Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
This is something that I find is always on heavy debate. Some people are OK, with breaking a 2 yr old, I am not. Too me they are still too young, their brains and attention span are not quite there yet. Their knees and joints to young and fragile, their backs not muscled up or strong enough to support too much riding. Again this is all MY preference.
The other side of the story is that racehorses can be broke anywhere from 18 months to 2 yrs. As well as some futurity horses. Some of them seem to do fine with it. A lot of those horses may also retire young as well to be a farm Stud or Broodmare.
So what's the verdict here??? Are we 2 or 3?????
Monday, December 7, 2009
One that is effective? Maybe they don't look so good though? What about riders who can take a ruined horse and make it better but is still only average.... is that a good rider? What about riders who can influence the horse with calm, assertiveness... are they good?
Guess the question is -- are they easy to spot? Can you go to a show or demo and say right away -- that's a good rider?
Dr. Ritter's response:That's a good question. I think the answer is somewhat personal. To some extent, it's a matter of your own quality standards and of what's important to you. To some extent, it's relative to the rider's age, experience, physical limitations, etc., because somebody can be riding very well, considering where s/he came from or how little instruction s/he has had, but in absolute terms, this person may not be a very advanced rider. Some riders are very good with certain types of horses or with solving certain types of problems, without necessarily being an Olympic calibre rider. On the other hand, somebody can be a very successful competitor at the upper levels, without being a good horseman and without being what I personally would consider a good rider.
I personally think that a good rider has to have a variety of skills. A good rider and good trainer are synonymous to me. Somebody who can taxi a made horse around a test without training the horse to that level may be a skilled technician, but s/he is no Rider.A good rider must have a good seat, i.e. effective, supple, balanced, strong when necessary, and pleasant to watch. Part of a good seat is good timing and coordination of the aids.A good rider has to have good intuition, good feel, equestrian tact, and an understanding of the horse's psychology. That's an absolutely indispensable skill.A good rider is a thinking rider. The rider has to have a certain academic understanding of the subject in order to be able to diagnose correctly, i.e s/he must be able to identify where a problem originates, and to choose the right course of action based on this diagnosis.A good rider is creative and can think of several solutions to every problem.A good rider can find individual solutions for each situation and is not limited by "what the books say", because every horse has his "own book" that the trainer has to write.A good rider should be able to train any breed and any personality type, although every rider has preferences, of course.A good rider has to be able to know how much is fair to expect of any given horse on any given day. S/he has to know when to demand a little more, when to be content with the effort the horse is making, when to change the subject or the tactic, when to reward, when to reprimand, when to ignore something the horse did, and when to quit.A good rider needs to know and respect the limitations of the horse in order not to demand anything the horse is unable to deliver.A good rider has to be able to choose a methodology that is time effective, so that it doesn't take 100 years to get to GP, but that also preserves the horse's physical and mental soundness. A good rider has to be able to make a little improvement in the horse every day, so that the horse feels and looks better at the end of the lesson than at the beginning, and so that there is a visible improvement from week to week, month to month, although there will always be little ups and downs from one day to the next.A good rider develops the horse's musculature and makes him safe, dependable and enjoyable to ride.A good rider is his/her own toughest critic and has self discipline.A good rider recognizes and fights the urge to give in to his/her ego. That's something that every rider is faced with. No exceptions.A good rider perseveres in spite of inevitable setbacks and disappointments.A good rider is always sensitive to the horse's needs.A good rider rides for the horse, not for the audience and does not use the horse as a vehicle for self-aggrandizement. In other words, a good rider does not exploit the horse's talent and generosity.A good rider puts the horse's well being above everything else.A good rider is always trying to learn and improve his/her own riding and understanding.This is a high standard, and there is probably nobody who can live up to it all the time, but these are the things that I look for in a good rider, and they are goals we should all strive for ourselves. Many riders may be good in some of these areas, but bad in others. The best riders combine many of these qualities in themselves, but nobody's perfect.Notice that I don't place that much emphasis on movements, because somebody may be able to ride all kinds of tricks without fulfilling many of the other points in my list, which I consider much more important. And you can find riders who may not be able to ride very advanced movements, but who score very high in many of the areas that really count.
