Horse Channel

What are signs that a horse is resisting the contact?

The most obvious sign that a horse has not accepted the contact is resistance. This can be displayed through snatching, falling behind, grabbing and hollowing. Snatching Horses usually snatch at the reins when you grip them too tightly. This can usually be fixed by gently sponging to encourage softness and suppleness. Don’t confuse this with sawing (pulling the bit from ...

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How can you teach a horse to be more reactive to the aids?

The principle of action is reaction. Horses naturally yield away from pressure. It is very helpful to teach the horse to move away from pressure, like in the washing place when you ask the horse to step aside. For example, when you place your hand on the hindquarters (action) and the horse steps aside to make room for you (reaction), ...

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When is a horse considered ‘on the bit?’

Riders in today’s age have lost sight of what it means for a horse to be ‘on the bit’. The expression has become associated with submission and obedience of the horse, and the aesthetic look of the horse with his head down and ‘in a frame’. Although we don’t know where the actual expression came from, being ‘on the bit’ ...

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9 tips to choosing the right coach

All instructors have their own personal style of teaching, which will work for some but not for others. As a rider, you will likely change instructors a few times as you grow up, become more or less competitive, or change disciplines or yards. There are several factors we consider when choosing a coach, and we take a closer look at ...

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Creating connections: what true contact should feel like

Riding can sometimes be an overwhelming minefield of both terminology and analogy, leaving the rider not entirely sure of what they are meant to be striving for. Here we demystify one of the most basic and yet complex concepts: the contact. We discuss what it means, what it should feel like, and how you can achieve a good hand-holding with your ...

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Holiday help: peace of mind while you’re away

Whenever we get to this time of year, it’s time to start thinking about putting your horses and yard in safe hands while you’re away. Whether you’re on a smallholding with two or three horses on your property, or run a full-time livery yard, you want someone you can trust to care for your horses as if they were their ...

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From groom to rider

There are many good reasons to invest in expanding your groom’s skill set. For a start, he is the one spending the most time with your horse, some 10 (or more) hours a day. This intensive care can add to marginal gains in competition horses, adding a few percent to your marks or leaving more poles up, or can quite ...

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How to fit a Western saddle

Unlike the more commonly known English saddles, Western saddles are made up of a solid wooden or fibreglass tree, and are therefore not easily adjustable. There are various types of Western saddles, categorised by design for their particular discipline, be it barrel racing, reining, roping or Western pleasure. In South Africa, Western saddles are hard to come by and are ...

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Horses and humans in harmony – The healing ways of Oppistal

Oppistal is a fully fledged equestrian facility situated in the beautiful Cradle of Humankind. They strive to create harmony between humans and horses. Yolanda Steyn, director of Oppistal, believes that horses can assist humans to balance them spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. If one doesn’t deal with an issue on a spiritual, emotional or mental level, the issue will present ...

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Bun in the oven – The development of a foal

It’s very exciting to be involved in breeding a live, healthy foal. Besides, who doesn’t love the sound of tiny hooves cantering around in the paddock alongside your beautiful mare? In part one, which appeared in the July issue (HQ124), we explored the mare’s reproductive cycle. We now look at the stages of gestation of the pregnant mare. Falling pregnant ...

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