Tag Archives: equestrian

What is the maximum weight that a recreational horse can carry?

Horses can carry between 12% and 20% of their body weight, but body weight is not the only factor that decides if it is justified to carry a certain amount of weight. You have to look at the muscles, build and breed of the horse in order to make a safe observation and conclusion. Is the back weak or strong? ...

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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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How do I know when it’s time for my horse to retire?

Many horses retire due to an injury that dictates a poor or impossible working life post diagnosis. Leg injuries, back injuries and disease are the leading cause for working and competitive horses being retired. However, some horses tick on well into their golden years with no obvious signs of trouble – so how do we know when it’s time to ...

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How often do horses have twins?

Nature does not favour the birth of equine twins, and many mares will abort within the first 40 days of pregnancy. Of the mares who carry twins longer than six weeks, 80% will abort during the eighth month of pregnancy. Aborting so late in the pregnancy can cause all sorts of complications for the mare, such as trauma, illness, infection ...

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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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