Author: Charles Wilhelm

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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Accepting Bad Behavior

I remember growing up and hearing that we must use light hands and not pull on our horses. However, when we kept our hands light on the reins, we did not necessarily communicate with the horse. So, through lack of education and knowledge we ended up making our horses heavier.

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Feel and Timing

One of the current topics of discussion and an important part of horsemanship is timing and feel. For me it is more correct to say feel and timing. You must feel what the horse is doing and then act promptly. Let’s look at what these aspects are and why they are important?

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