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While EquestrianMag features mostly original and exclusive articles, every once in a while we come across a few articles that are too good not to pass along to our readers. This page highlights those articles.

Lets Do The Twist
In my 15 years riding horses I have worked with lots of tack, and even made some in the form of nose bands and martingales. I wanted to share a method, the readers can use for twisting a saddle stirrup, which will allow the stirrup to hang perpendicular to the horses body. ... Read the full article

Julie Goodnight Tip of the Month: Set Up For Success
Set up cones to help you plan transitions There's an old saying in horsemanship: "All of training occurs in transitions." A transition occurs any time you ask your horse to speed up or slow down-it is in the asking and your horse's compliance that the training occurs. Be precise with your transitions and try to execute them at a specific place. I like to keep markers set up around my arena, using cones or brightly colored duct tape on the fence, marking the mid-point on each side, as well as quarter marks on the long sides. This way, I can execute my upward and downward transitions right on the marks and learn more about my horse's preparation/response time and how precisely he follows my cues. Remember, practice does not make perfect-only perfect practice makes perfect!... Read the full article

Julie Goodnight Tip of the Month: A Bit of Comfort
"When connecting reins to the bit, I prefer to use a leather to leather connection for softness and a better feel. While having metal snaps in the ends of your reins is convenient for changing reins and repositioning your reins, the constant clinking of metal on metal can be irritating to your horse and makes it difficult to have a soft and steady feel on the reins. Some leather reins have a quick connect feature made of leather, which may not be as quick and convenient as a snap, but will give you a better feel on your horse's mouth."... Read the full article

Choosing the Right Bit
Before trying to choose the right bit for your horse you should get his teeth checked by a veterinarian. Sometimes the teeth may have sharp points or hooks that interfere with the use of the bit. A veterinarian can properly float the horse’s teeth and prevent problems that may occur down the road with bad teeth. Once the teeth are checked out, then you may begin deciding on which bit is best for your horse.... Read the full article

Julie Goodnight Tip of the Month: Stop Horses from Stomping
Flies can be a constant source of irritation to your horse in the summer. If your horse is spending most of his time biting, stomping and kicking at flies, he could be causing unnecessary wear and tear on his joints and it could present both a training problem and a safety problem for you. When I work with horses, I expect them to stand perfectly still on my command—not moving a single foot unless authorized by me. But I cannot expect him to stand still if flies are biting him. Also, getting head-butted by a horse that is swinging his head around to bite a fly or having your foot stomped on is neither pleasant nor safe for you. In addition to fly spray in the worst months, I use fly predators, an environmentally sound product that stops flies at their source and keeps my entire property virtually fly free. I also make sure my horses receive a joint supplement to help keep their joints safe and lubricated in case they’ve had to stomp too much in the past.... Read the full article

Palm Partnership Training® Tip of the Month: Ground Training is the Key to Reading the Horse and Overcoming Fears
Observing the horse on the ground gives a rider the tools to read her horse. A rider uses her eyes to interpret what the horse is thinking by watching his eyes, ears, tail, breathing, skin and overall body more easily then when riding. A rider can also learn more about her horse’s personality, sensitivity, fitness, energy, response or moods such as confidence, relaxation, worry, or boredom!... Read the full article

Bridle Path Trimming
Here's a quick tip about clipping your horse's bridle path. Although bridle path length varies in expectations with breed and discipline, in general, less is more. For Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred type horses, the bridle path should be fairly short-just long enough to accommodate the headstall of the bridle. For gaited breeds and the more 'upright' breeds, such as Arabians, Morgans and Saddlebreds, the bridle path is often cut long to enhance the look of the horse's long, elegant neck.... Read the full article

The Horse Whisperer In You
Is there a Horse Whisperer in you? According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the definition of a Horse Whisperer is a horse handler who adopts a sympathetic view of the motives, needs, and desires of the horse, based on natural horsemanship and modern equine psychology.... Read the full article

Choosing a Horse to Fit Your Personality
There are several things to consider when choosing a horse to fit your personality. Most importantly is what you want your horse to do, both the rider and the horse’s age, and the horse’s conformation.... Read the full article

Feeding the 21st Century Horse: How can breakdowns be prevented through nutrition?
With all eyes on the upcoming Preakness Stakes, the racing industry is holding its breath in hopes another Eight Belles tragedy won't happen then-or ever again. ... Read the full article

Julie Goodnight's "The Right Fit "
Is your horse's halter too snug or too loose? Does it hang down around his nose or squeeze his face, rubbing the hair away? Do you fit a rope halter the same as a webbed halter? How do you know if you horse's halter fits or what size halter he should wear? These are all legitimate questions and it is important to have a halter that fits your horse just right-for his comfort and his safety.... Read the full article

