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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on January 11, 2016 at 5:30pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on December 14, 2015 at 2:18pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on November 4, 2015 at 5:11pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on November 4, 2015 at 5:00pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on April 30, 2015 at 6:00pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on April 6, 2015 at 8:39am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on April 1, 2015 at 7:44am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on March 21, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on March 9, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on January 13, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments
Attending the AQHA judges conference in Dallas – felt like being part of a large orchestra. One of 300 judges, tuning up to be on key with the standard, and in sync with one another. So many experienced, talented horseman, yet personal preference, interpretation and bias were to be laid aside – a reminder…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on December 13, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments
We’ve all heard it – it’s the attention to details that makes a winner. So over the next few columns, can I share some of the details I see overlooked as I walk across the show grounds or sit in the judge’s booth?
Gotta say, most of these are training oversights. And believe me, years ago I’d…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on August 29, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments
Added by Lindsay Grice on March 31, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments
Why do horses do what they do and people do what they do? And why does the show ring seem to magnify those emotions and reactions? Brainfreezes, butterflies and blow-ups…all part of the competitive experience.
When we, as riders, understanding the science of how horses…
Added by Lindsay Grice on December 3, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments
Why do horses do what they do and people do what they do? And why does the show ring seem to magnify those emotions and reactions? Brain freezes, butterflies and blow-ups…all part of the completive experience.
When we, as riders, understanding the science of how horses view their world, it…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on October 4, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments
Added by Lindsay Grice on September 30, 2013 at 7:30am — No Comments
Humans show pain through facial expressions which have been coded and used to assess the discomfort of patients who cannot communicate their suffering in other ways, such as babies.
Scientist have done the same for laboratory animal (for example the “Mouse Grimace”…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on September 17, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments
You hit a roadblock at a horse show and, because youre a thinking rider, you don’t jump to the “he’s just being a jerk” or “his saddle doesn’t fit” or “she must be in heat” conclusion, with a sigh and a wave of your hand. You look deeper. A common thread. Go through your mental files of personal…Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on September 12, 2013 at 8:00pm — No Comments