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Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman October 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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United States
Active Interest Media
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
structure and initiative

Three articles this month have me thinking about the balance between adhering to structure and developing initiative when training horses. Dressage trainer Bruno Greber explains to clinic participants—many of them hunter riders—that stronger lines of communication, based on clear aids and structured riding, will help a horse move with more suppleness and freedom (page 54). As riders worked on a 20-meter circle outlined by four cones, they learned that when their aids were clear, their horses traveled with balance and ease around the circle. But when their aids were muddled, their horses had difficulty. Seemingly at the other end of the riding spectrum, jumper trainer Richard Spooner talks about training his homebreds and young jumpers (page 42). His approach is to introduce obstacles into flatwork, first weaving around jumps in the arena…

5 min.
choose the thoroughbred-cross 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…

7 min.
seats: too high, too low, just right

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 a good leg but minor adjustments would make it even better. The stirrup iron could be a hair more toward the toe for improved suppleness, but it is angled correctly so that the little toe touches the outside branch. Her toe is out, her ankle is flexed and her calf is in contact with her horse’s side. If I were teaching her, I possibly would shorten the stirrup a hole because her seat is quite far out of the…

10 min.
musings of an equinitis sufferer

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. It is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. “Equinitis,” an addiction to horses, consumes the victim’s life (and disposable income). No matter if you were born with it or caught it along the way, you are addicted for life. As a doctor friend of mine said, “Equinitis is chronic in the male and incurable in the female.” That pronouncement fits my own observations. I was born with equinitis, so I have never known any difference. Once you have it, the malady manifests itself in various…

8 min.
countdown to omaha world cup

In so many sports, from soccer to cricket and rugby, the words “World Cup” signify the apex of competition, usually held in major cities across the globe. Equestrian World Cup finals are no exception, having been hosted in such far-flung venues as Paris, Berlin, Las Vegas, Geneva and Kuala Lumpur. Omaha, Nebraska, will join their glamorous ranks next year from March 27–April 2, when the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals are presented in the CenturyLink Center. Organizers see it not only as an opportunity to showcase the best in each discipline but also to grow horse sports in the Midwest and introduce many more people to the joy of watching equestrian competition at a level of international excellence. “Obviously, the horse show was incredible,” said…

1 min.
other attractions

Seen enough horses for awhile? There are plenty of options for those seeking a change of pace or something to do between competitions. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium offers endless fascination and it’s a great place to take the kids. Check out the African grasslands habitat and the country’s largest indoor rainforest or just watch the sharks swim by. Horse-drawn carriage tours are a good way to get an overview of the always-hopping Old Market, where those who already have eaten at the city’s steak houses can switch gears to find a variety of international restaurants and clubby bars. It’s also the place to go for nightlife. Crafts, jewelry and clothing shopping opportunities abound in the Market as well. Lauritzen Gardens is a botanical attraction that has a large arboretum that will…