February 2009 Blog Posts (36)

Ride Better 1-2-3 Exclusive Barnmice Rider Fitness Clinic

Hi, I’m really excited to present an all-new personal fitness for equestrians blog!

Ride Better 1-2-3 is about simple exercises you can do off the horse to improve your riding, and to help you begin to achieve the same self-carriage, symmetry and stamina you expect from your horse.

Ride Better 1-2-3 is applicable to all disciplines and levels. Through the photos you post, I will be analyzing rider posture and examining your issues with strength, balance, flexibility, as…


Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on February 28, 2009 at 11:30am — 12 Comments

AERC Convention + More

Well last weekend (Feb 19-22) I spent in Louisville at the AERC Convention. What a great weekend full of seminars, panels and opportunities to pick the brains of some of the top Endurance riders and veterinarians in North America. I came home with pages and pages of notes of things to keep in mind this coming distance season. Not that I haven't been doing badly just I want to up my game a tad bit more, plus you never stop learning.

The bad news is that it was -3 and snowy in…


Added by Diana on February 28, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

Is Your Horse Lengthening or Running? How to Tell the Difference

Hi Guys,

People often ask me to explain the difference between "running" and "lengthenings". In fact, in this article I'm also going to describe the difference between running, lengthenings, medium gaits, and extended gaits.

1. Running- When you ask your horse to lengthen his strides and frame, and you hear his tempo (the rate of the repetition of the rhythm) get QUICKER, he's not lengthening. He's just running.

2. Lengthenings- In a good lengthening, your…


Added by Jane Savoie on February 27, 2009 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Help Your Horse With a Proper Warm Up and Cool Down

How well do you warm up and cool down your horse?

Warming up your horse prior to working him must not only be in his body, but also in his mind, getting him mentally prepared for the work he is going to do.

Put simply, warming up is getting the horse ready, relaxed and prepared for accepting what you are going to say to him. Time spent warming up will also allow you to release your own tight muscles and warm up as a rider.

During the warm up process, you will…


Added by Tim Stockdale on February 26, 2009 at 8:00pm — 3 Comments

The Fine Art of Letting Go or Making Go

The Fine Art of Letting Go or Making Go

By Chris Irwin

Hello and greetings to all from Pearson airport in Toronto. As I type these words I’m sitting beside my lovely wife, Kathryn, waiting to board our early morning flight to Bermuda. For the next five days I’ll be coaching dressage riders and jumpers on this small island nation in the Atlantic before flying next week to the Netherlands for the first European Train the…


Added by Chris Irwin on February 26, 2009 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

What's Your Passion?

Horse owners are some of the most passionate people on the planet. It goes without saying, we are passionate about our horses.

Do you have other passions as well? Where will they lead you?

The stallion in this painting is Hereje, from Herradura Andalusians. His owner, Terri Meader's passion for the breed is inspiring! Take a look at her beautiful website and see where her passion has led.…


Added by Karen Brenner on February 26, 2009 at 8:00am — No Comments

Owner of Pooping Horse gets Ticket for Littering!


Published: February 25, 2009

A 2-year-old colt’s answer to the call of nature has gotten his owner in trouble with Texas authorities.

“Whatever you want to do on him, you can,“ said Ben McCleary, who has been training Rascal to one day go on trail rides.

McCleary said part of that training means riding him near roads.

“So they won’t spook,“ said McCleary. “And, of course, you don’t want to get thrown 10 feet.“

While McCleary…


Added by Susan on February 25, 2009 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

Saddle Pads: Perfect Fit

I travel from horse show to horse show and see poor-fitting saddle pads all the time. Not enough by itself, some misguided riders often combine a too-short saddle pad with a thick halfpad, creating even more pressure points.

Imagine wearing flip flops where the back of your foot hangs out by an inch. Now go walk for 10 minutes. Comfy? I don’t think so.

So how to avoid that:

1. Buy a saddle pad that fits your…


Added by Patricia at ECOGOLD on February 24, 2009 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

First NAJYRC Qualifier

February 19-22 at the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair in California was our first qualifier for the Junior team. This weekend actually held a lot of firsts for me and Chance. It was our first time showing in California, his first time showing in an Equidome, and his first time showing at the Junior level. He was still a little green going into the competition so I was hoping we would be able to pull it together in the ring. On the warm-up day Chance was good but a little lazy and ended up getting a…


Added by Catherine Chamberlain on February 22, 2009 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Clearing Up Confusion About Horse Canter Aids

Hi Guys:

Many people are confused about the aid for the canter. What follows are some common questions about the canter and my answers.

