Author: Charles Wilhelm

Correcting a Lead Change Problem

Some riders tell me they have a problem when a course they are riding requires a roll back and a lead change. Some horses pick up the lead change in front but not in back. This is a problem that can pop up in any discipline and the cause is one of three things. The first is simply that the rider is not clearly communicating the desired action and is the cue is confusing the horse.

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Rushing the Jumps

Many times I have seen horses rushing the jumps. Riders try to regulate the speed through a series of half-halts but when this doesn’t work, many end up putting on a tie down or using a stronger bit. All that can be eliminated if you teach your horse to listen to the rein aids and seat aids and to understand what you are asking for with the half-halt cues.

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Handling a Horse That is Nervous at Shows

I received a question about a really nice thoroughbred off the track that does really well at home shies at everything when he is taken to a show. He is quiet at home but very nervous when he goes to a show. This is a very common problem in every discipline but I have probably seen it more in the English world.

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Evaluating a Horse

When I am looking for a horse I start by looking at conformation. While not the most critical aspect it is an important consideration. The more perfect the conformation is, the more you will probably need to pay for the horse but poor conformation may lead to problems later. There are many good all around horses that do not have perfect conformation. And while conformation is important, I also keep in mind what the horse will be used for.

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The Warm Up

Regardless of the discipline in which you ride, warm up time is important. Whether you ride for performance or leisure, the warm up routine should be the same. For every horse there is a certain amount of flat work, particular exercises and maneuvers that need to be done.

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