Lindsay Grice's Blog (72)

Do helmets give us a false sense of security?

A CBC interview about helmet safety piqued my interest.

I learned that in nearly every study of hospital admission rates, helmeted cyclists are 80% less likely to receive serious head and brain injuries —but these stats apply only for those who get into accidents.

So here’s the flip side –research says that helmeted cyclists bike faster, take more risks, and ride in riskier environments.

We’ve also discovered safety feature in cars give drivers a fall sense of…


Added by Lindsay Grice on October 7, 2016 at 7:55am — No Comments

Judging hunters

I changed hats t this weekend-literally.  Sometimes “stuff happens” and show managers have to adjust on the fly- and so do judges!  Arriving prepared to judge the western ring , I was asked if I would judge the hunter and jumper rings instead. For those who judge multiple disciplines we must learn to change hats…


Added by Lindsay Grice on September 11, 2016 at 2:08pm — No Comments

Yielding to pressure – you, not your horse!

"Just get back on! You don't want to lose your nerve."

"Why not enter the trail class?  You're at the show anyway."

"Are you coming out on a hack with us?"

Well-meaning invitations, but sadly, invitations into situations  for which neither you nor your horse are quite…


Added by Lindsay Grice on July 29, 2016 at 8:30am — No Comments

When evidence collides with tradition: part 2

Traditions run deep in the horse world. From tack to training, to the terms we use ...WHY? - I figure it doesn't hurt to ask! Hey sometimes I've found there's a good reason - someone way smarter than me "invented the wheel" and doesn't need ME to re-invent it :) So I'll keep asking...

Like the new…


Added by Lindsay Grice on July 22, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

"That's just the way we've always done it…"

Traditions persist in the horse world. Does anyone know why flat classes traditionally start on the left rein?  I caused a little stir recently, at an open hunter show by starting on the right rein in an equitation class. Can you think of other enduring (though puzzling) equine traditions?

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut, until evidence leads us to look outside. I do like how AQHA is encouraging judges to mix up the gait calls and direction of flat classes. I do this…


Added by Lindsay Grice on July 18, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Horse Whispering

As a stereotypically reserved Canadian, judging a horse show last fall in Israel, it was culture shock.  Animated and passionate in communicating, what an initially rattled me (what’s the commotion??), became  endearing to me.

The big idea behind “horse whispering” is the use of subtle body…


Added by Lindsay Grice on June 17, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

Take a Hint: Horse Body Language

Some people read people really well …picking up on subtle cues, interpreting body language -social cognition. You can actually take a quiz to rate “ your emotional intelligence”, if you’re at home with nothing better to do  (perhaps, in itself, a sign of a social introvert?)

    Horses have…


Added by Lindsay Grice on June 10, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments

When Experience Becomes a Rut

A colleague of mine recently called the worn path around the outside of an arena the "idiot ditch". Perhaps somewhat harsh, but I had to chuckle.  Riding the rut doesn't stretch riders to make guiding adjustments or challenge our aids and timing, but it doesn't involve risk ether

Doing the same…


Added by Lindsay Grice on March 19, 2016 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Are you an experienced rider?

Pastor and professor Dr. Howard Hendricks wisely said “Experience is not the best teacher- only evaluated experience is”.

As riders, we are responsible for problem solving. When things go wrong in the schooling ring or show ring, it’s wise to stop, assess, and come up with a plan to solve the…


Added by Lindsay Grice on March 12, 2016 at 4:40pm — No Comments

Horse happiness

Heard from the horse show bleachers: “Now that’s a happy horse that loves his job.”

In 2004,  FEI introduced into its dressage rules the phrase “happy athlete” to describe the ideal dressage horse.

But judging a horse’s happiness remains fairly subjective.

In a recent blog, I wrote about horse…


Added by Lindsay Grice on January 11, 2016 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Horse Stress

Yep, there’s an official tool to identify if that horse is really stressed. Last year, researchers developed The Horse Grimace Scale,  grading 6 facial action units (FAU) to determine horse pain, including ear position, muscle tension around the eyes and nostril shape. Good horse-people read horses well, don’t…


Added by Lindsay Grice on December 14, 2015 at 2:18pm — No Comments

Neck Reining as a 2nd Language

Steering a horse with one hand is like adding another language to your horse’s education. Initially trained to speak “direct rein”, as the horse advances in his education you’ll begin to communicate with a curb bit and introduce pressure from the neck.

As an english rider, entering the western world,…


Added by Lindsay Grice on December 14, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments


I did  a double- take as I walked by this camel in Israel – he wasn’t tied and he wasn’t fenced…

Though I’m no camel training expert, I guess he’d earned the “privilege” of freedom because he’d learned the boundaries by trial and error.

Same way horses do. They learn by bumping into pressure and finding release. And they choose to stay where there’s freedom. That’s self-carriage – when a horse between the aids without being held there.

But what about…


Added by Lindsay Grice on November 4, 2015 at 5:11pm — No Comments

Show Ring Presentation…yep, it matters…

My coaching colleagues and I are often in the “image- advisory role” in regards to horse show turnout. While you gotta love those folks who are blissfully unaware of their personal appearance, in the show ring, presentation matters! Like a job interview…

Reprinted from the AQHA journal’s Five…


Added by Lindsay Grice on November 4, 2015 at 5:00pm — No Comments

AQHA's Lip Chain Rule

Thoughts on AQHA's lip chain rule…I'm all for policy developed on evidence – which often collides with emotion In the horse biz, where we can get stuck in "we've always done it this way" kinda thinking.

Glad to see AQHA committee members consulted with animal welfare, vet, and…


Added by Lindsay Grice on April 30, 2015 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Let the record show…and Easter.

It’s easier to check up on claims of “success stories” these days. Show records are readily available and information abounds through a simple web search. AQHA, for instance, provides detailed records of the show ring performance of horses and riders. It’s now easier to “look before you leap” into that…


Added by Lindsay Grice on April 6, 2015 at 8:39am — No Comments

Bit evasions and Good Friday.

This week I saw a horse who’d had enough. He just took the bit between his teeth, locked his jaw and trotted off on a tangent out of the circle, toward the gate. The rider tugged away but the horse’s neck and determination were set like stone. This riding lesson was over, as far as he was…


Added by Lindsay Grice on April 1, 2015 at 7:44am — No Comments

How to Use Spurs Effectively

I don’t use spurs, because I don’t want to make my horse dull!”

If you’ve shared this opinion with so many riders I meet, you’re in good company!

But what if I suggested that the opposite might also be true?  As a woodworker might choose smaller chisels to refine the details of his project, so…


Added by Lindsay Grice on March 21, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Cleaning Out the Trailer Tack Room- and Other Life Lessons

Ok, honestly, who cleans out the trailer tack room after the last show?  But isn’t  that spring show motivation to unload the moldy ribbons and rusty bobby pins before loading the horses and hitting the road?

Wow – it made me think of how this wisdom applies to other…


Added by Lindsay Grice on March 9, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Judging Horses – The Spirit of The Rule

What’s the point? At a recent horse show judging conference we were reminded to consider the intent of the rules and be guided by the purpose of the class standard to guide our decisions.  

A helpful hint? Use words to describe the round, pattern before us.  

For instance, words to describe…


Added by Lindsay Grice on January 13, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments

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