Written by Dr. Ritter www.artisticdressage.com
Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The first one is a well broke mare and the owner couldn't get her to lunge and then once under saddle couldn't get her to move out. So I worked with her for 10 minutes then we were soon loping around the arena. The owner gets so frustrated as to why she can't make her horse obey her and I tell her the same thing every time. STAY CONSISTENT and DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!!!! If you want her to move make her move, if you want her to lunge, do not give up until she does what you've asked of her, only then can she rest and get praise.
The second one is a more timid owner with her first horse, same idea she had to make her horse lunge around her, but she wanted me to do it first. So I showed her what to do and how nicely her horse was responding, the I had her take over and her horse was ALL over her. I showed her again and again, but it was something she couldn't grasp. It's OK to tap your horse on the rump with a carrot stick if you need too!!!
Our horses are not made of glass, they will not break or get hurt the way I train (I can't speak for every trainer), but the tasks I have them complete and will have my advanced students have the horse complete will not harm the horse in anyway. It can be MORE frustrating to an owner when they see that their horse goes better for someone else, but it's because when it's your own "sweet, precious, baby horsie" you have trouble making them behave. Some owners just can't bear to discipline their horse. BUT Respect for YOU as the owner and the herd leader is IMPERATIVE to the safety of you and your horse. Sometimes that means your horse may need a spanking, sometimes your horse may need to sweat and sometimes you may need to push a little bit harder, but in the end the rewards will be 100 times greater and you'll both be able to enjoy each other's time and company.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Draw Reins~ not only do I try not to use them, but I'll be damned if I EVER would let a student of mine use them. You can very easily get your horse to flip over on you if you use them incorrectly.
Spurs~ Prince of Wales spurs or blunt ended spurs, hmmmm that's debatable, but spurs with an actual rowel, no way, never. Inexperienced legs can grip on a horse's side at any moment and if they're wearing spurs then OFF you go. Improper usage of spurs can lead to bloody sides and sores. They can make a horse dead sided and 99% of the time when a greenie rider wears spurs their horse takes off and then the rider falls off or they rip on the horses mouth and get upset or scared because the horse"bolted." Noooooo, the horse did what you told it too.
High Ported/Shanked bits~ Nope, wouldn't happen. Inexperienced hands with a bit like this is asking for disaster. Bloody mouth, rearing, evading the bit, hard mouthed, all products of inexperience. All products of disaster.
Whips~ Most bats or crops won't do too much, but longer whips and dressage whips if not used properly may lead to your horse bucking, bolting, diving to the side, they can leave welts and more. Emotions can play a big role too, you get peeved at your horse and haul off and crack him a good one *head shake.* Ugh, what more do I really need to say?
What a lot of people don't quite understand is that it takes time and patience to learn the proper ways to CAREFULLY use certain pieces of equipment. You don't just begin using spurs because you like the way they sound or you think you're a cowboy cause you're not, you're a poser who is endangering yourself, others and your horse. Time and patience... Always remember that you have to learn to crawl before you can walk and that's OK. We ALL started there. None of us popped out of the womb wearing spurs on our heels or a crop in our hands. Once you've learned how to properly and safely use certain tools, they can become extreme valuable, but do your time and your research first.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
So at what age or milestone does that mental block set in??? Is it because you feel you don't "bounce" as well? I don't bounce well and hate coming of too LOL!!! Is it when you get married and have children? Is it when you're 40???? When do we stop taking risks that we used too?? Even though now we have helmets that are amazingly tough and correct and body protectors...
More importantly how do we overcome it???? People who have had horses in the past and are re-riders seem to have the biggest issue. No one's asking you to gallop in an open field bareback in a halter like you used to when you were a teen, just to simply get on a nice solid horse and ride around in a secure soft arena. Yet it terrifies people, even people who may have never even really had a bad riding experience...
For me I always suggest a lot of ground work exercises, leading and lunging exercises. Maybe even riding a nice horse on a lunge line while an instructor or friend is helping you. Little things that build that confidence back up.
