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Show Season! It’s

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Publisher Jim Hargrove Editor John Hawfield Advertising Sales Manager Colt Williams

www.horsesmagazine.com • Horses Magazine has no liability for content, representations in advertisements, and articles may not express the opinion of the editors/publishers/owners. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to clarify any and all advertising representations. We cannot be held responsible for any representations concerning a horse’s health, eye status, disposition, gait or any other aspect of the horse. Any burden of proof rests solely on the advertisers. • Horses Magazine reserves the right to edit or refuse any advertising or articles submitted for publication. We do not assume any liability for errors, but will correct it in next issue or a credit will be negotiated. Designs by Horses Magazine are the property of Horses Magazine. • Articles, editorials opinions in Horses Magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of Horses Magzine or the publishers. • Address changes must be sent in 6 weeks in advance, magazines are not forwarded by the U.S. Post Office. • Copyright 2017 by Jim Hargrove Creative, Inc. All or part of Horses Magazine, including logos, cannot be reprinted without permission. • Horses Magazine is published twelve times a year by Jim Hargrove Creative, Inc., 2730 Lansing Rd., Bancroft, MI 48414

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2018 Equine Affaire: 25 Years in the Making Horsepeople of all levels of expertise from 4-H riders, Pony Clubbers, and others just beginning their riding careers to accomplished equestrians, trainers, and equine professionals will be able to immerse themselves in “all things equine” at the 2018 Equine Affaire scheduled to take place April 12th through the 15th at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus.  This year’s event will be the 25th show in Ohio and the 57th Equine Affaire produced nationwide by Equine Affaire, Inc., a small company based in London, Ohio.  When work initially began on the first Equine Affaire back in 1993, the show was nothing more than one person’s “good idea.”  That idea for an event that would bring all facets of the horse industry together in an education-oriented,

noncompetitive environment was soon enthusiastically embraced by horse people and horse businesses alike, and Equine Affaire quickly evolved into a multi-faceted, must-attend show serving the horse community.

Dayton, Ohio” explained Eugenia Snyder, President and founder of Equine Affaire, Inc. “I created this event with the hope of bringing horse people affiliated with all different breeds and disciplines together so that we could share our passion for horses and learn from one another.  The success of Equine Affaire over the years is a real tribute to the hard work and dedication of a lot of horse people and horse-related businesses that have participated in and supported the event since its inception.  We’ve accomplished a lot together and have created an institution that benefits horses, horse people, and the horse industry overall.”  Today Equine Affaire enjoys a solid reputation and place in the horse industry thanks to the participation and support over the past 25 years of countless clinicians, presenters, performers, farm owners, associations,

“It’s hard to believe that 25 years have passed since we produced our first event at the Hara Arena Complex in

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organizations, retailers, manufacturers, sponsors, and horse people from all walks of equestrian life. The exact impact of Equine Affaire is difficult to measure, but the 56 events that have been produced since the first show in March of 1994 have clearly touched the lives of many hundreds of thousands of horse people and several thousand horse businesses and organizations throughout the nation. Along the way they have also served an even larger and perhaps more important goal of improving our understanding and appreciation of horses and improving their lives through the education of their owners and handlers. Equine Affaire is aptly named—as it continues to be a celebration of our love of horses. Equine Affaire’s “Silver Anniversary” event will offer what Equine Affaire has become famous for:  an educational program that is second-to-none, the largest horse-related

trade show in this hemisphere, top equine entertainment and competition, and endless opportunities to experience, buy, and sell horses of all types. Whether you are just becoming involved with horses or you’re a seasoned veteran of the horse world, your destination of choice this spring will be Equine Affaire—North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering. At a time when so much of what we do and experience is through online avenues, Equine Affaire offers the grand alternative to see, feel, touch, compare, try on, experience and even smell the horse world in person . . . to share one’s love of horses with others who feel the same.  Equine Affaire is about first-hand opportunities to witness great horses, learn from top equestrians, shop for all things equine, research, connect, hang out with fellow horse people and immerse one’s self in the world of horses. At the heart of Equine Affaire is an educational program designed to help horsemen of all riding and driving persuasions reach their equestrian goals at home, on the trail, or in a competitive arena. Hundreds of clinics, seminars and demos by many of the foremost trainers, coaches, competitors, judges, TV personalities, and industry professionals will be presented in seven venues.  Clinic topics will cover the gamut from the English disciplines of dressage, jumping, eventing, driving, English pleasure and hunter under saddle through the western sports of reining, western horsemanship, barrel racing, contesting, and trail.

