Featured Columns

Incidentally Speaking

Small Arena

By Tonya Rossman THE INCIDENT I am well into my second season as a CHA Certified Riding Instructor with much success. The other day I took a 5-year-old for a pony ride on my 12 hand pony inside a 60 x 80 arena at the Community Fairgrounds where I operate. I was leading her around […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pet Peeves

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 […]

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. […]

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. […]

Teaching Techniques

Product Review: Western Safety Stirrups

Product Review: Western Safety Stirrups By Julie Goodnight The risk of severe injury or death by dragging from the stirrup of a runaway horse is a serious concern for ride providers and riders everywhere. The risk of getting hung-up in a stirrup exists even when proper footwear is worn, but the risk is greatly increased […]

Benefits of the Cross-Under Bitless Bridle

Benefits of the Cross-Under Bitless Bridle By Dr. Robert Cook I am proud that my company, The Bitless Bridle Inc. is sponsoring CHA. Our objectives are so compatible that the ‘marriage’ might have been made in horse heaven. For 57 years, I have been a veterinary surgeon and teacher, with a research focus on the […]

Are There Thief Horses in Your Barn?

Are There Thief Horses in Your Barn? By Doug Emerson At some point, all professional horsemen realize that they can’t keep forever every good horse that ever walked into the barn. Buying and later selling horses is an unavoidable part of the horse business. There is no doubt about it, becoming fond of your horses […]

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 […]

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 […]

Teach the 3 Different Ways that People Learn

Teaching Tack Room A good reminder for instructors, as we approach the busy teaching season, comes directly from the newly released CHA Instructor’s Manual. People learn in three different ways: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. The auditory learner will benefit most from the explanations that accompany any effective lesson, while the visual learner will learn more […]
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