So ANY idea why certain people can mentally block themselves from something they so desperately desire??? Is it just in our nature? Our genetic makeup? Our survival instincts kicking in???? That once we hit a certain point in our life we start to become more fearful ?? This one is a puzzler....
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Well, it's a fine line and here it is. A personality quirk is something that just IS you're horse. Something like the specific way he may toss his head while playing or even stomp a foot of impatience. A training quirk is when you're horse is doing something dangerous, like nipping or kicking out, striking etc. A personality quirk is also something that you can accept as being a part of your horse, where as a training issue is something that you can not accept and that is fixable.
Sometimes it can't be fixed though and the horse's personality traits are too strong. My friend used to own a mare a long time ago who threw the most beautiful foals and was a wonderful mother, but she was sinfully mean and would literally try to kill a person who came anywhere near her. After many many trainers and thousands upon thousands of dollars the mare had to be put down. The mare was just a sour angry mare it WAS her personality, there was NO changing it...
So what are some quirks your horses have? What can you or can't you deal with???
Monday, October 26, 2009
Her lope to the left is really coming along nicely, her lope to the right is a bit harder for her go into and instead of running her into it, I am going backwards... Well, sort of. We are working on TONS of trot to halt to back to trot transitions. TONS of them before I ask her for the canter. Why is that??? To rock her back on her haunches. And it works beautifully!! I make sure she goes from a nice working trot to a smooth halt, then 2 or 3 steps of backing, then a halt, then she needs to trot off. This exercise really gets the horse thinking light on the forehand and has them more rocked back on their haunches. Sooooo after several of these I then ask the mare for a lope going to the right and BAM! She picks it up like gold!!!!
A lot of people forget simple exercises that really can fine tune a horses gaits and transitions. I even showed the owner a before and after. Before was me just asking for the lope with zero preparation. The mare had a rough time in the canter departure. Then I did my exercise for about 7-10 minutes and then asked her to lope, pretty soon she was departing from a walk. Once I had her brain thinking light on the forehand, the rest was a breeze.... It was a fabulous ride tonight....
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
"OK, so when a horse is "spooking" at something you need to address why? Sometimes it's simply because they can LOL. Since this seems to be your horse's issue this is what you need to do. First off lunge him down in that area right next to the end he spooks at. If on the ground he is fine and it's simply when you are mounted then what you want to do is make the situation harder than it is. Example: He bolts you stop him and back him all the way back up to where he first took off. Or if he takes off pull him into the wall he is spooking at and do circle after circle walking hm as close to the wall as possible. The idea is to always make the WRONG thing HARD for them and the right thing easy. He'll soon learn that it is becoming wayyyy too much effort in his part to keep bolting. Another option and this is a REALLY good one is if he bolts, KEEP him running. HARD!!! Make his lungs do the talking. Run run run run run him around your arena until he is huffing and puffing. Again Wrong thing hard. Then finally when you ask him to walk stop him at the end he spooks at and see if he'll walk calmly by.... Let me know how it goes for you. Keep me updated :) Sorry for the delayed response LOL!!! "
Today's lesson happens to be one of my FAVORITE motto's... Always Make the WRONG thing hard and RIGHT thing easy...
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The idea is, is when a person loses their confidence to make it so they can not be set up to fail. By doing some simple things that she feels she can handle appropriately, she is slowly starting to regain her confidence back... And that's what it takes, slow simple steps, without the fear of the big "FAIL" clouding her head. It's been several days and while I'm going back out there twice a week for awhile for lessons, her confidence is happily on it's way back up :)
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The owner had owned this mare for 22 years. She was her everything. She was there before the kids, the husband, she was her best friend. 14 years ago the mare gave birth to a filly who 8 months later succumbed to colic and died. It was said that even though she was pregnant again, she never got over the loss of her filly... She had a colt a few months later who now has become one of Western Washington's fasted patterned horses in his division. No one can touch him and his Dam was no different. A few years ago, while on the beach the her owner was riding her and her husband was on her current speed horse. They decided to go for a run and before he knew it he was eating sand being kicked up from the mare and her beloved friend. She never slowed down and taught countless children and adults how to ride. She was a one of a kind mare. The kind of horse you can only dream to have...