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New riders and horse owners of all ages may also acquire basic horse and horsemanship expertise through demos, video presentations, interactive exhibits, and special activities at Equine Affaire’s Equine Fundamentals Forum sponsored by Nutramax. And, if you’ve never ridden a horse or haven’t ridden in a long time, you’ll have an opportunity to connect or reconnect with horses this spring. Equine Affaire is partnering with the American Horse Council’s Time to Ride program to provide opportunities for new and aspiring horse lovers to have their first encounter with a horse—to learn about the basics of horses, horse care, horsemanship, and to actually ride a horse for the first time. 

farm and stable-related exhibitors as well as a seminar stage featuring sessions focusing on the horse’s home and environment and covering a wide range of topics for owners of horse farms of all sizes. Discover ways you can improve your equine operation and horse’s world and learn about other farm activities and animals.

demos throughout the weekend. Get up close and personal with equines from miniatures to drafts, gaited to easy gaited breeds, and stock horses to sport horses. Representatives of dozens of horse, pony, color, and breed associations and registries will be on hand to answer your questions and share their exceptional horses with you.

Students hoping to pursue equinerelated studies and careers will be able to research college programs and career options by participating in a new Career/College Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, April 14. The hunt will be an engaging way to meet a variety of industry professionals and college representatives.

Equine Affaire is expanding its educational offerings this year with the introduction of the Your Farm Forum, sponsored by Equine Equipment and located in the Bricker Annex. This new specialty area will include a range of

Of course the true focus of Equine Affaire is obviously horses, and you’ll find plenty of ways to discover and appreciate the amazing diversity of the horse world in the Breed Pavilion, Horse & Farm Exhibits, and breed

Equine Affaire’s popular test of horsemanship, the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition, will once again be an entertaining as well as educational part of the event. Up to 25 pre-selected horse and rider teams will race through a challenging obstacle course in the coliseum on Friday, April 13, in pursuit of $5500 and the coveted title of Versatile Horse & Rider Competition Champion. Visit equineaffaire.com, click on the Ohio event, and follow the links to detailed information on everything that Equine Affaire has to offer—and everything you need to know.

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Lynn Palm

Correcting The In It is back to the circle pattern we used in the last article about “Falling Out” to learn how to identify, anticipate, and correct the second of two common problems that can occur when turning --- when I explained how to properly use the bending and turning aids to correct the problem know as falling out. This week I will explain the problem caused by loss of balance in the horse’s body position called falling in. When a horse is not bending through a turn, he could easily fall in. It may be

more of an issue when turning in one direction than the other. Falling in is like a tripping effect, much like if you were to stumble and almost fall. The horse quickens his steps to catch his balance as you would too if you tripped. Falling in may show up as the horse dropping the inside shoulder in a turn, cutting the corner or squaring the corner, or making a turn smaller as a result of not bending while turning. It is the rider’s responsibility to recognize when the horse is

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falling and know how to correct it using the bending aids and make a wider turn.

same track where the front legs take off. This is called straight while bending.

The goal for both the bending and turning aids is to control the horse’s body position and his balance. We will use a circle pattern to demonstrate how to correct falling in while bending and turning through a turn.

If a horse, while turning along the arc of a circle, travels too far off the curve and drifts to the inside we say he is falling in. He has lost the proper bend in his

Start at the walk and bring the horse on a large circle once again to the right. Remember to turn correctly the rider must get the horse bending correctly first. Let’s review those aids. Before the turn bend the horse using the bending aids, the inside leg and open inside rein. At the same, time support the bend with the outside leg applied slightly farther back on the horse’s barrel than the inside leg, and outside indirect rein against the neck to support the flexion of the head and curve of the neck and shoulders. Use the turning aids, the outside leg and outside indirect rein, to direct him through the turn and follow the circle. If he is straight, the bend in his body from poll to tail (the horse’s spine) will conform to the same arc as that of the circle. The horse being straight while bending means the hind legs track directly into the same track as his front legs. His body alignment stays straight even while bending and turning, His head and neck stay in the middle of the shoulders while curving and his shoulders stay in line with the hips. The hind legs are directly under the hips and the front legs are directly under the shoulders. The hind legs track directly in the

body. His head and neck are positioned too far to the outside while his shoulders and hindquarters have left the arc of the circle to the inside. The rider will notice quickness or increase of speed because of the tripping effect. Think about what happens when we lose our balance. Our legs don’t slow, but quicken to regain it. The same thing happens to the horse.

problem! The inside leg, in this example the right leg, is the most prominent correction aid. Move the horse out with the inside leg and inside rein. Support the horse bending right with the inside leg and indirect inside rein to move the shoulders to the left and also not allowing the neck to bend too much. Move the horse out with inside rein and leg. The rider may also have to use an open left rein to encourage the horse to go wide to the left while not allowing the neck to bend too much. The outside (left) leg reminds the horse to stay forward at the walk, trot, or canter.

