Tag Archives: horse riding

Warm-up arena etiquette

When it comes to competing at a show, both horse and rider usually find the warm-up arena more stressful than the actual ring. The warm-up arena is a chaotic place, and a rider who doesn’t exercise arena courtesy only makes things worse. A rider who gets in the way is not only frustrating but also poses a danger to the ...

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Your first away show

South Africa’s equestrian disciplines host various national shows every year, with many riders making the journey to other provinces to compete. An away show is an exciting experience for you and your horse, and it gives you the opportunity to compete in a bigger, more diverse pool of riders. Thorough preparation and a good understanding of the show is key ...

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Nissan Easter Festival dressage riders ready to dance

Held at Kyalami Equestrian Park from 24 March – 2 April 2018, the 10 day equestrian show is ready to wow audiences from far and wide. With free entrance, the public are encouraged to witness the finest dressage South Africa has to offer. Often referred to as ‘the highest expression of horse training,’ dressage is the equestrian discipline whereby both ...

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Ready for Nissan Easter Festival: Nicola Sime-Riley

Who are the horses that you’ll be competing on at this years NEF? Sunny Park Stables Elpaso and Fulvic Connoisseur in the 1.50m. Tell us about your horses’ personalities? They are both triers. Elpaso has a lot of personality – he squeals and bucks when he’s having fun. Con can have that ‘wild side’ at times and I call him ...

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Which is the most difficult Derby course in the world?

The Hamburg Derby is considered the most difficult in the world, and the original course was designed by Eduard Pulvermann, a hunt rider. He was never able to jump the dyke without incurring faults, hence its name, ‘Pulvermann’s Grave’. The course is reminiscent of old military tests, when cavalry horses were required to negotiate all types of obstacles as they ...

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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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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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