Personality Test Your Horse (or Yourself) in Just 5 Minutes Online at HorseHarmonyTest.com
If you’ve ever wished your horse came with an owner’s manual, a new web site may be just what the doctor ordered. Dr. Madalyn Ward D.V.M, author of “Horse Harmony, Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments” is now offering online horse and human per... Read the full article

Minding Manners at Feed Time
Is your horse cranky at feed time? Does he pin his ears, bare his teeth and stomp his feet? Or worse, does he grab the hay out of your arms and shove you aside? If your horse has bad manners at feed time, he may be displaying aggressive and dominant behavior because he thinks his actions are making you feed him. While this kind of behavior can be dangerous, it can also erode your authority with the horse and make him difficult to handle in other situations.... Read the full article

Lynn Palm ~ Palm Partnership Training® March Tip of the Month
Does your horse dread mane pulling? Want to know an easy way to pull mane hair “with roots” for your horse’s breed association registration?... Read the full article

Julie Goodnight 's Tip of the Month on Disengagement
Disengagement of the hindquarters occurs when your horse crosses his hind legs. Your horse's "motor" is in his hind end. So, when his hind legs cross, the engine is in neutral; your horse stops forward impulsion. Disengagement also encourages your horse to have a submissive attitude. You're taking away his flight response. Disengagement is a natural, voluntary behavior for horses and it signals contrition. In natural settings, it's only seen in neo-natal foals. Use disengagement as a tool to refocus your horse and stop his forward impulsion. You should be able to disengage your horse from the ground and from the saddle-both are easy to do. Simply drive your horse forward then tip his nose up and to the inside as he steps up under himself with his inside hind leg. Disengagement is thoroughly explained in articles and on instructional videos available at www.JulieGoodnight.com. ... Read the full article

Missy Wryn – WHolistic Horsemanship Story of the Month: The Turning Point – Pain vs. Attitude
As I began my journey of training horses many years ago there was one particular horse that was the turning point for me in recognizing pain as a source of behavior problems. I was called out to train a young Thoroughbred that was unruly with violent aggressive behavior. His birth had been extremely traumatic to his mother nearly losing her life, but through medical science and nothing short of miracles, the mare pulled through after three months in the hospital with her new foal at her side the entire time. Her foal became protective of his vulnerable mother when doctors and personnel entered the stall, but the owner thought it was cute that the foal was so protective and didn’t feel that training or correction was appropriate during this time of his mother’s recovery. ... Read the full article

4 Tips to Improve Leg Yields
People often tell me that their horses leg yield works very well as far as going sideways is concerned, but they tend to toss their heads and show resistance to the reins. In desperation, some riders even use a tie down to put pressure on the nose to discourage their horses from yanking at the reins.... Read the full article

Horses on Submarines: A Transportation Nightmare
When we talk about the submarine in a war, we immediately focus on the German U-boat effort during the colossal Battle of the Atlantic or the massive Soviet attempt to achieve parity with the United States in the nuclear delivery strike platforms during the Cold War. There’s even talk of Imperial Germany attempt to cut and starve the British Isles during the Great War, but seldom, if ever, the fact that submarines were used as transportation platforms for the transferring of, not only troops and war related materials, but animals, mainly combat horses; have not received any notice from historians. But such were the cases, especially during World War I. ... Read the full article

Ten Questions to Ask Before Evaluating an Equestrian Amenity
Horses have a unique emotional pull for people as so many of them are enjoyed during recreational activities. Kids are frequently the first to walk wide-eyed through the barn, but mom and dad soon follow, and it isn’t long before the horses become a part of the family. The barn becomes a family hang-out, much like at a country club or a resort, where every member of the family finds something fun to do. ... Read the full article

Check Your Bit Fit- Julie Goodnight Tip of the Month
Most riders either inherit a bit when they purchase a horse or do their best to pick one off the shelf. But how many riders actually check the fit of their horses' bits and know for sure if they have the right ones for their horses? Your horse's mouth size and conformation, his level of training, and the rider's ability all determine which bit you should use.... Read the full article

Blanketing Your Horse
If you have body clipped your horse, keep in mind that you have removed his only protection against cold temperatures, wind and rain. He needs his winter coat, or something in place of it, to protect him from harsh winter elements. You must be prepared to blanket your horse on a regular basis if he is clipped. A good rule of thumb is to use 55 degrees Fahrenheit as your “blanket” temperature. Day or night, if the temperature is below 55 degrees, then your horse should be blanketed. If temperatures regularly drop below freezing, then you should also provide a hood and possibly a second blanket. And if it is raining, then keep your body clipped horse indoors or in a sheltered area.... Read the full article