A horse tends to fall in when heading back to the gate or barn.

The turning aids, the outside rein and outside leg, are not as prominent when the horse is falling in. This is because he is already turning too fast. Use the inside aids more and keep the horse wider on a curve so he does not turn so fast. When the rider can get the horse going wider while curving, the turning aids can be very minimal to get him to turn.

To correct falling in when on a circle to the right, use the inside leg slightly behind the girth to move the horse out toward to the left to make the circle bigger and bring his barrel (body) and hips back on the circle. Use the inside (right) rein, now an indirect against the neck, to bring his shoulders back to the left and on the circle. Note: the rein cannot be a stronger aid than the leg because it will bend the neck and bring the head flexed inward too much. This will cause more of the horse’s weight to be placed his right front leg, which will swing the hips out—leading to another balance

Make sure you perfect the walk, then go to the trot work and last to the canter. If you have troubles with your aids coordination or your hands continue to take charge, go back to the slower gait and continue to perfect this. Here’s a tip for improving both the horse and rider. Always repeat the exercise on horse’s stiffer side at least one more time that direction than his better side. Repeat the direction and double the number of repetitions on the rider’s weaker side, too. By “doubling up” practice in the weaker direction of the horse and rider, both will have greater opportunity to improve.

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Richard Winters

Hay or Cubes? That’s the Question With Richard Winters Horse-

horses have been eating is always a

A huge benefit of feeding cubes was the

challenge. Now, when I am three states

ability for each horse to get a consistent

I travel extensively throughout the

away from home, and out of feed, I can

amount of feed each time. As you know,

United States, with my horses, conduct-

go into almost any feed or Tractor Sup-

baled hay is fed in flakes that vary in

ing horsemanship clinic’s and seminars.

ply store and purchase hay cubes that

size and weight. Feeding two flakes

It’s not unusual for us to load up two or

are very similar to what my horses have

from one bale might mean ten pounds.

three horses and be gone for

been eating. Even at home, it is often

Two flakes tomorrow might equal

manship

two months at a time. Keep-

fifteen pounds. With inexpe-

ing my horses on a consistent

rienced young people the hay

diet and feed regiment can

cubes filled to a certain level in

be a challenge. I load up as

a bucket insured consistency

many bales of hay as I can

for each feeding.

before leaving home. How-

My daughter and son-in-

ever, after a couple weeks I’m

law are professional reined

running low and need to find

cow horse trainers who also

a new source of feed and I’m

feed hay cubes. Horses are

thousands of miles away from

constantly coming and going

my original hay source. With

at their facility. With over

that in mind, I’ve done some

forty head of horses, they have

research and have made a

had no problem with horses

decision to share this infor-

transitioning and doing well

mation with you.

with the cubes. Traveling to horse shows throughout the

Over the years, I have literally fed hundreds of tons

year, they also like the avail-

of baled hay. Starting this

ability of cubes, no matter

month, I’m switching over

where the need arises.

to hay cubes. Hay cubes are

Cost-effectiveness is im-

simply regular hay that has

portant. I’ve been concerned

been chopped and com-

that hay cubes are generally

pressed into small bite-size pieces. Hay cubes can be purchased by the bag or in bulk. They are often available with straight alfalfa or a blend of alfalfa and oat or grass hay. The minimum protein level is printed on each bag allowing

difficult to consistently purchase the same type and quality of hay throughout the year. Hay cubes will give me the consistency that I’m looking for. I was first introduced to feeding large

a little more expensive per pound then baled hay. However, when I realistically look at all the wasted hay around my haystack, in the stalls, and ultimately in my maneuver bin, I think I’ll be money ahead. Even if my horses are good

the consumer to decide what forage mix

numbers of horses hay cubes during my

about cleaning up all of their hay, just

is appropriate for the horses they feed.

ten years at The Thacher School. Over

moving baled hay around for transport

100 horses were fed hay cubes twice

and feeding leaves a lot

When I’m on the road, finding hay that is consistent with what my

daily where each young person was responsible for feeding their own horse.

