Patriotic Preparation

If everything goes according to plan, I will add something new to my horsemanship resume. I’ve been asked to gallop my horse around the arena as 7,000 observers stand for the national anthem at this year’s Road to the Horse in Tennessee. It sounds like fun and I am honored to play a part in that patriotic moment. The question is: Will my horse be as enthusiastic as I am?

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Is Your Horse Really Broke?

My daughter has spent the last two years as assistant trainer to one of the National Reined Cow Horse Associations million-dollar riders. While she was home for Christmas we had the opportunity to ride together. This was my chance to “debrief” her. While we were working some young horses on a flag (a mechanical cow), she said, “Dad, I’ve really learned how important it is to get a horse “broke through their body.”

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No Short Cuts

Training a horse is like building a house. If you want to build a house, you need a strong foundation underneath. You can erect the building, paint the walls, and hang the curtains. Yet if there is no foundation, you’ll have problems when the storms come. Choosing paint colors and curtains is fun. Concrete and rebar are much less exciting. One thing is for sure: it’s a lot easier to put in a solid foundation prior to the house being built.

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Feel, Timing, And Balance

Feel, timing, and balance are three abstract terms often used to describe the qualities that great horsemen and women bring to the horse/human relationship. The late iconic horsemen, Tom Dorance and Ray Hunt, brought these ideas to the forefront for students and prodigies who were serious about improving their own horsemanship skills.

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Understanding The Snaffle Bit

Hanging in your tack room is probably some form or style of snaffle bit. Perhaps you use it everyday. Or maybe it’s unused and gathering dust. There is probably no bit that is more widely used, regardless of the riding discipline, than the snaffle bit. Even though it is a commonly used piece of equipment,

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