All Blog Posts (4,603)

Am I allowed to use a bitless bridle?

 I'm asked this question at a few open shows per season. Currently most rule books do not permit bitless bridle.

At the Global Dressage Forum. Dr. Andrew McLean one of the panel experts “How you train the bitless bridle depends on the hands at the other end. I think you can have the horse light in…

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Added by Lindsay Grice on November 17, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Insights into The World of Horse Racing - The Most Exciting Competitive Sport!

Horse racing is the sports of running horses, driven by jockeys. Horse racing is one of the primitive sports which are continuing for centuries, and the most fantastic aspect of this game is that even today the basic concept of this sport has encountered almost no alteration. A crucial feature of horse racing is that the horse which reaches the destination first and foremost is declared the champion of the racing competition. …

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Added by Silvia Watson on November 16, 2017 at 12:45am — No Comments

The Difference Between Movements, Figures and Patterns Ruth Hogan-Poulsen

The Difference Between Movements, Figures and Patterns

Ruth Hogan-Poulsen







Many people ask me about the choreography of their freestyle pattern. One of the confusions surrounding a freestyle pattern is what is allowed and what is forbidden at a certain level. Before you can begin to build a pattern you need to know the difference between movements and figures so that you don't try something that is on the "forbidden" list at your level.





What is the… Continue

Added by Ruth Hogan Poulsen on November 12, 2017 at 11:13pm — No Comments

I Moved My Grip Up an Inch or So

I Move My Grip Up an Inch or So

When I talked to Debbie before my lesson on Wednesday, I told her about my hip bursitis and that I would not be very ambitious, no “rider's push-ups”, limited 2-point and limited posting trot. I had been hobbling around all week and I did not want to do anything that would trigger my hip bursitis again! I asked to use the Equicube so I would work different…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on November 11, 2017 at 11:25am — No Comments

Ready for the show – bitless or not!

I applaud Melanie Ferrio-Wise  not so much for going bridleless at the Washington Horse show, but for the systematic process she took to get there.

As a riding a teacher, I’m excited about process– understanding and enjoying the journey, not just the results.  Teaching skills and cues to your horse,…

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Added by Lindsay Grice on November 10, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Practice and muscle memory

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

January 31, 2017 / Ruth Hogan-Poulsen



What is Muscle Memory?



If you've ever worked on your posture or a set of aids for a movement on your horse, you've probably heard the words "muscle memory.” But what is this mysterious thing? Is it something real or just a part of dressage riders’ folklore? Can we do anything to make our learning more efficient, or should we be suspicious of "automatic" riding as less creative?



Discursive… Continue

Added by Ruth Hogan Poulsen on November 5, 2017 at 9:20pm — 1 Comment

I Triggered My Hip Bursitis

I Triggered My Hip Bursitis

Last week, when I rode two horses using my regular Prussian Sided stirrups with the Super-Comfort stirrup pads, I triggered my hip bursitis. My hips used to bother me many years ago until I bought my Back on Track boxer shorts and started wearing them every day, and last week was the first time in YEARS that my hips hurt, specifically my left hip joint, especially…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on November 4, 2017 at 11:58am — No Comments

Bridless Jumper class

Even with one refusal and two rails, which dropped them to 24th in the placings, Melanie Ferrio-Wise  was delighted with her performance at the Washington International. She rode the course with a neck rope instead of a bridle!

She describes her horse as a tough horse unable to handle the stress of…

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Added by Lindsay Grice on November 3, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Oakley Diaries 33 - Three Pillars of Learning

   In our weekly lesson we are now jumping about 85cm (2'9") which probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but my desire is not to jump as high as possible in as short a time as possible, but rather to excel at going over jumps, raising the bar a bit at a time, and address whatever shortcomings become most obvious as the difficulty increases. My immediate goal, is to ride around in rhythm, to turn to the jump in rhythm, go over the jump in…

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Added by B. G. Hearns on October 29, 2017 at 11:12pm — 1 Comment

My Heels Creep Up Again

My Heels Creep Up Again

In my search for more stability while doing the “rider's push-up” exercise, it occurred to me that my double-offset Prussian sided stirrups might be destabilizing me while I bent my hip joints so I could touch the horse's neck with my chest. So I dug out my pair of regular Prussian sided stirrups, bought another pair of the Super-Comfort stirrup pads, put the new pads on…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on October 28, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Cowboy Up!