When it was time, we walked her to where she would be buried and he son screamed out for her, the horses all looked somber and it was a clear chilly night. Every star in the sky was visible and the moon light up the pasture. The vet injected her and she laid down with all the grace she'd had while she was alive. We said our goodbye's and left with red eyes and broken hearts... Death is funny that way. Though we try to be brave when we put our beloved, trusted friends out of their pain, the pain suddenly consumes us instead.
Last night at 11:45 she finally joined her filly in Heaven. Today was a gorgeous fall day with a beautiful sunset and we laid her to rest behind her pasture. She's always been the Matriarch of the farm and always will be. We'll always feel comforted knowing she's looking over us, running through lush green fields with her darling filly and feeling no pain...
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
So one of my good friends came out a few days ago and looked at how TB was walking and she said to me just as plain and simply as could be.... "He has Laminitis and needs to get to a stall ASAP." Laminitis??? That's freaking on it's way to being FOUNDER!!! How can a normal horse of 10 years of age be foundering?? He isn't over weight, isn't on lush pasture, What the hell????
Well, I'd never dealt with a foundering horse before. EVER. So little did I know that there are SOOOO many different kinds of founder and laminits. I took Big Boy up to my friends house where he could be monitored 24/7 and in a HUGE stall... Easily a 20x20. Her very good friend who is a natural barefoot trimmer came and confirmed that he does have laminitis. She put pads and an equi cast on both front feet and instantly he began to feel better.... So obviously I wanted to know what on earth could have caused him to get laminitis and she simply said...."Anything. He more than likely had a metabolic upset and it threw his feet into a tailspin." Thankfully, They are taking AMAZING care of him and he just eats happily and can finally relax. His hooves are growing new sole and he gets turned out 3 times a day for a little at a time. His mood has dramatically improved and he is truly happy now!!!
Who on Earth would have thought???? Certainly not me.... It terrified me even as they were telling me "It'll be OK, he will recover, we caught it in time!" Ugh, talk about some stress.... While he is recovering beautifully and I am ever so grateful for the help of my friends, it worries me to think that I'd missed that and that he could have really gotten some serious damage done to his hooves and legs. It was my "Oh Shit!!" Moment of the year!!!! So has anything like this ever happened to you??? And always know that even if your vet and farrier are out of ideas, a friend may hit it on the noggin for FREE!!! LOL
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The best and easiest way to get through the bad weather, is to plan events with other barn friends. Plan a jumper night, or a game day. Do mini clinics where you all ride and have your peers critic each other and help each other out. Have a broomstick polo game or go to some Winter schooling shows.
Just because the weather is turning doesn't mean we have to stop having fun!!! So get warm and get out there. What actvities do you enjoy in the arena???
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Here is the ad... I copied and pasted it for privacy
Small Companion Horse
Olympia, Washington 98507
Other Coloror Markings:
brown and black
Temperament:1=Very Calm...10=Very High-Spirited
Horse Skills or Potential:
Small appy gelding. Eight years old. Bucks. Very sweet but not honest. Would make a nice companion horse to another horse or maybe a pack horse. He is wonderful to ride as long as your mind is on him. When you take your mind off he knows and bucks like a bucking bronc. Free to good home. He is a sweetheart. Beginner riders have ruined him.
Monday, September 21, 2009
"However, sometime during the training process, a horse will need to be lightened up even more. Especially the older horses that are being tuned up or re-trained.So to get the job done, I’ll go to a twisted-wire snaffle. Either the regular or the thin twisted-wire.
These twisted-wire bits have some “bite” to them and will convince even an older, hard mouthed horse to respond and lighten up." Um, NO BUDDY!!! You can get a horse light without a double twisted wire thank you!!!
He says running martingales don't work so instead "If you want to try a piece of equipment that DOES HELP a horse learn to give to your hands, supple-up and flex at the poll… use a German martingale" Again I'm going to have to say a big fat no thanks.... Um... Why is it other trainers can get their horses to flex without the use of this crap??
