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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Slower is Faster with Horses

One thing horses are really good at is being present in the moment. People, not so much. We tend to carry baggage from the past and stress about the future, but not stay present with our horse in the moment. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stay present and thinking in the moment and ride through any sticky situation with your horse?

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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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Tips for Trouble-free Trailer Loading

Trailering is a big step. Not only are we dealing with loading our horse into a trailer, we will be driving and maneuvering a large vehicle (like a truck or SUV) and towing our precious cargo behind. Once trailering is mastered, it opens up many new opportunities for fun with our horses.

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Aids Communication: Correcting Falling Out

The goal for both the bending and turning aids is to control the horse’s body position and his balance. We will use a circle pattern to demonstrate how to correct one of two common problems that occur when trying to keep a horse straight through a turn. This week we will cover the problem called falling out.

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Have You Ever Been Kicked?

Dear Julie: This may be a very odd question, but I was curious how many times have you been kicked or caught in the crossfire in your training career? I’ve been kicked three times, but tonight I got kicked square in the pelvis by a dominant mare who was going after my mare while I was putting a halter on her.

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