“Hand & Heel” … What’s the big deal?

The “Hand & Heel” concept is iterated by the Duke of Newcastle, the Romanic school (including Californio Vaquero a la Ed Connell), as well as Francois Baucher and his disciples. What is it?  Different schools of equitation can make use of different aids and effect…

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Can you learn horse riding post-20s?

AB-SO-LUTELY. You can at any age. Of course, your “fast twitch” reactions are slower as you age, but I presume you’re not proposing to ride broncos. I went along on a fox hunt last year, and the master of hunt (who could ride like the devil) informed he _started_ riding at 46 … and had […]

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What’s the difference in the building between good dressage horses and good jumping horses?

If by “building” you mean “training” (in a historical sense) the finished dressage horse should be well capable of performing cross-country and jumping duties before even being started in high school training, which focuses on the pursuit of mobility and control, and does so by harnessing the horse’s ability to collect. High school equitation emerged, […]

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Why does it seem like more women than men like horses and horseback riding?

It seems this way because, in this savage age, unfortunately, it simply is this way – certainly in the US and UK. The more interesting question is how it came to be so. On the face of it, it is paradoxical: high school dressage, at core, is a martial art, originating during a time when […]

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Is Western style riding more difficult than English style?

The short answer is:  Done correctly, there should be no difference. In reality, most beginners enjoy the (invariably false) sense of security of a Western saddle, given the “handle” (horn).  At more advanced levels, this very much depends upon what you call “Western” and what you call “English”. High school equitation (high school ‘dressage’) is […]

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How can I get a horse to speed up or slow down by using my seat?

I’m unsure this is something you really want to condition your horse to do, however, I will give you your answer before trying to talk you out of deploying it too readily: 1. Firstly, your horse must already be responding to something in order to speed up and slow down now, else this a separate […]

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Horse Psychology: What causes a horse to pull on the reins and how should you respond?

This is a more complicated question than you may realize, and the answer can depend on several variables. You can read more at harmony+cross , but I’ll take a stab here. Potential Causes Training Methodology Training methods are like OS’s for horses. Some methods (German Dressage) train the horse to push into the reins with […]

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Why are girls so dominant in horse riding?

You are in good company as a man in the horse world – though perhaps less so in the pageantry-oriented world of ‘horse show’ culture, which is related, but different. And I’m unsure girls so much ‘dominate’ as rather ‘populate’ the horsey landscape, due a number of demographic, cultural, and technological shifts over the past […]

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How do you justify buying a horse?

I justify my horses by realizing what would be left of me if I did not have the experience of working with them. To me, it is a matter of tithing. It is a sort of debt to the Universe, which I secretly help turn by being with them. Therefore, if I need to, I […]

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Do mares and their foals recognize each other after spending a few years apart?

Example: If a 6-months-old foal is sent to another farm to be raised and trained, and returns to his mother’s farm when he is 3 or 4 years old, will they recognize each other? In your example, perhaps the mare would not – but for the same reason you might not recognize your own child […]

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