“Western Dressage: Finding a Suitable Horse”

I am so excited to do this series on western dressage. I am positive this new
discipline following classical dressage with a western horse is going to give the western
industry its next step in developing better horsemen. Dressage promotes “Riding Well”
and “Being the Rider Your Horse Deserves!”

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The Use of Spurs

Spurs are a training aid to assist us to get a horse to go in the direction we would like it to go. We are looking for a well trained horse, whether we want the horse to be an eventer, a dressage horse, a reiner or just a good trail horse. You can look at spurs as the training wheels on a bicycle. At first the wheels are on the ground but as the rider becomes more proficient, the wheels are raised and eventually removed.

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Working With a Pushy Horse

I see a lot of rude, pushy horses. Probably 90% of the horses brought in to the barn for training are pushy and do not respect our space. As owners, we usually spend more time riding than dealing with ground issues. There is nothing wrong with riding and having a good time.

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Dealing with the Death of a Horse

It’s never easy to witness. There’s something about their power… their free spirit… the image of running like the wind, that makes it especially hard to watch a horse go down. Seeing a happy and carefree horse suddenly fall ill and struggle to survive or watching an old beloved friend suffer and grow weak…

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Dealing With Head Tossing and Pulling on the Bit

Head tossing and pulling on the bit is a very common problem and one that can be easily solved. Sometimes with this type of problem there can be a physical reason behind the behavior. Before we address changing the behavior through training, I believe firmly in ruling out any possible physical causes. With this particular type of problem,

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Working at Liberty: Changing Directions Alone

Don’t have a helper available to assist you work your horse at liberty? No problem! Here’s a variation of the neat method I gave you to change your horse’s direction when working at liberty in a paddock or arena when you don’t have an assistant. You can still ask the horse to change directions at liberty without “manually” stopping him and turning him around.

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Horses Give More Than They Get

When you own horses, and especially if you keep them at home, sometimes it seems like your whole life revolves around doing their bidding—food service, housekeeping, valet service, maintenance. Most people who dream of bringing their horses home (after boarding them forever) are stunned to discover they have even less time to ride.

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Beyond Clinics: You Get Out What You Put In

Horsemanship clinics are intensive training opportunities, usually with an expert from another area. As a horsemanship clinician, I generally work with riders and horses I’ve never met, and usually on a one-time basis.
There are both pros and cons of working with horses and their owners only once. The obvious benefit is that I have no preconceived notions about horse or rider;

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