Oh here's a gem... "Another bit that I sometimes use to lighten a horse up is a “draw” or “gag” bit. On some horses this bit works great. The reason is because it works on different pressure points than a regular snaffle bit." I've already headdesked so many times at this point my skull is bleeding....
"Most horses, I’ll ride with the 8” shanks. The super sensitive ones, I’ll ride with the 7” shanks." OK, is this a joke now??? Is someone just screwing with me???? 8 INCHES???? That is NOT necessary!!! "The correction bit will get a horse responding well" Uhhhh, yeah have you seen them??? They have ports so high they'll tickle you're horses brain...
Oh and for the love of hell... "I’ll use a curb chain with this bit that has more bite to it than the usual one that I use. Usually, a dog-chain curb works well." Oh yes, cause that's what you need to give the bit MORE F-ing Bite.... Yes these were ALL from the same article...
With so much info on the web, it's hard to choose what is good and what isn't?? Well, to solve any dilemmas I'll put it to you this way... Trust your gut, if you don't like it, don't use it, ask a professional or several professionals, get some opinions and GIMMICKS, stronger bits, or training aids will NEVER replace good solid training in the first place.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
10. Drop a heavy steel object on your foot. Don't pick it up right away. Shout, "Get off, Stupid, GET OFF!"
9. Leap out of a moving vehicle and practice "relaxing into the fall." Roll lithely into a ball and spring to your feet.
8. Learn to grab your checkbook out of your purse and write out a $1000 check without even looking down.
7. Jog long distances carrying a halter and a carrot. Go ahead and tell the neighbors what you are doing - they might as well know now.
6. Affix a pair of reins to a moving freight train and practice pulling to a halt. Smile as if you are having fun.
5. Hone your fibbing skills: "See, moving hay bales is FUN!" and "No, really, I'm glad your lucky performance and multimillion dollar horse won the blue ribbon. I am just thankful that my hard work and actual ability won me second place."
4. Convince yourself that being bucked off 7 times makes you a "REAL RIDER"
3. Borrow the US Army's slogan: Be All That You Can Be -- bitten, thrown, kicked, slimed, trampled, frozen...
2. Lie face down in a puddle of mud in your most expensive riding clothes and repeat to yourself, "This is a learning experience, this is a learning experience, this is ......."
1. The number one exercise to become a better equestrian is MARRY MONEY !
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
- Board $250 x 12 = $3,000
- Hay $70 (a ton usually last 3-4 months) x 12 = $840
- Grain $30 (2 Bags) x 12 = $360
- Hoof trim $35 ( $60 for front shoes or $100 for 4) x 6 = $210
- Wormer $7 x 6 = $42
- Teeth Float $120
- Vaccinations $80 x 2 = $160
Your Grand Total is $4732 a year. It comes out to roughly $394 per month. All averaged out. NOW here is where it gets super fun!!!! A lot of people offer boarding for CHEAP!!! Pasture board for $100, so that cuts your boarding costs and HAY cost if the pasture is decent. If your horse is an easy keeper than you can get good, nice local hay for $3.50 a bale. You buy wormer in bulk it can be as low as $2.99 per tube. Split farm calls and vet costs. Buy Vaccines in bulk and split cost between barn. Don't feed grain. So let's try this again.
- Board $100 x 12 = 1200
- Hay $21 (local) x 12 $252 or $35(Alfalfa/timothy/orchard) x 12 = $420
- Wormer $2.99 x 6 = 17.94
- Vaccinations $35 x 2 = $70
- Trim $35 x 6 = $210
- Teeth float $100
Now you're at roughly $2017.94(with hay) or $168.16 per month or $1849.94(with local hay) or $154.16 per month.... I'm sure there are even MORE costs that can be carefully finagled so long as your horse is and REMAINS healthy. So... A measly $168.16. Huh... And we have all these abandoned, starving horses. I understand that people have bills and families and other responsibilities, but our animals are our responsibility too... Pretty sad.... Pretty Sad when you actually break it down...
