1960 Rome Olympics. There is a danger that the stirrup could be too short and this tall rider could develop a chair seat; if that starts to happen, she could drop the stirrup a hole. Other than that, she has a good leg.…

7 min.
inspired goal-setting

An equestrian mental-skills coach and A-circuit competitor, Tonya Johnston has a master’s degree in sport psychology. Her book, Inside Your Ride: Mental Skills for Being Happy and Successful with Your Horse, is available in paperback or e-book editions. For more info on Tonya’s work, go towww.TonyaJohnston.com. In addition to the pride, sense of accomplishment and happy glow you get from the achievement of a goal, there are also powerful benefits inherent to the goal-setting process itself. When you manage your goals strategically they will motivate, excite and inspire you in truly meaningful ways. In fact, the goalsetting process has the power to create a tenacity and drive that will not only propel you toward your goals, but shape how you approach challenges and increase your mental strength overall. Mind you, these additional…

15 min.
never giving up

Lauren Kieffer has never accepted “no” for an answer. Not when her parents told her she couldn’t have a horse, not when she fell off on the way to the start box at her first horse trials and not even when the upper echelons of eventing seemed unreachable for a horse-crazy kid growing up in the Midwest. She paved her own path to the podium anyway, winning a team gold medal in eventing at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and stamping herself as a rising star in U.S. eventing and an Olympic hopeful for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lauren’s unlikely rise to the top is defined by a persistent refusal to give up, the unconditional support of her parents and generosity of people who helped her…

15 min.
gymnasticize your horse

New Year’s Day dawned unseasonably hot and humid at the Winter Equestrian Festival showgrounds as two-time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden perched a George Morris action figure aboard a golf cart to preside over the second day of the 10th annual George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session. Day 1 had featured Olympic bronze medalist Christine Traurig’s schooling of the clinic’s 12 riders in dressage in Wellington, Florida. Beezie’s plan was to work on gymnasticizing the horses with the goal of building on Christine’s lessons. “George’s passion for teaching, his system for teaching and his passing it on to the rest of us has been a driving force in this training session for all these years,” Beezie said. “My goal today is to share knowledge and make better horsemen by doing gymnastic…