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of waste on the ground that gets


raked up and ultimately discarded. No matter how careful I am it seems there’s always a portion of my baled hay that gets wet and moldy, especially in the winter months. That’s money down the drain. Not only is it costly, it is also dangerous should my horses eat hay that has gotten rain damaged and moldy. Hay cubes are processed in a manner where the moisture level is constantly monitored. Mold is not a problem. There’s also little to no dust with the cubes, which is a big plus with my horses. Hay purchased at the feed store is generally sold by the bale. However, bales vary greatly by weight. I might buy a bale of hay for $18 that weighs 125 pounds. The feed store down the road advertises hay at $15 a bale. That sounds like a better deal. However their hay bales only weigh 100 pounds. This is something you have to watch closely if you’re trying to get the best deal. Hay cubes are always purchased by the pound so you know exactly how much you are getting for your money, that’s important to me. People are often concerned about the possibility of “choke” or “colic” with horses that are fed processed feeds such as cubes. In my own experience, I observed approximately one hundred horses being fed cubes over multiple years. I’m

moving forward. You might have a feeding

experience. If you’d like more informa-

not aware of ever seeing a choking

regiment that works very well for you. If

tion, I found a great article from the Ken-

episode. Colic was also rare. I also

you’re happy with your feeding program,

tucky Equine Research Inc. The article

looked for research that indicated

and its results, then there’s probably no

was titled “Nutrition and Convenience in

increased physical problems with

need to change. If you can relate to some

Cube Form.” Shoot me an email with your

feeding cubes. I was unable to come

of my experiences, than switching to this

thoughts to richard@wintersranch.com

up with any information to validate

alternate feed source might be an option

and I’ll tell you how it’s going with us,

that assumption.

for you as well. This is a major change

straight from the horse’s mouth!

Now you know my plan of attack

for us. I would be curious to know your Download and View FREE on-line at www.horsesmagazine.com • April 2018 • HORSES MAGAZINE • 9


Do You Have A Question?

Equine Law Topics Damage Caused by Boarded Horses -- Who Pays for It? Broken pasture fences, broken gates, stall dividers kicked through, wash rack hoses and nozzles broken, stall walls bitten through, stall doors broken off of their hinges. For many boarding stables, breaks and damages to the property like these are to be expected. The question is, who should pay for them? How should a boarding contract address this issue? Certainly, boarding stable owners and managers have their own preferences about the cost of repairs. This article discusses options for boarding contracts involving repair costs for damage to the property caused by boarded horses. Option One: Boarding Stable Pays for Everything For some boarding stable owners, repairing damage around the stable is simply the cost of doing business, and the stable will pay for all damages when they occur, regardless of amount. Possibly, the stable may have planned ahead for these expenses by including an extra amount in its monthly boarding fee for anticipated repair costs. This option also takes into account the possibility that the stable might be unable to identify which horse caused the damage at issue. Option Two: Shared Expense Boarding stable owners might view damage as a shared expense between the stable and horse owner, depending on the size of the repair bill. A boarding contract could state, for example, that the boarding stable pays for all damage repairs, including materials and labor, up to $150, and thereafter the owner must reimburse the stable for repair costs exceeding this amount. Certainly, the stable’s maximum amount in the contract will depend on its preferences. Option Three: Owner Pays for All Damages

even arrange) all repairs. In their contracts, these stables can specify that the stable will bill the horse owner for reimbursement for all damage the boarded horse does to the facilities (except for reasonable wear and tear). Provisions like this are more commonly found in boarding arrangements where the owner, not the stable, provides care to the horse on the stable’s property. Conclusion Horse owners and stable owners benefit from carefully written boarding contracts. The issue of damages on the property is one of many fine points that a thorough boarding contract can address.

This article does not constitute legal advice. When questions arise based on specific situations, direct them to a knowledgeable attorney.

Julie Fershtman is considered to be one of the nation’s leading attorneys in the field of equine law. A frequent author and speaker on legal issues, she has written over 400 published articles, three books, and has lectured at seminars, conventions, and conferences in 29 states on issues involving law, liability, risk management, and insurance. For more information, please also visit www. fershtmanlaw. com and www. equinelaw.net, and www.equinelaw. info.

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Kentucky’s

Mountain Pleasure Horses

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Kentucky’s

Mountain Pleasure Horses

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The Way of the Horse

Canine or Wolf Teeth? By Eleanor Blazer

During a conversation with a new horse owner she casually mentioned her trainer had recommended she have the canine teeth removed from her mare. After asking a few questions I figured out either the trainer or she had the canine teeth confused with wolf teeth. This is a common mix-up.