Julie Goodnight Tip of the Month: Save Your Horse’s Mouth, Stop with Your Seat
You probably learned to “kick to go” and “pull to whoa” from the very start of your riding career. While this simplistic view of communicating with your horse may get you through the first few rides, you want to learn some finesse. While all the natural aids are important to master— seat, legs, hands and voice—your horse will feel your seat aids first. When you make sure that you’re using your seat correctly, you won’t have to pull so hard to make your horse whoa. Your refined and combined cues will save your horses mouth and ensure your horse gets your message as soon as possible. ... Read the full article

Horse Matching-The Earth Horse (Part 5 of 5)
In the last installments, you’ve learned about the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory of the Five Elements. Five Elements include Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth—each represents a specific personality type and relates to body organs. It’s time to discuss the last of the elements—Earth. Here, we’ll analyze the Earth element—discussing how Earth horses often behave.... Read the full article

What Does Offering a “Green” Equestrian Facility Really Mean?
The real estate world – whether it be a resort developer or residential community developer – has acknowledged that more environmentally-friendly properties are a trend that is here to stay. The desire for unique and different amenities, coupled with the desire for more “green” facilities overall, has caused many developers and builders to turn their attention to equestrian amenities.... Read the full article

Riding the Spooky Horse
I know that riding a spooky horse can be challenging and frustrating so here are some tips to help you understand why your horse spooks and to give you some tools to help cope with shying.... Read the full article

Learn to Ride with Soft Hands
Riding with soft hands is an awesome goal, and your horse will thank you for it. In this tip, I'm going to give you two physical and also some mental exercises.... Read the full article

Body Clipping Your Horse
It seems like the shorter the days get, the longer a horse’s hair gets. And as all horse owners know, this poses some unique challenges. We still want to ride and keep our horses exercised, but a thick, winter coat makes caring for them more difficult. After exercise, they need to be thoroughly cleaned, but if we bathe them, it takes an eternity for them to dry, and they run the risk of getting chilled. ... Read the full article

Horse Matching-The Metal Horse (Part 4 of 5)
In the last installments of our Five-Element Series, you’ve learned about Water and Wood elements and how those “types” relate to horse behavior and health. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the elements—Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth—represent a specific personality type. Now, it’s time to relate the Metal element to your horses. Knowing your horse’s type can help you make dietary and lifestyle choices for your horse that will support his overall needs. Keep in mind—if you are looking for a horse, Five Element typing will aid you in selecting a horse that best matches your dreams and riding goals. ... Read the full article

Horse Matching-The Wood Horse (Part 3 of 5)
It’s time to talk about Wood horses—and we aren’t talking toys or Trojan horses. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Wood element is used to describe people and animals who love a challenge and have extra energy. In the Five Element Theory—with elements including Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth—each element describes a constitutional and personality type. ... Read the full article

How Do I Get My Horse to Pick Up the Correct Canter Lead Every Time?
Do you struggle getting your horse to pick up one of his canter leads? If so, here are some tips and exercises to help you with this all too common problem.... Read the full article

Horse Matching-The Fire Horse (Part 2 of 5)
In the Traditional Chinese Medicine thought pattern, five elements—Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth—describe each mammal’s personality and even impact body function. How do these types apply to horses? Your horse’s personality, health and disposition point to his type. Knowing your horse’s constitutional type can help you choose the proper diet and know how to treat him for optimum training results. ... Read the full article

Horse Matching-The Water Horse (Part 1 of 5)
For centuries, Traditional Chinese Medicine has taught that each person has a basic type—the words Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth each represent a specific personality type and relates to specific body organs. Now, it’s time to relate these “Five Element” terms to our horses. Knowing your horse’s constitutional type can help you make dietary and lifestyle choices for him that will best support his overall needs on an ongoing basis. If you are looking for a new horse, Five Element typing will aid you in selecting a horse that is well-suited for your lifestyle, the specific activity you wish to undertake with him, or a particular training style. ... Read the full article

The Devil in Six
Would you like to make your aches and pains go away? Improve or protect your horse’s movement? Reduce the incidence of serious ailments and issues such as ulcers, colic, pulmonary bleeding and low fertility? Enjoy better focus for both you and your horse?... Read the full article