Q: I know to ask for the canter it is outside leg behind the girth and inside leg at the girth, however during the canter is your outside leg supposed to stay back or do both legs then become neutral at the girth once the canter is achieved?"

A: Swing your outside leg back ONCE, and then…


Added by Jane Savoie on February 20, 2009 at 2:00pm — 6 Comments

Are You Ready for a Flying Change?

Before you even ask your horse to do a flying change, there are a number of requirements that should come easily to you and your horse.

1. Can the horse do collected, medium and extended canter?

2. Can the horse do a clean canter walk canter transition? (no trot steps)

3. Can the horse…


Added by Ruth Hogan Poulsen on February 19, 2009 at 7:00am — No Comments

Dream an Impossible Dream

Do you ever dream an impossible dream? Although you might think this week's quote is from Frank Sinatra, it is actually from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

Download and print the newest To Do List from my blog.

Believe an impossible dream today!

Added by Karen Brenner on February 19, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

Make Good Riding Your Habit

Correct Fundamentals help you "do the right things right".

As a rider, you need to put the fundamentals in place so that the right things happen by habit. Good riders ride well, because their right habits are so ingrained into their philosophy and their thought processes that they do routine things without thinking.

Developing the correct habits…


Added by Tim Stockdale on February 16, 2009 at 6:00pm — 3 Comments

Shakespeare in love ...

Lest anyone think that Valentine's Day is going to pass us by without a jaunty love missive from one Shakespeare the Equine, let me not disappoint you but offer, herewith, his ode to one fair filly who lives down the aisle ... Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Fair Damsel

To Fergie

Is it thine amorous eye

That seizes mine awareness,

Or the wistful yearning of thy

Tender whispers in mine attentive ear?

I know not save the craving…


Added by Dorothy McDonall on February 14, 2009 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Responsible Horse Ownership

In light of recent events I feel compelled to write about "responsible horse ownership". While this may seem best suited for the new or first-time owner, I have seen hard evidence that many "experienced" horse owners may benefit from the following as well.

A common state amongst professionals serving the equine community is one of bewilderment. Many of us visit farms, barns & private acreages, seeing what I describe as "WWYT syndrome"; or, "What Were You Thinking?" While I…


Added by Kevan on February 13, 2009 at 11:00pm — 3 Comments

A horse of a different colour

Hello and best wishes to you all from our winter wonderland at Riversong Ranch in Alberta.

This being my first blog here on Barnmice I’d first like to say what an honour and privilege it is to be invited to join the ranks of such renowned colleagues as Jane Savoie, William Micklem and Tim Stockdale.

I’d also like to say right up front that I believe it is truism that a writer should only express opinions about what he or she has proven themselves to know something…


Added by Chris Irwin on February 13, 2009 at 4:00pm — 12 Comments

How to Train and Ride the Free Walk

Hi Guys,

Today, let's focus on the Free Walk.

1. What is the free walk? The free walk is a gait of relaxation.

2. What should it look like?

* Your horse should lengthen his frame and lower his head and neck so he looks like he's going to graze. His poll is lower than his withers.

* He should open the angle at his throatlatch so his nose points a bit forward, and he looks like he's stretching toward the bit.

* His strides become longer so…


Added by Jane Savoie on February 13, 2009 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Are You Always Busy? Read this quote . . .

Are you always busy? The world can seem hectic at times. This week, why don't you print the To Do List and write down one thing you will do to relax on each day of the calendar?

I'm going to write: Take time to smell the horses!

Here's a link to the printable To Do…


Added by Karen Brenner on February 12, 2009 at 7:30am — No Comments

Brenda Minor: 5 top questions riders ask regarding judging

Now that is an interesting question. The rules are very clear that should a rider at a competition have a question for the judge, they must first ask permission to do so through the steward or technical delegate. An excellent tactic, in that it usually means there will be some emotional involvement and the presence of a third party may allow for some coolness of thought. However, in my experience, riders do not ask judges anything. I believe it is the general perception that to talk to a…


Added by Joanna @ Red Scarf Equestrian on February 11, 2009 at 3:30pm — 5 Comments

Crooked Riders = Crooked Horses: Develop Your Awareness of Balance and Symmetry

Crooked Riders = Crooked Horses: Develop Your Awareness of Balance and Symmetry

Like many young girls, I grew up carousing around my neighborhood bareback on my pony. The saddle came out for 4-H, otherwise, I stuck to her sleek back like glue. In college, I went on to work for a dressage trainer, never thinking that moving with the motion of a horse could be a problem. In my mid-20s, lured north to the arctic, I quit riding. I moved with my husband to the Brooks…


Added by Sit_the_Trot on February 10, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

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