Wolf teeth have nerves and a sensitive periodontal ligament that helps hold them in place, and they can cause problems. During training or if the horse tosses his

Horses basically have two types of teeth – incisors and molars. The incisors are across the front. Mature horses will have six on the bottom and six on the top, for a total of 12. The incisors are used for nipping off blades of grass during grazing.

All four wolf teeth may erupt, only one, several or none at all. The teeth that do not break above the gum line are called “blind”. Wolf teeth do not continue to erupt throughout the horse’s lifetime like the other molars.

Wolf teeth should be removed as early as possible, generally when the horse is a yearling and before starting training. At this time the tooth has not matured and fused to the surrounding bone. Consult a qualified equine dentist or veterinarian as wolf teeth contain nerves, blood vessels and the strong ligament which will need to be detached. The horse will require mild sedation. Do not allow anyone to use a hammer and chisel to knock the wolf tooth out. This is very painful to the horse. Part of the root may be left behind and nerves exposed, leading to more problems.

Molars are located behind the interdental space (bars). Adult horses will have four premolars and three molars – top and bottom, on each side, for a total of 28. Molars are used for chewing and grinding the feed. Wolf teeth are premolars with short roots. They are the first set of teeth just past the interdental space. Wolf teeth are present in both males and females, and generally develop during the first six to 12 months of age.

will be placed. Frequently this misplaced wolf tooth is blind and hard to detect, but very sensitive.

head, the bit may come in contact with the sensitive tooth resulting in an undesirable reaction - another head toss, another clang against the wolf tooth and another head toss. Even the blind wolf tooth can be sensitive causing the horse to react when the bit makes contact with the area. Wolf teeth can also erupt in different locations. Instead of being right next to the adjacent premolar the wolf tooth may be closer to the interdental space where the bit

Between the age of four and six years another set of teeth will appear in male horses. This set is neither incisors nor molars, but are canine teeth or “tushes”. Canine teeth will be located behind the third incisors, in front of the interdental space. A gap will separate the third incisor from the canine tooth. Some mares may develop canines; generally they will be small buds. Canine teeth do not serve a purpose, but can be used for fighting. The removal of canine teeth is not recommended. The roots are very deep and

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removal would be considered major surgery. If the horse is using the canine teeth for aggression veterinarians recommend the teeth be trimmed and buffed. Care must be taken that not too much is trimmed as the pulp can be exposed. This also leaves the teeth viable in case they need to be used as an anchor during a jaw fracture repair. Canine teeth should not interfere with the bit. If the bit is hanging low enough to clang against the canine teeth the bridle is not adjusted correctly. Handlers must pay attention when removing the bridle – slowly lower the headstall which will allow the horse to work the bit over the canines, so the bit will gently drop out of the mouth. Canine teeth can be very painful when

they are erupting or coming in. Trainers and riders of young horses should be aware

canine teeth are erupting, once they are in the sensitivity will diminish. A tip on how to remember the difference between a canine and wolf tooth: “canine” starts with a “c’, as does “colt” and “corner”. The canine tooth is primarily found in male horses and located in the corners of the mouth; wolf teeth can be found in both sexes and are farther back.

of the changes going on within the mouth during this time. Just be patient while the

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Clinton Anderson

You Have To Be Willing To Change First If you want your horse to change, you have to be willing to change first. That is the most important concept you can understand when it comes to training horses. When I was an apprentice for Ian Francis, he often said to me, “To change your life, you must first change your attitude.” Ian believes, as do I, that if you’re unhappy with the current state of your life, you need to change your attitude and perceive your life the way you’d like for it to be and in turn follow through with the action to make it happen.

I’ve incorporated that saying into training horses – “If you want to change your horse, you must first change the way you interact with him.” When you interact with your horse in a way that he understands, you’ll get results. But if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results. If you want a different reaction from your horse and want to progress your horsemanship, you’ll have to change the way you work around him and start seeing things from his point of view.

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There’s a certain mindset in the horse industry that completely ignores that theory. A lot of people want their horses to change and are forever complaining about them, “My horse does this. Or, my horse does that. I don’t like this. Or, I don’t like that.” All that might be true, but guess what? Your horse’s behavior is a direct result of how you are interacting with him. This is something people don’t like to hear, but you’ll notice one thing about me, I don’t necessarily tell people what they want to


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hear, but I do tell them the truth, and there is a difference. If your horse is training really well, and he’s behaving, you’re doing a darn good job. You’re being a good leader and a great teacher. You’re taking the steps necessary to gain his respect and you’re working on gaining control of his five body parts. On the other hand, if your horse is acting sorry and disrespectful, it’s because you’re doing a bad job of training him. People don’t like to hear this because it puts all the responsibility back on us. Ultimately, it really does come back to us.