A Star Reborn: Holistic Natural Horsemanship- Part 3 of 3
The change in Star was amazing after his chiropractic adjustment! His eyes softened along with his countenance and attitude. I had not realized he’d been subtly trying to tell me he was in pain. For instance, after his chiropractic adjustment he stood quietly for saddling with no fuss or fidgeting. I thought the fussing was a training issue for which I continually corrected him, but all the fidgeting and fuss went away along with the raised head and hollowed back after the adjustment. Star was ready for the next step to carrying me as a rider.... Read the full article

A Star Reborn: Holistic Natural Horsemanship- Part 2 of 3
Now that Star can back up with the slightest jiggle of the lead rope it is time to begin desensitizing, lunging, change of direction and most important teach him a one rein stop on the ground which will translate to a one rein stop in the saddle (the emergency handbrake on a horse). I have all ready desensitized him to the stick, but now I’m going to incorporate plastic bags, tarps, and saddle blankets, along with ropes and taking him on confidence walks.... Read the full article

A Star Reborn: Holistic Natural Horsemanship- Part 1 of 3
When he arrived his mane was dreadlocked, his body covered in numerous flesh wounds and his knees were skinned. The beautiful buckskin paint Arab had just been gelded at the age of 5, only two weeks before coming to my place for training, (that explained the skinned knees). Frightened and angry, ears pinned and hooves overgrown he was very unhappy. His owner wanted him started under saddle with trail training for which I require a minimum of 120 days, but she added two extra months because “Star may need it” she said. “Hmm, maybe he will maybe not” I thought. I’ve had horses here that I started under saddle, finished with trail training and sent home in 75 days, so we’ll see.... Read the full article

Guide for Buying a Custom Western Saddle
A handmade custom saddle is the dream of many a western rider. Having a saddle designed specifically for you with all of the features and decoration of your choosing is a thrill. It's also a big investment. A good custom saddle starts around $2,500 and can ring in at over $4,000, when it’s all said and done. So you'll want to make sure you do your homework before you start shopping.... Read the full article

Understanding Your Horse Insurance Responsibilities
Whether a horse is purchased for personal or business reasons, ownership represents a significant investment of time, money and resources. While no one likes to think about the potential for tragedy, horses seem to be prone to illness, accidents and injury. Should some peril befall your horse, nothing may ease the emotional burden, but wise planning can help reduce the economic impact.... Read the full article

Learn to Recognize Your Horse’s Dental Problems
Horses with dental problems may show obvious signs, such as pain or irritation, or they may show no noticeable signs at all. This is because some horses simply adapt to their discomfort. For this reason, periodic dental examinations are essential to your horse’s health. ... Read the full article

Help Your Mare Have a Safe Delivery
If your mare has made it through 11 months of pregnancy, you’re almost home free. Labor and delivery, while momentous, are generally uneventful. In most cases, you will simply need to be a quiet observer – if, that is, you are lucky enough to witness the birth. Mares seem to prefer to foal at night in privacy, and apparently have some control over their delivery. Because most mares foal without difficulty, it is usually best to allow the mare to foal undisturbed and unassisted.... Read the full article

Help Your Foal Grow with Proper Nutrition
A healthy foal will grow rapidly, gaining in height, weight and strength almost before your eyes. From birth to age two, a young horse can achieve 90 percent or more of its full adult size, sometimes putting on as many as three pounds per day. Feeding young horses is a balancing act, as the nutritional start a foal gets can have a profound effect on its health and soundness for the rest of its life.... Read the full article

Don’t Skip the Purchase Exam
Owning a horse can be a big investment in time, money and emotion. Unfortunately, horses seldom come with a money-back guarantee. That’s why it is so important to investigate the horse’s overall health and condition through a purchase exam conducted by an equine veterinarian. Whether you want a horse as a family pet, a pleasure mount, a breeding animal, or a high performance athlete, you stand the best chance of getting one that meets your needs by investing in a purchase exam.... Read the full article

10 Tips for Caring for the Older Horse
Because of advances in nutrition, management and health care, horses are living longer, more useful lives. It’s not uncommon to find horses and ponies living well into their 20s and 30s. While genetics play a role in determining life span, you too, can have an impact. ... Read the full article

10 Tips for Preventing Colic
The number one killer of horses is colic. Colic is not a disease, but rather a combination of signs that alert us to abdominal pain in the horse. Colic can range from mild to severe, but it should never be ignored. Many of the conditions that cause colic can become life threatening in a relatively short period of time. Only by quickly and accurately recognizing colic – and seeking qualified veterinary help – can the chance for recovery be maximized.... Read the full article