Oops!  I ironed a hole right through my dress pants for the second day of judging in Israel.  And my pants from the previous day had a small rip beginning.  No needle and thread…maybe duct tape?  Prayed for the seam to hold as I crawled through fences…gingerly!

I had to take my own advice-when things go…

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Added by Lindsay Grice on October 25, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

Three days teaching riding clinics and workshops after the horse show in Israel.

 I LOVED coaching this group of older teens, each hoping to earn a place on the Israeli AQHA youth world cup team.  The following year each will head to compulsory military service, before pursuing any post-secondary education. 

This must be what contributes to their strong work ethic and…

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Added by Lindsay Grice on October 23, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

I Get to See Debbie Riding Bingo

I Get to See Debbie Riding Bingo

This week at Debbie's stable I got to show her how I “customized” my new Free Jump Collar so I felt comfortable using it on a horse. I used a combination of a Western curb strap, a 1” metal ring and a doubled up stirrup leather attached to the girth to keep the collar down at the base of the horse's neck, I added a pair of “breast-plate Ds” to the breast-plate…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on October 21, 2017 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Horse shows then and now-amazing!

Before my judging assignment in Israel begins, I’m standing in King Herods’s 1st century “Hippodrome”-the site of ancient horse shows and chariot races Herod built at the time of Jesus Christ-part of his summer palace in Caesarea.

It hit me – Tomorrow, I’ll be standing in a…

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Added by Lindsay Grice on October 21, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

A return trip to judge a show in Israel!

My judging colleague is from Italy. My ring steward (and wonderful interpreter), Israeli.

Striking, as a “reserved” Canadian, Middle Eastern shows are more…  dramatic!  Enthusiastic applause for every class, down to the final one at 9:00 PM. 

Passionate viewpoints are expressed at the…

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Added by Lindsay Grice on October 19, 2017 at 9:15am — No Comments

When the Weather Interferes With My Riding

When the Weather Interferes With My Riding

It has been a frustrating week for me as a horseback rider! I missed out on riding Cider last Sunday because the weather forecasters were predicting rain in the morning, so I called Shannon and we canceled my ride. Sunday morning there was no rain and I was miffed, until later in the afternoon when there were…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on October 14, 2017 at 3:31pm — No Comments

Have I Found "Another Piece of the Puzzle"?

Have I Found “Another Piece of the Puzzle”?

Ever since I started doing the “rider's push-ups” six weeks ago I have experienced many moments of feeling quite unstable on the horses' backs. I achieved some feeling of stability while doing the “rider's push-ups” on Bingo, a gelding, but I never really got rid of the feeling of teetering in my stirrups while on the mares, Cider and Mia. At first I…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on October 7, 2017 at 11:40am — No Comments

The Oakley Diaries 32 - Another Awakening

" Aucun homme ne peut rien vous révéler sinon ce qui repose déja à demi endormi dans l'aube de votre connaissance." Kalil Gibran

  My legs ache. All the muscles through my core ache. I can feel each and every one. That can only mean one thing: my riding must have improved.…

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Added by B. G. Hearns on October 1, 2017 at 5:35pm — No Comments

Bingo Seems to Like My New Seat in the Saddle

Bingo Seems to Like My New Seat in the Saddle

Due to Bingo's extremely high croup and due to the lack of intelligent training and physical development earlier in his life, including not “fixing” his inverted posture while ridden, Bingo has back problems under saddle. It has been my goal for every ride in the last seventeen months to strengthen Bingo's back and to lead him to the best way of…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on September 30, 2017 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

A good case for saddle time vs. screen time!

"Mr Smith, I think for the sake of your daughter's well-being, you should invest in a horse..."



Reading an article about the effects smartphones and social media have on us, I‘d say the science is confirming that uneasiness many of us have our ever-present screens.   "There's compelling…

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Added by Lindsay Grice on September 28, 2017 at 5:32pm — No Comments

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