Featured Columns

Incidentally Speaking

Helmet Safety

THE INCIDENT It was a perfect day for a family picnic out at the ranch, and Kay Silva’s whole family had gathered to enjoy the beautiful fall day in the high desert of southern California. After a delicious lunch and some family fun and games, Katy decided to saddle a couple horses and take her …

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Cart Before the Horse

By Christy Landwehr THE INCIDENT Zippy Farms was busy that Saturday afternoon. It was snowing outside, so everyone was in the indoor arena trying to get a ride in. Samantha was driving her new horse around the outside of the rail in her new cart while Carrie was teaching a lesson to an amateur adult …

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Got Kicked by My Horse

By Christy Landwehr THE INCIDENT It was a beautiful fall day in Colorado. The event was the second annual Trail-A-Thon benefit ride for Front Range Exceptional Equestrians. The ride was held in Lory State Park, a nearby foothills and mountain park with varied terrain. It was well planned with different trails selected for riders with …

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On the Rail

Emergency Dismount

I am the Riding Director at a horseback riding summer camp. Over the winter, I like to go through the program and re-evaluate our policies and procedures. My question is concerning our current emergency dismount. Presently the dismount goes as follows: 1) Make a “butterfly” with your hands so the reins are just resting on …

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Accidental Frequency

Accident Frequency: What is Normal? I work for a large lesson/boarding facility – we have about 50 school horses, 50 boarder horses, and a couple hundred students come through each week. I am concerned because we have had a string of pretty nasty falls recently and I am wondering if this is normal for such …

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Beginning Teacher

I’ve had my certification for about a year now, (English-1, Western-2. Trail-2), but haven’t really taught much, so I am a little intimidated about taking formal students. Foremost, I want my students to be safe. What are some of the most common ways beginner students get into trouble? Also, the facility I’ll be working at …

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Pet Peeves

No Rubbing

No Rubbing It can be dangerous and annoying when people do not teach their horse to respect the handlers’ space. Do not let a horse rub their head on you after removing their bridle. You can give them a rub on your terms, but allowing them to rub on you shows a lack of respect. …

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Who’s in Charge Anyway?

“Who’s in Charge Anyway?” Julie Goodnight, Master Instructor and Clinician, Poncha Springs, CO Many people mount up on their horse and no sooner is their seat in the saddle and their foot in the stirrup than the horse just walks off, with no cue from the rider. In short order, the horse, which is by …

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Grab Hands

“Grab Hands” It drives me crazy to see people lead a horse by holding onto the halter, instead of using a lead rope. This action is both dangerous and poor horsemanship. Wrapping your fingers around a halter can very quickly and easily turn into a dislocated shoulder, by the horse throwing his head or spooking. …

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Teaching Techniques

Tricks of the Trade

Teach Conformation

Teaching Tack Room I always like to ask my students to evaluate the conformation of the horse they are riding. It makes them think about the horse’s way of going (paces, straightness, and flexion) then we discuss how to improve. It teaches them to think for themselves and to understand and empathize with the horse …

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Drill Team Maneuvers

Teaching Tack Room Lessons getting stale? Tired of traveling in the same circles? Try doing mounted drill team work with your riders! You can do drill team maneuvers with two riders or more. It develops rating skills in your riders and helps them learn the true meaning of teamwork. For extra enthusiasm, let the riders …

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