Monday, September 14, 2009
So today, I worked her in the arena and to the left she goes great, stay on the rail, flexes really nice to the inside, respects my leg. To the right, she's a train wreck. She bulges HORRIBLY!!! She cranes her neck to the rail and swings her body out, only at the trot though. So I bring her back to some body moving basics at the walk. Circles, serpentines, then I start walking her and turning her towards the rail for the turn on the forehand. Then I start on some roll backs and things are going smooth...
I, then put her back on the rail and OVER emphasize her bending towards the inside. I want to see her right eye the whole time down the rail while her body stays straight. If she thinks about turning to the inside the she gets my inside leg tapping on her ribs, to push that gut back over. Why do I do that??? Because she bulges to the inside of the arena, so if I discipline her by making her almost making her "bulge" to the outside, or towards the rail, then walking straight with her ears, shoulders and hips in a line will be glorious release. She's so sensitive and light, that it doesn't take much now to keep her straight.
Now we do the same exercises at the trot, rollbacks, turns on the forehand, circles, serpentines. She still is bulging at the trot so I repeat the same exercise. I put her on the rail and turn her head to the inside so I can see her right eye, while keeping my inside leg on her as block from her turning in... Soon enough we are trotting up and down the rail in straight lines.
Your own leg and hand control is essential in teaching a horse body control... Every horse, be it a show horse, jumper, western pleasure, trail horse, cutting, dressage, etc... MUST have fluid, consistent body control and movements. Tomorrow we'll begin in shoulders in/out, haunches in/out and leg yielding for more body control.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I wonder with horse people sometimes, I mean don't get me wrong every breed started from somewhere and is a mix of many breeds, but do registries like this just pop up so you can pretend to have a registered horse? For example, The American Warmblood, it's sort of a breed, mostly just a mutt though....
What do you think of breed registries like this? Do they hinder or help? Do they encourage more backyard cross breeding, or give everyone a chance to have a registered horse???
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
There is another bridle that some people use as a method of restraint and yes some still ride in it, and it's called the "Bonaparte" or "Cherokee" Bridle... It works by not only having the rope wrapped around the lower jaw for pressure, BUT ALSO puts pressure on both the top and bottom gums of the horse!!!! YEEEEEIKES! They say it can be used for really "rank" horses and stallions that need to be taught a lesson *Gulp* Or for horses receiving medical treatment... Um.. OK, When the rope or reins are pulled it immediately puts pressure on the gums, lower jaw and poll of your horse... I swear I am really unsure of who could, in good conscious, use this. Light hands, soft hands, this is devastation waiting no no ASKING to happen....
Sunday, August 30, 2009
So a friend of mine who is a client of his, had to have a come to Jesus meeting with him. His GF's meddling in his training was becoming quite distracting to the client, the girl tried to put my friend on a horse that hadn't been ridden in 2 months to see if she could scare her... He was basically getting drug down by her and it was showing to everyone, especially his clients.... She FLIPPED out at the show we were at, because he was helping his students and not paying her any attention. She also hangs all over him when he is in the middle of a conversation with someone other than her. So when is it enough? When you can't even concentrate on your clients???
Trust me, it is HARD to find a balance in training and relationships. Horses take up a good part of your life even when you're not a trainer!!! But when someone actually starts to jeopardize your career because of immaturity, there has to be a line to draw somewhere right??? Ahhh for those of you who think there is no drama or excitement in horses, it is nothing BUT Drama LOL!!! Our advice to him was to figure out what was important to him. Money making clients? Or a GF (sort of) who makes his life difficult. If he wants both, great, but keep her far far AWAY! Not a good idea to mix business with pleasure... Not at all... *Head shaking* Ahhh Venting is good...
Friday, August 28, 2009
Tash~ Get a saddle pad with some grippy rubber material on the bottom. Also I use girths with the same type of grippy neoprene material. So I'm gripping in both places top and bottom. A breast collar may also help a little, but the sticky pads are the BEST!! I use one and I love it! My Arab is SUPER round and slippery and when I use this pad my saddle does not MOVE and it's a treeless!!! :) They sell them at Del's for about $45
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Courtesy of http://www.frontrangefrenzy.com/ridinghorses/how-much-can-a-horse-carry.html
"When asking the question, "how much weight can a horse carry?" you often hear a response similar to "it depends on the breed of the horse, its conditioning and conformation, how far and how long you will be traveling, the horse's bone structure, the type of weight the horse will carry (for example live [rider] or dead weight [gear]), weight distribution" and so on. So with this sound advice from your fellow horsemen, surely you now have a much better idea of how much weight your horse can carry. No? Of course not. Though your colleagues are correct in stating all the above factors, you are still left in the dark without any guideline on how much weight a horse can carry. Can my horse only carry 80 pounds, or is he capable of carrying 300 pounds?