Learn to Recognize the Signs of Laminitis
Every day veterinarians across the country see hundreds of cases of laminitis, a painful disease that affects the feet of horses. Laminitis results from the disruption of blood flow to the sensitive and insensitive laminae within the foot, which secure the coffin bone to the hoof wall. While the exact mechanisms by which the feet are damaged remain a mystery, certain precipitating events can produce laminitis. Although laminitis occurs in the feet, the underlying cause is often a disturbance elsewhere in the horse’s body.... Read the full article

Be Prepared for an Equine Health Emergency
If you own horses long enough, sooner or later you are likely to confront a medical emergency. From lacerations to colic to foaling difficulties, there are many emergencies that a horse owner may encounter. You must know how to recognize serious problems and respond promptly, taking appropriate action while awaiting the arrival of your veterinarian.... Read the full article

Two Minute Training
All horse owners have one thing in common… we all want our horses to behave perfectly when other people are around. No horseperson wants their horse to be known as that horse, and it is the simplest of tasks that seem to earn a horse that name. Some of the scariest moments for a horse owner (and horse) are with the vet. Deworming and vaccinations can bring out the worst in a horse, and every vet wishes that more people would take extra time to work with their horses to overcome this. Two minutes a day can go a long way to making everybody feel better about a visit from the vet.... Read the full article

The Inside Scoop on Upcoming Dreamworks Film: Dreamer
From the legendary Seabiscuit, to this year’s upset winner of the Kentucky Derby, Giacomo, people the world over love the underdog—or rather, horse, in this case. The come-from-behind winners, and horses that have battled the odds to achieve the seemingly impossible have always been the ones that capture our imagination…and our hearts.... Read the full article

One Good Navigator Finds the Road to the Top
When Melissa Cohn, owner and founder of The Manhattan Mortgage Company, went out in search of a horse for her oldest of two daughters, Sarah Alvarez, she knew what she was looking for. She wanted a horse that could “teach Sarah the ropes,” explained Ms. Cohn; A horse that could “navigate her junior career.” And so when they found this “simple, beautiful horse whose potential was obvious and who seemed like he was well worth taking the chance on,” they purchased him and then changed his name from Cartouche to Navigator.... Read the full article

The Legacy Cup: An Event Whose Time Has Come
Sometimes there are events or items that are essential for an industry or sport or business but they are a little bit ahead of their time. However, once they catch on (like the fax machine, or the computer, or the internet, or the cell phone, or even the TV and Radio) when you look back you say, how ever did we live without this. And such is the case with the Legacy Cup.... Read the full article

Choosing Bits
Bits are one of the most MythUnderstood pieces of horse equipment man has ever invented. The things that people think they're supposed to do with a bit in a horse's mouth are unbelievable.... Read the full article

Self Control Precedes Horse Control
Merely causing a horse to do something does not mean that you are in control of the horse. Think about the times you have seen someone put a chain lead shank under a horse's chin or over its nose. They may have been successful in leading that horse from Point A to Point B but the use of that shank is a dead giveaway that they were not really in control. If they were, coercive equipment would not be necessary.... Read the full article

Breaking Vs. Training
Many people who are training horses will ask them questions that the horse has no way of understanding or answering. Then they will fight with the horse or hold him hostage until the horse either gives in or gives up. The so-called trainer walks away feeling like he or she has won the game because the horse finally did what they wanted him to do. But no actual communication took place. What happened was "breaking" not training.... Read the full article

Using Pressures To Shape The Horse
Many trainers attack horses. They think that if the horse's activity level or excitement level increases, the horse is learning more. That's one of the biggest MythUnderstandings there is in the training world. In fact, the truth is just the opposite.... Read the full article

Horse Logic
Good horse training is boring to watch. It looks like nothing is happening. Many people are impressed by training methods that are nothing more than a blatant series of attacks on the horse because they are dramatic to watch. However, physically dominating a horse does not teach him anything. To train a horse, you must use mental strength, not physical strength.... Read the full article

It's Hard to Get Back to Basics When You Haven't Been There To Start!
Basically, I want to see young riders whose understanding surpasses their age; whose practiced skills compliment, not limit their ability; and whose enthusiasm is transformed into try in the horses they work. These are not "basic" basics, I know. After all, I have watched and helped a couple of thousand would-be pro's search for them. Some found the basics and have adopted them as a way to life - some will probably never find them.... Read the full article

Equestrian Education: Where it All Begins
The dream of getting paid for doing something they love is what attracts young people to the horse business. And what better way to start that career than with a solid education in equestrian studies. Education is, after all, concentrated experience, and two years in a good horsemanship program can be more valuable than 10 years out there trying to figure it out by yourself.... Read the full article

 

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