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Practical Horseman

Practical Horseman September 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.
trust in the classical system

As I read U.S. dressage Olympian Lisa Wilcox’s profile this month, one section in particular caught my attention. Returning to the United States after many years in Europe, Lisa discovered that a common problem was horses being ridden from front to back rather than back to front (page 30). This was partly because their riders weren’t remembering to give in the half-halt. If a half-halt doesn’t work, you give and then “come with a little stricter half-halt,” Lisa says. “But is has to be an impulse. If you hold until you feel a give, they will never give.” These comments were similar to those of USEF “R” dressage judge Karen Adams, also in this month’s issue (page 46). When judging, she says she often sees a misunderstanding of how to achieve…

7 min.
clean is what horse-keeping is all about

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 needs to fix some basic problems with her leg and release. Regarding her leg, she is standing on the ball of her foot, which pushes her toes down, causing her heel to go up. This makes her seat go up so she is jumping ahead. She needs to shorten her stirrup leather a half or entire hole and work in two-point on the flat at walk, trot and canter and over crossrails, driving weight into her heel. This will…

15 min.
silverbacks of the sport

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 towww.jimwofford.blogspot.com. In last month’s column, I introduced you to several people who guided and shaped my early career, just as your mentors steer your riding progress. My narrative stopped at a point when I had moved to Denver, where I could get lessons from eventing expert Bill Bilwin. It was in Denver that I had my first exposure to another man who would become a life-long mentor—Bertalan de Némethy. After my father’s death in 1955, Bert was named to succeed him as the U.S. Equestrian Team show-jumping coach, and by the early 1960s he…

6 min.
yes, teamwork does make the dream work

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 to www.Tonya Johnston.com. Have you ever been to a barn where you could tell everyone was on the same team? You could sense the camaraderie, good vibes and togetherness throughout the facility? When it exists it’s accompanied by an energy that gets people working together in a positive way. You hear riders saying “Beautiful job!” to each other in a lesson, inviting each other to hack out on Sunday, coming together to get the barn shipshape for a clinician and heading off to a horse show…

1 min.
three things you can do today at the barn to enhance teamwork

1. Make a video sign-up list: Create a schedule where riders can organize and commit to videoing each other’s rides. Trading with your friends creates community, reinforces that you all have unique and personal goals and establishes an environment for growth and learning. 2. Set a norm for positive reflection first: Create a goal where each rider says at least one positive comment immediately after another rider completes an exercise/test/course. Holding each other accountable in a friendly way will boost your trust, connectivity and good feelings about one another (as well as encourage the use of excellent mental skills!). 3. Organize fun events: You can all wear blue on Saturdays, bring potluck brunch snacks on the first Sunday of each month or organize a barn movie night to watch a horse-related film.…

13 min.
coming (back) to america

The best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself completely in the culture. That’s exactly how Lisa Wilcox pursued her classical dressage education. Over the past 25 years, she has followed her dreams from Colorado to California, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and, finally, back to America. After holding some of the most coveted training jobs in Europe, she’s now passing her hard-earned knowledge on to as many horses and riders as possible in the U.S. Seeking Wisdom from The Masters Lisa and her six brothers and sisters learned to ride Western from their father, an Air Force captain. She remembers, “He was always telling us to ‘Sit up straight! Shoulders back!’ We walked around like I’m riding around now.” Lisa was involved in Pony Club and then eventing, which turned her…