Fortunately some very smart horsemen over the years have come up with a few methods for us to calculate a starting point to help determine how much weight a horse can carry. One very simple guide is to take the horse's weight and divide by six to give you the total weight, including rider and tack, the horse can carry. Given this, a 1200 pound horse could carry up to 200 pounds.
Another quick and popular method is to use the 20% rule. You take 20% of your horse's body weight and the result is the amount of total weight your horse can carry. For example, a 1,000 pound horse should easily carry 200 pounds of rider and tack. The 20% rule typically applies to competitive or otherwise "hard" riding. For pleasure riding, many use a 30% rule, so this 1,000 pound horse could carry 300 pounds for shorter pleasure rides.
Measuring a horse's cannon bone is used by some in determining the approximate weight a horse can carry. A measurement is taken around the circumference of the foreleg, just below the knee. Add together the weight of the horse plus the rider and tack, and divide this sum by the cannon bone circumference measurement. Then divide that result by two. A number between 75 and 85 is good. If the number is over 85, you probably need a larger horse. Using this method, I measure the circumference of the horse's cannon bone and get 7.5 inches. The body weight of the horse is 1,150 pounds and the rider and gear weigh 235 pounds for a total combined weight of 1,350 pounds. Divide 1,350 (total combined weight) by 7.5 (cannon bone) and I get roughly 185. Divide 185 in half and my final resulting number is 93. Using this calculating method, I either need to lighten my gear or get a larger horse to get the number down to around 85.
Some horse and rider guidelines where carrying weight is concerned:
Pick a horse with bigger cannon bones, wider loins, shorter back
Avoid using heaving saddles and only carry necessary gear
Make sure the horse is conditioned for the type of riding you doing
Keep proper riding posture and balance
Give the horse a break on longer rides - get off a while and let your horse rest
Avoid riding in areas where footing is not desirable - such as mud, deep sand, asphalt
Avoid letting the horse trot or canter
The maximum weight a horse can safely carry does vary by the breed of the horse and how hard it's worked. There is no absolute rule about how much weight a horse can carry, but generally speaking the lighter-framed the horse the less he can carry. A well conditioned horse or a stout horse can generally carry more. Some breeds are bred to carry heavier weights like the Quarter Horse, Arabian or Icelandic Pony. Riders with good balance also make weight load less of a problem."
Really? Arabs were made for heavy weight??? Hmmmm I'm a little questionable on that one, but still a great article...
Sunday, August 23, 2009
So anyway, my horse was acting like a COMPLETE Jack. He decided right in front of the judge to launch himself into the air and buck, He pretty much did a Capriole, only he's not a Lipizzaner, hmmmmm someone should tell him! LMAO. So one of my fellow competitors and friend gave him the new nickname of the "Avenging Unicorn." HAHAHAHAHA Ugh... Poor Raven. BUT here is the best part, let's go down the list.
My student Tammy and her Appy horse, who I've been training and giving lessons too, placed 1st in an Equitation class and a 2nd in a Pleasure class. WOOHOO Her and her sister got very teary eyed, they couldn't believe it. We were all jumping and screaming for her!!! Here's a pic of Tammy on her Appy.
Maddie my 9 yr old student and her 28 yr old appy mare named Cutie placed 4ths and 5ths in almost every class. It was her first performance show ever! It was a great experience for her and not bad for a first show!!!!!
S&D's horse Sugar ROCKED it at the barrels and Cal Stake class cleaning up with a 2nd and 3rd with our friend Chance riding. Even Little Diamond competed in the in hand trails course!!!