If you want your horse’s behavior to change, you have to be willing to change yourself first. A lot of people are unhappy with their horse’s performance, but they’re unwilling to change themselves and the way they interact with their horse. People come up to me all the time and ask, “Clinton, have you ever met a horse that couldn’t be trained?” My answer is no, but I’ve met millions of owners who didn’t want to be trained. Every horse is trainable, but not every person is

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trainable because they don’t want to learn new ideas. Horsemanship can be easy if you’re willing to put in the effort. But you have to be willing to work at it and have a burning desire to be the best horseman you can be. The Foundation of A Respectful Relationship I’ve dedicated my life to learning about horses and helping people understand how their horses think and act so that they can work safely with them and enjoy the experience. I’m not a naturally gifted horseman, but I have worked hard at becoming the best horseman I can be. When I started Downunder Horsemanship, I knew there were people just like me who were frustrated and not enjoying their horses because they didn’t understand how to effectively communicate with them. The key is understanding your horse and knowing why he reacts the way he does. Every horse is different and will teach you while you’re teaching him. When a horse and rider understand each other, they develop a strong bond of mutual trust and respect. There is almost no limit to what a horse and rider can accomplish when they work together.


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Richard Winters

One Rein At A Time With Richard Winters

During my travels, while conducting horsemanship clinics, I am constantly stressing the importance of one rein control and communication. I often observe riders pulling back with both reins to slow down and to control their horse. While other riders are using their reins to help them keep their balance.

With this exercise firmly established, I do a lot of one rein exercises to keep my horse soft and responsive.

Bending To A Walk I will begin this exercise by trotting a medium-size circle. When it is my idea I will use my inside rein and inside leg to bend my horse into a smaller circle. I will bend my horse tight enough that the trotting is no longer comfortable, yet not so much as to cause my horse to disengage and stop. When my horse’s feet slow down to the walk, I will ease my horse out of the tight circle and perhaps trot off again. Using only one rein teaches my horse downward transitions without causing him to brace up and lean on two reins.

This kind of riding causes horses to brace against the pressure of the reins and lean into the riders hands. Certainly the endgame is to pick up on both reins and have the horse soften and break at the pole. The horse should also willingly slow down or stop and back up when both reins are used. However, to get to that spot, one rein communication will facilitate that end result. At the risk of sounding too elementary, lateral flexion is key to unresponsiveness or ultimate control for your horse. Starting at a standstill, you should be able to slide one hand down the rein and ask your horse’s face to bend around to your boot. When your horse’s feet are standing still, and he is not pulling against your hand, you should release. Riders tell me they know how to execute this exercise. Yet, oftentimes it’s not a willing and soft response that I observe, from their horse, when asked to perform lateral flexion. Remember, this is not just an exercise to perform in “kindergarten” and then disregard when the horse is no longer considered “green.” Lateral flexion is something I check out and work on every time I ride.

circles actually cause my horse to regulate his own speed.

Bending To A Stop

One Rein Figure Eights Trotting small circles and figure eights will teach my horse how to follow his nose and track a well-balanced circle. Using only my inside rein, I will use subtle bumps rather than steady pulling to keep my horse looking and tracking in the desired direction. I will also use my inside leg to help my horse arc his body in the established direction. My outside hand and leg are “neutral” and inactive at this point. When I’m ready to change directions I will simply switch to the opposite hand and leg. This exercise also helps a horse regulate his speed and forward momentum. Rather than pulling back with both reins to slow my horse, the small

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This is sometimes called an “emergency stop.” Bending my horse to a stop is a good exercise that teaches my horse to connect the feel of the rein and bit to what his feet are doing. While walking or trotting, I will slide one hand down the rein and draw it up to my hip pocket. I will also apply some inside leg pressure. Now I have my horse bent enough to disengage his hindquarters and close down forward momentum. When my horse’s feet quit moving and he is no longer pulling on my hand I will release and let him rest. I am ending with what we described previously as “lateral flexion.” The afore mentioned things are not the only ways in which I communicate with my reins. However, a lot of one rein guidance will go a long way in creating a more supple and controllable horse.


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April 2018  

April 2018 Horses Magazine

April 2018  

April 2018 Horses Magazine