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Training

The Mystery of Marengo

June 2018

The life of a war horse in Napoleon’s Grande Armée was hard, dangerous, and usually short. Nearly a quarter of a million French cavalry horses died on campaign between 1805 and 1815. Most of these were killed during his disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. 

Helmets: 20 (More) Reasons to Put a Lid on It

June 2018

Horse riding is dangerous. I’m not going to go into the statistics on horse-related injury and fatality because they are far from straightforward. Do you calculate injury rates per ride, per hour spent in the saddle or per jump attempt?  Suffice to say that all accidents range from annoying to tragic, and the statistics for any sport as a whole are not going to matter when an accident happens to you or someone you know. 

Bottoming Out

June 2018

In hindsight, this is what I think happened. Dante was sore. He has a long back and a lean build. At five, he’s physically immature. He is growing quickly and his saddle had become tight on his shoulders in the three months since it had last been adjusted.  His soreness corresponded to me injuring my knee (not horse-related). As we were both developing our soreness issues, I made a couple of mistakes. I can see them as mistakes in hindsight, but at the time didn’t realise I was doing the wrong thing. In fact, I thought I was doing the right thing. 

How to Fit a Bit and Bridle Correctly

March 2016

As horse owners, we have a responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of our horses. Every time you ride, your position, posture and aids have a direct impact on your horse. But, how can you successfully communicate with your horse if your tack is creating discomfort or, at worst, causing your horse severe pain? Often, we’re confronted with behavioural difficulties that can be fixed by routinely checking our tack for wear and correct fit. Does your horse lug? Do they chew the bit? Do they open the mouth or try to get the tongue over the bit? Do they tip their head?

Why Does My Horse... Put His Tongue Over the Bit?

May 2018

Sometimes, horses get their tongues over the bit. When this happens, the tongue may loll out of the mouth in a very unsightly way, and all hope of achieving a good contact or communication line with the horse’s mouth will be lost. In horse racing, it is believed a tongue over the bit will impair the horse’s airway. 

Are You a Rider or a Trainer?

April 2018

Humans have loved horses and their movement since the time of the Lascaux cave paintings of the Ice Age. But, the question I would like to ask is: Have horses loved humans? I’ve spent 40 years in the horse industry in different countries. From mucking out, grooming, tacking up, riding and competing to finally, in the last 20 years, becoming an equine rehabilitation professional, it has been a long and sometimes difficult road. 

Mythbusters

March 2018

Together with Dr Petra Buckley, Senior Lecturer in Equine Studies at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, we challenged students to bust some common myths and misconceptions about horse training and management. You may find the results surprising. In case you’d like to continue your own research, we’ve included a list of the full references, so head over to Google Scholar and see the science for yourself. Myth #1: Two-year-old racing damages young horses Words by Erin Sykes, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga

A Jump Ahead: From Basics to Big Jumps

March 2018

For professional coaches and aspiring jumping riders, internationally renowned equestrian coach Jen Marsden Hamilton imparts her wisdom attained from a 45-year coaching and competitive career in her debut book, ‘A Jump Ahead: From Basics to Big Jumps’. Published by Horses and People Magazine and developed in partnership with Editor-in-Chief Cristina Wilkins and graphic designer Liz Hardy, Jen’s full-colour book illuminates her proven and successful training methods with beautiful photos, detailed illustrations and her trademark wit.

A Royal Expectation

February 2018

Welcome to ‘Horses and People in Art’, a regular column where we explore the history of horsemanship in art through the lens of rider position, equitation science, horse management and key horse world issues.  Velazquez’s Equestrian Portrait of Prince Balthasar Charles is not only a masterpiece, but an image that evokes, for the present-day horsey viewer, the pleasure of seeing small children riding their ponies with confidence. 

The Confident Horse

February 2018

We talk a lot about confident riders, about losing our own confidence with horses and about strategies to re-gain confidence, but what about the horse’s confidence? Surely that’s just as important. After all, our horse is the other half of the partnership. What is confidence? For riders, confidence is about knowing what might happen next. We talked about this in more detail in the previous article ‘Skyrocket your Confidence’, so, if you missed it, go to: http://bit.ly/2qVgsrW. 

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