And here's my horse, The Avenging Unicorn himself LMAO!! HA!!! Thanks Cowgirly!!
All in all it was amazing and I could NOT be happier and more proud of everyone!!! They all worked VERY hard for this show and it really paid off! Even the Avenging Unicorn got some love and treats yesterday LOL!! Congrats to every one who attended the show!!!! it was a HUGE success!!!
Friday, August 21, 2009
What's it like when you get ready for a show??? Are you a planner or procrastinator???
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
So tonight me and S&D are chatting with the girl and she gets visibly upset saying she feels she's been taken advantage of and she doesn't feel this kind of lease is fair, she shouldn't have to share the horse when she is paying for a FULL Care lease. And you know what? SHE'S Right!! The owner is getting too greedy and has completely screwed this girl over. The owner didn't even tell the girl that she had also leased the horse to someone else. She found out by coming up to ride and saw the other woman riding her horse. Then she found out the horse's owner had offered the other woman the horse to BUY right out from underneath the leaser...
So we told her if she didn't want to lease that horse and continue to get played that she could ride our horses in exchange for some help around the stable. She was extremely grateful for our help and generosity, but frankly I hate seeing people get treated so unfairly. I'm sure the owner thought she could get away with it because the girl is new to the whole horse thing. Totally unacceptable ...
Please people be aware and if you lease out a horse or are leasing a horse, get everything in writing and have a VERY clear understanding as to what you're getting into. There are more owners now BEGGING for people to ride their horses, that you should never feel taken advantage of or ripped off....
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
So the gal I went with told me the same thing, that her horse was her Soulmate. She wasn't looking to buy a horse when she found him and neither was I when i found Raven, but when you feel that connection its like you know in an instant that you can't live with out them... She'd gone through a few horses before she found him and they clicked instantly.
People told me that Raven would kill me, that he acted stud-like (He's a Gelding), that "OMG HE'S AN ARAB!!!!!!!!!!" Never mattered to me, I knew from the moment I laid EYES on that horse that he and I would be together forever.... This is a pic of me and my guy...
What horse is or was your soulmate? What would you look for if you trying to find the ONE????
Monday, July 27, 2009
Well, I do a lot of leg work on the trails, side passing around solid obstacles that my knee could potentially crack into if not done properly. Hill work, desensitizing, work in water and streams. Stepping over logs. Working on all three gaits PROPERLY even though there is a lack of arena walls. Ahhhh it's a nice thing!! It breaks the monotony of the arena and gets us out in the wide open. It's great for the horses as well, it gives them something else to concentrate on and see new things. So What do you like to do on the trails???
Oh and here is something I just thought was funny, from cuteoverload.com AHAHAHA It's so cute!!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Jag~ Wants to show and be center of attention, calls me his Mom. Sometimes feels misunderstood. Is very teenager like, but SUPER SMART! He knows he's strong and loves running around the arena. He wants to jump. He said one of my saddle pads is too itchy for him and he likes my lighter English saddle.
Raven~ Knows we are soul mates, knows he's my number 1, hates the fly mask and chiropractor. He talked of a scar he has on his leg. He loves where he is now. He likes having the show saddle on. He loves his alfalfa and cookies. Raven has always done this one weird thing. He grabs the back of my coat or hoodie and holds it in his mouth, he doesn't like letting go either, he just sits there with my coat in his mouth not moving. So I did ask her what that meant to him and she it meant I was his!! Awwwwww I LOVE my Raven!!
Sole'~ Thinks she is a princess and wants to show in very pretty tack. She spoke of a scratch she had on her neck that I was putting cream on. She is a total lovebug. She loves when we work with the radio on. She loves her Berry Goods!
Louie~ Wants to feel more special. He will bulk up with more work. Wants to be called King Louie. Likes kids. Feels like second fiddle and low man on the totem pole. He is happy, just wants more attention.
It was such an amazing experience, one that I will do again!!! She really got my horses right on. You can tell that she connects to the horses as well, because of the look on the horse's face. How they look and act with their body, they lick and chew and shake their heads and almost "act" out their thoughts.It's AMAZING!!!!!