Tag Archives: schooling

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 does it mean if a rider has a hot seat?

A ‘hot seat’ is a pushy seat where the rider sits ‘on top’ of the horse, instead of ‘around’ the horse and ‘in’ the saddle. The cause of this problem could be a number of things and most often it can be traced back to the centre of the body: the buttocks, lower abdomen, lower back, pelvis and seat bones. ...

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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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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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Effects of training too hard, too soon

It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to school a young horse and see the progress through many hours of training, time and effort. However, all too often riders and trainers get carried away too quickly, and we subject the young horse to injury – not intentionally, but it can happen nonetheless. We explore the main training injuries sustained by ...

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Is the young horse right as a first horse?

Why is it that young horses often seem to end up as a rider’s first horse? The answer is simple: they’re affordable. Most riders don’t want to spend an outright fortune on their first horse, and are looking for something they can keep for a long time and really build to be their own. The logic? A young horse, probably ...

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Working equitation

Working equitation, better known by its Spanish name Doma Vaquera, can literally be translated into ‘schooling of the stock horse’. This fast-growing international equestrian sport is also representative of one of the oldest riding disciplines in the world. Its origins lie in the need for European cowboys to practice the skills of their horses to enable them to work with ...

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The benefit of riding out

The saying, “A change is as good as a holiday,” is very relevant to the way we work our horses. Including regular outrides in the training schedule provides a mental and physical tonic for horses, and benefits them in numerous ways. Mental benefits “Two consecutive days of training in the arena is as much as most horses can mentally cope ...

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